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June 30, 2011

Eddie Long accuser arrested on drug, gun charges

GEORGIA/FLORIDA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

One of the four men who accused Bishop Eddie Long of sexual misconduct was arrested this week in Florida on suspicion of being a drug dealer.

Jamal Parris, 24, was driving a white 2011 BMW in Miami Beach Tuesday evening when a Florida Highway Patrol officer noticed that it had no tags.

Sgt. Seth Dubinsky stopped the car. When he approached it, he smelled marijuana, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday.

Dubinsky searched the car and said he found 181 grams of marijuana, which is worth about $1,000 on the street. He said he also found 50 clear plastic baggies and a Taurus semiautomatic handgun. He said Parris also was carrying $1,250 in cash.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 PM

Suspended Catholic Priest Is Cleared

CALIFORNIA
KION

By Lucero Benitez - email

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif- New details on the molestation case against a monterey county priest. Another priest accused of keeping quiet about allegations against Father Edward Fitz-Henry, was cleared.

The alleged victim claims Fitz-Henry molested him 6 years ago while Fitz-Henry was a priest at the Madonna del Sasso church. Now some big changes are coming for San Juan Bautista Mission parishioners.

"Father Milich was never actually charged in the criminal courts with any offense. He violated a diocesan policy and as a result, Bishop Garcia revoked his privileges to serve as a priest in the Diocese of Monterey," said Diocese Spokesperson, Warren Hoy.

In a statement given to Central Coast News in February, Fr Nicholas Milich admitted knowing about the allegations against Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry.

He also knew the alleged victim was working with an attorney. Milich said "Because of this, I did not believe I needed to report at that time. In retrospect, I realize I should have at least reported this to Bishop Garcia."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

Presiding Bishop Ordained Pedophile Priest ...

UNITED STATES
Virtue Online

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org
July 1, 2011

It is the biggest news of the year, perhaps since she took office.

According to court documents and reports VOL has received Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop, knowingly ordained a pedophile priest to the Episcopal Church after the former Benedictine monk sexually abused students at a Roman Catholic Abbey. He was allowed to join the Episcopal Church by Jefferts Schori while she was the Bishop of Nevada, according to reports VOL has received.

According to lawsuit papers filed last week by one of the abused boys known as John Doe 181, Fr. Bede Parry, 69, admitted that he had inappropriate sexual relations with several members of the group at the northwest Missouri abbey in the 1980s.

In 2000, Fr. Parry underwent psychological testing. The results revealed that Fr. Parry is a sexual abuser who has the proclivity to reoffend with minors. The test results were then provided to the Abbey, the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas and the Episcopal Bishop for the Diocese of Nevada, Katharine Jefferts Schori. Parry converted to The Episcopal Church under Jefferts Schori in 2004. The record shows that from 2000 to the present, All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas has employed Parry as a Music Director. He was made an assisting priest at All Saints in 2004 after Jefferts Schori received him into The Episcopal Church acknowledging his Catholic priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

Statement on the Magdalene Laundries

IRELAND
Department of Justice and Equality

The Government today considered the circumstances of the women and girls who resided in the Magdalene Laundries. The Government welcomed the statement made last week by CORI on behalf of the four congregations, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Religious Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of Mercy and the Good Shepherd Sisters who indicated their "willingness" to "bring clarity, understanding, healing and justice in the interests of all the women involved". The Government believes it is essential to fully establish the true facts and circumstances relating to the Magdalene Laundries as a first step. The following has been agreed:

1. An Inter-departmental Committee will be established, chaired by an independent person, to clarify any State interaction with the Magdalene Laundries and to produce a narrative detailing such interaction.

2. The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD and the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, Kathleen Lynch TD are to meet with the religious congregations and the groups representing former residents of the Magdalene Laundries. Their discussions will include addressing the following matters;

a. The making available by the congregations of all records maintained by them with regard to the residents of the Magdalene Laundries to enable all available information about former residents to be shared with them and also made available for appropriate research purposes.

b. The provision of information concerning the number of persons currently residing with or in the care of the religious congregations who originally commenced such residence in the Magdalene Laundries and who have remained in their care.

c. To discuss the putting in place of a restorative and reconciliation process and the structure that might be utilised to facilitate such process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Survivor Advocacy group will meet Minister for Justice.

IRELAND
The God Squad

Posted by Paddy on 30/06/2011

Justice for Magdalenes (JFM), the survivor advocacy group, will meet with Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, and Minister for State, Kathleen Lynch, next week as part of the government’s proposed series of meetings with “groups representing former residents of the Magdalene Laundries.”

JFM will submit its Narrative of State Interaction with the Magdalene Laundries, a lengthy document accompanied by about four hundred pages of appendices. It is hoped this material will be shared with the incoming Independent Chairperson of the Inter-departmental Committee. The document points to State interaction in the following government departments: Justice, Education, Health (and Local Government), Defence, Social Protection, Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and Finance. It also includes a section on the Religious Congregations’ various funding sources for the Magdalene Laundries. The document underscores the need for the proposed Committee to examine not only what the State did in the past, but also what it failed to do. It is offered in the spirit of expediting this process and moving forward to the desired goals of bringing restorative justice and reparations to all survivors of the laundries.

The JFM delegation will comprise JFM PRO and co-founder Claire McGettrick and JFM advisory committee members Prof. James Smith (Boston College), Katherine O’Donnell (UCD), and Maeve O’Rourke (Harvard Law School 2010 Global Human Rights Fellow). It is hoped JFM committee director, Mari Steed, will join the meeting from Philadelphia via Skype.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Missbrauch: Der Staat weigert sich, das dunkle Kapitel aufzuarbeiten

OSTERREICH
profil

Obwohl die Klasnic-Kommission keine Aufklärung betreibt, weigert sich der Staat, die dunklen Kapitel massenhaften sexuellen Missbrauchs aufzuarbeiten.
Von Emil Bobi

Wenn die "Unabhängige Opferschutzanwaltschaft“, besser bekannt als Klasnic-Kommission, Entschuldigungsbriefe an "anerkannte Opfer“ verschickt, klingt der Inhalt eindeutig: "Das Kuratorium und der Vorstand der Stiftung Opferschutz der katholischen Kirche in Österreich bedauern zutiefst, dass Sie zum Opfer von Mitarbeitern der katholischen Kirche geworden sind. Namens der Kirche wollen wir nochmals um Entschuldigung bitten …“

Gemeint ist das freilich nicht ganz so.

Die Klasnic-Kommission kann den Wahrheitsgehalt des Großteils der bislang 1039 bearbeiteten Fälle gar nicht kennen. Sie versucht auch gar nicht erst, ihn in Erfahrung zu bringen. Geredet wird nur mit den Opfern, nie mit den mutmaßlichen Tätern, und wenn die rund 60 im Auftrag der Kommission tätigen Psychologen einen "Leidensdruck“ konstatieren und den Eindruck gewinnen, "dass da was war“, erfolgt die Anerkennung als Opfer. Dann winken ein paar Therapiestunden, ein "finanzielles Symbol“ zwischen 5000 und 50.000 Euro sowie ein Entschuldigungsschreiben. Jahrzehnte nach den behaupteten Übergriffen eindeutige Beweise zu finden ist nicht die Zielsetzung der Kommission. Was die Kommission kann und will, sagt Waltraud Klasnic: "Man kann Menschen eine Erleichterung bringen, die ihr ganzes Leben gelitten haben. Würde geben, indem man zuhört und ernst nimmt.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

"Ich will ja gar nicht prüfen“

OSTERREICH
profil

Waltraud Klasnic, Chefin der Opferschutzkommission für sexuellen Missbrauch in der Kirche, über ihre Zwischenbilanz, ihre Unabhängigkeit und Christoph Schönborn.

Interview: Emil Bobi

profil: Frau Klasnic, seit einem Jahr sind Sie mit Hunderten Missbrauchsopfern der Kirche konfrontiert. Hat sich seither Ihr Bild von der katholischen Kirche geändert?
Klasnic: Nicht das Bild von der Kirche. Es hat sich mein Bild von Menschen geändert, weil ich in diesem Ausmaß nicht gewusst habe, was alles möglich ist. Aber wenn ich die Gesamtbilanz von Menschen nehme, die unter Missbrauch und Gewalt gelitten haben, dann ist die Kirche ein kleiner Prozentsatz. 80 Prozent passieren in der Familie.

profil: Wussten Sie davor, was in der Kirche alles passiert?
Klasnic: Ich glaube, das Wissen ist es nicht. Wenn ich mit Opfern rede, sehe ich, dass jeder für sich geglaubt hat, dass er allein war, weil es nur ihm oder ihr geschehen ist. Die haben sich untereinander nicht ausgetauscht, haben sich nicht getraut, es zu Hause zu erzählen. Erst als die Ersten sich meldeten, schlossen andere sich an, weil ihnen bewusst wurde, dass sie kein Einzelfall und damit auch nicht schuld sind. Wenn ich das alles gewusst hätte, müssten Sie mich fragen: "Warum haben Sie nichts getan?“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Sex Scandals Continue In Catholic Church

CALIFORNIA
God Discussion

Catholic Bishop Daniel Walsh of the Santa Rosa, CA diocese has resigned from his post after his diocese was hit with two lawsuits involving child sex abuse by former priests.

Walsh was threatened with criminal charges in 2006 for failing to report the alleged misconduct of the Reverend Xavier Ochoa, allowing him time to flee to Mexico. Walsh agreed to counseling and was not charged.

Diocese spokeswoman Deirdre Frontczak says “Walsh is very tired after a difficult decade.” Walsh’s resignation comes a year short of his mandatory retirement at age 75.

Walsh’s resignation adds to a long string of sexual abuse scandals shadowing the Catholic church in the last decade. In Los Angeles a visiting priest who was convicted of multiple sex abuse counts had a prior criminal history in Italy and was rejected by another Southern California diocese because of concerns about his past. But the Los Angeles Archdiocese accepted his application and assigned the young priest to St. Thomas the Apostle where he went on to molest at least three children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Church & insurance battle over abuse cases; SNAP responds

VERMONT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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

We simply don't believe Catholic officials who claim "poverty" when clergy sex abuse victims step forward seeking justice.

If church leaders will conceal their child predators, they'll certainly conceal their vast wealth.

We are convinced that Bishop Matano has the resources to do right by Vermont’s deeply wounded victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

“Troubling” new Santa Rosa bishop takes over; SNAP responds

SANTA ROSA (CA)
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)

We’re very worried that one reckless bishop is replacing another.

Typically, when a new bishop comes in, Catholics tend to become complacent. Victims, witnesses and whistleblowers tend to “give the new guy a chance,” and report clergy sex crimes and cover ups to him, not to law enforcement.

We beg citizens and Catholics to fight this temptation. Clergy sex crimes and cover ups should be disclosed to police and prosecutors, not bishops. ...

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

This is an awful choice, for any diocese but especially Santa Rosa, with its very troubling track record, even recently, of child sex abuse and cover up scandals.

Even now, Vasa recklessly endanger kids by his secrecy and his willingness to welcome sexually troubled clerics into his diocese.

In three cases in recent years, Vaca has acted irresponsibly and secretively
-- Vasa kept secret about the arrest, guilty plea, sentencing and deportation of a Yakima priest, Fr. Jose Joaquin Estrada Arango, who sexually assaulted an Oregon teen in 2003. Vasa also apparently did little or nothing to warn, protect or help others who may have been molested by Estrada.
-- In 1999, Deacon Aaron Ramirez fled to Mexico before an investigation could be launched about his being found in bed, naked, with a 17 year old boy he had given alcohol and who was passed out. Vasa again kept the case secret, but Portland church officials disclosed it in litigation.
-- Vasa hired controversial Catholic deacon, Joseph Levine, who was refused ordination by a New Jersey bishop and ousted by a Pennsylvania bishop. The man is the former head of a troubled group which was shut down in 2004 after charges of financial misdealing and after two of the group’s priests were sued for alleged child sexual abuse. Levine was accused by Jeffrey Bond, Ph.D., of concealing clergy sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Philadelphia Catholics said to be in crisis over Cardinal Rigali

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

RIGALI'S RULE: An article in the current issue of Philadelphia magazine entitled "Catholics in Crisis: Sex and Deception in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia," offers an explosive look at the church and at Cardinal Justin Rigali's reign in that city.

Rigali was Archbishop of St. Louis from 1994 to 2003, after which he was ordained a cardinal and named to succeed Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua in Philadelphia. The article details the district attorney's release in February of a grand jury report about local Catholic priests sexually abusing minors.

Philadelphia was rocked by a similar report in 2005, which had included information about Bevilacqua directing a cover up of the abuse -- and then how the abuse had continued. The February report was similar and said the archdiocese had allowed 37 alleged pedophile priests to continue ministering to children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Vatican accepts Bishop Daniel Walsh's resignation

SANTA ROSA (CA)
The Press Democrat

By MARTIN ESPINOZA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Published: Thursday, June 30, 2011 .

Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Daniel Walsh, who during his 11-year tenure brought the Diocese of Santa Rosa out of financial ruin after years of financial and sex scandals only to see a troubled priest flee and financial woes return in recent years.

Walsh, 73, has been the local bishop since April 2000 and his successor is Bishop Robert F. Vasa, formerly of the Baker diocese in Oregon. Vasa has shared duties with Walsh since January, when the transition was made public, and as of Thursday takes over the post.

Walsh came to the Santa Rosa Diocese to clean house a year after former Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann resigned in disgrace, leaving the diocese $16 million in debt.

But his work in stabilizing the diocese took a step backward when in 2006 he delayed reporting sex abuse by former Sonoma priest Francisco Xavier Ochoa. Ochoa, who was later accused of sexual misconduct with several children from different families, fled to Mexico before the diocese made an official report to local authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

N. Calif. bishop embroiled in abuse cases resigns

VATICAN CITY/CALIFORNIA
Journal Star

Associated Press | Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Catholic bishop in Northern California whose diocese has been embroiled in priest sex abuse cases recently resigned Thursday from his post after 11 years.

The Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Bishop Daniel Walsh of Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa.

Diocese spokeswoman Deirdre Frontczak said Walsh is "very tired" and has been seeking to hand over his responsibilities for about two years. His resignation, effective Thursday, comes a year short of his mandatory retirement at age 75, Frontczak said.

"It's been a difficult decade," she said. "He walked into miserable situation and has done a heroic job of restoring the diocese financially and restoring the dignity of the priesthood."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Statement Regarding Resignation Of Fr. Bede Parry

NEVADA
The Episcopal Diocese of Nevada

A lawsuit was filed last week against a monastery in Missouri where Fr. Bede Parry, who has served All Saints for 11 years as organist and assisting priest, was a monk in another denomination in the 1980s. The suit alleges that Fr. Bede engaged in inappropriate relationships with youth in their late teens. In response to these allegations, Fr. Bede has resigned from his duties at All Saints and tendered to me his resignation as a priest.

To keep this matter in perspective, it is important to remember:

He is not accused of any misconduct in Nevada, in the Episcopal Church, or in any context since the 1980’s. The legal action is not a criminal prosecution but a civil suit for money damages. All Saints, the Diocese of Nevada, and even Fr. Bede are not parties to the law suit.

However, this situation is a reminder of the critical importance of our Safe Guarding God’s Children standards. It is essential for all of our people who work with children to receive Safe Guarding training on a regular basis and that vestries, clergy, and all church leaders insure that appropriate standards are in place – for example, minors should not be in the presence of only one adult at any time; doors should have windows in them; church members should be on the lookout for abuse symptoms in minors or suspicious behavior in adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Vatican accepts US bishop's resignation

VATICAN CITY
RTE News (Ireland)

Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of an American bishop accused of allowing an alleged paedophile priest from his diocese to flee to Mexico.

Bishop Daniel Walsh of the diocese of Santa Rosa in California resigned under an article in church law invoking a 'grave cause', which has in the past included a failure by the prelate in question to report a suspected paedophile to police.

A statement from the Vatican makes no mention of why Pope Benedict had asked the 73 year-old bishop to resign beyond saying he did so under Canon 401, paragraph 2 of church law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Bishop Embroiled in Santa Rosa Abuse Cases Resigns

SANTA ROSA (CA)
Fox Reno

SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- A Catholic bishop in Northern California who has been embroiled in priest sex abuse cases recently is resigning from his post.

The Vatican announced Thursday that Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Bishop Daniel Walsh of the Santa Rosa diocese.

Diocese spokeswoman Deirdre Frontczak says Walsh is "very tired" after a "difficult decade."

Walsh's resignation comes a year short of his mandatory retirement at age 75.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Louisville Priest Indicted On Sodomy Charges

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WLKY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A Roman Catholic priest in Louisville has been indicted on seven felony sodomy charges for alleged sexual abuses that occurred in the 1970s and ‘80s.

The Rev. James R. Schook faces three counts of second-degree sodomy and four counts of third-degree sodomy, The Courier-Journal reported.

Schook was temporarily removed from ministry in July 2009 while serving as pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Church, and the Archdiocese of Louisville later made his removal permanent upon concluding the claims of sexual abuse were valid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Set-decorator Catholicism: clericalism thrives in a new phase of the sex abuse crisis

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Part One of Two

Decoration: (2) That which decorates or adorns, an ornament, esp. an ornament temporarily put up on a special location; used ... of scenery on the stage.
-- Oxford English Dictionary

Set-decorator: The person responsible for dressing a motion picture set with appropriate decorative furnishings -- furniture, rugs, lamps, draperies, wall paintings, books, etc.
-- The Film Encyclopedia, Third Edition

Chicago, November 1986: One final scene remains to be filmed as director Brian DePalma's version of "The Untouchables" wraps its location shooting just before Thanksgiving. Robert DeNiro, starring as Al Capone, waits impassively to walk down the main stairway of the Lexington Hotel, the gangster's Chicago headquarters during the Prohibition beer wars. The Lexington's lobby, including a putting green for the amusement of his gang, has been meticulously re-created by the celebrated production designer Patrizia Von Brandenstein in the soaring entrance hall of Roosevelt University, a massive Buddha of a building designed by Louis Sullivan almost a century before. Outside in the pale November sunlight, vintage cars line Michigan Avenue and twine tied bundles of facsimile newspapers lay on the sidewalk as if tossed off a delivery truck that has just turned the corner and disappeared back into the Depression.

This satisfies DePalma's artistic demand for accurate period detail as well as DeNiro's acting ground rules that no hints of present reality violate his "sight lines" and break his time-warp spell of inhabiting both razzmatazz Chicago and Al Capone at the same time. Visitors are ordered to leave the set or to hide behind the furniture so that DeNiro descending will see only a trompe-l'oeil of the lost and gone hotel. After DeNiro swaggers down the stairs and DePalma yells cut, the spinning top of movie illusion that has been shimmying like a Twenties dancer, wobbles and tumbles to rest ...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Priest investigation walks line between fairness, justice

ARIZONA
East Valley Tribune

By Mike Sakal, Tribune | 0 comments

Whether or not the Rev. Jack Spaulding, the former priest at St. Timothy's Catholic Community in Mesa, is found guilty of sexual conduct with a minor, a tragedy has occurred.

Either an innocent child was sexually abused, or, a man whose life and calling have been built on trust and faith has been wrongfully accused - a blemish that can be very hard to erase, even if it turns out to be false.

Spaulding, 63, resigned June 20, but has denied the allegations against him.

If he is found guilty by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, which now is investigating the accusations of abuse that allegedly took place more than 25 years ago, he will be punished, permanently banned from the ministry and will likely face legal ramifications.

If he is deemed innocent, "the church and bishop would reinstate Spaulding and do everything it could to restore his good name," a Diocese of Phoenix official said.

With so much at stake, it could take weeks, months or even years before a resolution emerges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Kamer maakt haast van aanbevelingen commissie seksueel misbruik

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

De plenaire Kamer heeft donderdag beslist het wetsvoorstel rond de aanbevelingen van de bijzondere commissie seksueel misbruik hoogdringend te behandelen. Bedoeling is dat de commissie Justitie zich volgende dinsdag al over de wettekst buigt en dat die nog voor het zomerreces door de parlementaire molen raakt.

Naar aanleiding van de vele pedofilieschandalen in de kerk richtte de Kamer een bijzondere commissie op. Die leverde aanbevelingen op die door de leden van de commissie nu werden omgezet in een wetsvoorstel. Het opschrift ervan luidt 'wetsvoorstel tot verbetering van de aanpak van seksueel misbruik en feiten van pedofilie binnen een gezagsrelatie'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Reading Scripture with Sex Abuse Survivors

UNITED STATES
Christianity Today

Elaine Heath's We Were the Least of These offers a healing balm, but should be read alongside more traditional interpretations of Scripture.

Rachel Stone

Laura survived a rigid and abusive fundamentalist upbringing, then married a Baptist minister who sexually abused her. Now she’s an atheist. Vyckie was a wife and mom in the Quiverfull movement who now also leans toward atheism, believing that the Bible necessarily leads to oppressive patriarchy. For these women, and for other survivors of sexual abuse (SA), church just doesn't feel safe, because church — and not just the Catholic Church — is where SA happens. Because of these women's experiences, the image of a male God, presumed by some scriptural interpretations to be primarily interested in men and male interests, is decidedly unattractive.

In the spirit of Phyllis Trible, whose now-classic books God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality and Texts of Terror pioneered explorations of women in Scripture, Elaine A. Heath, professor of evangelism at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas, has written a book offering hope to SA survivors and those who 'journey with them.' The title, We Were the Least of These (Brazos Press), hints at Heath's guiding concept: that far from being misogynistic, the gospel is truly good news for victims of SA, that whatever has been done to them ('the least of these') has been done to Jesus, whose death and resurrection is "a living power that lifts us out of the black holes of our lives, that heals our wounds, that removes our shame."

As a pastor-theologian, as well as a survivor of SA herself, Heath exudes compassion for those who've suffered the myriad scars of sexual abuse, and an understanding of how certain readings of Scripture can be deeply therapeutic. The story of Esther is often read as a tale about heroism, with the original queen, Vashti, read as a foolish woman who refused to obey her husband. Heath’s reading senses the exploitative nature of King Xerxes’ attempt to ‘display’ his wife, and his generally irascible nature. In this way, Heath understands Esther as an abused woman who is nonetheless strong and able to speak out for others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Man Who Says a Local Priest Abused Him Speaks Out

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Fox 4

[with video]

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—
A man who says he was abused by a local priest has come forward, and Thursday his attorney filed a lawsuit against Father Michael Tierney, Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of St. Joseph.

Due to the allegations of misconduct with minors, the diocese removed Father Tierney as priest of Christ the King Parish in early June.

The plaintiff, Edward Sandridge, claims Father Tierney abused him when he was 12 years old, between 1971 and 1972. Sandridge said it happened when he was with Father Tierney at a YMCA. Sandridge said he decided it was time to come forward and tell what happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Vasa becomes bishop in Santa Rosa, Calif.

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jun. 30, 2011
By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON -- Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Daniel F. Walsh of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Coadjutor Bishop Robert F. Vasa automatically succeeds him as head of the diocese.

The changes were announced June 30 in Washington by Msgr. Jean-Francois Lantheaume, charge d' affairs at the apostolic nunciature.

Bishop Walsh has been a bishop since 1981 and was appointed to head the Santa Rosa Diocese in 2000. He is 73 years old, two years younger than the age at which bishops are required to turn their resignation in to the pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa; Coadjutor Bishop Vasa succeeds

SANTA ROSA (CA)
Catholic Sentinel

WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of Bishop Daniel Walsh, 73, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Santa Rosa in California. Bishop Robert Vasa, 60, up until now coadjutor bishop of the same diocese, succeeds him as bishop of Santa Rosa.

Robert Francis Vasa was born in Lincoln, Neb., on May 7, 1951. He studied for the priesthood at St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado, and Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lincoln on May 22, 1976. In 1995 Pope John Paul named him a “Prelate of Honor” with the title of “Monsignor.” He was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Baker, Oregon in 1999. On January 24, Pope Benedict appointed him as coadjutor bishop of Santa Rosa.

Bishop Vasa holds a master of divinity degree from Holy Trinity Seminary and a licentiate in canon law from the Gregorian University in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

US bishop resigns after alleged paedophile flees

VATICAN CITY
AFP

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday accepted the resignation of a US bishop accused of allowing an alleged paedophile priest from his diocese to flee to Mexico, as the Vatican takes action on abuses.

Bishop Daniel Walsh of the diocese of Santa Rosa in California resigned under an article in Catholic Church law invoking a "grave cause", which can include a failure by the prelate in question to denounce a case of paedophilia.

Walsh, 74, is one year younger than the minimum retirement age for bishops.

Benedict last year called for a zero tolerance approach to child abuse by clergymen and called on bishops to work together with local law enforcement, following thousands of paedophile scandals across Europe and the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Archbishop outraged over SUV scandal

PHILIPPINES
The Philippine Star

By Perseus Echeminada (The Philippine Star) Updated July 01, 2011 1

Manila, Philippines - Retired Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz is outraged over the granting of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to three bishops and a priest by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Speaking over radio dzBB, Cruz said priests and bishops’ acceptance of luxury vehicles runs counter to the principles of the Catholic Church to help the poor and needy.

“It’s shameful,” he said.

Cruz said the Catholic Church will initiate its own investigation and those found to have violated canon law may face dismissal from their missionary work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Catholic priest indicted on seven sodomy charges

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Written by
Peter Smith

A Jefferson County grand jury has indicted a Roman Catholic priest on seven felony charges of sodomy.

The indictment of Rev. James R. Schook was read Thursday afternoon in Jefferson Circuit Court. He faces three counts of sodomy in the second degree and four counts of sodomy in the third degree.

Police and prosecutors first began investigating the case in mid-2009.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz had temporarily removed Schook from ministry in July 2009 — when he was serving as pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Church on Rangeland Road — after the archdiocese received the first in a series of recent complaints alleging Schook had committed sexual abuse in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Lawsuit filed naming priest

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

A lawsuit filed today alleges sexual abuse by a Kansas City priest removed from his duties earlier this month for what the diocese called credible allegations of misconduct with minors.

The lawsuit — the second to be filed against the Rev. Michael Tierney in nine months alleging sexual abuse — was filed in Jackson County Circuit Court by Edward Sandridge, 52. It accuses Tierney of sexually abusing Sandridge at a YMCA in the early 1970s and says the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph knew of Tierney’s misconduct with children and covered it up.

The lawsuit names both Tierney and the diocese as defendants.

Tierney could not be reached for comment. A lawyer representing him on the previous lawsuit said that Tierney had done nothing wrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Jenifer Valenti will receive sex abuse complaints against the Kansas City Catholic Diocese

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Pitch

By Justin Kendall Thu., Jun. 30 2011

​Bishop Robert Finn is still trying to mop up the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese's mess. His latest attempt: appointing former Jackson County prosecutor Jennifer Valenti as the contact person for receiving sexually abuse complaints against the diocese, according to Micheal Mahoney's 20 Pounds of Headlines blog.

Valenti will be the diocese's ombudsman and public liaison, starting on July 15.

"Valenti's work will be independent and confidential. She will have the responsibility and authority to receive and investigate reports of suspicious, inappropriate behavior or sexual misconduct by clergy, employees or program volunteers," Finn said in a press statement. "Within our 27-county diocese, I have asked her to focus particularly on reports relating to children and young people."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Former Trial Attorney and Prosecutor Appointed Ombudsman

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Jenifer Valenti, a former team leader with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, has been appointed ombudsman and public liaison officer for the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph. The appointment was made today by Bishop Robert Finn, leader of the diocese, and is effective July 15.

“Valenti’s work will be independent and confidential. She will have the responsibility and authority to receive and investigate reports of suspicious, inappropriate behavior or sexual misconduct by clergy, employees or program volunteers,” said Bishop Finn. “Within our 27-county diocese, I have asked her to focus particularly on reports relating to children and young people,” he said.

Through a private and direct telephone number and email address, Valenti can receive and then investigate reports or charges. She will consult with law enforcement agencies as she deems appropriate or necessary. Contact information for Valenti will be announced July 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

KC diocese names ombudsman to investigate abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Westport News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has named an ombudsman to investigate reports of clergy misconduct.

Bishop Robert Finn said in a statement Thursday that Jenifer Valenti, formerly with the Jackson County prosecutor's office, also will investigate reports of inappropriate behavior or sexual misconduct by employees and other program volunteers.

Valenti will focus particularly on reports involving children and young people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Diocese appoints ombudsman for sex abuse claims

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By GLENN E. RICE
The Kansas City Star

A former Jackson County assistant prosecutor has been appointed to the new position of ombudsman and public liaison officer for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Jenifer Valenti, a former team leader with the Jackson County prosecutor’s office, had worked closely with law enforcement agencies and has prosecuted domestic violence cases, said Bishop Robert W. Finn in a statement announcing the appointment.

Finn said the appointment would be effective July 15. He said Valenti’s work would be independent and confidential.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Bishops need to hold each other accountable, reform group says

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Thomas C. Fox on Jun. 30, 2011

The following press release from Voice of the Faithful came across my desk yesterday. It sounds like a creative response to a current episcopal problem.

NEWTON, Mass. – U.S. bishops must finally institute strong measures of fraternal correction when bishops fail to follow their own Charter for the Protection of Children and Young people after clergy are accused of child sexual abuse, according the Roman Catholic Church reform and abuse survivor support group Voice of the Faithful.

Disappointed but not surprised by the lack of substantive changes to the Charter during the recent United States Conference of Catholics Bishops meeting in Seattle, VOTF has sent a letter to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, USCCB president, asking USCCB to make its position on child protection absolutely clear by resolving as soon as possible to do the following:

· When USCCB learns a bishop has engaged in activity that would be prohibited by the Charter, or

· When USCCB learns a bishop has disregarded the principles of the Charter and has failed to take the actions required by the Charter, or

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests ...

NETHERLANDS/UNITED STATES
Startpagina/Weblog

[updated]

Compiled by drs. Pieter Schultz, information professional / content curator, web editor & religion researcher

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Report
News releases
Background information
Critical analysises
Responds to Critics
Videos
Cartoons
Articles / blogs (by country)
Articles on homosexuality
Andrew M. Greeley: Celibacy Isn't Cause of Sex Abuse
John Jay & celibacy
Articles on celibacy (by country)
Some observations on sexual abuse by priests & the oath / vow of celibacy

Appendix: Literature on clergy sexual abuse mentioned in John Jay's review of the literature

INTRODUCTION

The news selected in chapter 4 (most recent articles ordered by keywords) and 6 (older articles ordered by country) are reactions or comments on the John Jay report 2: 'The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the US, 1950-2010'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

OM liet misbruikzaken Kerk opzettelijk verjaren in een kastje

NEDERLAND
NRC Handelsblad

Het Openbaar Ministerie heeft misbruikzaken van katholieke priesters en geestelijken opzettelijk laten verjaren. De zaken werden opgeborgen in een kastje in het Paleis van Justitie in Den Bosch.

Dat blijkt uit een rapport over de afhandeling door het OM van kerkelijke misbruikzaken in het verleden. Het is geschreven door voormalig procureur-generaal Dato Steenhuis op verzoek van het College van procureurs-generaal. Het rapport is vandaag aangeboden aan de Tweede Kamer.

In het rapport wordt het bestaan van het speciale kastje gemeld door Hans Blok, oud-procureur-generaal in Den Bosch. Bij zijn aantreden in 1997, als opvolger van Rolph Gonsalves, trof hij het kastje aan. Daarin lagen zedenzaken tegen katholieke geestelijken opgeborgen. Het waren, schrijft Steenhuis in zijn rapport, zaken uit de jaren vijftig en zestig waarmee niets gedaan was door opeenvolgende procureurs-generaal. Voorgangers van Gonsalves waren J. Corsten (1978-1986) en A. van Overveldt (1965-1978).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Troubling Questions Raised by Bishop's Acceptance of Child Molester to Be Priest

UNITED STATES
Anglican Curmudgeon

A recent lawsuit filed in Missouri over child molestation and abuse charges against a Catholic monastery there contains allegations which, if proved, raise troubling questions about the conduct of ECUSA's Presiding Bishop when she was the Bishop of Nevada from 2000 until her election to the national post in 2006. The lawsuit alleges that one of the abbey's Benedictine monks, Bede Parry, molested the plaintiff and several other young men over a five-year period between 1982 and 1987 while they sang in the Abbey Choir, of which Parry was the director. (See this news release for a link to download a .pdf of the petition - h/t: Pageantmaster.) When the facts of the abuse came out in 1987, Parry left the monastery for a course of treatment, and then used his position as a Catholic priest to work at a variety of Catholic and Lutheran parishes in the southwest.

In 2000, Parry apparently applied to join another Catholic monastery, and underwent psychological testing and evaluation. "The results of this testing revealed that Fr. Parry was a sexual abuser who had the proclivity to reoffend with minors," the lawsuit alleges. Instead of joining the monastery, Parry was hired as the music director at All Saints Episcopal Church, in Las Vegas, where Jefferts Schori was the diocesan. (She did not need to be consulted about his hiring, and Parry now says that he did not disclose the test results to the clergy at All Saints.)

After a few years in that position, Parry says, "[I noticed that] they needed clergy, and I felt called. I talked to the bishop, and she accepted me. And I told her at the time that there was an incident of sexual misconduct at Conception Abbey in ’87. The Episcopal Church doesn’t have a ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy, so it didn’t seem like I was any particular threat. She said she’d have to check the canons, and she did." However, he says he told her only of the single incident in 1987, and not about any of the earlier ones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Wordt seksueel misbruik geestelijken zwaarder aangerekend dan anderen?

NEDERLAND
Trouw

Monic Slingerland − 29/06/11

Anders dan berichten over misbruik door priesters en religieuzen, zijn de bevindingen van de commissie-Samson - over seksueel misbruik in de jeugdzorg - niet bepaald het gesprek van de dag. Hoe zou dat komen?

Ook mevrouw Riek Samson moest toegeven dat haar onderzoek ernstige feiten had blootgelegd. De commissie die haar naam draagt, bekijkt of er in de jeugdzorg in Nederland vanaf 1945 sprake is geweest van seksueel misbruik.

De voorlopige conclusie is schokkend. Het gaat om meer dan steelse knuffels. Bij meer dan veertig procent van de meldingen is sprake van verkrachting. Misbruik was zelden een incident; een kind in een instelling of in een pleeggezin moest het zich vaak meer dan een jaar laten welgevallen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father: ...

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Santa Rosa, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Daniel F. Walsh, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Robert F. Vasa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Father Kit: neither monster nor saint

UNITED KINGDOM
Spiked

Patrick West

It is very easy to criticise Roman Catholic priests these days. Yes, we know, they are all paedophiles and alcoholics, as was ‘proved’ by the character Father Jack in the 1990s Channel 4 comedy Father Ted. Or they are simpletons like Father Dougal, or crooks like Father Ted himself. But even as an atheist and recovering Catholic, I find the most recent episode of anti-popery a bit galling.

Over the past two weeks, there have been news stories about the late priest, Father Kit Cunningham, and revelations of how he molested children when he was seconded in Tanzania for 10 years in the late 1960s. He was a subject of a BBC programme last week Abused: Breaking the Silence in which his victims recalled their traumatic experiences at his hands.

He was variously described in the programme as an ‘ogre’ and a ‘monster’ and a ‘self-congratulatory smirk’, which came as a surprise to many of us in the culturally Catholic community.

I knew Father Kit from when I was a young boy until the last time I saw him in the summer of 2007. When I visited him at Saint Etheldreda’s in Holborn, central London, he was nothing but kindness and benevolence. I ran down the aisle at Saint Etheldreda’s in 1980 when I was six years old shouting and screaming and he took it with graciousness. When I was briefly homeless in 2007, he let me stay there, as he did with many people and priests from around the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Today in Courtroom 3B

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By Susan Campbell on June 29, 2011

Testimony continued today in the second of the St. Francis Hospital child sex abuse trials with testimony from retired Dr. Thomas Godar, who sat on St. Francis' research committee in the late '60s and '70s, and Beverly Faulds, former medical secretary for George Reardon.

The trial is held in Courtroom 3B at Waterbury Superior Court.

Reardon, who died in '98, was head of St. Francis' endocrinology section, and for decades he conducted a bogus growth study with which he lured countless children and adolescents into his office, where he sexually abused and exploited them. In 2007, when the then-owners were renovating Reardon's former West Hartford home, they stumbled upon a cache of 50,000-60,000 pornographic slides and photos of Reardon's former patients.

Both Godar and Faulds testified in the first trial, which ended in a settlement during jury deliberations in early June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Former Sacramento priest files suit against his accuser

UNITED STATES
The Sacramento Bee

By Jennifer Garza
jgarza@sacbee.com

Published: Thursday, Jun. 30, 2011

A former Sacramento priest and nationally known speaker has filed a lawsuit against the woman who accused him of sexual misconduct.

The Rev. John Corapi, who served as the director of Catholic Faith Formation in Sacramento in the 1990s, filed a lawsuit in the 11th Judicial District Court of Montana, where he now lives. He alleges that his accuser committed libel and that a letter she wrote to his religious superiors contained "numerous false, malicious and unprivileged statements" about the priest. He is suing for punitive and unspecified compensatory damages.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests on Wednesday publicized Corapi's lawsuit, which was filed in April.

"I think it is reprehensible that he would sue her," said David Clohessy, national director of the victims rights group. "Clearly, he is trying to intimidate her." He said a priest suing his accuser is unusual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Senior clerics still not co-operating with child abuse checks

IRELAND
The Journal

SOME CATHOLIC CHURCH authorities are continuing to resist a nationwide investigation of systems to protect children from sexual abuse, amid confusion over data protection practices.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, which was set up at an emergency bishops’ conference in 2009, is auditing child protection practices after a series of abuse scandals. However, the NBSCCC has been impeded as some senior church figures raised concerns about data protection laws.

Earlier this month, the Data Protection Commissioner rejected these concerns. But the NBSCCC released a report which stated there are still “unresolved data protection issues”, and this is still the position of the board, according to the Irish Times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Pastor due church trial in Wayne Co. sex abuse case resigns

PENNSYLVANIA
Pocono Record

By McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

A suspended United Methodist pastor from Wayne County has formally surrendered his clergy credentials in the face of a pending church trial on allegations he sexually abused a parishioner.

Norman "Ted" Faux, a pastor of the Lake Ariel and Centenary United Methodist churches before his involuntary suspension on July 8, is "no longer a United Methodist pastor," according to a statement from Bishop Jane Allen Middleton included in a letter last week to the churches from the Rev. Beth E. Jones, superintendent of the Scranton District of the Susquehanna Conference.

Faux faced charges from the conference Committee on Investigation, including sexual abuse of a parishioner, prior to his Wayne County appointment. He also faced charges of disobedience and "behavior that undermines the ministry of another pastor" while he was on involuntary leave from the church, according to Bishop Middleton's statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Group Speaks Out Against Priest Convicted of Child Molestation

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KTLA

[with video]

KTLA News

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- Clergy abuse victims are speaking out against a priest convicted of molesting children in his ministry and the man who brought him to Los Angeles, retired Cardinal Roger Mahoney.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is demanding answers after a new report about one priest, Reverend Fernado Lopez Lopez.

The report reveals that, even though the Archdiocese of Los Angeles knew about his past conviction for sexual abuse of minors during a tenure in Italy, he was allegedly left on the job for more than six months at St. Thomas the Apostle in Koreatown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

June 29, 2011

Insurer says Catholic Church responsible for Vermont court fees, possible settlements

VERMONT
Times Argus

By Peter Hirschfeld
Vermont Press Bureau - Published: June 29, 2011

BURLINGTON — The insurer for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington says it shouldn’t have to bear any of the legal costs in the latest round of priest sex-abuse cases filed against the church.

An ongoing dispute between the diocese and U.S. Fidelity & Guaranty Company returned to court this week when the Minnesota-based insurer asked a federal court judge to absolve it of any financial obligations stemming from five civil cases filed last November against the Catholic Church.

The state’s largest religious denomination settled nearly 30 priest misconduct lawsuits for more than $20 million in May of 2012, but now faces at least five new sex-abuse lawsuits with the potential to consume more time and money.

U.S. Fidelity & Guaranty wants to make sure it won’t be on the hook for either the legal costs to defend the church or financial settlements resulting from the cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Archdiocese cemetery trust sues to protect funds in bankruptcy case

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

The trust created by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 2007 to fund burials and maintain its Catholic cemeteries filed a lawsuit this week in an effort to keep the estimated $53 million in the account from being used to pay creditors in its bankruptcy.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki, who serves as the lone trustee for the fund, said he has a moral and legal obligation to ensure the moneys are used for their intended purpose.

"It is important to have a clear decision from the Bankruptcy Court regarding the ongoing perpetual care of burial places," he said in a statement issued by the law firm Godfrey & Kahn, which represents the trust.

Attorneys for the creditors committee - victims of clergy sex abuse in this bankruptcy - did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Church still not aiding child sex abuse audit

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

SENIOR FIGURES in the Catholic Church are still not co-operating with its own child protection watchdog, despite assurances from the Data Protection Commissioner that in doing so they would not be acting illegally.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children is conducting an audit of child protection practices in church institutions, announced at an emergency meeting of the bishops by Cardinal Seán Brady in January 2009.

A spokesman for the office of the Data Protection Commissioner said legal concerns expressed by the Catholic Church regarding its co-operation with the board “were fully addressed to the satisfaction of all parties” at a meeting last November. That meeting was attended by representatives of the Catholic bishops, the Conference of Religious of Ireland (Cori), the Irish Missionary Union and representatives of the board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Archdiocese does more ‘training;’SNAP responds

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
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)

You can train the folks at the bottom all you want, but if those at the top are still reckless and callous and secretive, little will change.

The problem never has been inadequately trained lay people. It’s always been corrupt bishops. That hasn’t changed and isn’t changing.

Remember, almost a decade ago, church officials pledged to train staff and volunteers about abuse. So here they are, almost ten years later, making the same promises.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Victims blast priest's lawsuit against woman

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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

SNAP has confirmed that Fr. John Corapi is suing a woman who has quietly reported to his church supervisors that he sexually exploited and harassed her.

It's almost always wrong for a cleric to sue a congregant. It's especially wrong when a priest sues someone who is making sexual misconduct allegations against him.

And it's especially wrong in this case, because the victim quietly did what any caring person would do: report priestly misconduct to those who
--could and should protect others from him,
--have repeatedly promised to protect the vulnerable from predatory priests, and
--have promised to be "open and transparent" about clergy sexual misdeeds.

This woman didn't "go public." She didn't seek money. She didn't file a lawsuit. She didn't call journalists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Report: Convicted LA priest had record in Italy

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Sacramento Bee

By GILLIAN FLACCUS
Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2011

LOS ANGELES -- Clergy abuse victims are protesting outside the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles after learning that a visiting priest convicted of molestation had a prior criminal case in Italy.

HDNet's Dan Rather reported Tuesday that the Rev. Fernando Lopez pleaded guilty in 2000 to "repeated sexual violence on a minor" in Italy before coming to the United States.

Lopez worked in a Los Angeles parish for three years and was convicted on multiple molestation-related counts in 2005 after abusing three boys in that parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Retired priest, bar owner gets suspended sentence in molestation case

DELAWARE
Newark Post

By Carl Hamilton
cahamilton@cecilwhig.com
Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An 82-year-old retired priest who molested two girls while living in North East received a suspended 10-year sentence on Tuesday.

Donald Wells Belcher will serve no jail time beyond the 75 days that he was incarcerated after his arrest in December, unless he violates his probation.

After imposing the suspended sentence, Retired Judge Christian M. Kahl ordered Belcher to serve five years of supervised probation.

Belcher must register as a convicted sex offender, must undergo sex offender counseling and must have no unsupervised contact with anyone under 18 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Matthew Fox: Speaking the Truth in Love

UNITED STATES
Publishers Weekly

By Kerry Weber
Jun 29, 2011

Matthew Fox was saddened when he was silenced for one year by the Vatican in 1988 and then dismissed from the Dominican order five years later. But those turbulent parts of his past, he says, have allowed the former Catholic priest to write from a unique viewpoint.

“I can speak truthfully about the [Catholic] Church because I know the tradition well, and I love it,” says Fox, who became an Episcopal priest in 1994. “But I also have the perspective from without. I’m one of the few theologians from that tradition who doesn’t have to look over my shoulder now.” Fox’s newest book, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved (Sterling Ethos, May), offers insight into that perspective.

In the book, Fox charges that, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI stifled the voices of many theologians whose views differed from his own. This practice, Fox alleges, led to a Vatican filled with yes-men who value obedience over conscience, and a hierarchy willing to be complicit in covering up sexual abuse by clergy. The book also includes several profiles of Catholic intellectuals whose views have clashed with the pope’s. Many have been a source of comfort or inspiration for Fox.

Fox, whose 28 previous books have sold more than 1.5 million copies, says the purpose of The Pope’s War was not to rehash widely reported stories of sexual abuse, but to try to put the crisis and the Vatican culture as he perceives it into context. “My job is to ask if the (Holy) Spirit is involved in any of this, to try to get the overall picture of what has happened in Catholicism since the Second Vatican Council, and to try to surmise some meaning from all this,” he says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Priest in Robstown-based religious order is suing his accuser

TEXAS/MONTANA
The Caller

By Mark Collette
Posted June 29, 2011

CORPUS CHRISTI — A Catholic priest who is a member of a Robstown-based religious order, and who is accused of improper sexual contact with a former employee, is suing his accuser.

The Rev. John Corapi has a nationwide following via television, Internet and in-person speaking appearances, and is known for his criticism about the way the Catholic Church treats priests accused of misconduct.

In March, a former employee sent letters to several bishops accusing Corapi of "everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several other adult women," Corapi wrote in a statement on his website.

Corapi's suit, which seeks unspecified damages, claims the woman's letter was libelous, caused a television network to terminate his shows and sullied his reputation as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Former athletic director Francis Murphy pleads not guilty to charges for improper contact

PENNSYLVANIA
The Times Herald

By Carl Hessler Jr.
Journal Register News Service

NORRISTOWN – A former Archbishop Carroll High School athletic director has pleaded not guilty to charges he allegedly had improper contact with a teenage boy who was an ex-student.

Francis Murphy, 39, of the 1000 block of East Lancaster Avenue, Radnor, waived his arraignment in Montgomery County Court and pleaded not guilty to charges of promoting prostitution, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of a minor in connection with alleged incidents that occurred in April.

By waiving his arraignment, Murphy did not have to appear before a judge on Wednesday for a formal reading of the charges lodged against him. Murphy, who remains free on $250,000 bail pending his next court hearing, will be scheduled for trial on the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

Bishops in PCSO scam identified

PHILIPPINES
The Philippine Star

By Perseus Echeminada (The Philippine Star) Updated June 30, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) named yesterday a priest and several Catholic bishops who were given sports utility vehicles (SUVs) which the agency charged to its charity fund.

Because of the new controversy hounding the agency, the Senate Blue Ribbon committee will investigate the alleged misuse of billions of PCSO funds during the Arroyo administration and other recently uncovered anomalies.

PCSO director lawyer Aleta Tolentino distributed to newsmen copies of resolutions approving the grant of vehicles for the diocese of Butuan, North Cotabato, Sorsogon and Iligan City.

In a series of resolutions in 2009, the former PCSO board approved the grant of two SUVs to Butuan City Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, one each for Rev. Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato, Monsignor Augusto Laban of Sorsogon and Fr. Roger Lood of the parish of Iligan City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Politics corrupting the Church, says activist priest

PHILIPPINES
GMA News

PATERNO ESMAQUEL II, GMA News
06/29/2011

An activist priest on Wednesday criticized patronage politics as a source of corruption in the Catholic Church, giving credence to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) exposé that some bishops have benefited from government coffers.

In a telephone interview with GMA News Online, activist priest Robert Reyes said politicians usually give donations in courting the support of Catholic bishops who wield some influence over the parishioner in their respective dioceses. “Panahon pa lang ni Cardinal Sin, nag-o-offer na ang mga pulitiko ng donasyon," said Reyes, a vocal critic of the Arroyo administration.

“That practice is not exclusive to the Catholic Church," noted Reyes, saying that other religious groups also benefit from politicians’ donations, some of which come from government agencies such as the PCSO.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Adlington priest quits after admitting "sexual liaisons"

UNITED KINGDOM
The Citizen

A priest who presided over a village church for 25 years has resigned after admitting inappropriate ‘sexual liaisons’.

Parishioners were told at the weekend that Reverend David Morgan, 68, clergyman for St Paul’s Church, Railway Road, Adlington had left his position.

In a statement, the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Nicholas Reade, said: “The Reverend David Morgan has admitted having past sexual liaisons which are contrary to the behaviour expected of priests within the Church of England and he has accepted a rebuke.

“He has now signed a Deed of Resignation which will effective form June 30.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Radical Reshuffling of Boston Archdiocese Revisited

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Catholic Insider

Our last post about the a rumored Vatican document in the works on reorganization of U.S. dioceses prompted so many insightul comments that we felt it was worth a follow-up post.

Earlier this month, BCI discussed an AP story published in the Boston Globe and other newspapers about a “radical reshuffling” of the archdiocese at a parish level planned for the not-too-distant future. There were a few things the folks at 66 Brooks Drive thought were not explained exactly right in the mainstream media article, so they clarified them. For your edification and reading pleasure, here are the clarifications and then some of our perspectives.

From The Boston Pilot (June 10, 2011), “Archdiocesan pastoral planning a work in progress, says official“:

BRAINTREE — Father David Couturier, Director of Pastoral Planning for the Archdiocese of Boston, responded June 8 to recent media reports about a possible reorganization of the archdiocese’s parishes.

An Associated Press story, released on June 3, asserted that the archdiocese was considering “reshuffling” their 291 parishes into 80 to 120 clusters. Each group would be supported by collective resources and clergy personnel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Former priest sentenced

CANADA
Times & Transcript

by shawn berry
Times & Transcript Staff

A former priest in the Edmundston area will serve out his sentence in Canada before authorities review whether to deport him back to the Congo.

Rev. Joseph Numbi Phaku Mavambu was sentenced in Edmundston Provincial Court last week to two years in federal prison and two years of probation after pleading guilty in the spring to one charge of touching a minor for a sexual purpose.

"After that, immigration will take over the file when he is released. He'll have to finish his probation, and then they will look at it," Const. said Julie Ryan, the RCMP officer who investigated the case, speaking in French. "They will review his file to determine whether he will be expelled from Canada to his home country."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Diocese responds to angry churchgoers

HOLYOKE (MA)
WWLP

[with video]

Ryan Walsh

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - Angry and frustrated. Parishioners protested their churches closing on Sunday.

The Mater Dolorosa Church in Holyoke held it's final Sunday Mass. This is when things became heat.

Dozens of loyal churchgoers wanted to let Springfield Bishop Timothy McDonnell they are still upset about it.

"Save our Church, Save our Church, Save our Church", a group of parishioners chanted as the Bishop tried to make his way inside the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Ex-CISD bus driver claims he was fired for whistle blowing

TEXAS
Your Conroe News

By Kassia Micek

A former Conroe ISD bus driver is continuing his fight against what he calls neglect within the Conroe ISD Transportation Department despite losing his appeal to the CISD Board of Trustees last week.

The CISD school board upheld the Level I and Level II hearing officer’s decision at its June 21 meeting and denied the relief sought by Christopher Terry, who worked as a CISD bus driver from November 2010 until March. Terry was seeking reinstatement to his position and compensation for lost wages after he claims he was unjustly fired for “whistle blowing” about a monitor who neglected special needs students while on duty. ...

Terry, a Catholic priest, related the problem to the cover up of sexual assaults by priests within the Catholic Church.

“It’s been discovered the Catholic Church … has a policy … which was used to tell bishops that they were not to turn credible allegations of abuse in to the police,” Terry said.

It’s a common problem for bus monitors to sleep on duty, ignore students and talk on their cell phone, Terry said.

“As a bus driver, you have absolute responsibility for anything that happens on the bus,” Terry said about why he reported the alleged neglect. “I don’t have eyes on the back of my head so I can watch the situation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Former priest could be deported

CANADA
Daily Gleaner

By SHAWN BERRY
berry.shawn@dailygleaner.com

A former priest in the Edmundston area will serve out his sentence in Canada before authorities review whether to deport him to Congo.

Rev. Joseph Numbi Phaku Mavambu was sentenced in provincial court last week to two years in federal prison and two years of probation.

"After that, immigration will take over the file when he is released. He'll have to finish his probation and then they will look at it," said Const. Julie Ryan, the RCMP officer who investigated the case, speaking in French.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Disco wins honor

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Nashua Telegraph

By JOSEPH G. COTE
Staff Writer

A Merrimack woman will be named the Layperson of the Year by a national priest abuse survivors group.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, will give its highest award to Carolyn Disco at the group’s national conference in Washington, D.C., on July 9, according to David Clohessy, SNAP’s national director.

Disco, a Catholic who attends Our Lady of Mercy in Merrimack, said she became interested in the scandal when media broke the news a decade ago. She began researching the issues and eventually became a well-known advocate of abuse victims.

“I’m very humbled and grateful. It’s been a long association,” Disco said. “Getting to know survivors has been a very meaningful experience.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

No document on US dioceses reorganization, Vatican man says

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Dennis Coday on Jun. 28, 2011

The web-world is abuzz with talk about this article from the new site Vatican Insider, Vatican document on the reorganisation of U.S. dioceses, in which Italian Vaticanologist Marco Tosatti writes:

The Congregation for the Clergy in agreement with other departments has prepared a specific document, which will be released after the summer, possibly in October, that is specifically dedicated to the reorganization of American dioceses. The document is currently being examined by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, chaired by Archbishop Francis Coccopalmerio. Obviously the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is also interested in the matter. It will provide guidelines on how the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, and each individual diocese must act to rebuild its presence in their area.

But Catholic News Services today reports there ain’t no such document. John Thavis writes that “Vatican sources”:

The sources denied an Italian report that the document will issue instructions on the reorganization of U.S. dioceses that face financial pressures in the wake of the sex abuse scandals -- in particular regarding parish closings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Bishop Richard Lennon's Cleveland Catholic Diocese church closings under investigation by Vatican, Italian newspaper reports

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

By Michael O'Malley, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Vatican is investigating Bishop Richard Lennon's closings of churches in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, according to a report in an Italian newspaper.

A spokesman for the diocese said Tuesday he would look into the account, but had no immediate comment.

The report Friday in the Italian newspaper La Stampa by veteran Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti, said the Vatican has decided to send "an apostolic visit, or rather, an investigation" to look into Lennon's decisions on the closings.

Lennon, citing changes in Catholic demographics, a shortage of priests and dwindling Sunday cash collections, ordered the shuttering of 50 parishes, beginning in August 2009 and ending in June 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Philadelphia archdiocese trains on sexual abuse reporting

PHILADLEPHIA (PA)
Reuters

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA | Tue Jun 28, 2011

(Reuters) - The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, embroiled in a child sex abuse scandal in both criminal and civil courts, announced on Tuesday a new training program for some 24,000 priests, employees and volunteers on how to report sexual abuse.

Leslie Davila, director of the archdiocese child and youth protection office, said the training, based on state law and conducted by the firm Network of Victim Assistance, began on Monday.

It will include 90 sessions in 40 locations through November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Former Boy Scouts sue organization, church, Scoutmaster after being sexually abused

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Chris Harrell
charrell@pioneerpress.com

Two former Boy Scouts have filed suit against the organization and the Burnsville Scoutmaster they say sexually abused them.

Identified in the lawsuits as John Doe 170 and 180, the Scouts are suing Peter Robert Stibal II in Ramsey County District Court. Stibal was sentenced Friday to 21 years in prison for sexually abusing four former Scouts.

The lawsuits accuse Stibal of sexually abusing John Doe 170, now an adult, while on a 2009 Catholic mission to Mexico, and John Doe 180, still a minor, while on other trips in 2008.

Filed Monday, the lawsuits name the Boy Scouts of America and the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America, a Twin Cities chapter. The suit involving the older former Scout also includes Mary, Mother of the Church Catholic community in Burnsville and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Methodist pastor surrenders clergy credentials after sexual abuse allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
The Times-Tribune

By Laura Legere (Staff Writer)
Published: June 29, 2011

Pastor due church trial in sex abuse case resigns

A suspended United Methodist pastor from Wayne County has formally surrendered his clergy credentials in the face of a pending church trial on allegations he sexually abused a parishioner.

Norman "Ted" Faux, a pastor of the Lake Ariel and Centenary United Methodist churches before his involuntary suspension on July 8, is "no longer a United Methodist pastor," according to a statement from Bishop Jane Allen Middleton included in a letter last week to the churches from the Rev. Beth E. Jones, superintendent of the Scranton District of the Susquehanna Conference.

Mr. Faux faced charges from the conference Committee on Investigation, including sexual abuse of a parishioner, prior to his Wayne County appointment. He also faced charges of disobedience and "behavior that undermines the ministry of another pastor" while he was on involuntary leave from the church, according to Bishop Middleton's statement.

A "Church Trial was about to begin" when Mr. Faux surrendered his clergy credentials, Bishop Middleton said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Despite priest's dark past, he was given ample time to find new victims

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By Steve Lopez

June 29, 2011

Early in 2001, a young priest arrived in Southern California after being asked to leave his diocese near Rome.

The Rev. Fernando Lopez Lopez first went to the San Bernardino diocese, where a monsignor found it odd that he would show up unannounced, with no letter of explanation from his bishop.

The monsignor checked with church officials in Italy and was told Lopez Lopez had been asked to leave his post. When the monsignor confronted Lopez Lopez with this information, the priest admitted he had been asked to leave because of complaints from parishioners in Tivoli that he was involved in drug activity with young men in the church. There were also reports the priest was "homosexually involved with some of the young men of the youth group." Lopez Lopez denied the allegations and also said the youths in question were over 18.

The monsignor in San Bernardino refused to assign the priest to duties in the diocese and suggested he go back to Italy. Instead, Rev. Lopez Lopez headed farther west and decided to try his luck with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

June 28, 2011

Serial molester's victim settles with Fort Worth diocese

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By Darren Barbee
DBarbee@star-telegram.com

An Arlington man who said he was abused by notorious molester Monsignor James Reilly has settled out of court with the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The abuse began in 1971, when the man was a 10-year-old altar boy at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Arlington, and it continued to 1976, said his attorney, Tahira Khan Merritt of Dallas. He was referred to by his attorneys as Doe 23 -- the number of Reilly's accusers with whom Merritt has dealt.

Bishop Kevin Vann, leader of the diocese, said he will address any charge of abuse as quickly and as pastorally as possible.

"I am committed to ensuring that the diocese's policies are adhered to so we can prevent future tragedy such as that which has befallen the victims of abuse," he said in a written statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

New Orleans Jesuits sued in abuse case; SNAP responds

EL PASO (TX)
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)

Our hearts ache for this boy and for anyone else who may have been hurt by Fr. Madrid.

We beg current and former Jesuit employees and local Catholics: If you have knowledge or suspicions - however old, small or seemingly insignificant - about clergy sex crimes, it's your moral and civic duty to call police. Please summon the courage to do what's right, call law enforcement and hopefully prevent more devastated lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Schönborn accused of hiding abuse; victims respond

AUSTRIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (+1-312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)

We are saddened but not surprised by these allegations.

Liberal or conservative makes no difference. Catholic officials from across the spectrum tend to ignore, minimize and conceal child sex crimes. Theological or political orientation doesn’t matter. All bishops are part of a rigid, secretive, ancient, all-male monarchy in which they are virtually never held accountable for their misdeeds, however frequent or egregious. That’s why most of them protect predator priests instead of innocent children.

We hope that every person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes in Austria will find the strength and courage to step forward, call police, protect kids, expose wrongdoing and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Davenport’s bishop hides 2 child molesting clerics; SNAP responds

IOWA
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)

Shame on Davenport Bishop Martin Amos, and shame on diocesan public relations man David Montgomery. Their refusal to disclose where two potentially dangerous child molesting clerics live is stunningly reckless.

Even if Stouvenal is defrocked, Davenport church officials can disclose his last known address and use their considerable resources – parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements – to warn their flock about him and ask if anyone knows where he lives.

Even if Soens was transferred across the state, Davenport church officials can take the same steps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Phila. Archdiocese clergy, staff begin training to recognize, report abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

June 28, 2011
By Tom MacDonald

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is launching new mandatory training on reporting child abuse.

The Bucks County-based Network of Victim Assistance will conduct the training for about 24,000 clergy members and other archdiocese staff on how to recognize and report child abuse. Cathleen Palm of the Pennsylvania Protect Our Children Committee said the training represents a major step for the archdiocese.

"This is not training about what to do if you suspect that a member of the clergy or a member of the Catholic Church is abusing someone," said Palm. "This is training that really will help elevate people's understanding that children are abused in very different forms by very different people so we have to be very attentive to all of that."

Palm says the training shows that children aren't the only ones who should report abuse. Archdiocese officials say the initial training sessions have been good and showed people how to identify abused children and get help for them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

FLDS defendant told to stay in Texas

SAN ANGELO (TX)
Standard-Times

By Matthew Waller

SAN ANGELO, Texas — A former bishop of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was told to stay in Texas until his trial unless he gets permission from the court to take medical trips out of state.

Frederick Merril Jessop, 75, made an appearance in the Schleicher County courthouse Monday morning for a pretrial hearing and was told he had to give a physical address of residence to the prosecution while on bond.

"He is traveling back and forth" in and out of state, Jessop's San Angelo attorney Rae Leifeste, said.

Jessop, who was once bishop over the FLDS Yearning for Zion Ranch, suggested giving the prosecution the address to the hotel where he is staying, but the state, headed by Angela Goodwin, said it was not enough.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Pope Benedict’s War on the Church

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade has Imperiled the Church and How it Can be Saved
Matthew Fox
Sterling Ethos (2011)

The Catholic Church is ripe for another reformation. That’s the message theologian Matthew Fox sends in his new book, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade has Imperiled the Church and How it Can be Saved.

Fox is a former Catholic priest who was silenced by Pope Benedict XVI (who was then Cardinal Ratzinger) after a 12-year-long battle over his writings. The book points to scandals, from the best-known to the unfamiliar, that are rotting the church from the inside out. The current pope, Fox contends, has filled the Church with yes-men (all men, of course), and it's up to the Catholics in the pews to "push the restart button on Christianity." ...

Polls here in America have shown that a majority of laypeople in the pews of the Catholic Church are supportive of marriage equality for gay and lesbian people. Nearly three-quarters, in fact, favor either marriage or civil unions for gays and lesbians. Will the Vatican ever catch up with its flock?

I think the Vatican in its present state is beyond redemption. I think it is a very closed boy’s club. I have a section in the book on bullying. Ratzinger is a bully. I know him. He was in a 12-year battle with me before he won, I guess, and expelled me. Part of bullying, according to the studies that I’ve found, is that the bully likes a wolf pack. That wolf pack is the Curia (the central governing body of the Roman Catholic Church). It’s interesting that he appointed 24 cardinals in December and ten of them are in the Curia. They have lots of power and it’s a very tight circle, which is of course why they don’t want women in the club, it’s a boy’s club.

The point I make in the book is that the laypeople have to take over the church, period. It’s not going to be reformed from the inside, or from the top down, at all. It’s rancid, and so, these people have to assert themselves and that’s the next step, for laypeople to realize it’s their church. They should only hire ministers who are willing to serve and not to be served, and that means starting over.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Cardinal Scola to become Archbishop of Milan, top papabile

ITALY
Catholic Culture

June 28, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has named Cardinal Angelo Scola to become the Archbishop of Milan.

The appointment, announced on June 28, confirms reports that have circulated in recent days, and puts Cardinal Scola at the top of the list of Pope Benedict’s likely successors.

Cardinal Scola, who is now the Patriarch of Venice, will replace Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, who is retiring at the age of 77. Cardinal Scola will assume his new post in the fall.

The Archdiocese of Milan is the largest see in Italy, in the country’s leading financial and industrial center; the archdiocese has a Catholic population of nearly 5 million, and almost 3,000 priests. The Archbishop of Milan—successor to St. Ambrose and St. Charles Borromeo—has traditionally been a major figure in Italian Catholic affairs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Former New Birth security guard pleads not guilty to burglary

ATLANTA (GA)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Rhonda Cook
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The only young man still charged with the burglary of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church -- a crime that played out in the controversy around its charismatic leader -- was in court Tuesday to announce that he is innocent.

Anthony Boyd, wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and a tie, stood when his name was called in DeKalb County Superior Court but his attorney, David Fife, spoke for him. Boyd was surrounded by friends and family.

After the brief court appearance, Fife said, "Mr. Boyd maintains his innocence" and he hopes to show that at trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Catholic School Employee Accused of Having Sex With Student

TENNESSEE
WREG

(Memphis 6/27/11) A former teacher with Catholic Schools is accused of having sex with a student on school property in 2009.

31-year-old Jose Garcia was arrested this weekend, more than a year after a warrant was issued.

Memphis police say the alleged incidents happened in February of 2009, but they were not reported until during a forensic interview with the victim in spring of 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Links to specialized sources

ITALY
Chiesa

Resources page updated June 28, 2011. With two new additions: "News.va," the new global portal of Vatican information, and "Vatican Insider"

> News.va. The new global portal of Vatican information, updated continually. With official bulletins, the newspaper, radio, television, etcetera. In Italian and English.

> Vatican.va. The indispensable official website of the Vatican, with an immense archive. In eight languages, including Chinese.

> H2O News. Audio/video/text news on the Church, in nine languages, including Arabic. At the service of the Catholic media.

> Rome Reports Video News. A television news agency covering the pope and the Vatican, in English and Spanish.

> Asia News. With sinologist Fr. Bernard Cervellera as director. In Italian, in English, and Chinese.

> MissiOnLine. By the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions in Milan. In Italian and English.

> Vatican Insider. What news.va doesn't tell you, you'll hear from Tornielli, Allen, Horst, Izoard, O'Connell, and other commentators. Copyright "La Stampa," Turin. In Italian, English, and Spanish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Een herinnering verjaart niet

NEDERLAND
kennislink

Gastcolumn van psycholoog Elke Geraerts

Elke twee weken verschijnt op Kennislink een gastcolumn. De columnist is steeds een andere onderzoeker, die vanuit zijn of haar vakgebied schrijft over de wetenschap achter een gebeurtenis in de maatschappij of uit ons dagelijks leven. Deze week: psycholoog en lid van de Jonge Akademie Elke Geraerts over herinneringen aan kindermisbruik.

Bijna elke dag confronteert de media ons met nieuwe berichten over kindermisbruik. Recent lazen we bijvoorbeeld over de vele beschuldigingen van kindermisbruik tegen priesters in de kerk. Of Robert M., die zich in onder andere kinderdagverblijf het Hofnarretje aan minstens 85 zeer jonge kinderen zou hebben vergrepen.

De nadruk ligt in deze berichten vaak op de dader. En terwijl verhalen over de dader breed worden uitgemeten in de pers, is er veel minder aandacht voor de gevolgen voor het slachtoffer. Dit is ook wel te begrijpen, want we kunnen onze vinger maar moeilijk leggen op de gevolgen van kindermisbruik voor het slachtoffer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

What Made Archbishop Dolan Famous in Milwaukee Hasn’t Saved Him From Losing Here

NEW YORK
New York Observer

By Tom Acitelli

Archbishop Dolan had had it—he took to his blog.

“Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America—not in China or North Korea. In those countries, government presumes daily to ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values, and natural law. There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of ‘family’ and ‘marriage’ means.”

The head of the nation’s second-largest Catholic archdiocese and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a man 60 Minutes had declared “The American Pope” only months before, felt himself staring into the abyss. And the abyss seemed to be staring back: New York was on the eve of voting in gay rights—at the urging of a Catholic governor, no less!—and his months of trying to stop it had come to naught. So he did what a lot of us do and vented on the Internet, seemingly resigned but combative nonetheless. ...

It can’t be easy being Timothy Dolan. Every time he tries to score a point for the Catechism—on women in the church, on abortion, on gay marriage especially—here comes the liberal media with its invocation of the epic Catholic clergy abuse scandal that claimed the well-being of thousands of victims, billions in church property and investments, and large chunks of the reputations of men like Mr. Dolan.

Even when he tries to do the whole Irish thing—talking and drinking, and talking about drinking (see the above clip of him, his predecessor, Edward Egan, and the governor at the Puerto Rican Day Parade in June); lots of back-slapping and references to his mom—it can’t seem to charm the likes of Ms. Dowd (who did not respond to an interview request).

There is a pattern here. Before being posted in New York, the archbishop was in Milwaukee, where in 2002, he succeeded Archbishop Rembert Weakland, an aptly named sport who, while fighting the claims of clergy abuse victims, carried on an affair with another man, whom he later paid off with $450,000 in church funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Catholic Church Begins Own Internal Investigation

ICELAND
The Reykjavik Grapevine

28.6.2011
Words by Paul Fontaine

The Catholic bishop of Iceland has issued an apology in response to several people coming forward recently and saying they suffered sexual abuse within the church's walls. He added that the church will also begin an internal investigation into the matter.

While the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland has received a great deal of attention for its poor handling of a sex abuse scandal within its own walls - in particular, because the perpetrator was the former bishop of Iceland, and the current bishop admitted to hiding evidence of his crimes for a year and a half - they have not been alone. A number of Catholic Icelanders have recently come forward saying they, too, were sexually abused by clergymen, within the Catholic church.

Vísir now reports that Catholic Bishop of Iceland Pétur Bürcher has publicly apologised to the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests or other staff, and asks for their forgiveness. In so doing, he said, he is following the example of Pope Benedict XVI, who issued a similar statement not too long ago

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Frau begrüßt weitere Prüfung durch Klasnic-Kommission

OSTERREICH
der Standard

Wien (APA) - Jene 45-jährige Frau, die Anzeige gegen mehrere Geistliche - darunter "Missio"-Nationaldirektor Leo Maasburg und einen mittlerweile suspendierten Tiroler Schulseelsorger - erstattet hat, begrüßt, dass ihr Fall von der Klasnic-Kommission weiter geprüft werden soll. Aufgrund eines Schreibens der Kommission sei sie allerdings davon ausgegangen, dass der Fall bereits abgeschlossen sei, sagte ein Vertrauter der Frau. Weiters wehrt sich das mutmaßliche Opfer gegen Aussagen, sie habe Maasburg "gestalkt".

In dem Brief der Klasnic-Kommission vom 3. März 2011 wird bestätigt, dass Frau ein "anerkanntes Opfer" sei und eine Therapie zugesprochen bekomme. Weiters heißt es darin: "Das Kuratorium und der Vorstand der Stiftung Opferschutz der Katholischen Kirche in Österreich bedauern zutiefst, dass Sie zum Opfer von Mitarbeitern der Katholischen Kirche geworden sind." Weiters wird um Entschuldigung gebeten. Außer rund 11.000 Euro für eine Therapie ist der Frau bis jetzt allerdings keine Entschädigung zugesprochen worden, auch Anzeige wurde nicht erstattet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Missbrauch im Vatikan: Tiroler Pater suspendiert

VATIKAN/OSTERREICH
Die Presse

27.06.2011 | 15:38 | (DiePresse.com)

Der Geistliche soll eine damals 17-Jährige im Vatikan sexuell berührt haben, heißt es in der Sachverhaltsdarstellung. Nun ist er suspendiert worden. Die Klasnic-Kommission prüft nun, ob die Frau entschädigt wird.

Die Anzeige einer 45-jährigen Frau gegen mehrere prominente Geistliche - darunter "Missio"-Nationaldirektor Leo Maasburg - hat nun zur Suspendierung eines Franziskanerpaters geführt: Der Geistliche soll die damals Minderjährige im Vatikan missbraucht haben. In einem Brief an die Ombudsstelle Innsbruck bekannte sich der Pater schuldig. Er ist nun nicht mehr als Schulseelsorger tätig, berichtet die "Tiroler Tageszeitung". Angezeigt wurden außerdem Maasburg wegen angeblicher sexueller Nötigung und Kardinal Christoph Schönborn wegen Vertuschung. Beide weisen die Vorwürfe zurück.

Die Klasnic-Kommission hat der Frau eine Entschädigung in Aussicht gestellt. Dafür muss der Fall noch eingehend geprüft werden; die Frau müsste sich dem Clearing-Verfahren - einem zehnstündigen Gespräch - unterziehen. Bisher wurde ihr seitens der Kommission nur Unterstützung in der Höhe von 11.000 Euro für eine stationäre Therapie gewährt, teilte Kurt Scholz am Montag im ORF-"Mittagsjournal" mit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Holt Geschichte die Kirche ein?

OSTERREICH
Die Presse

Wird die katholische Kirche, wird Kardinal Christoph Schönborn von der Geschichte eingeholt? Hat er als Weihbischof 1994 versagt und sich schuldig gemacht, dass eine heute 45-Jährige von einem Priester sexuell genötigt wurde? Ja, wenn es nach Rechtsanwalt Walter Schostal geht. Der ist kein unbeschriebenes Blatt. Er kämpft nicht erst seit heute gegen die von Schönborn ins Leben gerufene Opferschutzkommission, hat von Bischöfen ultimativ Zahlungen verlangt und mehrfach Klagen angedroht. Interessant, ob eine Sachverhaltsdarstellung gegen Schönborn eingebracht werden wird. Nicht ungelegen kommt die Debatte jedenfalls den Initiatoren des „Volksbegehrens gegen Kirchenprivilegien“, die Unterschriften sammeln.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Was 
wusste Christoph 
Schönborn?

OSTERREICH
oe24

Kardinal Schönborn steckt mitten im Missbrauchsskandal: ­Eine Steirerin (45) behauptet, Schönborn hätte Übergriffe durch Priester vertuscht.

Es war 1994, als Christoph Schönborn , damals Weihbischof von Wien, für eine 45-jährige Steirerin die letzte Hoffnung war. „Nach wiederholtem Missbrauch durch zwei Priester bat ich um ein Gespräch und fuhr zu ihm“, sagt die Frau, die anonym bleiben will, zu ÖSTERREICH (Interview unten).

Zwei Stunden lang schilderte sie dem heutigen Kardinal unter Tränen die Peinigungen. Konkret soll die tiefgläubige Frau 1984 in Rom von einem Tiroler Priester und 1994 von Leo Maasburg, dem Leiter der Päpstlichen Missionswerke („Missio“), missbraucht worden sein (es gilt die Unschuldsvermutung). „Ich wollte, dass der Kardinal den Priester anruft und die Übergriffe ein Ende haben.“ Doch Schönborn soll das ignoriert haben, lautet ihr Vertuschungsvorwurf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Schönborn failed to act, abuse victim claims

AUSTRIA
Austrian Independent

The highest representative of the Roman Catholic Church in Austria has been accused of keeping quiet about a case of sexual abuse.

A lawyer said yesterday (Mon) he will launch legal action against Viennese Archbishop Christoph Cardinal Schönborn. The advocate’s client explained she consulted Schönborn in 1994 to tell him of sexual abuse by a priest. The woman, 45, said Schönborn – who was auxiliary bishop of Vienna at that time – failed to act despite her plea for help.

A spokesman for Schönborn – who was given chances to succeed late Pope John Paul II before German Josef Ratzinger was elected new Pope in 2005 – vehemently denied the claims. He explained Schönborn would have certainly taken action had he considered the accusations as severe. He described the meeting between Schönborn and the allegedly molested woman as a confessional conversation.

The spokesman also said that the so-called Klasnic commission financed therapy sessions for the woman. The commission headed by former Styrian People’s Party (ÖVP) Governor Waltraud Klasnic was established by Schönborn last year. The cardinal, who is regarded as a more liberal representative of the Church than some other Austrian bishops, hoped that people who became victims of clergymen’s sexual, physical and psychological abuse would get in touch with the panel to negotiate compensation payments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Ex-priest at El Paso's Sacred Heart Catholic Church accused of molestation

EL PASO (TX)
El Paso Times

by Diana Washington Valdez \ El Paso Times
Posted: 06/28/2011 12:07:37 AM MDT

A priest who formerly worked at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in El Paso is accused in a lawsuit of allegedly sexually molesting a former altar boy in the 1970s.

The Rev. Alfonso Madrid, a Jesuit priest at Sacred Heart, allegedly abused the plaintiff who is identified only as "John Doe."

The lawsuit was filed in El Paso against the El Paso Catholic Diocese and the Jesuits of the New Orleans Province, said Lori Watson, one of the lawyers in Dallas who represents the plaintiff.

The Rev. Anthony C. Celino, spokesman for the El Paso Catholic Diocese, said Madrid, who is deceased, was assigned to Sacred Heart from 1972 to 1982. He said the church in South El Paso is owned by the diocese but staffed by the Jesuit Society of Jesus, a religious order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Activist priest Robert Reyes says bishops got more than Pajeros

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer News

By Maricar Cinco
Inquirer Southern Luzon

SAN PEDRO, Laguna—Activist priest Fr. Robert Reyes on Tuesday alleged that a number of Catholic bishops not only got expensive vehicles out of public funds but also benefited in other forms during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Not just the Pajeros. She constructed houses (for priests), convents, cathedrals, and gave away cars,” Reyes, a staunch critic of the past administration, said in a phone interview.

Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office chair Margarita Juico earlier said they were verifying reports that Arroyo solicited the support of Catholic leaders by giving them Mitsubishi Pajeros.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

US suits re-filed against Irish ex-priest

CALIFORNIA
Irish Emigrant

By Toni Earls

Four lawsuits which had temporarily been withdrawn were re-filed last week in the case of Irish ex-Catholic priest Patrick McCabe, who is alleged to have abused four former altar boys while he was serving at St. Bernard’s Parish in Eureka, California in the mid-1980s.

The new suits, filed in Sonoma County, allege that the Diocese of Santa Rosa, California, the Servants of Paraclete [a Catholic religious community which runs treatment centers for the rehabilitation of abusive priests], and the Archdiocese of Dublin were purposeful in their placement of a known pedophile at St. Bernard’s. They claim parishioners were given no information about McCabe’s history, even though he was given complete and unsupervised access to children.

Sent by the Dublin Archdiocese to a Servants of Paraclete facility in New Mexico in 1982, McCabe returned to Ireland after six months, where he allegedly abused a 16-year old boy. Sent back once more to New Mexico, he was then sent to St. Bernard’s, Santa Rosa. His transfer is said to have been accompanied by a note from a Catholic official in Dublin to the Bishop of Santa Rosa which read: “Rid me of this troublesome priest.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Child assault suspect founded Tracy church

TRACY (CA)
The Record

By Jennie Rodriguez
Record Staff Writer
June 27, 2011 12:00 AM

TRACY - A Tracy man arrested last week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl was identified as a church pastor and active leader in two veterans organizations.

Roger Earl Rickman, 65, is a founding pastor at Fresh Anointing Faith International Christian Church in Tracy.

Tracy police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman confirmed that Rickman also is the chaplain of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1537, and the master chaplain for American Legion Post 172.

"This is not something you expect of community leaders and people you put in positions of trust," Sheneman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Tracy pastor Roger Rickman charged with child molestation

CALIFORNIA
News 10

[with video]

Written by
Tim Daly

STOCKTON, CA - Tracy pastor Roger Rickman was arraigned on charges he inappropriately touched a 7-year-old girl several times in May.

The charge is lewd acts with a child. Police say they wouldn't be surprised if other victims now report similar incidents.

"In cases like this, it's very unlikely this is Mr. Rickman's first victim. We're hoping parents or children who see this will come forward," said Tracy police Lt. Tony Sheneman.

At Rickman's hearing, his attorney entered a plea of not guilty. Afterward, another Tracy pastor and his wife accused the parents of the young victim of inventing the accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Rickman ordered for further arraignment

MANTECA (CA)
Tracy Press

by Denise Ellen Rizzo / Tracy Press

MANTECA – Roger Earl Rickman appeared in Manteca Superior Court today for his arraignment on child molestation charges.

The 65-year-old Tracy man appeared in Manteca court with James Fonda, an attorney he hired himself, before Judge Ron Northup. Deputy District Attorney Elton Trau appeared on the behalf of the prosecution.

Rickman is charged with three counts of oral copulation and four counts of lewd acts upon a 7-year-old child.

Police became aware of the allegations after the child’s mother called police June 20. The woman told investigators that the girl said their church pastor, later identified as Rickman, would have her use a vibrating tool in his car when he drove her home from school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Location, discipline of bishop accused of abuse 'kept secret'

IOWA
Quad-City Times

[Diocese report]

The whereabouts of two living credibly accused priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport now is public in light of the diocese’s recent filing of its last required annual report to its bankruptcy court.

But whether any discipline action ever was brought against now-retired Bishop Lawrence Soens, who’s also accused of abuse, or his whereabouts are still being kept secret.

According to diocese spokesman Deacon David Montgomery, Gerald Stouvenal lives at the diocese’s chancery at 780 W. Central Park Ave., Davenport, and Francis Bass lives in a nursing home in Iowa City.

Both priests each are “leading a life of prayer and penance” and are given no assignments in their communities, Montgomery said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Bishop calls on Atlanta mega-church preacher to repent of sexual sins

UNITED STATES
Beliefnet

Bishop Paul S. Morton, founder of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship that ordained Eddie Long as Bishop, has openly rebuked the Atlanta megachurch pastor and called him to repent of any sins committed in sexual coercion lawsuits that were settled last month.

In a Sunday sermon that was posted online earlier this week, Morton called on Long to apologize to his church, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, and those who have stood with him.

“If you have repented, show me some signs. Show me some humility. You can’t just come and tell me nothing. Tell me something. Those that have stood with you, tell us something. Tell your church something,” Morton told his congregation, Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church, which is located just 28 miles away from Long’s church, on June 19.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Vangheluwe doet mannen praten over seksueel misbruik

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

Tele-Onthaal behandelde in 2010 gemiddeld 335o proepen per dag. Opvallend: sinds de zaak-Vangheluwe stijgt het aantal mannen dat naar de hulplijn belt spectaculair.

In totaal behandelden de vrijwilligers uit de zes luisterposten (Brugge, Hasselt, Gent, Leuven, Antwerpen en Brussel) vorig jaar 122.422oproepen. Zondag is de drukste dag met gemiddeld 343oproepen. Opvallend zijn de cijfers van oproepen over seksueel misbruik: daar werd een stijging van maar liefst 41procent genoteerd, in totaal 2.506 oproepen. Ook steeds meer mannen doen een beroep op Tele-Onthaal om hun verhaal te vertellen. ‘De zaak-Vangheluwe heeft voor een sneeuwbaleffect gezorgd', zegt woordvoerster Kathleen Goovaerts. ‘Na het beruchte televisie-interview kregen we meer dan honderd telefoons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Verdict against priests accused of sexual abuse out on 2 August

MALTA
The Malta Independent

by Scott Grech

Article published on 28 June 2011

Eight years of agonising court proceedings for a group of orphans who found the courage to come forward with claims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, are finally drawing to a close.

The verdict on whether two of the priests are guilty or not is expected to be handed down on 2 August, Lawrence Grech, who often acts as the orphans’ spokesman, told this newspaper yesterday.

There were fears, Mr Grech said, that the criminal case against three priests charged with child sex abuse would be suspended until the determination of a constitutional application filed by the accused claiming their case was prejudiced by the media.

“However, thankfully for us, the criminal court said that irrespective of the constitutional application filed by the priests, it is ready to hand down judgement. We are confident that our prayers for justice will finally be answered,” Mr Grech said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

The Road to Recovery

VIENNA (VA)
Vienna Patch

By Elizabeth Vandenburg

The resignation of a top church official and release of a four-month victim study are important steps that have been a "long time coming" in the healing process for several young women that were sexually abused by a former staff member at the Vienna Presbyterian Church, their families say.

Executive Director Dick Eagan, who joined the church staff in June 2005, stepped down from his position May 31, a move requested by church leadership after it reviewed a four-month study assessing the church's handling of sexual abuse by former staff member Eric DeVries.

The Church will hold a congregational-wide town hall meeting Wednesday night to brief members about the study.

In a letter accompanying Eagan’s resignation announcement, Senior Pastor Peter C. James acknowledged mistakes made by both himself and Eagan on handling the DeVries issue but also said “no one factor alone led to [Eagan's resignation]."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Pastor Lyn to speak on sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Rouse Hill Times

PASTOR Lyn Denton will speak on sexual abuse and how the power of God healed her at the New Life Church, Rouse Hill, on Friday at 7.30pm.

She will share her journey from a child growing up in rural Australia to discovering the healing power of God from the devastation that sexual abuse can bring and the keys that can bring freedom.

Now a grandmother, Lyn suffered from sexual abuse as a child and did not speak about it until a life changing experience well into her adulthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Tracy pastor pleads not guilty

MANTECA (CA)
The Record

By Jennie Rodriguez
Record Staff Writer
June 28, 2011

MANTECA - A Tracy pastor accused of molesting a 7-year-old girl who attended his church pleaded not guilty Monday in a Manteca courtroom.

Roger Earl Rickman, 65, faces a possible sentence of 45 years to life for at least five felony sexual assault charges, including three counts of sex with a child younger than 10.

The possibility of a severe sentence is standard in cases involving victims younger than 10, said Elton Grau, a deputy district attorney in the child abuse/sexual assault unit of the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

DOE 76C v. ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. PAUL & MINNEAPOLIS

MINNESOTA
Leagle

John Doe 76C, Appellant,
v.
Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, Respondent,
Diocese of Winona, Respondent.
No. A10-1951.
Court of Appeals of Minnesota.

Filed June 27, 2011.

Jeffrey R. Anderson, Patrick W. Noaker, Michael G. Finnegan, Jeff Anderson & Associates P.A., St. Paul, Minnesota, for appellant.
Thomas B. Wieser, Jennifer R. Larimore, Meier, Kennedy & Quinn Chtd., St. Paul, Minnesota, for respondent Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Anna Restovich Braun, Bruce K. Piotrowski, Thomas R. Braun, George F. Restovich & Associates, Rochester, Minnesota, for respondent Diocese of Winona.
Bruce Jones, Faegre & Benson LLP, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for amicus curiae Minnesota Religious Council.
Considered and decided by Johnson, Chief Judge; Schellhas, Judge; and Harten, Judge.*

OPINION
SCHELLHAS, Judge.
Appellant challenges the district court's summary-judgment ruling that his tort and fraud claims arising out of alleged childhood sexual abuse are time-barred. Because we conclude that there are genuine issues of material fact relating to (1) whether appellant had a disability that tolled the tort limitations period and (2) when appellant's fraud claims accrued, we reverse and remand.

FACTS
On April 24 and May 9, 2006, appellant John Doe 76C commenced suit against respondents Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Diocese of Winona, alleging that a priest, whom respondents supervised and controlled, sexually abused him between 1980 and 1982, when he was approximately 13—15 years old. The complaint alleges that respondents knew that the priest had a history of sexual abuse and includes counts of negligence, negligent supervision, negligent retention, vicarious liability, and fraud. The complaint alleges that, as a direct result of the sexual abuse, appellant suffered and will continue to suffer physical, emotional, psychological, and economic damages. The complaint also alleges that appellant did not know or have reason to know about the abuse until July 2002, because he "suffered a traumatic amnesia, or memory repression, of the sexual abuse when he was a child," thus tolling the tort statute of limitations. As the district court explained:
Repressed and recovered memory is the theory that people who experience traumatic events may "repress" memories of [the] events in their entirety, making them unable to remember the event[s]. Years later these repressed memories are then recovered in unchanged form. This phenomenon is often referred to by a variety of names[,] including[] "repressed memory," "recovered memory," "traumatic amnesia," "dissociative amnesia," or "traumatic dissociative amnesia"[;] however, the underlying theory is the same.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Ruling opens door to revisit sex-abuse case

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: LORA PABST and ROSE FRENCH , Star Tribune staff writers

A man who alleges he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest in the 1980s, but didn't remember until 20 years later, should be able to go back to court and have experts testify about repressed memories, a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals said Monday.

The case brought in 2006 by Jim Keenan, 44, against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona was dismissed last October after Ramsey County District Judge Gregg Johnson ruled he hadn't met the standard that would allow an expert to testify about repressed memories. Without the expert testimony, Keenan couldn't show why the six-year statute of limitations shouldn't apply.

Nick Cafardi, professor of law at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, said the ruling is significant because it could open the door for older cases in which the statute of limitations has passed.

"It's a door that's open now that wasn't open before, which potentially has the effect of increasing the number of cases that can be brought now against dioceses in Minnesota" or other entities, Cafardi said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Trial date for ex-priest William Casey postponed until September

VIRGINIA
Knoxnews

WES BUNCH Kingsport Times-News
Posted June 27, 2011

GATE CITY, Va. — A former East Tennessee priest accused of molesting a young boy more than 30 years ago had his trial date postponed to September during a hearing Monday in Virginia.

The plea hearing for William Casey, 76, of Greeneville was moved to Sept. 2 in Scott County Circuit Court. Casey’s jury trial is set to begin Sept. 27 and is expected to last two days.

Casey pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in August 2010 to charges of forcible sodomy and indecent liberties with a child that stemmed from allegations he sexually assaulted a teenage boy during a trip to Natural Tunnel State Park in 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Court clears way for diocese to be sued

MINNESOTA
Winona Daily News

By AMY PEARSON | amy.pearson@lee.net | Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Minnesota Court of Appeals threw out a ruling Monday that barred a man from suing the Diocese of Winona on a claim that its negligence allowed him to be sexually abused for two years by a priest.

A victim, referred to as John Doe C, filed suit in 2006 in Ramsey County District Court against the diocese and the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, accusing Thomas Adamson of sexually abusing him from 1980 to 1982 at a Burnsville, Minn., church, where Doe served as an altar boy.

Prior to serving in the Twin Cities, Adamson was a priest in Winona from 1958 to 1975 and had admitted as early as 1964 to having sexual contact with boys under his supervision.

The Diocese of Winona could not be reached for comment Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Vic 'fails priest sex crimes victims'

AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Belinda Merhab

A former Catholic school teacher who says she saw priests grooming students in her classroom has told an inquiry that Victoria's child protection system is failing victims of clergy sexual assault.

In her statement read to the Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children Inquiry on Tuesday, Pam Krstic said she was ignored when she raised her concerns.

While the inquiry is not investigating individual cases, it was told that secrecy within church communities and their "don't talk about it" attitude as well as society's reluctance to talk about sexual abuse, were systemic issues that needed to be addressed.

"We believe the church response (to abuse) is shockingly deficient in preventing and minimising trauma for victims, their families and communities at a great cost to us all," Ms Krstic said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

June 27, 2011

Vatican document on the reorganisation of U.S. dioceses

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Marco Tosatti
Vatican City

The huge wave of child abuse scandals has dramatically altered the life of the American church. Not only from a moral point of view - as is obvious and right - with an examination of conscience that has been going on since the 90s when US bishops met in Rome in front of John Paul II and, at the time, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger. But also, and above all, from an economic point of view.

The lawsuits brought forward demanding tens of billions of dollars in damages, which have enriched the victims of abuse from decades ago and the team of specialised lawyers in the field have forced several dioceses to seek judicial protection for bankruptcy. The first was a diocese of great importance, Portland, followed by others, including Spokane, Delaware and Wilmington.

There is great concern in the Vatican. Not just because the United States, historically, has always made large contributions to the Holy See's budget, a budget which receives very little revenue and so is normally in the red without the contributions of the dioceses of the various donating countries throughout the world, among which the most important are the U.S., Germany and Italy. The Holy See, however, also fears that economic problems could lead to repercussions on religious life and even on maintaining the basic living conditions for priests, especially pensioners.

For this reason, the Congregation for the Clergy in agreement with other departments has prepared a specific document, which will be released after the summer, possibly in October, that is specifically dedicated to the reorganization of American dioceses. The document is currently being examined by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, chaired by Archbishop Francis Coccopalmerio. Obviously the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is also interested in the matter. It will provide guidelines on how the U.S. Bishops' Conference, and each individual diocese must act to rebuild its presence in their area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Vatican Document on Reorganization of U.S. Dioceses

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Catholic Insider

An email we received from an alert reader this morning gave us the impetus to return to a topic from a few weeks ago, namely, the “Radical Reshuffle for the Boston Archdiocese.” The article appeared in a publication called “Vatican Insider.” (Boston Catholic Insider likes the name of the publication, “Vatican Insider,” A LOT! ).

Here are a few excerpts, and then we will recap how this all relates back to recent news from Boston.

The tsunami of child abuse cases has devastated the life of the American Church

The huge wave of child abuse scandals has dramatically altered the life of the American church. Not only from a moral point of view…But also, and above all, from an economic point of view.

The lawsuits brought forward demanding tens of billions of dollars in damages, which have enriched the victims of abuse from decades ago and the team of specialised lawyers in the field have forced several dioceses to seek judicial protection for bankruptcy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

We want answers

UNITED STATES
The Friends of Jake

Another report of a predator being sued for child abuse. Lest you think only the Roman Catholics have this happening - the latest one involves a man who was a known predator and yet was ordained an Episcopal priest by none other than our own Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori when she was bishop of Nevada. He told her he had abused at least one young person. But still he was allowed to go forward in the process. Every Episcopal priest knows that abusers never stop abuse - we are required to take abuse prevention courses. Bishops are responsible for seeing that all the clergy and leaders and anyone with contact with children take the prevention training. There is no "not knowing" that such a person cannot be put in a position of power like that of a priest.

I am stunned that of all people Katharine went ahead and ordained this man. It is time for the church to come clean on all the cases that are being stonewalled. The health of the church and justice for victims is at stake. We cannot hide behind a veil of secrets and attorneys. I have heard many stories of those who cannot get justice if things move beyond the diocesan level or need the national church to act (for instance in the case of bishops or cases that cross diocesan boundaries). Bishop Paul Marshall alludes to this issue in his comments at Episcopal Café. SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is calling for action and truth telling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Weirdo cross-dressing elf disses gay marriage.

NEW YORK
Perry Street Palace

An adult man wearing a pouffy green dress, matching elfin hat, and giant gold necklace is apparently having a hissy fit over New York State’s marriage equality law.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, of the diocese of Brooklyn, called on all Catholic schools to reject any honor bestowed upon them by Gov. Cuomo, who played a pivotal role in getting the bill passed.

He further asked all pastors and principals to “not invite any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration.”

“This is a further erosion of the real understanding of marriage,” DiMarzio told the Daily News. “The state should not be concerned about regulating affection.“

That’s right: the New York Diocese of the Catholic Church believes the state should not concern itself with “regulating affection.” Which certainly explains this:

“Our bishops in New York State have a very powerful and strong lobbying group in Albany. They’ve been very successful in keeping this issue off the floor in the Senate and Assembly,” said Mark Lyman, who heads the Albany chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. “That’s why you haven’t seen major settlements, you haven’t seen lawsuits.” ...

Here is the tragic thing that happened. The Catholic Church engaged in a heinous and irresponsible cover up of pedophile predators within its own ranks, moving them from parish to parish so they could enjoy access to more victims — for decades. Then it lobbied New York, which has relatively short statutes of limitations during which sexual assault victims can seek justice (pdf), to ensure that no window is opened wherein those who were raped as children less recently can file claims against the church. And it’s worked like a charm. The New York State Catholic Conference of Bishops, which presumably includes cross-dressing Elf Queen DiMarzio, gets these efforts shut down in Albany’s Republican-controlled Senate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Lyons: In a confession booth, what's off-limits?

FLORIDA
Herald-Tribune

The Diocese of Venice now insists the firing of a Catholic school teacher was not related to the teacher's report to the state about sexual questions some of his teenage students said a priest had asked them in confessional.

The cause of the dismissal "was not related to his complaint regarding Confession at Bishop Verot High school," said diocese spokesman Billy Atwell, in a written response on Monday to my questions about the firing of teacher Chris Wilson.

Atwell described Wilson as an employee who became disgruntled after being turned down for the principal's job there. He was fired for violating school polices, Atwell said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

SNAP To It: Kansas City & Bishop Finn

UNITED STATES
The Mighty Ambivalent Catholic

SNAP is pushing for a grand jury investigation in Kansas City, so reports The National Catholic Reporter. Thank goodness. It's about time. Good wishes for whoever filled their gas tanks.

I used to be skeptical about SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. Used to think the group was crassly anti-Catholic in that they never bothered to broaden their focus to other populations of sexual abuse survivors and the people who victimized them. After all, there are plenty of abusers who are Baptist, and Methodist, and United Church of Christ, and...well, you get the idea.

Not to mention that most priests (including every priest I've ever known personally, as far as I can tell) are not prone to victimizing children. Most priests are decent men; some of them are very holy men, and not in a cardboard cut-out sense, but in a genuinely down-to-earth, caring way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Vatican reporting preparing guidelines for diocesan downsizing

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

June 27, 2011

The Vatican is preparing instructions for the reorganization of American dioceses that are facing severe financial pressures in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal, according to a report on the new Italian web site Vatican Insider.

The report says that the Congregation for Clergy is working on a document that will provide guidelines for the closing or merging of parishes. The Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, the Vatican body that handles questions of canon law, is now reviewing the text, Vatican Insider reports. The document may be released in the fall of this year, the report indicates.

In recent weeks the Vatican has ruled against the closing of several American parish churches. While recognizing the authority of diocesan bishops to allocate resources, Vatican tribunals have indicated that churches should remain open as sites of worship whenever possible. The Vatican rulings have complicated planning in many dioceses where, after paying enormous legal settlements to sex-abuse victims, Church officials are struggling to meet regular budget expenses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Walnut Creek man wins in pedophile priest case

CALIFORNIA
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)

A Walnut Creek man who was sexually assaulted as a child by a former Bay Area priest won a legal victory last week in his struggle for justice. An Illinois judge ruled that the victim can seek punitive damages against the Jesuits for abuse perpetrated by Fr. Donald McGuire, who was once Mother Teresa’s spiritual advisor.

We are grateful for this decision. Catholic officials are still ignoring and concealing child sex crimes. They refuse to reform. Perhaps monetary damages will deter the church’s decision-makers from acting recklessly and callously in the future.

We hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered McGuire’s crimes will come forward, get help, call police, protect others, and sta

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

NH Catholic woman honored by clergy sex abuse victims

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

The largest international support and advocacy organization for victims of child sexual abuse is honoring a New Hampshire woman for her outstanding and tireless support of clergy sex abuse victims.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), is giving Merrimack resident Carolyn Disco its highest award, Layperson of the Year, at the group's national conference in Washington, D.C. in July.

Disco, who is a lay Catholic, is active in the national Catholic reform group Voice of the Faithful. Within that organization, she has provided one-on-one support to clergy sex abuse victims coming forward for the first time, worked with the media to publicize sex abuse and cover-up within the Catholic Church, educated Catholics about the crisis, and urged lawmakers to pass anti-crime bills that protect children from abuse. Disco also called repeatedly for the removal of Bishops John McCormack and Francis Christian for their endangerment of children, joining in the first known canon law case by laity to the Vatican to censure complicit bishops.

"Few Catholics take the huge risks that Carolyn has to speak out for the wounded," said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director. "Unlike so many who just sit idly and hope that bishops do the right thing, Carolyn stood up and took action. She is a living agent for change."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Victim wins crucial decision in pedophile priest case; SNAP responds

MINNESOTA
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)

A Minnesota judge has ruled that a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against a notorious predator priest (Fr. Thomas Adamson) and his Catholic supervisors (in the Twin Cities and Winona) can proceed.

We believe victims should have their day in court. We feel it's morally wrong for church officials to try to exploit archaic deadlines and legal technicalities to keep clergy sex crimes covered up.

Juries should be able to hear evidence about when and how victims are able to deal with their trauma. Victims should not be stopped from exposing predators, protecting kids and seeking justice by arbitrary time limits and self serving church officials who only want to protect their own reputations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Bond set for former Memphis Catholic Diocese employee charged with raping student

TENNESSEE
The Commercial Appeal

A former employee of the Memphis Catholic Diocese school system arrested for raping a student had his first court hearing this morning, where a bond of $100,000 was set.

Jose Garcia, 31, was arrested and jailed Sunday morning for the rape of a 15-year-old boy at Bishop Byrne in February 2009. He is charged with three counts of statutory rape by an authority figure. As of this afternoon, Garcia remained jailed.

Garcia was employed as the Information/Technology Director for the Catholic schools. He left that job in April 2010.

According to a police affidavit, the victim told police in March 2010 that he and Garcia exchanged phone numbers. Garcia also contacted him on MySpace in February 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

HDNet's "Dan Rather Reports" ...

CALIFORNIA
PR Newswire

Could this Archdiocese of Los Angeles have prevented teens from being subjected to abuse by this predator priest?

Tuesday, June 28

DALLAS, June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tomorrow night, "Dan Rather Reports" uncovers the dark and disturbing past of a priest who joined the Los Angeles Archdiocese, even as church leaders were promising to address its swelling clergy abuse scandal.

The priest, Father Fernando Lopez-Lopez, went on to molest at least three teenage boys in his Los Angeles parish. Our report shows there were warning signs from a prior post in Italy that Lopez was trouble -- signs that were missed by church officials in Los Angeles, even as its leader, Cardinal Roger Mahony, was pledging a new "zero tolerance" policy on sexual abuse in the priesthood.

One of Lopez's victims is now taking on the Archdiocese for exposing him to harm in a trial set to start in October.

"Even if you're hiring a janitor to work in the school, you're going to find out where he worked... who he worked with," said attorney Vince Finaldi, who is representing the plaintiff in the lawsuit. "You're going to fingerprint the person, you're going to do a background check."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

Austrians do not trust Church: Poll

AUSTRIA
Press TV (Iran)

The majority of people in Austria do not trust the Roman Catholic Church due to the abuse scandals involving pedophile priests, a recent opinion poll has shown.

According to a poll conducted by Austrian paper Kurier, 61 percent of Austrians said they do not trust the Roman Catholic Church.

About 35 percent said they trusted the Church while 4 percent said they did not know whether they trusted the Church.

The poll involved 1,000 adult Austrians interviewed by telephone from May 26-28.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Patriarca mais dois anos em Lisboa

PORTUGAL
Agencia Ecclesia

Torres Vedras, Lisboa, 19 jun 2011 (Ecclesia) – O cardeal-patriarca de Lisboa vai permanecer mais dois anos à frente da diocese, por decisão de Bento XVI, anunciou hoje o próprio D. José Policarpo, numa celebração que decorreu em Penafirme, concelho de Torres Vedras.

“Gostava de vos anunciar, hoje, dia da Igreja diocesana, que o Santo Padre Bento XVI já respondeu ao meu pedido de resignação, pedindo-me que prolongue o meu ministério episcopal, na Igreja de Lisboa, por mais dois anos”, afirmou, na homilia da missa a que presidiu.

O cardeal José Policarpo anunciara no dia 18 de fevereiro a sua renúncia ao cargo de patriarca de Lisboa por ter atingido o limite de 75 anos determinado pelo direito canónico, mas o Papa decidiu não aceitar de imediato este pedido.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Cardinal sees 'no theological obstacle' to women priests

PORTUGAL
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Jun. 27, 2011

Cardinal José da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon, Portugal, a veteran European prelate at one point considered a contender for the papacy, reportedly has said there’s “no fundamental theological obstacle” to the ordination of women as priests in the Catholic church.

According to the text of an interview with a legal publication in Portugal called Oa, Policarpo said that women’s ordination will happen only “when God wants it,” although not in our lifetimes, and that now is not the time to raise the question.

“Theologically there is no fundamental obstacle,” Policarpo was quoted as saying. “We could say there’s a tradition, because it’s never been done.”

“There’s a fundamental equality among all the members of the church,” the cardinal said. “The problem lies in a strong tradition, which comes from Jesus and from the fact that the churches of the Reformation conceded the priesthood to women.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Author Jason Berry takes critical look at how Catholic Church hierarchy handles money and power

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

By Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune

Jason Berry, the New Orleans writer who in two prior books laid bare clerical sexual abuse of children and its cover-up in the Catholic church, is touring the country in support of a third book investigating the church’s management of its finances, which he describes as chaotic, opaque and occasionally corrupt.

He sketched the themes Wednesday at the Garden District Book Shop, where he told an audience there and on Book TV that the church’s core problem is cardinals’ and bishops’ lack of accountability, whether for protecting criminal priests or mismanaging church treasuries.

“The church does not have, and desperately needs, a coherent system of justice,” Berry said in an interview. “The oversight one would expect to see layered into the world’s largest organization is simply not there.”

Berry in the early 1990s published the first extensive investigation of the sexual abuse scandal that exploded publicly a decade later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Questions surrounding the John Jay report

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Richard McBrien on Jun. 27, 2011

The Tony Auth cartoon that appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer and was reproduced in The New York Times on Sunday, May 22 -- four days after the release of the John Jay College’s five-year, $1.8 million study of the sexual-abuse crisis in the Catholic priesthood -- said it all.

The cartoon showed a pie-eyed bishop lying on the ground smoking a water pipe, labeled “Rationalization,” and blaming everything on the ‘60s culture of permissiveness.

Unfortunately, the study pretty much lets the U.S. bishops escape responsibility for the crisis, although the 300-page document, “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010,” does urge the bishops to adopt uniform, secure policies characterized by genuine transparency and true accountability.

The advice apparently has fallen on deaf ears in some major and not-so-major dioceses around the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Allegations made that TEC Presiding Bishop knew former Benedictine monk was a pedophile when he joined TEC

UNITED STATES
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
June 27, 2011

[PB Jefferts Schori] A former Benedictine monk, who sexually abused students at a Roman Catholic Abbey, was allowed to join the Episcopal Church by Katharine Jefferts Schori while she was the Bishop of Nevada, according to reports VOL has received.

According to lawsuit papers filed last week by one of the abused boys known as John Doe 181, Fr. Bede Parry, 69, has admitted that he had inappropriate sexual relations with several members of the group at the northwest Missouri abbey in the 1980s.

In 2000, Fr. Parry underwent psychological testing relating to the possibility of entering another monastery. The results of this testing revealed that Fr. Parry is a sexual abuser who has the proclivity to reoffend with minors.

[Fr. Bede Parry] The test results were then provided to the Abbey, the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas and the Episcopal Bishop for the Diocese of Nevada, Katharine Jefferts Schori. Parry converted to The Episcopal Church under Jefferts Schori in 2004. The record shows that from 2000 to the present, All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas has employed Parry as a Music Director. He was made an assisting priest at All Saints in 2004 after Jefferts Schori received him into The Episcopal Church acknowledging his Catholic priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

The Lady of Perpetual Protest and the Krumm

CALIFORNIA
nopopetalkback

Joelle Casteix, Western Regional Director of SNAP (Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests) is standing outside of Sts. Simon and Jude Church in Orange County, California, this morning trying to raise awareness among parishoners of the upcoming trial of accused pedo-priests, of Gus Krumm and Alexander Manville.

So far this morning Ms. Casteix and her group have been asked to remove themselves from church property where it is alleged the two accused pedo-priests are residing.

She has taken a post on Magnolia Avenue in front of the sign soliciting parents to sign their children up for the 2011-12 school year at Sts. Simon and Jude's Catholic School. A school that knowingly harbored these pedophile priests among its students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Suit alleges abuse by priest

By Tony Brown
MISSOURI
Maryville Daily Forum

Posted Jun 27, 2011

Maryville, Mo. —

A Missouri man filed a lawsuit against Conception Abbey last week, alleging that officials there covered up sexual abuse by a monk in the 1980s.

The lawsuit, filed in Nodaway County Circuit Court, claims the plaintiff, then a minor, was molested by Bede Parry, 69, a former monk and ordained Catholic priest.

The alleged incident happened in 1987 while the plaintiff was attending a summer choir camp at the abbey, which comprises a Benedictine monastery and seminary college.

The abbey is located on HIghway 136 sixteen miles east of Maryville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Casey to appear in court in Scott County today

TENNESSEE
TriCities

[with video]

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. --

A former Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a boy more than 30 years ago is scheduled to appear in court today.

William Casey faces a trial on charges of forcible sodomy and indecent liberties with a minor. He faces those charges in three different states – Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina.

In all three states, Casey’s accuser Warren Tucker alleges Casey sexually abused him at various locations in Sullivan County, Scott County and McDowell County, North Carolina.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Archdiocese Behaves the Way It Does, Because It Can

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

By Sister Maureen Turlish, Guest Blogger

First, let me say the Archdiocesan Communications Director’s comments in regard to the Philadelphia Magazine article are not worthy of response. But for those who would like to respond directly, her email is dfarrell@adphila.org.

Those who have the print edition of Philadelphia Magazine’s July issue have probably already read editor Tom McGrath’s comments “On the Church” on page 8. McGrath comments that the 2011 report is “essentially saying that little about the archdiocese’s behavior had changed over the previous five years.”

Actually nothing substantive has changed in the archdiocese’s behavior in the period between the 2005 and the 2011 Philadelphia grand jury reports on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Legion leadership may step down at next General Chapter

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Jun 27, 2011 / 07:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The vicar general of the Legion of Christ has confirmed that the order’s leaders are likely to step down at their next General Chapter meeting, which could be held as early as 2013.

“In any religious congregation leadership changes with time, so I think that by the time we have the General Chapter it will be a normal moment, I would think, to change the leadership,” Fr. Luis Garza, the Legion’s vicar general, told CNA.

Fr. Garza’s comments come as the Vatican is evaluating the Legion’s constitution and its future mission. That process is being headed up by the Italian Cardinal Velasio De Paolis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

This Week on Dan Rather Reports

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Dan Rather Reports

[with video]

An investigation of shocking new evidence in the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal in Los Angeles. Also, the story of a foreign high-tech worker who has come to the United States. And, our cameras travel thousands of miles out to sea, for a look at how trash threatens our oceans.

Dan Rather Reports, “All Is Not Forgiven” Tuesday, June 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Parishioners React to Fr. Spaulding Accusations

ARIZONA
My Fox Phoenix

[with video]

SCOTTSDALE - Even though Fr. John Spaulding of St. Timothy's Church in Mesa has been accused of sexual conduct with a minor, parishioners are largely standing behind him.

Churchgoers at mass Sunday were told about the allegations against Fr. Spaulding during the service. It appears many had already heard about the investigation -- and some say the bottom line is he's innocent until proven guilty.

We talked to a parishioner who has known Fr. Spaulding for years. She says until all the facts come out in the case, and its determined they're true, she has no reason to believe he's done anything wrong.

"It seems like there's a perspective that people are guilty until proven innocent. It's unfortunate for someone who's been put in this position because they're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty," Becky Bowers-Greene told us. "I have no reason to believe the accusations are true at this time."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Mesa church celebrates mass without suspended pastor

MESA (AZ)
ABC 15

[with video]

By: Tim Vetscher

Mesa, AZ - Parishioners filed in to St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Mesa to celebrate mass Sunday morning without their suspended pastor.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix suspended Jack Spaulding on Friday following allegations of sexual misconduct with a child.

"I have no reason to believe the accusations are true at this time," said parishioner Becky Bowers-Greene.

The accusations date back to the mid-1980s when Father Spaulding worked as a priest at Saint Maria Goretti in Scottsdale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Road to Recovery Protests Outside Church

LIVINGSTON (NJ)
Livingston Patch

By Sonya Kimble-Ellis

Road to Recovery, a victims advocacy group, once again protested outside St. Philomena’s Roman Catholic Church on Sunday against a priest they accuse of abuse nearly 30 years ago.

Patch is not identifying the priest nor the adult victims until it has an opportunity to examine a pending lawsuit, which a lawyer for Road to Recovery, Greg Gianforcaro, said he would be amending within 30 days because of new allegations.

“I already contacted the counsel for the Archdiocese last week to advise them,” Gianforcaro said. “Now we are waiting to begin litigation.”

Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, declined to comment on the new claims. “Since nothing is in litigation,” he said, “we have no comment at this time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Accused child porn priest in court again

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Catholic priest has appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with producing and possessing child pornography.

Sixty-one-year-old Father Neil Joseph Byrne has been charged with two counts of making child exploitation material and one count of possession.

It is alleged the offences occurred on various dates between 2005 and 2011 at The Gap and Kenmore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Critic slams archbishop over abuse suit

IOWA
Courier

By PAT KINNEY, pat.kinney@wcfcourier.com | Posted: Sunday, June 26, 2011

WATERLOO, Iowa --- The Hudson-based spokesman for a local clergy sex abuse survivors group has taken Dubuque Archbishop Jerome Hanus to task for his handling 24 years ago of a former Catholic monk, as recounted in a new Missouri lawsuit.

Hanus is not named as a defendant in that lawsuit.

In the suit, filed in Nodaway County, Mo., a plaintiff named as "John Doe 181" said he was sexually molested as a minor while at a choir camp in 1987 at Conception Abbey Inc., a Benedictine abbey in Missouri and the suit's sole defendant, by a Father Bede Parry.

The suit states that the plaintiff's parents confronted Hanus, then the abbot in charge of Conception Abbey, about the sexual contact. "Hanus told plaintiff's parents that Fr. Parry had a 'mental breakdown' and that he would be treated for this breakdown." Parry was subsequently sent to a facility in New Mexico for sex offender treatment and did not return to the abbey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

June 26, 2011

Lessons from abuse documentary

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

Posted by Elena Curti, 16 June 2011

It is distressing to see men in their fifties and sixties break down when they describe how priests physically and sexually abused them as young children.

For some the horror and shame appears as fresh as the day it happened and they carry a heavy burden throughout their lives.

This is brought home in a documentary being shown on BBC1 next Tuesday at 10.35pm that is also a powerful study in the Church's efforts to bring about reconciliation and healing and how it can fall short.

It is almost a mantra among survivors of clerical abuse that what they want most of all for the Church to acknowledge their suffering and to apologise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

Brooklyn teen surrenders in abuse case

NEW YORK
New York Post

By DANIEL EDWARD ROSEN

A Brooklyn teen, accompanied by his rabbi and a lawyer, surrendered today in the molestation of a youngster in the basement of a Borough Park synagogue.

Menachem Deutsch, 19, was charged with unlawful imprisonment and child endangerment in the June 22 attack, authorities said.

Deutsch, dressed in traditional Hasidic attire, allegedly lured a 12-year-old boy walking home from school into Simcha Hall, a basement event space located inside a synagogue at 15th Avenue and 50th Street, authorities said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 PM

Novel draws on church sex-abuse scandals, but narrows the focus

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

Reviewed by Kathleen Byrne
From Monday's Globe and Mail

As the sexual-abuse scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church reverberates through six continents, it may be that the literature addressing it will become a genre of its own.

In Canada, we have had Linden MacIntyre's Giller Prize-winning The Bishop's Man, a sombre evocation of realization and regret in the person of Father MacAskill, the titular bishop's man, as he awakens to the scope of the tragedy and his possible role in it.

Faith, the fourth novel from American writer Jennifer Haigh (Baker Towers, The Condition), spotlights the Archdiocese of Boston, “the capital of Catholic America” and the epicentre of the U.S. crisis that erupted in 2002. Its focus, as in Bishop's Man, is a priest. Here, however, the story is told not through, but around him, pieced together by his sister two years after the fact.

Father Arthur Breen is a sensitive, intelligent man of 51 whose life has been the Church. It is a vocation served “without incident,” in the fatuous idiom of the newspaper report, until in the spring of 2002 he is summoned by the cardinal and told not the allegation against him or who lodged it, but that he would be placed on leave and provided with lodgings – and not to talk to reporters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Father John Corapi/s Kafka-esque Catch-22 ordeal

UNITED STATES
Spero News

The following was written a few days before Father John Corapi’s statement on his website in which, with great reluctance, he left ministry as a priest rather than assent to the process imposed on him. Father Corapi’s statement alters none of the content of this post, but only points to the urgency of its message.

Sunday, June 26, 2011
By Gordon J MacRae

When a good priest’s good name is under siege these days, the situation he faces is best summed up in a combination of two terms from classic literature used in my title. What Father John Corapi and other accused priests face is an all-too-familiar “Kafkaesque Catch-22.”

“Kafkaesque” refers to an oppressive, nightmarish situation from which there seems no escape. It’s a reference to the fictional worlds created by Czech writer Franz Kafka (1883-1924) who wrote in German. “Kafkaesque” is today used to describe a scenario like that in Kafka’s most famous novel, The Trial (1925). It’s the story of an innocent man accused and facing trial, but subtly prevented from offering any defense because the tools for doing so elude him at every turn while prosecutors lurk in the shadows with agendas and motives that are never clear.

A “Catch-22″ is also a situation with no hope of resolution because two mutually incompatible conditions are imposed, each countering and contradicting the other. The term comes from the title of a famous American novel, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (Simon and Shuster, 1955). In Catch-22, a World War II U.S. Air Force pilot desperately wants to avoid combat duty. The only way to do so is to be judged insane. But wanting to avoid combat duty is itself seen as evidence of his sanity. So in the end, a claim of insanity to avoid combat ends up proving his sanity and fitness for combat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

El Paso priest sued for child sex abuse

EL PASO (TX)
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)

Father Alfonso Madrid, who once worked at Sacred Heart Catholic church in El Paso, is named as an accused child predator in a new lawsuit filed yesterday in El Paso against the El Paso Diocese and the Jesuits, a Catholic religious order.

Let's hope that every person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in El Paso - by Madrid or other clerics - will find the courage and strength to speak up, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.

If you have knowledge or suspicions - however old, small or seemingly insignificant - about clergy sex crimes, it's your moral and civic duty to call police. Please summon the courage to do what's right by calling law enforcement and hopefully preventing more devastated lives.

Catholic officials shouldn't split hairs, make excuses and be silent. It doesn't matter whether a predator is a diocesan or religious order cleric, alive or dead, still in the same area or moved elsewhere. They are shepherds and have a duty to protect their flock, help law enforcement, warn unsuspecting families and work hard to find and help others who've been wounded.

A photograph of Father Madrid is available at Bishop-Accountability.org

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Bishop upbeat as diocese slowly rebounds

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Columbus Dispatch

Sunday, June 26, 2011
By Meredith Heagney
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Local Catholics have reasons to be optimistic as the Diocese of Columbus slowly recovers from the recession and a priest shortage, according to Bishop Frederick F. Campbell.

Investments for the 23-county, 261,000-person diocese took a hit in recent years, the bishop told The Dispatch in an interview, but parish collections stayed largely stable.

His yearly fundraising effort, the Bishop's Annual Appeal, has continued to meet its goals, he said. This year, he is shooting for $5.8 million in donations from church members, after surpassing a $5.7 million goal last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

MEDIA RELEASE

LIVINGSTON (NJ)
Voice from the Desert

What
A media event and demonstration at which two new victims of Msgr. John Laferrera will speak about their abuse for the first time with their attorney.

Where
At the side entrance of St. Philomena’s Parish, 386 South Livingston Avenue, Livingston, NJ
(in front of Livingston High School).

When
Sunday, June 26, 2011 from 8:15 AM until 1:00 PM. Media event at 11:30 AM

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Scandal at Mesa's St. Timothy Catholic Church opens fresh wounds

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

by Kristena Hansen - Jun. 26, 2011
The Arizona Republic

For the congregation of St. Timothy Catholic Church in Mesa, Friday's suspension of its leader on allegations of sexual misconduct was like cutting open scars that had just healed.

The Diocese of Phoenix suspended Father Jack Spaulding for a 25-year-old case involving alleged sexual misconduct, which follows the 2004 suspension of the church's former priest, Monsignor Dale Fushek, on similar accusations. Fushek was later excommunicated.

Saturday evening, members of the Mesa parish rushed inside the church for Mass, avoiding or declining to comment to media outlets posted outside.

On her way into the 5 p.m. mass, Monica Colomer said the community would prevail because the church and its teachings "follow Jesus," not Spaulding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

B'klyn sicko lured young boys into shul, then molested them

NEW YORK
New York Post

By JAMIE SCHRAM, DANNY GOLD and DAN MANGAN
Last Updated: 6:38 PM, June 24, 2011

A sicko lured two boys — one of whom was celebrating his 12th birthday -- separately into a Brooklyn synagogue and molested them within an hour of each other, The Post has learned.

Now sex-crime cops are aggressively searching for the pervert, who did his dirty work Wednesday afternoon in a busy Borough Park shul.

The first victim, who turned 12 on Wednesday, was walking home from school at around 4 p.m. when he was approached by an unidentified man at Simcha Hall, a synagogue on 15th Avenue at the intersection of 50th Street. The shul serves members of the Belz sect of the Hasidic community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Archbishop of Dubuque Involved in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

IOWA
KCRG

[Petition Filed Against Conception Abbey]

By Jillian Petrus, Reporter

DUBUQUE, Iowa - The current Archbishop of Dubuque has released a statement to KCRG-TV9 regarding a sexual abuse lawsuit in which he is mentioned.

This stems from the time Archbishop Jerome Hanus {hahn-uss} was an Abbot in Missouri. Hanus is not charged in the lawsuit.

The suit accuses the Abbey where Hanus served of covering up abuse by Father Bede Parry.

In the statement, Hanus tells TV9:

"A lawsuit has been filed that makes several claims about me while I served as Abbot of Conception Abbey. I await the opportunity to respond to these claims according to the system of justice in our country."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

June 25, 2011

County Attorney's Office Not Investigating Spaulding Case

ARIZONA
My Fox Phoenix

PHOENIX - A valley priest faces a sexual misconduct allegation and the Maricopa County Attorney's office says it is not investigating him.

The pastor of St. Timothy parish in Mesa, Father John Spaulding, was suspended by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

They found that allegations of abuse, which happened 25 years ago, was credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

We need clarity on the Magdalene Laundries

IRELAND
Irish Independent

[David Quinn: Magdalene inquiry must lift veil and uncloak anti-Catholic myths]

Saturday June 25 2011

David Quinn's analysis of the Magdalene Laundries adds to the public's confusion about these institutions ("Magdalene inquiry must lift veil and uncloak anti-Catholic myths," June 17, 2011).

He is factually incorrect when he states that the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) sent its published Assessment to the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT).

The UNCAT recommendation came on foot of a submission by Justice for Magdalenes (JFM), the survivor advocacy group.

Mr Quinn is correct in his assertion that there is nothing essentially Irish or Catholic about these institutions.

Nevertheless Ireland's Catholic Magdalene institutions retained at least three distinct characteristics, foremost of which was their longevity -- the last one closed its doors in October 1996.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Diocese files appeal in St. Stan's decision

ADAMS (MA)
The Berkshire Eagle

Saturday June 25, 2011

ADAMS -- The fate of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church is still in flux, as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield is appealing a decision of the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy allowing the church to remain open as a place of worship.

The appeal, which has been sent to the Vatican's highest court, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, is seeking clarification of the judgment handed down, according to Diocese spokesman Mark E. Dupont.

"We need clarification on what is meant by ‘place of worship.' Does that mean we hold Mass there at least once a year? There's been a lot of debate about that meaning," he said. "We also are seeking clarification on the ruling because it was inconsistent with several other rulings we received that day."

The Diocese's decision has prompted the group of some 200 former parishioners, who have kept an around-the clock vigil at the church for 911 days, to file their own appeal with the Apostolic Signatura -- a move they say is critical to keep themselves involved in any discussions taking place in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

Bishop seeks to end parish schism in the Diocese of Trenton

NEW JERSEY
The Times of Trenton

By Erin Duffy/The Times

Dissent is brewing between the head of the Diocese of Trenton and a Monmouth County group that has formed its own, separate church.

In a statement issued this week, Bishop David M. O’Connell urged members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church — an offshoot of a Long Branch parish under the Diocese of Trenton’s umbrella — to return to the fold.

“Although claiming legitimacy as an ‘alternative’ or ‘independent’ Catholic Church, this group and the individuals leading or promoting it are not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church,” O’Connell said. “No Catholic Church is ‘independent.’”

According to news reports, the breakaway church formed earlier this year amid lingering discontent born of a previous parish merger and no longer counts itself under the authority of the diocese, or O’Connell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Bishop: Schism in Long Branch

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Written by
Carol Gorga Williams | Staff Writer

The founders of Our Lady of Guadalupe independent Catholic church – made up of primarily Hispanic and Portuguese members who were upset after the diocese merged three Long Branch parishes – have no right to call their group a Catholic Church, the Roman Catholic Church’s regional bishop maintains.

Bishop David M. O’Connell issued a release saying the church, which is now associated with the American National Catholic Church, was created “by schismatic leaders who deny the unity of the Roman Catholic Church and its leadership and laws.”

No Catholic church can be independent, said O’Connell.

The American National Catholic Church adheres to the teachings of theologian and former Swiss priest Hans Kung, who is now 83 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

A West Long Branch Catholic church's decision to separate from Diocese of Trenton causes controversy

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Bob Considine/The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — The Diocese of Trenton says a new Catholic church striking out on its own is illegitimate and fractures the institution.

But leaders of independent churches say they are providing a worthy alternative to parishioners unified with the same faith, but the feeling that the traditional Roman Catholic church is too hypocritical, selective in its acceptance and set in its ways.

Now it remains to be whether the American National Catholic Church - a band of six parishes that preaches a more modern form of Catholicism - will become a major movement.

"For us, it’s not about taking people away from their heart’s desire," said Most Rev. George Lucey, residing bishop of the ANCC and pastor of the independent St. Francis of Assisi in Glen Ridge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

Dubuque archbishop implicated in child sex case

IOWA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Steve Theisen, Iowa SNAP Director 319-231-1663 (no relation to the Abott/Archbishop Theisen)

My heart goes out to Parry’s victims. According to the lawsuit, Archbishop Hanus knew that Fr. Parry was abusing children and did not report Parry to the police. The suit also says Hanus deceived others about why Parry had been removed.

A shepherd's job is to protect the flock; not to let a wolf attack a defenseless lamb.

It’s been nine years since Hanus and his colleagues started promising to be “open and transparent” about clergy sex abuse. It’s clear Hanus isn’t keeping that promise. The obvious question is “How many other predators is Hanus hiding?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Predator priest, worked in Cleveland, is ousted; SNAP responds

CLEVELAND (OH)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Bishop Lennon should use his vast resources – diocesan website and newspaper – to aggressively seek out others with information about Fr. Murray’s crimes, so he might be prosecuted, convicted and kept away from kids.

He shouldn’t split hairs, make excuses and be silent. It doesn’t matter whether a predator is a diocesan or religious order cleric, alive or dead, still in Cleveland or moved elsewhere. Lennon is the shepherd and has a duty to protect his flock, help law enforcement, warn unsuspecting families and work hard to find and help others who’ve been wounded.

Let's hope that every person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Cleveland will find the strength and courage to step forward, call police, protect kids, expose wrongdoing and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Predator priest quits, “Not enough” victims say

LAS VEGAS (NV)
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)

Fr. Parry, an admitted child molester, is quitting his post at a Las Vegan Episcopalian church. While we’re glad he won’t be working there, this isn’t enough.

Church officials – both Episcopalian and Catholic – owe their parishioners and the public an explanation and an apology for recklessly giving him access to children. They must also publicly and aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Parry’s crimes. To stay silent or do nothing is irresponsible.

Let’s hope that every person who has any information or suspicions about Parry – or other clergy sex crimes and cover ups – will find the courage and strength to call police so that the full truth might become clear.

To current and former Las Vegas Catholics and Episcopalians, we say: If you have knowledge or suspicions - however old, small or seemingly insignificant - about Parry’s crimes, it is your moral and civic duty to call police. Please summon the courage to do what's right, call law enforcement and hopefully prevent more devastated lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

'Misbruikte personen rk kerk hadden niets aan bestaande hulporganisatie'

NEDERLAND
Trouw

Ze krijgen steeds meer gelijk, tientallen jaren nadat ze door katholieke geestelijken zijn betast of verkracht. De slachtoffers die eindelijk met hun verhaal naar een instantie durfden te stappen, voelden zich ook door die instanties vaak niet gehoord. Hun wantrouwen bleef, ondanks dat de rk kerk instellingen en commissies oprichtte om het seksueel misbruik te onderzoeken, aan de slachtoffers hulp te verlenen en juridische genoegdoening te geven.

De commissie die onder leiding van Ronald Bandell een voorstel moest doen om emotionele en juridische hulp aan slachtoffers beter te organiseren, erkende gisteren bij de presentatie van zijn aanbevelingen dat slachtoffers niets hadden aan de bestaande instantie Hulp & Recht. Bandell gaf ook toe dat Wim Deetman te weinig met de slachtoffers had gesproken. De commissie Deetman, mede opgericht om de bestaande hulp te onderzoeken, schoot zelf dus ook weer tekort.

De Nederlandse bisschoppen stelden in 1995 als eersten een instelling in voor hulp aan slachtoffers, Hulp & Recht. Zowel slachtoffers als enkele medewerkers uitten kritiek omdat de instelling meer de belangen van de rk kerk in het oog had dan die van degenen die misbruikt waren. Twee jaar geleden maakte een stroom berichten in de media, vooral in NRC Handelsblad, duidelijk hoe op grote schaal het misbruik had plaatsgevonden. De Nederlandse bisschoppen stelden toen de commissie-Deetman in. Slachtoffergroepen bleven hun twijfel uiten over de onafhankelijkheid van deze commissie. Deetman op zijn beurt stelde nieuwe commissies in, die snel met een plan moesten komen om hulp aan slachtoffers beter te organiseren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Abuse in 1950s subject of new suit

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

By RANDY BOSWELL, Postmedia News June 25, 2011

After decades of quiet suffering and bottled rage, a Montreal man is leading a group of 22 former residents of Catholic boarding schools in Britain and Tanzania - including four fellow Canadians from Quebec, B.C. and Alberta - in a multimilliondollar lawsuit against Rosminian Order priests alleged to have physically, sexually and emotionally abused children in their charge during the 1950s.

Francis Lionnet, a 63-year-old communications consultant, is spearheading a compensation bid that has already prompted a BBC documentary on the case and led this week to a formal apology from Britain's top Rosminian official.

Another ex-pupil involved in the case is Bill Tierney, a Gazette West Island edition columnist and former mayor of Ste. Anne de Bellevue.

"I apologize without reservation on behalf of the Rosminian brethren in the U.K. to all those who have suffered," Father David Myers said in a statement released Wednesday, the day after BBC's airing of the film Abused: Breaking the Silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Matthew Fox's Critique of the Roman Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
OpEd News

By Thomas Farrell

Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) June 24, 2011: In THE POPE'S WAR: WHY RATZINGER'S SECRET CRUSADE HAS IMPERILED THE CHURCH AND HOW IT CAN BE SAVED (2011), Matthew Fox has written a thorough and mostly temperate critique of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. Even though some of the cases highlighted by Fox do not involve Americans, other cases do, including of course Fox's own case. In any event, liberal Americans who are concerned about the Christian right in the United States may want to read Fox's book, even if they are not Catholics. It's a very readable book.

Fox (born 1940) was silenced for one year in 1988 by then-Cardinal Ratzinger (born 1927). Three years later, Ratzinger expelled Fox from the Dominican religious order. But Fox was welcomed into the Anglican communion and has served as an Episcopal priest since 1994.

Fox is the prolific author of twenty-eight books. His books have been translated into forty-two languages and have sold in total more than 1.5 million copies. He was the first person to translate into English the work of the twelfth-century Benedictine abbess and mystic Hildegard von Bingen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Vatican to launch Internet news portal next week

VATICAN CITY
Sacramento Bee

The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, Jun. 25, 2011

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican is taking a leap into the world of new media next week with the launch of a news information portal that Pope Benedict XVI himself may put online with a papal click.

Vatican officials said Saturday that Benedict has been following the development of the portal - http://www.news.va - which will for the first time aggregate information from the Vatican's various print, radio and television media in a one-stop-shop for Holy See news.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Mesa pastor Jack Spaulding suspended over sexual-misconduct allegation

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

by Jim Walsh and Matt Haldane - Jun. 25, 2011
The Arizona Republic

A colorful Roman Catholic priest who once described how Jesus and Mary were using him as a microphone was suspended from his public ministry Friday while authorities investigate allegations of sexual misconduct at his former parish in Scottsdale.

The sexual misconduct is alleged to have occurred more than 25 years ago when Jack Spaulding, most recently of St. Timothy in Mesa, was assigned to St. Maria Goretti parish in Scottsdale.

The Diocese of Phoenix took the action against Spaulding after the Diocesan Review Board determined the allegation of misconduct with a minor was credible. The diocese cautioned that the finding does not reflect whether Spaulding is guilty or not guilty and said further investigation is required.

A Diocesan news release said Spaulding submitted his resignation from St. Timothy this week effective July 4 following a separate investigation by the diocese over concerns that the parish failed to follow certain financial and human-resources policies and procedures. Details of the inquiry were not disclosed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors ...

NETHERLANDS
Startpagina/Weblog (updated)

Compiled by drs. Pieter Schultz, information professional / content curator, web editor & religion researcher

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Report
News releases
Background information
Critical analysises
Responds to Critics
Videos
Cartoons
Articles / blogs (by country)
Articles on homosexuality
Andrew M. Greeley: Celibacy Isn't Cause of Sex Abuse
John Jay & celibacy
Articles on celibacy (by country)
Some observations on sexual abuse by priests & the oath / vow of celibacy

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Parma residents react to St. Charles' decision to remove Monaghan's name from church hall

PARMA (OH)
Cleveland.com

PARMA Residents expressed various opinions last week regarding the decision by St. Charles Borromeo Church to remove Monsignor Nicholas Monaghan’s name from its church hall.

St. Charles acted after several women told a local newspaper that the late Monaghan kissed and fondled them decades ago when they were pupils at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School.

The church also removed a plaque with Monaghan’s likeness from the church lobby.

Susan Kalnicki, a parishioner at St. Anthony of Padua in Parma, commended St. Charles for its decision.

“I work with somebody who actually went to school at St. Charles at that time,” Kalnicki said. “She said the girls all stepped back when he (Monaghan) walked into the room.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Michigan Man Accused Of Abusing Haitian Children

UNITED STATES/HAITI
Click on Detroit

WASHINGTON -- A Michigan man who operated a residential facility located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that provided food and shelter to minors, has been charged with offenses involving their sexual abuse.

The charges were announced Friday by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Matthew Andrew Carter, aka “William Charles Harcourt” and “Bill Carter,” 66, of Brighton, Mich., was charged in a superseding indictment filed yesterday in the Southern District of Florida with four counts of traveling in foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors. ...

Longtime friend Bertha Wiles said her husband and church community have been faithfully helping further Cater’s mission for more than a decade. She said Carter always had the purest of intentions.

“He was raising those boys as good Christian boys, the best that he could,” Wiles said. “I’ve known this man for 15 years and I would never , ever believe what you said. Somebody definitely framed him, paid the boys to say this is what they did.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Vatican readies report on child protection for UN

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

By Sarah Delaney, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY -- A United Nations-mandated report on compliance with international obligations regarding the protection and rights of children will be ready for submission this autumn, a Vatican diplomat said.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva, told Catholic News Service that the report was nearing completion and would probably be presented in September or October.

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child calls for governments of signatory countries of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to submit a comprehensive review of how convention regulations are being implemented, as well as progress reports every five years. The Vatican is party to the convention and did not send its report when first due in 1997.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Vatican to Submit Child Rights Report this Fall

CANADA
SOS Children's Villages

24/06/2011 - For the first time in 14 years, the Vatican will submit a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The report will be submitted this fall, likely in September or October, a Vatican official has said.

On Monday, a representative of the Vatican to the United Nations (UN) confirmed that the Holy See will submit a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The Vatican has not filed a report in 14 years and was slated to submit a progress report to the Committee in 1997. Typically, reports are filed every 5 years. The Vatican's 2011 report will be filed sometime in the fall, likely in September or October, said the country's envoy to Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi.

The Vatican was among the first nations to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Article 43 of the CRC, first adopted in 1989, created the Committee on the Rights of the Child to review the progress made toward fulfilling the provisions of the CRC. As part of their monitoring and reporting requirements under article 44, state parties to the CRC are required to submit reports on the measures they have adopted to fulfill the rights of children enshrined in the CRC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Gregorian University to host major sex-abuse symposium

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet (United Kingdom)

Robert Mickens - 25 June 2011

ROME’S Gregorian University has announced a major symposium for bishops and religious superiors for next year that avowedly aims to change the culture of how the Catholic Church deals with cases of priests who sexually abuse minors.

The 6-9 February gathering has the backing of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and will focus on offering a more articulate and sensitive response to helping victims.

Cardinal William Levada, the CDF prefect, will speak at the opening of the three-day symposium, which the Jesuit-run university has entitled, “Towards Healing and Renewal”. Mgr Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s chief official for handling abuse cases at the CDF, will be a major presenter.

Speaking at a press conference at the Gregorian last Saturday, he said next year’s gathering would help bishops’ conferences respond to the CDF’s recent invitation to craft national abuse policies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Listen to those sinned against

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet (United Kingdom)

25 June 2011

An underlying theme of the shameful story of clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church has been the neglect of the victims. At last this is changing, and next year’s intense study of the whole issue being organised at the Gregorian University in Rome will mark a watershed in the way this aspect is treated. The proposed symposium has the support of the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, and will bring together experts and those with pastoral experience in the field.

So far there are no plans to include victims themselves, which would be a loss. It is not simply that they need to be heard as part of a possible healing process. The marginalisation of victims represented a mindset whose origins lay in traditions of Catholic spirituality that emphasised the avoidance of sin and the recovery of sinners through penance and repentance. That mindset implied that the real tragedy of an act of sexual abuse by a priest lay in the defilement of the priestly office by the commission of an act of unchastity, rather than a grave and possibly permanent psychological injury inflicted upon an innocent and defenceless child.

Those with that mindset, blinded by the lesser evil, could not see the greater. It meant the Church, in response to acts of abuse that came to official notice, gave priority to the treatment of the transgressor and forgot about the one transgressed. This was the very essence of the clericalist deformity of ways of thinking and acting in the Church that prepared the way for all the scandals of cover-up, denial and deception.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Vatican denies Martin snub for major clerical abuse summit

IRELAND/VATICAN CITY
Irish Independent

By John Cooney Religion Correspondent

Saturday June 25 2011

THE Vatican last night denied it had snubbed Diarmuid Martin by overlooking the Archbishop of Dublin as a speaker at its first major conference of bishops and heads of religious orders on clerical child abuse.

The conference, which is to be held in Rome next February, will be attended by bishops and religious superiors and is billed as changing the culture of secrecy in which the Catholic church has dealt with complaints of priests who sexually abuse minors.

The exclusion of Dr Martin, the foremost prelate worldwide advocating the church to be accountable to abuse victims, was noted in yesterday's edition of 'The Tablet', the international Catholic weekly.

"One leading church figure not among the presenters is Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin," wrote its Rome correspondent, Robert Mickens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Eddie Long and the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Pall Over the Black Church

UNITED STATES
Color Lines

by Rod McCullom

If schadenfreude could be compared to a gourmet meal, the sexual coercion lawsuits filed last year by four young men against Atlanta-based mega-church “Bishop” Eddie Long surely qualified as a five-star feast at Le Cirque.

When the scandal broke, it couldn’t have hit closer to the center of the Black Church’s fault lines on sexuality. Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta boasts some 25,000 members. It is one of the largest black churches in the nation. In addition to being one of the nation’s most prominent pastors, Long is also among the most vocal critics of gay rights and same-sex marriage in the Black Church. In December 2004, one month after voters approved an amendment to the Georgia state constitution that banned gay marriage, Long led a 25,000-person march against gay rights and marriage equality.

The scandal’s orgiastic piece de resistance: The lawyer for the four men claimed that she had photos and text messages proving a relationship with Long. Cell phone photos emerged of the pastor posing in suggestive Anthony Weiner-style self-portraits—wearing tight-fitting Lycra muscle shirts and posing in a bathroom mirror.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Former monk tells Mo. newspaper he had inappropriate sexual contact with members of boys choir

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former monk who is a central figure in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against a Benedictine monastery told a Missouri newspaper he had inappropriate sexual contact with several members of a boys choir in the 1980s.

"Frankly, those allegations, most of them are true," Bede Parry told The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/mUKrRE) for a story printed Friday.

Parry, 69, led the Abbey Boy Choir of Conception Abbey from 1982 to 1987. He said he had sexual contact with five or six choir members. Most were over 18, but two were 16 to 18 years old, he said.

"As far as I'm concerned, great harm was done to those people," he told the newspaper in an interview from Las Vegas, where he now lives. "To lie and not recognize that would be a gross injustice to those folks."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Abuse victim wants to help others

MISSOURI
St. Joseph News-Press

Kim Norvell
St. Joseph News-Press

In the midst of new sex abuse allegations against the Catholic church, a St. Joseph man abused by a priest in the mid-1960s is hoping more victims will find the courage to come forward and hold the church accountable.

The man, now 60, is a resident of St. Joseph, but asked that other identifying features be concealed. In April 2010, 46 years after the abuse began, the victim started what he described as one of the hardest years of his life — publicly acknowledging that he was in fact a victim of clergy abuse and seeking recourse for years of shame, confusion and anger.

“I don’t want anything that happened to me to happen to anyone else. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back and say ‘I’m a martyr,’” he said. “ ... I want you to know so it doesn’t happen again.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

June 24, 2011

Mesa pastor placed on administrative leave over allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor

ARIZONA
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHOENIX — The pastor of a Mesa parish has been placed on administrative leave over an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix say the allegation against Father John Spaulding has been determined to be credible.

They say it allegedly occurred more than 25 years ago when Spaulding was pastor at St. Maria Goretti parish in Scottsdale. No other details were released Friday by diocese officials, who say Spaulding has denied the allegation and is fully cooperating with the investigation.

Bishop Thomas Olmstead says he has suspended Spaulding's faculties at St. Timothy parish in Mesa. He says the case is being referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 PM

Well-known priest accused of sexual misconduct with minor

ARIZONA
azfamily

[with video]

by Alicia E. Barrón

Posted on June 24, 2011

PHOENIX – A well-known Catholic priest has been suspended amid charges of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Father John Spaulding, the pastor of St. Timothy Parish in Mesa, has been put on administrative leave.

This move comes after the diocesan review board determined the accusation was credible.

The sexual misconduct claim involves actions that allegedly took place over 25 years ago when Father Spaulding was the pastor of St. Maria Goretti Parish in Scottsdale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 PM

Priest Faces Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

MESA (AZ)
My Fox Phoenix

[with video]

MESA, Ariz. - The Pastor of St. Timothy's parish in Mesa is on administrative leave over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Father John Spaulding resigned from the parish earlier this week over administrative issues.

The alleged abuse happened 25 years ago when Spaulding was the Pastor at St. Maria Goretti in Scottsdale.

Bishop Thomas Olmstead suspended Spaulding after a panel found the allegation was credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 PM

Catholic diocese suspends Mesa pastor in sexual misconduct investigation

ARIZONA
Tribune

By Lawn Griffiths, for the Tribune

One of the Valley’s most prominent priests, the Rev. John D. “Jack” Spaulding, pastor of St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa, was placed on administrative leave Friday after a Diocesan Review Board Thursday night determined there was a “credible” allegation of his involvement in sexual misconduct with a minor. It allegedly took place more than 25 years ago when he was pastor at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Parish in Scottsdale.

A diocese spokeswoman said police were notified of the allegation, but the church has no knowledge of a criminal investigation being under way.

The diocese released a statement Friday afternoon that Spaulding, 67, had resigned as pastor on Monday, and that Bishop Thomas Olmsted had accepted it and was consulting with others in the diocese to name a new priest for St. Timothy, one of the largest parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

Victim Recounts Abuse At Hands Of Former St. Francis Doctor

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By EDMUND H. MAHONY, emahony@courant.com The Hartford Courant

7:55 p.m. EDT, June 24, 2011

WATERBURY ——

A middle-aged insurance salesman, the second victim to go to trial with an abuse suit against St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, testified Friday about being molested and photographed by hospital endocrinologist Dr. George Reardon.

The victim, identified in court as Tim Doe 1, said he can recall four experiences with Reardon beginning in about 1969, when he was 9 years old.

On one of those occasions, the victim said, he was about 11 years old and hospitalized at St. Francis with rheumatic fever.

As is the case with dozens of other Reardon victims suing the hospital, Doe said Reardon used a sham study of child growth patterns as a pretext to abuse and take obscene photographs of him and a sister, who is about 18 months older. Reardon ran the study — and abused the children — in his hospital office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 PM

Sex-Abuse Survivors to Leaflet Outside HB's Sts. Simon and Jude Catholich Church This Sunday

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano Fri., Jun. 24 2011

​Just got word from the indefatigable Joelle Casteix that the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) will leaflet outside Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church this Sunday morning, starting with 9 a.m. Mass. They're going to alert parishioners of the former pedo-priest that served in the parish--Gus Krumm--and his accused supervisor, Alexander Manville.

Now, why would a group of outsiders have to alert parishioners about Sts. Simon and Jude's past? Wouldn't the Diocese of Orange under Bishop Tod D. Brown have alerted the faithful about Krumm and Manville's sordid pasts? Is the pope Italian? HAHAHAHAHA!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 PM

Karadima rechaza pedir perdón por los casos de abusos sexuales

CHILE
Terra

SANTIAGO.- Fernando Karadima rechazó pedir perdón luego de que el Vaticano rechazara la apelación presentada por su defensa contra las acusaciones de abuso sexual, hacia menores y adultos, y por abuso de poder.

Según publica hoy La Tercera, el ex párroco de El Bosque dijo a monseñor Ricardo Ezzati que era inocente de todos los cargos, luego de que el arzobispo le propusiera reconocer los ilícitos.

Por su parte, el también presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal descartó que ex parroquianos puedan visitarlo, pero pidió a otros cristianos ir a verlo por "misericordia".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

Laundry orders run sex workers' aid group

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

TWO OF the religious congregations which ran Magdalene laundries in the State set up and continue to run the Dublin-based Ruhama agency, which is funded by the State and works “with women affected by prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation”.

According to its website, the agency receives funding from the Department of Health and the Department of Justice.

Ruhama, which means “renewed life” in Hebrew, is described as “a joint initiative of the Good Shepherd Sisters and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, both of which had a long history of involvement with marginalised women, including those involved in prostitution”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

Corapi corrupted: the parable of the lost "sheepdog"

UNITED STATES
Renew America

By Tom O'Toole

Reprinted on Spero News.

For twenty years I was called "father"...now [I'm] "The Black Sheep Dog." — John Corapi, from his June 17th "Black Sheep Dog" statement

He wants his home and security
he wants to live like a sailor at sea.
Beautiful loser, where you gonna fall
when you realize you just...can't have it all."
— Bob Seger, from the song "Beautiful Loser"

SALE ... "50% OFF ENTIRE INVENTORY" screams the salesman's old SOLT website, as the screen hawks written teachings such as The Rosary: Prayer of the Gospel; tapes such as "The Social Teaching of the Church," and t-shirts such as "Your Mama [that is, Our Lady] Wears Combat Boots," in the electronic window's ever revolving enticement of Holy merchandise. And you wonder if John Corapi, the man who no longer finds it profitable to call himself "Father," is trying to lead you to believe he will still touch on (and market) such topics in the future, or if he no longer believes these not-so-inclusive sentiments and is garage-saling his way to a clean break with the past. My guess is that with Corapi, the quintessential "beautiful loser," it will always be a bit of both.

Many have noted the seemingly countless ironies and contradictions in Mr. John "call me 'The Black Sheep Dog'" Corapi's June 17th statement (and out-there June 20th verbal follow-up) but what does this all mean for his future ministry which John appears ready to "unleash" on us? It is one thing to lose the title of "Father" on Father's Day, to leave your order, the "Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity" (SOLT) on (what is for Catholics) Trinity Sunday, but quite another to declare that not only is everything cool, but cooler than it has ever been. But if like me you wonder how it could possibly be better to minister as "The Black Sheep Dog" than as a Catholic priest, let's hear it from the dog's mouth itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Gerald Howard case set for continuance until July

BOONEVILLE (MO)
Boonville Daily News

By Staff reports
Boonville Daily News
Posted Jun 24, 2011

Boonville —

The legal parties in the case of a former Boonville priest suspected of sexually abusing children will request a continuance at a Monday court appearance, the Cooper County Prosecutor said this morning.

The defense for Gerald Howard, who once worked at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, continues to collect depositions from witnesses and the prosecution must still interview two people, prosecutor Doug Abele said.

He said they must travel around the country to collect the depositions and then transcribe them. He expects the next court appearance to be scheduled for July 25.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Man sues Catholic diocese in Texas on abuse claims

EL PASO (TX)
Star-Telegram

The Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas — A man who alleges he was sexually molested by a Catholic priest in the 1970s has filed a civil lawsuit against a West Texas diocese and the Jesuits, claiming the defendants knew or should have known of the abuses and didn't protect him.

The man, identified as John Doe 103, claims the Jesuit priest convinced him to become an altar boy at Sacred Heart Church in El Paso. The suit claims he was molested over a two-year span. The lawsuit says abuses occurred in the priest's vehicle on the way to church functions.

The priest is not being sued because he could not be located.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Sacerdote asegura que Fernando Karadima es inocente

CHILE
La Tercera

Juan Esteban Morales, el ex párroco de El Bosque y cercano a Fernando Karadima, tuvo el primer careo con el denunciante del religioso, James Hamilton. Al término de la diligencia, sostuvo que el religioso acusado insiste en su inocencia y que está rezando por todas las personas involucradas en el caso.

"El padre Fernando insiste en su inocencia y está rezando por todas las personas", dijo Morales y al ser consultado sobre su propia opinión responde también de forma afirmativa. Al ser consultado sobre la responsabilidad de Karadima en las acusaciones que se le imputan, declinó a dar su apreciación personal, sólo se remitió a indicar que "monseñor Ricardo Ezzati asumió una declaración en que todos nosotros como sacerdotes de la Unión Sacerdotal, acojo toda su manifestación".

Morales indicó que le duele toda la situación, como además no poder visitar a Karadima como en una oportunidad anterior, que explicó "es un deber acompañar al que sufre".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Catholics Still Waiting for Justice in Sex Abuse Scandal

UNITED STATES
RH Reality Check

by Kathleen Reeves, RH Reality Check

June 24, 2011

BishopAccountability.org puts it bluntly:

Thousands of Catholic clergy and religious have raped and sodomized tens of thousands of children—perhaps more than 100,000 children—since 1950.

The website makes available a formidable archive of documents relating to the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church—letters and memoranda from priests, bishops, parishioners, and the Vatican dating back as far as the 1940s, and survivor affidavits from more recently.

BishopAccountability.org was founded in 2003 as it became clear that sexual abuse in the Church was truly an epidemic, and one that became as insidious and widespread as it did through the routine inaction and concealment of bishops. The project’s staff explains their mission as follows (in part):

It is our hope that the information we are collecting at BishopAccountability.org will help expose bishops who have abused children or vulnerable adults, or have aided abusers. We hope we can encourage an informed public to demand indictments of bishops where appropriate. And failing these legal remedies, we hope that our Web site will embolden priests and laity to beg the removal of culpable bishops by the Pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Bishop’s child porn sentencing delayed

CANADA
The Telegram

A sentencing hearing for a Catholic bishop who possessed child pornography has been delayed until August.

Raymond Lahey was scheduled to be in court today for a daylong hearing for submissions on the length of his sentence.

On Tuesday, the hearing was pushed back to Aug. 4 and 5 because the Crown had yet to receive Lahey’s clinical file from Dr. John Bradford, the psychiatrist who examined Lahey at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

Prosecutors want time to examine the clinical records to properly cross-examine Bradford about his findings in a sexual behaviours assessment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Lead Researcher on John Jay Report Responds to Critics

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

Posted at: Friday, June 24, 2011
Author: James Martin, S.J.

Here is an important article to read (H/t to Dotcommonweal.). Karen J. Terry, the lead investigator for the John Jay College study on the "Causes and Contexts" of clerical sexual abuse in the church, responds to critics who faulted the conclusions of the study and the methods used to reach them. Professor Terry charges that the media coverage oversimplified the report's conclusions, that the "Blame the 1960s" summary was unfair, that the study was not influenced by the bishops, and that the report did in fact critique the bishops' record on abuse, contrary to some reports. Ms. Terry is also a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at John Jay College, also serves as the college’s Associate Provost and Interim Dean of Research and Strategic Partnerships. Here she is summing up what the study did find:

The findings indicate that abusive behavior could best be explained through an interaction of micro- and macro-level factors. While the patterns of abuse in the Catholic Church are consistent with (though not causedby) patterns of other types of social behavior from the 1960s through the 1980s (when abuse cases peaked), data showed that most of the priest-abusers had problems such as intimacy deficits, an emotional and psycho-sexual maturity level similar to adolescents, and life stressors, as well as inadequate seminary education on how to live a life of chaste celibacy.

The abuse was particularly pronounced for men who were ordained in the 1940s and 1950s, a time when there was a substantial increase in Catholic seminarians and inadequate education for them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Priest resigns in Vegas amid sex abuse suit

LAS VEGAS (NV)
CT Post

LAS VEGAS (AP) — An Episcopal priest in Las Vegas has resigned from his church after being named in a Missouri lawsuit alleging a Catholic monastery there covered up his sexual abuse of a choir boy.

The lawsuit accuses Conception Abbey of keeping quiet about 69-year-old Bede Parry's 1987 sexual assault of a choir boy. Parry directed the choir.

Parry says in a Las Vegas Review-Journal story that he feels terrible about letting down friends in the abbey and the diocese in Las Vegas.

He says he asked to be relieved of duty at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Las Vegas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Einelti og andlegt ofbeldi kennaranna í Landakoti

Fretatiminn

Tvennum sögum fer af hegðun og framkomu tvíeykisins, séra George og Margrétar Müller, en ljóst er að fjölmargir fyrrum nemendur Landakotsskóla eiga sárar æskuminningar tengdar þeim. Margir segja þau hafa niðurlægt sig í tímum og fyrir framan skólasystkinin. Fjölmargir sem Fréttatíminn hefur rætt við hættu í skólanum vegna vanlíðanar. Bjarndís Tómasdóttir var í skólanum í fjögur ár.

„Ég held að ég hafi grátið á hverjum einasta degi í Landakotsskóla. Ég fór líka í Riftún og það er ótrúlegt hvað fékk að viðgangast þarna,“ segir Bjarndís og nefnir sem dæmi að þegar stúlkurnar komu í sumarbúðirnar í Riftúni hafi nærbuxurnar þeirra verið veiddar upp úr farangrinum þeirra.

„Við fengum skápa undir fötin okkar og þar voru þau geymd. Nema nærbuxurnar; þær voru læstar inni hjá George. Við þurftum sem sagt að fara til Georges og biðja hann að láta okkur fá nærbuxurnar okkar. Ég held að okkur öllum hafi fundist þetta mjög skrítið og sérkennilegt. Mér þótti þetta ömurlegt.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Iceland Catholic abuse scandal deepens

ICELAND
Ice News

There is evidence to suggest that sexual abuse committed by the head of a Catholic school in Reykjavik was known to the church as early as 1963, but no action was taken.

The sexual abuse at Landskotsskoli seems to have gone on for around 10 years.

In related news, around 20 windows were last night smashed at the Catholic bishop’s residence and police say it is extremely likely the vandalism is related to the Catholic abuse scandal. Nobody has been arrested.

The Frettatiminn newspaper, which originally broke the story which was also reported on IceNews, continued its exposé today. Reverend George was the head of Landakotsskoli for 30 years and the newspaper contains interviews with two women who claim to have been abused by George while students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Fr Kit the ‘monster’ and the kindly priest I knew ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

By William Oddie on Friday, 24 June 2011

Like Fr Alexander Lucie- Smith, I, too have come to the conclusion “after much hesitation” that I have to say something about Fr Kit Cunningham. This is not an easy topic to write about. I have written about child abuse in the Church before; and however much you make it plain that this is a crime for which there is no excuse, if you try to write about it in anything less than an uncompromisingly condemnatory way you will be accused of trying to excuse this hideous crime or in some other way diminish its seriousness.

This is the first time I have personally known one of these “monsters”, as one of his victims described him. And at first, I simply did not credit it (I suppose that’s why it’s so easy to cover these things up – nobody believes it). I was glad that Fr Kit had died before having to run the gamut of what I assumed were a string of unjust and fantastic accusations (it would not have been the first time, after all, that a priest had been falsely accused). But there was no getting away from it. The accusations weren’t unjust or fantastic: he had accepted that they were true. He wrote to the victims asking for their forgiveness: he resigned the MBE he had been given for his services to the community.

It is as though the abusive priest, the “monster” he undoubtedly had been, and the good and kindly priest I knew were different people. And of course the reason for that perception is that they were different people: not because behind the kindly façade there still lurked the monster I was too imperceptive to detect, but because however bad you are, with God’s grace it really is possible truly to change: and he had changed. Ever since these dreadful crimes were revealed, I have had another of the Anglican prayers I wrote about the other day – this time the words of absolution after the General Confession from the Book of Common Prayer – running through my mind. The minister says: “The Almighty and merciful God grant unto you, being penitent, pardon and remission of all your sins, time for amendment of life, and the grace and comfort of his Holy Spirit.” That’s what Fr Kit had been granted, being penitent: “time for amendment of life”. And during that time, over 40 years of it, he had indeed amended his life. He had become a different person.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Peter and His Pence

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Editorial

This weekend, because it is the closest weekend to the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29) baskets will pass before the US Catholic population shilling for money that will go directly to Pope Benedict.

Unlike other collections, local, national and missionary, there is no stopping at the diocesan level dropping off a percentage of the take.

The whole caboodle in 2009 (the latest year for which there are figures) amounted to $82.5 million worldwide, with American Catholics anteing up nearly one third of the total pot.

This collection is billed as a way to support the Pope’s philanthropy for emergency assistance in times of natural disaster, war, oppression and disease.

It’s a thousand year old collection and its Middle Ages media slogan was a “penny from every hearth.”

From Jason Berry’s new book, Render Unto Rome, The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church, we now know that only 11 per cent of this money is accounted for by the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Vaticano confirma sentencia eclesiástica contra cura Karadima

CHILE
Terra

SANTIAGO.- El arzobispo de Santiago, monseñor Ricardo Ezzati, dio a conocer esta tarde el fallo definitivo de la Congregación de la Doctrina de la Fe, instancia que rechazó la apelación presentada por la defensa del sacerdote Fernando Karadima.

“Dicho recurso fue examinado en el mes de junio en curso, y los Padres cardenales y obispos miembros de la Sesión Ordinaria de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, han decidido no acoger el recurso contra el Decreto impugnado, presentado por el Reverendo Fernando Karadima Fariña”, señaló Ezzati.

Agregó que el castigo impuesto por la Santa Sede al religioso chileno continúa, es decir, permanecerá retirado a una vida de oración y penitencia, junto con evitar contactos con feligreses de la parroquia El Bosque y no ejercer en forma pública el sacerdocio. De no cumplir con esta pena, “al inculpado se le podrán infligir penas más graves, no excluida la dimisión del estado clerical”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Ezzati y fallo canónico contra Karadima: "Ha sido lo más doloroso en mi vida de obispo"

CHILE
Emol

Por Leslie Ayala C., Emol

SANTIAGO.- El arzobispo de Santiago, monseñor Ricardo Ezzati, tras dar a conocer el fallo del Vaticano que culpa al religioso Fernando Karadima de abuso sexual contra menores, tuvo sentidas palabras para explicar cómo la Iglesia Católica recibe la decisión de la Santa Sede y reiteró que no se pueden aceptar estas conductas en el sacerdocio.

"Naturalmente esto nos lleva a un compromiso nuestro de que situaciones como esta no se vuelvan a repetir en la Iglesia (...) la búsqueda de la verdad es siempre lo que impera y la verdad es la que nos hace libres, hay que buscarla, pues no llega de inmediato", dijo.

Consultado de si acaso este hecho es uno de los más difíciles que ha vivido la Iglesia Católica chilena, Ezzati quiso referirse en forma personal frente a lo cual expresó "esto ha sido lo más doloroso de mi vida de obispo, porque los sacerdotes son carne y sangre del obispo. Con el obispo los sacerdotes tiene un vínculo muy especial de tipo espiritual".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

People and Priest Working Together

MISSOURI
GoodPeople 2 GoodPriests

A long time Jefferson City diocese Catholic priest is being honored for his “courageous and compassionate work” on behalf of clergy sex abuse victims.

This morning, the St. Louis chapter of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF.org) gave an award to Fr. Joseph Starmann at a small ceremony in St. Louis County.

“Another organization, a support group called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests nominated Starmann for the honor,” said Peggy Fitzpatrick of VOTF.

“Father Joe is a brave and caring man, and a humble hero,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “He is among a handful of priests in this country who has both helped protect the vulnerable and console those already wounded, even against the wishes of his church supervisors. We admire and appreciate him tremendously”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Pijnlijk maar noodzakelijk - commentaar

NEDERLAND
ED

De ernst van het seksueel misbruik binnen de katholieke kerk valt al lang niet meer te ontkennen.

Dat zich ook op het jongensinternaat Eikenburg in Eindhoven zaken hebben afgespeeld die niet door de beugel konden en slachtoffers voor het leven hebben getekend, staat vast.

Maar zoals bijna de hele katholieke kerk worstelen ook de Broeders van Liefde, die de scepter zwaaiden op Eikenburg, met de erkenning van de misstanden en de wijze waarop recht kan worden gedaan aan de oud-leerlingen die misbruikt en mishandeld zijn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

A Penny for the Pope for Peter’s Pence

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

PRESS RELEASE

JUNE 21, 2011

CONTACT: FRANK DOUGLAS (520) 404-2489; frankdouglas62@yahoo.com

The 2011 Peter’s Pence collection takes place this Sunday June 26. Ostensibly for papal charities, the latest (2009) information we have—as documented by Jason Berry in his highly praised new book Render Unto Rome—reveals that only about 10% of the Peter’s Pence collection goes to charity. The rest goes to fund the Vatican’s annual operating deficit which flows from the Holy See’s nasty habit of living beyond its means, very much like we see in governments in America and elsewhere in the Western world..

If you are disturbed by the pope’s gross mismanagement of the clergy sex abuse phenomenon, especially putting children at risk of great harm from known and suspected pedophile priests, the Peter’s Pence collection provides every Catholic an opportunity to send a message to the pope in a universal, well-understood language: MONEY.

One can send this message for just one Lincoln penny:

If you eat at a restaurant and the service is awful, you have three choices: 1) you can leave the usual tip—and the waiter has no incentive to change his/her ways; 2) you can leave no tip which allows delusional thinking such as “They probably forgot;” or 3) you can leave a penny (or two) so that there can be no doubt in anybody’s mind about your dissatisfaction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

John Jay on what the critics got wrong

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Roberts on Jun. 23, 2011

"The lead researcher of last month’s Causes and Context report on the child sexual abuse scandals that have shaken the Catholic Church speaks out on the controversy surrounding the study, and explains why it lays out a roadmap for the future," reads the precede to a commentary by Karen J. Terry, who views most of the criticism of the report as misguided based on misunderstandings caused by -- no surprise here -- "the media" and a "spin" that had only a "tangential" relationship to the real stuff in the report.

The first misconception she refers to is the media's understanding of the report's blaming the permissive era of the '60s and '70s as one of the major causes of priest's errant behavior. Read the entire article here.

If the press got that incorrect so did a lot of bishops who have been out almost gloating over that very interpretation of the cause of the crisis. The report has given them considerable language with which to deflect attention away from their own role in the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

John Jay investigator criticizes reporting

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jun. 23, 2011
By Catholic News Service

NEW YORK -- Many news stories about the recently released report on "The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010" tried -- and failed -- to capture its complex findings in a sound bite, according to the principal investigator for the study.

Karen Terry of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York said researchers who prepared the report have received "malicious and even threatening calls and letters" from some people who criticized the findings based on overly simplistic and sometimes factually inaccurate news reports.

Writing June 23 in The Crime Report, an online publication of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay and the Criminal Justice Journalists organization, Terry said some media wrongly said the report attributed the clergy sex abuse crisis to social attitudes attributed to Woodstock or the "swinging '60s."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

John Jay researcher: It’s not about Woodstock

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

Posted by Paul Moses

Karen J. Terry, who led the John Jay College study into the causes of clergy sex abuse of minors in the Catholic Church, has criticized news coverage that she said reduced her complex findings to a single point summarized in news reports as “blame Woodstock” – the idea that the sexual revolution in the 1960s and 1970s helped to cause the scandal.

Dr. Terry made her comments in an article on the Web site The Crime Report, a resource for criminal justice journalists. She wrote:

A study of this complexity does not easily lend itself to an accurate sound bite.

Nevertheless, one early media report in a national paper attributed the explanation of social factors as a “Blame Woodstock” excuse, a phrase that went viral and was cited more than 14,000 times within the next two days.

The truth is, at no point in the report did we “blame” Woodstock or simplify the explanation of the abuse crisis to the “swinging sixties,” as some papers reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Former Pastor Dino Cardelli Takes Plea Deal in Child Abuse Case

ARCATA (CA)
The Journal

By Ryan Burns

Dino Cardelli, the founder and former pastor of Arcata’s Calvary Chapel, has struck a plea deal in which he admits to the continuous sexual abuse of a minor under the age of 14 who was living in his custody.

Cardelli was arrested last September and charged with one count of recurring sexual conduct, three counts of lewd and lascivious acts and five counts of oral copulation, all with a single victim — a child under the age of 14. Early this year, prosecutors added more charges, alleging that there was a second victim and that Cardelli violated a court order by repeatedly contacting the alleged victim(s).

In the deal, entered on Monday, Cardelli pleaded guilty to one count of continuous sexual abuse of a minor under age 14, one count of attempting to dissuade a witness, 25 misdemeanor counts of violating a court order by contacting a victim, and, regarding the second victim, a misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a child, according to District Attorney’s Office Public Information Officer Lynette Mullen. He faces a maximum of 18 years in prison, Mullen said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Former leader of boys choir at Missouri abbey admits sexual misconduct

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

[the lawsuit]

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

A former Benedictine monk who directed a boys choir at a northwest Missouri abbey in the 1980s admitted on Thursday that he had inappropriate sexual relations with several members of the group.

Bede Parry, who led the Abbey Boy Choir of Conception Abbey from 1982 to 1987, told The Kansas City Star that he had sexual contact with five or six of the choir members as well as a student at a Minnesota university.

One of the former choir members filed a lawsuit on Thursday, contending that Parry molested him in 1987 during a summer camp at the abbey.

The lawsuit, filed against Conception Abbey by a Missouri man under the name John Doe 181, alleges that the abbey knew that Parry had sexually abused other students prior to abusing him but covered it up. Parry is not a defendant in the lawsuit, which was filed in Maryville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Missouri abbey faces suit; former St. Cloud bishop accused of abuse cover-up

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Written by
Kirsti Marohn

A lawsuit filed Thursday against a Missouri abbey accuses Catholic Church officials — including former St. Cloud Bishop Jerome Hanus — of covering up sexual abuse by a former monk who spent several years at St. John’s University three decades ago.

The lawsuit, filed in Nodaway County Circuit Court, alleges that then-Benedictine monk Bede Parry abused the unnamed plaintiff in 1987 during a summer choir camp at Conception Abbey in northwest Missouri while Parry was director of the boys’ choir.

According to the lawsuit, Parry attended St. John’s University’s School of Theology in Collegeville from 1979 until 1982.

The plaintiff, who filed the lawsuit under the name John Doe 181, claims the Missouri abbey knew Parry had sexually abused other students but took no action. Among those the lawsuit accuses of knowing about the abuse are Hanus, who at that time was abbot of Conception Abbey, and Jerome Theisen, former abbot of St. John’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

June 23, 2011

Magdalene inquiry appointment soon

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN

THE CHAIRMAN of the independent interdepartmental committee to be established into the treatment of women and girls in Magdalene laundries will be appointed within the next 10 days, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has told the Dáil.

He also said consultations with the religious congregations and representatives of those who lived in the laundries would be held shortly.

The Minister was “committed to ensuring” investigation of the “extent to which the State had an engagement of any description” with the laundries, where thousands of women were sent against their will.

It has emerged that the Departments of Justice and Agriculture, as well as Áras an Uachtaráin, Guinness, major Dublin hotels, Clery’s, the Gaiety Theatre and Dr Steevens’s hospital in the capital were regular customers of the laundries. It also emerged that the Health Service Executive gave €87 million between 2006 and 2010 to three of the four religious congregations that ran the laundries between 1922 and 1996.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

HSE gave €87m since 2006 to Magdalene nuns

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE HSE has provided € 87 million in the past five years to three of the four religious congregations that ran the Magdalene laundries between 1922 and 1996, according to Minister for Health Dr James O’Reilly.

He disclosed the figure in response to a question from Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

He found it “astonishing” and said it contrasted “sharply with the State’s treatment of the women imprisoned in these institutions, who received no pay for their years of work, are in receipt of no pension and were excluded from the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

Avella sex offender bill clears another hurdle in Legislature

NEW YORK
Your Nabe

By Connor Adams Sheets
Thursday, June 23, 2011

State Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) bill aimed at closing loopholes and addressing inadequacies in the state’s laws concerning sex offenders has passed out of committee in the wake of a scandal that began when Joseph Denice, a Whitestone resident and former volunteer at three northeast Queens Catholic schools, was revealed to have a sex abuse conviction himself.

The legislation would help ensure that sex offenders are officially categorized under the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act upon their release from incarceration and would speed up the timetable for determining the risk levels of sex offenders.

“I am thrilled to see that this legislation has passed through committee and hopefully look forward to voting for it shortly on the Senate floor,” Avella said in a statement. “Our current law has allowed some sex offenders to be released in the community after their conviction and sentencing, without an immediate risk level determination resulting in a delayed listing on the state’s Sex Offender Registry. We cannot continue to put our youth in harm’s way by releasing sex offenders into our neighborhoods without the public knowing the risk that he or she poses.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Catholic priest banned from ministry in child sexual abuse case

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

By Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun

A celebrated liturgical scholar has been permanently removed from Catholic ministry in the wake of a "credible allegation" that he had inappropriate sexual contact with a child in Baltimore three decades ago, according to Jesuit officials.

The acts by the Rev. James Glenn Murray allegedly took place at St. Frances-Charles Hall, now known as St. Frances Academy, where he taught English and religion for seven years starting in 1981 and served for three of those years as assistant principal. Murray, who was ordained in 1979, has been a member of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus for 38 years.

It is the third such case to come to light in the Baltimore area in recent months, and one of a long string of allegations to have surfaced against members of the clergy of the Catholic church, both in the United States and elsewhere, in recent years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

“Just Be”…the spirit of being at peace and becoming who you truly are.

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Michael R. Unglo Just Be Foundation

“Just Be”…the spirit of being at peace and becoming who you truly are.

The Michael R. Unglo Just Be Foundation, Inc., was founded on June 16, 2010, and is incorporated as a domestic 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The Foundation celebrates the life, legacy, values and accomplishments of Michael R. Unglo, whose life was ultimately tragically and forever altered by childhood sex abuse at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest. The Foundation works with the help of benefactors to impact positively the lives of those working to overcome the scars of childhood abuse – both victims and caregivers. Acting together, we will win the battle of preventing childhood abuse, support those working to recover from it or those working to help others recover, and hold accountable those who still need to respond appropriately and adequately for the abuse they enable or enabled, such as many of the poor leaders in the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Priest who stole nearly $90,000 from Kearny parish sentenced to three years probation

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal

KEARNY -- The former pastor of Our Lady of Sorrow's Church was sentenced today for stealing nearly $90,000 from parish coffers and he will have to pay restitution to the Archdiocese of Newark.

"It is the type of crime that shocks the conscience of not only the community but also the parish that the defendant was ordained to serve," said Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Leo Hernandez of the deeds of Rev. James J. Reilly, 69.

A regular audit of parish finances by the archdiocese revealed Reilly had diverted about $87,000 in parish money to his own use, leading to his arrest on Feb. 15, Hernandez said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Missouri lawsuit: Former St. Cloud bishop knew of abuse

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

[the lawsuit]

Written by
Kirsti Marohn

A lawsuit filed Thursday against a Missouri abbey accuses Catholic Church officials — including former St. Cloud Bishop Jerome Hanus — of covering up sexual abuse by a former monk who spent several years at St. John’s University three decades ago.

The lawsuit, filed in Nodaway County Circuit Court, alleges that then-Benedictine monk Bede Parry abused the unnamed plaintiff in 1987 during a summer choir camp at Conception Abbey in northwest Missouri while Parry was director of the boys’ choir.

According to the lawsuit, Parry attended St. John’s University’s School of Theology in Collegeville from 1979 until 1982.

The plaintiff, who filed the lawsuit under the name John Doe 181, claims the Missouri abbey knew Parry had sexually abused other students but took no action. Among those the lawsuit accuses of knowing about the abuse are Hanus, who at that time was abbot of Conception Abbey, and Jerome Theisen, former abbot of St. John’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Lawsuit alleges abuse at Conception Abbey

MISSOURI
St. Joseph News-Press

Kim Norvell
St. Joseph News-Press

A Missouri man filed a lawsuit Thursday against Conception Abbey, alleging a priest continued to sexually abuse children while the monastery covered up his crimes.

The civil lawsuit, filed in Nodaway County Circuit Court, claims the Rev. Bede Parry, who at the time was an ordained priest at the monastery, had sexual contact with a minor child while serving as director of a residential choir camp in 1987.

The lawsuit also alleges that officials in the monastery knew of sex crimes committed by Rev. Parry as far back as 1973.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Jesuit who had served in Cleveland removed from ministry over allegation

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

By Michael O'Malley, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Jesuit priest who served in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland for 18 years, was removed from ministry this month after an allegation that he improperly touched a child was found to be credible.

The complaint involving the Rev. J-Glenn Murray stems from the early 1980s when he was teaching at a Catholic high school in Baltimore.

The allegation was made to the Jesuits' Maryland Province in 2005 when Murray was an administrator in the Cleveland diocese, directing its Office of Pastoral Liturgy.

Murray was here from 1989 to 2007, also serving as associate pastor of St. Henry parish on Harvard Avenue in Cleveland, which has since closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Former teacher suing Diocese over firing

FLORIDA
NBC 2

[with video]

FORT MYERS -

A Southwest Florida Catholic school teacher filed suit this week against the Diocese of Venice. The lawsuit claims it fired him for reporting a priest to the state for allegedly asking girls sexual questions during confession.

NBC2 Investigator Andy Pierrotti sat down with the teacher and the diocese about the claims.

Catholics who come to confession believe a priest can provide forgiveness through the sacrament of reconciliation.

In April, former Bishop Verot High School teacher Chris Wilson couldn't believe what his students were telling him in class.

"She proceeded to tell me that during the reconciliation, there's a priest, a young priest, she identified in the corner, who was asking the girls if they masturbate and if they'd had sex. I was shocked," said Wilson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Sex abuse cases come to light in Venice, Fla., diocese

FLORIDA
National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee on Jun. 23, 2011

Three cases of sexual misconduct by clergy have come to light in recent days in the Venice, Fla, diocese.

Two weeks ago, Fr. Bernard Chojnacki, a vicar at a local parish, was arrested for allegedly exposing his genitals to a county sheriff and then grabbing the sheriff's genitals.

Carmelite Fr. William C. Wert, who has been living in a retirement home in the diocese while on a leave of absence, was arrested in February on two counts of committing a sex offense against a victim between the ages of 12 and 15. Shortly after his arrest, authorities filed eight more charges of sex offenses against a minor and lewd and lascivious behavior.

Meanwhile, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Tuesday that a former Catholic high school teacher in the diocese has filed a lawsuit alleging he was fired for raising concerns about a third priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Catholics in Crisis: Sex and Deception in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Magazine

By Robert Huber

"Is this true?"

In February, at a hastily convened meeting of Catholic Church lawyers and administrators in Center City, that was the first question Cardinal Justin Rigali asked. And he needed an answer quickly.

The district attorney’s office had just released a grand jury report about local Catholic priests sexually abusing minors. It was not, of course, the first such grand jury report—that one, released in 2005, laid out in great detail not only how priests in the city’s archdiocese had abused children, but also how that abuse had been covered up under the direction of tough-minded Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. Instead of being reported to the DA’s office, pedophile priests were moved—sometimes repeatedly, from parish to parish to parish. Abusive priests kept right on abusing children.

And now this second grand jury report, six years later, was much shorter than the first, yet in some ways it was more devastating, because the central charge was the same: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia still allowed alleged pedophile priests—37 of them, the report said—to continue ministering to children. What’s more, the DA’s office was charging a monsignor, William Lynn, along with three priests and a parish teacher, with crimes related to sexual abuse. (All five have pleaded not guilty.) The monsignor’s indictment was especially telling. For much of the ’90s, Lynn reported directly to Cardinal Bevilacqua, and he was the first member of Church hierarchy in this country to be indicted as part of the sexual-abuse scandal. The point was inescapable: Something was very wrong with the way the archdiocese had been run. And with how it is still being run.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Las Vegas pastor accused of sex with minors sought by Henderson police

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Review-Journal

By Antonio Planas
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted: Jun. 23, 2011

Henderson police are searching for a Las Vegas pastor accused of having sex with underage girls.

Police on Thursday announced they have issued an arrest warrant for Otis Holland, 54, for 11 counts of sexual assault of a victim under 16.

Holland may have fled to California, police said.

He was arrested in December 2010 on three counts of sexual assault of a victim under 16. During the investigation, detectives heard new allegations that Holland might have had other inappropriate contact with minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Police searching for pastor accused in sexual assault cases

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Sun

By Jackie Valley

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Las Vegas pastor arrested in December for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl in his congregation may have fled to California after more victims came forward, Henderson Police said.

Authorities last week issued a warrant for Otis Holland, 54, on 11 counts of sexual assault of a victim younger than 16, one count of child abuse and conspiracy to commit a crime, police said.

Holland has not turned himself into police, who believe he may have gone to California to evade arrest, officials said.

Police first arrested Holland, who was pastor of United Faith Church in Las Vegas, last December for three counts of sexual assault of a victim younger than 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Police: Pastor wanted in sexual assault of minors

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Fox 5

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Henderson police are looking for a Las Vegas pastor wanted in connection with the sexual assault of underage girls.

Otis Holland, 54, is wanted on 11 counts of sexual assault of a victim under age 16, a count of child abuse and a count of conspiracy to commit a crime, police said.

Police issued the warrant last week, but said Holland may have fled to California.

In December, Holland was arrested on three counts of sexual assault of a victim under age 16. During the investigation, police said they discovered allegations that Holland may have had inappropriate conduct with other minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Pastor Involved in Sex Assault Case Flees

NEVADA
8 News Now

By Stephen Jackson, Online News Editor

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Henderson Police are looking for a pastor accused of having sex with underage girls.

Police say an arrest warrant has been issued for 54-year-old Otis Holland for 11 counts of sexual assault of a victim under 16, one count of child abuse and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Holland was originally arrested in December 2010 on three counts of sexual assault of a victim under the age of 16. While investigating, detectives allegedly found more victims. A new warrant was issued for Holland last week. Police believe he may have fled to California.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Ex-Humboldt pastor pleads guilty to sex abuse

CALIFORNIA
Sacramento Bee

The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, Jun. 23, 2011

EUREKA, Calif. -- A former Humboldt County pastor has pleaded guilty to charges that he sexual abused two girls, including one who was placed in his care.

The Times-Standard of Eureka reports that 50-year-old Dino Cardelli entered his plea Monday to sex abuse and molestation charges as well as 25 counts of violating a court order to not contact the victims.

Cardelli was pastor of Arcata's evangelical Calvary Chapel for 15 years. He resigned after he was arrested last September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Canadian leads abuse lawsuit against Catholic priests

CANADA
The Vancouver Sun

By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News June 23, 2011

After decades of quiet suffering and bottled rage, a Canadian man from Montreal is leading a group of 22 former residents of Catholic boarding schools in Britain and Tanzania, including four fellow Canadians from Quebec, B.C. and Alberta, in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Rosminian Order priests alleged to have physically, sexually and emotionally abused the children in their charge during the 1950s.

Francis Lionnet, a 63-year-old communications consultant, is spearheading a compensation bid that has already prompted a BBC documentary on the case and led this week to a formal apology from Britain's top Rosminian official.

"I apologize without reservation on behalf of the Rosminian brethren in the U.K. to all those who have suffered," Father David Myers said in a statement released Wednesday, the day after BBC's airing of the film Abused: Breaking the Silence, in which several of the alleged victims told their stories.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Former Ss. Peter and Paul priest due in court Monday

MISSOURI
Boonville Daily News

By Sananda Sahoo
Boonville Daily News

Posted Jun 23, 2011

Boonville —

A hearing on a Boonville priest arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse is scheduled for Monday, June 27 in the Cooper County Circuit Court.

The hearing has been postponed several times over the past year.

Cooper County Prosecutor Doug Abele said in April after the last hearing date was rescheduled that the sides continue to collect depositions from witnesses across the country, and Howard’s defense attorney requested the continuance for discovery purposes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Judge Slams Jesuits for 'Sham' Efforts to Control Pedophile Priest Donald McGuire

ILLINOIS/CALIFORNIA
SF Weekly

By Peter Jamison Thu., Jun. 23 2011

​An Illinois judge sharply criticized the Jesuit order in a ruling issued yesterday for not taking adequate steps to rein in defrocked priest and twice-convicted child molester Donald McGuire, asserting that McGuire was preying on teenage boys "right under the noses" of his superiors and that rules established to protect minors from him were "a sham."

The ruling allows punitive damages to be levied against the Jesuits if they lose a lawsuit over McGuire's four-decade career as a predator priest that is now pending in Cook County Circuit Court. The lawsuit names as a defendant the Chicago Province of the Jesuits, where McGuire was technically based. McGuire -- an eminent Jesuit who served as spiritual adviser to Mother Teresa -- taught at the University of San Francisco in the 1970s and 1980s, and ministered to Bay Area families extensively throughout the 1990s.

"The court accepts that the Jesuits are a religious order with a rich history of service to the faithful," Judge Jeffrey Lawrence wrote. "However, the leaders of the Chicago Province fell far short of this ideal. Plaintiffs have amply demonstrated a reasonable likelihood of proving facts at trial which would support an award of punitive damages."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Adulterous priest wants to settle out of court

UGANDA
New Vision

Thursday, 23rd June, 2011

By Milton Olupot

FATHER J.B Kalanzi Ssepuya, the priest accused of grabbing another man’s wife, wants the matter settled out of court.

Ssepuya, through his lawyers Muganwa, Nanteza and Co. Advocates, yesterday asked the family division of the High Court in Kampala for one week as he tries to reach a compromise with the complainant, Okumu Masiga, a Kampala Catholic faithful.

Masiga is accusing Fr. Ssepuya of committing adultery and fathering a child with his wife, Margaret Mbakire Kyakuwa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Missouri lawsuit accuses abbey of covering up sexual abuse by monk

MISSOURI
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MARYVILLE, Mo. — A Missouri man has filed suit against a Roman Catholic abbey, alleging officials covered up sexual abuse by a monk in the late 1980s.

The lawsuit claims the plaintiff was molested by the monk in 1987 during a summer camp at Conception Abbey, where the monk directed the boys' choir.

The Kansas City Star reports that the lawsuit alleges officials of the northwest Missouri abbey knew that Bede (beed) Parry had previously abused other students but kept it quiet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

TKC EXCLUSIVE & BREAKING NEWS!!! CHECK OUT THIS SCATHING LETTER FROM SNAP TO BISHOP FINN ...

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Tony's Kansas City

A letter hand delivered today to Bishop Finn's PR woman Rebecca Summers @ 1:50 p.m

June 23, 2011

Dear Bishop Finn:

We’re reminded of a passage from the gospel of Luke: "What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?"

We have repeatedly asked you to take tangible steps that protect vulnerable kids. You essentially ignore our pleas and instead keep offering more vague apologies, making more vague promises, switching others’ job titles and hiring more expensive lawyers.

We haven’t and won’t ever ask for these gestures. These gestures won’t make a difference. They may be great public relations moves. They neither safeguard a single vulnerable child nor help a single wounded victim.

What does make a difference? Among other things, real outreach. Any victim or therapist or cop can tell you that sometimes, when gently prodded by an authority figure, those who have been victimized are more apt to come forward, get help, call police and expose predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Former local priest cited for his work

MISSOURI
News Tribune

A long-time Jefferson City diocese Catholic priest is being honored for what is being described as his “courageous and compassionate work” on behalf of clergy sex abuse victims.

The St. Louis chapter of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF.org) gave an award Tuesday to Fr. Joseph Starmann.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

When does a pastor tainted by scandal deserve forgiveness?

UNITED STATES
CNN

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) – “Who am I to judge?” “That’s between him and God.” “God has already forgiven him.”

When a church is hit by a pastor’s scandal, parishioners face a choice: Remain at the house or worship or move on. Those that stay often cite the reasons above - God has already forgiven the pastor so why shouldn’t I?

That’s the kind of thinking that annoyed a Missouri seminary professor so much that he wrote a blistering open letter in the online magazine Religion Dispatches last week attacking its rationale. Lerone A. Marti, an assistant professor of American religious history at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, wrote that church folks who stick by unrepentant pastors have a lot to learn about forgiveness and accountability.

What set Martin off was the latest entry in the Bishop Eddie Long saga. Long, senior pastor of an Atlanta megachurch, was sued last year by four young men who claimed he pressured them into sexual relationships.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Lawsuit against Missouri monastery involves Las Vegas Episcopal priest

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Review-Journal

By Jeff German
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted: Jun. 23, 2011

A Las Vegas Episcopal priest is at the center of a lawsuit alleging a Missouri monastery covered up sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1970s.

The lawsuit alleges the Roman Catholic monastery, Conception Abbey, kept quiet a 1987 sexual assault by Bede Parry, then a Catholic priest who directed the boy's choir.

Parry, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, is now a priest and music director at All Saints Episcopal Church, 4201 W. Washington Ave., the lawsuit says.

Parry and church officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Conception, Missouri Abbey faces lawsuit

MISSOURI
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[the lawsuit]

Missouri man says priest sexually abused him as child

Prominent clergy abuse attorney says the Abbey blatantly exposed child to known serial pedophile

(Nodaway County, MO) A prominent clergy abuse attorney filed a lawsuit today in the Circuit Court of Nodaway County claiming that, in 1987, the Conception Abbey in Conception, Missouri, exposed a minor child to a priest who they knew had previously had sexual contact with minors, which resulted in the sexual abuse of the child. The child, now an adult and the plaintiff in the lawsuit, is identified in the complaint as John Doe 181 and lives in Missouri.

Jeff Anderson, an attorney based in St. Paul, Minnesota, and widely known for his pioneering work in using civil litigation to seek justice and accountability for clergy abuse of children, said “the facts of the case are appalling, but sadly mirror case after case of Catholic officials covering up and protecting pedophile priests rather than protecting innocent children they profess to be serving.”

Anderson said between 1973 and 1979, the Priest, Father Bede Parry, while he was a monk at the Abbey, but before being ordained a priest, reported to Abbot Jerome Hanus that he had been involved in three inappropriate sexual relationships.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Lawsuit alleges abuse of boys by monk at Conception Abbey

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

A Missouri man filed a lawsuit today against Conception Abbey in northwest Missouri, alleging a coverup of sexual abuse by a former monk who directed its boys’ choir in the late-1980s.

The lawsuit, filed in Nodaway County Circuit Court, claims that Bede Parry, then a Benedictine monk, molested the plaintiff in 1987 during a summer camp at the abbey. At the time, Parry led the Abbey Boy Choir of Conception Abbey.

The plaintiff, who filed the suit under the name John Doe 181, alleges that the abbey knew that Parry had sexually abused other students prior to abusing him but kept it quiet.

“This is a grave institutional failure,” said Jeff Anderson, a Minnesota attorney who represents the plaintiff. “Bede Parry wasn’t able to control himself, but it was the abbot and the top officials who knew that and made the choice to protect themselves at the peril of many kids and young adults."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Rev. Powers to oversee KC diocese sex-abuse cases

MISSOURI
Missourinet

by Jessica Machetta on June 23, 2011

The Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic diocese has created a new position to deal with sex-abuse allegations against priests. In the process, the diocese is replacing the priest who has been in charge of that issue.

The new position of vicar for clergy will be filled by The Reverend Joseph Powers. He replaces Monsignor Robert Murphy, who had been the vicar general but who has been criticized for his handling of the case of a priest charged with having child pornography.

Murphy remains a pastor of a church in Pleasant Hill and will retain other administrative duties with the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Finding faith when public figures fall

UNITED STATES
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Fr. Chris Martin | Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011

There seems to be a lot of chatter in the Catholic community in the past few days about the end of Fr. John Corapi’s public ministry as a priest. Corapi, a priest of 20 years whose personal conversion story along with his charismatic yet no-nonsense approach to evangelization vaulted him into the limelight, had built quite a following around the nation through radio, television and public speaking engagements.

I must admit that I never paid much attention to Fr. Corapi. It isn’t that I have any personal bias against him or anything he said, I honestly just never had much interest. I know that sounds rather callous, but when I spend 15 hours a day praying, counseling, teaching and sharing the faith with people, I don’t spend my down-time listening to other priests homilies (with the exception of the Pope of course).

But I think that regardless of “right and wrong”, “guilty or innocent” concerning the current situation, there are a few greater spiritual goods that may be going on. Let’s presume, as even civil law would state, that Fr. Corapi is 100% innocent of having an indecent relationship with a woman and that his removal from public ministry is an injustice. Does this mean that God cannot draw good from this situation? Absolutely not!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Padova. Ex prete accusato di pedofilia...

ITALIA
Laici Libertari Anticlericali

PADOVA (30 luglio) - Il Comune di Cittadella (Padova) ha negato la residenza a un ex sacerdote accusato negli anni Ottanta di pedofilia quando operava nella diocesi di New Orleans.

Il no è stato formalizzato dal sindaco Massimo Bitonci, parlamentare leghista, a Dino Cinel 68 anni di Rossano Veneto che dopo anni oltreoceano vuole tornare in Italia. Bitonci ha definito l'ex prete «persona non gradita» raccogliendo un coro di approvazione comprendente anche quella del collega di Rossano Veneto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Catholic Bishop in Iceland Takes Accusations Seriously

ICELAND
Iceland Review

Pétur Bürcher, the bishop of the Catholic Church in Iceland, has sent an open letter to Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson in response to recent media coverage on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, which has been investigated by the police and has now been sent to the prosecution.

“The bishop takes the accusations of sexual offenses within the Catholic Church very seriously. The church would like to support those individuals involved with all possible means and the service which the church offers is open to them,” the letter states, as reported on visir.is.

Jónasson also recently called the Catholic bishop to a meeting, along with the Ministry of the Interior’s undersecretary, the minister’s assistant and representatives from the Government Agency for Child Protection and the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Superior Court Hears Case Over Alleged Abuse By Priest

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA

[with video]

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A higher court is listening today to a family’s argument that the Catholic Church failed to continue to pay for their loved one’s counseling after alleged abuse by a priest.

They stood at the front of the City County Building downtown with signs asking for justice.

“Michael Unglo, he is my brother, whenever he was a younger boy at All Saints Church in Etna, he was molested for four years by a priest by the name of Richard J. Dorsch,” said Frances Samber, the victim’s sister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Continued Rumblings in Kansas City Diocese: New Allegations Issued v. Diocese in Current Lawsuit

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

The situation in the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese continues to rumble along. Yesterday, Joshua McElwee reported at National Catholic Reporter that Bishop Finn has now directed the diocese's office of worship to "remove its participation in" the upcoming Latin Mass to effect diocesan unity, about which I blogged yesterday. What's that about, I wonder?

As I noted in yesterday's posting, McElwee's article about the Latin Mass to be held next week notes that "[a]nnouncement of the Mass came via an e-mail letter from the diocesan worship office yesterday [i.e., 20 June]." McElwee transcribes the diocese's e-mail announcing the Mass.

Difficult to imagine that, if the diocesan worship office sent out the announcement about the impending Latin Mass for diocesan unity, Bishop Finn has not been in the mix planning it, isn't it? If he hasn't been, then it appears he's not a very effective hands-on administrator of his diocese, doesn't it--something his apologies for what happened with Father Shawn Ratigan have sought to imply already.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

Inside the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Sex-Abuse Scandal

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Magazine

Robert Huber

It was a little less than a month ago, on a warm weekday evening, that Joe spoke to fellow parishioners at his church—St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Manayunk. The leader of Joe’s men’s group and a victims advocate for the archdiocese set up the meeting. Perhaps 30 people came. Joe discovered something, after he spoke, that shocked him. It was that other people saw him as a hero.

About 45 years ago, when Joe was a ninth grader at Roman Catholic High School, Father Schmeer, a guidance counselor, would call boys down to his office from English class. One day it was Joe’s turn. He knew what it was about, because other boys had been there. Or he didn’t know exactly what it was about, but he was now going to find out. When Joe got to Father Schmeer’s office, the priest told Father Durante, in the next office, to watch his door. Father Schmeer brought Joe into his office and stood behind him. He reached into Joe’s pants and tried to masturbate him. That was the first time. A month later, Joe was called down to Father Schmeer’s office once again. Father Durante watched the door. This time, Father Schmeer pressed against Joe from behind. His fingers dug into Joe’s shoulders. He pulled down Joe’s pants, and underwear, and raped Joe.

Father Schmeer told Joe not to tell anyone. Joe did not, for four decades. We know all about the local Church’s cover-up now. It has come out in story after story, in two grand jury reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

Juan Carlos Cruz sobre Karadima: “No me faltan ganas de pegarle”

CHILE
El Mostrador

Uno de los denunciantes del sacerdote Fernando Karadima admitió que si bien “no le faltan ganas de golpear” al sacerdote, no lo hará, por cuanto no siente odio hacia él.

Se trata de Juan Carlos Cruz, quien se refiririó en Radio Cooperativa al careo que lo pondrá frente a frente al religioso señalando que “voy a estar con la frente en alto y dispuesto a decirle todo lo que tengo que decirle (…) No siento odio, sí siento rabia, que he tenido acumulada por montón de tiempo”.

“Soy una persona bien controlada, nunca me he enfrentado a esta situación, no le voy a pegar si eso es lo que me quieres decir, ganas no me faltarían pero no le voy a pegar, me voy a controlar”, agregó el periodista.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Caso don Seppia, corsi di esercizi spirituali per i sacerdoti

ITALIA
Il Secolo XIX

Genova - Dopo il caso di don Riccardo Seppia, il parroco di Sestri Ponente arrestato a maggio con l’accusa di abusi sessuali su minori, induzione alla prostituzione e cessione di stupefacenti , la Chiesa corre ai ripari. L’arcivescovo di Genova e presidente della Cei, Angelo Bagnasco, ha annunciato incontri di formazione e corsi di esercizi spirituali per i sacerdoti per evitare che si possano verificare altri scandali nella chiesa genovese. Tali indicazioni sono state comunicate dallo stesso arcivescovo ai suoi più stretti collaboratori, in occasione della riunione del Consiglio presbiterale e dei Vicari foranei.

Secondo il resoconto della riunione, pubblicato oggi sul settimanale cattolico di Genova “Il Cittadino”, il cardinale ha anzitutto invitato a leggere i fatti secondo verità, ricordando nel contempo di prestare attenzione, ancor prima che alla persecuzione esterna, a quella interna, ai peccati di ciascuno.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Il cardinale e i demoni di don Seppia

ITALIA
La Repubblica

di GIUSEPPE FILETTO

È il presidente dei vescovi italiani. È l'arcivescovo di Genova, ma il cardinale Angelo Bagnasco è anche un uomo. Un uomo ferito dalla squallida e dolorosa vicenda di don Riccardo Seppia, il parroco della chiesa di Spirito Santo di Sestri Ponente, in carcere dal 15 maggio scorso perché accusato di pedofilia, di cessione di droga e di induzione alla prostituzione. "È una vicenda incredibile, non si crede a quanto si legge nei verbali, nessuno di noi poteva immaginare così tanto. Pensi che due anni fa, quando sono andato in visita pastorale in via Ludovico Calda, mi ha fatto trovare la chiesa piena di bambini e di bambine, di tanta gente. Nessuno di noi avrebbe potuto pensare... Tanto che una donna della parrocchia, dopo che è scoppiato lo scandalo, un giorno ha detto ai giornalisti: "Ma cosa volete capire voi di questa storia? Noi non l'abbiamo capito in 17 anni"".

Il Cardinale, ieri, a margine della processione del Corpus Domini effettuata tra i viali dell'ospedale Gaslini, parla con il cronista. Sulla vicenda di don Seppia esce allo scoperto per la prima volta. Davanti a testimoni. Ne ha voglia. Si capisce: i suoi occhi diventano lucidi ad ogni passaggio che ha offeso la Chiesa da lui guidata. Il presidente della Cei che finora in merito ha rifiutato le interviste, sceglie Repubblica. L'Arcivescovo è un alto prelato che sa comunicare, quando vuole e come vuole. Sa che questo colloquio sarà pubblicato: "Forse è un po' prematuro - è però il suo timore - ma spero che non siano strumentalizzati e che non escano fuori e siano messi in evidenza soltanto gli aspetti più polemici. Mi posso fidare?".

Al quinto piano del padiglione 17 delle Chirurgie, sul terrazzo dell'alloggio dei frati Cappuccini che guarda il mare liscio come l'olio e il cielo terso uscito da un acquerello, il Cardinale parla per 40 minuti. Più da uomo sanguigno, fatto di carne, che da freddo porporato. Parla da uomo di fede, ma provato. Tradito.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Monsignor removed after harassment allegations

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
CT Post

Daniel Tepfer, Staff Writer

BRIDGEPORT -- The longtime pastor of a New Fairfield church was recently removed following allegations that he sexually harassed a female church employee, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport confirmed Wednesday.

Monsignor Martin Ryan, who has been at St. Edward the Confessor Church since 1992, left his post on May 5. Parishioners told the Connecticut Post that Ryan disappeared without explanation from officials.

At the time, diocese officials told the Post that Ryan had been granted a leave of absence to address personal issues. On Wednesday, diocesan officials said Ryan had been removed after harassment allegations from a female church employee. Ryan could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Protest held at Diocese Of Venice

VENICE (FL)
KSN

VENICE - A protest was held in front of the Catholic Diocese of Venice on Tuesday.

Protestors say they are with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP.

They say they came in response to the recent arrest of Port Charlotte Priest Bernard Chojnacki, for exposing himself and propositioning an undercover detective on a Sarasota beach.

A second Venice-area priest, William Wert is accused of committing several sex offenses on a teenage boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Slachtoffers Eikenburg in gesprek met Broeders van Liefde

NEDERLAND
Omroep Brabant

EINDHOVEN - Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik op internaat Eikenburg gaan praten met de Broeders van Liefde. Zij willen erkenning van het misbruik en de mishandeling en ze willen individuele hulp.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Police investigate abuse allegations at Jewish school

AUSTRALIA
The Australian Jewish News

VICTORIA Police are investigating allegations of child sex abuse at Melbourne’s Yeshivah College.

The Moorabbin sexual offences division has contacted former students of the Orthodox boys’ school about incidences of abuse, which allegedly took place between 1989 and 1993.

The allegations are linked to David Kramer, who was described by former Yeshivah students and parents as a charismatic and much-loved member of staff in the early 1990s. He taught Jewish studies to boys from Year 5 to Year 8.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

El Vaticano ratificó condena contra Fernando Karadima

CHILE
La Discusion

El Vaticano ratificó la condena contra el sacerdote Fernando Karadima luego que su defensa canónica apelara a la sentencia que lo declaró culpable de los delitos de abuso sexual contra menores.

El arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, fue el encargado de dar a conocer la sentencia definitiva del Vaticano contra el ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima.

Con ello fue ratificada también la sentencia que obliga a Karadima a “retirarse a una vida de oración y penitencia, en un lugar que determinará el arzobispo” y la prohibición de tener contacto con los fieles de El Bosque y con los miembros de la Unión Sacerdotal del Sagrado Corazón, afirmó radio Cooperativa.

Ezzati además detalló que “al inculpado se le podrán infligir penas más graves, no excluida la dimisión del estado clerical” si Karadima no cumple con las medidas restrictivas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Bishop Finn appoints new Vicar for Clergy

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KCTV

By Laura McCallister, Multimedia Producer

KANSAS CITY (KCTV) -

The Kansas City Catholic Diocese has appointed a new man to help with recent allegations against priests.

Bishop Robert Finn has appointed Father Joseph Powers, pastor of Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, as the new Vicar for Clergy.

Powers will help Finn handle misconduct allegations against both Father Michael Tierney and Father Shawn Ratigan. Powers will also serve on the Diocesan Independent Review Board. He will continue as pastor of Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.

Finn says Powers' appointment will strengthen the church's administrative oversight of the criminal investigations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

KC diocese replaces vicar in charge investigation of sex-abuse allegations against priests

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is making changes in its oversight of sexual abuse allegations against its priests.

The diocese announced Wednesday that it is removing its vicar general, Monsignor Robert Murphy, from overseeing the sex-abuse cases. The Rev. Joseph Powers will take on the responsibility as vicar for clergy, a new position.

Murphy had been criticized for his handling of a case in which a priest is accused of possessing child pornography.

The diocese said in a statement that Powers will assist the bishop with any allegations of clerical misconduct and be a member of a diocese board that assesses sexual-abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Bridgeport diocese removes New Fairfield pastor for sexual harassment allegations

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Officials at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport say the pastor of a New Fairfield church has been removed from the post because of allegations he sexually harassed a former female church employee.

Diocesan officials told the Connecticut Post on Wednesday that Monsignor Martin Ryan was recently removed as pastor of St. Edward the Confessor Church because of the allegations. When Ryan left the post last month without explanation, diocesan officials at the time told the Post that Ryan was granted a leave of absence to deal with personal issues.

Ryan couldn't be reached Thursday. A phone listing for him was not in service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Scandal: The forgotten sin

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

By Andrew Haines

Recent events having transpired—e.g., Fr. John Corapi’s “bombshell” plan to leave the priesthood, Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Twitter dalliances, etc.—force a discussion of that forgotten sin that seems to lurk forever in the background of our popular culture: scandal.

To most of us, scandal ranks somewhere far down the totem pole from murder and fornication, even below cheating, although perhaps a little above scrupulosity. In short, it’s mostly viewed as playing second fiddle to the real culprits—sexual deviancy, abuse of power, and so forth.

But what is scandal, really? The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines scandal as an “attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil.” In its essence, so to speak, scandal doesn’t necessarily entail any further species or type of sin. It can be coupled together with another sin (e.g., sexual abuse of a minor by a member of the clergy or someone in political authority); but this isn’t always the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Aftermath of sexual abuse in the church

CANADA
Public Opinion Online

Posted: 06/23/2011

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- An updated booklet on sexual abuse in the church is available to congregations, free of charge, from Mennonite Central Committee offices or by downloading it from MCC's website.

The booklet, "Understanding sexual abuse by a church leader or caregiver," is a response to difficulties faced by survivors and churches following sexual abuse by a church leader, said Linda Gehman Peachey, director of women's advocacy for MCC U.S.

The booklet, first published in 2003, begins with the biblical text as its foundation and defines sexual abuse by a church leader or caregiver. It includes a composite story of actual experiences, gives tools to help individuals and groups understand some of the dynamics of sexual abuse and provides a list of suggested resources.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Former Arcata pastor pleads guilty to sexual abuse of a minor; Sentencing hearing set for July

CALIFORNIA
The Times-Standard

Donna Tam/The Times-Standard
Posted: 06/23/2011

A former Arcata pastor charged with allegations of sexual abuse against two minors -- one of whom lived in his home -- has pleaded guilty to several charges, the Humboldt County District Attorney's office reported Wednesday.

Dino Cardelli, 50, pleaded guilty Monday to continuous sexual abuse of a minor, child molestation, attempting to dissuade a witness, and 25 counts of violating a court order to not contact the witness.

He faces up to 18 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender for life.

Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel said the law requires Cardelli to go through what is commonly referred to as a “psycho-sexual” evaluation for the court's consideration prior to sentencing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Lay employee pension accord clears way for bankruptcy case

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

Written by
BETH MILLER

When the lawyers reached an impasse, four Catholic women booked a series of meetings with Bishop W. Francis Malooly and negotiated an agreement that appears to clear away the last significant obstacle in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington's bankruptcy case, pumping millions into the pension plan of about 2,000 lay employees.

Under the agreement, announced Wednesday by the Committee of Lay Employees, the diocese will aggressively address deficits in its pension plan, adding $10 million to the $10 million Lay Employee Pension Trust by the end of this year. At least $10 million more would be added in 2016-17, with at least another $2 million added each year until full funding is reached in 2060. It was not clear where all the money would come from, but a capital campaign is expected to provide much of it. Also included is an agreement that the plan will be frozen at the end of 2011, with no additional benefits added.

The deal resolves the last apparent sticking point in the diocese's 2-year-old bankruptcy case. Its creditors, including about 150 survivors of clergy sexual abuse, must vote on the amended restructuring plan by June 30. A July 8 hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi will address any other issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Church order apologises to victims of child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Leicestershire

The head of a Catholic order accused of abusing children in its care has apologised publicly for the first time.

Former pupils of the independent Grace Dieu prep school, near Thringstone, said they were subjected to physical, sexual and emotional abuse by priests from the Rosminian Order in the 1940s and 50s.

Eleven former students are taking legal action.

Eleven men who said they were similarly abused at St Michael's prep school in Soni, Tanzania – also run by the Rosminian Order – are also claiming compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Sexual scandals rocking the Church

UGANDA
New Vision

Wednesday, 22nd June, 2011

By Joseph Kizza

Sexual scandals rocking the Church

The Catholic doctrine demands that priests lead celibate lives during their time of priesthood.

Celibacy refers to a state of being unmarried or abstaining from sexual intercourse.

However, Fr. John Ssepuya, a Catholic priest in Uganda, is said to have fathered a child with the wife of a one Martin Okumu.

Media exposure of Fr. Ssepuya’s act had created substantial attention within religious circles, from the public and also within the judicial domain. Today, the implicated priest is expected to face the family division of the High Court for disciplinary action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

No, I didn't blame Woodstock for the Catholic priest sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Salon

By Karen J. Terry

This originally appeared at The Crime Report

Sound bites should not be confused with facts.

By the time we officially released our report (which can be found here) on "The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010" on May 18, 2011, the media had already seized on incomplete leaks of the report to give it a spin that had only a tangential relationship to what we wrote.

It’s time to put the record straight -- and to chart a way forward so that the pattern of abuses we studied is never repeated.

To do that, it’s important to understand the background of the report and what it was intended to accomplish. Our mandate was to understand what led to the problem of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests from 1950 to the present day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

June 22, 2011

Family Of Alleged Priest Abuse Victim Rallies Against Lawsuit Dismissal

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WTAE

[with video]

PITTSBURGH -- The family of a man who said he was sexually abused by a priest and committed suicide shortly after the diocese stopped paying for his mental health treatments rallied downtown Wednesday in protest of a Common Pleas Court judge's decision to dismiss their lawsuit.

Michael Unglo, 39, committed suicide in May 2010, just a few months after the diocese stopped paying for his mental health treatments following two other attempts to take his own life.

His mother and sisters were among those carrying signs outside the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh on Wednesday protesting a judge's decision to dismiss their lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

"My brother lost his life over this. A life is a life. We are here to make sure no one has to go through what we are going through," said Anna Unglo Dzikowski.

"When leaders of a Catholic institution make severe, horrible decisions, there should be consequences to their actions," said Unglo's sister, Frances Samber.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 PM

Forensic accountant to review archdiocese finances

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

A forensic accountant will be hired to review the finances of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as part of its bankruptcy, and survivors of clergy sex abuse will have more time to file their claims, under an agreement reached Wednesday before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley.

The agreement, hammered out in marathon negotiating sessions that began Friday, gives the creditors committee the go-ahead to hire California-based Berkeley Research Group as a financial adviser. Among its duties will be to scrutinize church to determine whether the church made fraudulent transfers as a way to shield assets from victims of clergy sex abuse, as at least one victims' attorney has suggested.

The archdiocese had objected saying it was an unnecessary expense. But church attorneys dropped their opposition Wednesday after the creditors committee agreed to strictly control costs and submit expenses to the court for review.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 PM

‘The World [REDACTED]‘

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

[with video]

June 22, 2011
Posted by Grant Gallicho

The June 16 episode of The World Over starring Raymond Arroyo featured an interview with Robert Bennett, one of the original members of the USCCB National Review Board (2002-04). The two discussed the bishops’ revisions to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The whole interview is worth watching (it begins at minute 8:45).

The Charter was not — pace Catholic News Service — extensively revised. Instead, the USCCB simply changed the document to conform to recent Vatican instructions, so that the possession of child pornography and the sexual abuse of adults with mental disabilities are now considered no different from abusing a minor. The revised Charter also obliges bishops to report allegations against bishops to the papal nuncio as well as to civil authorities. Not meaningless revisions, but hardly responsive to news out of Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Gallup, New Mexico — where it was revealed that the bishop has never met with his review board. (I offered some suggestions for the bishops and the National Review Board here.)

Bennett is right to point out that, while “zero tolerance” is a blunt instrument, it was adopted because the bishops “lost credibility on this issue.” He cites Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, who has never complied with the Charter, and continues to refuse audits of abuse allegations in his diocese. Bennett calls that “arrogant” and “outrageous.” Also outrageous is the failure of bishops to fraternally correct Bruskewitz in a public venue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Bishop Finn Expands Diocesan Administration

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Father Joseph Powers Appointed Vicar for Clergy

Bishop Robert Finn, leader of the more than 133,000 Catholics of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph, has appointed Father Joseph Powers, pastor of Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, in St. Joseph, Missouri, as Vicar for Clergy.

As Vicar for Clergy, Father Powers will serve as a liaison for diocesan priests and oversee assignments as well as pastoral effectiveness. Father Powers also will assist the bishop with any allegations of clerical misconduct and will serve as an ex officio member of the Diocesan Independent Review Board. He will continue as pastor of Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.

“Diocesan Vicar General Msgr. Robert Murphy will continue to have responsibility for general diocesan administration, directly supervising Chancery employees and serving on a number of diocesan boards and committees,” Bishop Finn said.

Msgr. Murphy also will continue to serve as pastor of St. Bridget Parish, in Pleasant Hill, Missouri

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Abuse Victims Call Diocese Shake-Up PR Move

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Fox 4

[with video]

Rob Low, FOX 4 News
Meagan Kelleher, Web Producer

KANSAS CITY—
The number two man in the Kansas City-Saint Joseph Diocese has been pushed to the side, though Catholic leadership refuses to call it a demotion. But now Monsignor Robert Murphy will no longer sit on the independent review board that examines allegations of sex abuse by clergy.

The news came within minutes of a press conference demanding arbitration with the local diocese. The press conference was held by the leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, and Voices of the Faithful. Both groups have been highly critical in the wake of the Father Shawn Ratigan and Father Michael Tierney cases.

Ratigan is charged with possessing child porn and Bishop Robert Finn has apologized for not turning Ratigan over to police sooner, despite some major red flags. Tierney was allowed to minister to kids nine months after he was named in two different sex abuse lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

Vaticano rechaza apelación de Fernando Karadima y mantiene la condena en su contra

CHILE
La Tercera

El arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, informó esta tarde que el Vaticano rechazó la apelación de Fernando Karadima, ante el fallo ya dictaminado el pasado 18 de febrero, el que lo consideró culpable de abuso de menores y de abuso de autoridad.

Ezzati indicó que se confirma la vida de oración que debe llevar el ex párroco de El Bosque, además del nulo contacto Pía Unión.

Por otro lado, en la resolución se retira de la lista de víctimas menores de edad a Luis Lira Campino.

"Esta resolución permitirá trabajar con mayor firmeza y perseverancia para crear ambientes sanos para los niños y jóvenes", dijo Ezzati.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

KC diocese faces first legal action in sex abuse cases

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Jun. 22, 2011
By Joshua J. McElwee

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Writing that recent sex abuse scandals have “raised grave doubts” about the management of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, a law firm representing abuse victims here alleged today the diocese broke binding legal commitments by not reporting cases of allegations of sexual misconduct by clergy to authorities.

The move, the first legal action against the diocese since three cases of allegations of sexual misconduct have come to light in recent weeks, means the diocese could be subject to third-party revision of its reporting procedures and to financial penalties.

The diocese denies it failed to uphold the legal commitments.

The action came hours before the diocese announced that diocesan vicar general Msgr. Robert Murphy, who himself has been accused of sexual misconduct, will no longer oversee sexual abuse allegations against priests.

Fr. Joseph Powers, rector of the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in St. Joseph, Mo., has been named the Vicar for Clergy, a new position, and “will assist the bishop with any allegations of clerical misconduct,” the diocese said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Bishop Robert Finn directed the diocesan worship office today to remove its participation in a special Latin-language "Solemn High Mass" being celebrated June 26, said a knowledgeable source in the chancery office. Organizers say the Mass is to “promote unity” among the faithful amidst the "discord and disunity during this present darkness."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Catholic 'Farmville'-style Facebook Game Unveiled

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by Tim Drake Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SGR Games, LLC has created “Vatican Wars” (formerly “Priestville”), a new online Facebook game. Think of it as “Mafia Wars” meets the Church.

The game divides players into either Templars (socially conservative) or Crusaders (socially liberal), and then allows them to “serve as Catholic priests,” take positions on social issues, and elect a Pope.

According to a press release by SGR Games, the test run of the game, involving 30,000 players, had some shocking results.

First, the game’s creators were horrified by the lengths some players were willing to go to become Pope. ...

“The most frequent question we would get asked about the game by non-Catholics was, ‘Do you get to touch little boys?’” said Ehrlich. “Since we didn’t want to make the game about sexual abuse, we decided to use the tendency to instantly dismiss Catholicism around social issues as a way to bring non-Catholics into the game.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Vatican pledges to provide UN with report on its treatment of children, but 14 years late

SWITZERLAND
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

By Daily Mail Reporter

A report into the Vatican's treatment of children will be presented to the United Nations this autumn - 14 years later than originally planned.

The Holy See was supposed to submit a progress report on the Rights of the Child in 1997, but never did so nor explained why.

Its Geneva envoy Archbishop Silvano Tomasi has now said the report will be published in September or October.

But it is unclear whether it will explain the Vatican's role in the cover-up of child abuse committed by Catholic clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Vatican pledges to submit UN report, 14 years late

SWITZERLAND
The Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — The Vatican will submit a long-overdue report on its treatment of children to the United Nations this fall, the Holy See's envoy in Geneva said Monday.

The Holy See was originally due to submit a progress report to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child in 1997, but failed to do to year after year without explanation.

"From what I'm able to say it's that (in) September or October it will be presented," said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi.

The Vatican diplomat said last year that the report's release was imminent. But he told reporters in Geneva on Monday that "imminent, in the tradition of the Church, it's a very long time."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Vatican to file child report 14 years late; SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Peter Isely of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, national board member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (1-414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com)

Here is another in a long series of promises by top church officials to finally begin to take their obligations more seriously when it comes to children’s safety.

We hope that leaders at the United Nations will somehow penalize the Vatican for this inexcusable violation of its pledges.

This is yet another clear sign that top Catholic officials disregard both the law and their own promises.

Catholics and citizens should think hard about what this kind of blatant violation says about Vatican staffers. Other secular officials, especially those in justice systems, should take note of how little the word of Catholic officials sometimes means.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Whistleblower Catholic files lawsuit; SNAP responds

FLORIDA
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)

Our hearts go out to Mr. Wilson and his family. He is the latest in a long line of compassionate Catholic whistleblowers who has acted to protect kids but been punished by callous, self-serving church officials.

Let’s hope that every person who has any information or suspicions that could shed light on this disturbing situation will find the courage and strength to call police so that the full truth might become clear.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Jefferson City priest honored by VOTF & SNAP

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A long time Jefferson City diocese Catholic priest is being honored for his “courageous and compassionate work” on behalf of clergy sex abuse victims.

This morning, the St. Louis chapter of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF.org) gave an award to Fr. Joseph Starmann at a small ceremony in St. Louis County.

“Another organization, a support group called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests nominated Starmann for the honor,” said Peggy Fitzpatrick of VOTF.

“Father Joe is a brave and caring man, and a humble hero,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “He is among a handful of priests in this country who has both helped protect the vulnerable and console those already wounded, even against the wishes of his church supervisors. We admire and appreciate him tremendously.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Jesuits open to punitive damages in civil abuse case

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN

By Manya A. Brachear Tribune reporter

A Cook County judge ruled today that a plaintiff could seek punitive damages against the Chicago Jesuits in a civil lawsuit regarding alleged childhood sex abuse by convicted sex offender and former Jesuit priest Donald McGuire.

Judge Jeffrey Lawrence concluded that the plaintiff “demonstrated a reasonable likelihood of proving facts at trial which would support an award of punitive damages.”

“The Jesuits’ claim that they were ill-equipped to recognize and confront McGuire’s evil acts rings hollow in light of the fact that he owed them absolute obedience,” the judge wrote. “The guidelines they set for him were a sham.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Priest honored for standing up for sex assault victims

MISSOURI
Missourinet

by Jessica Machetta on June 22, 2011

An organization that has been highly critical of the Catholic Church for failing to deal with sexually abusive priests calls one priest a “brave and caring man and a humble hero” for helping abuse victims. The Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests had nominated Father Joseph Starman, who spent much of his career in Jefferson City, for the award from the St. Louis chapter of the Voice of the Faithful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Court Sets “Bar Date” in Milwaukee Archdiocese Bankruptcy

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Clergy Abuse Victims must make claims by February 2012

Court also allows retention of forensic accountants to assess Archdiocese financials

(Milwaukee, WI) In an agreement reached today by the Creditor Committee and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, creditors will have until February, 2012 to file claims against the Archdiocese.

Jeff Anderson, an attorney who represents dozens of victims of sexual abuse by clergy or other employees of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, reacted to the deadline saying that “victims of sexual abuse often suffer in silence and shame for many years, so seven months is not a long time. However, we will work with survivors to be sure they get the word that if they don’t come forward now they may not ever be able to file a claim.”

In setting the “Bar Date” deadline the court also required the Archdiocese to give written notice by U.S. mail to families of known victims. In addition, the Archdiocese will be required to provide notice through a broad list of publications in the ten counties that make up the Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Chicago Judge allows for punitive damages in serial pedophile case

CHICAGO (IL)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[court document]

(Chicago) In a ruling announced today Chicago Judge Jeffrey Lawrence said victims of serial pedophile Jesuit priest father Donald McGuire may seek punitive damages in their lawsuit against the priest and his Jesuit order.

Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul, Minnesota-based clergy abuse attorney, who along with Chicago attorney Marc Pearlman represents the Plaintiffs, said “the justification for punitive damages in the case was based on Jesuits officials having been aware of McGuire’s sexual predatory behavior over a 40 year period but still allowed him to have free reign with access to children and we are very pleased that the judge agreed.”

Anderson said documents show that as recently as 2008, and for more than 46 years, Jesuit officials on three continents had at least 28 reports of suspicious behavior by McGuire. This is so current and comparable to the recent revelations of the Philadelphia Grand Jury that we are reminded once again that little has changed. I am as scared as I am sad that, because of the choices made by top Jesuit officials so many children remained at grave risk,” Anderson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Diocese removes top official from overseeing sex abuse claims

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS The Kansas City Star

The vicar general for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will no longer oversee sexual abuse allegations against priests, the diocese announced today.

Msgr. Robert Murphy, who has recently come under fire for the way he handled the case of a priest charged last month with possessing child pornography, will be replaced in that role, according to the diocese.

The Rev. Joseph Powers has been named the Vicar for Clergy, a new position.

The announcement by the diocese came on the same day that plaintiffs who won a $10 million settlement in 2008 in a sexual abuse lawsuit against the diocese demanded that the case go to arbitration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

New lawsuits filed today

CALIFORNIA/IRELAND
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[the lawsuit]

Father McCabe sexual abuse victims re-file lawsuits to account for international movement of known pedophile priest

In 1983, a Dublin, Ireland, Archbishop wrote to Santa Rosa Bishop: “Rid me of this troublesome priest.”

Transferred to St. Bernards Parish in Eureka, California,

McCabe’s sexual rampage continued

(Sonoma County, CA) In an effort to hold Catholic Church officials accountable for their blatant international movement of priests known to be sexual predators, four former Humboldt County, California altar boys filed new lawsuits today naming the Archdiocese of Dublin, Ireland, and the Servants of the Paraclete, as defendants.

The four, who were sexually abused as children by the Rev. Patrick J. McCabe at St. Bernards Parish in Eureka, California, in the mid 1980’s, had previously filed claims against the predator priest, and the Santa Rosa Diocese, but withdrew the lawsuit when they became aware that a Catholic official in Dublin knew of previous sexual misconduct by McCabe but deliberately sent him to the United States in order to “Rid me of this troublesome priest.”

The new lawsuit, filed in Sonoma County, alleges that the Diocese of Santa Rosa, McCabe, the Servants of Paraclete, a Catholic religious community that operates treatment centers for priest who sexually abuse children and the Archdiocese of Dublin were purposeful and unashamed in their placement of a known pedophile at St. Bernards where parishioners were given no information about McCabe’s history of sexual misconduct and would be given complete and unsupervised access to children.

Joseph George, a Sacramento, California attorney, who along with St. Paul, Minnesota-based clergy abuse attorneys Jeff Anderson and Associates represent the Plaintiffs, said adding the Dublin Archdiocese and the Servants of the Paraclete as defendants “will heighten the importance of the case in the effort to expose the international conspiracy of U. S. Bishops and church officials in Europe and Rome to move, rather than remove, priests who were sexually abusing children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Clergy abuse survivors of the Milwaukee archdiocese have only seven months to file restitution claims

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Coordinator— 414.336.8575/

More and more victims of clergy sexual abuse covering some 50 years from the Milwaukee archdiocese will continue to come forward with today’s announcement by Judge Susan Kelley in federal bankruptcy court. But if they do not come forward within the next seven months, they will never again have legal recourse to obtain restitution for the crimes committed against them or the fraudulent cover up of those crimes. And, after that date, bishops and senior managers of the Milwaukee archdiocese will never again be legally required to answer for concealing and transferring child molesting clerics.

During this time, it is important that survivors and their families know that information and services will continue to be provided by self-help organizations like SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), that are confidential, safe and supportive. And other excellent local organizations with long and impressive histories of assisting abuse survivors, like the Healing Center, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the Sensitive Crimes Unit of the Milwaukee District Attorney’s office will also, no doubt, also be ready to help.

But, it is imperative that survivors and their families know, and the archdiocese make crystal clear in their public notifications, that after February 1st no further claims for assistance or financial restitution from being abused by a priest or religious can be made with the court. This means that if a survivor is unfortunate enough to come forward on February 2nd the archdiocese is under no obligation whatsoever to acknowledge the harm that was done, admit who covered up for the cleric, and provide proper restitution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Garden offers healing, reconciliation to all hurt by clergy sex abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic News Service

By Michelle Martin
Catholic News Service

CHICAGO (CNS) -- A garden is a place of growth and rebirth, and the Healing Garden of the Archdiocese of Chicago is intended to offer just that to survivors of clerical sexual abuse, their families and loved ones, and the wider church.

The garden, dedicated June 9 after an emotional prayer service at Holy Family Church, was the brainchild of Michael Hoffman, a survivor of sex abuse and chair of its planning committee.

It stands as a permanent testimony not only to the abuse that happened, but also to the efforts at reconciliation between abuse survivors and the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Diocese of Wilmington lay workers say deal struck on pension fund

DELAWARE
The News Journal

Written by
BETH MILLER

A four-woman committee of lay employees announced today that the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has agreed to significant increases to its lay employees’ pension fund, including a $20 million investment this year and almost $20 million more in the next five years.

The agreement, reached in meetings the Committee of Lay Employees held with Bishop W. Francis Malooly over the past month, removes the last significant obstacle as creditors vote on the diocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan. Those creditors, including about 150 survivors of clergy sexual abuse, have until June 30 to vote on the diocese plan. A July 8 hearing has been set to hear any remaining objections.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 protection in October 2009 after scores of survivors of clergy abuse filed suit under provisions of the 2009 Child Victims Act, which opened a two-year window for civil suits that would otherwise have been barred by the statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

New victims say former pastor sexually abused them at Bell Garden’s San Pedro Y Pablo Lutheran Church

CALIFORNIA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[Espanol]

[Complaint 1]

[Complaint 2]

(Los Angeles, CA) Three victims of child sexual abuse committed by Lutheran Pastor Frank Brundige filed lawsuits today detailing abuse committed by Brundige from 1990 until 2007 when he was arrested and convicted of molesting children. The lawsuits describe multiple complaints and warnings about Brundige abusing children that were ignored by Lutheran Church officials. The lawsuits also detail concerted efforts engaged in by Lutheran Church officials to silence victims and witnesses.

Frank Brundige was the Pastor from 1989 until 2007 of Iglesia Luterana San Pedro Y Pablo, an immigrant Hispanic Lutheran Church in Bell Gardens. Eight children, now young men, have filed civil lawsuits alleging Pastor Frank Brundige sexually molested them as children starting almost immediately after he arrived at the Bell Gardens church.

Anthony DeMarco, a Los Angeles-based attorney affiliated with Jeff Anderson & Associates who are attorneys for the plaintiffs, pointed out that church officials received complaints of Pastor Frank Brundige's abuse of a child as early as 1991, and said “at one point when the church officials were informed that Brundige abused the boy, a church supervisor convened a meeting and convinced the boy’s parents to accept Brundige’s apology and take no further action. In 1995, when a church board member actually witnessed Brundige fondle the genitals of a child, no report was made, no investigation followed, and no action was taken against the pastor. And, in 2007, when police were investigating claims of sexual abuse of children by Pastor Brundige, church officials visited the homes of boys who had been abused and asked that they recant the abuse in order to protect both Brundige and the church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Clerical disgrace symbolic of democracy in crisis

IRELAND
The Irish Times

EDMOND GRACE

OPINION: Decline in respect and trust in the Catholic Church has produced a dangerous vacuum

THE CLERICAL sex abuse crisis continues to be a source of grief. Many are angry at the injustice done and they view the church with revulsion. Others grieve from a sense of shame and they too experience a form of revulsion – better known as guilt.

Revulsion is an instinctive reaction to that which humiliates us. We are frozen into self-protective mode and we want to flee or, if that is not possible, to attack and destroy. This helps short-term survival but, in the long run, it leaves us fixated and unable to adapt.

Certain realities are clear. First, children were violated by Catholic priests and religious. Second, this abuse was covered up at leadership level within the church. Third, the damage done is a long way from being remedied. People are suspicious and no amount of apologies and new structures will rebuild damaged trust, without some unquestionably personal gesture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Priest returned medal after admitting abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
National Catholic Reporter

Jun. 22, 2011
By Simon Caldwell, Catholic News Service

LONDON -- A popular Catholic priest returned a prestigious award to Queen Elizabeth II after he admitted sexually abusing boys at a school in Africa more than 40 years ago.

Father Christopher "Kit" Cunningham sent back his Member of the British Empire medal to Buckingham Palace in July 2010.

He received the award from the queen during a ceremony at the palace in 1998, dressed in a top hat and tails, for his work with homeless people.

The priest, who died Dec. 12 at age 79, offered no explanation to the palace for returning the medal and asked only that there would be no publicity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Detroit weekend of lectures, emotions neglects sex abuse crisis

DETROIT (MI)
National Catholic Reporter

by Thomas P. Doyle on Jun. 22, 2011

COMMENTARY

Several thousand Catholics from around the U.S. and even a few foreign countries gathered in Detroit June 10-12 to ponder their assessment of the present and hopes for the future of the Catholic Church.

It was a weekend of much more than public lectures, breakout sessions, networking and over-active emotions. The larger of the groups, the American Catholic Council met at the Detroit Renaissance Center. On the other side of the ideological and theological chasm was the Call to Holiness Conference.

The weekend revealed some toxic aspects of today's version of the institutional Church. It also revealed some expected and also disturbing aspects of each group.

The first and not unexpected revelation was the response of the local archbishop, Allen Vigneron. He reacted to the American Catholic Council with negativity and threats that served as a thin cover for his fear, sparked by what he was certain was happening in the Renaissance Center. His response to the Call to Holiness was praise for its theme, “Call to Fidelity: The Power of Truth.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Robert Wild, Jesuit Implicated in Pedophilia Scandal, Raises $43 Million for Marquette

WISCONSIN/CALIFORNIA
SF Weekly

By Peter Jamison Wed., Jun. 22 2011

​Marquette University has managed to raise $43 million for its retiring president, Jesuit priest Robert Wild, despite Wild's involvement in his order's controversial handling of one of the most notorious child predators in the history of the Catholic clergy.

That predator is defrocked Jesuit Donald McGuire, a twice-convicted child molester who ministered extensively to families in the Bay Area. As SF Weekly reported in a cover story last month, McGuire's Jesuit superiors were notified many times over the priest's four-decade career of his inappropriate relationships with teenage boys, but did little or nothing to rein him in.

Wild was alerted in 1991 that McGuire had a suspicious relationship with a young boy by a church official in Napa County. Brother Ricardo Palacio reported to Wild that he had surprised McGuire in his bedroom, after hearing giggling from behind a closed door, and found him with a boy who had tousled hair and an untucked shirt. The boy, who was from Alaska, was traveling with McGuire as his personal assistant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Cabinet sets conditions for child abuse law

SWITZERLAND
swissinfo

Cabinet has proposed terms for the removal of the statute of limitations for sex crimes involving child victims. Parliament will have the final say.

The move is in response to a November 2008 vote when 52 per cent of voters accepted a people’s initiative to remove the prosecution time limit against paedophile criminals.

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said the government decided to increase the age limit for victims from 10 to 12 following recommendations by doctors’ organisations. The cabinet also defined the nature of the sexual crimes covered.

However, lifelong prosecution exception will not apply to people to possess or sell child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Turmoil in Kansas City, after Bishop Finn Hides Pedophile Priest: Finn's Response? Latin Mass

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

And so guess what song and dance Bishop Robert Finn and his supporters are cooking up now to juju the restless laity of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic diocese and divert attention from Bishop Finn's choice to shield a pedophile priest? Last weekend, it was a public procession with jangling rosaries, Latin chants, girls in long skirts and lacy mantillas, and Our Lady of Fatima sweeping majestically by on a platform.

And now, a week from today, it's to be a Latin Mass (and see Colleen Baker's incisive comments about this event at Enlightened Catholicism). Because, as the announcement of said Mass in an email from the diocesan worship office cited in Joshua McElwee's NCR article to which I've just linked says, there's "discord and disunity" during the "present darkness" amidst which influential voices in the diocese are calling for Finn's resignation, and something--something "borne [sic] of a common history or tradition"-- is needed to drown out the voices calling for accountability to promote unity.

And nothing says unity like Latin! And priests in yards of gaudy silk and scads and scads of lace. With their backs turned resolutely against the people whom they serve, and on whose behalf they lead liturgical worship. Priests mumbling a language unknown to those with whom they're praying. And long veils to deter the prying eyes of female members of the congregation from seeing or talking about anything other than what they're told to see and discuss.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Bishop giving up Portland mansion

PORTLAND (ME)
The Portland Press Herald

By Dennis Hoey
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Bishop Richard Malone will soon move from a 16-room mansion in one of Portland's most upscale neighborhoods to a three-bedroom home in a suburban subdivision.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced Tuesday that Malone's mansion on the Western Promenade will be put up for sale.

The bishop will move into a three-bedroom Colonial-style home at 21 Twin Ponds Drive in Falmouth. The house is part of a 14-lot subdivision off Falmouth Road. The diocese bought the home on June 14, according to records at the Cumberland County Registry of Deeds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

Failure to report?

WISCONSIN
Lake Geneva News

Robert Ireland & Chris Schultz

Elkhorn — A former Walworth minister may not be the only adult who will face charges of failing to report child abuse or neglect, according to Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss.

"There could be potential for other defendants depending on where this case goes," Koss said in a telephone interview on Monday.

Joseph R. Fultz, 47, of 103 Prairie Drive, Walworth, former pastor of Grace Evangelical Church, Walworth, is charged with five misdemeanor counts of failing to report child abuse or neglect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Derryn Hinch given home detention

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Broadcaster Derryn Hinch - who once spent time in jail for naming a priest on trial for child sex offences - has been given home detention for after he was found guilty of contempt of court for publicly naming sex offenders, reports the Australian.

The report said Mr Hinch would already be in jail if not for the cancer that has left his life dependent on a liver transplant.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg at the Melbourne Magistrates Court agreed that living at Port Phillip Prison, on Melbourne's western fringe, would rule Mr Hinch out of getting to hospital in time if a liver became available.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

2,000 meet to call for reform in Detroit

DETROIT (MI)
National Catholic Reporter

Jun. 21, 2011
By Jerry Filteau

DETROIT -- As the inaugural convention of the American Catholic Council was drawing to a close June 12, an estimated 2,000 reform-minded Catholics stood en masse to endorse a 10-point Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities that asserts primacy of conscience and the right of every Catholic to have a voice in the way the church is run, as well as an obligation to advance the proclamation of the Gospel to the world and the church’s social teaching.

The approval of the document followed two days in which speaker after speaker articulated the participants’ frustration at growing clericalism in the church and what they viewed as sustained efforts by church authorities to slow down or reverse many of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

They took issue with a wide range of teachings, policies and practices in the church -- from the bans on artificial birth control, women priests and married priests, to the church’s treatment of women.

Speakers criticized the way bishops have handled clerical sex abuse; the church’s treatment of gays; lack of consultation with the laity; mismanagement of church funds and property; closings of parishes and sales of the closed churches to pay off diocesan debts; and politicization of the Eucharist by some bishops who threaten to withhold Communion from insufficiently pro-life politicians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

Iceland’s Catholic bishop ‘taking accusations very seriously’

ICELAND
Ice News

The Catholic church in Iceland is the latest in a long line to become embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal.

“The bishop is taking the accusations made over sexual abuse within the church very seriously. The church absolutely wants to support those individuals affected and to provide all the services the church has to offer them.”

So says an open letter from Petur Burcher, the Catholic bishop to Icelenad, to Ogmundur Jonasson, the country’s Mininster for the Interior. The letter was written in response to a feature in the Frettatiminn newspaper about sexual abuse within the Icelandic Catholic church, as well as wider media coverage of a recent meeting at the interior ministry between the bishop, the ministry’s permanent secretary, the deputy interior minister, a child protection agency representative and a police representative.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 AM

Have the Rosminians learned nothing?

UNITED KINGDOM
America Magazine

Posted at: Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Author: Austen Ivereigh

A documentary shown last night on the BBC told a familiar story of clerical sex abuse. Four members of the Rosminian order regularly abused boys in their care at two schools -- one in the UK, the other in Africa -- in the 1950s. 'Abused - breaking the silence' was an extremely well-made, sensitive film, which explored the question of reparation: is forgiveness, especially when it is sought by the abuser, a substitute for justice?

The program brings us into the appalling, lonely, shameful world of the sexually abused child in the grip of a power that is as absolute as it is ruthless. The shock is heightened because those remembering the events are educated, intelligent, professional middle-class men, now in their fifties, who met up again a few years ago in internet chat rooms, recalling their school days. One by one they discovered that what they thought had been their own private hell had been shared by others. That realisation led to them deciding to compiling a record of their experiences and confronting their accusers.

On film they often break down as they describe how they are forced to masturbate priests, are fondled and grasped while in bed or during punishments, and told to keep silent. They showed how the sexual abuse went along with a casual physical brutality. "You could be beaten by a priest who would hours later be fondling your penis", one of them recalls. Complaints would occasionally register, but the most that would happen to a priest would be a transfer to another school and more victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Maine Catholic Bishop Selling Portland Mansion

MAINE
WMTW

PORTLAND, Maine -- Maine's Catholic bishop is downsizing.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland said Bishop Richard Malone is going from a 16-room mansion in one of Portland's most upscale neighborhoods to a three-bedroom home in a suburban subdivision.

Diocese spokeswoman Sue Bernard said the move is a way to save money on heating, maintenance and property taxes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Bracknell campaign against Catholic church closure

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Catholics in a Berkshire town have launched a campaign against the closure of their church.

Parishioners want to save St Margaret Clitherow in Bracknell, which has been off-limits for the past year due to copper thefts from its roof.

The Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth that runs the church is now closing it for good, citing expensive repair costs.

Campaigners said the lay community was not given the opportunity to try to raise the funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Bishops should blast MN priest; SNAP says

MINNESOTA
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)

Minnesota’s Catholic bishops should publicly denounce Fr. Wenthe for this callous, selfish move that threatens to leave innocent and vulnerable church-goers at risk of exploitation by shrewd and manipulative predators in the clergy.

Wenthe is doing what predators do: trying to exploit every possible legal maneuver and technicality to avoid responsibility for his sexual exploitation of a vulnerable parishioner. The real blame here lies with Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis, who is letting one of his priests try to overturn an important law that protects individuals from predators who abuse their positions of trust and authority.

Wenthe’s defense lawyer claims "Any minister who has sex with anybody may be in trouble under this statute." That is nonsense. Ministers can have sex with any consenting adult over whom they have no authority or power – anyone who isn’t a congregant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Clergy sex abuse victims praise TX bishop

TEXAS
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 applaud Corpus Christi Catholic Bishop William Mulvey for whatever role he played in the suspension of Fr. John Corapi, who has been suspended because of allegations that he sexually exploited a vulnerable woman. We have spoken with her and find her very credible, and our hearts ache for her and her family because of the pain Corapi and a few of his misguided loyalists have inflicted on her.

This weekend, Corapi announced he’s quitting the priesthood.

We have mixed feelings. We are grateful Corapi has quit, because he’ll have less protection and access to vulnerable Catholics outside of the priesthood. But we are sad because it now seems less likely that those he exploited will ever see justice. It is also less likely that church officials will follow through and disclose what they know about Corapi’s sexual exploitation.

In the past few months, two priests with a small Texas-based Catholic religious order SOLT – Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity – have faced serious public accusations of sexual misdeeds. The other one is Fr. John Fiala, who was arrested last year in Kansas and charged with molesting a boy, and later re-arrested on charges of trying to hire a hit man to kill that victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Corapi's 10 Percent Solution

UNITED STATES
All Things New

By Deacon Greg Kandra, June 21, 2011

Of all the bizarre comments contained in John Corapi's rambling speech on Monday, there was one that struck me as especially strange, and particularly sad.

Near the beginning, when he makes clear that he's not actually leaving the priesthood, but only suspending his public work as a priest (and dropping the title "Father"), he shrugs off the impact this will have on his life. Nothing much will change, he says, explaining that he really had little to do with the sacraments, anyway—saying mass, hearing confession, anointing the sick.

"I didn't do very much of that quite honestly in the twenty years that I did minister," he says, adding, "90 percent of what I did in the past did not require ordination. Speaking through social communication—radio, TV, so forth—that's not ministry, strictly speaking. My particular mission was speaking, writing, and teaching—not so much in the sacraments, but outside of them, in conjunction with them. So what I'm going to be doing in the future is pretty much the same thing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Squeaky Clean Priests

FRANCE
The English Catholic

Posted on June 21, 2011 by Fr Anthony Chadwick

We rightly expect high standards of integrity from our priests and bishops, but sometimes the expectations are unrealistic. I once saw a documentary on TV – The Right Stuff – about the way astronauts are selected and trained by NASA. Due to the harsh conditions of space travel, and the astronomical cost of firing rockets into the sky, only the very best and healthiest men and women can be given these tasks. Even ace fighter pilots from the Air Force are often not good enough for the superhuman requirements in terms of health and physical fitness, character, stamina and all the other qualities NASA requires of its people.

Should the Church proceed this way? Waste hundreds to get the best of the best? Before attempting the answer, we should remember that NASA probably has hundreds and thousands of applicants hoping for the thrill of their lives, who all know they have only a very small chance of being selected, and only very few of those who are successful at being selected make it through the training. I hear that the Navy SEALS in America and the elite units in England’s Armed Forces are also an ultimate challenge to a young man. If a man makes his way through so much hardship and suffering, he has certainly proven something to himself. Though, not all do. There are suicides and breakdowns under the extreme pressure.

Standards in the clergy have been up and down for centuries. That is the history of the Church. There have always been saints and sinners, the Curé d’Ars or Saint Vincent de Paul and then the slovenly creatures found drunk in their chantry chapels, having spent their ill-gotten money from selling false relics and indulgences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Protest held at Diocese Of Venice

VENICE (FL)
WWSB

VENICE - A protest was held in front of the Catholic Diocese of Venice on Tuesday.

Protestors say they are with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP.

They say they came in response to the recent arrest of Port Charlotte Priest Bernard Chojnacki, for exposing himself and propositioning an undercover detective on a Sarasota beach.

A second Venice-area priest, William Wert is accused of committing several sex offenses on a teenage boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Mary Kenny: Devastation and disbelief when abuse case hits close to home

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Monday June 20 2011

We have all read accounts of offences by paedophile priests and asked ourselves 'how could it happen?' and 'how could they get away with it?' But believe me, the whole story takes on a different perspective when the scandal occurs close to home, and you know the alleged perpetuator.

Father Kit Cunningham, who died last December in Dublin, was one of my oldest friends. He was an adorable man; great fun; a little too fond of the vino, perhaps; and, on occasions, a benign flirt with the ladies -- he had that unmistakeable glint in his eye of a man who likes women.

He was a terrific pastor of London's oldest continuous Catholic church, St Etheldreda's in Ely Place, near Fleet Street, and, perhaps in consequence to its proximity to newspaper life, became unofficial chaplain to the print media. I can hardly think of anyone who didn't like Kit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Why didn’t the Rosminian order tell us the truth about Fr Kit?

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

By Francis Phillips on Monday, 20 June 2011

I got a shock yesterday morning. I had been half-listening to the Sunday programme on Radio 4, with children’s author Philip Pullman explaining, yet again, why he is very fond of biblical prose and the culture of the C of E in which he was raised, but dislikes the “political power” of official religions; all well and good and mildly irritating.

This was followed by a news item about the Rosminian order of priests and the public accusations of priestly abuse they are now facing. Not another cover-up, I thought with a sinking feeling. And then the shock came: here was the voice of journalist Peter Stanford explaining quite simply and without emotion how one of the four accused Rosminian priests, whom he had personally known for 20 years and who had married him and baptised his children, was the late Fr Kit Cunningham, the much-loved former parish priest of St Etheldreda’s, Ely Place, unofficial pastor of Fleet Street and well known to the Catholic Herald staff.

I had not known Fr Cunningham personally but had been asked to write his obituary for the Herald when he died last year. In the obituary I quoted one of his friends, who described him as “a very caring, modest and deeply spiritual man”. I added my own estimate, based on all I had read and heard about him: “A man of energy and imagination, full of good fellowship, pastoral zeal and hospitality.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

The Rosminian order must face up to its past: what happened in Tanzania was a moral catast

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

By Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith on Wednesday, 22 June 2011

After much hesitation, I feel I must comment on the one story that is causing great distress in the Catholic world this morning, namely last night’s television programme on BBC One, Abused: Breaking the Silence.

The programme was both sober in tone and sobering, even anguishing, to watch. The men who have suffered abuse have been cruelly treated, but they have retained their dignity; their testimony was both moving and convincing; they were clearly concerned for the truth to come out, and for justice to be done, as we should all be.

What happened at St Michael’s School, Soni, in Tanzania (as well as at Grace Dieu in Leicestershire) represents a moral catastrophe. There is no way around this. These things should never have happened. Even in those far off days, the 1960s and 1970s, schools were inspected, and teachers were supervised. In the religious life all religious had superiors, and those superiors answered to a chain of command. So – what went wrong there? Questions need to be answered about this. If the order did not know about what was going on, then the order was not doing its job properly. The alternative, that it did know and did nothing, is even worse.

TV review: Abused: Breaking the Silence; Submarine School

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

John Crace
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 21 June 2011

The element of surprise has long passed. We've got so used to Catholic priests being accused of child sex abuse that the real rarity would be a TV documentary about one who kept his hands to himself. Yet it's the very familiarity of these stories that makes them still so powerful; the recognition that child abuse isn't limited to a few isolated priests but is an endemic problem that the Catholic church has gone out of its way to cover up for the best part of 50 years.

Abused: Breaking the Silence (BBC1) catalogued a devastating history of abuse at two boys' schools, Grace Dieu Manor in Leicestershire and St Michael's in Soni, Tanzania, that would never have been revealed had not a group of ex-pupils started emailing each other about the sadism and sex abuse they had suffered at the hands of several Catholic priests of the Rosminian order in the 1960s. As so often in films like this, where the depressing repetitiveness of the abuse can be numbing, it was the more casual remarks, such as "Soni broke my spirit" and "It was a violent, loveless, sad place" that brought home the emotional damage. These men didn't just want retribution for what they had suffered, they wanted to be healed.

That's precisely what the Rosminian order was most keen to deny them. Having initially told the former pupils he was horrified by the abuse and encouraged the accused – Fr Kit Cunningham MBE and others – to write letters of apology, the head of the Rosminians, Fr David Myers, was rather put out when some of the abused said that wasn't enough. They wanted to know why the church had sent a known suspected paedophile to Tanzania and why the church had permitted systematic abuse in the same school by several of its staff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Pastoor langer uit functie

NEDERLAND
de Stentor

door Guido Kobessen woensdag 22 juni 2011 | 07:00

OMMEN - De voor het bezit van kinderporno veroordeelde pastoor Jan B. van de Emmanuëlparochie blijft nog zeker tot september ontheven van zijn functie.

Onlangs werd de pastoor veroordeeld tot 80 uur werkstraf en drie maanden voorwaardelijke gevangenisstraf. Daarnaast buigt ook de kerkelijke rechtbank zich over de zaak. Deze stelt nog een eigen onderzoek in, waarna de bevindingen worden naar de Congregatie voor de Geloofsleer, een gezelschap van bisschoppen dat zich onder meer bezighoudt met het bestrijden van seksueel misbruik binnen de kerk. Deze Congregatie bepaalt uiteindelijk de straf. Met de zomervakantie in aantocht, verwacht woordvoerder van het aartsbisdom Roland Enthoven niet eerder dan in september een uitspraak. Of dit ontslag betekent voor de pastoor, durft Enthoven niet te zeggen. "Voor zover mij bekend zijn er binnen het aartsbisdom niet eerder soortgelijke gevallen geweest."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Op-Ed: Clerical pedophilia – The next step

UNITED STATES/UNITED KINGDOM
Digital Journal

New York - These horrors of abuse continue to haunt us with no signs of abating. But is the world of legal settlements sufficient to rescue us from our collective suffering?

On June 19, 2011 Peter Stanford wrote a nuanced and compelling Guardian article on Father Kit Cunningham of the Rosminian order, described by a man named John Poppleton in the article as having “perpetrated physical and sexual abuse that made St Michael's, Soni, [in what was then Tanganyika, now Tanzania,] "a loveless, violent and sad hellhole".

“Fr Kit,” the article goes on to point out, “kept his "dark side" so well hidden, [and] the church authorities allowed him to keep it so well hidden that even the Queen awarded him an MBE, [for his] work with the poor and marginalised?”

Stanford's article seems to be orchestrated somehow into the weird world of “infotisement” in anticipation of the airing of the highly controversial Abused: Breaking the Silence, a documentary shown on BBC1 last night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Youth minister accused of sex abuse enters plea

FLORIDA
WSVN

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A Coral Springs youth minister arrested and accused of an unholy act in 2009 has copped a plea.

Russell Lewis pleaded no contest to sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation charges in Fort Lauderdale.

Lewis is accused of having a consensual relationship with a 14-year-old member of his congregation while he worked at Church By The Glades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Catholic Church should pay Dutch sexual abuse victims – commission

NETHERLANDS
Reuters

The Dutch bishops’ conference had sought the recommendation of an independent commission after cases surfaced involving paedophile priests in the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Canada and the United States.

Victims should be paid on a sliding scale starting at 5,000 euros, with 25,000 for victims of rape and the maximum of 100,000 euros ($142,300) for “exceptional cases of sexual abuse”, the commission concluded. Its report released on Monday said financial compensation alone was not enough, and victims should receive apologies, assistance and recognition for their suffering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Abused: Breaking the Silence, BBC One, review

UNITED KINGDOM
The Telegraph

By Chris Harvey

The BBC One documentary Abused: Breaking the Silence told the extraordinary story of how the internet helped expose a culture of violence and abuse at two Catholic prep schools in England and Africa that went back at least 50 years. Olenka Frenkiel’s film described how former pupils who had logged on to share memories of two schools run by the Rosminian order – the Grace Dieu school in Leicestershire and St Michael’s school in Soni, in what is now Tanzania – found themselves sharing stories of abuse that, as boys, they believed had been suffered alone. The men were now in their fifties and sixties. Each had been terrified into silence as a child.

Account followed account. Rory Johnston, a former pupil of the school in Soni, alleged serious and repetitive sexual abuse at the hands of a Fr Collins. “There was no way I could get out of it,” he said. “There was no one to tell. You couldn’t trust the priests, so who else are you going to trust?”

The conversations between the victims also revealed something else. Father Collins had been removed from the Grace Dieu school after Donald MacFaul, now a barrister in Newcastle, had complained about him. The Order, however, had simply relocated the priest to Soni, where pupils said they became similarly terrified of him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Vatican ousts York Man; sex abuse alleged

YORK (ME)
Seacoast Online

By Susan Morse
smorse@seacoastonline.com
June 22, 2011 2:00 AM

YORK — A papal court has defrocked four inactive priests, including York resident Robert J. Knapp, saying Knapp was accused of sexually abusing a minor, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Boston dated Monday, June 13.

The Holy See, or papal court, determined Knapp is "no longer in the clerical state," having sought through a voluntary process to be removed, according to the statement posted at www.BostonCatholic.org.

While not directly linking the papal court's decision to the sexual abuse allegations, the Archdiocese said Knapp, "ordained in 1965, was first accused of sexually abusing a minor in 1985. He has been absent without permission from the Archdiocese since 1988."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

The men abused by Rosminians deserve compensation

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

By Francis Phillips on Wednesday, 22 June 2011

As I had anticipated, watching “Abused: Breaking the Silence” last night on BBC One made for difficult viewing. Observing a middle-aged man break down in tears, and others among his peers describe their damaged lives – the word “depression” cropped up over and over again – as they detailed their childhood experiences at the hands of priests in the Rosminian order at a prep school in Tanzania was a painful experience.

St Michael’s, Soni, where the late Fr Kit Cunningham, as well as three other priests, was deeply implicated in the abuse, was a place of violence and terror, “an environment of fear” in which small boys were “terrified into silence”. Given the revelations about other orders and other priests in recent years this is all too easy to imagine. One of the most telling episodes in the programme was when one of the victims confronted his tormentor, Fr Bernard Collins, at the care home where the now very elderly priest is living in retirement, and secretly filmed his response when challenged about abuse. He clearly knew exactly what the victim was talking about, as he had earlier written a letter of repentance – but he still denied the truth of what had happened and made queasy-sounding excuses. He simply could not face up to the implications of his past perverted behaviour.

The response of the Rosminian order itself is also deeply ambivalent. Fr David Myers, the Provincial, met a group of the victims at St Etheldreda’s church in London – the parish where Fr Cunningham had been held in wide esteem for many years – in November 2010; he listened sympathetically to their shocking stories and promised he would take action on their behalf. In fact he did get the priests involved, including Fr Cunningham, to write to their former victims, expressing their remorse and asking for forgiveness. But given the air of deliberate secrecy surrounding this whole episode, it is not surprising that the former pupils found the letters inadequate and perfunctory, “not from the heart” as one explained and bringing more pain rather than the “closure” they had hoped for.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

June 21, 2011

Following sex abuse cases, diocese plans to comfort people using 4,000-year-old dead language

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Pitch

By Peter Rugg Tue., Jun. 21 2011

​The KC diocese is still looking for ways to stop public relations fallout from the recent child sex-abuse allegations, but so far they're done a piss poor job of it. Does Bishop Finn know how laughable, how calculating it looks to promise you'll hire independent investigators when he didn't turn people over to the police for independent investigation at the first warning they were abusing kids? Does he have any idea of how disgusted people are that after all these years and all these cases, that the church still acts to protect priests first?

Probably not. Or maybe they know it's too late to reach all but the most devout, because it's hard to think of anyone else who might be touched by their plan to "promote unity" after the scandals with a special Latin-language "Solemn High Mass."

The diocese says it'll hold the special mass Wednesday, June 29 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. "How glorious will it be to see those of your fold theretofore unacquainted...kneeling next to one another in the pews!" says their announcement. "Amidst all the discord and disunity during this present darkness, let there be light!" Yes. All that child molestation need not be in vain If even two people who were once strangers can politely ignore one another while kneeling for the the communion wafer!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Couple appeal dismissal of lawsuit against Archdiocese

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

A former parish bookkeeper and her husband are appealing the dismissal of their lawsuit alleging she was fired by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville for objecting to the presence of an alleged sex abuser residing on church property.

Margie Weiter and Gary Weiter Sr. filed notice of the appeal last week with the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

The Weiters sued the archdiocese and several church officials in January in Jefferson Circuit Court. They alleged that Margie Weiter was wrongfully fired from her job at St Therese in Germantown in May 2010 in retaliation for her complaining about the presence of the Rev. James Schook, who had been the subject of an abuse accusation that the archdiocese later concluded was valid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

RK-kerk: "verkrachting kost 25.000 euro"

NEDERLAND
GreenStijl

Ah, mooi. De katholieke kerk is er uit. De commissie zelfkastijding heeft het zogenaamde PriesterMenu opgesteld voor seksueel misbruik. Wat kost wat (excl. BTW)? Zodat je als priester ook een beetje weet wat je zuur gecollecteerde geld waard is. Hier de prijslijst: "Tot €5.000: seksueel getinte handelingen of uitlatingen, waardoor integriteit werd geschonden. €7.500: betasting van intieme delen. Tussen €10.000 en €25.000: langere periode van bestasting intieme delen, afhankelijk van frequentie, zwaarte en bijkomende omstandigheden. €25.000: eenmalige tot enkele malen verkrachting. Tot €100.000: uitzonderlijke gevallen van seksueel misbruik." Geen zorgen, mensen, de Katholieke kerk heeft het onder controle. Het stelselmatig serieverkrachten van kinderen lossen ze zelf wel even op, hoeven wij ons er allemaal niet meer druk over te maken. Voor de prijs van een nieuwe Opel Astra hebben die kinderen vast wel wat jeugdtrauma's en een eeuwigdurend verknipt zelfbeeld over.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

A news story and an opinion piece push Bishop Finn back on the defensive

MISSOURI
JimmyCSays

In the last four days, the picture has grown dimmer for Bishop Robert Finn, and the evidence of wrongdoing at the highest levels of local Catholic hierarchy has grown stronger.

And all because of two articles in The Kansas City Star.

The first was a thoroughly researched and beautifully written profile of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, who stands charged with three felony counts of possessing child pornography. It ran on Page 1 on Saturday.

The second was an “As I See It, ” Op-Ed piece by Pat O’Neill a respected marketing consultant in Kansas City. It ran on Page A-11 on Monday. O’Neill, a practicing Catholic, called for the resignations of Finn and Vicar General Robert Murphy, and he challenged prosecutors to bring charges against the two.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Case Filed over Sex Crimes in Icelandic Catholic Church

ICELAND
Iceland Review

The Reykjavík Metropolitan Police have completed their investigation of sexual offenses allegedly committed by a late teacher at Landakotsskóli, run by the Catholic Church in Iceland, and the case will now be taken to the courts.

Björgvin Björgvinsson, senior officer of the police’s sex crime department, told visir.is that the police received a charge in this case early this year and that it is now in the hands of the prosecution.

The teacher in question committed suicide in 2008 when she jumped out of Landakotsskóli’s tower where she lived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Teacher says he was fired after pushing for priest inquiry

FLORIDA
Herald-Tribune

By Matthew Doig

A lawsuit filed Tuesday in Lee County's 20th Judicial Circuit claims a former Catholic high school teacher was fired because he pushed for an investigation into a priest who allegedly pressured teenage girls to talk about sexual details during a confession held at the school.

Former Bishop Verot High School teacher Chris Wilson is seeking damages in excess of $15,000 against the school, the Diocese of Venice and Bishop Frank Dewayne, who oversees the priest in question.

Wilson's suit claims that Bishop Verot's principal fired him shortly after learning that Wilson made a complaint with the Department of Children and Families about Father Cory Mayer, who visited Bishop Verot in April to take confession from students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

In wake of sex abuse scandals, priests to host Latin Mass

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee on Jun. 21, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With many questioning the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese over allegations of sexual misconduct by clergy, and subsequent inaction by diocesan officials, several priests here are planning something they hope will "promote unity" among the faithful: A special Latin-language "Solemn High Mass."

The Mass, to be held June 29 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church here, is to be celebrated in the "Extraordinary Form," or according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, which typically includes prayers in Latin and the priest facing towards the altar during the celebration.

News of the Mass comes as the Kansas City diocese has been rocked by three cases of allegations of sexual misconduct by clergy in recent weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Corapi and the Call to Denial

UNITED STATES
An Israelite Without Guile

By Max Lindenman, June 20, 2011

This weekend it seemed that a sucker is born every minute only because so many Catholics practice artificial birth control. Otherwise, they'd pop out in batches.

Here's proof: Fr. John Corapi's superiors in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity had to go to the press to save their own good name, and the name of the Church, from Corapi's recent . . . well, let's call it strategic communication.

On Friday, June 17th, the former EWTN personality released a voiced-over video announcing his departure from "active ministry as a priest," and blaming the bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas for investigating allegations that Corapi had sexual relations with a former employee "against the will and better judgment" of his SOLT superiors.

After hinting darkly at conspiracy—"There are certain persons in authority in the Church that want me gone"—Corpi fired a scattered broadside at the Church's protocols for handling priests accused of sexual wrongdoing. Among Corapi's complaints: a requirement to waive "all of my civil and human rights in order to hold harmless anyone who chooses to say defamatory and actionable things against me with no downside to them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Teacher says Bishop Verot firing came after wanting priest investigated

FLORIDA
News-Press

Written by
Gabriella Souza

A former Bishop Verot High School teacher has filed suit against the Diocese of Venice, claiming he was fired because he asked the diocese to investigate claims a priest asked girls to give sexual details during confession.

Chris Wilson, who worked as a theology teacher at the Fort Myers Catholic high school, wants $15,000 in damages from the diocese and Bishop Frank Dewane, according to the suit filed in Lee County District Court.

The suit said Bishop Verot staff fired Wilson shortly after he contacted the Department of Children and Families and the Fort Myers Police Department about Father Cody Mayer, a visiting priest who gave confessions in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Order 'saddened' by Father Corapi's decision to leave priesthood

UNITED STATES
U.S. Catholic

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity said it was "saddened" that Father John Corapi, one of the most visible members of its order, has decided to leave the order and the priesthood.

Father Corapi, 64, declared June 17 in a YouTube video and a blog posting on one of his websites, that he was leaving because he could not get a "fair hearing" on misconduct allegations that were lodged against him in March and which included what the priest said were sexual abuse charges.

The order, commonly referred to as SOLT, was in the midst of investigating the allegations when Father Corapi made his announcement. "Although the investigation was in progress, the SOLT had not arrived at any conclusion as to the credibility of the allegations under investigation," said the statement, issued June 20 by Father Gerry Sheehan, the order's regional priest-servant and Father Corapi's superior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Jesuits remove popular priest over alleged abuse

MARYLAND
Sacramento Bee

The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, Jun. 21, 2011

TOWSON, Md. -- A prominent Jesuit priest has been permanently barred from public ministry for allegedly improperly touching a minor in the 1980s.

The Maryland Province of the Jesuits said Tuesday that it removed the Rev. James Glenn Murray from church work after an investigator hired by the Roman Catholic order found evidence supporting the allegation. Murray is living in a monitored Jesuit residence.

The Jesuits sent notice of their action to dioceses and high schools where Murray has served since his 1979 ordination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Corapi leaves priesthood, says can't get 'fair hearing'

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jun. 21, 2011
By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON -- Father John Corapi, a priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, declared June 17 he was leaving the priesthood, contending he could not get a "fair hearing" on misconduct allegations that were lodged against him in March and which included what the priest said were sexual abuse charges.

The announcement, which took the forms of a YouTube video and a blog posting on one of his websites, www.theblacksheepdog.us, was made two days before his 20th anniversary of priestly ordination.

"For 20 years I did my best to guard and feed the sheep. Now, based on a totally unsubstantiated, undocumented allegation from a demonstrably troubled person I was thrown out like yesterday's garbage," Father Corapi said. "I accept that. Perhaps I deserve that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Disgraced bishop’s sentencing for child porn delayed

CANADA
The Ottawa Citizen

By Andrew Seymour, The Ottawa Citizen June 21, 2011

OTTAWA — A sentencing hearing for a Catholic bishop who possessed child pornography has been delayed until August.

Raymond Lahey was scheduled to be in court on Friday for a daylong hearing for submissions on the length of his sentence.

On Tuesday, the hearing was pushed back to Aug. 4 and 5 because the Crown had yet to receive Lahey’s clinical file from Dr. John Bradford, the psychiatrist who examined Lahey at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

Prosecutors want time to examine the clinical records to properly cross-examine Bradford about his findings in a sexual behaviours assessment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Disgraced bishop's sentencing for child porn delayed

CANADA
Canada.com

OTTAWA - A sentencing hearing for a Catholic bishop who possessed child pornography has been delayed until August.

Raymond Lahey was scheduled to be in court on Friday for a daylong hearing for submissions on the length of his sentence.

On Tuesday, the hearing was pushed back to Aug. 4 and 5 because the Crown had yet to receive Lahey's clinical file from Dr. John Bradford, the psychiatrist who examined Lahey at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

OUR OPINION: Time for church to honor transparency promise

MASSACHUSETTS
The Patriot Ledger

GateHouse News Service

EDITORIAL —

News last week that a defrocked priest had been working for a decade as a high school counselor on the South Shore will hopefully revive the push to get the Archdiocese of Boston to fulfill a transparency promise it made in 2009.

When Robert F. Daly applied to become a school psychologist at Silver Lake Regional High School in 2001, the school was not able to completely investigate the former Weymouth priest’s past because a lawsuit against him alleging sexual assault was settled privately with the archdiocese.

Officials didn’t learn about his past until the archdiocese announced last Tuesday that Daly, at his own request, had been defrocked. The news came only months before Daly was set to retire. He has since been put on a leave of absence by the school.

The news also comes more than two years after Cardinal Sean O’Malley said the church would soon address criticisms of its failure to release the names of all priests who have been credibly accused of sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Go-To Investigator on the Dallas Charter

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND 06/21/2011

Priests aren’t being “thrown under the bus,” if the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” is followed correctly, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver affirmed.

During their spring general meeting last week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved minor changes to the charter, known popularly as the Dallas Charter, and related norms. The bishops, meeting in Seattle, resisted calls by some victims’ groups for a broader review of their framework for guarding against child sexual abuse by priests and other Church personnel.

Bishop Blase Cupich, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, argued that the recent John Jay College of Criminal Justice report on the causes and contexts of the clergy-abuse crisis, and ongoing annual audits conducted by dioceses throughout the nation, confirmed that the reforms are working and should remain in place. He predicted that the conference would review the framework within two years. In 2010, the USCCB confirmed just seven new cases of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

7News exclusive: NSW Attorney-General embroiled in priest sex abuse investigation

AUSTRALIA
7News

[with video]

The New South Wales Attorney General, Greg Smith, has become embroiled in a Catholic priest's sexual abuse investigation, a 7News exclusive can reveal.

7News has reported that Father Finian Egan, parish priest at St Gerards in Carlingford, is being investigated for the sexual abuse of young girls as far back as thirty years ago.

A Catholic Church pronouncement stated that Father Egan had abused girls, and paid one alleged victim named Nikki Wells $100,000 in compensation, it has been reported.

According to 7News Father Egan is due to be charged over alleged sexual abuse attacks on women from his parish.

Egan's alleged victims have simultaneously launched a crusade on Father Egan's powerful friends, Greg Smith and Damien Tudehope, demanding that the state figures reveal whether the sexual abuse case has been discussed between them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

School's sex abuse secret probed

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Jewel Topsfield
June 22, 2011

POLICE are trying to breach a wall of secrecy at a private boys school in St Kilda East over allegations of sex crimes by a former teacher who is now in jail in the United States.

David Kramer fled Australia in the early 1990s after accusations from parents that he had sexually abused boys at Yeshivah College, an Orthodox Jewish school. The school did not report the complaints to police.

Former students, who have spoken to The Age on condition of anonymity, said the allegations were covered up by the school. ''Parents were threatened they would be thrown out of the school if they told police,'' one said.

However, several alleged victims have come forward after Kramer, 50, was jailed for seven years in the US for molesting a 12-year-old boy while conducting a youth program at a synagogue in St Louis in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Villagers boycott mass in support of suspended priest

CYPRUS
Cyprus Mail

A DECISION to suspend a priest after allegations he mistreated his foster daughter has angered residents of a Nicosia village who refused to attend Sunday mass in protest at his removal.

And the explosion of a hand grenade under the car of a church committee member on Sunday morning appears to be linked to the affair.

The priest, who has served at the Ayia Paraskevi church at Ergates for 20 years, was suspended by the Bishop of Tamasos after a complaint made by a 20-year-old woman.

The woman alleged that the priest and his wife, who were her foster parents, had abused her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Female Iowa priest says Catholics 'ready for this'

IOWA
Des Moines Register

Coralville, Ia. - Mary Kay Kusner says a sense of social justice drove her to become Iowa's first "womanpriest."

She is a priest in the Roman Catholic tradition, but the church forbids female clergy, so she has been excommunicated from the church.

Kusner said there was another consequence to her ordination: "I had never planned to grow a church," she said.

A year later, the 51-year-old Iowa City woman is doing just that. Kusner, a married mother of four, marked the first anniversary after her controversial ordination by leading Mass for about 20 people Sunday afternoon in Coralville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Fr Kit Cunningham's paedophile past: heads should roll ...

UNITED KINGDOM
The Telegraph

June 21st, 2011

By Damian Thompson

BBC1 will tonight screen a documentary, Abused: Breaking the Silence, that establishes beyond doubt that Fr Kit Cunningham, the jovial parish priest of St Ethedreda’s church and for many years unofficial padre to Fleet Street, committed the most disgusting paedophile crimes as a young missionary in Africa. Fr Kit died last year – but he confessed his guilt shortly before his death, in a letter to one of his victims, and also returned his MBE to Buckingham Palace in a feeble gesture of repentance.

If you want to learn full details of his crimes, and those of other members of the Rosminian order, watch the programme. But, just in case there are any members of the Fr Kit fan club who suspect that he has been posthumously stitched up, let me insist that this is not the case. He sexually assaulted prep school boys at the order’s school in Soli, Tanzania, and in at least one case forced a boy to perform a sex act on him.

Fr Cunningham received warm obituaries when he died last December aged 79. That’s not a surprise: many a party was enlivened by his benevolent, boozy personality and he set high standards of liturgy at Ely Place. I myself have been the recipient of his kindness; when vague rumours of unspecified misbehaviour began to circulate immediately after his death, I advised the Catholic Herald that he should not be judged guilty without evidence. The paper scaled down its planned tribute to this “legendary” priest while it tried to find out what the fuss was about; it contacted the Provincial of the Rosminians in England, Fr David Myers – but he said not a word about any paedophile offences and, as a result, neither did the Herald or the rest of the media. We were quite deliberately kept in the dark.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

The Fugitive Guru

TEXAS
The Daily Beast

Prakashanand Saraswati led one of the top Hindu temples in the United States until a jury convicted him of molesting children and he took off for Mexico.

June 20, 2011

Before the guru, Prakashanand Saraswati, vanished in March—before a jury convicted him of sexual abuse; before he slipped across the border into Mexico overnight—he led the premier Hindu temple in Texas and, perhaps, the whole United States. Barsana Dham sat like the Taj Mahal in the hillsides south of Austin, a familiar sight to customers of the famous Salt Lick Bar-B-Que down the road. The Hindus there kept strictly vegetarian, but there was never any tension with the carnivores next door. “They were very gentle and nice people,” says Salt Lick employee Tana Kent.

Religious compounds in rural Texas had a bad name after the Waco siege in 1993, but Barsana Dham opened itself to the outside world. The ashram offered yoga classes, concerts, and public tours; participated in interfaith circles; sheltered refugees after Hurricane Katrina; and hosted the mayor of Austin on special occasions. When PBS made its 2004 Many Voices documentary project about American congregations, producers chose Barsana Dham as their exemplar of the Hindu faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Vatican official: Sexual abuse of minors requires strong response

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Sarah Delaney
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The phenomenon of the sexual abuse of minors within the church requires a strong response that is "not inertia, a culture of silence or repression," said the Vatican's top investigator of clerical sex abuse said.

Msgr. Charles Scicluna, promoter of justice for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that the church must do all it can to respond to the problem and emphasize that protection of children is integral to the good of the universal church.

Msgr. Scicluna spoke at a news conference to present an upcoming symposium on sexual abuse that organizers hope will contribute to a "global culture" of transparency and commitment to keeping children and young people safe within the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Maureen Dowd’s Catholic Problem

UNITED STATES
National Review

George Weigel

Anti-Catholicism is arguably the oldest bias in the history of the American people. Or so Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr. — who had no dog in the fight — once told the dean of U.S. Catholic historians, Fr. John Tracy Ellis. Over the centuries, however, anti-Catholicism in America has taken on several forms.

In its classic New England iteration, anti-Catholicism was shaped by Protestant and, later, Enlightenment-rationalist assumptions. Both were neatly summarized in a letter from John Adams to his wife, Abigail, written during the First Continental Congress after Mr. Adams had undertaken an anthropological expedition through the streets of Philadelphia:

This afternoon, led by curiosity and good company, I strolled away to mother church, or rather grandmother church. I mean the Romish chapel. . . . [The] entertainment was to me most awful and affecting: the poor wretches fingering their beads, chanting Latin, not a word of which they understood; their pater nosters and ave Marias; their holy water; their crossing themselves perpetually; their bowing to the name of Jesus, whenever they hear it; their bowings, kneelings, and genuflections before the altar. The dress of the priest was rich white lace. His pulpit was velvet and gold. The altar piece was very rich, little images and crucifixes about; wax candles lighted up..

Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear, and imagination — everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell.

Adams, it should be noted, contributed handsomely to the building of a Catholic church in Boston in the years after the Revolution; the passionate support for the cause of American independence displayed by such Federalist leaders as Charles Carroll of Carrolton had, evidently, caused the Sage of Quincy to reconsider. But in that 1774 letter to Abigail, he neatly summed up an indictment against Catholicism that would show remarkable staying power in the United States over the centuries: Catholicism is superstition; Catholics are ill-educated, priest-ridden boobies; the Church is a vast, money-making machine that sucks the lifeblood of the poor and ignorant; no educated person could possibly take the doctrines of the Church seriously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Vatican concerned about monks, not sex

VATICAN CITY
Pravda

The Vatican has mobilized its forces to combat sexual abuse among Catholic clergy. A congress on this issue is scheduled for February, and other events are being organized. However, a recent study reported an incorrect understanding of this issue by the public. Catholics continue to defend celibacy. Last Saturday a press conference on the upcoming event was held in Pontifical Gregorian University on the initiative of the Pope.

Before that, the prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal William Levada, sent a directive to all bishops' conferences around the world where he called upon creating a document listing measures required to overcome the crisis. The Cardinal also encouraged the bishops to cooperate with civilian authorities in addressing sexual crimes of the clergy. It turns out that the Vatican plans to create a multilingual educational online resource where Catholic clergy around the world can learn how to protect children from violence.

The site will also contain information for the victims of sexual abuse. The issue of sexual abuse among the clergy will be also discussed at the next plenary assembly of bishops scheduled for June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Priest sues parishioner

INDIA/CANADA
CathNews

A Canada-based priest has filed a defamation suit against a member of his former parish in Goa following a series of what he called “false sexual assault allegations” stemming from incidents in 2004.

Father Newton Rodrigues told the Calgary Herald on June 16 that he is seeking US$600,000 in damages from Aires Rodrigues (no relation), a Goa-based lawyer.

Father Newton, currently pastor of St. Bernadette Church in Calgary, charged in his suit that the lawyer published online materials and sent emails to Catholic officials in 90 parishes in Calgary accusing him of participating in a cover-up of a molestation case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Vatican Announces Symposium & Online Database to Prevent Sex Abuse by Priests

VATICAN CITY
Care2

In the wake of the sex abuse scandal that has unmoored the Catholic Church around the world, the Vatican has announced a symposium entitled “Toward Healing and Renewal” at Rome’s Jesuit University in February of next year to address the ongoing problem of abuse by priests. According to the New York Times, psychologists, theologians and child abuse specialists are among those invited to attend, to provide their “expertise to bishops.” The Vatican has given the bishops a deadline of May to devise guidelines about handling the abuse and high time and has told them that “they should cooperate with the law enforcement authorities” rather than handling cases of abuse internally, within the Church.

The priest sex abuse scandal has bankrupted dioceses who have been ordered to pay settlements to victims of priest sex abuse in Milwaukee, Delaware, Spokane and throughout the US. Documents continue to emerge revealing how bishops protected abusive priests by, among other “procedures,” moving them to dioceses in different parts of the country. Indeed, a the National Catholic Reporter says, advocates for victims of sexual abuse by priests have recently called for a local grand jury inquiry into Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese’s sex abuse procedures, to investigate not only cases of abuse but of “cover-ups.”

A recent bishops’ report conducted by a team of researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice on the priest sex abuse scandal invoked the Woodstock defense, pointing the finger at the sexual revolution and societal turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s as the culprit for the horrific crimes committed by clergy against children. Victims advocates have hailed this report as very much an example of way too little, too late. Commenting on the bishops’ report, one historian of American Catholicism, Jim Fisher — yes, my husband, who’s a professor in the Department of Theology at Fordham University in New York city — wrote:

Readers of the John Jay study tempted to lament the loss of this golden age of manly clerics —and the riotous age of unreason that succeeded it–might do well to reflect on a single paragraph found in Joseph E. Califano’s 2004 memoir. Califano, who went on to become, along perhaps with Sargent Shriver, the most prominent Catholic public servant of the past half-century, revealed in his memoir that a Woodstock-trained New York Jesuit sexually molested him at the order’s Staten Island retreat house when Califano was a Jesuit high school student in the late 1940s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Years removed from Dallas

UNITED STATES
Catholic San Francisco

June 20th, 2011
By Father Gerald D. Coleman, S.S.

In his March 2011 address to the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, conference President Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York referenced the Philadelphia grand jury's Feb. 10 report mandating the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to "review all of the old allegations against currently active priests and to remove from ministry all of the priests with credible allegations against them."

The grand jury's 124-page report cited 37 priests as continuing in active ministry in the archdiocese despite credible allegations of sex abuse against them. Subsequently, 24 priests were suspended, others were found innocent, and some have left the priesthood.

He named the grand jury's findings "painful [and] needing our careful attention." He reaffirmed the USCCB's 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms which carry the force of law. The protection of children, he said, is "of the highest priority" and the bishops "remain especially firm in our commitment to remove permanently from public ministry any priest who committed such an intolerable offense." Zero tolerance is the dominant principle of the charter: Even a single offense, no matter the mitigating circumstances, is deemed sufficient to debar a priest for life from the exercise of ministry, including the possibility of laicization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Attorney says priest sex case should be thrown out based on legal conflict

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
Updated: 06/20/2011

The case of a former St. Paul priest charged with criminal sexual conduct for having an affair with a Nativity of Our Lord parishioner should be thrown out, the priest's attorney argued in court Monday.

The Rev. Christopher Wenthe took the woman's confession, said attorney Paul Engh, and the state alleges in part that what the woman told Wenthe during those sessions led Wenthe to take advantage of her.

But priests cannot, by church law, disclose anything about what happens in the confessional - so Wenthe has no way of defending himself in court, Engh argued.

"It is absolutely forbidden for a priest to betray a penitent," Engh said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Cleric leaves priesthood saying he can't get 'fair hearing' on charges

UNITED STATES
Georgia Bulletin

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Father John Corapi, a priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, declared June 17 he was leaving the priesthood, contending he could not get a "fair hearing" on misconduct allegations that were lodged against him in March and which included what the priest said were sexual abuse charges. The announcement, which took the forms of a YouTube video and a blog posting on one of his websites, www.theblacksheepdog.us, was made two days before his 20th anniversary of priestly ordination. "For 20 years I did my best to guard and feed the sheep. Now, based on a totally unsubstantiated, undocumented allegation from a demonstrably troubled person I was thrown out like yesterday's garbage," Father Corapi said. "I accept that. Perhaps I deserve that." A spokesman for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity told Catholic News Service June 20 that Father Corapi had not formally notified the order, founded in 1958, of his intent to leave. "Not directly," said Father Gerard Sheehan, the order's regional priest-servant and Father Corapi's superior. "We heard it just like everyone else did, from YouTube. We're as surprised as everyone else is." Father Corapi had been suspended from priestly ministry by his religious order shortly after the allegations first surfaced. Eternal Word Television Network also took his television program off the air in March, saying it would not knowingly put a priest on the air whose priestly faculties had been suspended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

June 20, 2011

Berkeley parishioners protest at church

CALIFORNIA
Contra Costa Times

By Martin Snapp
For the Oakland Tribune

BERKELEY -- Parishioners of a liberal Catholic Church demonstrated outside the facility Sunday, protesting what they say is a more conservative direction the parish has taken the past two years.

About 100 members of St. Joseph the Worker Church took part in the demonstration, timed to coincide with a visit by the Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, bishop of the Diocese of Oakland, which includes both Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

They were requesting the removal of the Rev. John Direen, the church's pastor, and objected to the ouster of the Rev. George Crespin, St. Joseph's pastor emeritus. Direen was appointed to the parish two years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Fr. Corapi's order 'saddened' by his choice to leave priesthood

TEXAS
Catholic News Agency

Corpus Christi, Texas, Jun 20, 2011 / 05:47 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Father John Corapi's superiors confirmed and expressed grief over his decision to leave his order and the priesthood following allegations of misconduct.

We are “deeply saddened that Fr. Corapi is suffering distress” and “further saddened by Fr. Corapi’s response to these allegations,” said Fr. Gerry Sheehan, Regional Priest Servant of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.

In a June 20 statement, the Fr. Sheehan said the order “will do all within its power to assist Fr. Corapi if he desires to seek a dispensation from his rights and obligations as a priest and as a professed member.”

The statement comes in response to Fr. Corapi's June 17 online announcement that he's leaving the priesthood and starting a new ministry under the name “The Black Sheep Dog.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Follow the Money

NEW ORLEANS
Best of New Orleans

New Orleanians may remember the turmoil when the Archdiocese of New Orleans announced it would close St. Augustine's Church following Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. Not just St. Augustine's congregation was outraged, but before the church assented to keep the parish open, the widely popular Father Jerome LeDoux moved to Texas. The archdiocese had suffered economic losses due to flooding, and there was an outcry as other parishes were shuttered. Archbishop Alfred Hughes' handling of the situation showed ways in which the church could be at best out of touch with its flock and at worst uninclined to be accountable to it.

  That saga is briefly recounted in Jason Berry's Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church (Random House). The focus of the book is how the church handles its money. Even without scandal, how a global organization manages its finances is an interesting question. The church has an estimated 1.2 billion members worldwide and massive wealth and assets, yet it is largely free to disclose only what it chooses about its income and spending. As the church has had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle clergy sexual abuse lawsuits — and at the same time close parishes — Berry examines how such a large financial entity accounts for itself.

  The book is another installment in Berry's reporting on the Catholic church, and it picks up on issues and church figures he's covered previously, including clergy abuse (Lead Us Not Into Temptation) and Father Marcial Maciel, a major fundraiser for the church who was involved in both abuse scandals and money issues (Vows of Silence).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

'Goed rapport, maar verhaal nog niet af'

NEDERLAND
Kerknieuws

"Met financiële compensatie is het niet opgelost. Maar het is een goed rapport.'' Dat heeft woordvoerder Guido Klabbers van de gezamenlijke slachtoffergroepen van seksueel misbruik in de kerk maandag gezegd over het Lindenbergh-rapport. Dat rapport adviseert hoe de RK-Kerk de meldingen van misbruik juridisch moet afhandelen.

"Het verhaal is echter nog niet af'', zei Klabbers. Hij noemt het positief dat de commissie-Lindenbergh kortdurende procedures buiten de Kerk om bepleit. "Maar slachtoffers mogen niet weer als een dossier worden behandeld. Met geld op de rekening bijschrijven zijn de problemen niet opgelost.''

Klabbers, die als woordvoerder optreedt van de Koepel Landelijk Overleg Kerkelijk Kindermisbruik (KLOKK) noemt het positief dat het beroep op verjaring vervalt binnen de compensatieprocedures die de Lindenberghcommissie heeft voorgesteld. Daarin is ook hoger beroep onmogelijk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Nederlandse misbruikslachtoffers krijgen tot 25.000 euro van de kerk

NEDERLAND
Het Nieuwsblad

Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen katholieke instellingen in Nederland moeten maximaal 5000 tot 25.000 euro vergoeding krijgen van de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk. In bijzondere gevallen kan het compensatiebedrag oplopen tot 100.000 euro.

Dat heeft de commissie-Lindenbergh maandag bekendgemaakt. De commissie, die bestaat uit een hoogleraar privaatrecht en twee advocaten, onderzoekt juridische aspecten van de misbruikaffaire binnen de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk.

De vergoedingen aan slachtoffers moeten worden gerelateerd aan de ernst van het misbruik, zo adviseert de commissie-Lindenbergh de Nederlandse Bisschoppenconferentie en de Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR). De procedures moeten buiten de Kerk om worden geregeld, om slachtoffers niet te belasten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Financiële compensatieregeling voor slachtoffers seksueel misbruik RK kerk

NEDERLAND
Erasmus

Advies: onafhankelijke commissie stelt bedrag vast

De Rooms-katholieke kerk moet een redelijke en rechtvaardige financiële compensatieregeling in het leven roepen voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik. Een onafhankelijke commissie dient in individuele gevallen een compensatiebedrag vast te stellen. Dit advies brengt de Commissie Lindenbergh maandag 20 juni 2011 uit aan de Nederlandse Bisschoppenconferentie en de Konferentie van Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR).

Een commissie onder leiding van prof.mr. S.D. Lindenbergh, hoogleraar privaatrecht aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, kreeg vorig najaar het verzoek van de Nederlandse Bisschoppenconferentie en de Konferentie van Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR) om te adviseren over genoegdoening na seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen.

De commissie adviseert een concrete regeling in te voeren. Dit behelst een collectieve financiële verantwoordelijkheid van alle Rooms-katholieke instellingen in Nederland. Om de slachtoffers zo min mogelijk te belasten adviseert de Commissie Lindenbergh een zo kort en eenvoudig mogelijke procedure, buiten de Rooms-katholieke kerk om. De financiële compensatie moet gerelateerd worden aan de ernst van het misbruik. De regeling omvat een indeling in vijf categorieën met vaste of begrensde compensatiebedragen. Een onafhankelijke commissie van deskundigen die geen binding hebben met Rooms-katholieke instellingen doet uitspraak over de categorisering van individuele gevallen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

Reactie bisschoppen en KNR op rapport Lindenbergh

NEDERLAND
RKnieuws

DEN BOSCH / UTRECHT (RKnieuws.net) - De Nederlandse Bisschoppenconferentie en het bestuur van de Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR) hebben vandaag het rapport van de Commissie Lindenbergh in ontvangst genomen. Dit advies schetst de contouren van een regeling voor financiële compensatie aan slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik tijdens hun minderjarigheid, waarbij daders behorende tot instellingen van de RK Kerk betrokken waren.

In een eerste reactie laten broeder Cees van Dam, voorzitter van de KNR, en mgr. Gerard de Korte, binnen de Nederlandse Bisschoppenconferentie referent voor seksueel misbruik, weten dat de belangen van slachtoffers voorop dienen te staan. Zij herkennen dat in het streven van de Commissie om juridische complicaties zoveel mogelijk te vermijden, teneinde een voor de slachtoffers zo min mogelijk belastende procedure te bevorderen. In het kader van genoegdoening is financiële compensatie alleen echter niet toereikend. Hulpverlening, erkenning en excuses maken evenzeer deel uit van een traject van genoegdoening na het leed dat is teweeggebracht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

SOLT's Superior Speaks

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by FATHER GERARD SHEEHAN, SOLT 06/20/2011

Courtesy the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity

“As the regional priest servant of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), I issue the following statement on behalf of the society:

On 16 March 2011, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas, and the SOLT received a complaint against Father John Corapi, SOLT. As is normal procedure and due to the gravity of the accusation alleging conduct not in concert with the priestly state or his promises as a member of an society of apostolic of diocesan right, Father Corapi was suspended from active ministry (put on administrative leave) until such a time that the complaint could be fully investigated and due process given to Father Corapi. In the midst of the investigation, the SOLT received a letter from Father Corapi, dated June 3, 2011, indicating that, because of the physical, emotional and spiritual distress he has endured over the past few years, he could no longer continue to function as a priest or a member of the SOLT. Although the investigation was in progress, the SOLT had not arrived at any conclusion as to the credibility of the allegations under investigation.

At the onset, the Bishop of Corpus Christi advised the SOLT to not only proceed with the policies outlined in their own constitution, but also with the proper canonical procedures to determine the credibility of the allegations against Father Corapi. We reiterate that Father Corapi had not been determined guilty of any canonical or civil crimes. If the allegations had been found to be credible, the proper canonical due process would have been offered to Father Corapi, including his right to defense, to know his accuser and the complaint lodged, and a fair canonical trial with the right of recourse to the Holy See. On June 17, 2011, Father John Corapi issued a public statement indicating that he has chosen to cease functioning as a priest and a member of the SOLT.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

David Clohessy Issues SNAP Press Statement on Wenthe Case: Laws Apply to the Church, Too

MINNESOTA
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

In a response to a comment at the thread that has developed with my posting earlier today about the lawsuit of Fr. Thomas Wenthe in St. Paul, Minnesota, challenging the constitutionality of the Minnesota law governing inappropriate behavior of pastors with those under pastoral care, I mention that David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, had issued a press statement about the Wenthe case earlier today. I have been watching for this statement to appear on SNAP's website, but haven't seen it pop up there yet. When it does, I'll provide a link to the statement.

Meanwhile, since the press statement has come to me by email, and since what David Clohessy says in it provides very helpful context for interpreting what Wenthe and his attorney are trying to do, I want to excerpt some observations from David's press statement. These address questions a number of those commenting on the previous thread have raised about what might make abuse of a pastoral counseling relationship different from abuse of other adult relationships that don't involve a pastoral context.

First, I want to note that David calls on the bishops of Minnesota to denounce the legal tactic of Wenthe and his attorney, which attacks the constitutionality of Minnesota laws governing pastoral behavior. David notes that this is a "callous and selfish move" that would leave those receiving pastoral ministry vulnerable to exploitation by clerical predators, if it succeeded. He sees this move as "typical" of what predators do: Wenthe is "trying to exploit every possible legal maneuver and technicality to avoid responsibility for his sexual exploitation of a vulnerable parishioner."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Christian network sued in child sex abuse case

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear Tribune reporter

1:37 p.m. CDT, June 20, 2011

An international Christian radio and television network based in West Frankfort and the brother of the network’s founder were named in a federal child sex abuse lawsuit filed in Chicago today.

Three Angels Broadcasting Network, or 3ABN, and the Rev. Tommy Shelton, the brother of the network’s founder Danny Shelton, were named in the complaint filed by plaintiff Alex Walker, 25, of Mattoon.

Walker alleges that Tommy Shelton sexually abused him when he worked as a production assistant at 3ABN in 2001. Walker’s lawyer Jeff Herman of Miami said Shelton commuted to 3ABN from his home in Kentucky for the purpose of abusing Walker, which Herman believes makes the civil suit a federal case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Seminarians want to be 'part of the solution' in addressing abuse issue

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Service

By Patricia Zapor
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Most of them weren't born yet when the events occurred that came to define the U.S. crisis of sexual abuse by priests. But for men who entered the seminary in the past decade, a point of commonality seems to be that they want to prove that priests are good people.

A decade after the U.S. Catholic Church scandal about clergy sex abuse exploded in the news, several seminaries contacted by Catholic News Service reported the same motivation among the men who have entered the schools in the past decade: "They all said they want to be part of the solution," as Father Thomas Baima, vice president and provost at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois put it.

Seminaries have adapted their admissions process and their curriculum somewhat to reflect an increased emphasis on understanding the role and demands of celibacy and on what is called "human development" in academia. But the common theme voiced by seminary administrators asked about what has changed was that applicants say they want to counteract the negative image of the priesthood that the abuse scandal created.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

Corapi's departure from priesthood leaves questions unanswered

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

June 20, 2011

The stunning announcement by John Corapi that he is leaving the Catholic priesthood has raised a series of questions about the man who had earned national attention as a preacher.

Corapi, who had been suspended from ministry after being charged with misconduct, announced on June 17: “My canon lawyer and my civil lawyers have concluded that I cannot receive a fair and just hearing under the Church’s present process.” In a rambling public statement he denounced the absence of due-process protections for accused priests, said that he was leaving the priesthood, and promised to continue speaking out publicly under a new title as “The Black Sheep Dog.”

“My topics will be broader than in the past, and my audience likewise is apt to be broader,” Corapi said. He did not indicate whether he intended to continue speaking as a Catholic, or whether he would seek to appeal to a different clientele. The “Black Sheep Dog” web site had been registered nearly a year ago by the corporation that markets his books and tapes, and announced as the title of a forthcoming autobiography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Motion for continuance filed in Edouard case

IOWA
Journal-Express

Steve Woodhouse Journal-Express

Knoxville — The attorney for former Pella Pastor Patrick Edouard has filed a motion for continuance.

Edouard, 41, a former pastor at the Covenant Reformed Church in Pella, was arrested March 23 and charged with three counts of sexual abuse third degree and four counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor.

Court records indicate that Edouard, pictured, forced sexual contact on at least three women while serving as the minister from 2003-10. Each sexual abuse complaint included statements that Edouard told the women that if they reported the abuse, no one would believe them. In one case, he told the woman that her husband would not forgive her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Human rights victory for rapists and paedophiles

UNITED KINGDOM
The Telegraph

By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent

A Supreme Court ruling has forced the Government reluctantly to draw up new rules allowing serious sex offenders put on the register for life to have their place on the list reconsidered.

The Home Office plans were opposed by child protection campaigners and Conservative MPs, who said some offenders could never be considered completely “safe”. The new rules were drawn up because the Supreme Court ruled that automatic lifetime inclusion on the register breached the Human Rights Act.

David Cameron said the ruling was “offensive,” but ministers say they have no choice but to comply by changing the rules on the register.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Katholieke Kerk bepaalt niveaus van schadevergoeding seksueel misbruik

NEDERLAND
NRC Handelsblad

Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk krijgen schadevergoedingen tot 25.000 euro. Alleen in uitzonderlijke gevallen wordt meer betaald, tot 100.000 euro. Dat staat in de financiële compensatieregeling die de commissie-Lindenbergh heeft opgesteld op verzoek van de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk in Nederland.

Strenge toelatingseisen leiden ertoe dat waarschijnlijk maar een kwart van de meer dan tweeduizend slachtoffers die zich gemeld hebben, in aanmerking komt voor uitbetaling. De regeling kost naar schatting dan zo’n 5 miljoen euro. Daarvan kan de Kerk één miljoen euro betalen uit een verzekeringsfonds. De rest dragen katholieke instellingen collectief bij. De Kerk lijkt hierdoor niet in financiële problemen te komen.

In de Verenigde Staten moesten eerder gebouwen verkocht worden om één miljard dollar aan schadevergoedingen te kunnen betalen. In Ierland kostte de compensatie Kerk en Staat samen een half miljard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Secrecy, Sophistry And Gay Sex In The Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
ExpertClick

[Rev. Richard Wagner]

For centuries homosexuals have been vilified and persecuted by the Catholic Church, but throughout all of its history the Church has had a very inconvenient secret. Many of its clergy and religious men and women, even those in the highest echelons of the Church, were and are homosexual. Little was known of the lives these religious people live until the publication, in 1981, of the groundbreaking, Gay Catholic Priests; A Study of Cognitive and Affective Dissonance.

I am the author of that study and I am a gay priest. But the media firestorm that erupted after its publication and the backlash within my religious community because of its publication eventually destroyed my public priesthood. The story of my 13-year battle with the Church to save my ministry exemplifies the spiritual isolation, emotional distress and ecclesiastical reprisals every gay priest most fears.

A Brief Description

Secrecy, Sophistry And Gay Sex In The Catholic Church provides an intimate and disturbing look into the unseemly inner-workings the Catholic Church. It is primarily a story about how this institution deals with dissent in its midst, but it also shows to what lengths the Church will go to silence a whistle-blower. What I am about to recount happened between 1981 and 1994. It involves the highest levels of the Vatican bureaucracy, secret documents, corporate incompetence, canonical corruption, and institutionalized homophobia on an epic scale.

The publication of my dissertation broke the seal on the Vatican's gay secret. The press dubbed me "The Gay Priest," but my research and what it implies made patently clear that I wasn't the only gay priest. In fact, there is a sizable segment of the clergy population that is gay and these men are forced to live duplicitous lives of repression in secret.

The Church's single-minded effort to quash the emerging story and silence me showed that I needed to be "dealt with" in the most severe fashion; an example had to be made of me. If other priests started coming out of the closet, demanding to be treated with dignity and respect it would certainly undercut the entirety of Catholic sexual moral theology—there is no place for non-reproductive sexuality in that paradigm.

The irony is that at the same time my story was unfolding an unimaginable scandal, involving hundreds of Catholic priests across the globe, was also brewing. Cardinals, bishops and provincials worldwide were, and still are, furtively shuffling pedophile priest from one crime scene to another. They were, and still are, involved in a massive corporate cover up of their own crimes and those of their brother clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

David Quinn: Magdalene inquiry must lift veil and uncloak anti-Catholic myths

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By David Quinn

Friday June 17 2011

If you were to ask a member of the public about the Magdalene Laundries they would probably tell you one or other of these three things.

First, the Magdalene homes were a Catholic invention. Secondly, they were an invention specifically of Catholic Ireland. Third, they were established to punish unmarried mothers for having had sex outside marriage.

None of these three 'facts' are true. Instead they belong to something called 'Myth-History', that is, a version of history that has been concocted out of parts of the truth and that suits a particular ideological point of view, in this case that Catholic Ireland was a uniquely cruel and awful place.

This Myth-History must be placed before us at all times in order to eliminate any danger of us ever repeating the mistakes of that benighted time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Father Corapi: You can't make this stuff up

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Heidi Schlumpf on Jun. 20, 2011

Three months ago, I wrote on this blog about the allegations of misconduct against Father John Corapi and the troubling reaction by what I termed his "fans." It looks like he lost a few of those fans this weekend with his announcement, via a YouTube video, that he is leaving the priesthood and establishing himself as the "Black Sheep Dog" where he can continue and broaden his ministry and outreach.

A favorite of traditionalist Catholics and EWTN watchers, Corapi and his almost unbelievable story of conversion from a fast life of money and drugs to the Catholic priesthood is taking some even stranger turns.

The announcement is odd, not only because of the dark logo that accompanies his new "brand," but because he seems to imply he had no choice, given the investigative process. Yet the superior of his religious community, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), says it was Corapi who was making the investigation of the allegations of the former employee difficult, because Corapi had required the employee to sign a non-disclosure statement and is now suing her for breach of contract.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Hudson-born priest Corapi: I'm quitting

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

BY ROBERT GAVIN Staff writer
Published 05:06 p.m., Monday, June 20, 2011

ALBANY -- A Hudson-born priest whose riches-to-rags-to-redemption story helped him gain a national following has announced his departure from the Catholic Church following allegations of affairs with women and drug use.

The Rev. John Corapi, 64, who was placed on administrative leave in March after the allegations were made, announced his departure on his website, www.fathercorapi.com.

He noted Sunday -- his 20th anniversary as a priest -- had been his final Mass.

"I will not try to fight this irrational and unjust situation for the simple reason that I don't want to be placed in an adversarial posture against the Church," Corapi said on the site, on which he called himself the "Black Sheepdog."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Popular priest with Robstown connection steps down amid sex inquiry

TEXAS
Caller

CORPUS CHRISTI — A Catholic priest who is a member of a Robstown-based religious order has indicated he will leave the priesthood amid an investigation into sex allegations from a former employee.

The Rev. John Corapi, who has denied the allegations, has a nationwide following via television, Internet and in-person speaking appearances.

He belongs to the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, headquartered in Robstown, and his résumé includes work for St. Anthony's Parish in Robstown, though it's not clear when he worked there. Officials from the parish and from the religious order could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

New Information on the Fr. Corapi Situation

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by Jimmy Akin Monday, June 20, 2011

Since Fr. John Corapi released his bombshell statement Friday, in which he announced that he was leaving the priesthood, several pieces of new information have emerged that shed light on the situation.

Before we get to those, though, I would like to again call attention to the written statement on his new web site and the narrated version available on YouTube. These present Fr. Corapi’s own explanation of the current situation and provide a valuable source of information regarding it.

I would also point out something that may not be obvious if you are exposed to just one of the two sources: Though the wording is the same in both (except for very slight differences), they are significantly different in tone. In particular, the modulations of Fr. Corapi’s voice convey a tone of reasonableness not conveyed by the words of the printed edition. If you’ve read only the latter, be sure and listen to the former, because it contains important tonal information not captured in the written version.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Defensa de Karadima coordina careos entre sacerdote y denunciantes

CHILE
Noticias 123

El abogado penal de Fernando Karadima, Cristián Muga, se reunió con la ministro en visita Jessica González, para afinar los detalles de una semana que se anticipa como crucial en la investigación.

De acuerdo a fuentes judiciales, durante esta o la próxima semana la magistrado desarrollará los careos entre el sacerdote y sus denunciantes, por lo que la preocupación de su defensa es poder generar los espacios adecuados para no afectar la salud del clérigo.

Cabe recordar que en su declaración ante la jueza González, Karadima estuvo acompañado por un médico durante las cuatro horas que duró el interrogatorio, por lo que en esta oportunidad se prevé que también esté acompañado.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Dutch decide church sex abuse compo sum

NETHERLANDS
Sydney Morning Herald

AFP

Dutch victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy should be paid up to 100,000 euros ($A135,000) in damages depending on the severity of the offence, a commission recommends.

"The financial compensation should be relative to the gravity of the abuse," said the Lindenbergh commission, made up of three legal experts appointed by the Dutch Roman Catholic Church.

The commission was set up in November last year to advise the church on financial compensation for hundreds of alleged sex abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Catholic church should compensate sexual abuse victims

NETHERLANDS
Dutch News

Monday 20 June 2011

Victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic church should be paid compensation up to €25,000 by the church, the commission Lindenbergh said in its report published on Monday. In exceptional cases, the figure could reach €100,000.

The commission, led by private law professor Siewert Lindenbergh, was set up to advise on the levels of compensation. It estimates that around a quarter of the 2,000 victims who have claimed compensation will receive a pay-out because of the strict qualification demands, reports NRC.

Compensation will be calculated on the basis of the seriousness of the abuse, the commission says. It will range from €5,000 for remarks or behaviour of a sexual nature to €25,000 for rape or multiple rape. The €100,000 will be paid in exceptional cases such as gang rape or serious abuse causing permanent damage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Church should pay Dutch abuse victims: commission

NETHERLANDS
Fox 4

Reuters

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Catholic Church should pay compensation of 5,000-100,000 euros each to victims who were sexually abused while in its care in the Netherlands, a report commissioned by Dutch bishops said on Monday.

The Dutch bishops' conference had sought the recommendation of an independent commission after cases surfaced involving pedophile priests in the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Canada and the United States.

Victims should be paid on a sliding scale starting at 5,000 euros, with 25,000 for victims of rape and the maximum of 100,000 euros ($142,300) for "exceptional cases of sexual abuse," the commission concluded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

EWTN’s statement on Corapi

UNITED STATES
The Anchoress

June 20, 2011 by Elizabeth Scalia

...Over on Facebook, a brief statement from the network:

EWTN was deeply saddened by the news that Father John Corapi has announced his decision to resign from active priestly ministry and religious life. Unfortunately, his decision makes it impossible for the Network to return his programming to the airwaves. We urge our EWTN Family to continue to pray for him, for all priests and for the unity of the Church.

The comments following these remarks range from the sorrowful to the angry to the childish to the spiteful. Clearly people are hurting, but they need to get a flipping grip, now, and remember that EWTN has provided them with sound Catholic programming for 30 years, and has done nothing wrong to John Corapi; they are simply remaining consistent to their own (reasonable) policies, and treating him — excuse me, folks but some need to hear it — like a man, and not a god, saint or superhero. EWTN is not “punishing” Corapi. They are not “abandoning” him. He is removing himself from priestly ministry (in the vaguest way possible, too, it seems) and therefore, sorry, but you won’t be able to watch old tapes of his that identify him as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Popular Catholic speaker – Father John Corapi – leaves priesthood

TEXAS
San Antonio Express-News

Father John Corapi, a highly popular Catholic speaker who belongs to a Texas-based religious order, announced last Friday he is leaving the priesthood amid an ongoing investigation that he sexually abused an adult woman formerly on his staff.

The announcement, given on YouTube by him, was a surprising move for followers of a priest noted for candid one-liners borne of doctrinally conservative beliefs.

He drew a few thousand to the AT&T Center nearly a year ago where he dished out his inspirational messages for a visit to San Antonio, including a book signing and visits with local Catholic leaders.

The event was a fund raiser for the Alexander House, which promotes family ministry and support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Maureen Dowd Wages War on the 'Starchbishop' of New York for Having the 'Gall' to Oppose Gay Lobby

NEW YORK
NewsBusters

By Tim Graham | June 20, 2011

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is a nominal Catholic. She doesn’t believe at all in the church’s teaching that homosexuality is a sin. When Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, opposes “gay marriage” in New York, the best Dowd could do in her Saturday column was call him the “Starchbishop” and drag out (repeatedly) the sexual abuse scandal of the 1960s and 1970s. If this kind of knee-jerk thinking is annoying at the dinner table, who'd enjoy it in the newspaper?

Archbishop Dolan was born in 1950. Maureen Dowd was born in 1952. Can Dowd really blame Dolan for something that she was “equally” as responsible for in the Catholic church of their childhood? Dolan didn't become a priest until 1976 and didn't get a bishop's responsiblities until 2002. But Dowd is offended that the prelate would dare intervene or speak out on a matter of sexuality:

Certainly his effort to kill the gay marriage bill, just one vote away from passing in Albany, shows a lot of gall.

The archbishop has been ferocious in fighting against marriage between same-sex couples, painting it as a perversity against nature.
If only his church had been as ferocious in fighting against the true perversity against nature: the unending horror of pedophile priests and the children who trusted them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Minnesota Priest Challenges Law: New Apologetic Excuses Violations of Pastoral Relationships

MINNESOTA
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

It looks as if this may be a new trend among Catholics who continue to view the clerical abuse crisis as something manufactured by the media and attorneys, and as largely a matter of gay priests abusing pubescent boys: Fr. Christopher Wenthe of St. Paul is suing to have charges against him dismissed, in a case alleging that he abused his pastoral authority and a counseling relationship to seduce an adult woman.

Minnesota law criminalizes clergy abuse of pastoral relationships with those seeking "religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort in private." Wenthe's attorney is arguing that this law is unconstitutional and is "an overly broad attempt to regulate sexual behavior."

Attorneys for Ramsey County, Minnesota, have replied that the constitutionality of the law has been previously upheld in court, and that it would be dangerous and inconsistent to grant license to pastors which is not granted to other professionals--such as doctors, therapists, or social workers--in their interaction with clients. County prosecutors write,

Like statutes prohibiting sexual relationships between patients and doctors, therapists, counselors and social workers, the power imbalance created in the clergy-counselee relationship lies at the heart of criminalizing any sexual relationship that may develop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

The Catholic Church and sexual abuse

CANADA
The Lawyers Weekly

By John McKiggan

June 24 2011 issue

Sexual abuse compensation claims have been filed against the Catholic Church in almost every province in Canada — and similar lawsuits are being filed in other countries around the world. But has the Catholic Church, as an institution, taken reasonable steps to address the problem of sexual abuse by priests?

Background

Before he became the current Pope, Bishop Joseph Ratzinger was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for more than 20 years. The role of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to “safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world” and deals with, among other things, priests accused of pedophilia.

Casting blame

In the recent past, officials in the Catholic Church, including Pope Benedict XVI, have stated that the Catholic sexual abuse crisis was the responsibility of the media, homosexual priests, pornography and even the devil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

St. Paul priest challenges sex charges

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: LORA PABST, Star Tribune

A priest accused of violating state law by allegedly having a sexual relationship with an adult parishioner will ask a Ramsey County judge on Monday to dismiss his felony criminal charge.

The Rev. Christopher Wenthe was charged in February with third-degree criminal sexual conduct after a woman reported to police that Wenthe took advantage of his position and her trust in him by engaging in a sexual relationship that lasted for more than a year.

Paul Engh, Wenthe's attorney, filed a motion arguing that the state law prohibiting a clergy member from having sex with a person who is seeking or receiving "religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort in private" is unconstitutional. In court records, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office said the law is constitutional and has been upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Priest asks judge to dismiss sexual misconduct

MINNESOTA
KTTC

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A priest accused of misconduct for having a sexual relationship with a female parishioner will ask a Ramsey County judge Monday to dismiss a charge against him because it's unconstitutional.

Rev. Christopher Wenthe was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct after a woman told police Wenthe took advantage of position by having a sexual relationship with her for more than a year.

An attorney for the St. Paul priest, Paul Engh, says the meaning of Catholic confession is key to Wenthe's defense and whether it is spiritual advice. Wenthe said he heard the woman's confession one time before their relationship began.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Elvis has left the building, but Fr. Corapi has not left the priesthood

TEXAS
A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics

And no, I’m not arguing on the ground of the indelible character of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, I’m saying that Fr. Corapi will remain a priest, he will simply no longer speak as one in public (and, of course, cannot celebrate the Sacraments publicly). Retired Bishop Rene Gracida of Corpus Christi, who approved the basing of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (Fr. Corapi’s order) in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, and who has many contacts in that order, has some very interesting thoughts on the matter:

As a suspended priest he cannot function publicly as a priest, but he can continue to evangelize as long as he does not present himself to the public as a priest.

Every baptized person is given the obligation of being a witness to the truth, of being an evangelizer. In Father Corapi’s case, the obligation is all the greater in view of the gift of the sacramental priesthood he has been given. Prevented (hopefully only temporarily) from exercising that priesthood in a public manner during his suspension, he is aware of his obligation to be a witness to the truth and to continue to evangelize. He evidently intends to do so until his suspension is lifted not as Father John Corapi but as The Black Sheep Dog.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Church acts to deal with abuse by clergy

VATICAN CITY
Sydney Morning Herald

ROME: Bishops and the leaders of religious orders from around the world have been invited to a symposium at Rome's Jesuit University in February on how to prevent and respond to abuse of children by clergy members.

Psychologists, theologians and child-abuse specialists are expected to participate in the symposium, providing expertise to bishops, whom the Vatican has given a deadline of next May to come up with guidelines on how to handle accusations of abuse.

Plans also call for information to be posted on an internet learning centre and in a database that will involve co-operation with medical schools and universities, and will be accessible, in part, to the public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Rome: symposium on sex abuse planned for 2012

VATICAN CITY
Independent Catholic News

By: Dan Bergin
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011

An international conference on clerical sex abuse will take place at the Gregorian University in Rome next February 6-9.

More than 200 representatives from bishops' conferences and major religious orders around the world are being invite to the 'Towards Healing and Renewal Symposium'.

Fr Hans Zollner SJ, Head of the Preparatory Committee of the Symposium, said that child-abuse specialists, doctors, psychologists, sociologists and theologians will be speaking at the event.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Rev. John Corapi QUITS, television personality leaves priestly ministry

UNITED STATES
Catholic Online

Charismatic speaker was accused of sexual misconduct

The Rev. John Corapi, a nationally televised Roman Catholic priest, known for his no-nonsense style and declarations of "My mother [Mary] wears combat boots," has declared that he is leaving the priesthood. Accused of sexual misconduct by a female employee, Corapi posted a video on his Web site in which he said that there are "persons in authority in the Church that want me gone." The 64-year-old also blasted church officials for their "fatally flawed" handling of allegations against him.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Corapi had won many adherents on the basis of his unusual conversion story. Once a prominent and wealthy real estate agent in Los Angeles, he saw his fortune disintegrate because of cocaine addiction. Corapi was homeless for three years until he checked into a psychiatric facility. He decided to turn his life around in 1984 and later enrolled in seminary and was ordained as a deacon in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1990. He was ordained as a priest a year later by Pope John Paul II.

Corapi became a celebrity among devoted Catholics for his appearances on Eternal Word Television Network, a globally broadcast Catholic TV and radio network. His appearances at Catholic conferences are known to draw upwards of 10,000 fans each.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Still missing the point

MASSACHUSETTS
The Sun Chronicle

It's been 21 years since Frank Fitzpatrick leveled his sexual molestation complaints against former Catholic priest James Porter publicly, setting in motion an avalanche from which neither the Church nor many Catholics have fully recovered.

You would think that in those 21 years, the Vatican would be more in tune with modern society and its ideas about sexual assault and the way Church leaders deal with sexual offenders dressed in frocks.

But that, apparently, is wishful thinking.

Last month, a study commissioned by Roman Catholic bishops faulted not the offending priests for the abuse, nor the Church leadership for its failure to recognize and address the problem, but rather the country's sexual revolution of the 1960s, calling it a "historical problem."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

June 19, 2011

Pastor arrested for sexually abusing minor girls

INDIA
CathNews

A pastor was arrested in Bangalore for sexually exploiting minor girls at a study centre following a complaint by his wife.

Pastor K. Shantharaju of Bethel Church, who fled after his wife Priyalatha registered a complaint against him, was apprehended while he was in transit, the police said.

His wife also accused him of being a paedophile.

Over 25 minor girls, who had been visiting the Bethel Student Centre at Jalahalli as they could not afford the high cost of education, were sexually exploited by the 45-year-old pastor since 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 PM

Father Corapi’s Bombshell

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND 06/19/2011

Father John Corapi, the popular Catholic evangelist, announced on June 17 that he would leave the priesthood and begin a new endeavor outside Church control — called “Black Sheep Dog” — focused on a “broader” message and a global audience.

Three months have passed since Father Corapi, a priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), was removed from public ministry by his order while it investigated allegations of misconduct leveled by one of his former employees.

Posted on YouTube and on the website of Santa Cruz Media, the company led by Father Corapi that distributes his bestselling catechetical materials, the announcement shocked his many supporters, some of whom had vented their anger at the priest’s religious superiors and at EWTN and other media outlets, which suspended his programs after the allegations against him became public. The Register is a service of EWTN.

Raising more questions than it answered, the message did not state the precise reason why Father Corapi chose to resign from the priesthood, rather than waiting for the outcome of SOLT’s investigation of the alleged misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 PM

State apology is only way to express wrong done to Magdalenes

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARY RAFTERY

OPINION: Damning information on State’s links to the laundries pops up in surprising places

Last week, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter became the first representative of the State to recognise officially that Irish society may have a duty to the thousands of women (most of them no longer with us) who toiled behind the locked doors of the Magdalene laundries.

However, his new committee of civil servants examining the State’s connections with laundries will need to deploy formidable skills in lateral thinking.

Official information on these institutions can be tricky to find, and may pop up in unexpected places. For instance, a search in military records might be instructive.

In the early 1940s, for example, it appeared that some State bodies, most particularly the Army, were transferring their laundry contracts from commercial laundries to what were euphemistically called “institutional laundries”. These of course were the large Magdalene operations, centred in Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Galway and New Ross.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Vatican sex crimes chief defends archbishop

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

THE VATICAN’S senior sex crimes prosecutor, Maltese Msgr Charles Scicluna, said on Saturday that he respected the right of the Archbishop of Dublin to speak out and “say whatever he thinks needs to be said”.

Msgr Scicluna, the chief promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, struck a diplomatic tone when asked about Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s recent public criticism of the slowness of the Holy See’s apostolic visitation process in Ireland, saying: “I respect his freedom to say whatever he thinks needs to be said . . .”

Msgr Scicluna was speaking on the margins of a press conference at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, held to promote Towards Healing And Renewal , a symposium for Catholic bishops and religious superiors to be held next February.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

DUE PROCESS FOR ACCUSED PRIESTS

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Father Gordon J. MacRae

This article is expanded from a commentary by the same author entitled “Crime and Punishment” published in the November 2008 issue of First Things.

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 for his work on a phenomenon in psychology and marketing called “availability bias.” Kahneman demonstrated the human tendency to give a proposition validity just by how easily it comes to mind. An uncorroborated statement can be widely seen as true merely because the media has repeated it.

Also in 2002, the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal swept out of Boston to dominate news headlines across the country. Many commentators writing on the scandal have, knowingly or not, employed availability bias to justify draconian revisions in law and policy. The revelations of priestly scandal have evolved a number of examples of availability bias—snippets of ostensible fact repeated so often in the news media that they assume the visage of unassailable truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

SEX ABUSE AND SIGNS OF FRAUD

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

By Gordon J. MacRae

Three years before the latest wave of clergy sex abuse claims rippled out of Boston across the country, Sean Murphy, age 37, and his mother, Sylvia, demanded $850,000 from the Archdiocese of Boston. Sean claimed that three decades earlier, he and his brother were repeatedly molested by their parish priest. In support of the claim, Mrs. Murphy produced old school records placing her sons in a community where the priest was once assigned. No other corroboration was needed. Shortly thereafter, Byron Worth, age 41, recounted molestation by the same priest and demanded his own six-figure settlement.

The men were following an established practice of "blanket settlements," a precedent set in the early 1990s when a multitude of molestation claims from the 1960s and 1970s emerged against Father James Porter and a few other priests. In 1993, the Diocese of Fall River settled some 80 such claims in one fell swoop. Other Church institutions followed that lead on the advice of insurers and attorneys.

Before the Murphys' $850,000 demand was paid, however, Sean, his mother, and Byron Worth were indicted by a Massachusetts grand jury for conspiracy, attempted larceny, and soliciting others to commit larceny. It turned out that Sean and Byron were once inmates together at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Shirley where they concocted their fraudulent plan to score a windfall from their beleaguered Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Jason Berry, Michael Brown and among authors visiting New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

By Suzanne Stouse

Books to look for in bookstores this week and at the American Library Association convention opening Thursday in New Orleans. ...

Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church

By Jason Berry (Crown, $25)

A practicing Catholic, investigative journalist Berry calls the church one of history's great engines of charity even as he examines "the secrecy and deceit that run counter to its values." An "astonishing lack of accountability for the billions of dollars that run through the Catholic Church each year" is particularly noteworthy, he writes, in light of the abuse scandals that so far have seen the American church alone paying out nearly $2 billion to settle legal suits. Among the financial sins, according to Berry: The Vatican has never revealed its net worth -- and the value of its art, properties and stocks held through its bank "easily run into the tens of billions" (while the 108-acre sovereign state's budget is only $280 million). And the Vatican Bank -- where $30 million was impounded last year because of suspected money laundering -- is not listed on Vatican financial statements. Berry signs the book Wednesday, 5-7:30 p.m., Garden District Book Shop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Vatican moves to tackle child sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Radio New Zealand

The gathering will be next February in Rome, and bishops have been told to come up with guidelines to combat abuse, in line with local laws.

Also invited to the conference - being held in conjunction with the Pontifical Gregorian University, a Jesuit institution - will be experts in psychiatry, church law, sociology and child protection programmes.

The Catholic Church has been rocked by scandals over sexual abuse by priests.

The Vatican also intends to set up a new e-learning centre to help safeguard children and victims of sexual abuse by clergy, the BBC reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

March Held in Support of Bishop Finn

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Fox 4

[with video]

KANSAS CITY, Mo—
A group showed support for the Catholic church amidst a sex scandal that seems to be dividing the church. About 75 people gathered to pay and show support for Bishop Robert Finn. Many said they're praying for unity.

"The situation we face right now affects everyone in the Catholic community but of course it goes beyond that," said Bob Roper who supports Bishop Finn. ...

The executive director of SNAP, The Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests says Saturday's march seems insensitive to victims and their families.

"All we are asking is that if you support Bishop Finn is to do it quietly," said SNAP director David Clohessy. "Do it privately. Don't make a huge public spectacle that will basically intimidate other victims and witnesses into staying silent."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Priest slams church over sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Press TV (Iran)

John Corapi, a popular American Roman Catholic priest, has decided to leave priesthood over sexual abuse charges, slamming the church over the handling of his case.

In March, the 64-year-old was charged with sexually assaulting one of his female employees, the Huffington Post reported on Saturday.

In an audio statement posted on YouTube, Corapi refuted the allegations and blasted church officials for their "fatally flawed" handling of accusations against him.

There are "persons in authority in the Church that want me gone," the priest said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Soul Searching: Sexual abuse, cults, and missionaries

UNITED STATES
Examiner

by Vicki Polin and Na'ama Yehuda

Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor" (Leviticus 19:16).

Where is God? Is he/she really out there? If there really is a God why did he/she allow me to get hurt as a child? These are very common question amongst survivors of childhood sexual abuse. But why should we care? After all, Jews don't abuse their children! Or do they?

Unfortunately, in the past many Jewish survivors of sexual abuse have been met with denial, rationalizations, and blame from various "trusted officials" in the Jewish community when they'd reached out for help. It's still not uncommon for a survivor to go to various rabbinical authorities with their questions; and end up feeling rejected when they disclosed their abuse histories. Time after time adults who, as children, were subjected to sexual criminal activities, were told that the mere fact that they were disclosing their victimization was considered lashon hara ('derogatory speech, that is true'). Basically meaning the fact that they were speaking out, was wrong.

Did you ever stop and wonder "What happens to an individual who feels betrayed by their own community?" Some survivors may try to find another rabbi to talk to, but all too often doing so, seems like a futile task.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Shaolin priest not involved in sex scandal, says China

CHINA
Mangalorean

Beijing, June 19 (IANS) Allegations against the current abbot of China's Shaolin Temple about soliciting prostitutes and later being arrested are not true, says a government statement.

The State Administration for Religious Affairs Saturday said online news reports about priest Shi Yongxin were rumours.

"We seriously condemn the rumour since it was not only defamation of Shi himself, but also harmed the image of the famous shrine and even the reputation of Chinese Buddhism," the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Priest’s secret past revealed

UNITED KINGDOM
Pocklington Post

A SENIOR staff member sacked from a Roman Catholic children’s home in Market Weighton for sexually abusing boys went on to become a priest in the same diocese, it was revealed this week.

Father Joseph O’Brien, who was dismissed for abusing a number of boys at St William’s Community Home, went on to serve as a priest in Thirsk for 15 years.

The case casts another shadow over the Roman Catholic Church, which has been the subject of a series of accusations that it harboured priests who abused children.

It also poses questions for Humberside Police, which was made aware of Father O’Brien’s actions but did not interview or arrest him when his history was flagged up in a formal witness statement in 2002. Father O’Brien died in January last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

China denies involvement of temple priest in sexual misconduct

CHINA
MSN News

Beijing, Jun 19 (PTI) Officials in China have dismissed as rumours the allegations that the chief priest of a famous temple here was arrested for soliciting prostitutes.

"We seriously condemn the rumour since it was not only defamation of Shi himself, but also harmed the image of the famous shrine and even the reputation of Chinese Buddhism," China''s State Administration for Religious Affairs said in a statement.

The statement asked religious figures, Buddhism believers and the internet users not to believe and spread the rumour further.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Court remands Fetish priest for defilement

GHANA
Ghana News Agency

Tarkwa, June 19, GNA - A fetish priest, Nana Tetteh, 29, has been remanded in to prison custody by the Tarkwa Circuit Court for defiling a 15- year- old girl.

He pleaded guilty and would reappear before the court on June 27.

Prosecuting Police Chief Inspector Florence Tawiah told the court presided over by Mr Samuel Obeng Diawuo that the complainant George Johnfiah is a mechanic working with Golden Star Bogoso/ Prestea Limited.

Inspector Tawiah said, the complainant lived in Prestea with the victim who is a class five pupil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Make vital changes in prison system

LOUISIANA
Daily World

People who know about prisons — including, in a column on this page, state Supreme Court Justice Catherine Kimball — can tell you all about how messed up Louisiana's penal system is.

The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. No dictatorship or extremist religious regime imprisons a higher percentage of its citizens. And Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the United States — 885 per 100,000 residents in the state and federal systems as of 2009, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Louisiana's spending on the state correctional system has tripled in 20 years, yet we actually lag. Nationally, corrections spending has quadrupled. Who's running up this tab? In Louisiana, about eight new inmates in 10 each year were convicted for nonviolent crimes, most related to substance abuse. ...

» In an infamous local case, a one-time priest, Gilbert Gauthe, was sentenced to 20 years for molesting children in Vermilion Parish. He was released on good time after 10 years in 1995, and within months faced new sexual battery allegations involving a toddler in Texas. The second case was never proven. But Gauthe had been diagnosed as a pedophile, for which there is no effective cure. He was released as though prison might have taught him a lesson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Lutte contre la pédophilie: le Vatican préconise d'apprendre les "meilleures pratiques"<

VATICAN
La Parisien

Les évêques du monde entier doivent apprendre "les meilleures pratiques" dans la prévention et la lutte contre la pédophilie, et donner la priorité à l'éducation et à l'écoute des victimes, a souligné samedi le Vatican.

"L'évêque doit être un bon pasteur. Quand il voit l'ennemi entrer dans la bergerie, il ne doit pas fuir", a déclaré dans une conférence de presse l'évêque canadien Charles Scicluna, promoteur de la justice ("procureur") à la Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi, insistant sur la responsabilité centrale de l'évêque, qui doit, a-t-il dit, tenir compte de l'expertise des laïcs.

Mgr Scicluna, homme clé du Vatican chargé d'instruire les dossiers dans le scandale pédophile, a présenté les enjeux d'une importante conférence à Rome prévue en février prochain.

Vatican plans confab to fight sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Press TV (Iran)

About 200 bishops and church leaders from all around the world are set to take part in a three-day symposium in 2012 organized by the Vatican to discuss guidelines to combat sex abuse.

In the major event slated to be held in February next year, the Vatican, teaming up with the Jesuit University in Rome, aims to help church leaders come up with researches on how to prevent child abuse, train priests properly and help victims heal, AFP reports

Psychologists, theologians, and child-abuse specialists will also participate in the conference to provide bishops with expertise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Vatican announces online tool to combat child abuse

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

The Roman Catholic Church announced on Saturday a new online resource for combating sexual abuse by clergy.

An e-learning center, scheduled to go live early next year, is designed to help bishops and other church workers establish guidelines to protect children.

To be offered in German, English, French, Spanish and Italian, the online resource will "work with medical institutions and universities to develop a constant response to the problems of sexual abuse," Monsignor Klaus Peter Franzl of the archdiocese of Munich told Reuters.

It will be launched during a symposium and international conference on the sexual abuse of children planned for February at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Major conference on clerical abuse announced in Rome

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

by David Kerr

Vatican City, Jun 19, 2011 / 03:24 am (CNA).- Organizers revealed new details about an international conference on clerical sex abuse slated for February of next year in Rome.

“We want to share the best practices ” in combating the issue, Fr. Hans Zollner S.J., Head of the Preparatory Committee of the Symposium, told CNA on June 18.

“So we’ve invited speakers who are experts in the field of working with victims and also those who are experts in understanding the psychology of perpetrators.”

The “Towards Healing and Renewal Symposium” will take place February 6-9, 2012, at the Jesuit-run Gregorian University in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

There's No Time Like The Present to Teach Children About Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
Patch

By Jamie Kunchick

Call them what you wish -- pedophiles, sex offenders, or predators. They prey on children. Although we live in a wonderful, safe community in Cranberry Township, the sad truth is that they're here too.

Did you know that the FBI estimates a sex offender lives within every square mile of the United States? Did you know that the FBI also estimates that one in 10 men has molested a child? Or that many molesters are able to abuse dozens of children before they are caught, and that there is only a 3 percent chance of them being apprehended?

Horrified yet?

I am.

After learning this, I became curious about how safe my neighborhood is, so I went to the Megan’s Law website.

Not expecting to find a sex offender living near my home, I was aghast when I entered my address.

There are six men listed as sex offenders within a 5-mile radius of my home. Their offenses varied from child molestation to incest. The discovery made my stomach turn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Bishop Finn holds session in St. Joseph

MISSOURI
St. Joseph News-Press

Kristin Hoppa
St. Joseph News-Press

Parishioners focused on hurt and hope as more than 100 area congregation members met for a prayer and listening Saturday evening.

The Most Rev. Robert W. Finn, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, held the prayer and listening session at the Cathedral of St. Joseph Saturday evening. Community members and Catholic parishioners listened as Rev. Finn selectively addressed the recent allegations of sexual misconduct a priest.

“This is a terribly, terribly tragic time ... and we all need to be dedicated to try and improve our situation,” Rev. Finn told to parishioners. “We all know the reasons we are here in this church tonight.”

In May, Father Shawn Ratigan, was charged with three counts of possession of child pornography after Kansas City, Mo. police were notified of child pornography found on his computer by a technician in December. Rev. Finn told the gathering that it was important for anyone who was abused by anyone to come forward because abuse is unacceptable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Onetime priest crusades for abuse victims suing Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
CNN

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - As a young man studying for the priesthood, Patrick Wall imagined life as a professor and football coach at a Catholic university.

It didn't work out that way. Two decades later, Wall has not only left the Catholic Church, he has become one of its most tireless opponents.

He's an ex-priest, driven from ministry by the feeling that his superiors used him to help cover up sex abuse by other clergymen.

And he's using the training he gained as a priest to work with victims of abuse who want to take the church to court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Bangalore: Pastor held for sexually exploiting minor girls

INDIA
India Today

Aravind Gowda | Bangalore, June 19, 2011

The poor girls came to the centre to study, but were abused by the person in charge of their teaching and protection. Over 25 minor girls, who had been visiting the Bethel Student Centre since they could not afford the high cost of education, were sexually exploited by 45-year-old pastor K. Shantharaju. The fear of reprimand by the church made them keep quiet and suffer the ignominy in silence.

The pastor's shameful behaviour came to light recently after his wife Priyalatha made the shocking discovery. She has filed a police complaint against him and accused him of being a paedophile. The accused, who was on the run, was arrested on Saturday. "Pastor Shantharaju of Bethel Church, who has been absconding after his wife Priyalatha registered a complaint against him, was apprehended while he was in transit," the police said. Shantharaju was the pastor of the Bethel Church in Jalahalli, north Bangalore. The church was established 20 years ago by Shantharaju's father. The first such reported incident in Bangalore has left the Christian community here shocked.

"This is a serious case. He has denigrated the noble profession of teaching. Besides, he is a priest. How could he exploit young children? We will take action against him," Karnataka's Home Minister R. Ashoka said. Shantharaju allegedly sexually abused more than two dozen minor girls since 2004. Priyalatha claimed that though she had brought the matter to the notice of the eminent people in the Christian community, no action was taken against her husband. "I was compelled to approach the police after he threatened me and my daughters with dire consequences if I revealed anything about his misdeeds with the minor girls to anyone," she added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Diocese contends $5M verdict for former altar boy threatens religious liberty

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK - News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE -- Attorneys for the Catholic Diocese of Belleville contend that if a jury verdict awarding $5 million to a former altar boy sexually abused by a priest is allowed to stand, the religious liberty of Illinois citizens could be undermined.

But Belleville attorney Mike Weilmuenster, who represents the former altar boy, James Wisniewski of Champaign, said the diocese's second attempt to get the Illinois Supreme Court to agree to consider an appeal of the St. Clair County verdict has nothing to do with religious freedom.

Weilmuenster said Bishop Edward Braxton's recent letter to parishioners that their religious freedom could be eroded if the judgment stands is "propaganda."
Priest abuse

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

June 18, 2011

The Corapi Investigation: What it is… (UPDATES)

UNITED STATES
The Anchoress

June 19, 2011 by Elizabeth Scalia

Deacon Bill Ditewig, who has serious experience in the matter of priestly investigations has a very helpful post up on his site. First and foremost, he admits the system is flawed, but maintains it also has its strengths, and that the issue pertaining to John Corapi and his resignation — or whatever it is — from the priesthood has nothing to do with the so-called Dallas Charter:

"It has never been my intention to comment much on l’affaire Corapi. We simply don’t know enough the facts surrounding the case to comment intelligently about it. However, one theme that has run through the various communiques issued by the Corapi camp has been about the ecclesial process looking into the matter. Essentially, and variously, the process has been described as lacking transparency, as being fundamentally flawed, and even “of the devil” and so on. While I don’t know the facts of the case, I do have some familiarity with the process, and want to comment on it briefly. I do so out of concern over many of Corapi’s “fans” who are now vilifying and demonizing “the bishops” and their process.

Let me begin with full disclosure: I was a member of the USCCB’s senior staff for more than five years (2002-2007), and a consultant to the USCCB before that and since. It is in this capacity that I offer some observations.

1) I readily acknowledge that no human legal process is without flaws, and I’m not suggesting here that the process being followed is flawless or perfect. On the other hand, it has good points as well.

2) Despite innuendo and even some statements otherwise, this matter is NOT subject to the so-called “Dallas Charter” which address clergy sex abuse cases dealing with children, and vulnerable adults. So, there should be clarity here: Whatever is going on with Corapi vis-a-vis this particular case — which as I understand it deals with the claims of an adult woman against Corapi — it does not involve the Dallas Charter and its provisions. So, discussions which suggest otherwise are grossly inaccurate and should be discounted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 PM

Reactions to John Corapi's bombshell

UNITED STATES
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

The man formerly known as Father John Corapi, celebrity Catholic priest, is "not going to be involved in public ministry as a priest any longer" and now wants to be known as John Corapi, "The Black Sheep Dog." Click here to read, or listen to, his stunning announcement.

For now, I will just say that I find his announcement perplexing and disappointing given what he has been: a charismatic priest whose words have echoed in, and have influenced, the minds and hearts of many faithful Catholics. But perhaps "The Black Sheep Dog" persona — which, in all honesty, I find a bit creepy — has been in the works for longer than we'd like to think. Obviously this wasn't a decision Corapi made overnight.

Believe me, I sympathize with those who suffer persecution, or who experience a crisis of faith as I have experienced in recent (and past) times. That said, is Corapi truly a victim of an injustice perpetrated by Church officials? Hopefully not, but I would like to see his superiors issue a response to his announcement. Not that it will necessarily change many minds, but I think it's important for Church officials to respond in this situation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 PM

He was my priest and my friend. Then I found out he was a paedophile

UNITED KINGDOM/TANZANIA
The Guardian

Peter Stanford
The Observer, Sunday 19 June 2011

All journalists like seeing their articles discussed on television, even when they're being challenged, but the sight of John Poppleton holding a copy of an obituary I wrote earlier this year for the Guardian made me feel profoundly ashamed.

The subject was Father Kit Cunningham, the Catholic priest who had married us, baptised my son (who shares his Christian name) and was a family friend for 20 years. "A Technicolor eccentric, and widely loved as a consequence," the obituary read.

"I find this," Poppleton said, brandishing the newspaper cutting to camera as if it were contaminated, "offensive. This priest was a monster."

Poppleton had been repeatedly sexually abused as a young boy by Fr Kit, an experience that he says "broke me down and broke my spirit". The abuse took place at St Michael's, Soni, in the 1960s, in what was then Tanganyika, now Tanzania. Four of the priests who taught there, all members of the Rosminian order, and including Fr Kit, perpetrated physical and sexual abuse that made this boarding school, according to Poppleton, "a loveless, violent and sad hellhole".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Popular Catholic Priest John Corapi Call It Quits, Blasts Church Leaders On His Way Out

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Jaweed Kaleem

A nationally televised Roman Catholic priest who has been embroiled in sexual abuse allegations has bewildered his followers by saying that he is leaving the priesthood.

The Rev. John Corapi, who is a member of the Robstown, Texas-based Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity order of priests, posted a video on his website late Friday in which he said that there are "persons in authority in the Church that want me gone." The 64-year-old also blasted church officials for their "fatally flawed" handling of allegations against him.

Corapi is a celebrity among devoted Catholics for his appearances on Eternal World Television Network, a globally broadcast Catholic TV and radio network. A traveling preacher, his appearances at Catholic conferences are known to draw upwards of 10,000 fans each.

Corapi, who railed against liberal movements within the church, gained the empathy of many fans with his unusual conversion story. Once a prominent and wealthy real estate agent in Los Angeles, he saw his riches crumble because of cocaine addiction and ended up homeless for three years before checking into a psychiatric facility. He decided to turn his life around in 1984, later enrolled in seminary and was ordained as a deacon in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1990. He was ordained as a priest a year later by Pope John Paul II.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

The Archbishop vs. the Governor: Gay Sera, Sera

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: June 18, 2011

With his cigars, blogs, Jameson’s and Irish affability, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan prides himself on his gumption.

Certainly his effort to kill the gay marriage bill, just one vote away from passing in Albany, shows a lot of gall.

The archbishop has been ferocious in fighting against marriage between same-sex couples, painting it as a perversity against nature.

If only his church had been as ferocious in fighting against the true perversity against nature: the unending horror of pedophile priests and the children who trusted them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Vatican Calls Meeting and Plans Database in Effort to Stop Sexual Abuse

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
Published: June 18, 2011

ROME — Bishops and the leaders of religious orders around the world have been invited to a symposium at Rome’s Jesuit University in February about how to prevent and respond to abuse of children by clergy members.

Psychologists, theologians and child-abuse specialists are expected to participate in the symposium, providing expertise to bishops, whom the Vatican has given a deadline of next May to come up with guidelines on how to handle accusations of abuse. Plans also call for information to be posted on an Internet learning center and in a database that will involve cooperation with medical schools and universities and will be accessible, in part, to the public.

“The church is taking an important step in the formation of the clergy,” Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, the Vatican’s internal prosecutor in charge of handling sexual abuse cases, told reporters on Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Fr. Corapi announces he's leaving the priesthood

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

by Marianne Medlin

Corpus Christi, Texas, Jun 18, 2011 / 01:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In the wake of being suspended over what he claims are unproven allegations, popular speaker Fr. John Corapi announced that after 20 years in ministry, he's leaving the Catholic priesthood.

“I am not going to be involved in public ministry as a priest any longer,” he said in an online post. “There are certain persons in authority in the Church that want me gone, and I shall be gone.”

In a June 17 post on a website with the title of his new ministry “Black Sheep Dog,” and a related YouTube video clip, Fr. Corapi outlined his reasons for leaving.

He said that he feels unjustly accused, that the process of clearing his name has been too sluggish and that there are authorities in the Church who are intentionally trying to oust him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Catholics march through downtown KC in support of bishop

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

Catholics turned out today to show support for Bishop Robert Finn, who has been embroiled in a controversy involving a priest accused of possessing child pornography.

About 75 Catholics marched through downtown Kansas City this morning to proclaim their support for their bishop and to call for unity in the church.

Finn’s supporters gathered at 10 a.m. at the old St. Patrick Oratory, 806 Cherry Street, and paraded more than a mile to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at 416 W. 12th Street.

The march was peaceful and punctuated by prayer and singing. Participants carried posters with messages saying, “We Support Bishop Finn” and “We Love Our Priests and Bishop.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Church urged to 'listen' to victims

VATICAN CITY
Bangkok Post

Renowned British psychiatrist Sheila Hollins on Saturday called on the Roman Catholic Church to truly listen to the victims of paedophile priests, saying cover-ups were doing more damage.

Many victims are ``angry at an arrogant Church that refuses to listen``, Hollins, who is professor of psychiatry at St George's, University of London, said as the Vatican is preparing a conference on the issue in February.

Hollins will attend the conference accompanied by a woman who as a child was abused by an Irish paedophile priest.

She has spoken to a large number of abused children and called on the Church to ``truly listen``, warning of ``the harm made by secrecy''.

The Vatican said Saturday bishops must learn how to prevent and fight child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Vatican to set up clergy sexual abuse help centre

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

The Vatican is to set up a new e-learning centre to help safeguard children and victims of sexual abuse by clergy, as part of its efforts to deal with damaging scandals.

The Roman Catholic Church is preparing for a major conference on abuse to take place next February in Rome.

The Vatican has told bishops to come up with guidelines to combat abuse, in line with local laws.

The Catholic Church has been rocked by scandals of sexual abuse by priests.

The centre will offer guidance to those who have to respond to abuse cases, as well as providing information for victims. Its advice will be available in German, English, French, Spanish and Italian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

To Fr. Corapi: Bupkes; To John Corapi: Concern and Sympathy.

UNITED STATES
Diary of a Whimpy Catholic

June 18, 2011 by Max Lindenman

I’ve got to hand it to John Anthony Corapi — once called ”Father,” now, as he announces today, no longer to be involved in public ministry as a priest — he knows how to keep ‘em guessing.

In a voiced-over video running just shy of nine minutes, which appears on blacksheepdog.us, apparently his new website, Corapi is both effusive and coy, magnanimous and accusatory. He claims that the canonical investigation into allegations of his sexual misconduct with a former employee is hopelessly biased against him: According to Corapi, cooperating with authorities would mean giving up “all of my civil and human rights in order to hold harmless anyone who chooses to say defamatory and actionable things against me.”

Full transcript here:

He says the call to investigate came from the bishop of Corpus Christi, TX. In his statement, Corapi fairly seethes, even as he concedes the bishop’s right to act:

I did not start this process, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas ordered my superiors, against their will and better judgment, to do it. He in fact threatened to release a reprehensible and libelous letter to all of the bishops if they did not suspend me. He has a perfect right to do so, and I defend that right. Bishops aren’t bound by civil laws and procedures in internal Church matters. I agree with that, and would defend to the death the Church’s right to proceed as they see fit. He is the bishop and he has the right to govern as he sees fit. It isn’t an easy task. Many forces besiege him, including pressure from other bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Rabbis, confidentiality and other ethical issues

UNITED STATES
Examiner

Vicki Polin

Growing up in the United States means you most likely know something about the Christian faith and their concept of confession. The most commonly known format is the one used within the Catholic church where an individual goes to a priest and confesses their sins. It is understood that what they tell a priest would be kept confidential. This is a hallmark of the Catholic faith.

Often many individuals seek out spiritual guidance, which is considered a form of counseling, from their clergy. The problem is that in the US, there is a separation between Church and State and there are no laws on the books stating that clergy are required to keep what is said confidential. Talking to a spiritual advisor is the same as talking to a friend. Prior to communicating personal information with someone, it is always suggested that you establish a degree of trust between that person and yourself.

If you should tell a friend secrets about yourself you have no way of being assured that what you tell them would be kept confidential. If your friend were to share personal information about you, you would have no legal recourse -- except if what they said is untrue. The same could be said about any member of the clergy that you would communicate with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Bishops to learn best practices to fight sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

ROME (AP) — The Vatican said Saturday it is working to give bishops information on the best ways to combat clergy sex abuse, teaming up with the Jesuit university in Rome to host a major symposium on abuse and launch an Internet learning center for follow-up guidance.

The symposium next February will draw experts in psychiatry, church law, sociology and child protection programs to the Pontifical Gregorian University for three days of meetings and workshops with 200 bishops and religious superiors.

The meetings are designed in part to help bishops draft guidelines to combat abuse that must be submitted to the Holy See by next year for review.

The Gregorian will also launch a multi-lingual Internet learning center to provide church leaders with the latest in ongoing research on how to prevent abuse, train priests properly, protect children and help victims heal. Private donors have pledged funds to maintain the database for an initial three years, officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

Vatican turns to Internet to stem sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

ROME | Sat Jun 18, 2011

(Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Church, often accused of dragging its feet on sexual abuse scandals, will turn to the Internet with a new e-learning center to help safeguard children and the victims of molestation.

The Vatican presented the move at a news conference on Saturday flagging an international conference on sexual abuse of children by clergy to be held next February at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University with church backing.

"The e-learning center will work with medical institutions and universities to develop a constant response to the problems of sexual abuse," Monsignor Klaus Peter Franzl of the archdiocese of Munich.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Vatican determined to look sin and crime of sex abuse in the face

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

“Sexual abuse by a priest is a crime and an abuse of spiritual power”, affirmed Msgr. Charles Sicluna, Promoter of Justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Saturday morning to press at the launch of a Symposium titled “Towards healing and renewal”.

The gathering, which will take place February 6th to 9th 2012, is being organised by the Pontifical Gregorian University, with the gaol of formulating a global response to the scandal of sex abuse within the Church.

Research and study into sex abuse will also take place through the creation of a new “multi-lingual e-learning centre” also launched Saturday. The centre has been set up to improve information and prevention. Moreover from now to February, the centre’s work will be made public with regular press releases.

“We want to face this problem from the point of view of ‘state of the art’ science, psychology, psychiatry”, explains Fr. Hans Zollner, Dean of the Institute of Psychology and Head of the Preparatory Committee of the Symposium, “but also from the point of view of jurisprudence, even within the Church, so taking into consideration the norms now in vigour following the CDF Circular Letter. We want to help Bishops Conferences develop guidelines on how to deal with abusers and ensure that these cases aren’t repeated and, most important of all, try to help – as much as is possible – to heal the wounds of the victims”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Mike Stechschulte: Changing Catholic Church not difficult; it's just impossible

UNITED STATES
The Times Herald

I'm proud to be an American; it's partly why I joined the media.

From when we first recite the Pledge of Allegiance as kindergartners to our first time in the voting booth at age 18, we're taught what an honor and privilege it is to be citizens in the land of the free.

We've memorized the five freedoms of the First Amendment -- religion, speech, press, assembly and petition --and we wear them on our sleeves. Many of us know the Ten Amendments better than the Ten Commandments.

Which is why it's not hard to understand why the American Catholic Council hosted a three-day conference at Cobo Center in Detroit last weekend to advocate for democratic changes in the Catholic Church.

Among the group's headline-catching grievances are the requirements for the priesthood, which exclude women, open gays and married men (with a few exceptions on the latter).

But central to the American Catholic Council's agenda is a fundamental change to the church's power structure, starting with the bishops, who with the pope are the chief decision makers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Fr. John Corapi - Renounces Priesthood?

UNITED STATES
Making Things Visible

[with video]

I have always loved Fr. Corapi. But it seems to me that he has lost his mind. To be honest his new website looks sinister. Nothing about his response is congruent with the things he taught over the last 20 years. Nothing about it emits the holiness of a man, who has been called by many a living saint. Living saint's do not renounce their ordination at the first sign of trouble. He knows better than I do that his ordination doesn't just sort of disappear because he has decided to stop calling himself Fr.

Was he really "thrown out like yesterday's news?" Fr. that's a little dramatic isn't it? I do not recall news from the Church that they were removing you. This sounds like a conscious choice. An act of the will to leave behind your priestly ministry in favor of something else. I understand the process is messy and imperfect but whatever happened to the cross? Remember all of those times that you spoke so plainly about the cross and redemptive suffering? You now have the perfect opportunity to persevere. To kiss your cross, to carry it in Christ, and to offer the suffering for reparation for past sins and for the conversion of souls. Yet, you refuse to?

Fr. what is reality? You are a priest of the Roman Catholic Rite who has been accused of something that you assert is not true. Yet, you run from it? You run from the cross the moment it presents itself in an epic way? You renounce your title as Fr. and now you are going to start some other thing? You didn't mention Jesus Christ, prayer, Mary, or the Holy Father one time your 8 minute explanation, I find that very telling as to where you are at right now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Brief editorial in light of the recent Father Corapi

UNITED STATES
Doug Lawrence

by Doug Lawrence

If I thought the Catholic Church was just another corporate entity, I would have “sold all my stock” and “washed my hands of it” many, many years ago.

It’s not. So I didn’t.

I think Father Corapi has indeed been wronged, is suffering from some sort of illness, is not in his right mind, and is in need of our continued prayers, assistance and support … not in starting up a new organization … but in being once again reconciled with the church, his religious order, and the Catholic ministerial priesthood.

It would be a real shame and a grave sin to do anything less.

I have faith that someone in authority will step up to champion this process. And at this point, it doesn’t matter whether the allegations against Father Corapi are ever substantiated or refuted. Reconciliation is what’s necessary … and in the Catholic Church, reconciliation has never required judgment, or even a definitive finding of fault.

The distressing case of Fr. Corapi continues

UNITED STATES
Stella Maris

Fr. John Corapi has announced that he is leaving the active ministry. Those who are interested in knowing more will find information and a video announcement on his website

Having heard the announcement my own view is that he is making a grave mistake. I do not doubt that what he says about the crisis in leadership of the U.S Church (and beyond?) is correct. As you may know there is another priest serving a prison term in America on what very many - including bishops - believe to be false evidence. Personally I believe Fr. Corapi to be innocent but I cannot endorse what he is doing now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Fr Corapi: SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

UNITED STATES
Catholic Chapter House Blog

[with video]

“Fr. John Corapi’s much anticipated announcement, proclaiming the introduction of “The Black SheepDog.” Within this announcement is an update regarding the most-recent accusations, his response, his mission, as well as his gratitude for all who have supported his priesthood”. Below is the announcement on youtube.

I find that in his response he leaves a lot of questions on the table. For instance: is he still a priest? Will he have any role within the Church or is he a layman? What message will he be giving in his new ministry that his audience is now going to be more broad?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Priest’s secret past revealed

UNITED KINGDOM
Pocklington Post

Published on Saturday 18 June 2011

A SENIOR staff member sacked from a Roman Catholic children’s home in Market Weighton for sexually abusing boys went on to become a priest in the same diocese, it was revealed this week.

Father Joseph O’Brien, who was dismissed for abusing a number of boys at St William’s Community Home, went on to serve as a priest in Thirsk for 15 years.

The case casts another shadow over the Roman Catholic Church, which has been the subject of a series of accusations that it harboured priests who abused children.

It also poses questions for Humberside Police, which was made aware of Father O’Brien’s actions but did not interview or arrest him when his history was flagged up in a formal witness statement in 2002. Father O’Brien died in January last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Priest wanted for rape

SOUTH AFRICA
Times LIVE

A priest is on the run following the rape of a teenager, Eastern Cape police said on Saturday.

Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said the priest allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl during a church service at the Cwecweni Secondary school in Ncgobo in February.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Fr. Corapi Has Lost It

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by Jimmy Akin Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fr. John Corapi has published a statement—also available in video form—in which he has announced that he is leaving active ministry as a priest.

He’s right.

He is. And he has.

Unless something extraordinarily improbable occurs, he will never again function as a Catholic priest.

And it’s his fault.

I do not know whether he is guilty of the sexual misconduct of which he is apparently accused. I have no way of determining that.

Frankly, from what is known of the situation, the entire thing sounds weird, and it did from the beginning. Both what was known about the accuser’s actions sounded weird (although that could have been due to imperfect representation of the facts) and also Fr. Corapi’s public reaction was weird. This made if hard to judge where potential misdoing was likely to lie. It could have been with either party—or both.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Bishop Finn's conservative views aren't the problem

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

Yael T. Abouhalkah

Woody Cozad, my conservative colleague on the “Ruckus” public affairs show, contends some liberal Catholics are attacking Bishop Robert Finn more because of his conservative religious leanings and less because of his actions in sexual abuse cases involving children.

Cozad has a point - a small one - because I’m sure the recent problems involving abuse of children in the local diocese has given some liberal Catholics even more reasons to criticize Finn and call for his resignation.

Here’s the larger point, one I wholeheartedly ascribe to:

I expected much more of a conservative bishop on this issue. In fact, a conservative bishop should be trying even harder to look for the children of his flock. Hope liberals don’t take that the wrong way, but conservatives claim to have this reputation for being all concerned about “the children” (consider their abortion stance in the Catholic Church).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Lifetree Cafe hosts ‘Hurt by Church’ Sunday

GREELEY (CO)
The Tribune

Greeley

The Lifetree Cafe will host the “Hurt by Church” event at 7:15 p.m. Sunday and at noon Thursday. Lifetree representative Craig Cable said the event offers a forum for people who have had bad experiences at church as well as current church leaders and members.

Cable said in a statement that some people get hurt by churches in a variety of ways. “Some complain about how they were treated by clergy or church members. Some report sexual, emotional, or physical abuse. Some feel victimized by church policies and others feel unappreciated for their volunteer work.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Before furor, Ratigan raised few red flags

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By MARK MORRIS and GLENN E. RICE
The Kansas City Star

Shawn Francis Ratigan saw his future with the Catholic Church in 1979 as he stood with about 340,000 other believers in an Iowa farm field.

Pope John Paul II was making his first American visit, and Ratigan, a 13-year-old Boy Scout and the son of working-class parents from Grain Valley, traveled with a youth group on Oct. 4 to the Living History Farms just outside of Des Moines to see the pontiff.

Years later, when he spoke about the experience with a reporter from the Catholic Key, the local diocesan newspaper, Ratigan rhapsodized about the image of a charismatic leader shepherding the faithful.

“To see him out in that field was incredible,” Ratigan said before his own ordination in 2004. “There were hundreds of thousands of people. You saw the universal church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

June 17, 2011

God Love You, God Bless You, and Good-Bye.

UNITED STATES
The Black Sheep Dog

[John Corapi]

This Sunday, June 19, 2011, is both Trinity Sunday on the Catholic liturgical calendar and Fathers’ Day on the secular calendar. It is a day I’ll never forget, and sadly so. It is the twentieth anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in the Catholic Church. For twenty years I was called “father.” I am very thankful for those twenty years. I could have easily died any number of times, any number of ways in my life before that, so I consider it all a bonus, an undeserved bonus. To all of you that have communicated support, ordination anniversary congratulations, and other kind sentiments, I am greatly thankful, and I do not take that for granted.

All things change, only God stays the same, so I have to tell you about a major change in my life. I am not going to be involved in public ministry as a priest any longer. There are certain persons in authority in the Church that want me gone, and I shall be gone. I have been guilty of many things in the course of my life, and could easily and justifiably be considered unfit to engage in public ministry as a priest. The present complaint that you have heard about is, as far as I know, from the one person that I can honestly say I did more to help and support than any human being in my entire life. I forgive her and hope only good things for her. I am not going to get into a back and forth or argument with the Church or anyone else about this matter.

Suffice it to say that I love the Catholic Church and accept what has transpired. Unfortunately, the process used is inherently and fatally flawed, but the bishops have the power, apparently, to operate anyway they see fit. I cannot give a lengthy explanation of what has transpired, but I can tell you that the most likely outcome is that they leave me suspended indefinitely and just let me fade away. They can’t prove I’m guilty of the things alleged because I’m not, and they can’t prove I’m innocent because that is simply illogical and impossible. All civilized societies know that. Certain leaders in the Catholic Church apparently do not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

Nearly a year later, is fate of Father Stan Strycharz about to be revealed?

BONITA SPRINGS (FL)
Naples News

By KELLY FARRELL

Posted June 17, 2011

BONITA SPRINGS — A shake-up that began nearly a year ago at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Bonita Springs has yet to settle as the status of embattled priest Rev. Stan Strycharz remains in limbo.

Southwest Florida Bishop Frank J. Dewane placed Strycharz on administrative leave in late July, with full pay, pending an internal investigation into several allegations about Strycharz, both personal and financial.

Throughout the past year, requests to the Diocese for updates on the investigation generally brought a response of “nothing yet.”

The wording of the Diocese’s answer changed slightly Friday.

“The Diocese is not prepared to make a statement regarding Fr. Stan Strycharz,” Diocese spokesman Billy Atwell said in an email.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

School psychologist placed on leave over abuse allegations

KINGSTON (MA)
MetroWest Daily News

By Christian Schiavone
The Patriot Ledger

KINGSTON —

A school psychologist at Silver Lake Regional High School has been placed on leave after school officials learned he had been named in a civil suit that accused him of abusing minors decades ago while a priest.

School Superintendent John Tuffy said that officials placed Robert F. Daly on paid leave on Wednesday, the same day they learned from a newspaper article that Daly had been accused in a law suit of abusing children in the 1970s and ’80s.

Tuffy said school officials were unaware of any accusations against Daly, who was hired by the school district in 2001, and that there have been no complaints about him during his time working for the district, which includes Kingston, Plympton and Halifax.

But he said officials decided to place Daly, who was planning to retire at the end of the year, on leave until he officially retires at the end of the school year on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

I-Team: Bishop Long Church Break-in

GEORGIA
My Fox Atlanta

[with video]

ATLANTA - He is accused of breaking into Bishop Eddie Long's church office, but Anthony Boyd claims he is innocent. Boyd is speaking out now as he comes closer to going to trial on charges of burglary.

Earlier, the FOX 5 I-Team was told the break-in was committed to gather evidence in the sexual misconduct lawsuits that were later filed against Bishop Long. Boyd says that is true, but insists he wasn't there when it happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Group calls for grand jury investigations of diocese

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By GLENN E. RICE
The Kansas City Star

An activist group on Friday urged prosecutors in Clay, Buchanan and Jackson counties to launch grand jury investigations into allegations of sex crimes and cover-ups in the local Catholic diocese.

“We believe that there is a longstanding pattern in this diocese to ignore and conceal child sex crimes,” said David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, at a news conference in front of the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City.

“We do know citizens, Catholics and parents in this community deserve an independent, thorough look in how these crimes are dealt with.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Group presses for grand jury investigation of bishop, diocese

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Jun. 17, 2011

By Joshua J. McElwee

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Victims advocates have called for a local grand jury investigation into the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese’s sex abuse procedures.

“We’re making an appeal to prosecutors … to launch a full-fledged grand jury investigation into clergy sex crimes and cover-ups in the Kansas City Catholic diocese,” said David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, in a press conference this morning.

Three cases of allegations of sexual misconduct by clergy in the Kansas City diocese have come to light in recent weeks.

One priest was arrested on charges of possession of child pornography May 19, but the diocese had waited five months before taking evidence to the police. Another pastor was removed from ministry June 3 over allegations of sexual abuse of minors dating back to the 1970s and '80s. It came to light June 9 that a man had accused the diocesan vicar general of sexual misconduct four years ago over an incident that had occurred in 1984.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

The Right to Return

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

by Kristine Ward

In diplomatic parlance, the phrase right to return is the shorthand for the tenet of international law that gives any person the right to return to and re-enter his or her country of origin.

Americans are familiar with the phrase being used during the Dayton Accords that settled the Bosnian conflict and in the continuing conflict in the Middle East particularly regarding Palestinians.

Startlingly, it came up in a different context this week at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting and it is chilling.

Retired Anchorage Archbishop Francis Hurley took to the open session microphone (a large portion of the meeting was behind closed doors) on both Wednesday and Thursday to speak to putting priests who have been removed in the scandal back into ministry.

There have been whiffs of this foul smelling desire for retries during the nearly 10 year post Boston span of the scandal and a few end runs by removed priests who took their cases to the Vatican Congregation for Priests but none of the rumors or off hand remarks by hierarchs had been said in anything that resembled a public setting until this week’s USCCB meeting.

In this instance, as is often the case with matters the bishops consider delicate, a retired bishop carried the water while sitting jurisdictional bishops continued to profess the company line with no hint of deviation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Priest sex-abuse victims call for grand-jury investigations of the Kansas City Catholic Church

MISSOURI
Pitch

By Justin Kendall Fri., Jun. 17 2011

​Here's the latest in the priest sex-abuse scandal: Sex-abuse victims of priests are now calling for grand juries to be convened in Jackson, Buchanan and Clay counties to investigate whether Catholic Church leaders covered up sex crimes in the diocese, according to KCTV5.

Bishop Robert Finn isn't without his supporters, who have planned a parade and rally on Saturday called "Public Prayer Procession and Rosary Rally," Fox 4 reported. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is asking Finn's supporters to call off the march, saying such rallies of support may intimidate victims of abuse.

Finn has repeatedly apologized, although his words are hollow, given the way he handled the allegations against Shawn Ratigan. A priest shortage is no excuse for allowing someone accused of inappropriate contact with children to stay on the job.

A federal lawsuit has been filed, accusing Finn and the diocese of trying to cover up the allegations of abuse to avoid scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

US bishops ignore child safety

UNITED STATES
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)

The bishops missed a real opportunity to show they really care about kids' safety. Instead, they sent a chilling message: the public relations plan we call our abuse policy is good enough, vague, weak, and unenforced though it may be.

Hundreds of US bishops over the past nine years could have pushed for improvements to the "charter." Not a single one did.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

VICTIMS' GROUPS OPPOSE RIGHTS FOR PRIESTS

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

June 17, 2011

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the three most prominent so-called victims' groups:

BishopAccountability, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the National Survivors Advocates Coalition (NSAC) are so consumed with their agenda that they are ready to throw the constitutional rights of accused priests overboard.

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz expressed his concerns this week that unscrupulous lawyers may try to plunder the bishops' conference for making commitments on how best to handle accused priests. For merely raising this concern, SNAP urged Catholics in his diocese to stop making contributions. Last month, when a case against the Louisville diocese was thrown out, SNAP lashed out at the judge for dismissing it on the basis of a technicality. The technicality? The First Amendment.

BishopAccountability said this week that priests should be removed from ministry before the accusation is investigated. Similarly, SNAP said this week, "We strongly and repeatedly beg people to call authorities—police and prosecutors—with any information or suspicions no matter how small or seemingly insufficient." Here's a good one: after typing "rights of priests" in the search engine of NSAC, the first article to appear calls for the suspension of rights for accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Where in the world has Milwaukee’s Bishop Sklba been?

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, 414.429.7259/

We have not heard or seen much from auxiliary bishop Richard Sklba since the Milwaukee archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in early January.

After years of delay by archdiocesan attorneys, Sklba’s long anticipated and potentially explosive deposition was finally scheduled to take place this January.

Sklba, who has been directly implicated in nearly all the major child sex crimes in the archdiocese, was called by Archbishop Emeritus Rembert Weakland under oath in 2008 his personal “go to guy” on “all abuse cases”, including the notorious Fr. Lawrence Murphy who, according to court ordered released archdiocesan records, sexually assaulted over 200 deaf children at St. John’s School for the Deaf (see “Sklba Clergy Abuse Fact Sheet” posted below).

With the legal maneuvers exhausted and just days before his grilling under oath, it is no accident that Archbishop Listecki filed for bankruptcy in Federal Court in Milwaukee, effectively halting or significantly delaying yet again, Sklba’s deposition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

SNAP Calls for Grand Jury Investigation into Ratigan Sex Abuse Case

MISSOURI
Fox 4

Kathy Quinn, FOX 4 News Web Staff

JACKSON COUNTY, MO—
Catholic Bishops have voted to approve their national policy to prevent abuse by priests.

SNAP, the Survivor's Network for Those Abused by Priests, announced on Friday that they want prosecutors to launch a grand jury investigation into allegations of sexual abuse.

Since March when SNAP asked the Jackson County prosecutor for a grand jury investigation into allegations of abuse, a lot has happened. The prosecutor has been replaced and two local priests have been removed from their parishes, including Father Shawn Ratigan who faces charges for child porn.

On Friday, David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, said they asked three county prosecutors, including Jackson County, for a grand jury investigation into the Ratigan case. Ratigan was in court on Thursday facing charges of child porn. He has plead not guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Apostolic visitation of Regnum Christi ends

ROME
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Jun 17, 2011 / 12:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez of Valladolid, Spain has concluded an apostolic visitation of the lay branch of the Legion of Christ, Regnum Christi.

A statement issued by Regnum Christi on June 16 announced that Archbishop Blazquez’s visitation, requested by Pope Benedict XVI, had reached an end.

The visitation was coordinated with Cardinal Velasio de Paolis, the pontifical delegate for the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christ Movement.

The movement said Archbishop Blazquez is now drafting the report he will send to the Holy See at the end of June. It will contain observations and suggestions culled from his interviews with the consecrated members of the movement and “analysis of all the information” received.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Priest sex victims call for KC investigation

MISSOURI
Albany Times Union

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Priest sex abuse victims are urging prosecutors in Jackson, Buchanan and Clay Counties to convene grand juries to investigate whether Catholic church hierarchy concealed crimes in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

In a letter dated Friday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests also asked for the cancellation of a weekend march in support of Bishop Robert Finn.

Finn has apologized repeatedly for not taking action earlier in the case of a Kansas City-area priest charged with possessing child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

Don Seppia, il Riesame: “Potrebbe rifarlo, per lui gravi indizi di colpevolezza”

ITALIA
Genova 24

Genova. “L’attrazione morbosa verso i ragazzini non sono mere fantasie, ma si concretizzano anche in contatti fisici”. Don Riccardo Seppia ed Emanuele Alfano potrebbero cioè reiterare i reati. Inoltre ci sono i gravi indizi di colpevolezza. Con queste motivazioni il tribunale del Riesame di Genova ha respinto la richiesta degli arresti domiciliari presentata lunedì scorso dell’ex parroco di Sestri Ponente e dall’ex seminarista, arrestati a maggio nell’ambito dell’inchiesta su presunti abusi sessuali su minori e cessione di stupefacenti.

Anche per quanto riguarda l’induzione alla prostituzione minorile, per il tribunale del Riesame sussistono i gravi indizi. “Seppia aveva proposto gli incontri. Sapeva da Alfano che il ragazzo albanese era minorenne, gli indica il prezzo di 40 euro per il rapporto e quindi lo incoraggia a prostituirsi, ben consapevole che fosse un minore ospite di una comunità e quindi bisognoso. Neppure il timore delle conseguenze lo aveva fatto desistere”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Don Riccardo Seppia curava dal 2003 l’Hiv nell’ospedale della Curia

ITALIA
Newnotizie

Don Seppia curava l'Hiv all'ospedale della Curia. Don Riccardo Seppia, il parroco genovese arrestato con le accuse di abuso su minore e cessione di stupefacenti, curava da otto anni l’Hiv al Galliera, l’ospedale della Curia, ma nonostante ciò continuava a ricoprire il suo incarico nella parrocchia di Santo Spirito, a Sestri. A riferirlo, nel corso di un interrogatorio che emerge dai verbali di un confronto tra il prete e il pubblico ministero Stefano Puppo, è stato lo stesso prete, la cui sieropositività non era dunque un mistero. E considerato che presidente del Galliera è sempre il cardinale del capoluogo ligure, dunque il cardinale e presidente della Conferenza Episcopale Angelo Bagnasco, e prima di lui il braccio destro del Vaticano cardinale Tarcisio Bertone, risulta ancora più improbabile che i vertici della chiesa genovese non fossero a conoscenza della singolare condotta di Don Seppia.

In cura per sieropositività dal 2003. Secondo quanto riportato da 'Il Secolo XIX', il nuovo risvolto investigativo emerge dai verbali d’un confronto fra il prete e il pubblico ministero Stefano Puppo. Sono le 10.30 del 21 maggio scorso. Il parraco, affiancato dall’avvocato Paolo Bonanni, dopo essersi difeso dall’accusa di aver adescato ragazzini in cambio di coca, si ferma qualche secondo. "Quando ha saputo di essere sieropositivo?", gli viene dunque chiesto. Don Seppia, che aveva già ammesso di avere il virus prima di entrare in cella, dopo qualche titubanza, risponde: "L’ho saputo nel 2003 e da allora sono seguito al reparto malattie infettive del Galliera. Nel 2006 ho iniziato una terapia particolare".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Bishops squandered opportunity, victims' group says

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jun. 17, 2011

By Dan Morris-Young

BELLEVUE, WASH. -- "This is a squandered opportunity and a disaster for children, not only in the United States but worldwide," a clergy sex abuse advocacy group said in response to the U.S. bishops' vote to approve only minor changes to their charter for child and youth protection.

The U.S. bishops overwhelmingly voted June 16 to adopt a revised Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People at their semiannual meeting.

And while it seemed clear the bishops and their officers are aware of divergent voices within the American Catholic community and the harsh light shed on clergy sexual abuse by recent revelations of lapses in the charter in Philadelphia and in Kansas City, Mo., the revisions they approved were little more than date and number updates and language tweaks for clarity.

"The U.S. bishops had the opportunity to learn from Philadelphia and Kansas City, and to craft a revised policy that would have been a challenge to the Vatican to move further, and a model for [Pope] Benedict [XVI]'s global initiative," the statement from BishopAccountability.org said. "Instead, as they have so many times in the past, they ignored the problems and pretended that the system was working well. It is not."

In asking fellow bishops to approve the revisions, Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Wash., said, "The charter has served the church well."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Government move on Magdalenes not enough without an apology

IRELAND
Kilkenny Advertiser

The half-hearted effort by the Government to offer justice to the women who were incarcerated involuntarily between 1922 and 1996 (yes, that recently) has been welcomed by the survivor advocacy group Justice for Magdalenes this week, although they are not entirely satisfied with the effort.

The move by the Government simply does not go far enough as the Government has refused to apologise to the then young girls who suffered at the hands of the religious and lay people who ran these Magdalene laundries on behalf of the State.

Hundreds of Irish girls aged as young as 13 were sent to these laundries by family or clergy for becoming pregnant by men who had, often, raped the girls, or by boys who were too young and uneducated to know what they were doing. The young girls were the pawns in the game and how they did suffer the consequences....

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Sentencing for former Ontario priest delayed

CALIFORNIA
San Bernardino Sun

Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/16/2011

The sentencing for a former Ontario Catholic priest charged with molesting a 12-year-old boy has been delayed until August.

Jose Alejandro Castillo, 58, was in a West Valley Superior Court room Thursday when the judge announced his awaited sentence would be not be heard until Aug. 10 due to an inadequate psychological report.

In order for Castillo to be sentenced he had to be tested, said said Karen Schmauss, San Bernardino County deputy district attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Delay sought for appeal in priest’s murder case

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

Attorneys representing Toledo priest Gerald Robinson have asked for an extension of Friday’s deadline to file a motion seeking to have the cleric’s murder conviction overturned.

Rick Kerger said he asked Judge Gene Zmuda of Lucas County Common Pleas Court to delay the deadline until July 8 because he has been unable to schedule a meeting with a key witness.

Robinson’s amended petition for post-conviction relief contends the priest’s constitutional rights were violated in the 2006 trial in which he was convicted of murdering Sister Margaret Ann Pahl in 1980.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Director praises pace of diocese reconfiguration

OHIO
Youngstown Vindicator

By LINDA M. LINONIS
linonis@vindy.com

There’s a history of working together through times of change in the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown.

“This isn’t a new concept,” the Rev. Nicholas Shori said of the collaborating, merging and downsizing that is occurring in the diocese now.

Father Shori is the director of the ongoing Parish Implementation Plan.

He pointed out that the collaboration of Our Lady of Victory Church in Andover and St. Patrick Church in Kinsman dates from 1962, and the collaboration of St. Mary Church in Orwell and Sacred Heart Church in Rock Creek since 1998. Both situations work with a pastor, two parishes and two worship sites.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

U.S. Catholic Church Amends Child Sex Abuse Charter

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

By Daniel Blake | Christian Post Contributor

U.S. Catholic Bishops have revised their 2002 Charter in efforts to fight sexual abuse of minors by clerics, reports released Thursday have said.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has revised its Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The charter was originally created in 2002 to fight against cases of sexual abuse in the Church.

A statement released by the clerics emphasized that child pornography was a crime against Church law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Rabbi slams blind obedience to rabbis

ISRAEL
YNet News

Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 05.30.11

Rabbi Dr. Benny Lau has called on the national-religious public to reduce its dependence on rabbis and become "free". According to Lau, the blind obedience which has infiltrated the Zionist-religious society in recent years is an inappropriate phenomenon stemming from a "paralysis of fear".

The rabbi spoke during a symposium held recently by the Sha'arei Mishpat College.

"There are some who are so fearful of laicization that they strive to a world of obedience and search for a person who will guide their ways," Rabbi Lau argued. "We willingly give up on freedom to reach a safe haven."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

SNAP Urges St. Joseph Victims to Step Forward

ST. JOSEPH (MO)
St. Joe Channel

Reported by: Lourin Sprenger
Thursday, June 16 2011

(St. Joseph, Mo.) Thursday a support group for clergy sex abuse victims held a confidential meeting to discuss allegations against Shawn Ratigan.

In a closed door meeting, potential sex abuse victims questioned the alleged sex predator and former St. Joseph priest.

Those with a history of abuse -- the group S.N.A.P --- the survivors network of those abused by priests were in St. Joseph offering support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

SNAP group gathers to discuss abuse

ST. JOSEPH (MO)
St. Joseph News-Press

Kim Norvell
St. Joseph News-Press

A national group reached out to St. Joseph parishioners Thursday to offer support for those affected by a former local priest who was recently charged with child pornography.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest (SNAP) held a confidential meeting Thursday evening at the East Hills Library in order to lend a hand to victims of clergy sex crimes as well as those who are simply looking for someone to speak to.

About 20 local Catholics attended to share their feelings on the case against the Rev. Shawn F. Ratigan and the subsequent response by Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Corrections

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The New York Times

An article on Wednesday about the abuse prevention policies of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops misstated the extent to which the Archdiocese of Philadelphia responded to accusations of abuse by priests. The archdiocese gave its review board some information about 10 of 37 cases recently cited by a Philadelphia grand jury; not all cases were withheld from the board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

McGrory response

BOSTON (MA)
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

[Collateral Damage]

by Paul Kellen

Brian McGrory tries to make a compelling case for mistreatment of Rev Charles Murphy. Alas, he supplies no relevant facts. Unfortunately he falls back on the tools of suggestion, deception and misdirection to make up for this absence of fact.

His use of ‘Innocent’ in his headline states his belief about this man. Rev Murphy was not ‘cleared’ of the accusation that he molested a young deaf girl. The review board did not “clear” Rev Murphy of the charges by the young man. McGrory labels his accusation an “unfounded complaint” but supplies no facts.

When the archdiocesan board’s ruling ‘not substantiated’ is reported there is no description by them of the facts or the standard of judgement used to reach this conclusion. Recall Rev. Bernard Law’s standard was often “Father said he didn’t do it”

No amount of admiration from his friends and parishioners changes this situation.

Joe Corcoran and Jack Pender may be substantial members of the community but they provide no facts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

BOSTON PRIEST-SUING LAWYER GOES BONKERS

BOSTON (MA)
Catholic League

In today's Boston Globe, there is a column by Brian McGrory about Rev. Charles Murphy, a priest twice sued by attorney Mitchell Garabedian.

In 2006, Father Murphy was sued for improperly touching a minor, a girl who claimed the incident occurred 25 years prior. Father Murphy maintained his innocence, and on the eve of the trial, the woman dropped her suit.

In 2010, Father Murphy was sued by a man who alleged that he was fondled 40 years ago. The accuser, it turns out, was deep in debt and had his credibility questioned even by his family members. Father Murphy was exonerated after an archdiocesan review board took six months to examine the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Collateral Damage

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Catholic Insider

A column in the Boston Globe reported the news that Fr. Charles Murphy recently passed away. Last October, BCI shared with our readers in this post that the archdiocese had cleared Fr Murphy from an accusation of sexual abuse and restored him to senior priest status.

Though we did not know Fr. Murphy, we expressed in that October 2010 post that we hoped the archdiocese could do whatever possible for him and other priests who had faced unsubstantiated charges to restore their reputation. Unfortunately, Fr. Murphy was “crushed” emotionally by the latest allegations, and never recovered from the blow.

The Globe column by Brian McGrory tells a sad story about Fr. Murphy’s situation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Long's story

GEORGIA
World

Georgia megachurch hits hard times as famed pastor settles case involving scandalous charges | Timothy Dalrymple

Eight months ago, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church of Lithonia, Ga., was one of the largest and most dynamic megachurches in the nation. The church and its multiple ministries provided the local poor with food, shelter, transportation, and financial assistance. It delivered munificence and missionaries around the world. In 2010 alone, the church claims that its worldwide mission support reached 172 countries. And the church was most renowned for its unique and charismatic pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, who wrote best-selling books on everything from relationships and biblical manhood to sanctification and self-help. His television program on the Trinity Broadcast Network was said to reach 270 million people worldwide.

Yes, many called him a peddler of the prosperity gospel, a false shepherd seeking only to fleece the flock. Yes, it took some explaining why Long wore muscle-shirts in the pulpit, or outfits that looked like Star Trek uniforms, as well as why he drove a Bentley and lived in a mansion on 20 acres of land. Eyebrows were raised when Long received, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, millions of dollars in salary in 1997-2000 from the nonprofits under the umbrella of the church. And Long hardly sounded humble when he told a pesky AJC reporter, "I'm not going to apologize for anything. We are not just a church, we're an international corporation. . . . I deal with the White House. I deal with Tony Blair. I deal with presidents around this world. I pastor a multimillion-dollar congregation."

Yet none of these things substantially harmed church attendance. What finally slowed down the New Birth dynamo were allegations, first aired in September 2010, that Bishop Long took young men on his various travels and sought to coerce them into sexual acts. The four young plaintiffs claimed that Long bought them cars, paid them salaries, and flew them around the world, explaining how the Bible justified their activities. Since Long was known for his vigorous opposition to gay marriage, the charges of hypocrisy came swift and strong. Long told his congregation days later, "I am not a perfect man, but this thing, I'm going to fight."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Business schooled: Experts weigh in on church management

UNITED STATES
U.S. Catholic

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kristen Hannum

Father Tom Sweetser, S.J., says it’s not in his capacity to reform the entire U.S. church, but he knows he’s making a difference in the scores of parishes where he has consulted. It is what he is able to do.

Similarly, in the wake of one wretched sexual abuse revelation after another, some of the most influential Catholics in the United States have come together to do what they are able to do. Where Sweetser is a David, they are collectively a Goliath. The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management (NLRCM) formed out of an intial meeting in 2004.

Today the board includes figures as varied as Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of Sen. Edward Kennedy; Father Edward Malloy, C.S.C., president emeritus, University of Notre Dame; Geoffrey Boisi, former Wall Street investment banker; retired Lt. Gen. James Dubik; and Dr. Charles Geschke, chairman of the board of Adobe Systems. The organization works collaboratively with other Catholic groups to improve management protocols in parishes, dioceses, and nonprofits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Church youth pastor charged with molesting teen

MINNESOTA
KARE

ANOKA, Minn. -- The youth director for a church in Ham Lake stands charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct in the alleged abuse of a teenage girl.

A criminal complaint issued against Damian Blake Burkhalter in Anoka County Thursday accuses the youth pastor at Glen Cary Lutheran Church in Ham Lake with repeatedly molesting the girl, then age 14, starting in June of 2010.

The victim told a therapist about the sexual assaults during a session in Kandiyohi County in early June of 2011, and the therapist notified authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Tucson Diocese: We're stronger, more vigilant after sex abuse scandal

TUCSON (AZ)
KOLD

By Som Lisaius, reporter

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Sexual abuse is very difficult for anyone to talk about.

So imagine what it feels like for an organization to identify those who've committed these terrible crimes, telling the world about them.

That's what the Catholic Diocese of Tucson did nine years ago by releasing a list of priests suspected of sexual abuse.

Today, they say they're much stronger, more vigilant and more pro-active because of it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

U.S. Catholic bishops revise guidelines against sex abuse

UNITED STATES
CNN

By the CNN Wire Staff

Seattle, Washington (CNN) -- To fight child abuse by priests, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops revised its 2002 charter Thursday, the group said.

Child pornography is a crime against church law and the abuse of someone who is mentally disabled is equivalent to child abuse, the conference said in a statement on its revised Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The charter was created to battle the sexual abuse of minors by clerics, the conference said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Catholic bishops resist calls for major changes in policy addressing child sex abuse

UNITED STATES
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday resisted calls for major changes in their child sex abuse policy despite recent cases involving priests in Kansas City and Philadelphia.

Critics say those cases raise questions about whether some bishops are even following the policy, which was crafted nine years ago to address the sex abuse crisis that was rocking the church.

The critics reacted swiftly after Thursday’s 187-5 vote, which approved a few revisions, including listing child pornography as a violation of church law.

“We are dismayed that the new policy is almost identical to the current policy, despite horrifying recent evidence in Kansas City and Philadelphia that the church’s current policies are dangerously lenient and full of loopholes,” said Terence McKiernan, president of BishopAccountability.org, a group that operates an online database of accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

U.S. bishops make little change to sex abuse policy

UNITED STATES
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By DANIEL BURKE Religion News Service | Posted: Friday, June 17, 2011

BELLEVUE, Wash. • The nation's Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday overwhelmingly voted to maintain current church policies on the sexual abuse of children, making only minor tweaks to policies that critics say contain large loopholes.

The bishops voted 187-5, with four abstentions, to make only slight revisions to their Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, guidelines adopted in 2002 as the clergy sex abuse scandal spread nationwide.

The bishops argue that the current rules are effective, pointing to a sharp decline in new incidents of abuse since 2002. But victims' advocates say recent reports of ethical lapses by church leaders in Philadelphia and Kansas City prove that the nonbinding church policies are weak and unenforceable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Catholic Bishops Uphold 2002 Sex Abuse Policy

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: June 16, 2011

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to retain their policies on sexual abuse by clergy members with only minor revisions, disregarding victims’ advocates who had called for a more substantial overhaul.
Related

The bishops promised to reconsider the policies again two years from now, after they receive recommendations from their national sexual advisory board, which is composed primarily of lay people with expertise in the field.

The bishops first adopted the policies under intense public scrutiny in 2002, as the scandal over abuse by priests reached a fever pitch. The policy’s cornerstone, which stirred great debate among the bishops at the time, was a commitment to remove from ministry every priest credibly accused of abuse even once, a tenet referred to as “zero tolerance.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

June 16, 2011

Officials: Pastor knew of sex club

WISCONSIN
Janesville Gazette

By DARRYL ENRIQUEZ Thursday, June 16, 2011

ELKHORN — A church pastor failed to notify authorities of a club in which young boys performed sex acts on each other at Faith Christian School in Williams Bay, according to police reports and court documents.

Joseph R. Fultz, 46, of 103 Prairie Drive, Walworth, is charged in a criminal complaint with five misdemeanor counts of failing to report child abuse or neglect.

Sex acts among six boys ages 5 to 12 years old also happened at a Fontana resort, Fultz’s home and his church between the spring of 2009 and March 30, 2011, according to a criminal complaint released Wednesday by the Walworth County District Attorney’s Office.

Fultz recently resigned as pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Walworth, according to a source at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Eddie Long Burglary Suspect Breaks Silence

GEORGIA
WSB

[with video]

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- After nine months of silence, one of the men accused of breaking into Bishop Eddie Long's office is now breaking his silence.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer spoke with Anthony Boyd about why he thinks he's the only one facing charges in connection with the office break-in, while the two involved in the sex abuse lawsuit are not.

For two days, Fleischer has sought answers from the district attorney's office about the matter, but has yet to get an answer.

Boyd is heading to court on the burglary charges in two weeks. Another man -- who was one of defendants in the sex abuse lawsuit -- was arrested and took pretrial diversion in connection with the break-in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Bishops Approve Revisions to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

UNITED STATES
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved revisions to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People at its Spring General Assembly in Seattle on June 16. The revisions passed with 187 bishops voting in favor, 5 bishops opposed and 4 abstaining.

The Charter was adopted by the U.S. bishops in 2002 in response to the crisis of sexual abuse of minors by clerics. It was revised previously in 2005.

The revisions bring the Charter into line with the most recent Vatican instructions in this area, including specifically mentioning child pornography as a crime against church law and holding that abuse of someone who habitually lacks reason, for example, someone with mental retardation, is equivalent to child abuse.