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June 30, 2010

Prayer service held for priest accused of assault

WALPOLE (MA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN: Walpole, Mass.) - A Walpole, Massachusetts church held a special prayer service Wednesday evening following accusations against their priest.

Members of the Blessed Sacrament Church gathered to show support for Reverend Mike Boutin, accused earlier this week of inappropriately touching another man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 PM

Sexual abuse suit targets St. John Bosco High

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times

July 1, 2010

A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Norwalk is the latest to accuse the Roman Catholic Church of systematically allowing a priest to sexually abuse a minor, in this case a former student at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower.

The alleged abuse occurred during the 1960s, when the unidentified victim was a student at the high school. The lawsuit says he was abused by a former dean of students, Father Titian "Jim" Miani, who was previously accused of molesting four other students at the school. The Salesian Society, the Catholic order that ordained Miani, in 2008 agreed to pay $19.5 million to 17 abuse victims, including the four at Bosco.

The new lawsuit does not name Miani as a defendant, focusing instead on the Vatican, the Salesian Society, its California provincial organization and St. John Bosco, accusing all four of negligence and fraud for allowing Miani to work at the school beginning in 1963 despite knowing that he had a history as a sexual offender in Italy and Canada. It asks for unspecified damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 PM

Paedophile priest 'felt pity on victims'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By David Lewis

A Sydney court has heard a former priest who sexually abused 39 young boys preyed on them because he felt sorry for them.

John Sidney Denham pleaded guilty to sexually abusing the boys at schools in Sydney, Newcastle, other parts of the Hunter Valley and Taree.

Lawyers are making their final submissions to judge Helen Syme as she considers his sentence for the offences, which date back to 1968.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 PM

Roman Catholic Church 'enabled' child abuse at Californian high school

CALIFORNIA
Herald Sun (Australia)

By staff writers

A LAWSUIT filed in California has accused the Roman Catholic Church of enabling a priest to abuse a child at a high school in the 1960s.

The suit filed in California's state court claims that the victim was abused repeatedly by the school's dean of students, named as Father Titian Miani, who has already been previously accused of abuse.

The move comes after the US Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a Vatican appeal to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the Holy See of concealing alleged sexual abuse by a different Roman Catholic priest in Chicago and Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 PM

Former La Salle Priest Accused Of Molestation

FLORIDA
CBS 4

MIAMI (CBS4)

The Archdiocese of Miami is facing a new lawsuit for a familiar allegation. For the first time, an alleged victim is telling his story of alleged sexual abuse at La Salle High School, which he claims was covered up by the archdiocese.

"It was in today's terms a pedophile circus," said the alleged victim, who wished not to be identified for this story.

Now a middle aged man, John Doe 67 described his interaction as a child with Father Ernesto Garcia Rubio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

The case of the 'refreshing pervy priest'

TEXAS
Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

Steve Blow is a columnist at the Dallas Morning News who typically writes homespun, slice-of-life reflections on life in Big D and its suburbs. But he finds his professional ox in a massive ditch today because of a tossed-off blog post (since removed) he put up on his DMN blog yesterday. The post was titled "A refreshing pervy priest." It was his snarky remark on allegations that a local Catholic priest had been making unwelcome sexual advances on women. Blow wisenheimered that it was "sad to say," but the stories about priests diddling little boys had been coming in for so long that it was almost a relief to hear about a priest accused of "good old-fashioned heterosexual perviness."

Blow got blasted for his insensitivity to victims of sexual abuse. A friend of mine in Dallas who was molested by a male family member as a child wrote to say how upset she was over it. The paper took down the Blow blog post, but it's still a mess there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Pope Benedict XVI, Belgian Archbishop Discuss Police Raid called 'Operation Chalice'

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Online

7/1/2010

VATICAN CITY (CNA) - Pope Benedict XVI received in a private audience this Wednesday Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, who is also the president of the Belgian Episcopal Conference. In their conversation, the two discussed the recent Belgian police raid in the archdiocese.

The unscheduled meeting, the only private one held Wednesday by the Pontiff, lasted more than the usual and was dedicated to discussing "Operation Chalice," the Belgian police raid that included holding all of the Belgian bishops for nine hours, the seizing of hundreds of documents and police drilling holes into the tombs of two deceased cardinals.

"There are more than sufficient motives for them to meet, I think," Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Press Office, told a group of journalists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Group urging new Springfield bishop to take care of sexual abuse

ILLINOIS
Connectristates

by Jarod Wells
Posted: 06.30.2010

QUINCY, ILL. -- A group aimed at fighting sexual abuse in the Catholic Church wants a new bishop to help its cause.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki has been at his new job as head of the Springfield Diocese for about a week now.

And the Chicago-based support group SNAP, which stands for the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests, say there are a few things he needs to do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

A Brantford woman's shocking story

CANADA
CTV

[video presentation]

Last night we introduced you to Donna Dempsey, a Brantford area woman who says she had a three year initmate relationship with a Catholic Priest.

The affair started when she was 17 and Father Patrick MacKan was 48.
CTV's Kyle Christie has more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

SNAP calls for fraud investigation into former Superior bishop

WISCONSIN
Duluth News Tribune

By: Brandon Stahl, Duluth News Tribune

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is calling for an investigation of former Superior diocese Bishop Raphael Fliss following allegations that one of his former priests sexually assaulted two boys from his parish in the early 1980s.

The diocese and the Rev. Tom Ericksen settled with Paul and James Eck for nearly $3 million in 1989, according to court documents obtained by the News Tribune. SNAP claims that number conflicts with a statement written by Fliss to the members of his diocese in 2004 saying that the diocese and its insurance carriers paid almost $615,000 in settlements and legal fees related to abuse between 1981 and 1983, all related to one priest.

“That written statement to Catholics by Fliss appears to be misleading, if not false,” Peter Isley, Midwest director of SNAP, wrote Wednesday in an e-mail to news organizations. “The Erickson [sic] settlement reported on today occurred in 1989. It is not even referenced in this “open” letter, written by Fliss to Catholics as a sign of the diocese transparency and honesty. Previous reports to the church auditors, therefore, are equally suspect and raises questions about how many offenders have surfaced in that diocese over the past several decades and how much money was actually applied to conceal the activities of these offenders.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

Lawsuit filed against Archdiocese of Miami

MIAMI (FL)
WSVN

MIAMI (WSVN) -- A new lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Miami claims yet more sins of the father.

The suit alleged the Archdiocese took no action against father Ernesto Garcia Rubio after receiving multiple reports of sexual misconduct.

Rubio is accused of abusing a student at his parish who also attended La Salle High School.

This is the most recent claim against Rubio, who is also accused of abusing more than a dozen young men over his 20 years as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Alberta ceremony remembers residential school students

CANADA
The Vancouver Sun

By Elise Stolte, Edmonton Journal

RED DEER, Alta. — On the banks of the Red Deer River, the names of the children were called out, one by one.

Benjamin Boyd, Samson Cree Nation. John Moonias, Louis Bull First Nation.

And the list continued, naming the more than 300 children who attended the Red Deer Industrial School from 1893 to 1919. All of them are dead now; some died at the school itself, and are buried in a long-neglected graveyard that was only recently rediscovered. ...

The Red Deer Industrial School was built by the federal government and operated by the Methodist Church from 1893 until it closed in 1919. Children were supposed to split their time evenly between school and working in the fields, although former students later said work often took most of the time.

Conditions were miserable at many residential schools, especially during the early years. In the close confines of the live-in facilities, tuberculosis and other epidemics killed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Bishop of Superior misled Catholics about millions in abuse costs

WISCONSIN
SNAP - Great Plains

[includes links to pertinent documents]

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director

CONTACT: 414.429.7259

One of the more revealing facts uncovered today by the Duluth Telegram investigation of Fr. Tom Erickson, a priest pedophile the diocese cut loose without notifying police and warning parishes in 1989, is that Bishop Raphael Fliss could not “remember” the 3 million dollar settlement at the time with two victims of Erickson. This is the first time the public is learning of this settlement, which must have been one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

Yet, in 2004 Fliss wrote in an open letter to Catholics of the diocese, after the release of numbers he gave auditors hired by the American bishops related to sexual abuse.

“The cost of clergy sexual misconduct to the church in northern Wisconsin these five decades has been significant. The diocese made financial settlements to victims of sexual abuse for $60,000 while insurance paid $482,000. Legal costs and attorney fees paid by the diocese amounted to $15,707 while insurance carriers paid $57,230.

It should be noted that all of the financial settlements to victims are attributed to one priest who sexually abused four different children between 1981 and 1983. Since February of 1983, the diocese has not been required to make any additional settlements. However, the diocese also expended a total of $200,000 for the medical treatment of two priests for psychosocial problems prior to any known incidents of sexual misconduct by these priests.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Rosazza retiring as bishop of Archdiocese of Hartford

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

The Archdiocese of Hartford announced today that the Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI, has accepted the resignation of Bishop Peter A. Rosazza of New Haven as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Rosazza, turned 75 on Feb. 13 and “as is the custom, in accord with Canon Law, he submitted his letter of resignation on that day,” a statement from the archdiocese said. The pope accepted his resignation effective June 30, 2010, the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

‘Als katholiek mag je niet zwijgen’

BELGIE
Katholiek Nieuwsblad

Jan Peeters - 10-6-2010

Alexandra Colen, de Vlaamse ‘huismoeder in de politiek’, heeft zondag weer een doodsbedreiging ontvangen. Maar ook binnen haar eigen Vlaams Belang moet zij strijden om politiek te overleven. Na de verkiezingen van zondag weten we meer.

Alexandra Colen (1955) oogt vermoeid als we haar treffen in de lobby van een Antwerps hotel. Dat ze ook wat gespannen is, heeft te maken met de actie die ze ’s middags wil voeren. Ze gaat symbolisch kranten verscheuren uit protest tegen de politieke correctheid en partijdigheid van de media. Ook een kartonnen bord dat de Vlaamse omroep VRT symboliseert zal er aan moeten geloven. “Men heeft tegenacties aangekondigd”, zegt ze, maar weet niet wat ze kan verwachten. Later willen enkele actievoerders een emmer water over haar heen gooien. Agenten in burger voorkomen dat. Tomaten missen maar net hun doel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Aartsbisschop Léonard ontvangen door de paus

BELGIE
Gazet van Antwerpen

Na afloop van de algemene audiëntie op het Sint-Pietersplein in Rome heeft paus Benedictus XVI woensdag André-Joseph Léonard, aartsbisschop van Mechelen-Brussel en voorzitter van de Belgische bisschoppenconferentie, in privé-audiëntie ontvangen. Dat meldt de persdienst van het Vaticaan.

Tijdens de ontmoeting kwam de toestand in België na de huiszoekingen van afgelopen donderdag in het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis in Mechelen, in de Mechelse Sint-Rombautskathedraal en bij kardinaal Godfried Danneels thuis ter sprake, verklaarde jezuïet Federico Lombardi, woordvoerder van het Vaticaan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Belgian Raiders Went to National Archives

BELGIUM
The New York Times

By STEPHEN CASTLE
Published: June 30, 2010

BRUSSELS — Police officers who raided the Roman Catholic Church here last week in an inquiry into sexual abuse also took documents from the National Archives, that body disclosed Wednesday.

“As far as we know, it is the first time in the history of the Belgian National Archives that records that are kept here are seized by the judicial authorities,” the archives said in a statement.

During the raids last Thursday, a group of bishops was held for more than nine hours and the tomb of a cardinal was disturbed in a hunt for documents. That prompted condemnation from Pope Benedict XVI, who described the police action as “surprising and deplorable.” ...

Ms. Halsberghe, a retired magistrate, said she placed her documents with the National Archives in 2009 after receiving an anonymous phone call warning her to be careful about their safekeeping.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Pope Benedict promotes controversial Canadian Marc Cardinal Ouellet to Vatican

CANADA
Lethbridge Herald

Written by Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press
Wednesday, June 30 2010

MONTREAL - The Vatican has promoted Canada's highest-ranking Roman Catholic priest, giving the controversial cardinal a powerful role in Pope Benedict's inner circle.

Marc Cardinal Ouellet was named chief of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, a committee that vets bishop appointments and recommends candidates to the pope.

Ouellet, the Archbishop of Quebec and the Roman Catholic Primate of Canada, says he was surprised to get a tap on the shoulder from Pope Benedict. ...

Ouellet, who has denounced allegations that the Pope covered up cases of sexual abuse by priests, was widely criticized this spring after he described abortion as an unjustifiable moral crime, even in rape cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Lawsuit: Church protected abusive Salesian priest

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Associated Press

By GILLIAN FLACCUS (AP)

LOS ANGELES — A man who alleges he was abused in the 1960s by a priest who belonged to the Salesian order of the Roman Catholic church has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against the religious order and the Vatican.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday seeks unspecified damages.

Court papers allege the Rev. Titian "Jim" Miani abused the plaintiff while he was a student at a Catholic high school in the Southern California city of Bellflower.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Priests warned over child abuse

KENYA
Daily Nation

By BENJAMIN MUINDI
Posted Wednesday, June 30 2010

Catholic priests who molest children will be surrendered to the police even as they are punished by the church.

This was the no-nonsense message delivered by Nairobi Archbishop John Cardinal Njue on Wednesday when he announced new rules in the face of complaints of misbehaviour by priests.

The guidelines require each diocese to draw up child protection policies against priests who sexually molest them. At a celebration of Holy Mass to end “The Year of the Priests” at Nairobi’s Holy Family Basilica, he said:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

NATIONAL SURVIVOR ADVOCATES COALITION (NSAC) CALLS ON NEW HEAD OF VATICAN CONGREGATION for BISHOPS to REMOVE CARDINAL BERNARD LAW FROM THE CONGREGATION

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC), a US based organization, issued the following statement today in regard to Pope Benedict’s appointment of Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec Canada as the new head of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops.

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) strongly urges Cardinal Marc Ouellet in his new position as head of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops to quickly remove Cardinal Bernard Law as a member of the Congregation.

NSAC urges Cardinal Ouellet to take this step as an act of conviction and outward sign of desire for credibility in the Church and among Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

"Trust Us"

MINNESOTA
Anderson Advocates Blog

By Patrick Noaker

We seem to hear “trust us” a lot from religious institutions when it comes to the handling of the sexual abuse crisis. The lawsuits filed today seem to add to the growing mountain of evidence casting doubt on the trustworthiness of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

For starters, it is difficult to trust any organization that intimidates children into not reporting sexual abuse. In the case that was filed today in St. Paul, MN against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, one of the Plaintiffs actually reported that Fr. Thomas Stitts was having sexual contact with him to his grade school principal. In response, the kid was called deranged and mentally unstable for making such an outrageous claim against the good father. This is the seventh known case against Fr. Stitts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

Suing the Vatican

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

Wednesday June 30, 2010

Mark Silk

It's true enough, as Vatican lawyer Jeffrey Lena points out, that when the Supreme Court declines to hear a case, that cannot be taken as a pronouncement on the merits. Still, it's interesting that the court lacked four votes to take up Doe v. Holy See, the Oregon lawsuit in which an anonymous plaintiff is seeking to get the Vatican to pay damages for his having been abused years ago by a now deceased priest. The case involves a threshold issue over whether such a suit is allowable under the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and you'd think that if the justices considered it a slam dunk for the defense, they would have granted certiorari rather than let the trial go forward.

Be that as it may, the question of whether priests are employees of the Holy See seems a bit more complicated than recognizing (as Lena would have it) that the Holy See does not pay their salary and benefits or exercise day-to-day control over their work. The person who does those things is the bishop, and these days Catholic bishops themselves look increasingly like Vatican employees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Vatican Lawyer Jeffrey Lena on Immunity and Responsibility

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(30 Jun 10 – RV) Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lawsuit that challenges the Vatican's immunity from prosecution in clerical sex abuse cases.

Jeffrey Lena is the California-based attorney currently representing the Holy See in the Oregon case of Holy See vs John Doe.

In the following interview, Mr Lena responds to erroneous reporting in the mass media, and reiterates that “the fact that the Holy See is not involved, and the priest in question was not an employee of the Holy See, is not to say that the victim is not truly a victim. He surely suffered as no child ever deserves to suffer, and there is no question in this case that this man was victimized by a priest”:

Q: Mr Lena, The media reading of the issue can appear to be somewhat simplistic.
Headlines is several Italian newspapers were variations on the theme of:
- "Vatican risks bankruptcy"
- "U.S. Supreme Court denuies Holy See immunity"
- "Green light to million-dollar pay-outs for abuse victims"
- "Pope could be called to testify"...

Mr Lena: “As to the risk that the Vatican may go into bankruptcy, that is completely unfounded. In the first instance this case is still discussing jurisdiction. We haven’t gotten anywhere near the question of whether there is liability in the case, so nobody should be concerned about that. In addition even if there were a question of liability, there are very strict rules about collection and it’s not even an issue in this case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Victims: Ky. abuse suit against Vatican could heal

KENTUCKY
Washington Post

By DYLAN LOVAN
The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- James O'Bryan just recently started going to church again.

The 89-year-old says he had not attended Mass since the 1920s, when he says he was fondled by a priest in his Louisville Roman Catholic Church.

Now he's one of the three plaintiffs in a lawsuit that many consider to have the best chance of placing liability with the Vatican for sexual abuse by American priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Religion: A Catholic dad's fight against abuse

UNITED STATES
The Republic

By TERRY MATTINGLY - Scripps Howard News Service

It wasn't hard to connect the dots when, after decades of lurid news about the sexual abuse of the young, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger delivered a Good Friday sermon bemoaning "how much filth" was in the church, including "the priesthood."

Weeks after that signal in 2005, the cardinal became pope. Then at World Youth Day 2008, he said, "I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured. ... These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation."

The pope's recent letter to Irish Catholics also made headlines, of course. After new cries for repentance, Benedict XVI told the victims: "I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated. Many of you found that, when you were courageous enough to speak of what happened to you, no one would listen. ... It is understandable that you find it hard to forgive or be reconciled with the Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Closing of St. Emeric marks end of Cleveland Catholic Diocese downsizing

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Michael O'Malley, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It has been 15 months since Bishop Richard Lennon announced he was closing dozens of parishes in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, sounding a death knell for mostly urban churches built long ago by people coming to a New World.

Week after week, Lennon, in the company of armed police, has presided over church closings throughout the eight-county diocese, saying final Masses and performing rituals to "desanctify" the holy places so they can be sold on the open real estate market.

On Wednesday, the bishop will close the last of 50 churches -- St. Emeric, a Hungarian parish established 106 years ago on Cleveland's near West Side. St. James in Lakewood closed on Saturday; St. Mary in Akron closed Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

50th parish to close in huge Cleveland downsizing

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Associated Press

By MEGHAN BARR (AP)

CLEVELAND — They prayed the rosary in public and picketed outside the bishop's office. They held Mass on the sidewalk in the rain.

But the angry Catholics of the Cleveland diocese have watched helplessly as, one by one, 50 churches have been shuttered in the past year.

And on Wednesday, an old Hungarian parish called St. Emeric's was to be the last church to close its doors, ending a massive downsizing of mostly older, ethnic parishes decreed by the diocese because of falling attendance, a priest shortage and financial problems. The diocese has said many of the churches were operating in the red. Some were closed while others merged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

BLAUDZIUNAS v. EGAN

NEW YORK
Leagle

Within the hierarchical Roman Catholic Church, the decision to demolish the church building of the subject suppressed incorporated parish, duly made by the Archbishop and the trustees of the parish in accordance with applicable canon law and church by-laws, was ecclesiastical in nature. We adhere "to the long-standing and sensible prohibition against court involvement in the governance and administration of a hierarchical church" (Committee to Save St. Brigid's Inc. v Egan, 45 AD3d 375, 376 [2007]). Contrary to the arguments of the dissent and plaintiffs, Religious Corporation Law (RCL) § 5 does not require that the demolition of the church be authorized by the parishioners. That statute and RCL § 91 vest approval authority for all actions taken by the trustees of an incorporated Roman Catholic church in the archbishop or bishop of the diocese to which that church belongs (see Committee to Save St. Brigid's, 45 AD3d at 376). The decision to demolish the church building of a suppressed incorporated parish, such as the one at issue here, is not a use of the corporation's property to further a religious, charitable, benevolent or educational object other than the support and maintenance of the corporation itself for which the authorization of "the members of the corporation at a meeting thereof" is required by RCL § 5, even assuming that the phrase "the members of the corporation" refers to the parishioners. Since RCL § 5 does not address the issue of the disposition of the property of a suppressed incorporated parish, and does not conflict with the decision-making authority vested in the archbishop and the trustees by applicable canon law and by-laws, we construe it to permit the demolition of a suppressed parish's church building without need for consultation with the former parishioners. Indeed, given that plaintiffs do not challenge the validity of the archbishop's suppression of the parish in question, it is undisputed that the parish's ecclesiastical existence has been extinguished (as the dissent recognizes).

Accordingly, plaintiffs, as former members of a now defunct religious society, have no standing to bring this action. For the same reasons, the court properly dismissed the claim for breach of fiduciary duty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 AM

Open Letter to Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi

TUCSON (AZ)
Voice from the Desert

Frank J. Douglas

Dear Archbishop Sambi:

Enclosed you’ll find a U.S. penny—one cent—as my contribution to the Peter’s Pence collection. The Pope’s charities in lands far, far away need support, but I believe there are more pressing needs here in the U.S.

My lowly penny has a lofty message—In God We Trust. With this penny I intend to make a statement: I am appalled at the Pope’s performance to date in addressing the clergy sex abuse scandal. The scandal and the failed attempts by the Pope and his bishops to keep this scandal under wraps and secret from Catholic donors worldwide are unprecedented. Selling indulgences pales in comparison to the rapes and molestations–soul murder–of tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of innocent children worldwide by priests, brothers, and nuns of the Institutional Church.

The scandal and the clumsy attempts at cover up by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II have been well documented for more than 25 years by newspapers, television, and cable networks, and on the World Wide Web. Thirty million American Catholics have left the church. Yet Pope Benedict seems to be blind and deaf to these facts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Catholic Church in Kenya investigates rape claims against priest

KENYA
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

The head of the Catholic Church in Kenya archbishop John Cardinal Njue on Wednesday said that investigation into alleged rape of a minor by a priest in Kisii in Nyanza province are underway.

Cardinal Njue says that stern action would be taken against the priest should he be found culpable adding that the church will not tolerate such misconduct that goes against the rights of children and vulnerable members of the community.

Cardinal Njue was speaking during a ceremony to mark the end of the church's' Year of the Priest at Holy Basilica in Nairobi where he also launched a handbook on disciplinary guidelines for priests in the country. He called on the clergy to adhere to the new rules.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

How Bad Is it About to Get for Steve Blow?

DALLAS (TX)
D Magazine

Posted on June 30th, 2010 9:29am by Tim Rogers

Yesterday Metro columnist Steve Blow made a molestation joke on one of the Dallas Morning News‘ blogs. Jay Gormley on CBS Channel 11 last night turned the heat up on the situation when he interviewed the victim of the abuse that had occasioned the news story Blow was riffing on. I’ve got three things to say about that: 1) the paper needs to announce today that Blow is being put on a two-week unpaid suspension. Zac thinks it ought to be a seven-year unpaid suspension. Listen, Steve Blow ought to be fired. But not for making a molestation joke. He should be fired for being a bad Metro columnist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Canadian to head Vatican department

CANADA
Toronto Sun

MONTREAL -- Controversial Quebec City cardinal Marc Ouellet will serve as head of the Congregation of Bishops, the Vatican announced Wednesday.

Ouellet will replace Italian cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, 76, who is retiring after holding the position since 2000.

He will also serve as president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Quebec cardinal appointed to Vatican job

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

By Marianne White, Canwest News Service June 30, 2010

Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet has officially been appointed to a top-job at the Vatican.

Canada's highest ranking Catholic priest will head the Congregation of Bishops, the organization that makes bishop appointments around the globe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Lawyer says client was abused by Quincy priest now on leave

QUINCY (MA)
The Patriot Ledger

By Jack Encarnacao
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jun 30, 2010

QUINCY — A lawyer who has represented hundreds of victims of clergy sex abuse said he will file a civil court complaint on behalf of a man who says he was molested by a longtime Quincy priest who was recently placed on leave.

Mitchell Garabedian said his client, a 54-year-old man who grew up in Quincy and now lives in Dorchester, was abused by the Rev. F. Dominic Menna when he was an altar boy at St. Mary Church between 1963 and 1968.

Garabedian alleged that the Rev. Menna, 82, sexually molested his client “more than 25 times” in the church sacristy and in the woods next to a highway rest area after taking him on trips to an amusement park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Oregon SNAP leader on US Supreme Court case

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Jeannie Cratty of SNAP 781-775-0142

We’re here today to send a message to four individuals.

First, to the brave victim who has patiently and persistently sought justice for 8 years, and who won a crucial victory yesterday at the US Supreme Court. We admire your courage and your conviction. We are sad because of your suffering, but we applaud you for having the strength to come forward, take action, and help expose not just a predator priest but church officials who hid, protected and transferred that predator priest. We hope yesterday’s move by America’s highest court gives you some comfort and validation.

Second, to the person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Ronan. (We strongly suspect that you are out there. We doubt that Ronan molested only one kid in Oregon.) We beg you to speak up. Staying silent is tempting, but irresponsible. Kids are safer and institutions are healthier when those with information or suspicions about child sex crimes step forward. We urge you to tell police, prosecutors, therapists, civil attorneys, or a loved one. Please realize that doing nothing only works in the short term. In the long term, it’s better for you and for everyone involved if you help the truth surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Clergy sex victims push new bishop for action

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

One week after he was installed as the new head of the Springfield Catholic diocese, clergy sex abuse victims are urging Bishop Thomas Paprocki to “take two immediate steps to better protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.”

Leaders of a Chicago-based support group are writing to Paprocki, prodding him to
-- aggressively reach out to anyone with information about a predator priest, Fr. Henry V. Willenborg, who was ousted last fall, and
-- post all the names of central Illinois child molesting clerics on his diocesan website.

At sidewalk news conferences in St. Louis and Quincy, the group is also begging anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes (especially Willenborg) to call police, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect others and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Former Delhi Township religion teacher admits sex crimes

OHIO
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Kimball Perry • kperry@enquirer.com • June 29, 2010

A 51-year-old former religion teacher admitted Tuesday he had sex with a 14-year-old girl, crimes that could send Salvatore Magro to prison for 15 years.

Magro pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in exchange for prosecutors dropping three additional charges.

Magro and his wife took the then-14-year-old girl into their home last year after her mother was having trouble with her following surgery. Two weeks later, the wife told the teen to leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Advocaat wil ook invallen in Nederlandse kerken

NEDERLAND
Trouw

(Novum) - Justitie moet een voorbeeld nemen aan de collega's in België en ook in Nederland invallen doen in rooms-katholieke kerken. Dat zegt letselschadeadvocaat Martin de Witte woensdag in het Nederlands Dagblad. Hij heeft namens dertig slachtoffers van misbruik schadeclaims neergelegd bij bisdommen en religieuze orden.

Justitie moet volgens hem actief onderzoeken of de kerk dossiers van nog niet verjaarde misbruikzaken heeft. Bij de kerk is volgens hem nog steeds sprake van een doofpotcultuur. Op brieven die hij namens cliënten schrijft, zou hij vaak geen antwoord krijgen.

[summary]

A Dutch lawyer wants raids in Dutch churches similar to what was carried out in Belgium. He represents 30 alleged victims of abuse who have filed claims against the dioceses and religious orders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

"Meer dan 5.000 slachtoffers van misbruik door geestelijken in België"

BELGIE
Knack

Meer dan 5.000 mensen zijn in ons land seksueel misbruikt door geestelijken, zegt professor Karlijn Demasure in Knack. Demasure zetelde in de intussen opgestapte commissie-Adriaenssens, de commissie onder leiding van psychiater Peter Adriaenssens die de klachten tegen geestelijken bundelde.

[summary]
Professor Karlijn Demasure told Knack that more than 5,000 people in Belgium have been abused by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels and president of the Belgian Episcopal Conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

NOTE ON CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELISATION OF PEOPLES

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique on 28 June:

"In the face of news reports which have been circulating with regard to the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples (formerly known as 'De Propaganda Fide'), it has been deemed necessary to recall some objective facts to protect the reputation of this important body of the Holy See and the Catholic Church.

"The Congregation is the body responsible for directing and co-ordinating the work of evangelisation and missionary co-operation throughout the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

ON INCORRECT INTERPRETATIONS OF PROPAGANDA FIDE NOTE

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Responding to questions posed by a number of journalists about the note published on Monday morning concerning the role and functions of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. provided the following clarification: The reference to financial activities for which - as the note affirmed - there may also have been 'errors of judgement' is to be considered as a general observation, and not as referring to any particular administration. As regards Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, Italy, who led the congregation from 2001 to 2006, we reiterate 'respect and solidarity', in the certainty that his correct conduct may lead to a complete and rapid clarification of the judicial proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Spokane's new Catholic bishop comes from Rapid City

SPOKANE (WA)
NWCN.com

Posted on June 29, 2010

SPOKANE -- KREM 2 News has confirmed there is a new bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Spokane.

He is 61-year-old Bishop Blase Cupich of the Catholic Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota.

On the diocese website, Bishop Cupich often issues statements on controversial issues of the day including health care reform, stem cell research and the death penalty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Catholic church poised to name new bishop

SPOKANE (WA)
The Spokesman-Review

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane will announce a new bishop Wednesday. While as of this evening the Vatican had not issued a formal announcement, Blase Cupich is widely expected to be named to the post.

Cupich, now the bishop of Rapid City, S.D., has been frequently named over the years as a possible candidate for other bishop posts around the country. Sources confirmed the pending appointment of Cupich, whose name has been widely circulated from multiple corners of the Spokane Catholic community.

The new bishop will be named today at a 10 a.m. press conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., archbishop of Quebec, Canada, as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He succeeds Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, as president of the recently-announced Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation. ...

- Appointed Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City, U.S.A., as bishop of Spokane (area 63,325, population 741,000, Catholics 101,700, priests 152, permanent deacons 55, religious 303), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop William S. Skylstad, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A. presented by Bishop Emilio S. Allue S.D.B., in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Fr. Arthur L. Kennedy, rector of the St. John Seminary, and Fr. Peter J. Uglietto, rector of the Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Boston (area 6,386, population 4,112,000, Catholics 1,874,000, priests 1,286, permanent deacons 257, religious 2,712), U.S.A. Bishop-elect Kennedy was born in Boston in 1942 and ordained a priest in 1966. Bishop-elect was born in Cambridge, U.S.A. in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1977.

- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Hartford, U.S.A. presented by Bishop Peter A. Rosazza, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canon Law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Boston Rejoices at Appointment of New Bishops

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

[Father Kennedy - remarks for news conference]

[Father Uglietto - remarks for news conference]

Cardinal Seán and the Archdiocese of Boston are pleased to announce that the Holy Father has named Father Arthur L. Kennedy and Father Peter J. Uglietto Auxiliary Bishops of Boston and congratulates the new Bishops-elect.

•A press conference will take place at the Pastoral Center in Braintree at 11 am.
•Watch live video stream above starting at 10:30 am.
•Follow live photo-blogging of this special event starting at 10a.m. at www.flickr.com/bostoncatholic

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Pope names 2 new bishops for Boston

MASSACHUSETTS
The Pilot

BRAINTREE — The Holy See has appointed two auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Boston while accepting the resignation of another for age reasons.

The Vatican announced today that Fathers Arthur L. Kennedy and Peter J. Uglietto have been raised to the rank of bishop. A press conference announcing the new appointments is scheduled for 11 a.m. today at the Pastoral Center in Braintree.

Pope Benedict XVI has also accepted the resignation of Bishop Emilio Allué. Bishop Allué, 75, most recently served as the archdiocese’s Vicar for Hispanic Affairs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet promoted in Vatican leadership shuffle

VATICAN CITY
The Globe and Mail

Vatican City — The Canadian Press
Published on Wednesday, Jun. 30, 2010

The Vatican has promoted Canada's highest-ranking Catholic priest despite recent controversy over his response to the church sex-abuse scandal.

Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet has been named chief of the Vatican's powerful Congregations for Bishops, which vets bishop appointments around the world.

Sixty-six year old Ouellet is the Archbishop of Quebec and the Roman Catholic Primate of Canada, the church's top official in the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Pope Appoints Head of Bishops and Council for New Evangelisation

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(30 Jun 10 – RV) On Wednesday Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re from the post of Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America on having reached the age of retirement.

Cardinal Re, who turned 76 January last, had held both posts since 2000.

The Holy Father has appointed Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., Archbishop of Québec and Primate of Canada, to lead the Congregation and Commission.

Born on 8 June 1944 in Lamotte, near Amos, Canada, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Amos on 25 May 1968. He holds licentiates in theology and philosophy, and a doctorate in dogmatic theology.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Cardinal Ouellet to head Congregation for Bishops; Archbishop Fisichella to lead new pontifical council

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

June 30, 2010
Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, 76, as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and has named Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec, as his successor, according to a June 30 Vatican announcement. Cardinal Ouellet will also succeed Cardinal Re as the president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

Pope Benedict has also named Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, the president for the Pontifical Academy for Life, as president of the newly created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. The new president of the Pontifical Academy for Life is Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, a Spanish-born priest of Opus Dei who is the pontifical academy's chancellor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Former Superior diocese priest accused of rape

WISCONSIN
Duluth News Tribune

By: Brandon Stahl, Duluth News Tribune

Paul Eck said he thought his priest, the Rev. Tom Ericksen, was doing him a favor in 1983 when Eck was 17 and coming back from a high school homecoming party.

About a year earlier, Ericksen had taken over as minister for St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Winter, Wis., about 100 miles southeast of Superior and a part of the Superior diocese. The priest and Eck had developed a friendship, Eck said, and Ericksen often let the high schooler borrow his car.

Eck was drunk when he brought the car back that night, he said, and Ericksen told him that rather than go home and face his parents, he could sleep it off in his spare bedroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

2 more men claim abuse by St. Paul priest

ST. PAUL (MN)
Star Tribune

By JEFF STRICKLER, Star Tribune

Two more men alleging that they were sexually abused by a Twin Cities priest filed suits against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Tuesday, claiming that the church endangered them by concealing reports about the priest's behavior.

BACKGROUND: St. Paul lawyer Patrick Noaker, part of the law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates that specializes in abuse cases, filed the suits on behalf of two Minnesotans who contacted him after he filed suits for four other alleged victims in March. All the suits concern the Rev. Thomas Stitts and charge that the archdiocese knew of abuse complaints against him in the late 1960s and early '70s but did nothing to prevent further violations. Stitts died in 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Sexual abuse by priests: Victims hopeful court hearings may be concluded within a year-and-a-half

MALTA
The Malta Independent

by Annaliza Borg

The victims of sexual abuse by priests are hopeful that the court case against the alleged abusers will be concluded within a year-and-a-half as proceedings have gathered pace over the past months. Speaking to The Malta Independent late last week, Lawrence Grech, one of the victims, said the defence lawyers seemed to be trying to buy time, but the court is now making it clear there is no place for this. On 1 June, this newspaper quoted Mr Grech saying that the court has started to hear the case in weekly sessions rather than once every eight months. By then, the Curia Response Team, which is investigating the matter on behalf of the Church, had not interviewed the victims, though the case came to light some seven years ago.

The story was met with criticism from Joseph Sacco, registrar of the criminal courts and tribunals, who said in a letter (published on 10 June), that “from a perusal of the relevant court record it is clear that at no stage was there ever any eight-month interval or intervals between one sitting and another, not even during the periods when the presiding magistrate was seriously ill.

“Indeed, to date, more than 60 sittings have been held by the court, and simple arithmetic disproves the eight month interval assertion. Some of these sittings took several hours, and during other sittings the video-conferencing technique, which is necessarily more time-consuming than the ordinary procedure, was also used,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Fish, Barrel, Steve Blow, Ctd.

TEXAS
D Magazine

Posted on June 29th, 2010 3:17pm by Bethany Anderson

Earlier, I questioned Steve Blow’s word usage in a blog post about molestation. At first, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, that maybe he hadn’t really thought out what he was going to say, and just dashed off a blog post.

But then more and more commenters began telling him how wrong he was. How using words like “mainstream” and “refreshing” to talk about female molestation made it sound like there was a group of people it would be OK to molest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Raiding The Child Rapists In Belgium

UNITED STATES
Falls Church News-Press

By Wayne Besen
Tuesday, June 29 2010

There was certainly no waffling in Belgium when law enforcement officials raided a Catholic Bishop's meeting to pursue tawdry allegations of sexual abuse by pedophile priests.

When Pope Benedict XVI heard about the operation, he put down his incense and announced he was incensed that police actually did their jobs to protect minors from major abuses. He called the police action "surprising and deplorable", which more accurately might describe the way Rome has handled the child rape crisis.

Make no mistake -- the raid was harsh, heavy-handed -- and certainly long overdue. It is important to remember that the authorities only acted after the church stonewalled and failed to follow-through on promises it made to refer abuse cases to prosecutors under a 1990s agreement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Pedophile ex-priest tried to bribe way out of jail

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

A former Catholic priest who sexually abused teenage boys in South Australia paid a $US25,000 “downpayment” to be released from an Indonesian prison, an Adelaide court has heard.

Charles Alfred Barnett, 69, was in the court for sentencing submissions over sexual and indecent assaults on four occasions between 1977 and 1994, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Barnett was arrested in Indonesia in 2008 and returned to Australia after spending a year in custody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Dallas Morning News Pulls Controversial Blog Post

TEXAS
CBS 11

DALLAS (CBS 11 / TXA 21)

Richardson resident Mary O'Dell said she felt it was important to go on record with The Dallas Morning News about being inappropriately touched by a priest when she was 12-years-old.

That is, until longtime Morning News columnist Steve Blow blogged that the incident was "refreshing."

"For him to come out with something like this makes it even worse for me because I admired him as a writer," O'Dell said.

O'Dell told the newspaper that when she was 12, a priest at St. Pius X Church in East Dallas kissed her on the lips and then later asked her to marry him. Blow would blog about the article in a post entitled "A Refreshing Pervy Priest."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Church Raids: Deplorable

UNITED STATES
Richmond Times-Dispatch

By Staff Reports | Times-Dispatch
Published: June 30, 2010

Last week Belgian police raided the home of a former Roman Catholic archbishop. The raid was part of the investigation of the church's sexual abuse scandal. Over the weekend, Pope Benedict denounced the raid "deplorable."

A Vatican official claimed the raid was unprecedented, even under communism. Oh? The Belgian authorities sought and received a subpoena, something jackboots everywhere are not known for doing. The Belgians may have taken an extraordinary step, but to imply they were worse than the Reds is to suggest a lack of ethical discretion -- and perhaps to illustrate the reasons the Church failed to act responsibly when the scandals broke. Hubris remains at work. Statements that reflect a lack of appropriate sensitivity further sap the Church's moral authority. The faithful in the pews deserve better.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual en Mejillones arriesga pena de 4 años y un día

CHILE
El Mercurio

ANTOFAGASTA.- Una pena de 4 años y un día de presidio menor en su grado máximo arriesga el sacerdote de Mejillones, Freddy Gutiérrez Méndez (59), declarado culpable del delito de abuso sexual en contra de una mujer mayor de edad.

La sentencia que contendrá la pena a aplicar será leída el próximo miércoles a las 15:00 horas, sin embargo, el abogado defensor del cura boliviano, Manuel Espejo, pidió que la pena no sea mayor a tres años y un día.

El viernes el tribunal del juicio oral en lo penal de Antofagasta dio por probado el delito que ocurrió el día 17 de marzo de 2009, cuando la víctima fue hasta la oficina del cura para hacerle entrega de un currículum vitae, puesto que este le había prometido ayudarla para encontrar trabajo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Bolivian priest found guilty of sexual assault in Chile

CHILE
Calcutta Tube

Santiago, June 20 (IANS/EFE) A Bolivian Catholic priest has been declared guilty of sexual abuse by a court in Chile.

He could be jailed up to four years, officials said, after the court proceedings in the Chilean city of Antofagasta Saturday. Sentencing will take place June 23.

The incident took place March 17, 2009, when priest Freddy Gutierrez Mendez, 59, received a woman in his office at Heart of Mary parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Sacramento lawyer sues Catholic Church leaders for fraud in sex-abuse scandal

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

By Jennifer Garza
jgarza@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Jun. 30, 2010

A Sacramento attorney is trying an unusual tactic in the ongoing litigation over clergy sexual abuse: He is suing California Catholic Church leaders for fraud and negligence.

Joseph George has filed two suits claiming church leaders acted fraudulently by allowing priests to continue to serve after their alleged crimes were reported.

In the past, attorneys representing victims – including George – have sued for sexual misconduct or battery. The fraud suits are believed to be the first of their kind in the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Are priests ‘employees’ of the Vatican?

UNITED STATES
California Catholic Daily

Washington, D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined an immunity appeal by the Holy See in a case that attempts to sue the Vatican for transferring a priest accused of sexually abusing a minors several decades ago. The ruling by the Supreme Court allows the case to move forward.

An anonymous plaintiff from Oregon filed suit against the Vatican in 2002 after Fr. Andrew Ronan, an Irish priest with a history of sexually abusing minors, was transferred from Ireland to the U.S. and eventually moved to the Portland, Oregon. According to Reuters, Fr. Ronan died in 1992.

The plaintiff claims he was abused by Fr. Ronan several times in the mid-1960s and has filed suit against the Vatican, charging that the Catholic Church is responsible for transferring the priest and conspiring to cover up the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

June 29, 2010

Belgian Church Raids Compared to Babylonian Chastisement

BELGIUM
LifeSite News

By Hilary White

BRUSSELS, June 28, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A police raid, the detaining of bishops and the confiscation of files on priestly sexual abuse can be seen as a form of chastisement for decades of open dissent from Catholic teaching by Church authorities in Belgium, a prominent pro-life leader has said.

Brussels police raided the offices of the Brussels Archdiocese on Thursday, searched the cathedral and seized computers and files from the residences of both the current archbishop of Brussels and Cardinal Godfreed Daneels who retired as the head of the church in Belgium in January. Police said the raids, conducted while bishops were meeting in the building, were in connection with allegations of sex abuse by clergy and the Belgian hierarchy’s long history of cover-ups. ...

A long-time favourite of the world’s secular media, Danneels figured prominently in an article published on the same day as the raids, detailing opposition to efforts by parents to stop a sexually explicit “catechism text” written and approved by Belgian Catholic authorities for use by children and teens.

The text includes a drawing of a naked infant girl, captioned to show her saying that she enjoyed having sex acts being performed on her and watching her parents have sex. Politician and author Alexandra Colen quoted a letter she had sent to Danneels in 1997 protesting the text that she said, “breeds pedophiles.” She said that when she went public in her fight against the text, she was joined by hundreds of parents who revealed more explicit sex practices being taught to children in Catholic schools around the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 PM

Danneels approved pedophilic catechism?

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

That is the shocking allegation by Alexandra Colen, an orthodox Belgian Catholic, who details her long fight with Cardinal Danneels and the Belgian Catholic hierarchy (including the pedophile recently retired bishop Vangheluwe) over a pedophilic sex-ed book approved for Belgium's Catholic schools. Excerpt:

His predecessor, the liberal Cardinal Danneels, who was very popular with the press in Belgium and abroad, was Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and Primate of Belgium from 1979 until 2010. The sympathy for pedophile attitudes and arguments among the Belgian bishops during this period was no secret, especially since 1997 when the fierce controversy about the catechism textbook Roeach made the headlines. The editors of Roeach were Prof. Jef Bulckens of the Catholic University of Leuven and Prof. Frans Lefevre of the Seminary of Bruges. The textbook contained a drawing which showed a naked baby girl saying: "Stroking my p**sy makes me feel groovy," "I like to take my knickers off with friends," "I want to be in the room when mum and dad have sex." The drawing also shows a naked little boy and girl that are "playing doctor" and the little boy says: "Look, my willy is big." ...

If this is true, then it certainly puts the Belgian police raid into context, does it not? And it also puts Benedict's response into context -- one that is not flattering to the Holy Father.

I am reminded of a Dutch Catholic mother I met eight years ago after mass in suburban Amsterdam. She told me about having volunteered to teach catechism to Catholic schoolchildren, and being sent to a diocesan training seminar for lay teachers. What she and the others got was just bizarrely heretical. She protested to the bishop, and got absolutely nowhere. In some parts of this world, lay Catholics who wish to be faithful to the Church's teachings really are on their own.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 PM

The New Clericalism III: Scandal in Belgium

BELGIUM
Aprehendite disciplinam

June 26th, 2010
The news is percolating through the media about the raid conducted by Belgian police in the Diocese of Mechlen-Brussels on the episcopal palace while the monthly Bishops meeting was in session:

Belgian authorities on Thursday heightened pressure on the Roman Catholic Church in a sexual abuse scandal, raiding the Belgian church headquarters, the home of a cardinal and the offices of a commission established by the church to handle abuse complaints. ...

What other publication is on the Cardinal’s resume? Oh yes, the Belgian catechism textbook Roeach: while not an author himself, the Cardinal certainly played a role in its dissemination among Catholic Belgium. Credit for the actual authorship goes naturally to Catholic professors in a Catholic University and a Seminary in Belgium; Prof. Jef Bulckens of the Catholic University of Leuven and Prof. Frans Lefevre of the Seminary of Bruges.

This “catechism”, little more than a training manual for young pedophiles-to-be, contains naked drawings of toddlers saying sexually explicit things, the intent of the book being to get children to regard this behavior as “normal”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 PM

Belgium: learning from the troublemakers

BELGIUM
The Hermeneutic of Continuity

Rorate Caeli has been covering the events in Belgium where the police have, quite rightly, been investigating crimes against children, following the revelations of the crimes of Bishop Vangheluwe of Bruges. The methods used by the police do, however seem over the top; they have included drilling into the tombs of Cardinal Suenens and Cardinal Mercier in the crypt of the Cathedral at Mechlin, as well as raiding the palace of the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and detaining the Belgian hierarchy for several hours.

One element of the story has caught the eye of many bloggers: the article written by Alexandra Colen, member of the Belgian Parliament for Antwerp for the Brussels Journal: The Fall of the Belgian Church. Other bloggers have warned, and I do too, that some of the sex-education material that she describes in the catechism textbook Roeach is disgusting and sick. The editors of Roeach was were Professor Jef Bulckens of the Catholic University of Leuven and Professor Frans Lefevre of the Seminary of Bruges. The Bishop responsible for both institutions was Bishop Vangheluwe, who, as it now turns out, was sexually assaulting his nephew at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 PM

Accused Pedophile To Resign From Queens Rabbinical Board

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

In agreement with Vaad, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks to leave in October; officials decline to state reasons.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Adam Dickter
Assistant Managing Editor

A Queens rabbi who has been dogged by allegations of sexual abuse against children, but never charged with a crime, has reached a negotiated agreement to leave the Rabbinical Board of Queens in the fall, The Jewish Week has learned.

Rabbi Ephraim Bryks, who was investigated by police in Winnipeg, Canada, on suspicion of inappropriate contact with children at a yeshiva where he was principal, resigned from the Orthodox Union’s Rabbinical Council of America in 2003 without admitting any wrongdoing.

Sources told The Jewish Week that the Queens board, known as the Vaad Harabonim, had long sought to have Rabbi Bryks removed as allegations against him persisted but was advised by lawyers that doing so was complicated because there has been no formal legal or halachic proceeding against him. Rabbi Bryks has been a member of the Vaad since the early ‘90s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Name and shame abusive priests

KENYA
The Standard

Reports in the media of how a Standard Seven pupil was allegedly lured and raped by a Catholic priest in Nyamira are shocking.

It is shameful that a man of God, who has sworn to celibacy, can orchestrate such a beastly act and take advantage of a poor family.

What still remains a mystery is why Church officials in Kisii would hurriedly transfer the priest and promise an investigation that never was.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

The Fall of the Belgian Church

BELGIUM
The Brussels Journal

From the desk of Alexandra Colen on Thu, 2010-06-24
In Belgium, today, police searched the residence of the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and the crypt of the Archbishop’s cathedral in Mechelen. They were looking for evidence of cover-ups in the ongoing investigation into widespread pedophilia practices within the Belgian church in the decades during which Cardinal Godfried Danneels was Archbishop. Danneels retired in January of this year.

Police also confiscated 450 files containing reports of pedophile offences by members of the clergy, that had been submitted to an investigation committee which was established within the church to deal with pedophilia cases.

Since the revelation in April that Cardinal Danneels’s close friend and collaborator, Mgr Roger Vangheluwe, the Bishop of Bruges, had been a practicing pedophile throughout, and even before, his career as a bishop, victims have gained confidence that they will be taken seriously, and complaints have been pouring in, both to the courts and to the extra-judicial investigation committee of the archdiocese. The new archbishop Mgr. André-Joseph Léonard, has urged victims to take their case to the courts.

His predecessor, the liberal Cardinal Danneels, who was very popular with the press in Belgium and abroad, was Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and Primate of Belgium from 1979 until 2010. The sympathy for pedophile attitudes and arguments among the Belgian bishops during this period was no secret, especially since 1997 when the fierce controversy about the catechism textbook Roeach made the headlines. The editors of Roeach were Prof. Jef Bulckens of the Catholic University of Leuven and Prof. Frans Lefevre of the Seminary of Bruges. The textbook contained a drawing which showed a naked baby girl saying: “Stroking my pussy makes me feel groovy,”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Defending the Holy See

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND, REGISTER CORRESPONDENT 06/29/2010

Jeffrey Lena lives and works in Berkeley, Calif. He holds an advanced degree in history and taught that subject prior to attending law school in California and at the University of Milan. After law school, he taught law in Italy. He has represented the Institute for Religious Works (Vatican Bank) in 2000, and began representation of the Holy See in 2002. Since that time, he has represented the Holy See in a variety of matters, ranging from commercial litigation to abuse cases.

Lena spoke about the June 28 decision by the Supreme Court to not take Holy See v. John Doe, regarding an Oregon man who wants to hold the Vatican financially responsible for his sexual abuse by a priest in the 1960s.

The Supreme Court’s decision not to consider your petition is widely characterized as a blow to your legal effort to establish the Vatican’s “sovereign immunity” from prosecution in clergy sexual-abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Delaware Catholic Church to Share Cash With Victims (Update1)

DELAWARE
Bloomberg Businessweek

By Steven Church

June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Delaware’s Roman Catholic parishes must share as much as $120 million with people sexually abused by priests, according to a ruling by the judge overseeing the bankruptcy of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi yesterday ruled that a pool of $120 million administered by diocese officials should be considered part of the bankruptcy case. Sontchi said the parishes were also entitled to file claims against the diocese because they had added money to the investment account.

“This is a great victory for all the survivors of sexual abuse in the diocese,” said Thomas Neuberger, an attorney for sex-abuse victims who have sued the diocese and some of its parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson scores biggest win in 25-year accountability campaign...

ST. PAUL (MN)
MinnPost

By Beth Hawkins | Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Jeff AndersonSt. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson just scored the biggest win to date in his quarter-century campaign to hold the highest reaches of the Catholic Church responsible for sexual abuse by clergy.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by the Vatican of a federal appeal court decision (PDF) that it is not immune from liability in a case Anderson has been pursuing for eight years.

"Today's action by the justices is an answer to the prayers of literally thousands of survivors of sexual abuse who finally have a real shot at obtaining justice, and the truth, about the complicity of Vatican leaders in covering up the criminal acts of Catholic priests against innocent children," Anderson said Monday in a statement. "Finally, we have achieved a chance for justice, accountability and healing."

Gunning for Godfried? Belgian abuse probe asks what Danneels knew

BELGIUM
Reuters

Are the Belgian judicial authorities gunning for Godfried? It looks like Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the popular grandfatherly Catholic prelate who stepped down in January as archbishop of Brussels-Mechelen after three decades, is the main target of the incredible “tomb raider” sweeps that shocked the Church last Thursday. The police who swooped down on the diocesan headquarters in Mechelen, Danneels’s own apartment nearby and the offices of the Church commission on abuse in Leuven did not suspect the cardinal of abuse himself. But it seems the investigating magistrate behind the raid is convinced that Danneels hushed up cases during his long reign.

The media seem to be too — just take a look at last Saturday’s front page of the Brussels daily De Standaard at the right.

There may be something there. Let’s see what the investigators come up with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Supreme Court decision may benefit clergy abuse victim lawsuits

UNITED STATES
Fox 21

By Danielle Kaeding, Wisconsin Public Radio

WASHINGTON (WPR) The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a Vatican appeal in an Oregon case, which will allow a lawsuit pertaining to clergy sex abuse move forward there.

A victims’ rights group says that will help a Wisconsin priest abuse case against top Vatican officials also move forward.

The original lawsuit was filed eight years ago against the Holy See by a Seattle-area man, who says a priest molested him during the 1960’s. Peter Isely, Midwest Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case means that Oregon’s District Court ruling stands. He says the high court’s refusal to hear the appeal will likely aid a federal lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin victim of clergy sex abuse in the Father Murphy case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Can the Pope be compelled to testify? What the Supreme Court did-- and did not-- say

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler | June 29, 2010

Despite the impression created by dozens of headline stories, the US Supreme Court did not issue a decision against the Vatican yesterday, nor have sex-abuse victims won the right to take testimony from the Pope.

In fact, the Supreme Court did not issue any decision at all. The justices decided not to decide.

Every year thousands of legal decisions are appealed to the Supreme Court. The nation’s top court can handle only a fraction of those cases. The justices choose the issues that seem most pressing from a constitutional point of view, and leave the lower courts to sort out the remaining cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Accusers say Rowlett priest has long history of inappropriately touching women, girls

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

By MATTHEW HAAG and SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News

When Mary O'Dell learned that a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas faces accusations of inappropriately touching women and two teenage girls, she blanched.

O'Dell said she had her own trials with the Rev. Robert Crisp 35 years ago. She was 12 years old and recalls Crisp, then a recently ordained 26-year-old priest, kissing her on the mouth and telling her he wanted to marry her.

Rev. Robert Crisp "This has been going on for too long," said O'Dell, speaking publicly about Crisp for the first time. "Nothing has been done. I thought maybe the diocese would have stopped him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Vatican at war in fresh crisis over child abuse

VATICAN CITY
Herald (Ireland)

By David Charter

Tuesday June 29 2010

The resignation en masse of a Church-appointed child abuse commission in Belgium left the Vatican struggling with widening paedophile scandals on both sides of the Atlantic.

A war of words broke out between the Vatican and Brussels after the Pope condemned as deplorable the seizure by police of the commission's files, and the detention of nine bishops for an entire day last week.

Pope Benedict spoke out again yesterday, warning an Austrian cardinal against repeating accusations that a senior Italian cardinal covered up child abuse claims at the highest level.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Parish reeling over accused Walpole priest

WALPOLE (MA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN: John Moroney - Walpole, Mass.) - A Massachusetts priest has been banned from public ministry following his arrest on charges he groped a man.

Pariishioners at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Walpole said they are shocked that the Rev. Emile "mike" Boutin, a youth pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish, pleaded not guilty in Stoughton District Court on Monday to indecent assault and battery at the Canton Park and Ride commuter parking lot. The Boston Archdiocese removed Father Boutin from public ministry pending the outcome of the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Vatican's US attorney responds to Supreme Court action

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Jun. 28, 2010 NCR Today

Jeffrey Lena, the California-based attorney who represents the Vatican in American litigation, issued this statement following the announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court would not hear an appeal from the Holy See.

The Vatican was asking the federal court to stop a law suit filed in Oregon that accuses the Vatican of transferring a priest from city to city despite repeated accusations of sexual abuse.

Lena's statement:

"Today the Supreme Court decided not to grant the Holy See's petition for certiorari. These decisions are made based upon the Supreme Court's docket and what cases it wishes to hear each term. The decision not to hear the case is not a comment on the merits of our case (importantly, the United States does agree that we are correct on the merits). The effect of the Supreme Court's decision is to cause the case to return to the district court in Oregon, where the additional remaining defenses will be heard. Plaintiff currently has one jurisdictional theory left. That theory is that the priest who committed the abuse was an "employee" of the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Vatican Vows To Fight Responsiblity For Priest Abuse

UNITED STATES
NPR

by Scott Neuman

The Vatican is stepping up its defense against a U.S. lawsuit that could find the Holy See responsible for sexual abuse committed by American priests.

The door was left open for that possibility on Monday, when U.S. Supreme Court justices passed on hearing an appeal from a lower federal court that said priests could be considered Vatican employees.

The original suit comes from Oregon, where a plaintiff identified only as John Doe claimed to have been sexually abused in the 1960s, when he was 15 or 16 years of age, by a Roman Catholic priest. The lawsuit accuses the Vatican of transferring the priest from city to city despite repeated accusations of abuse, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Three archbishops and the American Catholic future

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Rome

In the abstract, one might not think of Archbishops Thomas Wenski of Miami, Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati, and Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee as a natural threesome. Yet fate thrust these prelates together today, as the three Americans among 38 newly appointed archbishops from around the Catholic world who are in Rome to receive the pallium.

The pallium is a narrow band of woolen cloth which serves as a symbol of the archbishop’s office, and is bestowed by the pope each year on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. I’m in Rome this week, so I attended the pallium ceremony this morning and then headed up to the North American College for the traditional reception honoring the new archbishops. ...

All three archbishops are solidly pro-life, and all three say they support the “zero tolerance” approach of the American church on sexual abuse. Each man, however, has faced criticism for his handling of the crisis from victims’ groups. Listecki in particular has faced questions since a review by the national bishops’ conference found that his former diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, backed accused priests in 64 percent of cases, as opposed to a national average of ten percent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Belgio, si è dimessa la commissione sugli abusi creata dalla Chiesa

BELGIO
Corriere della Sera (Italia)

BRUXELLES - La commissione creata dalla Chiesa per esaminare i casi di abusi sessuali sui minori in Belgio, guidata dallo psichiatra Peter Adriaenssens, si è dimessa nella sua totalità. Lo psichiatra ritiene che le perquisizioni siano state la dimostrazione della mancanza di fiducia delle autorità giudiziarie nel lavoro della sua commissione. «Non potevano che agire in questo modo solo a fronte della convinzione che noi volessimo nascondere le cose, truffarli in un qualche modo», dichiara Adriaenssens, interpellato dai quotidiani. «Quando invece io mi sono fatto come punto d'onore quello di lavorare in piena trasparenza».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Spiritually Bankrupt

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

Dan Rather

This is written with a sense of sadness and some mixed feelings. While not a member of the Roman Catholic Church, I have great respect for the church and its followers.

The church has done and continues to do much good in the world. I've seen it among the poor, the downtrodden, and the ill all around the globe. But with a team of other investigative reporters, we uncovered some things that should be brought to light and pondered.

Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI issued the first apology to priest abuse victims from St. Peter's Square - a gesture intended to show that church leadership is finally ready to confront this growing scandal.

But in reporting a recent story, we found that behind the scenes - and in court - the church has taken a much less contrite and more confrontational position. Our investigation found that in various dioceses across the United States, church leaders were going great lengths to avoid making amends with the same victims of abuse they claimed to be trying to make peace with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

2 more men say former Hastings priest sexually abused them as kids

ST. PAUL (MN)
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
Updated: 06/29/2010

Two more men filed lawsuits today against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, alleging a former Hastings priest sexually abused them when they were in grade school, their attorney said.

One boy told his Guardian Angels school principal in Hastings that the Rev. Thomas Stitts was abusing him, said Patrick Noaker of Jeff Anderson and Associates. He was about 10 at the time. It was about 1967.

"He was told that he should never say anything like that about the Father and if he did, there must be something wrong with him," Noaker said at a press conference this morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Two more men join abuse lawsuit against St. Paul priest

ST. PAUL (MN)
Minnesota Public Radio

by Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
June 29, 2010

St. Paul, Minn. — Two more men have come forward saying they were victims of sexual abuse by a priest who worked in Hastings and St. Paul decades ago.

The two Twin Cities men today joined a suit filed against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in March. They allege Father Thomas Stitts had molested them while they were children in the parish at Guardian Angles Catholic Church in Hastings and at St. Leo's congregation in St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood.

The incidents allegedly happened in the late 1960s, when the men were boys, one of them a student at the school at Guardian Angels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Belgian files complaint over church sex abuse raid

BELGIUM
The Associated Press

By ROBERT WIELAARD (AP)

BRUSSELS — A Belgian man who says he was sexually abused by a priest filed a complaint with Brussels prosecutors Tuesday after his confidential testimony to a church-appointed panel was seized by Belgian police.

Jan Hertogen, a 63-year-old sociologist, said he told his story to the panel on the condition it would not be passed to authorities. He said the police raids — which also targeted a Catholic cathedral, church offices and a crypt — were an invasion of his privacy.

"After all those years, I told my story to the (sex-abuse panel) insisting it not be shared," he said, adding that he was now willing to speak to the media because he was so distressed at the victims' loss of privacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

A victim of a pedophile priest reported to the Belgian justice

BELGIUM
Ennahar

BRUSSELS - The victim of a pedophile priest Belgium, whose testimony before a commission of inquiry has been caught with hundreds of others by the police, decided to emerge from anonymity to control the use that justice will make of his case, said Tuesday the daily De Standaard.

This sociologist of 63, Jan Hertogen, testified under the seal of confidentiality before a commission set up by the Church to record acts of pedophilia committed by clergy. He described the sexual abuse he suffered when he was involved in Catholic youth movements.

But the Belgian police seized June 24 some 450 records that the committee held during searches conducted on behalf of the court in Brussels. This prompted the commission to announce Monday its resignation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Eight in 10 priests want celibacy to end

AUSTRIA
Austrian Independent

A vast majority of Austrian Roman Catholic priests want an end to mandatory celibacy, a new survey has shown.

Pollsters GfK Austria said today (Tues) 80 per cent of the 500 interviewed parish priests supported calls for an abandonment of the ruling.

Fifty-one per cent said women should be allowed to become Roman Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

Pope launches team to 're-evangelise' the West

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Nick Squires in Rome
Published: 3:21PM BST 29 Jun 2010

Benedict XVI announced the creation of a new Vatican department dedicated to tackling what he called "a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith and the role of the Church."

He expressed deep concerns that previously staunch Catholic countries in Europe and North America were facing "the eclipse of a sense of God". Tens of thousands of worshippers are deserting the Church over issues such as clerical sex abuse and the ban on married priests.

Britain has sold its soul to pursuit of 'reason' over religion, Catholic Archbishop warns"I have decided to create a new body with the aim of promoting a renewed evangelism," in countries that are going through "progressive secularisation of society", the 83-year-old Pope said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

The Pope's PR Man

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by Matthew Archbold Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I’ve worked in public relations so I know some of the rules. You know who breaks all of them? Pope Benedict XVI. I’ve got to imagine that Pope Benedict’s PR man would be pretty frustrated with him about now if he had one.

I’d imagine his message to the Pope would be something like this:

“Benny baby how’s it goin’? Fantabulous. Great great great. But I gotta’ tell you I’m getting a little concerned that you’re veering a wee bit from my recommended plan. You did get the plan, right? I gave it to one of the cardinals to forward to you. I’ll have to get his name from my assistant but he was a little old Italian cardinal with a red hat. So you can probably find him based on that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Heaven 'full of stale, smelly, abusive priests', court told

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

Sean Fewster, Court Reporter From: AdelaideNow June 29, 2010

A MAN abused as a child by a Catholic priest does not want to go to Heaven if it is "full of stale, smelly, abusive priests", a court has heard.

In a victim impact statement read to the District Court today, the man - who cannot be named - said Charles Alfred Barnett had scarred him emotionally.

He said he had lost his faith and his ability to love because of the abuse Barnett inflicted upon him when he was just 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Paedophile priest apologises to victims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Rebecca Brice

A former Catholic priest tried to bribe his way out of an Indonesian jail while facing child sex charges, the Adelaide District Court has heard.

Charles Alfred Barnett, 69, was arrested in Indonesia in 2008, three decades after he abused the first of four teenage boys in South Australia's mid-north.

His lawyer told the court Barnett spent a year in horrendous conditions in jail in Jakarta, despite paying $32,000 to be released on home detention so he could sort out his business affairs before extradition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Right Carpet; Wrong Cardinal

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

Posted at: Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Author: Michael Sean Winters

[For background, see also Future Pope Tried to Get Fuller Inquiry in Abuse Case, by Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, April 27, 2010.]

As noted below, yesterday Cardinal Schoenborn of Vienna met with Pope Benedict at the Vatican. Rocco called the meeting "Vienna carpeted" indicating that Schoenborn was crawled on the Vatican carpet for remarks he made previously, directed against Cardinal Sodano’s handling of the clergy sex abuse crisis. The statement that followed the audience between the Austrian cardinal and his former professor, which was later joined by both Sodano and Cardinal Bertone, was unprecedented. It was also unfortunate. While it is good to see Pope Benedict taking a hands-on approach to the crisis, it appears he got the right carpet but the wrong cardinal.

In an interview a few months back, Schoenborn said that Sodano’s remarks before the Easter Mass, dismissing the renewed focus on the clergy sex abuse crisis as "petty gossip" had caused more harm to the victims of that abuse. He also said that in the 1990s, then-Cardinal Ratzinger had supported the effort to investigate the allegations of pedophilia against Schoenborn’s predecessor, Cardinal Hans Groer, but that Sodano had successfully nixed the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Holy See tries to end damaging squabble between two cardinals

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

THE HOLY See yesterday issued an explanatory communique with the intention of putting the record straight on public tensions between the archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, and former Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

Early last month, Cardinal Schönborn prompted international headlines when he criticised Cardinal Sodano, claiming that he had been the person who in 1995 had persuaded the pope, then prefect for the congregation of the doctrine of the faith, not to inquire into sex abuse allegations against the late, disgraced cardinal of Vienna, Hans Hermann Groer.

Cardinal Schönborn, in an interview with Austrian news agency Kathpress, claimed that Cardinal Sodano had done “massive harm” to victims of sex abuse when, during Easter Sunday mass in St Peter’s, he dismissed international criticism of the church in relation to the sex abuse crisis as “idle gossip”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Walpole priest charged in indecent assault

WALPOLE (MA)
Boston Globe

June 28, 2010
By Vivian Ho, Globe Correspondent

A Walpole priest was arrested today on charges of indecent assault and battery, according to State Police.

A 21-year-old man alleged that the Rev. Emile R. Boutin Jr., co-pastor at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Walpole, followed him into a wooded area behind the Route 138 Park and Ride lot in Canton at about 8:30 a.m. today and touched him inappropriately, State Police said in a statement.

The victim claimed he ran out of the woods and back into the lot to call the police, where he allegedly observed Boutin get into his car, State Police said. The victim wrote down the license plate number and State Police were able to track Boutin down at his home in Walpole, according to the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Walpole priest arrested for indecent assault

WALPOLE (MA)
My Fox Boston

[with video]

WALPOLE (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - A Roman Catholic priest from Walpole has pleaded not guilty to groping a 21-year-old man at a Canton Park and Ride lot.

The Rev. Emile Boutin, a youth pastor at Blessed Sacrament, pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery on yesterday in Stoughton District Court.

Prosecutors say the alleged victim pulled into the lot about 8:30 a.m. on Monday and walked into the woods to go to the bathroom. The man, whose name was not released, alleged that another man followed him, and touched him through his shorts. The alleged victim got his assailant's license plate number and called police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Priest charged in sex assault at rest stop

CANTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By Edward Mason
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Walpole priest was charged yesterday with sexually assaulting a man he’d followed into the woods at a Canton rest stop, police said.

The Rev. Emile R. “Mike” Boutin, 46, a youth pastor at Blessed Sacrament in Walpole, pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery at his arraignment in Stoughton District Court, said Norfolk District Attorney spokesman David Traub.

Boutin, ordained in 1991, was ordered to “refrain from public ministry” pending the outcome of his criminal case, said Terrence Donilon, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Priest charged in Blue Hills assault

CANTON (MA)
The Patriot Ledger

CANTON — State Police on Monday arrested a priest from Blessed Sacrament Church in Walpole on charges that he groped a 21-year-old man in the Blue Hills Reservation.

The Rev. Emile R. Boutin Jr., 46, of Walpole was charged with indecent assault and battery, police said.

The arrest followed a report by a 21-year-old man, who went to the State Police barracks in Milton and reported that he had been touched inappropriately in a wooded area behind the Route 138 Park and Ride lot.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Walpole priest ordered to refrain from public ministry

WALPOLE (MA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN: John Moroney - Walpole, Mass.) - A Catholic priest in Massachusetts has reportedly been ordered to refrain from public ministry.

He's charged with indecently groping another man behind a park and ride lot.

NECN reporter John Moroney is outside the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Walpole, Massachusetts with more.

A Massachusetts priest has reportedly pleaded not guilty to charges that he groped a 21-year old man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Belgian church and state in clash on abuse

BELGIUM
Financial Times

By Stanley Pignal in Brussels

Published: June 29 2010

The stand-off between the Belgian Catholic church and state amid the scandal over child abuse by priests intensified yesterday following a recent series of police raids on church property.

The church's attempt to deal internally with the allegations collapsed after the independent commission it had asked to look into the matter yesterday collectively resigned in protest at the confiscation of its records during last week's raids.

Belgium is particularly sensitive to child abuse after the arrest in 1996 of Marc Dutroux, who had molested and murdered six young girls. The ensuing investigation, coupled with Dutroux's subsequent prison escape, forced the resignation of Stefaan De Clerck, the then-minister of justice, two years later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Belgium hits back at Vatican over paedophilia raids

BELGIUM
Radio Netherlands

Belgium and the Vatican are on a collision course after the Holy See accused the Belgian police of using communist tactics in their paedophilia raids on Catholic bishops last week. Belgium’s Foreign Minister told RNW that the Vatican should “react with balance” after its outspoken criticism of last week’s detention of senior clerics by the police.

Belgian police raided a bishop’s meeting in Mechelen near Brussels last Thursday amid fresh claims of child abuse by the Catholic Church. Investigators confiscated mobile phones, computers and also seized the computer files of a former cardinal.

The raids triggered an instant outcry from the Vatican, with the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone calling the detentions “serious and unbelievable”. The Cardinal also accused investigators of holding the clerics for nine hours “without food and water” in methods “unprecedented even in communist regimes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Catholic church is not sovereign Vatican territory

UNITED STATES
The Dallas Morning News

Tod Robberson / Editorial Writer

Pope Benedict XVI deplored the raid by Belgian policy on Catholic church property over the weekend, claiming that such property is autonomous and somehow excluded from normal law enforcement. "On several occasions, I have personally reiterated that such serious issues should be attended to by both civil an canon law, with respect for reciprocal specificity and autonomy," the pope said.

The idea of reciprocity is normally reserved for inter-governmental relations. If my government agrees to honor your country's passport, you reciprocate by honoring mine. But the church is not the Vatican, and the church is not some kind of consular outpost of the Vatican. The church has failed miserably to investigate and hand over evidence relating to its many sexual abuse scandals around the world. The Belgian police finally declared that they had had enough and raided church facilities to get the material they felt the church was holding back.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Belgium urges Vatican to stay out of child sex abuse investigations

BELGIUM
The Independent (United Kingdom)

By Honey Purden in Brussels

Belgium has defended itself after Pope Benedict XVI blasted a series of raids by investigators and the detention of senior clerics in a child sex abuse investigation as "deplorable".

In a worsening of the argument provoked by last Thursday's raids, the country's Foreign Minister, Steven Vanackere, reminded Rome of the principle of separation of church and state yesterday, pointing out that the church should not try to impede the work of the judiciary. Speaking to The Independent, he urged the Vatican to "react with balance" after the extraordinary and rare intervention by the Pope on Sunday. A day earlier, a spokesman for the Holy See had accused Belgian investigators of using "communist" tactics.

Mr Vanackere said he was confident that the issue could be prevented from spiralling into a diplomatic row with the Vatican but stressed that "it's good to [keep in mind] very important principles of the state of law. [There are] very elementary principles of having a separation of powers and accepting that the judiciary has to do its work".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Belgian government defends raid of bishops’ meeting

BELGIUM
Catholic Culture

June 29, 2010
Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere defended an aggressive police raid of a bishops’ meeting during an investigation of the clerical abuse scandal. The Vatican and the Belgian bishops have angrily protested two aspects of the search: the violation of the tombs of two deceased archbishops and the seizure of confidential files from the Church-authorized investigating commission.

“It’s good to [keep in mind] very important principles of the state of law. [There are] very elementary principles of having a separation of powers and accepting that the judiciary has to do its work,” said Mr. Vanackere. “That’s crucial for every democratic state.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Donohue and Catholic League are Anti-Truth

UNITED STATES
Anti-Catholic League

by David Fortwengler

Bellicose Bill Donohue contentiously commented yesterday about Belgian authorities search at Catholic offices for evidence in an ongoing investigation into the sexual abuse of Belgian citizens. Bill’s organization, the Catholic League, purports to defend the civil and religious rights of Catholics, yet is obsessed with maligning the civil rights of non-Catholic society. As always, the truth is never a factor in his combative criticisms.

In yesterday’s statement the pugnacious pundit claims the Belgian police;

“took a page from the Gestapo playbook and executed it to the tee”

that they were “goose-stepping through church files”

tried “to get any thing they could to indict the Belgian Church”

that the Belgians had an “agenda.”

The offensive efforts of church apologists like Bill to equate their embarrassment and shame at being legally investigated for crimes to the suffering and persecution Jews endured under Hitler is repulsive. Besides, who was a member of the Hitler Youth, the leader of the Belgian police or the leader of the Catholic Church?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Martin under pressure over Vatican silence on bishops' resignations

IRELAND
Tribune

John Downes

The Vatican has refused to say if the resignations of two Dublin auxiliary bishops named in the Murphy report on clerical sex abuse have been accepted or rejected by the pope, in a move likely to put pressure on their immediate superior, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Despite the fact that Bishops Eamonn Walsh and Ray Field announced last Christmas Eve that they were offering their resignations to Pope Benedict, the Holy See's press office said it would not be commenting when asked about this last week.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi declined to specify when the resignations were actually submitted to the pope, or to say whether they have now lapsed given that it has been six months since the men announced their intention to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Leidde zij gerecht naar Danneels?

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

Verklaringen van Godelieve Halsberghe hebben waarschijnlijk mee geleid tot de spectaculaire huiszoekingen van de politie in het aartsbisdom Mechelen. 'Mogelijk is de inval van donderdag het gevolg van mijn ondervraging door het gerecht een tijdje terug over mijn dossiers', zegt de voormalige voorzitter van de commissie seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk, oftewel de voorgangster van Peter Adriaenssens.

De pedofiliespeurders van de Brusselse federale politie willen weten of de kerkelijke overheid de klachten over seksueel misbruik door geestelijken altijd correct heeft behandeld. Daarvoor gingen de onderzoekers onder meer bij Godelieve Halsberghe aankloppen. De eremagistrate had van 1998 tot 2008 de leiding over de commissie voor de behandeling van klachten wegens seksueel misbruik in een pastorale relatie. Dan gaf zij er de brui aan, naar eigen zeggen wegens onvoldoende medewerking van de Kerk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Threatening call prompted Catholic raids

BELGIUM
The Denver Post

Denver Post Wire Report
Posted: 06/29/2010

MECHELEN, Belgium — Four days after a series of police raids on Catholic institutions in Belgium that drew sharp criticism from the pope, the reason for the unusually aggressive operation has emerged: a formal accusation that the church was hiding information on sexual abuse lodged by the former president of an internal church commission handling such cases.

The declaration to the police set off four raids in which authorities seized two truckloads of documents from the commission's current leader and detained a group of bishops for more than nine hours.

The former head of the commission, Godelieve Halsberghe, told a Flemish newspaper she had gone to authorities after receiving a call from an unidentified man who warned her to "watch out."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Vatican says not liable in U.S. sexual abuse case

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY
Tue Jun 29, 2010

(Reuters) - The Vatican said on Tuesday it would prove it cannot be held legally responsible for the actions of a priest at the center of a sexual abuse scandal in the United States.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider a case on whether the Vatican has immunity over the sexual abuse of minors by priests, allowing a lawsuit filed in 2002 to go forward.

In a statement, the Vatican's lawyer, Jeffrey Lena, said when the case returns to a U.S. district court it would prove it cannot be held responsible for the actions of the priest as he was not a Vatican employee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Judge denies work request from Leland pastor awaiting trial on child sex crimes

NORTH CAROLINA
Star News

By Shelby Sebens
Shelby.Sebens@StarNewsOnline.com

A Leland pastor facing child sex charges cannot work while he’s on house arrest awaiting trial, a Superior Court judge ruled Monday.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Lock denied James T. Johnson’s request to work as a pipe fitter while he waits for his trial, which is scheduled for Nov. 1.

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 was in elementary school when the alleged incidents occurred over a three-year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Vatican can be sued over abuse -- US supreme court

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Tuesday June 29 2010

AMERICA's highest court has cleared the way for a lawsuit against Pope Benedict by refusing to entertain Vatican immunity in a case involving an Irish priest.

The Government is studying the landmark decision by the US Supreme Court, which could have major implications for Ireland's relations with the Vatican in the cover-up of paedophile clerics.

In Washington, the supreme court refused to consider whether the Vatican enjoyed legal immunity over the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the US, thereby allowing a lawsuit filed in 2002 to proceed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Archbishop Martin and the enemies within

IRELAND
Irish Central

By DANIEL O'CARROLL

Published Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Diarmuid Martin, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, is coming under closer scrutiny than ever before as forces of opposition within the church heckle for his resignation in one of the most volatile eras that the Catholic Church as ever undergone in Ireland.

The Archbishop is reportedly unhappy at the Pope’s refusal to acknowledge the resignation of two bishops criticized in the Murphy report into child sexual abuse in the Church for their failure to address the epidemic and bring the perpetrators to the authorities.

Although Bishops Eamonn Walsh and Ray Field both offered their resignations to the Holy See, the Pope has not acknowledged their resignations, meaning that under Canon Law they have no force. The Vatican’s Press Office has refused to comment on the reason why this may be so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Supreme Court green lights Jeff Anderson's sex abuse lawsuit against the Vatican

ST. PAUL (MN)
City Pages

By Hart Van Denburg, Monday, Jun. 28 2010

​St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson can sue the Vatican on behalf of sex-abuse victims after a ruling Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court turned back a challenge by the Catholic Church that said it was immune from U.S. lawsuits.

"Today's action by the Justices is an answer to the prayers of literally thousands of survivors of sexual abuse who finally have a real shot at obtaining justice, and the truth, about the complicity of Vatican leaders in covering up the criminal acts of Catholic priests against innocent children," Anderson said in a statement.

The case began when Anderson filed a 2002 lawsuit in Oregon alleging the church moved a priest, the Rev. Andrew Roman, from Ireland to Chicago to Portland, while knowing he'd abused seminarians and minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

RAID IN BELGIUM IS A FLASHBACK TO GESTAPO ERA

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

June 28, 2010

Over the weekend, a story broke in Belgium regarding the raid of Catholic Church offices by Belgian police who were searching for evidence that may have been hidden in relation to the priestly sexual abuse of minors.

Responding to this story is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:

It looks as though the Belgian police took a page from the Gestapo playbook and executed it to the tee. The police detained the present bishops for over nine hours while they snooped high and low—even going so far as to drill into the tombs of two deceased cardinals—trying to get any thing they could to indict the Belgian Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Local clergy abuse victim applauds Supreme Court decision

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX

Fred Bodimer Reporting
flbodimer@cbs.com

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- The U.S. Supreme Court will not stop a lawsuit that accuses the Vatican of transferring a priest from city to city despite repeated accusations of sexual abuse.

The decision drew a quick response from David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

"We're thrilled this brave abuse victim is finally going to have his day in court and have an opportunity to expose the corruption of church officials who knowingly moved a dangerous predator from country to country," Clohessy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Catholic Group: Vatican Lawsuit Driven By Hate

UNITED STATES
Opposing Views

Opinion by Catholic League

A lawsuit against the Vatican was filed last week in Louisville by attorney William McMurry seeking to depose Pope Benedict XVI. McMurry contends that officials of the Catholic Church in Rome, including the pope, knew about cases of priestly sexual abuse and then covered them up.

Responding is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:

It is a staple of anti-Catholic thinking that every priest on the face of the globe takes his marching orders from the pope, and that every instance of priestly wrongdoing is known to the Holy Father and his inner circle. The fact is that the Catholic Church is among the most decentralized entities in the world, and it is positively preposterous to think that the pope sits around orchestrating coverups in places ranging from Louisville to London. McMurry knows this as well, but having creamed over $10 million for himself (out of a $25.7 million pot) from a settlement with the Archdiocese of Louisville in 2003, he can afford to be motivated more by ideology than greed at this point.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Eulogy for Paul S. Cultrera, Sr.

SALEM (MA)

By Paul S. Cultrera, Jr.
Spoken at St. Anne's Church in Salem
June 24, 2010

[Note from BishopAccountability.org: See also Obituary: Paul S. Cultrera, 95, Salem News (June 23, 2010); Lives: A Faithful Man, Sorely Tested, by Steve Landwehr, Salem News (June 28, 2010) with photographs of Paul and Josephine Cultrera and a painting by Paul Cultrera of St. Mary's Italian Church, a few blocks from the old Creek Street; Hand of God, a Frontline documentary by Joseph A. Cultrera; and a brief video about St. Mary's Italian, including comments by Paul Cultrera, Sr.]

My dad was a kid from Creek Street, a street that is no longer there. But if you go to the corner of Summer and Gedney Streets and walk about 50 paces toward Norman Street you’ll see a break in the granite curb, maybe five feet wide. Dad made a point of telling me many times that that is where Creek street started. One of the earliest paintings he made is of Creek Street. It starts from that spot and works its way down toward Margin Street, lined with the houses he remembered. On the back of the painting he listed the names of people who lived in those houses – Colletti, Tina, Salvo, Giuggio, Ingemi, Linares and on and on – a who’s who of Salem’s Italian American community. For what must have been a narrow little street it appears in the painting to widen ever more as it reaches the edge of the paper he painted on, looking like a major boulevard.

As a youngster my father lived in many houses, from the one he was born in in Hartford Connecticut to ones in Peabody, Boston and Salem. His parents had separated when he was still too young to remember his father, and his mother moved in with a succession of relatives. But as an adult he always talked about Creek Street, and was proud to be able to point to that break in the curb, maybe as his way to be sure that the place would not ultimately be forgotten. In the last few days I have found myself walking to that spot to try to imagine what that street must have looked like. And the night before last I was looking at some of his paintings and it struck me how often he chose to depict scenes in which a narrow river flows toward the viewer, widening as it approaches, mimicking the course of how he drew Creek Street, as though he carried that street’s imprint in his soul and was constantly bringing it back to life.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:30 AM

Il vescovo: «Piena luce su questi episodi e tolleranza zero»

ITALIA
Il Gazzettino

BOLZANO (28 giugno) - «Desidero far piena luce sulle accuse di abuso e per questo non ci deve essere un falso riguardo». Lo ha detto il vescovo di Bozlano-Bressanone Karl Golser sul sacredote allontanato dalla sua parrocchia con l'accusa di pedofilia.

«Il chiarimento di questi fatti - ha affermato Golser - è in primo luogo un atto dovuto alle vittime. Non si può più tornare indietro, ma vogliamo fare tutto il possibile perché il dolore subito diventi più sopportabile. Un chiarimento lo dobbiamo anche a tutti i fedeli, in particolar modo ai collaboratori e le collaboratrici, ai sacerdoti e ai diaconi».

«Per quanto riguarda il sacerdote esonerato dal suo incarico - ha spiegato Golser - per noi vescovi vale la regola che ogni accusa fondata di abuso sessuale venga segnalata alla Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede. In casi gravi si può arrivare anche alla laicizzazione del sacerdote. Per i casi gravi il diritto canonico prevede inoltre dei termini di prescrizione più lunghi rispetto al diritto civile - e questo è decisamente importante, in quanto molte vittime riescono a parlare degli abusi subiti soltanto decenni dopo l'accaduto».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

La Curia di Bolzano: "Quattro vittime accusa il parroco di pedofilia"

ITALIA
Alto Adige

Il vicario generale Josef Matzneller, insieme al vescovo, ha incontrato don Kranebitter e lo ha messo di fronte alle testimonianze delle quattro giovani donne che hanno chiesto giustizia. Il sacerdote ha ammesso e chiesto perdono

BOLZANO. Ancora ieri i parrocchiani delle frazioni di Sarentino hanno difeso don Alois Kranebitter, hanno protestato contro l’allontanamento del sacerdote deciso dal vescovo Karl Golser.

«Ma è arrivato il momento di ascoltare le vittime», spiega il vicario generale della Josef Matzneller, incaricato di esaminare i presunti casi di molestie e abusi sessuali nella chiesa altoatesina.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Priest removed in Italy after confessing to child abuse

ITALY
Sify (India)

June 29 (IANS/AKI) A 74-year-old priest has been removed from his position in northern Italy after confessing he sexually abused minors.

Alois Kranebitter, parish priest in the Alto Adige region's Bolzano-Brixen diocese, will no longer be allowed to celebrate mass in public and will be obliged to live in a place where he has no contact with children, the diocese said in a statement.

'These cases of abuse date back 20 years. The victims and the priest have been carefully questioned by an ecclesiastical judge and by the bishop,' the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Pope Benedict's complaint is off-base

UNITED STATES
The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Editorial Board

It was disappointing to hear Pope Benedict XVI lash out at Belgian police Sunday after they raided church offices in a search for hidden evidence of child sexual abuse.

The pontiff called the action “surprising and deplorable” and stressed the church’s “autonomy” to conduct its own investigations.

That claim of autonomy is especially troubling. The fact that the Roman Catholic Church has failed to adequately investigate these cases and protect children from repeat offenders is now beyond dispute. The horrifying pattern first revealed in Boston has now played itself out over and over, across the globe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Priest 'was a creep, like a snake', court told

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

A former Catholic priest who sexually abused teenage boys in South Australia was a terrifying monster, one of his victims says.

"He was a creep, like a snake," the victim of Charles Alfred Barnett, 69, wrote in an impact statement read in the District Court today.

The victim says he does not want to go to heaven if it is "full of stale, smelly priests" who have abused children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Barque of St. Peter in Troubled Waters

UNITED STATES
The American Spectator

By Tom Bethell from the June 2010 issue

The other day my wife and i went to the Pontifical High Mass at the National Shrine in Washington. The occasion was the fifth anniversary of Benedict XVI's papacy. The pope has gone out of his way to revive the old Mass (Tridentine rite), and the organizers had been looking for some publicity. The Shrine is an enormous place, seating 3,500 people, and a half-empty church wouldn't look so good. Answered prayer:

A few days before the event, the Mass attracted huge press attention. But not of the desired kind.

The planned celebrant was Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos of Colombia, who was prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy in Rome in the years 1996-2006. In other words, he was one of the leading curial officials during the later years of Pope John Paul II. Castrillon turned 80 last July, so he is no longer a voting cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

'Mijn privacy ben ik alkwijt'

BELGIE
De Standaard

dinsdag 29 juni 2010 Auteur: Yves Delepeleire

BRUSSEL - Socioloog Jan Hertogen (63) is een van de 475 slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik wier vertrouwen in de commissie- Adriaenssens werd beschaamd. Maar hij is niet van plan om lijdzaam toe te kijken wat het gerecht met zijn dossier zal doen.

Van onze redacteur

'Hoe kan het gerecht mij garanderen dat mijn privacy wordt beschermd? Daarvoor is het te laat. Mijn privacy werd geschonden op het ogenblik dat het gerecht mijn dossier in beslag heeft genomen. En het zal nogmaals worden geschonden op het ogenblik dat de speurders zullen lezen dat ik werd bepoteld.'

De 63-jarige Vlaming Jan Hertogen is boos. 48 jaar geleden werd hij als tiener in een jeugdbeweging het slachtoffer van seksueel misbruik door een dienaar van de Kerk. Behalve met een vertrouweling heeft Hertogen nooit met iemand over dat misbruik gesproken. Tot twee maanden geleden de zaak rond de voormalige bisschop van Brugge, Roger Vangheluwe, losbarstte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

'Niets dan voordelen'

BELGIE
De Standaard

dinsdag 29 juni 2010Auteur: Yves Delepeleire

BRUSSEL - Advocaat Walter Van Steenbrugge adviseert slachtoffers ook om zich als benadeelde aan te melden.

Van onze redacteur

'Dit is een heel verstandige beslissing', reageert advocaat Walter Van Steenbrugge op het verhaal van slachtoffer Jan Hertogen, die zich gisteren bij het parket van Brussel als benadeelde persoon heeft laten registreren (zie hiernaast).

Waarom?

'Er zijn maar twee mogelijkheden om als partij bij een gerechtelijk onderzoek betrokken te worden. Ofwel dien je een klacht in, ofwel meld je je aan als benadeelde persoon of burgerlijke partij.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Belgian priest child abuse victim demands discretion: report

BELGIUM
Expatica

A victim of a Belgian paedophile priest, whose testimony to a Catholic Church-backed investigating panel was seized by police, has broken cover to demand control over how his case is handled, a Belgian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The Dutch-language daily De Standaard said that 63-year-old sociologist Jan Hertogen had testified to the commission that as a youth active in the church he was subjected to sexual abuse -- but on the understanding his testimony was confidential.

The commission announced the resignation en-masse of its entire board on Monday in anger at the police raids last week that drew condemnation from the pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Civil authorities right to intervene in Catholic abuse inquiry

UNITED STATES
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Detaining church leaders and seizing church documents is not a step that should ever be taken lightly. But angry protestations from the Vatican aside — Pope Benedict XVI called the action “surprising and deplorable” — officials in Belgium seem well within their rights to press their investigation into child abuse at the hands of Catholic priests and coverups by high church officials.

As the AP reports:

“On Thursday, scores of police officers seized documents, computers, DVDs and CDs at the Belgian archbishop’s residence in Mechlin, north of Brussels, and detained a dozen Belgian bishops who were meeting there. Also detained for nine hours and told to surrender his cell phone was the Vatican’s envoy to Belgium.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Vatican says not liable in U.S. sexual abuse case

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

(Reuters) - The Vatican said on Tuesday it would prove it cannot be held legally responsible for the actions of a priest at the center of a sexual abuse scandal.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider a case on whether the Vatican has immunity over the sexual abuse of minors by priests, allowing a lawsuit filed in 2002 to go forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

No appeal for Vatican over paedophile case

UNITED STATES
RFI (France)

By RFI
The Supreme Court in the US has declined to hear an appeal by the Vatican for immunity in a high-profile paedophilia case. The refusal is a blow to the Holy See as it tries to protect itself from a number of sex-abuses cases.

The Court refused wtihout comment to consider whether the Vatican has legal immunity over the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the US. This will allow a lower court suit filed in 2002 by a plaintiff who was abused several times as a teenager by an alleged paedophile priest, Father Andrew Ronan, in Portland, Oregan.

Before being accused of the offenses in the US, Ronan who died in 1992, allegedly sexually molested children in Ireland and Chicago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

June 28, 2010

Court rejects Vatican immunity appeal

UNITED STATES
The Irish Times

WASHINGTON – THE US supreme court refused yesterday to consider whether the Vatican has legal immunity over the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the United States, allowing a lawsuit filed in 2002 to go forward.

The nation’s highest court, asked to rule on a US appeals court decision that cleared the way for the lawsuit to proceed, rejected the Vatican’s immunity appeal without comment.

The lawsuit, filed by a plaintiff identified only as John Doe, claimed he was sexually abused in the mid-1960s when he was 15 or 16 by a Roman Catholic priest named Fr Andrew Ronan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 PM

Church Raid in Belgium Raises Dark Questions

BELGIUM
El Paso Inc. (United States)

by DOREEN CARVAJAL
The New York Times News Service

MECHELEN, BELGIUM — When police investigators raided the Gothic nave of St. Rombout Cathedral here last week, they hurried past escutcheons of the Knights of the Golden Fleece and surrounded a black crypt and a grim, bronze image of Cardinal Joseph Mercier on his deathbed.

Searching for church sex-abuse records, investigators drilled a small hole, sinking a camera into the tomb of the man known as the apostle of unity. They found nothing there, but that extraordinary “Operation Chalice” raid Thursday and others like it have resonated far beyond this small Catholic nation all the way to the pope, who has deplored the show of aggressive force.

What precisely they were looking for remains a mystery to church officials, said Eric de Beukelaer, a spokesman for the current leader of the Belgium church, Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard. Archbishop Léonard was held with other officials for more than nine hours of questioning at the ornate palace of the archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

Sources: Walpole priest arrested for assault

WALPOLE (MA)
WHDH

[with video]

WALPOLE, Mass. -- A priest in Walpole was arrested for indecent assault and battery on Monday, sources told 7NEWS.

The 21-year-old male victim told authorities that he pulled into a state-owned parking lot in Canton at around 8:30 a.m. and walked into the woods to urinate.

When the victim arrived in the woods, he claimed the suspect followed him and then grabbed his private parts.

The man said he took off running and hopped in his car to leave the scene. The man then said he saw his attacker climb into his own car and head home. The victim made note of the suspect’s license plate number, and contacted Massachusetts State Police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 PM

Supreme Court rejects Vatican sex abuse appeal

ST. PAUL (MN)
KARE

[with video]

By Allen Costantini
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A law firm known for suing the Catholic Church over allegations of clergy sex abuse says they have won a round from the nation's highest court.

High Court refused to hear appeal

Mike Finnegan of Jeff Anderson and Associates said Monday that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the Vatican on a case involving a priest and a man in Portland, Oregon identified only as John V. Doe. The lack of attention from the high court effective sends the case back to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for further action.

In 2006, the 9th Circuit denied the Vatican's contention that Anderson's demands for documents and lists of abusing priests was not legal because the Vatican has immunity as a sovereign state. The original case was filed in 2002 in Portland. Monday's ruling means Anderson is free to begin legal "discovery", a search for the documents and materials that were sought in the original case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 PM

Vatican Defends Work of "Propaganda Fide"

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican's congregation that oversees missionary work is an indispensable organization for the Church, a Vatican statement affirmed today.

The Vatican press office affirmed this in a communiqué responding to certain media reports, above all in Italy, which questioned activities undertaken by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 2001 to 2006, including the sale of a property. The prefect in that time was the current archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe.

The Italian-language Vatican statement clarified that the congregation, which is also known by its former name "Propaganda Fide," "has the task of directing and coordinating all over the world the work of evangelization and missionary cooperation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 PM

Pope Clarifies That Only He Can Criticize a Cardinal

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- In the Church, only the Pope can level accusations against cardinals. This was the clarification made today by the Vatican at the conclusion of an audience between Benedict XVI and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the archbishop of Vienna, Austria.

The meeting took place between the two to discuss statements made by the cardinal regarding the investigation of his predecessor, Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër, who resigned in 1995 amidst allegations of sexual abuse.

Cardinal Schonbörn made comments to journalists April 28 that were interpreted by the media as an accusation against Cardinal Angelo Sodano's treatment of the investigation. It was understood from his statements that he believed that the then secretary of state, under Pope John Paul II, had blocked the inquiry for "diplomatic reasons."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Belgian Abuse Commission Shuts Down

BELGIUM
Zenit

BRUSSELS, Belgium, JUNE 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- After a raid that was denounced by Benedict XVI and resulted in the confiscation of confidential files, a commission to investigate sexual abuse by the clergy is shutting down.

Some 500 confidential files in Leuven, Belgium, were taken last Thursday by law enforcement officials from the office of Peter Adriaensses, president of the commission for the treatment of sexual abuses.

The commission was created by the bishops in 2000. It was formed by independent professionals to respond to allegations of sexual abuse in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 PM

Walpole Priest Accused Of Sexual Assault

CANTON (MA)
WBZ

CANTON (WBZ)

A Walpole priest is under arrest and accused of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old man on Monday.

Rev. Emile "Mike" Boutin, Jr., 46, of the Blessed Sacrament Parish, allegedly assaulted the man in a wooded area behind the Route 138 Park and Ride lot in Canton.

The victim told police he pulled into the lot around 8:30 a.m. to find a place to urinate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Child abuse scandals plaguing the Vatican ...

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

David Charter From: The Times June 29, 2010

THE resignation of a church-appointed child abuse commission in Belgium has left the Vatican reeling from widening pedophile scandals.

A war of words broke out between the Vatican and Brussels after the Pope condemned as deplorable the seizure by police of the commission's files, and the detention of nine bishops for an entire day last week.

Pope Benedict XVI spoke out again yesterday, warning an Austrian cardinal against repeating accusations that a senior Italian cardinal covered up child abuse claims at the highest level.

The crisis enveloping the global Roman Catholic Church deepened overnight when the US Supreme Court opened the way for the Vatican to be sued by the victims of pedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Supreme Court allows sex-abuse case to proceed against the Vatican

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Christian Science Monitor

By Warren Richey, Staff writer / June 28, 2010

Washington
The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to examine whether an Oregon resident who allegedly was sexually molested by a Roman Catholic priest as a teenager in the 1960s can sue the Vatican for his abuse. The move allows the litigation to move forward toward a trial.

A federal judge and a federal appeals court had ruled earlier that the lawsuit could go forward. Lawyers for the Vatican, also known as the Holy See, asked the high court to take up the case and dismiss it. They argued that the Vatican could not be held legally responsible for alleged criminal acts undertaken by a priest when those illegal acts were unrelated to his work for the Roman Catholic Church.

At issue was whether the Vatican, a foreign sovereign nation, can be forced to pay money damages to a US citizen for the alleged illegal acts of one of its employees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 PM

Judge Says Pooled Investments Part Of Assets

DELAWARE
CBS 3

RANDALL CHASE, Associated Press Writer
DOVER, Del. (AP) ― A Delaware bankruptcy judge says creditors in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington's bankruptcy can try to lay claim to assets of certain parishes held by the diocese.

In a 44-page ruling Monday, the judge said funds held in trust by the diocese on behalf of the parishes are commingled with the diocese's own non-trust funds and unable to be traced.

As a result, the judge says all the funds in the pooled investment program will be considered part of the diocese's bankruptcy estate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 PM

Outraged over police raid on church offices? Wait for what is revealed

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jun. 28, 2010
By Barbara Blaine

Commentary

The police raid last week on Catholic offices in Belgium wasn't exactly received with open arms by church officials. All nine of the nation's bishops were detained for nine hours. Their cell phones and the phones of other diocesan personnel were held.

It was "not pleasant," one church staffer said. Another called it "not very agreeable." A third accused law enforcement of "paranoia" and a fourth claimed police showed "excessive zeal."

I was not sympathetic to their plight. Six years ago, I watched closely as another law enforcement raid of a diocesan headquarters took place in my home town of Toledo. The deception it uncovered was stunning. And the evidence it obtained was later used in a trial to convict a murderer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Cardinal Bertone, stop fooling us with the “Communist” trump card; the Belgian Police raid proves that you Vatican Princes are not ‘above the law’!

UNITED STATES
John Paul II Millstone

Paris Arrow

The theocratic Vatican is using again the “Communist” trump card to harness support for the Catholic hierarchy who has systemically covered-up the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army for decades – which includes the Catholic Bishops in Belgium who were raided (by surprise) by Belgian Police last June 24, 2010. See our coverage in The Opus Dei fabricates “The Age of Benedict XVI” in Rome... Belgian Police raid Archbishop’s Palace and Catholic Headquarters in Brussels http://jp2army.blogspot.com/2010/06/opus-dei-fabricate-age-of-benedict-xvi.html

The Popes and the Vatican are the worst professional liars on the planet and they have been fooling humanity for over 2,000 years through their exclusive Eucharist sorcery and their Vatican paid reporters. But with Google and the Internet today, this Vatican privilege must - and will - come to an end in our generation. WE must end the theocracy of the Popes and the Vatican once and for all. If WE do not do it, then WHO will ???

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Vervolging Vaticaan om misbruik

VERENIGDE STATEN
de Volkskrant

WASHINGTON - Het Vaticaan kan in de Verenigde Staten worden vervolgd voor het toedekken van kindermisbruik, een stap dichterbij gekomen doordat het Amerikaanse Hooggerechtshof zich maandag weigerde uit te spreken over de immuniteit van de stadstaat.

Daarmee maakte het hof de voortzetting mogelijk van een rechtszaak uit 2002, tegen een pedofiele priester uit Oregon en tegen het Vaticaan, dat de priester beschermd zou hebben.

De inmiddels overleden priester, Andrew Ronan, zou in de jaren vijftig en zestig kinderen misbruikt hebben in Ierland, Chicago en Oregon. De feiten in Chicago heeft hij toentertijd bekend. Een van de slachtoffers van Ronan beschuldigt het Vaticaan ervan de priester niet bestraft te hebben, maar hem door diens vele overplaatsingen zelfs beschermd te hebben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Vaticaan kan aansprakelijk worden gesteld voor pedofiele priester

VERENIGDE STATEN
De Standaard

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Volgens het Amerikaanse Hooggerechtshof is het Vaticaan niet onschendbaar.

Het Vaticaan kan burgerlijk aansprakelijk gesteld worden voor de daden van een pedofiele priester in de Verenigde Staten. Dat blijkt uit de beslissing van het Hooggerechtshof, dat oordeelde dat het zich niet kan uitspreken over de immuniteit van het Vaticaan.

Voor de klagers, die de procedure tegen de kerk startten, is dit een belangrijke overwinning die volgens hen de weg naar schadeclaims opent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Belgium trumps Vatican on chuch abuse probes

BELGIUM
The Associated Press

By ROBERT WIELAARD (AP)

BRUSSELS — Belgium insisted Monday in a dispute with the Vatican over credibility that Belgian law enforcement authorities — not the potentially biased Catholic Church — will investigate sexual abuse cases involving clergy.

A panel created by Belgian bishops 12 years ago to look into abuse cases disbanded on Monday, saying last week's seizure of its 500 case files rendered its existence pointless. Its chief, Peter Adriaenssens, accused authorities of betraying the trust of hundreds of victims and using his group to tap into information and testimony from abuse victims.

"We were bait," said Adriaenssens, a child psychiatrist. He urged Belgian authorities to clarify to abuse victims — many of whom talked after being promised anonymity — "what is going to happen" to the allegations they made to his church-appointed commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Former Chicago priest sex abuse case to move forward

UNITED STATES
Chicago Sun-Times

June 28, 2010

ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court won’t stop a lawsuit that accuses the Vatican of transferring a priest from Ireland to Chicago to Oregon despite repeated accusations of sexual abuse.

The Vatican wanted the federal courts to throw out the lawsuit that seeks to hold the Roman Catholic Church responsible for moving the Rev. Andrew Ronan from place to place despite the sex abuse accusations.

Sovereign immunity laws hold that a sovereign state — including the Vatican — is generally immune from lawsuits.

But lower federal courts have ruled in this case that there could be an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act that could affect the Vatican. A judge ruled there was enough of a connection between the Vatican and Ronan for him to be considered a Vatican employee under Oregon law, and that ruling was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

SCOTUS: Vatican Can Be Sued For Former Chicago Priest Abuser

UNITED STATES
Chicagoist

The U.S Supreme Court is having a productive Monday -- besides taking on Chicago's gun ban, the court also ruled that a lawsuit against the Vatican by a sexual abuse victim can move forward. The suit, filed by St. Paul, Minnesota, attorney Jeff Anderson on behalf of an anonymous plaintiff, claims that the Holy See is accountable for sexual abuse by one of its former priests, Andrew Ronan, who admitted to abusing teens at St. Philip's High School in Chicago as well as another school in Ireland before being transferred to St. Albert's Parish in Portland, Oregon, where he abused the John Doe named in the lawsuit. Anderson contends that Ronan was an employee of the Vatican, and that it is liable for the abuse. Ronan died in 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Diocese Of Wilmington Loses Fight Over Investment Pool

DELAWARE
The Wall Street Journal

A judge Monday cleared the way for victims of alleged sexual abuse by priests to go after a $120 million pooled investment fund operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Del.

Judge Christopher Sontchi said most of the Catholic schools, parishes and a foundation that entrusted their investments to the embattled diocese can't trace the money they handed over, some $75 million, to the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

Vatican Rebukes Cardinal for Criticizing Colleague on Sex Abuse Comments

UNITED STATES
Politics Daily

David Gibson
Religion Reporter

The Vatican issued on Monday an extraordinary public rebuke of an Austrian cardinal and former student of Pope Benedict XVI for comments last April in which he criticized a fellow cardinal who seemed to dismiss sex abuse revelations as "petty gossip" aimed at hurting the pope.

The Austrian cardinal, Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, who helped elect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict in the conclave of 2005, had also made subsequent comments in the press raising questions about mandatory celibacy for priests, and Schönborn was also forced to explain those remarks in his meeting with the pope on Monday.

At the start of Easter Mass in St. Peter's Square in April, as Benedict was being buffeted by increasing reports of clergy abuse of children and institutional malfeasance, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, a former Vatican secretary of state who still wields great influence in Rome, defended the pope against what he called "petty gossip."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Ceremony to honour children buried at residential school

CANADA
The Vancouver Sun

By Elise Stolte, edmontonjournal.com

EDMONTON — Church officials and local aboriginal community leaders are planning the first large-scale, combined ceremony in Canada to honour children buried in a neglected residential school graveyard.

Wednesday morning’s ceremony, with a feast for up to 1,000 people, comes almost two weeks after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s first national event in Winnipeg, and it deals with one of the most contentious parts of the residential school story — the children who never came home.

Archeological evidence and school records suggest between 27 and 65 people, including five staff members, were buried on a small strip of land on the banks of a creek about a 10-minute walk from the former Red Deer Industrial School, just west of the City of Red Deer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Sex abuse lawsuit filed against Diocese of Brownsville

TEXAS
Valley Central

[with video]

A lawsuit filed Friday alleges that a longtime-Rio Grande Valley priest abused and molested a child in Mission more than 30 years ago.

The court documents, obtained by Action 4 News, claim Father Armando Escobedo gave alcohol, abused,and molested one of his altar boys.

Diana Gonzalez, a former abuse victim, announced the lawsuit at a press conference over the weekend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Priests support ordination of married men, women

AUSTRIA
Taiwan News

A survey of 500 Austrian parish priests indicates that 79 percent think the Catholic church should allow married men to be ordained.

The telephone survey _ commissioned by Austrian broadcaster ORF _ also found that 51 percent of those questioned say women should be allowed to become priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Pope stifles abuse discussions; Clergy sex abuse victims respond

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home)

(Today, the Pope issued what the AP calls a "remarkable" statement admonishing a high profile Cardinal who had publicly questioned a top Vatican official's handling of child sexual abuse.)

The Pope should be encouraging, not forbidding, more open conversation about cover ups of clergy sex crimes by bishops, not less. Frankly, the church desperately needs it. Kids are safer when honest dialogue about misdeeds is encouraged, not forbidden.

Prelates who conceal the horrific and devastating rape of children need to be ousted. If Pope Benedict has his way, however, such prelates won’t even face discussion, much less discipline. This is a recipe for continued disaster.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Court lets Vatican-sex abuse lawsuit move forward; SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Mark Serrano, SNAP spokesman (703 727 4940)

There’s so much more work to be done, but ever so slowly, the tenacity of courageous victims is beginning to shed light on deeply-buried church secrecy and complicity. This is another crucial step forward towards healthier public understanding of the depth of church corruption.

This court ruling and last week’s Belgian police raid should make every bishop in the world think twice about keeping clergy sex crimes hidden.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “No lie lives forever.” This decision gives hope to hundreds of thousands of clergy sex abuse victims across the globe who know lies remain under wraps at the Vatican and will only be unearthed through persistent action by secular justice officials and systems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Abuse victims can sue Vatican, court rules

ST. PAUL (MN)
Star Tribune

By JEFF STRICKLER, Star Tribune

Last update: June 28, 2010 - 1:27 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for St. Paul lawyer Jeff Anderson to sue Pope Benedict on behalf of sex-abuse victims when it refused Monday to hear the Vatican's appeal of an Oregon lawsuit.

Anderson, who specializes in filing abuse suits against the Roman Catholic Church, called the decision "the biggest breakthrough in the movement's history." ...

Anderson predicted that now he can eventually depose Pope Benedict.

"I won't start with him; I'm going to work my way up," he said. "But this ruling gives me the ability to depose anybody within the organization who has knowledge about the events."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

BARRIER to OBTAINING TRUTH FALLS

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Contact: Kristine Ward, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, 937-272-0308, kristineward@hotmail.com

A barrier to obtaining the truth regarding the sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church fell today when the US Supreme Court allowed the case of a victim in Oregon to move forward declining to hear the Vatican’s appeal to halt the case.

We hope this decision is a clarion call to Pope Benedict and the Vatican to give up the legal fight against victims along with its accompanying costly use of the Church’s resources.

We hail the courageous survivor in the Oregon case along with all victims of sexual abuse by priests and nuns. Without their courage, Catholics would not know of what was perpetrated and covered up by their Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

The Pope vs. Belgium: A Bad Fight for the Vatican?

BELGIUM
TIME

By LEO CENDROWICZ / BRUSSELS

A little over a fortnight ago, Pope Benedict XVI asked for "forgiveness from God" over the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church. His words aimed to turn the tide of public opinion back in favor of the Church during what is turning out to be the Vatican's annus horribilis — a year punctuated by revelations of horrific abuse by pedophile priests in Ireland, the U.S., Austria and Germany that took place during the papacy of John Paul II or earlier.

But when a Belgian bishops' meeting was raided last week by police investigating renewed claims of child sex-abuse, it prompted a response of outrage from the Vatican that seemed at odds with the apparent contrition in mid-June. The Pope himself described the searches as "surprising and deplorable" in a letter to the head of the Belgian Church, Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard, on June 27. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone went further, saying that the Belgian police's detention of bishops for nine hours without access to their cell phones was "serious and unbelievable," and akin to the practices of communist regimes. And after the police drilled into the tombs of two cardinals, Archbishop Léonard likened the actions to a schlock crime thriller. "It's worthy of The Da Vinci Code," Léonard said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Belgian Panel on Church Sex Abuse Disbands in Protest

BELGIUM
The New York Times

By STEPHEN CASTLE
Published: June 28, 2010

BRUSSELS — The investigation into sexual abuse in Belgium’s Roman Catholic Church was thrown into more turmoil on Monday when a committee set up by the church to hear victim complaints said it would close down to protest a raid in which all of its records were seized.

The panel had been inundated with complaints in recent months, after the April 24 resignation of Belgium’s longest-serving bishop, Roger Vangheluwe, who admitted that he had sexually abused a young boy earlier in his career.

The panel’s head, Peter Adriaenssens, suggested Monday that the police had raided his office and seized hundreds of case files once they knew that the flow of complaints from victims was slowing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Belgium a 'perfect storm' on sex abuse crisis

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

[information on Marc Dutroux case]

Jun. 28, 2010
By John L Allen Jr

Analysis

As a remarkable war of words between the Vatican and Belgium heated up over the weekend, one thing has become crystal clear: While there’s no good place for the Catholic church to experience a sexual abuse crisis, few places on earth are quite as combustible as Belgium.

The June 3 raid, which reportedly included drilling holes into the tombs of two deceased archbishops of Brussels to see if any documents lurked inside, illustrates that when it comes to the sexual abuse crisis, Belgium represents a “perfect storm.”

That’s the case for at least three reasons:

•In the 1990s, Belgium experienced a horrific pedophilia scandal that left the country extraordinarily sensitive to issues of child sexual abuse.
•Belgium is among the most secularized corners of Europe, so skepticism of institutional religion, and especially the Catholic church, is a powerful social current.
•The transition in Brussels this February from Cardinal Godfriend Danneels to Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard, a much more conservative figure, cemented impressions in some quarters that the church is turning its back on a spirit of compromise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Kiss-and-make-up session won't end debate on Sodano

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter (United States)

by John L Allen Jr on Jun. 28, 2010 NCR Today

Cardinals are supposed to be the papacy’s last line of defense, which means that conflicts between cardinals – especially in public, and especially over something as explosive as the sexual abuse crisis – are guaranteed to get the pope’s attention.

This morning, Pope Benedict XVI essentially presided over a kiss-and-make-up session between two Princes of the Church: Cardinals Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria, and Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals and the former Secretary of State under Pope John Paul II.

The pope and the two contending prelates were joined by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the current Secretary of State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

High court won't review case claiming Vatican liable for priest abuser

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

By Patricia Zapor
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has left standing a lower court ruling that will allow an Oregon man to try to hold the Vatican financially responsible for his sexual abuse by a priest, if he can persuade the court that the priest was an employee of the Vatican.

By declining to take Holy See v. John Doe, the court June 28 left intact the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that said because of the way Oregon law defines employment, the Vatican is not protected under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act from potential liability for the actions of a priest who Doe, the unidentified plaintiff, said sexually abused him in the 1960s.

The case will now go back to U.S. District Court, where Doe's attorneys will attempt to prove that the late Andrew Ronan, a former Servite priest who was laicized in 1966, was a Vatican employee at the time the events took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Zum Fall Groer und Vatikan: Kardinal Schönborn bedauert Interpretation seiner Worte

VATIKAN
Zenit

ROM, 28. Juni 2010 (ZENIT.org).- Am heutigen Vormittag empfing Papst Benedikt XVI. den Erzbischof von Wien, Kardinal Christoph Schönborn OP in Privataudienz. Der Vorsitzende der österreichischen Bischofskonferenz und ehemalige Ratzingerschüler hatte um die Audienz angesucht, um dem Papst über die Lage der Kirche in Österreich zu berichten.

Ein besonderes Anliegen Kardinal Schönborns bestand in der Klärung des genauen Sinnes seiner jüngsten Erklärungen zu einigen Aspekten der aktuellen Kirchendisziplin. Auch die Beurrteiung des Verhalten des Staatssekretariats und im Besonderen des damaligen Kardinalstaatssekretärs Angelo Sodano angesichts des Missbrauchsskandals um den ehemaligen Erzbischof von Wien, Kardinal Hans Hermann Groer (1986-1995) stand zur Debatte. Was letzteren anging hatte Kardinal Schönborn das Staatsekretariat und im besonderen den damaligen Kardinalstaatssekretär Sodano öffentlich wegen Unterlassung zur Verantwortung gezogen und deshalb international für Schlagzeilen inden Medien gesorgt. Der Haltung Sodanos hätte sich auch der damalige Präfekt der Kongregation für die Glaubenslehre, Kardinal Joseph Ratzinger widersetzt, so Schönborn vor einigen Monaten gegenüber der Presse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

Die zum Teil aus Aussagen von Kardinal Christoph Schönborn herrührten

ROM
kath.net

Kardinal Schönborn bei Papst Benedikt - Vatikan veröffentlicht Presseerklärung zum Treffen - In einer eigenen Übersetzung auf kath.net

Rom (kath.net)

Papst Benedikt hat heute Kardinal Schönborn im Rahmen einer Audienz empfangen. Anschließend wurde in einer Pressemeldung das Treffen thematisiert.

Kath.Net dokumentiert die Presseerklärung des Vatikans in einer eigenen Übersetzung:

Mitteilung des Pressesaales des Hl. Stuhls: Begegnung des Heiligen Vaters mit Kardinal Schönborn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Schönborn versucht, in Rom Wogen zu glätten

ROM
Die Presse

Rom (ag.). Wiens Kardinal Christoph Schönborn dürfte in Rom schon angenehmere Gespräche geführt haben: Am Montag traf er – nachdem er von Papst Benedikt XVI. empfangen worden war – Kardinaldekan Angelo Sodano. Jenen Mann also, den er im April so scharf kritisiert hatte.

Schönborn hatte dem ehemaligen Kardinalstaatssekretär vorgeworfen, in den 1990er-Jahren Ermittlungen gegen den früheren Wiener Erzbischof Kardinal Hans Hermann Groër behindert zu haben. Dies hatte im Vatikan für schwere Irritationen gesorgt, denn direkte Kritik an einem – noch dazu so hochgestellten – Kollegen gilt unter Kardinälen als unüblich.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Vatican clarifies Cardinal Schonborn remarks, defends Cardinal Sodano

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In an unusual public chastisement, the Vatican said a series of statements by Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn have contributed to widespread misunderstandings on issues related to clerical sexual abuse.

In particular, the Vatican took issue with Cardinal Schonborn's statement that Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former secretary of state, had blocked an investigation of sexual abuse and offended victims by calling their complaints "petty gossip."

"It should be remembered that in the church, when there are accusations against a cardinal, the competence rests solely with the pope; others may have an advisory role, always with the proper respect for the person," a Vatican statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Vatican admonishes Austrian cardinal for comments

VATICAN CITY
Canton Repository

NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Monday admonished a leading cardinal for having publicly criticized the former Vatican No. 2 for his handling of clerical abuse cases.

In a remarkable statement, the Vatican said only the pope can make such accusations against a cardinal, not another so-called prince of the church.

In April, Vienna's archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, accused the former Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, of blocking a probe into a sex abuse scandal that rocked Austria's church 15 years ago.

Schoenborn also accused Sodano of causing "massive harm" to victims when he dismissed claims of clerical abuse as "petty gossip" on Easter Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Legionaries of Christ: Marcial Maciel's legacy of sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
The Hartford Courant

Susan Campbell

The man calling from the airport sounded tired. Earlier, Jose Raul Gonzalez Lara filed a lawsuit against the Legionaries of Christ, and the estate of his dead father, the disgraced Marcial Maciel, the founder of that militaristic and ritualistic Roman Catholic order.

Maciel died in 2008, but not before he sexually abused untold numbers of boys and seminarians, fathered children with more than one woman, and turned his predator-attention toward his own children, according to the lawsuit.

The day of the announcement, Raul Lara was in Minnesota. Jeff Anderson, who has led the charge in filing suits against clergy-predators, is his attorney. He is working with the law firm of Stratton Faxon, of Connecticut, home of the Legionaries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Supreme Court rejects Vatican appeal for immunity in sex abuse case

UNITED STATES
National Post (Canada)

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to consider whether the Vatican has legal immunity over the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the United States, allowing a lawsuit filed in 2002 to go forward.

The nation’s highest court, asked to rule on a U.S. appeals court decision that cleared the way for the lawsuit to proceed, rejected the Vatican’s immunity appeal without comment.

The lawsuit, filed by a plaintiff identified only as John Doe, claimed he was sexually abused on several occasions in the mid-1960s when he was 15 or 16 by a Roman Catholic priest named Father Andrew Ronan.

According to court documents, Ronan molested boys in the mid-1950s as a priest in Ireland and then in Chicago before his transfer to a church in Portland, Oregon, where he allegedly abused the victim who filed the lawsuit. Ronan died in 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Abuse victims can sue Vatican, court rules

UNITED STATES
Minneapolis Star Tribune

By JEFF STRICKLER, Star Tribune

Last update: June 28, 2010 - 11:03 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for sex-abuse victims to sue Pope Benedict when it refused Monday to hear the Vatican's appeal of an Oregon lawsuit.

St. Paul lawyer Jeff Anderson, who specializes in filing abuse suits against the Roman Catholic Church, called the decision "the biggest breakthrough in the movement's history."

"This is huge. Really, really huge," he said. "We've kicked down the iron gates that they've been hiding behind for all these years."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

US Supreme Court deals pedophilia blow for Vatican

WASHINGTON (DC)
AFP

WASHINGTON — The US Supreme Court declined Monday to hear an appeal by the Vatican in a landmark case that opens the way for priests in the United States to stand trial for pedophilia.

Allowing a federal appeals court ruling to stand, the decision means Vatican officials including theoretically Pope Benedict XVI could face questioning under oath related to a litany of child sex abuse cases.

The Supreme Court effectively confirmed the decision of an appellate court to lift the Vatican's immunity in the case of an alleged pedophile priest in the northwestern state of Oregon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Supreme Court rejects Vatican appeal in sex abuse case

UNITED STATES
Reuters

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to consider whether the Vatican has legal immunity over the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the United States, allowing a lawsuit filed in 2002 to go forward.

The nation's highest court, asked to rule on a U.S. appeals court decision that cleared the way for the lawsuit to proceed, rejected the Vatican's immunity appeal without comment.

The lawsuit, filed by a plaintiff identified only as John Doe, claimed he was sexually abused on several occasions in the mid-1960s when he was 15 or 16 by a Roman Catholic priest named Father Andrew Ronan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

Vatican Admits to ‘Errors’ in Management of Real-Estate Assets

VATICAN CITY
Bloomberg Businessweek

June 28, 2010

By Flavia Krause-Jackson

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- The Vatican today admitted to possible “errors” in the church’s handling of its real-estate assets, responding for the first time to a corruption investigation that has involved a top Roman Catholic cardinal.

Prosecutors are probing whether Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe sold church property to former Infrastructure Minister Pietro Lunardi for a fraction of its market price in exchange for subsidies, Italian newspapers including Corriere della Sera have reported.

Between 2001 and 2006, Sepe led the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Vatican body that controls the Church’s real-estate holdings worth $11 billion and funds missionary work. Sepe, who now is archbishop of Naples, told reporters on June 21 that he “always acted according to his conscience and only in the best interests of the Church.” He denies any wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Court lets Vatican-sex abuse lawsuit move forward

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

The Associated Press
Monday, June 28, 2010; 11:46 AM

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court won't stop a lawsuit that accuses the Vatican of conspiring with U.S. church officials to transfer a priest from city to city despite repeated accusations that the clergyman sexually abused young people.

The high court Monday refused to hear an appeal from the Vatican, a decision that allows the lawsuit to move forward. No one has ever successfully sued the Vatican over sex abuse by clergy.

Sovereign immunity laws hold that a sovereign state - including the Vatican - is generally immune from lawsuits. The U.S. has had diplomatic relations with the Holy See since 1984.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

U.S. lawsuit filed against abuse priest's Irish order

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Irish Central

By PATRICK COOPER

The Irish order that harbored notorious pedophile Father Brendan Smyth is to be sued in an American court.

The Norbertine order based in County Cavan is facing a multi million dollar suit by attorney Helem McGonigle and her neighbor Jeff Thomas both of whom were molested by Smyth when he was sent to Rhode Island in the 1960s after allegations against him elsewhere surfaced.

Also named in the multimillion dollar suit is the Diocese of Rhode Island.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

How to build a better bishop

UNITED STATES
U.S. Catholic

With the diocesan chancery ground zero in the sex abuse crisis, now is a good time to ask whether a renovation might be in order.By Rodger Van Allen

"I want you to get up right now, go to your windows, open them, and stick your head out and yell, ‘I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!'"

That famous exclamation from the Academy Award-winning film Network (1976) was likely in the hearts-if not exactly on the lips-of several thousand Catholics from around the country who gathered at Boston College in 2002 to pray and reflect on the first wave of shocking accounts of the sexual abuse of children by some of their own long-revered Catholic priests.

Now the anger is expressed most forcefully in Ireland, Germany, and elsewhere as the scandal has gone global.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

US APNewsAlert

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court won't throw out lawsuit accusing Vatican of moving priest accused of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Pope: Belgian sex abuse raids deplorable; SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director for SNAP 314 862 7688

This is the most telling and depressing indication of Pope Benedict’s true priorities.

It took years before he even acknowledged clergy sex crimes and cover ups, much less begin to express solidarity with victims. But just days after a handful of his colleagues in Belgium were inconvenienced for a few hours, the Pope vehemently rallies to their defense. Because they share his occupation, nine potential wrong-doers merit more prompt and vigorous support from the Pope than hundreds of thousands of deeply wounded child sex abuse victims and still-vulnerable children across the globe.

According to the Associated Press, Benedict “also repeated that such crimes are handled by both civil and canon law ‘respecting their reciprocal specificity and autonomy.’” It is reckless and arrogant to equate civil and canon ‘law.’ In most nations, civil law is drawn up by a wide range of individuals and interests in open discussion, not strictly by a small, narrow, homogeneous handful of church men behind closed doors. In most nations, civil law is enforced by independent institutions and processes, not by a distant monarch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

The pope asks that Belgian courts continue sex abuse investigations

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

June 28, 2010. The pope has sent a message of solidarity to Belgian bishops about police raids of church offices last week, which he calls “surprising and deplorable.”

Police detained bishops for nine hours as they searched two Church offices and the home of former archbishop Godfried Danneels. Police inserted a microcamera into the tombs of two cardinals and confiscated Church computers and documents.

The pope's message asks for Belgian officials to continue their investigation to clarify what happened in the alleged sexual abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Belgium church abuse probe body quits en masse

BELGIUM
AFP

BRUSSELS — A Belgian Catholic Church-backed commission probing hundreds of reported cases of child abuse by priests announced its resignation en masse on Monday, after police raids that angered the pope.

"The entire committee is going to resign," one of its members, Karlijn Demasure, told television cameras following a meeting of the body set up in 2000 to investigate paedophilia within the Church.

A theology professor at the Roman Catholic Saint Paul University of Ottawa, Demasure said that "trust between victims and the commission" and between "the commission and the judicial authorities" was now "broken" and that it was no longer possible to go on.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Belgium church panel on sex abuse shuts after raid

BELGIUM
The Associated Press

By ROBERT WIELAARD (AP)

BRUSSELS — A Catholic panel investigating clerical sex abuse in Belgium is shutting down to protest a police raid on its church offices last week, the group's chairman said Monday.

Peter Adriaenssens, a child psychiatrist who chaired the panel, said Belgian authorities betrayed the trust of nearly 500 victims who had made complaints over the past two months to the church panel and blamed state prosecutors for pursuing victims too traumatized to speak to police.

"We were bait," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Belgian Catholic committee on child sex cases dismantled after raid

BELGIUM
Monsters and Critics

Brussels/Rome - A committee set up by the Belgian Catholic Church to investigate cases of alleged sex abuse of children by members of the clergy is to be dismantled following a police raid on its offices, media reports said Monday.

The panel, made up of clergymen and chaired by a top Belgian child abuse expert, Peter Adriaenssens, was set up to allow confidential reporting of abuses, even in cases that have fallen outside of the statute of limitations and would no longer be punishable by the law.

But late last week, magistrates conducting parallel investigations ordered police to raid the committee's offices, in which computers were seized along with documentation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Belgian Catholic committee on child sex cases dismantled after raid

BELGIUM
Monsters and Critics

Brussels/Rome - A committee set up by the Belgian Catholic Church to investigate cases of alleged sex abuse of children by members of the clergy is to be dismantled following a police raid on its offices, media reports said Monday.

The panel, made up of clergymen and chaired by a top Belgian child abuse expert, Peter Adriaenssens, was set up to allow confidential reporting of abuses, even in cases that have fallen outside of the statute of limitations and would no longer be punishable by the law.

But late last week, magistrates conducting parallel investigations ordered police to raid the committee's offices, in which computers were seized along with documentation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Worldwide Mushroom Farming

UNITED STATES
The Pope Makes Me Puke

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Joelle Casteix

Worldwide Mushroom Farming

Or: Lay review boards: Cover them in crap and keep them in the dark.

Welcome to mushroom farming, Catholic style: the “lay review board.”

What is a lay review board? Well, in the United States, reviews boards were installed in every diocese - as well as a national review board - by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. They are "confidential and consultative" boards who "review claims and make recommendations" to the bishop about the sexual abuse of children.

There has to be the perfect cliche about what they really are, but currently, it's a toss-up between "smoke and mirrors" and "don't look at the man behind the curtain." In Europe, they have even less power, as we are seeing in recent events in Belgium.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Pope chastises Belgian authorities over raids

VATICAN CITY
Los Angeles Times

By Maria De Cristofaro, Special to The Times

June 28, 2010

Reporting from Rome — Pope Benedict XVI lashed out Sunday at Belgian authorities investigating allegations of clerical sexual abuse, accusing police of using "surprising and deplorable methods" when they raided church offices, detained a group of bishops for several hours and drilled into the tombs of two former cardinals in a quest for evidence.

The pope's statement also reaffirmed the Vatican's insistence on having a role in investigating abuses within the church, saying "such grave facts should be dealt with by civil and canonical authorities each respecting its own competence."

The raids in Belgium occurred last week and came in response to what prosecutors in Brussels described as a string of accusations of pedophilia within the Roman Catholic hierarchy in that country. The targets of the investigation included a former archbishop, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, whose home and former office were searched, and his personal computer confiscated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

State denies convicted killer's release petition

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

Jeffrey Libby, who links his grandfather's slaying to abuse by a priest, plans to appeal to the governor.

By Betty Adams Kennebec Journal

For the past 24 years, Jeffrey L. Libby has waged a losing campaign to be freed.
Convicted of murder in the July 8, 1986, drowning of his grandfather Percy Libby in his bathtub in Winslow, the younger man saw his latest hopes for release dashed.

"Everyone thought this case (would be) so successful," Jeffrey Libby, now 47, said in a phone call from the Maine State Prison in Warren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

COMMUNIQUE ABOUT A POLICE SEARCH IN THE RESIDENCE OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF MALINES-BRUSSELS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 26 JUN 2010 (VIS).- The Secretariat of State released yesterday the following communique after a police search at the residence of the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, on 24 June.

"The bishops of Belgium were gathered at the residence of the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels at about 10.30 this morning for the monthly meeting of the Episcopal Conference. At about 10:30, police and court officials entered and referred that there would be a search of the archdiocese, following complaints of sexual abuse within the territory of the archdiocese. No explanation was given, but all documents and mobile phones were confiscated and it was referred that nobody could leave the building. This situation lasted until approximately 19:30.

Everyone was interrogated, members of the Episcopal Conference and staff. It was not a pleasant experience, but everything was done correctly. The bishops have always affirmed their trust in justice and its work. This search was greeted with the same confidence and therefore, for the moment, the (bishops) shall refrain from making further comments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

COMMUNIQUE CONCERNING AUDIENCE WITH CARDINAL SCHONBORN

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique early this afternoon:

"(1) The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Christoph Schonborn O.P., archbishop of Vienna and president of the Austrian Episcopal Conference. The cardinal had asked to meet the Supreme Pontiff personally in order to report on the current situation of the Church in Austria. In particular, Cardinal Schonborn wished to clarify the exact meaning of his recent declarations concerning some aspects of current ecclesiastical discipline, and certain of his judgements regarding positions adopted by the Secretariat of State - and in particular by the then Secretary of State of Pope John Paul II - concerning the late Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, archbishop of Vienna from 1986 to 1995.

"(2) Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, and Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. were subsequently invited to join the meeting.

"In the second part of the audience certain widespread misunderstandings were clarified and resolved, misunderstandings deriving partly from certain statements of Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, who expressed his displeasure at the interpretations given to his words.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

BENEDICT XVI'S SOLIDARITY WITH BISHOPS OF BELGIUM

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a message, made public today Sunday, sent by the Pope to Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, president of the Belgian Episcopal Conference, following the search of the cathedral of Mechelen and of the archbishopric which was conducted on 24 June.

"At this sad time I wish to express my special closeness and solidarity to you, dear brother in the episcopate, and to all the bishops of the Church in Belgium, for the surprising and deplorable manner in which searches were carried out at the cathedral of Mechelen and at the site where the Belgian episcopate was gathered in a plenary assembly which, among other things, also intended to consider questions associated with the abuse of minors by members of the clergy. On a number of occasions I myself have highlighted how these serious matters should be dealt with by both civil law and canon law, while respecting the specific nature and autonomy of each. In this context, I trust that justice may run its course in order to guarantee the fundamental rights of persons and of institutions, at the same time respecting victims, showing unconditional recognition for those who undertake to collaborate, and rejecting everything that obscures the noble goal with which justice is assigned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

«Waar is het gerecht mee bezig?»

BELGIE
Metro Time

Bij de katholieke kerk zijn er nog heel wat vragen over het onverwachte politiebezoek. «Wat zoeken jullie eigenlijk, waar zijn jullie mee bezig, waarom dit?», vraagt woordvoerder Eric De Beukelaer zich vertwijfeld af in ‘De Zevende Dag’.

Een duidelijk antwoord blijft uit. Een vertrouwelinge van de Kerk zou aan de federale politie verklaard hebben dat een groot aantal pedofiliedossiers achtergehouden worden. Met groot machtsvertoon zou de politie die dossiers hebben willen opgraven. Speurders onderzochten zo met koevoeten en boormachines de diverse hoekjes van de Sint-Romboutskathedraal, iets wat ook door de internationale pers breed uitgesmeerd werd.

«De onderzoeksrechter heeft het recht dat initiatief te nemen», laat minister De Clerck weten in ‘De Zevende Dag’. «Hij bepaalt ook de modaliteiten van het onderzoek.» Pas achteraf wordt de evaluatie gemaakt of alle acties wel gerechtvaardigd waren, legt de minister nog uit. «Het was inderdaad sterk gemediatiseerd en zeer levendig gebracht. Daarom is er ook zoveel commentaar gekomen.» Die kritiek komt onder meer van het Vaticaan. De paus veroordeelt de actie immers als «betreurenswaardig». De Clerck denkt ook dat het Vaticaan niet alle juiste informatie gekregen heeft, er nog aan toevoegend dat dit geen diplomatiek incident waard is.

[summary]

In the Catholic Church, there are still many questions about the unexpected police visit. They are asking what were they really looking for, what were they doing and why, according to Eric De Beukelaer, spokesman for The Seventh Day.

A clear answer is forthcoming. A church confidant of the federal police has stated that a large number of pedophilia cases are withheld. With great show of force, police have dug up those files. Investigators examined as crowbars and drills were used in the various corners of St. Rombouts Cathedral and this has been reported extensively in the international press.

The investigating judge has the right to take that initiative, according to former Minister De Clerck. De Clerck said it is regrettable that the pope has condemned the action. He does not believe the Vatican has received all the correct information. He said this does not rise to the level of a diplomatic incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Hele commissie-Adriaenssens stopt ermee

BELGIE
De Morgen

DM update De votallige commissie-Adriaenssens neemt ontslag. Dat hebben de leden van de kerkelijke commissie tegen seksueel misbruik in de pastorale sfeer vandaag unaniem beslist. Professor Peter Adriaenssens had al eerder aangegeven ermee op te houden. De commissie zal bevoegd bisschop Guy Harpigny, de bisschop van Doornik, donderdag officieel inlichten.

De commissie-Adriaenssens zou wel aan de Kerk vragen om te voorzien in een opvang voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen de Kerk. Het is nog niet duidelijk hoe die opvang er moet uitzien, aldus de VRT.

De commissie moest vandaag de knoop doorhakken of ze in de huidige omstandigheden konden voortwerken. Afgelopen donderdag legde het parket van Brussel beslag op alle dossiers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Adriaenssens: 'Ik stop ermee'

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

Deze week wordt beslist of de commissie tegen misbruik binnen de Kerk blijft bestaan. Maar wat het ook wordt, kinderpsychiater Peter Adriaenssens zal er niet meer bij zijn. 'Voortdoen heeft geen enkele zin meer', zegt de alom gerespecteerde voorzitter van de commissie. 'Ik dacht dat er duidelijk afspraken waren met justitie. Maar blijkbaar gelden die niet.'

Peter Adriaenssens voelt zich verraden. Hij dacht dat er duidelijk afspraken waren over de wisselwerking tussen zijn commissie tegen seksueel misbruik binnen de Kerk en het gerecht, maar moest lijdzaam toezien hoe een Brusselse onderzoeksrechter einde vorige week alle dossiers - bijna vijfhonderd - kwam weghalen.

'Als de procureurs-generaal, met wie we vooraf gesproken hebben, hadden laten verstaan dat onze commissie niet wettig was, dan was ik er gewoon niet aan begonnen. Maar dat zeiden ze niet. Ze hebben ons een brief gestuurd met afspraken. Zo mochten we ons niet bezighouden met actuele dossiers en mochten we geen dossiers behandelen waarin sprake was van mogelijke strafbaarheid. Daar hebben we ons aan gehouden. En toch zijn alle dossiers nu weggehaald.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Commissie-Adriaenssens neemt collectief ontslag

BELGIE
HLN

De leden van de commissie-Adriaenssens nemen donderdag collectief ontslag na de huiszoekingen van het gerecht. Eerder vandaag had Peter Adriaenssens, de voorzitter van de commissie, al laten weten dat hij ermee op houdt.

De leden van de commissie Adriaenssens nemen ontslag omdat ze in "materiële onmogelijkheid" verkeren om verder te werken en omdat het noodzakelijke vertrouwen tussen Justitie en de commissie weg is. Dat meldt de commissie voor behandeling van klachten van seksueel misbruik in een pastorale relatie in een persmededeling.

Aangezien alle dossiers en werkdocumenten op donderdag 24 juni in beslag werden genomen, kan de commissie niet verder werken. "Het fundament" van de commissie "werd weggeslagen": "het noodzakelijke vertrouwen tussen Justitie en de commissie".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Macht en machtsmisbruik in de kerk

BELGIE
RKnieuws

ANTWERPEN (RKnieuws.net) - ’De recente onthulling van veelvuldig seksueel machtsmisbruik van minderjarigen door kerkelijke functionarissen maakt duidelijk dat de kerk een groot probleem heeft: niet met de wereld of de media, maar met zichzelf. Ze staat in haar hemd. Het vertrouwen in haar leiderschap is geschonden, de machtsuitoefening binnen de kerk staat ter discussie. Een discussie die ook leeft bij protestanten’, aldus predikant Dick Wursten, inspecteur protestants-evangelisch godsdienstonderwijs, in het christelijk weekblad Tertio.

Leden van de leidende groep in de kerk pleegden misdaden en diezelfde groep gebruikte haar macht om het misbruik toe te dekken. Als je slachtoffer was, had je pech, want je kon alleen bij de duivel – de dader of een van zijn kompanen – te biecht gaan. De concentratie van alle macht bij de clerus wordt al lang aangevochten – ook binnen de kerk zelf – maar heeft na de recente feiten haar geloofwaardigheid verloren. Voor alle duidelijkheid: ik heb niets tegen macht, ook niet in de kerk. Macht – het vermogen om iets te laten gebeuren – is geen vies woord. Het hoort bij de dynamiek van het leven en speelt altijd een rol in relaties. Macht is aanwezig in de relatie ouder-kind, politie-burger, leerkracht-leerling, dokter-patiënt, enzovoort. Dat is niet erg. Waar het op aankomt, is dat de machtsuitoefening wordt (h)erkend en gereguleerd, vooral als de relatie erg ongelijk en niet-wederkerig is. Dan moet er een wettelijk kader zijn dat de zwakke beschermt tegen misbruik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Made in his own image: The Catholic Church faces another scandal

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

Joseph Ratzinger is having a terrible year. But as the Catholic Church faces yet another scandal, blame is falling on its most popular figure of modern times, Pope John Paul II, writes Peter Popham

Monday, 28 June 2010

There is a cruel paradox in the career of the man who, in September, will become only the second pope in history to visit Britain. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope in April 2005, he set about purifying the Catholic Church and returning it to its core values. He also pledged to get his charismatic predecessor, John Paul II, canonised as quickly as possible.

But as a new church scandal exploded last week, hard on the heels of the paedophilia storm, this one involving allegations of massive corruption at the heart of the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict's papal career risks being eclipsed by the dark shadow of John Paul's legacy.

Nobody doubts that the Pope would like the church to be a cleaner, leaner, quieter, purer institution, purged of paedophile priests and greedy careerists; he said as much again last week. But this man, who proposes himself as a new broom and wags his finger at those who take a permissive, typically Italian view of venality, has been at the heart of the church for half a lifetime. All these people are his old colleagues. If this is Sodom, he has been a citizen in good standing for 40 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Paus toont solidariteit met Belgische bisschoppen

BELGIE
Nieuws (Nederland)

(Novum/AP) - Paus Benedictus XVI is hard uitgevaren tegen de -wat hij noemt- 'betreurenswaardige' invallen die de Belgische politie donderdag uitvoerde in het onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik van kinderen door priesters. Benedictus deed zijn uitspraken zondag.

De paus maakte een zeldzame persoonlijke opmerking over de escalerende diplomatieke ruzie met België en gaf blijk van zijn solidariteit met het hoofd van de Belgische bisschopppenconferentie en andere bisschoppen die bij de invallen van 24 juni opgepakt werden. De paus liet weten dat het recht op zijn beloop gelaten moet worden, maar hij zei ook dat de katholieke kerk het recht heeft om misbruik door katholieke geestelijken zelf te onderzoeken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Belgium church panel on sex abuse shuts after raid

BELGIUM
The Associated Press

BRUSSELS — The head of a panel set up by the Catholic Church in Belgium to investigate clerical sex abuse says the panel is shutting down after a police raid last week.

Panel chairman Peter Adriaenssens says the authorities betrayed the trust of nearly 500 victims who had made complaints over the past two months. He said Monday the panel had been used as bait by state prosecutors eager to talk to victims who were reluctant to make complaints to police.

Authorities seized church documents and computers, detained bishops and even opened up a prelate's crypt on June 24.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Paus roept Belgische ambassadeur op matje

BELGIE
Nederlands Dagblad

BRUSSEL - Paus Benedictus XVI heeft de Belgische ambassadeur in Vaticaanstad op het matje geroepen naar aanleiding van de justitie-invallen in het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel vorige week.

Demissionair minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Steven Vanackere heeft dat maandag tegen de Vlaamse publieke omroep VRT gezegd. ,,De paus wilde weten wat er hier in België aan de hand is'', aldus Vanackere. Volgens de minister heeft de ambassadeur de paus uitgelegd dat er in België niet alleen een scheiding tussen kerk en staat is, maar ook tussen de wetgevende, uitvoerde en rechterlijke macht. ,,Mocht blijken dat bij de huiszoekingen disproportionele dingen zijn gebeurd, dan is dat niet een probleem van het Vaticaan maar van België'', zei Vanackere.

Commissie legt werk neer
De commissie die seksueel misbruik binnen de Belgische katholieke kerk onderzoekt legt haar werk neer. Maandag maakte eerst voorzitter Peter Adriaenssens bekend dat hij opstapt. Later op de dag lieten ook de andere leden weten dat ze met ingang van donderdag collectief ontslag nemen, aldus de Vlaamse publieke omroep VRT.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Protesters seek clear direction, want pastor to be ousted

SOUTHBRIDGE (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By James F. Russell CORRESPONDENT

SOUTHBRIDGE — Protesting Notre Dame parishioners, livid about what they feel is a botched church-closing process, want the ouster of their pastor and are seeking clear direction about their church’s future from the bishop in Worcester.

Parishioners say their nightly protests — in the form of prayer vigils — are a response to the diocese’s and local church hierarchy’s failure to involve them in the church-closing issue. Their goal is to keep Notre Dame open.

The protest movement began last month. The vigil begins at 7 p.m., and takes place each night on the sidewalk in front of Notre Dame Church on Main Street. Last night, a hundred people took part, with prayers in five languages, and live music with chorus. Many wore T-shirts saying: “Save Notre Dame.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Sacred Heart parishioners say decision to close unfair

FITCHBURG (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Priyanka Dayal TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

FITCHBURG — Members of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church — some of them members for more than five decades — gathered for their last Mass together in their beloved parish yesterday.

The charming church on a hill in West Fitchburg, along with three other Catholic churches in the city, is closing, per order of the Diocese of Worcester. That reduces by half the number of Catholic churches in Fitchburg.

“Nothing of us can believe this is happening. It’s been home,” said church member Maureen Daust, before entering Sacred Heart for the final Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Belgium Church abuse commission head quits over raids

BELGIUM
BBC News

The head of the Belgian Church-backed commission investigating cases of clerical sexual abuse has resigned.

Peter Adriaenssens said he was quitting and that the commission "had been used as bait", according to reports in the Belgian press.

After meeting on Monday, members of the commission have said they will step down on Thursday, Belgian reports say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Priest steps down after mishandling of child sex abuse case

IRELAND
Irish Central

By PATRICK COOPER, Irishcentral.com Staff Writer

Published Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fr Bill Bermingham, the child protection delegate of the Cloyne Diocese in County Cork, has resigned, saying his handling of a child abuse case “caused further distress to the complainant.”

Fr Bill Bermingham was appointed to the position by the Catholic Church's National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) in 2008.

The resignation comes after controversy surrounding a report that claimed Fr Bill Bermingham took a statement from a woman alleging abuse and passed it along to the accused priest before he was questioned by the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Group says "Don't give to Catholic church"

TUCSON (AZ)
KVOA

TUCSON - A local group is supporting a nationwide outcry against how the Pope handled the documented clergy sex abuse and alleged cover up.

The grassroots group of Catholics who call themselves Send the Bishops a Message, chose the church's annual Peter's Pence Papal Collection Day urging people donate to charities other than the Catholic religion.

"We're here for two things," says organizer Frank Douglas. "To protect children and to heal the wounded."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Relief for victims as priest quits child safety role

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Olivia Kelleher

Monday June 28 2010

CLERICAL abuse campaigners and victims have welcomed a decision by a priest to quit as a diocesan child protection delegate.

Fr Bill Bermingham stepped down from his role in the Diocese of Cloyne in Cork after controversy over his handling of a case involving an allegation of sexual abuse against a priest in the diocese.

Fr Bermingham was criticised for making the allegations available to the priest concerned. A woman had accused the priest of abusing her as a young child two decades previously, and had spoken with Fr Bermingham. It is understood that a number of other priests also saw the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Moral pollution engulfs church

MASSACHUSETTS
Newburyport Daily News

Margaret Flaherty

At least the unprecedented oil spill flowing from the damaged Deepwater Horizon oil rig into the Gulf of Mexico and beyond can be seen and measured by concerned scientists all over the world. As the slick spreads, while the effect of its toxicity is absolute and certain, the relentless nature of truth in time will reveal the breadth and extent of this particular incident. Since data abounds on oil's destructive aspects, the outlook is grim. One aspect to be wryly glad about is that there is no place for BP to hide.

In similar fashion, a moral pollution continues to ooze from dark and hidden shadows of the Catholic Church, a sickening abyss, covered up and ignored for years by the secretive, self-serving members within the canonical and hierarchical structures of the church. Wherever the church exists or has operated, histories of sexual abuse continue to be revealed on a worldwide basis. Unlike the well-chronicled disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused by BP, the shocking moral contamination by priest pedophiles has been deliberately hidden.

Some eight years ago, when Bernard Cardinal Law faced Boston reporters to answer questions about his role in the supervision of pedophile priests in Boston, I mistakenly judged him to be a stricken man, a man who regretted adhering to the policies of the past, a man who might claim a piece of the sunlight that was beginning to pierce the darkness. He perpetuated a policy that believed it was better to hide evil than, if you will, scandalize the faithful. Did his prideful ambition to be the first American pope refuse to acknowledge that the church he hoped to lead had no desire to really throw open all the doors and windows? What did he think of John XXIII, who believed that fresh air and sunlight would strengthen the church's foundations, who wanted to unlock doors and open wide the shuttered windows?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Vatican anger over child sex abuse raids in Belgium

ROME
BBC News

By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

Last week's police raid in Belgium which broke up a meeting of the country's Catholic bishops - who were discussing how to deal with the paedophile priest crisis - took the Vatican by complete surprise.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State - Pope Benedict's number two - was furious when he learned about how the police prevented the bishops from leaving the building where they had been meeting for nine hours, and took away their mobile telephones to prevent them communicating with their staff or with the Vatican.

The police seized files not only from the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Brussels but also took away the laptop belonging to the former head of the Church in Belgium, Cardinal Godfried Danneels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Rye Community Reacts to Crisis in Roman Catholic Church

RYE (NY)
Rye Patch

By Bree Shirvell

Rye's Church of the Resurrection, a Roman Catholic Church, is home to thousands of parishioners. Peacefully quiet grounds surround the formidable church, and while thousands of miles from Rome, Italy, the church isn't immune from the shockwaves of a new allegations involving clerical sex abuse.

Former and current members of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as those outside of the church, are asking questions about religious leaders and celibacy.

The nature of these questions: should women be ordained, should the Roman Catholic Church forgo the celibacy requirements, and how much did Pope John Paul II know, could change the course of one of the world's oldest religions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Lives: A faithful man, sorely tested

SALEM (MA)
The Salem News

By Steve Landwehr
STAFF WRITER

Everyone's life has a story. In "Lives," we tell some of those stories about North Shore people who have died recently. "Lives" runs Mondays in The Salem News.

SALEM — One definition of trust is reliance on the integrity or character of a person or thing. It's a lot more complicated than that, but that was the kind of faith Paul Cultrera once had.

It was sorely tested, not once, but twice. First by the sexual abuse of his oldest son by someone who should have been worthy of his trust, and then by the church that virtually brushed those vile acts under the rug, sending the abuser on to a new parish to prey on other children.

Cultrera died of pneumonia Sunday, June 20, in his home, surrounded by family. Home wasn't just the two-story building he lived in most of his life, it was the Italian-American neighborhood surrounding the former St. Mary's Church on Margin Street in Salem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

June 27, 2010

Call for guidelines change on safeguarding children

IRELAND
The Irish Times

BARRY ROCHE Southern Correspondent

A WOMAN who made a complaint of sexual abuse against a priest has called for a change in church guidelines on child protection after a cleric responsible for protecting children in the diocese of Cloyne resigned after passing on details of her allegations to the accused man.

The woman said she took no solace from the resignation of Fr Bill Bermingham as designated person for safeguarding children in Cloyne. There was an urgent need to review the guidelines which allowed him to inform the accused priest of her complaint.

Fr Bermingham announced on Saturday that he asked to be relieved of his role in safeguarding children in Cloyne after it became clear to him that he did not enjoy the confidence of victims of child sexual abuse over his handling of the woman’s case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

Pope Benedict slams Belgian police for raids

Pope Benedict slams Belgian police for raids investigating priestly sex abuse, pens letter to bishop

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

BY Meena Hartenstein

Sunday, June 27th 2010

Pope Benedict XVI had harsh words for Belgian police Sunday, calling their raids investigating priestly sex abuse last week "surprising and deplorable."

Police conducted the June 24 raids during the monthly meeting of the Belgian Bishops Conference, detaining the nine members for hours and confiscating their cell phones.

They searched two main church offices and the home of former Archbishop Godfried Danneels, seizing computers and files, and opened a tomb, prompting outrage from the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Readers sound off on Maciel scandal, deadbeat moms, the devil, and questionably-worded wedding vows

UNITED STATES
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

The following is a selection of (slightly edited) e-mails I've received in response to recent columns.

James O. Dorchak:

Regarding 'Noted priest: John Paul II was fooled by Maciel' (June 25): I'm very saddened to say that I do not agree with Father Trigilio. Unfortunately, I do think John Paul II knew about everything Maciel had done. I don't think he covered it up as such; I think John Paul II just chose not to take any action. I guess, in essence, this is covering up, but I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Also, in the last paragraph: 'I would never attack the families Maciel deceived, either. They were innocently fooled. So was Pope John Paul II and so were many of us who were duped by a master impersonator.' I have to point out that many of us were not fooled, yet we were attacked by our friends (sometimes family) and church for being 'uncharitable.' And I heard no apology from the LC/RC or the Church for pushing Maciel's agenda. This is a sad situation, and it just seems to me that Father Trigilio is saying we are in charge and we are stupid. This is unacceptable because I am a Catholic and I was not duped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Opinion: Pope's gaffe of the century - respect the rights of victims

ROME
Digital Journal

By ■ R. C. Camphausen

Rome - What does it mean that when pope Benedict talks about 'respecting the rights of victims,' he's not talking about sexually abused kids, but about church officials detained for a few hours by Belgian police? Is it a mere gaffe, or a truly Freudian slip?

When the present pope, Benedict XVI (a.k.a. Joseph Ratzinger), made the statement "I hope that justice will follow its course while guaranteeing the rights of individuals and institutions, respecting the rights of victims," he wasn't -- unfortunately -- talking about the victims of sexual abuse of children by priest, documented in many countries, but the people he regarded as 'victims' were the bishops taken into custody by Belgian police as part of a police raid in order to uncover who did what, or who knew about it.

The above quote from the pontiff has been published by the BBC, in an article that speaks of the pope's anger at raids of church offices and institutions in Belgium Digital Journal has previously reported. In short, Belgian authorities last week raided church offices and a crypt, confiscated a computer and detained a few church officials in an attempt to find evidence of sexual abuses possibly perpetrated by Roman Catholic priest, or of knowledge about such offenses that may have been kept secret by the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

More mixed messages out of the Vatican on priest scandal

UNITED STATES
North Country Public Radio

June 27th, 2010 by Brian Mann
Pope Benedict responded angrily over the weekend after civil authorities in Belgium raided Church property, confiscating documents relating to allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests.

In recent months, the Vatican has stepped up its assurances that the scandal would be handled more aggressively, with the Pope himself apologizing to victims and acknowledging serious shortcomings within the Church.

But Church officials still haven't said unequivocally that evidence of suspected sexual assaults will be turned over in all cases to civil authorities for an independent investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Pope wrong to denounce Belgium raid

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

Pope Benedict today issued a strong denunciation of the extraordinary police raid in Belgium on church properties -- including police prying into tombs of deceased Belgian archbishops. Excerpt:

In an exceedingly rare personal message and rebuke of a sovereign country, the pontiff also stressed the church's "autonomy" to conduct its own investigations and criticized the "lamentable methods" of Belgian police who last week detained bishops, confiscated files and even drilled into the tombs of at least one cardinal in the Brussels cathedral in a search for documents.

"On several occasions I have personally reiterated that such serious issues should be attended to by both civil and canon law, with respect for their reciprocal specificity and autonomy," Benedict said in a statement circulated by the Vatican on Sunday.

Let me stipulate that I do not know if the Belgian raids were justified or unjustified. It seems outrageous that authorities would violate the tombs of deceased archbishops, looking for documents -- but we don't yet know what information the authorities had that led them to take those unusual actions. (If that information has been reported elsewhere, please share it in the comboxes). I'm going to withhold judgment on the appropriateness of the Belgian police action -- both the grave-opening and the general raid -- until more information is released, but desecrating a grave is pretty outrageous, and I hope they can offer a good reason for having done so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Tucson man 'sends Pope a message'

TUCSON (AZ)
KGUN

Posted: Jun 27, 2010 2:50 PM EDT

Reporter: Sheryl Kornman

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucsonan Frank Douglas is not happy with Pope Benedict's response to recent criticism of the Roman Catholic Church's failure to act quickly on reports of abuse of children by priests.

So Douglas took part Sunday in a nationwide effort called "Send the Bishop a Message," aimed at calling attention to the Pope's alleged coverup of an abusive priest's actions while he was a bishop.

Douglas asked parishioners outside two Tucson churches to donate a symbolic penny to "clean up the church's image." He and others called Catholics asking them to wear green to church on Sunday to show support for the effort.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Playboy padre is jailed over £2m church fraud

CORSICA
Metro (United Kingdom)

Father Antoine Videau used the money to fund his lavish lifestyle which included regular visits to casinos in Las Vegas and Monte Carlo, a court heard.

The Frenchman, known as the Playboy Padre, was found to have 28 bank accounts around the world following his arrest in 2005.

He ‘played the system’ for 20 years while he was a priest in Calacuccia, Corsica, a court in the capital Ajaccio heard on Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Vatican taken by surprise over Belgium police raids

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

The police raid in Belgium last week which broke up a meeting of the country's Catholic Bishops - who were discussing how to deal with the paedophile priest crisis - took the Vatican by complete surprise.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state and Pope Benedict's number two, was furious when he heard how the police prevented the bishops from leaving the building where they had been meeting for nine hours.

The police took away their mobile telephones to prevent them communicating with their staff, or with the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Pope Benedict XVI Calls Belgian Raids Deplorable

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(27 Jun 10 - RV) Pope Benedict on Sunday called the raids by Belgian police on Church offices as being conducted in a surprising and deplorable manner.

The Police were investigating cases of clerical sexual abuse.

In a letter to the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, André-Joseph Léonard, the Holy Father expresses his solidarity after Thursday's search of two Church offices and the home of the former archbishop, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, during which computers and files were removed and two tombs were opened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Pope Deplores Belgian Sex Raids, Stresses Autonomy

VATICAN CITY
NPR (United States)

VATICAN CITY June 27, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI lashed out Sunday at what he called the "deplorable" raids carried out by Belgian police who detained bishops, confiscated computers, opened a crypt and took church documents as part of an investigation into priestly sex abuse.

Benedict made a rare personal entry into the escalating diplomatic dispute with Belgium, issuing a message of solidarity to the head of the Belgian bishops' conference and other bishops who were detained in the June 24 raid.

He said justice must take its course, but also asserted the right of the Catholic Church to investigate clerical abuse alongside civil law enforcement authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

BishopAccountability, Mexico, and Murders

UNITED STATES
Leon J. Podles: Dialogue

The archival project with which I am associated, BishopAccountability, is collecting all documents, articles, legal cases, and other material, associated with sexual abuse by clerics in the United States. We have close to a million pages of documents now, and will probaly end up with 3 to 5 million pages.

No one else is collecting this material. No one else, as far as we know, has a list of the names of every priest accused of sexual abuse in the United States, much less the documentation of the abuse and how the bishops handled or, almost always, mishandled, the abuse. No one – not the American bishops, not the Vatican, not any governmental or law enforcement agency – has the documentation that is essential to understanding how abuse flourished so long among the Catholic clergy.

The violence that drug cartels are inflicting on Mexico is also not documented. The government in Mexico can scarcely be trusted to paint a realistic picture, and no governmental agency in the United States seems to be keeping track of what is happening on our southern border – except for one librarian in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

No Pope, You're Very Wrong

UNITED KINGDOM
West Bromwich Albion Fansonline

So the pope has condemned police raids on the Belgian catholic church and demanded a role in investigating it.

Shut up you silly old fool. The catholic church has to be subject to the same police action as any other individual and frankly, the last organisation I'd trust to carry out investigations of child abuse is probably the catholic church, given their track record.

'Benedict stressed that abuse within the church needed to be handled by both civil and canon law, "respecting their reciprocal specificity and autonomy".

No, the church has no formal authority in Belgium to interfere in criminal investigations. In such matters, no religion is above or even equal to the law, the Vatican can butt out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Paus uit bedekte kritiek op Belgische justitie

VATICAANSTAD
Katholiek Nieuwsblad (Nederland)

KN - 27-6-2010 18:06 uur

Paus Benedictus XVI heeft bedekt kritiek geuit op de huiszoekingen en grafschennis door de Belgische politie en justitie. Deze waren op zoek naar - eventueel achtergehouden - aanwijzingen voor kindermisbruik in kerkelijke kringen bij het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel. In een brief aan de Belgische bisschoppen spreekt de paus vandaag zijn steun uit aan aartsbisschop mgr. Leonard. Eerder al had kardinaal Bertone het buitenproportionele optreden van de Belgische autoriteiten gelaakt. Volgens de diplomatiekere bewoordingen van de paus zijn de invallen en doorzoekingen uitgevoerd onder “bepaalde verrassende en betreurenswaardige omstandigheden”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

Paus steunt Belgische bisschoppen

BELGIE
NOS

Update: zondag 27 jun 2010, 15:52

Paus Benedictus heeft zich solidair verklaard met de Belgische bisschoppen. Die mochten zich donderdag urenlang niet verplaatsen tijdens een zoektocht van de Belgische politie naar dossiers over seksueel misbruik van kinderen.

De paus schrijft de bisschoppen dat het recht zijn loop moet hebben, maar vindt dat de manier waarop dat donderdag gebeurde " betreurenswaardig". De politie in België was getipt dat er dossiers in gebouwen van de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk te vinden zouden zijn.

Bij de zoektocht werd ook een graf in de kathedraal van Mechelen geopend. Er zijn geen verdachte dossiers gevonden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Lawsuit claims abuse by priest

BROWNSVILLE (TX)
The Monitor

June 26, 2010
Laura Tillman, Jazmine Ulloa and Lindsay Machak

A man in his early 40s filed a lawsuit Friday against a priest formerly of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, alleging that the priest physically and sexually abused him as a minor over the course of several years.

The plaintiff, whose name is withheld in the case, states in court documents that between 1978 and 1981 Armando Escobedo, then a priest assigned to Our Lady of St. John of Fields in Mission, “repeatedly gave (him) alcohol and sexually abused and molested him on church property.” The plaintiff was an altar server at the church during that time and was about 11 years old when the abuse began, according to the lawsuit.

In an interview Saturday at his Mission home, Escobedo said he had no idea a lawsuit had been filed against him but asserted that the allegations were completely false.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

The Pope is Shocked that Belgian Laws Apply to Priests

UNITED STATES
Gawker

On Thursday, Belgian police raided Catholic church offices and the tombs of two cardinals searching for evidence in child sex abuse cases against priests in the country. The Vatican was very upset that some priests were treated like actual people, and were subjected to searches in a criminal investigation involving their colleagues. And today, Pope Benedict sent a message to Brussels Archbishop Andre Joseph Leonard expressing his dismay at the "deplorable methods" used in carrying out Belgian law. From the BBC:

"I want to express, dear brother in the Episcopate, as well as to all the Bishops of Belgium, my closeness and solidarity in this moment of sadness, in which, with certain surprising and deplorable methods, searches were carried out."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Pope Lashes Out at Belgium After Raid on Church

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: June 27, 2010

ROME — In a sign of sharply rising tensions between the Vatican and Belgium, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday criticized as “surprising and deplorable” a raid on church property last week by Belgian police investigating sex abuse by clerics.

In an exceedingly rare personal message and rebuke of a sovereign country, the pontiff also stressed the church’s “autonomy” to conduct its own investigations and criticized the “deplorable methods” of Belgian police who last week detained bishops, confiscated files and even drilled into the tombs of at least one cardinal in the Brussels cathedral in a search for documents.

“On several occasions I have personally reiterated that such serious issues should be attended to by both civil and canon law, with respect for their reciprocal specificity and autonomy,” Benedict said in a statement circulated by the Vatican on Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Pope: Belgian sex abuse raids deplorable

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD (AP)

VATICAN CITY — The pope on Sunday called the raids carried out by Belgian police investigating priestly sex abuse "deplorable" and asserted the right of the Catholic Church to investigate abuse alongside civil law enforcement authorities.

Pope Benedict XVI issued a message Sunday to the head of the Belgian bishops' conference, Monsignor Andre-Joseph Leonard, expressing his solidarity with all Belgian bishops "in this sad moment."

The June 24 raids targeted the home and office of a retired archbishop and also the graves of two prelates. The Vatican has slowly ratcheted up its criticism of the searches, with the Vatican No. 2 on Saturday complaining they were unprecedented even under communism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

Pope condemns Belgian police raids on Catholic church

VATICAN CITY
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Tom Kington in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 27 June 2010

The Pope today criticised raids on the Catholic church by Belgian police investigating sex abuse claims.

Pope Benedict described the raids as "surprising and deplorable" and demanded that the church be allowed a role in investigating abusers in its ranks.

Last week, police raided the home of a retired bishop, opened the grave of at least one archbishop and detained Belgium's nine current serving bishops as they met, seizing their mobile phones and only releasing them after nine hours.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:57 AM

Pope criticises police methods in Belgium raid

VATICAN CITY
AFP

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI criticised Sunday the "regrettable methods" of Belgian police who raided a bishops' meeting as part of a paedophilia probe, as Brussels accused the Vatican of over-reacting.

The pontiff's criticism of the search came in a message of support to Brussels-Malines Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, the head of the Belgian bishops' conference.

"I want to express ... my closeness and solidarity in this moment of sadness, in which, with certain surprising and regrettable methods, searches were carried out including in the Malines cathedral and in the premises where the Belgian episcopate was meeting in plenary session".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Parish members fight St. Thomas' closing

NEW YORK
Democrat & Chroncile

Alan Morrell • Staff writer • June 27, 2010

As one local Catholic church is preparing to close, members of an Irondequoit parish are continuing to fight to keep theirs open.

Our Lady of Mercy Church in Greece is scheduled for its final Mass today. Parishioners at St. Thomas the Apostle, which has been announced for closure, have filed an appeal with Bishop Matthew Clark of the Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

That appeal, rarely made in the Catholic Diocese of Rochester, could go all the way to the Vatican for a final decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Vatican has Chutzpa

UNITED STATES
Anti-Catholic League

by David Fortwengler

The never-ending nightmare of high-ranking Catholic officials pretending to be victims and demonizing secular authorities continued in full force this weekend. On Thursday, Belgian police raided Catholic headquarters looking for evidence of crimes committed against children by clergy and a subsequent cover up. Rather than cooperate fully with a criminal investigation, as they have repeatedly promised, they instead feign outrage and disrespect the legitimate authority of secular officials doing their jobs. At least Catholic employees have embraced their Judeo-Christian heritage by taking the concept of “Chutzpah” to a new level.

Chutzpah

In modern times the word has taken on a wider meaning as sometimes a positive expression or admiration of a non-conformist but gutsy audacity. In the Vatican's case I am referring to the original Hebrew definition where it is used with indignation to describe someone who has over-stepped the boundaries of accepted behavior with no shame. The jewish people coined the term before the Catholic Church was even formed, otherwise I would have thought chutzpah was a synonym for Catholic Church hierarchy.

Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, responded to the raid faster than the Vatican ever has responded to a clergy sex crime and issued a statement within 24 hours. He lamented the Belgian bishops were not allowed to leave until the search was completed, were not allowed to use their cell phones, and that it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Well boo-hoo, not too many criminals are pleased when potential evidence is seized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Minister: reactie Vaticaan te emotioneel

BELGIE
Brabants Dagblad

zondag 27 juni 2010 | 12:22

BRUSSEL (ANP) - De Belgische minister van Justitie Stefaan De Clerck vindt dat het Vaticaan zich bij zijn reactie op de huiszoekingen in het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel te veel door emoties heeft laten leiden en niet goed geïnformeerd was. De demissionaire bewindsman heeft dat zondag gezegd op de Vlaamse televisie.

De tweede man van het Vaticaan, kardinaal Tarcisio Bertone, noemde zaterdag het optreden van de Belgische justitie ,,zonder precedent, ook niet in de communistische regimes van weleer''.

Volgens De Clerk is het ,,evident onjuist'' dat de Belgische bisschoppen tijdens de justitie-inval donderdag negen uur zijn vastgehouden zonder eten en drinken, zoals kardinaal Bertone beweerde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

De Clerck stuurt aan op verzoening gerecht en commissie Adriaenssens

BELGIE
hbvl

Ontslagnemend minister van Justitie Stefaan De Clerck (CD&V) wil dat het gerecht en de commissie Adriaenssens snel weer de strijdbijl begraven. Dat heeft de Kortrijkzaan zondagvoormiddag gezegd in 'De Zevende Dag' op één.

Volgens De Clerck had het parket het recht om de huiszoekingen bij de commissie uit te voeren, maar anderzijds erkent hij dat slachtoffers ook uit de biecht moeten kunnen klappen zonder dat het gerecht daarbij betrokken wordt.

De minister kwam ook heel even terug op de bitse reactie van het Vaticaan op de huiszoekingen in het kader van het onderzoek naar misbruik binnen de kerk. Die waren naar verluidt nog erger dan de praktijken in communistische regimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Paus uit kritiek op Belgische politie

VATICAANSTAD
Ad (Nederland)

VATICAANSTAD - Paus Benedictus XVI heeft kritiek geuit op de handelwijze van de Belgische politie rond een aantal huiszoekingen in het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel. Volgens de paus waren de invallen ,,verrassend en betreurenswaardig'', zo schreef hij in een brief aan de Belgische bisschoppenconferentie.

Met de brief spreekt de paus zijn steun uit aan de Belgische aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard. Die stelde eerder niet te betwisten dat justitie de bevoegdheid heeft om onderzoek te doen naar eventueel misbruik in de kerk, maar wel geschrokken te zijn dat politiefunctionarissen daarbij een graf in de Mechelse kathedraal openden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Pope: Belgian sex abuse raids deplorable

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — The pope has called the raids carried out by Belgian police investigating priestly sex abuse "deplorable" and asserted the autonomy of the Catholic Church to investigate abuse alongside civil law enforcement authorities.

Pope Benedict XVI issued a message Sunday to the head of the Belgian bishops' conference, Monsignor Andre-Joseph Leonard. In it, he expressed solidarity with all Belgian bishops for the "surprising and deplorable way" in which Thursday's raids were carried out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Pope blasts police raids on Belgian Catholic Church

VATICAN CITY
Expatica

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday criticised the "surprising and regrettable methods" of police who raided Belgian Catholic Church property last week as part of a paedophilia probe.

The pontiff's criticism of the police search came in a message of support to Brussels Archbishop Andre Joseph Leonard, the head of the Belgian bishops' conference, published by the Vatican on Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Pope deplores 'sex abuse' raids by Belgian police

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

Pope Benedict has joined mounting Vatican criticism of raids by Belgian police investigating alleged child sex abuse, calling them "deplorable".

In a message to Belgian bishops, the pope expressed his solidarity "in this moment of sadness".

Several buildings were searched in raids targeting a retired archbishop and the graves of two prelates.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Pope calls Belgian police raids "deplorable"

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Sun Jun 27, 2010

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict denounced on Sunday as "surprising and deplorable" raids by Belgian police on Church offices and the home of a cardinal this week during an investigation into pedophilia by Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Archbishop apologises for abuse investigation delay

MALTA
Times of Malta

Kurt Sansone

The Archbishop has apologised for the length of time it has taken for the Church to conclude its investigation into allegations of child abuse by priests at a Church orphanage.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mgr Paul Cremona said the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had sent Mgr Charles Scicluna, the Promoter of Justice, to Malta to supplement the investigation by the Curia's Response Team.

The alleged victims of child abuse, who made international headlines last April when they were received by the Pope during his Malta visit, were only interviewed for the second time this week, seven years after first going public with the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Godsdiensten kosten Belg jaarlijks 56 euro

BELGIE
HLM

Iedere Belg betaalt jaarlijks 56 euro belastingen om de kosten van de godsdiensten (met inbegrip van de vrijzinnigheid) te dragen.

Daarvan gaat de helft (28 euro) naar de lonen van godsdienstleraars, 10 euro naar geestelijken (priesters, rabbijnen, imams...), 3 euro naar gepensioneerde geestelijken, 11 euro naar kerkfabrieken en behuizing, 1 euro naar renovatiewerken en 3 euro naar "diverse uitgaven".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

The Mysterious Gift of Priesthood

NEW YORK
The Tablet

By Bishop DiMarzio

Published: 06/26/2010

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Last week, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, brought to conclusion the Year for Priests which he initiated on the Feast of the Sacred Heart in 2009. This year on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, more than 300 bishops and 15,000 priests joined a vast crowd of the faithful in St. Peter’s Square to close the year of prayer for priests.

Little did the Holy Father know when he declared the Year for Priests that it would be a year in which the Church was challenged with allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by priests in many different countries. For people of faith around the world, the news is a cause of sorrow and is dispiriting. It certainly has not been an easy time for the Holy Father in trying to deal with this scandal in many countries in which the Church proclaims the Gospel.

Unfortunately, this scandal has interfered with the proclamation of the Gospel for the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Gerecht maakt een kruis over de commissie seksueel misbruik in de kerk

BELGIE
RKnieuws

BRUSSEL (RKnieuws.net) - Met de inbeslagname van 475 dossiers over seksueel misbruik in de Kerk heeft het Brusselse parket de commissie seksueel misbruik van slachtoffers in een pastorale relatie zonder meer aan banden gelegd. Kinderpsychiater Peter Adriaensens, voorzitter van de commissie, vindt dat een ramp, maar niet iedereen deelt die mening. ’Waar haalt de kerk de overtuiging vandaan dat ze even een van de meest fundamentele pijlers van onze rechtsstaat mag by-passen, vraagt Douglas De Coninck zich af in De Morgen.

Toen de Commissie Seksueel Misbruik in een pastorale relatie meer dan tien jaar geleden werd opgericht, was dat een zoveelste steekvlam in de nasleep van de zaak-Dutroux. Men wist wel dat er zoiets bestond als pedofiele priesters. Het fenomeen was beschreven in buurlanden, waarom zou het hier dan niet bestaan? Het duurde tot in 2000 voor de Commissie echt was geïnstalleerd, en documenten uit die tijd tonen aan hoe ze ongeveer permanent in een conflictsituatie verkeerde met de bisschoppen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Lawsuit claims abuse by priest

BROWNSVILLE (TX)
Brownsville Herald

June 26, 2010

By JAZMINE ULLOA, The Brownsville Herald
A man in his early 40s filed a lawsuit Friday against a priest formerly of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, alleging that the priest physically and sexually abused him as a minor over the course of several years.

The plaintiff, whose name is withheld in the case, states in court documents that between 1978 and 1981 Armando Escobedo, then a priest assigned to Our Lady of St. John of Fields in Mission, “repeatedly gave (him) alcohol and sexually abused and molested him on church property.” The plaintiff was an altar server at the church during that time and was about 11 years old when the abuse began, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed in the state district court of Hidalgo County as a civil case. The man is seeking more than $50,000 in monetary relief, according to the documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Campaigners welcome Fr Bermingham resignation

IRELAND
Breaking News

27/06/2010
Clerical abuse campaigners have welcomed the resignation of Fr Bill Bermingham from his position as child protection delegate in the Diocese of Cloyne.

He resigned yesterday evening, saying despite his best intentions, he had lost the confidence of abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

A bishop's journey

By Dan Kelly
Reading Eagle

After nearly a year at the helm of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown, Bishop John O. Barres found he needs to brush up on his Spanish. ...

Clergy abuse

Barres doesn't mince words when talking about abuse of the young by clergy.

"Clergy sexual abuse is a crime," Barres said. "It is a terrible sin. It has absolutely devastating consequences on the victims and their families, and the church is taking responsibility for the history of this."

The church is trying to ensure that abuses are not repeated, he added.

"These wounds are so deep and so painful that you never fully step into the pain, but we have to be as vibrant instruments of healing as we possibly can," Barres said. "All of us are called to be beacons of hope for the victims and their families who deal with these wounds the rest of their lives. It is absolutely crucial to me."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Vatican official in 'sad and open' meetings

MALTA
Times of Malta

Christian Peregin, Herman Grech

A top Vatican official described his meetings with the alleged victims of sexual abuse as "very sad, moving and open", as two more men came forward with similar claims about priests who ran an orphanage.

"I'm here primarily to honour their request, to meet them and listen to them. But I wanted to use this occasion to get direct information about the case," Mgr Charles Scicluna told The Sunday Times yesterday after concluding meetings with six of the 13 alleged victims.

The men claim they were abused some 20 years ago at St Joseph's orphanage in St Venera.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Cloyne child protection cleric resigns

IRELAND
The Irish Times

KILIAN DOYLE and BARRY ROCHE

The priest with responsibility for ensuring child protection in the diocese of Cloyne has resigned from his post over his handling of an allegation of a clerical sex abuse.

Fr Bill Bermingham was criticised for making allegations of sexual abuse by a woman available to a priest whom she accused over abusing her as a young girl in the 1980s.

Fr Bermingham defended his role on Friday night, saying he believed his actions in making unsigned notes of an interview with the complainant available to the accused priest were consistent with church and State guidelines in the area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Editorial: Local priest asking the right questions

WISCONSIN
Sheboygan Press

[Rev. James Connell's letter]

How would I behave today if I had been the victim of sexual abuse by a priest when I was a minor?"

The Rev. James Connell, pastor of Holy Name and St. Clement Catholic churches in Sheboygan, says he asked himself that very question as he pondered how the Catholic Church has dealt with clergy abuse.

Subsequently, it prompted him to challenge church leaders.

In a 10-page open letter last week, Connell questioned whether children in the La Crosse Catholic Diocese might still be at risk because the diocese uses a standard of proof in sexual abuse cases that makes it harder for victims to prove they were abused. Connell notes that the diocese, which was headed by now-Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki, exonerated clergy 64 percent of the time, compared to a national average of just 10 percent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

June 26, 2010

Belgian probe of sex-abuse cover-up allegations

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

June 26, 2010, 12:09 pm Posted by Paul Moses

The Vatican is stepping up its condemnation of an extraordinary raid by Belgian law enforcement authorities to search for evidence that clergy sexual abuse was covered up. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said that the detention of bishops for questioning smacked of communist governments’ practices. The Belgian police were also faulted by church authortieis for searching the graves of two archbishops in the cathedral crypt, apparently on a tip that documents were hidden in the tombs. “It looks like police were searching for the Da Vinci code,” Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard reportedly said.

Thursday’s search created these scenes: police with dogs sealed off the archbishop’s palace; investigators confiscated the personal computer of Cardinal Godfried Danneels; bishops were detained and questioned; a mountain of documents was seized from a church commission investigating 450 cases of alleged sexual abuse. Authorities said that they also raided St. Rumbold’s Cathedral, seat of the Mechelen-Brussels archdiocese, acting on an informant’s tip that documents were hidden there. (Nothing was found.)

According to news reports from Belgium, the search was based on allegations from several witnesses that church officials deliberately withheld information on sexual abuse. The search signals that prosecutors evidently suspect that the church’s investigative commission is holding back evidence from them – they seized all of the panel’s records. The head of the church commission, child psychiatrist and Professor Peter Adriaenssens, responds that the confiscated records include information meant to be confidential.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Vatican says Belgium raids 'worse than Communist era'

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

The Vatican has stepped up its criticism of raids by Belgian police investigating alleged child sex abuse, calling the detention of priests "serious and unbelievable".

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, said "there are no precedents, not even under the old communist regimes".

He claimed the priests were held for nine hours without eating or drinking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Vatican Blasts Priest Sex Abuse Raids In Belgium

VATICAN CITY
NPR (United States)

June 26, 2010 The Vatican on Saturday stepped up its criticism of raids carried out by Belgian police investigating priestly sex abuse allegations, with the No. 2 official saying Saturday that the raids are unprecedented even under communism.

The raids this week targeted the home and office of a retired archbishop and also the graves of two prelates.

"It is an unheard-of and very grave fact," Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, said Saturday. Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Rome, Bertone lamented that bishops were held for nine hours without food or drink.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Family cries out for justice over girl raped by Catholic priest

KENYA
Daily Nation

By OUMA WANZALA
Posted Saturday, June 26 2010

A Catholic priest has been accused of raping a schoolgirl only minutes after giving her bananas and oranges for her sick mother in hospital and praying for her.

The priest, who was serving at Gekano Parish in Kisii Diocese in November last year when the incident reportedly occurred, then tried to swear the 16-year-old girl to secrecy with a promise of education.

A senior administrator in the diocese, also a priest, confirmed that a complaint had reached the bishop’s office over the matter, and said investigations were ongoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Abuse Loosens Church’s Culture of Silence in Italy

ROME
The New York Times

By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: June 26, 2010

ROME — One afternoon last month, a rare thing happened in Rome’s main courthouse: for perhaps the first time ever, an Italian bishop took the witness stand in the case of a priest accused of the sexual abuse of children.

Soon after, another rare thing happened. The leader of the Italian bishops’ conference acknowledged at a news conference that it was “possible” that bishops in Italy had covered up abuse, while his deputy said that in the past decade, 100 Italian priests had faced church trials in connection with the sexual abuse of minors.

The remarks were the first time the bishops’ conference had ever publicly quantified the number of Italian cases — and one of the few where it answered reporters’ questions on the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Cloyne's child-protection priest resigns in abuse-case controversy

IRELAND
Breaking News

26/06/2010
The priest in charge of child protection in the Diocese of Cloyne has resigned over allegations he acted improperly.

Fr Bill Bermingham's resignation follows reports that he gave information to a priest regarding a sexual abuse complaint against the priest.

Archbishop of Cloyne Dermot Clifford accepted the resignation and praised Father Bermingham for his "unstinting and selfless" work to safeguard children in the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Cloyne child protection cleric resigns

IRELAND
The Irish Times

KILIAN DOYLE and BARRY ROCHE

The priest with responsibility for ensuring child protection in the diocese of Cloyne has resigned from his post over his handling of an allegation of a clerical sex abuse.

Fr Bill Bermingham was criticised for making allegations of sexual abuse by a woman available to a priest whom she accused over abusing her as a young girl in the 1980s.

Fr Bermingham defended his role last night, saying he believed his actions in making unsigned notes of an interview with the complainant available to the accused priest were consistent with church and State guidelines in the area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Priest stands down amid abuse storm

IRELAND
The Press Association

A priest has stood down from his child safeguarding role within the Catholic church over revelations he gave an alleged paedophile cleric access to confidential complaints against him.

Fr Bill Bermingham, the child protection officer in the diocese of Cloyne, admitted his handling of the case has caused further distress to the woman complainant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Priest quits over handling of abuse case

IRELAND
BBC News

A priest responsible for child protection in the Diocese of Cloyne in County Cork has resigned after controversy surrounding his handling of a child sex abuse allegation against a priest.

Fr Bill Bermingham said his handling of the case had "caused further distress to the complainant".

He said it was vital "any person" occupying his role within the Catholic Church should have the "complete confidence of victims of child sexual abuse".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

'Privacy is best beschermd bij het gerecht'

BELGIE
De Standaard

Alle dossiers van de commissie-Adriaenssens zijn donderdag in beslag genomen, in het kader van een gerechtelijk onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk. Voorzitter Peter Adriaenssens vreest voor de privacy van de slachtoffers. De voorzitter van de privacycommissie neemt het op voor het gerecht en de onderzoeksrechters. Volgens Child Focus ging het parket wel een stap te ver.

'Het is de taak en opdracht van deze openbare dienst om in alle onafhankelijkheid de waarheid boven te halen en te zoeken naar wat echt is gebeurd', zegt Willem Debeuckelaere, voorzitter van de privacycommissie.

Dat het recht op bescherming van de persoonlijke levenssfeer geschonden wordt door een gerechtelijk onderzoek, noemt hij een 'verbijsterende verklaring'. 'Deze uitspraak van Adriaenssens is misschien te begrijpen in een eerste reactie van schok na een huiszoeking, ondervraging en inbeslagname. Maar toch zeer merkwaardig', voegt hij er aan toe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

'Gerecht zal privacy slachtoffers even goed beschermen'

BELGIE
De Standaard

Vandaag gaf het Brusselse parket een persconferentie over het onderzoek naar kindermisbruik binnen de Kerk. De woordvoerder stelde de mensen die een dossier hebben ingediend bij de commissie-Adriaenssens gerust. 'Het Brusselse gerecht zal hun privacy even zeer ter harte nemen als de commissie dat deed', aldus Jean-Marc Meilleur.

De huiszoekingen die donderdag werden uitgevoerd bij de commissie-Adriaenssens, in het bisschoppelijk paleis en de Sint-Romboutskathedraal in Mechelen en in de privé-woning van kardinaal Danneels, kwamen er nadat het parket verklaringen had gekregen over seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen binnen de kerk.

'De speurders hebben gisteren gezocht naar bewijsmateriaal dat die verklaringen kon staven', zegt de parketwoordvoerder. 'De onderzoeksrechter heeft daarbij, in alle autonomie, die onderzoeksdaden bevolen die hij nodig achtte. De documenten en computers die in beslag genomen zijn bij de commissie, in het paleis en bij de kardinaal, zullen nu onderzocht worden op hun relevantie in het kader van het geopende dossier. De documenten die niets met het dossier te maken hebben, zullen terugbezorgd worden. Tenzij er aanwijzingen in gevonden worden voor andere strafbare feiten, dan zijn we wel verplicht om op te treden.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Zeitung: Wulff fordert Nachdenken über Zölibat

DEUTSCHLAND
PR-Inside

2010-06-26 11:53:02 - Die katholische Kirche sollte nach Ansicht des Präsidentschaftskandidaten Christian Wulff den Zölibat überdenken. In der «Bild am Sonntag» forderte der niedersächsische Ministerpräsident und stellvertretende CDU-Vorsitzende, in der katholischen Kirche müsse es eine stärkere Debatte über die Rolle der Frau und Ämter für Frauen geben. Diese Debatte sollte auch den Zölibat nicht aussparen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

The Opus Dei fabricates “The Age of Benedict XVI” in Rome... Belgian Police raid Archbishop’s Palace and Catholic Headquarters in Brussels

UNITED STATES
John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army

Paris Arrow

The Belgian Police raid in several Catholic headquarters especially in the Episcopal Palace at Mechelen of the Archbishop of Brussels, Andre-Joseph Leonard, concerning church cover-ups of alleged children sexual abuse couldn’t have come at a better timing than June 24, 2010, on the eve of the feast day of Opus Dei founder, St. Josemaria Escriva, as Opus Dei celebrates (annually) around the world – in grandiose major basilicas with Cardinals, Bishops and Monsignors presiding the (fairytale) Mass with his relic – and a series of television shows about his life, especially in EWTN ...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

"Dit is erger dan onder het communisme"

VATICAAN
De Redactie (Belgie)

Vanuit het Vaticaan komt er opnieuw scherpe kritiek op de huiszoekingen in het aartsbisdom in Mechelen eergisteren. Die heeft ook praktische gevolgen: omdat alle computers in beslag genomen zijn, ligt de administratie van het bisdom plat.

De nummer twee van het Vaticaan, kardinaal Tarcisio Bertone (foto), noemt de huiszoekingen erger dan wat er onder communistische regimes gebeurt. Hij had het in de marge van een bijeenkomst in Rome over een "ongehoord en ernstig feit", en hij klaagde ook aan dat de bisschoppen 9 uur lang waren vastgehouden "zonder eten en drinken".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

'Privacy zedenslachtoffers niet in geding'

BELGIE
Nu (Nederland)

BRUSSEL - Slachtoffers van zedenmisbruik door rooms-katholieke geestelijken in België hoeven zich geen zorgen te maken dat hun informatie op straat komt te liggen na de huiszoekingen in het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel.

Voorzitter Willem Debeuckelaere van de Belgische overheidscommissie die waakt over de privacy van burgers, heeft dat zaterdag gezegd tegen de Vlaamse publieke omroep VRT.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Belgische justitie in opspraak na openen graf kardinaal

BELGIE
de Volksrant

Van onze verslaggever Peter de Graaf op 25 juni '10,

DEN BOSCH - In België en door het Vaticaan is met verontwaardiging gereageerd op de bruuske manier waarop de Belgische justitie donderdag te werk is gegaan bij de invallen in de kathedraal in Mechelen, het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis en de privéwoning van kardinaal Danneels.

•‘Privacy zedenslachtoffers België niet in geding’
Rechercheurs van de Brusselse federale gerechtelijke politie braken donderdag bij hun inval in de Sint-Romboutskathedraal in Mechelen onder meer het graf van kardinaal Mercier (1851-1926) open, op zoek naar bewijsstukken voor seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk. Jean-Marc Meilleur, de woordvoerder van het Brusselse parket, zei dit vrijdag tijdens een persconferentie.

Bezwarende documenten
Volgens Meilleur had justitie informatie gekregen dat in de kathedraal mogelijk bezwarende documenten lagen verborgen. De getuigenverklaringen repten echter niet over een specifieke plaats. ‘Maar één van de werknemers van de kathedraal die bij het begin van de huiszoeking aanwezig was, zei dat als we op zoek waren naar plaatsen waar recent aan gewerkt was, het bewuste graf dan een goede plaats was’, aldus de justitiewoordvoerder. ‘Daarop is het graf onderzocht en gedeeltelijk geopend.’

[summary]

Jean-Marc Meilleur, spokesman for the Brussels public prosecutor, said at a press conference on Friday they received information that incriminating documents were hidden in the cathedral but did not have a specific location. However, an employee of the cathedral was present at the beginning of the search and indicated if they were looking for places recently worked on, the burial was a good place. The grave was examined and partially opened, he said. However, no incriminating material was found in the grave.

Archbishop Joseph-Andre Leonard said he would respect the work of the court but he was surprised that the grave of a long-deceased cardinal would be opened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Perquisitions Belgique : le cardinal Bertone dénonce une action grave et invraisemblable

VATICAN
Radio Vatican

Le Saint-Siège ne décolère pas après les perquisitions menées à Malines Bruxelles par la police judiciaire belge, dans le cadre d’une enquête sur les affaires de pédophilie. Au lendemain de la convocation de l’ambassadeur de Belgique au Vatican, le cardinal Bertone a exprimé publiquement son indignation face à un événement sans précédent y compris dans les anciens régimes communistes. L’épiscopat belge au complet a été retenu pendant 9 heures, sans pouvoir se déplacer ni communiquer avec l’extérieur, sans boire ni manger. Pour le Secrétaire d’Etat, cela a été bel et bien une séquestration, un fait grave et invraisemblable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Evêques belges perquisitionnés : une "séquestration", juge le Vatican

BELGIQUE
Nouvel Obs

L'Eglise catholique s'indigne après une perquisition dans le cadre d'une enquête sur des actes pédophiles présumés. Elle envisage un recours en justice.

Le numéro 2 du Vatican a vertement protesté, samedi 26 juin, contre ce qu'il qualifie d'une "séquestration" des évêques belges, jeudi, lors d'une enquête policière sur d'éventuels actes pédophiles. Cité par l'agence Ansa, le cardinal-secrétaire d'Etat Tarcisio Bertone a estimé qu'il s'agissait d'un "fait grave et invraisemblable". Le porte-parole de l'Eglise catholique en Belgique envisage une action en justice.

"Cela a été une séquestration, un fait grave et invraisemblable. Ils (les évêques, ndlr) sont restés neuf heures sans boire ni manger", a déclaré le numéro deux du Vatican. "Il n'y a pas de précédent, même dans les vieux régimes communistes", a ajouté le cardinal italien.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Perquisitions: l'Eglise belge n'exclut pas une action en justice

BELGIQUE
Ouest France

L'Eglise belge n'exclut pas une action en justice après la perquisition de plusieurs de ses dépendances jeudi, lors d'une opération de policiers enquêtant sur d'éventuels nouveaux cas de pédophilie, a annoncé samedi un porte-parole.

«Nous ne pouvons pas exclure le fait qu'il puisse y avoir une action en justice, si cela est nécessaire», a indiqué le père Eric De Beukelaer, porte-parole de l'archidiocèse de Malines-Bruxelles.

Mandatés par le parquet de Bruxelles, les enquêteurs ont perquisitionné le palais épiscopal de Malines, au nord de Bruxelles, au moment où s'y déroulait une réunion des évêques belges, qui ont été retenus pendant plusieurs heures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Advocaat aartsbisdom sluit gerechtelijke stappen niet uit

BELGIE
Knack

De advocaat die het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel onder de arm heeft genomen, zal uitpluizen of de huiszoekingen conform de wet verlopen zijn. Mogelijk onderneemt hij gerechtelijke stappen. Intussen wil het aartbisdom de inbeslaggenomen computers zo snel mogelijk terug.

Aartsbisschop André Léonard had vrijdag al kritiek gegeven op de huiszoekingen naar pedofiliedossiers in het Mechelse bisschoppelijk paleis, de Sint-Romboutskathedraal en bij de commissie-Adriaenssens, die seksueel misbruik door geestelijken onderzoekt.

[summary]

The lawyer for the Archdiocese of Malines-Brussels is looking to see if the house searches were conducted lawfully. There is a possibility of legal action. Meanwhile, the archdiocese wants the confiscated computers back as soon as possible.

Church lawyer Keuleneer Fernand has asked whether the searches were proportional to what the justice officials were trying to do. If not, or if the investigation was not within the legal framework, legal action will be taken.

Investigators took two trucks of documents, videos and DVDs that were seized. The PCs. hard drives and memory sticks were also seized from the archdiocese. There is a possibility that wages cannot be paid without the equipment. The archdiocese also wants the personal computer seized from Cardinal Godfriend Danneels to be given back to him. The Brussels prosecutor said seized items deemed to be of no value to the research will be returned but everything first must be thoroughly investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Vaticaan: België erger dan communisme

VATICAANSTAD
Brabants Dagblad (Belgie)

zaterdag 26 juni 2010 | 17:28

VATICAANSTAD (ANP) - Het optreden van justitie in België waar donderdag alle bisschoppen urenlang werden vastgehouden, is ,,zonder precedent, ook niet in de communistische regimes van weleer''.

Dit heeft de tweede man van het Vaticaan, staatssecretaris kardinaal Tarcisio Bertone, zaterdag gezegd tegen Italiaanse media. ,,Het is een ongehoord en ernstig feit'', aldus Bertone, die repte over ,,negen uur vrijheidsberoving zonder drinken en eten''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

Church to wrap up Church sexual abuse case by August

MALTA
DI-VE

by di-ve.com - editorial@di-ve.com

Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on Thursday started meeting the alleged victims in Malta.

He told the victims that the Catholic Church could close by August its enquiry into the case of four Maltese priests accused of sex abuse.

His aim is to gather direct information to supplement the work being carried out by the Maltese Archdiocese, which has been accused by the alleged victims of delaying proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Former priest jailed for defrauding Catholic church

CORSICA
RFI

A former Catholic priest has been jailed on the French island of Corsica for robbing the church and its flock of two million euros. Two accomplices were found guilty of helping defraud the Ajaccio diocese.

Antoine Videau, 64, was jailed for two years and given a further year's suspended sentence for defrauding the church and the faithful over 20 years. He was also fined 100,000 euros and deprived of his civic rights for three years.

Videau salted away the cash while he was in charge of the finances of the diocese, which comes under the Corsican bishopric.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Is the Pope Catholic?

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Frank J. Douglas

Yes, the Pope is Catholic. Everybody knows the Pope is the Number One Catholic in the world. In fact the force and direction of Roman Catholic Church history over the last century and a half have resulted in an Imperial Papacy that is so strong in the minds and hearts of many Catholics that being Catholic means, to them, being mindlessly loyal to the Pope—no matter what.

But the ban on artificial birth control by Pope Paul VI and the seemingly endless clergy sex abuse and cover up scandal under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have resulted in even some of the most loyal Catholics to begin thinking for themselves rather than just swallowing every word spewed forth by the Vatican spin machine. In addition millions of cradle Catholics have left the church and disavowed their heritage because of these and other key issues.

Rather than ask is the Pope Catholic, more meaningful questions might be: 1) Is the Pope a Christian; and 2) Does the pope embrace Gospel values?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Tombs opened in porn search

VATICAN CITY
Straits Times (Singapore)

VATICAN CITY - THE Vatican returned to the attack Saturday over police raids in Belgium investigating new child abuse claims against Roman Catholic clergy.

Vatican number two Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said the detaining of a number of bishops during the raid was 'serious and unbelievable', comparing it to the practices of communist regimes.

On Friday the Vatican voiced 'astonishment' at how the searches were carried out and 'indignation' at what it called the violation of the graves of two cardinals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Belgian Police Raid Catholic Church Offices, Graves

UNITED STATES
The Injury Board

Posted by Joe Saunders
June 26, 2010

In an unprecedented move, Belgian police authorities raided the offices, private residences, and the graves of Belgian Catholic Church officials who may be linked to the ongoing sexual abuse scandal. The move was hailed by advocates of survivors of sexual abuse and condemned by church officials, including Pope Benedict XVI who voiced anger over police opening gravesites of former bishops.

Police seized documents, computers, and other files from Catholic Church offices in Brussels this past Thursday during a raid. According to the NY Times,

"Police officers arrived at the church headquarters, the palace of the archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, on Thursday morning while the monthly bishops meeting was in progress, a church spokesman said. The police questioned all of those present, from bishops to staff members like cooks and drivers

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Vatican No. 2 increases criticism of Belgian raids

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Saturday stepped up its criticism of raids carried out by Belgian police investigating priestly sex abuse allegations, with the No. 2 official saying Saturday that the raids are unprecedented even under communism.

The raids this week targeted the home and office of a retired archbishop and also the graves of two prelates.

"It is an unheard-of and very grave fact," Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, said Saturday. Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Rome, Bertone lamented that bishops were held for nine hours without food or drink.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Row grows between Vatican and Brussels over police raid

BELGIUM
AFP

BRUSSELS — A Belgian archdiocese is considering legal action over police raids on church property during which Roman Catholic bishops were detained and a cathedral crypt searched, a spokesman said Saturday.

His comments came as the Vatican returned to the attack over the police raids on Thursday amid fresh claims of child abuse claims by members of the clergy.

Vatican number two Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said the detention of a number of bishops during the raid was "serious and unbelievable", comparing it to the practices of communist regimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Le Vatican dénonce la «séquestration» d' évêques belges

BELGIQUE
Tribune de Geneve

Le Vatican a dénoncé samedi la «séquestration» des évêques belges jeudi lors d'une opération de policiers enquêtant sur d'éventuels nouveaux cas de pédophilie. Il voit dans cette opération «un fait grave et invraisemblable».

«Il n'y a pas de précédent, même dans les vieux régimes communistes», a déclaré samedi le cardinal-secrétaire d'Etat Tarcisio Bertone, cité par l'agence italienne Ansa. Les évêques «sont restés neuf heures sans boire ni manger», a dit le numéro deux du Vatican.

Des enquêteurs mandatés par le parquet de Bruxelles ont perquisitionné jeudi des bâtiments dépendant de l'archidiocèse de Malines-Bruxelles, dont le palais épiscopal de Malines, au nord de Bruxelles, au moment où s'y déroulait une réunion des évêques belges en présence du nonce représentant le Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Léonard: "Gerecht geeft indruk dat alle bisschoppen verdacht zijn"

BELGIE
hbvl

Volgens aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard heeft het gerecht donderdag met de huiszoekingen in Mechelen de indruk gegeven dat elke Belgische bisschop een verdachte is in het onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk. Dat vertelde de geestelijke op Radio Vaticaan.

Léonard betreurt het dat elke bisschop individueel werd ondervraagd. "In enkele uren tijd heeft men bij het publiek en de media het volledige imago van de Kerk in België aangetast. Het is een trieste gebeurtenis maar ik hoop dat sommige uitwassen ons helpen om deze crisis te boven te komen en aan te tonen dat de Kerk betrouwbaar is en meer geloofwaardig is dan sommige operaties zouden kunnen doen uitschijnen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Huiszoekingen kindermisbruik: "opsluiting van bisschoppen ernstig en onwaarschijnlijk"

BELGIE
Metro Time

(Belga) De "opsluiting" donderdag van de Belgische bisschoppen tijdens een huiszoeking naar eventuele nieuwe gevallen van pedofilie is "een zwaarwichtig feit en onwaarschijnlijk". Dat heeft staatssecretaris-kardinaal Tarcisio Bertone verklaard, citeerde het Italiaanse persagentschap Ansa.

[summary]

The confinement of the Belgian bishops during a Thursday search for possible new cases of pedophilia was a weighty and unlikely event, according to Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. They stayed nine hours without dirnking or eating, he said. The secretary said there is no precdent for this even under the old Communist regimes. Judicial investigators were looking for documents, including betters between alleged victims of pedophile priests and Catholic authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Woman claims area priest abused her 50 years ago

OHIO
Dayton Daily News

By Jeremy P. Kelley, Staff Writer
Updated 1:53 AM Saturday, June 26, 2010

KETTERING — A Kentucky woman said Friday, June 25, that she was sexually abused by a Catholic priest at St. Albert the Great Church 50 years ago.

Colleen Powell, who was raised in Kettering as Ann Colleen Gibbons, said she was abused multiple times when she was in fifth and sixth grades at St. Albert in 1960-61.

Powell announced the accusations with members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in front of Kettering police headquarters. She declined to name the priest, saying she first planned to file a report with Kettering police this weekend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Religion Briefs: Chilean archbishop sends abuse file to Vatican

CHILE
The Daily News (United States)

SANTIAGO, Chile — A local church investigation of complaints of sex abuse against a prominent Chilean priest has been delivered to the Vatican for further action.

Through an attorney, the Rev. Fernando Karadima broke a two-month silence to deny claims by several men who say he sexually abused them as teenagers.

Santiago Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz said the investigation is now in the Vatican's hands. Errazuriz last year renewed an investigation of Karadima's behavior after suspending an earlier inquiry in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Vatican blasts Belgian police raid; Sex abuse victims blast Vatican

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach California, Western Regional Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434 cell, jcasteix@gmail.com)

Vatican officials who criticize the Belgian police raid of the Brussels church hierarchy should be ashamed of themselves. Cardinal Bertone should especially be ashamed of himself. Two weeks ago, Bertone’s boss claimed church officials will “do everything possible” to stop future child sexual violations. Today, Bertone is prematurely and irresponsibly lashing out at what may prove to be an extremely effective way of doing that.

While Roman church officials talk about stopping abuse, Belgian police officials take action to stop abuse. Reasonable observers know which group deserves condemnation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Clergy sex abuse victims respond to Austrian bishops' payment plan

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president and founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)

Austrian bishops are putting the cart before the horse. The first priority must be to protect kids who are vulnerable now from child molesting clerics who live and work among unsuspecting parents. Before even discussing compensation for adults already wounded, bishops should act to safeguard children at risk today.

Austrian secular authorities must also act. We hope they are inspired by yesterday’s raid by Belgium law enforcement, and will soon launch similar investigations of devastating child sex crimes and cover ups in Austria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Kansas priest pleads guilty; Sex abuse victims respond

WICHITA (KS)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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 hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Campbell will come forward, get help, call police, and start recovering.

Campbell's plea absolves no one of the basic civic and moral duty to speak up about sexual misconduct, by him or other clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Priest pays $500 fine in prostitution case; sex abuse victims respond

NASHUA (NH)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790)

If Ventura committed any other sexual misdeeds, we hope that those who may have information will speak up. We hope that Ventura's bishop will be honest and forthcoming with his flock about this priest's plea. (According to news accounts, Ventura is a New Hampshire native.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Priest pleads no contest to sex charge

NASHUA (NH)
Nashua Telegraph

By JOSEPH G. COTE
Staff Writer

NASHUA – A Catholic priest arrested for trying to pay for sex pleaded no contest in court on Thursday and agreed to pay a $500 fine.

The Rev. William Ventura, 31, of 115 Middlesex St., Chelmsford, Mass., was one of eight men arrested by Nashua Police in April and charged with soliciting an adult for sex via Craigslist.

Ventura is a parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Church in Chelmsford, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Boston. He took a leave of absence from the church after his arrest, according to the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Church leadership, in time, will follow this wayward priest

UNITED STATES
South Bend Tribune

VIEWPOINT

By THOMAS L. MURRAY

Publication of the Rev. Charles Curran's "Banned by the Pope" in the June 14 Newsweek was most timely and appreciated. As an active Catholic long interested in and working for reform of our church hierarchy, I venture to say that Curran speaks for a vast majority of the Catholics in the United States, and I believe elsewhere.

I met him in Naples, Fla., when he was the featured speaker at the Speakers Forum of Voice of The Faithful of Southwest Florida several years ago. I was a member of the board of that organization. A small number of our group also had the opportunity to speak with him personally at a breakfast meeting. He was banned by the bishop from our Catholic premises, so we rented a Protestant church for Curran's full-house turnout.

Curran is truly an inspiration of gentle persistence for needed change in our church's wounded hierarchical system. I am currently studying medieval history and particularly am digesting "Medieval Europe, Fifth Edition, A Short History," by C. Warren Hollister. Like a tennis match, except under war conditions, it was state and church; then church and state; and the Jesus we know from the Gospels was nowhere in sight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Accused priest given access to confidential complaint report

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney Religion Correspondent

Saturday June 26 2010

A PRIEST last night denied he acted improperly in giving an alleged paedophile cleric access to confidential complaints made against him by a woman.

Fr Bill Bermingham, the child protection officer of the crisis-hit diocese of Cloyne, defended his action as being in line with both Catholic Church and state child protection guidelines.

But Fr Bermingham said he was "deeply upset" that the woman felt distressed by his passing on of details of her ordeal to the accused priest before he was questioned by gardai.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Thumb up: New Florida law lifts statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases

FLORIDA
TCPalm

Editorial board
TCPalm
Posted June 26, 2010 .

FOR THE CHILDREN: Childhood victims of sexual abuse have new legal options in the Sunshine State.

Recently, Gov. Charlie Crist signed House Bill 525, which lifts the time limit in which sexual abuse victims can file a lawsuit.

Previously, state law required victims to file a civil lawsuit on or before his or her 22nd birthday. Now, if the abuse occurred prior to the victim’s 16th birthday, there is no statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Suspended sentence for boys' molester

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

Kashiefa Ajam
June 26 2010

Pastor Johan Meiring was handed a wholly suspended sentence for molesting two teenage boys this week. It probably didn't help his case that his church in the little Free State town of Wepener is called Touch Me Lord Ministries.

Meiring, 32, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault after he admitted to inappropriately touching the private parts of the boys, aged 18 and 16, on two separate occasions, while they were asleep.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Critics demand names of all priests accused of sex abuse

FALL RIVER (MA)
Standard-Times

By Brian Fraga
bfraga@s-t.com
June 26, 2010

The Diocese of Fall River shot back at criticisms this week from a group of lay Catholics who rallied Thursday to call on Bishop George W. Coleman to release the names of all priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

"The diocese has had a policy since 1995 where we have published the names of each priest against whom a credible allegation has been made," said John Kearns, diocese spokesman.

Kearns noted Friday that in the last two years, the diocese has released the names of three priests accused of sexual misconduct. Kearns said those notifications were sent to media outlets, the affected parish communities were notified and information posted on the diocesan website.

However, members of the local branch of Voice of the Faithful, a lay organization founded in response to the 2002 sex abuse crisis that rocked the Catholic Church in the United States, say Coleman has not gone far enough to inform the public about priests suspected of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Archdiocese official argues that safeguard audits are insufficient

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: June 25, 2010

[Related Documents
PDF: An open letter from Father John Connell
PDF: Addendum to Connell's letter]

Catholic dioceses in Wisconsin and across the country often tout their annual audits by the U.S. Conference of Bishops as proof that they are protecting children from sexual abuse by clergy.

The audits ensure a diocese has in place such safety measures as training, a code of conduct, background checks and a child sex abuse review board, all required by the so-called Dallas Charter, a 2002 document drafted by the bishops conference in response to the clergy sex abuse scandal.

But a canon lawyer and vice chancellor in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee alleged this week that the audits are insufficient, saying parameters the bishops conference imposed limit their scope in a way that could endanger children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Priest’s case may move forward after next date

ST. CHARLES (IL)
St. Charles Republican

By Hal Conick, hconick@mysuburbanlife.com
St. Charles Republican
Posted Jun 25, 2010

St. Charles, IL — The hearings of Alejandro Flores, a Catholic priest who is accused of molesting a young St. Charles boy, may be moving forward after an August hearing, according to Flores’ lawyer.

Flores, 37, of the 600 block of Brook Forest Avenue in Shorewood, will appear in court at 9 a.m. Aug. 6.
He is charged with 16 felonies, including predatory sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse, indecent solicitation of a child and attempted aggravated sexual abuse in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of his now 13-year-old godson.

Glenn Sowa, Flores’ defense attorney, said in court that he expects discovery in the preliminary hearings for Flores to be finished by the Aug. 6 court date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Guest column: An apology isn't enough

IOWA
Des Moines Register

RICHARD E. PATES is bishop of the Catholic Diocese of D.M. This essay is adapted from his column in The Catholic Mirror. Contact: Bishop@dmdiocese.org • June 26, 2010

Until recently, the media once again had focused on the abuse of children by Catholic clergy - due undoubtedly to revelations of abuse by priests in Europe. Such news is disturbing to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and needs to be addressed.

First, the publicity gives leaders of the church another opportunity to apologize for the horrific actions of members of the Catholic clergy who exploited their positions of trust to abuse children. Nothing can be said to justify such actions, or of any attempts to cover them up. Priests have traditionally held places of privilege and honor among Catholics and to betray that trust is indefensible.

That place of privilege is undoubtedly related to the media's, and the public's, continued interest in the problem, by the way. Many other professionals, and non-professionals, have abused children, but more is expected of priests, who dedicate their lives to God. So, I want to be clear that such actions are abhorrent and, as bishop, I ask forgiveness for the harm they have caused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Priest defends actions over Cloyne

IRELAND
RTE News

Saturday, 26 June 2010
The child protection delegate in the Diocese of Cloyne has defended his actions in dealing with an allegation of sexual abuse against a priest in the diocese.

Fr Bill Bermingham was responding to a report in the Irish Examiner claiming that he informally took a statement from a woman alleging abuse and passed it on to the priest concerned before he was interviewed by the Gardaí.

In a statement last night, Fr Bermingham said he received the allegation in May 2009 and immediately reported it to the Gardaí and the Health Service Executive in accordance with guidelines set down by the Catholic Church on the safeguarding of children which are fully compliant with child protection legislation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Kmiec criticized for failure to alert area on priest accused of sex abuse

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: June 26, 2010

A national group critical of how the Catholic Church deals with clergy sex abuse cases on Friday criticized Buffalo Bishop Edward U. Kmiec for failing to alert area families about a priest accused of molesting three minors more than 30 years ago.

The Rev. Gabriel M. Patil was accused in 2004 lawsuits of molesting three boys in 1978, during his time at a high school in the Diocese of Allentown, Pa.

The lawsuit was dismissed in 2005 by Pennsylvania State Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

June 25, 2010

Vatican opposes Louisville lawyer's bid to take testimony from Pope in sex abuse lawsuit

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith • psmith@courier-journal.com • June 25, 2010

The Vatican has filed formal opposition to a Louisville lawyer's bid to take sworn testimony from Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials over sexual abuse in the United States.

Church lawyers said requiring the "unprecedented" testimony from the pope and his top aides would set a dangerous precedent that could inspire foreign courts to subpoena the president of the United States in future cases.

"If Pope Benedict XVI or the Secretary of State is ordered to testify by a United States court, foreign courts could feel emboldened to order depositions of the President or Vice President of the United States regarding, for example, such issues as CIA rendition," lawyer Jeffrey Lena stated in a brief filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Western Kentucky.

Child protection cleric told priest of allegations

IRELAND
The Irish Times

BARRY ROCHE SOUTHERN CORRESPONDENT

A PRIEST with responsibility for ensuring child protection in the diocese of Cloyne last night defended his actions in making allegations of sexual abuse by a woman available to a priest whom she accused over abusing her as a young girl in the 1980s.

Fr Bill Bermingham, designated person for safeguarding children for the diocese of Cloyne, said he believed his actions in making unsigned notes of an interview with the complainant available to the accused priest were consistent with church and State guidelines in the area.

“When I furnished this record, this was not in any way connected to the Garda investigation or to a pending Garda interview with the accused priest. Indeed, I did not know at the time when the gardaí intended to interview the accused priest in connection with the complaint.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Priest defends role in sexual abuse claim

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Sean O’Riordan

Saturday, June 26, 2010

THE man in charge of child protection in the Diocese of Cloyne said he acted in accordance with Church and state guidelines by informing a priest accused of abuse who his accuser was and the nature of their complaint.

Fr Bill Bermingham said, as the designated child protection officer, he followed guidelines laid down by the Department of Health and Children and the Catholic Church for dealing with allegations. He said the guidelines required him to carry out a number of steps, including immediately informing the HSE and gardaí of a complaint.

Fr Bermingham said when conducting interviews with an accused person, he was specifically required to inform them of the identity of the complainant and the details of the allegation. He said the document Safeguarding Children: Standards and Guidance Document for the Catholic Church, which is fully compliant with child protection legislation, states an accused person must be given enough detail about the allegation to be able to offer a response.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Group Wants Buffalo Catholic Diocese to Release Names of Predator Priests

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

[with video]

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) - Three people gathered outside the headquarters of the Buffalo Diocese demanding action.

They want the Diocese to release the names of priests identified-- long ago-- as predators.
The names were listed in a report required to be done by all diocese.

The people are members of S.N.A.P. which stands for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Protest against alleged abusive priest

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB

[with video]

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Sex abuse victims came to Buffalo Friday demanding that the diocese remove a man they call a pedophile priest.

Activists tracked down a Catholic priest to western New York that they suspect has sexually molested children in the past, and demanded action by the Diocese of Buffalo to expose him.

Mark Lyman said, "Truth is power, and we have nothing to hide. We want the truth exposed, and we hope that by doing that, if we can save one more child from sexual abuse, that is our goal."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

In Belgium, police raided Catholic offices over sex crimes. Vatican shocked

UNITED STATES
AMERICAblog

by Joe Sudbay (DC) on 6/25/2010

Here's the thing the Catholic Church never got about the child rape scandal: Catholic priests around the world were committing crimes when they raped children. Their actions were illegal. Criminal. But, the Catholic Church thinks it exists in some kind of alternate universe where its priests don't have to face prosecution. Unfortunately, over the past decades, too many public officials have enabled the criminals in the Church to slide by.

Finally, in Belgium, priests and those who abetted the crimes are being treated like the criminals that they are. Yet, the Vatican is shocked. Get over it, Benedict. Many of your employees should be in jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

Woman accuses dead priest of sex abuse

KETTERING (OH)
WDTN

[with video]

Kennan Oliphant
KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) - Colleen Powell,60, filed a police report Friday about sexual abuse she claimed to have experienced more than 50 years ago at the hands of a deceased priest.

Powell filed these claims although her alleged abuser, Father Walter Katarskis of St. Albert the Great Parish, died in 1993. The former Kettering resident said doing art work helped her deal with the repressed memories, which began to surface in 1997.

"Lots of times I didn't have the words to say I couldn't figure out what I was thinking," stated Powell "the action of drawing or writing let me know what I was feeling and what I was thinking," Powell added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Pastor In Hot Water Faces More Charges

WARREN (MI)
ClickOnDetroit

WARREN, Mich. -- A Warren pastor charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct in connection with allegations made by a teenage boy has been arraigned on two additional charges.

Last week, Christopher Settlemoir, 26, was arraigned on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

On Thursday, Settlemoir was arraigned on two new charges of accosting a child for immoral purpose.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Warren pastor in sex case arraigned on new charges

WARREN (MI)
The Detroit News

Christine Ferretti / The Detroit News
Warren -- A Baptist Church pastor accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy was arraigned this morning in Warren District Court on new allegations of misconduct.

Antioch Baptist Church pastor Christopher Settlemoir, 26, is now charged with two counts of accosting a minor for immoral purposes stemming from incidents involving two other children "affiliated with the (church's) school," Police Commissioner William Dwyer said.

Dwyer and prosecutors are declining to disclose the gender or age of the additional alleged victims. Police have also refused to discuss what acts are alleged to have occurred, and when. Court records indicate the crimes were allegedly committed between Sept. 1, 2009, and April 20, 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Warren pastor accused of molesting teen faces more charges

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

By Gina Damron
Free Press Staff Writer

A Warren pastor, charged with molesting a teen, was arraigned today on additional charges, according to the Warren Police Department.

The Rev. Christopher Scott Settlemoir, 26, was charged today in Warren’s 37th District Court with accosting a child for immoral purpose. Two more juveniles, according to a news release, have come forward.

Settlemoir, a pastor at Antioch Baptist Church, is already charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly engaging in sex acts with a 15-year-old boy between Feb. 1 and June 4 at the church and his home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

SNAP welcomes Belgian police raid at the home and office of former Archbishop

BELGIUM
Cplash

by lalit.kishore, June 25, 2010 22:33

Happening:

Belgian police investigating priestly sex abuse conducted raids at the home and offices of the retired archbishop of Belgium Godfried Danneels along with targeting the graves of two archbishops.

The Vatican’s reactions:

~Said that any sinful and criminal abuse of minors from members of the church must be condemned but there was a need for justice and amends.

~Expressed astonishment at the way in which the search took place.

~Called the violation of the graves and tombs outrageous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Chelmsford priest pays $500 fine in prostitution case

NASHUA (NH)
iStockAnalyst

Source: The Sun (Lowell, Massachusetts) By John Collins, The Sun, Lowell, Mass

June 25--NASHUA -- A Chelmsford priest arrested two months ago in a Craigslist prostitution sting by Nashua police pleaded no contest and agreed to pay a $500 yesterday in Nashua District Court. Rev. William Ventura, 31, parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Church in North Chelmsford, was one of eight men caught in the sting and charged with soliciting an adult for sex, a misdemeanor prostitution charge, which carried a maximum punishment of a year in prison. Standing next to his attorney, Gerard LaFlamme Jr., in court, Ventura entered a "nolo contendre" plea, and told Nashua District Court Judge Thomas Bamberger that he is a first-time offender. Bamberger accepted the plea, and ordered Ventura to pay the fine before leaving the courthouse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

The Abuse Puzzle: Despite reforms, the full scope of clergy sex crimes in Kansas is still unknown

KANSAS
Lawrence Journal-World

[additional page with interactive map]

By Shaun Hittle

June 23, 2010

Janet Patterson gathers literature for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, following a meeting for the group on Aug. 12, 2009, in El Dorado. In back is Pat Andra, Patterson’s sister. In 1999, Patterson’s son, Eric Patterson, then 29, committed suicide after alleged sexual abuse by former Wichita priest and convicted sex offender Robert Larson.
Janet Patterson investigates alleged child molesters, chronicles timelines of crimes and assists victims of abuse in dealing with the aftermath of their trauma.

Patterson isn’t in law enforcement and she isn’t a private investigator or a social worker. But after her son, Eric, became one of five suicide victims who alleged being sexually abused by former Wichita priest and convicted sex offender Robert Larson, she became a watchdog on the Catholic Church and its handling of abusive clergy.

Eight years after church reforms, the national and international spotlight again is on the Catholic Church. Patterson and other victims say the church continues to fall short of full disclosure in identifying abusive clergy and informing the public about them.

“It’s a PR campaign. They haven’t begun to be honest,” Patterson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan.

KANSAS
Lawrence Journal-World

By Shaun Hittle

June 23, 2010

Representatives from the Archdiocese provided information about several clergy accused of abuse, but would not agree to an interview, and didn’t provide information about the number of total allegations made against clergy.

Cases

• James Forsythe: Served at Holy Cross Church in Overland Park and admitted to molesting a 15-year-old boy about 20 times in the late 1980s while at Holy Cross, according to published reports.

In 1989, Forsythe pleaded guilty in a Johnson County court to attempted indecent liberties with a child. Forsythe served three months in prison and was released on four years’ probation. After prison, spent seven months at a Catholic residential facility in New Mexico. Church officials say Forsythe was removed from the Church

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Wichita Diocese

KANSAS
Lawrence Journal-World

By Shaun Hittle

June 23, 2010

A representative from the Wichita Diocese didn’t return repeated phone calls from the Journal-World requesting information.

The Diocese responded to a certified letter sent in November. In that letter, Bishop Michael Jackels confirmed that the Diocese has received 22 “allegations of sexual abuse of minors” since the implementation of the Charter in 2002.

Of the 22, Jackels said that 20 were made against clergy who “were already deceased, or removed from ministry, or voluntarily left the priesthood, or retired from active ministry.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Dodge City Diocese

KANSAS
Lawrence Journal-World

By Shaun Hittle

June 23, 2010

Representatives from the Dodge City Diocese provided information about one priest — John Haberthier — who had allegations of abuse made against him. The Diocese in 2006 disclosed information about the allegations to the public, though did not provide further information about a resolution to the investigation.

The Diocese declined to answer questions about any other cases of abuse. Father Bob Schremmer, diocese vicar general, said: "That's the only case we have information to release to the public."

The Diocese declined a request for an interview, and did not respond to a certified letter sent in November requesting more information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Salina Diocese

KANSAS
Lawrence Journal-World

[related document]

By Shaun Hittle

June 23, 2010

The Salina Diocese provided detailed information about two priests accused of abuse, but the Diocese declined to provide information about any other cases, and declined a request for an interview.

• Robert Reif: Was accused in 1987 of sexual abuse of two boys that occurred in several cities between 1975 and 1986. Church officials said that the Church compensated the victims and paid expenses for counseling and treatment. In 1995, a lawsuit was filed against the diocese related to the abuse. A dismissal on the suit based on expiration of the statute of limitations was reversed, but the diocese and the victims settled out of court.

According to Church officials, Reif left the priesthood and was later defrocked by the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Survivors Network Members Call For Thorough Lists of Abusers

MASSACHUSETTS
WAMC

[audio presentation]

BOSTON, MA (WAMC) - Members of the survivors network of those abused by priests called on Catholic Bishops in Massachusetts Thursday to release thorough lists of accused abusers. WAMC's Paul Tuthill reports...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

VERKLARING VAN HET STAATSSECRETARIAAT NAAR AANLEIDING VAN DE HUISZOEKINGEN IN BELGIË

BELGIE
KerkNet

BRUSSEL (KerkNet/IPID) - In een voor zijn doen ongewoon gebaar, heeft het Staatssecretariaat vanmiddag in een perscommuniqué niet alleen de verklaring gepubliceerd die Eric de Beukelaer, woordvoerder van de Bisschoppenconferentie, gisterenavond na de huiszoekingen van het parket in Mechelen en Leuven vrijgaf. Het Staatssecretariaat voegde er zelfs nog volgende extra commentaar aan toe.

“Door de verklaring van de woordvoerder van de bisschoppen van België te publiceren, herneemt het Staatsecretariaat de stevige veroordeling van elke moreel verwerpelijke en misdadige handeling van misbruik van minderjarigen door leden van de clerus, evenals de noodzaak om dergelijke handelingen te herstellen in de betekenis van gerechtigheid en de onderrichtingen van het evangelie. In het licht van een dergelijke noodzaak, spreekt het Staatssecretariaat niettemin zijn scherpe verbijstering uit over de concrete modaliteiten van de huiszoekingen die gisteren door de Belgische gerechtelijke overheid zijn bevolen en zijn stomme verbazing voor de vaststelling dat de graven van de overleden aartsbisschoppen van Mechelen-Brussel, de kardinalen Jozef-Ernest Van Roey en Leo-Joseph Suenens bij deze gelegenheid werden geschonden

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Graf kardinaal Mercier geopend bij doorzoeking kathedraal

BELGIE
Katholiek Nieuwsblad (Nederland)

Bij de doorzoeking van de Mechelse Sint-Romboutskathedraal is donderdag ook de crypte doorzocht. Daarbij is op aanwijzing van een medewerker van de kathedraal het graf van kardinaal Mercier geopend. Het Vaticaan heeft over deze “grafschennis” vandaag zijn “verontwaardiging” en “verbijstering” uitgedrukt, meldt De Standaard. Volgens Rome zijn ook de graven van de kardinalen Van Roey en Suenens geopend. Het Belgisch gerecht wil dit niet bevestigen.

Het Vaticaan stelt in zijn reactie verder: “Onze ontsteltenis over deze acties wordt bovendien gecombineerd met bitterheid, door de schending van de vertrouwelijkheid waar de slachtoffers recht op hebben.” Ook veroordeelt Rome “alle strafbare feiten en immorele misbruiken van minderjarigen door leden van de Kerk”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Vatican condemns police raid on Belgian cardinals tombs

BELGIUM
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Bruno Waterfield in Brussels
Published: 5:57PM BST 25 Jun 2010

The Vatican has protested after Belgian police drilled into the tombs of two Roman Catholic Cardinals in a search for evidence of paedophile priests.

Police officers raided the St Rambouts Cathedral in the town of Mechelen, north of Brussels, on Thursday acting on allegations that a cache of files concerning a sex abuse cover up was hidden in the crypt.

A Church spokesman confirmed that police officers opened the tomb of Leo Jozef Suenens, Belgian prelate between 1961 and 1979 and the grave of Jozef-Ernest van Roey, who was his predecessor as head of the Catholic Chrurh in Belgium from 1926 until his death in 1961.

"The tombs of Cardinals Suenens and Van Roey were drilled and a camera was pushed into them apparently to see whether there were any hidden documents," said Father Eric De Beukelaer, spokesman for the cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Vatican 'astonished' at Belgian police raid

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

By ALESSANDRA RIZZO (AP)

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican said Friday it was astonished and outraged that Belgian police investigating priestly sex abuse had conducted raids that also targeted the graves of two archbishops.

The Vatican summoned the Belgian ambassador to the Holy See to convey its anger over the raids, which also included the home and offices of the retired archbishop of Belgium. The ambassador was called in for a meeting with the Vatican's foreign minister.

In a statement, the Vatican said any sinful and criminal abuse of minors from members of the church must be condemned and repeated that there is a need for justice and amends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Vatican Criticizes Raid on Belgian Church Offices

BELGIUM
The New York Times

By STEPHEN CASTLE and NICHOLAS KULISH
Published: June 25, 2010

BRUSSELS — An extraordinary series of raids on the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium provoked sharp criticism from the Vatican on Friday, with the church expressing “amazement” and “disdain” a day after Belgian investigators interrupted a bishops’ meeting at the church’s Brussels headquarters, detaining clerics for nine hours, and opened an archbishop’s grave at a cathedral north of the city.

The Belgian civil law-enforcement authorities seized documents and other potential evidence related to allegations of sexual abuse after searching the headquarters, the home of a recently retired cardinal and the offices of a commission established by the church to handle abuse complaints. The grave was opened at the St. Rombouts Cathedral, north of Brussels, Jean-Marc Meilleur, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Brussels, told The Associated Press.

The aggressiveness of the raids — coming after hundreds of complaints of sex abuse had been lodged with the Belgian church’s special commission within a few months — represented a major departure in Belgium’s investigation of church-related sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Some Belgian victims may be upset; US abuse group reassures them

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home)

(According to two news accounts, reportedly some Belgian victims are upset because info about their cases are now in the hands of secular authorities.)

We understand that some victims may be worried because law enforcement officials now have information about them. And we believe that no one who was sexually violated as a child needs or deserves any more discomfort or worry.

At the same time, we are convinced that there's only one consideration that trumps a wounded adult's feelings - the actual safety of children. Most child sex abuse victims, in our experience, want to do everything possible to spare other kids the pain that we've endured, and welcome this new investigation by secular authorities into church cover ups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

A global case for good government in the church

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Jun. 25, 2010 All Things Catholic

Especially in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis, many Catholics in Europe and the States have come to see the push for good government in the church, featuring greater accountability and transparency, in roughly the same way that Catholics in the late 1960s saw aggiornamento -- something obviously to be desired, even if no two people define it quite the same way.

Yet today we live in an increasingly global church, in which Europe and America no longer set the tone all by themselves. Whether Catholicism in the 21st century embraces accountability with the same passion it once felt for aggiornamento, therefore, may turn on whether Catholics outside the West find their own reasons for doing so.

In a speech in Philadelphia on Thursday for the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, I suggested that a quick look around the Catholic map suggests the global case for good church governance is actually quite strong. I laid the argument out in a premise, two observations, and a thesis, which I’ll summarize here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Vatican opposes interrogation of pope in sex abuse case

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Jun. 25, 2010 NCR Today

On the same day that Belgian police raided church offices to seize documents in a sex abuse probe, the Vatican found itself in the courts of another country, this time the United States, trying to fend off attempts to interrogate the pope and other senior Vatican officials in another case involving clerical sexual abuse.

Vatican attorneys filed a brief on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Kentucky in the case of O’Bryan v. Holy See, opposing requests from lawyers representing three sex abuse victims for depositions of four figures at the very top of the church’s power structure:

• Pope Benedict XVI
• Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State
• American Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
• Italian Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Vatican’s nuncio, or ambassador, in the United States

The requests, the Vatican lawyers argued, are “unprecedented – akin to a foreign plaintiff seeking a foreign court order compelling the depositions of the United States President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense and ambassador.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Scandaleuses perquisitions à l’archevêché de Malines

BELGIQUE
Radin Rue

Suite à la perquisition du jeudi 24 juin à l’archevêché alors que les évêques étaient réunis en conférence épiscopale, le porte-parole a fait la déclaration suivante.

"Les évêques de Belgique étaient réunis à l’archevêché de Malines-Bruxelles vers 10h30 ce matin pour la réunion mensuelle de la conférence épiscopale. Vers 10h30, la justice et les forces de police sont entrées et ont signifié qu’il y aurait une perquisition de l’archevêché, suite à des plaintes pour abus sexuel sur le territoire de l’archidiocèse. Aucune autre explication fut donnée, mais tous les papiers et téléphones portables furent confisqués et il fut signifié que personne ne pouvait quitter le bâtiment. Cet état de fait a duré jusque vers 19h30.

Chacun, tant membres de la conférence épiscopale que membres du personnel furent auditionnés. Ce n’était pas une expérience agréable. Les évêques ont toujours dit avoir confiance dans la justice et son travail. La présente perquisition est accueillie avec la même confiance et c’est pourquoi qu’ils s’abstiennent de faire, pour le moment, de plus amples commentaires.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Le Vatican proteste après des perquisitions en Belgique

BELGIQUE
L'Express (France)

Par Reuters, publié le 25/06/2010 à 09:40

Le Vatican a protesté auprès du gouvernement belge après des perquisitions jeudi à l'archidiocèse et au domicile de l'ancien primat de Belgique à Malines, ainsi qu'à Louvain, dans le cadre d'une enquête sur des abus sexuels.

Dans un communiqué, il se dit surpris de la façon dont ces perquisitions ont été menées et précise qu'une protestation officielle a été remise à l'ambassadeur de Belgique auprès du Saint-Siège.

Le Vatican s'indigne aussi que des fouilles aient été menées dans une crypte de la cathédrale de Malines. Après avoir foré des trous dans les tombes de deux anciens primats belges, les enquêteurs y ont introduit des caméras à la recherche de documents qui auraient pu y être cachés.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Vaticaan verbijsterd over inval Mechelen

BELGIE
Katholiek Nederland

Hilversum (ANP/AFP/EFE/RKK) 25 juni 2010 - Het Vaticaan heeft vandaag zijn verbazing uitgesproken over de huiszoekingen van de Belgische politie in het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel. In een verklaring wordt verbijstering uitgesproken over de inval bij de commissie-Adriaenssens. Ook reageert het Vaticaan verbolgen op de grafschennis van de tombes van de aartsbisschoppen Jozef-Ernest Van Roey en Léon-Joseph Suenens.

Protestbrief

Het Vaticaan tekent protest aan tegen de manier waarop de invallen door de politie zijn uitgevoerd. De Belgische ambassadeur bij het Vaticaan, Charles Ghislain, heeft een protestbrief overhandigd gekregen van artsbisschop Dominique Mamberti, secretaris van het departement voor de Relaties met de Staten van het Staatssecretariaat van de Heilige Stoel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

Vaticaan verontwaardigd over 'grafschennis'

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

Het Vaticaan heeft vrijdag in een mededeling zijn 'verontwaardiging' uitgedrukt over de 'grafschennis' die donderdag heeft plaatsgevonden bij de huiszoekingen in de Mechelse Sint-Romboutskathedraal. Het graf van kardinaal Mercier werd door speurders geopend op aanwijzen van één van de mensen die in de kathedraal werkt.

De speurders van de FGP vielen de kathedraal binnen omdat er, volgens de verklaringen die ze gekregen hadden, mogelijk bezwarende documenten verborgen lagen. Daarbij was het de bedoeling de hele kathedraal te doorzoeken en niet enkel één specifieke plaats.

'Maar één van de werknemers van de kathedraal die bij het begin van de huiszoeking aanwezig was, zei dat, als we op zoek waren naar plaatsen waar recent aan gewerkt was, het bewuste graf dan een goede plaats was', zegt parketwoordvoerder Jean-Marc Meileur. 'Daarop is het graf onderzocht en gedeeltelijk geopend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Pope Is Indignant Over Belgian Police Raid of Bishops' Tombs, Vatican Says

VATICAN CITY
Bloomberg

The Vatican said it was indignant about a Belgian police raid of the graves of two archbishops in an investigation of suspected pedophiles among the clergy.

The Vatican voiced “astonishment over how the searches were carried out yesterday by Belgian judicial authorities and its indignation over the violation of the graves,” said a statement today by the office of the Secretary of State.

Belgian police raided the principal seat of the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium, the residence of the Archbishop of Malines in Mechelen, according to a statement released by the Belgian Bishops’ Conference. The police search lasted from 10:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Vatican Dismay Over Breach of Victims Privacy in Belgium

VATICAN CITY
Radio Vatican

(25 Jun 10 – RV) Below is the English translation of the text of the Declaration issued by the Spokesman of the Belgian Bishops' Conference, after a police search of the residence of the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, on 24 June.

* * *
The bishops of Belgium were gathered at the residence of the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels at about 10.30 this morning for the monthly meeting of the Episcopal Conference. At about 10:30, police and court officials entered and referred that there would be a search of the archdiocese, following complaints of sexual abuse within the territory of the archdiocese. No explanation was given, but all documents and mobile phones were confiscated and it was referred that nobody could leave the building. This situation lasted until approximately 19:30.

Everyone was interrogated, members of the Episcopal Conference and staff. It was not a pleasant experience, but everything was done correctly. The bishops have always affirmed their trust in justice and its work. This search was greeted with the same confidence and therefore, for the moment, the [bishops] shall refrain from making further comments.

Instead, they, along with Professor Peter Adriaensses, chairman of the committee for handling sexual abuse as part of a pastoral outreach, regret the fact that during another search, all files of this committee were seized. This goes against the privacy rights of which the victims who have chosen to turn to this committee should benefit. This action gravely affects the much needed and excellent work of this committee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Vatican anger at Belgian raids on archbishops' graves

VATICAN CITY
AFP

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican said Friday it was indignant and astonished at raids by Belgian police investigating child sex abuse that included a search of the graves of two archbishops.

In a statement it also expressed its "dismay" after the raid on Thursday on buildings of the Mechelen-Brussels archdiocese, including the episcopal palace at Mechelen, north of the Belgian capital.

The Vatican voiced "astonishment over how the searches were carried out yesterday by Belgian judicial authorities and its indignation over the violation of the graves of the Cardinals Jozef-Ernest Van Roey and Leon-Joseph Suenens."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Vatican 'astonished' at Belgian police raid

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has expressed "astonishment" and "dismay" that Belgian police raided the home and former office of the recently retired archbishop of Belgium as part of an investigation into priestly child abuse.

The Vatican said any sinful and criminal abuse of minors from members of the church must be condemned. But in a statement Friday it expressed its "astonishment at the way in which the search took place."

The statement by the Vatican's Secretariat of State condemned what it said was the violation of the confidentiality due the victims of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Vatican protests over Belgium police raids

VATICAN CITY
RTE News

Friday, 25 June 2010 14:30
The Vatican has protested to Belgium over raids carried out on church offices and the home of a cardinal.

The raids were part of an investigation looking into sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests.

In a statement, the Vatican expressed shock at the way the raids were carried out and 'indignation' at what it said was the violation of two cardinals' tombs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Vatican protests to Belgium over police raids

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican on Friday protested to Belgium over raids carried out on Church offices and the home of a cardinal by investigators looking into sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests.

In a statement, the Vatican expressed "shock" at the way the raids were carried out and "indignation" at what it said was the violation of two cardinals' tombs. It said Belgium's ambassador to the Vatican was delivered a formal protest by the Vatican's foreign minister.

Investigators on Thursday raided two main Church offices and the home of a former archbishop, taking away computers and files in a search for evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Vatican 'indignant' over Belgium police raids

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

The Vatican has protested to Belgium over police raids on the home of a cardinal and a Church commission investigating sexual abuse.

In a statement, the Vatican expressed "shock" and "indignation" and said two cardinals' tombs had been violated.

Police said the raids were part of an investigation into claims of clerical sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Bedenkingen bij de huiszoekingen op aartsbisdom en Commissie-Adriaenssens

BELGIE
De Wereld Morgen

Opinie door Johan Leman

Wie mijn vorige bijdragen gelezen heeft, weet dat ik vrij snel de mening toegedaan was dat het moeilijk anders kon dan dat meerdere bisschoppen – en dus ook de kardinaal – op de hoogte waren van sommige daden van pedofilie door een deel van hun clerus en sommige godsdienstleerkrachten.

Ik ben altijd voorstander geweest van een grondige benadering en meen dat twee zaken aan de basis liggen van het pedofilieprobleem zoals we dit in Vlaanderen gekend hebben: het celibaat en het klerikalisme als attitude en status. Je moet er mij verder niet van overtuigen dat het zichzelf reproducerende kerkelijk beheer zoals het vandaag in kerkelijke middens gemeengoed is, niet de ideale setting is om de problematiek te regelen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

De Clerck: 'Onderzoeksrechter is onafhankelijk'

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

Ontslagnemend minister van Justitie Stefaan De Clerck (CD&V) wijst vanmorgen in De Ochtend op radio 1 op de vrijheid en de onafhankelijkheid van de onderzoeksrechter in de zaak van seksueel misbruik in de kerk. Hij toonde zich ook gewonnen voor het initiatief van Adriaenssens voor de oprichting van een parlementaire onderzoekscommissie. De minister was wel 'verrast' door de huiszoekingen.

Volgens De Clerck zijn de afspraken tussen de commissie-Adriaenssens en het gerecht zijn niet geschonden. Volgens hem vallen de huiszoekingen onder de vrijheid en verantwoordelijkheid van de onderzoeksrechter. 'Het Openbaar Ministerie en de commissie-Adriaenssens waren tot een afsprakenkader gekomen, om ervoor te zorgen dat er elk vanuit zijn verantwoordelijkheid en onafhankelijkheid, een doorstroming zou zijn van dossiers', zegt De Clerck.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Speurders openen graf kardinaal Mercier met drilboor

BELGIE
vandaag

vandaag, 07:24
Het parket van Brussel wilde donderdag bij de zoektocht naar verborgen documenten over seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk niets aan het toeval overlaten.

In de Sint-Romboutskathedraal drongen de speurders zelfs binnen in de crypte, na een tip dat daar de meest pikante dossiers zouden zijn verborgen. Uiteindelijk werd het graf van kardinaal Désiré-Joseph Mercier geopend, maar daar zat geen bezwarend materiaal in. De geestelijke overleed in 1926.

[summary]

The public prosecutor in Brussels in looking for hidden documents about sexual abuse in the Catholic church left nothing to chance. Detectives entered the crypt at St. Rombouts Cathedral after receiving a tip this was where the spiciest files were hidden. No adverse material was found in the tomb of Cardinal Desire Joseph Mercier who died in 1926. The searches came after a statement a few weeks ago from a witness deemed reliable who is reportedly well-versed in church circles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Catholic church fights lifting of sex abuse suit limits

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

Ron French / The Detroit News

Lansing -- The abuse David Collins suffered as a teen from a Catholic priest in the archdiocese of Detroit confused him for decades.

He spiraled into alcohol abuse. He suffered years of depression and post-traumatic stress. His relationships suffered because he had trouble trusting others.

Twenty-six years after the abuse, he's confused again.

The church has paid for extensive counseling for Collins, 40, of Livonia. Officials from the Archdiocese of Detroit have met with him and been apologetic and sympathetic, Collins said. But the church also is lobbying to stop legislation that would allow victims like Collins from suing the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Noted priest: John Paul II was fooled by Maciel

UNITED STATES
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

The stench of the late Father Marcial Maciel's rotting corpse still permeates the air and continues to make headlines, so to speak.

What struck (and disturbed) me was a recent quote by Maciel's son — whom Maciel reportedly abused — Raul Gonzalez, who said: "My dad [Maciel] told my mom that when John Paul II dies, he was going to be in trouble."

To those who revere John Paul II, that quote should be troubling.

What do we make of the late pope's "role" in the Maciel/Legion of Christ/Regnum Christi scandal? I asked Father John Trigilio Jr., author and president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, to comment on the media's portrayal of this matter.

Said Father Trigilio in an e-mail (slightly edited):

"The mainstream media's addiction to anti-Catholicism is no less voracious than a junkie on heroin. Pope John Paul II is not alive and cannot defend himself, so some in the secular press feel even more emboldened to trash his reputation by making preposterous allegations. Only a coward hits a man when he is down, but even worse is someone who kicks a dead man. What bravery or honor is there in trashing someone who is unable to defend himself?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Wichita priest pleads no-contest to public nudity

WICHITA (KS)
KOAM

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A longtime Wichita priest who was caught up in a sex sting operation last year has pleaded no contest to public nudity.

The Rev. Leslie Campbell also pleaded no contest Thursday afternoon to remaining in a park after hours. KAKE reports that in exchange for Campbell's plea, a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior was dropped.

Campbell was arrested in August 2009 and placed on leave by the Wichita Diocese the next day. He had been a priest at St. Jude's for more than 10 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Perquisition: critiques de l'Eglise belge

BELGIQUE
Le Figaro

Le chef de l'Eglise catholique de Belgique, Mgr André-Joseph Léonard, a jugé aujourd'hui "un peu étonnant" le déroulement des perquisitions jeudi au sein de l'institution dans le cadre d'une enquête sur de possibles nouveaux actes pédophiles commis par des ecclésiastiques.

"La justice fait son travail et elle avait le droit de perquisitionner. J'ai néanmoins trouvé un peu étonnant que cela aille jusqu'à forer dans les tombes archiépiscopales et que tous les évêques aient été enfermés jusqu'au soir", a déclaré l'archevêque de Malines-Bruxelles, primat de l'Eglise catholique belge. Pour lui le fait de "+séquestrer+" entre guillemets" les évêques était faire montre d'un "zèle peut-être excessif".

Des policiers ont perquisitionné jeudi des bâtiments dépendant de l'archidiocèse de Malines-Bruxelles, dont le palais épiscopal de Malines, au nord de Bruxelles, au moment où s'y déroulait une réunion des évêques belges en présence du nonce représentant le Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

L’Eglise perquisitionnée : les enquêteurs fouillent la tombe d’un archevêque

BELGIQUE
rtl

La situation est grave. C’est la première fois en Belgique que des perquisitions sont menées au cœur même de l’institution religieuse. Cette opération est ouverte suite à une plainte dont on ne sait rien pour l’instant, explique la journaliste Mathieu Col. L’instruction est ouverte à charge d’inconnus pour des faits d’attentat à la pudeur sur mineurs d’âge.

Une tombe partiellement ouverte

Dans la cathédrale de Malines, la tombe d’un archevêque a été ouverte par les enquêteurs. Ils ont pu ouvrir la tombe avec des marteaux piqueurs. L’endroit est sous-terrain et la crypte a récemment fait l’objet de travaux : des dossiers cachés auraient pu s’y trouver, cachés. "Aucun document n’a été retrouvé dans la cathédrale, dit Jean-Marc Meilleur, porte-parole du parquet de Bruxelles. Il faut signaler qu’une tombe qui se trouve dans la cathédrale a été partiellement ouverte, sur base d’indications d’un membre du personnel travaillant dans la cathédrale. Il a indiqué aux enquêteurs que s’ils cherchaient un endroit où des travaux avaient été récemment entrepris, il fallait regarder cette tombe qui a été partiellement ouverte, analysée et refermée bien évidemment", dit-il.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Pédophilie: le pape nomme un successeur à l'ex-évêque de Bruges (Vatican)

BELGIQUE
Le Monde

Le pape Benoît XVI a nommé vendredi à la tête de l'évêché de Bruges, en Belgique, Mgr Jozef De Kesel, en remplacement de Roger Vangheluwe qui a démissionné en avril après avoir reconnu des abus contre un jeune garçon de son entourage, a indiqué le Vatican.

La nomination de Mgr De Kesel intervient au lendemain d'une perquisition par la police belge du siège de l'Eglise catholique de Malines-Bruxelles à la suite d'accusations d'abus sexuels sur mineurs portés contre des ecclésiastiques.

"Le pape a nommé évêque de Bruges, en Belgique, Mgr Jozef De Kesel, jusqu'à présent évêque titulaire de Bulna et auxiliaire de l'archevêché de Malines-Bruxelles", indique brièvement un communiqué du Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Mgr. Josef De Kesel nouvel évêque de Bruges

BELGIQUE
7s7

Mgr. Josef De Kesel a été désigné par le pape comme nouvel évêque de Bruges, a indiqué l'archevêque de Malines-Bruxelles, Mgr. André-Joseph Léonard, lors d'une conférence de presse vendredi midi à Bruxelles.

Mgr. De Kesel succède ainsi à Mgr. Vangheluwe qui avait démissionné au mois d'avril dernier après avoir été mis en cause dans une affaire de pédophilie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Jozef De Kesel volgt Roger Vangheluwe op

BELGIE
Knack

Jozef De Kesel wordt de nieuwe bisschop van Brugge. Dat heeft aartsbisschop André Léonard vrijdagmiddag bekendgemaakt. Léonard betreurt de huiszoeking bij de commissie-Adriaenssens.

De Kesel (63) wordt de opvolger van Roger Vangheluwe, die in april ontslag nam nadat bekendraakte dat hij zich jaren had schuldig gemaakt aan pedofilie.

De Kesel werd tot priester gewijd in 1972. Binnen de kerkelijke organisatie werd hij eerst vicaris in het bisdom Gent en daarna vicaris-generaal van het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Jozef De Kesel benoemd tot nieuwe bisschop van Brugge

BELGIE
Metro Time

(Belga) Monseigneur Jozef De Kesel is door de Paus benoemd tot nieuwe bisschop van Brugge, zo werd vrijdag door aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard bekendgemaakt op een persconferentie

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Vatican names Belgian bishop's successor amid abuse scandal

BELGIUM
Expatica

The Vatican on Friday named a successor to the bishop of Bruges in Belgium, Roger Vangheluwe, who resigned after admitting child sex abuse.

In a statement, the Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI named Jozef De Kesel in place of 73-year-old Vangheluwe, who resigned in April after admitting sexually abusing a boy for years.

De Kesel was until now the bishop of the Bulna diocese and auxiliary at the Mechelen-Brussels archdiocese near Brussels, the Belgian Catholic Church headquarters raided by police on Thursday amid fresh accusations of child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

- Bishop Jozef De Kesel, auxiliary of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium, as bishop of Bruges (area 3,145, population 1,149,394, Catholics 940,000, priests 875, permanent deacons 81, religious 2,675), Belgium.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Accused priest given victims file in new church scandal

IRELAND
Irish Central

Child protection delegate handed over a confidential file containing evidence of child abuse to the priest at the centre of the allegations

The Catholic Church are currently investigating claims that the child protection delegate in the diocese of Clone handed over a confidential file containing evidence of child abuse to the priest at the centre of the allegations.

Fr Bill Bermingham was appointed child protection delegate for the the Clone diocese by the Catholic Church's National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) in 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Belgian police paedophilia raids 'went too far'

BELGIUM
Raw Story

The head of the Catholic church in Belgium complained on Friday that police raids on Church property the previous day during investigations into paedophile priests went too far.

"The justice system does its work and it has the right to carry out searches. Nonetheless I find it slightly surprising that it went as far as rummaging around the tombs of bishops and that all the bishops were held until evening," Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard told reporters.

The "sequestration" of the bishops showed "perhaps an excessive zeal," the primate added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

'Priest left boy traumatised'

SOUTH AFRICA
The Star

23 June 2010

A 12-year-old boy, allegedly assaulted sexually by a Catholic priest at a church camp in Brits, North West, in February 2008, is still receiving psychological counselling.

Testifying against Georg Kirkhoff, his mother, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the child, said that after the camp, the child's behaviour had changed.

The priest is charged with three counts of sexual assault. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Priest 'muttered mmmm' while 'cuddling' boy

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

25 June 2010, 09:33

Youngsters at a church camp were misbehaving, and that was why a priest, accused of indecent assault, had disciplined them, the defence in a sexual assault trial said on Thursday.

The Brits Magistrate's Court heard that the priest had locked the dormitory door so that the boys - between the ages of nine and 10 - could not get out, but they managed to find the key and went outside.

Cross-examined, the investigating officer, Captain Colin Morris of the Randburg Child and Sexual Offences Protection Unit, said he did not take into consideration this behaviour when he took statements from the boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Father Maciel, John Paul II, and the Vatican Sex Crisis

UNITED STATES
The New York Review of Books

Alma Guillermoprieto

Of all the terrible sexual scandals the hierarchs in the Vatican find themselves tangled in, none is likely to do as much institutional damage as the astounding and still unfolding story of the Mexican priest Marcial Maciel. The crimes committed against children by other priests and bishops may provoke rage, but they also make one want to look away. With Father Maciel, on the other hand, one can hardly tear oneself from the ghastly drama as it unfolds, page by page, revelation by revelation, in the Mexican press.

Father Maciel, who was born in Mexico and died in 2008 at the age of eighty-seven, was known around the Catholic world. Against ordinarily insurmountable obstacles, he founded what was to become one of the most dynamic, profitable, and conservative religious orders of the 20th century, which today has 800 priests, and approximately seventy thousand religious worldwide. The Legion of Christ, nearly 70 years old as an order, is comparatively small, but it is influential: it operates fifteen universities, and some 140,000 students are enrolled in its schools (In New York, its members teach in eleven parish schools); and its leadership has long enjoyed remarkable access to the Vatican hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Maciel’s Mother Was A Saint?

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

June 24, 2010, 7:55 pm Posted by Cathleen Kaveny

According to this article in the New York Review of Books, Pope John Paul II was cooperating in the efforts to make the founder of the Legion of Christ’s mother a saint.

Three things strike me:

1) For many people, it was about appearances: The Legion looked wholesome and holy. The appearance of holiness is not holiness. Furthermore, neither is the appearance of wholesomeness.

2) For the Vatican, it seems to have been about the money and the power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Mgr Scicluna in 'detailed' meetings on abuse claims in Church home

MALTA
Times of Malta

The Vatican's Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mgr Charles Scicluna, has started a series of separate meetings with 11 men who allege they were sexually abused by priests in St Joseph Home, Sta Venera, 20 years ago.

Some of the men who met Mgr Scicluna today described the meetings as long, but praised Mgr Scicluna for his eye for detail and his understanding.

Four priests are being investigated for the abuse and three have been taken to court, where their case has dragged on for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

'Amazing' meetings with Vatican top official

MALTA
Times of Malta

Christian Peregin

The Church could close the case over the four Maltese priests accused of paedophilia as early as August, according to one of the victims who yesterday recounted his case to Vatican official Mgr Charles Scicluna.

Mgr Scicluna, Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, yesterday began meeting the 11 Maltese men who allege they were abused by priests some 20 years ago in an orphanage in Sta Venera.

His aim is to gather direct information to supplement the work being done on the case by the Curia and he is hoping the full investigation would be concluded "expeditiously".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Cops raid Catholic offices in Belgium

BELGIUM
The Province (Canada)

Agence France-Presse June 25, 2010

Police raided Belgium's Roman Catholic church headquarters on Thursday and seized computer files for the past 20 years at the home of its top cardinal amid fresh accusations of child sex abuse by priests. ...

According to retired priest Dirk Deville, hundreds of cases of sexual abuse had been signalled to Danneels going back to the 1990s, but Danneels himself recently denied being involved in any coverup.

"I cannot recall such a conversation and it would astonish me if I had paid no attention to such a message or had forgotten it," Danneels said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Belgian Catholic bishops angered by police raids

BELGIUM
BBC News

Roman Catholic bishops in Belgium have expressed their disappointment at a police raid on the offices of a Church commission investigating sexual abuse.

Bishops' conference spokesman Eric de Beukelaer said the confiscation of the commission's files violated victims' confidentiality and hindered its work.

Investigators also seized material from the Church's headquarters and the home of the former archbishop of Belgium.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

'Dit hoort thuis in de Da Vinci Code'

BELGIE
NOS

De Belgische aartsbisschop Léonard vindt dat de manier waarop de huiszoekingen gebeurden binnen de Belgische kerk eerder thuishoren in "een politieroman of in de Da Vinci Code". Maar hij benadrukte tegelijk dat hij het onderzoek van het gerecht respecteert.

Speurders zochten gisteren in het aartsbisdom in Mechelen naar informatie over seksueel misbruik. Daarbij mocht 9 uur lang niemand de gebouwen van het bisdom verlaten. Er werd in muren geboord en een graf werd opengemaakt in de hoop documenten te vinden die erop wijzen dat de kerk op de hoogte was van seksueel misbruik. Er werd echter niets verdachts gevonden

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Aartsbisschop zag donderdag fragment uit 'Da Vinci-code'

BELGIE
Gazet van Antwerpen

Aartsbisschop André Léonard betreurt de huiszoekingen die donderdag werden uitgevoerd bij de commissie-Adriaenssens, in het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis en de Sint-Romboutskathedraal. Dat liet ie vrijdag verstaan op de persconferentie waar hij de nieuwe bisschop van Brugge voorstelde.

Veel commentaar wilde de opvolger van Godfried Danneels wel niet kwijt. Hij zei dat het gerecht ongetwijfeld zijn werk deed en toont daar respect voor.

Dat de speurders echter documenten in graftombes zochten, is voor hem een brug te ver. Volgens Léonard zijn dat dingen die een plaats verdienen in misdaadromans en in de Da Vinci-code.

[summary]

The archbishop said investigators looked in tombs for documents and this was a bridge too far for him. Leonard said these are things that deserve a place in crime novels and in the Da Vinci Code.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Aartsbisschop schrikt van huiszoekingen

BELGIE
BNDeStem

BRUSSEL (ANP) - De Belgische aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard is ,,geschrokken'' door de huiszoekingen die justitie donderdag heeft verricht in het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel.

Hij respecteert de bevoegdheid van justitie om onderzoek te doen naar eventueel seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk, maar heeft er wel moeite mee dat in de kathedraal van Mechelen het graf van kardinaal Mercier is geopend, op zoek naar bewijsmateriaal. ,,Dat is meer iets voor een politieroman'', zei Léonard vrijdag tegen de Vlaamse publieke omroep VRT.

[summary]

Belgian Archbishop Andre Joseph Leonard said he is shocked by the searches done Thursday in the archdiocese. He respects the power of justice to investigate possible sexual abuse within the church but said the tomb of Cardinal Mercier was opened while looking for evidence. That is something for a crime nove, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Belgian bishops say child abuse raid was uncalled for

BELGIUM
Amsterdam News.Net

Friday 25th June, 2010

Belgium's Roman Catholic bishops have expressed anger and disappointment over a police raid concerning alleged sexual abuse.

According to insiders, police confiscated files from the Church's headquarters and the home of the former archbishop of Belgium.

Recent abuse claims in the country have led to the resignation of the Bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, who admitted to dealing with a boy more than 20 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Vatican: Ky. abuse lawsuit lacks link to Rome

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Associated Press

By DYLAN LOVAN (AP)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Vatican is asking a federal judge to reject an attempt to question Pope Benedict XVI under oath in a Kentucky sex abuse lawsuit on the grounds that there has been no evidence of a link to church officials in Rome.

The arguments filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Louisville also say that forcing Benedict, a head of state, to give a deposition would violate international law. The U.S. considers the Vatican to be a sovereign nation.

The lawsuit accuses the Vatican, referred to in papers as the Holy See, of orchestrating a coverup of priests sexually abusing children throughout the U.S.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Priest wrote of forgiveness before surprise resignation

HAVERHILL (MA)
The Eagle-Tribune

By Mike LaBella
mlabella@eagletribune.com

HAVERHILL — One week before the Rev. Keith LeBlanc resigned amid charges of financial improprieties at St. John the Baptist Church, he wrote about the importance of forgiveness.

In his church bulletin dated Sunday, June 13, LeBlanc told parishioners it is easy for people to judge very quickly when a person of popularity or fame has committed an offensive act.

"How do we perceive these people against our own values?" LeBlanc, who was the church's pastor, wrote in the bulletin. "Are we ready to forgive them? Are we ready to give them another chance? Can we accept their apology as really being one of sorrow? In fact, very few of us are willing to forgive unless first there is contrition, tears, and words that show that person is truly sorry."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Rallies held at Mass. dioceses

FALL RIVER (MA)
The Sun Chronicle

FALL RIVER - Concerned parishioners rallied at all four Catholic dioceses in Massachusetts Thursday, calling for the identities of sexual offenders in the church to be made public.

Anne Barrett Doyle, of bishopaccountability.org, led the group in Fall River, and delivered a letter to Bishop George Coleman asking for the release of the identities of clergy members accused of sexual misconduct.

Two Falmouth residents, Gerry and Anne Hart, said they hoped the rally would encourage Coleman to follow 24 other dioceses around the country in disclosing a full list of clergy members who are alleged predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Victims’ advocates seek bishops’ disclosure of clergy sexual abuse

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
bkush@telegram.com

WORCESTER — Victims’ advocate groups yesterday called on the four bishops in Massachusetts to follow the example of Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali and provide full disclosure of all area priests implicated in sexual abuse.

The website of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia ( www.archphila.org) has a link that accesses a listing of 64 Philadelphia area priests involved in the church’s sexual abuse crisis

“It’s an effective way of getting out the information,” said Suzy Nauman, project coordinator of BishopAccountability.org, a website that offers its own national database of clerics accused of sexual impropriety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Vatican official meets Maltese clerical abuse victims

MALTA
Earth Times

Valletta, Malta - The Catholic Church could close by August its enquiry into the case of four Maltese priests accused of sex abuse, one of the alleged victims said Friday.

Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on Thursday started meeting 11 Maltese men who claim they were abused by priests some 20 years ago in an orphanage.

His aim is to gather direct information to supplement the work being carried out by the Maltese Archdiocese, which has been accused by the alleged victims of delaying proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

June 24, 2010

Parishioners rally against Fall River Diocese's sexual abuse policy

FALL RIVER (MA)
Herald News

By Will Richmond
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Jun 24, 2010

Fall River — Following Pope Benedict’s call to “Do everything possible” to prevent future sexual abuse cases in the Catholic church, a group of Fall River diocesan parishioners joined together Thursday to call on Bishop George Coleman to do his part.

Backed by about a dozen parishioners standing outside the Diocese of Fall River’s main office on Underwood Street, Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, called on Coleman to publicly release the names of all offending clergy.

“Bishop Coleman has not only not released the list, but he hasn’t even discussed the Pope’s “Do everything possible” proclamation to heal this wound,” Doyle said. “The best way to prevent a child being sexually abused is to see that that person is put in jail. The second best way is to name those who have been identified as offenders.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 PM

Accused priest given victim’s file

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Claire O’Sullivan

Friday, June 25, 2010

CLAIMS that the child protection delegate in the diocese of Cloyne handed over a confidential file containing allegations of abuse to the priest at the centre of the allegations are being investigated by the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) is seeking a meeting with Fr Bill Bermingham, who was appointed child protection delegate in 2008 after the diocese’s dangerous child protection record was made public. Fr Bermingham was hailed as part of a new regime where child protection would comply with the best possible standards.

It has emerged Fr Bill Bermingham took an informal statement of allegations of abuse from a woman last summer. He later gave the statement to a priest at the centre of the allegations before the priest was questioned by gardaí. A number of other priests also saw the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Huiszoekingen bij Danneels en aartsbisdom: "Geen geheime opslagplaats"

BELGIE
vandaag

Het gerecht van Brussel heeft een huiszoeking uitgevoerd bij kardinaal Godfried Danneels. Daarnaast is het parket ook binnengevallen in het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis en de Sint-Romboutskathedraal in Mechelen. De huiszoekingen hebben te maken met een pril onderzoek naar kindermisbruik binnen de kerk door verschillende personen.

Volgens parketwoordvoerder Jos Colpin is er geen "opslag van dossiers" gevonden. "We hebben wel een heel aantal archiefstukken tijdelijk in beslag genomen om na te gaan of daar elementen inzitten van eventuele pedofilie."

Tijdens de huiszoekingen in het paleis en de kathedraal werden ook breekijzers gebruikt en werd er in muren geboord.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Invallen België om misbruik kerk

BELGIE
NRC Handelsblad (Nederland)

Door onze correspondent

Brussel, 24 juni. In België zijn politie en justitie vandaag met groot materieel uitgerukt om seksueel misbruik binnen de rooms-katholieke kerk te onderzoeken. Er werden huiszoekingen verricht in het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis en de Sint-Romboutskathedraal in Mechelen, en in de woning van oud-kardinaal Godfried Danneels.Alle bisschoppen van België, die bijeen waren voor een vergadering, moesten urenlang binnenblijven.

Justitie heeft alleen laten weten dat het gaat om een onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk waarover recent verklaringen zijn afgelegd. Danneels zou niet zelf worden verdacht. Belgische media suggereren dat de kerk mogelijk zaken in de doofpot heeft willen stoppen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

Priester Devillé maakte dossiers over aan gerecht

BELGIE
De Standaard

Priester Rik Devillé, die verklaarde dat hij destijds vruchteloos seksueel misbruik aankaartte bij de kerkelijke autoriteiten, zegt dat hij een tweetal weken terug nog zaken van misbruik overmaakte aan het Brusselse gerecht. Of die de aanleiding vormen voor de huiszoekingen is niet duidelijk.

'Alle zaken die ik ken, zijn bij het gerecht', zegt Devillé. 'Ik maakte ze vroeger over, maar het gebeurde ook nog onlangs. De laatste keer was dat bij het Brusselse gerecht, een tweetal weken geleden.'

Of de zaken de rechtstreekse aanleiding zijn voor de huiszoekingen donderdag is voor Devillé niet duidelijk. Wel zegt hij dat het Brusselse gerecht, dat de huiszoekingen liet uitvoeren, hem er niet over hoorde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

In search of sexual abuse evidence, Belgium raids Catholic Church

BELGIUM
Digital Journal

By R. C. Camphausen

Brussels - Belgian authorities have raided offices of the Catholic Church and the home of a recently retired cardinal as part of an investigation into child sexual abuse claims. The country may have no government at present, but it does seem to function without one.

Various news outlets, from the BBC to France 24 and the UK based Telegraph, reported today that Belgian police have raided the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church on Thursday, in an effort to investigate sexual abuses of children by members of the clergy.

Although Belgium has no government at the moment, the country and its judiciary seem to function just as well. For example, 30 police officers swooped down on the palace of the archbishop of Brussels-Mechelen, sealing off the building and removing a variety of documents, while another raid took place at the home of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, 77, where police officers seized the personal computer of the former head of Belgium's Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

De kogel is door de Oostenrijkse misbruikkerk...

BELGIE
De Standaard

Hallucinant. Da's het minste wat je kan zeggen van hoe het er in België aan toe gaat. Enerzijds probeert de Commissie Adriaenssens in alle discretie slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik ertoe aan te zetten klacht in te dienen, anderzijds geeft het Belgisch gerecht de indruk dat de dossier zelfs daar niet veilig zijn. En hoe moeten de slachtoffers daarmee omgaan?

Iedereen begrijpt en aanvaardt een actie die gericht is op het bovenhalen van dossiers die binnen de kerk ergens jarenlang werden verstopt en verzwegen. Het gaat over het proberen te bepalen in welke mate kerk, bisdom, bisschop, kardinaal medeplichtig zijn aan het ontlopen van sancties, het doen verdwijnen van bewijsmateriaal, actief achterhouden van bezwaarlijke feiten en het beschermen van de eigen garde. Het is niet alleen het recht, het is de plicht van het gerecht dit te onderzoeken. Of het ook zo verstandig of opportuun is dossiers in beslag te nemen binnen de Commissie Adriaenssens nadat tussen het parket en die commissie duidelijke afspraken werden gemaakt over welke procedure zou worden gevolgd, is twijfelachtig. Deze actie van het parket ondermijnt niet alleen het recht op privacy van de slachtoffers die - waarom dan ook en na hoeveel tijd dan ook - hun verhaal aan de commissie hebben bezorgd, het ondermijnt de algehele geloofwaardigheid van de "discretie" die de commissie belooft en is contraproductief. Het onmiddellijk gevolg is zonder twijfel dat vanaf vandaag niemand nog klacht zal indienen via de commissie, noch via justitie. Is dat de achterliggende gedachte? Gaan kerk en staat dermate met elkaar op stap dat de actie van de ene het gevolg heeft dat de andere wilt bereiken? De gedachte alleen is ziekmakend, maar hoe is dit alles anders te verklaren?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

‘Ik weet niet wat justitie heeft bezield'

BELGIUM
De Standaard

LEUVEN - Interview PETER ADRIAENSSENS IS EEN VERONTWAARDIGD MAN ‘Ik hoop dat de hulpverlening zal protesteren. Want als justitie dit mag, dan kan niemand nog in vertrouwen met slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik werken.'

Als voorzitter van de ‘Commissie voor de behandeling van klachten wegens seksueel misbruik in een pastorale relatie' had kinderpsychiater Peter Adriaenssens gisteren alle moeite om zijn woede en verontwaardiging te verbergen. Terwijl hij op een studiedag in Amsterdam zat, nam het parket van Brussel alle dossiers over slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik van de commissie in beslag, 475 in totaal.

‘Ik ben geschokt. Ik weet niet wat justitie heeft bezield', zegt Adriaenssens. ‘Ik betwijfel niet dat de onderzoeksrechter zijn redenen had om dossiers van slachtoffers op te vragen. Maar dan had hij ons die informatie eerst mogen vragen. Het parket heeft dat nooit gedaan. Ik vraag me echt af welk dramatisch nieuw feit van misbruik plots naar boven is gekomen dat het rechtvaardigt om 500 dossiers in beslag te nemen.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

‘Opnieuw misbruikt'

BELGIE
De Standaard

MECHELEN/LEUVEN - Het gerecht heeft in Mechelen huiszoekingen gedaan bij kardinaal Danneels in een onderzoek naar misbruik binnen de katholieke kerk. In Leuven werden alle dossiers van de commissie-Adriaenssens in beslag genomen.

‘Wat met de mensen die jarenlang hebben geaarzeld om een klacht in te dienen? Die zelfs tegen hun echtgenote hadden verzwegen dat ze in hun jeugd door een priester zijn misbruikt', vraagt Peter Adriaenssens. ‘Sommigen vinden het waarschijnlijk niet erg dat hun dossier nu bij het gerecht zit, maar honderden van hen hebben ons expliciet gevraagd om niet naar het gerecht te stappen. Zij voelen zich opnieuw misbruikt.'

Peter Adriaenssens is voorzitter van de commissie die het seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk onderzoekt. In zijn kantoor in Leuven hebben speurders ondanks de belofte die Adriaenssens de slachtoffers deed en zonder overleg, gisteren de 475 dossiers van pedofilieslachtoffers in beslag genomen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Belgian police raid church offices in sex abuse inquiry

BELGIUM
The Irish Times

BRUSSELS – Belgian police investigating sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests raided central church offices yesterday and searched the home of the former archbishop.

Police sought evidence to document abuse cases in offices of the Brussels archdiocese and in the home of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who stepped down in January as head of the Belgian church after holding that position since 1979.

Police also searched the office of the church commission in Leuven that has been tracking complaints and compiling evidence about sexual abuse of minors by Belgian priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Irish priest weighs in on Catholic Church sex abuse scandal

ROME
MSNBC

[video presentation]

By Jim Maceda, NBC News Correspondent
ROME -- Irish priest and theologian, Brendan Purcell, talked to NBC News' Jim Maceda about the repercussions of the recent sex abuse scandals, how his Dublin diocese is coping, and what it means for the Catholic Church at large.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

Vatican Secrecy Keeps Victims, Accused in the Dark

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

Thursday June 24, 2010

(RNS) Daniel Donohue doesn't know when the call will come.

He could be anywhere -- at the supermarket, poolside with his four children, or in a classroom studying social work -- when he learns the fate of the priest he says molested him as a teenager.

Donohue testified against the priest at a church tribunal in 2006 and again 2007. Since then, he has heard almost nothing about his case from the Archdiocese of New York or the Vatican.

"There is nothing I can do, no one I can talk to, no information forthcoming," said Donohue, who now lives in Portland, Ore. The priest and his family likely live under the same cloud of unknowingness, Donohue notes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

brother V. (open brief aan kindertehuis Potim, Brazilie)

NETHERLANDS
Bert Smeets

Dear People
We, Mea Culpa United, as an organization working for rehabilitation and acknowledge of victims of sexual abuse and physical violence had a nasty experience with brother V, (family name N de R) during his monasticism on a Franciscan boarding school in the sixties and seventies in Kerkrade, Bleijerheide the Netherlands). He punished and abused children in the age of ten, younger and a little older. We want you to know that brother V is still working in an orphanage in Potim SP Brasil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Are We Losing Good Priests Because of Psychological Testing?

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

Posted at: Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Author: William Van Ornum

Psychological Testing has always intrigued me, so much so that conducting assessments and teaching graduate courses led to a six-year project with two colleagues and the publication of “Psychological Testing Across the Lifespan” by Prentice-Hall. Despite my enthusiasm, there must always be caution surrounding the use of psychological tests. These tools do not make decisions, they are but one of many factors that should be used in making decisions in most situations. Their accuracy is expressed in terms of probabilities, not certainties. Information obtained is exceedingly private and its extraction can be intrusive and even painful.

Paul Vitello raises interesting questions about pyschological testing in his recent New York Times article, “Prospective Catholic Priests Face Sexuality Hurdles.” While much of the article focuses on the possibility that men who are viewed by the “tests” as expressing homosexuality not be admitted to the seminary, my focus today is to compare the process as described by Vitello with the Congregation for Catholic Education’s “Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood,” the 2008 document presenting the church’s philosophy and approaches to assessing who possesses the qualities to enter into and remain in the seminary, and its implementation by the more than 200 dioceses in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Belgian Catholic Church Offices Raided in Abuse Inquiry

BELGIUM
The New York Times

By STEPHEN CASTLE and NICHOLAS KULISH
Published: June 24, 2010
BRUSSELS — Belgian authorities heightened pressure on the Roman Catholic Church in a sex-abuse scandal on Thursday, raiding the Belgian church headquarters, the home of a former archbishop and the offices of a commission established by the church to handle abuse complaints. ...

The Belgian television station RTL reported the raid on the home of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who retired in January as Belgium’s archbishop, saying that his computer had been removed. Mr. Tornielli, the Vatican expert, noted that to the best of his knowledge, Cardinal Danneels would have diplomatic immunity as a Vatican official, and would have to have given his permission for police to search his home.

The Vatican had no comment on the searches in Belgium.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Bravo, Belgium!

Pharyngula

Posted on: June 24, 2010 5:06 PM, by PZ Myers

The Belgian police have raided offices of the Catholic church in search of evidence of the usual Catholic crime — raping children. (It's funny: ask someone to name a Catholic crime, and what's the first thing they think of? It's the worst PR in the world.)

I'm hoping that they're just warming up for the big one — I'd like to see a UN raid of the Vatican, with a whole line of shame-faced old men in dresses led out to the paddy wagons like a transvestite Mafia mob.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Clergy sex victims blast head of Belgium church abuse panel

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Peter Isely, Midwest Director of SNAP, 414 429 7259

Shame on Peter Adriaenssens, the head of a Belgian Catholic sex abuse panel, for criticizing today's raid by law enforcement on the Brussels church headquarters. It’s way too premature for anyone to even begin second-guessing police for their actions in trying to undercover child molesting clerics and complicit bishops.

Adrienssens should be praising and helping secular authorities who are finally taking action to safeguard vulnerable youngsters.

The AP reports that Adrienssens claims “there was no need to seize the documents of all 500 cases being looked into” by his committee. But Adrienssens is a psychiatrist, not a cop. He has no basis for this claim. It's the job of police to err on the side of gathering more evidence, not less.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Belgian police raid home of archbishop in child sex probe

BELGIUM
Deutsche Welle

Police have raided the headquarters of the Belgian Roman Catholic Church in a child sex abuse probe following a raft of accusations denouncing the abuse of minors by a number of church figures. ...

"These are searches based on some allegations made to the Brussels prosecutor denouncing sexual abuse of minors by certain people in the Church," a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, Jean-Marc Meilleur, said.

No names were mentioned, but reportedly there have been some 450 complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Child sex abuse raid on Belgian Catholic Church

BELGIUM
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Belgian police have raided the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of the recently retired Cardinal of Belgium as part of an investigation into the sexual abuse of children by clergy. ...

Jean-Marc Meilleur, a spokesman for the Brussels crown prosecutor's office, said that the raids were "related to the sexual abuse of children within the Church".

"In a recent dossier the prosecutor was informed of charges denouncing the abuse of minors by a certain number of Church people," he said.

Hans Geybels, a spokesman for Cardinal Danneels, said that police did not interrogate him during the raid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

SNAP demands complete list of abusers

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
WWLP

Elysia Rodriguez
Springfield, Mass. (WWLP) - The Survivors Network of those abused by priests, or SNAP for short, says the Springfield Diocese's plans to release the names of sexually abusive clerics do not go far enough.

The Diocese agreed to post a list of credibly accused priests. It did not agree to post names of anyone who has died and any cases that have not been resolved yet.

SNAP says all names need to be included.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Police raid offices, home of retired archbishop

By ROBERT WIELAARD (AP) – 28 minutes ago

BRUSSELS — Police raided the home and former office of the recently retired archbishop of Belgium on Thursday, carrying off documents and a personal computer as part of an investigation into the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests, officials said. ...

Armed with a search warrant, police entered the archbishop's office at 10 a.m. (0800GMT) just as the country's nine bishops were starting their monthly meeting with Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, Danneels successor, who took over in January.

Also present was Archbishop Giacinto Berloco, the papal nuncio to Belgium and Luxembourg.

Officials said all were held for nine hours and — along with diocese staff — had to surrender their cell phones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Belgian church HQ, abuse commission searched

BELGIUM
Reuters

By Ben Deighton

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian investigators looking into sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests raided two main Church offices and the home of a former archbishop on Thursday, taking away computers and files in their search for evidence.

Police sealed off the offices of the Brussels archdiocese in Mechelen during a meeting of the country's bishops there and barred them from leaving the premises or contacting outsiders while they searched, the Church news service Kerknet reported.

A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said officers had also raided the nearby residence of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the former archbishop who stepped down in January as head of the Belgian Church after holding that position since 1979. He was not interrogated but his computer was confiscated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Police raid church offices in child abuse probe

BELGIUM
Channel 4 News (Northern Ireland)

Updated on 24 June 2010

Police investigating child abuse allegations searched the raided the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church in Belguim as Channel 4 News is told they may have been looking for files compiled into alleged abuse.

Police investigating allegations of child abuse have searched premises linked to the two most senior Catholic clerics in Belgium.

Uniformed officers stood guard as plain clothed detectives entered the church's headquarters near Brussels. It's also the base of the Archbishop of Brussels, Andre-Joseph Leonard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Catholic headquarters in Belgium focus of police raids in sex abuse cases

BELGIUM
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Ian Traynor in Brussels
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 24 June 2010

The Roman Catholic church was once again at the centre of a child abuse scandal today when police raided the headquarters of the church hierarchy in Belgium. They carried away computers and hundreds of files, amid rumours that church leaders were continuing to cover up abuse cases despite a public plea for forgiveness last month.

Belgian officers today sealed off and searched the headquarters of the church at Mechelen, north of Brussels, where the Belgian bishops' conference was in session, with the papal nuncio taking part. They also searched the home of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, until last year Belgium's most senior prelate, who enjoys a reputation for being a liberal.

In nearby Leuven, east of Brussels, police also searched the premises of the independent church commission investigating hundreds of cases of alleged molestation by clergymen. They took all 475 files belonging to the commission, prompting bewilderment and panic among investigators and victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Adriaenssens choqué par la saisie de dossiers confidentiels

BELGIQUE
7s7

Les enquêteurs qui ont perquisitionné, jeudi, les locaux de la Commission pour le traitement des plaintes pour abus sexuels dans une relation pastorale à Louvain ont emporté 475 dossiers.

Le président de la commission, Peter Adriaenssens, s'est déclaré choqué par cette saisie, précisant qu'il s'agit de dossiers ouverts ces deux derniers mois.

Le président de la commission, qui a tenu jeudi après-midi un point de presse, estime que cette saisie est contraire aux dispositions prises avec la justice. Il y voit une atteinte sérieuse à la vie privée de ceux qui s'étaient livrés en toute confiance à la commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Adriaenssens: 'We zijn geschokt, slachtoffers zijn in paniek'

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

Peter Adriaenssens, hoofd van de commissie die klachten over seksueel misbruik in de kerk behandelt, zegt verrast en geschokt te zijn door de huiszoekingen die het gerecht eerder vandaag uitvoerde. Alle dossiers zijn in beslag genomen, slachtoffers zijn in paniek, zo zegt hij.

'Wij hebben altijd goed samengewerkt met de politie en het gerecht. We zijn dan ook geschokt door wat er vandaag gebeurd is', zo zegt Adriaenssens. Niemand van de commissie was aanwezig tijdens de huiszoeking. Adriaenssens zelf was op een conferentie in Amsterdam.

'Ons volledige bestand is in beslag genomen. Alle 475 dossiers zijn meegenomen. Het ging om ongeveer 445 Nederlandstalige dossiers en een 30-tal Franstalige dossiers. Ook een registratieprogramma waarmee de commissie statistisch onderzoek wou doen, is gekopieerd', aldus de kinderpsychiater. Tegen oktober wou de commissie een statistisch rapport over seksueel misbruik opstellen, maar omdat alle dossiers in beslag zijn genomen, kan het onderzoek nu niet worden voortgezet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Adriaenssens reageert geschokt op huiszoekingen

BELGIE
Knack

De commissie die seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk onderzoekt, beslist maandag of ze haar werkzaamheden voortzet. Dat heeft commissievoorzitter Peter Adriaenssens donderdagavond op een persconferentie gezegd.

Adriaenssens is boos dat speurders bij zijn commissie donderdag alle 475 dossiers hebben meegenomen.

Volgens Adriaenssens is de inbeslagname tegen de afspraken die werden gemaakt met justitie. Het betekent volgens hem ook een ernstige schending van de privacy van degenen die hun informatie in alle vertrouwen aan de commissie hebben gegeven.

[summary]

The commission that investigates sexual abuse in the Catholic Church will decide Monday whether to continue its work, according to chairman Peter Adriaenssens. The chairman, who held a news conference on Thursday, said he is angry that the committee's files were taken in a law enforcement raid. He said the raid was a serious violation of victims privacy. A total of 475 files were taken in the police raid.

He said he has been getting calls from victims who do not want their cases to become public. No members of the committee, which is based in Leuven, were present during the raid. The professor said no one in the Brussels public prosecutor's office previously contacted the commission about any files.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Police raid Belgian Catholic hierarchy in abuse probe; SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director for SNAP 314 862 7688

This raid is precisely what's needed, not just in Belgium but in other church offices across the globe. Law enforcement officials must stop giving the Catholic hierarchy a 'free pass' when it comes to clergy sex crimes and cover ups. Police and prosecutors need to step up, and promptly and thoroughly investigate allegations against predator priests and corrupt bishops, and use their full powers to gain access to and control over church records that likely document the crimes and cover ups.

Kids will be safer only when secular authorities stop giving excessive deference to church officials and start doing all that they can to catch, expose, prosecute and jail both child molesting clerics and their complicit colleagues and supervisors.

We call on all citizens of Belgium - Catholic and non-Catholic - to contact law enforcement with any information or suspicions they may have - however old, small, or seemingly insignificant - so that this can be an effective investigation that results in the imprisonment of those who hurt children and those who enable others to hurt children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Adriaenssens: "Wij zijn geschokt, slachtoffers zijn in paniek"

BELGIE
Gazet van Antwerpen

19:13 Peter Adriaenssens, de voorzitter van de Commissie die seksueel misbruik in de kerk onderzoekt, is geschokt door de huiszoekingen die vandaag werden uitgevoerd door het gerecht. Adriaenssens vindt dat de privacy van de slachtoffers geschonden is.

Speurders vielen donderdag binnen bij de commissie-Adriaenssens in Leuven, in het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis en in de Sint-Romboutskathedraal in Mechelen. Ook bij kardinaal Godfried Danneels werd een huiszoeking uitgevoerd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Ook huiszoeking bij kardinaal Danneels

BEGLIE
De Telegraaf

BRUSSEL - De Belgische justitie heeft donderdag huiszoekingen verricht bij kardinaal Godfried Danneels en het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel. Dat maakte het parket bekend. Justitie is op zoek naar pedofiliedossiers die zouden zijn achtergehouden.

Er is ook een huiszoeking uitgevoerd bij de commissie-Adriaenssens, die seksueel misbruik door geestelijken onderzoekt. Justitie nam alle 475 dossiers mee. Voorzitter Peter Adriaenssens liet weten geschokt te zijn over de gang van zaken en de inval niet te begrijpen. De commissie beslist maandag of ze haar werk nog wel wil voortzetten. Volgens Adriaenssens is de privacy van de slachtoffers geschonden.

Agenten vielen in de ochtend het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis en de Sint-Romboutskathedraal in Mechelen binnen. De politie zette de buurt af en gebruikte breekijzers om binnen te komen, aldus Vlaamse media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Ex-priest gets nearly 7 years in prison on child porn charges

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX

Brad Choat Reporting
Kmoxnews@kmox.com

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- A former priest at St. Raphael's Parish in St. Louis is headed to prison on a child pornography possession charge.

Prosecutors today announced that 58-year-old James Patrick Grady has been sentenced to 80 months (6.7 years) in prison. He must also pay a 12-thousand-500 dollar fine and be on supervised release for life.

Grady pleaded guilty to the charge in March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

James Patrick Grady: St. Louis Priest Sentenced to Six Years for Child Pornography

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Riverfront Times

By Chad Garrison, Thursday, Jun. 24 2010

​A federal judge today sentenced the former priest of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in south St. Louis to 80 months in prison and ordered to pay a $12,500 fine after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography earlier this spring.

James Patrick Grady, 58, was arrested in a sting operation last July in which he used a personal computer to solicit sex with a 16-year-old girl that was really an undercover officer. Following his arrest his laptop was found to have some 100 images of nude prepubescent females between the ages of seven and seventeen years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

St. Louis priest sentenced on child pornography charges

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Globe-Democrat

A former priest, James Patrick Grady, was sentenced to 80 months in prison, followed by supervised release for life on one felony count of possession of child pornography Thursday. 58-year-old Grady, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty in March to one felony count of possession of child pornography.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, James Patrick Grady was employed as the pastor at St. Raphael’s Parish in St. Louis. Grady was provided with a computer by the Arch Diocese, but requested that parish members obtain a laptop computer for his personal usage. The parish purchased him a Toshiba laptop computer.

On July 29, 2009, law enforcement officers and agents were involved in an undercover operation investigating subjects who attempt to purchase children, or their services, for commercial sex in the Eastern District of Missouri. The same day, officers received an email in response to an internet advertisement that had been placed by law enforcement working in the undercover capacity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Priest who admitted to child

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Public Radio

Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio (2010-06-24)

ST. LOUIS (St. Louis Public Radio) - The former priest of a south St. Louis parish will spend 80 months in federal prison and be under lifelong supervision after his release for possession of child pornography.

James Patrick Grady, who was the pastor at St. Raphael the Archangel in south city, pleaded guilty to the charge in March. He was arrested in July 2009 after traveling to St. Louis County to meet with a 16-year-old girl for sex. The girl was an undercover officer. Grady had answered an Internet ad that was part of an ongoing investigation. Investigators also found child pornography on a computer the parish had purchased for Father Grady's personal use.

'Dan Rather Reports' Exposes Coordinated Effort by the Catholic Church to Protect Ass

UNITED STATES
PRNewswire

DALLAS, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Next week, "Dan Rather Reports" investigates how the Roman Catholic Church has been hiding and shielding assets from victims of priest abuse. Some say the Church is behaving more like a big corporation than a sacred institution.

From the Vatican on down, the church has vowed to make peace with hundreds of victims of a decades-long epidemic of sex abuse by its priests. But "Dan Rather Reports" found evidence that the church has done just the opposite: Wealthy U.S. Dioceses from California to Delaware have claimed to be broke and have filed for bankruptcy to avoid paying damages; Bishops have exploited arcane corporate laws to shield church assets from liability; and, in San Diego, parish priests have been caught literally hiding money in safes, according to court records.

"If you or I did what the Diocese of San Diego did in that bankruptcy, we'd be charged with bankruptcy fraud, and we'd probably be in prison," said attorney John Manly, who has represented dozens of priest abuse victims in lawsuits across the country.

Police raid Belgian Catholic hierarchy in abuse probe

BELGIUM
AFP

By Philippe Siuberski (AFP)

BRUSSELS — Police raided Belgium's Catholic Church HQ on Thursday and seized computer files at the home of its top cardinal over the last 20 years amid fresh accusations of child sex abuse by priests.

The latest blow to the scandal-hit Roman Catholic Church came as the Vatican's ambassador to Belgium attended a meeting with bishops, weeks after Pope Benedict XVI begged forgiveness from victims of paedophile priests.

A spokesman for Brussels prosecutors said that the action, involving about 30 officers and investigators, followed a string of accusations "denouncing abuse of minors committed by a certain number of Church figures."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

Belgian church HQ searched over abuse accusations

BELGIUM
Reuters

(Reuters) - Belgian police investigating sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests raided central Church offices on Thursday and searched the home of the former archbishop.

Police sought evidence to document abuse cases in offices of the Brussels archdiocese and in the home of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who stepped down in January as head of the Belgian Church after holding that position since 1979.

In Leuven, they also searched the office of the Church commission that has been tracking complaints and compiling evidence about sexual abuse of minors by Belgian priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Bishop's HQ raided by police

BELGIUM
Radio New Zealand

Police in Belgium have raided the offices of the country's most senior Catholic prelate in an investigation into claims of child sex abuse.

The prosecutors office in Brussels has confirmed that the palace of the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels had been sealed off while officials searched for evidence concerning abuse accusations.

Police have also raided the home of retired Archbishop Godfried Danneels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Police raid offices, home of retired archbishop

BELGIUM
The Associated Press

By ROBERT WIELAARD (AP)

BRUSSELS — Police raided the home and office of the recently retired archbishop of Belgium on Thursday, carrying off documents and a personal computer as part of an investigation into the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests, officials said.

Police and prosecutors would not say if former Archbishop Godfried Danneels was suspected of abuse himself or simply had records pertaining to allegations against another person.

Separately, police seized the records of an independent panel investigating sexual abuse by priests, some 500 cases in all. The head of the panel called the raid a huge violation of the privacy of people — mostly men now in their 60s and 70s — who have lived with the shame of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Belgian Catholic Church Offices Raided in Abuse Inquiry

BELGIUM
The New York Times

By STEPHEN CASTLE
Published: June 24, 2010

BRUSSELS — The scandal over sexual abuse of children by priests continued to reverberate across Europe on Thursday when authorities raided the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium and the home of the country’s former archbishop, according to the prosecutors’ office and local media reports.

The searches Thursday came as a part of the ongoing investigation into charges of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, officials said, but declined to specify the target of the raids. The resignation in April of a popular bishop who admitted to molesting a boy set off a wave of hundreds of sex-abuse claims in Belgium.

Officials searched the palace of the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels Thursday, Jean-Marc Meilleur, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutors’ office, said. “They are looking for documents which could prove whether allegations are correct or not,” Mr. Meilleur said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Hooray for Belgium

UNITED STATES
Anti-Catholic League

by David Fortwengler

There are many reasons to love Belgium and its people, but todays action by the Brussels prosecutor makes me love them even more. Police raided the Diocesan headquarters of the Belgian Catholic church and the Bishop’s residence looking for evidence in an ongoing investigation into child sex abuse and high-level cover ups involving Church figures. The documents being confiscated are “to establish if these accusations are backed up or not," said the spokesman, Jean-Marc Meilleur. I hope the prosecutor consulted an honest and informed canon lawyer like Father Tom Doyle who told them where to look for the “secret archives.” Can you picture the Bishop’s face when police asked him for the combination to that safe?

The importance of today’s action cannot be underestimated. Sex crimes, gross institutional negligence, fraud, and conspiracy are not matters for any religious institution to handle themselves. Despite the Catholic Church’s tepid admissions of errors in judgment and mistakes in the past, criminal investigations can only be done by independent civil authorities with the power and expertise to document and punish wrongdoers. We know from experience in the United States that Church officials and lawyers have never willingly released any substantive or meaningful evidence on their own. Only because of grand juries, criminal trials, and civil cases has the truth become known; the abuses are endemic, the bosses are negligent, and the treatment of survivors is hurtful not healing. Hopefully, the example set today by Belgian authorities will resonate across Europe and the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Catholic abuse in Belgium

BELGIUM
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Andrew Brown

The abuse scandals widen in Belgium, where the offices of an archbishop have been raided by the police

Reports are coming in that Belgian police have searched the offices of Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard, the head of the Catholic church there, in search of evidence about child abuse. This follows the resignation earlier this year of the Bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, who admitted to abusing a boy more than 20 years ago. The church commission which is investigating another 20 allegations was also raided today; earlier its chairman had said that the church was not taking all its complaints seriously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Official says police raid home, office of retired Belgian archbishop in sex-abuse probe

BELGIUM
Los Angeles Times

ROBERT WIELAARD

June 24, 2010

BRUSSELS (AP) — Police raided the home and office of the recently retired archbishop of Belgium on Thursday, carrying off documents and a personal computer as part of an investigation into the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests, officials said.

Police and prosecutors would not say whether former Archbishop Godfried Danneels was suspected of abuse himself or simply had records pertaining to allegations against another person.

The raids followed recent statements to police "that are related to the sexual abuse of children within the church," said Jean-Marc Meilleur, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor's office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

Belgian Catholic offices raided in sex abuse probe

BELGIUM
The Punch (Nigeria)

By Agency reporter
Thursday, 24 Jun 2010

Belgian authorities have raided the offices of the country‘s most senior Catholic prelate as they investigate child sex abuse claims.

A spokesman for the Brussels prosecutors‘ office confirmed that the palace of the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels had been sealed off.

Officials were searching for evidence concerning abuse allegations, he said.

Belgium, BBC says is one of several countries in which a stream of abuse claims has shaken the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

Police raid home of ex Belgian Archbishop in child-abuse probe

BELGIUM
Monsters and Critics

Brussels - Police investigating cases of sexual abuse on minors raided Thursday the home of the former head of the Catholic Church in Belgium, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, a spokesman for the prelate said.

Danneels, 77, stepped down as Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and head of Belgium's bishop conference in January, after serving in that position for 31 years.

The cardinal was not questioned, but his computer was seized by police, spokesman Hans Geybels told the Belgian news agency Belga.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Police raid offices, home of retired archbishop

BELGIUM
The Associated Press

By ROBERT WIELAARD (AP)

BRUSSELS — Police raided the home and office of the recently retired archbishop of Belgium on Thursday, carrying off documents and a personal computer as part of an investigation into the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests, officials said.

Police and prosecutors would not say whether former Archbishop Godfried Danneels was suspected of abuse himself or simply had records pertaining to allegations against another person.

The raids followed recent statements to police "that are related to the sexual abuse of children within the church," said Jean-Marc Meilleur, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor's office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Pédophilie: perquisitions au siège de l'Église catholique belge

BELGIQUE
cyperpresse

Philippe Siuberski
Agence France-Presse
Bruxelles

La justice a frappé au coeur de l'Église catholique de Belgique, confrontée depuis deux mois à des scandales de pédophilie, en perquisitionnant jeudi le siège même de l'institution à la suite de nouvelles accusations d'abus sexuels visant des ecclésiastiques.

Une trentaine d'enquêteurs et de policiers ont investi le palais épiscopal de Malines, au nord de Bruxelles, siège de l'archidiocèse de Malines-Bruxelles et «chef-lieu» de l'Église catholique de Belgique.

Les enquêteurs recherchaient des documents ou toute autre forme de preuve pouvant «étayer ou non» des «accusations dénonçant des abus sur mineurs commis par un certains nombre de gens d'Église», a expliqué à l'AFP un porte-parole du parquet de Bruxelles, Jean-Marc Meilleur.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 AM

La justice perquisitionne à l'évêché de Malines-Bruxelles

BELGIQUE
la Croix

Selon le porte-parole du parquet de Bruxelles, il s’agit « d’étayer ou non des accusations d’abus sur mineurs »

Alors que les évêques belges étaient réunis en présence du nonce apostolique, une trentaine d’enquêteurs et de policiers ont investi jeudi 24 juin le palais épiscopal de Malines, au nord de Bruxelles, siège de l’archidiocèse de Malines-Bruxelles.

Les enquêteurs recherchaient des documents ou toute autre forme de preuve pouvant « étayer ou non » des « accusations dénonçant des abus sur mineurs commis par un certain nombre de gens d’Église », a expliqué à l’AFP un porte-parole du parquet de Bruxelles, Jean-Marc Meilleur. Il s’agit d’un « dossier récent », a encore précisé ce dernier, refusant toutefois de donner le nom du ou des plaignants ou de préciser qui était visé par ces accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Le domicile de Mgr Danneels perquisitionné

BELGIQUE
rtbf

24.06.10 - 16:05
L'archevêché de Malines-Bruxelles, la Commission Adriaenssens et le domicile de Monseigneur Léonard ont été perquisitionnés par le parquet de Bruxelles dans le cadre d'un dossier de pédophilie. Une conférence de presse est annoncée pour 17h.

"Ce sont des perquisitions qui ont lieu dans le cadre d'un dossier qui a été ouvert récemment au parquet de Bruxelles à la suite de certaines déclarations qui mettaient en cause des faits d'abus sexuels à l'encontre de mineurs qui auraient été commis par un certain nombre de personnes au sein de l'Eglise. L'objectif de ces perquisitions est de rassembler des éléments de preuve" explique Jean-Marc Meilleur, le porte-parole du parquet bruxellois.

D'après Jean-Marc Meilleur, le dossier n'en est qu'à ses débuts. Ces actes judiciaires serviront "à étayer ou à ne pas étayer les déclarations qui ont été faites dans le cadre du dossier."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Huiszoekingen op aartsbisdom, bij kardinaal Danneels en bij Commissie Adriaenssens

BELGIE
De Morgen

DM breaking news Het Brusselse parket voert een grootscheepse huiszoeking uit op het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel aan de Wollemarkt in Mechelen. Er is ook een huiszoeking bij kardinaal Danneels thuis. Dat gebeurt in het kader van een gerechtelijk onderzoek naar feiten van kindermisbruik door verschillende personen binnen de katholieke Kerk, zo meldt de woordvoerder van het Brusselse parket, Jean-Marc Meilleur.

De huiszoeking startte vanochtend om kwart voor 11 en is nu nog bezig. Er nemen zeker 20 politiemensen van de Generale Recherche in Brussel aan deel. Op dit ogenblik komen nog bijkomende speurders ter plaatse. Speurders lopen af en aan met dossierkisten op wieltjes. Ze zijn duidelijk zeer gericht op zoek naar specifieke dossiers.

Naast de actie op het aartsbisdom is er tegelijkertijd een huiszoeking bezig in de Sint-Romboutskathedraal in Mechelen. Daarbij wordt ook de crypte doorzocht. Gelovigen mogen de kathedraal niet meer in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

School priest pleads guilty to nude shots

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

A PRIEST from a Brisbane Catholic school who took nude photos of a teenage boy has pleaded guilty to indecent treatment of a child.

Michael Ambrose Endicott, 65, appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on two counts of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 16.

The charges against the former teacher and priest at Villanova Catholic College in Brisbane's south involved a 14-year-old student in 1977 and 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Police raid Belgian church in paedophile probe

BELGIUM
ABC News (Australia)

Police have raided the headquarters of the Belgian Catholic church following accusations of child sex abuse involving Church figures, a spokesman for Brussels prosecutors said.

"Within the context of a recent investigation, prosecutors have been informed of accusations denouncing abuse of minors committed by a certain number of Church figures," said the spokesman, Jean-Marc Meilleur.

Police entered the premises of the archdiocese of Brussels-Malines, just north of the Belgian capital, "in order to establish if these accusations are backed up or not," he added, without giving any more details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

STA Appeal to Bishop Clark

NEW YORK
Cleansing Fire

St. Thomas the Apostle church has made a formal appeal to Bishop Matthew Clark requesting that he rescind his decree which would dissolve the five Irondequoit Pastoral Planning Group (IPPG) parishes and close St. Thomas and St. Salome churches (and properties).

To read the appeal, click here.

Note: The D&C will be publishing a story on St. Thomas the Apostle, and the effort of parishioners to save their parish in this Sunday’s paper. There will be a D&C photographer at tomorrow’s rosary for STA. The rosary will be prayed at 6 PM (Thursday, June 24th) at St. Thomas the Apostle church. Hopefully parishioners, friends and well-wishers can attend. Sorry for the short notice on this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Police raid offices, home of Belgium archbishop

BELGIUM
The Associated Press

BRUSSELS — The Brussels prosecutor's office says police have raided the home and office of Belgium's recently retired Archbishop Godfried Danneels as part of a sex-abuse investigation.

Spokesman Jean-Marc Meilleur says the raid followed "a number of statements related to sexual abuse of children within the church."

On Thursday, police were seen carrying boxes from the former archbishop's office and nearby St. Rombout Cathedral in the city of Mechlin, just north of Brussels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

U.S. Catholics urged to re-direct Peter’s Pence papal collection donation to non-church charities

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

This Sunday June 27, during peaceful nationwide statements of objection to the Pope’s unacceptable response to the clergy sex abuse and cover up scandal, we urge all U.S. Catholics to re-direct their Peter’s Pence papal collection donation to a non-church charity.

The Pope’s response to the clergy sex abuse and cover up scandal has been woefully inadequate, lacks a sense of urgency, is long on words and symbols, and has been void of substantive actions. In brief, the Pope’s response has been unacceptable. The Peter’s Pence collection on June 27 provides Catholics a unique opportunity to cast a NO vote of confidence in the Pope because of his unacceptable performance in addressing forcefully and effectively the ongoing clergy sex abuse and cover up scandal, in supporting adequately survivors of abuse, and in protecting our children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Is The Smoke of Satan in the Vatican?

VATICAN CITY
Metro Catholic (United States)

June 24, 2010

- by Colleen Hammond

Fr. Gabriel Amorth has served as the Vatican’s chief exorcist for the past quarter century. During those twenty-five years, the quietly outspoken priest has raised eyebrows with his sober accounts of brushes with the Devil — a routine occupational hazard for someone who has dealt with over 70,000 cases of demonic possession. But his recent declaration that Satan is alive and well in the heart of the Vatican itself has to rank as his most provocative revelation to date. According to a book of his memoirs recently released in Italy, Fr. Amorth claims to know of the existence of “Satanic sects” in the Vatican where participation reaches all the way to the College of Cardinals. “There are priests, monsignors and also cardinals!” he explained to Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti, who compiled Memoirs of an Exorcist from interviews with the priest. Asked by Tosatti how he knows Vatican clergy are involved, the exorcist answered, “I know from those who have been able to relate it to me because they had a way of knowing directly. And it’s something ‘confessed’ most times by the very demon under obedience during the exorcisms.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Drie huiszoeking bij RK-kerk Belgie

BELGIE
Kerknieuws (Nederland)

DO 24 jun 2010 | 13.19

De Belgische justitie voerde op donderdagmiddag huiszoekingen uit op drie locaties van de Belgische Rooms-Katholieke Kerk: de kantoren van het aartsbisdom in Mechelen, bij de commissie-Adriaenssens in Leuven en de woning van kardinaal Danneels.

De reden voor de huiszoekingen is dat de kerk mogelijk dossiers over seksueel misbruik achterhoudt. De justitie zou daar een tip over hebben gekregen.

De huiszoeking in de kantoren van het aartsbisdom viel samen met de vergadering van de bisschoppenconferentie waarbij ook de nuntius aanwezig is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Huiszoekingen op aartsbisdom, bij kardinaal Danneels en bij Commissie Adriaenssens<

BELGIE
De Morgen

DM breaking news Het Brusselse parket voert een grootscheepse huiszoeking uit op het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel aan de Wollemarkt in Mechelen. Er is ook een huiszoeking bij kardinaal Danneels thuis. Dat gebeurt in het kader van een gerechtelijk onderzoek naar feiten van kindermisbruik door verschillende personen binnen de katholieke Kerk, zo meldt de woordvoerder van het Brusselse parket, Jean-Marc Meilleur.

De huiszoeking startte vanochtend om kwart voor 11 en is nu nog bezig. Er nemen zeker 20 politiemensen van de Generale Recherche in Brussel aan deel. Op dit ogenblik komen nog bijkomende speurders ter plaatse. Speurders lopen af en aan met dossierkisten op wieltjes. Ze zijn duidelijk zeer gericht op zoek naar specifieke dossiers.

Naast de actie op het aartsbisdom is er tegelijkertijd een huiszoeking bezig in de Sint-Romboutskathedraal in Mechelen. Daarbij wordt ook de crypte doorzocht. Gelovigen mogen de kathedraal niet meer in. De woordvoerder van kardinaal Danneels bevestigt dat er ook een huiszoeking aan de gang is in het huis van de kardinaal.

[summary]

The Brussels public prosecutor's office is carrying out a large-scale search in the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels and there was also a search of Cardinal Danneels home. This is done under a criminal investigation regarding allegations of sexual abuse by various people in the Catholic Church, accoridng to Jean-Marc Meiller, spokesman for the prosecutor.
lsearussells

The search began this morning at 10:45 and his still in progress. The searches involved at least 20 police officers from the General Investigation Section in Brussels. Investigators are seen coming and going with file boxes and they clearly are focused on looking for specific files.

Huiszoekingen kindermisbruik: ook bij Danneels thuis huiszoeking

BELGIE
Metro

(Belga) Ook bij kardinaal Godfried Danneels thuis is donderdag een huiszoeking uitgevoerd. Dat zegt zijn woordvoerder Hans Geybels.

Volgens Geybels werd Danneels donderdag "niet actief verhoord" tijdens de huiszoeking bij hem thuis. "Zijn computer werd wel meegenomen", zegt de woordvoerder. Geybels verklaart dat de huiszoeking bij Danneels intussen afgelopen is.

[summary]

The home of Cardinal Godfried Danneels was searched by police Thursday. His spokesman Hans Geybels said the cardinal's computer was taken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Belgian Catholic church HQ raided in paedophile probe

BELGIUM
AFP

BRUSSELS — Police raided the headquarters of the Belgian Catholic church following accusations of child sex abuse involving Church figures, a spokesman for Brussels prosecutors told AFP on Thursday.

"Within the context of a recent investigation, prosecutors have been informed of accusations denouncing abuse of minors committed by a certain number of Church figures," said the spokesman, Jean-Marc Meilleur.

Police entered the premises of the archdiocese of Brussels-Malines, just north of the Belgian capital, "in order to establish if these accusations are backed up or not," he added, without giving any more details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Police raid Belgian Catholic HQ

BELGIUM
Aljazeera

Police have raided the headquarters of the Belgian Catholic church over allegations of child sex abuse.

A Brussels prosecutor said the raid followed accusations "denouncing abuse of minors committed by a certain number of church figures".

Jean-Marc Meilleur said police entered the archdiocese of Brussels-Maline, north of the Belgian capital, "in order to establish if these accusations are backed up or not".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Huiszoeking bij aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel

BELGIE
De Telegraaf (Nederland)

BRUSSEL - In de Vlaamse stad Mechelen heeft het parket van Brussel donderdag een huiszoeking uitgevoerd bij het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel. Er is ook een huiszoeking uitgevoerd bij de commissie-Adriaenssens, die seksueel misbruik door geestelijken onderzoekt. Het parket heeft dit bevestigd.

Justitie is op zoek naar informatie over pedofiliedossiers. Het onderzoek volgt op verklaringen over seksueel misbruik van kinderen waar medewerkers van de kerk bij betrokken zouden zijn, aldus een woordvoerder van justitie. Het zou gaan over oude feiten, maar details ontbreken nog.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Child abuse in institutions: ensure full protection of the victims

EUROPE
Council of Europe

Motion for a Resolution

presented by Mr Omtzigt and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1. Many countries, including Council of Europe member and observer states, have recently been faced with accounts of physical and sexual child abuse occurring within residential facilities, boarding schools, churches and other institutional settings.

2. The Parliamentary Assembly notes with regret that the needs of the victims of this abuse have often been disregarded – both in the past, when the offences occurred, and in the present, connected to the way they have been handled by the institutions concerned, the state and the media. The extent and duration of abuse situations is shocking and questions arise why they were not uncovered earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Child abuse in institutions: PACE’s Social Committee to hold a hearing

FRANCE
Council of Europe

Strasbourg, 21.06.2010 - Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s (PACE) Committee on Social Affairs is to hold tomorrow, 22 June, in Strasbourg, a Hearing on "Child abuse in institutions: ensuring full protection of the victims", in the framework of the preparation of a report on the subject by Marlene Rupprecht (Germany, SOC). The hearing, which is open to the press, will take place from 8.30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Palais de l’Europe (Room 1).

Participants include Massimo Introvigne, Sociologist (Vatican City) ; Marian Shanley, Member of the Commision to Inquire into Child Abuse (Ireland); Christine Bergmann, Special Representative on Cases of Child Abuse (Germany) and Helgard Van Hüllen, Member of the Executive Board of Victim Support Europe (Germany).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Child abuse in institutions: PACE’s Social Committee holds a hearing

EUROPE
Council of Europe

PACE’s Committee on Social Affairs today held a hearing on "Child abuse in institutions: ensuring full protection of the victims", in the framework of the preparation of a report on the subject by Marlene Rupprecht (Germany, SOC). Participants included Massimo Introvigne, sociologist (Vatican City); Marian Shanley, Member of the Commision to Inquire into Child Abuse (Ireland); Christine Bergmann, Special Representative on Cases of Child Abuse (Germany); Helgard Van Hüllen, Member of the Executive Board of Victim Support Europe and Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Council of Europe's Deputy Secretary General.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Residential schools commission visits Iqaluit

CANADA
CBC News

Members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are meeting with Inuit residential school survivors in Iqaluit on Thursday, less than a week after they held their first national event.

It's the first visit to the eastern Arctic for the national commission, which was formed by the federal government to acknowledge, document and educate the public about former residential schools students' experiences.

Manitoba Justice Murray Sinclair, the truth commission's chairman, said this week's short visit won't be the only time his commission travels to Iqaluit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Peabody parish priest headed to Haverhill

HAVERHILL (MA)
The Salem News

By Paul Tennant
STAFF WRITER

Catholic Church officials have named a temporary replacement for the Rev. Keith LeBlanc, who is being investigated for "financial improprieties'' at St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill.

Archdiocese of Boston spokesman Terrence Donilon said the Rev. Paul Coughlin will take over as administrator at the church until a replacement pastor is named.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Another secret emerges in case of priest's alleged killer

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

By PEGGY WRIGHT • STAFF WRITER • June 23, 2010

MORRISTOWN — The church janitor charged with stabbing the Rev. Edward Hinds to death last October in Chatham has another secret from his past: a court case that has been sealed in New York.

Murder suspect Jose R. Feliciano, 65, was brought before Superior Court Judge David Ironson Wednesday for a status conference on his charge of killing Hinds, the pastor of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Chatham, on Oct. 22 in the kitchen of the rectory.

Hinds was stabbed 32 times.

Prosecutors first disclosed on Oct. 29 at a bail hearing for Feliciano that they learned there is a 1988 warrant for Feliciano's arrest out of Philadelphia charging him with committing indecent assault without consent, simple assault, and corruption of minors on March 31, 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Florida fights for victim’s rights; time limits for sexual abuse cases lifted

FLORIDA
Justice News Flash

06/23/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Nicole Howley

Tallahassee, FL—The Florida legislature is fighting for the rights of sexually abused children, by revoking the time limits in which victims can file a lawsuit. On May 11, 2010, Florida governor Charlie Crist signed a bill, which will lift the statues of limitations for pursing criminal or civil sexual abuse cases for victims who were younger than 16-year-old at the time of the abuse, as reported by the Miami Herald.

The bill, HB 525, will help victims of sexual abuse to seek justice in a courtroom and to recover damages from their horrifying experience.

Under previous Florida law, “a child who is a victim of certain sex crimes can press charges only until the age of 21. The statue of limitations in a civil case against the perpetrator typically expired after the age of 25, and one against an institution four years after the incident.” Florida’s previous law already has no statute of limitations for children younger than 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

St. Pete church volunteer accused of molesting boy

ST. PETERSBURG (FL)
The Suncoast News

ST. PETERSBURG - A 40-year-old volunteer in a children's program at Northside Baptist Church was arrested this morning on charges he molested and raped a boy whose parents are church members, according to St. Petersburg police.

Stephen Charles Greeley, of 880 South Village Drive N., Apt. 205, was charged with sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation.

Authorities would not give the exact age of the boy, except to say he is under 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Boy says church volunteer abused him

ST. PETERSBURG (FL)
St. Petersburg Times

By Danny Valentine, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Thursday, June 24, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG — A church volunteer was accused Wednesday of sexually abusing a young boy he met at church.

Stephen Charles Greeley, 40, was arrested on charges of sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation. St. Petersburg police said his victim is younger than 12 years old.

Greeley was being held at the Pinellas County Jail on Wednesday night without bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Diocese campaign raises $42 million

MAINE
Morning Sentinel

PORTLAND -- A two-year capital campaign for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has raised more than $42 million to benefit parishes and ministry programs across Maine, Bishop Richard Malone said Wednesday.

The campaign, which will end officially on June 30, surpassed its $40 million goal, set in April 2008, Malone said during a news conference at the chancery on Ocean Avenue.

"Catholic people in Maine want to support the church, even in, and perhaps because of, hard times," Malone said. "Our many ministries will all be strengthened."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

In scandal’s wake, new priests must build trust

KANSAS
Lawrence Journal-World

By Shaun Hittle

June 23, 2010

Andrew Strobl, a Catholic priest serving in Olathe, trained to become a priest in the shadow of the sexual abuse scandal that shook the church a decade ago.

He said he was entering the church to live a life of service to God. But the reaction of friends and family when he entered the seminary made him realize that new priests have a lot of work in front of them.

“People would tease you about that,” Strobl said. “They’ll call you a pedophile.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Pédophilie: le siège de l'Eglise belge perquisitionné

BELGIQUE
7s7

7S7 flash info Une perquisition est en cours ce jeudi dans les bureaux de l'archevêché de Malines-Bruxelles, situés Wollemarkt à Malines, a-t-on appris auprès de la Conférence épiscopales belge.

La perquisition, qui serait en rapport avec des dossiers de pédophilie, est menée sur ordre du parquet de Bruxelles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Belgique : perquisition du siège de l'Eglise catholique

BELGIQUE
Nouvel Obs

La police a perquisitionné les locaux de l'archidiocèse de Malines-Bruxelles, après les accusations d'abus sexuels sur mineurs portés contre des ecclésiastiques.

La police belge a perquisitionné, jeudi 24 juin, le siège de l'Eglise catholique du pays à la suite des accusations d'abus sexuels sur mineurs portés contre des ecclésiastiques, a indiqué un porte-parole du parquet de Bruxelles.

"Dans un dossier récent, le parquet a été informé d'accusations dénonçant des abus sur mineurs commis par un certains nombre de gens d'Eglise", a expliqué un porte-parole.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Belgian Catholic offices raided in sex abuse probe

BELGIUM
BBC News

Belgian authorities have raided the offices of the country's most senior Catholic prelate as they investigate child sex abuse claims.

A spokesman for the Brussels prosecutors' office confirmed that the palace of the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels had been sealed off.

Officials were searching for evidence concerning abuse allegations, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

June 23, 2010

Our view: Bishop already has opportunity to lead

WISCONSIN
La Crosse Tribune

Adjacent to this editorial, you'll see the letter with which the Rev. James E. Connell introduced, to Catholic and secular media, his criticism of the policy of the Diocese of La Crosse regarding the sexual abuse of minors.

Connell's argument boils down to this: The La Crosse Diocese's policy applies a standard of proof that is too high in the initial stages of a complaint when deciding whether to forward such a complaint to Rome, a standard - beyond reasonable doubt - more appropriate for final adjudication than for initial complaint.

In the wake of Connell's accusations that the La Crosse Diocese takes a lax approach in assessing the merits of purported victims' allegations, the church hasn't responded to the substance of his complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

Würzburger Justiz ermittelt gegen Pfarrer

DEUTSCHLAND
Bayerisher Rundfunk

Die Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt nach Informationen des Bayerischen Rundfunks wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen einen pensionierten Pfarrer aus Würzburg. Gegen den 71-Jährigen sei Anzeige erstattet worden, so die Staatsanwaltschaft. Das Bistum will mit dem Beschuldigten sprechen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 PM

Victims of sexual abuse subject to health risks

KANSAS
Lawrence Journal-World

By Jane Stevens

June 23, 2010

When children are raped, sodomized, fondled or forced to touch the genitals of an adult, especially a trusted adult such as a priest, a family member or a friend, the trauma sears their brains like a red-hot iron. The effects of the trauma tumble through their lives, and often result in chronic illness, including diabetes and heart disease, that appears when they are adults.

“It’s like you’re running all of your life,” says Ella Herman, 70, who says she was sexually molested, starting at age 4, by two uncles and a school bus driver. She also says she was raped when she was 15 by her date, who was a member of a then-prominent political family in Mississippi. She married him; he often beat her and tried to kill her after she left him. Her siblings helped her escape with her two sons to California, where she eventually remarried.

In San Diego, Herman owned and ran a successful day care center for 12 years before she had a heart attack at age 60.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Former Freeburg student alleges he was molested by superintendent who committed suicide

ILLINOIS
Belleville News-Democrat

BY BETH HUNDSDORFER - News-Democrat

A former Freeburg District 70 student alleged in a suit filed in federal court on Wednesday that the late Robin Hawkins, a former teacher, coach, counselor and superintendent, blindfolded him, bound his wrists and molested him, and that the school district personnel knew Hawkins was an abuser, but did nothing to stop him.

The suit alleges that former school superintendents Clarence Haege and Lawrence Meggs engaged in an agreement with Hawkins not to report suspected child abuse to the state child protection services or the police-- a charge Haege denies. Meggs could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mike Wagner, the school district's lawyer, said the district had not yet been served with the suit and declined to comment. Wagner previously has stated that the district did have one allegation of sexual misconduct by Hawkins reported in the early 1980s. ...

Weilmuenster has battled the Catholic Diocese of Belleville in several sexual abuse cases. A former altar boy received a $1.2 million settlement after he alleged he was molested by his parish priest. Weilmuenster also received a $5 million verdict for James Wisniewski, who claimed the diocese covered up sex abuse by Rev. Raymond Kownacki. The diocese appealed that verdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Irish clergy sex abuse & cover up report delayed ; Sex abuse victims respond

IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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’re disappointed by this delay. Every day that child molesting clerics and their complicit colleagues and supervisors remain hidden is a day that children are needlessly put in harm’s way.

We are also deeply saddened for Irish clergy sex abuse victims and their loved ones, who need and deserve for the truth to be told – thoroughly but quickly- about these horrific crimes and cover ups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Sex abuse victims blast Kansas bishops

KANSAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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)

Shame on the four Catholic bishops of Kansas, who refuse to even discuss, much less effectively deal with, clergy sex crimes and cover ups. Their promises of being “open and transparent” about child molesting clerics have been proven hollow.

The Lawrence Journal World has just published a long investigative report about the church’s on-going clergy sex scandal. The most revealing sentence in the article is this one: “No official from any of the four Kansas dioceses would agree to an interview to discuss abuse allegations.”

If church officials won’t even TALK about abuse, what are the chances they’ll actually be able to prevent it?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

New legal approach for child sex abuse in CA; SNAP responds

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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)

(A new civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit has just been filed against the Los Angeles archdiocese. It charges church officials with fraud – only the second time in California history, apparently. The victims in both cases are represented by Sacramento attorney Joseph C. George.)

We’re not lawyers, but this strategy makes perfect sense to us. How can anyone deny that Mahony and his corrupt staff have engaged in fraud by ignoring and concealing known and suspected felonies against kids for decades, and shuffled predator priests among unsuspecting parishioners?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Maine Catholics raise $42.2 million

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

6/23/10
By Judy Harrison
BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — The head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced Wednesday the conclusion of its capital campaign, “Strengthening the Heartbeat of the Church.”

Bishop Richard Malone said campaign pledges totaled $42.2 million, $2.2 million more than the goal.

“It is heartwarming and frankly, amazing to me that in these difficult economic times we could reach such a total,” Malone said at a press conference. “This campaign has demonstrated that people support the church even in, and maybe especially in, hard times. I am deeply grateful and humbled by the commitment and generosity of the Catholic faithful in Maine.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Catholic Church raises more than $42 million

MAINE
WCSH

[with video]

Caroline Cornish, Reporter

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Catholic Diocese of Portland announced Wednesday that it has nearly completed a major capital campaign and exceeded its fundraising goal by more than $2-million.

The Church has raised $42.2 million dollars in pledges since the spring of 2008. The campaign does not end until June 30. Bishop Richard Malone said he was very happy with the total, especially considering the campaign began just a couple months before the financial collapse on Wall Street.

The money will be divided among a number of programs that the Church believes will strengthen Maine communities and Catholic faith. 25 percent of it goes towards individual parishes, and other large chunks go towards Catholic Charities of Maine (15 percent) and tuition for Catholic schools (15 percent).

The Catholic Church has had a controversial couple of years, not only because of the sex abuse scandal, but also for its decision to actively fundraise against gay marriage during church services in 2008, and later pull its donations to a homeless shelter in Portland that campaigned on the other side. The bishop says none of the funds from this campaign will go toward politics, and he is proud that nearly one-third of active Catholics in the state contributed to this fund.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Irish bishop: Church’s problems with abuse were in the past

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

June 23, 2010
Auxiliary Bishop Donal McKeown of Down and Connor has written a column emphasizing that the clerical abuse of children took place in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Obituary: Paul S. Cultrera, 95

MASSACHUSETTS
The Salem News

June 22, 2010

[See the Frontline documentary Hand of God.]

SALEM — Mr. Paul S. Cultrera, 95, beloved husband of Josephine (Giunta) Cultrera, died Sunday evening, June 20, 2010 at his home surrounded by his family.

Born in Hartford, Conn., he was the son of the late Paolo and Guiseppa (Garro) Cultrera of Canicattini Bagni, Sicily. A leather worker by trade, Mr. Cultrera had been associated with many leather companies on the North Shore and was a member of the International Leather Workers Union.

A longtime active communicant of the former St. Mary's Italian Church in Salem, Paul also served as president of the Church's Bingo Committee. He was a member and former officer of the Christopher Columbus Society, a honorary member of the Beverly Golf and Tennis Club, where he scored five holes in one, and a self-taught artist whose work was exhibited at the Peabody Essex Museum

A pillar of the Italian-American community in Salem, Paul was a member and one of the founders of the Salem Italian-American Credit Union, Paul became a father to many through the documentary film, Hand of God, when it aired on PBS Frontline.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:58 PM

Authorities seek to unseal N.Y. court case involving accused killer of Chatham priest

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

CHATHAM BOROUGH — Morris County prosecutors are trying to unseal a New York court case involving the accused killer of a beloved Chatham priest, according to a report DailyRecord.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Report: With dozens of past priest sex abuse cases, Kansas Catholic dioceses not forthcoming

KANSAS
Fox 4 KC

By Associated Press
2:39 PM CDT, June 23, 2010

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A newspaper report says that Kansas Catholic dioceses are still keeping information about abusive priests from the public.

The Lawrence Journal-World reported Wednesday that its two-year investigation with local cable television's 6News found several dozen cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests, stretching back to the 1950s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Reasons why priest pedophilia is eternal: John Paul II the Great “Saint”, “The Conscience” of the ‘Age of Benedict XVI’, “Holy Father” Marcial Maciel

UNITED STATES
John Paul II Millstone

Paris Arrow

If WE do not do it – then WHO will ???

It is up to us, to now, at this dawn of the 21st Century and the Third Millennium, in this current generation to “judge’” Benedict XVI, John Paul II, the Vatican, Fr. Marcial Maciel and all pedophile priests as to whether we let them pay for their sins for this most heinous crime against hundreds of thousands of Catholic children or let them go scot-free and let them continue their theocratic powers as they have done in the past 2,000 years of Catholicism regardless of their other crimes against humanity.

Children and victims are totally speechless and powerless and they have not been given the justice they deserve for the lifetime suffering these pedophile priests, aptly called John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army http://jp2army.blogspot.com/, have caused upon them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Austrian Catholics ramp up quest for church reform

AUSTRIA
The Associated Press

By VERONIKA OLEKSYN (AP)

VIENNA — Historically a potent symbol of Catholicism in Europe, Austria has in recent years been known more as the center of a taboo-busting movement to liberalize the church.

Now, reformers here are ramping up their campaign for change amid worldwide outrage over the priest sex abuse scandal.

And while much of the push comes from the grassroots, the country's powerful cardinal recently caused a stir with strong gestures in support of reform, raising the stakes in the confrontation between the Vatican and dissidents pushing to allow priests to marry and women to be ordained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

California man accuses Catholic church of fraud

CALIFORNIA
The Associated Press

By GILLIAN FLACCUS (AP)

LOS ANGELES — A California man has filed a lawsuit accusing the Roman Catholic church of fraud for allowing a priest to work with children in Mexico long after allegations of molestation emerged north of the border.

The man, an alleged victim of abuse, says church leaders promised him the priest would never be around children again.

But three years ago, the man discovered the priest's MySpace page, which said he was serving in Tijuana and working with kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Ierland eist 200 miljoen euro van katholieke Kerk wegens seksueel misbruik

IERLAND
De Morgen (Belgie)

De Ierse regering eist een extra bedrag van 200 miljoen euro van de katholieke Kerk voor het schadeloos stellen van de slachtoffers van pedofiele handelingen van priesters. Dat heeft de Ierse premier Brian Cowen gezegd. Verscheidene rapporten vorig jaar hadden een wijdverbreid seksueel misbruik door geestelijken aan het licht gebracht in scholen, weeshuizen, ziekenhuizen en door congregaties beheerde instellingen voor kinderen.

[summary]

The Irish government requires an additional 200 million euros from the Catholic Church to indemnify the victims of pedophile acts by priests, according to Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Oostenrijkse misbruikslachtoffers eisen tot 130.000 euro schadevergoeding

Oostenrijk
RKNieuws (Nederland)

WENEN (RKnieuws.net) - 131 Oostenrijkse slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik en mishandelingen eisen van de Oostenrijkse Kerk schadevergoedingen gaande van 15.000 tot 130.000 euro per geval. Dit heeft het collectief ‘Slachtoffers van geweld binnen de Kerk’ dinsdag bekendgemaakt.

‘De Kerk krijgt tien dagen de tijd om zich over de schadeclaims uit te spreken. Anders stappen we naar de rechtbank’, zei Franz-Jakob Purkarthofer, woordvoerder van het collectief.

De advocaat van het collectief heeft de schadeclaims gestuurd naar zes van de negen Oostenrijkse bisdommen. Hij stelt dat de bisdommen niets hebben gedaan om de misbruiken te doen ophouden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

Senator Van den Driessche beschuldigd van seksueel misbruik

BELGIE
Vandaag

Doenja Van Belleghem, woordvoerster van het bisdom Brugge, beschuldigt in een lezersbrief in Humo CD&V-senator Pol Van Den Driessche van seksueel misbruik.

Aanleiding is het artikel 'Roger Vangheluwe: een portret door intimi' in Humo twee weken geleden, waarin een Brugse senator (Pol Van Den Driessche) Vangheluwe "een slecht mens" noemt.

"Hij doet er echt beter het zwijgen toe", schrijft Doenja Van Belleghem in haar lezersbrief. "Want als iemand heel goed weet dat seksueel misbruik zich niet beperkt tot de kerk, dan is hij het wel. En als iemand het hoofd moet buigen en schuld bekennen, dan is hij het wel. Ik beticht hem zeker niet van pedofilie, wel van seksueel misbruik."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Seksueel misbruik en celibaat

NEDERLAND
Katholiek Nieuwsblad

André Roes - 23-6-2010

Voor de commissie-Deetman zal het niet gemakkelijk zijn in het geval van seksueel misbruik in de Kerk het aandeel vast te stellen van de indertijd in katholieke kring breed gedragen opvattingen over seksualiteit. Er wordt er nog al eens verwezen naar de lichaamsvijandelijkheid van een dualistische christelijke cultuur die de neiging heeft een strikte scheiding aan te brengen tussen lichaam en geest. De geest is dan iets wat verheven, heilig en zuiver is, het lichaam iets wat van lager orde is, verdacht en gevaarlijk. In alle godsdiensten zijn er stromingen die seksuele onthouding, ascese en matiging praktiseren, maar ook stromingen die seksualiteit en erotiek zien als een mogelijkheid God te ervaren. Maar in het christendom is er ook een radicale afwijzing van dit dualisme, wordt het lichaam in zijn recht hersteld als een manifestatie van God. De mens is lichaam en ziel, ook in het lichaam ontmoet hij God. Na het vasten volgt onherroepelijk het feest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Revisit N.L. commission into church abuse: nun

CANADA
CBC News

A member of the long-defunct Winter Commission into sexual abuse by priests in Newfoundland and Labrador is trying to revive the inquiry's work 20 years after it was established.

She is doing so as the scandal affecting the church has reached the very top of its hierarchy, with allegations that Pope Benedict XVI and officials under him turned a blind eye to sexual abuse by priests.

Closer to home, Newfoundland Bishop Raymond Lahey, who went on to lead the diocese of Antigonish, is facing child pornography charges and a civil suit after allegations he sexually abused a boy when he was a priest in St. John's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Former teacher facing sex charges

OHIO
Fox 19

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A former teacher at a Catholic school in Delhi is facing sex charges.

Matthew Herrmann, 35, was arrested Monday night and charged with sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and illegal use of a minor in nudity or nudity-oriented material.

Police say the charges stem from inappropriate relationships with two teenage girls. According to the police report, one of the girls was 13 years old and a student at St. Dominic's in Delhi while Herrmann was a teacher there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Apostolic Visitation: Why Bother? Why be Bothered?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Joan Chittister on Jun. 23, 2010

The question is, why bother? That’s the question rumbling under an otherwise polite attempt to participate in a process based on non-participation.

While the world goes on to bigger things–like oil spills that threaten an entire body of water in addition to all the beaches and marshes and wildlife and families they harbor; while women religious themselves go steadfastly on serving the poor, working for justice, and attempting to make peace among peoples of every faith and culture; and while the church universal continues to deal with the effects of sex scandals everywhere, church embezzlements everywhere and the closing of churches and missions worldwide, the investigation, inquisition, and/or evaluation of women religious in the United States–whatever the euphemisms for it–continues on its weary way. Oblivious, it appears, to all those other things.

No one seems to be sure why the investigation is really being done, except that to declare an Apostolic Visitation signals that someone somewhere has already decided that something is wrong. More than that, no one seems to know where it will really go or how it will end: a report in a drawer; maybe; one more document on religious life after over 1500 years of history, perhaps; a set of foreign “do’s and don’ts” for adult women who have freely given and freely spend their lives for the sake of what one congregation, the Sisters of St Joseph, so poignantly calls “the dear neighbor” and others, Benedictines, for instance, call “the search for God.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Holy division and cynicism

GERMANY
The Local

Published: 23 Jun 10

What is going on in the Catholic Church in Germany? Wracked by sexual abuse scandals, it has now decided to get into an ugly row with disgraced Bishop Walter Mixa. Paul Kreiner of Der Tagesspiegel doubts the pope can usher in a new era of reform.

It’s the perfect storm at exactly the wrong time for the Catholic Church: the personal tragedy of a man who was clearly not suited to be a bishop has smashed head-on into the stone cold attitude of his fellow clerics.

How devastating is it when the Archbishop of Munich decides to keep secret serious accusations against Walter Mixa "in his own interest," but allows his own spokesman to mutter the former bishop of Augsburg's stay in a psychiatric clinic is a first step to recovery? Spiritual leaders should know that someone who has been admitted to a psychiatric clinic does not need cynicism. He needs help.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Mixa backs down, promises to go quietly

GERMANY
The Local

Published: 23 Jun 10

In a dramatic capitulation, former Bishop Walter Mixa abandoned any attempt to claw back his old job on Wednesday and issued an abject apology to the people he had “not treated the right way.”

Just one week ago, a defiant Mixa insisted he had been pressured to resign over claims he beat children in a Catholic orphanage in the 1970s and 1980s, and vowed to take his case to the Vatican.

But on Wednesday he issued a joint statement with his former Augsburg diocese, announcing he was resigning for good. He recanted the claim he had been forced out by the head of Bavaria’s Catholic bishops, Archbishop Reinhard Marx, and the country’s top Archbishop, Robert Zollitsch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Katholische Bischöfe Österreichs gründen Stiftung für Missbrauchsopfer

OSTERREICH
Ad Hoc News

23.06.10

Die katholischen Bischöfe in Österreich haben am Mittwoch ihren Rahmenplan gegen Missbrauch in der Kirche vorgelegt Ein Kernpunkt: Geld für Opfer soll aus einer «Stiftung Opferschutz» kommen, aus der sowohl Therapiekosten als auch Schmerzensgeld- und Schadensersatzzahlungen finanziert werden, wie die Bischofskonferenz nach einem Bericht der Nachrichtenagentur APA in Mariazell bekanntgab. Wien/Mariazell (apn). Die katholischen Bischöfe in Österreich haben am Mittwoch ihren Rahmenplan gegen Missbrauch in der Kirche vorgelegt Ein Kernpunkt: Geld für Opfer soll aus einer «Stiftung Opferschutz» kommen, aus der sowohl Therapiekosten als auch Schmerzensgeld- und Schadensersatzzahlungen finanziert werden, wie die Bischofskonferenz nach einem Bericht der Nachrichtenagentur APA im Anschluss an ihre Vollversammlung in Mariazell bekanntgab.

Die Zahlungen sollten «rasch, unbürokratisch, menschlich und angemessen» erfolgen. Über die Dotierung dieser Stiftung wurden keine Angaben gemacht. Betont wurde jedoch, dass die Geldleistungen «nicht aus dem Kirchenbeitrag» finanziert würden, sondern «beim Täter oder bei einer verantwortlichen Institution eingefordert» werden sollen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Schönborn: Missbrauchsopfern in angemessener Weise helfen

OSTERREICH
kathweb

Vorsitzender der Bischofskonferenz bei Pressekonferenz zum Abschluss der Sommervollversammlung in Mariazell: Weg über Opferschutzanwaltschaft ist "zielführend"
23.06.2010

Mariazell, 23.06.2010 (KAP) Ziel der neuen Rahmenordnung der katholischen Kirche in Österreich gegen Missbrauch und Gewalt ist es, künftigen Missbrauch umfassend zu verhindern und "den Opfern in angemessener Weise zu helfen". Das hat Kardinal Schönborn am Mittwoch bei der Pressekonferenz zum Abschluss der Sommervollversammlung der Bischofskonferenz in Mariazell betont. Durch die neue "Stiftung Opferschutz" würden die dazu notwendigen finanziellen Mittel in notwendigem und ausreichendem Maße zur Verfügung gestellt. Der Fonds wird zu 50 Prozent von den Ordensgemeinschaften und zu 50 Prozent von den Diözesen gespeist. Der Vorsitzende der Bischofskonferenz unterstrich, dass es sich um freiwillige Zahlungen der Kirche handle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Austrian cardinal presents measures to stop church abuse, help victims

AUSTRIA
The Canadian Press

By Veronika Oleksyn (CP)

MARIAZELL, Austria — Austria's cardinal unveiled measures Wednesday designed to prevent clerical abuse and help victims in the wake of a sex scandal that has shaken the country's Catholic church.

The Alpine republic has been hit by a wave of abuse claims against priests in recent months that has pushed droves of disgusted believers to turn their backs on the church and boosted calls for reform.

"The wall of silence has to be broken," Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn told reporters in Mariazell, a famous shrine to the Virgin Mary. "This is not allowed to happen and cannot be allowed to repeat itself."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Church sets up abuse fund

AUSTRIA
Straits Times (Singapore)

VIENNA - THE Roman Catholic Church in Austria said on Wednesday it will set up a compensation fund for victims of sexual abuse, following numberous revelations of abuse by priests in religious institutions there.

The 'Victim Protection Fund' will provide damages to victims and pay for therapy costs if necessary, 'in a timely, unbureaucratic, humane and measured manner,' Austria's bishops announced after their annual conference in Mariazell, south of Vienna.

The fund will not be financed by the Church at large, but rather 'by the offenders or the responsible institutions,' they said. The bishops refrained however from calling for offenders to be compulsorily reported in cases of abuse, except where 'further persons could be harmed by the suspect.' Rather, they called on victims themselves to file charges, and for perpetrators to turn themselves in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

'Priest left boy traumatised'

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

Anna Cox

June 23 2010

A 12-year-old boy, allegedly assaulted sexually by a Catholic priest at a church camp in Brits, North West, in February 2008, is still receiving psychological counselling.

Testifying against Georg Kirkhoff, his mother, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the child, said that after the camp, the child's behaviour had changed.

The priest is charged with three counts of sexual assault. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Cloyne abuse report delayed

IRELAND
Breaking News

23/06/2010
The report into the handling of abuse allegations in Cloyne has been delayed.

The Commission of Investigation probe is now not expected until the end of October.

A damming report in 2008 found that child protection measures in the diocese of Cloyne were putting young children at risk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Austrian Catholics a thorn in Vatican's side

AUSTRIA
The Associated Press

By VERONIKA OLEKSYN (AP)

VIENNA — Long a thorn in the Vatican's side, Austrian Catholics have ramped up their quest for a more liberal church in the wake of the global clerical sex abuse scandal.

And while much of the push for change comes from the grassroots, the country's powerful cardinal recently caused a stir with strong gestures in support of reform, raising the stakes in the confrontation between the Vatican and dissidents pushing to allow priests to marry and women to be ordained.

What is particularly troubling for Rome is that Austria — historically a major symbol of Catholicism in Europe and a bulwark against the Protestant Reformation — is losing worshippers in record numbers as calls for reform grow stronger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Taoiseach receives demand for Magdalene redress

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

FIANNA FÁIL TDs Tom Kitt and Michael Kennedy yesterday delivered to Taoiseach Brian Cowen the first 1,000 signatures from an online petition demanding a State apology and a distinct redress scheme for survivors of the Magdalene laundries.

Yesterday at Leinster House the Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) group, which initiated the petition, met the Joint Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs of which Tom Kitt and Michael Kennedy are chairman and deputy chairman, respectively. Among TDs who attended the meeting were Ned O’Keeffe, Chris Andrews, Maureen O’Sullivan, Kathleen Lynch and Michael D Higgins.

The committee was addressed by Prof James Smith of Boston College who presented new evidence which demonstrated the State’s complicity in referring girls and women to the laundries. Signatories to the petition include people of more than 40 nationalities. Many have also posted comments expressing outrage at the Government’s failure to correct a historic injustice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Vatican wants clean-up amid corruption

VATICAN CITY
Sydney Morning Herald

June 23, 2010

AFP

Shaken to its core by revelations of pedophile abuse in the Catholic Church, the Vatican is moving to publicly clean up its finances as a top cardinal is caught up in a corruption probe, experts say.

Prosecutors are investigating Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe over allegations he took kickbacks as head of Propaganda Fide, the body that handles the Vatican's vast real estate holdings and financing much of the Church's missionary work.

The Vatican has defended Sepe's "intense and generous" work, and the cardinal insists he was acting at the time with the full support of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Sheboygan priest works to help abuse victims heal

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: June 22, 2010

In his years of reviewing clergy sex abuse cases for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Father James Connell had never truly contemplated the life of a victim - until one afternoon last October, sitting in the parking lot of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

He awoke that morning to learn he would be the subject of a news conference on the steps of the Milwaukee cathedral called by clergy victims criticizing his role in the handling of a notorious abuse case.

Deeply troubled, Connell sat in his car after visiting a parishioner and asked himself for the first time: "What if I'd been a victim? Where would I be today if I'd been molested by a priest as a child?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Ex-priest pleads not guilty to sex charges

SANTA ANA (CA)
KABC

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A former Costa Mesa Roman Catholic priest has pleaded not guilty to charges that he molested a child in the early 1990s. It's the second time that Denis Lyons, 76, has been accused of molestation.

Lyons entered not guilty pleas Monday to four felony counts of a lewd act with a minor. Prosecutors say Lyons abused the boy from 1992 to 1995 at the rectory and sacristy of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, starting when the child was 7 years old. Lyons was charged after the alleged victim came forward in 2008.

Lyons faces up to 14 years in prison if he's convicted on the current charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Ex-Bischof Walter Mixa (69) gibt auf

DEUTSCHLAND
Bild

„Ich bin in vieler Hinsicht schuldig geworden“

Nach Prügelvorwürfen und Gerüchten über sexuellen Missbrauch und Alkoholabhängigkeit gibt der frühere Augsburger Bischof Walter Mixa nun auf!

In einer gemeinsamen Erklärung teilten Vertreter der Augsburger Bistumsleitung und Mixa mit: „Bischof Mixa stellt seinen Rücktritt nicht mehr in Frage.“

Weiter schreibt er in einer persönlichen Erklärung: „Ich bin in vieler Hinsicht schuldig geworden.“

Er bitte „nicht nur um Entschuldigung, sondern vor allem um Verzeihung für alles, was ich nicht recht gemacht habe und vor allen Dingen um Verzeihung bei all den Menschen, die ich nicht in der rechten Weise behandelt habe, deren Erwartungen ich nicht erfüllt habe und die ich enttäuscht habe. Dies tut mir von ganzem Herzen leid.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Walter Mixa gibt auf

DEUTSCHLAND
Focus

Der frühere Augsburger Bischof Walter Mixa hat den Kampf gegen seinen Rücktritt und dessen Umstände aufgegeben und um Verzeihung gebeten. Er sei „in vieler Hinsicht schuldig geworden“.

Er akzeptiere die Entscheidung des Vatikans und stelle seinen Rücktritt nicht weiter infrage, hieß es am Mittwoch in einer gemeinsamen Erklärung der Augsburger Bistumsleitung und Mixas. Er werde der Einladung des Papstes zu einem Gespräch in Rom gerne nachkommen und dabei seinen Rücktritt und dessen Umstände nicht mehr infrage stellen.

Wer sprach öffentlich zu erst von einem Geheimdossier über Bischof Mixa?
Gefragt von Traugott Noch in der vergangenen Woche hatte sich Mixa als Opfer einer Intrige bezeichnet und ein Verfahren am päpstlichen Gerichtshof in Rom in Erwägung gezogen. Nun rudert der 69-Jährige zurück. In einer persönlichen Erklärung, die am Mittwoch auf der Homepage des Bistums veröffentlicht wurde, schreibt er: „Ich bin in vieler Hinsicht schuldig geworden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Former Germany bishop accused of misconduct agrees he was right to resign

GERMANY
Metro News (Canada)

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 23, 2010

BERLIN - A former German bishop accused of physical abuse, alcoholism and sexual harassment has agreed to stand by his decision to resign.

Germany's Augsburg diocese says it has reached a written agreement with Water Mixa that his decision to step down as its Roman Catholic bishop is final.

Mixa, who served the diocese from 2005 to 2010, offered his resignation on April 22 after accusations surfaced that he had hit children decades ago as a priest and allegations of financial misconduct in the congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

June 22, 2010

Catholic school teacher faces more sex charges involving female students

OHIO
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Jennifer Baker • jbaker@enquirer.com • June 22, 2010

DELHI TWP. - A former teacher at St. Dominic School faces sex charges involving two teenage students.

Matthew Herrmann, 35, of Delhi Township, is accused of sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in connection with a 13-year-old girl and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance involving a 14-year-old girl - a former student.

There could be more victims, Delhi police announced Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Jewish Community Still Behind On Confronting Abuse

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

Asher Lipner
Special To The Jewish Week
As someone who has worked with numerous survivors of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community over the past 10 years, I have been privileged to bear witness to the stories of people who, after having their voices taken away from them, become able to speak for the first time, in the course of their healing, about the horrors they have endured.

Many describe the pain of being forced to suffer in silence as even more traumatic than the experience of being sexually violated. They are warned to keep quiet, lest they bring shame to the community and to themselves and “alienate people from their cause.” This puts survivors in an impossible Catch-22. After struggling, often for years, with their personal demons of pain, loneliness, anger, shame and sense of betrayal, when their healing requires them to give testimony to their victimization and to express their feelings about it, they are told in a million different ways, “Shah Shtill!”

But the problem is not going away, although tragically thousands of survivors are “going away” from us, by abandoning Judaism or even worse, being lost to drugs and alcohol, to mental illness and even suicide. Solving the problem necessitates exposing it to the light of day, and for that we need to reach out to survivors and to listen with empathy to their painful stories. If we do not learn from the mistakes of our past, we are doomed to repeat them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

FACTBOX - Sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church

GERMANY
Reuters

REUTERS - Germany's Catholic bishops confirmed on Tuesday they had sent a damning confidential report on the disgraced retired Bishop Walter Mixa, to Pope Benedict to persuade him that the man had to be removed from his post.

Mixa resigned as bishop of the Bavarian city of Augsburg in April after being accused of slapping schoolboys decades ago and misusing diocesan funds.

Here are some details of major scandals in the Roman Catholic church:

* GERMANY

-- Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, Germany's top Catholic bishop, apologised in March for mistakes he made in failing to report to authorities one case of suspected abuse by a priest in the Freiburg diocese nearly 20 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

German church says bishop's resignation based on a file on misconduct

GERMANY
The Canadian Press

By Verena Schmitt-Roschman (CP)

BERLIN — Germany's Roman Catholic bishops confirmed Tuesday that a secret file detailing alleged misconduct by a former bishop was sent to the Vatican before the Pope accepted his resignation in May.

Germany's 27 bishops said in a written statement following a meeting that they had discussed the Rev. Walter Mixa's case "with great unease" and had decided to "confirm that accusations now made public in the media have been passed on to Rome in April 2010."

"Pope Benedict XVI has acted on this and accepted the offer of resignation of Bishop Mixa," they said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Aus und Amen für Walter Mixa

DEUTSCHLAND
sueddeutsche

Von Matthias Drobinski
Die Bischofskonferenz hat die Existenz der Papst-Akte über Walter Mixa bestätigt. Damit ist klar: Es kann keine Rückkehr des Skandalbischofs nach Augsburg geben. Dort soll nun wieder Friede einkehren - doch das könnte Mixa noch verhindern.

Um kurz vor zwei Uhr am Dienstagnachmittag endet Walter Mixas Kampf ums Bischofsamt in Augsburg. Dann schickt die Pressestelle der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz eine kurze Mitteilung an die Redaktionen; sie lautet: "Bei ihrer regulären Sitzung in Würzburg haben die deutschen Bischöfe in großer Betroffenheit über die Geschehnisse und offenen Fragen hinsichtlich ihres Mitbruders Walter Mixa gesprochen. Sie bestätigen, dass die in den Medien jetzt bekannt gewordenen Vorwürfe gegen ihn im April 2010 nach Rom weitergeleitet worden sind. Papst Benedikt XVI. hat daraufhin gehandelt und das Rücktrittsgesuch von Bischof Mixa angenommen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

"Ein Ärgernis für die Gläubigen"

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Rundschau

Hans Joachim Meyer spricht im FR-Interview über den Fall Mixa, die Intransparenz kirchlicher Entscheidungen und die Notwendigkeit, Laien stärker zu beteiligen. er War früher Präsident des Zentralkomitees der deutschen Katholiken.

Herr Meyer, was sagen Sie zur Performance der Bischöfe im Fall Mixa?

Ich finde das – wie jeder Katholik, dem an seiner Kirche liegt – alles ganz schrecklich. Es ist aber die Folge der allgemeinen Intransparenz kirchlicher Entscheidungen. Der einzelne, überaus bedrückende Fall muss Mahnung und Anstoß sein, die grundsätzlichen Mängel abzustellen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Bischöfe bestätigen Dossier über Mixa

DEUTSCHLAND
Main Post

(san/dpa) Die deutschen Bischöfe haben bestätigt, dass es ein geheimes Dossier mit schweren Vorwürfen gegen den früheren Augsburger Bischof Walter Mixa gibt.

„Bei ihrer regulären Sitzung in Würzburg haben die deutschen Bischöfe in großer Betroffenheit über die Geschehnisse und offenen Fragen hinsichtlich ihres Mitbruders Walter Mixa gesprochen“, teilten die katholischen Oberhirten mit.

Sie bestätigten, „dass die in den Medien jetzt bekannt gewordenen Vorwürfe gegen Mixa im April 2010 nach Rom weitergeleitet worden sind“. Papst Benedikt XVI. habe daraufhin gehandelt und das Rücktrittsgesuch von Bischof Mixa angenommen. „Im Vordergrund steht allerdings jetzt die persönliche Zukunft von Bischof Walter Mixa. Vor allem die bayerischen Bischöfe sind darüber mit ihm im Gespräch.“ Das teilte der Ständige Rat der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz zum Abschluss seiner Sitzung im Würzburger Kloster Himmelspforten mit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

German RC Church confirms damning report on bishop

GERMANY
Reuters

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) - Germany's Catholic bishops confirmed on Tuesday they had sent a damning confidential report on a disgraced bishop to Pope Benedict to persuade him the man had to be removed from his post in Augsburg.

The confirmation of the report, leaked to the media on Monday, stuck another blow against retired Bishop Walter Mixa, whose bid to be reinstated has embarrassed a Church hierarchy still reeling from sexual abuse scandals earlier this year.

While the Mixa case involves embarrassing revelations about his sex life and drinking habits, its real damage lies in the damaging picture it shows of a Church first quietly tolerating a wayward bishop for years and then bickering over his removal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Blame the Victims and Make Them Feel Guilty – Part 1

UNITED STATES
3 Quarks Daily

by Norman Costa

The Pope arrives to address the problem. What problem?

In April of 2008 I followed the story of Pope Benedict XVI visiting the United States. I was very interested in what he had to say about clergy sex abuse of minors. He set aside his homily at Holy Mass at Washington Nationals Stadium, Thursday, April 17, in Washington, DC to address the problem.

The Pope's homily began with a commemoration of the first Catholic diocese in the United States, created by Pope Pius VII, and established in Baltimore, MD in 1789. For the most part, I found the content to be somewhat tame with religious abstractions, scriptural quotations that were not very illuminating to a listening audience, and exhortations that I did not feel were especially inspiring.

Finally, he addressed the problem of sex abuse of minors in “the Church in America.” At this point the tameness of the Pope's homily took on a weirdness.

“It is in the context of this hope born of God’s love and fidelity that I acknowledge the pain which the Church in America [emphasis mine] has experienced as a result of the sexual abuse of minors. No words of mine could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse. It is important that those who have suffered be given loving pastoral attention. Nor can I adequately describe the damage that has occurred within the community of the Church. [emphasis mine] Great efforts have already been made to deal honestly and fairly [emphasis mine] with this tragic situation, and to ensure that children – whom our Lord loves so deeply (cf. Mk 10:14), and who are our greatest treasure – can grow up in a safe environment.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Father Marcial Maciel, was my dad, and he sexually abused me, Raul Gonzalez claims in lawsuit

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

By Michael Sheridan
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

He was a celebrated priest, praised by Pope John Paul II.

But Father Marcial Maciel had secrets, which included illegitimate children and sexual abuse, according to a lawsuit filed in Connecticut on Monday.

Raul Gonzalez claims the Vatican protected the man he knew as his father for decades, chiefly because of his efforts with the highly profitable Legion of Christ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Lawsuit: Legionaries of Christ Founder Raped His Son as Vatican Looked Away

UNITED STATES
Politics Daily

[the lawsuit]

Paul Wachter

On Monday, Raul Gonzalez filed suit in Connecticut against the estate of his father, Roman Catholic priest Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Gonzalez claims that his father sexually abused him -- along with many other boys -- and while the Vatican was not named a defendant, the lawsuit said that "from at least the 1950s until 2002, the Legionaries, Fr. Maciel, the presiding Pope, the Vatican, and its officials engaged in a conspiracy to conceal their knowledge of Maciel's abuse of children."

It's only the latest charge against Maciel, who founded the Legionaries in 1941 and died in 2008. In 1997, an investigation by the Hartford Courant found that Maciel had molested more than 30 boys and young men. Internal church documents show that church officials knew of the abuse years earlier. All the while, Pope John Paul II protected Maciel, publicly praising him as a "an efficacious leader of youth." It wasn't until 2006, at the order of Pope Benedict XVI, that Maciel was "banned from exercising his ministry in public and told to retire to a life of prayer and penitence," reported the BBC. But in other instances of sex abuse by priests, Benedict has also shielded the perpetrators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Cardinal in corruption probe

ITALY
Times LIVE (South Africa)

The personal secretary of the late Pope John Paul II has weighed in on the sweeping corruption scandal that has touched senior Cardinal Cerscenzio Sepe, claiming he might have been set up.

“It’s clear that somebody wants to hurt him,” Archbishop of Krakow and Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz told Italian newspaper La Repubblica, echoing a defence issued by Sepe himself on Monday

”I forgive, from the bottom of my heart, those that — in and outside the Church — wanted to hit me,” Sepe, who is also archbishop of Naples, told a press conference on Monday, alleging that he was dragged into the investigation by his enemies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 22 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Bishop Joseph Patrick McFadden, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Philadelphia, U.S.A., as bishop of Harrisburg (area 19,839, population 2,060,000, Catholics 248,000, priests 179, permanent deacons 49, religious 394), U.S.A. ...

- Appointed Msgr. Michael J. Fitzgerald of the clergy of the archdiocese of Philadelphia, U.S.A., judicial vicar, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 5,652, population 3,887,694, Catholics 1,458,430, priests 999, permanent deacons 239, religious 3,370). The bishop-elect was born in Montclair, U.S.A. in 1948 and ordained a priest in 1980.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOPS WHO WILL RECEIVE THE PALLIUM

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 22 JUN 2010 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday 29 June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, Benedict XVI will preside at a Eucharistic concelebration with the following 38 metropolitan archbishops upon whom he will impose the pallium: ...

- Archbishop Jerome Edward Listecki of Milwaukee, U.S.A. ...

- Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati, U.S.A. ...

- Archbishop Thomas Gerard Wenski of Miami, U.S.A.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Archdiocese: Accused priest missed financial filings for 7 years

WATERBURY (CT)
Waterbury Republican-American

BY LAURESHA XHIHANI REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

WATERBURY -- Officials at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford let the pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Waterbury go for seven years without filing required financial reports because he had a reputation as a sound financial manager and officials believed he suffered from a life-threatening illness.

That priest, the Rev. Kevin J. Gray, is now suspected of stealing $1 million in parish funds.

The archdiocese received no yearly financial reports for any of the years that Gray was the pastor of Sacred Heart-Sagrado Corazon Church. The Rev. John P. Gatzak, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said Gray filed one financial report in 2003, the year he took over Sacred Heart, covering 2002, a year when another priest was heading the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

New bishop for Harrisburg announced

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

By Melissa Nann Burke
Daily Record/Sunday News

The Vatican announced early this morning that the Most Rev. Joseph Patrick McFadden, an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, will be the next leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg.

This summer, McFadden will succeed Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, who served the 15-county diocese for five years until he was moved to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in Indiana earlier this year.

He is expected to be introduced at a 10 a.m. news conference in Harrisburg, after which McFadden will celebrate the noon Mass at Saint Patrick's Cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Church has a problem, but the cause lies elsewhere

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

The Catholic Church must do more to combat its image as a safe haven for child abusers, says Dr Donal McKeown

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

These have not been easy months for anyone to admit to being involved with promoting or supporting the Catholic Church.

As I noted in a recent homily on the theme of vocations: the image of the saintly parish priest, walking his garden while saying his breviary, was first of all replaced by the idea that clergy were all more likely to be incompetent idiots like Fathers Dougal, Ted and Jack on Craggy Island. We could all laugh at that.

But now the predominant cultural image is more that, because of celibacy, clergy and members of religious orders are all potential child abusers, some just about keeping their instincts under control.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Orange Bishop Tod Brown Wrote Letter of Recommendation for Pedo-Priest While Head of Boise Diocese

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano, Tuesday, Jun. 22 2010

In 1990, then-Diocese of Boise, currently Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown drafted a letter of recommendation on behalf of Father Ruben Idalio Garcia so that the former Boise priest could officially join the Archdiocese of Tijuana. "I am happy to recommend Fr Garcia for service" in Tijuana, His Excellency wrote to Tijuana Bishop Carlos Emilio Berlie Belaunzaran.

Brown wrote this letter even though Garcia had long been a problem priest in Boise, even though Garcia had molested boys in Idaho, and even though Brown's predecessors had sent Garcia to the country's most notorious pedo-priest rehabilitation camp, Jemez Springs in New Mexico, during the 1980s.

Brown's official endorsement of a pedo-priest--never before revealed--came to light only because of a lawsuit filed against the Boise diocese in 1994 by one of Garcia's victims in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where the priest practiced in the mid-1970s. At that time, Garcia was on loan from the Boise diocese, and you'll remember that Brownie's legal-defense team maintained that "the bishop from the Diocese of incardination of a priest has the responsibility for that priest" in order to wiggle out of a previous sex-abuse lawsuit, right? Not this time!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

TRC Special Report

CANADA
Anglican Journal

By: Marites N. Sison
staff writer

Winnipeg
Flora Packo moved from one table to another getting as many brochures, posters, photocopies of photographs and other materials about Indian residential schools as she could.

That done, she and two friends looked at photographs in the "learning tent" at the first national event of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission June 16 to 19.

Her eyes lingered at the display about MacKay-Dauphin residential school, in Manitoba. This school had been administered by the Anglican Church of Canada’s diocese of Brandon from 1957 to 1969. That was where her father and her mother were taken when they were eight years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Kirchenversagen

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Allgemeine

Wenn Bischof Mixas Lebenswandel, der dem Amt eines Bischofs nicht entsprach, bekannt war, warum haben ihn dann seine Mitbrüder im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes nicht rechtzeitig ins Gebet genommen? Ein Kommentar von Günther Nonnenmacher.

20. Juni 2010 Wer sich in der Kirchengeschichte ein wenig auskennt, weiß, dass die Institution, deren Auftrag es ist, die Lehren Christi zu verkünden, von Makel nicht frei ist. Theologisch gesprochen: Auch Bischöfe und Priester waren und sind Sünder. Ins Allgemeine gewendet: Wo Menschen sind, da menschelt es. Aber das, was den Katholiken in Deutschland und darüber hinaus in letzter Zeit von ihrer Kirche zugemutet wurde, überschreitet doch das Maß dessen, was man fehlbaren Menschen allemal zubilligen muss. Da geht es um Missbrauch an Kindern und Jugendlichen in vielen Ländern, der sich offenbar nicht auf fehlgeleitete Einzelne beschränkt, sondern hinter dem manche inzwischen ein System vermuten, das aus den Lebenszumutungen heraus wächst, denen sich katholische Geistliche unterwerfen: Das Stichwort heißt Zölibat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Shamed German bishop - a sex predator

GERMANY
Vancouver Sun

By Bruno Waterfield, LDT June 21, 2010

A secret Vatican file on a disgraced German bishop alleges he is a "severely alcoholic man" who preyed sexually on young priests.

The dossier was seen by Pope Benedict before he accepted the resignation of Bishop Walter Mixa of Augsburg last month.

Documents, compiled after Vatican investigators questioned members of Bishop Mixa's inner circle, detailed a litany of alleged alcoholism and sexual abuse. The new allegations have come to light following the bishop's demands that the Vatican review his case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Austrian abuse victims demand compensation, coverage of therapy costs from church

AUSTRIA
The Associated Press

By The Associated Press (CP)

VIENNA — Austrian abuse victims are demanding compensation of up to €130,000 ($160,100) each from the church.

The 131 victims also want the church to pay their therapy costs and accuse it of failing to take appropriate action to counter abusive priests and protect the vulnerable from sexual, physical and verbal abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Neb. abuse lawsuit against Boy Scouts dismissed

NEBRASKA
NTV

Associated Press - June 21, 2010

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A lawsuit filed by a former Boy Scout against the Boy Scouts of America and the Lincoln Interfaith Council has been dismissed.

The 21-year-old is referred to only as John Doe in the lawsuit dismissed Friday. An attorney for the man, Kathleen Neary of Lincoln, said Monday that she could not comment on whether the case was settled.

The lawsuit had said John Doe was a child when he was molested by then-Rev. Norman Leach in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Church, celibacy and child exploitation

INDIA
Organizer

By Virag Pachpore

It is puzzling to find out that the Church which is supposed to protect, guide and turn people into better citizens is the very one committing such atrocities. Does the Church have a moral and spiritual right to reprimand the sinners?

OF late, countless stories of sexual abuse and molestation of young boys and girls, especially boys, within the Catholic Church are finding the day of the light. These allegations of sexual misconduct are not confined to one part of the world, but from almost all nations such stories are emanating involving the Christian clergy against the children of God. The allegations are so rampant and factual that for the past 10 years the Church has been paying compensations to victims around the world. And with these payments to victims, one is made to believe all these allegations and the running stories.

Recently, the media in western countries has directed its guns towards the senior missionaries of Europe and the USA who have allegedly tried to save and safeguard those individuals priests involved in this ‘inhuman’ crime. Even the present Pope Benedict XVI is not spared by the western media. He is charged with saving the church fathers and bishops indulged in this sexual misconduct when he was the Archbishop of Munich and Chief of the Congregation of Faith, Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Ex-priest charged in Canada boy's sex abuse

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

By ALLAN TURNER
HOUSTON CHRONICLE
June 21, 2010

A retired Catholic priest who taught math and coached basketball at Houston's St. Thomas High School half a century ago has been charged with sexually abusing a schoolboy in Canada.

Charged with sexual assault, an offense that could bring a maximum 10-year prison sentence upon conviction, is Basilian priest William Hodgson Marshall, 87.

Canadian authorities said the alleged attack happened between 1981 and 1985 in Windsor, Ontario. Records for the case are sealed, and court officials would not comment on the location, date or nature of the incident. Marshall's attorney did not return phone calls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

June 21, 2010

Ex-priest pleads not guilty to Calif. sex charges

CALIFORNIA
Mercury News

The Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif.—A former Roman Catholic priest who was accused of molesting a teen more than 30 years ago has pleaded not guilty to charges that he molested another child in the mid-1990s.

Court records show that Denis Lyons entered not guilty pleas Monday to four felony counts of conducting a lewd act with a minor. Prosecutors say Lyons abused the boy from 1992 to 1995 at St. John the Baptist School, starting when the child was 7.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 PM

Sex abuse victims Collins and Madden to get merit awards

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

DUBLIN CLERICAL sex abuse victims Andrew Madden and Marie Collins have been named The Humbert Summer School 2010 outstanding merit award winners. They will be presented with the awards in August at the school’s annual meeting in Ballina, Co Mayo.

Announcing the awards and this year’s programme, Humbert School director John Cooney said yesterday that Ms Collins and Mr Madden “had proved themselves to be inspirational figures who had spoken courageously in public about their childhood ordeals, and were to the forefront in calling for change in Irish society and Church.”

In a statement yesterday, Mr Madden said he was “delighted and honoured” at the news. He said it was “over 15 years since I first went public about my experience of child sexual abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest, something that was very difficult for me to do at that time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 PM