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January 31, 2010

Bend Deacon Accused of Covering Up Child Sex Abuse

BEND (OR)
KOHD

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, are claiming a deacon, who now works at St. Francis of Assisi church in Bend, helped cover up child sexual abuse. Deacon Joseph Levine used to work for the society of St. John in Scranton, Pennsylvania. According to SNAP, he helped two priests to cover up child sexual abuse while there. During Sunday mass, SNAP put over 100 fliers on cars in the St. Francis parking lot, alerting parishioners to the issue. The church says it removed the fliers, because they contained inaccurate information. The church also says it has made Levine's past known to the parish. But SNAP says that's not enough.

"He had absolutely nothing to do with any of the troubles in the Society of St. John; I strongly resent that SNAP sneaks around in our parking lot putting damaging and false information on people's windshields," says Father Joe Reinig, Pastor at St. Frances of Assisi church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 PM

Man to plead not guilty in new abuse charges

CONNECTICUT
Washington Post

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A Colorado man is expected to plead not guilty to new charges that he sexually abused boys at a school he founded in Haiti.

Douglas Perlitz is scheduled to appear Tuesday in federal court in New Haven.

Perlitz was charged last year with sexually abusing nine boys. Prosecutors doubled the number of alleged victims to 18 with a new indictment announced Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Committee recommends closing St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Salome

NEW YORK
Democrat and Chronicle

Gary Craig • Staff writer • January 31, 2010

A diocesan committee has recommended that St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Salome, both in Irondequoit, be closed.

The committee, facing shrinking church membership and a future shortage of priests at its churches, had to decide which of five churches in Irondequoit should be shuttered. The other churches considered were St. Margaret Mary, Christ the King, and St. Cecilia.

The pastoral planning group that made the recommendation included members of each church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Irondequoit Pastoral Planning Group's announcement to parishioners

NEW YORK
Democrat and Chronicle

"Last July, in response to various pressures that jeopardize the future of the five parishes in Irondequoit, the Irondequoit Pastoral Planning Group, announced that it had reached consensus on a recommendation to present to Bishop Clark for approval.

The recommendation was:

• To consolidate the five Irondequoit parishes into one new, unified parish that would use the campuses of St. Margaret Mary, Christ the King, and St. Cecilia.
• As part of this proposal, to close the buildings housing St. Salome and St. Thomas the Apostle parishes, the disposition of which to be resolved at a later date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Diocesean statement on Irondequoit Pastoral Planning Group announcement

NEW YORK
Democrat and Chronicle

January 31, 2010

The Diocese of Rochester offers its thanks to the members of the Irondequoit
Pastoral Planning Group for their dedication, perseverance and leadership in this
long process that involved many challenges and very difficult decisions.

Out of respect for the work of the committee, diocesan officials are withholding all further comment on the IPPG recommendations until completion of the next phase in the Pastoral Planning process:

1. The IPPG now will formally provide Bishop Clark with its recommendations;
2. The Bishop will review the IPPG plan in consultation with his diocesan Priests Council of advisers;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Church Says Three Accused Irish Priests Served in Boston

MASSACHUSETTS
Ethics Daily

By: G. Jeffrey MacDonald
Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2010

BOSTON (RNS) The Archdiocese of Boston, under mounting pressure to address alleged ties to Irish priests accused of sexual abuse, acknowledged that three clerics on a list of 70 alleged abusers had in fact served in the Boston area.

One of the accused, the Rev. Dennis P. Murphy received permission to celebrate Mass at St. Cecilia’s Parish in Boston during 1996 and 1997, according to an Archdiocesan statement released Tuesday (Jan. 26).

Another, the Rev. Joseph T. Maguire, had permission to serve in Waltham between 1981 and 1985, and a third, the Rev. Brendan Smyth, was permitted to serve for two days in 1991 at St. Camillus Parish in Arlington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Catholics Reel as a Diocese Whittles Its Parishes

NEW JERSEY
The New York Times

By LIZETTE ALVAREZ
Published: January 29, 2010

DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J.

ELEANOR MEDANY remembers when South Jersey was in thrall to Roman Catholicism. There was a church every mile, or so it seemed, and priests were as common as Chevrolets. Churches like her own, Most Holy Redeemer, were built by parishioners who showed up, hammer in hand, and who hosted countless spaghetti fests and tea bag sales to buy the kneelers and the windows.

That was in 1958. As the years passed, Most Holy Redeemer took root in this town about 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia. The congregation grew fast, and in 1961, members built a school behind their unassuming church to educate their children in the faith.

But next month, Most Holy Redeemer Parish will offer its final Sunday Mass. After that, the building will go mostly unused, reflecting an era of dwindling churchgoers and vanishing priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Missbrauch auch im Jesuiten-Kolleg?

GERMANY
SWR

Das Jesuiten-Kolleg Sankt Blasien im Südschwarzwald ist möglicherweise auch von dem Missbrauchsskandal an einer katholischen Schule in Berlin betroffen. Ein Ex-Pater, der den Missbrauch von Schülern zugegeben hat, unterrichtete in den 80er Jahren auch in St. Blasien.

[summary]

The Jesuit College of St. Blasius in the Black Forest may also be affected by the abuse scandal at another Catholic school in Berlin. An ex-priest who admitted to abusing students in Berlin also taught in the 1980s at St. Blasius.

The Rev. Johannes Siebner, director of the college, said they will do all they can to investigate to see if abuse happened at St. Blasius. He was at one time a student at Canisius. Rev. Siebner said he was not abused but he knew some of the alleged victims.

Rev. Siebner said it is obvious that there was failure within the Jesuit order to properly investigate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Catholic schools in Germany investigate child sex abuse evidence

GERMANY
Earth Times

Berlin - Two Catholic Church schools in Germany were gathering evidence Sunday against two Jesuit priests who are alleged to have had sex with boys in the 1970s but were never prosecuted. Berlin public prosecutors have said they are studying the alleged actions of the two teaching priests, both now retired. But it appeared they could not be charged with the 22 acts between 1975 and 1982 because the cases are out of time.

Klaus Mertes, the principal of Canisius College, a posh Berlin co-ed school run by the Jesuit Order of priests, has said he is checking how the preceding headmaster reacted to the cases after one priest confessed.

The allegations have revived criticism of Catholic leaders for allegedly covering up child abuse instead of reporting it to police. ...

At St Blasius College in the southern German town of St Blasien, headmaster Johannes Siebner said Sunday he was studying whether similar sexual abuse occurred at that school

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Bishop appointment raises abuse questions

LOUISVILLE (KY)
United Press International

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A new bishop's appointment in Kentucky raised questions about his suitability for dealing with Catholic priests' sexual abuse, an abuse survivors' group said.

Rev. William Medley, who has been a priest for 27 years in the Archdiocese of Louisville and was appointed Owensboro bishop in December by Pope Benedict XVI, served from 1989 to 1993 as a clergy personnel director for a bishop who re-assigned five priests facing accusations of the sexual abuse of minors, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Sunday.

Some of the accused priests were convicted and sentenced to prison, the newspaper said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Archdiocese criticized over failure to inform public of workers accused of abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear, Tribune reporter

Citing recent reports that current and former Roman Catholic religious workers accused of molesting minors are housed near schools or living in undisclosed locations, victims' advocates are criticizing the Chicago Archdiocese for staying silent about all accused clergy, teachers or volunteers with Chicago ties.

Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the archdiocese is falling back on secrecy despite promises since 2002 to be transparent.

The protest stems from a long-standing discrepancy between how dioceses and religious orders alert the public about clergy facing credible allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Nach Missbrauch in Berlin prüft nun Bistum Hamburg

GERMANY
Focus

Nach dem Missbrauchsskandal in einer Berliner Elite-Schule will das Erzbistum Hamburg klären, ob es in einer Schule der Hansestadt zu ähnlichen Übergriffen gekommen war.

Ein Jesuitenpater, der bereits eingeräumt hatte, Schüler des katholischen Canisius-Kollegs in Berlin missbraucht zu haben, hatte laut Bistum von 1979 bis 1982 an der Hamburger Sankt-Ansgar-Schule unterrichtet. Bislang gebe es aber keine Hinweise, dass es dort ebenfalls zu sexuellen Übergriffen gekommen sei, sagte Nielen. Der Pater trat 1991 aus dem Orden aus und lebt jetzt in Südamerika. „Wir bemühen uns um Aufklärung“, sagte Bistums-Sprecher Manfred Nielen am Sonntag.

[summary]

The Hamburg diocese is now trying to find out if a priest who admitted to sexual abusing boys at Canisius College might have also abused minors in Hamburg. The priest taught from 1979 to 1982 at St. Ansgar School, Hamburg. So far no allegations have come from Hamburg.

The Berlin archdiocese is also investigation an allegation of abuse by a priest in Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen.

The Berliner Zeitung on Saturday quoted Hartmut Walter (his real name) who said he and seven former classmates in 1981 wrote a letter to Canisius and the bishops alerting them to abuse in the school but they never got a response.

The Rev. Klaus Mertes, Canisius rector, said on Friday they now know of at least 22 former students who were allegedly abused. All accused the same two priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Curia silent on paedophile priest’s appointment in Malta

MALTA
The Malta Independent

by DAVID LINDSAY

The Archbishop’s Curia this week chose to remain silent about the nature of the appointment given to a Maltese priest in Malta in the mid-1990s who was convicted of paedophilia in Italy in 2004.

While acknowledging that Fr Felix Cini had served in Malta between 1995 and 1996, and insisting that he had not returned to Malta since the conclusion of Italian court action against him 2004, the Curia refused to answer questions on where he had served in Malta, and in what capacity.

In a right of reply (see letter on page 25) to last week’s front page story exposing how the appointment of the Maltese Fr Felix Cini to a parish in Cercemaggiore, in the diocese of Campobasso, had caused a split in the community after parishioners discovered gruesome details of the priest’s conviction and subsequent plea bargain on paedophilia charges, the Maltese Curia states, “The priest involved was ordained and incardinated in a diocese in Italy. Therefore, he is not a member of the Maltese Diocese and does not fall under the discipline of the authorities of this Diocese.” ...

An Italian investigation into Fr Cini had begun in late 2002, just six years after he had served in Malta, and after 17 children aged between 10 and 14 years of age reported having received undue attention at the hands of the priest.

Charges were filed in 2003 and Fr Cini eventually submitted a plea bargain in 2004, avoiding a lengthy trial and a possible prison sentence, and instead being landed with a two and a half year sentence in a special community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Monsey Rabbis on Leib Tropper

MONSEY (NY)
5 Towns Jewish Times

By 5TJT Staff
Published on Saturday, January 30, 2010

On January 21, 10 Rabbi Dovid Ribiat released an interview regarding the Tropper scandal. His remarks generated a lot of interest, and he was asked on Jan. 29 for another brief interview to address some of the many questions that have since been raised.

Rabbi Ribiat heads the Kollel Ohr Yaakov of Forshay in Monsey NY, and is regarded as a prominent Halachic authority across the US. He is also the author of several Seforim, including the world-renowned four-volume work on the 39 Melochos of Shabbos.

Interviewer: I know that you have said that you do not wish to be thrust onto the public stage. May I ask why you have agreed to do these interviews?

RR: Firstly, please understand that I am not acting as an official spokesman for the Rabbonim of Monsey, only as an individual Rabbi. I’ve consented to this only because several Rabbis, myself included, realized that there is perception in the public that the Rabbonim are unwilling to act on this very serious matter. We hoped that explaining some of the difficult issues involved could help people who are justifiably concerned to see that this was not the case. I hope we can make a positive difference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Sex inquiry cleric returns

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

NIGEL HUNT
January 31, 2010
THE Catholic Church has cleared the way for high-profile priest accused of abuse to return to work.

An Anglican Church inquiry into abuse claims against , Father John Fleming is still under way.

The Sunday Mail has learnt he sought, and was granted, a release of his licence from the Archdiocese of Adelaide earlier this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Associate pastor faces sexual assult charges

DANVILLE (IL)
Commercial-News

STAFF REPORT
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Danville police arrested a 34-year-old man on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Director of Public Safety Larry Thomason said in a press release that police detectives were called to the Danville Christian Academy, 428 N Walnut St., about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in response to allegations of abuse involving a staff member and a 17-year-old student.

The subsequent investigation revealed inappropriate contact by the associate pastor with the male student, which reportedly had gone on for some time, according to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Teacher facing sex abuse charges

DANVILLE (IL)
The News-Gazette

By The News-Gazette
Saturday, January 30, 2010 7:00 AM CDT

DANVILLE – A teacher at the Danville Christian Academy faces criminal charges for allegedly having sex with a student from February 2008 to August 2009.

Mark R. List, 34, who listed an address in the 700 block of Perrysville, on Friday was charged in Vermilion County Circuit Court with one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony.

List also was charged with one count of criminal sexual assault-position of trust, a Class 1 felony, and one count of indecent solicitation of a child, a Class 3 felony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Winfield pastor files lawsuit against accuser in 2006 abuse case

WINFIELD (IL)
Daily Herald

By Dann Gire | Daily Herald Staff

The attorney for a Winfield pastor accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy said Saturday that a Cook County lawsuit filed Friday is not about greed, but clearing the accused man's name and restoring his respect in the community.

"My god, the man was terribly depressed," Chicago attorney Walter Maksym said Saturday about his client, the Rev. Chester Przybylo, 59, pastor of the Shrine of Christ the King church in Winfield.

"When you're innocent and there's somebody accusing you," Maksym said, "he was depressed. He was physically ill. He's had all kinds of physical problems because of this. He's had vandalism to his home and car. People walking across the street spitting at him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Church will fight hard to preserve its 'divine right'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

But the Christian Brothers' version of morality is starting to crumble, writes Emer O'Kelly

Sunday January 31 2010

Nearly one-third of people in this country think the Catholic Church should maintain control of the primary school system. And more than half the population thinks that, whether it maintains control or not, the Catholic Church will change to prevent child abuse at the hands of clerics happening again. That means there is an unsettlingly high number of people in this country, despite all the scandal, the trauma, the pain and the shame, in the schools and outside them, who do not believe the Church will change but are still perfectly happy for it to go on its dictatorial way, unchecked by the civil authorities, and having total control of the welfare and moral formation of the nation's children.

No wonder Cardinal Sean Brady felt confident enough on Thursday to launch Catholic Schools Week 2010 and inaugurate a new Catholic Schools Partnership. The theme, by the way, is that Catholic schools are "a light for every generation", while the Partnership, according to Bishop Leo O'Reilly of Kilmore, marks the completion of a cherished goal to establish an association which will act as an "advocate" for Catholic education into the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

New Owensboro bishop played role in re-assigning priests accused of sexual abuse

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

[summary of cases]

By Peter Smith • psmith@courier-journal.com • January 31, 2010

When Pope Benedict XVI appointed the Rev. William Medley as bishop of Owensboro in December, many touted the leadership experience Medley gained in 27 years as a priest and administrator in the Archdiocese of Louisville.

“I have always accepted any assignment that the church has asked of me,” Medley said at the time.

But one of those assignments is coming under scrutiny from advocates for victims of sexual abuse, as Medley prepares for his formal installation Feb. 10 as spiritual leader of 50,000 Western Kentucky Catholics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

January 30, 2010

Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: Where Are We Now?

St. Anthony Messenger

By Kathleen McChesney

IN MAY 2009, Ireland's Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, led by Justice Sean Ryan, issued the findings of its nine-year investigation into Catholic Church-operated schools and reformatories. This sad and scathing 2,600-page report, covering a 60-year period from 1936 to the present day, details physical, emotional and sexual child abuse that was pervasive within many Catholic institutions. The Church had established these institutions to educate students and provide care for orphans, unwanted or seemingly incorrigible children and delinquents.

Although it was impossible to determine accurately the number of victims and perpetrators, the Commission reported that over 800 individuals were identified as being responsible for the harm done to thousands of young people entrusted to their care. Hundreds more victims have come forward since the report was issued to describe their abuse for the very first time.

Though the revelations of abhorrent acts detailed in the report were not surprising, especially to those abused, the magnitude of the abuse and the ability of the institutions to sustain a prominent role in providing health, welfare and educational services on behalf of the government of the Republic of Ireland is nearly incomprehensible. That this prolonged evil was allowed to continue unabated for decades reflects the lack of internal moral leadership and discipline within the institutions; the absence of valid external, impartial oversight of these institutions; and the unwillingness of Church hierarchy or law-enforcement officials to pursue legitimate complaints. ...

The larger Church's response to the allegations and proven instances of abuse committed by some members of the clergy and religious life has been characterized as too little, too late. And while the approach in many English-speaking countries has evolved to include proactive measures aimed at preventing future abuse, the Vatican remains in a basic reactive mode.

Furthermore, there has been no public attempt by the Holy See to identify and eliminate the root causes of the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Archdiocese accused of silence about abusers

CHICAGO (IL)
312 Weekly

Saturday, January 30, 2010
By John Seymore
Citing recent reports that current and former Roman Catholic religious workers accused of molesting minors are housed near schools or living in undisclosed locations, victims’ advocates are criticizing the Chicago Archdiocese for staying silent about all accused clergy, teachers or volunteers with Chicago ties.

Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the archdiocese is falling back on secrecy despite promises since 2002 to be transparent.

The protest stems from a long-standing discrepancy between how dioceses and religious orders alert the public about clergy facing credible allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Diocese of La Crosse priest accused of embezzlement

WISCONSIN
LaCrosse Tribune

By Tribune staff | Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2010

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN - A priest has been accused of embezzling about $200,000 from the Diocese of La Crosse and two Crawford County parishes, according to the Crawford County Sheriff's Department.

The Rev. Robert Chukwu, 59, was arrested Friday in La Crosse and faces a charge of theft from a business setting of more than $10,000 when he appears in Crawford County Circuit Court.

Diocese attorney Jim Birnbaum informed Crawford County District Attorney Tim Baxter on Jan. 15 that Chukwu had taken $196,000 from St. Mary Parish in Gays Mills and St. Philip Parish in Soldiers Grove and the La Crosse Diocese, according to the sheriff's department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Warum Missbrauch in der Kirche?

GERMANY
Der Tagesspiegel

In den USA und Australien, in England, Frankreich, Österreich und in Irland – und jetzt auch in Berlin: Berichte über Übergriffe Geistlicher auf Schutzbefohlene häufen sich. Vor allem Katholiken sind betroffen. Die Bischofskonferenz reagiert dabei oft unangemessen.
Anzeige

WELCHE FÄLLE VON SEXUELLEM MISSBRAUCH GAB ES BISHER IN DER KATHOLISCHEN KIRCHE?

Nachrichten wie diese gibt es mittlerweile regelmäßig: Vor einem Monat meldeten irische Zeitungen, dass zwei Bischöfe aus der Erzdiözese Dublin ihren Rücktritt angeboten haben, weil sie 30 Jahre lang Misshandlungen von Kindern durch Geistliche vertuscht haben sollen. Untersuchungen im Auftrag der Regierung hatten aufgedeckt, dass tausende Zöglinge in katholischen Kinderheimen und anderen kirchlichen Einrichtungen über Jahre von Priestern vergewaltigt und sexuell gedemütigt wurden. Auch in den USA und Australien, in England, Frankreich und Österreich sind in den vergangenen Jahren zahlreiche Fälle von Kindesmissbrauch durch Geistliche bekannt geworden. Allein 2006 wurden in den USA 714 glaubhafte Beschuldigungen gegen 448 Priester erhoben.

[summary]

Sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church have come from the United States, Australia, England, France, Austria and Ireland and now also in Berlin. The numbers of attacks by clerics has been growing and Catholics are concerned. The reaction from the Episcopal Conference is often inadequate.

A month ago, Irish newspapers reported that two bishops offered their resignations from the Dublin archdiocese because they were said to have glossed over 30 years of abuse of children by priests. Studies commissioned by the government discovered that thousands of pupils were raped by priests in Catholic orphanages and other church institutions.

Even in the U.S., Australia and England, France and Austria numerous cases of child abuse by priests have been reported. In the U.S., 714 credible accusations were made against 448 priests in 2006 alone.

Psychologist Wunibald Muller has dealt with the issue for years and be believes the situation in Germany is not significantly different from that in other countries. He estimates the proportion of Catholic priests in Germany who sexually abuse children or young people is about two to four percent of all clerics and numbers 350 to 700 abusive priests. The number of reported cases in Germany is negligible, according to unofficial estimates, but in recent years about two dozen clerics have been accused in dioceses, including Regensburg, Bamberg and recently in Aachen.

Pope John Paul II in 2001 asked forgiveness of victims of sexual abuse by priests and requested clarification of the issue. Pope Benedict XVI and the German Bishops' Conference has repeatedly apologized to abuse victims. In 2002, the German bishops issued guidelines to dioceses on sexual abuse of minors by priests. They acknowledged that victims are damaged by this abuse. Each local bishop is to appoint a body of psychologists, doctors, lawyers and theologians for investigation of abuse allegations. The bishops are told to review immediately any suspicion of abuse that comes to their attention. If there is reasonable suspicion that abuse has occured, the prosecutor is to be notified and victims and their families are to be offered professional help. Convicted sex offenders are not to be used where they are dealing with children. The guidelines, however, are characterized as voluntary.

According to the bishops' conference, there are to be agents for handling abuse cases in all 27 German dioceses. An independent agent is used in some dioceses but not others. Sometimes the public prosecutor is informed but not in all cases. It depends on each local bishop whether the telephone number is listed on church Web site for victims to call to report abuse. Helmut Schuller, the longtime head ombudsman for victims of sexual abuse in the Vienna archdiocese, said the words are well-intentioned but there needs a consistent and structured approach.

The bishops need to cooperate, said Mr. Schuller, so that an accused priests is not simply switched to another diocese. There needs to be care taken in selection of candidates to the priesthood to find out whether there are underlying problems that would grow under the cloak of celibacy.

Mr. Schuller sees three reasons why clerical abuse is happening in the Catholic Church. They are obligation of celibacy, rigid sexual morality and the authoritarian hierarchal structures of the Catholic Chruch. Celibacy can be attractive to some men who are not comfortable with their sexuality, he believes. The rigid sexual morality and high moral claims of the church sometimes make it difficult for a priest to open up to colleagues or superiors to reveal problems or seek help, he said.

Most of the crimes uncovered in recent years date back decades. Sexually abused people often take years to overcome their shame and to tell someone what happened. Some victims believe since the perpetrator was a cleric that they may not be believes because priests enjoy high moral standing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Staatsanwälte ermitteln – Verjährung ist nicht sicher

GERMANY
Der Tagesspiegel

Von M. Lehmphul, J. Radke und C. Stollowsky
31.1.2010 0:00 Uhr

Die Missbrauchsfälle am Canisius-Kolleg haben auch die Parteien im Abgeordnetenhaus alarmiert. Politiker forderten gestern parteiübergreifend eine vollständige Aufklärung der Übergriffe. Die Staatsanwaltschaft bestätigte am Sonnabend, dass seit Ende der Woche in mehreren Fällen ermittelt wird. „Sieben betroffene Jungen sollen bis Anfang der 80er Jahre sexuell missbraucht worden sein“, sagte Sprecherin Silke Becker. Man müsse jetzt prüfen, ob die Straftaten bereits verjährt sind. Am Freitag wurde bekannt, dass einer der mutmaßlichen Täter, Peter R., noch im Bezirk Steglitz wohnt, während der andere Verdächtige, Wolfgang S., inzwischen in Südamerika leben soll.

[summary]

Elected official across party affiliatons have demand a full investigation of the alleged sexual attacks on students at Canisius College, Berlin. The prosecutor confirmed Saturday that they knew of seven boys who were abused until the early 1980s, according to spokeswoman Silke Becker. They must consider whether the time limit on prosecution has expired. One of the suspects, Peter R., still lives in the district of Steglitz while the other suspect, Wolfgang S., is now in South America.

The statue of limitations for abuse cases van vary greatly, according to the prosecutors. Age, sex and exact circumstances of the sexual acts, whether violence was used, for example, are considered. The prosecution must also show whether the attacks were against the will of the victims.

The blinds are drawn at the apartment of Peter R. but there is a snowman in the garden behind the building. One resident said the gray-haired 69-year-old lives alone. He has denied the allegations made against him. Another neighbor said Peter R. frequently travels to South America for long periods of time.

Andrew Gram, right-wing politician of the CDU faction, said it will be necessary to determine how many cases of abuse will be recorded. He attended Canisius College and said despite these allegations, Canisius is a fantastic school which encourages gifted students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Pastor sues accusers after sex abuse case dismissed

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Cynthia Dizikes
Tribune Reporter

January 31, 2010

A pastor of a west suburban church who was accused of molesting a 13-year-old Polish immigrant two decades ago filed a lawsuit against his accusers in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday, alleging they intentionally ruined his reputation.

A pastor of a west suburban church who was accused of molesting a 13-year-old Polish immigrant two decades ago filed a lawsuit against his accusers in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday, alleging they intentionally ruined his reputation.

The lawsuit comes about a month after the sex-abuse case was dismissed. It accuses the immigrant, his lawyers, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) of defamation, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims. The Rev. Chester Przybylo, 59, is asking for at least $500,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. ...

Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP, called the accusations "frivolous" and defended the attention that her group paid to the allegations of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

D/Schweiz: Jeder Missbrauchsfall ist einer zuviel

GERMANY
Vatican Radio

In den letzten Tagen sind wieder einige Fälle von sexuellem Missbrauch öffentlich geworden: in den Bistümern Berlin und Essen. In allen Fällen wird von den kirchlichen Stellen auf bestehende Verfahrensordnungen verwiesen. Wir geben hier einen kurzen Überblick, was es mit diesen Ordnungen auf sich hat.

Die deutsche und die schweizerische Bischofskonferenz haben sich unabhängig voneinander im Jahr 2002 Leitlinienpapiere gegeben, die beschreiben, wie in Missbrauchsfällen vorzugehen ist. Diese sind dann von den einzelnen Bistümern übernommen worden und dort auch erhältlich.

[summary]

Cases of sexual abuse in Berlin and Essen have become public. All cases were referred to church authorities under existing procedural rules.

The German and Swiss Bishops' Conferences have been give independently of one another the 2002 guidance documents on how to proceed in abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:57 AM

Priest sues accusers after abuse suit dismissed on technicality

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

January 30, 2010

A pastor of a west suburban church who was accused of molesting a 13-year-old Polish immigrant two decades ago filed a lawsuit against his accusers in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday, alleging they intentionally ruined his reputation.

The lawsuit comes about a month after the sex-abuse case was dismissed. The priest's suit accuses the immigrant, his lawyers, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) of defamation, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims. The Rev. Chester Przybylo, 59, is asking for at least $500,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

"It is a matter of clearing his name, setting the record straight," said Przybylo's lawyer, Walter Maksym.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Former Jesuit teacher admits abuse

GERMANY
The Local

One of the former teachers and Jesuit priests accused of sexually abusing students at the elite Berlin high school Canisius College has confessed to the charges.

In a statement addressed to his victims, the former sports teacher Wolfgang S. said it was "a sad fact that I abused children and young people for years under pseudo-educational pretexts." He said there was "no excuse."

The confession follows revelations on Thursday that dozens of students had been abused in the top Berlin school in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Sex inquiry cleric returns

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

NIGEL HUNT
January 31, 2010 12:01am
THE Catholic Church has cleared the way for high-profile priest accused of abuse to return to work.

An Anglican Church inquiry into abuse claims against , Father John Fleming is still under way.

The Sunday Mail has learnt he sought, and was granted, a release of his licence from the Archdiocese of Adelaide earlier this month.

Father Fleming is in the process of being installed in the Diocese of Parramatta, in Sydney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Allegheny couple alleges sexual misconduct by priest

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Rich Cholodofsky
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, January 30, 2010

An Allegheny County woman and her husband have filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg, claiming their parish priest took advantage of an emotionally vulnerable woman.

In the suit, Wendy Benaquista, 37, of Plum, accused the diocese of negligence for installing a priest at Mother of Sorrows Church in Murrysville, despite knowledge of past allegations against him for "sexual indiscretions with female congregants."

In the 16-count lawsuit, Benaquista and her husband, Daniel, contend that Monsignor Richard Curci, 64, took advantage of her when she sought marital advice from the church. There are no specific allegations in the lawsuit against Curci detailing previous sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Canisius-Kolleg - Ein Opfer erzählt

GERMANY
Berliner Morgenpost

Samstag, 30. Januar 2010 12:40 - Von Joachim Fahrun

Schon bis Freitag hatten sich 22 Missbrauchs-Opfer bei Pater Klaus Mertes, Rektor des Canisius-Kollegs, gemeldet. Doch die Dunkelziffer könnte weitaus höher liegen. Morgenpost Online hat mit einem 47-Jährigen gesprochen, der noch heute unter den Folgen lebt.

Nach jahrelangem Schweigen hat sich ein Missbrauchs-Opfer des Canisius-Kollegs an Morgenpost Online gewandt und Einzelheiten der systematischen Übergriffe geschildert. Bis heute, so der 47-Jährige, leide er unter den Dingen, die ihm an dem Elite-Gymnasium angetan worden waren. Drogenprobleme und eine gestörte Sexualität gehören zu den Symptomen.

[summary]

A 47-year-old victim of abuse at Canisius College, Berlin, after years of silence described details of systematic abuse at the school. He said he still suffers from abuse done to him while at the elite high school. He said he has had drug problems, relationship problems and sexual dysfunction.

The man described as treacherous the methods used by the two accused Jesuit teachers and it was always the same. Peter R. would use psychological pressure on the adolescent boys. He would ask the boys if they thought of girls or whether they were masturbating. The student then had to show the priest their gentials. The man, who declined to be publicly identified, said they had to constantly expose themselves and be touched.

The priest named Wolfgang was popular with students. Those who achieve good grades were promised a meal at a restaurant. Those who achieved poor grades had to lay naked on his knees. The man said there were always rumors of abuse at the school but no one stopped the abusers. He added that some of the clerics at the school had treated them well and he thought they did it because they knew what was happening and wanted to comfort the boys who were being abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Ex-Jesuitenpriester gesteht Missbrauch an Berliner Gymnasium

GERMANY
AFP

Hamburg — Im Skandal um den jahrelangen sexuellen Missbrauch von Schülern am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg hat einer der beschuldigten Priester die Vorwürfe bestätigt. Der frühere Sportlehrer Wolfgang S. schrieb in einer vom "Spiegel" veröffentlichten Erklärung, er habe "jahrelang Kinder und Jugendliche unter pseudopädagogischen Vorwänden missbraucht und misshandelt". Der zweite Beschuldigte bestritt demnach sämtliche Vorwürfe.

In dem Brief an seine ehemaligen Schüler schreibt der frühere Sportlehrer und Jesuitenpater Wolfgang S. laut "Spiegel": "Was ich dir und euch angetan habe, tut mir leid. Und falls du fähig bist, mir diese Schuld zu vergeben, bitte ich darum." Das Schreiben ist demnach datiert auf den 20. Januar. Dem Magazin sagte der ehemalige Priester, er sei mit seiner Vergangenheit vor Gott und der Welt im Reinen.

[summary]

Wolfgang S., a former gym teacher and Jesuit priest at Canisius admitted that he had abused children and young people, and used various pretexts. The second suspect has denied all the allegations. In a Jan. 20 letter, Wolfgang S. asked victims to forgive him.

There is question whether he might have abused students at other Jesuit schools in Germany. The former priest served at Hamburg's St. Ansgar School from 1982 to 1984 and at St. Blasius in the Black Forest.

According to Der Spiegal, the other accused teacher, Peter R. from Berlin, 69, was not available for comment but he has denied the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Ann Brentwood

TENNESSEE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Our movement lost a compassionate and dedicated warrior early this morning. Ann Brentwood, SNAP's long time Southeast Regional Director, passed away in a Tennessee hospital after a lengthy illness. We grieve for her daughter Jennie, her other family members and friends, and for the hundreds of wounded victims and vulnerable children for whom Ann cared for so deeply and fought for so tirelessly.

Very few individuals - whether survivor, advocate, expert, author, lawmaker or leader - have done more to expose corruption, "out" predators, reform laws, and, most important, offer tender, patient and loving support for suffering men, women and kids who have been sexually abused by trusted authority figures. ...

NOTE: On Feb. 13th, there will be a Memorial Service for Ann in eastern Tennessee. Check with our TN SNAP chapter in a few days for details. (Susan Vance susan8324@gmail.com )

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Priest sues ex-altar boy who accused him of sex abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

January 30, 2010

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE
The priest who was accused of sexually abusing his former altar boy has filed a libel and slander suit.

Fr. Chester J. Pryzbylo, an ordained Roman Catholic Priest, filed a suit Friday in Cook County Circuit Cook against the former altar boy Peter Galica, his lawyers and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

In March of 2006, Galica filed a suit claiming Pryzbylo had sexually abused and molested him, starting when he was a 13-year-old Polish immigrant in 1987 until he was 15 years old at the Five Holy Martys Church in Chicago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

The challenges of North Dakota clergy sexual abuse survivors

NORTH DAKOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[video presentation]

SNAP reaches out to survivors in North Dakota.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Berlin Catholic school says teachers sexually abused pupils

GERMANY
Ethopian Review

Police have begun an investigation into allegations that teachers at an elite private school in Berlin sexually abused pupils during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Five former students, all male, at the Jesuit Canisius College had notified the institution’s director, Klaus Mertes, of the abuse over the past two months, he said. ...

It was unsurprising that the revelations came so late, Mertes said.

“Everyone who has dealt with sexual abuse cases knows very well that there’s a lot of shame and pain involved on the part of the victims,” Mertes told reporters. “And it often takes many decades until those affected are able to get their trauma under control and are willing to speak about it openly.”

He said that the scandal could not have remained undetected at the time, had a number of people in responsible positions not looked the other way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Xulon Press Title Issues a Call for Moral and Spiritual Revival

LONGWOOD (FL)
PRWeb

Longwood, FL (PRWEB) January 30, 2010 -- Gain a glimpse into the rarely explored theological and religious history of Roman Catholicism in author Martin Hudale's The Matrix of Mysticism ($24.99, paperback, 978-1-60647-657-4). This book argues that while under the influence of humanistic and mystical teachings integrated into the Catholic Church by its historical assimilation of Platonic, Gnostic, Stoic, and Neo-Platonic tenets--many Catholic priests committed vicious acts of homosexual molestation against adolescent boys and children. Using the 2002 clergy sexual abuse scandal as a launching pad, the author exposes the cause and effect relationship between Catholicism's celibate monastic mysticism and its long history of clerical sexual dysfunctions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Elite German school reports sexual abuse cases

GERMANY
Las Vegas Sun

The Associated Press

Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010

Several students at one of Germany's most prestigious high schools were sexually abused for many years by their teachers, the school's director said Thursday.

Father Klaus Mertes says he has sent out 500 letters to alumni of Berlin's private Catholic Canisius Kolleg to determine the extent of the case after seven ex-students recently reported they were abused in the 1970s and 1980s.

Canisius Kolleg is one of Germany's pre-eminent schools, alma mater of many politicians, businesspeople and scientists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

January 29, 2010

Charges dismissed against former Alva priest

OKLAHOMA
Alva Review-Courier

01/29/10
By Helen Barrett

Charges against the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Reverend Eusebius J. Beltran and David Imming were dismissed with prejudice in the District Court of Oklahoma County on Wednesday, January 20, 2010.

The civil case requesting more than $10,000 in damages was originally filed March 31, 2003 against “Father Dave,” former priest at Alva’s Sacred Heart Catholic, by Philip Schovanec.

In the original filing, Schovanec alleged he was sexually abused as an adolescent over a period of years by former Enid and Alva priest David Imming.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 PM

Putnam often combative, witness says

SPOKANE (WA)
The Spokesman Review

Kevin Graman The Spokesman-Review

A former Morning Star Boys’ Ranch employee and close friend of a counselor accused of abusing a former ranch resident testified Thursday that he never saw inappropriate conduct.

Ray Roberts, 44, worked for Morning Star during the time Kenneth Putnam was sent there as a ward of the state at age 12. Putnam, now 34, is suing Morning Star in Spokane County Superior Court, claiming to have been physically and sexually abused by ranch director Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner and counselor Doyle Gillum, now deceased.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 PM

Catholic archdiocese may release names of sex-abuse priests by year’s end

MASSACHUSETTS
Enterprise

By Lane Lambert
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 10:36 PM
BOSTON — A year ago, three groups organized by Catholic lay people asked the Archdiocese of Boston to make public a list of priests “credibly accused” of sexual abuse.

Such names were not made public at that time. In April, nine months ago, church officials said they would probably revise that policy “in the coming months.”

Those names still are not public, and the response from the archdiocese now: maybe the end of 2010.

Amid this week’s news that three Irish priests accused of abuse worked in the Boston area in the 1990s – though not on the South Shore – are renewed calls for a complete list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse, from Voice Of The Faithful, BishopAccountability.org and Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 PM

Erzbistum räumt weiteren Missbrauchsverdacht gegen Pfarrer ein

GERMANY
Berlin Online

Das Erzbistum Berlin geht Vorwürfen gegen einen Pfarrer wegen des sexuellen Missbrauchs eines Minderjährigen nach. Wie Dompropst Stefan Dybowski am Freitag mitteilte, sind dem Berliner Erzbischof Georg Kardinal Sterzinsky Anfang Juli 2009 Beschuldigungen und Verdächtigungen gegen einen Priester des Erzbistums vorgetragen worden. Diese bezogen sich auf das Jahr 2001. Dem Gemeindepfarrer seien daraufhin umgehend alle Aktivitäten im Zusammenhang mit Jugendlichen untersagt worden. Das in Rom anhängige Verfahren gegen den Priester sei jedoch noch nicht abgeschlossen.

[summary]

The Berlin archdiocese said a priest was removed from service after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor that happened in 2001. Stefan Dybowski, provost for the archdiocese, said Cardinal George Sterzinsky took action against the priest in July. The parish priest was immediatley relieved of all activities related to young people. Church proceedings against the priest have not yet been finished.

The archdiocese said the priest is no longer in the parish and is not currently serving as a priest. Other victims are being asked to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

Canisius-Rektor nennt die Namen der Täter

GERMANY
Markische Allgemeine

BERLIN - Bis in den frühen Morgen hat Jesuitenpater Klaus Mertes E-Mails beantwortet. Rund 300 Menschen aus ganz Deutschland hatten sich am Donnerstag an den Rektor des Berliner Canisius-Kollegs gewandt. Eine Reaktion auf das, was Mertes als Tsunami bezeichnet, der am Donnerstag über das von Jesuiten geführte Elitegymnasium im Berliner Diplomatenviertel hereinbrach. Da war bekannt geworden, dass zwei Jesuitenpatres zwischen 1975 und 1983 mehrere Schüler sexuell missbraucht haben sollen.

Viel Zuspruch für seine offensive Strategie habe er erhalten, sagt Mertes, als er gestern die Presse über den Fall informierte. Auch Hass-Mails waren darunter. Und 15 Briefe von ehemaligen Canisius-Schülern, die selbst Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs wurden.

[summary]

The Rev. Klau Mertes, rector of Canisius College in Berlin, has received and answered emails from about 300 people from across Germany since the revelation that two priests are known to have abused students at the college in the 1970s and 1980s. Some have called it a "tsunami" that broke Thursday at the elite Jesuit-run school in Berlin's diplomatic quarter.

The rector has received encouragement for his strategy in being open about the allegations. He has also received hate male. He received 15 letters from former Canisius students who said they also were abused at the school.

The number of alleged victims now numbers 22 and they all charge two priests who left the college in 1982 or 1983. Rev. Mertes said he believes there will be more victims.

On request by journalists, Rev. Mertes said the alleged abusers are "Father Peter" and "Father Wolfgang R.S." He believes records on these priests will be in the files of the North German Jesuit Province.

Rev. Mertes, who has been at the school since 1994, said the Canisius College of the time the abuse happened looked the other way but rumors have persisted. Rev. Mertes said he initally kept silent when two former students told him in 2004 and 2005 that they had been abused. He kept silent, he said, because the victims wanted it that way.

He said the problem is complex but he said the abuse allegations were reported to the Provincial of the German Jesuits. He said he was asked to break the silence and sent out a letter to 600 former students telling them of the allegations. He quoted from the Bible that the truth makes one free and said it is important that the truth come out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Berlin Catholic school says teachers sexually abused pupils

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

Former pupils at a Berlin Catholic school have said they were sexually abused by priests who were their teachers in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the school's director. Police have initiated an investigation.

Police have begun an investigation into allegations that teachers at an elite private school in Berlin sexually abused pupils during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Five former students, all male, at the Jesuit Canisius College had notified the institution's director, Klaus Mertes, of the abuse over the past two months, he said.

The two men, both Jesuit priests who no longer work at the school, had been identified by name by their accusers, who would have been aged 13-17 at the time, Mertes said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

Trial Date Set On Accused Priest Abuser Payments

WILMINGTON (DE)
WJZ

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) ― A bankruptcy judge has set a trial date in a dispute over the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington's request to pay retirement benefits to six priests who are confirmed pedophiles.

The diocese has asked the bankruptcy court for authorization to provide pensions, housing costs and medical coverage to six confirmed child abusers. The diocese says it has an obligation to care for retired clergy, including priests dismissed from public ministry and facing laicization, or defrocking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

Crawford County priest arrested on embezzlement charge

WISCONSIN
Telegraph Herald

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. — A priest at St. Mary Catholic Church in Gays Mills and St. Phillip Catholic Church in Soldiers Grove has been arrested on a charge of embezzling up to $200,000 from those parishes.

The Rev. Robert Chukwu is currently in Crawford County Jail on a felony charge of theft in a business setting of over $10,000.

According to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, Chukwu, who holds dual citizenship in the United States and Nigeria, told an attorney for the Diocese of La Crosse that he used the money from the parishes to invest in Nigeria where he could get a better interest rate than if he sent the money to the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Steele County Press

NORTH DAKOTA
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Robert Slocum
Editor
Steele County Press
701-524-1640

January 28,2010

A nationwide support group for victims of sexual abuse is reaching out in local Catholic parishes where an alleged predator priest was previously assigned.

Bob Schwiderski, regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, held a press conference Tuesday outside St. Agatha’s Church in Hope.

Schwiderski says several victims from North Dakota have come forward with allegations that Father Gregory Patejko sexually abused them, among them a Zeeland, ND man who settled a claim with the Fargo Diocese after alleging Patejko sexually abused him in 1976.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

A Pedophile Mind: As sentencing approaches, priest pours out sexual history hoping for probation, gets notoriety instead

SANTA BARBARA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels in Santa Barbara

Fr. Van Handel felt he was “a failure with nothing to live for” soon after news broke that he molested choir boys, his therapist said. Facing justice, the pedophile priest wrote out a history of his sex life and gave it to the Court while requesting probation, answering questions about what is wrong inside the Church inadvertently and the role of priests that led to this nationwide epidemic of pedophilia.

His sexual outpouring did not earn the felon priest probation, he was sentenced to 8 years, served four in prison, four on parole, and since 1992 has lived close to his therapists outside Santa Cruz. Today at City of Angels we look at the state of Van Handel’s mind between arrest and sentencing and how his cooperation got his sexual autobiography into the public record.

He wanted to tell it to the world

The arresting officer wrote, “Van Handel made it clear he wanted full disclosure of his acting-out history.” His therapist wrote: “Full disclosures to the best of his ability to recall has a therapeutic effect which outweighs the risk factor associated with the actual sentencing.”

As we read through his “sexual autobiography” and the Probation Report, an image appears of a nervous priest who knows in 1994 that any day he will be named as one of the pedophiles at St. Anthony’s. Once accused, Van Handel jets off to St. Luke’s in Maryland where he spends seven months with 32 other sexually charged priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Zahl der Missbrauchsopfer steigt

GERMANY
Focus

Der Missbrauchsskandal Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin weitet sich aus. Weitere Opfer haben sich nach den jüngsten Veröffentlichungen gemeldet. Die Staatsanwaltschaft überprüft die Vorwürfe.

ddp Der Rektor des Canisius-Kollegs, Klaus Mertes, auf einer Pressekonferenz Nachdem bekanntgeworden war, dass zwei Lehrer am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg in den 70er- und 80er-Jahren sieben Schüler sexuell missbraucht hatten, haben sich nun rund 15 weitere männliche Opfer gemeldet. Alle hätten ebenfalls die beiden Padres als Täter beschuldigt, sagte der Rektor der Privatschule, Pater Klaus Mertes, am Freitag. Die Vorfälle kamen ans Licht, weil sich Mertes in einem Brief an etwa 600 ehemalige Schülerinnen und Schüler gewandt hatte. Von Seiten der Staatsanwaltschaft wird geprüft, ob eine Strafverfolgung wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs überhaupt noch möglich ist oder ob die Taten verjährt sind. ZUM THEMA
Berlin:

[smmary excerpt]

Fifteen additional men have come forward to say they were abused at Canisius college and all accused the same two priests as their abusers, according to the Rev. Klaus Mertes, rector.

The priests voluntarily left the Jesuit order and neither was kicked out, according to Jesuit spokesman Thomas Busch of the German province headquarters in Munich. One appears to live in South America.

It appears unclear why the abuse was prevously unknown but rumors circulated throughout the school.

The rector has worked at the school in 1994. The prviate Canisius College is an elite school and many former students are now working in senior positions in business, politics and society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Canisius-Kolleg: 15 weitere Missbrauchsopfer

GERMANY
Main Post

Der Missbrauchsskandal am katholischen Gymnasium in Berlin weitet sich aus: Am Freitag übernahm die Staatsanwaltschaft die Ermittlungen.

Mittlerweile haben sich 15 weitere männliche Opfer gemeldet, seit bekanntgeworden war, dass zwei Lehrer am Canisius- Kolleg in den 70er und 80er Jahren sieben Schüler sexuell missbraucht hatten. Das gab der Rektor der Privatschule, Pater Klaus Mertes, am Freitag bekannt. Alle hätten die beiden Padres als Täter beschuldigt, die auch schon die ersten Missbrauchsopfer genannt hatten.

Die Vorfälle kamen ans Licht, weil sich Mertes in einem Brief an etwa 600 ehemalige Schülerinnen und Schüler gewandt hatte. Die Staatsanwaltschaft prüft, ob wegen der Tatvorwürfe noch eine Strafverfolgung möglich sei. Einige der Missbrauchsopfer hatten trotz ihrer Leiden ihre eigenen Kinder auf das katholische Gymnasium geschickt, sagte die Rechtsanwältin und Beauftragte des Jesuitenordens für Fälle von sexuellem Missbrauch, Ursula Raue.

[summary]

The sexual abuse scandal at Canisius College in Berlin is expanding. The prosecutor on Friday took over the investigation.

In the meantime, 15 more male victims have come forward since it became known publicly that two teachers had abused seven students at Canisius in the 1970s and 1980s. All have accused the same two priests as being abusers.

The incidents became known after the school's rector sent a letter to 600 former students. The prosecutor will consider whether any criminal prosecution is possible. Some of the victims, despite their sufferings, sent their own children to the Catholic school, according to Ursula Raue, lawyer and representative of the Jesuits.

The rector received information about the abused in 2004 and 2005 but the victims asked that this remain discreet so he did not further research the allegations, he said. In December and Janaury five other victims came forward so the rector decided to write the letter. New reports from former students convinced him that the abuse was not confined to individual cases but was systematic abuse.

Rumors had circulated for years but were given no explanation. School officials seek to examine whether the priests or school administration knowingly looked the other way.

The rector said he believes one of the two accused priests in the early 1980s had to leave the school because there was clear suspicion of abuse. He also stressed that there have been changes within the Catholic Church to no longer hide abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Abuse charges dropped

YAKIMA (WA)
Yakima Herald-Republic

By JANE GARGAS AND MARK MOREY
Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. -- All charges have been dismissed against a Selah man who was arrested in November 2008 on suspicion of sexually abusing several children.

Four counts of child molestation and two counts of child rape were dropped Jan. 14 against Bryce Record, 23, in Yakima County Superior Court.

Two years ago, Record was arrested and charged with abusing five children -- four girls and a boy -- from two different families in separate incidents in the Selah area, beginning in 2001 and lasting until 2008. The children ranged in age from 3 to 9 at the time. ...

When Record was arrested, officials at the Yakima Reach Youth Ministry in Cowiche conducted their own investigation of whether Record had inappropriate contact with minors during his nine months of service as a youth volunteer in 2005-06. The nonprofit, evangelistic program sends teams of volunteers around the Northwest to lead retreats for teens and youth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

70 Irish-born priests named as abusers in U.S.

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Irish Central

By PATRICK ROBERTS, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

A total of 70 Irish priests who worked in the U.S. have been accused of sexual abuse of children.

The U.S. website, www.Bishopaccountability.org, has published the list of the priests who have been accused of pedophile activities either in the U.S. or Ireland.

Among the list is the most infamous abuser of all, Brendan Smyth, who brought down an Irish government.

The website says Smyth "offended in both Northern Ireland and the Republic, and in both Providence RI and Fargo ND in the United States, and pleaded guilty to 96 counts of child molestation in 1997, after the Irish government fell over the mishandling of his case."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 AM

Clergy abuse discussed at Hingham

HINGHAM (MA)
Boston Globe

By Molly A. K. Connors, Town Correspondent

The anger and pain over the sexual abuse by clergy remains, but a gathering in Hingham this week showed ways that the victims and the Catholic church are taking steps to recover.

About 100 people came to Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham Tuesday to learn about “The Enduring Psychological and Spiritual Effects of Clergy-Perpetrated Sexual Abuse,” at a talk co-sponsored by the Voice of the Faithful affiliate in Scituate.

The event featured a panel with three speakers: Barbara Thorp, the director the Office of Pastoral Support Outreach at the Archdiocese of Boston, which assists victims with finding the help they need; Dave Nolan, a survivor of clergy abuse; and Robert McMackin, a psychologist consultant with the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Alassio:don Massaferro, Oliveri vuole incontrarlo in carcere

ITALY
Savona News

Il vescovo Mario Oliveri ha chiesto alla procura della Repubblica l’autorizzazione per un nuovo incontro con don Luciano Massaferro, il parroco di San Giovanni e San Vincenzo rinchiuso nel penitenziario di Valle Armea Sanremo con l’accusa di violenza sessuale nei confronti di una chierichetta undicenne.

[summary)

The Rev. Luciano Massaferro has been charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old altar boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Le père Lavoie aurait fait au moins neuf victimes

CANADA
Canoe

Agence QMI
Éric Thibault
28/01/2010 20h43

QUÉBEC - Déjà inculpé d'abus sexuels sur quatre étudiants, le père Raymond-Marie Lavoie a dû répondre à des accusations touchant cinq présumées victimes additionnelles, jeudi.

Le prêtre rédemptoriste de 69 ans a été arrêté en matinée à la maison mère de sa communauté religieuse, près de la basilique Sainte-Anne, après que les enquêteurs de la Sûreté du Québec eurent recueilli des dénonciations supplémentaires d'anciens élèves du Séminaire Saint-Alphonse.

[summary]

The Rev. Raymond-Marie Lavoie, a Redemptorist, was facing allegations of sexual abusing four students but he is now facing charges of abusing another five victims.

The 69-year-old priest was arrested at the mother house of his religious community near the Basilica Sainte-Anne after investigation by Quebec police. Additional disclosures came from alumni of St. Alphonse seminary.

The alleged abuse is said to have occured from 1978 to 1983 at the private college of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre, which has since changed its name since becoming a secular institution.

Five victims, then between 12 and 16, told police they were subjected to sexual touching and masturbation by the former professor.

Rev. Lavoie appeared once in December to face similar charges relating to four boys who attended the same school between 1981 and 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Pervert Andrew Lumber sentenced for child sex pictures

UNITED KINGDOM
Worcester News

A GRADUATE who helped his wife run a church youth club has admitted downloading more than 2,000 disgusting images of children from the internet.

Police found them on Andrew Lumber’s computer when they raided his home in Colford Close, Droitwich, on September 18, 2008.

He admitted possessing child porn when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Fairfield U. honoree faces more charges of sex abuse in Haiti

CONNECTICUT
News Times

By Michael P. Mayko, STAFF WRITER

BRIDGEPORT -- A Fairfield University graduate under federal indictment for sexually abusing underprivileged Haitian boys through his charity that provided them with food, shelter and schooling now faces more charges.

Douglas Perlitz, the founder of Project Pierre Toussaint in Cap-Haitien, Haiti's second-largest city, was charged Thursday by a federal grand jury with sexually abusing nine more boys in his program.

The charity was established with millions in donations from wealthy Fairfield and Westchester County residents, many with ties to the Fairfield University community, and Perlitz was honored by the university with an honorary degree in 2002 for his charitable enterprise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Paul Verryn: What went wrong?

SOUTH AFRICA
Mail & Guardian

[with video]

FARANAAZ PARKER | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Jan 29 2010

A pre-World Cup clean-up cloaked in official hypocrisy? Or the reining in of a gung-ho cleric who has made almost as many enemies as friends?

The swirl of mixed emotions and views on the shock suspension of Methodist minister Paul Verryn this week has reopened wounds about the church’s refugee crisis in central Johannesburg and dredged up an old controversy from Verryn’s own past.

Verryn is the superintendent minister of the Central Methodist Mission (CMM), which for years has been a haven for indigent and transient people.

Opinions about what went wrong are split. Some say Verryn has done the best he can to protect the mainly Zimbabwean refugees and the homeless men, women and abandoned children who stream through the church’s doors on Pritchard Street in Johannesburg’s CBD. Others blame him for allowing the situation to deteriorate into a squalid, unsanitary nest for criminals and sexual predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Religious ed leader pleads guilty to sexual abuse

STAUNTON (VA)
The News Leader

By Brad Zinn/staff • bzinn@newsleader.com • January 29, 2010

STAUNTON — A former Staunton church director who molested five young girls in his office and in the hallways of Christ United Methodist Church pleaded guilty Thursday in circuit court to seven counts of aggravated sexual battery.

A grim-faced Steven B. Joplin, 60, stared down at the defense table in the nearly empty courtroom as assistant Staunton prosecutor Anne Reed detailed the allegations against him.

Reed said Joplin began molesting the girls, who ranged in age from 10 to 12, in September 2008. All of the incidents took place at the church, located at 1512 Churchville Ave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Amish couple sentenced

MISSOURI
South County Mail

By Nicholas W. Inman
nicholasi@marshfieldmail.com
Published:
Thursday, January 28, 2010

An Amish couple were sentenced Tuesday, Jan. 26, in Webster County Circuit Court – the husband for sexually abusing two of his teenage daughters and the mother for not reporting the crime to authorities. Johnny A. Schwartz and Fannie J. Schwartz, of the Amish community along Route A in the south-central part of the county, both entered guilty pleas as part of plea agreements.

Johnny Schwartz was sentenced to two seven-year terms in the Department of Corrections on the statutory sodomy charges, to run concurrently, and two 10-year sentences on the child molestation charges, to run consecutively but concurrent with the other terms.

Fannie Schwartz received a suspended imposition of sentence, with five years supervised probation. She must conduct 100 hours of community service and receive counseling. She was instructed by the court to meet with a parole officer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Teacher, pastor waives preliminary on sex abuse charges

WEST VIRGINIA
Williamson Daily News

by JESSICA HATFIELD Staff Writer

WILLIAMSON — A Mingo County elementary teacher, coach and pastor, waived his right to a preliminary hearing yesterday regarding charges of sexual abuse by a parent and incest.

Johnny Ray Dempsey was arrested on Friday, Jan. 22, by Mingo County Sheriff’s deputies for inappropriate contact with his 14-year-old juvenile daughter in June 2009, according to public records.

At the time of the crime, Dempsey was a teacher at Kermit K-8 and Tug Valley High School and a pastor at Grace Truth Bible Center, located at Boy Scout Hollow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Irish clergy abuse victims torn between Dublin monument and Haiti aid

IRELAND
Ethiopian Review

Reuters | January 28th, 2010

One of the healing measures suggested when Ireland’s Catholic clerical sex scandals shocked the country last year was a proposal to erect a monument in Dublin to all the youths abused for decades at schools and orphanages run by religious orders that looked the other way. The idea, proposed by the government’s Ryan report last May, won so much support that half a million euros were earmarked for the project. The government appointed a group to consider what the Irish Times called “the most difficult public art commission in the history of the state.”

It’s just become even more difficult because one group of clerical abuse victims has now said the funds should instead be donated to victims of the Haiti earthquake. The gesture would “genuinely mean more to victims of clerical abuse than a piece of stone on O’Connell Street,” the victims’ group Right of Place said last week at a meeting with Prime Minister Brian Cowen. O’Connell Street is Dublin’s main thoroughfare, an ideal place for any memorial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Police's 25 failings in children's home sex inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

By Simon Bristow
A POLICE force failed to properly investigate allegations of physical and sexual abuse at a Roman Catholic children's home, a report has revealed.

A total of 25 complaints against Humberside Police were upheld in the highly critical report into the handling of Operation Aldgate, an inquiry into allegations of abuse at St William's Children's Home in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) identified a series of failings during Aldgate, which looked into allegations dating from 1965 to 1992, and how the force dealt with potential suspects or those who may have known of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

New bishop had doubts about new job

CANADA
Cape Breton Post

CHRIS SHANNON
The Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY — Newly installed Bishop Brian Dunn of the Diocese of Antigonish was busy fielding questions from the media Thursday as he wound down his first official trip to Cape Breton as bishop.

Dunn, 55, originally from Buchans, N.L., left a position as an auxiliary bishop in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. after only one year to oversee the troubled Antigonish diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Ranch's standard of care ...

SPOKANE (WA)
Behavioral Health Central

The Spokesman-Review

Jan. 27--For decades, Morning Star Boys' Ranch was run entirely by its director, the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, without oversight by the board of directors, whose members were concerned more about property acquisition and fundraising than the boys they served, an expert in residential group homes testified on Tuesday.

"If the board of directors had been doing its job, Father Joe's employment would have been terminated," Douglas Poppen, former director of the Clackamas County (Ore.) Juvenile Department, said in during trial for the first of 19 lawsuits brought against Morning Star Boys' Ranch.

Poppen, who also administered the Parrot Creek Ranch near Oregon City for 16 years, was hired as an expert in standards of care for group homes by attorneys for Kenneth Putnam, who accuses Weitensteiner and another Morning Star employee of sexually abusing him while he was a resident in 1988 and '89.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Witness says ranch knew ...

SPOKANE (WA)
Behavioral Health Central

The Spokesman-Review

Jan. 28--Attorneys for a former Morning Star Boys' Ranch resident rested their civil case in Spokane County Superior Court on Wednesday after bringing to the stand an 84-year-old woman who testified that she warned the ranch and three bishops about a pedophile priest.

Morning Star attorneys have begun bringing defense witnesses in the case of Kenneth Putnam, who accuses the ranch's former director, the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, and a counselor named Doyle Gillum, now deceased, of sexually abusing him.

The plaintiff's last witness was Rita Flynn, a mother of 11 who has lived in the Assumption Catholic Parish, which covers part of north Spokane, since 1959. It was Flynn, a psychologist, who first raised suspicions about Patrick O'Donnell, a pedophile and defrocked priest, in the mid-1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Bishops talking to abuse survivors ahead of papal meeting, says cardinal

IRELAND
The Irish Times

ALISON HEALY and JAMIE SMYTH

BISHOPS ARE consulting locally with abuse survivors, priests and other lay people to prepare for their meeting with Pope Benedict in Rome next month, Cardinal Seán Brady said yesterday.

Bishops from the 26 dioceses will meet the pope and senior Curia cardinals in mid-February to discuss the implications of the clerical child abuse crisis.

Cardinal Brady said this would be his third time to discuss “a very painful situation in the Irish church” with Pope Benedict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

70 Irish priests accused of sex crimes in US

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Friday, 29 January 2010

US victims of child abuse have unearthed a direct link to scandals in Ireland, revealing that 70 irish priests who worked in the States have been accused of paedophile crimes.

This dramatic disclosure follows the admission by the archdiocese of Boston that the list includes the late Fr Brendan Smyth, who worked briefly in Arlington two decades ago.

It had previously been thought that at that time he was on the run in the Republic from police in Belfast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Sisters suing Catholic Church

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

By BRIAN MEDEL Yarmouth Bureau
Fri. Jan 29

YARMOUTH — Two sisters originally from the tiny community of St. Alphonse, Digby County, are suing the Roman Catholic Church for $1.7 million each.

In documents filed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, they allege they were sexually abused as young children by their parish priest, the late Rev. Edward Theriault.

Jeanne Doucette, 48, and Margaret Deveau, 55, now live in Yarmouth County. They have filed civil lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Halifax and the Diocese of Yarmouth, claiming general and special damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Accused Irish priests had no allegations while in Boston

MASSACHUSETTS
The Pilot

By Jim Lockwood
Posted: 1/29/2010

BRAINTREE -- Officials of the Archdiocese of Boston confirmed Jan. 26 that none of those on a list of priests accused of sexual misconduct in Ireland who served in the Boston archdiocese have any allegations against them for acts committed while serving in Boston.

The Boston archdiocese stated that no priest on the list currently serves in Boston and of the 70 names the group Bishopaccountability.org has published, only three -- Brendan Smyth, Joseph Maguire, and Dennis Murphy -- served in the archdiocese. Also, at the time permission to serve in Boston was granted, the archdiocese said it was not aware of allegations having been made against those priests.

However, the archdiocese said there is a separate case of an Irish priest who allegedly abused a child in the Archdiocese of Boston that remains under investigation. The archdiocese did not release the name of the priest and the abuse was alleged to have occurred approximately thirty years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

January 28, 2010

Sieben Missbrauchsopfer namentlich bekannt

GERMANY
Berliner Morgenpost

An dem von Jesuiten betriebenen katholischen Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin-Tiergarten sind über Jahre hinweg Schüler von Lehrern sexuell missbraucht worden. Rektor Pater Klaus Mertes hatte das in einem Brief an mehr als 600 ehemalige Schüler mitgeteilt. Nun ermittelt die Polizei.

Am von Jesuiten geführten Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin sind Schüler jahrelang von Patres sexuell missbraucht worden. Bislang seien sieben Opfer namentlich bekannt, sagte Rektor Klaus Mertes am Donnerstag. Erzählungen von Schülern ließen den Schluss zu, dass es zugleich eine Dunkelziffer gebe.

Nach seinen Angaben passierten die Übergriffe wahrscheinlich zwischen 1975 und 1983. Die namentlich bekannten Täter seien nicht mehr an dem privaten Gymnasium tätig und hätten den Jesuitenorden bereits Ende der 80er-Jahre verlassen. Beide seien offenbar sehr beliebt gewesen. Die Opfer waren laut Mertes zum Tatzeitpunkt zwischen 13 und 16 Jahren alt.

[summary]

So far seven victims of sexual abuse at the Jesuit-run Canisius College have been identified and the school is asking any other victims to come forward.

The rector believes the attacks happened between 1976 and 1983 and the known perpetrators are no longer working at the private school. The victims were between ages of 13 and 16.

Berlin police have launched an investigation, a spokeswoman said Thursday. However, law bars prosecution of a serious sexual offense after 10 years.However if the victim is a minor when the crimes were committee, the deadline is when they reach age 18. The known victims would now be about 40 years old, according to the rector.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 PM

Apology over sex abuse by Jesuit priests

GERMANY
The Irish Times

DEREK SCALLY in Berlin

THE RECTOR of an elite Jesuit school in Berlin has apologised to former students who were sexually abused by two teachers three decades ago.

Pastor Klaus Mertes of Canisius College in central Berlin wrote a letter to some 600 students who attended the school between 1975 and 1989, requesting that other abuse victims come forward.

“It was with deep shock and shame that I learned of these revolting, systematic assaults,” he wrote in a letter of apology, published in yesterday’s Berliner Morgenpost newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

Bishop Vasquez speaks on papal appointment

HOUSTON (TX)
KTRK

[with video]

Elissa Rivas
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- An auxiliary bishop with the Galveston-Houston archdiocese is moving on to lead the Austin diocese and now we're hearing from Bishop Joe S. Vasquez about his new appointment.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston made official its announcement this morning that Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Vasquez is heading to Austin. ...

While leaders in our archdiocese have praised the appointment, The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the organization called SNAP, said in an online statement that it was disappointed because it doesn't feel like the archdiocese has always responded quickly enough in recent years to allegations of abuse, and that Bishop Vasquez was part of the church's leadership that should have stepped up.

As for the bishop, he stands behind all the decisions made by the archdiocese and says a review board is in place to properly handle abuse complaints. He'll be installed as the new bishop of Austin on March 8th.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Sackcloth and Ashes: Portland Priests and Parishioners do Penance for

OREGON
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

Ann Czuba kept thinking about how the King of Ninevah ordered the people of his kingdom to wear Sack Cloth and Ashes when Jonah told him they had sinned against God. Ann is a gentle, white haired grandmother who attends Madeleine parish in Portland, Oregon. When she read newspaper articles about clergy abuse survivors, she recognized their deep pain and anger. It seemed to her that many survivors felt Catholics didn’t care about them. Ann cared deeply although no member of her family had ever been abused by a priest.

Ann prayed about what to do. Inspired by the Book of Jonah, she designed the Sack Cloth Penance Patch -- a two inch square piece of frayed burlap with a brown ribbon sewed to the center and a safety pin sewed to the underside. Burlap was as close as Ann could get to sackcloth. She intended for Catholics to wear the patch as a visible symbol -- a psychological penance rather than a physical one. She also understood that many survivors are uncomfortable identifying themselves in public.

She hoped the Penance Patch could reach out to clergy abuse survivors anonymously to say, “I’m sorry we hurt you; I am praying for you.”

Haiti Boys' School Founder Charged in More Sex Abuse Allegations

CONNECTICUT
NBC Connecticut

By LEANNE GENDREAU

The founder of a boys’ school in Haiti has been charged with sexually abusing 18 boys in the country between 1998 and 2008.

Douglas Perlitz, 39, a former Connecticut man and the founder and director of Project Pierre Toussaint, in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, was arrested on Sept. 16 and has been detained since. On Thursday, more charges were added.

Perlitz began traveling to Haiti in 1991 for a volunteer mission and was inspired to start a school to help the many street children in the poverty-ravaged area, according to the grand jury indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Perlitz Faces Nine Additional Charges

CONNECTICUT
Fairfield Mirror

January 28, 2010
By: Chris Simmons

Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced “a federal grand jury sitting in Bridgeport returned a superseding indictment today charging Douglas Perlitz with additional counts related to the alleged sexual abuse of several boys in Haiti,” in a press release today.

The superseding indictment charges Perlitz, a Fairfield alumnus who graduated in 1992, with nine counts of traveling outside of the United States with the intent to engage in sexual conduct with persons under the age of 18, and 10 counts of engaging in sexual conduct in foreign places with persons under the age of 18. The alleged activity occurred between 1998 and 2008.

Perlitz has been detained since Sept. 16, 2009 after the original Bridgeport grand jury indicted Perlitz on ten counts of related to the alleged abuse of nine boys. The superseding indictment adds nine counts and references an additional nine alleged victims. He is currently being held at the Donald W. Wyatt Federal Detention Facility in Central Falls, R.I.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Haitian Charity's Founder Faces More Sex Abuse Charges

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By EDMUND H. MAHONY
The Hartford Courant

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that they now have evidence that the Connecticut founder of an internationally known residential charity for children in Haiti sexually abused nearly twice as many poor and homeless boys as originally suspected.

A federal grand jury in Bridgeport returned a new indictment Thursday against Douglas Perlitz, 39, accusing him of traveling to Haiti and engaging in sexual conduct with 18 minor boys. When he was originally charged in September, Perlitz was charged with crimes associated with 10 boys.

Perlitz is accused of assaulting the children between 1998 and 2008 and then trying to block various investigations after the allegations became public in 2007. Federal investigators said Perlitz tried to buy off victims and conceal computer records. He has been denied bail and locked up since his arrest Sept. 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Man charged with abusing more boys at Haiti school

CONNECTICUT
Denver Post

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN Associated Press Writer

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—A Colorado man charged with sexually abusing boys at a school he founded for street children in Haiti faces new charges that raise the number of alleged victims to 18.

Authorities accuse Douglas Perlitz of enticing children at the Project Pierre Toussaint school in Cap-Haitien into sex acts by promising them food, shelter, cash, cell phones, electronics and shoes. They say he also withheld benefits and threatened to expel the boys if they refused his wishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Essener Priester unter Missbrauchsverdacht

GERMANY
Der Westen

Essen. Die Staatsanwaltschaft Essen wirft dem Essener Domkapitular Rainer A. sexuellen Missbrauch zum Nachteil eines 16-Jährigen vor. Ruhrbischof Franz-Josef Overbeck hat den 66-jährigen Priester von allen seinen Diensten beurlaubt.

„Wir haben den Erlass eines Strafbefehls beantragt“, bestätigte Oberstaatsanwalt Wilhelm Kassenböhmer das Verfahren. Weder Staatsanwalt noch Bistum machten am Donnerstag aber Angaben zur Person. Die Tat ereignete sich einen Tag nach Weihnachten in der Wohnung des Geistlichen. „Aber das war nicht der typische Fall: Priester missbraucht Kind“, sagt Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, Rechtsbeistand von Rainer A.

[summary]

Procecutors allege that an Essen priest named Rainer A. has abused a 16-year-old. Bishop Franz-Joseph Overbeck said the 66-year-old priest has been put on leave.

The attack on the youth is said to have happened the day after Christmas at the priest's house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Confirmed: Priests accused of abuse in Ireland spent time in Boston

BOSTON (MA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN: Ally Donnelly, Boston, Mass.) - Officials with the Boston Archdiocese say three Irish priests accused of sexually abusing children had served within the Archdiocese. Victims advocates say the church is not living up to its promise to be more transparent.

Helen McGonigle can't help but get emotional when she talks about the sexual abuse she says she suffered at the hands of convicted pedophile priest Brendan Smyth. The Connecticut lawyer says it happened when she was a first grader at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

"He told me his finger was the finger of God and if I told anybody about what happened I'd end up like the body in the woods."

Victims advocates say Smyth is just one of many pedophile priests from Ireland who sought sanctuary in the United States. Last year, the Irish government released a report detailing wide spread abuse of children. After returning to his home country, Smyth eventually pled guilty to nearly 100 counts of sexual abuse of dozens of Irish children. He died in prison shortly after his conviction in 1997.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Today in Court: A Priest, a Stripper, and a Custody Battle

MIAMI (FL)
Miami New Times

By Natalie O'Neill in NewsThu., Jan. 28 2010

Fidgeting in his gray suit coat, disgraced priest David Dueppen told a judge this morning he wants custody of his one year-old daughter. He claims the baby's mother -- a former Porky's stripper named Beatrice Hernandez -- has a criminal record and "ambushed" him using the media. Now, he says, she won't let him see his kid.

"We all know he violated his vow of celibacy but we don't want that to be the focus of this case," says lawyer Ray Rafool. "My client is desperate to see his child."

Hernandez sat on the left side of the courtroom, legs crossed, with no lawyer. When family court judge Bernard S. Shapiro suggested she take notes, she explained she is illiterate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Diocese of Rockville Center Plans Staff Cuts

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
WPIX

[with video]

ROCKVILLE CENTER, N.Y. (WPIX) - A lot of Catholic school teachers on Long Island are praying to keep their jobs. The diocese of Rockville Centre is getting ready to cut 1,500 positions.

"It's upsetting," Jen Trotta, a mother with four children in the Catholic School system, told PIX News.

Since the collection plates have been light in this struggling economy, the diocese of Rockville Centre is looking to cut about a quarter of its workforce.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

1,500 Workers in L.I. Diocese Will Receive Buyout Offers

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
The New York Times

[letter from Bishop Murphy]

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: January 26, 2010
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre plans to offer buyouts to 1,500 of its 6,000 employees next month as part of a cost-cutting plan to save its schools and parishes amid stagnant revenue and rising demand for charitable services, church officials said Tuesday.

Officials would not say how many jobs they ultimately planned to eliminate in the sprawling Long Island diocese, which has 1.3 million Catholics in 133 parishes across Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

They said that many of the jobs cut would be parish-level positions like outreach workers, maintenance staff, nonunionized elementary school teachers and parish administrators, while about 50 jobs would be created at diocesan headquarters in Rockville Centre for a new Office of Parish Administrative Services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

So entschuldigt sich der Rektor für den Missbrauch

GERMANY
Welt

Am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg haben in den 1970er- und 80er-Jahren Lehrer in großem Umfang Schüler sexuell missbraucht. Der heutige Rektor des Jesuiten-Gymnasiums, Pater Klaus Mertes, wandte sich deshalb in einem Brief an rund 600 Schüler der betroffenen Jahrgänge. So lautet der Brief im Wortlaut:

„Liebe ehemalige Schülerinnen und Schüler,

in den vergangenen Jahren haben sich mehrere von Ihnen bei mir gemeldet, um sich mir gegenüber als Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch durch einzelne Jesuiten am Canisius-Kolleg zu erkennen zu geben. Die Spur der Missbräuche zieht sich durch die 70er Jahre hindurch bis in die 80er Jahre hinein. Mit tiefer Erschütterung und Scham habe ich diese entsetzlichen, nicht nur vereinzelten, sondern systematischen und jahrelangen Übergriffe zur Kenntnis genommen. Es gehört auch zur Erfahrung der Opfer, dass es im Canisius-Kolleg und im Orden bei solchen, die eigentlich eine Schutzpflicht gegenüber den betroffenen Opfern gehabt hätten, ein Wegschauen gab. Allein schon deswegen gehen die Missbräuche nicht nur Täter und Opfer an, sondern das ganze Kolleg, sowohl die Schule als auch die verbandliche Jugendarbeit. Aus demselben Grund bitte ich hiermit zunächst alle betroffenen ehemaligen Canisianerinnen und Canisianer stellvertretend für das Kolleg um Entschuldigung für das, was ihnen am Kolleg angetan wurde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Übergriffe an der Eliteschule

GERMANY
taz

BERLIN taz | In einem Berliner Elitegymnasium der Jesuiten ist es in den Siebziger- und Achtzigerjahren zu Fällen systematischen sexuellen Missbrauchs gekommen. Nach Auskunft von Ursula Raue, der Beauftragten des Ordens für Missbrauchsfälle in den deutschen Institutionen der Jesuiten, gibt es in diesen "immer wieder" solche Fälle.

Die Berliner Anwältin und Mediatorin sagte der taz, es gebe "Anhaltspunkte", dass es im aktuellen Fall des Berliner Canisius Kollegs eine "größere Zahl" von Übergriffen gab. Der Schulleitung sind bisher zwei Täter und sieben Opfer namentlich bekannt, sie befürchtet aber mehr. Zum Charakter der Missbräuche an der katholischen Privatschule sagte Raue: "Wir wissen von keinen Penetrationen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Missbrauchs-Gerüchte gab es schon länger

GERMANY
taz

Mit Entsetzen haben die bildungspolitischen SprecherInnen der Fraktionen im Parlament darauf reagiert, dass Schüler des katholischen Canisius-Kollegs in den 70er und 80er Jahren von Lehrern sexuell missbraucht worden sind. Es sei furchtbar, dass solche Vorgänge "so lange totgeschwiegen" worden seien, sagt Felicitas Tesch (SPD). "Und das an einer der Vorzeigeschulen der Stadt." Man müsse dem Leiter der Jesuitenschule hoch anrechnen, dass er Transparenz herstelle, sagt Mieke Senftleben (FDP). Mit dieser Nachricht an die Öffentlichkeit zu gehen, sei nicht leicht.

Der Rektor des Kollegs Pater Klaus Mertes hatte sich zu dem Schritt entschlossen, nachdem ihm sieben ehemalige Schüler anvertraut hatten, während ihrer Schulzeit in den 70er und 80er Jahren Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch durch zwei Pater geworden zu sein. Ausgehend davon, dass weit mehr Schüler betroffen sein könnten, hatte Rektor Mertes Mitte Januar einen Brief an 500 ehemalige Schüler geschrieben. Er wolle dazu beitragen, dass das Schweigen gebrochen werde, so Mertes am Donnerstag in einer Pressekonferenz. Der Sprecher des Erzbistums Berlin, Stefan Förner, betonte, in den 22 katholischen Schulen Berlins seien keine weiteren Fälle bekannt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Sex abuse revelations rock elite Catholic school in Berlin

GERMANY
The Local

Published: 28 Jan 10

The headmaster of an elite Jesuit high school in Berlin has sent a letter to former students asking them to come forward about systematic sexual abuse by priests there in the 1970s and 1980s.

His letter was sent to some 600 former students at Canisius College who may have been victims of at least two priests on staff, Father Klaus Mertes told daily Berliner Morgenpost on Thursday.

“With deep shock and shame, I have learned of these horrific, not only isolated, but systematic violations that went on for years,” wrote Mertes, who has been headmaster of the central Berlin school for 10 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Elite German school reports sexual abuse cases

GERMANY
Washington Post

By KIRSTEN GRIESHABER
The Associated Press
Thursday, January 28, 2010

BERLIN -- Several students at one of Germany's most prestigious high schools were sexually abused for many years by their teachers, the school's director said Thursday.

Father Klaus Mertes says he has sent out 500 letters to alumni of Berlin's private Catholic Canisius Kolleg to determine the extent of the case after seven ex-students recently reported they were abused in the 1970s and 1980s.

Canisius Kolleg is one of Germany's pre-eminent schools, alma mater of many politicians, businesspeople and scientists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Israel will not extradite alleged sex offender to US

ISRAEL
The JC

By Paul Berger, January 28, 2010

A strictly Orthodox man suspected of molesting children has escaped extradition from Israel to the US.

Abraham Mondrowitz fled to Jerusalem in 1985 after being charged with sodomising four boys in Brooklyn. According to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, Mondrowitz gained the trust of parents by passing himself off as a school psychologist using a phony degree. An attempt by the Brooklyn DA’s office to return Mondrowitz to America in 1985 failed because the alleged crime was not covered by an extradition agreement with Israel.

That agreement was amended in 2007 and he was arrested by Israeli police, who found four films containing child pornography in his home, according to court papers. But his extradition has been tied up in the Israeli courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

An Interview with Survivor, Nun, Spiritual Director, Lindy Morelli

Healing and Spirituality

Jaime Romo

In the context of either-or thinking and behavior, I believe that today’s interview illustrates both-and experience: both survivor and spiritual mentor; both religious and critical of institutional callousness. Lindy Morelli is a Carmelite nun, counselor, and spiritual director. Her organization, Solace of Souls, believes “that persons who have had the experience of being rejected or wounded by their faith communities (for whatever reason) find it almost impossible to have a meaningful faith journey without experiencing healing and spiritual support/guidance, and that they fit into the “poor” to whom Jesus instructs us to give a preferential option, and we believe that this work constitutes loving our neighbor.”

Find out more at www.solaceofsouls.org and www.alabasterheart.org

JR: Survivors have a wide variety of responses to the church. Some join other churches and some stay away from religion entirely. I think it’s extraordinary that you’re a survivor and also a Carmelite nun. Can you give a little background about yourself and how you reconcile those aspects of your identity?

Even before the sexual assault by a clergy person happened, I had a deep personal faith in a personal God who was living, real, vital and I had built my life on making my relationship with this God the center of my life and the purpose for my life

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Fr. Corcuera urges charity as Legionaries discuss future

MEXICO
Catholic News Agency

Mexico City, Mexico, Jan 28, 2010 / 10:52 am (CNA).- In a recent letter sent to members of the Legion of Christ, Director General Father Alvaro Corcuera, L.C., urged members to be charitable towards each other during their internal discussions regarding the future of the congregation.

In response to a growing exchange of emails between Legionaries about two main issues: the role their founder should play in the future of the congregation, and also the measures that should be put in place to prevent similar situations from happening, Fr. Corcuera called on members to “console each other and accompany each other mutually,” as Simon of Cyrene did for Christ.

Fr. Marcial Maciel founded the Legion of Christ in 1941. Though he died in 2008, revelations of his inappropriate behavior as a priest and leader surfaced early in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Numsa supports suspended Verryn

SOUTH AFRICA
The Star

28 January 2010

Metalworkers' union Numsa on Thursday came out in full support of suspended Johannesburg Central Methodist Church Bishop Paul Verryn.

"The Numsa notes with serious concern the personal and venomous offensive attack... directed towards Bishop Paul Verryn," the union's spokesman Castro Ngobese said in a statement.

The union was suspicious that the attack "being lurched (sic) against Verryn forms part of the broader agenda to discredit his personal and social standing in society".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Priest who faces sex trial after 40 years

IRELAND
Herald

By Eimear Cotter and Cormac Looney

Thursday January 28 2010

THIS is the priest accused of repeatedly buggering a young man while he was working in a Dublin parish over four decades ago.

Morgan Costello (76) is alleged to have indecently assaulted and buggered the man over a two-year period in the late 1960s.

He was arrested and charged following a major investigation by officers at Kevin Street garda station.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Day Four in Haiti

HAITI
Fairfield Mirror

January 27, 2010
By: Paul Kendrick '72

Cap-Haitian - For the first time since I arrived in Haiti on Sunday, there were glimpses of sun in the distant sky. Most of the past three days were consumed by torrents of rain. The pot holes in the dirt streets were filled with water making driving more difficult than usual.

My first thoughts today were of the heroic people here in Haiti who put aside their own desire for privacy and safety to stop a popular, well-liked child molester child from sexually abusing children. The boys had lived in constant fear of Douglas Perlitz for many years. They knew if they resisted his sexual advances, he would take away their privileges or, perhaps they might even be tossed out of the school.

Cyrus Sibert, a husband, father and local journalist first broke the story of Perlitz’s abuse of children only after careful investigation and testimony from teachers and students. Sibert became the object of criticism from prominent Haitian business leaders, many of whom benefited from Doug doing business with them. Sibert is a thoughtful, but outspoken advocate for human rights. I have come to know him as a man of intellect, deep compassion, and abundant pride in his roots and heritage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Church using same sound byte for 20 years, responding to allegations of pedophile priests

MASSACHUSETTS
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Yesterday Boston bishops responded to news that predator priests went back and forth between Ireland and the United States saying the Archdiocese is "not aware of accusations," plus "religious order priests are not the responsibility of the Archdiocese." Those words sound familiar. They are the same phrases every archdiocese, diocese, and religious order has used since 1992 in response to pedophile priest accusations: "We didn't know it was going on and besides, it's those guys over there that did it, not us." You'd think the Church would learn.

As the truth about the Pedophile Epidemic in the Catholic Church continues to emerge, it's amazing to watch the bishops continue to think the public only reads Church press releases, not the truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

300 sue diocese about merger

HADDON TOWNSHIP (NJ)
Courier-Post

By JIM WALSH • Courier-Post Staff • January 28, 2010

HADDON TWP. — Almost 300 members of St. Vincent Pallotti parish in Haddon Township have sued the Camden Diocese, seeking the return of more than $1 million in donations made before the diocese announced a controversial merger plan for their parish.

The donations funded capital improvements that were dedicated in November 2007 -- four months before Bishop Joseph Galante revealed plans to merge St. Vincent Pallotti with St. Aloysius Parish in Oaklyn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Queens priest, Msgr. Michael Dempsey, is target of feds' kid-porn probe

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY Joe Jackson and Thomas Zambito
DAILY NEWS WRITERS

Thursday, January 28th 2010

The feds have opened a kiddie-porn probe of an elderly Queens cleric, who has been suspended from his priestly duties.

The allegations against 78- year-old Msgr. Michael Dempsey were revealed to parishoners at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs church in an emotional letter from Brooklyn Diocese Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

Dempsey is being eyed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for viewing online child porn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Qns. Catholic-TV priest in kid-porn probe

NEW YORK
New York Post

By DAN MANGAN

A priest who founded a local Catholic television network is the target of a federal criminal investigation for allegedly viewing online child porn, his bishop said.

Monsignor Michael Dempsey, 77, was placed on administrative leave and barred from publicly acting as a priest after informing Brooklyn Diocese Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the probe by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency on Jan. 14, the diocese said.

DiMarzio also ordered Dempsey to vacate Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Forest Hills, Queens, where he had lived since 1961

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Boston Archdiocese admits Irish sex abuse priests worked in its parishes

MASSACHUSETTS/IRELAND
Irish Central

By KELLY FINCHAM, IrishCentral.com Editor

The Boston Archdiocese has admitted for the first time that Irish sex abuse priests worked in its diocese.

The priests, named as Brendan Smyth, Dennis Murphy and Joseph Maguire, were transferred from Ireland to the U.S. in what critics say was little more than an attempt to insulate the priests from scrutiny and possible prosecution.

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley said that the trio did, at one time, work in the Boston Archdiocese.

But he said he was unaware of any abuse allegations against the three men during their time in Boston or before that.

Well that's alright then.

Is it?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

New book on John Paul II ‘Why He's a Saint’ is a pack of lies

John Paul II Millstone

Paris Arrow

A new book is out about John Paul II that says he used a belt to whip himself and that it also includes previously unpublished speeches. So what if he whipped himself, he was heartless, cold-blooded and had no compassion for one single victim among the 12,000 American victims of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army in USA and now in Ireland. So what if he wrote more speeches – they are merely clashing cymbals of St. Paul see John Paul II the Great clashing cymbal of St. Paul http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2009/11/john-paul-ii-great-clashing-cymbal-of.html, seeBenedict XVI to beatify John Paul II is “brought to nothing” by St. Paul http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2009/11/benedict-xvi-to-beatify-john-paul-ii-is.html

John Paul II can never be a saint because he condoned priest pedophilia brewing right under his holy papal nose and Holy See. A holy saint can never tolerate evil in his presence but John Paul II smelled and took in the stench of sodomy inside his narcissistic heart. See Biggest Vatican stories of the decade: John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army committed Holy ES Eucharist-and-Sodomy of Biblical proportions http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2010/01/biggest-vatican-stories-of-decade-john.html

More unpublished speeches? Haven’t we heard enough from him and of him, the Pope who led the most heinous crime against children in the history of Christendom? Isn’t this the pope who has written the most number of books, encyclicals and speeches in the history of Catholicism? But not once did he write at lenght about the priest-pedophilia that was brewing during his 26 years papacy?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Canadian Diocese Requests Vatican to Defrock Dishonored Priest

CANADA
The Epoch Times

By Helena Zhu
Epoch Times Staff

The diocese of Bathurst in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, has asked the Vatican to unfrock a priest who recently pleaded guilty to 22 sex-related offenses involving boys. The move would restrict retired priest Levi Noel to being a lay person within the church.

Noel, 84, was sentenced last Friday to eight years in prison for gross indecency and indecent assault. The offenses occurred between 1958 and 1981 while Noel was a priest on the Acadian Peninsula in northeastern New Brunswick.

Speaking on behalf of the diocese, Father Wesley Wade apologized to Noel’s victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Boston Archdiocese Releases More Information On Abusive Priests

BOSTON (MA)
WBUR

By DEBORAH BECKER
Published January 27, 2010

BOSTON — The Boston Archdiocese is releasing more information about three abusive priests with ties to Ireland who worked in Boston. The archdiocese says the three men were never accused of abuse before or while they worked here. ...

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, is among those asking for more details. “The little bit of information about the Irish priests raises questions as well as answers them,” she said at a news conference outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston on Wednesday.

Doyle asked state officials to get involved. “We’re calling again on Attorney General (Martha) Coakley to follow through with her stated intention to ask the archdiocese to release the names and assignment histories of all accused priests in Boston,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Book: John Paul II Whipped Himself, Weighed Retiring

Time

By JEFF ISRAELY Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010

A new book by the priest in charge of the Vatican's official case for Pope John Paul II's sainthood is packed with fascinating — and, apparently, meticulously verified — revelations. The one that grabbed most of the headlines has been the claim that John Paul whipped himself with a belt, an act of corporal penitence designed to draw the flagellator closer to Christ's suffering that is usually associated with a very distant century, or a Dan Brown novel.

"As some members of his close entourage in Poland and in the Vatican were able to hear, John Paul flagellated himself," writes Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the Polish prelate who collected testimony in his role as "postulator" for the Pope's canonization. "In his armoire, amid all the vestments and hanging on a hanger, was a belt which he used as a whip."

But the book, Why He Is a Saint, also contains a revelation that puts John Paul in a decidedly more modern light, and has much deeper implications for the Church's future. Oder confirms lingering rumors that the long ailing Pope had approved plans that would have allowed for his resignation from the papacy for health reasons, effectively ending centuries of papal commitment to lead the Church until death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Book: Pope John Paul II self-flagellated to get closer to Jesus

CNN

(CNN) -- Pope John Paul II used to beat himself with a belt and sleep naked on the floor to bring himself closer to Christ, a book published Wednesday says.

The late pope had a particular belt for self-flagellation and brought it with him to his summer residence, according to the book, "Why he is a Saint: The True story of John Paul II."

"As some members of his own entourage were able to hear with their own ears, both in Poland and in the Vatican, Karol Wojtyla flagellated himself," the book says, using the name the pope was given at birth.

"In the closet, among the cloaks, a particular pant-belt hung from a hook, which he utilized as a whip and one which he always had brought to Castel Gandolfo," the book says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

When Saints Go Marching In - No Matter What

Anti-Catholic League

by David Fortwengler

Start with a sing-a-long!
Oh, when the saints go marching in.
Oh, when the saints go marching in.

Sorry, this post is not about the New Orleans Saints terrific season and upcoming Super Bowl. Instead, it’s about the Vatican’s nonsensical and inevitable process that will lead to the canonization of Pope John Paul II. He is on a fast track to sainthood faster than Kyle Busch at Daytona Speedway. The saint will go marching in, no matter what.

Pope John Paul II

On December 20th the current Pontiff signed a decree recognizing the heroic virtues of Pope John Paul II. The “investigation” is going great for him so far, meaning that the words endemic institutional negligence, cover-up, and child rape haven’t been mentioned. A 2,000-page “posito” was submitted to the now Pope (He who shall remain nameless) containing the proof that JPII is in Heaven. The evidence includes that a French nun prayed to JPII and her Parkinson’s was miraculously cured. Why can the Vatican prove a miracle but can’t explain why Cardinal Law is honored in Rome? The toughest part of his day is to choose a wine that compliments his veal scallopini. I don’t know why Law is there, but a nice Beaujolais or Pinot Grigio would go with the veal.

Just when I thought the process of canonization couldn’t be more absurd, we have this gem. In a new book "Why a Saint?" by Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the Vatican "postulator" in charge of the canonization process, he claims the late Pope regularly whipped himself with a belt as an act of penance to feel closer to God! JPII even had a favorite belt he liked to use (let’s name the belt “Uncle Weltie”), so much so he always took it with him on vacation to the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. The Monsignor goes on to compare this behavior to giving up a Starbucks Latte and sending the money to Haiti. He further states that the self flagellation is evidence of JPII’s sanctity. Personally, I think it would have been more saintly if JPII converted Castel Gandolfo into a state-of-art treatment facility for adult survivors of child sex abuse. To be really saintly he could have included the private chef. The Italian food is good in Italy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Coalition Suggests Brooklyn Catholics Withhold Money Until Bishop Shows Up to Care for Them

NEW YORK
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) expressed both dismay and wonderment at the news that Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio sent a surrogate to the people of Our Lady of Queen of Martyrs Parish on Sunday to tell them that their pastor, Monsignor Michael Dempsey, had been placed on administrative leave because of an investigation by federal authorities for violation of Internet child pornography laws.

The coalition said it was dismayed that a spiritual leader would resort to a letter read to parishioners at Sunday liturgies on a matter as significant as this and wonderment that any bishop who declares he is concerned about the issues of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth still does not feel compelled to be with his people as their spiritual leader in a time of crisis.

Words are poor subsitutes for presence in any crisis, the coalition said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Editorial: Fairfield should have helped Haiti months ago

CONNECTICUT
Fairfield Mirror

January 27, 2010
By: Editorial Board Even before the earthquake, Fairfield has had a strong connection to Haiti. Its students have traveled to the country for service trips and one alumnus even founded a school and boarding home for poor children in Cap-Haitien.

Cap-Haitien is the second largest city in Haiti, to Port-au-Prince, but is located on the northern tip of Hispaniola, whereas the earthquake struck the southern portion.

While Fairfield’s strong reaction and outreach to the Republic of Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake is commendable, it should not distance itself from the pain and hurt it may have had a hand in causing.

The alumnus who founded the school in Cap-Haitien, Doug Perlitz ‘92, was indicted last fall by a Bridgeport grand jury on ten counts relating to traveling to a foreign country to have sex with a minor. The relationship between Perlitz and the University may not have been suspect if it were just that: an alumnus who allegedly made a bad decision. But it went deeper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Bishop fires back at Martin

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Thursday January 28 2010

A RETIRED auxiliary bishop of Dublin who was severely criticised by the Murphy Report has called on priests to question its findings of a cover-up of paedophile priests in the archdiocese.

Defiant Bishop Dermot O'Mahony has also circulated his heated personal correspondence with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who uncompromisingly accused him of "underestimating the degree of dismay and anger that people feel about the commission's references to you".

Archbishop Martin had claimed Bishop O'Mahony showed neither remorse nor apology for the mishandling of clerical child abuse complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Paedophiles Still Getting Jobs near Children

FINLAND
YLE

People with records of sexual abuse of children are still managing to slip into jobs where they are in proximity of children. Current Finnish legislation has been found to contain gaps, which prevent a job applicant’s criminal record from coming to the attention of an employer. Plans are underway for legislative change to plug the loopholes.

Recent revelations in the west coast city of Pietersaari, that a Laestadian lay preacher had abused a number of children in recent decades, has sent shock waves through the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Matti Esko, director of family issues at the Office of the Church Council says that a couple of other cases have come out in recent years in which lay workers have sexually abused children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Third priest named in lawsuits filed against the Diocese of Yarmouth that allege sexual abuse

CANADA
The Vanguard

By Tina Comeau
THE VANGUARD

NovaNewsNow.com

More lawsuits have been filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yarmouth and the Archdiocese of Halifax alleging sexual abuse by one of their former parish priests.

This brings to three the number of priests who served in Yarmouth County and neighbouring counties that are referred to in civil lawsuits.

The latest lawsuits filed with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on Monday, Jan. 25, allege sexual abuse by Father Edouard Joseph Theriault (a.k.a. Father Eddie Theriault), who served in parishes in Wedgeport, St. Alphonse, Salmon River and Shelburne starting in the late 1950s and up until his partial retirement in 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Archdiocese admits tie to 3 in Irish scandal

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Milton J. Valencia
Globe Staff / January 28, 2010

The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has announced that three Irish priests accused of sexually molesting children had at one point worked in Massachusetts, tying the local church to the sex abuse scandal roiling Ireland.

The disclosure comes as the archdiocese faces pressure from victim advocate groups to release the names of all allegedly abusive priests who worked in the archdiocese, whether the accusations arose here or elsewhere. ...

Yesterday, victim advocate groups called on the church to identify the fourth priest and any others who have been accused and said that a full disclosure of accusations is the only way to help survivors heal from the sexual abuse crisis that rocked the church a decade ago.

“The information released in the last couple of days raises as many questions as it answers,’’ said Anne Barrett Doyle, of BishopAccountability.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Bishop criticises sex abuse report handling

IRELAND
BBC News

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmiud Martin has been criticised over his response to a report on clerical sex abuse.

Bishop Dermot O'Mahony questioned the support he showed for his priests and current diocesan policy since the publication of the Murphy report.

In a letter he said more should have been done to counteract a statement in the report that most of the clergy "knew and did nothing" about the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

January 27, 2010

O'Mahony denies cover-up of abuse

IRELAND
RTE News

Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Bishop Dermot O'Mahony, who was sanctioned by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for his response to clerical child abuse, has rejected the suggestion that abuse was covered up.

In a letter to the priests of the diocese, the former Dublin auxiliary - who retired in 1996 - also says that Dr Martin is 'unfair' when he describes the management of cases as 'inexcusable'.

Last November's Murphy Report said: 'Doctor O'Mahony's handling of complaints and suspicions of child sexual was particularly bad.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Martin criticised for lack of support

IRELAND
The Irish Times

JAMIE SMYTH Social affairs correspondent

A former Dublin auxiliary bishop has strongly criticised Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, claiming he failed to support priests in the Dublin diocese following publication of the Murphy report into clerical child sex abuse.

Bishop Dermot O’Mahony, auxiliary bishop emeritus, has also called on priests to challenge the acceptance by media and current diocese policy that the church engaged in a “cover-up” of child sex abuse over several decades.

“The archbishop did nothing to counteract the statement of the Murphy report, widely circulated in the media, that the majority of clergy knew and did nothing. Indeed, I feel he made matters worse by giving an example of a parish that could be clearly identifiable to the priests of the diocese,” wrote Dr O’Mahony in letters sent to Dr Martin and the Council of Priests in recent weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Since When did the OC Register Take Writing Lessons from the Diocese of Orange?

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano

​Ever since the Catholic Diocese of Orange has employed boy-diddlers and girl-rapists, the official party line has always been this, a party line swallowed whole by its apologists: when it came to teenagers molested by its employees, it wasn't rape--it was a relationship. That's the shit diocesan lawyers and the rest of Bishop Tod D. Brown's flunkies used against the victims of Jeff Andrade, Eleuterio Ramos, Michael Harris, Tom Hodgman, and all of its pedophiles.

I guess Brownie is now the writing-style editor at the Orange County Register. Not only did reporter Jon Cassidy reveal a sex-abuse victim's name without their permission in a story published yesterday (the victim was molested while working at Starbucks as a 16-year-old), not only did Cassidy not speak to the victim's lawyer (Newport Beach-based John Manly, who has given the Orange diocese holy hell and likes the media spotlight like Brownie likes purple), but then Cassidy had the audacity to refer to the victim's ordeal as a "sexual relationship."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Retired Dublin auxiliary raps Archbishop Martin's handling of sex-abuse controversy

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

January 27, 2010

A retired auxiliary bishop of Dublin severely criticizes the city’s current Catholic leader, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, in letters that have been obtained by the weekly Irish Catholic newspaper. Bishop Dermot O’Mahony complains that Archbishop Martin failed to defend the bishops and priests of Ireland against charges that they engaged in a “cover-up” of sexual abuse. The retired bishop charges that Archbishop Martin—who was working at the Vatican during the years covered by the Murphy Commission report—was “unfair” in his criticisms.

Bishop O’Mahony took special exception to the new archbishop’s complaint that he—Bishop O’Mahony—had never apologized to the victims of sexual abuse. The retired bishop said that he had written an apology, but the Dublin archdiocese never made it public. A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed that Archbishop Martin was aware of the apology letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

America: The Irish dumping ground

BOSTON (MA)
Piety, Inc.

The Diocese of Boston has for the first time confirmed that several priests with records of sexual abuse complaints were transferred to the United States.

For the first time, the Boston Archdiocese has confirmed that some abusive priests with ties to Ireland worked in Boston. An Irish government report last year outlined rampant clergy sex abuse in Ireland, but the Boston Archdiocese has never before acknowledged that any of those priests worked here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Memoirs of a pedophile

CALIFORNIA
Piety, Inc.

City of Angels has published several pages of the sexual autobiography of Robert van Handel, a convicted pedophile priest, prepared in connection with his probation bid. Not for the faint-hearted. A snippet of one of the pages is reproduced below.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Archdiocese Says Accused Irish Priests Were Transferred To Boston; SNAP responds

BOSTON (MA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Dorris, National Outreach Director 314 862 7688

This is an outrage. Cardinal O'Malley has basically morphed into his predecessor and become 'Cardinal Law Lite.' Shame on him for hiding from Catholics and citizens the news that at least four credibly accused Irish pedophile priests were welcomed into the Boston archdiocese. Shame on him for belatedly disclosing this only under pressure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Music director says she was told to resign for comments on status of women in Catholic Church

FAIRFAX (VA)
Washington Post

By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The music director at a traditional Catholic parish in Fairfax says her pastor demanded her resignation after she was quoted in a Washington Post article sympathizing with the women's ordination movement -- an assertion he denies.

In an e-mail to the dozens of musicians she led at St. Leo the Great, Sylvia Mulherin, a former nun, wrote that although she is not part of the small movement of people pushing for women to be priests, she believes "women have not achieved true equality in the Church and this fact deserves further consideration by the Church's leadership. This position is apparently unacceptable in the Diocese of Arlington."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Church: 3 accused Irish priests served in Boston

BOSTON (MA)
Daily Comet

The Associated Press Published: Wednesday, January 27, 2010

BOSTON - The Boston archdiocese says three Irish priests accused of sexually abusing children in the United States once served within the archdiocese, but were not the subject of any allegations during their time in Boston.

The group BishopAccountability.org called on Cardinal Sean O'Malley to release the names of credibly-accused Irish priests who served in the archdiocese. The request followed an Irish government report revealing that Dublin church leaders shielded pedophile priests.

In a statement, first reported by WBUR-FM, the archdiocese said Brendan Smyth, Dennis Murphy and Joseph Maguire served here for periods ranging from two days to four years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Three priests in Irish sex abuse scandal spent time in Boston

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

January 27, 2010 12:49 PM
By Milton J. Valencia, Globe Staff

The Archdiocese of Boston announced today that three priests named in the clergy sex abuse scandal in Ireland previously served in Massachusetts, but said no allegations were made that they had abused anyone while they were here.

The archdiocese said a fourth priest from Ireland -- who was not named in the Irish scandal -- is being investigated for an alleged abuse that occurred here 30 years ago.

The disclosure comes as the archdiocese announced the formation of an Office of Pastoral Support and Child Protection, a merger of several child advocacy and background screening departments, to better document and safeguard against child abuse. The church also has established an Office of Professional Standards and Oversight .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

Archdiocese admits it welcomed abusive Irish priests, including one in Waltham

BOSTON (MA)
Daily News Tribune

Posted Jan 27, 2010

WALTHAM — Two child sex abuse victims and two experts on the clergy sex abuse crisis - who run Waltham-based BishopAccountability.org - will be outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, 1400 Washington St., Boston, today at 1 p.m. to discuss a WBUR news report this morning that revealed that the Boston archdiocese admitted that it allowed Ireland’s most notorious pedophile priest, Rev. Brendan Smyth, to work in the Boston area.

It also allowed Rev. Joseph Maguire, a convicted sexual offender who died in a New Hampshire prison in 2005, to live in Walthan.

After working in the US, Smyth was brought back to Ireland and convicted in the 1990s of child sex crimes. In his 40-year priesthood, he reportedly raped and abused hundreds of boys and girls in both Ireland and the US. Mishandling of his case essentially brought down the Irish government in 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Third Amended Diocesan Reorganization Plan and Disclosures Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska

FAIRBANKS (AK)
BishopAccountability.org

[Note from BishopAccountability.org: This page provides the third amended reorganization documents that were approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Donald MacDonald on January 25, 2010.]

[from the cover letter]

Dear Claimants and Other Creditors,

We are approaching an important milestone in a long reorganization process. As you probably know, with the assistance of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, we have filed a "Joint Third Amended and Restated Plan of Reorganization," which I will call the "joint plan." The joint plan, proposed and supported by the Committee and by us, will allow us to conclude many legal and financial aspects of the reorganization case. It will also allow us to move forward with you toward closure, reconciliation, and healing.

I am so pleased we have found common ground with the Committee, and I look forward to the process of mending the torn fabric of our faith communities and villages. This can only be made possible if you vote in favor of the joint plan, and I request that you do so using the ballot enclosed with the packet you are receiving with this letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Archdiocese Says Accused Irish Priests Were Transferred To Boston

BOSTON (MA)
WBUR

By DEBORAH BECKER
Published January 27, 2010

BOSTON — For the first time, the Boston Archdiocese has confirmed that some priests who were accused of sexual abuse in Ireland were then transferred to Boston. An Irish government report last year outlined rampant clergy sex abuse in Ireland, but the Boston Archdiocese has never before acknowledged that any of those priests worked here.

The Archdiocese released a statement Tuesday saying that three accused priests from Ireland did, at one time, work in the Boston Archdiocese. It only named the priests, without giving further information about where or when they worked here. But the Archdiocese did say it was unaware of any abuse accusations against the three men and that no similar allegations were made against them in Boston.

Terry McKiernan, with the group bishopaccountability.org, wants more details about the priests. “It’s a bit of surprise and not really a surprise,” McKiernan said. “It seems to me a shame that this is still the way things are working. Surely the Boston Archdiocese by now should know it needs to come forward, it needs to come clean about situations like this.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Update From The Archdiocese of Boston Relating To Accused Irish Priests

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

Braintree, MA -- In response to the tragic news from Ireland, and the recent publication of names of Irish-born priests accused of sexual misconduct and served in the United States, the Archdiocese of Boston today provided the following information:

"Our hearts and prayers go out to those in Ireland who have been harmed by the tragic reality of sexual abuse of children by clergy. We know from our own experience the profound impact and suffering caused by the harm perpetrated on children and young people. Over the past decade, we have worked diligently to respond to this crisis and ensure it is never repeated. We remain committed to doing everything in our power to protect children from the threat of sexual abuse.

Among our comprehensive policies and procedures in place to assure the protection of children, we immediately notify law enforcement of all allegations received and publicly disclose, through press releases and Archdiocesan web site postings, when an accused priest is removed from active ministry or convicted, either criminally or canonically. Furthermore, prior to any priest from another jurisdiction being granted faculties to serve in the Archdiocese of Boston, Archdiocesan officials receive assurances from the priest's Bishop that the priest is fit for ministry and specifically confirms that he has not been the subject of any allegation of any inappropriate behavior concerning children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Monsignor placed on leave amid child porn accusations

NEW YORK
WABC

FOREST HILLS (WABC) -- Allegations of child pornography are shaking up the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

Monsignor Michael Dempsey has been placed on administrative leave, meaning he may not perform public priestly ministry.

The diocese acknowledges Dempsey is under federal investigation for violating child porn laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Priest acquitted of sexually assaulting Louth teenager

IRELAND
Dundalk Democrat

Published Date: 27 January 2010
By Tamara O'Connell
A PRIEST accused of sexually assaulting a Co Louth teenager has been acquitted by direction of the trial judge after he ruled that the inadmissibility of the woman's psychiatric notes was prejudicial to the defence.

The Co Louth woman, who is now aged 42, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court she was abused between 13 and 14 years old in 1981 and 1982.

However, Fr Maeliosa O Hauallachain (72) of Seafield Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, pleaded not guilty to three charges of indecent assault between July 1981 and August 1982.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Sandy Cook Appeal Advances At Supreme Court

WEST VIRGINIA
WCHS

A former Kanawha County pastor convicted of sexually abusing teenage boys over nearly two decades is asking for a revisiting of his case.

Attorney Jim Cagle, argued the motions before the state Supreme Court on Tuesday. Several grown men testified against Sandy Cook, claiming they were sexually abused by him when they were young boys. Some of the accusations dated from the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Cook was convicted last February on charges of sexual abuse by a guardian and third degree sexual assault. He had denied all of the charges and took the stand in his own defense. The crimes happened while he was pastor at the Shrewsbury Church of God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Former Pastor Appeals Sex Abuse Conviction

CHARLESTON (WV)
The State Journal

Story by Jeff Pullin

CHARLESTON -- The West Virginia State Supreme Court of Appeals has confirmed that it will hear the case of a Kanawha County pastor who was convicted of molesting several minors in the 1990s.

In February 2009, Sandy Cook was convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse involving teenage boys that attended Shrewsbury Church of God.

Tuesday, Cook's attorney argued the motions for an appeal before the Supreme Court and the high court rule in favor of hearing the entire appeal. No word on a hearing date, although the case will be heard sometime later this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

New bishop faces challenge

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

Wed. Jan 27
GIVEN the circumstances, the installation of the new Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish on Monday was both appropriately low key and, in Bishop Brian Dunn’s remarks, painfully forthright about the depth of the hurt caused by the scandals that have rocked the faith of many in the local Catholic community.

Bishop Dunn, to his credit, didn’t mince words about the task before him. The lawsuits for sexual abuse of children by diocese priests that will cost the Church perhaps $18 million to settle, and the subsequent criminal charges brought against his predecessor, Bishop Raymond Lahey, for possession of child pornography, have left an "atmosphere of distrust, suspicion and second guessing" that he will attempt to heal, Bishop Dunn said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

January 26, 2010

Another victim claims sexual abuse against a former Fargo Priest

FARGO (ND)
WDAY

By: Jason Vincent, WDAY

This is the latest paperwork filed today against Brother Raimond Rose. A Fargo man has now stepped forward claiming Rose sexually abused him in the late 70's.

Raimond Rose first came to the Fargo area in 1976. He worked for four years at Shanley High School as a teacher. This latest victim was one of his Shanley students. Paperwork filed today claims Rose abused Paul Mehl when he 16 or 17 during a school trip to Bismarck.

Mehl is the third case now filed against Rose in North Dakota, all claiming abuse that allegedly happened during overnight trips. The group "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" says they've heard from up to 30 people from Fargo who could be victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED VIOLATION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY LAWS

NEW YORK
Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has announced that Monsignor Michael Dempsey was placed on administrative leave. The Diocese of Brooklyn was recently informed by Monsignor Dempsey that federal law enforcement is investigating him for the violation of internet child pornography laws.

In a letter to parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church, read at the Masses on the weekend (January 23-24), the Bishop said “You are undoubtedly aware of the deep suffering and hurt that surround any matter of child abuse, especially when allegations involve a member of the clergy. It can damage, often irreparably, the innocence, the trust and the reputations of all who are in any way affected by it.” Bishop DiMarzio said the Diocese is committed to fully cooperating with the authorities. Monsignor Dempsey, who served as the Executive Director of Pastoral Communications since 1978, is on administrative leave, meaning he may not perform public priestly ministry.

Bishop DiMarzio’s letter to the parishioners was read by Monsignor Paul Sanchez, the Episcopal Vicar of Queens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

Queens Priest Under Investigation For Child Pornography

NEW YORK
NY1

[with video]

A Queens priest is under federal investigation for allegedly violating child pornography laws.

Monsignor Michael Dempsey of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Forest Hills, seen above, was placed on administrative leave after the Brooklyn Diocese learned of the investigation.

That means Dempsey cannot present himself as a priest, present sacraments, or wear his robe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Mondrowitz Extradition Ruling Raising Questions

NEW YORK/ISRAEL

by Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

The Israeli Supreme Court’s recent ruling that alleged child molester Avrohom Mondrowitz could not be extradited to the U.S. has generated strong reactions from child advocates here and in Israel, and raised questions from legal experts about both the ruling itself and how the case unfolded over the past 25 years.

Yitzhak Kadman, president of the Israeli National Council for the Child, the oldest and largest children’s rights advocacy group in Israel, told The Jewish Week that “We are disappointed with the decision. We believe that it is sending [the] wrong message to people who are accused of such serious crimes [as the] sexual abuse of children.”

Kadman added, “We believe that regardless of the question that Israel is and should be a shelter for every Jew in the world, the Law of Return [did not intend for] Israel to become a shelter for people who are pedophiles who are running from the court system in other countries.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Third ND sex abuse lawsuit filed against priest, Fargo's Shanley and Catholic diocese

NORTH DAKOTA
Inforum

By: Dave Roepke, INFORUM

A third lawsuit in North Dakota accusing a former teacher at Fargo’s Shanley High School of sex abuse was filed in Cass County District Court on Tuesday.

The lawsuit claims that Brother Raimond Rose, on a school-sponsored overnight trip to Bismarck in 1978 or 1979, groped Paul Mehl while he was sleeping. Mehl, 48, of Fargo, was 17 years old or 16 years old at the time, according to the civil complaint.

Rose, who was a Shanley religion teacher from 1976 to 1980, is listed as a defendant along with Shanley High School, the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, Bishop Samuel Aquila and the order to which Rose was a member, The Christian Brothers of the Midwest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Amish Couple Pleads Guilty to Sex Charges

MISSOURI
KSPR

By KSPR News

An amish man pleaded guilty to child molestation on the same day his wife pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child.

Johnny and Fannie Schwartz were arrested last October in Webster county for sexual abuse.

They were shunned when church leaders found out about the abuse.

Now four bishops are charged with not reporting the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Former pastor plans to appeal murder conviction

WACO (TX)
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
WACO, Texas (ABP) -- A former Baptist preacher sentenced to 65 years for murdering his wife plans to appeal his conviction.

Local media in Waco, Texas, reported that an attorney representing Matt Baker filed a notice of appeal with 19th State District Court Judge Ralph Strother Jan. 25. Strother, the judge who presided over Baker's Jan. 12-21 murder trial, appointed an attorney at McClennan County's expense to represent Baker in his appeal to the Texas 10th Court of Appeals.

Two attorneys who represented Baker at the trial withdrew after the sentence was announced. One of the lawyers told media that his client lied to him, and he could not effectively represent someone he does not trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Pa. man indicted for allegedly killing Chatham parish priest

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Jim Lockwood/The Star-Ledger
January 26, 2010

CHATHAM BOROUGH -- The former custodian of St. Patrick Church in Chatham was indicted today on charges of murdering the parish priest in October by stabbing him repeatedly with a knife.

Jose Feliciano, 64, of Easton, Pa., is accused of murdering Rev. Edward Hinds, 61, in the parish rectory on Oct. 22, according to an indictment handed up by a grand jury in Morristown.

The indictment also accuses Feliciano of first-degree robbery, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and hindering his own apprehension, and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a knife. ...

Feliciano had been wanted in Philadelphia on a 1988 charge of indecent assault of a minor and had been using several false names and Social Security numbers over the years, authorities had said during his bail hearing in October.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Key witness delivers bombshell in Morning Star Boys Ranch sex abuse trial

SPOKANE (WA)
NWCN

[with video]

by KREM.com

SPOKANE -- A key witness lays a bombshell before the jury in the child sexual abuse civil trial against the Morning Star Boys Ranch. The witness not only claims he was sexually abused at the ranch, but that the former director paid him $2,000 to keep the entire thing quiet.

Michael Clarke was the subject of heated argument in court Monday. The Plaintiffs calls him the 'Rosetta Stone' of their case against Morning Star Ranch. Both sides presented their cases. Until recently, Clarke never told anyone about being a victim of abuse at Morning Star. Back in 2006, he told Morning Star attorneys he was not a victim. Today, he told a jury that was a lie.

The lawsuit involves Kenny Putnam, who says he was sexually abused three times during his stay at Morning Star Ranch in the mid 1980's. In the late 1970's, Michael Clarke began a three year stay there. He claims former director Father Joe Weitenseiner sexually abused him up to 20 times at the ranch, on his boat and on camping trips. Decades later, he says Weitensteiner gave him a bribe as the ranch faced civil litigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Three charges added to child pornography case against N.L. priest

CANADA
National Post

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- An Anglican priest who allegedly had sexually explicit pictures and video of children on his computer is facing more charges.

Rev. Robin Barrett of Conception Bay South, near St. John's, was arrested last month on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography in relation to a police investigation in November 2009.

On Tuesday, the Crown added three more charges -- one for possessing and distributing child pornography and two others for accessing child pornography stemming from alleged incidents in June 2007 and December 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Predator Franciscan describes years he ran Santa Barbara Boys Choir, 'A constant supply of attractive little boys' (5 pages scanned here)

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

While reading through his Probation Report, we scanned five pages from Sexual Autobiography of Robert Van Handel Pedophile Franciscan and posted them here, for our readers to click enlarge and read, as a preview of upcoming stories. These tight single-space typed memories cover the time Van Handel was Director of Santa Barbara Boys Choir, which, he writes "was clearly my choir, and the fulfillment of one of my fondest dreams.

“Now I understand that it was also a constant supply of attractive little boys.” On these pages Van Handel talks his way through years of serial felonies. It's likely Van Handel molested 150 eight- to twelve-year-olds as director of the Santa Barbara Boys Choir, according to a letter from his own therapist to the Court in 1994. More in Santa Barbara Story Parts 9 and 10 coming soon.

A lot of his words are offensive, people email me about R ratings, etc. We do not pull punches on purpose at City of Angels. If anyone is "offended," stop a moment and think. How offended are the people on the receiving end? By preventing yourself from looking at these crimes, you aid and abet their perpetuation, inadvertently. How can you know how to respond, how enraged and alarmed to be, if you don't know everything that happened? Looking at these shocking details is like a penance we all have to serve, to get rid of the sin, so to speak.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Mingo teacher charged with abuse

WEST VIRGINIA
Charleston Daily Mail

A Mingo County teacher has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a family member.

Mingo Sheriff's Sgt. Joe Smith said Monday that Johnny Ray Dempsey, 36, of Delbarton was taken into custody Friday afternoon and charged with sexual abuse.

Smith said Dempsey was a teacher at Tug Valley High School and Kermit Area School in Mingo County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Teacher, pastor jailed on sex charge

WEST VIRGINIA
Williamson Daily News

by JESSICA HATFIELD Staff Writer

The Mingo County Sheriffs arrested a teacher and pastor for sexual abuse on Friday.

Johnny Ray Dempsey, was arrested for inappropriate contact with a 14-year-old juvenile daughter in June 2009.

Dempsey was arrested on Friday, by Sgt. Joe Smith with the Mingo County Sheriffs Department. He was charged with sexual abuse by a parent and incest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Three more charges added to child pornography case of Anglican priest

CANADA
The Telegram

BY ROSIE GILLINGHAM
The Telegram

A prominent Anglican priest who allegedly had sexually explicit pictures and video of young children on his computer is facing more charges.

Rev. Robin Barrett of Conception Bay South was not in provincial court in St. John’s this morning when his case was called. He was represented by his lawyer, Doug Moores.

Barrett, 50, was arrested last month on two charges — possessing and distributing child pornography in relation to material police found in November 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Landmarking battle between city, church heats up

CLEVELAND (OH)
National Catholic Reporter

Jan. 26, 2010
By Michael O'Malley, Religion News Service

CLEVELAND -- Rebuffing the concerns of church leaders over the fate of shuttered church buildings, the city's Landmarks Commission is recommending that six more Catholic churches be designated as historical city landmarks.

The designation, which would give the buildings some protection against demolition or structural changes, is opposed by the Diocese of Cleveland, which is in the midst of closing some 50 parishes.

The City Council would need to adopt legislation to implement the Commission's recommendations, and in a letter sent to the commission and council members, the diocese called the proposals "extremely offensive."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Bishop arrives in troubled times

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

By LAURA FRASER Cape Breton Bureau
Tue. Jan 26
As the eyes of the faithful turned toward Antigonish on Monday afternoon, New Waterford resident Albert Boudreau said the installation of a new bishop in the diocese will not wipe out the memories the parishioners hold of the last one.

The child pornography charges against Bishop Raymond Lahey shocked much of Nova Scotia because they came to light just weeks after he brokered a historic $15-million settlement for victims sexually abused by priests from the diocese.

Bishop Brian Dunn replaced him as head of the Diocese of Antigonish at a ceremonial mass Monday afternoon. He becomes the ninth bishop of the diocese.

"He was being installed today, but I think it’s going to take a long while before people are happy (again) with the situation," Mr. Boudreau said. "They were very disappointed in what happened. I’m not too pleased about the whole situation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Salinas-based priest removed over 'spanking' allegation

CALIFORNIA
The Californian

BY SUNITA VIJAYAN • svijayan@thecalifornian.com • January 26, 2010

A priest on loan to the Diocese of Monterey has been removed from his duties at a Salinas church after allegations surfaced last week that he had "overzealously spanked" a boy in Santa Rosa 36 years ago.

The Rev. Ron Wiecek has been working in the Salinas Valley on behalf of the local Diocese for the past 20 years, said the Rev. Mike Miller, a priest at Sacred Heart Church in Salinas.

For the past seven months Wiecek has served as the priest-in-residence at Sacred Heart, Miller said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Bishop appointed for Austin

AUSTIN (TX)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin

AUSTIN – Habemus episcopum! (We have a bishop!)

Pope Benedict XVI has named Auxiliary Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston as Bishop of the Diocese of Austin. Bishop Vásquez will be the fifth bishop of Austin and the first Mexican-American to lead the diocese.

"I wish to thank Pope Benedict XVI for the confidence he has placed in me in naming me shepherd of the Diocese of Austin," he said. "I also offer prayers of gratitude this day for Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza and the priests, religious and laity of the Archdiocese for forming me as a bishop. Most of all, I give thanks to God for the gift of priesthood, which has brought me such joy for 25 years. I trust in the Holy Spirit to enlighten me for this next step in my journey."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Pope names Galveston-Houston bishop as head of Austin diocese

HOUSTON (TX)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston

HOUSTON – Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Auxiliary Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to be the fifth Bishop of Austin.

The Holy Father’s decision was announced this morning by the Vatican. Bishop Vasquez will be installed as the Bishop of Austin on March 8.

Bishop Vasquez, 52, has been an Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston for the last eight years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Houston-area auxiliary bishop to lead Austin diocese

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

By DALE LEZON HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Jan. 26, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI this morning at the Vatican appointed Auxiliary Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to be the Bishop of Austin.

Vasquez will be installed March 8 in Austin, according to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Vasquez, 52, succeeds Archbishop Gregory Aymond, who left the Diocese of Austin in June 2009 to be installed as the Archbishop of New Orleans. He will be the fifth Bishop of the Austin diocese and will shepherd 450,000 Catholics of Central Texas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 26 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, auxiliary of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A., as bishop of Austin (area 57,424, population 2,443,000, Catholics 437,000, priests 243, permanent deacons 198, religious 203), U.S.A.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

What Happens in Sex Rehab?

UNITED STATES
Time

The calls for Tiger Woods to get help did not go unheeded: on Jan. 16, after weeks of sordid allegations regarding his extramarital affairs, Radaronline.com reported that Woods had enrolled in the Gentle Path program at Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services, in Hattiesburg, Miss., to be treated for sex addiction. Local television stations later confirmed the story.

Few people know what actually happens at sex rehab. While those who treat it say sex addiction is a disease like any other compulsion, the field is in its infancy: there is virtually no research on it compared to the vast resources on drug or alcohol addiction. "You look at ways that your behavior has made your life unmanageable. That's really the question," says Benoit Denizet-Lewis, author of America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life, who has been treated for sex addiction himself. "That often differentiates a sex addict from a nonsex addict." ...

The first step in treatment of a sexual addiction is a full evaluation of a patient's history and any past trauma. "All the men I've worked with — and I've worked with thousands of them over the years — have some profound experience of abuse and/or neglect in childhood," says Weiss. Without addressing the underlying sexual, physical or emotional trauma that usually leads to addiction, there is little hope of ending it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Judge approves bankruptcy plan for Fairbanks diocese

ALASKA
KTUU

by Channel 2 News staff
Monday, January 25, 2010

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A federal judge approved the bankruptcy reorganization plan for the Catholic bishop of Northern Alaska on Monday.

The plan was accepted by creditors, including 256 of the 258 victims of sexual abuse by members of the Fairbanks diocese who voted on the plan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Dunn installed as Bishop of Antigonish

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

By MARY ELLEN MacINTYRE Truro Bureau
Mon. Jan 25
ANTIGONISH — A simple ceremony Monday marked the installation of Bishop Brian Dunn as the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish.

In an age-old tradition, Bishop Dunn knocked three times on the door of St. Ninian’s Cathedral to claim his see. ...

“The recent resignation of Bishop Lahey in the midst of the charges of possession of child pornography has created a scar on this diocese and on the whole church.

“These charges take on further significance since Bishop Lahey was in the process of negotiating and implementing a legal settlement for survivors of child sexual abuse by priests in the diocese.

“The whole situation has rocked the foundations of our faith and has immersed us in an atmosphere of distrust, suspicion and second-guessing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Embattled diocese in Antigonish, N.S., gets new bishop who vows to regain trust

CANADA
The Canadian Press

ANTIGONISH, N.S. — Parishioners packed St. Ninian's Cathedral on Monday as Bishop Brian Dunn was installed during a special mass as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish.

In his homily, Dunn addressed the controversy surrounding his predecessor, Raymond Lahey, who faces charges in Ottawa of possessing and importing child pornography.

He said Lahey's resignation created a scar on the diocese and the entire Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Calling out media’s liberal apologists

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Daily Caller

By Mark Judge 01/26/10

When did journalists become such pathetic cowards? Although hacks have always pushed their personal biases, it wasn’t that long ago that they would often challenge those biases when faced with facts. In 1970, Rolling Stone magazine won a National Magazine Award for its unsparing coverage of the hippie apocalypse at Altamont; the citation credited the hippie journal for “challenging the shared assumptions of its readers.” Republican Bob Woodward smoked out Watergate. Jazz writer Nat Hentoff was pro-choice until 1984, when he discovered the euthanizing of a child with Down syndrome. ...

This liberal censorship has consequences, and not only for the honor and honesty of the reporters. It can affect their very jobs, making them miss scoops. I know this from personal experience. On April 26, 2006, the Washington Post published a story about sexual abuse by a Catholic priest. The abuse had taken place at Georgetown Preparatory School, one of the oldest Catholic high schools in America.

However, in the article, reporter Michelle Boorstein had left out a particularly striking fact. Georgetown Prep had not only employed Fr. Gary Orr, the accused priest—who promptly left the priesthood even if he avoided jail—but Bernie Ward. Ward is a former socialist radio talk show host who is now serving a prison term for trafficking in child pornography. Ward had taught sex education at Georgetown Prep in the early 1980s, then went to San Francisco where he became a socialist version of Rush Limbaugh (without the ratings, of course). As early as 1978, Ward had been accused of sexual misconduct around students, and in 2007 he was convicted of distributing child pornography. He is now serving a sentence of seven-plus years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Witness says he was paid to keep quiet

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Kevin Graman The Spokesman-Review

A former resident of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch told a Superior Court jury on Monday that he was repeatedly abused by the ranch’s director more than 30 years ago and that the director paid him money years later to keep it quiet.

Earlier, outside the presence of the jury, Michael A. Clarke, 44, denied ever grooming and procuring other boys for the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, an allegation raised last week in the first of 19 separate lawsuits against Morning Star.

Before Clarke was permitted to appear in front of the jury, Judge Kathleen O’Connor heard his entire testimony and ruled part of what he had to say admissible in the case of Kenneth Putnam, a former Morning Star resident who claims to have been abused by Weitensteiner and a ranch counselor a decade after Clarke was there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Unable to write a wrong

RHODE ISLAND
Boston Globe

By Kevin Cullen
Globe Columnist / January 26, 2010

Bill O’Donnell is a Boston guy. He was born in Bay Village before it was called Bay Village. He lived in Boston for years. But his wife, Jean, is a Rhode Island girl, and so they live in Woonsocket.

One of Bill O’Donnell’s simple pleasures is sitting in his living room every week and reading the Rhode Island Catholic, the diocesan newspaper. A couple of weeks ago, he found himself reading a column about the importance of a Catholic education, written by a certain Bishop John B. McCormack.

“I did a double take,’’ he said. “I didn’t think it could be that John McCormack.’’

Oh, it was. It was the same John McCormack who, when he was in charge of personnel in the Archdiocese of Boston, treated complaints about priests who sexually abused kids with the same level of concern as you would complaints about kids throwing snowballs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Plymouth priest under investigation in sexual assault dies

PLYMOUTH (MA)
Boston Globe

By John M. Guilfoil
Globe Staff / January 26, 2010

A Catholic priest who had been on administrative leave from a parish in Plymouth since February 2009 and had been under investigation in the alleged sexual assault of girls nearly three decades ago, has died.

On a personal website last year, a woman accused the Rev. Kenneth A. LeBlanc of assaulting her and other girls at Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Wakefield 30 years ago.

The Archdiocese of Boston placed LeBlanc on administrative leave from St. Peter’s Church in Plymouth, where he had been the pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Bishop of Fairbanks diocese starts reconciliation mission

FAIRBANKS (AK)
News-Miner

by Mary Beth Smetzer / msmetzer@newsminer.com

FAIRBANKS — For Bishop Donald Kettler, Monday’s bankruptcy settlement is taking him on a continuing journey he began in August 2002 when he was ordained the fifth bishop of the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese.

Kettler’s appointment came 22 months after the death of the Most Rev. Michael Kaniecki in 2000 and when the Catholic sexual abuse cases were just being publicly filed.

In a 2002 interview, the former Sioux Falls, S.D. parish priest and canon lawyer said he had just six hours to accept or reject the vacant Fairbanks bishopric.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Shining light on abuse

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

Posted By ERICA BAJER, THE DAILY NEWS

Local author Jim Gilbert discovered sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy is a tragedy dating back centuries.

Another tragedy he realized while researching his new book was the misconception many people, including himself, have about the depth of pain, shame and humiliation suffered by the victims.

He hopes his book, Breach of Faith, Breach of Trust -- The Story of Lou Ann Soontiens, Father Charles Sylvestre and Sexual Abuse Within the Catholic Church, shines a light on the toll abuse takes on victims and on the church itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Judge approves revision of Fairbanks Diocese bankruptcy plan

FAIRBANKS (AK)
News-Miner

by Mary Beth Smetzer / msmetzer@newsminer.com

FAIRBANKS - The third revision of the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese’s bankruptcy plan was approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Donald McDonald at a Monday morning hearing in Anchorage

The diocese sought protection under Chapter 11 in March 2008 after multiple sexual abuse claims were lodged against Catholic clerics and volunteers across the northern Alaska diocese.

The most recent revision has the consent the Creditors Committee and all but two of the 290 sexual abuse victims it represents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 AM

Alaska diocese will pay $10 million for abuse

FAIRBANKS (AK)
Anchorage Daily News

By LISA DEMER
ldemer@adn.com

The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks is emerging from bankruptcy under a plan that will provide nearly $10 million -- and maybe much more -- to sexual abuse victims, send the bishop traveling to parishes where abuse occurred, and put names of suspected abusers on the diocese Web site.

Under the plan for reorganization, $9.8 million will go into a fund for more than 250 victims. Another $2.5 million is going to lawyers, accountants and other professionals. Payments to individuals will be decided case-by-case by a mediator, depending on a variety of factors including the nature and severity of abuse, the age of the victim at the time it started, and whether the perpetrator was in a position of trust.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Donald MacDonald approved the plan at a hearing Monday morning in Anchorage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 AM

January 25, 2010

God’s Children: A brief report of Canada’s first screening

CANADA
MK Planet

Yesterday evening Joel and I attended a screening of “All God’s Children” that we had been planning for several months.

With 53 people in attendance, I was told our screening was slightly larger than some previous ones, which was exciting to hear. Both Joel and I briefly spoke during the Q&A, as did Lois Kunkel, an adult MK who wrote a thesis called “Spiders spin silk: Reflections of missionary kids at midlife“.

We were fortunate to have Nancy Mayer as our moderator. She is a member of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), and very involved in efforts to end all forms of abuse in religious settings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Second Priest Suspended Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

NORTH CAROLINA
WITN

Another Catholic priest who served in Eastern Carolina has been suspended from his duties because of allegation of sexual misconduct.

Father Kenneth Parker, a retired priest, was suspended of his priestly faculties on Friday. Parker served in Tarboro back in the 1970's and later in Newton Grove, where the alleged misconduct took place. He retired in 1993, and sometimes filled in for priests who were on vacation.

The Diocese of Raleigh says it received the allegation on November 13th that Parker was involved in sexual misconduct with a minor that dates back to 1982.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Sacred Heart association priest accused of 'overzealously spanking' boy in Santa Rosa

CALIFORNIA
The Californian

BY SUNITA VIJAYAN • svijayan@thecalifornian.com • January 25, 2010

A priest on loan to the Diocese of Monterey has returned to his home base in Ohio after allegations surfaced last week that he “overzealously spanked” a boy more than 35 years ago.

The Rev. Ron Wiecek, who belongs to the Holy Order of Most Precious Blood, has been on loan to the Diocese of Monterey for the past 20 years, said spokesman Warren Hoy.

Hoy said Wiecek is accused of spanking the boy, now in his 40s, in 1974 while he was a teacher for the Diocese of Santa Rosa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Catholic Priest with ties to Whiteville is suspended

NORTH CAROLINA
WECT

Posted by Doug Wahl

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) A catholic priest, with ties to Whiteville, has been formally suspended by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge.

The announcement was made last week on the Raleigh Diocese's website. The suspended Priest is Kenneth R. Parker and while the website does not go into specifics it does say the action is a result of allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor that dates back to 1982.

Father Parker has formally denied the claims against him. A church review board conducted a two month investigation into the case and recommended the suspension to the Bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Accused Plymouth priest dies

PLYMOUTH (MA)
The Patriot Ledger

PLYMOUTH — The Rev. Kenneth A. LeBlanc, a Plymouth priest on leave since last February when the Boston Archdiocese announced it was investigating claims of sexual abuse against him, has died.

The Rev. LeBlanc was 61 and had been battling cancer. He died Wednesday at a nursing home in Needham.

Parishioners at St. Peter’s Church in Plymouth where the Rev. LeBlanc had been pastor since 2005 were stunned last February by the announcement about the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Priest Accused Of Sex Abuse Dies

MASSACHUSETTS
TheBostonChannel

BOSTON -- A Plymouth priest who was being investigated by the Archdiocese of Boston for sexual abuse charges, has died.

The Rev. Kenneth LeBlanc, 61, had been battling cancer and died Wednesday at a nursing home in Needham, the Patriot Ledger reported.

In 2009, LeBlanc was placed on leave after a woman accused the priest of sexually assaulting her and other young girls in his car, in his home and in secluded areas in Wakefield 30 years ago when he was assigned to Most Blessed Sacrament Church in that town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Complicity of Baptist leaders

WACO (TX)
Stop Baptist Predators

Over the weekend, pastor Wade Burleson of Enid, Oklahoma, considered the recent case of Baptist pastor Matt Baker, who was convicted of murdering his wife, Kari. The investigation and trial of the murder case brought to light evidence that pastor Baker had, for many years, lived “a secret life as a sexual predator.” He lived that secret life -- and lived it quite easily -- in Baptistland.

On his blog, Wade Burleson asked this question:

“You wonder if those of us in a position to do something to stop people like this from advancing in the SBC, but don't do anything… if we become accomplices to murder.”

It’s a good question.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

New Series Of Clergy Sex Abuse Cases Opens In Spokane

SPOKANE (WA)
KUOW

[with audio]

Doug Nadvornick
01/25/2010

A new chapter is opening in Spokane's ongoing saga of sexual abuse cases involving Catholic priests. A Spokane judge is presiding over the first of what could be a series of trials against a Catholic group home for boys. Many former residents now claim they were molested there as children. For Spokane's Catholics, the trial reopens old wounds. A warning: some details in this story might not be appropriate for children.

The plaintiff in this case is 34–year–old Kenny Putnam.

Putnam: "Kenneth William Putnam. P–U–T–N–A–M."

In 1988, when he was 13, Putnam was living in a broken home, headed by an alcoholic, often absent, mother. He was made a ward of the court and sent to the Morning Star Boys' Ranch. The ranch was established more than 50 years ago by Spokane's Catholic diocese to care for wayward boys. It wasn't a good match for Putnam. As he fiddles with his watch and metal bracelet, Putnam testifies that he was bullied by older boys. He remembers that, one night as he slept, an adult guardian snuck into his room.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Sexual misconduct alleged against priest

NORTH CAROLINA
WTVD

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Raleigh bishop Michael Burbidge has suspended the priestly faculties of retired pastor Kenneth R. Parker after allegations of alleged sexual misconduct came to light.

The allegations involving a minor date back to the 1980s.

The Diocese said it has finished a preliminary investigation into the allegations and has reported the matter to the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys as well as sent it to a higher internal judicial body for further review.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Facebook fans fight for Verryn

SOUTH AFRICA
The Citizen

JOHANNESBURG - The fight for the job of Central Methodist Church Bishop Paul Verryn has entered cyberspace.

Just hours after a Facebook page, Friends of Paul Verryn, was started it showed “viral” growth with scores of “fans” joining in overwhelming support for the controversial cleric.

The page was started by radio producer Wendy Landau who said it was a public platform for the Paul Verryn Support Committee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Suspended Verryn gets international support

SOUTH AFRICA
The Zimbabwe Times

January 25, 2010

By Ntando Ncube

A GROUP of South Africans and hordes of peoples from other parts of the world on Sunday resumed fighting against the treatment of suspended Central Methodist Church (CMC) bishop Paul Verryn using social media by launching the “Friends of Paul Verryn” camping on face book.

According to a statement circulated by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the campaign is aimed at raising support for him during his ordeal.

Verryn a well- known friend of desperate African immigrants, mostly Zimbabweans in South Africa was suspended from his position in the church on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Support for Verryn grows

SOUTH AFRICA
Eyewitness News

Micel Schnehage

Friends and supporters are rallying around suspended Central Methodist Church Bishop Paul Verryn.

Verryn was suspended last week on charges of disobeying instructions from church leaders.

This is the second scandal to hit the church in recent months.

A year-long investigation by Eyewitness News revealed children were allegedly being forced to prostitute themselves in order to survive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Verryn requests postponement

SOUTH AFRICA
Eyewitness News

Micel Schnehage

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa on Monday confirmed it had received a request for a postponement of Reverend Paul Verryn’s disciplinary hearing.

The church’s lawyer Bongani Khoza commented: “Verryn’s representatives are seeking a postponement of the hearing of 1 February. I cannot comment further.”


The former bishop of the Central Methodist Church was suspended last week for disobeying instructions from church elders and Verryn wants oppose the move.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Suspended head of Zim refugee mission fights back

SOUTH AFRICA
SWRadioAfrica

By Alex Bell
25 January 2010

The head of the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg, Paul Verryn, is fighting back against his suspension, as support for the controversial cleric continues to grow.

Verryn was suspended last week pending a hearing before a disciplinary committee of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, which has accused the former bishop of “transgressing the laws and discipline of the church.” The charges are in connection with a court application Verryn made last year to get a curator appointed to look after the many unaccompanied miners at the Central Methodist Mission in Johannesburg. The Methodist Church of Southern Africa has said that Verryn acted ‘unilaterally’ and without its support, also accusing the cleric of speaking to the media without its consent.

Verryn however is fighting back against the suspension, seeking on Monday to have his disciplinary hearing postponed. He told South African media this weekend that his suspension boils down to a dispute he has with the current Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Bishop Ivan Abrahams. The Church has denied this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

ESPN Ignores Mater Dei Hoops Coach Gary McKnight's Rapist-Coddling Past

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra

SO....Mater Dei High School boys' basketball coach Gary McKnight set another prep hoops record--he's now the winningest coach in California high school B-ball history--and the local press busted another nut reporting over his round renown. Surprisingly, even ESPN got into the mix, broadcasting the Monarchs' victory on its ESPNU channel and firing off a dispatch for one of its many websites.

Of course, none of them tell the truth about McKnight: how he not only protected his assistant, Jeff Andrade, after details emerged he had sex with Mater Dei students--in McKnight's office, even--and how McKnight let Andrade back onto Mater Dei's campus years after the rapes and even after the school's principal explicitly told him not to.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Monterey Diocese Revokes Priest's Duties

CALIFORNIA
Fox 35

Posted: Jan 24, 2010
SALINAS, Calif. - The Diocese of Monterey revoked the faculties of a priest serving in the area after allegations of misconduct.

Father Ron Wiecek was recently recalled to his priest's order in Ohio, according to diocesan spokesperson Warren Hoy, after allegations surfaced of an incident some 30 years ago of Wiecek attempting to pick up a gay man. Hoy said the diocese had not been informed of the allegation before allowing Wiecek to serve in the area, and chose to take action because Wiecek had not been forthcoming with the allegation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Diocese: No landmark status for Cleveland churches

CLEVELAND (OH)
WFMJ

Associated Press - January 25, 2010

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland says it doesn't want the city to grant landmark status to its churches.

Cleveland's Landmarks Commission is recommending that six Catholic churches be designated as historical city landmarks, which would give them some protection against demolition or structural changes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

John Cooney: Bishops use 'bunker talks' to devise deeply flawed strategy

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Monday January 25 2010

It would seem the bishops are in the dark as to what bonfires are being stoked up by the Pope and his aged Curia of administrators

AS a foggy, January darkness falls in the early evening, the ground floor and upstairs lights are still shining in Columba House.

The decoratively renovated building once housed an infirmary for sick priests and seminarians of St Patrick's College, Maynooth.

Now, inside a basement room unobservable from the outside, 18 of Ireland's 33 Catholic bishops are in extraordinary session.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

39,000,000 and counting

Healing and Spirituality

Jaime Romo

In the wake of the massive disaster in Haiti, we have seen a worldwide supportive response to the people of Haiti. Fortunately, religious and other groups and agencies are doing all they can to save lives, rebuild the infrastructure, and even improve the quality and safety of homes in the future. What a wonderful example of public and private, inter-faith cooperation to help those impacted by this event.

At the same time, another disaster is unfolding around us. It also brings negative mental and spiritual trauma that can stay with and impact victims negatively for years if not treated. The trauma can infect the capacity to live in the present, and function well; paraphrasing the words of 2nd century Iraneus, the trauma can keep a victim from being the glory of God by being fully alive.

There are parallels between earthquakes and sexual abuse.

Many sexual abuse victims’ lives have already been lost. Many survivors’ careers demolished, and relationships buried under the rubble of the toxic impact of religious authority abuse. Daily news reports from every continent provide ample evidence of the ongoing pandemic. Bishop Accountability tracks Catholic offenders. StopBaptistPredators tracks Baptist offenders. The Awareness Center tracks Jewish offenders. I believe these are important efforts. There’s a saying, “To name the disease is to be able to cure it.” But those are just the religious tips of a societal iceberg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

'Reckless' delay in support for victims

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Posted By DAVID NESSETH
DNESSETH@STANDARD-FREEHOLDER.COM

CORNWALL -- A liaison from the Cornwall Public Inquiry says the province's decision to shut down ongoing sessions between sexual abuse victims and their counselors sends the message that the government has no interest in leading the way to change how victims of sexual abuse are treated.

The Ministry of the Attorney General said it will take six months to respond to the report from the Cornwall Public Inquiry.

During that time, the ministry said it will attempt to determine if further support for victims is needed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Suspended Verryn disputes charges

SOUTH AFRICA
Business Day

FRANNY RABKIN Published: 2010/01/25

LAWYERS for the suspended head of the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg, Paul Verryn, said on Friday that Verryn disputed the charges laid against him by his church, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.

Verryn was suspended last week and faces two disciplinary charges, the first for his initiating a court action to have a curator appointed to ensure the best interests of parentless children living in the church. The Methodist Church said he had done so without authority.

Ultimately, the curator case was pursued by the Aids Law Project and not by Verryn, but Verryn was involved when it started.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Church helps protect children from sexual abuse

RALEIGH (NC)
WTVD

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A Raleigh church is helping parents protect their children from sexual abuse after its own brush with a sexual predator.

Providence Baptist Church brought in a psychologist to give parents warning signs to look for and common myths about sexual predators.

Just a few years ago, youth volunteer Brian Goodrich, Jr. was convicted of molesting a boy who attended the church.

Psychologist Kevin Baldwin says parents should keep an eye on people around their children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Diocese won’t be holding fire sale

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

By The Canadian Press
Mon. Jan 25 - 4:53 AM
SYDNEY — The embattled Diocese of Antigonish has the assets to raise $18 million to compensate victims of sexual abuse, but the Roman Catholic Church will not engage in a "fire sale," a spokesman for the diocese says.

Rev. Paul Abbass confirmed that parishes in the rural diocese have been told everything is on the auction block, with the exception of "core assets," including churches and their rectories.

"We will not be putting our properties up just to get rid of them,"Abbass said. "In this market, whatever area it is, these are properties that we feel we can get fair value for."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Jaipur Literature Fest: Nun-author has audience spellbound

INDIA
The Times of India

JAIPUR: Sister Jesme was a wary woman when the English version of her controversial autobiography, ‘Amen: An Autobiography of a Nun’ — an eye-opener on alleged corrupt practices within the Catholic Church — was launched last year. But at the Jaipur Literature Festival, she was a remarkably at-ease nun who, in a steady voice, read sections from her book where she detailed the sexual abuse she faced.

C Meamy Raphael had been Sister Jesme for 33 years before she finally quit in August 2008. Now 53, she doesn’t wear the habit anymore and appeared before a spellbound audience in a green salwar-kameez, gold bangle, chain and earrings and a mobile phone dangling from her neck. But she’s still Sister Jesme. ‘‘I’m not an ex-nun. I am a nun,’’ she declares confidently. ‘‘A girl can be a Sister even outside the convent,’’ she says to spontaneous applause.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

January 24, 2010

Retired priest accused of sexual misconduct

RALEIGH (NC)
News & Observer

by Sarah Ovaska - Staff writer
RALEIGH -- RALEIGH -- A retired Roman Catholic priest, who served in a Garner church in the mid-1980s, was suspend from having public duties as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church after accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced last fall.

Kenneth R. Parker, 73, had retired in 1993 but had his responsibility taken from him last week by diocese of Raleigh's Bishop Michael Burbridge, according to a news release from the diocese.

Parker, who now lives in Carthage, denied any wrongdoing took place, in a brief telephone interview.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 PM

Former Diocese of Charlotte Priest suspended

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

Father Kenneth Parker a priest who served in the Diocese of Charlotte for five years beginning in 1965 has been suspended from the Diocese of Raleigh. Read the Press Release

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

First Year in Seminary, sex assaults by two different Franciscans: The Santa Barbara Story, Part 8

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

[with court documents]

By Kay Ebeling

"Anonymous" keeps popping up in our Comments to point out that quotes from legal briefs in The Santa Barbara Story are "Allegations Only." That's true, and since the Church almost always settles before trial without admitting guilt, only part of the evidence becomes public record and it rarely gets published where the public can read it, like here at City of Angels. Still, Tim Hale, author of the briefs we are quoting confirms: "Everything alleged in these amended complaints is supported by admissible evidence assembled from investigation and discovery conducted during the last eleven years of litigation involving the Franciscans."

So here is Part 8 of The Santa Barbara Story, which started in 2009 and will go on until it's over. In this entry we are running direct quotes from Case #1338070, Santa Barbara Superior Court, filed November 3, 2009, Page 1 of First Amended Complaint scanned here, click to enlarge.

Some quotes you will encounter: "(Fr. Gus) Krumm pinned Craig from behind to the point the boy could not move, pushing Craig’s face against the wall, and began thrusting his groin against Craig’s buttocks," reads one paragraph. "(Later) Krumm said, 'you didn’t see anything here, you didn’t hear anything, and you’re not wanted. And you’re probably not coming back.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Pope convenes Irish bishops for talks in Rome the Eternal City of crocodile Popes and Bishops and the Venerable John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army

IRELAND
Benedict XVI - Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

Talk is cheap. Papal talk is cheaper. For over 26 years, as General Cardinal Ratzinger he commanded the absolute secrecy and threatened every priest with excommunication if they disclosed in public the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army and now as Pope Benedict XVI he will convene Irish Bishops to Rome to discuss how to make the Irish people forgive-and-forget the Ryan and Murphy Reports…the Pope’s words work like magic all the time similar to the way he turns the Eucharist into the instant flesh of Christ see Magisterium Benedict VERSUS Holy Mary: Priests' transubstantiation instant reincarnation of Christ VERSUS Mary’s 9-months pregnancy& child birth http://stella0maris.blogspot.com/2010/01/magisterium-benedict-versus-holy-mary.html

Doesn’t this news sound impressive: Pope convenes Irish bishops for talks on priestly sex abuse? (Hidden subtitle: for crocodile tears session with special consultant Rome Archpriest Bernard Law the criminal-Cardinal of Boston) “The meeting will take place Feb. 15-16, and was expected to include the heads of major Vatican agencies. The Vatican press office confirmed the meeting… The pope will address the bishops and each bishop will have seven minutes to offer his views on the crisis. The meeting was expected to produce some concrete proposals, with final reflections by the pope”. Let’s see now, what can 7-MINUTES encounters really tell Pope Benedict XVI about the YEARS of living hell imbedded on victims by the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army in Ireland?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Antigonish gets new bishop Monday

CANADA
CBC News

Sunday marked the last mass for Catholics in Antigonish, N.S., before their new bishop is installed on Monday.

Brian Dunn will replace retired bishop Raymond Lahey, who is facing child pornography charges.

Dunn is well aware of the challenges ahead, said church spokesman Rev. Paul Abbass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

A campaign to make celibacy optional

CLEVELAND (OH)
WTAM

By Ken Robinson, Newsradio WTAM 1100

Sunday, January 24, 2010

(Cleveland) - A Lakewood-based organization called FutureChurch.org has started an electronic campaign to make priesthood celibacy optional for Catholics.

Sister Christine Schenk says their site has sent more than 3,000 postcards urging catholic leaders to discuss the concept.

Schenk explains that the move toward celibacy only started in the 16th century and throughout most of Catholic history, priests were allowed to marry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Convicted Maltese paedophile priest sent from Italy to a parish in Malta

MALTA/ITALY
The Malta Independent

A Maltese priest who spent two-and-a-half-years in a special community near Trento after plea bargaining to abusing children some years ago, was later sent to a parish in Malta where he spent some time before returning to Italy.

Fr Felix Cini plea bargained in 2004 to abusing 17 youngsters between 10 and 14 years of age, while he was in Comunità Siloe in Sasso d’Ombrone in the commune of Cinigiano near Grosseto. The proper Italian legal term used is ‘patteggiamento’ – in other words he accepted the sentence to shorten the trial. Later he said that he was advised to do so, even though he felt he was innocent and that it was a case of mistaken identity. He claimed that unnamed ‘political pressure’ was brought to bear upon him to make him take this legal way. His claim was met with rather widespread scepticism.

During the investigation, all 17 youngsters, accompanied by their parents, testified to “undue attention” received from the priest. Two computers were also taken from him and police investigators claimed they found traces of porno-paedophile webpages having been accessed. ...

According to Italian media reports over the past days, the people of this small community in Molise, a southern Italian region, were outraged to find out through the internet, and through a local paper, about the murky past of the new priest in their parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

EDITORIAL: Matt Baker trial yielded many lessons, including the power of tenacity

WACO (TX)
Waco Tribune-Herald

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Matt Baker trial is over and the 38-year-old former Central Texas pastor begins a 65-year sentence for the murder of his wife, Kari, whose mysterious death in Hewitt in 2006 spurred a virtual crusade in our community mounted by her family and friends. Evidence of it could be seen in the courthouse parking lot this past week: bumper stickers that read “Justice for Kari.”

If there’s a big lesson to come from the trial — that is, one that goes beyond those stemming from the basic tenets carved into the Ten Commandments — it’s that one should never underestimate the resourcefulness and diligence of private citizens when a wrong must be righted.

Even when Hewitt police and Justice of the Peace Billy Martin overlooked crucial details in Kari Baker’s death — initially ruling it a suicide and consigning it to the files with little investigation and no autopsy — Kari’s family and friends persevered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Leib Tropper - Why the Rabbis Were Silent

NEW YORK
5 Town Jewish Times

By 5TJT Staff
Published on Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rabbi Dovid Ribiat heads the Kollel Ohr Yaakov of Forshay in Monsey NY, and is regarded as a prominent Halachic authority across the US. He is also the author of several Seforim, including the world-renowned four-volume work on the 39 Melochos of Shabbos. On January 21, 10 he graciously consented to the following interview regarding the Tropper scandal:

Interviewer: Over the past several weeks there have been a lot of questions in the media over the silence of the Rabbis in the Ultra-orthodox community re. the Tropper scandal. Why has there been no condemnation of Tropper from the Rabbis?

RR: I can only speak as one of the Rabbis of Monsey. Firstly, you must understand that there is no single authoritative Rabbinic body in Monsey. The city is comprised of many different Orthodox segments and synagogues, each with its own Rabbinic leadership. Although the Rabbis do get together on issues affecting the entire community, this can take time, especially when the issues need a great deal of clarification. Even though Rabbi Tropper lives in Monsey, the scandal, based on a series of tapes (which Tropper claims are fraudulent), only came to our attention through media reports. The Rabbis had no prior knowledge of this scandal and had no way of confirming the reports without undertaking their own independent investigation. It has taken time to organize a focused investigation and begin the process of sorting out the claims and counter claims in the media in search of the objective truth. We cannot issue condemnations against an individual without due process or before verifying the facts. This is why you have not heard any statements from the rabbis as yet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Vatican bank charged with money-laundering

VATICAN CITY
Press TV (Iran)

The Bank of the Vatican has been accused of laundering USD 200 million by proxy through an Italian creditor, a report indicates.

The allegation of the Vatican bank's financial corruption has been made by an Italian magazine that pointed to the financial institute's purported involvement in stealth fiscal transactions —via several accounts —with Italy's UniCredit Bank, Russia Today television network quoted the Panorama magazine as reporting.

“This corruption is continuing on a regular basis in the Vatican,” claimed Janathan Levy, a lawyer familiar with the bank.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Diana Garland, guest column: Don't call it an affair. Call it abuse of power

WACO (TX)
Waco Tribune-Herald

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The murder trial of former pastor Matt Baker in Waco last week was mesmerizing for many reasons. It involved sex, lies, premeditated murder, pornography and a clergy member. It should have been a work of fiction; it should never have happened in real life.

Even as we grieve for the victim’s parents and her two daughters, we must not overlook that, initially, there was another victim. Long before she engaged in a sexual relationship with Matt Baker, Vanessa Bulls, in the midst of divorce, was just a young woman attending a church seeking comfort and guidance in her life. The pastor of the church she chose to visit offered to counsel her.

We cannot and should not dismiss the chain of events that followed and led, almost incomprehensibly, to the murder of a young mother whose parents and daughters now have an irreplaceable void in their lives. But if we focus on how this extramarital relationship began, we see a textbook example of clergy sexual misconduct, a felony offense in Texas according to the state penal code (Chapter 22: Assaultive Offensives). Matt Baker’s crime of sexual misconduct as a religious leader — long before he plotted to add murder —was not only immoral but criminal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Bathurst diocese asks Vatican to defrock disgraced priest

CANADA
CBC News

The diocese of Bathurst, N.B., has asked the Vatican to strip a priest, who was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison for 22 sex-related offences, of his status.

The laicization would limit retired priest Levi Noel to being a lay person within the church, Father Wesley Wade said Saturday, speaking on behalf of the diocese.

The request is in the hands of officials in Rome, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Pope must answer people without any reservations

IRELAND
Irish Independent

The voices of the survivors of abuse need to be heard in Rome, writes Colum Kenny.

Sunday January 24 2010

THIS is a crucial moment for the Irish hierarchy and Pope Benedict. They must not meet in Rome next month without lay involvement, including representative survivors of abuse. They must not meet if bishops attend who have been compromised by the Murphy report, or who would be likely to be so compromised by similar official reports into other dioceses outside Dublin. And they must not meet without first assuring us that no "mental reservation" or other forms of deception will pollute their public statements.

Contacted last week to find out what is on the agenda and whether Cardinal Desmond Connell or lay Catholics have also been invited, the Vatican, would only say: "You will know everything, but in the future, not now".

At their meeting in December last, the Irish bishops said that "the report raises very important issues for the Church in Ireland, including the functioning of the Bishops' Conference, and, how the lay faithful can be more effectively involved in the life of the Church. We will give further detailed consideration to these issues."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

'Sacrilege: Liberation Enters the Church'

Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

The following is a lengthy excerpt from the book Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, authored by Leon J. Podles, Ph.D. Many thanks to Mr. Podles and Charles Eby of the Crossland Foundation for allowing me to reprint this material. (Caution: contains disturbing descriptions.)

Chapter 15: 'New Errors'

Liberation Enters the Church

...Even in the 1950s many priests studied psychology. Priests frequently deal with disturbed people, and modern psychology seems to offer insights in how to help. Psychology tends to displace theology. Therefore, the Catholic clergy have been exposed to all the trends and fads of modern psychology, including the pernicious ones of sexual liberation. When psychologists were brought in to advise nuns about their rules or to advise bishops how to deal with sexual offenders, disaster has often been the result.

Joyce Milton, who had personal experience with the humanistic psychology movement of the 1970s and 1980s, has exposed its weaknesses in her Road to Malpsychia (a word-play on Maslow's Road to Eupsychia). Humanistic psychology "emphasized alienation from values based on the authority of revealed religion and a need for the individual to derive meaning through his search for identity and authenticity." Carl Rogers emphasized that "neither the Bible nor the prophets — neither Freud nor research — neither the revelations of God nor man — can take precedence over my own direct experience,"[42] that is, his "lived experience," a phrase that is always invoked by those who reject traditional Christian moral teaching. Presidents Higgins and Letson of St. Jerome's University note that only three percent of young people in England think that premarital sex is wrong and criticize "the Church's unwillingness to locate itself within the realm of lived experience,"[43] by which they mean the Church's unwillingness to accept the fallen reality that previous generations called "the world."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

January 23, 2010

Catholic priest defiles girl, remanded

UGANDA
Sunday Vision

Chris Ocowun

GULU Grade One Magistrate’s court on Friday charged a Catholic priest, the Rev. Fr. Anthony Bosco Mawa, with aggravated defilement and remanded him at Gulu Central Prison.

Rev. Fr. Mawa who was arrested by Gulu Police for allegedly defiling and impregnating a 16-year-old girl, was charged and remanded by Gulu Grade One Magistrate Joan Achiro.

Prosecution alleged that Mawa, 41, an Acholi priest, between the months of April and November 2009 at plot 4/2 on Awich Road, Pece Division defiled a girl below 18 years old who was under his guardian contrary to section 129 (3) and 4 of the penal code Act of 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Former St. Rose coach guilty in sex-talk case; faces up to 100 years

FREEHOLD (NJ)
Asbury Park Press

By CHARLES WEBSTER • STAFF WRITER • January 22, 2010

FREEHOLD — A jury of nine men and three women on Friday convicted "Coach Bart" McInerney on 10 counts of child endangerment for carrying on sexually explicit conversations with boys between 15 and 17 years old and convincing those boys to text-message him when they masturbated.

The three-week trial of Bartholomew McInerney, 43, of Spring Lake Heights, once a well-liked and respected baseball coach at St. Rose High School in Belmar, revealed he preyed on young players with secret talks that pried into their sexual activity with their girlfriends and steered them toward masturbating and reporting the act to the coach in instant messages and texts.
McInerney is slated to be sentenced on April 23, and faces up to 100 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Former baseball coach of St. Rose High School in Belmar is convicted of sexual misconduct

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By MaryAnn Spoto/The Star-Ledger
January 22, 2010

BELMAR -- Rejecting Bartholomew McInerney’s claims he had the best interests of his former players at heart, a jury in Monmouth County convicted the former Belmar baseball coach today on 10 counts charging him with offering the boys money in exchange for text messages about their sexual experiences.

The verdict, on the second day of jury deliberations, left McInerney’s relatives stunned. About a half-dozen of them sat in the gallery of the Freehold courtroom, looks of disbelief on their faces as the verdicts were announced. All refused to comment afterward. Parents of McInerney’s victims were elated and hugged each other afterward.

Dressed in a dark gray suit and blue shirt, McInerney, the longtime baseball coach at St. Rose High School, appeared stoic as the verdict was announced, dipping his head occasionally as the forewoman announced each finding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

La nota della Curia

ITALY
Prima Pagina Molise

L'arcivescovo di Campobasso-Bojano mons. GianCarlo Bregantini ritiene che siano ormai maturate le condizioni per mettere fine alla vicenda che ha coinvolto il sacerdote don Felix Cini.

La Santa Sede, costantemente informata, ha recentemente esaminato il caso in questione, approvato l'operato del vescovo di Grosseto e dell'arcivescovo di Campobasso e preso atto con soddisfazione che il presbitero ha compiuto un proficuo percorso di consapevolezza, maturazione interiore e recupero di una dignità compromessa.

La Santa Sede, tuttavia, ha deliberato che le circostanze e la prudenza suggeriscono di assegnare il sacerdote ad altro incarico per motivi di opportunità.

[summary]

The Holy See has been constantly informed about Don Felix, recently examined the case, approved the work of the Bishop of Grosseto and the Archbishop of Campobasso and noted with satisfaction that the preisent has made a profitable path of awareness, inner maturity and recovery of compromised dignity.

The Holy See ruled, however, that it is prudent to assign the priest to another appointment on ground of expediency.

The same Holy See and bishop who accompanied Don Felix on the way to rebirth warmly thank the community of Cercemaggiore which upheld the priest without prejudice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Cercemaggiore, don Felix allontanato per "motivi di opportunità"

ITALY
Prima Pagina Molise

"L'arcivescovo di Campobasso-Bojano, monsignor GianCarlo Bregantini, ritiene che siano ormai maturate le condizioni per mettere fine alla vicenda che ha coinvolto il sacerdote don Felix Cini. (...) Le circostanze e la prudenza suggeriscono di assegnare il sacerdote ad altro incarico per motivi di opportunità".

Una nota stampa sintetica, che non menziona mai il fatto che ha originato la decisione, perchè non ce n'e bisogno.

Padre Felix per il Vaticano, deve lasciare Cercemaggiore. Un errore lo ha visto cadere qualche anno fa, ha compiuto il percorso di riabilitazione che la Chiesa, e anche lo Stato, seppure con intenti e strade diverse, chiedono, lo ha compiuto. Ma non è bastato.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

Cercemaggiore, i fedeli accanto a don Felix

ITALY
Il Tempo

CERCEMAGGIORE I cittadini di Cercemaggiore si schierano con don Felix Cini.

Dopo la decisione della Santa Sede di allontanare «per motivi di opportunità» il parroco dal paese, comunicata dall'arcivescovo di Campobasso, Giancarlo Maria Bregantini, i fedeli che lo appoggiano, circa 3.500, hanno annunciato iniziative a sostegno di don Felix, che nel 2004 fu condannato per molestie sessuali su minori in un paese della provincia di Grosseto.Nei prossimi giorni è prevista una manifestazione davanti alla sede della Curia.

[summary]

Although the Holy See decided to move the Rev. Felix Cini from his parish, about 3,500 people have undertaken an initiative in support of the priest who in 2004 was convicted of child sexual molestation in a village in the province of Grosseto. A demonstration is planned outside of the curia offices. Area residents are divided between those who believe that Don Felix must leave the country and those who consider his work in Molise to be unblemished.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Maltese priest in Italy with molestation history moved out of parish

ITALY
DI-VE (Malta)

Italian media have reported that a Maltese priest, who lives in Italy and was sentenced with child molestation in 2004, will be moved out of the parish of Cercemaggiore in the province of Campobasso and will be assigned new tasks in another locality.

This decision was taken by the Holy See and was announced by Bishop of Campobasso Bregantini.

Havoc was created in this locality after it was announced that the priest had child molestation charges in Grossetto. The priest had served a sentence of 2 and a half years in a community in Trento.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Priest who tried to kill himself could be deported

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

January 23, 2010

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE
A priest accused of sexually assaulting a St. Charles boy could face deportation if convicted on the charges, according to Kane County prosecutors.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, who until recently served at Holy Family Church in Shorewood, had his first appearance in Kane County Court on Thursday. His attorney said the priest is expected to plead not guilty to the seven felony charges filed against him.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, who until recently served at Holy Family Church in Shorewood, had his first appearance in Kane County Court on Thursday. His attorney said the priest is expected to plead not guilty to the seven felony charges filed against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Child Victims Act proves its worth in surprise case

DELAWARE
The News Journal

January 23, 2010

Thursday's admission by former Judge William C. Bradley Jr., that he molested an 11-year-old boy 30 years ago is a stinging rebuke to critics who opposed last year's passage of Delaware's Child Victims Act.

Senate Bill 29 eliminated the two-year civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse and set a two-year window during which claims previously barred by statute could be filed.
That window closed in July.

Critics charged the act slandered all Catholic priests as pedophiles and that other classes of innocent defendants would have no protection from claims of unsubstantiated memories.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Diocese: Locals didn't know of priest sex charges

BEAUMONT (TX)
Beaumont Enterprise

By BY KEN FOUNTAIN
January 22, 2010

When the Catholic diocese of Beaumont accepted Frank Paduch for ordination, it knew of no allegations of sexual misconduct at the time, according to a diocese statement released today.

In the formal statement, Bishop Curtis J. Guillory, S.V.D., D.D., Bishop of Beaumont, said, "We were not aware of the complaints of abuse that allegedly occurred in the 1980s in Chicago until a lawsuit was filed there in 1997 against the Augustinian Order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Robinson's lawyers fault trial attorneys

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

As Toledo priest Gerald Robinson watched from prison on a video hookup, attorneys argued in Lucas County Common Pleas Court yesterday whether a new hearing should be held in the cleric's murder conviction.

Attorneys for the 71-year-old Catholic priest, found guilty nearly four years ago in the 1980 murder of a nun, claimed that Robinson's legal counsel was so ineffective during the trial that his constitutional rights were violated.

They also contended that new evidence, including a reported 70 misfiled police reports from 1980 that surfaced last year, merits a new hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Bishops to consult with laity over abuse scandal fallout

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Saturday January 23 2010

THE Irish Catholic bishops plan to hold a consultation process with lay people, clergy and religious after their summit in Rome next month with Pope Benedict.

The 18 bishops attending an extraordinary general meeting in NUI Maynooth to discuss the fallout from the damning Murphy Report into cover-ups of paedophile priests in the archdiocese of Dublin said last night they welcomed Pope Benedict's intent to issue a special pastoral to Catholics in Ireland on "the very serious situation prevailing in the Irish Church".

"Bishops have been listening to the widespread and justifiable anger and frustration from survivors, priests and laity across their dioceses," they said in a statement. "Bishops recognise that, in the critical area of safeguarding children, people want accountability and transparency in terms of policy and procedures."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Vatican bank accused of laundering

ROME
RT

The Vatican is facing some awkward questions after an investigation was launched into its alleged involvement in a money-laundering scheme.

The financial scandal was triggered by a report in an Italian magazine that claimed the Vatican bank laundered some $200 million.

The alleged secrets of the Vatican have often provided rich material for fictional works, such as blockbuster film Angels and Demons, but the Holy See now has to deal with a case equally shrouded in mystery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Some Baker jurors speak, others hold their tongues

WACO (TX)
Tribune-Herald

By Tommy Witherspoon Tribune-Herald staff writer

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Betty Hall found herself in an unusual position.

The 65-year-old M&M Mars retiree is not shy about speaking her mind. However, as an alternate juror on the Matt Baker murder trial, Hall sat through the eight-day trial but was not allowed to participate in any of the jury’s deliberations.

She listened in but could not speak, under orders from the court.

“I almost bit a hole through my tongue,” she said. “I was about to test how much it was going to cost me to get thrown out of there because I couldn’t just sit there and not say nothing. I am just that type of person.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Retired priest sentenced to eight years on sex charges

CANADA
Telegraph-Journal

Benjamin Shingler
Telegraph-Journal

TRACADIE-SHEILA - As Lévi Noël was led away by police, the courtroom packed with his victims and their families stood silent for a moment, then erupted into applause.

Noël pleaded guilty to 22 sex-related charges involving 18 boys. The incidents took place between 1958 and 1981 while he was working at eight different parishes in the Bathurst diocese. His victims were between eight and 16 at the time.

During sentencing, Judge Donald LeBlanc denounced Noël for taking advantage of his position of authority, breaking the trust of the community and the church, and manipulating vulnerable children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Ex-pastor's murder conviction ends 4-year saga

By ANGELA K. BROWN Associated Press Writer
Jan. 23, 2010

WACO, Texas — Nearly four years ago, a preacher's wife was found dead beside a typed suicide note and bottle of sleeping pills, and police quickly closed the case.

Now, her husband Matt Baker is starting a 65-year prison sentence for murder. Baker, 38, will be eligible for parole in about 30 years.

The saga that began with botched police work ended with what Kari Baker's relatives and friends had been praying for, what they had printed on hundreds of bumper stickers: justice for Kari. ...

Still, there may be another chapter. Linda and James Dulin, who filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Baker because they never believed she killed herself, are suspicious about the death of the Bakers' middle daughter in 1999.

That issue arose unexpectedly during Baker's trial when his ex-mistress, Vanessa Bulls, testified that Baker, after learning his wife's body was being exhumed for an autopsy, said he was going to the cemetery "to see if they messed with Kassidy's grave." Prosecutors and defense attorneys did not ask Bulls about her comment or refer to the issue during the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Verryn to fight on

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

By Thabiso Thakali

The battle lines have been drawn in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa over its shock decision this week to suspend controversial cleric Paul Verryn.

Yesterday, the beleaguered bishop announced that he would not accept his surprise suspension, but would seek arbitration from the convener of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa for his superior's action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Verryn to appear before disciplinary committee

SOUTH AFRICA
The Zimbabwe Times

By Munyaradzi Mutizwa

CENTRAL Methodist Church Bishop Paul Verryn who was suspended from his post on Tuesday now faces charges of transgressing the rules and norms of the Methodist Church in South Africa, the church announced Friday.He will appear before the church disciplinary committee on February 1.

“He has been charged with transgressing the laws and discipline of the church, essentially the constitution of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa,” the church said in a statement.

It was not clear till the time of going to the press why Verryn was suspended. Bongani Khoza the legal representative for the church remained tight-lipped on the details of the sensational suspension.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

St. Martha's needs more answers

MASSACHUSETTS
The Sun Chronicle

Saturday, January 23, 2010

While many of their neighbors were bubbling with enthusiasm, first for the U.S. Senate campaign of native son Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, then with his historic election, the mood this week was somber for parishioners of St. Martha's Church in Plainville.

Their pastor, the Rev. Garret Thomson, regarded by some members of the church as a saint, had died on Jan. 6. Parishioners later learned that two days earlier he had been placed on administrative leave after a 15-year-old sexual abuse allegation had arisen.

The events brought a crowd to a meeting at the church Wednesday night. Among other things, the meeting brought to light divisions within the church - one parishioner had complained to the archdiocese about language Father Thomson had used at a pre-confirmation meeting and others had made undisclosed complaints against him - along with unhappiness about how the archdiocese had handled the complaints and the notification that he had been placed on administrative leave. And fears of an eventual closing of the small church resurfaced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Judge acquits elderly priest on fourth day of abuse trial

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Sonya McLean

Saturday January 23 2010

A priest accused of sexually assaulting a Co Louth teenager was yesterday acquitted by direction of the trial judge after he ruled that the inadmissibility of the woman's psychiatric notes was prejudicial to the defence.

Father Maeliosa O Hauallachain, of Seafield Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to three charges of indecent assault on dates between July 31, 1981 and August 2, 1982.

It was alleged that the priest, now aged 72, had assaulted the woman when she was aged between 13 and 14. But Fr O Hauallachain was acquitted on day-four of the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

January 22, 2010

Group asks Diocese of Orlando to expose sexually abusive priests

ORLANDO (FL)
Orlando Sentinel

By Walter Pacheco, Orlando Sentinel

A national group is pressuring the Diocese of Orlando to publicly expose its priests accused of sexual abuse. Two cases pending in Orange County.

A national group is asking the Diocese of Orlando to go public with names of any priests accused of sexual abuse.

Three members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) stood outside the diocese's office on Robinson Street in downtown Orlando on Friday with a 109-page document about José Mena — a former priest who is the subject of two pending lawsuits against the Diocese of Orlando.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 PM

6,007 people complete website form to defect from Catholic Church

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY MCGARRY

CHURCH DEFECTIONS: A TOTAL of 6,007 people have completed a ‘‘declaration of defection’’ from the Catholic Church in Ireland according to the website www.countmeout.ie

It was set up last July, following publication of the Ryan report on May 20th, and within a month over 2,000 people had completed such declarations of defection.

The website provides a three-step online process that makes it easier for disaffected Catholics to leave the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 PM

Protesters call on bishop to stand down

IRELAND
The Irish Times

JAMIE SMYTH Social Affairs Correspondent

ACTIVISTS GATHER: THE PROTESTERS arrived early at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, yesterday morning to unfurl their placards and banners denouncing clerical child sex abuse, the Catholic Church and Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan.

Setting up camp at the gates of the National Seminary of Ireland, the small group of victims, friends of victims and activists urged the Conference of Bishops meeting inside to do the right thing.

“Until Bishop Drennan resigns, the future of the Roman Catholic Church will be overshadowed. We are hoping the bishops’ conference will put pressure on [Bishop] Drennan,” said Brendan Butler, a social activist who organised the protest to coincide with the meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 PM

Archbishop 'surprised' at reaction to remarks

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin last night expressed surprise at claims made last month by the Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan that he had attacked the latter’s integrity.

It followed a call by Archbishop Martin, following publication of the Murphy report on November 26th last, for all current and former Auxiliary Bishops of Dublin to be accountable for their actions on child protection issues.

He said that bishops mentioned in the report should either admit their mistakes over the handling of priests who abused and step down, or stand over their claim that theyd done nothing wrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Priest acquitted on direction of judge of sexual assault on teenager in 1980s

IRELAND
The Irish Times

A PRIEST accused of sexually assaulting a Co Louth teenager has been acquitted by direction of the trial judge after he ruled that the inadmissibility of the woman’s psychiatric notes was prejudicial to the defence.

Fr Maeliosa O Hauallachain (72) of Seafield Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to three charges of indecent assault between July 1981 and August 1982 when the complainant was between 13 and 14 years old. It was day four of the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Frank O’Donnell had earlier ruled that the case notes from a consultant psychiatrist, who treated the woman for 10 years, could not be allowed as evidence as the doctor died last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Bishops hold talks after sex abuse report

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Friday, January 22, 2010

Catholic bishops gathered for an extraordinary general meeting today in the wake of the damning report into clerical child sex abuse in the Dublin archdiocese.

Just days after Pope Benedict summoned them to a meeting in Rome next month the senior clergymen held talks in St Patrick’s College Maynooth on the devastating scandal which has seen four bishops stand down.

In a statement they said they wanted to ensure the Church protected children and dealt with allegations of abuse properly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 PM

Group warns N. Fla about former priest

FLORIDA
Florida Times-Union

Submitted by Jeff Brumley on Fri, 01/22/2010

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, aka SNAP, was spreading the word in North Florida this week about a former Catholic priest recently convicted of sexually assaulting children in Wisconsin more than two decades ago.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that James R. Blume, 64, pleaded guilty in Waukesha County and was convicted Jan. 15 of molesting two boys in Elm Grove., Wis., one in the late 1970s, the other in the early 1980s.

SNAP quickly responded with news releases urging Catholic leaders in Indiana and Florida to blitz their dioceses with bulletins about the conviction. Some news reports said that after being stripped of his priestly credentials in 2007, Blume moved to Hastings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Irish Bishops discuss Murphy Report

IRELAND
Independent Catholic News

At a meeting today in the Columba Centre, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Bishops continued their discussion of 9 and 10 December last on the Commission of Investigation Report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin by Judge Yvonne Murphy.

In a statement, the Bishops said: 'Since the publication of the Murphy Report, bishops have been listening to the widespread and justifiable anger and frustration from survivors, priests and laity across their dioceses. Bishops recognise that, in the critical area of safeguarding children, people want accountability and transparency in terms of policy and procedures.

'Since their last meeting, bishops have asked the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church to explore with statutory authorities, North and South, ways of ensuring that the Church's policies and practices in relation to the safeguarding of children represent best practice and that all allegations of abuse are being handled properly. These discussions are ongoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Bishop Guillory issues formal statement on former Catholic priest Frank Paduch

BEAUMONT (TX)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont

In response to recent local media reports and inquiries, the Catholic Diocese of Beaumont released a statement today saying it knew of no allegations against a former priest of the diocese when he was accepted for ordination in the diocese. When complaints of sexual misconduct were received in the Diocese of Beaumont against Fr. Frank Paduch, an investigation was initiated that resulted initially in the removal of his priestly faculties and ultimately in his removal from the priesthood (a.k.a. “defrocked”).

In a formal statement, Bishop Curtis J. Guillory, S.V.D., D.D., Bishop of Beaumont, said, “We were not aware of the complaints of abuse that allegedly occurred in the 1980’s in Chicago until a lawsuit was filed there in 1997 against the Augustinian Order. That lawsuit was filed eight years after Fr. Paduch was ordained. When we received a complaint against him here in the Diocese of Beaumont in 2001, we initiated an investigation that eventually led to his removal. I also personally contacted the complainants and offered them pastoral assistance and counseling at the diocese’s expense.”

Since Fr. Paduch’s departure from the Diocese of Beaumont, no secular employer has ever contacted the diocese for a pre-employment reference check.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Diocese of Beaumont releases statement about former priest accused of misconduct

BEAUMONT (TX)
KFDM

January 22, 2010

Scott Lawrence
BEAUMONT - From Catholic Diocese of Beaumont - In response to recent local media reports and inquiries, the Catholic Diocese of Beaumont released a statement today saying it knew of no allegations against a former priest of the diocese when he was accepted for ordination in the diocese. When complaints of sexual misconduct were received in the Diocese of Beaumont against Fr. Frank Paduch, an investigation was initiated that resulted initially in the removal of his priestly faculties and ultimately in his removal from the priesthood (a.k.a. "defrocked").

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Irish bishops welcome Vatican child abuse summit plan

IRELAND
Windsor Star (Canada)

Agence France-Presse

DUBLIN - Ireland's bishops on Friday welcomed Pope Benedict XVI's plan for a Vatican summit next month to chart a way forward over a child sex abuse scandal that has shaken the country.

The Pope has summoned Irish bishops to a February 15-16 meeting to address the aftermath of revelations that Church authorities covered up for paedophile priests in the mainly Catholic country for three decades.

In a statement issued after an all-day meeting the bishops said the Pope's request was made "in the context of the very serious situation that prevails in the Irish church".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Pope accepts bishop's resignation

IRELAND
Windsor Star (Canada)

Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday accepted the resignation of Limerick Bishop Donal Murray over Ireland's child sex abuse scandal, the Vatican announced.

Murray was named in a report last month that concluded that top prelates concealed clerical abuse and failed to inform police of offences over a period of more than three decades.

The prelate, speaking shortly after the Vatican announcement, "humbly" apologized for his role in the scandal but said even his resignation "cannot undo the pain" of those who suffered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Update: Los Angeles spokesman denies my Cardinal Mahony claim (and I respond)

LOS ANGELES (CA)
American Papist

by Thomas Peters on January 22nd, 2010

Gene Maddaus, a blogger for LA Weekly city news, asked Tod Tamberg, the spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, to respond to the report I issued last night that Cardinal Mahony’s successor has been chosen.

Here’s what Tod said:

Tod Tamberg [...] says this is mere speculation. “It’s coming from 3,500 miles away,” Tamberg says, “from a guy who I don’t think has ever set foot in California.” ...

Well, I have a few things to say in response to Tod’s response.

First of all, I may be 3,500 miles away, but technology has a wonderful way of overcoming distance. Second, I have set foot in California – I actually lived in the Golden State for almost a decade, but that fact didn’t help my reporting. Third, while I completely agree the Vatican will say whatever it wants to say when it is ready, veteran readers of my blog know that I have a pretty good track record when it comes to reading the tea leaves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Has Cardinal Roger Mahony's Successor Been Named?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Weekly

By Gene Maddaus

​That's what Thomas Peters, a Washington, D.C.-based blogger, is claiming in a recent post. Peters says that Cardinal Roger Mahony has approved the selection of a coadjutor bishop who would succeed him as Archbishop of Los Angeles when Mahony hits the retirement age of 75 next year: ...

Tod Tamberg, the spokesman for the Archdiocese, says this is mere speculation. "It's coming from 3,500 miles away," Tamberg says, "from a guy who I don't think has ever set foot in California."

While declining to explicitly deny the rumor, Tamberg says this sort of thing is to be expected for any archbishop in his final year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Vatican: Take Abuse Cases to Civilian Courts

VATICAN CITY
America Magazine

In order to treat accusations against priest of sexual abuse thoroughly, cases should be turned over to the civil justice system, not just to church authorities, said the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy. Cardinal Claudio Hummes said instances of sexual abuse by priests are “extremely serious and are criminal facts that the church can never tolerate in any way.... One must resolutely pursue [the case] to the very end by also turning to ordinary justice,” he said on Jan. 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Mother Millea urges U.S. religious to comply with study

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jan. 22, 2010
By Thomas C. Fox

Mother Mary Clare Millea, superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and charged by the Vatican with directing a three-year study of U.S. women religious congregations, has sent letters to religious leaders asking once again for their cooperation in filling out questionnaires, which are part of the process.

The questionnaires, sent last year to the heads of some 325 religious communities, were to have been returned by Nov. 20. A substantial number of the religious communities -- some women religious leaders saying the "vast majority" of the communities -- refused to comply with an initial Millea request to fill out all the questions on the questionnaire and instead filled out only some or none. A number of religious communities chose, instead, to return to Millea their order's Vatican approved constitutions.

The decisions by congregation leaders not to comply followed nearly two months last fall of intensive discussions both inside and across religious congregations. They followed consultations with civil and canon lawyers, and come in the wake of what some women religious see as widespread support by laity for their church missions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Catholic Priest Scandal: Moving On

CONNECTICUT
Examiner

John DeMassa

The Catholic Priest scandal continues to make headlines locally in Fairfield county provoking community reaction.

Catholic Brad Dobbs, a Trumbull resident comments: "Nobody is perfect. People sin. We are supposed to look at ourselves and recognize that. But the priests should be punished."

Dobbs was equally incensed about the cover-up by Catholic officials. "The cover-up is horrible. This is terrible. Both the bishops covering up and the priests should step down."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

N.S. diocese sells property for abuse payments

CANADA
CBC News

A Roman Catholic diocese in Nova Scotia is selling off unused churches, buildings and land to pay for a settlement for victims of abuse that could reach $18.5 million.

Parishes within the Antigonish diocese have known since the summer that they would have to share the cost, but churchgoers only heard details this week.

Rev. Paul Abbass, spokesman for the diocese, said everything but essential assets are up for sale. Only the basic church building and rectory are protected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Fr. Robinson's attorneys try to prove bias; want new trial

TOLEDO (OH)
WTOL

[with video]

Lisa Rantala will expand on this report on News 11 at 5 and 6 p.m.

TOLEDO (WTOL) - The attorneys for Fr. Gerald Robinson are asking that he be granted another trial.

John Donahue, one of Fr. Gerald Robinson's attorneys, says if the jurors had had a chance to review all the evidence, there would have been a better outcome for the priest, who was convicted several years ago of killing Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl back in 1980.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Attorneys argue over request for new Robinson hearing

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

BLADE STAFF

Toledo Catholic priest Gerald Robinson, convicted in 2006 of murdering a nun 26 years earlier, appeared by video link from prison for a Lucas County Common Pleas Court hearing Friday morning.

Attorneys for the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office and the defense gave oral arguments before Judge Gene Zmuda on whether an evidentiary hearing should be held for the 71-year-old priest.

At issue is whether Robinson’s attorneys failed to provide effective counsel at the 2006 trial and whether newly discovered evidence merits a new hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Eight years later, Voice of the Faithful still talking

MASSACHUSETTS
The Patriot Ledger

By Lane Lambert
The Patriot Ledger

The announcement was matter of fact: The Scituate affiliate of the Catholic group Voice of the Faithful is co-sponsoring a talk at Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham about clergy sex abuse. For Kathy Cerruti and other founding members, the event, which will be held Tuesday, is a sign of life.

Eight years after the sex-abuse scandal shook the Boston archdiocese, the Scituate chapter of the lay group and others are pressing on with their reform mission, at a time when public attention has turned from the crisis and Voice of the Faithful membership has fallen.

Rescued by emergency fundraising in 2008, local and national leaders say they are as determined as ever to pursue their original goals – support clergy victims, encourage good priests, and work for a greater role for the laity in running their parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Ohio priest convicted in nun's death in court

TOLEDO (OH)
WFMJ

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest convicted of killing a nun appeared by video at a court hearing in Ohio, the first time he's been seen publicly since his 2006 conviction.

The Rev. Gerald Robinson sat impassively Friday during the hearing in Toledo on whether new evidence can be introduced in his appeal.

The 71-year-old Robinson is being held in Hocking Correctional Facility in southern Ohio. He was convicted of killing of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, whose body was found Easter weekend 1980 in a Toledo hospital where both worked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Former N.B. priest sentenced to eight years for sex abuse

CANADA
Canada.com

Canwest News Service
January 22, 2010

TRACADIE-SHEILA, N.B. — A former Roman Catholic priest was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison for 18 sex-related offences dating back more than 50 years in New Brunswick.

Levi Noel, 84, pleaded guilty in October for the sexual abuse incidents involving as many as 10 people, many of whom were children at the time, from 1958 to 1981.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Priests Take Boys on Drunken Camping Trip to Yosemite. Santa Barbara Story Part 6, wait until you see Parts 9 and 10

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

[includes court documents]

By Kay Ebeling

We continue to run direct quotes from two lawsuits filed Fall 2009 regarding Fraciscan perpetrators at St. Anthony's Seminary in Santa Barbara. Plus someone handed me evidence from a 1990s lawsuit against those same Franciscans this week, the "sexual history" of Robert Van Handel, written by the pedophile priest himself. So after upcoming posts from a third 2009 lawsuit against the religious order, City of Angels will have figured out what to do with Van Handel's sexual memoir.

He wrote: "A Franciscan priest and former faculty member was accused of molesting two young men while they were students at St. Anthony's. Not only was I best of friends with this family, but unknown to them at the time, I had molested the same two boys when they were in choir, by tickling them and touching their genitals. Now I was expected to console the families, deal with the anger of the parents, because the offender was in the faculty."

In a panicked state Van Handel runs to his therapist: "I explained in general terms the state of my life. He helped me to pull out of my depression, but I don't think I ever really completely recovered." Nice to know the adults were all so concerned about each other while the children were being raped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Roll the credits: Hollywood's Cardinal Mahony bowing out?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Beliefnet

Deacon Greg Tandra

So says the usually reliable Thomas "American Papist" Peters:
I am hearing, on reliable authority, that the Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, has approved a coadjutor bishop recently selected for him by the Holy See. This news - and the name - will be publicly announced "soon."

This new bishop, once announced and appointed, will automatically succeed Mahony as the Archbishop of Los Angeles as soon as Mahony retires, presumably before Mahony's mandatory retirement at age 75 (February 27, 2011). Mahony has said that the current class of seminarians will be the last one he personally ordains.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Exclusive: Cardinal Mahony replacement chosen, announcement to be made soon

LOS ANGELES (CA)
American Papist

by Thomas Peters on January 21st, 2010

I am hearing, on reliable authority, that the Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, has approved a coadjutor bishop recently selected for him by the Holy See. This news – and the name – will be publicly announced “soon.”

This new bishop, once announced and appointed, will automatically succeed Mahony as the Archbishop of Los Angeles as soon as Mahony retires, presumably before Mahony’s mandatory retirement at age 75 (February 27, 2011). Mahony has said that the current class of seminarians will be the last one he personally ordains.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Successor chosen for Cardinal Mahony in Los Angeles?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic Culture

Pope Benedict XVI will soon appoint a coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles, according to an American Catholic blogger. Writing on the Catholic Vote Action blog, and citing “reliable authority,” Thomas Peters says that Cardinal Roger Mahony has approved the coadjutor, and an announcement is imminent. The coadjutor would succeed Cardinal Mahony when he retires.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

BISHOP DRENNAN FACING FURTHER CALLS TO RESIGN

IRELAND
Galway Bay

The Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan is facing further calls to resign.

He's attending a meeting of the country's bishops in Maynooth this afternoon ahead of a meeting in Rome with the Pope next month.

All the bishops were summoned to Rome by Pope Benedict the 16th to discuss the Murphy Report into the handling of clerical sexual abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese.

Bishop Drennan says he wasn't criticised in the report and is refusing to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

BUDGETS OF HOLY SEE AND GOVERNORATE OF VATICAN CITY STATE

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 22 JAN 2010 (VIS) - A communique published today announces that the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organisational and Economic Problems of the Holy See met on 20 and 21 January under the presidency of Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.

The order of the day "was the discussion of the consolidated budget of the Holy See and the budget of the Governorate of Vatican City State, for the year 2010".

During the meeting Archbishop Velasio De Paolis C.S., president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, explained that "the largest cost is that concerning the payment of employees who work in the Vatican, whose number stands at 2,668. Although it is foreseen that these costs will be contained, the relative financial burden is nonetheless growing because of the adjustment of wages to the cost of living. In addition, there are the costs concerning Vatican Radio and other media institutions": the Vatican Press, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Publishing House and the Vatican Television Centre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Priests back Bishop ahead of Rome trip

IRELAND
Galway City Tribune

THE Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has confirmed he will travel to Rome next month after Pope Benedict XVI summoned Ireland’s Catholic Bishops to discuss the Church’s child clerical abuse scandals for the past 15 years.

The Pontiff called the meeting to address the anger and shock felt by Catholics in Ireland following the publication of the Ryan and Murphy reports, which detailed a litany of horrific clerical abuse of children.

Although Bishop Drennan’s role as an Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin from 1997 to 2005, a period covered by the Murphy Report into clerical abuses in the Diocese, is likely to come under scrutiny during the Vatican visit, he remains adamant this week that he doesn’t need to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Ex-priest faces sentencing for 18 sex offences

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Friday, January 22, 2010

A retired priest who worked on New Brunswick's Acadian Peninsula for 30 years will be sentenced Friday for 18 sex-related offences.

Levi Noel, 84, pleaded guilty last October to the charges, including gross indecency and indecent assault, for incidents between 1958 and 1981 while he was a priest in northeastern New Brunswick.

Noel will be sentenced at a court in Tracadie-Sheila.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Rembert Weakland and the Affirmation of Our Institutions

WISCONSIN
Brookfield Now

By Tom Gehl
Jan. 22, 2010

This is a tough one to write.

On this web site appears an article about an ex-priest convicted of sexually assaulting two young boys. The trauma of such an event inflicted upon those lives is so deep; the level of betrayal from a source that should have stood for all that is good and noble is so profound. What do we say in the face of such horror? Our hearts can only grieve for the victims as we mutely consider the irretrievable value of a lost and ruptured childhood, and the enduring emotional pain.

I have no animosity towards the Catholic Church - on the contrary. I was raised Catholic, admire much about the teachings and members of the Church, and remain convinced that John Paul II was one of the great world leaders of the last fifty years. I believe that had the magnitude of the Church's problem surfaced when he was in a state of physical health and mental vigor, the halls of the Vatican would have vibrated with anger and action. A man who in his youth repeatedly put his life at risk to stand up to Hitler and Stalin would not have blanched from the task of cleaning his own house.

But this problem is bigger than the Catholic Church, and ALL OF US, regardless of our espoused faith, should be concerned about it. And that is why I take up this painful issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Issue of women committed to Magdalenes Laundries needs to be resolved

IRELAND
Labour

Statement by Joan Burton TD
Labour Spokesperson on Finance

The issue of women who were committed to Magdalenes Laundries is one of the last unresolved issues of the hidden Ireland of institutions, religious orders and the State, so eloquently set out in the Ryan report and a whole series of articles, films and programmes.

Just before Christmas, the ‘Justice for Magdalene’ group met with senior officials in the Department of Justice. At that meeting, Mr. James Martin, Assistant Secretary, stated that after the passage of the Criminal Justice Act (1960), the Department of Justice referred women to the Magdalenes Laundries and paid a capitation grant for each woman so referred.

I welcome the admission by the Department of Justice that “women were routinely referred to various Magdalene Asylums via the Irish court system, in an arrangement entered into by members of the judiciary and the four religious congregations operating Magdalene Laundries in the State.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Paradigm Shift: When Catholics Apologize

UNITED STATES
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

On the second Saturday of January 2008, at Ascension Catholic Church a parish staffed by Franciscan priests, Steve Fearing found support for healing and reconciliation from Compassionate Gathering, our mixed group of clergy abuse survivors and other Catholics. Steve, a slight man with curly, gray hair, was abused during his early teens by a Franciscan priest. Until he came to Compassionate Gathering, Steve struggled mostly alone to heal himself.

Gatherings are held almost every month and often included the Franciscan pastor of Ascension, Fr. Armando Lopez. In January 2008, Gathering participants discussed the Sackcloth Penance Patch, a way ordinary Catholics can apologize to survivors of clergy abuse. We composed a letter to send to other parishes to tell them about the Patch. Everyone’s input was elicited. Fr. Armando, who was present, acted as a co-equal with Steve and other survivors and parishioners.

On the second Saturday of February 2008, Steve returned to Ascension to share his story with Compassionate Gathering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Investigate Ex-Teacher For Sex Abuse

ILLINOIS
Southwest News-Herald

By JUSTYNA KRUK

A former St. Rita faculty member has been temporarily released from his position as head of Senior Services for the City of Berwyn pending a police investigation into molestation charges.

In 1997, a civil lawsuit was filed against former theology teacher and soccer coach Frank Paduch, alleging the former Augustinian brother sexually abused a freshman male in 1980-81.

The lawsuit was settled two years later for an undisclosed amount.

Since 2005, Paduch has been working for the City of Berwyn as a Senior Advocate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Paul Verryn suspended for defying his boss

SOUTH AFRICA
Eyewitness News

Micel Schnehage

Eyewitness News understands suspended Methodist Church Reverend Paul Verryn is facing two charges for defying instructions from the presiding Bishop Ivan Abrahams.

The church announced that he will no longer look after the interests of the mission.

Last year, Eyewitness News revealed that children were prostituting themselves at the church to survive but Verryn’s suspension is not related to that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

DA: Give Verryn some credit

SOUTH AFRICA
News 24

Johannesburg - Suspended Johannesburg Central Methodist Church bishop Paul Verryn should be recognised for his humanity, the DA said on Friday.

"The suspension of Bishop Paul Verryn is a new twist in the long-running saga of refugees who crowd the Central Methodist Church in central Johannesburg," said Gauteng Democratic Alliance spokesman Jack Bloom.

"I hope that it assists the resolution of this thorny problem in which Verryn was increasingly seen as a stumbling block."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

New leadership planned for Paul Verryn’s church

SOUTH AFRICA
Eyewitness News

Micel Schnehage

Central Methodist Church’s Reverend Paul Verryn has been suspended but the church said structures will be put in place to ensure the mission is run properly.

Verryn was relieved of his duties earlier this week, on unspecified charges.

Last year, Eyewitness News revealed that children were being forced to prostitute themselves at the church to survive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Church suspends friend of Zimbabwe

SOUTH AFRICA
The Zimbabwe Times

By Munyaradzi Mutizwa

Johannesburg Central Methodist Church (CMC) Bishop Paul Verryn, a man who has played a leading role in administering to the welfare and needs of desperate Zimbabwean and other refugees in the South African city of Johannesburg, has been suspended The Zimbabwe Times has been told from his position in the church.Verryn has been under a lot of pressure from the church after applying to the Johannesburg high court for the appointment of a curator at the Church last year.

The presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Ivan Abrahams said the application was invalid.

Abrahams said details of the suspension could not be revealed because the matter, was sub judice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

No word from Verryn on his suspension

SOUTH AFRICA
Eyewitness News

Micel Schnehage

Reverend Paul Verryn has gone to ground after his suspension from the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.

The church announced his suspension on unspecified charges earlier this week.

Last year, Eyewitness News revealed that children, seeking refuge at the mission, were being forced to prostitute themselves in order to survive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

S.African church suspends bishop helping migrants

SOUTH AFRICA
AFP

JOHANNESBURG — The Methodist Church has suspended a South African bishop who sheltered thousands of Zimbabweans fleeing their troubled nation, amid claims of sexual abuse against his church, newspapers reported.

Bishop Paul Verryn of the Central Methodist Church in downtown Johannesburg had in the past months clashed with city officials and the church leadership over the living conditions of people housed in the church building.

Verryn, a former anti-apartheid activist, has been "charged and would appear before a church disciplinary hearing on February 1," church lawyer Bongani Khoza told The Star newspaper, without detailing the accusations against the bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Delaware crime: Ex-judge admits molesting boy

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By SEAN O'SULLIVAN • The News Journal • January 22, 2010

WILMINGTON -- Standing in front of the building where William C. Bradley Jr. had been a judge until last week, attorneys Thursday handed out a one-page, two-sentence statement from the former jurist admitting he molested an 11-year-old boy more than 30 years ago.

For Gregory Kelly, now 44, it was the vindication he has been seeking for decades. ...

Judith Miller, the Delaware coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called Thursday's news a "tremendous victory."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Church governance to be focus of papal meeting

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

THE GOVERNANCE of the Catholic Church in Ireland is likely to be at the heart of two days of discussions between Pope Benedict, senior Curia cardinals and the Irish bishops when they gather in Rome next month for a meeting to examine the implications of the church’s 15-year clerical child abuse crisis.

Plans for the meeting will be discussed at an extraordinary general meeting of the Irish bishops at Maynooth tomorrow.

Vatican senior spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi yesterday confirmed Irish media leaks that the bishops’ meeting with the pope will take place in the Vatican on February 15th and 16th but he was unable to give any further details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

A papal reckoning for the Irish bishops

IRELAND
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Keith Chappell guardian.co.uk, Friday 22 January 2010

I was asked to write this article as a Catholic: as a Catholic the reality that a pope has to summon bishops from any part of the world to discuss child abuse in which Catholic clergy have been involved is distressing. As a European citizen the fact that the horrors that have been uncovered in Ireland are so significant in number, so long term in nature, and so shocking in their depravity means that one can only be aware that words do not do justice to the plight of those whose lives will have been so gravely harmed. In such circumstances only prosecution where prosecution is due is an appropriate response. Prosecution and, no doubt, fulsome apologies and financial reparations – even though no amount of cash can ever restore the locust years of a stolen life.

But as the Irish bishops travel to Rome, deeper questions will have to be asked. While on the one hand the virtues of a richly lived life of faith can give rise to striking acts of altruism – Desmond Tutu and Kim Dae Jung are but two examples – the Irish experience seems to point to an equally compelling reality: namely that parts of the Catholic communion have, at times, developed the propensity to turn in on themselves without confidence, self awareness or care. The violent whisper that can urge some clergy, and others, to "protect the church from scandal" at the expense of a child's human flourishing must never again be tolerated. Neither must the impulse to do the wrong thing be legitimated by only blaming its extent on the perpetrators of the acts rather than all those who, somehow, became involved by sins of omission and commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Bishop Walsh thought of quitting for love

IRELAND
The Independent (United Kingdom)

Bishop of Killaloe Willie Walsh yesterday revealed that he seriously considered leaving the priesthood in the past due to the church's over-emphasis on sexuality.

Dr Walsh, 75, who is about to retire from his post, spoke about how he had been attracted to a number of people during the course of his priesthood and how he was confident that the feelings had been reciprocated.

However, he added that he was pleased he had not left the priesthood and said that there was no guarantee he would have been happy in marriage.

In a wide-ranging interview with local radio station Clare FM, Dr Walsh also said that he was "extremely disappointed " with the Vatican response to inquiries by the Murphy commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

A dark cloud hangs over Verryn

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

Beauregard Tromp

A renowned former anti-apartheid cleric, Bishop Paul Verryn, has been suspended from the Methodist Church while the intelligence services are investigating various claims against him and the Joburg CBD mission.

Church officials confirmed that the bishop, who was based in Orlando West, Soweto, and worked with, among others, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, had been suspended from all activities within the church, but refused to divulge details.

The Gauteng Legislature called for the closure of the church after an inspection by a team headed by health and social development portfolio committee chairwoman Molebatsi Bopape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

VOTFI statement on the pending papal pastoral letter to Ireland - 21st Jan, 2010

IRELAND
Voice of the Faithful - Ireland

The moral authority of the papacy in Ireland, and of Catholic bishops here, is likely to collapse if the promised papal pastoral letter to Ireland does not squarely address the issue of the widespread cover up by bishops of the outrage of clerical child sexual abuse.

Despite the strong leadership shown by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, the prestige and authority of Catholic bishops in Ireland, and of the papacy, continue to decline in the wake of the Murphy report of November 26, 2009.

Especially damaging was the admission by the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference on December 9th, 2009 that the Murphy report indicated a widespread culture of covering up of clerical child sexual abuse in the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Group urges bishop resignations

IRELAND
The Irish Times

JASON MICHAEL

A Catholic lay organisation has called for the immediate resignation of all Irish bishops implicated in the covering up of clerical child sexual abuse as found by the Murphy report.

The call comes as Catholic bishops gather in Maynooth today for an extraordinary general meeting. The EGM is discussing the summoning of Irish bishops to Rome by the Pope in the wake of the Murphy report.

In a statement, Voice of the Faithful Ireland (VOTFI) said the moral authority of the papacy in Ireland, and of Catholic bishops, is likely to collapse "if the promised papal pastoral letter to Ireland does not squarely address the issue of the widespread cover up by bishops of the outrage of clerical child sexual abuse".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Group calls for bishops to resign

IRELAND
RTE News

[with audio]

Friday, 22 January 2010
All bishops who enabled cover-ups of clerical child sexual abuse in Ireland should have resigned last month, according to a lay organisation.

Voice of the Faithful Ireland, which describes its members as mainstream, also says Pope Benedict XVI should have ordered an investigation into what it calls a 'world-wide culture of cover-up'.

In a statement, the organisation says it deplores reluctance of bishops to resign on account of being implicated in what the hierarchy admitted last month was a widespread culture of covering up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Bishops meet to prepare for showdown with Pope

IRELAND
Ireland Online

The country's Catholic bishops are to hold an extraordinary meeting this morning to prepare for Pope Benedict's pastoral letter on the fallout from the Murphy Report.

They will also have to speak directly to the Pontiff about the clerical child abuse scandals next month when they meet with him at a specially convened meeting in February.

Following a meeting with Cardinal Seán Beady and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the Pope vowed to write a letter clearly indicating the initiatives that were to be taken in response to the Murphy Commission's revelations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Verryn to face committee

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

Suspended Johannesburg Central Methodist Church Bishop Paul Verryn will appear before a disciplinary committee on February 1.

"He has been charged with transgressing the laws and discipline of the church, essentially the constitution of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa," the church said in a statement on Friday.

An attorney working for a firm that acts on behalf of the church, Bongani Khoza would not say what the reason for Verryn's suspension was. He was suspended on Tuesday but the church only announced it on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

NPA tight-lipped on Methodist Church sex abuse matter

SOUTH AFRICA
City Press

THE National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) remained tight-lipped today regarding its investigations into allegations of sexual abuse at the Johannesburg Central Methodist Church.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga admitted the NPA was asked to investigate acts of sexual abuse at the church last year but declined to divulge details of a report compiled following its investigations.

“There was indeed a complaint submitted to us, which we considered and presented to the SAPS. A decision was then taken on the matter... unfortunately we can’t disclose that decision to the media until such is communicated to the affected parties,” said Mhaga.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Ex-pastor who killed wife gets 65-year prison term

WACO (TX)
Sacramento Bee

By ANGELA K. BROWN
Associated Press Writer

WACO, Texas -- Jurors on Thursday sentenced a former Texas minister to 65 years in prison for murdering his wife and trying to cover it up as a suicide.

Jurors deliberated for about two hours before agreeing on the sentence for 38-year-old Matt Baker. He had faced from probation to life in prison for slipping his wife sleeping pills and suffocating her in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Attorney alleges ranch director paid for witness’ silence

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Kevin Graman The Spokesman-Review

An unexpected witness may testify that former Morning Star Boys’ Ranch director Joseph Weitensteiner had him procure boys for sex and then gave the witness money years later to keep it quiet, according to a motion Thursday in the first sex-abuse trial against the ranch.

The dramatic revelation in the lawsuit by Kenneth Putnam came outside the presence of the Superior Court jury when Judge Kathleen O’Connor demanded to know why Putnam’s attorney had called an unscheduled witness three weeks into proceedings.

That witness is Michael Clarke, a former boys’ ranch resident who is currently an inmate at the Airway Heights Corrections Center on a conviction of first-degree theft.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Priest accused of molesting St. Charles child makes first court appearance

ST. CHARLES (IL)
St. Charles Republican

By Hal Conick, hconick@mysuburbanlife.com
St. Charles Republican

St. Charles, IL — After being charged with sexually assaulting a St. Charles child over a period of five years, a Shorewood Catholic priest made his first appearance in court Thursday.

Alejandro Flores, 37, has been charged with one count of predatory criminal sexual assault, which could carry up to 30 years in jail; two counts of sexual assault, which could carry up to 15 years in jail; and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, which each carry up to seven years in jail.

Flores, of the 600 block of Brook Forest Avenue in Shorewood, is a member of the Diocese of Joliet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Priest tells court of shock at indecent assault allegations

IRELAND
The Irish Times

A PRIEST accused of sexually abusing a Co Louth teenager almost 30 years ago told gardaí that he was shocked by the allegations and did not know why the woman would make such false claims.

Fr Maelíosa Ó Hauallacháin (72) of Seafield Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, pleaded not guilty to three charges of indecent assault on dates between July 31st, 1981, and August 2nd, 1982, when the complainant was between 13 and 14 years old.

The accused told gardaí that he was not the “source” of the woman’s troubles and he prayed that they would pass some day. He later said that he was “deeply hurt by these false and wrong allegations” and did not know why she had chosen him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Details surface in case against priest

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Clifford Ward, Special to the Tribune

January 21, 2010

The Catholic priest who attempted suicide after being accused of sexually assaulting a young boy had a close relationship with the boy's family, authorities said Thursday.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, 37, was arraigned in Kane County Court on seven felony counts that allege the Bolivian-born priest molested the boy over a five-year period, starting in January 2005, when the boy would have been 8.

Flores, who was ordained last year, was a seminarian assigned to St. Mary Catholic Church in West Chicago when the alleged abuse began. Authorities alleged that abuse also took place at the boy's home and in Flores' vehicle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Lawyer: Priest charged with abuse could be deported

ST. CHARLES (IL)
The Fox Valley Villages Sun

January 22, 2010

By ERIKA WURST ewurst@scn1.com

A priest accused of sexually assaulting a St. Charles boy could face deportation if convicted on the charges, according to Kane County prosecutors.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, who until recently served at Holy Family Church in Shorewood, had his first appearance in Kane County Court on Thursday. His attorney said the priest is expected to plead not guilty to the seven felony charges filed against him.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores has been charged Wednesday with seven felonies for allegedly having sexual contact with a now-13-year-old boy between 2005 and 2010. Flores reportedly is the child's godfather.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Victim advocate calls for information on former priest

ST. AUGUSTINE (FL)
St. Augustine Record

By JENNIFER EDWARDS
An advocate for clergy abuse victims visited St. Augustine on Thursday to encourage anyone victimized by a former Catholic priest with a residence in St. Johns County to come forward.

David Clohessy, national director of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, (SNAP) said James R. Blume, 64, pleaded guilty Jan. 15 to two counts of sexually assaulting minors under his care in 1978 and 1979.

He entered his plea Jan. 15 in a Waukesha County, Wis., courtroom and is scheduled to be sentenced March 26, according to Milwaukee news media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Ruling in priest sex abuse case may set precedent

INDIANA
Indianapolis Star

By Robert King
Posted: January 22, 2010

A Marion County judge will let jurors hear testimony about the "repressed memories" of a man whose allegation of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest is based on memories so painful that experts say he lost access to them for decades.

The decision by Superior Court Judge David Dreyer could break new ground in Indiana. Henry Karlson, an Indiana University law scholar, said he's not aware of a case in Indiana in which a jury has been allowed to hear evidence about repressed memories.

The case involves a man identified in court papers as John Doe RG. Now a 44-year-old business executive, he contends that, as a boy, he was repeatedly molested by former Indianapolis priest Harry Monroe while he was a parishioner at St. Andrew Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Vatican summons Irish bishops over pedophilia

IRELAND
Press TV (Iran)

Pope Benedict XVI has summoned Irish bishops to the Vatican over the shocking official account of sexual child abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Ireland.

The pontiff is expected to sketch a way forward for unspecified senior clerics during a two-day meeting in mid-February. This is in the wake of an earlier Irish government report that implicated a number of priests for involvement in pedophilia. They were members of the Dublin archdiocese, Ireland's most important and populated Catholic Church.

In the government description of the sex scandal, one priest was depicted as ''sexually molesting tens of children committed to the church,” while another was charged with sexual enslavement of children for around 30 years. Both priests admitted to the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

January 21, 2010

Priest Abuse Survivors Group Issues Local Warning

ST. AUGUSTINE (FL)
First Coast News

Mike Lyons Taren Reed

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests flew into the nation's oldest city to announce that a former priest just plead guilty to abuse and is living in St. Johns County.

David Clohessy is with SNAP and said that former priest James R. Blume plead guilty last week in a Wisconsin court to abusing a boy in the late 70's and another boy in the early 80's.

Blume has been living in Hastings, Florida, said Clohessy, and is currently awaiting sentencing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

UPDATE: Jury Deliberates Punishment For Former Waco Pastor Matt Baker

WACO (TX)
KWTX

WACO (January 21, 2010)—Jury deliberations were underway Thursday afternoon in the punishment phase of the murder trial of former Waco pastor Matt Baker, 38, who was convicted Wednesday night in the April 2006 death of his wife Kari Lynn who authorities say was drugged, handcuffed to the bed under the guise of amorous play and the suffocated with a pillow.

In Court Right Now

3:14 p.m. The jury heads to the jury room to start deliberations in the punishment phase of the Matt Baker trial.

3:14 p.m. "We look forward to your verdict." Shafer says.

3:12 p.m. "We are not worried about a fine, we just want a good long number of years. We want to send a message to men like Matt....You can not erase a life and be out with just a slap on the wrist, and I know you will never do that." Shafer says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Jury deciding penalty for former Texas minister

WACO (TX)
Houston Chronicle

By ANGELA K. BROWN Associated Press Writer
Jan. 21, 2010

WACO, Texas — Jurors have started deliberating the punishment for a former Texas minister convicted of killing his wife and trying to cover it up as a suicide.

Matt Baker, 38, faces up to life in prison for slipping his wife sleeping pills, suffocating her and faking her suicide note in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

The Church Should Be No Cordon For The Sexually Depraved!

GHANA
Modern Ghana

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
At the Resurrection Methodist Church in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, some of the elders and many congregants are reported to be incensed over the alleged rape of a young woman by a prominent priest. The young woman had, reportedly, been sent to deliver a package to the accused, only to be luridly and unexpectedly fondled and brutally raped. The cleric, whose name has been given as Rt.-Rev. Quao Agyiri, has yet to clarify the allegation, let alone assist the Accra police with possible investigation of the alleged incident (See “Sex Scandal Hits Methodist Church; Bishop Fingered” MyJoyOnline.com 1/20/10).

What appears to be complicating matters right now, is the fact that the accused is reported to have flown into the United States as rumors about his alleged crime began to attract wide public attention. At the time of this writing (1/20/10), no official information had been given regarding either the veracity of the accusation or whether the presiding prelate of the church and/or other highly placed members of the church had known about the rape allegation prior to Rev. Quao Agyiri's apparently rushed departure for the United States on an unspecified mission. And, also, if any of the church authorities had been in the know about the aforesaid allegation, what any of them would have said or done about it before the alleged clerical rapist was able to ship out of town, as it were.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Priest arraigned on abuse charges in Kane County

ILLINOIS
Chicago Breaking News

The priest accused of sexually assaulting a young boy appeared at a hearing today where details of the five-year abusive relationship were released.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, 37, was arraigned on seven felony counts that alleged the Bolivian-born priest molested the youth, starting in January 2005 when the boy would have been eight years old.

Authorities alleged the abuse took place in Flores' vehicle and at the St. Charles home of the victim's mother. At the time, Flores, who was ordained in 2009, was a seminarian assigned to St. Mary's Catholic Church in West Chicago, and he had a relationship with the victim's family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Police probe alleged priest’s suicide

UGANDA
The New Vision

Thursday, 21st January, 2010

By Eddie Ssejjoba

The Police in Mpigi are investigating the circumstances under which a Church of Uganda archdeacon was found hanging in his room recently in a suspected suicide.

Can. John Martin Kiwanuka of Mpenja in Gomba was found dead inside his single room.

The central region Police publicist, Lameka Kigozi, said one of Kiwanuka’s sons, who is also a priest, Rev. Wilberforce Ssekisiko, reported the death to the Police. ...

The officer in charge CID at Mpigi Police station, Joshua Owor, said the Police were investigating reports that the priest committed suicide after he was accused of defiling and making a girl pregnant.

He added that there were reports that before his death, the priest had an exchange with the one of the parents of the alleged victim who reportedly threatened to take the matter to the Police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Church making progress in dealing with sexual abuse

CANADA
Western Catholic Reporter

DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
Investigative journalist Michael Harris has seen a "tremendous policy change" in the Catholic Church since he broke the story of sexual and physical abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage in the late 1980s.

"There has been a true response to the real problem instead of musical parishes, private deals and chequebook dispensations," said the author of Unholy Orders: Tragedy at Mount Cashel. "I have a good feeling that the next generation of Catholic priests will not be in this position."

Despite the improvements, the child pornography charges Bishop Raymond Lahey and revelations of a sexual abuse settlement concerning the late Father Des McGrath, "keep reversing the sense of progress," said Harris.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Top court to hear Quebec City woman's sex assault case

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case of a Quebec City woman who wants to sue a priest who sexually abused her when she was a child in the1970s.

The woman filed a lawsuit against Rev. Paul-Henri LaChance and the Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec City three years ago — three decades after the abuse happened. Two lower courts previously ruled that she waited too long to take legal action.

LaChance pleaded guilty in 2008 to a charge of gross indecency against the woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Boys ranch ex-director testifies

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Kevin Graman The Spokesman-Review

Patrick O’Donnell – whose infamy as the abuser of as many as 66 children was inextricably linked to the scandal that bankrupted the Catholic Diocese of Spokane – also insinuated himself into Morning Star Boys’ Ranch, a Superior Court jury was told on Wednesday.

The former director and a former resident of the nonprofit home for troubled boys testified in the case of Kenneth Putnam v. Morning Star Boys’ Ranch about their acquaintance with the defrocked priest O’Donnell.

Putnam accuses the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, 77, who retired as ranch director in 2006, and a now-deceased ranch counselor, Doyle Gillum, of sexually molesting him while he was a resident of the ranch in about 1986.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Controversial bishop suspended

SOUTH AFRICA
News 24

Johannesburg - Johannesburg Central Methodist Church bishop, Paul Verryn, has been suspended from the Methodist Church of SA, a lawyer said on Thursday.

"He has been suspended and charged in an internal process," said attorney Bongani Khoza, who works for a firm that acts on behalf of the Methodist Church.

Khoza said Verryn was suspended on Tuesday. He said the reasons for the suspension could not be disclosed. Verryn would appear before a church disciplinary committee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

Verryn suspended as Central Methodist Church custodian

SOUTH AFRICA
Eyewitness News

Micel Schnehage

Eyewitness News has learnt Reverend Paul Verryn has been suspended as head of the Central Methodist Church in downtown Johannesburg.

Verryn was criticised in recent months for not doing enough to deal with allegations of sexual abuse of children at the mission.

Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Ivan Abrahams said details of the suspension could not be revealed because the matter was sub judice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Priest's abuse made girl (13) ill, court is told

IRELAND
Herald

By Sonya McClean

Thursday January 21 2010

A woman who claims she was sexually abused by her local priest has denied before a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury that she had suffered from delusions or auditory hallucinations.

Father Maeliosa O Hauallachain (72) of Seafield Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to three charges of indecent assault in a confessional box and a friary attached to a Louth church on dates between July 31, 1981 and August 2, 1982, when the complainant was between 13 and 14 years old.

The complainant, now 42, told Hugh Hartnett, defending, that she had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital on a number of occasions but said: "My problems started for me when I was abused. I was perfect up until then."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

Ex- coach's motion for mistrial fails in sex-talk case

FREEHOLD (NJ)
Daily Record

By CHARLES WEBSTER • GANNETT NEW JERSEY • January 21, 2010

FREEHOLD — Closing arguments in the trial of former high school baseball coach Bartholomew McInerney were delayed for more than an hour Wednesday as the judge sorted through allegations that several jurors were overheard discussing the case.

State Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Jr. halted the trial of Bartholomew McInerney, who coached at St. Rose High School, Belmar, before the afternoon session was set to begin after defense attorney Charles J. Uliano alerted the judge that four jurors, sitting at a table in the basement of the courthouse during the lunch break, were overheard discussing the case.

Jurors are customarily instructed not to talk about the trial they are hearing until they begin deliberating. The accusations in this case sparked some dramatic moments as Uliano called for a mistrial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

In Boston, sex probe builds against ex-Christ the King high school basketball coach Bob Oliva

NEW YORK/BOSTON
New York Daily News

BY Michael O'Keeffe
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Thursday, January 21st 2010, 4:00 AM

Authorities in Boston appear to be wrapping up their investigation into allegations that Bob Oliva, the legendary Christ the King Regional High School boys basketball coach who resigned last year amid allegations of sexual abuse, molested a family friend during a trip to Massachusetts more than 30 years ago.

One former Oliva associate who requested anonymity said Suffolk County, Mass., prosecutors had asked him if he would appear before a grand jury. Two men who claim they were also abused by Oliva said they were recently interviewed by investigators who asked them to corroborate information obtained by other witnesses. Both asked for anonymity.

"He said he wanted to follow up on questions they had asked me earlier," one of the men said, referring to a Suffolk County investigator. "He said they are really going hard at this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Glen Ellyn church 'shocked, stunned' by child porn arrest

GLEN ELLYN (IL)
Daily Herald

By Lee Filas and Jake Griffin | Daily Herald Staff

The music director of a Glen Ellyn church and his 20-year-old roommate have been charged with possession of child pornography, DuPage County prosecutors said Wednesday.

Brian K. Milnikel, 45, of the 800 block of Nelli Court in Naperville, and his roommate, Christopher F. Kontopoulos, 20, have been charged with felonies that could bring punishments ranging from probation to five year in prison, Assistant State's Attorney Brian Perkins said. ...

Milnikel worked as full-time music director at St. James the Apostle Church of Glen Ellyn, he said in court Wednesday. He has also taught music at several other area churches for the previous 20 years.

Milnikel worked as music director or associate music director at St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Naperville and Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle, records indicate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Church music director charged with having child porn

GLEN ELLYN (IL)
Chicago Press Release Services

A Glen Ellyn church music director and his roommate have been charged with possession of child pornography, authorities said today.

Brian Milnikel, 45, music director at St. James the Apostle Roman Catholic School in the western suburb, and Christopher Kontopoulos, 20, both of the 800 block of Nelli Court in Naperville, had bonds of $200,000 and $100,000 respectively set for them this morning by DuPage Judge Liam Brennan.

(An earlier version of this story inaccurately reported the name of the church.)

Assistant States Attorney Brian Perkins told Brennan that Naperville police have been investigating the pair since October.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Teacher arrested on child porn charges

GLEN ELLYN (IL)
WGN

[with video]

A Glen Ellyn church music director and his roommate have been charged with possessing child porn.

45-year-old Brian Milnikel has taught at St. John the Apostle Roman Catholic School for two decades.

Police say he and 20-year-old Christopher Kontopoulos, both of Naperville, admitted to downloading and watching videos together.

Police do not believe they had any inappropriate physical contact with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Church music director fired after being charged with child porn possession

GLEN ELLYN (IL)
Glen Ellyn News

By Nick Vogel, nvogel@mysuburbanlife.com
Glen Ellyn News

Glen Ellyn, IL — The DuPage County State's Attorney's office has charged Brian Milnikel — a music director at St. James the Apostle Church in Glen Ellyn — and his roommate for possession of child pornography.

Milnikel, 45, and Christopher Kontopoulos, 20, both of 894 Nelli Court, Naperville, were charged after police executed a search warrant at their residence, Jan. 19 at 6:15 a.m.

During the execution of the search warrant several computers were seized and police found content consistent with illegal child pornography, Naperville police say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Lawyers lay out cases in Morning Star trial

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Kevin Graman The Spokesman-Review

An attorney for a former resident of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch accused the group home for troubled boys of turning a blind eye to longstanding sexual abuse there, while an attorney representing the ranch claimed those making the accusations are motivated by money. Those statements came this morning as both sides in a civil lawsuit presented opening statements in Spokane County Superior Court.

Attorney Tim Kosnoff, who represents plaintiff Kenny Putnam, said Morning Star administrators knew or should have known that abuse was occurring and alleged two of the abusers were ranch directors. He was referring to the Rev. Marvin Lavoy, now deceased, and the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, who Putnam accuses of abusing him while a resident of the ranch in 1988-89.

“Management knew because they were doing it themselves,” Kosnoff said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Protecting children from sexual abuse topic of church seminar

OPELIKA (AL)
Press-Register

By Press-Register staff
January 21, 2010
OPELIKA, Ala. -- A seminar in Opelika on Wednesday discussed how parents, communities and churches can protect children from sexual abuse, according to a report by the Opelika-Auburn News.

Leaders from the faith, legal and law enforcement communities met for a "Crime Prevention in the Church" briefing sponsored by J. Lanier Smith & Co. at the First Baptist Church of Opelika to discuss strategies for preventing sexual abuse of children within the walls of their respective churches and beyond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Notorious Washington priest accused of molesting residents of boys’ home

WASHINGTON
Catholic Culture

January 21, 2010

Father Patrick O’Donnell, whose abuse of dozens of boys in the State of Washington helped bankrupt the Diocese of Spokane, has been accused of abusing residents of the Morning Star Boys Ranch, a home for troubled boys.

Also accused is Father Joseph Weitensteiner, who led the home for nearly four decades until his retirement in 2006. According to BishopAccountablity.org, Father Weitensteiner was
accused in 2005 of abuse of 2 boys in 70s & 80s at Morning Star Boys Ranch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Mo'Nique, Gabriel Byrne Shine Light on Sex Abuse

ABC News

[with video]

By LUCHINA FISHER
Jan. 21, 2010

When Mo'Nique gave her Golden Globe acceptance speech on Sunday, she dedicated her award to victims of abuse: "I celebrate this award with all the Preciouses, with all the Marys -- I celebrate this award with every person that's ever been touched. It's now time to tell. And it's OK."

The same night, actor Gabriel Byrne told an Irish television show that he was molested at seminary school at the age of 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Preliminary hearing held for four Amish elders

MISSOURI
Marshfield Mail

By Nicholas W. Inman
nicholasi@marshfieldmail.com
Published:
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In a case that has brought national attention to Webster County, the attorney for religious leaders of the local Amish community defended his clients at a preliminary hearing last Wednesday, Jan. 13.

The Amish did not appear for the hearing, as their appearance was waived by the court.

Defense attorney Will Worsham requested that Associate Circuit Court Judge Ken Thompson dismiss the charges against Christian J.F. Schwartz, Jacob P. Schwartz, Emmanuel M.S. Eicher and Peter M. Eicher, church elders each charged with one count of failure to report child abuse by a mandated reporter, a Class A misdemeanor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Ex-church youth club chief on 18 sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
The Herald

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A FORMER Plymouth youth club leader was due to appear in court today charged with 18 sexual offences including one count of attempted rape.

Dean Madavan, aged 43, of Campbell Drive, Cardiff, was arrested by police who carried out an eight-month investigation into allegations of child sex abuse from 1992 to 2002.

Madavan, who has been remanded into custody, also faces charges relating to the possession of indecent images of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Clarksville man pleads guilty to rape, assault

TENNESEE
The Leaf-Chronicle

By TAVIA D. GREEN • The Leaf-Chronicle • January 21, 2010

A Clarksville man pleaded guilty to assaulting and raping a woman in June 2009 on Tuesday in Judge John H. Gasaway's court.

Montrell Vene Ealum, 20, who was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $50,000 bond, was charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape.

Ealum entered a guilty plea to aggravated rape and received a 15-year sentence to serve with the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Ex-pastor faces life sentence after conviction

WACO (TX)
Belleville News-Democrat

By ANGELA K. BROWN - Associated Press Writer

WACO, Texas -- After convicting a former Texas minister of killing his wife, jurors on Thursday were to hear new evidence - possibly about sexual advances toward other women - as the punishment phase began.

Matt Baker, 38, faces up to life in prison for drugging and suffocating his wife, Kari, then faking her suicide note in 2006. Jurors deliberated more than seven hours before finding him guilty late Wednesday.

Prosecutors notified defense attorneys before the trial began that they planned to present evidence that Baker made sexual advances toward at least a dozen women, including some underage girls, over the past 18 years. Testimony about the allegations could come during the sentencing hearing, as they were mentioned during trial only in a vague comment by Baker's ex-mistress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Irish Bishops to Meet With Pope Again

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 20, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will meet again with Irish bishops as that country continues to recover from revelations about the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, confirmed today that the Pope has called Irish prelates to the Vatican for a Feb. 15-16 meeting.

Cardinal Sean Brady, archbishop of Armagh and president of the Irish episcopal conference, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin already met with the Holy Father last Dec. 11. They discussed the Murphy Commission Report, which details abuse cases in the Dublin Archdiocese from 1975 to 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Pope Summons Irish Bishops to Rome Once Again: Pastoral Letter to be released.

ROME
Catholic Online

By Deacon Keith Fournier
1/21/2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

ROME (Catholic Online) - The Irish Times carried an article on January 20, 2010 written by the papers reliable Rome correspondents Jason Michael and Paddy Agnew. The article claimed that Pope Benedict XVI has once again summoned Irish Bishops to Rome in the wake of the Ryan and Murphy Reports.

Such a high level and personal second meeting in less than two months is extraordinary. The claim of a second meeting has now been confirmed by the director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi. Irish Bishops will meet with the Pope on February 15 and 16, 2010.

Last December 11, 2009 the Pope met with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and Cardinal Sean Brady, the President of the Irish Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Armagh. The topic of that meeting was the horrible revelations of abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese between 1975 and 2004, as disclosed in the Murphy Commission Report, and in Catholic Schools, as disclosed in the Ryan Report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Church music director charged with child porn

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Tribune Reporters

January 20, 2010

The music director of a Roman Catholic parish in Glen Ellyn and his roommate have been charged with possession of child pornography.

Brian Milnikel, 45, music director at St. James the Apostle in the western suburb, and Christopher Kontopoulos, 20, both of the 800 block of Nelli Court in Naperville, had bail set at $200,000 and $100,000, respectively, by DuPage County Judge Liam Brennan on Wednesday. The two were arrested Tuesday morning by Naperville police.

Doug Delaney, spokesman for the Roman Catholic diocese of Joliet, said Milnikel was employed by St. James as music director since 2006. According to Delaney, one of Milnikel's responsibilities was leading the church children's choir, which was made up of about a dozen children from first and second grade. Milnikel practiced with the choir three days a month and there was always at least one parent present at the rehearsals, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Shorewood priest who plunged 20 feet charged in child-sex case

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Clifford Ward, Special to the Tribune

January 20, 2010

A priest who authorities say hurled himself from a church balcony in a suicide attempt after he was accused of molesting a boy has been charged with seven felonies, including predatory criminal sexual assault, Kane County authorities said Wednesday.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, 37, also was charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and two counts of criminal sexual assault for allegedly molesting the boy, now 13, at a West Chicago church where Flores was assigned as a seminarian, according to the Kane County state's attorney's office.

State's Attorney John Barsanti said Flores abused the St. Charles boy between Jan. 1, 2005, and Jan. 1, 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Questions linger in Plainville

PLAINVILLE (MA)
The Sun Chronicle

BY RICK FOSTER SUN CHRONICLE STAFF
Thursday, January 21, 2010

PLAINVILLE - The death of a popular Catholic priest two days after he was placed on leave pending investigation of a 15-year-old sexual abuse complaint took church officials by surprise and caused delays in getting information to the local parish, representatives of the Boston Archdiocese said Wednesday.

A diocesan panel led by Auxiliary Bishop John Dooher held an open meeting with members at St. Martha's Church Wednesday night, during which they answered questions about the archdiocese's procedures and listened to comments from parishioners - many of whom were upset about the handling of the case.

Some parishioners said they weren't satisfied with the church's explanation of its actions related to Rev. J. Garret Thomson, who died Jan. 6 at his home in New Hampshire two days after being informed he was being placed on leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

An Interview with Compassionate Gathering co-founder, Virginia Jones

UNITED STATES
Healing and Spirituality

Jaime Romo

Virginia Jones co-founded a group, Compassionate Gathering (www.compassionategathering.com) with clergy abuse survivor, Elizabeth Goeke, to bring survivors together with other Catholics for mutual healing and understanding. Other survivors and supporters came to the group for healing. One supporter decided to walk across Oregon in 2008 to stop child sex abuse. She asked Virginia for her help with the media. Virginia saw the potential for healing and outreach as well as consciousness raising and walked across Oregon again in 2009. She plans to keep walking across Oregon every summer to end child abuse.

JR: How did you get involved with the work to promote healing from clergy abuse?

VJ: I think this work found me rather me finding it. I was baptized Catholic in June 2001. Eleven months later the dynamic Franciscan priest who baptized me was removed because he abused boys. My first response was to believe everything the Catholic Church said, but from the very beginning something bothered me. Church leadership seemed insensitive to the needs of ordinary parishioners for healing. Our church had a wonderful Parochial Vicar, Fr. Chuck Talley. Fr. Church presided over several forums in the weeks that followed the removal of the abusive priest. People were very angry, very hurt, and very divided. Fr. Chuck managed to reach out to everyone on all sides and make them feel cared about and welcomed. But instead of making Fr. Chuck pastor, the Franciscans brought in a priest who I would describe as emotionally clunky.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 AM

Former Texas Pastor Convicted of Killing Wife

WACO (TX)
Fox News

WACO, Texas — A former Texas minister was convicted late Wednesday of slipping his wife sleeping pills, smothering her to death with a pillow and faking her suicide note so he could be with his mistress.

Jurors deliberated more than seven hours before convicting Matt Baker, 38, of murder in his wife's 2006 death, which initially was ruled a suicide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 AM

When Enemies Meet

UNITED STATES
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

My friend, Lupe, called me up today.

“What are you doing”? he asked.

“I’m working on my (financial) books and watching a documentary,” I replied.

He laughed because about half the time he calls me when my kids are not home, I am watching a documentary. Lupe and I have known each other since we were kids in our hometown of Colusa, California. He remembers well that I was the nerdy valedictorian of my high school graduating class. He still talks about me being “brainy.”

“Well, how do you think I got to be so brainy?” I asked. “I watch documentaries.”

The documentary I watched today made me want to write another blog. The movie was about a Jewish man whose wife’s father survived the Nazi Holocaust by hiding with his two brothers under the floorboards of a barn belonging to a Polish farmer and his wife. The Polish family’s neighbors suspected they were hiding Jews, and German soldiers came looking for them. Fortunately they didn’t find the trap door in the floor of the barn, and the three Jewish brothers survived as did the Polish family. The Nazis would have killed or imprisoned the Polish family if they had found the Jews. This act of altruism on the part of the Poles did contain some self interest. The Jewish brothers promised to pay them back, but life after World War II was hard. The brothers moved to the United States. Communication between the two families dwindled to nothing by 1959. ...

I think about that story often because many clergy abuse survivors feel the same way as this woman felt. Children have endured sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, nuns, monks, teachers, choir directors.........for more than 1700 years.

It is not OK. It will never be OK.

Never.

Never, never, never.

Way too little has been done to tell the painful truths in publics and heal the wounds we all carry from this abuse, but genuine apology and true reconciliation have happened, and when they do happen, they are transformative for everyone involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 AM

Face of Morning Star Boys Ranch testifies

WASHINGTON
KREM

[with video]

by KREM.com

Posted on January 20, 2010 at 8:35 PM

SPOKANE- He was the face of Morning Star Boys Ranch.

Wednesday, Father Joe Weitensteiner took the stand in the first of several lawsuits that allege widespread abuse at the South Hill facility.

Attorneys for plaintiff Kenny Putnam say this civil suit, the first against Morning Star to go to trial, will expose years of abuse and neglect at the ranch for troubled boys.

And while the defense tried to paint Putnam as a troubled man, all eyes were on Father Weitensteiner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 AM

Pedophile priest involvement at Morning Star detailed in court

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Kevin Graman The Spokesman-Review

Patrick O’Donnell – whose infamy as the abuser of as many as 66 children was inextricably linked to the scandal that bankrupted the Catholic Diocese of Spokane – also insinuated himself into Morning Star Boys Ranch, a Superior Court jury was told on Wednesday.

The former director and a former resident of the nonprofit home for troubled boys both testified in the case of Kenneth Putnam vs. Morning Star Boys Ranch about their acquaintance with the defrocked priest O’Donnell, an admitted pedophile.

Putnam accuses Fr. Jospeh Weitensteiner, 77, who retired as ranch director in 2006, and a now-deceased ranch counselor, Doyle Gillum, of sexually molesting him while he was a resident of the ranch in about 1986.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 AM

January 20, 2010

Actor Gabriel Byrne Was Molested By A Priest, He Reveals

CALIFORNIA
Perez Hilton

How awful!

Gabriel Byrne, best know for his work in The Usual Suspects, recently opened up to an Irish television show that he was molested when he was 11 years old while in seminary school. ...

One of the difficulties could have been his long battle with alcoholism, which he also discussed in the interview.

It's a very sad situation, one we're sure happens more than anyone would like it to.

Poor guy!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

Shorewood priest who tried to kill himself charged with 7 felonies

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Jameel Naqvi | Daily Herald Staff

A priest who tried to kill himself earlier this month after learning he was facing allegations of sexual abuse was formally charged on Wednesday, according to the Kane County state's attorney's office.

Alejandro Flores, 37, of the 600 block of Brook Forest Avenue in Shorewood, was charged with one count of predatory criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, all felonies that together carry a maximum sentence of 67 years in prison, the state's attorney's office said late Wednesday.

Authorities say Flores, who was parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish in Shorewood, sexually abused a boy younger than 13 between 2005 and 2010 while he was a seminarian assigned to St. Mary's Parish in West Chicago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 PM

Priest who jumped from balcony charged with sex abuse

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

BY KIM JANSSEN Staff Reporter
A priest who jumped from a 20-foot balcony after he was accused of molesting a west suburban boy has been charged with seven felony counts of sexual abuse.

Rev. Alejandro Flores, 37, of Shorewood, is accused of preying on the St. Charles boy over the last five years.

He jumped from the balcony of a shuttered church in Joliet, suffering serious head injuries Jan. 6 as detectives were driving to interview him about the alleged abuse. Bishop J. Peter Sartain characterized it as a suicide attempt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Galway prelate stays silent after clerical meeting

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By BRIAN McDONALD

Wednesday January 20 2010

BISHOP of Galway Dr Martin Drennan met his priests at St Mary's College in Galway city yesterday to discuss child protection measures in the diocese.

The bishop, who insisted he did nothing wrong in the wake of the publication of the Murphy report, did not comment on the fallout from the cover-up of clerical child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

Bishop Drennan to meet Pope in Rome showdown

IRELAND
Galway Advertiser

By Declan Varley

DEFIANT Bishop of Galway Dr Martin Drennan, who has refused to bow to calls for his resignation after his name was mentioned in The Murphy report into the handling of child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese, is to speak face to face with Pope Benedict in the Vatican next month as the pontiff draws up a response to the Irish abuse scandal.

The meeting to be held in Rome on Feb 15 and 16 — the two days before Ash Wednesday — is the first time that all bishops from one country have been summoned to the Eternal City together since the American hierarchy were called to the Vatican in 2002 in the wake of the US child abuse scandals which resulted in the resignation of several bishops and at least one cardinal.

The meeting is also being held to iron out differences in opinion among several bishops — differences which have been aired publicly in the past month by notable figures including Dr Drennan and the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin. Dr Drennan felt that his integrity had been questioned by some of Archbishop Martin’s remarks before Christmas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

Priest charged in sexual assault of St. Charles child

ST. CHARLES (IL)
St. Charles Republican

By staff reports
St. Charles Republican
Posted Jan 20, 2010

St. Charles, IL — A Shorewood priest has been charged with sexually assaulting a St. Charles child over five years starting in 2005.

Alejandro Flores, 37, of the 600 block of Brook Forest Ave. Shorewood, has been charged with one count of predatory criminal sexual assault, two counts of sexual assualt and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Authorities allege that between Jan. 1 of 2005 and Jan. 1 of 2010, Flores was alleged to have had sexual contact with a St. Charles minor who was younger than 13 when the alleged sexual contact began.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Priest taken into custody on sex assault charge

ILLINOIS
The Beacon-News

January 20, 2010

From Staff Reports

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP -- A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually preying on a young St. Charles boy over five years was charged Wednesday with seven felonies.

Alejandro Flores, 37, of Shorewood, was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault, and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to the Kane County state's attorney's office.

He is accused of having sexual contact with a St. Charles boy between Jan. 1, 2005, and Jan. 1, 2010. The boy was under the age of 13 when the alleged sexual contact began, the state's attorney said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Mondrowitz Escapes Another Trial

ISRAEL
Forward

By Nathan Jeffay
Published January 20, 2010, issue of January 29, 2010.

Haifa, Israel — For several dozen Americans who say they were sexually abused as children, news from Israel on January 14 ripped the scab off a still unhealed wound. Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that Avrohom Mondrowitz, their alleged abuser, will not be extradited to stand trial in America.

But that is not the only recent decision regarding Mondrowitz. The Forward has learned that Israeli prosecutors have decided Mondrowitz will not be charged in connection with child pornography they say they found in his home in 2007.

Justice Ministry spokeswoman, Adi Simchovitz said that the child pornography case against Mondrowitz was closed in March 2009 “for lack of evidence.” She declined to offer any details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

PENNSYLVANIA: Bishop appeals church court's decision

PENNSYLVANIA
Episcopal Life

By Mary Frances Schjonberg, January 20, 2010

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania Bishop Charles Bennison on Jan. 19 appealed a decision by an ecclesiastical trial court, asking that a 2008 ruling that the bishop engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy be overturned.

After Bennison's 2008 trial, the church's Court for the Trial of a Bishop found in February 2009 that 35 years ago when Bennison was rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Upland, California, he failed to respond properly after learning that his brother, John Bennison, a 24-year-old seminary student (later deacon and priest) whom he had hired as youth minister, was "engaged in a sexually abusive and sexually exploitive relationship" with a minor parishioner. The abuse allegedly lasted for more than three years from the time the minor was 14 years old.

Charles Bennison was found to have failed to discharge his pastoral obligations to the girl, the members of her family, and the members of the parish youth group as well as church authorities after he learned of his brother's behavior. The court said that he suppressed the information about his brother until 2006, when he disclosed publicly what he knew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Priest who tried suicide charged with sex assault

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

January 20, 2010

A priest who authorities say hurled himself from a church balcony after he was accused of molesting a boy was charged Wednesday with seven felonies, including predatory criminal sexual assault.

The Rev. Alejandro Flores, 37, was also charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and two counts of criminal sexual assault for allegedly molesting a 13-year-old boy at a West Chicago church where Flores was posted as a seminarian, according to the Kane County State's Attorney's office.

The state's attorney's office said Flores abused a St. Charles child over a five-year period between Jan. 1, 2005 and Jan 1, 2010. The child was younger than 13 when the abuse started, authorities said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

No attorneys allowed at Cathedral High School meetings of students with Christian Brothers staff

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

[with link to the parent-student handbook]

By Kay Ebeling

We have placed a call to Brother John Montgomery, the Principal, but so far he hasn't called back to explain Cathedral High School's policy of denying students a right to legal counsel when meeting with school officials. Yesterday, a City of Angels reader sent us the link to the Parent-Student Handbook because he found something "truly troubling" in the policy at the Christian Brothers run school for boys in Los Angeles.

"Since threatening or actually taking legal action against the school is indicative of an adversarial relationship," the Handbook says, "the Principal reserves the right to dismiss a student whose parent(s) or other party pursue such action on behalf of the student."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Pope summons bishops over abuse report

ROME
CNN

Rome, Italy (CNN) -- The pope has summoned several Irish bishops to the Vatican to discuss a report documenting child abuse by Irish clergy members, the Vatican spokesman said Wednesday.

The bishops will meet with Pope Benedict XVI in mid-February, said Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman.

The report, which came out in November, found that the Catholic Church in Ireland covered up "widespread" child abuse from 1975 to 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Perlitz: New Documents To Be Produced

CONNECTICUT
Fairfield Mirror

January 20, 2010
By: Chris Simmons Fairfield University and Haiti have been linked in the news for the past few months, as alumnus Doug Perlitz ’92 was indicted on ten counts involving sexual abuse of young Haitian boys. Perlitz founded Project Pierre Toussaint, a home and school in Cap-Haitien.

Over winter break, Perlitz’s attorneys filed a motion to extend the motion dates. Originally, the defendant’s motions were due on Jan. 11, the government’s response was due on Jan 26, and the defense reply by Feb. 8.

The motion argued that progress had been hampered on account of attorney illness and telephone difficulties at the Wyatt facility where Perlitz is being held. The government indicated that they would produce another large discovery soon (which would be in addition to approximately 8,000 pages of documents already produced).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Pope convenes Irish bishops for talks on priestly sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Courier

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has convened Ireland's bishops for a two-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the ongoing fallout from the priestly sex abuse scandal in the country.

The meeting will take place Feb. 15-16, and was expected to include the heads of major Vatican agencies. The Vatican press office confirmed the meeting, but did not specify what would be on the agenda.

According to sources in Ireland, the pope will address the bishops and each bishop will have seven minutes to offer his views on the crisis. The meeting was expected to produce some concrete proposals, with final reflections by the pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Pope calls special meeting with Irish bishops at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Jan 20, 2010 / 11:27 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI will meet with the Catholic bishops of Ireland in a private audience at the Holy See in February, according to news reports. The two-day meeting has been called to address the current situation of the Church in Ireland.

On Wednesday The Irish Catholic reported that the meetings would be convened from Feb. 15 - 16. Citing Vatican sources, the newspaper claimed that the agenda will include discussions between the bishops of Ireland, the Pope and members of the Roman Curia regarding the cases of clerical sex abuse made public in the Murphy Report last Nov. 26.

According to The Guardian, "all" of the bishops of Ireland have been summoned to the Holy See to take part in the discussions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Bishops face Pope on abuse scandal

IRELAND
Herald

Wednesday January 20 2010

Irish bishops have been hauled before Vatican chiefs in the wake of devastating child abuse scandals, it has emerged.

The 24 senior clergymen will hold face-to-face talks with Pope Benedict and his senior officials on February 15 and 16.

It comes as bishops prepare for a special conference in Maynooth this week to discuss the fall-out from the Murphy Report and a promised pastoral letter from the Pontiff to Irish Catholics over the abuse revelations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Pope, Irish bishops plan summit on child abuse

IRELAND
Washington Post

By SHAWN POGATCHNIK
The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

DUBLIN -- Ireland's Roman Catholic bishops are being summoned next month to an exceptional Vatican summit with Pope Benedict XVI to shape the pontiff's response to child-abuse scandals, church officials said Wednesday.

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, confirmed that the pope has written to Ireland's bishops inviting them to the Vatican Feb. 15-16, but he declined to provide any other details.

Two Irish church officials said the pope planned to speak both as a group and individually to Ireland's 27 bishops, three archbishops and Cardinal Sean Brady. They said the dialogue would influence Benedict's planned pastoral letter to Ireland's 4 million Catholics following revelations of widespread child abuse within the Irish church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Court rules Amish elders to stand trial

MISSOURI
South County Mail

By Nicholas W. Inman
nicholasi@marshfieldmail.com
Published:
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In a case that has brought national attention to Webster County, the attorney for religious leaders of the local Amish community defended his clients at a preliminary hearing last Wednesday, Jan. 13.

The Amish did not appear for the hearing, as their appearance was waived by the court.

Defense attorney Will Worsham requested that Associate Circuit Court Judge Ken Thompson dismiss the charges against Christian J.F. Schwartz, Jacob P. Schwartz, Emmanuel M.S. Eicher and Peter M. Eicher, church elders each charged with one count of failure to report child abuse by a mandated reporter, a Class A misdemeanor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

“Crises are not to be feared”

IRELAND
dotCommonweal

January 19, 2010, 4:24 pm Posted by Mollie Wilson O'Reilly

In December, Timothy Radcliffe, OP, addressed the clergy of the diocese of Dublin, now reeling from the latest revelations of sexual abuse and duplicity among the hierarchy. “Child abuse is a terrible crisis for the Church,” he said. “But I am convinced that it is through crisis that we may grow closer to God. It is a crisis caused by our own failures as a Church, but God can make it a blessing.”

The Tablet published the text of the talk in two parts. The first section, “Our Burden to Be Shared,” appeared in the December 19/26 issue (and is available to subscribers online). In it Radcliffe spoke frankly about the sources of anger directed at the clergy and the Church by scandalized people, and the need for a humbler, “friendship”-based approach to authority and moral teaching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Deposed bishop appeals church court's decision

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Lawyers for the Rev. Charles E. Bennison Jr., deposed bishop of the five-county Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, have asked a church appeals panel to overturn a church court's 2008 decision to defrock him and remove him as diocesan bishop.

That court, which convened in Philadelphia, ruled unanimously that Bennison had engaged in "conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy" when he concealed his brother John's sexual abuse of a minor girl. John Bennison was serving as youth minister at his brother's California parish in the mid-1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Priest Convicted of Abuse to Remain Incarcerated Until Trial

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Public Radio

Produced by Lynette Kalsnes on Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The debate continues over whether a former Catholic priest on Chicago's South Side convicted of sexual abuse should be committed for treatment.

Daniel McCormack served more than two years in prison for sexually abusing five boys. He's eligible for release, but prosecutors want him declared a sexually violent person so he'll be committed indefinitely.

Julia Bledsoe is a member of the parish where McCormack abused the boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Jailed priest back in Sandwich

SANDWICH (MA)
Cape Cod Times

By George Brennan
gbrennan@capecodonline.com
January 20, 2010

SANDWICH — A defrocked Roman Catholic priest, part of a sex scandal that rocked the Archdiocese of Boston, is back living in a Sandwich neighborhood.

Paul W. Hurley, 66, of 48 Old Fields Road, Sandwich, returned Friday to the South Sandwich neighborhood where he lived before being sent to prison on a rape conviction in 2006, the police said.

Now listed as a Level 3 sex offender, the type considered most likely to re-offend, the Sandwich police canvassed the neighborhood off Farmersville Road Saturday with 75 posters alerting neighbors to Hurley's return, Lt. David Guillemette said yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Gabriel Byrne: I was abused as a child

IRELAND
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Gabriel Byrne, the Hollywood actor, was sexually abused when he was a child in Ireland, and later when he trained as a priest in England.

The Irish actor moved to England aged 11 to train as a priest and was abused again. Photo: heo Kingma / Rex Features The Irish actor said he was abused by Christian Brothers.

"Unfortunately, I experienced some sexual abuse," he told Irish television. "It was a known and admitted fact of life amongst us that there was this particular man, and you didn't want to be left in the dressing room with him.

The Irish actor moved to England aged 11 to train as a priest and was again abused by a member of the clergy, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Bishops summoned to Vatican meeting

IRELAND
RTE News

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Pope Benedict XVI has summoned Ireland's Catholic Bishops to discuss the consequences of the church cover-up of clerical sexual abuse.

It is planned that a day-and-a-half of meetings will be held next month on the Ryan and Murphy reports.

Senior church sources last night confirmed The Irish Catholic's story of plans for the unprecedented encounters scheduled for 15 and 16 February.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Male victims need help too

CANADA
National Post

Barbara Kay, National Post
Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Memo regarding the release of a major report: Don't choose a time when most pundits are so distracted by upcoming holidays that their mental inbox is too full to give the report its due consideration. It will get short shrift -- exactly what happened to Justice Normand Glaude's report on the "historical abuse" issues addressed by the Cornwall pedophile inquiry.

On December 15 Cornwall inquiry commissioner Justice Glaude issued a 2,400-page evaluation, deploring the systematic, decades-long failure of the OPP, the provincial government, the Catholic Diocese, the Ontario Correctional Services and other institutions to deal appropriately -- when they dealt at all -- with sexual abuse of boys and young men by an alleged pedophile ring involving 15 priests, lawyers, doctors and probation officers in the Cornwall, Ont., area.

In terms of follow-on commentary and national discussion of its recommendations, the report sank like a stone in a punchbowl of eggnog.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Pope to meet Irish bishops over abuse reports

IRELAND
BBC News

Pope Benedict has summoned Ireland's Catholic bishops to discuss the consequences of the church's cover-ups of clerical sexual abuse.

It is planned to hold a day-and-a-half of meetings on the Ryan and Murphy reports.

On Tuesday night, senior church sources confirmed a story in the Irish Catholic newspaper of plans for the talks scheduled for 15 and 16 February.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Commitment trial set for ex-priest

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter rhussain@suntimes.com

Defrocked priest Daniel McCormack will stand trial to determine whether he should be civilly committed as a sexually violent person, a Cook County judge ruled Tuesday.

McCormack, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to fondling five boys while he served as a Roman Catholic priest, "was aware" he was being investigated but continued to target his young victims at St. Agatha Parish and Our Lady of the Westside School, Judge Dennis J. Porter said in finding there was probable cause to go ahead with the trial.

McCormack, 41, had been sentenced to five years in prison for five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He was scheduled to be released in late September, but authorities filed a lawsuit arguing that he should remain in a secure mental health center to receive the treatment prosecutors said he never received.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Pope summons Irish bishops to Rome over sex abuse scandal

IRELAND
The Times (United Kingdom)

David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent

Pope Benedict XVI has summoned the Irish bishops to Rome to discuss Ireland’s clerical abuse scandal.

The bishops will meet the Pope on February 15 and 16, The Irish Catholic newspaper reports this morning.

The Pope last met with Cardinal Seán Brady, the Primate of All Ireland, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on December 11, with several senior Vatican officials in attendance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Our heroic media are not going after Gerry Adams as they would do a Catholic prelate

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Kevin Myers

Wednesday January 20 2010

Everyone, including myself, has had a great deal of easy fun at the expense of the Robinsons. But, of course, they're easy targets -- they have no cultural power over nationalist Ireland. But what is strange and almost sinister -- as Suzanne Breen and Ruth Dudley Edwards pointed out in the 'Sunday Tribune' and the 'Sunday Independent' -- is the media silence (especially in RTE news) over the Adams affair.

In 1987, Gerry Adams learnt that a senior member of Sinn Fein/IRA had been raping a little girl. This rapist was a relative of his, and the victim was the rapist's daughter, who was aged four when he began raping her.

These allegations have been confirmed by a medical examination of the little girl, Aine Tyrrell, who is now an adult, and has abandoned any claims to anonymity. We know what the IRA does to child rapists: it murders them. But this well-connected republican was instead moved to the Dundalk area, where he remained active not only in Sinn Fein, but in republican 'inner security'. Two of the people who attracted the attention of republicans at this time were John Joseph Mulhern (RIP) and Tom Oliver (RIP). ...

If a bishop had moved a child-raping priest to another diocese two decades ago, and remained a public figure today, would he not now be the subject of serious media questioning over his cover-ups? Would he not also be the subject of questions from TDs? Would the national broadcaster not have made the rape, and the covert moves of the rapist, a major issue worthy of much debate and comment?

But as Breen and Dudley-Edwards have pointed out, in this case, there is silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 AM

Priest 'made girl say 10 Hail Marys after assault'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Sonya McLean

Wednesday January 20 2010

A WOMAN told a jury her priest made her say 10 Hail Marys as penance after he abused her in a confessional room.

Father Maeliosa O Hauallachain (72), of Seafield Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, pleaded not guilty to three charges of indecent assault on dates between July 31, 1981, and August 2, 1982, when the complainant was between 13 and 14 years old.

The Louth woman, who is now 42, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday that the priest abused her and told her not to tell anyone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 AM

Suicide groom's anguish

NEW YORK
New York Post

By REUVEN BLAU and SUSAN EDELMAN

A Brooklyn man who committed suicide two days into his honeymoon had confided to a friend's dad that he was molested by a prominent rabbi now facing charges of sexually abusing other boys.

The friend's father told The Post that Motty Borger, 24, accused ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Baruch Lebovits, 59, whose trial -- on 75 counts of sexual assault involving three boys -- starts Wednesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 AM

PIX Investigates: A Groom's Dark Secrets?

NEW YORK
WPIX

[with video]

BY MARY MURPHY wpix.com
10:27 PM EST, January 19, 2010

BOROUGH PARK, N.Y. (WPIX) - A Borough Park rabbi is knocking a newspaper report that a bridegroom who committed suicide this past November had told a friend the rabbi sexually abused him as a youth. PIX Investigates asked Rabbi Baruch Lebovits about the report in the New York Post, which quotes an unnamed, family friend of 24-year old Motty Borger. The friend's father told the Post Borger had pointed to Rabbi Lebovits as his abuser, before he died. "It's not true," Rabbi Lebovits told PIX Investigates from the front door of his Brooklyn home. "It's a lie."

Lebovits is currently facing charges of abuse involving three, different boys in Brooklyn. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Medical Examiner ruled Motty Borger's death was a suicide, and police say he jumped from the 7th floor balcony of a Borough Park hotel last November 5th, while his new bride slept inside their room. The couple had married just two days before. One family friend refuses to believe it was suicide: "He did not jump," Malki Sharf, one of the wedding guests, insisted. "He wasn't feeling well the night before. He took Motrin or Tylenol. He came out here and fell over." How did he seem at the wedding, PIX Investigates asked Sharf. "Perfectly fine," she responded. Another man claimed, "On the outside, he looked like the happiest man ever."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 AM

January 19, 2010

Priestly Celibacy and the Personal Ordinariates

The Anglo-Catholic

I filed a long piece last week for Catholic newspapers on the ongoing sexual abuse scandals that continue to plague the Catholic Church. My piece focused on what’s happened in Canada since the scandal concerning the abuse by Irish Christian Brothers at Mount Cashel orphanage in the late 1980s.

In December, a public inquiry presented its report after a four-year investigation into what some news reports described as a “pedophile ring” in Cornwall, Ontario that involved Catholic priests and members of this industrial St. Lawrence River city’s legal and educational establishment. Alas, after four years and millions of dollars, the inquiry did not prove or disprove the existence of at least some loose association of abusers who at times passed victims to each other.

Then last Sept., police laid charges of possession and importation of child pornography against the Bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Bishop Raymond Lahey’s case continues to wend its way through the courts, but it has cast a pall over all the progress the Church has made in handling abuse complaints.

A few of the experts I spoke to suggested mandatory celibacy was the problem and that it might attract men who had problematic attractions they hoped they could “take off the table” because the priesthood was a profession where it would just not be allowed. But another expert, a pediatrician, noted that “drunken daddy’s” and married stepfathers were also known to sexually abuse children, so marriage is not the cure all. Some brought up the proportion of homosexuals in the priesthood, others the high numbers of progressive priests after Vatican II–some of which did not make it into the final draft.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 PM

Jury to decide if defrocked priest stays incarcerated

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Press Release Services

A jury will decide if former Roman Catholic priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack will remain incarcerated under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, a judge ruled today.

Siding with prosecutors, Judge Dennis Porter said McCormack will remain in a secure treatment facility until a verdict is reached in a trial.

McCormack fondled five boys between ages 8 and 12 in St. Agatha Catholic Church’s rectory, misconduct that dated to 2001. Some victims were members of the basketball team he coached at nearby Our Lady of the West Side School. Other victims were friends of boys who attended the school, where McCormack also taught algebra.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

Madden's move from church

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Madam, – I wish Andrew Madden all the best with his typically courageous decision to formally leave the Catholic Church (“Madden leaves Church over failure of bishops to resign”, January 18th), a process I went though many years ago.

For anyone interested in finding out more about this process, detailed information is available at www.catholic.ie – Yours, etc,

EOIN STEPHENS,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 PM

No release for convicted priest

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN

[with video]

A former Chicago Roman-Catholic priest and convicted sex offender is indeed a sexually-violent person a judge ruled Tuesday.

Tuesday's hearing dealt with the likelihood of whether Daniel McCormack would sexually-abuse more boys if he was released. McCormack will remain behind bars.

McCormack pleaded guilty in 2007 to fondling five boys aged 8 to 12 at St. Agatha's Catholic Church on the Chicago's west side. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 PM

Jury Will Decide Sexually-Abusive Priest's Fate

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC Chicago

By ANTHONY PONCE and BJ LUTZ

A defrocked priest and convicted sex offender will remain in a secure treatment facility until a jury decides whether he will remain incarcerated until Illinois' Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The law allows judges to keep sexual offenders locked up in a secure treatment facility until they are deemed to no longer be a threat to the public.

"We think it's a good day for Illinois because at least for the moment, Dan McCormack will still be held and he can't abuse any children while he's being held," said Barbara Blaine, the national president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Jury to decide if defrocked priest stays incarcerated

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

January 19, 2010

A jury will decide if former Roman Catholic priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack will remain incarcerated under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, a judge ruled today.

Siding with prosecutors, Judge Dennis Porter said McCormack will remain in a secure treatment facility until a verdict is reached in a trial.

McCormack fondled five boys between ages 8 and 12 in St. Agatha Catholic Church's rectory, misconduct that dated to 2001. Some victims were members of the basketball team he coached at nearby Our Lady of the West Side School. Other victims were friends of boys who attended the school, where McCormack also taught algebra.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Fr Jack has done his time and wants to come home

IRELAND
Kilkenny People

Published Date: 19 January 2010
By Staff Reporter

Fr Jack Skehan wants to come home. The 82-year-old who was controversially jailed for fraud against his old parish in Florida wants to return to his native Johnstown and County Kilkenny. He is due to be released on April 3 and will come back to Ireland if he thinks he is welcome here.

The Kilkenny People is asking its readers to have their say in the man nicknamed the Robin Hood of the Sacristy.

The true picture of the man who built up the parish where he served over 40 years is only now emerging. And supporters have placed a weekly blog (on-line diary) on the internet which is viewed by thousands of people every week

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Gabriel Byrne Reveals Sexual Abuse

HOLLYWOOD (CA)
The Wrap

By Brent Lang
Published: January 19, 2010

Gabriel Byrne, the Emmy nominated star of "In Treatment," says that he was sexually abused by Christian Brothers as a child.

"Unfortunately, I experienced some sexual abuse," Byrnes said during an episode of the Irish talk show "The Meaning of Life." "It was a known and admitted fact of life amongst us that there was this particular man, and you didn't want to be left in the dressing room with him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Bankrupt Diocese Asks to Pay Accused Abuser

DELAWARE
NBC Philadelphia

By TERESA MASTERSON

A defrocked Catholic priest, who is accused of sexually abusing boys in 20 lawsuits, is now 80 years old and has little money to live on.

The bankrupt Catholic Diocese of Delaware is petitioning a judge to allow it to give the former priest benefit payments. The diocese is calling it a “corporal work of mercy,” reports the News Journal.

Former Delaware priest Francis DeLuca admitted to molesting countless boys in his home, after bingo games, on a trip to Italy, from 1962 to 1993, according to court documents of his April 2009 deposition. He said the boys “liked it,” reports the New Journal.

Stripped from the priesthood by Pope Benedict XVI a year ago, DeLuca is now elderly and living on $415 a month from Social Security as his $10,000 in savings is quickly drained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Bishops to meet in advance of pastoral letter

IRELAND
RTE News

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The country's Catholic bishops are to hold an extraordinary meeting next Friday to prepare for Pope Benedict's pastoral letter on the fall-out from the Murphy Report.

The announcement is the strongest indication yet that the Pope's letter will be published next month.

Ash Wednesday, which falls on 17 February, is the date most commonly mentioned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Dunlop a no-show in court

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

The former Cornwall cop whose refusal to testify became one of the missing links for the Cornwall Public Inquiry, was a no-show in Toronto court Monday after filing an appeal regarding his contempt of court convictions.

The Canadian Press reported Sunday the Crown didn't notify Dunlop of the hearing date and had not been successful in attempts to reach him over the past week, according to information in Dunlop's court file.

According to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Dunlop will still have 14 days to make oral arguments, or he could proceed with the case in writing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Gabriel Byrne tells of childhood sexual abuse

IRELAND
Guardian (United Kingdom)

by Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 19 January 2010

The Irish actor Gabriel Byrne has revealed that he was sexually abused by Christian Brothers as a child.

The actor also disclosed that at the age of 11 he went to England to train as a priest but was sexually abused by a member of the clergy there.

Byrne said he had struggled with alcoholism and depression in the past, and that he had been "deeply hurt" over the abuse he endured as a boy.

The star of films such Miller's Crossing and The Usual Suspects spoke openly about the abuse to Ireland's most famous broadcaster, Gay Byrne, on a new show, The Meaning of Life, on RTÉ television.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Judge to hear testimony in priest sex abuse case

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

January 19, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A Cook County judge hears testimony Tuesday morning on whether former Roman Catholic priest Daniel McCormack should be released.

McCormack is accused of molesting boys at St. Agatha's parish on the city's West Side from 2001 to 2005. He pleaded guilty in 2007 and sentenced to five years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Group says rabbi no longer leader

NEW YORK
Albany Times-Union

By ROBERT GAVIN, Staff writer

ALBANY -- A Loudonville rabbi who admitted having "inappropriate physical contact" with two 13-year-old boys -- and telling one to lie to police and his mother about it -- remains under suspension, his organization said Monday.

Yaakov Weiss, 29, founder of Chabad of Colonie and the Chabad Hebrew School, pleaded guilty Jan. 11 to misdemeanor child endangerment before Judge Stephen Herrick in Albany County Court.

Following the guilty plea, which carries up to 60 days in the county jail, Weiss' attorney relayed a statement that his client had the support of Chabad of Colonie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

BREAKING: Mondrowitz May Have Been Treating Boys Long After Indictment; new evidence suggests alleged child molester was counseling teen in Israel in 2006

UNITED STATES/ISRAEL
The Jewish Week

by Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

(Posted Monday, Jan. 18, 9:15 PM) With alleged Brooklyn child molester Avrohom Mondrowitz under house arrest until Jan. 24 following last week's decision by the Israeli Supreme Court to deny his extradition, new evidence has emerged that appears to indicate that Mondrowitz was treating adolescent boys in Israel as recently as 2006.

According to a document provided to The Jewish Week by New Jersey attorney Michael Lesher, and apparently obtained from Mondrowitz's computer, Mondrowitz appears to have conducted an interview with and "assessment" of a 15-year-old boy who had been engaging in "improper behaviours [sic] with his peers."

While the document contains the boy's name, The Jewish Week is not publishing it to protect the identity of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

The Misplaced Priorities of the Roman Catholic Church

Michael-in-Norfolk

Yet another Irish Times op-ed piece is taking the Roman Catholic Church to task on its misplaced priorities which focus on liturgical minutia rather than important issues such as protecting minors from sexual abuse by clergy. The problem seems particularly blatant under the current Pope, Benedict XVI and his less than saintly predecessor, John Paul II who turned a blind eye towards the worldwide abuse problem until it exploded out of control in Boston and now in Ireland. The sad truth is that the Catholic Church hierarchy cares nothing about the Churches members except when it comes to power, control and, of course, money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Moderates are more disappointing

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

From a Birmingham jail cell, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter to the “moderate” religious leaders of his day. He told of how “gravely disappointed” he was in them.

Of course, King had always known better than to expect support from men such as Bull Connor, but for a time, King apparently held some hope that “moderates” would stand with him and other black Americans in their struggle for justice. However, in his letter from the Birmingham jail, King said that he had almost reached the conclusion that the greatest stumbling block was “not the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice.”

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will,” wrote King.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Ex-officer skips court date

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

TORONTO -- A former Cornwall, Ont., police officer appealing his contempt convictions failed to appear in court Monday when his case came before Ontario's highest court.

Perry Dunlop called the seven months he served in jail for refusing to testify at a public inquiry largely of his own making "cruel and unusual punishment."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

CATHOLIC CHURCH Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 145

UNITED STATES
EarthTimes

(EMAILWIRE.COM, January 19, 2010 ) FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. -- Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., published Issue No. 145 of CATHOLIC CHURCH BANKRUPTCY NEWS today. The 33-page newsletter contains stories with these headlines:

[01848] WILMINGTON'S 1ST MOTION TO EXTEND REMOVAL PERIOD
[01849] WILMINGTON'S MOTION TO EXTEND AUTOMATIC STAY TO PARISHES

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Among Friends

UNITED STATES
Tablet

By Allison Hoffman | Jan 19, 2010

In May 2007, Leib Tropper arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, to preside over a grand conclave of prospective converts to Judaism sponsored by his Eternal Jewish Family organization, which offered “Cadillac conversions” to non-Jews as part of an effort to seize control of the conversion process outside of Israel. Buoyed by a $4.8 million infusion of cash from the billionaire Thomas Kaplan, an oil and mining mogul who is currently president of the board at the 92nd Street Y in New York, the fast-talking rabbi with global ambitions and a smooth line of patter had offered would-be Jews a special treat: an all-expenses paid weekend of discussions on topics like “Becoming Part of the Jewish Family” at the Arizona Biltmore, a spa resort on 39 acres at the foot of Phoenix Mountain that is part of the Waldorf-Astoria chain.

While offers of Ayurvedic massages and luxury accommodation may seem at odds with the somber, discouraging face that ultra-Orthodoxy has traditionally turned to prospective converts, Tropper, by most accounts, did not seem particularly interested in relaxing halachic codes to accommodate the modern world. A biblical literalist, he played an active role in an effort by a group of ultra-Orthodox rabbis to ban the books of another rabbi, Nosson Slifkin, who believed that the world is older than the Jewish calendar—that is, 5,770 years. In 2006, among his other duties, he took it upon himself to retroactively invalidate the conversion of a woman who subsequently dared to violate ultra-Orthodox codes of modesty by wearing pants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Child abuse prevention class learns from offenders

OREGON
Newberg Graphic

By: Laurent Bonczijk

When ‘Patrick’ appeared on the television screen, he was everybody’s image of a wholesome youth pastor. He had the right clothes, conservative but not stodgy. He spoke from the heart about his travails to become a minister.

Then he told the interviewer how much the accusations of child sex abuse by a young boy he’d almost literally pulled from the gutter hurt him and his family. It would ruin his future career as a minister, he said.

Patrick (his real name was not disclosed), the wholesome blond youth pastor, is not only a convicted child molester, he admitted to offending 100 children, nearly half of whom were under 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Woman says pastor sexually assaulted her many times

CANADA
The Daily Gleaner

By BRYAN TAIT
The Bugle-Observer

WOODSTOCK - A jury of six men and six women began hearing testimony Monday in the second trial of a former Upper St. John River Valley pastor.

Frederick Douglas Hanson, 61, is charged with one count of sexual assault at or near Upper Brighton and Somerville between Jan. 1, 1988, and Dec. 31, 1990, and one count of indecent assault at or near Somerville between Jan. 1, 1971, and Dec. 31, 1974.

This is the second trial for the former pastor. The first is dealing with charges of sexually touching young people and sexually touching young people while in a position of authority between May 2006 and December 2007 in Plaster Rock.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Drafts of pope's pastoral letter circulate in the Holy See

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

DRAFT VERSIONS of the pope’s forthcoming pastoral letter to the Irish faithful have begun to circulate in the Holy See, Vatican insiders have reported.

Initial indications are that the letter will not be overly concerned with the current administrative, bureaucratic and organisational problems of the Irish church.

Rather, it is expected to offer encouragement to the faithful, reminding them of the crucial role of the early Irish church in the spread of Christianity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Church leaders struggle to protect kids from sex abuse

CALIFORNIA
Sacramento Bee

By Jennifer Garza
jgarza@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010

The Rev. Kay Doyle, dismayed by the sexual abuse scandal that rocked the U.S. Catholic Church eight years ago, felt some comfort in distance. A pastor of a small Carmichael church, she didn't worry about such problems in her congregation. And then the distance closed.

Her church organist was accused of sexually molesting a minor and arrested in October. Doyle, pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church for 13 years, was unprepared. James Charles Jordan, 53, was charged with six counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14.

"We had no experience with this," said Doyle. "It was awful for everyone, because there weren't any guidelines."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Five ex-altar boys suing Catholic church over abuse

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

KIRK MAKIN

JUSTICE REPORTER

A culture of secrecy and willful blindness within the Roman Catholic church allowed a Sudbury, Ont., priest to worm his way into affections of five altar boys and sexually assault them, a flurry of lawsuits alleges.

The five plaintiffs claim that, with the church and a regional bishop playing the role of enablers, Rev. Bernard Cloutier travelled from one diocese to another robbing young boys of both their innocence and their belief in God.

In the suits filed yesterday, the plaintiffs are claiming a total of $15-million, citing lifelong descents into depression, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.The plaintiffs are suing Father Cloutier, his superior, Bishop Gerard Dionne and the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Church leaders covered up sexual abuse

CANADA
The Sudbury Star

Posted By CAROL MULLIGAN THE SUDBURY STAR

Parishioners in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie should be horrified that one of their church leaders deliberately covered up sexual abuse of altar boys by a parish priest and interfered in a police investigation into it more than 25 years ago, charges a lawyer.

Auxiliary Bishop Gerard Dionne is 90-years-old and believed to be living in a nursing home in New Brunswick and there are those who believe the matter should be left alone, said Rob Talach.

But just because a person a managed to "dodge justice" for years does not mean "you should just let them walk."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Priest, diocese face charges

CANADA
The Sudbury Star

Posted By CAROL MULLIGAN THE SUDBURY STAR

Five separate lawsuits for $3 million each, the maximum allowed under the law, have been filed in Ontario Superior Court of Justice against a Roman Catholic priest convicted of 11 sexual assault charges in criminal court.

Bernard Cloutier, 68, was sentenced last year to five years in prison for his crimes, but is appealing that decision.

The five lawsuits were also filed against the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie. Two of the lawsuits name the auxiliary bishop at the time, Gerard S.E. Dionne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Response to Murphy report key

IRELAND
The Mayo News

Fr Kevin Hegarty

Judging from the media images, the Irish Catholic bishops seemed worried and worn at the funeral of their long-lived patriarch, Cardinal Cathal Daly, on a frosty day in early January.

Ordained as Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise in 1967, Dr Daly’s episcopacy extended from the days of fragile optimism after the Second Vatican Council to the pervasive darkness that has engulfed the Irish Catholic Church in the last 16 years, as the stories of the clerical sexual abuse of children have unfolded.

It is not surprising that the bishops looked so preoccupied at the funeral. They had just been through a torrid time. The fallout from the Murphy report had resulted in the resignation of four members of the hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

January 18, 2010

Police Arrest Preacher In Church

CHATTANOOGA (TN)
News Channel 9

January 18, 2010

John Madewell
Chattanooga police haul a preacher out of his own church in handcuffs over the weekend. It turns out Edward Lamar Hughes was preaching to a small congregation and is actually a convicted child sex offender.

He lost his right to pastor a church with the conviction. But Hughes returned to the crime scene, the same church where he admitted to sexually violating a teen age boy four and a half years ago.

The church, identified by police as Bethlehem Evangelistic Mission, is located in East Lake at the corner of 39th Street and 12th Avenue. NewsChannel 9 met a man there by the name of Daniel Owens, who claimed to be the active pastor of what he now referred to as Bethlehem's Friendship Circle House of Prayer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

"The Trauma Myth": The child betrayed

UNITED STATES
Salon

By Thomas Rogers

More than a decade ago, a 42-year-old man walked into the office of Susan Clancy, then a Harvard graduate student working with child abuse victims, and made a revelation that would help shift how she viewed her entire field. When he was 9 years old, the man said, a friend of the family had sexually molested him over a six-month period. The man kept the abuse a secret from his wife and family for more than 30 years and was struggling with feelings of shame and problems at work. But this wasn't nearly as surprising as what he revealed next: When the sexual abuse was happening, the man said, he wasn't even upset.

Clancy tells the story in her new book, "The Trauma Myth," not only to startle readers, but also to describe the extent to which she believes many people in the medical establishment have misrepresented the realities of child abuse. The book marks a controversial break with the current line on sexual abuse, but Clancy is no stranger to controversy. A former Harvard psychologist and the current research director at the Harvard-affiliated Center for Women’s Advancement, Development and Leadership in Nicaragua, Clancy's previous book, "Abducted," was a much-debated attack on repressed memory. In a 2003 New York Times magazine profile about her, well-known trauma therapist Daniel Brown lashed out at Clancy's "political agenda," and Clancy's hate mail has included accusations of cheering on child molesters and even abusing children herself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

I took the bishop my son. I said, you broke him you fix him. They said, not our problem as perp a Franciscan. Now my son is dead

PENNSYLVANIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

"I would like to see the Legislature provide a 'window' for those who have been abused as children. And I would be grateful if it was named Arthur's Law after our son 'Arthur III.'"

The day Pennsylvania passed a law that worked against most victims of pedophile priests in the state including Arthur Baselice III, he left the house for an NA meeting. Next morning police found him dead in a drug house in nearby Camden, New Jersey. Months earlier Arthur II had brought his son to the Philadelphia Archdiocese begging them for help. “This kid couldn't even walk,” said the dad. “We went in there and poured our hearts out. They told me they can’t help me. The perpetrator is not Roman Catholic he’s Franciscan.”

More slaps in the face: The only time Fr. Charles Newman ever stood in front of a judge was for Embezzlement from the Catholic Church. He stole cash to buy drugs and other extravagances for the boys he was grooming, and the pedophile priest went to prison for embezzlement, not pedophilia. He pled guilty March 2009 and is serving a 3-6 year sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Church blames Devil-inspired children over sex abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

RITE AND REASON: “Paul”, who suffered clerical sex abuse, explains why he believes the Catholic Church has failed properly to deal with the problem in its midst

I AM writing because I know why the church hid the abusers and is still evasive about blaming the perpetrators and the people who hid them. Naturally I am a victim, so I am limited by the anger I feel, but also it seems I am unique in remembering the most important aspect of it all, the aspect that explains everything. ...

The reason why the church covered up the abuse and moved priests about is because they did not blame the priests, they blamed the children. With this knowledge observe the reaction of church authorities. They look as if they would like to say it, but can’t.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 PM

ON THE DOCKET

MISSOURI
bergersbeat

On Feb. 2, Judge Barbara Wallace in St. Louis county will hear arguments in former Kirkwood resident Bryan Bacon's child sex abuse case against long time former St. Louis Catholic school teacher Brother William Mueller. Five years ago, Mueller was first sued as an alleged sexual predator. Since then, dozens have accused him of bizarre child sex crimes in three states and 23 lawsuits against him have settled for $4 million in 2007. Bacon settled for six figures with Mueller's former employer, the Marianists. But, Bacon continues to pursue legal action against Mueller as an individual. Mueller taught at Vianney, Chaminade and St. Mary's high schools here. A week later, Cardoza law professor, author and FindLaw columnist Marci Hamilton, a former clerk to Sandra Day O'Connor, will argue before the Eastern District of the Court of Appeals on behalf of two women who say they were molested as kids by the Rev. William Poepperling. Hamilton maintains that Missouri is one of only three states where the "archaic legal rulings" enable church officials to essentially escape liability in most cases for negligent hiring, retention and supervision of staff, even when they hire or keep known of suspected predators on their payroll.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Corrections & Clarifications

IRELAND
The Irish Times

An article in yesterday’s edition, concerning a report on child protection practices, said that it had been prepared and published by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church. The report was prepared by the board but it was published by Bishop John Magee, Bishop of Cloyne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Bankrupt diocese wants to pay $10,000 per month to accused priests

DELAWARE
Catholic Culture

January 18, 2010

In a move that has angered abuse victims, the Diocese of Wilmington (Delaware) has petitioned a federal bankruptcy judge for permission to pay $10,000 in combined monthly benefits to six priests accused of abuse.

Upon investigation, an allegation against one of these six priests was deemed not credible. The others have been removed from public ministry, including the recently laicized Francis DeLuca, who repeatedly abused boys between 1962 and 1993 and had a vanity license plate with the words “Uncle Frankie Wankie.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Catholic priest held over defiling girl

UGANDA
The New Vision

By Chris Ocowun, Charles Mukiibi and David Labeja

THE Police in Gulu have arrested a Catholic priest, the Rev. Fr. Bosco Mawa, on allegations of defiling and making pregnant a 16-year-old pupil of Gulu Public primary school.

Father Mawa was arrested on Saturday when the father of the girl, Charles Arop Atube, reported the matter to the Police. The case was recorded as SD/72/15/01/2010.

Arop told the Police that when the girl became pregnant, she was made to carry out an abortion at a clinic in Gulu town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Five $3-million lawsuits filed against priest, Roman Catholic diocese

CANADA
The Sudbury Star

Posted By Carol Mulligan

Five separate lawsuits for $3 million each, the maximum under the law, have been filed in Ontario Superior Court of Justice against a Roman Catholic priest convicted of 11 of 16 sexual assault charges in criminal court.

Bernard Cloutier, 68, was sentenced last year to five years in prison for his crimes, but is appealing that decision.

The five lawsuits were also filed against the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie. Two of the lawsuits name the auxiliary bishop of the time, Gerard S.E. Dionne, as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Judge 'the right guy' for complex dispute

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By MAUREEN MILFORD • The News Journal • January 18, 2010

If any judge is up to the challenge of deciding complex disputes in a sensitive bankruptcy case, it is U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher S. Sontchi, lawyers said.

Sontchi, who is presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, is a "very smart judge" who enjoys the challenge of puzzling through complicated facts and competing sets of interests, lawyers said.

Now Sontchi has to decide whether to grant charity, sustenance or benefits from the diocese's pool of assets to six men accused of abuse. Abuse survivors, who are unsecured creditors, are asking the judge to deny any payments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Comments from Tom Doyle, Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, and Oso Pious

Voice from the Desert

Here is Tom Doyle’s comment on a recent post by clergy abuse survivor Joey Piscitelli. Joey was in turn commenting on Tom’s reflections on the John Jay College causes and context study.

Well said Joey! …I just finished reading Karen Armstrong’s book, “A Case for God.” She has confirmed with a steady stream of historical facts what so many of us have at first thought true from the excerpts of history available to us. Looking at the vast panoply of Catholicism from its inception to the present I see many things but one of the most pathetic is the stark contrast between the amount of good for others accomplished by individual Christians, inspired by the spirit of Jesus….and the vast amount of hurt, destruction and hatred perpetrated by functionaries of the institutional Church. How easy it is to condemn Christianity and Catholicism as a complete farce in the face of such harsh reality. Just looking back at the reaction of the institutional drones to the revelations that tens of thousands of children…like Joey Piscitelli….have been viciously molested….confirms the belief/opinion that these men (and women too) have been wedded to a system that gave them power without the need to embrace the spirit of charity that is at the core of Christ’s message.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Chattanooga: Police arrest sex offender leading church services

CHATTANOOGA (TN)
Chattangooga Times Free Press

By: Adam Crisp

Chattanooga police have arrested a man for violating the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry after he set up a makeshift church on E. 39th Street after authorities told him to avoid church work and being employed near schools.

Police say Edward Hughes was working at the same church he operated when he raped someone in 2005. He later pleaded guilty to the crime and agreed not to work within 1,000 feet of a school, lead a church or work with children, said Lt. Kim Noorbergen, Chattanooga police spokeswoman.

She said that on Saturday night around 7 p.m. police arrested Mr. Hughes at Bethlehem Evangelistic Mission, which is within 1,000 feet of East Lake Elementary School. Lt. Noorbergen said the church was running off an electric generator and had no power meter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Sex abuse victims want Bishop's support

FORT WAYNE (IN)
WANE

[with video]

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Upon the conviction of former Fort Wayne priest, James Blume, on two counts of sexual assault, a victim advocate group is looking to Bishop Rhoades for support and leadership in fighting child sex abuse.

A former priest with Fort Wayne ties pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault on Friday. That's according to a local paper in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

It was there, that James R. Blume said he assaulted two teen boys in the 1970's and 80's, before coming to Fort Wayne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Magisterium Benedict VERSUS Holy Mary...

Stella Maris

Paris Arrow

The Magisterium is the Garden of Eden re-enacted daily by the Pope and priests obeying the Pride-Serpent (who promises them that they are “like God”) and acting that they are indeed powerful “like God” because they can transform and eat God-in-the-Eucharist. The Mass or Eucharist is the modern fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. ...

Rome, call us heretics and we don’t care because in Boston and in America, we have freedom of speech. It was our freedom of speech that got rid of criminal-Cardinal Bernard Law and sent him packing out of our sight and out of our land. But only you, Rome, you the Roman Catholic Church a.k.a. Magisterium would glorify criminals like Cardinal Bernard Law and John Paul II. No other American state has been able to replicate our courage as Bostonians who got rid of the first Cardinal caught guilty of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army in America. Yes, we caught the first SS officer of the Third Reich of the Roman Catholic Church … but he went into glorious exile in Rome because only in the Catholic Church are criminals glorified

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Catholics Come Home -- And Reclaim Your Church!

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

Clay Farris Naff

Let's start off with the silver lining. At least, the "Catholics, Come Home" campaign ads make a change from the endless lies about health care that the airwaves have been carrying.

But, is it just me? Or is there something grossly wrong here? The church that couldn't rub two dimes together to compensate victims of its pedophile priests suddenly has a media budget lavish enough to displace health reform ads? How can this be?

We're not talking ancient history here. Just last October, a Catholic diocese in Delaware filed for bankruptcy in a move to fend off the claims of 140 people who claim that priests sexually abused them. A month later, a diocese in Alaska, ahem, followed suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Full text of Andrew Madden letter

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Below is the full text of a letter sent by abuse victim Andrew Madden to Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.

Dear Archbishop Martin,

Thank you for your letter of 11th January 2010.

In 1983 the Catholic Church in Dublin decided that I was not suitable for entry into the priesthood. Two years earlier the same Catholic Church had allowed Ivan Payne to continue as a priest despite knowing that he had sexually abused me for 2 1/2 years when I was aged 12-14 years. The idea that anyone sexually abusing children was more suitable for the priesthood than I was totally devastated me at that time and a belief in God and his Church, which had survived Ivan Payne’s actions, came to an abrupt and painful end.

In November 2009 the Murphy Report was published. I was deeply saddened at the sexual abuse of children and I was furiously angry at how the Catholic Church had caused the further sexual abuse of children by covering up abuse in different ways.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Former Cornwall officer fights contempt conviction

CANADA
CBC News

The Canadian Press

The case of a former Cornwall, Ont., police officer convicted of contempt goes before the Ontario Court of Appeal Monday.

Perry Dunlop led a crusade for years to root out pedophiles and his work eventually led to the Cornwall inquiry, which wrapped up last month.

Dunlop, now living in Duncan, B.C., was called to testify at the inquiry and while he did appear, he refused to answer any questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Are We Graced or Disgraded?

UNITED STATES
Healing and Spirituality

Jaime Romo

Today’s Blog is a wonderful reflection by Margaret Schettler. You can read her interview from December 10. Margaret writes a timely piece, as we celebrate the life and influence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I appreciate her insight and the thought provoking questions she leaves us with.

A dear former colleague at my parish loved to quote an author she admired. I can’t remember the author’s name, but the quote went something like this: “At every moment I am equally graced and disgraced.” When the clergy abuse crisis first burst into our consciousness, many outraged Catholics said , “That is not MY church!” My friend would say, “Oh, but it IS. It is both graced and disgraced”. When things went well at work we’d laugh together and say, “There’s the grace!” When they went they went badly, we’d joke, “There’s the disgrace!”

Owning both the grace and the disgrace is the first step toward the possibility of meaningful reform for individuals and organizations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Martin respects Madden's decision

IRELAND
RTE News

Monday, 18 January 2010
Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin says he accepts and respects the decision of clerical sex abuse victim Andrew Madden to formally leave the Catholic Church.

The Archbishop said Mr Madden's trust was betrayed by a priest and anyone can see where that would lead.

Archbishop Martin was speaking at an ecumenical event in Trinity College this morning.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Msgr. Mulvey named Bishop of Corpus Christi

AUSTIN (TX)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin

AUSTIN – Pope Benedict XVI has selected Msgr. W. Michael Mulvey, current administrator of the Diocese of Austin, to be the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Bishop-designate Mulvey will succeed retiring Bishop Edmond Carmody, who was installed as the seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi in March 2000. The Mass of Ordination and Installation will be March 25 in Corpus Christi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Pope Benedict XVI appoints new Bishop for Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI (TX)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Corpus Christi

Marty Wind
Director of Communications
(361) 289-6437 x322

It was announced in Rome this morning that The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has appointed The Reverend Monsignor W. Michael Mulvey, currently Administrator of the Diocese of Austin, as the 8th Bishop of Corpus Christi, succeeding The Most Reverend Edmond Carmody who submitted his letter of resignation one year ago as prescribed by Canon Law.

A press conference has been scheduled for 10:00 AM CST this morning in St. Joseph’s Hall below Corpus Christi Cathedral to introduce Bishop Elect Mulvey to the media and the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Pope announces new bishop for Diocese of Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI (TX)
Caller

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that the Rev. Monsignor W. Michael Mulvey, currently Administrator of the Diocese of Austin, will be the next bishop for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, according to a news release from the local diocese.

He follows Bishop Edmond Carmody, 76, who has led the diocese since March 17, 2000. He submitted his resignation in January 2009 after celebrating his 75th birthday, as required for a Catholic bishop by canon law.

There are 68 parishes and 32 missions within the 12 counties that make up the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Pope names Texan to Corpus Christ post

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

The Associated Press
Monday, January 18, 2010; 7:28 AM

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has chosen a Houston native to be the new bishop of the Corpus Christi diocese.

The pontiff's choice, announced Monday by the Vatican, is 60-year-old William Michael Mulvey, who has been serving as diocesan administrator in Austin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Appointed Msgr. William Michale Mulvey of the clergy of the diocese of Austin, U.S.A., diocesan administrator, as bishop of Corpus Christi (area 29,690, population 560,614, Catholics 392,430, priests 157, permanent deacons 62, religious 195), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Houston, U.S.A. in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1975. He succeeds Edmund Carmody, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Child protection board chief 'encouraged' by church action

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

IT HAS been claimed that any “objective and fair-minded observer would recognise that the [Catholic] Church has tried hard to meet its commitments to safeguard children today and to learn from the mistakes of the past”.

Ian Elliott, chief executive of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, said: “These developments tend not to command much attention in the media as they are much less newsworthy than reporting on past bad practice.

“However, it is important to focus on today and on the future and when you do there is much to feel encouraged about.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Mainer witnesses quake's emotional toll

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

BILL NEMITZ

January 17, 2010

One minute, he and an anxious Haitian woman were sharing an outlet for their laptops in a hotel lobby in Cap-Haitien, a city of 180,000 on the north coast of Haiti. The next, the woman stood rigidly next to Kendrick, listening intently to a voice on her cell phone.

Then, without warning, she buckled over at the waist and began to wail.

"She learned on the phone that her close friend had been killed in one of the buildings in Port-au-Prince," recalled Kendrick, his voice as shaky as the signal on his borrowed cell phone. "She was like so many – bent over, sobbing, shaking. And a few of us there just tried to provide her some comfort."

Kendrick paused to compose himself.

"That's what's going on," he finally said. "Here, there and everywhere."

A week ago today, Kendrick was just another American traveling to Haiti on a humanitarian mission. A longtime advocate for victims of sexual abuse by clergy here in Maine, he'd arranged to meet in Cap-Haitien with a group of boys who allege they were sexually abused at Project Pierre Touissaint, a school for homeless boys with ties to Fairfield University in Connecticut, Kendrick's alma mater.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

After 24 years, US oleh will not be extradited for suspected sex crimes

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

By DAN IZENBERG

The Supreme Court accepted an appeal by Yitzhak Mondrovich against his extradition on Thursday, 25 years after he arrived in Israel and 24 years after US authorities indicted him on suspicion of committing 13 sexual crimes against five boys aged nine to 13.

"The legal and moral basis of the extradition procedure according to the Israeli extradition law is not restricted to being an important tool in the war against international and domestic crime," Justice Ayala Procaccia wrote."

"It is also, at the same time, a procedure which takes human rights into consideration, both by the country requesting the extradition and the extraditing country. The fear of undermining an extradition procedure like this one cannot surmount the need to look at its implications for human rights and the fundamental values of the system of the country being asked to extradite."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

SF rocked by more sex abuse allegations

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Sam Smyth

Monday January 18 2010

GERRY Adams's leadership came under intense pressure last night amid further revelations that he and Sinn Fein covered up allegations of child abuse against republicans.

The latest sensational claims are from two women connected to senior republican families in Belfast, one of whom is a relative of former IRA commander Joe Cahill. ...

"He is in the same position as some of the Catholic bishops," said a prominent republican last night who asked not to be named. "If Gerry Adams didn't know there was child abuse going on, he should have known."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

The law and religion

NEVADA
Las Vegas Sun

Monday, Jan. 18, 2010

The Nevada Supreme Court has been asked to decide to what extent churches are liable in cases involving sexual abuse committed by clergy. The case raises the issue of whether the First Amendment protects churches from these types of lawsuits.

As Steve Kanigher reported in Wednesday’s Las Vegas Sun, the case is rare. Most lawsuits against churches, as those against the Roman Catholic Church, have been settled, so courts have not had to handle this issue.

The case before the Supreme Court was filed by Theressa Ramani, who says she was assaulted in 2001 by a cantor associated with Chabad of Southern Nevada and Chabad of Summerlin. The man pleaded guilty the next year to open and gross lewdness. Ramani said she and her son were then harassed by Chabad after she complained about the attack.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Sex abuse hurt me deeply, says actor Byrne

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Lynne Kelleher

Monday January 18 2010

HOLLYWOOD star Gabriel Byrne has revealed how he was "deeply hurt" by sexual abuse inflicted on him as a child by the Christian Brothers.

The film star opened up about the abuse in the first show of Gay Byrne's 'Meaning of Life' series on RTE television last night.

The actor talked frankly about his battles with alcoholism and depression in the past and expressed shock at the drinking culture among Ireland's young people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Diocese seeks to pay accused

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By MAUREEN MILFORD • The News Journal • January 18, 2010

When he was a Catholic priest in Delaware, Francis DeLuca molested boys after bingo games, on a trip to Italy and in the den of his living quarters, he said in an April 2009 deposition.

He admitted abusing so many boys in Delaware from 1962 to 1993 he couldn't remember all of them, according to court records.

The boys "liked it," he said, according to court documents. He didn't know it was a crime until he was arrested in 2006, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Ex-altar boys to sue diocese

CANADA
Sudbury Star

Posted By STAR STAFF

The four former altar boys sexually abused by Father Bernard A. Cloutier will today launch a civil lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.

In November, Cloutier was sentenced to five years in prison for sexual assaulting four boys during a period of nearly nine years more than quarter century ago.

The victims ranged in age from 12 to 17 years at the time of the assaults. In each case, Cloutier befriended the boys and became close friends with their parents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

January 17, 2010

Barrister suggests open-ended jail terms for rapists

IRELAND
The Irish Times

CAROL COULTER, Legal Affairs Editor

THE IDEA of open-ended jail terms for rapists considered most likely to reoffend was suggested by barrister and legal academic Tom O’Malley at a conference in Dublin at the weekend.

As well as the length of sentences, the conference also discussed sensitive issues such as cross-examination of victims about their sexual history.

Prof Tom O’Malley of NUI Galway said sentences for rape in Ireland were among the highest in Europe. He said an acquittal by a jury of one’s peers should not be regarded as “attrition”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Focus on ritual not children wrong, writes 'Reality' editor

The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

A PROMINENT Catholic priest/commentator has criticised ‘‘restorationists’’ in his church who appear more concerned with vestments, Latin Mass, and orthodoxy than the protection of children.

“Something seems wrong when the Vatican conducts an apostolic visitation of religious sisters in the United States to make sure they are fully obedient to the Holy See . . . but conducts no visitation of dioceses worldwide to ensure children are safeguarded,” Fr Gerard Moloney has said.

Writing in the current issue of the Redemptorist magazine Reality , which he edits, he said: “Something seems wrong when some church people appear more interested in silk robes and the Latin Mass and east-facing altars than in examining why our church has not been a safe environment for its most vulnerable members.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Madden leaves Church over failure of bishops to resign

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE FIRST person in Ireland to have gone public - in 1995 - about his abuse by a Catholic priest has formally left the Catholic Church.

Andrew Madden, who was abused when an altar boy in Cabra parish in Dublin by Ivan Payne, wrote to the Dublin archdiocese before Christmas saying he wished to leave the Church. He received notice of his “cessation of church membership by formal act of defection. . .” from church authorities last week.

He also received a letter, dated January 11th, from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin expressing sadness at the decision to leave and saying it made him wonder whether the church could learn from it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Cop at centre of Cornwall inquiry appeals contempt convictions

CANADA
The Canadian Press

By Allison Jones (CP)

TORONTO — The seven months a former police officer served in jail for refusing to testify at a public inquiry, largely of his own making, amounted to "cruel and unusual punishment," the man writes in appealing his contempt convictions.

Perry Dunlop led a crusade for years in Cornwall, Ont., to root out pedophiles and his work sparked calls for a public inquiry.

The Cornwall inquiry's official mandate was to examine institutional responses to historical claims of sexual abuse, but many were looking to the report, released in December, to once and for all debunk rumours of a pedophile ring. Commissioner G. Normand Glaude declined to do so in his more than 1600-page report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

The Paul Shanley Case and Repressed Memory Recovery: Not Such Thin Partitions

MASSACHUSETTS
Psychology Today

by Jean Mercer, Ph.D

A few days ago, the Boston Globe reported that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has upheld the conviction of Paul Shanley, a former priest accused of sexual abuse occurring about twenty years ago. The appeal of Shanley's conviction was based on objections to the lower court's acceptance of testimony based on recovered memories of the event, which were said to have been repressed by the victim. In upholding the conviction, the higher court said: "... the judge's finding that the lack of scientific testing did not make unreliable the theory that an individual may experience dissociative amnesia was supported in the record, not only by expert testimony but by a wide collection of clinical observations and a survey of academic literature". This was in spite of the submission of comments rejecting the idea of repressed memories by experts such as Richard McNally. However, the opinion went on to say, the Supreme Judicial Court may decide in the future to throw out a conviction where the only evidence is recovered memories.

Repugnant as is the idea of sexual abuse of children, especially by figures of authority, it is also repugnant to think that misinformation may have trumped good evidence in this and similar cases. It is always a problem to translate scientific standards of evidence into legal standards, because legal standards are based on concepts like "what a reasonable man would think" or on the preponderance of evidence, and scientific standards have traditionally been based on probabilities. Recently scientific standards, especially in medical and psychological areas, have also considered the quality or level of evidence supporting a claim. This perspective seems to be difficult for courts to handle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

L.A. Archdiocese allowed another pedophile priest to operate in 2003. Lawsuit docs scanned here.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

[includes court documents]

By Kay Ebeling

With reckless disregard, the Catholic Church was covering up crimes of pedophile priests as recently as 2003, alleges an April 2009 lawsuit (Complaint scanned in part below with outstanding quotes.) As I read this yet another set of documented charges, I can’t help thinking, these lawsuits are no longer about one plaintiff or even individual victims.

The general public suffered damages as well, because anywhere these priests went, children were at risk, and considering how hard it’s been for the few victims, now adults, who have come forward with charges, and how often children repress memories and never recover them, there is no way to know how many Americans got sexually molested by predator priests. How can so much pedophilia take place in an institution as influential as the Roman Catholic Church, without repercussions?

Read the documents below and see if, about halfway through, you don't start feeling outrage, wanting to shout, Enough. Where is law enforcement. How can thousands of sex crimes against children not only go unprosecuted, but the major perpetrators are still influencing American government and culture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

What Can We Learn from the John Jay Studies?

UNITED STATES
Virtus

Editor’s Note: We are pleased to welcome Monica Applewhite, Ph.D as a contributing author. Dr. Applewhite is an expert in standards of care and the dynamics of abuse in educational and religious environments. She has worked extensively with schools, churches, religious communities, and residential treatment facilities both nationally and abroad.

By Monica Applewhite, Ph.D.
Expert in standards of care and the dynamics of abuse in educational and religious environments

By now, most of us have long since realized that sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is not a simple story. We have had no shortage of theories, perspectives, personal accounts, or opinions with respect to how and why the sexual abuse crisis occurred in 2002. This story has generated an enormously rich, deep discussion about our beliefs, our formation, and personal human pathways. None of this, however, replaces or renders irrelevant the role of concrete research into the problem.

In 2006, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice asked for and was granted permission by the United States Bishops to conduct further analysis on the data generated during the Nature and Scope study. This additional analysis yielded a number of interesting findings with broad implications for Church Safe Environments as well as for the understanding of sexual abuse and sexual abusers in society as a whole. Some of the significant findings from the further analysis are presented below.

Generalists versus Specialists—The majority (56%) of clergy accused of sexual abuse from 1950 to 2002 had one allegation against them, leaving 1,548 with at least two allegations of abuse. Contrary to the prevailing belief that clergy sexual offenders normally have a very specific “type” of victim, the study showed that more than half of the clergy with more than one allegation were “generalists.” That is, 855 (55%) of those who abused more than one child, also abused more than one type of child, a significant portion of which abused both girls and boys. Of all clergy who abused more than one child, 693 (45%) only abused children of the same age (plus or minus two years) and gender. Only 2.2% of all clergy who had allegations of abuse fit the profile of a pedophile, which is the sexual preference of prepubescent children. An additional 10.8% fit the profile of an ephebophile, which is the sexual preference for mid-to-late adolescent youths.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

My Take

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

By Thomas Doyle, J.C.D.

I believe the best way to describe this short article is thus: it is a “puff piece” that contributes nothing substantial to an understanding of the clergy sex abuse issue. The author’s conclusions from the statistics mean….what? It comes across as a spin, using the John Jay findings in an attempt to minimize the problem. The author may be an expert “in standards of care and the dynamics of abuse in educational and religious environments.” She is clearly not an expert in the dynamics of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.

The first paragraph is the tip-off. She states flat-out that the “crisis” occurred in 2002. Even casual observers with only a rudimentary knowledge of the phenomenon in the Catholic Church know two things that Dr. Applewhite apparently does not.

First, this is far more than a “crisis.” A crisis happens, is confronted and is either resolved or morphs into something worse than when it stated. The clergy sexual abuse reality is not a crisis but the horrific result of a deeply flawed institutional Church that is run by a clerical elite that is socially and morally distorted. This is really the revelation of a destructive trait that is deeply embedded in the institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Predator is ousted; Cop says dumb thing; abuse victims blast him

BERWYN (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We are glad that another child molesting Chicago Catholic cleric has been tracked down, publicly exposed and ousted from his job yesterday. At the same time, however, we're very upset that a police chief is minimizing the situation.

Late Friday afternoon, Frank Paduch was suspended from his post as a Berwyn city official. (At least five men have accused Paduch of molesting them when he was a Catholic brother/school teacher.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

City employee placed on leave pending police investigation

BERWYN (IL)
Berwyn Life

By Adam Rosen, arosen@mysuburbanlife.com
Berwyn Life

Berwyn, IL — An employee for the City of Berwyn has been placed on administrative leave pending a police investigation into allegations that the employee allegedly sexually abused five boys in the 1980s.

Barbara Blaine, founder and president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, submitted a letter to Berwyn City Hall on Thursday asking for an investigation into Senior Advocate Frank Paduch’s past and why he allegedly failed to disclose information about his past when he was hired.

A civil lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court against Paduch in 1997 alleging that Paduch, while serving as a theology teacher and soccer coach at St. Rita High School in Chicago, sexually abused a student during the 1980-81 school year. The lawsuit claims the victim, a freshman at St. Rita during the 1980-81 school year, was sexually assaulted by Paduch. It sought monetary damages for physical and mental anguish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Ousted deacon resurfaces here

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A Catholic deacon who was refused ordination two years ago by a New Jersey bishop and was ousted by a Pennsylvania bishop now works at a parish in Oregon. A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging an Oregon bishop to publicly explain why he’s given a job to the controversial deacon and to reconsider that decision.

Deacon Joseph Levine is the former head of a troubled group called the Society of St. John, which was shut down by Scranton’s bishop in 2004 after charges of financial misdealing and after two of the group’s priests were sued for alleged child sexual abuse. Levine was accused by Jeffrey Bond, Ph.D., of concealing clergy sex crimes.

In 2007, Levine was within a week of becoming a priest in the Paterson NJ diocese. But the diocese suddenly announced that it was refusing to ordain him and admit it had received “questions about Levine's suitability for the priesthood,” according to the Scranton Times-Leader. ...

“Levine’s never been charged or convicted in any criminal, civil or church proceeding,” admits David Clohessy, national director of a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “But two bishops have rejected Levine, both of whom no doubt know him better than Oregon church officials do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Catholic Church can still inspire us to be of service

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Colum Kenny

Sunday January 17 2010

Benedict XVI is writing a special Lenten letter to Irish Catholics. What can he say that will make a difference? Who is informing him about Ireland?

It is a sign of the times that Dublin councillors are to consider changing the official name of Merrion Square, currently Archbishop Ryan Park. Not many people know the park as anything other than Merrion Square, but it is officially named in honour of the late Catholic archbishop of Dublin who transferred ownership of it to the city in 1974. The park previously belonged to the church and had been earmarked for a new cathedral.

A suggestion by one councillor that Merrion Square might now be renamed in honour of Oscar Wilde, who lived opposite it as a young child, seems strange.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Pope Quiz: Is Every Pontiff a Saint?

The New York Times

By DAVID GIBSON
Published: January 16, 2010

When Pope Benedict XVI approved a decree last month that nudged nearer to sainthood his controversial wartime predecessor, Pius XII, he sparked another round of the sort of Jewish-Catholic disputations that have marked his papacy, and even cast doubt on whether his trip to Rome’s main synagogue, set for Sunday, would go on.

The Vatican paired the announcement of Pius XII’s “heroic virtue” — the step before beatification, which would be followed by canonization, or sainthood — with a similar declaration about Pope John Paul II, who was considered a great friend to the Jews. No matter. Jewish leaders were furious, though Rome’s Jews decided to go ahead with the papal visit. ...

This “papalization” of the church means that every pope must now be seen as a holy man, indeed the holiest man in the church, even if there are pressing issues of governance that would require more savvy than piety. Although John Paul II is a lock for sainthood, serious questions about his administration of the church are emerging as the clergy sexual abuse scandals reveal how he neglected the mundane but critical tasks of being pope. ...

The Rev. Richard McBrien, a theology professor at Notre Dame and author of “Lives of the Popes,” suggested that canonizations may be a defense against criticism of popes, and he said the church would do better to canonize more saintly lay people — parents and grandparents and regular holy folk “with whom the overwhelming majority of Catholics can identify.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Gardai step up probe into abuse collusion

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By MAEVE SHEEHAN

Sunday January 17 2010

GARDAI have stepped up an investigation into whether members of the force or the clergy broke the law in protecting child sexual abusers.

A dedicated team of detectives working under an assistant garda commissioner, John O'Mahony, is preparing to interview up to half-a-dozen members of the force whose actions were criticised in Judge Yvonne Murphy's report on child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese. It is understood that some individuals have already been interviewed but it is not clear whether these are priests or former members of the force.

The report is not only focusing on gardai but also on the actions of priests and clergy to see if there is evidence that they failed to act in relation to a criminal act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

'Repressed memory' conviction upheld

MASSACHUSETTS
United Press International

BOSTON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The highest court in Massachusetts has refused to overturn a Catholic priest's sexual assault conviction in a case that turned on recovered memory.

The Supreme Judicial Court unanimously upheld the decision by the trial judge to allow evidence of repressed memory to be admitted at the trial of the Rev. Paul Shanley, The Boston Globe reported.

"In sum, the judge's finding that the lack of scientific testing did not make unreliable the theory that an individual may experience dissociative amnesia was supported in the record, not only by expert testimony but by a wide collection of clinical observations and a survey of academic literature,'' Justice Robert Cordy wrote in the court's opinion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

January 16, 2010

6000 is number of Pedophile Priests in U.S. Catholic Church since 1950. Found so far. And still counting

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

[with video]

By Kay Ebeling

"This year the number will go over 6,000," Terry McKiernan, president of Bishop Accountability in Boston, emailed early this month. After we posted The Public Has a Right to Know how Six Thousand Priests Got Away with Pedophilia Jan. 2, people questioned me as to where I got the number.

"Counted, not identified," McKiernan clarified. "Last year the bishops released a count for 2008 that, added to previous counts, totals 5,600 accused:

McKiernan continued: "Dioceses with fuller disclosure seem to show that about 10% of priests working after 1950 have been accused of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Catholic diocese lost $1 million

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
bkush@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Diocese of Worcester experienced unrealized losses in its master investment portfolio totaling $1,056,759 — generating an operating loss of $1,091,127 last fiscal year, an annual audit of the local Roman Catholic diocese shows.

However, despite the struggling economy, the diocese’s departments and agencies, for the most part, were able to operate with balanced budgets last fiscal year.

Chancery officials stressed that many of the reported department deficits were attributed to those unrealized losses and not on deficit spending. For example, the Central Administration budget reported $655,150 in expenses over revenue, after taking into account an unrealized investment loss of $682,244.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Abuse not just Irish issue -- McAleese

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Grainne Cunningham

Saturday January 16 2010

PRESIDENT Mary McAleese insisted yesterday that child abuse scandals are not "peculiar" to Ireland.

Mrs McAleese stressed the fact that child abuse was a global issue, just two days after a senior Vatican figure suggested the clerical sex abuse scandals here were not representative of the vast majority of Catholic priests.

Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy, said, in the Vatican daily 'L'Osservatore Romano', that it would be wrong to "make generalisations" as a result of the Irish experience.

Asked if events "in certain parts of the world" suggested something had gone wrong between bishops and their priests, the cardinal said: "The painful Irish happenings -- which, by the way, have seen some bishops assume their responsibilities and resign -- simply do not relate to the entire episcopal ministry."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Late teen's mom a reminder at coach's trial

FREEHOLD (NJ)
Asbury Park Press

By CHARLES WEBSTER • STAFF WRITER • January 15, 2010

FREEHOLD — As a dozen young men paraded to a witness stand in the last two weeks to tell jurors of sexually explicit conversations with former St. Rose High School baseball coach Bartholomew McInerney, a face in the front row of the courtroom served as a reminder of another alleged victim.

"I'll be here every day — as long as the trial takes. It's all about these boys who had the courage to come forward to tell the truth," explained Jackie Clark. Jackie Clark is the mother of Andrew Clark, an alleged 13th victim of the man known as "Coach Bart."

She believes alleged abuse committed by McInerney played a role in her son's untimely death on June 20, 2008. Andrew Clark, 18, died after he was struck by a train near the Wall Road crossing in Spring Lake, just hours after attending a graduation ceremony at Manasquan High School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

One man loses, another gains religion through reporting

CALIFORNIA
Bakersfield Express

By Louis Medina

Consider this scenario: A reporter who is a committed born-again Christian takes on the religion beat at his newspaper because he feels a calling from God to tell the positive stories about Christians that are being ignored by his editors. But he ends up finding story after story—Catholic priest sex scandals, Christian televangelist sex and money scandals, Mormon excommunication scandals—that shake his Christian convictions, and in a matter of just a few years he ends up walking away from both his beat and his faith.

Now consider this scenario: A reporter who once was a born-again Christian but now sees himself as more spiritual than religious takes on the faith beat at a newspaper because he thinks it will be a stimulating and enriching experience. He is fascinated as he discovers untold story after untold story—local Muslim communities thriving despite post-9/11 distrust and prejudice; exhaustive Mormon genealogical resources that enable people to feel close to ancestors several centuries removed; Philippine girls who dress up as prom queens in an effort to represent the beauty and grace of the holy women of the Bible. He finds God again and again in places he wouldn’t have thought to look for him before, and his faith and curiosity in spiritual things continue to grow even after he leaves his full-time job as a journalist because of economic uncertainties in the industry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

COMMONWEALTH vs. Paul SHANLEY

MASSACHUSETTS
BishopAccountability.org

This links to the complete decision rendered today by the Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court in Paul Shanley's request for a new trial. The court said it was permissible for repressed memory to be admitted in the former priest's trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Former Catholic priest’s bid for new trial rejected

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By John R. Ellement
Globe Staff / January 16, 2010

The state’s high court yesterday upheld the sexual assault convictions of former Roman Catholic priest Paul M. Shanley, who claimed he was wrongly accused by a man who fabricated memories of being abused as a child.

Shanley was a key figure in the clergy abuse scandal that rocked the Boston Archdiocese beginning in 2002, and his appeal drew national attention by experts who view “recovered memories’’ as a valid psychiatric condition and those who see it as “junk science.’’

In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Judicial Court said a Superior Court judge made the right decision when he allowed repressed memory evidence to be used against Shanley during his 2005 trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Questions in death of area priest

PLAINVILLE (MA)
The Sun Chronicle

BY RICK FOSTER SUN CHRONICLE STAFF

PLAINVILLE - The pastor of St. Martha's Church died earlier this month in New Hampshire under mysterious circumstances, and parishioners are hoping to learn more about it next week.

The Rev. J. Garret Thomson, 55, was found dead Jan. 6 on the bedroom floor of his home in Jaffrey, N.H. The appointment of a temporary church administrator for the parish was announced Friday by the Boston Archdiocese.

The New Hampshire Medical Examiner's Office ruled that Thomson died of natural causes and that high blood pressure and diabetes contributed to his death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

From a priest's perspective

CANADA
Telegraph-Journal

A View from the Trenches
Monsignor Dennis Murphy

Michael W. Higgins

This book could not be more timely. It arrives at a moment when once again the Canadian Roman Catholic Church is reeling from another scandal. This time it involves the former Bishop of Antigonish, Raymond Lahey. The controversy surrounding his arrest and charges ensures that the aftershocks of the Lahey affair continue for some time to come.

Author Msgr. Dennis Murphy is a seasoned communicator, educator (he holds a doctorate in education), sometime ecclesiastical bureaucrat, founder of ICE (Institute of Catholic Education - an Ontario think-tank), retreat master, teacher and diocesan priest. He has been in more than a few trenches in his life. He has the admirable characteristics of being forthright and not skirting an issue. Both qualities are in evidence in A View from the Trenches, although a dollop of prelatical timidity can be on occasion detected.

Murphy notes at the outset: "One of the great paradoxes in the Catholic Church these days is that while survey results tell us that priests are still among the most satisfied and happy men in the land, most of the priests I know often feel somewhat battered and beleaguered in the exercise of their ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Archdiocese of Boston Announces Status of Investigation into Abuse Allegation against Reverend J. Garret Thomson

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

(Braintree, Mass.) January 15, 2010…The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that it has closed an investigation into a complaint of alleged sexual abuse of a minor made against Rev. J. Garret Thomson, a priest of the Archdiocese who died on Wednesday, January 6, 2010. Fr. Thomson most recently served as pastor of St. Martha’s Church in Plainville.

On Monday, January 4, 2010, the Archdiocese placed Fr. Thomson on administrative leave as a result of a single allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. The allegation concerns conduct alleged to have taken place approximately fifteen years ago. The Archdiocese notified law enforcement of the allegation and initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaint. The decision to place Fr. Thomson on administrative leave represented the Archdiocese’s commitment to the safety of all parties and did not represent a determination of Fr. Thomson’s guilt or innocence as it pertained to this allegation. As a result of Fr. Thomson’s death, the Archdiocese has closed its investigation into the allegation.

Since learning of Fr. Thomson’s death on January 6, the Archdiocese’s focus has been on laying Fr. Thomson to rest and the important work of supporting the parish as the community mourns the loss of its pastor. At the weekend Masses celebrated on January 9 and January 10, Auxiliary Bishop John Dooher informed the parishioners of St. Martha’s Parish of Fr. Thomson’s death and notified them that Fr. Thomson had been placed on administrative leave. Bishop Dooher was also present to the parish to express the sympathy and concern of Cardinal O’Malley and the entire Archdiocese. In addition, Bishop Dooher announced that a meeting with the Parish would be held on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 to discuss the details surrounding Fr. Thomson’s status.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 AM

January 15, 2010

Day Two in Haiti (Pre-Earthquake)

HAITI
Fairfield Mirror (United States)

January 15, 2010
By: Paul Kendrick '72

Warning: This article contains some graphic language and content that may be upsetting.

Editor’s Note – This is the second in a five part series of diary entries written by Fairfield alumnus Paul Kendrick ‘72, who is currently spending a week in Haiti. Kendrick is a long time advocate for sex abuse victims and a co-founder of Voice of the Faithful in Maine, which formed in response to the Roman Catholic sex abuse cases. He had visited Project Pierre Touissant, which was run by fellow Fairfield alumnus Doug Perlitz ‘92 in 2003. Last year, Perlitz was indicted by a Bridgeport grand jury on ten counts of abusing Haitian children. His trial is scheduled to start in April.

Cap-Haitien, Haiti – Forty percent of the Haitian population is under 15 years old. Kids are everywhere. In the early morning, one can see them in multitudes as they walk to school all dressed up in their crisp uniforms. They hold hands and giggle with each other. They walk on streets full of pot holes, many of which are strewn with garbage.

On a previous visit to Port Margot, located north of Cap-Haitien, I was standing in the town square at 6:00 a.m. when a little boy came walking by in his checkered brown school uniform. He was walking backwards, staring at me, obviously infatuated by the color of my skin. He was so intent upon looking at me that he didn’t pay attention to where he was going and the poor little guy tripped over himself and fell. When I went to help, he quickly got up and ran away as fast as he could.

I am reporting that more former Project Pierre Toussaint students came to speak with me today. I listened quietly as they told me what Doug Perlitz did to their bodies and souls. In yesterday’s diary, I referred to the two boys I spoke with on Monday as “alleged” victims. I did that to be politically correct, to satisfy Doug’s supporters who believe that people like me are on some kind of a “witch hunt.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

President tells envoys child abuse affects us all

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

“THE PROBLEMS addressed by the Ryan and Murphy reports, as well as the vulnerability of children to abuse in the home, are peculiar neither to Ireland nor to the Catholic Church,” President McAleese said yesterday.

In a seeming retort to comments by Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, in the Vatican earlier this week, President McAleese said: “These are global problems and to assume otherwise is to offer abusers the same dishonourable secret veil which gave them protection and immunity for far too long.

“I hope the world’s children will benefit from the greater scepticism and vigilance that our experience rightly demands in order to better protect our children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

Rubashkin Son-In-Law Yaakov Weiss Pleads Guilty in Boy-Molest Case, But Avoids Sex-Offender Registry

NEW YORK
The Village Voice

By Ward Harkavy

Yaakov Weiss, a son-in-law of crooked Kosher-meat-mogul Sholom Rubashkin, has pleaded guilty to child endangerment in a boy-sex case in Albany. Weiss admitted that he got naked with a 13-year-old boy and had "inappropriate physical contact" with the child.

But the goniff worked out a plea deal and miraculously won't wind up on the sex-offender registry. Which means he can resume his career of working with children.

This despite the fact that he was indicted for full-on molestation: trying to hide his salami in (or at least rub it on) the butts of two boys while they were all taking a mikveh — a ritual bath that's supposed to purify one's soul but clearly didn't have the desired effect.

And Weiss skated despite the fact that he admitted telling one of the two boys he was charged with molesting to lie to his mother and to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 PM

Bishop says priest's charges should not taint whole church

NORTH CAROLINA
WWAY

Submitted by Joe Mauceri on 15 January 2010

The Bishop of Raleigh says a Duplin County priest and his parishioners are in his prayers. Bishop Michael Burbidge asked people not to jump to conclusions while Fr. Edgar Sepulveda faces charges of sexual misconduct. Brunswick County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Sepulveda a week ago. Bishop Burbidge asked to let the entire judicial process play out and pray for everyone involved.

Sepulveda is charged with sexual offense and sexual battery. Deputies say the priest was ministering for a youth group in brunswick county, but had no place to stay. One of the youth group member's parents offered their home-- that's where deputies say the incident happened. Duplin County, has an open case also involving a separate allegation about Sepulveda, but Bishop Burbidge says the cases should not reflect on the entire catholic church.

"One act of sexual abuse of a child is horrific and unacceptable," Burbidge said. "And I understand that it devastates everyone involved. Ninety-nine percent of the priests that the faithful had met throughout their whole life have been true and faithful to everything they have promised."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Former priest denied request for new trial

MASSACHUSETTS
WHDH

[with video]

BOSTON -- A former Boston priest convicted of raping a child was denied his request for a new trial.

Today, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld the victim's claim of recovering repressed memories.

Paul Shanley said the judge at his 2005 trial should not have allowed prosecutors to present evidence of repressed and recovered memories, and he questioned why the victim waited 20 years to report the sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

DECISIVE ACTION

Word from WEORC

On Christmas day over Detroit, a Nigerian suicide bomber’s attempt to blow up a commercial jetliner was foiled because of his own ineptitude coupled with the decisive action of his fellow passengers. Whatever the challenges or foibles of the security officials on the ground, these ordinary travelers recognized the danger in the air and responded immediately and vigorously, thus saving their lives, as well as possible victims of falling debris.

Something similar seems to be happening in the Catholic church as some hyper-conservative bishops, priests and laity attempt to blow up Vatican II Catholicism by their attempts to “reform the reform” as they call it. However, many Catholics are no longer willing to act as compliant sheep being led to an ideological slaughter. The old idea that “Father, or Bishop, or Pope knows best” has been profoundly eroded by the hierarchy’s miserable performance in the clergy sex abuse scandals here in America and around the world, most recently in Ireland. Just as airline security is too serious to be left to authorities alone, so too one’s authentic relationship with God is too important to be left to the ebb and flow of ecclesiastical politics on all levels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Bishop speaks out about recent allegations of sex crimes

NORTH CAROLINA
WECT

Posted by Debra Worley

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Bishop Burbridge of the Diocese of Raleigh is speaking out about the allegations involving a priest having sexual relations with a minor.

Father Edgar Sepulveda, 47, is facing one count of 2nd degree Sexual Offense and one count of Sexual Battery.

According to the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, Father Sepulveda was visiting church members in Brunswick County when he was accused of committing the crimes against a juvenile male in May 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Ex-priest convicted of sexually assaulting boys

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Mike Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Jan. 15, 2010

Waukesha - A former member of the Brothers of the Holy Cross religious order who later became a Catholic priest pleaded guilty Friday and was convicted of sexually assaulting two boys in the Elm Grove area, one in the late 1970s and the other in the early 1980s.

Prosecutor Debra L. Blasius said the state will argue that James R. Blume receive a 10-year prison term when he is sentenced on March 26.

Blume, 64, was charged with two counts of sexual assault against a child. He decided to enter guilty pleas on Friday rather than take the case to trial, and was found guilty by Waukesha County Reserve Judge Patrick L. Snyder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

The Strange Case of the Nephew of the Board Chair of the 92nd Street Y

NEW YORK
Gawker

Thomas Kaplan is the chair of the 92nd Street Y's board of directors. He is devoted to gaining control of the Orthodox conversion process and saving panthers. His 32-year-old nephew Guma has gone crazy, and he's tangled up in it.

It's a super-complicated story, but what you need to know is this: Kaplan and his 32-year-old, multimillinaire Israeli nephew, Gumo Aguiar, had been funding the efforts of a shady ultra-Orthodox rabbi named Leib Tropper as he attempted to gain control of the Orthodox conversion process. Except Tropper's plans were derailed when a tape was discovered showing him trying to "sexually coerce" (yeah, we don't know what that means either. Rape? BJs?) a prospective convert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

COMMONWEALTH vs. Paul SHANLEY

MASSACHUSETTS
BishopAccountability.org

This links to the complete decision rendered today by the Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court in former priest Paul Shanley's request for a new trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

SJC denies ex-priest Paul Shanley’s bid for new trial

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

By Rachelle Cohen
Friday, January 15, 2010

The state’s highest court today affirmed the 2005 conviction of pedophile priest Paul Shanley and along with it the introduction of so-called “repressed memory’’ of victims in prosecuting cases of sexual abuse.

In denying Shanley’s appeal, the unanimous Supreme Judicial Court decision rejected a laundry list of grounds raised by his legal team, including whether his conviction raised statute of limitations issues (it didn’t, the court said) or an abuse of judicial discretion (again, no).

“There was no abuse of discretion in the admission of expert testimony on the subject of dissociative amnesia,’’ the court found, using the term used in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association – the virtual bible of psychiatry and psychology.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Mass. court denies ex-priest's bid for new trial

MASSACHUSETTS
Washington Post

By DENISE LAVOIE
The Associated Press
Friday, January 15, 2010

BOSTON -- A key figure in the Boston clergy sex-abuse scandal who claims his rape conviction was based on "junk science" lost his bid for a new trial Friday when the state's highest court validated his victim's claim of recovering repressed memories.

Paul Shanley said the judge at his 2005 trial should not have allowed prosecutors to present evidence about the theory of repressed-recovered memories to explain why the victim waited 20 years to report the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Cowichan Valley man who blew whistle in alleged sex abuse scandal says battle goes on

CANADA
Times-Colonist

By Lexi Bainas, Canwest News Service
January 15, 2010

Helen and Perry Dunlop are still waiting to read an English copy of the extensive report from the inquiry into events in Cornwall, Ontario when he was a police officer there. They said this week their decades-long battle against those who prey upon children is far from over.

The government of Ontario spent years and $60 million dollars for an inquiry into an alleged sex abuse scandal in the community of Cornwall but the only person who's gone to jail is the former cop who blew the whistle on it all: Cowichan Valley resident Perry Dunlop.

He now lives in Duncan with his wife, Helen, and three daughters but was dragged back to Ontario in early 2008 to testify at the inquiry headed by Commissioner Normand Glaude.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Sexual Abuse Victims’ Support Group Calls for Berwyn Investigation of Former Priest

BERWYN (IL)
Chicago Injury Lawyer Blog

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has asked the City of Berwyn to investigate an employee of the Berwyn Cultural Center located at 6420 W. 16th St. Former priest Frank Paduch, who was accused of sexually abusing five boys in the 1980s, has come under fire for his failure to disclose certain information when he was hired by the city. According to reports, a 1997 civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court alleges that Paduch sexually abused a St. Rita High School student while he was working for the school. The lawsuit settled for an undisclosed amount two years later. SNAP further reports that an additional four alleged victims have come forward through an attorney, but none have filed a lawsuit against Paduch.

SNAP submitted a letter to the Berwyn City Hall on Thursday asking the village to investigate the circumstances surrounding Paduch’s hiring. SNAP was reportedly made aware of Paduch’s current employment situation as a result of citizen reports. The Berwyn Cultural Center is located across the street from Lincoln Middle School. Berwyn has said that it will respond to the letter today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Paul Shanley, convicted abuser and ex-priest, denied a new trial by highest court in Massachusetts

MASSACHUSETTS
Voice from the Desert

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests 312 399 4747

Kids are safer with Shanley behind bars. We hope this news will bring some comfort to the dozens he has victimized, many of whom are no doubt still struggling with the devastating, life-long effects of sexual abuse.

The court is right: repressed memories are well documented and widely accepted in the scientific and therapeutic community, despite a small but loud handful of nay-sayers.

Let’s hope this ruling will encourage others who were hurt by sex offenders to come forward, get help, expose predators, protect others and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

SJC confirms Shanley conviction

MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

By David E. Frank

Published: January 18, 2010

In a closely watched case that impacts repressed-memory trials in Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Court has upheld the rape and indecent assault convictions of defrocked priest Paul Shanley.

Shanley, who is serving a 12- to 15-year prison sentence, appealed the rape conviction on grounds that Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Neel improperly allowed a jury to consider his victim's claim of repressed memories.The victim testified at a 2005 trial that more than 20 years had passed before he remembered what had happened to him. He said his memory came back in 2002 after seeing widespread media coverage about the church abuse scandal.

Shanley's appellate lawyer, Robert F. Shaw Jr. of Cambridge, argued that trial attorney Frank Mondano provided ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to properly challenge the repressed-memory evidence.

But the SJC disagreed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Priest is suspended after arrest

UNITED KINGDOM
Mercury

By Gemma Gardner
A CATHOLIC priest serving Buntingford has been suspended following his arrest by the Metropolitan Police.

Father Ian Dickie, who has served in the parish of the St Richard of Chichester Church in Station Road, pictured, for four years, has been temporarily withdrawn from public ministry, the Diocese of Westminster confirmed this week.

A diocese spokeswoman said: “This follows an allegation made against him involving a young person, which is said to have taken place more than 30 years ago.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

State high court denies pedophile priest a new trial


MASSACHUSETTS
Enterprise

The Patriot Ledger

BOSTON — The state supreme court has rejected defrocked priest Paul Shanley’s appeal for a new trial.

In a ruling issued Friday, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld a lower court judge’s ruling denying Shanley a new trial.

Shanley, one of the central figures in the clergy sex abuse scandal within the Boston Archdiocese, had challenged his conviction for repeatedly raping a boy based on an ongoing debate in the psychiatric community over the validity and reliability of repressed memories.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Priest dies after allegation; Sex abuse victims respond

PLAINFIELD (MA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Our hearts ache for everyone here - the alleged victim or victims and their families, as well as for Fr. Thomson's loved ones, his Plainville MA flock and his Jaffrey NH neighbors. Everyone involved deserves more honesty and caring from Boston's Catholic hierarchy.

It's outrageous that, even now, Catholic officials can't be honest and forthcoming about clergy sex abuse reports - either with the public, the press or their parishioners. When a child sex abuse report is deemed credible, it is reckless to delay disclosing it for almost any reason, even for one day (especially if the accused is alive and in a parish). Each day a bishop keeps quiet about a credible accusation, he's doing a potential felon a huge favor. Such delays give possible criminals ample time to destroy evidence, fabricate alibis, intimidate witnesses, threaten victims, and even flee the country. Such delays are also hurtful and callous to those who report these alleged crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Diocese of Worcester Releases Annual Report for FY2009

WORCESTER (MA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester

[links to financial reports]

JANUARY 15, 2010, WORCESTER, MA -- Following a complete audit of its financial accounting, the Diocese of Worcester has issued an online and printed edition of the annual report detailing activities for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2009.

Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester, noted in his letter that despite the significant economic challenges, the report demonstrated many strengths. “The Annual Partners in Charity Appeal raised $4,822,180, the second highest amount ever.” He also noted that “for the most part, our Diocesan departments and agencies were able to operate with balanced budgets last year.”

Many of the reported deficits were attributed to unrealized losses on investments, not deficit spending in operational budgets. For example, Central Administration reported $665,150 in expenses over revenue after accounting for an unrealized investment loss of $682,244.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Annual report details budgets

WORCESTER (MA)
The Catholic Free Press

By William T. Clew

The 2009 diocesan Annual Report issued this week shows that, “for the most part, our diocesan departments and agencies were able to operate with balanced budgets last year,” Bishop McManus said in a letter accompanying the report.

Bishop McManus also noted in his letter that despite significant economic challenges the Partners in Charity Appeal raised the second highest amount; $4,822,180.

“This would not have been possible without the extraordinary generosity of our priests and people,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

SJC upholds Shanley child abuse convictions

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

January 15, 2010
By John R. Ellement and Jonathan Saltzman, Globe staff

Defrocked Roman Catholic priest Paul Shanley today lost his appeal before the state's high court, ensuing that a key figure in the priest abuse scandal that rocked the Boston Archdiocese will remain behind bars.

The Supreme Judicial Court upheld Shanley's convictions for two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault and battery obtained by Middlesex prosecutors in 2005. The victim first made his accusations against Shanley in 2002, some 20 years after the abuse took place at St. Jean's Church in Newton when the boy was between the ages of 6 and 11.

The SJC rejected defense attorney Robert F. Shaw Jr.'s contention that Shanley's trial was flawed because the "junk science'' of "repressed memory" was used by prosecutors to explain that long gap.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Cornwall sex abuse victims lose funding

CANADA
CBC News

The Canadian Press
Survivors of sexual abuse in Cornwall risk being left without the counselling they need to recover when government funding runs out Friday, a victims' rights group warns.

The Ontario government plans to begin placing victims into alternate support programs over the next six months. Meanwhile, the attorney general will examine and respond to recommendations made in a report from a lengthy inquiry into rumours of a pedophile ring in the community.

Rick Goodwin of The Men's Project, a non-profit men's counselling agency, says the government's plan to move people into other community services will do little to help those who have been relying on counsellors they suddenly can no longer afford.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

Mass. high court denies ex-priest's bid for new trial based on challenge to repressed memories

MASSACHUSETTS
Fox 59

DENISE LAVOIE AP Legal Affairs Writer
10:35 AM EST, January 15, 2010

BOSTON (AP) — The highest court in Massachusetts has denied a request for a new trial by a former Roman Catholic priest who was a key figure in the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal.

Paul Shanley claims he was wrongly convicted based in part on a victim's repressed memories. His lawyer calls the theory of repressed memory "junk science."

The Supreme Judicial Court said Friday that while the repressed memory theory is controversial, it's generally accepted in the scientific community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

Former Priest Accused Of Molestation To Enter Plea

WISCONSIN
WISN

BROOKFIELD, Wis. -- A former Waukesha County priest accused of molesting boys will be in court Friday.

James Blume will enter a plea. Blume taught classes at St. Luke's parish in Brookfield in the 1970s.

He currently lives in Florida and was brought back to Wisconsin under the state's "fleeing sex offender" law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Mystery surrounds death of Plainville pastor

PLAINVILLE (MA)
The Sun Chronicle

PLAINVILLE - The pastor of St. Martha's Church died earlier this month in New Hampshire under mysterious circumstances, and parishioners are hoping to learn more about it this week.

The Rev. J. Garret Thomson, 55, was found dead Jan. 6 on the bedroom floor of his home in Jaffrey, N.H.

The New Hampshire medical examiner's office ruled that Thomson died of natural causes and that high blood pressure and diabetes contributed to his death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Row over conversion organisation EJF 'sex scandal'

NEW YORK
The JC

By Simon Rocker, January 15, 2010
An extraordinary war of words has broken out over the scandal-racked conversion organisation Eternal Jewish Family, whose founder quit last month over sex allegations.

Rabbi Aba Dunner, the London-based executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis, rounded on the EJF this week, telling the VosIzNeias news site that he would continue to try to stop the organisation’s “nefarious activities”.

But EJF hit back, accusing Rabbi Dunner of not refunding money that it had given to the CER.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

It has been almost a year

and sometimes tea

I know I'm late to this, but I was encouraged to read about Father Richard Gill's decision to leave the Legion of Christ. Patrick Madrid posts here, and the Life-after-RC blog has Father Gill's letter announcing his decision.

I especially liked this part of Father Gill's letter:

The news of the various scandals regarding Fr. Maciel was truly shocking and horrendous for us and the whole the Church. In dealing with them I have tried my best to be honest and candid whenever I have spoken to you all about them and never knowingly misled anyone. I have believed that a rigorously honest approach to this terrible series of events was the only way to proceed. Furthermore, I felt that if done so, and counting on the help of the Holy See, it could even lead to true healing and renewal for the Legion and the Movement, even in spite of the truly serious questions it raises about the charism of the congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

National Survivor Advocates Coalition Regrets US Supreme Court Decision

CALIFORNIA
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) expressed its regret that the United States Supreme Court banned televising the Proposition 8 trial either by delayed posting on YouTube or live broadcast because of a technicality.

The court ruled that the Ninth District court had not allowed enough time for comments on whether the trial should be televised and therefore the US Supreme Court would not allow the delayed posting or live broadcast.

NSAC reiterated its call for as wide a distribution of the trial proceedings as possible.

The coalition said televising the trial would provide an avenue of knowledge for Catholics about the use of Catholic money by bishops to support or defeat legislation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Defiant bishop focuses on protecting children

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney, Religion Correspondent

Friday January 15 2010

THE defiant Bishop of Galway, Martin Drennan, has summoned an emergency meeting of his clergy next week to undertake a comprehensive review of child protection procedures in the diocese.

The gathering of priests will take place at St Mary's College in Galway on Tuesday.

The initiative aims to bolster Bishop Drennan's shaky position after he resisted repeated calls before Christmas for his resignation because he was named in the Murphy report into cover-ups of paedophile priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Suspected sex offender escapes extradition to US

ISRAEL
YNet News

Ynet Published: 01.14.10

The Supreme Court determined Thursday that Abraham Mondrowitz, who is accused of committing severe sex crimes against minors in the US up to 25 years ago, will not be extradited.

Mondrowitz, a psychologist by trade, resided in the US until 1984, when he immigrated to Israel. A few months after his arrival he was indicted in his home country on charges of sexual abuse of minors.

In 1985 the US asked Israel to extradite Mondrowitz, but the appeal was denied because at the time the crimes with which he was charged were not part of the extradition agreement between the two countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Cornwall sexual abuse victims will continue to get aid

CANADA
CTV

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The Ontario government says it will begin placing survivors of sexual abuse in Cornwall in alternate support programs over the next six months when funding for counselling services runs out Friday.

The Ministry of the Attorney General says the transition will take place while the government examines all the recommendations made in a $53-million report released last month and works on a fuller response.

Attorney General Chris Bentley had promised more money to help victims when the report was released, but has yet to specify the amount.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Prodigal Son

ISRAEL
Tablet

By Allison Hoffman | 7:00 AM Jan 15, 2010

Guma Aguiar, the 32-year-old multimillionaire who helped precipitate the downfall of the ultra-Orthodox rabbi Leib Tropper, was committed by court order to a mental hospital near Tel Aviv yesterday, according to Israeli news reports. Aguiar and his billionaire uncle, Thomas Kaplan, have bankrolled Tropper’s efforts to gain control of the stringently regulated process of conversion to Judaism—an initiative that came to a halt last month, when tapes surfaced of the rabbi attempting to sexually coerce a prospective convert, Shannon Orand. According to a statement released by Aguiar’s family, which initiated the court proceedings, the move came after Aguiar granted an interview to the Jerusalem weekly Kol Ha’ir, due to be published today, in which he claimed he had gone into Gaza and either visited or rescued the captured soldier Gilad Shalit. “He’s at one of my properties,” Aguiar, who owns apartments throughout Jerusalem, told the weekly, according to a report in Haaretz. “I wanted to prove that I can go into Gaza and walk out alive, which would mean that Shalit could come out alive as well.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Standing Firm

RHODE ISLAND
Warwick Beacon

by Russell J. Moore

Be sure to see the video of the Tobin interview on our homepage.

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin is done playing defense.

“It strikes me that the Church, for some time now, has been on the defensive,” said Bishop Tobin. “I think it’s time to change that trend a bit and to become a little bit more proactive or high profile.”

In a wide-ranging interview with the Warwick Beacon Tuesday, Bishop Tobin said declining church participation, Catholic parish and Catholic school consolidations and closings, and the lingering fallout from the sexual abuse crisis, have all negatively affected the Church’s image.

As part of a plan to increase participation, the Diocese of Providence has embarked on a “Year of Evangelization” campaign that, thanks to an anonymous $200,000 donation, will use advertisements to invite Catholics and non-Catholics to turn to the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Plainville parish shocked by death of its priest

PLAINVILLE (MA)
Boston Globe

By Brian MacQuarrie
Globe Staff / January 15, 2010

PLAINVILLE - The Rev. J. Garret Thomson, a jovial, down-to-earth priest, seemed in great spirits Jan. 3 when he said Sunday Mass at St. Martha’s Church here.

“It was a wonderful Mass,’’ said Michael Lewicki, who served as lector that morning. “I was glad to be a part of it.’’

The next day, with no notice to the parish, Thomson was placed on administrative leave by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston because of sexual-assault allegations. Thomson was found dead two days later on the bedroom floor of his home in Jaffrey, N.H. ...

A question-and-answer session about the leave is scheduled Wednesday at St. Martha’s. But the two-week delay between Thomson’s leave and that meeting, particularly after the secrecy that cloaked the archdiocese’s sexual-abuse scandal, has infuriated many parishioners, Denson said. “We thought, my gosh, what happened to the transparency?’’ Denson said. “Why wasn’t the rest of the parish told what was going on, so people could have a dialogue?’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 AM

January 14, 2010

Civil suit against priest is dismissed

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

BLADE STAFF

A civil lawsuit against Toledo priest Gerald Robinson, convicted in 2006 of murdering a nun, has been thrown out of court for being filed too late.

Judge Ruth Ann Franks of Lucas County Common Pleas Court said a Toledo woman's suit alleging she was abused by Robinson and others in satanic rituals when she was a child was not filed within Ohio's statute of limitations, which in most cases is 12 years after the person turns 18.

The woman, who filed anonymously as Survivor Doe with her husband Spouse Doe, claimed she could not have sued Robinson because she did not know his identity until she saw him on television in 2004 after his arrest for murder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

Group calls for investigation into Berwyn employee

BERWYN (IL)
Berwyn Life

By Adam Rosen, arosen@mysuburbanlife.com
Berwyn Life

Berwyn, IL — The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is calling for the City of Berwyn to investigate an employee after the network learned he allegedly sexually abused five boys in the 1980s.

Barbara Blaine, SNAP’s founder and president, submitted a letter to the Berwyn City Hall Thursday asking for an investigation into Senior Advocate Frank Paduch’s past.

Blaine said a civil lawsuit was filed against a man named Frank Paduch in 1997 alleging Brother Frank Paduch sexually abused a student while at St. Rita High School in Chicago during the 1980-81 school year. The lawsuit settled for an undisclosed amount two years later. Blaine said two of the additional four alleged victims have come forward through an attorney, but none have filed a lawsuit against Paduch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

Editor clarifies ‘Catholic bishop’ news item

CALIFORNIA
Valley News

A 16-paragraph story that was written by a regional news service and published in the Jan. 8 edition of the Valley News requires clarification on its use of the words "Catholic bishop."

The story and headline described 51-year-old Anthony Martinez Garduno, who recently pleaded guilty to four drug-related charges, as a Catholic bishop. The story also alleged other wrongdoings at his church, Our Lady of Tepeyac, at 13462 Magnolia Ave. in the unincorporated Home Gardens area west of the city of Riverside.

Garduno made headlines at the same church in September when he was shot there during a robbery attempt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Why rabbis sin

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Jeremy Rosen

One could be forgiven for thinking that this past year was a very bad one for Orthodox Judaism. Across the Jewish world, one scandal followed another: corrupt and criminal activity among kosher slaughterers and kashrut supervisors, drug smuggling, theft and other illegal financial practices, racial discrimination, sexual abuse, some rabbis recorded demanding sex for conversions and others taking drugs and employing prostitutes. One after another, the headlines have reiterated a sad litany of corruption among Orthodox Jews, in many cases among their rabbinical leaders.

None of this is new; it has been going on for a very long time. But for someone as committed to Torah as I am, this phenomenon represents, far more than theological issues, the most serious of challenges to faith.

I am tired of making excuses. Once I would argue that 2,000 years of oppression, hatred and exclusion had taught the Jews to do whatever they needed to survive. Or, I would note that much of Orthodox Jewry nowadays is barely a generation removed from life in an Eastern Europe where the state was an enemy and everyone had to break the rules in order to evade the discriminatory regimes. In Israel, one could put the blame on David Ben-Gurion, for not having separated religion and state, which in effect encouraged the Orthodox to indulge in all the temptations that accompany political power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Former Orlando-area priest accused of sex abuse

FLORIDA
Orlando Sentinel

By Walter Pacheco, Orlando Sentinel

1:49 p.m. EST, January 14, 2010

A former Orlando-area priest faces a second lawsuit alleging he sexually abused an underage altar boy more than 30 years ago.

The lawsuit filed in Orange County Court in December accuses former Diocese of Orlando priest José Mena of performing sex acts on an altar boy he had befriended in the mid-1970s while serving the congregation at Resurrection Church in Winter Garden.

The victim's attorneys claim diocese officials failed to "ensure his safety, care, health and well-being" and that the alleged pedophile priest was transferred to other churches "to prevent church members from learning of his pattern of abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Lawsuit against killer priest is dismissed

TOLEDO (OH)
Columbus Dispatch

Thursday, January 14, 2010 1:40 PM

WTVG-TV VIA AP
TOLEDO -- A judge in northern Ohio has tossed out a lawsuit against a priest who was convicted of killing a nun.

The lawsuit was brought by a woman who says she was sexually abused by the priest from Toledo and was unrelated to the case that put him in prison.

In throwing out the lawsuit against the Rev. Gerald Robinson, the judge said this week that the claims are too old to be brought to court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Preaching to Bishops

UNITED STATES
Commonweal

AN UNDERTAKER’S VIEW

Thomas Lynch

“Preaching to bishops,” a long-dead churchman told me years ago, “is like farting at skunks. You’ll win some battles, but lose the war.” All the more so, no doubt, the higher you go. His Holiness, Their Eminences and Excellencies—“Don’t cross ’em,” the curate cautioned; “those boyos aren’t to be tampered with.”

Among the blessings of my work as a funeral director is that it has put me in earshot of the reverend clergy trying to make sense of senseless things: the man who kills his wife, their poodle, and then himself; a mother who drowns her baby then does her nails; the teenager with the broken heart and loaded pistol; the tumors and emboli, flus and tsunamis, deadly contagions and misadventures—the endless renditions of the Book of Job. When someone shows up—priest or pastor, rabbi or imam, venerable master or fellow traveler—to stand with the living and the dead and speak into the gaping maw of the unspeakable, I know I am witnessing uncommon courage and my perennially shaken faith is emboldened by theirs.

“Behold, I show you a mystery,” they always say. They are balm and anointing, these men and women of God, frontline infantry and holy corpsmen in the wars long waged between faith and fear.

Which is why the recent ecclesiastical mischief by rear- and upper-echelon sorts seems cartoonish, unseemly, so lacking in gravitas by comparison. The papal poaching of “traditionalist” Anglicans (to wit: those put off by female clerics and homosexuals) is but one sup of thin gruel boiled up lately by the hierarchies. Another is the carping of Archbishop Raymond Burke (late of St. Louis, latterly installed in the Vatican) at Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s generous opening of the church’s arms to the corpse and people of the late Edward Kennedy—an epic senator and sinner, self-confessed. Then there is its decidedly downsized version (for mid-careerists): the Right Rev. Thomas Tobin’s harangue on the sacramental options open to the late senator’s son, Patrick, who votes with his caucus on matters of civil law. “Erratic” is the word His Excellency used to describe the congressman’s conduct—twisting the prick of insinuation, as we Irish-American Catholics so deftly do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

The Furor Over Weakland’s Bronze

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Magazine

by Bruce Murphy | Tuesday 1/12/2010
Is there any organization in town that is more clueless about public relations than the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese?

In the midst of what should have been a celebration, the installation of new Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, the archdiocese is instead engulfed in controversy over whether it should have involved former Archbishop Rembert Weakland in the ceremony and whether a bronze image celebrating his tenure is inappropriate.

The criticism has been led by Peter Isely, the implacable director of the Midwest chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. You could argue that Isely always sees the negative about the archdiocese, but he is a smart, savvy strategist who seizes on any chance to dramatize the plight of those he represents against an archdiocese he portrays as uncaring. And time and again the actions of the archdiocese reinforce his arguments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

We can't name city park after Wilde who 'hunted young boys' for sex

IRELAND
Herald

By Andrew Phelan

Thursday January 14 2010

A liberature professor has voiced "amazement" at a campaign to rename a Dublin park after Oscar Wilde, saying the author "hunted" underage boys "without scruple".

Joseph O'Leary, who lectures at a Japanese university, criticised proposals for the ditching of Archbishop Dermot Ryan's name from the park at Merrion Square.

Dublin City councillors voted to drop the name out of respect for those who suffered sexual abuse by priests during Archbishop Ryan's time in charge of the Dublin diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

An Interview with Eric Large

CANADA
Healing and Spirituality

January 14, 2010

Jaime Romo

I first met Eric Large almost two years ago, when I visited Blue Quills College, in Alberta, Canada. I met many survivors of abuse from the Indian Residential Schools and learned about a history previously unknown to me. More info on the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement is at: www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca and for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at: www.trc.ca

JR: You are a member of the Cree nation. I understand that you attended an Indian Residential School. For those readers who are unfamiliar with the Canadian experience, would you say a little about the First Nations involvement with sexual abuse and IRS?

EL: Yes, I am a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation and I resided at the Blue Quills Indian Residential School from the 1952-53 school year to the 1964-65 school year consecutively. In my area, the first Blue Quills Residential School was located on the Saddle Lake Indian Reserve from about 1898. The federal government and clergy from a Roman Catholic entity had firm control over the education of the children. The federal government policy was to assimilate the Indian children through industrial/agricultural training and very basic education. This policy was pronounced in the 1920’s as “to kill the Indian in the child”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

10 from 10: The defining stories at Seattle University in the last decade

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle University Spectator

9. Jesuit sexual abuse litigation

Seattle University became entangled in three separate sexual abuse scandals in the last decade, one of which has yet to be resolved.

Tony Harris, S.J., who served as vice president of Mission and Ministry, resigned in October 2006 after allegations that he sexually harassed a trainee priest in the 1990s surfaced.

That week Seattle U also announced that a former professor who was already deceased, Englebert Axer, S.J., had molested a boy in California in 1956.

In 2007, several men filed a lawsuit against Seattle U and the Jesuit order claiming sexual abuse by Michael Toulouse, S.J., who taught at the school from 1950 to 1976. The suit also claimed officials within the order and at Seattle U knew of the abuse but failed to stop it. One victim said Toulouse had molested him in the Jesuit residence on campus in 1968.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Holy Cross Hits Half-Century Mark

CALIFORNIA
The Santa Barbara Independent

Tuesday, January 12, 2010
By Lyz Hoffman

With a bullfighter, a banquet, and a bilingual bishop, all signs pointed to beguiling. From its very onset, the 50th anniversary of Holy Cross Catholic Church on January 10, 2010 promised to be, at the very least, interesting, and, at the very most, controversial. Come the celebration’s conclusion, however, it was clear that the two extremes met somewhere in the middle.

At its most basic level, the ceremony was a celebration of the church’s 50-year history. On a deeper level, the ceremony was a testament to the church’s 50-year resiliency amid struggle, strife, and scandal.

On January 10, 1960, Holy Cross Catholic Church (nee Our Lady of Guadalupe Church) became official, with Father Matthew Kelly officially the priest. Although still a mission church at the time — Holy Cross would not go on to be a parish until 1973 — the occasion was nevertheless momentous, with the dedication ceremony officiated by Cardinal James Francis McIntyre. Little did the parishioners know then that Holy Cross would play host to many more momentous occasions in the future.

Most infamous of occasions, of course, were the past allegations against Father Matthew Kelly. Accused of molesting seven boys — six of whom were Latino — until his priesthood ended in 1970, Father Kelly’s acts left an impermeable mark upon Holy Cross. Despite reaching a settlement in 2007 — a settlement that involved the entire Los Angeles Archdiocese — and subsequently awarding each of Father Kelly’s seven victims approximately $1.1 million each, the archdiocese never officially acknowledged Father Kelly’s wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Why Don’t People Care?

UNITED STATES
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

Catholic clergy abuse survivors feel wounded that the people and leadership of the Catholic Church are indifferent and sometimes hostile to their sufferings.

“Why don’t they care?” I’ve been asked over and over.

This lack of compassion causes many survivors to conclude that the Catholic Church is evil.

I know what alienated clergy abuse survivors are talking about. I’ve experienced it myself.

When I was thrown out of my parish for advocating for survivors of clergy abuse, I was co-teaching a catechism class with another woman. She seemed sympathetic to my cause because her brother-in-law had been abused by a priest when he was a boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Brownell 'proud' of inquiry

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Posted By KEVIN LAJOIE KLAJOIE@STANDARD-FREEHOLDER.COM

Several years ago, MPP Jim Brownell supported the call for a public inquiry into allegations of historical sexual abuse in the Cornwall area because he believed the "air needed to be cleared."

With the final report of the Cornwall Inquiry now released, Brownell believes that has happened.

"I think so. . . I'm satisfied, and I think the people who wanted the inquiry got their chance," said the MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Magnificent in its entirety

life-after-RC

I am begging prayer for this heroic man whom I truly admire (letter is dated 9 Jan 2010):

Dear Regnum Christi Friends,

With my greetings for a very happy New Year for 2010 and assurance of my continued prayers and Masses for you and your families, I have some news to pass on to you.

I’m writing to inform you that after 29 years, I will be leaving the Legionaries of Christ and will apply to become a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Another Prominent American Priest, Fr. Richard Gill, Leaves the Legionaries of Christ

Patrick Madrid

This news is being reported on various blogs, including Genevieve Kineke's "Life After RC" site, which contains the text of Father Gill's January 9th letter announcing his departure from the scandal-plagued Legionaries of Christ.

I am not surprised to hear of this development, as there has been a significant, though quiet, exodus of LC priests and seminarians from the order in the past year (my friend Father Thomas Berg, for example). I am aware of other priests who, not having left the order quite yet, are definitely moving toward the exits, and I am happy to see that at least some of the departures are being publicized this way.

Historically, the Legion has been very intent on preventing the news of defections from the order by its priests and seminarians from becoming known among the rank and file membership of the Legion and its lay affiliate, Regnum Christ. The euphemism that "Father So and So has been reassigned to a different front" has long been a standard opaque response given when someone inquires as to why a certain LC priest is suddenly no longer around.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Tale of the Tapes

NEW YORK
Tablet

[includes audio portions from the tapes]

It’s not clear when Shannon Orand—a mother of two from Houston—began having an alleged sexual relationship with Leib Tropper, the ultra-Orthodox rabbi from the upstate New York enclave of Monsey who was helping her work toward her conversion to Judaism. But last year, when the rabbi encouraged her to engage in phone sex with other men in exchange for money, she says, she began recording their conversations. In an interview last month with Failed Messiah blogger Shmarya Rosenberg, Orand said she made the recordings for her own protection, to ensure that other rabbis would believe her allegations against Tropper. But the audio files, perhaps inevitably, began circulating around ultra-Orthodox samizdat networks and eventually surfaced on blogs and on YouTube, where the audio was set to a photograph of the rabbi. (Tropper’s lawyer, Howard Karasik, told Tablet Magazine his client would have no further comment on the tapes beyond a statement issued in December, in which Tropper expressed his regret “for what has appeared to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty” without denying their legitimacy.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Alamo must pay victims half million each

ARKANSAS
Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn LaRowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 01/13/2010

Tony Alamo was ordered to pay $500,000 to each of five women listed as victims in his federal indictment who testified they were forced to wed their pastor as children.

U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes lamented that “no amount of money could compensate,” Alamo’s victims for the suffering they’ve endured and the impact the physical and sexual abuse they’ve suffered will have on their futures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

SNAP petitions church over members’ actions

MISSOURI
The News-Press

by Jennifer Hall
Thursday, January 14, 2010

A survivors’ support group is worried that recent actions of a few local church members is sending the wrong message to sexual abuse victims.

Barbara Dorris of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) went to the New Life Bible Church Wednesday to deliver a letter to the church’s leaders. The letter is intended as a peace offering to work with members to be supportive of possible victims.

Ms. Dorris said SNAP’s members believe that the recent sentencing of a former pastor of the church was too lenient and that the congregation that attended the hearing acted inappropriately in supporting the man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Protecting our kids from religious predators

IRELAND
Hudson Valley Press (United States)

Chris Stevenson

Part I of II

There are a lot of people out there who believe in religion but don’t believe in God. These are the churchgoers and church-leaders that are the least criticized and least taken to task in most religions. One reason is, they have most of you fooled.

Recently the Irish Catholic Church have been revealed as having covered up cases of child sexual molestation from 1975-2004. Given the far-famed and infamous history of the Irish as a bunch of drunken brawlers just looking for a reason to fight, I am mystified as to how they could pass this up. Is there any better reason for Danny Boy to smash his way into his Church’s office and take Bishop O’Reilly to task? A lot of you look upon that guy seen carrying little Shaniya Davis away as being despicable, but will remain silent when this happens in your very building of worship. What’s going on here is, the churches are the original promoters of "Image is Everything" and the direct result of that is something I call RSM (religiously sanctioned molestation).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Laurel priest removed from duties among allegations of sexual abuse

LAUREL (MD)
Gazette

A Laurel priest has been removed from the ministry while the Archdiocese of Baltimore investigates allegations he sexually abused three boys during the 1980s.

The archdiocese issued a news release Monday stating that the Rev. John T. Wielebski, 62, pastor at Resurrection of Our Lord Church in Laurel, had been accused by three individuals of sexual abuse during the 1980s while he was serving at St. Dominic Church in Baltimore City and the Monsignor Clare J. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, Md.

The news release stated that Wielebski denied all wrongdoing. His attorney information was not immediately available, and a call to the church's rectory was not returned by press time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Retired priest faces sex abuse charges

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

Posted By ERICA BAJER, THE DAILY NEWS

A former Anglican minister is facing historical sexual offences after a woman came forward and reported alleged abuse.

Meurig Pari Lloyd, a 79-year-old Chatham man, is charged with two counts of rape, two counts of gross indecency, two counts of intercourse with a girl under 14 and indecent assault on a female.

Det. Jim Niven, of the Chatham-Kent Police Service's major crime unit, said the alleged incidents happened more than 40 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

January 13, 2010

Irish clerical abuse not typical of church, says Vatican prefect

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

THE CLERICAL sex abuse scandals in Ireland are not representative of the behaviour of the vast majority of priests in the Catholic Church, a senior Vatican figure has said.

Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, said the abuse by priests in Ireland constituted “painful” and “criminal” behaviour.

However, in an interview yesterday in the Vatican daily, L’Osservatore Romano, he said it would be wrong to “make generalisations” as a result of the Irish experience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 PM

Roza Weiss: Rubashkin Daughter, Wife of Accused Molester

NEW YORK
Forward

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen
It was hard not to feel sympathy for Roza Hinda Weiss as she stood before some 700 Lubavitch women last Sunday night and asked them for money.

At an “Emergency Rally for Pidyon Shvuyim,” or Redeeming a Captive, she was trying to raise $1.5 million for her father’s legal appeal. In November her father, Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, was convicted on 86 counts of financial fraud relating to Agriprocessors, the country’s biggest kosher meat processing plant, which he ran and was owned by his family.

Weiss, a tiny young woman in her 20s wearing glasses, a simple sweater and skirt and a dark sheitel, seemed fragile, as she stood on stage in the Crown Heights girls’ school. Her voice broke slightly as she related the trials of going door to door in Monsey, N.Y., after her father’s arrest in October 2008, asking Hasidic Jews there for money on cold fall nights as her husband and three very young daughters waited in the car.

Little did most at the rally know that the very next morning Roza would be by her husband’s side in an Albany courthouse as Rabbi Yaakov Weiss pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child in a plea bargain relating to charges rooted in his sexual molestation of two 13-year-old boys in 2007.

One of his victims is the son of another Chabad family that lives in a nearby town.

Weiss was found guilty of one count of child endangerment, but admitted his guilt under oath, acknowledging that he “touched his penis to the buttocks” of two different boys in the Albany community mikvah, and on the phone urged one of his victims to lie to his mother and police about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Mass exodus from Catholic Church in Austria

AUSTRIA
Catholic Culture

January 13, 2010

Austrian Catholics left the Church in record numbers in 2009, Deutsche Press agency reports. The dissident group We Are Church claims that the exodus was motivated by “self-defense,” and claims that the departures began when Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of the controversial Bishop Richard Williamson. A spokesman for the Vienna archdiocese offers a different explanation, saying that tough economic times make people reluctant to pay the “church tax” that is required for registered believers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Catholics, Mormons back synagogue in suit

NEVADA
United Press International

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Roman Catholics and Mormons are providing legal support to a Nevada synagogue sued by a woman who says she was molested by a cantor.

The religious groups argue the First Amendment shields them from lawsuits over misconduct by employees, the Las Vegas Sun reported Wednesday. While the Nevada Supreme Court is dealing with the issue for the first time, other state courts have ruled the U.S. Constitution does not protect religious organizations from being sued by victims of sexual misconduct.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Catholic bishops of Reno and Nevada are supporting the position of Chabad of Summerlin and Chabad of Southern Nevada. Other organizations, including the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children and Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, have lined up on the other side.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Saving Our Children From Abuse

The Jewish Press

David Morris
Posted Jan 13 2010
In separate incidents on the same night two weeks ago, two children in Israel were murdered by adults.

A seven-year-old boy in the town of Bnei Ayish was found dead under a bed and a Jerusalem resident allegedly murdered his baby daughter by smashing her head repeatedly on the floor following an argument with his wife. Reportedly, members of their chassidic community were aware the father was a risk but said this was being "managed" within the community.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., as Rabbi Yakov Horowitz and Dr. Benzion Twerski noted in a Jewish Press op-ed article ("Abuse Survivors: Please Don't Suffer Alone," Nov. 27), "the recent tragic passing of yet another young person in [Brooklyn] may have stemmed at least in part from the trauma of childhood abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Retired Chatham Minister Charged with Sexual Assault

CANADA
CJBK

Miranda Chant
Police in Chatham have filed charges against a retired Anglican minister over an alleged sexual assault dating back about 40 years.

A woman claims she was assaulted inside St. Paul's Anglican Church, Holy Trinity Church and in a private home when she was between eight and 15.

The suspect, 79-year-old Meurig Pari Lloyd, is charged with two counts each of rape, gross indecency, and intercourse with a female under the age of 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Retired Anglican minister facing sex charges

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

Posted By Daily News Staff

A 79-year-old Chatham man and retired Anglican minister is charged with historic sexual offences.

Chatham-Kent police said Meurig Pari Lloyd is charged with two counts of rape, two counts of gross indecency, two counts of intercourse with a girl under 14 and indecent assault on a female.

Police said the alleged incidents occurred more than 40 years ago inside St. Paul's Anglican Church, Holy Trinity Church and a private residence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Judge orders $500K for each of preacher's victims

ARKANSAS
The Seattle Times

By JILL ZEMAN BLEED
Associated Press Writer

TEXARKANA, Ark. —
Five young women who testified last year that evangelist Tony Alamo took them as "wives" and sexually assaulted them when they were minors are entitled to $500,000 each from his multi-million-dollar ministry, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes ordered restitution after a government witness said the women suffered physical and mental pain at Alamo's hands. Prosecutors said they were confident Alamo could afford the $2.5 million judgment even though most of his assets are held in his followers' names.

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