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December 31, 2010

Victims want priest kicked off upcoming cruise

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging a cruise line and a Catholic official to stop a priest who molested dozens of girls from taking a Caribbean and South American vacation in a few days.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, have learned that Fr. George Neville Rucker is booked for a 79 day Discovery Grand South American cruise on January 3, 2011 out of Barbados with a company called “Voyages of Discovery.” (For a copy of the documentation, please call Barbara 314 862 7688.)

Rucker was arrested aboard a Holland America cruise ship in Alaska in 2002 by Los Angeles detectives. He was charged with molesting 12 girls. A year later, criminal charges against him and several other accused pedophile priests were dropped due to a US Supreme Court ruling (called “Stogner”) relating to the statute of limitations. ...

Catholic officials have said that Rucker is supposed to be confined to a Catholic-run nursing home, Nazareth House, in Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

New figures show “shockingly widespread” abuse in DE & MD

DELAWARE/MARYLAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[BishopAccountability.org: Accused Priests in Wilmington Parishes]

A group that represents clergy sex abuse victims says that new figures show that more than 80 percent of the Wilmington Catholic diocese parishes had at least one accused predator priest worked in them.

The statistics come from several sources, including a Boston-based research organization called BishopAccountability.org, which documents the church’s abuse crisis through compiling news accounts and tracking litigation. The numbers are higher than any other diocese in the U.S., according to a Chicago-based support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“Almost all of the information about predator priests surfaces when courageous survivors find the strength to finally break their silence and speak up through legal action,” said David Clohessy of SNAP. “Delaware citizens should be grateful that so many deeply wounded Delaware victims have come forward.”

In New Castle County, Del. — where the majority of the diocese’s parishes are located — the percentage is 90.9 percent (30 out of 33 churches). Seventy five percent of the Wilmington diocesan parishes in Maryland had at least one accused priest assigned (12 out of 16 churches).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

The Progress We've Made -- and Haven't Yet Made -- on Child-Sex-Abuse Statutes of Limitations: 2010, the Year in Review

UNITED STATES
FindLaw

By MARCI A. HAMILTON

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fortunately, the pace of legal reform regarding child-sex-abuse statutes of limitations did not abate in 2010. The logic of eliminating the statute of limitations ("SOL") for this heinous crime and tort -- and of creating an SOL "window" so that past victims can come forward and receive justice -- remains irrefutable. Study after study has proven that victims typically need decades to get to the psychological place where they can come forward to tell their stories in court, and that therefore, short statutes of limitations mean there will be no justice at all. Short SOLs also mean that perpetrators and their enablers remain cloaked in secrecy, which is just what is needed to perpetuate cycles of abuse; as the years pass with perpetrators and enablers unidentified, more and more children fall prey.

Even when the need for reform is obvious from a public-policy perspective, however, the law moves forward in fits and starts. This arena is no different. In this column, I'll cover the top 10 SOL events of 2010. Some represent major steps forward; some, deeply unfortunate developments.

The primary lesson of 2010, for this area of law, is that we are still in an age of experimentation regarding SOL reform, with states implementing a variety of approaches. The other moral of the story is that the Catholic Conferences of the states (the lobbying organizations for the Catholic bishops) are still spending millions to try to stop the inevitability of SOL reform.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Bishop Stang ministry director cleared of sexual misconduct charges

DARTMOUTH (MA)
SouthCoast Today

By Brian Fraga
bfraga@s-t.com
December 30, 2010

DARTMOUTH — The Bristol County District Attorney’s office said there is “insufficient evidence” to criminally charge a Bishop Stang High School campus ministry director who had been accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct with a student in the mid 1990s.

Prosecutors told the Diocese of Fall River they reached that determination after a “full investigation” into the allegations against Jean Revil, 53, who has been on paid administrative leave since the alleged victim came forward in early October.

The District Attorney’s Office also said that any criminal charges would have been barred by the statute of limitations. The alleged victim, a former female student at Stang, said the incident occurred in 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Bishop Stang teacher is cleared in sexual misconduct investigation

DARTMOUTH (MA)
Herald News

By Grant Welker
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Dec 30, 2010

DARTMOUTH — A Bishop Stang High School teacher investigated for inappropriate sexual conduct with a student in 1994 has been cleared after the district attorney’s office found insufficient evidence and that a statute of limitations had expired.

The teacher, Jean Revil, had been put on administrative leave in October after Catholic Social Services received a report of allegations by a female student, who claimed sexual misconduct at the school. Revil, who has been at the school for more than three decades, will return to her position at an undetermined date, said the Diocese of Fall River, which oversees the Catholic school.

“We are grateful for the patience by all involved while this difficult matter was handled,” the diocese said in a statement on Thursday. “We realize how trying these past months must have been, particularly for Ms. Revil.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

'Nee, Vangheluwe zit hier niet'

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

31 december 2010

Abt Gilbert Degros kijkt eens gespeeld rond en schudt dan het hoofd: 'Nee, Vangheluwe zit hier niet. Indien hij hier wel zat dan zou ik het u oprecht vertellen. Ik weet ook niet waar hij is.'

'Hier in de abdij hebben wij ons eigen Vangheluwe-grapje. Het gaat zo: Jezus komt de aarde nog eens bezoeken. We weten dat hij vanuit de hemel met een vliegtuig zal landen op Zaventem. Er staat dus een hele batterij hoogwaardigheidsbekleders klaar: de koning, de eerste minister, aartsbisschop Léonard en misschien ben ik zelf ook wel geïnviteerd. Maar Jezus loopt ons allemaal voorbij en gaat direct naar Roger Vangheluwe om hem vergiffenis te schenken. Dat zou ik ook doen indien Roger hier aanklopte om onderdak te vragen.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Belgian journalist said Catholics scandalized by archbishop's remarks

BELGIUM
The Pilot (United States)

By Jonathan Luxmoore

OXFORD, England (CNS) -- A Belgian journalist who serves as spokesman for the nation's cardinal said Catholics in his country were "scandalized" by an archbishop's testimony to a parliamentary commission on sexual abuse by priests.

In response to questions by commission members, Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, president of the Belgian bishops' conference, said he feared the consequences of compensating victims, because payments could also be demanded for "unhappy children born via artificial insemination" or facing the "psychological impact" of being raised by same-sex couples.

He also said he favored a "solidarity fund" for abuse victims when courts were unable to establish "direct responsibility" by institutions and said the church would contribute to the fund "in the same way that it already intervenes for victims of natural catastrophes or for the poor."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Clergy abuse in Delaware: Parish may owe $6 million in interest

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By SEAN O'SULLIVAN • The News Journal • December 31, 2010

WILMINGTON -- The pain could get worse for St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Parish.

Post-trial motions indicate the city church -- which also has elementary and high schools -- may be liable for $6 million to $7 million more than the $3 million awarded to plaintiff John Vai on Nov. 30, because parish attorneys declined to settle the case before trial for $1.5 million.

It is a legal wrinkle that raises stakes for other parishes, schools and religious orders facing priest abuse lawsuits allowed by the Delaware Child Victims Act, potentially exposing them to millions more in damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Playing Catholic politics with US healthcare

UNITED STATES
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Becky Garrison
guardian.co.uk, Friday 31 December 2010

Even though the Catholic hierarchy can take years to issue a reprimand against priests found to be guilty of sexual abuse, Sister Margaret McBride, a member of the ethics board at St Joseph's hospital in Phoenix, Arizona was reassigned and excommunicated in November 2009 after authorising an abortion in order to save the life of a 27-year-old mother of four. Bishop Thomas J Olmsted justified his actions by stating: "An unborn child is not a disease … the end does not justify the means." In December 2010, he stripped the hospital of its Catholic status, an ecclesiastical decision that renders the chapel unable to administer the eucharist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

No-Contact Order Charges Dropped Against Former Pastor

IOWA
KCRG

[with video]

FAYETTE, Iowa - Charges against a former Fayette pastor for allegedly trying to contact his victim has been dropped.

Last week, Timothy Parker was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl. Parker was accused of attempting to contact the victim and family members by giving letters to Pastor Ronnie Koch, who was visiting Parker at the Fayette County jail. Koch, 44, of Fredericksburg still faces misdemeanor accessory charges for allegedly mailing the letters

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

DA clears Stang teacher accused of sexual misconduct

DARTMOUTH (MA)
SouthCoast Today

By Brian Fraga
bfraga@s-t.com
December 31, 2010

DARTMOUTH — Sitting under an icon of St. Benedict, Jean Revil wore a Bishop Stang faculty sweater Thursday and talked about the anxiety she felt about once again teaching and interacting with adolescents.

"Am I gonna be jumpy? Anytime a kid comes to approach me, am I going to freak out?" asked Revil, who will return to her job Monday as a theology teacher and campus ministry director at Bishop Stang High School.

She has been on administrative leave since Oct. 7, a few days after a former student accused Revil, 53, of engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with her during a freshmen retreat in 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

December 30, 2010

The Vatican Creates a Financial Watchdog

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: December 30, 2010

VATICAN CITY — Amid a judicial investigation into its famously secretive bank, the Vatican created its own financial watchdog on Thursday and issued sweeping and tough new laws aimed at meeting international standards against money laundering and terrorist financing.

In an apostolic letter dated Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI created a new internal body to make sure the Vatican’s disparate financial entities comply with European Union standards of financial transparency. The new law answered implicit and explicit criticism that the Vatican’s financial self-regulation has long been too loose, setting stiff penalties — including jail time and monetary fines — for any violators.

The law, to go into effect by April 1, was greeted positively by anti-money-laundering organizations. In a year in which a sexual abuse scandal fomented intense debate over who has the power — moral or otherwise — to hold the church accountable for its actions, the new law appeared to acknowledge the importance of adhering to civil standards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Spread This Around – My New Year’s Resolution About Gossip

UNITED STATES
Spero News

By Gordon MacRae

The bigger scandal in the Catholic Church is the way pop culture has drawn us into a climate of gossip and ruined reputations. Is it time to stem that tide?

It happens so easily, and sometimes even innocently. Very few of us are exempt from being both the victims and the proponents of gossip. As I wrote in “The Mirror of Justice Cracked,” the first of a three-part post in October, I was once Director of Admissions for a treatment and spiritual renewal center for priests. I had been on staff there only a month when asked one day to give a tour to a visiting bishop. In the main corridor, we stopped to look at a display of Native American art from a local Pueblo. As the bishop backed up to view the display, he backed right into the lady’s room door just as it opened and a secretary emerged. It was an awkward moment.

I reached out to steady them both as they collided, and to lighten the startled secretary’s embarrassment I said, “It’s not a vision; it’s just us.” The next morning I was summoned to the facility director’s office. The secretary had filed a complaint alleging that on the previous day I approached her as she emerged from the lady’s room and said. “Oh, it’s my vision of lust!”

When I told the director what really happened, he inquired with the visiting bishop who corroborated my account exactly, but not before the secretary passed along her version to the rest of the office staff. I was new there, and for weeks afterward I had a creepy feeling that I was the subject of a lot of office gossip. Over time, once the staff got to know me better and a trust level developed, the incident just evaporated. Eventually even the offended secretary just brushed it aside with a casually mumbled, “I might have heard wrong.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

François Houtart: : een waardevol activist valt.

BELGIE
De Wereld Morgen

François Houtart, Prijs Jaap Kruithof en machtsmisbruik: een waardevol activist valt

De jury voor de Prijs Jaap Kruithof kon niet volledig geraadpleegd worden voor een standpunt over de zaak François Houtart zoals vandaag vermeld in de Belgische pers. We hebben geprobeerd zoveel mogelijk leden te bereiken en de twee organisaties die verantwoordelijk zijn voor de Prijs Jaap Kruithof hebben een voorlopig standpunt bepaald.

De organisaties Democratie 2000 en VZW. Trefpunt nemen met ontstelling akte van de bekentenissen van kindermisbruik door François Houtart, laureaat Prijs Jaap Kruithof 2010, uitgereikt tijdens de Gentse Feesten Bij Sint-Jacobs op 21 juli 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

Truth and a call to renewal

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dec. 30, 2010

An NCR Editorial

It is fitting that the final years of Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the disgraced founder of the Legionaries of Christ, straddled the two papacies that have been deeply scarred by the ever expanding priest sex abuse crisis: that of John Paul II, the figure who did the most to promote Maciel and his order, and Benedict XVI, the highest-level curial figure to understand the dimensions of the crisis and who, as pope, is left to deal with its consequences.

Maciel, who died in 2008, lived a monstrous double life and was a master manipulator of the powerful in the Vatican. He was skilled at winning over those who were influenced by cash and shows of obeisance. His slavish adherence, at least publicly, to orthodoxies and personal pieties provided him the cover he needed to maintain his status while hiding a life that included horrific abuse of young seminarians and fathering at least three children with two different women.

Maciel embodied the arrogance, sense of privilege, lack of accountability and rot in the ranks of church leadership of which the abuse crisis is merely the most glaring symptom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Opposition grows to ban by rabbis of Orthodox blog that reports on child sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Cliffview Pilot

Thursday, 30 December 2010 18:04 Jerry DeMarco

A backlash has followed the decision by a group of rabbis to ban their followers from advertising, viewing or even patronizing the advertisers of an Orthodox Jewish news blog that reports on sexual abuse within their communities. Thirty six rabbis have condemned VosIzNeias.com as sinful, and the response has been sharp.

“For many of the victims of abuse I know, the ban has created feelings of being re-traumatized,” Rabbi Asher Lipner told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “Most survivors feel that the community's stifling their voices has been more damaging emotionally than the actual molestation they have suffered.”

The communities for years have sought to handle such incidents within their own ranks, calling to mind the behavior of the Catholic Church. More recently, however, families of victims have begun turning to the secular justice system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

George Weigel: Whitewashing history

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dec. 30, 2010
By Jason Berry

George Weigel, Pope John Paul II biographer and a leading conservative voice at the Washington-based Ethics and Public Policy Center, has recently become a critic of the Legion of Christ, the scandal-racked religious order, after years of supporting it while dismissing complaints and charges against its founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado.

Among high-profile U.S. Catholic conservatives who long defended Maciel while denigrating his accusers, Weigel alone has made a turnabout in urging Legion reforms.

However, he continues to go out of his way, as he has for years, to excuse the late Pope John Paul II from any culpability in the Legion scandal. It was John Paul, more than anyone else, who backed Maciel and the Legion and elevated both in church status.

"I have been deeply impressed by the work of the Legionaries of Christ in the United States, in Mexico, and in Rome," Weigel wrote on a Legion Web site in 2002. "If Father Maciel and his charism as a founder are to be judged by the fruits of his work, those fruits are most impressive indeed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Facing financial scandals, pope creates new Vatican watchdog

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Dec. 30, 2010 NCR Today

New law also criminalizes environmental pollution

Against a backdrop of criminal probes related to alleged financial misconduct both in the Vatican Bank and at the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Vatican’s wealthy missionary department better known as “Propaganda Fide”, Pope Benedict XVI today created a new in-house watchdog to promote compliance with international rules against financing terrorism, money-laundering, insider trading and market abuse.

The move amounts to a potential sea change for the Vatican, where traditionally the various departments have been largely autonomous in their financial dealings, with only a loose coordination provided by the office of the Apostolic Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA). By pledging cooperation with international monitoring agencies, the new laws also mark a break with the Vatican’s traditional reluctance to open up its internal financial operations to outside scrutiny.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

'Schade door misbruik altijd vergoeden'

BELGIE
De Standaard

SPECIALIST RECHT EN SLACHTOFFER MISBRUIK

donderdag 30 december 2010
Auteur: Nikolas Vanhecke

BRUSSEL - De scheiding tussen burgerlijke en kerkelijke rechtspraak doet in de discussie over schadevergoedingen niet ter zake, vindt professor Dries Simoens van de KU Leuven.

Van onze redacteur

De kamercommissie seksueel misbruik concentreerde zich tot hiertoe vooral op de schadevergoedingen voor slachtoffers. Een specifieke stem mengt zich in het debat. Dries Simoens (60), hoogleraar recht aan de KU Leuven, werd tijdens zijn jeugd zelf misbruikt door een geestelijke.

In welke zin heeft dat misbruik u getekend?

'Mijn seksualiteit is erdoor verstoord. Toen ik op het college zat, worstelde ik met schuldgevoelens. Mijn ouders stelden voor om te rade te gaan bij een geestelijke. Die tientallen gesprekken met hem liet hij altijd op hetzelfde onderwerp uitdraaien: seksualiteit. De situatie escaleerde toen hij zijn geslachtsdelen herhaaldelijk liet zien. De gesprekken hebben me gehersenspoeld en mijn persoonlijkheid aangetast.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

December 30 — The Question is Simple

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Where is the Love: For the Money or the Children?

The United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper reports:

The Vatican today announced new rules to make its financial dealings more transparent and bring it into line with international legislation designed to prevent money-laundering.

The move came after an Italian court in September froze €23m (£19.6m) of the Vatican’s money over claims that its bankers were trying to move the cash across international borders without identifying its source, destination or purpose. Full details of the new measures are to be released today. But a statement made clear they would include the creation of a new compliance authority and the introduction of legislation to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

— This news story begs the question: For those who were raped and sodomized by priests and whose abuse was concealed by the bishops the Church selects, appoints, and keeps in power, bishops who moved priests from town to town, state to state, country to country shielding them and allowing them to continue to abuse, where is the swift and deliberate action of reparation or resolution of the crisis?

Ah, but when the thawing of money is involved, we hear no voices that reform in the Church take time, the machinery grinds slowly, the deliberations are snail paced, there are so many factors to be considered, and there should be no expectation that will change in our respective lifetimes.

As the Scripture tells us, where your treasure is, so you heart will also be.

— Kristine Ward, Chair, NSAC

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

FR. LOMBARDI'S NOTE CONCERNING THE MOTU PROPRIO

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 30 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a note written by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. on the Pope's Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" on the prevention and countering of illegal activities in the financial and monetary sectors. Fr. Lombardi's note is entitled "Transparency , honesty and responsibility".

Today's publication of new laws for Vatican City State, for the dicasteries of the Roman Curia and for the Institutions and Entities dependent on the Holy See, is an important normative development, but also has far-reaching moral and pastoral significance.

As of today, all organisations associated with the government of the Catholic Church - and with the Church's "support": Vatican City State - have, in a spirit of sincere collaboration, become part of that system of juridical principles and instruments which the international community is creating with the aim of guaranteeing just and honest coexistence in an increasingly globalised world; a world in which, unfortunately, economy and finance is not infrequently a field for illegal activities, such as the recycling of the profits of crime and the financing of terrorism, true threats to justice and peace in the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

COMMUNIQUE OF SECRETARIAT OF STATE ON POPE'S MOTU PROPRIO

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 30 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the English-language text of a communique issued by the Secretariat of State regarding the new legislation for the prevention and countering of illegal activities in the financial and monetary sectors:

(1) Today, in implementation of the Monetary Convention of 17 December 2009 (2010/C 28/05) between Vatican City State and the European Union, four new Laws were adopted:

- the "Law concerning the prevention and countering of the laundering of proceeds from criminal activities and of the financing of terrorism";
- the "Law on fraud and counterfeiting of Euro banknotes and coins";
- the "Law concerning the size, specifications, reproductions, substitutions of and withdrawals from use of Euro banknotes and concerning the implementation of measures to be taken against the irregular reproduction of Euro banknotes and the substitution of and withdrawal from use of Euro banknotes";
- the "Law regarding the face, unitary value and technical specifications, as well as the copyright of the designs of the national faces of the Euro coins destined for circulation".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

MOTU PROPRIO ON ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 30 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the text of the Pope's Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" on the prevention and countering of illegal activities in the financial and monetary sectors:

The Apostolic See has always raised its voice to exhort all men and women of good will, and especially the leaders of nations, to commit themselves to building - also through just and lasting peace in all parts of the world - the universal city of God, towards which the history of peoples and nations progresses [Benedict XVI, Enc. Let. 'Caritas in veritate' (29 June 2009), 7: AAS 101/2009, 645]. Unfortunately, peace in our time and in an increasingly globalised society is threatened by various causes, among them the inappropriate use of the market and the economy, as well as the terrible destruction of terrorist violence, which causes death, suffering, hatred and social instability.

Quite rightly, the international community is increasingly equipping itself with juridical principles and instruments that enable it to prevent and contrast the phenomena of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Ex-Toledo chancellor honored; Sex abuse victims respond

TOLEDO (OH)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[10 Toledo diocesan priests receive papal honor]

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

As a top ranking diocesan manager, Billian was a key part of a small group of Catholic officials who ignored and concealed child sex crimes. For Bishop Blair and the Pope to honor him with this exalted title is extraordinarily callous. It rubs salt into the already deep wounds of clergy sex abuse victims. And it sends a dangerous signal: if you act irresponsibly with the safety of children, you’ll still get rewarded in the Toledo diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Pope moves against Vatican money laundering

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

Pope Benedict XVI is set to sign a decree meant to bring the Vatican Bank into line with international banking standards. The move comes amid an investigation into suspected money laundering at the bank.

Pope Benedict XVI is set to sign a decree creating a new supervisory body to monitor transactions from the Vatican's central banking institution.

The new Financial Information Authority is to operate in a similar way to the supervisory bodies which overseas many central banks. The decree would be legally binding and pertain to all economic activities of the church-state's financial institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Vatican Outlines Rules to Fight Money Laundering

VATICAN CITY
Wall Street Journal

By SABRINA COHEN
MILAN—Pope Benedict XVI Thursday ordered the creation of a financial authority that will supervise transactions to all government bodies at the Holy See, including the Institute of Religious Works, the Vatican's bank known as IOR.

The Vatican is creating a financial watchdog, called the Authority of Financial Information, to control suspicious transactions that could involve financing terrorism as well as market rigging, insider trading and market abuse.

The chairman of the Vatican authority will be named by the Pope and his mandate will expire after five years. He will also head a five-member executive committee named by the Pope. According to press reports, Cardinal Attilio Nicora is going to be the chairman of the authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Pope Benedict Commits Vatican to Upholding European Money-Laundering Laws

VATICAN CITY
Bloomberg

By Lorenzo Totaro - Dec 30, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI committed the Vatican to upholding European Union rules against money laundering and financial fraud amid an Italian probe into the Holy See’s banking operations.

In an apostolic letter published today on the Vatican’s website, the pope said a special Vatican authority will begin work in January to implement legislation enforcing the European laws. The move comes amid a money-laundering probe by Rome prosecutors into the Vatican Bank and its top two executives.

“Following the Monetary Convention signed by the State of Vatican City with the European Commission Dec. 17, 2009, I have approved the issue of the Law concerning the prevention and contrast of money laundering of proceeds of criminal activity and of terrorism funding,” Benedict said in the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Vatican sets up watchdog to combat money laundering

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

The Vatican has set up a new financial authority to fight money laundering and make its financial operations more transparent.

The Pope has signed into law new rules to bring the Vatican's banking regulations in line with international efforts to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The move comes ahead of an EU deadline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Vatican issues laws vowing financial transparency

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican, whose bank is being investigated over money laundering rules, established laws on Thursday to bring it in line with international standards on transparency, prevention of terrorism, counterfeiting and fraud.

It was the biggest single action ever taken by the Vatican to meet international demands for more financial transparency.

Pope Benedict signed a "Motu Proprio," a form of executive order, in which the Vatican establishes a set of internal laws which promise that its bank and all other departments will adhere to regulations and cooperate with foreign authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Vatican creates financial watchdog amid bank probe

VATICAN CITY
Richmond Times-Dispatch

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: December 30, 2010

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican today created a new financial watchdog agency and issued new laws to try to comply with international rules to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

The decrees were passed as Vatican's own bank remains implicated in a money-laundering investigation that resulted in 23 million ($31 million) being seized and its top two officials placed under investigation.

Pope Benedict XVI signed the documents today, saying the Vatican wanted to join other countries that have cracked down on legal loopholes that have allowed criminals to exploit the financial sector.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Pope issues new Vatican banking rules to combat money-laundering

VATICAN CITY
Monsters and Critics

Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday issued new norms governing the Vatican's banking system, including placing it under a central authority to bring it in line with international measures to curb money-laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The move comes amid a legal tussle between Italian authorities and the Vatican's bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), over the possible violation of an anti-money laundering convention.

The Vatican has repeatedly described as a 'misunderstanding' the decision by magistrates in Rome to confiscate some 23 million euros (30 million dollars) deposited from the IOR into an account of an Italian bank, and to place the IOR's two top managers under investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

APOSTOLIC VISITATION TO TUAM UNDERWAY

IRELAND
Galway Bay

December 30, 2010

The Association of Catholic Priests is encouraging priests to co-operate with the Apostolic Visitation which is underway in the Dioceses of Tuam, Armagh, Dublin and Cashel & Emly.

The delegation has been sent to Ireland following a Pastoral Letter from Pope Benedict last March.

Archbishop of Ottawa, Terence Prendergast is visiting the Archdiocese of Tuam, which is under the auspices of Dr. Michael Neary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

LEGGE CONCERNENTE LA PREVENZIONE ED IL CONTRASTO DEL RICICLAGGIO DEI PROVENTI DI ATTIVITÀ CRIMINOSE E DEL FINANZIAMENTO DEL TERRORISMO

CITTA' DEL VATICANO

30 dicembre 2010

LA PONTIFICIA COMMISSIONE

PER LO STATO

DELLA CITTÀ DEL VATICANO

- Visto il Trattato del Laterano, sottoscritto in Roma, fra la Santa Sede e l’Italia, l’11 febbraio 1929;

- Vista la Legge Fondamentale dello Stato della Città del Vaticano 26 novembre 2000;

- Vista la legge sulle Fonti del Diritto 1° ottobre 2008, n. LXXI;

considerando:

- che il riciclaggio dei proventi di attività illecite e, altresì, lo sfruttamento del sistema finanziario per trasferire fondi di provenienza criminosa o anche denaro di provenienza lecita a scopo di finanziamento del terrorismo minano alla base le fondamenta delle società civili costituendo una minaccia per l’integrità, il funzionamento regolare, la reputazione e la stabilità dei sistemi finanziari;

- che il riciclaggio dei proventi di attività criminose ed il finanziamento del terrorismo avvengono sovente a livello internazionale e che, pertanto, le misure adottate esclusivamente a livello di singola giurisdizione, senza coordinamento né cooperazione internazionali, finirebbero per avere effetti limitati;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

STATUTO DELL’AUTORITÀ DI INFORMAZIONE FINANZIARIA (AIF)

CITTA' DEL VATICANO

Articolo 1
Istituzione, finalità e sede

§ 1. E’ eretta con Motu Proprio del Sommo Pontefice Benedetto Decimo Sesto del 30 dicembre 2010 l’Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (AIF) avente compiti in materia di prevenzione e contrasto del riciclaggio dei proventi di attività criminose e del finanziamento del terrorismo.

§ 2. L’Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria è una Istituzione collegata con la Santa Sede a norma degli articoli 186 e 190-191 della Costituzione Apostolica Pastor Bonus.

§ 3. L’Autorità gode di personalità giuridica canonica pubblica e di personalità giuridica civile vaticana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

LETTERA APOSTOLICA IN FORMA DI "MOTU PROPRIO" ...

CITTA' DEL VATICANO

La Sede Apostolica ha sempre levato la sua voce per esortare tutti gli uomini di buona volontà, e soprattutto i responsabili delle Nazioni, all’impegno nell’edificazione, anche attraverso una pace giusta e duratura in ogni parte del mondo, della universale città di Dio verso cui avanza la storia della comunità dei popoli e delle Nazioni [Benedetto XVI, Lett. enc. Caritas in veritate (29 giugno 2009), 7: AAS 101 /2009), 645]. La pace purtroppo, ai nostri tempi, in una società sempre più globalizzata, è minacciata da diverse cause, fra le quali quella di un uso improprio del mercato e dell’economia e quella, terribile e distruttrice, della violenza che il terrorismo perpetra, causando morte, sofferenze, odio e instabilità sociale.

Molto opportunamente la comunità internazionale si sta sempre più dotando di principi e strumenti giuridici che permettano di prevenire e contrastare il fenomeno del riciclaggio e del finanziamento del terrorismo.

La Santa Sede approva questo impegno ed intende far proprie queste regole nell’utilizzo delle risorse materiali che servono allo svolgimento della propria missione e dei compiti dello Stato della Città del Vaticano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Communiqué of the Secretariat of State regarding the new legislation ...

VATICAN CITY

1. Today, in implementation of the Monetary Convention of 17 December 2009 (2010/C 28/05) between Vatican City State and the European Union, four new Laws were adopted:

- the "Law concerning the prevention and countering of the laundering of proceeds from criminal activities and of the financing of terrorism";

- the "Law on fraud and counterfeiting of Euro banknotes and coins";

- the "Law concerning the size, specifications, reproductions, substitutions of and withdrawals from use of Euro banknotes and concerning the implementation of measures to be taken against the irregular reproduction of Euro banknotes and the substitution of and withdrawal from use of Euro banknotes"; and the "Law regarding the face, unitary value and technical specifications, as well as the copyright of the designs of the national faces of the Euro coins destined for circulation".

The process of drafting the above-mentioned Laws was conducted with the assistance of the Mixed Committee, established in Art.11 of the Monetary Convention, composed of representatives of Vatican City State and of the European Union. The European Union delegation is composed of representatives of the Commission and of the Republic of Italy as well as representatives of the Central European Bank.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

"Transparency, honesty and responsibility"

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

The "Motu proprio" by Benedict XVI for the prevention of and fight against illegal activities in the financial and monetary sector

NOTE OF FATHER FEDERICO LOMBARDI, SJ

Today's publication of new laws for Vatican City State, for the dicasteries of the Roman Curia and for the Organisations and Bodies dependent on the Holy See, is an important normative development, but also has far-reaching moral and pastoral significance.

As of today, all organisations associated with the government of the Catholic Church - and with the Church's "support": Vatican City State - have, in a spirit of sincere collaboration, become part of that system of juridical principles and instruments which the international community is creating with the aim of guaranteeing just and honest coexistence in an increasingly globalised world; a world in which, unfortunately, economy and finance is not infrequently a field for illegal activities, such as the recycling of the profits of crime and the financing of terrorism, true threats to justice and peace in the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

The Catholic Who's Anti-Catholic

UNITED STATES
Pewsitter

By Matt Abbott
Pewsitter.com

December 29, 2010 - One thing that’s irked me in recent times is seeing self-identified Catholics bashing, and leaving, the Church using the clergy abuse scandal as an excuse to do so. Let me be clear: I’m not talking about the actual victims of clergy and religious abuse, with whom I have a great deal of sympathy. I’m talking about those who condone the evils of abortion and/or the homosexualist agenda; or who desire to regularly, willfully and unremorsefully engage in immoral sexual practices that the Church rightly condemns—be it sodomy, contraception, masturbation, adultery or fornication—and who feign outrage at clerical corruption to make themselves feel better about abandoning Christ’s Church.

One example of the latter category can be found in an e-mail recently sent to the editors of PewSitter.com, one of the best websites, in my humble opinion, for Catholic news and views. The e-mail (slightly edited), printed below in italics, was sent by the editor/publisher of a left-wing “news and views” website that PewSitter’s editors link to on various occasions. I’ve decided to redact the name of the editor/publisher and the website so as to not give it further publicity.

I am [name redacted], publisher of [website redacted]. In a recent interview with Fox News Sunday, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of the District of Columbia, told Chris Wallace that the Church had moved decisively in the Catholic child sexual abuse scandal.

I will agree with Wuerl: The Church has indeed acted decisively, not to protect children, but to limit the financial damage to the Church and to get the faithful move on to some other topic before every moral parishioner flees, taking their checkbooks with them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Priests group welcomes dialogue aimed at renewal

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

THE ASSOCIATION of Catholic Priests has said its members “are more than willing” to be involved in a proposed “structured dialogue” within the Catholic Church in Ireland and “would hope for an early meeting with the hierarchy to begin the process” towards renewal of the church.

It noted “with satisfaction” reference to the need for such dialogue by the Bishop of Ossory Séamus Freeman in last Tuesday’s Rite and Reason column in this newspaper, “but we agree that the dialogue needs to be conducted at all levels. The time may well be right for some form of assembly or synod of the Irish church.”

The association also agreed “the examination of the structures of the church must include dialogue in relation to sexuality, clerical celibacy and the exclusion of women”. It said many members believed church titles should be abolished.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Church delay on Irish compensation payments to victims of clerical abuse

IRELAND
Ekklesia

A question asked in the Irish parliament has revealed that the Catholic Church has paid only a small fraction of the money it pledged to the State last year to help compensate the victims of clerical sexual abuse, says the National Secular Society (NSS).

In May 2009 Judge Sean Ryan, issued a 2600 page report on abuse in church run industrial schools and orphanages in the Irish Republic, following a nine year investigation.

The enquiry found that rape and sexual abuse were"endemic" in boy's facilities. Girls suffered less sexual abuse but were subject to beatings and humiliation. The Ryan report also revealed that the church authorities had simply moved offenders to other institutions where they were free to abuse again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Priest files sex-abuse lawsuit against Mount Angel Abbey

OREGON
Statesman Journal

A Roman Catholic priest is suing the Mount Angel Abbey for more than $1 million, alleging that he was sexually abused by a now-deceased priest when he was a teenage student at the abbey in the 1970s.

The priest suing the abbey is identified only as Father X in the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland.

Father X, who was ordained in 1986, claims that he was sexually mistreated by the late Father Emmanuel Clark while attending the abbey's high school, Mount Angel Preparatory, between the ages of 14 and 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Leading Belgian Catholic priest Francois Houtart admits sex abuse of cousin

BELGIUM
The Australian

Rory Watson From: The Times December 30, 2010

ANOTHER scandal has hit the Catholic Church in Belgium after a priest being promoted as a candidate for next year's Nobel Peace Prize confessed to sexually abusing his eight-year-old cousin 40 years ago.

Francois Houtart, 85, called the "pope of alternative globalisation" for helping developing countries, yesterday admitted the allegations made by one of his cousins. He also confirmed that he had asked the World Social Forum, an organisation of groups opposed to neo-liberalism, to stop its nomination campaign for the prize.

Canon Houtart told the Belgian newspaper Le Soir that after a conference he had stayed the night with relatives near Liege. "While walking through the bedroom of one of the boys in the family, I effectively touched his private parts twice. This woke him up and frightened him. It was obviously an inconsiderate and irresponsible act," he said in a letter sent from the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, where he is living.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Tamil, Sinhala detainees clash in Vavuniyaa remand prison

SRI LANKA
TamilNet

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 December 2010, 02:15 GMT]
Two were injured in a clash that erupted between detainees in the Vavuniyaa remand prison Tuesday around 5:30 p.m. when Tamil detainees assaulted a Mannaar-based Christian priest and a long-time humanitarian worker, who was recently held in remand over alleged charges that he had sexually abused Tamil girls displaced due to the Vanni war. Altercation ensued as a group of Sinhala detainees rushed in defense of the priest and started assaulting their Tamil detainees with pointed weapons and blades. The alleged sexual abuse of under-aged girls are said to have taken in a Home for Destitutes run by the priest at Murungkan in Mannaar district, legal sources in Mannaar said.

On receipt of information from the prison police as the situation inside the prison was out of control, a riot squad of the Vavuniyaa police rushed and brought the situation under control, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

December 29, 2010

Priest and Nobel Peace Prize candidate, 85, admits child abuse 40 years ago

BELGIUM
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

By Richard Hartley-parkinson

A Belgian Catholic priest and would-be Nobel Peace Prize holder has admitted that he sexually abused an eight-year-old boy 40 years ago.

The case only came forward when his cousin, the sister of his victim, came forward in reaction to a campaign to nominate Francois Houtart for the accolade.

She told the Belgian church authority that looks into child abuse, the Adriaenssens commission, that the abuse on her brother happened in 1970 while he stayed at their house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

Priests encouraged to co-operate with papal delegation's child abuse inquiry

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

IRELAND’S Catholic priests have been encouraged by the Association of Catholic Priests to meet a delegation sent to Ireland by Pope Benedict as promised in his Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland last March.

The “apostolic visitors”, who arrived in Ireland in recent weeks, are exploring how cases of sexual abuse of children by priests were handled by the church in Ireland.

They have also been mandated to monitor the effectiveness of current procedures for preventing abuse in the Catholic Church in Ireland and to seek possible improvements to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Inclusion of abusers on church body criticised

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

PSYCHOLOGIST DR Maureen Gaffney has described as “perversity on a breathtaking scale” the fact that the Catholic Church’s Dublin Regional Marriage Tribunal included two known clerical child sex abusers when it was suggested that Tony Walsh also be appointed to it.

On December 6th last, Walsh was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment, four suspended, for child sex abuse. Chapter 19 of the Murphy report, published before Christmas, dealt mainly with how church and State authorities handled allegations against Tony Walsh. He was described by it as “probably the most notorious child sexual abuser to have come to the attention of the [Murphy] commission”.

The report revealed that in 1989 it was suggested that Walsh, then an admitted child sex abuser, be appointed to the tribunal, which dealt mainly with annulments.

This was not done but, as the Murphy report puts it, there were then “two known abusers . . . in the regional marriage tribunal . . .’’ Those were Fr Ivan Payne and a priest referred to as “Fr Cicero” in the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

"Damit Gemeinschaft nicht verfällt"

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

In der SZ hatten Menschen aus Bayern Stellung bezogen, ob die Kirche nach den Missbrauchsfällen ihren Anspruch verspielt habe. Die Zuschriften nach dem Artikel zeigen, wie sehr das Thema die Leser bewegt.

Die Frage war provokant, und sie hat ihr Ziel erreicht: In der Weihnachtsausgabe der SZ hatten mehr als zwanzig Menschen aus ganz Bayern - gläubige Christen wie Atheisten - Stellung bezogen, ob die Kirche nach all den ans Licht gekommenen Missbrauchsfällen ihren Anspruch in der Gesellschaft verspielt habe. Die Süddeutsche Zeitung wollte damit eine Debatte über die Zukunft der Kirchen anstoßen. Die vielen Zuschriften, die uns erreicht haben, zeigen, wie sehr das Thema unsere Leserinnen und Leser bewegt. Was kann sich verändern, was muss passieren? Die Statements, die wir hier in Auszügen dokumentieren, künden vor allem von einem: dem Wunsch, dass sich Kirche von innen her reformiert.

Kirche ist kein Ort zum Rechthaben

Hanns Peters, München:

Jesus Christus hat zu seinen Lebzeiten ganz klar allem, was mit Hierarchie, Strukturen und vor allem Einstufungen menschlicher Daseins- und Entscheidungsberechtigung in von Menschen wiederum zum eigenen persönlichen Vorteil erdachten Kategorien zu tun hat, eine klare Absage erteilt. Diese Absage haben die religiösen Führungseliten seiner Zeit natürlich ahnen lassen, was auf sie zukommt, wenn dieser Jesus entsprechenden Zulauf erhält. Und deswegen haben sie seiner Botschaft dadurch eine klare Absage erteilt, indem sie verkündeten: "Wir haben ein Gesetz, und nach diesem Gesetz muss er sterben." Und dazu kam es.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Parochies houden zich staande

NEDERLAND
NOS

Door Liedeke Morssinkhof en Anne Marie Zimmerman

Moeilijk was het wel, maar onoverkomelijk was het niet. Zo kijken 101 parochies terug op het afgelopen, roerige jaar in katholiek Nederland. Ze werkten in het dit najaar mee aan een onderzoek van NOS Net.

Dat jaar begon met discussie over het wel of niet uitreiken van de communie aan de homoseksuele prins carnaval van het Brabantse Reusel. In april gingen de veel gezongen liederen van Huub Oosterhuis in de ban. De WK-finale eindigde voor de pastoor van Obdam in een schorsing, omdat hij tijdens de mis van die zondag meer aandacht leek te hebben voor Koning Voetbal dan voor Onze Lieve Heer. En het hele jaar door was er de kwestie van het seksueel misbruik door priesters en religieuzen. In februari zochten enkele slachtoffers de openbaarheid. In hun spoor vonden bijna 2000 mensen de weg naar de commissie-Deetman.

Veel onrust
De meeste deelnemende parochies hebben van de onrust die dit alles met zich meebracht veel gemerkt. Meestal niet omdat de problemen speelden in de eigen parochie, afgezien van de liederenkwestie. Maar wel omdat de media er veel over publiceerden. Dat leidde tot gesprekken bij de koffie na de mis. Over geloofsvragen, waar sommige parochianen tegenaan liepen. Over de vraag of de Nederlandse bisschoppen, of het Vaticaan, wel goed reageerden. Maar ook omdat de toon van de berichtgeving in de media soms pijn deed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 PM

Cijfers priesters en pastoraalmedewerkers

NEDERLAND
NOS

Terugblik 101 parochies op het afgelopen, onrustige jaar in katholiek Nederland

•Wat heeft uw parochie gemerkt van de onrust in katholiek Nederland?
Veel 47%
Een beetje 34%
Weinig 17%
Niets 2%

•Heeft u zich over uw geloof moeten verdedigen tegenover derden?
Ja: 56%
Nee: 28%
Geen antwoord: 16%

•Zijn de problemen in katholiek Nederland van invloed geweest op het functioneren van priesters/ pastoraal werkers?
Ja: 26%
Nee: 34%
Geen antwoord: 40%

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

"De kerk is voor ons de parochie ter plekke"

NEDERLAND
NOS

Paul Vlaar, pastoor
"Ik hoor van mensen dat ze het steeds moeilijker vinden te zeggen dat ze katholiek zijn. Maar zeggen ze: de kerk is voor ons de parochie ter plekke. Niet het bisdom of Rome. We kijken naar de functie die de kerk in ons dorp vervult en daar zijn we blij mee."

Vice-voorzitter parochiebestuur
"Een parochiaan is tijdelijk 3 weken niet in de kerk geweest. Opeens dacht hij het is toch Onze kerk. Toen is hij gewoon weer naar de kerk gegaan."

Ton Cassee
"Ruimschoots met mensen gedeeld dat wij als parochie niet willen denken in homo of hetero, in jong of ouder ,in blank of zwart. Wij willen denken in mensen."

Bernard Höfte, pastoraal werker
"Het valt nog als eens op dat mensen een onderscheid maken tussen de eigen geloofsgemeenschap – daar voelen ze zich thuis, blijven ze zich inzetten en die houden ze hoog – en de 'officiële kerk'."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Les aveux de François Houtart

BELGIQUE
Le Soir

Voici la lettre que le « chanoine rouge » nous a adressée, nous confessant qu’il avait abusé sexuellement d’un cousin, mineur, il y a 40 ans. Par Ricardo Gutiérrez

Dans la réponse qu’il nous adresse, depuis Quito, en Equateur, François Houtart commence par expliquer les raisons du récent retrait de la campagne en faveur de sa candidature au prix Nobel de la paix 2011…

Il confirme qu’une de ses cousines a exigé l’interruption de la campagne, « ce que le Comité ne pouvait accepter sans une décision de ma part », précise-t-il.

« Le message que je reçus en Amérique latine (où je me suis rendu sept fois cette année) fut certes un déclencheur de la décision d’arrêter la campagne, mais il n’enleva rien à l’importance des raisons avancées. Je n’avais accepté cette candidature que sur l’insistance du courant altermondialiste, pour mettre l’idée du changement possible en valeur. Je n’avais jamais cru en un résultat positif possible. Au fur et à mesure du développement de la campagne, je prenais conscience de ce que cela pourrait signifier, d’assumer un tel contexte alors que je serais proche de mes 87 ans, début 2012. Depuis l’été, je recevais en moyenne une demande d’interview par jour, surtout pendant mes déplacements en Amérique latine, en Asie et en Afrique. Le caractère personnalisé de la campagne me paraissait trop occulter le fait de l’effort collectif en jeu. Dès la fin de l’été, j’en avais parlé aux deux principaux membres du Comité, me demandant s’il ne valait pas mieux présenter un organisme tel le Forum social mondial. »

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Sex abuse survivor says her love of Eucharist helped restore her faith

ARLINGTON (VA)
The Pilot

By Katie Collins

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- Teresa Pitt Green sat in her car in the church parking lot. She watched parishioners walk up the steps to Mass. It was so easy for them, she thought.

Unable to follow in their footsteps, she sat in the car and longed for the Eucharist. Men who consecrate the bread had betrayed her. Authorities in the church, who had entrusted the sacrament to the men, had failed her. From age 7 to 19, Green was sexually abused by multiple priests in her Northeast diocese. Her abusers worked at her school and visited her family in the evenings.

In an interview with The Arlington Catholic Herald, diocesan newspaper, Green recently recounted how, though she "left the Catholic Church forever many times," her love of the Eucharist endured, and, with the support of Arlington diocesan priests, Office of Victim Assistance programs and Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde, she was able, eventually, to enter a church without fear and receive the body of Christ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Pope to Issue New Finance Rules

VATICAN CITY
Wall Street Journal

By NATHANIA ZEVI And SABRINA COHEN
ROME—The Vatican plans to unveil new rules intended to counter financial crimes and make its financial activities more transparent, following a probe by Italian prosecutors into whether officials of the Holy See's bank broke Italy's laws against money laundering.

In a statement, the Vatican said that on Thursday it will create a financial watchdog, called the Authority of Financial Information, and set out regulations to prevent money laundering and terror financing.

"The norms that will be adopted tomorrow deal with anti-money-laundering and anti-terrorism, and these are the things for which we are being prosecuted by the Italian state," said Vincenzo Scordamaglia, a lawyer representing the Institute of Religious Works, the Vatican's bank, which is known by its Italian acronym IOR.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Pope creates a Vatican Central Bank to achieve full transparency

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports via YouTube

[video]

The Pope has created the Vatican Central Bank to monitor all financial transactions of the only bank in Vatican City, the IOR, and international operations of financial institutions of the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Vatican to tackle money laundering

ROME
Financial Times

By Giulia Segreti in Rome

Published: December 29 2010

The Vatican will establish a new authority to combat money laundering as the tiny state seeks the blessing of international regulators who have refused to include it on lists of countries compliant with international norms.

In a papal document to be published on Thursday, the Vatican will promise to adhere to European rules targeting money laundering. The decree, or motu proprio, will apply to all government bodies at the Holy See including the Vatican Bank, also known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR).

The Vatican’s new Financial Information Authority will enforce rules “concerning the prevention of illegal financial activity” and join “the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing”, the Holy See said in a statement on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Priest sues Mt. Angel Abbey for more than $1 million...

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Aimee Green, The Oregonian

A Roman Catholic priest who says he was sexually mistreated as a teenager in the 1970s by a priest at Mt. Angel Abbey is suing the abbey for more than $1 million.

The priest, who was ordained in 1986, is identified in the lawsuit only as Father X.

One of his attorneys, Bill Barton, said he believes it is the first time that an active priest has sued an entity of the Roman Catholic Church for sexually inappropriate behavior. The suit claims that the late Father Emmanuel Clark hugged Father X with his pants unzipped; pressed Father X’s head to his chest and told him that his heart beat with love for him; and encouraged Father X to go to adult book stores.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Vatican bank sets up money-laundering unit hoping to escape scandal

VATICAN CITY
Guardian (United Kingdom)

John Hooper in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 29 December 2010

The Vatican today announced new rules to make its financial dealings more transparent and bring it into line with international legislation designed to prevent money-laundering.

The move came after an Italian court in September froze €23m (£19.6m) of the Vatican's money over claims that its bankers were trying to move the cash across international borders without identifying its source, destination or purpose. The head of the Vatican bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, and his deputy are still under investigation on suspicion of money-laundering, although no charges have been brought against the two men, who both deny wrongdoing.

Full details of the new measures are to be released today. But a statement made clear they would include the creation of a new compliance authority and the introduction of legislation to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Belgische geestelijke bekent misbruiken neefje

BELGIE
Elservier

De Belgische geestelijke François Houtart heeft bekend in 1970 zijn 8-jarige neefje te hebben misbruikt. De 85-jarige geestelijke treedt terug als bestuursvoorzitter van de ontwikkelingshulpclub Tricintinental Centre (Cetri), die hij opzette.

Houtart heeft ook gevraagd de campagne stop te zetten om hem kandidaat te stellen voor de Nobelprijs van de Vrede in 2011, meldt de Vlaamse krant De Standaard. 'Ondoordacht en onverantwoord,' noemt Houtart het misbruik van zijn neefje in een interview met de Franse krant Le Soir.

Verkrachting
Het misbruik kwam aan het licht toen de zus van het slachtoffer een anonieme klacht indiende bij de commissie Adriaenssens, die het kindermisbruik in de katholieke kerk in België onderzoekt. Ze zei dat een kanunnik die bij haar ouders woonde twee keer de slaapkamer van haar broer binnenging om hem te verkrachten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

TX Polygamist sect leader pleads not guilty

SAN ANGELO (TX)
Newswine

Will Weissert, Associated Press

SAN ANGELO — Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs stood mute during an arraignment on bigamy and sexual assault charges and a West Texas court has entered not guilty pleas on his behalf.

The 55-year-old is scheduled to stand trial for aggravated sexual assault Jan. 24 and said during a pretrial hearing Wednesday that he intends to hire a Texas attorney but has yet to formally do so. Separate trials on other charges will come later.

Jeffs sat and said nothing as prosecutors read charges that he had sex with a girl younger than 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Protestantse kerk, neem conclusies Deetman over

NEDERLAND
Reformatorisch Dagblad

De commissie-Deetman publiceerde deze maand haar rapport over de misbruikaffaires binnen de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk. Het zou de protestantse kerken niet misstaan om de conclusies van het rapport over te nemen, schrijft een lezer die vanwege de gevoeligheid van de materie anoniem wenst te blijven.

Op verzoek van de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk deed een commissie onder leiding van oud-Tweede Kamervoorzitter Deetman onderzoek naar het functioneren van kerkelijke organen betreffende de zaken van seksueel misbruik die aan het licht gekomen zijn. Deze maand maakte de commissie haar rapport openbaar, dat verstrekkende conclusies en aanbevelingen bevat.

De commissie concludeert onder andere dat er bij niet-verjaarde zaken verplicht aangifte gedaan dient te worden door de kerkelijke organen en dat reeds verjaarde zaken te allen tijde gemeld dienen te worden bij het openbaar ministerie. Als er een vonnis volgt, moet er in het openbaar verantwoording afgelegd worden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Gambling with history: Benedict and the Legion of Christ

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dec. 29, 2010
By Jason Berry
Analysis

Pope Benedict XVI's decision last July to take control of the Legionaries of Christ was a calculated risk. Amid a withering clergy abuse crisis, the pope chose an overseer to remake an international religious order built on the "charism" of a founder who sexually abused seminarians and fathered out-of-wedlock children, including two sons who claim they are incest victims.

The late Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, lionized for most of his 86 years, is now the scapegoat for nearly everyone drawn into the legal quagmire he left: the Legion and its lay group, Regnum Christi; the pope; Vatican officials; and high-profile Legion supporters who in the past strongly defended Maciel against charges of abuse.

Just last month, the Vatican ordered Maciel's photo removed from Legion facilities and banned sales of his writing, among other restrictions. However, hammering the memory of Maciel, like some statue of a fallen dictator, does little to answer the serious questions that still linger from his life of deception.

The story of the Legion of Christ and Maciel will continue to unfold in 2011. Interwoven into this story, however, has been a larger one, the story of the way the highest Catholic authorities entrusted to run the church reacted to the Maciel scandal, what decisions they made and what these decisions say about their own views of church and its mission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Priest´s lawyer responds to daily´s article...

NEW YORK/CROATIA
Croatian Times

The lawyer of the once New York-based Croatian priest suspected of having misused Croatian Catholic Mission's money has sent a letter to the daily Vecernji List in which he accuses the newspaper of publishing unconfirmed information.

Paper has written that Don Robert Zubovic has given 50,000 dollars of the Community's money to his friend Nada Bernic for financing the rental of her restaurant in Manhattan. Both have claimed that the money had been returned.

In his letter, Zubovic's attorney Davor Pliso writes:

"It is not true that my client, Robert Zubovic, did not deposit the money that he received from Nada Bernic onto the account of the Croatian Community in Astoria and the Croatian Catholic Mission.

As he told Mr. Zvonimir Despot (journalist with the paper that first published the story), he has the proof that the money in question has been deposited in its entirety to the relevant accounts. He has informed Mr. Despot that he could show these papers to him in person, but not send them via electronic mail or fax.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Pope to bar money laundering in Vatican

VATICAN CITY
AFP

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI will publish a decree on Thursday to fight money laundering in the Vatican, the Holy See said in a press release.

The Wednesday announcement comes three months after an investigation was launched into two senior figures at the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR).

Benedict's 'Moto Proprio' document "regarding the prevention and opposition to illegal financial activity," will set up a new financial authority in the Vatican, the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Pope To Issue New Bank Norms Amid Laundering Probe

VATICAN CITY
NPR

by The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY December 29, 2010

The Vatican will issue new rules Thursday designed to make its financial transactions more transparent after a money laundering probe resulted in the seizure of euro23 million ($30.2 million) from a Vatican account.

A Vatican decree will create a compliance authority to oversee all Vatican finances, as required by EU and other international organizations involved in the fight against money laundering and terror financing, the Vatican said Wednesday in a statement.

In addition, Pope Benedict XVI will issue Vatican legislation concerning the prevention of money laundering and terror financing, the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Belgische priester en anti-Israëlactivist Francois Houtart bekent kindermisbruik

BELGIE
Joods Actueel

Na een klacht bij de commissie Adriaenssens heeft kanunnik Francois Houtart bekend dat hij een achtjarig jongetje in zijn slaapkamer “aan zijn intieme delen” aanraakte.

De pedokanunnik noemt zijn eigen gedrag ondoordacht en onverantwoord. De aanklacht tegen hem spreekt evenwel niet simpelweg van aanraking maar van twee pogingen om te verkrachten op de slaapkamer van het jongetje toen diens ouders hem in hun woning lieten verblijven

Houtart staat bekend als priester anders-globalist maar ook al notoir anti-israëlactivist. Hij was voorstander van het verwijderen van Hamas van de lijst van terreurorganisaties. Hij was eveneens lid van het zogenaamde Russel Tribunaal over Palestina dat berucht is omwille van de ongefundeerde beschuldigingen aan het adres van Israël waarbij zeer eenzijdige standpunten werden ingenomen om de Joodse staat van oorlogsmisdaden te kunnen betichten. Hij was ook de oprichter van het centrum Cetri, een NGO die eveneens bekend stond om de ononderbroken demonisering van Israël.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

François Houtart: over de ambiguïteit van ons mens-zijn

BELGIE
De Wereld Morgen

"François Houtart en kindermisbruik, het nieuws komt als een schok, zonder meer", is de eerste reactie van Francine Mestrum vanuit Marokko. Mestrum zit samen met Houtart in de Raad van het Wereld Sociaal Forum (WSF) en kent de man van nabij. Hieronder geeft ze haar eerste reactie op het feit dat Houtart 40 jaar geleden kindermisbruik heeft gepleegd.

François Houtart en kindermisbruik, het nieuws komt als een schok, zonder meer. François Houtart, één van de grote helden van de andersmondialiseringsbeweging, de kanunnik van de bevrijdingstheologie, het grote voorbeeld voor duizenden mensen, wereldwijd.

Zijn kandidatuur voor de Nobelprijs voor de Vrede had op enkele maanden tijd tienduizenden ondersteunende handtekeningen gekregen, van over de hele wereld.

In eerste instantie, nog voor de schok is verwerkt, kan ik hier drie reacties op geven.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Convicted Houston predator priest causes controversy in Maine

TEXAS
The Informer & Texas Freeman

David Clohessy• Mon, Dec 27, 2010
A twice convicted predator priest, who molested at least one Houston child, is causing controversy in Maine where he lives in public housing and served, until recently, on a public panel despite his criminal past. Twice this month, including yesterday, the Bangor Daily News has written stories about Fr. Walter Dayton Salisbury.

We believe Houston's Cardinal Daniel DiNardo should aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Salisbury's crimes, so that he might be prosecuted again and so that those suffering in silence might find healing.

For decades, Catholic bishops have passively sat back and done nothing, waiting for victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward. Eight years ago, bishops adopted a new policy and pledged to work harder to protect kids and help victims. DiNardo can honor these pledges and use his websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements to seek out others who may have information about Salisbury's crimes. Or he can do what he and his colleagues have done for decades and irresponsibly do nothing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

The Dark Night of a Priestly Soul

UNITED STATES
Energy Publisher

by Gordon MacRae
Print“It seems to the soul in this night that it is being carried out of itself by afflictions . . . This night is a painful disturbance involving many fears, imaginings, and struggles within a man. Due to the apprehension and feeling of his miseries, he suspects that he is lost and that his blessings are gone forever.” (St. John of the Cross, The Dark Night, Ch. 9, 5, 7)

In his new book, Secular Sabotage (FaithWords, 2009), Catholic League President Bill Donohue wrote masterfully of the front lines of the culture war between the sacred and the secular. More than at any other time of the year, these two forces face off in the Christmas season in a culture seemingly at war with its own soul. ...

NO CRUELER TYRANNIES

On December 27th, every priest’s worst modern nightmare was visited upon Father Richard Lower. He was informed by a diocesan official that a claim of sexual abuse had been lodged against him from thirty years earlier in 1972. Father Lower had never been previously accused. The accusation stood alone, but was enough – three decades later – to abruptly end a life of ministry and priestly self-giving.

Based on the single, uncorroborated thirty-year-old claim, Father Lower was informed that the police would be notified. In accordance with the “zero tolerance” policy of the U.S. Bishops’ new Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, he was suspended from ministry and told that he must immediately vacate the parish he had served for thirteen years.

As was every priest in the Diocese of Manchester, Father Lower was also painfully aware of an announcement from his bishop and diocese made just weeks earlier. In an unprecedented agreement between the Diocese and the State announced in December, 2002, the files and details of every accusation against any priest – regardless from however long ago – would be included in a vast public release of documents in March of 2003. Any privacy rights of the individual priests under canon or civil law were summarily discarded and waived by the signing of this agreement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Elderly Belgian priest admits abusing cousin aged 8: report

BELGIUM
Asia One

Wed, Dec 29, 2010
AFP

BRUSSELS - An elderly Belgian priest who is a noted activist in the alter-globalisation World Social Forum has admitted abusing a minor family member 40 years ago, a Belgian daily reported Wednesday.

Francois Houtart, 85, told Le Soir he was the target of a complaint addressed to a Belgian Roman Catholic Church-backed commission that published in September details of hundreds of cases of child sex abuse, causing a major scandal.

The sister of a boy aged eight at the time, a cousin of Houtart, claimed the priest twice entered the boy's room while staying with Houtart to "rape" him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

New appointments expected for Roman Curia

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

A noted Vatican-watcher is predicting two new appointments to the Roman Curia, to be announced soon.

Andrea Tornielli of Il Giornale, who has accurately predicted a number of Vatican developments during this pontificate, writes that Pope Benedict will soon name new secretaries for two Vatican offices. The Italian Msgr. Macello Bartolucci will become secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, he says, and the Spaniard Msgr. Celso Morga Uruzubieta will become secretary of the Congregation for Clergy. Both are already working on the staff of their respective dicasteries; both will be ordained archbishops as they assume their new roles.

Tornielli writes that the appointments will be announced imminently. The current secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Archbishop Michele Di Ruberto, is already 76 years old: more than a year beyond the normative retirement age. The post of secretary at the Congregation for Clergy has been vacation since October, when the previous occupant, then-Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, was appointed prefect of the Congregation; he was subsequently elevated to the College of Cardinals in November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 29 DEC 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- As members of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum": Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Archbishop Douglas Young S.V.D. of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea; Msgr. Manfred Ertl, currently consultor of the same dicastery; Laurence de la Brosse, president of the "Association Internationale des Charites"; Fr. Simon T. Faddoul, president of Caritas Lebanon; Michael Thio Yauw Beng, president of the "Societe de Saint Vincent de Paul ‑ Conseil General International"; Roberto H. Tarazona Ponte, "Asistente de la Oficina de Asesoria Pastoral de Caritas" in Peru; Henrietta T. de Villa, currently consultor of the same dicastery, and Carlos Augusto de Oliveira Camargo, currently consultor of the same dicastery.

- As consultors of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum": Fr. Paolo Asolan, professor at the "Redemptor Hominis" Pontifical Institute of Rome's Pontifical Lateran University; Fr. Silverio Nieto Nunez, director of the "Servicio Juridico Civil" of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, and Paolo Luca Beccegato, head of the international unit of Caritas Italy.

- As members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Kanunnik François Houtart bekent misbruik neefje

BELGIE
Knack

In een interview met de krant Le Soir heeft de bekende Franstalige kanunnik François Houtart (85) erkend dat hij in 1970 een van zijn neefjes heeft misbruikt. De jongen was toen acht jaar.

Houtart heeft ontslag genomen als voorzitter van het Centre Tricontinental en aan zijn medestanders gevraagd om de campagne voor zijn kandidatuur voor de Nobelprijs van de Vrede 2011 op te schorten.

Klacht
Een van de nichtjes van Houtart diende een anonieme klacht in bij de commissie-Adriaenssens, aldus Le Soir. Ze verklaarde dat een kanunnik die werd gehuisvest door haar ouders, twee keer in de kamer van haar broer kwam om hem te verkrachten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Belgische priester bekent misbruik neefje

BELGIE
AD

BRUSSEL - De prominente Belgische priester François Houtart heeft toegegeven dat hij veertig jaar geleden een van zijn neefjes heeft misbruikt. Kanunnik Houtart heeft om die reden in november ontslag genomen als voorzitter van de door hem opgerichte organisatie voor ontwikkelingshulp Centre Tricontinental (Cetri). Dat zegt Cetri-directeur Bernard Duterme.

De zaak rond het misbruik werd onder de aandacht gebracht door een nicht van Houtart, een zuster van het slachtoffer. Zij kwam in actie naar aanleiding van een campagne die tot doel had Houtart kandidaat te stellen voor de Nobelprijs voor de vrede.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Cetri: "Misbruik van Houtart is ontoelaatbaar"

BELGIE
De Morgen

29/12/10, 13u29
Het seksueel misbruik van een minderjarige door kanunnik François Houtart is ontoelaatbaar en in tegenspraak met de waarden van het Centre Tricontinental (Centri). Dat heeft de directeur van de ngo, die in 1976 door Houtart werd opgericht, vandaag verklaard.

Acht jaar
De 85-jarige Houtart heeft Le Soir erkend dat hij in 1970 een van zijn neefjes had misbruikt. Het slachtoffer was toen acht jaar oud.

"Dat zijn ontoelaatbare feiten die vanzelfsprekend in tegenspraak zijn met de waarden van emancipatie en sociale rechtvaardigheid, die door onze organisatie worden uitgedragen", aldus Bernard Duterme.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Opnieuw erkent een Belgische priester misbruik van zijn neefje

BELGIE
NRC

De bekende Belgische kanunnik François Houtart (85) heeft toegegeven dat hij in 1970 een neefje twee keer heeft misbruikt. De jongen was toen acht jaar. Dat meldt het ANP.

“Ondoordacht en onverantwoord”, zegt Houtart vandaag in de Belgische krant Le Soir. Houtart heeft ontslag genomen als voorzitter van ontwikkelingsorganisatie Centre Tricontinental (Cetri). In overleg met de ouders van het slachtoffer blijft hij priester en godsdienstsocioloog.

François Houtart kreeg de bijnaam ‘paus van de andersglobalisten’. Hij was professor sociologie aan universiteit UCL in Louvain-la-Neuve van 1958 tot 1990 en nam deel aan het tweede Vaticaans Concilie in 1962. Hij stichtte Cetri en was een dragende figuur van het eerste Wereld Sociaal Forum in Porto Alegre in 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Le chanoine Houtart avoue des abus sexuels

BELGIQUE
Le Soir

Le « pape de l'altermondialisme », François Houtart, a confessé au « Soir » avoir abusé d'un cousin, mineur, voici 40 ans. Le chanoine a demandé à ses partisans de suspendre la campagne en faveur de sa candidature au prix Nobel de la paix 2011. Il a également démissionné de son ONG, le Centre Tricontinental, à Louvain. Par Ricardo Gutiérrez

Après l'évêque de Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, le 24 avril, c'est un prêtre « rebelle », François Houtart, qui confesse avoir abusé d'un mineur, voici 40 ans. Le « pape de l'altermondialisme » est bien ce chanoine anonyme désigné par l'un des 475 témoignages d'abus recueillis par la commission Adriaenssens, entre le 19 avril et le 24 juin derniers. François Houtart l'a confirmé au « Soir », mardi, depuis Quito, en Equateur. Une plainte anonyme a été déposée à la commission Adriaenssens par une des cousines de François Houtart. Celle-ci explique qu'un chanoine qui était hébergé par ses parents dans la région de Liège s'était introduit à deux reprises dans la chambre de son frère pour le violer.

Le prêtre indique de son côté qu'en traversant la chambre du garçon, il a « touché ses parties intimes à deux reprises ». M. Houtart qualifie l'acte « d'inconsidéré et irresponsable ».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Le témoignage qui accable le chanoine Houtart

BELGIQUE
Le Soir

Je voudrais ajouter ici deux témoignages. L’un perpétré sur mon frère par le chanoine A dont j’ai pu lire encore une fois un article plein d’éloges, il y a quelques mois. Mais cet homme a commis le crime du viol sur la personne de mon frère il y a 40 ans.

Mon père décédé cette année avait le même âge que A et c’était son ami. Il le vénérait comme un grand homme, jusqu’à cette nuit où A reçu chez mes parents s’est introduit par deux fois dans la chambre de mon frère pour le violer. Avant la troisième fois, mon frère est allé le dire à ses parents qui l’ont gardé dans leur chambre. Mais le lendemain matin, ils ont reçu A à déjeuner comme si de rein n’était pour que celui ci puisse donner sa conférence à Liège.

Mon frère, lui, avait été “déposé” chez un voisin

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Vatican II peritus, potential Nobel Peace Prize winner, admits abuse

BELGIUM
Catholic Culture

December 29, 2010
Father François Houtart, an 85-year-old Belgian activist priest who served as a peritus at the Second Vatican Council, has admitted twice abusing his cousin in 1970. His cousin was then an eight-year-old boy.

The grandson of a Belgian prime minister and eldest of 14 children, Houtart participated in the resistance against Nazi occupation as a teenager during World War II.

Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Malines-Brussels in 1949, Houtart taught at the Catholic University of Louvain from 1958 to 1990. As a peritus at Vatican II, he assisted Cardinal Leo Jozef Suenens and served as secretary of the subcommission that drafted the introduction to Gaudium et Spes, the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Belgian activist priest admits sexual abuse

BELGIUM
Forbes

By GABRIELE STEINHAUSER , 12.29.10, 07:33 AM EST

BRUSSELS -- A Belgian priest has confessed to a child sex-abuse accusation that came to light during a campaign to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work fighting globalization's impact on developing countries.

The confession was published in a Belgian newspaper Wednesday and confirmed by the organization the priest founded, deepening a sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in the country. After a spate of accusations this year, the church in September published the harrowing accounts of more than 100 victims of clerical sex abuse, some as young as two when they were assaulted.

In October, after supporters of 85-year-old Francois Houtart began working to nominate him for the Nobel, a woman contacted the nonprofit organization he founded and said the priest had abused her brother 40 years ago, according to its director, Bernard Duterme.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Pope's Bank Accused Of Fiddling The Books

VATICAN CITY
Culture Clash Daily

Locked in the vaults and protected by the Vatican walls is God's designated bank, the l'Istituto per le Opere di Religione. Since 1942 money from Catholic churches around the world have used the Pope's bank to transfer funds.

This week The Independent published documents alleging that the bank had failed to account for 20 million Euros destined in part for Germany and the rest to another Italian Bank.

It's not the only instance which has come before the courts. In October the Sicily Police uncovered what is believed to have been a transaction involving a Catholic priest who's Uncle has been convicted of crimes associated with the Mafia. Police have asked for a legal explanation for 250 000 euro, allegedly illegally obtained from a regional government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Report: Vatican to adopt anti-fraud banking reforms

VATICAN CITY
Monsters and Critics

Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI is set to introduce reforms to the Vatican's banking system to bring it in line with international measures aimed at curbing money laundering and fraud, reports said Wednesday.

The pontiff will issue a document on Thursday for the creation of a centralised banking system that will govern the Vatican's financial affairs, the Holy See's newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said.

The initiative stems from agreements between the Vatican and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

It will allow the OSCE to monitor money transactions involving the Vatican's bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), according to Italian newspaper reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

The DC Declaration: A Call To Moral Resposibility

UNITED STATES
Lez Get Real

I am Dr. Paula S. Brooks, Publisher of LezGetReal.com.
In a recent interview with Fox News Sunday, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of the District of Columbia, told Chris Wallace that the church had moved decisively in the Catholic Child Sexual Abuse Scandal…

I will agree with him … the church has indeed acted decisively… not to protect children, but to limit the financial damage to the Church and to get the faithful move on to some other topic… before every moral parishioner flees, taking their checkbooks with them…

In the decades-long cover-up of these despicable crimes and to maintain the secrecy surrounding the Church’s responsibility and complicity in the sexual abuse of thousands of Catholic children… Dioceses in Delaware, Portland, Tucson, and Spokane have filed bankruptcy to get the victims to simply go away and the Churches lawyers have tried every legal trick in their very large books to see that the Church will not be held responsible for these crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Jeffs to declare plea at hearing

SAN ANGELO (TX)
San Angelo Standard-Times

By Matthew Waller

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Guilty, not guilty, no contest; Warren Jeffs, the leader of the polygamy-sanctioning Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, may choose one of those options today at 9 a.m. during a pretrial hearing in San Angelo. The charges against Jeffs include aggravated sexual assault and bigamy.

Jeffs may also reveal whether or not he has chosen legal counsel.

“We’ll hear who will represent Jeffs,” said Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

We are sexually harassed — VOC staff

SWAZILAND
Times of Swaziland

MBABANE – There are calls for a probe into the operations of the Voice of the Church (VOC) after about five female staffers have claimed to have been sexually harassed at work.

It is alleged that these women are being sexually harassed by one staff member and despite that the issue has been going on for months now, no action has been taken.

According to information gathered by this newspaper from sources within the popular Christian radio channel, four of the women are aged above 30 years while one is in her 20s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Parents file suit against Parker Hill

PENNSYLVANIA
The Abington Journal

By Don McGlynn dmcglynn@theabingtonjournal.com
Reporter / Photographer

Parents look to hold accountable Parker Hill Community Church for the part it may have played in the molestation of a minor.

The parents of a minor who was molested are suing Joshua W. Landis and Parker Hill Community Church in Lackawanna County Court.

Landis, a former youth leader at Parker Hill, was sentenced, after pleading guilty, to unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Polygamist sect leader due back in Texas court

TEXAS
San Luis Obispo Tribune

By The Associated Press
Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs is due in court for his final pretrial hearing with still no word on whether he has a Texas attorney.

A pretrial hearing in the aggravated sexual assault case against Jeffs is set for Wednesday morning.

The 55-year-old is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 24 but says he's had trouble finding in-state representation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Belgian activist priest admits sexual abuse

BELGIUM
The Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — A Belgian priest and prominent Third World development activist has admitted he sexually abused a minor 40 years ago, the director of the development aid organization he founded said Wednesday.

The case of 85-year-old Francois Houtart came to light after the priest's supporters started a campaign to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The victim's sister contacted Cetri — a nonprofit organization working in the field of social justice and international development — in October to inform its members of the abuse, said Bernard Duterme, the organization's director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

December 28, 2010

Archbishop: church not obligated to compensate abuse victims

BELGIUM
National Catholic Reporter

Dec. 27, 2010
By John A. Dick

Brussels, Belgium — Appearing before a special parliamentary commission on sexual abuse of children three days before Christmas, Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Mechelen-Brussels told the commission that he saw no reason for the church to compensate victims of sexual abuse.

"The civil court must determine the compensation and the offender must pay," Léonard said. Commission members reacted with surprised amazement.

Just the day before Léonard's appearance, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who retired as archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels a year ago, had prepared the commission for a different kind of archiepiscopal response.

Danneels had told the same commission that the church must react with humility and make some profound gestures, including compensation to victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Brussels Spouts

BELGIUM
America Magazine

Posted at: Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Author: Kevin Clarke

Glad to see Michael's post below about the laudable Cardinal O'Malley because it may provide some balance for the following. The National Catholic Reporter this week captures the awesome rhetorical flourishes of Belgium's Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard. In a nation still reeling after revelations in September of hundreds of cases of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clerics and at least 13 suicides, the archbishop told a startled special parliamentary commission on sexual abuse of children that Belgium's victims should seek compensation from their offenders, which in his mind does not include the church as an institution, just the priests who abused them. He then led a parade of unpleasantries through his testimony, if it can be so described, that left commission members sputtering in astonishment and calling for the termination with extreme prejudice of the government's long-standing fiscal support of the church.

Just the day before Léonard's appearance, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who retired as archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels a year ago, had prepared the commission for a different kind of archiepiscopal response.

Danneels had told the same commission that the church must react with humility and make some profound gestures, including compensation to victims.

"For too long," Danneels said, "the church thought only about itself and about its priests and now it is time to think about the victims of sexual abuse." ... Most members of the parliamentary commission thought that Danneels' testimony was meant to open a door for Léonard, who has had stormy relations with government officials over the sex abuse crisis. The commission had expected Léonard to reveal a compensation package.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Belgian Catholic Leader Says Church Does Not Have To Compensate Sex Abuse Victims

BELGIUM
Politics Daily (United States)

David Gibson

The controversial prelate appointed less than a year ago by Pope Benedict XVI to push the liberal-leaning Catholic Church in Belgium in a more conservative direction has sparked yet another uproar by telling a government commission that the church has no obligation to compensate victims of sexual abuse by priests.

"The civil court must determine the compensation and the offender [the accused priest] must pay," Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Mechelen-Brussels told a parliamentary commission in testimony three days before Christmas.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, which reported from Brussels on the testimony, commission members reacted with "surprised amazement" to Léonard's comments and the exchange with the archbishop deteriorated from there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Things May Not be so Bad After All

PHILIPPINES
Vox Bikol

December 29, 2010 - 3:33am | By Father William Grimm

Each year, the pope gives Christmas greetings to the leaders of the Roman Curia. This year, referring to the expanding scandal of the sexual abuse of children by clergy that was covered up and facilitated by bishops and superiors and until recently pooh-poohed by Rome, Pope Benedict told them, “We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen.”

My first thought on reading his speech was to wonder if the self-appointed defenders of the faith who man the ramparts at any criticism of the Church will now hurl invective at the pope. Certainly, saying that something has gone wrong “in our whole way of living the Christian life” is a damning indictment, especially since the pope said “our whole way,” not “their way” or “some people’s way” or “part of the way.”

On second thought, I realized that things might not be as dire as the pope seems to think. His use of the past tense, though probably not significant in itself, may be a reminder that things can be headed in the right direction.

There are three reasons for my confidence. The first, of course, is the resurrection of Christ, the proof that bad news will never triumph in the end, regardless of the painful way of the Cross we must travel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Apparitions and distractions

WISCONSIN
Pharyngula

PZ Myers

Lawrence Murphy was an evil man. He was a Wisconsin priest who molested over 200 boys, and just to make the story particularly deplorable, they were deaf children. Preying on the weakest and most vulnerable was apparently his life's mission. Furthermore, this was the scandalous case that was reported directly to then Cardinal Ratzinger in his role as the Vatican enforcer; his enforcement involved shuffling the guilty around to hide their crimes and give them fresh opportunities in new hunting grounds.

Well, the Vatican has finally found it in its black (but gold-plated!) and shriveled husk of a heart to do something for Wisconsin: they've blessed a ghost sighting as genuine. Woo hoo! That'll fix everything right up!

The church has declared that a sighting in 1859 of a blond Mary hovering between two trees was real and worthy, and the local Catholic church is now busily expanding their parking lot to cope with the expected influx of gullible suckers pilgrims who will flock to the site to imagine a floating cheerleader for Jesus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Religious still owe State €500m for survivors

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Katherine Donnelly

Monday December 27 2010

RELIGIOUS orders still owe the State more than €500m arising from the deal to compensate the thousands of children who were abused while living in their care.

The 18 congregations involved pledged a total of €680m in cash and property to cover half the cost of the settlement with the victims.

But so far, only €123m has actually been paid over, according to a new breakdown of figures. There were two separate deals between the State and the religious -- one in 2002 for €128m and another, in 2009, for €552m

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Pope Benedict XVI - The Church Must Investigate “Never in the History of the Catholic Church”

UNITED STATES
ministry Values

By Stpehen K. Ryan December 28, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI - End the Injustice “Never in the History of the Catholic Church”

As the year comes to an end, much of the news concerning the Vatican and Catholic Church has again been dominated by the sex abuse crisis. Pope Benedict XVI has called for an end to the “injustice”. But there is another injustice that has simmered for nearly twenty years. The injustice stems from the diocese of Arlington’s refusal to examine the religious events that occurred near Washington D.C. that are unprecedented in the history of the Catholic Church.

The injustice was inflicted by deeply flawed, secretive, individuals who made up the leadership of the diocese of Arlington at the time of the miraculous occurrences.

Summary of Events

On March 6, 1992, a local television affiliate of CBS news aired a story about mysterious occurrences of weeping statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary taking place in Lake Ridge, Virginia, a quite suburb twenty miles south of the Nation’s Capitol. The extraordinary events were mostly occurring at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church and its rectory. ...

So who were the men that silenced and ended the Catholic Churches association with these incredible events? Who ignored and dismissed “Our Lady’s” tears?

1. The Chancellors office of the diocese of Arlington headed by alleged pedophile Monsignor William Reinecke signed the decree in March of 1992 ending the Church’s association with the miraculous events. After signing the decree, Father Reinceke, a few months later, ended his own life in August of 1992 after being confronted by a victim of his molestation. Other accusers have come forward over the years. Monsignor Reinecke at the time of the miraculous events had been assigned the responsibility of monitoring other clerics and employees having a history of sexual abuse for the diocese of Arlington.

2. In 1998 Bishop Keating of the Arlington Diocese died suddenly in Rome a day after speaking with Pope John Paul II – The topic of their talk is still a secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

BBC gives child rape apologist air time

UNITED STATES
Pharyngula

PZ Myers

The Pope had a Christmas message for the world this year: we should forgive Catholic priests for raping children because everyone else was doing it. He invented a peculiar history that bears no resemblance to the late 20th century I lived in.

"In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children," the Pope said.

"It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a 'better than' and a 'worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself."
The Pope said abuse revelations in 2010 reached "an unimaginable dimension" which brought "humiliation" on the Church.

I grew up in the 1970s. Some of you did, too. Does anyone remember anyone influential saying that child-rape was a reasonable practice? How about anyone on the fringe making vague suggestions that children can give permission to participate in sexual activity? I don't know of any substantial culture at that time that would have endorsed such a thing; NAMBLA was little more than a freakish collection of perverts who got far more attention than their numbers warranted. If there was anything that was universally reviled, it was the creepy pedophile.

So here's the Pope pretending that they were living in an environment that somehow condoned child abuse, so the priesthood somehow went along with it? Madness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) Calls for Honoring the Courage of Today’s Innocents

UNITED STATES
National Survivors Advocates Coalition

Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents which has been celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church since 485AD.

For 15 centuries we have paused within the Christmas season to reverence the children upon whom evil unto death was inflicted.

From the Gospel of Matthew we know both the perpetrator, King Herod the Great of Judea, and the victims, male Jewish children with two years of the estimated date of Jesus’ birth.

To honor the victims, we put them in a place of honor within the Church’s keeping of the rhythm of the year. Simply put, they are on the liturgical calendar to get our attention.

We didn’t know these innocents, we never saw the gut churning terror of their parents held at bay while their children were sliced by soldiers’ swords, we never looked upon their bloodied cribs or saw the spray of their blood drip from their snatched toys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Fr. Federico Lombardi, a year in review

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

Five overseas trips, four pastoral visits in Italy, an Apostolic Exhortation, a consistory, 45 general audiences, a book-interview. These just some of the event’s that marked 2010 for Pope Benedict XVI. Twelve intense months, not without difficult times. A year, acknowledged the Pope in his address to the Roman Curia, marked by the scandal of abuse by clergy. Focusing on four main events in 2010, Director of the Vatican Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi begins his reflection with the painful tragedy of the sex abuse scandal:

“The problem is not an entirely new one. Countries like the United States had already intensely experienced the problem a dozen years ago. In Ireland the problem dates back to the past and, in 2009, it was addressed by the Pope, together with some Irish bishops: the Pope announced a letter to the Catholics of Ireland on this issue. It 's true, however, that during the year the problem gathered strength in other European countries and this has generated a considerable response and dismay. The Pope has drawn up many acts and made many interventions on how, and with what spirit, to intervene on the issue, which have been exemplary. He demonstrated by listening to the victims on several occasions, an attitude of readiness to listen, to understand, to participate in their suffering. On various occasions he invited the Church to a profound renewal; let us not forget his closing address for the Year of the Priest, which touched us all very deeply. He has also concretely encouraged all those who are committed to prevention, and healing these wounds. So we are in the right direction to overcome the tragedy of this scandal, which has deeply hurt many people, but one which must be seen as an occasion for a renewal, for a capacity to listen, to reflect in depth on all issues at stake. Not only the issue of priestly holiness, but also on issues of sexuality and respect for the person in the world today, where so often this respect is missing from the dimension of sexuality and realm of affections. I hope , this great tragedy will serve as an impulse for renewal and deeper commitment within the Church on the frontiers of service to human dignity and the sanctity of life”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

First Presbyterian pastor retains pulpit

MANSFIELD (OH)
News Journal

BY LOU WHITMIRE • News Journal • December 28, 2010

MANSFIELD -- The Rev. Dennis Allison will remain in the pulpit as pastor of First Presbyterian Church, according to a Monday announcement on The Layman website.

A year ago there was an attempt to oust Allison by a 2-to-1 vote by the presbytery, the church's governing board. However, the decision was appealed by members of his congregation, which led to a meeting in Canton on Jan. 9 to debate the issue. ...

Adding to the emotional tone of the meeting in Canton almost a year ago was the congregation had survived a highly publicized sexual abuse case involving children nearly 20 years ago. Allison shepherded the congregation through its recovery and the lawsuits that persisted for many years after that incident, according to The Layman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

On Their Way Out

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

What exit interviews could teach us about lapsed Catholics

William J. Byron | JANUARY 3, 2011

Ever since Larry Bossidy, a former C.E.O. of Allied Signal and the Honeywell Corporation, raised the question of conducting interviews with lapsed Catholics, I have been giving it a lot of thought. Mr. Bossidy is a devout Catholic and the co-author (with Ram Charan) of a bestselling book, Execution, which Bossidy likes to explain is about effective management in business, not about capital punishment. He addressed a meeting of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management a couple of years ago and pointed out that if businesses were losing customers at the rate the Catholic Church in the United States is losing members, someone would surely be conducting exit interviews. His observation was prompted by data on declining church attendance released by the Pew Research Center.

Immigration, largely Hispanic, is still shoring up the aggregate numbers for the Catholic Church in the United States, but there has been a dramatic decline in Sunday Mass attendance and church life among U.S.-born Catholics, not to mention the drift of Hispanic Catholics toward Pentecostal sects.

The church in America must face the fact that it has failed to communicate the Good News cheerfully and effectively to a population adrift on a sea of materialism and under constant attack from the forces of secularism, not to mention the diabolical powers that are at work in our world. ...

Another woman who identified herself as “a cradle Catholic, educated exclusively in Catholic schools, married to a practicing Catholic, raised five children in the faith, taught C.C.D., was involved in the marriage preparation program in our parish—in short, one of the active practitioners of the faith,” said she had opted out because of “the recent church teaching on end-of-life issues; the moving, instead of removing, of priests and bishops involved in the molestation of children; the headstrong opposition to the use of condoms in Africa to prevent the spread of AIDS; and the absence of any priest I can talk to.” She added: “I’ve stopped going to Mass because I can’t in good conscience say the Creed, as I don’t think this is a ‘holy’ church, and I don’t feel I can receive the Eucharist under these circumstances.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Victims appeal to Maine's congressional delegation

MAINE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is writing to Maine’s congressional delegation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development seeking an investigation into why a twice-convicted child molesting cleric still lives in Bar Harbor public housing.

Earlier this month, the Bangor Daily News disclosed that Fr. Walter Dayton Salisbury was on the Bar Harbor Housing Authority Board and lived in public housing there, despite having been found guilty of having sexually abused children in Texas and the District of Columbia.

When questioned by a reporter, Salisbury resigned from the board but he still lives in public housing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Bulgaria Slow to Hand Over Renegade Serbian Priest to Macedonia

MACEDONIA/BULGARIA
Novinite

Authorities in Macedonia have been requesting the extradition of orthodox priest Jovan Branisovski, who was arrested in Bulgaria mid-November based on an international police order.

According to Macedonian paper Vecer, although the insistence on the Macedonian side has been firm, up to now Bulgarian authorities have not confirmed whether they intend to deliver Vranisovski. ...

Vranishovski's actual 2.5-year sentence was nevertheless given for abuse with church money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Former Berkeley police officer charged with sexual abuse now missing

BERKELEY (MO)
KMOV

[with video]

(KMOV)-- The search is on for a former Berkeley police officer, now formally charged with sexually abusing a young girl.

Dan Peterson was let go from the department after an investigation revealed evidence of the abuse against a 15-year-old. ...

Investigators say Peterson met the victim through a youth group at Risen Lord Community Church in St. Charles.

No other victims have come forward

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Irish ex-priest McCabe denied bail, extradition hearing set

CALIFORNIA
The Irish Emigrant

Patrick Joseph McCabe (74), a former Catholic priest wanted in Ireland on numerous charges of sexual abuse and currently fighting extradition from the U.S., was recently denied bail by a federal judge in San Francisco.

McCabe was arrested in August on an extradition warrant which he has strenuously contested. His attorney has also sought to secure the ex-priest’s release from the Santa Rita jail where he has been held since his arrest.

McCabe is sought for prosecution in Ireland, facing charges of molesting six boys from 1973 to 1981. However, should he be successful in his attempt to defeat the extradition order, he will still face a slew of charges stemming from the time he spent as a priest in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, California.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

December 27, 2010

Bishops hear concerns about past failings amid search for church renewal

IRELAND
The Irish Times

SÉAMUS FREEMAN

RITE AND REASON: There was widespread disappointment among the faithful that in the pope’s letter last March, sex abuse was not seen as a symptom of shortcomings in church structure

WHEN POPE Benedict XVI wrote his Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland in March 2010, Catholic primate Cardinal Seán Brady issued a wide invitation, asking people to respond to this groundbreaking initiative.

Since then, a huge amount of work has been undertaken within the church to pave the way to a hopeful future. But this is a period which, with Dickens, we might call “the worst of times”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Pope's letter disappointed faithful, says bishop

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

THERE WAS widespread disappointment among the Irish faithful that in Pope Benedict’s letter last March, “child sex abuse was not seen as a symptom of shortcomings in structure and function in the church”, according to an Irish bishop.

They felt there was “no critique of the role of the Vatican, and there is little or no acknowledgment of the exclusion of lay people from roles where they can make significant contribution”, Bishop Séamus Freeman has said.

After publication of the Pope’s letter, Cardinal Séan Brady invited people to respond to it.

Since then, “a huge amount of work has been undertaken within the church to pave the way to a hopeful future”, said Bishop Freeman, who is chairman of the Bishops’ Council for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

DPP out of step with abuse victims

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Claire O’Sullivan

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

FOR the ten victims who have made Garda complaints about the horrific abuse they endured at the hands of ‘Father B’ in Cloyne, Co Cork, the expected publication later this year of the Dublin Archdiocese report is certainly another important milestone in their hard-fought battle for justice.

The Church itself has investigated how it mishandled their abuse complaints [in the damning National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) report published two years ago]. And the state has also undertaken a forensic examination (the Dublin Archdiocese report) of how this abuser was enabled by the Church to continue his rampage of sexual abuse and rape. But nine criminal investigations into Father B’s actions hit a brick wall with a thud once they reached the Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) office. A decision is still outstanding on the tenth file.

For the women who were systematically groomed, abused and raped by this supposed pillar of the local community, the DPP’s failure to take on any of these cases is not just frustrating or anger inducing, it just does not make sense. Top ranking gardaí who viewed the files before they went to Dublin all thought they were "rock solid", as did any lawyers involved with the cases. Yet, time after time, the same conclusion is flung at them and still Father B walks around his local town, sniggering at their hurt and anger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Former head of Croatian Catholic Mission in New York suspected of misuse of funds

NEW YORK/CROATIA
Croatian Times

The former head of the Croatian Catholic Mission in New York has allegedly used the community's money for improper financing of a friend's restaurant.

The priest of Diocese of Krk Robert Zubovic has been in New York from 1998 to 2007, where he headed the Croatian Catholic Mission in Astoria, Queens. Just six months before leaving the post, he is said to have paid 50,000 dollars of the Mission’s money to the account of his friend Nada Bernic for the rental costs of her "Terrace in the Sky" restaurant in Manhattan.

The Croatian daily Vecernji List writes that the money has never been returned to the Mission, despite both Bernic and Zubovic’s claim of the contrary. Both have admitted the transaction had taken place, but claim that the money was deposited back onto the account.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Sexual Abuse Analysis from Germany

GERMANY
Leon J. Podles: Dialogue

December 27th, 2010

In March 2010 the head of a Jesuit school in Germany had begun receiving allegations of sexual abuse by Jesuit teachers in the school. He contacted alumni about it, and received numerous allegations of abuse by priests.

In response to this situation, the German bishops set up a hotline (telephone and e-mail) in Trier. The first day it was opened, the telephone line froze because of the volume of calls it received. It is still getting 50-70 calls a week.

The Germans, being orderly, have collected and analyzed the data from these calls in 1,100 sheets of statistics and have come up with interesting and unexpected patterns that contradict previously-held beliefs about sexual abuse. FAZ reports:

· There were 18,500 attempts to reach the hotline the first week alone.

· 90% of those calling in are Catholic.

· A third were not abused in Church environments but wanted to seek help from the Church.

· Many called in the hope that their reports of sexual abuse would help prevent it in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

POPE BENEDICT EXCUSES PEDOPHILES IN ADDRESS TO CARDINALS

UNITED STATES
End 21st Century Slavery

Patrick Wilkes

Having heard/read some prurient snippets of POPE BENEDICT XVI’s December 20, 2010 address to the Roman Curia, I thought surely the Pope didn’t say that! So I decided to give the self-styled Holy Father the benefit of the doubt and peruse his own words in context. While not as inflammatory as portions cited by some bloggers and commentators, the entire section of his address dealing with clergy sexual abuse was very troubling. While Benedict lamented the stain of child sexual abuse by clergy on the image of the Church, his callousness and insincerity reared their heads immediately. Feigning ignorance of what his fellow priests and bishops had been up to until 2010, Benedict mused:

“We were all the more dismayed, then, when in this year of all years and to a degree we could not have imagined, we came to know of abuse of minors committed by priests who twist the sacrament into its antithesis, and under the mantle of the sacred profoundly wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Top 10 Vatican news stories from 2010

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

December 27, 2010. ROME REPORTS has listed the ten most important news stories from the Vatican in 2010, with its short and long term impacts. ...

Benedict XVI
“We promise we will do everything possible so that these types of abuses never happen again.”

The second biggest news story of 2010 is the search for solutions to address sexual abuses by priests.

Following the publication of two investigations in Ireland which reported hundreds of cases of child abuse committed by dozens of priests and religious, the Pope ordered these cases be addressed with honesty and courage to bring them to an end and so they could no be repeated.

He also wrote a letter to all Catholics in Ireland in which he personally asked for forgiveness from the victims. He said in these cases it's wrong to use silence when trying to protect the good name of the Church. (LINK HERE)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Klacht tegen aartsbisschop Léonard uitgebreid

BELGIE
RKnieuws

MOERBRUGGE (RKnieuws.net) - Advocaat en SP.A-politicus Jean Marie de Meester uit Moerbrugge heeft zijn klacht met burgerlijke partijstelling tegen aartsbisschop André Léonard uitgebreid. Dat doet hij na Léonards verklaringen in de bijzondere kamercommissie seksueel misbruik in de kerk.

In het kader van een vraag naar de schadeloosstelling van slachtoffers vroeg Léonard zich af wat er zou gebeuren mochten ook kinderen van ouders met hetzelfde geslacht - homoseksuelen dus - een schadevergoeding beginnen vragen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Slachtoffers van pedofiele priesters beter af dan andere slachtoffers

BELGIE
hbvl

Update De slachtoffers van pedofiele priesters hebben meer mogelijkheden om een schadevergoeding te krijgen dan de slachtoffers van andere pedofielen. Dat is één van de besluiten die je uit de hoorzittingen van de Kamercommissie Seksueel Misbruik van de voorbije week kan trekken.

Tijdens deze hoorzittingen riep aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard de slachtoffers op om gebruik te maken van de mogelijkheden die het kerkelijk recht biedt. Via dat kerkelijk recht kan een slachtoffer een schadevergoeding krijgen, ook als de dader door procedurefouten vrijuit ging bij de gewone strafrechtbanken of – in bepaalde gevallen – als de feiten voor de gewone rechters van de staat verjaard zijn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Notre Dame: 'This investigation had integrity’

SOUTH BEND (IN)
South Bend Tribune

By MARGARET FOSMOE
Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND — Breaking his silence, the Rev. John I. Jenkins is defending the integrity of the University of Notre Dame's investigation of a sexual battery allegation against a student football player by a female student who later committed suicide.

"I cannot stand by and allow the integrity of Notre Dame to be challenged so publicly. The values at issue go to the very heart of who and what we are at Notre Dame," the university president said last week during an interview in his office.

Notre Dame Security Police conducted a "thorough and judicious investigation that followed the facts where they led and exhibited the integrity that I believe characterizes this institution," Jenkins said.

Notre Dame has been denounced in the media and the blogosphere in recent weeks by news reports and commentaries about the case concerning Elizabeth "Lizzy" Seeberg, 19, a Saint Mary's College student from Northbrook, Ill., who committed suicide Sept. 10 by overdosing on prescription medication.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Notre Dame president defends handling of sex case

SOUTH BEND (IN)
rivals.com

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)—Notre Dame’s president says the university acted with integrity in its handling of sexual misconduct allegations against a football player by a St. Mary’s College student who later committed suicide.

Campus police conducted a “thorough and judicious investigation that followed the facts where they led,” the Rev. John I. Jenkins told the South Bend Tribune for a story Sunday.

“I cannot stand by and allow the integrity of Notre Dame to be challenged so publicly,” Jenkins said. “The values at issue go to the very heart of who and what we are at Notre Dame.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

2010 Religion Stories of the Year

UNITED STATES
Religion Newswriters Association

Dec. 16, 2010
For information contact Debra L. Mason
573-882-9257

New York Mosque RNA No. 1 Religion Story of the Year

COLUMBIA, MO—Public debate and controversy over a planned Islamic community center and mosque to be built near New York’s Ground Zero ignited a national debate about religious freedom that kept the story in the news for months.

The story was voted the No. 1 religion story of 2010 in the annual Top 10 Religion News Stories of the Year poll of Religion Newswriters Association members. The center’s leading proponent, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, was voted the 2010 Religion Newsmaker of the Year.

Public opinion and outcry over the mosque reached a peak when a pastor of a small Florida church threatened to burn a Qu’ran in protest, a bravado that fueled fears of international backlash against the United States until the pastor backed down.

As newsmaker of the year, Rauf beat out Pope Benedict XVI, the many faith-based workers helping victims of the Haitian government, and Sarah Palin, who devoted significant portions of her second best selling book arguing that candidates for office take a public Christian stand.

The complete Top 10 Religion Stories of 2010, in order from first to tenth are:

1. A proposal to build an Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero leads to a national debate on religious freedom, with strong statements on both sides as the 9/11 anniversary approached. A Gainesville, Fla., pastor, who vowed to burn copies of the Qu'ran in protest, backs down.

2. The catastrophic earthquake in Haiti sparks relief efforts by many and varied faith-based groups. One by Idaho Southern Baptists leads to child-smuggling accusations, as well as to examinations of others’ practices. Leader Laura Silsby is imprisoned for four months.

3. Pope Benedict XVI is accused of delaying church action against pedophile priests in Ireland, Germany, the United States and other countries when he led the Vatican office in charge of discipline 1981 to 2005. Several bishops resign. Benedict continues to criticize the church’s handling of past cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Eine Nummer gegen das Vergessen

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Allgemeine

Seit dem Frühjahr können Opfer sexueller Gewalt in der Kirche über ihr Leid der Lebensberatung im Bistum Trier berichten. Ihre Geschichten zeugen nicht nur von den lebenslangen Folgen des Missbrauchs. Sie erzählen auch viel über die Täter.

Von Daniel Deckers, Trier

26. Dezember 2010 Im März ging alles ganz schnell. Annähernd vier Wochen hatten die deutschen Bischöfe gebraucht, ehe sie Ende Februar angesichts einer Kaskade von Berichten über sexuelle Übergriffe von Geistlichen auf Kinder und Jugendliche ihre Sprache wiederfanden. Nur vier Wochen später saßen schon Dutzende Mitarbeiter der Lebensberatung im Bistum Trier am Telefon. Im Auftrag der Bischöfe hielten sie sich bereit, in zwei Schichten an jeweils drei Tagen der Woche Opfern sexueller Gewalt in der Kirche zuzuhören und sie in ihrer Not zu beraten.

Die Resonanz der telefonischen „Hotline“ und der parallel angebotenen Beratung über Internet war im eigentlichen Sinn des Wortes überwältigend. Alleine in der ersten Woche wurden mehr als 18 500 Anrufversuche registriert, so dass es trotz des Einsatzes von bis zu zwanzig Beratern am Telefon und acht im Internet zunächst kaum möglich war, im ersten Anlauf einen Kontakt herzustellen. „Niemand hat damit gerechnet, dass sich so viele Opfer in so kurzer Zeit an die Hotline wenden würden“, sagt Andreas Zimmer, der Leiter der Lebensberatung. Warum auch? Schon im Jahr 2002 war sexueller Missbrauch in der Kirche über Monate hinweg in vielen Medien ausführlich thematisiert worden. Doch so wenig die erstmaligen Enthüllungen sexueller Übergriffe von Lehrern der Odenwaldschule im Jahr 1999 die Aufmerksamkeit der Öffentlichkeit auf das jahrelange Treiben von Päderasten an einer reformpädagogischen Vorzeigeschule lenkten, so schnell erstarben im Herbst 2002 Mutmaßungen über Art und Ausmaß über Vergehen katholischer Geistlicher an Kindern und Jugendlichen. Die Bischöfe fragten nicht, die Opfer schwiegen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Vita, truffe e galere di Don Gelmini, il prete di Silvio accusato di pedofilia

ITALIA
Giornalettismo

Ieri l’ultima delle telefonate alla comunità incontro del discusso sacerdote. Da Roma al Vietnam, guai giudiziari di ogni genere, prima della tegola definitiva: rinvio a giudizio per abusi a minori.

L’ultima occasione pubblica è stata ieri. A Natale, si sa, siamo tutti più buoni. E anche il premier, Silvio Berlusconi, per sentirsi migliore non esita a dedicare il suo natale a chi ha più bisogno: luogo prediletto per un saluto di vicinanza e di beneficienza è, da anni, la comunità Incontro di Don Piero Gelmini, ad Amelia, in Umbria. Se non di persona, almeno telefonicamente il presidente del Consiglio non rinuncia mai ad elogiare pubblicamente il lavoro dell’amico Piero.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Italian President Talked with The Founder of Drug Addicts Community

ITALY
Home Daily News

Executive President of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi said in a telephone conversation with Italian priest Pierino Gelmini, 85, founder of the community for drug addicts, based in Terni (Central Italy), reported by local media. ...

The priest Gelmini, 85, will be tried for alleged sexual harassment of a dozen young men when they were housed in one of its sites. The priest has always maintained his innocence and insisted he acted properly with all the people who have been helped in their centers for drug addicts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Church 'silent' on abuse reforms

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Nick McKenzie and Rafael Epstein
December 28, 2010

MELBOURNE'S Catholic Archdiocese has failed to announce or fully implement changes requested by Victoria Police to the church's sexual abuse inquiry process, more than a year after serious deficiencies were exposed.

The failure has sparked fierce criticism from victim groups and lawyers and comes with police recently launching two separate investigations into sexual abuse involving a serving and a former Victorian priest.

Sources close to the church have said that police have requested it to revamp its inquiry process to ensure that priests under investigation for sexual offences by detectives are not in effect tipped off by the church's chief abuse investigator, Peter O'Callaghan, QC, that they are the subject of a police probe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Vatican saga continues

PHILIPPINES
Manila Bulletin

By HECTOR R.R. VILLANUEVA Former Press Secretary
December 27, 2010

“The violent manner of Roberto Calvi’s death and the details of the Banco Ambrosiano’s financial
collapse would embroil the Vatican in years of controversy.” — Philip Willan’s “The Last Supper” or “The Killing of Roberto Calvi”

MANILA, Philippines – In recent weeks, Rome police seized 23 million euros ($30 million) in Vatican assets for alleged money laundering and failure to explain the origin or destination of these monies from the Institute of Religious Works which actually operates like a bank.

The Vatican bank, or the “Instituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR), was once headed by Lithuanian–American Archibishop Paul Marcinkus at about the same time that Roberto Calvi was appointed President of Banco Ambrosiano which was not only the largest private bank in Italy at that time but was also the largest bank failure to-date in European financial history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Few words for the abused

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Monday December 27 2010

THE Christmas period normally brings an upsurge in attendance at Mass as families seek to recognise the true spiritual meaning of the day.

It provides an opportunity for reflection and to break away from the hustle and bustle of the last-minute gift shopping and the frenzy of food, drink and television that dominates the festive season in many households.

The larger numbers in the pews also provides an opportunity for the Catholic hierarchy to state their desire to learn from the child abuse scandals and introduce the necessary reforms to ensure there can never be a repeat of these.

After a year dominated by the continuing fall-out from a horrific series of revelations about paedophile clerics and institutional abuse, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin made the only noteworthy mention of the biggest crisis for the future credibility of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Smugness at root of sex abuse crisis, says Dr Martin

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney Religion Correspondent

Monday December 27 2010

IT WAS the issue that dominated Catholic Church politics during 2010 -- but most bishops chose not to address clerical sex abuse during their Christmas homilies.

In a year dominated by the fallout from the horrendous catalogue of paedophile clerics, personified by the imprisonment of ex-priest Tony Walsh, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was exceptional in his trenchant remarks on the biggest crisis yet to threaten the future credibility of the Irish church.

Other senior clerics seized on the big freeze and the economic recession to deliver pious homilies about the message of redemption offered by the stable in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Sinister fixation

UNITED STATES
California Catholic Daily

Los Angeles (CNA) -- A new study showing that teen girls are depicted sexually on prime-time TV more than adults has critics condemning the trend as a sinister fixation on underage young women.

The Parents Television Council issued a report on Dec. 15 that found that in popular TV series, underage female characters appearing on screen increases the amount of sexual content in a given show.

The council also found that teen girls demonstrate almost no negative response to being sexualized and that the vast majority of sexual incidents are depicted as occurring outside of a committed relationship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

On secular society, pope is right about one thing

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Suzanne Morse on Dec. 23, 2010 NCR Today

Pope Benedict XVI’s comments this week to the papal curia about the clergy sexual abuse crisis is sure to draw both condemnation and applause. This AP article has statements from Barbara Blaine of SNAP criticizing the pope’s analysis because he appears to be blaming the clergy sexual abuse crisis on secular society.

I certainly agree with Blaine’s assessment that a culture of secrecy is, in large part, what led to the clergy sexual abuse crisis becoming so widespread and deeply-rooted a catastrophe for the Catholic Church. The sexual abuse of children is a Catholic church problem, one that reaches across ethnicities, cultures, and socio-economic status. The common denominator for the children (now, adults) who were abused was the church and the unfortunate fact that they crossed paths with an abusive priest who the institutional church should have removed but did not.

Despite the hierarchy’s failings to address these problems within the church, I don’t think that the pope’s willingness to highlight the impact of the scourge of sexual abuse can be dismissed. The pope is not entirely wrong in saying that the church’s crisis must be put in context of the sexual abuse of children in secular society. He is right when he says “The psychological destruction of children, in which human persons are reduced to articles of merchandise, is a terrifying sign of the times.” Just this week, Philip Greaves who wrote "The Pedophiles Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct," was arrested. It is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys face some sort of sexual abuse in childhood (some good information on sexual violence can be found at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the National Center for Victims of Crime).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Archbishop of Washington Talks Sexual Abuse, "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

WASHINGTON (DC)
WLTX

[with video]

James Gilbert

Washington, DC (CBS News) -- Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl appeared on "Fox News Sunday," where he addressed the Catholic church's response to allegations of sexual abuse, and the religion's views on the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"When we look back and we talk about sexual abuse, we're talking about something that happened 10, 20, even 30 years ago," Wuerl said. "We have succeeded in terms of the church and her response. We have succeeded in guaranteeing that if a priest is accused, and there is a credible allegation, he is simply removed from the ministry. That is reported to the authorities, and we begin to try to heal whatever was damaged in that abuse."

Wuerl said, "I think it's one of the great accomplishments of the church. It recognized there was a serious problem. It dealt with it forthright and then moved on to see that we're in a much, much better place, a much safer place today."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

Wuerl of Lies

UNITED STATES
Stephen Rivele's blog

I just witnessed a sorry Christmas spectacle: the Archbishop of Washington being interviewed by Chris Wallace. Cardinal Wuerl's demeanor can only be described as milquetoast, and his performance as mealy-mouthed.

As one of the authors of the Catholic Church's new guidelines on priest sexual abuse of children, he was asked if this has solved the problem. He replied that it was "one of the Church's great accomplishments." To behave as decent human beings? To prevent the rape of children? To act with basic humanity as an institution? To desist from facilitating the most heinous crimes against innocents? This is "one of the Church's great accomplishments"?! It is as if he were saying: "We no longer officially countenance, encourage, facilitate and cover up pedophilia and that is one of our chief moral accomplishments"!

Not content with this shameful assertion, Cardinal Wuerl went on to characterize the sexual abuse scandal as being a phenomenon of "the past ten, twenty, even thirty years." This is a despicable lie, but one to be expected from a mouthpiece for an amoral institution. Priest sexual abuse of children goes back centuries, has occurred in generation of priests, and continues, doubtless, to this day despite the new guidelines. It has occurred at every level of the Catholic clergy, as was demonstrated by the admissions of hundreds of priests, the collusion of dozens of bishops and cardinals, and the alleged culpability of the present pope. To suggest, as Wuerl has done, that the new guidelines have extinguished the problem is pernicious nonsense. Written guidelines do not change pathological criminal nature. They may force it deeper into the shadows, but if Wuerl actually thinks that the problem has vanished he must be a fool.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 AM

Holy 'rolled'

NEW YORK
New York Post

By KATHIANNE BONIELLO

Sounds like this priest needs to go to confession -- or a good accountant.

The Rev. John Kamas, 62, a Catholic cleric involved in half a dozen nonprofits, has been accused of lining his pockets while running one of them, a Jewish foundation, into the ground.

The Upper East Side priest treated the Herman Lissner Foundation as his personal fiefdom, sliding into the presidency of the board of trustees in 2008, raking in $30,000 annually for part-time duties, running up expenses and directing the group's grant money to his pet charities, a lawsuit charges.

While the other trustees want to fulfill wishes of the group's late founder and shut down the foundation, Kamas has allegedly fought to continue to live high on the hog, board members allege in court papers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 AM

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted defined by dedication

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

by Michael Clancy - Dec. 27, 2010
The Arizona Republic

When Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted called a news conference last week to announce that he was stripping Phoenix's oldest Catholic hospital of its Catholic status, it was a rare public appearance for a man who has long rebuffed media questions and avoided much of public life.

Olmsted had already drawn public outcry for declaring that a surgery performed at the hospital was contrary to church teaching. He was asked about the further criticism he was likely to face.

"I try to pray each day to find my identity in Jesus Christ," he said. "Praise or ridicule do not matter. I am called to be faithful to the church." ...

Olmsted appeared to deal effectively with the aftermath of a priest sex-abuse scandal. Today, the former leader of the local chapter of the activist group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, now leads the diocese's child-protection office - a testament to Olmsted's success in the area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

Eeuwenoud, springlevend: Onderzoek de staat, niet de kerk

BELGIE
De Morgen

De column - of liever: monoloog - van de Leuvense burgemeester, minister van staat en grand old man van het Vlaamse socialisme verschijnt wekelijks op vrijdag. Louis Tobback spreekt, Walter Pauli tekent op.

"Ik volg de onderzoekscommissie rond seksueel misbruik in de kerk niet graag. Zelfs zonder de details te moeten horen walg ik van kindermisbruik. Het is een ondraaglijke gedachte dat er iemand rondloopt die kinderen van zes tot twaalf jaar heeft misbruikt en daarvan nu naar het schijnt 'gebroken' is, en daarom rustig 'in het verborgene' mag leven. En dan moet men mij niet komen zeggen dat de media-aandacht al een straf op zich is. Er zijn er veel die zo gestraft willen worden.

"Maar het is niet omdat ik mottig word van Vangheluwe, dat ik daarom niet met enige zorg naar de onderzoekscommissie kijk. Niet dat ik in principe tegen een onderzoekscommissie ben. In elk democratisch land en dus ook in België heeft het parlement het recht onderzoekscommissies in te stellen. De grondwetgever gaf de onderzoekscommissie bovendien rechten die gelijk zijn aan die van een onderzoeksrechter: men kan bevelen tot huiszoekingen, getuigen onder ede ondervragen, zelfs politie vorderen om iemand te laten aanhouden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 AM

Sexual Predator Awareness seminar set for Sharptown church

NEW JERSEY
Gloucester County Times

By John Barna/Gloucester County Times

PILESGROVE TWP. — A Sexual Predator Awareness Seminar will be offered at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, at Sharptown United Methodist Church.

The seminar, sponsored by the state Parole Board, Salem County Prosecutor’s Office and Mothers of Preschoolers, is the fourth in a statewide series that aims to educate parents, teachers, police and others on the ways to spot and avoid the dangers that sexual predators pose, whether they seek potential victims outdoors or on the Internet.

The seminar is free to attend and open to all members of the public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 AM

December 26, 2010

Storm over Pope's Thought for the Day as scores of listeners complain to the BBC

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Mail On Sunday Reporter
Last updated at 12:02 AM on 26th December 2010

Scores of listeners have complained to the BBC over the Pope's historic Christmas Eve message on Radio 4's religious slot Thought For The Day.

The Corporation said it had already received 60 formal complaints following its decision to grant Benedict XVI such a prominent platform, and there were dozens of hostile comments on BBC internet sites. ...

But critics said Benedict XVI should not have been allowed to present his views unchallenged when many people questioned his role in controversies such as clerical child abuse.

Keith Porteous Wood, of the National Secular Society, said: 'I've got no problem with the message itself, but I think it's an extraordinarily bad choice for the BBC and I think it's actually a slap in the face for these hundreds of thousands of child-abuse victims.'

Comments posted on the BBC's Radio 4 blogsite echoed his criticisms. One read: 'I hope that the Pope's message will provide some comfort to the great many children throughout the world who were raped and abused by Catholic paedophile priests.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Pédophilie: l'Eglise belge suggère une indemnisation "réaliste" et "juste"

BELGIQUE
AFP

BRUXELLES — L'archevêque belge André-Joseph Léonard a suggéré mercredi la possibilité d'une indemnisation "réaliste autant que juste" par l'Eglise des victimes de prêtres pédophiles, estimant toutefois que cette question "fort complexe" était du ressort des "autorités civiles".

"C'est à l'autorité civile qu'il appartiendra de statuer, conformément au droit et compte tenu du bien commun, sur la pertinence d'un dédommagement imposé à une institution (...) dont les responsables ne sont pas personnellement impliqués dans les crimes perpétrés", a déclaré Mgr Léonard devant des députés belges.

Il faudra que cette décision soit "réaliste autant que juste, alliant un sens authentique de la solidarité avec une juste conception des responsabilités effectives", a ajouté le primat de Belgique devant la commission "abus sexuels" de la Chambre des députés.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Mgr Léonard: des abus sexuels "particulièrement sordides"

BELGIQUE
RTL

[avec video]

L'archevêque de Malines-Bruxelles a célébré sa première messe de Noël en la cathédrale Saints Michel et Gudule. Sans surprise, il a abordé le sort des victimes d'abus sexuels commis par des prêtres.

25 Décembre 2010 11h25

Monseigneur Léonard a consacré samedi une partie de son homélie de Noël, prononcée en la Cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule, à Bruxelles, aux victimes d'abus sexuels commis par des prêtres. "L'Eglise continuera la mission qui est la sienne propre, à savoir écouter, sur le plan pastoral, les personnes qui souhaitent être entendues dans leur souffrance, mais sans jamais les détourner de s'adresser à la justice civile", a-t-il dit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Le pape dénonce la pornographie et le tourisme sexuel

VATICAN
kipa/apic

Rome, 20 décembre 2010 (Apic) Benoît XVI, dans son traditionnel discours des vœux à la curie romaine, le 20 décembre 2010, est longuement revenu sur "l’humiliation" qu’avaient représentés les scandales de pédophilie ayant secoué l’Eglise catholique au cours de l’année écoulée.

Une Eglise, a déploré le pape, dont le visage s’est "couvert de poussière" durant l’Année sacerdotale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

L'Eglise devrait indemniser les victimes d'abus sexuels

BELGIQUE
7 Sur 7

La conférence des évêques va préparer durant les prochains mois, avec quelques experts, une proposition d'indemnisation des victimes d'abus sexuels commis au sein de l'Eglise, a indiqué vendredi Paul Quirynen, avocat des évêques belges, dans une interview accordée au quotidien De Standaard.

Le primat de Belgique, Monseigneur Léonard, avait indiqué mercredi, devant la Commission spéciale de la Chambre sur les abus sexuels, qu'il revenait à la Justice de se prononcer sur l'opportunité de voir l'Eglise indemniser les victimes.

L'avocat Paul Quirynen a fait savoir vendredi que l'Eglise devrait venir prochainement avec une proposition. "Personne ne souhaite fixer une échéance. Il me paraît opportun que quelque chose soit proposé avant que la Commission rende son rapport, fin avril", a-t-il indiqué au Standaard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Pédophilie: un cardinal belge nie toute volonté d'étouffer des affaires

BELGIQUE
Romandie

BRUXELLES - Le cardinal belge Godfried Danneels a nié mardi devant des députés avoir voulu étouffer des affaires de pédophilie ayant éclaboussé l'Eglise catholique, exprimant son "horreur" à leur sujet tout en éludant la délicate question de l'indemnisation des victimes.

"Il n'y avait pas de volonté d'étouffer consciemment les abus sexuels ou de les nier", a affirmé le prélat, qui a présidé la conférence des évêques de Belgique de 1979 à 2009, à une commission parlementaire spéciale consacrée aux abus sexuels commis au sein de l'Eglise belge.

"Je veux ici explicitement reconnaître et exprimer très clairement mon horreur pour ce que (les victimes) ont subi de la part des serviteurs de l'Eglise", a-t-il ajouté.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Le pouvoir déviant: un évêque contre l'Église

CANADA
La Presse

Mathieu Perreault
La Presse

En 1994, l'évêque auxiliaire de Sydney, Geoffrey Robinson, a été chargé de coordonner le dossier des agressions sexuelles commises par des prêtres en Australie. Cette mission a ravivé en lui des blessures d'enfance. Et elle l'a amené à remettre en question l'Église telle qu'il la connaissait, du célibat clérical au Credo de Nicée, en passant par l'infaillibilité papale. Quelques semaines avant Noël paraissait en français le livre qu'il a tiré de ses réflexions, Le pouvoir déviant.

«Benoît XVI a mieux réagi que Jean-Paul II aux histoires d'agressions sexuelles», explique Mgr Robinson en entrevue téléphonique. «Il a notamment rencontré des victimes. Il n'a pas hésité à revoir le traitement de ce type de plaintes, avant même de devenir pape. Mais il n'admet toujours pas que le fonctionnement même de l'Église est problématique. Il a attribué ces crimes à la sécularisation de la société. Ce n'est pas la cause principale. Il a parlé d'un crime commis contre Dieu, alors que les victimes sont des innocents. Il aurait dû inviter les victimes à se manifester et surtout, demander publiquement pardon.»

Le célibat n'est pas selon Mgr Robinson la cause des agressions sexuelles. Mais il contribue à fragiliser émotionnellement les prêtres. «Le problème, c'est le célibat obligatoire. Mère Teresa, par exemple, a choisi le célibat. Les prêtres arrivent trop jeunes au séminaire. Il faudrait attendre la fin de la vingtaine. S'ils ne sont pas arrivés à la maturité d'adulte quand ils font ce choix, ils peuvent développer une misogynie ou encore un complexe messianique qui les fait se sentir supérieurs aux laïcs. Et remettre publiquement en question le célibat permettrait de redonner confiance aux fidèles.»

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

La bénédiction du pape, après une année difficile

VATICAN
Radio Canada

Benoît XVI a prononcé sa bénédiction urbi et orbi devant des dizaines de milliers de personnes rassemblées devant la basilique Saint-Pierre, au Vatican, à l'issue d'une année difficile pour l'Église, marquée par des scandales de pédophilie.

Le souverain pontife s'est exprimé dans plus de 60 langues. « Que le Christ sauveur vous garde dans l'espérance, qu'il vous fasse le don de la paix profonde », a-t-il déclaré en français.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Epinglé par Wikileaks, le Vatican appelle à la prudence

VATICAN
Le Figaro

Le Vatican a mis en garde samedi contre la crédibilité des informations divulguées par WikiLeaks, après la publication d'une note diplomatique américaine mettant en cause son attitude dans une affaire de pédophilie.

L'Eglise catholique est à son tour visée par des révélations embarrassantes de Wikileaks. Selon une note de l'ambassade américaine à Rome, fournie au quotidien britannique The Guardian par le site, le Vatican a refusé de coopérer à une enquête irlandaise sur des abus sexuels sur des enfants par des membres du clergé de Dublin, au motif que les demandes irlandaises n'avaient pas respecté les procédures officielles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

"Die Kirche muss ihre Haltung zum Sex ändern"

VEREINIGTE STAATEN/DEUTSCHLAND
Der Tagesspiel

Dass Priester missbrauchen, wird systematisch vertuscht – bis hoch zum Papst. Patrick Wall würde seine Tochter niemals auf eine katholische Schule schicken. Ein Interview mit dem ehemaligen Benediktinermönch.

Mister Wall, Sie haben als „Fixer“ für die katholische Kirche gearbeitet, als eine Art Problemlöser. Erinnern Sie sich noch daran, wie es anfing?

Oh ja, es war im August 1991, nach dem Morgengebet. Ich war Benediktinermönch in einem Kloster und gerade dabei, mir in meiner Zelle die Zähne zu putzen, als der Abt klopfte.

Was wollte er von Ihnen?

Es hatte in einer nahe gelegenen Gemeinde einen Missbrauchsfall gegeben, und der Priester dort sollte abgelöst werden – von mir. Ich packte meine Sachen und sechs Stunden später ging es los.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

‘You are not forgotten about’

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

FRAMINGHAM — Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley was just out of seminary when his friary sent him to serve as chaplain at the Butler, Pa., county prison. His first task was to preach to the inmates, but he had never given a sermon before, much less to such a tough crowd. He consulted his preaching textbook, which advised: “Speak into the horizons of your congregation.’’

Inspired, O’Malley gave a lively account of the Bible’s great escape stories: Daniel and the lion’s den, St. Paul escaping over the walls of Damascus in a basket, St. Peter in chains. The inmates listened, rapt.

“The problem was, that night, several prisoners escaped from the prison,’’ O’Malley said with a laugh during a recent interview. “And I was afraid my first sermon was going to be my last. The superior was very unhappy.’’ ...

O’Malley’s prison visits have occasionally included clergy convicted of the sexual abuse of children and, once, Joseph Druce, the prisoner who strangled John Geoghan, a dismissed priest and convicted child molester who had been accused of sexually abusing more than 100 children. O’Malley called Druce “a pathetically sick man.’’

“It was quite obvious that this man was not fully responsible for the crimes that he had committed,’’ he said. He paused a moment when asked what he says to a person like Druce. “I try to talk to people about God’s mercy.’’

[comments]

TerenceMcKiernan wrote:

Thanks to Lisa Wangsness for this very touching article and video. Thanks especially to the women at MCI Framingham who were willing to be interviewed, and to the regular volunteers in the prison ministry there.

Lisa Wangsness reminds us that there are Catholic priests in prison for sexually abusing children. But there are also many priests who have escaped punishment because their crimes were hidden by bishops until the statute of limitations lapsed. Indeed, Cardinal O'Malley continues to keep the names of credibly accused priests secret, although he promised in March 2009 to reveal them.

Reading about Cardinal O'Malley in prison, I found myself thinking of how many bishops belong behind bars, instead of “just visiting.” Bishop Thomas L. Dupre of Springfield was indicted in 2004 for rape of a child but did no time and is a free man today. There are 18 other bishops known to be accused of abusing children, and not one has gone to prison for his crimes.

Many other bishops (two-thirds of them, according to the Dallas Morning News ...) have enabled the sexual abuse of children. None has served time for that crime either.

I applaud Cardinal O'Malley's prison ministry. But Jesus also spoke about our responsibility to children: "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea." (Mark 9:42). On March 11, 2009, O'Malley promised to make public the names of priests who offended against children. We have waited nearly two years for him to keep his promise - in vain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Advocaten slachtoffers seksueel misbruik willen paus dagvaarden

BELGIE
Focus - WTV

Christine Mussche en Walter Van Steenbrugge, advocaten van slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk, willen de paus en het Vaticaan dagvaarden. Volgens de twee advocaten draagt de paus een verpletterende verantwoordelijkheid.

Volgens hen heeft de paus namelijk instructies gegeven aan bisschoppen en geestelijken wereldwijd om seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk stil te houden. Dat de paus dagvaarden niet makkelijk is, beseffen ze. Ze laten zich daarom bijstaan door advocaten uit Amerika.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Advocaten bereiden dagvaarding paus voor

BELGIE
Knack

Walter Van Steenbrugge en Christine Mussche, de advocaten van een aantal slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk, bereiden een dagvaarding van paus Benedictus XVI voor.

De paus is de hoofdverantwoordelijke van het misbruik, zo argumenteren ze. Van Steenbrugge en Mussche hebben al contact gelegd met Amerikaanse confraters die het Vaticaan reeds hebben gedagvaard.

In De Ochtend op Radio 1 verduidelijke Van Steenbrugge donderdag dat de Heilige Stoel in de zaak van het kindermisbruik binnen de kerk volgens hem 'een verpletterende verantwoordelijkheid' draagt.

[summary]

Lawyers for a number of victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic church are preparing a summons for Pope Benedict XVI. They argue the pope is primarily responsible for the abuse. The lawyers have been in contact with American colleagues who have already sued the Vatican.

Lawyer Walter van Steenbrugge said Thursday on Radio 1 that the Holy See bears crushing responsibility for the cases of child abuse. The Vatican had issued instructions on abuse to bishops and priests and made the mistake of taking on very large liability, he said.

He realizes, however, that issuing a summons to the Vatican is a difficult matter. He also pointed to efforts by bishops to reject responsibility. He is counting on help of the American lawyers and lawyer Christine Mussche to help.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Léonard: "Ik heb geen spijt van uitspraken"

BELGIE
Gazet Van Antwerpen

Aartsbisschop Léonard wil zichzelf blijven. Hij is ook niet van plan zijn controversiële uitspraken van het laatste jaar terug te nemen.

"Ik zal mezelf blijven, en mijn toon is altijd een toon van eerlijkheid. Ik zeg altijd wat ik denk en ik zeg het rechtstreeks, maar toch met veel nuances en gevoel voor humor", aldus Léonard na de middernachtmis.

'Eerlijk en oprecht'
De voorbije week verzette hij zich tegen de schadevergoeding voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik. Hij blijft achter zijn standpunten staan. "Ik heb daar geen spijt van. Met afstand van de tijd zullen mensen goed begrijpen dat ik het altijd zeer oprecht en zeer eerlijk meen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Seksueel misbruik: drie arresten en twee hoorzittingen

BELGIE
Gazet Van Antwerpen

24 DECEMBER 2010 - De voorbije week was de Kerk niet weg te branden uit de publieke belangstelling. Er vielen drie arresten over Operatie Kelk, het Brusselse onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen in de Kerk. Die arresten wierpen een licht op nog onopgehelderde aspecten van Operatie Kelk. Bovendien kwamen kardinaal Godfried Danneels en aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard getuigen voor de Kamercommissie Seksueel Misbruik. Léonard pleitte er voor een vrijwillig solidariteitsfonds van àlle sectoren waarin seksueel misbruik plaatsgrijpt. Uit de hoorzitting bleek verder dat slachtoffers van pedofiele pastoors momenteel al meer rechtsmogelijkheden hebben dan slachtoffers van andere pedofielen. Een kritische analyse.

DE ARRESTEN OVER OPERATIE KELK
Tijdens de voorbije week velde het Brusselse gerecht drie arresten over seksueel misbruik in de Kerk en over Operatie Kelk van 24 juni 2010. (Voor meer uitleg over deze operatie, zie: hier.)

Samengevat komen die arresten er op neer dat onderzoeksrechter Wim De Troy als onderzoeksrechter mag aanblijven. Hij moet wel alle dossiers van de Commissie-Adriaenssens én de correspondentie tussen de Kerk en de pauselijke nuntius teruggeven, want die zijn op 24 juni 2010 onwettig in beslag genomen. De Troy mag voor de rest al wat hij in beslag nam in het Mechelse aartsbisdom behouden en bestuderen. Dat bewijsmateriaal blijft geldig. Hetzelfde geldt voor alle dossiers van Rik Devillé en die van de Commissie-Halsberghe. Wat zeggen de arresten?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Paus Benedictus weert seksueel misbruik uit kerstboodschap

VATICAAN
Vandaag

Paus Benedictus XVI heeft zaterdag tijdens zijn traditionele kerstboodschap duizenden gelovigen toegesproken vanaf het balkon van de Sint-Pietersbasiliek in Rome. Hij sprak geen woord over het seksueel misbruik in de Kerk, maar was wel bezorgd over christenen die "lijden".

"Dat het licht van kerstmis opnieuw mag schijnen op deze aarde waarop Jezus geboren werd, en dat het de Israëli's en de Palestijnen mag inspireren in hun zoektocht naar een rechtvaardige en vreedzame manier om samen te leven", aldus Benedictus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

2010: A Papal Year in Review

UNITED STATES
Catholic.net

By Kevin M. Clarke

SAN MARCOS, California, DEC. 25, 2010 (Zenit.org).- With the calendar year coming to a close, the time has come to remember the voyage of 2010 for the Church. Benedict XVI has faced his share of troubles, but has endured daunting challenges with remarkable resiliency. He enters the new year perhaps all the stronger for his battles. Here's a look back at 2010. ...

Controversies and battles

2010 was not without its share of controversial stories. The sex abuse scandals continued to plague the Church, particularly in Ireland, leading to a type of "persecution" from within and giving the enemies of the Church plenty of room to attack. Nonetheless, the Pope met the sorrowful revelations with words of comfort for victims and multiple apologies on the one hand and forthright words of accountability on behalf of the Church on the other.

Media attacks upon the Pope reached their pinnacle in March, when the New York Times -- in bringing forward the case of Father Lawrence Murphy of Milwaukee -- thought they had unveiled the smoking gun that would finally link Cardinal Ratzinger with the sexual abuse scandals. Yet, despite the lengths the Times took to smear the Pope's name and disgrace the Church, no direct link to Cardinal Ratzinger could be established. Rather, Catholic commentators thoroughly exposed the errors and sloppiness of the Times' coverage.

The sad irony in the media attacks were noted by Archbishop Timothy Dolan during Holy Week at St. Patrick's Cathedral: "No one has been more vigorous in cleansing the Church of the effects of this sickening sin than the man we now call Benedict XVI."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Ex sacerdote boliviano condenado a 22 años de prisión por violar a 19 menores

BOLIVIA
TeleSURtv

El Tribunal Tercero de la Corte Superior de la ciudad boliviana de Cochabamba (centro) condenó a 22 años de prisión al ex sacerdote José Mamani Ochoa, de 50 años de edad por la violación de 19 niños y jóvenes de un albergue ubicado en esa localidad de país, informó este viernes la prensa local.

La instancia judicial de esa región emitió el fallo este jueves, informó la directora de Género, Generacional y Familia de la Alcaldía de esa ciudad, Raquel Melgar.

Mamani había sido destituido por la cúpula de Iglesia Católica de Cochabamba en julio de 2009 luego de que aparecieran las primeras denuncias en contra del sacerdote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Piden elevar condena a sacerdote pedófilo en Bolivia

BOLIVIA
Semana

LA PAZ

El gobierno municipal de la ciudad de Cochabamba, en el centro de Bolivia, anunció que pedirá a la justicia una pena más dura contra un cura pedófilo condenado a 22 años de cárcel.

Sábado 25 Diciembre 2010

La directora de Género de la alcaldía de esa ciudad, Raquel Melgar, dijo el sábado a medios locales que apelará el fallo en primera instancia y reclamarán 30 años de cárcel para el ex sacerdote boliviano José Mamani Ochoa por existir "agravantes".

El Tribunal Tercero de Sentencia de Cochabamba declaró el jueves culpable a Mamani Ochoa, de 50 años, de la violación de varios menores en un internado rural y lo condenó a 22 años de prisión.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Víctimas y alcaldía pedirán mayor condena para ex cura pedófilo en Bolivia

BOLIVIA
El Nacional

La directora de Género del municipio Cercado, Raquel Melgar, dijo que el ayuntamiento y las víctimas apelarán la decisión y exigirán una pena de 30 años de cárcel por la violación de niños y adolescentes en una casa de acogida

La alcaldía del municipio de Cercado, en el centro de Bolivia y las víctimas del ex sacerdote José Mamani Ochoa, sentenciado a 22 años de prisión por pedofilia, anunciaron que pedirán a la Justicia el aumento de la pena, informó este sábado la prensa local.

La directora de Género del municipio, Raquel Melgar, dijo que el ayuntamiento y las víctimas apelarán la decisión y exigirán una pena de 30 años de cárcel por la violación de niños y adolescentes en una casa de acogida.

Según el periódico Opinión de Cochabamba, Melgar indicó que "hay muchos agravantes: él era un padre, un maestro, estaba encargado de proteger a los niños, pero además cometió otros delitos como la trata y tráfico de menores con fines de explotación laboral, falsificación de documentos, corrupción de menores".

Defrocked Bolivian Priest Gets 22 Years for Sexual Abuse

BOLIVIA
Latin American Herald Tribune

LA PAZ – A defrocked Bolivian priest has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing 19 children at a shelter in the central city of Cochabamba, the press reported.

A court in that city handed down the ruling on Thursday, according to the head of the Cochabamba municipal government’s gender, generational and family matters department, Raquel Melgar.

Fifty-year-old Jose Mamani Ochoa was convicted of abusing the children aged five to 15 at the home, where he used to serve as director, and of falsifying documents, the daily Los Tiempos de Cochabamba reported Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Aboriginal groups demand Feds re-instate money for healing fund

CANADA
HQ Yellowknife

It's the end of the line for a range of services for survivors of residential schools and their families.

On April 1st, 134 projects across Canada including physical and mental health programs, grief, loss, and suicide counseling will be cut off, as the Aboriginal Healing Foundation's money dries up.

The Chief of the Dene Nation, Bill Erasmus says he doesn't understand why the federal government won't continue funding the 12-year-old foundation.

He says 12 years isn't enough to help people heal from the devastation they or family members faced in residential schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

December 25, 2010

Ecumenical Patriarchate Suspends Metropolitan Paisios and Bishop Vikentios Indefinitely

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 12/19/2010
Publication: The National Herald online

BOSTON -- The Ecumenical Patriarchate has levied the canonical punishment of an indefinite suspension upon Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana and Bishop Vikentios of Apameia, meaning that the two prelates are forbidden from celebrating the divine liturgy, holy sacraments, and any other holy services of the church. This decision was reached during an emergency meeting of the members of the Holy Synod residing in the Patriarchate's headquarters in Constantinople.

Sources tell The National Herald that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew plans on revisiting the issue involving the the Patriarchal and Stravropegial Monastery of St. Irene Chrysovalantou in Astoria, NY and its former leadership during the next meeting of the Holy Synod at the Phanar, which is scheduled for January 8, 2011.

As has been reported by TNH, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the entire Greek American Community have been rocked by the scandalous allegations which came to light at the St. Irene Monastery this past fall.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Former De La Salle teacher accused of sexual molestation by former students

CONCORD (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Brother Raimond Rose, a former teacher at De La Salle High School in Concord, has already been sued once by former students in Concord, which ended in a $1.1-million settlement, and now, it's happening again, only in another state.

Rose, who taught in Concord during the 1980 s, is once again being accused of molestation by 21 different men in North Dakota, where Rose was a teacher off and on since the 1960 s.

The settlement, which is undisclosed, was reached over the summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Pope Delivers Christmas Wishes to English-Speakers

UNITED KINGDOM
Third Age

Pope Benedict XVI delivered Christmas wishes on a BBC broadcast Friday in the first-ever appearance by a head of the Catholic Church on British radio.

The Bishop of Rome participated in the "Thought of the Day" segment of Radio 4's flagship news program, "Today," UPI reports. ...

Opponents found fault with the BBC for not using the opportunity to challenge the Catholic Church's sex abuse record, AP reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Wisconsin on the Map to Pray With Mary

CHAMPION (WI)
The New York Times

By ERIK ECKHOLM
Published: December 23, 2010

CHAMPION, Wis. — In France, the shrine at Lourdes is surrounded by hundreds of hotels and has received as many as 45,000 pilgrims in a single day. Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico, draws millions of fervent worshipers a year.

Now, a little chapel among the dairy farms here, called Our Lady of Good Help, has joined that august company in terms of religious status, if not global fame. This month, it became one of only about a dozen sites worldwide, and the first in the United States, where apparitions of the Virgin Mary have been officially validated by the Roman Catholic Church. ...

“This is a gift to the believers,” said the Rev. Johann Roten, director of the International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton.

“It would be devious to say that this was somehow pulled out of the attic to exorcise the problems of the church today,” Father Roten said in a telephone interview. “But hopefully this will have a beneficial impact on the people, showing them that there are ways of living with faith that are very pure.”

The Diocese of Green Bay is under fire from lawyers in an abuse-related lawsuit, who charge that it has obstructed justice by destroying potentially incriminating files on former priests. The diocese says it has cooperated fully with law enforcement and discarded psychiatric records of deceased priests as required by federal privacy laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Pope's Christmas Warning: 'The Future Of The World Is At Stake'

VATICAN CITY
The Bulletin (United States)

By JOHN-HENRY WESTEN

Friday, December 24, 2010

VATICAN (LifeSiteNews.com) – In his traditional Christmas greeting to Vatican officials this morning, the Pope drew a link between the times of the fall of the Roman Empire and our own times, arguing that “the future of the world is at stake.”

Describing the decline of the Roman Empire he said, “The disintegration of the key principles of law and of the fundamental moral attitudes underpinning them burst open the dams which until that time had protected peaceful coexistence among peoples.

“The sun was setting over an entire world,” he continued. “Frequent natural disasters further increased this sense of insecurity. There was no power in sight that could put a stop to this decline.”

Comparing those times to our own he said: “For all its new hopes and possibilities, our world is at the same time troubled by the sense that moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function. Consequently, the forces mobilized for the defense of such structures seem doomed to failure.”

The pope tied the priestly sexual abuse crisis, which he referred to as “the great tribulations to which we have been exposed during the past year,” into the overall theme of the talk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Pope Benedict Looks To The Fall Of The Roman Empire To Scare People

UNITED STATES
Lez Get Real

12/24/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire

The Roman Empire was a decadent, corrupt, heartless, metropolitan civilization bent on conquering all that was within their ever expanding visage in order to try and bring their so-called civilization to the world. Then it collapsed. It collapsed because lo and behold, there was this new doomsday cult that gained acceptance throughout the Empire which said that the world’s Savior was coming soon and it was alright if everything went to wrack and ruin. After all, if you believed, then your reward was in Heaven and not on Earth.

Romans had little sense of community, nor any caring for the poor. Their Senate was the most corrupt that money could buy, and they enjoyed slavery, gladiator fights, and subjugating anyone in their path. The conquered cultures for whom warfare was about honor and not land.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Sex abuse victims blast OK City archbishop’s secrecy

OKLAHOMA CITY (OK)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[Alleged abuse - Oklahoma Gazette]

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

Shame on Oklahoma City Catholic officials for keeping secret about a child sex abuse lawsuit against one of its priests. Remember all those pledges by bishops to be “open and transparent” about abuse allegations? Obviously, Oklahoma City’s archbishop is not keeping his word.

We hope that anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Cude will come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Convicted DC predator priest causes controversy in Maine

MAINE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

Convicted DC predator priest causes controversy in Maine

A twice convicted predator priest, who molested at least one DC area child, is causing controversy in Maine where he lives in public housing and served, until recently, on a public panel despite his criminal past. Twice this month, including yesterday, the Bangor Daily News has written stories about Fr. Walter Dayton Salisbury. (See links below)

We believe DC's Cardinal Donald Wuerl should aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Salisbury's crimes, so that he might be prosecuted again and so that those suffering in silence might find healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Sex abuse victims blast Irish politician re investigations

IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

Andrews is dead wrong to oppose further investigations into which Irish Catholic officials have protected and may still be protecting child molesting clerics.

Every time independent investigations are done into child sex abuse and cover up scandals, we learn the names and “modus operandi” of dozens who commit, conceal and ignore horrific crimes. And children are safer as a result.

Through these inquiries, we also deter future recklessness, callousness and deceit. And children are safer as a result.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Léonard: "Misbruik door priesters des te weerzinwekkender"

BELGIE
Vandaag

Aartsbisschop Léonard heeft in zijn kersthomilie verwezen naar het seksueel misbruik door priesters en religieuzen. De aartsbisschop vindt dat de Kerk in de toekomst "waakzamer, transparanter en vastbeslotener dan ooit" moet zijn als het op misbruik aankomt.

De aartsbisschop richtte zich eerst naar alle mannen en vrouwen die het slachtoffer zijn van geweld en naar "de daklozen en de kandidaat-vluchtelingen die in deze winter zo zwaar te lijden hebben".

'Getekend door kruis'
"Maar uiteraard kan ik hier ook niet anders dan nadrukkelijk al die minderjarigen te vermelden wiens kinderjaren zo zwaar door het kruis van seksueel misbruik zijn getekend", zo sprak Léonard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Seksueel misbruik: drie arresten en twee hoorzittingen

BELGIE
Gazet Van Antwerpen

24 DECEMBER 2010 - De voorbije week was de Kerk niet weg te branden uit de publieke belangstelling. Er vielen drie arresten over Operatie Kelk, het Brusselse onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen in de Kerk. Die arresten wierpen een licht op nog onopgehelderde aspecten van Operatie Kelk. Bovendien kwamen kardinaal Godfried Danneels en aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard getuigen voor de Kamercommissie Seksueel Misbruik. Léonard pleitte er voor een vrijwillig solidariteitsfonds van àlle sectoren waarin seksueel misbruik plaatsgrijpt. Uit de hoorzitting bleek verder dat slachtoffers van pedofiele pastoors momenteel al meer rechtsmogelijkheden hebben dan slachtoffers van andere pedofielen. Een kritische analyse.

DE ARRESTEN OVER OPERATIE KELK
Tijdens de voorbije week velde het Brusselse gerecht drie arresten over seksueel misbruik in de Kerk en over Operatie Kelk van 24 juni 2010. (Voor meer uitleg over deze operatie, zie: hier.)

Samengevat komen die arresten er op neer dat onderzoeksrechter Wim De Troy als onderzoeksrechter mag aanblijven. Hij moet wel alle dossiers van de Commissie-Adriaenssens én de correspondentie tussen de Kerk en de pauselijke nuntius teruggeven, want die zijn op 24 juni 2010 onwettig in beslag genomen. De Troy mag voor de rest al wat hij in beslag nam in het Mechelse aartsbisdom behouden en bestuderen. Dat bewijsmateriaal blijft geldig. Hetzelfde geldt voor alle dossiers van Rik Devillé en die van de Commissie-Halsberghe. Wat zeggen de arresten?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Journalist offers candid, insightful view of pope

UNITED STATES
Oklahoman

“Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” Pope Benedict XVI, a conversation with Peter Seewald (Ignatius Press, $21.95).

Peter Seewald, a German journalist, interviewed Pope Benedict XVI in July 2010. Seewald asked the pope questions about the sexual abuse scandal, the uproar by Muslims over his Regensburg lecture in 2006, his talks about condoms and other topics of interest that have occurred during his five-year pontificate.

The pope answers these and other questions in a pointed way. He apologizes for the sexual abuse but also reminds people that this kind of abuse is going on in society. He says this should not happen in the Church or anywhere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

No jail time for church members

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

By Monitor staff and wire
December 24, 2010

Three church members won't being going to jail after being found guilty of failing to report suspected sexual abuse of a child.

WMWV reported that Judge Pamela Albee sentenced the pastor of the Valley Christian Church in Conway and two church elders to 30 days in jail, all suspended, plus probation and a $2,000 fine each.

They were found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of failing to report that they suspected a 12-year-old girl had been sexually abused by another church elder. No one has been charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

December 24, 2010

St. Mary's appeal to be heard by Vatican in February

SYRACUSE (NY)
The Post Standard

December 24, 2010

By Elizabeth Doran

Parishioners at St. Mary's in Jamesville keep their faint hopes alive, against all odds, that the Vatican might reopen their church. The congregation met at the church for their annual Christmas service. At right is Colleen Latray who makes an announcement that they will have their day in court to make an argument for the reopening of the church.

Since the Syracuse Diocese decided in 2007 to close St. Mary Roman Catholic Church in Jamesville, parishioners have been told over and over they have little chance of a successful appeal.

Undaunted, a group of several dozen who worked to file an appeal have never given up hope. And now that persistence is paying off as St. Mary’s will soon take an unprecedented step in its appeal to the Vatican.

Where numerous other parishes have been turned down before getting to this stage, St. Mary’s has been granted a court hearing Feb. 12 at the Vatican in Rome, when their formal appeal will be heard. The appeal will be heard by a panel of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s supreme court.

"This is highly significant because it’s the first and only case to my knowledge from an American parish group that’s made it all the way to be granted a full court hearing," said Peter Borre, chairman of the American Council of Parishes, a Boston-based advocacy group which helps parishes with their appeals.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:25 PM

Letter to Bishop Lori

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
VOTF in the Diocese of Bridgeport

December 17, 2010

Dear Bishop Lori:

Each year, on December 28, just three days after Christmas, the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Innocents in memory of the infants massacred by King Herod in his frantic search for the Christ Child (Mt. 2:16-18).

In our day, sad to say, many innocent children have suffered a different kind of massacre at the hands of predatory priests. Although our children’s lives were not taken away, their innocence was destroyed and many have endured severe trauma through their adult lives. This grievous tragedy weighs heavily on the Church today and all of us, as members of Christ’s Body, must take responsibility for it.

As a step toward acknowledging that responsibility, Voice of the Faithful in the Diocese of Bridgeport proposes that you designate the feast of the Holy Innocents as a special day of commemoration of the survivors of priestly sexual abuse.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:09 PM

Foes say Diocese cooked the books at political church

BROOKLYN (NY)
The Brooklyn Paper

By Aaron Short
The Brooklyn Paper

A church official cooked the books to suggest that a politically active Bedford-Stuyvesant parish that Brooklyn Diocese officials wanted to close was financially unstable.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Brooklyn Diocese announced his decision to shutter Our Lady of Montserrat Church by the end of January and move its parishioners to All Saints Church because it “could not support [Montserrat] financially” after providing nearly $400,000 in subsidies to the church over the past decade and forgiving $1.7 million debt in 2000.

Church documents also claim that the Vernon Avenue church was $23,171 in the red for the year.

But parishioners questioned those figures, claiming that the church’s financial report on Montserrat willfully inflated the church’s expenses and did not consider at least two sources of income from the property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

"Meine Sexualität kann ich bitte nirgendwo abgeben"

OSTERREICH
Der Standard

23. Dezember 2010

Seine Funktion sei "keine leichte Aufgabe" und Homosexualität im Priesterseminar könne "die Atmosphäre zum Kippen bringen", sagt der neue Wiener Generalvikar Nikolaus Krasa
Standard: Missbrauchsskandal, befürchtete 80.000 Kirchenaustritte - es gibt wohl Angenehmeres als in Zeiten wie diesen zum Generalvikar ernannt zu werden, oder?

Krasa: Sicher, da stimme ich Ihnen voll zu. Es ist wahrscheinlich keine leichte Aufgabe, aber ich denke, das gilt für alle Mitarbeiter in der römisch-katholischen Kirche.

Standard: Haben Sie gehadert, als Kardinal Schönborn Ihnen den Job als "Geschäftsführer" der Erzdiözese Wien angeboten hat?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

What victims hear in pope's talk on sex abuse

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Thomas P. Doyle on Dec. 21, 2010 Examining the crisis

Every time Pope Benedict XVI says something about the never-ending sex abuse nightmare, he inches closer and closer to the dark reality that has been like a black cloud over the church for more than two decades. And although he is slowly moving forward, he always stops short of the most important and no doubt for him, the most painful issue: the complicity of the world's cardinals and bishops.

With his talk to the assembled Vatican curia on Monday he showed courage in the presence of many who are still in denial, by admitting the extent of the violation of minors "to a degree we could not have imagined." I suspect that this admission was fueled in no small part by the explosive revelations in Europe especially the mishandling of a serious case during his very own watch as archbishop of Munich.

After that blunt admission Pope Benedict unfortunately retreated to the same set of excuses we have been hearing for years.

First, the focus is on the offending priests but never a word about the bishops whose culpability for the cover-up cannot be diminished because of a sexual disorder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Benedict XVI and Tom Doyle on the crisis

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Dec. 24, 2010 All Things Catholic

By any objective standard, the sexual abuse crisis would have to rank as the top Vatican story of 2010. Though the crisis has been around for a long time, this was the year in which critical attention came to rest squarely on Rome, including the personal track record of Pope Benedict XVI.

As fate would have it, two different assessments washed across the radar screen this week, both from people whom any court would sanction as “expert witnesses.” The contrast suggests that while everyone can agree the crisis has been devastating, the questions of what caused it, and what to do about it, remain far from settled.

One of those assessments came from the pope himself, in the form of his annual year-end address to the Roman Curia. The other is from a priest today seen as perhaps the church’s most determined in-house critic on the crisis: Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle, who has decades of experience in documenting priestly abuse, working with victims, and consulting with plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Christelijke gereformeerde predikant afgezet

NEDERLAND
Kerknieuws

VR 24 dec 2010 | 09.21
De classis Leeuwarden van de Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerken (CGK) heeft een dominee uit Leeuwarden afgezet als predikant. Dat meldt het Reformatorisch Dagblad op basis van berichtgeving in De Wekker, het landelijke blad van het kerkverband.

In november schorste de kerkeraad van de Leeuwardense Bethelkerk haar dominee al vanwege het begaan van 'grove zonde': overspel met een gemeentelid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Bob Oliva, former Christ the King basketball coach, could avoid prison in sex abuse case wi

NEW YORK/MASSACHUSETTS
New York Daily News

BY Michael O'Keeffe
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Friday, December 24th 2010

An attorney representing Bob Oliva, the former Christ the King basketball coach who faces life in prison if he is convicted on sex-abuse charges, has discussed a plea deal with Boston prosecutors that would keep him out of jail, sources close to the case have told the Daily News.

Oliva, who pleaded not guilty to the charges in April, would presumably have to acknowledge in court that he sexually abused the victim during a trip to Massachusetts in 1976, when the coach took a 14-year-old family friend to Fenway Park for a Yankees-Red Sox doubleheader.

Prosecutors have not identified the alleged victim, but a man named Jimmy Carlino told the Daily News in 2009 that Oliva abused him over the course of several years during the 1970s, beginning when Carlino was 11 years old. Prosecutors may require Oliva to register as a sex offender, attend counseling, give up coaching youth sports and stay away from children in exchange for avoiding prison.

Mgr. Léonard choqueert Kamerleden

BELGIE
RKnieuws

BRUSSEL (RKnieuws.net) - De Kamerleden reageerden woensdag bijzonder ontgoocheld op het optreden van aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard. Zeker toen hij zei dat seksueel misbruik te vergelijken valt met slachtoffers van epidemieën en overstromingen.

’Ik ben echt gechoqueerd’, zei Stefaan Van Hecke (Groen). Ook Carina Van Cauter (Open VLD) was zwaar ontgoocheld. ’Lieten de andere bisschoppen nog een opening naar solidariteit naar de slachtoffers toe, is de deur na zijn passage definitief dicht. Kardinaal Danneels koos voor de slachtoffers, deze man is duidelijk een andere mening toegedaan.’ SP.A’er Renaat Landuyt vroeg zich dan weer af of de katholieke kerk niet als ultieme taak had om goed te zijn. ’Dat blijkt uit al wat ik hoor duidelijk niet. Hij wil duidelijk geen opening forceren.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Advocaten gaan paus dagvaarden

BELGIE
De Morgen

[met video]

Meesters Walter Van Steenbrugge en Christine Mussche, die een aantal slachtoffers van misbruik door geestelijken verdedigen, zijn van plan om paus Benedictus XVI te dagvaarden.

"We zijn bezig met het voorbereiden van een claim lastens de paus omdat we zeggen dat hij de hoofdverantwoordelijke is van het misbruik." Van Steenbrugge en Mussche hebben al contact gelegd met Amerikaanse confraters die het Vaticaan reeds hebben gedagvaard.

[summary]

Lawyers for clergy abuse victims intend to summons the pope regarding legal action they are taking. They have been talking to the lawyers in the United States who have also attempted to depose Benedict XIV.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Erste Zwischenbilanz von Klasnic

OSTERREICH
Salzburger Nachrichten

Missbrauch. 100 Mal Entschädigung bis Jahresende. 80.000 Austritte lassen Schönborn von größter Austrittswelle seit Nazizeit sprechen.

Für Mittwochabend ist das letzte Treffen im heurigen Jahr angesetzt: Dann tritt die von Kardinal Christoph Schönborn eingesetzte und von Waltraud Klasnic geleitete Opferschutzanwaltschaft zum 13. Mal seit ihrer Konstituierung Ende April zusammen. Wieder sollen etwa 20 Entschädigungsbeschlüsse fallen. Zugleich wird es eine erste Zwischenbilanz geben.
Stand der Dinge: Bis Ende vergangener Woche haben sich 720 Männer und Frauen an die Klasnic-Kommission gewendet und von Gewalt und/oder Missbrauch in kirchlichen Einrichtungen berichtet. Die meisten der geschilderten Übergriffe liegen Jahrzehnte zurück. Stand der Entscheidungen nach der letzten Sitzung am 3. Dezember: 78 Mal wurden Entschädigungen zugesprochen; nach der nächsten Sitzung am Mittwoch werden es rund 100 Entscheidungen sein. Es gibt – je nach Schwere des Erlittenen – vier Kategorien von Entschädigungszahlungen (5000, 15.000, 25.000 Euro und Beträge darüber).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

John Paul II kept for over 20 years Tony Walsh who sang as he raped hundreds of Irish boys

UNITED STATES
JPIIPPA John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army

Paris Arrow

How can John Paul II ever be called a `saint` by children when he was so callous as to have protected and kept the most notorious pedophile priest Tony Walsh who came to his attention during his 26 years papacy and he knew (what we are only learning now) that Tony Walsh the 'Elvis priests' sang as he sodomized hundreds of Irish little boys? The Nazis played Wagner as they placed Jews into the gas chambers and this John Paul II Pedophile Priest also sang as he sodomized little boys. John Paul II wrote the book Theology of the Body can only be burning in Hell with the biggest millstone hanging around his neck for condonning and aiding and abetting Tony Walsh for more than 20 years (wake-up Catholics!) that over a quarter of a century during his longest papacy since St. Peter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Missbrauch: 100 Anzeigen, knapp 100 Entschädigungen

OSTERREICH
Die Presse

Die Missbrauchsskandale haben das Jahr für die Kirche geprägt, nun ziehen die Ombudsstellen und die Klasnic-Kommission Bilanz: Mehr als 1000 Personen haben sich an die Stellen gewandt.

Das Jahr 2010 stand für die katholische Kirche unter keinem guten Stern: Ab Jänner sind nach und nach immer mehr Missbrauchsfälle bekannt geworden, die Kirche stellt sich auf einen neuen Rekord bei den Austrittszahlen ein. Vor Weihnachten haben die kirchlichen Ombudsstellen und die Klasnic-Kommission Bilanz gezogen: Mehr als 100 Fälle von Missbrauch wurden zur Anzeige gebracht, in knapp 100 Fällen Entschädigungen zuerkannt. Mehr als 1000 Personen haben sich an die Stellen gewandt. Wie viele es genau sind, lässt sich schwer sagen, da es zu Überschneidungen kommt.

Bis 31. Oktober haben sich 1142 Personen an die Ombudsstellen gewandt, bei der Klasnic-Kommission waren es 729. Bei den Opfern handelt es sich zu fast drei Viertel um Männer. Die Auswertung habe ergeben, "dass es bei 54 Prozent um sexuellen Missbrauch geht, 33 Prozent sind Fälle von Gewalt und 13 Prozent sind mutmaßliche Opfer von Gewalt und sexuellem Missbrauch", erklärte Johannes Wancata, Sprecher der Ombudsstellen. Etwa bei der Hälfte der Anrufe habe sich der Verdacht erhärtet. 106 Fälle seien zur Anzeige gebracht worden, um keinesfalls eine strafrechtliche Relevanz zu übersehen. Die Hälfte aller Fälle habe sich vor mehr als 40 Jahren ereignet, 46 Prozent betreffen demnach den Zeitraum von 1971 bis 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Pope's 'peaceful and joyful' Christmas wish for Britain in historic radio recording

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Liz Thomas

The Pope today wished Britain a ‘peaceful and joyful’ Christmas as he broadcast Thought for the Day on Radio 4.

In a historic moment, the Pope gave his Christmas message to the nation during the 7.45am slot on the Today programme.

It is the first time that the head of the Catholic Church has made the address – in which he reminisced with ‘fondness’ about his state visit in September. ...

However, the BBC has attracted criticism for allowing the Pope to ‘lecture about morality’, after he faced accusations of being linked to the child abuse scandals involving Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Sexual abuse settlement in jeopardy

CANADA
CTV

Some former students of Bishop's College, in Lennoxville, who were victims of sexual abuse say a settlement brokered last September could be in jeopardy.

The problem is that not everyone is willing to accept the amount negotiated on their behalf.

Bishop's College would give $1.5 million to the 43 former students who suffered sex abuse by a former teacher, Harold Forster.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

David Quinn: Pope is right on views of paedophilia in 1970s

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Friday December 24 2010

EVERY year at this time the Pope addresses the Vatican diplomatic corps and wherever possible the media like to misinterpret what he says.

Two years ago he is supposed to have compared the destruction of the rainforests with homosexuality, but he didn't even mention homosexuality in that speech.

This year he is supposed to have blamed the sex abuse scandals on the 1970s and to have suggested that we didn't really know child sex abuse was an absolute evil back then.

The reporting this time was a little closer to the truth, but not by much because it gave the false impression that what he had to say was utterly ridiculous and unworthy of consideration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

"Wij leven niet op een andere planeet"

BELGIE
De Redactie

De Brugse bisschop Jozef De Kesel geeft toe dat hij wist dat pedofilie binnen de kerk bestond, maar hij heeft het niet over concrete gevallen. De Kesel was te gast in "De Ochtend" op Radio 1, dat vanmorgen werd uitgezonden vanuit de Sint-Salvatorkathedraal in Brugge.

"Ik wist natuurlijk dat dit bestond. Ik wist het al van vroeger. Ik ben lang geëngageerd geweest in de jeugdbeweging", zegt De Kesel. "Tussen weten dat iets bestaat, dat iets nu en dan gebeurt, en beseffen wat dat betekent, dat is nog een andere zaak", relativeert hij meteen. "Ik denk dat iedereen nu - niet alleen in de kerk - een veel beter zicht heeft op het fenomeen van pedofilie dan 20 jaar geleden."

De bisschop van Brugge lijkt iets concreter dan kardinaal Godfried Danneels, eerder van de week in de Kamercommissie over seksueel misbruik. "Wij leven niet op een andere planeet", zegt De Kesel klaar en duidelijk, maar niets is wat het lijkt: "Als ik zeg dat ik het wist, dan heb ik het niet over concrete gevallen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

'Kerk denkt wel na over vergoeding'

BELGIE
De Standaard

vrijdag 24 december 2010
Auteur: Yves Delepeleire

BRUSSEL - Nadat aartsbisschop Léonard het idee van schadevergoedingen heeft afgewezen, zet Paul Quirynen de puntjes op de i. 'In januari zitten de bisschoppen samen met experts. Daarna komen ze met een voorstel.'

Van onze redacteur

'Ik was er een beetje bang voor', zegt Paul Quirynen over de nieuwe provocaties van André-Joseph Léonard. Die vergeleek woensdag in de bijzondere kamercommissie seksueel misbruik slachtoffers van misbruik met slachtoffers van natuurrampen en epidemieën. Hij vroeg zich ook af of straks ook kinderen van homoparen een schadevergoeding zullen kunnen vragen.

'Ik had hem aangeraden om niet uit te wijden over de aansprakelijkheid, omdat hij zichzelf toch zou verliezen. Dat is ook gebeurd', zegt Quirynen, die alle bisschoppen op de commissie heeft voorbereid. 'De vergelijking met homoparen ging niet op.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Antwerpse bisschop werd zelf benaderd door pedofiel

BELGIE
Metro Time

(Belga) De Antwerpse bisschop Johan Bonny werd als kind zelf benaderd door een pedofiel. Dat vertelt hij in een interview met de Krant van West-Vlaanderen.

Bonny vertelt in het interview hoe hij als jongen van 13 of 14 naar school fietste. "Naast mij stopte een wagen, een man stapte uit, deed zijn broek uit en probeerde me aan te spreken", zegt Bonny. "Ik was verbouwereerd en reed weg. Ik denk dat ik nog nooit zo snel naar school heb gefietst als die keer. Een surveillant heeft de politie verwittigd." De bisschop zegt in het interview ook dat Roger Vangheluwe, de voormalige bisschop van Brugge die toegaf een jongen te hebben misbruikt, zich nooit tot bisschop had mogen wijden. "De gevolgen voor hemzelf, voor het bisdom Brugge en voor de Kerk in België zijn dramatisch groot", stelt Bonny.

[summary]

Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp said he was approached by a pedophile when he was about 13 or 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Extending Murphy Commission’s remit wouldn’t be fruitful, says Andrews

IRELAND
The Journal

MINISTER BARRY ANDREWS has said he does not think the remit of the Murphy Commission should be increased beyond the Diocese of Cloyne, saying it would take a lot of time without returning much benefit, the Irish Times reports.

Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan had called for the commission’s remit to be extended to all Catholic dioceses, Midlands 103 reports.

Speaking at the presentation of the commission’s report into clerical abuse in Cloyne, Andrews said:

I’m not convinced the length of time and the expense would teach us any more than we know already. Anyone that has committed an offence can be prosecuted in the normal way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Government nixes national inquiry into church child abuse

IRELAND
Irish Central

By MOLLY MULDOON, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Friday, December 24, 2010

The Irish government has rejected calls for the Murphy Commission to investigate every diocese in Ireland for child abuse following the sensational findings in Wexford and Dublin and major revelations expected in the just concluded investigation into the Cloyne diocese.

Minister for Children Barry Andrews stated that “I’m not convinced the length of time and the expense would teach us any more than what we know already.”

However Fine Gael spokesman on children, Charlie Flanagan disagree strongly. Fine Gael is the main opposition party and is expected to form the next government.

“It is clear from the litany of horrors that have already been revealed that a full national audit of all Catholic dioceses is required,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Crisis in de Rooms-Katholieke kerk

ROME
NOS

Door correspondent Andrea Vreede, in Rome

Eind 2009 kwam Benedictus XVI met de schrik vrij toen een verwarde jonge vrouw hem probeerde te bespringen tijdens de Kerstnachtmis in de Sint-Pieter. Wat de paus toen niet wist, was dat 2010 voor de Rooms-Katholieke kerk een waar crisisjaar zou worden.

In de eerste maanden van het nieuwe jaar kwam er een niet-aflatende stroom schandalen op gang rond seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen door priesters en geestelijken. Na de misbruikschandalen van de afgelopen jaren uit de Verenigde Staten bleek nu Europa aan de beurt.

Doofpot
Het begon allemaal in februari. Toen hield de paus een spoedberaad met de Ierse bisschoppen naar aanleiding van twee rapporten waarin het systematisch in de doofpot stoppen van misbruikgevallen aan de kaak werd gesteld. Benedictus reageerde door een brief aan alle Ieren te sturen, waarin hij zijn gevoelens van schaamte en berouw uitsprak over de wantoestanden binnen de Ierse kerk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Andrews opposed to extension of abuse inquiry

IRELAND
The Irish Times

JAMIE SMYTH and PATSY McGARRY

MINISTER OF State for Children Barry Andrews has said the Murphy commission’s remit should not be extended to investigate other dioceses as it was unlikely to teach the authorities anything new.

Speaking ahead of the presentation to the Government yesterday of the commission’s report into the Diocese of Cloyne, Mr Andrews said extending the investigation to other dioceses would be a hugely time-consuming exercise without much benefit.

“I’m not convinced the length of time and the expense would teach us any more than we know already. Anyone that has committed an offence can be prosecuted in the normal way. Any child exposed to risk will have to be protected by the HSE. I don’t think any further inquiry will teach us anything new after Cloyne,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Police drop abuse case against Northern Ireland priest

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

A Catholic priest who was forced to step down from public ministry after an allegation of indecent assault is no longer the subject of a police inquiry.

Fr Paul Symonds (65), who received an OBE for his cross-community work, was investi-gated by police after allegations were made against him which dated back to the 1970s.

The allegations were of sexual abuse having been committed against a boy under the age of 16 in the Lancashire area, when Fr Symonds was living in England.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

December 23, 2010

Seksueel misbruik: groepsklacht

BELGIE
Nieuws

[video]

De advocaten van de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk hebben beslist om het vaticaan en de paus te dagvaarden. Ze gaan daarom een groepsklacht indienen. Op die manier staan ze sterker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Operatie Kelk: Keuleneer overweegt cassatieberoep

BELGIE
HLN

HLN update De advocaat van het aartsbisdom en kardinaal Danneels, meester Fernand Keuleneer, overweegt cassatieberoep tegen het oordeel van de Brusselse kamer van inbeschuldigingstelling over "operatie Kelk". Hij blijft erbij dat de volledige huiszoekingen en inbeslagnames in Mechelen onwettelijk zijn.

Keuleneer is wel tevreden dat de KI de huiszoekingen in Leuven nietig verklaarde. "Mijn cliënten drukken hun grote tevredenheid hierover uit. Dit is wat vele van de slachtoffers die zich in vertrouwen tot de Commissie seksueel misbruik gericht hadden, vroegen. De KI bevestigt hiermee opnieuw ons standpunt dat de invallen en massale inbeslagnames op 24 juni niet volgens de regels van de wettelijkheid verliepen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Alleged abuse

OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma Gazette

By Clifton Adcock

A former Oklahoma City Catholic priest has been accused of childhood sexual abuse in a lawsuit by one of his former parishioners.

The Rev. Stephen D. Cude is named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed recently in Oklahoma County District Court. The plaintiff’s identity is not revealed in the filing.

Cude did not return phone messages or e-mails from the Oklahoma Gazette.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Ook bisschop Johan Bonny werd als tiener benaderd door pedofiel

BELGIE
Focus - WTV

Moere - Johan Bonny, bisschop van Antwerpen en afkomstig uit Moere, blikt terug op crisisjaar voor de Kerk. Hij heeft het over Roger Vangheluwe, kardinaal Danneels en Léonard. Maar ook over z’n eigen jeugd, want ook Johan Bonny werd als tiener benaderd door een pedofiel.

De Kerk in crisis, het was een van dé nieuwsfeiten van 2010. Pedofilieschandalen stuurden de geloofwaardigheid van het eeuwenoude instituut naar ongekende diepten. Zeker ook in Vlaanderen, waar in het zog van de gevallen Brugse bisschop Roger Vangheluwe honderden pedodossiers aan de oppervlakte kwamen. De Antwerpse bisschop Johan Bonny – die opgroeide in Eernegem en Moere, waar zijn moeder nog woont – trad de voorbije maanden regelmatig op het voorplan. Met hem blikken we terug op dit ‘annus horribilis’ voor de Kerk.

Over de bekentenissen van Roger Vangheluwe : „Een grote schok. Vangheluwe was mijn professor geweest aan het Grootseminarie in Brugge, later werd hij er een collega en vanaf 1985 mijn bisschop. In al die hoedanigheden had ik hem leren kennen en waarderen. Het nieuws over seksueel misbruik was dan ook een donderslag bij heldere hemel.”
De maanden die daarop volgden barstte de bom en doken nog meer schandalen op. Dossiers stapelden zich op, soms over gevallen van tientallen jaren geleden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Priest abuse group demands apology from Bar Harbor

BAR HARBOR (ME)
Bangor Daily News

By Bill Trotter
BDN Staff

BAR HARBOR, Maine — A national group sent a statement and letters Wednesday to local officials asking for an apology over the appointment of a convicted child abuser to the town’s housing authority board.

Town officials, however, said they had not received any statement or letters from the group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The statement released Wednesday by SNAP asks town councilors and housing authority board members to “apologize for their recklessness” in appointing Walter Dayton Salisbury, 79, to the board and requests that Salisbury be banned from living in the authority’s properties.

Salisbury, a former Catholic priest, served as a resident member of the board from the late 1990s until Dec. 1, when he resigned two days before his criminal past was revealed in a Bangor Daily News article. Salisbury lives in a housing authority building for elderly residents in Bar Harbor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Clergy sex abuse victims blast Bar Harbor officials

MAINE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is criticizing Bar Harbor officials over a twice-convicted predator priest who lives now in publicly-financed housing and was, until two weeks ago, on a government housing panel.

Leaders of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) are writing members of the Bar Harbor Housing Authority board and the Bar Harbor Town Council about Fr. Walter Dayton Salisbury.

Earlier this month, the Bangor Daily News revealed that Salisbury is a twice-convicted child molester who has, for years, been living in public housing and serving on the housing authority’s board.

SNAP wants both bodies to apologize for their “recklessness” and to aggressively reach out to anyone who “may have seen, suspected or suffered” and crimes Salisbury may have committed in Maine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Lawyer for predator nun is disciplined; Sex abuse victims respond

WISCONSIN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)

It's shameful that a defense lawyer for a Catholic nun would betray a child sex abuse victim like this. It's hard enough for men and women who were assaulted as kids by clerics to come forward. This kind of egregious misconduct makes it even harder.

We are grateful that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has disciplined Kostich and we hope that Wisconsin judges watch his future behavior carefully in case he breaches ethics in other ways.

We're especially grateful to this brave victim, who helped expose and prosecute a child molesting cleric, and then went further, helping to expose and prosecute an unethical lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Time to prosecute abuse cover-ups in the Catholic Church

IRELAND
Irish Central

The Sunday Tribune newspaper in Dublin reported that it was very likely a pedophile ring of at least five priests operated with impunity in Dublin during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

The newspaper explained how the priest concerned divvied up the altar boys and other victims and how children suffered multiple rapes from the group’s members.

Their shocking revelation came after the jailing of Anthony Walsh, a defrocked priest who molested over 100 children during his infamous clerical career.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Flanagan calls for extension of Murphy Commission

IRELAND
Midlands 103

A Midlands Fine Gael TD says the remit of the Murphy commission should be extended to all Catholic diocese.

The party's spokesperson for Children Charlie Flanagan says it clear that a national audit is needed because of the litany of horrors that have already been uncovered.

The Murphy report investigated the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in Dublin's Archdiocese and has just finished a probe into the Cloyne diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Former Sullivan Priest Accused of Spending Sprees With Church Money

MISSOURI
Fox 2

[with video]

By Andy Banker
FOX2now.com

SULLIVAN, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com) — Amid the furor swirling around the spending practices of a catholic priest, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson visited a divided parish, St. Anthony's, in Sullivan, Wednesday night.

The Archdiocese reported there were tens of thousands of dollars in question, spent at the Lake of the Ozarks and clothing stores like Abercrombie and Fitch, among other places.

Carlson met with parish leaders and then held an open forum with members of the congregation. The meetings lasted for more than two hours.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Advocaten slachtoffers gaan paus dagvaarden

BELGIE
RKnieuws

BRUSSEL (RKnieuws.net) - Meesters Walter Van Steenbrugge en Christine Mussche, die een aantal slachtoffers van misbruik door geestelijken verdedigen, zijn van plan om paus Benedictus XVI te dagvaarden.

’We zijn bezig met het voorbereiden van een claim lastens de paus omdat we zeggen dat hij de hoofdverantwoordelijke is van het misbruik.’

Van Steenbrugge en Mussche hebben al contact gelegd met Amerikaanse confraters die het Vaticaan reeds hebben gedagvaard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Sex abuse inquiry should cover all dioceses, says FG

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE REMIT of the Murphy commission should be extended to include all Catholic dioceses in the State, Fine Gael spokesman on children Charlie Flanagan has said. “It is clear from the litany of horrors that have already been revealed that a full national audit of all Catholic dioceses is required,” he said.

The Murphy commission investigated the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations by church and State authorities in Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese and has just completed a similar investigation into Cloyne diocese.

Mr Flanagan was speaking yesterday in anticipation of the commission’s Cloyne report being handed over to Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Opnieuw commotie na uitspraken over homo's en ivf

BELGIE
HLN

Aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard veroorzaakt opnieuw ophef met enkele opmerkelijke uitspraken over homo's en kunstmatige bevruchting. Hij deed die aan het einde van de vragenronde in de bijzondere commissie Seksueel Misbruik.

De Aartsbisschop stelt voor een solidariteitsfonds op te richten voor de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik, niet alleen in een kerkelijke relatie maar ook in gezagsrelaties in onder meer de medische, verzorgings- of sportwereld.

De aartsbisschop had er bewust voor gekozen om het heikele punt als laatste te behandelen in zijn antwoorden op de vragen van de commissieleden. De kerk heeft een traditie in generositeit - voor de derde wereld, natuurrampen, epidemieën, ...- , maar moet de instelling financieel verantwoordelijk gesteld worden voor feiten die door haar leden gepleegd worden, vroeg hij zich af.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Léonard twijfelt aan nut van laïcisering

BELGIE
Vandaag

Aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard werd tijdens de namiddagzitting van de Kamercommissie Seksueel Misbruik in de Kerk bestookt met vragen door de Commissieleden.

Renaat Landuyt (sp.a): "Wat doet U met pedofiele priesters?"

Léonard: "Ik kan alleen spreken voor de periode tussen 1991 en 2010 dat ik bisschop van Namen was. Want in Mechelen-Brussel had ik nog geen nieuw geval. Zolang er een gerechtelijk onderzoek liep, nam ik preventieve maatregelen. Ik zorgde ervoor dat recidive onmogelijk was door de priester een taak te geven waar hij niet met kinderen in contact kon komen.

Als iemand zijn straf al volledig had uitgezeten en hij opnieuw een pastorale taak mocht opnemen, dan lichtten wij de parochie waar hij ging werken in en zorgden ervoor dat hij nooit alleen in de sacristie kon zijn."

Waarom laïciseert U niet wat meer?

Léonard: "Sinds 2001 moèten wij alle zaken van pedofiele priesters naar Rome sturen voor een intern kerkelijke sanctie. Dat kan laïcisering zijn. Rome wacht meestal tot het gewone strafgerecht een uitspraak heeft gedaan. Ik heb in Namen zo twee priesters 'naar Rome gestuurd'. Alleen Rome kan een priester opnieuw tot leek maken (laïciseren, nvdr.). Maar is dat altijd wel in het belang van het slachtoffer?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Léonard: schadevergoeding zaak justitie

BELGIE
Trouw

De Belgische aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard zei woensdag voor de commissie kindermisbruik in het Belgische parlement dat het niet aan de bisschoppen is om over een schadevergoeding voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik te beslissen.

Léonard vindt dat het aan justitie is om schadevergoedingen op te leggen aan het instituut dat verantwoordelijk is voor een dader van misbruik. De aartsbisschop stelde wel voor om een 'solidariteitsfonds' op te richten, waar de kerk zich vrijwillig bij aan kan sluiten.

Net als kardinaal Godfried Danneels dinsdag, nam Léonard geen persoonlijke verantwoordelijkheid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Bad episode doesn’t negate a fine career

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Joan Vennochi
December 23, 2010

AS STATE Senator Marian Walsh leaves public office, a cushy job that she never took shouldn’t define her legacy.

When the clergy abuse scandal broke, Walsh was the only member of the state Legislature to call on Cardinal Bernard Law to resign, and urge that he be prosecuted.

When the attorney general argued that no statute existed to hold Law accountable for knowingly putting children in harm’s way, she championed legislation to protect them from future abuse. She stood up for gay marriage in a conservative district, where the political consensus ran overwhelmingly against it. And she was the only senator to say no to each of three seekers of corporate welfare: Raytheon, Fidelity, and the Boston Red Sox.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

UNITED STATES
Outpatient Clinic

Skip Shea

Maybe the Pope finally gets it. In his traditional end of the year address, held on December 21st - The Winter Solstice - Benedict said revelations of abuse in 2010 reached "an unimaginable dimension" that required the church to accept the "humiliation" as a call for renewal.

It is about time. He continued.

"In the 1970s, pedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children," the pope said. "It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a 'better than' and a 'worse than.' Nothing is good or bad in itself."

What?

In the realm of Catholic Theology, in the 1970's the church believed that pedophilia was normal?
Why am I not surprised?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

'Veel pijn en verdriet'

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

BRUGGE - Voor Peter Rossel, de woordvoerder van het Brugse bisdom, was 2010 een regelrecht annus horribilis, na het ontslag van Roger Vangheluwe. 'Dit was zonder twijfel het allerslechtste jaar uit mijn carrière', zegt Rossel. 'Ik noem het zelf de Bisdombeving Brugge. Een beving die me persoonlijk veel pijn en verdriet heeft gedaan. Uiteindelijk heb je twintig jaar met een - voor ons - toffe man gewerkt, en dus is het logisch dat dit zijn sporen nalaat. Natuurlijk verdwijnt dit alles in het niets in vergelijking met het lijden van de slachtoffers.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

"Wij hebben geen monopolie op misbruik"

BELGIE
De Redactie

Aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard heeft in de bijzondere Kamercommissie over seksueel misbruik gepleit voor een solidariteitsfonds waar op vrijwillige basis bijdragen kunnen worden gestort voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik. Léonard liet daarbij enkele merkwaardige uitspraken optekenen.

Na zijn betoog in de bijzondere Kamercommissie over seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk, heeft aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard nog geantwoord op vragen van commissieleden. Daarin werd vooral doorgegaan op de manier waarop de kerk bereid is om de slachtoffers bij te staan.

Ook de eventuele schadevergoedingen kwamen ter sprake. In zijn verklaring had Léonard gezegd dat hij dat een bijzonder complexe materie vond en zich daar niet over wenste uit te spreken. "Het is aan het gerecht om te oordelen of een instituut, welk instituut dan ook, waarvan de verantwoordelijken niet persoonlijk bij de feiten betrokken zijn, daarvoor een schadevergoeding moeten betalen", bleef Léonard op de vlakte. Opvallend, want eerder hadden andere bisschoppen zich wel bereid verklaard om over te gaan tot die "geste".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Léonard verwijst naar gerecht voor schadevergoedingen

BELGIE
HLN

[met video]

Aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard meent dat het aan het gerecht toekomt om schadevergoedingen op te leggen aan het instituut dat verantwoordelijk is voor een dader van misbruik. Dat zei hij deze voormiddag in de bijzondere Kamercommissie Seksueel Misbruik. Dinsdag had zijn voorganger, Godfried Danneels, een initiatief van de bisschoppenconferentie terzake in het vooruitzicht gesteld.

Léonard was in zijn inleidende uiteenzetting duidelijk voorzichtiger dan Danneels. Hij verwees naar zijn oproep na het ontslag van Roger Vangheluwe aan slachtoffers om zich te melden en naar de brief van de bisschoppenconferentie van 19 mei, waarin zij excuses aanboden aan de slachtoffers voor het misbruik en de onaangepaste begeleiding.

20 vermeende daders
Sinds hij aartsbisschop is, heeft Léonard geen enkele klacht over een priester van zijn bisdom ontvangen. Wel kreeg hij een lijst van 20 vermeende daders van de commissie-Adriaenssens, waarvan vijf over mensen die in het bisdom onbekend waren, zeven van geestelijken van een orde, drie over overleden daders en vier over gepensioneerde priesters. Léonard ontving evenwel slechts de namen, want de dossiers zijn nog altijd in handen van het gerecht. Op 23 april ontving hij op hun verzoek drie slachtoffers van oude feiten. Hij benadrukte dat niemand een schadevergoeding eiste, zoals ook in de meerderheid van de dossiers van de commissie-Adriaenssens het geval was. Ze vroegen alleen morele erkenning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

We owe it to abuse victims to fight for justice

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

The scale of the crimes against children, and against humanity, committed by priests and other members of the religious orders over many decades is now a matter of historical record.
Those who suffered don't need to read Chapter 19 of the Murphy report - nor did they read the report on the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. They know what happened. It happened to them.

I have heard it said by well-meaning people that the 'victims can now hold their heads up high', they have been vindicated. It's not that easy. Lives have been destroyed, spouses, partners and children compelled to live with the impact of the nightmares inflicted on their loved-ones.

I have seen men and women now in their sixties and seventies suffer such mental anguish that they have never been able to work and hold few friends dear. They are not even angry anymore, just beaten and defeated. They have a right to justice and for the Catholic Church and other state institutions to tell the whole truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Audition de Mgr A.-J. Léonard par la Commission spéciale du Parlement (22-12-10)

BELGIQUE
KerkNet

1. Mon intervention se situera à trois niveaux, puisque je suis ici entendu à un triple titre :
celui d’archevêque du diocèse de Malines-Bruxelles, ce que je suis depuis le 27 février dernier ; celui de Président de la Conférence épiscopale belge, depuis la même date ; celui d’évêque de Namur, ce que je fus du 14 avril 1991 au 18 janvier 2010.

2. Je crois utile de rappeler que l’archevêque de Malines-Bruxelles n’est à la tête que de
l’archidiocèse de Malines-Bruxelles. Il n’est en aucune manière l’archevêque de toute la Belgique, laquelle compte huit diocèses avec un évêque à la tête de chacun. Ainsi, par exemple, c’est simplement en tant qu’archevêque de Malines-Bruxelles que, dans mon
homélie de Pâques, face aux scandales qui éclaboussaient l’Eglise catholique dans d’autres
pays, j’ai dénoncé fermement le manque de rigueur avec lequel, dans le passé, on avait parfois
traité certains cas d’abus sexuels sur des mineurs, préférant le silence et la discrétion à
l’honneur des enfants abusés.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Intervention de Mgr VANCOTTEM devant la Commission pour abus sur mineurs

BELGIQUE
KerkNet

Depuis les 5 mois que je suis évêque de Namur-Luxembourg, je me suis donné trois objectifs prioritaires :
1) Avoir le souci des personnes qui ont été abusées dès lors qu’elles prennent contact avec un responsable du diocèse.

- d’abord les inviter à s’en référer à la Justice ;
- rejoindre leur désir d’être écoutées et comprises ;
- les informer des mesures pastorales prises à l’encontre des personnes qui ont abusé d’elles.

2) Tout faire pour éviter une récidive de la part des acteurs de tels actes en leur retirant toute charge pastorale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Bijzondere commissie

BELGIE
KerkNet

Patrick Hoogmartens
bisschop van Hasselt

Geachte Dames en Heren Volksvertegenwoordigers
Geachte aanwezigen

Ik dank u voor de gelegenheid die ik krijg om voor deze Bijzondere Parlementaire Commissie
te getuigen over de aanpak van de problematiek van het seksueel misbruik in het bisdom
Hasselt, in het verleden en vandaag.

Ik deel daarbij de bekommernis van de hele Commissie om een helder inzicht te krijgen in
deze werkelijkheid van het seksueel misbruik en in de wijze waarop beleidsmatig met deze
problematiek, en in het bijzonder met de slachtoffers, werd omgegaan.

Ik draag ook mee de bezorgdheid om toekomstgericht de juiste maatregelen te nemen om dit
misbruik te vermijden en om slachtoffers bij te staan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Bijzondere Commissie Seksueel Misbruik

BELGIE
KerkNet

Bisschop Jozef De Kesel

Bijzondere Commissie Seksueel Misbruik
Parlement Brussel 15.12.10

Mevrouw de Voorzitter,
Zeer geachte leden van het Parlement

Geachte Vergadering,
Allereerst wil ik u danken voor de gelegenheid die u me geeft, alvorens op uw vragen in te gaan, om enkele zaken te verduidelijken. Het is vooral mijnbedoeling om u te laten aanvoelen hoe ik zelf de hele problematiek heb beleefd, wat ik gedaan heb gedurende die eerste maanden van mijn ambtstermijn als bisschop van Brugge en waar ik bij de behandeling van concrete gevallen en dossiers ben gestoten op moeilijkheden en knelpunten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Bijzondere commissie

BELGIE
KerkNet

Luc Van Looy
Bisschop van Gent

Bijzondere commissie betreffende de behandeling van seksueel misbruik en feiten van pedofilie binnen een gezagsrelatie, inzonderheid binnen de Kerk.

Hoorzitting over de manier waarop de bisschoppen in hun bisdom de problematiek van het seksueel misbruik hebben benaderd.

Mevrouw de Voorzitter,
Dames en Heren,

Eerst en vooral hartelijk dank voor de uitnodiging naar deze hoorzitting.
Het onnoemelijke leed van de slachtoffers van seksueel crimineel misbruik in de kerk schokt en raakt me diep. Het vertrouwen van slachtoffers in zichzelf en in anderen werd hen als kind brutaal ontnomen. Als mens, als gelovige, als priester en als bisschop schaam ik me hiervoor diep. Klein en onmachtig erken ik het verwoestende leed dat slachtoffers is aangedaan door geestelijken. Ik wil dan ook daadkrachtig werk maken van een Kerk die niet alleen in haar woorden, maar ook in daden kiest voor de gekwetste en lijdende mens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Commission spéciale de la Chambre

BELGIQUE
KerkNet

Aloys Jousten
Évêque de Liège
15 décembre 2010

Madame la Présidente,
Mesdames et Messieurs les Députés,

Depuis quelques semaines, vous vous penchez sur un chapitre pénible et douloureux de notre
société. Le drame de Julie, Melissa, Ann et Eefje a rendu la population de notre pays très
sensible aux abus sexuels. Nous réalisons mieux aujourd’hui la gravité des faits et surtout les
traumatismes durables causés par ces abus. Dans ce « nous » j’inclus évidemment les
responsables de l’Église catholique, les prêtres et les évêques. Etant donné mon âge, je puis
vous dire qu’il n’en fut pas toujours ainsi, ni dans la société en général, ni au sein de l’Église.
Pendant longtemps, trop longtemps, faut-il encore le relever, la sexualité et les abus sexuels
ont été des sujets tabous. À l’heure actuelle, nous payons les frais de ce grand et long silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Bijzondere Kamercommissie

BELGIE
KerkNet

18 november 2010
Mgr. Luysterman

INITIATIEVEN VAN DE BELGISCHE BISSCHOPPENCONFERENTIE
IN VERBAND MET SEKSUEEL MISBRUIK IN DE KERK
TELEFOONLIJN VOOR MELDING MISBRUIK
1. In 1997 stelde kardinaal Danneels voor die telefoonlijn op te richten. Alle leden van de
conferentie gingen akkoord.
2. De uitsluitende bedoeling was: het slachtoffers gemakkelijker maken klacht neer te
leggen bij het gerecht of eventueel bij een religieuze overheid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Commission spéciale de la Chambre

BELGIQUE
KerkNet

Guy Harpigny

Evêque référendaire, depuis avril 2007,
de la commission interdiocésaine pour les abus sexuels au sein de la relation pastorale

Déclaration du 13 décembre 2010

I. De 2003 au 1er avril 2007 : Etat d’esprit de la conférence épiscopale
- Mgr A. Luysterman devient évêque émérite de Gand en février 2004, mais il reste
référendaire pour la Commission interdiocésaine pour les abus sexuels jusqu’en avril
2007. C’est au cours de sa mission de référendaire que le préambule et les statuts de la
commission ont été approuvées en 2000 (Annexe I) et révisés en 2005 (Annexe II).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

BIJZONDERE PARLEMENTAIRE COMMISSIE

BELGIE
KerkNet

Johan Bonny, Bisschop van Antwerpen
13 december 2010

Ik dank de voorzitter en de leden van de bijzondere Parlementaire Commissie voor de uitno-
diging naar deze hoorzitting over de problematiek van seksueel misbruik in een pastoraal ver-
band. Zoals gevraagd wil ik deze problematiek benaderen van uit mijn eigen ervaring, ener-
zijds als bisschop van Antwerpen, anderzijds als bisschop-referent met Mgr Harpigny, meer
bepaald voor het Vlaamse landsgedeelte.

1. Op 4 januari 2009 werd ik tot bisschop van Antwerpen gewijd. Nog tijdens dezelfde
maand, op 23 januari 2009, veroordeelde de Rechtbank van Eerste Aanleg in Antwerpen een
priester van mijn bisdom voor seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen. Op 27 april 2009 ver-
hoogde het Hof van Beroep de strafmaat van zeven naar negen jaar gevangenisstraf. Het Hof
bevestigde de respectievelijk tien en twintig jaar ontzettingen uit een aantal burgerrechten,
maar voegde er een ter beschikkingstelling van de regering gedurende tien jaar aan toe. De
dader werd ook veroordeeld tot het betalen van een schadevergoeding aan twee slachtoffers.
In de maanden tussen het eerste vonnis en het vonnis in beroep heb ik meermaals mijn volle
vertrouwen in het gerecht uitgesproken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Merry Christmas with Mr. Brand: A Gift for Male Sex Abuse Survivors Who Struggle With Addictions

UNITED STATES
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Six weeks ago I had no idea who Russell Brand was, but one morning as I was perusing the Internet when I found posted in humor section of the Huffington Post a segment from Conan O’Brien’s new show -- an interview with British comedian, Russell Brand. I am a big fan of Conan O’Brien so I watched the segment. Within a minute or so I was an even bigger fan of Russell Brand. Within two minutes I was sure that Russell Brand was my all time favorite comedian. He was talking about the royal family and about the shiny hats they wear as well as how buxom the queen is -- foreshadowing what I was in store for as a virgin Russell Brand fan.

I am a middled aged child sex abuse and rape survivor who is a dedicated mother and kind let a certain part of my life wither a bit. I don’t think like a guy. I think like a lady who goes to church a lot. I didn’t think about what Russell Brand’s comedy might be like. I just thought about the fact he was just about the funniest person I had ever encountered in the media.

As a mother I was also thinking that my 12 year old daughter has been creating jokes since not long after she was able to speak would also love Russell Brand. So I ran upstairs to get her to come see the segment I had just seen. We laughed uproariously together. That night we sought out more Russell Brand courtesy of You Tube and laughed some more. It turns out that Russell Brand’s comedy is frequently R rated pushing the envelope towards X. But my daughter tells me that she’s learned much more about sex from her teenaged stepsister than she has from watching R rated movies with me. I have no control over the stepsister, who is the daughter of my ex’s new wife. So it is probably better that I talk about sex with my daughter to give her my counsel -- so watching Russell Brand videos is not bad as it might be.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Missbrauch: Tätermacht, Opferohnmacht

DEUTSCHLAND
Der Tagesspiegel

Drei bittere Wahrheiten nehmen wir aus diesem Jahr mit: Sexuelle Gewalt gegen Kinder lauert gerade dort, wo sie auf Schutz vertrauen. Institutionen, in denen Missbrauch stattfindet, neigen zum Vertuschen, die Gesellschaft will vergessen.

Sexuelle Gewalt gegen Kinder findet in der Gesellschaft, gerade dort statt, wo sie auf Schutz vertrauen, in Familien, Schulen, Vereinen, Kirchen. Institutionen, in denen Missbrauch stattfindet, neigen zum Vertuschen. Und die Gesellschaft, die davon erfährt, erschrickt, mit einer Hilflosigkeit, die zum Vergessen drängt.

Bereits in den 80er und 90er Jahren war sexueller Missbrauch ein öffentliches Thema. Dass hermetische, autoritäre Männerwelten Kinderschänder anziehen, wusste selbst die katholische Kirche damals schon. Als Deckmantel für den Machtmissbrauch an Schutzbefohlenen taugt aber, wie wir jetzt unwiderruflich wissen, jedes Besonderheitsbewusstsein, auch das reformpädagogischer Internate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Catholic priest Fr Paul Symonds abuse claim dismissed

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A Catholic priest who was forced to step down from public ministry after an allegation of indecent assault is no longer the subject of a police inquiry.

Fr Paul Symonds, 65, was being investigated by Lancashire police about an allegation of abuse at a school in the county in the 1970s.

Before he stood down in November 2009, he was awarded an OBE for his cross-community work in his Ballymena parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Ballymena priest cleared of child abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

A Ballymena priest, who was awarded an OBE for community work, is no longer being investigated over a child sex abuse allegation.

Fr Paul Symonds, 65, was being investigated by police after an allegation of abuse was made against him relating to the time he spent at a Catholic boarding school in east Lancashire in the 1970s.

Lancashire Constabulary has confirmed that it is no longer investigating the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Diocese of Worcester Releases Annual Report for FY2010

WORCESTER (MA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester

[consolidated financial statement]

December 17, 2010, WORCESTER, MA -- Following a complete audit of its financial accounting, the Diocese of Worcester has issued online and printed editions of the annual report detailing activities for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2010.

In his letter, the Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester, expressed his gratefulness to “the generosity of all our parishioners and benefactors, without whom our Diocese could not flourish.” He noted that despite the significant economic challenges, the report demonstrated many strengths. “The Annual Partners in Charity Appeal raised $4,807,782.” He also noted that “those who manage our departments and agencies were, for the most part, able to operate with balanced budgets last year” resulting in an operational gain of $161,293.

The Diocesan Expansion Fund also ended the year on a positive note. Thanks in great part to its diversification of funds and unrealized gain, it reported revenue over expenses of $1,328,146.

A continuing challenge that stands out in the Bishop’s letter is Priests’ Retirement care. Bishop McManus noted that, even with a $500,000 subsidy from Partners in Charity, “retirement programs for clergy were underfunded last year by $1,024,009.” The only area he noted which receives greater support from Partners in Charity is seminarian education and related programs for Vocations to the Priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Diocese's year ends slightly up

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
bkush@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Diocese of Worcester has successfully navigated another turbulent economic year, but chancery officials are expressing concern about the escalating costs of caring for diocesan clergy who have retired or are in poor health.

A financial report released recently by the chancery shows that most of the departments and agencies under the auspices of the local Roman Catholic Church broke even and that the diocese finished fiscal 2009-10 with an operating gain of $161,293.

However, officials said the priests' retirement care account continues to pose “challenges” for diocesan financial planners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Church reneging on Irish compensation payments

IRELAND
National Secular Society (United Kingdom)

A question asked in the Irish parliament has revealed that the Catholic Church has paid only a small fraction of the money it pledged to the State last year to help compensate the victims of clerical sexual abuse.

Just €20m has been paid out of a total €348m pledged following the publication of the Ryan Report. None of the property that was included in the agreement has been handed over. In addition, €26m is still outstanding from a €128m deal that Catholic organisations struck with the State in 2002, which granted them indemnity from having to pay further sums for the compensation of abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

NH church members sentenced in abuse-report case

CONWAY (NH)
Boston Globe

CONWAY, N.H.—Three New Hampshire church members won't being going to jail after being found guilty of failing to report suspected sexual abuse of a child.

WMWV-FM reports Judge Pamela Albee sentenced the pastor of the Valley Christian Church in Conway and two church elders to 30 days in jail, all suspended, plus probation and a $2,000 fine each.

They were found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of failing to report they suspected a 12-year-old girl had been sexually abused by another church elder. No one has been charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Why has the BBC become the official propaganda arm of the Vatican?

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

The Vatican is desperate to rehabilitate its reputation. And well it might be. The past two years has seen one scandal after another come knocking on Benedict’s door.

The child abuse crisis is, of course, the worst of them. Tens of thousands of children have been casually used and abused by Catholic priests around the world. The scale of this horrific sexual exploitation is only now becoming apparent. There are few checks and balances in the developing world, so there is little knowledge yet of the scale of abuse there.

Last week, the chapter of the Ryan Report that had been suppressed pending a court case was published. It revealed yet again a catalogue of deliberate and carefully orchestrated cover ups by the Church, both locally and in the Vatican. Children who might have been spared the trauma of sexual abuse were sacrificed in order that the Church could spare itself further criticism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Kavanagh Case Tragic for New York

NEW YORK
The Huffington Post

Marci Hamilton

After an eight-year review by the Catholic Church of allegations of perpetrating childhood sexual abuse, Charles M. Kavanagh, an influential Monsignor who had overseen fundraising for the Archdiocese of New York, was defrocked last week

We should all feel safer now that the powers-that-be have taken care of this problem priest, right?

Wrong.

Kavanagh may no longer use his collar to pave his way to children, but because the New York State statutes of limitation (SOLs) expired decades ago in this case, he remains free to cast his predator's net far and wide. And we have no secular ruling, so the Church's conclusions amount to nothing more than support for allegations of abuse in the civil sphere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Zubik denies coverup accusation

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Beaver County Times

By: Megan J. Miller
Beaver County Times

[letter to the U.S. Attorney's office]

[statement from the Green Bay diocese]

[Fr. John Doerfler deposition]

PITTSBURGH — A victim advocacy group is pressing for a federal investigation of Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik over claims that his policies led to the destruction of evidence of sexual abuse by clergy in Wisconsin.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests on Tuesday asked U.S. Attorney James Santelle to investigate what it called obstruction of justice by Zubik because of a policy of destroying some personnel records for priests at his former diocese in Green Bay.

“If you’re destroying evidence, you’re obstructing justice,” said John Pilmaier, co-director or SNAP Wisconsin. “Whether it’s psychological reports, handwritten notes, memos — these are all evidence of a crime that’s taken place.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Paedophile priest sang as he abused me, says victim

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Thursday December 23 2010

A VICTIM of jailed paedophile priest Tony Walsh yesterday spoke for the first time of how the depraved ex-cleric sang a song while sexually abusing him.

Niall, not his real name, told the Irish Independent he was one of hundreds of working-class children abused in Ballyfermot, Dublin, by the "most notorious child abuser" to come before the Commission of Investigation led by Judge Yvonne Murphy.

He broke his silence as Justice Minister Dermot Ahern received the Murphy Report on a litany of child abuse in the Diocese of Cloyne, Co Cork.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Bishop Zubik denies trashing records

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

[letter to the U.S. Attorney's office]

[statement from the Green Bay diocese]

[Fr. John Doerfler deposition]

By Jill King Greenwood
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik on Wednesday said he worked to make sure church laws in Green Bay, Wis., specifically forbid the destruction of records detailing pedophilia and other forms of sexual abuse by priests.

Zubik said he was shocked by news that a victims' advocacy group this week called for a federal investigation into claims that he destroyed such records when he served as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay before being transferred to Pittsburgh in 2007.

"I was stunned because my time of leadership in the church is based on building up the credibility of the church," Zubik said. "I would never destroy anything, and I would always protect anyone who was abused."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Pope Benedict offers poignant Christmas message on scandal

UNITED STATES
Youngstown Vindicator

Published: Thu, December 23, 2010

“We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred. We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen.”

So declared Pope Benedict XVI in his Christmas message to the hierarchy of the Vatican. The “thing” is the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests around the world, which has caused a scandal that continues to rock the church to its foundation. The sexual molestation of young boys has been made all the more evil by bishops and archbishops protecting the criminal clergy.

Last May, Pope Benedict admitted that the Vatican’s strategy of stonewalling and criticizing the press has not worked and publicly pledged that the church would investigate allegations of sexual abuse by the clergy and bring to justice the perpetrators. His Christmas message, as reported by the New York Times, was clearly a mea culpa aimed at reassuring the victims and their families that the past actions by the hierarchy, including the cover up of the crimes, would not be tolerated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Pope aims to resolve church scandals

UNITED STATES
Opelousas Daily World

December 23, 2010

The message came late — three decades late — but it was welcome, all the same.

On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI told officials at the Vatican they should reflect on child sex abuse scandals involving priests.

A series of such scandals has plagued the Roman Catholic Church since the crimes of former priest Gilbert Gauthe in Vermilion Parish surfaced in the early 1980s.

This pope's personal history includes advocacy of stern measures to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

December 22, 2010

Bishop Zubik Speaks To WTAE About Abuse Accusations

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WTAE

[with video]

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik is denying allegations made by an abuse survivors group that claims he was involved in destroying records concerning priests in Green Bay, Wis.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also knows as SNAP, has called for a federal investigation, claiming Zubik ordered the destruction of records detailing sex abuse by priests when he worked in Green Bay.

“I was stunned because my own leadership in the church has been to try to build up the credibility of the church, and I know that I would never destroy evidence that would go against the protection of people who have been abused or people alleged to have been abused,” said Zubik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

70 - That gave us a shoulder to lean on this year

UNITED STATES
MN SNAP via YouTube

A pictorial glance at Minnesota's 2010 survivor support mountains.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Archbishop says it is up to courts to decide if compensation is needed for abuse victims<

BELGIUM
Winnipeg Free Press

By: The Associated Press

BRUSSELS - Belgian archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard says it is not up to the church to decide on any compensation for the victims of sexual abuse by priests but instead to the courts.

The leader of the Belgian church appeared before a parliamentary inquiry committee into sexual abuse Wednesday in the wake of a yearlong scandal rocking the church. In April a bishop was forced to resign after years of abuse of his nephew. Since then, over 500 witnesses have come forward with harrowing accounts of molestation by Catholic clergy that span decades.

Ahern to receive 'damning' report on sex abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Tom Brady Security Editor

Wednesday December 22 2010

THE Government will today receive a top-level report into allegations of clerical child sex abuse in the Catholic diocese of Cloyne.

The report is expected to contain some damning findings on how the claims were dealt with by church and state authorities.

The commission of investigation, which was headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, has completed its inquiries, which covered a 13-year period from January 1, 1996, and February 1, 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Commission delivers clerical abuse report to Justice Minister

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A report into clerical abuse allegations in the diocese of Cloyne will be delivered to the Justice Minister Dermot Ahern today.

It is the product of work carried out by a commission of investigation headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Minister to get Cloyne report today

IRELAND
TV3

22.12.10

The report into allegations of clerical child sex abuse in the Catholic diocese of Cloyne is to be given to the Government today.

The Murphy commission investigated claims of sex abuse made against 19 priests over a 13 year period, from 1996 to 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Justice Minister to receive Cloyne report

IRELAND
RTE News

The Report of the Commission investigating the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in the Diocese of Cloyne is expected to be given to the Justice Minister today.

The Report of the Commission investigating the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in the Diocese of Cloyne is expected to be given to Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern today.

The Murphy Commission investigated the handling by the Cloyne Diocese of allegations of abuse made against 19 priests over a 13-year period between 1996 and 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Irish Church braces for new report on abuse in Cloyne diocese

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

December 22, 2010
Ireland’s justice minister, Dermot Ahern, was due to receive a report today on sexual abuse by priests in the Cloyne diocese. The report, which could be made public early next year, is likely to re-ignite criticism of the Irish Catholic hierarchy.

The Irish Church is still reeling from the effects of the “Murphy report,” released last November, detailing the failure of Church leaders to restrain abusive priests. But the Murphy report covered only the Dublin archdiocese. The Cloyne diocese is the subject of a separate investigation, which covers a more recent time period: from 1996 to 2009.

In March, Bishop John Magee of Cloyne resigned his post, apparently at the request of the Holy See. Bishop Magee—who had served at the Vatican, as personal secretary to three Pontiffs—had been severely criticized for failing to enact new standards for reporting and disciplining priests accused of sexual abuse. The new report from the Murphy commission will examine the charges against priests in Cloyne during Bishop Magee’s tenure there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Prominent Jesuit Scholar Accused of Abuse

UNITED STATES
Care2

posted by: Kristina Chew

The sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church has reached a “degree we could not have imagined," according to a statement made by Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that was quoted the December 20th New York Times.

Indeed: Just recently, a prominent Jesuit scholar, Keith Pecklers, SJ, was accused by 48-year-old Keith Brennan of sexual abuse, as reported in the December 12th Star-Ledger.

Pecklers is a professor of liturgy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on Catholic liturgy in the world. He is also a frequent commentator on Vatican Affairs for ABC News. Pecklers is a native of Jersey City and it was in St. Paul’s Church in the Greenville section of Jersey City that then-14-year-old Brennan was abused by him starting in 1976.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Bisschop De Kesel niet tegen schadevergoedingen

BELGIE
Focus-WTV

Brugge - De Brugse bisschop Jozef De Kesel is niet tegen schadevergoedingen voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik maar benadrukt dat het gerecht eerst moet oordelen wie aansprakelijk is. Ook aartsbisschop Léonard verwees vanmorgen in het parlement naar justitie voor schadevergoedingen. Volgens bisschop De Kesel zal het ook nog een tijd duren vooraleer het bisdom bekomen is van de pedofilieaffaire van zijn voorganger Roger Vangheluwe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Wis. attorney who defended nun reprimanded

WISCONSIN
WFRV

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin attorney who defended a nun convicted of sexually abusing two teenage boys has been reprimanded and fined for also initially representing one of the victims.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday reprimanded attorney Nikola Kostich for what it called an egregious conflict of interest.

Kostich defended Norma Giannini, a nun who was sentenced in February 2008 to one year in jail for sexually abusing two teens at St. Patrick's School in Milwaukee in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Court reprimands lawyer who represented victim, then defendant in clergy sex abuse case

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel
Dec. 21, 2010

In a case of what it called egregious conflict of interest, the Supreme Court has publicly reprimanded a Milwaukee lawyer who represented a nun charged with sexual battery years after consulting with one her victims.

Nikola Kostich must also pay more than $9,700 in costs, and take 10 hours of ethics instruction over the next year, the court ruled Tuesday.

Kostich (Wisconsin, '70) had argued that he had never really agreed to represent the victim, but had only done a preliminary interview and research when the victim inquired about bringing a civil suit against the nun, Norma Giannini, in 2007. Kostich determined the statute of limitations prevented such a suit at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Léonard wil katholieke koppels begeleiden om seksueel misbruik te voorkomen

BELGIE
Vandaag

Aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard bracht zopas een korte uiteenzetting voor de Kamercommissie Seksueel Misbruik. Opmerkelijk was zijn pleidooi om kerkelijk getrouwde koppels te begeleiden "omdat seksueel misbruik het meeste voorkomt in het gezin."

Léonard zei dat de bisschoppen zich al uitvoerig hebben geëxcuseerd voor het seksueel misbruik dat door priesters is gepleegd en voor de lakse manier waarop de Kerk daar in het verleden heeft gereageerd. Léonard zei dat hij blij was met zijn oproep van 24 april (na het losbarsten van de zaak-Vangheluwe) tot de slachtoffers om zich te melden, omdat die honderden reacties bij de Commissie-Adrianssens had opgeleverd.

20 namen
Sinds hij op 27 februari 2010 bisschop van Mechelen-Brussel werd, heeft Léonard geen enkele nieuwe klacht over een pedofiele priester in zijn bisdom ontvangen. Wel gaf de Commissie-Adriaenssens hem twintig namen over oudere feiten. "Slechts vier vielen onder mijn verantwoordelijkheid en de daders waren allen gepensioneerd. Ik zal alle nodige disciplinaire maatregelen nemen zo gauw ik hun dossiers heb. Want nu heb ik alleen de namen en de dossiers zijn door het gerecht in beslag genomen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Bishop Zubik Denies Priest Sex Abuse Cover-Up

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WPIX

[with video]

PITTSBURGH -- A victim's advocacy group is calling for a federal investigation into claims that Pittsburgh’s bishop ordered the destruction of records detailing pedophilia and other forms of sexual abuse by priests while he worked in Green Bay, Wis.

The group Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests, or SNAP, cited a deposition given in November by a high-ranking Catholic Diocese of Green Bay official and wants U.S. attorneys to investigate Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik, who denies the allegations.

"There was never an order issued by me -- nor anyone else -- to destroy documents or evidence contained in the files of priests accused of abuse while I served as bishop of Green Bay," Zubik said. "To the contrary, it had been diocesan practice in Green Bay not to destroy documents in priest files -- even after a priest had died -- if there was litigation involving that priest or any pending claims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

’Vrijwilligers in kerk beschimpt’

NEDERLAND
RKnieuws

ROERMOND (RKnieuws.net) - Medewerkers en vrijwilligers in de kerk worden als gevolg van de aanhoudende reeks onthullingen over seksueel misbruik door geestelijken steeds vaker onheus bejegend.

Dit zegt de Roermondse bisschop Frans Wiertz in een exclusief gesprek met het Limburgs Dagblad. "De koster, de vrijwilliger in de parochie, de koorzanger, de trouwe kerkganger; ze worden door de publiciteit rond seksueel misbruik vaak scheef aangekeken. ‘Wat? Hoor jij nog bij die kerk?’, krijgen ze te horen. Alsof het iets verschrikkelijks is dat zij actief zijn in hun parochie. Natuurlijk moet onze eerste aandacht gaan naar de slachtoffers, die hebben onze volle steun en erkenning nodig. Maar het doet mij toch veel pijn dat zoveel mensen van alles naar het hoofd geslingerd krijgen. Die mensen kunnen zich vaak niet verdedigen tegen de agressiviteit en de hoon die hen ten deel vallen.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Eye Witness to Miraculous events that Haunt Justice Scalia - “Repair the Injustice”

UNITED STATES
ministry Values

By Jim Carney December 22, 2010

I saw nearly two dozen statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary weep in my home, at the rectory, in church, and elsewhere in 1992. The bishop and chancellor of the diocese of Arlington, John Keating and William Reinecke, saw their own statues tear before their eyes at the Chancery. The Blessed Mother wept on television. The Washington Post called the occurrences “unexplainable.” Everybody close to the miraculous events of 1992 knows the truth. Yet for nearly twenty years the diocese of Arlington has stonewalled all inquiries into the matter.

And now we know that the Chancellor of the diocese of Arlington, William Reinecke, who was undoubtedly instrumental in formulating the diocese‘s policy of silence toward the miraculous events—a position effectively ending the Catholic Church’s interest in them— was sadly a man with multiple accusations of pedophilia.

Pope Benedict calls on bishops and cardinals to repair the injustice

Pope Benedict XVI last week told Vatican officials that they must reflect on the
church's culpability in its child sex-abuse scandal. From the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI, in his annual Christmas speech to Bishops and Cardinals, said "We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred." In his traditional, end-of-the-year speech Benedict said revelations of abuse in 2010 reached "an unimaginable dimension" that required the church to accept the "humiliation" as a call for renewal. "We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen," the Pope said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Kindermisbruik: onthutsende cijfers

BELGIE
Knack Weekend

Roger Vangheluwe. Misbruik in de Kerk. Robert Mikelsons in het Hofnarretje in Amsterdam. 2010 lijkt wel het jaar van de pedofilie te zijn. Een weldenkend mens kan dit niet bevatten. Seksueel misbruik van een tiener, een kind, een peuter, ja zelfs baby’s. Met mijn verstand kan ik er niet bij hoe je deze kwetsbare wezens dit kan aandoen. En toch komt seksueel misbruik veel vaker voor dan we ons kunnen inbeelden.

Studies over het probleem blijven relatief schaars. Voor ons eigen land zijn er cijfers beschikbaar uit 2003. In dat jaar registreerde Kind & Gezin 7.779 aangegeven gevallen van kindermishandeling. 1.742 maal ging het om seksueel misbruik. Dat doet Kind & Gezin besluiten dat in Vlaanderen jaarlijks 1,2 kinderen op duizend seksueel misbruikt worden. Een Nederlandse studie uit 2005 stelt dat voor hun 16de 19% van de meisjes en 4% van de jongens bij onze noorderburen slachtoffer wordt van seksueel geweld.

Een Amerikaanse studie (2002) kwam tot de conclusie dat in San Francisco 16% van de meisjes voor hun 18de verjaardag slachtoffer werd van intrafamiliaal seksueel geweld (12% voor hun 14de). 31% van de meisjes gaf aan voor hun 18de slachtoffer te zijn geweest van extrafamiliaal seksueel misbruik (20% voor hun 14de). 38% van de meisjes had dergelijke ervaring binnen of buiten de familiale context voor hun 18de. Amper 2% van de gevallen van intrafamiliaal en 6% van de gevallen van extrafamiliaal geweld werd bij de politie aangegeven. Ronduit onthutsende cijfers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

New Clergy Sexual Abuse Revelations Prompt VOTF to Reaffirm Its 10 Steps to Resolve Scandal

UNITED STATES
PRLog

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) – Dec 21, 2010 – Fresh, seemingly daily, revelations of clergy sexual abuse continue roiling the worldwide Roman Catholic Church and have prompted Voice of the Faithful (http://www.votf.org) to reaffirm its 10-step program to help resolve the scandal and institute church reforms.

Two recent revelations in particular demonstrate the scandal’s broad extent and underscore the need to heed suggestions like those VOTF has made for resolving it, no matter what Church hierarchy claims about the sexual abuse scandal being behind us.

In one such revelation, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers was cited in a Newark Star Ledger story earlier this month for “shielding at least four priests accused of sexual abuse” since 2002, when he and the nation’s bishops gathered in Dallas to “craft a policy intended to cleanse the priesthood of pedophiles and restore trust among shaken American Catholics.” In ratifying the Dallas Charter, the Ledger continues, he and “his colleagues promised a new era of reform and transparency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

IRELAND: Murphy Report Chapter 19 ...

IRELAND
Startpagina

Compiled by drs. Pieter Schultz, information professional, web editor, indexer & theologian (master thesis: conflict & religion)

DUTCH

•Gerechtelijk rapport: Kerk dekte daden notoire pedofiele priester toe [IE; Rorate / RKnieuws.net] http://alturl.com/u4a7g
ENGLISH

•Murphy Report chapter can be published [IE; RTE News] http://alturl.com/fv8gd
•Murphy report chapter to be published [IE; TV3] http://alturl.com/mpafy
•Abuse report chapter cleared / PATSY McGARRY [IE; Irish Times] http://alturl.com/kxo9r
•Withheld Murphy Report chapter can now be published [IE; The Journal] http://alturl.com/68ukq
•Chapter 19 of the Murphy Report will reveal information on the singing priest / By CATHY HAYES [IE; IrishCentral] http://alturl.com/dkxst

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

"Wij hebben de waarheid nooit willen wegstoppen"

BELGIE
De Redactie

Aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard heeft getuigd in de Kamercommissie over seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk. Net als kardinaal Godfried Danneels gisteren neemt hij geen persoonlijke verantwoordelijkheid op. Léonard heeft wel maatregelen aangekondigd binnen de Belgische katholieke kerk.

Na de getuigenis van kardinaal Godfried Danneels gisteren werd vandaag met heel wat aandacht uitgekeken naar wat aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard zou vertellen voor de commissie. Onder massale persbelangstelling nam Léonard plaats om zijn verklaring -alleen in het Frans- voor te lezen.

"Ik zit hier vandaag in drie hoedanigheden, als voormalig bisschop van Namen, als aartsbisschop van Mechelen-Brussel en, in die functie, als voorzitter van de bisschoppenconferentie", vatte Léonard aan. Hij stelde nadien nadrukkelijk dat hij als aartsbisschop van Mechelen-Brussel alleen zeggenschap heeft over wat er in dat bisdom gebeurt, niet over de andere bisdommen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Rik Torfs wil niet weten van laïcisering

BELGIE
Vandaag

Priesters die zich schuldig hebben gemaakt aan seksueel misbruik moeten uit hun ambt ontheven worden. Dat is de straf die heel wat mensen eisen. Die laïcisering, de terugkeer naar het lekendom, vindt CD&V-senator Rik Torfs echter een slecht idee.

De kerkjurist vindt het logisch dat de geestelijke op non-actief moet worden gezet. "Maar door de laïcisering wordt de laatste band met het bisdom, met de kerk doorgeknipt", aldus Torfs op Radio 1. "Dan heeft niemand nog controle over hem. Zo zou het risico ontstaan dat de priester als een ongeleid projectiel in de maatschappij terechtkomt en dat hij nog meer slachtoffers maakt."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Pedophile priest in San Francisco denied bail before extradition to Ireland

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Irish Central

By CATHY HAYES, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Patrick Joseph McCabe, a former Catholic priest and pedophile has been denied bail by a San Francisco federal judge. McCabe is awaiting extradition to Ireland on six counts of abuse while there are also mounting legal actions being taken over his abuse of schoolboys in his former Santa Rosa parish.

McCabe, now aged 74, was arrested in California this year. He has been accused of abusing six boys in Ireland from 1973 to 1981. Now other American men have come forward claiming they were also abused by McCabe when he worked in their California parish.

According California’s Court House News Service McCabe has made six requests for bail. The court has said that he is “flatly mistaken in his interpretation of the law”. However, McCabe argues that he deserves bail due to his bad health and because if he were in Ireland he would be given bail. He also claimed that the charges against him have been delayed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Press Release: Mystery of Monsignor Accused of Molesting...

CALIFORNIA
American Banking & Market News

Torrance, CA, December 22, 2010 –(PR.com)– Outskirts Press, Inc. has published Book of Redemption by Evon Smith. The author’s most recent book to date is a 5 x 8 paperback in the mystery and detective fiction category and is available worldwide on book retailer websites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. ...

An elderly priest has been found dead. The police investigation by the LAPD has begun to determine whether Monsignor Leland committed suicide or was murdered. Monsignor Leland had been accused of molesting young boys many years ago, though no charges were ever filed.

A Los Angeles Times staff writer, Marco Vori, is writing an investigative series regarding the priest sex abuse in the Catholic Church when Monsignor Leland contacts him to provide information regarding his investigative series. Now the priest has been found dead and Marco Vori is missing. Days later, Marco’s best friend, Elizabeth Pearson, begins receiving e-mails from the dead priest asking her if she’s received “the book.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Bishop Zubik Denies Accusations Of Abuse Cover-Up

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WTAE

PITTSBURGH -- An abuse survivors group is leveling accusations that Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik was involved in destroying records concerning priests in Green Bay.

Channel 4 Action News' Amber Nicotra reported that a survivors network of those who allege they were abused by priests, also knows as SNAP, has called for a federal investigation, claiming Zubik ordered the destruction of records detailing sex abuse by priests in Green Bay.

On Wednesday, Zubik spoke to Channel 4 Action News and defended himself against the accusations that he destroyed files and denied any kind of wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

DUITSE BISSCHOPPEN KONDIGEN FINANCIËLE VERGOEDING AAN VOOR MISBRUIKSLACHTOFFERS

DUITSLAND
KerkNet

BRUSSEL (KerkNet/DieWelt) – De referent voor misbruik van de Duitse bisschoppen, bisschop Stephan Ackermann van Trier, stelt een financiële vergoeding in het vooruitzicht voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik door geestelijken. De bisschop vermijdt bewust het woord ‘schadevergoeding’ en spreekt over ‘een erkenning van het geleden leed’. Omvang van het bedrag en de criteria voor de vaststelling daarvan moeten volgens de bisschop vastgelegd worden door de werkgroep die Duitse Bondsregering daarvoor heeft opgericht. Bisschop Ackermann beklemtoont dat de financiële vergoeding slechts een van de maatregelen is die de Duitse bisschoppen aan de werkgroep hebben voorgesteld.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

MGR. LEONARD VOOR DE BIJZONDERE COMMISSIE SEKSUEEL MISBRUIK

BELGIE
KerkNet

BRUSSEL (KerkNet/IPID) - Als laatste van de Belgische bisschoppen werd vanmorgen ook mgr. André-Joseph Léonard, aartsbisschop van Mechelen-Brussel, gehoord door de Bijzondere commissie seksueel misbruik.

Zoals kardinaal Danneels dat gisteren al deed, onderstreepte mgr. Léonard bij het begin van zijn betoog dat hij als aartsbisschop van Mechelen-Brussel (sinds 27 februari dit jaar) enkel en alleen bevoegd is voor zijn aartsbisdom en dat zijn rol als voorzitter van de bisschoppenconferentie beperkt is tot die van coördinator en een enkele keer inspirator van deze conferentie, die overigens geen beleidsorgaan is, maar in eerste instantie een adviserende bevoegdheid heef

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Kardinaal Danneels gehoord door commissie

BELGIE
NOS

Video

De voormalig aartsbisschop van Belgie, kardinaal Danneels, heeft zijn excuses aangeboden voor het seksueel misbruik in de kerk. De verontwaardiging over al dit misbruik was zo groot, dat een parlementaire onderzoekscommissie werd opgericht. En die pakte vandaag de ex-aartsbisschop stevig aan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

'Vrijwilligers in kerk beschimpt'

NEDERLAND
Limburgs Dagblad

Medewerkers en vrijwilligers in de kerk worden als gevolg van de aanhoudende reeks onthullingen over seksueel misbruik door geestelijken steeds vaker onheus bejegend.
Roermond

Door Wim Doesborgh

Dit zegt de Roermondse bisschop Frans Wiertz in een exclusief gesprek met deze krant. "De koster, de vrijwilliger in de parochie, de koorzanger, de trouwe kerkganger; ze worden door de publiciteit rond seksueel misbruik vaak scheef aangekeken. ‘Wat? Hoor jij nog bij die kerk?', krijgen ze te horen. Alsof het iets verschrikkelijks is dat zij actief zijn in hun parochie. Natuurlijk moet onze eerste aandacht gaan naar de slachtoffers, die hebben onze volle steun en erkenning nodig. Maar het doet mij toch veel pijn dat zoveel mensen van alles naar het hoofd geslingerd krijgen. Die mensen kunnen zich vaak niet verdedigen tegen de agressiviteit en de hoon die hen ten deel vallen.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

«Kerk dacht te vaak aan zichzelf»

BELGIE
Metro Times

Onder massale mediabelangstemming benadrukte Danneels gisteren dat hij geschokt was door de vele verhalen over misbruik door pedofiele geestelijken. «Wat ik voelde, ging van schaamte over boosheid tot de vaste wil om iets te ondernemen», zei Danneels. «Als bisschop excuseer ik mij als een goede huisvader in de grote familie die de kerk is. Ik wil uitdrukkelijk hun leed erkennen en duidelijk mijn afschuw uitspreken voor wat de slachtoffers is aangedaan door dienaars van de Kerk.»

Hoewel de kardinaal zich verontschuldigde tegenover de slachtoffers voelt hij zich niet persoonlijk verantwoordelijk. De klachten waar hij weet van had, heeft Danneels naar de juiste mensen doorverwezen, verklaarde hij.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Victims blast diocese for destroying priests’ psychological records

GREEN BAY (WI)
Catholic Culture

December 22, 2010
The Diocese of Green Bay destroyed some priests’ psychological records in 2007 in order to comply with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the diocese’s vicar general said in a recent deposition. A diocesan spokesman said that these records were destroyed only in cases in which priests were deceased and there was no pending court litigation related to abuse.

“There was never an order issued by me-- nor anyone else-- to destroy documents or evidence contained in the files of priests accused of abuse while I served as bishop of Green Bay,” insisted Bishop David Zubik, now bishop of Pittsburgh. “To the contrary, it had been diocesan practice in Green Bay not to destroy documents in priest files-- even after a priest had died-- if there was litigation involving that priest or any pending claims. I reinforced that practice by having it formally written into the diocesan records retention policy in 2007.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Nothing to See Here

GREEN BAY (WI)
The Fifth Column

WBAY in Green Bay, Wisconsin reports that the Green Bay Diocese is being accused of having destroyed files associated with pedophile priests. The authorities frown on the destruction of evidence.

Notice how the diocese denies the claim:

"In 2006 the diocese issued a 146-page document that covered all diocesan departments. All files of every department are covered in this 146-page document. This was not done just to deal with clergy files; this was a matter of good management," Reilly said.

"Our record retention policy clearly states that no documents are destroyed if there is pending litigation. That practice and policy has been completely adhered to," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Professor Rhonheimer Writes. And the Holy Office Agrees

ROME
Chiesa

by Sandro Magister

ROME, December 22, 2010 – The discussion on sexual morality ignited by Benedict XVI in a passage of his book-length interview "Light of the World" keeps moving higher and higher.

Yesterday afternoon, Professor Martin Rhonheimer, a priest of Opus Dei and a professor, in Rome, at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, gave www.chiesa exclusive rights to an extensive reflection he wrote in elaboration and development on the sketchy comments offered by the pope.

And at the same time, "L'Osservatore Romano" went to press with a note from the congregation for the doctrine of the faith on "the trivialization of sexuality, regarding certain interpretations of 'Light of the World'." A note published simultaneously in six languages on the Vatican website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Time to remove those who turned blind eye to abuse

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

The public mood in the Republic is for the prosecution and incarceration of Church leaders who facilitated child clerical abusers by following canon law confidentiality, rather than the due process of civil and criminal law.

This mood has hardened after a week in which Irish Catholics went through, yet again, the horror wringer with the delayed publication of chapter 19 of the Murphy Report about how Church authorities in the Dublin archdiocese failed hundreds of working-class children by allowing 'the most notorious child abuser', Tony Walsh, to rape for at least two decades.

For the past six years, the public has been put through this wringer, with the Ferns Report, the Ryan and Murphy reports - and is bracing itself for the pending report on ex-Bishop John Magee and the diocese of Cloyne. But, so far, not one senior cleric has been brought to book. Last week, too, UTV's Insight programme broadcast the plea of a woman, raped in Cavan in 1993 when she was only 12 by 'the devil Brendan Smyth', for Cardinal Brady to resign as Primate of All Ireland. Her case is based on the fact her life would not have been ruined if 18 years earlier the then Fr Sean Brady had informed gardai about Smyth's criminality rather than swear to secrecy under canon law two of the Norbertine monk's child victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Léonard: Kerk heeft waarheid nooit willen verbergen

BELGIE
Knack

Aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard meent dat het momenteel niet aan de bisdommen is om in te staan voor schadevergoedingen aan slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik, maar dat het gerecht eerst zijn werk moet doen. Volgens Léonard heeft de kerk de waarheid nooit willen verbergen.

Dat heeft hij woensdag gezegd in de bijzondere Kamercommissie seksueel misbruik. Léonard getuigde er woensdag, daags na kardinaal Godfried Danneels. Danneels stelde toen een initiatief van de bisschoppenconferentie inzake schadevergoedingen in het vooruitzicht, maar Léonard was voorzichtiger.

De aartsbisschop verwees naar de oproep die hij na het ontslag van Roger Vangheluwe deed aan slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik om zich te melden bij het gerecht of bij de commissie-Adriaenssens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Aartsbisschop: schadevergoeding zaak justitie

BELGIE
De Telegraaf

wo 22 dec 2010

BRUSSEL - De Belgische aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard vindt dat het aan justitie is om schadevergoedingen op te leggen aan het instituut dat verantwoordelijk is voor een dader van misbruik. Dat zei hij woensdag voor de commissie kindermisbruik in het Belgische parlement. Net als kardinaal Godfried Danneels dinsdag, nam Léonard geen persoonlijke verantwoordelijkheid.

Sinds hij aartsbisschop is, heeft hij geen enkele klacht over een priester van zijn bisdom heeft ontvangen, aldus Léonard . Wel kreeg hij een lijst van twintig vermeende daders van de commissie die het misbruik binnen de kerk onderzocht. Hij ontving slechts de namen want de dossiers zijn in handen van justitie. Als bisschop van Namen had hij weet van zeven gevallen van misbruik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Verontschuldigingen alleen volstaan niet

BELGIE
Gazet van Antwerpen

Kardinaal Godfried Danneels heeft gisteren in de Kamercommissie Seksueel Misbruik een andere, veel nederiger toon aangeslagen over de misbruiken door pedofiele priesters dan na de onthulling van de tapes met zijn gesprek met een slachtoffer van de voormalige Brugse bisschop Roger Vangheluwe. Toen probeerde hij vruchteloos de imagoschade voor de Kerk te beperken en kwam hij bijzonder koel en arrogant over.

Die houding kwam hem binnen en buiten de Kerk op scherpe en bittere kritiek te staan. In de commissie heeft Danneels zijn verontschuldigingen aangeboden aan de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de Kerk. Hij erkende dat de Kerk veel te lang enkel aan zichzelf en de priesters heeft gedacht en niet aan de slachtoffers. Dat kan tellen, maar of dit volstaat om het gebrek aan daadkracht te verantwoorden is een andere kwestie. Het argument dat elke bisschop verantwoordelijk is voor wat er in zijn bisdom gebeurt en alleen daar initiatieven kan nemen is allerminst overtuigend en klinkt veeleer als een flauw excuus voor het lankmoedig optreden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Politieke agenda’s sturen Kamercommissie seksueel misbruik

BELGIE
RKnieuws

BRUSSEL (RKnieuws.net) - Aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard sluit vandaag de rij bisschoppen die op het appel verschenen in de Bijzondere commissie betreffende de behandeling van seksueel misbruik en feiten van pedofilie binnen een gezagsrelatie, inzonderheid binnen de kerk. De hoorzittingen in de Kamer brachten de politieke agenda’s aan het licht.

De bisschoppen gaven telkens eerst een overzicht van de meldingen en de aanpak van seksueel misbruik in hun bisdom en tijdens hun ambtsperiode. Nadien stelden de commissieleden vragen. Hun spervuur wekte soms de indruk van een tribunaal, waarbij enkele leden ook een oordeel vellen over wat de kerk en de bisschoppen zouden moeten doen. Het komt nochtans niet de staat toe te formuleren hoe de kerk zich dient te organiseren. De commissie moet daarentegen het functioneren van de staat en het gerecht controleren.

Tot het vaste vragenlijstje van de commissieleden behoorden de vertrouwelijke dossiers uit het ‘geheime archief’, de samenwerking tussen de bisschoppen, de eventuele contacten tussen de bisdommen en justitie, de verhouding tussen burgerlijk en kerkelijk recht, de bereidheid om samen te werken met justitie, de bestraffing van priesters en de mate waarin daders na het volbrengen van probatievoorwaarden of therapie al of niet nog een taak in de kerk kunnen opnemen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Slachtoffers willen schadevergoeding van kerk

NEDERLAND
RTV Oost

Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik uit Albergen en Arnhem gaan samen optrekken om een schadevergoeding te krijgen van de katholieke kerk.

Het gaat om slachtoffers van een pastor uit Albergen, die ook kapelaan was in Arnhem. Gisteravond was er een bijeenkomst van de slachtoffers, waar is gepraat over 't misbruik. Wat opviel was dat de pastor in alle gevallen dezelfde werkwijze had. Op de bijeenkomsten vertelden ook veel slachtoffers over de psychologische problemen die zijn veroorzaakt door 't misbruik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Danneels slaat geen mea culpa

BELGIE
Nieuws

[video]

Kardinaal Danneels heeft vandaag voor de parlementaire commissie seksueel misbruik geen mea culpa geslagen. Hij heeft wel zijn excuses aangeboden in naam van de kerk. Vtm-journalist Barend Leyts geeft meer uitleg vanuit het parlement in Brussel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Zubik defends action on priests in sex abuse

GREEN BAY (WI)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Victim advocates have accused Bishop David Zubik of destroying the records of sex-abusing priests when he was bishop of Green Bay, Wis., but the bishop says he was following medical privacy law, didn't single out abusers and didn't destroy records with legal action pending.

"The accusations made by SNAP are totally without substance," he said in a statement.

"There was never an order issued by me -- nor anyone else -- to destroy documents or evidence contained in the files of priests accused of abuse while I served as bishop of Green Bay. To the contrary, it had been diocesan practice in Green Bay not to destroy documents in priest files -- even after a priest had died -- if there was litigation involving that priest or any pending claims. I reinforced that practice by having it formally written into the diocesan records retention policy in 2007."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

SNAP calls for federal investigation into GB Diocese

GREEN BAY (WI)
WLUK

Reporter: Mark Leland
GREEN BAY - The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is calling for a federal investigation into what it claims is obstruction of justice on the part of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is being accused of destroying files on known pedophile priests.

"This is a serious and deliberate act of evidence destruction that a corporation could possibly engage itself in," said Peter Isely, Midwest Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

SNAP Calling on Feds to Investigate Green Bay Diocese

GREEN BAY (WI)
WTAQ

[Fr. John Doerfler deposition]

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WTAQ) - The Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is calling for a federal investigation into the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

SNAP points to Father John Doerfler, who said that the diocese destroyed documents on some priests, while testifying in the case of convicted pedophile priest John Feeney.

The Diocese's Deacon Tim Reilly responded to the claim.

"We have a standing policy that, if there's any litigation that is pending, we do not destroy any documents," Reilly said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Haitians say they're relieved by Perlitz sentence

NEW HAVEN (CT)
CT Post

John Burgeson, Staff Writer
Published: 12:14 a.m., Wednesday, December 22, 2010

NEW HAVEN -- The 130 people who packed the stuffy federal courtroom remained transfixed through nearly seven hours of testimony Tuesday, as federal prosecutors constructed their case to keep Douglas Perlitz behind bars for nearly two decades.

There was a contingent of about 30 Haitians in the courtroom, and all of them seemed relieved and happy when U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton agreed with prosecutors and sentenced Perlitz to nearly 20 years in prison.

"This is a credit to the American government and the American people," said Louis Elneus, who works in Haiti's rural school districts. "The judge was thorough, thoughtful -- and she's right. We're very happy that Doug is away, and at least his victims will find some sort of satisfaction from this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Luxembourg losing faith in the Catholic church

LUXEMBOURG
352 Lux Mag

21.12.2010 - People are fleeing the Catholic church in the Grand Duchy due to recent scandals.

Why are people losing faith?
Sexual abuse revelations from members of the church, unfullfilled aspirations, attitudes of the clergy and personal indecision have all played a part in the recent downsizing of Luxembourg's Catholic community.

The portal sokrates.lu, an initiative of the Liberté de conscience (Libco - "Freedom of conscience"), an organisation that celebrates the separation of church and state, guides members on how to leave the church if they feel they have lost faith. The website asks members to download and sign a letter available on the website fraiheet.lu and send it to Libco. It is then passed on to the archdiocese, the members' local parish and the Ministry of State. Libco has unregistered more than 2,500 members from the church since its inception, according to French daily L'essential. In total, it estimates that around 7,000 people have left the church across the country since 2009.

History of Roman Catholicism in Luxembourg
Christianity has always been incredibly popular in the Grand Duchy. Currently it is estimated that 87% of citizens are registered as Roman Catholics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

From Scandal to Catholicism

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Dr. Jeff Mirus | December 21, 2010

In one of his major statements of the year, the Christmas address to the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict XVI was (as our Catholic World News Service put it) unsparing in his analysis of the sex abuse scandal. By this we mean that he put full blame on all the bishops and priests who played any role in fostering or protecting a culture of abuse, as well as on those who were actually directly guilty of abuse. The Holy Father also had the courage to point out the moral failure endemic to modern culture, which ultimately infected the Church herself.

Many commentators believe that we Catholics should not point out larger cultural problems, because it looks too much like special pleading. But in fact it goes without saying that clerical sexual abuse is an abomination, and it takes no moral courage at all to condemn it vehemently. The way of courage lies in pointing out what either is not obvious or is deliberately obscured, and in fact too many commentators still refuse—I use the word advisedly—to recognize the connection between priestly sexual abuse and the larger culture, just as they refuse to take their share of responsibility for the creation of a culture which is profoundly sexually abusive in general—a culture actually built to an astonishing degree on the quest for selfish sexual gratification.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Parker Hill, ex-youth group leader sued by parents of molested boy

PENNSYLVANIA
The Times-Tribune

By Joe McDonald (Staff Writer)

The parents of a teenage boy who was molested by a former church youth group leader sued Parker Hill Community Church and the former youth leader Tuesday in Lackawanna County Court.

The former youth leader, Joshua W. Landis, was sentenced in October by Judge Michael J. Barrasse to 12-to-60 months in state prison for unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of a minor. Judge Barrasse classified Mr. Landis as a sexually violent predator.

The suit, filed by Scranton attorney Kevin P. Foley, claims the church fostered an atmosphere in which Mr. Landis "felt he could engage in sexual abuse of children without fear of being investigated, disciplined or referred for criminal prosecution."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Cardinal Daneels: Belgian Church must renounce self-centered mentality in response to abuse

BELGIUM
Catholic News Agency

Brussels, Belgium, Dec 21, 2010 / 07:38 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Godfried Daneels has said that the Catholic Church in Belgium must “look its dark side in the eyes” and renounce a mentality which thinks more about itself and not about victims of sexual abuse.

Cardinal Daneels, the retired Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, on Dec. 21 addressed a parliamentary panel investigating priests’ sexual abuse of children. He said the Church should move away from an arrogant age of “class mentality,” the Associated Press reports.

It was once impossible for an abused child to tell his or her parents that a priest was the culprit, the cardinal said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Diocese’s response to obstruction of justice claims

GREEN BAY (WI)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. (Dec. 21, 2010) – Amid allegations of obstruction of justice, the Diocese of Green Bay says it will vigorously defend itself and demonstrate its innocence when the Merryfield case, a pending civil case, moves on to a jury trial in Outagamie County.

Attorneys for Troy and Todd Merryfield submitted a “Motion to Prevent Document Destruction” in Outagamie Circuit Court on November 15, 2010. Attorneys for the Diocese of Green Bay filed a brief in opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion on November 23, 2010.

The Diocese of Green Bay has reported every credible allegation of sexual abuse against a minor by a member of the clergy to the appropriate District Attorney of the county in which the alleged incident occurred. The Diocese cooperated completely with law enforcement authorities in every one of those cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Perlitz sentenced to nearly 20 years for sex abuse in Haiti

NEW HAVEN (CT)
News Times

Michael P. Mayko, Staff Writer
Published: 10:27 p.m., Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NEW HAVEN -- It's a story filled with chapters on hope, dark desires, courage and persistence.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton wrote another one -- on justice -- sentencing Douglas Perlitz, the humanitarian turned sex predator, to 19 years and seven months in federal prison for his systematic and prolonged abuse of at least 16 homeless boys in a program he created to shelter, feed and educate them in Haiti.

"Our country places a high value on defending citizens' individual dignity and protecting every child," Arterton told Perlitz, 40, Fairfield University's 2002 commencement speaker. "This was a horrific crime ... In a country that's very hard to live in; he took away the childhood they were never able to have... ."

But Arterton didn't stop there. She looked directly at Perlitz and told him: "Survivors of sexual abuse have unique, long-lasting permanent injuries -- for these boys that's on top of being poor, hungry and homeless in Haiti. Now they have fingers pointed at them in derision."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Survivors group seeks investigation of Green Bay diocese

GREEN BAY (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Victims of clergy sex abuse on Tuesday asked federal prosecutors to investigate the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay for obstruction of justice, accusing it of destroying documents related to priests' sexual abuse of children.

Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, met with Assistant U.S. Attorney William Roach in the Green Bay office of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

They delivered a transcript of a November deposition in which Green Bay Chancellor Father John Doerfler detailed the destruction of documents on priests, beginning in 2007 - the same year the Wisconsin Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for victims to sue the church under the state's fraud statutes.

"What they're doing is destroying evidence of child sex crimes. It's absolutely appalling," said John Pilmaier, SNAP's Midwest co-director, who took part in a news conference Tuesday outside the federal courthouse in Green Bay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik denies cover-up of files

GREEN BAY (WI)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Bob Bauder
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A victims' advocacy group Tuesday called for a federal investigation into claims that Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik ordered the destruction of records detailing pedophilia and other forms of sexual abuse by priests in Green Bay, Wis.

Zubik denied the allegations.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests cited a deposition given in November by a high-ranking Catholic Diocese of Green Bay official calling on U.S. Attorney James Santelle to investigate Zubik and Green Bay Bishop David L. Ricken.

"Our first concern is the destruction of criminal evidence," Peter Isely, SNAP's Midwest director, said shortly before a news conference yesterday outside the federal courthouse in Green Bay. "We want (Santelle) to order them to stop doing it. We also want him to look for possible criminal charges."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

SNAP Alleges Diocese Destroyed Documents

GREEN BAY (WI)
WFRV

[with video]

WFRV News

GREEN BAY (WFRV) An organization for victims of priest abuse is accusing the Green Bay Catholic Diocese of destroying secret evidence on pedophile clergy.

The survivors network of those abused by priests, also known as SNAP, wants federal attorneys to investigate the diocese for possible obstruction of justice.

It points to a recent court deposition of Father John Doerfler. In that deposition Doerfler allegedly admits Bishop David Zubick ordered documents be destroyed concerning an unknown number of clergy who sexually assaulted children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

SNAP accuses Green Bay diocese of destroying evidence

GREEN BAY (WI)
Press-Gazette

[letter to the U.S. Attorney's office]

[statement from the Green Bay diocese]

By Paul Srubas • psrubas@greenbaypressgazette.com • December 22, 2010

A group that represents victims of clergy sex abuse has accused the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay of embarking on a policy to destroy potential evidence in clergy abuse cases.

"It's an intentional, deliberate act of destroying what's in the file," said Peter Isely, Midwest director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. "This is a potential record of crimes committed against us, and criminal evidence, and it's evidence of potential fraud, which is the concealment or transference of clerics" guilty of sexual abuse.

The diocese denied the accusations Tuesday, saying it continues to be cooperative with victims of sex abuse cases but has been following a records management policy that has been in place for the last four years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 AM

December 21, 2010

Letter from SNAP to US Attorney's Office

GREEN BAY (WI)
WBAY

Letter from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests to the U.S. Attorney's Office, provided to Action 2 News:

December 21, 2010

To: James Santelle, United States Attorney, Eastern District of Wisconsin
From: Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Re: Destruction of evidence by Green Bay diocese of child sex crimes by priests, concealment and transfer of known sex offender clergy

Mr. Santelle,

I am writing on behalf of childhood victims of rape, sexual assault and abuse by clergy sex offenders in Wisconsin and our families. SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) is the oldest and largest self help organization of survivors of clergy sex crimes in the world. SNAP was founded in 1989 and currently has over 10,000 members in the United States alone.

In February of 2005, a lawsuit was filed in Milwaukee County alleging fraud on behalf of the archbishop of Milwaukee and several senior managers of the archdiocese for concealing and transferring known sex offenders without notification to work with children and families in parishes and schools. That such a pattern and practice exists has been well established in thousands of now documented cases of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy around the United States. A national study by John Jay College of Criminal justice completed in 2004 and appended on a yearly basis, concluded that over 5,000 clergy have sexually assaulted children in the United States over the past decades; the vast majority were known to have committed these crimes by their superiors. Since 2005, cases on behalf of victims in the diocese of La Crosse and Green Bay have also been filed in civil courts alleging similar fraud.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

De tragiek van de kardinaal

BELGIE
De Standaard

woensdag 22 december 2010

Auteur: BART STURTEWAGEN

Het waren sterke woorden waarmee kardinaal Godfried Danneels gisteren in de kamercommissie seksueel misbruik opende. Hij sprak over de schok en de afschuw die hij had ervaren bij de publicatie van het rapport-Adriaenssens. Daarin stonden tientallen en tientallen onthutsende getuigenissen, vaak decennia oud. Hij sprak erover hoe zijn gevoelens evolueerden van schaamte, over woede, naar de vastberaden wil om iets te doen.

Hij bracht ook excuses naar voren, weliswaar niet over enige persoonlijke tekortkoming, maar 'als huisvader'. Hij erkende dat de Kerk meer aan zichzelf of aan de betrokken priesters dacht dan aan het leed dat de slachtoffers was aangedaan. Hij sprak ook zijn respect en bewondering uit voor die slachtoffers die de moed hadden opgebracht om hun pijn uit te spreken en naar voren te treden.

Het belangrijkste was wellicht nog dat hij erkende dat het uiteindelijk om misbruik van macht ging. Dat daders zich binnen de Kerk onaantastbaar wisten en in staat waren om zwijgen af te dwingen. Daarmee kwam hij dichter dan voorheen bij het besef dat wat na het ontslag van de West-Vlaamse bisschop Roger Vangheluwe naar boven kwam, niet de gevolgen waren van spijtige misstappen door individuele daders - de rotte-appeltheorie - maar de nasleep van een benepen en gevoelsarme cultuur waarin dit soort zaken niet bespreekbaar of zelfs niet benoembaar was. Het was de peilloze onmacht daarover die zoveel jaren later nog zulke diepe wonden zichtbaar maakt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

De waarheid als voetnoot

BELGIE
De Standaard

RIK TORFS is teleurgesteld over wat een spraakmakende zitting had moeten worden van de commissie seksueel misbruik: de kardinaal mocht zich te zeer gedeisd houden en de commissieleden misten de juiste scherpte.

Vooroordelen zijn er om bevestigd te worden. Soms toch. Ik verwachtte niet veel van het verhoor door de commissie seksueel misbruik waaraan kardinaal Danneels gisterenmorgen werd onderworpen. En inderdaad, de kardinaal schitterde niet meteen. De commissie evenmin.

De kardinaal

De kardinaal kwam niet over als iemand die met grote daadkracht optrad. Hij is een kind van zijn tijd en zijn Kerk. Als iets discreet kan worden geregeld, waarom er dan veel poeha rond maken? De onderliggende gedachte was: afwezigheid van discussie wijst op een gezonde Kerk. Lang geloofden externe waarnemers dat. In Nederland kwam Danneels over als een wijs man, die de boel bij elkaar hield, terwijl de Nederlandse bisschoppen vechtend over de straatstenen rolden. Ik herinner mij hoe Siegfried Bracke, toen hij nog journalist was, de kardinaal geregeld loofde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Misguided compassion fueled sex-abuse scandal in Ireland

IRELAND
Catholic Culture

December 21, 2010
The sex-abuse scandal in Ireland is partly attributable to a misguided compassion, which led Church officials to downplay the evidence of clerical misconduct, a leading Irish Catholic analyst argues.

David Quinn notes Chapter 19 of the Murphy Commission report on abuse in the Dublin archdiocese shows the influence of Msgr. Gerard Sheehy, the top canon lawyer for the archdiocese, who argued persistently against disciplinary action in the case of Tony Walsh, a notorious pedophile.

(Chapter 19 of the Murphy Report had been withheld from publication until the conclusion of criminal proceedings against Walsh. The chapter was made public last week after Walsh— who had served a previous jail term, and been removed from the priesthood because of his record of molesting children-- was convicted on new sex-abuse charges.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Seksueel Misbruik - Danneels ...”

BELGIE
Focus-WTV

Godelieve Halsberghe, de voorzitster van de commissie voor klachten wegens seksueel misbruik in een pastorale relatie, opereerde vooral alleen en overschreed het mandaat van haar commissie regelmatig. Nadat enkele leden om die reden ontslag hadden genomen, werd de commissie ontbonden en kwam kinderpsychiater Peter Adriaenssens aan het hoofd van een nieuwe commissie. Dat verklaarde kardinaal Godfried Danneels in kamercommissie Seksueel Misbruik.

De commissie moest advies geven aan de bisschoppen, maar naar het einde toe legde Godelieve Halsberghe zelf schadevergoedingen op, wat niet de bedoeling was, zo benadrukte Danneels. Ze werkte ook vaak alleen. Dat alles waren redenen om de commissie te ontbinden en te vervangen door de commissie Adriaenssens.

Heel wat commissieleden hadden vragen bij het feit dat de eerste commissie nauwelijks dossiers binnenkreeg van bisschoppen of slachtoffers, terwijl de commissie-Adriaenssens overstelpt werd met klachten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Man gets nearly 20 years in Haiti sex abuse case

NEW HAVEN (CT)
Bloomberg

By DAVE COLLINS - Dec 21, 2010

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Colorado man has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for sexually abusing children at a school he founded in Haiti.

A federal judge in New Haven, Conn., called Douglas Perlitz a serial rapist and molester as she imposed the 19-year, 7-month sentence on Tuesday.

The 40-year-old from Eagle, Colo., admitted in August to engaging in illicit sexual conduct with eight children who attended the Project Pierre Toussaint School for street children in Cap-Haitien.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Group accuses bishop of destroying abuse-related files

GREEN BAY (WI)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A victims' advocacy group has accused Bishop David Zubik of destroying the records of priest sex abusers when he was bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., but the bishop says he was following federal law regarding medical records and that no cases that were legally active were involved.

"The accusations made by SNAP are totally without substance," he said in a statement yesterday.

"There was never an order issued by me -- nor anyone else -- to destroy documents or evidence contained in the files of priests accused of abuse while I served as bishop of Green Bay. To the contrary, it had been diocesan practice in Green Bay not to destoy documents in priest files -- even after a priest had died -- if there was litigation involving that priest or any pending claims. I reinforced that practice by having it formally written into the diocesan records retention policy in 2007."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Perlitz sentenced to nearly 20 years for sex abuse of Haitian student

NEW HAVEN (CT)
CT Post

Michael P. Mayko and John Burgeson, Staff Writer
Published: 05:51 p.m., Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NEW HAVEN -- Douglas Perlitz was sentenced to 19 years and seven months in a federal prison Tuesday, the maximum sought by prosecutors for his sexual abuse of a Haitain boy at his charitable project.

U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton also gave Perlitz supervised probation for 10 years after his prison stint, and he would have to participate in various alcohol, substance abuse and sex offense programs.

The judge reviewed videotaped testimony from 16 boys. She said it was obvious he abused a total of eight boys.

In a packed courtroom that included several of Perlitz's Haitian victims as well as some of his supporters and family members, U.S. Attorney Krishna Patel argued for the maximum sentence for Perlitz. The 40-year-old Fairfield Univesity graduate took the stand and apologized to his victims, saying he betrayed their trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Pope Benedict, what the Church need are not more "reflections" but financial compensations for victims and a "Catholic Registry of Pedophile Priests"

UNITED STATES
Benedict XVI Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

Benedict XVI’s series of blames and pathological lies go on and on. At St. Peter’s Square last June, he blamed the Devil at the spectacular closing of the Year for Priests before 15,000 priests. Today at the pompous Sala Regia of the Vatican's apostolic palace before Vatican cardinals and bishops gathered for his traditional Christmas speech., he blames child pornography, sexual tourism and moral relativism of 1970s for “child abuse scandal” (a mild ambiguous terminology) for the Priestly Sodomy of Biblical Proportions committed by the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army which he and John Paul II personally covered-up for over a quarter of a century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Antilliaans misbruikonderzoek kerk ligt stil

ANTILLEN
parool

WILLEMSTAD - Het onderzoek dat de commissie-Koeijers doet naar seksueel misbruik binnen de Antilliaanse RK-Kerk, ligt al bijna twee maanden stil. Mensen die seksueel misbruik hebben gemeld, krijgen geen reactie van de commissie. Dat meldde de Wereldomroep dinsdag.

De commissie-Koeijers is vergelijkbaar met de commissie-Deetman. De commissie doet op initiatief van het bisdom Willemstad onafhankelijk onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik binnen rooms-katholieke instellingen op de Antillen. Meldingen die bij de onderzoekscommissie in Nederland binnenkomen, worden doorgestuurd naar de Antilliaanse onderzoekers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Antillaans onderzoek misbruik kerk ligt stil

ANTILLEN/NEDERLAND
MSN Nieuws

(Novum) - De commissie die op de Antillen onderzoek doet naar seksueel misbruik in kerkelijke instellingen heeft sinds half oktober niets gedaan. De twee meldingen die de commissie-Deetman heeft doorgestuurd zijn weken blijven liggen, meldt de Wereldomroep dinsdag. De omroep sprak met commissievoorzitter Ronald Koeijers en de twee slachtoffers.

Een 67-jarige man zou rond 1957 op een kleinseminarie op Curaçao zijn misbruikt. Hij meldde zich bij de commissie-Deetman. Die stuurde de melding zeven weken geleden door naar de commissie op de Antillen. Het slachtoffer heeft nog geen ontvangstbevestiging gehad.

Een tweede melding komt van een 68-jarige vrouw uit Willemstad. Zij zou eind jaren vijftig op het eiland zijn misbruikt. Ook haar melding is niet in behandeling genomen. De vrouw is enkele tientallen jaren geleden naar Nederland geëmigreerd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

LIVE. Kardinaal Godfried Danneels: 'Ikzelf heb nooit gezwegen over de feiten'

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

[video]

In de bijzondere kamercommissie die seksueel misbruik in de Kerk onderzoekt, werd vandaag kardinaal Godfried Danneels gehoord.
• Inleiding door commissievoorzitster Karine Lalieux
• Kardinaal Danneels neemt het woord
• De vragenronde van de commissieleden
• Danneels antwoordt

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Boston Cardinal should train staff & flock on abuse response

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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

We call on Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley to initiate training sessions for all church staff and members on the appropriate ways to react when a priest is accused of molesting a child.

Time and time again, we see and hear and read about callous responses – both in public and in private – by Catholic employees and parishioners across the country when abuse reports surface. It’s obvious that the church hierarchy should teach their flock and their staff on ways to support accused predators without silencing their accusers.

On our website, we have a list of 21 suggestions for church members and employees about what to do when a cleric is accused:

What to do when your priest is accused of abuse

Church officials belatedly and begrudgingly agreed to provide abuse prevention training to kids and adults years ago. But that’s different. We believe that church members and employees should get guidance in the proper way to respond once allegations surface, so that victims, witnesses and whistleblowers aren’t intimidated into staying silent but are instead supported so they will speak up, expose wrong-doing, protect kids, help law enforcement and start recovering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Ex-Belgian church leader urges more openness; Sex abuse victims respond

BELGIUM
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Lieve Halsberghe, SNAP Belgium Leader, +32 475 910 918 SNAPBelgium@gmail.com

It’s disingenuous to call for openness while keeping secrets. That’s what Danneels is doing.

If he genuinely wants his colleagues to be more open, he needs to lead the way. We challenge him to publicly disclose what he knows about clergy sex crimes and cover ups right now. For decades, he’s been an ‘insider’ in the Belgian church. There may be no other person in the Catholic hierarchy who knows more than Danneels does about abuse. So instead of telling others what to do, he needs to take his own advice and “come clean” now, so that kids are safer and so that victims can heal

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Catholic Diocese Responds to Claims of Order to Destroy Records

GREEN BAY (WI)
WBAY

Statement from the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay:

Amid allegations of obstruction of justice, the Diocese of Green Bay says it will vigorously defend itself and demonstrate its innocence when the Merryfield case, a pending civil case, moves on to a jury trial in Outagamie County.

Attorneys for Troy and Todd Merryfield submitted a "Motion to Prevent Document Destruction" in Outagamie Circuit Court on November 15, 2010. Attorneys for the Diocese of Green Bay filed a brief in opposition to the plaintiffs' motion on November 23, 2010.

The Diocese of Green Bay has reported every credible allegation of sexual abuse against a minor by a member of the clergy to the appropriate District Attorney of the county in which the alleged incident occurred. The Diocese cooperated completely with law enforcement authorities in every one of those cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Belgian ex-church leader says not responsible for abuse

BELGIUM
MSNBC

Reuters

BRUSSELS — Belgium's former top bishop told a parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday into the sexual abuse of children by clerics that he was not responsible for other Belgian bishops.

Belgium's lower house set up the inquiry to examine an issue that has rocked the Catholic Church worldwide and resulted in hundreds of victims coming forward.

Widespread sexual abuse of minors by Belgian clerics drove at least 13 victims to suicide, a Church commission said in September, recording 475 cases.

Tape recordings released in Belgium this summer made it clear that Cardinal Godfried Danneels was aware of abuse by Bruges Bishop Roger Vangheluwe but had discouraged immediate public statements by the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Five of Perlitz's victims detail abuse at his sentencing

NEW HAVEN (CT)
CT Post

Michael P. Mayko and John Burgeson, Staff Writer
Published: 02:31 p.m., Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NEW HAVEN -- Five Haitian boys told a packed federal courtroom this morning of how Douglas Perlitz repeatedly had sex with them and warned them not to reveal those encounters. Perlitz is scheduled to take the stand this afternoon, as a federal judge weighs sentencing for the former humanitarian convicted of one count of abusing a boy at the Haitian charity he founded.

All told, the five boys, now in their early 20s, said the abuse went on for several years and started when they were as young as 11. Some said Perlitz encouraged them to have sex in exchange for money and favors. One boy testified that Perlitz would give him rum and coke to drink before sex.

The boys' testimony was so wrenching that one Haitian man in the gallery broke down in tears. One of the five boys, who were identified only by the initials of their names, said he believed Perlitz had sex with as many as 22 boys at his school and shelter. The boy testified he was pressured by staff there not to reveal the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Haitian Children Testify On Douglas Perlitz's Abuse

NEW HAVEN (CT)
The Huffington Post

Dave Collins

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Six young Haitian men detailed sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of an American man who ran a school in their impoverished Caribbean nation, testifying at a sentencing hearing Tuesday that he threatened to throw them out if they did not submit.

The victims were flown from Haiti to testify against 40-year-old Douglas Perlitz, who was to be sentenced Tuesday afternoon in New Haven federal court.

"He always told me, 'Don't tell anybody about it. If you tell anybody about it, I will put you out on the street,'" one victim said through an Creole interpreter. He said Perlitz first abused him in 1998 and once sodomized him after plying him with rum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

6 victims testify at sentencing for man who sexually abused homeless Haitian children

NEW HAVEN (CT)
Daily Reporter

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Six young Haitian men detailed sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of an American man who ran a school in their impoverished Caribbean nation, testifying at a sentencing hearing Tuesday that he threatened to throw them out if they did not submit.

The victims were flown from Haiti to testify against 40-year-old Douglas Perlitz, who was to be sentenced Tuesday afternoon in New Haven federal court.

"He always told me, 'Don't tell anybody about it. If you tell anybody about it, I will put you out on the street,'" one victim said through an Creole interpreter. He said Perlitz first abused him in 1998 and once sodomized him after plying him with rum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

SNAP Claims Green Bay Catholic Diocese Destroyed Records on Pedophile Priests

GREEN BAY (WI)
WBAY

A group supporting people who claim they were sexually abused by priests is raising new allegations today against the Green Bay Catholic Diocese.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says it will drop off a deposition Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Green Bay.

SNAP says the deposition details how Father John Doerfler of the Green Bay diocese revealed a standing order issued in 2007 by then-Bishop David Zubik to destroy secret files about pedophile clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

„Ich habe mich so geschämt“

OSTERREICH
profil

Dompfarrer Toni Faber ist die PR-Rakete der katholischen Kirche. Ein Gespräch über Alleingänge im Vatikan, Groers Sexualmoral, verlorene Führerscheine und Kundenkeilen.

Interview: Angelika Hager

profil: Wie fühlt man sich eigentlich als leitender Angestellter einer Firma, die im vergangenen Jahr von einem Image-GAU in den nächsten gestolpert ist?
Faber: Nicht so schlecht. Weltweit wächst diese seit 2000 Jahren bestehende Firma Gottvater, Sohn & Co ja ständig und hat über 1,2 Milliarden Mitglieder.

profil: Doch für die hiesige Filiale war es ein annus horribilis.
Faber: Das schlimmste: 80.000 Austritte in Österreich, davon um die 23.000 in Wien. Obwohl uns zwei Millionen Euro an Kirchensteuern fehlen, werden wir dennoch ausgeglichen bilanzieren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Belgian cardinal says no 'conscious' sex-abuse cover-up

BELGIUM
Expatica

The former head of Belgium's Roman Catholic Church said Tuesday that top bishops did not "consciously" cover up a child sex abuse scandal going back decades.

Cardinal Godfried Danneels spent four hours being quizzed by Belgian lawmakers at a hearing into the scandal of nearly 500 cases of abuse by priests and church workers since the 1950s, including 13 victims who committed suicide.

Expressing his "horror" at the revelations produced by a church-backed commission this year, Danneels, the church's chief between 1979 and 2009, said "there was no drive to consciously cover up the sexual abuse or deny it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Pope to Curia highlights horror of abuse and splendor of truth

America Magazine

Posted at: Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Author: Austen Ivereigh

It was almost poetic, Pope Benedict's depiction yesterday in his speech to the Curia of the glories of the priesthood --

We realized afresh how beautiful it is that human beings are fully authorized to pronounce in God’s name the word of forgiveness, and are thus able to change the world, to change life; we realized how beautiful it is that human beings may utter the words of consecration, through which the Lord draws a part of the world into himself, and so transforms it at one point in its very substance; we realized how beautiful it is to be able, with the Lord’s strength, to be close to people in their joys and sufferings, in the important moments of their lives and in their dark times; how beautiful it is to have as one’s life task not this or that, but simply human life itself – helping people to open themselves to God and to live from God.

-- which made its bathetic ending all the more powerful:

We were all the more dismayed, then, when in this year of all years and to a degree we could not have imagined, we came to know of abuse of minors committed by priests who twist the sacrament into its antithesis, and under the mantle of the sacred profoundly wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

Some Burning Questions for the Pope

The Huffington Post

Sinead O'Connor

This is an Open Letter to Pope Benedict on behalf of all victims of child sexual abuse by catholic priests; on behalf of all catholic people, and all honorable catholic clergy; on behalf of every media outlet under the sun; and on behalf of The Holy Spirit.
Sir,

Some burning questions arise from the following statement you made in your Christmas address to your cardinals on December 20th regarding how it came to pass that the house of The Holy Spirit became a haven for criminals of a sexual nature.

"In the 1970's pedophilia was theorized [by the church] as something fully in conformity with man and even with children."

Please deign to respond to this letter directly and personally and put aside all the pomp and titles and so-called 'proper channels' -- all of which belong not in the 21st century but the 12th and are unbecoming of Christ.

Exactly who held the theory that pedophilia was fully in conformity with man and with children?

Please give us their names.

Exactly when did they hold this theory?

Exactly when if ever did they cease holding the theory?.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Judge, courtroom hear from Perlitz's victims at his sentencing

NEW HAVEN (CT)
CT Post

Michael P. Mayko, Staff Writer
Published: 12:31 p.m., Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NEW HAVEN -- A courtroom packed with about 135 people listened to two Haitian boys tell of how Douglas Perlitz repeatedly had sex with them, as a federal judge weighed sentencing for the former humanitarian convicted of one count of abusing a boy at the Haitian charity he founded.

Prosecutors want U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton to send Perlitz to prison for more than 19 years, saying he preyed on some of the world's most vulnerable children for years.

The boys' testimony was so wrenching that one Haitian man in the gallery broke down in tears. One of the two boys, who were identified only by the initials of their names, said he believed Perlitz had sex with as many as 22 boys at his school and shelter. The boy testified he was pressured by staff there not to reveal the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Haitians Recount Abuses At Sentencing Of Charity's Founder

NEW HAVEN (CT)
The Hartford Courant

By ALAINE GRIFFIN, agriffin@courant.com
The Hartford Courant

NEW HAVEN — In dramatic fashion, about a half-dozen Haitians came forward, one by one, in federal court today to recount being victimized by Douglas Christian Perlitz, the founder of an internationally known charity for homeless boys who is being sentenced on a single charge of traveling abroad for illicit sexual purposes.

The boys talked in front of a packed courtroom, detailing how Perlitz threatened to withhold basic necessities if they did not comply with his request for sexual favors.

The sentencing session began this morning and, after two hours, was still proceeding at midday. Federal prosecutors are seeking a prison term of 19½ years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Ex-Belgian church leader urges more humility

BELGIUM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By RAF CASERT
The Associated Press

BRUSSELS — The former leader of the Catholic Church in Belgium on Tuesday called for more openness and humility within the church to make sure that child abuse scandals by priests did not happen again.

Belgium's Catholic church was rocked by scandal this spring when a bishop was forced to resign after years of abuse of his nephew. Since then, over 500 witnesses have come forward with harrowing accounts of molestation by Catholic clergy that span decades. The abused included children aged between the ages of two and six years old. The abuse reportedly led to at least 13 suicides.

Retired Cardinal Godfried Danneels told a parliamentary inquiry panel into child molestation by priests on Tuesday that abuse of power often left the church aloof to abuse problems and the needs of the victims.

Danneels called on the church "to look its dark side in the eyes" and step away from an arrogant age when "class mentality" made sure it "often thought too much and foremost about itself and its priests and not the victims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Woman sues priest, Archdiocese of Chicago

CHICAGO (IL)
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

Below is a copy of a complaint recently filed against the Archdiocese of Chicago and one of its priests.

[The lawsuit]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

Is Immaculate Ejaculate in L.A. priest personnel files, as in new book by Albuquerque victim?

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

December 15, 2010

[7:05 AM: Before saying you don't like the headline, read the story, as it suits the subject matter. Offensive? I was diddled between the legs by a priest when I was five years old and the Church still claims sovereignty. I'm beyond offense.*]

“I was in hell and I couldn't tell anyone. Who do you tell that a priest said God wants you to ejaculate with him?” - Albuquerque victim

“Roman Catholic dogma holds that its clergy are representatives of God and Christ on Earth.” - defense attorney for pedophile priests.

Two different items that came across my desk Tuesday show the current state of miscommunication between the Catholic Church and thousands of people who came forward as victims of pedophile priests in the past decade. So in this post, City of Angels Blog is running coinciding quotes from the two pieces.

First source, yet another document in the Church's ongoing effort to prevent priest personnel files, promised in 510 abuse cases settled in L.A. in 2007, from even being turned over to a mediating judge for possible release to the public. Filed Dec. 15 in L.A. Superior Court, we have quotes from "Declaration of Donald Steier," attorney for L.A. Archdiocese who defends numerous priests in California. [See also the full Steier declaration.] Second source is a book published last month, by one victim of one priest in Albuquerque co-written with a local reporter. "Raped: Memories of a Catholic Altar Boy” delivers graphic accounts of Fr. Robert** John Smith's escapades with a teenage boy in New Mexico motel rooms in the 1970s. [Available from Amazon.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:55 AM

Re End-of-Year Excuse by Pope for Pedeophile Epidemic in Catholic Church

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

December 21, 2010

Benedict now claims we should look at the "context" in which six thousand priests raped a hundred thousand children in the USA, saying, Look at all the crimes against children today, look at the child pornography.

Yes, look at them.

The Catholic Church is responsible for the epidemic of sex crimes against children in the world today, because pedophiles everywhere watched Catholic bishops and monsignors cover up these crimes.

The predators became empowered thanks to the Catholic Church.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:50 AM

Ex-Belgian church leader urges more openness

BELGIUM
The Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — The former leader of the Catholic Church in Belgium is calling for more openness and transparency within the church to make sure that child abuse scandals by priests do not happen again.

Cardinal Godfried Danneels told a parliamentary inquiry panel on Tuesday that power often made the church aloof to the abuse problem and the needs of the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Rev. Czeslaw K. Szymanski—Assignment Record

WALTHAM (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Szymanski was alleged on 12/9/10 to have sexually abused 13 altar boys in the Boston archdiocese in the 1980s, where he was listed in the Directory as an archdiocesan priest. He worked previously in a parish in the Providence diocese as a priest of the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit. Szymanski was apparently transferred in April 1987 from the Boston archdiocese to the Peterborough diocese in Canada, where the chancellor, Rev. Martin A. Wain, would later be convicted of sexual abuse. On 12/11/10, Monsignor Stanislaw Kempa, pastor of Szymanski's old parish in the Boston archdiocese, speaking from the pulpit, denounced the survivors of Szymanski as "cowards," a characterization that was repudiated on the following Sunday by Auxiliary Bishop Peter Ugglieto, who read a letter from Cardinal O'Malley.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:35 AM

How You Can Support Victims of Abuse

UNITED STATES
Healing and Spirituality

Dr. Jaime Romo

The pope said in a NY Times interview, “We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred.” Let me break it down.

For people who wish to be supportive and part of the solution, recognize that survivors who come forward after many years of burying or denying or being disconnected from their abuse experience mostly want to: be heard, be believed; be joined in some way that their experience will be useful to prevent abuse for anyone else, particularly children.

And not all survivors are in the same place, emotionally, psychologically, when it comes to sharing their experiences. For a person to come forward in a state of victimhood, the person may be feeling despair (e.g., fear, grief, unworthiness, guilt, insecurity), or rage (e.g., jealousy, hatred, revenge, anger). The person may be re-living the memories, and at this point what might be most helpful might be to mirror: listen and repeat key aspects of what the person has shared to make sure that you understand what the person is saying, rather than getting more details or commenting on what the person says. You have the honor of being trusted with this powerful information. Offer an empathetic statement like, ‘I appreciate you sharing this with me; I imagine it must be very difficult for you to talk about this—using their reactions/ what they have shared/ what you have seen/ heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

O’Malley apology elicits a rebuke

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Brian MacQuarrie
Globe Staff / December 21, 2010

A man who alleges he was sexually abused by a priest in Lowell in the 1980s said yesterday that Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley’s apology for remarks by the current pastor, who attacked the priest’s alleged victims as “cowards,’’ is inadequate.

“I find it very disingenuous,’’ said the man, now in his 30s, who asked not to be identified. “The only reason the cardinal issued the statement was because’’ the pastor “decided to use Mass as a podium.’’

In a statement read by an archdiocesan bishop last weekend at Holy Trinity Church in Lowell, O’Malley said that Monsignor Stanislaw Kempa’s use of the pulpit Dec. 11 to criticize the alleged victims was “unauthorized and uncharitable.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Priest Allegedly Fathered Child, SNAP Asks for Dismissal

OREGON
KIMA

By KIMA Staff Story Published: Dec 20, 2010

YAKIMA - KIMA has learned a priest who allegedly fathered a child in Oregon is living in the Yakima Valley. Father William J. Vogel is currently the Associate Pastor at Resurrection Church in Zillah.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or "SNAP,” said Vogel impregnated a parishioner in the early 90's. The group wants him suspended. We called the Yakima Diocese to get their side.

"We are looking into it and discussing the matter,” said Father Robert Siler. “As of right now, there are no plans to dismiss him from the Yakima diocese."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Kardinaal

BELGIE
De Morgen

21/12/10, 06u19

Vandaag en morgen is het de beurt aan kardinaal Danneels en aartsbisschop Léonard om te getuigen voor de - even adem halen - 'Bijzondere commissie betreffende de behandeling van seksueel misbruik en feiten van pedofilie binnen een gezagsrelatie, inzonderheid binnen de kerk'.

Sommigen binnen de omgeving van Godfried Danneels gewagen nu al van een nieuwe poging om de voormalige kerkleider opnieuw aan de schandpaal te nagelen, maar het zou eerlijk gezegd op zijn minst bevreemdend zijn dat de commissie de destijds hoogste en de huidige kerkleider niet zou ondervragen.

Want er blijven vragen te over. Was het systematisch negeren en minimaliseren van de feiten een vaste gewoonte of een schuldig verzuim? Hoe komt het dat Danneels inzake standpunten over alle mogelijke ethische kwesties wel de autoriteit had om namens de hele kerk te spreken, maar blijkbaar niet wanneer het er op aankwam actie te ondernemen tegen pedofiele geestelijken?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Pope recalls year 'stained' by child sex abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW

POPE BENEDICT XVI conceded yesterday that 2010 had been a year sullied by the child sex abuse crisis which has plagued the Catholic Church for the last 12 months.

Making his traditional Christmas address to the Roman Curia, the pope argued that 2010, the Year For Priests, had begun with “great joy” only for it to unfold “so differently from the way we expected”.

“We were all the more dismayed, then,” he said, “when in this year of all years and to a degree we could not have imagined, we came to know of abuse of minors committed by priests who twist the sacrament into its anti-thesis, and under the mantle of the sacred profoundly wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

MEDIA ADVISORY

GREEN BAY (WI)
Voice from the Desert

WHAT: Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, joined by Fr. James Connell, the Vice-Chancellor of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, will hand deliver the full transcript of a recent court deposition of top Green bay church official, Fr. James Doerfler, to the Green Bay office of James Santelle, Federal Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Under oath, Doefler details a standing order issued by Bishop David Zubick in 2007 to destroy secret files on pedophile clergy kept in what Doerlfer described as the document “vault” of the diocese. Zubik’s order was issued the same year that the Wisconsin Supreme Court unanimously ruled that church officials could be sued for fraud if found to have concealed and transferred known sex offender clergy into parishes and schools. A motion filed in Outagamie County Court on behalf of victims of Green Bay pedophile priest John Patrick Feeney is calling on the court to issue an immediate order to stop any further destruction of evidence.

SNAP and Fr. Connell will be calling on the Federal Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to launch an investigation into possible obstruction of justice by Zubick and other senior managers of the diocese who destroyed evidence, including current bishop David Ricken. Zubik was promoted by the Vatican to run the diocese of Pittsburgh in 2008.

WHO: Wisconsin leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including the organization’s long time Midwest Director and Todd Merryfield, sexually assaulted as a child by Green Bay pedophile priest John Patrick Feeney.

Joining SNAP and Merryfield will be Fr. James Connell. Connell is currently the Vice-Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, a Catholic canon lawyer, and a member of the archdiocese child sexual abuse review board. He is also pastor of St. Clement Parish in Sheboygan.

WHERE: The lobby of the Federal Court building, 125 South Jefferson Street, Green Bay.

WHEN: Tuesday, December 20, 2:00 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

‘OPVANG VAN VANGHELUWE WAS ONZE EVANGELISCHE PLICHT’

BELGIE
Kerknet

BRUGGE (KerkNet/WTV) – De opvang van Roger Vangheluwe in onze abdij was onze evangelische plicht, maar dat betekent zeker geen goedkeuring van zijn daden. Dat zei abt Manu Van Hecke van de Sint-Sixtusabdij in Westvleteren maandag in gesprek met de regionale zender WTV. Bisschop Roger Vangheluwe bekende begin 2010 het misbruik en vond daarna vier maanden asiel in de abdij. Zo kwamen de broeders van de abdij ongewild in een storm terecht. De broeders werd sterk aangegrepen door de felle kritiek.

Abt Manu Van Hecke: “Ik denk dat er onze gemeenschap een enorme pijn heeft ervaren door wat er gebeurd is. De bisschop was toch een belangrijk persoon, zeker ook voor ons. En dan word je met zulke dingen geconfronteerd. Dat doet pijn, zorgt voor onbegrip.” Of ze spijt hebben dat ze hem onderdak hebben gegeven? “Achteraf gezegd zou je kunnen zeggen: ‘Had ik het allemaal geweten’ Maar ik wist het niet allemaal.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Murphy extracts show 'agonies' of Connell over abuse cases

IRELAND
The Irish Times

RITE AND REASON: The latest material from the Murphy report casts Cardinal Desmond Connell in a more positive light, writes PATSY McGARRY

ONE OF the more torrid press conferences hosted by the Irish Catholic bishops was at Maynooth on April 8th, 2002. It followed the resignation of Brendan Comiskey. Among the bishops present was Cardinal Desmond Connell.

As evasive answer followed evasive answer, the media present grew tense and some reporters were shouting questions in frustration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Pope Links Sex Abuse To Vices

VATICAN CITY
The Huffington Post

By Francis X. Rocca
Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI deplored the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and linked it to other vices, including child pornography, sexual tourism and drug abuse, which he said were all promoted by an ideology of social moral relativism.

The pope made his remarks on Monday (Dec. 20), in his annual Christmas address to leaders of the Roman Curia, the Vatican's central bureaucracy.

Looking back over major events of 2010, Benedict put special emphasis on the clerical sex abuse scandals that broke out in several European and South American countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Pope Benedict XVI says church must deal with sexual abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mirror

by Damien Fletcher, Daily Mirror 21/12/2010

THE Pope yesterday admitted the Catholic church had to take action to end the ­widespread sexual abuse of children by priests.

Pope Benedict XVI told Vatican officials that abuse revelations reached “an unimaginable dimension” this year and the church had to accept the “humiliation” as a call for renewal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Sign petition to ban systemic sexual abuse

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

The findings from chapter 19 of the Murphy Report remind us once more of the systemic failure of the institutional Catholic Church to protect young children whose lives were shattered by the actions of clerical paedophiles and the culpable inaction of bishops and senior clerics who still cling to power.

It is also time for the Vatican to be investigated for its role in the cover-up of paedophilia. As late as 1994, it protected the serial clerical paedophile, Tony Walsh, in spite of knowing of his criminal behaviour for 18 years.

It was only when Walsh was convicted of sexual assault in the courts one year later that the Vatican authorities agreed to his dismissal from the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

A new culprit-Pope blames 70s for widespread abuse; SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, 312 399 4747 SNAPblaine@gmail.com

While some church officials have blamed the 1960s for the church’s sex abuse and cover up catastrophe, the Pope is now blaming the 1970s.

Catholics should be embarrassed to see their Pope talk again and again about abuse while doing little or nothing to stop it and to mischaracterize this heinous crisis.

It is fundamentally disturbing to watch a brilliant man so conveniently misdiagnose a horrific scandal. It’s unseemly to see a powerful religious figure childishly blaming nameless forces and time periods for a church-created crisis.

The Pope insists on talking about a vague “broader context” he can’t control, while ignoring the clear “broader context” he can influence – the long-standing and unhealthy culture of a rigid, secretive, all-male church hierarchy fixated on self-preservation at all costs. This is the “context” that matters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Priest who fathered a child still in ministry

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A group that represents clergy sex abuse victims is urging three Catholic officials to take action about a priest who fathered a child with a young parishioner years ago but is still in parish ministry.

The organization wants Yakima’s bishop to suspend the cleric and prelates in Spokane and Baker Oregon, where he also worked, to reach out to anyone who may have “seen, suspected or suffered” any crimes or misdeeds by him.

The priest is Fr. William J. Vogel, who is the associate pastor at Resurrection church in Zillah WA (509-829-5433, 704 Schooley Road , office@resurrectionparish.us) in the Yakima Diocese. In 1977 to 1981 and again from 1987 to 1990, Vogel also worked at St. Luke's Church in Woodburn Oregon, in the Baker Diocese.

That’s where, according to a 1992 civil lawsuit, Vogel impregnated a young parishioner in 1990 and fathered a child. Vogel met her when she was 13, “continuously exerted dominance and control” over her, and stopped communicating with her the same month the child was born, the complaint states. The suit also accuses the Portland Archdiocese of negligently supervising Vogel. The church hierarchy also allegedly failed to investigate complaints against Vogel and failed to remove him from his position, according to the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Pope calls on Catholic church to 'repair injustice' of sexual abuse; SNAP responds

UNITED KINGDOM
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Lucy Duckworth, SNAP England, SNAPEngland@gmail.com +44 780 505 7270

Others can “reflect” on the causes of the church’s widespread clergy sex abuse and cover up scandal. But the Pope must act.

Every day that passes without decisive papal action, children somewhere are being molested by priests. Every papal statement that is issued without corresponding action is an opportunity squandered.

There’s a reason clergy sex crimes are being uncovered “to a degree” Benedict says “we could not have imagined.” It’s a simple reason. It’s because he won’t insist that his bishops investigate the cover ups within their dioceses. And it’s because too few governments have the courage to do what the Irish government did: launch its own investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

FL officials charge CO author of 'pro pedophilia' book; SNAP responds

FLORIDA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, 312 399 4747 SNAPblaine@gmail.com

We applaud Florida officials for taking action against this dangerous man. Child sex crimes are rampant, predators are shrewd and the harm caused is great. So until we reform some of our archaic, predator-friendly laws, it’s sometimes necessary for law enforcement to use more novel approaches to expose and prosecute pedophiles.

We hope that anyone who aw, suspected or suffered crimes by Greaves will come forward promptly to law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Sex abuse victims to O’Malley: “Discipline pastor”

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

Cardinal O’Malley’s ‘apology’ to Lowell parishioners is inadequate. He needs to severely discipline Monsignor Stanislaw Kempa.

Kempa called courageous, deeply wounded clergy sex abuse victims “cowards.” He knowingly contributed to a long-standing church culture and practice of intimidating child sex abuse victims.

Apologies are quick, easy, and ineffective. One reason so many Catholic officials continue to act recklessly and callously about abuse is because no Catholic official is ever disciplined, no matter how hurtful his words or deeds are. If you are a Catholic cleric, you can virtually do or say anything about abuse victims or predators and be confident that you’ll never lose a day’s pay. This must change but won’t change if O’Malley responds to Kempa’s egregious wrong-doing by merely apologizing to his flock.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Important Youth Safety Information

CALIFORNIA
San Antonio Catholic Church (parish bulletin)

In keeping with our Diocesesan and Parish Policy against Sexual Misconduct with Minors and our pledge to be vigilant in the best interests of the children and youth of our parishes, we alert you to a current serious matter.

In late June of 2009 a complaint was filed in superior court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange pertaining to alleged incidents of sexual misconduct that reportedly took place while the plaintiff was a student at St. Justin Martyr School from 1978 - 1986. The complaint alleges that in 2006 the plaintiff recovered dormant memories of abuse, repressed since childhood. This complaint named three former priests and one former lay employee at the time of its filing.

Earlier this year the plaintiff also recovered memory of abuse by another priest while at St. Justin Martyr. The plaintiff, through his attorney, reported an allegation against Rev. Timothy Ramaekers pertaining to when he was a parochial vicar at St. Justin Martyr Church in 1986. Rev. Ramaekers is currently the pastor of St. Joseph Church in Placentia, where he has served since 1997.

In keeping with established policy, upon receiving the allegations against Fr. Ramaekers, the Diocese of Orange Sexual Misconduct Oversight and Review Board launched an investigation conducted by an independent investigator. To date, this investigation has resulted in finding NO credible evidence to support this allegation against Rev. Ramaekers. Fr. Ramaekers, who was
ordained in 1982, and has not been the subject of any past complaints of such misconduct.

We are requested to announce this because of current reporting mandates. Should anyone have any information regarding alleged misconduct on the part of Rev. Timothy Ramaekers, you are requested to report such information directly to the Anaheim Police Department at (714) 765-1521. We also want to remind you of the Diocesan Assistance Ministry Program and the toll free reporting line 1-800-374-3046.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Another OC priest is quietly accused of child sex abuse, SNAP responds

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director, (949) 322-7434 cell

We were saddened, but not surprised, to discover that another priest in the Orange Diocese, Fr. Timothy Ramaekers, has been accused of child sex abuse. We were even more saddened to discover that the Diocese of Orange did not release this information to the public, so that families in all of the parishes where Ramaekers worked could find information, help and healing.

Our heart goes out the alleged victim in the case. We salute him for his bravery in using the time-tested civil justice system to seek accountability. We also know that learning that a trusted and loved priest has been accused of abuse is upsetting to parishioners. We ask that Catholics remain open minded, pray for all parties involved, and talk to anyone who may have suspected, experienced or witnessed child sex abuse by Fr. Ramaekers - or any adult in a position of trust - to inform law enforcement immediately, not the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Pope urges Church reflection on child abuse response

VATICAN CITY
The Journal (Ireland)

IN HIS PRE-CHRISTMAS SPEECH, Pope Benedict has said that sexual abuse in the church had reach a degree “we could not have imagined”.

The Pope said the Catholic Church had to reflect on its failures and assist the victims of abuse, France 24 reports.

Presenting his annual address to the Vatican hierarchy, the Pope said: “We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred.”

We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen… We must force ourselves to try everything possible in preparation for the priesthood, but such a thing cannot happen again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Former Pastor to Serve 20 Years for Sexual Abuse

IOWA
KCRG

[with video]

By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter

FAYETTE COUNTY, Iowa - A Westgate pastor was sentenced Monday in Fayette County District Court to 20 years for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl in June 2009.

Timothy Parker, 40, a former pastor with St. Peter Lutheran Church in Westgate pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree sexual abuse in November. Each abuse charge carries a 10 year prison term and judge ran them consecutively.

According to the criminal complaint, on three separate occasions, Parker fondled or performed oral sex on the girl. Deputies said the alleged incidents took place at the church parsonage in early June 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Westgate pastor sentenced to 20 years for sexual abuse

IOWA
Courier

By KAREN HEINSELMAN, karen.heinselman@wcfcourier.com wcfcourier.com
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WEST UNION, Iowa - A judge sentenced a Westgate pastor to 20 years in prison for sexual abusing a female relative.

The Rev. Timothy Parker appeared at the Fayette County Courthouse in West Union today. Earlier, Parker pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, which are class C felonies.

A judge granted the prosecution's requested sentence of 10 years in prison for each count of sexual abuse, according to Geoff Greenwood of the Iowa Office of the Attorney General, which prosecuted the case. The sentences will be served consecutively, Greenwood said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM

Dallas County Pastor Accused of Sexual Assault

ALABAMA
KATV

[with video]

A Dallas County pastor is accused of the unthinkable; he's charged with four counts of second degree sexual assault involving minors. Reverend Ivory McDaniels,68, of Fordyce was released on bond Monday afternoon following his arrest Friday. Police say the alleged assaults involved teenage girls with whom McDaniels interacted while he worked as a substitute teacher at Fordyce High School. In one case, the actions reportedly began as early as 2009. Police opened the investigation following a call into the Child Abuse Hotline.

The allegations have rocked the city of Fordyce and have left the community divided: those who say they support Pastor McDaniels and those who are outraged by the accusations. The story is so controversial that those who did speak out about it only did so under the condition of anonymity.

One resident said, "It's sad and it's a disgrace to the community." Another had this reaction, "He's very known. I went to his church for almost a year. He deal(s) with all the kids. A lot of people looked up to him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

New Murphy report section shows evidence of Dublin priest pedophile ring

IRELAND
Irish Central

By CATHY HAYES, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The newly published Chapter 19 of the Murphy report gives details of how five of Ireland’s most notorious clerical child abusers developed close links with one another during the periods they were raping and molesting their victims.

This new evidence has prompted grave concern that there was a priest pedophile ring in the Dublin archdiocese.

Prominent abuse survivor Andrew Madden told the Tribune the very thought “sends a chill down the spine”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Founder Of Haitian Charity To Be Sentenced ...

NEW HAVEN (CT)
The Hartford Courant

By ALAINE GRIFFIN, agriffin@courant.com, The Hartford Courant

NEW HAVEN — — The Connecticut founder of an internationally known charity for homeless boys in Haiti, accused of repeatedly sexually abusing some of the impoverished children in his care, will be sentenced today in U.S. District Court.

Douglas Christian Perlitz, 40, founder and director of Project Pierre Toussaint in Haiti's north coast city of Cap-Haitien, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a single charge of traveling abroad for illicit sexual purposes. Federal prosecutors are seeking a prison term of 19½ years.

The guilty plea to a single offense was part of a broader plea bargain agreement that ends a yearlong prosecution of Perlitz, formerly of Fairfield. As part of the plea bargain, Perlitz admitted traveling to Haiti repeatedly between 2001 and 2008 and engaging in illicit sexual contact with eight boys. He previously denied his guilt and aggressively fought the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

Defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady arrested in Dublin

UNITED STATES
The Irish Emigrant

By Toni Earls

Former priest Oliver O'Grady, who was deported from the U.S. in 2001Oliver O’Grady (65), the defrocked Irish Catholic priest featured in the award-winning 2006 documentary Deliver Us From Evil was arrested in Dublin recently on child pornography charges. O’Grady was deported from the U.S. in 2001 after spending nearly seven years incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison in California.

Irish police detained O’Grady in the Dublin area last week before releasing him on $750 bond and scheduling a re-appearance in court Friday, where Detective Garda Johanna Doyle of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation confirmed the possibility of further charges.

As yet details about the alleged crime are scarce, although it has been speculated that when the ex-priest left his laptop on a plane, authorities discovered child pornography photos and videos on the computer itself, on an external hard drive and on a USB key.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

Pope muddies waters on abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tuesday December 21 2010

POPE Benedict's end-of-year address to Vatican cardinals and bishops yesterday will puzzle many and anger not a few. It has been severely criticised by Barbara Blaine, president of the main American organisation representing survivors of clerical sex abuse. She says it is disturbing "to watch a brilliant man so conveniently misdiagnose a horrific scandal".

Ms Blaine may be right about the misdiagnosis but wrong about the convenience. Benedict XVI has an unfortunate propensity for utterances that many of his followers find hard to understand and that at worst sound like excuses.

Yesterday he acknowledged with appropriate humility the sins of the Catholic Church in covering up sex abuse, but said that as lately as the 1970s paedophilia was not considered an absolute evil but part of a spectrum of behaviour that people refused to judge in the name of tolerance and relativism. "It was maintained -- even within the realm of Catholic theology -- that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself." It seems remarkable that he could make such an assertion, and even more remarkable if he meant that "relativism" was used as a justification for child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 AM

Germans quit the church in their thousands

GERMANY
Irish Independent

By Matthew Day

Tuesday December 21 2010

Thousands of Germans have left the Roman Catholic Church after the sex and corruption scandals.

In one diocese alone, Rottenburg-Stuttgart, 17,659 had turned their back on the church by mid-December, compared with 4,563 for the whole of 2009, according to new research.

"I have never experienced anything like this since my ordination in 1969," said Bishop Friedhelm Hofmann of Wurzburg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

Pope stirs up victim fury with child sex comments

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney Religion Correspondent

Tuesday December 21 2010

VICTIMS of clerical sex abuse have reacted furiously to Pope Benedict's claim yesterday that paedophilia wasn't considered an 'absolute evil' as recently as the 1970s.

In his traditional Christmas address yesterday to cardinals and officials working in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered "normal" by society.

"In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children," the Pope said. "It was maintained -- even within the realm of Catholic theology -- that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a 'better than' and a 'worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 AM

Bruce Arnold: Pope's message on abuse is nonsensical and sad

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Bruce Arnold

Tuesday December 21 2010

It is difficult to pinpoint quite where Pope Benedict is focusing his mind when he issues a statement such as that contained in his traditional, end-of-the-year speech to Vatican cardinals and bishops, publicly released yesterday.

He claimed that, as recently as the 1970s, "paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children". He went on to state, as the context for this quite extraordinary interpretation of how paedophilia has been considered, that "there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a 'better than' and a 'worse than.' Nothing is good or bad in itself."

He could not have chosen a worse moment to have issued such a message on the great crime of the third millennium, nor to have framed it in such confused terms and with so many examples of passing the blame to society and current moral standards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 AM

American to be sentenced in Haitian sexual abuse case

HAITI
CNN

By Vladimir Duthiers and Hannah Yi, "AC360" Staff
December 21, 2010

Cap-Haitien, Haiti (CNN) -- An American who set up a school for homeless street boys in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, could face nearly 20 years in prison after he admitted sexually abusing some of the same children he sheltered, clothed and educated.

Douglas Perlitz, 40, will be sentenced Tuesday in New Haven, Connecticut.

In September 2009, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Perlitz. He denied all accusations, but in August Perlitz pleaded guilty to one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. He also admitted to engaging in sexual conduct with eight minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 AM

December 20, 2010

Pope is unsparing in analysis of sex-abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

December 20, 2010
In a powerful address to the Roman Curia, looking back across the year 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said that the explosion of the sex-abuse scandal across Europe had gravely damaged and humbled the Church. He encouraged all prelates to ponder why and how it had happened, and what lessons could be learned.

Each year the Roman Pontiff meets with officials of the Roman Curia in mid-December for an exchange of Christmas greetings. The Pope’s address to the Curia has come to be regarded as one of the major papal policy statements of the year.

[The full text of the papal address is available in an English translation on the Vatican Radio web site.]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Pope Benedict: Church Must Reflect on Sex Abuse Scandals

VATICAN CITY
AOL News

Theunis Bates

Pope Benedict XVI today called on Vatican officials to examine why the Catholic Church allowed the sexual abuse of children by priests to continue unchallenged for so long, and to push through reforms to ensure such scandals never happen again.

"We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred," the pope said in his traditional end-of-year speech to Vatican cardinals and bishops. "We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen."

Over the past year, the Catholic Church has been rocked by a series of child sex-abuse scandals in Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. In many of these cases, it was discovered that high-up members of the clergy had covered up for pedophile priests and that for decades Vatican officials turned a blind eye to the crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Church must repent, repair damage caused by clerical abuse, pope says

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In response to the "unimaginable" scandal of clerical sex abuse against minors, the church must reflect, repent, and do everything possible to rectify the injustices suffered by victims as it works to prevent such abuse from ever happening again, said Pope Benedict XVI.

The pope said he and others were "dismayed" when, during a year dedicated to the world's priests, further cases of clerical sex abuse came to light "to a degree we could not have imagined."

"We must accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call to renewal. Only the truth saves," the pope said Dec. 20 in his annual pre-Christmas address to the Roman Curia and cardinals who reside in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

"Opvang Vangheluwe was onze evangelische plicht"

BELGIE
Zita

"De opvang van Roger Vangheluwe in de Sint-Sixtusabdij in Westvleteren was onze evangelische plicht", zegt abt Manu Van Hecke. "Of we spijt hebben dat wij hem onderdak hebben gegeven? Goh, achteraf gezegd zou je kunnen zeggen: moest ik het allemaal geweten hebben, maar ik wist het niet allemaal…"

"Het was toch een heel belangrijk persoon, zeker ook voor ons, en dan word je met zulke dingen geconfronteerd. Dat doet pijn en zorgt voor onbegrip", zegt Van Hecke in een interview met de regionale zender Focus-WTV. "Zijn verblijf in de abdij is zeker geen goedkeuring van zijn daden."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Pope highlights UK visit, clerical sex abuse in 'state of the Church' address

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Dec 20, 2010 / 02:40 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI gave what's considered the “state of the Church” address on Monday, highlighting his visit to the U.K., the Middle East synod, and the task of combating child sex abuse within the Church and in the world at large.

On Dec. 19, the Pope addressed the College of Cardinals and representatives of the Roman Curia, at the annual gathering which reviews significant events of the year and gives status updates on the Church.

The pontiff opened his remarks by reflecting on the Year for Priests – a prayer initiative he launched in June of 2009 – saying that there was a “great joy” and a “renewed awareness” within the Church of the beauty and gift of the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Arlington Diocese - Heed Pope Benedict XVI - "Repair the Injustice"

UNITED STATES
ministry Values

By Stephen Ryan
December 20, 2010

Today, from the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI, in his annual Christmas speech to Bishops and Cardinals, forcefully said to his audience "We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred,"

To repair the damage that the Holy See speaks of we strongly urge the Arlington Diocese to open an investigation into the events known as the Seton Miracles which manifested itself in the form of an extraordinary display of weeping statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The miraculous events were silenced by the Chancellor of the diocese of Arlington, an alleged pedofile with mulitple accusations, who committed suicide a few months after coldly ending the Catholic Church's role in the mysterious events. It is time for the diocese of Arlington, as the Pope urges the leadership of the faith, to repair this great injustive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Pope shares wise words about clergy sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Chicago Tribune

The Rev. Bob Barron, priest and theology professor, University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein

It is the custom of the Pope to offer Christmas greetings to his official family, the bishops and Cardinals who direct the various departments of the Roman Curia. But his words at this occasion are typically much more than mere pleasantries. They constitute, usually, a kind of review of the previous year from the perspective of the Bishop of Rome. The Christmas statement that Benedict XVI made just this morning to his official entourage was of particular gravity, precisely because it represents one of his most thorough and insightful assessments of the clerical sex abuse scandal.

The Pope drew attention to an arresting vision experienced by the 12th century German mystic, Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard saw an incomparably beautiful woman, stretching from earth to heaven, and clothed in luminous vestments. But the woman’s radiant face was covered in dust, her vesture was ripped on one side, and her shoes were blackened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Pope Benedict demands soul-searching from Catholic church on sex-abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

By Jason Horowitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 20, 2010

In a remarkable demonstration of public soul-searching, Pope Benedict XVI on Monday used a high-profile Christmas speech to Vatican cardinals and bishops to demand reflection on the flaws in the Church's very message and culture that permitted a global sexual-abuse scandal.

"We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred," Benedict said. "We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen."

In his address, which Benedict has used to emphasize his priorities to the assembled hierarchy, the pontiff said the past year's revelations of decades of sexual abuse of children by priests had taken on an "unimaginable dimension" and amounted to a "humiliation" that should be accepted as an "exhortation to truth and a call to renewal."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Man who wrote 'how-to' for pedophiles arrested

FLORIDA
CNN

(CNN) -- The man behind a controversial book considered a "how-to" guide for pedophiles was arrested in Colorado, officials in Florida said Monday.

"You cannot engage or depict children in a harmful relationship," said Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd as he described the Florida obscenity statute that officials used to charge Philip Greaves with distribution of obscene material depicting minors engaged in harmful conduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Prayers for victims of abusive former priest

IRELAND
Christian Today

by Brian HuttPosted: Monday, December 20, 2010

Prayers were said at Mass on Sunday for victims of former Catholic priest and paedophile Tony Walsh following the publication of Chapter 19 of the Murphy Report.

The previously censored chapter of the report described Walsh as the “most notorious” paedophile encountered by the Commission of Inquiry and estimated his victims to run into the hundreds.

The report also found that in spite of being a serious danger to children, the Vatican had wanted Walsh to serve 10 years in a monastery rather than force him out of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Onderzoek naar archieven misbruik begint spoedig

NEDERLAND
Friesch Dagblad

Haarlem - De onderzoekscommissie-Deetman start ,,binnenkort’’ met het archiefonderzoek binnen bisdommen, congregaties en ordes. Dat heeft een woordvoerder van de commissie dit weekend meegedeeld.

Zaterdag maakten NRC Handelsblad en de Wereldomroep bekend dat archieven binnen het bisdom Den Bosch vernietigd zijn. Volgens NRC Handelsblad stuurde historicus Eric Theloosen enkele maanden geleden een verklaring naar de onderzoekscommissie, waarin staat dat oud-bisschop Bluyssen dossiers vernietigde in de jaren zeventig. Emeritus-bisschop Bluyssen heeft dat bevestigd tegenover de krant. In de dossiers stond informatie over onder meer seksueel misbruik door priesters. Ook een archief, samengesteld door oud-bisschop Jan ter Schure, is in de jaren negentig vernietigd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Danneels getuigt voor Kamercommissie Seksueel Misbruik

BELGIE
Vandaag

Morgen moet kardinaal Godfried Danneels getuigen voor de parlementaire Commissie Seksueel Misbruik in de Kerk. Woensdag is het dan de beurt aan aartsbisschop André Léonard. Eerder al hoorde de commissie alle andere bisschoppen.

Die hadden elk weet van zo’n tiental zaken van seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen door hun priesters, die ze naar eigen zeggen doorverwezen naar de bevoegde instanties. Alleen de Gentse bisschop Luc Van Looy had daarmee wat getalmd en hij kreeg zware kritiek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Oostenrijkse katholieken verlaten massaal kerk

OOSTENRIJK
RKnieuws

Oostenrijkse katholieke scholen hebben als gevolg dat dit jaar tienduizenden Oostenrijkse gelovigen de Kerk hebben verlaten. Dat zegt kardinaal Christoph Schönborn, aartsbisschop van Wenen, in een interview dat zaterdag in de Tiroler Tageszeitung verscheen.

Volgens Schönborn kan het aantal uittredingen dit jaar oplopen tot 80.000. ‘De laatste keer dat zoveel gelovigen de katholieke Kerk verlieten dateert uit de naziperiode’, aldus de prelaat.

In Oostenrijk bestaat een systeem van vrijwillige kerkbelasting. Sinds de onthulling van de misbruikschandalen in katholieke scholen weigeren meer en meer Oostenrijkse katholieken deze belasting nog te betalen, waardoor ze beschouwd worden als kerkverlaters

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Westfalen-Blatt: Das WESTFALEN-BLATT (Bielefeld) zum Thema Kirchenaustritte

DEUTSCHLAND
Finanz Nachrichten

Bielefeld (ots) - Die Verantwortlichen auf allen Ebenen der katholischen Kirche dürfen sich nichts vormachen: Es ist nicht nur der Missbrauchsskandal, der Gläubige an dieser Institution verzweifeln lässt. Womöglich haben die wochenlangen Schlagzeilen und Sondersendungen dazu zwar hier und dort letztlich den Ausschlag gegeben, aber die Entfremdung rührt vielerorts her. So beklagen Laien seit Jahren die geschlossene Gesellschaft, die die katholische Kirche darstelle. In den Diskussionen ums Zölibat und um die Rolle der Frau tritt der Vatikan aus Sicht vieler engagierter Katholiken, die sich auch um die personelle Zukunft ihrer Kirche sorgen, seit Jahren auf der Stelle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Kerk heeft samenvatting van vernietigde stukken

NEDERLAND
Trouw

(Novum) - De katholieke kerk heeft samenvattingen van vernietigde stukken over misbruik in het bisdom van Den Bosch. Dat meldt de Nederlandse Bisschoppenconferentie naar aanleiding van berichten over het opschonen van het archief van het bisdom. Daarbij zouden dossiers over seksueel misbruik door priesters zijn vernietigd.

NRC Handelsblad schreef zaterdag op basis van verklaringen van de 84-jarige oud-bisschop Jan Bluyssen en voormalig bisschoppelijk archivaris Jan Peijnenburg dat het bisdom Den Bosch tientallen jaren achtereen dossiers over seksueel misbruik door priesters heeft vernietigd. Historicus Eric Theloosen zou de commissie-Deetman in september over de kwestie hebben geïnformeerd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Vernietigde dossiers misbruik kerk samengevat

NEDERLAND
NOS

Van de vernietigde dossiers over seksueel misbruik in het bisdom Den Bosch, zijn samenvattingen bewaard gebleven. Dat zegt de Nederlandse Bisschoppenconferentie in een reactie op berichten dat geheime, kerkelijke archieven over misbruik zijn vernietigd.

De bisschoppen hebben in mei aan de beheerders van de archieven gevraagd alle dossiers te bewaren.

Gesprekken
In mei begon de commissie-Deetman aan een onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik binnen de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk. De Nederlandse Bisschoppenconferentie benadrukt dat ze nog steeds volledig meewerkt met het onderzoek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Bisdom vernietigde zedendossiers

NEDERLAND
NOS

Het bisdom Den Bosch heeft gedurende tientallen jaren dossiers over misbruik door priesters vernietigd. De dossiers lagen in geheime archieven, melden NRC Handelsblad en de Wereldomroep.

De 84-jarige oud-bisschop Bluyssen zegt dat er geheime documenten verwijderd zijn. Zelf heeft hij belastende papieren laten vernietigen in de jaren 70. Die zaten in een geheim archief dat door zijn voorganger was samengesteld.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

PERSCOMMUNIQUÉ

NEDERLAND
Rooms-Katholieke Bisschoppenconferentie

[PDF]

Utrecht – 18 december 2010 – Naar aanleiding van de publicatie over het archief van het bisdom Den Bosch in het NRC Handelsblad van heden, laat de voorzitter van de Nederlandse Bisschoppenconferentie, Mgr. A. van Luyn, weten dat de op 11 mei 2010 toegezegde medewerking aan het onderzoek van de Commissie Deetman onverkort van kracht is.

In de verklaring van de Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR) en de bisschoppenconferentie van 11 mei 2010 hebben de bisschoppen ‘hun volledige medewerking’ toegezegd. Daarnaast beloofden zij ‘zich zonder terughoudendheid’ in te spannen ‘om alle relevante informatie voor de onderzoekscommissie beschikbaar te maken’. In overeenstemming daarmee hebben de bisschoppen en alle emeriti-bisschoppen zich bereid verklaard om met de onderzoekers van de Commissie Deetman te spreken. Afspraken daartoe zijn of worden op korte termijn gemaakt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Magistrate says 23 million euros from Vatican bank to remain seized

ROME
Monsters and Critics

Rome - An Italian magistrate on Monday upheld a preliminary confiscation of 23 million euros (30.3 million dollars) deposited from the Vatican's bank into an account of an Italian bank.

The seizure of the money from a branch in Rome of the Milan-based Credito Artigiano, first emerged in Italian news reports in September.

Investigative magistrate Maria Teresa Covatta on Monday rejected a request by lawyers representing the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), to have the money de-sequestered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Seizure of euro23 million in Vatican assets upheld

ROME
Forbes

Associated Press, 12.20.10

ROME -- A judge has upheld the seizure of euro23 million ($30.2 million) in Vatican assets in a money-laundering probe involving the Holy See's bank, the second time the bank has been denied the return of the funds.

Italian authorities seized the funds in September as part of a probe into whether Vatican banking had violated Italian laws mandating transparency in money movement - a key weapon in the war against organized crime and political and business corruption.

News reports quoted Judge Maria Teresa Covatta as saying the intended beneficiaries of the transactions from the Vatican bank account at a Rome bank were still unclear. The Vatican bank is formally named Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, in Italian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

On the crisis, does the pope have it right?

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Dec. 20, 2010 NCR Today

Pope Benedict XVI’s blunt language on the sexual abuse crisis in his annual address to the Roman Curia this morning is generating headlines around the world, especially the pontiff’s unflinching insistence that the church must examine “what went wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen.”

What Benedict said about the importance of better priestly formation, and the valuable role played by those who work to help victims, also will likely garner largely positive notice.

Yet there’s also an insider’s subtext to Benedict’s reflections this morning, one which suggests that while the pope may well “get it” in terms of the magnitude of the crisis, both his diagnosis of what went wrong and his implied cure remain open to debate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Pope: Church must reflect on what allowed abuse

VATICAN CITY
Houston Chronicle

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press
Dec. 20, 2010

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI told Vatican officials Monday that they must reflect on the church's culpability in its child sex-abuse scandal, but he also blamed a secular society in which he said the mistreatment of children was frighteningly common.

In his traditional, end-of-the-year speech to Vatican cardinals and bishops, Benedict said revelations of abuse in 2010 reached "an unimaginable dimension" that required the church to accept the "humiliation" as a call for renewal.

"We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen," the pope said. ...

"It is fundamentally disturbing to watch a brilliant man so conveniently misdiagnose a horrific scandal," said Barbara Blaine, president of the main U.S. victims' group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

She said the scandal wasn't caused by the 1970s but rather by the church's culture of secrecy and fixation with self-preservation in which predator priests and the bishops who moved them around rather than turn them in were rarely disciplined.

"Whenever the pope tires of talking about abuse and starts acting on abuse, he should focus on taking immediate, pratical steps to oust those who commit, ignore and conceal clergy sex crimes first," Blaine said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Westvleteren: 'Zaak-Vangheluwe is bijzonder pijnlijk'

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

De broeders van de Sint-Sixtusabdij in Westvleteren bestempelen de hele zaak rond Roger Vangheluwe als bijzonder pijnlijk en emotioneel. Dat zeiden ze maandag in een interview met de West-Vlaamse regionale zender Focus-WTV.

De gewezen Brugse bisschop dook vier maanden onder in de abdij in Westvleteren, nadat de pedofiliezaak aan het licht was gekomen. Een 'evangelische plicht' zeggen de broeders daar nu over. Volgens abt Manu Van Hecke ervoer de gemeenschap een enorme pijn door wat er allemaal gebeurde.

'Het was toch een heel belangrijk persoon, zeker ook voor ons, en dan word je met zulke dingen geconfronteerd. Dat doet pijn en zorgt voor onbegrip', aldus Van Hecke.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Church must admit paedophile mistakes: Pope

VATICAN CITY
Hindustan Times (India)

Agence France-Presse
Vatican City, December 20, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI called for the Church on Monday to scrutinise itself and root out the truth about mistakes made in order to prevent the paedophile abuse crisis from ever happening again. "We have to ask ourselves what was wrong in our preaching, in our entire way of configuring the Christian being, to allow something like that to happen," the pope said during a Christmas audience with the Roman Curia.

In his speech the pontiff spoke of the "shame" the abuse crisis had caused the Church and added "we have take this humiliation as an exhortation for the truth and a call for renewal."

The pontiff said the abuse of children by priests was "unimaginable," causing "deep wounds" in infancy that "scar" the victims for the rest of their lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Church must reform after abuse scandal, pope says

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Benedict called on Monday for a re-examination of the Church's message and practices to enable it to learn from the scandal of the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests.

Presenting his annual Christmas wishes to cardinals, he said the reports of abuse by priests on an "unimaginable" scale had been a devastating shock to the Church and had to be used as a starting point for reform.

"We must accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call for renewal. Only the truth saves," he said, according to an Italian text released by the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Pope: Church must reflect on what allowed sexual abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
USA Today

Pope Benedict XVI said today the Catholic Church must reflect on what is wrong with its message and Christian life in general that allowed for the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests.

"We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that transpired," the pope said in his annual Christmas message to the Vatican hierarchy. "We must ask ourselves what went wrong in our message, in our entire way of being Christians, so that such a thing could have occurred."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Pope calls on Catholic church to 'repair injustice' of sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Guardian (United Kingdom)

Tom Kington in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Monday 20 December 2010

Pope Benedict XVI today called on Roman Catholics to reflect on how sexual abuse exploded within the church's ranks in a Christmas speech.

The pontiff also blamed the scandal on child pornography, sexual tourism and the moral relativism of the 1970s.

In his seasonal speech to bishops and cardinals, Benedict rounded up highlights of his year, briefly mentioning his visits to Malta, Spain and Portugal before dwelling at length on his "unforgettable" visit to England and Scotland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Pope calls on Church to learn from abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

Pope Benedict has called for the Catholic Church to reflect on what allowed the sexual abuse of children by priests to happen.

The number of sexual abuse cases had reached "an unimaginable dimension" in 2010, the Pope said.

He also spoke of the "shame" the abuse crisis had caused the Church.

The abuse scandal, which first surfaced in the US in 2002, erupted globally this year with a raft of allegations across Europe and beyond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Pope Says Sex Scandal Has Hit Unimaginable Dimension

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: December 20, 2010

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI said on Monday that the continuing sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church had reached a “degree we could not have imagined” this year, and that the Church must reflect on its failures, help the victims, and prevent abusers from becoming priests.

“We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred,” the pope told the Vatican hierarchy in a pointed Christmas message. “We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen.”

In recent months, investigations in Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have found that clerics had sexually abused children in the past and that the church hierarchy was often found to have covered up the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Pope: sex abuse scandal 'humiliating' but society must share the blame

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

The Catholic Church must examine the failures in its teaching that allowed the “unimaginable” sexual abuse of children by priests to continue unchallenged for so long, the Pope said yesterday.

By Tim Ross, Social Affairs Editor

The worldwide “humiliation” that the church has experienced as a result of the scandal must serve as a spur to reform, Benedict XVI told his cardinals gathered in Rome.

However, the pontiff argued that the abuse crisis must be seen in its social “context”, suggesting that part of the blame lay with permissive attitudes in western society dating from the 1970s.

Survivors of clerical sex abuse condemned the Pope’s statement as another attempt by Church authorities to evade responsibility for the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 PM

The Pope's Merry Christmas: "Only the Truth Saves"

ROME
Chiesa

In his pre-Christmas address to the curia, Benedict XVI is actually speaking to the whole world. Sexual abuse by the clergy, he says, is the effect of the inability to distinguish between good and evil. And he recalls the lesson of Newman: conscience is made to obey the truth

by Sandro Magister

ROME, December 20, 2010 – Wishing a happy Christmas to the Roman curia this morning, Benedict XVI in reality addressed the entire Church and the world. As in previous years, this time as well in the pre-Christmas address – which he himself wrote in its entirety – he wanted to emphasize the main outlines of his pontificate.

In 2005, the focus of his address was the interpretation and implementation of Vatican Council II, and the relationship between continuity and renewal in the Church:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Thousands of Germans quit Catholic Church

GERMANY
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Thousands of Germans have quit the Catholic Church in the wake of a series of sex and corruption scandals that have left the institution reeling.

By Matthew Day, Warsaw

In one diocese alone, Rottenburg-Stuttgart, by mid December 17,659 had turned their back on the Church, compared to 4,563 for the whole of 2009, according to new research by the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper and the DPA press agency.

Augsberg, reflecting a downward trend experienced by most dioceses, saw its flock decline as 11,351 left the Church in comparison to the 6,953 the year, while in Trier 7,029 people quit, a 2,500 increase on the previous year.

"I have never experienced anything like this since my ordination in 1969," said Bishop Friedhelm Hofmann of Wurzburg, adding that "every single departure is one too many".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Boston cardinal apologizes on behalf of monsignor

LOWELL (MA)
NECN

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley has apologized to parishioners at a Lowell Roman Catholic church after a priest called several men "cowards" for accusing the church's former pastor of abuse.

Bishop Peter Uglietto on Sunday read a letter from O'Malley to parishioners at Holy Trinity Church.

The Sun of Lowell reports that the letter was in response Monsignor Stanislaw Kempa who on Dec. 11 took to the pulpit to lash out at three former altar boys, now in their 30s, who alleged abuse at the hands of the Rev. Czeslaw Szymanski (shesh-LAV' sih-MAN'-skee) in the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

BENEDICT XVI, ROMAN CURIA EXCHANGE CHRISTMAS GREETINGS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 20 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Today in the Sala Regia of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father held his traditional meeting with the cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and members of the Roman Curia and of the Governorate of Vatican City State, in order to exchange Christmas greetings.

Recalling the principal events of the past twelve months, the Pope noted how "with great joy we began the Year for Priests and, thanks to God, were able to conclude it with much gratitude, though it was very different to how we had imagined. Among us as priests and among the laity, also and especially the young, a renewed awareness arose of the great gift of the priesthood of the Catholic Church, which was entrusted to us by the Lord. One again we came to understand how beautiful it is that human beings are authorised to pronounce the name of God and, with complete authority, the word of forgiveness, and thus that they are able to change the world, to change life. How beautiful it is that human beings are authorised to pronounce the words of consecration. ... How beautiful it is to be able to remain, with the strength of Lord, close to mankind in his joys and sorrows".

"Thus our shock was even greater when, precisely in this year and in a dimension that we could not imagine, we became aware of the abuse of minors committed by priests who distort the Sacrament into its antithesis: under the veil of the sacred they inflicted profound harm on human beings in their infancy, causing damages that lasts a lifetime.

"In this context", the Pope added, "a vision of St. Hildegard of Bingen came to my mind, who disturbingly describes what we experienced this year".

"In St. Hildegard's vision the face of the Church was soiled with dust, and this is how we saw it. Her vestments were torn, and the fault was of priests. Just as she saw and expressed her vision, so have we lived this year. We must humbly accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call to renewal. Only the truth saves. We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair, as much as possible, the injustice committed. We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our announcement, in our entire way of determining Christian existence, that such a thing could happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Pope urges reflection over abuse

VATICAN CITY
The Press Association

The Pope has said the Catholic Church must reflect on what is wrong with its message and with Christian life in general that allowed for the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests.

He said the church must better train priests so that such abuses never occur again and must figure out how to help victims heal.

The Pope made the remarks to Vatican cardinals and bishops gathered for his traditional Christmas speech, an eagerly anticipated address that he uses to press key issues he wants the church hierarchy to reflect on.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Vatican: Pope calls for Church to reflect on what led to 'unimaginable' abuse

VATICAN CITY
AKI

(AKI) - Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said the Catholic Church has to reflect on how the Christian lifestyle and the Vatican's message may have led to the sexual abuse of children.

The pope said the Church must improve its training of priests to prevent further abuse. He also said the Vatican must understand how to help victims heal.

Benedict spoke to cardinals and bishops who gathered at the Vatican for the traditional Christmas speech. The pope often uses the occasion to speak about important issues facing the Church hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Pope recalls "wounds" of child sex abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
Monsters and Critics

Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI on Monday, in his traditional Christmas address to top Vatican officials, said recent child sex abuse scandals involving priests have left the Catholic Church with a 'soiled face and torn garments.'

The pontiff usually devotes his annual speech to the Roman Curia - the Vatican's administrative body - to reflections on the past year's main events, including his trips abroad.

But on Monday, he only touched briefly on his visits to Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Britain, choosing instead to concentrate mostly on the abuse crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Pope Urges Church to Reflect on Abuse

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: December 20, 2010

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI said on Monday that the Catholic Church must reflect on the failures in its message that allowed for the sexual abuse scandal and that it has to find a way to help heal victims and not ordain potential pedophiles.

“We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that transpired. We must ask ourselves what went wrong in our message, in our entire way of being Christians, so that such a thing could have occurred,” the pope told the Vatican hierarchy in a pointed Christmas message.

Benedict said that that in 2010, abuse cases had reached an “unimaginable dimension.” In recent months, investigations in Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have found that clerics had sexually abused children in the past and the church hierarchy was often found to have covered up the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Again, Vatican delays defrocking serial predator, SNAP responds

IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, jcasteix@gmail.com)

Sixteen years. That’s how long it took the Vatican to finally defrock a notorious Irish predator priest who is accused of molesting at least 40 children. An Irish church official admits at least seven priests knew of the child molesting cleric. Still, it took 16 years to defrock him.

According to the AP “Dublin leaders ordered Catholic priest Tony Walsh defrocked in 1993. But the Vatican overruled the verdict and ordered him sent to an Irish monastery instead. Rome relented in 1996 after police opened a criminal probe and Walsh attacked a boy in a pub restroom following a family funeral.”

According to the BBC, an Irish archbishop “wrote to the Vatican and begged the Pope to dismiss (Walsh). He was eventually defrocked in 1996 - 16 years after the first complaint.”

According to the Irish Times, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said Walsh likely molested hundreds of kids and that “at least seven priests in the archdioceses were aware of Walsh’s behaviour,”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Irish church still owes hundreds of millions of euros, SNAP responds

IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

Yesterday, the Irish Independent ran a story about a notorious predator priest who was only defrocked after 16 year delay by Vatican officials. The article also included this revelation:

Still further damage to the church's moral authority was revealed last night, with confirmation from the Labour Party that religious orders still owe the State hundreds of millions of euro in contributions that were promised after the abuse scandals in industrial schools and reformatories.

The figures, obtained by education spokesman Ruairi Quinn, show that out of €348m pledged last year in cash and property after the Ryan Report, just 6pc has been handed over, and no property has been transferred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Abuse victims flood Irish support groups with calls

IRELAND
Irish Central

By CATHY HAYES, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Irish support groups have received a “steady flow” of calls from survivors of clerical sexual abuse, and their friends and families, following the release of Chapter 19 of the Murphy report on pedophile ex-priest Tony Walsh.

Walsh was previously jailed for the abuse of six boys. He has now been sentenced for the abuse of a further three boys. Dublin Rape Crisis Centre chief executive, Ellen O’Malley, said the flow of calls from victims and their family has been constant since the publication of Chapter 19.

Many of the calls the group has received have been from the parents of the victims. She said many of the parents did not believe their children when they said they had been abused. She said “These parents are absolutely heartbroken” and explained that in some of these cases “their children have taken their own lives”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Pope calls for re-think of Church's central message after abuse scandals

VATICAN CITY
Breaking News (Ireland)

The Catholic Church has to find what is wrong with its message and with Christian life in general following the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests, the Pope said today.

He said the Church must better train priests so the abuse never happens again and must work out how to help victims heal.

The Pope made the remarks to Vatican cardinals and bishops gathered for his traditional Christmas speech, an eagerly anticipated address that he uses to press key issues he wants the Church hierarchy to reflect on.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

John Cooney: Church leaders must pay for failing to act on abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Monday December 20 2010

THE public mood in Ireland is for the prosecution and incarceration of church leaders who facilitated child clerical abusers by following canon law confidentiality, rather than the due process of civil and criminal law.

This mood has hardened after a week in which Irish Catholics went through, yet again, the horror wringer with the delayed publication of chapter 19 of the Murphy report about how church authorities in the Dublin archdiocese failed hundreds of working-class children by allowing "the most notorious child abuser" Tony Walsh to rape for at least two decades.

For the past six years the public has been put through this wringer with the Ferns report, the Ryan and Murphy reports -- and is bracing itself for the pending Commission report on ex-Bishop John Magee and the diocese of Cloyne -- but so far not one senior churchman has been brought to book as demanded by victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

UDIENZA DEL SANTO PADRE ALLA CURIA ROMANA IN OCCASIONE DELLA PRESENTAZIONE DEGLI AUGURI NATALIZI , 20.12.2010

CITTA' DEL VATICAN

Alle ore 11 di questa mattina, nella Sala Regia del Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano, il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI riceve in Udienza i Cardinali con i membri della Curia Romana e del Governatorato per la presentazione degli auguri natalizi.

Nel corso dell’incontro, dopo l’indirizzo di omaggio al Santo Padre del Cardinale Angelo Sodano, Decano del Collegio Cardinalizio, il Papa rivolge ai presenti il discorso che riportiamo di seguito:


DISCORSO DEL SANTO PADRE

Signori Cardinali,

venerati Fratelli nell’Episcopato e nel Presbiterato,

cari fratelli e sorelle!

È con vivo piacere che vi incontro, cari Membri del Collegio Cardinalizio, Rappresentanti della Curia Romana e del Governatorato, per questo appuntamento tradizionale. Rivolgo a ciascuno un cordiale saluto, ad iniziare dal Cardinale Angelo Sodano, che ringrazio per le espressioni di devozione e di comunione, e per i fervidi auguri che mi ha rivolto a nome di tutti. Prope est jam Dominus, venite, adoremus! Contempliamo come un’unica famiglia il mistero dell’Emmanuele, del Dio-con-noi, come ha detto il Cardinale Decano. Ricambio volentieri i voti augurali e desidero ringraziare vivamente tutti, compresi i Rappresentanti Pontifici sparsi per il mondo, per l’apporto competente e generoso che ciascuno presta al Vicario di Cristo e alla Chiesa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Pope: Church must reflect on what allowed abuse

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI said Monday the Catholic Church must reflect on what is wrong with its message and Christian life in general that allowed for the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests.

Benedict said the church must better train priests so that abusers aren't ordained and must figure out how to help victims of pedophile priests heal.

The pope made the remarks to Vatican cardinals and bishops gathered for his traditional Christmas speech, an eagerly anticipated address that Benedict uses to press key issues he wants the church hierarchy to reflect on.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

PEDOPHILES: POPE, PRIESTS' FAULT IF THE CHURCH IS TARNISHED

VATICAN CITY
AGI

(AGI) Vatican City- Pope says the image of the Church has been "tarnished", and it is priests' fault if "the image is torn".

Benedict XVI thus describes the horrible 2010 of the Catholic Church, revealing that, in a vision, Saint Hildegard of Bingen said that "it was the priests' fault if Christ's wounds remained open".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Church destroyed abuse documents but kept summaries

NETHERLANDS
Dutch News

Monday 20 December 2010

Summaries of missing documents detailing sexual abuse within the Catholic church have been kept, church authorities said on Sunday.

On Saturday, the NRC Handelsblad and Dutch world service reported that the former bishop of the diocese of Den Bosch destroyed documentation on sex abuse cases in the 1970s and that another file from the 1990s is also missing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

State urged not to wind down Redress Board

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Monday December 20 2010

THOUSANDS of victims of sexual abuse will be denied compensation unless the government extends the life of the Redress Board, a leading charity has warned, writes Nick Bramhill.

One in Four, the group that provides support to abuse victims, said it was concerned at the Department of Education's moves to wind down the Redress Board.

The charity expressed concern that the findings in the Ryan Report in June last year will prompt many more former residents who suffered abuse, but who have yet to apply for compensation, to lodge claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

'No appetite in church to question priests over allegations'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Louise Hogan

Monday December 20 2010

A PRIEST who formerly served in the same parish where paedophile Tony Walsh served says there was "no appetite" in the church to question senior priests about child abuse.

Fr Joseph Doran, who is attached to the Kilmacud Parish in Dublin, yesterday spoke out about the difficulties he encountered in his two years as a curate in Ballyfermot from 1994 to 1996 -- where ex-cleric Walsh had previously served.

Fr Doran said he was disturbed as a young 25-year-old newly ordained priest to witness clergy going on camping weekends with young people from the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Cleric admits telling gardai of abuse 'wasn't on agenda'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Louise Hogan

Monday December 20 2010

ABUSE victims last night reacted with fury as a senior cleric in the Catholic Church revealed that informing gardai was not part of their "agenda" as they dealt with allegations of sexual abuse.

Monsignor Alex Stenson -- who as chancellor in the Dublin Archdiocese met many victims of clerical abuse -- yesterday said there was not "so much a culture of secrecy but of very responsible confidentiality" within the church.

The church in Dublin has come under fire after a hard-hitting report said it had failed hundreds of children by allowing "notorious child abuser" Tony Walsh to continue his attacks for nearly two decades after they were first reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Paedophile Walsh told Stenson of incidents with boys

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Louise Hogan

Monday December 20 2010

Former priest Tony Walsh is deemed the "most notorious child sexual abuser" to have come to the attention of the commission investigating abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese.

The earliest allegations against Walsh date to before his ordination in 1978 but these did not emerge until later.

Two days after he was appointed to Ballyfermot parish in July 1978 a complaint was received that he had sexually abused an eight-year-old boy. This he denied. In 1979, the mother of a 14-year-old boy alleged he had been abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Church needs to be honest in abuse claims

NEW YORK
Auburn Citizen

Michael Schillace / Auburn AuburnPub.com | Posted: Monday, December 20, 2010

With another report of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, people want to know if it will ever end. The way to end the problem immediately is with radical honesty.

If the Church were to demand every single priest who ever sexual abused anyone come forward, admit what they did, and face the consequences, perhaps these surprises that come up every few years would start to go away.

The Church tells lay people to come forward and confess their sins and do penance. In the early years of Christianity, this was much more open and penance was done publicly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

December 19, 2010

Murphy Commission Report — Chapter 19 Tony Walsh. Summary

IRELAND
Bock the Robber

[includes a timeline]

By Bock
Dec 19th, 2010

I have tried to summarise chronologically the recently published chapter 19 from the Murphy Report on the serial sex-abuser priest Tony Walsh, so that it can be digested more easily.

Sometimes, as I went through the report, I was so horrified or disbelieving that I highlighted something in boldface so that I could come back to it. For example, I was staggered at the evidence of a Garda in 1991 who, even though a priest had called to him about a church inquiry into a sex abuser, was able to say that no specific complaint of sex abuse had been made. This garda informed a priest that there was no question of a prosecution and subsequently gave evidence to a diocesan inquiry, but never tried to have the rapist arrested.

As you read through this chronology, you might find yourself astounded at the inability of the bishops and priests to recognise that they were dealing with a serious criminal. You might be astounded at the attitude of Gerard Sheehy, a cleric who considered it outrageous that the bishop should consider telling the police a priest was raping children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Murphy report prompts concerns that five priests were part of Dublin paedophile ring

IRELAND
Sunday Tribune

John Downes, News Investigations Correspondent

A newly released section of the Murphy report has detailed for the first time how five of the country's most notorious clerical child abusers forged close links with one another as they raped and molested their victims.

The revelation, which prominent abuse survivor Andrew Madden said "sends a chill down the spine", has prompted fresh concerns about the existence of a paedophile ring within the Dublin archdiocese at the time.

The five priests involved are the Ballyfermot-based "singing priest" Fr Tony Walsh, who was the subject of chapter 19 of the report published last Friday,

Fr Bill Carney, Fr Noel Reynolds, Fr Francis McCarthy and Fr Patrick Maguire. A previously unpublished section of the main Murphy commission report, which along with the whole of chapter 19 was held back for legal reasons until last week, outlines how Walsh used a room provided to him by Fr Noel Reynolds in Kilmore to abuse his victims after Reynolds gave him a key.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Vatican't is finished but true believers can still save faith

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sunday December 19 2010

AS the two-thousand-and-tenth birthday of Christ approaches, it seems worthwhile to examine the spiritual condition and worthiness of those who claim to represent Christ on our behalf, though they know well Christ doesn't need a representative.

Early in the year we were scandalised by the Bishop of Ferns, who, in a suicidal act of luminous offence, actually dared to declare in a public statement that in the five years since the publication of the Ferns Report (which was our first real inkling of the horror), the diocese had had to fork out so much money to victims and lawyers that it was broke and the Irish people had "a God-given responsibility" to help pay.

He actually dared to suggest that if we told him "go fuck yourself", that would not be true Christian behaviour! As if he had a right to talk about Christian behaviour. His house had to be re-mortgaged, he said to reporters. When the whole shagging country was in the same boat. Poor Diddums.

There is not a chance on earth that "The Vatican't" (as I prefer to call it), so rich from little old ladies giving their last frightened pence, did not know of this plan. That was when we decided to stand up for ourselves. And I decided to stand up and fight for the honour of the Holy Spirit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Questions remain as eyes turn to two serving bishops and canon lawyers

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

ANALYSIS: Chapter 19 reveals that by March 1985, seven priests were aware of concerns about Walsh

TWO SERVING bishops have familiar questions to answer following publication last Friday of parts of the Murphy report which dealt with former priest Tony Walsh. They are Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey and Auxiliary Bishop Éamonn Walsh.

Bishop McAreavey, who as a canon lawyer sat on the tribunal which defrocked Tony Walsh in 1993, has remained silent since chapter 19 and relevant sections of chapter 4 of the Murphy report were published last Friday. He has yet to explain why he made no effort to report Walsh’s known criminal behaviour to the gardaí then or afterwards.

Others who served on the tribunal with him from January 1992 were the recently retired Bishop of Killaloe Willie Walsh and the late Fr Paddy Corcoran.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Prayers said at Mass for victims

IRELAND
The Irish Times

FIONA GARTLAND

VICTIMS: PRAYERS WERE said for the victims of jailed former priest Tony Walsh at Mass yesterday in Ballyfermot, Dublin.

At Our Lady of Assumption Church on Kylemore Road, parish priest Fr Michael O’Kelly asked the congregation to pray for all those affected by the revelations earlier in the week.

Chapter 19 of the Murphy report into child sexual abuse in the Dublin diocese relating to Walsh was finally published last Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Support groups report rise in calls

IRELAND
The Irish Times

KITTY HOLLAND, PATSY McGARRY and PADDY AGNEW in Rome

ORGANISATIONS SUPPORTING victims of childhood sexual abuse have reported a high volume of calls for help over the weekend, following publication of the Murphy report chapter about paedophile former priest Tony Walsh.

Publication of the chapter was approved after Walsh, who was previously jailed for sexually abusing six boys, was sentenced to 16 years for abusing a further three victims.

In Rome, the Holy See yesterday had no wish to comment on the previously redacted Murphy Report chapter. Senior Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said: “I have nothing to add to the comments made by the Archbishop of Dublin . . .”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

SFA SNARED IN NEW ROW OVER OFFENSIVE JOKE

SCOTLAND
Express

By Dean Herbert

A NEW row is about to erupt at the SFA after it was alleged that bosses laughed at another e-mail joke about child abuse in the Catholic church.

Staff sacked over an “insulting” e-mail about the Pope, say that senior managers circulated an even more offensive message containing a spoof advertisement.

Four staff were recently fired by Scotland’s football governing body for forwarding an e-mail branding the Pontiff a danger to children on the day of his visit to Scotland in September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Synodal Investigation Commission begins work

CANADA/UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Date Published: 12/13/2010
Publication: Orthodox Church in America website

SYOSSET, NY [OCA] -- The Investigation Commission mandated by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to investigate allegations against His Eminence, Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada, met via conference call in early December 2010.

His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, chairs the Commission, while Archpriest Richard Hawrish and Mr. David Grier serve as coordinator and secretary respectively.

Other Commission members include His Grace, Bishop Melchisedek, Protopresbyter Mironne Klysh, Dr. Lila Amirali, and Dr. Thomas Kolivakis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

SFA bosses are linked to 'even worse' e-mail than Pope slur

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

Published Date: 20 December 2010
By Tristan Stewart-Robertson

ANOTHER sectarian e-mail row has erupted over messages allegedly circulated at the Scottish Football Association.

Four staff sacked for passing a previous e-mail about the Pope will now appeal against the decision and claim their bosses laughed at an even more offensive message.

A video clip, from a US comedy website, features a boy who suffers a sex attack by a priest but is then protected by "Priest Off" spray.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

LYNN PETRUSKA SPEAKS OUT

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

Barrister Lynette Petruska, who works at Chet Pleban’s law firm, is a former nun who once served as chaplain at Gannon University in Erie, PA. That’s where she says she experienced injustice and discrimination after opposing sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct committed by priests at the school. Last year, in cooperation with a lay Catholic reform group, The Voice of the Faithful (VOTF.org), Petruska set up the Emily and Rosemary Fund to “support women working in the Catholic Church who face financial hardship as a result of discrimination and injustice in the church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Defense downplays threats by Perlitz against two federal prosecutors

NEW HAVEN (CT)
CT Post

Michael P. Mayko, Staff Writer
Published: 02:31 p.m., Sunday, December 19, 2010

NEW HAVEN -- Lawyers for Douglas Perlitz downplayed threats and disparaging remarks he, and a younger brother, made against two federal prosecutors in telephone conversations recorded last summer at the Wyatt Federal Detention Center in Rhode Island..

Instead, David Grudberg and William F. Dow, III, Perlitz's lawyers blamed the heated comments on emotion and frustration stemming from the defendant's arrest, detention and eventual conviction for sexually abusing homeless Haitian boys in a program he established to help them.

"The fact remains, however, that the (criminal justice) process often is taxing and frustrating, especially for those in custody," explained Grudberg, who will try to convince U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton that Perlitz deserves much less than the nearly 20 year sentence prosecutors are demanding. "This frustration and emotion often leads parties affected by the process to vent in any number of ways -- against their lawyers, against the justice system or against the prosecution...it is vital to differentiate between expressions of frustration and a genuine plot to do harm."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Zeichen setzen und Stachel im Fleisch der Gesellschaft werden

DEUTSCHLAND
Shatter Our Silence

Dazu dient diese Grafik. Sie verdeutlicht: Der Staat und die Kirchen haben sich ein zweites Mal an den ehemaligen Heimkindern vergangen. Der Tag ihres Vergehens ist fest markiert: 13. 12. 2010. Wo immer auch diese Grafik erscheint, wird an diese Schande erinnert. Denn das ist jetzt das wichtigste Anliegen der Täterseite: den Mantel des Vergessens um diesen Skandal zu legen. Sie wollen zur Tagespolitik zurückkehren und dieses Thema nie wieder im Munde führen. Auch die Presse soll den Sündenfall vom 13. Dezember ganz schnell abhaken. Drei schwache Opfervertreter von Vollmers Gnaden wurden öffentlich vorgeführt. Sie klammern sich an ein Versprechen, das im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes ein Ver-sprechen ist. Dass der Fond keinen Deckel hat, bei Bedarf neu gefüllt werden kann, glauben nur einfältige Menschen. In fünf Jahren werden vielleicht noch einmal 10 Mio. Euro nachgeschoben, weil Pastorin Vollmer von ihrem Altersruhesitz aus noch einmal den Moralapostel spielt und an eine Zusage erinnert, die ein juristisches Windei ist; ein Rechtsanspruch besteht nicht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Tears of the Virgin Mary meet the Smoke of Satan

UNITED STATES
ministry Values

By Stephen Ryan December 19, 2010

Tears of the Virgin Mary meet the Smoke of Satan - Were the Weeping Statues of Seton a prelude to the sex abuse crisis?

“When tears shed by Marian images are declared miraculous by the church, they take on an almost cosmic significance. They show concern for events past and forewarn of dangers to come.” Agostino Bono -The Catholic Herald

Malachi Brendan Martin Ph.D. a Catholic priest, theologian, writer on the Catholic Church, and professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute wrote in his 1990 non-fiction best seller “The Keys of Blood” that a “superforce” along with the smoke of Satan had entered the Vatican. He writes:

“Most frighteningly for Pope John Paul II, he had come up against the irremovable presence of a malign strength in his own Vatican and in certain bishops’ chanceries. It was what knowledgeable Churchmen called the ‘superforce.’ Pope Paul VI had alluded somberly to ‘the smoke of Satan which has entered the Sanctuary’. . . an oblique reference to an enthronement ceremony by Satanists in the Vatican. Besides, the incidence of Satanic pedophilia—rites and practices— was already documented among certain bishops and priests as widely dispersed as Turin, in Italy, and South Carolina, in the United States. The cultic acts of Satanic pedophilia are considered by professionals to be the culmination of the Fallen Archangel’s rites

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

High-Ranking NY Priest Defrocked For Molestation

NEW YORK
Gothamist

The highest ranking New York-based priest accused of molestation was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenager by a church tribunal last week. Monsignor Charles Kavanagh, who formerly led St. Raymond's parish in the Bronx, and was the chief fund-raiser for the Archdiocese of New York, was dismissed from the clergy following the guilty verdict on Friday. "I would like to take this occasion to renew our apologies to all those who have been harmed by the sin and crime of sexual abuse, and in particular to the gentleman who was the victim in this case," said Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

In 2002, Daniel Donohue came forward after 30 years to accuse Kavanagh of abuse while he attended Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in Manhattan. Kavanagh was found guilty of two lewd acts against Donohue; Kavanagh allegedly jumped on top of Donohue while the teen was lying on a rectory couch, and climbing into his hotel bed, wearing just his underwear, while they attended a pro-life rally in DC in the '70s. Donohue told the Post that he had been haunted by the abuse for years: "My poor wife has seen my suffering and my screaming in the night."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

SNAP: Milwaukee Archdiocese Offer "Bribe"

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WHBL

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests calls a cash offer from the Milwaukee Archdiocese a bribe – unless the church agrees to other concessions.

A spokesman for SNAP says the group also wants the archdiocese to be more transparent. And, it wants every priest to sign a document saying he’s never sexually abused a child.

The archdiocese had offered $4.6 million to resolve lawsuits filed by 16 alleged victims. The group says the settlement was rejected because money is secondary to other concerns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

More German Catholics leave scandal-plagued flock

GERMANY
Deutche Welle

Tens of thousands of German Catholics cancelled their church membership in 2010 - considerably more than in 2009 - taking their automatic tax donations with them. The recent abuse scandals motivated many church-leavers.

Thousands more German Catholics have left their church this year than in 2009, with the recent string of sexual abuse revelations and other public scandals apparently motivating many people's decisions.

Recent studies by the Frankfurter Rundschau daily and the dpa news agency concur that the country's Catholic churches have lost considerably more members in 2010 than in recent years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

More cover-up allegations over paedophile priests

IRELAND
Digital Journal

It’s being claimed that the Vatican prevented a dangerous paedophile priest from being defrocked, and didn’t act till he had gone on to assault a boy in a pub toilet.

This is only the latest chapter in the Catholic Church’s alleged cover-up of priests who have sexually assaulted children and young people.

Earlier this year, Digital Journal reported on how the future Pope Benedict XVI put the good of the Catholic Church before pleas to defrock a California priest with a history of child molestation. This was according to a 1985 letter bearing his signature.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Father Vasile Susan Wins Critical Motions in Civil Suit

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Date Published: 12/17/2010

Related Document: Order 12-3-2010

Related Document: Garklavs Emails

OCA Spends $20,000 Trying to Quash Subpoena

On December 3, 2010, Judge Dorothy Kirie Kinnaird ruled that the Chancery Court of Cook County, Illinois, had subject matter jurisdiction over the lawsuit filed by Father Vasile Susan against the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (ROEA) and Archbishop Nathanial Popp. Kinnaird also refused to quash the subpoena that Susan’s attorneys had served on the metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), Jonah Paffhausen.

Commenting on his victory, Susan told Pokrov.org, “In the USA the civil court proceedings and documents are showing transparency, openness and are records for the interested public. This is the reason why I think that it will be in the best interest of the ROEA and OCA membership, as clergy and laity, to know the hidden truth. We truly believe in God, and we trust our American Justice System. Our transparency demonstrates our openness for the truth which will set us free.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Bishop Vikentios Levels Shocking Charges Against Metropolitan Paisios

UNITED STATES
Pokrov

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 12/19/2010
Publication: The National Herald (USA)

NEW YORK - Bishop Vikentios of Apameia has made stunning allegations about Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana tenure at the Saint Irene Chrysovalantou Monastery and its Dependencies in Astoria, N.Y., including charges that the Metropolitan sexually abused the Bishop’s brother, Spyros Malamatenios, who was 17 at the time. In a long interview with The National Herald, Bishop Vikentios (Malamatenios), a close associate of Metropolitan Paisios (Loulourgas) for 40 years and co-founder of the Monastery, outlined a sordid tale of sex and other alleged wrongdoings. In the lengthy interview - which was taken on tape - live and unconditionally at the Headquarters of TNH in New York, Bishop Vikentios made revelations of alleged serious excesses by the Metropolitan, including that he was involved with people of both sexes, including the young nun, Christonymphi, who now has given up the Monastic vows and talked to the police. Bishop Vikentios also revealed that, according to his information, the former nun had been pregnant but did not know by whom. Simultaneously, Bishop Vikentios asked “forgiveness from the victims’ of Paisios,” at least one of whom, Andreas Georgiou, is already launching a lawsuit against the Monastery and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Other alleged victims are expected to follow.

The Metropolitan left the Monastery after submitting two letters of resignation in October, citing health reasons, and returned to Athens, Greece. TNH called him at his residence there on Dec. 11 to give him the opportunity to comment on the allegations and the Bishop’s entire interview, but when the Metropolitan heard who the call was from he hung up the phone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Archdiocese apologizes for Lowell pastor's criticism of abuse allegations

LOWELL (MA)
Lowell Sun

By Lisa Redmond and Robert Mills, Sun Staff
Updated: 12/19/2010

LOWELL -- On Dec. 11, Monsignor Stanislaw Kempa stood at the pulpit at Holy Trinity Church and called several unidentified men "cowards" for accusing the church's former pastor of abusing them decades ago.

Yesterday afternoon, a high-ranking bishop with the Archdiocese of Boston was sent to the parish to read a letter of personal apology from Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

Bishop Peter Uglietto celebrated Mass in place of pastor Kempa in the church at 340 High St., reading the letter aloud before about 50 parishioners. He said O'Malley wished to read the letter himself but was unable to attend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Missbrauch und Mixa: Aderlass für die Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Mittelbayerische

Frankfurt/Main. Nach Bekanntwerden des Missbrauchskandals sind dieses Jahr mehrere Zehntausend Gläubige aus der katholischen Kirche ausgetreten. Besonders groß ist der Aderlass nach einer Umfrage der Nachrichtenagentur dpa im Bistum Augsburg, wo der damalige Bischof Walter Mixa im Frühjahr einräumen musste, als Stadtpfarrer Heimkinder geschlagen zu haben. Hier verließen von Januar bis Mitte Dezember 11.351 Menschen die Kirche. Im Vorjahr waren es 6953 gewesen.

Noch dramatischer ist die Entwicklung laut „Frankfurter Rundschau“ im Bistum Rottenburg-Stuttgart, wo bis Mitte November 17.169 Katholiken ihrer Kirche den Rücken kehrten (2009: 10.619). Im Bistum Trier traten dem Bericht zufolge 7029 Mitglieder bis Mitte November aus (2009: 4583). Im Bistum Würzburg waren es laut dpa-Umfrage bis Oktober 5484 (2009: 3788) und im Bistum Osnabrück bis November 2817 (2009: 2100). Das Bistum Bamberg rechnet bis zum Jahresende mit rund 6000 Austritten (2009: 3991).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

D: Missbrauchs-Fall im Erzbistum Berlin?

DEUTSCHLAND
Radio Vatikan

Gegen den katholischen Pfarrer der Herz-Jesu-Gemeinde in Tegel gibt es einen Missbrauchsverdacht. Das teilte das Erzbistum Berlin an diesem Sonntag mit. Seit November sei der Priester nicht mehr in der Gemeinde tätig. Der Vorfall soll sich in den 90er Jahren ereignet haben. Nach Angaben des Erzbistums handelt es sich um einen „minderschweren Vorwurf“. Den Vorwurf habe ein anonymer Anrufer über die Hotline der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz erhoben, sagte der Missbrauchsbeauftragte des Erzbistums, Dompropst Stefan Dybowski. Kardinal Georg Sterzinsky habe eine Untersuchungskommission eingesetzt und eine Voruntersuchung angeordnet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Fresh Catholic church abuse allegations, as Germans leave in droves

GERMANY
Monsters and Critics

Berlin - New allegations of sexual child abuse by Catholic clergy surfaced in Berlin on Sunday - as it emerged that thousands of Germans had left the church in the wake of this year's abuse scandal.

A caller to an abuse hotline set up by the Catholic church alleged that a Berlin priest had abused minors in the 1990s, the church said.

The diocese of Berlin had launched investigations and placed the priest on temporary leave, the diocese added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Perv priest slaps probe

NEW YORK
New York Post

By CYNTHIA R. FAGEN

The highest-ranking New York priest ensnared in the Catholic Church sex scandal was never asked for his side of the story by the district attorneys investigating him, the clergyman's sister claimed yesterday.

Monsignor Charles Kavanagh -- defrocked Wednesday after the church concluded that he sexually abused a former student decades ago -- told his sister, Anne Mandt, that the neither the Manhattan, Bronx or Westchester DA ever contacted him.

"If somebody had asked him these questions . . . they would have found out that it's a flat-out lie," Mandt said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Het geheime archief in de kast van de bisschop

NEDERLAND
NRC

Dossiers met meldingen van misbruik door priesters werden bijgehouden om vernietigd te worden

Voor het eerst zijn er concrete aanwijzingen dat kerkelijke archieven in Nederland zijn geschoond. Meldingen van misbruik zijn zo verloren gegaan.

Bisschoppelijk archivaris Jan Peijnenburg was openhartig toen hij op 26 oktober 1990 met historicus Eric Theloosen sprak. Nijmegenaar Theloosen was in het bisschoppelijk archief in Den Bosch voor onderzoek naar de Heilig Landstichting in zijn woonplaats.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

A face likes his belies this kind of crime

CONNECTICUT
CT Post

Doug Perlitz has a face like "Christ on Earth."

That's how Perlitz's lawyers say supporters describe him.

Let's mull this over. This is an admitted child abuser. He traded food -- basic human sustenance and shelter -- to homeless Haitian boys, street kids, for sex. That's depraved. There's nothing Christ-like about that.

All the while he ran the Project Pierre Toussaint school, Perlitz dispensed little that came without strings attached. He built a charity. And he used it to rake in donations from well-intending and unsuspecting supporters to feed what he craved: forcible sex with some of the poorest, most downtrodden and vulnerable children in the world. That's rape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

'Chapter 19' release sees same pain, and same excuses

IRELAND
Irish Independent

The attitude of the church to clerical child abuse has not changed and it never will, says a furious Emer O Kelly

Sunday December 19 2010

It will never change. They have not changed, and will never change. The "missing" chapter of the report on how the Dublin Catholic Archdiocese enquired into child abuse by priests makes heartbreaking reading -- the same, terrible, familiar heartbreak, the same helpless sense of being unable to offer comfort to those whose pain is weary and repetitive as they live their broken lives.

The victims of those men in black who lived and smirked as they destroyed -- all the while being protected by the other men in black supposedly dedicated to eternal truth and love -- must go on weeping while excuses are made for the men who preyed on those victims.

The predators are exemplified by the name Tony Walsh, a former "singing priest" and the chilling subject of Chapter 19 of Judge Yvonne Murphy's report, a chapter held sub judice until now because the State did not wish to prejudice its case for having the creature called Tony Walsh taken off the streets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Why Not Give Compensation to those Who Suffered?

UNITED STATES
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

Friday, December 17, 2010

...And then my thoughts turn to another human made disaster -- the disaster of abuse.

My first thoughts were about clergy abuse survivors. Wikileaks revealed that the Vatican, while one side professing concern for survivors, took offense that they might be investigated by a commission investigating clergy abuse in Ireland. Once again the concern is for those who hold power and prestige and not those who are wounded.

Jesus said, "What so ever you do for the least of these, you do for me."

In the expanded version of that saying -- in the Gospel of Matthew 24: 35-46, Jesus actually says that you will go to hell if you don't give to those in need or visit those who are sick or in prison.

I think many Catholics are afraid of losing their churches and their schools, but one of the most dynamic parishes I've ever seen was St. Juan Diego here in Portland, which managed without a church building for 6 years or so. The people of the parish lived the saying, "The church is the people."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Scottish Football Association chiefs accused over second child abuse spoof

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

Dec 19 2010 Exclusive by Russell Findlay, Sunday Mail

A SECOND email making jokes about child abuse will reignite civil war at the Scottish Football Association, we can reveal.

At an appeal on Wednesday, staff sacked for passing on an email about the Pope will claim bosses laughed at an even more offensive message.

One source said: "They are furious and think they are the scapegoats for this. The SFA tried to make it look as if they have acted decisively but it seems they have opened a huge can of worms instead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Institutional child abuse and the making of amends

GERMANY
Shatter Our Silence

A shameful compensation offer for abused and exploited former German children and juvenile inmates of state and church correctional and industrial Homes and Institutions.

Two generations of children and teenagers being confined in foster-home and correctional schools, confined in church institutions or state institutions of one kind or another, institutions for the detention of children and minors --- an estimated 3,500 such institutions in total existed in postwar West-Germany in the late 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s, up until the mid 1980s !

Even according to conservative estimates we have contributed billions of Euros to the GDP of Germany. This was done while we were children, working with our small bodies at great cost to our health, well being, education and our own prosperity. The vast majority of us were never allowed to go to good schools while we labored. As a result, we could not study or even learn a skill that would grant us the chance of gainful employment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Media's Double Standard Continues When Reporting Child Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
NewsBusters

By Dave Pierre | December 18, 2010

Here are two stories from this past week:

1. "A [newly released] General Accountability Office (GAO) investigation has found that people with histories of sexual misconduct are still getting hired by school systems across the [United States] ... The biggest problem may be 'passing the trash.' These were cases GAO found in which school systems just let suspected sexual offenders resign, and even wrote them glowing letters of recommendation, so they could find teaching jobs elsewhere."

2. "The Dublin (Ireland) Archdiocese should have taken action years earlier against Tony Walsh, probably the most notorious child sexual abuser among its priests, according to [a] commission investigating clerical child sex allegations in the archdiocese." The Church laicized Walsh (removed him as a priest) in 1995.

Which story did the New York Times completely ignore? Which story returns 110 results and 507 news articles on Google News, while the other returns only 6 results and 43 news articles?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Nederlandse bisschop vernietigde dossiers rond seksueel misbruik

NEDERLAND
hcvl

Het Nederlandse bisdom van Den Bosch heeft jarenlang dossiers rond seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk vernietigd. Dat bekende oud-bisschop Jan Bluyssen.

De 84-jarige Bluyssen en voormalig bisschoppelijk archivaris Jan Peijnenburg (74) bevestigen aan NRC Handelsblad dat geheime archieven vernietigd werden. Bluyssen versnipperde in de jaren 70 belastende informatie. Ook in de jaren 90 werd een geheim archief verwijderd.

"Ik heb het weggegooid. Het was voorbij, de zaken waren afgewerkt. Dat er nog een vraag over zou komen, daar heb ik toen niet bij stil gestaan. Maar er zat weinig interessants bij, daarom vond ik toen ook dat het wel weg kon. Ik zal niet ingaan op een verzoek hierover te spreken. Ik weet er verder ook weinig meer van", bekende Bluyssen in de Nederlandse krant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Nederlandse bisschop vernietigde dossiers rond seksueel misbruik

NEDERLAND
Gazet Van Antwerpen

Het Nederlandse bisdom van Den Bosch heeft jarenlang dossiers rond seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk vernietigd. Dat bekende oud-bisschop Jan Bluyssen.

De 84-jarige Bluyssen en voormalig bisschoppelijk archivaris Jan Peijnenburg (74) bevestigen aan NRC Handelsblad dat geheime archieven vernietigd werden. Bluyssen versnipperde in de jaren 70 belastende informatie. Ook in de jaren 90 werd een geheim archief verwijderd.

"Ik heb het weggegooid. Het was voorbij, de zaken waren afgewerkt. Dat er nog een vraag over zou komen, daar heb ik toen niet bij stil gestaan. Maar er zat weinig interessants bij, daarom vond ik toen ook dat het wel weg kon. Ik zal niet ingaan op een verzoek hierover te spreken. Ik weet er verder ook weinig meer van", bekende Bluyssen in de Nederlandse krant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Nederlandse bisschop vernietigde misbruikdossiers

NEDERLAND
Het Nieuwsblad

Het bisdom van het Nederlandse Den Bosch heeft jarenlang dossiers rond seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk vernietigd. Emeritus-bisschop Jan Bluyssen gaf aan NRC Handelsblad toe dat hij de belastende informatie in de jaren zeventig versnipperd heeft.

De informatie lag opgeslagen in geheime archieven. Oud-bisschop Jan Bluyssen (84) en voormalig bisschoppelijk archivaris Jan Peijnenburg (74) bevestigen in de krant dat de geheime archieven vernietigd werden. Ook een ander geheim archief dat in de jaren negentig werd samengesteld is weg.

'Ik heb het weggegooid. Het was voorbij, de zaken waren afgewerkt', aldus de 84-jarige bisschop Bluyssen in NRC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Nederlandse bisschop vernietigde misbruikdossiers

NEDERLAND
De Standaard

Het bisdom van het Nederlandse Den Bosch heeft jarenlang dossiers rond seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk vernietigd. Emeritus-bisschop Jan Bluyssen gaf aan NRC Handelsblad toe dat hij de belastende informatie in de jaren zeventig versnipperd heeft.

De informatie lag opgeslagen in geheime archieven. Oud-bisschop Jan Bluyssen (84) en voormalig bisschoppelijk archivaris Jan Peijnenburg (74) bevestigen in de krant dat de geheime archieven vernietigd werden. Ook een ander geheim archief dat in de jaren negentig werd samengesteld is weg.

'Ik heb het weggegooid. Het was voorbij, de zaken waren afgewerkt', aldus de 84-jarige bisschop Bluyssen in NRC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Commissie Deetman bevestigt verdwijnen archieven

NEDERLAND
Kerknieuws

De onderzoekscommissie-Deetman zegt dat er inderdaad een verklaring is binnengekomen over verdwenen spraakmakende archieven binnen het bisdom Den Bosch. De verklaring wordt betrokken bij het wetenschappelijk onderzoek onder leiding van oud-minister Wim Deetman. Dat zei de woordvoerder van de commissie zaterdag.

Volgens de woordvoerder start de onderzoekscommissie "binnenkort" met het archiefonderzoek binnen bisdommen, congregaties en ordes.

Volgens NRC Handelsblad stuurde historicus Eric Theloosen enkele maanden geleden een verklaring naar de onderzoekscommissie, waarin staat dat oud-bisschop Bluyssen spraakmakende dossiers vernietigde in de jaren zeventig. Emeritus-bisschop Bluyssen heeft dat toegegeven aan NRC. In de dossiers stond informatie over onder meer seksueel misbruik door priesters. Ook een geheim archief samengesteld door oud-bisschop Jan ter Schure in de jaren negentig is verdwenen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Bisdom Den Bosch versnipperde dossiers seksueel misbruik

NEDERLAND
Blik Op Nieuws

Den Bosch - Tientallen jaren lang heeft het bisdom Den Bosch dossiers over seksueel misbruik door priesters vernietigd. Dit schrijft NRC Handelsblad op basis van verklaringen van de 84-jarige oud-bisschop Jan Bluyssen en voormalig bisschoppelijk archivaris, de 74-jarige Jan Peijnenburg.

Oud-bisschop Jan Bluyssen versnipperde die belastende informatie in de jaren zeventig. Volgens Bluyssen heeft hij de dossiers weggegooid omdat de zaken waren afgewerkt. Hij zegt er nooit bij stil te hebben gestaan dat er nog vragen zouden kunnen komen. 'Maar er zat weinig interessants bij, daarom vond ik toen ook dat het wel weg kon.', aldus Jan Bluyssen in de krant. Jan Bluyssen was bisschop van Den Bosch tussen 1966 en 1983.

In de krant staat verder dat ook een geheim archief uit de jaren negentig, samengesteld door oud-bisschop Ter Schure, weg is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Oud-bisschop wil praten over vernietigen stukken

NEDERLAND
Trouw

(Novum) - Emeritus-bisschop Jan Bluyssen spreekt op korte termijn met voorzitter van de commissie die het misbruik binnen de katholieke kerk in Nederland onderzoekt Wim Deetman. Dat meldt het bisdom Den Bosch zaterdag.

NRC Handelsblad schrijft zaterdag op basis van verklaringen van de 84-jarige oud-bisschop Bluyssen en voormalig bisschoppelijk archivaris Jan Peijnenburg van 74 jaar dat het bisdom Den Bosch tientallen jaren achtereen dossiers over seksueel misbruik door priesters heeft vernietigd. Historicus Eric Theloosen zou de commissie-Deetman in september over de kwestie hebben geïnformeerd.

De krant zou samen met de Wereldomroep in het bezit zijn gekomen van die verklaring. Er waren al langer geruchten dat kerkelijke archieven werden opgeschoond. Het is echter voor het eerst dat er concrete aanwijzingen over worden gemeld.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

OPROEP: Hoe beleeft u het rooms-katholieke geloof?

NEDERLAND
NOS

Deze oproep is nu gesloten. We verwerken momenteel de gegevens die we van u kregen en hopen in de laatste week van dit jaar met berichtgeving te komen.

Het was een roerig jaar in rooms-katholiek Nederland. Een priester in het bisdom Den Bosch weigerde een homoseksuele prins Carnaval de hostie. In Obdam organiseerde een priester een WK-mis. En na Amerika, Ierland en Duitsland kwamen ook in Nederland verhalen over seksueel misbruik door priesters en geestelijken aan het licht.

De NOS wil graag weten wat deze gebeurtenissen met u als rooms-katholiek hebben gedaan. Wat heeft u ervan gemerkt in uw omgeving of juist niet? En wat betekent het voor uw persoonlijke geloofsleven?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Paus hoort bij belangrijkste personen van het jaar

VERENIGDE STATEN
Kerknieuws

Paus Benedictus XVI is volgens het Amerikaanse tijdschrift Time één van de belangrijkste personen van 2010. Mark Zuckerberg, de oprichter van facebook, is volgens het tijdschrift de belangrijkste persoon van het jaar.

De kerkvader stond vorig jaar niet in het overzicht van meest belangrijke personen van 2009. Dat hij er nu wel in staat, heeft Benedictus vooral te danken aan de vele gevallen van seksueel misbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk. De paus kwam hierdoor veel in het nieuws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

'Dit lijkt wel het proces van de Kerk'

BELGIE
De Standaard

BRUSSEL - Advocaat Paul Quirynen, die de bisschoppen bijstaat in de Kamercommissie seksueel misbruik, is niet blij met de manier waarop zij worden aangepakt. 'Ik heb soms echt het gevoel naar een kruisverhoor te zitten luisteren dat grenst aan het populisme.'

Van onze redacteur

Goed een maand is de bijzondere commissie seksueel misbruik in de Kamer bezig. De voorbije week werden alle bisschoppen gehoord. Volgende week komen nog kardinaal Godfried Danneels en aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard aan bod. Paul Quirynen, die als advocaat de bisschoppen op de commissie heeft voorbereid, houdt zijn hart al vast voor dinsdag, wanneer Danneels wordt gehoord.

'De kardinaal zal zichzelf zijn', zegt Quirynen. 'Maar ik vrees dat de politici, nadat het gerecht dat deze zomer al heeft gedaan, hem een tweede keer aan het kruis zullen willen nagelen. Ik hoop dat ze Danneels niet als beschuldigde zullen beschouwen. De kardinaal heeft erg zijn best gedaan. Hij was het die gepleit heeft om de commissie Halsberghe op te richten. Ik verwacht van de politici ook dat ze respect tonen voor degenen die de titel van kardinaal en aartsbisschop dragen.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Bisschoppen hekelen politieke heksenjacht

BELGIE
De Standaard

BRUSSEL - Paul Quirynen, de advocaat van de Belgische bisschoppen, is niet te spreken over de manier waarop zij in de bijzondere kamercommissie seksueel misbruik worden aangepakt.

Van onze redacteur

Het ging er de voorbije week bij momenten hard aan toe in de bijzondere commissie seksueel misbruik. Daar werden de Belgische bisschoppen een na een op de rooster gelegd.

Volgens Paul Quirynen, advocaat van de Belgische bisschoppen, is dat niet met het grootste respect gebeurd. In een interview met De Standaard verwijt hij de commissie een gebrek aan kennis en inzicht, achterdocht en vijandigheid. Hij zegt ook dat details te veel worden opgeklopt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Kloosters vangen minderjarige asielzoekers op

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

KNESSELARE/EEKLO - De Broeders van Liefde zijn van plan asielzoekertjes van twaalf tot veertien jaar op te vangen in kloosters in Knesselare en Eeklo. Nu de katholieke Kerk gebukt gaat onder een stortvloed aan schandalen van seksueel misbruik, doet dat heel wat wenkbrauwen fronsen. 'Maar wij kunnen die kinderen toch niet in de kou laten staan?'

De Broeders van Liefde willen vijftig niet-begeleide asielzoekertjes opvangen in het gewezen nonnenklooster van de Zusters Kindsheid Jesu in Eeklo en in het klooster Bethanië van de Broeders van Liefde in Knesselare. Het gaat om jongeren van 12 tot 14 jaar, vooral uit Oost-Europa, Iran, Irak en Afghanistan. In Knesselare zijn ze vanaf eind dit jaar welkom, in Eeklo vanaf januari.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Our Kinghts In Rusting Armor: K of C Hit With First Sex Abuse Scandal

UNITED STATES
OpEd News

By Dan Vojir

Holy hypocrisy! One of the most powerful lay organizations in the world has finally succumbed to a sex-abuse scandal: The Roman Catholic Church's own Knights of Columbus. Yes, that's right, the KofC, that bastion of money, male bonding and morals has gotten slapped with not one but two sexual abuse lawsuits. And due to the size of the organization, it's likely that more will follow.

NEW HAVEN, CT, December 14, 2010 -- The Miami law firm of Herman, Mermelstein & Horowitz announces the filing of two new child sexual abuse lawsuits against the Knights of Columbus, one of the world's largest organizations for Catholic men... The suits allege that the two boys were sexually abused on multiple occasions by Julian Rivera, the leader of the Columbian Squires [youth group] in Brownsville, Texas. One victim claims that Rivera sexually abused him at gunpoint, and also threatened to kill his family if he did not comply with Rivera's demands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

December 18, 2010

I wanted to see history from multiple points of view, says Ken Follett

DNA (India)

Published: Sunday, Dec 19, 2010, 2:44 IST
By Sumit Chakraberty | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Ken Follett is one of the world’s wealthiest authors, having sold more than 100 million copies of his books. His first big success was The Eye of the Needle in 1978, a spy thriller, but he has been turning out bestsellers even after moving to historical fiction.

His latest money-spinner is a trilogy, the first part of which is an 850-pager published by Pan Macmillan called Fall of Giants. It covers the First World War and the Russian Revolution, an unlikely setting for a pop novel, you would have thought, but there are apparently a lot of readers out there who like to learn about great historical events even as they enjoy a gripping yarn. In an interview with DNA, Follett explains how he manages to combine a history lesson with fast-paced action. ...

Is the discussion on religion in the book also a way of connecting with talking points of the day like paedophilia in the church, which figures in one of the conversations?

There’s a glancing mention of paedophilia in the book. When Lev and Grigori are orphaned, they go to a priest for help and he attempts to abuse them. That’s in there because that’s exactly the kind of thing that happens to orphans. In this horrible scandal about Catholic priests and sexual abuse of children, some of the victims are orphans in Catholic orphanages.

I wasn’t trying to get at the church in the book, but I do feel very strongly that when children are abused, our first duty is to help the child. What happens in church is that the focus is on the priest. Can he be forgiven? Will he promise not to offend again? That’s the wrong focus. We shouldn’t be worrying about the priest; we should be worrying about the child. At present, the child doesn’t get help, the priest doesn’t get punished, and the matter is not reported to the police. And that’s Vatican policy. So the man’s name doesn’t go on the register of sex offenders, and many of these priests have gone on to offend again, we know that. This is a terrible situation and the Pope must change it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Parole officer praises paedo priest

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

Nigel Hunt, Emily Watkins From: Sunday Mail (SA) December 18, 2010

AN ex-parole officer has admitted providing a reference for a paedophile priest to be reinstated.
Paedophile priest Wilfred Dennis was reinstated by the Anglican Church after one of the state's most senior parole officers wrote a glowing letter of endorsement direct to the then Archbishop of Adelaide, it has been revealed.

The reference, which has been obtained by the Sunday Mail, urges former archbishop Dr Thomas Thornton Reed to "give favourable consideration" to returning Dennis to the ministry following the completion of his parole.

The reference was written by Robin Durant, then the senior probation and parole officer with the Adult Probation and Parole Service, which is now known as the Community Corrections Division of the Correctional Services Department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

’Medewerking Bisschoppenconferentie onverkort van kracht’

NEDERLAND
RKnieuws

UTRECHT (RKnieuws.net) - Naar aanleiding van de publicatie over het archief van het bisdom Den Bosch in het NRC Handelsblad van zaterdag, laat de voorzitter van de Nederlandse Bisschoppenconferentie, Mgr. A. van Luyn, weten dat de op 11 mei 2010 toegezegde medewerking aan het onderzoek van de Commissie Deetman onverkort van kracht is.

In de verklaring van de Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR) en de Bisschoppenconferentie van 11 mei 2010 hebben de bisschoppen ‘hun volledige medewerking’ toegezegd. Daarnaast beloofden zij ‘zich zonder terughoudendheid’ in te spannen ‘om alle relevante informatie voor de onderzoekscommissie beschikbaar te maken’. In overeenstemming daarmee hebben de bisschoppen en alle emeriti-bisschoppen zich bereid verklaard om met de onderzoekers van de Commissie Deetman te spreken. Afspraken daartoe zijn of worden op korte termijn gemaakt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

New York priest defrocked for child sex abuse

NEW YORK
CNN

By Megan Miller, CNN

New York (CNN) -- A high-ranking New York priest has been found guilty by a church tribunal of sexually abusing a minor in the 1970s, according to a statement obtained Saturday from the Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

Monsignor Charles M. Kavanagh was dismissed from the priesthood following the decision Wednesday by the tribunal, which was acting on authority from the Vatican.

The accuser, a former seminary student of Kavanagh's, brought the case to the Manhattan district attorney in 2002. He then wrote to Edward Cardinal Egan, the former Archbishop of New York, informing him of his claim, according to the Office of Communications for the Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Priest quits from parish church over 'sex attack' allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
Mail on Sunday

By Mail On Sunday Reporter

A Catholic priest has stepped down from his job after being arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child.

Monsignor Michael Smith, 63, the parish priest at Corpus Christi Church in Tonbridge, Kent, was arrested on December 7 and has been bailed pending further enquiries.

The Archbishop of Southwark Peter Smith, who took Mass at the church last weekend, told the congregation that it was ‘with great sadness’ that he had to inform them that ‘an allegation had been made against Monsignor Smith concerning a young person’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Mgr. Bluyssen zegt medewerking Deetman toe

NEDERLAND
RKnieuws

DEN BOSCH (RKnieuws.net) - Mgr. Bluyssen, emeritus-bisschop van het bisdom Den Bosch, heeft zijn volledige medewerking toegezegd aan het onderzoek van de Commissie Deetman. Hij verklaart alle informatie die hij heeft aan de onderzoekers beschikbaar te stellen. Een gesprek tussen de emeritus-bisschop en de voorzitter van de onderzoekscommissie is op korte termijn voorzien.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Venom-spitters and bile-spewers

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predator

Christa Brown

“I happen to be a family member of one of the higher ups in this church.”

That’s how the comment began, and it deteriorated from there.

The church this “family member of one of the higher ups” is talking about is Eden Westside Baptist Church in Pell City, Alabama. It’s a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

What set-off this “family member of one of the higher ups” was this prior post I did about one of Eden Westside’s ministers who pled guilty to sexual abuse of a 14-year-old.

I’m always a bit amazed when people think they can come onto my own blog, call me ugly names, and flat-out libel me.

On my own blog.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Why was pervert priest allowed to study at city school for two years alongside our children?

IRELAND
Herald

By Cormac Byrne

Saturday December 18 2010

PAEDOPHILE ex-priest Tony Walsh was allowed to do a two- year course at a Dublin secondary school -- to the horror of parents.

The sex fiend attended Colaiste Ide College for Further Education in Finglas, at a campus used by teenagers.

An irate parent contacted the Herald to say that Walsh had attended the college for two years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Report reveals abuse by priest

IRELAND
Mearns Leader

Published on Sat Dec 18

Convicted paedophile priest Tony Walsh fulfilled his sexual gratification by abusing young boys every fortnight for eight years, a report reveals.

Nicknamed Fr Filth, investigators revealed the defrocked cleric was probably the most notorious child sexual abuser they uncovered in Dublin Archdiocese.

A once-censored chapter in a sickening report showed the first complaint of an attack on an eight-year-old boy was made against him within 48 hours of being assigned to his first parish in the capital in July 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Former bishop decides to cooperate with Deetman commission

NETHERLANDS
Radio Netherlands

Former bishop Jan Bluyssen says he will cooperate fully with an investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic church after all. In a report in today's edition of Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad that he shredded documents containing evidence of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church he said he would not talk to the commission. The former bishop now says he will meet the chairman of the inquiry, Wim Deetman, soon.

Earlier today news broke from Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad and Radio Netherlands that the former bishop of the diocese of Den Bosch destroyed documentation on sex abuse cases in the 1970s. This was already made known to the Deetman Commission in September. Another archive on sex abuse from the 1990s is also missing. It is not clear how many other documents may have been destroyed. It is possible that the archives no longer contain any evidence of the wide-spread sex abuse of children in Catholic institutions.

Former diocese archivist Jan Peijnenburg told NRC Handelsblad on Saturday, the the Deetman Commission could "come to see him but it wouldn't get anything out of it. And it wouldn't find anything in the archive."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

No Settlement Between Abuse Victims and Archdiocese

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Today's TMJ

By Shelley Walcott

MILWAUKEE - Settlement talks between the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and 24 plaintiffs in this clergy sex abuse case have reached a stalemate.

In a letter posted on the Archdiocesan website, Archbishop Jerome Listecki said plaintiff's lawyers rejected a $4.6 million dollar settlement. But a spokesperson for abuse survivors says money is not their motivation.

Peter Isley, director of the midwest chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is calling for the public posting of offenders' names, the release of files on abusive priests, and signed certified letters from every priest and deacon saying that they have not molested children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

Bisdom vernietigde dossiers seksueel misbruik

NEDERLAND
NRC

Het bisdom Den Bosch heeft decennialang dossiers over seksueel misbruik door priesters vernietigd. De belastende informatie lag opgeborgen in geheime archieven. Dat schrijft NRC Handelsblad vandaag.

Oud-bisschop Jan Bluyssen (84) en voormalig bisschoppelijk archivaris Jan Peijnenburg (74) bevestigen in de krant dat de geheime archieven vernietigd werden. De commissie-Deetman, die in opdracht van de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk het misbruik onderzoekt, is in september geïnformeerd over de praktijken door de Nijmeegse historicus Eric Theloosen. De commissie reageerde destijds niet. NRC Handelsblad en de Wereldomroep beschikken over de verklaring die Theloosen toen naar de commissie stuurde. De krant schrijft vandaag:

In de jaren zeventig werd door monseigneur Bluyssen belastende informatie over geestelijken versnipperd. De documenten zaten in een klein, geheim archief samengesteld door monseigneur Bekkers, Bluyssens voorganger. In de jaren negentig hield het bisdom, toen in opdracht van bisschop Jan ter Schure, er opnieuw een geheim archief op na. Ook dat is verdwenen. Al in de jaren dertig liet toenmalig bisschop Arnold Diepen stukken documenten verdwijnen over priesters die verwikkeld waren in een zedenzaak in Oss.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

John Paul II protected two of the most notorious pedophile priests in his JP2 Army

UNITED STATES
JPIIPPA John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army

Paris Arrow

John Paul II must never be called a "saint" by children in this generation and all generations to come because he did absolutely NOTHING during his lifetime and his 26+ years papacy to protect them. In life, John Paul II did not protect children and therefore in death he cannot protect them either. John Paul II protected only his pedophile priests and he never protected children away from them. Today we receive proof from Ireland's Murphy Report that between 1975 and 2004 (he became Pope in 1978 until one year before his death in 2005) John Paul II refused to remove the most notorious Irish pedophile priest Tony Walsh. A newly released chapter of the Murphy Report into the handling of clergy sex abuse allegations in the Archdiocese of Dublin between 1975 and 2004 shows Cardinal Desmond Connell "begged" Pope John Paul II to dismiss an abusive priest from the priesthood.

Another notorious serial pedophile priest whom John Paul II protected was Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, who sodomized his own biological son. John Paul II knew Fr. Maciel personally very well but he preferred to keep a blind eye over his sodomy. The "Holy See" of John Paul II was marred by the Priestly Sodomy of Biblical Proportions committed by the thousands of pedophile priets named aptly after him as the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

In brief: Sex case priest has bail denied

IRELAND
Herald

Saturday December 18 2010

A US federal judge has denied bail to a priest who is fighting extradition to Ireland where he is wanted on sex abuse charges.

Authorities here accuse Patrick Joseph McCabe of molesting six boys from 1973 to 1981.

The San Francisco judge agreed with prosecutors who argued that McCabe was a flight risk if freed.

McCabe also is the subject of several lawsuits by alleged victims in California.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

'We let a wolf in': He seemed like the perfect preacher -- until his flock discovered his murder conviction.

HARRISONBURG (VA)
Washington Post

By Neely Tucker
Sunday, December 19, 2010

HARRISONBURG, Va. --

The Harrisonburg Church of Christ is an unlikely setting for a bedtime horror story, the kind of Southern Gothic tale involving murder and mendacity and money and treachery and, by many accounts, the handiwork of Satan himself.

Nestled in a small town in the scenic Shenandoah Valley, the church situated on seven acres is a homey, one-story red-brick affair with a white steeple. There's a grassy yard perfect for hosting dinner on the grounds, a fellowship hall and a gravel parking lot. The people of the nondenominational church are few and mostly conservative and elderly.

In the fall of 2008, this modest assembly needed a new minister. Its governing elders -- Robert Thomas, a retired lieutenant from the Virginia Department of Corrections, and Gary Rexrode, a retired builder -- were delighted to find that a man such as William M. Drumheller III was eager to take the job at $600 a week with free housing in the parsonage.The 66-year-old Virginia native was an ordained minister, held a master's in divinity degree, had served in the U.S. Navy and had run his own medical supply business. Tall, trim and bespectacled, with closely cropped gray hair and a steady blue-eyed gaze, "Bill" appeared soft of voice but firm of religious conviction, quoting scripture and sprinkling his speech with biblical observations. He laughed readily and shook hands firmly, appearing if not gregarious, then highly personable.

The elders hired him immediately, and Drumheller and his wife, Joyce, moved from their North Carolina home into the church's parsonage. The new minister brought to the little congregation his gentle homilies, with titles such as "Overcoming Discouragement," and amusing, self-deprecating tales about his golf game and family life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Allowing evil to flourish

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Saturday December 18 2010

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. And that is what happened with child abuse in this country and especially, on the basis of the latest chapter of the Murphy Commission, in the Dublin archdiocese. Only it was worse.

They not alone looked the other way, they passed the buck. They avoided responsibility. They allowed innocent, decent children to be raped and put in unimaginable peril. Evil flourished. Let there be no doubt about that.

Serial paedophile priest Tony Walsh left a stream of horror, pain and life-long anguish in his wake. Walsh destroyed young lives. He preyed like a monster on unsuspecting children. The Murphy Commission described him as the "most notorious child sexual abuser" to come to its attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Vatican Dismisses Local Priest

NEW YORK
NY1

[with video]

A New York priest has been dismissed by the Vatican after a church court found him guilty of sexually abusing a minor in the 1970s.

The New York Archdiocese first learned of the allegations against Monsignor Charles Kavanagh in 2002, when the accuser wrote a letter in to Edward Cardinal Egan, the then-archbishop.

Kavanagh was removed from his priestly duties pending an investigation and trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Victims praise new Northern Ireland church abuse probe

NORTHERN IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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

We’re thrilled by this news and are confident the investigation will lead to more healing and less isolation for hundreds of deeply wounded individuals, many of whom are no doubt still suffering in shame and self-blame.

This probe is long overdue. The very least that secular authorities can do, in any country, is look into and document the horrific crimes and cover ups perpetrated by Catholic figures in virtually every diocese. We are grateful that the investigation will also consider abuse in Protestant institutions as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Vatican must help new gov. abuse probe, victims say

NORTHERN IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

We call on Vatican officials, from the Pope on down, to cooperate fully with the just-announced Northern Ireland government investigation into clergy sex crimes and cover ups in that country. We were appalled to learn that the church hierarchy shunned Irish governmental authorities during the probe of the horrors caused by child molesting clerics and complicit bishops in that nation. Such intransigence must not be repeated.

Nothing a single church bureaucrat says or promises about abuse will mean anything unless top church staff helps with this investigation. Words or pledges about what will allegedly help in the future mean nothing. Unearthing the cover ups of the past and present are what matter now. And if Pope Benedict’s staff won’t lend a hand with this probe, it’s hard to believe they’ll take even harder steps later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Conrad Black: Catholics persevere, despite the perverts and the press

CANADA
National Post

Conrad Black December 18, 2010

As the year comes to an end, it is hard now to remember the hysteria generated by the tawdry and often appalling scandal of clerical abuse of young men in the Roman Catholic Church, between February and July. The New York Times appeared to be offering free visits to New York with city tours of all boroughs, capped by five-course dinners in five-star restaurants for anyone who could recall an indiscreet clerical hand on the knee from decades before.

I repeat that it is a grievous problem, and there were many disgusting and shameful incidents. But this does not alter or diminish the fidelity, dedication and self-discipline of the 99% of Roman Catholic religious personnel who have served through living memory, throughout the world, with unblemished devotion; nor blight the education and care they gave to an approximately equal percentage of the scores of millions of children confided to them.

All bad news for the Roman Catholic Church brings that Church’s enemies swarming out like hornets whose nest has just been squirted with a garden hose. These include the litigators, the editorial mudslingers, the deep, thick, serried ranks of militant skepticism, to whom Rome is a Satanic bumble bee that infests the brave, aging secular world of utilitarian progress and the methodical human march toward a plenitude of knowledge. Earlier this year, they thought they saw the end, at last, of Rome’s ghastly, tenebrous, saturnine magisterium that defies all laws of nature and reason by not simply crashing to the ground as the endlessly proclaimed laws of rational aerodynamics require. They were, as always, mistaken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

No bail for Irish priest accused of sex abuse

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
The Jerusalem Post

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
12/18/2010

SAN FRANCISCO — A US federal judge on Friday denied bail to a priest who is fighting extradition to his native Ireland where he's wanted on sex abuse charges.

Irish authorities have accused Patrick Joseph McCabe of molesting six boys from 1973 to 1981.

The San Francisco judge agreed Friday with prosecutors who argued that McCabe is a flight risk if freed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Clerical abuse victims urged to seek help

IRELAND
TV3

18.12.10

Hundreds of victims of the defrocked paedophile priest Tony Walsh are being encouraged to seek help by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

It follows the publication of a further chapter in the Murphy Report, which reveals how Walsh abused children in the 70s, 80s and 90s despite the knowledge of many priests, bishops and an archbishop.

The chapter, which describes Walsh as the most notorious abuser ever to the come to the Commission's attention, had been withheld pending the resolution of criminal proceedings against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Survey infuriates victims

CANADA
The Longdon Free Press

By Randy Richmond The London Free Press

The Liberal government has infuriated male sexual abuse victims and advocates by using an online survey — not promised face-to-face meetings — for feedback on its controversial new counselling program.

Conservatives also attacked the online survey Friday, and demanded the province delay plans for the new program until male survivors are properly consulted. “These men have already been through enough,” said Tory MPP Steve Clark (Leeds-Grenville). “To be referred to an website is insulting.”

Hundreds of abuse survivors, such as those living in poverty or in jail, will be unable to respond, and many others simply won’t provide personal information to nameless bureaucrats, critics said. Even if people respond, there won’t be time for the province to revise its plan in time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

A Monsignor Is Defrocked for Abusing a Student

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By PAUL VITELLO
Published: December 17, 2010

A once-influential Roman Catholic monsignor who oversaw fund-raising for the Archdiocese of New York, running the annual Alfred E. Smith political dinner during the tenure of Cardinal John J. O’Connor, has been removed from the priesthood after an eight-year church review of sexual abuse accusations against him, the archdiocese announced on Friday.

The monsignor, Charles M. Kavanagh, 73, has denied the charges, which were brought against him by a former student at the former Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in Manhattan. The monsignor contested an archdiocesan review board’s finding of guilt in 2003, then asked the Vatican to authorize a formal trial by a tribunal of priests from another diocese. When that body also found him guilty, he sought an appeal from a second tribunal.

On Wednesday, the second tribunal concluded its review, ruling that Monsignor Kavanagh should be defrocked, said Joseph Zwilling, the spokesman for the New York archdiocese. The announcement was made after two days, late on a Friday afternoon, because “we have not dealt with this kind of situation before,” Mr. Zwilling said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Archdiocese took 17 years to report abuse priest to gardaí

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

DUBLIN’S CATHOLIC archdiocese did not report child abuse allegations against former priest Tony Walsh to the Garda until 17 years after it first received a complaint.

During that period, Walsh was likely to have abused “hundreds of children”, according to a chapter of the Murphy report published for the first time yesterday.

The report also reveals how a decision by an Irish church tribunal to remove Walsh from the priesthood in 1993 was overturned by the Vatican on appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

'He was in loads of houses in Ballyfermot and nobody knew'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

GENEVIEVE CARBERY and JAMIE SMYTH

THERE WAS a strong sense of disgust and betrayal yesterday in Tony Walsh’s former parish of Ballyfermot as the details of his abuse and the church’s handling of it emerged.

Angela Copley, a community activist who supported victims of Walsh, said it was a very emotional day for all the victims and their families.

She said she had met people, who had lost relatives through suicide at the time and she feared some of them could have been victims of Walsh.

Billy, a local man in his 60s who did not want to give his full name, recalled with anger the photos he had at home of Walsh standing with his children as they made their First Holy Communion. “I never knew what he was up to. He was just another priest, otherwise he would never have got into any photographs. He was in my house, He was in loads of houses in Ballyfermot and nobody knew.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

'Unacceptable' failure by gardaí to pursue inquiry

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PAUL CULLEN

GARDA: THE COMMISSION says it is unacceptable that two gardaí who had concerns about Tony Walsh in 1990 and 1992 failed to pursue a thorough criminal investigation.

It says that when an investigation “of sorts” got under way in 1991, it was shelved because the church was carrying out its own penal process.

“The commission recognises that there was no specific complaint before the gardaí at that stage but there were at least three instances of concern.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Bishop Willie Walsh defends role in handling of church inquiry

IRELAND
The Irish Times

DAN KEENAN and JAMIE SMYTH

CHURCH REACTION: THE GARDA knew in 1991 that allegations against Fr Tony Walsh were being investigated by senior clergy, Bishop Willie Walsh has said.

He told The Irish Times last night he understood the Garda was investigating the case and he defended his handling of a church inquiry that he chaired into Walsh.

The canonical inquiry, which was set up in March 1991, recommended in August 1993 that Walsh be removed from the priesthood. This he described as the most serious action which could be taken against a priest and he was “taken aback” by the subsequent decision by the Vatican to commute the penalty in June 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Six bishops

IRELAND
The Irish Times

What the report says about their roles in dealing with Walsh

Archbishop Desmond Connell

WHILE THE report is critical of Catholic Church inaction in relation to Tony Walsh's abuse, it says archbishop Desmond Connell acted decisively once be became archbishop.

Dr Connell, who was archbishop from 1988 to 2004, was one of the first bishops in the modern world to initiate canonical trials, it says. His initiative to personally petition the pope to have Walsh dismissed was "a novel one that created a precedent".

In 1995, he wrote that Walsh was a confirmed paedophile who was abusing minors even before his ordination. The report says he worked to have Walsh laicised in spite of "interference of his judicial vicar and the Roman rota".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Complaint 'hushed up', according to local priest

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PAMELA DUNCAN

FR MICHAEL CLEARY and CANON VAL ROGERS: ONE OF the first complaints against Tony Walsh was "hushed up" according to the parish priest of Ballyfermot at that time.

The mother of a 14-year-old boy contacted canon Val Rogers in 1979 seeking action after her son alleged that he was abused by Walsh in 1978 and 1979.

Although the abuse ended after the boy told his mother, the only action taken, according to the report, was for Fr Michael Cleary to go to the boy's house to "educate him on issues of male sexuality". The boy's mother told the commission that Fr Cleary also apologised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Senior cleric investigating Walsh 'evaded' telling gardaí of abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

RONAN McGREEVY

MONSIGNOR ALEX STENSON: A SENIOR cleric did not tell gardaí of paedophile priest Tony Walsh’s past when they questioned him, the Murphy report reveals.

Msgr Alex Stenson, who is now the parish priest of Killester in Dublin, had been investigating Walsh’s paedophile tendencies for six years when gardaí sought to interview him about a complaint in 1991 made by the parents of a young boy who Walsh had attempted to abuse.

When asked by a garda if Walsh had a record of paedophilia, Msgr Stenson replied: “I evaded that but told him to proceed with whatever steps he thought he should take.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Notorious priest 'likely to have abused hundreds'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

PROFILE: TONY WALSH is described by the commission as “the most notorious child sexual abuser” to have come to its attention. “It is likely that he has abused hundreds of children,” the report says.

Walsh was born in 1954, and ordained in 1978. He had been a seminarian in Clonliffe College during which, it emerged many years later, he abused children there and at the home of another abuser Fr Noel Reynolds, to whose house he had a key.

Two days after Walsh took up his first appointment as a priest, in July 1978 as a curate in Ballyfermot, a complaint was received in Archbishop’s House that he had sexually abused an eight-year-old boy. That was alleged to have taken place in June 1978 at Fr Reynolds’s house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Archdiocese criticised for delay in confronting child abuser

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PAUL CULLEN

CHAPTER 19 FINDINGS: THE DUBLIN Archdiocese should have taken action years earlier against Tony Walsh, probably the most notorious child sexual abuser among its priests, according to the commission investigating clerical child sex allegations in the archdiocese.

In a section of its overall report published yesterday, the commission says it is aware of more than 40 named people who complained of abuse by the former priest and notes that he admitted to abusing many others. The report says it is likely that he has abused hundreds of children.

The section says there is no doubt that the archdiocese should have taken action at a much earlier stage, in 1979 at the latest. Walsh was not laicised until 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Scale of Walsh cover-up by church breathtaking

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARY RAFTERY

ANALYSIS: The list of senior clerics who knew of Fr Tony Walsh’s serial sexual abuse of children and did nothing to stop it is virtually endless

THE SCALE of the cover-up by the Catholic Church of the crimes of Fr Tony Walsh, as finally revealed in chapter 19 of the Murphy report, is breathtaking. It is more extensive than any other single case dealt with in the main body of the report.

Archbishops, bishops, chancellors, vicars general, parish priests – the list of senior clerics who knew of Walsh’s serial sexual abuse of children is virtually endless. From the very first complaints brought to the archdiocese, a bare two days after Walsh’s ordination in 1978, and for the succeeding 17 years, these pillars of the church sat on their detailed knowledge of Walsh’s abominable predations on children, shielding him from the law, deliberately deciding to keep his crimes hidden from the civil authorities. In the course of those 17 years, until the archdiocese finally decided in 1995 to co-operate with Garda investigations, Walsh abused well over 100 children according to the chapter published yesterday. Here we find out that archbishops Dermot Ryan, Kevin McNamara and Desmond Connell all had detailed knowledge of Walsh’s criminal activities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Church's sins of omission

IRELAND
The Irish Times

IN 1988, 10 years after the first complaint about Fr Tony Walsh’s sexually predatory habits, the danger he represented was described unambiguously to the Dublin church by a psychologist from the Stroud treatment centre.

Chancellor of the archdiocese Monsignor Alex Stenson noted his comments: “[Walsh] is extremely compulsive – there have been an awful lot of children involved, he is a very disturbed man. He is always going to be dangerous. He could not be let near schools, children, Confessions without a grille, etc. . .”.

By that stage in Walsh’s career not only did the archdiocese know he was a serial abuser – it had known that since 1985 – but also how dangerous he was. His “pattern of behaviour”, the Murphy report says , “is such that it’s likely he has abused hundreds of children”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Dutch bishops destroy child sex evidence

NETHERLANDS
Radio Netherlands

Dutch bishops destroyed incriminating evidence of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Secret archives of the diocese of Den Bosch, which showed that priests had committed abuse, were shredded.

A statement by a Dutch historian says that a 1990s investigation of the diocese's archives revealed that documents pertaining to sexual abuse were missing. Copies of the statement are in the possession of Radio Netherlands Worldwide and daily NRC Handelsblad.

Historian Eric Theloosen reported his findings to the Deetman Commission in September. The commission, which is investigating child sex abuse in the church, never sent a reaction to the historian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM