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September 30, 2011

Eddie Long, New Birth seek to recoup settlement money

ATLANTA (GA)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Christian Boone
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Attorneys representing Eddie Long's church have informed three of the five young men who accused the pastor of sexual coercion that they intend to recover nearly $1 million from their financial settlement, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

The letter, sent this week by the Atlanta law firm Drew Eckl & Farnham, alleges that Jamal Parris, Spencer LeGrande and Centino Kemp violated terms of a confidentiality agreement outlined in the settlement with Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The firm is seeking at least $900,000 already paid the three accusers, according to people involved in the settlement but not authorized to speak publicly. That figure is a portion of the total settlement with the three men.

Financial terms of that settlement have not been disclosed but, based on the letter and the fact each of the young men were paid equitably, the total comes to at least $1.5 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Long lawyers asking for settlement money back

ATLANTA (GA)
WSB

ATLANTA, Ga. —

Channel 2 Action News has learned a law firm representing Bishop Eddie Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has sent a letter to three of Long's accusers, threatening to try and take back some of the settlement money paid in a high profile sex abuse case.

Multiple sources, who wanted to remain anonymous because of possible litigation, confirmed the letter was sent this week. It asks Jamal Parris, Spencer LeGrande, and Centino Kemp to repay a total of $900,000 for breaching a confidentiality provision that was part of the settlement. A total of five young men settled with Long, meaning, his team paid out at least $1.5 million for the case.

Parris and LeGrande sat down with Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer in August to discuss their accusations against Long. They did not disclose the total settlement amount, but they knew they were putting it in jeopardy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

My Spirit, My Call

OREGON
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

My son and I arrived late at the One Spirit, One Call event this Sunday in the Park blocks here in Portland, Oregon. One Spirit, One Call is a group that formed last year in response to the announcement by the Vatican that the ordination of women was a sin against faith as serious as the abuse of children. The group is not about the ordination of women, but about women having a more respected and responsible role in church life. Last year’s event as well as this year's centered around a woman oriented service paralleling, to some degree, Mass without the Eucharist.

The role of women in the Church is not my particular issue. I am a woman doing what I do, so I feel that my own conscience overrides my obedience to authority, but women abuse children and cover up abuse the abuse of children too. Ordaining women as priests won’t end abuse in the Catholic Church, nor will it heal the wounds caused by abuse. However, there is a relationship between the two issues in that in both situations, some people are treated as though they are more worthy than others. So I go to some One Spirit, One Call events. I feel inspired when I am around other reform minded Catholics.

This Sunday the event drew an attendee who others might have wished had gone elsewhere. My son and I sat on a low wall lining a sidewalk leading to the center of the South Park block where the One Spirit, One Call event was held both last year and this. On the other side of the sidewalk and ten or so feet closer to the curb sat a man, loudly and apparently drunkenly proclaiming something about God, the Church, San Francisco and being molested. A woman in a red jacket, who appeared to be a crowd security person with One Spirit, One Call, walked up to the man, spoke with him and slipped him a few dollars. She walked off after a few minutes, but the man continued to proclaim his issues loudly and somewhat incoherently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

State seeking to gain control over church

IRELAND
The Irish Times

OPINION: The Government’s undiplomatic outburst shows it has another agenda, writes SÉAMUS MURPHY

FOLLOWING THE publication of the Cloyne report, the Government denounced the Vatican for undermining Irish laws and demanded a full and comprehensive explanation. It got just that recently; and it is not interested. On child protection, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has given good leadership to the Irish church, but that wasn’t enough to give weight to his plea that the Government take the Vatican response seriously.

The Government’s current excuse for its undiplomatic outburst and refusal to engage with the Vatican response is that it was expressing Irish people’s feelings. But the Government should lead, not follow the loudest shouters. Its dismissal of the Vatican’s response as “legalism”, after having accused the Vatican of failing to respect Irish law, shows contempt for canon law.

The Government and the Cloyne report claim that the 1997 letter from the papal nuncio to Irish bishops encouraged church officials to violate the Irish bishops’ policy of reporting sexual assault of minors to the civil authorities. Yet the report offered no evidence to show that the relevant official in Cloyne had been so influenced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

More Alleged Victims Come Forward In Diocese Sex Abuse Case

MONTANA
NBC Montana

By The Associated Press
POSTED: 10:55 am MDT September 30, 2011

HELENA, Mont. -- Attorneys have added 40 new plaintiffs to the 34 already suing the Roman Catholic diocese of Helena over sexual abuse they say they suffered as children at the hands of clergy members.

Missoula attorney J.R. Casillas filed the amended lawsuit in Helena district court on Thursday.

The plaintiffs are all adults and the estate of one deceased person. They say the diocese must answer for gross negligence in allowing the alleged abuse to take place from the late 1940s to through the 1970s in the towns of St. Ignatius, Missoula and Arlee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

RASH OF OLD ACCUSATIONS SURFACE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

September 30, 2011

The following accusations were made against priests in the month of September alone:

• A 34-year-old man says he was abused in the 1980s by a priest from Portland, Oregon.
• In the same diocese, a 41-year-old woman says she was also abused in the 1980s, adding that this explains her series of failed romantic relationships.
• An 83-year-old priest from Charlotte, North Carolina was accused of molesting a teenage male in the 1970s.
• A priest from San Bernardino was accused of molesting teenage males in the 1970s.
• A priest from Ohio was accused of "misconduct" that allegedly took place in the 1970s.
• A priest from Kansas City was accused of molesting a boy in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Court junks rape case vs priest

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

Friday, September 30, 2011

COMPOSTELA VALLEY -- A local court judge dismissed the rape case against a Catholic Church priest and criticized a Justice official who ordered the re-filing of the rape charge earlier dismissed by a local court in 2006.

In Wednesday's hearing at the Regional Trial Court branch 3 in Nabunturan town, Judge Hilario Clapis dismissed the rape case against Fr. Melvin dela Cuesta, filed by a woman who used to work as a part-time clerk at the Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish five years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Abuse suit names retired priest

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

A 41-year-old woman is seeking $14 million from the Archdiocese of Portland, accusing a now-retired priest of sexual abuse.

The suit claims the abuse happened about a dozen times while Father Edward Altstock was a priest at St. John the Apostle Parish in Reedsport in the mid-1980s. The woman says she was 15 when the encounters began.

Portland attorney Kelly Clark, who is handling the case, says the alleged abuse interfered with his client's ability to get married and sustain her faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

300 meldingen van seksueel misbruik bij protestanten

NEDERLAND
RKnieuws

UTRECHT (RKnieuws.net) - Vanuit protestantse en evangelische kerken is tussen 2005 en 2010 driehonderd keer melding gemaakt van seksueel misbruik. Negen van die klachten zijn gegrond verklaard. De Protestantse Kerk in Nederland (PKN) verscherpt het daderbeleid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

LJN BT6206, Rechtbank Utrecht, 309120 / HA RK 11-297

NEDERLAND
Jure

Datum uitspraak: 28-09-2011
Datum publicatie: 30-09-2011
Rechtsgebied: Civiel overig
Soort procedure: Eerste aanleg - enkelvoudig
Zaaknummers: 309120 / HA RK 11-297

Inhoudsindicatie:
Verzoek tot het houden van een voorlopig getuigenverhoor. Vordering verjaard? Volgens bestendige jurisprudentie van de Hoge Raad heeft een verjaringstermijn een objectief en absoluut karakter en het beginsel van de rechtszekerheid brengt met zich mee dat hieraan strikt de hand gehouden moet worden. Dit wil evenwel niet zeggen dat een verjaringstermijn nooit op grond van artikel 6:2 lid 2 BW terzijde gelaten kan worden. Gelet op de belangen die de regels met betrekking tot verjaring beogen te dienen, waaronder het belang van de rechtszekerheid, zal echter pas van onaanvaardbaarheid als in die bepaling bedoeld in uitzonderlijke gevallen sprake zijn. Naar het oordeel van de rechtbank kan op voorhand niet worden uitgesloten dat de bodemrechter onderhavige casus als een uitzonderlijk geval kwalificeert en dat in een te entameren procedure de bodemrechter tot de conclusie komt dat een beroep op verjaring door het Aartsbisdom naar maatstaven van redelijkheid en billijkheid onaanvaardbaar is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Law and order

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

ST. LOUIS > Two allege abuse at boys home — Two men filed a joint lawsuit Thursday in St. Louis Circuit Court alleging authorities didn't do enough to stop sexual abuse they suffered as minors living at the former St. Joseph's Home for Boys in the 1990s. Antoine Conners and Bryan Mitchell, both in their 20s, say they were abused by other residents staying at the home, according to the lawsuit. The Missouri Department of Family Services placed Conners and Mitchell in St. Joseph's. According to the lawsuit, Conners lived at the home from July 1994 to August 1995; Mitchell was there from July 1994 to May 1996. Conners and Mitchell currently live outside of Missouri, said plaintiff's attorney Nicole Gorovsky. At the time of the abuse, St. Joseph's was run by Catholic Services for Children and Youth, now Good Shepherd Children and Family Services, according to the lawsuit. Also named in the suit are the Archdiocese of St. Louis, which helped oversee the home, and Archbishop Robert Carlson. The archdiocese acknowledged the lawsuit but had no comment. St. Joseph's Home for Boys closed in 2001. It was at 4753 South Grand Boulevard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

UTV Live Tonight - Victims welcome inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

[video]

Victims and survivors welcome the launch of a major inquiry into the abuse of children in institutions run by the Catholic Church and the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Investigation into clerical sexual abuse in Northern Ireland to be launched

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Central

By
DARA KELLY,
IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Northern Ireland will shortly launch its own major inquiry into the clerical abuse of children in institutions run by the Catholic Church it has been announced.

The Northern Ireland Executive confirmed that the probe will be armed with the power to compel the release of private records and the co-operation of witnesses.

The North's First Minister Peter Robinson and acting deputy First Minister John O'Dowd announced the plan this week, which is expected to require special legislation to investigate historic cases of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

LJN: BT6206, Rechtbank Utrecht , 309120 / HA RK 11-297

NEDERLAND
de Rechtspraak

Datum uitspraak:
28-09-2011

Datum publicatie:
30-09-2011

Rechtsgebied:
Civiel overig

Soort procedure:
Eerste aanleg - enkelvoudig

Inhoudsindicatie:

Verzoek tot het houden van een voorlopig getuigenverhoor. Vordering verjaard? Volgens bestendige jurisprudentie van de Hoge Raad heeft een verjaringstermijn een objectief en absoluut karakter en het beginsel van de rechtszekerheid brengt met zich mee dat hieraan strikt de hand gehouden moet worden. Dit wil evenwel niet zeggen dat een verjaringstermijn nooit op grond van artikel 6:2 lid 2 BW terzijde gelaten kan worden. Gelet op de belangen die de regels met betrekking tot verjaring beogen te dienen, waaronder het belang van de rechtszekerheid, zal echter pas van onaanvaardbaarheid als in die bepaling bedoeld in uitzonderlijke gevallen sprake zijn. Naar het oordeel van de rechtbank kan op voorhand niet worden uitgesloten dat de bodemrechter onderhavige casus als een uitzonderlijk geval kwalificeert en dat in een te entameren procedure de bodemrechter tot de conclusie komt dat een beroep op verjaring door het Aartsbisdom naar maatstaven van redelijkheid en billijkheid onaanvaardbaar is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

'Daders misbruik Protestantse Kerk moeten boete doen'

NEDERLAND
Parool

Binnen de Protestantse Kerk in Nederland zullen daders van seksueel misbruik publiekelijk boete moeten doen. 'We moeten oppassen voor een heksenjacht op de daders, maar het is zeer van belang, ook voor de daders zelf, dat er geen doofpotcultuur is.'

Dat heeft PKN-secretaris Arjan Plaisier gezegd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

„Misbruikdaders PKN moeten openbare boete doen”

NEDERLAND
Reformatorisch Dagblad

HILVERSUM – De Protestantse Kerk in Nederland (PKN) gaat ambtsdragers die zich schuldig maken aan seksueel misbruik harder aanpakken.

Dr. A. J. Plaisier, scriba van de PKN, kondigde dat donderdagavond aan in het EO-programma De Vijfde Dag. Het tv-programma deed onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik in protestantse kerken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

PKN: Hardere aanpak dominee na seksueel misbruik

NEDERLAND
Kerknieuws

De Protestantse Kerk (PKN) gaat kerkelijk ambtsdragers, zoals dominees en ouderlingen, die zich schuldig maken aan seksueel misbruik harder aanpakken. Arjan Plaisier, scriba van de Protestantse Kerk, kondigde donderdag in het EO-programma De Vijfde Dag een verscherpt daderbeleid aan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Appeals court sides with church in Pa. abuse suit

PENNSYLVANIA
WFMJ

Posted: Sep 30, 2011

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Superior Court has sided with a judge who dismissed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh filed by the family of a man who committed suicide last year after the diocese stopped paying for his mental health treatments for alleged sexual abuse by a priest.

The appeals court agreed an Allegheny County judge was right to dismiss the lawsuit because 39-year-old Michael Unglo was suicidal before, during and after the church paid for his counseling. As a result, the courts agreed the church wasn't negligent in Unglo's death.

Unglo committed suicide in May 2010 at a Massachusetts facility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Priest Assignments

ATLANTA (GA)
Georgia Bulletin

Published: September 29, 2011

ATLANTA—Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory has announced the following changes in priest assignments.

He has confirmed the assignment of Father Luis Garza as territorial director of the Legionaries of Christ, effective Sept. 19.

He has confirmed the recommendation of Father Garza and assigned Father Joseph Ramos, LC, to work with the men of the Regnum Christi, effective Sept. 19.

He has confirmed the recommendation of Father John L. Connor, the previous territorial director of the Legionaries of Christ, and assigned Father Richard Sutter, LC, as director of formation at Pinecrest Academy, Cumming, effective Sept. 20.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

UNGLO v. ZUBIK

PENNSYLVANIA
Leagle

2011 PA Super 207
SAMUEL J. UNGLO, AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF MICHAEL R. UNGLO, DECEASED, Appellantv.BISHOP DAVID A. ZUBIK AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH, Appellees.
No. 1749 WDA 2010.
Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

Filed: September 29, 2011.

BEFORE: FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E., BENDER, and STRASSBURGER*, JJ.

OPINION BY STRASSBURGER, J.
Samuel J. Unglo (Appellant), as Administrator of the Estate of Michael R. Unglo, deceased, appeals from the trial court's order entered October 12, 2010, sustaining preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer filed by Bishop David A. Zubik and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh (collectively the Diocese), and dismissing his complaint. We affirm.
The facts, as recited from Appellant's complaint and construed most favorably to Appellant, are ably summarized by the trial court, as follows:
From 1982 to 1985, Michal R. Unglo ["Decedent"] was a victim of extreme sexual abuse at the hands of a priest at All Saints Church. During this time, [Decedent] was a student at All Saints School and alter [sic] boy at All Saints Church.
Thereafter, [Decedent] attended North [Catholic] High School, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with honors, and became employed in the advertising field in New York City where he was successful professionally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Protestant church also accused of sexual abuse

NETHERLANDS
Dutch News

Friday 30 September 2011

The protestant church received 300 complaints of sexual abuse between 2005 and 2010, according to research by EO tv programme De Vijfde Dag (The Fifth Day). Of these, nine were judged well-founded.

Church authorities say their complaints line receives 20 calls about sexual abuse each year. This number rose in 2010 because of the number of articles about sexual abuse in the catholic church.

Protestant church workers such as vicars who commit sexual abuse will now have to do public penance to their victims, Arjan Plaisier of the Protestant Church Nederland told the press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Mooncoin priest embroiled in child safeguarding issue

IRELAND
Kilkenny Advertiser

September 30, 2011.

By Naoise Coogan

A priest from the parish of Mooncoin has been given leave of ministry from Bishop Seamus Freeman following what has been described as a “safeguarding matter”.

Father Peter Muldowney, who was born in Kilmanagh, asked to be allowed a period of leave from ministry with immediate effect so that the matter can be addressed.

He is understood to have left the parochial house and to be residing temporarily in a secret location.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Jury pool almost filled in priest-murder trial

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

Written by
Peggy Wright | Staff Writer

Juror selection in Morristown is nearing an end for the trial of church custodian Jose Feliciano on charges of fatally stabbing the Rev. Edward Hinds in Chatham in 2009.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers have spent the past three weeks “prequalifying” a large pool of prospective jurors who don’t have a hardship sitting on the case and didn’t indicate any bias or familiarity with the case that would disqualify them from sitting.

As of the close of the court day Thursday, 48 prospective jurors had been prequalified. The lawyers and Superior Court Judge Thomas V. Manahan want to have a pool of about 60 people prequalified before the lawyers exercise their peremptory challenges and finally choose a jury of 16 people, four of whom will serve as alternates.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Abuse of children in Irish institutions amounted to torture : a news selection

IRELAND
startpagina/weblog

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

NEWS RELEASE

Abuse of children in Irish institutions amounted to torture [Amnesty International Ireland, 26 september 2011] http://alturl.com/i77cn

REPORT

In plain sight : Responding to the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne Reports / Carole Holohan, BA, MA, PhD [Amnesty International Ireland, September 2011] http://alturl.com/du7s8

Contents
Preface
The Advisory Group
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Summary and Key Findings

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Lawyer who represented polygamist charged with cocaine possession

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

By ZAIN SHAUK, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Updated 09:08 p.m., Thursday, September 29, 2011

A criminal defense lawyer who represented polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, convicted killer Clara Harris and clients accused of drug crimes has been charged with possession of cocaine, according to court records.

A court hearing scheduled Thursday for Emily Munoz Detoto, 40, was canceled as she had not been indicted, said her attorney, Mac Secrest.

Detoto was charged with felony possession of less than 1 gram of cocaine on June 20. The charges came about three weeks before Jeffs hired her to replace prominent Fort Worth attorney Jeff Kearney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Instead of Avoiding Lawsuits, ESD Should Work On, You Know, Not Sleeping With Students

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas Observer

In the wake of a multimillion-dollar civil jury award to the family of a girl who testified she was seduced at age 16 by a 34-year-old male teacher, we learn that the Episcopal School of Dallas has already instituted a number of important reforms. According to a pay-walled piece in The Dallas Morning News today, the school has taken the following precautions:

1) Expanded email storage capacity for staff.
2) Eliminated cell phones for staff.
3) Installed GPS tracking on school-owned vehicles.
4) Put in place new rules for use of school credit cards.

All of these important measures could be summarized as falling under a heading, "In case we get sued again."

No one will be able to accuse the school of erasing important email evidence, which is a good thing. If a 34-year-old male teacher ever does seduce another 16-year-old girl, it won't involve use of a school-owned cell phone -- another exposure to liability.

The school will tell everybody about the tracking devices, so presumably an errant faculty member who does want to seduce a 16-year-old in the future will use his or her own vehicle -- another door to the vault slammed. And that faculty member will not be able to make motel reservations with a school credit card, as happened in this case, according to testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Pope sued over abuse scandals

UNITED STATES
the Raquette

By Nathan Rubadou

Sexual abuse cases involving priests began to emerge in the United States around 1970. At first, they were dismissed by the Vatican as a contained problem until thousands began stepping forward in Ireland, Germany and all over the world, accusing priests of sexual abuse. Since this uproar of victims and whistleblowers, the Catholic Church has paid approximately three billion dollars in settlements to victims in the United States alone, and has often allowed accused clergy members to remain within the Church for decades without notifying the public of past crimes.

On September 13, the representatives of an organization called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) filed a formal request of more than 80 pages asking the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute several high ranking church members, including Pope Benedict XVI, for crimes against humanity. Along with the request were 20,000 pages of evidence proving that Catholic Church officials have continually concealed cases of rape and abuse by their clergy.

In 2001, the Catholic Church commissioned a special division lead by Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (now known as Pope Benedict XVI) to oversee this growing problem and review formal complaints against alleged pedophile priests to punish them.

This is not the first time the Pope has been accused of covering up cases of abuse and refusing to punish clergy accused of molestation. In 2010, he was accused of failing to take any action against a proven molester who abused 200 deaf children in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Is This What the American Bishops Want?

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Christians for Accountability

By A.P. Cromidas

The recent news that Mark Stokoe had been dismissed from the OCA Metropolitan Council and his Diocesan Council by Bishop Matthias is deplorable but not surprising, given the history and culture of the Church, and a pronouncement this spring from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America.

Among their concerns, many laudable, the bishops pointed out that June was “internet safety month” and urged “priests and parishioners to raise awareness and secure appropriate protection for our children and communities from the many and diverse prevalent dangers, including pornography, cyberbullying, perils by predators, risks of geotagging, and in particular dissension in the Church.” (Emphasis added.)

Dissension in the Church is apparently more important than pornography for the bishops when it comes to the Internet. It is interesting that they coupled dissension with the Internet. Did they have Mr. Stokoe’s web-site in mind? A few years ago, in the Greek archdiocese, then-Archbishop Spyridon would have liked to have the web-site “Voithia” (“Help”) taken down, but Voithia was “speaking truth to power”, and it was the Archbishop who was removed by Patriarch Bartholomew, after the ground-swell from the faithful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Metropolitan Council Meeting Begins with Resignation, Reports

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Christians for Accountability (OCANews.org)

The Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America, together with members of the Lesser Synod, meets today, Wednesday, September 28th through Friday, September 30th at the Chancery in Syosset. The meeting was preceded by meetings of individual Metropolitan Council committees on Tuesday, September 27th.

Changes

The Council will be quite different from meetings in the past six years as three of its more vocal members will not be present. Mark Stokoe, editor of OCANews.org was dismissed from the Council as lay representative from the Diocese of the Midwest last month by Bishop Matthias

(read that story here), while Dr. Faith Skordinski, delegate at large, suddenly announced her resignation from the Council yesterday in a letter to members. Dr. Skordinski wrote:

“For the past six years as a member of the MC, I have devoted extraordinary personal time and resources attempting to bring about honest, accountable, and competent leadership within the OCA. Recognizing the MC continues to address critical issues, its composition requires individuals who are able to dedicate the necessary attention, energy, resources, and time to the situations at hand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Suspended Archbishop Visiting Parish Complains SNAP

CANADA
Orthodox Christians for Accountability

In a September 23rd article published on both the Pokrov and SNAP websites, Pokrov co-founder Cappy Larson of the Orthodox wing of Suvivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) complained that "suspended Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, a credibly accused child molester, is visiting a Canadian church this weekend."

Larson continues:

"Less than a year ago, the Winnipeg police issued an arrest warrant for Storheim. He turned himself into the police in Edmonton last November. Storheim was questioned by the authorities and released after posting a $500 bond and surrendering his passport. The terms of his release also forbade Storheim from having contact with minors. The case involves the abuse of two ten year old boys.

At a special meeting on November 30, 2010, the Orthodox Church in America’s synod of bishops suspended Storheim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Lockeford Priest Accused Of Molesting Boys

LOCKEFORD (CA)
CBS 13

[with video]

LOCKEFORD (CBS13) — A San Joaquin County priest is facing accusations of molesting young boys, but members of a priest abuse support group say officials at the diocese are dragging their heels.

Father Michael Kelly is facing a civil case next month for a 2007 allegation that he molested a 10-year-old boy in the mid-1980s, and a second alleged victim has come forward with claims that Kelly brutally abused him between 2000 and 2002.

Father Kelly, the active priest at the St. Joachim Church, was put on administrative leave after the first accusation but was reinstated after an independent investigator hired by the archdiocese cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Former Southsea priest jailed for choir boy abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
The News

By Gareth Bethell
Published on Friday 30 September 2011

A RETIRED priest has been jailed for repeatedly abusing a choir boy.

For 35 years Maxwell Halahan, of Old Canal, Southsea, thought he had got away with the sexual assaults.

He tried to buy the boy’s silence by paying him extra money on top of what he was due for singing in the choir.

The victim, who is now in his 40s, had tried to tell his mother at the time but she dismissed what he was saying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Statutory powers for sex abuse inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Noel McAdam
Friday, 30 September 2011

An inquiry into decades of alleged child sex abuse at Catholic and State-run homes in Northern Ireland is to have statutory powers, it has been announced.

However, new legislation at Stormont allowing the probe to compel witnesses to appear could take another two years.

In the interim an investigation is to get under way and victims and survivors will be urged to come forward to a special forum to recount their experiences.

Asked when the initial phase of the inquiry might get under way, First Minister Peter Robinson and his Deputy John O'Dowd said: "As soon as possible."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Church abuse inquiry to be launched

NORTHERN IRELAND
Wales Online

A major inquiry into the abuse of children in institutions run by the Catholic Church and the state is to be launched in Northern Ireland, it has been announced.

The Stormont Executive confirmed the probe will be phased-in over the next two years and will be armed with the power to compel the release of records plus the co-operation of witnesses.

First Minister Peter Robinson and acting deputy First Minister John O'Dowd announced the details of the plan, which follows a study of the issue by a task force set-up last December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Child abuse inquiry in North gets go-ahead

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish Times

GERRY MORIARTY, Northern Editor

AN INQUIRY into church and state institutional abuse of children in Northern Ireland is to be carried out over the next two to three years, First Minister Peter Robinson and acting Deputy First Minister John O’Dowd have announced.

A special meeting of the Northern Executive at Stormont yesterday presided over by Mr Robinson and Mr O’Dowd gave the formal go-ahead for the inquiry which will investigate allegations of physical and sexual abuse going back to 1945.

The inquiry into historical institutional child abuse will operate on a twin-track system.

Initially victims of abuse will be able to give evidence privately to an “acknowledgement forum” while special legislation is put in place to compel witnesses to give evidence and documents to be presented to the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

More charges filed against music teacher

FALMOUTH (MA)
Cape Cod Times

By Sean Teehan
steehan@capecodonline.com

September 30, 2011

FALMOUTH — Graphic details of child sexual assault allegations against a former Hyannis church music director emerged Thursday during his arraignment hearing in Falmouth District Court.

Stephen B. Lindberg, the 54-year-old former music director of the Unity on Cape Cod church, was ordered held on $10,000 bail. He is accused of sexually abusing an underage vocal student.

Lindberg pleaded not guilty to six counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 years old and three counts of statutory rape of a child, court records show.

"We emphatically deny these allegations," said Boston attorney William A. Korman of Rudolph Friedman LLP, who is representing Lindberg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Court sides with diocese after man commits suicide

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Friday, September 30, 2011

By Liz Navratil, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The state Superior Court reaffirmed Thursday the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh's right to stop providing mental health treatment for a man who claimed he was abused by a priest in the 1980s.

Michael R. Unglo had a history of attempting suicide. In May 2010, at least a month after the church announced that it would stop paying for his care, Mr. Unglo killed himself.

His brother later sued the diocese alleging negligence, but the case was thrown out of Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

The state Superior Court sided with the diocese Thursday, saying that because Mr. Unglo was suicidal before, during and after the period in which the diocese covered his treatment, it was not liable for his death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

From the Law Offices of Kosnoff PLLC ...

MONTANA
news.gnom.es

HELENA, Mont., Sept. 29, 2011 /NEWS.GNOM.ES/ — The first filing of a civil lawsuit by sex-abuse survivors against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena has brought forth a flood of new claims, as well as a growing list of Helena diocese priests identified as sexual predators.

On Thursday, attorneys representing 40 new plaintiffs added these names to an original complaint, bringing the total number of plaintiffs they represent to 73. Nearly doubling the number of plaintiffs within a week is an “extremely fast” paced addition of victims, said J.R. Casillas, a Missoula attorney with the law firm of Datsopoulous, MacDonald & Lind.

This same case has another 200 John Doe and Jane Doe “placeholder” slots, reserved for victims anticipated to join the case.

“It begs the question: How many more people are out there, Casillas said, if this many are breaking their silence and coming forward within days of the first lawsuit filing?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Parishioners dismayed by allegations against priest

NORTH CAROLINA
Times-News

[with work history]

By John Harbin
Times-News Staff Writer

Two Immaculate Conception Church parishioners Thursday recalled Father Joseph Kelleher as being a "fine priest," and said church members are dismayed by allegations that Kelleher sexually abused two boys more than 30 years ago in Albemarle and Charlotte.

Plaintiffs John Doe 1K and John Doe 2K filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte on the grounds that they were sexually abused as children by Kelleher, making claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, supervision and retention, and infliction of emotional stress, according to court records.

Kelleher was arrested in July 2010 and charged with one count of felony indecent liberties with a minor. The minor is now one of the plaintiffs, according to his lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

September 29, 2011

"We Are Church," Signed Ratzinger

GERMANY
Chiesa

For the first time since he became pope, Benedict XVI has cited and criticized in public the movement of ecclesial opposition most widespread and active in German-speaking countries. He did so in an off-the-cuff speech to seminarians in Freiburg. Here are his words

by Sandro Magister

ROME, September 30, 2011 – On just a very few occasions, in the speeches and homilies of his recent voyage to Germany, Benedict XVI departed from the written text.

The quip that he improvised while speaking to the Bundestag, on September 22 in Berlin, is the one that made the biggest impression.

In citing Hans Kelsen, a philosopher of law who in 1965, at the age of 84 – the same age as the pope now – had argued for a certain idea, the pope added off the cuff, smiling, "I find it comforting that rational thought is evidently still possible at the age of 84!"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Montana Catholic Church, Ursulines Face Sexual-Abuse Charges

MONTANA
Indian Country Today Media Network

By Stephanie Woodard
September 28, 2011

On Tuesday, September 27, Tamaki Law of Yakima, Washington, and Morales Law Office of Missoula, Montana, filed a complaint against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena (Montana) and the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province. The two law firms did so on behalf of 45 Salish, Kootenai, Blackfeet, Chippewa, Cree and Gros Ventre adults who suffered sexual, physical and emotional abuse as children at Catholic-run schools in Montana. For the most part, the Native students attended St. Ignatius Mission and the Ursuline Academy, both in the town of St. Ignatius, during the 1940s through the 1970s.

The plaintiffs are demanding monetary compensation, public acknowledgment of the abuse and the creation of policies to protect children and parishioners going forward. The focus of the plaintiffs is not money, though, said attorney Blaine Tamaki: “The universal concern is exposure of the abuse.”

The case, filed in Lewis and Clark County’s Superior Court, is historic in terms of the number of plaintiffs—22—who claim abuse by nuns, as opposed to priests and other male clerics. “Until now, there have been few lawsuits concerning nun abuse,” said Tamaki, whose firm was a leader in the $166-million settlement recently reached with the Jesuits on behalf on Native people in the Northwest and Alaska. “Apparently, nuns are considered less sexually motivated than priests. There may also be a double standard at work when it’s alleged that women abuse boys, in particular. Somehow this form of abuse is taken less seriously and can therefore be more difficult for victims to bring forward.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Pa. legislation would protect child sex abuse victims

PENNSYLVANIA
WHTM

By Myles Snyder

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -
A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation that would allow the prosecution of anyone who has knowledge of sexual abuse occurring against children, but fails to report the incidents to police.

Rep. Louise Williams Bishop (D-Philadelphia) said her measure, House Bill 1876, would require that sexual abuse against children be directly reported to law enforcement authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Former music minister indicted

MISSISSIPPI
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

JACKSON, Miss. (ABP) – Mississippi prosecutors said Sept. 28 that a former Southern Baptist music minister and high school choir teacher has been indicted on eight felony counts of gratification of lust.

John Langworthy, 49, former associate pastor of music and ministries at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Miss., and a teacher at Clinton High School, was first arrested Sept. 7 by both Clinton and Jackson police. He was originally charged with two counts of gratification of lust and five counts in Clinton for acts alleged to have occurred more than two decades ago when he was a student at Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College.

According to the Jackson Clarion Ledger, the indictment served Sept. 28 charges Langworthy with eight counts of crimes -- two in Jackson and six in Clinton. Authorities said the charges relate to the same five alleged victims in the initial investigation. The five men claim Langworthy befriended them at two Jackson Baptist churches and then abused them. They all were ages 10-13 at the time and allege the acts occurred between 1980 and 1984.

Police launched their investigation into Langworthy after he confessed Aug. 7 to the congregation of Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton that he had committed “indiscretions” with younger males at churches in Mississippi and Texas before coming to work at Morrison Heights 21 years ago. He had recently resigned from his church position, citing “mental and emotional reasons.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Allegations of child sex assault at Catholic Charities shelter

HOUSTON (TX)
KTRK

[with video]

Miya Shay

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A shelter run by Catholic Charities is at the center of a sex assault investigation involving children living there. But that's not all -- there are also allegations of a cover-up.

A north Houston home is just one of several shelters run by Catholic Charities. Called Saint Michael's Home for Children, the Harris County Sheriff's Office is now investigating a case where on July 1, a boy was allegedly assaulted by other children living here.

"An 8-year-old had alleged that a 10-year-old male had sexual inappropriate with him, and in a subsequent forensic interview, it came to light that an 11-year-old also had sexual inappropriate with the victim," said Deputy Thomas Gilliland with the Harris Co. Sheriff's Office.

But what's making the investigation challenging for sheriff's investigators is they weren't notified of the incident until August, a month after it allegedly occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Driehonderd meldingen misbruik protestantse kerken

NEDERLAND
NRC Handelsblad

Vanuit evangelische en protestantse kerken in Nederland zijn van 2005 tot en met 2010 meer dan driehonderd meldingen gedaan van seksueel misbruik in pastorale relaties. Negen van die klachten zijn gegrond verklaard. Dat meldt het EO-televisieprogramma De Vijfde Dag na onderzoek, aldus persbureau Novum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Driehonderd meldingen misbruik protestantse kerken

NEDERLAND
Nieuws

(Novum) - Vanuit evangelische en protestantse kerken in Nederland zijn van 2005 tot en met 2010 meer dan driehonderd meldingen gedaan van seksueel misbruik in pastorale relaties. Negen van die klachten zijn gegrond verklaard. Dat meldt het televisieprogramma De Vijfde Dag na onderzoek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Beroep op verjaring misbruikzaak RK-kerk afgewezen

NEDERLAND
NRC Handelsblad

De rechtbank Utrecht heeft een beroep op verjaring door de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk afgewezen in een zaak rond seksueel misbruik. Volgens de rechtbank heeft de Kerk “een bijzondere positie” in de samenleving.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Abuse case court date set

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

THE case of an Orthodox archbishop facing sex-crime charges in Manitoba is headed back to court for a preliminary inquiry later this fall.

Archbishop Seraphim Storheim was the highest-ranking Canadian cleric in the Orthodox Church of America until church officials suspended him in November 2010.

Winnipeg police laid charges following the church's suspension.

The preliminary inquiry is scheduled for two days in mid-November, Storheim's lawyer, Jeff Gindin, said Friday.

The charges against Storheim came after a lengthy police investigation into allegations the former Winnipeg cleric sexually abused two teenage boys 30 years ago.

A Chicago-based advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse that is monitoring the case said in an email Friday the archbishop may be violating his bail conditions -- to avoid contact with minors -- by visiting a church this weekend in Victoria, B.C.

Not likely, according to his lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Trio of SNAP Advocates Speak on ESD Campus

TEXAS
Preston Hollow People

Standing in front of the sign for the Episcopal School of Dallas, David Clohessy asked the school to reconsider its decision to appeal a $9.2 million verdict handed down last week.

“All that will do is drag these families through more pain and suffering,” said Clohessy, the director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “[ESD] will be saying that its reputation and assets are more important than your child’s safety.”

Clohessy, who flew in from St. Louis to take part in the protest, held a sign urging victims to come forward. Clohessy was abused by a Catholic priest as a child, but didn’t tell anyone until he was in his 30’s.

SNAP member Sarah Box held a sign that said “Protect Kids Not Predators,” and Lisa Kendzior’s sign displayed the photos of a dozen victims of sexual abuse alongside a hotline number, 1-877-SNAP HEALS .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

SNAP calls for investigation into Dallas Episcopal Church

DALLAS (TX)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 29, 2011

We belong to a confidential, independent support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). Our mission is to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

We’re here to push for tangible action to better protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded in four ways. But first, we want to express our deepest, heartfelt sympathy to the two brave families that have reported child sex crimes and cover ups at this school. They should never have had to endure such awful treatment by school employees and supervisors.

At the same time, however, we also want to commend these two families for bravely telling the truth, at great personal risk, and thus helping to expose reckless, callous, self-serving Episcopalian school officials who put their reputations and comfort ahead of children’s safety and healing. Kids are safer when adults speak up about child predators, and that’s exactly what these courageous kids and adults have done. All Dallas citizens, especially parents, owe these two families a debt of gratitude.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

SNAP applauds indictment for ex-minister Langworthy

MISSISSIPPI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 29, 2011

Today John Langworthy was indicted by a grand jury for eight counts of felony gratification for molesting five boys in the 1980’s. We are grateful to the secular authorities who pursued the claims against this predator and we are glad that the brave men and women on this jury decided to bring charges against this dangerous pedophile.

We hope that the actions taken today will encourage other victims who may have been suffering in silence to come forward, get help, tell their story and start healing. Given the nature of the crimes that he committed in both Clinton and Jackson, we are sure that there are others may have seen or suspected his crimes, and we urge them to come forward as well. Silence is a predator’s best weapon, and we are grateful to those who broke their silence to ensure that justice is served.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

Executive to establish inquiry into abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

The executive has agreed to establish an inquiry into allegations of abuse in children's homes and other care institutions going back as far as 1945.

The organisations who ran the institutions will face pressure to explain the treatment of children over the course of five decades.

They include Catholic religious orders, state and voluntary groups.

The inquiry follows lengthy judicial examinations of horrifying tales of abuse in the Irish Republic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

NI abuse probe to start 'as soon as possible'

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

An inquiry into historical institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland will take place in a phased manner, with "storytelling" and research elements beginning "as soon as possible".

The details were announced following a special meeting of the Stormont Executive.

First Minister Peter Robinson said legislation to confer statutory powers on the inquiry would be brought forward shortly. He said could take up to two years but that the inquiry was designed in such a way that this process would not delay its work.

It is hoped a forum to enable survivors and victims to come forward to recount their experience of abuse can be established quickly and that the research aspect of the inquiry can also get underway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Abuse victims to get statutory inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

[with video]

Victims of institutional abuse in Northern Ireland have said it has been a "long journey" after the Stormont Executive announced a major inquiry is to begin immediately.

Survivors have long campaigned for a full investigation into allegations of abuse that would have the power to compel the release of records and the cooperation of witnesses.

However, statutory powers to make witnesses testify are not expected for two years.

Peter Robinson and acting Deputy First Minister John O'Dowd announced the details of the plan, after a taskforce set up in December last year consulted with victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

NI church abuse inquiry announced

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish Times

A major inquiry into the abuse of children in institutions run by the Catholic Church and the state is to be launched in Northern Ireland, it was announced today.

The Stormont Executive confirmed the investigation will be phased-in over the next two years and will be armed with the power to compel the release of records plus the cooperation of witnesses.

First Minister Peter Robinson and acting deputy First Minister John O’Dowd announced the details of the plan, which follows a study of the issue by a task force set-up last December.

Victims of sexual and physical abuse have recounted harrowing tales of their treatment. The
Northern Ireland government’s plan of action follows a series of inquiries in the Republic which have uncovered shocking evidence of widespread abuse by Catholic clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Clerical abuse inquiry to be launched in the North

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A major inquiry into the abuse of children in institutions run by the Catholic church and the state is to be launched in the North, it was announced today.

The Stormont Executive confirmed the probe will be phased in over the next two years and will be empowered to compel the release of records and the cooperation of witnesses.

First Minister Peter Robinson and acting deputy First Minister John O'Dowd announced the details of the plan, which follows a study of the issue by a task force set-up last December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Let dispensed priests play active parish role, Vatican urges bishops

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald (United Kingdom)

By Madeleine Teahan on Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Vatican has appealed to diocesan bishops to encourage priests who have left ministry in order to get married to play a more active role in parish life.

In a copy of a letter seen by The Catholic Herald Cardinal Ivan Dias, the prefect for the Evangelisation of Peoples in Rome, placed more discretionary power in the hands of bishops for discerning a dispensed cleric’s involvement with parish life. The letter, dated February 2 2011, was sent to a priest, who had written to the congregation on behalf of an Australian missionary society that is seeking a relaxation of the prohibitions on dispensed clergy.

Cardinal Dias wrote of his confidence that the Vatican’s reforms would enable dispensed priests to lead a more active life in the Church as committed Catholics under their bishop’s guidance. The usual mode of laicisation and dispensation from the priestly vow of celibacy is through a “rescript of the Apostolic See”, meaning a response from the Pope or a sacred congregation granting a favour and the conditions upon which it is granted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Catholic Church Risk-Management Efforts Reducing Abuse, Claims

UNITED STATES
Property Casualty 360

By Caroline McDonald, PropertyCasualty360.com

A history of well-publicized events of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church have led to much soul-searching in recent years, resulting in new and improved risk-management guidelines and procedures to protect children and youth.

These changes, according to recent studies, have lowered injuries as well as claims.

The 2010 annual report from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops states that in 2009, there was a 36 percent decline from 2008 in allegations of abuse involving Catholic dioceses clergy.

According to the report, payments for settlements peaked in 2007 at about $450 million. By comparison, settlements in 2010 had dropped to around $54 million.

To get a better understanding of how the church is improving its handling of these and other risks, NU spoke to a priest who also plays an important role in risk management for the church.

“The church, like any other institution, has risks it has to manage,” says Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault, who has been a Roman Catholic priest for 23 years, most recently serving in the Diocese of Manchester, N.H.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Sex abuse lawsuit filed against former Hendersonville priest

NORTH CAROLINA
Times-News

By John Harbin
Times-News Staff Writer

A former Hendersonville priest has been named in a lawsuit against the Diocese of Charlotte of the Roman Catholic Church alleging that the priest sexually abused two boys in Albemarle and Charlotte.

Plaintiffs John Doe 1K and John Doe 2K have filed the suit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte on the grounds that they were sexually abused as children by Father Joseph Kelleher, making claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, supervision and retention and infliction of emotional stress, according to court records.

Kelleher served at Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville from 1986 to 1991, according to the church's website. Immaculate Conception Church declined to comment Thursday, referring all questions to the Diocese of Charlotte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Priest pleads innocence

IRELAND
Kilkenny People

Published on Thursday 29 September 2011

A KILKENNY priest at the centre of an abuse allegation which has not been specified has said he is innocent.

Fr Peter Muldowney has told fellow priests in the Diocese of Ossory that he has done nothing wrong and has been completely shocked by the claim.

“I am absolutely innocent,” he said. He asked to be removed temporarily from his post as parish priest of Mooncoin on Friday when details of the matter came to light in the middle of last week. He has left the parochial house in the village and is staying at a secret location, thought to be a Christian Brothers safe house while the matter is investigated.

The Kilkenny People has learned that the incident under scrutiny occurred 34 years ago and centres around his time as a Christian Brother. The Garda investigation is being handled by detectives from Dublin City and has nothing to do with his time in the diocese of Ossory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Zenit director resigns, citing differences with Legionaries of Christ

ROME
Catholic News Service

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The founder and editorial director of the Catholic news agency Zenit has resigned, citing problems of trust and transparency with Zenit's sponsoring organization, the Legionaries of Christ.

Spanish journalist Jesus Colina, who established Zenit in 1997 and helped build it into a seven-language agency with about 450,000 email subscribers around the world, said he had been asked to resign because he resisted pressures to identify the agency and its work more closely with the Legionaries order.

Colina made the announcement in an email sent to Zenit personnel Sept. 28. A spokesman for the Legionaries of Christ, Father Andreas Schoggl, confirmed Sept. 29 that Colina was leaving and said Zenit planned to publish a message to readers explaining the move.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

Zenit founder & editorial director resigns.

ROME
dotCommonweal

September 29, 2011

Posted by Grant Gallicho

Jesus Colina, founder and editorial director of a news agency sponsored by the Legion of Christ, has been asked to step down. According to a letter Colina sent to Zenit employees, the Legion of Christ asked him to step down after he resisted efforts to more closely identify Zenit with the Legion. Colina also wrote that the Legion hid “relevant facts” from him about the scandalous behavior of Fr. Marcial Maciel. John Thavis of Catholic News Service has the story:

The founder and editorial director of the Catholic news agency Zenit has resigned, citing problems of trust and transparency with Zenit’s sponsoring organization, the Legionaries of Christ.

Spanish journalist Jesus Colina, who established Zenit in 1997 and helped build it into a seven-language agency with about 450,000 email subscribers around the world, said he had been asked to resign because he resisted pressures to identify the agency and its work more closely with the Legionaries order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Founder of Zenit forced out by Legion

ROME
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Sep 29, 2011 / 10:08 am (CNA).- Jesus Colina, the founder and director of the news agency Zenit, has announced his resignation after a decision by the Legionaries of Christ to enhance the Legion identity of the agency.

Established 14 years ago as an independent agency seeking to report on “the world seen from Rome,” Zenit has established a strong presence on the Internet, with daily editions in seven languages.

Colina was appointed a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications by Pope Benedict XVI, and has received the Path to Peace Award from the Path to Peace Foundation, which works in close collaboration with the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

The Cloyne Report submitted as evidence to the International Criminal Court

UNITED STATES
SNAP Wisconsin

Amnesty International Ireland and the Center for Constitutional Rights have both cited the Cloyne Report as evidence of the Catholic Church’s continued cover-up of clergy sex crimes. The Cloyne Report has been presented to the International Criminal Court at The Hague for their review.

Shortly before Pope Benedict XVI left Rome for his trip to Germany the Vatican issued their official response to the government of Ireland concerning the Cloyne Report. The Cloyne Report sparked common outrage among the citizens of Ireland.

The Prime Minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny, following the publication of the Cloyne Report in July, addressed his parliament with the following words:

“For the first time in this country, a report into child sexual abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See, to frustrate an Inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic…as little as three years ago, not three decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Ex-minister indicted on sex counts

MISSISSIPPI
Clarion Ledger

Written by
Ruth Ingram

Former Clinton High choir teacher John Langworthy has been indicted on eight felony counts of gratification of lust in Hinds County, prosecutors say.

The Clinton resident was served with the indictment Wednesday, said Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Jamie McBride.

Langworthy, 49, the married father of two girls, is accused of befriending boys at two Jackson Baptist churches more than two decades ago, then sexually abusing them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Judge dismisses rape case against Catholic priest

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

By Frinston Lim
Inquirer Mindanao
6:51 pm | Thursday, September 29th, 2011

NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valley, Philippines—A regional trial court judge here dismissed on Wednesday a rape case that was re-filed by a 26-year-old mother against the former parish priest of this town.

The complainant’s lawyer immediately slammed Judge Hilarion Clapis’s decision, calling it “a malversation of the law,” and threatened to file charges against the judge in the Supreme Court.

Clapis, the executive judge of the 11th Regional Trial Court branch 3, ruled against a recent decision of the Department of Justice supporting the re-filing of the rape charge against Father Melvin dela Cuesta. Two provincial prosecutors had dropped the rape charge against Dela Cuesta in 2006.

The recent DOJ order issued by Undersecretary Leah Tanodra-Armamento said there was enough reason to believe the complainant, a former parish worker, because “no woman in her right mind would openly acknowledge the violation of her person and allow the examination of her private parts if she has not been raped.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Archbishop Philip Hannan dies at 98.

LOUISIANA
Daily Comet

Dominic Massa
WWL-TV

Archbishop Philip Hannan, whose 23 years as influential leader of the Archdiocese of New Orleans capped a career which included time spent as a World War II combat chaplain and confidant to political leaders such as John F. Kennedy, has died. He was 98.

For generations of New Orleans Catholics, Hannan was always the archbishop. Even after his retirement, and the appointment of three other archbishops, Hannan was never far from the public spotlight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

The Catholic Abuse Scandals, Inside and Out

UNITED STATES
The American Interest

Peter Berger

The issue of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has been festering now for about two decades. It shows no signs of going away. The issue is based on real facts, more of which keep coming out. At the same time, the issue is fanned by a secular media culture which relishes it with a good deal of Schadenfreude. An animus against the Catholic Church is one of rather few prejudices deemed acceptable in politically correct circles. Be this as it may, the crisis has escalated recently, calling for further reflection about what it is and what its implications are, not just for Catholics but for religion in contemporary society in general.

In July of this year Enda Kenny, the Irish Prime Minister (whose title is commonly given in Gaelic which hardly anyone can pronounce), made an unprecedented attack on the Vatican in a speech in parliament. This followed the publication of a judicial inquiry into clergy abuse in the diocese of Cloyne, which accused the local bishop of having given false information to the government and described the Vatican itself as having been “entirely unhelpful” to the inquiry. Kenny used stronger language. He said that the Cloyne inquiry “exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago. . . . And in doing so, the Cloyne Report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.” This from the leader of a state whose l937 constitution, while guaranteeing freedom of religion, stated the “special position of the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church”! That position had indeed been paramount from the beginning of the independent Irish state—in political influence (on such matters as divorce, abortion and contraception), in education, and in the institutions of the welfare system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Account of Warren Jeffs' fanaticism a riveting read

UNITED STATES
Tucson Sentinel

Ben McNitt TucsonSentinel.com

Polygamist prophet Warren Jeffs' summation last month to the Texas jury that ultimately convicted him on two counts of child rape was to stand silent before them for over an hour, staring at the floor, answering them nothing.

"Answer Them Nothing" is author Debra Weyermann's riveting account of how—after over half a century of existing as a state unto itself—the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and its beyond-lurid leader Jeffs were brought to a long overdue accounting before the law.

FLDS is of a genre that raises deeply troubling questions about how fanaticism can draw otherwise normal people into a world of insular perversion. Jim Jones' cult was of this type. So were the Nazis. To view it through Weyermann's solidly documented, lightning-fast narrative is fascinating and repellent at the same time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Assembly decision due on child abuse inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

An announcement is expected later on how historic child abuse at NI institutions will be investigated.

The executive is considering holding an inquiry into abuse in Catholic Church and state-run institutions.

The first minister warned last week that a statutory inquiry, which would force abusers to give evidence, could take two years to establish.

Amnesty International said anything less than a statutory inquiry would not work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Stormont decision on child abuse due

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

An announcement is expected on how historic child abuse at institutions in Northern Ireland will be investigated.

A taskforce was set up by the Executive in December to decide what form the probe will take.

The move came after the Ryan Report uncovered decades of abuse in some institutions in the Republic of Ireland.

Amnesty International is backing victims' call for a full statutory inquiry into the abuse which took place at some Catholic Church ran and state ran institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Priest hit with new abuse allegation

CALIFORNIA
The Record

By Zachary K. Johnson
Record Staff Writer

September 29, 2011

STOCKTON - A popular Lockeford priest, already embroiled in a civil lawsuit in which he is accused of molesting a boy more than 20 years ago, is facing another allegation of abuse.

The new allegation accuses the Rev. Michael Kelly of abusing a second child about a decade ago at a parish in Calaveras County, according to the attorney representing the first accuser in the civil case, which is approaching trial in San Joaquin County Superior Court.

There have been no criminal charges filed in either case, and Kelly strongly denies any wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

2 sue Catholic diocese, claim abuse by priest

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

By Steve Lyttle
slyttle@charlotteobserver.com

Posted: Thursday, Sep. 29, 2011

Two men who say they were sexually abused by a priest have sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, saying diocesan officials should have known the abuse was taking place.

The men claim they were assaulted by Fr. Joseph Kelleher in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Kelleher, 83, was charged last year in Stanly County with taking indecent liberties with a minor.

In the suit, a man identified only as John Doe 1K says he was abused in 1977 when Kelleher was a priest at Our Lady of Annunciation Church in Albemarle. The man says he was 14 at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

The Catholic Church in Charlotte facing two lawsuits

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Newschannel 36

Posted on September 29, 2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Catholic Church in Charlotte is now facing a lawsuit from two men who say a local priest sexually abused them and the diocese covered it up.

The lawsuit claims, father Joseph Kelleher abused a 14-year-old boy at Our Lady of the Annunciation in Albemarle in 1977.

The other alleged abuse happened to a then-13 year old boy in 1980 at Our Lady of Assumption in Charlotte.

The lawsuit seeks $10,000 in damages and says the church knew or should have known about the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Lawyers slam 'morally bankrupt' Church defence

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Liz Hobday

Posted September 29, 2011

Lawyers for victims of sexual abuse say the Catholic Church has used a legal technicality to reduce compensation payouts to their clients.

The Church argues its assets are held in a property trust that cannot be held liable for historical cases of abuse.

It leaves sexual abuse victims with no-one to sue.

Lawyers are calling on the church to stop using what's known as the 'Ellis defence', and there are moves underway in New South Wales to have the defence overturned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

The Church and morality of money

MALTA
Times of Malta

Thursday, September 29, 2011 , by
Ranier Fsadni

The arguments about whether the Church owes the victims of child abuse financial reparations are caught up in broader assumptions about the morality of money. Here is an attempt to disentangle four questions.

Is the money donated by the Church to the anti-divorce campaign relevant?

Absolutely not. It shows no skewed values.

The Church hierarchy believes that divorce laws cause a catastrophic rise in marital breakdowns and various other kinds of social damage, particularly to children. Those beliefs are unwarranted but, once you hold them, it becomes rational and responsible to spend less than €200,000 on a campaign since, according to those same beliefs, the damage that would be caused by a divorce law would be more expensive and permanent. The hierarchy was being logical in believing it was spending that money on behalf of the socially needy rather than channelling it away from them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

U.S. has it right

CANADA
Airdrie City View

Sep 28, 2011

Last week we discovered there is a convicted sex offender in our midst. The 77-year-old man volunteered at Airdrie Alliance Church and continues living in the city.

Spokesperson Craig Fisher didn’t comment on how the convicted sex offender slipped through the church’s screening process.

The man in question, Richard Kenneth Cooke, is a former Calgary pastor who assaulted a four-year-old girl in 2003 in Lake in the Hills, Ill.

Underlining his lack of remorse, a likely sign he will re-offend, Cooke blamed the four-year-old for the sexual abuse, claiming she made sexual advances to him. Apparently, in his mind, pre-schoolers are really developing early, making passes at senior citizens. It’s almost unthinkable such a defence could be even ployed. We’re glad the judge didn’t give him probation and made him sit in jail, despite being released more than one year early.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Jury picked in Danbury child sex-assault case

DANBURY (CT)
News Times

John Pirro, Staff Writer

Updated 10:20 p.m., Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DANBURY -- According to his pastor, Enrique Fajardo was a beloved member of the congregation who regularly volunteered for whatever jobs needed to be done, whether it was removing snow from the parking lot, painting the church, or installing new carpets and air conditioning.

But Danbury police say the 33-year-old Morris Street man is a predator who sexually abused a young female relative for nearly five years, almost as long as he had been a member of the Iglesia Jesus es El Camino on White Street.

On Wednesday, attorneys in state Superior Court completed jury selection for Fajardo's trial, which is scheduled to begin on Oct. 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Advocate urges public disclosure of convicted pedophiles

CANADA
Airdrie Echo

By Katie Schneider — QMI Agency

The public needs to know when sexual predators are living in their midst, says an advocate for child abuse victims in the wake of a convicted pedophile relocating to Airdrie.

Former pastor Kenneth Richard Cooke, 77, is now living in Airdrie after serving time in the U.S. for aggravated sex abuse charge stemming from allegations he fondled a four-year-old girl he claimed pursued him.

Cooke is on the publicly listed Illinois sex offender registry, but it's not known if he was placed on Canada's national sex offender registry -- which is not public -- once he returned.

As of 2010, under new legislation, Canadians convicted abroad for sex offences become included in this country's registry when they return and are required to report to police within a week of arriving.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Priest Sodomy Case Delayed

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WLKY

[with video]

By Ann Bowdan/WLKY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The sodomy case against a former Louisville priest is delayed as lawyers say they need more time to prepare for trial.

The Rev. James Schook is charged with seven counts of sodomy from incidents from April 1971 to April 1972.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Hearing held for priest accused of sexual abuse

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WAVE

Posted by Daniel Schneider

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - There was more frustration Wednesday for the accuser of a former Louisville priest now facing multiple charges of sexual abuse.

Michael Stansbury said he brought the allegations against the former Reverend James Schook to light three years ago. Stansbury said the abuse happened in the 1970s.

"The defense attorneys have had ample time," said Stansbury. "There have been so many changes and I know the prosecutor is doing the best that they can and I'm sure when this comes to trial in November that the best results will happen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Good is Good: The Legacy of Sexual Abuse in the Church

RHODE ISLAND
Go Local Prov

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tom Matlack, GoLocalProv Contributor

Tom Matlack is the former CFO of the Providence Journal and is the founder of The Good Men Project, a non-profit charitable corporation based in Rhode Island and dedicated to helping organizations that provide educational, social, financial, and legal support to men and boys at risk.

In the fall of 1997, I was introduced to a gentle, funny man who had a photographic memory for Hollywood birthdays. “Princess,” as many of his friends affectionately call him, was one of the people I came to trust and upon whom I relied. He would take my late-night phone calls whenever I felt myself sinking in my troubled personal life as a divorced father of two small children.

In the thirteen years since, Princess and I have remained close. Four years after we became friends, he told me that he’d decided to talk to a reporter from the Boston Globe’s Investigative Team, which had just begun to ask questions about possible sexual abuse of children inside the Catholic Church. The team would eventually win the Pulitzer Prize. Then (2001) and now, I hope I have been a compassionate friend to Princess as the story unfolded on the international stage.

Princess was a key witness at the start and has continued to step forward time and again to make sure that he, and others like him, won’t be silenced. Princess was one of the first brave sexual abuse victims to speak out. Without him, it’s possible that the church would have continued its cover-up for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Former Modesto priest accused of new offense

CALIFORNIA
Modesto Bee

By Sue Nowicki
snowicki@modbee.com

The Rev. Michael Kelly, a former priest at Our Lady of Fatima who helped start the Modesto Youth Soccer Association, was hit this week with a second allegation of sexually abusing a minor.

A 21-year-old unidentified man said the priest molested him when he was a 10-year-old altar boy at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in San Andreas. The abuse continued from about 2000 to 2002, said John Manly, a Southern California attorney representing the man.

Manly also represents another alleged victim, a man in his mid-30s who said he was sexually abused by Kelly in the early 1980s in his family's home in Stockton. That civil lawsuit, filed in 2007, is due to go to trial in November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

September 28, 2011

Woman files $14-million lawsuit against Archdiocese of Portland alleging abuse

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Kate Mather, The Oregonian

A woman who claims she has suffered "significant emotional and spiritual damage" after she was sexually abused as a teenager by a Catholic priest has filed a $14-million federal lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon.

The 41-year-old woman accuses Father Edward Altstock of grooming, seducing and sexually abusing her on at least a dozen occasions while he was at St. John the Apostle parish in Reedsport in the 1980s. The woman said the abuse began when she was 14 and continued until she was at least 18.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court Wednesday morning, seeks $4 million in general claims and $10 million in punitive damages.

In a statement from attorney Kelly Clark and O'Donnell Clark and Crew LLP, which is handling the case, Clark said the alleged abuse has prevented his client from sustaining a romantic relationship, getting married and "recovering her religious faith, among other problems."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

SEX ABUSE LAW FIRM DEBUTS

MISSOURI
Berger's Beat

September 28, 2011 3:26 pm | Author: Jerry Berger

While many local Catholics assume that the clergy crisis here has mostly passed (though it’s booming in K.C., where former St. Louis priest Robert Finn is now bishop and testified before a second grand jury), the law firm that’s handled almost all of the lawsuits here against the archdiocese is beefing up. Clayton attorneys Ken Chackes and Susan Carlson have brought a tough ex- prosecutor on board. in preparation for several new clergy cases in the works. She’s Nicole Gorovsky, a WashU law grad who worked for Missouri AG Jay Nixon, southern Illinois federal prosecutor Steve Wigginton and Boone County prosecutors Kevin Crane and Dan Knight. Gorovsky has been involved in more than 100 sexual abuse and exploitation cases, obtaining a life sentence for an ex-con who pretended to be a minister in a child porn case, a 14-year sentence for a Methodist pastor in a child sex abuse case and a 20-year sentence for an Edwardsville man for “transporting a minor across state lines for unlawful sexual purpose. Her new firm is expected to launch sex abuse litigation soon against a former Protestant clergyman and a local ex-radio personality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

Sinead O’Connor’s threats against the Pope were just a joke

IRELAND
Irish Central

By
ANTOINETTE KELLY, IrishCentral Staff Writer

Troubled Irish singer Sinead O'Connor clarified this week that she was joking when she Tweeted on Saturday she'd be responsible for a 'bloodbath' if Pope Benedict visited Ireland.'

O'Connor, who said she made her claim in jest, also suggested she would like to shoot the pope if given the chance.

'Young people of Ireland I love you said Sinead as she pulled the trigger,' O'Connor tweeted, laughingly referring to a famous speech by John Paul II, which he made during his pilgrimage to Ireland in 1979.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

U.S. priest to attend Irish meeting

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Robert McClory on Sep. 28, 2011 NCR Today

A representative of the newly created Association of U.S. Catholic Priests will attend the general meeting of the Association of Catholic Priests (the Irish organization) Oct. 4-5 in Dublin.

Fr. Bernard Survil, who was instrumental in the formation of the U.S. association, said he hopes only to establish personal contact with officers and members of the Irish group.

"We are two independent organizations," he said, "and we don't see that the goals of the Irish association are replicable in the United States."

The Irish association is on record supporting the primacy of conscience, active participation of all the baptized in forming a church where all are treated as equals and a reevaluation of Catholic sexual teaching and practice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Widespread and systematic sexual violence from Ireland to Australia

UNITED STATES
SNAP Wisconsin

In the introduction to the criminal complaint filed with the International Criminal Court by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) the following statement is made:

“In recent years ongoing revelations of pervasive and serious sexual violence against children and vulnerable adults by priests and others associated with the Catholic Church in different parts of the world have demonstrated that the problem is not one of isolated, random sexual assaults by errant priests, but is occurring on a widespread and systematic basis throughout the Church. In the wake of scandals in Canada, Ireland, the United States and elsewhere, experts and investigators who have carefully studied the issue and the evidence have identified policies and practices that allowed the sexual violence to occur and continue and that furthered the harm to the direct victims. One after another, the investigators have found intentional cover-ups and affirmative steps taken that serve to perpetuate the violence and exacerbate the harm. The same or similar practices and policies have been found virtually everywhere that cases of sexual violence have been brought to light- in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Mexico among others”.

There are two stories this week that serve to validate and confirm the assessment made by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Houston Catholic Charities Accused Of Covering Up Abuse Of 8-year-old

HOUSTON (TX)
Lez Get Real

Written by: Bridgette P. LaVictoire on September 27, 2011

Harris County, Texas sheriff’s officials have confirmed that detectives are investigating the sexual assault of an 8-year old boy at the St. Michael’s Home for Children. They are also going to be reviewing whether the shelter staff violated any laws regarding the handling the incident. The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement has issued what is being described as a scathing report which accuses senior managers within the Catholic Charities Galveston-Houston shelter program of filing false reports regarding the 1 July assault.

What is more, the managers are accused of not seeking immediate medical treatment for the boy, who was anally penetrated.

It was not until 5 August when detectives were first assigned to the case, according to Deputy Thomas Gilliland a spokesman for the department. The investigation was requested by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Apparently, a teacher walked in on a 10-year-old boy sexually assaulting the 8-year-old in the shelter. The teacher then told an assistant shelter coordinator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Arrest warrant for alleged pedophile priest

CANADA
CJAD

Posted By: Shuyee Leeslee@astral.com·9/28/2011

An arrest warrant has been issued for an 84-year-old Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a girl at his Laval parish 20 years ago.

Maxime Lacroix faces charges of sexual assault and crimes of a sexual nature between June 1 and September 30, 1991.

He was supposed to be at the Laval court house this morning for his first court appearance but never showed up so the judge ordered a warrant for Lacroix's arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Fox News' Hero Priest, Frank Pavone, In Holy Hot Water?

UNITED STATES
News Hounds

Remember how, earlier this year, Fox "News" ran an almost 24 and 7 loop of coverage on how the evil Canadian healthcare system was forcing "Baby Joseph" to die. The reality, of course, was that the hospital, where "Baby Joseph" Maarachli was a patient, decided against providing a tracheotomy for the child based on what they believed was the best course of action for the baby. As part of the "fair & balanced" reporting, Fox featured commentary from radical, anti-choice priest, Father Frank Pavone who used his face time to denigrate Canadian health care and Obama's health care reform which, according to Pavone, really could have death panels lurking around the corner. This wasn't Pavone's first time on Fox. He was featured during the Terri Schiavo Fox News media circus and in the lead up to Obama's address at Notre Dame which the Catholic anti-choicers were all in a dither over. But the high point for Pavone, during the "Baby Joseph" thing, was his supposed "rescue" of the child during the cover of night. The reality was that the hospital (which got death threats during the Fox "coverage") handed the child over to Pavone for transportation to an American hospital. The child has just passed away and a good chunk of the article on Fox News.com consists of quotes from Pavone. Funny, neither the Fox News website nor Pavone's pals on Fox News seem to have noticed that Pavone's hero wings have been clipped. He's been suspended as "Priests for Life" head and has been recalled to his home diocese while the Church investigates whether his group has been involved in financial improprieties.

Despite Pavone's travels as an activist on behalf of the radical anti-choice cause, his home diocese is in Amarillo, Texas. The bishop of this diocese instructed Pavone to get his Roman collared ass back to Amarillo where the Catholic bishop cited concerns about a “potential financial scandal over the priest’s management of millions of dollars in donations." The bishop noted that contributions to Pavone's group, of which another Fox fave, Alveda King is part of, have been quite generous; yet “The financial questions and concerns have persisted with no clear and adequate answers since the time when Father Pavone was under two previous bishop ordinaries."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Ireland: Priests meeting

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

by Arthur Jones on Sep. 28, 2011 NCR Today

In Ireland, the actuality of the Oct. 4-5 annual meeting of the independent Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) may be of more consequence than the agenda -- important though that is.

The Irish priests will be joined by Msgr. Helmut Schüller from Austria and Fr. Bernard Survil from the United States. Minor though such international representation is at present, this initial show of transnational solidarity among priests could have major consequences.

The issues are well-known. Priests are under siege in the media from the sexual abuse crisis, they are alarmed at the trampling of other priests' rights in the rush to judgment, and disgusted at the bishops who have mishandled the issue and continue to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Fr. Pavone asks supporters to be respectful and prayerful

AMARILLO (TX)
Catholic News Agency

Amarillo, Texas, Sep 28, 2011 / 12:12 pm (CNA).- Following demonstrations of support, Priests for Life founder Father Frank Pavone has asked his supporters to be thoughtful, respectful and prayerful in the dispute with his bishop.

“I would not presume to tell others how to exercise their expressive rights under the U.S. Constitution, but I want to encourage everyone in this great pro-life movement of ours to continue to be to calm, respectful, thoughtful, peaceful and above all prayerful in the manner in which they go about supporting me, personally, and the Priests for Life family of ministries that I head,” Fr. Pavone said on Sept. 27.

Bishop Patrick J. Zurek of Amarillo, Texas suspended Fr. Pavone from public ministry outside his home diocese, beginning Sept. 13. He cited “deep concerns” about the financial stewardship of Priests for Life ministries and said Fr. Pavone had disobeyed him. Fr. Pavone had failed to audit the financials of all the Priests for Life ministries, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

KC Diocese Leaders Testify Again

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KMBC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two leaders of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese have testified before a second grand jury that's focusing on allegations of child sexual abuse.

The Kansas City Star reported that Bishop Robert Finn and Monsignor Robert Murphy testified before a Clay County grand jury on Tuesday. They also testified recently before a Jackson County grand jury.

An internal investigation showed that diocese officials knew for five months about troubling photos of girls on a computer used by the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, who has pleaded not guilty to several child pornography charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

Boy Says He Was Molested At Home For Kids

HOUSTON (TX)
Click 2 Houston

[with video]

HOUSTON -- An 8-year-old boy said he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by two boys at a home for children.

The boy said a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old boy assaulted him at the St. Michael's Home for Children, which is run by Catholic Charities. The home cares for children who are refugees from foreign countries.

Harris County sheriff's deputies said a worker at the home caught a 10-year-old molesting an 8-year-old in July. The 8-year-old later claimed he was also molested by an 11-year-old.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which licenses the home, launched an investigation and found children unsupervised and children acting out inappropriately. Records show a worker supervising children when that worker was actually off the clock.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

JASON BERRY LIES AGAIN

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

September 28, 2011

Catholic League president Bill Donohue explains why he is calling out author Jason Berry, branding him a liar:

I never met, corresponded with, or supported, the late disgraced priest, Father Marcial Maciel. Jason Berry knows this to be true (I have shown him the evidence) but continues to lie nonetheless. Now his lie has been picked up by Notre Dame professor Rev. Richard McBrien in an article he wrote about Berry's new book, Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church.

Berry writes in his book that several Catholic notables were "cultivated" by Maciel, and he lists me as one of them. Printed below is a letter I wrote that was published in 1997 in the Hartford Courant. Berry says this letter proves Maciel "cultivated" a relationship with me.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Priest sex abuse case delayed again

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A man who says he was sexually abused by a Louisville priest says he's frustrated the case is moving so slowly.

The defense asked for another 60 days to gather information for Reverend James Schook's trial, saying it's difficult to locate records from the 1970's.

A Jefferson County grand jury indicted Schook on seven counts of sodomy involving two alleged underaged male victims in 1971 and 1972.

Schook was temporarily removed from the ministry in July 2009, when he was serving as pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Church on Rangeland Road.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Fr Gerard is in the spotlight again over 'House of Prayer'

IRELAND
The Argus

Wednesday September 28 2011

KNOCKBRIDGE parish priest Fr Gerard McGinnity was in the spotlight again last week after a TV3 documentary featured his association with the controversial House of Prayer in Achill Island.

The priest, who is the spiritual director of the Christina Gallagher-led organisation, was mired in controversy three years ago after a series of articles in the Sunday World outlined the luxury lifestyle of Mrs Gallagher. His association with the House of Prayer, which has five centres across the world, was revisited in Tuesday night's documentary, 'Exposed: Ireland's Secret Cults', presented by journalist Michael Ryan.

The documentary featured secretly filmed footage of Mrs Gallagher, who claims to see visions of and get messages from the Virgin Mary, with Fr McGinnity in the background. Other footage showed the Knockbridge priest claiming that Mrs Gallagher had cured 'virtually all forms of cancer' as well as arthritis and MS.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Abuse response not deep enough according to Sr. Kenny

CANADA
The Catholic Register

OTTAWA - While the protocols and programs dioceses have adopted to combat clerical sexual abuse are necessary, they only treat the symptoms of a systemic problem, according to Sr. Nuala Kenny.

A retired pediatrician and Dalhousie University professor emeritus of bioethics, Kenny said there has never been “a Church-wide, deep conversation” about the meaning of the sexual abuse crisis and the widespread harm it has caused and the transformation “where the Lord is calling us,” the people of God.

Trauma and Transformation: the Catholic Church and the Sexual Abuse Crisis, a conference Oct. 14-15 at McGill University that Kenny has helped organize, is bringing in some of the top researchers and thinkers from across North America to have that conversation. But Kenny said she is disappointed the registered attendees are not representative of a wide cross-section of the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Man Sues Missouri Diocese Over Priest’s Affair With Wife

MISSOURI
Claims Journal

A Missouri man is suing the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese a year after learning a Roman Catholic priest fathered a child with the man’s wife half a decade ago.

The civil lawsuit filed in Cass County Circuit Court claims the church knew about the Rev. Joseph Matt’s sexual misconduct but remained silent.

The Kansas City Star reports the man who filed the suit didn’t find out he was not the biological father of one of his sons until last September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

Abuse victims ‘unrestricted’

MALTA
Times of Malta

TV journalist Lou Bondì has denied the claim that in his role as their media adviser he prevented the victims of Church sex abuse from presenting their cases on TV programmes that were not produced by Where’s Everybody.

He said the victims had in fact appeared on numerous TV programmes and were not ordered to stick to those of his own production company, as claimed by Lawrence Grech, one of the victims.

Mr Grech on Monday claimed they were restricted to news bulletins. His comments came after Mr Bondì stepped down from his role as media adviser and criticised anti-Church action and declarations made by the group of victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Lou Bondi steps down from role with Church abuse victims

MALTA
Malta Today

By Miriam Dalli

Where's Everybody? frontman says he disagrees with recent statements and actions against the Church and Archbishop Paul Cremona.

After eight years of promoting their cause, TV presenter Lou Bondi has decided to step down from his advisory role with the victims of the St Joseph Home sex abuse, saying that his role has been fulfilled.

“I played my part in the case because I believed in the cause and I wanted justice to be done. Today that justice has been delivered,” Bondi wrote in a letter he sent to two of the victims and lawyer Patrick Valentino.

He added that even though seeking financial compensation from the Church is legal and valid, it does not concern him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Bondi told victims ‘it’s either me or Joseph Muscat’

MALTA
Malta Today

By Miriam Dalli

Church abuse victims "had to meet in secret" with Opposition leader.

Church sex abuse victim Lawrence Grech revealed to MaltaToday that Lou Bondi had objected to them meeting with Labour leader Joseph Muscat telling them “it’s either me or Muscat." The victims did eventually meet Joseph Muscat but no press was allowed to cover the event.

The Where’s Everybody? frontman and TV presenter also placed conditions on the victims including a ban on speaking to other sections of the media, Grech said.

Until last Saturday, Bondi was representing the victims in an advisory capacity. He stepped down from this role after the victims protested in front of the Curia demanding compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Sex abuse victims did not know that Bondi had asked BBC for money

MALTA
Malta Today

By Miriam Dalli

Where’s Everybody? anchor Lou Bondi, acting as ‘spokesman’ for the clerical abuse victims, had asked a BBC journalist for money last year in return for an interview with Lawrence Grech during the Pope’s visit. The front page story is carried on the MaltaToday printed edition.

Bondi claimed at the time that the request had originated from Grech himself. Grech however denies ever asking the BBC for money.

“Yes, I am aware that the BBC had wanted to interview me, but I never asked them for any money. But if Bondi said or did something behind our backs, I don’t know about it…”

The following quote from Bondi, given to this newspaper on 18 April last year, suggests otherwise: “Ah yes, there was this radio show in Manchester who asked for an interview. But basically he (Grech) had a lot of choices of interview from which to choose. So he asked for money to put them off.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Photo of the Day: Try the Pope at the ICC?

UNITED STATES/NETHERLANDS
Diplomatic Courier

By Hanna Trudo

When Megan Peterson was 15 years old, she called the Roman Catholic Church’s diocese to report that she was raped. They hung up on her.

Her story – stripped of dignity and plagued with abuse under Pope Benedict XVI’s control – is not unique. It has however, like too many other under investigated reports of church-wide sexual assault, received bare minimum attention, if any.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), an international support group based in Chicago, is fighting against the church-and-state tug of war that is infamously knotted with bureaucracy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Defrocked Anglican priest loses court challenge

AUSTRALIA
ABC Newcastle

A former New South Wales Central Coast priest, pursuing legal action against the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, has had his court application dismissed.

The former Reverend John Gumbley sought to have his 'Spiritual Journals' returned after they were used as evidence in a Professional Standards Board hearing last year.

Mr Gumbley was defrocked after the Board found he had breached the Anglican Code of Conduct by having a sexual relationship with a woman, while he was the parish priest at Saint Marks at Terrigal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Victims respond: Lockeford priest accused of abuse by second child, remains in ministry

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director, 949-322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com

We are saddened and disturbed to learn that despite a second allegation of abuse by Fr. Michael Kelly, Stockton Diocese officials still refuse to remove him from active ministry with children and families. Despite years of telling Catholics about child safety “reforms,” Stockton Bishop Blaire still cannot do the one easy and simple thing to keep kids safe. Our biggest fear is for the children who may have been put at direct risk of abuse after Kelly was reinstated into active ministry in 2008, despite the first credible child sex abuse allegation against him. We urge law enforcement to vigorously investigate and punish church employees who hurt kids or put them at risk.

If you have any information about child abuse by Fr. Kelly or any adult, please contact law enforcement and support groups like ours, NOT church officials.

We also urge Stockton Catholics to demand that Bishop Blaire adhere to his own child safety policies and the policies of his fellow bishops and immediately remove Kelly from active ministry until law enforcement can investigate the latest allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Pope Benedict Speaks Truth to Power

UNITED STATES
National Review

George Weigel

Americans exhausted by adolescent chants of “Pass this bill!” and the rest of the rhetorical detritus of the 2012 pre-campaign might go to the Vatican web site, click on Pope Benedict XVI, and spend a half-hour reading through the texts of the Holy Father’s recent visit to his German homeland. It’s amazing how refreshing it can be to listen to an intelligent and compassionate adult after weeks slogging through the slough of sound-bites crafted from focus-group hissy fits.

For, despite the fact that a lot of the mainstream media long ago decided that Benedict XVI was a non-story (save for when he was being accused, ludicrously, of responsibility for the sexual abuse of the young), the 84-year-old pope has, in six years, established himself as perhaps the world’s premier adult, at least among major international figures. He tells the truth to the roiled worlds of Islam about the imperative of finding Islamic warrants for religious freedom and the separation of religious and political power in a just state. He tells the truth to the United Nations about the irreducible moral core of world politics and economics. He tells the truth to Great Britain about the necessity of nurturing the human ecology that makes democracy possible (and does so in the place where Thomas More was condemned).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Abuse victims say pope 'very upset' at meeting

GERMANY
The Local

Two of the five victims of church abuse who had a private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI last Friday have described the encounter.

They echoed the Vatican's account, saying the pope was "very upset and very distressed" on hearing their stories.

Speaking to state broadcaster ARD on Tuesday, a 63-year-old man from Stuttgart who was abused by two nuns as a child in a church boarding school, said the pope "was stunned, and his voice got quieter and quieter."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

New accusations arise against Lockeford priest

LOCKEFORD (CA)
News 10

[with video]

SACRAMENTO, CA - New allegations have come to light against a Lockeford priest.

The accusations against Father Michael Kelly were not specified in a statement release by Bishop Stephen Blaire.

Bishop Blaire wrote: "This is the first information we've received about the accusations. We have not yet had an opportunity to speak to the claimant who is now an adult."

Kelly was previously accused of molesting a child back in 1984, which came to light in September 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Bill to end time limit on abuse cases

BOSTON (MA)
WWLP

[with video]

Christine Lee, 22News State House Correspondent

BOSTON (WWLP) - Survivors of child abuse are asking for tougher laws against their abusers.

In Massachusetts there is a statute of limitations, or a time limit, in which a criminal case can be launched against a child abuser, which is 27 years past a victim's 16th birthday, or from when the child abuse is reported.

A coalition of child abuse survivors and advocates gathered on the State House steps to ask lawmakers to eliminate those time limits altogether. They're urging lawmakers to support the Protection from Sexual Predators Act 2011, which also strikes out time limits for past and future child abuse claims in civil court so that survivors can identify their abusers in a public forum. The bill eliminates the charitable immunity defense, which caps penalties on hospitals, schools or other non-profits that fail to protect children at $20 thousand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Supporters urge vote on lifting statute of limitations on child rape

MASSACHUSETTS
Taunton Gazette

By Matt Murphy
State House News Service

Posted Sep 27, 2011

BOSTON —

Victims of childhood sexual abuse pleaded with lawmakers on Tuesday to allow a vote on a bill that would repeal the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes committed against children, suggesting that a majority of House members already support the bill.

“All we’re asking for is that when children become adults and they want to confront their abuser they get a fair fight,” said Carmen Durso, an attorney and board member of Massachusetts Citizens for Children.

Victims, family members and advocates for repealing the statute of limitations delivered emotional testimony on Tuesday afternoon before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary after staging a rally outside the State House where they argued survivors should not be victimized twice because of the time it takes to come to grips with their abuse.

The bill, filed by House Majority Leader Ronald Mariano, would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for indecent assault and battery and rape for all minors, eliminate the "defense of charitable immunity" with respect to childhood sex abuse claims, and provide crime victim compensation funds for mental health treatment to childhood sexual abuse victims who report the abuse as adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Proposed law would eliminate statute of limitations on sex abuse cases

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Martine Powers, Globe Staff

Elected officials and anti-child abuse activists pushing to eliminate the statute of limitations on sex abuse cases met in front of the State House this morning to encourage state lawmakers to bring their bill to a vote.

“All we’re asking is that when kids grow up and want to confront their abuser, they get a fair fight,” said Carmen Durso, an attorney who has represented child sex abuse victims in Boston.

The group of about 50 people met in advance of a hearing in the State House that will take place this afternoon, where high-profile sex abuse victims such as tennis star Heather Connor and former NFL linebacker Al Chesley will testify about the decades it took for them to come forward about their experiences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Bill would extend statute of limitations on child sex crimes

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Advocates are pushing a bill to eliminate the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children in Massachusetts.

Currently murder is the only crime in the state that can be prosecuted no matter how long ago it occurred.

Supporters want to add sex crimes against children to that list, saying it can take decades for victims to report the crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

TIME TO BE HEARD

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Martine Powers
Globe Staff / September 28, 2011

Seated at the center of a hushed hearing room in the State House, the two athletes could not have looked more different: Al Chesley, a 6-foot-3-inch former linebacker with the Philadelphia Eagles, and Heather Conner, a petite former professional tennis player in a light pink blouse.

But in front of members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, the two shared the same story: As children, they say, they were abused by a trusted adult. As adults, they remained silent for decades. They both spoke out for the first time when they were two years shy of their 50th birthday.

And because of existing laws that place a statute of limitations on sex abuse cases, they say, they cannot bring their alleged abusers to justice.

“I’m a good example of why the statute of limitations is so limiting and hurtful,’’ said Conner, who talked about the tennis coach, star Bob Hewitt, who flattered her with declarations of adoration. “I was 48 years old when I first sought help.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Accusing Pope Benedict

UNITED STATES
National Review

Should Pope Benedict XVI be arrested?

That’s what an advocacy group called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is calling for. Just before the pope left Rome for a pastoral visit to his native Germany, SNAP filed a petition with the International Criminal Court accusing the pope, the Vatican secretary of state, and two other Vatican officials of “crimes against humanity” and urging prosecution at The Hague. The wholly unsubstantiated charge is that these men have enabled the sex crimes committed by Catholic priests over several decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Vienna Presbyterian Abuse Victims Take Stories to Stage

VIENNA (VA)
Patch

By Lauren Sausser
Email the author
September 27, 2011

Two victims who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a former Vienna Presbyterian Church employee have written personal monologues that will be performed in front of a live audience at George Mason University next week.

The monologues are just two in a collection of eight monologues that are included in the latest production of "The Goddess Diaries," the brain child and labor of love of Oakton resident Carol Campbell.

The production, soon-to-be performed in its fifth iteration, shares narratives, written by women and read by women, about different stages and seasons of their lives. The stories range from funny to heartbreaking, soulful to somber.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Those Useful "Family Values"

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

Frank Schaeffer

Lurking in the heart of the religious communities who have taken over the Republican Party is a strange take on sex that keeps exploding into public view. The title of my new book Sex, Mom and God could have been Sex With Mom and God" because the sexual dysfunction that now IS the world of conservative religion is stunning. And these are the people who want to tell everyone else how to live.

The Roman Catholic Church has had its sexual "ethics" discredited ever since Giovanni Boccaccio called the Church's bluff when he wrote The Decameron in the fourteenth century.

Nothing has changed since. Boccaccio's wonderfully ribald satire at the expense of the Roman Catholic Church's gross sexual hypocrisy is as apt today as ever.

And the Rick-Perry-Bring-America-Back-To-God-Evangelicals find themselves in the same mess, from the sexual-scandal-mired Evangelical leadership to the nefarious enablers like the so-called Family and its C Street enclave of congressional adulterers. (The Family was founded in 1935 and is known for its long history of friendly dealings with dictators worldwide as well as for its clearly defined aim to infiltrate the U.S. government with Far Right Evangelicals who will, in turn, carry out a Reconstructionist-type of campaign to "reclaim" the country and world for a politicized "Jesus.")

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

The financial scandal in the Catholic church

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Richard McBrien on Sep. 27, 2011 Essays in Theology

It has been said that the next scandal to hit the Catholic church after the sexual-abuse crisis in the priesthood would be financial.

Jason Berry has turned now from the former to the latter in his Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church (Crown, $25).

The two problems are, of course, connected. The church in the United States alone has already paid out almost $2 billion to victims of clergy abuse, just as Dominican Fr. Thomas Doylehad predicted.

At least some of this amount was made larger because of the truculence of certain bishops, who stonewalled and moved predatory priests from place to place before the law and lawyers caught up with them.

Berry's book covers some old ground, for example, the activities of Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ and a favorite of the late Pope John Paul II.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Lawsuit filed alleging sexual abuse by nuns at St. Ignatius Mission

MONTANA
Missoulian

By GWEN FLORIO of the Missoulian | Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nuns who taught decades ago at the St. Ignatius Mission's Ursuline Academy on the Flathead Indian Reservation came under fire for sexually abusing the children under their care in a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Catholic Diocese of Helena.

The suit, filed on behalf of 45 people who were pupils at the mission's boarding and day school in the 1940s through the early 1970s, also names six Roman Catholic priests and one brother, and includes allegations of abuse at St. Mary's Catholic School in Helena.

The suit comes just a week after a separate legal action was filed on behalf of 32 people who accuse the Helena Diocese of covering up for pedophiles in its midst.

What sets the suit filed Tuesday apart from the landslide of cases in the United States and Europe alleging decades of sexual abuse by priests is the fact that at least four nuns also are accused, said Blaine Tamaki of the Tamaki Law Offices of Yakima, Wash.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Attorneys File Another Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Catholic Diocese

MONTANA
NBC Montana

By Kevin Maki

MISSOULA, Mont. -- Forty-five Native American men and women claim they suffered sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy in Montana. "These Indian children were sexually molested by nuns and priests," said their attorney Blaine Tamaki. "Instead of being taught how to read and write, these children were taught distrust and betrayal."

They are adults now, and joined by family members at a press conference in Missoula. Most attended the Ursuline Academy mission school at St. Ignatius.

I had a lot of emotional abuse from the first grade through the fifth grade there," said plaintiff Thomas Lozeau. Lozeau said he was slapped so hard at the school the handprint stayed on his face for two weeks.

He won't publicly talk about other alleged abuses committed against him at the academy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Bay State considers stricter sexual assault laws

MASSACHUSETTS
The Daily Free Press

Written by Victoria Sommerman
Published Sep 28, 2011

The Massachusetts Judiciary Committee debated stricter laws for sex offenders, child pornographers and rapists at the Statehouse on Tuesday.

Of the numerous bills read, one dealt with the Protection from Sexual Predators Act of 2011, which would eliminate the statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases.

The Protection from Sexual Predators Act, sponsored by Rep. Ronald Mariano, of Quincy, would give more rights to victims of sexual assault in court.

“This bill is about protecting children and allowing people to heal,” said sexual abuse attorney Mitchell Garabedian. “There is no statute of limitations on murder trials— there should be none in childhood sexual abuse cases, for these cases cause murder in the heart and soul of a child.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Lockeford priest faces sex abuse accusation

LOCKEFORD (CA)
Lodi News-Sentinel

By Ross Farrow/News-Sentinel Staff Writer

Father Michael Kelly, who serves at St. Joachim’s Catholic Church in Lockeford, has been accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy from 2000 to 2002, according to an Orange County attorney investigating the case.

Kelly, a popular priest at St. Joachim’s since 2004, will remain an active priest as the Stockton Diocese investigates the matter, according to a statement released late Tuesday afternoon by Bishop Stephen Blaire.

The case has been referred to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department, Blaire said. No one at the Sheriff’s Department was available for comment on Tuesday.

Kelly allegedly abused the boy from late 2000 through 2002, when Kelly was a priest at St. Andrew’s Parish in San Andreas, according to Rebecca Rhoades, an attorney with the Manly & Stewart law firm in Newport Beach. Attorneys interviewed the man, now 21, last Thursday about Kelly, Rhoades said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Quincy lawmaker, Weymouth lawyer keep fighting for child abuse bill

BOSTON (MA)
The Patriot Ledger

By Christian Schiavone and Andrea Aldana
Patriot Ledger State House bureau

Posted Sep 28, 2011

BOSTON —

It’s been nearly a decade since a Weymouth lawyer and a Quincy lawmaker began a campaign to do away with the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children.

On Tuesday, state Rep. Ronald Mariano, D-Quincy, and Carmen Durso, a lawyer who has represented dozens of victims of clergy sex abuse, continued the fight to do away with time limits for prosecution during a hearing of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

Proponents say victims of childhood sex abuse often don’t report it until they are emotionally ready to, and that that can take decades.

Opponents say a total repeal is unrealistic and will result in criminal cases nearly impossible to prove because of the passage of time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

September 27, 2011

Church’s poor handling of compensation issue

MALTA
Times of Malta

Without entering into the merits of whether the Church in Malta, as an institution, has a legal and/or moral responsibility for the sexual abuse of minors of which two religious priests have been found guilty by the Magistrates Court, the way the issue of possible financial compensation has been handled in the past weeks by Church exponents or authorities is very difficult to comprehend.

It all started with the statement made by Mgr Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s chief prosecutor in clerical abuse cases, that the victims deserved compensation. “I have encouraged their lawyer, Patrick Valentino, to ask for damages in the civil courts. I think they have every right. But the Church in Malta should be proactive to help them psychologically and, if need be, financially,” Mgr Scicluna told The Sunday Times on August 7, 2011. He also urged the Curia to set up a Victim Solidarity Fund that could go beyond the strict demands of damages granted by law, both civil and canon.

Then, on August 17, it was announced that Archbishop Paul Cremona and Dr Patrick Valentino, a lawyer representing the victims concerned, had held a meeting on compensation. Emerging together from the meeting, Mgr Cremona and Dr Valentino said talks would continue. Indeed, a second meeting took place on September 7. “We agreed not to divulge details of our discussions at this stage because talks are still underway”, stated Mgr Cremona after the meeting. He added that both parties agreed to get together again for a final meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

Assault at Catholic children’s shelter concealed; SNAP responds

HOUSTON (TX)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

According to federal investigators, Houston Catholic officials ‘had full knowledge of the extent of the assaults (on a child),’ ‘submitted erroneous … reports,’ and gave the child victim medical care “only the after they were ordered to do so by federal officials.’

This is one of the most horrific child sex cases we’ve seen in the church in years.

Again Catholic officials have put their reputations ahead of the safety, health and well-being of innocent children. Again, Catholic officials are violating their promises to be “open” about child sex cases. Again, Catholic officials refuse to deal honestly with a child victim and with secular investigators.

Remember, these aren’t allegations. These are the findings of an outside agency with no axe to grind here except protecting kids.

We hope that other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers will share any and all information with law enforcement immediately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

New child sex abuse lawsuit filed against Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena

MONTANA
The Republic

MATT VOLZ Associated Press
First Posted: September 27, 2011

HELENA, Mont. — A second child sex abuse lawsuit has been filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena in as many weeks.

The latest, filed Tuesday in District Court, claims that priests and nuns in western Montana abused dozens of Native American children decades ago.

The lawsuit also names the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province as a defendant. Plaintiffs' attorney Blaine Tamaki says he believes this is one of the first lawsuits involving sex abuse by nuns toward Native American children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Beware of the celebrity priesthood

CANADA
The Catholic Register

Written by Dorothy Cummings McLean

Checking the headlines of Catholic Internet media every day has its down side. The stories are often sad. Catholic journalists, paid and unpaid, professional or amateur, report everything that might be of interest to other Catholics, and thus not a week goes by in which some scandal, minor or major, is presented to the public worldwide. These scandals, I hasten to add, rarely have anything to do with the Gospel. These scandals, more often than not, detail sins of commission or omission committed by priests, bishops or other Catholic leaders. Not only do they disgust and depress Catholics, they erode our trust in God’s ministers and messengers.

Three cases in particular have troubled my thoughts in recent months. One, coming out of Australia, is so vile I dare not discuss it in a family newspaper. The others are merely distasteful and disappointing, so I will confine my thoughts to them.

The first case concerns an American priest named Fr. John Corapi who, before he made public an investigation into his character, was a popular preacher on the EWTN channel. Fr. Corapi first did a brisk trade in his own catechetical materials and was a hero to those who felt frustrated by their home parish priests’ supposed lack of charism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Diocese’s Finn and Murphy appear before grand jury

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By MARK MORRIS and GLENN E. RICE
The Kansas City Star

The landscape of the diocese’s legal issues broadened significantly today as its two top clerics testified before a Clay County grand jury focusing on child sexual abuse issues.

Bishop Robert Finn and Monsignor Robert Murphy spent more than six hours before a grand jury in Liberty. Both also have testified before a similar panel in Jackson County in recent weeks.

Murphy, the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese’s vicar general and second-in-command, has come under fire since May for his management of questions surrounding the Rev. Shawn Ratigan. Ratigan is facing child pornography charges in Clay County and federal court.

Flanked by two lawyers, Murphy entered the Clay County Courthouse just before 8:30 a.m. today. It’s not clear when Finn entered the courthouse, but he left at about 3 p.m. accompanied by his lawyers. They declined comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

The real scandal for Opus Dei and the church

FRANCE
National Catholic Reporter

by Nicole Sotelo on Sep. 27, 2011 Young Voices

Is there a murderous Albino monk in Opus Dei? Hardly.

Are its basic members power-hungry radicals who seek control of the church? Not that I have met.

The scandal surrounding Opus Dei brought about by Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code was an inaccurate, tall-tale representation of the prelature, or institute, whose members, like many Catholics, are drawn to dedicate their lives wholly to God. The real tragedy within Opus Dei, however, mirrors the scandal that pervades much of Catholicism today: its abusive treatment of young people.

Last week in France, a young woman came forward with a lawsuit against members of Opus Dei, alleging abuse of labor laws and practices that were psychologically and physically harmful while she served as a Numerary Assistant within Opus Dei.

She claims that she was forced to work from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week and, like many within Opus Dei, her salary was returned to the community. Beginning at the age of 14, she was encouraged to distance herself from her family for 15 years and during that time grew progressively ill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Abuse in Dutch Catholic care: more evidence

NETHERLANDS
Radio Netherlands

Serious abuses went on unreported for years in Dutch Roman Catholic homes for the mentally disabled. They included sex offences, castration, secret medical experiments and possibly murder. One Catholic brother was banished to Africa for doing unethical brain research. Radio Netherlands Worldwide tracked him down.

Until recent years, most abuses in Dutch institutional care were kept out of the public eye. One exception was a scandal in 1978 involving medical experiments at 'Huize Assisië’, a Roman Catholic boarding school for mentally handicapped boys in the southern town of Udenhout.

Brain x-rays
The home's medical doctor and a Catholic nurse known as Brother Dionysius performed spinal taps on approximately 180 patients, including minors. They injected fluid and air into the patients' brains in order to take x-rays of the cerebral cortex. These were used for brain research which was quietly being carried out. After the injections, the patients suffered nausea and headaches for days. Their parents were neither asked for permission nor notified of the procedures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

New Catholic sexual abuse case filed

MONTANA
KAJ18

MISSOULA- Montana attorneys are filing another civil lawsuit against the Catholic Church, this time seeking damages for 45 victims of sexual abuse at church schools and institutions in Western Montana.

This time the suit is alleging nuns as well as priests were involved in sexually abusing children, with some allegations dating back more than 60-years.

The new suit has been filed in Lewis and County District Court against the Helena Archdiocese and the Ursuline Western Province alleging abuse that took place in the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s.

The suit claims nuns, especially at the church schools in St. Ignatius, as well as priests, routinely abused Native American children at the boarding school, subjecting them to routine sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Can the pope recapture Europe?

EUROPE
The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Massimo Franco
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 September 2011

On 21 September 2010, Benedict XVI officially declared that the west needed a "new evangelisation" . This was news in itself. It was viewed as an admission of the weakness of the Catholic church, and not a temporary one; and the acknowledgement that today's Catholicism represents a minority in western countries, and a shrinking one. But in a more general perspective, this was a major "geo-religious" step for the pontiff.

The pope is convinced of the strategic relation between Christianity and Europe as its natural geographic and cultural ground for proselytism. And he wants this relation to be reasserted and improved. When, in June 2010, he announced his plans for a new ministry to revive religion, no details were given of its structure, content and goals. There was no secret: the Vatican knew it had to deal urgently with that problem, but hadn't yet figured out how to accomplish this mission. Benedict XVI just felt something very radical had to be done. ...

A further source of misunderstanding is the disconnection between the Vatican and a number of European governments on the handling of sex abuse scandals. The building of a Catholic network and the "Mission Metropolis" project due to organise a unifying religious date in 12 large European cities in 2012, seems aimed at showing that the strength is still there: forces must just be recollected and reoriented. "Identity" is the key word. But which identity? Today's Europe seems the motherland not of a united Catholicism, but of Catholics belonging to different national tribes. This may be a great opportunity, or a persistent handicap.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Pope's call for church to forsake riches stuns German clergy

GERMANY
Monsters and Critics

By Ingo Senft-Werner and Marc Herwig Sep 27, 2011

Freiburg, Germany - A call from Pope Benedict XVI for the Catholic Church to massively change by getting rid of its worldly wealth has shaken German clergy, who say this is not the reform they had in mind.

Even a long-time critic of the German-born pope, theologian Hans Kueng, was incredulous a day after the call, contending that it was just a dodge by Benedict, 84, who dropped the bombshell on Sunday, the last day of a four-day trip to Germany.

In a first response, the head of the Catholic Church in Germany, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, later insisted the pope was not criticizing the German church's revenue streams, which include levies on registered Catholics, administered by government tax authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

45 Victims File Lawsuit Against Montana Diocese and Ursuline Sisters...

MONTANA
Market Watch

45 Victims File Lawsuit Against Montana Diocese and Ursuline Sisters Citing Sexual, Physical and Emotional Abuse: Tamaki Law

Attorney calls it "the tip of a long-silent iceberg"

MISSOULA, Mont., Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- A 31-page legal complaint was filed today on behalf of 45 Montanans seeking justice for abuse they suffered as children attending St. Ignatius mission school and two Missoula catholic schools. One plaintiff attended Loyola High School. Two plaintiffs attended St. Mary's Catholic School. Most of the plaintiffs boarded at the mission schools, but several were day students. The children were identified as "Jane or John Does" in the complaint, as they were victims of sexual crimes as minors.

Blaine Tamaki, founder of Tamaki Law (Yakima), was a leader in the legal challenge against the Northwest Jesuits. The firm represented the greatest number of plaintiffs in the contiguous 48 states in the recent Northwest Jesuits bankruptcy $166 million settlement. Tamaki is not surprised by the large number of plaintiffs coming forward in Montana, taking action against both the Montana Diocese and the Ursuline Sisters, nuns that worked in the Diocese run schools. "It is the tip of a long-silent iceberg. For too long, the victims believed they would never receive the justice they deserve. Now, it is their time and they deserve accountability," Tamaki said.

The complaint contends that the priests and nuns used their positions as authority figures to "molest, exploit and abuse children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Analysis: Pope disappoints hopes of Catholics and Protestants

GERMANY
Reuters

By Tom Heneghan

BERLIN | Mon Sep 26, 2011

(Reuters) - Pope Benedict's visit to his German homeland was bound to provoke harsh words from his critics. The surprise of the event was how bluntly he took his own Church to task and disappointed Protestants ready to work with him.

Despite his frail physique and soft-spoken style, the 84-year-old pontiff delivered a vigorous defense of his conservative views and brusquely rejected calls for reforms, some of which even had cautious support from some bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Sinead O'Connor: Threat to Shoot Pope Benedict XVI a 'Joke'

IRELAND
Christian Post

By Luiza Oleszczuk | Christian Post Contributor

Popular Irish singer Sinead O'Connor insists that she was only joking when the artist posted a comment on her Twitter account Saturday stating that she would perform a "bloodbath" if Pope Benedict XVI visited Ireland.

The singer, who explained on her website that her remarks were made in jest, also suggested that she would shoot the pontiff.

"Young people of Ireland I love u' said Sinead as she pulled the [expletive] trigger," the artist tweeted, reffering to words of John Paul II, which he famously uttered in his 1979 pilgrimage to Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Lawsuit claims Missouri priest fathered parishioner's child

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Reuters

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo | Tue Sep 27, 2011

(Reuters) - Already under fire as a number of priests face accusations of sexual improprieties with children, the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph now confronts allegations one of its priests fathered a child.

A Missouri man has filed a lawsuit claiming that Joseph Matt, a priest who continues to serve on the diocese marriage tribunal, fathered his wife's son seven years ago. The plaintiff filed the suit anonymously so as to protect the boy's identity, he said.

In the lawsuit filed in Cass County Circuit Court, the man says his wife turned to Matt for support after she lost her job with the diocese and that they carried on a sexual relationship in 2004 and 2005. She and her family were parishioners at his former church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Abuse in Ireland amounted to torture, human rights group says

IRELAND
Catholic News Service

[In Plain Sight]

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The abuse of children in Irish institutions amounted to torture and represents an enormous human rights failure, Amnesty International Ireland said.

Based on evidence revealed by a number of independent commissions, "children were tortured. They were brutalized, beaten, starved and abused," said Colm O'Gorman, executive director of the Ireland office of the human rights organization.

"Much of the abuse described in the Ryan Report meets the legal definition of torture under international human rights law," he said in a statement issued Sept. 26.

The kind of abuse documented in the so-called Ferns, Murphy and Cloyne reports also "included acts that amounted to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment," the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

In Plain Sight: Turning a blind eye to the rape and torture of children

UNITED STATES
SNAP Wisconsin

Amnesty International is recognized throughout the world as the leading organization dedicated to protecting the human rights of all people. Founded in 1961 Amnesty proclaims that “Our vision is for every person to enjoy the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards”.

In their 2011 Annual Report Amnesty International, for the first time in its history, cited the Vatican as a violator of basic human rights. Their report stated that “The Holy See did not sufficiently comply with its international obligations relating to the protection of children”. They reported that “increasing evidence of widespread child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy over the past decades, and of the enduring failure of the Catholic Church to address these crimes properly, continued to emerge in various countries. Such failures included not removing alleged perpetrators from their posts pending proper investigations, not cooperating with judicial authorities to bring them to justice and not ensuring proper reparation to victims”.

This week Amnesty International Ireland issued a report entitled “In Plain Sight”. While there have been several reports published in Ireland in recent years detailing the abuse of children this report is different. As Colm O’Gormon, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland articulated “The Ferns, Ryan, Murphy, and Cloyne reports tell us what happened to these children, but not why it happened. We commissioned this report to explore that question because only by doing so can we ensure this never happens again”.

And why did this horrific sexual violence continue unchecked for so long?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

New nuncio is no stranger to politics

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Sep. 27, 2011
By John L Allen Jr

Pope Benedict XVI’s choice as his new ambassador to the United States will find a badly polarized society in America, with contentious national elections in 2012 already heating up and no sign that the nasty divisions in Catholic opinion that erupted last time around have been smoothed over.

As strange as it sounds, Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, assuming he gets the job, may just be glad for the break from politics.

The nomination of Viganò, 70, is currently awaiting a “placet,” or approval, from the U.S. government to become official. A career Vatican diplomat, Viganò would replace Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who died in late July from complications related to lung surgery. Sambi, 73 at the time of death, had held the post since 2005.

Though Washington has long been seen as the capstone of a prestigious career, by most accounts it wasn’t Viganò’s first choice. Instead, it’s a sort of consolation prize for coming out on the wrong end of a bruising Vatican power struggle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

This is a moral, not legal issue

MALTA
Times of Malta

It is unconscionable and unjust of the Maltese Church suddenly to decide that, based on its legal advice, it did not have any responsibility for what was done by some individual priests to children placed in their care and therefore could not “take upon herself such responsibility”. Direct financial compensation to the victims of abuse was therefore being ruled out, although all the earlier indications had been that an out-of-court settlement would indeed be reached. The provision of psychiatric, psychological and social care to the victims is being offered as a sop.

This is a moral issue, not a narrow legal one. The Maltese Church is morally bound to answer for the enormous harm that was done to children placed in its care all those years ago. These were vulnerable children who, lest we forget, were raped and otherwise sexually abused by priests (men of God) some 20 or 30 years ago in a home run by the Church.

It may well be that under the strict letter of Maltese law a court could only impose the payment of damages by an institution if it found that it had direct responsibility for what happened – if, for example, the priests’ superior at the Missionary Society of St Paul’s home knew about the abuse and covered it up. But the fact of the matter is that the Missionary Society of St Paul was a Church-run establishment and, for several years, priests there abused children. These were not isolated cases. If that does not amount to direct responsibility, what does?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

Md. teacher faces child porn charges

MARYLAND
The News Journal

Written by
MANNY FANTIS
Gannett/WUSA/9

SEVERN, Md. -- A high school teacher has been arrested for showing porn and exchanging lewd pictures with a female student, police said.

Brian Timothy Funk, 40, of Pasadena, Md., had an inappropriate relationship with one of his female students from Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, police said.

"During the investigation, it was determined that the suspect and minor had exchanged sexually explicit images using their personal cell phones," Anne Arundel County police said in a news release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Children's shelter tried to cover up assault feds claim

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

By SUSAN CARROLL, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Updated 01:08 p.m., Monday, September 26, 2011

Senior management with Catholic Charities attempted to mislead federal officials about a sexual assault at St. Michael's Home for Children, doctoring incident reports and failing to seek medical treatment for the child victim for days, according to a federal report.

The report, obtained by the Houston Chronicle, and a letter from the director of the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) detailed the findings of a federal investigation into a July 1 sexual assault at the north Houston shelter for immigrant children.

Managers with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston "deliberately misled" federal officials about the incident, which involved the anal penetration of a child at the shelter and implicated two other youths housed there, according to federal documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Former coach faces child porn charges involving student

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

September 26, 2011|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

A former track coach at Archbishop Spalding High School is facing child pornography charges after Anne Arundel County police said he exchanged sexually explicit photos by cellphone with a 16-year-old student involved with the team.

Brian Timothy Funk, 40, of Pasadena, who was to become a track and field coach at Catholic University of America this month, turned himself in to police Sunday on one count each of allowing a minor to engage in child pornography and displaying an obscene image to a minor.

Charging documents claim that over about five months, Funk and the girl met, kissed and exchanged sexual images, including videos, by cellphone. The girl's father spoke with Archdiocese of Baltimore officials after he saw his daughter and Funk leave a movie theater in Linthicum on July 16 and kiss, the documents allege.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Amnesty International Report Excoriates Catholic Church for Abuse of Children

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

As a follow-up to the four reports released by the Irish government in the past several years about the serious situation of abuse of children by Catholic clergy and in Catholic institutions in Ireland, Amnesty International has just released a report, "In Plain Sight" (the link points to a pdf file). The document is a damning indictment of the leaders of the Catholic church in Ireland for tolerating, and in many cases creating, conditions in which children were tortured. As Francis X. Rocca notes in this summary of the report at Huffington Post, Ireland's minister for children and youth affairs Frances Fitzgerald has responded to the report by observing that it "reminds us that Irish children were subjected to treatment that would be horrifying if it were done to prisoners of war, never mind little boys and girls."

I'm linking to an article about the Amnesty International report at Huffington Post for a specific reason. The reason is this: this image--of the Catholic church as an institution that tortures children--is rapidly becoming the image of the Catholic church in the secular media. And in the minds of an increasing number of people around the world.

And as that image takes shape, there are still large numbers of Catholics, both lay and clerical ones, who want to ignore the responsibility of church leaders for creating this image (and for the dreadful acts towards children on which the image is based). There are still large numbers of Catholics who blame the secular media as the bearer of bad tidings about the Catholic church, and who insist that the media are the problem, that the media are out to destroy the church.

There are still many Catholics like Bully Bill Donohue who--beyond belief!--want to blame the victims themselves, to discredit children reporting abuse by religious authority figures, to claim that the abuse crisis is a figment of their imagination (and an invention of enemies of the church).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Amnesty’s report finds Ireland’s clerical sexual abuse was ‘torture’

IRELAND
Irish Central

By
DARA KELLY,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A new report from Amnesty International has concluded that the sexual abuse of children by priests and church run institutions in Ireland, amounted to torture.

“The sexual abuse in the diocesan reports, and the sexual, physical and emotional abuse, the living conditions, and the neglect described in the Ryan Report, can be categorised as torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under human rights law.” according to the report.

Commissioned by Amnesty International, the In Plain Sight report follows the publications of a number of reports into clerical abuse in Ireland, the latest being the Cloyne Report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

UNITED STATES
outpatient clinic

Skip Shea

I don't normally use this blog to promote any of my work. It is usually a place for me to poke the bag of Catholic with a stick. It is when I am irritated enough by the news of the day that I tend to sit down and write one of these. I haven't done that in awhile.

It's not that I haven't been irritated. I have. But I've been busy trying to promote my little short horror film called "Microcinema." But more on that later.

Today I want to talk about Sinead O'Connor. Apparently some people are upset that she tweeted "That there'd be a fucking bloodbath. Me meet the fucker off the plane myself" if Pope Benedict visited Ireland. In another tweet she talked about pulling the trigger.

And people are calling her crazy. Really? Have you looked at the Pope while he parades out another group of clergy sexual abuse survivors in Germany and apologizes. Just like he did in D.C. to people that I actually know.

He uses them as a PR tool, is humbled, promises change then leaves after the photo op to change nothing and continue to allow abuse through the old cover up game plan of move 'em and don't report. Which ultimately re-traumatizes the people he just humbly posed with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Pope Benedict XVI thinking of retiring, author claims

ITALY
Herald Sun (Australia)

A PROMINENT Catholic author has caused controversy after suggesting that Pope Benedict XVI is thinking of retiring on his 85th birthday in April.

"For now it's a rumour (a personal idea of Joseph Ratzinger) and I hope that it never becomes a headline. But because it's circulating in the most important rooms of the Vatican it's worthy of attention," Antonio Socci wrote in a newspaper. "In short: the Pope does not discard the possibility of resigning when he reaches 85 in April next year."

The report, which was downplayed by the Vatican, reignited discussion about when an aging pope should stand down, The Times of London said.

In a book-length interview published this year under the title "Light of the World", Pope Benedict, the former Cardinal Ratzinger, said, "If a pope clearly realises that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

'Rearranging' of local Catholic churches under way

CONNECTICUT
The Day

By Stephen Chupaska
Publication: The Day

Published 09/27/2011

Waterford - Faced with declining church attendance and aging priests, the Diocese of Norwich Monday began its eight-month study of possible consolidation of services and facilities in the New London deanery, a conference of 13 parishes along the shoreline from East Lyme to the Rhode Island border.

The study started with an informational session Monday attended by roughly 200 people at St. Paul in Chains Church in Waterford.

The deanery plans to form committees to study sharing priests and pastors as well as other ministerial services, such as education and events.

According to Sister Elissa Rinere, who is overseeing the study and led the talk at St. Paul, committee members should also have a "broad view" of the state of global Catholicism and take into account such things as population shifts and church attendance worldwide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Norwich diocese begins study about possibly consolidating services in eastern Connecticut

CONNECTICUT
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: September 27, 2011

WATERFORD, Conn. — The Diocese of Norwich has begun studying whether to consolidate services and facilities in 13 parishes along the shoreline from East Lyme to Rhode Island.

The Day of New London reports (http://bit.ly/nqMUPd ) that Sister Elissa Rinere, who is overseeing the study, says the local church will not lose anything. She says officials are doing some rearranging.

She says 49 Masses take place in the New London deanery within 20 minutes of one another each Sunday, with Mass attendance at each church in the deanery averaging between 180 and 185.

She calls it "luxurious Catholicism."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

No need for inquiry, SA archbishop says

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

AAP

Adelaide's Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson doesn't believe an independent inquiry is needed into the sexual abuse of disabled children but says he understands the pain suffered by their parents.

A Four Corners program about a bus driver's sexual abuse of disabled children at South Australia's St Ann's Special School between 1986 to 1991 said the church was given legal advice not to mention sex abuse charges when it sacked Brian Perkins in 1991.

The parents of some of the children believe there was a cover-up and are calling for a full independent inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

In Germany, a Lukewarm Reception for Pope Benedict XVI

GERMANY
Time

By Tristana Moore / BerlinMonday, Sept. 26, 2011

Given that it was Pope Benedict XVI's first state visit to his native Germany, it would have been understandable if he expected an enthusiastic welcome. Germans, however, had other plans. His four-day tour, which began Sept. 22 and included 17 speeches and five large masses, was dogged by controversy and protest. Demonstrations in central Berlin were a reminder that among Germany's 24.6 million-strong Catholic community a sense of shock and betrayal lingers from last year's revelation of hundreds of cases of sexual and physical abuse of children by German priests and church employees. As one protestor, who didn't want to give his name, told TIME: "They abused our children. Now we have to treat the Pope like a VIP."

After the Pope's plane touched down in Berlin last Thursday, the 84 year-old Pontiff was accorded full military honors in a formal welcoming ceremony at Bellevue Palace. Addressing the issue of flagging Christian influence in Europe, he told the audience that "we are witnessing a growing indifference to religion in society." At the same event, German President Christian Wulff praised the Church's role in backing German reunification more than 20 years ago. But he stopped far short of praising the Pope's notoriously conservative agenda — and even made reference to his own struggles in the Catholic Church as a remarried divorcé. "Many ask themselves how mercifully [the Church] treats people who have suffered break-ups in their own lives," Wulff said, adding that "it was important for the Church to remain close to the people and not turn inward on itself." Such a public chiding of the church by a senior politician reflects the growing dismay many Germans have with the Church: last year a record 181,000 Germans officially left the Church, a total that exceeded the number of people leaving the Protestant Church for the first time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Research into church sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Star Observer

Child sexual abuse survivors support group Survivors Australia has joined forces with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher Dr Jodi Death to conduct a research project into child sexual abuse inside Christian churches in Australia.

People who have survived being sexually abused by church personnel during childhood are asked to take part in the online survey if they are now over 18 and the abuse occurred in Australia.

Relevant church settings include churches, church-owned early childcare facilities, primary and secondary schools run by churches, church-run children’s homes and other services run by Christian denominations.

All responses will be kept confidential and anonymous and will be stored on a secure password-protected QUT server.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

The pope on the crisis

UNITED STATES
The Courier-Journal

Posted on September 27, 2011 by Peter Smith

When people speak of the "crisis" in the Roman Catholic Church, it has often referred to one thing.

Pope Benedict XVI himself acknowledged in his recent trip to his German homeland that sexual-abuse by priests is so horrifying that it can prompt people to say, “This is no longer my Church." In fact it has — by the thousands per year in Germany according to official counts reported by John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter.

Benedict continued:

"I would say it is important to know that being in the Church is not like being in some association, but it is being in the net of the Lord, with which he draws good fish and bad fish from the waters of death to the land of life. It is possible that I might be alongside bad fish in this net and I sense this, but it remains true that I am in it neither for the former nor for the latter but because it is the Lord’s net- We should renew our awareness of the special nature of ‘being Church’, of being the people made up of all peoples, which is the People of God, and thereby learn to tolerate even scandals and work against these scandals from within, precisely by being present within the Lord’s great net."

But elsewhere on his trip, Benedict spoke of what he sees as the deepest crisis for Catholics. He said the country is rich in many ways — from its well-organized Catholic Church to its economy (however much that may be literally going south in the EU crisis).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Coverup of abuse at Catholic institution? SNAP responds

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on September 26, 2011

It’s one of the oldest public relations tricks in the book – pretend that intentional, self serving secrecy is really just a “mistake” or “goof” or “failing,” when in fact it’s a deliberate move to protect wrongdoers.

It’s shameful to see a church official blaming lawyers for the cowardice and recklessness of his church colleagues. Even years ago, bishops knew that responsible adults call police when they see or suspect or know of a crime. Yet bishops didn’t – and often still don’t – involve law enforcement in these crimes, because they’re intent on protecting their reputations instead of our children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Alleged abuse 'monstrous', says Weatherill

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Tim Dornin
September 27, 2011 .

AAP

The alleged sexual assault of disabled children at an Adelaide state school was "monstrous", incoming South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says.

Mr Weatherill told state parliament on Tuesday of his meeting with parents of children who were allegedly abused by a bus driver at the government school between January and August last year.

A 56-year-old driver is due to appear in court next week charged with a range of offences including two counts of sexual intercourse with a person under 14 and gross indecency against other children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Ex-lay pastor gets probation for relationship with teen girl

COLORADO
The Gazette

LANCE BENZEL
THE GAZETTE

A former Colorado Springs lay pastor who pleaded guilty to a three-year sexual relationship with a troubled teenage girl was sentenced Monday to a minimum of 10 years’ intensive supervised probation.

Under the plea agreement, Eric Caverly, 37, won’t face prison time, and an additional count alleging that Caverly sexually abused a second girl while serving at Springs Community Church was dismissed.

Caverly must register as a sex offender, and he was banned from using a computer until counselors in a sex treatment program give their approval.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

September 26, 2011

Horrors of child abuse could be repeated

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Caroline O’Doherty

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CHILD abuse remains a serious threat in Ireland despite over a decade of inquires and reports revealing the suffering of tens of thousands of children at the hands of Church and state.

A major study says continuing lack of accountability in key institutions, public discomfort with the subject of abuse, and state reluctance to prosecute those who turned a blind eye to it mean the horrors of the past could be repeated.

The Amnesty International Ireland research was accepted by Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

"We should not fool ourselves into believing that abuse occurred in a sepia-toned Ireland that is dead and gone," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

'Horrifying if done to prisoners of war'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

MINISTER FOR CHILDREN: THE IN Plain Sight report reminds us that Irish children were subjected to “treatment that would be horrifying if it were done to prisoners of war, never mind little boys and girls”, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald said yesterday.

“Rape, burning, beating, biting. Horrendous, awful torture.”

Launching the In Plain Sight report, she said it “says boldly what we now must accept; people knew about children being abused long before it was put in print in the Ferns, Cloyne, Murphy and Dublin reports”.

This “strikes at our very national identity. Whatever happens to us, we Irish like to believe we are fundamentally a good people – kind, generous, brave, open-minded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

Lack of accountability at heart of abuse of children

IRELAND
The Irish Times

ANALYSIS: THE ABUSE and exploitation of tens of thousands of Irish children in State-funded institutions, as detailed in the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne reports, is arguably the gravest and most systemic human rights failure in the history of our State, writes COLM O'GORMAN

These reports tell us what those children endured, abuse that amounted to acts of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.

But what we don’t know fully is why. And it is the why that matters now even more than the what. Why was abuse on such a scale and why was such depravity possible? Why did the State so abjectly fail to put in place a proper system to care for and protect some of its most vulnerable children? Why did wider society show so little interest in those same children? And why, despite the fact that deep veins of knowledge existed about what was happening to so many children, did society not demand effective action from the State?

Research published yesterday by Amnesty International Ireland attempts to begin to provide some answers. This research, titled In Plain Sight, is intended as a contribution to a much-needed public discussion about what the various reports reveal about the nature of our State and our society. Listening to Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald at the launch yesterday, I was struck by what she has taken from the report. “The fundamental lesson for me in this is that we must create a society in which no one is afraid to speak,” she said. “In which no one is afraid to challenge authority and power, because deference to the powerful is a guaranteed way to help that power corrupt.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Abuse in institutions amounted to 'torture'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

[In Plain Sight]

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

CHILDREN WERE tortured, brutalised, beaten, starved and abused in institutions run by the State and the Catholic Church, an Amnesty International Ireland report said yesterday.

“There has been little justice for these victims. Those who failed as guardians, civil servants, clergy, gardaí and members of religious orders have avoided accountability,” said Amnesty Ireland executive director Colm O’Gorman in Dublin.

“The Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne reports tell us what happened to these children, but not why it happened,” he added. “We commissioned this report to explore that question because only by doing so can we ensure this never happens again.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Cori regrets not being asked for response

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY

REACTION: THE DIRECTOR general of Cori, the Conference of Religious of Ireland, has expressed regret it had not been invited to contribute an essay to accompany the In Plain Sight report.

“In the interest of academic rigour and balance,” Sr Marianne O’Connor said, “I believe we should have been asked for a response, it would have been in order.

“It was possible that they may have contacted one of the [18] congregations” involved in running the residential institutions investigated by the Ryan commission “and got no response”, she said.

She was not aware that this had happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Priest Accused of Fathering Child with Married Woman

MISSOURI
Fox 4

[with video]

Rob Low, FOX 4 News

A Cass County man says his youngest son was fathered by a Catholic priest. It's the latest lawsuit against the Diocese of St. Joseph-Kansas City. The man involved says the affair destroyed his marriage and is now filing for divorce.

The victim says he's furious that the local diocese has decided to allow the priest to keep preaching at his Independence parish.

"My wife had relations with our priest," the man suing said. "She let me know about it a year ago."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Suit Claims Church Hid Priest's Child

MISSOURI
KCUR

[with audio]

Dan Verbeck (2011-09-26)

HARRISONVILLE, MO (KCUR) - A lawsuit has been filed today alleging the Catholic Kansas City- St. Joseph Diocese hushed up purported sexual doings of a priest, but this time the allegations do not center on child abuse. Rather, the issue is fathering a child by a married woman in a parish where the priest served.

Names are removed from the filings to protect identity of an underage child who, a man alleges, was fathered by the priest who had gotten the man's wife pregnant.

The suit contends the Diocese fraudulently hid the scandal. The Diocese says, in a prepared statement, it learned of the priest's conduct last year, apologized to the man, offered counseling, and told members of the parish, St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Independence what had happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Funding of trust for priest abuse victims brings end to Del. diocese bankruptcy reorganization

WILMINGTON (DE)
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: September 26, 2011

WILMINGTON, Del. — The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has emerged from bankruptcy with the funding of a $77.4 million trust for victims of priest sex abuse.

Attorneys told a Delaware bankruptcy judge that a check deposit and wire transfers had been made in compliance with Monday's deadline for funding of the trust.

The diocese, which serves about 230,000 Catholics in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland, filed for Chapter 11 protection in October 2009 on the eve of the first in a series of trials scheduled in lawsuits filed by alleged victims of priest abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Bishop tries to rein in high-profile pro-life priest

AMARILLO (TX)
National Catholic Reporter

Sep. 26, 2011
By David Gibson
Religion News Service

Just days after prominent antiabortion activist Fr. Frank Pavone was ordered to suspend his work as head of Priests for Life, Pavone and his bishop, Patrick J. Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, were seeking a way out of the tense standoff.

Pavone told reporters in Amarillo that he was seeking to be “incardinated,” or authorized to work, in another diocese, presumably one where he could continue his 18-year role as head of the New York-based Priests for Life.

“I do not foresee myself staying incardinated in Amarillo,” Pavone said Sept. 14 before celebrating Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Amarillo. “It’s a sensitive issue. We’re working it out behind the scenes.”

At the same time, church officials in Amarillo sought to tone down the harsh rhetoric that Zurek had used in a Sept. 9 letter to U.S. bishops in which he referred to questions about the group’s finances, and said Pavone’s work has “inflated his ego with a sense of self-importance.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Husband: Priest fathered wife's baby, diocese covered up affair

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KCTV

By DeAnn Smith, Digital Content Manager

By Heather Staggers, Reporter

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
An area man is suing the area Catholic Diocese, alleging that the Catholic Church covered up sexual misconduct between a priest and the man's wife.

The unidentified man claims Father Joseph Matt fathered a child with his wife. The man says Matt now works in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph's headquarters helping guide parishoners who face marital difficulties.

The Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests announced the lawsuit in a news conference Monday afternoon. The man, his two sons and his daughter are suing Matt and the diocese in Cass County Circuit Court. This includes the son fathered by the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Russian Orthodox Church embroiled in corruption scandal

RUSSIA
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Andrew Osborn in Moscow

An undercover investigation on Russian TV into Archpriest Mikhail Grigoriev of Kazan has raised wider questions about the propriety of the country's clerics and their relationship with wealthy donors who contribute to restoration work.

In the case of Father Grigoriev, he was shown to own a BMW jeep, a Mercedes jeep, and a Mercedes saloon as well as three flats and a country house. To add insult to injury, a secret camera filmed the priest bragging about his £60,000 Swiss watch, his £12,000 phone, while talking about his love of Italian designer clothes and fine dining. In an indication of how much wealth the priest had amassed, he complained of recently being robbed of the equivalent of £300,000 from his safe.

The undercover investigation into Father Grigoriev has prompted church elders to banish him to a small rural church in the same region as punishment. Yet it seems church elders are concerned by his attitude rather than how he came into such wealth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Sexual abuse by members of the clergy: The Church’s responsibility

MALTA
The Malta Independent

In a short statement last week, the local Curia made it clear that it does not intend to financially compensate the victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy in a home run by a religious order. Two priests, one of whom has been defrocked, received prison sentences for the abuse on a number of children at the St Joseph Home; the judgment has been appealed.

Since the court judgment two months ago, the victims of the abuse, through their lawyer, have made their requests for financial compensation. While they requested money to make up for the abuse they suffered at the hands of the two priests, the Church is prepared to only give psychological assistance, saying that it is not legally responsible for what has taken place. It is now evident that the matter has to be resolved in the law courts, and this only after the appeal filed on the criminal proceedings will be decided.

Let us make one thing clear – no amount of money will ever erase the suffering and the effects of the abuse on the victims, but it does help to partially offset the pain and anguish. It is in this respect that abroad, the Church has resorted to financially compensating victims of similar crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Catholic Diocese of Wilmington emerges from bankruptcy

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

Written by
BETH MILLER
The News Journal

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington this afternoon completed the transfer of more than $77.4 million to a trust fund for survivors of clergy abuse, and with the payment has emerged from bankruptcy after almost two years.

Diocese attorney Anthony G. Flynn said the money changed hands by wire transfer and check, starting last Friday.

The money was part of an extensive list of settlement terms included in the plan confirmed in July by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi.

In addition to the money for the survivors’ trust fund, the diocese also deposited $5 million into the lay employees trust fund to cover future pension payments, as required by the bankruptcy plan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Amnesty International slams Irish Catholic Church on abuse

IRELAND
Washington Post

By Francis X. Rocca (Religion News Service), Updated: Monday, September 26

VATICAN CITY — A new report by the Irish branch of Amnesty International says the sexual abuse of children by Ireland’s Roman Catholic priests “included acts that amounted to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.”

The 430-page report, released Monday (Sept. 26), “reminds us that Irish children were subjected to treatment that would be horrifying if it were done to prisoners of war, never mind little boys and girls,” said Ireland’s Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, in Dublin.

The study is a response to four major government probes of clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church conducted since 2003. Those investigations revealed widespread child abuse over several decades by clergy and members of religious orders, leading to the resignations of three bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

SINEAD O'CONNOR—"KILL THE POPE"

UNITED STATES
The Catholic League

September 26, 2011

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor is warning Pope Benedict XVI not to come to Ireland, and if he does, she wants him shot. She warned on Twitter there will be a "f***in bloodbath" if the pope visits Ireland.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on her outburst:

Sinead O'Connor has a long history of Catholic bashing, so in one sense her latest foray is not unusual. What's new, however, is her advocacy of violence. Given her precarious condition, it is not likely she could shoot straight, but her violent appeal may trigger others to act. That is the danger.

O'Connor is not doing well. The cops were recently summoned to her home after she Tweeted about suicide. She needs long-term help. In the meantime, whatever family or friends she has would do well to get her to ramp down her rhetoric and at least pretend to be normal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Shoot the pope? Sinead wants to.

UNITED STATES
The Spokesman-Review

Sinead O’Connor, the singer who once tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II while on Saturday Night Live, has threatened to shoot Pope Benedict if he visits Ireland, according to CathNewsUSA.

Her friends worry about her mental health. Wonder if she'll get the same amount of attention over this action, as she did in 1992. Likely, not. We're a culture gone numb by violence, threatened and real.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Suit alleges priest fathered child with man’s wife

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

A Missouri man filed a lawsuit today alleging that a priest in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese — who for years has sat on the diocese’s Marriage Tribunal — fathered a child with the man’s wife.

The civil lawsuit, filed in Cass County Circuit Court, alleges that the Rev. Joseph Matt had an affair with the man’s wife in 2004 and 2005 and that the woman became pregnant and had a son. It also alleges that the diocese committed fraud by keeping silent about the sexual misconduct.

“It’s been a nightmare,” the man said in an interview with The Kansas City Star. “It’s not a good thing to find out that your son is not yours and the father is actually a priest that you thought you could trust. I still can’t believe it.”

The man, who is filing the lawsuit anonymously to protect the identity of the child, learned last September that the boy was not his biological son, the lawsuit says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Sandy Springs police accuse N.C. preacher accused of molesting child in the 1990s

GEORGIA
Reporters Newspapers

Sandy Springs police are accusing an 86-year-old North Carolina preacher of molesting a child when he lived in Georgia in the 1990s.

Clarence Caldwell Arquitt Jr. of Sanford, N.C., was arrested in North Carolina in charges of child molestation, aggravated child molestation and sodomy, Sandy Springs police said in a press release. Arquitt was arrested in Lee County, N.C., and released on a $30,000 bond, Sandy Springs police said. Police seek to extradite him to Georgia to face the charges against him, police said.

Police said the victim, now in her 20s, was molested from the time she was approximately 3 years old until age 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

Former Marietta Preacher Charged with Child Molestation

GEORGIA
Patch

Sandy Springs Police investigators have obtained warrants for an 86-year old North Carolina man charging him with the Child Molestation of his granddaughter, which occurred numerous times between 1991 and 1999.

Clarence Caldwell Arquitt Jr., of Sanford, N.C. is charged on the warrants with molesting the victim from the time she was approximately 3-years-old until she reached the age of 11. From 1996 to 1999, investigators believe that she was molested at his residence on Garden Court in Sandy Springs and prior to 1996 at his residence in Woodstock.

The victim, now in her 20’s, contacted Sandy Springs Police and subsequently met with investigators in early August of this year. The investigation resulted in warrants issued on the charges of Child Molestation, Aggravated Child Molestation and Sodomy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Sanford minister wanted in Georgia case

NORTH CAROLINA
Sanford Herald

by BILLY BALL

SANFORD — Sandy Springs, Ga., police investigators say they have obtained warrants for a Sanford man — Clarence Caldwell Arquitt Jr., 86, — charging him with child molestation.

A Sandy Springs, Ga., police release reports that a woman, now in her 20s, contacted authorities and met with investigators in August, resulting in warrants issued on the charges of child molestation, aggravated child molestation and sodomy.

Police said information given to investigators indicates that Arquitt, a preacher by profession, worked in numerous positions in several churches in Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida, as well as a college in Montgomery, Ala.

Sanford police booked Arquitt on the charges this month and was released on a $30,000 bond, although Georgia investigators are working to secure his extradition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

Ex-preacher accused of molesting granddaughter

GEORGIA
Cherokee Tribune

by Lindsay Field
lfield@cherokeetribune.com

September 24, 2011

SANDY SPRINGS — Police in Sandy Springs are trying to extradite a former Cobb preacher who is accused of molesting his granddaughter in Georgia.

Sandy Springs police investigators have obtained warrants for Clarence Caldwell Arquitt Jr., 86, of Sanford, N.C., accusing him of molesting his granddaughter between 1991 and 1999. Arquitt is charged with child molestation, aggravated child molestation and sodomy.

According to information given to investigators, Arquitt was a preacher and worked in several churches in Cobb County, including Olive Street Church of Christ and Piedmont Road Church of Christ in Marietta and North Cobb Church of Christ in Kennesaw.

David Decker, a preacher at Piedmont Road Church of Christ in Marietta, said elders in his church confirmed that Arquitt worked part time for their congregation between 1998 and 2005. Additional information about his employment at Piedmont Road was unavailable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Former minister sought by police

NORTH CAROLINA
The Fayetteville Observer

A retired minister living in Sanford is being sought by police in Georgia on charges that he molested a young girl for a decade.

Clarence Caldwell Arquitt Jr., 86, is wanted on charges of child molestation, aggravated molestation and sodomy, according to police in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs.

According to the Sandy Springs Police Department website, the victim - now in her 20s - reported the abuse in August, saying Arquitt repeatedly molested her from the time she was about 3 until she reached 11 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Preacher accused of child molestation

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Alexis Stevens
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

An 86-year-old preacher is accused of molesting a girl several times over an eight-year period, police said Thursday.

Lee County (N.C.) Jail Clarence Caldwell Arquitt Jr., 86, is fighting extradition to Georgia to face charges of child molestation and sodomy.

Clarence Caldwell Arquitt Jr., of Sanford, N.C., refused to return to Georgia to face charges of child molestation and sodomy, Lt. Steve Rose with Sandy Springs police said.

Instead, Arquitt was arrested and booked into the Lee County, N.C., jail, but was released after posting $30,000 bond, Rose said. Arquitt is fighting being extradited to Georgia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Sanford minister wanted on Georgia child-sex charges

NORTH CAROLINA/GEORGIA
WRAL

Sanford, N.C. — A retired minister who lives in Sanford is fighting extradition to Georgia, where he faces charges of molesting a girl for eight years, authorities said Friday.

Clarence Caldwell Arquitt Jr., 86, was arrested in Lee County three weeks ago on a fugitive warrant but was released after posting a $30,000 bond. Police in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, Ga., have outstanding warrants for him on charges of child molestation, aggravated child molestation and sodomy.

A woman in her 20s contacted Sandy Springs police in August and told investigators that Arquitt began molesting her when she was 3 and continued doing so until she was 11, police Lt. Steve Rose said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Practices questioned

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Sep. 26, 2011
By Michael Sean Winters

American Life League, a major Catholic pro-life organization, has been flagged by several nonprofit watchdogs for questionable financial practices, including compensating board members and doing hundreds of thousands of dollars in business with a firm owned by the spouse of the organization’s leader.

The league has also been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, according to forms filed annually with the tax agency.

While Fr. Frank Pavone’s Priests for Life organization is under the spotlight for how it has handled its finances, questions have been raised for several years about American Life League’s finances, according to notes on its Form 990, which all nonprofits are required to file with the IRS. Questions have also been raised by the Better Business Bureau, which has been unsuccessful in its attempt to get the league to answer questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

In the Case Against Vatican Officials for Rape and Sexual Violence, We've come to the End of the Beginning

UNITED STATES
Center for Constitutional Rights

Last week, lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) completed marathon journeys through Europe after filing a complaint with the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague seeking an investigation and prosecution of high-level Vatican officials for widespread and systematic rape and sexual violence committed against children and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy.

Two teams of survivors and lawyers visited 12 cities in seven days, meeting with other survivors, media, and concerned supporters. The response to the filing has been overwhelmingly supportive. The affirmations of the importance and gravity of the issue have had a deeply significant impact on the survivors involved who, like too many others around the world, have been fighting this lonely battle for far too long. Seeing other survivors reaching out through their pain and isolation has been humbling and inspiring. We hope that victims, survivors, and family members keep reaching out and find each other and more support. As SNAP co-founder and survivor Peter Isely said on this trip: "It doesn't matter where victims come from. We are our own country -- of the dispossessed, raped and molested. We can succeed together."

We expected Vatican spokespeople and allies would call this effort a stunt, and some very quickly did. They also called it "ludicrous." To head that accusation off at the pass, we presented the prosecutor not only with well-founded allegations and legal analysis, but with overwhelming documentation supporting these claims-- approximately 22,000 pages of documentation. It hardly needs stating that victims' demands for accountability for widespread and systematic rape are not 'ludicrous.' One Vatican ally has suggested that this effort somehow demeans or undermines victims of crimes against humanity committed in other contexts. This suggestion itself does precisely what it accuses victims of doing -- demeans and minimizes the horrors of child victims of sexual violence at the hands of Catholic clergy and the secondary victimization by church officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Catholic Church in Adelaide, Australia denies it covered up newest abuse claim

AUSTRALIA
God Discussion

Like a nightmare that is never ending, the Catholic Church is once again finding itself on the defensive, this time amidst claims that it covered up a police investigation of abuse to developmentally disabled children in a school in Adelaide. The Australian reports:

The allegations were aired last night on the ABC's Four Corners program, which used documents dating back 20 years to reveal the church received legal advice telling it to avoid mentioning in writing charges of sexual abuse against a volunteer bus driver at St Ann's Special School in Adelaide.

This kept the allegations from the public, and no attempt was made by the school or the Catholic Education Office to pursue the police inquiry into the bus driver, Brian Perkins, which stalled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Catholic Church denies fresh claim of abuse cover-up

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Michael Owen
From:The Australian
September 27, 2011

THE Catholic Church has defended itself against fresh claims it tried to cover up a police investigation into the abuse of intellectually disabled children at one of its Adelaide schools.

The allegations were aired last night on the ABC's Four Corners program, which used documents dating back 20 years to reveal the church received legal advice telling it to avoid mentioning in writing charges of sexual abuse against a volunteer bus driver at St Ann's Special School in Adelaide.

This kept the allegations from the public, and no attempt was made by the school or the Catholic Education Office to pursue the police inquiry into the bus driver, Brian Perkins, which stalled.

A church spokeswoman told The Australian last night the program was based on old material that was no longer relevant as the church had moved forward in its policies and procedures, including setting up preventive measures that were rigorously enforced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Major Human Rights Report Affirms That Sexual Abuse by the Clergy is “Torture

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Center for Constitutional Rights

[In Plain Sight]

CCR Welcomes Amnesty International Report in Wake of Sept. 13 International Criminal Court Filing Against the Pope and Top Vatican Officials, Seeking Accountability for Clergy Sexual Abuse

press@ccrjustice.org

September 26, 2011

NEW YORK – In response to the release of a major human rights report on clerical sexual abuse, released today by Amnesty International in Ireland, CCR issued the following statement from Pamela Spees, Senior Staff Attorney:

Amnesty International Ireland’s release today of a major human rights report on clergy sexual abuse marks another important step in the journey towards holding Vatican officials accountable for the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world.

Indeed, as the Amnesty report makes clear in more than 400 pages of documentation, the abuse of children “included acts that amounted to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.”

The Amnesty International report, titled In Plain Sight: Responding to the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne Reports, includes a summary of four previous investigations into abuse by clergy in Ireland, which were also summarized and discussed in CCR’s September 13th complaint to the International Criminal Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

MO - Paternity test shows priest impregnated woman

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT:

Holding signs and childhood photos a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will announce a new civil sexual exploitation and cover up lawsuit against the Kansas City Catholic diocese and a priest who
--according to a 2010 paternity test, impregnated a married adult Catholic woman,
--“tore a family apart,” and
--now works in the diocese headquarters dealing with parishioners who have experienced marital difficulties.
It also accuses top church officials of committing fraud and keeping silent about the sexual misconduct.

WHEN:
TODAY, Monday, Sept. 28 at 1:00 PM

WHERE:
Outside the Kansas City Catholic chancery office (diocese headquarters), at 20 West Ninth Street in downtown Kansas City, MO

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Germany: The Pope's response to those calling for reform in the Church

GERMANY
Vatican Insider

Alessandro Speciale
Freiburg

That the situation the German Pope would find in his homeland would not be easy, was not a surprise to anyone. Even the book distributed by the German Bishops' Conference to the press after the trip did not hide the existing problems: from the age-old problem of declining vocations to that ever more urgent of drop-outs in the Church - 180 thousand only in the last year, more than those who 'entered' through baptism.

A situation that was further complicated by the pedophilia scandal that exploded last year: not only because the Church lost "credibility” within the community in general, but also, and perhaps especially in the eyes of the Pope, because it rekindled those requests for structural reforms that have been smoldering for decades, but were dormant in recent years.

From the obligation of celibacy to the role of women in the Church, from the choice of bishops to sexual morality: requests that precipitated from the famous memorandum "A necessary turning point," signed by one third of Catholic theology professors - the new 'colleagues' of Professor Ratzinger - and again in a document signed by leading politicians of the conservative party CSU.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Priest’s rape trial set

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

TAGUM CITY—The trial of a Catholic priest accused of raping a 26-year-old woman in Compostela Valley has been reset after a postponement even as the woman’s family said it was seeking the help of the women’s rights group Gabriela in its quest for justice.

The woman said she welcomed an order by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to press charges against Fr. Melvin dela Cuesta, reversing a decision of the provincial prosecutor’s office to dismiss the complaint.

“I’m happy and thankful that finally my case was given attention,” said the woman, now a mother of a year-old boy by her live-in partner.

In a resolution, the DOJ, through Undersecretary Leah Tanodra Armamento, ordered Prosecutor Graciano Arafol to file the rape complaint against Dela Cuesta at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 3 in Nabunturan town. The priest is now assigned to the Mt. Diwalwal quasi-parish in Monkayo town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

Operation Rescue Rallies Support for Father Frank Pavone

AMARILLO (TX)
Standard Newswire

Contact: Troy Newman, President, 316-841-1700 ; Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor, 316-516-3034 ; both with Operation Rescue; info@operationrescue.org

AMARILLO, Texas, Sept. 26, 2011 /Standard Newswire/ -- For the last two weeks, one of the pro-life movement's most influential leaders has had his prolife work sidelined. Father Frank Pavone (photo), a faithful Catholic priest in good standing, has been called back to his home diocese by his Ordinary, Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo, Texas. Rather than disobey the order, Father Pavone honorably chose to comply and now sits idle in a convent an hour's drive outside Amarillo.

"Every moment a defender of the preborn children sits inactive is an opportunity for the abortion cartel to continue its destructive tyranny on the pre-born," says Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Here are two vital steps every concerned American should take to help Father Pavone resume his godly calling.

1. Add your name to the "Open Letter to Catholic Bishops" by going to www.ISupportFatherFrank.com You will be joining Pro-Life/Pro-Family leaders like Dr. James Dobson, Wendy Wright, Dick and Rich Bott, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Gregg Cunningham, Mark Crutcher, Jill Stanek, Star Parker, Steven Ertelt, and many, many more.

2. Sign the petition to Bishop Zurek, asking the Bishop to amicably resolve his differences with Fr. Frank and, for the sake of the unborn, let him return to his full-time pro-life ministry. www.ipetitions.com/petition/fatherpavone/

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

SNAP judgements: Ground Zero of the Catholic sex abuse scandal, Part II

UNITED STATES
Spero News

By Gordon J. Macrae

SNAP promotes a lucrative version of the Catholic sex abuse scandal, but is it accurate? And is it really victim advocacy? Not all victims see it that way.

In “SNAP Judgements Part I”, on my blog at www.TheseStoneWalls.com, I wrote of the murder of Father John Geoghan about seventy miles from here in a Massachusetts prison in August, 2003. He was beaten and strangled to death by a young, attention-seeking prisoner eager for fifteen minutes of fame. But I also attributed this murder to a daily barrage of hateful rhetoric from members of SNAP and Voice of the Faithful. I stand by that assessment. It was an example of “Catholic Abuse of the Catholic Abuse Scandal” that reverberated deeply into my own prison as the news media pondered at the time whether I might be next.

Catholics are morally responsible for their public rhetoric whether they know they are or not. As I wrote in “When the Gloves Come Off on Catholic Blogs,” the Internet can make us feel as though we are not responsible for our words, but that is just an illusion. Catholics using the sex abuse crisis to inflame public opinion share moral responsibility for what they sow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Responsibility and Accountability: Who was responsible?

IRELAND
In Plain Sight - Amnesty International

[excerpt: beginning on page106]

The absence of both clear lines of responsibility and effective accountability mechanisms played a significant role in enabling the continuation of the abuse of children. The actions of agents of the Catholic Church (members of religious orders, priests, and diocesan and Vatican authorities), agents of the State (those within the executive and government departments, the Gardaí and the health authorities), and the responses of wider society to failings in residential institutions and abuses will be examined.

Despite the formal constitutional separation of church and State, the Catholic hierarchy had a unique position among pressure groups in Irish society.1 By the 1950s “indirectly through its influence on the Catholic majority, and directly through its influence upon Catholic members of government”, the Catholic Church was “without peer in terms of power”.2 The Murphy (Dublin) Report suggests that the prominent and influential role of agents of the Catholic Church in society was the very reason why these abuses were allowed to go unchecked.3 While there was a failure to demand accountability from this powerful and pervasive institution, article 44.5 of the Irish Constitution suggested that any involvement in the internal affairs of the various Irish churches was inappropriate, even unconstitutional:

Every religious denomination shall have the right to manage its own affairs, own, acquire and administer property, movable and immovable, and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes.

The absence of effective accountability mechanisms for an organisation that acted as the dominant provider of services for the majority of the population contributed to the conditions which allowed for the large scale abuse of children housed in residential institutions run by religious orders and enabled the abuse of children in the community by priests to go unchecked. While there was an absence of external accountability mechanisms, there was similarly an absence of internal mechanisms within the governing structures of Catholic organisations, which made abuse even more likely.

Staffing
In residential institutions, run by religious orders, not only were members often allowed to go unchecked in their abuse of children, but abuse was made more likely by the selection of particularly unsuitable staff. Barry Coldrey describes how “old, sick and mentally unstable members” were commonly ‘hidden’ in institutions.5 He has identified this as a worldwide problem in children’s institutions managed by religious and charitable organisations.6 This also reflects the traditional low status attached to the work of caring for children and the low status attached to children housed in residential institutions.

[I]t was generally believed in the order that men were often sent to staff such terrible places because they had proved difficult or inadequate or had got into trouble in ‘normal’ schools.

The vast majority of these children were of ‘working class’ origins and it is clear that that this affected the staff selection process. Religious orders often managed a variety of educational facilities and it is apparent that the explicit hierarchy within orders determined staff allocations between secondary schools and residential institutions. Indeed, a two-tier membership system that reflected class origins existed within the orders, which produced ‘choir’ sisters and brothers, who received more training, usually for teaching and nursing, and ‘lay’ sisters and brothers who were responsible for farm work and domestic duties, and who were more likely to end up staffing residential institutions.8 Margaret Lee, a former Sister of Mercy who entered the novitiate in 1961, describes how “the brightest and most talented sisters were assigned to the secondary school system” which, until 1967 when post primary education became free, educated only a minority of Ireland’s children. In contrast “untrained personnel were often deployed to the care of the children in the orphanage [industrial school]9 , reflecting the scant regard in which both the carer and those cared for were held”.10 She notes that secondary schools were highly valued because they “provided an education for the middle class section of society from which our own roots had sprung and were also the recruiting ground for new members to the congregation”.11 Similarly Tom Dunne argues that Christian Brothers’ secondary schools, which housed potential recruits for the order, “were staffed with their brightest and best” while they left “the far more needy boys of their industrial schools to the inadequate or the troubled, who were given no special training and little supervision”.12 For Lee the class system underpinned the value system of her order and while the congregation was predominantly middle class, children placed in the orphanage “were seen as coming from the lower strata of society and therefore as unequal to us and less deserving”.13 The low status of the staff that worked in residential institutions reflected that of the schools themselves, and of the children who resided there, in Irish society.

Retired Bishop of Killaloe, Willie Walsh, has suggested that the young age at which people entered orders, the burden of celibacy for some members, the promotion of obedience, and the authoritarian nature of leadership in all areas of religious life, were “not conducive to good human formation” and that these factors go some way to explaining why the abuse happened.15 Walsh suggests that their very powerlessness within the structure of their order meant that abusers were likely “to abuse whatever little power they may have [had] over other people in their care or control”.16 Similarly Lee suggests that, these people were voiceless and without any great status in their congregations and, consequently, within themselves were simmering with anger, frustration and dissatisfaction with life … In the religious communities they were powerless but in the world of the orphanage they had absolute power. Put with this the fact that they could be fairly certain that any violence or rough treatment, indeed any punishment of the children, would go unchallenged, and we may be coming to some explanation for it all. Even if some parents did challenge what was occurring they were unlikely to get a hearing from any authority figure in church or state, due to the commonly held perception that they were not worthy of a hearing.

The use of corporal punishment in residential institutions was widespread and excessive. For Coldrey this was the result of large numbers of children and teenagers being left in the care of few untrained staff who “resorted to corporal punishment as the only control mechanism they knew”.18 He also asserts that “the boundary between acceptable punishment and abuse was vague and ambiguous” while similarly blurred were the boundaries between physical and sexual abuse.19 Neglect and hunger were also common features of residential institutions while few resources were devoted to the children’s education or entertainment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Victims criticise Catholic Church over allegations

AUSTRALIA
ABC - The World Today

ELEANOR HALL: Now to the latest in the stand-off between the senator and the Catholic Church.

Independent federal Senator Nick Xenophon used parliamentary privilege last night to name an Adelaide priest who is accused of raping a man 50 years ago.

The accusation was not formally reported to police but the church has known about it for more than four years, and victims' groups says it indicates the church has learned nothing from its past mistakes in the way that it deals with sexual assault allegations.

This morning senior Catholic figures defended the time it has taken to investigate the allegation as well as the decision not to stand down the priest.

But that's only served to enrage victims' groups, as Simon Santow reports.

SIMON SANTOW: South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon was unapologetic this morning over his decision to name and shame a Catholic priest last night under parliamentary privilege.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Amnesty: Children 'tortured' in institutions

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, September 26, 2011

The abuse of thousands of innocent children in State and church run institutions in Ireland amounted to torture, a scathing report from Amnesty has found.

Youngsters suffered decades of inhuman and degrading treatment by being brutalised, beaten and starved, the human rights watchdog said.

The horrific details of neglect, physical abuse and rape were revealed in recent years in four sickening State ordered reports – Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Clerical abuse in Ireland tantamount to torture: report

IRELAND
The Journal

A NEW REPORT says that some of the acts of abuse revealed in the reports on clerical abuse in Ireland amount to torture.

The In Plain Sight report, commissioned by Amnesty International and compiled by Dr Carole Holohan, found that the sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children covered in the Ferns, Murphy, Ryan and Cloyne reports “can be categorised as torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under human rights law”.

It recommends making the rights of children explicit in the constitution.

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald is launching the report this morning in Dublin. Also attending the launch are Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Dr Carole Holohan and Colm O’Gorman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Abuse scandal 'amounts to torture'

IRELAND
UTV

[In Plain Sight]

A new report has claimed the institutional abuse of thousands of children across Ireland amounted to torture.

Human rights watchdog Amnesty said young people in church and state-run homes suffered decades of cruel and degrading treatment by being brutalised, beaten and starved.

Four recent reports - Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne - have detailed a litany of neglect, physical abuse and rape allegations.

Colm O'Gorman from Amnesty Ireland - himself a victim - said the scandal has been "perhaps the greatest human rights failure in the history of the state".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Damning Amnesty Report on Irish Child Abuse

IRELAND
98 FM

Amnesty International has concluded that abuse of children in institutions in Ireland amounted to “torture and inhuman and degrading treatment”.

The human rights body reached the conclusion after examining four official reports into the scale of the abuse in Ireland.

Amnesty International says the abuse of tens of thousands of Irish children is perhaps the greatest human rights failure in the history of the State.

In the “In Plain Sight” report, it concludes that there was no accountability in institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Amnesty says Irish child abuse amounted to torture

IRELAND
Interaksyon

26-Sep-11, 7:09 PM | Agence France-Presse

DUBLIN - The abuse of children by Catholic clerics revealed in a series of judicial reports included acts that amounted to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, Amnesty International Ireland said Monday.

"The abuse of tens of thousands of Irish children is perhaps the greatest human rights failure in the history of the state," Amnesty executive director Colm O'Gorman said at the launch of new research by the human rights watchdog.

"Children were tortured. They were brutalized; beaten, starved and abused. There has been little justice for these victims.

"Those who failed as guardians, civil servants, clergy, gardai (Irish police) and members of religious orders have avoided accountability," O'Gorman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Amnesty International report finds clerical sex abuse was 'torture'

IRELAND
BBC News

A report from Amnesty International has said the abuse of children by priests and church-run institutions in Ireland amounted to torture.

The research, which included an opinion poll, was commissioned following the publication of a number of reports which catalogued decades of abuse.

It found that some of that abuse met the legal definition of torture.

The poll showed 84% of those surveyed felt society should have done more to prevent abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Abuse was 'human rights failure'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

[In Plain Sight]

PATSY MCGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

The abuse of tens of thousands of Irish children, as revealed in the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne reports was “perhaps the greatest human rights failure in the history of the state,” according to Amnesty International Ireland executive director, Colm O’Gorman.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald said a causitive factor for what had happened in our schools, clubs, churches and communities was deference.

“At every turn, Irish people kept their mouths shut out of deference to State, system, church and community. When they should have been unified in fury and outrage they were instead silenced, afraid to even whisper a criticism against the powerful,” she said.

Both were speaking at the launch of In Plain Sight: Responding to the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne Reports , a report by Dr Carole Holohan and commissioned by Amnesty International.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Priest on leave while allegation examined

IRELAND
The Irish Times

A PRIEST in Co Kilkenny is taking a leave of absence while an allegation against him is investigated.

In a statement at the weekend Bishop of Ossory Dr Séamus Freeman said that “a safeguarding matter has arisen” and Fr Peter Muldowney, a priest of the diocese of Ossory, had asked him “to allow him a period of leave from ministry with immediate effect so that this matter can be addressed”.

“I have adhered to this request,” the bishop said.

“In compliance with our diocesan policy on safeguarding, this matter has been referred to An Garda Síochána, the HSE and to the National Board for Safeguarding Children. The presumption of innocence must prevail.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

DA wants former priest and sex offender Michael Baker placed in state hospital

CALIFORNIA
Whittier Daily News

By Ruby Gonzales, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/25/2011

Ex-priest Michael Stephen Baker could have been a free man this summer after serving one-third of a 10-year, 4-month sentence for child molestation.

Baker was supposed to be paroled Aug. 23, but the 63-year-old Long Beach man is headed back to court again this fall. A court must decides if he poses a danger to the public and should be placed in a state hospital instead.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office filed a request on Aug. 26 to put Baker in a sex offender program at the state hospital in Coalinga, according to DA spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons.

It's called a civil commitment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Gabriela calls on CBCP to take action on rape of 17-year old girl by Agusan priest

PHILIPPINES
Bulatlat

“We see very good signs that Leah will be able to recover from the horrors she went through; but we are certain that she can only be made truly whole again if justice is given her.” – Gabriela

By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — Supporters of the 17-year old rape victim “Leah” from Agusan del Sur sought the help of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines against the parish priest who allegedly committed the crime. With the support of the Gabriela progressive women’s organization, Leah ‘s plight was made officially known to the CBCP leadership through a letter addressed to CBCP President Rev Bishop Jose Palma.

In the missive, the women’s group related Leah’s sufferings at the hands of former Tubay parish priest Fr. Raul Cabonce. Leah has since filed cases of child abuse, act of lasciviousness and rape against the priest last August 25 at the Butuan Regional Trial Court. Leah said Cabonce repeatedly molested and evetually raped her when she was under his supposed care in St. Anne Parish in Tubay.

The said letter, signed by Gabriela secretary-general Lana Linaban, and co-signed by Mo. Mary John Mananzan, Chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines, and Carmencita Karagdag of the Ecumenical Women’s Forum. The women leaders expressed hope that the CBCP will aid in alleviating Leah’s suffering by taking action on her case and ensuring that justice will be rendered against her tormentor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Archdiocese of Ottawa won’t withdraw complaint against priest over finances

CANADA
The Vancouver Sun

By Andrew Duffy and Meghan Hurley, Postmedia News
September 25, 2011

OTTAWA — The Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa will not withdraw its police complaint against former pastor Joseph LeClair, a senior official told angry parishioners Sunday.

Vicar General Kevin Beach met with parishioners after the 11 a.m. mass Sunday to answer questions about the financial scandal that has rocked the Ottawa church.

Speaker after speaker criticized the diocese for its decision to refer the matter to the Ottawa police for investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

83% angry at State's attitude in past to child abuse, says report

IRELAND
The Irish Times

[In Plain Sight]

CARL O'BRIEN

NEW RESEARCH on attitudes towards institutional child abuse indicate that the vast majority of Irish people are angry that wider society did not do enough to protect children from abuse.

A study to be published today will show that 84 per cent of people feel society should have done more to prevent abuse in the past.

There is also widespread anger that the State did not do enough to help (83 per cent agree), while significant numbers say they find the subject too overwhelming and do not know what to think.

The polling research by Red C accompanies a major study which explores why institutional abuse was allowed to take place and how it might be prevented in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

3,000 new claims for abuse payments submitted

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN

ALMOST 3,000 former residents of reformatory schools and orphanages submitted applications for abuse compensation in the two months before the final September 16th deadline.

The Residential Institutional Redress Board was set up in 2002 to deal with former residents of 139 State-linked industrial and reformatory schools, orphanages and children’s homes who suffered abuse.

In July legislation was enacted to close off the power of the board to deal with further applications after September 16th.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Church official faces angry Blessed Sacrament parishioners

CANADA
The Ottawa Citizen

By Andrew Duffy and Meghan Hurley, The Ottawa Citizen September 25, 2011

OTTAWA — The Archdiocese of Ottawa will not withdraw its police complaint against former pastor Joseph LeClair, a senior official told angry Blessed Sacrament parishioners Sunday.

Vicar General Kevin Beach met with parishioners after the 11 a.m. mass Sunday to answer questions about the financial scandal that has rocked the Glebe church.

Speaker after speaker criticized both the Citizen for its coverage of the case and the diocese for its decision to refer the matter to the Ottawa police for investigation.

One parishioner accused the diocese of failing to show LeClair the kind of compassion offered Nova Scotia Bishop Raymond Lahey, who was allowed to stay at a Catholic residence in Ottawa while he awaited trial on charges of importing child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Conservative Catholics on trial in France

FRANCE
YouTube

[video]

Published on Sep 23, 2011 by Euronews

http://www.euronews.net/ An association with links to a secretive Catholic group is in the dock in France over a woman's claims that she was forced to work for over a decade for virtually no pay.

As a catering trainee, Catherine Tissier says she worked 14 hours a day, seven days a week, never saw her salary and was kept in the ideological grip of the Opus Dei movement.

It denies any wrongdoing; its supporters claims it has been the victim of discrimination in the French press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

McClellan: Unexpected celebrity stands up for victims

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

BILL McCLELLAN • bmcclellan@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8143

In the world of pop culture, you can't do much better than Oprah and People magazine, and when Oprah has you on her show not once, not twice, but three times, and People names you one of its 25 Most Intriguing people, well, you have arrived.

It's hardly what David Clohessy expected when he filed a lawsuit alleging that he had been sexually abused by a priest in his hometown of Moberly, Mo., years earlier.

That lawsuit was filed in 1991. Clohessy was 34 years old. The notion that a priest would abuse a child, and the church would knowingly cover up such abuse, was then unthinkable. And why would this child wait until he was grown to come forward? The whole thing was preposterous. Worse than that. It bordered on blasphemy.

Clohessy's lawsuit was dismissed because the statute of limitations had run out.

But Clohessy had found a calling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Sex abuse claim traps church in tangled web

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

It is unlikely that Pope Benedict XVI could have envisaged just what lay ahead when he issued an historic invitation to disaffected Anglicans to embrace Rome while keeping some of their own traditions.

The move to set up quasi-dioceses within the Catholic fold for Anglican converts has become a tangled web.

It involves a twice-married, one-time Adelaide Catholic priest who became an Anglican but then joined a breakaway group opposed to liberal moves, such as the ordination of women.

Rising to become the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, Archbishop John Hepworth led negotiations with Rome which could result in his return to the papal fold, taking many of his group's 400,000 members with him.

But controversy has erupted over the archbishop's claims he was sexually abused by fellow Catholic priests when he was a young man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Summary of the Protection from Sexual Predators Act of 2011

MASSACHUSETTS
Coalition to Reform Sex Abuse Laws

A bill proposed by CORSAL, the Coalition to Reform Sex Abuse Laws and sponsored by Rep. Ronald Mariano.

The community of sexual abuse survivors, advocates, and mental health providers, as well as the parents and families of victims, have identified a number of issues which they believe are essential to protect children from sex abuse, and to address the needs of those who have been abused.

In summary, this bill:

Amends the §51A notice provision to include sexual abuse as a reason for enhansed non-reporting penalites, and ties clearer educational requirements to the penalty process

Provides C. 258C crime victim compensation funds for mental health treatment to childhood sexual abuse victims who report the abuse as adults

Eliminates entierly the criminal statues of limitations for indecent assault and battery and rape for all minors

Eliminates the civil statute of limitations for past and future childhood sexual abuse claims so that abuse survivors who are time-barred from bringing a criminal prosecution will be able to idenify perpetrators in a public forum and obtain justice

•Eliminates the defense of charitable immunity, only with respect to childhood sexual abuse claims

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Rally at the State House

BOSTON (MA)
Coalition to Reform Sex Abuse Laws

September 27, 2011

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. at the Well of the State House

Hearing for H 469, The Protection from Sexual Predators Act of 2011, by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary

September 27, 2011

1:00 p.m. in Hearing room A-1

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Feeling ignored, going elsewhere

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Written by
Carol Gorga Williams | Staff Writer

LONG BRANCH — After years of wandering in the metaphorical desert — holding religious services at curbside and later in social halls — the parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church have found a Sunday home in a borrowed Episcopalian house of worship.

It is a start, they say, that one day could help them find the literal rock upon which they can build their church, separate from those of the local Roman Catholic diocese and associated with the independent American National Catholic Church, in which parishioners say they have more of a voice and espouse progressive positions that provide a home for divorced Catholics, married priests, female priests and a place for gay couples to marry.

“In many ways, we are more Catholic than the Roman Catholic Church,” said the Most Rev. George R. Lucey, presiding bishop of the American National Catholic Church. “We accept everyone.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Hepworth rejects rebuff from US clergy

AUSTRALIA/UNITED STATES
The Australian

Rebecca Puddy
From:The Australian
September 26, 2011

A CHURCH leader who says three Catholic priests raped him as a young man has rebuffed calls for his resignation by his clergy in the United States.

A resolution was unanimously passed in a meeting of the Anglican Church in America calling for the Adelaide-based primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, Archbishop John Hepworth, to resign on the grounds he was not representing the desires of his global flock.

As the head of the Traditional Anglican Communion, he has pushed forward with reunification of the breakaway Christian religion with the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Opinion: Pope fails to provide new direction to the faithful

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

During his four day trip to Germany, Pope Benedict XVI chose symbolic gestures as opposed to concrete efforts to answer controversial questions facing the Catholic Church, according to Deutsche Welle's Klaus Krämer.

He stands there in radiant white with a friendly smile, waving, preaching and giving blessings from the command bridge of his cruise ship called the "Catholic Church." There's no question that Pope Benedict XVI keeps a tight control over the helm. He sets the course of this ship across the seas of belief, religion, ethics and politics. And he has accomplished quite a bit on this particular trip to his native Germany.

For years, many people here have not discussed questions of belief and faith very much. The 84-year-old pope has undoubtedly also brought people outside of the Catholic Church to reflect, whether they belong to those who are cheering or protesting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Church denies disabled kids' sex abuse cover-up

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

New evidence has emerged indicating that the Catholic Church in Adelaide sought to cover up a police investigation into abuse of intellectually disabled children at one of its schools.

Twenty-year-old documents have revealed the church received legal advice telling it to avoid mentioning in writing charges of sexual abuse against a volunteer bus driver at St Ann's Special School in Adelaide.

The documents show that the church was advised by lawyers to quarantine the then-archbishop - Dr Leonard Faulkner, who was also chairman of the school’s board of governors - from knowledge of the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Amnesty to report on clerical abuse

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

[In Plain Sight]

By Juno McEnroe, Political Reporter

Monday, September 26, 2011

ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin will face tough questions today on clerical child sex abuse scandals, with a major human rights report which compares some of the acts perpetrated to torture.

The Amnesty International Ireland report also includes Red C surveys of the public and their reactions to revelations contained in previous investigations into clerical abuse reports.

Dr Martin will attend the launch of the 400-page dossier on clerical abuse, as will Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

A key part of the report asks where the responsibility of both Church and state failed, resulting in the neglect and physical and sexual abuse of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Pope Benedict XVI fails to satisfy critics in homeland

GERMANY
Herald Sun (Australia)

POPE Benedict XVI's first state visit to his native Germany has fallen far short of the expectations of sex abuse victims and those clamouring for a more open and tolerant church.

Benedict's four-day trip taking in Berlin, the former communist East German city of Erfurt and staunchly Catholic Freiburg, aimed to reinvigorate a Church in crisis in the face of the abuse scandals and growing secularisation.

The leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics addressed cheering masses and held talks with the political class as well as Muslim, Jewish, Protestant and Orthodox leaders in a conciliatory gesture among the faiths.

However, those expecting the Pope to take concrete steps toward healing religious rifts or modernising the church in the interest of winning back alienated Catholics were sorely disappointed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Church claims on sex case undermined

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

AAP

The Catholic Church has again denied a cover-up of sex abuse at a school for disabled children in Adelaide, despite new material uncovered by an ABC investigation.

The Four Corners program to air tonight said the church was given legal advice not to mention sex abuse charges when it sacked a bus driver at the St Ann's Special School in 1991.

The former principal of St Ann's has also told the program that he received instructions to maintain confidentiality on the issue when Brian Perkins was dismissed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Bondi' ends his advisory role with abuse victims, disagrees with recent statement

MALTA
Times of Malta

Broadscaster Lou Bondi has stepped down from his role as adviser to the victims of clerical abuse.

He had been helping the victims of sexual abuse at St Joseph Home for eight years.

Mr Bondi announced the decision in his blog, adding that he has sent an email to their lawyer Dr Patrick Valentino and two of the victims, Lawrence Grech and Joseph Magro.

In his email, Mr Bondi said he had reflected on whether he should continue to be involved, now that the case had been decided in court. He decided to step down because his purpose of seeing justice be done had been achieved.

He said the legal efforts for the victims to be given financial compensation were worthy and he hoped that they would succeed. However, this was not part of what he had worked for with the victims and therefore, he did not see himself as having a role in it.

In Plain Sight

IRELAND
Amnesty International

There is an obvious, clear and compelling reason why Amnesty International Ireland might commission research such as In Plain Sight. The issue central to this research, the abuse and exploitation of tens of thousands of Irish children in State funded institutions as detailed in the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (the Ryan Report) and the abuse detailed in the Ferns, Murphy (Dublin) and Cloyne Reports, constitute arguably the gravest and most systemic human rights violations in the history of this State. Therefore, it is vital that these violations, and the State’s responses to them, be assessed against the standards dictated by international human rights law. For those children who experienced rape and sexual abuse, physical abuse and economic exploitation it is vital that their experiences be recognised as grave human rights violations and breaches of law. Even post the publication of the Ryan Report there were those who sought to minimise the horrific reality of the abuse inflicted upon so many of our most marginalised and vulnerable children. There have been voices that have sought to dismiss systemic and barbaric cruelty as the norm in the Ireland of the time. Such voices must not be permitted to rewrite or diminish this history, neither now nor in the future, and for that reason it is vital that Amnesty International use the language of international law to clearly name the violations inflicted upon children for what they were. Systemic and repeated rape isn’t just child sexual abuse and systemic and ritualised beatings are not merely corporal punishment; they amount to torture in certain circumstances and the degree to which that applies in the context of the Ryan Report particularly must be properly named.

But the focus cannot be purely on the past, as if this history has no relevance for our society now. We must consider the degree to which this history reveals vital truths about the nature of our society today. The past only becomes history once we have addressed it, learnt from it and made the changes necessary to ensure that we do not repeat mistakes and wrongdoing.

It is widely accepted that the widespread abuse of children documented in the various reports considered by this research was made possible because the State adopted a deferential attitude to the Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. The State failed to honour its obligations to children and vulnerable adults it placed in the ‘care’ of church run, State funded institutions. It failed to investigate and prosecute allegations of child sexual abuse made against priests and religious with the same rigour that it investigated and prosecuted others accused of the same crimes. It failed to protect and support the most vulnerable children in our society, those living on the margins in some way due to poverty, family status, ethnicity of because pf some arbitrary judgement that they were morally suspect. Instead it pushed them further to the edge of the margins, effectively ‘othering’ them, deeming them unworthy of social inclusion and rightful legal protection. They were made invisible, turned into outsiders by their own society, and abandoned to multiple abuses and experiences of exploitation.

As such the State deferred to unaccountable and powerful interests and failed to protect the rights and needs of its people. It often responded to allegations and concerns of criminal activity not by investigating the wrongdoer but by diminishing and dismissing the victim. The law was applied, or indeed ignored, to protect the powerful not the powerless.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Abuse of children in Irish institutions amounted to torture

IRELAND
Amnesty International

26 September 2011

Amnesty International Ireland said today that the abuse of children revealed in the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne reports included acts that amounted to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald TD launched In Plain Sight at 10am this morning (26/09/2011) in the Royal Hibernian Academy, 15 Ely Place, Dublin. The research was undertaken by Dr Carole Holohan and commissioned by Amnesty International Ireland.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “The abuse of tens of thousands of Irish children is perhaps the greatest human rights failure in the history of the state. Much of the abuse described in the Ryan Report meets the legal definition of torture under international human rights law.

“Children were tortured. They were brutalised; beaten, starved and abused. There has been little justice for these victims. Those who failed as guardians, civil servants, clergy, gardaí and members of religious orders have avoided accountability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Irish children ‘tortured’ in state and church institutions – scathing report

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Sarah Stack

Monday September 26 2011

THE ABUSE of thousands of innocent children in State and church run institutions in Ireland amounted to torture, a scathing report from Amnesty has found.

Youngsters suffered decades of inhuman and degrading treatment by being brutalised, beaten and starved, the human rights watchdog said.

The horrific details of neglect, physical abuse and rape were revealed in recent years in four sickening State ordered reports - Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne.

Colm O'Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: "The abuse of tens of thousands of Irish children is perhaps the greatest human rights failure in the history of the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Key findings of Amnesty report into child abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Sarah Stack

Monday September 26 2011

In Plain Sight was commissioned by Amnesty International Ireland to uncover why thousands of children suffered decades of horrific sexual and physical clerical abuse.

Its five key findings were:

- No clear lines of responsibility make true accountability impossible. The abuse of children continued unchecked, with no system in residential institutions. State authorities also failed in their duty to monitor residential institutions, or to act when abuses by agents of the Catholic Church in communities came to light.

- The law must protect and apply to all members of society equally. Children who were placed in residential institutions were branded as criminals as a result of the court committal process, while the majority of perpetrators of abuse have not been held to account by that same criminal justice system.

Very few perpetrators were convicted and no charges have been laid against those in positions of authority in the Catholic Church who concealed crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Four Corners reveals story of abuse at St Ann's Special School

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

Bronwyn Herbert reported this story on Monday, September 26, 2011

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Around the courts people with intellectual disabilities are often seen as unreliable witnesses because they can be difficult to cross examine.

A sex abuse case in South Australia was dropped in July and that highlighted the dilemma.

Now there's another reason to think about people with intellectual disabilities and the law.

Four Corners reveals the full story of a group of children from St Ann's Special School in Adelaide who were abused by their bus driver more than 20 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Tell public where the pervs are: Advocate

CANADA
Toronto Sun

By Katie Schneider,Calgary Sun

First posted: Sunday, September 25, 2011

CALGARY - The public needs to know when sexual predators are living in their midst, says an advocate for child abuse victims in the wake of a convicted pedophile relocating to Airdrie, Alta.

Former pastor Kenneth Richard Cooke, 77, is now living in Airdrie after serving time in the U.S. for aggravated sex abuse charge stemming from allegations he fondled a four-year-old girl he claimed pursued him.

Cooke is on the publicly listed Illinois sex offender registry, but it's not known if he was placed on Canada's national sex offender registry -- which is not public -- once he returned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Nun talks about sexual abuse by priests

CANADA
Cape Breton Post

MABOU — A Roman Catholic nun told a crowd of more than 200 people Sunday the church hasn’t properly addressed the issue of sexual abuse at the hands of priests since the Mount Cashel orphanage scandal of the 1980s.

Sr. Nuala Kenny, a pediatrician, was a member of the commission looking into child sexual abuse by priests in St. John’s, N.L., from 1989-1991. The commission recommended the creation of the Canadian Conference on Catholic Bishops ad hoc committee on child sexual abuse.

A large crowd came to listen to what Kenny had to say at Dalbrae Academy in Mabou.

“It nearly killed me to be a nun, a baby doctor, sitting there listening to people describe what had happened when men of God, priests of my church, had offended against their children and teenagers,” Kenny said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Hepworth case casts cloud over Adelaide process

AUSTRALIA
The Record

Written by Tim Wallace
Monday, 26 September 2011

It began as one man’s mission to make peace with his past and reconcile with the bride he deserted but still loved.

Now the personal story of John Hepworth, the global primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion who says he abandoned the Catholic Church in the 1970s due to a decade of systemic sexual, psychological and spiritual abuse as a seminarian and priest in the archdiocese of Adelaide, has become a crucible for wider issues.

Archbishop Hepworth’s allegations of byzantine delays by the Archdiocese of Adelaide in acting on his complaints of sexual abuse, first raised in 2007, against two priests now dead and one still alive and running an Adelaide parish, have ignited a media firestorm.

Contradictory versions of events proffered by Archbishop Hepworth and the Archdiocese of Adelaide have put on the line the credibility of a leading figure in the most significant rapprochement of Protestants with the Catholic Church since the Reformation and the presiding head of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Nun scolds Catholic Church about sex abuse

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

MABOU (CP) — A Roman Catholic nun says the church hasn’t properly addressed the issue of sexual abuse at the hands of priests since the Mount Cashel orphanage scandal of the 1980s.

Sister Nuala Kenny, a pediatrician who was a member of a commission that looked into child sexual abuse by priests in St. John’s, N.L., from 1989-91, said the reaction from clergy was to turn a blind eye to the abuse and to move the offending priest to a new parish.

"It nearly killed me to be a nun, a baby doctor, sitting there listening to people describe what had happened when men of God, priests of my church, had offended against their children and teenagers," Kenny told about 200 people at the Dalbrae Academy in Mabou.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

September 25, 2011

Media say Pope may resign in April

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

There is one front page news story that will certainly not go unnoticed: that is, that the Pope is thinking about resigning during the Spring of 2012. Journalist Antonio Socci has confirmed the same in the Italian daily, Libero.

"For now,” Socci writes, “he is saying that this may be true (Joseph Ratzinger’s personal assumption), but I hope the story does not reach the news. But this rumor is circulating high up in the Vatican and therefore deserves close attention. The Pope has not rejected the possibility of his resignation when he turns 85 in April next year.”

Socci recalls that the assumption he will resign, without any hitches, was the same thing Ratzinger talked about in an interview in the book “Luce del mondo” (Light of the World), when, in response to a question by interviewer Peter Seewald, he said: “When a Pope arrives at a clear awareness that he no longer has the physical, mental, or psychological capacity to carry out the task that has been entrusted to him, then he has the right, and in some cases, even the duty to resign.” Furthermore, in another passage, Benedict XVI wondered if he would be able to “withstand it all, just from the physical point of view.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Vatican dismisses talk of Pope resignation

VATICAN CITY
CathNews

Italian newspaper Libero reports that Pope Benedict is thinking about resigning in April next year when he turns 85, according to the Vatican Insider. But the Vatican has dismissed the Libero report, Reuters says.

"The Pope's health is excellent," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. "We don't know anything about it. Ask the person who wrote it."

The Vatican Insider adds that the pontiff shows no sign at the moment of being physically, mentally, or psychologically incapacitated - conditions under which the Pope previously told interviewer Peter Seewald, for the book Light of the World, he would consider stepping down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

The High Holidays and survivors of child abuse

UNITED STATES
Examiner

Vicki Polin

For many the high holidays are a time of year filled with wonderful memories of families getting together. Unfortunately, for survivors of childhood abuse (emotional, physical and sexual abuse), this can be a time for painful memories to reemerge. When this happens a survivor may find it safer to retreat, then to participate in holiday functions. It is important for each individual survivors to find what works best for them to stay emotionally healthy. It is vitally important each person to be kind to themselves with what ever decisions you make regarding holiday services. We all need to respect their decisions, especially if they decide not to participate.

If you know someone who is a survivor of childhood abuse, it might be a good idea to check up on them a few times over the holidays. Make sure survivors have invitations to meals. If they say no, it is important to let them know they can always change their mind and come at the last minute.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Where Does William Donohue Get His “Facts”?

UNITED STATES
Catholics4Change

Susan Matthews

Several people sent me a press release issued by William Donohue of The Catholic League because it mentioned Catholics4Change in regard to Archbishop Chaput. The press release probably won’t get picked up but I’ll address some points.

I’m confused by why a Catholic civil rights group would find fault with a Catholic creating a blog where Catholics can freely speak. Here is a portion of his press release…

Still another group of malcontents, Catholics4Change, demanded that they “become part of Church leadership.” But wouldn’t that make them part of the dreaded “institutional Church” they so deplore?

Where did Mr. Donohue get the statement “become part of Church leadership?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Catholic church pays bills for suspended priest

NEW ZEALAND
The Press

The Catholic Church is paying the legal bills for a Christchurch parish priest despite laying the complaint that started a police inquiry into financial irregularities.

Father John Fitzmaurice was stood down from his duties as parish priest at the Sacred Heart Church, in Addington, last month after Bishop of Christchurch Barry Jones became concerned about his handling of some of the church's financial affairs.

Since then the bishop has laid a formal complaint with police and a fraud inquiry is under way.

Fitzmaurice has been chairman of the diocese council of priests and administrator of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Breakaway archbishop urged to quit

AUSTRALIA
ABC Melbourne

Alan Atkinson

Updated September 26, 2011

The head of the traditional Anglican communion, John Hepworth, has been asked to resign by colleagues in the United States.

It follows controversy over the archbishop's claim he was sexually abused by Catholic priests in his youth, decades ago.

Archbishop Hepworth is world primate of a breakaway group from the Anglican church which has members in several countries including the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Catholic League Mouthpiece Maligns Journalists

UNITED STATES
Catholics4Change

Susan Matthews

Editors note:

My Uncle Chris is a practicing and dedicated Catholic. He has vigorously supported Catholic Charities and education. While we don’t always see eye-to-eye on politics, I’ve always admired his commitment to his faith. To suggest that he is trying to smear the Church is absurd.

Not one aspect of Sabrina Erdely’s article in Rolling Stone is untrue. Donohue can call it inflammatory all he wants, but that doesn’t change the facts. Church leadership covered up alleged abuse and put our children at risk. Bottom line. Without legal and media ramifications, the Church would not be making any moves to address this problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Dimissioni del Papa… Preghiamo che Dio ce lo conservi a lungo

ITALIA
lo Straniero - Il blog di Antonio

25 settembre 2011

Per ora è una voce (un’ipotesi personale di Joseph Ratzinger) e spero che non diventi mai una notizia. Ma poiché circola nelle più importanti stanze del Vaticano merita molta attenzione.

In breve: il Papa non scarta la possibilità di dimettersi allo scoccare dei suoi 85 anni, ovvero nell’aprile del prossimo anno.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Il Papa pensa alle dimissioni?

ITALIA
Sky

Una bufala o un’ipotesi davvero in ballo? È giallo dopo la notizia diffusa dal quotidiano Libero sulle possibili dimissioni del Papa. In un articolo firmato da Antonio Socci il dietrofront di Benedetto XVI viene ipotizzato nella prossima primavera, “allo scoccare dei suoi 85 anni”. Il Vaticano ha immediatamente smentito. “Una voce infondata”, l’ha definita padre Federico Lombardi, portavoce della Santa Sede.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Pope wraps up visit as quit report denied

GERMANY
Daily Nation (Kenya)

FREIBURG, Germany, Sunday

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated mass before 100,000 of the faithful in Germany’s Catholic heartland on Sunday at the end of a visit that has disappointed many inside and outside the Church.

Mothers held up babies and toddlers for the pontiff to bless and kiss as he arrived in brilliant sunshine at an airfield in Freiburg in the specially-built “popemobile”. ...

Meanwhile, the Vatican said Sunday it had no knowledge of a report in an Italian newspaper which said that Pope Benedict could retire after his 85th birthday next year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Vatican dismisses talk of pope resigning in 2012

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

(Reuters) - The Vatican dismissed an Italian newspaper report on Sunday that Pope Benedict was considering resigning next year when he turns 85.

"The pope's health is excellent," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. "We don't know anything about it. Ask the person who wrote it."

Catholic writer Antonio Socci, writing in the Italian newspaper Libero on Sunday, said the pope was considering resigning when he turns 85 next April. He did not cite any sources or reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

At last: Pope admits to 'questionable' reputation of the Catholic church during final day in Germany

GERMANY
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

By Daily Mail Reporter

Pope Benedict XVI admitted to the troubled reputation of the Catholic church as he led the the third and final Mass of his visit to his native Germany on Sunday.

He made a strong appeal for unity among Catholics with 100,000 faithful filling an airfield beside Freiburg's airport - the largest turnout of the pontiff's four-day trip.

Benedict alluded to the dissent in Catholic ranks on Saturday night, when he said that through the years 'damage to the church comes not from opponents, but from uncommitted Christians.'

He then urged the pilgrims to let their lives be guided by their faith, saying even those who doubt God's existence 'are closer to the kingdom of God than believers whose faith is routine and who regard the church merely as an institution, without letting their hearts be touched by faith.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Pension Rights Center ...

UNITED STATES
Pension Rights Center

Pension Rights Center Applauds IRS for Opening “Church Plan” Rulings Process to Comments by Employees and Retirees

For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Hwa, 202-296-3776

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a long-awaited revenue procedure clarifying the process for retirement plans to apply for “church plan” status. Rev. Proc. 2011-44 requires employers that seek an IRS ruling that their retirement plans are so-called “church plans” to notify participants in those plans that, as a church plan, their plan would not be protected by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the nation’s landmark private pension law. The procedure also gives plan participants an opportunity to contest their plan’s claims that the plans are legally entitled to church plan status.

The ruling states that, under IRS regulations, church plans are defined as plans that are “established and at all times maintained for its employees by a church.” Thousands of participants in plans set up by church-affiliated hospitals and other nonprofits that were initially covered the federal pension law and continue to operate as ERISA plans will now have an opportunity challenge their plans’ requests for rulings.

“Because church pension plans are exempt from ERISA, participants in those plans lack critical protections, such as insurance of their benefits, adequate funding, and access to information about their plan,” said Karen Ferguson, director of the Pension Rights Center. “Finally, thousands of nurses, lab technicians, secretaries, and others who worked their entire lives with the understanding that their plans were fully protected by the pension law will now have a way of telling the government why it would be unlawful for their employers to cut costs at the expense of their retirement security.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

They’re saving their pennies for the next referendum

MALTA
The Malta Independent

by Daphne Caruana Galizia

Article published on 25 September 2011

The Archbishop’s Curia has announced that it bears no legal responsibility for what happened to the boys placed in the care of a religious order, and therefore it will not be giving them financial compensation.

Instead, it has offered to pay for the services of a psychiatrist, should they feel they need one.

It is interesting that the statement left out the standard words “or moral” after “legal”. Take note of this, because it gives away the rationale behind the decision. Moral responsibility be damned, it is only legal responsibility that counts in the courts of law when suing for financial compensation. Unlike British, United States, Canadian, Australian and Irish law, Maltese law does not make allowance for financial compensation for damages in this manner. Elsewhere, the Catholic Church paid compensation to those who had been abused as children, in negotiated out-of-court settlements precisely to avoid the awkwardness of being sued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Protect Children from Sex Abuse: Free Seminar for Parents

PENNSYLVANIA
Justice4PAKids

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA – Justice4PAkids will hold a free seminar for parents that will share the facts on child sex abuse on October 6, 2011 at UFCW Local 1776, 3031 Walton Road in Plymouth Meeting from 7 pm to 9 pm. Statistics show child sex abuse isn’t rare and it’s usually isn’t stranger danger.

Experts will guide parents on how to teach their children safety skills without scaring them. They will share the warning signs of sex abuse and offer advice on screening child care. Speakers include a pediatrician, adult child sex abuse survivor and legal professionals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Nuovo parroco dopo lo scandalo don Seppia I fedeli: "Speriamo sia un prete buono"

ITALIA
La Repubblica

Don Giovanni Benvenuto, 40 anni, è il nuovo reggente della chiesa del Santo Spirito a Sestri travolta dai casi di pedofilia. L'annuncio dal cardinale Bagnasco, in visita nella parrocchia: "Quella storia ha provocato nella chiesa di Genova sconcerto e dolore che non è certo attenuato". Presente anche un attivista gay

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Sestri Ponente, la parrocchia di Don Seppia ha un nuovo parroco

ITALIA
Genova 24

Genova. E’ stata ufficializzata dal cardinale Angelo Bagnasco la nomina del nuovo parroco di Santo Spirito, la parrocchia guidata per qualche tempo da Riccardo Seppia, il prete arrestato per pedofilia e cessione di stupefacenti.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Paus praat in Duitsland met slachtoffers seksueel misbruik

DUITSLAND
Het Nieuwsblad (Belgie)

Paus Benedictus XVI heeft vrijdagavond, op de tweede dag van zijn vierdaags bezoek aan Duitsland, in de Oost-Duitse stad Erfurt gesproken met slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik door rooms-katholieke geestelijken. Dat heeft de Duitse bisschoppenconferentie meegedeeld.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Papst-Vesper auf der Kuhwiese

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

90.000 Pilger feiern im Eichsfeld Benedikt XVI. Der lobt die treuen ostdeutschen Katholiken und warnt vor dem profanen Leben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Paus spreekt met slachtoffers seksueel misbruik

DUITSLAND
Nieuws (Nederland)

(Novum/AP) - ERFURT - Paus Benedictus XVI heeft tijdens zijn bezoek aan Duitsland gesproken met slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik door geestelijken. De kerkvorst uitte zijn 'diepe medelijden en spijt'. Dat heeft het Vaticaan vrijdag bekendgemaakt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Sinead O’Connor wants to shoot Pope Benedict if he comes to Ireland

IRELAND
Irish Central

By
James O'Shea, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Sunday, September 25, 2011, 7:26 AM

Sinead O’Connor has threatened to shoot the pope if he visits Ireland in an expletive loaded assault on Pope Benedict.

Friends now fear for her mental state after her outburst, which has shocked those closest to her.

She warned of a "f ***in bloodbath" if Pope Benedict was to visit Ireland as has been mooted.

Her latest ouburst came on Twitter after a poll was carried out on whether Pope Benedict should visit Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Pavone's group 'unclear' on revocation

AMARILLO (TX)
Amarillo Globe-News

By KAREN SMITH WELCH
karen.welch@amarillo.com

A nonprofit led by embattled Roman Catholic priest the Rev. Frank Pavone solicits tax-deductible contributions but hasn’t had authority from the IRS to do so for 16 months.

Gospel of Life Ministries — one of three nonprofits at the heart of a dispute between Pavone, the charities’ self-described frontman, and Amarillo Bishop Patrick J. Zurek — continued to feature on its website an online donation form that refers to contributions as tax-deductible. The IRS revoked the group’s tax-exempt status in May 2010.

“If it still is collecting tax-deductible donations, it’s collecting under false pretenses,” said Vaughn James, a Texas Tech University Law School tax law expert. “I know the IRS won’t take it lying down.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Disgusted’ clerical abuse victims demand compensation

MALTA
Times of Malta

A group of clerical child abuse victims could only get a fair shot at life and start afresh if they received financial compensation, their lawyer Patrick Valentino insisted yesterday.

“I know it may look bad, but only a financial sum can really change their lives and start to balance things out after all the suffering they have endured,” he said.

However, he would not state what sum the victims are seeking, saying only that figures were never discussed and the men had agreed to build on any offer made by the Church.

He said the victims were expecting compensation in light of several meetings between the Curia and the men’s lawyer, where “nothing was ruled out”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Tweede pedofiele broeder naar rechtbank

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

TORHOUT - Luc Debruyne, voormalig broeder-orthopedagoog en afdelingshoofd in het MPI Tordale, is gisteren door de Brugse raadkamer verwezen naar de correctionele rechtbank wegens pedofilie. Debruyne misbruikte jarenlang minderjarige, licht mentaal gehandicapte jongens die in de instelling verbleven.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Xenophon defends naming SA priest

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

AAP

Senator Nick Xenophon has indicated he might not have used parliamentary privilege to accuse a Catholic priest of rape earlier this month had he known the man was about to take a period of leave.

Adelaide Catholic priest Ian Dempsey said it was "totally unfair and unjust" of the independent South Australian senator to use parliamentary privilege to accuse him of raping John Hepworth, now a leading Anglican churchman, more than 40 years ago.

Senator Xenophon on Sunday said he had acted in good faith and without malice in naming Monsignor Dempsey under parliamentary privilege, but said: "I regret the course of events went down this path".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Compensation for clerical sexual abuse victims - Victims to initiate civil proceedings

MALTA
The Malta Independent

by Francesca Vella

Article published on 25 September 2011

‘I am disappointed, surprised and disgusted’ - Lawyer

The lawyer representing the group of victims of sexual abuse by priests has reacted to the Archbishop’s Curia’s decision to refuse the possibility of financial compensation for the victims, saying he is “disappointed, surprised and disgusted”.

He said the victims would wait for the decision with respect to the appeal filed by the two priests who were convicted last month before initiating civil proceedings against the Curia, the Missionary Society of St Paul and the two priests, one of whom has been defrocked.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Curia said: “…the Church, as an institution, does not have any legal responsibility for what was perpetrated by some individuals and that she cannot take upon herself such responsibility”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Time for Bill Donohue and Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Irish Central

Time for Bill Donohue and Catholic Church to stop smearing victims --Also attacking journalists Maureen Dowd and Chris Matthews

Patrick Roberts

In the course of a long diatribe against Rolling Stone for publishing an article on the seamy sex scandal currently unfolding in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia the Catholic League's Bill Donohue takes time to side swipe Maureen Dowd of The New York Times and Chris Matthews of MSNBC for their previous coverage of church scandals.

He also crosses the line attacking one of the victims of the child sexual abuse.

The Rolling Stone article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely is a well researched honest assessment of one of the most damaging scandals to hit the Catholic Church in the US. ...

It is time for the church, who are clearly approving of Donohue's attacks to rein him in.

Ex-pastor pedophile a volunteer at Airdrie church

CANADA
Calgary Sun

By Nadia Moharib,Calgary Sun

AIRDRIE - The convicted pedophile who blamed his four-year-old victim for sexually pursuing him has quietly relocated to Airdrie.

Convicted in the U.S., Kenneth Richard Cooke is on the Illinois Sex Offender registry — but the 77-year-old seems to be flying under the radar in the city north of Calgary where he lives with his wife.

His niece, Brenda Van Dusen, said the public has a right to know about the past of a man listed as ‘a sexual predator’ on the U.S. registry.

“He’s basically free to do what he wants here. It’s sickening,” she said Saturday.

“He gets to live happily ever after … what about the little girl who wishes she wasn’t born?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Archdiocese moved money from parishes to pay abuse victims

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

By Michael Kelly, Catholic News Service

DUBLIN -- The Dublin Archdiocese has admitted that money from parishes has been transferred into a special fund used to compensate victims of clerical sex abuse.

However, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin insisted that "none of the funds that have come from parishes have been used for that (compensation) as yet."

Information about the transfer became public after minutes of a May meeting of the Council of Priests were leaked and published in The Irish Catholic newspaper Sept. 22. The minutes revealed that the fund used to cover the cost of abuse claims is running a deficit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Open-air mass wraps up Pope's first state 'home' visit

GERMANY
France 24

AFP - Pope Benedict XVI was to hold a mass for around 80,000 faithful in Germany's Catholic heartland amid widespread disappointment over his first state visit to his native country.

Protestants, Jews and groups representing people who suffered abuse at the hands of Catholic priests all expected more from the trip which has taken the 84-year-old pontiff from Berlin to Erfurt in eastern Germany and finally Freiburg in the southwest in a gruelling four days.

For Protestants, Benedict has failed to come up with concrete action to heal the 500-year-old rift between the Catholic and Lutheran Churches, which each have about 24 million members in Germany.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Report highlights fury at society's silence over clerical child-abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sunday September 25 2011

AN ambitious study of the clerical child-abuse scandals in Ireland by Amnesty International suggests that people are as angry with society as they are the State over the institutional abuse of children.

The study, commissioned by Amnesty International Ireland, finds that while 83 per cent of those polled are angry with the State, marginally more, at 84 per cent, are "angry that wider society didn't do more". More than half found the subject of the Ryan Report on institutional child abuse too overwhelming to know what to think, while one-third said they didn't know what the report said.

The national poll is part of an extensive research study commissioned by Amnesty to establish the reasons why clerical child abuse was allowed to continue unchecked for so long in Ireland.

The silence of so many Irish people emerges as a key factor, according to Amnesty's executive director Colm O'Gorman, and the poll findings suggest the public acknowledges this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

SNAP gives abuse victims a voice, but its tactics are questioned

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By RICK MONTGOMERY
The Kansas City Star

At local news conferences and vigils, they hold to their chests photos of youngsters, usually themselves.

Kids — in Kodachrome color or black and white — smiling in their Sunday best.

In most cases, the pictures were snapped decades ago, when the fresh-faced subjects were being molested, they’d later allege, by Kansas City’s Catholic clergy.

Today they are citizen soldiers in a group called SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. In recent months they’ve been converging on public places across the metro almost on a weekly basis.

Media-savvy and quick to mobilize, they showed up outside the Jackson County Courthouse in April to demand that authorities launch a grand jury investigation into what SNAP called cleric sex crimes and cover-ups in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. ...

“The church has gotten better because of the various lawsuits that SNAP’s been involved in,” said Terry McKiernan, an independent Catholic watchdog whose website, BishopAccountability.org, tracks complaints against priests.

“To create,” he continued, “this nationwide, now worldwide, family that gets people to talk about what they would never think of talking about before? That’s incredible.”

Jim Caccamo is chairman of the Kansas City diocese’s independent review board, which the church instituted after scandal exploded in Boston in 2002. He said:

“I wish there was no SNAP. …

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

September 24, 2011

Paus spreekt slachtoffers misbruik

DUITSLAND
De Pers (Nederland)

Paus Benedictus XVI heeft vrijdagavond in de Oost-Duitse stad Erfurt gesproken met slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik door rooms-katholieke geestelijken. De bijeenkomst had plaats in het gebouw van de priesteropleiding van het bisdom Erfurt. Dat heeft de Duitse bisschoppenconferentie laten weten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Pausbezoek met een wrang randje

DUITSLAND
De Pers (Nederland)

Door: Anne-Martijn van der Kaaden

Het bezoek van paus Benedictus XVI aan Duitsland kost de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk in dat land 25 tot 30 miljoen euro. Voor de slachtoffers van misbruik is 2 miljoen beschikbaar gesteld.

De Duitse regering durfde geen schatting te maken van de kosten die het bezoek van paus Benedictus XVI met zich mee zou brengen. De Rooms-Katholieke Kerk in Duitsland durfde dat wel. Het zesdaagse bezoekje van de paus kost de kerk naar verwachting zo’n 25 tot 30 miljoen euro.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Sex abuse review board members a mystery

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent
Published in the Gallup Independent June 23, 2011

[note: This is the complete article]

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent

GALLUP — The Diocese of Gallup’s Review Board for Juvenile Sexual Abuse is once again making news.

The diocese issued a news release Wednesday that announced Bishop James S. Wall had appointed six members to the local sex abuse review board but did not include the names of the six individuals.

When contacted, diocesan spokesman Lee Lamb declined to provide the board members’ names, declined to explain why the names were not being released, declined to confirm if any previous members would continue to serve on the board, declined to say when the new board would meet with the bishop, and declined to provide contact information for the board.

Why diocesan officials issued the news release without including the most salient information is just the most recent question concerning the sex abuse review board.

How well the Diocese of Gallup was following the provisions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and its Essential Norms has been in the news recently. The Charter was adopted in 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in response to the national clergy sex abuse scandal. As outlined in the Charter, every Roman Catholic diocese is required to have a sex abuse review board act as a consultative body to the local bishop. The U.S. bishops have also since published a resource booklet to serve as a guide for local diocesan review boards.

Contrary to the Charter’s requirements, the Diocese of Gallup’s Review Board for Juvenile Sexual Abuse has apparently been non-functioning for quite sometime: it hasn’t met for months and it has never met with Wall during his two years in Gallup.

Wall’s failure to meet with the review board became the subject of numerous discussions on Catholic blogs.

According to the diocesan news release, Wall’s appointment of the six board members completes “an extensive months-long process — which included a background check of each member — to replace outgoing members with terms that have been completed.”
The only known new member of the sex abuse review board is the Rev. Frank Chacon of Winslow, Ariz. Lamb provided Chacon’s name several weeks ago.

The Rev. Jerry Herff, Gallup resident Floyd Kezele, and Farmington therapist Margie Trujillo were original board members and are believed to have continued serving through to the most recent board. Herff moved to California months ago, and the current status of Kezele and Trujillo is unknown. Under Trujillo, the first board chairperson, the board used to issue informative news releases and responded to media questions.

During that time, however, the board did suffer a serious public embarrassment when one of the Gallup board members — whom Trujillo declined to identify — failed to check the board’s post office box for a number of weeks. The box had been set up to receive abuse allegations from the public. Postal officials shut down the box after the board member failed to pay the box’s rental fee, and letters to the board were returned to the senders. Trujillo offered a public apology and the post office box was reopened.

— Reporter Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola can be contacted at (505) 863-6811 ext. 218 orehardinburrola@yahoo.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Bishop James Wall Appoints Six Members to Diocesan Review Board for Juvenile Sexual Abuse

GALLUP (NM)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup

Gallup, NM (June 22, 2011) - Bishop James S. Wall announced today the appointment of six members to the Diocese of Gallup Review Board for Juvenile Sexual Abuse, completing an extensive months'-long process—which included a background check of each member—to replace outgoing members with terms that have been completed.

 The members were selected under criteria promulgated in the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons, which states that the board be at least  ve members and those members are: outstanding in integrity and good judgment and are in full communion with the Church; the majority of the members are lay members who are not in the employ of the diocese; at least one priest who is an experienced and respected pastor; and at least one member who has particular expertise in the treatment of the sexual abuse of minors.  e six members of the review board will each serve a  ve-year term that may be renewed.

 In addition to their quali cations meeting the criteria listed above, the members appointed by Bishop Wall have experience in the teaching professions and youth ministry, and have medical, counseling, and social work backgrounds.  " ank you for your positive response to participate in this critical body that helps us to protect our children," said Bishop Wall to each of the six members. "I look forward to meeting with you." The initial meeting of this newly appointed board will occur in the near future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

NEW: Mergers, links between Catholic parishes could come soon

MICHIGAN
The Morning Sun

By MARK RANZENBERGER
TheMorningSun.com

Roman Catholics in central and eastern Michigan could see some major changes in the structure of their parishes, according to the Bishop of the Saginaw Diocense.

“For years the diocese has discussed the need to prepare for a time when personnel and resources would demand major changes, and that time is now,” said Bishop Joseph R. Cistone in a statement released last week. “As a diocese, we need to address the number of sustainable parishes as well as priestly vocations.”

The Diocese of Saginaw has 105 parishes, plus four additional churches, across its 11 counties. Many of the parishes were founded in the 19th century, and many more were built after World War II to serve the needs of a growing population.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

An Open Secret

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

Since the publication and release last March of “Women Rising from the Pain of Sexual Violence in the Catholic Church in the Philippines: A Journey towards Freedom and Wholeness,” the issue of sexual abuse by the clergy has been more openly discussed in various meetings and fora.

“We can say that the issue is being addressed,” notes Merian Aldea, a co-researcher of Sr. Nila and the representative of the Women and Gender Commission-AMRSP. Aldea was the main speaker during one such forum held in August 31 called, “That She May Dance Again: An Intimate Forum on Violence Against Women in the Philippine Catholic Church.”

Organized by the Forum for Family Planning and Development (FFPD), headed by population management stalwart Benjamin de Leon, the forum featured a panel of three reactors led by former senator Dr. Leticia Ramos Shahani, now adviser to the FFPD and professor at Miriam College. Shahani lauded the author as a poet and artist, who presented pre-colonial Philippines and the exulted role of the priestess (babaylan) in contrast to today’s reduced position of women in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Statement by Bishop Freeman

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Diocese of Ossory

A safeguarding matter has arisen and Father Peter Muldowney, a priest of the Diocese of Ossory, has asked me to allow him a period of leave from ministry with immediate effect so that this matter can be addressed. I have adhered to this request.

In compliance with our Diocesan Policy on Safeguarding, this matter has been referred to An Garda Siochana, the HSE and to the National Board for Safeguarding Children. The presumption of innocence must prevail.

There can be no further comment until this matter has been clarified by the Civil Authorities. I ask you for your prayers for all concerned. I have appointed Father Martin Delaney Administrator of the parish of Mooncoin and he will take up duties with immediate effect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Parish priest gets leave of absence while gardai investigate claim against him

IRELAND
Kilkenny People

Published on Saturday 24 September 2011

A senior member of the clergy serving in County Kilkenny has stood down from his parish pending an investigation into him by the Gardai and the HSE. It is understood that Fr Peter Muldowney, parish priest of Mooncoin in the south of the county asked for a period of leave from his ministry with immediate effect so that “a safeguarding matter” concerning him could be addressed. The Bishop of Ossory, Dr Seamus Freeman acceded to the request.

It is understood that a Garda investigation has begun into the matter. It does not relate to his period in the Diocese of Ossory. At Mass in Kilkenny city on Saturday evening, Fr Martin Delaney told the congregation in St Canice’s Church that he had been asked to go to Mooncoin with immediate affect so that the claim of “abuse” against Fr Muldowney could be investigated.

In a statement posted on the diocese website on Saturday evening, Bishop Freeman stated that: “In compliance with our Diocesan Policy on Safeguarding, this matter has been referred to An Garda Siochana, the HSE and to the National Board for Safeguarding Children. The presumption of innocence must prevail.” It added: “There can be no further comment until this matter has been clarified by the Civil Authorities. I ask you for your prayers for all concerned. I have appointed Father Martin Delaney Administrator of the parish of Mooncoin and he will take up duties with immediate effect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Pope's visit to Germany greeted by protest PHOTOS & VIDEO‎S. Sex abuse victims blast Pope's inertia

GERMANY
Benedict XVI Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

Our motto is "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for (enough) good men - and good women - to do (and say) nothing". So even if there were less than the 20,000 protesters that were predicted to protest the Pope in Berlin, even if there were only a hundred ministers in Parliament who walked out during the speech of Benedict XVI, and even if the official German television network did not show the protesters on national television but prefer to invite only positive Catholic commentators, the protests is done and it will wake up and stop the triumph of the evils of the Pope and the Vatican.

The hypocrisy of Benedict XVI is astounding as he acts "shaken" during his meeting with sex abuse victims of priests in Germany. If he is truly "shaken", the first thing he must do is to fire Cardinal Bernard Law as Archpriest of St. Mary Major and vanish him from the face of the earth. Hypocrisy is the synonym of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Pope reaches last stop on German tour

GERMANY
euronews

Pope Benedict XVI has reached the final destination on a four-day trip to his German homeland.

Amid protests, difficult topics like paedophile priest scandals and religious and geographical divisions in the country, it has not always been a smooth visit.

But on his last stop, in mainly Catholic Freiburg in the southwest, he was guaranteed a warm welcome.

At the pontiff’s request, a meeting was arranged with ex-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, 81, making a rare public appearance. The Pope also met representatives of the Orthodox Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Ontslag onderzoeksrechter ‘Operatie kelk’ geweigerd

BELGIE
RKnieuws

BRUSSEL (RKnieuws.net) - Justitieminister Stefaan De Clerck weigert het ontslag van de Brusselse onderzoeksrechter Wim De Troy. De onderzoeksrechter had vorige week zijn ontslag ingediend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Pope hits German heartland 'shaken' by abuse victims meeting

GERMANY
Expatica

Pope Benedict XVI received a warm welcome in Germany's Catholic heartland Saturday after a minor security scare and an emotional meeting with victims of sex abuse by priests.

Around 25,000 people lined the streets in blazing sunshine in the historic centre of this picturesque university town to welcome the pontiff on the final leg of his gruelling four-day state visit to his native country.

Benedict, addressing the crowds in front of Freiburg's 800-year-old cathedral, spoke of his "great joy" at being here following the "wonderful meetings that took place in Berlin and Erfurt."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Update 2 - Abuse victims protest outside the Curia

MALTA
Times of Malta

A small number of victims of clerical sex abuse and their friends held a silent protest outside the Curia this morning to protest over a Church statement saying it bore no legal responsibility for the actions of two priests convicted of abuse.

The men formed a line outside the Curia's main door, carrying posters and placards criticising the Church.

The protest was held before a press conference held there later by the legal adviser of the victims, Dr Patrick Valentino.

The Church said on Thursday that it had legal advice that as an institution, it bore no legal responsibility for the abuse cases. It said, however, that it is setting up a structure to provide psychiatric, psychological and social help to any individuals who proved to be victims of its pastoral functionaries, “as part of her pastoral and spiritual ministry”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Pédophilie: l'Eglise belge va passer au crible ses séminaristes

BELGIQUE
Liberation (France)

BRUXELLES (AFP) - L'Eglise catholique belge tente de tirer les leçons des multiples scandales d'abus sexuels dans ses rangs en annonçant que les séminaristes devront subir des tests psychologiques avant l'accès à la prêtrise, pour déceler ceux qui parmi eux ont des tendances pédophiles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Scandales pédophiles: Les victimes jugent l'action du pape insuffisante

ALLEMAGNE
20 Minutes (France)

Benoît XVI a parlé à des victimes de prêtres pédophiles, pour la première fois dans son pays natal, une rencontre qui l'a ému mais qui était jugée insuffisante samedi par des associations de victimes. «Pour nous, c'est une gifle, car cette rencontre n'est pas suivie par des actions», a déclaré à l'AFP Peter Bringmann-Henselder, président de l'association allemande des enfants des orphelinats. «La rencontre avec le pape ne changera rien au fait que des prêtres abusent d'enfants ou que des évêques étouffent ces scandales», a estimé, dans un communiqué, SNAP, association de victimes de prêtres pédophiles catholiques.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Pédophilie : le Pape accusé de crime contre l'humanité

LA HAYE
Le Figaro (France)

Le Vatican ne s'inquiète pas de la plainte déposée à Cour pénale internationale à propos des affaires de pédophilies

Au Vatican, la plainte déposée lundi contre Benoît XVI et trois cardinaux devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) par deux organisations américaines de défense de victimes de prêtres pédophiles (SNAP : Réseau des survivants des personnes abusées par des prêtres ; CCR Centre pour les droits constitutionnels) n'impressionne pas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Un frère condamné pour pédophilie remis en liberté conditionnelle

BELGIQUE
7 Sur &

Luc De Bruyne, un ancien frère de l'institut pour personnes handicapées mentales Tordale de Torhout, condamné à huit ans de prison en 2005 pour pédophilie, a été libéré sous conditions. Il devra en effet porter un bracelet électronique, a précisé son avocat Koenraad Strubbe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Pédophilie/église: appel à dénonciation

LA HAYE
Le Figaro (France)

Un groupe de victimes de prêtres pédophiles a demandé aujourd'hui à tous les employés de l'Eglise de dénoncer les prêtres coupables afin de renforcer le dossier qu'il a déposé la semaine dernière contre le pape pour "crimes contre l'humanité" devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

Les catholiques germanophones en désaccord avec la rigidité du Vatican

ALLEMAGNE
Tribune de Geneve

Benoît XVI voit monter avec préoccupation au sein des églises germanophones des revendications pour un aggiornamento en matière de moeurs - des droits des homosexuels à la prêtrise pour les femmes - sous l’influence du protestantisme et des théologiens contestataires.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Un sénateur australien révèle le nom d'un prêtre accusé de viol

AUSTRALIE
AFP

SYDNEY — Un parlementaire australien qui avait lancé un ultimatum à l'Eglise catholique de son pays en menaçant de révéler l'identité d'un prêtre soupçonné de viols et d'abus sexuels s'il était maintenu dans ses fonctions, a mis sa menace à exécution mardi soir devant le Sénat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Benoît XVI célèbre la messe devant 70.000 personnes

ALLEMAGNE
Conference des Evecques de France

70.000 personnes ont assisté à la messe célébrée par le pape Benoît XVI au stade olympique de Berlin (Allemagne). Il y a quinze ans, Jean-Paul II avait présidé au même endroit la béatification de Karl Leisner et Bernhard Lichtenberg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Pornichet: un prêtre "défroqué" s'insurge

FRANCE
Le Figaro

Un prêtre de Pornichet et de la Baule (Loire-Atlantique) a perdu son titre de curé parce qu’il ne respectait pas le célibat, selon la radio RTL. Il partageait depuis 11 ans sa vie avec une femme dénommée Michelle. Une lettre anonyme adressée à l’évêché l’a finalement dénoncé. Le Père Rémy dénonce une église "restée dix siècles en arrière dans cette question-là".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Snap à Varsovie pour sensibiliser aux crimes de pédophilie des prêtres

VARSOVIE
Romandie (France)

VARSOVIE - Des membres de l'Association américaine de soutien aux victimes d'abus sexuels Snap ont manifesté dimanche devant une église à Varsovie pour sensibiliser les Polonais aux crimes de pédophilie dans leur pays à majorité catholique, a rapporté une journaliste de l'AFP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

Abusi in seminario, la verità in un video

ITALIA
Il Secolo XIX

Genova - La confessione che fa tremare la Chiesa è contenuta in un video, un documento la cui esistenza finora era stata tenuta segreta. Non compare nelle carte dell’inchiesta di don Seppia, da cui sono stati “stralciati” quei passaggi, perché «non rilevanti per il processo». Affermazioni che potrebbero però prefigurare una nuova inchiesta sul seminario, e che, più di tutte le altre in questo scandalo, tengono sulle spine la Curia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Pope celebrates Mass despite shooting incident

GERMANY
Star News

By MELISSA EDDY and VICTOR L. SIMPSON
Associated Press

ERFURT, Germany - Facing discontent within his German flock, Pope Benedict XVI met with victims of clerical sex abuse as he called for Roman Catholics in the former communist East to rediscover their faith.

The pontiff celebrated Mass with some 30,000 people early Saturday, unhindered by an incident on the edge of the security zone in which a man fired an air gun at a security guard about an hour before the service, Vatican and local officials said.

Benedict's spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said there was "no worry" in the papal entourage over the incident, and the pontiff was not informed about it before the Mass. "It didn't seem particularly urgent," he told reporters on the pope's plane after the Mass. Police said the alleged shooter had been arrested and that there were no injuries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Suspended bishop is still working, SNAP responds

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Cappy Larson, SNAP Orthodox on September 23, 2011

SNAP Orthodox is appalled that suspended Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, a credibly accused child molester, is visiting a Canadian church this weekend.

Less than a year ago, the Winnipeg police issued an arrest warrant for Storheim. He turned himself into the police in Edmonton last November. Storheim was questioned by the authorities and released after posting a $500 bond and surrendering his passport. The terms of his release also forbade Storheim from having contact with minors. The case involves the abuse of two ten year old boys.

At a special meeting on November 30, 2010, the Orthodox Church in America’s synod of bishops suspended Storheim.

Yet now, he is allowed to travel across the country to visit an All Saints of Alaska Orthodox Church in Victoria BC this weekend. (http://www.allsaintsofalaska.ca/) A copy of the announcement is below.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

City priest faces sex assault charge

CANADA
Hamilton Spectator

A Hamilton Catholic priest has been charged with sexual assault.

Father Jose Silva, 34, a popular parish priest at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church on Park Street North for the past two years, was arrested by Hamilton police Thursday afternoon.

Silva, who appeared in Hamilton court for a bail hearing Friday morning, is charged with sexual assault following a complaint about an incident during a festival held in the church courtyard Sept. 18.

He was released on a surety and will return to court Oct. 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

SIDEBAR: Sexual abuse victims criticize pope's outreach

GERMANY
Monsters and Critics

Erfurt, Germany - A network of sexual abuse victims on Saturday criticized pope Benedict XVI's meeting with German victims the previous day as 'sanctimonious.'

The meeting took place late Friday in the city of Erfurt, during Benedict's four-day tour of his homeland. Afterwards, church officials said he was 'moved and shaken' by the suffering of abuse victims.

'This serves no purpose. It is a strategy to signal to society, 'we are doing something',' said Norbert Denef, the head of the Network of Victims of sexualized Abuse.

Denef, who has said he was abused by a priest starting when he was 10, said the meeting was a step backwards, serving to conceal and deny abusive practices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

The Prophet

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Inside Milwaukee

by: Marie Rohde | Monday 9/19/2011

The headline stunned Peter Isely as he walked into his neighborhood cafe to get coffee, rolls and a Sunday newspaper. Blazing across the front page of the Milwaukee Journal was an opinion column by Catholic Archbishop Rembert Weakland, responding to news stories about a priest who had sexually abused children.

This was in November 1992, long before a scandal over such abuse would erupt nationally, yet Weakland felt too much attention had been paid to the issue. He declared that sexual abuse by priests had “become almost a preoccupation in our society” and that “priests need to be reassured by the entire Catholic community that they are loved and supported.”

Only one sentence in the 800-word column acknowledged the victims: “My heart goes out to all victims and I am sincere in saying that the Catholic community wishes to do what is right in helping those so affected to regain full and productive lives.”

The column hit Isely hard.

Brought up as a devout Catholic, Isely seemed destined to join the clergy. Isely had attended St. Lawrence, a seminary prep high school where he was sexually abused. Although he ultimately abandoned his dream of the priesthood, he was still a practicing Catholic who attended Mass weekly. He had tried to put the abuse behind him and consciously avoided stories on the subject. “I turned away when something was reported on television,” Isely says. “I wanted to put it all behind me.”

But after reading Weakland’s piece, Isely went immediately to his computer and wrote a response. “In a moment, I knew what I had to do,” Isely recalls. “I hoped I could prod Weakland to take the lead in the church” and take on the clergy abuse issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Abuse victims meeting leaves Pope 'shamed'

GERMANY
The Local

Pope Benedict XVI met victims of sexual abuse by clergy on Friday, an encounter that left him "deeply shaken", Vatican officials said.

During a 30-minute meeting with five abuse victims in Erfurt, Thuringia, the pope said he was "moved and deeply shaken by the sufferings of the victims," the Vatican said.

The, “highly emotional and very personal conversation deeply impressed the pope, as I believe, also the victims. The pope expressed his shame of what had been possible in the Church and that we must do all we can to resolve these crimes,” said Matthias Kopp, spokesman for the German Bishops Conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Pope meets German victims of sexual abuse by priests

GERMANY
BBC News

Pope Benedict XVI has met German victims of sexual abuse by priests, expressing "deep compassion and regret" at their suffering.

The Pope met five victims for half an hour, on the second day of his four-day state visit to his native Germany.

A statement from the Vatican said he was "moved and deeply shaken".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Schüsse am Rand der Papstmesse in Erfurt

DEUTSCHLAND
der Standard (Osterreich)

Erfurt - Kurz vor der Messe von Papst Benedikt XVI. in Erfurt hat ein Zwischenfall mit einer Luftdruckwaffe für Aufregung gesorgt. An einer Kontrollstelle im erweiterten Sicherheitsgürtel der Innenstadt habe eine Person vier Mal auf zwei Mitarbeiter eines privaten Sicherheitsunternehmens geschossen, teilte die Polizei am Samstag mit. Die beiden Männer seien nicht verletzt worden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Papst verspricht Missbrauchs-Opfern Aufarbeitung

DEUTSCHLAND
Reuters

Erfurt (Reuters) - Papst Benedikt XVI. hat sich nach einem Treffen mit Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs in der katholischen Kirche "bewegt und erschüttert" von der Not der Betroffenen gezeigt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Shots fired before papal mass in Germany

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

A man who fired four shots from an airgun in the eastern German city of Erfurt, was arrested on Saturday. Police said the man shot at security forces through the open window of a flat about a kilometer (600 yards) from Erfurt's Cathedral Square, where 30,000 people had gathered to celebrate mass with Pope Benedict XVI.

Police say no one was injured and the pope had not been in danger at any point, since he arrived an hour after the incident. The mass was held two hours later.

Security for the pope's first state visit to his native Germany has been tight and large parts of Berlin, Erfurt and Freiburg have been locked down for the trip, requiring a massive police presence and resources.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

'Shaken' pope holds mass after meeting abuse victims

GERMANY
Radio Netherlands

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated an open air mass for around 30,000 people Saturday amid a minor security scare, a day after a meeting with victims of sex abuse by priests left him "deeply shaken."

Around two hours before the mass, in the eastern German city of Erfurt, a man fired four shots from an air gun at two security officials. The incident took place around one kilometre (600 yards) from the ceremony's location.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters that the incident had "nothing to do with the pope", that the pontiff had not been informed and that no one in the papal entourage had noticed. Police took a suspect into custody.

Police in Freiburg, where the pope landed from Erfurt for the third leg of his four-day tour of his native Germany, said the incident had no political motive and would not affect their security plans.

The evening before, the 84-year-old pontiff received three men and two women for a 30-minute meeting that was "very, very emotional," Hans Langendoerfer, the coordinator of the trip told AFP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

L'Opus Dei sur le banc des accusés en France

FRANCE
YouTube

[video]

http://fr.euronews.net/ Catherine Tissier dit avoir travaillé pendant 13 ans, 12 heures par jour pour une misère à l'école technique privée d'hôtellerie Dosnon, dans l'Aisne et dans d'autres établissements gérés par l'Opus Dei. Le procès s'ouvre. L'association qui gère l'école Dosnon et deux membres de l'Opus Dei sont poursuivis pour "travail dissimulé" et "rétribution contraire à la dignité".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Droit du travail: Amende requise contre une association proche de l'Opus Dei

FRANCE
20 Minutes

Le parquet a requis ce vendredi la condamnation d'une association proche de l'Opus Dei pour travail illégal dans des écoles hôtelières, la défense s'évertuant à convaincre le tribunal correctionnel de Paris que le dossier n'avait rien à voir avec l'organisation catholique.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Opus Dei : le parquet requiert la condamnation pour travail dissimulé

FRANCE
Le Monde

Le parquet a requis vendredi 23 septembre la condamnation de l'Association de culture universitaire et technique (ACUT), une association proche de l'Opus Dei, pour "travail dissimulé" et "rétribution contraire à la dignité" dans des établissements hôteliers de l'œuvre. Le délibéré du procès est attendu le 24 novembre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

German homecoming no love-in for the Pope

GERMANY
National Post (Canada)

Araminta Wordsworth Sep 23, 2011

Full Comment’s Araminta Wordsworth brings you a daily round-up of quality punditry from across the globe. Today: Pope Benedict’s visit to his native Germany was never likely to be a love-in.

The Vatican’s continuing failure to do anything effective about child sex abuse by its priests remains a dreadful wound. Catholics have been deserting the pews in droves as the drip-drip of revelations about pedophile clerics seems endless, from the United States to Belgium, from Ireland to Germany.

The Pope was criticized in 2009 for lifting the excommunication of Richard Williamson, a maverick British bishop who questioned the Holocaust. Many Catholics in Germany, as well as in Austria and the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, are frustrated with the Vatican’s resistance to change, including clerical celibacy and the ordination of women.

In addition, Benedict has chosen to venture into mostly Protestant and atheist regions in the ex-communist east where indifference can be guaranteed. This is, after all, the county that produced Martin Luther and set off the Reformation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Canon lawyer analyzes issues in Fr. Pavone case

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

By Marianne Medlin

Detroit, Mich., Sep 23, 2011 / 09:29 pm (CNA).- Well-known canon lawyer Edward Peters delved into the unresolved issues on both sides of the situation involving Father Frank Pavone being called back to Amarillo, Texas by his bishop.

“Fr. Pavone has already undertaken the correct move by returning to Amarillo,” Peters told CNA on Sept. 20, adding that the diocese has also “since stated that Pavone is not under any penalty.”

“For the both sides, these things represent a start, but only a start, toward resolving this conflict.”

Fr. Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, is appealing his suspension from active ministry outside the Diocese of Amarillo to the Congregation for Clergy in Rome and is denying charges made by Bishop Patrick J. Zurek—whose jurisdiction he is under—that he had disobeyed the bishop and failed to allow all of the Priests for Life ministries to undergo financial auditing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE

VATICAN CITY/GERMANY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 23 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office has released the following communique on the meeting between the Holy Father and a group of victims of sexual abuse.

"This evening, in the seminary at Erfurt, Pope Benedict XVI met with a group of victims of sexual abuse committed by priests and church personnel. Subsequently he greeted some people who care for those injured by these crimes.

"Moved and deeply shaken by the sufferings of the victims, the Holy Father expressed his deep compassion and regret over all that was done to them and their families. He assured the people present that those in positions of responsibility in the Church are seriously concerned to deal with all crimes of abuse and are committed to the promotion of effective measures for the protection of children and young people. Pope Benedict XVI is close to the victims and he expresses the hope that the merciful God, Creator and Redeemer of all mankind, may heal the wounds of the victims and grant them inner peace".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Abortion fight highlights push for transparency in Catholicism

AMARILLO (TX)
Amarillo Globe-News

By RUSSELL ANGLIN
russell.anglin@amarillo.com

An airplane, two trucks and one demonstrator holding signs made up the efforts of an anti-abortion organization Friday to urge local Catholics to implore Diocese of Amarillo Bishop Patrick J. Zurek to rethink his decision to keep prominent anti-abortion priest Father Frank Pavone in Amarillo.

The demonstration highlights the public nature of the dispute between the two church figures, which University of Dayton theology professor Dennis Doyle said is taking place within a larger conflict between the Catholic Church’s need for independence from secular authority and a push for greater transparency in the church after a maelstrom of sexual abuse scandals shook the church in recent years.

“I guess it’s playing out a little bit like a seesaw in that, as a Catholic, on the one hand I think that the church has to be subject to the laws of the land wherever it finds itself, and on the other hand the Catholic Church needs to have some degree of independence from secular authority,” Doyle said. “There’s pull in both directions, and I don’t think there’s any ultimate resolution to it.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Pope expresses "deep regret" to German abuse victims

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

Pope Benedict XVI held a surprise meeting with victims of sexual abuse on Friday evening, expressing "deep regret" for their suffering.

During his 30-minute meeting with victims, Vatican sources reported that the pope was "moved and deeply shaken" by the suffering they had experienced.

"The Holy Father expressed his deep compassion and regret over all that was done to them and their families," said the Vatican statement, describing the meeting as "very, very emotional."

According to the news agency AFP, coordinator of the visit Hans Langendörfer said that the pope met five victims of abuse; three men and two women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Pope 'shaken' by talks with sex abuse victims

GERMANY
Bangkok Post

Pope Benedict XVI met victims of sexual abuse by clergy on the second day of his visit to his German homeland, an encounter that left him "deeply shaken", Vatican officials said.

He also held joint prayers with members of the Protestant faith in Germany, in a bid to build bridges between the two churches.

During a 30-minute meeting with abuse victims in Erfurt, the pope said he was "moved and deeply shaken by the sufferings of the victims," the Vatican said. Church officials described the meeting as "very, very emotional".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Abuse victims call off protest

MALTA
The Malta Independent

by Chiara Bonello

Article published on 24 September 2011

A protest by the victims of sexual abuse by priests due to be held this morning was called off yesterday, on the advice of the victims’ lawyer, Patrick Valentino, victims’ spokesman Lawrence Grech told The Malta Independent.

The protest was to be held after the Curia announced on Thursday that there would be no financial compensation for what the victims had suffered.

The news of the protest came after a Church statement that the Church had been advised legally that as an institution it does not have any legal responsibility for the cases (of abuse) perpetrated by “some individuals”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Shots fired near papal mass in Germany

GERMANY
Monsters and Critics

Erfurt, Germany - Shots were fired at security officers shortly before Pope Benedict XVI began saying mass in the east German city of Erfurt on Saturday, broadcaster MDR reported.

Police played down the incident, saying that it had occurred two hours before the mass began at 9 am (0700 GMT) and that nobody had been injured. A spokesman refused to confirm that shots had been fired during the incident, which took place 100 metres from where the mass was held.

Citing witnesses, MDR reported that the perpetrator had already been arrested and his flat searched.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Pope meets abuse victims during German trip

GERMANY
swissinfo

By Philip Pullella and Sarah Marsh

ERFURT, Germany (Reuters) - Pope Benedict held a surprise meeting on Friday with victims of clerical sexual abuse and expressed his deep regret for their suffering, saying the church was committed to the protection of children, the Vatican said.

The private meeting came on the second day of Benedict's four-day trip to Germany, where record numbers of Catholics have officially left the faith in protest at clerical abuse, and where the Church faces some 600 requests for compensation.

The Pope was "moved and deeply shaken" and assured victims the Church was "committed to the promotion of effective measures to protect children," the Vatican said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Donations 'not funding legal bills'

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

The Archdiocese of Dublin has asked parishes which earned millions in the boom on property sales to pay into a fund to cover future clerical abuse compensation claims.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin insisted that monies parishioners donate to poor boxes or basket collections at Mass have not and will not be touched to make reparations to survivors.

The Catholic Church in Dublin has been hit by 172 civil actions against 44 priests, at a cost of 13.5 million euro. Archbishop Martin has warned the final bill may be double that but insisted parish funds are not currently being used to pay legal bills.

He said: "I have never authorised the use of any parish funds for survivors of clerical abuse claims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Archdiocese moved money from parishes to fund paying abuse victims

IRELAND
U.S. Catholic

By Michael Kelly Catholic News Service

DUBLIN (CNS) -- The Dublin Archdiocese has admitted that money from parishes has been transferred into a special fund used to compensate victims of clerical sex abuse.

However, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin insisted that "none of the funds that have come from parishes have been used for that (compensation) as yet."

Information about the transfer became public after minutes of a May meeting of the Council of Priests were leaked and published in The Irish Catholic newspaper Sept. 22. The minutes revealed that the fund used to cover the cost of abuse claims is running a deficit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Pope rejects Lutheran appeals, meets sex-abuse victims

GERMANY
Monsters and Critics

By Jean-Baptiste Piggin and Helen Livingstone Sep 23, 2011

Erfurt, Germany - At an historic meeting with Lutheran leaders Friday in the birthplace of protestantism, Pope Benedict XVI rebuffed appeals for doctrinal change, saying faith was not a matter to negotiate.

However Benedict gave high marks to Reformation founder Martin Luther for a lifetime of 'theological searching and inner struggle.'

Benedict was the first pope in history to walk in Luther's footsteps, visiting an abbey, now a Protestant memorial in the city of Erfurt, where Luther (1483-1546)had been ordained a Catholic priest and began questioning Rome's doctrines before his revolt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Pope 'deeply shaken' in meeting with sex abuse victims in Germany

GERMANY
CNN

Berlin (CNN) -- Pope Benedict XVI met Friday with a group of people who had been sexually abused by clergy in his native Germany, where disenchantment with the Roman Catholic Church has grown in the wake of the scandal.

The meeting, which occurred at a seminary in Erfurt, came on the second day of the pontiff's four-day visit to his homeland. Besides talking with victims of sexual abuse committed by priests and church personnel, he also met with people "who care for those injured by these crimes," according to a statement from the Vatican press office.

"Moved and deeply shaken by the sufferings of the victims, the Holy Father expressed his deep compassion and regret over all that was done to them and their families," the statement added. "He assured the people present that those in positions of responsibility in the church are seriously concerned to deal with all crimes of abuse and are committed to effective measures for the protection of children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Victims ‘led to believe’ Church would settle

MALTA
Times of Malta

Direct financial compensation to the victims of clerical sexual abuse had been on the cards for the Church during meetings with their lawyer but the Archbishop’s stand on the matter changed during the second encounter, the lawyer told The Times yesterday.

Patrick Valentino said that, although Archbishop Paul Cremona was careful not to assume responsibility for the abuse, compensation was only ruled out during the second and penultimate meeting that the two sides held between them.

He said he and the victims had been led to believe the Church would agree to reach an out-of-court settlement on compensation.

Dr Valentino was contacted yesterday, on the eve of today’s press conference intended to give the victims’ official reaction to the Church decision to reject legal responsibility for the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

CBCP seals its lips on Butuan priest's pending rape charges

PHILLIPINES
GMA News

09/24/2011

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) declined to comment any further on the pending court cases of rape and child abuse against a priest assigned in the Diocese of Butuan in northeastern Mindanao.

Outgoing CBCP secretary general Msgr. Juanito Figura said a court has already given the accused, Fr. Raul Cabonce, a chance to explain his side of the story.

“Since it was brought to court already, the most prudent thing to do is to wait for the decision of the court. The CBCP as a Church body would have to respect the forum of the civil court which is a State body," Figura said, in an article posted on the CBCP news site Friday night.

Also on Friday, the women's rights and welfare group Gabriela demanded that the CBCP intervene in the case. They accompanied the alleged victim, identified only by the assigned alias ‘Leah’ and together, they present a letter of appeal to the CBCP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

September 23, 2011

Senior priest faces fraud probe

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

By Kurt Bayer 10:17 AM Saturday Sep 24, 2011

The fraud squad is investigating one of Christchurch's most senior Catholic priests over claims of missing cash in his parish.

Father John Fitzmaurice, the parish priest for Sacred Heart church in Addington, was suspended from duty last month over alleged "financial irregularities".

Now, police have launched a probe into Father John, who also ministers to the ministry in Hoon Hay, after a complaint was laid by Catholic Bishop of Christchurch Barry Jones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 PM

Catholic anti-abortion group in financial trouble

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By David Gibson (Religion News Service),

A leading Catholic anti-abortion group whose leader is under scrutiny for failing to disclose financial details reported a $1.4 million deficit in 2010 despite collecting tens of millions of dollars in donations during recent years.

The budget shortfall at Priests For Life and a bishop’s recent decision to sharply curtail its national director’s activities raise serious questions about the group’s long-term viability.

The controversy could also affect the ability of the Catholic Church and the wider anti-abortion movement to press their signature political issue during the coming campaign season.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Maltese kerk weigert compensaties voor seksueel misbruik

MALTA
De Morgen (Belgie)

De Rooms-Katholieke Kerk op Malta weigert een schadevergoeding te betalen aan slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik door priesters. Het gaat volgens de religieuze organisatie immers om individuele misdaden waarvoor de kerk niet verantwoordelijk gesteld kan worden. Dat liet ze vandaag weten in een verklaring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

L'Opus Dei au cœur d'un procès pour travail dissimulé

FRANCE
Le Monde

L'Opus Dei, organisation catholique très controversée, est au cœur d'un procès qui s'est ouvert jeudi 22 septembre et doit s'achever le lendemain, à Paris. En cause : de supposés abus sur Catherine Tissier, employée d'une école d'hôtellerie liée à l'institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Amalgame judiciaire : la porte-parole de l'Opus Dei s'exprime

FRANCE
Opus Dei

Béatrice de La Coste souhaite s’exprimer sur un procès médiatisé comme étant celui de l’Opus Dei alors même que cette institution a été totalement écartée de cette affaire par la justice.

15/09/2011

Vous trouverez toutes les déclarations et précisons fournies sur la question en cliquant sur ce lien.

Ces derniers mois, la presse a fait plusieurs fois allusion à un procès qui concernerait l’Opus Dei. De quoi est-il question exactement ?

Les 22 et 23 septembre prochains a lieu la dernière étape, en correctionnelle, du procès opposant Catherine Tissier, à son ancien employeur, l’ACUT, association gestionnaire de l’école hôtelière Dosnon , sur des questions de droit du travail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

France: une amende requise contre une association proche de l'Opus Dei

FRANCE
Romandie

PARIS - Le parquet du tribunal correctionnel de Paris a requis vendredi 30.000 euros d'amende à l'encontre d'une association proche de la puissante organisation catholique de l'Opus Dei, poursuivie pour travail dissimulé et rétribution contraire à la dignité.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 PM

Droit du travail: amende requise contre une association proche de l'Opus Dei

FRANCE
AFP

De Dorothée MOISAN (AFP)

PARIS — Le parquet a requis vendredi la condamnation d'une association proche de l'Opus Dei pour travail illégal dans des écoles hôtelières, la défense s'évertuant à convaincre le tribunal correctionnel de Paris que le dossier n'avait rien à voir avec l'organisation catholique.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 PM

Prosecutors in French Opus Dei trial ask for fines

FRANCE
Forbes

Associated Press, 09.23.11

PARIS -- The Paris prosecutor's office has requested a euro30,000 ($42,000) fine against an association closely linked to the conservative Roman Catholic group Opus Dei.

The association, ACUT, and two of its followers are facing charges of "clandestine work" and "remuneration contrary to dignity" stemming from allegations by former disciple Catherine Tissier that she was forced to work with little or no pay for more than a decade.

Tissier was 14 when she joined a hotel school in eastern France also linked to Opus Dei. She followed the group's spiritual path and began working for the school but alleges she never saw her salary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CANADA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton

Friday, September 23, 2011.
Hamilton, Ontario

The Diocese of Hamilton is shocked and distressed by the news of the arrest of Father José Silva (full name: José Gildásico de Sousa Silva). Father Silva has been Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish – Paroquia de Santa Maria in downtown Hamilton. Father Silva is a Brazilian citizen from the Diocese of Oeiras but has been serving here since October 1, 2009. He was born on September 22, 1977 and was ordained a priest on February 8, 2003.

Father Silva has been arrested and charged on one count of sexual assault relating to an alleged incident involving an 18-year-old male at the Parish on Sunday, September 18th.

Father Silva was held for a bail hearing today, Friday, September 23, 2011.

On learning of the charges Msgr. Vincent Kerr, Chancellor of the Diocese of Hamilton, made the following statement:

“I am greatly distressed to hear of the arrest of Father Silva on such a charge. He is a young, popular, and enthusiastic priest who has come to us from Brazil to serve the needs of the Portuguese-speaking community in the City of Hamilton. He came to us with appropriate recommendations from his own Bishop and there have been only compliments about the quality of his work during his time with us. I very much regret that there will be much turmoil and speculation while the allegation is being investigated by the appropriate authorities. I shall be attending Masses at Santa Maria this coming weekend and will have a chance to express my concern and support to the parishioners. As in any case of this kind, Father Silva will not be exercising any public priestly ministry while this matter is sub judice; I shall make myself available to assist our local police services in their inquiries. In the meantime I remind everyone that here in Canada the presumption of law is always ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ ”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

Papst traf Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs in Erfurt

DEUTSCHLAND
Hamburger Abendblatt

Erfurt/Eichsfeld/Freiburg. Stille. Als das Papamobil an 90.000 Menschen über das Etzelsbacher Pilgerfeld rollt, herrscht zuerst ehrfürchtiges Schweigen. Dann Jubel, laute „Benedetto“-Rufe. Bei seinem Besuch im katholisch geprägten Eichsfeld – einer der wenigen katholischen Hochburgen des Ostens – ist der Papst den Gläubigen am Freitag ganz nah. Nach dem mit Spannung erwarteten ökumenischen Gespräch am Nachmittag ist es für Benedikt XVI. ein Heimspiel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Benedikt XVI. trifft Missbrauchsopfer

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Allgemeine

Papst Benedikt XVI. hat sich in Erfurt mit einer Gruppe von Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs durch katholische Priester getroffen. Der Papst habe „bewegt und erschüttert“ sein tiefes Mitgefühl und Bedauern bekundet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Pope meets with clerical sex abuse victims in Germany

GERMANY
Catholic News Service

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

ERFURT, Germany (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI met with five victims of clerical sexual abuse in Germany, expressing his deep regret and the church's commitment to preventing such crimes in the future.

The Vatican said the 84-year-old pope was "moved and deeply shaken by the suffering of the victims." He met with the group, two women and three men, in the seminary in Erfurt Sept. 23, the second day of a four-day visit to his homeland.

The victims, from various parts of Germany, had suffered sexual abuse by priests and other church personnel, the Vatican said. They were accompanied by Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier, who has helped draw up new measures to deal with abusive priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Pope meets abuse victims

GERMANY
The Irish Times

Pope Benedict XVI met with German victims of sexual abuse by priests today and expressed "deep compassion and regret" at the suffering of those abused by members of the clergy.

The pope met with five of victims on the second day of his four-day state visit to his native Germany, which has seen the numbers of Roman Catholics leaving the congregations jump, after hundreds of people came forward in 2010 with stories of having been physically or sexually abused by members of the clergy.

A statement from the Vatican, said the pope was "moved and deeply shaken" and is close to the victims. He expresses the hope that God "may heal the wounds of the victims and grant them inner peace," the Vatican said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Pope meets with clergy sex-abuse victims in Germany

GERMANY
Tucson Citizen

by USA Today Feed on Sep. 23, 2011, under USA Today News

The Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI met today with five victims who were sexually abused by priests in Germany, expressing “deep compassion and regret,” the Associated Press reports.

The half-hour visit came on the second day of his four-day state visit to his homeland.

A statement from the Vatican said the pope was “moved and deeply shaken” and is close to the victims. He expresses the hope that God “may heal the wounds of the victims and grant them inner peace.”

In the Netherlands, meanwhile, victims of sexual abuse by the clergy asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the pope and three Vatican officials for crimes against humanity for allowing children to be raped and abused by Roman Catholic clergy, Reuters says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Hamilton police charge the local Catholic Parish Priest with sexual assault

CANADA
Oye! Times

Friday, 23 September 2011
Written by Len Humes

The Hamilton Police Service has arrested and charged a local Catholic priest after investigating allegations of sexual assault that happened at a parish in the North End of Hamilton.

On Sunday, September 18th, 2011, the St. Mary’s Catholic parish located on Park St. N. held a festival in their courtyard. A band from the Toronto area was the entertainment for the event.

It is alleged that at approximately 6:30 p.m., while the band was on a break, the parish priest, Jose SILVA, approached one of the band members and struck up a conversation with him about playing guitar. The band member, an 18 yr. old man from Brampton, was invited back to the priest’s residence, a home on the parish property, to look at a guitar he owned. Out of respect, the man went with the priest. While the man was with the priest he was sexually assaulted. The victim was able to leave the home unharmed and immediately contacted police to report what had happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Another lawsuit against Bishop Robert Finn and the Catholic diocese ...

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Pitch

Posted by Justin Kendall on Fri, Sep 23, 2011

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Bishop Robert Finn and the Rev. Shawn Ratigan are facing yet another lawsuit alleging a cover-up of the alleged discovery of child pornography on Ratigan's computer (Ratigan is facing state and federal child-porn charges). The details of how the diocese handled the discovery are disgusting, if true.

KCTV5 reported that the lawsuit alleges that Finn, the diocese's attorney and others gave Ratigan's laptop computer to the priest's family rather than authorities because they knew the family would destroy the computer — and evidence along with it — giving them "plausible deniability that they were incompetents rather than intentionally assisting Ratigan, as they were."

The lawsuit alleges that the girl met Ratigan in 2006 at her great-grandfather's funeral mass, which Ratigan was presiding over.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Prime Time wrong to say I fathered Kenya baby - priest

IRELAND
Herald

By Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

Thursday September 22 2011

Two paternity tests have shown that a priest who featured in an RTE Prime Time Investigates programme is not the father of a Kenyan woman, the High Court has been told.

The court heard that Fr Kevin Reynolds, who claims RTE accused him of raping a teenage girl in 1982 and fathering a child by her, had been restored to the priesthood since the results of the paternity tests became known.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy yesterday refused to grant judgment for defamation against RTE for having failed to enter a defence but ordered the national broadcaster to file one by the end of this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Pope meets with German sex abuse victims

GERMANY
Forbes

By MELISSA EDDY and VICTOR L. SIMPSON , 09.23.11

ERFURT, Germany -- The Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI has met with victims of clerical sex abuse in Germany and said he was "moved" and "deeply shaken" by their suffering.

The pope met the victims late Friday, as part of a four-day tour that church leaders here say they hoped would help revive faith in the Roman Catholic church in Germany, which was shaken last year's revelations of the abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Readers split over 'disobedient' Catholic priests' reform proposals

Deutsche Welle

In the wake of scandals throughout the Catholic Church, some readers support calls to end celibacy requirements for priests and let women be ordained. Others say those who want change should find another church.

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

'Disobedient' Austrian Catholics preach message of reform

Should the Catholic Church change its traditions to suit the movement pressing for change?

It is an insult to the laity's intelligence for the pope to require the clergy to be celibate on grounds of divinity, and because Jesus was celibate. Jesus didn't wear a shirt and tie or use a telephone. Does that mean priests cannot wear a shirt and tie or use a telephone? – Howard R., USA

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

A blessing for the Vatican in (really) deep disguise

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Sep. 23, 2011 All Things Catholic

Pope Benedict XVI is in Germany at the moment, where last year’s sex abuse scandals brought his own record squarely into focus. That debate has flared up anew with a splashy public appeal by a New York based legal foundation, along with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, to the International Criminal Court to prosecute the pope and other senior Vatican officials.

Granted, most experts say the Vatican probably has a point in calling the idea a “publicity stunt.” Whatever one makes of Benedict XVI, he’s hardly a war criminal in the same league with Slobodan Milosevic or Omar al-Bashir. (As British attorney Neil Addison put it, “the Swiss Guard hasn’t invaded anywhere.”)

The ICC is supposed to step in only when national courts can’t act, which wouldn’t seem to be the case in places like Ireland and the United States. Moreover, a key element of an indictment is usually that a regime not only covered up human rights abuses, but orchestrated them. Even the fiercest critics have never claimed that Benedict XVI, or any other Vatican official, actually directed somebody to abuse a child.

That said, I want to float a counter-intuitive hypothesis: In the unlikely event the ICC were to take the case, it might do the Vatican more good than harm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Archbishop hopeful of papal nod

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Verity Edwards
From:The Australian
September 24, 2011

THE head of the Traditional Anglican Communion, John Hepworth, is hoping a reunion between his church and the Pope will be ratified within weeks despite concerns his abuse complaints could hinder the process.

Archbishop Hepworth, who raised allegations in The Weekend Australian three weeks ago that he had been raped repeatedly by three Catholic priests more than 40 years ago, said yesterday he hoped his personal reconciliation with the Catholic Church would not have any impact on the unity.

The Catholic Church's leader in South Australia, Archbishop Philip Wilson, will visit Rome early next month to attend the annual Ad Limina meeting of bishops with the Pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Girl seeks bishops’ help in punishing priest she has accused of rape

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

By Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
6:48 pm | Friday, September 23rd, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—A 17-year-old girl from Agusan del Norte who has accused a priest of raping her on Friday sought the intervention of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in her quest for justice.

The girl, who preferred to be called Leah, which is not her real name, was accompanied by members of the women’s party-list group, Gabriela, when she dropped by the CBCP office in Intramuros, Manila, to deliver a letter seeking the bishops’ guidance and intercession.

“I want to talk to the bishops and ask them to act on my case and to not cover up for the offense committed by one of their priests,” said Leah, clad in an orange blouse and dark pants, her very long hair tied in a ponytail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 AM

Hamilton priest arrested for sexual assault

CANADA
Hamilton Spectator

A Hamilton Catholic priest has been charged with sexual assault.

Father Jose Silva, 34, parish priest for St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on Park Street North, was arrested by Hamilton police Thursday afternoon.

Silva, who appeared in Hamilton court for a bail hearing Friday morning, is charged with sexual assault following a complaint about an incident during a festival held in the church courtyard Sunday, Sept. 18.

Sergeant Terri-Lynn Collings said the investigation and arrest followed a complaint by an 18-year-old youth from Brampton who had been playing in a Toronto-based band that had been booked as the entertainment at a festival held in the church courtyard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Suit says priest raped child

LOUISIANA
The Advocate

Bill Lodge
Advocate staff writer

An unidentified Arkansas man is seeking more than $4 million from the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, the Vatican, other church organizations and a former priest, Christopher Joseph Springer.

John Doe XX alleges in a civil suit in Baton Rouge federal court that Springer “sexually abused, molested, raped and exploited” him when he was a child attending school on the grounds of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plaquemine.

Springer, 85, now resides in Pearl River, according to the suit. A telephone number for him could not be located Thursday. Attorney Cyrus Greco, who has represented Springer in related cases, did not respond to a request for comment that was left with his office staff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

Paus: Blijf ondanks misbruikschandaal bij de kerk

DUITSLAND
Reformatorisch Dagblad (Nederland)

BERLIJN – Paus Benedictus XVI heeft tijdens een mis in het Olympisch Stadion in Berlijn rooms-katholieken donderdag opgeroepen achter hun kerk te blijven staan, ondanks alle negatieve publiciteit waaraan zij de laatste tijd blootstaat. Hij noemde de kerk „het mooiste geschenk van God.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Paus waarschuwt Duitsers religie niet uit het oog te verliezen

DUITSLAND
NRC Handelsblad (Nederland)

Paus Benedictus XVI heeft bij zijn bezoek aan de Bondsdag in Duitsland de aanwezige parlementariërs op het hart gedrukt ethiek niet op te offeren voor politieke macht. Om zijn betoog kracht bij te zetten haalde hij de wanpraktijken van het Nazi-regime aan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Betogers tegen bezoek paus bijeen

DUITSLAND
De Telegraaf (Nederland)

BERLIJN - Honderden mensen hebben zich donderdagmiddag op de Potsdamer Platz in het centrum van Berlijn verzameld voor een betoging tegen het staatsbezoek van paus Benedictus XVI aan Duitsland. De betogers lopen met als leuze 'Geen macht voor dogma's' naar de Bebelplatz. Daar staat de Hedwigkathedraal, de belangrijkste katholieke kerk in de Duitse hoofdstad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Diocese of Helena responds to lawsuit

HELENA (MT)
KRTV

[with video]

The Diocese of Helena was hit with a lawsuit this week regarding allegations of past sexual abuse of children.

The lawsuit lists 34 complainants who claim they were subjected to child sexual abuse and other harm.

The various defendants listed in the case are charged with wrongful conduct under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena.

"I believe that the complaints in this case span from roughly the 1960's until the 1980's. Now, no one should take a false sense of security that there aren't newer cases," said plaintiff's attorney Tim Kosnoff of Seattle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Neumann-Goretti High reeling after sex-abuse charges filed against former coach

PHILADELPHIA (MA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

September 22, 2011|By Allison Steele and Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writers

Residents of Louis Spadaccini's South Philadelphia neighborhood know the 37-year-old baseball coach as a friendly, outgoing neighbor, a guy who sits out on the steps and plays ball with children in the street.

Alex Butler, 20, who lives a few doors away from Spadaccini, grew up playing baseball with him and had friends who were coached by him while on the team at SS. Neumann-Goretti High School.

The coach sometimes visited players at their homes for team dinners or parties, Butler said, and parents were always there, too. Butler never heard rumors about the coach, and none of his friends on the team ever confided anything unusual about Spadaccini.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

'The Pope Can't Neglect What's Happening in His Own Church'

GERMANY
Spiegel

The pope's highly anticipated speech in Germany's parliament Thursday was met with a standing ovation by politicians, who he warned not to abandon their principles for power. In Friday's newspapers, though, German commentators take the pope to task for not addressing contemporary problems within the Catholic Church in his speech.

Pope Benedict XVI addressed Germany's parliament on Thursday, the first day of his first state visit to his home country. As protesters -- including some parliamentarians -- voiced their disapproval of the Catholic Church outside, the pope delivered a philosophical speech that was received with a standing ovation.

During the 20-minute address, Benedict alluded to Nazi crimes and warned politicians against compromising their ethics for power. The pope also encouraged his countrymen not to overlook the positive influences of religion.

Likewise, Benedict compared the "positivist reason" that defines modern living to a "windowless concrete bunker" that limits human experience. "And yet we cannot hide from ourselves the fact that even in this artificial world, we are still covertly drawing upon God's raw materials, which we refashion into our own products," he said. "The windows must be flung open again, we must see the wide world, the sky and the earth once more and learn to make proper use of all this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:23 AM

Lawsuit filed against Ratigan, Finn and Catholic Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph

KANSAS CITY (MO)
NBC Action News

By: Beth Vaughn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A new lawsuit has been filed in United States District Court - Western District of Missouri against Bishop Robert Finn, and the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph by the family of one of the alleged victims of Father Shawn Ratigan, according to a news release .

Co-counselor Rebecca Randles told NBC Action News the suit was filed using Masha's Law. It's a federal law that aims to penalize people who look at or create child pornography. Randles explained, "Masha's Law arises out of a young girl who was subjected to child pornography for many man years and then she petitioned Congress for a law that would make specific penalties against those who possess child pornography."

The penalty passed by Congress is a $150,000 fine to each individual who views or possesses the pornographic images.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Pope Benedict's Blunt New World

GERMANY/ITALY
Spiegel

It has been billed as Pope Benedict XVI's most difficult trip abroad to date. But so far in Germany, the pope has not sought to shy away from controversy. His bluntness has surprised many -- and could transform the visit into a rousing success. By SPIEGEL Staff

The sky above Rome still had a reddish tint to it as the Alitalia Airbus took off from Ciampino airport at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday, carrying Pope Benedict XVI, several bishops and cardinals and close to 70 journalists on board.

It was the beginning of the pope's four-day visit to his homeland, his first state visit to Germany, and one that has already generated enormous interest in the country, particularly his Thursday afternoon address to the German parliament in Berlin. His core message in Germany is clear: Do not turn your backs on religion; do not turn your backs on the Catholic Church.

But the very first message he sought to communicate on his trip was addressed to his host country Italy. The pope sends a telegram to all heads of state over whose territory he flies when travelling abroad. In addition to the Austrian and Czech heads of state, the pope also wrote to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Pederastia en Chile: El Vaticano colabora

CHILE
Sacro y Profano

A las 4:58 PM, por Andrés Beltramo

El Vaticano decidió colaborar con la autoridad civil de Chile y entregar información sobre el proceso canónico que declaró culpable de abusos sexuales contra menores al emblemático sacerdote Fernando Karadima. Se trata de un hecho sin precedentes, la primera vez que la Sede Apostólica responde formalmente a una rogatoria internacional sobre una caso de pederastia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Caso Karadima: Vaticano responderá en los próximos días sobre petición de expediente eclesiástico

CHILE
La Tercera

por Angélica Baeza Palavecino - 23/09/2011

El Vaticano mandará en los próximos días la respuesta definitiva sobre la petición que realizara la ministra en visita del caso Karadima, Jéssica González, en cuanto a tener acceso a la indagatoria eclesiástica que resolvió condenar al ex párroco de El Bosque por presuntos abusos a menores de edad.

Santa Sede prepara respuesta a exhorto por caso Karadima

CHILE
Terra

SANTIAGO.- En los próximos días el Vaticano entregará su respuesta a exhorto enviado por la jueza Jesica González, que investiga los abusos sexuales protagonizados por el sacerdote Fernando Karadima. Así lo anunció el nuncio apostólico Ivo Scapolo luego de reunirse con el presidente de la Corte Suprema, Milton Juica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Accusations of sexual abuse bound to have wide ramifications

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Christopher Pearson
From:The Australian
September 24, 2011

IN 2008, Archbishop John Hepworth, the global primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, presented the Catholic archdiocese of Adelaide with a ticking time bomb.

He made allegations to its Archbishop, Philip Wilson, and his vicar general, David Cappo, that Ian Dempsey, the former vicar general, had raped him.

Dealing with former vicars general is often difficult for incoming archbishops. They're usually closely identified with the policies and churchmanship of the previous reign. They tend to have old boys' networks to do their bidding and can easily become competing sources of local authority. They're also apt to know where the bodies are buried.

It's well known that there is no love lost between the ultra-liberal Dempsey and Wilson. However, it may well have seemed prudent at the time to Wilson and his advisers that time should be taken to investigate the matter thoroughly. Nor was it thought necessary to stand Dempsey aside.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Media quick to judge Hepworth allegations

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Andrew Bolt
From:Herald Sun
September 24, 2011

THE more Archbishop John Hepworth talks, the more it seems a great wrong has been done. But perhaps not to him.

Hepworth is the primate of the breakaway Traditional Anglican Communion who claims he was raped by an Adelaide Catholic priest, who we will call X.

Since his allegations were made public three weeks ago, much of the media has treated them almost as proven already.

The headlines give the flavour: "One man's life, and how the church he loved let him down", "Clergyman's long road to resolution" and "Abused Archbishop John Hepworth ready to forgive".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

DA VINCI CODE HELL AS ‘SLAVE’

FRANCE
Express (United Kingdom)

Friday September 23,2011

By Peter Allen in Paris

A SECRETIVE Roman Catholic society made famous by the The Da Vinci Code was yesterday accused of brainwashing young girls and keeping them as “modern-day slaves”.

Two members of the Opus Dei society, who cannot be named, are on trial accused of abusing a girl then aged 14 when she enrolled at a school teaching hotel skills attached to one of their centres.

Catherine Tissier, now 40, said she was forced to work 14-hour days, seven days a week, for no pay.She was regularly injected with drugs to keep her “calm”, was virtually starved, and had no social life whatsoever, it was claimed.

Ms Tissier’s lawyer told Paris Correctional Court that hers was not an isolated case. Rodolphe Bosselut said: “This is not the trial of a single woman, but of dozens of others who, like my client, become modern slaves for Opus Dei.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

French woman sues Opus Dei for enslavement

FRANCE
Telegraph (United Kingdom)

A French woman is suing two followers of Opus Dei for enslavement, saying she was trapped for a decade working without pay at a school with ties to the powerful conservative Roman Catholic group.


By Henry Samuel, Paris
12:18PM BST 23 Sep 2011

Catherine Tissier said that, from the age of 14 until 27, she was forced to clean, wash and serve from 7am to 10pm, including weekends, with no holidays or proper pay in establishments run by Opus Dei. She said she was forced to take vows of obedience, poverty and chastity and was cut off from the outside world.

Now 40, she began a court action yesterday on charges of "concealed work" and "payment contrary to dignity".

Defence lawyers insisted that the trial, believed to be the first of its kind in Europe, was a simple labour dispute, but lawyers for Miss Tissier alleged that the enigmatic group's practices were physically and psychologically damaging to their client.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

BELLEVILLE, IL: ACA Bishops & Clergy Urge TAC Archbishop to Resign

UNITED STATES/AUSTRALIA
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
September 23, 2011

Anglican Church in America (ACA) House of Clergy meeting at Our Lady of the Snows have urged their Archbishop John Hepworth to resign as Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion saying that recent revelations in Australia make it impossible for him to continue as their leader.

"It is increasingly obvious to us and those for whom we are pastorally responsible that recent developments have made it impossible for you to continue to function effectively as Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, and that the responsibilities of that office add immeasurably to the personal stress inevitable in your personal situation."

The ACA is the North American branch of the Traditional Anglican Communion.

"There is an urgent need for focused leadership of the TAC at this critical time in the life of the church. For the good of the church and your family, as well as for your own emotional, physical, and spiritual health, we prayerfully urge you to consider submitting your resignation as Primate forthwith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Missbrauchsopfer halten Mahnwache beim Papstbesuch in Erfurt

DEUTSCHLAND
Leipziger Volkszeitung

Erfurt. Mit einer Mahnwache haben Missbrauchsopfer am Rande des Papstbesuchs in Erfurt eine weitere Aufarbeitung von sexuellen Vergehen katholischer Priester gefordert. Seit dem Skandal im vergangenen Jahr habe sich nichts geändert, sagte Teilnehmer Wilfried Fesselmann am Freitag.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Missbrauchsopfer halten Mahnwache beim Papstbesuch

DEUTSCHLAND
Focus

Erfurt (dpa) – Mit einer Mahnwache haben Missbrauchsopfer am Rande des Papstbesuches auf die mangelnde Aufklärung sexueller Übergriffe durch katholische Priester aufmerksam gemacht. Seit dem Skandal im vergangenen Jahr habe sich nichts geändert, sagte Teilnehmer Wilfried Fesselmann. Er selbst wurde nach eigenen Angaben im Alter von elf Jahren missbraucht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Pope needs to do more on sex abuse: victims

UNITED STATES/GERMANY
Asia One

AFP
Friday, Sep 23, 2011

WASHINGTON - A US group representing victims of sex abuse by priests on Thursday urged Pope Benedict XVI to offer significant reforms to halt abuse, saying he has so far failed to do enough.

The remarks by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) come as the pope visits his native Germany.

"It's sad that in Germany, where hundreds of brave, wounded child sex abuse victims have spoken up in the last year, the pope can't bring himself to openly address the most devastating crisis in modern church history," said SNAP president Barbara Blaine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Vatican extends deadline for review of Cleveland Diocese church closings

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

By Michael O'Malley, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Vatican has given itself another extension to review appeals from churches closed last year by Bishop Richard Lennon of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

This marks the fourth time that the Congregation for the Clergy -- a Vatican panel handling the appeals -- has extended the deadline for reviewing the churches' cases against the diocese.

The new deadline is March 1.

"It's kind of disappointing, but it's still a good development," said Patricia Schulte-Singleton, president of Endangered Catholics, a group fighting church closings. "We're still alive. We have to be patient."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Pope Weathers Protests and Boycotts in First Official Visit to Germany

GERMANY
The New York Times

By NICHOLAS KULISH and JUDY DEMPSEY

Published: September 22, 2011

BERLIN — Pope Benedict XVI divided the capital of his native land on Thursday, celebrating Mass for more than 60,000 followers while thousands of opponents marched through the streets to protest his visit.

Protesters gathered in Potsdamer Platz, just a mile from the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, where Benedict addressed members in the afternoon. The police estimated that 9,000 had gathered to register their disapproval of church policies. Demonstrators aired a wide range of criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church and Benedict, its leader, on subjects that included the role of women in the church, gay rights and victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Dozens of members of Parliament boycotted his address. “Never before in history has a pope spoken before an elected German Parliament,” said Norbert Lammert, the president of the Bundestag, who invited the pope to address lawmakers. “And seldom has a speech in this house created so much attention and interest before it was even given.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

The Legionaries of Christ - Who is Really In Charge?

UNITED STATES/MEXICO
Catholic Online

Thousands of scandalized and disappointed former Legionaries of Christ, Regnum Christi members and generous benefactors are wondering what will happen to the shipwrecked religious order.In an explosive new book which has been rocking the news in Mexico, Nelly Ramírez Mota Velasco tells all in an objective and clear manner, free from any venom.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - With the remembrance of September 11th behind us, a tragedy that has had tumultuous consequences on the lives of thousands of Catholics around the world is the Legionaries of Christ fiasco.

Founded in Mexico in 1941 by the late Father Marcial Maciel, the controversial and charismatic leader was sanctioned by Pope Benedict XVI on May 19, 2006 in an official communiqué from the Holy See for leading a "private life without scruples or authentic religious sentiment."

In an explosive new book which has been rocking the news in Mexico, Nelly Ramírez Mota Velasco tells all in an objective and clear manner, free from any venom. "The Kingdom of Marcial Maciel - The Hidden Life of the Legion and Regnum Christi" is a fast read for anyone who is interested in understanding how the Legionaries of Christ could rise to power and success, only to suffer one of the greatest meltdowns in modern church history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

David Quinn: I don't mind if church uses my money to pay victims

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Friday September 23 2011

THE news that the finances of Dublin diocese are close to financial collapse should do one thing at least, namely put to rest the myth that the Catholic Church in Ireland is rich.

The diocese has so far paid out €13.5m to abuse victims and their lawyers, and combined with the effects of the recession this has been enough to push the diocese's General Fund into the red, as revealed by 'The Irish Catholic' this week.

A 'rich' church would have been able to absorb this liability, which has been spread out over several years, with relative ease. But the fact is that the finances of most dioceses in the country are on a knife-edge more or less constantly, precisely because they are not flush with funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

France : ouverture d'un procès pour travail dissimulé, sur fond d'Opus Dei

FRANCE
Romandie

PARIS - Un procès pour travail dissimulé mettant en cause certaines pratiques de la puissante organisation catholique de l'Opus Dei s'est ouvert jeudi après-midi devant le tribunal correctionnel de Paris.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

"Je suis la seule à avoir osé porter plainte" contre l'Opus Dei

FRANCE
Le Nouvel Observateur

Unique plaignante face à la puissante Opus Dei, Catherine Tissier a tenté jeudi de convaincre le tribunal correctionnel de Paris qu'elle a été exploitée par l'organisation catholique, des accusations que le tribunal, saisi d'une simple affaire de travail dissimulé, peinait à entendre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

2 Opus Dei Followers On Trial In France

FRANCE
NPR

PARIS (AP) — Two Opus Dei followers and an association closely linked to the conservative Roman Catholic group went on trial Thursday, accused of forcing a disciple to work for more than a decade with little or no pay.

Defense lawyers portrayed it as a case about labor law, while an Opus Dei spokeswoman says the plaintiff in a Paris court chose of her own free will to follow the group.

But the trial is expected to shine a spotlight on the secretive group's practices. Dan Brown's bestseller "The Da Vinci Code" painted Opus Dei as a murderous, power-hungry sect, a portrayal the group vigorously protested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Opus Dei members on trial over accusations of abuse

FRANCE
Scotsman

By Ian Sparks

TWO members of the powerful Roman Catholic organisation Opus Dei went on trial in a Paris court yesterday, accused of subjecting a disciple to years of abusive working practices.

Catherine Tessier has claimed she was forced to work 100 hours a week for no wages by Opus Dei - which is funded by the Vatican - after her parents sent her on a live-in catering course in north-east France.

Claire Bardon de Segonzac, the head of the Dosnon School attended by Ms Tissier, and Agnes Duhail, head of the Couvrelles International Meeting Centre connected to the college in northern France, are defendants in the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Opus Dei members face Paris court over slavery charges

FRANCE
RFI

By Clea Caulcutt

Two members of the conservative Catholic organisation Opus Dei went on trial in Paris on Thursday, accused of treating a disciple as a "brainwashed slave". The trial is expected to bring the activities of the sect, known to many thanks to the Da Vinci code book and film, into the open.

Plaintiff Catherine Tissier says she was forced to work as a servant for the group for virtually no pay.

She says worked 14-hour days, seven days a week, cleaning and serving.

The case brought against Opus Dei in Paris follows a nine-year investigation into the organisation's practices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Opus Dei members on trial in France

FRANCE
Catholic Culture

Two members of Opus Dei, the personal prelature founded by St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (1902-75), are on trial in France on charges of involuntary labor.

Catherine Tissier, who came into contact with Opus Dei as a 14-year-old girl, joined the prelature, remained a member for over a dozen years, and claims she was brainwashed. Tissier alleges that she worked 14-hour days and had to write blank checks to her employer upon receiving her paycheck.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Opus Dei members facing abuse charges

FRANCE
News 24

Paris - Two members of the secretive Roman Catholic society Opus Dei, made famous by the blockbuster The Da Vinci Code, were due in a Paris court on Thursday accused of subjecting a disciple to years of abuse.

The case comes after a nine-year probe and centres on Catherine Tissier who says that as a teenager she was forced to work 14-hour days and brainwashed, resulting in charges of "undignified punishment" and illegal employment.

Two Opus Dei members are defendants at the trial, along with the University and Technical Culture Association (Acut), which runs the Dosnon Hotel School in Aisne in northern France and is accused of links to Opus Dei.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Maltese Catholic Church denies legal responsibility for sex abuse

MALTA
Monsters and Critics

Valletta, Malta - The Catholic Church in Malta said Thursday it would help the victims of priests recently convicted of sexually abusing minors in their care, despite not being legally responsible for the actions.

In August a court on the Mediterranean island nation handed down jail sentences to two priests for sexually abusing boys at an orphanage in the late 1980s.

The case shocked predominantly Catholic Malta. One of the priests has since been defrocked by the Vatican.

The 11 victims have been pushing for financial compensation and a number of meetings were recently held between their lawyer and Archbishop of Malta Paul Cremona.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Clerical abuse victim: 'Our battle is just beginning'

MALTA
Times of Malta

Victims of clerical sex abuse have voiced their disappointment at a Curia announcement that the Church, as an institution, bore no legal responsibility for the crimes - and hence will not pay financial compensation.

Lawrence Grech, whose public comments first revealed the abuse, said he and the group of victims he represented were “utterly disappointed” with the Curia’s stand, adding that the matter will be taken to a civil court.

“I am disappointed how the Archbishop met us and apologised and said he felt humiliated and then offered us a sorry and psychological help. We don’t want that and we will take the matter to court,” he said.

“Our battle is just beginning. Just like the priests had said they were not responsible for what we were saying they had done, now we have the Church saying it is not responsible for this action. We will leave it up to the court to decide that.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Church has ‘no legal responsibility’ for abuse cases

MALTA
The Malta Independent

The Church said yesterday it has been advised legally that as an institution it does not have any legal responsibility for the cases (of abuse) perpetrated by “some individuals” but is offering psychiatric, psychological and other help by social professionals.

In a statement in which no reference is made to abuse by priests, except for the words ‘victims of abuse’ in the heading, the Church said a meeting was held between the Maltese Episcopal Conference and the Conference of the Religious Major Superiors, which decided to publish this statement:

“With reference to the facts and allegations which led to the decision given by the Magistrates’ Court some weeks back (which is still pending appeal before the courts, and hence cannot be prejudiced in any way), the Church authorities in Malta and Gozo, declare that they have been given legal advice, in the sense that, in this particular case, the Church, as an institution, does not have any legal responsibility for what was perpetrated by some individuals and that she cannot take upon herself such responsibility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

THE CHURCH OFFERS HELP TO THE VICTIMS OF ABUSE

MALTA
Maltese Episcopal Conference

At a meeting which took place between the Maltese Episcopal Conference and the Conference of the Religious Major Superiors, it was decided to publish this statement:

With reference to the facts and allegations which led to the decision given by the Magistrates’ Court some weeks back (which is still pending before the Courts, and hence cannot be prejudiced in any way), the Church authorities in Malta and Gozo, declare that they have been given legal advice, in the sense that, in this particular case, the Church, as an institution, does not have any legal responsibility for what was perpetrated by some individuals and that she cannot take upon herself such responsibility.

However, the Church authorities, without referring to any specific cases, and without prejudice for their position in the civil cases which may arise in the future, and without renouncing for their rights of defence which they can legally present, are taking the necessary steps for the setting up, of their own funds, a structure which will include psychiatric, psychological and social professionals who will provide all the necessary help in their respective field. This applies for every individual who, in any way, is proved to be a victim by individual pastoral functionaries. The Church is doing this as part of her pastoral and spiritual ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Video shows break-in that sparked Eddie Long sex scandal

LITHONIA (GA)
WSB

[with video]

LITHONIA, Ga. -- Channel 2 Action News has obtained the surveillance video from the controversial break-in at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church last year.

The break-in led to the explosive sexual abuse lawsuit against well-known pastor Bishop Eddie Long.

Channel 2’s Tom Jones talked to a former New Birth security guard who said the video helped keep him out of prison on burglary charges.

"Yes! It proves it, cause look at the guy when he comes inside the church," Anthony Boyd said while looking at the video. "Look how small I am. Look how big he is. And look at the other guy, he shows his face like he don't care."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Sex abuse victims blast Pope's inertia

GERMANY
Press TV (Iran)

An American group representing victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests accuses Pope Benedict XVI of failure to tackle the issue appropriately, urging him to take action to halt sexual harassment.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) demanded on Thursday that his Holiness institute significant reforms to curb the immorality, AFP reported.

"It's sad that in Germany, where hundreds of brave, wounded child sex abuse victims have spoken up in the last year, the pope can't bring himself to openly address the most devastating crisis in modern church history," said SNAP's president Barbara Blaine.

"If he can't even talk about it, there's little chance he can fix it,” she added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Church abuse to be gauged in nation-first survey

AUSTRALIA
Health Canal

A Queensland University of Technology (QUT) survey will be the basis for one of the first independent reports into survivors of child sexual abuse by church personnel in Australia.

Dr Jodi Death (pronounced Deeth) from the School of Justice, who is leading the survey, said she believed independent research into the area was "long overdue in Australia".

"There have been Senate inquiries but nothing specifically targeting child sexual abuse by church personnel. I believe this is the first such study in Australia, on an academic level, which is independent of the church," she said.

"It's important to know how this is being dealt with here in Australia. If results come back saying 'I'm happy with the way my complaint was dealt with', then that is fine, but anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Pope warns Germans about evils of power

GERMANY
Boston Globe

By Victor L. Simpson
Associated Press / September 23, 2011

BERLIN - Pope Benedict XVI addressed Germany’s Parliament in the historic Reichstag building yesterday, warning that politicians must not sacrifice ethics for power and evoking the Nazi excesses of his homeland as a lesson in history.

Amid scattered protests outside and a boycott by some lawmakers, Benedict began his first state visit to Germany in a bid to stem the tide of Catholics leaving the church while acknowledging the damage caused by the clergy sex abuse scandal.

The pope spoke for 20 minutes in the Reichstag, which was torched in 1933 by Hitler. “We Germans know from our own experience’’ what happens when power is corrupted, Benedict said, describing Nazis as a “highly organized band of robbers, capable of threatening the whole world and driving it to the edge of the abyss.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Church abuse study overdue - criminologist

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

A NEW study into child sexual abuse in the church will finally give victims a voice, a researcher says.

Queensland University of Technology criminologist Dr Jodi Death will survey 150 adults who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of anyone employed by a Christian organisation, be it a church, school, or home for children.

Participants will complete a confidential and detailed online questionnaire and, if they choose, take part in an interview.

Dr Death said the study was long overdue.

"The Senate inquiry into forgotten Australians and certainly the inquiry into child migration have both touched on the issues of abuses that happened within church organisations," she said today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

The Church offers “all necessary help to victims of abuse”

MALTA
Gozo News

At a meeting which took place between the Maltese Episcopal Conference and the Conference of the Religious Major Superiors, it was decided to publish this statement,

“With reference to the facts and allegations which led to the decision given by the Magistrates’ Court some weeks back (which is still pending before the Courts, and hence cannot be prejudiced in any way), the Church authorities in Malta and Gozo, declare that they have been given legal advice, in the sense that, in this particular case, the Church, as an institution, does not have any legal responsibility for what was perpetrated by some individuals and that she cannot take upon herself such responsibility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Pope heads to German monastery, meets Lutherans

GERMANY
The Associated Press

By MELISSA EDDY, Associated Press

ERFURT, Germany (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI traveled Friday to the eastern city of Erfurt to hold a joint service with Germany's Protestant churches in a chapel where Martin Luther once prayed before launching his schismatic protest against Rome.

The pontiff started the day in Berlin with a private Mass and meetings with leaders from Germany's Muslim community. He met with Jewish leaders on Thursday, before celebrating a Mass in Berlin that attracted some 70,000 faithful from across the nation. ...

Still, for many Germans, the Vatican's views on contraception, the role of women in the church and homosexuality are seen as outdated. Its handling of the sexual abuse scandal that rocked Germany last year has also been sharply criticized.

About 9,000 people protested in downtown Berlin on Thursday and more protests were planned in Erfurt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Slow Justice: Backlogged courts hamper efforts for speedy trial in child sexual abuse case

ST. GEORGE (UT)
St.GeorgeUtah.com

ST. GEORGE – The right to a speedy trial is guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, for the plaintiffs and attorneys involved in one case, the cogs of justice move far too slowly.

In 2009, Kris Lounsbury, a former Republican congressional candidate and lay pastor at the Living Word Christian Fellowship, was charged with the sexual molestation of a child. The 2009 case was soon joined by another in 2010 that involved charges of child sexual abuse. If he is handed a verdict of guilty by the court, Lounsbury, who is now 63, faces the possibility of a life sentence.

However, for a sentencing to take place, a trial date must first be set and followed through with. Due to an overwhelmed court system that is only able to handle so many cases in a day’s time, Lounsbury’s cases have remained in a state of judiciary limbo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Pastor waives hearing in child molestation case

PENNSYLIVANIA
Daily Local News

By JENNIFER CARBONI
jcarboni@dailylocal.com

COATESVILLE – A pastor accused of child molestation shared a tearful goodbye with loved ones after he waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Homer Richard Clifford Sr., 64, of Coatesville, is accused of molesting a girl between 1995 and 1999, when she was between 5 and 8 years old, according to court records. The alleged victim, now 21, came forward to Coatesville Police with the claims of molestation in July.

Clifford, who was represented by defense attorney Daniel Armstrong of Media, waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Gregory Hines. The case will now move up to Chester County Common Pleas Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Church “not legally responsible” for clerical sex abuse

MALTA
di-ve

by di-ve.com - editorial@di-ve.com

The Maltese Catholic church authorities announced that they are not legally responsible for the sexual abuse of boys in its care at the St Joseph’s Home in Santa Venera, although it also stressed that it will nevertheless assist victims of clerical sex abuse.

In a brief statement issued after a meeting involving Maltese bishops and the Conference of the Religious Major Superiors, the Curia said that it received legal advice that it is not legally responsible for what was perpetrated by individuals.

However, it also announced that it will set up a structure to provide all the necessary psychiatric, psychological and social assistance to those who are proved to be the victims of clerical sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

SAN BERNARDINO: Diocese, parish, priest sued in sex abuse case

CALIFORNIA
The Press-Enterprise

[with video]

BY DAVID OLSON
STAFF WRITER
dolson@pe.com

The parents of a 12-year-old boy molested by an Ontario priest filed suit this week against the Diocese of San Bernardino, alleging that church officials covered up past sexual abuse and predatory behavior.

"The diocese knew well that Father Castillo had problems with sexual abuse," said Martha Escutia, an attorney for the parents, at a news conference Thursday outside Castillo's former church. "But they didn't say anything to parishioners."

The Rev. Alejandro "Alex" Jose Castillo was sentenced Aug. 31 to a year in jail for molesting the boy in late 2008.

A separate suit was filed on behalf of the boy's then-16-year-old brother, who also alleged abuse. Prosecutors could not bring charges in that case because the statute of limitations had expired, as it did for alleged abuse by Castillo involving at least three other boys or men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

No financial compensation from Church

MALTA
Times of Malta

The Church has rejected legal responsibility for the sexual abuse perpetrated by two of its priests on a group of boys at the St Joseph’s Home, putting paid to the possibility of an out-of-court settlement on financial compensation for the victims.

In an unexpected statement yesterday, the Curia said it had been given legal advice that “...in this particular case, (the Church) as an institution, does not have any legal responsibility for what was perpetrated by some individuals and that she (the Church) cannot take upon herself such responsibility.”

The decision was taken at a meeting between Archbishop Paul Cremona, Gozo Bishop Mario Grech and Auxiliary Bishop Annetto Depasquale and the superiors of the major religious orders in Malta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Diocese criticises priest's insensitive abuse comments

IRELAND
Total Catholic

A diocese has expressed regret over comments made in the media by one of its priests who criticised the “wives and mothers of Ireland” who “failed miserably” to deal with the abuse of their children.

Fr Patrick Banville of New Ross, in the Diocese of Ferns, claimed in his article: “In time, I believe Ireland will discover that there is nothing particularly unique in the Catholic bishops’ bungling attempts to deal with clerical abuse.”

Elsewhere in the article, the Co Wexford priest claims that the wives and mothers of Ireland “probably surpass” the failure of the bishops.

“In fact, I believe that covering up is a typical response to child abuse right across the board, at least until very recently.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

September 22, 2011

Lack of documents leads to denied claims for residential school survivors

CANADA
Global Regina

It’s been a lofty task for The Truth and Reconciliation Commission – trying to uncover the truth behind Canada’s residential schools.

Justice Murray Sinclair said they expected one hundred thousand claims to be filed by residential school survivors and now face the frustrating reality that many records and documents have been destroyed.

“Many claims for example, by students who went to residential schools are denied.

Not because they don’t present a credible case that they went to the school, but because the government says, ‘we look at our records and can’t find any record that you were there’.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Adelaide priest accused of raping Archbishop John Hepworth given right to reply in Senate

AUSTRALIA
news.com au

THE Adelaide priest named as an alleged rapist by Senator Nick Xenophon has the right to respond to the allegations in the Senate.

A Senate Privileges Committee yesterday ruled that Monsignor Ian Dempsey should receive a right of reply to the accusations.

The Senate yesterday tabled a letter from Monsignor Dempsey defending the allegations. This came as Senator Xenophon was yesterday visited in Parliament House by the man who made the allegations, Archbishop John Hepworth, the head of a breakaway Anglican group and a former Catholic priest.

In Monsignor Dempsey's letter provided to the Senate, first published in The Advertiser on Tuesday, he comprehensively denies the allegations. "I am innocent of these allegations which you used parliamentary privilege to name me," the letter states. "You irreparably smeared me and denigrated my reputation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Suits filed over sexually abusive San Bernardino priest

CALIFORNIA
KPCC

Steven Cuevas | KPCC

The accusers of a Roman Catholic priest convicted of sexually abusing a 12-year old boy are suing him. Attorneys for the victim and his older brother — both teenagers now — are also suing the Diocese of San Bernardino.

Attorneys say church leaders knew Father Alex Castillo was a serial child molester even before he worked at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Ontario. That’s where attorney John Manley and members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, announced the lawsuits.

"It appears to us and we think that we’ll be able to prove that the Diocese was well aware that Father Castillo has serious problems with acting out sexually," Manley said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Two new lawsuits filed against Ontario pastor imprisoned for child molestation

ONTARIO (CA)
Daily Bulletin

By Sandra Emerson Staff Writer
Created: 09/22/2011

ONTARIO - Two new civil lawsuits have been filed against the Rev. Alejandro Castillo and the Diocese of San Bernardino on the behalf of two brothers in Castillo's parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Ontario.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, held a news conference outside of the church Thursday to announce the lawsuits alleging sex abuse by Castillo and a cover-up by the diocese as well as to call out to any other victims.

"For us, we got Alex Castillo behind bars, but what's important is to hold accountable the people who covered up for him," said Joelle Casteix, western regional director for SNAP. "It's the institutional cover-up that puts kids at risk. That's why these suits are so important."

Castillo, 58, last month was sentenced to one year in prison for committing lewd sexual acts with a 12-year-old boy in his parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

The ESD Sex Scandal

TEXAS
D Magazine

by Claire St. Amant

Published 9.21.2011

When an exclusive private school discovered a teacher was sleeping with a student, administrators did their best to make the problem vanish.

Campbell slid his letter of resignation across the table. In it, he accepted full responsibility for his actions and closed by offering his “heartfelt apologies.” Campbell taught his last class of the day and was escorted off campus by CFO Chris Burrow. Before leaving, Campbell told Burrow he’d had sex with Emily. Even though ESD filed a report with Child Protective Services the very next day, the school never told Emily’s parents. They didn’t learn that a teacher had had sex with their daughter until a week later, when CPS interviewed Emily.

When Mayo announced Campbell’s resignation at an emergency faculty meeting the morning after he’d quit, there was a visible and audible reaction from the crowd.

“We know the shock of our students will be about 10 times what it is here,” Mayo said.

She told her faculty not to speculate about the reason for Campbell’s abrupt departure, assuring everyone that he and his family were in good health. That same day, Mayo and Royall grilled Emily, asking her explicit questions about the nature of her contact with Campbell. She continued to deny it had been sexual until meeting with CPS officials the following week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Suits filed over abusive Calif. priest

SAN BERNARDINO (CA)
Monterey Herald

The Associated Press
Posted: 09/22/2011

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.—Two brothers have filed civil lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino alleging molestation by a priest who pleaded guilty to a sex-related charge earlier this year.

The lawsuits naming the Rev. Alejandro Jose Castillo were announced Thursday at a news conference in front of the Our Lady of Guadalupe school in Ontario.

Castillo was sentenced earlier this month to a year in prison and must register as a sex offender upon release.

The 58-year-old priest pleaded guilty in April to a single felony charge of lewd and lascivious acts with a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

Diocese: Spaulding harbored suspended priest at Mesa parish

MESA (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

By Mike Sakal, Tribune

Suspended priest Jack Spaulding twice harbored at a Mesa church another priest who was accused of sexual misconduct and inciting violence at a mission for the poor in Mexico, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix confirmed to the Tribune this week.

The diocese said Spaulding had allowed the Rev. Loren Riebe to stay at the St. Timothy’s Catholic Community rectory in June 2009 and May of this year — even after the diocese warned him not to take in the priest who garnered national attention in 1995 when he was deported from Mexico amidst allegations that he had molested teenage boys.

Spaulding could not be reached for comment this week, but his attorney, Don Wilkinson, said, “I’m sure if he (Spaulding) would’ve been warned (not to take in Riebe), he wouldn’t have done it. Frankly, it sounds a little hard to believe he would’ve done it after he was told not to.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Pope Benedict Greeted by Protests During German Tour

GERMANY
Christian Post

By Ivana Kvesic | Christian Post Reporter

Pope Benedict XVI, who has been facing a summer of immense scrutiny, is visiting Germany from Sept. 22-25 and is expected to be greeted by protestors accusing him of trying to cover up child sex abuse allegations.

The pope said of his journey to his homeland in a speech at Bellevue, "Even though this journey is an official visit which will reinforce the good relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Holy See, I have not come here primarily to pursue particular political or economic goals, but rather to meet people and to speak about God." ...

The most recent scrutiny following the pope has come from The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) that fielded complaints with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Pope Benedict XVI and three senior Vatican officials.

Lawyers for the Center for Constitutional Rights are handing the (SNAP) case and argued last week, "The Vatican officials charged in this case are responsible for rape and other sexual violence and for the physical and psychological torture of victims around the world both through command responsibility and though direct cover-up of crimes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

New lawsuit claims Cathedral student as victim

KANSAS CITY (MO)
St. Joseph News-Press

Kim Norvell
St. Joseph News-Press

A new federal lawsuit claims a priest who has been charged in state and federal courts took pornographic photos of a student from Cathedral School of St. Joseph.

The lawsuit, filed by her parents on behalf of Jane Doe 186, accuses the Rev. Shawn F. Ratigan of sexually exploiting a minor female by producing and distributing pornography that depicted her in a sexually explicit way. The lawsuit also names the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and Bishop Robert Finn, alleging they “aided and abetted” Rev. Ratigan’s conduct for six months after the photographs were found on his computer by concealing them from law enforcement.

The lawsuit didn’t reveal the family’s identity or give the student’s age at the time of the abuse.

“As we see so often, this case appears to be one of top officials concerned about reputation over safety of children,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney who filed the suit. “We applaud the courage of this family for taking action to make this problem known in order to protect children in the future.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

Pope remains philosophical in historic speech to German parliament

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

The pope has made a landmark speech to the lower house of parliament in Berlin, his first such address to a national legislature. But in the end it turned out to be more philosophical than political.

Was the hype all for nothing? Before the long-awaited speech to the German lower house of parliament by Pope Benedict XVI, a number of opposition parliamentarians had protested against the appearance of a religious leader in the Bundestag, on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state. But in fact Pope Benedict's address was more like a philosophical lecture than a political tool. The former theological professor, Joseph Ratzinger, reflected mostly on the relationship between reason and faith.

The pope spoke of how difficult it is for politicians in the modern world to recognize true justice in lawmaking. He advised the parliamentarians to remember the Christian roots of the European conception of justice. He said that nature and reason were the true sources of justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Child Porn Victim's Parents File Suit Against Ratigan, Finn and KC Diocese

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KMBC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Attorneys for a child pornography victim used a little-known pornography statute to file a lawsuit on Thursday in United States District Court against the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

The lawsuit, filed by the child's parents on her behalf using Masha's Law, charges Ratigan with using the child to produce pornographic materials, which he distributed over the Internet. The complaint alleges a subsequent six-month pattern of efforts to protect the priest by top diocese officials.

•Click here to read the entire lawsuit.
•Diocese response

Masha's Law, which was signed into law in 2009, protects children and families from child pornographers and those who assist them. The law was named for a 5-year-old child who was adopted from a Russian orphanage by a man who sexually abused her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Family of Alleged Child Porn Victim Sues Priest, Diocese

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Fox 4

Jason Vaughn
Interactive Content Producer

2:55 p.m. CDT, September 22, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—
The family of an alleged child pornography victim has filed a federal lawsuit against accused priest Father Shawn Ratigan, Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, alleging that Ratigan distributed pictures of the child over the internet, and that Finn and the Diocese subsequently tried to cover it up to protect Ratigan.

The lawsuit, filed by the alleged victim's parents on the child's behalf, is based on a little-known federal child pornography statute known as Masha's Law - so named for a child adopted from a Russian orphanage at age 5 by a man who then sexually abused her, and spread her image on the internet.

According to lawyers for the alleged victim, Masha's Law protects children and families from child pornographers and those who assist them by creating a civil claim for child pornography victims allowing the victim to file a civil lawsuit in federal district court against anyone who produced, distributed or possessed any sexually explicit images of him or her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Parents of child porn victim file lawsuit against priest, Kansas City Diocese and Bishop

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[the lawsuit]

(Kansas City, MO) Using a little known federal child pornography statute known as Masha’s Law, attorneys for a child porn victim of Father Shawn Ratigan filed a lawsuit today in United States District Court - Western District of Missouri, against the priest, Bishop Robert Finn, and the Diocese of Kansas City.

The lawsuit, filed by the child’s parents on her behalf, charges Ratigan with using the child to produce pornographic materials which he then distributed over the internet. Further, the complaint details a subsequent six- month pattern where efforts are alleged to have been made by top diocesan officials to protect the priest.

Masha's Law, signed into law by President Bush in 2009, was named for a child who was adopted from a Russian orphanage at age 5 by a man who sexually abused her. Her abuser was convicted, yet her images on the Internet were being downloaded around the world. The law protects children and families from child pornographers and those who assist them by creating a civil claim for child pornography victims allowing the victim to file a civil lawsuit in federal district court against anyone who produced, distributed or possessed any sexually explicit images of him or her.

Jeff Anderson, who is one of the attorneys representing the family, said “As we see so often, this case appears to be one of top officials concerned about reputation over safety of children. We applaud the courage of this family for taking action to make this problem known in order to protect children in the future.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

New lawsuit claims priest photographed girl

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

The parents of a Missouri girl filed a lawsuit today alleging that a Kansas City priest who faces state and federal child pornography charges took sexually explicit pictures of their daughter.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court by a girl identified as Jane Doe 186 and her parents, Mother Doe 186 and Father Doe 186, alleges that the Rev. Shawn Ratigan used the child to produce pornographic pictures, then distributed them over the Internet. The lawsuit claims officials with the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese spent five months trying to hide the evidence and protect Ratigan.

The civil suit names Ratigan, the diocese and Bishop Robert Finn as defendants and is the third lawsuit to be filed against the priest. It seeks unspecified damages, including expenses incurred for the girl’s medical treatment.

“As we see so often, this case appears to be one of top officials concerned about reputation over safety of children,” said Jeff Anderson, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit. “We applaud the courage of this family for taking action to make this problem known in order to protect children in the future.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Family: Finn, Diocese pretended to be 'sophisticated incompetents'

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KCTV

By DeAnn Smith, Digital Content Manager

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Another lawsuit has been filed alleging that Bishop Robert Finn and other Catholic Church leaders strove to cover up Father Shawn Ratigan taking sexually explicit pictures of young girls.

An unidentified girl and her parents are suing The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Bishop Robert Finn and Ratigan. Some of the allegations are similar to a previous lawsuit by another girl's family but also includes explosive new allegations about the lengths that Diocese leaders and Finn went to keep the issue from going public.

These allegations include claiming that Finn, the diocese's attorney and others purposely turned over the laptop to Ratigan's family rather than the authorities counting on the fact that the family would destroy the laptop and eliminate crucial evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

'Pope Go Home': pontiff met by protests in native Germany

GERMANY
Expatica

A few thousand protesters, some dressed as condoms and nuns, marched against Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, attacking his views on issues ranging from gay rights to the paedophile priest scandals.

However the rally drew fewer people than organisers hoped, with police saying only around 2,500 had gathered in Berlin's Potsdamer Platz while the pope was delivering a speech at the Reichstag parliament building.

In the run-up to Benedict's visit, organisers had spoken of a protest numbering as many as 20,000.

One demonstrator was dressed as a giant nun clutching a crucifix and a wooden stick with "never again" emblazoned across her robe, a reference to the high-profile abuse scandal that rocked the Church in Germany last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Pope’s visit met by protests

GERMANY
Euronews

A small group of protesters in Berlin took advantage of the the Pope’s visit to voice their support for victims of abuse within the Catholic Church.

Carrying banners and photos of victims they gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

The demonstrators were from associations and initiatives from allover Germany and further afield.

Barbara Blaine is the President of the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests.

“We believe that the Catholic Church officials have done a horrific job and that they continue to harbour sexual predators and that they endanger children across the globe.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

In powerful address to German lawmakers, Pope warns of 'cultureless' Europe

GERMANY
Catholic Culture

September 22, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI gave a powerful defense of the natural-law tradition, and an equally powerful critique of moral relativism, in an address to lawmakers during the first day of his visit to Germany.

In his September 22 speech to the Bundestag, the Holy Father said that the Nazi regime illustrated how a government that does not recognize objective standards of justice can become a nightmare regime.

"Without justice, what else is the state but a great band of robbers?" the Pope asked, citing the words of St. Augustine. He continued:

We Germans know from our own experience that these words are no empty specter. We have seen how power became divorced from right, how power opposed right and crushed it, so that the state became an instrument for destroying right--a highly organized band of robbers, capable of threatening the whole world and driving it to the edge of the abyss.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Ninth Circuit Orders Redaction of Priest-Abuse Claims In Bankruptcy Discovery Documents

OREGON
Metropolitan News-Enterprise

By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer

A retired Catholic priest who had been accused of sexual abuse was entitled to have his identifying information redacted from documents produced in discovery during the Portland Archdiocese’s bankruptcy proceedings before these materials could be released to the public, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday.

The panel, in an opinion by Judge Sandra S. Ikuta, reasoned that the public safety concern in knowing who might sexually abuse children was not applicable to the 88-year old priest, identified in the decision as Father D, since he had retired in 1989 and was no longer occupying a position of power and trust.

Ikuta, however, said the desire of a second priest—a 72-year old identified as Father M—to preserve his privacy did not outweigh the public interest in disclosure since he continues serve his clerical duties, which may bring him into contact with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Simsbury Priest Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Assault Charges

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By KIM VELSEY, kvelsey@courant.com
The Hartford Courant

1:29 p.m. EDT, September 22, 2011

ENFIELD —
A Simsbury priest charged with misdemeanor sexual assault for allegedly touching an 18-year-old man's pubic area while administering confession pleaded not guilty Thursday morning in Enfield Superior Court.

The Rev. Edward Warnakulasuriya, a priest at St. Bernard's Catholic Church in the Tariffville section of Simsbury, was suspended by the archdiocese of Hartford in August after being charged with three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

Prosecution Before his appointment to St. Bernard's, Warnakulasuriya served several years as an assistant pastor at St. Martha Roman Catholic Church in Enfield, where he was known by a different name. In church and public records, Warnakulasuriya is also listed as Edward Tissera, and W. Edward Julian Tissera. The archdiocese lists him as Edward J. Tissera.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Officials to announce two new civil lawsuits against Ontario church's former pastor

CALIFORNIA
San Bernardino Sun

Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/22/2011

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, will hold a press conference at 11:15 a.m. today at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Ontario to announce two new civil lawsuits filed Wednesday against the church's former pastor, Rev. Alejandro Castillo.

Castillo, 58, last month was sentenced to one year in prison for committing lewd sexual acts with a 12-year-old boy in his parish.

Castillo pleaded no contest as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors that carried a one year sentence in jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Sexual abuse survivors often begin the healing process during college years

UNITED STATES
USA Today

By Naresh Vissa

Recently attention has surrounded sexual assaults on college campuses. In April, Yale University came under scrutiny for failing to respond appropriately to sexual violence and harassment claims.

Vice President Joe Biden said in a speech last April, “No means no, if you’re drunk or you’re sober. No means no if you’re in bed, in a dorm or on the street. No means no even if you said yes at first and you changed your mind. No means no.”

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration sent out guidelines to help colleges deal with assaults. The government, however, failed to address actions some victims face long before their college years.

A study funded by the Justice Department found that one in four women will be assaulted during their college years, and 95 percent of sexual assaults on campuses aren’t reported. If legal adults aren’t reporting such illegal activity, then why would a child?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Clerical abuse convictions - Church says it is not legally responsible

MALTA
Times of Malta

The Church declared today that it has been given legal advice that it does not, as an institution, have any legal responsibility for the recent clerical sex abuse convictions 'perpetrated by some individuals' and it cannot take upon itself such responsibility.

In a three paragraph statement issued following a meeting between the bishops and the Conference of the Religious Major Superiors, the Curia added that without referring to any specific cases, without prejudice to civil cases which may arise in the future, and without renouncing to the rights of defence in court, it is setting up a structure which will include psychiatric, psychological and social professionals to help people involved in such cases.

"This applies for every individual who, in any way, is proved to be a victim by individual pastoral functionaries. The Church is doing this as part of her pastoral and spiritual ministry," the Curia said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

A reluctant farewell for Archbishop Buechlein

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

Written by
Dan McFeely

As Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein finally realizes his long-held dream of returning to a monastery for peace and quiet, he leaves behind bustling schools and busy seminarians.

His focus on Catholic education over the past two decades was just one of his achievements celebrated Wednesday as Buechlein bid a tearful farewell to dozens of priests, staff members and friends at the Catholic Center.

In failing health after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2008 and suffering a stroke earlier this year, the 73-year-old native of Jasper asked the Vatican for an early retirement (two years prior to the usual time). That request was granted Wednesday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Ist dieser Besuch ein Segen?

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

Der Papst ist in Berlin. Ich bin Berliner und katholisch, aber ich werde nicht hingehen. Warum nicht? Das ist nicht so leicht zu erklären, ich will es dennoch versuchen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Kerk Malta weigert compensatie voor misbruik

MALTA
De Telegraaf (Nederland)

VALLETTA - De Rooms-Katholieke Kerk op Malta weigert schadevergoeding te betalen aan de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik door pedopriesters. Volgens de religieuze organisatie gaat het om misdaden gepleegd door individuen, waarvoor de kerk als geheel niet verantwoordelijk is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Paus arriveert in Duitsland voor vierdaags bezoek

DUITSLAND
Nieuws (Nederland)

(Novum/AP) - BERLIJN - Paus Benedictus XVI is donderdag in Duitsland aangekomen voor een vier dagen durend bezoek. De verwachting is dat de kerkvorst wordt opgewacht met grote demonstraties en betogingen, maar ook en vooral door een nog grotere groep gelovigen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Paus begrijpt kerkverlaters

DUITSLAND
De Telegraaf (Nederland)

BERLIJN - Paus Benedictus XVI heeft er begrip voor dat gelovigen de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk de rug toekeren uit woede over seksueel misbruik van kinderen. „Ik begrijp dat mensen, zeker de naasten van slachtoffers, bij zulke berichten zeggen: dit is mijn kerk niet meer”, zei de paus in het vliegtuig naar Duitsland, dat hij de komende dagen bezoekt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Betoging op Potsdamer Platz tegen pauselijk bezoek

DUITSLAND
Trouw (Nederland)

Honderden mensen hebben zich donderdagmiddag op de Potsdamer Platz in het centrum van Berlijn verzameld voor een betoging tegen het staatsbezoek van paus Benedictus XVI aan Duitsland. De betogers lopen met als leuze 'Geen macht voor dogma's' naar de Bebelplatz. Daar staat de Hedwigkathedraal, de belangrijkste katholieke kerk in de Duitse hoofdstad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Bezoek paus aan Berlijn niet onopgemerkt

DUITSLAND
Deredactie (Belgie)

Paus Benedictus XVI is in de Duitse hoofdstad Berlijn aangekomen voor een eerste officieel bezoek aan zijn vaderland. Hij houdt er vanmiddag een toespraak in het parlement, maar heel wat parlementsleden zijn van plan om weg te blijven uit protest tegen de schandalen in de kerk en de conservatieve standpunten van het Vaticaan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

No grilling for Xenophon on abuse statement

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Rebecca Puddy
From:The Australian
September 23, 2011

INDEPENDENT senator Nick Xenophon is likely to avoid being hauled before the Senate privileges committee to respond to his use of parliamentary privilege to name a Catholic priest as the subject of sex-abuse allegations.

Monsignor Ian Dempsey's letter of complaint about his naming in parliament was yesterday admitted to Hansard as a right of reply to Senator Xenophon's speech.

"I was, and am, in no position to influence the timing and course of action in this matter by the archdiocese. You have chosen to shame me publicly in order to address a matter which I have no way of influencing," Monsignor Dempsey's letter said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Missbrauchsopfer – "Leben von Hartz IV"

DEUTSCHLAND
Berliner Morgenpost

Elf Jahre alt war der Messdiener Winfried Fesselmann, als ihn ein Kaplan während einer Ferienfreizeit in Essen sexuell missbrauchte. Das Verbrechen flog auf, der Geistliche wurde 1980 versetzt. Ins Erzbistum München, dem Joseph Ratzinger damals als Bischof vorstand. Der Priester durfte weiterarbeiten, auch mit Kindern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Missbrauch energisch bekämpfen

DEUTSCHLAND
Stern

Papst Benedikt XVI. sieht die Proteste und die Opposition gegen seinen Deutschlandbesuch gelassen. «Das ist normal in einer freien und säkularisierten Gesellschaft», sagte der Papst am Donnerstag auf dem Weg nach Berlin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Missbrauchsopfer demonstrieren gegen Papst-Besuch

DEUTSCHLAND
D News

BERLIN - Am Brandenburger Tor in Berlin haben knapp 100 frühere Heimkinder und Missbrauchsopfer gegen den Papst-Besuch demonstriert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Frühere Heimkinder demonstrieren in Berlin

DEUTSCHLAND
Welt

Berlin (dpa) - Kaum war der Papst am Donnerstag gelandet, haben in Berlin Protestaktionen begonnen. Teils ernst, teils bunt und spaßbetont demonstrierten Menschen gegen die katholische Kirche. Am Nachmittag sollte um 16 Uhr eine zentrale Anti-Papst-Demonstration starten. Bis zu 20 000 Teilnehmer wurden erwartet. Daran wollten auch Bundestagsabgeordnete teilnehmen, die der Rede des Papstes im Parlament nicht zuhören wollten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Heimkinder fordern Ende von Verjährungsfristen nach Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
Kanal 8

Demonstration am Brandenburger Tor

Berlin (dapd). Die Bundesinitiative Kinder im Heim fordert von der Bundesregierung eine Aufhebung der Verjährungsfristen bei Missbrauchsfällen in kirchlichen Einrichtungen. Die vom Bundesjustizministerium angekündigte Verlängerung auf 30 Jahre könne nur ein erster Schritt sein, sagte der Vize-Vorsitzende der Initiative, Peter Bringmann-Henselder, am Donnerstag bei einer Demonstration am Brandenburger Tor in Berlin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Polizei-Einsatz gegen Papst-Gegner in Berlin-Mitte

DEUTSCHLAND
Welt

Das Oberhaupt der katholischen Kirche ist in seiner deutschen Heimat eingetroffen. In der Hauptstadt gibt es erste Proteste. Mehr im Live-Ticker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Höchste Sicherheitsstufe im Bundestag

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

Es ist der politische Höhepunkt des Papstbesuchs: Benedikt XVI. wendet sich an den Bundestag, seine Ansprache wird mit Spannung erwartet. Viele Abgeordnete wollen dem Auftritt fernbleiben, Ersatzleute sollen die freien Plätze füllen. Verfolgen sie Rede und Reaktionen im Liveticker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

+++ Missbrauchsopfer demonstrieren am Brandenburger Tor +++

DEUTSCHLAND
n.tv

Der Heilige Vater absolviert seinen ersten Staatsbesuch in Deutschland. Mehr als 6000 Polizisten sind im Einsatz, tausende Katholiken freuen sich über den Heimatbesuch. Doch es gibt auch Proteste. Verfolgen Sie die Ereignisse im n-tv.de-Liveticker.

+++ 15.49 Missbrauchsopfer demonstrieren am Brandenburger Tor +++
Knapp 100 frühere Heimkinder und Opfer des Missbrauchs in katholischen Einrichtungen demonstrieren vor dem Brandenburger Tor. Ganz in der Nähe, im Reichstag, wird der Papst in Kürze vor den Abgeordneten des Bundestags sprechen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Judges order accused priest’s name released, SNAP responds

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 21, 2011

Oregon’s 9th US Circuit Court has issued a mixed opinion in a case involving two accused pedophile priests. One of the clerics’ names will be publicly released, the other one’s identity will not be kept secret.

The complete text of the ruling can be found here:

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2011/09/21/10-35206.pdf

We’re grateful that at least one credibly accused predator priest’s identity is being made known. Kids are safer every time such a disclosure is made.

We’re also glad that more information about the Catholic employees who ignored and concealed heinous child sex crimes will be release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

PRESS CONFERENCE: Two clergy abuse & cover-up lawsuits filed

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos, sex abuse victims will announce two new civil lawsuits against a recently convicted predator priest and his Catholic supervisors. Filed by two young brothers, the suits charge that:

- The priest had a 20-year history of predatory behavior, well known by San Bernardino church officials,

- He was intentionally placed in poor, Spanish speaking communities where children are less likely to report, and

- When church officials were informed of the abuse allegations in 2010, they refused to report the crimes to law enforcement.

When:
Thursday, September 22 at 11:15 am

Where:
Outside of Our Lady of Guadalupe school, 710 S Sultana St. (corner of Mission), Ontario

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Pope acknowledges damage caused by clerical abuse scandal as he begins 4-day Germany

GERMANY
Washington Post

By Associated Press

BERLIN — Pope Benedict XVI warned Germans of the danger of ignoring religion as he began the first state visit to his homeland Thursday, seeking to stem the tide of Catholics leaving the church while acknowledging the damage caused by the clerical sex abuse scandal.

He is expected to be greeted by large protests and a boycott by some lawmakers when he addresses parliament later in the day but also by larger crowds of Catholic faithful.

“We are witnessing a growing indifference to religion in society,” he said at a formal welcoming ceremony at the German president’s Bellevue palace, touching on a major theme of his papacy.

Mix of ill-will and expectation await pontiff on German visit

GERMANY
The Irish Times

Pope Benedict’s six-year papacy has sparked regular controversy in his home country, writes DEREK SCALLY

POPE BENEDICT XVI begins a four-day visit to his native Germany today with an address to the Bundestag and a Mass at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.

Some 70,000 worshippers are expected to attend the opening Mass of the Pope’s third trip home since becoming pontiff in 2005.

Before landing, the 84-year-old might just spot a reminder of that momentous event on the Berlin skyline: mass-market Bild newspaper has covered its 18-storey offices with a reproduction of its 2005 front page that read: “We’re Pope!” Similar to last year’s visit to Britain, Pope Benedict arrives between a wave of public expectation and a cloud of ill-will.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Ex-spokesman for Cardinal Law takes Indianapolis church position

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
The Patriot Ledger

By Lane Lambert
The Patriot Ledger

A spokesman for Cardinal Bernard Law when Cardinal Law was archbishop of Boston is back in the spotlight – in Indianapolis.

The Rev. Christopher Coyne became the face of the Boston archdiocese at the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal in 2002 and 2003. He then faced angry parishioners when the archdiocese closed scores of parishes. Now he’s been called from Massachusetts to be apostolic administrator for the Indianapolis archdiocese.

He will fill the position temporarily – while the Vatican searches for a successor to Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, who retired this month due to failing health.

The Rev. Coyne will oversee the operation of the archdiocese but will not be able to appoint new pastors or invite religious orders into the archdiocese. He will be able to make such decisions if it takes more than a year for Archbishop Buechlein to be replaced, however.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Hans Küng on the “Putinization of the Catholic Church”

GERMANY
dotCommonweal

September 21, 2011

Posted by Eric Bugyis

On the eve of Pope Benedict’s trip to Germany, Hans Küng spoke with Der Spiegel about the increasing bureaucratic banality of the Catholic Church:

SPIEGEL: You and Benedict are traveling along two different paths. You want to reform the Church to keep it alive. The pope is trying to seal off the Church from the outside world and increasingly restrict it to a conservative core, which may possibly survive.

Küng: Indeed. In the past, the Roman system was compared with the communist system, one in which one person had all the say. Today I wonder if we are not perhaps in a phase of “Putinization” of the Catholic Church. Of course I don’t want to compare the Holy Father, as a person, with the unholy Russian statesman. But there are many structural and political similarities. Putin also inherited a legacy of democratic reforms. But he did everything he could to reverse them. In the Church, we had the Council, which initiated renewal and ecumenical understanding. Even pessimists couldn’t have imagined that such setbacks were possible after that. The Polish pope’s restoration policy, beginning in the 1980s, made it possible for the like-minded head of the highly secretive Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), once known as the Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition — and it’s still an inquisition, despite its new name — to be elected pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

RTE PREPARES TO DEFEND LIBEL ACTION BY AHASCRAGH PRIEST

IRELAND
Galway News

September 22, 2011

RTE is preparing to defend a libel action by a Galway priest who featured on a Prime Time Investigates programme.

Ahascragh Priest, Fr.Kevin Reynolds, claims he was wrongly accused of raping a Kenyan girl and gathering her child.

Two paternity tests now show that the man did not father the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Early Retirement of Daniel Buechlein as Archbishop of Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Statement by Mary Heins, NSAC Indianapolis 317-359-7128,
MaryHeins2002@yahoo.com

The retirement of Indianapolis’ archbishop is a stop, look and listen time for Catholics in Indianapolis.

We urge them to become educated with vigor and resilience on the great issue of the times: the sexual abuse of children and minors by priests and nuns.

This early retirement bears looking and watching on two fronts, first on the successor. We urge Indianapolis Catholics to be wary of a battlefield promotion of auxiliary bishop Christopher Coyne whose appointment as auxiliary bishop smacked of cronyism. Bishop Coyne was the auxiliary bishop and spokesperson for Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston. Cardinal Law who “resigned” as archbishop of Boston still sits on the powerful Vatican Congregation for Bishops whose recommendations for bishops are rarely rejected by the Pope.

We sincerely hope Archbishop Buechlein’s successor’s record will far outdo Buechlein’s on notifications to police regarding sexual abuse by clergy, put an end to moving abusers from one parish to another, include active and sincere involvement in seeking out survivors, and the posting of information regarding all accused abusers on the diocesan website, in parish bulletins and everywhere information can protect children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Boycotting Bundestagers

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Pope Benedict begins his third trip to his native country, Germany, today with an opening day speech before the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany’s federal legislature.

Nearly 100 members of the 598 member Bundestag plan to boycott. To relieve any discomfort the pontiff may experience from looking at a chamber shy a 100 members, the Germans are filling in the seats with staff and other invited persons.

They boycott this pontiff in a country where an unprecedented 181,000 Catholics Germans just in the past year have officially declared they are no longer Catholics in order not to be counted for tax distribution for the support of the Catholic Church in Germany. The tax distribution is the German Church’s major means of financial support. No dependence on the voluntary drop in the basket method in the Pope’s home country.

The boycotting Bundestagers have come under some fire for announcing they won’t be in the Chamber when the Bavarian born pontiff speaks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Pastor Pleads Guilty of Raping Choir Girl

CALIFORNIA
Patch

By Peter Surowski

A former pastor of a Temecula church pleaded guilty today of raping a teenaged choir girl.

Joseph Jermaine Spencer, 26, who was the choir director of Mountain View Community Church, admitted to unlawful intercourse with a minor more than three years younger that him and penetrating her with a foreign object, according to court records.

He faces three years in prison for this crime and a similar one stemming from an incident in San Bernardino County, according to John Hall, a spokesperson for the District Attorney's office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Church Sued for Alleged Choir Girl Rape

CALIFORNIA
Patch

By Peter Surowski

A Temecula church was sued for its part in the statutory rape of a choir girl, according to court records.

Mountain View Community Church, its pastor John Wells, board of directors and elders council, are facing litigation for damages stemming from an incident between one of its pastors and a 16-year-old choir girl.

The pastor, Joeseph Jermaine Spencer, 26, pleaded guilty this week to picking the girl up from high school, taking her to his Murrieta apartment and having sex with her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Pope's visit intended to sway German skeptics

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Germany for his first official state visit. Tens of thousands of Germans, including politicians, have vowed to protest the visit and his speech to the Bundestag.

The motto of the pope's tour of Germany is: "Where there's God, there's future." That line is meant to help bring back Germans to the Catholic Church, which has seen dwindling support in recent years.

Joseph Ratzinger's third trip to his native Germany since becoming Pope Benedict XVI comes amid a sharp decline in church membership after a series of abuse scandals in Germany and abroad. His planned address before parliament, meanwhile, has caused furor in Berlin for months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Pope makes first state visit to Germany

GERMANY
RTE News

Pope Benedict XVI has arrived for his first state visit to his native Germany, facing an increasingly secular country still grappling with a Church sex abuse scandal.

Earlier, he told reporters on his plane from Rome that he could understand those leaving the Catholic Church due to the sexual abuse scandals of recent years.

Benedict also said he had nothing against the planned demonstrations in protest at his visit, so long as they were civil.

"I can understand that in the face of such reports, people, especially those close to victims, would say 'this isn't my Church anymore'," he told reporters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Pope calls German protests "normal in a free society"

GERMANY
Monsters and Critics

Berlin - Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday shrugged off planned demonstrations by German leftists against his visit to Germany, telling reporters on the plane carrying him to Germany that protests were 'normal in a free society.'

He also voiced understanding for the attitude of rejection towards the church felt by some victims of sexual abuse by priests and their families.

'I can understand that... they may say 'This is not my Church. The church is a humanizing and moralizing force and if (clergy) themselves do the opposite, I cannot be with this church',' he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Martin: Funds in place to pay next year's compensation claims

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Archbishop of Dublin has denied reports that parish funds are currently being used to fund clerical sex abuse compensation.

Diarmuid Martin said the Church had sufficient funds for the coming year to to pay compensation for child sexual abuse.

He added that parishes with a surplus are being asked to contribute to a central fund to cover future liabilities in the Archdiocese, which could include abuse compensation.

Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships, Archbishop Martin said he would prefer if all the money could be used for other diocesan purposes, but did not rule out using parish money to fund future compensation pay-outs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

A Papal Homecoming to a Combative Germany

GERMANY
The New York Times

By NICHOLAS KULISH

Published: September 22, 2011

BERLIN — Instead of a pleasant visit to his native land, the trip to Germany by Pope Benedict XVI that began Thursday morning promises to be a journey to one of the front lines in the battle over the future of the Roman Catholic Church.

The protests and demonstrations announced for the pope’s visit are a far cry from the jubilation set off here by his election to the papacy more than six years ago. There was a naïveté to that celebration, which ignored the collision course between an increasingly secular society and a church leader set on a conservative, traditional path.

Benedict will be greeted with demands for change on a variety of controversial issues, including the celibacy requirement for priests, women’s role in the church, gay rights and aid for victims of sexual abuse by priests. Many in Parliament have threatened to boycott his speech to its members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Pope begins state visit to Germany

GERMANY
The Associated Press

By MELISSA EDDY, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI began the first state visit to his homeland Thursday, seeking to stem the tide of Catholics leaving the church while acknowledging the damage caused by the clerical sex abuse scandal.

He is expected to be greeted by large protests and a boycott by some lawmakers when he addresses parliament later in the day but also by larger crowds of Catholic faithful.

"We are witnessing a growing indifference to religion in society," he said at a formal welcoming ceremony at the German president's Bellevue palace, touching on a major theme of his papacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Pope in Germany on first official visit

GERMANY
Aljazeera

Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Germany on his first state visit to his homeland where he is expected to be greeted by large protests and even larger crowds of faithful Catholics.

The Bavarian-born 84-year-old pontiff was met on a red carpet at Berlin's Tegel airport on Thursday morning by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Christian Wulff, at the start of his four-day visit.

He will speak in parliament later in the day, which many politicians have vowed to boycott in protest. Another 10,000 are expected to demonstrate outside.

German Christians are almost exactly divided between Catholics and Protestants and official statistics show that members of both faiths are leaving the Church in droves.

Observers put this down in part to revelations last year of widespread child molestation by German priests over the last several decades, with top archbishop Robert Zollitsch admitting the Church had "failed" in its response.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Pope urges Germans not to quit church over sex abuse

GERMANY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

BERLIN | Thu Sep 22, 2011

(Reuters) - Pope Benedict appealed to Catholics not to leave the Catholic Church as he arrived on Thursday for a four-day visit to Germany, where record numbers of the faithful have quit the pews in protest against clerical sex abuse scandals.

The pope, on his third and most challenging trip to his homeland, told reporters on the flight from Rome he understood why some people -- especially victims and their loved ones -- might say "this is no longer my church."

But he urged Catholics to see the Church was made of both good and bad, and was struggling to right the wrongs committed in its ranks. Germany has been rocked by the clerical sex scandals that have swept across Europe in the past two years.

"The Church is a net of the Lord that pulls in good fish and bad fish," he said. "We have to learn to live with the scandals and work against the scandals from inside the great net of the Church

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Dozens sue Catholic Diocese of Helena over alleged sex abuse

MONTANA
Great Falls Tribune

Written by
MATT VOLZ

HELENA — Several dozen people are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena over sexual abuse they say they suffered as children at the hands of clergy members in western Montana.

The 34 men and women, who now range in age from 45 to 73, say the diocese must answer for what they claim is its "gross negligence" in the alleged abuse by at least eight clergy members, including six priests and two nuns, that took place from the late 1940s through the 1970s in St. Ignatius, Missoula and Arlee.

More alleged victims may be added as the case progresses, said Molly Howard, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Pope 'understands' those leaving Church

GERMANY
Sydney Morning Herald

AFP

Pope Benedict XVI says he can understand why people are turning their back on the Catholic Church after the recent sex abuse scandals.

At the start of a four-day trip to his homeland Germany, the pontiff took a conciliatory tone with protesters who planned to rally in the free-wheeling, overwhelmingly Protestant or secular German capital Berlin as long as they were "civil".

"I can understand that in the face of such reports, people, especially those close to victims, would say 'this isn't my Church anymore'," the 84-year-old told reporters on his plane from Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Pastor waives hearing in child molestation case

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Local News

By JENNIFER CARBONI
jcarboni@dailylocal.com

COATESVILLE – A pastor accused of child molestation shared a tearful goodbye with loved ones after he waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Homer Richard Clifford Sr., 64, of Coatesville, is accused of molesting a girl between 1995 and 1999, when she was between 5 and 8 years old, according to court records. The alleged victim, now 21, came forward to Coatesville Police with the claims of molestation in July.

Clifford, who was represented by defense attorney Daniel Armstrong of Media, waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Gregory Hines. Armstrong has described Clifford as a “lifelong pastor” who was also a truck driver for 25 years. Police said Clifford is the pastor at Crossroads of Faith Baptist Church in the 2900 block of Strasburg Road.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

34 Claiming Sexual Abuse By Priests File Suit Against Helena Diocese

MONTANA
NBC Montana

By Kevin Maki

MISSOULA, Mont. -- Thirty-four men and women who claim they were sexually abused by Catholic priests in Montana churches, schools and missions, filed a civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Helena.

Forty-nine-year-old Dana Short claims she was abused when she was 8-years-old by Father Bernard Harris while attending St. Francis Xavier Church in Missoula.

The suit comes on the heels of a settlement made by the "Society of Jesus" to pay $166 million to settle more than 500 sex abuse claims in the region.

Many of those victims said they were abused in Montana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Archbishop Martin: Parishioner money not used to pay abuse-claim costs

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A claim that the Dublin Archdiocese is using parish funds to cover the cost of clerical sexual abuse claims has been rejected by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

The Irish Catholic newspaper claims the Archdiocese proposed that parishes donate funds from their cash surpluses to help fill a deficit in an account used to pay lawyers fees and compensation for victims of clerical child sex abuse.

Last year, the Dublin Archdiocese ruled out asking parishioners to help fund the multi-million euro costs of the claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Parishes asked to contribute funds

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Parishes in the Dublin archdiocese have been asked to contribute surplus monies to a church fund that may be used, amongst other things, to pay compensation to survivors of child sexual abuse.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin today denied a report in the Irish Catholic that the so-called general fund was already being used to pay such compensation claims.

He said this was "not true at the moment" but admitted "it could happen".

Dr Martin said he would prefer that it didn’t happen and he recognised that a lot of people would not want money to be used to settle these claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Dublin Archbishop denies abuse fund claims

IRELAND
RTE News

The Archbishop of Dublin has denied claims that parish funds are being used to cover the cost of clerical abuse claims in the Dublin archdiocese.

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin has said parishes with a surplus of funding have been asked to contribute to a general fund which he said has not as yet been used to compensate victims of clerical sex abuse.

Dr Diarmuid Martin was responding to a report in The Irish Catholic newspaper, which claims that parish funds are being used to cover the cost of clerical abuse claims in the Dublin archdiocese.

A spokesperson for the archdiocese confirmed that while current abuse claims can be met, it may not be able to meet all anticipated future settlements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Sexual abuse suit filed against Helena diocese

MONTANA
Beartooth NBC

[with video]

By Ryan Whalen

Thirty-four men and women from across Montana who claim they were sexually abused as children by clergy members filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday afternoon against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena. Beartooth NBC’s Ryan Whalen reports the plaintiffs want the church to reform.

"The center picture is a picture of me on my first communion with the priest who abused me. It was taken in front of St. Francis church in Missoula, Montana and I think the picture tells a lot actually,” says plaintiff Dana Short.

For years, Dana Short says she couldn't come clean – tortured by fear and shame from what happened to her as a young child. But now she wants to make sure other children aren't abused by clergy in Montana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Lawsuit Filed Against Catholic Diocese of Helena

HELENA (MT)
KFBB

By Mike Cronin

On Tuesday, 34 men and women filed a civil lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena over acts of sexual abuse that took place from the 1960's-1980's.

Attorney Tim Kosnoff from Seattle says the lawsuit aims to protect children from sexual abuse by the clergy.

Kosnoff says, "This is real and it’s on your doorstep and you’re going to have to deal with it. And guess what. There’s probably hundreds, perhaps even thousands more that are going to come forward."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Failure of Diplomacy: Pope may soon face justice in crimes against humanity

UNITED STATES
The Daily Isureveille

By Zachary Davis
Columnist

Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When one thinks of crimes against humanity, certain images come to mind.

We think of things like genocide, torture and rape — all performed by some evil authoritarian power. However, a group recently came forward and attempted to attach the "crimes against humanity" label to something many people would never associate it with: the pope.

The American-based group SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) has approached the International Criminal Court in an attempt to have Pope Benedict XVI and the heads of the Catholic Church tried for attempting to cover up numerous sexual-assault charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Pope arrives in Berlin amid anti-Vatican mass protests

GERMANY
Islamic Republic News Agency (Iran)

Berlin, Sept 22, IRNA - Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday arrived at Berlin's Tegel airport for the first day of a four-day state visit amid anti-Vatican mass protests in the German capital.

Looking visibly exhausted, the 84-year-old German pontiff was greeted at the airport by Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet as well as President Christian Wulff.

Later in the day, the Pope is scheduled to address the German parliament, the
Bundestag, and hold mass at the Olympic Stadium, where 70,000 worshippers are
expected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

September 21, 2011

State drops defilement charges against priest

UGANDA
Daily Monitor

By Monitor Reporter

The Director of Public Prosecutions has withdrawn charges of defilement against Fr. Joseph Kalinaki, the Vicar General and finance secretary of Jinja Diocese, ending a controversy that had brought the priest and the Church into disrepute.

Jinja Resident State Attorney Vicky Nabisenke said she had carefully perused the case file and found no evidence of any immoral sexual act, save for finding the accused being in the company of the alleged victim.

Fr. Kalinaki was on August 27 arrested following a complaint by an elder sister to the alleged defilement victim. This was after Fr. Kalinaki and the victim were allegedly found at Paradise Hotel. In her statement, the elder sister alleged that her sister was 14 years, and that Fr. Kalinaki had for some time been misleading her, making the “young girl” miss school.

But the state attorney said the alleged victim denied any sexual relationship, her story corroborated medical evidence, a birth certificate gave her age as 18, and there was no evidence of “sexual behaviour or flirtatious conduct”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Priest is not the father of Kenyan woman, court told

IRELAND
The Irish Times

AODHAN O'FAOLAIN and RAY MANAGH

TWO PATERNITY tests have shown that a Co Galway-based priest, featured in an RTÉ Prime Time Investigates programme, is not the father of a Kenyan woman, the High Court has been told.

The court heard that Fr Kevin Reynolds (65), who claims RTÉ accused him of raping a teenage girl in 1982 and fathering a child by her, had been restored to the priesthood since the results of the paternity tests became known.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy yesterday refused to grant judgment for defamation against RTÉ for having failed to enter a defence but ordered the national broadcaster to file one by the end of this month. He said it was wholly unsatisfactory that RTÉ had not already lodged a defence to the claim for defamation which Fr Reynolds had taken out in July last.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

OPD: No Evidence of Molestation in Church-Related Suicide

OWENSBORO (KY)
Tristate Homepage

[with video]

According to Owensboro Police there was no evidence of any molestation of a young man who shot himself in front of a church in Owensboro. David Jarboe shot himself in front of Blessed Mother Catholic Church right after posting a suicide not on facebook, accusing members of the church of sexual abuse. According to the OPD investigation report, Jarboe only told his girlfriend he was at one time molested. Members of his family and other friends say the only incident he told them of, was when one of the priests mentioned, was showing him some wrestling moves and pinned him down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Police find no evidence of abuse in suicide case

OWENSBORO (KY)
Houston Chronicle

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — Owensboro police say they have finished investigating the suicide of man outside a church and found no evidence of sexual abuse.

David Jarboe killed himself in February outside the Blessed Mother Catholic Church. In a Facebook posting that addressed three priests, he thanked one, forgave another and called the third "an evil man."

Jarboe said online that he hoped his message would prevent a child from having to endure what he called the "pain and torment" he had to go through.

The Catholic Dioceses of Owensboro did its own investigation and said last month it had failed to turn up any evidence of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Statements to police in alleged abuse case conflict with report by Owensboro diocese

OWENSBORO (KY)
The Courier-Journal

Written by
Peter Smith | The Courier-Journal

An Owensboro police investigation was unable to confirm reported allegations of sexual abuse made by a suicide victim against a priest, but newly released witness statements conflict with the Diocese of Owensboro’s report that the man never alleged abuse within the church.

In the days before he shot himself to death outside Owensboro’s Blessed Mother Catholic Church in February, 23-year-old David Jarboe Jr. had told friends and a lawyer that he was sexually abused by a priest and considered suing the diocese, according to a police investigative report released through an open-records request.

Jarboe had also told several people he was long troubled by an incident in which the parish’s former pastor wrestled him to the floor at the rectory when Jarboe was 16 years old.

But witness accounts of Jarboe’s varied claims lacked corroboration and specifics, Owensboro police said, and a Daviess County grand jury that reviewed the information did not bring an indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

'A Putinization of the Catholic Church'

GERMANY
Spiegel

On Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Germany for a long-awaited visit. Prominent Swiss theologian Hans Küng explains to SPIEGEL why the papal visit will do little to help the crisis in the Church and compares Benedict to Vladimir Putin in the way he has centralized power.

SPIEGEL: Professor Küng, your former faculty colleague Joseph Ratzinger is coming to Germany this week for a state visit. Do you have an audience scheduled with him?

Küng: I didn't request an audience. I am fundamentally more interested in conversations than audiences.

SPIEGEL: Does Benedict XVI even talk to you anymore?

Küng: After his election to be pope, he invited me to his summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, where we had a four-hour friendly conversation. At the time, I hoped it would mark the beginning of a new era of openness. But that hope has not been fulfilled. We correspond with each other once in a while. The sanctions against me -- the withdrawal of my permission to teach -- still exist. (Ed's note: The Vatican revoked Küng's permission to teach Catholic theology in 1979 after he publicly rejected the dogma of papal infallibility.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Civil lawsuit filed against Helena Catholic Diocese

MONTANA
Independent Record

Attorneys for 17 named plaintiffs and 15 unnamed individuals filed a lawsuit in district court on Tuesday accusing the Helena Catholic Diocese of hiding sexual abusers in its realm.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs held a press conference Wednesday morning at the Best Western Premier to discuss the allegations, which state that a number of former priests and other church representatives had conducted illegal and immoral sexual behavior toward children and that their behavior was allowed by church leaders.

According to a press release by the office of attorney Tim Kosnoff, multiple serial abusers from the Helena diocese were identified in a previous lawsuit against the Society of Jesus, Northwest Province, which was settled earlier this year for an amount of $166 million. More than 500 sex-abuse claims across the Pacific Northwest were involved in that suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Catholics looking for answers during pope's visit to Germany

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

In his visit to Germany, Pope Benedict XVI can expect to meet an alienated laity. While there are some areas where dissatisfied Catholics can hope for reassurance, others have a snowball's chance in hell.

Anyone that's part of the Catholic Church has to be able to put up with a lot of grief.

More than 180,000 Catholics in Germany have left the church over the past year - almost 50 percent more than in 2009. Many were supporters of the progressive reform movement "We are church," which calls on the Vatican to reform autocratic structures; abolish obligatory celibacy; give women access to all church positions; celebrate communion with other faiths; allow the remarriage of divorced people; and develop a more comprehensive sex education.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

New clergy sex & cover up cases filed in MT, SNAP responds

MONTANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 21, 2011

We applaud these brave, wounded men and women who are continuing to expose predators, warn families, protect kids, and educate the public about child molesting clerics and complicit Catholic officials.

It must be tempting for them, having finally - after decades of being ignored, rebuffed, and silenced – to be silent again. After all, they’ve done more than 95% of child sex abuse victims have ever done – spoken, up, exposed predators, warned families, sought justice, been persistent and finally achieved some small measure of closure and healing. It must be tempting to say “I’ve done my part. I’m done now.”

However, that is precisely what wrongdoers count on. They assume that eventually, those who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups will someday grow tired or give up. Then, no more secrets will be revealed, no more pedophiles will be exposed, and no more corrupt supervisors will be inconvenienced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Prosecutors Reduce Charge Against La Crosse Priest

WISCONSIN
Channel 3000

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Prosecutors have reduced a charge against a Wisconsin priest during a canon law conference.

The Rev. David Szatkowski had been charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child young than 16 on Aug. 10. According to a criminal complaint, Szatkowski grabbed a teenage girl’s breast outside a La Crosse Radisson.

The La Crosse Tribune reported prosecutors reduced the charge to fourth-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Pope should endorse independent investigation

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Gerald T. Slevin
retired attorney

The expanding abuse crisis requires immediate action by Catholics. It is needed to invigorate their dispirited Church for the sake of defenseless children, disrespected women, disheartened clergy and disillusioned Catholics everywhere. The repeated worldwide pattern in too many child abuse cases leads to a central source that honest Catholics must now sadly acknowledge. The Church's hierarchy for much too long has been unwilling to act responsively on urgent issues. The hierarchy has lost much of its credibility.

Much careful analysis already exists on potential solutions. Catholics must now choose and act on these solutions. Concerned Catholics are calling for the pope to set up promptly a commission of informed Catholic lay women and men, nuns and priests, both young and old, married and single. The commission would include persons from around the world knowledgeable in relevant areas, including scripture, theology, church history, psychology and law. The commission idea was proposed as a solution recently at NJ.Com by the distinguished Jesuit, Fr. Raymond Schroth.

Fr. Schroth has served as a dean or professor at five Catholic universities, as well as at New York University. He is well versed in theology and church history. This12- person commission would review, and by majority vote recommend to the pope, necessary changes in the Catholic Church's governance structure and its policies on human sexuality and gender, including mandatory celibacy and women priests. The pope has already been requested by me on behalf of many Catholics worldwide to set up this commission with independent and worldwide representation so that it can begin its work promptly and end the existing gridlock in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Sexual abuse lawsuit filed against Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena

HELENA (MT)
KXLH

Thirty-four men and women who claim that they were sexually abused as children by Catholic priests filed a civil lawsuit on Tuesday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena.

The case was filed in Montana First Judicial District Court of Lewis & Clark County in Helena.

The lawsuit asks the court for a comprehensive list of non-monetary remedies on behalf of victims, including an attorney general investigation into the diocese.

Earlier this year, the Society of Jesus, Northwest Province, agreed to pay $166 million to settle more than 500 sex-abuse claims throughout the Pacific Northwest. Many of the victims in that case attended Montana schools, churches and missions operated by the Helena diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Indianapolis archbishop steps down, SNAP responds

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on September 21, 2011

We wish Archbishop Buechlein well with his health struggles. At the same time, however, we are glad he’s stepping down -- although we have little confidence that his successors - either the short term or long term ones - will do much to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded in the Indianapolis archdiocese.

Buechlein, like many of his colleagues in the church hierarchy, did the absolute bare minimum regarding child safety. He and his particularly aggressive lawyers worked hard, and successfully, to prevent the truth about the complicity of archdiocesan staffers from ever surfacing in court.

Less than a year ago, Buechlein settled a civil child sex abuse and cover up case involving Indiana’s most prolific predator priest, Fr. Harry Monroe (who continues to live unsupervised now in Tennessee).

One of our leaders, Peter Isely, said at the time:

We continue to be astonished at the callousness of the Indianapolis Catholic archdiocese. Playing 'good cop, bad cop,' the archdiocese feigns concern for this brave victim, while at the same time letting its lawyer 'talk tough.' (Like a hot-headed, petulant teenager who was spoiling for a fistfight that was thwarted, the archbishop's lawyer growls "we coulda beat him.") The truth is that the archbishop settled this case because he's afraid that a trial would show how much top church staff knew of Monroe's horrific crimes and how little they did to stop him or protect others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Pentecostal Bishop arrested, SNAP responds

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on September 21, 2011

We hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered misdeeds by Pentecostal Bishop Charles Brown will come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start recovering. If you have information that would either prove or disprove these allegations, it is your moral and civic duty to speak up now.

This case should remind us all that sexual predators are often powerful, charismatic and well-loved. It would be comforting if those who preyed on the vulnerable were obvious social misfits whose appearance would somehow set off alarm bells and give us ‘the willies’ or ‘the creeps.’ They rarely do. Usually, predators are among the last people we would suspect of sexually violating others. At a party, the predator isn’t some oddball sitting alone in a corner because others feel uncomfortable with him. Most often, the predator is the guy throwing the party.

We must overcome the dangerous myth that because someone is successful or warm or caring, he or she “couldn’t have done that!”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

New scandal rattles Chile's Catholic Church

CHILE
The Santiago Times

Karadima claims Archbishop of Santiago attempted to cover up accusations of sexual abuse.

Chilean priest Fernando Karadima last week alleged that Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, former Archbishop of Santiago, paid 500 million pesos (over US$ 1 million) to halt the publication of a book which accused Karadima of pedophilia.

Chile’s Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIPER) broke the story on Friday. CIPER reported that Karadima -- who was still a practicing priest at the time -- claims the former Archbishop said that he did not believe the “rumors” about Karadima, and so made the alleged payment to “silence a lie.”

Karadima was for years one of Chile’s most influential and respected priests, with a congregation that consisted of many of the country’s upper class.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

THE MEN OF THE VATICAN: “OPERATING WITH IMPUNITY AND WITHOUT ACCOUNTABILITY” AS THE SEXUAL ABUSE OF INNOCENT CHILDREN RAGES ON

NETHERLANDS
Syracuse University College of Law Impunity Watch

By Alexandra Halsey-Storch
Impunity Watch Desk Reporter, Europe

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – On Tuesday September 13, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (“SNAP”), a Chicago-based non-profit organization, and the Center for Constitutional Rights (“CCR”), a New York City-based non-profit organization, filed an 80-page complaint accompanied by 20,000 pages of evidence to the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) urging the investigation and prosecution of the Pope and three other top Vatican officials who “tolerated and enabled the systemic and widespread” concealment of child sex abuse.

The ICC is a criminal court, independent from the functions of the United Nations. The Court is governed by the “Rome Statute,” which are a set of international laws, ratified by 117 countries including Italy, Germany and Belgium. The United States is not a signatory.

Florence Olara, a spokesperson from the ICC prosecutor’s office has said that those reviewing the complaint and supporting evidence will first consider whether the crimes fall under the Court’s jurisdiction. There has been some speculation from international law experts suggesting that the ICC will dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction, meaning that the court does not have the statutory authority to hear the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Vatican Decision Condemns Chilean Priest – Chilean Government Quick to Follow, Opens Investigation

CHILE
Syracuse University College of Law Impunity Watch

by Emilee Gaebler
Impunity Watch Reporter – South America

SANTIAGO, Chile – Archbishop Fernando Karadima was sentenced by the Vatican on March 18, 2011 for his sexual assault of minors. He was moved into retirement far away from his community, immediately upon the release of the decision. The Vatican stated he was to spend the remainder of his life in “prayer and penitence” for his actions.

The 80 year old priest was an influential religious figure in Santiago. His parishioners were from the upper -class of the city. Karadima was a leader and mentor to five bishops and dozens of priests. He was accused by four men who were former parishioners. They claimed they were sexually molested by Karadima as young boys, abuse that began over 30 years ago.

The Vatican decision has spurred the Chilean courts into action. Karadima has not yet been prosecuted criminally for his sexual abuse of children. A previous investigation was started back in 2010 but was dismissed shortly after for failure to prove misconduct. The current investigation started once the Vatican decision came out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Paternity test 'clears' priest who is suing RTE over rape allegation

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Kevin Keane
Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A priest accused of fathering a child with an underage girl has been cleared by a paternity test.

A lawyer for Fr Kevin Reynolds (65) last night said the results of the test had come back negative.

Fr Reynolds voluntarily submitted himself to the test in the wake of an RTE 'Prime Time Investigates' programme entitled 'Mission To Prey'. It alleged that he committed statutory rape by fathering a child with an underage Kenyan girl called Veneranda while she was working as a maid in a house he frequented in Africa 30 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 21 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father: ...

- Appointed Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi of Alessandria, Italy, as president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. He succeeds Cardinal Velasio De Paolis C.S., whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Piedmontese bishop to be appointed as head of Holy See’s economic affairs

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Andrea Tornielli
VATICAN CITY

Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone’s influence in the Roman Curia and in the bodies that manage and control Vatican finances is set in stone: the Bishop of Alessandria, Giuseppe Versaldi pronounced president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, a position currently held by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis.

Versaldi, 68, has been Bishop of Alessandria, in the piedmont region of Italy for four years, after his position as general vicar of Vercelli, north of the Country. He has enjoyed strong links with Cardinal Bertone ever since the latter was Archbishop of Vercelli (1991-1995). They had worked together to resolve the financial problems that arose in the Vercelli Curia.

When, in early 2010, Italian daily newspaper “Il Foglio”, published a portrait of the Secretary of State, criticising his government in the Curia, Versaldi, Alessandria’s Bishop, wrote a distressed letter in defence of Bertone, which was published in the Catholic daily newspaper “Avvenire”. Without hiding the “awe” he felt towards him, he wrote that Bertone’s only aim was to “serve the Pope” and that Benedict XVI had wanted him by his side to “erase the “filth” that existed within the Church, which the Cardinal had recognised and condemned.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Italian bishop and Spanish priest to oversee Vatican's finances

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

September 21, 2011. (Romereports.com) Benedict XVI appointed Giuseppe Versaldi as the new president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Vatican. He will take over the post recently held by cardinal Velasio de Paolis, who left the post because of age limit restrictions.

The new secretary of this department, will now be Spanish priest, Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Priest featured on RTÉ programme 'did not father Kenyan woman', High Court told

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two paternity tests have shown that a Co Galway-based priest, featured in an RTÉ 'Prime Time Investigates' programme, is not the father of a Kenyan woman, the High Court has been told.

The court heard that Fr Kevin Reynolds, who claims RTÉ accused him of raping a teenage girl in 1982 and fathering a child by her, had been restored to the priesthood since the results of the paternity tests became known.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy today refused to grant judgment for defamation against RTÉ for having failed to enter a defence but ordered the national broadcaster to file one by the end of this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

RTÉ given week to defend defamation claim

IRELAND
RTE News

The High Court has allowed RTÉ to have another week to file its defence against a claim by a former missionary priest that he was defamed by a Prime Time Investigates programme.

Fr Kevin Reynolds says he was defamed in the programme "A Mission to Prey", broadcast on 23 May of this year.

The court heard the programme alleged he had raped an underage girl in Kenya and had fathered a child by her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Complaint Urges International Criminal Court to Investigate Vatican for Sex Crimes

UNITED STATES
Firedoglake

By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed an International Criminal Court (ICC) complaint case today that calls on the ICC to investigate and prosecute the Vatican for crimes against humanity. The complaint details what the two groups call “systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world.”

CCR Senior Staff Attorney Pam Spees declared “crimes against tens of thousands of victims, most of them children, are being covered up,” by high-ranking officials at the Vatican. The men involved in the coverup enjoy impunity and are “responsible for rape and other sexual violence and for the physical and psychological torture of victims around the world.”

SNAP president Barbara Blaine said victims around the globe are mobilizing. The group wants those abused to know it is “safe to speak up” and that they intend to ensure that not one more child is raped or sexually assaulted by a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

German priest compares Church’s paedophilia crisis to 9/11

GERMANY
Vatican Insider

Giacomo Galeazzi
VATICAN CITY

This is the third time, during his pontificate, that Joseph Ratzinger will be visiting his homeland, although he will be the first time he visits the German capital, Berlin, where he will make his much awaited speech before Parliament on Thursday. Benedict XVI had been in Cologne in 2005 for the twentieth World Youth Day event and in Bavaria in 2006.

The Pope’s twenty first international apostolic visit looks to be a very intense one, as he will be visiting three German dioceses: Berlin, Erfurt and Freiburg. He will hold important meetings with representatives of the German Evangelical Church and the Orthodox Churches and with representatives of the Jewish and Muslim communities. The motto chosen for this trip, “Wherever God is, there is a future” (Wo Gott ist, da ist Zukunft), has been borrowed from the Pope’s homily in Mariazell, in Austria, in 2007, and as the Pope’s spokesman, Federico Lombardi said, its intention is to reassert God’s supremacy and his support to humanity, to face the world’s problems. “I believe, Father Lombardi stressed, that this is an important key to interpreting this rich and intense visit. The Pope is expected to give about 17 or 18 speeches, making it, if I am not mistaken, his most speech packed visit since his trip to the Holy Land.” The meetings the Pope will be attending during his four day stay in Germany are highly significance, starting with his meeting with the Federal President Christian Wulff, in the Bellevue Palace, the presidential residence and another one with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, which will take place at the German Episcopal Conference’s Berlin headquarters.

In Erfurt (Martin Luther’s birthplace), the capital of Thuringia, Benedict XVI will lead the ecumenical meeting par excellence, in the city’s former Augustinian Monastery. Here, he will meet with representatives of the Evangelical Church and will take part in an ecumenical celebration attended by approximately 300 people. During the course of the ceremony, a psalm from Luther’s translation of the Bible, will be read out. In the afternoon, Benedict XVI will visit the Marian Sanctuary of Etzelsbach, a place uniquely marked by the Communist persecution of Christians which took place there. The last stop along his journey will be the diocese of Freiburg, a deeply Catholic area of Germany.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Paedophilia: “Anyone in the Vatican who knows something please speak up”

ROME
Vatican Insider

Alessandro Speciale
VATICAN CITY

Whoever works in the Vatican or in the Church and knows something about the cases of abuse against minors or about their cover up, please come forward and tell what you know to The Hague’s ICC judge: the appeal launched this afternoon in Rome by the members of the SNAP association (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) who fell victim to acts of paedophilia in the Church, was one of disobedience and condemnation.

The appeal was made in the wake of the charges laid against the Pope and past and present Vatican leaders, of “crimes aginst humanity.” The appeal was presented to the International Criminal Court at The Hague by SNAP and the American NGO Center for Constitutional Rights.

During their “European tour”, which ended in Rome, representatives from both organisations presented their causes to the media and the public of major European cities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Indianapolis archbishop resigns for health reasons

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
National Catholic Reporter

Sep. 21, 2011
By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON -- Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein of Indianapolis for health reasons.

The archbishop is 73 years old, two years younger than the age at which bishops are required by canon law to turn in their resignation to the pope.

His resignation was announced in Washington Sept. 21 by Msgr. Jean-Francois Lantheaume, charge d'affaires at the apostolic nunciature.

Archbishop Buechlein, a member of the Benedictine order, has headed the Indianapolis Archdiocese since 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 21 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Indianapolis, U.S.A., presented by Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein O.S.B., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Senator Nick Xenophon faces scrutiny over naming priest in Parliament

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

Catherine Hockley in Canberra
From:The Advertiser
September 22, 2011

A SENATE committee will today consider complaints about Senator Nick Xenophon's use of parliamentary privilege last week to name a priest accused of rape.

Senate president John Hogg has received two letters about Senator Xenophon naming Monsignor Ian Dempsey.

It's also understood the letters include complaints about the use of privilege, and that one of the letters is from Monsignor Dempsey.

Civil libertarian Terry O'Gorman has also written to Senator Hogg urging an investigation into the naming of the priest, describing it as an abuse of privilege.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Brother Best victims ready for class action

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

BY TOM MCILROY

21 Sep, 2011

VICTIMS of sexual abuse by Christian Brothers will launch a class action against the order, with a Melbourne lawyer calling for more abused students to come forward.

Lawyer Vivian Waller said yesterday that more than 30 victims from schools and orphanages run by the order would take part.

The legal action relates to abuse alleged to have occurred between 1967 and 1986 but no compensation amount has yet been arrived at.

News of the class action comes after paedophile rapist Brother Robert Charles Best lodged an appeal relating to his conviction for sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Judge in slain Chatham priest trial probes jurors' views on sex and religion

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Ben Horowitz/The Star-Ledger

MORRISTOWN — Judges routinely ask potential jurors questions about whether they know the lawyers in the case or if they have been crime victims. But rarely are those who may sit in the jury box asked about religion. Or sex and religion.

"These questions are not typical, but this is not a run-of-the-mill crime. There aren’t too many priests getting murdered," said Thaddeus Hoffmeister, an associate professor at the University of Dayton Law School in Ohio who writes a blog about juries.

"These questions seem fair," Hoffmeister added. "Religion is very personal to a lot of people and it could influence how the judge the facts."

The jury that is ultimately selected will decide the fate of Jose Feliciano, 66, of Easton, Pa., a former custodian at St. Patrick Church who is accused of murder in the Oct. 22, 2009, stabbing death of the Rev. Edward Hinds, 61, the former parish pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Father Pavone's last stand

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler | September 21, 2011

More than three years ago, readers on this site received fair warning that Father Frank Pavone was cruising toward a showdown with officials in the Diocese of Amarillo. Read the comment by Diogenes from August 2008, and you will find the simmering conflict neatly summarized, many months before it boiled over into full public view. Diogenes concluded his analysis this way:

The question isn't whether or not the Church will support pro-life work. The question is whether priests and religious, when they engage in pro-life work, remain subject to ecclesiastical discipline.
The answer, by the way, is Yes. You can learn that the easy way or learn it the hard way.

Now Father Pavone is learning the hard way, along with many of his loyal supporters. The controversy that finally hit the headlines last week is a sad one, a damaging one for the pro-life movement, but not a new one. It was all too easy to see it coming.

For years Father Pavone has sought autonomy for his organization, Priests for Life. His quest for independence caused some tension with the Archdiocese of New York, where he originally served. At first it seemed that tension was resolved when he moved to the Amarillo diocese. But it cropped up again with Bishop John Yanta, who had welcomed him to Texas. Finally it came to a head under Bishop Yanta’s successor, Bishop Patrick Zurek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Ridding Catholicism of the stench of this Legionary of Christ

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Hugh O'Shaughnessy
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 21 September 2011

At last, the Vatican begins to move in earnest to clean up the scandalous mess of the egregiously wealthy rightwing Legionaries of Christ. Their members are known to some as the "millionaires of Christ" and their stench has been in the nostrils of Catholics for too many decades.

A start was made on 15 July to repair the enormous damage to the church done by the late Marcial Maciel Degollado, who founded the Legion of Christ in 1940. The pushy Mexican priest was the bisexual pederast, drug-addicted lover of several women and father of three who hoodwinked a succession of popes from Pius XII and who was eventually run to ground and disgraced by Benedict XVI in 2006.

At the start of 2011 Richard Gill, for 29 years a US priest of the Legionaries of Christ but who had left the Legion last year, wrote: "It is no exaggeration to say that Marcial Maciel was by far the most despicable character in the twentieth century Catholic Church, inflicting more damage on her reputation and evangelizing mission than any other single Church leader."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Abuse scandal, rows blight Pope’s image in Germany

GERMANY
Times of Malta

Pope Benedict XVI’s election sparked joy in Germany, but the Church’s reaction to a sex abuse scandal and a series of controversies have dented his image ahead of his first state trip home.

The main aim of his visit, from tomorrow to Sunday, will be to help “God to penetrate our field of vision”, the Pope said on Saturday.

Wir Sind Papst (We are Pope) crowed Germany’s top-selling Bild daily in a famous front-page when Pope Benedict was elected in 2005, encapsulating a nation’s pride in the first German-born pontiff for more than 500 years.

“It’s the sensation of the century,” the influential paper wrote, as the German Church noted the significance of a countryman elected to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics 60 years after the capitulation of Nazi Germany.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 AM

Famed Law Firm Targets Vatican for Abuse

UNITED STATES
Cincinnati City Beat

By Kevin Osborne · September 21st, 2011

Throughout its 45-year history, the Center for Constitutional Rights hasn’t been timid about tackling legal cases that are daunting or perhaps seem even hopeless.

Founded in 1966 by a group of attorneys that included William Kunstler and Arthur Kinoy, the Center initially was designed to offer support to civil rights activists who were trying to end racial segregation in the Deep South. Unlike other legal firms doing similar work such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center would even take on cases that it thought were not winnable as part of its “success without victory” strategy.

The Center’s attorneys realized that sometimes increasing public awareness about a particular situation or injustice was almost as important as setting a legal precedent. Not that the Center never won; it did, and often.

One successful case occurred in 1965, when the Center sued the Louisiana Un-American Activities Committee. It stopped the committee from using anti-government subversion laws to arrest and harass civil rights workers. Later, of course, Kunstler and others went on to defend the “Chicago 8” after the riots and political demonstrations that occurred outside of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Supporters of pope's German visit blast boycott

GERMANY
Fox 43

Tom Heneghan
Reuters

8:52 a.m. EDT, September 21, 2011

BERLIN (Reuters) - Supporters of Pope Benedict's tour of Germany this week criticized on Wednesday politicians who expressed doubts over his conservative views, his planned speech to parliament and the cost of his visit.

With one day to go before his arrival, Berlin police began closing streets and imposing high-level security in parts of the capital where the German-born pontiff will appear at the beginning of his four-day tour.

As a foretaste of protests by gay and lesbian groups that may rally 20,000 people in Berlin, paint bombs were hurled at the Vatican embassy where he will stay in the gritty Neukoelln district and at a nearby Roman Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Pope's speech to German MPs faces boycott

GERMANY
The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Helen Pidd in Berlin and agencies
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 21 September 2011

A hundred MPs in Germany are planning to boycott a speech given in the German parliament by the pope on his first official visit to his homeland.

MPs from the Green, Left and Social Democratic (SPD) opposition parties have indicated they will stay away from the Bundestag during the Bavarian-born pontiff's address on Thursday afternoon.

"A head of state who disregards labour rights, women's rights and the right to sexual self-determination should not be allowed to address the Bundestag," Ulla Burchardt, an SPD politician from Dortmund, told Der Spiegel.

Others take umbrage at the decision to classify the pope as a head of state rather than the head of a religion, qualifying him for the honour of addressing parliament. Rolf Schwanitz, also SPD, who used to be a minister of state under Gerhard Schröder, said it set a dangerous precedent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

Pentecostal Bishop Charles Brown booked with sexual battery

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

By Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune

The spiritual head of a local Pentecostal denomination has been arrested and booked with sexual battery on a teenage girl more than 23 years ago. New Orleans court records show that Bishop Charles E. Brown, 58, was released on $25,000 bond.

Brown, who since Hurricane Katrina has divided his time between New Orleans and Houston, is the jurisdictional bishop for Greater New Orleans in the Church of God in Christ, a Pentecostal denomination with headquarters in Memphis. He is also pastor of a local congregation, Full Gospel Church of God in Christ.

Brown was arrested June 28, according to police records.

Several attempts to contact Brown at his home in Houston were unsuccessful. Court records did not list a lawyer. And denominational officials in Los Angeles and Lafayette who would know about the arrest either were unavailable or did not respond to an inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

German-speaking Catholics want reform from Rome