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February 28, 2010

Embattled ex-Christ the King coach allegedly staged exit

NEW YORK
New York Post

By DYLAN BUTLER

Over a cup of coffee at a Queens diner two years ago, former Christ the King boys basketball coach Bob Oliva orchestrated his exit from the Middle Village school, a longtime friend of Oliva’s told The Post

The embattled coach, who is being accused of molesting a family friend on a trip to Massachusetts more than 30 years ago, carefully planned to end his storied 27-year career when word surfaced that he had abused a former student

Ray Paprocky, who has known Oliva for 30 years, said he confronted Oliva when a close friend confided that he was also abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 PM

Merkel praises German Catholic move to alter sex abuse rules

GERMANY
Monsters and Critics

Berlin - Plans by the Catholic Church in Germany to tighten up its guidelines on sex abuse were welcomed Sunday by Chancellor Angela Merkel after a series of revelations of molestation by paedophile priests.

Most of the incidents can no longer be prosecuted because they happened so long ago, between the 1960s and the 1980s.

The church has been criticized for often allowing offenders to decide themselves whether to turn themselves in to police. It has also been accused of moving men with a paedophile past to new jobs where they again have contact with young people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Doubts about former Christ the King coach Bob Oliva ...

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

By Michael O'Keeffe
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Sunday, February 28th 2010, 10:57 AM

Ray Paprocky says he stood by Bob Oliva in the spring of 2008, in the weeks after a former player named Jimmy Carlino accused the legendary Christ the King boys basketball coach of sexually abusing him over the course of several years during the 1970s.

People sought out Paprocky's opinion because they knew he had been friendly with Oliva for more than two decades, and Paprocky says he told them the allegations were preposterous. Paprocky, Christ the King class of 1985, had played basketball for Oliva for three years. When he returned to New York after graduating from Florida Tech, Oliva hired him as an assistant coach and helped him land a teaching position at the Queens high school. Paprocky left in 1997 after seven years at the school, but he remained steadfastly loyal to Christ the King and Oliva, even after the ugly sexual abuse allegations emerged.

"I defended him," Paprocky says. "He was a mentor. I never thought of Bob Oliva as a pedophile."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Eating Our Way Across Portland

PORTLAND (OR)
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

Twelve people expressed interest in the Abuse Awareness Walk, but only seven of us actually walked. No media, no marching, no signs just a leisurely stroll up NW 23rd Avenues and down NW 21st visiting shops, restaurants and cafes. Four of us have participated in the Walk Across Oregon since 2008. Three of us were new to the Walk. Two of the new people were survivors. One was a supporter.

We started out at New Renaissance Bookstore. I forgot to take pictures. The parking is good at the south end of NW 23rd where the bookstore is located. Further up the avenue you sometimes have to park five or six blocks away from your destination. New Renaissance Bookstore is a New Age bookstore with books and gifts from a variety of religions, including Christianity. What amazed me at the place is that they rent spiritually oriented videos. Not only did they have videos on Buddhism, Hinduism, and Australian aboriginal spirituality, they had the largest collection of videos on Catholic saints outside of a Catholic store or catalog that I have ever seen. They had videos on Francis of Assisi and Clare of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, Padre Pio, Vincent de Paul, Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Vatican's conspiracy of silence

ITALY
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Roberto Mancini guardian.co.uk, Sunday 28 February 2010

Vaticano Spa (Vatican Ltd) a book about the murky financial dealings of the Catholic church (The subtitle reads: "from a secret archive – the truth about the church's financial and political scandals") has been a runaway success in Italy. Written by journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi and published by the Milan independent publisher Chiarelettere last year, more than 200,000 copies have been sold.

What's all the more astonishing is that this success has been in spite of being ignored by almost all the Italian media, with the exception of a single television programme on La 7, hosted by Gad Lerner.

Why the conspiracy of silence surrounding an Italian bestseller? Why aren't television, newspapers and magazines celebrating the success of a colleague? After all, Nuzzi has written for the Berlusconi family-owned weekly Panorama and now is a journalist for the daily Libero, considered to be the prime minister's house journal.

The explanation, according to Nuzzi, whom I asked for a comment for this article, lies in the subject matter:

"We thought that Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), as he had promised, would have sorted out the Vatican finances after the scandal of Cardinal Marcinkus and the IOR (the pope's bank).

"But during the 80s and 90s, the whole system of shady deals and bribes was inherited by Marcinkus's successors and became increasingly dishonest and cynical. The pope knew about it, but did nothing to remove the heads of this power network.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

SNAP presses bishop to give police info on Loose Creek priest

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
News Tribune

[letter to the National Review Board]

[SNAP statement]

By Jeff Haldiman
jhaldiman@newstribune.com
Published: Sunday, February 28, 2010

A national advocacy group for those abused by priests is calling on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to push local church officials to be more open about abuse investigations.

Speaking Saturday outside the Jefferson City Catholic Diocese Headquarters on West Main Street, David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), showed members of the media letters they were sending to these offices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Párroco acusado de acoso sexual en un colegio religioso rosarino

ARGENTINA
La Capital

28-02-10 | Por Daniel Abba / La Capital

La parroquia y la escuela “Nuestra Señora de Pompeya”, en Mendoza 5160. Puertas adentro, el sacerdote de 46 años, Reynaldo Narvais, acosó a sus víctimas y abusó de su autoridad.

Hace más de un año que las paredes de la parroquia “Nuestra Señora de Pompeya” resguardan un peligroso secreto. Fue desde que se conocieron los casos de abuso cometidos por el cura párroco del lugar contra al menos ocho personas del colegio que funciona en Mendoza 5160, entre ellas un docente y una menor de edad con discapacidad mental. En todo ese tiempo, la comunidad religiosa vivió sumida en un tortuoso silencio que muchos ya se niegan a aceptar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

System of secrecy allows bullies to thrive

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Kevin Cullen
Globe Columnist / February 28, 2010

It’s been 44 days since 15-year-old Phoebe Prince saw no way out of the terrifying cul-de-sac she was forced into at South Hadley High School. The bullies who drove her to the noose might just as well have pushed her off a cliff, because that’s how utterly helpless she felt.

We are told that some of the people who tormented Phoebe have been disciplined. Some have left school. Whether it was on their terms or someone else’s, who knows? ...

If you can’t blame the victim, blame the lawyers.

That’s what Cardinal Bernard Law did in the face of scandal. People cried out for transparency, and he pointed to his lawyers and said, in so many words, “They told me I can’t say anything.’’

That’s a marvelous strategy, and it worked so well for Cardinal Law, didn’t it?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Sex allegations against rabbi roil Israel's Orthodox community

ISRAEL
Los Angeles Times

By Edmund Sanders

February 27, 2010

Reporting from Jerusalem - Many Israelis pride themselves on a kind of European sophistication when it comes to public sex scandals: For the most part, they shrug them off.

But those limits are being tested by a brewing controversy concerning an Orthodox rabbi who has been accused by a nongovernmental religious organization of sexually exploiting male students.

Rabbi Mordechai Elon, 50, a popular spiritual figure from a prominent family, has not been charged with any crime, and no evidence has emerged that any of the students allegedly involved were under age 18, according to police and child-protection advocates. No students have filed police complaints, a law enforcement official said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Child sex abuse in Dutch Catholic Church revealed

NETHERLANDS
HRC Handelsblad

Published: 26 February 2010 17:28 | Changed: 28 February 2010 11:37

Amid the high-profile child sexual abuse scandals in the United States and other European countries, the reputation of the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands has remained unsullied. A joint investigation by NRC Handelsblad and Radio Netherlands Worldwide shows this is unjustified.By Robert Chesal for Radio Netherlands Worldwide and Joep Dohmen for NRC Handelsblad

Janne Geraets, now 57, suffered repeated sexual abuse from the age of 11 at the hands of a priest at the Roman Catholic school where he was a boarder. His ordeal began in 1964, at the Don Rua monastery in the town of 's-Heerenberg in the east of the Netherlands. He was being trained by the Salesian Fathers of Don Bosco, in the hope of one day becoming a missionary. After a party, one of the priests lured Janne to the infirmary under the pretext of giving him medicine to ease his sore throat. "All of a sudden he was right up against me," Geraets recalled. "He unzipped his trousers and forced my hand inside. I was in a state of utter confusion."

After the incident, Geraets returned to bed. But the next morning he was summoned by the same priest. "I remember how my heart was pounding as I knocked on the door. He opened it and said 'That should never have happened'. He gave me absolution; he pardoned my sin. That confused me even more."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Pope told to apologise to Catholic abuse victims before Scotland visit

SCOTLAND
Scotland on Sunday

Published Date: 28 February 2010
By David Leask
THE Pope must say sorry to child abuse survivors before he visits Scotland, a leading campaigner has demanded.

Benedict XVI earlier this month apologised to those hurt in Catholic children's homes in Ireland, saying he shared public "outrage and shame" over the scandal.

Now Helen Holland, an abuse survivor and former nun, has written to the pontiff asking him to do the same for those who suffered in Scotland ahead of his September papal visit.

The 51-year-old, a leading figure in several survivors' groups, accused church authorities in Scotland of continuing to fail to acknowledge the harm done to generations of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Men Protest Jefferson City Bishop

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KOMU

JEFFERSON CITY - Activists say a Jefferson City bishop kept sexual allegations made against a local priest secret for weeks, and protested at the Jefferson City Catholic Diocese on Saturday.

But the protest was lightly-attended, as just two members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, spoke out. They wanted to deliver a letter to Bishop John Gaydos about how he handled sexual allegations against mid-Missouri priest Thomas Seifner.

The protestors said the bishop should have told police and the public sooner about the allegations. Gaydos put Seifner on leave in December after allegations of inappropriate contact with a child five years ago. Seifner worked at 13 churches in seven counties, including Callaway, Cooper, Cole, Osage, Montgomery, Gasconade and Marion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

German bishops apologize, announce new measures after abuse claims

GERMANY
The Catholic Review (United States)

By Jonathan Luxmoore
Catholic News Service

OXFORD, England – Germany’s Catholic bishops have asked forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse at church-run schools and promised to “learn lessons” from secular institutions dealing with child molestation.

“We are assuming responsibility. We condemn the offenses committed by monks, priests and their colleagues in our dioceses, and we ask pardon, in shame and shock, from all those who fell victim to these appalling acts,” the bishops said in a February 25 statement.

“As bishops, we are concerned about cases of sex abuse by clergy and their collaborators. We want an honest clarification, free of incorrect considerations, whenever such occurrences are reported to us,” the bishops said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

RIGHTS-GERMANY: 'Catholic Church Protects Paedophile Priests'

GERMANY
IPS

By Julio Godoy

BERLIN, Feb 28, 2010 (IPS) - The Catholic Church has for decades protected paedophile priests and clerics who sexually abused children from judiciary prosecution, according to German theologians, law experts, and internal church documents.

The church hierarchy's complicity was confirmed recently through thousands of denouncements against numerous priests in Germany. In practically all the cases, the abusers were only transferred from one jurisdiction to another and never legally prosecuted. ...

The German theologian Uta Ranke-Heinemann told IPS that the Catholic Church "from the Vatican down to the priests on the field, have helped to guarantee the abusers absolute impunity. There are two internal documents in which the Catholic church takes care of maintaining the abuse in absolute secrecy," Ranke-Heinemann said.

The first document, titled "Crimen Sollicitationis" (Latin for "the crime of soliciting"), goes back to 1962, and was written by the Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, at the time prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Inquisition.

The second paper, "De delictis gravioribus" ("on more serious crimes"), was written in 2001 by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, today's Pope Benedict XVI. He was also prefect of the congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

German archbishop says 'no' to roundtable on Catholic sex abuse

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference has rejected the call for a roundtable discussion on the child-abuse claims plaguing the Catholic Church in Germany.

"Sexual abuse of children is not a problem specific the Catholic Church," Robert Zollitsch told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag on Sunday, February 28.

He went on to say that sexual molestation had nothing to do with celibacy, homosexuality, or the Catholic teaching.

"Therefore, we do not need a round table specifically for the Catholic Church," the Archbishop of Freiburg said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

February 27, 2010

Jesuit priest who abused boys casts shadow in the Northwest long after his death

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Bryan Denson, The Oregonian
February 27, 2010.

From novitiate to priesthood, the Rev. Michael Toulouse stood apart. Superiors described him as frivolous, vainglorious, short on religious discipline, lacking judgment and prudence, a man with serious character flaws.

By 1950, they knew why: Toulouse was an accused rapist with a predilection for boys.

The priest died more than 30 years ago. But a group of men, some of them now gray, still seek justice for what they describe as Toulouse's serial molestation of them from 1948 to 1970.

They are among 500 people with open claims of abuse against the region's Portland-based Jesuits, who sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a year ago in the face of vast legal exposure. The case, now in mediation, makes them creditors in the bankruptcy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

Meer feiten misbruik Nederlandse priesters

NETHERLANDS
de Volksrant

DEN BOSCH - In navolging van de schandalen in Duitsland, Ierland en de Verenigde Staten komen ook in Nederland steeds meer verhalen aan de oppervlakte over seksueel misbruik door priesters. ‘De Rooms-Katholieke Kerk probeert het onder de pet te houden, maar het gebeurde hier ook’, zegt Joop Marrevee (77) uit Schiedam, die tussen 1948 en 1950 meerdere keren is aangerand op het internaat van de priesters van het Heilig Hart in Bergen op Zoom. ‘De leraar Latijn en Grieks zat gewoon aan je geslachtsdelen.’

[summary]

Following the scandals in Germany, Ireland and the United States, stories about sexual abuse by priests are surfacing in the Netherlands. The Roman Catholic Church has tried to keep the incidents under the cap but it also happened here, said Joop Marrevee, 77, of Schiedam. He was repeatedly raped between 1948 and 1950 at the Sacred Heart School in Bergen op Zoom.

He said the Latin and Greek teacher would sit on the genitals.

Hans, 66, of Rotterdam was raped and molested in the second half of the 1950s at a Franciscan seminary in Katwijk. A number of the priests were involved, he said. A doctor from the province of Utrech said he was gropped during the 1960s at a seminary in Vught.

Hans said scandals is foreign lands may appear to be far away but people should not pretend that it didn't happen in the Netherlands because it did. Incidents of abuse have also become known at a boarding school operated by the Salesians of Don Bosco in 's-Heerenberg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Victims of Priests Don’t Like New Bishop

SCRANTON (PA)
NEPArtisan

Tom Borthwick | February 25, 2010

The appointment of the new Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, Monsignor Bambera, has drawn the ire of SNAP, which is the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests. Why? Turns out that, according to the group (this comes courtesy of the Times Leader), “Under oath, Bambera admitted that barely a decade ago, he refused to report a credibly accused predator priest to police, in violation of his diocese’s own child sex abuse policy.” And then it gets better: “He also admitted relying on the word of an accused priest without even questioning that cleric’s alleged victim. This decision raises a troubling question: Is it that hard for the Vatican to find good, smart priests who have not concealed horrific crimes against kids?”

Nice.

It is no secret that the Catholic Church, worldwide, has a sordid past, both recently and in history. Appointing somebody who admittedly believes the reputation of the Church is more important than justice and truth might need to rethink the master they supposedly serve. Last I checked, Christ didn’t care too much about reputation, and cared more about doing right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Why Dublin's Archbishop should resign

IRELAND
Herald

By Peter DeRosa

Saturday February 27 2010

This is a fan letter to the heroic Irish victims of clerical abuse. Your story has gone around the world. Your courage has rewritten the history of Ireland over the past 60 years. You trashed the idea of the RC Church as a safe haven for women and children. It made the lives of many women a hell on earth. And what would St Patrick or James Connolly think of all those tender childhoods it stole?

Your bewilderment over the meeting between the Pope and bishops was palpable. You couldn't believe you were excluded. You weren't even present in their thoughts. Strange, seeing that Christ's 'hierarchy' was made up exclusively of children and the poor.

That meeting was never about you or your years-long struggle for justice. It was called to restore the shattered prestige and authority of the Roman Church. The Pope, who denied your existence for decades, even had the nerve to blame the "faithless" world for priest rapists and the antics of their episcopal pimps. Does he blame it, too, for Cardinal Connell's lies?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

German priest resigns over sex abuse case

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

A priest in southern Germany resigned on Friday for failing to report sexual abuse accusations in the latest development of a scandal rocking the Catholic Church in Germany.

Maurus Krass, prior and head of a monastic school in Ettal, Bavaria, resigned for not relaying to clerical authorities allegations of child sex abuse between 2003 and 2005. He was the second to resign in three days after Barnabas Boegle, also from Ettal, stepped down on Wednesday for the same reasons.

The German Episcopal conference recently appointed Stephan Ackermann, bishop of the western town of Trier, as head of the investigation into the scandal. He said on Friday that he would pursue "with determination" all clues related to abuse committed by members of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Nackte Hintern und Mumienspiele

GERMANY
Abendzeitung

Die eigenartigen Erziehungsmethoden der Mönche im Kloster St.Ottilien. Ehemalige Schüler berichten von sexuellen Übergriffen und Missbrauch durch zwei Pater in den 60er Jahren.

[summary]

Bare bottom spanking of students as monks watched. Naked boys wrapped in toilet paper. This is the description by a former student at the St. Ottilie monastery. Blows on a bare bottom were on the agenda for small offenses, he said. As a boy he could not trust anyone. The prefect controlled the home. If parents came to visit, the prefect was always behind the tables at lunch and watching with an eagle eye lest the students tell their parents of abuse.

Father G. had a special "party game." The students had to sit naked in a chair while a friend wrapped him with toilet paper. It was called "Egyptian Mummy" and it was humiliating for the students.

The former student said he felt very alone and he felt shame. He told his parents but they did not believe him. They told him a servant of God would never sin. The priest in question is said to have taken photos of the student and he worked as a teacher into the 1990s. He later was a pastor.

Further abuse victims at the monastery have come forward, it was announced Thursday. Another former student reported sexual abuse by another priest. The abbey has been in contact with the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Priest sacked in Toledo, for allegedly embezzling 17,000 euros, to undergo psychiatric examination

SPAIN
Barcelona Reporter

Sources of the archbishopric of Toledo have shown that once the x-priest, Samuel MM, 27, has undergone psychiatric tests the church officials will act "accordingly".

Priest sacked in Toledo, for allegedly embezzling 17,000 euros, to undergo a rigorous psychiatric examination

The Archbishop of Toledo has called for the former pastor of Totanés-Noez to be psychiatrically tested, after learning that he spent 17,000 euros on prostitutes and erotic web-sites.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Priests in Portage surprised by plan: Say proposal to share clergy, resources to be discussed during Mass

OHIO
Record-Courier

By Diane Smith
Record-Courier staff writer

The Rev. Edward Wieczorek, pastor of St. Joseph parish in Randolph, was surpised to learn this week that his church is part of restructuring plan by the Diocese of Youngstown.

The proposal would create a “collaborative unit” between St. Joseph and St. Peter of the Fields in Rootstown, with only one priest serving both parishes. St. Ambrose in Garrettsville and St. Michael in Windham would face a similar fate if the plan is approved.

“Sharing a priest won’t be easy,” Wieczorek said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Granite City child porn charges involve church boys' group

ILLINOIS
Belleville News-Democrat

BY BETH HUNDSDORFER - News-Democrat Buzz up!

A Granite City man charged with child pornography was a leader in the Illinois Royal Rangers, a ministry of the Assemblies of God church.

Joseph Emil Klug, 29, was a staff member of the Frontier Group of the Royal Rangers and the leader of a Collinsville church's group. Klug was charged on Feb. 17 with child pornography after police said Klug put a video camera in a tent, recorded a boy masturbating, edited video clips and stills and sent it out over the Internet.

Illinois Royal Rangers Director Thomas Kesteleyn said he removed Klug when he heard the allegation on Feb. 9. Kesteleyn would not comment on whether the victim was a Royal Ranger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Lawmakers Propose Removing Age Limit To File Civil Suits Over Child Sex Abuse

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By ARIELLE LEVIN BECKER

February 27, 2010

HARTFORD — - State lawmakers have introduced a proposal to eliminate the statute of limitations for civil cases involving child sexual abuse, exploitation or assault, allowing victims to file lawsuits at any time in their lives.

State Sen. Mary Ann Handley, D-Manchester, and state Rep. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, described the proposal as a way to keep the legal system open to victims of crimes that often take years to come to terms with. The existing law requires victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits before they turn 48 — 30 years after they turn 18.

"It's a very lonely kind of abuse," Handley said during a press conference Friday. "It's a kind of abuse that people try to forget, try to ignore."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Germans investigate Catholic school sex abuse

GERMANY
USA Today

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors have opened investigations into allegations of sexual abuse at two Roman Catholic schools — the first legal action since reports of priests abusing students surfaced in January.

Senior prosecutor Andrea Titz in Munich is investigating claims of abuse against a member of a Benedictine-run boarding school in Ettal, Bavaria, her office said in a statement Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Defrocking of Dale Fushek not routine action

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

by Michael Clancy - Feb. 27, 2010
The Arizona Republic .
When the Catholic Church kicked Dale Fushek out of the priesthood last week, the Phoenix Diocese said the decision was made because of sexual-abuse allegations against him.

But other proven abusers, including several who actually served prison time, never had similar steps taken against them - at least not publicly.

Fushek is the third priest to be dismissed from the priesthood in the Diocese of Phoenix and the first under Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted. Two others - George Bredemann, who remains in prison, and Mark Lehman, who served a 10-year sentence - also have been defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Convicted priest (75) pleads guilty to further sex assaults

IRELAND
The Irish Times

A JUDGE said yesterday he wanted to hear from a more senior member of the Franciscan order before passing sentence in relation to sex abuse at Gormanston College in the 1970s.

Convicted sex offender Fr Ronald Bennett (75) gave a schoolboy “sex education lessons” during which he told him how to seduce girls before removing his trousers and underwear, a circuit court judge was told yesterday.

Bennett was jailed in 2007 for 2½ years for indecently assaulting four other schoolboys at the Franciscan-run Gormanston College in Co Meath where he was sports master and spiritual adviser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Catholic child abuse scandal widens

GERMANY
The Local

The child abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic Church in Germany continues to expand, with accusations that claims of abuse were ignored or hidden for years and the first resignations.

Barnabas Bögle, abbot of the Bavarian Ettal Benedictine monastery, and Maurus Kraß, head of the school and prior there, both resigned this week after admitting that regulations on reporting accusations of abuse had not been followed.

The number of former and current students at Ettal who have made accusations of abuse has risen to 20. It has also been claimed that claims were made in 2003, during a class reunion, but that nothing was done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Legislators considering elimination of statute of limitations in sex abuse cases

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

HARTFORD — State lawmakers are considering whether to eliminate the 30-year statute of limitations on civil lawsuits filed in child sexual abuse cases.

Proponents of the idea said Friday they’ve been motivated by stories from constituents who were abused as children decades ago, including patients of Dr. George Reardon, a Hartford doctor who is believed to have victimized hundreds of children beginning in the 1950s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

February 26, 2010

Pastor risks jail with Facebook contact to alleged sex crime victim

LELAND (NC)
Star News

A Leland pastor facing child sex charges recently sent a friend request to his alleged victim on the online social networking site Facebook.

That almost landed James T. Johnson back in jail, because his bond forbids contact with the girl or anyone under 18. But the prosecutor relented, and he remains on house arrest.

Johnson has been charged with three counts of indecent liberties with a child, two counts of first-degree sex offense with a child and one count of attempted first-degree rape of a child. The victim, now 13, was in elementary school when the alleged incidents occurred over a three year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 PM

Three More Women Accuse Anand Krishnan of Sexual Abuse

INDONESIA
Jakarta Globe

More women have come forward with sexual abuse allegations against Indonesisan spiritual guru Anand Krishnan.

“They were made to perform oral sex, which nearly led to free sex,” said Theresia Purba, a lawyer representing three senior disciples of the Anand Krishna Foundation. “Free sex” is a term often used in Indonesia to refer to sexual intercourse outside of marriage.

The three on Thursday reported their allegations against the group’s founder to the Jakarta Police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Changes Coming to the Youngstown Diocese

OHIO
WYTV

The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is responding to a changing church population.

This week it released a draft plan which reconfigures and consolidates the parishes within the six-county diocese.

A decline in priests, a shift in population from the cities to the suburbs and a changing attitude toward the church all jump-started the 18-month planning process to reshape the local Catholic community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

Court rules St. Louis archdiocese isn't liable for abusive priest; appeal planned

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Fox 2

By Associated Press
2:07 PM CST, February 26, 2010

ST. LOUIS (AP) — An appeals court has ruled that the Archdiocese of St. Louis is not responsible for the hiring and supervision of an allegedly sexually abusive priest.

Peggy Nicholson filed suit claiming she was abused by a priest from Holy Guardian Angels Church in St. Louis when she was a child in the 1950s. The priest died in 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Lira Catholic priest accused of defilement

UGANDA
The New Vision

By Anne Mugisa

The defilement suspect was a Catholic priest. The alleged victim was a 16-year-old former altar girl at various churches including Lira Cathedral and the crime was reportedly committed between March 16 and 18, 2001.

The Rev. Fr. Ambrose Owiny was indicted after the girl, the niece of another priest, revealed that she had been at his house and they had had sex. The girl had left school, St.Theresa Girls’ Secondary School in Masindi, on March 12, 2001 for presidential elections.

The day after the elections, her father escorted her to Lira taxi park, where she was supposed to board and return to school. As soon as her father left, the girl disembarked from the taxi and went to Loro Core Primary Teachers’ College to see a friend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Catholics can emulate Jews [who hunted down Nazi officers] by hunting down pedophile priests’ officers Benedict XVI & Bishops into the World Court

Benedict XVI - Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

The Holocaust is the worst crime against the Jewish people and the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army is the worst crime against Catholic children in the 20th century. John Paul II does not deserve to be called a “saint” because of this hidden papal army he led for over a quarter of a century as he traveled around the World and sat the at the trillion dollar Chair of St. Peter in the Vatican see the John Paul II Millstone http://jp2m.blogspot.com/

Benedict XVI convened the entire Irish hierarchy in Rome for two days, and as conclusion, according to his papal infallibility and Catholic way of justice, he will write ONE papal letter to the Irish people and will perform ONE ceremony of Penance this Lent and this will finally appease the thousands of Irish victims of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army, the most heinous crime against children in history of Christendom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Missbrauchsskandal in Ettal weitet sich aus

GERMANY
Der Spiegel

Der Missbrauchsskandal im Benediktinerkloster Ettal weitet sich aus: Inzwischen haben sich rund 20 mutmaßliche Opfer gemeldet, die Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt in zwei Fällen aus dem Jahr 2005. Der stellvertretende Abt und Schulleiter des Internats ist zurückgetreten.

[summary]

The abuse scandal at the Benedictine monastery Ettal is expanding. Some 20 alleged victims are now reported. The public prosecutor has determined two of the cases were in 2005. The deputy abbot and head teacher of the boarding school has resigned. Two ombudsmen appointed by the church spoke Friday of the Ettal situation at a press conference in Munich.

Allegations have been made against four priests, one of who is dead, said ombudsman Siegfried Kneissl. Former students have also reported physical violence and severe beatings.

The prosecutor has identified two cases of sexual abuse dating back to 2005 involving two students. Lawyer Burkard Goepfer, who was appointed Tuesday along with Kneissl as ombudsman, said the abuse was severe and not just about stroking under his T-shirt.

Monsignor Peter Beer, vicar general of the archbishop of Munich and Freising said the allegations will be fully investigated and prosecuted without compromise. He said as a priest and teacher this upsets him deeply.

Most of the victims who have reported abuse are now adults. The incidents are said to have occurred in the 1970s and 1980s and are therefore barred from prosecution under criminal law. Of current students, there are no reports of abuse but they will be questioned by a special investigator employed by the monastery.

The ombudsmen quoted from messages they have received. One former student recalled the constant and terrible shock of what was happening. One mother said her son suffered as a result of abuse and today is alcoholic. Another former student said his time at Etal was a hell which often comes up again.

Allegations have also been made at the St. Ottilie Abbey. Accusations were made against a former member of the religious order. A representative of the monastery has been in contact with the victim.

Meanwhile, there has been criticism of the German Bishops' Conference regarding the annoucement of steps to be taken to prevent sexual abuse in the church. Norbert Denef, spokesman for the victims, said the bishops have acted in a way that is a mockery of the victims. Archbishop Robert Zollitsch said Thursday that every case of abuse in the church will be immediately and automatically turned over to the prosecutor's office.

The movement "We Are Church" said it does not consider the response of the bishops to be sufficient. Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger called the statement by the bishops' conference, however, a step in the right direction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

German bishops set up office to deal with abuse cases

GERMANY
Catholic News Agency

Freiburg, Germany, Feb 26, 2010 / 11:05 am (CNA).- The German Catholic Bishops' Conference has chosen one of its own to lead investigations into the cases of abuse in the German Church in the 70s and 80s. The news was announced at the conclusion of the plenary assembly of German bishops on Thursday by conference president Archbishop Robert Zollitsch.

Vatican Radio reported that the bishops' statement read, "We German bishops accept our responsibility and condemn the crimes committed by religious, priests and lay collaborators in our dioceses."

"Mortified and shocked," they asked the pardon and forgiveness of "all victims of these horrible acts."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

German priest resigns over sex abuse case

GERMANY
Expatica

A priest in southern Germany has become the second cleric to resign in three days over the sex abuse scandal involving Jesuit priests rocking the Catholic Church, the bishopric of Munich said Friday.

Maurus Krass, head of the monastic school in Ettal, southern Germany, resigned for failing to inform clerical authorities over child sex abuse accusations dating from 2003 and 2005, a statement said.

On Wednesday another priest from Ettal, Barnabas Bogle, also resigned for the same reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Pedofiele pastoor niet langer in de cel

NETHERLANDS
Gazet van Antwerpen

16/02 De Overpeltse Bart Aben (44), die tijdens zijn ambt als priester een jongen en meisje seksueel misbruikte, zit niet meer in de cel. De Tongerse onderzoeksrechter heeft dinsdag beslist om de man vrij te laten onder voorwaarden. Aben zal zich verplicht moeten laten opnemen voor een behandeling in een instelling.

[summary]

A 44-year-old priest has been accused to sexual abusing a boy and girl. The investigating judge decided on Tuesday to release the man under conditions. He will be required to go to a treatment facility. The Hasselt diocese has put he priest on non-active status.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Bill Would Eliminate Time Limit For Filing Child Sex-Abuse Suits

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By ARIELLE LEVIN BECKER
The Hartford Courant

HARTFORD - State lawmakers have introduced legislation to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil cases stemming from child sexual abuse, exploitation or assault.

State Sen. Mary Ann Handley, D-Manchester, and state Rep. Beth Bye, D- West Hartford, detailed their support for the proposal at a press conference Friday morning, joined by state Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz. Also in attendance was Timothy O'Keefe, a Hartford attorney whose firm represents more than 60 victims in a decades-old sexual abuse case involving the late Dr. George Reardon.

"Children don't always recognize that what's happening to them is abuse," Handley said. "At times, it takes a very long time to acknowledge that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Dutch priests accused of child abuse

NETHERLANDS
Dutch News

Friday 26 February 2010

Three Catholic clerics from the Don Rua cloisters in 's Heerenberg, Gelderland, have been accused of abusing at least three children in the 1960s and 1970s, the NRC reports on Friday.

The paper says one former pupil claims to have been abused for two years by a member of the Salesian order at the cloisters when he was 11 and 12 years old.

Another priest was suspended after being accused of molesting a young boy and a third has been accused of abusing a girl when he was teaching English at a school in Doetinchem, the paper says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

Dutch priests accused of child sex abuse

NETHERLANDS
Radio Netherlands

At least three children in a Dutch boarding school run by Roman Catholic priests were sexually abused in the 1960 and 70s, research by Radio Netherlands Worldwide and daily NRC Handelsblad has shown.

The school was attached to the Don Rua monastry of the Salesians of Don Bosco in the eastern town of 's-Heerenberg. The clerics may have assaulted more children. Members of the order confirmed that the problem was discussed internally, but was never subjected to a thorough investigation.

The school's population consisted of about a hundred boys aged between twelve and eighteen. A former pupil said it was common knowledge at the school that certain priests abused boys. One case has been confirmed in which a priest from the Don Rua school sexually abused a child outside the monastry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Dutch Catholic Church faces child sex abuse scandal

NETHERLANDS
Radio Netherlands

By Robert Chesal

"There was a knock at the door. I tried to scream but I couldn’t utter a sound." Janne Geraets, now 57, suffered repeated sexual abuse from the age of 11 at the hands of a priest at the Roman Catholic school where he was a boarder.

Amid the high-profile child sexual abuse scandals in the United States and other European countries, the reputation of the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands has remained unsullied. But a joint investigation by Radio Netherlands Worldwide and NRC Handelsblad reveals that this is unjustified.

Lured out of bed
Janne Geraets’ ordeal began in 1964, at the Don Rua monastery in the town of 's-Heerenberg in the east of the Netherlands. He was being trained by the Salesian Fathers of Don Bosco, in the hope of one day becoming a missionary. After a party, one of the priests lured Janne to the infirmary under the pretext of giving him medicine to ease his sore throat. "All of a sudden he was right up against me. He unzipped his trousers and forced my hand inside. I was in a state of utter confusion."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Office grapples with archdiocese’s future challenges

MASSACHUSETTS
The Pilot

By Jim Lockwood
Posted: 2/26/2010

BRAINTREE -- The archdiocese’s Office of Pastoral Planning is charged with working with parishes and archdiocesan central ministries to address the challenges the future will present.

And those challenges aren’t likely to be small. Current information suggests those challenges will include an increasing shortage of priests, a decline in already low Mass attendance, and financial strains on parishes.

The director, Father David Couturier, OFM Cap., said the formation of the office stemmed from a May 2007 planning report by the archdiocese’s Pastoral Planning Committee, headed by Father George Evans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Mönch von St. Ottilien unter Missbrauchs-Verdacht

GERMANY
Augsburger Allgemeine

Gegen einen Mönch des Klosters St. Ottilien liegt ein Missbrauchsvorwurf vor. Das Kloster informierte gestern in einer Pressemitteilung, dass es einen anonymen Hinweis über missbräuchliche Handlungen in den 1960er und 70er Jahren im damaligen Seminar gebe.

[summary]

A monk at the St. Ottilie monastry has been accused of abuse. The monastery yesterday said in a press release that they received an anonymous tip about sexual abuse in the 1960s and 1970s. The abbey immediately released the brother of his current duties and informed the diocesan leadership in Augsburg. The allegations were examined by independent psychologists and lawyers under guideliness from the order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Pfarrer wegen Fehlverhaltens angezeigt

GERMANY
RP

Rees (RP) Ein Pfarrer aus Rees ist in dieser Woche beim Bistum Münster wegen Fehlverhaltens gegenüber einem Kind angezeigt worden. Das Bistum habe diese Anzeige „unverzüglich“ an die diözesane Kommission für Fälle des sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger geleitet, teilte die Bischöfliche Pressestelle heute in Münster mit.

[summary]

A priest in the Munster diocese has been accused of misconduct with a child. The diocesan commission that investigated said it was not a case of sexual abuse but the priest behaved inappropriately toward the child. The priest has resigned his pastorate and will begin therapy. The results of the investigation will be turned over to the public prosecutor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Vatican gets huge donations from struggling Irish businessmen (but not towards Pope’s trip to Britain)

VATICAN CITY
National Secular Society (United Kingdom)

Irish builders and bankers who have reigned over a catastrophic virtual collapse in the country’s economy donated nearly €9m to the Vatican last year. Among those named as donors were property developers whose loans have been taken over by the state-run National Assets Management Agency (NAMA). Property developers Derek Quinlan, Treasury Holdings' Johnny Ronan, Ballymore Properties' Sean Mulryan and Paddy McKillen, one of the so called "Anglo 10" all made significant donations.

The Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums published recently reveals that these troubled property developers provided ‘financial support’ for the restoration of the historic Pauline Chapel in the Vatican Museum.

Fellow donors included former Anglo Irish bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick and the controversial former boss of Irish Nationwide Michael Fingleton. Other donors included Digicel owner Denis O’Brien and William Bollinger, the Irish co-founder of the €3bn Egerton Capital Hedge Fund.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Bishop rows with justice minister over abuse claim

GERMANY
The Irish Times

DEREK SCALLY in Berlin

THE HEAD of the German Catholic bishops’ conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, has criticised the federal justice minister for suggesting that the church had blocked investigation of clerical abuse cases.

The row has exposed a jurisdiction dispute between church and state authorities in abuse cases and overshadowed renewed pledges by bishops to tackle abuse.

A month after the first allegations became public about sexual and physical abuse at three Jesuit schools, over 130 alleged victims have come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Magdalene victims awaiting apology

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Madam, – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has issued an apology to child migrants who were sent between the 1920s and 1960s to Britain’s former colonies, where many of them suffered abuse. Several hundred of the more than 130,000 child migrants involved in this scheme were either Irish or of Irish background.

In Ireland, the Government, members of the Catholic hierarchy, and various religious congregations, have apologised for the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children, including children in State residential institutions.

Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries still await their apology: from the State, which was complicit in referring women and children into the laundries; from the religious orders that operated the profitable laundries; from the Irish hierarchy which reaped the benefits of that profit; from families that banished daughters, sisters and cousins behind convent walls; and from Irish society, which turned a blind eye while sending their dirty laundry to be scrubbed clean.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

A late apology and a painful legacy for children transported into a nightmare

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

Published Date:
24 February 2010
By Sarah Freeman

It's the little things which Mick Kenny remembers.

One of the thousands of British youngsters promised a better life in Australia, when he arrived on the other side of the world in the early 1950s he was immediately stripped of the few belongings he had. Even his shoes were taken and he was forced to walk barefoot on the cold stone floors of a church-run orphanage he was told would now be home.

Occasionally, when the bishop dropped by, he and the dozen or so other children who shared a dormitory were hastily given sandals. However, when the official visit was over, the little luxuries were packed away and harsh reality returned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Lenten Ember Day set for March 10

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

The Ember Day for Lent will be Wednesday, March 10.

An Ember Day is set aside for voluntary prayer and fasting. In the Archdiocese of Portland, Ember Days are observed during Advent, Lent and in September.

Archbishop John Vlazny reinstituted Ember Days here in 2002 as days of prayer and fasting for victims of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Friday, Feb 26--Former Priest Extradited To Face Child Abuse Charges

OCEAN CITY (MD)
The Dispatch

By Shawn J. Soper, News Editor
Originally published February 26, 2010

OCEAN CITY – A former Catholic priest charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse and assault on a minor in Ocean City is behind bars in Snow Hill this week after finally being extradited to Worcester County from North Carolina.

The Ocean City Police Department last year received a complaint about the sexual abuse of a minor. The alleged incidents were to have taken place in Ocean City between 1977 and 1983 and involved a former priest, later identified as Michael Lowell Barnes, 64, of Haywood County, N.C. At the time of the alleged abuse, the victim was a minor child.

Police began investigating the alleged pattern of sexual abuse on the minor dating back over 30 years and obtained an arrest warrant for Barnes. In early October, local detectives, in cooperation with the Maggie Valley, N.C. Police Department, located and arrested Barnes in North Carolina. According to police reports at the time, Barnes was taken into custody and held in a North Carolina jail on a $400,000 bond pending extradition to Worcester County to face charges related to the alleged incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Parent, sex abusers of children sentenced

GREECE
Kathimerini

An Athens court yesterday imposed heavy jail terms, ranging from 18 to 56 years, on four people found guilty of brutal sexual exploitation of minors. The four included a woman from Ilion, western Athens, who forced her three underage children to work as sex slaves two years ago.

The mother of three was sentenced to 37 years in jail for making her daughter, then aged 11, and her two sons, then aged 8 and 9, have sex with clients. The latter included a 63-year-old priest and an 83-year-old pensioner, who were sentenced to 24-year and 56-year terms respectively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

February 25, 2010

Priest removed from ministry following abuse allegation

CAMDEN (NJ)
Catholic Star Herald

The Diocese of Camden has permanently removed retired priest Father Brendan V. Sullivan from ministry following a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

The allegation was made to the diocese by an adult male who said Sullivan abused him in 1981 when he was 14 years-old.

Father Sullivan, 75, was permanently removed from ministry on February 23 and he may no longer function or present himself as a priest, a process called for in the “Essential Norms for Diocesan Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons.” The Norms were approved by the U.S. bishops in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 PM

Swami lawyers ask for another delay

TEXAS
Austin American-Statesman

By Eric Dexheimer | Thursday, February 25, 2010

Attorneys for Prakashanand Saraswati, the Hindu leader who stands accused of groping two under-aged girls in the 1990s, have asked for another delay in the holy man’s trial in Hays County.

If District Court Judge Charles Ramsay grants the request, the trial, now scheduled for early April, likely won’t be heard until the end of the summer — nearly two and a half years after Prakashanand was arrested.

According to court documents filed last week, the founder and spiritual leader of Barsana Dham, the 200-acre ashram south of Austin, has been spending most of his time in India, where, the filings say, he underwent surgery on his lower back. A note from Dr. S.S. Kale of the All India Institute of Medical Science described the January operation as “serious” and said it took five hours to complete.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Lahey trial delayed until 2011

CANADA
Western Catholic Reporter

DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
OTTAWA - Bishop Raymond Lahey's trial on charges of possessing and importing child pornography has been set for the spring of 2011.

The trial will begin April 26, 2011 and run until May 6, Assistant Crown Attorney David Elhadad said in an interview.

The former bishop of Antigonish, N.S., is not expected to appear in an Ottawa court until his trial starts in more than a year's time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Savona – Don Luciano Massaferro resta ancora in carcere

ITALY
Liguria Oggi

Savona – Don Luciano Massaferro resta ancora in carcere. Il parroco di Alassio, accusato di violenza sessuale ai danni di una bambina di 14 anni della parrocchia, ha visto respinta, per la seconda volta, la richiesta di scarcerazione presentata ai giudici che seguono il suo caso.
Gli avvocati della difesa hanno richiesto che il sacerdote possa attendere gli esiti delle indagini agli arresti domiciliari ma il gip, ancora una volta, ha ritenuto preferifibile la custodia in carcere per evitare il ripetersi del reato ma anche per la possibilità di inquinamento delle prove.

[summary]

Father Luciano Massaferro remains in prison. A court has rejected for a second time his request for release. He is charged with abusing a 14-year-old girl in his parish at Alassio. Defense attorneys asked that the priest be placed under house arrest pending trial but the investigating judge once again ordered incarceration to avoid repetition of the crime and possibility of tampering with evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Spanish Priest Spent $23,000 On Porn, Advertised Himself As Prostitute

SPAIN
The Huffington Post

Samuel Martin Martin, a 27-year-old Spanish priest, has been thrown out of the Church after it emerged he spent up to $23,000 of church money on a sex addiction and advertised himself as a male prostitute.

The priest spent the money, some of which had been collected in a drive for Haiti, on sex chat lines, internet porn sites and prostitutes over the year he was a priest at two parishes in the small towns Totanes and Noez. He apologized to parishioners during a recent mass and asked for forgiveness.

Martin had also posted adverts online offering himself as a prostitute.

"Heterosexual man for women and couples. Real photos. Well hung (15cm) to give you pleasure and happiness," he wrote. "I am open to everything except sadism. Hotels and private addresses. 24 hours. You won't regret it, I will give you pleasure like never before."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Sex abuse victims respond to German Justice Minister’s idea as more evidence of abuse surfaces

GERMANY/UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

We respectfully but firmly disagree with German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger who apparently calls for “a round table of representatives of the government, the church and victims” (according to Der Spiegel). Devastating, horrific child sex crimes have taken place and deliberate, callous cover ups are still taking place. Catholic officials aren’t well-intentioned men who just happen to have genuine differences of opinions from most of the rest of society. They have behaved, and are behaving, like criminals. The answer isn’t “round table” discussions; it’s vigorous governmental intervention and investigation and prosecution of powerful but corrupt wrong-doers.

Such a panel, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger says, would be “a good way to give the Catholic Church an opportunity to enter into conversations with the victims over voluntary compensation.” Again, we disagree. For decades, the church hierarchy has had ample opportunity to “enter into conversations” with victims and provide “voluntary compensation.” That has rarely happened, in Germany or elsewhere. There must be pressure – public, parishioner, and governmental – to force the timid, self-serving monarchs of the church to do what’s right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Hintergrund: Zwischen Beichtgeheimnis, Diskretion und Knebel

GERMANY
Badische Zeitung

Der Vatikan und seine Haltung zum sexuellen Missbrauch: 1962 und 2001 erließ Rom zwei Texte, hinter deren unklarer Sprache Kritiker heute noch geltende Vertuschungsstrategien erblicken.

[summary]

Between 1962 and 2001 the Vatican adopted two texts. One is Crimen Sollicitationis (The crime of solicitation), the forerunner of the modern document that was published in 1962 under Pope John XXIII. The second text concerns the Motu Proprio De Delictis gravioribus (about serious crime) that was published under Pope John Paul II and in 2001 replaced Crimen Sollicitationis.

Both texts can explain that investigation and prosecution of sexual abuse against minors is the sole responsibility of the Vatican. In addition. the documents require secrecy or silence. The Roman line was therefore to prevent state law enforcement from being notified and to retain silence. De Delictis graviorbus was the work of former Cardinal Jospeh Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

In fact, the two documents clarify that these cases of abuse must always be within the jurisdiction of Rome.

The 1962 document places sexual abuse within the context of confession. A violation of the confessional by a priest moves automatically to his excommunication. The victims had to swear an oath to keep silent about the church procedure.

The 2001 document De Delictis gravioribus, which is the work of the current pope, maintains the highest level of secrecy. The document does not specify excommunication for breaking secrecy but an appropriate penalty is mentioned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Church sets up abuse hotline

GERMANY
News 24

2010-02-25 19:55

Freiburg - The Catholic Church in Germany said on Thursday it was setting up a telephone hotline for victims of sexual abuse by church staff members and would create a national office to review a rash of recent claims.

Bishops meeting in the southern city of Freiburg said they would drop the current arrangement where each of the 27 dioceses reviews complaints, and appoint Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier to manage all complaints nationwide.

Apart from a flurry of allegations that led to a set of guidelines in 2002, the 27-million-member Catholic Church in Germany had previously escaped the controversy over abuse that has strained the church in the United States and Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Sex scandal shows risk of rabbi-worship

ISRAEL
The JC

The main story which roiled Israel last week is not, in itself, an important one. It involved one rabbi whose private life did not quite measure up to the standards he was preaching in public. He is not the first and is probably not the last.

Rabbi Moti Elon will never be able to regain his status as the promising next leader of the religious Zionist faction after it was revealed that he was engaged in sexual misconduct with young men asking him for advice.

Those who still refuse to believe - and some followers of this charismatic, bright, original, magnetic rabbi still refuse to believe - should be forgiven for their lack of imagination. Eventually, for most people, the truth will sink in. They will be forced into accepting that the members of Takana, the rabbinical voluntary organisation exposing Rabbi Elon's misconduct, had proof and solid evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

If women had been involved, as they are now, the response to clerical sex abuse would have been different

IRELAND
Mayo Advertiser

By Toni Bourke

The Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, has told the priests of the diocese that Pope Benedict asked for the forgiveness of the clerical sex abuse victims during a meeting with Irish bishops on February 15.

“The sense of pain, betrayal and anger expressed by victims was conveyed by the bishops. Scandal and shame was acknowledged by all who participated. A wide range of areas was covered in the discussion,” Archbishop Neary said in his letter to priests.

“Central to the visit was the outreach to survivors and the desire to accompany them in their pain and help them find hope,” explained Archbishop Neary. He said the contributing causes to what had taken place and the lessons to be learned for the future were underlined.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Germans investigate Catholic school sex abuse

GERMANY
Washington Post

By KIRSTEN GRIESHABER
The Associated Press
Thursday, February 25, 2010; 11:05 AM

BERLIN -- German prosecutors have opened investigations into allegations of sexual abuse at two Roman Catholic schools - the first legal action since reports of priests abusing students surfaced in January.

Senior prosecutor Andrea Titz in Munich is investigating claims of abuse against a member of a Benedictine-run boarding school in Ettal, Bavaria, her office said in a statement Thursday.

Barnabas Boegle, the abbot of the Ettal Monastery, which runs the school, stepped down Wednesday after eight former students said they had been abused by school priests in the 1950s, 70s and 80s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Catholic Church sets up hotline in Germany for abuse victims

GERMANY
Earth Times

Freiburg, Germany - The Catholic Church in Germany said Thursday it was setting up a telephone hotline for victims of sexual abuse by church staff and would create a national office to review a rash of recent claims. Bishops meeting in the southern city of Freiburg said they would drop the current arrangement where each of the 27 dioceses reviews complaints, and appoint Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier to manage all complaints nationwide.

Apart from a flurry of allegations that led to a set of guidelines in 2002, the 27-million-member Catholic Church in Germany had previously escaped the controversy over abuse that has strained the church in the United States and Ireland.

But last month more than 100 people told a church-appointed lawyer they had suffered sexual molestation while pupils from the 1960s to 1980s at schools in Germany run by the Jesuit order of priests. That prompted more revelations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Catholic critic comes to Philly

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Gay News

The Rev. Thomas Doyle, who was famously released from his position with the Vatican embassy in Washington, D.C., after penning a report on the prevalence of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, will lead a local discussion on the future of the church.

Doyle will speak on behalf of the American Catholic Council, which seeks to foster a more accepting and affirming environment within the Catholic Church, at 7:30 p.m. March 9 at Chestnut Hill College, 9601 Germantown Ave., in the Social Room of Fourneir Hall.

The event is free, but goodwill offerings will be accepted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Case of Rabbi Elior Chen

ISRAEL
The Awareness Center

Rabbi Elior Chen, who fled to Canada shortly after one of his followers was charged with systematic child abuse including burning her toddlers, making them eat feces, and putting them in a suitcase for days. Chen was not charged with anything, but fled as news reports of the Jerusalem mother's detention were circulated, and it appeared she had committed the abuse following instructions from him on child disciplining techniques.

Chen is also accused of cult like practices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Public Defender's Office opposes representing Elior Chen

ISRAEL
YNet News

Published: 02.25.10, 17:08 / Israel News

The Public Defender's Office has notified the Jerusalem District Court that it objects to the appointment of one of its attorneys to represent "abusive rabbi" Elior Chen. This, following Justice Yoram Noam's decision of dismissing attorney Ariel Atari, who formerly represented Chen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

TAC recycles pedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
Episcopal Cafe

The Traditional Anglican Church has been severely criticized by an Australian judge who says he is "astonished" the church allowed Wilfred Edwin Dennis to re-enter the priesthood and commit sexual child abuse "strikingly similar" to crimes for which he was convicted in the 1970s.

More:

During his trial, the court heard Dennis had told the Archbishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion - a splinter group from the Anglican Church - that he had molested "more than 40" boys during his priesthood with the Anglican Church.

Dennis has appealed the conviction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

Women says she was abused at Mother McAuley H.S.

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Press Release Services

CHICAGO (WBBM) — A former teacher at Mother McAuley High School in Chicago has been accused of sexual abuse in a civil lawsuit. The alleged victim: a 22-year-old suburban woman who says she was abused when she was a teenager.

With her face shielded from the cameras, the young woman told reporters why she is filing a lawsuit against the man she says is twice her age – the former teacher at a Chicago Roman Catholic high school who she says abused her when she was a minor.

“Because it’s slowly ruined my life. I’ve lost my self-worth and everything. And I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I want to stop it from happening to anyone else.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

DBK: Erklärung aus Anlass der Aufdeckung von Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs an Minderjährigen im kirchlichen Bereich

GERMANY
Vatican Radio

25.02.2010: Erklärung der Frühjahrs-Vollversammlung der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz

Enthüllungen sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger durch Geistliche und Mitarbeiter der Kirche erschüttern uns in diesen Tagen. Wir Bischöfe stellen uns unserer Verantwortung. Wir verurteilen die Verbrechen, die Ordensleute sowie Priester und Mitarbeiter unserer Bistümer begangen haben. Beschämt und schockiert bitten wir alle um Entschuldigung und Vergebung, die Opfer dieser abscheulichen Taten geworden sind.

[summary]

25.02.2010: Statement of the Spring General Assembly of the German Bishops' Conference

The bishops condemn the crimes of men and women religious and priests against people of our dioceses. We are shamed and shocked and ask all to forgive.

1. To uncover the truth

Sexual abuse of young people often inflicts a lifetime of painful wounds and teachers and educators have profoundly betrayed the trust of young people. They violate the privacy of young people instead of protecting them. The incidents become more serious when the perpetrator is a priest because a special closeness that binds human beings with a spiritual advisor. We want an honest education, free from false consideration, even when reported incidents go back a long time. The victims have a right to it.

2. The guidelines to evaluate

We are not at the beginning of dealing with such misconduct even if we have underestimate the extent of it until now. Eight years ago, we developed the Guidelines on how to proceed in cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests. They apply in all dioceses. The guidelines prevent concealment and obfuscation and the guidelines say the victims and their families should have human, therapeutic and pastoral support which is customized to each person. There is a contact person in each diocese that people can contact in case of suspicion or with questions. We will find out whether this can be improved or whether their work should be supplemented. We asked some leaders in the human resources area to review the assistance. They expect to hear proposals by mid-summer.

3. Strengthen prevention

We urge the comunities and particularly leaders in our schools and youth to cultivate a "culture of looking carefully." We support a pedagogy that is committed to strengthening the personality of each child and young person. In Germany, there are many initiatives in civil society and state institutions to combat sexual violence against children and adolescents. They help to strengthen awareness and prevetion. We want to learn from them and seek a prompt conversation to be clearer on what the church can do in its own area to prevent child abuse. The bishops will also hold talks with victims.

The celibacy of our priests, as our experts confirm, is not responsible for the crime of sexual abuse. A celibate life is for those who have the necessary human and emotional maturity. Prevention plans will include appropriate and careful training of future priests.

4. Locate responsibility

The Bishop of Trier, Stephan A. Ackermann, is now a special agent of the bishops' conference for all matters concerning sexual abuse of minors in the church. A support office will be set up in the secretariat of the bishops' conference. It will expand the cooperation between the dioceses in all relevant questions and provide connection with initiatives of civil society. We will also run a nationwide hotline for information on issues of sexual abuse of minors in the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Zentraler Ansprechpartner

GERMANY
domradio

Eine Verharmlosung oder ein Vertuschen dürfe es in Sachen Kindesmissbrauch nicht geben, sagt der Trierer Bischof Stephan Ackermann. Und: „Für diesbezügliche Fehler in der Vergangenheit können wir uns nur entschuldigen.“ In seinem neuen Amt wird Ackermann diesen klaren Worten nun Taten folgen lassen können.

[summary]

Child sexual abuse should not be triviliazed or covered-up, said Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier. "For related errors in the past, we can only apologized," he said. In his new post, Ackermann will be able to make these words into deeds.

The chief shepherd of Trier was made contact person for all issues concerned sexual abuse of minors in church. The action came at the end of the spring session of the German Bishops' Conference. A new central office is being set up at the Secretariat of the Bishops' Conference in Boston. The cooperation between dioceses and religious orders should be expanded. Ackermann said the office will also keep in touch with civil society initiatives and govrnment activities. The church will also set up a nationwide telephone hotline.

At age 46, Ackermann is the second youngest among the diocesan bishops. He has headed the Trier diocese since mid-May last year.

The crisis became known in his own diocese a few days ago. A chaplain abused a young person in Gerolstein in the early 1960s. The abuse was reported to the diocese years ago but no action was taken. For his own attitude, Ackermann made no bones about it. The church must first and foremost always remember to protect the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Notwendig ist ehrliche Aufklärung

GERMANY
Bistum Trier (Trier Diocese)

Trier/Freiburg – Der Bischof von Trier, Dr. Stephan Ackermann (46), ist ab sofort besonderer Beauftragter der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz für alle Fragen im Zusammenhang des sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger im kirchlichen Bereich. Das hat der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Dr. Robert Zollitsch, am 25.

[summary]

Bishop Stephan Ackermann, 46, of Trier is now the special agent of the Germany Bishops' Conference for all matters related to sexual abuse of minors in the church. Announcement was made at the end of the bishops general assembly by Archbishop Robert Zollitsch.

Bishop Ackermann is scheduled to hold a press conference Friday to discuss his new role. He will be assisted by an office to be set up in the secretariat of the bishops conference. The archbishop said there will be cooperation between the diocese in all relevant questions and to ensure connection between the church and civil authorities. They also plan a nationwide hotline for information of issues relating to sexual abuse of minors in the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Spanish priest offered sexual services and spent church funds on pornography

SPAIN
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Fiona Govan in Madrid

A Spanish priest has been sacked after it emerged he advertised himself as a male prostitute on the internet and spent church funds on telephone sex and internet pornography.

Samuel Martin Martin, 27, the priest of two small parishes in the central province of Toledo, posted images of himself posing in grey underpants and said he was available for sex sessions with women and couples for 120 euros an hour.

Calling himself Hector, the priest described himself in an online advertisement as: "Heterosexual man for women and couples. Real photos. Well hung (15cm) to give you pleasure and happiness."

The scandal has made headlines across Catholic Spain where newspapers reprinted the photo and text from the advertisement. "I am open to everything except sadism. Hotels and private addresses. 24 hours. You won't regret it, I will give you pleasure like never before," it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Spanish priest spunked €17k on chat lines and whores

SPAIN
The Register (United Kingdom)

By Lester Haines

A Spanish priest who spunked €17k of church funds on sex chat lines, internet porn sites and prostitutes has unsurprisingly been given his marching orders.

Samuel Martin Martin, 27, racked up some impressive expenditure during his one year-tenure as spiritual shepherd to the villages of Totanes and Noez, in Toledo. As well as relieving pious parishioners of their hard-earned cash - including that from a whip-round in aid of Haiti, according to one flabbergasted local interviewed last night on Spanish telly - Martin also offered his sexual services online at €120 a pop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

'Is the fuss over Rabbi Mordechai Elon down to his homosexuality?'

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Neri Livneh

Dr. Hana Kehat began her fight against sexual harassment within Israel's religious sector even before initiating the Takana forum, from which she has now resigned in the wake of the Rabbi Mordechai Elon affair. Kehat is a founder and board member of Kolech - a feminist, religious Zionist movement established more than 20 years ago which aims to achieve equality for women within the religious community.

Kehat, a lecturer in Bible and Israeli thought, started taking on sexual harassment at Kolech, where she exposed how such harassment on the part of Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen, head of the women's religious college at Bar-Ilan University, had been handled. The affair nearly led to her firing from Orot College by its director, Rabbi Neria Guttel, and demonstrated the great need to establish the Takana forum. Kolech put pressure on Bar-Ilan; as a result the university set up an investigatory committee headed by Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, today one of Takana's leaders.

Kehat's resignation from Takana, along with other members of Kolech from the forum they created, was carried out in protest against how the Elon case has been treated - with a lack of transparency - which resulted in the women being excluded from its handling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Mr Peter John Ryan in court re a St Stanislaus College matter

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

A Catholic educationist in New South Wales, Mr Peter John Ryan. 67, appeared in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday 25 February 2010, charged with sexual offences allegedly committed against a young male student in Bathurst NSW in 1977.

The case was prepared by detectives from Strike Force Belle, who are investigating certain matters involving St Stanislaus College in Bathurst.

St Stanislaus College is operated by the Catholic order of Vincentian Priests and Brothers, and it is believed that Mr Ryan was once connected with this order. However, he separated from the Vincentians many years ago, and has most recently worked (as a lay person) in the Catholic school system in the Parramatta Catholic diocese which covers Sydney's outer-western suburbs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Merryfields' case moves forward

APPLETON (WI)
Fox 11

APPLETON - Todd and Troy Merryfield have filed an amended complaint against the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay in their fraud lawsuit.

Two weeks ago, a judge ruled the Merryfields can seek punitive damages for what they believe was an intentional cover-up of abuse by the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay. The revised pleadings are a restating of the previous claims with the request for punitive damages added.

In 2004, former priest John Patrick Feeney was convicted of sexually assaulting the brothers in 1978, when they were teenagers. He is serving a 15-year prison sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Editorial: Texas legislators should comply with Waco family's push for 'Kari's Law'

TEXAS
The Lariat

Claire Taylor | Lariat Staff

Nearly four years after he killed his wife, Matt Baker, former Baptist pastor, was finally convicted and sentenced to 65 years in prison last month.

Baker drugged and suffocated his wife, Kari Baker, then made it look like suicide. It was only after his former mistress testified before the court, admitting her four-month affair with Matt and her knowledge of Kari's murder, that Matt was charged with her death.

Families shouldn't be forced to live with the uncertainty Kari's parents were left with for years after their daughter's death. If an autopsy had been performed on Kari's body in the first place, the truth of this case could have been revealed much sooner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Interview with Ritual Abuse Survivor, Jeannie Wills

UNITED STATES
Healing and Spirituality

February 25, 2010

Dr. Jaime Romo

I first met Jeannie years ago at a SNAP conference. I continue to appreciate her wisdom, honesty, transformation and joy.

JR: Thank you for participating in this interview. I experience you as a nurturer or guide in various kinds of survivor healing efforts: the Farm, SNAP, and individual support. How would you describe your kind of advocacy?

JW: Back in the early 90’s, Jaime, when everything ‘hit the fan’ for me, I was overwhelmed with memories of the abuse. They didn’t seem ‘real’ – I felt totally out of control of my life and yes, crazy, for lack of a better word. I started hearing about other people with similar experiences. I started reaching out – I jumped into the advocacy movement of exposing the crimes of the church without much focus on my personal journey towards healing. I researched priest’s assignments through the church directories for people all over the country; I worked with a reporter to expose the issues locally; supported other survivors… It took quite awhile and painful insight to realize that in my personal journey, I was using all the activity to keep one step ahead of my-self and outrun, so to speak, the work I had to do to reclaim my life and really heal my soul.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Britain says sorry to children shipped to Australia

AUSTRALIA
Earth Times

Sydney - British children shipped to Australia from 1947-67 gathered as adults Thursday to receive an apology from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for what he called the "deportation of innocent lives."The formal apology, to a group of 150,000 children ages 3 to 14 who sometimes refer to themselves as the Orphans of Empire, was delivered by Brown to the House of Commons Wednesday in London and is being relayed at British missions in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Zimbabwe, which was then called Rhodesia.

Brought up in orphanages where neglect, brutality and even sexual abuse were commonplace, child migrants to Australia received a formal apology last year in the Canberra Parliament.

As many as 10,000 children that Britain didn't want because they were born to single mothers or into poor homes were shipped to Australia as "good, white stock."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

It's time to stop the ring-kissing of Catholic bishops in Ireland

IRELAND
Irish Central

By John Spain

The picture of the Irish bishops gathered in conclave with the Pope in the Vatican just over a week ago summed up what is wrong with the Catholic Church, not just in Ireland but in Rome as well.

There they all were, a large group of elderly male celibates in white dresses smiling grimly for the cameras before they began their two-day discussion on sexuality and abuse.

What's wrong with the picture? Well, for a start there's not a woman in sight.

Nor are there any psychoanalysts or psychiatrists or psychologists or even an alternative therapist or two. Nor are there any ordinary adults who might be able to offer a real opinion on sexuality, speaking from the experience of a normal, well-adjusted person with an active sex life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Life behind closed academic doors

PITTSBURGH (PA)
GetReligion

Posted by tmatt

Semester after semester, I tell my students at the Washington Journalism Center that some of the hardest news stories to cover — period — are personnel disputes inside private colleges and universities. The simple fact of the matter is that the administrations on these campuses do not have to talk about the proceedings in these cases and, often, they cannot talk about the facts of these cases because of valid legal concerns about privacy.

In many cases, academic doors are closed for a reason.

But these stories often break out into the open anyway, because students hear gossip on campus or popular faculty members suddenly resign or simply vanish. And then there are the cases that get linked to alleged violations of laws — laws in heaven or on earth (or both). As you would imagine, these stories are especially complex on traditional religious campuses.

This brings me to a recent story by veteran scribe Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It’s one of those worst-case-scenario cases that I’m talking about. Here’s the top of the story:

As Vatican officials consider whether a popular Benedictine monk may return to ministry after pornography was found on his computer, some students at St. Vincent College are rallying to support him, arguing that the case against him is flawed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Priest abuse victims Troy J. and Todd D. Merryfield ...

APPLETON (WI)
The Post-Crescent

APPLETON — Two sexual assault victims suing the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay will be able to pursue punitive damages as part of their case.

Attorneys for brothers Troy J. and Todd D. Merryfield, formerly of Freedom, filed a third amended civil complaint in the Outagamie County case this week. The new complaint added a punitive damage claim after Judge Nancy Krueger’s Feb. 12 ruling that allowed it.

Punitive damages are awards added beyond actual damages as a means to punish a defendant in cases of misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

February 24, 2010

Priest abused altar boy after release from jail, court told

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

February 25, 2010

A judge says it is astonishing that an Anglican priest was allowed to return to the ministry after being jailed for sexually abusing an altar boy.

The former priest now faces another jail term for a "strikingly similar" offence involving another altar boy, South Australian District Court Judge Sydney Tilmouth said on Thursday.

Wilfred Edwin Dennis, now aged 74, was jailed in 1970 for six months for indecently assaulting an altar boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 PM

Analysis: Bishop-elect Bambera likely to begin tackling diocese's problems immediately

SCRANTON (PA)
The Times-Tribune

by laura legere (staff writer)
Published: February 24, 2010

Catholics looking for signs of Bishop-elect Joseph Bambera's readiness to lead the Diocese of Scranton could see it on the chain he wore drawn across his chest on Tuesday.

It was attached to a pectoral cross - an adornment in the Roman Catholic tradition that can be worn by bishops-elect but is generally worn only by ordained bishops. It was tucked into a pocket above his heart during his first public appearance as the future ordinary.

Observers and colleagues read it as a signal of the Vatican's confidence in the bishop-elect, who is expected to begin tackling the challenges facing the diocese even before his installation two months away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Catholic diocese of Spokane, WA, found guilty of contempt of court in sex abuse, bankruptcy case

WASHINGTON
Voice from the Desert

Statement by Peter Isely of Milwaukee, national board member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

We’re grateful though not surprised by this ruling. As clergy sex crimes and cover ups slowly fade from the media spotlight, we’ve seen more church officials and church lawyers being more harsh and mean-spirited toward victims and their supporters. It’s hard for bishops, who sit atop ancient, rigid monarchies, to accept that there are limits to their powers and that secular authorities and procedures must be followed, even if the outcome doesn’t please the bishop.

We hope this decision will remind Catholic officials that if they can’t control their anger and fight victims excessively, once in a while their tactics will be exposed and their excesses will be punished.

We urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups to call police, get help, expose predators, protect kids and start healing. We especially urge victims and witnesses in and around Spokane to come forward, in part to show Catholic officials that their threats and hardball legal maneuvers will not keep brave but wounded victims trapped in silence, shame and self-blame.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Stricter laws ...

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Julie Bykowicz | julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

February 24, 2010

Almost every aspect of Maryland's sex offender laws is receiving scrutiny this year as state lawmakers respond to the December killing of 11-year-old Sarah Foxwell on the Eastern Shore at the hands, authorities believe, of a registered child sex offender.

On Tuesday, a panel of delegates reviewed 30 proposals, including a contentious plan backed by Gov. Martin O'Malley that would add juveniles to the state sex offender registry.

Opponents said such a change would unfairly stigmatize young people who are often abuse victims themselves. The same measure would require more information of homeless registrants, something lawmakers have previously rejected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Judge rebukes Spokane diocese for threat to bankruptcy trustee

WASHINGTON
Catholic Culture

February 24, 2010

A federal judge in the state of Washington has found the Spokane diocese and its attorneys in contempt of court for threatening to sue a bankruptcy trustee. The Spokane diocese had agreed to a bankruptcy settlement that specified payments to certain victims of sexual abuse, but the 2007 agreement did not spell out the handling of future abuse complaints. When the bankruptcy trustee, Gloria Nagler, approved payments to some new victims, the diocesan attorney threatened to file suit against Nagler.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Laws against sexual harassment by spiritual leaders pass preliminary reading

ISRAEL
YNet News

Published: 02.24.10, 12:58 / Israel News

The Knesset plenum passed a preliminary reading of two bills stipulating that offers or treatment of a sexual nature suggested by religious or spiritual instructors to their students be considered sexual harassment. This also would apply if the recipient does not expressly decline the offer. The bills were initiated by MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) and MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Beinish lauds Mazuz for standing up to ministers

ISRAEL
YNet News

Aviad Glickman Latest Update: 02.24.10, 21:20 / Israel News

Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish on Wednesday bid farewell warmly to former Attorney General Menachem Mazuz and welcomed his replacement, Yehuda Weinstein.

Speaking in an event at the Jerusalem International Convention Center, Beinish expressed her hopes that Weinstein would deal with the challenges facing him as his predecessors had done.

During the event, Mazuz referred for the first time to the sexual harassment complaints filed against Rabbi Mordechai Elon. He said that the question whether to launch a criminal investigation against the rabbi was not on the agenda during his tenure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Bill goes after sexual harassment by spiritual leaders

ISRAEL
YNet News

Amnon Meranda Published: 02.24.10, 13:57 / Israel News

The Knesset plenum on Wednesday passed two similar bills in a preliminary reading stipulating that offers or treatment of a sexual nature suggested by religious or spiritual instructors to their students be considered sexual harassment. This also would apply if the recipient does not expressly decline the offer.

The explanation of the bill initiated by Knesset Member Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) expounded, "The bill for preventing sexual harassment defines the circumstances in which sexual offers or treatment focusing on the sexuality of the person be within the bounds of sexual harassment, even if the victim does not display to the harasser that he is not interested in the offers or treatment being put forth by the harasser.

"This refers to circumstances in which there is a relationship of authority or dependence between the harasser and the victim: in the framework of an educational framework (when referring to a minor or helpless person), attendant-patient relations, employer-employee relations, or service providers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Since when did the offendors get to dictate the pace of healing for their victims?

IRELAND
Colm O'Gorman

Has it struck anyone else as obscene that in their rush to rationalise the abject failure of the Pope to properly address the deliberate cover up of the rape and abuse of children by Roman Catholic Priests, Irish Bishops seem to be suggesting that victims must be patient and wait for the Vatican’s grand design for our healing to be revealed?

In a letter from Bishop of Ferns Dr Denis Brennan which was read at masses in the Diocese, Dr Brennan asserted that the visit by Bishops was only one part of a process designed to bring healing to victims.

Well excuse me, but since when did those who were responsible for the cover up of abuse and its resultant trauma get to dictate or design the healing process for victims?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Saginaw: Deacon at cathedral accused of sexual assault

SAGINAW (MI)
Catholic Culture

February 24, 2010

A former maintenace worker at the cathedral in Saginaw, Michigan, is alleging that he was sexually assaulted last July by a deacon.

The deacon, who in turn alleged that the maintenance worker had sexually assaulted him, has left the diocese and was not named in local media coverage. In November, Father James Bessert, the cathedral rector, resigned unexpectedly for health reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Parishioners at a Catholic Church in Saginaw were surprised this fall when its priest suddenly resigned

SAGINAW (MI)
WJRT

[with video]

Terry Camp

SAGINAW (WJRT) -- (02/23/10)--The parishioners at a Catholic Church in Saginaw were surprised this fall when its priest suddenly resigned.

But an incident that took place in the church's rectory may have had something to do with that resignation, along with a Deacon leaving the diocese.

Another church employee tied to the incident no longer works for the diocese as well. He believes the diocese retaliated against him for claiming he was sexually assaulted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

A Money Trail to Haiti

FAIRFIELD (CT)
New Haven Advocate

By Sean Corbett

Long before the earthquake, Fairfield University graduate Doug Perlitz was in Haiti working as a missionary. By 2008, he had received close to $3.5 million for his efforts through the Haiti Fund of Project Pierre Toussaint (PPT), an organization he founded in 1997 to help Haitian orphans.

Then last September, Perlitz was indicted by a grand jury for sexually abusing at least nine children while in Haiti. The indictment states Perlitz gave street children food, alcohol, money, toys and other gifts for sexual favors. He's now awaiting trial in a Bridgeport jail.

Perlitz, a member of the class of 1992, kept close ties with Fairfield U. In 2002, he gave the university's commencement speech and was awarded an honorary degree. Father Paul Carrier, who was then Fairfield's director of Campus Ministry, also served as the chairman of the board of directors for the Haiti Fund.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Drunk Driving German Bishop Resigns

GERMANY
Der Spiegel

Over the weekend, the head of the Protestant church in Germany was caught drunk driving. While German commentators condemned Margot Kässmann's actions, most did not feel that she should lose her job. Nevertheless on Wednesday it became clear that the bishop felt her position was untenable.

The head of the Protestant church in Germany, Bishop Margot Kässmann, has announced her resignation. Her decision to step down came after she was caught driving with three times the legal blood alcohol limit on Saturday night in Hanover.

Kässmann, the first woman to lead Germany's 25 million Protestants, addressed reporters on Wednesday afternoon. Just six minutes into the press conference she made it clear that she felt her position was untenable following the news that she had been stopped by police after driving through a red light.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

It is time the Pope came clean about the Magdalene Laundries

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Sharon Owens
Wednesday, 24 February 2010

When I was a young Catholic child in the 1970s, I was brought up to reject the British Royal family and everything it stood for: the class system, primogeniture, social elitism, the pomp and ceremony, the ritual, and the obscene wealth and privilege.

Well, guess what? I saw it all a few days ago when the Irish bishops were lining up in grand robes to kiss the hand of Pope Benedict. Yes, the Vatican surely leaves the House of Windsor in the halfpenny place when it comes to elitism, pomp and ceremony. I could have wept with frustration - except I never expected a full and frank apology from Pope Benedict. I wasn't expecting an admission of guilt either, because such a statement might open the floodgates of litigation. And I'm sure the Vatican doesn't want to lose any more money to the abuse survivors than it already has.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Educating free minds only route to true ethics

IRELAND
The Irish Times

OPINION: Should philosophy replace religion in Irish schools? asks MICHAEL CRONIN

DAVY RESEARCH concluded in a recent report that investment in education must remain a salient priority for Ireland. The question, of course, is what kind of education, and the answer is usually more science and mathematics. But in a period that has seen Irish bishops travel to Rome to account for the instances of abuse detailed in the Ryan and Murphy reports, the answer to the question of what might be a more desirable education for Irish children arguably lies in a more unexpected quarter – philosophy.

The past five years have revealed much that is rotten in public life, whether it be financial malpractice in banking (Ansbacher), planning corruption (Mahon tribunal), or child sexual abuse in institutions answerable to the majority church in the State. A constant in the repeated breaches of trust and violation of civil and moral laws is apparent abandonment of norms of ethical behaviour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Abuse survivors expected too much from Vatican summit

IRELAND
Longford Leader

Published Date:
26 February 2010
By Liam Cosgrove
A Co Longford clerical abuse survivor has described the furore surrounding the Pope's two-day Vatican summit with Irish Bishops last week as "part of the course" and questioned many support groups' growing clamour for a public apology.

Jim Flood, who like hundreds of others endured decades of abuse at the hands of paedophile priests at industrial schools up and down the country, expressed his surprise at the uproar which has since been aimed at Pope Benedict XVI and senior Irish clerics upon their return home.

A former attendee of Ferryhouse Industrial School on the outskirts of Clonmel for almost five years during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Mr Flood said other abuse survivors were simply expecting too much too soon from the Pontiff and his team of advisers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Bishop speaks out after Rome meeting

IRELAND
Longford Leader

Published Date:
26 February 2010
By Liam Cosgrove
Bishop Colm O'Reilly has said he was not "overly surprised" by the wave of negative sentiment that gripped the region following the Rome summit.

In a frank and open appraisal of the 48 hour think-in with the Pope and his 23 fellow bishops, the Colmcille cleric said his sole focus throughout his visit was to address the concerns of his diocese back home.

He said the talks which were held behind closed doors dealt with a lot of the issues that were still outstanding despite claims many critics have since made to the contrary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Church rejects blackmail bid

AUSTRIA
Austrian Independent

The Roman Catholic Graz-Seckau diocese has today (Weds) revealed how a former victim of sexual abuse by priests tried to blackmail them for one million Euros.

The dioceses made the statement when it confirmed reports about a case of sexual abuse of boys by a priest in the 1970s as reported by the newspaper Kleine Zeitung.

The newspaper quoted the now 46-year-old victim in today’s edition as saying the priest had abused him sexually in a meadow and he knew of 10 other victims. He said he had kept silent for so long since his parents and the other victims had refused to support him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Steirischer Pfarrer missbrauchte Buben

AUSTRIA
Kleine Zeitung

Auch in der Steiermark hat sich ein Opfer von Kindesmissbrauch durch einen Pfarrer gemeldet. Ein Zeuge spricht von mindestens zehn weiteren Opfern in den 70er-Jahren.

[summary]

A victim of child abuse by a priest has been reported in Styria. One witness spoke of at least 10 other victims as far back as the 1970s. The victims were boys and most from poor families. Klaus F., now 46 and a technician in Leoben, talked about what happened to him during childhood in a small Upper Styrian town. It is a story of massive sexual abuse by the local pastor. The pastor taught religion at the school. The allegation was confirmed by a credible witness from the region and he knows of at least 10 other victims. The witness wishes to remain anonymous, fearing reprisals from those who would prefer the story to rest. The priest, who was from the Admont, has since died.

The priest invited boys ages 10-14 from the primary school to stay with him at a camp. This is where sexual assaults and beatings occurred. The abbot from the Admont Bruno Hubl monastery confirmed that there was a youth camp at the time on a leased pasture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Bistum bietet Missbrauchsopfern Hilfe an

GERMANY
SWR

Nach den neuen Missbrauchsvorwürfen im Bistum Trier hat die katholische Kirche möglichen weiteren Opfern Hilfe angeboten. Menschen, die von Priestern oder hauptamtlichen Mitarbeitern der Kirche missbraucht worden seien, sollten sich melden, teilte das Bistum mit.

[summary]

The Trier diocese has offered to help sexual abuse victims since new allegations of abuse by a priest have been made in the area. Those who were abused by priests or full-time church employees should contact the diocese.

It was revealed yesterday that a priest, now 76-years-old, abused children in the diocese. He left the priesthood at his own request. He worked in Gerolstein, Trier-Kurenz and Bettingen.

Monsigner Rainer Scherschel, diocesan representative in sexual abuse cases, said it was a grave mistake that no action was taken previously. The diocese now wants a full explanation of the abuse instances. A former altar boy in the parish of St. Boniface in Trier-Kurenz sent an e-mail last week to Scherschel and he stated he had been abused in the 1960s by the then-chaplain. He said he knew at least five other boys who were also abused by this priest. The diocese studied its records and found an indication a boy was abused in Gerolstein where the priest served from 1962 to 1965. There were no consequences for the priest at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Rev. Alvin Adams and SNAP

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA

[audio presentation]

Judy Jones of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, talks to Robert about sexual abuse by priests and Rev. Alvin Adams. Adams has been permanently restricted to a supervised ministry as chaplain to a convent

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

This family gets an apology from the Christian Brothers

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

In 1989 a Christian Brother appeared in the Goulburn Local Court in southern New South Wales. He was convicted (and was given a suspended jail sentence) for sexually abusing a boy at St Patrick’s College, Goulburn. This was then a boys-only boarding school, conducted by the Christian Brothers.

The Christian Brothers managed to keep the court case out of the media at the time. Broken Rites learned about the court case four years later, in 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Victim gets his sex-abuse allegations raised in Parliament

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

A member of the Catholic order of Christian Brothers, William Stuart Houston, of Melbourne, appeared in the Geelong Magistrates Court in June 1997, on 14 charges involving a boy at St Augustine's orphanage, Geelong, Victoria, in the 1960s. The police investigation had been conducted by the Geelong Criminal Investigation Unit.

After hearing evidence, Magistrate Ron Eggleston ruled that there was enough evidence to proceed with three of the charges. On 17 June 1997, Mr Eggleston ordered that Brother Houston, then aged 58, should stand trial in the Victorian County Court on one charge of buggery and two of indecent assault. Brother Houston (date of birth 18 February 1939) was remanded on bail pending a County Court hearing.

The magistrate’s order was reported in the Melbourne “Herald Sun”, 18 June 1997, page 10, with a photo of William Houston.

However, this trial has not yet been held as the Director of Prosecutions did not wish to fund a single-victim County Court trial in 1997.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Father Hugh Edward Murray involved in a matter in a Sydney court

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

An Australian Catholic priest, Father Hugh Edward Murray, who is facing indecent-assault charges, has applied to have his alleged victims cross-examined during the preliminary stage of a court hearing — as well as in a subsequent trial. However, on 17 February 2010, a Sydney magistrate ruled that a cross-examination (that is, the detailed questioning of witnessses) would be allowed at only one stage — at a trial.

Father Hugh Murray, 79, from Marsfield in Sydney's north, is currently listed for mention-days at Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court. These are preliminary proceedings, conducted by a magistrate, who eventually must determine whether or not the magistrate's court should commit Murray to face trial before a judge in a higher court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Father Murray Moffat to face trial on child-sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

An Australian court has ordered a Catholic priest, Father Murray Alexander Moffat, to face trial over allegedly sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl.

Father Murray Moffat belongs to the Archdiocese of Brisbane, which includes the Brisbane metropolitan area, plus some surrounding regions. He has served in Brisbane parishes for 37 years. Before appearing in court, he was in charge of Mary Mackillop Parish in Birkdale, Brisbane. The archdiocese has said that Moffat is still a priest of the archdiocese and is merely on leave pending the outcome of the court proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

The Marist Brothers inflicted this offender, Brother Ross Murrin, on more victims

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Marist Brother Ross Francis Murrin was jailed in 2008 and 2010 for child-sex crimes, committed during his teaching career in Australian Catholic schools. There is evidence that his Marist superiors were aware many years ago about his criminal behaviour but they negligently allowed him to continue teaching, thereby endangering more children until the police finally caught up with Murrin in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Father Robert Fuller is jailed for internet child-sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

A 54-year-old Australian Catholic priest, Father Robert Fuller, was jailed in Sydney on 24 February 2010 after he admitted seeking a 13-year-old girl, via the internet, for sexual purposes. The incidents occurred recently — in July and August 2009.

Father Fuller used a webcam to show himself masturbating during online chat sessions with somebody who he thought was a 13-year-old girl, a court was told.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Testimony begins in murder trial of three alleged cult members

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Ben Nuckols
The Associated Press

The former boyfriend of an alleged religious cult leader testified Tuesday that he encouraged the mother of a starving 1-year-old boy to feed the child.

Steven L. Bynum took the stand at the trial of Queen Antoinette, her daughter and another man. The three are accused of denying food and water to toddler Javon Thompson after the boy did not say "Amen" before a meal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

TOT STARVED TO DEATH FOR NOT SAYING AMEN

BALTIMORE (MD)
Mirror (United Kingdom)

By Adrian Shaw 24/02/2010

A boy aged one denied food by a cult for not saying "Amen" at meals slowly starved to death, a trial has heard.

The sect leader, who called herself Queen Antoinette, ordered followers not to feed Javon Thompson until he said the blessing, jurors heard. The baby's mum Ria Ramkissoon, part of the 1 Mind Ministries group, did nothing to help the tot as he slipped to a slow and agonising death.

She later bizarrely prayed for his resurrection. Attorney Julie Drake told the hearing in Baltimore, USA: "In full view of every member of that household, Javon wasted away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Another mother testifies in cult trial

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

February 24, 2010

The accused cult leader known as Queen Antoinette, charged with murder in a toddler's starvation death, once tried to prevent another baby from being fed, according to that child's mother, who testified Tuesday that she was manipulated into giving up her maternal duties.

To stay in the religious household run by Queen Antoinette, residents "had to be broken, and you were slightly reprogrammed," said 23-year-old Tiffany Smith. Smith once lived rent-free with several others in the home, which she described as peaceful yet controlling.

Antoinette and two other defendants, all of whom are representing themselves, are charged with orchestrating the death of 16-month-old Javon Thompson by refusing to feed him until he dutifully said "amen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Ex-New York Yankee Allen Watson testifies in former Christ the King coach Bob Oliva's sex abuse case

NEW YORK/BOSTON
New York Daily News

BY Mark Lelinwalla and Michael O'Keeffe
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITERS

Wednesday, February 24th 2010

Several former associates of Bob Oliva, including a former major league pitcher who played for the Mets and Yankees, appeared Tuesday before the Boston grand jury reviewing evidence that the retired Christ the King boys basketball coach allegedly sexually abused a player during a trip to Massachusetts more than 30 years ago.

Jimmy Carlino, the former Queens resident who told the Daily News that Oliva molested him for several years during the 1970s, is scheduled to appear before the grand jury Wednesday. Carlino's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, acknowledged that his client would testify Wednesday but declined further comment.

Michael Doolin, Oliva's lawyer, said he was aware of the grand jury proceedings and said the coach would prevail if an indictment is handed down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Number of Church Abuse Cases Continues to Rise in Germany

GERMANY
Der Spiegel

The Catholic Church in Germany is under pressure as more and more cases of sexual abuse come to light. Now the government is demanding that the Church take rigorous action to investigate the incidents. By SPIEGEL staff.

For years, Jörg D. was plagued by feelings of shame, insecurity and rage. Finally, on Sept. 17, 2009, he sent the pope a four-page letter describing his plight. "I beg you for help, in whatever form possible," he wrote.

But Benedict XVI remained silent. To this day, Jörg D., now 25, has not received a response, "not even a two-liner, nothing, nothing at all."

Franz-Josef Bode, the bishop of the city of Osnabrück in northwestern Germany, hasn't been much help either. He advised D., a victim of abuse, to "forgive and forget."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Online masturbating priest 'knew' 13-year-old girl was fantasy

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP February 24, 2010

A SYDNEY priest who used a webcam to broadcast himself masturbating to a person he believed was a 13-year-old has told a court it was all part of a fantasy world.

Robert MacGregor Fuller, 54, has pleaded guilty to grooming and procuring a child under the age of 16.

During online chat sessions the priest, who served for some six years at All Saints church in the Sydney suburb of Liverpool, used a webcam to show himself masturbating to a police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Celibacy vow ruled 'cruel and archaic'

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

By Josh Jerga From: AAP February 24, 2010

The vow of celibacy imposed on Catholic clergy is "cruel" and "archaic", a judge has said in jailing a priest for grooming a 13-year-old girl for sex over the internet.

During online chat sessions between July and August last year, Sydney priest Robert MacGregor Fuller used a webcam to show himself masturbating to a police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

The 55-year-old pleaded guilty in October to grooming and procuring a child under the age of 16 and today he was sentenced to a maximum of 18 months behind bars.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Priest jailed but celibacy vow 'cruel'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Sydney judge has condemned the vow of chastity as a "cruel requirement" as he sentenced a Catholic priest to at least six months in jail for grooming a girl for sex.

The parish priest was arrested last August when he went to the Parramatta Stadium car park to meet a person he believed was a 13-year-old girl he had been chatting with for three weeks on the internet.

Father Robert MacGregor Fuller had used a webcam to broadcast himself masturbating to 'Katie', who was in fact an undercover detective.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Judge denounces `cruel' celibacy of Catholic priests

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Caroline Overington From: The Australian February 25, 2010

A JUDGE has implored the Catholic church to end the "cruel" practice of celibacy for priests, implying it may encourage some priests to commit lewd acts against children.

The suggestion received a sharp rebuke from Catholics, including those breakaway groups that oppose celibacy for Catholic priests, who said there was no evidence that celibacy encouraged criminal behaviour.

Sydney District Court judge Allan Hughes was speaking at the sentencing hearing of Robert MacGregor Fuller, 54, formerly of the All Saints Church in Liverpool, who had pleaded guilty to masturbating in front of a webcam to a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl. It was, in fact, a police officer. Fuller was arrested in a car park, when he went to meet the girl for sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Reply to bishop's resignation now expected before Easter

IRELAND
Leinster Leader

By Conor McHugh
The resignation of James Moriarty from his position as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin has yet to be accepted by the Vatican.

It had been thought that the meeting last week with the Pope would see the resignations of the former auxiliary bishops of the Dublin Archdiocese mentioned in the Murphy report, but the Vatican has since explained that the resignations are not a matter for the Pope, but for the Congregation for Bishops.

Bishop Moriarty, in a letter to the Kildare faithful at the weekend, said he believed it would happen before Easter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Church child abuse review completed

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Thirteen cases which needed formal action have been identified following a Church of England review into child abuse in the church.

About 40,000 diocesan files dating back more than 30 years were examined during the investigation.

The review was launched in 2007 following claims the church had covered up abuse dating back decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Failure to respond over Murphy gave 'bad impression'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY and PADDY AGNEW

AN IRISH bishop told the pope and senior cardinals in the Vatican last week that the failure of Rome and the papal nunciature in Dublin to respond to correspondence from the Murphy Commission “gave a very bad impression”.

Bishop of Clonfert John Kirby said he also told the Vatican that “for years they did not appreciate the gravity of the problem” of clerical child sex abuse in Ireland.

He said there was a good response to what he said from the cardinals and Vatican officials. “There was recognition that some of the Roman Congregations were not helpful in the past. Canon law is to be updated to take greater account of the problem of clerical child sexual abuse. The obligation to report crimes to the secular state was recognised and will be encouraged,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Martin speaks of lasting damage of sexual abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Grainne Cunningham

Wednesday February 24 2010

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin last night spoke frankly of the damage sexual abuse of children does to the victims.

He said such abuse was in itself horrendous but was also an attack on the victim's self-esteem which lasted possibly a lifetime.

Dr Martin was speaking to a gathering of young people at the Church of St Therese, Mount Merrion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Victims expected too much from Pope's summit, bishop claims

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Edel Kennedy

Wednesday February 24 2010

THE victims of clerical sexual abuse were "expecting too much" to come out of last week's meeting with the Pope, a bishop has claimed.

However, the Bishop of Clonfert, John Kirby, also acknowledged that the hierarchy in Rome did not appreciate the gravity of the problem of sexual abuse for many years because of an "obligation of secrecy". Dr Kirby said that canon law had to be updated as a result.

Last night, the survivors of abuse accused the Catholic Church of "the usual spin" after hearing the comments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Former local high school baseball coach to spend 10 years in prison for molesting a playe

VIRGINIA BEACH (VA)
Examiner

Dave Gibson

On Tuesday, Virginia Beach Circuit Court Judge Patricia West sentenced former Bayside High School baseball coach Dennis Ray Collins, to 20 years in prison, with ten years suspended.

West, 53, pled guilty to one count of sexual penetration with an object, and one count of indecent liberties while in a custodial role. ...

The molestations occurred between 1986 and 1988. During the period in question, Collins was also a youth minister at Thalia Lynn Baptist Church in Virginia Beach.

Pope's pastoral letter on clerical abuse is awaited

IRELAND
Waterford Today

The unprecedented visit of 24 Irish bishops to Rome to meet with senior Vatican church representatives and Pope Benedict XVI must have been a chastening experience for the Irish clerics. The extent of the clerical sex abuse scandal in Ireland over decades has sickened the nation and has poisoned the atmosphere between Irish clergy and many Irish Catholics.

The response to reports of the meetings between the Pope, curial cardinals and the Irish bishops must also have dismayed the Irish clergy. Many ordinary Catholics interviewed by press and electronic media were outspoken in their disappointment at what they felt was the lacking of a suitable apology from Rome to the victims of clerical abuse. Spokespersons for victims were equally scathing in their comments, with all of them stating that the lack of an apology by Pope Benedict was extremely hurtful. It was clear from these comments that the victims of clerical sex abuse are still hurting from their experiences and that the healing process has not yet commenced for many of the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Lawyer calls for removal of kids from Methodist Church

SOUTH AFRICA
The Southern Times

Johannesburg - Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg and former bishop Paul Verryn have been criticised for the conditions and exposure to danger of children who found refuge there.

But the church is providing shelter and assistance to youngsters to whom little or no assistance was initially offered by the state, said a child rights lawyer this week.

However, the last few children still residing at the church should be taken into care systems and a planned “reception centre” must be opened as soon as possible to take care of unaccompanied children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Sex-abuse survivors' group says new bishop supports secrecy

OGDENSBURG (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

TIMES STAFF WRITER
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2010

OGDENSBURG — A national activist group against sexual abuse is upset about the election of the Rev. Terry R. LaValley as the 14th bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg.

David G. Clohessy, national director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, issued a statement saying the Chicago-based group is troubled by the promotion because of Father LaValley's "history of secrecy surrounding child sex crimes."

Father LaValley has been chairman of the Diocesan Review Board, which reviews policy and complaints related to sex abuse, since 2002. During that time, about eight priests have been removed for alleged sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Catholic Church clashes with German government over abuse probe

GERMANY
Earth Times

Freiburg, Germany - A row between the German government and the country's Catholic church escalated Wednesday, as a minister who accused the church of failing to cooperate with the police in a child abuse case refused to back down. The row centres on revelations that some church school teachers had abused pupils in more than 100 cases between the 1960s and 1980s.

Justic Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has accused the church of not showing enough enthusiasm in cooperating with the police inquiry.

That led to the country's most senior archbishop ringing Chancellor Angela Merkel's office to complain about the minister's remarks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

NICHOLSON v. ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. LOUIS

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Leagle

Introduction
Plaintiff Peggy Nicholson (Appellant) appeals the trial court's dismissal of certain negligence-based claims contained in her action filed against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis (Archdiocese) and Archbishop Raymond Burke (Archbishop). We affirm the trial court's dismissal.

Facts and Procedural Background
Appellant alleges that from approximately 1953 through 1957, when she was approximately four to eight years of age, Father William Poepperling (Poepperling) sexually abused her. During the time of the alleged abuse, Poepperling served as a Roman Catholic priest at Holy Guardian Angels Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Poepperling died on May 18, 1983.

Appellant filed this suit against the Archdiocese and Archbishop (Respondents) on August 25, 2005. Appellant alleged six counts, two of which she designated as being raised against Poepperling individually even though the petition did not specifically name the late Poepperling as a Defendant in the case caption. The six counts include: (I) Child Sexual Abuse and/or Battery—Defendant Poepperling; (II) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress— Defendants Archdiocese and Archbishop; (III) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress— Defendant Poepperling; (IV) Negligence—All Defendants; (V) Negligent Supervision, Retention, and Failure to Warn—Defendants Archdiocese and Archbishop; (VI) Intentional Failure to Supervise Clergy—Defendants Archdiocese and Archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

DOE v. ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. LOUIS

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Leagle

Introduction
Plaintiff Mary SN Doe (Appellant) appeals the trial court's dismissal of certain negligence-based claims contained in her action filed against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis (Archdiocese) and Archbishop Raymond Burke (Archbishop). We affirm the trial court's dismissal.

Facts and Procedural Background
Appellant alleges she was sexually abused by Father William Poepperling when she was approximately four to six years of age in the late 1950s. Appellant attended Holy Guardian Angels Church in St. Louis, Missouri, where Father Poepperling served. Fr. Poepperling died on May 18, 1983.

Appellant filed this suit against the Archdiocese and Archbishop (Respondents) on April 26, 2005, and filed an Amended Petition on January 29, 2008. Appellant alleged six counts: (I) Child Sexual Abuse and/or Battery; (II) Breach of Fiduciary Duty; (III) Negligence; (IV) Negligent Supervision, Retention, and Failure to Warn; (V) Intentional Failure to Supervise Clergy; and (VI) Negligent Supervision of Children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

SNAP Sends Second Letter ...

GUAM
Pacific News Center

In that statement, the Archdiocese said no member of Guam's clergy has ever been charged with or convicted of sexual abuse.

But the latest release from the group called SNAP accuse the Archbishop of being "disingenuous" and "minimizing" the issue.

Even though no charges have made against any priests, SNAP says accusations have been made by island residents who they claim to be in touch with.

It is the second letter in as many weeks from SNAP urging the Archbishop to publicly name the priests who are serving or have served on Guam who have been accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 AM

Catholic Order Begs Pardon for Founder’s “Immoral Acts”

MEXICO
Latin American Herald Tribune

MEXICO CITY – The Congregation of the Legion of Christ apologized to everyone that its founder, Mexican priest Marcial Maciel (1920-2008), “harmed with the immoral acts of his private life.”

The apology was offered by the Legion’s secretary-general, Evaristo Sada, in a speech last weekend at a church event that was posted later on the order’s Web site.

“With all my heart I wish to beg pardon of everyone that our founder harmed with the immoral acts of his private life, and of the people who have been injured by the consequences,” Sada said about Maciel, who died amid accusations of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 AM

Irish Bishops Tell of Their Meetings With Pope

IRELAND
Catholic.net

MAYNOOTH, Ireland, FEB. 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Several Irish bishops recounted to the faithful their impressions of last week's meetings with Benedict XVI, called by the Pope to address the sexual abuse scandal shaking the nation.

The Holy Father called all of the acting Irish bishops to join him in Rome on Feb. 15 and 16, after having already met last December with Cardinal Sean Brady, president of the Irish episcopal conference, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.

Last Sunday, many of the bishops now back in Ireland spoke of the meetings during their homilies at Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 AM

Vatican Appoints New Bishop of Scranton

SCRANTON (PA)
Off My Knees

By Michael Baumann

The Vatican appointed Monsignor Joseph Bambera as the 10th Bishop of Scranton. Bishop-elect Bambera is a native of Carbondale, Pennsylvania and is only the second local priest to be appointed to lead the Scranton See. He has been running the day-to-day business of the Diocese since the premature retirement of Bishop Joseph Martino in August 2009. With a vacancy in the Bishop’s chair, Cardinal Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has served as Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese. ...

If I may be so bold as to offer the Bishop-elect a piece of advise… Get out and talk to your flock, listen to what they have to say about issues that are affecting their lives. Even if decisions have to be made at the Diocesan level that will be unpopular and will impact the structure of parishes and the assignment of resources (money, priest assignments, facility maintenance) go out and explain why you came to the decision you have made.

One of the things I was impressed with about Bishop-elect Bambera was that his goal after being assigned to run the Diocese temporarily, was to return to his parish. There were no reports that he aspired to the seat of this See. I hope this is indicative of his sense of service, his attachment to his parishioners and his compassion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 AM

German Bishops Assure Rapid Response to Abuse Report

GERMANY
Catholic.net

FREIBURG IM BREISGAU, Germany, FEB. 23, 2010 (Zenit.org).- A suspicion of sexual abuse must be followed by a "perfect and absolutely transparent explanation," says the president of the German episcopal conference.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch affirmed this Monday when he spoke to the press about the program of discussions at the bishops' spring general assembly.

On the agenda is the issue of cases of sexual abuse of minors in certain Jesuit schools. Around 100 former students have come forward in recent days reporting they were abused; most were students at one school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 AM

Catholic order begs pardon for founder's `immoral acts'

MEXICO
Two Circles

Mexico City : The Congregation of the Legion of Christ apologised to everyone because its founder, Mexican priest Marcial Maciel (1920-2008), "harmed with the immoral acts of his private life".

The apology was offered by the Legion's secretary-general, Evaristo Sada, in a speech last weekend at a church event that was posted later on the order's website.

"With all my heart I wish to beg pardon of everyone that our founder harmed with the immoral acts of his private life, and of the people who have been injured by the consequences," Sada said about Maciel who died amid accusations of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 AM

Advocate group for abuse victims raps choice

SCRANTON (PA)
Times-Leader

By Mark Guydish mguydish@timesleader.com
Education Reporter

SCRANTON – News that Monsignor Joseph Bambera would rise to the post of bishop was scarcely three hours old – a press conference in Scranton was still 25 minutes away – when a group advocating for victims of priest sex abuse blasted the appointment.

“Bambera is a poor choice and his promotion worries and insults us,” wrote David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. “Under oath, Bambera admitted that barely a decade ago, he refused to report a credibly accused predator priest to police, in violation of his diocese’s own child sex abuse policy.

“He also admitted relying on the word of an accused priest without even questioning that cleric’s alleged victim,” the e-mailed statement from Clohessy continued. “This decision raises a troubling question: Is it that hard for the Vatican to find good, smart priests who have not concealed horrific crimes against kids?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 AM

Archbald pastor Bambera will face significant challenges as Scranton Diocese's 10th bishop

SCRANTON (PA)
The Times-Tribune

By Laura Legere (Staff Writer)
Published: February 24, 2010

A priest who has spent his life in the Diocese of Scranton, and the last six months learning to lead it, will become the 10th bishop of Scranton.

The Vatican announced Tuesday that Monsignor Joseph C. Bambera, a Carbondale native, will assume leadership of the 11-county diocese. Monsignor Bambera will become bishop at a time of significant challenges, including financial strain, changing parishes and lingering feelings of loss and uncertainty among many parishioners. ...

One group expressed opposition to the appointment of the new bishop.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests issued a statement saying Bishop-elect Bambera was a "poor choice" and an "insult" based on testimony he gave during a 2007 sexual abuse case when he said a priest was allowed to return to a parish after admitting to sexually assaulting two boys and undergoing counseling. The priest then abused a third child.

Diocesan spokesman William Genello called the accusations "unfair" and said Bishop-elect Bambera "followed all the protocols that were in place at the time to deal with incidents of this nature."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 AM

Judge orders diocese to pay

SPOKANE (WA)
The Spokesman-Review

John Stucke The Spokesman-Review

A federal judge ruled that the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, its law firm Paine Hamblen, and one of the firm’s attorneys, Gregory Arpin, are in contempt of court for using intimidation tactics against a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams stopped short Tuesday of issuing costly sanctions, but ordered the diocese and its attorneys to pay what will be expensive legal costs of the trustee and others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 AM

Pope Benedict chooses new bishop for North Country

OGDENSBURG (NY)
North Country Public Radio

The Diocese of Ogdensburg, which includes most of the North Country's Roman Catholic parishes, has a new Bishop.

Pope Benedict named a local, Rev. Terry LaValley from Clinton County, to the post. ...

A national sex-abuse victims' group called SNAP quickly issued a statement today condemning the nomination.

David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests:

"LaValley’s promotion raises a troubling question: Is it that hard for the Vatican to find good, smart priests who have not been accused of secrecy surrounding clergy sex crimes?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 AM

A Threat To Society

ISRAEL
The Jewish Week

by The Editors

It is difficult for American Jews to appreciate the shock, disappointment and disillusionment that religious Zionists in Israel are undergoing now in response to reports that one of their most respected leaders, Rabbi Mordechai “Motti” Elon, has been accused of “sexual exploitation” in relations with male students and lying about it to his rabbinic colleagues.

Scion of a prominent family — his father, Menachem, served on the Israeli Supreme Court, and his brother, Benny, is a prominent politician and former cabinet minister — Rabbi Elon was rosh yeshiva of a leading Jerusalem yeshiva and had a national following beyond the Orthodox community through a weekly television program and popular lectures on Jewish history, law and philosophy.

As the story has unfolded in recent days, it seems that when Rabbi Elon disappeared from public life and moved to the north five years ago, it was not for health reasons, as had been indicated. Rather, he had, in effect, quietly been banished by a group called Takana, formed after the Baruch Lanner scandal by religious Zionist rabbinic leaders in Israel to deal with cases of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 AM

Orthodox Scandals Could Harm Power Base, Experts Warn

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

by Adam Dickter
Assistant Managing Editor

In the wake of recent scandals involving local Orthodox Jews, some sociologists think there could soon be a backlash against the political power of what has long been one of the most sought-after voting blocs.

“Situations like this have a cumulative effect,” said William Helmreich, a professor of sociology at City College and director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College.

“No one knows when the tipping point will come — if it hasn’t already been reached — that people will simply conclude that Orthodox Jews are just generally more likely to have a general disrespect for government and to engage in shady practices,” Helmreich said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 AM

February 23, 2010

Pittsburgh Priest's Transfer Halted Following Abuse Allegation

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WPIX

[with video]

PITTSBURGH -- A Roman Catholic priest in Pittsburgh under investigation for allegedly fondling a teen girl nearly four decades ago will not be reassigned to a convent in Whitehall.

Earlier this week, Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh officials said the Rev. Alvin Adams, 69, would transfer from his position as a parish priest and Bishop Canevin Catholic High School chaplain to the convent next month.

However, the diocese revoked the assignment after parents of children in a nearby day care complained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Grassi continuaría en libertad hasta que quede firme la sentencia

ARGENTINA
infoBan

[19/02/2010 | 18:17] El cura Julio César Grassi, condenado a 15 años de prisión por abuso sexual y corrupción de menores, conserva su libertad mientras la Cámara de Casación Penal de la provincia de Buenos Aires revisa la sentencia dispuesta por el Tribunal Oral de Morón (TOC 1).

[summary]

The priest Julio Cesar Grassi, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexual abuse and corruption of minors, remains free while a court in Buenos Aires reviews the sentence which was ordered by an earlier court. No decision has been made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Ex-Messdiener brechen Schweigen: Von Kaplan missbraucht

GERMANY
volksfreund

Trier/Gerolstein. Die Berichterstattung über sexuellen Missbrauch hat auch traumatische Erinnerungen von sechs ehemaligen Messdienern einer Trierer Pfarrei hervorgeholt: "Nach der Messe befingerte der Kaplan uns Ministranten im Genitalbereich", sagt ein Mann, der in der Region Trier lebt und anonym bleiben möchte. "Wir waren fassungslos!" Der sexuelle Missbrauch habe in der Sakristei stattgefunden. "Einigen machte er auch das Angebot, ihn aufs Zimmer zu begleiten."

[summary]

Six former altar boys in a parish of Trier have traumatic memories of being abused by a priest. Incidents happened in the sacristy where he fondled their genitals, according to one victim who wished to remain unnamed. Some boys were forced to accompany the priest to his room. The abuse was an open secret among the altar servers, he said.

Attempts to report the abuse previously were unsuccessfu. The priest was considered to be untouchable because he was charismatic and dynamic. He was considered to be very progressive. The priest also served as a religion teacher and coach. The man said they altar boys had no chance to be heard and were solely on their own in dealing with what had happened to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Missbrauchs-­Skandal erreicht das Saarland

GERMANY
Saarbrucker Zeitung

Ein früher in Homburg tätiger Ordensgeistlicher ist wegen Vorwürfen des Missbrauchs beurlaubt worden. Unterdessen werden auch in der Region Trier immer mehr Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen Priester laut.

[summary]
A previously active religious cleric in Homburg has been put on leave because of allegations of sexual abuse. Meanwhile, more abuse accusations have been revealed in the Trier region.

A priest working in the Munster diocese, a member of the Hiltruper Missionaries, for more than 20 years abused students at the Johanneum school in Homburg. The commission that is investigating the accusations will report to the bishop and the bishops will decide what to do next.

More and more cases of abuse by Catholic priests have been revealed in the Trier region. A priest working in the region is accused of abusing several altar boys. One abuse case has been made known from the former board school in Biesdorf. The cases go back more than 40 years but have become known now because the victims have come forward. A 31-year-old priest in Trier abused five altar boys from 1965 to 1967. One victim last week reported abuse to the diocese. Stephan Kronenburg, diocese spokesman, said they did not know of these cases until the victims recently reported the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Disgraced priest too ill to be sentenced

AUSTRALIA
Bay Post

BY PAUL MCINERNEY
24 Feb, 2010
The sentencing of disgraced Catholic priest Kelvin Gerald Sharkey for sexually assaulting an altar boy 40 years ago has been delayed after his admission to hospital.

Legal Aid solicitor Nerissa Key told Wollongong District Court on Friday the retired 80-year-old Fairy Meadow parish priest suffered age-related health issues and his admission to hospital made it unlikely he would attend court for his sentencing, scheduled for March 11.

In November last year, Sharkey was too frail to enter the dock when he entered guilty pleas to indecent assault and buggery of a boy he abused for four years, starting when the victim was 12 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Former youth minister facing prison found dead

OHIO
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Barrett J. Brunsman • bbrunsman@enquirer.com • February 23, 2010

BATAVIA TWP. – Police said a former youth minister at a Clermont County church fatally shot himself Monday, just hours after he pleaded guilty to sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct involving a 15-year-old girl.

Christopher E. Evans, 39, was free on his own recognizance but due back in court Tuesday for a new bond hearing because prosecutors had obtained letters he wrote to the victim despite the judge ordering him to not contact her.

"I can't live without you," Evans wrote in one of the letters. "If you stop and think about everything that I have lost over you, you would see where I am coming from."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

N.B. priest Picot faces another sex charge

CANADA
CBC News

A priest who worked in Dalhousie, N.B., in the 1970s has been charged with indecent assault.

Charles Picot, who is in his 60s and still with the Catholic church in Montreal, will enter a plea in May, said Dalhousie RCMP Cpl. Allain LeBlanc.

This is the third time Picot has faced sex-related charges.

In 1993, he served seven months in prison for two counts of sexual assault and one of indecent assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

German Catholic bishop apologizes for church scandal; Sex abuse victims respond

GERMANY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Words protect no one. Only action protects kids. That’s what children need and parents deserve – not platitudes about alleged remorse and promised reforms.

It’s time for Catholic officials to stop pointing fingers at predators and start looking in the mirror. The real scandal isn’t predator priests. It’s complicit bishops.

There always have been and always will be child molesting coaches, teacher, and clerics. But in healthy institutions with ‘checks and balances’ and responsible leaders, they are ousted quickly. In the rigid, ancient, secretive, all-male church monarchy, however, they are protected and moved year after year. When the truth finally surfaces, Catholic officials profess shock and refuse to admit their own sizeable role in the devastating crimes. That’s the real crisis here – that even now, in 2010, after decades of stunning and hurtful scandal, Catholic bishops can’t bring themselves to admit they are the root cause of these crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Missbrauchs-Vorwürfe gegen Priester eines Hiltruper Ordens

GERMANY
Ahlener Zeitung

Münster / Speyer - Erneut sind Missbrauchsvorwürfe im Bistum Münster bekanntgeworden. Ein Pater der Hiltruper Missionare soll vor mehr als 20 Jahren an Schülern sexuelle Handlungen vorgenommen haben, als er am Gymnasium Johanneum im saarländischen Homburg arbeitete. Das geht aus einer Erklärung des Bistums vom Dienstag hervor. Solange bis die Vorwürfe geprüft seien, sei der Priester durch den Bischof beurlaubt worden.

[summary]

Allegations of sexual abuse are now known in the Muenster diocese. A priest of the Hiltruper Missionaries is accused to abusing students when he worked at the Johanneum school in Saarland, Homburg. The diocese made the revelation in asttement on Tuesday. The priest has been suspended by the bishop.

After completion of the investigation, the review commission will report to the bishop. The bishop will decide what action to take.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

SOCA calls for review of bishops

IRELAND
RTE News

Tuesday, 23 February 2010 16:39
A representative of survivors of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests has said Pope Benedict XVI must ensure that no bishop here has covered up scandals before they accept his apology to victims.

John Kelly, of Survivors of Child Abuse, was responding to Archbishop Michael Neary's revelation that Pope Benedict had asked for the forgiveness of victims when he met the Irish hierarchy last week.

Meanwhile, the Bishop of Clonfert has said he hopes the Catholic Church worldwide will introduce a new process of reporting allegations of child sexual abuse by priests and religious to State authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Pope Benedict Appoints Monsignor Joseph C. Bambera To Be Tenth Bishop of Scranton

SCRANTON (PA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton

[News Conference]

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Monsignor Joseph C. Bambera to be the next Bishop of Scranton.

The appointment was made at the Vatican and announced in the Diocese of Scranton by Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Scranton. The announcement was made at a 10 a.m. news conference that was broadcast live by the Diocesan Catholic Television station. The news conference will be rebroadcast on CTV tonight (Tuesday) at 9 p.m. and tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11:10 a.m. A video of the news conference is now available for viewing on the Diocesan website: www.dioceseofscranton.org.

Bishop-elect Bambera will be ordained a Bishop and installed as the tenth Bishop of Scranton on Monday, April 26, at 2 p.m. in St. Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Monsignor Named Bishop-elect Diocese of Scranton

SCRANTON (PA)
WNEP

[with video]

By Andy Palumbo
11:18 AM EST, February 23, 2010

For only the second time in the history of the Diocese of Scranton, a native of the area has been chosen as bishop.

Monsignor Joseph Bambera was born in Carbondale, has served parishes in Lackawanna County's mid valley and most recently has been handling administrative duties for the diocese since former Bishop Joseph Martino stepped down in August.

The news went up on the Vatican web site at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Four hours later, Monsignor Joseph Bambera made his first statement as bishop-elect of the Diocese of Scranton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Group asks archbishop to answer questions on abuse

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Pacific Daily News • news@guampdn.com • February 24, 2010

An Illinois-based support group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called on Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron to hold a public meeting with victims, Catholics, SNAP leaders and the public to answer questions and address victims' concerns, the network announced in a press release Monday.

The press release also called for the Catholic Church on Guam to "name all accused predator clergy who live/work or who have lived/worked on Guam."

The Archdiocese of Agana, in a statement Feb. 12, said: "To date no member of the Catholic clergy on Guam has been charged with or convicted of sexual abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

14th Bishop of Ogdensburg Appointed

OGDENSBURG (NY)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg

[Watch Bishop-elect LaValley's press conference]

[press packet]

February 23, 2010
This morning, the Holy See announced that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Reverend Terry LaValley, currently Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, as the fourteenth Bishop of the Diocese of Ogdensburg to succeed the Most Reverend Robert J. Cunningham, Bishop of Syracuse, NY.

Bishop-elect LaValley, the second of six children of Ronald (deceased) and Doris LaValley, is a native of Mooers Forks, NY and was raised in St. Ann’s Parish. He was born on March 26, 1956 and completed his primary and secondary education at Mooers Central in Mooers, NY and Northeastern Clinton Central School in Champlain, NY. He received a B.A. from the University of the State of New York and a Certificate of Studies in Philosophy from Wadhams Hall Seminary-College.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Northernmost diocese in NY receives bishop from Pope Benedict

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Feb 23, 2010 / 11:44 am (CNA).- The Vatican announced today that Pope Benedict appointed Fr. Terry LaValley of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, N.Y. as its 14th bishop. Fr. LaValley has served as the diocesan administrator since the see was vacated by Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, when he was assigned to lead the Diocese of Syracuse, N.Y.

Bishop-elect LaValley grew up and was educated in New York state, though he left to serve a six-year tour of duty with the United States Navy before entering the seminary in 1983. Just five years later, Bishop-elect LaValley had earned a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained a priest. In 1994, he graduated from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with degrees in canon law.

Over the years, Bishop-elect LaValley has held numerous positions in the diocese, such as Adjutant Judicial Vicar, Episcopal Vicar for Diocesan Services and Chancellor of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, pastor of St. Raphael’s Church, and rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral, culminating in his recent tenure as diocesan administrator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Appointed Fr. Terry R. LaValley of the clergy of the diocese of Ogdensburg, U.S.A., diocesan administrator and rector of St. Mary's Cathedral, as bishop of Ogdensburg (area 31,161, population 499,700, Catholics 116,000, priests 119, permanent deacons 62, religious 127). The bishop-elect was born in Plattsburgh, U.S.A. in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1988.

Appointed Msgr. Joseph C. Bambera of the clergy of the diocese of Scranton, U.S.A., delegate of the apostolic administrator of Scranton and pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas parish at Archbald and of St. Mary of Czestochowa parish at Eynon, as bishop of Scranton (area 22.913, population 1,095,092, Catholics 316,825, priests 352, permanent deacons 63, religious 627). The bishop-elect was born in Carbondale, U.S.A. in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

Legion of Christ issues yet another Mea Culpa

MEXICO
Spero News

By Martin Barillas

More than 10,000 members of the Catholic movement known as Regnum Christi - Latin for “Kingdom of Christ” – and supporters of the controversial order of priests called the Legion of Christ met in Mexico City over the February 20-21 weekend. Rev. Evaristo Sada, Secretary General of the order, said that the crisis in the order and its associated lay movement caused by revelations of the double life led by its founder, Rev. Marcial Maciel, has brought about a time to “face the consequences and, with determination, correct what must be correct.”

“With all my heart, I wish to ask forgiveness of the persons who our founder may have affected as a result of the immoral acts in his personal life, and the persons who may have been wounded by their consequences. Father Alvaro (Rev. Alvaro Corcuera is the current leader of the order) has done so and has is doing so publicly and personally, but we again ask forgiveness because we sincerely regret what the Church and these persons have suffered.” So said, Rev. Sada in a talk entitled “How to walk on water without sinking.” Sada has been visiting various countries and meeting with members of the Legion and the Regnum Christi movement to share his reflections on their current situation. Sada said that, with regard to Father Maciel, he has had to “accept that, while I was living with our founder, I did not see the negative things that we now know; I did not see them, I was only able to see the good and I did not notice the bad. God permitted it so. Now that I know them, it pains me greatly to confirm it, it pains me for the people who have suffered, it pains me that it has brought discredit to Catholic priesthood.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Ex-priest targeted by abuse suit quits in Berwyn

BERWYN (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

A former Roman Catholic priest sued in 1997 for allegedly abusing a youth at Chicago's St. Rita High School has resigned from his city job in west suburban Berwyn, according to a statement released by city today.

Frank Paduch, who has served as Berwyn's advocate for senior citizens, will have no more responsibilities with the city.

Paduch was placed on administrative leave last month after the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests protested his employment and alerted the city to the 1997 suit, accusing Paduch of sexual misconduct in the early 1980s. The Augustinian religious order reached a settlement two years later. Several years later, the city of Berwyn hired Paduch as its advocate for senior citizens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Ex-minister facing prison found dead

OHIO
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Barrett J. Brunsman • bbrunsman@enquirer.com • February 23, 2010

BATAVIA TWP. – A former youth minister at a Clermont County church was found shot to death Monday, hours after he pleaded guilty to sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct involving a 15-year-old girl.

Christopher E. Evans, 39, was free on his own recognizance but due back in court Tuesday morning for a new bond hearing because prosecutors had obtained letters he wrote to the victim despite a judge’s order that he have no contact with her.

A sheriff’s deputy patrolling the Slade Road entrance to Harsha Lake at East Fork State Park at 11:15 p.m. Monday discovered a man who apparently killed himself in a truck with a shotgun blast to the face. The truck was registered to Evans, said Lt. Randy McElfresh of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Tras los pasos de la justicia

NICARAGUA
El Nuevo Diario

Lorna Norori Gutiérrez*
END - 17:39 - 21/02/2010

En el año 2007, a través de los medios de comunicación, conocimos en Nicaragua la denuncia que por abuso sexual contra el sacerdote –en aquel momento- Marco Dessi, realizaban seis jóvenes de Chinandega. Esta denuncia no fue presentada en los tribunales nicaragüenses, sino en Italia, la razón que refirieron para hacerlo en aquel país era que en Nicaragua Marco Dessi tenía muchos vínculos con personas de poder y por lo tanto no confiaban en que se hiciera justicia para ellos.

[summary]

A complaint of sexual abuse by priest Marco Dessi was made in 2007 by six young people in Chinandega. The complaint was not filed in the Nicaraguan courts but it Italy. The reason given was Dessi had many links to people in power here and they were therefore not confident that justice would be served.

While the six young men carried forward the process in Italy, in Chinandega a campaign was in launched to support the abuser. With Marco Dessi, as with other abusers, supporters believed it is incredible that someone so kind, who has done so many social projects for the community, who has dedicated himself to caring for children and who serves God could be a molester.

Marco Dessi was convicted by the Italian judiciary and has been laicized by Pope Benedict XVI. Several people say that divine justice is now being applied in addition to human justice.

Chinandega people who supported the young people told us the city has operated on a saying that God is in heaven and Marco Dessi is on earth. This speaks volumes about the influence he had in different social sectors of Chinandega.

The abusers show no compassion for the people who have been harmed but decide to become the victims. That's the attitude assumed by abusers when they are discovered. Released from prison after completing a sentence, they continue to say they did nothing wrong.

When the six young men made the complaint about Marco Dessi, others also came forward to say they were also abused. Only one made a decision to make his complaint public. Others have preferred to remain anonymous. Support for the abuser by a sector of the population was one factor why other people decide not to make public a complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Reprueba PRD en San Lázaro libertad de sacerdote acusado de pornografía infantil

MEXICO
Milenio

Ciudad de México.- La bancada del PRD en la Cámara de Diputados pedirá al Consejo de la Judicatura Federal (CJF) investigar la excarcelación del sacerdote Rafael Muñiz, contra quien la PGJDF ejerció acción penal por delincuencia organizada y pornografía infantil en 2009.

Además los diputados del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) advirtieron que vigilarán la actuación de jueces, ministerios públicos y autoridades encargadas de impartir justicia en los casos de sacerdotes acusados de abuso sexual contra niños.

[summary]

The PRD in the Chamber of Deputies has asked the Federal Judiciary Council to investigate the release from prison of priest Rafael Muniz. He was charged with a child pornography offense in 2009.

Members of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) want monitoring of performance of judges, prosecutors and authorities in charge of administering justice in cases of priests who are accused of sexual abuse against children. The PRD wants a thorough investigation of the procedural conduct in the Criminal Court for possible irregularities in bail granted to the priest.

Party members said it is unforgiveable that the Veracruz priest known as Siberian Wolf (Lobo Siberiano) through his internet name has obtained bail. Lawmakers noted the attorney general for the Federal District has filed an appeal regarding release of the priest who is accused to distributing child pornography.

A point of agreement to be submitted Tuesday calls for the judiciary to clarify how the priest of the Church of St. Peter the Apostle in Jalapa, Veracruz, obtained his release on bail. The PRD bloc hopes for support of PRI, PAN and other political parties to stop pedophilia and child pornography in Mexico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Spanish priest sacked for spending 17,000 euros on erotic pleasures

SPAIN
Monsters and Critics

Toledo, Spain - A Spanish Catholic priest has been sacked on suspicion of spending 17,000 euros (23,000 dollars) on erotic phone lines, websites and prostitutes, church and municipal officials said Tuesday.

The 27-year-old priest had been responsible for two villages near the central city of Toledo for nearly one year.

In February, he confessed publicly during mass that he had taken money belonging to local religious associations, pledging to settle the affair.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Ex-Glen Ellyn church music director expected to get out of jail

GLEN ELLYN (IL)
Chicago Press Release Services

The former music director of a Glen Ellyn church accused of disseminating child pornography is expected to be set free today after a judge slashed the defendant’s bond in half.

An attorney for Brian K. Milnikel argued the 45-year-old Naperville man has a clean criminal record, strong ties to the community and does not pose a flight risk.

Milnikel has remained in the DuPage County jail on a $200,000 bond since his Jan. 19 arrest. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the felony. He pleaded not guilty at today’s arraignment. His roommate, Christopher F. Kontopoulos, 20, faces similar felony charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Ex-Glen Ellyn church music director expected to get out of jail

Glen Ellyn (IL)
Daily Herald

The former Glen Ellyn church music director accused of distributing child pornography may soon be a free man again after a judge slashed the man's bond in half.

Brian K. Milnikel of Naperville has a clean criminal record, strong community ties and does not pose a flight risk, his attorney argued Monday.

Milnikel, 45, remained in the DuPage County jail on a $200,000 bond since his Jan. 19 arrest. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the felony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Bambera named new Scranton Bishop

SCRANTON (PA)
Times-Leader

Mark Guydish

The Vatican announced in it's daily bulletin that Monsignor Joseph Bambera will be the new bishop of the Diocese of Scranton. Bambera has been serving as Apostolic Administrator Justin Rigali's local delegate since Bishop Joseph Martino retired, running day to day operations.

Bambera was born 1956 in Carbondale and did his seminary work in the now-closed Saint Pius X seminary in Dallas. He has been with the diocese since 1983. He worked in St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Scranton and in St. Peter's Cathedral. He also served at St. John Bosco in Sugarloaf Township, and currently at St. Thomas Aquinas in Archbald and St. Mary of Czestocha in Eynon.

St. Thomas Aquinas was closed for emergency ceiling repairs shortly before Martino resigned Aug. 31, and after a press conference announcing that Bambera would take over daily duties, he made reference to the fact.: "Things continue to fall on me."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Whatever Happened to Sackcloth and Ashes?

OREGON
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

In the last two years we have handed out Sackcloth Penance Patch. In the story of Jonah in the Bible, the King of Nineva, when told by Jonah to repent of wrongdoing, listened, and told all of the people in his kingdom to wear sackcloth and ashes as a sign of atonement.

Whatever happened to sackcloth and ashes? Are we ever asked by God as His people to repent for anything? Is Lent a time when we might, as the prophet Joel states in the reading for Ash Wednesday, “fast and weep and mourn”? Is it a time to do penance as reparation for the sin of clergy abuse? No matter how long ago or recently these victims were abused, they need to know that someone is sorry for their pain. Someone is praying for them and asking God for His healing peace.

We must name evil. Abuse is evil. It is a sin that causes serious spiritual damage to individuals and communities. It is often perpetrated by people who have been abused them selves and need our prayers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Versicherer fürchten Forderungen gegen Jesuiten

GERMANY
Financial Times Deutschland

In den USA musste der Orden bereits dreistellige Millionensummen zahlen. Angesichts der Missbrauchsfälle rechnen nun auch deutsche Versicherer mit Forderungen. Mehrere Anwälte prüfen bereits Sammelklagen. von Friederike Krieger, Köln

[summary]

Insurers fear claims against Jesuits

In the United States, the Jesuit order has already paid out three-digit millions for sexual abuse claims and now it could go higher with Germany insurance companies paying out on claims. Several attorneys have already examined a class action lawsuit.

Insurers and reinsurers are observing the sexual assault scandal at Jesuit schools with great attention. Compensation claims to victims could end up with the insurance companies because the religious order has public liability insurance which must be paid in certain circumstances. In the United States more than 10 insurance companies -- including Allianz and Munich Re -- have paid out more than $200 million.

Some 120 victims of abuse have been reported by Berlin attorney Ursula Raue who is working for the Jesuits to investigate the scandal in Jesuit schools. The majority are former students of Canisius College and other Jesuit schools. Many victims are struggling with mental health problems that result from the abuse. Therefore, they can claim damages and compensation by both their former tormentor and the institutions.

The offenders are not insured. Therefore the sexual abuse by a priest is not covered by insurance, said a spokesman for the insurance broker Ecclesia, which specializes in service to churches. It is different for claims against schools. Claims can be made if the organization's supervisory duties were violated and those cases fell under the employer's liability insurance. The insurers know that claims of sexual abuse can be expensive. Assaults by priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles cost the insurance companies about $227 million. In a court settlement, the archdiocese was obliged to pay about $660 million to 508 applicants. The insurers contributed about a third of the amount.

In Germany, however, victims cannot expect such high amounts. Chances of criminal prosecution are zero, said Dusseldorf lawyer Ruediger Deckers. According to Raue, the earliest known cases are in the mid-1980s. However, such revelations often come in several waves and it is not certain how many more cases will be known in coming weeks and months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

"Die Kirche muss mit den Behörden arbeiten"

GERMANY
tagesschau

[with video]

Bundesjustizministerin Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger hat im Interview mit den Tagesthemen von der katholischen Kirche eine lückenlose Aufklärung aller Missbrauchsverdachtsfälle an katholischen Einrichtungen gefordert. "Ich erwarte dass die Verantwortlichen der katholische Kirche mit den Strafverfolgungsbehörden endlich konstruktiv zusammenarbeiten," so die Ministerin.

[summary]

Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger in an interview with Tagesthemen said the Catholic Church must give a complete explanation of all suspected abuse cases within church institutions. She expects church authorities to cooperate with law enforcement in a constructive manner.

She invited church representatives to take part in a "round table: with independent representatives to allow for the processing of these terrible abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Rector's not guilty plea to 11 child sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
The Herald

A CALSTOCK clergyman has denied sexually assaulting four boys and seven girls, all under the age of 14, when he was working as a primary school teacher more than 30 years ago.

Appearing before Plymouth Crown Court, James Andrew Christopher Wilson, known to his parishoners as the Rev Canon Andrew Wilson, Rector and Rural Dean of Calstock, gave his address as the Rectory, Calstock.

He answered 'Not guilty' to all 11 charges, which cover the period from 1974 to 1980 and relate to 11 individual children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Irish bishop expects Pope to accept his resignation

IRELAND
Catholic News Agency

Carlow, Ireland, Feb 22, 2010 / 08:04 pm (CNA).- Amid the recent meetings between Pope Benedict VXI and Irish bishops on the sex abuse scandal plaguing the Church in Ireland, Bishop Jim Moriarty offered his resignation and said that it is “not a question of if but when” it will be approved by the Holy Father.

“In regard to my offer of resignation, separate from the general meeting, I had a private meeting with Cardinal Re, the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, who is dealing with it,” explained the bishop in a statement on the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin website this past Saturday. “The acceptance of my offer of resignation is proceeding. My understanding is that it is not a question of if but when. It will not happen immediately but should not go too far beyond Easter.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Why I Wrote, “Healing the Sexually Abused Heart: A Workbook for Survivors, Thrivers, and Supporters”

UNITED STATES
Healing and Spirituality

Dr. Jaime Romo

February 23, 2010

Portia Nelson, in There’s a Hole in my Sidewalk, describes her life in five segments. In chapter one, she describes walking down a street and falling into a deep hole in the sidewalk. She’s lost and help­less, and it takes forever to find a way out. In chapter two, she walks down the same street with the same deep hole in the sidewalk. She pretends she doesn’t see it and falls in again. She is somehow surprised that she is in the same place. Again, she thinks it isn’t her fault and again it takes her a long time to get out.

In chapter three, she walks down the same street, sees the hole, and falls in anyway because it is a habit. She takes responsibility for herself and gets out immediately. In chapter four, she walks down the same street and walks around the hole in the sidewalk. In chapter five, she walks down another street.

I can imagine how I came to write this workbook in five segments. Stage one: A deep hole. I was sexually abused by my pastor as a teenager, memories of which lay buried for nearly 30 years. From the time I left seminary in 1984, I worked to bring social justice and the incarnation of God into the world through education.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Court dismisses Elior Chen's attorney

ISRAEL
YNet News

The Jerusalem District Court has dismissed attorney Ariel Atari in a rare move and replaced him with a public defender. Atari represented Elior Chen, who is charged with several counts of severe child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Rabbi: Elon case could benefit the religious

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

BY JONAH MANDEL
23/02/2010

Along with the pain, shock, and grief, "This is a chance to examine ourselves and work on our shortcoming."

As the bitter pill of the recently revealed alleged sexual misconduct of Rabbi Mordechai Elon is reluctantly being digested by the national religious nationwide, rabbis from within the sector are groping for the answers, and the questions, which would enable them to turn what many see as a tragic downfall into a beneficial, albeit painful, opportunity.

The Takana Forum’s announcement last week spelled out what scores had feared to be the case – “sexual abuse by a man possessing spiritual authority.”

Police have in the meanwhile launched a preliminary investigation into the allegations against Elon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Too harsh treatment for Elon

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Yair Ettinger

Would the treatment that the religious Zionist Takana panel meted out to Rabbi Mordechai Elon, including the publication of serious allegations, have been so rigorous had it been discovered that an important rabbi was sexually abusing female students and not males? One member of the group who was asked this question said that "the forum handles all kinds of cases, this is a fact, but it could be that the intensity would have been lower. That's understandable. You don't expect this kind of thing from a rabbi, especially with people who were his students."

More than a week after the affair hit the headlines, the question of what Elon did exactly is still up in the air. I don't mean detailed descriptions - the panel rightly kept those to itself - but the accusers have not clearly convinced the public, and especially Elon's flock, that every aspect of the scandal it has created belongs in the public domain. Takana members are sparing with the details but generous with headline-making phrases like "protracted sexual relationship," "acts of great gravity" and "more than mere harassment." This leaves the public no choice but to believe that such respected public figures would not have dared to sling such mud at a rabbi like Elon without solid factual grounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Sexual abuse: the Orthodox Jewish community's devastating secret

Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Julian Kossoff

Two days after his wedding, Mordechai Borger, 24, an Orthodox Jew, left his bride sleeping in their Brooklyn hotel room, went out onto the seventh floor balcony and leapt to his death.

The New York Post reported that this deeply pious young man was tormented by memories of being molested as a teenager at a yeshiva (an all-male religious college) and had killed himself after confessing to his new wife (who, incidentally, had been introduced by a “matchmaker”) that the mental scars made a physical relationship with her deeply problematic.

It ended a year in which a trickle of disturbing cases of sexual abuse among Orthodox Jews in the US, England and Israel began to filter into the public domain. But the heat really turned up on the simmering scandal last week, when the Israeli Rabbi Mordechai “Motti” Elon was accused of abuse. The police are now investigating.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Diocese of Scranton To Hold News Conference Tuesday

SCRANTON (PA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton

The Diocese of Scranton will conduct a news conference on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 10 a.m.

The news conference will be broadcast live on Catholic Television: CTV. It will be rebroadcast at 9 p.m.

A video of the news conference will also be posted on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseofscranton.org

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Bambera appointed as new Diocese of Scranton bishop

SCRANTON (PA)
The Times-Tribune

BY LAURA LEGERE (STAFF WRITER)
Published: February 23, 2010

Monsignor Joseph Bambera has been appointed the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, the Vatican announced this morning.

The pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Mary of Czestochowa churches in Archbald, the Rev. Bambera has run the daily operations of the diocese for the past six months as delegate to interim leader Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia.

He will become only the second local priest to head the 11-county see.

The diocese will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. this morning in the Guild building to make “an important announcement about the future of the diocese,” a spokesman said Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Victims 'must forgive to begin healing process'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Colin Gleeson

Tuesday February 23 2010

VICTIMS of child sexual abuse must forgive their abusers, a leading theologian has claimed.

Professor Eamon Conway, the head of Theology and Religious Studies at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, and also a Catholic priest, was speaking in Dublin's Trinity College last night.

During the talk, 'Roman Catholic Church and Child Sexual Abuse -- Explaining without Excusing', Prof Conway said that forgiveness from victims of abuse for their perpetrators was "an important part" of the healing process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Time-limit ban for abuse victims to sue attackers OK'd

PHOENIX (AZ)
Arizona Daily Sun

HOWARD FISCHER Capitol Media Services | Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010

PHOENIX -- State lawmakers voted Monday to give childhood victims of sex abuse an entire lifetime to sue those who assaulted them.

Without dissent, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure to repeal the existing laws that require civil suits to be filed within two years of someone turning 18. For incidents that take place in the future, there will be no statute of limitations.

SB 1292 also opens a window for those who were abused in the past 35 years, giving them one year from the time the law takes effect to file suit, even if the time limit had previously run out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Former Huddersfield man William Dorgu cleared of abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Feb 23 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A FORMER Huddersfield man broke down in tears after a jury yesterday found him not guilty of indecently touching a young girl and physically assaulting her and a boy.

The jury at Bradford Crown Court took less than half an hour to clear William Dorgu on three sexual allegations and seven further assault charges following a six-day trial.

The court heard that the Nigerian had lived in Huddersfield before moving to Bradford, where he set up his own God Cares Ministry Church and started preaching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

German Archbishop apologises for child abuse

GERMANY
euronews

A senior German cleric has publicly apologised for the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. The country’s clergy is the latest to be hit by scandal, after abuse was uncovered in America and Ireland, forcing Pope Benedict to hold crisis talks last week.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch says he feels for the victims: “Sexual abuse against minors is always an awful crime. I support Pope Benedict’s words out of deep conviction, and I apologise to the victims of all such crimes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Archdiocese reviewing SNAP's request

GUAM
KUAM

by Heather Hauswirth

Guam - The Archdiocese of Hagatna is refraining from commenting just yet on a second letter from the nation's largest organization supporting victims of sexual abuse by priests. SNAP Southwest Regional Director Joelle Casteix criticized Archbishop Anthony Apuron's response to the organization's call to come clean on disclosing the names of members of the clergy who have been accused of child molestation.

Casteix said she received phone calls from at least two people who claimed they had been abused by priests on Guam. Casteix added these same individuals alleged they knew of at least ten other people who were also sexually abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

SNAP Sends Second Letter ...

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Guam - The survivors network of abused priests is rejecting Archbishop Anthony Apuron's statement on priestly abuse.

In that statement, the Archdiocese said no member of Guam's clergy has ever been charged with or convicted of sexual abuse.

But the latest release from the group called SNAP accuse the Archbishop of being "disingenuous" and "minimizing" the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Minister accuses church of blocking child sex abuse investigation

GERMANY
The Local

Published: 23 Feb 10
Online: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100223-25437.html

German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger on Tuesday accused the Catholic Church of failing to cooperate with officials in the investigation of alleged child sexual abuse at Jesuit schools in the 1970s and 1980s.

The member of the Free Democrats told broadcaster ARD that she did not have the impression that church leaders were working constructively with law enforcement. Meanwhile the abuse scandal uncovered at Berlin’s prestigious Canisius school last month continues to grow, with around 50 former students claiming they were sexually abused. ...

Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger also criticised the Catholic Church’s tendency to give internal investigations priority over state legal proceedings.

“Child abuse is an official criminal offence,” she told ARD. “So others can’t decide whether this crime will be looked into or not.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Abuse seeks an audience

CANADA
Times-Colonist

By Michael D. Reid, Times Colonist
February 23, 2010

It's a disturbing subject many people would rather not hear or talk about -- childhood sexual abuse.

So you can imagine the challenges Steve Rosen and Terri DeBono have had to face as they seek an audience for Boyhood Shadows: I Swore I'd Never Tell. ...

Other survivors whose histories are related in the film include Kim Allyn, a Santa Cruz deputy sheriff molested by a priest when he was an altar boy, CBS-TV anchorman Allen Martin, and Martin Moran, the New York author whose abuse by a camp counsellor inspired The Tricky Part, his book and one-man-show.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

German bishops apologize to abuse victims as justice minister urges cooperation

GERMANY
Catholic Culture

February 23, 2010

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg im Breisgau, the head of the German bishops’ conference, has apologized to abuse victims in the wake of a scandal centered on a Jesuit school in Berlin, where two priests systematically abused children in the 1970s and 1980s. Throughout the nation, 120 former students have alleged they were abused at seven schools.

“Sexual abuse of minors is always a heinous crime,” said Archbishop Zollitsch. I want to associate myself with this statement from Pope Benedict and apologize to all those who were victims of such crimes.”

“Abuse weighs heavily on the Church because children and young people have a particular trust in priests,” he added. “There should be no abuse, especially not in the Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Convicted murderer Matt Baker files for new trial

WACO (TX)
KXXV

WACO - An hour before the deadline, convicted murderer Matt Baker's court-appointed attorney filed a motion for a new trial for the former pastor.

Judge Ralph Strother scheduled a hearing for April 1st on that request by local attorney Stan Schwieger.

Baker claims his former defense attorney Guy James Gray failed to adequately investigate the case, or have any experts in the fields of forensic pathology or toxicology take the stand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 AM

Ex-pastor convicted in wife’s death wants retrial

WACO (TX)
The Courier

WACO — A former Waco-area Baptist preacher convicted of killing his wife and trying to cover it up as a suicide is seeking a new trial.

Matt Baker was sentenced to 65 years in prison after his conviction last month. Now, he’s alleging ineffective representation by his trial attorneys.

Court officials say the motion for a new trial was filed Monday afternoon in a state District Court in Waco where his trial was held. The judge has 45 days to make a ruling on the appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 AM

Phoenix bishop mentioned for LA post

PHOENIX (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

by Michael Clancy - Feb. 23, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic .
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix is being mentioned as a possible replacement for Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, who will retire next year when he turns 75.

Apparently in hopes of influencing the choice of a successor, Mahony, who has served as archbishop for 25 years, has asked Pope Benedict XVI to appoint a co-adjutor, or successor, bishop.

According to several Catholic sources, the selection process has begun. A list of three bishops, compiled by the papal nuncio, or ambassador, to the United States, will be submitted to the Vatican, and the choice likely will be made from that list. Mahony may have a say on whose names are on the list. A selection, according to Catholic bloggers, is likely within weeks, but no one can say for sure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 AM

Six reasons why I want to be excommunicated

IRELAND
The Irish Times

OPINION: The anger among survivors of clerical sex abuse at the failure of the Catholic Church to deal adequately with the issue has prompted some formally to leave the church. This is my letter to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin seeking excommunication, writes BERNICE DONOGHUE

Dear Archbishop Martin,

I AM writing to request the amendment of my details in the baptismal register for the Parish of Mount Merrion in the Archdiocese of Dublin, where I was baptised. I made the decision to leave the church over 30 years ago, but recently have discovered that I continue to be included in the church’s internal statistics. I strongly object to this inclusion as I do not consider myself to be a member of the Catholic Church, hence I am asking you to amend the baptismal register to reflect this fact. In short, I wish to be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.

My reasons for leaving the Catholic Church are as follows:

1 I do not want to be a member of a church that aided and abetted a paedophile so that he could rape and sexually abuse me for four years of my childhood. I was abused by the Norbertine priest Brendan Smyth. When he was finally arrested and tried for his crimes I was horrified to learn how the church had handled over four decades the allegations against him. Time and again, his victims were ignored or silenced in order to preserve the church’s position, and so he was able to continue his crimes against children with impunity. After Brendan Smyth’s trial and conviction in 1997 (I was one of the sample cases used in the trial), I attempted to sue the Catholic Church for its criminal behaviour and was badly hurt by the experience. In fact, it was so damaging to my mental health that finally, after four long years, I could take no more of their denials and delaying tactics and settled for a paltry sum just so I could preserve my peace of mind and get on with my life. I’m sure the hierarchy were delighted – another trouble-maker silenced and no great dent in the coffers!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 AM

Time for a reasoned and critical analysis of Murphy report

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PÁDRAIG McCARTHY

RITE AND REASON: THE MURPHY/Dublin report has been a primary source of news since November 26th. I am not aware of any journalist or professional commentator who has yet taken a critical look at the report. This is extraordinary. We have been dismayed and shocked at the report, but we must not lose our capacity for rational thought.

It is a welcome report. It vindicates those who have been abused, and those who were received with less than full care when they brought the matter to the notice of the diocese. It is a service also to the State and to the church. It takes us from the area of rumour and speculation and allows us to deal with facts.

It also challenges the church in its structures, values and personnel to deep renewal in its mission of truth and reconciliation, of hope and healing. For the protection of all, we need to implement genuine collective responsibility. Abuse of any person, child or adult, is an abomination. No society can guarantee to prevent abuse entirely, but we can do far better, church and State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 AM

German clerical abuse crisis widens

GERMANY
The Irish Times

DEREK SCALLY in Berlin

THE HEAD of the German Bishops’ Conference has apologised to victims of clerical abuse and promised a review of internal reporting regulations.

As Germany’s abuse scandal continues to widen, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch echoed Pope Benedict in condemning child abuse as “a heinous crime”.

“I apologise to all who were victims of such abuse,” said Archbishop Zollitsch at the start of a four-day meeting of bishops in Freiburg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 AM

Prelate regrets lay absence in abuse response

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

IF LAY people, and particularly women, had been more involved in the Catholic Church the response to clerical child sex abuse allegations “would have been different,” Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary has said.

In a reflection on the Irish bishops’ summit with Pope Benedict last week, he also said that “in the discussions he asked for the forgiveness of the victims”.

The archbishop said “the need for co-operation with civil authorities, HSE and gardaí, and the complete implementation of the church’s own norms and procedures were seen as central to the safeguarding of children”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 AM

Women would have dealt with abuse crisis better -- archbishop

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Tuesday February 23 2010

A senior Catholic leader has admitted that the response of bishops to clerical abuse cover-ups would have been different if more lay men and women held positions of authority in the church.

Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary said yesterday that the lesson was drawn when Ireland's 24 bishops met Pope Benedict and heads of the Vatican at last week's Rome summit.

This absence of married couples and a feminine presence in church administration arose during a discussion of the causes which contributed to the abuse of children, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 AM

February 22, 2010

Scranton diocese budget crisis sheds new light on Bishop Martino's departure

SCRANTON (PA)
Catholic Culture

February 22, 2010

The Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania faces a severe budget crisis. The alarming financial figures may offer a clue to the sudden resignation of Scranton's Bishop Joseph Martino last August.

The Scranton diocese ran a deficit of $15.5 million for 2009. The previous two years had seen multi-million dollar deficits, but the 2009 shortfall more than doubled the 2008 figure. The soaring losses showed that despite plans to close schools and parishes, the Scranton diocese had no real prospect of restoring a balanced budget.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Se disculpan de nuevo Legionarios de Cristo por los actos de Maciel

MEXICO
La Jornada

Carolina Gómez Mena

Lunes 22 de febrero de 2010, p. 35
A menos de un mes de que concluya la auditoría que ordenó el papa Benedicto XVI a los Legionarios de Cristo, debido a los abusos sexuales cometidos por Marcial Maciel en contra de menores, Evaristo Sada, secretario general de dicha congregación, ofreció disculpas a los afectados por los “actos inmorales de la vida personal de Maciel”, y a la Iglesia, que “se ha visto dañada”.

Durante el Encuentro Juventud y Familia, Sada insistió en su testimonio ¿Cómo caminar sobre agua sin hundirse? y admitió: “cuando viví con nuestro fundador no vi las cosas negativas que ahora conocemos; sólo fui capaz de ver lo bueno y no me di cuenta de lo malo. Dios así lo permitió.

[summary]

Evaristo Sada, general secretary of the Legionaries of Christ, apologized to those affected by the personal life of Father Marcial Maciel, who was accused to abusing minors. This apology came less than a month after completion of an audit of the Legionaries that was ordered by Pope Benedict XVI.

Father Sada admitted that when he lived with Father Maciel he did not see the negative things that are now known. Maciel died on Dec. 30, 2007 at 87. He was accused of abusing seminarians ages 12 to 17 for nearly four decades. It is estimated the attacks began in 1948 and extended into the early 1970s.

The Vatican appointed five visitors to study the Legionaries: Ricardo Watty Urquidi, Bishop of Tepic (Mexico), Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Denver (USA), Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, Archbishop of Concepción (Chile), Giuseppe Versaldi, Bishop of Alessandria (Italy) and Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, Bishop of Bilbao (Spain).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Legionarios de Cristo piden perdón por Maciel

MEXICO
El Economista

22 Febrero, 2010
Por actos inmorales, pide públicamente perdón el actual secretario general de Los Legionarios de Cristo, el padre Evaristo Sada, según información de W Radio.

A través de una carta, Sada pidió perdón respecto al actuar de su fundador el padre Marcial Maciel: " de todo corazón quiero pedir perdón a las personas, a las que nuestro fundador haya afectado a causa de los actos inmorales en su vida personal y a las personas que se hayan sentido heridas por sus consecuencias.

[summary]

Father Evaristo Sada, current secretary-general of the Legionairies of Christ, has asked forgiveness for immoral acts committed by founder Father Macial Maciel. In a letter, he said he apologized to the people for the immoral acts in Father Maciel's personal life and for people who were hurt as a consequence of his actions.

Father Sada said he understood there was disappointment, sadness and confusion since the negative information became known. He said in addition to the hurt discredit has been brought to the Catholic priesthood. The goal is for the organization to correct and improve.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Book Review: Icons & Iconoclasts: How Secrecy and Denial Shattered the Catholic Church’s Prestige—and How It Can Recover

Voice from the Desert

Icons & Iconoclasts: How Secrecy and Denial Shattered the Catholic Church’s Prestige—and How It Can Recover is a series essays on Catholic icons, i.e. Catholic heroes, and Catholic iconoclasts, i.e., Catholic rogues. The well-written essays examine two vital faces of Catholic culture—dynamism and dysfunction.

The heroes include Mother Teresa, Elizabeth Ann Seton, John Paul II, and Saint Thomas Aquinas.

The author’s rogue gallery includes Marcial Maciel Degollado, Bernard Cardinal Law, and Roger Cardinal Mahony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Irish bishops reflect on meetings in Rome

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

February 22, 2010

On the first Sunday of Lent, several Irish bishops delivered homilies and/or public statements concerning the sex-abuse scandal in their country, which had been the topic of a special meeting last week with Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of the Roman Curia.

Bishop Denis Brennan of Ferns acknowledged that Irish victims of sexual abuse "feel great disappointment because the outcome of our meeting fell far short of their expectations." But none of the bishops joined in the public criticism of the Holy See that has been ubiquitous in the Irish media. Instead the prelates called for a renewed commitment to reform within the Irish Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Religious orders fall €200m short of Ryan report charges

IRELAND
Sunday Tribune

Conor McMorrow and Shane Coleman

Justice Sean Ryan: reportTHE religious orders' final offer to cover the cost of the residential institutional abuse scandal is more than €200m short of the contribution the government wants it to pay, the Sunday Tribune can reveal.

The orders, which were heavily criticised in the Ryan report, have made a final offer totalling €348m, more than €200m less than what is required to ensure a 50:50 contribution from church and state.

The final bill is expected to reach €1.36bn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Youth minister guilty of sex crimes

OHIO
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Barrett J. Brunsman • bbrunsman@enquirer.com • February 22, 2010

BATAVIA - The former youth minister at a Clermont County church pleaded guilty this morning to sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct involving a 15-year-old girl.

Christopher E. Evans, 39, could get up to 50 years in prison when sentenced April 26 by Judge Victor M. Haddad of Common Pleas Court. He also faces a fine of up to $100,000.

Evans said little during the hearing. As defense attorney James K. Ferris and the prosecutor conferred with the judge, Evans bowed his head and wiped tears from his eyes with a handkerchief.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

German archbishop issues apology

GERMANY
The Irish Times

German archbishop Robert Zollitsch today apologised for the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and said he would discuss the matter with the pope.

A growing number of sexual abuse cases at Jesuit high schools in Germany has come to light over the past month, with over 100 former pupils complaining of abuse. That has prompted apologies from leading church officials.

While paedophilia scandals have rocked the church in Ireland and the United States in recent years, there had been little abuse known in the pope's native Germany.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

German bishops apologize to child sex abuse victims

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

The chairman of the German Bishops Conference has said he was "deeply shocked" by a child sex abuse scandal in Roman Catholic schools and asked for forgiveness from the victims.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch told the conference's annual meeting of German bishops in Freiburg on Monday that he apologizes in the name of the Church to the victims of sex abuse at Catholic schools.

"Sexual abuse of minors is always a heinous crime. I want to associate myself with this statement from Pope Benedict and apologize to all those who were victims of such crimes," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Legionary priest urges movement to 'assume consequences' and correct mistakes

MEXICO
Catholic News Agency

Mexico City, Mexico, Feb 22, 2010 / 01:40 pm (CNA).- Over the weekend, the Secretary General of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Evaristo Sada addressed members of the movement about moving forward following revelations of their founder's double life. The priest urged them to “assume the consequences” of their founder's actions and to correct the things within the Legion that need to be corrected.”

Fr. Sada's comments came during a meeting for the youth and families in Mexico City, which brought together 10,000 members of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement.

“With all my heart I want to ask the forgiveness of those who were affected by our founder because of the immoral acts of his personal life," Fr. Sada began emphasizing that both he and the movement's superior general, Father Alvar Corcuera, have asked for forgiveness repeatedly “because we sincerely regret that the Church and these people have suffered.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Missbrauch von Schülern auch im Kloster Ettal

GERMANY
inFranken

22.02.10
Kirche Der bundesweite Skandal um sexuellen Missbrauch von Schülern durch Geistliche erfasst nun auch den Freistaat Bayern. Der Abt des Benediktinerklosters Ettal nahe Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Barnabas Bögle, räumte am Montag ein, dass in den 1970er und 1980er Jahren im Internat Schüler von Geistlichen sexuell missbraucht wurden.

[summary]

The nationwide scandal over sexual abuse of students by clergymen now also covers the state of Bavaria. Barnabas Bogle, abbot of the Benedictine monastery Ettal near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, conceded on Monday that sexual abuse by clerics occurred there in the 1970s and 1980s.

In a letter to all parents of the school at Ettal Monastery, Abbot Bogle said in the last week former boarding schools students came forth with allegations. He said he wanted to express his heartfelt regret there has been abysmal offenses against human dignity. He asked forgiveness of the former students and their parents. Parents entrusted their children to the monastery and that trust was abused, the abbot said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

German Bishops Apologize for Sex-Abuse Cases as Scandal Spreads

GERMANY
Business Week

By Flavia Krause-Jackson and Tony Czuczka

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The head of Germany’s Catholic bishops apologized to victims of rape and molestation by priests dating back at least to the 1970s, echoing Pope Benedict XVI’s recent words of condemnation.

“Sexual abuse of minors is always a heinous crime,” Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, head of the German Bishops’ Conference, told a news conference today in Freiburg, Germany. “I support this wording by Pope Benedict out of a deep conviction and apologize to all victims of such crimes.”

Benedict is struggling to contain the damage to the Vatican’s reputation from European sex-abuse scandals that began in Ireland and have spread to his German homeland. On Feb. 16, he called repeated instances of sexual abuse a “heinous crime” after summoning Irish bishops to Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Priest under investigation for child abuse

AUSTRIA
Austrian Independent

The Salzburg public prosecutor’s office said today (Mon) it was investigating a priest in Salzburg archdiocese in connection with child abuse.

Office spokeswoman Barbara Feichtinger said the priest, a member of a religious order, had exposed himself to a seven-year-old boy and shown him obscene photos, morally endangering him.

She said the charge against the priest would not be "active sexual behaviour" but violation of paragraph 208 of the criminal code banning "moral endangerment of people younger than 16."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

German Catholic archbishop sorry for child abuse

GERMANY
Javno (Croatia)

BERLIN, February 22, 2010 (AFP) - The head of the German Bishops' Conference said Monday he was "deeply shocked" by a growing child sexual abuse scandal in Roman Catholic schools and asked for victims' forgiveness.

"I am deeply shocked by the cases of abuse that have come to light," said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, according to the text of a speech delivered at the conference's annual meeting.

"Sexual abuse of minors is always a heinous crime. I want to associate myself with this statement from Pope Benedict and apologise to all those who were a victim of such crimes," he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Top Catholic bishop apologises for child abuse scandal

GERMANY
The Local

Published: 22 Feb 10
Online: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100222-25429.html

Robert Zollitsch, the head of the German Bishop’s Conference (DBK), made a formal apology on Monday to the victims of widespread child abuse at Catholic schools and said there would be consequences.

“The abuse is of particular weight when it comes to the Church, because children and youth give a special trust to the priests,” Archbishop Zollitsch said ahead of the DBK’s conference in Freiburg, calling the crimes “heinous.”

The abuse scandal that was uncovered at Berlin’s prestigious Canisius school last month continues to grow, with around 50 former students claiming they were sexually abused in the 1970s and 1980s. But lawyers for victims have said more than 115 people across the country have since come forward with allegations of abuse by up to 12 different priests and teachers at other Catholic institutions too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Zollitsch entschuldigt sich bei Missbrauchsopfern

GERMANY
Tagesschau

Zum Auftakt der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz (DBK) in Freiburg hat sich ihr Vorsitzender, Erzbischof Robert Zollitsch, bei den Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs an katholischen Schulen entschuldigt und Konsequenzen angekündigt. "Im Raum der Kirche wiegt der Missbrauch besonders schwer, weil es ein besonderes Vertrauen von Kindern und Jugendlichen in den Priester gibt", sagte Zollitsch.

[summary]

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, has apologized to victims of sexual abuse at Catholic schools.

The bishops, meeting at their genral assembly, will review guidelines on how to proceed in cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests and talk about possible changes, the chairman said. The bishops discussed questions of prevention. Future priests are human and also in the sexual sense but need to be suitable and mature enough to have their office, Zollitsch said. They also want to talk about how they can help the difficult situation of the Catholic schools.

The archbishop said he expects the conference will end Thursday with a statement about abuse.

Shortly before the conference, Eugen Drewermann, a church critic, said the church seems burdened by the outrage of some of its members when they really need to face reality. He said everyone knows the church only makes a commitment under intense conflict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Erzbischof Zollitsch: Entschuldigung im Namen der Kirche für Missbrauch

GERMANY
domradio

Der Vorsitzende der Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Zollitsch, hat sein tiefes Bedauern über die Missbrauchsfälle in der Kirche zum Ausdruck gebracht. Er sei über das, was in den vergangenen Wochen bekanntgeworden sei, „zutiefst erschüttert“. Im Raum der Kirche wiege der Missbrauch besonders schwer, weil Kinder und Jugendliche Priestern in besonderer Weise vertrauten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

German bishops apologise to child sex abuse victims

GERMANY
Earth Times

Freiburg, Germany - German bishops sought forgiveness on Monday from more than 120 victims of sexual abuse at Catholic-run schools and institutions. "I apologize to the victims of such crimes," the chairman of the German Bishops Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, said, pledging to carry out a thorough investigation.

Germany has been rocked a series of revelations over the past three weeks that priests at schools run by the Jesuits and other Catholic orders sexually abused those under their care.

Charges cannot be laid, because most the cases happened more than 30 ago. The scandal came to light last month when a former Jesuit priest now living in Chile wrote a letter of apology to former pupils.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Mater Dei Assistant Principal Becomes Head of OC Catholic Schools--No Pedo-Surprise There!

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano, Monday, Feb. 22 2010

​Apologies for sounding like a broken record, but nothing at the Diocese of Orange has changed in regards to its sex-abuse scandal. Bishop Tod D. Brown has just appointed a longtime Mater Dei High administrator to serve as the superintendent of Orange County's Catholic schools, and that's like appointing Barbara Coe to run Latino Health Access.

Mater Dei assistant principal Gregory Dhuyvetter has been at Mater Dei since 1982--from that year until 1996 as a teacher, (which means he was there when principal Michael Harris and colleagues Thomas Hodgman and Robert Richardson were raping kids left and right), and from 1996 until the present, when Jeff Andrade and Larry Stukenholtz carried on the Monarchs' proud teacher-student schtupping tradition, and boys' basketball coach Gary McKnight continued the school's pedo-protecting ways--all under Dhuyvetter's watch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

Cornish priest denies indecent assaults on children

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

An Anglican priest has denied a series of indecency offences against children.

Canon James Wilson, 61, of Calstock, Cornwall, is accused of 11 charges of sexually assaulting four boys and seven girls between 1973 and 1980.

Canon Wilson, who became a priest in 1987 and is rector and rural dean of Calstock, was released on bail after the hearing at Plymouth Crown Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Missbrauchsvorwürfe belasten Franz-Sales-Haus

GERMANY
Der Westen

Essen. Das renommierte „Franz Sales Haus“ muss sich mit einem neuen Missbrauchs-Vorwurf auseinandersetzen. Die Tat liegt rund 40 Jahre zurück. Bei dem heutigen Leiter des Hauses, Günter Oelscher, hat der Verdacht „persönliche tiefe Betroffenheit“ ausgelöst.

[summary]

The Franz Sales House is more than just a wheel-chair accessible home. It is a medium-sized business with 800 employees and 20 locations. Fifteen hundred people with disabilities are cared for there. Franz Sales has group homes, workshops and professional labor market integration, a private vocational college and a riding stable.

Now a darker shadow from the past threatens to jeopardize the reputation of the organization. A former resident of the Franz Sales House told Director Gunter Oelsch that as a teen-ager during the 1960s he was sexually abused and humiliated by an employee. He lived there for three-and-a-half years. The employee has not worked there in years.

In the summer of 2002, a priest resigned from Franz Sales. He admitted that he abused a young person during it time as chaplain. Oelsch said they can say with certainty there have been no sexual assaults at the house since the early 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Freiburg: Zollitsch entschuldigt sich bei den Opfern

GERMANY
Badische Zeitung

Klare Wort zum Auftakt: Der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Robert Zollitsch aus Freiburg, hat sich erstmals zu dem Missbrauchs-Skandal geäußert. Er entschuldigt sich bei den Opfern und will das Thema bei seinem Papstbesuch im März ansprechen.

[summary]

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch apologized to victims of sexual abuse at the beginning of the German Bishops Conference spring meeting. This is the first time he has spoken on the scandal.

During his speech, the archbishop said he is deeply shocked by the allegations. He said he wanted to emphasize that sexual abuse of minors is always a heinous crime as was noted by Pope Benedict. He apologized to all those who were victims and said abuse within church space is particularly serious because children and adolescents have a special confidence in the priest. There should be no abuse, particularly within the church.

A good and important step was made by the bishops eight years ago when bishops created guidelines on how sexual abuse cases would he handled, he said. Whenever there is a suspicion there was must a seamless and absolutely transparent explanation. He said he welcomes the actions by the Jesuits to take responsibility and to draw lessons from the failings of some priests.

The archbishop said the 2002 guidelines are important and form the basis of their actions. Concern for the victims must be paramount, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Immer neue Missbrauchsfälle: Eine Chronologie

GERMANY
ZDF heute

Bischofskonferenz will erstmals Stellung nehmen

Mitte Januar wurden Missbrauchsfälle an einer Berliner Jesuitenschule publik - und seitdem gibt es ständig neue Vorwürfe. Die lange Liste der Missbrauchsfälle und das Schweigen der Kirche: ein Überblick.

[summary]

This is an overview of the numbers of cases of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church that have been revealed since mid-January.

In mid-January, Father Klaus Mertes, rector of Berlin's Canisius College, informed 500 students by letter that possible abuse occured at the school from 1975 to 1983. He apologized that staff had a blind eye to the allegations and he asked for victims to come foward.

Jan. 29: Father Mertes admitted at a press conference of seven previously known cases of abuse by two priests. The Berlin public prosecutor took over the investigation.

Jan. 29: The Berlin archdiocese acknowledged investigation into abuse against a former priest at Holy Cross parish in Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen. The incidents are alleged to have happened in 2001 but was known to the archdiocese since the summer of 2009.

Feb. 1: The scandal began to spread nationwide. Father Stefan Dartmann said during a visit to Berlin that 25 victims were known. Besides 20 students at Canisius, there were three at St. Ansgar School, Hamburg, and two at St. Blaise school in the Black Forest. The accused priests, Peter R. and Wolfgang P., were former Jesuits but were active in other Catholic institutions at home and abroad.

Feb. 2: The scandal moved to the Hildescheim diocese where one of the two accused former Jesuit priests served as pastor from 1982 to 2003. Two cases of sexual assault were known. Bishop Josef Homeyer said from today's perspective the allegations were seriously and implications for further developments were clearly underestimated. The Germany bishops were set to discuss the abuse issue at their plenary meeting to be held in Freiburg from Feb. 22 to 25.

Feb. 3: In Berlin, cases of abuse surfaced by one priest who was also a religion teacher at Notre Dame Catholic School. The Berlin archdiocese announced an investigation. Shortly therafter, Hans Langendorfer, secretary of the bishops' conference, said all cases of abuse would be investigated.

Feb. 7: Lawyer Ursula Raue, representing the Jesuit order, said that 30 former pupils of Canisius College had been abused. Additional cases were revealed in Bonn, Hamburg and St. Blaise. Pope Benedict XVI condemened sexual abuse of minors shortly thereafter as a violation of the rights of children.

Feb. 12: Berlin Cardinal Georg Sterzinky said the credibility of dedicated priests and teachers should not be destroyed because of the guilt of individuals. He also acknowledged shortcomings in the investigation of abuse cases.

Feb. 16: Bishop Walter Mixa of Augsburg attributed the abuse cases to increasing sexuality in public life and pointed to what he called abnormal sexual preference. He said incidents within the church were small.

Feb. 18: At least 115 victims of abuse since the 1950s were known in Jesuit schools. The sexual assaults were not isolated but were systematically committed. Meanwhile, reports on cases of sexual abuse involving the Pallottines began to surface. A student at the former St. Albert Seminary on the Rhine river Near Bonn said two years ago he reported that he and two other boys were abused in the early 1960s by a priest. The accused priest left the order in the 1960s and the school closed in 1967.

Feb. 20: Abuse cases were reported at two former homes of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Augsburg and Berlin. Also affected were the Daughters of Charity and a former children's home in Upper Swabia, the Marist board school in Mindelheim, Bavaria, and the former Franciscan boarding school in Grosskrotzenburg, Hanau. A large number of abuse allegations were made against former employees of the Franz-Sales House in Essen, a well-known facility for disabled people. An allegation was also made at St. Louis College. The federal justice minister urged the bishops to take action.

Feb. 22: Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who heads the bishops' conference, is expected to make his first statement on the scandal at the bishops spring meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Keine falsche Stärke vortäuschen

GERMANY
Frankfurter Rundschau

Viele Priester, die sich an Kindern vergangen haben, sitzen irgendwann vor ihm. Wunibald Müller, Therapeut und Theologe, beschäftigt sich seit Jahren mit Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche und ist Berater des Papstes. Welche Lehren aus den Fällen in Jesuiten-Schulen zu ziehen sind, wird ab heute die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz beschäftigen. Müller stellt klare Forderungen. Ein Essay über Täter und Opfer und die Fehler im System.

[summary]

Wunibald Muller, therapist and theologian, dealt for years with issues of abuse in the Catholic Church and was an adviser to the Pope. Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the doctrine congregation at the time, asked for advice from experts on the topic in 2003.

The Vatican responded when new cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors became known in the United States. To avoid further damage, the church became to take more seriously than ever the fact that sexual abuse of minors was happening in the church ranks. Recent reports of sexual abuse within the Jesuit order have shown the topic has not gone away. The allegations have raised more questions.

One question is how we can explain that if more than 90 percent of sexual abuse happens in the family and among relatives, that misconduct among priests is not limited to a few but covers up to four percent of the clergy. The question can be answered in part when looking at risk factors for child abuse. The first risk is being a man. Although women can sexually abuse minors, most of the abusers are male. The relatively high levels of sexual abuse by priests can thuse be explained in that only men are ordained as priests.

The second risk factor is sexual immaturity, whether the person is homosexual or bi-sexual. There are a striking number of cases involving same-sex contact. The question of whether there is a connection between pedophilia and homosexuality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Ulster priest accused of rape to be extradited

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Monday, 22 February 2010

An order has been granted in the US for the extradition of Ulster priest Fr Francis Markey (82) back to Ireland to face two charges of alleged rape of a 15-year-old boy in the Sixties.

Fr Markey, a native of Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, has 30 days to appeal the ruling. And the priest could either be jailed for a second time in the US, pending either extradition or an appeal being lodged against the order.

The priest's attorney has argued that his client should remain on bail while he fights the extradition bid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Purim and Survivors Childhood Abuse (emotional, physical and sexual abuse)

The Awareness Center

by Vicki Polin

For most people, the holiday of Purim brings up great memories of dressing up in costumes and being silly. For others Purim is very difficult and confusing time of the year. It's a time that may conjure up past memories of parents or other adults who cared for them drinking a little too much alcohol and or being drunk. When this happened their parent, grandparent or another adult care provider might have lost their ability to control their anger, impulses and or inhabitions.

For some Purim often mean that families get together, routines are changed, there is also the added stress of cleaning and preparing meals. These issues alone can be extremely stress producing. Unfortunately the reality is that there are parents who are already inclined to use their children as an outlet for emotions and urges. They are even more likely to do so when under the pressure of increased anxiety. Many survivors of childhood abuse report that they were abuse became more intense around and over all holidays (both Jewish and secular holidays).

It is not uncommon for symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to emerge after times of relative remission and/or intensify in those already struggling. You may experience an increase in disturbing thoughts, nightmares and flashbacks. Thoughts of self-harm, even suicide, may be an issue. The important thing to remember is these feelings are about the past, that the abuse is over, and that it is of utmost importance for you to be kind to and gentle with yourself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Religious gays helpline flooded

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

BY BEN HARTMAN
22/02/2010 05:47

A helpline for religious Jews dealing with questions about their sexual identity has received an influx of calls in the wake of allegations that prominent national-religious Rabbi Moti Elon had sexual relations with male students.

Rabbi Ron Yosef of Netanya said he founded the Web site Hod (a Hebrew acronym for “homo’im datiim” – religious homosexuals) two years ago in order to “have a real religious and social discussion on homosexuality, as well as acceptance of the other and to fight hatred.”

Yosef, 35, said that since he founded Hod, the Web site received more than 300,000 hits and 2,200 requests for guidance. But since the Elon scandal broke last Monday, it has received over 60 requests for help in less than a week, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Can Israel's religious community finally accept its homosexual members?

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Ze'ev Segal

Any consideration of the actions of the Takana forum must begin with the fact that without Takana or an organization like it, indecent acts committed by spiritual leaders and rabbis would be unlikely to come to the attention of the legal authorities. That is why the public needs such an organization.

But such an organization is capable of operating alongside the law enforcement authorities rather than replacing them. Thus when it receives a complaint that arouses substantial suspicions of criminal wrongdoing, it has an obligation not to keep the matter from the appropriate authorities. In revealing suspicions of indecent acts on the part of Rabbi Mordechai Elon, Takana fulfilled that obligation, thereby refuting its critics, who view the group and others like it as a state within a state.

As has been reported, Takana informed then-attorney general Menachem Mazuz in late 2006 of allegations against Elon that aroused suspicions of sexual offenses on Elon's part. For reasons that have not been adequately explained, Mazuz determined at the time that "there was no way to deal with the specific complaints at the criminal level." With respect to Takana, the relevant question is whether it reported the allegations against Elon as soon as it had substantive information to convey, or only some time later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Police say inquiry into indecent-acts charges against Elon will develop into full investigation

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Tomer Zarchin and Yair Ettinger

Police sources told Haaretz they believe their inquiry into indecent acts allegedly committed by Rabbi Mordechai Elon will grow into an official investigation within the next week or so. They said Elon himself, his associates and the members of the Takana rabbinical forum that revealed the allegations against him last week may be questioned.

On Thursday, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, State Prosecutor Moshe Lador, and Major General Yoav Segalovich, the chief of investigations and intelligence at the police, decided to begin a police inquiry into the allegations.

One of the national investigative teams is expected this week to collect all of the material sent from the rabbinical forum to the attorney general since 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Maurice Hayes: March on Rome shows how out of touch the bishops are

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Maurice Hayes

Monday February 22 2010

Not even the most doting mother, all those years ago, could have imagined that one day Willie O'Dea would be the answer to a bishop's prayer, and not just one bishop, but the entire Irish hierarchy.

Even more than Michael O'Leary and Hangar 6, he has managed to get the bishops and the debacle of the Rome summit out of the headlines and off the front pages of the national broadsheets.

In the breathing space thus offered, some have begun to dilute their support for the Murphy report and to resile from total acceptance of its conclusions.

There are mutterings among the clergy about perceived weaknesses in the report, a search for loopholes that are less generous to the real victims of abuse than to solicitous to protect the church and those perceived to be in authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

John Cooney: Muzzling Martin was sole outcome of summit

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Monday February 22 2010

A WORTHY dirge was penned by the writer Aubrey de Vere to Owen Roe O'Donnell about the failure of the earls in Kilkenny's Council Hall before their vanquished flight to the continent.

It can be paraphrased in verse about the reining in of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin by Pope Benedict, the curial cardinals and his 23 fellow bishops at last week's Rome summit:

"Pope, Cardinals and bishops, ye talked and talked/In the Vatican's Salla Bologna, such a grand hall;/But this man whose game ya balked/Was the one man 'mong you all!'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

The Irish bishops just don't get it

IRELAND
American Magazine

Posted at: 2010-02-22
Author: Austen Ivereigh

Look at the statements and homilies made by some of the Irish bishops yesterday following their two-day meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, and one thing will be perfectly obvious: they just don't understand the problem.

There is plenty there about sin and repentance, God's loving and healing mercy, and the evil of abuse of children -- and of course, mention of guidelines which prevent it happening again. But what none of them mentions is the culture of collusion and cover-up which prevented the priest perpetrators being dealt with until at least the mid-1990s.

Nothing about the decades of denial. No mention of clericalism. Not one reference to institutional idolatry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Irish bishop urges focus on upcoming papal letter, says Pope will accept his resignation

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

February 22, 2010

An Irish bishop who tendered his resignation following the publication of the Murphy report said that those disappointed in the results of last week’s meeting between the Pope and the Irish hierarchy should focus on the Pontiff’s upcoming pastoral letter.

“The Vatican Press Release should not be viewed as the last word,” Bishop Jim Moriarty said in a statement. “Pope Benedict’s pastoral letter which is expected in mid-March is the document to focus on. A draft copy of the pastoral letter was shared with the Bishops and we had an opportunity to offer comments. While taking on board these comments, the pastoral letter will be the Holy Father’s document.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Let's offer sex victims more time

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By RABBI HANOCH HECHT AND THE REV. ANTHONY EVANS
First published in print: Monday, February 22, 2010

The Child Victims Act is once again under consideration in the state Senate, with the Codes Committee likely voting on it this week. We and our fellow believers urge our elected representatives to pass it as quickly as possible to protect New York's children.

The bill would extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse by five years, so that victims would not have to file charges before they are 23 or civil claims before they are 28.

Even more important, it would create a one-year window for victims to file claims and pursue justice in court -- even if the statutes of limitations in their cases have expired. Perpetrators typically abuse time and time again and well into their elder years, so identifying them today, even if they committed this heinous act 20 years ago, can make a significant and perhaps transformative difference in the lives of those abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

2nd Girl Accuses Man Of Sex Assault

OMAHA (NE)
KETV

OMAHA, Neb. --

There are now at least two young girls accusing Stewart Newman, 38, with sexual abuse.

Police reports obtained by KETV NewsWatch 7 show an 11-year-old girl's mother told police on Thursday that her daughter was sexually assaulted by Newman between September and December of 2009 while attending a fighting class at King of King's Lutheran Church.

Last Wednesday, the Omaha youth minister who works with children as a martial arts instructor, band leader and choir director was charged with sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

2nd girl alleges abuse by Omaha youth minister

OMAHA (NE)
Action 3 News

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A second girl has come forward with claims she was sexually abused by an Omaha man who runs a youth ministry.

Police say a woman reported her 11-year-old daughter was assaulted by Stewart Newman between September and December, while attending a fighting class Newman runs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Apologies are delayed so often that they are tarnished

IRELAND
The Irish Times

ANN MARIE HOURIHANE

Surely it is Irish Catholicism that made us both so fixated on the apology and so reluctant to apologise, writes ANN MARIE HOURIHANE

FOR A country in which people say “sorry” when they bump into each other on the street – a habit as contagious as it is infuriating – it is strange that the real apology seems to be in trouble here.

In fact the saying sorry problem is worse than that. It is now quite common for people to say “Sorry now . . .” before launching into something aggressive or insulting. “Sorry now” has become the modern equivalent of that odious phrase “No offence”, which is really a carte blanche to be horrible. The comedienne Arabella Weir once built a character around the phrase “no offence”, a loathsome make-up assistant who used to demolish her unfortunate customers behind the shelter of the phrase.

But let’s look at being offended for a moment. On the one hand very few adults will have been offended by Tiger Woods having sex with cocktail waitresses. Amused, yes. Surprised, maybe. Sick to death of hearing about it, definitely. But offended, no.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

We must repent for 'terrible facts' says prelate

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Shane Hickey

Monday February 22 2010

THE head of the Catholic church in Dublin has said Catholicism cannot be renewed without confronting the abuse suffered by innocent children in the past.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the entire church is this year examining itself and is "called to do penance" following the revelations about sexual and physical abuse.

Speaking at a lenten ceremony to bring new people into the church, Dr Martin said God alone could "reheal" the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Rector charged again with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse

OWEGO (NY)
Press & Sun-Bulletin

By Tom Wilber •twilber@gannett.com • February 21, 2010

Another sexual abuse charge has been filed against Ralph E. Johnson, a former rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Owego.

Pennsylvania State Police in Gibson have charged Johnson, 82, with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, a felony. He is accused of sexually assaulting a mentally disabled 14-year-old boy in 2001, according to police records.

The latest charge was filed after the incident was reported to police Feb. 7 -- 3 days after Johnson was charged in another case alleging sexual abuse of a boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

SNAP unimpressed with Archbishop's response

GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The nation's largest support group for individuals who have been abused in religious organizations is continuing to push the head of the Catholic Church on Guam, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, to act. Three weeks ago the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) wrote a letter to the archbishop demanding he fully disclose the names of accused child molesting clerics who are working or have ever worked or lived on the island.

Apuron responded however that to date no member of the Catholic clergy on Guam has been charged with or convicted of sexual abuse. SNAP in a second letter today calls his response "horrible", as Southwest Regional Director Joelle Casteix said, "it was horrible for survivors of sexual abuse."

Casteix penned both letters to Archbishop Apuron, demanding he come clean with the names of priests on Guam who allegedly molested catholic children. SNAP claims they have received calls from two survivors on Guam who claim they were victims of sexual abuse by local clergy and knew of at least ten others alleging the same thing. Casteix says to hear the archbishop's response that no clergy member has been charged or convicted of sexual abuse is unacceptable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

St. Vincent students fight for return of ousted monk

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Monday, February 22, 2010
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
As Vatican officials consider whether a popular Benedictine monk may return to ministry after pornography was found on his computer, some students at St. Vincent College are rallying to support him, arguing that the case against him is flawed.

On Wednesday, 73 of them went to class in T-shirts printed with the question, "Where is Fr. Mark Gruber?" Beneath that was a quotation from the Rule of St. Benedict, which said a monk has true humility "if hard and distasteful things are commanded, nay -- even though injuries are inflicted, he accept them with patience and even temper, and not grow weary or give up, but hold out ..."

The back said, "Priest. Professor. Friend. Due process?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Australian priest to be sentenced on 29 counts of abuse

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Culture

February 22, 2010

Father Jim Denham, a priest of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, will be sentenced next month on 29 counts of child sexual abuse. Twenty-seven of the 40 men who allege abuse by the priest are seeking a settlement with the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

February 21, 2010

Beware the charismatic rabbi

ISRAEL
The JC

By Miriam Shaviv
February 19, 2010

The best comment on the Rav Elon sex scandal comes from Adderabbi, who tries to put it all into context by quoting a passage on charismatic teachers from an absolutely brilliant new book on Jewish education -- written, ahem, by my father, Paul Shaviv, principal of TannenbaumCHAT in Toronto, the largest Jewish high school, grade-for-grade, in North America (and the largest private day school in Canada).

Much of what he says may be applied to charismatic rabbis in the public sphere, such as Rav Elon:

The ‘Pied-Piper’ is one of the most difficult situations for a Principal to deal with. Many excellent and highly professional teachers have elements of charisma in their personalities. In the ‘Pied Piper’ situation a powerfully charismatic teacher has exceeded appropriate boundaries. The teacher’s personality has become the centre of the classroom rather than the course content. A ‘Pied Piper’ will deeply affect and influence some students – but will almost always leave a trail of emotional wreckage in his/her wake.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

Irish Bishops address dioceses after meeting with Pope

IRELAND
Independent Catholic News

The Irish Bishops who returned from their meeting with Pope Benedict last week, addressed their dioceses in homilies and statements at the First Sunday of Lent Masses. Each Bishop spoke about the Rome meeting. In particular, Bishop James Moriarty said: "The Vatican Press Release should not be viewed as the last word, explaining that Pope Benedict would be issuing a pastoral letter in mid-March.

With regard to his own resignation, he said: "The acceptance of my offer of resignation is proceeding. It is not a question of if but when. It will not happen immediately but should not go too far beyond Easter."

The full texts of five bishop's addresses follow below.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 PM

Bishop Drennan's stance gets Northern support

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

THE CATHOLIC Bishop of Down and Connor and the former Northern Ireland police ombudsman have supported Bishop Martin Drennan of Galway.

Bishop Noel Traenor said yesterday that in the Murphy report Dr Drennan was “not referred to as somebody bearing guilt”.

Speaking on the BBC Northern Ireland Sunday Sequence programme he said that, where the issue of collective responsibility in the Dublin archdiocese was concerned, “Bishop Martin Drennan is not burdened by guilt”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 PM

Mass resignation proposed by one bishop in December

ROME
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

WHEN THE Irish bishops met for their general meeting in Maynooth last December to discuss the fallout of the Murphy report, one of the younger bishops proposed that they should all offer their resignations, it has emerged in Rome.

This move would have left Pope Benedict XVI an entirely free hand as to who and when to reappoint. The proposal did not go down well, meeting with a mixture of bemusement and incredulity.

The Catholic Church and in particular the Holy See do not like resignations. Perhaps the most high-profile sacrificial lamb offered up to public opinion as part of the fallout of clerical sex abuse was Boston’s Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned his position in December 2002 after 11 months of bitter polemics about his alleged mishandling of various child-abusing priests in his archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 PM

No renewal if hurt of victims is ignored, says Martin

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY and LORNA SIGGINS

ANY TEMPTATION to think that renewal of the Catholic Church can be achieved “without recognising the hurt and damage that was done to innocent children and how that hurt was ignored” has to be rejected, the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.

“Lent this year is a moment in which the whole church in Dublin is called to do penance and seek reconciliation concerning how terrible facts of abuse of children were responded to,” he said.

It was “a time when we must all look at our responsibilities for the society and for the church which allowed such a situation to take shape”, he said. He also appealed “to all those who feel disillusioned with the church but still feel attracted by the message of Jesus, to turn to the authentic source of that message, which is the Word of God and especially the gospels”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 PM

Church looks to settle with alleged abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Catholic Church is hopeful of negotiating an amicable settlement with dozens of men who say they were abused by a Hunter Valley priest.

Police allege Father John Sydney Denham molested nearly 40 men and 27 of them are seeking compensation.

Earlier this month, Denham was due to be sentenced for 29 child sex offences, but the matter was adjourned to next month to allow him to change some of his pleas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Rabbis are human too

ISRAEL
YNet News

Hanoch Daum Published: 02.21.10, 18:04 / Israel Opinion

I’ve been very depressed in recent days; depressed in a manner that is hard to explain. After all, it’s been a while since I lost my total faith in the religious community, which I’m still a part of. If so, why am I so shocked and stunned now?

Last week, even before news about Rabbi Mordechai Elon started to be published by the media, I was sitting at home and speaking to a lovely young man. This man told me that when he was 20-years-old he spoke to a rather well-known educator at a religious institution who insisted on sitting far away from him. When the man asked him why he was sitting at such great distance, the rabbi said he is a homosexual and does not wish to ejaculate in vain.

The discovery shocked the young man, who adored the rabbi, and prompted great confusion. He also recalled that in certain periods the rabbi kissed him on the face in a borderline manner that could have been perceived as erotic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

There’s no Roman solution to Irish clerical problems

IRELAND
Sunday Busines Post

21 February 2010 By Pádraic Conway

Both the build-up and the reaction to the Irish bishops’ visit to Rome last week missed the point: we must solve our own problems, and looking to others to do it for us simply hinders the process.

On February 28,1979, during a debate on a health bill, the late Charles Haughey, then minister for health, coined the phrase ‘‘an Irish solution to an Irish problem’’.

Since then, the phrase has become a synonym for compromise and evasion. Perhaps, it is now time to examine whether a more positive construction cannot be put on Haughey’s words. The visit to Rome by the Irish Catholic bishops may provide us with just such an opportunity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Cut in Irish Catholic dioceses raised by cardinals

VATICAN CITY/IRELAND
BBC News

Two of the Vatican's most senior officials have raised the issue of reducing the number of dioceses in Ireland.

The Bishop of Down and Connor, Dr Noel Treanor, told BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence it came up at the summit on clerical sex abuse in Rome last week.

It was mentioned by Cardinals Giovanni Battista Re and Tarcisio Bertone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

US JUDGE ORDERS EXTRADITION OF PRIEST ACCUSED OF RAPE IN GALWAY

IRELAND
Galway News

February 21, 2010
A US judge has ordered the extradition of a Catholic priest to Ireland to face charges of raping a 15 year old boy in Galway 40 years ago.

82 year old Fr Francis Markey - a native of Carrickmacross in Monaghan - has 30 days to appeal the ruling.

Meanwhile, an abuse victims support group is calling on the diocese of South Bend Indiana, to reach out to anyone who might have been molested by Markey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Irish priest accused of rape fights extradition, wants bail

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Irish Central

By JANE WALSHE, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

An Irish priest accused of raping a 15-year-old boy is fighting moves to have him extradited to Ireland, and wants to stay out of jail (on bail) while doing so.

Fr. Francis Markey, who is 82, currently lives in Indiana. The accusation of rape dates back to 1968, when the priest was based in Monaghan, the Irish Independent reported yesterday. The alleged victim is now 57, and he brought a case after reading the Ferms report, which in 2005 documented instances of child abuse that occurred in the diocese of Ferns in Wexford. The man claims Fr. Markey raped him on two occasions when he was a boy.

Markey’s lawyers argue that he should be allowed to remain on bail while filing motions to avoid extradition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

60 Fälle von Missbrauch in der Schweiz

SWITZERLAND
Die Nachrichten

21.2.2010 09:14
Die Missbrauchsskandale in Deutschland und Irland haben in den letzten Wochen fette Schlagzeilen geliefert. Auch in der Schweiz sind solche Fälle keine Seltenheit, wie die Zeitung "Sonntag" in ihrer aktuellen Ausgabe berichtete. Die Recherchen des Blattes haben ergeben, dass die Schweizer Bistümer in den letzten 15 Jahren mehr als 60 Fälle von sexuellem Missbrauch untersucht haben.

[summary]

60 cases of abuse in Switzerland

The sexual abuse scandals in Germany and Ireland have produced big headlines in recent weeks. However, in Switzerland these cases are not rare as the newspaper Sonntag has report in its latest issue.

Investigation by the newspaper shows that Swiss dioceses in the past 15 years have had more than 60 cases of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Priest dishes on clergy

UNITED STATES
The Oklahoman

In "Gone to Hell: True Crimes of America’s Clergy” (ECW Press, $17.95), the Rev. Randall Radic, an Old Catholic (not Roman Catholic) priest who is an ex-felon, presents six stories of embezzlement and murder by some Roman Catholic priests. He based his stories on public records, news accounts and other sources in the public domain.

The first five stories are about priests who embezzled from their parishes or from someone who had lots of money.

The last story is about a priest who has been accused of killing a nun and getting away with the murder for many years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

South Bend priest jailed again

SOUTH BEND (IN)
South Bend Tribune

By JEFF PARROTT
Tribune Staff Writer

An 82-year-old South Bend priest was back behind bars after a judge ruled he must return to his native Ireland to face child sex abuse charges there.

Father Francis Markey was being held without bond Saturday in the St. Joseph County Jail. It was unclear, however, when Irish police will be allowed to pick him up.

A few hours after he turned himself in to U.S. Marshals Friday, his attorneys filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus with the U.S. District Court in South Bend. The filing argues that Markey's incarceration without bond is unconstitutional because, among other things, U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Nuechterlein has failed to give him a full and fair "probable cause" extradition hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Survivors' disappointment acknowledged

IRELAND
RTE News

[with video]

The Bishop of Ferns has acknowledged that survivors of clerical child sex abuse feel greatly disappointed by the outcome of the meeting in Rome between the Irish Bishops and Pope Benedict.

In a letter to Mass goers, Dr Denis Brennan said the visit was only one part of an ongoing healing process.

He also said the Pope's letter to Irish Catholics would be an important milestone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Sharansky: Elon backed by former chief rabbi

ISRAEL
YNet News

Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 02.21.10, 14:57 / Israel Jewish Scene

Rabbi Mordechai Elon's friends rush to defend him: Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, a close friend of the rabbi suspected of sexually abusing his students, told Ynet on Sunday that Elon was being backed by Former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, considered the most senior Religious Zionism leader.

According to Sharansky, Eliyahu told him about two years ago – after the Takana forum had already ruled that Rabbi Elon was guilty – that the man was "a great righteous" and that there are those trying to damage his reputation.

The Jewish Agency chairman talked about his and his wife Avital's friendly relations with the Elon couple, which include studying Torah together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Sexual assault punished differently among religious, secular Jews

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Gideon Levy, Haaretz Correspondent

Religious Zionism presents: a show of arrogance. For about three years, they kept their dirty laundry at home, but now they have been so kind as to display it for everyone to see. The fact that in the State of Israel there is an alternative law enforcement system such as the Takana forum, which investigates and metes out punishment only to religious Zionists, is intolerable. The fact that this system is run by the heads of a movement that in vain regulates to itself what is morally, ethically and culturally permissible is another sign of its arrogance.

A high school teacher at a secular school who sexually assaults his students would be turned over to the police. A rabbi at a yeshiva suspected of the same thing would be turned over to Takana. Perish any connection between them, but the criminal underworld also has its own judicial system with the means to investigate and punish. In that respect, there is no difference between the underworld and Takana.

Religious Zionists are not the first to conduct themselves this way. They were preceded by the kibbutz movement, which prided itself for years over its moral principles, and it, too, used to settle such matters "in-house." The kibbutz movement has contributed a lot more to society and the state than religious Zionism, but the kibbutz movement's arrogance was also without foundation, and it, too, was not entitled to maintain a separate set of laws. It was not for nothing that the rape incident at Kibbutz Shomrat sparked public indignation at the time. The kibbutzniks and the rabbis are not a higher breed. Their offenders must be dealt with precisely as any other citizen would be. Rabbi Mordechai Elon and John Doe are one and the same.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

The ‘Butner Study’ Redux: A Report of the Incidence of Hands-on Child Victimization by Child Pornography Offenders

UNITED STATES
The Awareness Center

This links to a study done by Michael L. Bourke and Andres E. Hernandez at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. [pdf]

Exceprt: The goal was to determine whether the former group of offenders were “merely” collectors of child pornography at little risk for engaging in hands-on sexual offenses, or if they were contact sex offenders whose criminal sexual behavior involving children, with the exception of Internet crimes, went undetected. Our findings show that the Internet offenders in our sample were significantly more likely than not to have sexually abused a child via a hands-on act. They also indicate that the offenders who abused children were likely to have offended against multiple victims, and that the incidence of “crossover” by gender and age is high.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Cardinal's legacy marred

CALIFORNIA
Daily Breeze

Staff Writer

On Saturday, Cardinal Roger Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles, celebrates his 74th birthday, which will put him just one year away from the Catholic Church's mandatory retirement age of 75. Already, the Vatican is looking for a replacement.

For better and for worse, an end of an era is at hand. ...

Ultimately, however, these are not the issues that will define Cardinal Mahony's legacy. The scandal will, and here his record is less than admirable.

While many of the abuses in the archdiocese preceded Mahony's arrival, the shuffling of many priests from church to church happened under his watch. Whether this was the result of gross na vet , a lack of concern for the victims, sheer incompetence, or some combination of all three is hard to gauge. Mahony has been less than forthcoming about these issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Ruben Rosario: A man's dream of ending child abuse in U.S. within 120 years

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

[To read Victor Vieth's paper, "Unto the Third Generation: A Call to End Child Abuse in the United States within 120 years," go to www.untothethirdgeneration.com.]

By Rubén Rosario

It was the maggot-infested baby that sealed it for Victor Vieth, the man who has a plan to end child abuse in America within 120 years.

Come again? I'll get back to that, as well as what hybrid corn and the "perfect" chicken have to do with eliminating child abuse.

But back to the maggots tale.

Vieth, who grew up in Winona, was then a rookie prosecutor in Watonwan County in southwestern Minnesota, fresh out of Hamline University Law School. He inherited a "routine" termination of parental rights civil case, which is never routine. They might as well have handed him, on the spot, a tech tutorial on uranium waste disposal. He had never been taught or prepped for something like this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Why I have a problem with the Church

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Let's start with the arrogant denial, contempt and neglect of its abuse victims, says Emer O'Kelly

Sunday February 21 2010

A SMALL boy with a snub nose and a devilish grin has just finished serving Mass and benediction. He and his mate have had a silent competition in recent weeks to see who could swing the thurible the highest without tipping the smoking incense on to the altar floor. He's quietly confident that this morning's performance will declare him the winner.

The priest has removed his vestments, and comes over to him. For a moment, the little boy is terrified the priest has copped on to the competition. But, "I've something to show you," the priest says, and takes the boy from the vestry to the space behind the altar. When he turns to the boy, his trousers are unzipped, and he takes the small right hand and he starts to groan, the sound a blasphemy in the empty church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Bishop Moriarty resignation 'likely to be accepted soon'

IRELAND
Breaking News

21/02/2010
The Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Jim Moriarty has told mass-goers that his resignation is likely to be accepted by the Vatican after Easter.

It is the first mention of a resignation since Irish bishops met Pope Benedict last week to discuss the Murphy Report into clerical child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Germany urges Catholic Church to come clean on child abuse

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

The German government has called on the Catholic Church to play a proactive role in clarifying the widening allegations of clerical sex abuse at Catholic schools throughout the country.

"I expect concrete information from the Catholic Church on measures taken for a complete clarification (of this matter)," German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told newsmagazine Der Spiegel in an interview which will be published on Monday, February 22.

The minister called for an ombudsman to investigate the case, and proposed a meeting between representatives from Germany's 16 states, the church and victims of clerical sexual abuse.

Such a gathering would be "a good way to clear up the numerous abuse cases and to offer the opportunity to the Catholic Church to discuss voluntary compensation with victims," Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Pilgrim Hot Springs set for auction

FAIRBANKS (AK)
News-Miner

by Mary Beth Smetzer / msmetzer@newsminer.com

FAIRBANKS — Pilgrim Hot Springs, a longtime property of the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese, is going on the auction block as part of the diocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization settlement.

Interested parties have until Thursday to submit bids to purchase the 320-acre parcel and post $250,000 as earnest money to participate.

The live auction sale will be held in the U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Court on March 5 in Anchorage.

Last spring, the diocese made arrangements to lease the hot springs, but the lease conditions did not suit the bankruptcy court’s timeline and were not accepted, said George Bowder, director of finance for the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Bishops expressed victims' pain - Treanor

IRELAND
RTE News

Sunday, 21 February 2010 12:27
The Bishop of Down and Connor has said the Irish bishops had articulated to the Pope the 'suffering, hurt and pain of victims' of clerical sexual abuse at their meeting in the Vatican last week.

Dr Noel Treanor made his comments in a letter distributed in parishes this weekend.

Dr Treanor said the meeting was a point in the long process of dealing with the tragic shame and wound of abuse in the lives of victims, in the life of the Catholic Church and in society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Resignation of bishops will not solve anything

IRELAND
Irish Independent

The church must overcome its personal divisions to move closer towards any healing, writes Maeve Sheehan

Sunday February 21 2010

AMONGST men of the cloth, Bishop Martin Drennan has a reputation as a tenacious cleric. A priest who worked with him in Dublin remembered him as a team player, determined and forthright. Another likened him to a doughty Kilkenny hurler (he was born in Piltown) who will fight his case to the end. Kilkenny hurlers usually win, and Bishop Drennan is already claiming victory in the battle for his resignation, even though the match isn't over yet.

He returned from the Irish bishops' two-day summit with the Pope last week to an interview in his Galway diocese, claiming to have the support of all of his fellow bishops, including his one-time nemesis Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. He managed a polite dig at the Archbishop, suggesting that the Dublin prelate had no business calling him to account in the first place: "he has no direct responsibility for me."

Archbishop Martin has not responded, but the remarks are revealing of the sorry state of affairs within the Irish hierarchy at the moment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Rape-probe priest fights extradition

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sunday February 21 2010

AN order has been granted in the US for the extradition of Fr Francis Markey, 82, back to Ireland to face two charges of alleged rape of a 15-year-old boy in the Sixties.

Fr Markey, a native of Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, has 30 days to appeal the ruling. And the priest could either be jailed for a second time in the US, pending either extradition or an appeal being lodged against the order.

The priest's attorney has argued that his client should remain on bail while he fights the extradition bid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

February 20, 2010

Garda Vetting for Parish Personnel

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tuam

Garda vetting for the clergy of the Tuam Archdiocese has been submitted over the past few weeks the first phase of intended Garda Vetting for all parish personnel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 PM

REFLECTIONS

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Diocese of Kilmore

by Fr. Michael Router

2009 was without doubt one of the worst years in recent history for the leadership of the Catholic Church in Ireland. It could be argued, however, that it was not quite as bad for the wider Church community - the people of God. In fact the traumatic events of the past year could yet turn out to be critical in the much needed reform and positive development of the Church in this country.

The Irish Church has had, over the past 160 years, an unfortunate history of clericalism. The calamitous tragedy that was the famine in the mid-19th century caused huge social and political upheaval. Many of those who survived turned to the Church to provide a new moral foundation for society and to avoid many of the problems that had paved the way for disaster in the past. Such a foundation demanded the implementation of severe restrictions, particularly in relation to sexuality, and the Catholic Church was equal to the task. Over the latter half of the 19th century a strong interdependence grew between the Church hierarchy and the Catholic middle class. This gave the hierarchy a position of strength and power that they had never previously enjoyed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 PM

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE IRISH CATHOLIC BISHOPS...

IRELAND/VATICAN CITY
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Armagh

The meeting took place in a spirit of prayer and collegial fraternity, and its frank and open atmosphere provided guidance and support to the Bishops in their efforts to address the situation in their respective Dioceses.

On the morning of 15 February, following a brief introduction by the Holy Father, each of the Irish Bishops offered his own observations and suggestions. The Bishops spoke frankly of the sense of pain and anger, betrayal, scandal and shame expressed to them on numerous occasions by those who had been abused. There was a similar sense of outrage reflected by laity, priests and religious in this regard.

The Bishops likewise described the support at present being provided by thousands of trained and dedicated lay volunteers at parish level to ensure the safety of children in all Church activities, and stressed that, while there is no doubt that errors of judgement and omissions stand at the heart of the crisis, significant measures have now been taken to ensure the safety of children and young people. They also emphasized their commitment to cooperation with the statutory authorities in Ireland – North and South – and with the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland to guarantee that the Church’s standards, policies and procedures represent best practice in this area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Rome Meeting – Statement from Bishop Moriarty

IRELAND/VATICAN CITY
Roman Catholic Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin

20/21st February 2010

Meeting of Irish Bishops in Rome

Following the meeting of the Irish Bishops in Rome, I would like to share a few thoughts and some information in addition to the official Vatican press release.

Obviously the gathering in Rome was a unique event. The amount of time and attention given personally by Pope Benedict was very impressive. Likewise the senior Curia members present were fully engaged and made their own contributions. The various sessions that took place over Monday and Tuesday were long and intense. It was certainly a worthwhile dialogue at the highest level.

As you are aware, each Bishop had an opportunity to address the gathering. The contributions were wide‐ranging, consciously so to avoid repetition. Along with addressing the impact on survivors, our continuing outreach to them, the on‐going management of safeguarding in the Irish Church, some Bishops addressed issues like the role of laity, church communications, the Church's role in Education and priestly formation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

The word / Sin and punishment 2.0

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Nati Toker

Last week the Takana forum, a joint organization of representatives from a range of religious Zionist bodies that aims to fight sexual harassment in the sector, revealed that Rabbi Mordechai Elon, a well-known and highly esteemed figure in the nationalist-religious community, has been deposed. The grounds, according to the Takana forum, were allegations of "acts that contradict holy and ethical values, which to our deep regret were found to be true." Elon partly denied the allegations. In response, the forum published additional details about homosexual acts in which the rabbi was allegedly involved.

The forum's announcement was not made in a synagogue, or even at a press conference. The forum leaders decided to publish the information and developments regarding Rabbi Elon on their Web site (www.takana.co.il). Truly, sin and punishment version 2.0.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 PM

Police say inquiry into indecent-acts charges against Elon will develop into full investigation

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Police sources told Haaretz they believe their inquiry into indecent acts allegedly committed by Rabbi Mordechai Elon will grow into an official investigation within the next week or so. They said Elon himself, his associates and the members of the Takana rabbinical forum that revealed the allegations against him last week may be questioned.

On Thursday, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, State Prosecutor Moshe Lador, and Major General Yoav Segalovich, the chief of investigations and intelligence at the police, decided to begin a police inquiry into the allegations.

One of the national investigative teams is expected this week to collect all of the material sent from the rabbinical forum to the attorney general since 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Religious Storm in Israel Following Accusations Against Rabbi

ISRAEL
Shalom Life

By: ELAD BENARI
Published: February 17th 2010

The Orthodox community in Israel is in turmoil following media reports about the supposed sexual activities of Rabbi Mordechai Elon, considered to be one of the most important rabbis in the religious-Zionist movement.

On Tuesday, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth published a report containing a complaint about Elon by a young man, 29, who asked for advice from Elon about 10 years ago. The young man, who was called D by the newspaper, said that when he came to consult Elon about issues regarding his sexuality, the rabbi became intimate with him and this continued over several meetings between the two. D said that Rabbi Elon told him that this was necessary in order to "save him" from his sexual urges.

Takana, a forum which works to prevent sexual abuse in the religious-Zionist sector, published a statement Monday in which they said that Elon is suspected of sexual harassment and was suspended from educational and rabbinical activities four years ago, following several complaints they received and which were verified. Israel’s News1 website published the contents of a document released by Takana which outlines some of the allegations against Elon, and which states that a complaint against Elon was one of the first complaints the forum received after it was founded. Later on, while the forum was investigating the first complaint, a second one came in. The forum claimed that Elon was having sexual relations with male students for long periods of time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

Israel: Sex Claims Increase Against Rabbi

ISRAEL
Short News

A 29-year-old man called ‘D’ has filed a complaint of sexual abuse against a leading Rabbi. D, had informed a newspaper that he had turned to Rabbi Elon in the nineties for guidance and was abused by him on numerous occasions.

An internet site called Takana, a sexual abuse forum to prevent corruption within the religious-Zionist area said in an announcement that “Elon is suspected of sexual harassment & was suspended from educational and rabbinical activities" in 2006

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Some Phone Calls, 2 Big Checks, and Rabbi Is Charged

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By ALAN FEUER
Published: February 19, 2010

Rabbi Milton Balkany, the director of a Brooklyn Jewish day school, was on the phone last month with a proposition for a man he had never met, the president of a giant Connecticut hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors.

The matter required tact. The rabbi, who often counsels Jewish inmates, had recently met a prisoner at the Otisville Federal Correctional Institution, a prison in Orange County, N.Y., who had told him that the hedge fund had been trading on illegal information. Rabbi Balkany was calling now, the government contends, to make a deal: $4 million for two religious schools in Brooklyn — one of them his own — in exchange for the prisoner’s silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

What Ratzinger Knew in 1988

Leon J. Podles: Dialogue

February 20th, 2010

On July, 8, 1988, Archbishop Levada of Portland , Oregon, wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger, then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, about the case of the Rev. Thomas Laughlin.

Laughlin, Levada explains, was ordained in 1948 at the age of 23. Levada continues, “he began homosexual contacts with boys shortly after his ordination (about age 25), and admitted to such misconduct both during his first priestly assignment as a teacher at Central Catholic High School, and as a pastor of St. Mary Parish in Corvallis. These contacts continued and apparently increased in frequency and number during his tenure as pastor of All Saints Parish until the time criminal charges of sexual abuse of minors were brought against him in 1983.”

“The reliable testimony of several boys questioned suggests that Fr. Laughlin used the confessional for purposes of solicitation. ...

Ratzinger may not have known about the type of person who Power thought was suitable for the priesthood, but he certainly knew there were severe problems in the Church in the United States. Why the failure to act effectively? Did Ratzinger tell himself these must be bizarre and isolated cases – but he was getting them on a regular basis. Or was he following John Paul’s implicit or explicit instructions about how to handle sexual abuse cases discretely and quietly? As Pope Benedict, Ratzinger owes the Church an explanation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Auch in Tirol Missbrauchsopfer der Kirche

AUSTRIA
tirol.orf

In der Diözese Innsbruck hat es in den vergangenen zwei Jahren zwei Fälle von Missbrauch Jugendlicher gegeben. Anlässlich des Skandals am Berliner Canisius Kolleg gab die Erzdiözese Wien Zahlen für Österreich bekannt.

[summary]

The Innsburck diocese said two cases of sexual abuse of young people have been reported in the last two years. Hans Tauscher, ombudsman for sexual abuse and assault victims in the diocese, said victims asked for assistance in getting therapy for dealing with the incidents and it was given to them.

Ombudsmen were established in all Austrian dioceses after allegations were made against the late Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer of Vienna. According to the Vienna archdiocese, 17 cases are known in that archdiocese. Incidents of sexual abuse have also been reported in Graz, St. Polten, Linz, Salzburg and Eisenstadt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Vatican spin finds weak faith at source of Irish clerical sex abuse

Voice from the Desert

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

James A. Jenkins, PhD

The rape and sodomy of children by bishops and priests, whether in Ireland or around the world, is serial criminal sexual assault for which Benedict XVI, and all his flacks in the Vatican, and especially “Santo Subito” John Paul II, his predecessor, are all complicit.

The Vatican, and especially bishops around the world, they all knew the extent of the criminal sexual assaults and corruption of the priesthood. And they did NOTHING to stop it.

How different it could have been if decades ago John Paul and Ratzinger would have announced what they had learned when they first became aware of the abuse, called for investigations and reports from every bishop in every diocese in the world, asked for forgiveness and information from every survivor so that this criminality would never be repeated nor condone again?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Jesus Gave us the Beatitudes, Benedict Delivers Platitudes

Voice from the Desert

By Vinnie Nauheimer

“A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden filled with weeds.” wrote the poet Rod McKuen. How applicable is this to today’s response to the decades old blind eye given to the rape sodomization and molestation of countless children in Ireland given by the current pontiff. It is also applicable to the last pope who held a summit eerily familiar to the Irish bishops meeting with the current pope which took place eight years ago with the bishops from the United States. There are two common threads: Sexual abuse and Cardinal Ratzinger who was responsible for investigating clergy abuse then, now Pope Benedict. For eight consecutive years, we have had nothing but platitudes from the Vatican.

2001: As Cardinal Ratzinger, Benedict reaffirms the validity of Crimen Sollicitationis which imposes the “Secrets of the Holy Office” on anyone with knowledge of priests violating the confessional or sexually abusing children, which means they are silenced forever.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

Missbrauchsskandal: Auch bayerische Priester im Visier

GERMANY
tz

Augsburg/Hamburg - Der Missbrauchsskandal der katholischen Kirche weitet sich aus. Nun sind auch bayerische Priester im Visier. Betroffen sind Schulen im Unterallgäu und Augsburg.

Der Missbrauchsskandal in der katholischen Kirche weitet sich nun auch innerhalb Bayerns aus. Mindestens sechs weitere katholische Einrichtungen in Deutschland sind mit neuen Vorwürfen konfrontiert, wie der “Spiegel“ in seiner aktuellen Ausgabe berichtet.

[summary]

As the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church widens, priests in Bavaria are now accused. The schools in Unterallgau and Augsburg are affected.

At least six other Catholic organizations in Germany are now facing new accusations. Concerns have arisen at the Marist Boarding School in the Swabian Mindelheim (Unterallgau) and two former homes of the Salesians of Don Bosco, including one in Augsburg. The allegations date to the 1960s through the 1980s.

The federal government has asked the German bishops to take action. Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser -Schnarrenberger told Der Spiegel that she expects the church to come up with concrete measures to be taken to deal with the scandal. She called for a complete explanation of what happened. She said a thorough examination by church officials should be an opportunity for them to come up with a plan for voluntary compensation to the victims.

The justice minister had sharp criticism of Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa who claimed the sexual revolution was the cause of the abuse. She said it was not helpful if some church leaders such as Bishop Mixa hide behind polemical excuses rather than contributing to the findings.

The General Assembly of Bishops will take up the issue at their spring conference to be held next week in Freiburg. So far, 120 victims have come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Bishops invite Pope to visit for 2012 Congress

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Saturday February 20 2010

Pope Benedict has received an official invitation from the hierarchy to visit Ireland in two years time for the International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Dublin.

Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, yesterday revealed the Bishops' Conference formally issued the invitation late last year. If the invite is accepted by Pope Benedict, who selected Dublin as the venue for the international gathering, it would be the first papal visit to Ireland since Pope John Paul II's historic trip in 1978.

Archbishop Martin said the invitation asking the Pope to preside at the Eucharistic Congress in the summer of 2012 had been acknowledged by the Vatican. But he said there was no indication as of yet if it would be accepted by the Pontiff, who will be 85 at the time of the proposed visit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Vatican calls for higher training standards

VATICAN CITY
RTE News

Saturday, 20 February 2010 11:22
Pope Benedict's most senior official has urged Irish bishops to concentrate their energies on ensuring that clergy are trained to the highest standards.

The Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone made the comment at a mass marking the tenth anniversary of the beatification of Pope Pius IX.

It is the first comment made by a Papal aide since Pope Benedict's meeting earlier this week with Irish bishops on the fallout from the Murphy and Ryan reports on clerical child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Pope officially invited to visit Ireland

IRELAND
Ireland Online

The Pope has been officially invited to visit Ireland in two years' time.

The Bishops' Conference has issued the invitation to coincide with the international Eucharistic Congress which will be held in Dublin in 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Pope Benedict set for Irish visit in 2012

IRELAND
Irish Central

By PATRICK COOPER, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Pope Benedict is expected to visit Ireland in 2012 for the International Eucharistic Conference, Irish church sources say. It will be held in Dublin.

Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, yesterday revealed that the Bishops' Conference has now formally issued the invitation, the Irish Independent reports.

Insiders say a papal visit would go some way to finally put to rest the issue of child sex abuse by clergy and help the struggling Irish church regain some momentum. A meeting with child abuse survivors would almost certainly be on the agenda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Catholic church urged to come clean on abuse

GERMANY
IOL

BERLIN - The German government wants the Roman Catholic Church to shed full light on sexual abuse of children in its institutions following a series of scandals, a report said Saturday.

The weekly Der Spiegel, in its issue to appear on Monday, quoted Education Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger as saying she wanted the Church to take "concrete steps" to this end.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Survivors very disappointed over meeting with Martin

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

DEEP DISAPPOINTMENT was expressed by clerical child sexual abuse survivors yesterday following a meeting with Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin over this week’s gathering of Irish bishops in Rome.

But Archbishop Martin said he would be “more optimistic” about the ongoing church response to the abuse issue.

Speaking after the meeting with survivors at the Archbishop’s house in Drumcondra, he admitted “there are times when my views are different to others”among the Irish bishops, and “there is obviously isolation” where he was concerned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

My Advice to the Pope

Leon J. Podles: Dialogue

February 19th, 2010

What could the Pope do, as one person asked?

Many, many things:

He should immediately remove from the clergy all bishops who are known to be corrupt and abusers. There are about twenty, starting with Mr. Sanchez of Santa Fe (he of girlfriends A, B, C, D, E…).

He should immediately remove from the cardinalate, and probably from the clergy, all Cardinals who have known about the abuse of children and let it go on. We should have Mr. Law and Mr. Mahoney.

He should order all dioceses and religious orders to publish the names of all known abusers and to open their archives to researchers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Regierung fordert von Kirche Aufklärung des Missbrauchs

GERMANY
op-online

Berlin - Nach dem Bekanntwerden immer neuer Fälle von sexuellem Missbrauch durch katholische Priester dringt die Bundesregierung auf lückenlose Aufklärung. Gefordert wird dazu auch ein "Runder Tisch".

[summary]

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser -Schnarrenberger has called for a meeting or round table to include Catholic Church officials and representatives of victims to discuss the burgeoning sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. She said it is a good way to clear up cases of abuse and talk about compensation.

Archbishop Werner Thissen of Hamburg, meanwhile has introduced reforms in the training of priests to better deal with the issue.

The scandal has now widened to include abuse cases from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and at least six Catholic institutions have been named. The new allegations include two former homes operated by the Salesians of Don Bosco in Augsburg and in Berlin where three priests and one employee are said to have abused minors.

Also affected are a former children's home operated by the Daughters of Charity in Upper Swabia, the Marist boarding school in Mindelheim, Bavaria, and the former Franciscan Boarding school in Gross Krotzenburg at Hanau. There are also abuse allegations against former employees of the Franz Sales House in Essen, a facility for the disabled.

Archbishop Thissen said the training will include the issue of sexuality. Thissen said there is a structural problem and he acknowledged there is an alarming degree of sexual abuse in the church that would not thought to be possible.

The archbishop said the 2002 guidelines from the bishops helped break the taboos and to encourage victims to come forward. The guidelines need some changes to make them more concrete than before. He believes the bishops should make sexual abuse a top priority, he called for complete transparency on the issue and there needs to be concern for the victims. He also said he knows that pedophile inclinations are often irreversible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Accused cleric won't serve in convent, diocese says

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Saturday, February 20, 2010
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A day after announcing that a priest accused of molesting a 16-year-old girl in the 1970s would be restricted to ministry as a chaplain to nuns in a Whitehall convent, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has revoked the assignment due to complaints from parents of children in day care on the convent grounds.

"In response to the concerns of parents and understanding the fears raised, and given that I would never want to do anything that would weaken trust in the Church, nor to give even the impression of being cavalier about the safety of children, I have revoked Father [Alvin] Adams' appointment immediately," Bishop David Zubik wrote in a letter given Friday to parents of children in the day-care center run by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God in Whitehall.

A diocesan review board and Bishop Zubik deemed the allegations from his 50-year-old accuser credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

2011 trial set for bishop on child-porn charges

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

Catholic Bishop Raymond Lahey will go on trial in April 2011 on charges related to images of child pornography found on his computer at the Ottawa airport.

Assistant Crown attorney David Elhadad said prosecutors expect to call 16 witnesses.

Lahey, 69, was in charge of the diocese of Antigonish, in Nova Scotia, until last summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Priest wants to stay on bail as he fights extradition

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Louise Hogan

Saturday February 20 2010

A US-BASED Irish priest has launched a legal attempt to remain on bail while he fights extradition over an alleged rape.

Fr Francis Markey (82), now living in the US state of Indiana, has been accused of allegedly raping a 15-year-old boy in Ireland in 1968.

He has been battling attempts by the Director of Public Prosecutions to bring him back to Ireland to face charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Nazi Gold

Sarajevo Portal

This is the story of one of history’s largest ever heists and largest-ever hunts – a treasure hunt that will never end. The perp was, of course, Adolf Hitler. The hunters have included individuals and nations from around the world. At the outset of World War II, the German economy was depressed and hardly capable of underwriting the continental and then global offensive Hitler was imagining. The modus operandi of the Nazis thus became to loot gold, jewelry, artworks and all other riches from countries they conquered. For instance, the exercise of control over Czechoslovakia, Austria and Danzig between 1937 and 1939 wound up boosting Germany’s gold reserves by more than $70 million. ...

Gold and currency that had already made its way into accounts in neutral countries such as Switzerland simply kept moving; a U.S. Treasury agent’s report that was filed in 1946 (and declassified 50 years later) indicated that millions of dollars in gold coins wound up in a numbered Swiss account belonging to the Vatican, and in January 2000, a civil suit was filed against the Vatican Bank, the Franciscan order and other defendants. The Mob may have grabbed a share: Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky had strong connections to the Swiss National Bank, and it has been reported that hundreds of millions of dollars in gold may have been laundered into their anonymous accounts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Churches taking care to avoid sexual abuse

MISSOURI
The News-Press

By R.J. Cooper

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Local churches have a surprising ally in the fight against sexual abuse — insurance companies.

New Life Bible Church and Huffman Memorial United Methodist Church each face a lawsuit in Buchanan County Circuit Court alleging, among other things, that both entities were intentionally negligent in supervising church authorities and children. Those pending lawsuits serve as a continuing reminder for congregations to remain ever vigilant in the fight against sexual abuse.

Steven Bolt is an agent in Independence, Mo., for GuideOne Insurance, one of the nation’s leaders in insuring churches. Companies like GuideOne aid in that fight by not limiting their input and services to roofs and walls.

“That’s the job of an agent, to help guide the church through some risk-management programs,” Mr. Bolt said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Medb Ruane: There was no apology to the survivors, nor to the Irish State

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Medb Ruane

Saturday February 20 2010

The tangled web of Church-State relations was rarely so knotted as this week, when two events conspired to tease it further. Pope Benedict met Irish Bishops in Rome to discuss the child abuse scandals, especially after the Murphy report.

In Dublin, however, the Pope's diplomatic representative Giuseppe Leanza decided he was unable to attend the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs to discuss the same sad story. It was extremely unfortunate.

From Rome, people heard that the bishops hadn't asked Benedict or his Curia why the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the Papal Nuncio hadn't co-operated with the Murphy Commission. Instead, Benedict seemed to present the difficulties as a faith-based issue with particular ramifications for the Irish hierarchy.

Fairfield Can’t Account for $120,500 After Probe

FAIRFIELD (CT)
Fairfield Mirror

February 19, 2010
By: Chris Simmons

[Read the full Day Pitney Summary Report].

After an independent review of Fairfield’s involvement in Project Pierre Toussaint, no problems were found, except for a lack of financial oversight that left $120,500 unaccounted for after being paid to former Campus Ministry Director Fr. Paul Carrier.

Day Pitney was retained in Sept. 2009 to determine the nature and extent of the relationship between Fairfield, the Haiti Fund, and Project Pierre Toussaint (PPT) after the founder of PPT, Fairfield alumnus Doug Perlitz ‘92, was indicted on charges of traveling to engage in sexual activities with children. It also investigated when the University learned of the allegations.

But while absolving Fairfield of these charges, it highlighted a new problem: a lack of financial controls in Campus Ministry which allowed for $120,500 to be paid to Carrier with no documentation for how the money was spent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Dublin's Archbishop Martin: the eye of the storm

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler | February 19, 2010

Speaking after the Irish bishops had finished their 2-day meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of the Roman Curia, Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh assured reporters that “there is no disunity among the Irish bishops concerning the importance of the safeguarding of children.”

That’s true: the Irish bishops are fully agreed-- on the importance of safeguarding children. But there definitely is some disunity within the Irish hierarchy on related topics. And the focus of that disunity is the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin.

When the Murphy Commission report exposed a pattern of covering up sexual abuse in the Dublin archdiocese, Archbishop Martin did something that no American prelate has ever done: he openly criticized his colleagues for their handling of the abuse problem. He even suggested that some bishops, having been implicated in the cover-up that the Murphy Commission found, should now reconsider their status. In effect, Archbishop Martin was unmistakably suggesting that some other Irish bishops should resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Things Benedict XVI must do as proofs of his penance for the Irish victims of pedophile priests

Benedict XVI - Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

The first thing Benedict XVI should do, if he is really sincere, is to write a one billion euro check as compensation to the thousands of Irish victims of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army. The American Catholic church paid more than 2.2 billion dollars. So it’s a fair amount what the Irish victims are asking him.

The second thing Benedict XVI should do is to retract his papal declaration that John Paul II is a Venerable, and he must stop all canonization process because John Paul II had the longest 26 years papacy and he NEVER condemned nor stop priest-pedophilia fermenting at the Vatican and all over the world. See John Paul II did not have the charity of Mother Teresa .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Benedict XVI the magician of Christ’s flesh… and magic healer for the Irish victims of pedophile priests

Benedict XVI - Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

Let’s see now, Benedict XVI is the greatest magician on earth because of two things he alone as pope can do.

First, he can make Christ’s flesh and blood come down from Heaven within seconds in the Eucharist. ...

Second, Pope Benedict XVI is a magician of justice by making the decades of suffering of Irish victims of pedophile priests disappear via one papal letter and one ceremony of Penance this coming Lent. The Pope does not have to pay monetary compensation for the damages committed by those Irish Bishops and Irish pedophile priests. Those pedophile priests do not need to go to jail as long as they perform the magic of the Mass. All Benedict XVI has to do is maintain his daily royal ceremonies to keep investors intact at the trillion dollar Vatican Bank.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

What happened to the 1 billion euro the Irish people asked Benedict XVI ?

VATICAN CITY
Benedict XVI - Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

What happened to the Bishop who carried the letter of the Irish victims asking for 1 billion euro from Benedict XVI? You go, Ireland! Make Benedict XVI pay 1 billion euro for his crimes as ‘ General Ratzinger of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army in Ireland’ http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/02/you-go-ireland-make-benedict-xvi-pay-1.html

Our predictions came true, the Irish bishops went to Rome for a crocodile tears session with Benedict XVI and a guided tour by criminal-Cardinal Bernard Law http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/02/benedict-xvi-in-rome-has-spoken-case-is.html

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Delaware crime: Diocese won't pay benefits for accused priests

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By MAUREEN MILFORD • The News Journal • February 20, 2010

The bankrupt Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has reached an agreement with victims of clergy sexual abuse to withdraw a highly controversial request to provide about $10,000 a month in combined benefits to six removed priests accused of abuse.

The matter had become "so divisive, time-consuming and costly" that it threatened to derail the purpose of the bankruptcy proceedings, which is to resolve the sex-abuse claims and fairly compensate the victims, the diocese said in a statement released Friday. The diocese filed for bankruptcy in October under the weight of civil lawsuits alleging clergy sexual abuse.

The agreement comes just days before the start of a two-day hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware that promised to be hotly contested and widely followed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

February 19, 2010

Reporting allegations of child abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Madam, – Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Dermot Clifford said that the church procedures on child protection were now more rigorous than those applied by the State, adding, “The State doesn’t have mandatory reporting” (Home News, February 18th).

He suggests by this comment that the church does! He went on to say he felt “confidentiality, where a person’s good name is concerned, is going to remain a problem when it comes to informing statutory authorities about allegations of child sex abuse”. Bishop Martin Drennan of Galway on Wednesday in a radio interview claimed that full and proper child protection procedures had been followed since the introduction of the Framework Document (Green Book) in 1996 and so were in operation during his period as auxiliary bishop in Dublin.

I have heard the bishops of this country since 1996 make claims that all allegations are reported to the civil authorities, their child protection policies rigorously followed. Do they feel comfortable in making these claims as the majority of people in the country may never read the following section from the Murphy report covering this issue?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 PM

Vatican's textbook case of how not to manage news

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times

ANALYSIS: A little explanation might have gone a long way to averting some of the widespread negative Irish reaction to the Rome meeting, writes PADDY AGNEW

AS THE Irish media gathered in the Vatican’s Sala Stampa in Via della Conciliazione, just off St Peter’s Square, last Tuesday lunchtime, the Vatican’s senior spokesman, Jesuit priest Federico Lombardi, was preparing a briefing on the outcome of this week’s historic meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and the Irish bishops.

Knowing the aggressive nature of the secular media and having learned over recent months to recognise Irish public and private anger at the clerical sex abuse phenomenon, some of Lombardi’s closest advisers told him not to hold the briefing at all. You will simply be bombarded with an avalanche of aggressive, ill-informed questions that you cannot possibly answer, they told him. This really will be a case of a Vatican lamb offered up to the media wolves, they suggested.

Lombardi is a decent, honest, competent and patently good man and one who has long been recognised as such by the Vatican’s permanent press corps. True to his nature, he ignored the advice and stepped up to the plate for what was a decidedly uncomfortable briefing which focused on controversial issues such as: the lack of an invitation from the pope to the Irish abuse victims; the failure to address the question of Irish episcopal resignations, in particular the position of Bishop Martin Drennan of Galway; the refusal of the papal nuncio in Ireland, Giuseppe Leanza, to appear before the Oireachtas foreign affairs committee; the level of overall Holy See responsibility for the entire clerical sex abuse crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Most of society would fail a 'challenge the culture' test

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Should every teacher, social worker and garda who failed children in the Roscommon abuse case have to resign? writes BREDA O'BRIEN

THE BISHOPS have returned from Rome and, depending on who you listen to, it has either been a charade, a useless PR exercise or an important step on a journey towards real change.

It is not surprising that survivors of child abuse were disappointed, and that their disappointment set the tone of the coverage. Yet again, the Catholic Church failed miserably to communicate. It was not until Wednesday that the Pope’s statements were decoded for the general public by Archbishop Martin. By that stage, it was far too late.

Veteran Vatican-watchers understood this meeting was serious and significant, but how was the average person supposed to know?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

Entsetzen über Mixa-Äußerung

GERMANY
Focus

Der Augsburger Bischof Mixa sorgt wieder einmal für Wirbel. Der jüngste Stein des Anstoßes: seine Theorie, wonach die sexuelle Revolution für die Missbrauchsfälle in der katholischen Kirche mitverantwortlich sei.

[summary]

Bishop Walter Mixa of Augsburg has caused a stir by stating his theory that the sexual revolution is responsible for sexual abuse with the Catholic Church.

The organization We Are Church called the statement irresponsible. Christian Weisner said sexual violence against children has been going on long before the sexual revolution.

Bernd Gohrig of Kirche von Unten said there is a crisis of leadership in the church and he warned that next week's meeting of the bishops' conference will provide only cosmetic decisions on the scandal. They will try to save the reputation of the church when the bishops should deal with the question of how structures of the church encourage these crimes, he said.

Volker Beck of the Green Party said the problem is that the Catholic Church is much older than sexual liberation and he believes systematic repression of sexuality is a cause of the problem. He said Mixa's theoy is historically absurd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Über 110 Opfer und mindestens 12 Täter

GERMANY
Focus

Das Ausmaß der Missbrauchsfälle an Jesuiten-Schulen ist größer als gedacht. „Das hat eine Dimension angenommen, die bisher nicht zu ahnen war“, räumt die vom Orden beauftragte Rechtsanwältin Ursula Raue ein.

[summary]

The extent of sexual abuse cases at Jesuit schools is greater than expected and lawyer Ursula Raue, who represents the Jesuit order, said the issue has taken on a dimension not previously suspected.

She said they now know of 115 victims of abuse from around the nation and a total of 12 Jesuit priests have been accused.

Raue presented a progress report on the cases she is investigating. She said further news about abuse will be coming in days and weeks. She has recommended that the Jesuit establish a team to deal with the abuse issues. She said it is a heavy task for one person to handle alone. She so far has talked with victims who want financial compensation while others want only an apology. Many of the victims were relieved they could at last tell their stories.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Bishop turns to Pope over abuse scandals

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Catholic Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle in New South Wales says a series of child sex abuse scandals have taken a heavy toll, prompting him to ask the Pope for help.

More than 70 boys are believed to have been abused in the Hunter Valley since the 1970s.

Over the past two years, three priests and a clergy member have been charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Benedict XVI is the Hitler-Pope of history

Benedict XVI - Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

Benedict XVI is the Hitler-Pope of history meaning he is both [like] Hitler and Pope at the same time. Benedict XVI is guilty as [Hitler for the Holocaust] Cardinal Ratzinger who condoned and covered-up pedophile priests aptly called the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army when he was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith see his history here written by an American lawyer http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/02/american-litigation-against-benedict.html

At the same time Benedict XVI is also the Pope, the representative of the Saviour Christ who will “now save” the Irish victims of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army – by writing ONE papal letter and performing ONE ceremony of Penance this coming Lent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

American litigation against Benedict XVI-Cardinal Ratzinger the head of a Global Web of Childhood Sexual Abuse

IRELAND
Benedict XVI - Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

As the papal media spinners try to portray Benedict XVI as the “Holy Father” and infallible pope after the Irish Bishops’ meeting in Rome, we in the United States are not fooled by them. We thought that Irish people will simply ask 1 billion euro from Benedict XVI as compensation from the Church, but this is not even mentioned in any of the news covering the Irish Bishops meeting see You go, Ireland! Make Benedict XVI pay 1 billion euro for his crimes as ‘ General Ratzinger of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army in Ireland’ http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/02/you-go-ireland-make-benedict-xvi-pay-1.html

We thought that the Irish Bishop who carried that letter asking for 1 billion euro would speak out after the meeting, but he is mute about it. (He probably sold his soul to the Devil for less than 1 billion euro). We thought that the Irish people were smarter than us to make the Pope pay them compensation without going through the circus of judges and lawyers like we did to gain 2.2 billion dollars for victims since 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Israel To Investigate Sex Abuse Allegations Against Religious-Zionist Rabbi Mordechai Elon

ISRAEL
Forward

By Tomer Zarchin, Yair Ettinger (Haaretz) and Jonathan Lis
Published February 19, 2010.

The attorney general yesterday instructed police to examine the sexual abuse allegations raised earlier this week against the prominent religious-Zionist Rabbi Mordechai Elon.

The Knesset is expected next week to discuss a bill attributing criminal liability to rabbis who sexually harass persons seeking their counsel. The debate was scheduled several weeks ago, long before the accusations against Elon were made.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein yesterday met State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and the head of the police investigation unit Yoav Segalovich, and decided to look into the allegations before opening an official investigation. The police cannot open an official investigation as no complaints against Rabbi Menachem Elon have yet been filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Rabbinic Abuse Claims: In Israel, the Fallout Continues

ISRAEL
Forward

By J.J. Goldberg
The announcement of a police investigation has led to a gag order on the allegations of sexual abuse by Rabbi Motti Elon, a popular, charismatic leader of Israel’s modern Orthodox community. But that hasn’t stilled public discussion of the case and the issues surrounding it. It’s remained on Israel’s front pages and dominated the talk shows nonstop since the case went public February 16, topped only by the fallout from the Dubai assassination of a Hamas leader.

The abuse charges have touched off three separate discussions, all of them touching on painful issues. One is the continuing debate over homosexuality and homophobia, particularly within the Orthodox community. Elon has been an outspoken foe of homosexualilty, and the allegations that he himself was engaging in same sex contact have shaken the Orthodox community and strengthened the arguments of gay-rights activists against Orthodox opposition. Some critics in the Hebrew press and on radio are comparing tensions that surface within the Orthodox rabbinate to tensions in the Catholic priesthood, where bans on sexual activity are said by liberals to force legitimate needs underground.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Robert Mickens on the Pope's Meeting with Irish Bishops

VATICAN CITY
America Magazine

Posted at: 2010-02-19
Author: Tim Reidy

Robert Mickens, the Tablet's prolific correspondent, kindly sent us this report from the Vatican on the much talked about meeting between the pope and the Irish bishops prompted by that church's widening sex abuse scandal.

ROME – Act I of a Vatican-orchestrated attempt to help Ireland’s Catholic bishops regain trust and restore the Church’s credibility in the wake of a devastating clerical sex abuse crisis has ended in a chorus of boos.

An extraordinary two-day summit that locked all 24 of the country’s diocesan heads into more than nine hours of confidential, closed-door talks with the Pope and ten top-ranking Vatican officials produced strong words but no concrete actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

Irish abuse victims remain unhappy after meeting Dublin archbishop

IRELAND
Catholic News Service

By Cian Molloy
Catholic News Service

DUBLIN, Ireland (CNS) -- Victims of clerical child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin said they are close to despair because the church will not take full responsibility for covering up the abuse.

Clergy abuse survivors met with Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin Feb. 19 to discuss the outcome of the meeting of Irish bishops with Pope Benedict XVI and senior officials from the Roman Curia. The Feb. 15-16 Vatican meeting reviewed a November report by an independent commission that investigated how the Dublin Archdiocese handled complaints of clerical child sexual abuse between 1975 and 2004.

The commission, headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, "found that the church deliberately covered up allegations of child abuse, but the only senior person who seems to accept that is Archbishop Martin," Maeve Lewis, director of the One in Four abuse survivors' group, told Catholic News Service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Allegation against military chaplain not reported to police

CANADA
Toronto Sun

By LAURA PAYTON, Parliamentary Bureau

OTTAWA — The archdiocese of St. Boniface knew of an allegation of “inappropriate behaviour” against a former military chaplain in 2004, but didn’t report it to police, church officials confirmed to QMI Agency.

Roger Bazin, the former head of Catholic military chaplains, now faces charges related to sexual assault from a 1972 incident. But a Thunder Bay, Ont., family complained of “inappropriate behaviour” to Bazin’s archbishop in 2004, resulting in a $24,000 payoff, a spokesman for the archdiocese said.

“The family did not want to report (to police) what they said at that time,” said Leonce Aubin, chancellor of the archdiocese. “They wanted it to be settled between the different parties.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

The Catholic Church Scandal - One Man's Solution

Living water in an empty desert

I've thought much about the abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church and I may finally have a solution. It is Lent: a time for fasting, prayer, and repentance. These three practices, in fact, are my solution.

All priests would be required to gather in some very remote place, with little or no amenities. As part of the asceticism here, there would be no bathing, no shaving, and no sweet-smelling colognes. Silken vestments would be confiscated and replaced by robes of ash-stained sackcloth. These robes would be "one-size-fits-all" leaving plenty of room for the occasional cilice. The robes would come in two colors though: "sooty and scratchy" and "even MORE sooty and scratchy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Polity schmolity

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

Christa Brown

At a recent luncheon, Morris Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, urged Baptist leaders to promote “full cooperation.”

“Cooperation is foundational in everything we do jointly as believers,” he said.

Yeah, right. Everything except protecting kids and ridding the ranks of clergy predators. That’s what Chapman should have said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Archbishop Martin 'weakened' by Pope meeting

IRELAND
BBC News

An archbishop who had been an outspoken critic of the Irish Catholic Church's handling of abuse, has been "weakened" after meeting the Pope, victims claim.

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, met groups representing survivors of clerical child sex abuse on Friday, after his return from Rome.

They expressed anger that the church has not yet unequivocally accepted responsibility for covering up abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Irish victims' groups 'depressed,' bishops at odds after Rome meeting

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

February 19, 2010

Spokesmen for groups representing Irish victims of sexual abuse said that they were feeling "depressed" and "betrayed" after a February 19 meeting with Dublin's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. The meeting was scheduled because the victims' groups had expressed dissatisfaction with the results of meetings earlier this week between Pope Benedict XVI and the Irish hierarchy.

Archbishop Martin, who had gone into the meetings in Rome saying that he expected a substantial reorganization of the Irish hierarchy, appeared to have "his wings clipped," according to one participant in the Friday meetings. Others charged that the archbishop was backpedaling from this promises to give them complete support-- a charge that the Dublin prelate denied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

light dawns

WILMINGTON (DE)
Catholic Culture

Let's say you ran a small business. You were doing OK until a crooked employee robbed you and cheated your customers, bringing on an avalanche of lawsuits that drove you into bankruptcy. Now, with more debts than money to pay, you have to make some tough decisions. Should you pay the honest vendors who gave you fair value? Or should you pay the back wages still due to that crooked employee who was responsible for your predicament?

Gee. Tough questions. But you're not alone in your predicament:

Wilmington, DE (AP) - The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has withdrawn a motion in bankruptcy court for permission to pay retirement benefits to six pedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Diocese reports $15.5M '09 losses

SCRANTON (PA)
Standard-Speaker

By Erin Moody (Staff Writer)
Published: February 19, 2010

As the Diocese of Scranton reports a third-straight year of multi-million dollar losses, officials say social services remain intact but the future of Catholic education faces additional changes.

Deficits for fiscal year 2009 totaled almost $15.5 million, according to financial statements published Thursday in the Catholic Light, the diocesan newspaper. That is more than twice the $7.1 million loss reported in 2008 and the $6.7 million in 2007 by the 11-county diocese.

"While the diocesan finances are deeply troubling and present formidable challenges, with God's help we will find creative ways to meet the challenges and reverse the significant losses that are evident in the published financial statement. I ask for your prayers for our Diocese," interim leader of the diocese Cardinal Justin Rigali wrote in a letter accompanying the annual report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Another victim levels sex charges against former priest

GIBSON (PA)
The Times-Tribune

BY STACI WILSON (Staff Writer)
Published: February 19, 2010

Another man has come forward claiming a former Episcopal priest, already facing sex charges in Susquehanna County, also assaulted him in 2001.

Ralph Johnson, 82, Gibson Twp., faces new charges, filed Friday by Trooper Mark Mulvey, of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and corruption of minors.

The alleged Gibson-area victim, now 23, was 14 years old at the time. According to police, the man also has a mental disability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Abuse survivor 'totally depressed' over Archbishop meeting

IRELAND
Ireland Online

Groups representing victims of clerical abuse are accusing the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin of "rowing back in his support for them".

It comes following a meeting in Dublin where Archbishop Martin briefed the abuse survivors on the summit between the Pope and Irish bishops in Rome earlier this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Abuse victims accuse archbishop of closing ranks

IRELAND
Ireland Online

Victims of clerical abuse tonight accused Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of closing ranks with senior clergy over the cover-up of paedophile priests.

Victim’s groups claimed the Archbishop was reprimanded in Rome when he came face to face with Pope Benedict XVI for speaking out on behalf of survivors in the past.

Maeve Lewis, of One in Four, said people were disappointed the Pontiff would not be acknowledging senior clergy covered up decades of abuse and that pending bishops’ resignations may not be accepted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Drennan 'unfit' to help abuse victims

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

Dublin survivors of clerical child sex abuse expressed deep disappointment following a meeting with the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin in Drumcondra today.

One in Four executive director Maeve Lewis said afterwards that the meeting had been “very disappointing.” The Archbishop had not been able “in any way” to explain why concerns they had expressed in a letter to the Pope last week had not been addressed at his meetings with the Irish bishops in Rome this week. He would not comment either on the position of the Bishop of Galway and the statement he made in interviews, she said.

Abuse survivor Marie Collins said it seemed to her there would now be nothing more in the letter to Irish Catholics from the Pope than was in his communiqué last Tuesday. “We got very little. There is very little to look forward and I am totally depressed with this meeting,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Former Monroe priest released from priesthood at own request after abuse allegation

WASHINGTON
Seattle Times

By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times staff reporter

The Vatican has granted the request of a former Monroe priest to leave the priesthood after he was accused in 2008 of sexually abusing a minor in the late-1960s.

Michael C. OBrien, former pastor of St. Mary of the Valley Church in Monroe, was placed on administrative leave after that allegation came forward. He resigned as pastor in 2009 "so the parish community could move forward," Seattle Roman Catholic Archbishop Alex Brunett said in a January letter to St. Mary of the Valley parishioners.

During the archdiocese's investigation and deliberation of the case, it became clear that its review board and OBrien had "different interpretations of his actions," with OBrien consistently maintaining his innocence, Brunett said in the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Diocese withdraws motion on benefits

WILMINGTON (DE)
The Oklahoman

RANDALL CHASE

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has withdrawn a motion in bankruptcy court for permission to pay retirement benefits to six pedophile priests.

The diocese said in a court filing Thursday that it has reached an agreement with unsecured creditors and abuse survivors who opposed the motion, ending the need for a hearing next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

The pope's empty words to Ireland

IRELAND/VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter (United States)

Feb. 19, 2010
By Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish

Commentary

Pope Benedict's repetition over and over again that the sexual abuse of a child is "a heinous crime" and "a grave sin which offends God and wounds the dignity of the human person created in his image," in country after country may, to use Bishop Diarmuid Martin's words, "even be empty."

I agree with Michael O'Brien of Right to Peace in Ireland, who said, "It's unbelievable what we heard today from the pope, this is the man who is in charge of the Catholic church worldwide and he hadn't even the gumption to say he was sorry for what happened to us. ...

It is not as if Pope Benedict XVI as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Holy Office, does not have the most extensive background in the history of the church's sexual abuse problems involving children, young boys, girls and vulnerable adults which also includes women religious and younger members of religious communities like the Legion of Christ.

Unlike his predecessor, Benedict does not have to depend on others for the facts, because he already has much of that information because of his previous position.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Pastor arrested on teen sex abuse charges

KENTUCKY
WAVE

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (AP) - The pastor of a central Kentucky church has been charged with five counts of sexual abuse.

Kentucky State Police said 57-year-old Marion Barnes of Ekron was released from jail after being booked earlier this week on charges involving a female teenager.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Sex abuse claims against famed rabbi grip Israel

ISRAEL
Reuters

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police said on Friday they were looking into allegations of sexual abuse against one of the country's most famous and politically influential rabbis, in a case that has triggered dramatic headlines this week.

Mordechai Elon -- known as "Rabbi Motti" by viewers of his popular TV show and by many young men in the West Bank settler movement -- has vehemently denied the accusations by a group of fellow rabbis who say their aim is to combat sexual harassment by authority figures.

But that has not stopped a wave of soul-searching, which has some parallels with recent turmoil in the Roman Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Bishop of Elphin speaks out following meeting with Pope

IRELAND
Ocean FM

The Bishop of Elphin has said he had no idea of the abuse that was taking place within the Catholic Church.

Bishop Christy Jones was speaking following the meeting of bishops with the Pope in Rome this week over revelations of child sexual abuse detailed in both the Murphy and Ryan reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Trial date set for bishop on child-porn charges

CANADA
The Ottawa Citizen

February 19, 2010 10:02 AM

OTTAWA — Catholic Bishop Raymond Lahey is to go on trial in April 2011 on charges that he was caught with images of child pornography on his computer at the Ottawa airport.

The trial has been set for April 26 that year, with court time booked until May 16.

Assistant Crown attorney David Elhadad said prosecutors expect to call 16 witnesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

Rabbis: Turn Down the Flames on Rabbi Elon

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

(IsraelNN.com) A group of about 50 leading Zionist-Religious rabbis decided Thursday evening to "lower the flames" and reduce their media appearances in the wake of immorality charges raised in the media against Rabbi Mordechai Elon. It was also decided to distribute a position paper for rabbis and other educators to use when discussing the matter with students and the public at large.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Rabbis Call to Lower Public Discourse Level On Elon Issue

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

by Eli Stutz

(IsraelNN.com) Fifty prominent religious Zionist rabbis gathered yesterday evening in Yad Binyamin to discuss how to deal educationally with the publication by the Takanah Forum of the issue of Rabbi Motti Elon. Among the participating rabbis were: Rabbi Haim Druckman, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Rabbi Motti Greenberg, Rabbi Yigal Kamenetsky, Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, and more.

Arutz Sheva reported that the meeting dealt mainly with educational implications. "The rabbis called to lower the level of public discourse and to minimize media appearances."

The rabbis at the conference noted that "the religious-Zionist community is healthy, and it is the duty of every person and community to 'add holiness', in the words of HaRav Kook."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Crisis management: For Vatican, it's up to the Irish to heal scandal

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- For Vatican and Irish participants, the two-day meeting on the handling of priestly sex abuse cases was a major accomplishment, combining a frank admission of mismanagement with truly collaborative discussions on how to avoid such mistakes in the future. ...

One outcome of the Vatican-Irish meeting was perhaps too subtle to measure on the media applause meter, but significant nonetheless. By all accounts, there's been a shift in attitude inside the Roman Curia since 2002. At that time, the sex abuse crisis in the United States still found many Vatican officials in denial or very defensive; today, according to the Irish bishops, virtually all of the 10 Vatican department heads in attendance offered genuine support and help.

The Vatican now knows that priestly sex abuse is not a passing episode limited to one or two countries. As if that needed demonstrating, a new clerical sex abuse scandal was emerging in Germany even as the Vatican meeting took place -- and the Vatican newspaper wrote about it. Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, said the Vatican seemed to understand that this is "not an Anglophone problem."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

More Jesuit abuse & cover up allegations surface; SNAP responds

GERMANY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We strongly suspect this is just the tip of a very large and ugly iceberg. We applaud the brave victims who are coming forward and hope their courage inspires others who are suffering to break their silence, report these crimes, expose dangerous predators, and begin to heal.

Jesuits like to posture as somehow allegedly being more forthcoming about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. In our experience, however, that’s just not the case. Sadly, most Jesuit officials are just as reckless and callous and deceitful in these cases as diocesan officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Predator priest gets “restricted ministry;” SNAP responds

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

At least one of Adams’ victims is clearly credible, and it’s sad Zubik won’t clearly admit this. Even now, in 2010, Catholic officials seem unable to ever just say, ‘We think this priest is guilty of child sex crimes.’

It’s also sad that Zubik refuses to beg victims and witnesses to call police if they know anything about crimes by Adams. That’s the least any responsible leader should do. Kids are safest when predators are jailed. That happens when victims and witnesses speak up. Zubik could help prod them do come forward to police. Instead, however, he does the absolute bare minimum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Condenado un sacerdote ...

SPAIN
Diario de Nevarra

DN . PAMPLONA Jueves, 18 de febrero de 2010

Un sacerdote ha sido condenado a 16 meses de prisión por los delitos de exhibicionismo y provocación sexual después de que reconociera haber enseñado sus genitales a cinco niños a los que impartía catequesis. También les mostró una página web con fotografías de contenido pornográfico.

[summary]

A priest has been sentence to 16 months in prison for the crimes of exhibitionism and sexual provocation. He acknowledged that he showed his genitals to five children who were being taught catechism. He also showed them a Web site with pornographic photographs.

The decision of the First Section of the Provincial Court also disqualifies him for the next six years from public ministry, especially when activities are related to youth or children. He is also prohibited from approaching the victims for the next five years.

The priest was pastor of a village in the Central Zone. Before trial, damages of 10,000 euros were awarded to each of the affected children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Heinous crimes, grave failures

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet (United Kingdom)

It was an unprecedented event in Catholic history. Pope Benedict XVI summoned the entire hierarchy of the Church in Ireland to Rome this week and publicly rebuked them. The sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy was “a heinous crime and grave sin”, he told them. In a statement afterwards, the Vatican made clear it was the Pope’s view that there was no doubt “that errors of judgement and omissions stand at the heart of the crisis”. In other words, it was the bishops’ fault. As inquiry after inquiry has revealed, they consistently covered up the activities of abusive priests to protect the Church’s good name from scandal. The result is a scandal 1,000 times worse, from which the Church in Ireland may never recover.

The one group missing from the dramatic events in the Vatican were the victims, and they ought now to be brought centre stage. They, too, should be invited to meet the Pope, but not just for spiritual consolation. They are owed an apology, and not only on behalf of the Irish hierarchy. The Pope appoints bishops, supervises their ministry, and can discipline them when they err. The hierarchy’s failure is therefore, at one short remove, the papacy’s failure too. Indeed, the crucial link between them, the nunciature in Dublin, has some sharp questions to answer for itself. The present nuncio’s repeated refusal to cooperate with government or parliamentary agencies investigating clerical child abuse is unacceptable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Mönch missbraucht Bub (7) in Salzburg

AUSTRIA
OE24

Schon wieder Missbrauchs-Vorwürfe gegen die katholische Kirche: In Salzburg soll ein Mönch einen Buben belästigt haben. Polizei ermittelt.

[summary]

A monk, who is also a priest, has been accused of sexually abusing a seven-year-old boy in Salzburg.

Johann von Reissmeier of the Salzburg diocese said the accused has been questioned by police. Police seized the monk's computer of the monk and is looking for possible photos of boys that he might have saved. The investigation is ongoing but no criminal charges have been brought.

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said the allegations are a disgrace for which there is no excuse. In his Ash Wednesday sermong he said the path of repentence is the only way. Erich Leitenberger, spokesman for the Vienna archdiocese, said in the previous year 17 cases of abuse surfaced in the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

What Were Irish Lenders Up To In America?

IRELAND/UNITED STATES
Sunday Tribune (Ireland)

The US loan books of Irish banks – mired in serious stateside disputes in recent months – face substantial stress, writes Eamon Quinn.

Out of sight and out of mind: at the best of times it is difficult to get a handle on what the Irish banks were up to in the United States. Just as it was at home, the lenders quickened their lending just as the boom was about to go bust.

The usual suspect, Anglo Irish, was the most exuberant. It loaned an astonishing €10bn, or 14% of its total €72bn loan book, into the US. ...

Catholic Diocese of Wilmington

Facing claims against a number of retired and removed priests for alleged sexual abuse, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, a Delaware-registered company, became the seventh US Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy protection last October. AIB is owed $12m by the diocese, by far the largest creditor that includes lay parishioners. Last week, the diocese argued to the Delaware bankruptcy court that it should be allowed to continue to pay retirement and other benefits to the accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

David Quinn: Window-dressing of papal meeting a PR catastrophe

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By David Quinn

Friday February 19 2010

We don't know what happened behind the scenes when the bishops met the Pope and his officials on Monday and Tuesday in Rome. Maybe something of substance will come from the meeting in time. For the sake of the Catholic Church in Ireland, it had better.

But taken at face value, the meeting was worse than a non-event -- it was close to a PR disaster, which Archbishop Diarmuid Martin partially rescued when speaking to reporters on Wednesday.

Obviously the meeting was never going to meet everyone's expectations. For example, Bishop Martin Drennan was never going to be asked to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Pa. Priest Transferred Following Abuse Allegation

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA

PITTSBURGH (AP) ― A Roman Catholic priest in Pittsburgh under investigation for allegedly fondling a teen girl nearly four decades ago has been reassigned from his position as a parish priest and high school chaplain.

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh officials say the Rev. Alvin Adams will transfer to a convent next month. Adams has been on leave since March while the diocese investigated allegations he fondled a 16-year-old girl in the 1970s. Two other alleged victims came forward later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Priest accused of abuse assigned to convent

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Debra Erdley
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, February 19, 2010

A priest who was suspended from his duties as parish priest at Ascension Church in Ingram and chaplain at Bishop Canevin High School last March pending an investigation of abuse allegations dating from the 1970s has been reassigned as chaplain at a Whitehall convent.

The Rev. Alvin Adams, 69, resigned his position at Ascension Church and will begin restricted supervised duties as a priest at the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God motherhouse next month, said the Rev. Ron Lengwin, a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

The reassignment followed the ruling of a Diocesean Review Board that deemed credible allegations that Adams had fondled a 16-year-old girl nearly four decades ago. Since the alleged incident occurred under church law in effect at the time, the teen would have been considered an adult, Lengwin said. After 1983, church law was revised to make 18 the age of majority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Fairfield Univ. audit finds Haiti gifts unaccounted for

CONNECTICUT
Boston Globe

By Stephen Singer
Associated Press / February 19, 2010

HARTFORD - Fairfield University said it cannot account for more than $120,000 intended to go to a Haitian school where a former Connecticut man is accused of sexually abusing boys.

The money is part of nearly $776,000 raised at the Jesuit university from 1997 to 2008 for Project Pierre Toussaint. The Haitian school was cofounded and directed by Douglas Perlitz, a 1992 Fairfield graduate who was charged in September with sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Analysis: The Elon affair

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

By BEN HARTMAN
18/02/2010 23:20

Allegations this week by the rabbinical forum Takana that Rabbi Mordechai “Motti” Elon posed a danger to the public and had sexual contact with male students in the past – and the subsequent decision to open a police investigation – represent a fall from grace for a pillar of religious Zionism, a national leader whose impact was felt far beyond his own community.

It’s hard to overstate the influence Elon had on the religious Zionist community, both as a spiritual leader and an object of widespread admiration. One West Bank rabbi who spoke to The Jerusalem Post Thursday called the affair “a tragedy” and said Elon was not only a “beloved and venerated man,” but also “the closest thing we had to a rebbe in our community.”

Elon headed some of religious Zionism’s most prominent houses of learning, including the Horev and Hakotel yeshivot in Jerusalem. He also hosted a popular weekly TV program on the Shabbat Torah portion and worked to build understanding and cooperation between the religious and secular communities. He comes from one of the most prominent families in the religious Zionist community: His brother Benny is a former MK and tourism minister, and his father, Menahem, a former Supreme Court Justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

The Court of Public Opinion

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

by David Bedein

The crucial question to ask of the Takanah Forum on the Rabbi Elon issue is brought in this article, by someone who is most familiar with the media.

Activist Law Professor Alan Dershowitz asserts that there are always two courts - the court of law and the court of public opinion.

Anyone who knows how the media works knows that it is easier to win a conviction in the court of public opinion than in any court of law.

Indeed, to paraphrase Goebels, a lie repeated often enough becomes believable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Martin meeting abuse victims

IRELAND
RTE News

Friday, 19 February 2010
Survivors of clerical child sex abuse and a representative from the One in Four campaign group are to meet Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin today.

Abuse survivor Marie Collins said Pope Benedict XVI should say he accepts that the Church authorities had covered up cases of child sexual abuse here in the letter that he issues to Irish Catholics.

Speaking before today's meeting in Drumcondra, she said the Pope should also state that there will be mandatory reporting by the Church of all allegations of abuse to the civil authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Italy "has dozens of paedophile priests"

ITALY
World Bulletin

Italy has had dozens of cases of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests over the past decade and the country is by no means immune from the problem, a cleric who runs an anti-paedophilia organisation said on Thursday.

Just two days after Pope Benedict held crisis talks with Irish bishops over a devastating abuse scandal, Father Fortunato Di Noto said Italy was not untainted by the problem but it had been dealt with better.

"Italy is not immune from this," Di Noto, who founded the anti-paedophilia group Association Meter, told Vatican Radio.

"In the last 10 years, around 80 priests have been involved: either denounced or put on trial and found guilty for this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

PRATT v. STATE

TEXAS
Leagle

[excerpt]

In 2004, A.B. and L.B., who are twin sisters, attended a five-day overnight church retreat. Dominic Valerio, a youth minister, testified that A.B. approached him toward the end of the retreat, and she was very distraught and nervous. Valerio began questioning A.B. regarding her problem. Valerio testified that A.B.'s behavior was "typical of other children who have been sexually abused." After A.B. admitted that she had been sexually abused by her step-grandfather, she started "shutting down" because she was nervous and embarrassed. Although L.B. also was at the camp, she did not approach Valerio. Valerio testified that as trial approached, A.B. became very distraught to the point of self-mutilation by cutting herself, experimenting with drugs, and attempting suicide. Valerio later learned the abuse occurred at a home in San Antonio when L.B. and A.B. were around four or five years old.

On cross-examination, Valerio testified that he did not recall telling the police that the incident happened about five years before 2005. Valerio also did not recall that he told the police the incidents happened over and over again and in different places. Valerio later clarified that the different places referred to San Antonio and Austin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Pastor’s sex abuse case sent to grand jury

WILLIAMSON (WV)
Appalachian News Express

By Audrey Carter-Lee Staff Writer

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — A teacher and pastor accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with an underage female was back in court Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Hierarchy's report to Pontiff on abuse is kept secret

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney and Edel Kennedy

Friday February 19 2010

THE Catholic hierarchy decided to keep secret the key briefing documents on child sex abuse which were submitted by the Irish bishops to the Pope in Rome this week.

A formal decision was taken at the two-day meeting with Pope Benedict that the personal submissions of the senior clergymen would not be made public, the Irish Independent has learned.

Last night, Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin declined to make available the text of his presentation to the Pope and the Curial Cardinals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Drennan says Martin backs his decision to remain in post

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney and Brian McDonald

Friday February 19 2010

DEFIANT Martin Drennan claims 23 Irish bishops and the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, back his decision to stay on as Bishop of Galway.

Bishop Drennan's insistence that his position is safe has left Archbishop Martin in an embarrassing and difficult predicament as he meets abuse victims today.

The Galway prelate also signalled a deepening rift between himself and Dr Martin in interviews yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Victims' groups insist embattled bishop must go

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Brian McDonald

Friday February 19 2010

VICTIMS of clerical sex abuse yesterday dismissed Bishop Martin Drennan's reasons for refusing to resign.

One in Four insisted that the Bishop of Galway must follow the example of his fellow former auxiliary bishops and offer his resignation to the Pope.

"One in Four believes that all those in authority who supported the culture of cover-up in the Dublin Archdiocese must assume collective responsibility for the endangerment of children," said One in Four executive director Maeve Lewis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Irish church faces a long and bitter road

IRELAND
Montreal Gazette

Irish church leaders are going to have to do a lot more than meet with the pope and express profound sorrow for the "heinous crimes" committed by their clergy if the Catholic Church in Ireland is to recover from the wounds it has inflicted on itself over the last several decades.

But this week's meeting in Rome between Pope Benedict and 24 Irish bishops was at least something of a start on what promises to be a long and deservedly bitter road to an uncertain destination.

The pope was suitably blunt in criticizing the Irish hierarchy for its failure to protect its youngest members from decades of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of priests, religious orders, and church employees. And the bishops themselves seemed contrite enough, admitting that the church had betrayed tens of thousands of children and promising measures to assure it doesn't happen again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Bishop Mixa under fire for sexual abuse scandal comments

GERMANY
The Local

Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa on Friday faced continuing criticism for claiming the sexual revolution was partially to blame for the widespread abuse of children at German Catholic schools.

The daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported Mixa’s remarks had caused a rift within his diocese, with one church official saying they were “depressingly imprudent” and the situation was “increasingly embarrassing” having to explain the bishop’s latest “blunder.”

“The leadership hasn’t realised how this looks to the congregation,” said an unidentified member of the Augsburg diocese council.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Irish-Vatican summit on sex abuse ends with call for courage, honesty

VATICAN CITY
The Pilot (United States)

By John Thavis and Sarah Delaney
Posted: 2/19/2010

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI said priestly sexual abuse was a "heinous crime" and a grave sin, and he urged Irish bishops to act courageously to repair their failures to deal properly with such cases.

At the end of a two-day Vatican summit on the sex abuse scandal in Ireland, the Vatican said in a statement Feb. 16 that "errors of judgment and omissions" were at the heart of the crisis. It said church leaders recognized the sense of "pain and anger, betrayal, scandal and shame" that those errors have provoked among many Irish Catholics.

"All those present recognized that this grave crisis has led to a breakdown in trust in the church's leadership and has damaged her witness to the Gospel and its moral teaching," the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Accused priest receives new judge

ST. CHARLES (IL)
The Chronicle

By KATE THAYER - kthayer@kcchronicle.com

ST. CHARLES – The priest accused of sexually assaulting a St. Charles boy received a new judge assignment Thursday.

Alejandro Flores, 37, is charged with multiple counts of predatory sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault.

Prosecutors say Flores – who last served as a priest in Streamwood – assaulted a boy he knew from January 2005 until his arrest last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Seeking justice for kids

FORT WAYNE (IN)
The Journal Gazette

Rebecca S. Green The Journal Gazette

A group of women from an advocacy group for sexual abuse victims showed up outside the local Roman Catholic diocesan offices Thursday, wanting to ask the bishop to do more to get potential abuse victims to come forward with allegations.

Before they showed up at the Archbishop Noll Center in downtown Fort Wayne, the women, from the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, visited the South Bend offices of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

They wanted to present a letter to newly installed Bishop Kevin Rhoades about the Rev. Francis Markey, 82.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Vatican heaps insult on injury for Irish abuse victims

IRELAND
National Secular Society (United Kingdom)

The Vatican has scored another PR disaster by again failing to acknowledge that there was a cover up of Catholic child abuse in Ireland.

After publication of two reports that showed that the sexual and physical abuse of children had been endemic for decades in Irish institutions run by the Catholic Church, the Vatican summoned all 24 Irish bishops to a conference last week. It rapidly became clear that the conference was more about saving the Church’s face than making reparation, or even an apology, to the thousands of victims of Catholic priests.

Victim support organisations condemned the whole exercise as a “charade” and “window dressing”. One group said the Pope had “washed his hands” of the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

February 18, 2010

Bishop Drennan will not resign as to do so 'would be injustice'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

LORNA SIGGINS Western Correspondent

BISHOP of Galway Dr Martin Drennan has reiterated that he will not resign in the wake of the Murphy report on clerical sexual abuse, and the pope did not ask for his resignation in Rome this week.

Bishop Drennan said yesterday there was “no collective responsibility” in the Dublin archdiocese when he was an auxiliary bishop and it “doesn’t exist now”.

He said that he respected “totally” the suffering of abuse victims, and did not want to “do anything that would cause any further suffering to those who have suffered hugely already”. However, a “huge injustice” had been “done already” and his resignation would be “another injustice”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 PM

Clerical sex abuse survivors to review Rome meeting with archbishop today

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

DUBLIN CLERICAL child sex abuse survivors are to meet Archbishop Diarmuid Martin this morning to discuss the outcome of this week’s meetings in Rome between the Irish bishops, Pope Benedict and senior Curia figures.

Included will be Marie Collins, Andrew Madden, One in Four executive director Maeve Lewis and others who do not wish their names published.

Speaking last night, Marie Collins said “I hope we get some positive news from Archbishop in the morning.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 PM

Brandenburg Pastor Charged With Sex Abuse

BRANDENBERG (KY)
WLKY

[with video]

By Erin Haynes/WLKY

BRANDENBURG, Ky. -- A Brandenburg pastor charged with the spiritual care of his church is now charged with sexual abuse of a minor.

A family member came forward alleging years of inappropriate sexual contact by Marion Barnes.

Barnes was suspended from his church and charged with several counts of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 PM

Top Zionist rabbi slams 'blood libel' accusing him of sex crimes

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Yair Ettinger and Chaim Levninson, Haaretz Correspondents

Dozens of supporters gathered Tuesday morning at the home of Rabbi Mordechai Elon, a prominent member of the religious Zionist circles now being accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.

It was a senior forum of rabbis that shook up the sector a day before by accusing Elon of the acts. One of the rabbis in the forum said it published the statement "to protect people over whom Rabbi Elon has authority."

The forum, Takana, devotes itself to preventing sexual harassment by authority figures.
Advertisement

No criminal charges have been brought against Elon, who at the time of his retirement some three years ago was considered a front-runner for a senior rabbinic post in the religious Zionist political leadership.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Police to probe harassment charges against Elon

ISRAEL
JTA

February 18, 2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli police will investigate sexual harassment charges against religious Zionist leader Rabbi Mordechai "Motti" Elon.

The decision was reached Thursday following meeting of the police, Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, state Prosecutor Moshe Lador and the head of Police Investigations and Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Segalovitz

The police, who had sought the meeting, requested a complete gag order on the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Why didn't the former attorney general investigate?

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Aluf Benn

I don't know whether Rabbi Mordechai Elon did anything wrong, or if so, what he did. Nor do I want to try to guess; that isn't my job. Israel has a law enforcement system to answer such questions; its head is the attorney general, and its arms are the police and other investigative agencies.

But not in the case of Elon. For him, a special track was used: investigation by a secret, volunteer forum with no legal authority, called Takana, which in October 2006 reported the suspicions against Elon to the previous attorney general, Menachem Mazuz. And what did Mazuz do? He did not ask to meet with the complainants, nor did he order the police to investigate. Instead, he concluded, in his bureaucratic style, that "there is no way to handle these specific complaints on the criminal level." Or in plain English, there's no case.

Mazuz covered his rear with a written memo to the then-head of the police's investigations department, Maj. Gen. Yohanan Danino, but what he said in it remains disputed. According to the police, Mazuz said he had decided not to probe the allegations against Elon, and the matter should be left to Takana. According to the Justice Ministry, the material was "sent to the police for examination" so that it could investigate if it so chose.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Weinstein calls for state inquiry into abuse allegations against Rabbi Elon

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Yair Ettinger, Jonathan Lis and Tomer Zarchin

The attorney general yesterday instructed police to examine the sexual abuse allegations raised earlier this week against the prominent religious-Zionist Rabbi Mordechai Elon.

The Knesset is expected next week to discuss a bill attributing criminal liability to rabbis who sexually harass persons seeking their counsel. The debate was scheduled several weeks ago, long before the accusations against Elon were made.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein yesterday met State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and the head of the police investigation unit Yoav Segalovich, and decided to look into the allegations before opening an official investigation. The police cannot open an official investigation as no complaints against Rabbi Menachem Elon have yet been filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Sex abuse victims push Bishop and staff

FORT WAYNE (IN)
WANE

[with video]

Two sex abuse victims hand delivered a letter to Indiana Catholic officials outside the Archbishop Noll Catholic Center, at 915 South Clinton St. in Fort Wayne Thursday urging them to reach out to witnesses and other victims of sex abuse by an accused Irish priest.

Fr. Frances Markey faces charges in Ireland where he's accused of raping a 15-year-old boy in 1968.

Two Chicago women who were molested by priests belong to a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests . One is actually SNAP's founder and president.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Priest’s attorneys want ex-nun’s diary

WEST VIRGINIA
The Times Record

By DAVID HEDGES
Publisher -
Attorneys representing a priest accused of molesting a 10-year-old boy want to read the diary of a former nun who served as church secretary.

Rev. Robert F. Poandl, 68, of Cincinnati is charged with the sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy in Spencer in August of 1991.

Police said the boy, also from Cincinnati, came with Poandl when he filled in for the regular priest one weekend at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Spencer.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Full text of Bishop Drennan interview

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Full text of interview by Galway Bay FM presenter Keith Finnegan (KF) and Bishop Martin Drennan (BD) on Thursday February 18th, 2010

KF: Thanks for joining us today. Now it's been a fairly difficult number of months for you - you've stood your ground, you've been to Rome. Talk to me about your visit to Rome by the way. All the bishops were in attendance. How did that go?

BD: I came away very buoyant, I must say, at the end of it We had meetings that lasted a day and a half, beginning Monday morning. The Pope joined us for all day Monday, that's from about 9.15 to about one o'clock with a short break in the middle and in the evening session from about 4 o'clock until about 7.30, so he joined us all day Monday and part of Tuesday when he had to go away for another appointment.

KF: When you say all day with you..he spent the day with you?

BD: He spent the whole day with us, yes

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Dublin's archbishop responds to disappointment over meetings in Rome

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

February 18, 2010

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, back in Ireland after two days of meetings between the Irish bishops and Pope Benedict, said that those meetings were only part of a long process for the Irish Church. The archbishop stressed that the Irish bishops are fully committed to restoring public confidence and to healing the wounds within the Church-- particularly the wounds of abuse victims.

Speaking in Dublin on Ash Wednesday, Archbishop Martin took pains to counteract disappointment with the outcome of the meetings in Rome. He told reporters that it was unrealistic to have expected bishops to resign during the sessions with the Pope-- in fact, the question of resignation was not on the agenda during the talks. Prior to the meetings, Archbishop Martin had predicted a major shake-up of the Irish hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Group urges bishop to seek out priest victims in South Bend area

SOUTH BEND (IN)
WSBT

By JEFF PARROTT, Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND — A sex abuse victims advocacy group today called on the Fort Wayne-South Bend bishop to seek out any local victims of a South Bend priest charged with abusing a child in his native Ireland.

Members of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, staged a press conference on the sidewalk outside the diocese’s downtown South Bend chancery office, 114 W. Wayne St. They urged the Most Rev. Bishop Kevin Rhoades to reach out to anyone who might have been molested by the Rev. Francis Markey, 82, of South Bend.

The Irish and U.S. governments are seeking Markey’s extradition back to Ireland, on charges alleging he raped a then-15-year-old boy there in 1968.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

CENTRAL NEW YORK: Bishop Should Be Investigated Following Arrest of Pedophile Priest

NEW YORK
Virtue Online

NEWS/COMMENTARY

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
February 18, 2010

Arrest came swiftly this week for former Episcopal priest Fr. Ralph Elwood Johnson. Johnson was charged with multiple counts each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, and corruption of a minor.

The arrest of this former 82-year old Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Central New York and the possible cover-up of the priest's sexual activities by Episcopal Bishop Gladstone (Skip) Adams years earlier beg for double justice.

The first justice should be whatever the courts determine Johnson should receive for his vile conduct. The second is what should happen to Bishop Adams who tried to conceal the priest's behavior and, in the process, attempted to depose a godly priest for being a whistleblower.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Mother Millea speaks about the visitation

HAMDEN (CT)
National Catholic Reporter

Feb. 18, 2010
By John L. Allen Jr.

A little over a year ago, Mother Mary Clare Millea became the most talked-about nun in America almost overnight. In December 2008, the Vatican tapped Millea, a Connecticut native and superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to run arguably the most controversial "apostolic visitation" ever carried out in this country: A sweeping review of women's congregations, capping decades of tension about the state of the soul of religious life in America.

Sometime in the next few days, the first wave of letters will be reaching a sample of women's orders to say they've been selected for an on-site visit, with those visits slated to begin one week after Easter and to continue throughout the spring and fall of 2010. The visits mark "phase three" of the process, after exchanges between Millea and major superiors (phase one) and the collection of written responses to questionnaires sent to every congregation in the country (phase two).

The fourth and final phase will be the preparation of detailed reports on all 420 "units" of women's religious in America, meaning congregations as well as their individual provinces, to be shipped off to Rome, plus a comprehensive report at the end. What the Vatican may do with all that input, of course, is the great unknown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

No joy for survivors of abuse after Pope’s discussions

IRELAND
Kilkenny Advertiser

Once again the Catholic church has disappointed and this week’s Vatican visit by our bishops has proven to have been a ball of white smoke to sufferers of clerical abuse.

Survivors had hoped that something more dramatic than the condemning of sexual abuse of children as a heinous crime might come out of the meetings with the Pope this week, however, this was not to be the case.

Hopes of an apology or an acceptance of responsibility were dashed as the Pope went on to claim that the ‘weakening of faith has been a significant contributing factor leading to the sexual abuse of miners.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Priest accused of abusing teen to have restricted ministry

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thursday, February 18, 2010
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Rev. Alvin Adams, who has been on leave from his parish and his chaplaincy at Bishop Canevin High School for nearly a year while the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh investigated reports that he had sexually abused three young people, has been permanently restricted to a supervised ministry as chaplain to a convent of sisters.

"This decision has been difficult for me to make and perhaps difficult for you to accept. Yet it is necessary," Bishop David Zubik wrote in nearly identical letters to parishioners at Ascension Parish in Ingram, staff and students at Canevin and to other priests.

The bishop had met last month with the 50-year-old woman whose complaint led to the restrictions, and explained what he was likely to do and why. In this case church law prohibited him from banning Father Adams from all ministry because the abuse began when she was 16 and church law at that time considered 16-year-olds adults. The only case against him was in church law, because the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution or a lawsuit had expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Priest gets another new judge, date

ST. CHARLES (IL)
Wayne Republican

St. Charles, IL — Alejandro Flores, the Catholic priest accused of molesting a St. Charles boy over a period of five years, has been moved to a new judge yet again after a hearing on Thursday at the Kane County Judicial Center.

After being moved to Associate Judge Allen Anderson at his previous court date, Flores’ case will now be overseen by Associate Judge T. Jordan Gallagher. His next hearing date will be March 11.

The judges were changed after Glenn Sowa, a Geneva lawyer representing Flores, asked for a reassignment on Thursday, which was immediately granted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Show of support in Migdal: We believe in Rabbi Elon

ISRAEL
YNet News

Sharon Roffe-Ofir Published: 02.16.10, 14:44 / Israel News

"I am not mad at the rabbis of the Takana forum; these are important rabbis. But I think there is spiritual decline here," said Rabbi David Lahiani from Safed on Tuesday from the Breshit seminary presided over by Rabbi Mordechai (Motty) Elon.

Lahiani arrived on the site in order to show support for Elon, who was issued a warning by the Takana forum, the Religious Zionist organization charged with handling cases of sexual harassment among the movement's leaders.

Ever since the affair broke, dozens of supporters from around the country, including well-known rabbis and students, have been flowing into the northern town of Migdal in a show of support for Rabbi Elon. They all speak of two earth-shattering issues, "both from the perspective of Rabbi Elon, who is considered among the most important rabbis in Religious Zionism and from the perspective of the well-known rabbis who are members of the forum and signed the document."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

New harassment claims against Rabbi Elon

ISRAEL
YNet News

Kobi Nahshoni Latest Update: 02.16.10, 20:24 / Israel News

Since the case of Rabbi Mordechai (Motty) Elon was published, Ynet has learned that other young people and parents have turned to the Takana forum claiming that they too were victims of Elon's sexual harassment.

Sources connected with the case confirmed that there had been further claims, though they have not yet been submitted formally to the Takana forum, the Religious Zionist organization charged with handling cases of sexual harassment among the movement's leaders.

However, forum staff is already beginning to investigate, and members are due to hold an emergency meeting in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening to discuss developments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

Homophobia reigns supreme

ISRAEL
YNet News

Yael Mishali Published: 02.17.10, 18:08 / Israel Opinion

Indeed, we have suffered a disaster, no less. The public statement issued by the Takana forum to warn us against the behavior of "Rabbi Motti” is harder for us to handle than any other trauma within the Zionist-religious community. After all, "Rabbi Motti" is a brand name whose worth is much greater than that of the private individual, Rabbi Motti Elon.

At this time, everyone is preoccupied with general questions. What is this forum all about (a forum that could easily have accepted "Rabbi Motti" as one of its members. How come it didn't happen?) And why was the police not involved? (Yet why should it be? Do you know any sexual assault victim who was happy that he or she turned to the police or to the courts?)

And what is this forum trying to hide? (A question asked by hypocritical and foolish secular members of the media. Do they claim that exposing something is a form of concealment?)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

State of Judea is here

ISRAEL
YNet News

Avraham Burg Published: 02.18.10, 00:16 / Israel Opinion

As always happens, the Rabbi Elon affair exploded into our lives out of nowhere. As always, it will soon disappear and a new firecracker will take its place as the latest scandal in our skies. Yet I’m interested in the story not only because of the personal tragedies inherent in it, but mostly because of what it says about us; about all of us.

Perhaps there is some wrongdoing there, and perhaps we'll be seeing fire, yet the truly important element for our long-term memory is not the gossip or the story's criminal aspect, but rather, the structural significance reflected through this affair.

My inner feeling is that Rabbi Elon is a positive man, and that whatever happened or did not happen between him and that other person, we should be listening to Elon’s explanations and in my view giving him the benefit of the doubt unless proven otherwise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

'Elon had sex with male students'

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

BY BEN HARTMAN
18/02/2010 01:39

Rabbinical forum: Rabbi Moti Elon admitted to allegation made by more than one person.

Former Yeshivat Hakotel head Rabbi Mordechai Elon had sexual relations with male students in the past, a rabbinical forum that works to prevent sexual abuse in the national-religious sector said in a statement Wednesday.

The Takana forum held an emergency meeting Tuesday night to discuss the allegations facing Elon, following an announcement it posted Monday demanding Elon step down from all rabbinical, teaching and community responsibilities and saying he was a threat to the public.

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, a member of Takana, told Army Radio Wednesday that Elon had admitted to the acts during the emergency meeting, adding that the rabbi’s confession was documented in the forum’s protocol. Cherlow said that since the accusations against Elon had been made public, 10 other students of the rabbi had filed complaints against him to the forum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Rabbi Elon accused of 'long-term' sexual relationship with student

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondent

Takana, the group that published allegations against Rabbi Mordechai Elon of sexually exploiting his students, said it did so because of "a long-term relationship that was clearly of a sexual nature."

Elon Wednesday began to form a defense team to deal with the allegations and the possibility of criminal proceedings resulting from them.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, a leading figure in religious Zionist circles, and a member of Takana, a group that seeks to root out sexual exploitation by authority figures in the Orthodox community, said a relative of Elon's had threatened his life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

The crucial role Rabbi Elon played in my life

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Anshel Pfeffer

It is almost impossible to put in words what Rabbi Mordechai (Moti) Elon meant to me and still means for thousands of youngsters and grown-ups who learned from him and took his advice at every step of their personal lives.

Someone who has not experienced in his youth a deep attachment to a magnetic personality, charming and wise, who served as a friend, guide, father-confessor and surrogate father and sculptor of identity at a crucial time of life, cannot conceive of the central place Rabbi Elon held in our lives.

When you are 14 or 15, a bookworm without friends, incapable of finding a common language with those around you, parents and teachers, and think no one can understand or appreciate you, then a grown-up who treats you as an equal, takes an interest in you, invests time in you and enriches your knowledge, becomes the center of your existence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Rabbi Moti Elon and the Takanah Forum

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) An unprecedented situation occurred Monday night when the Takanah Forum released a statement to the general media accusing Rabbi Moti Elon of immoral behavior and of having violated the terms of the agreement it had consequently made with him.

Takanah Forum is a council formed in 2003 to deal with issues of non-criminal sexual harrassment within the religious-Zionist community in a discreet Halakhic [Jewish legal] manner, following the passage of a Knesset law against such harrassment in 1998. It includes rabbinic personalities such as Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein of Yeshivat Har Etzion, Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira of Yeshivat Ramat Gan, Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of Yeshivat Elon Moreh, and Rabbi Yuval Cherlow of Yeshivat Petach Tivkah, and public personalities and academics Prof. Yedidya Stern, Mr. Benny Lehman, and Malka Pietrokovsky. Rabbanit Yehudit Shilat is director of the forum.

Rabbi Elon – arguably the most well-known and dynamic religious-Zionist rabbinic personality in the country, who gave a weekly class in Torah lessons on national television and headed Yeshivat HaKotel – was accused of having taken improper physical advantage of two youths who came to him for counseling on personal issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

'Trust, but check,' our sages tell us

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

BY STEWART WEISS
17/02/2010 22:38

The sordid affair surrounding Rabbi Mordechai Elon should teach us that no one is immune to temptation.

Just when we thought we had reached the pinnacle of cynicism, that we had seen it all regarding the dubious behavior of public figures, that nothing could shock us anymore, comes the dramatic allegations of sexual “impropriety and harassment” swirling around Rabbi Mordechai Elon. The “golden boy” of religious Zionism – once arguably the most popular rabbi in the State of Israel – now finds himself at the center of a scandal almost too impossible to believe.

As the revelations begin to trickle in, and clarity seeks to overcome confusion, the battle lines between the defenders and accusers are already being drawn. Soon, the public will once more be asked to choose between the tongue of gold and the feet of clay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Police to probe Rabbi Elon affair

ISRAEL
YNet News

Published: 02.18.10, 20:27 / Israel News

The police decided on Thursday to probe sexual harassment charges against Rabbi Mordechai Elon originally submitted to the Takana forum, the Religious Zionist body charged with handling cases of sexual abuse among the movement's leaders.

The decision was unanimously reached after a joint meeting among the police, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and Head of Police Investigations and Intelligence Major-General Yoav Segalovitz.

The meeting was held at the request of the police and was meant to inform Weinstein of the proposed decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Police to probe Rabbi Elon allegations

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

By BEN HARTMAN
18/02/2010 20:12

Israel police will open an investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse made against Rabbi Mordechai Elon.

Police made the decision to investigate during a meeting held Thursday between Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and head of the police investigative branch Yoav Segelovich. The decision to open an investigation does not require the approval of the attorney general.

The allegations against Elon came to light after Takana, a rabbinical forum that investigates allegations of sexual abuse in the religious community posted a message on its Web site Monday warning demanding Elon step down from all rabbinical, teaching and community responsibilities saying he is a threat to the public. On Wednesday, Takana posted a statement revealing that Elon was accused of having sexual relations with male students in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

The Pieces of the Puzzle Are Falling into Place: Catholic Officials, a Global Web of Childhood Sexual Abuse, and the Judgment of History

FindLaw

By MARCI A. HAMILTON

Thursday, February 18, 2010

In 2002, the Boston Globe broke the story of Cardinal Bernard Law's cover-up of widespread childhood sexual abuse by serial pedophiles in the Boston Archdiocese. In the wake of the coverage, United States Senator Rick Santorum, himself a Catholic, declared what many assumed to be true -- that the problem was peculiar to Boston. According to Santorum, the child sexual abuse had been caused by the lax morals of a very liberal city.

Santorum's particular theory was laughable, but his core assumption that the problem was geographically limited needs to be examined carefully – for although this claim of exceptionalism has proved completely false, it has continued to be repeated, in other contexts, all over the country and the world. And as long as the problem of Catholic clergy child sex abuse is seen as local, ending it will be elusive – because strings are being pulled from high up in the hierarchy.

Pretending Each City's – and Diocese's – Problems Were Specific to It Alone

Yet, in 2002 and after, the media still covered the Boston story as if it were distinctive to Boston. And, after the Boston scandal broke, the Bishops held an emergency meeting in Dallas and declared that the issue was behind them. Of course, today we know that was hardly the case. ...

Still, the media treated the cases as location-specific. Editors were driven by the need for a contemporary and local "news hook" and did not invest in investigative reporting to cover the (much) larger story. National coverage of the Holy See's 1962 document, Crimens Solicitationes, which threatens excommunication for bringing "scandal" to the Church by telling outsiders about the sexual abuse of children was – and remains -- sparse. Yet that document provides an embarrassingly obvious hint that the problem was – and is -- endemic and entrenched, and that the cover-up has been constructed from the top down. Was the media in denial over child sex abuse (which is common in our society) or over heinous behavior by the largest church in the United States -- or both? Who knows? Either way, the denial was deep-rooted and pernicious, and unless one has been watching closely, the larger story has escaped the attention of most Americans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Teacher/pastor waives preliminary on sex charges

WEST VIRGINIA
The Williamson Daily News

by JESSICA HATFIELD Staff Writer

The former pastor, teacher and coach who was charged with sexual abuse charges against his daughter waived his right to a preliminary hearing in front of Mingo County’s Chief Magistrate Eugene Crum on Wednesday. Dempsey’s case will now be bound over to Mingo County Circuit Court.

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 12:36 PM

Rabbi sex scandal is breaking my heart

ISRAEL
The JC

By Naomi Ragen, February 18, 2010
This week's announcement by Takana, the Religious Zionist forum working against sexual misconduct by rabbis and teachers, accusing Rabbi Motti Elon of being a "danger to the public" and demanding he resign from all teaching and rabbinic positions, has Israelis in turmoil.

In the past several decades, no rabbinic figure in Israel has been more prominent than Motti Elon. Son of a Supreme Court Justice and the brother of former Knesset Member Benny Elon, he was not only one of the undisputed leaders of modern Orthodox Jewry, a charismatic and beloved teacher and yeshivah head, but also well-known to the average secular Israeli through his inspiring weekly television and radio lectures.

And so, when he disappeared with shocking suddenness from public life in 2006, many assumed that he was taking a well-earned vacation. However, he failed to return, moving his family to Migdal, a small town near the Kinneret in the Galilee. Takana revealed this week that Rav Motti's disappearance from public life was part of a deal to allow Takana to keep the allegations of sexual misconduct with students private.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Denn sie wissen, was sie tun

GERMANY
Der Spiegel

Ein Kommentar von Peter Wensierski

Der Missbrauchskandal in der katholischen Kirche weitet sich aus, laut der Chef-Aufklärerin gibt es noch mehr Opfer, auch Frauen werden belastet. Doch die Bischöfe schweigen oder flüchten sich in absurde Schuldzuweisungen. Damit muss Schluss sein, es ist Zeit für klare Worte.

[summary]

commentary by Peter Wensierski

The abuse scandal in Germany is widenly and there are more victims. Two women are also suspected of abuse. But the bishops are silent or take refuge in absurd accusations. This has to stop. It's time for plain speaking.

It began with five victims two weeks ago. By now the numbers of victims in Germany is in three digits and the number continues to rise daily. Lawyer Ursula Raue, entrusted by the Jesuits to investigate these events, speaks of a dimension that was not previously suspected to be.

Really?

The reports of sexual abuse come from all parts of Germany. The failure of the church -- as in America and Ireland -- the looking away, concealment and cover-up, the bishops in Germany have refused to accept what is happening even with allegations coming from Hamburg, Bonn and Berlin.

The head of German Catholics, Robert Zollitsch, has been silent about this for 14 days. He does not want to speak until after next week when he consults with his brother bishops. The German Pope has not spoken directly to the situation in Germany.

Bishop Mixa of Augsburg has identified the true culprits as the so-called sexual revolution. This is as if abuse were not know before 1968. Countless testimony has come from victims who were abused in the 1950s. Other bishops are trying to relativize the guilt of the church by pointing to cases of abuse elsewhere in social and belittle the church cases as isolated incidents.

Meanwhile, there is a deep rift in the Catholic Church. On one hand are those who want to continue as before without understanding what has been done for decases. On the other side are those who wish to understand and do something about the problem.

Jesuit Father Hans Langendorfer summed it up perfectly. He said the revelations show a dark face of the church which frightens him. He is number two after Zollitsch in the bishops conference. Osnabruck Bishop Franz Joseph Bode has acknowledged that the church apparently dealt too lightly with the perpetrators.

The pressure on the bishops, who meet starting Monday next week, is growing larger. Zollitsch can no longer allow himself to speak a few warm words of general apology. It is not about the perpetrators but the system that for years protected them. Sex offenders need to create an environment that enables them. In many cases it was the Catholic Church.

In Ireland, a review of the church's operations came from outside from a truly independent inquiry justice commission. The church had to disclose their records, the commission heard witnesses and three months ago submitted a devasating report on the bishops.

It is time to act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Missbrauch an Pallotti-Schule aufgedeckt

GERMANY
heute

Anwältin: Bisher 115 Opfer an verschiedenen Einrichtungen

Auch an einer Schule der katholischen Pallottiner-Gemeinschaft in Rheinbach bei Bonn ist es früher zu Missbrauchsfällen gekommen. Das bestätigte der Provinz-Pressereferent der Pallottiner, Nicolas Schnall. Bundesweit wurden bisher 115 Fälle bekannt.

[summary]

Sexual abuse of minors occurred in the Palltotine Catholic community of Pallottine at Rheinbach, located near Bonn. At least three cases, dating back to the 1960s, are now known.

The school, which is now known as Vinzenz-Pallotti-Kolleg, currently has about 760 students and is a nationally recognized private school. It was formerly known as St. Albert Seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Two women implicated in Catholic school sex abuse scandal

GERMANY
The Local

Published: 18 Feb 10
Online: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100218-25349.html

Allegations of sexual abuse at Catholic schools in Germany continued to spread on Thursday, with former students stepping forward to implicate two female authority figures.

“It has reached a dimension that was unimaginable before,” said Ursula Raue, the lawyer hired by the Cansisius secondary school in Berlin, where the scandal erupted in late January.

According to Raue, about 115 victims have come forward across the country, including some whom were not even enrolled at Jesuit schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Lawyer: 12 suspects in German Jesuit school child sex abuse claims

GERMANY
Earth Times

Berlin - Former school pupils have accused 12 staff at Jesuit schools in Germany of different forms of sexual abuse, a lawyer hired by the Catholic order of priests said in Berlin Thursday. Charges cannot be laid, because all the cases happened so long ago. The scandal came to light last month when a former Jesuit priest now living in Chile wrote a letter of apology to former pupils.

Complainants have described in the media how one teacher often spanked boys on the bare buttocks.

Lawyer Ursula Raue said other complainants described how the men put their hands on boys' private parts, molested them with hugs and kisses or dispensed sadistic beatings. Former schoolgirls also said they had been molested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

German lawyer:115 charge sex abuse by Jesuits

GERMANY
The Associated Press

BERLIN — A lawyer says 115 former students have come forward with charges of sexual abuse at schools run by Germany's Jesuit order.

Attorney Ursula Raue said Thursday victims had named 12 priests and several women among the attackers. She said there were some reported rapes.

Most of the victims were former students of one of Germany's most prestigious high schools, Berlin's private Catholic Canisius Kolleg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Italy 'not immune' from paedophile priests

VATICAN CITY
Earth Times

Vatican City - An Italian Catholic cleric warned Thursday that Italy is "not immune" from cases of child sexual abuse involving priests. Father Fortunato Di Noto made the remarks just days after Pope Benedict XVI summoned Irish bishops to the Vatican for crisis talks on a scandal in which senior clerics in Ireland have been accused by a commission of covering up a string of abuses dating from the mid-1970s.

To date four Irish bishops have resigned in connection with the allegations.

Di Noto's warning comes also in the wake of revelations in Germany of the abuse of dozens of students at colleges run by members of the Jesuit Order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Abuse victims challenge new top Wyoming Catholic official

WYOMING
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A group of clergy sex abuse victims is challenging the new head of the Wyoming Catholic church to “show courage, explore and publicly discuss” child sex abuse allegations against his now-retired predecessor, Bishop Joseph Hart. The organization also wants Wyoming’s new bishop to meet with Hart’s accusers, get Hart’s personnel files and legal records about the lawsuits, and publicly say whether he finds the charges credible or not.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests are writing Cheyenne Bishop Paul Etienne about Hart, who also headed the Wyoming diocese until he retired in 2001.

Late in 2008, six men settled their child sex abuse and cover up cases against the Kansas City MO Catholic diocese, in which they name Hart as the man who molested them. Hart worked as a priest in Kansas City before he became Wyoming’s bishop in 1976.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 AM

Virginia’s Reading, Movie, And Song List

UNITED STATES
Compassionate Gathering

by Virginia Jones

The work we do at Compassionate Gathering is what I like to call a community based Restorative Justice, which is a holistic approach to crime. The organizing concept is that the whole community is wounded by a crime -- not just an individual victim -- and the whole community needs to be involved in the healing process. Native cultures, such as the Navajo, have practiced Restorative Justice by having the members of a community sit together as each tells how they were impacted by a crime. Such events are betters known to most people as Talking Circles. The first set of books deals with various concepts needed to make Restorative Justice work such as apology and forgiveness and Compassionate Listening.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Neither Vatican nor bishops have a clue about PR

IRELAND
Herald

By Terry Prone

Thursday February 18 2010

The most articulate of the passionate representatives of victims of clerical child sex abuse, Amnesty's Colm O'Gorman, has described the visit of the Irish bishops to the Vatican as a cynical PR exercise.

He's wrong. It's much more serious. It's a massive misunderstanding. Neither the Vatican nor the bishops have a clue when it comes to public relations. If they were setting out to damp down the continuing controversy, they clearly did not succeed.

If that was their objective, they could have taken any one of a number of cynical PR actions. They could, for example, have prevented photographers snapping shots of Bishop Drennan kissing the Pope's ring. That photograph immediately generated acres of negative coverage about the body language of the two men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Ratzinger befahl Bischöfen die systematische Vertuschung sexuellen Missbrauchs

GERMANY
Malte Welding

[Observer story]

2003 berichtete der Observer von einem vertraulichen Dokument, das vierzig Jahre zuvor mit dem Siegel von Papst Johannes XXIII an alle katholischen Bischöfe weltweit gesandt wurde (hier das Dokument als pdf).

2005 legte das amerikanische Polit-Blog Daily Kos nach. Der damalige Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation Joseph Ratzinger, heute besser bekannt als Benedikt XVI, hatte 2001 in einem weiteren Rundschreiben ausdrücklich die Weitergeltung des päpstlichen Dokuments von 1962 bestätigt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

„Der Papst weint Krokodilstränen“

GERMANY
Focus

Die Theologin Uta Ranke-Heinemann erklärt im Interview mit FOCUS-Redakteur Matthias Kietzmann, wie die katholische Kirche die Justiz bei der Aufklärung des Missbrauchsskandals behindert.
Von FOCUS-Korrespondent Matthias Kietzmann

[summary]

"The pope is crying crocodile tears," said theologian Uta Ranke-Heinemann. She spoke with Focus editor Matthias Kietzmann.

The years of abuse of children by Catholic priests has triggered a heated moral debate. Pope Benedict condemned the thousands of instances of child abuse in Irish institutions this week as a heinous crime and a grave sin against God. He expressed no view of the abuse cases that have become known at Catholic Jesuit colleges in Germany. Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa sparked outrage with his thesis that the sexual revolution was to blame for the abuse.

She was asked why Pope Benedict is taking the blame for the scandals.

Ms. Ranke-Heinemann said the pope wrote one of two top secret documents which was given to all bishops. The first was from Cardinal Ottaviani in 1962 called Crimen Sollicitationis. The second is from Cardinal Razinger in 2001 and is called De Delictis Gravioribus. Both secret papers emphasize the exclusive competence of the Vatican in handling cases of child abuse. At the same time, all the bishops were invited under pain of excommunication to report all abuse cases exclusively and only to the Vatican. She said this leads to total obstruction of justice in the state courts.

She continued this leads to permanent secret transfer of pedophile priests. The Irish bishops followed this plan well, she added.

She has known about the documents since 2002. Her eyes were opened with the BBC film by Colm O'Gorman called Sex Crimes and the Vatican. It showed how much deception was undersay so as not to damage the reputation of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Empörung nach Mixa-Äußerung

GERMANY
mz-web

FRANKFURT (MAIN)/MAGDEBURG/MZ. Die jüngsten Äußerungen des Augsburger Bischofs Walter Mixa zum sexuellen Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche sorgen weiter für Empörung in der Öffentlichkeit und in der Kirche. "Das ist bodenlos", sagte der Berliner Sexualwissenschaftler Martin Dannecker der Frankfurter Rundschau.

[summary]

Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa is being criticized for recently statements that the so-called sexual revolution is partly responsible for sexual abuse in the church. Martin Bannecker, a Berlin sexologist, said the premise is groundless.

Mr. Dannecker said this adverturous diversion was the bishop's way of dodging the real questions such as why there are a large number of abuse cases and what this has to do with Catholic sexual doctrime.

Karin Kortmann, vice-president of the Central Commitee of Germany Catholics, said Mixa's statement is outrageious. Bishops should consider not only the sexual perpetrators but the church leaders who transferred sexual abusers and left them in service.

Thomas Lazar, spokesman for the Magdeburg diocese, said the way the church has handled allegations in the past is wrong and in the future the church should promptly contact state agencies when allegations of sexual abuse come to their attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Judges to decide in case of man sexually abused by Coventry priest

UNITED KINGDOM
Coventry Telegraph

Feb 18 2010

JUDGES sitting at the Court of Appeal have adjourned to consider the case of a man sexually abused by a Coventry priest.

The man, known only as M, is appealing against an earlier judgement. A ruling made last year accepted the man, who is now 45, was a victim of abuse but ruled he should not be compensated by the church because he was not a Catholic and not owed a “duty of care”.

The victim was 12 when he was first abused by Father Christopher Clonan, left, in Coventry during the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

School can't account for Haiti program money

FAIRFIELD (CT)
Hartford Courant

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Fairfield University says it cannot document the spending of $120,500 raised for a school founded for street children in Haiti.

The money is part of $775,000 raised at the school for Project Pierre Toussaint, which was directed by Douglas Perlitz, a 1992 Fairfield University graduate, who was charged in September with sexually abusing boys at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Bishop Drennan 'determined' to continue work

IRELAND
RTE News

[with video]

Thursday, 18 February 2010
Bishop of Galway Dr Martin Drennan has repeated that he will not be resigning from office, despite calls from victims of clerical abuse for him to step down.

He told RTÉ News that he did not want to offend the victims.

However, he said he did not think that resignations helped the healing process and he was determined to continue his work in the dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

John Cooney: Martin should have spoken to victims sooner

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Thursday February 18 2010

If Archbishop Diarmuid Martin had said in Rome on Tuesday what he finally said in Dublin yesterday the summit talks between Pope Benedict XVI and the Irish bishops would not have been dismissed so forthrightly as a charade and an insult to clerical abuse victims and industrial school survivors.

Speaking after an Ash Wednesday service for students at University College Dublin, Archbishop Martin confirmed, as he had promised last week, that he had conveyed messages from them to the pontiff.

Significantly, Dr Martin said the possibility of a meeting between Pope Benedict and survivors such as Michael O'Brien had not been excluded as part of the process of reconciliation -- the first phase of which was the two-day meeting in Rome, to be followed by the publication of the Pope's Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland before the end of Lent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

'I hoped to hear contrition, but there was nothing'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Ciaran Byrne

Thursday February 18 2010

HE WAS determined to keep his Ash Wednesday promise. That meant being at UCD's chapel on its Belfield campus.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin comes here every year and yesterday was no different as the students queued to get their foreheads smudged with black ashes.

But there are signs that the constant focus on him, the unwritten belief that he is now the true mouthpiece of the church, has rattled the 64-year-old prelate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Pontiff angry over handling of abuse, says Archbishop

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Ciaran Byrne

Thursday February 18 2010

POPE Benedict is personally angry over the treatment of Ireland's clerical sex-abuse victims and wants to know how his Irish bishops got things so badly wrong, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin disclosed yesterday.

He said the two-day Vatican meeting between the Pope and Ireland's 24 bishops was only "the start" of a long process.

The archbishop also hinted that a meeting between Irish abuse victims and the Pope was now a possibility.

After abuse victims and support groups had expressed their fury over the apparent lack of action from the summit, Dr Martin moved yesterday to reassure them and said they "should not lose heart".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Under-fire Drennan defiant on return from Vatican

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Edel Kennedy and Ciaran Byrne

Thursday February 18 2010

BISHOP of Galway Martin Drennan was last night still refusing to resign over his handling of complaints of sex abuse while an auxiliary bishop of Dublin .

The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, heaped further pressure on Bishop Drennan when he urged bishops to "assume accountability and responsibility".

But last night a spokesman for the Bishop of Galway once again reiterated that he would not be resigning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Fallout from Rome summit

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Thursday February 18 2010

WHAT a loyal servant of the Church Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is. His valiant attempt to salvage some modicum of dignity from what could crudely be described as a public relations disaster for Pope Benedict and the institution of the Catholic Church almost succeeded.

But not entirely.

If the Irish bishops went to Rome for no other purpose than to brief the Pope so that he can draft a letter to the Catholics of Ireland, that should have been clearly stated before all the pomp and pageantry in the Apostolic Palace created the impression that something positive was going to come of it for the victims of priestly child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Pope’s blame misplaced as Irish faith was at its strongest when abuses were carried out

IRELAND
Galway Advertiser

Galway Advertiser, February 18, 2010.
Abuse victims are hurting again this week at the apparent disregard of the Vatican for their suffering at the hands of paedophile priests and religious over decades in Ireland. While they may have been naive in thinking that the Church would change the habits of a lifetime and stage some sort of public lynching, the lack of any obvious compassion or regret by the world’s senior churchman has struck a sour note, not only in the minds of victims, but among all those who were viewing this meeting as a turning point for the Church.

While the main focus in the media was on whether there would have been any sanctions taken against bishops on the grounds of reckless endangerment, surely it would have been hypocritical of the Vatican to fire bishops on the basis of what they knew and when.

This is especially so given that we now know that the Vatican was aware of these crimes, and was aware of the cover-ups all along the way. Indeed, worse than this, members of the curia made a concerted effort to make sure that they handled all the abuse allegations, albeit in a ham-fisted manner which more often than not resulted in abusing priests being transferred to new areas where they were free to wreck lives again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Pursue justice - within the community

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Yair Sheleg

As is customary in these parts, the Rabbi Mordechai Elon affair very quickly became the Takana affair. The public debate has shifted - as Elon's supporters wished - from shock at Elon's alleged sexual misconduct to a discussion of the legitimacy of Takana, an umbrella group of religious Zionist organizations aimed at combating sexual harassment by religious figures.

Two main contentions have been raised against Takana, which examined the allegations against Elon and recently revealed them to the public. The argument that the group lacks the adequate tools to examine such matters is practical, while the other claim - that in a properly functioning country it is improper to set up an independent tribunal alongside the official law enforcement system - is a matter of principle.

The practical argument seems stronger. A group such as Takana does indeed lack the ability of the police to obtain evidence. But this case is not about a physical assault that can be proved with physical evidence, but about sexual harassment complaints. The police would also probably have difficulty finding clear-cut evidence in this case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Canada: Former top Catholic armed forces chaplain recently settled 2nd abuse allegation

CANADA
Catholic Culture

February 18, 2010

A day after the former chief Canadian Catholic armed forces chaplain was charged by military police for an alleged 1972 homosexual assault, the chancellor of a Canadian archdiocese said an additional abuse allegation was settled in 2006.

Msgr. Roger Bazin, who retired from the armed forces in 1995, was charged with one count of buggery, one count of indecent assault on a male, and one count of gross indecency for the 1972 incident. Msgr. Bazin now lives with his sister in his Manitoba hometown, which is located in the Archdiocese of Saint-Boniface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Youth Minister Charged With Sex Abuse

OMAHA (NE)
KETV

OMAHA, Neb. -- An Omaha youth minister who works with children as a martial arts instructor, band leader and choir director is charged with sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl.

The alleged victim said she was sexually assaulted by Stewart Newman for four years. Newman appeared in a county courtroom for his first hearing on a first-degree sexual assault of a child charge. He waived his preliminary hearing, so the case now moves to district court.

The original police report states Newman, 38, first assaulted the girl in March 2005, when she was 6. The alleged abuse continued until last December, the document said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Is the Vatican a Bastion of Family Values?

VATICAN CITY
The Trumpet

Brad MacDonald

In an age where marriage and family are under vicious and unrelenting assault, the Vatican’s zealous defense of these institutions appears impressive and praiseworthy.

But is the Vatican the bastion of family values millions believe it to be?

On February 1, Pope Benedict xvi tore into liberal politicians in Britain for trying to pass legislation that supposedly would protect homosexuals from discrimination. During his speech to 35 Catholic bishops from England and Wales, the pope lambasted the immoral legislation and urged the bishops to work together to oppose it with “missionary zeal.” ...

On Tuesday, the pope concluded two days of meetings with 24 bishops from Ireland. The topic of discussion was the sex scandal plaguing the Catholic Church in Ireland, details of which emerged last November with the release of the now infamous Murphy Report. Conducted by the Irish government, the three-volume report revealed an abominable tale of decades of physical and sexual abuse against children by Catholic clergy—and the plot to conceal the heinous offenses by a multitude of high-ranking Catholic officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Why the Pope's solution is simply beyond belief

VATICAN CITY
Belfast Telegraph

Thursday, 18 February 2010

For the Pope to say that the raping of children is a "heinous crime" and a "grave sin" is merely to make a statement of the obvious. For him not to have said it on Tuesday, after his meeting with the Irish bishops, would have been a story.

Yet much of the media responded as if these were brave words, a rallying call to a demoralised Church to recover its focus.

Actually, what he said was just a statement of the obvious, almost a tautology like 'Sin is a bad thing'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Irish victims slam talks in Vatican

IRELAND
Montreal Gazette

Reuters February 18, 2010 I

rish victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy yesterday condemned the outcome of a two-day Vatican meeting on a series of scandals that have rocked the mainly Catholic country.

Pope Benedict XVI urged 24 of Ireland's bishops to restore the church's "spiritual and moral credibility" at the end of the meeting on Tuesday.

The pope called child abuse a "heinous crime" and a "grave sin" and the meeting recognized that the "grave crisis" had led to a breakdown in trust in the church's leadership.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Retired Garda critical of outcome of Papal meeting

IRELAND
Donegal Democrat

By Carolyn Farrar
Retired Garda Martin Ridge, who investigated Donegal's most infamous cases of child sexual abuse, said that he would nearly agree with those survivors who described this week's meeting in Rome between Pope Benedict and the Irish Bishops Conference as "window dressing."

The public response to this week’s conference has largely been one of dismay. Several prominent survivors of clerical child sexual abuse have been very critical of the gathering, and of the Vatican statement that resulted from it.

Dublin abuse victim Andrew Madden wrote in the Irish Independent that the meeting was "a complete waste of time" and "the grandest two days of window dressing I have ever seen." The group One in Four called the response "extremely inadequate." Christine Buckley of the Aislinn support centre told The Irish Times that she was "dismayed and terribly sad" at the results of the meeting, calling it "an absolute and utter charade from beginning to end."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

No one said, 'We have failed you'

IRELAND
Donegal Democrat

By Staff reporter
This week's meeting of the Irish Bishops' Conference with Pope Benedict has drawn angry comment from survivors of clerical child sexual abuse and organisations that work with them. Photographs in Tuesday's newspapers of Irish bishops kissing the pope's ring seemed to provoke particular displeasure from the broader public as well.

There did seem to be something discordant about an image of such unqualified reverence used to illustrate a meeting of people who had been called together specifically to discuss some of the worst abuses of authority in the history of the Irish Catholic Church.The very image gave an impression of the disconnect that people say the church hierarchy is experiencing. In light of the awful revelations of the Ryan and Murphy reports, and the acknowledgement that the hierarchy of the Irish church has been aware of the allegations against some of its priests, it would seem that at the very least the pomp of the occasion would be toned down even further in favour of more of a working atmosphere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

BISHOP OF GALWAY CONFIRMS HE WILL NOT RESIGN

IRELAND
Galway Bay

February 18, 2010

Bishop of Galway, Martin Drennan will not be stepping down from his post, despite calls to do so by survivors of clerical child sexual abuse.

In an interview on Galway Bay FM today the bishop confirmed that he has no intention of making such a move.

The controversy surrounds the revelations in the Murphy and Ryan reports which detailed the handling of clerical sex abuse in the Dublin Archidiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Ireland's Catholics see signs of hope in Irish Church crisis

IRELAND
Irish Central

By GARRY O'SULLIVAN

“It could happen a bishop” was the title of a book of reflections published some years back by Bishop Brendan Comiskey, and then the Diocese of Ferns imploded as a litany of abuse and abusing priests came to light — and Bishop Comiskey resigned in disgrace.

It had kept on "happening" for the Irish bishops; the story of clerical sexual abuse has rolled on and on since the early 1990s with regular head-on collisions in which a report is published detailing shameful abuse and a cover-up or a bishop is found to not have co-operated with the civil authorities.

The latest chapter in this appalling saga is the bishops returning on Ash Wednesday from their meeting with the Pope at the Vatican to a near-hysterical atmosphere accusing them and the Pope of window-dressing and participating in a sham. ...

The picture of bishops kissing the ring of the Pope in Rome has sent ordinary Catholics into spirals of indignation, the degree of which was once reserved for "West Brits" who might bow and scrape in an audience with the Queen of England. The Irish Catholics who once scorned the English and their Queen now have turned in almost Presbyterian zeal to jeering their spiritual monarch and his medieval customs of deference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Meade County pastor charged with sex abuse

BRANDENBERG (KY)
WAVE

[with video]

By Marisela Burgos

BRANDENBERG, KY (WAVE) – A Kentuckiana pastor is charged with several counts of sex abuse. Kentucky State Police investigators say the victim, a young girl, filed a complaint against Pastor Marion Barnes on Monday.

Barnes, a pastor at Glad Tidings Christian Center in Brandenburg, is charged with a total of five counts of sexual abuse. According to KSP, the victim is a teenager who claims the abuse had gone on for some time.

Several people in the community said they were surprised to hear about the charges. Terri Karnes, a spokeswoman for the church, told us the alleged incident did not happen on church property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Ex-chaplain in sex case paid off teen: Officials

CANADA
Toronto Star

Allan Woods
Ottawa Bureau
OTTAWA–The former top chaplain with the Canadian Forces paid in excess of $24,000 to a teenage boy whose family complained that the Roman Catholic priest had engaged him in inappropriate behaviour, church officials have told the Toronto Star.

The revelation comes one day after Roger Bazin, 72, was charged with buggery, sexual assault and gross indecency for an incident that occurred while the chaplain, then a captain, was posted to CFB Borden two years into his illustrious career.

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service confirmed on Wednesday that Bazin is alleged to have committed the illegal acts in 1972 against an underage boy at the base near Barrie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Pope's Apology Rings Hollow To Some U.S. Victims

IRELAND/VATICAN CITY
NPR (United States)

February 18, 2010

The scandal in Ireland is all too familiar: thousands of children abused and neglected as some Irish bishops protected the allegedly predatory priests.

Over the weekend, Pope Benedict XVI took 24 Irish bishops to task for the sex abuse crisis in that country, calling the scandal a "heinous crime."

They were strong words, and according to the Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center, it is evidence that the Vatican has changed course in the eight years since the sex abuse scandal erupted in the United States. Benedict is now pope, and his attitude appears to be different.

"I think he takes this very seriously," Reese says. "I think he's dealing with it much better than Pope John Paul II did."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Listecki defends handling of sex assault case

WISCONSIN
LaCrosse Tribune

From Tribune staff and wire reports | Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2010

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki is defending how he handled a sexual assault allegation while he served as bishop in the La Crosse Diocese.

Listecki said he had no choice but to side with the priest accused of assaulting a woman the priest was counseling because there was no corroborating evidence against him.

The woman then went to police, leading to the Rev. Edmund Donkor-Baine recently being charged with fourth-degree sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Milwaukee archbishop defends handling of ‘he-said, she-said’ assault allegation

WISCONSIN
Catholic Culture

February 18, 2010

A week after a priest ministering in the Diocese of La Crosse was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee defended his decision not to act on the allegation. The archbishop served as Bishop of La Crosse from 2004 to 2009.

“It was a he-said-she-said,” Archbishop Listecki told reporters. “With everything that was put before me, I don't think I could have made any other decision.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Dublin theater throws spotlight on priestly sins

IRELAND
Reuters

By Barbara Lewis
DUBLIN (Reuters Life!) - The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland could well feel it has nowhere left to hide.

As the press carried blanket coverage of this week's meeting between the Pope and bishops summoned to Rome following the Irish church's vast pedophilia scandal, Ireland's national theater has joined those taking up the theme of ecclesiastical hypocrisy, to loud applause.

Irish playwright Thomas Kilroy's new play "Christ Deliver Us!" at Dublin's Abbey Theater is nominally set in the 1950s, but its topicality is startling.

It does not directly accuse the church of pedophilia, but it is severely critical of sexual repression, corporal punishment and censure of minor teenage lapses that are insignificant compared with those of the religious teaching fraternity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

February 17, 2010

The rights of children

IRELAND
The Irish Times

THE PROPOSED children’s rights amendment to the Constitution would herald a major improvement on the present protection afforded to children, and the publication of the wording is long overdue. It was first recommended by the 1993 Kilkenny incest inquiry report and has featured a number of times since in official reports.

This amendment is about much more than intervening in families or in situations where children are being abused, like the unfortunate case this week. It is a positive statement of the rights of children as individuals to have their welfare regarded as a primary consideration and the responsibility of their parents, as the primary protectors of their welfare, to provide for them.

This is the intent of the proposed new Article 42 of the Constitution, to be entitled Children, replacing and incorporating much of the existing Article 42, entitled Education. The old Article set a very high threshold for intervention in the marital family, requiring the family to “fail” for “physical or moral reasons”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

A brave new model for the rights of Irish children

IRELAND
The Irish Times

URSULA KILKELLY

ANALYSIS : The proposed changes to the Constitution would force the State to give deserved priority of place to children in all decisions that might affect them

IRELAND HAS come late to children’s rights. The inadequate provision for children’s rights in the Constitution and the knock-on effect is well-documented.

Numerous reports have detailed the extent to which children’s rights have been ignored and underplayed. The Ryan report documented the appalling abuse and neglect of children in State institutions over several decades, and others have detailed the failure of those in authority to prioritise children’s right to protection, listen to them and to speak up on their behalf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

Police Chief critical of La Crosse Diocese Policy

LaCROSSE (WI)
WEAU

Reporter: Andrew Fefer
Email Address: andrew.fefer@weau.com

: On Tuesday, a former La Crosse Diocese Bishop spoke out about a case against a priest for the first time. It involves a sexual assault accusation from when Jerome Listecki was still in La Crosse. Now Eau Claire Police Chief Jerry Matysik wants a diocese policy about sexual assault to change.

The La Crosse Diocese website shows anyone who wants to report sexual abuse of a child should send it to one of its monsignors, and that they should also take their reports to civil authorities.

"There isn't a gray area," Matysik said. "This isn't something that we can sort of do half-right now."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 PM

Papal nuncio attends every session with bishops

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent in Rome

VATICAN MEETINGS: THE PAPAL nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza attended all meetings at the Vatican this week involving Pope Benedict, senior curial cardinals and the Irish bishops.

However, he did not contribute to proceedings nor did he or the Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Bertone make any reference at the various sessions to the decision of Archbishop Leanza not to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, said the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Dermot Clifford yesterday.

Appointed apostolic administrator to Cloyne diocese last March and Ireland’s longest serving Catholic Archbishop, he told The Irish Times in Rome yesterday that it would probably be advisable to await the result of audits by the HSE and the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland before it was decided to extend the remit of the Murphy Commission to other Catholic dioceses in Ireland. Otherwise, he said: “The past won’t be the past for a very long time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Massgoer reaction 'If this was just a normal crime from somebody else, something would be done immediately'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

RONAN McGREEVY

LARGE CROWDS attended the Ash Wednesday services at Dublin's Pro-Cathedral yesterday at lunchtime, but the statement made by Pope Benedict after the two-day meeting with the Irish bishops in Rome did not impress those who spoke to The Irish Times.

One man and his wife, who did not want to be named because the subject of religion was a fraught one with their son, said the church was full of “past middle age Catholics who have been conned”.

They noted the words of abuse victim Michael O’Brien, who described the outcome of two days of meeting in Rome as a “whitewash”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Resignation of bishops not on agenda, says Brennan

IRELAND
The Irish Times

EOIN BURKE-KENNEDY and LORNA SIGGINS

RESIGNATIONS: BISHOP DENIS Brennan of Ferns said yesterday the issue of resignations was not on the agenda at talks between the Irish bishops and the pope in Rome earlier this week.

He was responding to criticism from victims’ groups who expressed disappointment at the failure of the talks to address several issues relating to the church’s handling of child abuse cases.

Bishop of Galway Dr Martin Drennan did not attend Ash Wednesday Mass in Galway Cathedral yesterday as he was travelling back from Rome. A spokesman for Dr Drennan confirmed that he had not resigned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

'No division' in hierarchy about child protection

IRELAND
The Irish Times

STEVEN CARROLL

ARCHBISHOP'S REACTION: THERE WAS “no division” among bishops about future child protection measures and the church must ensure no “slippage” in dealing with clerical sex abuse in the future, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said. .

Speaking for the first time since a meeting of 24 Irish bishops and Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, Dr Martin yesterday said a shared sense of concern about the handling of abuse had been expressed and each person needed to accept their specific responsibilities. “I believe the future of dealing with this question is in the hands of the Irish church.”

He added: “The Irish church has to have the strength to do that and there [must] be no slippage, no going backwards. We have robust child protection measures in place and there is no division among the bishops about those. We have the measures to ensure that if anybody fails it is noticed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Dismay in Vatican at negative Irish response to 'historic' meeting

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

REACTION: ON THE day after the historic two-day meeting between the Irish bishops and Pope Benedict, there was a certain dismay in the Vatican at the widespread negative Irish media reaction.

Speaking of what he called a “dialogue between deaf parties”, one commentator said neither the Holy See nor Irish public and media opinion had fully understood the other. What seemed a very useful, groundbreaking meeting to one, looked like a total waste of time to the other.

From the Vatican viewpoint, all sight has been lost of the exceptional nature of this week’s meeting and, above all, of the forthcoming pastoral letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Dismay at lack of reply to open letter

IRELAND
The Irish Times

VICTIM REACTION: ABUSE VICTIM Andrew Madden has said he is dismayed at the failure of Pope Benedict XVI to respond to an open letter sent to him before this week’s meetings with the Irish bishops.

The letter urged the pope to accept the resignation of three bishops who offered to quit following publication of the Murphy report. Mr Madden and other members of One in Four will meet Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin tomorrow to discuss the meeting between the pope and the bishops.

Abuse survivor and Catholic priest Fr Paddy McCafferty said he understood the “pain and disappointment” of fellow survivors on the outcome of the meeting, but he cautioned that it was a “work in progress”, as other bishops had said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Former youth minister pleads guilty to abuse

SEAFORD (VA)
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
SEAFORD, Va. (ABP) -- A former associate pastor and minister of youth at a Southern Baptist church in Virginia pleaded guilty Feb. 11 to sex offenses against two teenage girls.

Jack Duffer, 41, was scheduled to stand trial that day on a total of 18 felony charges. Instead he entered a guilty plea to one charge of an indecent act with a child and eight counts of aggravated sexual battery in a plea bargain in which nine of the charges were dropped. Sentencing is scheduled for May 13. According to the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, Judge William Andrews III told Duffer he faces up to 165 years in prison.

Duffer, known as "Pastor Jack" to the congregation of Seaford Baptist Church in Seaford, Va., was arrested Aug. 13 on charges of taking indecent liberties with a child and contributing to the delinquency of a child. Authorities said the charge stemmed from a single act that occurred sometime between July 24 and Aug. 8 of 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

An Irish (Catholic) tragedy

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

In light of recent headlines involving the Catholic Church in Ireland, I'm reprinting the Introduction to Joe Rigert's 2008 book An Irish Tragedy. Many thanks to Charles Eby of the Crossland Foundation for allowing me to reprint Rigert's material.

"Oh, the poor Irish," exclaimed Tony Flannery when I explained the purpose of my visit — to examine the scandal of clergy sex abuse in his country. Indeed, the Irish have suffered much: oppressed for generations under English rule, once decimated by famine, mired in the mud of poverty, victimized by prejudice as migrants to America. And now, shamed by the pervasive sexual abuses of their priests. Despite this history, Flannery was not defensive. As a leading critic and reformer in the Irish Catholic Church, a role that has cost him any prospects of career advancement, Flannery knows that healing can only come through addressing the church's problems openly and frankly.

My goal in traveling to Ireland was to get insights from people like Flannery on the causes and extent of sexual abuse in that country, and to determine to what extent Irish priests had contributed to the monstrous sex-scandal in the American church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

You go, Ireland! Make Benedict XVI pay 1 billion euro for his crimes as ‘ General Ratzinger of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army in Ireland’

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Benedict XVI - Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

Talk is cheap. Papal talk is even cheaper. But the Irish are done with cheap papal talk. This time, they are not going for to Rome for some crocodile tears session with Benedict XVI and a tour guided by Boston’s criminal-Cardinal Bernard Law the glorious Archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica see John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army expands into Ireland & John Paul is elevated as "Venerable"... only in the Catholic Church are criminals glorified http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2009/12/john-paul-ii-pedophile-priests-army.html

We Bostonians got rid of Cardinal Bernard Law in 2002 who ended up selling his Archbishop Palace. But John Paul II, to spite us and prove that he is more powerful than us, promoted him as Archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica. A bitter ending for us…(but now a group is demanding Cardinal Bernard Law’s resignation or firing, http://jp2m.blogspot.com/) Then, the American church paid more than 2.2 billion dollars in compensation, Los Angeles paid the most, 660 million dollars but Cardinal Mahony continues to sit in glory because he sends 1 billion dollars revenue to the Vatican each year, and none of his priests demanded his resignation, unlike our brave Bostonian priests who demanded Cardinal Bernard Law’s immediate resignation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Bishop Drennan 'will not resign'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

A spokesman for Bishop of Galway Dr Martin Drennan has said he will not resign his position following criticism over his handling of cases of child abuse while he was Auxilliary Bishop of Dublin.

Dr Drennan did not attend the Ash Wednesday masses in Galway Cathedral today as he was travelling back to the west from Rome.

Bishop Drennan had been an Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin for seven of the years investigated by the Murphy Commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Irish abuse victims disappointed, angered by Vatican statement

IRELAND
The Catholic Review

By Michael Kelly
Catholic News Service

DUBLIN, Ireland – Victims of clerical child sexual abuse and groups representing them reacted with a mix of anger and disappointment to a Vatican statement issued after a papal meeting with Irish bishops.

Marie Collins, who was abused by a Dublin priest, told Catholic News Service that she thought it was “pathetic” that the statement was “so far away from accepting that there was a policy of cover-up.”

“I wasn’t expecting much from the meeting, but the fact that the resignation of bishops was not even on the agenda had been insulting,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Religious leader Elon accused of inappropriate conduct

ISRAEL
JTA

February 17, 2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- National religious Zionist leader Rabbi Mordechai "Motti" Elon has been accused of inappropriate conduct by a religious-Zionist forum that deals with complaints of sexual harassment in the religious school system.

In an announcement Monday, the Takana forum demanded that Elon step away from all rabbinic, teaching and community positions, saying he was a threat to the community.

Following a public outcry within the religious Zionist community, the organization released a statement Wednesday defending its decision to publicize the warning, saying that the incidents it says Elon was involved in “can only be described as acts of the most severe kind."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

VOTF CALLS FOR MORE FROM THE VATICAN

IRELAND/UNITED STATES
Voice of the Faithful

Pope Benedict’s meeting with Irish bishops falls short of expectations.

February 16, 2010 – Boston – Voice of the Faithful in Ireland and abroad are angry and disappointed over the results from the Pope’s summit with the bishops of Ireland at the Vatican. Prior to the meeting, Voice of the Faithful’s Irish affiliate made a statement indicating the only way to heal the Church and get to the root of the issue of clerical abuse was for the Pope to address the issue of accountability and for the bishops of Ireland to take responsibility. Reports from the Vatican on the meeting indicate only apologies and sorrow, no signs of responsibility or accountability.

Sean O’Conaill, the acting coordinator of Voice of the Faithful Ireland said that the publication of the Murphy report in November of last year “should have been followed by the immediate resignation of all Irish bishops who had participated in or acceded to this cover up. It should also have triggered an immediate declaration from the papacy that this cover up would be investigated and explained - especially because it is well known to the faithful that this problem extends well beyond Ireland, and implicates the universal Church and its governance from Rome.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

"A Failure of Leadership"

VATICAN CITY
Catholic World Report

By Michael Kelly

Pope Benedict XVI has challenged Irish bishops to face up to the child abuse crisis with honesty and courage.

In a communiqué issued February 16 after a crisis two-day summit between the Pope, Irish bishops, and senior curial officials, the Holy See said the meeting “examined the failure of Irish Church authorities for many years to act effectively in dealing with cases involving the sexual abuse of young people by some Irish clergy and religious.”

The Rome meeting comes amid public anger in Ireland after two separate judicial commissions found that Church leaders had for decades failed to report allegations of sexual abuse against priests to the civil authorities. The reports also found that in many cases senior clerics put the avoidance of scandal and the good name of the Church ahead of the rights of victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Ireland and the Pope

VATICAN CITY
Leon J. Podles: Dialogue

February 16th, 2010

Pope Benedict and the Irish bishops have issued a communiqué.

For his part, the Holy Father observed that the sexual abuse of children and young people is not only a heinous crime, but also a grave sin which offends God and wounds the dignity of the human person created in his image.

The Holy Father also pointed to the more general crisis of faith affecting the Church and he linked that to the lack of respect for the human person and how the weakening of faith has been a significant contributing factor in the phenomenon of the sexual abuse of minors.

Good words, but only words.

Although Benedict has acted more strongly against priest-abusers than any pope since Pius V, he has not really acted against bishops who have abused or against bishops who have tolerated abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Abuse Survivor Christine Buckley speaks about her dismay following the Pope’s statement

IRELAND
News Talk

[with audio]

Today Christine Buckley spoke about her dismay following the Pope’s statement and described it as a charade.

The Pope told Irish Bishops that paedophilia is a “heinous crime” and the church must address the problem “with resolve”. However, no papal apology for the survivors of clerical and institutional sex abuse here was included in the statement.

The Pontiff’s two day meeting with Irelands 24 Bishops to discuss clerical sex abuse has just ended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Listen: Talk Of Renewal, But Few Decisions In Pope’s Irish Clergy Summit

BOSTON (MA)/IRELAND
WBUR

[with audio]

By BOB OAKES
Published February 17, 2010

BOSTON — Pope Benedict XVI says he hopes this week’s meetings with Irish bishops at the Vatican to discuss the clergy sex abuse scandal in Ireland will eventually help to bring healing to those who have been abused.

But victims groups are calling the meetings a charade. The groups want further accountability and clergy resignations, including the resignation of former Boston Archbishop Cardinal Bernard Law.

The summit follows two reports out of Ireland last year documenting decades of sexual and psychological abuse of children in Catholic-run schools and orphanages. The reports also said Catholic Church leaders in Dublin spent decades protecting child-abusing priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Renewal needed at top levels across society

IRELAND
The Meath Chronicle

Since the weekend, the entire serving hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has been gathered in Rome for a meeting with Pope Benedict and senior members of the Curia. The bishops were summoned to the Vatican by the pope following the revelations contained in the Ryan and more recently, the Murphy reports into abuse within the Catholic orders, and the Catholic church.

The Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, has described it as a step in a process which will lead to a journey of repentance, renewal and reconciliation. It has been an unprecedented period in the Irish Catholic Church, with bishops resigning hand-over-fist as details of their non-action with regard to complaints by victims of child abusing clergy were highlighted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Irish bishops plan penitential act in response to crisis

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

February 17, 2010

Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh told reporters that the Irish Catholic bishops will make a public act of repentance during Lent in response to the sex-abuse scandal. Speaking to reporters after two days of meetings in Rome, the cardinal said that the bishops had not decided on a particular penitential act, but their gesture would be tantamount to "sackcloth and ashes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Bishop not for turning, as he comes back to increased criticism

IRELAND
Galway Advertiser

By Martina Nee

The Bishop of Galway returned home yesterday to criticisms that the two-day summit between his fellow bishops and the Pope at the Vatican had been a wasted opportunity for the Church to take responsibility for presiding over a culture of cover-up.

Galway-based Rape Crisis Network Ireland has said that the Church needs to accept responsibility in order to move forward and stop presenting themselves as “victims of circumstance”.

Bishop Dr Martin Drennan was one of 24 Irish bishops summoned to Rome for a special summit this week to discuss the mishandling of clerical sex abuse scandals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Local clergy abuse survivor says the Pope needs to be tougher abusers

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX

Fred Bodimer Reporting
flbodimer@cbs.com

ST LOUIS (KMOX) -- Nice words, but not enough action. That's how a local clergy abuse survivor reacts to the Pope's meeting with Irish Bishops over the clergy abuse scandal in Ireland.

The pope called pedophilia a heinous crime and an offense to God.

St. Louisian David Clohessy wonders why the Pope didn't take the next step by ousting the Irish Bishops who allegedly turned a blind eye to the abuse for decades, "first there's a horrific scandal . Bishops from one country fly over to Rome. There is all kinds of promises of reform, but there is little of anything in the way of tangible action"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Religious-Zionist rabbi's life threatened for revealing sexual harassment case

ISRAEL
YNet News

Published: 02.17.10, 16:21 / Israel News

Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, who is among the religious-Zionist Takana forum members who revealed sexual harassment claims against Rabbi Mordechai Elon, claims his life has been threatened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Takana forum: Rabbi Elon held ongoing sexual relations

ISRAEL
YNet News

Published: 02.17.10, 09:39 / Israel News

Rabbi Mordechai (Motty) Elon was in a relationship of a clearly sexual nature for an extended period of time with a young man under his spiritual guidance. This was revealed by a document of questions of answers regarding the sexual harassment attributed to Rabbi Elon that was published by the Takana forum – a Religious Zionist organization in charge of handling sexual harassment cases within the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Archbishop: Meeting is 'first step in long process'

IRELAND
Ireland Online

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has described this week's meetings between the Pope and Irish bishops as "the first step in a long process", while Cardinal Sean Brady has said he is very sorry to hear victims of clerical abuse are disappointed by the outcome of the meeting.

The comments come as victims of clerical abuse criticised the summit as being nothing more than "a cynical PR exercise".

Speaking after Ash Wednesday Mass in University College Dublin, Archbishop Martin said that the concerns of the survivors of abuse had been brought to the attention of the Pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Archbishop: Vatican summit not a wasted opportunity

IRELAND
Ireland Online

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin tonight rejected claims a Vatican summit to discuss clerical abuse scandals in Ireland was a wasted opportunity.

The clergyman urged survivors not to lose heart after victims’ and support groups, who branded Pope Benedict’s response to the talks inadequate, claimed they had achieved nothing.

“Wasted opportunity I wouldn’t agree with – if people are dismayed then they have a right to be dismayed and I am prepared to listen to their dismay,” the archbishop said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Priest-founder of Life Teen youth ministry laicized

ARIZONA
National Catholic Reporter

By Robert DeFrancesco, Catholic News Service

PHOENIX -- A former Mesa pastor has been officially dismissed from the priesthood, officials for the Diocese of Phoenix announced Feb. 16.

Dale Fushek was recently notified he has been laicized. The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had been investigating the former pastor of St. Timothy Parish in Mesa and one-time vicar general for the diocese for alleged sexual abuse of minors. The Vatican's findings in that investigation resulted in his removal from the priesthood.

Fushek gained prominence throughout the 1980s and 1990s for co-founding Life Teen, an international youth ministry program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

A hierarchy in disarray

IRELAND
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Mike Ion guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 17 February 2010

The Irish bishops have proved unwilling or incapable of acting decisively. Laypeople should no longer defer to the hierarchy.

"Unprecedented", "historic" and "unique", this is how the recent meetings to discuss the scandal of clerical sex abuse between the Irish bishops and Pope Benedict were described by the Vatican. It is interesting, though perhaps not totally unexpected, that the words useful and productive do not appear in the official statement. In reality the talks were at best missed opportunity and at worst a mere public relations exercise.

The pope met the bishops but refused to meet any of the victims of sex abuse in person. Not one of the 24 Irish bishops felt it important to ask the pope about the Vatican's role in the mishandling of clerical child sex abuse in Ireland or about the lack of co-operation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the papal nunciature in Dublin with the Murphy commission. None of the Irish bishops asked his holiness whether it was right and proper for his ambassador to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, to refuse to appear before the Irish parliament's committee on foreign affairs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Vatican statement 'a cynical PR exercise': O'Gorman

IRELAND
Ireland Online

Victim of clerical sex abuse Colm O'Gorman has said the meeting between Ireland's Bishops and the Pope in Rome earlier this week was "a cynical PR exercise".

Following the two-day summit in Rome on Monday and Tuesday of this week, the Vatican released a statement condemning child abuse as a "heinous crime", but the Pope did not apologise, nor take any responsibility for what happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Ex-Forces priest faces sex charges

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

OTTAWA, Ont. (CP) — A former chief Roman Catholic chaplain of the Canadian Forces is facing sex-related charges, including "buggery" and indecent assault on a male.

Roger Bazin, a priest and retired brigadier general, is to face trial in the civilian court system on charges stemming from his time as padre at Canadian Forces Base Borden, north of Toronto, in 1972.

He was a captain at the time the incidents are alleged to have taken place. He was later promoted and served as Catholic chaplain general of the Forces, 1992-95.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Man abused by Coventry priest launches appeal to get payout

UNITED KINGDOM
Coventry Telegraph

Feb 17 2010 by Emma Stone, Coventry Telegraph

A MAN sexually abused by a Coventry priest has launched an appeal after being told he would not be compensated because he isn’t Catholic.

The victim, who is now 45, was 12 when he was first abused by Father Christopher Clonan in Coventry during the mid-1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Mazuz told police in 2006: No charges against Rabbi Elon

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Tomer Zarchin

Police were informed about alleged misconduct by Rabbi Mordechai Elon as early as October 2006, a letter sent yesterday from Raz Nizri, senior aide to the Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, to Takana rabbinical forum director Rabbi Yehudit Shilat revealed.

According to Nizri, former attorney general Menachem Mazuz passed on the details of the complaint, alleging sexual misconduct by the rabbi, to former police investigation and intelligence head, Maj. Gen. Yohanan Danino, along with materials received from Takana. Advertisement

Police confirmed the complaint and materials were handed over to them, and stressed that Mazuz recommended they don't investigate the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Open letter reignites debate within Legionaries of Christ

FRANCE
Catholic News Agency

Paris, France, Feb 16, 2010 / 09:30 pm (CNA).- An emotional “open letter” from Father Julien Durodie of the Legionaries of Christ in Paris to his brother priests of the movement has reopened debate within the order over how to proceed in the immediate future. The Legionaries are currently undergoing an apostolic visitation by order of the Holy See.

Despite the fact that Fr. Durodie told CNA, “I do not intend to open a debate, as if I did not feel free to speak with my superiors and brother Legionaries in a constructive conversation outside email exchanges,” his open letter has reached a vast number of current and former members of the Legion.

The priest went on to explain that by sending the open letter, he was not going against the directives of the movement's Superior General Fr. Alvaro Corcuera, who explicitly requested on January 24 that all email debates among members of the Legion come to an end.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Lawsuit Filed Against Sex Offender

MISSOURI
St. Joe Channel

[with video]

Reported by: Edward Burch
Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 @06:11pm CST

Michael Landy, a convicted sex offender, is facing a lawsuit that targets him, his church and the company where he worked. About a month after Landy's statutory sodomy conviction, his victim, who was 13-years-old at the time of the abuse, wants an undisclosed amount of financial damages.

His lawsuit, which was filed in the Buchanan County Court alleges that the abuse occurred in several places including Landy's home, New Life Bible Church and the OATS offices, where Landy was employed at the time.

Judge Dan Kellogg sentenced Landy to 120 days of shock detention back in January. He's still in custody serving that time. The victim is suing him for the injuries she says she suffered during the abuse. The protest group SNAP, that criticized Landy's shock treatment sentence, attempted to meet with members of New Life Bible Church to discuss ways to handle situations of abuse. However, no one was at the church when they arrived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

A few novel excuses for priestly child abuse

Pharyngula

PZ Myers

The Catholic Church is getting desperate. All this evidence is turning up of priests physically and sexually abusing young people in their care, and of the church administration being more concerned with protecting pedophile priests and the reputation of their organization than protecting children, so someone has to be blamed. How about the damn dirty hippies and those pesky reporters?

"The so-called sexual revolution, in which some especially progressive moral critics supported the legalisation of sexual contact between adults and children, is certainly not innocent," he said, adding that the media was also at fault.

That was the excuse of a Catholic bishop to the ongoing discovery of a history of child abuse in Germany. The similar pattern of child abuse in Ireland prompted the Pope to dig up some excuses…in this case, because priests weren't devout enough.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Lawsuit filed against Landy, church, OATS in abuse case

MISSOURI
The News-Press and St. Joe Now

By R.J. Cooper

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Members of a sexual abuse support group arrived in St. Joseph last month to deliver a letter to New Life Bible Church.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) came on behalf of a victim who suffered through four years of sexual abuse at the hands of Mike Landy, an elder in the church. Barbara Dorris, the victims’ outreach director for SNAP, said members of New Life agreed to distribute the letter and meet with SNAP about outreach and support to other potential victims.

But SNAP hasn’t heard back from the church, which is located on Pacific Street by the Belt Highway and U.S. Highway 36, in about a month. That meeting never materialized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Finlay: Abuse summit 'shockingly anti-climactic'

IRELAND
Ireland Online

The Chief Executive of Barnardos has condemned the outcome of the Irish Bishops' meeting with the Pope as "shockingly anti-climactic".

After two days of discussions which Cardinal Sean Brady has described as "intense", the Pope described child sexual abuse as a heinous crime and a grave sin.

Groups who provide support to abuse survivors have expressed outrage that Benedict the 16th did not actually apologise, nor acknowledge the clerical cover-up of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Lora's response to Baptist Bill

TEXAS
Stop Baptist Predators

Christa Brown

“Just look at the facts before you draw any more conclusions.”

That’s what Lora said to Baptist Bill.

And she’s exactly right. It’s what makes the remarks of Baptist Bill so frustrating. The Matt Baker case is one in which we actually have a lot of facts on the table.

We have facts that were judicially established at Matt Baker’s trial -- e.g. he killed a person -- and we have a ton of evidence. For starters, prosecutors said they had 13 reports of sexual abuse and assault against Baker, including four that involved minors. We also have scores of news articles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Irish child abuse scandal: Pope Benedict XVI ensuring that justice is seen t

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Martin Beckford
Published: 7:00AM GMT 17 Feb 2010

By summoning the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church in Ireland to the Vatican, in the full glare of the world's media, Pope Benedict XVI is ensuring that justice is seen to be done over child abuse scandals.

It is likely he realises that the most damage is done to the worldwide church by accusations of a cover-up and protection given to guilty priests – even more so than the actual claims of sexual assault.

Before he assumed the papacy in 2005, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger he spent 24 years as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In this critically important role in the Vatican, he was responsible for enforcing Catholic teaching and was known as "God's rottweiler".

But despite his tough reputation, the German theologian was also accused of helping to shield clergy from claims of child abuse in churches and schools.

Editor's Viewpoint: Abuse victims want action, not words

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

There were many fine words from Pope Benedict after his unprecedented two day meeting with Irish bishops on the issue of child abuse.

His description of the crimes as ‘heinous’ and ‘a grave sin’ and his call for the Bishops to address the problems of the past with determination and resolve and the current crisis in the church in Ireland with honesty and courage, echoed the revulsion people feel about clerical abuse of children.

But neither the Pope nor Cardinal Sean Brady, head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, put forward any practical steps the hierarchy will, or can, take to redress the wrongs done to so many young |people over such a protracted period of time. It is fine to use theological terms like repentance and atonement, but victims want action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Child porn vicar was pillar of community

UNITED KINGDOM
Advertiser and Times

Published Date:
17 February 2010

By Suzanne Harvey
Shamed vicar Paul Battersby portrayed himself as a beacon of honour and a pillar of the community.

The former reverend still held the respect of his congregation even when he was charged with possessing child porn.

Dozens of parishioners at St Ambrose church in Leyland even gathered at court hearings in Preston to pray outside and support him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Irish bishops return from Rome

IRELAND
BBC News

Irish Roman Catholic bishops have returned home having spent two days in the Vatican discussing the handling of clerical child abuse in Ireland.

On Tuesday, Pope Benedict XVI condemned the abuse as a "heinous crime". In 2009 the Irish church admitted covering up abuse for decades.

Irish Survivors of Child Abuse welcomed the acknowledgement of the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

You can change the world - O'Gorman tells AIT students

IRELAND
The Westmeath Independent

The passionate individual can help change the world, Amnesty Ireland excecutive director Colm O'Gorman told an Athlone audience last week.

O'Gorman was speaking at the opening lecture in a new child care and social care seminar series at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT). The founder of the charity One in Four and Executive Director of Amnesty Ireland addressed a packed lecture theatre on the theme of children's rights.

Speaking about his own personal experience and the changes that have occurred in Ireland over the past two decades, Mr O'Gorman said: "Nothing ever changed in the world that was the result purely of leadership. Real change happens through the concerted effort of individuals, people who are outraged at something or care passionately to try to do something about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Victims criticise Vatican statement on abuse

IRELAND
RTE News

[with audio]

[Read the Vatican statement]

The outcome of Vatican talks on child abuse has been described as disappointing by child welfare groups and abuse survivors.

Irish bishops will be marking the first day of Lent at Ash Wednesday ceremonies today having spent the past two days in the Vatican for talks.

AdvertisementThe latest group to criticise the statements issued after the summit is the Rape Crisis Network.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Formby sex abuse teacher jailed

UNITED KINGDOM
Champion

A former school teacher and choir master, who had sex with a 15-year-old girl and sexually molested a younger girl, has been jailed for three years and four months.

Andrew Hunter, of Rosemary Lane in Formby, was told by a judge: “This was a repeated course of conduct involving two girls. It cannot be regarded as impulsive or a momentary lapse, it was a course of conduct over several months.

"Girls of this age need mature guidance from adults and you as a teacher should have been particularly aware of that," said Judge John Phipps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Bishop hails Vatican talks

ROME
The Irish Times

EOIN BURKE-KENNEDY, PATSY McGARRY and PADDY AGNEW in Rome

Bishop of Ferns Denis Brennan has described the Irish bishops’ meeting with the pope this week as a “watershed moment” that would redefine the relationship between the Church and abuse victims.

However, victims’ groups have expressed dismay at the outcome of two-day talks on the clerical child sex abuse crisis in Ireland, claiming none of the substantive issues were addressed.

The high-level meeting in Rome, involving 24 Irish bishops and senior curial cardinals as well as the pontiff, concluded yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Pope asks for unity among Irish bishops on Church child abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
Irish Central

By DONAL THORNTON, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Pope Benedict XVI said that his meeting with the Irish Bishops Conference "would help to unify the bishops and enable them to speak with one voice in identifying concrete steps aimed at bringing healing to those who have been abused."

The Pope and Vatican officials met this week to discuss the religious and political fallout in Ireland following the release of the controversial Murphy report on child sex abuse.

The Pope met with 24 Irish bishops this week, he hoped that the meeting would be "encouraging a renewal of faith in Christ and restoring the church's spiritual and moral credibility."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Pope admonishes Irish clergy over child abuse

VATICAN CITY
The Age (Australia)

NICK SQUIRES, VATICAN CITY
February 18, 2010

POPE Benedict has told Irish bishops that priests involved in the sexual abuse of children were guilty of ''heinous crimes'' and ''grave sins''.

The Irish Catholic Church's covering-up of decades of paedophile abuse had caused a crisis that had led to ''a breakdown in trust in the church's leadership'', Benedict XVI told the 24 bishops during an unprecedented two-day summit at the Vatican. ...

The Pope and senior Vatican officials had ''examined the failure of Irish church authorities for many years to act effectively in dealing with cases involving the sexual abuse of young people by some Irish clergy''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Bishop admits Church has been seriously wounded

IRELAND
The Fermanagh Herald

Dr Joseph Duffy, Bishop of Clogher, headed the delegation of 24 Irish bishops who met the Pope in Rome yesterday, Tuesday.

The Irish Bishops made the journey to the Vatican to discuss the serious situation which has emerged in the Catholic Church in Ireland in the wake of two damning reports into clerical child abuse.

Following the meeting the Vatican press office issued a statement saying there was no doubt that errors of judgement and omissions stood at the heart of the crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Cardinal Brady: Irish bishops should restore credibility by repentance in Lent

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Feb 16, 2010 / 03:30 pm (CNA).- Five members of the Irish Bishops' Conference, led by their president and Primate of all Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady, addressed the media on Tuesday afternoon following two days of what they called "intense" discussions with Pope Benedict XVI and members of the Roman Curia. Cardinal Brady said in his remarks that the bishops should spend the penitential season of Lent doing penance to promote “a change of heart.”

Over "a very productive two days," 24 Irish bishops met with the Holy Father and Vatican officials on the topic of sexual abuse in the Irish Church over the last 40 years. Every bishop had a handful of minutes to speak individually during the meetings.

Present at the Tuesday afternoon press conference were Bishops Michael Smith, Joseph Duffy, Denis Brennan and Brendan Kelly and Cardinal Brady, who relayed some of the exchange between the bishops and the Pope, since the meeting was closed to the press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Pope to Irish Bishops: Pray for Your Church This Lent

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 16, 2010 (Zenit.org).- During a meeting with the bishops of Ireland regarding the sexual abuse crisis there, Benedict XVI urged the prelates to set aside Lent as a time to pray for the Church in their nation.

A press release issued today at the end of the two-day summit, which called together all of the serving diocesan bishops of Ireland along with senior members of the Roman curia, affirmed that discussions revolved around the "serious situation" of the Church in that country.

The prelates examined with the Pope the "failure of Irish Church authorities for many years to act effectively in dealing with cases involving the sexual abuse of young people by some Irish clergy and religious."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Pope denounces abuse; Irish critics of Church pin the blame on the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

February 16, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI denounced the sexual abuse of children by priests, and the failure of Irish bishops to curb that abuse, during a 2-day meeting with the Irish hierarchy that concluded on February 16.

In a formal statement issued at the conclusion of the talks-- in which the Pope and the Irish bishops were joined by the top leaders of the Roman Curia-- the Vatican openly acknowledged "the failure of Irish Church authorities for many years to act effectively in dealing with cases involving the sexual abuse of young people by some Irish clergy and religious." That failure on the part of the Irish hierarchy, the statement added, had caused "a breakdown in trust in the Church's leadership and has damaged her witness to the Gospel and its moral teaching."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

PAPAL WHITEWASH

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Dan Collins

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SURVIVORS of clerical sex abuse have said the emergency summit between the Pope and Irish bishops in Rome was a complete failure.

Bishop of Cork John Buckley told Pope Benedict XVI that the current situation in Ireland was "our dark night of the soul".

Andrew Madden, who was abused as an altar boy, said the meeting between Pope Benedict and 24 Irish bishops was "two days of the grandest window-dressing I have ever seen".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Irish Cardinal Affirms Church Can Recover

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

By Jesús Colina

ROME, FEB. 16, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Irish episcopal conference says the Church in his nation can regain credibility in the aftermath of a widespread sexual abuse scandal. But, he says, it will take time and humiliation.

Cardinal Sean Brady, archbishop of Armagh and primate of All Ireland, is returning to his country after two days of meetings with Benedict XVI, his fellow Irish bishops, and representatives of the Roman Curia.

The cardinal said today to journalists gathered at the Vatican Radio offices that he's convinced the Church can recover.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Pope Rebukes Irish Bishops Over Abuse Scandal

VATICAN CITY
KPCC

Feb. 16, 2010 | Sylvia Poggioli | National Public Radio

Pope Benedict XVI scolded Irish bishops at the end of a two-day Vatican summit called to discuss the decades of clerics' sexual abuse of minors in Ireland. Despite his condemnation of the abuse, the pope did not address victims' demands for the resignations of some bishops.

Pope Benedict XVI scolded Irish bishops over their handling of decades of clerics' sexual abuse of minors at the end of an exceptional two-day meeting at the Vatican on Tuesday.

The pope also blamed the scandal on a weakening faith, but he did not address victims' demands that he force some bishops to resign.

In a written statement, the Vatican acknowledged that the Irish crisis has led to a breakdown in trust in the church's leadership.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Vienna archdiocese has child abuse ombudsman

AUSTRIA
Austrian Independent

The Roman Catholic Vienna archdiocese has had an ombudsmen for sexual abuse of children since 1996, it revealed today (Weds).

Erich Leitenberger, the press spokesman for the Vienna archdiocese, said psychotherapist and psychiatrist Johannes Wancata was the current ombudsman.

Wancata said: "We are at the victims’ disposal. We take every suspicion seriously and are prepared to follow up even with legal action, if necessary."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Listecki on La Crosse Abuse Case: "He Said, She Said"

LaCROSSE (WI)
Today's TMJ

[with video]

By Mick Trevey
LA CROSSE - For the first time, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki is speaking out about allegations of priest abuse that took place under his watch in La Crosse.

Some say Listecki chose to support his priests over the safety of parishioners.

Archbishop Listecki is facing criticism from his time in La Crosse for taking the side of priests when questions of sexual abuse come up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki speaks about sexual assault case in former Diocese

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WITI

[with video]

Jennifer Reyes FOX6 Reporter
5:42 PM CST, February 16, 2010

WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE - For the first time, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki talks about a sexual assault case in his former Diocese of La Crosse. What did he have to say? Answers from the FOX6 News team and Jennifer Reyes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Benedict XVI's Condemnation of Sexual Abuse Crisis

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

By Mercedes de la Torre

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 16, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Throughout his pontificate, Benedict XVI has imparted a clear teaching regarding the sexual abuse crisis in the Church, which is founded on the three clear principles of helping the victims, reestablishing truth and justice, and making sure it doesn't happen again.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, offered this analysis today during a press conference at the conclusion of two-day meeting between the Pope and the bishops of Ireland.

He explained that is it possible to understand the Pontiff's thinking on this issue by reading what he has said on seven different occasions in which he addressed the particular situations of Ireland, the United States and Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Alleged Sex Abuse Victim Speaks Out

GIBSON (PA)
WBNG

[with video]

Gibson, PA (WBNG Binghamton) Another alleged victim of sex abuse comes forward against a retired priest from Susquehanna County.

Multimedia Watch The Video Action News Reporter Leigh Dana spoke to him exclusively Tuesday night and has more on why he's seeking closure nearly 20 years later.

This victim now lives on the west coast and asked that we keep his identity hidden.

He speaks out in hopes more people will do the same against Father Ralph Elwood Johnson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Pope lambasts Irish bishops over cases of ‘sexual abuse’

VATICAN CITY
Arab Times (Kuwait)

VATICAN CITY, Feb 16, (AFP): Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday rebuked Irish bishops over a paedophilia priest scandal and urged them to restore the Church’s “spiritual and moral credibility,” the Vatican said.

The pope called child abuse a “heinous crime” and a “grave sin” as he held the second of two days of talks with two dozen bishops seeking to limit damage over the scandal, a Vatican statement said.

“All those present recognized that this grave crisis has led to a breakdown in trust in the Church’s leadership.” The pope faulted “the failure of the Irish Church authorities for years to act effectively over cases of sexual abuse against young people,” the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Listecki defends actions on accused priest, says he lacked evidence

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Feb. 16, 2010

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki on Tuesday defended his handling of a sexual assault allegation against a La Crosse priest while he was bishop there, saying he had no choice but to side with the priest - who was later charged by police - given the lack of corroborating evidence against him.

"It was a he-said-she-said," Listecki told reporters after a midday appearance at the Marquette University Law School series "On the Issues" with longtime Milwaukee journalist Michael Gousha.

"With everything that was put before me, I don't think I could have made any other decision," Listecki said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

‘Pope must not overlook suffering in Northern Ireland’

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Deborah McAleese
Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Pope Benedict XVI must not overlook the suffering of those who were abused while in the care of Church-run institutions in Northern Ireland, a victim of institutional abuse has said.

Margaret McGuckin, who was abused while in the care of the Nazareth Sisters in Belfast in the 1950s and 60s, said there must be recognition for those who suffered horrific abuse at the hands of nuns and priests in Church-run schools and orphanages here.

“The Pope needs to tidy this up everywhere, not just for the victims in the south. The victims in Northern Ireland need to be included in this. Hopefully we will get a mention in all of this,” she told the Belfast Telegraph.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Vatican's child abuse summit is a charade, say victims

IRELAND
Belast Telegraph

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Victims of clerical sex abuse last night accused the Pope of “washing his hands” of the scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Abuse survivors condemned the Pope Benedict XVI for not acknowledging that senior clergy covered up decades of sickening abuse.

They said the Pontiff's unprecedented two-day summit with the 24 Irish bishops in the Vatican in Rome was “a charade” that had achieved nothing.

The 24 senior clergy were summoned to Rome over the past mishandling of child abuse scandals that rocked the Catholic Church in Ireland in the last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

No sense in passing the buck over child abuse: priest

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Victoria O’Hara
Wednesday, 17 February 2010

The responsibility to repair the damage done to victims by the clerical sex abuse scandal is now down to the Catholic Church within Ireland, according to a north Belfast priest.

Holy Cross parish priest Father Gary Donegan (45) said it was important that the Pope acknowledged the abuse which was covered up for decades by the Church and publicly condemned it.

Pope Benedict XVI yesterday described the abuse of children by priests as a "heinous crime" after a two-day meeting with Irish bishops at the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Church must reform or perish

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Monday February 15 2010

TODAY'S meeting in Rome between Pope Benedict XVI and 24 Irish bishops is unique in its content and its format but above all in its significance. The future of the Catholic Church in Ireland could hinge on the exchanges and conclusions.

It is essential that all Irish people of good will, and especially the bishops themselves, should understand the crucial nature of the encounter and its background.

The bishops will account for themselves to the Pope on the uniquely painful question of the clerical sex abuse scandals and the cover-ups to which they led. There is no doubting the grief and contrition expressed by their spokesmen. Bishop Joseph Duffy of Clogher has said that they will acknowledge the "enormous injustice and cruelty" of sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Andrew Madden: Let them never preach high standards to anyone again

IRELAND
Irish Indpendent

By Andrew Madden

Wednesday February 17 2010

WE have just witnessed the grandest two days of window-dressing I have ever seen.

The bishops and the Vatican are the people who billed this event as highly significant and yet they are the ones that at the end of it produced a statement which could have been written last year.

I wasn't expecting anything meaningful and that is exactly what we have got -- nothing intelligent, nothing coherent, nothing new.

What is particularly annoying in the statement is the fact that Pope Benedict XVI asked the bishops to identify steps that might bring healing to victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

John Cooney: Vatican has helped to spawn global scourge of sex abuse

ROME
The Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Wednesday February 17 2010

Rome is proud of its claim to be the "Eternal City". For 2,000 years it has claimed to be the moral arbiter of world affairs. Over the centuries, it has always managed to weather the storms of heresy, Reformation, the disunity of Christendom and secularist attacks from ungodly governments and literary critics.

Rome too, has also survived scandals arising from bad popes, who have been worldly, corrupt and sexually lecherous, even siring offspring from illegitimate carnal relations with women.

However, the crisis of child clerical sexual abuse is threatening to pose the biggest challenge ever to the Vatican's moral authority.

Yet, the late Pope John Paul II, ably and zealously aided by his then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger, was more concerned with removing dissident theologians from being recognised as orthodox Catholic scholars than with defrocking paedophile priests and ensuring full cooperation with the civic authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Cardinal denies Martin's early return is sign of Church disunity

ROME
Irish Independent

By John Cooney in Rome

Wednesday February 17 2010

CARDINAL Sean Brady last night strongly denied that tensions with other bishops had led to Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin's immediate departure from the Vatican.

Immediately after the summit ended at 1pm yesterday afternoon the Archbishop of Dublin hurriedly left Rome for Dublin to fulfil a public Ash Wednesday engagement.

The speedy departure of the leading advocate of bringing victims into fuller dialogue with the church authorities sparked off a wave of speculation that he was isolated from the other bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Holy See 'wants to improve state relationship'

VATICAN CITY
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Wednesday February 17 2010

CARDINAL Sean Brady said last night that the Holy See is committed to strengthening its relations with the Government.

But he insisted that it was not the Holy See's practice worldwide that a nuncio should appear before a parliamentary committee to explain Vatican policy.

The cardinal was moving to defuse a new row after the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Guiseppe Leanza, refused an invitation to attend a meeting of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs committee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at