« June 2010 | Main | August 2010 »

July 31, 2010

Convicted Rapist Gets Appeal; May Soon Be Released

MARYLAND
WJZ

Reporting
Kai Jackson

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) ―

Fifteen years after he was sent to prison for life, a convicted child rapist could be just days from being released. Kai Jackson reports a federal judge is allowing an appeal in the case, but victims say they are ready to fight it.

"I am angry with the courts. I'm angry with this decision because it could potentially allow a violent serial child predator/rapist out on the streets of Baltimore," said Liz Murphy.

Murphy was a student at the Catholic Community Middle School in the 70s when she says a teacher, John Merzbacher, raped her inside a storage closet. Decades later, Murphy and several other former students came forward with the claims and testified against Merzbacher in 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Judge Releases Sex Offender Sentenced To Life

BALTIMORE (MD)
WBAL

[the judge's decision]

BALTIMORE --

A notorious sex offender in the 1970s will be released from prison, a federal judge decided Friday.

John Merzbacher, a former Catholic school teacher, was sentenced on July 21, 1995, to life in prison for the rape of one of his students at the Catholic Community School in south Baltimore in the 1970s.

Merzbacher had argued that his lawyer, Christina Guiterrez, failed him by not telling him about the state's offer of a plea bargain. Guiterrez has since died.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Mistakes by child molester's own attorneys could eventually set him free

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

Dan Rodricks, The Baltimore Sun

6:55 p.m. EDT, July 31, 2010

Had he known that prosecutors were willing to offer him 10 years in prison in return for a guilty plea, convicted rapist and child abuser John Merzbacher would have accepted the deal "most graciously" instead of standing trial and getting the multiple life terms he has been serving since 1995.

That's what Merzbacher claimed a few years ago during a post-conviction hearing in Baltimore to determine whether his defense attorneys had told him about the plea deal. That deal — and a federal judge's conclusion that Merzbacher's lawyers erred in keeping it from him — is central to the latest chapter in one of Maryland's highest-profile child sex abuse cases, involving dozens of victims, male and female, who were students of Merzbacher's at Catholic middle school in the 1970s.

Now, errors by his own attorneys could negate his four life sentences and eventually free Merzbacher, 68, from the Eastern Correctional Institution in Somerset County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Child molester could go free

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun

John Joseph Merzbacher, a notorious Baltimore child abuser accused of molesting dozens of students at the Catholic school where he taught, could soon be released from a life sentence, under a federal court order handed down Friday.

Merzbacher, now 68, is a former middle school teacher at the city's Catholic Community School. He was sentenced in 1995 to multiple life terms after a jury found him guilty of raping a preteen Elizabeth Ann Murphy decades earlier. He has already served 15 years.

But his case is now being sent back to state court so he can be offered a 10-year plea deal that was apparently on the table before his trial began, which he claims he was never properly advised of, as law requires.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Protest Group Makes Unusual Donation to Chicago Archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicagoist

Frank Douglas, national director of Send the Bishops a Message, a group of "reform-minded Catholics" that want "meaningful action" taken against how the church handles sexual abuse scandals, made an unusual donation of $200 to the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago on Saturday. It wasn't the amount that was unusual as much as how it was given -- all in pennies.

Each of the pennies represented the "estimated 20,000 victims of sexual abuse by clergy in the U.S.," Douglas told the Chicago Tribune. And until the church steps up the accountability on sexual abuse, Douglas wants those pennies to keep coming, adding:

"Money is power. Just put a penny on the collection plate when it goes by. We'll use the power of the purse to send them a message."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

SNAP delivers 'donation' to Chicago Archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

July 31, 2010

Tuscon native Frank Douglas made a small offering to the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago on Saturday: $200 in pennies.

Douglas and a group of about a dozen fellow Catholic activists this afternoon left the national conference of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, to drop off the boxes of pennies.

The donation, received by a quizzical security guard at the Rush Street Archdiocese offices, was seed money for a fund for the estimated 20,000 victims of sexual abuse by clergy in the U.S., Douglas said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Boyhood Shadows

UNITED STATES
Boyhood Shadows

Genesis
This film of tragedy, heartbreak and hope found its beginnings in a room full of men. These men were moving forward with their lives by looking back on their childhoods – bonded by trauma and now, healing.

In this room at the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center in Monterey, California, they were seeking help through a support group for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. This group is one of just a handful in California; and only 40 or so groups exist worldwide, according to the group facilitator, Stephen Braveman.

As the men began to heal, they decided they wanted to reach others who had been victimized as boys. The concept for a :30 second Public Service Announcement was born. In a joint effort, members of the group created the script, storyboards and musical score – and the project was ready to go. Funded by anonymous benefactors committed to helping male survivors on a national and global basis, “You Are Not Alone” was filmed and produced by filmmakers, Terri DeBono and Steve Rosen of Mac + Ava Motion Pictures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Suicide, Abuse, and the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Queering the Church

July 30, 2010 — terence@queerchurch
One of my earliest memories from primary school religion lessons is that suicide is a grievous sin, one of the worst of all. If that is so, how serious is it to be responsible for another person’s suicide? And how serious is it if that person is a representative of the Catholic Church, or indirectly, the whole impersonal structure of the Church itself?

The Church has by now become accustomed to being sued by survivors of clerical abuse, of boys, girls, and adults alike. It is also now accustomed to paying out large sums, as the result of court judgements, out-of court settlements, or (in some cases) plain hush money, all for abuse.

In Pennsylvania, it is now facing a monetary claim on different grounds, still arising from a case of alleged abuse. Michael Unglo was an abuse victim in the diocese of Pittsburgh, where he was molested for several years by Fr Richard Dorsch, who was later defrocked and imprisoned. After Unglo attempted suicide in 2008, Bishop Zubik promised him that the church would “right the wrong” that had been done to him, and began paying for psychiatric treatment. Earlier this year, he was told that a payment of $75 000 would be his last one. Two months later, he killed himself. (See “Suicide’s family sues Catholic church“, at UPI.com )

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Catholic priest found dead after date in the Philippines

PHILIPPINES
Monsters and Critics

Manila - A Filipino Catholic priest was found dead in his room in a seminary in the Philippines, a day after he allegedly went out on a date with a minor, a police report said Saturday.

Father Baltazar Acompanado Junior was found dead with a gunshot wound on his head Wednesday inside his room at the Holy Rosary Preparatory Seminary in San Jose town in Camarines Sur province, 260 kilometres south-east of Manila.

Police investigators said that the victim, who was the rector of the seminary, was found lying in bed, holding a pistol on his right hand in an apparent suicide, the report added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Pedofiel stapt moeizaam naar zelfkennis en berouw

BELGIE
RKnieuws

ANTWERPEN (RKnieuws.net) - Paus Benedictus XVI verwijst geregeld naar de pedofiliecrisis in de kerk als ‘een zonde’. Velen hebben het daar moeilijk mee. Priester en psychotherapeut Erik Galle begrijpt die wrevel maar zoekt hoe je die visie correct kunt verstaan. Hij schreef onderstaand opiniestuk voor het christelijk weekblad Tertio.

De schandalen van seksueel misbruik in pastorale contacten brengen zowel binnen als buiten de kerk een schokgolf teweeg. Er heerst terechte verontwaardiging en onthutsing. Mensen voelen zich bedrogen. Menigeen, zeker in de media, vindt in de onthullingen het perfecte alibi om definitief met de kerk te kunnen afrekenen. De kerk zelf heeft er weinig woorden voor. Als ze al een antwoord tracht te formuleren, zegt ze dat pedofilie een zonde is. Ze is verbaasd dat dit taalgebruik heel wat mensen ergert. Toch is het wijs die ergernis niet zomaar van tafel te vegen. Ik formuleer enkele kanttekeningen bij het gebruiken van het woord ‘zonde’ als het over pedofilie gaat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Waar gaat het over?

BELGIE
De Standaard

Op 24 juni begonnen de speurders van de federale gerechtelijke politie van Brussel met ‘Operatie Kelk'. Ze vielen in Mechelen binnen in het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis, de Sint-Romboutskathedraal, bij kardinaal Danneels thuis en in Leuven bij de commissie-Adriaenssens. Ze namen alle computers, dossiers en archieven mee.

Aanleiding voor de huiszoekingen zouden verklaringen zijn geweest van Godelieve Halsberghe. Als ex-voorzitter van de commissie die seksueel misbruik in de kerk onderzoekt, zou zij aan de speurders hebben verklaard op de hoogte te zijn van verborgen pedofiliedossiers in de crypte van de kathedraal. Het gerechtelijk onderzoek moest een eventuele doofpotoperatie van de kardinaal blootleggen.

Door het machtsvertoon van de speurders deed Operatie Kelk heel wat stof opwaaien. Het is een van de redenen waarom het parket-generaal van Brussel in actie schoot en de rechtsgeldigheid van de huiszoekingen heeft onderzocht. Dat recht heeft het in elk onderzoek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

'Operatie Kelk' voor onderzoeksgerecht

BELGIE
HLN

HLN update Het Brusselse parket-generaal heeft de kamer van inbeschuldigingstelling (KI) aangesteld om een uitspraak te doen in het kader van het gerechtelijk onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik in de kerk. De KI moet nu onderzoeken of dat gerechtelijk onderzoek volgens alle wettelijke regels verlopen is. Dat meldt het parket-generaal.

De Brusselse kamer van inbeschuldigingstelling (KI) zal naar alle waarschijnlijkheid de advocaat van het Mechelse aartsbisdom en van kardinaal Danneels niet horen over de eventuele onregelmatigheden die zouden gebeurd zijn bij het gerechtelijk onderzoek naar kindermisbruik binnen de Kerk. Dat heeft de advocaat van het aartsbisdom, Fernand Keuleneer.

Het aartsbisdom noch kardinaal Danneels zijn partij in het gerechtelijk onderzoek van onderzoeksrechter De Troy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Onderzoek naar onderzoek Danneels in stroomversnelling

BELGIE
De Standaard

De kamer van inbeschuldigingstelling (KI) hoort op 6 augustus de verschillende partijen die in het strafonderzoek-Danneels betrokken zijn.

Het onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik in de Kerk wordt de komende weken binnen het gerecht uitgevochten. Het parket-generaal van Brussel, dat enkele weken geleden besliste om de onderzoeksdaden van de speurders en de onderzoeksrechter onder de loep te nemen, heeft de kamer van inbeschuldigingstelling 'gevat'.

Dat wil zeggen dat de KI uitspraak zal doen over de geldigheid van het onderzoek. De eerste zitting is gepland op vrijdag 6 augustus. De KI kan aan alle partijen die in het strafonderzoek betrokken zijn vragen om hun standpunt toe te lichten. Het gaat om het parket-generaal van Brussel, de onderzoeksrechter en de advocaat van kardinaal Danneels. Maar of dat gebeurt is niet zeker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Fraud case against Fresno diocese delayed

CALIFORNIA
The Fresno Bee

Legal arguments in a civil lawsuit that accuses the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno of fraud have been delayed to Sept. 9 in Fresno County Superior Court.

Initially, Judge Adolfo Corona was scheduled to consider the church's request to dismiss the lawsuit next Thursday, but new documents filed by the plaintiff's lawyer, Joseph C. George, prompted the judge to continue the hearing.

Both sides, however, will meet for a case management conference on Aug. 9.

George is using a novel legal strategy -- he is suing for fraud because the deadline to file a sex abuse case has passed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

On your knees, fathers, we demand a proper apology

IRELAND
Herald

Friday July 30 2010

Apparently priests are getting angry. So angry in fact that some are considering forming their own union to give them a public voice and fight for "civil and ecumenical rights".

According to their spokesperson, Fr Brendan Hoban, "we have things to say and we are prepared to say them". Quite.

PROBLEM

Here's the problem, reverend. While the public have a passing interest in your ability to organise yourselves into a pressure group, that is all it is. Passing. What we really want to know is what will be the items on the agenda at your inaugural meeting? The rights of Travellers and asylum seekers? Noble. The possibility of getting the Anglican Communion to rejoin the Roman fold? Ambitious. However, here's what all your faithful really want on this agenda.

Item 1 has to be serial clerical sexual abuse. We want it to stop and we want the shielding and denial to end now. We want the clergy top to bottom, right and left, to atone for its collective sins.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Family accuses religious leader of sexual abuse

FLORIDA
Herald-Tribune

By Christopher O'Donnell

BRADENTON - Every year, religious leader Gerald Derstine left Christian Retreat in Bradenton to head for Strawberry Lake, an idyllic Christian retreat he founded in Minnesota.

Gerald Derstine, 81, is being sued by a family who say he abused their daughter over a period of two years. Key Documents:Gerald Derstine lawsuit (PDF - 275kb)
The trip reunited him with a local family he had known for 20 years and had served as pastor.

Derstine had a close relationship with the family's 11-year-old girl, whose own father was estranged. She called him "Grandpa Gerald." He told the girl he felt like a father to her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Victim of sexual abuse pushing for jail time for priest

TENNESSEE
TriCities

[with video]

By Nate Morabito
Published: July 30, 2010

Although a former Greene County priest did not receive any time in jail for sexually abusing a boy more than 30 years ago, his now grown-up victim says the priest's legal battle is not over yet.

Two days ago, former Catholic priest William Casey pleaded guilty to crimes against nature in North Carolina. In return for Casey's guilty plea, a judge sentenced the man to 24 months of supervised probation. However, his victim, Warren Tucker, says jail time will be in Casey's future.

"He won't get so lucky in the other jurisdictions I believe," Tucker said.

Tucker says more than 30 years ago, Casey took him on a trip to North Carolina where he abused the then young boy. Although that North Carolina case is now over, Tucker is still pushing for additional charges in three other parts of the Tri-Cities region.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Teen sues convicted sex offender ex-priest

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Breaking News

July 30, 2010

A Chicago teen filed a lawsuit today against former Roman Catholic priest Daniel McCormack, a convicted sex offender, alleging that he sexually abused him dozens of times while he was a sixth grader.

McCormack, who was pastor at St. Agatha's Catholic Church in Chicago, repeatedly raped and inappropriately touched the victim between 2001 and 2002, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

The boy, now 19, also named Cardinal Francis George and the Archdiocese of Chicago as defendants, alleging they failed to properly investigate and report McCormack to authorities following reports of inappropriate sexual behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Parish priest stands aside as child abuse claim rocks diocese

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney Religion Correspondent

Saturday July 31 2010

A closely-knit rural community in the north-west is in shock after a well-known parish priest was accused of child sex abuse.

The case is the first known complaint to hit the diocese of Killala which covers large sections of Co Mayo and Co Sligo. The elderly priest was suspended from parish duties by his bishop after a formal allegation was made against him.

The Irish Independent understands that the complaint of sexual abuse dates back to an incident in the diocese in the 1970s, and that it is being investigated by gardai and the HSE.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Crimes against the faith: child molesters and women priests

CANADA
The Daily Graphic

By Rev. Bob Ripley QMI Agency

Just when I thought that the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal was flattened under the weight of gushing Gulf oil and Mel Gibson's rants, last week the Vatican sent a letter to its bishops targeting crimes against the faith.

You know, the rape of children, molestation of the mentally disabled, possession of child pornography and the ordination of women.

I'm not kidding on that last one. More later.

Pope Benedict has begged forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse by priests, "particularly the abuse of the little ones," and promised to do everything possible to protect them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Child sex abuse never a matter to laugh about

CONNECTICUT
The Day

Michael R. Strammiello Westerly

Publication: The Day

The Diocese of Norwich objects to the cartoon published July 26 on the editorial page. It appears the cartoon was in response to the new norms announced by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith that addressed women and ordination as well as child-protection policies. Those of us who serve in the Catholic Church do not believe the implied subject of child abuse is ever a subject to make fun of. We in the church, and specifically the diocese, regard this subject seriously.

The Catholic Church has worked relentlessly the past decade on child-safety policy. This includes the awareness campaign that extends a sincere please-call invitation (800-624-7407) to anyone harmed by a church representative. There are posters to this effect in our churches and schools, online posting on norwichdiocese.org and conspicuous postings in the Four County Catholic. Since 2002, the diocese and all dioceses nationwide have had a zero-tolerance policy. A priest or deacon who has admitted to or been found guilty of sexually abusing a minor can no longer engage in public ministry. Other policies include mandatory reporting of allegations of sexual abuse to civil authorities, background and criminal history checks for church employees and volunteers, personal safety education for children and child abuse awareness and prevention education for parents, grandparents, volunteers and employees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Where on earth is Bishop Wingle?

CANADA
The Standard

Posted By GRANT LAFLECHE , STANDARD STAFF

Eganville is a study in contradiction. It's the kind of place where residents leave their cars unattended with the doors unlocked and the windows down without a worry. Farmers who have worked the land for generations know their neighbours like family.

Other residents who live and work there couldn't give you directions if you paid them. A significant number of the town's 1,300 residents -- a population so small the label "town" seems a bit grandiose -- turn over fairly regularly. They leave, only to be replaced by newcomers.

It's a farming community, but one marked by several fallow fields dotted with dandelions.

Traditional faith matters and the silhouettes of the old mainline churches from Catholic to Lutheran dominate the town-scape. Yet some of the churches are marked with unique, angular steeples that reflect more of a jazz architecture vibe than the mood of somber religion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

July 30, 2010

Lawsuit: Church kept priest after sex abuse allegations

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

July 30, 2010

BY LISA DONOVAN Staff Reporter
A 19-year-old man filed a lawsuit today against the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, alleging church officials moved pedophile priest Daniel McCormack from assignment to assignment even after sex abuse allegations surfaced against the now defrocked pastor.

The man, identified in court papers only as John E. Doe, alleges he was abused by McCormack as a 6th grader at St. Agatha's parish rectory on the West Side from 2001 to 2002.

"McCormack, as part of a continuing series of acts, raped, inappropriately sexually touched, rubbed and/or abused the [p]laintiff over eighty ... times, including placing the [p]laintiff's hand on McCormack's penis more than sixty ... times for penile stimulation," the suit alleges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

St. Peters Man Acquitted of Assisted Suicide Charges

MISSOURI
Riverfront Times

By Aimee Levitt, Fri., Jul. 30 2010

​No, it's not the Final Exit Network, the assisted suicide group that has been in legal hot water since March of last year when several of its members were busted in a sting in Georgia. This case is much smaller.

Jacob Runge, 22, of St. Peters was acquitted in a Clayton courtroom yesterday of charges of voluntarily manslaughter for providing his friend Alex Harkins with the gun he knew Harkins would use to take his own life. This was the first assisted-suicide case to go to trial in Missouri in 101 years. ...

According to court testimony, Harkins, who was 21 when he died, had attempted suicide before. His troubles started when he was molested by a priest when he was thirteen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Utah Supreme Court Affirms Forced Marriage and Rape of 14-Year-Old Girl

UNITED STATES
Say it, Sister!

by Merrill Miller, Communications Intern

On July 27, the Utah Supreme Court overturned Warren Jeffs' conviction of accomplice to rape. Jeffs, the so-called "prophet" and leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), had been convicted of accomplice to rape when he orchestrated the marriage of 14-year-old Elissa Wall to her first cousin, 19-year-old Allen Steed. Wall was terrified of the marriage and begged Jeffs to cancel it. He refused. He also refused to help her after she was married, when she pleaded with him to release her from her husband, who had been raping and abusing her repeatedly during their marriage. While Jeffs' guilt in this case appears undeniable, the Utah Supreme Court claimed that because the prosecution could not prove that Jeffs intended for Steed to rape Wall, his conviction should be overturned.

This ruling by the Utah Supreme Court gives no justice to Wall, who endured years of brainwashing under Jeffs and then years of abuse under her husband. But the Utah Supreme Court's decision also denies justice to women all over Utah and ultimately all over the country. If the state can say that a man who forced a girl into marriage against her will is not an accomplice to rape, then the state essentially finds it acceptable for men to tell women what to do with their bodies, choices and lives, stripping them of all autonomy. The state of Utah already heavily restricts women's rights in a variety of ways.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Bistum schaltet Internetseite zu sexuellem Missbrauch von Heranwachsenden

DEUTSCHLAND
Eifel Zeitung

Trier. Das Bistum Trier hat am 22. Juli einen neuen Internet-Auftritt eingerichtet, der den Nutzerinnen und Nutzern Informationen im Kampf gegen den sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern und Jugendlichen zur Verfügung stellen soll. Die Adresse lautet: www.praevention.bistum-trier.de

In einem Schreiben, das an alle Priester, Pastoral- und Gemeindereferenten sowie an weitere Verantwortliche in der Arbeit mit Kindern, Jugendlichen und Familien versandt wurde und auch auf der Internet-Seite veröffentlicht ist, betont der Trierer Bischof Dr. Stephan Ackermann, dass es bei Prävention nicht einfach um Vermeidungsstrategien gehe. Wichtig sei vielmehr „eine neue Kultur des aufeinander Achtens, damit Kinder und Jugendliche in den vielfältigen Lebensräumen, die unsere kirchlichen Angebote und Einrichtungen eröffnen, eine möglichst sichere Umgebung finden, in der sie wachsen können, ohne von sexualisierter Gewalt ausgenutzt zu werden.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

"Gehorsam statt Veränderung"

OSTERREICH
Wiener Zeitung

Von Walter Hämmerle

Kohlmaier: Die Kirche ist von tiefem Misstrauen gegen die Welt geprägt.
"Es geht nur noch um die Erhaltung von Strukturen."
Mehr Autonomie nach Beispiel der unierten Ostkirchen?

"Wiener Zeitung": Bei der diesjährigen Missionswoche wollte die katholische Kirche ihre Türen weit aufmachen und dorthin gehen, wo die Menschen sind. Gelingt das der Kirche?

Herbert Kohlmaier: Nur zu einem Teil. Es gibt, das zeigen alle Untersuchungen, das Bedürfnis der Menschen, einen Glauben zu leben. Nur die Doktrinen und Vorschriften der Kirche werden nicht mehr angenommen, das gilt vor allem für die Jugend. Die Kirche wird so, wie sie sich heute darstellt, nicht bestehen bleiben können.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Religious leader accused of sex abuse at Strawberry Lake Christian Retreat

MINNESOTA
DL-Online

By: Don Davis, State Capitol Bureau

ST. PAUL -- A St. Cloud, Minn., girl and her mother sued the founder of Gospel Crusades Wednesday for what the federal lawsuit calls repeated incidents of sexual abuse at a retreat center near Detroit Lakes.

The suit claims Gerald Derstine of Bradenton, Fla., molested the girl during summer camps in 2007, 2008 and 2009 at Gospel Crusades' Strawberry Lake Christian Retreat.

St. Paul attorney Patrick Noaker said the goal of the suit, filed Wednesday in federal court, is two-fold: to make the retreat center safe for children and to get money to fund the St. Cloud girl's treatment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Bishop Walsh: No child sex-abuse complaints in my diocese for 20 years

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By John Cooney and Carol Byrne
Friday, 30 July 2010

An Irish Bishop has claimed no complaint of child abuse was made against any priest in his diocese over the past 20 years.

Addressing a group of parish workers and clergy in Killaloe, Bishop Willie Walsh assured Catholics in his west of Ireland diocese that the "church is a very safe place" for children.

"There is no complaint of something that happened after 1990," said Bishop Walsh who has ruled the diocese for the past 16 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Priest found dead in seminary home

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

By Juan Escandor Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
First Posted 21:52:00 07/28/2010

NAGA CITY--A Catholic priest was found dead Wednesday morning in his room at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary in San Jose, Camarines Sur, about 35 km. from this city, police said.

Police Officer 2 Wig Pramis, police on case, identified the priest as Fr. Baltazar Acompañado, 35.

Pramis told the Inquirer in a telephone interview Wednesday night that the Catholic authorities of the Archdiocese of Caceres asked the police to make the information private so as not to sensationalize the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Bicol seminary rector found dead

PHILIPPINES
GMA News

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said the rector of a Catholic seminary in Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region was found dead in his room Wednesday.

The CBCP said the police are still determining the cause of the death of Father Baltazar Acompanado Jr., 35, who was found dead with a 38-caliber revolver near his body.

“There is an on-going process of verification as regards the particular circumstance of his demise," Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Legazpi said in an article posted on the CBCP news site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Priest had date with teen before alleged suicide?

PHILIPPINES
ABS-CBN

MANILA, Philippines - Police in Camarines Sur province are investigating the death of a priest, who allegedly went on a date with a 15-year-old girl before he was found dead last Wednesday morning.

Senior Superintendent Jonathan Ablang, Camarines Sur provincial police director, said the initial report he received was that Father Baltazar Acompañado Jr. died in his sleep and that that the priest may have committed suicide.

"May hawak-hawak na baril sa kananang kamay si Father Acompañado at may gunshot wound sa ulo, kaya lumalabas nag suicide siya (Father Acompañado has a gunshot wound in the head and he was holding a gun with his right hand, which indicates that he committed suicide)," Ablang said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Bishop's assurances on child abuse

IRELAND
The Clare People

Bishop Willie Walsh has claimed no complaint of child abuse was made against any priest in the Diocese of Killlaloe over the past 20 years. Stating that the "church is a very safe place" for children, Bishop Walsh said "there is no complaint of something that happened after 1990. In other words there has been no complaint in relation to an incident that happened within those 20 years".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Novelist Anne Rice says she's leaving Christianity

UNITED STATES
Yahoo! News

By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer

NEW YORK – Anne Rice has had a religious conversion: She's no longer a Christian.

"In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control," the author wrote Wednesday on her Facebook page. "In the name of ... Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen."

Rice, 68, is best known for "Interview With a Vampire" and other gothic novels. Raised as a Catholic, she had rejected the church early in her life but renewed her faith in recent years and in 2008 released the memoir "Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession."

In a telephone interview Thursday, Rice said she had been having doubts for the past two to three years. She was troubled by the child abuse scandals in the church, and the church's defensive reaction, and by the ex-communication of Sister Margaret McBride, a nun and hospital administrator who had approved an abortion for a woman whose life was in danger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Goodbye, Old Legion. All the Powers of the New General

ROME
Chiesa

As the pope's delegate, Archbishop De Paolis has full authority over everything and everyone. For Corcuera, Garza, and the other heads of the congregation founded by Marcial Maciel, the end is in sight. But they're still resisting

by Sandro Magister

ROME, July 30, 2010 – The superiors of the Legionaries of Christ have put on a brave face for the arrival of the pontifical delegate who will oversee the rebuilding of their congregation from the ground up.

But they know that they have lost all authority of their own. The Vatican decree that establishes the delegate's powers states, in fact, that they can be removed at any moment, "ad nutum Sanctae Sedis." And in any case, from now on, all of their decisions will be valid only if they are approved by the delegate, to whom they will have to submit in everything.

The delegate is Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, age 75. Benedict XVI gave him the office on June 16, but the appointment was made public on July 9, because until that date De Paolis himself was busy producing the balance sheet for the Vatican's accounts in 2009, in his capacity as president of the prefecture of economic affairs of the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

New priests' reform movement launched

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

29 Jul 2010
Garry O'Sullivan and Michael Kelly

A new priests' movement is being planned to push for a reformation within Irish Catholicism, The Irish Catholic has learned. The push, which will include a call for the Church to re-evaluate its teaching on sexuality as well as ''an equal place for women in all areas of Church life'' is the brainchild of three prominent priests.

In a statement to The Irish Catholic, the three, Fr Tony Flannery, Fr Brendan Hoban and Fr Sean McDonagh said ''the consensus was that, due to the diversity of opinion among priests, it would be impossible to represent all clergy.

''A more manageable and targeted approach would be to draft a set of aims or guidelines for such an association and monitor the response,'' it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Film Festival to challenge the Vatican’s claims to the moral high ground

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

The National Secular Society is staging a film season in the days before the Pope arrives in Britain. The films will look at aspects of the Catholic Church which both the Government and the Church itself would prefer were not mentioned during the visit of the “Holy Father”.

We intend this film season as a counter to the propaganda-fest that is being planned by the BBC.

The first film, on Monday September 13 is Sinners – a powerful exploration of the scandal that was the Magdalen asylums. These Church-run institutions were for supposed “fallen women”. Some of the women had done nothing more than flirt openly with boys. Others had become pregnant outside marriage, yet others had become involved in prostitution. Often it was difficult to say why they had been incarcerated in these slave camps – sometimes just because the local priest didn’t like them or they’d been feisty at school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Catholic child protection chief wants Vatican action to go further

UNITED KINGDOM
Ekklesia

By staff writers
30 Jul 2010

The chair of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) has said the Vatican should remove the statute of limitations on the prosecution of priests for child abuse.

William Kilgallon, head of child protection for the Catholic church in England and Wales, added that the time limit was unhelpful and failed to reflect the long-lasting effects of abuse.

Mr Kilgallon said that the Vatican's recent decision to double the time period from 10 years to to 20 was "better than it was", but he would have preferred its abolition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Diocese sued after priest's alleged victim commits suicide

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburg Post-Gazette

By Dennis B. Roddy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The family of a former Etna man said today that he committed suicide earlier this year after the Diocese of Pittsburgh reneged on a promise to continue psychiatric treatment he needed to overcome the trauma of sexual abuse by a priest 25 years ago.

Michael R. Unglo, 39, took his own life May 4 while a patient at at Austen Riggs Hospital in Massachussets.

"He paid the ultimate price for being sexually abused as a child by a priest," said Alan H. Perer, who filed suit on behalf of the Unglo estate. The Diocese said in a statement that it had not reneged on an agreement and that financial support continued up to the time of Mr. Unglo's death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Group urges gay priests to leave the fold

UNITED STATES
Los Angeles Chronicle

July 30, 2010

REPORT: 25% - 50% of Catholic priests are gay. Group urges them to leave the fold.

An Atheist advocacy group has called upon Roman Catholic priests who are gay to resign from the church and reject the Vatican's repressive teachings on homosexuality--and much else.

This comes following an expose by the Italian weekly news magazine Panorama titled "Good Nights Out For Gay Priests." Investigative journalist Carmelo Abbate who spent time undercover filming and interviewing gay clerics who often flaunted their lifestyle, and even hired male escorts for private parties. Panorama's expose seems to confirm a 2000 study by Father Donald Cozzens whose book, The Changing Face of the Priesthood suggested that as many as 60% of American Catholic priests are gay.

Dr. Ed Buckner, President of American Atheists, said, "In an institution where men and women are treated as equals--as human beings!--double lives (hypocrisy) aren't necessary. These men should choose integrity, honest lives, not continuing support for unsupportable, irrational dogma that misleads millions and expands human suffering rather than easing it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

July 29, 2010

Pittsburgh diocese diocese sued over suicide

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Brian Bowling
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bishop David Zubik broke a promise to Michael Unglo, a broken promise that led the former Etna resident to commit suicide in May, his brother Sam Unglo said Thursday.

Unglo, as executor of his brother's estate, filed a negligence lawsuit against Zubik and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. The diocese in March quit paying for therapy Michael Unglo received to help him cope with memories of his sexual abuse by a priest for three years, starting when he was 10 years old, according to the lawsuit.

In their last conversation, Michael Unglo emphasized how much pain he felt and said he couldn't understand why the diocese abandoned him, his brother said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 PM

Convent among assets to be liquidated by diocese to fund abuse settlement

CANADA
The News

Published on July 29th, 2010

PICTOU – Father Paul Abbass keeps one notion at the forefront of his mind as he deals with the liquidation of assets for the Diocese of Antigonish.

"We're doing this to be reconciled with the victims. If this is not what we're doing then none of this makes sense," said Abbass, the vicar general and director of pastoral services for the diocese. "We are trying to seek reconciliation and justice for the victims. Sadly, the people that had nothing to do with it will suffer, the people in the pews.… Unless I put this in the context of what we're trying to do right there is only pain."

Abbass is deep into the process of the liquidation of diocese assets to meet the court-ordered settlement for the sexual abuse scandal. That amounts to a $15 million settlement along with another $3 million for any other potential related lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 PM

Taking on Bishop Morlino

WISCONSIN
The Daily Page

Esty Dinur on Thursday 07/29/2010

Jim Beyers is a lifelong Catholic and proud of it. He loves his church and what he feels it stands for — "justice and service to others." He's been active in many parish ministries and was the CEO of a Catholic hospital for 13 years.

But there is one thing that Beyers, like some other local Catholics, does not like about his church: its leader, Madison Bishop Robert Morlino.

"I started feeling uncomfortable about Morlino pretty much from day one," says Beyers, a resident of Madison's far southwest side and member of the local chapter of Call to Action, which has crossed swords with the bishop. "He's big on obedience. He doesn't think that laypersons should have any say. Morale is very low among the priests. He's a tyrant with them. Some of them are scared to death of him."

When historians of the Catholic Church look back at the early 21st century, they may identify Madison as an important battleground. The fight here is between laypeople and the church's hierarchy; at stake, arguably, is the soul of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 PM

Pedophilia a Worldwide Issue, Not a Priest Problem

ROME
Zenit

ROME, JULY 29, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The founder of a children's protection organization laments that pedophilia only makes the news when it is linked to priests, which misses the point that it is a worldwide problem.

Father Fortunato Di Noto of the Meter association noted this deficiency in an interview with H2Onews.

Pedophilia is not just a crime but also a money machine, he explained, with an annual yield of €13 billion ($17 billion) and a victim toll of 200,000 abused children, increasingly even babies and toddlers.

And yet, Father Di Noto lamented, much of the press is scandalized only by pedophile priests and not by this phenomenon of enormous proportions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 PM

Graceless: A Vatican paper on clergy sex abuse takes gratuitous swipe at women's ordination

UNITED STATES
Houston Chronicle

Week before last, the Catholic Church released revisions of its laws governing the procedures for dealing with sexual abuse by priests. It had been a long time coming.

Almost 10 years after a flood of reports of abuse in the United States, Canada and Ireland, news broke in January of numerous cases in Germany, followed by hundreds more from all over Europe.

In April, the bishop of Bruges, in Belgium, abruptly resigned when his years-long molestation of his nephew was about to be revealed, igniting a firestorm of complaints of priest abuse in that country.

Critics, including many Catholics, have long maintained that the church was more concerned with protecting its priests and the bishops who failed to monitor them than with the victims. In case after case, victims were disbelieved, punished or paid off, and priests were often merely transferred and allowed to continue ministering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 PM

The Roman Catholic Church is no longer « Holy ». All Catholic churches, sacristies, rectories are not «holy» but potential priestly pedophile places

UNITED STATES
John Paul II Millstone

Paris Arrow

In the Apostles Creed, it says, “I believe in the Holy Catholic church". In the Nicene Creed (or the longer version) it says, "I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church” but that word “holy” no longer applies and is no longer true. That "holy" part of these Creeds has proven itself false and a lie of Satan during the last quarter of the 20th century -- during the more than 26 years papacy of John Paul II as he oversaw, condoned and covered-up his John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army. Calling the Catholic Church a “holy place” and priests as “Holy Fathers”will only perpetuate priest-pedophilia. The reverence for priests, the “holy” atmosphere and “holy” prayers within Catholic Churches only suppress innocent children and make them easy preys to the “holy godly” powers of pedophile priests. See Canon Law and John Paul II, the Vatican & Benedict XVI never saved children nor excommunicated pedophile priests during last quarter of 20th Century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 PM

STATE v. JEFFS

UTAH
Leagle

2010 UT 49

State of Utah, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
Warren Steed Jeffs, Defendant and Appellant.
No. 20080408.
Supreme Court of Utah.

Filed July 27, 2010.

This opinion is subject to revision before final publication in the Pacific Reporter.

Mark L. Shurtleff, Att'y Gen., Laura Dupaix, Craig L. Barlow, Asst. Att'ys Gen., Salt Lake City, Brock R. Belnap, Ryan J. Shaum, St. George, for plaintiff.

Walter F. Bugden, Jr., Tara L. Isaacson, Salt Lake City, Richard A. Wright, Las Vegas, NV, for defendant.

PARRISH, Justice:

INTRODUCTION
¶ 1 Defendant Warren Jeffs was convicted of two counts of rape as an accomplice for his role in the compelled marriage of fourteen-year-old Elissa Wall to her nineteen-year-old first cousin, Allen Steed, and the resulting sexual intercourse between them. Jeffs appeals his convictions, arguing a variety of errors in the proceedings before the trial court. While we are unconvinced by the majority of Jeffs' arguments, we conclude that there were serious errors in the instructions given to the jury that deprived Jeffs of the fair trial to which all are entitled under our laws. We therefore reverse the convictions and remand for a new trial.

¶ 2 Recognizing the highly publicized nature of this case, we remind the parties, the trial court, and observers, that the presumption of innocence guaranteed to all by our Constitution demands great care from the courts and those who prosecute on behalf of the people. As this state's court of last resort, we are not at liberty to accept less, nor could we, consistent with our oaths to support, obey, and defend the constitutions of this state and country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Archbishop Carlson: An Offer to the Parishioners of St. Stanislaus

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Peace, and my greetings to each of you. You are, I am aware, in a time of discernment and are faced with a decision regarding the return of St. Stanislaus to again be a Roman Catholic parish.

Over the past year, since arriving in St. Louis, I have met with the members of the board of directors of St. Stanislaus to find a way in which the parish could be re-established while, at the same time, addressing the fears expressed by many of you over the last seven years that the parish would be closed and its property sold with the proceeds being used for other purposes within the archdiocese.

One of the concerns expressed again and again was that, even if an archbishop made a commitment to keep the parish operating so long as Roman Catholics of Polish heritage wanted to have a parish and were willing to support it, he could not bind his successors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Archbishop Carlson’s proposal to St. Stan’s

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

BY TIM TOWNSEND ttownsend@post-dispatch.com

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson has posted a letter on the archdiocese’s website telling Catholics about the “return of St. Stanislaus to again be a Roman Catholic parish.”

Carlson writes:

Over the past year, since arriving in St. Louis, I have met with the members of the board of directors of St. Stanislaus to find a way in which the parish could be re-established while, at the same time, addressing the fears expressed by many of you over the last seven years that the parish would be closed and its property sold with the proceeds being used for other purposes within the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Pa. diocese sued after abuse accuser's suicide

PITTSBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

By JOE MANDAK (AP)

PITTSBURGH — The estate of a man allegedly abused by a priest in the 1980s is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, alleging he committed suicide this year after the diocese stopped paying for his mental health treatments following two other suicide attempts.

Michael Unglo, 39, formerly of Etna in suburban Pittsburgh, committed suicide in May at a center in Stockbridge, Mass., according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by The Associated Press. He alleged he was molested in the early 1980s while an altar boy, by a priest who was convicted of molesting another boy and later resigned.

The diocese decided to stop paying for Unglo's treatment even though the diocese continued to pay for the priest's health insurance and paid the priest an unspecified monthly stipend, Alan Perer, attorney for Unglo's estate, said Thursday at a news conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Moeilijk maar heilzaam

BELGIE
RKnieuws

ANTWERPEN (RKnieuws.net) - Het zijn geen makkelijke tijden voor katholieke gelovigen: de kerk ligt internationaal zwaar onder vuur. Maar daarin schuilt ook een kans tot vernieuwing. Dit stelt hoofdredacteur Peter Vande Vyvere (foto) deze week in het christelijk weekblad Tertio.

"De kerk kampt met een golf van misbruikschandalen: in Amerika, Ierland, Nederland,
Duitsland en Oostenrijk. Ons eigenste landje haalt met het aftreden van een bisschop en met een spectaculaire gerechtelijke raid tegen de kerk de wereldpers. In de Verenigde Staten sluit het opperste gerechtshof niet uit dat de paus als werkgever verantwoordelijk kan worden gesteld voor pedofiele priesters. Het Italiaanse gerecht richt zijn pijlen op het financiële beleid van de Vaticaanse Congregatie voor de evangelisatie van de volkeren. En in Groot-Brittannië ligt het nakende pausbezoek voor de zaligverklaring van John Henry Newman onder vuur wegens zijn hoge kostprijs voor de overheid", aldus Vande Vyvere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Kardinaal Danneels in nauwe schoentjes op de grill

BELGIE
De Nieuwe Reporter (Nederland)

Piet Kaashoek
29.7.2010

Reputaties komen te voet en gaan te paard, luidt een oude volkswijsheid. In de media verschenen op 7 juli 2010 berichten dat kardinaal en voormalige aartsbisschop Godfried Danneels van het bisdom Mechelen (België) na tien uur verhoor de burelen van de federale gerechtelijke politie Brussel mocht verlaten. Een verblijf zonder steun van een advocaat. De toon is gezet als het gaat om het imago van deze prelaat: een mogelijke doofpotaffaire rond seksueel misbruik in de Kerk.

Wat het op 7 juli voor deze geestelijke nog erger maakte, was de mededeling dat de speurders wilden weten hoe in de bisschoppelijke dossierkasten foto’s gevonden konden worden van Julie en Mélissa, twee van de slachtoffers van Dutroux. Het beeld van een verdorven pedo-netwerk doemt op, met tentakels in de hoogste bovenwereld.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Ontevreden Ierse priesters verenigen zich

IERLAND
Kerknieuws (Nederland)

DO 29 jul 2010 | 16.03
In Ierland komt er een hervormingsgezinde vereniging voor priesters. De initiatiefnemers zijn ontevreden over het beleid van de plaatselijke bisschoppen inzake seksueel misbruik. De priesters willen samenwerken met het episcopaat om de transparantie in de kerk te bevorderen en machtsmisbruik te voorkomen. Dit meldt de Ierse krant The Irish Catholic vandaag.

De priesters willen dat de Kerk anders gaat denken over seksualiteit en oecumene. Ook vinden ze dat er meer ruimte moet komen voor het individuele geweten van gelovigen en dat het priesterambt moet worden opengesteld voor vrouwen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Lawsuit filed against Pittsburgh diocese after man's suicide

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Margaret Harding
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Downtown law firm today filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh after a man who accused a priest of sexually abusing him as a child committed suicide.

The suit accuses Bishop David Zubik and the diocese of negligence because the diocese withdrew financial support for the treatment of Michael Unglo, 39, formerly of Etna, a few months before he killed himself at a Massachusetts treatment center in May.

The firm Swensen, Perer and Kontos filed the suit in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Pittsburgh Diocese Sued Over Alleged Abuse Victim's Suicide

PITTSBURGH (PA)
ThePittsburghChannel

PITTSBURGH -- The estate of a man who claimed he was abused by a priest has announced a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

The suit alleges the man committed suicide earlier this year after the diocese stopped paying for his mental health treatments following two other suicide attempts.

According to the lawsuit, 39-year-old Michael Unglo committed suicide May 4 in Massachusetts.

Unglo's family scheduled a news conference for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday at a Pittsburgh law office to discuss the lawsuit against the diocese and Bishop David Zubik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Investigators: Saint John’s Monks: Restricted, Really?

COLLEGEVILLE (MN)
Fox 9

[with video]

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. - In 2002, the head of St. John's Abbey told the public monks, who were accused of sexual misconduct, they would live under restrictions. Many thought it was a sort of house arrest, but that was not the case. The FOX 9 Investigators found just how easy it is for a so called restricted monk to leave St. John's and befriend a family, a family that didn't initially know about the monk's restrictions because St. John's had not made his name public.

A nap in a popular park filled with kids, an Eagle Scout ceremony, a cozy picture on the couch. Brother Jim Phillips has worked his way into the lives of a metro area family. A family we are not identifying to protect their privacy.

A man who knows the family well says, “I knew something had to be done. I didn't want these children to be hurt by this man in any way.”

Eric Evander is worried about Brother Phillips’ relationship with a woman in the family because it gives him access to her grandchildren, including a boy with autism. Brother Phillips is among the dozen or so St. John's priests and monks with credible allegations of sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

‘Franciscans have no interest in delaying resolution,’ attorney says

SANTA BARBARA (CA)
The Santa Barbara News Network

Santa Barbara – 6:32 pm - The San Francisco attorney representing priests in the fight over the release of their personnel files has provided a glimpse into where the case may be headed if they lose the appeal.

Doe 1 vs. the Franciscan Friars, Inc., will be heard in the 2nd District Court of Appeal Friday, July 30, in Los Angeles.

A part of the case involves the now closed, St. Anthony’s Seminary in Santa Barbara.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

An Interview with Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune

UNITED STATES
Healing and Spirituality

Dr. Jaime Romo

Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune is the founder and senior researcher of the Faith Trust Institute, which has been an ecumenical leader in working with religious leaders to promote healing from and end child sexual abuse, particularly that which occurs in churches, mosques and temples.

JR: You’ve been in the business of working to end clergy abuse and promote healing for 30 years. What progress do you see among churches when it comes to ending clergy abuse? What areas are frustrating to work with? Why?

MF: The biggest change is that the reality of abuse by clergy in no longer hidden, thanks to the courage and persistence of survivors. The second biggest change is that most judicatories and movements in our faith communities now have some policies in place to respond to complaints from victims.

The most frustrating area I see is that relatively few judicatories have been proactive and motivated by a real concern for the health and safety of their members; those that have realize that this is a long term project requiring ongoing training and vigilance at every level of the faith community. They are motivated by the fundamental values of their faith traditions: promoting justice, healing and expecting accountability for their leaders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Vatican under fire over new rules on modesty

VATICAN CITY
Irish Independent

By Nick Squires in Rome

Thursday July 29 2010

THE Vatican was criticised after taking action against tourists wearing skimpy clothes.

Tourists entering St Peter's Basilica have long been required to dress modestly, but yesterday the Swiss Guards -- the Pope's security force -- appeared to have extended the rules to the entire Vatican City state.

The guards drew aside men in shorts and women with uncovered shoulders and short skirts to tell them that they were not dressed properly. ...

Visitors said that the Roman Catholic Church should have more important things to worry about at a time it was battling scandals over paedophile priests.

"Given all the scandals the church has been involved in, what possible right can it have to be preaching about the morality of sleeveless dresses?" asked one woman in her 70s, identified only as 'Maria'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Clarification

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Thursday July 29 2010

In a story headlined 'Pope could be sued after US rejects immunity for Vatican', in the edition of June 29, it was reported that Californian attorneys Manley & Stewart are suing the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emily. We wish to clarify that this case was dismissed in August 2009.

The Catholic Communications Office has also asked us to point out that Oliver O'Grady, who was convicted of child sex abuse while serving as a priest in California, was laicised in 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Teacher molested kids for 20 years, while community turned blind eye

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Tamar Rotem
For almost 20 years, one man allegedly sexually abused dozens of children on Moshav Kommemiyut, an ultra-Orthodox community in the northern Negev. Yet no one ever complained - either to the police or to the welfare authorities.

The police have since opened an investigation into the abuses, but the suspect is in the U.S. and refuses to return. Meanwhile, some say community leaders knew of the crimes but did nothing to stop them.

At least one of the victims is suspected of having sexually abused younger children in turn.

The main suspect, Shimshon Walzer, began his alleged career as an abuser 19 years ago, while serving as a teacher at a religious elementary school. Two years later, rumors of his abusive conduct led to him being fired as a teacher. Yet for some reason, he was allowed to retain an office at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Vatican accused of hypocrisy after skimpy clothing ban

VATICAN CITY
Daily India

London, July 29: The ban imposed by the Vatican on tourists wearing skimpy clothing has been deemed as hypocritical, especially with the Catholic Church battling scandals involving paedophile priests.

Visitors have said that instead of dealing with the scandals and decades of cover-ups, the Vatican is wasting its time on mundane things like skimpy clothing.

Swiss Guards, who are the Pope's private army, have been enforcing the new decree at the Vatican City State, a rule that had long been put into place at St Peter's Basilica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Suit: Church leader groomed victim

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By CHAO XIONG, Star Tribune

Last update: July 28,

The leader of a northern Minnesota Christian retreat center took advantage of his grandfather-like role in a girl's life and inappropriately touched and kissed her, according to the girl's attorneys.

The Rev. Gerald Derstine, 81, pleaded in writing with the girl and her mother to call off authorities who were investigating him in 2009 for the alleged sexual abuse, said the girl's attorney Patrick Noaker. A lawsuit against Derstine and Florida-based Gospel Crusades Inc. and Gospel Crusade Ministerial Fellowship, which he founded, was filed Wednesday in federal court.

The suit asks for a judgment in excess of $75,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Utah considers retrial for Jeffs

TEXAS
San Angelo Standard Times

By Matthew Waller
San Angelo Standard Times
Posted July 28, 2010

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Whether or not a retrial happens in Utah for Warren Jeffs, the former leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is far from out of the fire, a legal expert says.

Jeffs was convicted in 2007 on two counts of rape as an accomplice for performing a marriage of then 14-year-old Elisa Wall with Allan G. Steed.

The Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the decision of the 5th District Court because of what it called faulty jury instructions from the court.

“The mess up in the instructions of the jury was to identify the actor as Jeffs and not Steed,” Texas Tech School of Law professor Dan Benson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

'Union' of 6,500 Irish priests to hold hierarchy to account

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By John Cooney and Fergus Black
Thursday, 29 July 2010

A plan to form an independent association of Ireland's 6,500 priests will aim to make church leadership more publicly accountable, its three leading movers said last night.

"It is based on reforming the Irish church along the spirit and vision of the church as the people of God," Mayo priest Fr Brendan Hoban told the Irish Independent last night.

"This was the reform policy that was called for by the Second Vatican Council when the world's bishops met in Rome from 1962-65, but it has not been put into practice in Ireland," Fr Hoban added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Phoenix dad accused of molesting daughters; 2 pastors arrested for not reporting abuse

PHOENIX (AZ)
Fox 11

[with video]

by Jennifer Thomas
Fox 11

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police arrested a man for allegedly molesting his two daughters and two pastors were arrested for not reporting the abuse to authorities.

According to Phoenix police Detective James Holmes, a 16-year-old girl told a neighbor that her father had been molesting her for several years. The neighbor confronted the man, who reportedly admitted he knew what he did was wrong.

azfamily.com is not releasing the father's name to protect the victims' identities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Irish priests form new organization, call for ‘reevaluation of Catholic sexual teaching’

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

Distressed by the Irish hierarchy’s response to the abuse scandal, some Irish priests are forming a new association whose aim is to represent the nation’s priests in their dealings with bishops.

“'We priests are perhaps the only group in the country with no representative forum,” said Father Sean McDonagh. “We want to address this.”

“It is a good thing if priests wish to organize themselves in order to voice their opinions and this would be important at this challenging time for clergy and lay Catholics alike,” said a spokesman for the Irish bishops’ conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Newest Vatican document is last straw for women

Irish Central

By DANIEL O'CARROLL, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

The latest document from the Vatican - Normae de Gravioribus Delictis - has caused worldwide outrage after it prescribed automatic excommunication for anyone found to be involved in the ordination of women.

The document provides for greater penalties to those who “attempted” women’s ordination than to clerics who abused children, and has come in for heavy criticism both from womens’ advocacy groups and from loyal Catholics.

The document’s title translates as ‘Norms of the Most Serious Crimes’, was allegedly intended to soften the Church’s growing negative PR image and implement some of the changes which victims’ and survivors’ groups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

July 28, 2010

Father Sam revelations are painful

AKRON (OH)
Beacon Journal

By Bob Dyer
Beacon Journal columnist

The news is still almost impossible to process.

Father Sam is a crook.

He admitted as much last week in front of God and country.

Cheated on his income-tax returns. Schemed to evade federal laws written to prevent money laundering. Had a secret stash of a million bucks.

And now the Rev. Samuel Ciccolini must wait until October to see exactly how long he will have to sit behind bars with other cons who have taken shortcuts that shortchanged the people around them and society at large.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

A proposal for dealing with priest perpetrators

UNTIED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Mary Gail Frawley ODea
Examining the crisis

About 5,000 priests and religious brothers have been identified as credibly accused of sexually violating minors. Most of these men were unavailable to criminal prosecution due to statutes of limitation; some within the statutes are in prison. The rest are dead, have voluntarily left the priesthood, were laicized, are residing in religious communities with more or -- usually -- less appropriate supervision, or wait in limbo for the church to adjudicate their cases.

Since 2002, there are have been strong, recurrent cries to remove all credibly accused priests from the priesthood. In May, the Vatican agreed with its top sexual abuse prosecutor, Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, declaring that abusive priests must be “amputated” in order to save the church’s body from diseased parts. Once again, Rome dodged the reality that the true scandal always has been ecclesiastical cover-up of sexual abuse. There was no Vatican mention of amputating involved bishops and provincial superiors.

It is understandable that victims and others want to see abusive priests taken from their lives. After all, these priests once tore from childhood and adolescence boys and girls whose pathways to spiritual, psychological, and relational growth were obstructed, often tragically, by the destructive aftermath of sexual violation. But, is removing a perpetrating priest from the priesthood the most healing and the safest move? Both pastoral and protective concerns suggest another option.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

TN / NC predator priest pleads guilty; SNAP responds

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)

We hope Warren realizes that his courage is protecting kids and exposing a predator. He should feel very proud of himself for finding the strength to speak up and having the wisdom to call police. Children are safer because of Warren’s bravery.

We also hope that others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Casey’s crimes and church officials’ complicity will come forward. Kids are best safeguarded when pedophiles like Casey are behind bars, and that will only happen if others with information about wrongdoing follow Warren’s lead and contact law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

IL predator priest is free again; SNAP responds

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine, president and founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)

Campobello’s victims should feel very proud of themselves for having the strength to speak up, the wisdom to call police, and the persistence to protect kids by exposing this child molesting cleric. Children are safer because of their bravery.

We also hope that others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Campobello’s crimes and church officials’ complicity will come forward. Kids are best safeguarded when pedophiles like Campobello are behind bars, and that will only happen if others with information about wrongdoing contact law enforcement.

It’s easy to do nothing. But that’s what child predators count on us doing. It’s crucial that adults who know about Campobello’s crimes honor their civic and moral duty to speak up and stop future abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Former predator priest Campobello released from prison

ILLINOIS
Chicago Daily Herald

By Josh Stockinger | Daily Herald Staff

Former Geneva priest Mark Campobello, who was convicted of molesting two girls, was released from prison Wednesday after serving about 16 months on a parole violation.

State officials said Campobello was released from Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln and put on a train to Chicago. He must list his new address on the Illinois Sex Offender registry within three days.

Campobello, 45, pleaded guilty in 2004 to molesting two girls, ages 14 and 15, at St. Peter Catholic Church in Geneva and Aurora Central Catholic High School in 1999 and 2000, respectively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Former Knoxville priest gets probation in N.C. molestation case

TENNESSEE
Knoxville News Sentinel

By Nash Armstrong

A former Knoxville priest pleaded guilty this morning to “crimes against nature” in McDowell County, N.C. — and the head of a national victims group praised the Indiana man who came forward after 30-plus years to report being molested.

Father Bill Casey, 76, will receive a two-year probation period, during which time he will participate in a sex offender program and pay a $500 fine and other court costs, Rutherford and McDowell County District Attorney Bradley Greenway said today.

Casey has served parishes around East Tennessee for 41 years. Catholic officials said in April, when the abuse was first reported and Casey confessed to church investigators, that he would will never publicly perform Mass or even wear a collar again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Onalaska priest stands mute to child porn charge

WISCONSIN
LaCrosse Tribune

By ANNE JUNGEN / ajungen@lacrossetribune.com | Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Diocese of La Crosse priest stood mute today to a possession of child pornography felony charge filed against him during a brief hearing in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

A not-guilty plea was entered on behalf of Patrick Umberger, 59, after he waived his preliminary hearing. The case is set for a status conference in October.

Umberger, priest at St. Patrick's Catholic Parish in Onalaska since 2005, was arrested July 15 when state agents found three sexually graphic pictures of nearly nude children on his computer, according to the complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Priest pleads guilty to molesting boy in WNC

NORTH CAROLINA
Citizen-Times

Clarke Morrison • July 28, 2010

MARION — A retired Catholic priest pleaded guilty today to molesting a boy while on a trip to Western North Carolina more than 30 years ago.

Bill Casey, 77, received a suspended jail sentence in McDowell County District Court on one count of crime against nature. He also was placed on two years of supervised probation, required to comply with the requirements of a sex offender control program and ordered not to associated with children unless in the company of a responsible adult.

McDowell County deputies arrested Casey in April after Warren Tucker of Jeffersonville, Ind., came forward with allegations that he was sexually abused for five years starting in 1975 when he was a fifth-grader at St. Dominic’s Church in Kingsport, Tenn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Priests want own union to stand up to bishops

IRELAND
Herald

By Clodagh Sheehy

Wednesday July 28 2010

Priests want to form their own association to give them a public voice and also fight for civil and ecumenical rights.

Members of the clergy around the country are being actively canvassed for their views on the new group.

The move comes at a time when relations between priests and their bishops have become increasingly strained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

Former Rockford priest released from prison

ILLINOIS
WREX

ROCKFORD (WREX) - A former priest in the Rockford Diocese is a free man again.

Mark Campobello, 45, was convicted of sexual abuse several years ago in the Chicago suburbs. The victims sued the Rockford Diocese, which settled the case for $2.2 million.

Campobello has been held in a prison in Lincoln on a technical parole violation for about a year. He was released by the Illinois Department of Corrections on Wednesday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Breaking News: The Vatican Is Super-Gay

UNITED STATES
The Daily Dish

I haven't commented on this dog-bites-man story of the Vatican being crammed to the gills with homosexual priests who have long since abandoned the increasingly frantic anti-gay ideology of Ratzinger. And most of the commentary has rightly focused on the extreme response of the Vatican - defrock them now for consensual adult sex! - compared with the long tolerance of child rape and abuse. But it is worth noting, once again, how utterly hollow the Vatican is on the subject of homosexuality. It is an institution so embedded with homosexuality it makes Broadway look straight. The stories I've heard! The network of gay priests is vast in Rome, and is, in my mind, as unhealthy for those who get away with it - the hypocrisy must hollow out the soul in the end - as for those who impose it. Instead of grappling with this fact, owning it, and seeking to diversify the priesthood by ending the celibacy requirement and men-only anachronism, the Vatican clings on to denial and repression. And as society and the actual church evolves - as both must - the denial and repression must increase in proportion - until the sheer ridiculousness of the whole thing becomes apparent even to the most devout.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Retired East Tennessee priest pleads guilty to sexually abusing child

NORTH CAROLINA
WBIR

A retired East Tennessee priest accused of repeated sexual abuse of a child decades ago in Tennessee and once in North Carolina pleaded guilty Wednesday to the charge in McDowell County, North Carolina.

The victim, Warren Tucker, came forward with the allegation in April.

In return for his guilty plea Wednesday, Casey was sentenced to three years in prison, but that sentence was suspended to 24 months of supervised probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

John Doe v. Diocese of Manchester and Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Alleging Abuse by Rev. George St. Jean OMI

MANCHESTER (NH)
Hillsborough County Superior Court, Northern District, Manchester NH, Docket Number: 10-C-359

July 21, 2010

[See also Man Files Sex Abuse Lawsuit against Manchester Diocese, by Kria Sakakeeny, WMUR, July 22, 2010, with photos and link to video.]

7. John Doe ("John") was born in May 1956. He was raised in a devout Catholic household that regularly participated in the Church. He was an altar boy at St. Brendan's parish, and served mass on a weekly basis during the relevant time period. His family regularly attended mass at St. Brendan's parish. John and his siblings attended Our Lady of Grace Academy, a private Catholic grammar school.

8. Father George St. Jean, o.m.i., was a Catholic priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary lmmaculate Order ("the Oblates"). During John's youth, St. Jean was assigned by the Oblates to the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace in Colebrook, New Hampshire ("the Oblate Shrine"). Additionally, he regularly worked as a priest at St. Brendan's parish in Colebrook, New Hampshire, a parish owned and operated by the Diocese of Manchester. Through these assignments, St. Jean gained access to young John. He groomed and ingratiated himself with John by virtue of his position as a Roman Catholic priest performing mass at St. Brendan's.

9. Upon information and belief, the Oblates assigned St. Jean as follows:

1958-1959: Novitiate of Our Lady of Grace (Colebrook, NH)
1960-1961: Immaculata Retreat House (Williamantic, CT)
1962-1964: Oblates Retreat House (Hudson, NH)
1965-1972: Novitiate of Our Lady of Grace (Colebrook, NH)
1973-1974: Oblate Center (Natick, MA)
1975-1977: Oblate Fathers Residence (Lowell, MA)

10. Between 1967 and 1968, when John was approximately 11-12 years old, St. Jean sexually abused John on multiple occasions. The abuse generally occurred in an office at the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace. While John was at the Shrine playing basketball or badminton with the other priests and brothers, St. Jean frequently asked John to come inside under the auspices of discussing a common interest in coin and stamp collecting. On these visits, St. Jean would force John to touch his genitals and masturbate him.

11. On more than one occasion, St. Jean told John not to tell anyone about what St. Jean was doing because John would get into trouble if anyone found out what St. Jean was doing to him. John believed him and did not report what St. Jean was doing to him.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:02 AM

GALWAY PRIEST SPEARHEADS EFFORTS TO SET UP REPRESENTATIVE ASSOCIATION

IRELAND
Galway News

July 28, 2010
Galway priest Fr Tony Flannery is spearheading efforts to set up a representative association for priests.

The priests say they currently have no platform to express themselves at a time when relations between them and their Bishops are increasingly strained, and crucial debates are taking place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Accused priest denies assaulting boys

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

A Catholic priest has told a court he doesn't remember the schoolboys he's accused of indecently assaulting and only once entered a dormitory after lights out.

James Patrick Jennings, 77, is charged with six counts of indecent assault against four boys aged about 12 in the early 1960s, at St Stanislaus Catholic College.

Jennings, then aged his late 20s, was the dean at the school at Bathurst, in regional NSW.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Texas, feds wait their turn after Utah Supreme Court reverses convictions of polygamist leader

UNITED STATES
Star Tribune

By JENNIFER DOBNER , Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah Supreme Court decision that overturns polygamous church leader Warren Jeffs' 2007 criminal conviction won't automatically make him a free man. Even if Utah doesn't retry him, Texas and federal prosecutors are waiting to move forward with their own cases.

Justices on Tuesday unanimously said Jeffs should get a new trial because state attorneys overreached in their argument that performing the marriage of a 14-year-old girl to her 19-year-old cousin amounted to facilitating a rape.

Utah officials now have two weeks to seek a rehearing before the state's high court and then a month to decide if they'll retry the 54-year-old head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on charges of first-degree felony rape as an accomplice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

US-Gericht hebt Urteil gegen Sektenführer auf

VEREINIGTE STATEN
Welt (Deutschland)

Warren Jeffs soll eine 14-Jährige verheiratet und zum Sex gezwungen zu haben. Doch ein US-Gericht hob das Urteil gegen den Sektenführer auf.

Das oberste Gericht im US-Staat Utah hat am Dienstag ein früheres Urteil gegen einen Sektenführer aufgehoben und einen neuen Prozess angeordnet. Warren Jeffs war 2007 wegen Beihilfe zur Vergewaltigung von einer Jury schuldig gesprochen und zu einer langjährigen Haftstrafe verurteilt worden. Während des ersten Verfahrens seien „schwere Fehler“ gemacht worden, zitierte die Zeitung „Salt Lake Tribune“ aus der Entscheidung der Richter. Die Geschworenen hätten fehlerhafte Anweisungen erhalten, damit sei ein faires Urteil nicht garantiert gewesen. Die Richter bedauerten die möglichen Auswirkungen ihrer Entscheidung auf das Opfer

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Proces tegen Amerikaanse polygamist moet over

VERENIGDE STATEN
BNR (Nederland)

27 juli 2010, 20:52 | ANP
WASHINGTON (ANP) - Een Amerikaanse rechtbank heeft dinsdag een vonnis tegen de gedetineerde polygamist en sekteleider Warren Jeffs vernietigd. De rechters van het hooggerechtshof in de staat Utah gaven de opdracht het proces over te doen wegens ernstige fouten.

Jeffs was in 2007 tot tien jaar veroordeeld, onder meer wegens medeplichtigheid aan verkrachting van een tienermeisje. Tijdens de rechtszaak kregen de juryleden echter verkeerde instructies, waardoor een eerlijk proces niet was gegarandeerd, stelde het hof. De rechters stelden Jeffs daarmee in het gelijk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Verslag commissie Adriaenssens

BELGIE
Nieuws

[met video]

Professor Peter Adriaenssens wil toch nog een eindverslag maken van de werkzaamheden van de commissie die seksueel misbruik in de kerk onderzocht. Die commissie is ermee gestopt, na de inval door het gerecht in juni.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

'Aanwijzingen dat Operatie Kelk onwettig verlopen is'

BELGIE
RKnieuws

BRUSSEL (RKnieuws.net) - Er zijn ernstige aanwijzingen dat de Operatie Kelk onwettig verlopen is. Dat stelt Emmanuel Van Lierde vandaag in het christelijk weekblad Tertio.

“Het bij Operatie Kelk ontplooide machtsvertoon is in België ongezien. Ook de omvang van de inbeslagnames bij het aartsbisdom Mechelen-Brussel is zeer uitzonderlijk. Onderzoeksdaden moeten in verhouding staan tot hun doel: ze moeten proportioneel zijn. Dat doel moet daarenboven een legitiem doel zijn. Fernand Keuleneer, de advocaat van het aartsbisdom en van de kardinaal, formuleerde in een brief aan de procureur-generaal deze, maar ook tal van andere bezwaren. Er werd geen rekening gehouden met het beroepsgeheim, zowel van priesters als van geneesheren. De archieven en computers van het aartsbisdom bevatten documenten die daaronder vallen en die niet zomaar meegenomen mochten worden. Bij de huiszoekingen bij de commissie-Adriaenssens had een vertegenwoordiger van de Orde van geneesheren aanwezig moeten zijn, aangezien het ging om een vertrouwenscentrum en de dossiers van een kinderpsychiater. Zo’n vertegenwoordiger was er niet bij. Verder geniet de correspondentie met de nuntius op de computer van kardinaal Godfried Danneels diplomatieke immuniteit en zijn briefwisseling met de Heilige Stoel staatsimmuniteit”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

UPDATE: Texas proceedings to extradite Jeffs

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

Robert T. Garrett
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Tuesday immediately began a new proceeding to extradite Warren Jeffs, a spokesman for Abbott said.

"We are currently working with the Texas governor's office and Utah authorities to bring Warren Jeffs to Texas to stand trial," said the spokesman, Jerry Strickland.

Jeffs was indicted by a Schleicher County grand jury on three sexual offenses, all first-degree felonies, in July 2008. At the time, Abbott said he hoped to extradite Jeffs, then in an Arizona jail awaiting separate charges, to Texas "as quickly as possible."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

A Polygamist's Victory: Will Texas Have Better Luck with Warren Jeffs?

TEXAS
TIME

By Hilary Hylton / Austin Wednesday, Jul. 28, 2010

Almost four years ago, the lanky, pale-skinned, wide-eyed "prophet" of a polygamist sect stepped out of a red Cadillac Escalade during a routine traffic stop just north of Las Vegas and said, "I am Warren Jeffs." In little time, FBI agents arrived to cuff the man who had shared a slot with Osama bin Laden on the most-wanted list that summer. With that arrest, the then 50-year-old Jeffs took his first step into a four-year legal maze that this week produced yet another surprising twist: the decision by the Utah Supreme Court to throw out the only successful conviction of the self-styled seer.

Jeffs once foretold that he would be in a long fight against dark forces — and he seems to have won a major victory in that war. He has suffered for it: his health debilitated by frequent hunger strikes, his knees cankered with sores from long sessions of prayer, according to prison officials. But the war between the prophet and the law is not over. While Utah prosecutors ponder their next move and consider whether to retry Jeffs, the state of Texas is in hot pursuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Did Pope Benedict XVI Drop the Ball?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by Tim Drake Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Judging from many of the press reports we’ve seen since March, the Holy Father was negligent when it came to the handling of the sexual abuse crisis in the Church. However, the public record shows something completely different. In fact, as Cardinal and prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he did more than anyone previously to prevent the problem.

Matthew Bunson, editor of The Catholic Answer magazine, has recently co-authored the Our Sunday Visitor book “Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal.” He argues that Pope Benedict’s real record is quite different from what the average Catholic in the pews is hearing from most of the news coverage.

“The average Catholic in the pews is confused,” said Bunson. “They’re hearing these accusations, suggestions and implications about the Holy Father – that he was somehow negligent as Archbishop in Munich, that he failed in his duties as head of the CDF, and that as Pope he has done very little to help bring an end to this problem in the Church – and they’re not sure if those accusations are true.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Suit to accuse Minn. Christian retreat leader of sex abuse

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune

A longtime minister and founder of a Christian retreat in northwestern Minnesota is being accused of sexually assaulting a pre-teen girl whom he counseled.

The sexual-abuse accusations against the Rev. Gerald Derstine will be made in a federal lawsuit to be filed Wednesday by Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul attorney who has rattled the Roman Catholic Church all the way to the Vatican over long-running allegations of clergy abuse.

Anderson's law firm has scheduled a news conference Wednesday afternoon in St. Paul, after the suit is filed in U.S. District Court.

Along with the 81-year-old Derstine, the suit will name as defendants the Florida-based Gospel Crusade Inc., which he founded and chairs, and other entities under his direction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

UP-DATE: Man to face Penrith Local Court today...

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Police Force

Wednesday, 28 Jul 2010

NB: Note change of court to Penrith plus one additional charge.

A man is due to appear in Penrith Local Court today charged with 55 offences.

Police from North Shore Local Area Command arrested the 69-year-old man at a home at Bilpin, in Sydney’s north west, early yesterday.

He was taken to Windsor Police Station where he was charged with 55 historical offences including charges of sexual assault, acts of indecency and indecent assaults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Utah court tosses Jeffs' conviction

UTAH
The Arizona Republic

by Dennis Wagner - Jul. 28, 2010
The Arizona Republic

The Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the rape-as-an-accomplice conviction of Warren Jeffs, the prophet and leader of a polygamist sect based on the Arizona-Utah border, leaving his fate in the legal system uncertain.

In a unanimous decision, justices found that jurors in the case were given improper instructions by Washington County Judge James Shumate before reaching their verdict that Jeffs contributed to the 2001 sexual assault of teenage victim Elissa Wall, then 14, by directing her marriage to an adult cousin.

Jeffs, 54, once was listed among the FBI's most-wanted fugitives and faced criminal

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

New trial ordered for polygamist leader Jeffs

UTAH
National Post (Canada)

James Nelson, Reuters · Wednesday, Jul. 28, 2010

The Utah Supreme Court yesterday tossed out the 2007 sexual abuse conviction of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs and ordered a new trial for forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry her first cousin.

The self-proclaimed prophet of a breakaway Mormon sect was sentenced in November 2007 to 10 years to life in prison for being an accomplice to rape.

But the Utah high court ruled the trial judge had erred in instructing the jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Disappointment over imbalance of C4 'Britain's witch children' programme

UNITED KINGDOM
Inspire Magazine

"We wholeheartedly condemn churches abusing or encouraging the abuse of children, in particular any church that brands children as witches or demon-possessed," the organisations say in a joint statement.

"However, we would like to stress that Monday’s Dispatches focused on a small rogue element of pastors, and the vast majority of African churches in the UK do not subscribe to these practices.

"We are disappointed that Channel 4 made no attempt to contact either the Evangelical Alliance or Churches Together in England for comment during the production of this programme. We are also dismayed that the programme did not feature any Christian representatives, who would have condemned these practices and provided the context that they are not tolerated in the vast majority of African churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Norms on women’s ordination reflect sacrament’s importance

UNITED STATES
Catholic San Francisco

July 28th, 2010
By Nancy Frazier O’Brien

WASHINGTON (CNS) – The Vatican’s decision to declare the attempted ordination of women a major church crime reflects “the seriousness with which it holds offenses against the sacrament of holy orders” and is not a sign of disrespect toward women, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington said July 15.

The archbishop, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, spoke at a news briefing in the headquarters of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops hours after the Vatican issued new norms for handling priestly sex abuse cases and updated its list of the “more grave crimes” against church law, including for the first time the “attempted sacred ordination of a woman.”

In such an act, the Vatican said, the cleric and the woman involved are automatically excommunicated, and the cleric can also be dismissed from the priesthood. Noting that women hold a variety of church leadership positions in parishes and dioceses, Archbishop Wuerl said, “The church’s gratitude toward women cannot be stated strongly enough.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Association of Catholic Priests proposed

IRELAND
RTE News

Moves to establish an Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland have received substantial support from clergy, missionaries and members of religious orders, according to the group which has been taking soundings on the idea.

It has planned a meeting of interested colleagues for mid-September in Portlaoise to decide whether a set of aims can be agreed.

Among the factors that the group says prompted it to act was 'the increasingly strained relationship between priests and their bishops'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Fall in Catholic child abuse claims

WALES
Western Mail

Jul 28 2010 by Ciaran Jones, Western Mail

CHILD abuse allegations in the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales fell in 2009, according to a new report.

And a senior Catholic priest in Wales said the figures, released in the annual report of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission, showed the church was dealing robustly with issues of safeguarding young people.

The Catholic church received 41 allegations of abuse relating to 43 alleged abusers and 52 victims in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

CMOB: In sex crimes reported to L.A. Archdiocese board, priests were all named Father Fred, and later Father X to protect any priests named Fred

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

July 27, 2010

[For previous City of Angels analysis of the depositions, see: 1 2 3. See also the full text of the depositions in searchable format. See City of Angels for the text of the important 5/26/10 Hodgman memo on investigating Mahony 1 2 3 with commentary. See also a PDF of the memo.]

Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board only heard hypothetical cases, while touted in the press as advisors to L.A. Archbishop Roger Mahony

Even John Manly seems astounded to hear the name of a lay committee in Los Angeles assigned to oversee sexual "misconduct" of Catholic priests. The news reported that CMOB advised the Archbishop on how to handle pedophile and other priest sex crimes. Manly, representing plaintiff Luis C., asked at the January 25, 2010, deposition of Cardinal Roger Mahony:

*MANLY: There were two boards, SAAB and then another board after 2002, is that right?

A: Correct.

Q: So the SAAB Board and its follow on board is CMORE?

MR. HENNIGAN: CMOB.

MR. MANLY: Okay. I don't know how you put that on the record but fine.

MR. HENNIGAN: C-M-O-B.

MR. MANLY: CMOB. Is that C-MOB? Okay…

Manly (right) released transcripts of depositions of Judge Richard Byrne and Bishop Thomas Curry, as well as the L.A. Archbishop in June 2010, from the case of Luis C vs. Doe 1 et al. In that case, Father Michael Baker had gotten away with pedophilia for so long, he was barely hiding it by the time he met altar boy Luis C, whose charges were recent enough to fall within the statute of limitations and helped put the priest in prison.

Manly did not finish deposing the Cardinal last January 25th:

MR. MANLY: This will conclude Volume I of the deposition of the Cardinal.

MR. HENNIGAN: The final volume.

MR. MANLY: No, I'm not going to agree to conclude the deposition.

MR. HENNIGAN: And I'm not going to agree to continue it.

MR. MANLY: I have a stack of documents here -

MR. HENNIGAN: Then you should have gotten to them. My point, your honor -

MR. MANLY: What is this, Judge? Who does he think he is?

THE COURT: Everybody calm down.

MR. HENNIGAN: We will review the transcript and make a record on the repetitiveness, the dilatory nature of this interrogation. If [the judge decides] that we have got to come back for another day, then we will.

MR. MANLY: That's fine but, Judge, there's a variety of documents I haven't gotten to.

THE COURT: I understand but - it's got to go in at a faster pace… So three hours really ought to be able to -

MR. MANLY: That's absolutely fine with me.

THE COURT: Can you agree to three hours?

MR. HENNIGAN: Avoid making a motion and we'll do it for three hours.

(But then the Luis C. Case was settled, or “dismissed” as it is called legally, on March 25, 2010, two months after the deposition of Mahony was interrupted.)

(Note, quotes in this blog post are copy and pasted directly from transcripts, with excess verbiage removed for sake of story, but no facts or details are changed.)

Cases of Priest Misconduct Went to the Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board As Hypothetical Cases

CMOB Never Heard Names of Priests or any Details of the Crimes.

CMOB never even knew if the crimes were real.

Manly asks Judge Byrne how the CMOB, Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board operated, from deposition on October 29, 2009:

Q: After hearing about all these hypothetical cases, did you see a larger problem that needed to be addressed between 1992 and 2002 with sexual abuse?”

BYRNE: No.

Q: Were you under the impression based on these hypothetical cases that you learned about that there were priests serving in the archdiocese that had previously molested children and were allowed to return to ministry?

BYRNE: I had no idea.

**************
(CofA: WAS HE SLEEPING?)
******************

JUDGE BYRNE: I don't have a recollection about any of these cases.

Q You don't ever remember Monsignor Loomis or Dire or Cox telling you that Father Fred or Father X had sodomized a child?

A No. I don't recall.

Q: Okay. Judge, when they were talking about Father Fred, would they say, "Hypothetically Father Fred had sodomized altar boy Jim” or how did that work?

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:54 AM

July 27, 2010

Meeting to consider new priests' association

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

A MEETING of Catholic priests to consider setting up an association of Irish priests is to take place in Portlaoise on September 15th next.

The initiative follows an informal gathering in Athlone recently of about nine Catholic priests representing those in dioceses, religious orders/ congregations and missionary societies.

A statement yesterday said that at the Athlone meeting those priests present discussed the possibility of encouraging a public voice for Catholic priests in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 PM

Priests want a union to express views

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Catherine Shanahan

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MEMBERS of the clergy are being actively canvassed around the country by a group of priests disillusioned at not having a public voice. They are seeking to set up an association to represent their views.

In a statement, the priests said the "debilitating reality" was that priests had no platform to express themselves at a time when relations between priests and bishops were increasingly strained and when "crucial debates" were taking place.

One of the group, Fr Brendan Hoban, parish priest in Ballina, Co Mayo, said they had not sought the approval of superiors over their proposals, formulated following a meeting in Athlone, Co Westmeath, a number of weeks ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Buschauffeur misbruikt 54 kinderen

Australië
FOK (Nederland)

Een Australische buschauffeur wordt ervan verdacht dat hij 54 kinderen seksueel heeft misbruikt. Dat gebeurde, terwijl hij de jongens en meisjes naar de kerk bracht voor jeugdactiviteiten. De 69-jarige man is gearresteerd toen vier slachtoffers uit de school klapten.

De twee mannen en twee vrouwen vertelden de politie dat ze als kind seksueel misbruikt en mishandeld waren. Dat gebeurde in de jaren zeventig, tachtig en negentig. De buschauffeur zou hebben toegeslagen tijdens zijn werk voor de Metropolitan Baptist Church in het noorden van Sydney. Volgens de politie nam de man de kinderen op schoot, terwijl hij de bus bestuurde. Ondertussen betastte en misbruikte hij zijn slachtoffertjes. Dat gebeurde op tripjes naar het strand, naar het zwembad en naar de bioscoop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Kritiek Unie NKV op nieuwe richtlijnen Vaticaan

NEDERLAND
RKnieuws

ECHT - De Unie NKV (Nederlandse Katholieke Vrouwenbeweging) heeft bezwaar tegen de kwalificatie als ’ernstig delict’ van het wijden van vrouwen. Dit meldt de Konferentie van Nederlandse Religieuzen.

De Unie NKV bekritiseert de onlangs door de Congregatie voor de Geloofsleer aangescherpte kerkelijke rechtsnormen inzake ernstige delicten. De herziene normen voorzien erin dat de ernstigste zaken direct kunnen worden doorverwezen naar de paus, waardoor priesters eerder uit het ambt kunnen worden gezet. Een andere noviteit is dat ook leken voortaan zitting kunnen hebben in kerkelijke tribunalen en als advocaten kunnen optreden. Verder is de verjaringstermijn van de delicten verlengd van 10 jaar tot 20 jaar. Tot de ernstige delicten worden ook gerekend het stiekem opnemen van biechtgesprekken en/of de onthulling daarvan en het wijden van vrouwen tot priester.

De Unie NKV heeft bezwaar tegen het op één lijn stellen van seksueel misbruik met het openstellen van het priesterambt voor vrouwen. In haar persbericht laat de Unie het volgende weten: De Unie NKV juicht het toe dat seksueel misbruik zwaarder wordt gestraft maar volgens haar schieten de aanpassingen tekort als het gaat over aangifte bij justitie en over de sancties op het verzwijgen of anderszins toedekken van strafbare feiten op dit gebied. De kerk moet op alle mogelijke manieren een veilige gemeenschap proberen te zijn, zeker voor kinderen en andere mensen in een kwetsbare positie. Dat zou ook de verplichting tot het doen van aangifte van dergelijke zaken bij justitie moeten inhouden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

Sinéad O'Connor: An Unlikely Prophet for a Scandalized Church

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

Rory Fitzgerald

They say that God has a sense of humor. Some might be surprised, or even amused, by the idea that Sinéad O'Connor is now a powerful voice for renewal in the scandal-hit Catholic Church.

Although she is often imagined to be hostile to Catholicism, she in fact holds a deep affection for the faith:

"I think the essence of Catholicism is beautiful. . . . What I would love to see is for Catholicism to survive this, so that true Catholicism can shine."

In the early 1990s the stark, ethereal beauty of her voice enchanted the world, catapulting her to fame. But she came crashing down after a 1992 performance on "Saturday Night Live" where, in protest against the Catholic Church's handing of child abuse, she tore up a large photo of Pope John Paul II, and threw the pieces at the camera, telling the audience to "fight the real enemy!"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 PM

The Vatican’s Gay Priests

ROME
Newsweek

In the basement dining room of Le Mani In Pasta, a trattoria in central Rome, a young, glossy-eyed couple stare at each other across a table for two. They smile and blush over a private joke. There is no handholding or kissing, but they are clearly more than friends, even though they are both wearing dark shirts and the telltale white clerical collar.

For residents of Rome, the sight of courting priests is hardly an anomaly. The phenomenon is a well-known secret here, and one that was largely ignored until last weekend, when the Italian weekly magazine Panorama published a shocking exposé called “Le Notti Brave Dei Preti Gay,” or “Good Nights Out for Gay Priests.” Investigative journalist Carmelo Abbate spent 20 days undercover posing as the boyfriend of a man who ran in gay clerical circles, secretly videotaping the sexual escapades of three Rome-based priests. Abbate caught the priests on hidden camera dirty dancing at private parties and engaging in sex acts with male escorts on church property. He also caught them emerging from dark bedrooms in time to celebrate mass. In one postcoital scene, “Father Carlo” parades around seminaked, wearing only his clerical vestments. Abbate’s “date” even had sex with one of the priests to corroborate the story. “This is not about homosexuality,” Abbate, who is not gay, told NEWSWEEK. “This is about private vices and public virtues. This is about serious hypocrisy in the Catholic Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Antigonish diocese begins property sales

CANADA
CBC News

The Roman Catholic diocese of Antigonish, N.S., has identified which of its properties must be sold and has begun sending letters to individual parishes informing them.

The diocese needs to raise about $15 million for a settlement with victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Parishes in Mulgrave and Georgeville in Antigonish county, Bras d'Or and Lower River Inhabitants in Cape Breton, and the town of Pictou have been notified which of their properties will be sold.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Daniel Eggleston Dick

WORCESTER (MA)
Callahan Fay Brothers

Daniel Eggleston Dick, born April 22, 1924, died at the age of 86 on July 26, 2010. Surrounded by family and close friends, he died at home after a long and arduous struggle with myeloblastic leukemia.

[He was a member of Voice of the Faithful and was an outspoken advocate for victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse.]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

New Irish bishop says abuse scandal made church look in mirror

IRELAND
U.S. Catholic

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

By Cian Molloy, Catholic News Service

DUBLIN (CNS) -- In the wake of a series of clerical child abuse scandals, the country's newest prelate, Bishop Liam S. MacDaid of Clogher, called on the people of his diocese to join him in "a repentant return to the well of salvation."

Speaking at his consecration at St. Macartan's Cathedral, Monaghan, July 25, Bishop MacDaid said: "Society has forced us in the Irish church to look into the mirror, and what we saw were weakness and failure, victims and abuse. The surgeon's knife has been painful but necessary. A lot of evil and poison has been excised. There comes a time when the surgeon's knife has done what it can, is put away and a regime of rehabilitation for the patient is put in place.

"We have been brought to our knees, but maybe that is no bad thing. It can bring us closer to the core of the mystery," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

German Jesuits: Talks on abuse compensation in September

GERMANY
Washington Post

By Max Chrambach
Reuters
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German Jesuit order rejected on Tuesday a call to speed up talks on compensation for victims of abuse by Jesuit priests, and said it would tackle the issue at a meeting involving several organizations in September.

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic order, reacting to the call by the victims' group "Eckiger Tisch" ("Square Table"), said the round table group on abuse set up by the government in March would discuss the compensation question in September.

"I appreciate the impatience of 'Eckiger Tisch'," Jesuit spokesman Thomas Busch said, "But there will be no special arrangement before September with one particular group ... This is about more than one group -- the round table deals with a range of abuse cases."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Healing available for abuse victims of Episcopal bishop from Erie

PENNSYLVANIA
GoErie

Meeting others who were sexually abused by clergy can help victims heal, says a leader of a support group for survivors.

Barbara Dorris, outreach director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, didn't know whether victims of a local Episcopal bishop had contacted her group, but said they would be just as welcomed as the more highly publicized victims of Catholic priests.

At least nine allegations of sexual abuse have been made against the Rev. Donald Davis, bishop of the Erie-based Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania from 1974 to 1991. Two weeks after the abuse was made public by the current bishop, Episcopal Church leaders had little more to say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

UK Catholic child protection agency criticises Vatican

UNITED KINGDOM
Guardian

Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 July 2010

The head of child protection for the Catholic church in England and Wales has said the Vatican should remove the statute of limitations on prosecution of of priests for child abuse offences.

William Kilgallon, the chair of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC), argued that the time limit was unhelpful and failed to reflect the long-lasting effects of abuse.

He described the Vatican's recent decision to double the time period from 10 years to to 20 as "better than it was", but said he would have preferred its abolition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

McCrystal's Example

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

Posted at: Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Author: Michael O'Loughlin

In many respects, the U.S. Army and the Catholic Church could not be more dissimilar institutions. Both have radically different missions, divergent access to resources, and, seemingly, heterogeneous cultures. Yet in one striking way, the two organizations are quite analogous: both rely on and thrive under strict adherence to hierarchal rule. Despite the best efforts of some, especially during Vatican II, to move the church away from a pyramid model (pope at the top, then bishops, priests, religious, and finally laypeople) toward a flat “people of God” model, the church, for good or bad, remains thoroughly hierarchal, in both theory and in practice. The U.S. Army operates, out of necessity, in the same manner. As a result, recent events involving General Stanley McChrystal offer the church a valuable lesson and possible model to emulate.

McChrystal is regarded a dedicated, skilled, and devoted leader, who understands the intricacies of war and the sensitivities of .U.S presence in Afghanistan. His colleagues and superiors praise him continuously as a fair-minded military man, compelling others toward valiant and courageous service. Yet a couple months ago, McChrystal made an egregious mistake for anyone serving in a hierarchal institution: he upset the chain of command by calling into question the judgment of his superiors, specifically, the president and vice president. In the military, this is a mortal sin, and it cost the general his job.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

Sex abuse claim for £5m against Catholic order faces court challenge

UNITED KINGDOM
Guardian

Riazat Butt
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 July 2010

A Roman Catholic religious order will today appeal a court decision that could see it pay up to £5m to a victim of alleged clerical sexual abuse, the largest compensation claim of its kind in Britain.

The Society of Jesus is attempting to overturn the decision of Mrs Justice Swift, who said there was "entirely compelling" evidence that Patrick Raggett had been the victim of a "sustained course of sexual abuse and assaults" by Father Michael Spencer at Preston Catholic College, Lancashire, between 1969 and 1976.

She accepted Ragget said the claimed abuse had affected his earning potential and put aside the time limit, observing that his delay in bringing forward a claim "was not uncommon in cases of sexual abuse in which the complainant had to suppress his memories".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Priest pay in San Jose

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

Priests in the Diocese of San Jose won’t be getting a pay raise for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, and diocesan contributions to their retirement fund will drop by 7.8%, a diocesan memo reveals.

The July 15 memo from diocesan chief financial officer Bob Serventi was addressed to pastors, principals, administrators, bookkeepers and finance councils under the subject heading, “Final Budget Guidelines for FY 2010-11.”

While the memo covered a wide range of positions and expenditures, of most interest was priest compensation, which totals $84,041 a year when all the elements are added together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

The Vatican: a very Italian institution

ITALY
Guardian (United Kingdom)

John Hooper
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 July 2010

Not the least interesting aspect of the exposure of the double life of some gay Catholic priests in Rome is the way it was handled by the Italian media. Panorama, the news magazine that carried out the investigation, tipped off the rest of the press last Thursday afternoon. Italy's biggest news agency, Ansa, carried a brief dispatch on the magazine's exclusive at 5.32 pm. By 7 o'clock it was number six on its "billboard" of the day's top stories.

Yet not a single national newspaper picked up on Panorama's story. It was only the following day – by which time the Rome diocese had responded with a statement berating the magazine for "defaming all priests" – that the Italian press felt able to run "balanced" reports leading with the diocese's advice to gay priests to "come out" – and get out.

Why this reluctance? Some will doubtless argue that the report, accompanied by photographs of half-naked priests, one still wearing his dog collar, was pure smut. I disagree. It went to the heart of the paradox, let us call it, that underlies many of the Catholic church's current problems. While condemning gay sex as disordered and at the same time insisting on celibacy in an age in which heterosexual clerics can no longer get away with the hypocrisy of "housekeepers", the Vatican is gradually creating a predominantly gay priesthood in all but the developing world. The most reliable estimate suggested that up to half of US Catholic priests are homosexual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Lessons from Spirit Lake

UNITED STATES
Healing and Spirituality

Dr. Jaime Romo

The May, 2010 National Geographic magazine has an article about Spirit Lake, in Washington. The caption reads, “Beer cans used to rest at the bottom of Spirit Lake.’ The article mentions how 30 years ago, pre-eruption, trout were 10 inches long; now trout are 20 inches long.

There are many parallels with the devastation of Religious Authority Sexual Abuse and the physical history of Mt. St. Helens. There are certainly parallels in my life experience.

When I backpacked for a week at Spirit Lake the summer before the eruption, my life was that of a carefree college student; I didn’t think of what was under the surface as played in water and forest and hiked around Mt. St. Helen. That was before my own trauma erupted in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

When will the Church of England face up to the abuse I suffered in their care?

UNITED KINGDOM
London Evening Standard

David Cohen
27.07.10

A While ago, as Teresa Cooper watched the Archbishop of Canterbury delivering a televised address, she began to shake uncontrollably.

“I saw him say that the Catholic Church in Ireland had lost all credibility' because of their attempts to sweep child abuse under the carpet, and I thought that if he was brave enough to be so outspoken about the Catholics, surely he was going to apologise for what happened to me in his Church, too.”

At the time, Teresa, 43, was just days away from meeting the Archbishop's deputies. They would agree to pay her substantial damages for her claims of having been forcibly drugged, abused and sexually assaulted as a teenager in a children's home run by the Church of England in the Eighties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Shiloh Problem Solvers volunteer is charged in sex assault at Lakewood Retreat

BROOKSVILLE (FL)
St. Petersburg Times

By Joel Anderson, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BROOKSVILLE — A Brooksville man accused of molesting two teenage girls at a Christian retreat center last week is the father of a child involved with a local ministry designed to keep young men on the right path.

David "Tony" Galloway, 43, of 21403 Anderson Road was arrested Friday on charges of battery and sexual assault on a victim over age 12.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office said Galloway was part of a group volunteering with Shiloh Problem Solvers, a nonprofit program that provides youths with prevention, intervention and diversion services, along with educational services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Bus driver involved in church youth group charged with child molesting

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

A former volunteer bus driver involved in a church youth group has been charged with molesting young Sydney children over three decades.

The man, now aged 69, was arrested at Bilpin, near Windsor in Sydney's north-west, at 8.15am today, police said.

It followed allegations he sexually molested and assaulted young children during the 1970s, '80s and '90s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Former church bus driver accused of molesting youth group members

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

A CHURCH bus driver sexually molested children as they sat on his lap while he drove them to and from youth group activities, NSW police allege.

The 69-year-old man was arrested this morning at his Bilpin home near Windsor, northwest of Sydney, after four of his alleged victims went to police.

The two men and two women told police the man sexually assaulted and molested them over three decades from the 1970s while he was a bus driver with the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Chatswood and Lane Cove, in Sydney's north.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Church volunteer bus driver charged over sex assaults

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

A MAN who was a volunteer bus driver for a Sydney church youth group has been charged with sexually molesting and assaulting four young children over three decades.

The man, now aged 69, was arrested at Bilpin, near Windsor in Sydney's northwest, at 8.15am (AEST) today, police said.

He was charged with 54 historical counts of sexual assault, acts of indecency and indecent assault that allegedly took place between 1978 and 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Archbishop Dolan rips New York Times coverage of Pope

NEW YORK
Catholic Culture

July 27, 2010
Singling out The New York Times, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York blasted media coverage of the Vatican’s revised norms for the clerical abuse of minors and other exceptionally serious crimes.

“Because of all the inaccuracies in the recent coverage of the Catholic Church in the New York Times and other publications, appearing in news articles, editorials, and op-eds, I was tempted to try my best to offer corrections to the multitude of errors,” he said in his latest blog posting. “However, I soon realized that this would probably be a full time job.”

“It is a source of consternation as to why, instead of complimenting the Vatican and a reformer like Pope Benedict XVI, for codifying procedures long advocated by critics, such outfits would instead choose to intrude on a matter of internal doctrine, namely the ordination of women.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

69-year-old to face court tomorrow ...

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Police Force

Tuesday, 27 Jul 2010

A former volunteer bus driver involved in a church youth group has been arrested over allegations he sexually molested and assaulted young children during the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Chatswood detectives arrested the man, now aged 69, at Bilpin, near Windsor in Sydney’s west at 8.15am today.

He was taken to Windsor Police Station and has been charged with 54 historical offences including charges of sexual assault, acts of indecency and indecent assaults. He has refused bail and will appear in Windsor Local Court tomorrow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Parishioners concerned, Dioceses tight lipped about removal of popular priest from Bonita Catholic church

BONITA SPRINGS (FL)
Naples Daily News

By KELLY FARRELL

BONITA SPRINGS — Multiple accusations caused the removal of Rev. Stan Strycharz from St. Leo Catholic Church in Bonita Springs over the weekend, officials said.

Bishop Frank Dewane announced Strycharz was on administrative leave pending the result of an investigation. Many parishioners want to know why.

“Whatever the reasons for Father Stan’s departure, all parishioners are entitled, no demand, a fair and equitable explanation,” said parishioner Camran Parente.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Where is the Vatican's Outrage about Child Molestation?

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

Carla Seaquist

In a world much out of joint, to molest a child must remain a crime, an inviolate taboo, an unforgivable sin.

So, where is the Vatican's outrage at the worldwide epidemic of sexual abuse of children perpetrated by its own clergy---a sin of the very first order, given the defenselessness of the victims and the power and trust invested in the molesting men of God?

The world---and the molested---have been waiting, waiting for the Catholic Church's hierarchy to do the right thing in these months of crisis. Sadly, the wait will be longer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

July 26, 2010

Padres Gone Wild: Video Released of Gay Priests Getting Their Freak On

UNITED STATES
EDGE Boston

by Kilian Melloy
Monday Jul 26, 2010

Last week, an Italian publication promised video footage of homosexual priests meeting and mixing with other patrons of gay bars. Now that footage has reached YouTube.

Panorama magazine reported on the gay priests in an article written by reporter Carmelo Abbate, who--together with a gay man--went out looking to expose the "double lives" led by some of the Catholic Church’s clerics.

Abbate and his associate spent two weeks at gay nightspots, during which time they managed to capture video of three priests involved in sexual trysts. Two of the priests caught on video were reportedly Italian; one was French.

The sensational claims made by the magazine included an allegation that one of the three priests not only had sex with the reporter’s "gay accomplice," but that the priest also donned his ceremonial vestments for the encounter, at the request of the reporter’s associate. That encounter, the magazine claimed, was caught on video by a hidden camera

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Canon Law and John Paul II, the Vatican & Benedict XVI never saved children nor excommunicated pedophile priests during last quarter of 20th Century

UNITED STATES
John Paul II Millstone

Paris Arrow

In 2000, when the CDF came out with the doctrine or “Declaration” of Domuinus Iesus, authored by its Prefect, Cardinal Ratzinger now Pope Benedict XVI, John Paul II signed and sealed it with his signature re-affirming the famous edict Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus "Outside the Church, there is no salvation”. There were protests from Catholic theologians, Protestants and other Christian churches to Dominus Iesus. But soon the protests died down. The Magisterium of the Vatican won the day again. But today, Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican are facing a louder uproar and protest about priest pedophilia. And this time, the Vatican will not be able to silence us as it did in 2000 with Dominus Iesus. Most of all, this new Code of Canon Law proves that there is salvation outside the church – because it was only outside the church, in the Secular Law of justice that pedophile priests were brought to court and paid some 3 billion dollars of compensation to their victims in the USA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Local fight over priests’ personnel files in LA appellate court Friday

SANTA BARBARA (CA)
The Santa Barbara News Network

SANTA BARBARA – 8:30 pm – The fight over the public’s access to the personnel files of Santa Barbara Franciscan priests in the sex abuse scandal, returns to court this week.

The case will be heard Friday, July 30, in the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles.

It’s been four years since the despicable acts at St. Anthony’s Seminary, from 1964 to 1987, captured the media’s attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Bishop Santa Claus Slams Pope Benedict XVI for Moral Failure

NEVADA
PRWeb

A Christian Bishop, Monk, and child advocate, whose legal name is Santa Claus, is taking Pope Benedict to task, for what Bishop Santa describes as the Pope's continued moral failure to address urgent children's issues within the Roman Catholic Church.

Incline Village, NV (PRWEB) July 16, 2010

A Christian Bishop, Monk, and child advocate, whose legal name is Santa Claus, is taking Pope Benedict XVI to task, for what Bishop Santa Claus describes as, "the Pope’s continued moral failure to address urgent children's issues within the Roman Catholic Church."

Bishop Santa emphasizes that the Pope's unwillingness to address this international issue in a meaningful and productive manner demonstrates a long-standing and profound moral failure – one shared by many leaders and clergy of other denominations.

In the United States, between 1950 and 2009, the Roman Catholic Church has paid more than $2.6 billion to settle claims of abuse by clergy, has obstructed criminal and civil investigations, and often filed for bankruptcy to avoid making court-ordered payments to survivors of clergy abuse. Santa observes that, “The Roman Catholic Church clearly is more concerned with protecting its clergy and assets than protecting vulnerable children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Santa Claus Rips Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
AOL News

Larry Knowles

(July 26) -- Talk about piling on -- now even Santa Claus is taking shots at the Catholic Church.

An explanation, of course, is in order. It's not the jolly old elf who lives at the North Pole with toy-crafting elves and flying reindeer. No, Virginia, this is a decidedly more politicized Claus, an ordained bishop from Nevada with the likeness and legal name of his famous doppelganger.

And this Santa Claus is angry. Last week, in a scathing, widely distributed press release, Claus called out the church for its failure to institute sufficient reform in the wake of clergy sex abuse scandals. He also suggested that he may sue the church to force change.

Santa Claus -- his legal name, no middle initial -- of Lake Tahoe, Nev., has a lump of coal for Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church.

"Bishop Santa intends 'to explore and utilize a variety of legal means,'" the statement read in part, "'to hold the Roman Catholic Church, especially the pope and Vatican, accountable for the suffering of many thousands of vulnerable children at the hands of clergy, straight and gay, young and old, celibate or not.'"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

'Aantal Nederlandse homopriesters blijft giswerk'

NEDERLAND
Hp.Detijd

Door Alex Ringeling | 26 Juli 2010

Het Italiaanse tijdschrift Panorama pakt deze week uit met een coverstory over lokhomo's, priesters en seksfeesten. In dit verhaal, waarin drie priesters in de val van dezelfde lokhomo lopen, weet een geestelijke te melden dat maar liefst 98% van de priesters die hij kent homoneigingen heeft. Hoe is dat in Nederland?

We vroegen de woordvoerder van de RKK Nederland, Pieter Kohnen, die van het Italiaanse artikel overigens niets wist, of er redenen zijn om aan te nemen dat er inderdaad een significant deel van de priesters homoseksuele neigingen heeft.

"Hier is in ons land nooit onderzoek naar geweest omdat priesters sowieso geacht worden celibatair te leven," zo zegt hij, "dus hoe hoog dat aantal is blijft giswerk."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

Vatican bombs with crimes letter

CANADA
London Free Press

By BOB RIPLEY, Special to QMI Agency

Last Updated: July 26, 2010

Just when I thought that the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal was flattened under the weight of gushing Gulf oil and Mel Gibson's rants, last week the Vatican sent a letter to its bishops targeting crimes against the faith.

You know, the rape of children, molestation of the mentally disabled, possession of child pornography and the ordination of women.

I'm not kidding on that last one. More later.

Pope Benedict has begged forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse by priests, "particularly the abuse of the little ones", and promised to do everything possible to protect them. He has met with abuse victims and said the scandal had shown the need for a purification of the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

The Scandal of Secrecy

UNITED STATES
Commonweal

[Crimen Sollicitationis]

Nicholas P. Cafardi

According to Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, in the first century A.D., the Roman emperor Caligula “wrote his laws in a very small character, and hung them upon high pillars, the more effectually to ensnare the people.” Twelve centuries after Caligula, Thomas Aquinas wrote that “promulgation is necessary if a law is to have binding force” (Summa Theologiae). Secret laws—laws never made known to the people who are bound by them—are not effective laws.

To no small degree, the sexual-abuse crisis has been exacerbated because of secret laws. In 1922, the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office published the instruction “On the Method of Proceeding in Cases of Solicitation,” which was approved by Pius XI and signed by Merry del Val, Cardinal Secretary of the Holy Office. The Vatican’s Polyglot Press printed the document, but it was never officially promulgated in a useful way. In fact, the first page of the instruction says it is to be “diligently kept in the secret archives of the [diocesan] curia for internal use, and is not to be published or commented on in any canonical commentary.” While the instruction is addressed to “All Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, and Other Local Ordinaries, including of the Oriental Rites,” it was evidently not circulated to them. Instead, the text was available by request to bishops who needed to know its contents to deal with such crimes.

Forty years later, in 1962, the Holy Office reissued the instruction with minor changes. Pope John XXIII approved the revised text, and the secretary of the Holy Office, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, signed it. Again, the first page says that the document is to be “diligently kept in the secret archives of the [diocesan] curia for internal use, and is not to be published or commented on in any canonical commentary.” Again, the instruction is addressed to “All Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, and Other Local Ordinaries, including of the Oriental Rites.” And again, the only bishops who received it were those who contacted the Holy See about the crimes covered by the instruction who were then sent a copy. Although there had been a plan to distribute the document to the bishops attending the Second Vatican Council, that never happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

“The Scandal of Secrecy”

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

July 26, 2010, 10:21 am Posted by Mollie Wilson O'Reilly

Earlier this month, when the New York Times published a story about the CDF and its jurisdiction over clergy sex-abuse cases, Grant Gallicho asked Nicholas Cafardi, a canon lawyer quoted in the article, to comment on the “news.” Cafardi’s very helpful explanation was posted on our blog.

Now we have published a longer article by Cafardi, “The Scandal of Secrecy: Canon Law & the Sexual-Abuse Crisis.” It explains how “secret” laws complicated and exacerbated the crisis in the church, and dispels some misconceptions about the nature of the secrecy required by Crimen sollicitationis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Archdiocese Proposes Deal with St. Stanislaus

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KTVI

FOX2now.com
8:24 AM CDT, July 26, 2010

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI - FOX2now.com) - The Archdiocese of St. Louis says it will welcome St. Stanislaus Kostka Church back into the fold if church members agree to get rid of controversial priest Marek Bozek. The Archdiocese says the church will not be allowed back as long as Bozek is with the church.

St. Stanislaus and the Archdiocese parted ways in 2004 in a dispute over control of the parish's finances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Speak up for our women religious

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jul. 26, 2010
An NCR Editorial

U.S. women religious, whose leaders meet in Dallas next month, find themselves in a terrible position. On one hand, they can defend their approach to religious life. Through decades of prayer and work together, they have discerned that approach, articulated in their Vatican-approved charters, as God's call. The process has drawn them deeply into social apostolates through which they have become a powerful representation of Catholic life throughout U.S. culture and the wider world.

On the other hand, they can work quietly in attempting to navigate the institutional shoals, placating those among the hierarchy who believe that a 19th-century model of religious life, shuttered up and held in place by an unthinking acquiescence to a male hierarchy — mistakenly referred to by some as obedience — is the salvation of religious life. The option holds the possibility of avoiding a public confrontation and the unpleasant consequences of such a standoff. However, it also holds the likely possibility that religious life in the United States will be re-engineered in secret by the men in the Vatican. It holds the prospect that the soul of a project rooted in and encouraged by the Second Vatican Council would be hollowed out.

The social sciences have a term for the situation of women who feel compelled to be compliant with the men who are bent on demeaning and humiliating them: They call it battered wife syndrome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Lawsuit Filed Against Evansville's Catholic Diocese

EVANSVILLE (IN)
News 24

EVANSVILLE - A civil lawsuit is claiming Evansville's Catholic Diocese tried to cover up a 2007 rape.

According to the lawsuit, the victim was a 23-year-old mentally handicapped woman. She was attending an abstinence youth retreat in Washington, Indiana, at the former St. Mary's School.

The church is denying the claims, and says the sex was consensual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Catholic church does little to protect children

LOUISIANA
Opelousas Daily World

July 26, 2010

If the Vatican is trying to restore the impression that its moral sense is intact, issuing a document that equates pedophilia with the ordination of women doesn't really do that.

The Catholic church continued to heap insult upon injury when it revealed its long-awaited new rules on clergy sex abuse, rules that the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said signaled a commitment to grasp the nettle with "rigor and transparency."

The church still believes in its own intrinsic holiness despite all evidence to the contrary. It thinks it's making huge concessions on the unstoppable abuse scandal when it's taking baby steps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Chile Rejects Church Call to Pardon Officials

CHILE
The New York Times

By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO
Published: July 25, 2010

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Sebastián Piñera, Chile’s president, abruptly rejected calls on Sunday from the Roman Catholic Church to pardon dozens of imprisoned military officials convicted of human rights violations during the era known as Chile’s dirty war. ...

Standing up to Chile’s Catholic Church was seen as a bold move, considering the church’s well-acknowledged role in challenging the military dictatorship of General Pinochet and in harboring many human rights victims and people sought by the military.

But the church’s reputation has been tarnished recently by revelations of sexual abuse by priests in Chile

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

A Catholicism for journalists?

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Two weeks ago, the Sunday Boston Globe magazine ran an essay — not a news story, I admit — that I have been thinking about ever since. It was called “What I Believe” and it was written by Charles Pierce, a staff writer at the publication.

This long essay covers a lot of territory and it’s possible to criticize it — either positive criticism or negative criticism — in several different ways. Most of all, it is a stunningly American look at the earthquakes that have rocked the Catholic Church in the decades after Vatican II and Woodstock.

The key is that Pierce believes that the Catholic hierarchy’s claims to unique religious authority are gone. Period. Thus, consider these two important passages in the piece, as he explains that the Catholic Church in which he worships is his alone. He has a personal church and, he states clearly, he does not need a personal Savior:

In the church of my youth, with the priests reciting incomprehensible Latin, their backs to the people, walled off by an altar rail and two millenniums’ worth of imperial design, the purple always came out at Advent and at Lent. It was the color of penance, we were told. And so it is, and penitence begins within, in one mind and one soul and in what the nuns used to call an informed conscience. That’s where my Catholicism is now. It is a penitential faith. That’s where you can look for it. It is possible, I have come to realize, that I’ve grown up to become an anti-Catholic Catholic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

July 25, 2010

Latest Vatican document is final straw for women

IRELAND
The Irish Times

ANALYSIS: The Vatican must no longer be granted immunity from equality legislation, in the name of liberty, equality, and even the Gospel, writes MARY CONDREN

THE VATICAN’S recent Normae de Gravioribus Delictis document prescribes automatic excommunication for anyone involved in the ordination of a woman. In according greater penalties to those who “attempted” women’s ordination than to clerics who abused children, it has further shocked many loyal Irish Catholics, prompting them to inquire about the theological reasons why the Roman Catholic Church objects to women’s ordination.

A Vatican document issued in 1976 set out some of these arguments clearly.

1. That incarnation took place in the male sex and therefore women were excluded from the priesthood

Logically, this means that women should be excluded from baptism as well, since it is an ancient teaching of the church that “whatever has not become incarnate cannot be redeemed”. If the church insists here that “God became man” means God became male, then it cannot simultaneously argue that in liturgical language “man” means both male and female.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 PM

Editor insists magazine has names of openly gay priests

ROME
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW

ITALIAN NEWS magazine Panorama yesterday defended its current controversial cover story, containing undercover revelations about the highly active gay sex lives of some priests based in and around Rome’s Holy See.

Responding to accusations of scandal-mongering from unnamed church sources, editor Giorgio Mulé said those senior church figures who did not believe the report should be aware that Panorama has the names and addresses of the priest protagonists.

Last Friday, Panorama published a report by undercover reporter Carmelo Abbate detailing a month-long series of gay parties and brief encounters in and around the Holy See, featuring openly gay priests. Abbate claims he was introduced into this particular gay community by a gay friend who invited him to attend a party in the Testaccio area of Rome, a party hosted by a French priest, referred to as Fr “Paul”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

Man held for rape

INDIA
Times of India

CHENNAI: The police on Sunday arrested a 53-year-old priest at Ayanavaram on charges of rape and molestation. The arrested, pastor Selvaraj, has been running Faith Assembly Church' on Palani Andavar Koil Street for the past 15 years.

According to the police, Mercy Maria (36) of Ayanavaram, an employee of the church, was allegedly seduced by the priest six years ago and they lived together for a while. Later, Suganthi (41) of Ayanavaram met the pastor to speak about her drunken husband when Selvaraj tried to make sexual advances. Based on their complaints, the Ayanavaram police registered two separate cases and arrested Selvaraj. He was booked under several charges, including cheating, molesting and raping. He will be remanded in judicial custody on Monday after being produced before a magistarte's court in the city.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 PM

St. Leo Catholic Church priest in Bonita Springs placed on leave

BONITA SPRINGS (FL)
Naples Daily News

Stan Strycharz, a popular priest at St. Leo Catholic Church in Bonita Springs has been placed on administrative leave, Diocese of Venice officials said Sunday.

Strycharz did not celebrate Mass on Saturday or Sunday. Bishop Frank J. Dewane made the announcement to church-goers at services held over the weekend.

The news prompted many parish members to moan. Dozens stood up and left the church upon hearing Dewane’s announcement at the 11:30 a.m. Sunday Mass. ...

Church-goers were upset about the lack of information about why the decision was made, they said.

“It’s just unacceptable,” Gonzalez said following a return to the 11:30 a.m. Mass without the children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 PM

Bonita priest forced to leave church

FLORIDA
WINK

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - A Bonita Springs priest has been put on paid administrative leave after concerns about the day-to-day operations of his church.

Father Stan Strycharz was placed on leave Friday from Saint Leo Catholic Church.

A statement from the diocese does not go into detail, but does state the allegations do not involve actions with minors. It goes on to say, "the bishop is very saddened to have to make this decision, and that the goal is to ensure the continued growth of the parish."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 PM

Church, diocese sued for alleged rape cover-up

WASHINGTON (IN)
Washington Times-Herald

By Nate Smith
Washington Times-Herald

WASHINGTON — A recently-filed civil lawsuit alleges that the Evansville Catholic Diocese, the Catholic Community of Washington and other Catholic officials tried to cover up a 2007 rape at the former St. Mary’s School and advised the victim take a “morning after” drug.

The suit, filed last year but only made known recently to the Times-Herald, alleges church officials tried to convince a 23-year-old and her mother there was not a rape, but consensual sex.

The church, in its response to the suit, has denied the allegations and said the sex at St. Mary’s was consensual and no one suggested the emergency contraceptive. The Catholic Church doctrine says the drug, among other forms of contraception, is against its beliefs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

It is clear the Catholic hierarchy has let down the church

UNITED STATES
newjerseynewsroom

BY MICHAEL P. RICCARDS
COMMENTARY

When he took over the papacy, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger took the name Benedict — probably after the great World War I peace pope, Benedict XV, and also St. Benedict of Nursia, the famed monk who help Christianize much of Western Europe through his monastic traditions of praying and working. Ratzinger, like his predecessor John Paul II, has a fixation about Europe becoming de-Christianized ("secularized" is the word they insist on), and looking at the declines of Church attendance, Church vocations, and even Catholic impact on public policy, they are probably right. The future of the Catholic Church is clearly in the Third World, despite the influence of the older European hierarchy.

But now Ratzinger, who was ironically one of the most vocal critics of priestly pedophilia during the John Paul II years, is caught up in a very nasty and seemingly endless scandal that is sweeping the Church. It is a source of great embarrassment to the faithful and to the vast majority of priests. It is clear that the hierarchy has let down the Church and most importantly, very many young boys and children by shuffling around degenerates from one parish assignment to another. And it is unfortunate that Ratzinger, once so strong on this terrible issue — when he was Archbishop and later in early dealings with the matter at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — was deficient in the lack of haste and commitment he made in dealing with cases before him. It is clearly a breakdown in Vatican management that rivals the breakdown at the diocesan levels. This is most unfortunate for it was Ratzinger who dealt clearly with the Legionnaires scandal, a group whose "saintly" leader had the ear of the Holy See and John Paul II, and who was involved in God knows what string of unpriestly behavior with his mistresses and children. It was Ratzinger, not John Paul, who publicly denounced the "filth" of pedophilia behavior, and when he was criticized for his public remarks, bluntly observed, "But we are priests." He at least knew the expectations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

RICHARD MEEHAN: Ruling reinforces importance of location in prosecution

CONNECTICUT
The Norwich Bulletin

By RICHARD MEEHAN
For The Norwich Bulletin

Survivors of sexual abuse and victim’s rights groups are outraged at a recent ruling by District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton dismissing the indictment against Douglas Perlitz, the former Fairfield University graduate who was awaiting trial on multiple counts of sexual improprieties. He was accused of assaulting young people in Haiti.

None of the allegations claim he victimized anyone in Connecticut. The government was attempting to bootstrap its Connecticut prosecution based on his fundraising within the state and other minimal contacts.

The basis of Arterton’s ruling is that Connecticut is not the proper venue for this indictment. To the uninitiated, it appears Arterton’s ruling somehow sets the stage to free a potential predator. That is a gross misreading of the case. Courts can only bring criminal defendants to trial if they have appropriate jurisdiction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Justice for paedophiles' victims

MALTA
Times of Malta

Charles Cirillo, Ħamrun

It should be pointed out to Joe Zammit (The Sunday Times, July 4) that the alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests have always formed part of the Archbishop's flock, even before 2003, when they first made their claims.

The fact that they were brought up by the same priests who allegedly abused them is indeed terrifying. According to press reports, it is only lately that the Curia's Response Team has started to seriously investigate the alleged abuse.

Many of the alleged victims suffered shame and depression and were constantly thinking that justice would never be done. In some cases, when one has a problem with the local Church authorities, one often feels like banging one's head against a wall. I have experienced this for almost five years now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Rogue preachers use 'witch' scares to abuse children

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

By Jonathan Owen

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Children are being branded as witches in churches in the UK, with many suffering abuse from supposed exorcisms in which they are physically restrained and screamed at. But those are the lucky ones.

The very accusation of being a witch can result in children being starved, tortured, beaten, stabbed or even, as in the case of Victoria Climbié, murdered. It is an increasing problem around the country, campaigners say.

Police admit the cases they deal with are the tip of the iceberg, with people reluctant to speak out for fear of being stigmatised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Justices uphold ex-Jesuit priest's assault conviction

By RYAN J. FOLEY • The Associated Press • July 25, 2010

MADISON — The Wisconsin Supreme Court last week upheld the sexual abuse conviction of a once-prominent Jesuit priest who insisted he was unfairly prosecuted for acts dating to the 1960s.

In a 7-0 ruling, justices said they were satisfied that Donald McGuire received a fair trial and that "justice has not miscarried for any reason."

McGuire, a former spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa who commanded a worldwide following as a gifted preacher and philosopher, is considered one of the most influential figures convicted in the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal. Advocates for childhood victims of clergy sex abuse praised the court's ruling.

Peter Isely, Midwest director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said a ruling in McGuire's favor could have jeopardized the convictions of 20 clergy members who have been found guilty of decades-old sexual abuse in Wisconsin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Priests in gay clubs further embarrass Catholic Church

ITALY
Digital Journal

[with video]

By ■ Andrew John

Catholic priests in Rome are said to be making nocturnal visits to gay bars, further embarrassing a church enmeshed in one of the biggest sex scandals in ecclesiastical history.

According to Euronews.net, “Alleged homosexual encounters involving three clerics are captured on camera in an undercover report by the conservative Panorama magazine.”

Panorama, which is owned by the Italian prime minister and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, says the church has reacted by asking gay priests to come out of the closet and then leave the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

July 24, 2010

Rome gay priest 'scandal' is politics at its most deadly

UNITED STATES
Irish Central

Cahir O'Doherty

This week the Italian magazine Panorama ran a cover story expose on a 'scandal' involving two gay Italian priests and one French priest.

Paul, the French priest, is alleged to have 'celebrated Mass in the morning before driving two male escorts he had hired to attend a party the night before to the airport.'

So far, so self-deluded. Closet-cases, like the poor, are always with us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 PM

In St. Catharines, it’s silence for the lambs

CANADA
Toronto Star

Sandro Contenta and Jim Rankin
Feature Writers

DUNNVILLE, ONT.—Two months after Bishop James Wingle abruptly resigned and disappeared, word that he had been spotted in Jerusalem swept his St. Catharines diocese.

Parishioners and priests were hungry for news of the missing bishop. But officials temporarily running the Catholic diocese quickly moved to reassert a wall of silence.

On June 4, the Chancery office sent to all priests the weekly bulletin that under Wingle had been known as the “folksy Friday fax.”

“Please keep Bishop Wingle in your prayers,” its first item read. “Please refrain from spreading any rumours about him.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 PM

The Video of Catholic Priests At a Gay Nightclub That Has 'Troubled' the Church

UNITED STATES
Gawker

[with video]

An Italian magazine owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, using a hidden camera, caught three Catholic priests inside a gay nightclub and having sex inside a church building. The Roman Catholic diocese has called on gay priests to come out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Vatican blasts gay priests; sex victims respond

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine, 312 399 4747

Priests who are committing sex crimes against children and bishops who enable and conceal the crimes are leading double lives. They should resign. As long as the Vatican continues to focus on other issues children will not be safe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Child sex accused priest given a blue card in Queensland

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

by Kay Dibben From: The Sunday Mail (Qld) July 25, 2010

A PRIEST stood down by his church over allegations that he had sex with a teenage boy has been handed a blue card to work with children by a Queensland tribunal.

The man, now in his 50s, lost his licence to officiate as a priest when he was found unfit to hold Holy Orders, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal was told during an application hearing last month.

It was alleged that the priest, then a parish curate in his 20s, had sex with a boy aged from 16 to 18 on several occasions, showed him pornographic images and took him to a sex shop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Judge To Decide If Wis. Priest Will Stand Trial

WISCONSIN
WCCO

MADISON, Wis. (AP) ― A judge is set decide this week whether an Onalaska priest will stand trial in a child pornography case.

The Rev. Patrick Umberger was charged earlier this month with one felony count of possession of child pornography punishable by up to 25 years in prison and $100,000 in fines. A criminal complaint says state agents found photographs of children in sexual positions on Umberger's computer.

Umberger, the pastor at St. Pat's Parish, faces a preliminary hearing in La Crosse County Circuit Court on Wednesday in front of Judge Elliot M. Levine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Pope grants broad powers to Legionaries delegate

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD
The Associated Press
Saturday, July 24, 2010

VATICAN CITY -- The pope has granted broad powers to the archbishop he selected to overhaul the Legionaries of Christ following revelations that the order's founder led a double life.

A decree approved by Pope Benedict XVI and published Saturday on the Legionaries' website said Archbishop Velasio De Paolis can override the Legionaries' own constitutions as he goes about reforming the order and purging it of its institutional abuses.

The conservative order once hailed by the Vatican for its orthodoxy and ability to recruit priests fell into disarray starting last year as it admitted that its founder, the Rev. Marciel Maciel, sexually abused seminarians and fathered at least three children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Toni Tortorilla, ordained in the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement, hopes Catholic Church will catch up

OREGON
The Oregonian

Nancy Haught, The Oregonian

A Portland woman, ordained in the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement three years ago, says the Vatican announcement earlier this month listing pedophilia and women's ordination as grave offenses is an insult to clerical abuse victims and women seeking ordination.

"The sexual abuse of children is morally reprehensible by any possible standard," says Toni Tortorilla, 63. "The ordination of women has been happening for decades in many denominations." She says pairing the issues in one statement "shows how out of touch with reality the Vatican really is."

On July 15, the Vatican announced revisions in the way it handles clerical sexual abuse. Many Catholics were stunned that the official statement listed attempts to ordain women alongside pedophilia as "grave delicts," along with heresy, apostasy and schism. At a press conference on the same day, a Vatican spokesman explained that sexual abuse and pornography "are more grave delicts" and women's ordination is "grave, but on another level." The same day, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, chairman of the U.S. bishops' committee on doctrine, said the Vatican statement referred to "the seriousness with which it holds offenses against the sacrament of holy orders" and was not a sign of disrespect toward women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Delegate's Letter to Legionaries

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

ROME, JULY 24, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the letter written by Archbishop Velasio De Paolis to the Legionaries of Christ. Benedict XVI appointed the archbishop as his delegate to oversee the renewal of the congregation.

* * *
Rome, July 10, 2010

Dear brothers in the Lord,

With his letter dated June 16, 2010, the Holy Father Benedict XVI named me his “Delegate for the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ” and entrusted me with the responsibility of governing your institute in his name “during the time that it takes to complete the path of renewal and lead it to the celebration of an extraordinary General Chapter, whose main purpose will be to complete the revision of the Constitutions.” While the Holy Father highlights “the need and urgency of a path of in-depth revision of the Institute’s charism,” he expresses his “desire closely to accompany, sustain, and guide this process.” For the Pope, the Pontifical Delegate is his personal Delegate. As he carries out his task, the Delegate must act in a way that he is “for this Religious Family a concrete sign of my (the Pope’s) closeness and act in my (the Pope’s) name.” In this family—in other words, your congregation—the Pope recognizes the presence of “a great number of Members” who demonstrate “sincere zeal” and “a fervent religious life.” The Pope does not enter into more detail regarding how his Delegate will fulfill his task, but leaves the necessary concrete clarifications for a later decree which will establish “some additional modalities for the fulfillment of this office.” As we await these modalities, we can already start out on our path, sustained by trust and prayer, and the blessing of the Holy Father and of so many good souls who esteem you and appreciate your work in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Papal Appointment of Delegate for Legionaries

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

ROME, JULY 24, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of Benedict XVI's June 16 letter to Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, by which he appoints him the papal delegate to the Legionaries of Christ.

* * *
To our Venerable Brother Velasio De Paolis, CS

Titular Archbishop of Telepte
The recent Apostolic Visitation of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ has made clear, besides the sincere zeal and fervent religious life of a great number of the Congregation’s Members, the need and urgency to undertake a path of in-depth revision of the Institute’s charism. Moved by the desire to be close to you, to sustain and guide this journey, I have seen fit to appoint a personal Delegate for this Religious Family, to be both a concrete sign of my closeness and to act in my name.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Decree Regarding Papal Delegate for Legionaries

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

ROME, JULY 24, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the decree by which the Vatican designated the "modalities of fulfillment of the office of papal delegate" for the work of Archbishop Velasio De Paolis. Benedict XVI appointed the archbishop as his delegate to oversee the renewal of the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ.

* * *

DECREE

MODALITIES OF FULFILLMENT
OF THE OFFICE OF PAPAL DELEGATE
FOR THE CONGREGATION OF THE LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST

I. In his letter of June 16, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI:

- appointed His Excellency Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, CS, Titular Archbishop of Telepte and President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, as his Delegate for the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ;

- conferred on him the responsibility of governing this religious institute in his name “for as long as it takes to complete its path of renewal and lead it to the celebration of an extraordinary general chapter, whose main purpose will be to bring to completion the revision of the Constitutions”;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Orthodox face 'double whammy' in reporting child sex abuse

NEW JERSEY
Cliffview Pilot

Asher Lipner

OPINION: An Orthodox couple from Lakewood are very special and heroic people. When they found out that their son was molested by a rabbi, they confronted the rabbi and got him to admit it.

But when the rabbi became defiant and would not go to therapy or agree to leave the synagogue, they went to the police and had him arrested.

The mother has said that more than any act of communal concern or heroism, she did this as a simple Jewish mother for her son. She knew that if the rabbi was allowed to get away with it and nothing to happen to him, her son would forever feel abandoned and unprotected at his time of need.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Bischof Ulrich ruft zur Solidarität mit den Opfern sexueller Gewalt auf

DEUTSCHLAND
Ostholstein

23. Juli 2010 [ Kein Kommentar ]
Bischof Gerhard Ulrich hat zur Solidarität der Kirche mit den Opfern sexualisierter Gewalt aufgerufen. „Es muss uns bewusst bleiben, welche körperliche und seelische Grausamkeit sexueller Missbrauch ist“, schreibt der Vorsitzende der Nordelbischen Kirchenleitung in einem Brief, der zum Wochenende an alle nordelbischen Gemeinden verschickt wurde.

Die Täter müssten „mit allen rechtlichen Mitteln zur Verantwortung gezogen werden“. Der Bischof nahm in dem Brief vor allem Bezug auf die Vorwürfe sexuellen Missbrauchs in der Kirchengemeinde Ahrensburg. „Die Nordelbische Kirche hat ihren Anteil an Schuld gegenüber den Opfern – und sie trägt daran. Wir haben Verantwortung zu übernehmen und Buße zu tun!“ Zugleich rief er zum Gebet für die Menschen auf, „die in dieser schweren Zeit leiden, bangen und hoffen“.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Trierer Bistum verstärkt Kampf gegen Missbrauch

DEUTCHLAND
Volksfreund

Das Bistum Trier setzt seinen Kampf gegen sexuellen Missbrauch in der Katholischen Kirche fort: Seit gestern gibt es eine Internetseite mit Informationen über das Thema.

Trier. (wie) Der Trierer Bischof Stephan Ackermann hat unmittelbar nachdem die ersten Fälle sexuellen Missbrauchs von katholischen Geistlichen bekannt geworden sind, unmissverständlich klar gemacht, dass er alles tun werde, um die Vorfälle aufzuklären. Es dürfe nichts vertuscht werden, hatte Ackermann bereits im März gesagt. Der Ende Februar von der Bischofskonferenz zum Sonderbeauftragten zur Aufklärung des sexuellen Missbrauchs in der Katholischen Kirche ernannte Oberhirte hat immer betont, dass man zu sehr die Täter geschützt habe. Die Opfer müssten im Mittelpunkt stehen, hat Ackermann immer wieder gesagt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Die Kinder schützen ...

DEUTSCHLAND
Bistum Trier

Prävention gegen sexuellen Missbrauch - im Bistum Trier

Viele Menschen haben in den ersten Monaten des Jahres 2010 über sexuelle Gewalt sprechen können, die ihnen angetan worden ist. Sie haben damit den Wunsch verbunden, dass aus ihren Erfahrungen Lehren gezogen werden - auch für künftige Prävention und Vorbeugung.

Wir nehmen dies im Bistum Trier sehr ernst. Wir haben dafür zu sorgen, dass Kinder und Jugendliche in unseren Angeboten einen möglichst sicheren Raum finden und sich gesund entwickeln können.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Neue Ansprechpartner bei Gewalt

DEUTSCHLAND
Main Post

Bischof Friedhelm Hofmann besetzt Arbeitsstab „Missbrauch“ neu (mp) Der Würzburger Bischof Friedhelm Hofmann hat den Arbeitsstab „Sexueller Missbrauch und körperliche Gewalt“, den es seit 2002 gibt, neu besetzt. Die Frauen und Männer des Gremiums stehen den beiden Ansprechpartnern für Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs und von körperlicher Gewalt in der Diözese, Professor Klaus Laubenthal und seiner Stellvertreterin Dr. Claudia Gehring, zur Seite und beraten bei Bedarf. Außerdem treffen sie sich zum regelmäßigen Austausch. Dem Arbeitsstab gehören an: Luise Engelhardt und Margarete Frey-Lingscheidt von der Ehe-, Familien- und Lebensberatung Schweinfurt/Haßfurt, Kinderärztin Dr. Christa Kitz, Neurologe Dr. Michael Kropp, der Miltenberger Jugendpfarrer Stefan Michelberger, die Erzieherin Carolin Mühlon aus Leidersbach, der Würzburger Psychologe Dr. Ruthard Ott, die Sozialarbeiterin Ritaschwester Ursula Pieper, Diözesanrichter und Lebensberater Pastoralreferent Klaus Schmalzl, Religionslehrerin Birgit Schmitt-Rybol aus Lohr am Main und Berufsschullehrer Diakon Christoph Wunram aus Waigolshausen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Al eerder misbruik op Ameland

NEDERLAND
De Telegraaf

AMSTERDAM - Op Ameland was al veel eerder sprake van Duits kindermisbruik. Een destijds 45-jarige pastoor uit de Duitse deelstaat Nordrhein-Westfalen bekende in 2007 zijn seksueel misbruik in de rechtbank van Münster.

Dat schrijft de Leeuwarder Courant.

Het misbruik van de pastoor had enkele jaren daarvoor plaatsgevonden, rond een misviering op het eiland

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Only the Saints Can Save Us

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By J. Peter Nixon

Does the Catholic Church have a future? Given the events of the last few months, the question is not impertinent. As Ross Douthat noted in a recent essay in the Atlantic, this was the year when the clerical sexual abuse crisis truly became global, reaching even into the Vatican itself. Douthat observed that "for millions in Europe and America, Catholicism is probably permanently associated with sexual scandal, rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ."

The abuse crisis was a hurricane battering a structure whose foundation had been eroding for years. The decline of sacramental practice in Europe is so obvious as to require no further comment. But smug Americans who think "it can't happen here" should look at the numbers. Rates of mass attendance and sacramental marriage among Catholics in their 20s suggest that Catholics in the West will share a common future.

Most of the solutions offered are unlikely to have much of an impact. The liberal path of greater rapprochement between Church and culture has not proven successful for those denominations that have tried it. But an embittered and joyless defense of orthodoxy -- the kind on display in far too many quarters of the Catholic internet -- repels far more people than it attracts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

The Magdalene Laundries

IRELAND
Bock the Robber

[with photo]

This is the mass grave in Limerick’s Mount Saint Lawrence cemetery where the victims of the Good Shepherd nuns are buried. Read the names and recognise real people. These women served your parents or your grandparents, handed them their laundry and said Thanks Ma’am. Nobody asked why, or by what authority, these women were imprisoned and enslaved.

Our society — my grandparents, your grandparents, your parents, my parents, were content to let these women slave their lives away in a prison run by nuns, and nobody asked why.

Shame on us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Church inquisition a warning to nuns

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

BY CAROL MARIN Sun-Times Columnist

I spent an afternoon with six nuns. They are all women of a certain age who look like your grandmother. White hair. Sensible shoes.

These sisters have served the church faithfully for decades. They have advanced academic degrees. And experience running complex things like hospitals and schools.

They are furious.

Not a ranting, raving kind of fury. But a quieter, deeper anger born of betrayal and disrespect. ...

One nun told me that one of the sisters in her order responded recently to her Vatican-sent questioner by saying that among her serious concerns were the continued revelations about priestly pedophilia. No sooner had she given that answer than she realized from the look on her inquisitor's face that she'd just flunked the test.

The interrogation of American nuns, as you may know, will not result in a published report. The Vatican will conclude its chilling probe but will keep its conclusions to itself. A stern way of warning sisters they'd better straighten up and fly right, that someone above them is watching. No, not God. But the boys in Rome who are displeased with their independence and outspokenness. That no doubt includes Cardinal Bernard Law, the obstructor of justice from Boston about whom I have written often. Law lives a fabulous life in Rome, flies first class and remains a member of the College of Cardinals despite his massive role in the church's cover-up of pedophilia in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Cavorting gay priests get Catholic church hot under the collar

ITALY
Times LIVE (South Africa)

An Italian magazine cover story on gay priests with pictures of them cavorting in Rome nightclubs sparked a "troubled" reaction from the Roman Catholic diocese which said it did not condone the behaviour.

“Those who live a ‘double life’, who do not understand what it is to be a Catholic priest, should not become priests,” the diocese said in a statement after the Panorama expose hit the newsstands.

The cover shows a man’s hands adorned with pink fingernail polish and draped with a rosary, folded over a priest’s robe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Vatican tells gay priests ‘stop living double life’

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Saturday, July 24, 2010

THE Italian Catholic Church yesterday told gay priests not to lead a "double life" after a magazine article showed priests frequenting homosexual clubs in Rome and engaging in casual sex.

The Diocese of Rome said no one was forcing homosexual prelates to remain as priests.

It said "we don’t want to hurt them" but their conduct "muddies the reputation of all the others".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

No truth, no reconciliation

CANADA
Toronto Star

By Linda Diebel
National Affairs Writer

They’re dying quickly now, the aged survivors of an Indian residential school system in Canada that yanked tens of thousands of aboriginal children from their families and sent them far away to Christian schools to be stripped of their identity. For more than a hundred years, it was Canada’s official policy: “Take the Indian out of the Indian,” as Sir Duncan Campbell Scott, head of the Indian Affairs department, defined his mandate early in the last century.

Cree elder Gordon Williams, a residential school alumnus, retired Presbyterian minister and adviser to the special commission set up to document what happened to these children, told the Star that between five and 10 survivors are dying every week. He puts the number as high as 5,000 lost since a negotiated $2 billion court-ordered agreement created the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2006.

For them, no truth, no reconciliation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Catholic Archdiocese of Portland reports on child abuse prevention procedures

OREGON
The Oregonian

Nancy Haught, The Oregonian

Every year, Bridget Becker rounds up parents and children from St. Juan Diego Catholic Parish to reflect on boundaries and what to do if someone breaches them. Age-appropriate videos and lesson plans spark discussions about physical, emotional and behavioral lines that no one should cross.

Starkly put, the subject is sexual abuse, and the goal is to prevent it within the parish and the broader Catholic Church. The prompt was a devastating scandal that rattled the American church and the Archdiocese of Portland eight years ago.

Becker's on staff as faith formation director at St. Juan Diego in Northwest Portland, but she's also safe environment coordinator. She organizes and presides over parish training sessions and makes sure employees and volunteers -- anyone older than 18 who expects to help out even once in any parish program or activity -- submit to and pass background checks and renew them every three years. Becker's job requires patience, persistence and painstaking records. And it's one she takes seriously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

July 23, 2010

Gay priests recorded on hidden camera

ROME
Digital Journal

By Lynn Curwin

Rome - Using hidden cameras, a journalist from Panorama magazine filmed three priests visiting gay nightspots and taking part in homosexual activity.

The article, called Gay Priests' Nights on the Town, describes how the reporter was assisted by a gay accomplice as they worked on the article for the weekly magazine, which is owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The Daily Mail said it detailed how three priests - two Italians and a Frenchman - took part in gay events and had casual sex.

Panorama said that one priest, who they called Carlo, willingly put on his cassock to have sex with the reporter's accomplice, and this was filmed by hidden camera. The reporter and accomplice later attended a Mass celebrated by Carlo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

Former Episcopal Priest Accused of Sex Assault

CONNECTICUT
NBC Connecticut

By BOB CONNORS

A man who claims he was sexually abused by an Episcopal Priest is suing the South Windsor Church where he says the abuse happened nearly 40 years ago.

Robert Gough was a middle school student, when he says Rev. Bruce Jaques lured him into his office and sexually assaulted him. The alleged abuse happened in the late 1970s, according to Gough's attorneys.

The lawsuit claims Jaques told Gough he was conducting research about children and how they change physically. Gough says Jaques touched him, and performed oral sex on him. He claims Jaques tried to lure him into his officer on two other occasions, but Gough turned Jaques away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 PM

Catholic priests 'filmed at gay clubs and having casual sex'

ROME
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Nick Pisa in Rome
Published: 11:20PM BST 23 Jul 2010

A journalist from Panorama, a conservative weekly news magazine owned by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, used a hidden camera to film interviews with three gay priests, who introduced the journalist to the gay clubs they apparently frequent, and allowed the journalist to film their sexual encounters with strangers, including one in a church building.

One of the priests, a Frenchman identified only as Paul, celebrated Mass in the morning before driving the two escorts he had hired to attend a party the night before to the airport, Panorama said.

The Catholic Church in Italy, still reeling from the paedophile priest scandal, responded on Friday by ordering homosexual priests who are leading a double life to come out of the closet and leave the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Sacerdoti gay, una questione che parte da lontano

ITALIA
la Repubblica

di ORAZIO LA ROCCA

CITTA' DEL VATICANO - Ma non nasce solo da ieri il via alla campagna moralizzatrice del Vicariato di Roma per i preti che svolgono la loro missione pastorale nella diocesi del Papa. Al nuovo altolà lanciato in seguito all'inchiesta choc del settimanale Panorama, il cardinale vicario Agostino Vallini arriva dopo una lunga serie di tappe-richiamo che hanno avuto in Benedetto XVI il padre ispiratore, prima nelle vesti di cardinale prefetto dell'ex Sant'Uffizio, quando nel commento alla Passione del Venerdì Santo del marzo 2005 Joseph Ratzinger sollevò il dramma della pulizia morale nel clero parlando di "sporcizia nella Chiesa".

In seguito, nelle vesti di Pontefice romano, in incontri pubblici e privati e durante pubbliche udienze, Benedetto XVI si è fatto sempre carico della necessità di rinnovare la vita ecclesiale a partire dal comportamento di religiosi e sacerdoti - ma anche di vescovi e cardinali - sia sul piano morale che spirituale. Un tema ripetuto in decine e decine di interventi (omelie, catechesi, discorsi pubblici) e in scomodi documenti redatti negli ultimi mesi in particolare sulla spinta degli scandali dei preti pedofili, ma anche per i comportamenti non proprio limpidi di ecclesiastici e monsignori coinvolti in inchieste giudiziarie per motivi assai poco pastorali. Un interventismo moralizzatore, quello del papa tedesco, che non ha lasciato indifferente nessuno, sia i fautori di una necessaria nuova pulizia nella Chiesa, che i contrari ai richiami papali, giudicati eccessivamente colpevolizzanti per l'intera comunità cattolica. Senza tuttavia dimenticare che non sono pochi quanti, dentro e fuori la Chiesa, accusano i vertici pontifici di essersi mossi in ritardo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

Catholic church embarrassed by gay priests revelations

ROME
The Guardian (United Kingdom)

John Hooper in Rome
The Guardian, Saturday 24 July 2010

The Catholic church, already reeling from a string of clerical sex abuse scandals, was last night facing new embarrassment after an Italian magazine published an investigation into what it termed the double life of gay priests in Rome.

Using hidden cameras, the weekly Panorama, owned by Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, captured priests visiting gay clubs and bars and having sex. The Vatican does not condemn homosexuals, but it teaches that gay sex is "intrinsically disordered". In one of his earliest moves, pope Benedict barred actively gay men from studying for the priesthood.

The diocese of Rome lashed out at the prime minister's magazine, saying its aim was "to create scandal [and] defame all priests". But it also urged gay clerics to leave both the closet and the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Magazine exposes 'double life' of Vatican's gay priests

ROME
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

NOT FOR the first time in recent months, an Italian media source yesterday revealed embarrassing details of a flourishing gay “scene” within the Holy See in Rome.

Carmelo Abbate, an undercover reporter from weekly news magazine Panorama , provides in its latest issue graphic detail of a month-long series of gay parties and brief encounters in and around the Holy See, featuring openly gay priests.

Abbate, who introduced himself into the community thanks to an (unnamed) gay friend, begins his latter-day Decameron with a party in the Testaccio area of Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 PM

Rome's Gay Priest Scandal Makes Everyone Look Bad

UNITED STATES
Politics Daily

David Gibson

An Italian magazine that went undercover to report on the sexual hijinks of three gay priests in Rome is causing a major headache for Pope Benedict XVI at a time when his record on dealing with the sexual abuse of children by clerics was already an intractable crisis for the Catholic Church.

But in this case there is actually enough blame to go around so that nobody should be pointing fingers.

First off, there are the journalistic ethics of the tabloid news magazine, Panorama, which published its expose' on Friday. Panorama is owned by Italian prime minister and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, who has had more than a few ethical and personal troubles of his own.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Suit filed against former minister alleges sexual abuse

ASHEVILLE (NC)
Citizen-Times

Mark Barrett • July 23, 2010

ASHEVILLE — Church officials knew about a pattern of “improper sexual activity” by the now-former music minister of St. Eugene Catholic Church before the minister came to Asheville, according to a lawsuit filed against the minister.

Former minister Paul Berrell pleaded guilty in March to a federal charge of production of child pornography.

A minor girl and her parents recently sued Berrell, St. Eugene’s former pastor, John Schneider, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte. Berrell sexually abused the girl, the lawsuit says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

After exposé, Vicariate of Rome asks clergy leading 'double lives' to leave priesthood

ROME
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Jul 23, 2010 / 12:10 pm (CNA).- After an Italian media report exposed sexual activity by gay priests in Rome, the Vicariate of Rome responded quickly by calling on all priests who are leading such "double lives" to come out and leave the priesthood for the good of the Church community.

The Italian weekly magazine Panorama ran a feature story on Friday morning titled, "The wild nights of gay priests." The article tracks three supposed priests, monitoring their behavior in gay nightclubs and soliciting them for sexual encounters by way of male prostitutes hired by the magazine.

The author, Carmelo Abbate, claims to have everything on tape, including the sexual acts and the same priests celebrating Mass. Panorama, considered a socialist magazine, has set up priests before using false requests for the Sacrament of Confession to "poll" what they teach on moral or political issues and then publish the results.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Gay Priest Sex Scandal Uncovered by Panorama Magazine

ITALY
NowPublic

by Amy Judd | July 23, 2010

Italian News Magazine Panorama Have Published a Report That They Say Shows Three Priests Attending Gay Nightclubs and Engaging in Casual Sex

Panorama (translated version), have published a report by one of their reporters, Carmelo Abbate, who used a hidden camera to capture three priests engaging in acts that would be considered against their standing in the Catholic Church.

Aided by a 'gay accomplice' Abbate filmed the priests taking part in 'gay events' and having casual sex. In one part the report even details that one of the priests, named 'Carlo' even put his cassock back on to have sex with the 'gay accomplice'. 'Carlo' later gave a mass, which the reporter and his sidekick also attended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

Paedophile priest Vince Ryan on parole

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

BY JOANNE MCCARTHY
24 Jul, 2010

FORMER Hunter paedophile priest Vince Ryan will be tracked by satellite but will technically be a free man from August 6 after the NSW State Parole Authority granted parole yesterday.

The decision came after Ryan, 72, served a 14-year-and-two-month jail sentence and with the submission of a final psychiatric report that "clarified issues" raised at a hearing in May when he first became eligible for parole.

Ryan, one of the Hunter's most notorious paedophile priests who sexually abused 35 boys, aged six to 14, between 1972 and 1991, will be subject to "very stringent supervision and parole conditions", NSW State Parole Authority director Paul Byrnes said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Father Sam pleads guilty

AKRON (OH)
Beacon Journal

The Rev. Samuel Ciccolini pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to banking-related and tax charges.

Ciccolini, who founded the Interval Brotherhood Home in Coventry Township and is better known as ''Father Sam,'' appeared before U.S. Judge James Gwin at the Carl B. Stokes U.S. Courthouse in Cleveland.

The judge set the sentencing for Oct. 8.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Italian expose on gay priests 'troubles' the church

ROME
AFP

ROME — An Italian magazine cover story on gay priests with pictures of them cavorting in Rome nightclubs prompted a "troubled" Roman Catholic diocese to say Friday they do not belong in the Church.

"Those who live a 'double life', who do not understand what it is to be a Catholic priest, should not become priests," the diocese said in a statement after the Panorama weekly's expose hit the newsstands.

It was "saddened and troubled" by the story, it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Church blasts gay priests leading 'double life'

ROME
The Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD (AP)

ROME — The Catholic Church in Italy, still reeling from the clerical sex abuse scandal, lashed out Friday at gay priests who are leading a double life, urging them to come out of the closet and leave the priesthood.

The Diocese of Rome issued the strongly worded statement after the conservative Panorama newsweekly said in a cover story and accompanying video that it had interviewed three gay priests in Rome and accompanied them to gay clubs and bars and to sexual encounters with strangers, including one in a church building.

One of the priests, a Frenchman identified only as Paul, celebrated Mass in the morning before driving the two escorts he had hired to attend a party the night before to the airport, Panorama said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Caught on Film: Catholic Priests, in Gay Clubs, Having Casual Sex

UNITED STATES
EDGE Boston

by Kilian Melloy
Friday Jul 23, 2010

Italy, a devoutly Catholic country, has been shocked at reports of Catholic priests being filmed having sex in gay clubs by a magazine reporter, a July 23 article at U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail reported.

The reporter, accompanied by a "gay accomplice," spent two weeks at gay night spots. In the course of that time, he reportedly filmed three priests having sexual encounters. Two of the priests caught on video were reportedly Italian; one was French.

The Daily Mail article noted that in the wake of the pedophile priest scandal, the Catholic Church cracked down on gays, even though the great majority of child molesters identify as heterosexual. The church ordered that American seminaries not accept candidates with "deep seated homosexual tendencies." Church officials have also issued a string of proclamations about gays, saying that they are "disordered," and that they should lead celibate lives. The church has campaigned tirelessly against legal parity for gay and lesbian families. Church officials have also claimed that gay sex is "inherently evil," although the church also holds that gays do not "choose" their sexual orientation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Church blasts gay priests leading `double life'

ROME
The Associated Press

ROME — The Italian church says gay priests must not lead a "double life," expressing pain and anger over a magazine article and video purporting to show priests frequenting gay locales in Rome.

A statement by the Roman Catholic Rome diocese on Friday said no one is forcing homosexual prelates to remain as priests. It said "we don't want to hurt them" but their conduct "muddies the reputation of all the others."

The weekly Panorma magazine said it interviewed several gay priests in Rome and accompanied them to clubs frequented by homosexuals in the capital. It quoted one as saying that 98 percent of the priests he knew were gay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

No evidence of deputies' involvement in case of child sex abuse

UKRAINE
Kyiv Post

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office has said that at present there is no evidence of MPs being involved in a child sex abuse scandal.

"As of today, the investigation hasn't proved the involvement [of MPs] and, moreover, there is no evidence that can give reasons to open a criminal case against well-known MPs," Deputy Prosecutor General Vitaliy Schotkin said at a press conference on Thursday, July 22. ...

The management of Artek also rebuffed allegations of sexual molestation of children at the children's center.

Moreover, the media reported that a priest of the Uman Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) was also involved in the child sex abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Nuns frosty towards Germany's ousted Bishop Mixa

GERMANY
Earth Times

Berlin - Walter Mixa, 69, the German Catholic bishop who was driven out of office for smacking orphans, discovered Friday that he is not even welcome in a home for retired nuns.

The superannuated sisters are worried the media will stake out their convent in the pretty German hill town of Fuenfstetten when Mixa, a brash conservative fond of the limelight, moves in soon.

Sister Beda Rauch, vicar-provincial of the Order of St Francis, said Friday, "The public interest may disturb our convent life."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

The Church's Purification Continues?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by Edward Pentin
Friday, July 23, 2010

Yet more scandalous revelations for the Church to deal with: the current issue of Italian magazine Panorama is making headlines after it conducted an undercover investigation of suspected practising homosexual priests in Rome.

In a sensationalist cover story which hit the newsstands today entitled “The Wild Nights of Gay Priests”, the article’s author, together with an accomplice who was homosexual, claims to have documented the double lives of a number of priests using a hidden camera.

The Berlusconi-owned weekly doesn’t give precise numbers of Rome priests involved, saying only that there are “numerous cases”, but it claims to have compromising evidence of three priests. In the article, they are given the fictitious names of Paul, Charles and Luke, one French, and two Italian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Alleged Catholic priest gay sex scandal caught on video in Italian magazine Panorama

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

BY Sean Alfano
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, July 23rd 2010

Smile, Father, you're on a very candid camera.

An Italian magazine has sparked a priest sex scandal in the country with details claiming some men of the cloth shed their robes at gay clubs.

Using a hidden camera, the journalist and a "gay" accomplice filmed the priests having sex, the Daily Mail reports.

The magazine, which is owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said the investigation was meant to expose priests who live a double-life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Rome Diocese calls for active gay priests to go, stop sullying church

ROME
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- In the wake of an undercover video and news report documenting priests in Rome engaged in homosexual acts, the Rome Diocese has called for priests engaged in "unworthy" behavior to leave the priesthood and stop sullying the reputation of the vast majority of honorable ministers.

While the diocese also condemned the article for its overall aim of discrediting the church, it did say it "is committed to rigorously prosecute, according to church norms, any behavior unworthy of priestly life."

On July 23 the Italian weekly newsmagazine, Panorama, published a lengthy dossier detailing the sexual behavior of some priests residing in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Catholic church rocked by latest gay sex scandal

UNITED KINGDOM
Pink Paper

James Sanders

The credibility of the Catholic church was dealt another blow today, after an Italian magazine claimed to have footage of celibate priests having gay sex.

A journalist from Panorama magazine – a publication owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi – is claiming to have covertly filmed three priests in a damning exposé.

The Vatican, the seat of the Catholic church, has made no official comment as yet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

UPDATE: Catholic church responds to sex scandal claims

UNITED KINGDOM
Pink Paper

James Sanders

The Catholic church has informed gay priests not to lead a "double life" after a magazine owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi claimed to have footage of celibate priests having gay sex.

According to PA, the Roman Catholic Rome diocese said no one was forcing homosexual prelates to remain as priests.

It said "we don't want to hurt them" but their conduct "muddies the reputation of all the others."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Priests Taped In Rome Gay Club Having Casual Flings

ITALY
HULIQ

Submitted by KC Kelly Ph.D. on 2010-07-23

A weekly news magazine has released details today, about a gay priest sex scandal that has shocked and appalled the Catholic Church in Italy. The investigation has been called shocking and has many Catholics, as well as others, up in arms. This is not the first sex scandal this year for the Catholic Church. There have been others since January involving pedophile acts perpetrated by Catholic priests.

In this gay priest sex scandal, the occurrence of three priests who were found to have attended gay nightspots in Italy were also filmed having casual sex there. A journalist from Panorama Magazine, which is a publication owned by the Italian Prime Minister and media baron Silvio Berlusconi, used hidden cameras to film the acts. The footage taken of these acts will be revealed shortly, according to the Panorama article.

Panorama Magazine stated, "The investigation as 'deeply disturbing' as it detailed how three priests, two Italians and a Frenchman, happily took part in gay events and had casual sex.".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Il Vicariato di Roma: i preti gay escano allo scoperto

ITALIA
Panorama

[con le foto ed il video]

Si moltiplicano in queste ore le reazioni all’inchiesta di Panorama sui preti omosessuali, i cui video ci sono stati richiesti anche dalle più importanti emittenti televisive internazionali. Ieri un’anonima fonte vaticana aveva bollato frettolosamente come “semplice scandalismo” le rivelazioni del newsmagazine della Mondadori. Oggi, in base alle nostre risultanze, sarebbe in corso un’indagine della Curia per verificare, accanto alla veridicità dell’inchiesta, chi siano i preti omosessuali di cui ha scritto l’inchiesta. Una posizione più netta è stata invece assunta oggi dal vicariato di Roma, in una nota, che ribadisce - oltre alla condanna dello scoop che vuole “creare scandalo e diffamare tutti i sacerdoti” - quella che è la dottrina della Chiesa sul rapporto tra omosessualità e voti. Se ci sono sacerdoti gay, scrive il Vicariato, ”coerenza vorrebbe che venissero allo scoperto”, perché ”nessuno li costringe a rimanere preti, sfruttandone solo i benefici”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Gay priests giving gay priests a bad name

UNITED STATES
U.S. Catholic

Friday, July 23, 2010
By Bryan Cones

The UK Mail is reporting today that the Italian magazine Panorama, owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, is publishing an expose of three gay priests--two Italians and a Frenchman--who are leading double lives in Rome, priests by day and party boys by night, complete with gay nightclubs and casual sex. More great publicity for the priesthood. The Vicar of Rome is so incensed that he has called for gay priests to come out of the closet and leave the priesthood. Oh, brother.

This will add further fuel to the claims those, as the Catholic League's Bill Donohue argued on the Washington Post's On Faith blog, that the church doesn't have a pedophilia problem, it has a homosexuality problem. Setting aside the fact that Donohue is completely missing the point--the sex abuse crisis is finally a governance problem exposed by a terrible crime against children--he does have a point, kind of.

The real problem here is not that there are three priests running wild in gay Rome; there are plenty of priests--straight and gay--who misbehave sexually with other adults. The problem is that only these gay priests are the news, not all the other gay priests who labor faithfully, honoring their commitments along with their straight brothers as best they can. We don't hear their stories because they can't tell them for fear of expulsion. And that isn't right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Group calling for cancellation of choir performances near Dubuque and Mason City

IOWA
Radio Iowa

by Pat Curtis on July 23, 2010

The director of a victim rights group is calling on a group of nuns to cancel a choir performance directed by a man who’s accused of sexually abusing a high school student in the 1990s. Steve Thiesen of Hudson is the Iowa director of SNAP – the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. He’s upset that the concert, scheduled for this Sunday afternoon near Dubuque, is set to be directed by Bradley Barrett. A Springfield, Missouri man claimed last year that Barrett repeatedly abused him between 1992 and ‘95 when Barrett was teaching at a school near Springfield.

Thiesen says he’s shocked the Dominican nuns are allowing the concert to happen while Barrett is facing a civil lawsuit. “You end up giving these accused abusers some respectability and they use that to gain the trust of parents which in turn gets them at the children. We don’t understand why they’re taking a risk with this,” Thiesen told Radio Iowa. “I would not invite him until this thing is settled.”

Barrett was working at the University of Northern Iowa before being placed on paid leave and later fired last December. He’s now director of the Cedar Rapids based Chorale Midwest choir. “The man has a right to earn a living…so does a school bus operator, but if that school bus operator has two or three OWIs, why risk him driving a school bus with children?” Thiesen said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

SNAP raises concerns over concert

IOWA
Telegraph Herald

An Iowa activist protested outside the Dubuque Archdiocese offices Thursday afternoon against a chorale concert to be held at Sinsinawa Mound, Wis., this weekend.

Steve Theisen, director of the Iowa Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the Dominican sisters are hosting a concert by the Chorale Midwest choir. The group's director, Bradley T. Barrett, is accused in a civil lawsuit of child sexual abuse. Theisen called it "stunningly careless for Wisconsin nuns and Madison's bishop to let any Catholic group bring Barrett into their diocese."

The Sinsinawa sisters said in a statement, "We understand that the lawsuit against Dr. Barrett is still in process and that our judicial system, rather than the media, will resolve the suit. While we are grateful for the vigilant concern of SNAP, and while we do not see the concert as an occasion of risk for children or minors, we will be especially conscious of our responsibility for the safety of all attending the concert."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

A Vatican literacy quiz

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Jul. 23, 2010 All Things Catholic

I happen to be a baseball guy, but fans of any sport will readily recognize two points: One, the pleasure that comes from talking about the game with someone who really knows their stuff; two, the agony of being trapped with a blowhard who doesn't know the infield fly rule from the designated hitter, but who nevertheless feels compelled to broadcast his or her opinions -- why the Yankees' payroll is unjust, why Manny Ramirez is overrated, and so on.

The insufferable part isn't whatever conclusion the person advocates (I can see the case for both of the above, though I demur on each point), but the blend of ignorance and certitude in which they usually come wrapped. In such moments, one yearns for somebody to enforce the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's dictum: "Everybody's entitled to their own opinion, but nobody's entitled to their own facts."

More or less the same observation, in my experience, applies to debates about the Vatican. In recent weeks, the air has been filled with competing opinions on various Vatican matters: Whether or not it was appropriate for the Vatican to treat the sexual abuse of minors and the attempted ordination of women in the same legal document, for example, or whether Pope Benedict XVI's record on handling sex abuse cases while he was at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith passes muster. People who've done their homework can reach very different conclusions on such subjects, and informed perspectives are always worth hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Catholic Gay Priests Should Come Out and Leave, Vicar of Rome Says

ITALY
Bloomberg

The Vicar of Rome today called on homosexual clergymen in the Catholic Church to “come out” and leave the priesthood.

The Vicar of Rome, one of the most important positions in the Vatican, was responding to a report today in Panorama Magazine that said Catholic priests were conducting a double life, citing secret video footage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Il Vicariato di Roma sul servizio scandalistico di Panorama: i preti “dalla doppia vita” vengano allo scoperto

ITALIA
Radio Vaticana

“Creare lo scandalo” e “diffamare tutti i sacerdoti”: è questo, secondo il Vicariato di Roma, l’obiettivo di un lungo articolo pubblicato oggi dal settimanale “Panorama” sul comportamento di alcuni sacerdoti gay. I fatti raccontati, si legge nella nota del Vicariato, “non possono non suscitare dolore e sconcerto nella comunità ecclesiale di Roma, che conosce da vicino i suoi sacerdoti non dalla ‘doppia vita’, ma con una ‘vita sola’, felice e gioiosa, coerente alla vocazione, donata a Dio e a servizio della gente, impegnata a vivere e testimoniare il Vangelo e modello di moralità per tutti”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

«Sacerdoti e alti prelati nei locali per gay della Capitale: inviti via sms o chat»

ITALIA
Corriere Della Sera

ROMA - Feste e afterhours, solo per preti gay nella Capitale. L'invito viaggia via sms e i locali sono sempre gli stessi. Lo sostiene un esponente di Arcigay: spesso nomi e indirizzi dei locali che ospiterebbero feste private omosex solo per religiosi verrebbero affidati alle chat. Come succede per il meccanismo di convocazione dei rave e per altri raduni esclusivi.

Sarebbero una decina a Roma - stando a quanto dichiara Fabrizio Marrazzo, presidente di Arcigay della Capitale - i preti che frequentano gli ambienti gay della Capitale, e tra loro ci sarebbero sacerdoti di diversi ordine e grado, incluse «persone che con il tempo sono diventate vescovi».

ANONIMATO GARANTITO - «Non è un mistero che ci siano preti e sacerdoti che a Roma frequentano ambienti e locali gay - spiega Marrazzo - ma ovviamente si tratta di feste private. E comunque di certo non condanno tutto questo». Sms e chat garantiscono anonimato ed esclusività.

Di questi locali, i cui nomi si tramandano con un discreto passaparola, qualcuno gravita dalle parti della gay-street, via di San Giovanni in Laterano, altri dalle parti d Testaccio. Come il «69», frequentato ritrovo per feste in tema e solo per gay. E secondo Marrazzo al Gay Village, a Roma, una delle manifestazioni all'aperto più grande d'Italia - con discoteche, un ciclo teatrale, una rassegna di film -, la privacy è d'obbligo anche perchè «quando vengono certo non vestono la tonaca».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Preti gay, Vicariato: chi lo è venga allo scoperto. Si vuole screditare Chiesa

ITALIA
Il Messaggero

ROMA (23 luglio) - Se ci sono sacerdoti gay, «coerenza vorrebbe che venissero allo scoperto», perché «nessuno li costringe a rimanere preti, sfruttandone solo i benefici». Lo afferma il vicariato di Roma in una nota diffusa all'indomani delle rivelazioni di Panorama su alcuni preti che condurrebbero una «doppia vita», frequentando nel tempo libero i locali di ritrovo degli omosessuali della capitale.

«Dolore e sconcerto nella comunità ecclesiale di Roma» ha suscitato l'articolo pubblicato da Panorama, ma la comunità «conosce da vicino i suoi sacerdoti», e sa che la stragrande maggioranza rappresenta un «modello di moralità per tutti». È quanto afferma il Vicariato. «La finalità dell'articolo è evidente: creare lo scandalo, diffamare tutti i sacerdoti, sulla base della dichiarazione di uno degli intervistati secondo il quale 'il 98 per cento dei sacerdoti che conosce è omosessualè, screditare la Chiesa; e - per altro verso - fare pressione contro quella parte della Chiesa da loro definita 'intransigente, che si sforza di non guardare la realtà dei preti omosessuali».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Catholic sex scandal as undercover reporter 'films priests at gay clubs and having casual flings'

ITALY
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

By Nick Pisa

A gay priest sex scandal has rocked the Catholic Church in Italy today after a weekly news magazine released details of a shock investigation it had carried out.

Using hidden cameras, a journalist from Panorama magazine - owned by Italian Prime Minister and media baron Silvio Berlusconi - filmed three priests as they attended gay nightspots and had casual sex.

Today there was no immediate comment from the Italian Bishops Conference and the Vatican - which has been rocked by a series of sex scandals involving paedophile priests since the start of the year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Sexual assault case involving Salinas priest continued

SALINAS (CA)
The Californian

A Monterey County prosecutor called back two police officers to clarify their testimony Thursday in a hearing for a Salinas priest accused of sexually assaulting a teen.

Arguments are scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 16, followed by a ruling from Superior Court Judge Terrance Duncan.

The Rev. Antonio Cortes of St. Mary of the Nativity Church in Salinas, 42, was ordered to stand trial on felony charges of sodomy with a minor and misdemeanor counts of possession of child pornography

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

More on the Vatican's secret secret

UNITED KINGDOM
Guardian

[Crimen document]

Andrew Brown

I have been rereading the infamous Crimen Sollicitationis, the Vatican document from 1922 which laid down policy for cases of sex abuse, and which has been held up as evidence that there was a world-wide organised coverup of paedophilia. It's hardly gripping, which may be why until now I never made it through to the end. But it is worth persevering to Title Five, on crimen pessimum, because that casts the whole story in an entirely different light.

The crimen pessimum that the Vatican defines (the official translation is "the foulest crime") is not just child abuse and bestiality, though these are explicitly mentioned. But it is first defined to cover all forms of gay sex that a priest may have with anyone:

The term crimen pessimum ["the foulest crime"] is here understood to mean any external obscene act, gravely sinful, perpetrated or attempted by a cleric in any way whatsoever with a person of his own sex."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Group alleging abuse find Stormont meeting 'positive'

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish Times

GERRY MORIARTY Northern Editor

VICTIMS OF alleged Catholic institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland have described a meeting at Stormont Castle yesterday with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness as “positive and constructive”.

The group of victims are seeking a public inquiry into alleged abuse at former Stormont state-funded but Catholic-run institutions, an apology from Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness on behalf of the Northern state, and compensation for victims of abuse.

SDLP Assembly member Conall McDevitt, who accompanied four victims to the meeting with Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty, said yesterday’s encounter was the beginning of what would be a detailed process to achieve justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Abuse probe hopes rise after victims meet First Ministers

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

In a move that could finally signal a public probe into clerical child abuse in Northern Ireland, the First and Deputy First Ministers have met with a group of victims.

Campaigners — who have called for a public inquiry into the scandal after the Ryan report in the Republic ruled that mistreatment in Catholic and state-run institutions was endemic — said yesterday they were hopeful of progress following their meeting with the ministers in Stormont yesterday.

Margaret McGuckin, who was abused at a Sisters of Nazareth orphanage in Belfast from the age of three, said: “I am pleased with what went on. This is only one day, it is not us going away, it is just one day at a time but we are more hopeful than we were (yesterday) morning,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Nuns attack Vatican on women’s ordination

INDIA
CathNews

Women Religious have slammed a recent Vatican document equating women’s ordination with sexual abuse of children, calling it “derogatory” and “shocking.”

“I am shocked at this statement. It is painful, absurd and a violation of the dignity of women,” said Sister Mary Scaria of Delhi archdiocese’s commission for justice and peace.

The Vatican on July 15 issued new rules to deal with abusive priests. It said priests who molest the mentally ill or use child pornography are in the same category as pedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Government plan could prevent Pope Benedict arrest

UNITED KINGDOM
Pink Paper

Chris Housden

The government have proposed legal changes that could stop an arrest warrant being issued against Pope Benedict XVI.

Campaigners had been planning to use international laws to issue the warrant during the Pope’s visit in September, the BBC report. However, a warrant may not be possible now that Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has proposed changes to universal jurisdiction.

Under the law, any individual can be tried in Britain for war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture, even if committed on foreign soil. Clarke’s changes would mean any warrant would have to be consented by Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, QC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

OC pastor given prison sentence for sexual assault

CALIFORNIA
The Sacramento Bee

Published: Thursday, Jul. 22, 2010
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- An Anaheim pastor has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually assaulting four girls who attended his church.

Jose Rama Campoverde was sentenced Thursday after he pleaded guilty to one felony count of lewd acts on a child under 14, five felony counts of lewd acts on a child and two misdemeanor counts of child annoyance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

London buses to carry female ordination advert during pope's visit

UNITED KINGDOM
Guardian

Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 22 July 2010

In a move designed to coincide with the pope's visit to Britain in September, London buses are to carry posters calling for the ordination of women.

The initiative, from the UK group Catholic Women's Ordination (CWO), will see buses carrying the slogan "Pope Benedict Ordain Women Now".

According to the weekly Catholic magazine the Tablet, CWO has paid about £10,000 for the posters to appear on 10 buses for a month from August 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Catholic Church's issue is homosexuality, not pedophilia

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By: Bill Donohue

Anthony Stevens-Arroyo says I am wrong to challenge elite opinion on the subject of priestly sexual abuse. The conventional wisdom maintains there is a pedophilia crisis in the Catholic Church; I maintain it has been a homosexual crisis all along. The evidence is all on my side, though there is a reluctance to let the data drive the conclusion. But that is a function of politics, not scholarship.

Alfred Kinsey was the first to identify a correlation between homosexuality and the sexual abuse of minors. In 1948, he found that 37 percent of all male homosexuals admitted to having sex with children under 17 years old. More recently, in organs such as the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the Journal of Sex Research, the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy and Pediatrics, it has been established that homosexuals are disproportionately represented among child molesters.

Correlation is not causation; it is an association. So to say that there is a correlation between homosexual orientation and the sexual abuse of minors is not to say that being a homosexual makes one a molester. Indeed, as I have said many times, most gay priests are not molesters, but most of the molesters have been gay. In other words, although sexual orientation does not cause sexual abuse, the fact that there is a relationship between homosexuality and the sexual abuse of minors cannot be ignored in dealing with this problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Abuse scandal rooted in homosexuality, not pedophilia, says Catholic League president

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

Washington D.C., Jul 22, 2010 / 06:59 pm (CNA).- Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, spoke out in an article on the Washington Post's website on Thursday, defending his assertion that the widespread perception of a “pedophilia crisis in the Catholic Church” is not supported by data and research. The more significant problem, Donohue argued, is the incidence of homosexuality among priests.

Citing a number of medical journals in the field of human sexuality research, Donohue explained in his submission to the Washington Post's “On Faith” section that “homosexuals are disproportionately represented among child molesters.” Statistically, he said, the evidence for a “link between homosexuality and the sexual abuse of minors” in the general population is “overwhelming.”

This link is borne out in the majority of sex offenses committed by priests, according to Donohue. “As I have said many times, most gay priests are not molesters, but most of the molesters have been gay.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Church molester defrocked by Pope

UNITED STATES
Bombay News (India)

Thursday 22nd July, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI has agreed to defrock a US priest accused of sexually molesting a teenage boy more than 30 years ago.

The Vatican notified the Diocese of Youngstown in Ohio that Thomas Crum had been removed from the priesthood at his own request.

Crum had been removed from active ministry after a former high school student accused him of sexual abuse during the 1970’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Trusted, beloved, accused

NORTH CAROLINA
Charlotte Observer

By Tim Funk
tfunk@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Friday, Jul. 23, 2010

Tears of sadness flowed that Sunday morning in June 1986. After nine years, parishioners at Charlotte's Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church were saying goodbye to the Rev. Joseph Kelleher - better known to them as "Father Joe," their pastor.

In the months leading up to this farewell Mass, many members of the church had written angry, frustrated letters to the bishop, protesting the reassignment of this charismatic priest with the Irish brogue to a parish in Asheville.

Kelleher, then 58, had especially endeared himself to the church's youth, many of whom called him their "second father." "He's not just my pastor, he's my best friend," one church employee and youth group alumnus told the Observer that day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Bishop Peter Ingham apologises to sexual abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Macarthur Chronicle

IN a heartfelt and candid pastoral letter, Bishop of Wollongong Peter Ingham has admitted the leadership of the Catholic Church failed parishioners in the diocese by its tardiness to address child sexual abuse at the hands of clergy and lay members.

Bishop Ingham’s apology was read or watched on DVD in all churches across the Macarthur region, Southern Highlands, Illawarra and Shoalhaven on July 17. Stepping outside of the shadows of some of the church’s most shameful secrets and cover-ups, Bishop Ingham was unreserved in his regret.

“I offer my sincere apology to those who have suffered abuse at the hands of a member of the cerly or indeed, any person representing the Catholic Church, particularly one who was ministering in the name of the Diocese of Wollongong. You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Vatican sets off controversy with church law revisions that list ordaining women with pedophilia, other offenses

OHIO
The Plain Dealer

Michael O'Malley, The Plain Dealer

The Vatican has touched off a firestorm by including the ordination of women to the priesthood in a list of church law offenses as grave as pedophilia.

The pronouncement last week was part of a wider revision of church laws that streamlined the process to discipline priests accused of sexually abusing children. It also listed the ordination of women with offenses such as heresy and schism and re-emphasized that women who become ordained, along with priests or bishops who ordain them, will be excommunicated.

Forbidding women to be ordained is nothing new in the modern church, but reiterating that taboo in a list of revised laws that condemn pedophilia was viewed by some Catholics as an unnecessary slap at women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

July 22, 2010

Choral group asked to cancel conductor's appearance at NIACC

MASON CITY (MO)
Globe Gazette

By DEB NICKLAY deb.nicklay@globegazette.com | Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2010

MASON CITY — A victim rights groups is asking the Iowa Choral Directors Association to cancel an appearance by a conductor who is accused of sexually molesting a former student.

Bradley T. Barrett, conductor of Midwest Chorale, an adult choral group from Cedar Rapids, is scheduled to appear as part of the annual directors’ annual convention at North Iowa Area Community College, which begins on Monday.

Barrett has denied all accusations.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests sent a letter to association president Roger Henderson of Grinnell and president-elect Norm Grimm of Newton, asking that Barrett be banned from the performance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

German Prosecutors Drop Investigation of Bishop

GERMANY
The Wall Street Journal

By VANESSA FUHRMANS
German prosecutors said they dropped an investigation into Germany's top-ranking Catholic bishop after finding no proof that he had knowingly allowed a priest accused of sexually abusing a child in the 1960s to be assigned to a parish some two decades later.

Prosecutors in the southwestern German city of Konstanz launched the probe in early June after an alleged victim of the priest filed a complaint that Robert Zollitsch, archbishop of Freiburg and the head of Germany's Bishops' Conference, abetted the priest's sexual abuse by reassigning him while Archbishop Zollitsch was the archdiocese's personnel chief in the 1980s. After being assigned to the new parish in 1987, the priest allegedly committed sexual abuse again, according to the complaint.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, the prosecutors' office said it found no evidence of wrongdoing by the 71-year-old archbishop. "Since no concrete abuse cases or victims' names have come to light from the priest's second period in Birnau from 1987 to 1992, there are no grounds for holding Dr. Zollitsch criminally responsible," the statement said. Nor could prosecutors conclude that the archbishop acted with knowledge that the priest might commit sexual abuse in his new post, it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Parishioners turn out for Warren pastor accused of sex abuse

WARREN (MI)
The Detroit News

Christine Ferretti / The Detroit News
Warren -- Parishioners and colleagues from a Baptist church in Warren filled a courtroom today for a preliminary hearing for their pastor, who is accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy and accosting two other boys.

Warren District Court Judge Matthew P. Sabaugh instead granted an adjournment in the case to allow the attorney for Antioch Baptist Church pastor Christopher Settlemoir more time to review evidence.

Settlemoir's attorney, Stephen Rabaut, took the pastor's case late last month. A new examination date was set for Aug. 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Beneath the child abuse scandal

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jul. 22, 2010
By A.W. Richard Sipe

Many people, including bishops, date and lable the "Crisis in the Catholic Church" to Jan. 6, 2002 when The Boston Globe began publishing its series about sexual abuse of minors by priests and revealing the conspiracy of bishops in covering up crimes. That was the flash point of a worldwide scandal. The crisis it epitomizes is more profound.

The uncontrollable public exposure and sharp focus on clergy sex abuse shocked everyone, but the fact of a church and priesthood in crisis did not come as a surprise to the United States hierarchy. "It is clear that we are in some kind of a crisis of priestly ministry. The nature of the crisis is not at all that clear." Those were the words Daniel Pilarczyk archbishop of Cincinnati directed at his fellow bishops on June 14, 1986. He went on to provide a checklist of possibilities: "Is it a crisis of image? Is it a crisis of numbers? Is it a crisis of celibacy? -- change? -- lay ministries? -- prayer? -- secularism? -- confidence? It is probably all of these and perhaps other things as well. And we have to respond to the crisis."(1)

Already in 1972 sociologist Fr. Andrew Greeley reported to the five bishops and the twelve priest consultants of the Ad Hoc Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry set up by the NCCB. He explained his Sociological Investigation of American Priesthood that he instigated at the request of the bishops. "There appears to be a crisis in vocations to the priesthood." (2) His suggestions for supporting clergy development were presented in juxtaposition with the findings of Father Gene Kennedy and Doctor Victor Heckler who had been commissioned by the bishops to produce a Psychological Investigation of the priesthood in the United States. (3)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

The secret secret of the Vatican

UNITED KINGDOM
Guardian

Andrew Brown

Was there a centrally organised cover up of child abuse within the Catholic church? This is one of the main charges against the institution. I don't believe it myself; I think there were disorganised and decentralised efforts to conceal scandal, just as there are in almost any organisation which discovers paedophiles working for it, from Islington Council to the United Nations. It doesn't excuse the efforts that were made, but it doesn't suggest, either, that the Vatican is a uniquely wicked institution.

The main charge against the church in this context is that there was a document – itself secret – which bound bishops to secrecy when dealing with cases of child abuse. It seems clear that very few people knew of the document in question (Crimen Sollicitationis), which dated from 1922. This states that it is the CDF (the Vatican department that enforces orthodoxy) which must deal with the use of the confessional for sexual exploitation and with the abuse of pre-adolescent children, which is described in the document as crimen pessimum, the worst of all crimes.

But the document was never properly issued. Like the planning application to demolish the earth in Hitchikers' Guide to the Galaxy, it never reached most of the bishops who needed to know of it. It was not, for example, reprinted for all the bishops at the Second Vatican Conference. One might think that there was not much use in having a policy of secrecy so secret that not even the bishops bound to secrecy were allowed to know about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Bonking Catholic Priest Freed

GHANA
Peace FM

ROMEO CATHOLIC Priest Rev. Father Charles Asamoah who stands accused of hacking his lover over a trivial disagreement on infidelity has been granted bail by an Obuasi Circuit Court, after making his third appearance in court.

Father Asamoah is said to have inflicted multiple knife wounds on 42-year-old Janet Dwamena Agyapomaa, aka Yaa Kwahu, after their secret amorous affair turned sour and now faces the criminal charge of attempted murder in addition to two counts of unlawful harm and threat of death.

The court, presided over by Gilbert Ayisi Addo, did not take the accused priest’s plea but granted him bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 with one surety to be justified. Rev. Asamoah will come back to court on August 5.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Not guilty pleas entered for priest accused of larceny

WATERBURY (CT)
Waterbury Republican-American

WATERBURY -- A public defender for the Rev. Kevin Gray, a city priest accused of bilking Sacred Heart Parish out of $1.3 million, entered not guilty pleas on Gray's behalf Wednesday in Waterbury Superior Court.

Gray is facing a first-degree larceny charge and is being held on a $750,000 bond. Police say he stole church funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle that included posh hotel stays and male escorts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Victims' group targets director of Cedar Rapids-based chorale

IOWA
Des Moines Register

By TOM WITOSKY • twitosky@dmreg.com • July 22, 2010

A victims' rights group is demanding that Iowa school choir directors cancel a performance at their annual convention next week by a Cedar Rapids-based choir whose director has been accused of sexually abusing a high school student nearly 20 years ago.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Wednesday that it had asked the Iowa Choir Directors Association to cancel Tuesday's performance by Chorale Midwest, directed by Bradley Barrett.

"You are responsible for the safety and well-being of every member of your association. A simple Google search would have shown that there's a current civil lawsuit, filed just last year, charging that Barrett repeatedly molested this Missouri boy. Given this fact, it's stunningly careless for you to let a man like Barrett into your organization's statewide meeting," a letter to association officials says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Teacher molested sleeping boys, court told

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A former student from a boarding school in central-west New South Wales has told a court that he knew a teacher was molesting his classmates.

The student has given evidence at the trial of 77-year-old James Patrick Jennings who has been charged with six counts of indecent assault.

Mr Jennings is accused of molesting several young boys while he taught at St Stanislaus in Bathurst during the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Priest fondled sleeping boys - court told

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

JUST a few metres from where his younger brother slept, priest James Patrick Jennings indecently assaulted boys in a Catholic boarding school dormitory, a court has been told.

Aged in his 20s at the time of the allegations in the early 1960s, Mr Jennings - the dean of St Stanislaus Catholic College at Bathurst in regional NSW - would allegedly walk among the sleeping boys, aged about 12, and is charged with having sat on the beds of some and fondled them.

Some 50 years later, an elderly Mr Jennings has pleaded not guilty to six counts of indecent assault against four boys at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Justitie zet punt achter onderzoek tegen aartsbisschop Zollitsch

DUITSLAND
RKnieuws

BERLIJN (RKnieuws.net) - De Duitse Justitie heeft woensdag aangekondigd dat zij een punt zet achter het onderzoek tegen aartsbisschop Robert Zollitsch, de leider van de katholieke Kerk in Duitsland. De aartsbisschop werd verdacht van medeplichtigheid aan seksueel misbruik.

Begin juni opende het parket van Konstanz een onderzoek tegen de aartsbisschop. Dit gebeurde naar aanleiding van een klacht van een man die verklaarde dat hij tussen 1966 en 1968 seksueel misbruikt werd door een monnik van de abdij van Birnau. Volgens de klager had mgr. Zollitsch niet enkel zijn ogen gesloten voor het misbruik maar ging hij later ook akkoord met de heropname van de monnik in de abdij.

Het parket oordeelde nu dat de feiten uit de jaren 1960 verjaard zijn en dat dit ook geldt voor een eventuele medeplichtigheid van de aartsbisschop. Mgr. Zollitsch heeft de aantijgingen steeds ontkend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Priest Destroyed Child Porn, Parents Say

ASHEVILLE (NC)
Courthouse News Service

By DAN MCCUE

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (CN) - When a Catholic church's choirmaster was arrested on charges of sexual abuse of a child, his supervising priest abruptly left a parish school board meeting and went to the choirmaster's apartment to destroy evidence of the crimes by deleting files from the man's computer, a girl's parents claim in Buncombe County Court.

The girl and her parents sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, the Rev. John Schneider, and the choirmaster, Paul Lawrence Berrell. They claim that Schneider went to Berrell's apartment for the express purpose of deleting pornographic images of children from Berrell's home computer - some of which he had made himself.

The Doe family claims Berrell, music minister at the Parish of St. Eugene, and music and choral teacher at Asheville Catholic School, is a serial child abuser whom the Catholic Church had moved from one parish to another each time his predations came to light.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Church Reporter: Visiting priest tackles controversial issue -- "converting" same-sex people to opposite-sexers

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Catholic News

(POSTED: 7/22/10) Speaking at the monthly Catholic Citizens of Illinois luncheon on July 9, Fr. Paul Check pressed one of the hottest social-climate buttons around -- converting same-sex people to opposite-sexers.

As recently installed national director of Courage, which sponsors 12-step programs in 100-plus U.S. dioceses (not in Chicago) and overseas, he's in the business of helping people make the change, which is vigorously challenged by same-sex activists. ...

Asked about priest molesters, he noted that according to the bishops-authorized John Jay College study, 80 to 90 percent of victims have been adolescent males, which he said demonstrates homosexuality as causative factor. This "ephebophilia," victimizing of adolescents, is in contrast to the more commonly used "pedophilia," which refers to children as victims.

Fr. Check spoke at the Catholic Citizens monthly luncheon at the Union League Club to 45 or so people. He was given his new job as Courage director by his bishop. He succeeds the Courage ministry's founder and long-time director, Fr. John Harvey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

IN RE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF WILMINGTON, INC

DELAWARE
Leagle

In re: CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF WILMINGTON, INC., Chapter 11, Debtor.
OFFICIAL COMMITTEE OF UNSECURED CREDITORS, Plaintiff,
v.
CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF WILMINGTON, INC., et al., Defendants.
Case No. 09-13560 (CSS), Adv. Proc. No. 09-52866.
United States Bankruptcy Court, D. Delaware.

July 21, 2010.
...

The Court considered the entirety of the evidence presented in the case. Nonetheless, it ruled that the defendants had failed to meet their burden of tracing the funds. The defendants have not identified any evidence presented but overlooked by the Court that might reasonably have altered the result. Thus, the motion for reconsideration must be denied.[ 20 ]

The Court will issue an order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

"No pedophilia crisis" says Catholic League

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

Anthony Stevens-Arroyo

According to Dr. William Donohue of the Catholic League, the Catholic Church does not have a "pedophilia crisis." His opinion is contradicted by numerous court documents, statements of the U.S. Bishops, the Vatican, and Pope Benedict XVI, each of whom have condemned the pattern of covered-up case of clerical pedophilia. So if a pedophilia crisis is clear to these officials and to more than 60 million American Catholics, why does Dr. Bill continuously repeat that there is none?

To be sure, he admits to a problem of sexual abuse among Catholic clergy, but in a advertisement published in the New York Times (March 30, 2010), Donohue argues that ... "all along it's been a homosexual crisis." Citing the exhaustive study out of John Jay College in New York, Donohue notes that "Eighty percent of the victims of priestly abuse are male." The male-with-male character is sufficient to change pedophilia into homosexual relations in Donohue's way of thinking. On CNN (Rick's List, March 31, 2010), Donohue summarized this position in his unenviable style: " ...yes, there's a connection between homosexuality and sexual abuse of minors...They can't keep their hands off the boys, don't you get it?"

Perhaps this makes sense in some universe based on locker-room logic. But counting the frequency of male-with-male relations is not the same as scientific study of homosexual behavior. Since Donohue took his doctorate in the social sciences, he strays beyond his field of competence when defining the motives for sexual abuse. Such analysis properly belong to fields like psychology. You wouldn't want a hair-dresser's definition of a "split end" to be applied to a football coach's plays for a "split end" and social science's terms do not always apply to the behavioral sciences. As noted by Andrew Sullivan, Donohue confuses sexual orientation with sexual abuse. Educated discourse among Catholics deserves more sophistication, I think, and clarity of definitions is a good place to begin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

When Preachers Fall From Grace

RHODE ISLAND
Rhode Island Catholic

BY BISHOP THOMAS J. TOBIN
7/22/10

A recent headline in a Catholic website caught my attention: “Trust evaporating – Poll finds clergy trustworthiness slips precipitously.” The poll surveyed attitudes about the clergy in Canada.

According to the survey, 61 percent of Canadians trust church representatives, far below the 97 percent who trust firefighters and the 94 percent who trust nurses. The good news in this poll, if there is any, is that clergy still rank above the pollsters themselves (59 percent), journalists (48 percent) and politicians (just 15 percent). Small comfort it seems.

Although this particular story doesn’t report it, without a doubt, the trustworthiness of clergy in the United States has suffered a similar sharp decline in recent years.

Most of this, of course, is related to the well-documented clergy sexual abuse crisis. And while Catholic priests have received most of the attention, there have been abuses and scandals in just about every church and denomination – evangelicals, mainline Protestants, Jewish, Muslim, and homemade religions to be sure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Cultural Background of Pedophilia

UNITED STATES
First Things

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
R.R. Reno

Mercatornet recently posted an interview with Fr. Giovanni Cucci, S.J., who, along with Fr. Hans Zollner, S.J., is the author of ŒChiesa e pedofilia. Una ferita aperta. Un approccio psicologico-pastorale (The Church and Paedophilia. An Open Wound. A Pastoral-Psychological Approach) Milan, Ancora, 2010.

Obviously, the phenomenon of pedophilia is complex. And just as complex are the reasons why the bishops and others in positions of responsibility in the Catholic Church failed to do anything, and even protected those guilty of sexual abuse.

That said, Fr. Gucci makes an important point about the way in which Western culture has celebrated sexual perversions in recent decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Standing Up for the Rights of Abused Children

GUAM
Guam News Watch

Written by John Dela Rosa, Guam News Watch
Thursday, July 22, 2010

GUAM - He called it perfect timing.
Although no one showed up to testify at the public hearing for Bill Number 334, that requires members of the clergy to report allegations of child abuse, Vice Speaker Benjamin J. Cruz found an unlikely ally in the Roman Catholic Church.

Just days after the public hearing, the Vatican released its revised procedures on how priests must deal with child abuse allegations they hear.

Cruz told Guam News Watch, "As a family court judge, I know that the priests believed that they were precluded from reporting to CPS and the police anything that they heard from any of the parishioners. Your timing's perfect. Just this morning the Vatican released its new procedures for dealing with this. That the priests are responsible for complying with civil statute in their jurisdiction."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Man Files Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Manchester Diocese

NEW HAMPSHIRE
WMUR

[with video]

[See also the relevant documents from the Manchester attorney general's audit files: 1 2 3. See also stills from the video including a photograph of St. Jean.]

CONCORD, N.H. --
A second New Hampshire man has come forward to claim that he was sexually abused as a boy by a Colebrook priest.

The 54-year-old man's lawyers said he was an 11-year-old altar boy when the Rev. George St. Jean began repeatedly assaulting him. The man filed the lawsuit anonymously, saying it could cause more psychological harm if people know who he is.

"(The lawsuit) relates to clergy sex crimes committed in the 1960s by a now-deceased priest," said David Clohessy, president of the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Former Manchester altar boy says he was abused

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

By DALE VINCENT
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff

MANCHESTER – A second civil lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by the late Rev. George St. Jean during his New Hampshire assignments was filed yesterday in Hillsborough County Superior Court North against the Diocese of Manchester and the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Province of the United States, based in Washington, D.C.

The state Attorney General's Office last year released documents that, for the first time, publicly named St. Jean as among 27 clerics against whom child sexual abuse complaints had been received.

The new lawsuit, by a Merrimack County resident using the name John Doe, alleges the diocese and the Washington, D.C.-based group that supervised St. Jean failed to protect Doe in 1967-68, when the then 11-year-old was an altar boy at St. Brendan's parish in Colebrook. St. Jean was also assigned to the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace in Colebrook.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Second person alleges sexual abuse by priest

NORTH CAROLINA
Winston-Salem Journal

JOURNAL STAFF AND WIRE REPORT

Published: July 22, 2010

The Rev. Joseph Kelleher, charged earlier this month with child abuse in Albemarle in 1977, has been accused of a second incident involving a minor 29 years ago at a Catholic church in Charlotte.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are investigating the new allegation against Kelleher, which was made July 14, a spokesman for the police department, Rob Tufano, told The Charlotte Observer yesterday.

Kelleher, 82, has not been arrested in that case. Investigators interviewed Kelleher at his home in Winston-Salem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Lethal weapons

CALIFORNIA
Bay Area Reporter

by Victoria A. Brownworth

It's a scientific fact that people are more prone to bouts of insanity, sometimes protracted, in extremely hot weather than in cold. Which may explain some of what we've been seeing on the tube in recent days. All over the tube, it's insane people gone wild.

Take the Pope – please! (Apologies to Henny Youngman.) Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the Vatican, another missive from the Pontiff appeared on July 15, televised, naturally, because these people always want a video record of their Most Embarrassing Moments.

Read for the international news media like it was a positive thing that would wash away all the bad press of the past year with regard to the pedophile priest scandal, Pope Benedict's commentary was more like a bad joke: How is a woman like a pedophile? Neither should be a priest. Rim shot. Ta-dum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

German court drops investigation into Catholic bishop

GERMANY
Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - Public prosecutors have dropped an investigation into allegations that the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany aided and abetted a priest known to have abused children by letting him get a new parish job.

The prosecutors' office in Konstanz in southwest Germany said in a statement issued late on Wednesday there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Freiburg Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, head of the German Bishops' Conference.

An unidentified abuse victim had accused the 71-year-old archbishop of letting a priest in Birnau on Lake Constance, who was accused of child abuse in the 1960s, be reappointed to a parish job there in 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

It's offensive to equate child abuse with women's ordination

OHIO
Toledo Blade

Marilou Johanek

Once the anger dissipated, sadness set in. As a Catholic woman, I cling to the hope that my daughter or her daughter will belong to a different church from mine - one in which Catholics benefit from the inclusion of women at every ministry and administration level.

Recently, the Vatican poured salt into old gender-inequity wounds when it stated that ordaining women as priests was an offense as grave as pedophilia.

In announcing revisions to its internal laws that are expected to improve procedures for investigating allegations of abuse by priests, church officials made an unexpected move: They added female ordination to their list of egregious violations of moral law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

July 21, 2010

Former Springfield bishop's video deposition made public

GREENFIELD (MA)
WGGB

[RAW VIDEO: Deposition of Bishop Thomas Dupre]

[RAW VIDEO: Deposition of Bishop Dupre PART 2]

By Ray Hershel

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) -- The videotaped deposition of former Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield Bishop Thomas Dupre has been released.

Greenfield attorney John Stobierski released the tape. Stobierski is representing Andrew Nicastro of Williamstown, who has filed a lawsuit against Dupre and other church supervisors for allegedly not properly overseeing former priest Alfred Graves, whom Nicastro claims molested him.

Outside of giving his name, and date and place of birth, Dupre didn't say much except to repeatedly invoke his 5th Amendment rights to remain silent.

A typical response went like this:

Stobierski: At any time while you were a member of the clergy did you become aware of sexual activity between clergy and minors?

Dupre: I assert my right to refuse to answer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 PM

Fondling little boys means you can't be a priest or a Special Olympics volunteer

MISSOURI
Pitch Weekly

By Peter Rugg, Wed., Jul. 21 2010

​Former Roman Catholic priest Tom Ericksen was removed from his volunteer position with Special Olympics Missouri this week after the organization found out that Ericksen's predilection for fondling young boys was the subject of a $5 million sex-abuse settlement in 1989 with the Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin.

The Associated Press reported that Ericksen admitted fondling children but said he had never had inappropriate contact with any children he met through the Special Olympics.

"I just fondled and stuff like that," Ericksen told the AP. "But I can't say I didn't do inappropriate things. ... But I never had sex"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Second sex allegation made against former Charlotte priest

NORTH CAROLINA
Charlotte Observer

By Tim Funk
tfunk@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Wednesday, Jul. 21, 2010

The Rev. Joseph Kelleher, charged this month with alleged child abuse in Albemarle in 1977, has now been accused of a second alleged incident involving a minor – this one, in 1981 at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in east Charlotte.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are investigating the new allegation against Kelleher, which was made July 14, CMPD spokesman Rob Tufano said today. But, so far, Kelleher, who’s now 82, has not been arrested in that case.

CMPD’s Tufano said the police department’s youth crimes unit interviewed Kelleher today at his home in Winston-Salem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

I am Grassi

ARGENTINA
Momento 24

[with video]

Momento24.com interviewed the priest Julio Cesar Grassi due to he does know his truth by this media.

Grassi’s nightmare began with a report of Telenoche Investiga, where journalist presented testimony from children who had allegedly suffered abuse by the priest.

Grassi holds that everything was built by Miriam Lewin, Channel 13 reporter who introduced the story, with the sole aim of achieving high levels of rating.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Priest abuse support group seeks to stop concert at Catholic retreat center

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin State Journal

By DOUG ERICKSON | derickson@madison.com | 608-252-6149 | Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2010

.A support group for child sex abuse victims wants Madison Bishop Robert Morlino to step in and force the cancellation of an upcoming concert at a Catholic retreat center because the choir's director is accused of child sex abuse in a civil lawsuit.

The Chicago-based group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is objecting to a concert Sunday by the 60-member Chorale Midwest of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the Sinsinawa Mound Center, a retreat center run by Dominican nuns in southwest Wisconsin. The center is about 90 miles southwest of Madison and within the Madison Catholic Diocese.

The choir is directed by Bradley T. Barrett, who was sued last year by a man claiming he was sexually abused by Barrett in the mid-1990s as a student at a public high school in Missouri where Barrett taught vocal music. The civil suit is pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Court upholds sex abuse conviction

WISCONSIN
Janesville Gazette

By KAYLA BUNGE Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MADISON — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the sexual abuse conviction of Donald J. McGuire, a prominent Jesuit priest who insisted he was unfairly prosecuted on charges that he molested two boys in Fontana in the 1960s.

Justices in their 7-0 ruling said they were satisfied McGuire received a fair trial and that “justice has not miscarried for any reason.” They denied his multiple challenges to the conviction, most related to a 30-year gap between the acts and the filing of criminal charges.

McGuire is considered one of the most influential figures convicted in the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Arguments today in case of Salinas priest accused of sexually assaulting teen

CALIFORNIA
The Californian

BY SUNITA VIJAYAN • svijayan@thecalifornian.com • July 21, 2010

A Monterey County judge may decide this afternoon whether certain evidence will be excluded in the case of a Salinas priest accused of sexually assaulting a teenager.

Eugene Martinez and Miguel Hernandez, defense lawyers for the Rev. Antonio Cortes of St. Mary of the Nativity Church in Salinas, are arguing against the admission of an external computer hard drive Salinas police have said contains child pornography used by the priest.

Cortes, 42, was ordered to stand trial on felony charges of sodomy with a minor and misdemeanor counts of possession of child pornography. He was placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest. His arrest came two days after a boy made the molestation claims to Salinas police.

A ruling by Monterey County Superior Court Judge Terrance Duncan is expected to follow arguments by attorneys today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

NH man files sex abuse suit against diocese

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Foster's Daily Democrat

LYNNE TUOHY,Associated Press Write
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A second New Hampshire man has filed a lawsuit saying a now-deceased priest sexually abused him at a parish in Colebrook.

The 54-year-old Merrimack County man filed the suit Wednesday, using the name "John Doe" because he said he feared additional psychological harm if he identified himself publicly.

The suit, which names the Diocese of Manchester as a defendant, alleges the late Rev. George St. Jean sexually assaulted the plaintiff on numerous occasions in 1967 and 1968, when he was an altar boy at St. Brendan's Parish from ages 11 to 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Another sex abuse case emerges against priest

NORTH CAROLINA
WBTV

By Sharon Smith

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Another alleged victim is reporting sexual abuse against a priest who is already facing similar charges.

Joseph Kelleher, 82, is currently out on bond for a charge of indecent liberties against a minor in Albemarle. The crime allegedly happened at Our Lady of the Annunciation Church where Kelleher served as the parish priest in 1977.

According to a report on file with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, there is also a pending case against Kelleher which allegedly happened when he served at Our Lady of Assumption Church in east Charlotte in 1981.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Does the Catholic Church equate ordaining women as priests with child sex abuse?

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

John W. Kennedy

Sometimes it seems like the Catholic Church is competing with BP to see which organization can get the most bad press (which I think is what BP stands for).

If there were such a competition, the Church certainly would have scored a point when it recently issued a document that at once strengthened its rules regarding child sex abuse cases and reiterated its stance against the ordination of women priests as a "grave crime."

Monsignor Charles Scicluna of the Vatican's doctrinal department denies that there was intention by Church officials to equate ordaining female priests with sexually molesting children, explaining that the former is a "crime against a sacrament" while the latter is a "crime against morality."

Okay, I don't really get the Church's opposition to women priests but I accept that the Church leadership has a right to set its own rules. I don't agree with every law the federal government enacts either but I recognize its authority in its sphere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Father Dietzen misses the mark on abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Catholic Review

Alison D’Alessandro
Baltimore

In response to the column by Father John Dietzen (CR, July 8) in which he attempts to answer the question, “Do abusive priests forfeit power to consecrate bread and wine,” I take exception to his approach to this sensitive and multi-dimensional question.

Father Dietzen states, “Jesus never promised that all his priests or bishops or other ministers would always be holy or wise or even competent.” Maybe Jesus did not make such a promise in so many words, but I think it’s more than reasonable for Catholics – the children and the parents and the faithful of the Church – to expect that their priest is a holy disciple of God, called to live a life of holiness and to represent God in his actions and words.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Conn. priest accused of stealing pleads not guilty

WATERBURY (CT)
The Associated Press

WATERBURY, Conn. — A Roman Catholic priest in Connecticut has pleaded not guilty to charges he stole $1.3 million in church money over seven years to use for male escorts, expensive clothing and luxury hotels and restaurants.

The Rev. Kevin J. Gray, former pastor at Sacred Heart/Sagrado Corazon Parish in Waterbury, was charged July 6 with first-degree larceny. His lawyer, Dennis Harrigan, says the 64-year-old Gray pleaded not guilty Wednesday when he was arraigned in Waterbury Superior Court.

Police say Gray used the money to stay at the Waldorf-Astoria, dine at Tavern on the Green and buy expensive clothing labels including Armani.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Prosecutors drop German bishop probe

GERMANY
Expatica

Prosecutors said Wednesday they had dropped a probe against a German archbishop on suspicion of allowing a priest to be hired although he was aware of the claims the man abused a boy in the 1960s.

The prosecutor's office in the southern city of Konstanz said it had closed the case against the head of the German Bishops Conference, Robert Zollitsch, because the alleged abuse occurred outside the statute of limitations.

A complaint by the victim, who said he was abused at the Birnau Monastery in the Freiburg diocese in the 1960s, prompted the launch in June of the investigation on charges of abetting sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Germany drops case claiming top bishop lax on child sex - Summary

GERMANY
Earth Times

Konstanz, Germany - German prosecutors closed their file Wednesday on Robert Zollitsch, the country's top Catholic bishop, rejecting claims that in his previous job he might have broken the law by failing to sack a paedophile priest.

Zollitsch was accused because he transferred an alleged paedophile in 1987 to a monastery where the priest had parish duties until 1992.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Konstanz said the formal allegation that Zollitsch had been an accessory to a crime in the 1990s did not stand up on legal grounds, because there was no evidence that the priest had molested any children in this period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Woman Bishop Resigns Over Abuse Case

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

Posted at: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:06:33 AM
Author: James Martin, S.J.

News from the Telegraph:

Maria Jepsen, 65, came under fire for her handling of the case of a pastor accused of abusing young boys and girls in the 1970s and 1980s in her northern German diocese of Hamburg. She reportedly knew for several years about the case but failed to act."My credibility has been called into question," she said at a press conference. "Therefore, I am no longer in a position to continue the duty I promised to God and to my congregation when I was ordained and when I was elected as a bishop." According to German media reports, a 46-year-old woman said she had been the victim of repeated sexual abuse by the pastor between 1979 and 1984, abuse to which the pastor admitted when confronted by his superiors in the church.But the abuse victim said she had revealed the abuse to Jepson as far back as 1999.

A few observations: Many observers (including me) have suggested that the presence of women (and lay men, and married men and women, and parents in particular) in positions of authority in the Catholic church might have served as a bulwark against the mishandling of sexual abuse cases--specifically, the reassignment of abusive priests to new parishes. The voices of married men and women, or simply lay men or lay women--in the Vatican, in chanceries and in parishes--might have been stronger in arguing for the swift removal of abusive priests. A mother or father (or layman or laywoman) would have been, so the argument goes, more appalled by the crimes of abuse against children. The case of Bishop Jepsen sheds some light on that, and suggests that while the inclusion of lay men and women in positions of authority is essential, it may not be a panacea for sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Former local pastor defrocked

CANTON (OH)
Canton Repository

The former pastor at Our Lady of Peace Church in Canton who admitted to sexual misconduct more than 30 years ago while he taught at a Youngstown high school has been defrocked.

Thomas Crum, who served in the Diocese of Youngstown from 1975 to 2009, was removed from the priesthood about two weeks ago, said the Rev. Robert Siffrin, vicar general of the diocese. He did not have the exact date.

Siffrin said that after an abuse allegation involving a student at Cardinal Mooney High School surfaced in May 2009 while Crum was in Canton, the diocese removed him from active duty and asked him to consider requesting removal from the priesthood, which he did.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Vatican defrocks former local priest

OHIO
Record Courier

Dave O'Brien

Record Courier STAFF REPORT

A Catholic priest who served as pastor of a Rootstown parish from 1999 to 2005 was defrocked this month by the Vatican following allegations that he sexually abused at least two students at a Catholic high school in Youngstown in the 1970s.

Thomas Crum, 61, has been removed from the priesthood, The (Youngstown) Vindicator reported Tuesday. Monsignor Robert Siffrin, vicar general of the Diocese of Youngstown, told the newspaper Crum was removed from the priesthood about two weeks ago.

Crum was assigned to St. Peter of the Fields Church in Rootstown from 1999 to 2005 and was an associate pastor of of Immaculate Conception Parish in Ravenna from 1985-88.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

STATE EX REL. ROCKER v. GUERNSEY CTY. SHERIFF'S OFFICE

OHIO
Leagle

2010-Ohio-3288

The State ex rel. Rocker, Appellant,
v.
Guernsey County Sheriff'S Office, Appellee.
No. 2010-0057.
Supreme Court of Ohio.
Submitted June 9, 2010.
Decided July 20, 2010.

Kircher, Arnold & Dame, L.L.C., Konrad Kircher, and Michael F. Arnold, for appellant.
Daniel G. Padden, Guernsey County Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

PER CURIAM.

{¶ 1} This is an appeal from a judgment entered by the Court of Appeals for Guernsey County denying the request of appellant, Beth Rocker, for a writ of mandamus to compel appellee, the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office, to release investigative records relating to a priest who had been investigated for criminal sexual conduct between 1980 and 1992. Rocker claims to have been one of his victims. Because the court of appeals erred in holding that all of the withheld records were exempt from disclosure under the R.C. 149.43(A)(2)(a) uncharged-suspect exception to the Ohio Public Records Act, we reverse the judgment and remand the cause for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Ermittlungen gegen Zollitsch eingestellt

DEUTSCHLAND
Markische Allgemeine

Konstanz (dpa) - Die Ermittlungen gegen den Freiburger Erzbischof Robert Zollitsch wegen des Verdachts der Beihilfe zum sexuellem Kindesmissbrauch sind eingestellt. Dies teilte die Staatsanwaltschaft Konstanz am Mittwoch mit.

Ein Missbrauchsopfer hatte dem Vorsitzenden der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz vorgeworfen, für den Einsatz eines Paters am Kloster Birnau am Bodensee ab 1987 mitverantwortlich gewesen zu sein. Der Pater hatte in den 60er Jahren in Birnau Kinder missbraucht, darunter den Anzeigeerstatter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Ermittlungen gegen Zollitsch eingestellt

DEUTSCHLAND
Suedkurier

Nun ist amtlich, was der SÜDKURIER bereits am Montag berichtet hat: Die Ermittlungen gegen Erzbischof Robert Zollitsch wegen des Vorwurfs der Beihilfe zu sexuellem Missbrauch wurden eingestellt.

„Die Staatsanwaltschaft Konstanz hat das auf Grund einer Strafanzeige einer Privatperson von der Staatsanwaltschaft Freiburg übernommene Ermittlungsverfahren gegen Dr. Robert Zollitsch eingestellt“, heißt es in einer am Mittwochnachmittag verschickten Pressemeldung. „Herrn Dr. Zollitsch war von dem Anzeigeerstatter vorgeworfen worden, sich in strafrechtlich relevanter Weise an dem von einem Pater des Priorats Birnau begangenen Missbräuchen von Kindern beteiligt zu haben, indem er in Kenntnis aller Umstände als zuständiger Personalreferent den Einsatz dieses Paters zwischen 1987 und 1992 in dem Priorat mitverantwortet habe.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Germany drops case against top Catholic bishop

GERMANY
Earth Times

Konstanz, Germany - German prosecutors closed their file Wednesday on Robert Zollitsch, Germany's top Catholic bishop, rejecting claims that he broke the law in the 1990s by failing to sack a paedophile priest.

The incident had happened before Zollitsch became archbishop of Freiburg and chairman of the Conference of German Catholic Bishops.

A man, who was molested as a boy, had accused Zollitsch of co-responsibility as diocesan director of personnel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Public relations blunders leave the faithful confused

UNITED KINGDOM
The Catholic Herald

By The Catholic Herald on Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Catholic Church was back in the headlines last week and, as is so often the case these days, the headlines made depressing reading. Put briefly, the Vatican issued updates to Canon Law that strengthened the penalties against sex abuser priests and those who take part in the attempted ordination of women. The secular media eagerly seized this opportunity to suggest that, in the eyes of the Church, the abuse of children and the ordination of women were equally serious crimes. The Vatican denied this, but it was too late: the simultaneous announcement of the new canonical penalties – which would have attracted little attention a few years ago – positively invited the Church’s enemies to do their worst.

This sort of public relations disaster is more dangerous than Rome seems to realise. Malicious or ignorant reports in the media do not only damage the reputation of ordinary Catholics; they also cause ordinary Catholics to lose confidence in their pastors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Justices reverse public records action ruling

OHIO
The Daily Reporter

KEITH ARNOLD
Daily Reporter Staff Writer
July 21, 2010

The Mason, Ohio, attorney arguing on behalf of an eastern Ohio woman who claims a priest sexually assaulted her when she was a child, heralded the Supreme Court of Ohio's decision Tuesday as one that strikes the delicate balance intended in the state's Public Records Act.

Konrad Kircher, partner of the firm Kircher, Arnold & Dame LLC, said the well reasoned decision both protected the identity of an uncharged suspect and satisfied the requirement that public records be made available to Ohio residents making a request.

"It's a common-sense application of the act," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Court: Time can wait for criminals who try to flee, OH

OHIO
Fox 8

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state's high court has ruled you can run, but you can't hide from your past crimes.

In a 4-2 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court said Tuesday that a state law that freezes the clock on statutes of limitations for prosecuting defendants who purposely avoid prosecution applies to all their crimes. That includes offenses for which the person wasn't yet indicted and those discovered after they fled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Sawyer County abuse victim wants charges for former priest

DULUTH (MN)
Fox 21

By Jacob Kittilstad and photojournalist Harry Baker, FOX 21 NEWS

DULUTH - Paul Eck's says that after his senior homecoming dance in the early 1980s, he never imagined the priest he trusted would take advantage of him.

"There was never any sign. Now, granted, I was 17. I was naive. I was still a virgin for christ's sake,” Eck said.

Drunk after partying, Paul says he was convinced by the Reverend Tom Ericksen to stay at the church in Winter, Wisconsin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Marthasville woman helps victims of clergy sex abuse

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

SUSAN WEICH | sweich@ post-dispatch.com, 636-255-7207 | Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Judy Jones runs a quiet little bed and breakfast on five wooded acres near Marthasville, but last week she jetted off to head a press conference in West Virginia in a case about a priest charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl.

As the Midwest associate director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, Jones regularly travels to Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to pass out leaflets, run support groups or appear on television.

About 90 percent of the people who run SNAP support chapters around the country were sexually abused, but that's not true of Jones. She got involved after she learned that several of her male relatives were victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Abuse victims set to meet Northern Ireland leaders

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A date has been set for the first minister and deputy first minister to meet NI victims of institutional child abuse.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness have agreed to meet the the victims on Thursday.

Survivors of abuse have described the offer of talks as a "remarkable move".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

PvdA wil Monteiro uit misbruikcommissie

NEDERLAND
Reformatorisch Dagblad

DEN HAAG (ANP) – De PvdA vindt het beter als Marit Monteiro onmiddellijk verdwijnt uit de commissie-Deetman, die het seksueel misbruik binnen de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk onderzoekt.

Dat valt op te maken uit vragen van Tweede Kamerlid Khadija Arib aan de ministers van Justitie en Jeugd en Gezin. Hoogleraar Marit Monteiro was lange tijd onderzoekster voor de Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR), een van de initiatiefnemers van het misbruikonderzoek. Tussen 2000 en 2007 was Monteiro als senior onderzoekster in dienst van de Nederlandse Provincie van de Orde der Dominicanen. Ook de dominicanen zijn onderwerp van onderzoek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Open Vld'ster fulmineert tegen politieke steunactie voor geestelijken

BELGIE
HLN

Vlaams parlementslid Ann Brusseel (Open Vld) is niet te spreken over de Scherpenheuvelactie van een aantal van haar collega-parlementsleden. Enkele Vlaamse parlementsleden willen daarmee alle geestelijken die onschuldig zijn aan kindermisbruik en die zich inzetten voor de maatschappij een hart onder de riem steken. Ook Karlos Callens, een partijgenoot van Brusseel, schaarde zich achter de steunactie.

Structureel probleem
"Een actie op touw zetten om heel de Kerk te verdedigen is een impliciete erkenning van het feit dat zowel misbruik als schuldig verzuim wijd verspreide en structurele problemen zijn binnen de Kerk", vindt Brusseel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

It is a “grave offence” to ordain a woman?

GUYANA
Kaieteur News

Stella Says
I have tried to stop myself several times from writing this column, if for no other reason than because I have already written twice in as many weeks on the Catholic Church.

However, anyone who knows my stance on women’s issues also knows I would be compelled by conscience to write about the Vatican’s most recent misogynistic tirade.

On Thursday of last week, the Vatican tried to make a move to show it has a small grip on the reality of the paedophile priest situation. According to the Washington Post, “The new rules extend the statute of limitations for handling of priestly abuse cases from 10 years to 20 years after the victim’s 18th birthday, and the statute of limitations can be extended beyond that on a case-by-case basis. Such extensions have been routine for years but now the waivers are codified.”

In other words, nothing has really changed. Why is it so difficult for the Vatican to just tell its priests “If you rape anyone you will be defrocked, kicked out of the church and turned over to the local authorities.” There, I said it. It wasn’t difficult at all to say. Yet the Vatican cannot seem to utter those same words. Moreover, there is still no mandate for Bishops to report all cases of clerical sexual abuse to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Priest ruling could affect possible Ericksen prosecution

WISCONSIN
Duluth News Tribune

MADISON — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a sexual abuse conviction of a once-prominent Jesuit priest in a ruling that could have an impact on whether Sawyer County authorities decide to prosecute a former Superior Diocese priest.

Donald McGuire had appealed a 2006 conviction of assaulting two boys in the late 1960s, challenging that the statute of limitations for his assaults had expired and that he didn’t receive a fair trial.

In a 7-0 ruling, justices said they were satisfied the trial was fair and that “justice has not miscarried for any reason.”

The ruling could affect a decision by Sawyer County prosecutors whether to charge former priest Tom Ericksen, who acknowledged on Monday that he fondled three boys in the early 1980s while assigned by the Superior Diocese to Winter, Wis. The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department opened an investigation into the sexual assault allegations last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Where is the voice of women? Nuala O'Loan

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

Date:
22 Jul 2010

I have written in the past about openness and transparency in the Church and have joined the long queue of those articulating a considerable and consistent concern about the position of women in the Church and the extent of their ability to make a contribution in Ireland and elsewhere. There can be little doubt that while women form the majority of those who pray in churches, participate in parish activities, clean churches, raise money for churches etc, they have only a limited role in decision making in this Church of ours.

A recent announcement by the Vatican on a forthcoming meeting of the Administrative Council of the Populorum Progressio Foundation ''to deliberate on the financing of projects in support of poor indigenous, mixed race, African-American, and rural communities of Latin America and the Caribbean'' made me think about these issues again. It lists the composition of the members of the administrative council.

They are: Cardinal Paul J. Cordes, president of the foundation and of the Pontifical Council ''Cor Unum''; Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico and president of the council; Archbishop Edmundo Luis Abastoflor Montero of La Paz, Bolivia; Archbishop Alberto Taveira Correa of Belem do Para, Brazil; Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil, Ecuador; Bishop Jose Luis Astigarraga Lizarralde C.P., apostolic vicar of Yurimaguas, Peru; and Msgr Segundo Tejado Munoz, representative of the Pontifical Council ''Cor Unum''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Church needs a rapid response unit - Andrew O'Connell

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

Date:
22 Jul 2010

Friday, July 16, felt more like Friday the thirteenth for anyone following the Church's fortunes in the media. The day turned into a nightmare as news programmes discussed the new Vatican document which includes details of much tougher procedures to deal with clerical abuse.

What should have been a good news day for the Church turned into a hugely damaging debacle. In addition to stricter child abuse procedures, the Vatican document also listed a number of crimes against the sacraments, such as the throwing away of a consecrated host and the ordination of women. This was enough for some media outlets to suggest that the Vatican was equating child abuse and female ordination.

''The Pope's Insult to ALL women'' ran the front page of The Daily Mail while The Irish Independent falsely claimed ''Vatican says female priests 'as sinful' as child abuse''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

PvdA wil Monteiro uit misbruikcommissie

NEDERLAND
Reformatorisch Dagblad

DEN HAAG (ANP) – De PvdA vindt het beter als Marit Monteiro onmiddellijk verdwijnt uit de commissie-Deetman, die het seksueel misbruik binnen de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk onderzoekt.

Dat valt op te maken uit vragen van Tweede Kamerlid Khadija Arib aan de ministers van Justitie en Jeugd en Gezin. Hoogleraar Marit Monteiro was lange tijd onderzoekster voor de Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR), een van de initiatiefnemers van het misbruikonderzoek. Tussen 2000 en 2007 was Monteiro als senior onderzoekster in dienst van de Nederlandse Provincie van de Orde der Dominicanen. Ook de dominicanen zijn onderwerp van onderzoek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

A call to Catholics to ‘come home’ again

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Lisa Wangsness and Marissa Lang
Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent / July 21, 2010

The Archdiocese of Boston, in an effort to bring lapsed Catholics back to church, is planning a major public relations campaign in the coming year that will use television ads, parish events, and personal invitations to urge inactive Catholics to “come home’’ to their faith.

The campaign is planned as the Catholic Church faces huge challenges. Nationally, 10 percent of all American adults are former Catholics, according to a recent study. In the Boston Archdiocese, weekly Mass attendance has plunged from 376,383 in 2000 to 286,951 last year, according to the church’s own annual count.

“Each time we go to Mass. . . . the pews seem emptier and emptier,’’ said Janet Benestad, secretary for faith formation and evangelization at the archdiocese. The goal of the campaign, she said, “is to say to folks, ‘We are diminished by your absence . . . and we want to issue a genuine invitation to return to the practice of the faith.’ ’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

In abuse cases, church rules aren’t enough — call police

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

July 21, 2010

EVEN WHEN a religious institution has its own procedures for punishing wayward clergy, the sexual abuse of children is a serious crime that warrants prosecution by civil authorities. But when the Vatican revised its disciplinary system for sex-abuser priests, it missed the opportunity to take an unambiguous stand against pedophiles and those who protect them. The new rules do not order church officials to report allegations of sex abuse to the police, nor do they establish even internal penalties for bishops who cover up cases of abuse. Until the church adopts a zero-tolerance policy, justice cannot be served, and the worldwide uproar over the church’s handling of such cases will continue.

At least two of the changes announced last week were beneficial. First, the church will be quicker to conduct internal trials of priests accused of abusing children. Second, a new rule doubles the statute of limitations for abuse cases to 20 years from the victim’s 18th birthday. Both of these reforms will streamline the church’s process for identifying and prosecuting cases of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Church's new rules fall short - again

NEW YORK
Times Herald-Record

Common sense and simple decency suggest that if it is proven that some members of an organization have been abusing their special status to sexually molest children entrusted to their care, the leaders of that organization would do everything in their power to dispatch the abusers to the proper legal authorities and discourage anyone who might be tempted to protect them. Swift punishment. Policies and procedures that leave no room for doubt.

The leadership of the Catholic Church, for whatever reasons, has been unable to fully grasp this concept for several decades now. Its latest attempt, in a document issued by the Vatican last week, again falls short. It did little to change the widely held perception that its leaders are still more interested in shielding the Catholic Church than in protecting its most vulnerable parishioners.

The Catholic Church's "new" rules and procedures on clerical sexual abuse now include church penalties for priests who abuse the mentally disabled as well as children and those who use child pornography. They double the statute of limitations on these offenses. And that's about it. They do not include a one-strike-and-you're-out penalty for pedophile priests. They do not require bishops to report every instance of sex abuse to police. They do not include penalties for bishops who cover up abuse. Nor do they eliminate the statute of limitations for such crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Editorial: Vatican needs to stop demonizing women

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

Four years ago on July 31, eight women defied Roman Catholic Church teachings and were the first in the United States to be ordained at a ceremony in Pittsburgh conducted by a group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

They included Joan Houk, a 66-year-old married mother of six and grandmother of five who helped run two Roman Catholic parishes that did not have priests.

The lack of priests nationally and internationally was one of the reasons Sister Jean Rupertus, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia since 1960, supported the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Priest accused of sexual abuse in Kansas still working in Philippines

DODGE CITY (KS)
Lawrence Journal World

By Shaun Hittle

July 21, 2010

Despite having a credible allegation of sexual abuse made against him, a priest who served in the Dodge City Diocese is still in active ministry in a foreign country, according to the website for the Diocese of Boac, which is in the Philippines.

Orestes Huerta was named in a May 2010 statement released by the Dodge City Diocese as one of three priests from the diocese who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor.

Information about Huerta was discovered following a two-year Journal-World/6News investigative series on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Kansas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

July 20, 2010

Vatican Rules for Bishops in Church-closure Cases

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

Tuesday July 20, 2010
CLEVELAND (RNS) A Catholic bishop, acting on what he believes to be good for his entire diocese, can close any parish, even if the parish is financially stable and has vibrant membership, the Vatican's highest court has ruled.

The decision does not bode well for a string of Cleveland churches that have already been closed by Bishop Richard Lennon, but have appeals pending in a Vatican court.

"This is very significant," said Peter Borre, a Catholic activist in Boston who represents 10 churches in that city in their appeals to Rome.

"The message is: `No parish is safe."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

A Lesson in Graviora Delicta for the Church Haters

UNITED STATES
First Things

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Kevin Staley-Joyce
There seems to be a new article on the ordination of women, sex abuse, or some combination of the two every day now, many displaying theological tonedeafness and worse, scorn for the motives of Catholics who dare to take seriously the Church’s longstanding theological traditions. But there are delicta, and then there are graviora delicta. In fact, some published opinions are so bad as to make Maureen Dowd’s verses sound like a hymn.

On Saturday, The Guardian’s Lucy Mangan approached Christopher Hitchen’s level of spume when she said, of the profoundly unstable Mel Gibson’s recent hate-tirades,

Received wisdom is that Gibson cannot recover from this. But one course is still open to him. If ever priesthood beckoned a man, it is surely now. At least he apparently saves his violence for adult females. Truly, God works in mysterious ways.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

State Supreme Court Upholds Sex Abuse Conviction Of Priest

WISCONSIN
WISN

MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled to uphold a sexual abuse conviction of a former priest who said he was falsely accused.

Donald McGuire is accused of abusing two boys in the 1960s.

The men came forward in 2003, saying McGuire abused them during trips to a cottage in Fontana, Wis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 PM

Could Vatican ruling in Boston affect outcome of appeal of Cleveland churches?

CLEVELAND (OH)
WEWS

[with video]

CLEVELAND - The Vatican's highest court of law has ruled that a Catholic bishop acting on what he believes to be good for his entire diocese can close any parish, even if the parish is financially stable and has a solid and active membership.

The Vatican ruling is in response to a church in Boston's appeal to stay open. It could be significant in the battle to keep some Cleveland churches open.

Fifty Cleveland Catholic churches were closed as part of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese downsizing plan. Fourteen of those churches are now under appeal in Rome. Last week, six of those churches received letters from a Vatican panel saying it needed more time to consider their appeals and extended the hearing deadlines until Nov. 30.

Even with the denial of the appeal in Boston, Pat Schulte-Singleton has not given up hope. She is the president of the group called Endangered Catholics and she is also a member of Saint Patrick church, one of the area churches that closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Church Cover-Up Lawsuit Goes To Court

CALIFORNIA
KCRA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. --
Allegations concerning sexual abuse and cover-up inside the Catholic Church in Northern California are headed for a courtroom.

The case surrounds Father Antonio Pinal, who was ordained in 1980, and worked in Gridley, Biggs, Live Oak, Winters and Esparto.

Although the church paid one of Pinal's alleged abuse victims for therapy in the late '80s, the lawsuit charges church officials never reported the priest to law enforcement until 2002 -- after the statute of limitations had run out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

STATE v. McGUIRE

WISCONSIN
Leagle

2010 WI 91

State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
Donald J. McGuire, Defendant-Appellant-Petitioner.
Case No. 2007AP2711-CR.
Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
Opinion Filed: July 20, 2010.
Oral Argument: January 5, 2010.

For the defendant-appellant-petitioner there were briefs by Robert R. Henak and the Henak Law Office, S.C., Milwaukee, and oral argument by Robert R. Henak.

For the plaintiff-respondent the cause was argued by Daniel J. O'Brien, assistant attorney general, with whom on the brief was J. B. Van Hollen, attorney general.

¶ 1 DAVID T. PROSSER, J.

This is a review of an unpublished decision of the court of appeals, State v. McGuire, No. 2007AP2711-CR, unpublished slip op. (Wis. Ct. App. May 20, 2009), affirming a judgment of the Walworth County Circuit Court, James L. Carlson, Judge. Father Donald J. McGuire (McGuire) was charged in 2005 with five counts of indecent behavior with a child, in violation of Wis. Stat. § 944.11(2) (1965-66). The charges were based on acts that McGuire committed between 1966 and 1968. Although prosecutions under § 944.11(2) are subject to the six-year statute of limitations under Wis. Stat. § 939.74(1) (2007-08),[ 1 ] the statute of limitations was tolled while McGuire was not publicly a resident of Wisconsin. Wis. Stat. § 939.74(3).[ 2 ] A jury convicted McGuire on all five counts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

Nordelbien setzt Ombudsfrauen für Missbrauchsopfer ein

DEUTSCHLAND
Welt

Kirche führt vier Disziplinarverfahren gegen Pastoren - Synode entscheidet Anfang 2011 über Nachfolge von Bischöfin Jepsen

Kiel/Hamburg - Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch in der Nordelbischen Kirche können sich künftig an zwei Ombudsfrauen wenden. Mit ihrer Einsetzung reagiert die Kirche auf jetzt bekannt gewordene Missbrauchsfälle. Ansprechpartnerin in Schleswig-Holstein wird zum 1. August die Geschäftsführerin im Kieler Institut für Gewaltprävention des Frauennotrufs, Ursula Schele. Für Hamburg übernimmt die Aufgabe die frühere Bürgerschaftsdirektorin Ulrike Stapelfeldt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Priester krijgt voorwaardelijk voor seksueel misbruik

DUITSLAND
de Volkskrant (Nederland)

BERLIJN - Een rechtbank in de Duitse deelstaat Beieren heeft een 59-jarige priester tot tien maanden voorwaardelijke gevangenisstraf veroordeeld voor seksueel misbruik van drie minderjarige meisjes. De rechtbank achtte bewezen dat de rooms-katholieke geestelijke de kinderen verleden jaar tijdens de bijbelles op hun basisschool onzedelijk heeft betast.

Naast de tien maanden voorwaardelijk kreeg de priester ook een boete van vierduizend euro opgelegd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

Wisconsin Supreme Court Keeps Prominent Priest Locked Up

WISCONSIN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine, president and founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)

We are grateful that the Wisconsin Supreme Court is keeping Fr. Donald McGuire behind bars. He is an unrepentant, narcissistic, serial child predator who used his status as a Jesuit and Mother Teresa’s spiritual advisor to prey on unsuspecting families and kids.

This case should remind child sex abuse victims that even the most high profile, widely-respected and cunning child molesting cleric can sometimes be prosecuted and kept away from kids if only we are brave, patient and persistent.

And it should remind parents that child predators are often extraordinarily charming and charismatic, and usually the last people one would suspect of harboring such a horrific secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Ohio Supreme Court rules for victim & against predator priest

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[Ohio Supreme Court document]

Statement by: Judy Jones, Snap Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511

We're grateful to Beth Rocker, the brave victim of Fr. Gary Zalenski, who has won in her long struggle to shed light on this predator's crimes. We applaud her courage and persistence.

Across this country, and the world, judges are slowly realizing that privacy laws shouldn't be used to help protect child molesters. It's crucial that parents, parishioners and the public learn more about proven, admitted and credibly accused sex offenders - both clergy and non clergy. Courts can play a key role in providing this public safety information.

We hope others who my have seen, suspected or suffered clergy crimes and cover ups - whether by Zalenski or other church staff - find the courage to come forward, call police, expose wrongdoers and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Priest was under investigation months before removal from school

NORTH CAROLINA
WBTV

By Sharon Smith

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In September, an alleged victim came forward saying Father Joseph Kelleher molested him as an alter boy. The year was 1977 in the small town of Albemarle.

Fast forward 33 years, Kelleher is out on bond and facing charges for the crime.

Although the investigation started months ago, Kelleher was not placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Charlotte until July when he was arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Priest charged with child molestation

VIRGINIA
Fairfax Times

by Gregg MacDonald | Staff Writer

A Kenyan priest working in West Virginia was arrested in Fairfax County last week for allegedly sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

On July 8, Felix C. Owino was arrested in Herndon on one count of aggravated sexual battery, according to Fairfax County police. Police responded to the home on Franklin Farm Road, where Owino, 46, was accused of touching the girl inappropriately, said Bud Walker, a Fairfax County police spokesman. Walker said Owino, who remained on the scene and had not attempted to leave, is a longtime acquaintance of the Herndon family. The girl was not physically injured, according to police.

Owino is being detained without bond at the Adult Detention Center in Fairfax County. A hearing is set for Sept. 2, according to the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in West Virginia. No attorney information has yet been made available. Owino's charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine, Walker said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Van Dusen mansion bought by priest sex-abuse lawyer Jeff Anderson

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
City Pages

By Hart Van Denburg, Tue., Jul. 20 2010

​As if the Van Dusen Mansion in South Minneapolis already didn't have a colorful-enough past -- convicted Ponzi schemer Trevor Cook used it as home base to harvest ill-gotten gains until recently -- it's now in the possession of Jeff Anderson. He's the St. Paul attorney spearheading a global campaign against sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic church.

He and some family members kept their identity secret when they paid $1.55 million for the pile in April. Anderson tells the Strib that his son, Matt, will manage it as a venue for weddings, social events and business meetings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

Clare priest details sexual abuse nightmare

IRELAND
The Clare People

A Clare priest has revealed details of his own sexual abuse at the hands of a member of clergy in his memoirs published posthumously last week. Fr Martin Tierney from Kilfenora, also reveals four unsuccessful attempts to report cases of alleged clerical sexual abuse to bishops associated with the Dublin Archdiocese. Fr Tierney, who spent much of his working life in Dublin, lived for the last 15 years in Liscannor before he died from stomach cancer last May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Kritiek op onderzoek misbruik RK-kerk

NEDERLAND
NOS

De Nederlandse organisatie van slachtoffers van misbruik in de katholieke kerk heeft kritiek op de samenstelling van de commissie Deetman, die het misbruik onderzoekt.

Het gaat om hoogleraar Marit Monteiro, die volgens de slachtoffersgroep nauwe banden heeft met kerkelijke instellingen.

Op die manier kan het onderzoek niet onafhankelijk zijn, zegt de groep. De slachtoffers vinden dat het commissielid moet opstappen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Tien geboden voor de Katholieke Kerk

NEDERLAND
DePers

Door: Marcel Hulspas ...
Gepubliceerd: gisteren 23:49
Update: vandaag 06:34

Als de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk het einde van deze eeuw wil halen, zal ze haar doen en denken drastisch moeten herzien. Tien nieuwe geboden voor een bedreigd instituut.

1. Verbeter de wereld, begin bij uzelve

Seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk is niks nieuws. Al eeuwenlang worden priesters en andere kerkelijke ambtsdagers hiervan beschuldigd. Alleen; tot voor kort dacht iedereen dat het om incidenten ging. Tien jaar geleden echter begonnen er in de Verenigde Staten en Ierland geruchten te circuleren over grootschalig, systematisch, seksueel misbruik door gestelijken. Een handjevol beschuldigingen leidde in beide landen tot een ware vloedgolf van aanklachten. De Amerikaanse bisschoppen reageerden alert: er kwam een groot, onafhankelijk onderzoek. In het eindrapport, het John Jay Report dat in 2004 verscheen, werden ruim 4.300 geestelijken aangeklaagd.

In Ierland hadden de beschuldigingen voornamelijk betrekking op katholieke internaten. Hier werd het onderzoek door de kerk zelf georganiseerd, en dat verliep tergend langzaam. Het eindrapport verscheen pas in mei vorig jaar, maar constateerde keihard dat priesters en nonnen gedurende vele decennia duizenden kinderen hadden vernederd, mishandeld en misbruikt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Vormselkaartje deed neef Vangheluwe spreken

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

BRUGGE - Een vormselkaart met een bevlogen boodschap van Roger Vangheluwe was 'de laatste zweepslag' voor de misbruikte neef van de Brugse bisschop, zegt psychiater Peter Adriaenssens.

Het is bekend dat de man die als kind jarenlang misbruikt werd door Roger Vangheluwe, zijn oom, met zijn verhaal naar buiten kwam omdat hij het niet langer kon aanzien hoe de ex-bisschop bewierookt werd als een toonbeeld van zachtmoedigheid. Het slachtoffer stapte eind april naar de commissie seksueel misbruik in de kerk, onder leiding van psychiater Peter Adriaenssens, nadat hij Vangheluwe meermaals en tevergeefs had gevraagd ontslag te nemen als bisschop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Kidney Transplant Links Clergy Abuse Survivors - OUTTAKES #2

UNITED STATES
YouTube

[video presentation]

Phil Saviano and Susan Pavlak discuss details of their common bond - Catholic clergy sexual abuse and a kidney transplant operation in Boston in the summer of 2009. Learn more of Phil and Susan's stories in a related video clip, "OUTTAKES #1."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Kidney Transplant Links Clergy Abuse Survivors - OUTTAKES #1

UNITED STATES
YouTube

[video presentation]

Phil Saviano and Susan Pavlak discuss details of their common bond - Catholic clergy sexual abuse and a kidney transplant operation in Boston in the summer of 2009. In this first video, Phil discusses details of his child sexual abuse, and also the health problems that resulted in him needing a kidney transplant. Susan heard of Phil's need for a transplant through an e-mail plea sent out by SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Phil was a complete stranger to her at the time, but she nevertheless decided to offer him one of her kidneys. Learn more of Phil and Susan's stories in a related video clip, "OUTTAKES #2."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Kidney Transplant Links Two Clergy Sex Abuse Survivors - 2010

UNITED STATES
YouTube

[video presentation]

Clergy abuse survivors reunite nine months after Boston kidney transplant. Susan Pavlak of St. Paul MN donated a kidney to Phil Saviano of Boston, MA on August 26, 2009. Nine months later, Phil traveled out to St. Paul to thank Susan again and to meet her friends and family. This clip is a compilation of TV news coverage of the reunion. Susan and Phil's backgrounds, and how these two strangers came together, are presented in two follow-up videos containing outtakes from their St. Paul press conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Former assistant pastor at Massillon's St. Mary's Church removed from priesthood

OHIO
The Independent

MASSILLON, OH — A former Massillon priest has been removed by the Vatican from the priesthood.

Rev. Thomas Crum was removed from active ministry in 2009 amid accusations of sexual misconduct involving a minor. Upon his removal, Crum asked to be removed from the priesthood.

He served as an assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 726 First St. N.E., in the mid-1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Special Olympics ousts ex-priest

MISSOURI
News Chief

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A former Roman Catholic priest who was part of a $5 million sex abuse settlement in Wisconsin two decades ago was suspended from a volunteer position with Special Olympics Missouri.

The former priest, Tom Ericksen, also has admitted some of the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

Wis. justices uphold ex-Jesuit priest's conviction

WISCONSIN
The Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld a sexual abuse conviction of a former Jesuit priest who claimed he was falsely accused.

In a 7-0 ruling on Tuesday, justices ruled that Donald McGuire's prosecution 36 years after he allegedly abused two teenage boys in the 1960s was fair.

McGuire, a former spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa and her religious order of nuns, argued the delay hurt his ability to defend himself. Justices disagreed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

State High Court Upholds Ex-Mother Teresa Adviser's Conviction

WISCONSIN
WTAQ

MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - A former spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa failed this morning to get out of a 7 year prison term, for molesting 2 boys near Lake Geneva in the 1960’s.

The State Supreme Court unanimously upheld Donald McGuire’s conviction on 5 counts of indecent behavior with children. He was charged 36 years after the incident, and he said the delay hurt his ability to defend himself. But all 7 justices did not agree.

McGuire taught at a suburban Chicago boys’ academy when he molested 2 teenage boys from that school at a cottage at Fontana in Walworth County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Wisconsin court upholds ex-priest's abuse conviction

WISCONSIN
Chicago Breaking News

July 20, 2010

The Wisconsin Supreme Court today upheld the 2006 conviction of once-prominent Jesuit priest Donald McGuire for molesting two Loyola Academy students in the state during the 1960s.

McGuire, 80, who for decades traveled the world as the spiritual director for Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity, was convicted in 2006 for molesting students on several trips to the resort area near Lake Geneva between 1966 and 1968.

Although accusers in Wisconsin generally must come forward within six years of being abused, that statute of limitations tolled while McGuire was not residing in Wisconsin. McGuire appealed the conviction, alleging he was denied due process because during the 36 years that passed between the offenses and charges critical witnesses died and evidence was destroyed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

After the Scandals

UNITED STATES
First Things

Jul 20, 2010
R.R. Reno

Last year, the Irish government published the Murphy Report detailing sexual abuse cases among the clergy, and more damningly, cover-ups by the bishops. Then there was the dustup over a cleric from Pope Benedict’s old diocese in Germany, who was reassigned while in sexual rehab. Now we see very sad and ugly revelations about a Belgian bishop, along with the usual history of negligent oversight: bishops dismissing plausible accusations from faithful Catholics as mean-spirited gossip and leaving the abuser free to continue.

I won’t be at all surprised if there are more revelations, perhaps many more, and some of them even uglier. As David Hart once observed, human nature often disappoints.

But there is a deeper story, one missed by the mainstream media. I’m more and more convinced that we are witnessing an important moment of sociological change, of which the European scandals are as much symptoms as cause.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Sawyer County will investigate former priest

WISCONSIN
Duluth News Tribune

By: Brandon Stahl, Duluth News Tribune

The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department is investigating allegations that a former Superior Diocese priest stationed at a Winter, Wis., church sexually assaulted two boys in the early 1980s.

One of the alleged victims, Paul Eck, said he was contacted on Friday by a Sawyer County sheriff’s investigator who told him he would begin interviewing him and his nephew, James, who also claims he was sexually assaulted by the Rev. Tom Ericksen, as the News Tribune first reported in June.

Sawyer County Sheriff James Meier said he would not comment on the investigation, except to say “one of our investigators was assigned to the case and we have an open complaint.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Cultural forces at work in Belgian scandal

BELGIUM
National Catholic Reporter (United States)

Jul. 20, 2010
By John A. Dick

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM -- So what is going on in “Catholic Belgium”? many seem to be asking. And why has it become the latest location to explode in the clergy sex abuse scandal?

First, the presumption that Belgium, a nation of 11 million, is a Catholic country has to be qualified. Statistically, the claim is true. Today, more than 7 million people, or about three quarters of the population, are Roman Catholics. As elsewhere in Europe, however, Sunday church attendance has dropped significantly and is now well below 10 percent. A strong Catholic culture still exists, but increasingly along with a strong sense that the official church has been conducting too much business behind closed doors.

This latest sentiment, along with a new resolve by the government not to be seen as lax in dealing with sex abuse issues, means that for many the June 24 police raid on the offices of the Catholic church in Belgium was not as shocking here as it might have been to the rest of the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Former abuser’s move to KC sparks anger

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph isn’t doing enough to alert parishioners about abusive priests living under the radar in the area, an activist group said Monday.

“We’ve seen no indication where church officials have taken proactive measures to warn families and communities about these dangerous men,” said David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Clohessy cited the case of Tom Ericksen, a former priest in the Diocese of Superior, Wis., who was the subject of a multimillion-dollar sex abuse case settled in 1989. Ericksen was removed from the priesthood in 1988 but has never been criminally charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Sex-abuse case against rabbi raises larger issues

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Michael Rezendes
Globe Staff / July 20, 2010

Two years ago, Michael Brecher came to prosecutors in Boston with a disturbing allegation: In the 1970s, he said, he had been molested by a rabbi who was teaching sixth grade at one of the region’s most prestigious Jewish day schools, the Maimonides School.

One of Brecher’s classmates came forward at the same time. And last year, after reading news accounts of indecent sexual assault and battery charges filed against Stanley Z. Levitt, a third person said that he, too, was abused by Levitt.

Now, court records show that Levitt might have tried to entice two more students into having intimate contact with him while they took showers in his Brighton home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Deposition tape of disgraced ex-bishop Thomas Dupre released

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
WGGB

[with video]

Andrew Nicastro's attorney, John Stobierski, released the deposition tape of Thomas Dupre to the public; Dupre invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in most of his responses. Michael Jennings, Dupre's attorney, responds to the release of the tape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

German court sentences priest to a 10-month suspended sentence for sexually abusing girls

GERMANY
CJFW (Canada)

By: The Associated Press

BERLIN - A court in southern Germany has convicted a Roman Catholic priest of sexually abusing three underage girls and handed him a suspended sentence of 10 months.

The state court in Weiden said Tuesday it found the cleric guilty of unduly touching young girls below the waist during religious education classes in an elementary school in four cases last year.

The court also fined him €4,000 ($5,200).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Thomas Dupre video shows disgraced former Springfield Diocese bishop sticking to script in lawsuit deposition

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

[with video]

Patrick Johnson, The Republican

SPRINGFIELD – A video released of a deposition given in April by disgraced bishop Thomas L. Dupre shows the former head of the Diocese of Springfield appearing unsettled and annoyed but ultimately sticking to the script.

Several times throughout the 3-hour taped deposition, Dupre’s response to every question was to glance at the paper in front of him and then give the same response:

“I assert my rights to refuse to answer.”

Throughout the 3-hour deposition, Dupre, dressed in a clerical collar, continually drummed his fingers on the glossy table surface. At times his eyes would dart around the room to the others in the room, his lawyer Michael O. Jennings and the plantiff’s lawyer John J. Stobierski who was asking the questions. Other times Dupre would take quick glances directly into the video camera lens that was positioned in front of him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Sex abuse investigator worked for church

NETHERLANDS
Radio Netherlands

The committee investigating sexual abuse by officials in the Roman Catholic church in the Netherlands has been criticised for a lack of independence.

The Netherlands organisation of abuse victims says that professor Marit Monteiro, a member of the committee, has close ties to religious bodies. She once worked for the Dominican Order, whose members are among the suspects under investigation. The chairman of the committee, former Lower House Speaker Wim Deetman, said in a written statement that Professor Monteiro is beyond reproach and totally independent.

The victims' organisation criticised the committee before, pointing out that the Roman Catholic church itself appointed it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Jehovah's Witness abused boy from age of seven until he was a teenager, court hears

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

Jul 20 2010

A JEHOVAH'S Witness today admitted sexually abusing a young boy from the age of seven.

Thomas Gold, 45, abused the child over a period of seven years at an address in Clackmannanshire.

The abuse began with a kiss on the boy's mouth, and became more sexual as the youngster got older. ...

It came to light after the boy, also a Jehovah's witness, spoke to church elders about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

St. Louis Female Priest Responds to Vatican Equating Women Reverends with Pedophiles

MISSOURI
Riverfront Times

By Chad Garrison, Tue., Jul. 20 2010

By now you've probably heard how the Vatican unveiled sweeping changes last week regarding its policies on sexual abuse and sexuality within the Catholic church.

On one hand, the Church increased efforts to out priests accused of sexual abuse by increasing the statute of limitations in which the church will investigate such claims from 10 to 20 years. On the other hand, the church also classified the ordination of female priests as a "grave crime" against the Church -- on par with pedophilia.

Curious as to what one of St. Louis' three female Catholic priests thought of this new policy, we called up the Rev. Elsie McGrath of Therese of Divine Peace. As you might expect, the good reverend wasn't too happy.

"We find it very repugnant and extremely misogynistic," says McGrath, who was ordained by a St. Louis rabbi in 2007 when turned away by the St. Louis Archdiocese. "At the same time it's kind of interesting that they would be so unaware of the world to put such a statement out there. It's more of the same with the Church viewing women and children as second-class citizens. It's still all about protecting male priests."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Local pastor charged with sodomy

VIRGINIA
Inside NoVa

By Keith Walker
Published: July 19, 2010

WOODBRIDGE, Va.—Police have charged a 32-year-old Dumfries-area pastor with having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

Authorities on July 13 opened an investigation into alleged child abuse and determined that the pastor and the girl, now 17, started a close friendship in September 2007, said Prince William County police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

At the time, Jason Roy Bolton worked at Potomac Crest Baptist Church at 15418 Cardinal Drive in Woodbridge, Perok said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Pastor Charged With Having Relationship With Teenage Girl

VIRGINIA
Fox

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Prince William County Police have charged 32-year-old Dumfries pastor Jason Roy Bolton with having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

Bolton has been charged with sodomy and held on $3,000 bond.

Authorities opened an investigation into the alleged child abuse on July 13. It was determined that the pastor and girl, now 17, started a close friendship in September of 2007, according to Prince Wililam County Police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

When the Church is Abusive: When is Church a Controlling Cult?

UNITED STATES
Telegraph

Rev. Jenine Mason

When the Church Is Abusive: When Is Church a Controlling Cult?

I was sickened and saddened when I came across a website with information regarding a church where I knew of some of the people in the congregation in the past. It had been years since I had taken a deeper look at this particular church and had a very strong check in my heart as to whether not so good things were going on. I consulted a California based cult watching organization regarding the church and they had said they were well aware of the ministry I spoke of and had been watching it. This was at least 17 years ago. I remember I prayed fervently for God to bring the darkness into the Light so that people who might be treated unkindly would be set free from the control and manipulation. When God finally revealed the darkness it was more then I could stand as I read the court dockets of the trial concerning the proclaimed Bishop of the church. The court proceedings were filled with horrible sexual secretive acts between the men of the church which included at least one known minor. The abuse went beyond this. It had to in order for them to hide their abusiveness. One abuse led to another. Yet as always, God reveals these things openly eventually. When people won’t explain their actions, you better believe that there is some type of secret problem that is going on that causes them to not be open. Any honest person lives their lives in the open and when asked will reveal what is going on in their life whether it is a good thing or not so good. Unfortunately the dishonest ones who hide their indiscretions can be more than harmful but life altering horrible to those who are vulnerable to their actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Va. pastor charged with child abuse

VIRGINIA
Washington Post

Prince William County police have arrested a former youth pastor on charges that he carried on a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

Jason Bolton, 32, of Dumfries, began a close friendship with the girl in September 2007, police said. By early 2010, the relationship had become romantic.

Bolton, a married man with two sons and a daughter, began as a youth pastor at Potomac Crest Baptist Church in 2007. He resigned in May after the sexual allegations came to light.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Opinion - Americans need to see their place in Catholic world

CathNews

The New York Times called upon Pope Benedict XVI to make the American bishops’ “zero tolerance” approach to sexual abuse binding on the worldwide Catholic church.

In principle that’s a perfectly reasonable idea, especially since Vatican spokespersons routinely invoke the pope’s defense of the tough American rules as proof that he gets it.

Yet the editorial also used the word “shocking” to describe the fact that eight years after the American policies were developed, the pontiff has not yet imposed them on the rest of the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Fighting for their identity

CANADA
The Irish Times

LORRAINE MALLINDER

Canada’s past is catching up with it as the native children who were brought up in residential schools seek accountability

IT WAS snowing the day that Michael Cachagee and his two brothers left home. Their mother took the boys by horse-drawn sleigh to the Indian agent’s office. Before surrendering her children, she told them they were going to a nice place where they would have lots of fun.

“We believed her,” says Cachagee, who was four years old at the time. The boys were taken to a church-run boarding school for aboriginal children in Canada. In the years that followed that fateful day in 1943, Cachagee would be forbidden from speaking his native Cree language. He would also suffer sexual abuse at the hands of three supervisors and a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Mo. Special Olympics ousts ex-priest over abuse

KANSAS CITY (CO)
The Associated Press

By MARIA SUDEKUM FISHER (AP)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former Roman Catholic priest who was part of a $5 million sex abuse settlement in Wisconsin two decades ago was suspended from a volunteer position with Special Olympics Missouri and has admitted some of the abuse.

Mark Musso, president and CEO of Special Olympics Missouri, said the former priest, Tom Ericksen, 62, of Kansas City, was suspended indefinitely last week after the organization learned of the 1989 settlement with the Diocese of Superior, Wis.

Ericksen admitted in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday that he had fondled three boys but denied having contact with a fourth child involved in the settlement. He said the settlement totaled about $5 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Pope defrocks ex-Warren priest

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Tribune Chronicle

By BOB COUPLAND / Tribune Chronicle
POSTED: July 20, 2010

YOUNGSTOWN - The Vatican has officially notified the Diocese of Youngstown that Pope Benedict XVI has removed from the priesthood a former Warren-area priest accused of sexual misconduct involving a minor.

Thomas Crum, a former Cardinal Mooney High School faculty member who also served as a priest at St. James Catholic Church in Warren and St. Mary in Orwell, had requested he be removed from the priesthood after the allegations surfaced about a year ago.

He is accused of having sexual contact with a Mooney student more than 30 years ago, according to the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

On Catholic church abuse scandal, Rome has simply fiddled

UNITED STATES
Charlotte Observer

Posted: Tuesday, Jul. 20, 2010
If the Vatican is trying to restore the impression that its moral sense is intact, issuing a document that equates pedophilia with the ordination of women doesn't really do that. The Catholic Church continued to heap insult upon injury when it revealed its long-awaited new rules on clergy sex abuse, rules that the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said signaled a commitment to grasp the nettle with "rigor and transparency."

The church still believes in its own intrinsic holiness despite all evidence to the contrary. It thinks it is making huge concessions on the unstoppable abuse scandal when it's taking baby steps. The casuistic document did not issue a zero-tolerance policy to defrock priests after they are found guilty of pedophilia; it did not order bishops to report every instance of abuse to the police; it did not set up sanctions on bishops who sweep abuse under the rectory rug; it did not eliminate the statute of limitations for abused children; it did not tell bishops to stop lobbying legislatures to prevent child-abuse laws from being toughened.

There is no moral awakening here. The cruelty and indecency of child abuse once more inspires tactical contrition. All the penitence of the church is grudging and reactive. Church leaders are merely as penitent as they need to be to protect the institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Vatican’s public relations break down as ‘own goals’ clatter in

SCOTLAND
The Press and Journal

By Ron Ferguson

Published: 20/07/2010

IF I WERE a Roman Catholic, I think I'd be sitting with my head in my hands right now. I don't know who is responsible for public relations in the Vatican, but the Catholic Church has had a terrible year as far as publicity is concerned. There will be people who are enjoying the public discomfiture of the Church, and will be making the most of it. I'm certainly not. The current crisis is damaging for all Churches, and no one has entirely clean hands.

The Catholic Church has been blundering from one bad headline to another. Last week, incredibly, it contrived to make a bad situation even worse. We’ll come back to that in a minute.

Some clerics blame the press and enemies of the Church for the terrible image of the Vatican. There may be a measure of truth in this; there undoubtedly are people who are hostile to Christianity and to the Roman Catholic Church in particular. But the undeniable truth is that so many of the wounds are self-inflicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

New Vatican rules ‘just words’

MALTA
Times of Malta

Claudia Calleja

A man who claims to have been abused by priests thinks the Vatican’s new rules are just “words” that do nothing to protect innocent children from abusive members of the clergy.

“The new rules do not oblige the Church to refer cases of abuse to the police... They do not make it clear and simple that a bishop or priest caught covering up for someone should he dismissed straight away,” according to Lawrence Grech.

Last Thursday, the Vatican published rules that, among others, gives its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith the power to bypass its own judicial process and issue an “extrajudicial decree” against priests involved in sex abuse cases. The Congregation already had these powers but with the changes, the extrajudicial proceedings have now become an integral part of Canon Law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Former Toledo cleric accused of Pa. abuse

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

The late Bishop Donald James Davis, who was rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Toledo from 1963-71, has recently been accused of molesting at least nine women while they were children in Pennsylvania, church officials said.

Bishop Davis resigned from the House of Bishops in 1994 after a bishop confronted him over allegations of abuse. No criminal charges were filed at the time because the victims did not wish to go public, Bishop Sean Rowe of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania said in a statement.

Bishop Davis died in 2007 at age 78.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

July 19, 2010

Minister pleads guilty to molesting boys in Fairfax

FAIRFAX (VA)
Washington Post

The former pastor of a Fairfax County church pleaded guilty Monday morning to molesting two boys who were under his supervision in the 1990s, and Fairfax prosecutors agreed to a deal in which the man would spend no time in jail.

But Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy I. Bellows said he may not accept the deal, in which case the defendant, Tommy R. Shelton Jr., could withdraw his plea and take the case to another judge.

Shelton, 65, was the pastor of Community Church of God in the Dunn Loring area from 1995 to 2000. Authorities said two men came forward to Fairfax police in 2008 and alleged that Shelton sexually assaulted them in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 PM

Prelate: Pedophilia an Illness, Marriage Not a Cure

COLOMBIA
Zenit

BOGOTA, Colombia, JULY 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Pedophilia is a psychiatric illness that has been amply verified, and marriage is not the cure for it, recalled Archbishop Jesús Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogota.

The prelate, newly assigned to Colombia's largest archdiocese, affirmed this at a press conference on the day of his appointment, July 8.

Archbishop Salazar Gómez is also the president of Colombia's episcopal conference.

He called for treating the problem of pedophilia in a "wider context" since it is false to label Catholicism as the "Church of pedophiles."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Dupre videotape made public

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
WWLP

[with video]

Laura Hutchinson
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The videotaped deposition of a disgraced former bishop was released to the public on Monday.

22News received a copy of the video showing the bishop respond so several questions about supervising a priest that reportedly abused children.

Click here to read the written transcript of the interview.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

Father Crum defrocked by Vatican

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Vindicator

A Catholic priest who was accused of sexual abuse while he taught at Cardinal Mooney High School has been defrocked.

Thomas Crum, who served in the Diocese of Youngstown from 1975 to 2009, was removed from the priesthood about two weeks ago, said the Rev. Robert Siffrin, vicar general of the diocese. He did not have the exact date.

Father Siffrin said that after an abuse allegation surfaced in May 2009 while Crum was pastor at Our Lady of Peace Church in Canton, the diocese removed him from active duty and asked him to consider requesting removal from the priesthood, which he did.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Former Bishop's Taped Deposition Released

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
CBS 3

By Kim Lucey

A former bishop who left the church and the Pioneer Valley in disgrace is answering questions for the first time. Thomas Dupre's legal deposition from a clergy sex abuse lawsuit is now public.

The deposition is more than 2 hours long, and the answers the former bishop gives are all the same. But the attorney asking those questions says it's the pictures that are worth a thousand words.

Thomas Dupre, Former Bishop, says: "I assert my rights to refuse to answer."

Though he said it nearly 250 times during the two hour tape, the attorney deposing Dupre says the way he reacts tells a whole lot more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Another blow for victims of clergy sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

CATHY KEZELMAN
July 20, 2010

The Vatican's juxtaposition of women's ordination and child sexual assault as a "grave crime" is another attack on the victims of clergy abuse.

Melbourne's Archbishop, Denis Hart, has since stated that "the Church is merely clarifying its position" regardiing what it thinks is serious, but this does not mitigate the blow for those people awaiting justice for their ordeals.

The Vatican document further states that any priest seeking to ordain a woman is open to being defrocked. The new Vatican rules for dealing with the crime of child sexual assault have also reviewed the mechanism for defrocking paedophile priests, with the most grave cases being referred "to the Roman pontiff". While this does speed up the process, the guidelines fall short of making such defrocking mandatory in the case of paedophilia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

A Catholic mom on Vatican's abuse strategy

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Tracy Grant
The Catholic Church has shown that it has a lot in common with your typical 6-year-old.

In announcing its latest attempt to deal with the decades-old priest sex abuse scandal, the Vatican wheedled when it could have healed, deflected when it could have taken a punch squarely and ultimately, failed to put behind it the greatest calamity to face the church in centuries.

Fundamentally, the church failed to recognize that "honesty is the best policy" is not merely a hoary chestnut, not merely a pat moral salve: it is, in times of crisis, a highly effective, but infrequently used, strategy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Child sex abuse and women's ordination: the Vatican's immoral equivalency

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

Susan Jacoby

Open mouth and insert foot--again and again and again. That must be the Vatican motto under Pope Benedict XVI. How else to explain the Vatican's recent statement placing priestly pedophilia and attempts to ordain women as priests on the same list of "grave delicts" to be punished by the Roman Catholic Church. Oh yes. Heresy, apostasy, and schism also made the list. In case you haven't heard the word "delict" used lately, it is a legal term meaning--naturally--an offense against the law. In this case, the target of the delict is church law. This term is itself revealing, because it locates both priestly pedophilia and women's ordination in the realm of violations of church rules rather than in the realm of sin or crime. The Vatican is certainly right about half of this equation. Ordaining women as priests is neither a sin nor a crime, but an offense--a delict--against these men in their black, red, and white frocks. You can now be defrocked for raping a child or for conferring Holy Orders on a woman.

In a statement that disappointed Catholic advocates for victims, the Vatican ordered speeded up in-house procedures to investigate allegations of abuse by priests. But the church will not hold bishops accountable for abuse that occurred under their jurisdiction, and bishops are not required, though they are permitted, to report the crime to civil authorities. Priests who are found guilty of child abuse can now be defrocked (unless the church's 20-year statute of limitations has expired)--and so can priests who attempt to ordain women. How is it possible that the Vatican could make such a perverse equation?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Sin, secularization and the Vatican's PR problem

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Michele Dillon
Over the past few months, following years of evidence of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and its systematic cover-up by church officials, Pope Benedict has reiterated a commitment to church actions to redress what he eventually came to acknowledge as "the sin inside the church." Canon laws in effect since 1922 have long given the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith authority over the handling of sex abuse cases; yet, as we now know, these rules and others outlined in more recent years, were mostly ignored by Vatican officials, whether intentionally or not.

This week, the Vatican outlined more new rules for the disciplining of abusive priests, and called pedophilia a grave crime constituting egregious violations of moral law. In the same breath, the Vatican also reaffirmed its opposition to women's ordination and reminded Catholics that "the attempted ordination of women" is a grave crime too.

The jarring juxtaposition of these two disparate issues seems mindboggling. Their insensitive conflation highlights that Vatican officials still do not fully apprehend the grave emotional cost of the irreparable harm done to numerous individuals and their families by the actions of priests and church officials. It also shows that the Vatican does not fully grasp how the scandal has diminished its credibility among Catholics, victims and non-victims alike, who want to find pastoral healing, spiritual strength, and moral leadership within the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

This Is What Happens When Maureen Dowd Gets It Right

UNITED STATES
Wonkette

So, Our Lady of Ginger Devotion Maureen Dowd wrote about how the Molesty Church says the attempted priestification of ladies is pretty much just as bad as making out with infants. And for the first time in the history of Reblogging Maureen, MoDo reached out and grabbed my heart. You know why? Because she’s pissed off, and she means it, and she cares, and you can smell it coming off the page. And she hit a raw spot inside me that even Goo Gone cannot heal.

Being raised Roman Catholic in America is weird, to say the least. If you live in the Northeast, you are likely to be surrounded by many of your own kind. This is good, in that you feel less alone with your incense and your guilt. But it is also bad, because you grow up thinking it’s completely normal for men who claim to be celibate to tell you who is suitable for screwing, and when, and how, and why. You will learn, as Maureen Dowd and I did, that sex is for procreation only; that birth control is almost the same as abortion; that abortion is murder; that murder sends you straight to hell; and that homosexual men are evil buttsexing Sodomites who all want to destroy Society As We Know It and who most certainly are not welcome at Bingo Night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

WOMEN'S ORDINATION AND THE NEW YORK TIMES

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

July 19, 2010

On Saturday, the Catholic Church was the subject of a critical editorial in the New York Times, and yesterday, columnist Maureen Dowd joined the attack. At issue is a recent set of Vatican norms. Catholic League president Bill Donohue addressed their concerns today:

On July 15, the Vatican released new norms that were divided into 31 articles. The New York Times editorial found unacceptable those governing the sexual abuse of minors, and the stricture against women's ordination. Maureen Dowd focused on the same issues, though her style was the usual boilerplate.

They need to get a few things straight: the issue of women's ordination in the Catholic Church should be treated the way the Times treats the Orthodox Jewish strictures against eating pork and the Muslim practice of barring sex during the day while Ramadan is being observed—with thundering silence. Moreover, the Times never criticizes Orthodox Jews and Muslims for segregating the sexes in many settings. Nor should it: it's no one's business. Would that it do the same for Catholicism's proscription of women's ordination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Hammering on Rome

UNITED STATES
First Things

Monday, July 19, 2010
R.R. Reno

In an editorial on Saturday, the Grey Lady deemed last weeks changes to the motu proprio concerning crimes against the holy sacraments worse than inadequate. “Among all the defensive posturing and inept statements,” write the editors, there was one real stunner.” And the shock? The Vatican has the gall to cite attempts to ordain women as a grave crime, along with further clarification of sexual abuse. How dare they mention both in the same document!

This motu proprio, Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela, was originally put forward in 2001 by Pope John Paul II as the canonical mechanism for clarifying and steamlining the process by which priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, as well as other grave offenses could be removed from the priesthood. It’s something akin to legislation refining laws for prosecuting crimes.

The recently released revisions offer still further clarifications: an increase in the statute of limitations to 20 years, establishing the possibility of immediate dismissal from the clerical state (“defrocking”), by direct action of the Pope rather than by ecclesiastical trial, as well as specifying the right of the Vatican to take action against bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Making Lemonade

OREGON
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

I made lemonade in case we were thirsty or if anyone we met was thirsty. However, I left it in the car and no one drank any.

Nothing went the way I planned it to happen on the first day of the Walk Across Oregon on July 18, 2010, but it all worked out fine anyway.

I had a program lined up for a Compassionate Gathering to be held as part of the Walk. First, the program did not work out. Then the person who had offered us donated space for the Gathering to take place in the Sellwood neighborhood pulled out due to family reasons. I had to tell some people who had planned to join us in Sellwood but not Oaks Bottom, to not come because we had no place to meet. We gamely went forward -- Mary Lou, Compassionate Gathering’s Secretary Treasurer, my children, Colin and Sidney, and me. I decided to make my daughter happy by going to Oaks Park amusement park, which is adjacent to Oaks Bottom, after walking around the Bottom, instead of walking through Sellwood. I thought that perhaps the larger number so people at Oaks Park would provide more people interested in our issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

The Vatican and Women: Casting the First Stone

TIME

By Tim Padgett Monday, Jul. 19, 2010

What a rich coincidence we Roman Catholics got to experience at Mass on Sunday. The scheduled gospel passage was Luke's story about Jesus visiting the sisters Martha and Mary of Bethany (who Catholic tradition says was Mary Magdalene). Many biblical scholars believe the narrative shows Jesus encouraging Mary to assume the role of a disciple, like Peter and the guys. That notion lent some cable news significance to the reading — coming as it did just days after the Vatican issued an avowal, as obtuse as it was malicious, that ordaining women into the priesthood is a sin on par with pedophilia.

Rome's misogynous declaration, tossed into its new guidelines on reporting clerical sexual abuse, did more than just highlight the Church's hoary horror at the idea of women priests — or its penchant of late for sticking its papal slippers in its mouth every chance it gets. It also pointed up an increasingly spiteful rhetoric of bigotry. When Argentina last week legalized gay marriage, the country's Catholic bishops weren't content to simply denounce the legislation; they used it to argue the sub-humanity of homosexuals and lesbians, the way many white Southern preachers weren't ashamed to degrade African-Americans during the civil rights movement. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio not only called the new law "a scheme to destroy God's plan," he termed it "a real and dire anthropological throwback," as if homosexuality were evolutionarily inferior to heterosexuality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Pope Benedict XVI Removes Youngstown Priest

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WYTV

The Diocese of Youngstown announced that they have been notified by the Vatican that Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the request of Thomas Crum and removed him from the priesthood.

Crum was removed from active priesthood in 2001 in response to credible accusations of sexual misconduct involving a minor. After these accusations were made public, Crum sought removal from the priesthood.

The diocese said that removal from the priesthood means that in accord with canon law, he may not function as a priest anywhere, with the exception of offering absolution to the dying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

A Slow-Motion Implosion: There Can Be No Going Back

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

Posted at: Monday, July 19, 2010
Author: Tom Beaudoin

The Vatican and its defenders can argue that so closely associating women's ordination and sexual abuse does not make them the same. But Catholics in secularizing countries, many of whom understand that the form of the message is part of its content, will be at liberty to be critical -- when they are not exhausted already into indifference over the slow-motion implosion of an archaic clericalist structure. Just as the Second Vatican Council said that Christians share responsibility for making modern people atheists, those in Catholic power today share responsibility for making people secular Catholics. It is as if the more the purity and authority of Catholicism is defended from on high, the less Catholicism actually matters as a social and spiritual phenomenon.

This is far, far beyond a public relations issue. To cast things as a problem of public relations mistakes separates too cleanly the "content" of Catholicism from its "form" or "communication." Instead, the very form of communication should be thought of as a kind of theological content. It is not only that official Catholicism does not know how to communicate well in the contemporary media world. It is that too often what it has to communicate, and the way it does so, is not persuasive to an increasingly educated, worldly, and pluralistically-aware public. The victims, and the Catholic structures that created victimization, should have been the irreparable center of official Catholic focus. But the form and content of official communication about abuse and its structures shows that we have yet to witness that conversion of consciousness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Church needs a sense of proportion and a little spin

IRELAND
The Irish Times

ANN MARIE HOURIHANE

The Catholic Church goes around shooting itself in the foot and Peter Mandelson offends the masses

AH, THE Catholic Church: the only organisation left in the modern world that manages to conceive without spin. What, one wonders, is the opposite of spin. Is it, perhaps, thud? Anyway, in the era of media management, corporate- speak and public relations overload, the Catholic Church is pretty singular in its ability to be seen shooting itself in the foot at any media outlet near you. Doctors, it was once said, bury their mistakes; the Catholic Church buries its successes, and that makes them rather hard to find.

Therefore, the news that the Catholic Church included sanctions against those who ordain women along with its first major review of how it deals with clerical child abuse in almost a decade, came as no real surprise. One appreciates that ordaining women is a so-called “sacramental” crime, as opposed to child abuse which, as the Vatican’s chief prosecutor explained on Thursday, is defined as a “moral” crime – but still, lads. Still.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 AM

Drawing the Line on Scandals in the Church

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by Edward Pentin Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hardly a week has gone by this year without the Holy Father having to deal with some crisis or scandal. He has had the clerical sex abuse scandals of course, but also ongoing corruption allegations involving a few Vatican officials, some very senior.

And we are told more revelations are to come.

As a Catholic journalist, it’s made me wonder how much scandal, particularly in the Vatican, do we need to know? To what extent is disclosing them beneficial to the Church and the building up of each person’s faith? And how much should scandalous revelations be shared outside the family of the Church?

The danger of reporting on the sins of those within the Church is, of course, that not only can they turn people away from the faith but also give ammunition to the Church’s enemies, although clearly any crimes such as child sex abuse and the mishandling of them need to be exposed. As has become painfully clear, fear of scandalizing the faithful can result in making the scandal even worse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Dupre videotape may be released today

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
WWLP

[with video]

Laura Hutchinson
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The videotaped deposition of a disgraced former bishop could be released to the public on Monday.

22News received a copy of the transcript of the deposition last week, but Monday we'll be able to see and hear the bishop's response when asked about supervising the priest that reportedly abused children. Click here to read the written transcript of the interview.

Disgraced former Bishop Thomas Dupre used to supervise the priest that is accused of clergy abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

New Vatican norms all about women

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

Mark Silk

Friday July 16, 2010
The new set of canon law norms issued by the Vatican yesterday was intended to win some PR points on the sexual abuse front, but its substantive goal is to ensure that no Roman Catholic bishop starts ordaining women. Far from being a maladroit add-on to the list of "graver crimes" (graviora delicta) subject to the juridical control of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the ordination issue is the document's main business. That's my conclusion.

Talk to a canon lawyer and you will learn that there's nothing much new in the other stuff. Under the norms issued in 2001 by Pope John Paul II, the Congregation Formerly Known as the Inquisition already had been given jurisdiction over graviora delicta involving sexual abuse and the sacraments. If the statute of limitations needed to be extended in a given case, getting a dispensation was a routine matter. OK, child porn has become a serious "delict." But it's the formal acquisition of jurisdiction over "attempted women's ordination" that's the significant innovation. Although the CDF issued its own decree on the subject in 2007, now the pope has given the congregation formal procedural control over such cases.

There's more. In the 2007 decree, the CDF simply announced automatic excommunication for both the cleric doing the ordaining and woman receiving it. The new norm goes further and declares that the ordainer "may be punished by dismissal or deposition"--i.e. formally removed from the priesthood: laicized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Moral problems at the Vatican

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

Mark Silk

The widespread astonishment, contempt, and anger that has greeted the Vatican's decision to include the "attempted ordination of women" among the "graver crimes" falling under the juridical purview of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has forced apologists for the new norms to issue explanations for how it's really not the case that (as I put it back on July 9) "Ordaining Women = Raping Children." The explanations boil down to distinguishing between violations of the sacraments and moral crimes.

As Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, the Vatican's abuse prosecutor, put it, "Sexual abuse and pornography are more grave delicts, they are an egregious violation of moral law...Attempted ordination of women is grave, but on another level, it is a wound that is an attempt against the Catholic faith on the sacramental orders." In other words, a rotten apple is not the same as a rotten orange, even though they both need to be thrown out. I could be fired for sleeping with an undergraduate, plagiarizing an article, or murdering my next-door neighbor, but that doesn't mean that those acts are equivalent.

Enough said? Not quite. That neat distinction between the moral and sacramental levels is, I'm afraid, bogus. Consider how the CDF came to be involved in sexual abuse cases in the first place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Tel Aviv synagogue reconsiders invitation to Rabbi Elon

ISRAEL
Haaretz

By Yair Ettinger

The Heichal Meir synagogue in Tel Aviv is considering backtracking on its plan to host classes given by Rabbi Mordechai Elon, who has been accused of sexually exploiting his students, the synagogue's rabbi said yesterday.

Heichal Meir could face a confrontation with Takana, a watchdog group that aims to prevent sexual exploitation by authority figures in the religious world, if it doesn't withdraw its invitation to Elon.

"If it leads to malicious gossip, disruptions and outbursts, it could be that we don't need" to have Elon teach, Heichal Meir's Rabbi Shlomo Dichovsky said yesterday. But he said the synagogue board was ultimately responsible for the decision and would do whatever was in the best interest of the synagogue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Hasid Pleads Guilty to Sodomy

NEW YORK
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

A Brooklyn man from Borough Park’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community was sentenced Wednesday for sexual acts with an underage boy.

Moshe Spitzer was sentenced to two years in prison with 10 years post-release supervision by Kings County Supreme Court Justice Dineen Riviezzo, as part of a plea deal with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. ...

The victim reported the abuse to a Yeshiva principal about four years later and the principal encouraged him to tell his parents, leading to this prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Tapes show Simon Taub tried to blackmail son of sex-offender Baruch Lebovits, sources says

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY Simone Weichselbaum
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

The son of a convicted child molester made secret recordings of sweater king Simon Taub trying to blackmail him, sources said yesterday.

The conversations in Yiddish between Taub, 61, and the 31-year-old son of Baruch Lebovits led to Taub's arrest on July 7 on grand larceny charges.

Taub asked for around $250,000 for his silence after accusing the younger Lebovits of sexually abusing Taub's son, sources said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Harteloze kerk

NEDERLAND
de Volkskrant

Het had het document moeten worden waarmee onomstotelijk zou worden aangetoond dat het Vaticaan zich ten volle bewust is van de diepe wonden die de pedofilieschandalen hebben geslagen en van de morele ontluistering die de katholieke kerk als gevolg daarvan ten deel is gevallen. Maar eens te meer blijkt: onderschat nooit het bijzondere vermogen van de huidige leiding van de kerk om zichzelf te kijk te stellen als een gezelschap dat gepreoccupeerd is met leerstellige zaken en het contact met de werkelijkheid kwijt is.

In nieuwe richtlijnen wordt een hardere aanpak van kindermisbruik in het vooruitzicht gesteld. Geestelijken die zich daaraan bezondigen, begaan een ‘ernstig misdrijf’ en moeten uit het ambt worden gezet. Seksueel misbruik blijft voortaan twintig jaar strafbaar. So far so good – al ontbreekt nog de nadrukkelijke bepaling dat misbruik moet worden gemeld aan justitie. Maar in één moeite door bestempelt het Vaticaan de wijding van vrouwen tot priester (of de poging daartoe) tot een zelfde flagrante overtreding van het kerkelijke recht, dat eveneens met ontzetting uit het ambt moet worden bestraft, terwijl de desbetreffende vrouwen kunnen worden geexcommuniceerd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Clerical child abuse survivors to receive awards

IRELAND
Ireland Online

19/07/2010 - 08:57:47

Clerical child abuse survivors Marie Collins and Andrew Madden are to receive public awards later today.

They will receive the Humbert Summer School Outstanding Merit award in Ballina, Co Mayo.

Announcing the awards, the school director John Cooney said the pair had proved themselves to be inspirational figures who had spoken courageously in public about their childhood ordeals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Irish Bishop comments on Holy See update on 'Norms on serious crimes'

IRELAND
Independent Catholic News

Bishop John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore and co-chair of the Bishops' Council for Communications has welcomed the publication by the Holy See of the new Normae de Gravioribus Delictis (Norms concerning the most serious crimes). He points out out that although the references to child abuse and women's ordination are in the same document, this 'does not imply in any context that all these issues are equivalent'.

Bishop McAreavey said: "The Catholic Church has a body of law, canon law, to help promote the common good and for the consistent governance of the Church throughout the world. Yesterday's publication of the new Norms strengthens parts of the Church's law and covers all of the breaches of law considered to be exceptionally serious. I very much welcome this comprehensive and updated publication which will help us deal with the very serious crime and sin of child sexual abuse.

"Yesterday's Norms updated and reformed the 2001 Vatican publication Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela (Safeguarding the Sanctity of the Sacraments) which did not just deal with child sexual abuse, but also contained a number of serious offences relating of the Sacraments of the Church. These new Norms develop and add to these offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

You Just Need to be the Right Sort of Roman

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by Mark Shea Monday, July 19, 2010

I have long maintained that a massive amount of the outrage being directed at the Church over the abuse scandal is completely phony. Not that the crimes and sins committed by abusive priests and their Episcopal defenders are phony in the slightest—but rather that many of the people who are crying “I’m shocked—shocked—at the thought of sexual abuse of children!” are, in fact, completely uninterested in the sexual abuse of children or are, indeed, supportive of the sexual abuse of children.

Case in point, child rapist and molestor Roman Polanski and his ardent defenders, including such moral giants as Woody Allen, Whoopi Goldberg (“It was something else, but I don’t believe it was rape-rape.”), John Landis, Mike Nichols, Salman Rushdie, Martin Scorcese, Tilda Swinton, Diane von Furstenberg, and Debra Winger (”[The arrest] is based on an… old case that is all but dead but for minor technicalities.”).

One doesn’t see the New York Times pulling out the stops to demand accountability from Polanski or to arraign his defenders as moral idiots. Why? Because Polanski is the right kind of Roman, made some good films, and is a good Lefty who lives the lifestyle of Exaltation of the Groin that is part and parcel of liberal left culture. So he gets a pass. How tres tres Euro!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Ga. softens once lauded strict sex offender law

GEORGIA
San Luis Obispo Tribune

By GREG BLUESTEIN | Associated Press Writer

Georgia was lauded four years ago by conservatives for passing one of the nation's toughest sex offender laws. But the state has had to significantly - and without fanfare - scale back its once-intense restrictions.

Georgia's old law was challenged by civil liberties groups even before it took effect. After losing court battle after court battle, state legislators were forced to make a change or a federal judge was going to throw out the entire law. Now that the restrictions have been eased, about 13,000 registered sex offenders - more than 70 percent of all Georgia sex offenders - can live and work wherever they want.

Previously, all registered sex offenders were banned from living within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and other places where children gather, essentially driving them either to desolate areas or out of state. At one point, a tent city of homeless sex offenders was discovered in the woods behind a suburban office park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Diocese in £8m ABUSE CLAIM

UNITED KINGDOM
Pocklington Post

Published Date: 19 July 2010
A CATHOLIC diocese has launched an appeal against a court ruling that it was liable for running a former children's home in Market Weighton where 150 former residents are suing for sexual and physical abuse.

The Middlesbrough Diocese, which is facing an £8m compensation claim from former pupils, says the De La Salle Brotherhood should take some or all responsibility for the alleged abuse at St William's reform school for boys.

The brotherhood had provided teachers for the school which had taken in youngsters with behavioural problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Former priest to be released from prison July 28

ILLINOIS
Rockford Register Star

By Matt Williams
RRSTAR.COM

ROCKFORD — A former Rockford priest convicted of sexually abusing two teenage girls is set to be released from prison this month.

Mark Campobello, 45, completes his parole July 28, when he will be released from Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sharyn Elman said.

He was arrested in December 2002 for sexual assaults that occurred in 1999 and 2000 when he was serving at a parish in Geneva and a Catholic high school in Aurora. In 2004, he was sentenced to eight years in prison for aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He was paroled in February 2008 after serving half of his sentence and being given credit for time served in a county jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Church's improved action on child abuse

MALTA
Times of Malta

New Norms Concerning The Most Serious Crimes, published by the Holy See's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith late last week, include improved measures regarding sexual abuse committed by a priest against a minor under the age of 18.

As explained by Holy See Press Office director Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, the vast public echo this kind of crime has had over recent years has generated intense debate. It is therefore right to move on to full clarity with regard to the regulations and procedures in force to judge and punish such acts while, at the same time, facilitate better the work of the people who deal with these matters.

The new norms, which follow an initial clarification provided with the publication of a brief titled Guide To Understanding Basic CDF Procedures Concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations, provide an official and updated legal text.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Wis. Supreme Court To Rule In Priest Abuse Case

MADISON (WI)
WCCO

MADISON, Wis. (AP) ― The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to rule Tuesday on whether to overturn the sexual assault conviction of a former Jesuit priest who claims he was falsely accused.

Donald McGuire is a former spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa and her religious order of nuns. He is considered one of the most influential religious figures convicted in the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal.

Two men came forward in 2003 to report they were abused by McGuire during trips to a cottage in Fontana, Wis., in 1967 or 1968. At the time, McGuire taught the boys at the Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

July 18, 2010

What is it with the Roman Catholic Church and women?

UNITED STATES
NJ.com

Published: Sunday, July 18, 2010

Linda Stamato

Facing one of the worst scandals in its recent history--revelations of rape and sexual abuse of minors by priests, cover-ups by bishops here and abroad--the Vatican, on Thursday, issued a revision to its internal laws regarding sex-abuser priests AND, at the same time, in the same document, it puts the ordination of women as priests in the same, grave category of offense as pedophilia and child sex abuse?

The more grave delict of the attempted sacred ordination of a woman is also reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

1° With due regard for can. 1378 of the Code of Canon Law, both the one who attempts to confer sacred ordination on a woman, and she who attempts to receive sacred ordination, incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

“Father enjoys us, the clamoring, unglamorous seventh grade girls.”

UNITED STATES
MN SNAP

BENITA: Prey For Him is the true story of bright, vivacious Benita Kane and the Catholic priest who lured her from childhood into a disastrous twenty-year entanglement that changed the course of her life.

Benita spends her happy-go-lucky childhood in the shelter of the nearby church, parochial school and shared belief system of an entire town, Dubuque, Iowa. This idyll comes to an end when her father suddenly dies, WWII breaks out and her two older brothers enter the service. Into this vulnerable situation strolls young, charismatic Henry N. Dunkel who offers hope and friendship to Benita’s overwhelmed mother, Marcella. He drops in to chat with her in the kitchen, stands in for Benita’s dad at school events, offers to teach Benita to drive.

These secret lessons in his new Dodge lead to a country lane where he plies her with cigarettes, bourbon, and stargazing in his arms. One spring afternoon he entices her into a parish confessional room and forces himself upon her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

'Media hebben geholpen de stilte te doorbreken'

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

zondag 18 juli 2010

Auteur: Yves Barbieu

'Het stilzwijgen van de Kerk over seksueel misbruik door priesters moet stoppen. De media hebben de Kerk niet door het slijk gehaald door het onderwerp ter sprake te brengen, zij hebben juist bijgedragen om het probleem eindelijk anders aan te pakken', zegt de Franse rockpriester Guy Gilbert.

'Seksueel misbruik door priesters is een schande die de Kerk nooit verborgen had mogen houden', zegt de beroemde priester die zich bezighoudt met jongeren die met problemen kampen. 'Vroeger kregen pedofiele priesters een bolwassing en werden ze overgeplaatst zonder enige begeleiding die kon voorkomen dat ze zouden hervallen. De media hebben dat stilzwijgen doorbroken en dat is maar goed ook. Paus Benedictus XVI heeft nu orde op zaken gesteld: het fenomeen moet strenger worden aangepakt. En het werd de hoogste tijd. De stilte heeft te lang geduurd.'

[summary]

French rock priest Guy Gilbert said silence of the church over sexual abuse by priests must stop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

History of allegations against La Crosse bishop in child porn case

WISCONSIN
WSAU

Posted Sunday July 18, 2010

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WSAU) - The web master for the Diocese of La Crosse is accused of possessing child pornography, but the investigation of the Reverend Patrick Umberger started much earlier.

He had lost his season pass to Noah's Ark Water Park when he was accused of following young boys into a bathroom last summer. An attorney for the church calls the report an "unsubstantiated allegation." The diocese placed no restrictions on the priest after it learned of the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Catholic Church’s credibility crisis deepens

TENNESSEE
Tennessee Opinion

Jim Zralek

On May 17 there was an arti­cle in The Ten­nessean about the class-action suit brought by three men in fed­eral court in Louisville (“Vat­i­can pre­pares U.S. sex case defense”). The suit alleges the Vat­i­can is liable because of sex­ual abuse by Louisville priests. The premise is that priests and bish­ops are employ­ees of the Holy See. The defense denies this and states there is no evi­dence that the Vat­i­can super­vised the Louisville priests.

An arti­cle July 1 in The New York Times shows the bish­ops and priests were com­pletely under the con­trol of the Vat­i­can. The arti­cle cites numer­ous instances when Amer­i­can bish­ops requested per­mis­sion to remove priests cred­i­bly accused and were refused.

Assaults could have been reduced

My inter­est as a for­mer priest and prac­tic­ing Catholic lies in how the church han­dled the whole sex abuse cri­sis. Over 100 chil­dren were abused by priests within the Catholic Church in Ten­nessee. The assault of these chil­dren could have been avoided, greatly reduced in num­ber or at least han­dled more justly and quickly than it was. And after almost 50 years, the Vat­i­can has finally admit­ted the prob­lem was not biased media but sin within the Church. The Dio­cese of Nashville now removes any cred­i­bly accused priest and inves­ti­gates the charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Darrell Ehrlick: All we're really looking for is a mea culpa from the church

MINNESOTA
Winona Daily News

The president of the Catholic Defense League has asked me to share some news with you, via a Vatican attorney.

Dick Houck, the aforementioned president, said the Daily News editorial board got its shot at commenting on the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to not hear an argument that would have held the Holy See in Rome blameless for a priest in a case involving sexual abuse of a child.

Jeffrey Lena, a lawyer for the Vatican, apparently is on a tour of Catholic media, trying to set right the "misinterpretations of the case in the secular media," according to catholicculture.org.

Lena told that organization: "Responsibility for damages for that suffering, which justly should be paid, falls upon the religious order which supervised him, controlled his activities, and transferred him (the Order of the Servants of Mary) - not on the Holy See."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Wijding vrouwen ’zware misdaad’

VATICAANSTAD
RKnieuws

VATICAANSTAD (RKnieuws.net) - In dezelfde tekst waarin het Vaticaan strengere regels vastlegt voor priesters die misbruik plegen, schrijft Rome dat de wijding van vrouwen als een zware misdaad bestraft moet worden.

Onder druk van de aanhoudende stroom misbruikschandalen door priesters heeft het Vaticaan de regels verscherpt. Het duurt voortaan tien jaar langer voor misbruik volgens het kerkelijk recht is verjaard. Een slachtoffer kan tot zijn 38ste een klacht indienen. Ook geestelijken die kinderpornografie in hun bezit hebben of verspreiden, kunnen door de kerk disciplinair worden bestraft. Bovendien worden verstandelijk gehandicapten en mensen met psychische stoornissen voortaan aan minderjarigen gelijkgesteld, zodat de kerk ook kan ingrijpen als priesters zich aan hen hebben vergrepen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Vaticaan: civiele wetgeving respecteren

VATICAANSTAD
RKnieuws

VATICAANSTAD (RKnieuws.net) - Het Vaticaan heeft er vandaag aan herinnerd dat de katholieke Kerk in alle landen waar zij aanwezig is de civiele wetgeving inzake pedofilie moet respecteren.

In de nieuwe regels in verband met seksueel misbruik door priesters die het Vaticaan donderdag bekendmaakte worden de lokale Kerken niet expliciet opgeroepen om zich tot Justitie te wenden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Nieuwe Twitter over seksualiteit en het celibaat

NEDERLAND
startpagina

Laatst heeft 8 op de 10 priesters in Oostenrijk aangegeven dat er een einde moet komen aan de celibaatsverplichting. Het Vaticaan echter wil onverkort vasthouden aan deze verplichting.

Rond dit thema, het spanningsveld tussen seksualiteit en celibaat, heb ik een nieuwe Twitterpagina opgezet, getiteld 'Sex & Celibacy'.

De bedoeling is dat ik daar relevante content verzamel rond dit knelpunt.

[summary]

Pieter Schultz has created a new Twitter page called "Sex & Celibacy." Priests in Austria have indicated they want an end to the celibacy requirement but the Vatican has not changed its position.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Church views women priests as loathsome

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

Dianne Williamson
dwilliamson@telegram.com

Jean Marie Marchant was ministering to the sick on Thursday when she learned that the Vatican had made yet another tactical error in its antiquated and increasingly desperate crusade to ban women from the priesthood.

It seems like only yesterday that the late John Paul II announced that the ordination of women priests was not up for discussion — essentially telling everyone to just shut up about it — always a dangerous demand of the fairer sex.

“You can't tell a woman not to talk about something,” noted Marchant with a laugh. “So we started talking about it. How can we not?” ...

In other words, even though the church is facing a steep decline in male priests, and even though there's growing support to allow women to become priests in the wake of the clergy abuse scandal, the women called by God are Canon criminals. Hardest to believe, the hierarchy is equating female ordinations with the rape of children, even though the presence of more women in the rectories and vestibules would have gone a long way toward squelching the abuse.

Irony, thy name is the Vatican. On the plus side, the latest out-of-touch missive serves to draw more attention to the issue, which will likely increase Catholic support for women priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Area Catholics respond to Vatican rulings on sex abuse, women

OHIO
Dayton Daily News

By Meredith Moss, Staff Writer

An apostolic letter issued by the Vatican on Thursday, July 15, has elicited a variety of responses from Dayton-area Catholics.

Issues addressed in the new document range from sexual abuse of the mentally disabled by priests to the attempted ordination of women.

According to Dan Andriacco, communications director for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, most of the new rulings simply codify practices already in place.

“What is new is a provision that says offenses against mentally disabled adults will be treated the same as offenses against children and that the statue of limitations for any serious sexual abuse crime has been increased from 10 to 20 years,” he said. The document also establishes that a cleric who engages in child pornography is subject to punishment that may include dismissal from the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Why is ordination of women a 'crime against faith'?

IRELAND
Irish Independent

The pronouncement of Pope Benedict reveals an arrogant church that is out of touch with reality, writes Celia Larkin

Sunday July 18 2010

I sincerely hope Pope Benedict XVI was having one of those 'mental reservations' when he described the ordination of women as a "crime against the faith" and the perpetrators subject to the same discipline applied to clergy guilty of child sex abuse and abuse against disabled adults. Either a mental reservation or that he was distracted at the time when he signed off on the document containing this egregious juxtaposition.

If he had a 'mental reservation' then he didn't mean what he was saying at the time. The process allows churchmen to knowingly mislead people "without being guilty of lying". How is that for a game of soldiers? The rest of us tell the truth. Or we lie. We don't have the luxury of a mental back door.

When I heard that Cardinal Desmond Connell had used the term 'mental reservation' I nearly fell off the chair. But his boss's announcement that the ordination of women is a "crime against the faith" floored me, as did the fact that the gravity of the punishment, by inference, makes the ordination of a woman to the priesthood as serious a crime as sexual abuse against children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Tip-off led to fugitive abuse priest in UK

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Gardai claim Fr Patrick Hughes evaded capture for years because the church shielded him, writes Maeve Sheehan

Sunday July 18 2010

A FUGITIVE priest who was jailed last week for sexually abusing an altar boy spent five years evading the authorities, living under a false name in a guest house in England.

Fr Patrick Hughes was discovered after Catholic child-protection workers in Scarborough became suspicious about the elderly man who attended mass each day.

A tip-off to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's office led to the priest's identity being confirmed by the child protection office in Dublin, who passed the information to detectives.

When they finally caught up with him, they discovered that his life on the run was being financed by friends who sent him cash, but he refused to disclose who they were.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Purification of Church from 'serious sins' a long process, says Fr. Lombardi

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Jul 17, 2010 / 10:11 pm (CNA).- Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said Saturday that the new norms on sexual abuse are an "important step," but, he warned, law "is not everything" in the battle against serious sins. He observed that the Church's path to a "purer and more evangelical witness" will not be short.

Fr. Lombardi reflected on the effects of the updates to Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) norms concerning the "most serious" sins on his weekly Vatican Television editorial "Octava dies." The details of the updates were released during a press briefing he gave on Thursday with CDF promoter of justice, Msgr. Charles Scicluna.

In his editorial, the Vatican spokesman said that with the publication of the norms, "the Church has taken an important step in addressing the question (of sexual abuse) with responses that will be lasting and have a profound impact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

The Vatican's Woman Crisis

UNITED STATES
The Daily Beast

by Michelle Goldberg

Rome's scrambling to undo damage from changes to church law that lumped ordination of women priests with child sex abuse. Michelle Goldberg on the church's other shameful legacy.

The Vatican has now clarified—ordaining women is not quite as grave a crime as raping children.

On Thursday, the Vatican issued revisions to church law making it easier to punish pedophile priests, a welcome development. Yet it shocked much of the world by including, in its list of “more grave delicts,” not just the sexual abuse of children and the possession of child pornography, but also the attempted ordination of women priests. At the same time, the new rules have nothing to say about priests who fail to respond adequately to reports of sexual abuse. (If they did, writes Thomas Doyle in The National Catholic Reporter, they “would obviously nail the majority of U.S. bishops, both retired and active.”

On Friday, amid widespread outrage, Monsignor Charles Scicluna, who helped formulate the new rules, tried to walk back any suggestion of equivalency between female ordination and pederasty, telling Reuters that while both canonical crimes are listed in the same document, “this does not put them on the same level or assign them the same gravity.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Female priests respond to Vatican

IOWA
Iowa City Press-Citizen

Stephanie Wise • Iowa City Press-Citizen • July 18, 2010

The ordination of women was added this week to a list of the most serious crimes against the Roman Catholic Church, putting it on par with pedophilia and sexual abuse of children by priests, according to the document printed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

They also have added that any priest affiliated with a woman's ordination will be excommunicated from the church.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests are responding to the Vatican's position by demanding they affirm women's equality in the church including the ministry, said Mary Kay Kusner, the first ordained womanpriest in Iowa. Kusner was ordained June 13.

"To me, this feels more like a fear tactic," she said. "Fortunately or unfortunately, it causes us to lessen all the more the authority of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

July 17, 2010

Rome Fiddles, We Burn

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: July 16, 2010

If the Vatican is trying to restore the impression that its moral sense is intact, issuing a document that equates pedophilia with the ordination of women doesn’t really do that.

The Catholic Church continued to heap insult upon injury when it revealed its long-awaited new rules on clergy sex abuse, rules that the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said signaled a commitment to grasp the nettle with “rigor and transparency.”

The church still believes in its own intrinsic holiness despite all evidence to the contrary. It thinks it’s making huge concessions on the unstoppable abuse scandal when it’s taking baby steps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Diocese of Springfield believes that church should be removed from state listing

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iobserve

Staff report

SPRINGFIELD – The Great Places in Massachusetts Commission has listed a closed diocesan church in the Diocese of Springfield as one of “1,000 great places in Massachusetts to visit,” something the diocese feels is inappropriate.

St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Adams, which was officially closed by the diocese in December of 2008 but has since had people keeping 24-hour vigil there, is listed as an attraction in the commission’s list which was released July 12 at a Beacon Hill press conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

Report: No action taken against accused priest

WISCONSIN
Victoria Advocate

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) - A western Wisconsin diocese placed no restrictions on a priest after learning he had reportedly followed young boys into a water park bathroom last summer.

The Rev. Patrick Umberger, the Diocese of La Crosse's Web master, is accused of having child pornography after a state Department of Justice investigation that traces back to the water park incident.

Diocesan attorney Jim Birnbaum told the La Crosse Tribune that the Noah's Ark Water Park report was an "unsubstantiated allegation".

Park officials revoked Umberger's season pass and placed him on a watch list after Umberger was allegedly seen following boys into a bathroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Diocese is irked by listing

ADAMS (MA)
The Berkshire Eagle

By Jennifer Huberdeau, New England Newspapers

Saturday July 17, 2010
ADAMS -- The inclusion of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Church on the recently released "1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts" list has raised the ire of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, which wants it removed immediately.

"Interestingly enough, for something the Commonwealth seemingly worked so hard on, we were not even consulted prior to the inclusion of this closed church on the official state listing," diocesan spokesman Mark E. Dupont said in a statement Friday. "Our churches though beautiful are not built to be tourist attractions but rather Houses of Worship."

He added, "Sadly, in recent years, we have had to consolidate a number of parishes and beautiful churches across western Massachusetts, including in Adams, all done - no doubt with great pain and difficulty -- but ultimately for the collective good of the entire Catholic community. Those responsible need to issue an immediate correction so as not to mislead anyone."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Vatican Fends Off Criticism of Abuse Rules

VATICAN CITY
Wall Street Journal

By STACY MEICHTRY
ROME—The Vatican on Saturday defended recent revisions to its policies for investigating and disciplining priests accused of sexual abuse after critics said the new measures weren't tough enough to stem the abuse.

In an address on Vatican Radio, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the new measures are "necessary, but they're not everything," stressing the Vatican planned to take further steps to fight sex-abuse. "The field is huge. The Church is mobilized, with a push from the pope, in many countries."

On Thursday, the Vatican unveiled revisions to its policies and laws for handling sex-abuse, doubling the statute of limitations to prosecute abusive priests in church tribunals and streamlining legal procedures. The move came after hundreds of abuse cases emerged this year across Europe, bringing allegations of widespread cover-ups right to Pope Benedict XVI's doorstep.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Parishioners of the Church of St Victor in Obdam, a town in the northern Netherlands, are said to be furious at the suspension of their 'Orange priest'.

NETHERLANDS
Radio Netherlands

Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Saturday that Paul Vlaar had been suspended by Bishop Punt of the Amsterdam-Haarlem diocese. The bishop was apparently furious with Father Vlaar after he conducted a Mass last Sunday, the day of the FIFA World Cup final, with a definite football aura.

Dressed in an orange chasuble - the sleeveless outer garment worn by priests celebrating Mass - and in a church filled with orange flags, Father Vlaar asked for solidarity and team spirit. ...

Local parishioners did their best to buck up the priest. "Child abuse is covered up, but a priest who threatens to become too popular is suspended without mercy," said one of them. Other well-wishers have set up a Facebook page to show their support for the suspended cleric.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

The logic of Vatican's linking sex abuse, women's ordination

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
As usual, the Vatican's most recent announcement generated as much confusion and controversy as it did clarity.

This week the Vatican (we'll use "Vatican" as shorthand) announced changes made last May to procedures for dealing with what it terms "exceptionally serious crimes," in Latin graviora delicta. Since 2001 the Vatican has tried cases involving acts of pedophilia committed by a cleric (priest, deacon or bishop), as one of these "exceptionally serious crimes".

Among the changes to the legal procedures the Church will now follow to remove a pedophile from the priesthood is the extension of the statute of limitations from 10 years after the victim's 18th birthday to 20 years. This extension makes it easier for the church tribunal within the Vatican's "doctrinal department," the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (hereafter CDF), to remove priests even when the victim did not come forward before reaching the age of 28.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Losing faith in the Polish church

POLAND
GlobalPost

By Jan Cienski - GlobalPost
Published: July 17, 2010

WARSAW, Poland — Poland's powerful Roman Catholic Church is losing its faithful as the country becomes more secular and the church finds its moral authority sapped by sexual scandals and increasing concern over its political influence.

The sexual scandals facing the Polish church are still a far cry from those faced by its sister churches in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Germany and many other countries, where clerics have been accused of molesting children, and bishops with sweeping the the issue under the rug. But an old embarrassment has highlighted the Polish church's difficulty in grappling with the issue.

Earlier this summer, Archbishop Juliusz Patez, the retired bishop of the central Polish city of Poznan accused of molesting seminarians in his diocese, was reported to be close to receiving a decision from the Vatican reversing previous sanctions placed on him by John Paul II.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

When PR makes the Church

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

Posted at: Saturday, July 17, 2010
Author: Vincent Miller

I’ve been brooding since Ross Douthat named so well the anxiety that many have felt throughout the year: that the Catholic Church’s credibility has reached a historically significant tipping point. (See the discussion at Peter Steinfel's blog at Commonweal.)

As I watched the media storm regarding the latest European wave of clerical sexual abuse unfold, at first it seemed not serious news for the Church in the U.S. The Dallas conventions are very strong. In the dioceses that follow them they seem almost certain to eliminate the transfer of abusive clergy that enabled a perennial crime to become a historical failure and systematic crisis.

My response however, was that of an insider, one who pays close attention to magisterial statements, who can separate the substantive decisions from the PR gaffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Vatican Nonsense Continues

UNITED STATES
Psychology Today

by Catherine McCall

Have you seen yesterday's New York Times? Rachel Donadio's article, "Vatican Revises Sexual Abuse Process But Causes Stir," begins on page one. She reports an announcement from the Vatican that it has revised laws to discipline sex-abuser priests, but also that ordaining women as priests is as grave an offense as pedophilia...WHAT??... I know that systems tend to accomodate to their least functional members, but this is horrifying, and continues to leave children at risk

Let me give you the context in which I'm reading this article. I'm sitting in the back of a large room where a trainer from the Humanitarian Assistance Program is beginning a 3-day EMDR trauma treatment workshop for 30 therapists who work in non-profit counseling centers.The trainer has just directed each trainee to introduce her or himself, and I've heard half of them recount extensive experience working with children, adolescents, or adults who have been sexually abused. There's no fooling these folks about the devastating effects of this childhood trauma.

Back to the article. Vatican spokesperson Rev. Federico Lombardi said that changes to the laws showed the church's commitment to tackling child sexual abuse with "rigor and transparency." ...WHAT??... Though the new rules do extend the statute of limitations to 20 years from the victim's 18th birthday, and they also include possession of child pornography and sexual abuse of mentally disabled adults on the list of grave crimes, they do not hold bishops accountable for abuse by priests on their watch, nor do they require them to report sexual abuse to civil authorities. WHAT is rigorous about this??...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Vatican defends revised abuse rules

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

By ALESSANDRA RIZZO (AP)

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican spokesman defended on Saturday a revised set of rules on clerical sex abuse as an essential and lasting response to abuse cases, but acknowledged the church will need to show long-term commitment if it wants to eradicate the crime.

The Vatican issued its revised in-house rules this week, as it confronts one of the worst scandals in its recent history. Revelations of rape or other sexual abuse of minors by priests, and of cover-ups by bishops, have been piling up for months.

The new norms target not only priests who molest children, but also those who molest the mentally disabled, and double the statute of limitations for such crimes. But the norms drew criticism by abuse victims who said there were few substantive changes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

New Warrant Issued For Accused Child Abuser Perlitz

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By EDMUND H. MAHONY, emahony@courant.com

NEW HAVEN — — Federal prosecutors said Friday they have obtained a new arrest warrant, this time in New York, for the founder of an internationally known youth charity in Haiti who is accused of traveling to the island and using his position of authority to sexually abuse impoverished and homeless boys.

The action came two days after an order by U.S. District Judge Janet B. Arterton dismissing all charges against Douglas Perlitz. Arterton said in her decision that authorities were unconstitutionally prosecuting Perlitz in Connecticut for alleged criminal conduct that occurred elsewhere.

Arterton told prosecutors they were free to recharge Perlitz in another jurisdiction and agreed to temporarily postpone the effective date of the dismissal after prosecutors argued it would result in Perlitz's release from custody. A federal magistrate judge had previously concluded that Perlitz was a danger to the community and ordered him held without bail after his arrest in September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Maciel Magically Accomplished World Historical Fraud

UNITED STATES
Catholic and Enjoying It!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mark P. Shea

Maciel Magically Accomplished World Historical Fraud with absolutely no help at all, according to completely trustworthy and reliable LC muckety muck who stands to gain nothing whatsoever by distancing himself and all of Maciel's lieutenants from Maciel.

Well then. That's settled. You may resume giving them money, trust and power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Golly! Trickster Maciel fooled 'em all

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

Three statements you should roll your eyes at:

1. "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

2. "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

3. "None of the current superiors had knowledge of the behavior we now know about our founder...".

That last one is a new quote from a top official in the Catholic religious order the Legionaries of Christ, the founder of which -- the late Fr. Marcial Maciel -- was a bigamous dope fiend who molested the children he had outside of wedlock, while he was leading the rich, powerful, ultraconservative religious order. Catholic blogger Mark Shea sarcastically observes that you are being asked to believe that Maciel was able to achieve "world historical fraud" all by himself, with no knowledge or help from anybody else in the Legion. About the Legion, Mark says, "The whole thing needs to be taken apart, brick by brick, till there is nothing left."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Arguments that shed light

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

I’m not entirely certain how significant the new Vatican norms are for the treatment of crimes considered to be “most serious” within the Church. But I thought it worth looking at just one example of how the church and the secular media exist in two distinct universes.

I think that most of the updates were non-controversial, which makes a reporter’s job more difficult if they’re trying to drum up excitement for a story. I think most everyone agreed, for instance, that the statute of limitations for cases involving the sexual abuse of minors should have been increased from the 5 years it was previously.

But it is kind of curious to watch the apoplexy over the church’s view that ordination of females is a serious wrong. Here’s how the New York Times introduced the issue:

But what astonished many Catholics was the inclusion of the attempt to ordain women in a list of the more grave delicts, or offenses, which included pedophilia, as well as heresy, apostasy and schism. The issue, some critics said, was less the ordination of women, which is not discussed seriously inside the church hierarchy, but the Vatican's suggestion that pedophilia is a comparable crime in a document billed a response to the sexual abuse crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

To: Joseph Berardino, Order of Malta leader and former CEO of Arthur Andersen

CONNECTICUT
MN-SNAP

Joseph Berardino
Treasurer
Connecticut Order of Malta
Greenwich, Connecticut

Dear Joe,

I need to be very clear with you.

The children who reported to U.S. authorities that they were sexually abused by Douglas Perlitz, former Executive Director of Project Pierre Toussaint in Cap Haitian, Haiti, need to be fed, clothed and sheltered. http://www.ctpost.com/betrayal/

They need these things now.

Joe, you are the former chief executive of Arthur Andersen, once one of the big five accounting firms, employing 28,000 employees in the US and 85,000 worldwide. So why can’t you seem to accomplish the simple task of providing food and shelter to twenty or so boys in Haiti?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Report: Wisconsin priest facing child porn charges visited gay chat rooms

WISCONSIN
Winona Daily News

By ANNE JUNGEN ajungen@lacrossetribune.com | Posted: Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Diocese of La Crosse placed no restrictions on an Onalaska, Wis., priest despite learning he had reportedly followed young boys into a water park bathroom last summer, the diocese attorney confirmed.

The Rev. Patrick Umberger, priest at St. Patrick’s Catholic Parish in Onalaska since 2005, now is accused of having child pornography after a state Department of Justice investigation that traces back to the water park incident.

But the diocesan attorney Jim Birnbaum called the water park reports an “unsubstantiated allegation.”

Umberger, 59, also confessed to state agents he’d had anonymous sexual encounters with males and females, none of them minors. He visited gay chat rooms as well, he said, where online cameras showed nude individuals engaged in sex acts, according the DOJ report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Why Priests Hired Me for Sex

UNITED STATES
The Daily Beast

by Mike Jones

A pastor is accused of stealing $1 million from his church to hire male escorts. Mike Jones, the escort who outed Ted Haggard, on what really happens when priests visit gay prostitutes.

As a former gay male escort and the man who exposed the hypocrisy of Pastor Ted Haggard, I’m probably less stunned than most about the sensational case of the allegedly corrupt priest, Father Kevin J. Gray.

Last week, Father Gray was brought up on charges that he embezzled $1.3 million from the Sacred Heart Church in Waterbury, Connecticut. He blew the money on ritzy hotels, designer clothes, and the luxury item that caught everyone’s attention: male prostitutes. Gray, 64, allegedly lavished gifts on the young men, using the church’s money to furnish them with credit cards, apartments, and, in one case, a Harvard education. ...

I can’t imagine the guilt they were feeling. Not only were they having sex with another man – a sin punishable by God, in their minds–but I believe many of them were doing exactly what Father Gray did: stealing from their own churches. Maybe not a million bucks, maybe not even so much that anyone would notice. But more than once I was paid for my services with a handful of crinkled ones and fives. I would think to myself, how could they take from their own church’s collection plate? The answer is simple and sad: addicts will do whatever they need to do to support their habit.

I recall one church leader from Nebraska who prayed after an encounter with me, then sent me a religious book in the mail afterward. Another (who became a regular) always talked about the house he shared with a bunch of "buddies." And then there was the client who, after hiring me for sex, I was startled to see standing at the altar one day, presiding over the Catholic wedding of a friend of mine. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. I felt for my married and religious clients. They were truly unhappy and confused. Some would confess and pour out their hearts with me. Many would cry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Women and ordination

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Saturday July 17 2010

AN image of Pope Benedict XVl, in full flowing robes and wearing a golden mitre on his head, deep in a hole in the ground, but still digging furiously, is hard to resist.

The Vatican yesterday denied accusations that it viewed the ordination of women and the sexual abuse of children by priests as equally criminal. It had released a document which made sweeping changes to its laws on sexual abuse. This might have been seen solely as a progressive step were it not for a statement about the "attempted ordination of women" as one of the most serious crimes against church law.

Yesterday, a Vatican spokesman attempted to explain that it was all a terrible misunderstanding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Medb Ruane: He says that he's suffered enough and his peers agree. But

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Medb Ruane

Saturday July 17 2010

Vladimir Nabokov wrote a postscript to his novel Lolita where he talked about the trouble of getting it published. One place turned him down because they "... regretted that there were no good people in the book".

No good people in the book. You can say much the same about the story of Roman Polanski, who was arrested in Zurich last September but spared extradition to the US when Swiss authorities finally found the warrants lacking this week. He passed almost 10 months detained at his holiday home in Gstaad. ...

If Polanski was a Catholic priest being shielded for years by the Vatican, you can bet he wouldn't attract such support. Indeed, if the same celebrities campaigned together for global action on child sex abuse/trafficking, change might just start happening.

Something missing

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

By Nicholas P. Cafardi

The announcement from Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of the new norms for “more serious crimes” (de gravioribus delictis) was certainly a step forward in the church’s law regarding the sexual abuse of children.

The three helpful changes in the church’s law are

•Now the victim of sexual abuse by a priest has up to the age of 38 to report the crime and have it canonically prosecuted.
•The sexual abuse by clergy of mentally incompetent victims, beyond the years of childhood, is now considered the same crime as abusing a minor.
•And the acquisition, possession or distribution of child pornography is a canonical crime in and of itself.

These are all changes for the good in the church’s universal law, which applies to the church in every country everywhere. Unfortunately, it still leaves the church universal a few steps behind the church in the United States. Missing from the universal norms announced by Cardinal Levada is any mention of the “zero tolerance” policy of the American church, enshrined in the Dallas Norms, adopted by the American bishops and approved by the Apostolic See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

The Vatican's new norms

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jul. 16, 2010
By Thomas Doyle

The latest attempt by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to stem the continuous onslaught of revelations of sex abuse and cover-up in Europe and elsewhere has some good and some bad aspects.

The first revision is relatively radical: the CDF now has the right to judge members of the ruling class (cardinals, bishops, and papal legates). Previously the Code reserved all cases involving accusations of violation of the church's criminal laws by bishops and above to the Pope. This change is a response to the constant criticism of the practice of giving bishops accused of sex abuse a free pass. The fact is that the popes could have disciplined errant bishops all along but instead chose to hide behind the myth that they are some sort of sacred nobility.

The norms list several canonical crimes that are subject to the CDF. There is a serious gap in this list: failure to properly and responsibly respond to report of sex abuse by clerics. This would obviously nail the majority of U.S. bishops, both retired and active. This crime is just as devastating as the sex abuse itself because it obviously enables continued rape and molestation of innocent children and adults. The bishops' systemic practice of cover-up and dishonesty, which should be a crime, is also a gross insult to all lay persons and not just victims and their families. Why? Because it reveals a clear disdain for the non-ordained and a concept of justice that is clearly subjective and therefore self-destructive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Delaware courts: Bradley law likely to produce more suits

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By CRIS BARRISH • The News Journal • July 17, 2010

The mother of a girl whom pediatrician Earl B. Bradley allegedly raped in 1999 waited years for the doctor to be charged with the crime.

But for the last few months, she and her daughter were frustrated at being forbidden by law to join the growing number of the former doctor's alleged sexual-abuse victims who have sued Bradley and other medical authorities.

Their wait is over.

A new law signed last week by Gov. Jack Markell eliminated the statute of limitations on such claims and gives child patients until July 2012 to sue health care providers and their institutions for sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Pastor accused of sex abuse

EAST ST. LOUIS (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY CAROLYN P. SMITH - News-Democrat

EAST ST. LOUIS -- A Baptist pastor whose wife runs a day care center in their home was charged Friday with molesting a girl.

The Rev. Charles Moore was charged by St. Clair County prosecutors with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He was arrested Wednesday at his residence. Moore is pastor of United Faith Baptist Church at 1525 Cleveland Ave. in East St. Louis.

He was an associate pastor at other churches before he got his own church, said some residents who know Moore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Fr Federico Lombardi: New norms, a long road

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

With the publication of new norms to deal with and punish crimes of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy, the Church has taken an important step in addressing the question with responses that will be lasting and have a profound impact. Clear and well-known laws are an essential guide for any large community, such as the Catholic Church, which must have its own common rules, separate from those of the many different countries in which it is present.

Countries in which, however, the just civil laws must obviously be respected and put into practise by men of the Church, as by every citizen, including the crimes of abuse.
With the new canonical norms, trials can become quicker and more effective, the ecclesiastical tribunals will be augmented by competent lay personnel, the statute of limitations has been doubled and there is scope for its further extension, the severity of cases of abuse on adults with a limited use of reason and child pornography are explicitly taken into account.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Child-abuser listing unchanged for now

IOWA
Des Moines Register

By JENNIFER JACOBS • jejacobs@dmreg.com • July 17, 2010

Leaving children unsupervised can have fatal consequences, so it would be wrong to strip the names of all Iowa adults accused of abusing children in such a way from the state's child abuse registry, several abuse prevention advocates say.

Some employers who work with children use the registry to check whether employees or applicants have an abuse history.

On Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court granted the state's Department of Human Services' request to delay implementation of a July 9 ruling that could force DHS to remove about 28,000 names from the registry — a prospect that alarms abuse prevention experts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Iowa Supreme Court decision puts crime victims at risk

IOWA
Des Moines Register

ELIZABETH BARNHILL and LAURIE SCHIPPER • July 17, 2010

The July 2 Iowa Supreme Court decision, Iowa v. Cashen, is a giant step backward for crime victims. In its decision, the court announced it will allow individuals facing criminal charges to access the previously protected mental health records of their victims. The ramifications of this decision are alarming.

Imagine being burglarized, reporting the burglary, and then learning that the accused can gain access to your mental health records. This ruling allows those charged with crimes to invade the most private and intimate thoughts and feelings of survivors, those contained in their mental and medical health records. This potential invasion of privacy will have two devastating consequences: First, people will stop reporting victimization to law enforcement or will refuse to cooperate in prosecution. Second, victims will not seek mental and other health care. In addition, witnesses to crimes may refuse to come forward with information out of concern that their private medical history may be used to discredit them in court. These ramifications serve to obstruct the truth-seeking process rather than promote it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Rwandans Deserve the Pontiff's Apology Too

RWANDA
allAfrica

Jean Baptiste Kayigamba
16 July 2010

These is no single day that passes without new allegations of members of the Catholic Church clergy involved in sexual abuses of young children. Some of these cases extend over decades and cover all the continents. They have shaken the Roman Catholic Church to its foundation and, in some instances, some accusations have pointed to the current pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, as having played a role in pushing these abuses under the carpet, a charge that the Vatican has vehemently rebuffed.

Some revelations about these scandals initially surfaced in the United States. But this was just a beginning. Others were subsequently reported in South America, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Poland, Spain, Germany, Holland, the United Kingdom and in some African countries.

As the furore gathered momentum, the pontiff, as the church's supreme leader, decided to intervene to stop the mounting criticism that senior members of the organisation - including him - have been involved in cover-ups and the obstruction of justice regarding these abuses. It is in this sense that in March 2010 the Pope issued a lengthy letter to Christians in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Tone-Deaf in Rome

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

There was not much to like in the Vatican’s news conference this week about its pedophilia scandal, but among all the defensive posturing and inept statements, there was one real stunner: The citing of the movement for the ordination of women as a “grave crime” that Rome deems as offensive as the scandal of priests who sexually assault children.

Calls for ending the ban on women priests are only a blip on the ecclesiastical radar screen. Yet Vatican officials gratuitously raised them at the news conference, while they offered limited antidotes to the crimes of sexual abuse and the long history of bishops dithering and covering up these crimes.

They doubled the internal statute of limitations to 20 years for defrocking abusers. Yet they failed to emphasize the problem as a state crime as the American bishops did after being forced to dismiss more than 700 priests. “It’s not for canonical legislation to get itself involved with civil law,” one prelate airily declared, insisting Rome’s existing “guidelines” — not mandates — are sufficient for prelates to obey civil laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Bishop Bruskewitz reflects on 50 years of ordained life

LINCOLN (NE)
Lincoln Journal Star

By ERIN ANDERSEN / Lincoln Journal Star

Fifty years ago today in Rome, a young American stood before Cardinal Luigi Traglia and vowed a lifetime of dedication to God and the Catholic Church.

The 24-year-old man envisioned a life as a parish priest.

"Doing all the wonderful things parish priests do - instructing the children, taking care of the baptizing and offering Mass, preaching and teaching, take care of the sick and dying, weddings and funerals, and all the wonderful things one does in parish life," he said.

But God - and the pope - had different plans for Fabian Bruskewitz. ...

The Lincoln Diocese also is the only diocese declining to participate in annual sex abuse audits instituted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to address the issue of sexual abuse by clergy.

Lincoln participated in the first audit in 2002, but has not since. That's resulted in ongoing demands by Call to Action, a group of Catholics calling for changes in diocese policies regarding the role of women in the church, transparency and leniency for Catholics whose positions differ from the bishop's.

Not only has Bruskewitz refused to change his stance, he has been uncompromising in his decision to excommunicate the group's members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Suspended La Crosse priest ejected from waterpark in '09

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: July 16, 2010

A western Wisconsin priest arrested this week on a charge of child pornography had been ejected from a Wisconsin Dells waterpark last summer on suspicion of following little boys into the restroom, according to a police report filed at the time.

No charges were filed in the July 2009 incident involving Father Patrick Umberger, who served parishes in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee before moving to the La Crosse Diocese in 1996.

The incident, however, was the impetus for the investigation, according to the criminal complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Bishop rubbishes claim that edict attacked women

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Saturday July 17 2010

A LEADING Irish bishop has claimed the Vatican edict was misinterpreted.

In a statement, Bishop John McAreavey described as "unfounded" the interpretation of Thursday's Vatican ruling, which drew a parallel between the ordination of women and child sexual abuse.

The Newry-based Bishop of Dromore explained that the former offence related to the sacraments and the latter to immorality, as worldwide fury over the edict continued to grow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Too small a step on scandal

CANADA
Edmonton Journal

July 17, 2010

On Thursday, the Catholic Church released an updated guide to its canonical laws governing, among other things, the treatment of priests who sexually abuse children.

The release was an opportunity for the Vatican to make a statement, to draw a line under past scandals, acknowledge wrongs and move on with the business of making sure that children under its care are never again abused and that abusers are never again shuffled from parish to parish, allowed to escape punishment for their crimes.

Like so many others in this decades-long scandal, it was an opportunity missed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

July 16, 2010

Professionals must take up key abuse role

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Use of qualified people if someone approaches a voluntary group with an allegation would protect all concerned, writes BREDA O'BRIEN

THE VATICAN may have scored yet another own goal by publishing decrees on ordination of women on the same day as new laws on clerical sexual abuse of children.

Nonetheless, there are good things in the new church laws, such as specifying that the same penalties for the sexual abuse of minors also apply to abuse of developmentally disabled adults.

For the first time, lay people can be judges and lawyers on church tribunals in sex abuse cases. My suggestion about using lay professionals to deal with certain aspects of child safeguarding received a less than enthusiastic response from some. Dr Rosaleen McElvaney (Letters, July 13th), a lecturer in Developmental/Abnormal Psychology, expressed “interest and some frustration” regarding an article I wrote two weeks ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 PM

Bishop dismisses attempts to connect women's ordination with child abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE FACT that a variety of issues are dealt with in the Vatican’s Normae de Gravioribus Delictis document, published this week, “does not imply in any context that all these issues are equivalent”, Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey has said.

“Some media interpretation” of the document “attempts to draw an equivalence between the ordination of women and child sexual abuse. This is unfounded. The former offence relates to the sacraments, the latter to immorality.”

Bishop McAreavey, co-chair of the Irish Bishops’ Council for Communications, was reacting to comment yesterday on the inclusion of procedures for dealing with those who ordain women priests in a document which deals primarily with how clerical child sex abuse should be handled by canon law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Lutheran bishop resigns over alleged failures in dealing with child abuse

GERMANY
The Irish Times

DEREK SCALLY in Berlin

MARIA JEPSEN, the Lutheran bishop of Hamburg, has resigned after claims she failed to address child abuse allegations in her ranks.

In 1992 Dr Jepsen was the first woman worldwide to be ordained a Lutheran bishop but faced growing pressure over a minister accused of sexually abusing 50 to 60 children, dating back to the 1970s.

“My credibility has been called into question,” said Maria Jepsen (65) at a hastily arranged press conference. “Thus I don’t see myself in a position to continue preaching the good news, as promised to my congregation and to God, and as I have done since my ordination and appointment as bishop.” The allegations involve a Lutheran minister, identified only as Gert Dietrich K, against whom child sexual abuse allegations date back to 1973.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Rev. Charles Moore accused of molesting young girl

EAST ST. LOUIS (IL)
KSDK

KSDK -- St. Clair County prosecutors have charged an East St. Louis pastor for allegedly molesting a young girl.

Rev. Charles Moore was charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He remains incarcerated in the East St. Louis Jail on $250,000 bond. He will eventually be transferred to St. Clair County Jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

East St. Louis Minister Arrested For Sexual Child Abuse

EAST ST. LOUIS (IL)
KTVI

East St. Louis, IL (KTVI-FOX2Now.com) - A Baptist minister charged with child abuse. The man is accused of fondling an eight-year-old child. Reverend Charles Moore of the United States Baptist church in the 1600 block of East St. Louis is charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He is 57 years old.

FOX 2 news spoke with a detective working this case. He explained that he was arrested on Wednesday and is being held in jail in East St. Louis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

European bishops' conferences back modifications to norms on abuse

EUROPE
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Jul 16, 2010 / 03:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following Thursday's announcement from the Vatican updating the procedures of investigation and punishment of the most serious sins, including sexual abuse of minors and attempted women's ordination, several European bishops' conferences welcomed the changes.

The revised norms set in concrete what has been general practice within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for the last nine years for "delicta graviora," or the most serious sins within the Church. Among the modifications was the extension of the statute of limitations from 10 to 20 years from the alleged victim's 18th birthday, the condemnation of pedophile pornagraphy as a serious sin and the consideration of the mentally disadvantaged as on a par with the abuse of minors by clergy.

In a statement to Italy's SIR news, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, president of the German bishops, said he was "grateful" for the updated norms, especially for the fact that through them the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) delivered a "clear signal" for greater information and punishment in cases of sexual abuse of minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Outrage After Vatican Declares Ordination of Women a 'Grave Crime'

UNITED STATES
ABC News

By JIM SCIUTTO and ENJOLI FRANCIS
July 16, 2010

The formalized rules were billed as the Vatican's tough new response to abuse -- now targeting priests who possess child pornography and who molest the mentally disabled.

Though abuse victims called the rules codified Thursday little more than administrative housekeeping, others were astonished at the inclusion of a new crime -- ordaining women priests -- subject to the same procedures and punishments as sex abuse.

Although the Vatican said the two were not the same, calling abuse "more grave," the mere association sparked outrage.

Bridget Mary Meehan is one of five American women ordained bishops as part of a Catholic reform initiative called the Roman Catholic Womenpriests. She became a womanbishop in 2009 and serves in Florida and Virginia.

"They're equating both as criminal acts; therefore, this is an example of misogyny and patriarchy and really taking on women as the enemy in the church," she said

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Revised Vatican law labels sex abuse, female priests as crimes

CANADA
Toronto Star

Denise Balkissoon
Staff Reporter

Pedophilia is a sin, says the Pope, but so is any attempt to ordain female priests.

In the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, both are equally “grave delicts,” according to revisions in internal Vatican laws published Thursday.

The document clarifies canon (or church) law regarding trials for priests accused of child sexual abuse, mandating quicker juridical procedures rather than drawn-out ecclesiastical trials. It extends the statute of limitations for victims to lay charges, and also names as grave delicts the possession of child pornography, and the sexual abuse of mentally challenged adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Supporters Of Female Priesthood Undeterred By Vatican Rules

WASHINGTON
OPB

Tom Banse | July 16, 2010 | Olympia, WA

Supporters of female priesthood in the Catholic Church say they are undeterred by a newly toughened stance from the Vatican. Thursday, the Church in Rome announced revisions to canon rules and disciplinary procedures. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on the local reaction.

The Vatican's new church rules categorize the attempted ordination of women as a "grave crime” and sacrilege. So where does that leave Diane Smith Whalen of Olympia?

Back in May, she was ordained as Washington state's first female Catholic priest by a breakaway group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Vatican abuse rules already in place here

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

By Dan Horn • dhorn@enquirer.com • July 16, 2010

The Vatican's revised policies on handling abusive priests will likely have more impact on the church overseas than in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky.

That's because U.S. bishops enacted standards years ago that match or, in some cases, are more strict than the rules set down this week by Pope Benedict XVI for dealing with priests accused of sexually abusing children.

Vatican officials have said many of the new rules aren't new at all and have been observed worldwide for several years. The Vatican's move this week simply makes them part of church law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Vatican's announcement shows great incompetence

AUSTRALIA
The Age

BARNEY ZWARTZ
July 17, 2010

IT USED to be said of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat that he never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. It could certainly apply to the Vatican with the announcement linking women's ordination and paedophile abuse as grave crimes.

Every so often something emerges from Rome that suggests the Catholic hierarchy has understood the depths of revulsion and profundity of the crisis of faith among Catholics and wider society about clergy sexual abuse. The fury is not because the church has had a few bad apples, but because many bad apples were right at the top - lying, covering up, moving abusers to reoffend, denying or intimidating victims and more.

The Pope's apology to Irish Catholics earlier this year seemed to offer a glimpse of hope, but that has been dashed by this latest spectacular incompetence. With its usual unerring instinct, the Vatican has turned a sound deed - tightening up procedures against abusive priests - into a public relations disaster by unnecessarily linking unrelated concerns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Rev. Patrick Umberger blames prostate for trailing boys into Dells bathroom

WISCONSIN
City Pages

Good, clean fun at the Wisconsin Dells may have been what the Rev. Patrick Umberger had on his mind last year at the Noah's Ark Water Park. Parents and security guards caught him following little boys in a public restroom.

Big misunderstanding, Umberger told the Lake Delton cops. No big deal. Just trying to get some relief from the old enlarged prostate. Got to pee a lot. Wrong, the cops said. And besides, how come no request for a bathroom break during the hour-long interview?

Also, what do prostate problems have to do with this nugget reported by the LaCrosse Tribune:

Lake Delton police also forwarded the report to the Onalaska Police Department, which later discovered photos of the priest with young boys on his Facebook page, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Authors Call New Vatican Norms for Abuse Cases Important Step

UNITED STATES
PRNewswire

HUNTINGTON, Indiana, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Newly released revisions to Catholic Church law will streamline the handling of clergy sex abuse cases, and underscore Pope Benedict XVI's resolve to institute necessary reforms, according to authors of a recent book on the Church abuse crisis.

The revisions codify recent Church practice regarding extensions on the statute of limitations and confirm the right of the Vatican's doctrinal congregation to ask the pope to laicize an abusive priest without a Church trial, in the most serious and clear cases, and remove accused priests quickly from active ministry.

The Vatican also took several additional steps, including codifying the use of child pornography as a type of sexual abuse of minors; establishing parity between abuse of mentally disabled people and that of minors; and confirming the doctrinal congregation's competency to judge cardinals, patriarchs and bishops accused of "more grave crimes."

Gregory Erlandson and Matthew Bunson, co-authors of Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal (Our Sunday Visitor, 2010, www.osv.com/abusecrisis), applauded the Vatican's actions as further evidence of the pope's commitment to address definitively the clergy sexual abuse crisis that has dominated much of his papacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Critics Blast New Priest Abuse Guidelines

OHIO
WYTV

After months of scandal in Europe and years after the problems spread across this country, Pope Benedict issued a new set of guidelines this week, hoping to deal with the sexual abuse crisis among the clergy. ...

Youngstown City Prosecutor Jay Macejko called the new policies a step in the right direction, yet he admits they won't give authorities any more power to go after abusive priests.

"This has no impact on the state's ability to prosecute these types of cases," Macejko said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

New Vatican rules polarise opinion

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Lateline

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 16/07/2010

Reporter: Emma Alberici

New Vatican rules use the same words to describe sex abuse and the ordination of women.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: There's been a mixed reaction to the announcement of new church guidelines issued by the Vatican.

Among them are tougher rules dealing with sex abuse by priests.

Supporters say they'll help expedite the handling of the most urgent cases.

But critics have condemned new rules which label any attempt to ordain women as a grave crime, the same words used to describe sex abuse.

Europe correspondent Emma Alberici.

EMMA ALBERICI, REPORTER: Until now the Vatican's procedures for dealing with child sex abuse claims have been ad hoc. The new rules double the time in which a case can be brought and for the first time they classify pornography as a crime against church laws. And the document goes beyond cases involving minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Vatican hits out at claims

VATICAN CITY
News 24

Vatican City - The Vatican on Friday denied accusations that it viewed the ordination of women as priests and the sexual abuse of minors by clerics as equally criminal.

On Thursday, the Vatican issued a document making sweeping revisions to its laws on sexual abuse, extending the period in which charges can be filed against priests in church courts and broadening the use of fast-track procedures to defrock them.

But while it dealt mostly with paedophilia, it also codified the "attempted ordination of a woman" to the priesthood as one of the most serious crimes against Church law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Archbishop defends tough penalty for women’s ordination

UNITED STATES
Catholic Herald (United Kingdom)

By Nancy Frazier OBrien on Friday, 16 July 2010

The Vatican’s decision to declare the attempted ordination of women a major Church crime reflects “the seriousness with which it holds offences against the sacrament of holy orders” and is not a sign of disrespect towards women, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington has said.

The archbishop, who chairs the US bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, spoke at a news briefing in the headquarters of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops hours after the Vatican issued new norms for handling priestly sex abuse cases and updated its list of the “more grave crimes” against Church law, including for the first time the “attempted sacred ordination of a woman”.

In such an act, the Vatican said, the cleric and the woman involved are automatically excommunicated, and the cleric can also be dismissed from the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Former Plover Priest charged with child porn possession

WISCONSIN
WAOW

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- A former Plover priest is being charged with possessing child pornography.

Father Pat Umberger, 59, is facing up to 25 years in prison and $100,000 in fines for the felony. According to a WI DOJ report, Umberger was arrested and taken to the La Crosse County Jail, Wednesday. ...

An attorney for the Diocese of La Crosse says Umberger will no longer be assigned any duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Media Frenzy over Women’s Ordination Distracts from New Vatican Sex Abuse Norms

VATICAN CITY
LifeSite

By John Jalsevac

VATICAN CITY, July 16, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Critics of the Catholic Church’s handling of the sex-abuse scandals finally got what they wanted from the Vatican this week – a sweeping new set of guidelines on how to deal with sex abuse allegations that will be applied on a global scale.

The document, issued yesterday, includes provisions for the automatic excommunication of and laicization or “defrocking” for any priest who sexually abuses a minor. Additionally, priests who are found to have used child pornography or who abuse the mentally ill or disabled face the same penalty - the most severe possible in the Church’s law.

Also noteworthy, the new norms extend the period of limitations for sex abuse allegations from ten to twenty years after the victim’s 18th birthday, allowing adult victims who were abused in childhood the opportunity to lodge formal complaints, and put in place “fast-tracking” procedures to deal with serious allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Vatican stirs storm on women priests in clarifying law on clergy abuse

VATICAN CITY
The Christian Science Monitor

By Robert Marquand, Staff Writer / July 16, 2010

Paris
Vatican officials today said the attempt to ordain women in the Roman Catholic church is not an equal crime to priestly pedophilia – even as critics point out that in practice, the ordination of women is dealt with more harshly inside the church than are charges of priests abusing children.

The Vatican clarification came on the heels of uproar in and out of the church after issuing new rules that made it easier to discipline priests. The rules lengthened the church’s statue of limitations on investigating victims from 10 to 20 years – and included women’s ordination among a list of grave crimes.

Women’s groups, theologians, and reform Catholic organizations disagreed sharply with the content and appearance of an issuance of church law that had ordination of women on a list that included heresy, schism, and pedophilia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

German protestant bishop steps down over abuse report

GERMANY
Reuters

(Reuters) - A German Lutheran bishop resigned on Friday following a report she had allowed a pastor accused of sexual abuse of teenagers in her diocese continued contact with youngsters.

In an echo of scandals hitting the Catholic church, Spiegel news magazine reported last week that Bishop Maria Jepsen, 65, heard in 1999 that the pastor had abused teenagers in his care, but let him stay in contact with youngsters until 2000.

At a news conference, Jepsen, who became the world's first female Lutheran bishop in 1992, did not say when she first heard the allegations, but said she felt her credibility was now in question.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Wuerl Discusses Women in the Church

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

Posted at: Friday, July 16, 2010
Author: Kerry Weber

From a U.S.C.C.B. press release:

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, Chairman of the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), responded to a clarification from the Vatican that raised the attempted ordination of a women to a “more grave delict,” or a Church crime that is always referred to the Holy See, in a July 15 statement. The archbishop’s full statement follows:

The Vatican’s clarification today of the seriousness with which it holds offenses against the Sacrament of Holy Orders is a welcome statement.

The seven sacraments are an integral and identifying part of the Catholic Church and the faith life of each Catholic. To feign any sacrament would be egregious. The Catholic Church through its long and constant teaching holds that ordination has been, from the beginning, reserved to men, a fact which cannot be changed despite changing times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Convicted ex-priest wants sentencing delay

CANADA
The Hamilton Spectator

A former priest who sexually molested three altar boys in the late 1970s to mid-1980s is recovering from surgery and wants to delay sentencing by several months.

Donald Grecco, 70, pleaded guilty earlier this year to three counts of gross indecency and was remanded out of custody for sentencing by Ontario Court Justice Kathryn Hawke.

Grecco did not appear in court today. His lawyer, Brian Donnelly filed medical reports on his behalf and said his client would require one to three months to recover.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

124 misbruikmeldingen Luxemburgse Kerk

LUXEMBURG
Katholiek Nieuwsblad (Nederland)

De teller van het meldpunt voor misbruik in de Luxemburgse Kerk stond eind juni op 124. Het gaat daarbij om meldingen van zowel seksueel misbruik als mishandeling. Het meldpunt werd begin april ingesteld.

91 mannen en vrouwen meldden zich als slachtoffer of getuige van overtredingen door priesters en religieuzen. In 33 gevallen ging het om een slachtoffer of getuige van seksuele mishandeling door priesters, religieuzen of jeugdige medebewoners van sociale instellingen. 65 meldingen zijn doorgegeven aan het openbaar ministerie.

[summary]

The numerator of the abuse hotline in the Luxemburg church said they have received 124 reports of abuse since late June. The hotline was established in early April. A total of 91 men and women reproted themselves as being victims or witnesses of wrongdoing by priests and religious. A total of 65 messages were forwarded to the prosecutor.

Calls also revealed physical violence and systematic humiliation of minors placed in children's home and baording schools from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

Duitsland: ex-jezuïetenleiders bieden excuses aan

DUITSLAND
Katholiek Nieuwsblad (Nederland)

Drie voormalige leiders van de Duitse jezuïeten hebben hun excuses aangeboden aan slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in instellingen van de orde. In persoonlijke verklaringen betreuren ze hun eigen fouten, schrijven ze. Ze reageerden niet voldoende op signalen van scholieren en stelden geen onderzoek in. De verklaringen werden op de website van de jezuïeten gepubliceerd. De drie leidden de orden van de jaren zeventig tot en met het begin van de jaren negentig. In die periode vond een groot deel van de nu bekend geworden misbruikgevallen plaats.

De jezuïeten betreuren het dat zij in het verleden te weinig oog hadden voor de slachtoffers. Een van de drie schrijft dat hij uitsluitend bezig was geruchten in Göttingen op te helderen en verdere misbruikgevallen te verhinderen. Een tweede verklaart dat hij pas tien jaar geleden “de zwaarte van het probleem, de diepte van de schade bij de slachtoffers van seksueel- en vertrouwensmisbruik en de ongeneeslijkheid van de zogenaamde ‘kernpedofilie' inzag”. Op schadevergoedingen voor de slachtoffers gaan de jezuïeten niet in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Vatican's rules on abuse -- the right steps or baby steps?

UNITED STATES
USA Today

Yesterday, the Vatican unveiled revisions to procedures for handling sex abuse cases, but rather than breaking new ground, they mostly clarify and consolidate existing practices, according to the National Catholic Reporter:

Unveiled on July 15, the changes include:
--Speeding up the process of "laicization," or formal removal from the priesthood;
--Allowing laity to serve as judges and lawyers on church tribunals in sex abuse cases, and waiving the requirement of a doctorate in canon law; ...

But Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org equated the changes to "bringing a toy shovel to an avalanche." She suggested a set of "meaningful" changes the church could implement:

He could direct bishops to report every allegation of child sexual abuse to the police, regardless of whether civil law requires them to do so. He could threaten punishment of any bishop or church official who enables or fails to stop a child-molesting priest. He could command bishops to stop lobbying in civil legislatures to prevent reforms of child abuse laws. He could commit to publishing the names of all clergy named in credible allegations and demand that every bishop do the same.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

When healing becomes hell on Earth

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

A church program is meant to help victims of priestly abuse, but many leave more scarred than ever, writes Jacqueline Maley.

It was Christmas Eve, 2002, and John Ellis was preparing for the holiday. As a Catholic, it was still an important religious festival to him, even though his faith had been tested by the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Father Aidan Duggan of the Bass Hill parish, some 35 years before.

Then a letter arrived from the Sydney Archbishop George Pell. It said there was no way his abuse claim could be substantiated, as Father Duggan was demented and ''in no state to respond to the charges against him''. ...

As revelations of sex abuse and church cover-ups continue to claim clerical scalps around the world, this is the high moral ground on which the Australian church has rested: it led the world in dealing with abuse complaints. But many victims emerge from Towards Healing worse for wear. They say the system is irregular, unprofessional and focused on limiting the church's liability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

Hill-Murray school president arrested on suspicion of sex crime in Crosby Farm park

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Mara H. Gottfried and Megan Boldt
mgottfried@pioneerpress.com

Police arrested the Hill-Murray School's president Thursday in an undercover sting operation in a St. Paul park.

Joseph M. Peschges, 63, was booked into the Ramsey County jail on suspicion of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a gross misdemeanor.

Officers arrested or cited nine men during Thursday's operation at Crosby Farm Regional Park, off Shepard Road, which was conducted due "to the high number of complaints from citizens of men engaged in lewd sexual acts with other men in the park," according to a police incident report.

An undercover officer reported that Peschges touched him in the groin area, over his clothing, said Sgt. Pete Crum, a police spokesman. Peschges, of White Bear Lake, was arrested at 2:20 p.m. He has not been charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

SNAP supporters criticize Owino, actions of diocese

WEST VIRGINIA
Herald-Star

By JULIE GHRIST, Staff writer

WEIRTON - There were several reasons why a Missouri woman stood outside of St. Paul Church late Thursday morning.

For one, she is the Midwest associate director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and said she is appalled by the recent actions of church officials and the Rev. Felix C. Owino, A.J., who is charged with aggravated sexual battery of a minor under the age of 13.

For another, Judy Jones says the main reason for her presence is that a school lies behind the church where Owino once served as an associate pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Vatican breaks UN treaty on children's safety; SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Joelle Casteix, Western Regional Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434 cell, jcasteix@gmail.com)

On the same day the Catholic hierarchy claims it may more quickly defrock predator priests, a top United Nations official discloses that the Vatican has refused, for almost 13 years, to meet its reporting obligation under the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.

According to the Associated Press, each nation that signed the agreement is to “submit regular reports on its efforts to safeguard child rights.” Despite repeated requests, Vatican officials haven’t done so.

The Vatican can’t bring itself to do simple paperwork about children’s safety it promised to do in 1989. So how can anyone be convinced the Vatican will take concrete steps about children’s safety it pledges to do now?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Man with AIDS is accused of "assault with deadly weapon;" SNAP responds

DALLAS (TX)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Dorris, outreach director of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)

Our hearts go out to Carolyn Hudson, the two other victims who are ready to testify, and anyone else who may have been hurt by this predator.

It’s clear that one way this predator got close to women is through his religious affiliation. We as a society should often remind ourselves that just because an individual has, or gives himself, a spiritual title doesn’t make him safe.

It’s important that the news gets out about this predator because who knows who else he may have infected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Accused priest's backers hold vigil; sex abuse victims respond

NORTH CAROLINA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566 9790)

Bishop Jugis and parishioners are essentially playing 'good cop, bad cop.' The bishop suspended Fr. Kelleher after he was arrested for alleged child sex abuse. Yet at the same time, Jugis lets parishioners hold a public support rally for a likely criminal.

Such public displays often intimidate other victims and witnesses into staying silent. Jugis can't have his cake and eat it too. He can't claim to be concerned about clergy sex abuse victims, yet allow an alleged predator’s backers frighten those same victims.

If Jugis cares about child molestation victims, he'll show some spine, forbid such hurtful events in the future, apologize for the one last night and teach his flock how to more appropriately, and quietly, support an accused child molesting cleric so that others who were molested won’t be further hurt and silenced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

SNAP praises MA judge's ruling re Bishop Dupre deposition

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566 9790)

History has shown, time and time again, that when Catholic bishops are able to secretly engage in wrongdoing about clergy sex abuse and cover ups, most of them do exactly that. By shining a public light on such misdeeds, we can hope that others who could commit, ignore or conceal such crimes might be deterred from such callousness and recklessness in the future.

We know that secrecy surrounding child sex crimes doesn't help. Maybe greater openness will.

Most child molesting clerics are personally charming and charismatic. Unless there's an admission or formal legal finding of guilt, many of these clerics are able to persuade at least a few parents that the charges against them are false.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Pope's reluctance to impose American way not a shocker

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Jul. 16, 2010 All Things Catholic

A July 9 editorial in The New York Times called upon Pope Benedict XVI to make the American bishops’ “zero tolerance” approach to sexual abuse binding on the worldwide Catholic church. In principle that’s a perfectly reasonable idea, especially since Vatican spokespersons routinely invoke the pope’s defense of the tough American rules as proof that he gets it.

Yet the editorial also used the word “shocking” to describe the fact that eight years after the American policies were developed, the pontiff has not yet imposed them on the rest of the world. That’s where people who know the lay of the land in the church will probably balk, because aside from the fact that Rome has an evolutionary sense of time (in which eight years seems a nanosecond), there are three other reasons why this is hardly a shocker.

Unpacking those reasons may shed light not only on the sexual abuse crisis, but also the complexities of setting policy in a global church -- one in which the 67 million Catholics in the United States represent just six percent of the total Catholic population of almost 1.2 billion, meaning that 94 percent of Catholics in the world don’t automatically see things through American eyes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

SNAP Members hold demonstration: Diocese Responds

WEST VIRGINIA
WTRF

WEIRTON -- Members of SNAP , the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, demonstrated in front of Saint Paul Catholic Church in Weirton on Thursday.
The group is questioning why the Bishop of the Wheeling Charleston Diocese notified the public on July 12 instead of July 8, when the Rev. Felix Owino was arrested on sex charges.

Owino is accused of allegedly molesting a girl in Fairfax County, Virginia. ...

Spokesman of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Bryan Minor told 7 News Thursday that the diocese does take the necessary measures when such an incident should happen. Minor said the diocese goes through a three step process when reporting allegations. First, the diocese will contact civil authorities. Second, a victim outreach program is started. Thirdly, if circumstances warrant, a suspension is necessary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Dichtmachen!

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

An der Odenwaldschule, die vergangene Woche ihr hundertjähriges Jubiläum beging, haben Pädagogen schwere Schuld auf sich geladen. Unter der Vorspiegelung der Erziehung zur Freiheit und der Hinwendung zum Einzelnen haben Lehrer und auch Lehrerinnen Schüler auf perfideste Weise manipuliert, um sie sexuell auszubeuten. Andere haben an dem einstigen Vorzeigeinternat der Reformpädagogik die Augen vor den Taten ihrer Kollegen verschlossen oder diese gedeckt. Viele von ihnen hatten keine pädagogische Ausbildung, jenseits des Odenwalds hätten sie es schwer gehabt. Um die Schule und ihre Arbeitsplätze zu schützen, übten sie Verrat an den Kindern. Internatsleiter haben Schüler, die die Missstände anprangerten, unter Vorwänden der Schule verwiesen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Bischöfin Jepsen tritt zurück

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

Die evangelische Bischöfin Maria Jepsen hat ihren Rücktritt erklärt. Die 65-Jährige begründete ihren Schritt damit, dass ihre Glaubwürdigkeit angezweifelt worden sei. Sie sehe sich nicht mehr in der Lage, ihre Botschaft so zu verkünden , wie sie es "vor Gott und der Gemeinde" versprochen habe.

Die evangelische Bischöfin war in den vergangenen Tagen wegen Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen einen Pastor in ihrem Bistum unter Druck geraten. Medienberichten zufolge war Jepsen bereits 1999 über die Missbrauchsvorfälle informiert worden, hatte aber erst im vergangenen Mai die Staatsanwaltschaft und die Öffentlichkeit informiert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Protestantse bisschop treedt af rond misbruikdossier

DUITSLAND
De Morgen (Belgie)

De protestantse bisschop van Hamburg, Maria Jepsen, treedt af omdat ze een dossier in verband met seksueel misbruik door een pastoor niet correct behandeld zou hebben. Dat meldt het Duitse persbureau DPA.

"Er wordt getwijfeld aan mijn geloofwaardigheid. Ik zie mezelf niet meer in staat om de Blijde Boodschap te verkondigen, zoals ik dat beloofd heb tijdens mijn ambtswijding aan God en aan de gemeenschap", aldus Jepsen. De 65-jarige bisschop was de eerste vrouwelijke lutherse bisschop in Duitsland toen ze in 1992 werd aangesteld.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Vatican speeds up sex abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
Times of Malta

Kurt Sansone

The Vatican may by-pass its own judicial process and issue an "extrajudicial decree" against priests involved in sex abuse cases under new regulations intended to speed up procedures.

Regulations published yesterday by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also stipulate that the more serious cases necessitating the removal of an offender from the priesthood could be dealt with directly by the Pope.

According to the Vatican's sex abuse prosecutor, Mgr Charles Scicluna, decisions on the type of procedures adopted in particular cases were taken by the Congregation as soon as a bishop transmitted the acts of the preliminary investigation by the Response Team.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Prominent pastor charged with sex crime

ILLINOIS
The Southern

BY MARK FITTON, The Southern | Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010

A prominent Southern Illinois pastor and community leader has been charged with a child-sex crime and is jailed.

The Rev. Bill Vandergraph, pastor of Full Gospel Pentecostal Church and president of the Friends of the Cross fundraising organization, was taken into custody Wednesday night after an investigation by the Illinois State Police and Union County Sheriff's Office, according Union County State's Attorney Tyler Edmonds.

Vandergraph, who was arrested Wednesday evening, is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, a Class X felony. He remained jailed Thursday afternoon in lieu of $500,000 bond. He is to appear in Union County Court this morning before Judge Mark Boie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Union County Pastor Charged

ILLINOIS
WSIL

WSIL -- A well-known Union County pastor has been charged with sexually assaulting a child.

Bill Vandergraph, 72, of rural Alto Pass, is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a four year old. Court documents state the crime occurred between January and May 2010.

During a court appearance Friday morning, Vandergraph's bond was lowered from $500,000 to $100,000. A judge ruled that if Vandergraph does bond out, he will be placed on home confinement and not allowed to have any minor children in his residence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Ill. cross advocate accused of child sexual abuse

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By JIM SUHR
Associated Press Writer

ST. LOUIS — An outspoken pastor who led fundraising efforts for the restoration of a towering southern Illinois cross landmark was jailed Friday on charges that he sexually assaulted a child.

Prosecutors in Illinois' Union County charged the Rev. Bill Vandergraph, 72, with predatory sexual assault of a child under the age of 13, a felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison. He was jailed on $500,000 bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Alto Pass pastor accused of child sexual abuse bonds out of jail

ILLINOIS
KFVS

By Heartland News

JONESBORO, IL (KFVS) - An Alto Pass pastor has bonded out of jail and stands accused of sexually abusing a child.

Bill Vandergraph, 72, made his first court appearance in Union County Friday.

A judge lowered his bond to $100,000.

Vandergraph heads back to court August 13 for a preliminary hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

Jepsen hat Kirchengeschichte geschrieben

DEUTSCHLAND
Welt

von dpa-info.com GmbH
Hamburg (dpa/lno) - Hamburgs Bürgermeister Ole von Beust (CDU) hat den Rücktritt von Bischöfin Maria Jepsen bedauert. «Als erste evangelisch-lutherische Bischöfin hat Frau Jepsen Kirchengeschichte geschrieben», erklärte Beust am Freitag. Ihre Entscheidung gelte es jedoch zu respektieren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Jepsens Verstrickung

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Rundschau

Von Joachim Frank

Wer in den Berichten über den Missbrauchsfall im protestantischen Norden den Namen Maria Jepsen durch Walter Mixa ersetzt, weiß, warum die Bischöfin zurücktritt. Erinnerungslücken vorschützen, abwiegeln, beschönigen - alles, was den katholischen Oberhirten Amt und Reputation gekostet hat, musste sich auch Jepsen vorwerfen lassen. Aber im Gegensatz zu Mixa erspart sie sich, der Kirche und den Opfern ein unwürdiges Gezerre um ihren Posten.

Es wäre falsch, das Aus für die weltweit erste lutherische Bischöfin - eine Symbolfigur für Gleichberechtigung und Fortschritt in der Kirche - als tragisch zu bezeichnen. Denn Tragik bedeutet die Verstrickung des Einzelnen in ein unausweichliches Geschehen. Verstrickt war Jepsen, wie sich jetzt zeigt: in Strukturen der Nachlässigkeit und des Vertuschens von sexuellem Missbrauch. Aber unausweichlich war das nicht. Deshalb hat Jepsens Zuflucht in den "Glaubwürdigkeitsverlust" als Rücktrittsgrund etwas von Ausflucht. Sie hätte besser vom eigenen Verhalten gesprochen als davon, in welchem Licht andere sie sehen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Glaube, Triebe, Vergessen

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

Ein Kommentar von Jürgen Dahlkamp und Ralf Hoppe

"Ohne Ehrlichkeit hätte ich meinen Dienst nicht tun können", sagt die Hamburger Bischöfin Maria Jepsen - und tritt nach dem ersten Missbrauchsskandal der Evangelischen Kirche zurück. Es ist ein Schritt, der Hochachtung verdient, aber auch längst überfällig war.

Eine Konferenz vor elf Jahren, in der Hansestadt Lübeck, es geht um sexuelle Gewalt zwischen Männern und Frauen, und die Bischöfin Maria Jepsen ist die Schirmherrin und spricht das Grußwort. Sie ist eine Vertreterin des feministischen Flügels in der Evangelischen Kirche Deutschland - sexuelle Gewalt ist ein Thema, das ihr daher besonders nahegeht oder nahegehen sollte.

Nach ihrer Ansprache schreitet die Bischöfin Jepsen durch den Mittelgang Richtung Ausgang, und plötzlich steht eine junge, blonde Frau vor ihr, tritt ihr in den Weg. Die junge Frau hat nämlich eine Schwester, und diese Schwester wurde offenbar jahrelang missbraucht, als Minderjährige, von einem Pastor aus Ahrensburg bei Hamburg - im Sprengel der Bischöfin, ihrem Amtsbereich.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Protestant bishop steps down over mishandling of sex abuse case

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

The Protestant Bishop of Hamburg has announced her resignation in light of criticism over how she handled a sex-abuse case in her diocese. Maria Jepsen became the world's first female Protestant bishop in 1992.

The Protestant Bishop of Hamburg, Maria Jepsen, has announced her resignation Friday as criticism for her handling of a sex-abuse case in her diocese mounts.

The cases of abuse date back to the 1980s when a pastor in the town of Ahrensburg reportedly sexually abused as many as 20 children.

Jepsen said she had only become aware of cases in March of this year when she received a letter from one of the victims. But a recent report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel and the daily Hamburger Abendblatt indicated Jepsen knew of the priest's suspected behavior in 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

First woman Lutheran bishop resigns

GERMANY
The Associated Press

By JUERGEN BAETZ (AP)

BERLIN — The first woman ever elected as a Lutheran bishop has resigned from her post in northern Germany amid allegations she failed to thoroughly investigate reports of a sexually abusive pastor.

Hamburg bishop Maria Jepsen said in a statement Friday that she was stepping down from her post after coming under fire for allegedly deciding not to take action on claims that a priest within her diocese was involved in sexual abuse.

"My credibility has been put in question," Jepsen said. "Consequently, I feel that I am no longer able to spread the good word, as I vowed to do at my ordination."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

German bishop resigns over handling abuse case

GERMANY
BBC News

The bishop of Hamburg - the world's first female Lutheran bishop - has resigned amid criticism of her handling of a sex abuse case.

Maria Jepsen stepped down saying her credibility had been contested.

She denies having known before May this year about a priest in the town of Ahrensburg who reportedly sexually abused boys and girls in the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

First woman Lutheran bishop quits

GERMANY
Sydney Morning Herald

AFP

The world's first female Lutheran bishop resigned on Friday after abuse accusations in her northern German diocese of Hamburg, the latest casualty of a scandal to have rocked the church.

Maria Jepsen, 65, came under fire for bungling the case of a pastor accused of abusing young boys and girls in the 1970s and 1980s. She reportedly knew for several years about the case but failed to act.

"My credibility has been called into question," she said at a hastily convened media conference to explain her decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Pioneer female bishop resigns amid diocese sex-abuse case (Roundup)

GERMANY
Monsters and Critics

Hamburg/Berlin - The Lutheran Bishop of Hamburg, Maria Jepsen, has resigned amid criticism that she mishandled a sex-abuse case in her diocese.

The accusations against Jepsen, who was the first Lutheran female bishop in the world when she was appointed in 1992, relate to alleged sexual abuse of between five and 20 minors by a pastor in the town of Ahrensburg, in Jepsen's diocese, during the 1980s.

Jepsen, 65, is accused of not reacting appropriately to the alleged abuse. The bishop said she was not resigning in an admission of guilt, but rather to prevent further damage to the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Women priests and sex abuse not equal crimes: Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican on Friday denied accusations that it viewed the ordination of women as priests and the sexual abuse of minors by clerics as equally criminal.

On Thursday, the Vatican issued a document making sweeping revisions to its laws on sexual abuse, extending the period in which charges can be filed against priests in church courts and broadening the use of fast-track procedures to defrock them.

But while it dealt mostly with pedophilia, it also codified the "attempted ordination of a woman" to the priesthood as one of the most serious crimes against Church law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Details emerge as Onalaska priest charged in child porn case

ONALASKA (WI)
Courier-Life

By ANNE JUNGEN | Lee Newspapers

Onalaska police were aware a Catholic priest now charged with having child pornography repeatedly followed several young boys into a Wisconsin Dells water park bathroom almost a year ago, according to police reports and court records.

A family and two Noah’s Ark Water Park employees saw the Rev. Patrick Umberger, 59, trail the boys into the bathroom by a children’s pool area July 22, 2009, according to a Lake Delton Police Department report.

Umberger, priest at St. Patrick’s Catholic Parish in Onalaska since 2005, was found standing next to a 10-year-old using a urinal, the report stated. He told an officer he was near the restrooms because he had prostate problems and had to urinate often.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Vatican under pressure over child abuse report

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

The Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNHRC) says the Vatican is ignoring her calls to produce a report on child protection that is 13 years overdue. This follows interventions made at the UN by NSS Executive Director Keith Porteous Wood, on behalf of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

Associated Press (AP) contacted the UNCRC Chair, Yanghee Lee, about the missing report. She told them: "I've made contact with the Holy See on several occasions, [but] I haven't received anything." She added that the treaty contains no penalties for countries that fail to deliver their reports on time – or even at all.

AP noted that “While the Vatican delivered an initial report in 1995, the second, third and fourth reports are now overdue, according to Lee. This puts it on a par with the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Only five the (sic) Pacific minnow states — the Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Tuvalu and Tonga — have failed to deliver any kind of report.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

£80,000 of taxpayers’ money down the drain as Church scales back papal visit

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

As Warwickshire police reveal that they have wasted £80,000 in planning for an aborted papal event at Coventry airport, the National Secular Society has put in Freedom of Information Requests to four police authorities — West Midlands, Strathclyde, Lothian & Borders and the Met in London — to ascertain what their anticipated budgets are for policing the four day visit.

Warwickshire police revealed that they spent £80,000 and 2,490 working hours planning for the pope’s scheduled mass at Coventry airport which has now been cancelled and switched to Birmingham. The police in Coventry set up a dedicated five-officer team to plan the proposed visit before the Catholic Church announced that the event was being moved to Cofton Park in Birmingham.

A spokesman for the force said: “We had a dedicated team of officers from the force which was established to plan and prepare for the policing operation associated with the visit. The force will seek to apply nationally for these costs to be reimbursed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Vatican Angers Many With 'Grave Crimes' List

AOL News

Theunis Bates

(July 16) -- Is a priest who sexually abuses a child as sinful as one who ordains a female cleric? Some say a new set of laws issued by the Vatican implies one is just as bad as the other.

The Catholic Church on Thursday revised its in-house rules on sex abuse cases, extending the statute of limitations for such crimes from 10 to 20 years past the victim's 18th birthday and speeding up the excommunication process for pedophile priests. But, curiously, the amended set of ecclesiastical laws also declares that any priest caught ordaining women will be designated as having committed a "grave crime," the same phrase used to describe the abuse of children.

Liberal Catholics pushing for church reform were shocked by the decree. "I find it appalling," Pat Brown, spokeswoman for British organization Catholic Women's Ordination, told AOL News. "To mention us in the same breath as pedophiles is disgusting and hugely insulting to women and the victims of pedophilia. Announcements like this really emphasize the need to keep campaigning for change in the church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Uproar over Vatican's grave crimes list

AUSTRALIA
The Age

BARNEY ZWARTZ
July 17, 2010

Catholics around the world were shocked after the Vatican listed both the ordination of women and paedophile abuse by priests as "grave crimes".

The Vatican made some changes to the way it deals with clergy sexual abusers, which it said would promote rigour and transparency, but the same document of "grave crimes" now lists the attempted ordination of women as in the same category as a matter for excommunication.

"They've just stuffed it up again," a senior Melbourne Catholic, who did not want to be named, said. "It's a very long list of things that are not permissible, and we knew what they were, but to put women and paedophiles in the same document is ridiculous."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Editorial: Vatican is out of touch

IRELAND
Herald

Friday July 16 2010

The Vatican decision to make the ordination of woman a "crime against the faith" on a par with child abuse is truly unbelievable.

Apart from the ostrich attitude in trying to stop women becoming priests, the link to child abuse is in the realms of the ridiculous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Sinead Ryan: Having women priests is a sin bigger than child abuse, says the

IRELAND
Herald

By Sinead Ryan

Friday July 16 2010

Some people commenting on the new Vatican publication have suggested, a bit hysterically, that it suggests that the ordination of women priests is as much of a crime as child abuse. This is ridiculous. The ordination of women is a much more serious charge.

Indeed, it's considered a 'crime against sacraments' -- pretty much the top of the list, whereas child abuse by priests (the already ordained-before-God special ones) is merely a 'crime against morals'. So far, so much the status quo.

Nothing has changed. It is putting both in the same document that is the outrageous bit.

Once again, the Vatican has shot itself in the foot.

How to create a PR disaster

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC

William Crawley | 13:10 UK time, Friday, 16 July 2010

The Vatican has done it again. In their effort to show that they are dealing seriously with clerical abuse by priests, they have managed to create a storm of protests around the world, with headlines such as this (in The Times): "Female priests are as sinful as child abuse". This entire debacle is yet another example of a Vatican media operation that is disconnected from the rest the world.

How did it all go wrong? First, the Vatican decided to publish a set of revisions to the church's Canon Law, which incorporate changes in practice that have taken place in recent years. These guidelines are described in Church law as "Normae de gravioribus delictis", or ""Norms concerning the most serious crimes". (Read the fully revised text here. The new norms are described here.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Vatican Toughens Rules on Abuse Cases

VATICAN CITY
Wall Street Journal

By STACY MEICHTRY
VATICAN CITY—The Vatican tightened its rules for disciplining cases of alleged sexual abuse, marking the first time it has changed church laws to address the sexual-abuse scandal that has opened Pope Benedict XVI to widespread scrutiny over his handling of abuse cases.

The new measures didn't quell accusations that Vatican policies have fostered coverups of sexual abuse by those within church ranks. ...

The revisions don't require bishops world-wide to report sexual abuse to civil authorities. Victims' groups say Vatican laws, which call for church officials to comply with civil laws, aren't tough enough to protect children, because many countries don't have laws that require the reporting of sex abuse.

."This is a puny response when measuring it against the vastness and chaos of this scandal," said Kristine Ward, chairwoman of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition, a sex-abuse victims' advocacy group based in Dayton, Ohio.

"A priest may be removed more quickly but then released to the general population. These are not meaningful changes," said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of U.S. advocacy group BishopAccountability.org

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Moscow priest suggests death penalty to Internet distributors of porn video

RUSSIA
Interfax

Moscow, July 16, Interfax - Orthodox priest and publicist Alexander Shumsky urges to apply toughest punishment to those, who spread porno, especially wit children, in Internet.

"I don't know about inquisition, but if those who post kid and other porn videos in Internet were caught and cruelly liquidated like infected rats with lists of eliminated scoundrels daily posted in the web, it would be very nice and effective," Fr. Alexander said as cited by Argumenty i Fakty weekly on Friday.

According to the priest, who works in St. Nicholas Church in Khamovniki and has eight children, people come to confess they watch children porn in Internet more often.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

St. Vincent priest to sue for slander

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Richard Gazarik
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, July 16, 2010

A suspended St. Vincent College professor and priest filed notice Thursday in Westmoreland County that he intends to sue a series of diocesan, college and church officials for slander, libel and defamation.

The Rev. Mark Gruber, 54, filed a writ of summons, which is formal notice of his intention to sue, in connection with last year's state police investigation of him for allegedly using a college computer to access child pornography. ...

State police found that the computer, located in a seminar room that could be accessed by others, was used to access websites in Russia and the Czech Republic where child pornography can be viewed. Photos and videos of nude males had been downloaded to the computer, but police said the subjects appeared to be older than 18.

Investigators said they found no evidence of a crime, and Gruber never was charged. "Due to a lack of evidence that a crime has occurred, this investigation (is) to be closed," read the state police report.

However, Gruber was suspended from his duties by Brandt and Nowicki when the investigation began in July 2009 and has not been able to teach, celebrate Mass, hear confessions or participate in other church functions. He has not been reinstated to his duties, according to court records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Boston Advocates: New Vatican Rules On Punishing Clergy Abuse Fall Short

MASSACHUSETTS
WBUR

By Monica Brady-Myerov

Published July 16, 2010

BOSTON — Local advocates for clergy abuse survivors say the Vatican’s new changes to its policy on handling clerical sexual abuse are not significant enough.

According to the new rules, priests who molest disabled adults or possess child pornography will be punished the same as priests accused of sexually abusing a minor. The new rules also double the statute of limitations on abuse cases.

Ann Hagen Webb, of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, says the new rules approach the issue from the wrong direction — at the level of internal discipline rather than public safety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Zeugin bekräftigt Vorwurf gegen Bischöfin Jepsen

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

Von Jürgen Dahlkamp

Was wusste die Hamburger Bischöfin Maria Jepsen über sexuelle Übergriffe eines Pastors auf Minderjährige? Nach SPIEGEL-Informationen ist die protestantische Geistliche bereits 1999 informiert worden. Die Schwester eines Opfers untermauert nun diesen Vorwurf.

Hamburg - Nachdem die Hamburger Bischöfin Maria Jepsen bestritten hat, schon 1999 Hinweise auf den sexuellen Missbrauch von Jugendlichen durch den Ahrensburger Pfarrer Dieter K. erhalten zu haben, hat die Schwester eines Opfers ihren Vorwurf mit einer eidesstattlichen Versicherung konkretisiert.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Verjährungsfrist vor Verlängerung

DEUTSCHLAND
n-tv

Der Runde Tisch der Bundesregierung zum sexuellen Missbrauch schlägt vor, die Verjährungsfrist für zivilrechtliche Ansprüche auf 30 Jahre zu verlängern. Bisher liegt sie bei drei Jahren. Damit können Opfer länger auf Schadensersatzansprüche hoffen.

Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs sollen künftig bis zu 30 Jahre nach der Tat Schadenersatz vor Gericht geltend machen können. Das hat die Justiz-Arbeitsgruppe des von der Bundesregierung eingesetzten Runden Tisches gegen Kindesmissbrauch in Berlin vorgeschlagen. Die Opfer hätten bei einer so langen Verjährungsfrist viel Zeit, ihre zivilrechtlichen Ansprüche durchzusetzen.

[summary]

The federal government Round Table is proposing that the statute of limitations for civil claims in sexual abuse cases be extended to 30 years. The current statute of limitations is three years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Bishops Welcome Update of Vatican Norms on Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON-Bishop Blase Cupich, bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, and bishop-designate of Spokane, Washington, and Chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Protection of Children and Young People, welcomed the Vatican’s update of its 2001 norms dealing with clergy sexual abuse of minors in a July 15 statement. The new norms include the abuse of a mentally disabled adult and the downloading of child pornography in the same category as abusing a minor and also extend the Vatican’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse to 20 years after the victim turned 18.

The full text of Bishop Cupich’s statement follows:

The Vatican action is a welcome step forward as we deal with the terrible crime and sin of sexual abuse by a cleric. What we read today from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is heartening. The bishops in this country felt the support of the Holy See in 2002 with the establishment of the Essential Norms and we are strengthened even more as the measures outlined in this document build on and go beyond what has been particular law for the Church in the United States since then.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

NSAC to VATICAN and BISHOP CUPICH: CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OKAY IF THE CHILD IS 14-18 YEARS of AGE?

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Contact: Kristine Ward, www.nsacoalition.org

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) responded to Bishop Blase Cupich’s comments on new Vatican regulations regarding the crime of child pornography and priests by asking if Bishop Cupich believes that “child pornography is a degradation of any child of God” why Pope Benedict and the Vatican have limited this section of the new norms to ” images of minors under the age of 14″ and the US Bishops haven’t objected?

Bishop Cupich is the chair of the US Bishops Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People. He is the Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota and the Bishop of Bishop-designate of Spokane, Washington.

Because the pornography and priests issue was included in the Vatican document regarding extension of statute of limitations regarding sexual abuse by priests the impression is left that the Vatican is using the “under age 18″ description of a minor for the pornography and priests reference as it does in the statute of limitations extension section.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Psychiatric Disorders More Prevelant Among Sex Abuse Survivors

UNITED STATES
Mental Health News

by Shadra Bruce Jul 16th, 2010

Psychiatric disorders are more prevalent among victims of sex abuse, with those with a history of being raped having the most occurrences of depression, eating disorders and post traumatic stress disorder. The study, conducted by the Mayo Clinic, determined that the age and gender of the victim did not impact the strong correlation between multiple mental health disorders; any victimization increased the likelihood of mental health difficulties.

Increased incidents of suicide and attempted suicide, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and even sleep disorders were closely linked with a history of sexual abuse and rape. Dr. Ali Zirakzadeh, who conducted the study, says, “Survivors of sexual abuse are commonly seen in general medical practice. Sexual abuse survivors face a challenging spectrum of physical and mental health symptoms, which results in high health care utilization, oftentimes without improvement in quality of life.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Former teacher to spend life behind bars

FLORIDA
WSVN

[with video]

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A former South Florida music teacher accused of sexually abusing a student has been sentenced to life in prison.

Sandeep Munshi is convicted of repeatedly sexually abusing a 10-year-old student during her weekly lessons. Munshi rejected a plea deal that would've sent him to prison for 15 years. The jury's decision evoked different emotions from both sides. "Justice was served today. We're happy. I really believe in the court system today," said the victim's father. ...

The sexual abuse happened at the South Florida Hindu Temple in Southwest Ranches back in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

UN: Vatican child rights report 13 years overdue

SWITZERLAND
Bloomberg Businessweek

By FRANK JORDANS

GENEVA

The Vatican has failed to send the United Nations a report on child rights that is now almost 13 years overdue, the head of a U.N. panel has told The Associated Press.

Like all countries that have signed the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Vatican is required to submit regular reports on its efforts to safeguard child rights.

But the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, despite sending repeated reminders, has received no explanation from the Holy See for why it missed a 1997 deadline, according to the committee's chairwoman Yanghee Lee. In the years since, the Vatican has come under intense scrutiny over its handling of child sex abuse allegations around the world and recently admitted that up to one in 20 priests may be implicated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

US bishops praise revised Vatican norms on clerical abuse

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

July 16, 2010
Bishop Blase Cupich, the bishop-designate of Spokane and chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Protection of Children and Young People, issued a statement on July 15 praising the inclusion of the abuse of developmentally disabled adults and the use of child pornography among the revised Vatican norms for “extremely serious crimes.”

“The Vatican action is a welcome step forward as we deal with the terrible crime and sin of sexual abuse by a cleric,” said Bishop Cupich. “What we read today from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is heartening. The bishops in this country felt the support of the Holy See in 2002 with the establishment of the Essential Norms and we are strengthened even more as the measures outlined in this document build on and go beyond what has been particular law for the Church in the United States since then.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Tod Brown's Own Private Idaho

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Orange County Weekly

By GUSTAVO ARELLANO Thursday, Jul 15 2010

In November, if all goes according to the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown will celebrate his 75th birthday by retiring. Canon law requires bishops and cardinals who reach that age to submit their resignation to the Pope, as was recently the case for Los Angeles Archdiocese Cardinal Roger Mahony.

But Brown is trying to stave off his walk into the sunset. Diocesan sources tell the Weekly he has already submitted a letter to Pope Benedict XVI asking for five more years to head Orange County’s 1.2 million Catholics. It’s unclear when the pontiff will respond or what his decision will be, but if Benedict’s worldwide crackdown on pedophile priest-protecting church officials is any indication, he’ll likely deny Brown’s request.

Brown, after all, has proven to be one of American Catholicism’s most bumbling bishops during the course of the Church’s sex-abuse scandal. His Excellency has allowed spokespeople and attorneys to publicly repudiate sex-abuse victims, employed known rapists, and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a PR campaign promising sex-abuse transparency yet never bothered to disclose molestation allegations (ultimately not substantiated) lodged against him (see “Nailed?” April 24, 2007).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM