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November 30, 2012

New trial date set for priest accused of child molestation

CALIFORNIA
The Record Searchlight

SACRAMENTO — A new trial date was set today in Sacramento County Superior Court for a suspended Redding priest charged with seven felony counts of child molestation, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento County district attorney's office said.

The Rev. Uriel Ojeda, 33, who had been scheduled to begin standing trial next week, is now set to have his trial begin on April 11, the spokeswoman said. He also has a trial readiness conference scheduled for April 5.

The spokeswoman did not know the reason for the trial postponement.

Ojeda, who was arrested Nov. 30, 2011, is accused of seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a teenage girl over a two-year span — starting when she was 14 — in Sacramento and Shasta counties, according to the criminal complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Renuncia sacerdote de la iglesia Santa Agata acusado de abuso

FLORIDA
el Nuevo Herald

Melissa Sanchez
msanchez@elnuevoherald.com

El sacerdote Rolando García, acusado en varios casos de abuso sexual de menores, ha renunciado de su cargo en la iglesia St. Agatha.

García entregó su carta de renuncia al arzobispo Thomas Wenski,el 21 de noviembre, informó el viernes la Arquidiócesis de Miami.

En su carta, García dijo que renunciaba con la conciencia tranquila y que lo hacía por su propia voluntad tras un período de oración y reflexión.

El sacerdote había sido suspendido hace un mes tras una nueva alegación de que había mantenido una relación sexual con un menor durante los años 90. Esta fue una de varias acusaciones en su contra en años recientes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Priest accused of troubling acts

FLORIDA
WSVN

MIAMI (WSVN) -- A Miami priest has stepped down from his role after being accused of sexual abuse for the fourth time.

Reverend Rolando Garcia resigned on Friday as pastor of Miami's Saint Agatha Catholic church after a new accuser claimed Garcia sexually abused him in the mid-90s.

This is the fourth alleged victim to claim sexual abuse against Garcia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Court Increases Security in Wake of Sex Abuse Trial Photo Chaos

NEW YORK
DNA.info

November 30, 2012 1:44pm | By Nicole Bode, Sonja Sharp

BROOKLYN SUPREME COURT — Court officers stepped up security at sexual assault trial Friday, a day after supporters of the rabbi accused in the case were allegedly caught taking photos of the alleged victim on the stand to post online.

Officers used hand-held metal detectors to check spectators and confiscated cellphones from everyone who was not a credentialed member of the press before allowing them to enter Rabbi Nechemya Weberman's criminal trial in Judge John Ingram's courtroom.

Before testimony began, Ingram reminded the audience about proper court procedure.

"We've had several breaches of the laws of the state of New York. Our courts are open to the public but the court cannot tolerate any further violations," he said. "This is not some kind of sporting event, it's not a theater production, and I expect everyone to act accordingly."

Despite his warnings several Weberman supporters scoffed and snickered at times while the alleged victim was giving her testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Justice 4 PA Kids Fights Childhood Sexual Abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Main Line Today

By Emily Riley Published November 29, 2012

Even in the wake of the most recent wave of child sex-abuse scandals, many parents still believe it can’t happen to their family. Malvern’s Maureen Martinez used to be among them—until the day in March 2011 when she learned that one of the priests at her Malvern church would be going on administrative leave. The Rev. Peter Talocci had helped Martinez through marriage counseling and baptized their children. He was now among the 21 clergymen suspended by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia over allegations of sexual abuse. Even more disturbing: A February 2011 jury report found that dozens of priests remained active in the ministry despite credible evidence against them.

“I sat there shocked,” says Martinez of her initial reaction to the news that rocked St. Patrick’s parish. “I was a lifelong Catholic. I never heard of anyone being sexually abused by priests.”

When the sex-abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston broke in 2002, Martinez had convinced herself that it was an isolated case. But as the scandal grew, so did her concern that the issue was bigger than she—and most others—first thought. “I spent some time doing research, and I couldn’t believe what I was finding out. It bothered me to the point where I didn’t want to go back [to church] ever again. It made me want to do something proactive.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Mercy sisters support Roy Bourgeois

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee | Nov. 30, 2012

The leaders of one of the largest groups of Catholic sisters in the western hemisphere have expressed support for a U.S. priest dismissed by the Vatican for his backing of women's ordination.

The leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is "saddened and disturbed" by the Vatican move, made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith against Roy Bourgeois, they wrote in a statement Wednesday.

Bourgeois, widely known for his work calling attention to injustices in Latin America, had been a member of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, a U.S. missionary society, for 45 years. The Vatican congregation dismissed him from the society on Oct. 4, the order announced in a press release Nov. 19.

The dismissal drew criticism from a former head of the U.S. missionary order, who said in an interview it represented interference "with the integrity of the society."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Former Central Catholic guidance counselor arrested on drug charges, police say

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WPXI

[with video]

PITTSBURGH —

A former Central Catholic High School guidance counselor was arrested this week on drug charges, including possession with intent to deliver, police said.

According to police, detectives had been investigating Kelly Scherer for a lengthy amount of time before arresting her this week.

Authorities said officers found dozens of needles and at least 50 stamp bags of suspected heroin in the apartment where she was arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Central Catholic Counselor Arrested, Accused Of Selling Heroin

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A local high school counselor was arrested on drug possession charges.

Police say 35-year-old Kelly Scherer was dealing heroin and sold the drugs to an undercover police officer.

Scherer was a guidance counselor at Central Catholic High School in Oakland.

According to a criminal complaint, police were tipped off by a neighbor who suspected Scherer was dealing drugs out of her Forest Hills apartment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Religious Group Members Steering Clear of Micah Moore

MISSOURI
Fox 4

[with video]

November 29, 2012, by Macradee Aegerter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s been a lonely stay in jail for Micah Moore, who had claimed that he had killed Bethany Deaton at the order of her husband – but whose attorneys now claim he made the story up.

Moore, 23, was booked into the Jackson County Jail on November 9th after police say he confessed to the October suffocation murder of Deaton, the wife of Moore’s religious leader Tyler Deaton, in a van at Longview Lake.

Moore claimed that the murder was carried out because Tyler Deaton didn’t want his wife to tell anyone of her alleged sexual abuse at the hands of the members of the group at the couple’s Grandview home.

Earlier this week, Moore’s lawyers claimed that their client made the story up, and that Bethany Deaton had committed suicide.

The Jackson County Jail’s visitor log, though partially blacked out by authorities owing to attorney-client privilege, shows no friends or religious community members have visited Moore during his incarceration, only members of his family from Texas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Maine priest facing drug charge appears in court

MAINE
Seattle PI

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — An Episcopal priest charged with mailing prescription drugs to inmates at a Maine jail has made his first court appearance.

The Kennebec Journal (http://bit.ly/Ufi44J ) reports that the Rev. Stephen Foote was not required to enter a plea in Lincoln County Superior Court on Thursday, but bail conditions were modified slightly.

The 70-year-old Foote, who lives in Bremen and was serving at St. Mark's in Augusta, is charged with trafficking in prison contraband. He's free on unsecured bail.

Prosecutors say he mailed suboxone to an inmate he knows at the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. Suboxone is used to treat opiate addiction but can be abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Central Catholic guidance counselor arrested on drug charges

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WTAE

PITTSBURGH —
Forest Hills police arrested a Central Catholic High School guidance counselor Thursday on charges of selling heroin out of her home Thursday.

Kelly Scherer, 36, faces seven drug charges, including possession with intent to deliver, according to police records.

Police have not indicated any suspected drug use or possession involved with the Central Catholic campus.

In the criminal complaint, police said they followed and arrested a man whom they watched buy drugs from Scherer, and he gave them the phone number of a person who he had called and who sent him to Scherer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Austria: “Cold war” between rebel priests and the Vatican

AUSTRIA
Vatican Insider

The decision to revoke Mgr. Helmut Schueller’s title comes just as the Austrian rebel priest movement prepares for a big international event

Alessandro Speciale
Rome

This punishment, which is more symbolic that anything, is nevertheless the sign of a certain cooling towards the activity of Austria’s rebel priests, just as they prepare for a big international event in 2013, which is aimed at creating links between priests across the world who are becoming restless with the Vatican’s ultra-conservatism and are seeking deep reforms in the Catholic Church.

Yesterday, the Vatican announced it was stripping Helmut Schueller, former vicar general of the Archdiocese of Vienna who has led the Pfarrer Initiative for some years now, of title “monsignor”. The Pharrer Initiative is a movement of Austrian priests that is asking for ecclesiastical reforms in areas such as obligatory celibacy and the administration of communion to divorcees and same-sex couples. Scheuller remains a priest to all effects and purposes but is not longer the “Chaplain of His Holiness”, an honorary title he received when he was president of Caritas Austria.

The Diocese of Vienna informed Schueller about Rome’s decision, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn’s spokesman, Michael Prueller told the Austrian press. Schueller is the parish priest of St. Stephan in the village of Probstdorf near Vienna.

The news comes just days after Schueller’s interview with Austrian news agency APA, in which he announced an international meeting of movements that have sprung up across the world in recent years, either following in the footsteps of the Austrian rebel priests or presenting their own requests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Mercury News editorial: Sex offender incident offers some lessons

SAN JOSE (CA)
Mercury News

Mercury News Editorial

Of all the institutions caught up in child sexual abuse allegations -- public and private schools, the Boy Scouts, the disaster that is Penn State University -- wouldn't you think the Catholic Church by now would know how to deal with it?

Not the Diocese of San Jose. Its handling of an incident with a registered sex offender on an elementary school campus last month is a worst-case example of institutional culture making it all but impossible to restore public trust. Registered pedophile Mark Gurries' volunteer work at the St. Frances Cabrini Parish fiesta and its ugly aftermath is a textbook example of what not to do.

Registered sex offenders are barred from schools, with good reason. But soon after Gurries' release from jail, someone at the diocese gave him a letter of permission to be there. A young woman who knew Gurries' victim recognized him at the Oct. 6 festival and mobilized parents to protest his presence, but the parish priest resisted asking him to leave for hours.

That alone was appalling. Compassion for Gurries should never have trumped the risk to children or the discomfort of members of the school community at the pedophile's presence. But Bishop Patrick J. McGrath quickly could have calmed the waters if he'd spoken openly about the incident from the start. Instead, he issued a brief statement that Gurries' permission was not consistent with diocese policy and would be investigated.

It took six weeks for him to write a full apology -- and even then, he left the origin of the permission letter unclear. A former personnel department employee has taken the fall, but many parents believe there had to be higher authorization and wonder if the problem really is resolved. Some think the parish priest, who has resigned, is another scapegoat. At a community meeting Wednesday night, emotions were as raw as they were at the festival.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Austrian dissident priest stripped of 'monsignor'

VATICAN CITY
Boston Globe

VATICAN CITY (AP) — An Austrian Roman Catholic dissident priest says the Vatican has stripped him of the right to use the title ‘‘monsignor’’ in an apparent act of censure for his campaign challenging church teachings that priests must be celibate and excluding woman from the priesthood.

The Rev. Helmut Schueller said Friday that he had been informed the title had been revoked, but that ‘‘the title for me was not so important. I can live with it.’’ He remains a priest.

The Vatican declined to comment.

Schueller earlier this month told the Austrian News Agency that he was working on making his Pfarrer-Initiative more international in 2013, with interest from Germany, Ireland, France, Australia and the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

New poll shows most Irish Catholics ignore church teachings, skip mass

IRELAND
Irish Central

By
JAMES O'SHEA,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Friday, November 30, 2012

Over one in five Irish who say they are Catholics do not believe in the resurrection, or that God created the universe, an Irish Times poll has shown.

It also showed that seven per cent of Irish Catholics do not even believe in God. 84 per cent believe priests should marry, while 80 per cent believe women should be priests.

The survey reveals ala carte Catholicism is very much in fashion in Ireland, with 78 per cent saying they do not follow church teaching but their own individual conscience on issues.

Meanwhile 45 per cent do not believe in hell and 18 per cent do not believe that God created man.

On some issues however they are traditional. 92 per cent believe in God, 82 per cent believe in heaven and 84 per cent believe Jesus was the son of God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

US church paid to cover sins of priest

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

EXCLUSIVE: DAN BOX
From:The Australian
December 01, 201212:00AM

THE AMERICAN Catholic church paid tens of thousands of dollars to the US victims of an Australian pedophile priest after they agreed not to pursue legal action against the Australian bishop who sent him there.

Evidence of this international agreement is contained in documents, seen by The Weekend Australian, which show the former Bishop of Ballarat, Ronald Mulkearns, sent the priest overseas despite receiving repeated warnings of his crimes against children.

The documents include a 1992 letter from Emeritus Bishop Mulkearns to an American cleric, detailing two such allegations against the priest, Father Paul David Ryan, and asking "what options there might be for him to minister . . . in the US".

As a result of the allegations against Father Ryan, "he feels that it is now impossible for him to work in the diocese . . . I agreed with this assessment", the unsigned letter said..

In another, signed, letter written to Father Ryan a year before, the bishop said he had received an allegation the priest had abused a young boy and "obviously there is the potential for some scandal".

Father Ryan, who could not be contacted last night, was also moved between parishes within Victoria, where he also abused children, one of whom later committed suicide.

In 2006, he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two teenage boys.

Bishop Mulkearns, who did not respond to calls yesterday, has previously told The Weekend Australian he had "no recollection" of being told Father Ryan abused children.

"I'm not saying it didn't happen. I suffered a stroke and I'm an old man," the 82-year-old said.

The earliest evidence of Father Ryan's sexual activities is contained in a 1977 letter sent from the seminary where he studied to become a priest, detailing "the harm he may have done to some of the younger students here . . . naive, innocent boys".

He was subsequently sent to the US for what Bishop Mulkearns described as "treatment" for his homosexuality, and later worked as a parish priest in Virginia.

The priest went on to make visits to the US over three decades, where he allegedly abused at least three young boys.

One of these victims yesterday said he had since discussed pursuing a criminal prosecution against the priest with US authorities.

"I hope there's still a chance he'll see justice in this world," the man said.

During the 1990s, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, made confidential financial payments to a number of Father Ryan's victims.

These were agreed on the condition the recipients did not pursue legal action against several named church officials in both countries, including Father Ryan and Bishop Mulkearns.

Father Ryan left the church in 1993, although the diocese continued to provide him with money and did not report the allegations against him to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Police launch sex abuse taskforce

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 30, 2012

Rachel Wells
Consumer Affairs Reporter for The Age

Victoria Police announced on Friday it has launched a new taskforce to investigate new and historical allegations of child sexual abuse that have emanated from the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into child sex abuse.

Victoria Police say Taskforce Sano will initially comprise 10 detectives but could increase as the scale of investigations becomes more evident.

The taskforce will also provide expert support and advice to the Parliamentary Inquiry and, as required, to the Royal Commission.

The taskforce will be led by Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Dwyer of the Sexual Crimes Squad who has been working closely with the parliamentary inquiry over the past five months.

Detective Superintendent Rod Jouning, head of the Sexual and Family Violence Directorate, said police were determined to ensure that all reported matters were thoroughly investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

'Witches' coven' sex abuse trial told of wife-swapping

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Cornwall

The former wife of a man accused of sexually abusing young girls told a court he attended "witches' meetings" and encouraged her to wife-swap.

Prosecutors say Jack Kemp, 69, and Peter Petrauske, 72, were members of a witches' coven whose members donned robes and used daggers to launch sex attacks on girls in Cornwall.

The two friends deny a string of sexual offences, including assault and, in Petrauske's case, rape.

Jurors at Truro Crown Court have already heard the pair were involved in paganism from the 1970s onwards.

Yesterday Kemp's ex-wife Pamela James said he went to "witches' meetings" three to four times a week with Petrauske, who she admitted sleeping with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

'Witches coven' child sex abuse case: Witness gives harrowing interview to court

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Cornwall

PLEASE NOTE: SOME READERS MIGHT FIND DETAILS OF THIS CASE DISTRESSING.

A harrowing video interview, made by an adult woman detailing the abuse and rape she allegedly suffered at the hands of men involved in a West Cornwall coven of white witches, was shown to a Truro Crown Court jury yesterday.

Prosecutors say Jack Kemp, 69, and Peter Petrauske, 72, were members of a witches' coven whose members donned robes and used daggers to launch sex attacks on girls in Cornwall.

The two friends deny a string of sexual offences, including assault and, in Petrauske's case, rape.

The witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, repeatedly spoke of being scared and of fearing that she would be thrown onto a fire if she was "naughty" and did not do as she was told.

She said she suffered pain for weeks after she was tied to a bed and raped by an unknown man when she was nearly ten and how, years later, she recognised him when he was murdered and his picture was shown on television.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Pell granted access to victim's evidence

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, has been granted access to a transcript of evidence given by the victim of pedophile priest Robert Best.

The archbishop of Sydney has sought a transcript of evidence given by a victim of the jailed brother as he prepares for an expected appearance at a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse.

The inquiry has been told Cardinal Pell was present when a grade three student at a Ballarat school in the 1960s described his alleged rape to another priest.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has said the archbishop was never present when any rape allegations were made by a victim against Best.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Limerick priests hopeful new bishop will be appointed by Christmas

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

By Mike Dwane
Published on Thursday 29 November 2012

CHURCH sources this week expressed hope that a new Bishop of Limerick will be appointed in the coming weeks and Catholics won’t face into a fourth Christmas without a figurehead in the diocese.

It follows the appointment of Canon William Crean as Bishop of Cloyne more than two years after the resignation of John Magee.

The sudden nature of that appointment - after such a long wait - is said to have taken Cork priests by surprise.

Limerick’s wait for a new bishop has been even longer. Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Donal Murray a week before Christmas in 2009 after his handling of child sex abuse complaints in Dublin in the 1980s was criticised in the Murphy Report.

“We are hopeful that we will have a bishop in place in the next few weeks, hopefully this side of Christmas,” said one Limerick priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Judge grants Pell access to victim's evidence

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Victorian County Court judge has granted the Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, access to parts of the court material from the trial of convicted paedophile Christian Brother Robert Best.

Cardinal Pell has been given 15 pages of the transcript of the trial.

His application was prompted by submissions to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse, claiming he was present when a victim detailed Best's abuse to a priest in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Pell gets access to parts of paedophile trial transcript

AUSTRALIA
The Age

December 1, 2012

A JUDGE has granted Cardinal George Pell access to select passages from the transcript of the trial of convicted paedophile and Catholic brother Robert Charles Best.

County Court judge Roy Punshon said on Friday he had come to a pragmatic decision to allow Cardinal Pell limited access to the transcript.

Lawyers for Cardinal Pell had applied to the court for access to the transcript of the trial involving Best and one of his victims so he could have the information before he was expected to be called before the Victorian parliamentary inquiry investigating how churches dealt with sex abuse.

The victim, known as V2, claims Cardinal Pell was present when the boy told another priest he had been raped by Best.

Cardinal Pell has described the victim's claims as ''irresponsible, untrue'' and said they were ''absolutely denied''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Accused priest preaches in PNG

AUSTRALIA/NEW GUINEA
The Age

December 1, 2012

Rory Callinan
Investigative journalist

PARISHIONERS at the tiny Sogeri Catholic Church in the foothills of Papua New Guinea's remote Owen Stanley Ranges pay little attention to the fact that their elderly priest has a teenage boy as his live-in helper.

But for some who knew Father Roger Mount when he was a brother working in homes run by the Catholic St John of God Order in Australia several decades ago, the scenario is disturbing.

''Bloody hell, that's concerning. That's not good,'' says Melbourne pensioner Steve Danas, who grew up in one of the order's homes after being orphaned at three.

Mr Danas was one of three men who came forward in the the past decade to allege they were sexually abused by the then Brother Mount at the order's homes in Melbourne and New South Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Enabling a serial child sexual predator: Prestonwood Baptist Church and John Langworthy

MISSISSIPPI
Watch Keep

[with video]

Our hearts ache for Langworthy's victims who, once again, are being forced to wait for justice. But in one sense, the real culprit isn't Langworthy or the justice system, but his former colleagues and supervisors at two churches who chose to protect Langworthy and their institutions over children, Prestonwood Baptist in Dallas, Texas and Morrison Heights Baptist in Clinton, Mississippi.

The justice system is designed to bend over backwards to be fair to the accused. And Langworthy is fighting for himself, using every technicality he can, just like almost every child molester does.

But we shouldn't lose sight of the complicity of these church officials. Had even one of them done the absolute bare minimum, obeyed the law, and reported - even anonymously - their suspicions or knowledge of Langworthy's crimes or inappropriate deeds to police, he would almost certainly have been stopped years ago from hurting more kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Catholic Church form council to work with child sex abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

CATHOLIC bishops will set up a new council to co-operate with the royal commission into child sex abuse.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said in a statement released today that the Church welcomed the royal commission as an opportunity for those who have suffered to obtain a compassionate hearing, justice and further healing.

"It is also an opportunity for the Church's processes to be scrutinised with greater objectivity. This will allow further refinements that seek justice and pastoral care," the statement said.

"However imperfectly, this work has been going on in the Catholic Church for the last two decades. It will continue."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Bishops strike conciliatory note on RC

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 30, 2012

Barney Zwartz

AUSTRALIA'S Catholic bishops will set up a 10-member committee, including laypeople, to oversee its response to the recently announced Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

Responding to widespread criticism of the defensive attitude of Cardinal George Pell last week, the bishops struck a more conciliatory tone, saying that "painful and difficult as [the commission] might be for the church, it is nothing compared to the hurt of those who have suffered sexual abuse".

The bishops announced on Friday that they had appointed a supervisory group of bishops and members of religious orders to appoint and oversee a new Council for the Royal Commission.

This follows comments on Wednesday by Sister Annette Cunliffe on behalf of Australia's 180 religious orders that that laypeople and non-Catholics needed to be involved to improve transparency and openness and ensure it was not seen as an internal plan or cover-up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Brooklyn Orthodox Leader’s Defense Attorney Seeks To Discredit Sex Abuse Victim’s Claims

NEW YORK
CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The plot thickened in the sex abuse trial of a prominent Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish leader during testimony on Thursday.

The attorney for 54-year-old Nechemya Weberman is pursing a revenge theory, WCBS 880′s Irene Cornell reported.

Defense lawyer Michael Farkus suggested that the now-17-year-old accuser, who said the counselor sexually abused her for three years, made it all up.

Farkus claimed Thursday that the now-married teen fabricated the charges to get back at Weberman for betraying her confidence.

The defense pointed out that one day after she told Weberman she was romantically involved with a boyfriend, which is strictly forbidden in the Satmar community, her father had the boy arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Photos of Accuser on Stand Disrupt Sexual Abuse Trial

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By SHARON OTTERMAN

Published: November 29, 2012

The trial of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish counselor accused of repeatedly molesting a girl was disrupted on Thursday afternoon when four spectators in a Brooklyn courtroom were accused of taking pictures with their cellphones of the accuser on the witness stand.

The four men, identified by prosecutors as Joseph Fried, Yona Weisman, Abraham Zupnick and Lemon Juice, were arrested and charged with criminal contempt in the second degree, a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to one year in jail.

The accuser, who is now 17, has testified that she and her family had faced a pattern of intimidation from the Satmar Hasidic community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, since she alleged last year that Nechemya Weberman, the unlicensed therapist her parents had sent her to for counseling, repeatedly forced her to have oral sex during their sessions together from the time she was 12 until she turned 15.

In June, prosecutors charged four Williamsburg men with attempting to silence her by offering her a $500,000 bribe through her boyfriend to drop her participation in the case. Intimidation of sexual abuse victims in the ultra-Orthodox community is common, prosecutors say, because going to secular authorities with charges against another Jew is considered treasonous. But arrests for intimidation are rare.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Judge overseeing sex abuse trial ...

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Judge overseeing sex abuse trial of Orthodox leader Nechemya Weberman gets snippy over courtroom snapshot outing accuser, 4 men detained in connection with illegal photo

By Oren Yaniv / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A teen who says a Hasidic counselor demanded oral sex from her has been outed on the Internet, where photos of her testifying against her alleged abuser have surfaced.

Four men were detained Thursday in connection with the illegal photo sharing and are expected to be charged with criminal contempt, law enforcement sources said.

The disturbing twist in the case involves a cell phone photo — clearly showing the 17-year-old — that was snapped Wednesday inside the Brooklyn courtroom, incensing Supreme Court Justice John Ingram.

“This is on the Internet now,” the angry jurist told the four ultra-Orthodox men. “It’s probably streamed all over the world.”

The judge admonished the foursome — whom he identified as Lemon Juice, Abraham Zupnick, Joseph Fried and Yona Weisman — saying they violated a rule prohibiting photography in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Warren Jeffs, Polygamist Sect Leader Accused of Sexual Abuse, Has Ranch Seized

TEXAS
Houston Press

By Kimberly Reeves
Thu., Nov. 29 2012

Attorney General Greg Abbott has moved to seize a 1,700-acre ranch in West Texas, the scene of a 2008 raid of a polygamous sect accused of rampant sexual abuse and underage marriage in the name of religion.

Warren Jeffs, the one-time prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, currently is serving a life sentence for sexual assault of children in an East Texas prison. It's only the latest in a string of states that have wanted to prosecute Jeffs for his activities in Utah, Arizona and Texas.

Four years after the initial raid, the state has successfully prosecuted nine men in the sect, with convictions on both sex abuse and bigamy. The seizure of the Yearning for Zion Ranch, however, would be a death blow in Texas for the church, which appears to have scattered to various other states where FLDS holds property.

"Based upon the evidence reviewed in this case, Affiant believes that the suspected place was designed, improved and adapted in such a manner as illicit schemes and criminal activity described in this affidavit avoid detection by law enforcement," Sgt. Mario Martinez wrote in the warrant. "The isolation and security of this community also helped facilitate the identified criminal offenses and ensured said criminal conduct would not be reported to law enforcement."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Sexual Abuse by Priests Caused by Ancient Reform with Near-Opposite Intention, Argues New Book

UNITED STATES
Sacramento Bee

By Vincent J. Miles

Published: Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012

BOSTON, Nov. 29, 2012 -- /PRNewswire/ -- A new book about the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church delivers a highly unusual verdict: that the surge in abuse by priests during the late twentieth century was caused by an ancient reform intended to eradicate rather than encourage clerical corruption. The book further concludes that the decline in abuse more recently is the fortuitous result of a modern reform with no obvious connection to sexual abuse. Entitled Boys of the Cloth: The Accidental Role of Church Reforms in Causing and Curbing Abuse by Priests, and published by Hamilton Books, the book is now available from online booksellers in the US, UK and other countries.

The book's unusual verdict stems from the unique perspective of its author, Vincent J. Miles, who spent seven years in a Catholic minor seminary training for the priesthood before changing direction completely to become a scientist and business executive. "My original intention was simply to write a memoir documenting the lost way of life inside minor seminaries," said Miles, "but I then discovered that these institutions had been blamed for predisposing priests to molest children. Having trained as a scientist I wanted to understand why they might have had this effect, and my research into that question ultimately led me to contrarian conclusions about the entire abuse crisis."

The book combines a first-hand account of seminary life during the 1960s—a period that turns out to be crucial for understanding the crisis—with explorations of the history of the seminary system, current scientific knowledge about abusive behavior, and the Church's own investigations into abuse by priests. Its conclusions differ considerably from those reached by other works on the subject, most notably those of the controversial "Causes and Context" report released last year by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Excerpts and further information may be found at http://boysofthecloth.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Catholic council set for abuse commission

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A council of religious and lay people being set up to work with the royal commission into child sex abuse will help the Catholic Church "face the truth", Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart says.

The Catholic Bishops Conference on Friday announced it had established a group of representatives from the conference and religious orders to establish and oversee the new 10-member council.

In a statement, the conference said the royal commission's inquiry would be "painful and difficult" for the church, but that was nothing compared to the hurt of those who had suffered sexual abuse.

"Once again, we renew our heartfelt apology to those whose lives have been so grievously harmed by the evil perpetrated upon them by some priests, religious and church personnel."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Police taskforce to investigate clerical abuse

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Josie Taylor, ABC
Updated November 30, 2012

Victoria Police has created a special taskforce to investigate clerical abuse.

Taskforce Sano was set up this week.

Senior police say it is needed because of the increased reports of sexual abuse within the church, since the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the issue began this year.

Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton says it will initially consist of about 10 detectives.

"It will give us an opportunity to analyse and cross-match experiences from different victims in relation to specific offenders so we will be able to build a complete picture through this specialised approach," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

November 29, 2012

Do we need a royal commission into the governance of Australia?

AUSTRALIA
On Line Opinion

By Bruce Haigh - posted Friday, 30 November 2012

It was with some relief that Australians learnt that the Federal Government had agreed to a wide ranging enquiry into institutionalized child abuse in Australia over a number of decades. The reaction of the head of the Catholic Church in Australia, Cardinal Pell, served to confirm that decision in the minds of many.

Equally the ICAC enquiry into corrupt practices by members of the NSW Parliament has been welcomed, not only by NSW residents but by everyone concerned with honest and clean government in Australia.

But is there something lacking, something weak at the heart of Australia? Do we lack moral courage? It was always open to State and Federal governments to assert compliance with the law on the Catholic Church and other religious organizations in relation to members of those organizations engaging in child abuse and those seeking to cover and protect the abusers. This might have been done decades ago. Why wasn’t it?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

4 arrested at NY sex assault trial

NEW YORK
San Francisco Chronicle

NEW YORK (AP) — Four men have been arrested on charges they photographed a 17-year-old girl testifying in a New York sexual abuse trial against a religious counselor.

The men were at the Brooklyn trial of Nechemya Weberman on Thursday. Weberman has pleaded not guilty to charges he abused the girl for years when he was supposed to be counseling her. Both belong to an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect.

The girl was on the witness stand when the men, supporters of Weberman, snapped images. One was posted on Twitter, though the girl's name was not included.

Court officers confiscated the cell phones. It's illegal to photograph in courtrooms without a court order. The men face contempt charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

Four Men Are Questioned Over Photos From Orthodox Abuse Trial

NEW YORK
Wall Street Journal

By Pervaiz Shallwani

In an unexpected twist, four men were questioned Thursday for illegally taking cellphone photos during the sexual-abuse trial of a respected ultra-Orthodox Jewish counselor, including one shot that captures the alleged victim testifying on the stand.

The four were being questioned by investigators Thursday and were expected to be charged with criminal contempt, a law-enforcement official said.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Ingram halted the trial of Nechemya Weberman, 54 years old, after learning that courtroom photos were shot and distributed over the Internet. The judge then cleared the courtroom and made the roughly 50 spectators check their phones with court officers. The trial was halted for about 30 minutes and resumed in the afternoon.

“It’s against the law for people to take photos in the courtroom,” Justice Ingram scolded the audience. “This is not a game. This is a very serious case.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Audio Book Review: Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church by Jason Berry

UNITED STATES
YouTube

This is the summary of Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church by Jason Berry (Author, Narrator).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Aus- Victims slam lawyers who want abuse inquiry slowed

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Nicky Davis on November 29, 2012

Those who want to slow down an inquiry into child sex crimes and cover ups are wrong. They may be well-intentioned. But they are essentially - and callously - resigning dozens or perhaps hundreds of innocent children to devastated lives.

Every day, kids are being molested, crimes are being covered up, and predators are being protected.

Some dangerous predators - and their irresponsible supervisors - are no doubt intimidating victims, threatening witnesses, and discrediting whistleblowers, fabricating alibis, destroying evidence, and leaving or preparing to leave the country. So delaying this inquiry helps wrongdoers and their allies while hurting victims and their families.

It always seems reasonable to say "let's be careful." But in this case, seeming reasonable and being reasonable are very different things. "Slow down" may sound responsible. But it's actually irresponsible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Rome clamps down on rebel priest

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet

29 November 2012

The Vatican has stripped a prominent Austrian priest who has spear-heading calls for church reform of his right to use the title monsignor.

Rome also said today that Helmut Schüller was no longer a "Chaplain of His Holiness", Reuters reported. However he remains a priest.

Fr Schüller, a former vicar-general to Vienna's archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, had been given the honorary title in his capacity as head of the
Austrian branch of the Catholic charity Caritas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Local Priest Charged

CANADA
Blackburn News

A priest with a long history of sexually related offences has been charged again with historical sexually based offences.

Linus Bastien was arrested at his Chatham retirement home yesterday morning. Police say the offences occurred between 1963 and 1970 while he was a priest at St. Charles Parish in the village of Stephenson in what was then the township of Tilbury East.

Bastien served as a priest for 40 years at 10 area parishes with the London Diocese. He has been charged multiple times over the last four decades with sexually related offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

State court rejects priest's defamation lawsuit

MASSACHUSETTS
Cape Cod Times

By SEAN TEEHAN

November 29, 2012

FALMOUTH — The state appeals court has upheld a ruling that threw out a defamation lawsuit filed by a former Falmouth priest, agreeing that he brought the lawsuit past the statute of limitations.

The Rev. John P. Harrington, formerly a priest at St. Patrick's Church on Main Street in Falmouth, filed suit in Norfolk Superior Court against the Rev. John H. Perry — the former pastor of St. Patrick's — and the Rev. William M. Costello, the former pastor of St. Anthony's Parish in East Falmouth, in November 2010.

Harrington's complaint stems back to 2005, when Perry told him that Costello reported that a parishioner had accused Harrington of stalking her minor son, the decision said.

Both Costello and Perry reported this information to religious education directors at St. Patrick's and St. Anthony's.

As a result, the decision said, Harrington says he suffered abuse and alienation. He eventually lost his position at St. Patrick's and was not reassigned to another church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Gerald T. Slevin: Mother Petitions President Obama to Combat Organizational Child Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

Another very important posting sent to me today by Jerry Slevin, which relates to his call for President Obama to establish a national commission to combat child sexual abuse. What follows is Jerry's text:

As Christians prepare for the annual celebration of the birth of Jesus, a mother has just filed a White House.gov petition to have President Obama establish a commission to combat organizational child sexual abuse.

This petition is accessible by clicking here.

Please celebrate the upcoming holidays by acting now to protect defenseless children.

Please now click on the above link now and sign the petition.

Please also circulate this request now to everyone you know who may care about children, asking them also to click on and sign the petition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

SA - SNAP applauds victims in Chile for coming forward

CHILE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on November 29, 2012

We applaud these three brave men for seeking justice and exposing wrongdoing. When child sex abuse victims sue because horrors have been committed and concealed, they help deter future horrors and cover ups.

We hope this move will inspire others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to step forward and pursue justice and prevention in secular courts, not in church offices.

And we are appalled that a Catholic official claims that this enormous, ancient, world-wide institution allegedly lacks the resources to compensate victims. That is simply a lie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Archbishop Listecki quietly adds another perpetrator ...

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wiscosin

Archbishop Listecki quietly adds another perpetrator to the official list of clergy child sex offenders

Fr. Donald Musinski worked in Archdiocese for almost 40 years

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director; John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
CONTACT: 414.429.729 or 414.336.8575

Archbishop Jerome Listecki quietly placed the name of Fr. Donald Musinski on the Milwaukee Archdiocese’s official listing of clergy sex offenders. Musinski who was given his first parish assignment in 1962 worked in parishes throughout southeastern Wisconsin for almost 40 years and passed away in 2006.

The Archdiocese was warned about Fr. Musinski’s criminal behavior years ago when Karen Konter bravely came forward to report the sexual assaults she had endured from the age of seven until the time she was thirteen years old as a parishioner at St. Adalbert’s in Milwaukee. It’s unknown how many victims of Musinksi have come forward over the years to the Archdiocese but given the pathology and extent of Musinksi’s sexual crimes, the age of the victim and the years of criminal acts against her, its highly likely that Musinski may have harmed many children.

Despite Konter’s report of sexual assault the Archdiocese refused to publically identify Fr. Musinski as a sex offender. Only now, as the Archdiocese is about to enter its second year of federal bankruptcy proceedings has Listecki decided, in the least public manner, to let Catholics of the archdiocese know that there has been yet another child sex offender in their parishes and schools for almost 40 years. Which raises the troubling question, are there additional members of the clergy who have harmed children that are not accounted for on the official listing of offenders from the Archdiocese?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Ezzati ante demanda por víctimas de Karadima...

CHILE
La Tercera

Ezzati ante demanda por víctimas de Karadima: "En la Iglesia de Santiago somos ciudadanos y responderemos como ciudadanos"

El arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, sostuvo esta mañana con respecto a la demanda interpuesta por las víctimas de Fernando Karadima, James Hamilton, Juan Carlos Cruz y José Andrés Murillo, que "la objetividad de las cosas son más que suficientes para decir por qué camino ha andado la Iglesia".

En entrevista con Radio Futuro, en el programa Palabra que es Noticia, Ezzati sostuvo que "en la Iglesia de Santiago somos ciudadanos y responderemos como ciudadanos a lo que será la determinación de la Justicia".

El recurso judicial fue presentado el martes por el abogado de los tres profesionales y ante este hecho, se deberá nombrar un ministro de la Corte de Apelaciones, ya que el arzobispo goza de fuero.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

“The Secret History of Sex, Choice and Catholics”

UNITED STATES
Catholics for Choice

[video]

“The Secret History of Sex, Choice and Catholics” features interviews with leading experts in the fields of theology, philosophy and ethics who examine Catholic traditions, teachings and beliefs on the following key issues:

•Abortion & Contraception
•HIV & AIDS
•Sex & Sexuality
•New Reproductive Health Technologies
•Religion in Public Policy

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Vatican's doctrinal congregation clears Bourgeois by condemning him

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Eugene Cullen Kennedy | Nov. 29, 2012

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has forced Maryknoll to expel Fr. Roy Bourgeois from the society because of his public advocacy of women priests.

You may not be surprised to learn that it was only after Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, that the doctrinal congregation's title of "Sacred" was removed from its coat of arms. That grandiose term was really a misprint for "Scared," the word that captures its centuries-old dynamic of acting out of fear, or generalized ambition-anxiety, rather than out of the love that supposedly motivates the church's actions at all levels.

It is what they are scared of that they condemn, and it is those persons they condemn that give us a reading of what triggers their fearful reactions. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may be the only organization that suffers from a pre-stress anxiety syndrome.

Its officials get all worked up about the possibility of something or someone who may expand scientific (Galileo) or theological (a list too long to print) knowledge, or about someone who may plea for a better understanding of the human condition, like Sr. Jeannine Gramick and her pastoral work with homosexuals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Bourgeois' lawyer asks Maryknoll for 'honest answers'

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee | Nov. 29, 2012

Roy Bourgeois' canon lawyer has written to the leadership of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, asking for "honest answers" about the order's involvement in the Vatican's dismissal of the longtime peace activist and priest.

Dominican Fr. Tom Doyle's questions include what knowledge the religious order had of the move by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and why it hasn't shared the official document from the papal office.

Bourgeois, widely known for his work calling attention to injustices in Latin America, had come under scrutiny for his support of women's ordination. The Vatican congregation dismissed him from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, of which he had been a member for 45 years, on Oct. 4, the order announced in a press release Nov. 19.

The dismissal drew criticism from a former head of the U.S. missionary order, who said in an interview it represented interference "with the integrity of the society."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Rome- Vatican disciplines dissident priest: SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on November 29, 2012

A tiny handful of priests are "dissidents." But the Vatican seems to discipline them often and harshly.

Tens of thousands of Catholic officials however, - bishops, priests, nuns, seminarians and brothers - have concealed or are concealing child sex crimes. But the Vatican rarely disciplines them.

In 24 years, we've never heard of a single church official - whether child molesting cleric or corrupt colleague - be excommunicated for committing or concealing heinous child sex crimes.

Yet more than two years ago, Pope Benedict promised he would "do everything possible" to address the crisis.

His words ring hollow. He has yet to take any significant, effective steps to better safeguard kids anywhere on the planet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Sex abuse victims want whistle-blower priest honored

AUSTRALIA
SNAP Australia

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a footpath news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will urge anyone who saw, suspected, or suffered child sex crimes to;

--come forward, make a report and start healing,
--SNAP will urge the current Wollongong Bishop to find more victims
--SNAP will also honor the memory of the priest who worked so hard to expose abuse

WHEN
Friday November 30 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE
Outside Edmund Rice College 112 Mount Keira Road, West Wollongong

WHO
Two to three members of an international support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) including an American woman who is the organisations president and founder.

WHY
In 1994 police in Wollongong were prepared to lay charges against Brother Michael Evans for sexual assault against a boy. Brother Evans was the headmaster of a local school, Edmund Rice College. Brother Evans committed suicide before police were able to charge him.

Brother Evans was also accused of abusing a boy while he was working in Sydney, prior to moving to Wollongong. Upon learning of the allegation against Brother Evans, his Christian Brother superiors moved him to Wollongong.

When Father Maurie Crocker was told by a seminary student that he was abused by Brother Evans, Crocker went to the police and encouraged the victims to make a statement. Father Crocker was later found dead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Victims blast papal nuncio’s abrupt departure

AUSTRALIA
SNAP Australia

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a footpath news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will;
- Demand answers as to why the papal nuncio to Australia has suddenly been reassigned to Israel with no replacement in over four months.
- Question whether or not it has to do with the current abuse inquiries, and
- Will urge anyone who may have seen or suspected clergy sex crimes in Canberra to come forward now to police and prosecutors

WHEN
Friday, November 30 at 10:15 a.m.

WHERE
Outside the Papal Nuncio’s consulate in Canberra, 2 Vancouver Street, Red Hill ACT 2603 (corner of Monaco Cres)

WHO
Three to four members of an international support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest) including an American woman who is the organisation’s president and founder.

WHY
A prominent Australian Archbishop has recently left Australia to take up the post of Papal Nuncio in Israel, and leaders of an international support group for victims of clergy abuse believe he left in an effort to avoid scandal.

Archbishop Giuseppe Lazarotto had, while he was stationed in Ireland in 2005, repeatedly refused to provide information to the Murphy Commission, a group that was created to investigate child sex crimes by clergy in Ireland. In the time since, Archbishop Lazarotto has since been accused of “doing everything in his power to protect suspected Irish clerics.” Since Lazarotto left Australia for Israel, no replacement has been named.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

The History of Sex Abuse and Cover-up in the Catholic Church … in Three Minutes

UNITED STATES
Patrick J. Wall

[video]

A fabulous video that puts it all in a nutshell …

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Rom entzog Schüller Ehrentitel

OSTERREICH
Kurier

Insignien muss ich keine zurückschicken. Ich hab’ ja keine“: Kirchenrebell Helmut Schüller ist um einen Titel ärmer – und um eine Schlagzeile reicher. Rom erkannte ihm vor wenigen Wochen den päpstlichen Ehrentitel „Monsignore“ (ähnlich dem Hofrat, Anm.) ab. Überbringer der Nachricht war Kardinal Christoph Schönborn. Über die Hintergründe schweigt man sich aus – vermutlich hat die „Entehrung“ jedoch mit Schüllers Ungehorsam zu tun.

Denn der Aufruf zum Ungehorsam von Helmut Schüllers Pfarrer-Initiative sorgt nicht nur in der österreichischen Amtskirche seit mehr als einem Jahr für Aufsehen. Zu Ostern hatte Papst Benedikt XVI. in einer Predigt im Petersdom offen kritisiert. Jetzt folgen den Worten Taten: Die Initiative für die Aberkennung des Ehrentitels ging von Rom aus, berichtet Michael Prüller, Sprecher von Kardinal Schönborn. Demnach bekam Schönborn vor wenigen Wochen einen Brief von dem für Auszeichnungen zuständigen Referat im Vatikan. Der Kardinal wurde darin gebeten, Schüller über die Aberkennung des Titels zu informieren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Vatican disciplines Austrian dissident priest

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY | Thu Nov 29, 2012

(Reuters) - The Vatican has cracked down on a prominent Austrian Roman Catholic priest who has been leading a disobedience campaign to openly challenge Roman Catholic teachings on celibacy and women priests.

The Vatican said on Thursday it had stripped Father Helmut Schueller of the right to use title monsignor and said he also was no longer a "Chaplain of His Holiness". Schueller remains a priest.

Schueller, a former deputy to Vienna's archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, had been given the honorary title in his capacity as head of the Austrian branch of the Catholic charity group Caritas.

Schueller is head of the group "Call to Disobedience", which has broad public backing in opinion polls and says it represents about 10 percent of the Austrian clergy.

Nearly 150,000 Austrians left the Church in 2011-2012, many in reaction to sexual abuse scandals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Pennsylvania group recommends guides for reporting child abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

[full report]
November 28, 2012

By Laura Olson / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG -- A state task force created in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal has given legislators a hefty load of recommendations to review, urging among its suggestions an overhaul of how Pennsylvania defines abuse and earmarking funding for children's advocacy centers.

The report from 11-member Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection also calls for expanding requirements regarding who must report suspected child abuse to outside investigators, increasing penalties for failure to report suspected abuse and tracking abuse reports at the state level instead of county-by-county.

"We attempted to be bold ... but also realistic," said Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler, who chaired the task force.

"We tried to do the very best we could to improve a system that is woefully failing in a number of ways."

The panel was appointed in January by legislative leaders and Gov. Tom Corbett to review state policies for reporting child abuse and procedures for child protection. It held hearings across the state, taking testimony from dozens involved in how those cases currently are handled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

PROPOSED RECOMMENDATIONS REPORT OF THE TASK FORCE ON CHILD PROTECTION

PENNSYLVANIA
Task Force on Child Protection

“First and most important, measure all of your decisions and suggestions for legislative reform against the questions of whether a change or changes will improve the protection offered to vulnerable and dependent children.”
-- Richard J. Gelles, Ph.D., Dean,
School of Social Policy & Practice of the University of Pennsylvania

I am privileged to take this opportunity to offer some general thoughts on behalf of myself and the extraordinarily able colleagues who served as members of this task force. First, as you can tell from the quotations set forth in our report, the quality of the scores of persons who addressed our panel during the course of the 11 hearings which we held was such that, had we made no recommendations or proposed no draft legislation whatsoever, we would still have performed a great service for this Commonwealth and its children by gathering the collective wisdom, frustrations and advice of the able and dedicated witnesses who appeared at our hearings. We would earnestly urge that those who wish to take up our recommendations or who wish to evaluate their validity, take time to review the collective testimony of these experts. All of it is available either in written form or as live recordings. Taken together, this body of testimony is both inspiring and highly informative. No one who listens to and considers it can doubt that dramatic change is required in the way our governmental institutions work to protect children in Pennsylvania.

Early in our proceedings we heard the words inscribed above from Dr. Richard Gelles, Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice of the University of Pennsylvania. We have done our best to make them the standard for the way in which we performed our duties. This report contains many, many recommendations – some broad and sweeping, others narrow and specific. While the process and its participants, chief among them the chair, may have regularly fallen short of the challenge, we have striven in our deliberations to recommend courses of action and legislative changes which will improve the protection of children in this Commonwealth, first and above all else.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

After Sandusky: Task force suggests steps to counter child abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

[full report]

As unlikely as it might seem, some good may actually come out of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

An 11-member Task Force on Child Protection, formed in the aftermath of the criminal charges against the former Penn State assistant football coach, has recommended sweeping changes to state laws, improvements that could go a long way toward making Pennsylvania children safer and to finding and prosecuting perpetrators who abuse them.

Some of the suggestions can and should be implemented immediately: replacing the state's ChildLine reporting number of 1-800-932-0313 with a three-digit, easy-to-remember number such as 611 and encouraging counties to expand the use of multidisciplinary teams to investigate suspected abuse.

Most recommendations require changes in state law. Those that go directly to the goal of making sure that allegations of abuse are properly reported include lowering the threshold for what constitutes child abuse to include reckless and intentional acts in addition those that cause severe pain; expanding the definition of what constitutes sexual abuse to include explicit conversation and exposure of sexual organs; adding college administrators, coaches, librarians and others who work to with children to the list of professionals required to report suspected abuse; and requiring educators to report suspicions directly to ChildLine, not simply to building administrators as currently mandated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Don't bar offenders' stories of abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

Meg Perkins
From:The Courier-Mail
November 30, 2012

THE royal commission into child sexual abuse will miss very important evidence if it does not include a mechanism for convicted offenders, especially those in prison, to tell their stories.

Contrary to popular belief, most prisoners do not tell sob stories about being abused in childhood to attract sympathy.

Most keep the secret to themselves and are terrified somebody will find out.

The reason for this is plain and simple. If it becomes known in the prison population that you have been a victim of sexual abuse, you will become prey for sexual predators.

Prisoners are like most people in that they do not understand the dynamics of child sexual abuse.

They tend to blame themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Law body fears rush on abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Milanda Rout
From:The Australian
November 30, 2012

THE peak body representing 69,000 lawyers across the nation has raised alarm bells at the rushed nature of the the royal commission into child sex abuse, saying Julia Gillard should consider taking extra time to properly establish it.

In its submission to Attorney-General Nicola Roxon on the inquiry's terms of reference, the Law Council of Australia says it is concerned about the tight timeframe and that allowing more time would facilitate a greater understanding of what is required from the commission.

"Given the sensitivity of the subject matter, the council considers that a longer timeframe for consultation and for consideration of relevant issues should be allowed," the council says. "This would help to ensure that the terms of reference and the form of the royal commission will best facilitate the outcomes sought."

The Prime Minister announced three weeks ago she wanted the terms of reference set by the end of the year and stakeholders were given only a week to provide input.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Sex abuse counsellors to get legal training

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By Nino Bucci
Nov. 29, 2012

Psychologists dealing with a surge of sex abuse victims after the announcement of a Royal Commission into the problem need to be trained to ensure their counselling does not jeopardise court proceedings, a child advocacy group says.

Bravehearts, who have had a 300 per cent leap in demand for counselling services since the Royal Commission was announced on November 12, is launching an online training program for psychologists.

Therapeutic services manager Leza Sullivan said the service, which will cost psychologists $345 to complete, was the quickest way of increasing the number of people qualified to deal with complex cases.

"There's a real urgency to get this up and going as soon as possible because of the Royal Commission," Ms Sullivan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Pagan ceremony pair deny child sex assault allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
The Packet

Pagan ceremonies with a coven of white witches in mid and west Cornwall were cited when the trial of two men accused of sexually abusing children over a number of years began at Truro Crown Court on Monday.

In the dock were 69-year-old Jack Kemp, of Grenville Road, Falmouth, and Peter Petrauske, 72, who at the time of his arrest last December was living at The Beacon, Falmouth.

Petrauske has denied raping one girl and three charges of assault. Kemp has denied aiding and abetting attempted rape and 15 charges of assault.

Prosecutor Jason Beal told the jury of nine men and three women that the children involved ranged in age from three to 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

PAGANS ‘ABUSED’ CHILDREN

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Star

CHILDREN were sexually abused by two men during magic rituals at a witches’ coven, a court heard.

Some of the alleged victims, aged between three and 15, were said to have had their wrists tied.

Peter Petrauske, 71, allegedly told police: “I am a white witch, a pagan.”

Petrauske, formerly of Falmouth, Cornwall, faces two charges of indecent assault and a count of rape.

Jack Kemp, 68, of Falmouth, Cornwall, faces 15 charges of sexual assault on girls.

The two men are jointly charged with aiding and abetting an attempt to rape.

They both deny all the charges agaisnt them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

'Witches' link to Cornwall sex abuse cases

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Two men have appeared in court charged with historical sex offences against children in Cornwall.

Some of the alleged victims say they were abused as part of pagan ceremonies by men purporting to be white witches, Truro Crown Court was told.

Jack Kemp, 69, of Grenville Road, Falmouth, denies 15 charges of sexual assaults on girls five to 14 years old.

Peter Petrauske, 72, formerly of Falmouth, denies two charges of indecent assault and one of rape.

The two men are also jointly charged with aiding and abetting an attempt to rape, which they deny.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

'White witches' abused young girls in pagan sex rituals, court told

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

Members of a so-called "witches' coven" donned ceremonial robes and used daggers as part of ritualistic sex abuse on young girls, a court heard.

Peter Petrauske and Jack Kemp were said to have been involved in a pagan group from the 1970s onwards, in which children said they were plied with alcohol before being made to undress in front of a crowd of men wearing robes.

The victims, from Cornwall, were then abused by their tormentors, before being given money and sweets to buy their silence, the court was told.

The abuse was only investigated further by police last year when Kemp was arrested in connection with another incident, causing rumours to spread around his home town of Falmouth and prompting the alleged victims of the historic offences to contact detectives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Caso Karadima...

CHILE
Bio Bio

Caso Karadima: Nombrarán ministro de fuero para tramitar acción civil contra Arzobispado de Santiago

Publicado por Gerson Guzmán | La Información es de Agencia UPI

El presidente de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago, Patricio Villarroel, anunció que la medida prejudicial probatoria presentada contra el Arzobispado de Santiago por tres querellantes del sacerdote Fernando Karadima será tramitada por un ministro del tribunal de alzada.

Esto según lo establece el número 2 del Artículo 50 del Código Orgánico de Tribunales donde “de las causas civiles y de las criminales por crímenes o simples delitos en que sean parte o tengan interés (…) los arzobispos, los obispos, los vicarios generales, los provisores y los vicarios capitulares”, dice el texto legal.

El presidente del tribunal de alzada capitalino, Patricio Villarroel resaltó que “según el Código, el Arzobispo está contemplado entre aquellas las personas que gozan de fuero de manera que de esa causa tendría que conocerla un ministro de la Corte de Apelaciones. Es un tribunal de primera instancia. Para todo el juicio civil”, apuntó el magistrado.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Accused molester Nechemya Weberman ...

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Accused molester Nechemya Weberman appears to menacingly stare at teenage accuser through glass door

Joanna Molloy

Court officers had to move an accused molester back into a courtroom in Brooklyn Supreme Court Wednesday after he appeared to menacingly stare at his teenage accuser through a glass door.

The 17-year-old girl was having a moment of peace in an interview room during recess in the trial of Nechemya Weberman, whom she has accused of sexually abusing her four times a week for three years starting from the time she was 12.

But when the beautiful teenager looked up, she saw Weberman, staring at her through the glass long enough to set the officers scrambling.

George Farkas, a member of Weberman’s defense team, was quick to call the menacing allegation “pure unadulterated bulls---.”

But Rabbi Yakov Horowitz told the Daily News, “I was there. I saw it.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Texas moves to seize ranch of polygamist Warren Jeffs

TEXAS
The Salt Lake Tribune

[seizure warrant]

Fraud, sex crimes » No new charges filed, but the warrant may force the sect to move off the property.

By Lindsay Whitehurst and Nate Carlisle
The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Nov 28 2012

The Texas Attorney General’s Office moved Wednesday to seize the remote ranch where polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs and other men sexually abused underage girls taken as plural wives.

Authorities say sect leaders purchased the Yearning for Zion Ranch to commit crimes, which constitutes money laundering under Texas law and also makes the property subject to seizure laws as contraband,according to a 91-page search-and-seizure warrant. Sect members bought the 1,600-acre property "in a failed attempt to establish a remote outpost where they could insulate themselves from criminal prosecution for sexually assaulting children," according to a news release from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

The property is appraised at $19.96 million, according to county tax rolls.

The warrant is akin to civil foreclosure rather than a criminal investigation, but it could force the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) members living there to move off the property, said sect attorney Rod Parker. Authorities taped the warrant to the YFZ Ranch gate Tuesday afternoon and made it public Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

If Texas takes Warren Jeffs’ ranch, then what?

TEXAS
Salt Lake Tribune

Published on Nov 28, 2012

Lindsay Whitehurst

Big news today: The state of Texas wants to seize ownership of the YFZ Ranch, once controlled by Warren Jeffs. Read our story on the search and seizure warrant served Tuesday here, and take a look at the full affidavit, which is attached to the story.

There are still a number of unanswered questions with the seizure that I’ll be taking a look at over the coming days, including:

• What does Texas have to prove to win ownership of the trust? Do they have to show that everyone who bought/worked on the ranch knew Jeffs and others were sexually assaulting underage girls?

• Over the last five months or so, just about everyone has cleared out of the ranch, apparently to smaller FLDS outposts and houses of hiding around the country. How does that change the dynamic? Does it make it more difficult to investigate potential ongoing problems?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Warren Jeffs' ranch may be seized by Texas

TEXAS
The Christian Science Monitor

By Paul J. Weber, Associated Press / November 28, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas

Texas wants to take ownership of Warren Jeffs' polygamist ranch where the convicted sect leader and his followers sexually assaulted children, state prosecutors said Wednesday.

The Texas attorney general's office filed a seizure warrant on Wednesday. A judge will determine whether the state can take control of the 1,600-acre (650-hectare) property owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, said the court filings do not mean FLDS members still living at the Yearning for Zion Ranch must immediately leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

CathBlog - The gravity of the present moment

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

BY DANIEL ANG

To say that these are dark days for the Catholic Church is an understatement.

In this fiftieth year since the Second Vatican Council, and in the accompanying Year of Faith, we ought to feel our hearts rising with Christ as they did among his first followers.

Instead the ongoing revelations of sexual abuse, our shame of past failures, and accusations of maladministration, have disgraced the Church and left many ordinary Catholics feeling demoralised.

For those of us who remain close to the life of the Church, who still hold it precious as an intrinsic dimension of our Christian faith, how are to go on with the same confidence and morale? In a certain sense, this is impossible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Sexual abuse scandal with Chilean priest resurfaces

CHILE
Santiago Times

Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Written by Emily Green

Victims request compensation from the Church for personal hardships.

Victims sexually abused in the 1980s by infamous Santiago priest Fernando Karadima are requesting monetary compensation from the Catholic Church on the grounds that the Archbishopric of Santiago failed to properly investigate allegations against Karadima in 2004.

On Tuesday, the three plaintiffs, James Hamilton, José Andrés Murillo and Juan Carlos Cruz, initiated a civil suit against the Archbishopric of Santiago, now led by Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati, for the personal distress caused by the Church.

“It’s come to this because (the Church) has given us no other options,” Hamilton told local press. “There has not been any kind of spiritual accompaniment or reparations.”

Karadima was found guilty by the Vatican but was never convicted by the state following a long history of accusations and investigations against the high-profile priest who led a parish in Santiago’s El Bosque borough from 1973 to 1990. While rumors and accusations against Karadima for sexual abuse circulated as early as 1984, no investigations happened for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

November 28, 2012

Micah Moore’s confession in Deaton death was untrue, lawyer says

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By GLENN E. RICE
The Kansas City Star

Attorneys for Micah Moore, the man charged with first-degree murder in the death of prayer-group friend Bethany Ann Deaton, said Wednesday that their client’s fragile mental state led him to make a false confession.

“We are aware of no evidence that a crime has occurred,” said Melanie S. Morgan, one of Moore’s attorneys, reading a statement after the brief court hearing. “The facts suggest Bethany Deaton’s death was an unfortunate suicide and Micah Moore had nothing to do with that suicide.

“Driven to the police station by representantives of his church community, Micah told a fictional account that was bizarre, nonsensical and most importantly, untrue. They were the figments of a distraught and confused young man under extreme psychological pressures as a result of his friend Bethany’s untimely suicide and the sudden removal of his spiritual leader, Tyler Deaton, from their extremely close-knit religious community.

“The doctrines taught in that community affected Micah’s mental state and, unfortunately, dominated his thinking. Micah’s fiction to the police led to the filing of the complaint in this case.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

Retired priest charged

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

By Vicki Gough, Chatham Daily News

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A list of charges against a retired priest living in Chatham has grown.

Chatham-Kent police arrested Linus Bastien, 86, at his retirement residence on Keil Drive Wednesday morning.

"This investigation is a result of charges started by Essex OPP," said Chatham-Kent Sgt. Mike Thompson.

The accused is charged with numerous historic sex-related offences, said Thompson.

But the officer declined to give specific numbers nor the nature of the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

The Trial of a Rasha

NEW YORK
The Jewish Press

By: Harry Maryles
Published: November 28th, 2012

The trial of of accused sexual abuser Rabbi Nechemya Weberman is underway. I thought I would post a few of my thoughts about it. First let me excerpt the following quote by Anna C. Salter PhD from Rabbi Yakov Horowitz’s website:

1. It is perhaps not surprising that predators who have never been arrested are so successful in fooling people. They simply take on the lifestyle and manner of genuinely nice people, and it is understandable, if tragic, that we can’t tell the difference.

2. It is a misconception that child molesters are somehow different from the rest of us, outside their proclivities to molest. They can be loyal friends, good employees, and responsible members of the community in other ways.

3. Offender self-reports have dubious validity, especially when the offender’s self-interest is at stake. The only rule for deception in sex offenders I have ever found is this: If it is in the offender’s best interest to lie, and if he can do it and not get caught, he will lie.

I have little doubt about Rabbi Weberman’s guilt. And I am encouraged by the over 40 people who have so far shown up at the trial to show support for the victim. I am also encouraged by the number of people who have responded to the request by Rabbi Horowitz to post a comment on his website in support of the victim. I encourage everyone to do so. She can use all the support she can get. Her character is being attacked. It is a typical ploy of defense attorneys to attack the character of an accuser at trial so as to undermine their credibility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 PM

Orthodox Brooklyn Girl Testifies That Hasidic Rabbi Made Her Perform Oral Sex For Years

NEW YORK
Gothamist

A Brooklyn girl testified yesterday in detail that she was sexually abused by a Hasidic rabbi and counselor for years. The teen, who is now 17, but was 12 when the alleged abuse started, had been sent to Rabbi Nechemya Weberman for counseling after she started questioning the strict rules of her ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Satmar sect. “I wanted to die rather than live with myself,” the woman said about the attacks. "I didn't know how to fight. I was numb."

She claims Weberman, who is accused of 88 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, forced her to give him oral sex and inappropriately touched her from March 2007 to March 2010. Prosecutors say the victim grew up in an ultra-religious community that labelled her a "heretic" because she asked questions about God’s existence and wore thin tights: “You had to wear tights that are very thick so there’s no way anybody can see your legs,” she said. “I was sent to the principal’s office every day because my tights weren’t thick enough.”

So her parents sent her to Weberman, who met her at his home; those sessions lasted up to four hours each, multiple times a week, for three years. During the first one, she didn't understand what Weberman was doing when he allegedly forced her to give him oral sex. “My whole body froze,’’ she recounted tearfully.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 PM

'White witch coven' took part ritualistic sex abuse of young girls, court told

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Steven Morris and agency
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 28 November 2012

Members of a "white witch coven" in Cornwall donned ceremonial robes and used daggers in ritualistic sex abuse of young girls, a court has heard.

Peter Petrauske, 72, who allegedly told police he was high priest of the coven, and Jack Kemp, 69, were said to have been involved in criminal "pagan ceremonies" over a 30-year period.

Children were plied with alcohol before being made to undress in front of a crowd of men wearing robes, it was claimed.

The alleged victims, the youngest of whom aged three to five, were then abused by their tormentors before being given money and sweets to buy their silence, Truro crown court was told.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Two male 'white witches from Cornwall coven raped young girls during pagan rituals'

UNITED KINDOM
Daily Mail

Two men belonging to a ‘witches’ coven’ wore ceremonial robes and used daggers as part of ritualistic sex abuse on young girls, a court has heard.

Peter Petrauske, 72, and Jack Kemp, 69, are said to have been involved in a pagan group of ‘white witches’ operating in Cornwall since the 1970s.

The alleged abuse, spanning three decades, involved knives and melting wax, Truro Crown Court heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Three allegations in three years, but church kept quiet

OKLAHOMA
Stop Baptist Predators

In Oklahoma, police arrested Southern Baptist youth pastor Dustin Ray Werneburg on multiple charges of child sex crimes. Werneburg, who was previously a pastor at First Baptist Church in Coalgate, now faces three counts of second degree rape and three counts of forcible sodomy along with charges of lewd molestation and lewd or indecent proposals to a child. Investigators say that all of the crimes were committed against a girl under the age of 16.

Jeff Self, the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Coalgate, has admitted that he knew about prior allegations against Werneburg.

"We had three allegations over the course of three years,” said pastor Self in a statement to KXII News. “Two of them he had come to me and said you are going to hear this . . . and it was a he said she said and we believed him . . . but once we had that third allegation that was really significant in August," Self said.

So what exactly did pastor Self do with the third allegation – the one that he finally viewed as being “really significant”?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

"Those days" are still here in Baptistland

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

“In those days, this was a no-no in terms of publicizing it,” said Rev. James Griffith, former executive director of the Georgia Baptist Convention.

Griffith was talking about the numerous child sex abuse allegations against former scoutmaster Ernest Boland, whose troops were sponsored by Baptist churches, including Griffith’s own church, Beech Haven Baptist in Athens, Georgia.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Griffith acknowledged that, as Boland’s pastor, he had heard reports about Boland’s “sexual transgressions.”

“It was suspected, but there was not much done about it,” said Griffith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

James Bailey, former preacher and scout leader from Thornton Heath, convicted of child sex offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Your Local Guardian

By Chris Baynes

A former scout leader and Christian preacher has been jailed for luring boys as young as four into his home with sweets and money and filmed them performing sex acts.

James Bailey, 69, of Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath, exploited his positions of trust to subject three vulnerable victims under the age of 10 to repeated assaults over the course of a decade.

He persuaded his youngest victim, aged just four when the abuse began in the early 1990s, into depraved acts.

The boy's elder brother, aged six at the time of the earliest offences, was filmed masturbating by Bailey, who assured him that “no one else” would watch the footage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

25 Signs of a Predatory Preacher

Sharon Johnson Fresh Oil Ministries

What is a Predatory Preacher:

A man or woman who claims to be a follower and messenger of Jesus Christ who uses false doctrines and traditions to seduce, manipulate and control their followers. Their primary goal is money, materialism, control and fame:

They will use ‘scare’ tactics regarding tithes and offerings, and if you leave their church, they will tell you and others that you are under a curse.

Carry themselves like celebrities, rather than servants insisting on being called by a lofty title ~ Dr. Bishop, Elder, The Most Reverend, Prophetess, Chief Apostle. Make sure to read my Blog, "The Great "TITLE" Wave."

Materialistic, boastful, and flaunts extravagant lifestyle while regarding their wives as ‘first lady’ of the church.

Allow provocatively dressed women to teach, usher, sing on praise teams and lead in the church.

Rarely, if ever, talks about sin or hell, makes light of sin when they do. Jesus is hardly ever mentioned, but rather GOD. Usually, they are very charismatic and GREAT speakers ~ Very Eloquent in speech.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Former youth minister arrested on sex crimes

OKLAHOMA
KXII

[with video]

COAL COUNTY, OK -- A Former Coalgate youth pastor has been arrested for sex crimes against children. 28-year-old Dustin Werneberg was taken into custody Wednesday on several second degree rape charges.

An affidavit states the sexual abuse has been going on for more than a year. Kristen Shanahan spoke with the lead investigator of this case and the pastor who says he never believed his employee could be involved in something like this.

Police tell us Werneburg was arrested at Blanchard Middle School in McClain County Wednesday where he was serving as a teacher's aid. He is now behind bars in Coal County on three counts of Second Degree Rape, three counts of Forcible Sodomy, a charge of Lewd or Indecent Proposals to a Child and Lewd Molestation. Investigators say all these crimes were committed against a girl under the age of 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Defense Attorneys: Accused Murderer Made Up Entire Bizarre Story

MISSOURI
Fox 4

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Attorneys for the man who claimed he killed a woman at the order of her husband said Wednesday that Micah Moore, 23, made up the whole story.

Moore turned himself into police on November 9th. In the probable cause statement, Moore claimed he killed Bethany Ann Deaton, 27, after he says his spiritual leader and her husband ordered him to do it.

Deaton was found dead in the backseat of a van on Oct. 30, at Longview Lake. Near her body was an empty bottle of Acetaminophen PM.

Police say there was also a suicide note in the van.

But then, almost three weeks ago, Moore told police Bethany didn’t kill herself but was instead murdered on the order of her husband, Tyler Deaton – the leader of a close-knit religious group in which court documents say the members had sex with each other.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Awareness, enforcement help reduce child sex abuse

UNITED STATES
The Associated Press

By BETH J. HARPAZ, Associated Press – 3 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Increased public awareness of how child predators operate, along with better law enforcement and policies to protect children, may be helping to reduce child sex abuse despite this year's headlines about cases connected to institutions like Penn State, the Boy Scouts and the BBC.

A recent report from the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center found incidents of child sexual abuse have been declining in the U.S. for 20 years, with some statistics showing decreases as steep as 60 percent.

The findings may be surprising given the high-profile cases in the news. But many of those incidents took place years, sometimes decades, ago. Ironically, experts say, publicity surrounding such scandals may help reduce the problem.

"One or two or even five or 10 high publicity cases are not going to stop the problem in its tracks," said David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center and a UNH sociology professor. "But there is a lot of evidence that the greater awareness and actions taken to improve safety in the wake of these things does reduce the amount of abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

SNAP Leader Blaine Comes Unglued In Search of Media Attention: ‘Nothing’s Changed’ in Catholic Church’s Handling of Abuse Cases

AUSTRALIA
TheMediaReport

Dave Pierre

The measures are unprecedented: "Abuse panels" in nearly every diocese … the training of millions of children and adults (including 99 percent of all priests) to recognize signs of abuse … intensified screening of seminarians and other Church employees … strict annual audits for compliance of procedures … a "zero tolerance" policy that is so strict that accused priests feel abandoned by their bishops … and billions of dollars in settlements and therapy for victims.

Yet despite all of these dramatic actions undertaken by the Catholic Church, according to the always hyperbolic SNAP President Barbara Blaine, "nothing's changed" in the handling of abuse cases and "[bishops] are still saying now what they said in 1993."

Blaine's latest loopy salvo was made in an Australian newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

SNAP in Australia!

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris

SNAP was invited to testify before the Royal Commission into Sex Abuse convened by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. SNAP President and Founder Barbara Blaine made the 28 hour trip and our Australian leaders Nicky Davis and Mark Fabro all testified not only to their own experiences but also to the scope of the abuse and cover-up by church officials.

Nicky and Mark have been working hard to set up media events and support groups meetings in Australia in Melbourne, Sydney, New Castle, Milton, Toowomba, Brisbane, Invermay Park, Ballarat, Wollongong and Canberra. They have met with survivors in every city and in Invermay Park they met with families who had lost loved ones to suicide.

As always we have heard horrific stories of abuse, of cover-up by church officials and of the courage of survivors who have come forward to protect others. While Australia may be thousands upon thousands of miles away we are all working toward the same goals-heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Former Shattuck teacher facing criminal charges subbed at St. Paul school

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
November 26, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Joseph Machlitt, who faces criminal charges for allegedly sexually abusing a boy in 1980 at a Faribault boarding school, recently worked as a substitute teacher at a private school in St. Paul.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School, which employed Machlitt as a substitute teacher, notified parents, faculty, staff and trustees about the charges via email on Friday.

"At the time of his employment, we were unaware of any prior complaints involving Mr. Machlitt and we are unaware of any complaints about his conduct during his brief time at SPA," Head of School Bryn Roberts wrote in his email. "Mr. Machlitt, who will never work again at SPA, filled in for absent teachers principally in the Upper and Middle Schools and on one occasion in the Lower School."

Machlitt was charged Wednesday with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and fourth-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct for allegedly sexually abusing a 14-year-old student at Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault in 1980. Machlitt, who is 63, was a teacher at Shattuck-St. Mary's School at the time of the alleged crime. According to the criminal complaint, Machlitt admitted to investigators in October 2012 that he had a "sexual relationship" with the boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Priest’s pretrial continues in February

CANADA
The Tribune

WELLAND - The pretrial hearing for Rheal LeBlanc will continue in the new year.

The Catholic priest’s case was before a St. Catharines courtroom on Tuesday for its first pretrial date and then before a Welland courtroom on Wednesday.

The pretrial will continue on Feb. 22 at 9:15 a.m. in St. Catharines.

LeBlanc, a former principal of Notre Dame College School in Welland and Saint Paul Catholic High School in Niagara Falls, was charged with possession of child pornography in December 2011 after a search warrant was executed at a Welland residence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Nechemya Weberman, Hasidic Counselor In Brooklyn, On Trial For Sexual Abuse Of Teen Girl (VIDEO)

NEW YORK
The Huffington Post

By Meredith Bennett-Smith

NEW YORK -- The alleged abuse started when the victim was 12. The girl, a member of the Satmar Hasidic community, had been sent to the office of Nechemya Weberman because she had questioned the existence of God in school and rebelled against her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community's strict modesty codes.

Weberman, an unlicensed counselor in their Williamsburg, Brooklyn, neighborhood, had a reputation for helping people get "back on the spiritual path," according to the Associated Press. Prosecutors contend that Weberman abused his young client for the next three years, forcing her to perform oral sex and touching her breasts and vagina, according to The New York Times.

On Tuesday, the newly married girl, now almost 18, testified against Weberman in New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn. Her former counselor is charged with 88 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, according to the Times.

"I wanted to die rather than live with myself," the alleged victim told the courtroom, according to the New York Daily News. "I didn't know how to fight. I was numb."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Confessional debate is a Royal Commission red herring

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Chris McGillion
November 28, 2012

The clamour is growing to enable the forthcoming Royal Commission into child sex abuse to require Catholic priests to break the seal of confession if doing so is deemed necessary to investigate abusers and/or the issue of institutional cover ups. The Federal Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, has expressed support for such a power, saying that child abuse is 'a crime' that 'should be reported' under any circumstances.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard also supports the move. 'Adults have got a duty of care towards children,' she has said, 'and it's not good enough for people to engage in sins of omission and not act when a child is at risk.'

The former auxiliary bishop of Sydney, Geoffrey Robinson, a vocal critic of the way the Church has handled clerical sex abuse cases, said he'd break the seal for the 'greater good' and report a confessor to the police if he believed there was an ongoing risk of further offences. At least one Melbourne priest has said he'd do the same.

Before this debate goes much further, it would be wise for everyone to consider what is at stake. Roxon has said that the more important issue is the failure to report to police known cases of abuse and 'open secrets' that came to the attention of priests and Church authorities by means other than the confessional. Similarly, Bishop Robinson has conceded the obvious: 'Offenders in this field, in paedophilia, do not go to confession and confess.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

East Timor's lessons for our abuse Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Pat Walsh
November 28, 2012

The support group for victims of sexual abuse, Broken Rites, has proposed that victims be given the opportunity to tell their stories as part of the proceedings to be undertaken by the upcoming Royal Commission.

According to the Fairfax press on Monday, the group's spokesman, Dr Wayne Chamely, is advocating that a 'truth commissioner' be appointed specifically for the purpose of listening to victims. The commissioner 'would move around and meet people in their own communities' and carry out this function concurrently with the Commission's other terms of reference.

At the heart of this proposal is a conviction that the Royal Commission must be as victim-friendly as possible if it is to get at the whole truth, contribute to the healing of victims, educate the public about this entrenched issue and its origins, and generate effective recommendations.

Broken Rites is clearly concerned that the Royal Commission may not be able to adequately accommodate victims because some may not feel comfortable testifying in such a setting or will not be heard because the Commission, due to its anticipated huge work load, will have to be selective.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Catholic Priest Conviction For Clergy Sex Abuse of An Adult Is Thrown Out - Testimony Too Religious

UNITED STATES
Opinionated Catholic

In the famed King of the Hill episode The Passion of Dauterive , which can be viewed here , the ever
emotionally unstable Bill after a near death experience no less enters into a romantic relationship with his Clergyperson the Methodist Pastor Stroup. The good producers of the show appears did not know that Rev Stroup had put herself in danger of doing a crime that being Texas. Penal Code Chapter 5. (22.011) .

I am of still of two conflicted minds about these adult abuse clergy laws as a criminal matter.

Part of me thinks that much of this would be better served by remaining in the realm of a civil tort. I am not saying I think there is no moral problem or real harm can not occur.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Autonomy and clergy sex abuse

UNITED STATES
SBC Plodder

William Thornton

Southern Baptists have no real power when it comes to removing even the most offensive pastors from their church staff positions. No associational missionary, no state convention executive, no Southern Baptist Convention CEO, no megachurch pastor - no one compels even the smallest SBC church in the handling their church matters.

So, what should be done when a local church affiliated with a Southern Baptist association, state convention, or national SBC has as their pastor a man who has credible accusations of and pending charges for child sex crimes?

Such is the question raised concerning a pastor and Baptist church in Missouri that is affiliated with a local Baptist association, the Missouri Baptist Convention, and the SBC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

The Need for a National Commission to Address Child Abuse: A Checklist of Ten Notes

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

With the establishment of a royal commission to investigate child abuse (and its cover-up) in Australia, I've been going through a checklist of mental notes I've made about the issue of child abuse over the years. I've blogged about most of these items.

Here's the checklist I've compiled thus far:

1. I'm convinced that Alice Miller and Phillip Greven are correct when they find that the abuse of children is far more widespread and taken for granted (and covered up) in many societies than most of us have been willing to admit.

2. I also think (and here, Miller has been determinative for my thinking) that societies that are the most sentimental about their love of children (or fetuses) and the most vocal in protesting how they cherish and protect minors are likely to be precisely the societies that are most callous towards minors. And the most tolerant of child abuse.

3. I think with Miller and Greven that the roots of Western culture's toleration of child abuse lie in longstanding religious attitudes that absolutely have to be re-examined if we're to stem the tide of child abuse.

4. I think that the Catholic church is far from the only institution in which abuse of children has been widespread, tolerated, and hidden by church officials.

5. At the same time, I think the problem of abuse of children (and its cover-up) is deeply endemic to Catholicism, and the argument that child abuse occurs in other institutions, when it's advanced by Catholic officials, is an impermissible diversionary argument that ought to be rejected out of hand by people with good sense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

The Ongoing Challenge of Dealing with Child Abuse in the Catholic Church: Testimony of Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

As I offer my ten notes about the problem of child abuse and Jerry Slevin's valuable proposal for a U.S. national commission to address this problem, I want to offer as well a reprise of some notes from the powerful and prophetic book of Australian bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus (Dublin: Columba, 2007). I've blogged about Bishop Robinson's book in the past.

But it strikes me that, with the recent establishment of a royal commission to investigate child abuse (and its cover-up) in Australia, Bishop Robinson's book is timely all over again--and it deserves recognition as a ground-breaking resource that led Australian Catholics and Catholics in many parts of the world to begin looking with new eyes at child abuse in the Catholic church and other institutions.

Here are some valuable lessons Bishop Robinson's book taught me when I read it, which I think are worth remembering all over again as Australia investigates child abuse:

1. Why should Catholics who have ourselves not experienced sexual abuse by clergy care about the experiences of those who have had such experiences?

Bishop Robinson's answer to this question: abuse by a religious authority figure disrupts the entire "ecosystem" of love and meaning in the life of a person who experiences such abuse as a minor. This disruption of love and meaning in one's life can perdure throughout one's entire life.

Bishop Robinson writes,

The systems of meaning that people build up are always fragile, for they are made up of the many tiny fragments of their lived experience, the many loves, small and great, of their lives. Sexual abuse is a bulldozer gouging a road through this fragile ecosystem of love and meaning that a person has been painfully constructing (p. 217).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

“MEA MAXIMA CULPA” IS A FRAUD

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on the HBO produced film, “Mea Maxima Culpa,” which completes its New York City run tomorrow:

Director Alex Gibney wants us to believe he has proven a “direct connection of the Vatican” to the homosexual scandal, though his effort fails miserably (the horror-film music is laughable).

As one review of the movie said, “All the reports of sex abuse in the church since the 1960s went directly to the current pope, Benedict XVI, to the time when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.” Wrong. There was no central command center until 2001 when Ratzinger took over. And that’s when things really began to change—just the opposite of what Gibney would have us believe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Uncovering the abusers

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

Our view: Recent cases of serial child sexual abuse demonstrate why Maryland must reform its reporting laws to discourage cover-ups and prosecute perpetrators

November 27, 2012

The case of John Merzbacher, the former South Baltimore Catholic middle school teacher who turned out to be a serial child sexual abuser, represents a terrible tragedy of child abuse fostered by too many others willing to turn a blind eye.

But if his case is extreme, it is not unique, and it's particularly galling to hear of cases like that involving Mr. Merzbacher, whose behavior went unreported for decades, or Penn State's Jerry Sandusky, where even an incident in the men's shower witnessed by a staff member failed to motivate school officials to alert authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Child abuse inquiry must include Indigenous Royal Commissioners

AUSTRALIA
Indigenous Times

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse must include a dedicated Indigenous space with Indigenous commissioners according to a former senior public servant.

Assistant Professor Tjanara Goreng Goreng sees the current Royal Commission as a great opportunity for Indigenous Australians.

"I believe there have been a lot of abused Aboriginal people who have never had the...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Call to include foster care in sex-abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Milanda Rout
From:The Australian
November 29, 2012

THE Australian Commission for Human Rights has called on Julia Gillard to include children who have been sexually abused in foster care in her national inquiry.

In a submission to the Gillard government on the terms of reference for the royal commission, the AHRC says institutions and organisations are responsible for placing those children in care.

The AHRC also wants an indigenous person and a person with a disability to be among the multiple commissioners. ...

Details of the AHRC submission emerged as the Catholic Church was understood to be preparing to announce the establishment of a "working group" to formally convey its views on the royal commission.

The November plenary meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is discussing this week the church's strategy to ensure a national, uniform position on the commission is conveyed. This will remove any confusion over who will speak for the church and is likely to ensure that Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, does not assume official national responsibility as a spokesman on the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Time for Bishops to step back

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Lateline

[with video]

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 28/11/2012

Reporter: Philippa McDonald

The most senior woman in the Catholic Church in Australia has said it is time to let lay experts handle the Church's response to the royal commission on sexual abuse.

Transcript
TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The senior ranks of the Catholic Church look set to take a back seat role at the royal commission into sexual abuse.

The Church's most senior woman has told the ABC that the bishops will no longer lead the Church's response to the royal commission because they're too close to the problem.

Sister Annette Cunliffe says they will step aside to allow lay experts to speak for the Church.

Today Sister Annette joined senior clergy from around the country meeting behind closed doors in Sydney to formulate how the Church will confront the growing crisis.

Philippa McDonald reports.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD, REPORTER: This is the woman on the inside of the most exclusive club in Australia's Catholic Church.

There are 42 bishops and archbishops at the table. How many women are there inside that meeting?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Querrelante de Karadima explica demanda contra Iglesia Católica

CHILE
El Mostrador

Juan Carlos Cruz, director de la Fundación para la Confianza y uno de los querellantes del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, explicó los motivos por los cuales iniciaron acciones ante la Justicia Civil en contra del Arzobispado de Santiago.

“Esperamos que, con esto, se siente un precedente para que víctimas pasadas, presentes y futuras, tengan alguna forma de defenderse y de sentirse apoyados”, sostuvo en Radio ADN.

Agregando que “esto es un último recurso, debido a la frustración y desesperación de que la Iglesia no ha tenido ningún tipo de acompañamiento con las víctimas (…) es importante que los temas de abuso sexual no prescriban, y que la gente que los comete tampoco se puedan acoger a estos beneficios”, en relación a los recibidos por el cura “Tato”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Top court overturns anti-Mafia priest's child-abuse sentence

ITALY
Gazzetta del Sud

Palermo, November 28 - Italy's supreme Court of Cassation on Wednesday overturned a six-year prison sentence given to famous Palermo anti-Mafia priest Paolo Turturro over allegations he sexually abused children in his parish. Turturro, a distant relative of the American actor John Turturro, had been convicted of abusing two children, aged six and 12 at the time, between 2000 and 2001. The court ruled that the charges were timed according to Italy's statute of limitations. It also ordered that a six-month conviction for a lesser charge be sent back to the appeals stage of Italy's three-level justice system. The priest has always denied the accusations against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Cult Murder Case Involving 'Ex-Gay' Leader Puts Spotlight on Radical Prayer Center

MISSOURI
Huffington Post

Wayne Besen

Today I feel a little bit like Dr. Sam Loomis, the psychiatrist in the classic horror movie Halloween who ran through the streets of Haddonfield telling anyone who would listen that Michael Myers had just escaped from the insane asylum. As he frantically warned the residents, they looked at him as if he were a paranoid crank. Similarly, I warned in May that something was seriously amiss at Mike Bickle's International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Grandview, Mo., an exurb of Kansas City. Part of my job is monitoring extremist organizations, which brought me to IHOP's worship center at midnight, when I expected the cavernous hall to be practically empty. Instead, I found a far more disconcerting scene. Here is what I wrote on May 4:

There was a gigantic 24/7 prayer room filled mostly with teenagers, many of whom appeared to be of high school or college age. A band played hypnotic Christian music while the audience of 100 or so youth engaged in a diverse set of worship rituals. Some were seated, as if they were in a traditional church setting. Others danced and skipped, like they were in some sort of fundie rave. One youth twirled a purple fan, as if he were at a gay circuit party. About a quarter of the participants walked in a trance-like state through the aisles muttering to themselves -- a practice that I had not seen before. Some of these youths walked non-stop for over an hour, with no signs of stopping to rest.

Beware Grandview and Kansas City. You have an aggressive, militant, angry, fundie cult growing under your nose. It's time to wake up before you become the next Colorado Springs. Don't be caught flat footed wondering, "How did this happen?" Consider this your first warning.

My warning wasn't heeded, and residents of Grandview now appear mystified by the murder of a young woman who belonged to a religious sect with close ties to IHOP. The Kansas City Star reports that a charismatic youth leader, Tyler Deaton, had persuaded members of a church youth group he started at Southwestern University, in Georgetown, Tex., to move with him to Kansas City so that they could be close to IHOP. His group allegedly began drugging and sexually assaulting Deaton's wife, Bethany, 27, for what they deemed spiritual reasons. Deaton, who identified as an "ex-gay" who'd been healed through Jesus Christ, also allegedly began having sex with male members of his cult. Afraid that Bethany was going to reveal the group's crimes to her therapist, Deaton allegedly ordered one of his followers, Micah Moore, to murder her and make it appear to be a suicide. The plan seemed to be working until Moore cracked and confessed to authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Man Says Prayer Group Leader Told Him to Kill Wife

MISSOURI
ABC News

[with video]

By BILL DRAPER Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. November 28, 2012 (AP)

Less than three months after he stood as a groomsman in the wedding of two friends he had known since college in Texas, Micah Moore walked into a suburban Kansas City police department and unloaded a dark secret: He had taken the woman's life at the request of her new husband, a charismatic prayer group leader.

Police said Bethany Deaton's death initially appeared to be a suicide. Officers found a note and empty bottle of over-the-counter pain medication along with her body in a minivan parked by a lake on Oct. 30.

It wasn't until Moore confessed nearly two weeks later that police announced she had been killed. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on a first-degree murder charge Wednesday.

In the criminal complaint filed in support of the charge, police detailed a stunning series of allegations that Moore made as part of his confession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

San Jose: New revelations and frustrations in pedophile case at Saint Frances Cabrini

SAN JOSE (CA)
Marin Independent Journal

Frances Cabrini
Julia Prodis Sulek
jsulek@mercurynews.commercurynews.com

SAN JOSE -- As the Saint Frances Cabrini community tries to move forward from a recent uproar after a convicted pedophile was allowed to volunteer at a parish festival last month, new revelations and controversies continue to plague the Catholic church and school.

A lawsuit filed a week before the parish festival surfaced this week adding a second alleged victim from Saint Frances Cabrini of a former priest, the Rev. Don Flickinger. He lived at the church rectory there from 1995 to 2006 and was already the subject of another lawsuit filed last year accusing him of abusing a former student there.

The parish Men's Club scheduled an "emergency meeting" Tuesday night to discuss "frustrations" about recent events and concerns about the resignation last week of the parish priest, who was criticized for his handling of the festival furor but still loved by many in the parish.

Also on Tuesday, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith made herself available at the school to answer questions from concerned parents. And on Wednesday evening, an open forum for parents organized by the Diocese and school will begin at 6:30 p.m. In a staff bulletin, Principal Jane Daigle told teachers and staff, "I do not expect any of you to attend unless you have a deep desire for more drama in your life. Please pray for us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Task Force Recommends Major Changes to Pennsylvania Child Protection Laws

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Philly

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A task force created by Governor Tom Corbett and state legislative leaders in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal (see related stories) is recommending sweeping changes to Pennsylvania’s child protection laws.

The Task Force on Child Protection calls for, essentially, a complete rewrite of Pennsylvania’s child services law.

For one thing, task force member Jason Kutalakis (far right in photo) notes that in the Penn State situation, suspected child sex abuse was reported up the chain of command at the school rather than to law enforcement authorities.

“This has been changed in these amendments to require the person, the individual who discovers the abuse, to report it immediately to ChildLine,” Kutalakis tells KYW Newsradio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection's 'common sense' draws praise from advocacy groups

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot-News

BY CHARLES THOMPSON AND JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News

A state-appointed task force that spent the past year studying child protection laws generally got rave reviews from advocacy groups for the far-reaching recommendations contained in its 400-plus-page report.

The Task Force on Child Protection issued its final report Tuesday based on testimony from experts at 11 public hearings.

“I am just absolutely thrilled with the work they did. They really did succeed with putting the protection of kids above the convenience of adults,” said Angela Liddle, executive director of the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. The agency trains employees who are required by law to report suspected child abuse.

Joan Benso, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, a Harrisburg-based children’s advocacy group, echoed the praise, saying it includes “common sense that can better protect kids.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Panel recommends overhaul of Pennsylvania child-abuse laws

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012

HARRISBURG - The special panel created in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal is calling for a complete overhaul in the way Pennsylvania addresses child abuse, from expanding the list of those who must report abuse to toughening laws that it said have failed to protect children.

A report issued Monday by the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection recommends redefining what constitutes child abuse, expanding the definition of "perpetrator," and enacting harsher penalties for those who fail to report abuse.

"We did our very best to improve a system that is woefully failing," said the commission chairman, Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler. "This was not a knee-jerk reaction. It was the seizing of an opportunity to look at a system and say, 'How do we make this better?' "

Heckler referenced the event that led to the creation of the 11-member task force in January: the arrest of Sandusky, a former assistant Pennsylvania State University football coach who is now serving a 30- to 60-year sentence for molesting 10 boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Submissions to abuse inquiry call for multiple commissioners

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

November 28, 2012

Judith Ireland
Breaking News Reporter

The federal government says there has been an overwhelming response to its call for feedback about the arrangements for the royal commission on child abuse.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and Families Minister Jenny Macklin said on Wednesday that more than 720 individuals and organisations had been in contact about the terms of reference.

The government released a consultation paper on the term of references a week ago, calling for feedback by close of business on Monday this week, as it pushes to get the royal commission up and running by early next year.

There have been 165 formal written submissions and 555 comments by email.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

'Strong messages' sent by 720 responses to royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Fraser Coast Chronicle

APN Newsdesk
28th Nov 2012 2:29 PM

THE royal commission into child sex abuse needs as much time as necessary to "get it right", the Federal Government has been told.

Feedback received by the government as it decides on the make-up and terms of reference for a royal commission indicate while time should not be factor, the investigation should also include progress reports at least every two years.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon revealed on Wednesday more than 720 individuals and organisations from across the country had provided input on the formation of the royal commission.

The government has also been urged to appoint more multiple commissioners with a broad range of expertise, and designing a hearing processes that makes victims of abuse feel comfortable through the process of preparing and giving evidence.

"These 720 organisations and individuals have taken the time to contact the government and have sent a strong message," Ms Roxon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Child sex abuse probes hindered by restrictive data protection rules

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Ralph Riegel

Wednesday November 28 2012

GARDAI and health officials are being hindered in sharing information about sex abuse because of restrictive data- protection legislation.

The head of the Catholic Church's child-protection body said that fears about defamation meant that information was not being passed on.

Ian Elliot, head of the Church's National Board for the Safeguarding of Children (NBSC), warned that hundreds of child-protection cases are being hampered.

Under current regulations, legal protection is only afforded to an individual who reports a suspected case of child abuse to the gardai in good faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Action urged on child protection

IRELAND
Irish Times

BARRY ROCHE, Southern Correspondent

The Government was last night urged to amend data protection legislation to make child protection frameworks in the Catholic Church and other organisations more effective.

The call came from Ian Elliott, chief executive of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, who said there was an urgent need for reform. Mr Elliott explained that data protection legislation prevents the sharing of information regarding child sexual abuse unless there is an imminent risk of harm to a child.

He instanced the case of a complainant going to the Garda about a named priest who then becomes the subject of a Garda investigation.

Gardaí are not entitled to share that information with the priest’s bishop, who is the person within the church responsible for the management of risk within his diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Child sex abuse victims slam Education Queensland

AUSTRALIA
Sunshine Coast Daily

[with poll]

Chris Calcino
28th Nov 2012

CHILD sex abuse victims have slammed Education Queensland after learning two school principals who had prior knowledge of a Toowoomba tennis identity's inappropriate behaviour with children failed to immediately contact police.

A 77-year-old man was charged over offences that happened between June 2004 and September 2009 but was found earlier this month to have been "unsound of mind" when the crimes occurred.

For members of international victim support group SNAP, who set up a vigil outside the Hume St office of The Department of Education today, the finding was of little comfort.

They called on the department to release the whereabouts of the two Toowoomba principals who confronted the man over suspicions of abuse, in 2004 and 2008 respectively, without notifying authorities at once.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Victim in sex abuse trial of prominent Orthodox leader...

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Victim in sex abuse trial of prominent Orthodox leader Nechemya Weberman: 'I wanted to die rather than live with myself'

By Oren Yaniv / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Speaking softly but confidently, a Brooklyn girl took the stand Tuesday and recounted three years of sexual abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her Hasidic spirtual counselor.

“I wanted to die rather than live with myself,” the 17-year-old said as she described alleged and disturbing assaults —including oral sex — by Nechemya Weberman, 54. She said the attacks started when she was just 12. "I didn't know how to fight. I was numb."

Her tale began in the sixth grade while she attended a strict yeshiva. She asked questions about God’s existence and flouted modesty rules requiring her to wear long skirts and thick tights.

“I was sent to the principal’s office every day because my tights weren't thick enough,” she said in a jam-packed courtroom at Brooklyn Supreme Court.

After being labeled a “heretic,” she was sent to Weberman for counseling at his home office. The sessions lasted up to four hours each, multiple times a week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Rabbi 'forced 12-year-old girl to perform oral sex...

NEW YORK
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

Rabbi 'forced 12-year-old girl to perform oral sex on him after parents sent her for counseling after she questioned sect's teachings by reading Cosmopolitan'

A child rape case involving a prominent rabbi accused of assaulting a teenage girl is casting a light on the harsh rules of a Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Nechemya Weberman is accused of fondling a young girl and forcing her to perform oral sex on him over the course of many years beginning when she was 12.

Prosecutors say the girl's parents sent their rebellious daughter to him for counseling after she broke several rules of the strict Satmar Hasidic sect, including reading magazines like Cosmopolitan and People and wearing stockings that were too thin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

‘Monster’ rabbi: Girl’s chilling testimony

NEW YORK
New York Post

By JOSH SAUL

A Brooklyn teen yesterday took the stand against a prominent Orthodox Jewish leader accused of sexually abusing her — and her gripping testimony provided a rare glimpse into a cloistered Hasidic community.

The now-17-year-old girl was just 12 when Rabbi Nechemya Weberman (pictured), 54, began abusing her after her parents sent her to him for counseling because she wasn’t following the strict rules of her ultra-religious Satmar sect, prosecutors say.

The pretty blond — whose testimony brought some female Orthodox observers in the courtroom to tears — told the Brooklyn Supreme Court jury about the school discipline problems that led her parents to bring her to Weberman.

“You had to wear tights that are very thick so there’s no way anybody can see your legs,” she said. “I was sent to the principal’s office every day because my tights weren’t thick enough.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Recurso busca indeminizaciones de Arzobispado de Santiago por Caso Karadima

CHILE
Radio Universidad del Chile

Mariano Rivera

La acción judicial, presentada por tres víctimas de abuso sexual por parte de Fernando Karadima, busca desbaratar la red de encubrimiento que, acusan, existe al interior de la Iglesia chilena en relación a este caso, además de constituirse como la fase previa para interponer una demanda indemnizatoria en contra de la institución.

Una medida prejudicial precautoria contra el Arzobispado de Santiago, presentaron el médico James Hamilton, el sociólogo José Andrés Murillo y el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz, en el marco del caso por abusos sexuales cometidos por Fernando Karadima en la Parroquia de El Bosque.

La medida que antecede a la demanda civil contra el clero, busca desbaratar la que, según Juan Carlos Cruz, “ha funcionado como una red de encubrimiento para dichos delitos durante mucho tiempo”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Karadima: piden que cardenal Errázuriz declare en causa civil

CHILE
La Tercera

por Natalia Ramos - 28/11/2012

La declaración del cardenal y arzobispo emérito de Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz, es una de las diligencias solicitadas ayer por tres de los denunciantes del ex párroco de El Bosque Fernando Karadima, en el marco de una acción civil iniciada para obtener una reparación económica por parte de la jerarquía de la Iglesia capitalina.

El médico James Hamilton, el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz y el presidente de la Fundación para la Confianza, José Andres Murillo, explicaron que resolvieron emprender estas acciones por considerar que el Arzobispado de Santiago no investigó oportunamente las acusaciones de abusos que realizaron contra Karadima, en 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Catholic Church extends security after protesters vented over clerical sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

A SECURITY guard who patrolled St Patrick's Cathedral during weekend masses kicked out people protesting against clerical sexual abuse.

The security presence comes as the Catholic Church continues to deal with the fallout from the announcement of a royal commission and a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse.

Victims' rights groups say the security tactic showed the church was putting the protection of property before the rights of the abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Key Catholic flags overhaul of abuse response

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Philippa McDonald, ABC
Updated November 28, 2012

A key figure in the Catholic Church has told the ABC it is set to make significant changes to the way it handles its response to the issue of sexual abuse.

Sister Annette Cunliffe, the president of Catholic Religious Australia, the body representing 180 orders, says the church hierarchy has been defensive and perhaps too close to the problem of abuse in the church.

The church is the subject of unprecedented scrutiny after the announcement of a royal commission into institutional abuse.

She described recent public statements by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, as disappointing and says a new way in dealing with abuse claims is needed to move forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Chile: 3 Abuse Victims Sue Church

CHILE
The New York Times

By PASCALE BONNEFOY

Published: November 27, 2012

Three victims of sexual abuse by a prominent priest filed a lawsuit for damages against the Catholic Church on Tuesday for what they claim was its negligent handling of their accusations. In 2004, the men accused the Rev. Fernando Karadima of having abused them as teenagers in the 1980s and 1990s. The archbishop of Santiago opened an investigation but “did not adopt any measures to prevent the abuses from continuing or take disciplinary measures against the priest, who remained in the priesthood for another five years,” the lawsuit says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

November 27, 2012

Task force urges sweeping changes to PA child protection laws

PENNSYLVANIA
PhillyBurbs

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012

By Mark Shade Correspondent

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Legislature should enact extensive changes to the state's child abuse laws, a panel of pediatricians, lawyers and lawmakers recommended Tuesday after a year-long study prompted by the arrest of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on molestation charges.

The Task Force on Child Protection, chaired by Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler, issued dozens of proposals that would change everything from the definition of child abuse to who would be legally mandated to report suspected child abuse.

In a case that drew international attention, Sandusky was sentenced in October to between 30 and 60 years for sexually abusing underage boys on campus and elsewhere. Legendary football coach Joe Paterno lost his job, along with three other top PSU officials for their response to complaints about Sandusky.

The Legislature created the task force after Sandusky’s indictment 13 months ago, but Heckler insisted the group took a wider view of the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Post-Sandusky, report calls for new child protection laws

PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania Independent

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania lawmakers have a host of new suggestions to hear on how to improve child protection laws in a state still reeling from the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal.

The state’s Task Force on Child Protection released a much-awaited report on Tuesday, recommending essentially a re-write of the Child Protective Services Law. That includes redefining what behavior constitutes child abuse, as well as expanding who is required to report suspected child abuse under the law.

Another recommendation is barring schools from entering into confidentiality agreements with educators accused of abuse.

While many lawmakers have publicized their desire to see changes to child protection laws, the question is how long that process is going to take.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

No escape from inquiry: state

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Milanda Rout
From:The Australian
November 28, 2012

INSTITUTIONS that have closed should not be immune to examination by the royal commission into child sexual abuse and the inquiry should be structured into different "themes" such as religious organisations, schools and children's homes.

These are some of the recommendations of the NSW government in its submission to Attorney-General Nicola Roxon on the terms of reference for the commission, one of hundreds received.

Premier Barry O'Farrell has also signalled to Ms Roxon he would support a joint commission and be prepared to issue concurrent terms of reference in order to avoid later arguments about constitutional limits of the inquiry's functions and powers.

The submission also says NSW has been assured by Ms Roxon the commonwealth will not seek state funding for the joint commission. It states NSW will not ask for contributions for the "significant cost implications" arising from agencies giving evidence and needing legal representation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Progressives submit to the sexual abuse Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

November 28, 2012

The Union for Progressive Judaism (UPJ) strongly supports the establishment of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse and has commended the government for setting up a body that will review past crimes, provide an opportunity for victims to have their voices heard and make recommendations to ensure that institutions and individuals not be able to commit such acts and will be accountable for such crimes in the future.

In a statement released yesterday, Executive Director Steve Denenberg said:

“The UPJ recognises that child abuse, just like other crimes and abhorrent social behaviour, are not found exclusively in any particular social or religious group and that all parts of society should be subject to review, including the religious community.

The UPJ has been shocked and saddened by examples of abuse within Jewish institutions. Even more, we have been outraged by the unacceptable behaviour of people in positions of authority who chose to “turn a blind eye” rather than report the perpetrator to the appropriate authorities. This is completely contrary to the Jewish imperative of pikuah nefesh (protecting the soul), particularly of those in danger or at risk of harm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

NSW govt promises abuse inquiry support

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AAP
November 28, 2012

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has promised his government's full co-operation with the royal commission into child sex abuse.

He says NSW won't seek any commonwealth funding for any costs associated with the state's involvement.

In a letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Mr O'Farrell says his government is "determined to do what we can to protect children from sexual abuse".

All NSW government agencies will accordingly give full co-operation to the royal commission, he has written.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Trial delayed for accused molester

MISSISSIPPI
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A former Southern Baptist music minister charged with molesting five boys in the 1980s turned down a plea bargain Nov. 26 and now is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 28. That depends, however, on the outcome of a hearing Dec. 18 on a motion to dismiss the case on a legal technicality.

John LangworthyJohn Langworthy, associate pastor of music and ministries at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Miss., prior to his arrest in September 2011 on eight charges of gratification of lust, claims the case is too old to prosecute.

Today there is no statute of limitations on child molestation in Mississippi, but there was between 1980 and 1984, when Langworthy is accused of molesting five boys between ages 10-13 that he accessed through volunteering at two local churches when he was a student at Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College.

Amy Smith, Houston representative for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the fact that the legal system bends over backward to protect the rights of the accused makes it vital that churches respond appropriately to accusations or suspicion of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

ECAJ details its sex abuse policy

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

November 28, 2012 by J-Wire Staff

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has met with religious leaders to discuss sexual abuse and how to deal with it.

ECAJ President, Dr Danny Lamm, and Executive Director, Peter Wertheim, met last Friday (November 23) with Yeshivah College Principal, Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler, Rabbi of Yeshivah Shule, Rabbi Zvi Telsner, General Manager Yeshivah Centre, Mrs. Nechama Bendet and executive members of the Yeshivah Centre Committee of Management, Chaim New and Michael Goldhirsch.

“We emphasised the ECAJ’s repeatedly-stated position that communal organisations are obliged to implement proper safeguards against sexual abuse of children under their care and to report allegations of sexual abuse to the relevant authorities immediately and co-operate with their investigations”, Dr Lamm said. “Yeshiva was in complete agreement. We received a comprehensive briefing about how Yeshivah is working closely with Victoria Police in relation to the two alleged cases of child sexual abuse from the 1980′s and 90′s that are currently before the courts.” said Dr Lamm.

“We were also given an exhaustive explanation of the policies and practices that have been developed by the College to avoid abuse and to ensure that allegations of abuse are dealt with promptly and reported to the relevant law enforcement and welfare authorities.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Task Force Report Fails to Address Statute of Limitations Reform

PENNSYLVANIA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Jeffrey R. Anderson

Today, the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection, formed in the wake of the child sexual abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky at Penn State University, issued its long-awaited report and recommendations. The Pennsylvania General Assembly authorized the Task Force to examine and evaluate state laws and procedures concerning child protection and reporting child abuse. The Task Force recommended comprehensive changes in the mandatory reporter law, including an increased focus on training and education. The Task Force’s recommendations, however, do not go far enough. We need to change the culture in our institutions, both public and private, to focus on the protection of children over the protection of image and reputation. We must do so not only through education but also accountability.

The Task Force’s emphasis on education must not be discounted but it is only a half-measure. Education and training must be coupled with another major component of child protection, the repeal of the statute of limitations. The majority of sexual abuse crimes go unreported. This unique reality of the crime of sexual abuse must be recognized. Recognizing that victims of child sexual abuse do not come forward immediately, the statutes of limitations must be abolished. We must provide survivors with the means to seek accountability, both through criminal and civil processes. This step requires the elimination of the statute of limitations, so that survivors have a path to justice. If survivors are given the opportunity to hold predators and those that protect them accountable in both the court systems and the court of public opinion, we will see real change in institutional behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Petition to change street named after paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 28, 2012

Goya Dmytryshchak

A mother and daughter are petitioning to change the name of an Altona Meadows street named after paedophile Catholic priest Victor Rubeo.

Rubeo, 78, died on December 16 last year, the day he was meant to front a committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 30 child sex abuse charges, allegedly committed against twin boys at Laverton.

Point Cook woman Christine Dunsmore and her mother Jen Austin have lodged a petition with Hobsons Bay Council to change the name of Rubeo Avenue.

Rubeo was a priest in the parish of Laverton from 1969 to 1972. The parish takes in St Martin de Porres at Laverton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Church chief claims legislation is preventing information on abuse allegations being shared

IRELAND
RTE News

The Chief Executive of the Catholic Church's child protection body has claimed restrictions in the Data Protection Act are preventing the sharing of allegations of abuse in hundreds of cases.

Ian Elliott has called for the legislation to be amended to allow people directly involved in child protection in the church and other non-statutory bodies to be able to freely discuss abuse allegations, without fear of being prosecuted or sued.

Mr Elliott is head of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, and he was in Cork tonight where he praised volunteers of the Diocese of Cork and Ross for their work on child protection.

But in his speech he raised a problem with the Data Protection Act, which he claimed is preventing information on abuse being shared with people working directly in this area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Caso Karadima: víctimas buscan millonarias indemnizaciones de la iglesia

CHILE
Nacion

Martes 27 de noviembre de 2012| por Nacion.cl

Tres de las víctimas del sacerdote Fernando Karadima presentaron una medida prejudicial precautoria en contra del Arzobispado de Santiago, para determinar la relación patrimonial del clérigo con la institución. La idea es perseguir el pago de millonarias indemnizaciones por los abusos sexuales cometidos en los años 80' y 90'.

Se trata del médico James Hamilton, el sociólogo José Andrés Murillo y el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz, quienes ingresaron el libelo ante la justicia civil, con el patrocinio del abogado Juan Pablo Hermosilla.

En el escrito, los tres piden que se adjunten una serie de documentos y que comparezcan al menos 50 personas que conocieron el accionar de Karadima en la Parroquia de El Bosque, en la comuna de Providencia desde 1962.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Teen Accusing Orthodox Jewish Leader Of Sex Abuse Testifies ‘I Wanted To Die’

NEW YORK
CBS New York

[with audio]

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A teen alleging a prominent member of Brooklyn’s Satmar community sexually abused her over three years took the stand Tuesday to describe her alleged ordeal.

In a quiet, controlled voice, the now-married 17-year-old said she endured years of abuse at the hands of 54-year-old Nechemya Weberman.

The teen’s father had taken her to Weberman for counseling because he thought she had a boyfriend, which was prohibited in the community, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.

However, the teen claimed the counseling turned into undressing, touching and other sexual contact.

The teen told a packed courtroom that from her first meeting with Weberman in an office next to his Clinton Hill apartment, the much-respected Orthodox Jewish leader sexually abused her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Teen Takes Stand in Abuse Trial Against Orthodox Leader

NEW YORK
The Wall Street Journal

By Pervaiz Shallwani

After months of anticipation, a 17-year-old girl took the stand in the sexual abuse trial of a respected counselor from an ultra-orthodox Jewish community that authorities say has historically avoided such prosecutions by keeping members quiet.

In a packed courtroom filled mostly with her supporters, the teen took the stand against Nechemya Weberman, an unlicensed religious counselor in the Satmar community, an ultra-orthodox sect of Judaism.

Weberman is accused of sexually abusing the girl dozens of times in his home and office over a three-year span beginning when she was 12 years old. The girl, who turns 18 next week, is not being identified because she is the victim of a sexual-abuse crime.

The teen testified she was taken to see Weberman after school leaders deemed her a problem after she questioned her religion.

“I had a lot of questions about religion. … How do you know God exists?” she said, adding that in response her teacher “yelled at me and sent me to the principal. It happened to me a lot of times.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Pennsylvania Catholic Conference Commends Work of the Task Force on Child Protection

PENNSYLVANIA
Sys-Con Media

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) today issued the following statement commending the Task Force on Child Protection for its efforts to strengthen mandatory reporting laws to protect victims of child abuse:

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference commends the Task Force on Child Protection for its thorough examination of the laws and procedures governing the mandated reporting of child abuse.

The Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania have for some time required training and extensive background checks for both employees and volunteers who have substantial contact with minors. The Church has trained hundreds of thousands of adults engaged in Church ministries about creating a safe environment for children. Mandated reporters are trained to recognize signs of abuse and to understand their responsibility to take action if abuse is suspected and students receive instruction in age appropriate child abuse awareness programs. Many of the stringent reporting and training requirements were implemented following the U.S. Catholic Bishops' 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which examined child abuse in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

New bishop of troubled Irish diocese says abuse victims to be priority

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

by Michael Kelly,Catholic News Service | Nov. 27, 2012

Dublin --
The newly appointed bishop of Cloyne vowed he would make healing the lives of victims of abuse in the diocese a priority.

The Vatican announced Saturday that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Fr. William Crean, 60, to lead the diocese.

Cloyne has been without a bishop since Bishop John Magee, a former secretary to three popes, resigned in 2010. A year earlier, following sharp criticism of his handling of clerical sex abuse, Magee requested an apostolic administrator for the diocese. A government inquiry begun in 2009 later reported Magee covered up allegations of abuse against priests in his diocese.

Speaking at St. Colman's Cathedral in Cobh, County Cork, the bishop-designate said he had mixed feelings about his appointment.

"I am apprehensive because I am deeply conscious of the trauma of these years past -- so much suffering endured by young people at the hands of a few -- sufferings compounded by the failure of those who didn't believe them and those who didn't hear their cry for help," he said. "One thing I ask, however, is your patience to allow me time to grasp the full measure of this deep hurt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Assignment Record – Bishop Lawrence Donald Soens

SIOUX CITY (IA)
BishopAccountability.org - Assignment Record

Summary of Case: Soens was ordained a priest for the Davenport diocese in 1950. He worked in parishes and schools, including serving as principal of Regina High School in Iowa City and as a seminary teacher and rector. Soens held several chancery positions and was made a monsignor in 1981. He was appointed Bishop of Sioux City in June 1983 and was ordained and installed in August of that year. He retired in 1998.

In 2002 a man accused Soens of having sexually abused him when he was a Regina High student in the 1960s. The diocese kept this accusation and others against Soens quiet until 2005. At least 31 men have come forward since with accusations that Soens sexually abused them when they were boys. Most of the abuse is said to have occurred against Regina High students, beginning in 1958. Soens' modus operandi is said to have been to persistently "purple", or twist, pinch, fondle, and massage the nipples of male students, in private and in school hallways. He is also accused of fondling boys' crotch areas over and beneath their clothes, and to have attempted oral sex on at least one boy. Soens denied sexually abusing the boys, but admitted to the "purpling" behavior. A diocesan review board in 2008 determined the accusations to be credible. In 2012 Soens retains the title Bishop Emeritus of Sioux City.

Ordained: May 6, 1950
Ordained and installed: Bishop of Sioux City Aug. 17, 1983
Retired: Nov. 28, 1998

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

After Sandusky scandal, panel recommends wholesale rewrite of PA child protection law

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

By John L. Micek, Call Harrisburg Bureau

1:30 p.m. EST, November 27, 2012

HARRISBURG—
— A special task force charged with reviewing and recommending changes to Pennsylvania's child protection law called Tuesday for expanding the definition of child abuse and the list of those required to report it.

The 11-member Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a catalog of recommended reforms that it hopes will serve as a starting point for an ongoing conversation on efforts to protect children.

Tom Corbett "This needs to be an ongoing dialogue," the panel's chairman, Bucks County District Attorney David W. Heckler, said. "This isn't something that's going to be accomplished in six months."

The panel's report calls for, among other things, a complete rewrite of Pennsylvania's child protection law. It also recommends creating new offenses and stiffening the penalties for existing crimes, such as the possession of child pornography.

The panel was formed by the Legislature last year in the wake of the arrest of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. It held 11 public hearings throughout 2012, taking testimony from more than 60 people with hands-on experience in child protection issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Former Prestonwood Minister’s Attorney Wants Sex Abuse Case Dropped

MISSISSIPPI
CBS DFW

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Attorneys for John Langworthy, a former school teacher and church music director accused of molesting young boys several years ago in Mississippi and Texas, have asked for charges to be dismissed.

Hinds County, Mississippi Judge Bill Gowan will hear the motion on Dec. 18. Langworthy’s trial is scheduled for Jan. 28.

Jeff Rimes, Langworthy’s attorney, tells The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss. that the statute of limitations that would allow Hinds County to file the charges expired on Dec. 31, 1986. Langworthy was arrested in 2011.

Rimes said the statute of limitations potentially affecting Langworthy expired nearly three years before an amendment in 1989 extended it “for a period of seven years.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Governor Corbett Applauds Work of Task Force on Child Protection

PENNSYLVANIA
International Business Times

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today released the following statement applauding the Task Force on Child Protection, a panel created by the General Assembly, for its review of state laws and procedures governing child protection and the reporting of child abuse.

"I want to thank the task force – especially the chairman, David Heckler – for leading such a comprehensive review of our child protective services laws and regulations,'' Corbett said.

"The task force's recommendations are an important step in putting the protection of Pennsylvania's children first. My staff and I will work with the legislature, law enforcement agencies and advocates to review each recommendation in detail.

"It's my hope that we can take the work of the task force to help create a culture that promotes greater awareness, more accountability and better coordination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection calls for complete rewrite of the state's child protective services law

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot-News

By JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News
on November 27, 2012

A task force charged with examining the state's child protection law is recommending the state redefine what constitutes child abuse and expand the list of individuals who are required to report child abuse, among numerous other recommendations.

The 11-member Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection unanimously today adopted a report that also calls for a complete overhaul of the child protection law, and upgrading some crimes against children and creating several new offenses. The full report will be available later today at www.childprotection.state.pa.us.

The task force formed by the Legislature in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal spent the past year examining the laws and holding 11 public meetings to hear testimony from experts about possible weaknesses in them.

Sandusky is now serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.

The panel's chairman, Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler, said the recommendations is not a knee-jerk reaction to the Sandusky scandal or the one involving the Catholic Church sex scandal. But a well-reasoned and thorough review of the child protection laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Penn State University Jerry Sandusky Sex Scandal Leads to “Sweeping” Changes in Child Abuse Laws

PENNSYLVANIA
Lawyer Herald

It's been almost a month since former assistant football coach of Penn State University, Jerry Sandusky, was sent to a maximum-security prison for child sex abuse. Now in light of the case, a legislative panel is suggesting "sweeping" amendments to the state's child abuse laws.

The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection told the Washington Post on Tuesday that it is recommending many "sweeping" changes to the laws. One of the notable changes the commission is recommending is a compete revision of Pennsylvania's Child Protective Services Law.

In addition to this, the commission hopes to re-write the definition of "perpetrator" and eliminate the requirement that the child suffer "severe pain" in order for a complaint to be classified as an abuse.

Sandusky was sentenced to between 30 years in prison in the child sex-abuse case. He was recently transferred from the Centre County jail to the State Correctional Institute at Camp Hill and is currently serving his sentence in a maximum-security prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Sweeping Changes Suggested For Pa. Child-Abuse Law

PENNSYLVANIA
KOLO

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A commission set up by the Pennsylvania Legislature after Jerry Sandusky's molestation arrest last year says "sweeping" changes to state law are needed.

The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection announced Tuesday its recommendations, which include rewriting state law.

It says the state should change how child abuse cases are handled, revamp how child abuse crimes are investigated, and improve training for those responsible for child welfare.

The group says the state should eliminate a requirement that children have to experience severe pain in order to be classified as abuse under the law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

PA - Abuse panel recommendations made public, SNAP responds

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on November 27, 2012

We’re disappointed that this panel puts so much emphasis on mandatory reporting laws when there are better ways to stop child sex crimes.

There are two main problems with mandatory reporting laws; they’re rarely used and the penalties for breaking them are rarely stiff. For decades, thousands of adults have ignored or hidden child sex crimes, knowing there’s virtually no chance they’ll be punished.

So even if these two problems are fixed, it will take years and years of vigorous and repeated prosecution by police and prosecutors – and tough penalties by judges and juries - until mandatory reporting reforms will even begin to make a difference and deter wrongdoing.

In contrast, statute of limitations reform –especially a civil window - will immediately make kids safer by exposing hundreds of child sex offenders. It will also better discourage employers from ignoring or enabling child sex crimes in the future.

Stronger penalties for those who refuse to report are good. So are better definitions of child abuse and more advocacy and rape crisis centers.

But these reforms, if enacted, nibble at the edges of child sex crimes and cover ups. Statute of limitations reform is much more effective and immediate. (See statement below) . ...

A crucial oversight by PA child sex task force?

Statement by David Clohessy, SNAP Director (314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection will issue a report today. But we fear it won’t address a key issue: safeguarding kids by reforming Pennsylvania’s predator-friendly civil statute of limitations. And if this oversight does happen, it will be an opportunity sorely missed.

The task force members are no doubt well-intentioned. We are grateful for their work and look forward to their recommendations.

But the group is headed by a prosecutor, who deals with criminal cases, not civil cases. And it arose out of a criminal controversy – the crimes of Jerry Sandusky and his Penn State supervisors.

So we suspect the panel didn’t carefully look at ways that civil laws can better protect kids. Based on our 24 years of experience, we in SNAP believe that the single most effective way that secular authorities can do more right now to prevent child sex crimes and cover ups is to reform archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly statutes of limitations – both criminal AND civil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Sweeping Changes Suggested for Pa. Child Abuse Law

PENNSYLVANIA
ABC News

By MARK SCOLFORO Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. November 27, 2012 (AP)

Pennsylvania should enact sweeping changes to state child abuse laws, a legislative commission concluded Tuesday after a year of study prompted by Jerry Sandusky's arrest on child molestation charges.

The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection's recommendations include rewriting state law, redefining what constitutes child abuse and expanding the list of people who are required to report suspected abuse.

"We propose a transformation in the way information concerning child abuse is handled and maintained, the way in which crimes against children are investigated in parts of the state, and the way in which those with a responsibility for the well-being of children are trained," said David Heckler, the Bucks County district attorney who chaired the panel.

The recommendations are nonbinding and will probably require a set of as-yet-unwritten bills for the Legislature to consider when it convenes for a new two-year session in January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Denunciantes de Fernando Karadima ...

CHILE
La Tercera

Denunciantes de Fernando Karadima presentaron acción civil contra el Arzobispado

por Angélica Baeza Palavecino - 27/11/2012

Los denunciantes del ex párroco de El Bosque Fernando Karadima, James Hamilton, José Andres Murillo y Juan Carlos Cruz, presentaron esta mañana una acción civil contra el Arzobispado.

Karadima fue considerado culpable de abusos sexuales reiterados, tanto como por la justicia civil y el Vaticano, que lo remitió a una vida de operación, alejado completamente de su tarea sacerdotal.

Juan Carlos Cruz, en conversación con La Tercera, sostuvo que "nosotros no hemos pensado en la compensación económica, lo que nosotros queremos es que víctimas del pasado, presente y futuro puedan defenderse".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Caso Karadima...

CHILE
Terra

Caso Karadima: querellantes emprenden acciones civiles contra el Arzobispado de Santiago

Tres de los querellantes en contra del sacerdote Fernando Karadima presentaron una medida prejudicial precautoria en contra del Arzobispado de Santiago para determinar la relación patrimonial del clérigo con la institución, para luego perseguir el pago de millonarias indemnizaciones por los abusos sexuales cometidos en los años 80' y 90'.

Se trata del médico James Hamilton, el sociólogo José Andrés Murillo y el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz, quienes representados por el abogado Juan Pablo Hermosilla ingresaron el libelo ante la justicia civil.

En el escrito los querellantes piden que se adjunten una serie de documentos y que comparezcan al menos 50 personas que conocieron el accionar de Karadima en la Parroquia de El Bosque, en la comuna de Providencia desde 1962.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Updated Statement by Tommy Hill Sovereign Grace Ministries Director of Administration

UNITED STATES
Sovereign Grace Ministries

Nov. 14, 2012
Re: Civil Lawsuit Filed Against Sovereign Grace Ministries in Maryland’s Montgomery County Circuit Court

Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) leadership has obtained a copy of the civil lawsuit filed Oct. 17 against SGM and several pastors from its associational churches. This complaint makes broad allegations that SGM pastors were negligent, resulting in errors and omissions in pastoral counseling and spiritual care, which was voluntarily sought and provided years ago to some families of child abuse victims.

The suit does not allege child abuse by any current or former pastor of SGM or any church associated with SGM. The suit does not allege child abuse by any employee or staff of SGM or any church associated with SGM. The suit does not allege any child abuse occurred on any SGM property or any church associated with SGM.

SGM leaders provided biblical and spiritual direction to those who requested this guidance. This care was sought confidentially, as is a right under the First Amendment. We are saddened that lawyers are now, in essence, seeking to violate those rights by asking judges and juries, years after such pastoral assistance was sought, to dictate what sort of biblical counsel they think should have been provided. SGM believes that allowing courts to second guess pastoral guidance would represent a blow to the First Amendment, that would hinder, not help, families seeking spiritual direction among other resources in dealing with the trauma related to any sin including child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Sovereign Grace Ministries statement sees First Amendment threat in lawsuit over sexual abuse

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

Posted on November 27, 2012 by Peter Smith

Initial worship service at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville this fall. (Pete Rodman photo / Special to The Courier-Journal)

Sovereign Grace Ministries — a church network that moved its headquarters to Louisville earlier this year — says in a recent statement that First Amendment religious-liberty protections would be threatened if a lawsuit succeeds in “allowing courts to second guess pastoral guidance.”

The church’s statement comes in response to a lawsuit filed Oct. 17 in Maryland — where the denomination was based for its first three decades until this year — on behalf of three plaintiffs the suit describes as victims of sexual abuse by members of Sovereign Grace churches in Virginia and Maryland.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of other victims, citing “a culture in which sexual predators were protected from accountability and victims were silenced.” It alleges elders at Gaithersburg, Md., and Fairfax, Va., churches intervened in cases in which members sexually abused minors. It alleges the pastors sought to minimize criminal penalties against the abusers and pressured victims to forgive their perpetrators.

The Sovereign Grace statement, issued by Director of Administration Tommy Hill, notes that no pastors are accused of abuse in the lawsuits and that the abuse did not take place on church property. At issue is how the church elders responded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

Jail time for 'abused' serial church burglar

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

November 28, 2012

Steve Butcher

A MAN allegedly sexually abused by a priest as a child who exacted revenge by unleashing his ''deeply entrenched hatred'' for the Catholic order by burgling dozens of its churches in suburban Melbourne has been jailed for a maximum of four years.

A judge had heard the man's ''rancour and rage'' against the Catholic Church surfaced 20 years ago in South Australia when he was first convicted of ''sacrilege'' offences.

His barrister told the County Court earlier this month that after his client's removal a year ago as a worker with the St Vincent de Paul Society, the ''rage and anger that has so dominated his life took over and he became unstable''.

Barrister Mark Regan said the man, now 44, had a ''deeply entrenched belief system of the wrong perpetrated against him'' by the priest and the Catholic Church, which he resented.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Asian bishops' meeting's media lockout hides vision

ASIA
National Catholic Reporter

by Thomas C. Fox | Nov. 27, 2012

Commentary

The Asian bishops will make history in December as they meet for the first time in communist-controlled Vietnam. Some 100 prelates are expected to gather for a week of planning 50 miles east of Ho Chi Minh City, an event unimaginable even a few years back.

The Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, as part of its gathering, will celebrate 40 years of innovative pastoral ministries among the local churches of Asia.

Unfortunately, for Asian Catholics and the wider universal church, this potentially rich meeting will go unreported. The FABC leadership has decided to lock out the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Bishop defends church amid abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A local bishop has defended the Catholic Church in relation to child sexual abuse, saying individuals should not be mistaken for a whole organisation.

Bishop Greg O'Kelly from the Port Pirie diocese says he welcomes the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

However, in a letter to parishioners, he says it was not the Catholic Church that committed or shielded any crimes but individuals within the church.

He says claims that people were told not to report crimes are untrue and that members of the church encourage anyone to tell the police if they have been abused.

Submissions on the royal commission's terms of reference closed yesterday and are likely to be announced by Christmas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

Anglican bishop backs child abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

By BLAIR THOMSON
Nov. 28, 2012

SEVEN cases of “inappropriate behaviour” in the Bendigo Diocese have been reported to the local Anglican bishop in the past nine years.

Bishop Andrew Curnow said the incidents were reported to him, then handed to the Director of Professional Standards, separate to the church, who considered whether to take further action. Bishop Curnow said he believed one incident had then been reported to police.

It’s understood all of the complaints related to sexual incidents, but Bishop Curnow said only one incident was related to an illegal matter involving a child. Bishop Curnow, who took up the position in 2003, said he supported the Royal Commission into child abuse recently announced by the federal government.

“We believe it’s the best way forward, not only trying to get very clear national standards, and not just with churches, but all organisations dealing with children and people who could be at risk,” he said. “People who felt they couldn’t come speak to the church directly, this may be a catalyst for more people to come forward.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

"Gratification of lust?"

MISSISSIPPI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy

A Baptist minister, John Langworthy, faces charges in Mississippi of "gratification of lust." He is accused of molesting at least five kids.

But check this out: "Langworthy openly discussed the sex offenses with the congregation of his Clinton church, but now wants to fight the case."

He essentially admits the crimes, but fights being held responsible for them.

We're grateful Langworthy is being pursued. But we also hope that at some point, Mississippi lawmakers will reform the state's predator-friendly statute of limitations. And they should consider how they depict child sexual abuse.

It may seem like a small point - whether a predator is charged with "gratification of lust" or "child sex crimes" or whatever. But how we think and talk about these heinous crimes matters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Sex abuse inquiry to come to Ballarat

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By TOM MCILROY
Nov. 28, 2012

VICTORIA’S state inquiry into the handling of child sexual abuse by members of religious organisations will hold its first regional hearing in Ballarat next week.

The Courier can reveal the Victorian Parliament’s Family and Community Development Committee will hear evidence from family members affected by sexual abuse at the Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute on December 7.

More than 20 survivors of clergy sexual abuse who formed a group submission to the inquiry are expected to give evidence at a second Ballarat hearing in February.

Mother Helen Watson will tell the hearing that the Catholic Church moved a priest who abused her son Peter to the United States, where he offended again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

AUS - Victims blast Toowoomba principals

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a footpath news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will

- demand information on two principals who knew of abuse allegations against a Toowoomba tennis coach and did nothing, and

- urge the principals to personally reach out to victims of the coach and beg others who may have seen or suspected his crimes to come forward to police

WHEN
Wednesday November 28 at 2:15 p.m.

WHERE
On the footpath in front of Toowoomba District Office of Department of Education Training and Employment, 178 Hume Street, Toowomba

WHO
One or two members of an international support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest) including an American woman who is the organisations president and founder.

WHY
Parents of children abused over the course of five years by a tennis coach in Toowoomba have recently found out that two different principals were aware of the coach’s impropriety, but did not warn parents or students. Now, leaders of an international support group for victims of abuse are demanding answers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Abuse leaves indelible scar on father

AUSTRALIA
Financial Review

Jill Margo

In moments of intimacy with his wife, Anthony Foster often feels he can’t continue. While nothing is wrong with him physically, his mind is taken over by thoughts that fracture the possibility of pleasure.

The thoughts are of his two daughters and the violation they suffered from the age of five when the local priest began to rape them with terrifying regularity.

This violation and their terror – which Foster only learned about many years later – haunts him.

The story of the abuse of the Foster girls at the Sacred Heart Primary School in Oakleigh, Melbourne, is widely known.

Their mother, Chrissie, wrote the book Hell on the way to Heaven about the ordeal and both parents have often been in the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

US victims of priest sent 'for treatment' to appear

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Dan Box
From:The Australian
November 28, 2012

AMERICAN child sex abuse victims of an Australian Catholic priest sent to the US are preparing to give evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal of abuse in the church.

Father David Paul Ryan is understood to have visited the US a number of times, and his victims there have discussed a possible criminal prosecution with local authorities.

A serving Victorian police detective has also said that Father Ryan's former bishop, Ronald Mulkearns, allegedly allowed him to move between parishes in the Ballarat diocese, after being told the priest had abused a child.

Father Ryan went on to abuse other children, one of whom, Peter Watson, later committed suicide and was buried in an unmarked grave for six years before his body was identified.

Victoria Police Detective Senior Constable Colin Ryan said yesterday a police investigation had uncovered evidence that Bishop Mulkearns moved the priest between parishes in Ballarat after being warned he might be abusing children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Minn. appeals court reverses priest's conviction

MINNESOTA
Winona Daily News

The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday ordered a new trial for a priest accused of having sexual contact with a female parishioner he counseled.

Christopher Wenthe was working at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in St. Paul in 2003 when the woman sought spiritual counseling. A jury found him guilty last year of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. A judge sentenced him to a year in jail, but he was released after serving eight months.

The appeals court ruled that Wenthe's conviction was unconstitutional because prosecutors obtained it "based on evidence that was excessively entangled in matters of religion." The court said that evidence "pervaded the entire trial" and improperly shaped the verdict by giving the jury religious instead of secular standards for judging the priest's conduct.

"It invited the jury to determine appellant's guilt on the basis of his violation of Roman Catholic doctrine, his breaking of the priestly vows of celibacy, and his abuse of the spiritual authority bestowed on Roman Catholic priests; additionally, the evidence invited concern about the response of church authorities to the victim's complaint. ... The prosecutor repeatedly injected Roman Catholic doctrine and practice as a backdrop for underscoring appellant's culpability," the ruling said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

VA chaplain suspended for alleged inappropriate talks with minors

BEDFORD (MA)
Boston Globe

By Jeremy C. Fox
| Globe Correspondent
November 27, 2012

A chaplain for Veterans Administration Medical Center in Bedford was suspended because of allegations about long-ago inappropriate conversations with minors, the Archdiocese for the Military Services said Monday.

The allegations of “boundary violations with minors” against the Rev. Luke Odor emerged recently but date to the early to mid-1990s, the Archdiocese for the Military Services said in a statement. The alleged conversations occurred when Odor worked in the Archdiocese of St. Paul Minneapolis and the Diocese of Fargo, N.D., and appear to have been resolved by all parties.

On Nov. 23, the Archdiocese of Boston said that Odor was under investigation for “personal conduct matters.”

The Archdiocese for the Military Services suspended Odor and began its investigation “out of an abundance of caution,” its statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Langworthy Rejects Sex Crimes Plea Deal

MISSISSIPPI
WJTV

By: Ross Adams | WJTV

Published: November 26, 2012

Another delay in an ongoing case involving a former music minister accused of sexually abusing boys.

Prosecutors offered John Langworthy a plea deal but that's no longer on the table.

But Langworthy did not accept it.

Now prosecutors say they are ready to go trial.

Today during a court hearing the judge set a January trial date for Langworthy.

But that may not happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Judge to hear motion to dismiss sex abuse charges

MISSISSIPPI
Beaumont Enterprise

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi judge will hear a motion Dec. 18 to dismiss the case against John Langworthy, a former school teacher and church music director accused of molesting young boys several years ago in Mississippi and Texas.

Langworthy's attorney tells The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/U9elpf) the motion contends the statute of limitations that would allow Hinds County to file the charges expired on Dec. 31, 1986. Langworthy was arrested in 2011.

If the judge denies the motion to dismiss, the trial will start Jan. 28.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Sexual Abuse Trial of Brooklyn Man Begins

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By SHARON OTTERMAN

Published: November 26, 2012

The abuse began when the girl was 12 years old, prosecutors in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn said on Monday. She was sent to a prominent man in her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community for counseling, and prosecutors said the man sexually molested her over the next three years.

But lawyers defending the man, Nechemya Weberman, 54, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, told a far different story during the opening arguments of his trial. The girl, a defense lawyer told the jury, had hatched the sordid tale of abuse as an act of revenge against Mr. Weberman and against a religious community she found stifling and rulebound.

As proceedings began during the trial of Mr. Weberman, who is accused of 88 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, it became clear that the community itself, as well as Mr. Weberman, would undergo scrutiny during what is expected to be an emotional week of sexually explicit and culturally intricate testimony.

Both the prosecution and the defense informed the jury that the Satmar Hasidic community, to which Mr. Weberman and the girl belonged, was so rigid that questions from a young girl about something as simple as the proper length of a skirt could lead to mandatory counseling, and even expulsion from school. The accuser in this case, both sides said, was just that kind of girl: a free spirit whose questioning and challenges to authority landed her in trouble.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Former Clinton music minister's trial delayed

MISSISSIPPI
WLBT

By Marsha Thompson

A former Clinton teacher and music minister, charged with sex crimes, may face a trial by jury in January. John Langworthy is accused of fondling boys aged 8-12 years old back in the 1980's. These are the latest developments after plea bargain negotiations broke down.

Assistant District Attorney Jamie McBride told the Judge prosecutors engaged in prolonged negotiations with the defense attorney. McBride said they found out last week the plea bargain offer was not resolved.

He also said the state has withdrawn all offers, and will not make any more.

Langworthy decided to instead challenge the statute of limitations on the case. His attorney, Jeff Rimes, will argue that motion in court December 18th.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Advocate warns on church's silence strategy

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 27, 2012

Barney Zwartz

BARBARA Blaine launched her advocacy group for clergy sex abuse victims from the walk-in closet in her Chicago bedroom in 1988, with a membership of one. Today she is president of the world's biggest victims' advocacy group, with 12,000 members in 56 countries.

One of the hardest parts of that journey was losing her naivety about the professedly good intentions of the Catholic hierarchy towards victims, which she believes disguised a hostile strategy to silence them.

But the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has brought profound benefits, too. ''One part of healing is tied to preventing future abuse. I'll never know what my life would have been like if I hadn't been raped as a child - I feel helpless. But if we can prevent another 12-year-old being raped we feel we have a mission.''

Ms Blaine came to Melbourne at SNAP's expense to give evidence to the state inquiry into how the churches handled child sex abuse. Her most heartfelt advice was not to take church officials at their word.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

No govt response to abuse bid: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The federal government donated more than $1 million to the Catholic Church towards the canonisation of Mary MacKillop but refused to acknowledge a request to contribute any money to sexual abuse victims, an inquiry has heard.

Abuse survivor Mark Fabbro approached then foreign minister Kevin Rudd at the canonisation celebrations in Rome in 2010 after hearing of the $1.25 million contribution made by the Labor government.

Mr Fabbro told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations on Monday that he wrote a letter to Mr Rudd while in Rome, asking him how the government would help financially struggling abuse survivor groups.

"No response was ever received to that request," he told the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

CathBlog - The Church in a time of crisis

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

BY GARRY EVERETT

If we accept that wonderful depiction of the word crisis as meaning conflict and opportunity, as well as breakdown and breakthrough, Catholics should welcome the Royal Commission. Fifty years ago the universal Church welcomed the “aggiornamento” that became the crisis we know as Vatican II.

If we have learned our lessons from how the Church did and did not manage that crisis, we should apply those learnings to the current situation of being Church in Australia today.

The most important learning from Vatican II for us to grasp is the realisation that the process of engaging in, and of managing, a crisis, follows a pattern. This pattern or model, is something we must attend to, if we are to offer any hope of a better future .

Fr Gerald Arbuckle, a well respected Australian cultural anthropologist, uses a 6-stage model to describe what happened in Vatican II. For brevity’s sake, I provide the merest outline below, from his book Refounding the Church:

Stage 1 – Understanding the present situation

Stage 2 – Initial un-ease and stress. Symbols shattered

Stage 3 – Church reactions, but attitudes remain unchanged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

'Child Victims Act' talk ...

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

November 26, 2012 6:28 PM

'Child Victims Act' talk will be held before screening of Alex Gibney documentary on Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal

BY Michael O'Keeffe

An attorney who represents a man who says he was abused by Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky will urge New York state lawmakers to reform the statute of limitations on sex-abuse laws in an unusual setting this week: a movie theater

Marci Hamilton, a Cardozo School of law professor, will join Assemblywoman Margaret Markey at Manhattan’s Film Forum on Wednesday afternoon to push for passage of Markey’s “Child Victims Act.”

Hamilton and Markey will talk about the bill before a showing of director Alex Gibney’s critically acclaimed new documentary about the Catholic Church’s sex-abuse scandal, “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.”

Markey’s bill would extend the civil and criminal limitations for sexual abuse and give previous victims a window to bring civil suits against sexual offenders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Montreal school for the deaf's ex-students allege horrific abuses

CANADA
CBC News

[with video]

Former students at a church-run institute for the deaf in Montreal have come forward with graphic tales of sexual abuse they allege they suffered during more than four decades.

Quebec's Superior Court authorized a class-action lawsuit last March against members of the Clerics of St-Viateur who worked at the school, formerly known as the Montreal Institute for the Deaf.

The former boarding school was run by the Clerics of Saint-Viateur, a religious congregation founded in 1831.

According to students who attended the all-boys institute between 1940 and 1982, violent sexual assaults were commonplace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Revelations in abuse case spark calls for reform

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun

10:30 p.m. EST, November 26, 2012

State legislators and sexual-abuse victim advocates called Monday for reforms in the way such cases are handled in Maryland, including stricter reporting requirements when incidents are discovered.

State Sen. Delores G. Kelley, a Baltimore Democrat, said she would continue to push to strengthen Maryland's reporting requirements. She also said victims of sexual abuse should have more time to file civil suits — "so people can get out of college, get their lives together, have some kind of economy and have the understanding of the crime."

Anyone who doesn't report a child-abuse allegation needs "to be held accountable because if child predators know they're in a secret system and they are safe there, nothing changes," said Judy Jones, an associate director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The proposed reforms come in wake of a Baltimore Sun investigation related to John Merzbacher, a one-time teacher at Catholic Community Middle School in Locust Point. Court documents analyzed in The Sun investigation indicate that the school's principal and other Catholic officials were aware of the lay teacher's sexual abuse of students in the 1970s but did not report it until Merzbacher was criminally investigated in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Bishop defends church amid abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A local bishop has defended the Catholic Church in relation to child sexual abuse, saying individuals should not be mistaken for a whole organisation.

Bishop Greg O'Kelly from the Port Pirie diocese says he welcomes the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

However, in a letter to parishioners, he says it was not the Catholic Church that committed or shielded any crimes but individuals within the church.

He says claims that people were told not to report crimes are untrue and that members of the church encourage anyone to tell the police if they have been abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Catholic Church hires security after protesters vented over clerical sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Stephen Drill
From:Herald Sun
November 27, 2012

A SECURITY guard who patrolled St Patrick's Cathedral during weekend masses kicked out people protesting against clerical sexual abuse.

The security presence comes as the Catholic Church continues to deal with the fallout from the announcement of a royal commission and a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse.

Victims' rights groups say the security tactic showed the church was putting the protection of property before the rights of the abused.

But the Archdiocese of Melbourne, which oversees St Patrick's, said the security guard was employed to make sure masses were not disrupted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

November 26, 2012

SNAP Asks Victims to Speak Out

MISSOURI
ABC 17

A watch group is urging victims of molestation by priests to come forward and contact police in Columbia.

Gerald Howard is convicted of sex crimes and currently under investigation in Boone County. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also called SNAP, said Monday there could be multiple victims in Boone County.

Howard worked at the now closed Charter Hospital in Columbia after he was a priest in Boonville where he faces child molestation charges. If Howard molested children in Columbia, advocates say it would have been recent enough for a statute of limitations not to apply. This could keep Howard behind bars for good, so SNAP is asking victims to come forward and appealing to the church for help.

"We suspect very strongly that there are others out there who are still struggling in isolation and shame and self blame," said David Clohessy the Director of SNAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

Trial continued for ex-minister facing sex charges

MISSISSIPPI
WAPT

A Hinds County Circuit Court judge granted a request Monday to delay the trial of a former Clinton High School choir director and music minister accused of sex crimes.

John Langworthy was the music minister at Morrison Heights Baptist Church before his arrest in September 2011. He is facing an eight-count indictment charging him with sexually molesting five boys ages 10-13 at various locations between 1980-1984, authorities said.

Clinton police charged Langworthy with two counts of gratification of lust and Jackson police filed six charges, authorities said.

Langworthy's trial was set to begin Monday in Hinds County Circuit Court, but was continued after "prolonged negotiations" fell through, said Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Jamie McBride.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 PM

Final Results of Survey on Clergy Abuse

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

Virginia Jones

In 2007, inspired by several survivors of Catholic clergy abuse I constructed a survey of survivor wants of needs related to healing. I received some positive support from survivors and advocates and an instructor of Social Work from PSU. I approached SNAP, therapists, the instructor of Social Work,, the media, and several clergy abuse lawyers but received little help in distributing and publicizing the survey. I had previously approached three Victim Assistants who worked for the Catholic Church and was essentially told to let professionals handle this. I attempted to work with the local Voice of the Fruitful and was told that I was too angry and hurt and drove people away.

I was hurt and angry. I was baptized Catholic along with my young children in 2001. After baptizing me, he proceeded to groom me and my 5 year old son although I have to stress that nothing bad ever happened. My son sat on the priests lap for almost 2 hours one time, but I and my daughter were present the whole time. I was aware that this was unusually familiar, but my son, who I had been told was on the autism spectrum, had severe separation anxiety and would only interact with about 6 adults other than me. I was happy to see that he was bonding with another adult. Church leadership knew about accusations of abuse against this priest for 20 years when this happened, but had never bothered to tell parishioners. If I had known about these accusations, I would not have entered that priests office with my children, but then, he probably wouldn't have remained a priest if the accusations against him had been made public.

So even though no one in my family has been abused by a priest, we ended up in the middle of the clergy abuse scandal. When the priest was removed, forums were held. People were angry and hurt and divided between people who could not believe the severity of abuse the priest had perpetrated and those who could not understand people who would support a pedophile. I struggled, knowing that my private story cast doubt on the priest's innocence. I remained silent even when a Youth Minister came forward with a story that cast even more doubt on the priest's innocence. She was harassed so badly by other parishioners she left the Catholic Church. Who knows what would have happened if I had spoken out in the forum, but I needed time and space and support to come forward and ended up having to struggle mostly by myself to come to terms with what had happened. I formed a prayer group to support the priest, but I also researched the clergy abuse scandal on the internet. Eventually I read enough to firmly believe the survivors. I handed out newspaper articles about the clergy abuse scandal in my parish and was thrown out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Sex abuse trial starts for B'klyn rabbi accused of molesting 12-year-old girl

NEW YORK
New York Post

From By JOSH SAUL
Last Updated: 7:38 PM, November 26, 2012

The trial of a prominent Brooklyn rabbi accused of sexually abusing a young girl began in Brooklyn Supreme Court today with a focus on the strict rules of ultra-Orthodox Judaism.

Williamsburg rabbi Nechemya Weberman is charged with molesting a 12-year-old girl over three years after her parents sent her to him for counseling.

“It doesn’t sound like modern Brooklyn, it sounds like the Salem witch trials,” said assistant district attorney Kevin O’Donnell, describing how the alleged victim’s parents sent her to Weberman after she was chastised and shunned from the Satmar Hasidic community because she questioned authority and acted immodestly.

O’Donnell alleged that Weberman fondled the young girl in his office and forced her to perform oral sex on him, “Over and over again.”

Defense attorney George Farkas called the jury’s attention to the seeming strangeness to outsiders of Hasidic Judaism, warning jurors not to judge Weberman on his adherence to religious dictum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

Sex abuse trial of prominent Orthodox leader Nechemya Weberman begins as insular Satmar Hasidic sect becomes Exhibit 1

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

By Oren Yaniv / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Monday, November 26, 2012

The explosive sex abuse trial of prominent Orthodox leader Nechemya Weberman began Monday, and the insular Satmar Hasidic sect both he and the teen accuser belonged to became Exhibit 1.

"It's pretty much an entirely different world that's just a couple of minutes away from this courthouse," said Assistant District Attorney Kevin O'Donnell of the Williamsburg-based community.

Weberman, 53, is charged with touching the alleged victim’s genitals and forcing her to perform oral sex on him starting in 2007 when she was 12. He counseled her after the teenager was deemed heretic because she questioned religious teachings and "did not follow the modesty rules," such as the required thickness of hosiery, prosecutors said.

"A woman questioning authority is not allowed," said O'Donnell.

The defense agreed the teen was "a free spirit" who wrote poetry and read forbidden magazines like Cosmopolitan and People.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 PM

Church accuses insurers in child sex investigation

AUSTRALIA
Insurance Business

By Trevor Treharne | 27/11/2012

The Anglican Church has made the astonishing accusation that the royal commission into child sex abuse should be focusing on the actions of the insurers for inhibiting the Church from “acting as it would wish".

The Church claims some insurers refuse to allow religious organisations to settle financial compensation and instead insist on fighting victims in court.

The controversial submission, one of more than 300 contributions received by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, argues that often the Diocese is "inhibited from acting as it would wish" by insurance companies that want to "litigate rather than settle".

In his statement to the government, the general manager of the Diocese of Brisbane, Peter Read, urges the commission to examine the "constraints insurers impose on institutional responses" to child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Convicted Brother taken back by Patrician Order

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Lateline

[with video]

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 26/11/2012

Reporter: Emma Alberici

A Patrician brother convicted of molestation and buggery charges was taken back into the order under a new name after serving his jail time

Transcript
EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: The Federal Government's recently announced royal commission is being asked to specifically examine institutional responses to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Tonight, Lateline looks at how one order of Catholic brothers has dealt with alleged child sex abuse cases.

Brother Thomas Grealy, who was jailed on molestation and buggery charges in 1997, has been welcomed back to the order. Not only has he been reinstated as a Patrician Brother, a recent newsletter produced by the order refers to him as a Patrician "treasure".

Lateline has learned that police soon expect to arrest another two men who had been at the Patrician Brothers school at Blacktown over sexual abuse allegations.

The Entrance, a popular beachside town an hour and a half north of Sydney, is one of several places across New South Wales that the Patrician Brothers' Catholic order call home.

It's where Thomas Grealy has been living, a convicted paedophile who spent four years in jail for the rape and indecent assault of two boys at the Patrician Brothers' Primary School at Granville in Western Sydney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Archdiocese Of Hartford Sues Insurer Over Payments In Sex-Abuse Cases

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By DAVE ALTIMARI, daltimar@courant.com
The Hartford Courant

6:07 p.m. EST, November 26, 2012

The Archdiocese of Hartford is suing one of its longtime insurers, claiming the company owes it more than $1 million to offset payments the church has made to plaintiffs in priest sex-abuses cases.

In a federal lawsuit, the archdiocese is claiming that over the past two years Interstate Fire & Casualty Co. Inc. of Chicago failed or refused to make payments to cover four lawsuits settled by the church.

Two of the lawsuits involved abuse allegations against Ivan Ferguson, a Hartford-area priest who died in 2002. The others involved settlements in cases involving charges against former priests Stephen Crowley and Robert Ladamus.

Stewart emphasized that the diocese made the initial settlement payments and that the lawsuit is an attempt to reclaim some of that money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

SNAP seeks help in finding victims of priest

MISSOURI
Connect MidMissouri

Mark Slavit

Members of a group supporting the sexually abused victims of priests want people to call police, not church officials.

Members of a group called “SNAP”, or the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests have started a new letter campaign in search of more victims.

Earlier this month, Boone County prosecutors disclosed that they are investigating a catholic priest and former local counselor who molested children, but may soon walk out of jail.

His name is Father Jerry Howard. For more than two years, Howard has been in the Cooper County Jail facing charges of molesting three boys at Boonville’s Saints Peter and Paul Church. Within weeks, a judge will decide whether the statute of limitations on Howard’s alleged crimes has expired. If so he will be released. The victims said the abuse happened between 1984 and 1987. SNAP members held signs outside the Columbia Police Department on Monday afternoon looking for more recent victims that would not fall under the statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Convicted St. Paul priest should get new trial, Appeals Court rules

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JOY POWELL and ROSE FRENCH , Star Tribune
Updated: November 26, 2012

The state Court of Appeals found that a priest was improperly convicted on the basis of church doctrine, and not for a crime, in violation of Constitutional rights.

A Catholic priest who served eight months for having a sexual relationship with a woman, allegedly while he was meeting with her for spiritual counseling, will get a new trial because his Constitutional rights were violated, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled on Monday.

Christopher Thomas Wenthe, 46, was convicted last year of one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct during a religous-advice meeting. He maintained that it was a consensual relationship and that no crime was committed.

On Monday, the appellate court agreed, in part, and ordered a new trial for Wenthe in Ramsey County District Court.

In a two-part decision, the appellate judges upheld a Ramsey County judge's decision that the state statute is based on secular standards -- which do not involve religion matters -- and therefore doesn't violate the Establishment Clause, which holds that states can't make laws establishing or preferring a religion, on its face.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Support group lashes out at Pope, involves ICC

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[video]

The founder of a sexual assault survivors group accuses the Pope of 'refusing' to take steps to protect children and has taken her claim to the International Criminal Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Child sexual abuse inquiry hears from victim support groups

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

A Victorian parliamentary inquiry has been urged to question Catholic Church employees about the whereabouts of documents that might show sexual abuse being covered up.

The American-based founder of an international victims support group appeared before the inquiry on Monday.

Barbara Blaine of the 'Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests', told the inquiry the church uses many of the same tactics to conceal abuse in Australia as it does worldwide.

She says the inquiry will need to do more than request documents from the church to prove senior officials chose to ignore to paedophilia.

"Bring in the employees and former employees and ask them to swear under oath what documents exist," she told the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Court: Too much religion in prosecution of priest

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

November 26, 2012 by Bob Collins

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has apparently narrowed the ability of prosecutors to try clergy charged with having sexual relationships with people who seek religious or spiritual advice.

The court ordered a new trial for Christopher Wenthe, a priest who was convicted last year of having sex with a 21-year old woman. A jury convicted him of sexual assault under Minnesota's third degree sexual conduct statute, which contains this clause in the definitions:

the sexual penetration occurred during a period of time in which the complainant was meeting on an ongoing basis with the actor to seek or receive religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort in private. Consent by the complainant is not a defense;

But the prosecutor in the case, in attempting to show Wenthe held power over the woman, introduced the Roman Catholic Church's doctrine on the religious authority of priests, chastity, and the church's "moral prohibition on engaging in sexual reltionships." The prosecutor also provided testimony from a church staff member about the archdiocese's "emphasis on maintaining boundaries with parishioners."

That's too much religion, the Court of Appeals said, noting it "presents a serious risk of excessive government entanglement" in religion. It said the prosecutor provided the jury with "religious standards for judging (Wenthe's) conduct. "It invited the jury to determine appellant's guilt on the basis of his violation of Roman Catholic doctrine, his breaking of the priestly vows of celibacy, and his abuse of the spiritual authority bestowed on Roman Catholic priests."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Majority Of Sexual Abuse Crimes Against Children Go Unreported (VIDEO)

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Crimes against children happen everywhere in the world and seem to thrive through a conspiracy of silence and intimidation. Peter Isely, a survivor of child sexual abuse and a founding member of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) joined HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin to discuss why he chose to break the pattern of silence.

“Childhood sexual abuse is one of the most underreported crimes in the U.S.,” Isely said. “The reporting rate is about six or seven or eight percent at best. Offenders know they have a 1 in 20 chance of getting away with it.”

Isely, who was abused by a Roman Catholic priest, believes that institutions need outside intervention because they cannot police themselves.

"Things only change from the outside," he told HuffPost Live. "Institutions cannot reform themselves. They cannot change themselves. They have to be pressured from the outside."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Child sex abuse inquiry told of Jesuit cover-up

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

SALLY SARA: Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious organisations has been told the Jesuit order of priests is not immune from allegations of child sexual abuse and that it too has been involved in a cover up.

The inquiry today took evidence from members of the group SNAP Australia, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The international group is currently involved in a case in the International Criminal Court which alleges the Pope and three senior Vatican officials are guilty of crimes against humanity through the direct cover up of abuse.

Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: Chicago-based Barbara Blaine is the founder and president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. She's worked with victims of child sexual abuse for over two decades.

Speaking at Victoria's inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious organisations, she spoke about SNAP's complaint to the International Criminal Court, which alleges the Pope and three other senior Vatican officials have been engaged in a cover up.

BARBARA BLAINE: The Pope is held in such high regard, and yet here I am alleging that he's involved in committing crimes against humanity.

Just three ways that they do this are by priest shifting, by transferring predator priests from one place to another, by their refusal to cooperate with the civil authorities, and this is, I'm assuming, experienced here in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

St. Paul: Former priest convicted of sex with parishioner gets new trial

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.comtwincities.com
Posted: 11/26/2012

A former St. Paul priest convicted of having sex with a 21-year-old penitent has won a new trial.

Christopher Wenthe, formerly of Nativity of Our Lord parish in St. Paul, was convicted in November 2011 of criminal sexual conduct in a case that involved a female parishioner. He was sentenced to a year in the Ramsey County workhouse and was released early for good behavior.

He appealed the conviction.

On Monday, Nov. 26, the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned the conviction and sent the case back to Ramsey County District Court for a new trial.

Wenthe, now 48, got sexually involved with the young woman after she sought his advice and guidance in her struggles with an eating disorder and past sexual abuse. She said that he took advantage of her vulnerability and that she trusted him because he was a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Dysfunctional Church stares into the abuse abyss

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Michael Kelly November 26, 2012

Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities begins: 'It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.' If we take St Paul seriously, the worst of times can be the best of times for Christians. In his biblical account of faith, he sees adversity, trial, rejection and hardship as the nodal points for growth. 'We have no other boast but the Cross.'

This time in the Church in Australia is tragic. The intervention by Cardinal Pell in mid-November highlighted an all too familiar pattern of defensiveness that generated plenty of heat, lots of 'I told you so' observations from his critics and no advance in understanding that this is a time of unmatched shame for the Church.

Fortunately, other voices among the bishops — and not just retired ones — have weighed in with appropriate contrition and compassion.

While countless Catholics, me among them, feel nothing but shame and sorrow at both the abuse of victims and its insensitive and selfish handling by authorities in dioceses and religious congregations, it is far from clear how best an ordinary Catholic could and should respond to this spectacle of culpability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

‘We just want to help each other’

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

By Emma Swain
Nov. 27, 2012

When the survivors of the Hunter region’s widespread clergy abuse gather in Civic Park, Newcastle, tonight it won’t be in loud criticism of the church.

But with plans for a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse now under way, the vigil will instead be a quiet protest against the silence of powerful institutions.

“This will be our third Silence Against Silence vigil and it will be our biggest because of everything that has come out,” event organiser and fellow survivor Bob O’Toole, of Maitland, said. “We’ve had numerous messages and emails from people saying they will be there so we are expecting a very big turn out.”

As part of the one-hour vigil, people will also have the opportunity to leave a message in a journal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Pedophile 'treasure' tag dreadful: Brother

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP
November 27, 2012

The description of a convicted pedophile by his religious order's newsletter as a "treasure" is shattering, the head of the Patrician Brothers says.

Brother Philip Mulhall said Brother Thomas Grealy, who was convicted and jailed for the rape of boys in western Sydney in 1997, said featuring a photo of Br Grealy in the order's newsletter was a dreadful mistake.

Br Mulhall said the contributor should have picked up the inclusion and he himself should have.

"I'm shattered by that," he told ABC television.

Asked why Br Grealy was allowed back into the order after his release from jail, Br Mulhall said the policy at the time was to take responsibility for the members of the order.

"He's our member, he's our problem and we have a responsibility to see that he's not a problem for other people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Man who smashed Mendham monument ...

NEW JERSEY
The Record

Man who smashed Mendham monument to victims of sex abuse by priests likely going with insanity defense

Written by
Peggy Wright
@peggywrightDR

A man with a history of mental illness, who is accused of using a sledgehammer to destroy a monument in Mendham dedicated to victims of sex abuse by priests, will possibly pursue an insanity defense, his lawyer said Monday.

Borough resident Gordon Ellis, 38, appeared in Superior Court, Morristown, for a brief status conference on charges filed against him in connection with the destruction Nov. 18, 2011, of a 400-pound millstone memorial outside St. Joseph Church.

The memorial, originally erected in 2004, has since been rebuilt and rededicated. The now-defrocked James Hanley had been a priest at St. Joseph, and he had admitted sexually abusing more than a dozen children during his tenure as a priest.

Ellis, who has received further psychiatric treatment since his arrest, is slated for examination by Dr. David Greenfield, a psychiatrist, according to defense lawyer Neill Hamilton. The lawyer later said he expects to pursue a mental disease defense or a finding that Ellis is not guilty by reason of insanity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Youth sex crimes trial delayed ...

MISSISSIPPI
Carion-Ledger

Youth sex crimes trial delayed for former Clinton High educator John Langworthy

Attorneys say the trial for John Langworthy, a former Clinton High School teacher and church music director accused of molesting young boys several years ago in Mississippi and Texas, looks like it will be continued.

Officials in the District Attorney’s office as well as Langworthy’s attorney Jeff Rimes said that his trial, set to begin today in Hinds County Circuit Court. It was set to start at 9 a.m. and then was listed on the docket at 1 p.m.

Both Rimes and the DA’s office confirmed that the 1 p.m. listing is neither a trial nor a motion hearing. Rimes said he expects that the trial will be continued.

Langworthy was arrested in September 2011. He was indicted on eight counts of sexually molesting five boys ages 10-13 between 1980 and 1984, authorities said. Two of those counts are in Clinton, and six are in Jackson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

MO - Victims write 9 local pastors

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will announce that they are writing
--nine Catholic pastors in three mid-Missouri counties about a now-jailed predator priest, urging the clerics to help them find others who he molested, and
--Jefferson City’s Catholic bishop asking him to divulge whether any other current or former church employees have legally changed their names after having been accused or proven guilty of crimes.
They will also urge law enforcement officials in Boone, Cooper and Callaway counties to do “everything possible” to seek out other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers.

WHEN
TODAY, Monday, Nov. 26 at 1 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Columbia Police Department headquarters, 600 East Walnut, Columbia, MO (573-874-7652)

WHO:
Two-three child sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Columbia man and a St. Louis man (who is the organization’s long time director)

WHY
Earlier this month, Boone County prosecutors disclosed that they are investigating a Catholic priest and former local counselor who molested kids but may soon walk out of jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Weberman Rape Trial Begins

NEW YORK
Failed Mesiah

The trial of accused Williamsburg rapist Nechemya Weberman has begun. And there is some interesting news.

As the trial of accused Williamsburg rapist Nechemya Weberman began this morning, there was a bit of good news.

Weberman allegedly raped and sexually abused a young hasidic girl who was sent to him for counseling. The rapes and abuse allegedly began when she was 12-years-old and ended when she was 15.

Weberman's supporters have been very vocal in support of Weberman, filling a wedding hall with more than 1000 supporters for a fundraiser for him and demonizing the alleged victim (who is now 18-years-old).

Four Weberman supporters were later arrested and charged with witness intimidation, obstruction of justice and extortion after trying to bribe the girl's fiancee in an attempt to get the girl to flee the country and not testify against Weberman.

And in the courtroom today, George Farkas, an attorney for Weberman, told the court that the alleged victim ""wants to bring down this community which she hates" as he launched into a statement meant to demonize her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Court of Appeals reverses priest's conviction

MINNESOTA
San Francisco Chronicle

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a priest accused of having sexual conduct with a female parishioner he was counseling.

Christopher Wenthe (WHEN'-thee) was working at Nativity Catholic Church in St. Paul 2003 when the woman sought spiritual counseling. A jury found him guilty last year of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

But the appeals court says Wenthe's conviction was unconstitutional because prosecutors obtained it "based on evidence that was excessively entangled in matters of religion." It says that evidence improperly shaped the verdict by giving the jury religious instead of secular standards for judging the priest's conduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Focus on abuse-case insurers: church

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Milanda Rout and Jared Owens
From:The Australian
November 27, 2012

THE Anglican Church in Brisbane has called for the royal commission into child sex abuse to put insurance companies under the microscope, saying some refuse to allow religious organisations to settle financial compensation and instead insist on fighting victims in court.

The submission, one of more than 300 contributions received by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon last night after a week-long consultation on the structure of the national inquiry, argues that often the diocese is "inhibited from acting as it would wish" by insurance companies that want to "litigate rather than settle".

The Brisbane Diocese, headed by Anglican Primate Phillip Aspinall, also says the commission should review mandatory reporting processes to deal with occasions when adult survivors report child abuse to churches but say they do not want to go to the police.

The deadline for responses to the government's consultation paper on the commission's terms of reference ended last night at 5pm, with state governments, victims' advocacy groups and churches among many making submissions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Variety of experts sought for child abuse commission

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

November 27, 2012

The overwhelming response to the royal commission on child sex abuse has highlighted the need for multiple commissioners, some with expertise in child protection, the Attorney-General Nicola Roxon says.

After submissions closed on Monday, the federal government has less than four weeks to set the terms of reference for the royal commission on how child sex abuse allegations have been handled by religious, community and state institutions.

The tight deadline reflects Prime Minister Julia Gillard's wish for the inquiry, which is likely to take years and involve thousands of individuals, to be established by the end of this year so it can begin work in early 2013.

Ms Roxon told Parliament on Monday the ''overwhelming'' response had ''enthusiastically come from all corners of the country''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Shattuck-St. Mary's sex scandal: Third former teacher accused of abusing student

MINNESOTA
City Pages

By Aaron Rupar
Wed., Nov. 21 2012

Last month, two former teachers at Shattuck-St. Mary's boarding school in Faribault were accused of sexually assaulting students -- Lynn Phillip Seibel and the late Len Jones.

Those revelations apparently prompted former Shattuck student "JJ" to come forward on October 9 with accusations that art and photography teacher Joseph Machlitt sexually abused him in the summer of 1980. JJ was 14 years old at the time. ...

The charging document goes on to say that "JJ did not tell anyone about the abuse until he was 29... He [has] told several therapists."

During a subsequent interview with investigators, Machlitt confirmed he had a sexual relationship with JJ that summer. He left Faribault to take a job in New Hampshire before the next school year began.

As the Faribault Daily News reports, all of the recent sexual abuse allegations involve incidents that "happened on S-SM grounds -- either in a closed classroom setting or in the dormitories."

Last month, we spoke with attorney Gregg Myers of Jeff Anderson & Associates, a law firm known for litigating sexual abuse cases. Myers said the abuse allegations at Shattuck are "discouragingly similar to cases like Penn State."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Fr. Georg Secretary. Confirmed

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

He will remain beside the pope, contrary to the rumors of his removal. Security has been reinforced in the pontifical apartment. And for six months, Ingrid Stampa has been deprived of access to it

by Sandro Magister

ROME, November 23, 2012 – Tomorrow's consistory with the creation of six new cardinals has been hailed with a fireworks display of conjectures.

It was above all the bestowal of the scarlet to the American archbishop James Michael Harvey that uncorked the more or less bizarre hypotheses on the future configuration of Vatican leadership.

Last October 24, in proclaiming the consistory, Benedict XVI had announced Harvey's appointment as archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Pope's private secretary will remain, despite rumors, Vatican-watcher reports

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

Msgr. Georg Ganswein will remain in his post as private secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, despite rumors of a shake-up in the staff of the apostolic palace, according to Sandro Magister of L’Espresso.

Speculation about imminent changes in the Pope’s immediate staff were triggered in October, with the announcement that Archbishop (now Cardinal) James Harvey, the longtime prefect of the pontifical household, would become archpriest of the Vatican basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls. Some Vatican-watchers suggested that Msgr. Ganswein would become the new prefect, while others said that he might leave the Vatican entirely, as part of an overhaul following the “Vatileaks” scandal. Neither change will take place, Magister reports; Msgr. Ganswein will remain at the Pope’s side.

(The Vatican has made no announcements about changes in the pontifical household, apart from the new assignment for Cardinal Harvey.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Church taken to ICC

AUSTRALIA
Leader

By Barney Zwartz
Nov. 27, 2012

AN ABUSE survivors group has complained to the International Criminal Court that the Catholic Church is guilty of crimes against humanity over child sexual abuse - and says nothing will change within the Australian church until a bishop is jailed for covering up abuse.

A crime against humanity was when someone knew crimes were happening and had the power to stop them but chose not to, the state inquiry into how the churches handled child sex abuse heard on Monday.

Barbara Blaine, founder and president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), told the inquiry: ''I recognise how extreme that sounds, but the evidence backs it up in three ways: priest-shifting [of abusers], refusal to co-operate with civil authorities and refusal to remove predators from ministry and keep them from children.''

Melbourne researcher, advocate and lawyer Judy Courtin is preparing a report about abuse in Australia, and especially suicides, to be given to the international court as additional evidence. More than 20,000 documents from other countries have already been presented.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

New Details in Suspension of Bedford VA Chaplain

MASSACHUSETTS
Patch

By Christopher Gambon

The Archdiocese for Military Services has removed the faculties of Father Luke Odor, a chaplain with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs employed at the VA Medical Center in Bedford, following allegations of boundary violations against the chaplain.

The Archdiocese for Military Services has initiated an investigation into the allegations against Odor, which date back to the mid 1990s when Odor was working in the Archdiocese of St. Paul Minneapolis and the Diocese of Fargo, according to a statement released Nov. 25 by the Archdiocese for Military Services.

These allegations follow a Nov. 23 statement by the Archdiocese of Boston barring Odor, of Aba, Nigeria, from functioning as a priest within the Archdiocese.

The allegations do not involve physical sexual abuse, and "appear to have been resolved by all parties," according to the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Priest at Mass. VA hospital suspended

BEDFORD (MA)
Boston Globe

BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — A Roman Catholic chaplain at the Veterans Administration hospital in Bedford has been suspended pending a church investigation into what the Archdiocese of the Military calls allegations of ‘‘boundary violations with minors.’’

The archdiocese said in a statement the allegations against the Rev. Luke Odor date to the early 1990s when he served in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Fargo, N.D. and do not involve physical sexual abuse.

The Boston Archdiocese says Odor had been living at the rectory at St. Isidore in Stow, although he had no official functions with the diocese. He no longer lives there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Queensland's Child Safety Department ...

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Queensland's Child Safety Department could be called on to participate in child sex abuse royal commission

Korin Helbig, Renee Viellaris
From:The Courier-Mail
November 27, 2012

A STATE department charged with protecting Queensland children could be called on to give evidence at the Gillard Government's royal commission into child sex abuse.

The Commonwealth has confirmed Queensland's Child Safety Department could be asked to "participate" in the major inquiry.

Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has stressed co-operation would be "paramount".

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has promised full access to key documents and staff.

But he did not rule out seeking protection from prosecution for Child Safety officers, saying indemnity would be determined on a "case by case basis according to the details of the incident".

It came as the Newman Government yesterday dug in its heels and refused to bow to a grieving mother by changing its own inquiry's terms of reference to allow her case to be reviewed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Scrap time limits on child sex abuse cases, urges head of bishops

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 27, 2012

Peter Munro

THE head of Australia's Catholic bishops says alleged child sexual abuse offenders, including members of the clergy, should be barred from using statutory limitation restrictions to escape justice for their victims.

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, who is president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, which is meeting in Sydney on Tuesday, said all states and territories should abolish time limits on victims seeking compensation in civil proceedings.

''There shouldn't be any artificial restriction on our society's ability to redress such matters,'' he said. ''The evil of sexual abuse is so serious and so awful that the only way in which the victims will come to any sense of peace is if their matter can be dealt with by the offender being brought to justice.''

Archbishop Hart also called for mandatory reporting by priests of suspected cases of child abuse, in line with legal obligations on childcare workers, teachers and doctors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

God's banker linked to Pablo Escobar

ROME
The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

A Vatican banker found hanged under Blackfriars Bridge in 1982 had previously undisclosed links to the notorious Colombian drug smuggler, Pablo Escobar, the author of a new book has claimed.

Nick Squires in Rome
3:46PM GMT 26 Nov 2012

Roberto Calvi, who earned his nickname for his close ties to the Vatican Bank, was found hanged beneath Blackfriars Bridge amid strong suspicions that he was murdered.

Ayda Suarez Levy, the widow of a Bolivian druglord, claims that Calvi was laundering drug cartel money through an account in Nassau, in the Bahamas, on behalf of South American drug lords.

The Cocaine King sheds new light on Calvi's death, which remains one of the Vatican's darkest chapters and most contested mysteries.

Mrs Levy, the widow of Roberto Suarez Gomez, claimed in an interview on Italian television on Monday that Mr Calvi was her husband's "Italian contact".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Catholic Bishops to discuss sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Melissa Matheson
The Daily Telegraph
November 27, 2012

THE "scourge on society" that is sexual abuse will be addressed by Catholic bishops from across Australia today.

Up to 42 bishops will meet at Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. They will discuss how the Church deals with the royal commission into sexual abuse and are expected to appoint a national spokesperson for the duration of the commission.

It follows the public outrage over Cardinal George Pell's comments this month that the commission would sort "fact from fiction" and reveal which claims of sexual abuse were a "significant exaggeration".

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart - favoured to be spokesperson - said bishops wanted to help with the terms of reference for the commission, which accepted submissions up until yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Woman attempted suicide in office of archbishop

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Stuart Rintoul
From:The Australian
November 27, 2012

A VICTIM of church abuse attempted to kill herself in the office of the Melbourne Catholic Archbishop to draw attention to the failures of the church, the Victorian parliament's abuse inquiry has heard.

Nicky Davis of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests told the inquiry the woman took an overdose in Denis Hart's office and was rushed to a private room at St Vincent's hospital in Melbourne.

Last night, the woman told The Australian she had taken an overdose of valium at James Goold House, one of the church's main offices in Melbourne, in about 2004 while attempting to discuss her case and the broader issue of pedophile priests with Archbishop Hart. She said she had attempted suicide on church premises three times and identified herself as the subject of an intervention order taken out by Archbishop Hart.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court heard in 2004 that Archbishop Hart told a woman who had been sexually abused by priest Barry Whelan to "go to hell, bitch", after she knocked on his door at 1.20am. When the court documents became public in 2009, Archbishop Hart said he "did not recall" the comments, which magistrate Anne Goldsborough described as "appalling". In a statement last night, the church said the suicide attempt "did not involve Archbishop Hart".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Good Reads

UNITED STATES
Patrick J. Wall

Author Jim Dunlap’s first novel MILLSTONE debuts tomorrow (November 26) on Amazon. Ten percent of the proceeds from the book go to nonprofits that help victims of child sexual abuse.

Jim was recently on the Dr. Carol Francis Show, where he talked about the book and the inspiration and facts behind it. The show’s podcast is archived here. It’s worth a listen.

According to Joelle Casteix, the thriller is adapted from his screenplay of the same name. Read more about the book here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Vigil to be held for clergy sex suicide victims

AUSTRALIA
SNAP Australia

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims will
--hold a vigil to remember dozens of men and women who were molested as children by clergy and committed suicide,
--present small gifts to their families from the families of US clergy sex abuse suicide victims, and
-- urge anyone who saw, suspected, or suffered child sex crimes or cover ups to "call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids, and start healing."

WHEN
Tuesday November 27 at 12.45 pm

WHERE
Ballarat: Midlands Golf Club - Club Lounge, Heinz Lane, Invermay Park VIC 3350

WHO
Two leaders of an international support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest) including an American woman, who is the organisation's president and founder (She will also meet with Ballarat child sexual abuse victims and families of victims of abuse who took their lives.)

WHY
The Catholic Diocese of Ballarat has seen a large number of suicides stemming from childhood abuse at the hands of priests. Police are investigating at least 40 suicide cases with a link to clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Poison pen letter writer gets pardon and a job outside the Holy See

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The act of clemency for Paolo Gabriele is being formalised. He has a job in an entity linked to the Holy See waiting for him

GIACOMO GALEAZZI
Vatican City

Paolo Gabriele, the Pope’s former butler gets a pardon for Christmas and a job outside the Roman Curia. The Pope’s act of clemency for Paolo Gabriele who was sent to prison in the Vatican for stealing confidential documents belonging to the Pope.

The General Regulation of the Roman Curia entails the most serious disciplinary measure, which is dismissal and a ban from occupying any new post within a dicastery or office of the Holy See. After his release, the former butler will take up a position outside the Holy See, in a related entity.

Gabriele’s main supporter, James Michael Harvey, was created cardinal in today’s mini Consistory in St. Peter’s. Gabriele had worked for Harvey in the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Commission must not forget the victims

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

By DOUG CONWAY
Nov. 26, 2012

It's always the poor little victims who get forgotten, and it’s happening again in the hail of words prompted by Julia Gillard’s royal commission into child abuse.

Kids have no power and no voice. That’s why evil priests, and others, prey on them in the first place.

Well, it’s high time they had a voice.

The highly popular royal commission may well be politically motivated, as Gillard’s opponents charge.

It may well run for longer than it ought, cost more than it should, make big institutions feel uncomfortable, lead to litigation and uncover hitherto unimagined problems.

So what? This is a boil that needs to be lanced, and the sooner the better.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Child rapist still a Patrician Brother

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Mike Duffy, 7News Sydney
Updated November 26, 2012

Australia's Catholic Bishops are meeting in Sydney to plan their response to the Royal Commission on child sex abuse.

One item they might consider is why a child rapist remains a Patrician Brother, and was recently praised as a living treasure.

Brother Thomas Grealy looks just like any other senior citizen, but he is a convicted paedophile who raped a 10-year-old boy.

After four years in jail, his Catholic brethren welcomed him back, keeping his title, housing and financial support.

Known as Brother Augustine, Grealy was principal of Patrician Brothers School in Granville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Maddens' abuse register draws nationwide response

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

By PETER COLLINS
Nov. 26, 2012

HUNDREDS of people from across Australia have contacted a Warrnambool legal company to register their interest in a forthcoming royal commission into child sex abuse by institutions.

Maddens Lawyers told The Standard it was inundated with calls after it launched a victims register a week ago.

"We've had hundreds of people from all over Australia, many of whom said they had never told their stories before," the firm's personal injury department chief Gary Foster said.

"The response is sending a message to the government that it needs to consider setting up a compensation scheme.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Ambassador: No instructions to raise Royal Commission with the Pope...

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Mornings with Jon Faine

Monday morning, and host Jon Faine speaks to Australia's new Ambassador to the Holy See, John McCarthy QC. His Excellency says he has not been asked to raise the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse with the Pope, but he would respond to any questions during his next audience with the Holy Father.

He says the commission's terms of reference have not been settled, and he wouldn't be expected to speculate to the Holy See.

"I certainly have not been instructed by the Australian Government, or indeed, anyone on behalf of the Government, to take these matters, which are of specific reference at the moment to Australia to any of the organs of the Holy See or the Holy Father," he says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

OMG! - I'm going to be a bishop, Canon tells parish

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Majella O'Sullivan

Monday November 26 2012

OMG – it's an appropriate response to unexpected good news, even from a bishop-elect.

Canon William Crean (60) revealed to his parishioners yesterday his reaction when Papal Nuncio Dr Charles Brown told him the Holy Father wished him to become Bishop of Cloyne.

"Within the first three sentences he had asked me and I thought: 'Oh my God'," Canon Crean told the congregation at 12pm Mass in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, where he has served for the past six years.

He also appealed for prayers from his parishioners to support him in his new role.

No ordination date has been fixed yet, but the Tralee native has already said he would use his appointment to try to bring "healing" to the Co Cork diocese that has been wracked by controversy over child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Pope 'determined' to revamp church here with new posts

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Ralph Riegel

Monday November 26 2012

POPE Benedict is to reshape the church here, with two more bishops to be appointed within weeks after the Diocese of Cloyne finally got its new bishop.

The Pope chose St Colman's Day, feast of Cloyne's patron saint, to confirm the appointment of Canon William Crean (60) as successor to Dr John Magee in the sprawling Cork diocese.

Significantly, he chose a senior cleric noted for his outstanding parish abilities rather than a Vatican-based academic.

Church officials stressed that the emphasis on pastoral ability reflects the Pope's determination to "reshape and renew the Irish Church".

Six other Irish dioceses either have no bishop or have prelates serving beyond their retirement age.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Accused Aussie paedo priest flees to Sri Lanka

NEW ZEALAND
Times Live (South Africa)

A former Catholic brother wanted in Australia on more than 250 child sex charges was reported to have fled New Zealand for Sri Lanka before his extradition could be secured.

Bernard McGrath is facing 252 child sex charges in Australia relating to his time in church-run institutions in the 1970s and 1980s and was due to be extradited from New Zealand earlier this year.

But McGrath's brother Clem told Australia's Fairfax newspapers he had flown out of Christchurch several months ago after being contacted by a friend who said: "Why don't you come to Sri Lanka? You've got nothing here."

According to Fairfax, McGrath was now living on a tea plantation in the Sri Lankan highlands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Priest sues woman over sex claims

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Aldo Santin

A veteran priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is suing a former parishioner, alleging a damaging letter of complaint she wrote to his superiors resulted in his forced retirement.

Rev. John A. Melnyk, 84, said the woman's letter alleged inappropriate sexual advances and contact, which Melnyk said never happened.

In a statement of claim filed recently, Melnyk said the woman's letter of complaint "injured his credit and reputation" and resulted in him being "brought into scandal, odium and contempt."

Melnyk is asking the court to award him unspecified special and general damages and his court costs.

The woman filed a statement of defence, insisting her letter of complaint was truthful, accurate and justified, and she denied her letter caused any damage to Melnyk's reputation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Priest remanded on sex charges

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

November 26 2012 at 12:27pm
By KUTLWANO OLIFANT

Johannesburg- A 62-year-old Soweto priest has been remanded in custody after appearing briefly at the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of rape and sexually assaulting a number of young girls.

According to police spokesman Kay Makhubela, the Zola man, who cannot be named until he pleads, had allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl and sexually assaulted two others, aged 13 and 15.

He said the two other girls came forward after the 12-year-old reported the matter. The girls told the police that the man had fondled them.

“There is a spaza shop in his yard and that’s how he [allegedly] managed to get the girls when they came to buy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church

AlterNet

By Adam Lee

November 26, 2012

Last month in Ireland, Savita Halappanavar died, and she shouldn't have. Savita was a 31-year-old married woman, four months pregnant, who went to the hospital with a miscarriage in progress that developed into a blood infection. She could easily have been saved if the already doomed fetus was aborted. Instead, her doctors did nothing, explaining that "this is a Catholic country," and left her to suffer in agony for days, only intervening once it was too late.

Savita's death is just the latest in a long line of tragedies directly attributable to the doctrines and beliefs of the Roman Catholic church. I acknowledge that there are many good, progressive Catholics, but the problem is that the church isn't a democracy, and those progressives have no voice or vote in its governance. The church is a petrified oligarchy, a dictatorship like the medieval monarchies it once existed alongside, and it's run by a small circle of conservative, rigidly ideological old men who make all the decisions and choose their own successors.

This means that, whatever individual Catholics may do, the resources of the church as an institution are bent toward opposing social progress and positive change all over the world. Every dollar you put into the church collection plate, every Sunday service you attend, every hour of time and effort you put into volunteering or working for church organizations, is inevitably a show of support for the institutional church and its abhorrent mission. When you have no voice, there's only one thing left to do: boycott. Stop supporting the church with your money and your time. For lifelong Catholics, it's a drastic step, but it's more than justified by the wealth of reasons showing that the church as an institution is beyond reform, and the only meaningful response is to part ways with it. Here are just a few of those reasons:

1. Throughout the world, Catholic bishops have engaged in a systematic, organized effort going back decades to cover up for priests who molest children, pressuring the victims to sign confidentiality agreements and quietly assigning the predators to new parishes where they could go on molesting. Tens of thousands of children have been raped and tortured as a result of this conspiracy of silence.

2. Strike one: " What did the pope know and when did he know it? " The current pope, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was personally implicated in a case from the 1970s in which at least three sets of parents reported that a priest in his diocese had sexually abused their children. In response, Ratzinger assigned the priest to therapy, without notifying law enforcement, and washed his hands of the matter. That priest was back on duty in just a few short days and went on to molest more children.

3. Strike two: In 1981, again when the current pope was Cardinal Ratzinger, he got a letter from the diocese of Oakland asking him to defrock a priest who had acknowledged molesting two children. Ratzinger ignored this letter, and several followup letters, for four years. Finally, in 1985, he wrote back saying that more time was needed, and that they had to proceed very slowly to safeguard " the good of the Universal Church " in light of "the young age of the petitioner" -- by which he meant not the victimized children, but the pedophile priest. (By contrast, when a rogue archbishop ordained married men as priests, he was laicized six days later. )

4. Strike three: In 2001, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a letter, De Delictis Gravioribus , to all Catholic bishops advising them how to handle accusations of sex crimes by priests. There was no recommendation to contact the police, but rather an instruction for them to report such cases only to the Vatican and tell no one else: " Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret. "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

The case for an end to religious privilege

AUSTRALIA
On Line Opinion

By Moira Clarke - posted Monday, 26 November 2012

It would be difficult, at this stage, for anyone to deny that the perpetuation and cover-ups of the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults is entrenched and systemic in certain religious institutions within Australia. It would be equally difficult to deny that the Catholic Church, ostensibly one of Australia's leading 'charities', is disproportionately involved. Evidence for this has existed for years, but only now have our political leaders agreed to a Royal Commission, and only under the pressure of overwhelming public outrage.

Almost as recently, the Australian Parliament has passed a piece of legislation that has received much less fanfare. The Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) was established on 1st November of this year. Its purpose is to simplify and regulate the charities and not-for-profit sector at the national level. Since religious institutions fall under this umbrella they, too, are affected by this legislation.

At this point in time, a charity is defined at common law and largely based on the preamble to the Statute of Elizabeth, passed by the English Parliament in 1601. One of the first tasks of the ACNC will be to introduce a statutory definition of charity; however, the Australian Tax Office, being a de facto regulator of charities, has already delivered its definition in October of last year, and there is little likelihood that the ACNC will take a different approach or that this will change in subsequent reviews.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Many commissioners wanted: Roxon

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon says submissions on the terms of reference for the royal commission into child sex abuse want multiple commissioners.

The overwhelming response to the royal commission into child sex abuse has highlighted the need for multiple commissioners, some with expertise in child protection, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon says.

After submissions closed on Monday, the federal government has less than four weeks to set the terms of reference for the royal commission into how child sex abuse allegations have been handled by religious, community and state institutions.

The tight deadline reflects Prime Minister Julia Gillard's wish for the inquiry, which is likely to take years and involve thousands of individuals, to be established by the end of this year so it can begin work in early 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

No govt response to abuse bid: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Then foreign minister Kevin Rudd did not respond to a request asking how the government would help support victims of church sexual abuse.

The federal government donated more than $1 million to the Catholic Church towards the canonisation of Mary MacKillop but refused to acknowledge a request to contribute any money to sexual abuse victims, an inquiry has heard.

Abuse survivor Mark Fabbro approached then foreign minister Kevin Rudd at the canonisation celebrations in Rome in 2010 after hearing of the $1.25 million contribution made by the Labor government.

Mr Fabbro told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations on Monday that he wrote a letter to Mr Rudd while in Rome, asking him how the government would help financially struggling abuse survivor groups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Alex Gibney On What The Pope Knew...

UNITED STATES
Movieline

Alex Gibney On What The Pope Knew (And Why He Did Nothing) In 'Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House of God'

By: Frank DiGiacomo

Sundays are a good time for soul-searching — which makes it a good time to check in with filmmaker Alex Gibney, whose chilling documentary about sexual abuse in the Catholic church, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, is a must-see for anyone interested in the subject as well as the larger issue of what happens when religion becomes big business.

Gibney's documentary, which is in its second week of theatrical release and will run on HBO in February, begins with the headlines-making case of Father Lawrence Murphy, who, in a letter to the Vatican in 1998, admitted to abusing some 200 boys since the 1950s at the St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wisconsin. Although the Vatican had been aware of Murphy's actions since 1963, he was never defrocked and, in fact, was allowed to remain at the school until 1974 (when he was transferred). Mea Maxima Culpa, which translates to “My Most Grievous Fault,” takes Gibney all the way to the Vatican, and in this interview, the filmmaker talks about the surprisingly integral roles that the late Pope John Paul II and his successor Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) played in this tragic tale as well as his doubts that the church will ever openly confront this issue in a way that will bring some measure of peace to its many victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Child sexual abuse inquiry hears from victims support groups

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC
Updated November 26, 2012

A Victorian parliamentary inquiry has been urged to question Catholic Church employees about the whereabouts of documents that might show sexual abuse being covered up.

The American-based founder of an international victims support group appeared before the inquiry on Monday.

Barbara Blaine of the 'Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests', told the inquiry the church uses many of the same tactics to conceal abuse in Australia as it does worldwide.

She says the inquiry will need to do more than request documents from the church to prove senior officials chose to ignore to paedophilia.

"Bring in the employees and former employees and ask them to swear under oath what documents exist," she told the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Brother on sex charges flees to Sri Lanka

NEW ZEALAND/AUSTRALIA
TVNZ

A former Catholic brother charged five months ago with hundreds of counts of sexual abuse against children and young adults is currently residing on a tea plantation in Sri Lanka because the authorities dragged their feet in extraditing him to Australia.

The former St John of God brother, Bernard Kevin McGrath, who recently served two years in a New Zealand prison for sexually abusing boys there, had 252 abuse charges laid against him in a Newcastle court on June 27.

The 65-year-old is alleged to have repeatedly raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese during the late 1970s and 80s.

It is understood that a number of the charges relate to McGrath's time as a brother at the notorious Kendal Grange College in Morrissett.

Yesterday, the Sun Herald revealed that McGrath was one of three brothers being sued by Sydney's so-called "playboy rapist" Simon Monteiro, who is currently serving a seven year nine month sentence for aggravated rape and claims that the abuse he suffered has left him with severe psychological disorders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Catholic brother faces new charges

AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND
The Press

PAUL BIBBY, RORY CALLINAN AND MARTIN VAN BEYNEN

A former Catholic brother charged five months ago with hundreds of counts of sexual abuse against children and young adults, is living on a tea plantation in Sri Lanka because the authorities dragged their feet in extraditing him to Australia.

The former St John of God brother, Bernard Kevin McGrath, who recently served two years in a New Zealand prison for sexually abusing boys here, had 252 abuse charges laid against him in a Newcastle court on June 27.

The 65-year-old is alleged to have repeatedly raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese during the late 1970s and 80s.

It is understood some charges relate to McGrath's time as a brother at the notorious Kendal Grange College in Morrissett.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Police quiet over pedophile's flight

NEW ZEALAND/AUSTRALIA
7 News

NZ Newswire
Updated November 26, 2012

Police on both sides of the Tasman are staying quiet about how a former Catholic brother accused of sexually abusing children in Australia fled after tardy extradition attempts to bring him back from New Zealand.

St John of God ex-brother Bernard Kevin McGrath, who served two years in a New Zealand jail for sexually abusing boys, had 252 abuse charges laid against him in Newcastle court on June 27.

But the convicted pedophile flew out of Christchurch on the advice of a friend to Sri Lanka, with which Australia has no extradition treaty, Fairfax Media said.

NSW police wouldn't comment on their investigation, telling media that "speculation may jeopardise current lines of inquiry", nor confirm if they were investigating McGrath.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Catholic brotherhood could be vicariously liable for alleged acts of sexual abuse at school

UNITED KINGDOM
Maitland Walker

26 November 2012
The Supreme Court has unanimously held that a Catholic Institute (a brotherhood of teachers) was vicariously liable for alleged sexual abuse by brother-teachers of children at a boys' school. Although the brother-teachers were employed by the school's management rather than the Institute, the Institute was sufficiently closely connected with the brother-teachers to create an employment relationship for vicarious liability purposes. Further, the alleged abuse was sufficiently closely connected with the employment for the Institute to be liable.

The Supreme Court approved the recent Court of Appeal decision in JGE v Trustees of Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust [2012] IRLR 846, in which a bishop was held to be vicariously liable for a priest's sexual assault on a resident of a children's home. (Catholic Child Welfare Society and others v Various Claimants and others [2012] UKSC 56.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

In his own words...

MALTA
Times of Malta

Possessing the innate ability of wise scrutiny, Mgr Charles Scicluna has never shied away from saying it how it really is. Ariadne Massa traces some of his significant quotes.

“The Catholic Church knows well that whenever one of its ministers... sexually abuses a minor, a tragic wound is inflicted on the community... it inflicts untold damage to the minor concerned... and is cause of scandal to Christians and non-Christians alike, a stumbling-block on many a pilgrim’s progress in faith.”
November 2011, speaking on the Church’s role in child protection during a historic meeting in Rome.

“Bishops who mishandle abuse cases should be punished using existing canon law... Church leaders must be held accountable to their people.”
February 2012, during a four-day symposium in Rome on sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Victims welcome inquiry into child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Blacktown Sun

By Callan Lawrence
Nov. 26, 2012

THE Royal Commission into child sexual abuse will touch the lives of thousands of victims across western Sydney.

Founder of Bravehearts Hetty Johnston said the public would be "shocked" by the extent of child abuse uncovered by the inquiry.

Ms Johnston, whose organisation has pushed for a national inquiry for more than a decade, said research showed one in five people were sexually abused before the age of 18.

"I don't think the public has any real understanding of the extent of child abuse in the community," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

November 25, 2012

Former Montreal Institute for the Deaf students want justice for alleged abuse

CANADA
CTV

[with video]

CTV Montreal
Published Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012

Former students of the Montreal Institute for the Deaf say they want justice after alleged abuse at the hands of priests.

About 200 people gathered outside the former Institute for the Deaf at 7400 St. Laurent St. Sunday to say want the Clerics of St. Viateur to held accountable.

In what could turn out to be one of the largest cases of sexual abuse against deaf children, 60 former students are now pursuing a class action lawsuit against the religious order, which includes 28 priests and six other employees.

Each victim is seeking $100,000 in damages for abuse they say dates back as far as the 1940s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Bishop of Cloyne vows to bring healing to diocese

IRELAND
Irish Times

OLIVIA KELLEHER

The newly appointed Bishop of Cloyne Canon William Crean, parish priest of Cahirciveen in Co Kerry, has said he will make every effort to bring healing and hope to the lives of victims of abuse in the diocese.

Speaking at St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh, Co Cork, on Saturday, the bishop-elect admitted he was experiencing a degree of apprehension about his new post.

“I am apprehensive because I am deeply conscious of the trauma of these years past. So much suffering endured by young people at the hands of a few.

“Sufferings compounded by the failure of those who didn’t believe them and of those who didn’t hear their cry for help. One thing I ask, however, is your patience to allow me time to grasp the full measure of this deep hurt.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Submissions to close for royal commission terms

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Church leaders and victim support groups are among those to suggest what terms of reference should be adopted for the royal commission into institutional child sexual abuse.

The deadline for submissions into the royal commission's terms of reference passes today.

A submission from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference says the commission should focus on preventing future abuse, promoting healing for past victims and identifying systemic institutional failures.

The bishops are meeting this week to discuss the church's response to the royal commission and other matters.

Conference president Archbishop Denis Hart says victims must also be allowed to choose to give evidence in private.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

BlogWatcher - Vilification of clergy sexual abusers won't fix problem

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Published: November 25, 2012

BY MICHAEL MULLINS

For many Australians, the first media mention of clergy sexual abuse was broadcaster Derryn Hinch’s (pictured) vilification of Ballarat priest Fr Gerard Ridsdale around 25 years ago. Arguably Hinch set in motion a dynamic that would see offending abusers targeted rather than the institution of the Church. The announcement of the Royal Commission has seen that reversed somewhat, with the outpouring of anger towards the institution of the Catholic Church, with particular focus on the seal of confession.

The debate about whether to target “rogue” priests or the institution is alive in Ireland, where a prominent player is psychotherapist and UCD academic Marie Keenan. Her most recent book is reviewed in an Association of Catholic Priests blog titled “Vilification of abusers won’t contribute to solution”.

If we want to understand sexual violence, we have to get to know its perpetrators and the worlds in which they were formed... For their part, media outlets have helped uncover abuse, but they have also contributed to the vilification of clerical offenders, fixating on the category of pedophilia (at the expense of other abusive scenarios), and fomenting moral panic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

A Worthy Book for a Worthy Cause – MILLSTONE

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on November 25, 2012

Tomorrow (Cyber Monday), Jim Dunlap is launching his long-awaited murder mystery/thriller MILLSTONE. He’s also donating 10% of proceeds from the book to nonprofits that support victims of child sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church. Pretty worthy, don’t you think?

From the Amazon page:

Detective Danni Pierce only wants one thing: justice for the victims of sexual crimes. But she never dreamed that one case–a case involving a Catholic Priest–would lead her down a twisted path of betrayal, cover-up, and murder. When confronted with a danger greater than anything she has ever faced, will her resolve be enough to save her life?

Based on true events, Millstone is the tale of one woman’s pursuit of justice, and the only way she will survive is by relying on her dogged perseverance and her faith in those she loves.

Jim is a good friend and a good writer. The book, which adapted from his screenplay of the same name, is loosely based on events surrounding his son. It’s definitely worth your time and your $4.99 (for the Kindle version – or $14.99 for the paperback).

You can buy the book at this link Monday, November 26. If you like the book’s Facebook page, you can also participate in their Abuse Awareness Event tomorrow, too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

New Bishop of Cloyne 'conscious' of trauma still felt in diocese over abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE new Bishop of Cloyne is "apprehensive" about his appointment given the trauma in the diocese over clerical child abuse.

Canon William Crean, 60, vowed that he will use his appointment by Pope Benedict to try to bring "healing" to the sprawling Cork diocese which has been wracked by controversy over clerical child abuse for over a decade.

The diocese is still reeling from Judge Yvonne Murphy's devastating Cloyne report, which last year revealed that children had been left at risk by the diocese's failure to implement the church's own child-protection guidelines.

Cloyne has been without a bishop for almost four years after Dr John Magee, a private secretary to three popes, first stepped aside and then resigned over the controversy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Concerns a former priest will re-offend

NEW ZEALAND
Newstalk ZB

By: Newstalk ZB staff

A spokesman for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse has serious concerns a former Catholic priest will re-offend against young children in Sri Lanka.

Bernard Kevin McGrath spent two years in jail in New Zealand, but he's also wanted in New South Wales, where 252 sexual abuse charges were laid against him in June.

Authorities appear to have waited too long to file extradition procedures - and McGrath is now living on a tea plantation in Sri Lanka, where they can't get at him.

The 65-year-old former St John of God brother is alleged to have repeatedly raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese during the late 1970s and '80s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Top Catholic priests discuss sexual abuse response

AUSTRALIA
ABC - AM

[with audio]

Michael Vincent reported this story on Monday, November 26, 2012

TONY EASTLEY: The 42 members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference are meeting in Sydney to discuss the Church's response to the national Royal Commission into child sexual abuse.

Submissions for the royal commission's consultation period close today.

The head of the bishops conference and Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart says not only will they discuss the inquiry, they'll also be talking about the Church's own past responses to victims and allegations, including its Towards Healing doctrine.

And he says he wants a regime of mandatory reporting of abuse to police to be put in place.

Michael Vincent reports.

MICHAEL VINCENT: The most senior 42 men of the Catholic Church in Australia will today hear that the royal commission is a "wake up call".

DENIS HART: I think there has been a lot of attention to the Catholic Church, admittedly, but we've got to face that squarely and we do so and we are committed to doing so.

MICHAEL VINCENT: President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart:

DENIS HART: I welcome the Royal Commission because it will enable these matters to be faced by all of us, it will enable the victims to tell their story, and it will enable us as Church and community together to really do our best to put in place regimes for the future that will really care for our children and avoid these awful events of which we've heard more recently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Pope elevates 6 cardinals for a less-European college

VATICAN CITY
Columbus Dispatch

By Nicole Winfield
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sunday November 25, 2012

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI responded to criticism that the club of churchmen who will choose his successor is too Eurocentric, elevating six new cardinals from the United States, Colombia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria and the Philippines during a ceremony yesterday.

Benedict welcomed the prelates into the College of Cardinals during an hourlong ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica, telling them that their presence among the other red-robed prelates was a sign of the “unique, universal and all-inclusive identity” of the Catholic Church.

The ceremony was both joyful and emotional: Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, seen by many to be a rising star in the church, visibly choked up as he knelt before Benedict to receive his three-pointed red hat, or biretta, and gold ring. He wiped tears from his eyes as he returned to his place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Sacrament of Confession protects criminals and persecutes their victims

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Paris Arrow

The Sacrament of Confession is the VCC Vatican (not Roman) Catholic Church justice system that’s totally contrary to The Hague, to our American justice system and to all democratic countries’ of the United Nations justice system. The Vatican’s Sacrament of Confession is a system of injustice -- because it deletes the sins of criminals and sets them free instantly and it does absolutely NOTHING for their victims. The Sacrament of Confession protects criminals and persecutes their victims...for centuries. The Sacrament of Confession -- neither seeks justice nor compensation for victims of -- criminals it pardons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Two major recommendations in Facing the Truth

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

[with video]

Friday 23 November 2012

THE Catholic Church in Victoria supports the extension of the current requirements relating to Mandatory Reporting under the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic) to ministers of religion and other religious personnel with an exemption for imformation received during the Sacrament of Confession.

In its submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non Government Organisations, the Catholic Church in Victoria also supports the reporting of all allegations of serious crimes to the Police in a way that does not infringe the confidentiality and privacy of victims who have come forward on that basis, or does not infringe on the sanctity of the confessional.

You can listen to Father Shane Mackinlay, spokesperson for the Catholic Church in Victoria, discuss these two recommendations contained in the Catholic Church in Victoria’s submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry at www.facingthetruth.org.au or below.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Church backs change

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By TOM MCILROY
Nov. 25, 2012

RELIGIOUS ministers in Ballarat should be subject to new laws requiring them to report suspicions of child abuse to authorities, the Catholic Church said yesterday.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart yesterday said an extension of Victoria’s mandatory reporting rules should be immediately made to include religious ministers across the state and for the establishment of new mechanisms for reporting offenders without exposing victims.

However, the proposal would not require priests to report information received during the sacrament of confession.

Archbishop Hart issued a statement in response to comments from Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu who forecast changes to the Crimes Act to compel priests to report suspicions of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Abuse victims give parishioners a message

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 26, 2012

Jane Lee

VICTIMS of clergy abuse should report allegations and suspicions to police rather than to religious organisations, victim advocates say.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) handed out flyers to parishioners as they left Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral on Sunday, asking for victims, witnesses and people with suspicions to contact the police, a therapist or a support group. Most people accepted the pamphlets.

''Come forward and get the help you deserve,'' the flyers say. ''If you reach out healing, justice, prevention and closure are possible. If you stay silent, they are not possible. Please don't suffer in isolation, shame, anger and self-blame.''

It comes as psychologists, suicide helplines and support groups said they had been flooded with victims' calls for counselling since Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a royal commission on child abuse on November 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Victims group takes message to masses

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Rowan Callick
From:The Australian
November 26, 2012

PARISHIONERS at morning mass at St Patrick's Catholic Cathedral in Melbourne yesterday politely received flyers handed out by members of the international Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests urging them to "come forward with any information or suspicions of child abuse".

The president and founder of SNAP, American lawyer Barbara Blaine, said "many survivors are still suffering in secrecy and shame" and the group wanted to let parishioners know about its existence and encourage them to report crimes to police. The SNAP members were asked by cathedral security staff to remain outside the grounds.

Ms Blaine, who said she was abused when she was 12 and 13, has visited 12 countries in her campaign, and says SNAP has 12,000 members in 56 countries.

She said she remained a member of the Catholic Church. "My faith is in God, not in these church officials," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 AM

Consultation paper

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Abuse

The purpose of this document is to seek the input of interested individuals and organisations to the arrangements for the establishment of the Royal Commission, including the scope of the Terms of Reference, the form of the Royal Commission, the number and qualifications of Royal Commissioner/s and the reporting timetable for the Royal Commission. These factors will guide the Commissioner/s in their task of examining responses to instances or allegations of child sexual abuse in the context of public and private institutions or organisations in Australia. The explanatory material and questions below are provided as a guide to start discussions.

On 12 November 2012, the Prime Minister announced that she will be recommending to the Governor-General the establishment of a Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Australia.

Child sexual abuse is a horrific breach of a child's right to a safe and happy childhood, with immediate and long term impacts on the victims and their families. Child sexual abuse is also a crime that requires the most serious and committed of responses by the whole community. It is important that claims of institutional and systemic failures be fully explored.

The Royal Commission announced by the Prime Minister will be asked to identify what can be done to ensure that child sexual abuse is prevented in the future and, where it does occur, that organisational responses are just and supportive of survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Legal shield on abuse 'must be axed'

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Sarah Elks
From:The Australian
November 26, 2012

CHRIS Wetherall was just 11 when he was first sexually abused by his teacher -- later described by prosecutors as a "master pedophile" - at an Anglican school in the early 1980s.

But it wasn't until the general practitioner was 34, and then governor-general Peter Hollingworth was under pressure over his past handling of separate abuse allegations at Dr Wetherall's alma mater, St Paul's, and other Anglican schools in Queensland, that it dawned on him just how traumatised he was.

By then it was too late. The Anglican Church's Brisbane diocese invoked a legal defence to block Dr Wetherall's $3 million civil damages suit, arguing he had missed his window by failing to bring his claim by the time he was 21.

In a historic decision in 2008, a Supreme Court judge ruled Dr Wetherall could sue even though the statute of limitations had expired, but the Court of Appeal and the High Court backed the church's time-limit defence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Detective tells of suspicions

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Gary Adshead, The West Australian
Updated November 26, 2012,

He was a frustrated detective who should have been a fortune teller.

On September 16, 1996, Andrew Patterson wrote a memo to his WA Police bosses about the lack of resources for fighting the evil of paedophilia.

"Our current response to paedophile crimes, including the criminal use of computers by these persons, is insufficient," he wrote. "In my view, this agency would be criticised should it become subject of an external inquiry similar to the Wood royal commission."

That prophecy might soon be put to the test by a looming royal commission into how agencies and institutions across Australia have responded to child abuse.

Mr Patterson believes his old police force has a case to answer about the poor resourcing and eventual closure of the highly successful paedophile investigations team.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Broad focus may blunt royal commission into child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

John White
adelaidenow
November 25, 2012

Public expectations of the royal commission into child sexual abuse may well outweigh what it can feasibly deliver, writes John White

THE Commonwealth Government has announced a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

But what is the commission going to do? The Government has released a consultation paper for comment and you can find it online [here]

The submissions deadline (unless extended) is 4.30pm today. The address for submissions is royalcommissionsecretariat@pmc.gov.au. Read on, before you send off your submission.

What is a royal commission, and what can it, and can't it, do? A royal commission is launched by a government, either state or commonwealth. The Commonwealth wants the states to join in the establishment of this commission. That is important for access to information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

Catholics support royal commission

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

November 26, 2012

Barney Zwartz

CATHOLICS overwhelmingly support a royal commission on child sex abuse at nearly the same rate as other Australians, with 83 per cent approving the inquiry, according to a survey.

The survey shows that 88 per cent of Australians approve of the inquiry, 4 per cent oppose it and 8 per cent don't know. Among Catholics, 6 per cent oppose it and the same percentage don't know.

According to the survey, by Essential Media, 88 per cent of Anglicans support the inquiry, as do 93 per cent of Protestants, 86 per cent of people belonging to other religions and 91 per cent of those who profess no religion.

By political affiliation, 92 per cent of Labor voters, 87 per cent of Coalition voters and 95 per cent of Greens voters approve. The groups most likely to strongly approve were 65 and older (71 per cent), Greens voters (72 per cent), Protestants (68 per cent) and those on incomes under $1000 a week (70 per cent).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Commission urged to hear prisoner victims of child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 26, 2012

Judith Ireland
Breaking News Reporter

THE victims support group Broken Rites will call on the federal government to directly contact prison inmates and people on government benefits to make sure they are included in the royal commission on child abuse.

A Broken Rites spokesman, Wayne Chamley, said both groups were likely to have experienced high rates of child abuse but may not be inclined to participate in the royal commission, due to issues with literacy or low levels of trust in authority figures.

''They run the risk of being the forgotten ones,'' Dr Chamley said, suggesting that a letter could be sent to individuals.

He said about 40 per cent of prison inmates had a background of child abuse. Last year, a Department of Juvenile Justice report found 60 per cent of those in the NSW juvenile justice system had a history of child abuse or trauma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Those who created a culture of consent must be exposed

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 26, 2012

Amanda Vanstone

The royal commission on abuse needs to confine itself to cover-ups.

THE federal government's commitment to a royal commission on child abuse, and the Coalition's support of it, are welcome. Nonetheless, as they say, the devil is in the detail.

The scope of the commission may be critical to its success or otherwise. The government needs not only to be seen to be doing something but to actually achieve something.

The terms of reference therefore need to ensure the commission can effectively complete its task. Terms that fail to demand a sharp focus might result in many stories being told but little being achieved to protect children.

The commission should not be a field day for lawyers holding out the carrot of compensation. The states generally provide the avenues for complaints of abuse to be heard and if they have been inadequate, the states should confront that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

New Child Sex Scandal Erupts in Australia

AUSTRALIA
Forward

By Dan Goldberg

Published November 24, 2012, issue of November 30, 2012.

Sydney — Another major Jewish organization in Australia is embroiled in a child sex abuse scandal, adding to the trauma triggered by recent revelations of similar cases involving students at two schools in Melbourne, run by Chabad and Adass Israel, respectively.

Because of a suppression order issued by an Australian court, the name of the organization, the alleged sexual abuser and the alleged victims cannot be disclosed.

The Forward can, however, reveal that a man faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on more than 25 counts of child sex abuse, including indecent acts with a minor and sexual intercourse with a child.

Despite the involvement of the unnamed Jewish organization in the case, the defendant is not believed to be Jewish. He entered a “not guilty” plea and is scheduled to face court again in December, with a trial date expected to be set for next year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

New Australian Child Sex Abuse Scandal ...

AUSTRALIA
Failed Messiah

New Australian Child Sex Abuse Scandal Involves Multiple Counts Of “Intercourse With A Child”

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

Australian journalist Dan Goldberg reports that the new branch of the Melbourne Jewish community's child sexual abuse scandal involves 25 counts of sexual abuse, including multiple counts of “intercourse with a child.”

The defendant, who recently appeared in a Melbourne Magistrate’s Court and who has not yet been named publicly, is not thought to be Jewish. The abuse took place at a Jewish organization which has not yet been named because of a court suppression order.

However, FailedMessiah.com has learned that the organization involved is a Jewish community sports organization, and some of the alleged abuse may have taken place on a trip to the US approximately 10 years ago.

The accused pleaded “not guilty.” His trial is expected to begin next year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Au Canada, un scandale de pédophilie rattrape une communauté catholique

CANADA
Le Monde (France)

Par Anne Pélouas Montréal (Canada) - Correspondance Correspondance

Entre 1940 et 1982, 500 à 600 jeunes sourds de 8 à 17 ans auraient été abusés physiquement ou sexuellement dans un pensionnat de Montréal, par 34 pédophiles : 28 membres de la congrégation catholique des Clercs de Saint-Viateur et six employés laïcs. Carlo Tarini, porte-parole de l'Association québécoise des victimes de prêtres, est catégorique : "Au moins 300 ont été agressés sexuellement à répétition, ce qui en fait le plus gros scandale au monde concernant des enfants ...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Catholic officials knew of teacher's abuse, court files indicate

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun

9:39 p.m. EST, November 24, 2012

The Catholic-school teacher had a pre-teen student pinned to the ground in his Baltimore classroom, the girl's blouse open and her chest exposed when the doorknob suddenly turned and the school principal — a nun — burst in.

The screaming girl thought she was about to be rescued, according to court records that describe the scene at the Catholic Community Middle School in Locust Point. But Sister Eileen Weisman, who had a key to the room, merely chastised the teacher, John Joseph Merzbacher, for locking the door.

"[Weisman] looked down and her exact words were 'John, oh John, I told you never to lock the classroom door,'" Linda Tiburzi, who described the incident in a civil court deposition in the mid-1990s, said in a recent interview. "And then she looked at me and said 'I never want you staying after school again.' ... That's all she said, that's all she did, there was nothing, there was no investigation, there were no questions."

That incident is one of several outlined in court documents, analyzed in a Baltimore Sun investigation, indicating that Weisman and other Catholic officials were aware of the lay teacher's sexual abuse of students in the 1970s but did not report it until Merzbacher was criminally investigated in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Leslie Hittner: We’re not going back to that church

MINNESOTA
Winona Daily News

By Leslie Hittner | Winona

Now that the election is over, my wife and I have had to ask ourselves a couple questions. You see, we have not gone back to our old church since I walked out. We chose not to do so for two reasons: We didn’t want to be counted as a part of the Mass attendees (The Winona Diocese counts Mass attendees every October.) and I did not want to make “walking out” a routine that could disrupt the religious ceremonies of other parishioners during those pre-election campaign prayers.

But now the election is over. “Our side” won. October is past. What do we do next? We believe that our church is still on the wrong side of the civil same-sex marriage debate. The hierarchy is still refusing to take full responsibility for the sexual abuse cover-up in the church. Vatican II initiatives — the hope of the church — are still being increasingly misrepresented and pushed aside.

We are not willing to return to “business as usual.” We are not willing to accept a regression to a pre-Vatican II church. We are not willing to abide by the demands of a hierarchy that is more concerned about its own organizational success and appearances than it is about teaching the rest of us what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We aren’t willing to go back to that church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Boy Scout sex abuse lawsuit in Idaho settled

IDAHO
The Idaho Statesman

Documents related to the landmark case in Idaho show suspicions over pedophiles were kept quiet.

By MEGHANN M. CUNIFF — mcuniff@idahostatesman.com

The terms of the settlement of the Idaho suit against the Boy Scouts of America and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have not been disclosed, but a document filed Nov. 15 in U.S. District Court in Boise says both sides agreed to an undisclosed monetary settlement.

The federal lawsuit asked for $5 million. Lawyers for the LDS Church and the Scouts’ Ore-Ida Council were not available for comment Friday. Oregon lawyer Gilion Dumas, who sued on behalf of a Portland man who said he was sexually abused as a Boy Scout in Idaho, said she couldn’t discuss the settlement, which will be final once a judge approves a mutual request to dismiss the suit.

The lawyers began negotiating after U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill ruled the case could proceed to trial. At issue was not alleged sexual abuse by Scoutmaster Larren B. Arnold of Nampa, but what Dumas described as institutional fraud by the Scouts and the church to portray the organizations as safe places for boys, despite knowledge of a pedophilia epidemic within its leadership ranks. The case was detailed in a Nov. 6 Idaho Statesman article.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Mandatory reports for priests

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Farrah Tomazin
The Sunday Age's state political editor.

PRIESTS who suspect a child is being sexually abused will have to report their concerns to police under a planned crackdown by the state government.

In an interview with Fairfax Media to mark two years in office, Premier Ted Baillieu foreshadowed changing the Crimes Act to compel priests and other religious workers to report suspicions of abuse within their organisations.

This would represent a shift in Victoria's mandatory reporting regime, which currently exempts religious officials, and could involve clerics being prosecuted for failing to report.

But Mr Baillieu says he is yet to be convinced about the need for priests to disclose what is said in the confessional - an issue that is being considered by a parliamentary committee investigating sex abuse within the church and other institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Vatican names bishop for troubled Irish diocese

VATICAN CITY
Salon

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The pope on Saturday named a new bishop for the troubled Irish diocese of Cloyne, where for years its previous bishop ignored the Irish church’s own rules requiring suspected priestly sex abuse to be reported to police. The new bishop promptly vowed to do everything in his power to help abuse victims heal.

Cloyne has been without a resident bishop since John Magee, private secretary to three popes, resigned in disgrace as bishop in 2010 after a church-appointed commission found that he and his deputies fielded complaints from parishioners about two pedophile priests starting in 1995, but told police nothing until 2003, and little thereafter.

The findings were particularly galling since the Irish church, under mounting pressure and lawsuits stemming from revelations of wide-scale priest sex abuse and cover-up, had adopted a policy in 1996 requiring bishops to report abuse to police. The Cloyne report, however, found that Magee took no hands-on interest in enacting the policy until 2008.

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday named the Rev. Canon William Crean, a parish priest in Cahersiveen, to replace the apostolic administrator who has been running the diocese in Magee’s absence. Crean, 60, has been a director of religious education in several Irish schools and received his theology degree from the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Tardy extradition bid allows abusing Catholic brother to flee to Sri Lanka

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 26, 2012

Paul Bibby, Rory Callinan and Martin Van Beynen

A FORMER Catholic brother charged five months ago with hundreds of counts of sexual abuse against children and young adults is now living in Sri Lanka because authorities dragged their feet in seeking his extradition to Australia.

Former St John of God brother Bernard Kevin McGrath, who recently served two years in a New Zealand prison for sexually abusing boys there, had 252 abuse charges laid against him in a Newcastle court on June 27.

The 65-year-old is alleged to have repeatedly raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese during the late 1970s and '80s.

It is understood that a number of the charges relate to McGrath's time as a brother at the notorious Kendall Grange College in Morissett, New South Wales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Ex-Hattiesburg resident shares her story of abuse in book

MISSISSIPPI
Hattiesburg American

Written by
Robyn Jackson
American Staff Writer

When Beth Taylor decided to tell the story of her childhood sexual abuse, she knew she had to be brutally honest, but that didn’t make it any easier to bare her soul in writing for the world to read.

“As the author, I could not be honest about some parts and dishonest about others,” Taylor said. “The reader deserves to know the accurate story, or not be told the story. As a journalist, I was always honest with my viewers and readers. If a journalist is not honest, then she or he has no business being a journalist. The same was true in writing the book, honesty was a given.”

Taylor, a former Hattiesburg resident, business owner and WDAM sports reporter, shares the story of her abuse by a priest — and the lasting repercussions of the abuse in her life — in “Bless Them Father, For They Have Sinned.” She will speak about the book at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Oak Grove Public Library.

Taylor was 5 years old when she says a Catholic priest first molested her at St. Anthony of Padua Church and School in New Orleans, and was 12 years old when she says it ended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

November 24, 2012

Victims hand out leaflets at Cathedral

AUSTRALIA
SNAP Australia

WHAT
Handing out fliers to Catholics as they leave mass, child sex abuse victims will urge
--anyone who suffered, witnessed or suspects child abuse in institutional settings to “come forward, get help, and start healing,” and
--contact law enforcement officials “so that kids can be safer and cover ups can be exposed.”

WHEN
Sunday, November 25 at 11:45 a.m.

WHERE
Outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Gisborne St and Cathedral Place, in Melbourne

WHO
Three or four members of an international support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) including an American woman who is the organization’s president and founder and who has spent time in 12 nations dealing with the Catholic church’s abuse & cover up crisis

WHY
Over the past 24 years, members of SNAP have found that public outreach efforts encouraging child sex abuse victims to step forward can be effective. Now that the Catholic church abuse and cover up crisis is attracting more public attention in Australia, SNAP is strongly urging those with information or suspicions about clergy sex crimes to speak up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

SNAP BLASTS PROFESSOR

MISSOURI
Berger's Beat

Author: Jerry Berger

Leaders of SNAP are blasting a Columbia University professor who publicly defended the just-ousted voice of “Elmo,” Kevin Clash, who’s being sued for allegedly molesting a minor. In Sunday’s N.Y. Times, professor Katherine Franke defends Clash as “the most recent victim” of a “sex panic,” adding that “At precisely the moment when gay people’s right to marry seems to be reaching a positive tipping point, sexuality is being driven back into the closet as something shameful.” SNAP says, “These callous remarks seem to equate gay sex with pedophilia, which is wrong, hurtful, and irresponsible.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Murder of Bethany Deaton Has Similarities to Novel ‘House of Lies’

MISSOURI
Fox 4

[with video]

November 23, 2012, by Gia Vang and Sarah Clark

GRANDVIEW, Mo. — In a Grandview murder case involving sex, drugs and religion, some have come to believe it parallels the novel, “House of Lies.”

FOX 4′s Gia Vang talked to the author, Susan Claridge, who agrees — the murder of Bethany Deaton has some similarities to her book.

“From my regular readers who knew more about me and from personal friends — they were saying, ‘Have you seen this? Like, this is your book playing out in real life’ and that was kind of scary,” Claridge said.

Claridge’s “House of Lies” was released in early October. It’s about a woman who tries to save her estranged sister from a religious cult, only to find murder and a political agenda.

Many readers, and some FOX 4 viewers, are wondering if Claridge knows more than she says. The book is based out of Kansas City, and one of the murders is eerily similar to Deaton’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Bernard Häring, a witness of critical love for the church

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Fr. Charles E. Curran | Nov. 24, 2012

The following is adapted from Fr. Charles Curran's contribution to Not Less Than Everything: Catholic Writers on Heroes of Conscience, from Joan of Arc to Oscar Romero, edited by Catherine Wolff, which will be published by HarperCollins in February 2013. Redemptorist Fr. Bernard Häring would have been 100 on Nov. 10.

My appreciation for Bernard Häring was summed up in the dedication of my 1972 book, Catholic Moral Theology in Dialogue -- "To Bernard Häring CSsR, teacher, theologian, friend, and priestly minister of the Gospel in theory and practice on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday." As a very young priest of the diocese of Rochester, N.Y., I was doing doctoral work at the Alphonsian Academy in Rome from 1959 to 1961. I was scheduled to teach moral theology at the diocesan seminary in Rochester. After four years of theology at the Gregorian University, I was opening up somewhat from my conservative theological orientation and my commitment to the moral theology of the manuals. I did not write my dissertation with Häring, but I was truly thrilled and nourished by his classes (in Latin) in which he developed his approach to moral theology. At my invitation many fellow priests living with me at the American college in Rome came to hear him and were greatly impressed. ...

In the summer of 1979, I was informed that I was under investigation from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for my dissent on a number of moral issues. That fall I went to Rome to consult with Häring and others. Throughout the process I stayed in close touch with Bernard. After much correspondence back and forth it became clear in late 1985 that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was going to take action against me, which they ultimately did in declaring that I was neither suitable nor eligible to be a Catholic theologian. However, they did agree to have an informal meeting of myself with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and some officials of the congregation in March 1986. I was able to bring one advisor. All along Häring had agreed that if there were such a meeting he would accompany me.

Häring's presence was a source of great strength and consolation to me. He began the session by reading a two-page paper titled "The Frequent and Long-Lasting Dissent of the Inquisition/Holy Office/CDF." It was Häring at his forthright best at speaking to power. In the end he strongly urged Ratzinger to accept a compromise that I would not teach sexual ethics at Catholic University and there would be no condemnation. The meeting ended without any solution or action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Zimbabwe: Sexual Abuse Unearthed

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald

A SEXUAL abuse scandal has been unearthed at the Anglican Church's Shirley Cripps Children's Home in Chikwaka that has led to the arrest of one care-giver. Police at Juru have arrested a man who worked at the home in connection with the case after a report made by the Church of the Province of Central Africa led by Bishop Chad Gandiya.

Bishop Gandiya told journalists on Wednesday that his church had to quickly send a team of care-givers after receiving reports that most workers had left the home following the church's victory at the Supreme Court.

"The reports we received were that the sexual abuse was widespread. We alerted the police, although we were not yet in control of the institution. Police responded swiftly and a suspected male abuser was arrested. I understand that the man is now out on bail," said Bishop Gandiya.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

After abuse scandal, Pope names new bishop of Cloyne, Ireland

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

[Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Cloyne Report - YouTube]

CITY | Sat Nov 24, 2012

(Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Saturday named the new bishop of the diocese of Cloyne, Ireland, to succeed the prelate who resigned more than two years ago over accusations of mishandling cases of sexual abuse.

The Vatican named the new bishop as Father William Crean, 60, a native of Tralee who is currently working in Cahersiveen.

The diocese has been run since 2009 by an Irish bishop acting as a special administrator for the Vatican.

The previous bishop, John Magee, stepped aside in 2009 and formally resigned in 2010 after allegations that he had mishandled sexual abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Trauma fear in abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Mercury

BLAIR RICHARDS | November 25, 2012

MENTAL health support agencies say they will need extra resources to cope with demand from abuse survivors during the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in Australia.

Within six days of the announcement of the royal commission into child sexual abuse in religious institutions, state-based organisations, schools and not-for-profit groups such as scouts and sporting clubs, the Federal Government reportedly received 300 emails to its website and 180 calls from people and organisations wanting to make submissions.

Mental Health Council of Tasmania chief executive officer Darren Carr said Australians would be deeply shocked by what comes out during the inquiry.

Mr Carr said while the inquiry would be a time for healing, it could also trigger trauma in abuse survivors, and counselling services needed to be adequately resourced to deal with demand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Ook excuses Simonis voor seksueel misbruik

NEDERLAND
Tubantia

ALBERGEN Kardinaal Simonis heeft in een ontmoeting met twee slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik door wijlen pastoor Boonk in Albergen, zijn welgemeende en oprechte excuses aangeboden, zo blijkt uit een verklaring die na afloop is uitgegeven. ‘Als ik er aan denk welk een vreselijk leed u allen is aangedaan, dan spijt me dat geweldig. Het moet voor u afschuwelijk zijn geweest dat de pastoor zijn zilveren priesterjubileum zo groots heeft kunnen vieren in de gemeenschap waarin hij u als kinderen heeft misbruikt.’

Simonis was van 1983 tot 2007 aartsbisschop van Utrecht. Het seksueel misbruik van negen misdienaars in Albergen vond plaats aan het eind van de jaren zeventig en het begin van de jaren tachtig.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Consistory: A global “senate” to leave the Vatileaks scandal behind

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

With the creation of the six new cardinals, Benedict XVI “purifies” the Church hierarchy and gives us a preview of his successor’s characteristics: non-European and a pastor of persecuted communities

GIACOMO GALEAZZI
Vatican City

The Filippino cardinal was in tears as a group of Nigerian nuns prayed with their hands raised towards the sky and Indian pilgrims kneeled down around the obelisk gripping their rosaries. Emotions and fragments of a special and unprecedented day. For the first time in history, a batch of cardinals that come from countries outside Europe. St. Peter’s Square, packed as it was with faithful from emerging countries, was the prophesy of a global Church of the third millennium. With today’s mini Consistory, Benedict XVI pointed towards an exit from the Vatileaks scandal, he “purified” the ecclesiastical hierarchies corrupted by scandal and outlined the characteristics of his successor: non-European and a pastor of persecuted communities.

The Pope essentially renewed the Church’s hierarchy and changed the face of his “senate”. “What makes the Church catholic is the fact that Christ in his saving mission embraces all humanity” and Christian Messianism proposes “a mission directed to the whole man and to every man, transcending all ethnic, national and religious particularities” the Pope explained in the homily pronounced during the Consistory for the creation of six new cardinals, his main collaborators in the Church government. “It is by following Jesus, - Benedict XVI remarked - by allowing oneself to be drawn into His humanity and hence into communion with God, that one enters this new kingdom proclaimed and anticipated by the Church, a kingdom that conquers fragmentation and dispersal.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Pope Benedict XVI appoints Canon William Crean as Bishop of Cloyne

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Diocese of Cloyne

[Report by Commission of Investigation into Catholic Diocese of Cloyne]

Today, the feast day of Saint Colman, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has appointed as Bishop of the Diocese of Cloyne, the Very Reverend Canon William Crean, Parish Priest of the Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church in Cahirciveen, Diocese of Kerry.

Saint Colman is the Patron Saint of the Diocese of Cloyne and his feast day is 24 November. Archbishop Dermot Clifford has been Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Cloyne since 7 March 2009. The Diocese of Cloyne has a Catholic population of over 150,000 people, comprises 46 parishes and has 107 churches. The diocese includes most of County Cork, see www.cloynediocese.ie.

Life and ministry of the Very Reverend Canon William Crean PP VF:

William Crean was born in Tralee on 16 December 1951, the son of the late Patrick and Margaret Crean (née O’Donnell). His primary and secondary education was in Tralee and later in Saint Brendan’s College, Killarney. As one whose family numbered several vocations to priesthood and the religious life, he too heard the call to the priesthood. Having completed his BA in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, he became a student at the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, while completing his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University and he went on to obtain his Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1977.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

New bishop committed to healing

IRELAND
Irish Times

OLIVIA KELLEHER

Canon William Crean, parish priest of Cahirciveen in Co Kerry and newly appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Cloyne, has admitted a level of apprehension about the appointment.

Speaking today at St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh, the bishop-elect said he was committing himself to do all he could with others in the diocese to bring healing and hope to the lives of all victims of abuse and their families.

“Because I am deeply conscious of the trauma of these years past - so much suffering endured by young people at the hands of a few - sufferings compounded by the failure of those who didn’t believe them and those who didn’t hear their cry for help,” he said.

“One thing I ask, however, is your patience to allow me time to grasp the full measure of this deep hurt,” he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Pope Benedict appoints new Bishop to troubled Cloyne diocese

IRELAND
Irish Independet

By Brian Hutton

Saturday November 24 2012

POPE Benedict has appointed a Kerry parish priest as new bishop of the troubled diocese of Cloyne.

Canon William Crean will take over the role left vacant since John Magee, private secretary to three popes, resigned in disgrace in 2010.

The Cloyne report into clerical child sex abuse allegations in the diocese found that Bishop Magee did not follow proper child protection guidelines.

Most Rev Dermot Clifford has been running the diocese since as apostolic administrator.

Ireland's most senior Catholic, Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, said he wished Canon Crean all the help he needs to take on the "challenging" role.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Clergy abuse victim wins $20,000 payout

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 25, 2012

Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie

ONE of at least 12 students who allege they were sexually abused by a priest at a New South Wales Catholic school has been awarded compensation by the state government.

Fairfax Media can reveal that Cameron Searl, a former student of Chevalier College in Bowral, was awarded $20,000 by the Victims Compensation Tribunal in December 2008 after it determined he had been sexually abused between 1984 and 1985 by a priest who taught music at the school.

''Having carefully considered all of the material on this file, I am satisfied on a 'balance of probabilities' that the incidents of sexual abuse occurred in the course of the commission of an offence and involved violent conduct on the applicant,'' the Victims Compensation Tribunal concluded.

The head of Missionaries of Sacred Heart, Father John Mulrooney, last week confirmed that 12 students had told the school's principal or the church that they had been sexually abused by Father Tony Caruana during the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Cahirciveen parish priest appointed Bishop of Cloyne

IRELAND
RTE News

The parish priest of Cahirciveen, Canon William Crean, has been appointed Bishop of Cloyne by Pope Benedict today.

The Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady, has welcomed the news of the appointment.

Cardinal Brady said he believes the appointment of Canon Crean, augurs well not only for the parish of Cloyne but for the parishes and dioceses of Ireland.

Cardinal Brady was speaking from Rome ahead of the start of today's consistory which will see the creation of seven new cardinals in Saint Peter's Basilica by Pope Benedict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Priest suspended from Bedford VA

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

By Richard Weir
Friday, November 23, 2012

A Catholic chaplain assigned to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Bedford has been suspended while the Archdiocese of the Military investigates “personal conduct matters” involving the priest, Boston church officials said in a statement today.

The statement, released by the Archdiocese of Boston, said the Rev. Luke Odor had been residing at the rectory of the Church of St. Isidore in Stow since 2007 while serving as a priest at the VA center.

“The Archdiocese for the Military has informed us that they have started an investigation into personal conduct matters involving Father Odor. The investigation does not involve any matters related to Saint Isidore’s Parish or the Archdiocese of Boston,” the statement noted. “As a result of this action Father Odor’s faculties have been suspended by the Archdiocese for the Military and in keeping with our policies, the Archdiocese of Boston has followed with similar action.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Abuse survivors flood helplines

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 24, 2012

Jill Stark

Suicide helplines, psychologists and victim support groups are struggling to keep up with a surge in demand for counselling, as the royal commission into child sexual abuse triggers renewed trauma for survivors.

Callers distressed by media coverage of the upcoming inquiry flooded Lifeline with requests for help in the week following Prime Minister Julia Gillard's November 12 announcement.

The national suicide helpline - which usually manages 1500 calls a day - experienced a 16 per cent increase in calls, taking an additional 250 calls each day from abuse survivors, some of whom had never spoken of their ordeal.

While the number of royal commission-related calls has since dropped to about 40 a day, Lifeline chief executive Jane Hayden said the service is still over-stretched and warned demand is likely to increase further when proceedings begin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Widow calls for caution in care abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

Peter Jackson's widow says an inquiry into child abuse triggered devastating memories.

Natalie Poyhonen

Transcript

CHRIS O'BRIEN: A warning tonight on how challenging it can be to deal with child sexual abuse, as the Federal Government prepares for next year's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Peter Jackson was a man who on the surface had it all - a loving wife, children, memories of a stellar international rugby league career and a burgeoning media role. But he was tortured by the anguish of sexual abuse as a teenager. His widow tonight reveals from a letter he wrote just before he died how media reports of a previous investigation into paedophiles triggered a downward spiral which lead to his death. Natalie Poyhonen reports.

SIOBHAN JACKSON, WIDOW: One of the powerful things about Peter's story is that it's not about one institution, it's over institutions, it's about a Catholic brother who was working in an Anglican boarding school, who was a football coach.

This is a supremely conditioned athlete. And this is an abused child. It's easy to defend yourself when you're a powerful football player.

NATALIE POYHONEN: Peter Jackson died at just 33 years of age leaving behind his wife and three children. As Australia prepares for the upcoming Royal Commission into Child Abuse, his widow Siobhan Jackson knows from bitter experience what can happen. In 1997 while in drug rehabilitation her husband wrote a letter about how he felt watching news reports of a Commission of Inquiry that was then underway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed: ...

- Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico, and Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez of Los Angeles, U.S.A., as members of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

- Fr. William Crean of the clergy of the diocese of Kerry, Ireland, pastor of Cahersiveen and vicar forane, as bishop of Cloyne (area 3,440, population 164,500, Catholics 161,600, priests 118, religious 203), Ireland. The bishop-elect was born in Tralee, Ireland in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1976. He studied in Ireland and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and has held a number of pastoral roles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Priester Italië opgepakt voor seksueel misbruik migranten

ITALIE
Volkskrant (Nederland)

In Milaan is een priester opgepakt wegens jarenlang seksueel misbruik van gedetineerden. Don Alberto Barin (51) maakte misbruik van de zwakke positie van arme buitenlandse gevangenen. Bijna 5 jaar lang eiste hij seks in ruil voor sigaretten, tandenborstels, zeep en shampoo. Hij had een voorkeur voor jonge Afrikaanse mannen. .

Dat hebben Italiaanse media dinsdagavond gemeld. Het OM heeft overtuigend bewijs verzameld met behulp van een videocamera. Die werd na een klacht van een slachtoffer geïnstalleerd in de ruimte waar de katholieke geestelijke gedetineerden placht te ontvangen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

New bishop appointed in Cloyne

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A new bishop has been appointed to the diocese of Cloyne in Co Cork for the first time in two years following a scandal over the handling of abuse allegations.

The Pope has appointed Canon William Crean of Cahirciveen in Co Kerry to the post vacated in 2010 by Bishop John Magee.

An official report found that Bishop Magee had failed to fully implement the Church's own child protection guidelines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Multiple sex offence trial rocks Australia

AUSTRALIA
Jewish Chronicle

By Dan Goldberg, November 23, 2012

Another major Jewish organisation in Australia is embroiled in a child sex abuse scandal, adding to the trauma triggered by recent revelations of similar cases involving students at a Chabad and Adass Israel school.

The name of the organisation, the defendant and the alleged victims cannot be revealed due to a court suppression order.

But it can be revealed that a man has faced Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on more than 25 counts of child sex abuse, including indecent acts with a minor and sexual intercourse with a child.

The defendant, who is not believed to be Jewish, entered a “not guilty” plea and is scheduled to face court again next month, with a trial date expected to be set for next year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Society rapist sues religious brothers

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 25, 2012

Paul Bibby, Rory Callinan

HE WAS dubbed the playboy rapist - a male model and occasional actor whose seductive charms hid a violent, narcissistic streak that eventually caused him to be jailed in 2009 for more than seven years over the brutal rape of a woman in the eastern suburbs.

But now Simon Monteiro claims that, years before he cut a swathe through Sydney's high-society women, it was he who was the victim of violence and sexual abuse, at the hands of the notorious Catholic Church order, the St John of God.

And he says this abuse left him so traumatised he has been unable to have ''meaningful relationships'' with women because of his ''inability to deal with conflict''.

Simon Monteiro, who has accused McGrath's order of abusing him. Photo: Julian Andrews

Monteiro, 45, who once dated Oscar nominee Barbara Hershey, is suing the order and three of its brothers in the Supreme Court for at least $750,000 in damages over what he claims were years of rape, intimidation and abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Zimbabwe: Sexual Abuse Unearthed

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald

A SEXUAL abuse scandal has been unearthed at the Anglican Church's Shirley Cripps Children's Home in Chikwaka that has led to the arrest of one care-giver. Police at Juru have arrested a man who worked at the home in connection with the case after a report made by the Church of the Province of Central Africa led by Bishop Chad Gandiya.

Bishop Gandiya told journalists on Wednesday that his church had to quickly send a team of care-givers after receiving reports that most workers had left the home following the church's victory at the Supreme Court.

"The reports we received were that the sexual abuse was widespread. We alerted the police, although we were not yet in control of the institution. Police responded swiftly and a suspected male abuser was arrested. I understand that the man is now out on bail," said Bishop Gandiya.

One of the girls, according to Bishop Gandiya, was unceremoniously transferred from the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Pastor Accused Of Sex Assault On Child Appears In Court

COLORADO
CBS Denver

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A former youth pastor accused of sexually assaulting a member of the youth group was in court on Friday.

Matt Capranelli was advised in Douglas County Court that he’s being charged with sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

Capranelli worked at Mountain View Community Church in Highlands Ranch. Court documents indicate the alleged abuse happened from 2004 to 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Crean appointed Bishop of Cloyne

IRELAND
Irish Times

OLIVIA KELLEHER

Canon William Crean, parish priest of Caherisveen, Co Kerry, has been appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Cloyne by Pope Benedict XVI.

The previous Bishop of Cloyne, Dr John Magee stepped down in 2010 after it was revealed he did not follow proper child protection guidelines.

The Cloyne report, which investigated how clerical child sex abuse allegations were handled in the diocese between 1996 and 2009, detailed a catalogue of failures on the part of church authorities. It laid the blame squarely with the former bishop and Msgr Denis O’Callaghan.

In 2009 the Cork based Bishop said he was withdrawing from the running of the diocese in order to dedicate himself fully to the Commission of Investigation of Cloyne report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Mgr Scicluna ordained auxiliary bishop

MALTA
The Malta Business Weekly

Mgr Charles J. Scicluna was this morning ordained auxiliary bishop during a ceremony delivered to a St John’s co-Cathedral filled to overflowing, in the presence of family members, visiting archbishops and bishops, representatives from across the Maltese diocese, among other dignitaries.

Today’s Episcopal Ordination - a ceremony led by Archbishop Paul Cremona celebrating Mgr Scicluna’s moment of renewed commitment to the Church - took centre-stage, overshadowing the political scene, with a string of activities held this week to the run-up to the ceremony. The ordination was televised live on TVM 2.

Following one of the readings, all present burst into applause.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Vatican names bishop for troubled Irish diocese

IRELAND
Huffington Post

November 24, 2012

VATICAN CITY — The pope has named a new bishop for the troubled Irish diocese of Cloyne, where for years its previous bishop ignored the Irish church's own rules requiring suspected priestly sex abuse to be reported to police.

Cloyne has been without a resident bishop since John Magee, private secretary to three popes, resigned in disgrace in 2010 after a church-appointed commission found that he and his deputies fielded complaints from parishioners about two pedophile priests starting in 1995, but told police nothing until 2003.

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday named the Rev. Canon William Crean, a parish priest in Cahersiveen, to replace Magee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

November 23, 2012

Institut des sourds : de présumées victimes d'agression sexuelle témoignent

CANADA
Radio Canada

[avec la video]

Exclusif - D'anciens élèves de l'Institut des sourds de Montréal dénoncent les agressions sexuelles dont ils disent avoir été victimes il y a une quarantaine d'années pendant qu'ils fréquentaient cet établissement dirigé par les Clercs de Saint-Viateur.

Pour la première fois, certains ont accepté de témoigner publiquement de cette période trouble de leur enfance dans le cadre d'un reportage qui sera diffusé jeudi à l'émission Enquête.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Les Clercs de Saint-Viateur condamnent « tout acte de pédophilie »

CANADA
Radio Canada

Après la diffusion du reportage de Radio-Canada sur des allégations d'agressions sexuelles d'anciens élèves de l'Institut des sourds de Montréal, la communauté des Clercs de Saint-Viateur a réagi dans un communiqué rendu public jeudi.

« Nous condamnons tout acte pédophile. Si de tels gestes se sont produits, nous le regrettons », écrit le père Roger Brousseau, responsable des communications.

Mais la communauté des Clercs de Saint-Viateur précise qu'elle ne commentera pas la cause « par respect pour les tribunaux ».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Lawsuit alleges dozens of clergy abused children at Montreal school for deaf

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

By Janet Bagnall, GAZETTE education reporter
November 23, 2012

MONTREAL — Another chapter of Quebec’s dark history of the sexual abuse of children in church-run institutions was aired this week by Radio-Canada. But this was not just any chapter. It threatens to be one of the most horrifying in an already heartbreaking record.

It deals with the sexual abuse of young boys, already vulnerable because of their age but doubly or triply so because they were also deaf and mute. Their alleged abusers were educated men who promised to set the boys free from their silent world.

Clerical and lay members of a much-admired Roman Catholic teaching order, the Clercs de Saint-Viateur, these men did not set the boys free. The boys who say they were abused ended up in a living hell, terrified of telling anyone what was happening to them. They remained trapped in that hell in adulthood, unable to erase the grotesque images in their heads of masturbating priests and anal rape.

This case may turn out to be the worst ever seen involving the abuse of deaf children. Unlike the previous record, held by a single Roman Catholic priest, Lawrence Murphy of Wisconsin, in Quebec more than 30 clergy are alleged to have abused the deaf children in their care, sometimes one after another. (Murphy, who may have sexually assaulted as many as 200 children at a school for the deaf in Wisconsin, was denounced in 1996 to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican took no action against Murphy, who died in 1998.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

HOLY HELL: A Catholic family's story of faith, betrayal and pain

AUSTRALIA
The Maitland Mercury

By Margaret Dennis
Nov. 24, 2012

Patricia Feenan and her family were devout Catholics. They had complete trust in the godliness and integrity of the church and its leaders, until a black-hearted priest by the name of James Patrick Fletcher took away their son’s innocence forever.

There was a lot priestly business in the Feenan family home. John Feenan was the business manager of the Maitland Newcastle Diocese and Patricia was a special minister at the church in Clarence Town.

“I had a traditional Catholic upbringing where the priest was almost like God,” Patricia said.

“I guess [James Patrick] Fletcher groomed the whole family; he didn’t only did groom Daniel and his brothers – his brothers weren’t abused – but that was part of this thing . . . to groom us all and he had other families with sons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Chaplain at VA hospital in Bedford is suspended

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Brian Ballou and Martin Finucane
| Globe Staff
November 23, 2012

A chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Bedford who has been living at a church rectory in Stow is under investigation for “personal conduct matters,” the Archdiocese of Boston said today.

Reverend Luke Odor is being investigated by the Archdiocese for the Military, which supervises him, the Boston archdiocese said in a statement.

Odor has been suspended by the military archdiocese and the Boston archdiocese said it had followed suit, taking “similar action.”

It wasn’t clear what Odor allegedly might have done. The Boston archdiocese said the allegations did not involve any matters related to the Boston archdiocese or the church in Stow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Former Yarmouth priest sentenced to 5 1/2 years for sex abuse

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

November 23, 2012 - 12:26pm By BRIAN MEDEL Yarmouth Bureau

An 83-year-old former Roman Catholic priest who sexually abused boys when he was younger has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison.

Albert LeBlanc, now married and living in Bouctouche, N.B., pleaded guilty in May to six counts of indecent assault. His guilty plea came at the beginning of what was expected to have been a weeklong trial in Yarmouth.

LeBlanc faced 50 counts but pleaded guilty to six charges, each of which related to a different male victim.

The offences occurred between Jan. 1, 1970, and Dec. 31, 1985 when LeBlanc lived in Yarmouth County, where he worked first as a priest and later, after he left the priesthood in 1975, as a probation officer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Ex-priest sentenced more than 5 years for sex crimes

CANADA
CTV Atlantic

Published Friday, Nov. 23, 2012

A former Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison for sex crimes in Yarmouth.

Albert LeBlanc faced 50 counts, all alleging the sexual abuse of boys during his days in Yarmouth County, where he worked first as a priest and later, after he left the priesthood in 1975, as a probation officer.

LeBlanc pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault dating back to the 1970s – each with the name of a different victim attached.

Today, Judge James Burrill accepted a joint recommendation by the crown and defence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Rabbi stands down in the face of allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
Jewish Chronicle

By Simon Rocker, November 23, 2012

A leading member of London’s strictly Orthodox rabbinate this week resigned as a dayan after being confronted over allegations of inappropriate conduct with a number of women.

Rabbi Chaim Halpern, who runs a shtibl (house synagogue) in Golders Green, announced that he was stepping down from “public positions”, which include his seat on the presiding rabbinate of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations.

The storm, which has been gathering around him for weeks, broke on Sunday after he attended a meeting at the home of former London Beth Din head Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, where six local rabbis examined the allegations.

The rabbis issued no public statement but a copy of Rabbi Halpern’s resignation letter, handwritten in Hebrew, surfaced on the internet on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Ex-priest sentenced more than 5 years for sex offenses

CANADA
CBC News

An 83-year-old former Roman Catholic priest, who pleaded guilty to molesting six children decades ago, was sentenced to five and half years in prison in a Yarmouth court on Friday.

Albert LeBlanc pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault in May. Some of the crimes date back to when LeBlanc was a priest in Yarmouth County in the 1970s.

Judge Jim Burrill accepted the Crown and defence's joint sentencing recommendation.

The Crown said at least one case of abuse started when the boy was only 8-years-old. The court heard how Leblanc would entice his underage victims with alcohol and allow them to drive when they were only 13.

Leblanc's victims have filed victim impact statements, but none of them wished to read them aloud in court Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Ex-priest charged with sex offences awaits sentencing

CANADA
CBC News

Posted: Nov 23, 2012

Sentencing is underway for an 83-year-old former Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to molesting six children decades ago.

Albert LeBlanc pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault in May. Some of the crimes date back to when LeBlanc was a priest in Yarmouth County in the 1970s.

There's been a joint recommendation from the Crown prosecutor and Lebalnc's defense lawyer to sentence him to five and a half years in prison.

The Crown said at least one case of abuse started when the boy was only 8-years-old. The court heard how Leblanc would entice his underage victims with alcohol and allow them to drive when they were only 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

It is for all of us ...

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

It is for all of us who make up the church, not royal commissions, to right these wrongs

Angela Shanahan
From:The Australian
November 24, 2012

THIS week, everyone I have met has asked me the same question. What are you, as a practising Catholic woman, going to say about the church and the royal commission into sexual abuse?

Some people have been very insistent. Like every other Catholic person I know, I am depressed and fed up with this scandal. My children and grandchildren are all Catholics and attended Catholic schools; my son-in-law is a Catholic school teacher.

I am a conservative Catholic, as one wit remarked, more pre-Council of Trent than post-Vatican 2, and hearing the likes of Craig "credit card" Thomson on ABC radio saying in outraged tones that a royal commission is needed because "they" can't just "sweep it under the carpet" is enough to rile up the old church militant in me.

It is obvious to Blind Freddy that the sudden calling of a royal commission over sexual abuse within the church, when the police have convictions and are doing their job, is pretty suspect; particularly when royal commissions should really be looking at the workings of the state child welfare systems in this country, which are in an absolute shambles and have allowed children to die.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Cardinal George Pell and senior members...

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Telegraph

Cardinal George Pell and senior members of Catholic Church had 'sociopathic lack of empathy' towards Foster family, parliamentary inquiry told

CARDINAL George Pell and other leaders of the Catholic Church had "a sociopathic lack of empathy" towards a family whose lives were ripped apart after a priest abused their daughters, a parliamentary inquiry into child abuse has been told.

It comes as victims speak about seizures, substance abuse and relationship difficulties stemming from childhood abuse in the church.

Anthony and Chrissie Foster, whose daughters Katie and Emma were abused after enrolling in a Catholic primary school in Oakleigh in the late 1980s, told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into church handling of child sex abuse how their family had been torn apart by the "hell" of dealing with the trauma.

Mr Foster said the late Father Kevin O'Donnell had been reported on three prior occasions but was not brought to justice.

Towards Healing policy 'should be scrapped'

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Jill Rowbotham
From:The Australian
November 24, 2012

SCRAP it. That's what Sydney lawyer and sex-abuse survivor John Ellis says the Catholic Church should do with its Towards Healing policy for dealing with sex-abuse victims.

Mr Ellis, who has first-hand experience of Towards Healing, said the main problem with it and the parallel Melbourne Response was an inherent conflict of interest: cases are managed by church-appointed personnel, although complainants are encouraged to go to police.

The policies will be discussed at an Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference meeting in Sydney starting on Monday.

"I think ultimately they are probably going to have to start again," Mr Ellis said of Towards Healing, introduced in 1997.

Some victims struggled with "a perception and a reality of coming to the body that has been responsible for causing harm to you and asking them to do something about it".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Falsely accused child abuse priest recounts ordeal - It is ‘important to forgive’

IRELAND
Irish Central

By DARA KELLY,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Friday, November 23, 2012

Father Oliver Brennan, the former parish priest in Dundalk County Louth who was falsely accused of child abuse, said support from family and friends kept him sane during the two-year ordeal.

Speaking on the Marian Finucane programme on RTE Radio One last Saturday, he said,

“It was the worst thing in the world, to be accused of the worst crime of all.”

According to the Dundalk Democrat, Fr Brennan said that on August 14, 2010, the bishop, who was with a child safe-guarding officer, read out to him the accusation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

IJackson's widow welcomes royal commission into child abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC Grandstand Sport

[with audio]

Peter Jackson was a star of rugby league in the 1980s and 90s, representing Australia and wearing the Maroon for Queensland. But in 1997 Jackson described in a letter the mental anguish he couldn't shake throughout his life: he was sexually abused as a child. His wife Siobhan Jackson has agreed to read from the letter because, she says, his words have extra significance as Australia prepares for the royal commission into child abuse.

Natalie Poyhonen

Transcript

ASHLEY HALL: The widow of the former NRL star Peter Jackson says authorities must learn from the past and provide comprehensive support for victims who come forward at next year's royal commission into child abuse.

While Peter Jackson was a champion sportsman, off the field he was crippled by the sexual abuse he endured as a schoolboy.

Siobhan Jackson says her husband struggled with memories of sexual abuse memories that were triggered by publicity surrounding the Wood Royal Commission's investigations into paedophiles.

Natalie Poyhonen has this report. ...

SIOBHAN JACKSON: One of the powerful things about Peter's story is that it's not about one institution, it's over institutions. It's about a Catholic brother who was working in an Anglican boarding school, who was a football coach. So that's just a few of the institutions where these perpetrators managed to hide.

NATALIE POYHONEN: Siobhan Jackson says the commission is going to be hard for abuse victims and their families but she believes it will be worth it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Lawyers accuse Pell meddling in abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC
November 23, 2012

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney has been accused of trying to do the job of the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse, as he seeks access to court material.

Cardinal George Pell has applied to the court for material about the case of a boy raped by Christian Brother Robert Best.

It comes after submissions to the parliamentary inquiry heard he was present when the boy detailed what had happened to him to another priest.

Cardinal Pell maintains he was overseas at the time the boy detailed the abuse.

On Friday, lawyers for Best's victim opposed the court releasing material about the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Royal Commission will test open govt: NSW privacy commissioner

AUSTRALIA
ZDNet

Summary: The NSW privacy commissioner has said that the Royal Commission into child sex abuse in Australia will test open government.

By Josh Taylor | November 23, 2012

New South Wales Privacy Commissioner Dr Elizabeth Coombs has said that the Royal Commission into child sex abuse in Australia will test the relationship between open government and ensuring privacy.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week announced that the government will conduct a broad-ranging Royal Commission inquiry into institutional responses to child sex abuse claims. The inquiry was launched after accusations mounted of cover-ups of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church in Australia. It is expected that the Royal Commission will take years, with the terms of reference not to be finalised until the end of 2012.

Coombs, who was appointed as the commissioner in 2011, told the International Association of Privacy Professionals' (IAPP) Privacy Summit today that Ireland encountered issues in its inquiry into child sexual abuse in drawing a line between ensuring that the inquiry could do its job and protecting the information of the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Female former teacher pleads guilty in County Court to sex with teenage girl

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

A FEMALE Sunday school teacher who sexually abused a teenage girl in her care was seeking comfort and solace, a court has heard.

The devout Mormon, who cannot be named, repeatedly kissed and touched the girl in the Huntingdale home she shared with her sick husband and three children.

Prosecutor Jeremy McWilliams told the County Court the teacher, now 39, met the victim when she was 11 through the Mormon church, where she led a Sunday school and youth group.

When the girl was 15, she moved in with the woman – who was also a senior school teacher – and her family, following her parents' separation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Confessional a problem for commission

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

November 24, 2012

Crispin Hull

The royal commission on child sex abuse is going to face major evidentiary and constitutional problems. In announcing the commission, Prime Minister Julia Gillard stressed the evil not only of the abuse itself, but also the cover-up. Indeed, in her eyes, the cover-up seems to be the core reason for the commission.

She said: ''Australians know … that too many children have suffered child abuse, but have also seen other adults let them down. They've not only had their trust betrayed by the abuser but other adults who could have acted to assist them have failed to do so.

''There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil. I believe in these circumstances that it's appropriate for there to be a national response through a royal commission.''

Some immediate questions come to mind. Who did the covering-up? How did they know about the abuse that was covered up? Was that covering-up criminal?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Abuse: ignore past at peril

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

November 24, 2012

Robert Van Krieken

Interested parties have until Monday to comment on the terms of reference into the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Having spent time in Ireland recently reflecting on how the issue was dealt with in the Ryan, Murphy and other inquiries there, there are several problems arising from the proposed terms of reference.

It is still deeply problematic to focus entirely on sexual abuse without paying any attention to physical and emotional abuse. Everyone who works in this field knows how interlinked they are, and it's invidious to construct a ''hierarchy of abuse'', where some kinds of harm are treated as unworthy of attention.

A second problem with the proposed terms of reference is they are almost entirely forward-looking. It will only be the testimony of witnesses that pulls the royal commission towards looking at how various institutions responded to child sexual abuse in the past.

What's being proposed is the commission ''identify what public and private organisations and institutions should do to prevent child sexual abuse from occurring in their midst; what should be done by organisations and institutions when allegations are raised, and what can be done by the relevant institutions, organisations and government agencies to alleviate the impact of abuse that has already occurred''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Royal commission submission deadline nears

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Annette Blackwell
From: AAP
November 23, 2012

IF you want your say on what the terms of reference should be for the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse in Australia you have until Monday to make a submission or comment.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) and the Catholic Conference of Bishops will make their submissions on Friday and advocacy group Broken Rites will be doing so on Monday, November 26 - the official government deadline.

Within six days of the announcement of the royal commission, the government reportedly received 300 emails to its website and 180 calls from people and organisations wanting to make submissions.

Groups such as Broken Rites say there have been significant spikes in calls to their organisations since the announcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Cardinal George Pell 'showed little empathy for victims, inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

The Daily Telegraph
November 24, 2012

AUSTRALIA'S most senior Catholic showed a "sociopathic lack of empathy" in dealing with victims raped by clergy, an inquiry heard yesterday.

Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, had tried to compel victims into silence when confronted with evidence of wrongdoing by parish priests when he was the Archbishop of Melbourne, the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse was told.

Anthony Foster recalled meeting Cardinal Pell to discuss a priest who had repeatedly raped two of his daughters when they were at primary school.

He told the inquiry that Cardinal Pell said: "If you don't like what we're doing, take us to court," and did not appear distressed by the incidents.

"In our interactions with the now-Cardinal Archbishop Pell, we experienced a sociopathic lack of empathy, typifying the attitude and responses of the church hierarchy," Mr Foster said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Bishop of Chichester - an in depth interview

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

[video]

The Church of England should be "deeply ashamed" of its failure to protect children from sex abuse.

Those are the words of Dr Martin Warner - the new Bishop of Chichester - speaking to ITV Meridian today.

The Diocese of Chichester serves both East and West Sussex and the city of Brighton and Hove.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Children raped at Kunonga churches

ZIMBABWE
Nehanda Radio

By Fungai Kwaramba

HARARE – Shocking details have emerged of widespread abuse of orphans at an orphanage and schools which were run by disgraced and dethroned Anglican bishop Nolbert Kunonga, prompting human rights organisations to demand an investigation.

On Wednesday, the Anglican Church Harare diocese convened a press briefing where the dastardly endeavours which happened in the past five years under Kunonga’s watch were revealed.

Kunonga was in charge of the institutions after he seized them from the Church of the Province of Central Africa, often using violence and help from the police.

Chad Gandiya, who is the bishop of Harare, told reporters in Harare that the Anglican Church, which won a landmark court victory on Monday, was carrying out an inventory that will ultimately lead them to their vast properties which had been turned into “lucrative business joints” by the ex-communicated Kunonga.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Judge's 'discomfort' with Pell request

AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

By Mark Russell
Nov. 23, 2012

A judge today said he had "a sense of anxiety or discomfort" about a request by Cardinal George Pell for sensitive material relating to the trial of convicted paedophile and Catholic brother Robert Charles Best.

But County Court judge Roy Punshon said he recognised some of the material sought by Cardinal Pell was highly relevant to the allegations made against him.

Lawyers for Cardinal Pell have applied to the County Court for access to the transcript of the trial involving Best and one of his victims.

The victim, known as V2, claims Cardinal Pell was present when the boy had complained of being raped by Best.

Cardinal Pell has described the victim's claims as "irresponsible, untrue" and said they were "absolutely denied".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Talking to children about the Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Kristina Keneally November 22, 2012

'By their fruits you shall know them,' says Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount. He is talking about the religious leaders of his time, and reminding people that actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to discerning holiness and devotion to God.

As a Catholic, I can't help reflecting on and being challenged by this in light of recent events.

My soul has been wrenched reading the stories of abuse of children, many of them incredibly vulnerable, at the hands of Catholic priests and brothers. It's utter horror to contemplate such crimes.

Stories of sexual abuse in the Church have circulated for years, and in America and Ireland the systematic horror has been exposed. Perhaps it was naive, but those of us in Australia — Catholic and non-Catholic alike — weren't forced to face the potential scale and magnitude of the problem here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Victim doesn't want Pell to get transcript

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A lawyer for a victim of pedophile brother Robert Best has urged a court not to release the transcript of his trial to Australia's most senior Catholic - Cardinal George Pell.

Cardinal Pell has applied for a transcript of the case as he prepares for an expected appearance at a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse.

The inquiry has been told Cardinal Pell was present when a grade three student at a Ballarat school in the 1960s described to another priest his alleged rape by Best.

On Friday, Timothy Seccull, a lawyer for one of Best's victims, opposed Cardinal Pell's application, saying the cardinal was in effect trying to do the work of the parliamentary inquiry by investigating the allegation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Cardinal Pell accused of showing sociopathic lack of empathy

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

[with audio]

MARK COLVIN: Victoria's inquiry into child abuse has been told that Cardinal George Pell showed a sociopathic lack of empathy for a family whose two daughters were raped by a Catholic priest.

Today victims of child abuse by religious organisations gave evidence to the inquiry. They included Chrissie and Anthony Foster, whose two daughters were assaulted in the 1990s by a priest at their primary school in Melbourne's south east.

Emma Foster eventually committed suicide. Her sister Katie was seriously disabled when she was struck by a car after binge drinking.

The fallout happened when George Pell headed the Catholic Church in Melbourne.

Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: After 16 years, Chrissie and Anthony Foster are exhausted but still very angry with the way the Catholic Church handled their daughters' allegations of abuse at the hands of their parish priest, Father Kevin O'Donnell, in the 1990s.

ANTHONY FOSTER: O'Donnell left few physical scars, instead he left children emotionally tortured and spiritually ruined. O'Donnell and the church stole a part of their souls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Victims of abuse: family tells of their trauma

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By Tom McIlroy
Nov. 23, 2012

VICTIMS and family members affected by clergy sexual abuse yesterday used a Victorian parliamentary inquiry to speak of their trauma and fight for justice.

In a packed hearing room, the inquiry heard from parents Chrissie and Anthony Foster about the impact of abuse two of their children suffered from a parish priest in suburban Melbourne.

Their daughter Emma Foster took her own life after being abused by the priest, while her sister Katie was left with a serious disability after being hit by a car while drunk.

The couple said the Catholic Church and former Melbourne Archbishop Cardinal George Pell had failed to adequately deal with their complaints of abuse.

“We fervently hope you have the strength of character to stand up for the rights of children against the might of the Catholic Church,” Mr Foster said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Church asks, 'Why'd you go?'

PENNSYLVANIA
PhillyBurbs

Sister Pat Kelly concedes it may “seem silly,” but she’s taken to street corners lately to pitch the Catholic faith.

Or rather to re-pitch it.

“Repropose it,” she said. Repropose the faith to those who already are familiar but, for reasons as varied as people and their perspectives, have fallen away from being practicing Catholics — or walked away or run.

You could find her sitting at a table outside First National Bank in Newtown on Mondays this month. And she wasn’t actually sitting at the table, but chatting up the guys painting the building or greeting passersby as she tried not to hover too near the table so people were free to browse it.

Nothing more unnerving than a hovering nun.

“I’ve had some really great conversations,” Kelly said last week. There are books on her table, pamphlets, parish calendars, magnets from St. Andrew Church in Newtown Township.

And a confidential survey, which really is the point of this column.

The deadline for participating is fast approaching. You won’t be asked your name, but can share it if you want.

The survey’s purpose? To learn more about why some of us have stopped attending Mass, stopped receiving sacraments, stopped identifying with the religious tradition in which we were raised.

In this week when we’re giving thanks, I’m kind of grateful someone in the church has finally asked.

Find the survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/standrewchurch or go to the St. Andrew website at https://www.standrewnewtown.com and click on “Welcome to a Confidential Survey.” The deadline is one week from today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Clerical abuse victim slams Stormont probe

NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

By Philip Bradfield
Published on Friday 23 November 2012

A VICTIM of clerical sex abuse has questioned why the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) has approved an inquiry that will only probe institutions which provided residential care.

The Executive’s inquiry into historical sex abuse will examine if there were failings by institutions or the state towards children in their care from 1922-1995 and OFMDFM says the inquiry will probe any organisation which “provided residential accommodation” for children.

But yesterday Michael Connolly, who has set up www.ClericalAbuseNI.com, to campaign for victims, slammed OFMDFM for, as he sees it, excluding clerical sexual abuse outside such institutions.

He said: “It is like they are telling us that only those people who suffered abuse in residential institutions count, while those of us who suffered clerical sex abuse outside of this don’t matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

The Catholic Church: institutionalised sexual violence against children

AUSTRALIA
Online Opinion

By Sheleyah Courtney - posted Friday, 23 November 2012

As a social scientist who is interested in calibrations of power, religion and sexuality, my outlook on a discussion of the Catholic Church's involvement in sexual abuse of Australian children is one that considers such a phenomenon as being situated and operative well within a wider psycho-social context. While there have been very recently published valuable sociological studies of such problems, for example last year Marie Keenan's important "Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church" in Ireland, such works as this one focus especially on the institutional dimensions of the church itself. However, regarding this terrible issue, I view the intersections between the church and our society as seriously warranting greater consideration.

There are several issues that extend beyond the actual church's internal cultural structures that are especially noteworthy to me. Firstly, child sexual abuse by the Catholic Church has a factuality that has been taken for granted for some time in the public imagination both in Australia and abroad; this knowledge has been reflected in popular culture ranging from tabloid news sensationalism to Hollywood films such as "Sleepers" (1996) starring Brad Pitt and closer to home, "Oranges and Sunshine" which exposed several cases of the thousands of English children who were illegally transported to Australia and who were placed in homes run by the Christian Brothers, were sexually abused and or forced into virtual slave labour (2011).

The 2006 documentary "Deliver Us From Evil" which traces the notorious pedophile priest Oliver O'Grady and the corruption in the Catholic Church that protected him; it was Oscar nominated. In Australia there has been a victim support group, "Broken Rites" operating since 1993, and a book, "Hell on the Way to Heaven" published by Chrissie and Anthony Foster parents of two daughters who died due to sexual abuse by a priest of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Pell showed no empathy, Vic inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Steve Lillebuen, AAP
Updated November 23, 2012

Australia's most senior Catholic showed a "sociopathic lack of empathy" in dealing with victims who were raped by clergy, an inquiry has heard.

Cardinal George Pell, current Archbishop of Sydney, had tried to compel victims into silence when confronted with evidence of wrongdoing by parish priests, the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse was told on Friday.

Anthony Foster recalled meeting Cardinal Pell to discuss a priest who had repeatedly raped two of his daughters when they were at primary school.

He told the inquiry that Cardinal Pell, then the Archbishop of Melbourne, had told him, "If you don't like what we're doing, take us to court," and did not appear to be distressed by the incidents.

"In our interactions with the now-Cardinal Archbishop Pell, we experienced a sociopathic lack of empathy, typifying the attitude and responses of the church hierarchy," Mr Foster said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Sex victims' parents tell of Pell's 'sociopathic' response

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 23, 2012

Barney Zwartz

CARDINAL George Pell showed a ''sociopathic lack of empathy, typifying the attitude and response of the Catholic hierarchy'' to parents whose young daughters were repeatedly raped by a priest, the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled child sex abuse has been told.

Anthony Foster told on Friday how they met the cardinal - now Archbishop of Sydney - when he was Melbourne archbishop, in a furniture storage room at a Melbourne presbytery. They were squeezed onto a narrow wooden bench, while he sat in a ''grandiose'' padded leather chair.

"In our interactions with the now-Cardinal Archbishop Pell, we experienced a sociopathic lack of empathy, typifying the attitude and responses of the church hierarchy."

He expressed no emotion when shown a picture of the Fosters' daughter Emma harming herself - she later killed herself - and said expressionlessly: ''Hmmm, she's changed, hasn't she?''

''What sort of of people did he mix with, what sort of life did he lead, that he thought this comment was appropriate?'' Mr Foster asked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

November 22, 2012

Children raped at Kunonga’s Church Institutions

ZIMBABWE
ZimEye

Published: November 22, 2012

The Minister of Education, Art, Sport and Culture, David Coltart is moving in to investigate sexual abuses reported to have taken place at schools and other child institutions that disgraced Bishop Nolbert Kunonga seized from the Anglican church.

Shocking details have emerged of widespread abuse of children at an orphanage and other schools by the dethroned Anglican bishop which have prompted human rights organisations to press for police investigations.

Revealing that a cleansing ceremony would actually be required to ‘drive out demons before the church gets to use its defiled sanctuaries’, bishop Chad Gandiya said that he has received information that children at the Shirley Cripps orphanage were abused.

“The children’s home is very dear to us, last week we received information that children were being abused. The matter was referred to the police and we are happy a person was arrested. There is widespread sexual abuse at the orphanage.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

On breaking the seal of confession

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Geoffrey Robinson
November 22, 2012

Last week, in an interview on ABC radio, I made a statement about the seal of confession and sexual abuse. I have been challenged on that statement, have thought further about it, and wish to make a new statement. The matter is closely allied to the question of the treatment centre run by the Church, and I'd like to start there.

It was a treatment centre, so the clinicians asked only questions directly related to treatment. This did not include seeking admissions of specific offences and, in particular, it did not involve asking the name and address of any victim. To ask such questions would send the client running away from the treatment. The clinicians therefore did not have knowledge of specific crimes.

More importantly, if one single person had been reported to the police, the entire treatment program would have closed down permanently the same day, for no offender would ever again come near it. In gaining information on one single client that may or may not have been useful in securing a conviction, the price to be paid would have been that no offenders into the future would receive any treatment.

If you ask me whether I can give a guarantee that a particular offender will never offend again after treatment, then no, I cannot give it. But if you ask me whether the number of new offences will be significantly, even dramatically less if 100 offenders receive serious treatment, then yes, I can give that guarantee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

Ex-Priest Denies Charges Of Sexual Abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
4NI

A former priest has appeared in court charged with sexually abusing a boy more than 20 years ago, a charge he denies.

54-year-old James Martin Donaghy, of Lady Wallace Drive in Lisburn, pleaded not guilty to four charges of indecent assault and one of common assault.

These were alleged to have happened on dates between 1 January 1989 and 5 May 1989.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Fundamentalist Mormon polygamist Warren Jeffs remains at the helm from prison

UNITED STATES
God Discussion

By Al Stefanelli
On November 21, 2012

Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs was arrested six years ago and imprisoned for life after being convicted of sexually assaulting children. His incarceration has not stopped him from remaining at the head of the church. Known as 'The Prophet,' Jeffs still calls the shots.

His church, which maintains a small commune on the Arizona/Utah border, have been disavowed by the LDS church, which refers to them as a radical splinter group.
ABC news reports journalist Mike Watkiss stating about the community of roughly 8000,

"Anybody who thinks that Warren Jeffs' incarceration ended his rule in this community has no idea what they're talking about. He is in many ways more powerful because now he's martyred."

Mike Watkiss has covered the FCLDS community for the past 25 years.

The report also refers to a 2008 raid on the 'Yearning for Zion' compound in Eldorado, Texas, which brought national attention to the group after it was found to be housing pregnant children/child brides and a lifestyle more indicative of the 19th century than the post-modern world that surrounded them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Attorney: Fort Worth priest barred from kids

TEXAS
News Channel 10

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - The attorney of a former high school student who settled an abuse lawsuit says the Fort Worth priest he accused will no longer be able to work with children.

Tahira Merritt tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (http://bit.ly/XFZGbd ) that a settlement reached Tuesday requires the Rev. William Paiz to not hold any position that gives him access to children, juveniles or young adults. Paiz will also not be allowed to identify himself as a priest.

A civil lawsuit accused Paiz of abusing the unnamed former student between 1982 and 1987, starting when he was 16. The ex-student is now in his 40s.

A spokeswoman for the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese says people who say they have been abused have several ways within the church to address their grievances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

The cost of becoming a cardinal

ROME
Vatican Insider

The new cardinals’ outfits and the gift lists in Roman tailor shops

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

On Saturday Benedict XVI will create six new cardinals, just nine months after last February’s consistory. Addressing the Synod’s bishops, the Pope explained the reasons for this “informed” choice of new cardinals, none of whom are European: this is a way for the Church to show its true universality after the batch of cardinals created during the last consistory, who were mainly Curia members or Italian.

The new cardinals are: James Harvey, the American head of the Papal Household; His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Raï, patriarch of the Maronite Church in Lebanon; His Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, head of the Syro-Mankar Church in India; Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja; Archbishop Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogota, Colombia and Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in the Philippines.

Even though there are only six of them, Rome’s ecclesiastical tailors started work immediately on the vestments for the Church’s newly elected “princes”. When a bishop is created a cardinal, they stop wearing the violet coloured garments they donned previously and replace these with red coloured ones. Taylors prepare a list of all the garments and accessories cardinals will need. Those who wish to make a gift to a cardinal can consult this list.

Here are the current prices for items prepared by Rome’s most renowned tailor, Gammarelli, which has traditionally been the Pope’s tailor. The red mozzetta which cardinals wear with their choral vestments, costs about 200 Euro, but the price goes up if one chooses cord buttons – which are hand made and more sought after (they cost 20 Euro each) – instead of cloth buttons. The red cassock costs approximately 800 Euro, while the three-cornered hat without a bow, which is typical for cardinals, can cost between 80 and 120 Euro. The red and golden cord for the pectoral cross costs around 80 Euro: the price varies according to how elegant it is and the size of the bow on the back. The red fascia which is worn with the red cassock and the black cassock with red piping, costs about 200 Euro. A black cassock with red piping costs approximately 600 Euro, while the cardinal’s red zucchetto is priced at around 40 Euro. Finally, the red socks cost about 15 Euro for a pair.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

A church in need of reform

AUSTRALIA
Financial Review

Gerard Windsor

The royal commission into child abuse will investigate the failure of all institutions. At the beginning of last week this was far from clear; on ABC TV’s 7.30  Leigh Sales pugnaciously (or was she just throwing a well-disguised Dorothy Dixer?) asked Labor senator Chris Evans, “Why shouldn’t the Royal Commission be restricted to the Catholic Church?” Certainly it was the crimes of Catholics that brought the commission into being, and at least one priest has claimed that his church has been the main offender.

That, of course, remains to be seen. There is a suspicion that this grim honour might go to indigenous communities. Possibly the commission will not go there; if it does it will be treading on eggshells.

For the moment Catholics are the main persons of interest. If the commission is to be not merely retributive, its shaking up and improvement of Australian society will also have to make Catholicism a better institution. At the time of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, a buzz phrase to describe what was happening was ecclesia semper reformanda – the church always in need of reform.

In the intervening years the phrase has rather fallen into disuse. But it has now punched its way back with a disconcerting new twist to its meaning. A church in need of reform, not just self-administered, but reform forced on it from outside.

Catholicism’s wrongdoing has been twofold – the sexual abuse itself and then the failure to deal with it justly and effectively. Each of these failures is intricately tangled up with defining characteristics of Catholic culture. Perhaps there’s some visibility through the murk if we understand these contexts. The first is the Church’s attitude to sexuality. All human beings can be presumed to have problems with sex, but Catholicism’s are particularly knotty. For two millenniums the model has been virginity, whereas sexuality and its expression is a degradation of the human ideal. If you can emancipate yourself from sex, the thinking goes, you’ve distanced yourself from the animals, and you’ve moved that much closer to the angels, a superior species. This is not hyperbole. The evidence stretches all the way back to Paul’s Epistles, and a rethinking of the theology of it all would require a massive shift.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Fort Worth diocese settles abuse lawsuit

TEXAS
WFAA

Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese has settled a lawsuit filed by a former high school student who alleged he had been sexually abused by a priest.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that terms of the settlement reached Tuesday were not disclosed.

The lawsuit accused the Rev. William Paiz of abusing the unnamed former student between 1982 and 1987, starting when he was 16. The ex-student is now in his 40s.

The victim's attorney, Tahira Merritt, says the lawsuit was filed after the diocese did not take action after the alleged abuse was first reported in 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

Sexual abuse crisis threatens the very foundations of Catholicism

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 23, 2012

Andrew West
ABC radio presenter and columnist

George Pell is an easy target for both liberal critics in the Catholic Church and secularist tormentors in the media.

In his recent, defensive press conference, he suggested the church was being singled out as the only institutional offender in the child sex abuse crisis. It was grist to the mill of those who are convinced the cardinal Archbishop of Sydney is making excuses for clerical crime.

His insistence that the rite of confession must remain a secret between confessor and penitent - no matter how evil the offence that is revealed - was seemingly more evidence that he was putting the church's reputation and customs ahead of abuse victims. As his brother bishop Geoffrey Robinson conceded, it was painful.

Dr Pell is an old-fashioned prelate. He not only toes the Vatican line but, as a key adviser on education, ministry and doctrine, he has helped shape it. One of Dr Pell's long-standing - but not unquestioning - friends calls him "a company man". RMIT University professor Des Cahill has known the cardinal for 50 years. Professor Cahill left the Catholic priesthood in the 1970s to marry and begin a distinguished career as an academic psychologist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Diagnosis was 'smokescreen' to hide known paedophiles

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 23, 2012

Richard Baker

Ross Murrin was one member of the clergy harboured by the church after repeatedly being accused of sexual offences against students.

THE Catholic Church's little-known treatment clinic for clergy with psychosexual problems harboured known paedophiles and shielded them from police scrutiny.

Whistleblowers closely involved with the now defunct Encompass Australasia program allege paedophile clergy were diagnosed with a ''mood disorder'' in order for them to be treated at Sydney's Wesley Private Hospital and meet private health insurance criteria.

A well-placed source aware of the status of some clergy treated by Encompass Australasia between 1997 and 2008 said he believed several did not have a mood disorder but were ''cold and calculating criminals'' who bragged about their exploits with children to others while at the hospital.

''Some of these people were not mentally ill, in my opinion. They were criminals who knew exactly what they had done and were proud of their achievements,'' the source, who asked not to be named for fear of being sacked, said. ''People who should have been in Long Bay Jail were still living in the community.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Abuse inquiry ignores the kids most at risk

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Telegraph

Piers Akerman
The Daily Telegraph
November 23, 2012

THE royal commission announced by the Prime Minister 11 days ago will do nothing for the majority of victims or those most vulnerable to child abuse - poor and Aboriginal children.

With submissions to the government about the terms of reference to be lodged in writing by next Monday, the Gillard government has made it clear that it is not going to address these areas of greatest need.

The discussion paper released this week by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and acting Families Minister Brendan O'Connor makes it absolutely clear that the commission will focus on sexual abuse in public and private organisations and institutions.

However, the overwhelming evidence makes it plain that the greatest risk of abuse occurs within the family home and increases incrementally if the family is poor or indigenous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Social justice for some? Understanding the US Catholic political bloc

UNITED STATES
Aljazeera

Cristina LH Traina

It is indeed a difficult and confusing time for American Catholics.

Gathering last week at their annual fall assembly in Baltimore, Maryland, US Catholic bishops failed to pass "The Hope of the Gospel in Difficult Economic Times".

Spearheaded by Bishop Stephen E Blaire, the document was to "communicate the bishops' concern for people hurt by the economy, especially the jobless and those living in poverty" and reiterate Catholic social justice teaching at the United States Conference on Catholic Bishops. It is difficult to immediately discern why.

Recent press around Catholic objections to the Health and Human Services mandate that insurance providers for religiously-affiliated hospitals and universities cover contraception might lead to an expectation that socially conservative bishops overruled social liberals.

In fact, the opposite may have been the case. During Tuesday's discussion, much of the opposition seemed to come from bishops who thought the document was too tame.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Ex-priest James Martin Donaghy denies abuse charges

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A former priest has denied sexually abusing a boy more than 20 years ago.

James Martin Donaghy, 54, of Lady Wallace Drive in Lisburn, pleaded not guilty to four charges of indecent assault and one of common assault.

These were alleged to have happened on dates between 1 January 1989 and 5 May 1989.

The boy's age was not disclosed and no details of the case were given in court during the short hearing.

Defence barrister Eugene Grant and prosecution lawyer Amanda Brady told the court there were numerous legal applications to be dealt with before the case came to trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

I have nightmares of indecent abuse by nun, court told

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Paddy Clancy

Thursday November 22 2012

A woman who has accused her teacher nun of putting her hand beneath her underwear 37 years ago has said she still has nightmares about it.

The 45-year-old mother of three – the fourth to tell of a series of indecent assaults by the nun, a Sister of Mercy – said she was touched on the bottom as a seven and eight-year-old in third class at a primary school in the midlands.

She wept deeply as she told the jury: "As a child I had nightmares. I still do. A big hand, the biggest you could get, figured in my nightmares."

She said she was called to the desk of Sr Mary Theresa Grogan and as the rest of the class sat with their hands covering their eyes following an instruction in Irish to "sleep", she had to read her homework.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Pastor up for rape of girl (12)

SOUTH AFRICA
Sowetan

Nov 22, 2012 | Tebogo Monama

A SOWETO pastor will appear in court tomorrow to face a charge of rape and two counts of sexual assault involving minors

The pastor, who cannot be named until he appears in court, will appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court.

Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said the 62-year-old priest had allegedly been abusing the girls aged between 12 and 15 for months.

The 12-year-old was allegedly raped and the other two fondled by the man.

"At his house there is a spaza and when the girls came to buy, that is when he got the chance to abuse them," Makhubela said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Rich Irony: Child Sex Abuse Issue Reaches the Top Echelon of the New York Times

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

As we have noted many times before, the media's obsession with decades-old sex abuse in the Catholic Church is more about its hatred for the Church than it is about sex abuse itself.

Not surprisingly, the New York Times has obsessed over the issue. In literally hundreds (if not thousands) of news articles, editorials, and op-eds in recent years, the paper has been pummeling the Catholic Church for its handling of decades-old cases of sex abuse.

Now the Times has hired a new CEO, Mark Thompson, the former chief of the British broadcasting giant BBC, and people are asking what knowledge he had of sickening child sex abuse committed by one of the network's most popular personalities in its history, the late entertainer Jimmy Savile.

Police in England are now reportedly investigating as many as 300 child abuse allegations against the BBC's Savile, with one story claiming that his youngest victim may have been as young as eight years old. In addition, one of Savile's acts of molestation apparently was captured on live television (on "Top of the Pops") in 1976.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

'Deadly Affairs': Rebecca Stone And Pastor David Love Had Affair, Murdered Her Husband Together (VIDEO)

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

"Deadly Affairs" told the real-life story of Teresa Stone and her pastor, David Love. Both were married, yet they carried on a secret affair for ten years that ended in murder.

Stone conspired with Love to murder her husband, Randy Stone. Randy had considered David, his pastor too, a trusted friend, which made the betrayal even worse. “If Randy had a spat with Teresa ... He’d let David know about that and ask what he should do ... It’s the biggest betrayal because Randy trusted David so much that he shared his deepest, darkest secrets with him, and the whole time he’s looking at my uncle knowing he’s sleeping with his wife,” Stone's niece Shelly Ridge said.

The motive for their murder was that Teresa wanted to collect her husband's $800,000 life insurance policy. She gave Love the combination to a safe that held Randy’s gun, and Love shot him in the head.

And, unbelievably, KSDK reports Love eulogized Randy Stone at his funeral. After killing him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Protecting the abused from further trauma during the Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
The Conversation

There is great support within the community for the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse. Many people have high hopes it will right the wrongs of the past and help us, as a nation, to eliminate future child sexual abuse.

But how will the Royal Commission affect those who were abused?

Research from Australia and around the world has told us a great deal about the impact of child sexual abuse. We know, for example, that people who have been sexually abused as children are 2.4 times more likely than others to suffer from a mental disorder in adulthood and have a higher risk of addiction.

In adolescence, those who have been sexually abused are more likely to become involved in risk-taking behaviour, and are therefore more likely to be re-victimised in early adulthood and experience difficulties in their intimate relationships.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Support groups inundated by Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Veronica Buck

Victim support groups in Western Australia say they've already experienced a spike in demand since the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse was announced and fear their already large workload is only going to intensify.

Dr Philippa White runs Tuart Place, a Fremantle-based centre that helps people who have been abused as children in out of home care such as church run orphanages or juvenile correctional facilities.

"There's been a steep increase in phone calls and inquiries and a lot of talk about it among people who are regular users of the service, it's been a hot topic of conversation," she said.

Once the Royal Commission's terms of reference are announced, Dr White expects to be flooded with new and existing clients asking for support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Priests urged to faithfully fulfil priestly duties

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

Published: 25 November 2012

Archbishop Mark Coleridge has written a letter to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Brisbane in the wake of the declaration of a Royal Commission into abuse

In the lead-up to the announcement of the Royal Commission and now in its aftermath, Catholic clergy have again been humiliated in a way that spares none of us.

This seems to have gone on for years, and it is hard to gauge accurately the toll it has taken on the ordained.

I suspect it is more severe than we are usually prepared to acknowledge.

In my nearly forty years as a priest, nothing approaches the sexual abuse crisis as a blow to clergy morale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Former Adams priest waives hearing in theft case

PENNSYLVANIA
The Evening Sun

The priest accused of stealing more than $380,000 from his former church, St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Bonneauville, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Third-degree felony charges of theft by unlawful taking, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, and access device fraud are moving on to Adams County court for Caesar Belchez, 52.

Belchez was assigned to the Bonneauville church from 2006 to 20011, and during that time, police say, he stole $384,750.76 from the church in cash, checks and credit cards issued to the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

€4.7m for cousins who were raped by 'evil' choirmaster

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Dearbhail McDonald and Tim Healy

Thursday November 22 2012

THE Director of Public Prosecutions tried three times to prosecute the choirmaster whose bank and pension accounts have been frozen following a record €4.7m damages award for raping and abusing two cousins when they were schoolgirls.

One of Joseph Carrick's victims, Jacqueline O'Toole, who was raped and then left pregnant at 15, was awarded €4m – the highest award ever for an abuse victim.

The award dwarfs the previous record, reached only last week, when a mother of three who was raped and sexually abused as a child by her godfather was awarded €2.8m damages by a High Court jury.

Ms O'Toole and Geraldine Nolan claim that they were repeatedly raped and sexually abused by Carrick, whom they met after joining a local church choir in the early 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Woman awarded €4m over 1970s abuse at hands of 'evil paedophile'

IRELAND
RTE News

A woman, who was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by a man in her church choir in the 1970s, has been awarded damages of €4m by a High Court jury.

It is the highest award of its kind.

Joseph Carrick, from Carysfort Woods, Blackrock, Co Dublin, was described in court as an "evil paedophile" who preyed on children.

Carrick, who is now in his 70s, did not defend the case taken by Jacqueline O'Toole, 55, from Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

In a separate related case yesterday, another woman, Geraldine Nolan, from Townsend Street, Dublin 2, was awarded €700,000 for rape and sexual assault by the same man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

LCWR wins award for freedom in the church

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Porsia Tunzi | Nov. 21, 2012

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents thousands of American nuns, has been awarded the Herbert Haag Prize for 2013 for Freedom in the Church.

The Catholic-based Herbert Haag Foundation honored LCWR "for their candid stance in this crisis, for their persistent loyalty to the Christian message and for the spiritual energy with which they carry the conflict," according to a recent press release.

The award honors "people and institutions that engage themselves in the spirit of the apostle Paul for freedom in the church and in doing so give witness to the world," the press release said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Dutro Sisters Say Church Can't Skate on Abuse

CALIFORNIA
Courthouse News Service

By WILLIAM DOTINGA

MARTINEZ, Calif. (CN) - A group of sisters whose parents subjected them to 20 years of horrific sexual abuse and torture say they may still have a case against church officials.

Each daughter, now an adult woman, said that church leaders, police officers and social workers stonewalled investigations to protect the parents, Zion and Glenda Lea Dutro, who were prominent evangelical leaders in Antioch, Calif.

Zion Dutro accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 300 years in prison, while his wife pleaded no contest and received a 15-year prison sentence for her actions.

The original complaint sought punitive damages from the city of Antioch, Contra Costa County, a number of officials, Calvary Open Bible Church and two pastors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

'Child abuse victims can finally get justice' after court ruling over St William's Catholic children's home

UNITED KINGDOM
Hull Daily Mail

A VICTIM of horrific abuse at an East Yorkshire care home feels justice can finally be done after a landmark court ruling.

Graham Baverstock was sexually abused as a child by Brother James Carragher at St William's Community Home in Market Weighton.

Carragher was a member of Catholic organisation the De La Salle Order of Christian Brothers at the time.

An ongoing police investigation is looking into alleged abuse committed by others at the home.

Now the Supreme Court has ruled the Catholic Church and the Brothers are both liable to pay compensation to Mr Baverstock and more than 170 other victims who were abused at the home from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Diocese felt "it was unjust" to be held solely responsible

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

170 former pupils at St William's school in Middlesbrough claim that they suffered appalling physical and sexual abuse within the home.

The diocese claimed the Roman Catholic De La Salle Order of Brothers, which it hired to run the school, should share the liability for the cases of abuse.

In a landmark ruling, a judge at the Supreme Court agreed that the liability did not solely lie with the diocese.

Dr Jim Whiston says that the decision made by the Supreme Court has vindicated the diocese's view.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

The Church is not beyond reproach

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Frank Brennan

November 22, 2012

The following is from Fr Frank Brennan's presentation at the Anglican Church of Australia's Public Affairs Commission Conference The Nathan Project, University of Melbourne, 19 November 2012. This nationwide forum was named for the biblical prophet Nathan who confronted King David with God's displeasure over his behaviour.

Introduction — the righteous Nathan and the compromising David

It is always a pleasure to return here to Trinity College to meet with Anglicans committed to social justice. I studied around this Melbourne University Crescent with some of you who were also students at the United Faculty of Theology. Ecumenical studying and working together often equips us better for engagement in the public square, using language and concepts accessible and familiar not just to those of our particular ecclesial tradition within Christianity. Thanks to my ecumenical formation, I learnt early that there was little point in quoting papal encyclicals as if they were trumps even though they might contain many pearls of wisdom. I learnt the value of communicating with concepts backed by authority, restricting myself to concepts and authority affirmed by my listeners.

27 years ago I was ordained priest in St Stephens Cathedral Brisbane. I was privileged to have the Catholic bishops of Queensland joined on the sanctuary by the Primate of the Anglican Church and the Moderator of the Uniting Church in Queensland. Archbishops John Grindrod and Frank Rush had worked together in the regional diocese of Rockhampton before going to Brisbane. John then became Primate of Anglican Church and Frank was President of the Australian Catholic Bishops conference. I worked with them and Doug Brandon, the Uniting Church moderator, in our joint commitment to improving the lives of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders during some testing political times including the Commonwealth Games held in Brisbane in 1982. When it came time for my ordination three years later, it seemed only natural and appropriate that the leaders of the three major Churches in Queensland pray together that the Spirit come upon me in priestly service. It was by doing something co-operative together for the cause of justice that we found our way clear to worship together and that we wanted to pray together in the most formal of liturgical contexts. But for our joint endeavour in the public square for justice, there is no way that we would have all prayed together on that sanctuary that night in Brisbane. We had learnt to communicate with each other and to pray together by committing ourselves in solidarity to action for justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Court rules that diocese and congregation share liability for abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

A religious congregation which provided teachers to an East Yorkshire residential school can be held liable for the sex abuse which took place there, the Supreme Court has ruled.

St William’s, a school at Market Weighton, near Hull, was closed in 1994 after the headmaster, Brother James Carragher, was accused, and later convicted, of sexual offences against boys over 20 years.

Nearly 200 men who say they were abused by Brothers at the school are claiming £8 million in damages from the school’s managers and the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, known as the De La Salle Brothers, which provided the teachers.

Defending the action, the congregation claimed it could not be held vicariously liable for the actions of the teaching Brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Ruling paves the way for child abuse claims

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

Published on Thursday 22 November 2012

A ROMAN Catholic lay order must share liability for a multi-million pound compensation claim for child abuse at a former children’s home in Yorkshire, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The De La Salle Brotherhood, which provided staff to the St William’s home in Market Weighton, will have to compensate victims of abuse committed by its members, along with the Middlesbrough Diocese, which had overall responsibility for the home’s management.

The Supreme Court ruled in favour of an appeal from the diocese which had previously been held solely liable. The diocese remains solely liable for any abuse committed by staff who were not De La Salle Brothers.

The ruling clears the way for the settlement of up to 170 claims from former residents at St William’s. Their solicitor, David Greenwood, estimates the total value of the claims, which include the most serious sexual abuse, at around £5m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Church's clinic shielded paedophiles

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 23, 2012

Richard Baker, Philip Dorling, Nick McKenzie

THE Catholic Church's little-known treatment clinic for clergy with psychosexual problems harboured known paedophiles and shielded them from police scrutiny.

Whistleblowers closely involved with the now-defunct Encompass Australasia program allege paedophile clergy were diagnosed with a ''mood disorder'' so they could be treated at Sydney's Wesley Private Hospital and meet private health insurance criteria.

A well-placed source aware of the status of some clergy treated by Encompass Australasia between 1997 and 2008 said he believed several did not have a mood disorder but were ''cold and calculating criminals'' who bragged about their exploits with children to others while at the hospital.

''Some of these people were not mentally ill, in my opinion. They were criminals who knew exactly what they had done and were proud of their achievements,'' said the source, who asked not to be named for fear of being sacked. ''People who should have been in Long Bay Jail were still living in the community.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

An unholy mess: Addressing sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
ABC Religion and Ethics

By Des Cahill
ABC Religion and Ethics
21 Nov 2012

Next week, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will hold its normal November meeting beside the tomb of St Mary of the Cross, Australia's first saint. It is noteworthy that the bishops will discuss the holy and unholy mess created by the clerical sexual abuse scandal and the forthcoming Royal Commission into the institutional responses to child sexual abuse, as well as the continuing fallout from the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry.

The Church has already lost the public relations war. The evidence of the Victoria Police has made very sure of that by the evidence of their statistics. These show that between January 1956 and June 2012 in their Victorian jurisdiction, of the 519 "distinct victims," 71.29% occurred within the Catholic Church system as compared to the Anglican (7.13%), Salvation Army (6.94%) and Jewish (3.47%) figures - although, of course, these figures do not pertain just to ministers of religion.

My own statistical analysis shows that at least one in twenty who graduated as priests from the Corpus Christi seminary which serves Victoria and Tasmania between 1940 and 1972 eventually became child abusers. This in many ways mirrors the study of the John Jay College for Criminal Justice of 105,000 priests, commissioned by the United States Catholic Bishops, which found that 4% became convicted abusers.

Also noteworthy is that it seems that Archbishop Denis Hart from Melbourne and Archbishop Mark Coleridge from Brisbane have taken up the public relations running. The television interview last week by Cardinal George Pell to an overflowing press room was uniformly assessed to be a disaster. He was bumbling, poorly briefed by his advisers and simply wrong in some of his comments, especially in suggesting that clerical sex abuse amongst the Catholic clergy is no higher compared to other cognate professional and religious groups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

November 21, 2012

Former youth pastor arrested

OKLAHOMA
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A Southern Baptist pastor in Oklahoma second-guessed himself after the arrest of his former youth pastor on eight counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

Jeff Self, pastor of First Baptist Church in Coalgate, Okla., told CBS affiliate KXII television, which broadcasts in a two-state area covering North Texas and Southeastern Oklahoma, that church leaders dismissed 28-year-old Dustin Werneburg in August after the third allegation of sexual misconduct against the youth pastor in three years.

Dustin WerneburgPolice arrested Werneburg Nov. 14 at Blanchard Middle School in Blanchard, Okla., where he was serving as a teacher’s aide, the station reported. He was jailed in Coal County on three counts of second-degree rape, three counts of forcible sodomy, a charge of lewd or indecent proposals to a child and lewd molestation, all involving a girl under the age of 16.

Police said the girl’s parents found inappropriate text messages and photos exchanged between her and Werneburg. Investigators said the two began texting in November of 2011 and exchanged at least 1,000 messages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Fort Worth diocese settles lawsuit claiming teen was sexually abused by priest

FORT WORTH (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By Mitch Mitchell
mitchmitchell@star-telegram.com

FORT WORTH -- The Fort Worth Catholic Diocese settled a lawsuit for an undisclosed amount Tuesday with a former Nolan Catholic High School student who said he was sexually abused by a priest.

The lawsuit states that Rev. William Paiz abused John Doe No. 109 between 1982 and 1987 starting when the boy was 15. Doe, now in his 40s, filed suit in January, saying he was sexually assaulted while at All Saints Catholic Church, St. George Catholic Church and at other locations.

During that period, Paiz was assigned to All Saints and St. George's Catholic Churches in Fort Worth and taught religion at Nolan Catholic High School, according to the Fort Worth diocese.

The settlement agreement includes provisions that Paiz not work in a position that puts him in contact with any children, juveniles or young adults and not be able to present himself as a priest, said Tahira Merritt, John Doe 109's attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Judges rule over sex abuse at St William's care home in Market Weighton

UNITED KINGDOM
The Press

By Jennifer Bell, Crime reporter

A CATHOLIC brotherhood which supplied teachers to a Catholic children’s home in East Yorkshire can be held legally responsible for the sexual abuse of boys, leading judges have ruled.

About 170 men - including victims from York - are seeking damages after alleging they were abused as children at St William's in Market Weighton which provided residential care and education for boys, aged 10 to 16, with emotional and behavioural problems.

The home’s former principal, Father James Carragher, was jailed for 14 years in 2004 after admitting abusing boys in his care.

Compensation claims on behalf of former pupils were first submitted in 2004. St William's was owned by the Diocese of Middlesbrough but many of the staff were members of the De La Salle Brotherhood, a Catholic order of lay teachers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Supreme Court ruling extends vicarious liability in abuse claims

UNITED KINGDOM
AO Advocates

Posted by: A.Dean on Nov 21 2012

A landmark judgment in the Supreme Court today has pushed forward the law on vicarious liability, in a way that may help survivors of child abuse hold responsible parties accountable, and obtain the compensation they deserve. The ruling in Catholic Child Welfare Society & Ors v Various Claimants and The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian School & Ors concerns a dispute between the Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle Order (the “Christian Brothers”) over who should pay compensation to victims of child sexual abuse committed at the St William’s School a number of years ago.

The St William’s School was managed by the Diocese, but many of its teachers and staff were members of the Christian Brothers. A number of abuses were committed by members of the Christian Brothers; these abuses occurred over decades, and one of the former Christian Brothers headmasters, James Carragher, was convicted of numerous sexual offences against boys and jailed in 2004 for 14 years. Over 170 men brought the original claim against the Christian Brothers and the Diocese for redress.

The crux of the appeal related to whether the Diocese alone is vicariously liable for the abuses of these men, or whether liability is mutually held by both the Diocese and the Christian Brothers. In 2010 the Court of Appeal held the Diocese solely liable for the abuse, and for paying £8 million in compensation to the many victims. The Diocese appealed, claiming that the Christian Brothers ought to share liability for what happened, in light of their close involvement with the day-to-day activities of the school and the numerous abuses by Christian Brothers staff. Today’s ruling has allowed the Diocese’s appeal, and in the process made new and powerful law for claimants. Writing for the Court, Lord Philips summarised the decision by stating:

This is not a borderline case. It is one where it is fair, just and reasonable, by reason of the satisfaction of the relevant criteria, for the Institute to share with the Middlesbrough Diocese vicarious liability for the abuse committed by the brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

‘Perfect’ priests and their ‘sacrificial lambs’

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

by John C Seitz | Nov. 21, 2012

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: GENDER, POWER, AND ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
By Marie Keenan
Published by Oxford University Press, $62.50

If we want to understand sexual violence, we have to get to know its perpetrators and the worlds in which they were formed. In the particular context in which Marie Keenan is interested -- clerical sexual abuse and its cover-up in the U.S. and Ireland since the middle of the 20th century -- such an adage goes from truism to nonstarter. Pressure not to get to know clerical abusers and the institutional, educational and social worlds of their formation comes from many angles of varying validity.

A posture of attentiveness to abusers may strike some abuse victims and their advocates as excusing the abuse and losing sight of the harm it may have inflicted. For their part, media outlets have helped uncover abuse, but they have also contributed to the vilification of clerical offenders, fixating on the category of pedophilia (at the expense of other abusive scenarios), and fomenting moral panic.

Church officials, on the other hand, want to isolate abusers and officials complicit in cover-up. They would have us pay attention to abusers only as aberrant pathological individuals. The theological or institutional context for their production as clergy is more or less off-limits.

Keenan, a researcher and lecturer in applied social science at University College Dublin and a registered psychotherapist, plunges into these taboo waters, taking her readers into the theological, moral and institutional contexts for abuse and cover-up. Working with the ever-present caution that to “understand all is never to forgive it all,” Keenan makes this journey in part through analysis of extensive conversations with nine Catholic men -- all retired or laicized Irish priests and brothers -- who admitted to having sexually abused minors in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

NY- Columbia professor backs accused "Elmo" child molester & insults gays

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on November 21, 2012

A Columbia University professor is siding with a twice-accused child molester who is the voice for the character Elmo and is hurting gays and lesbians in the process.

In today's New York Times, professor Katherine Franke defends Kevin Clash as “the most recent victim" of "a ‘sex panic,’” adding that “At precisely the moment when gay people’s right to marry seems to be reaching a positive tipping point, sexuality is being driven back into the closet as something shameful."

These callous remarks seem to equate gay sex with pedophilia, which is wrong, hurtful, and irresponsible. They play into and help perpetuate the most archaic and discredited notions about sexuality. Franke owes a deep and public apology to gays, lesbians and child sex abuse victims. And the Columbia administration should discipline her for such harmful comments which rub even more salt into the already deep wounds of many people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Pa. priest's embezzlement case headed to trial

PENNSYLVANIA
WHTM

Updated: Nov 21, 2012

By Myles Snyder

BONNEAUVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) -
The case against a parish priest charged with embezzling more than $384,000 from a central Pennsylvania church is bound for trial.

Father Caesar A. Belchez, 52, of New Freedom, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning when he appeared before District Judge Daniel Bowman.

Belchez is accused of taking the money between 2006 and 2011 while he was pastor at Saint Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Bonneauville, according to prosecutors. He allegedly embezzled nearly $312,000 in cash and made an additional $72,766 in unauthorized purchases with credit cards issued to the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

Priest sex abuse cases may target local parishes

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WSAU

MILWAUKEE (WSAU) Milwaukee’s Catholic Archdiocese says it will fight in court to prevent its local churches from having to pay anything toward the Chapter-11 bankruptcy in the archdiocese. Judge Susan Kelley will hold a hearing December 6 on a request by creditors – including those sexually abused by priests – to be compensated with assets from the more than 200 parishes in the 10-county archdiocese. About 575 sex abuse victims are seeking compensation from the archdiocese as part of the nearly two-year-old bankruptcy case. The church says it wants the judge to throw out 62 more claims, because those victims had previously signed settlement agreements in their cases. And it will ask Judge Kelley to let the church’s insurance carrier pay about 270 of the sex abuse claims.

Civil courts previously refused to let the Milwaukee Archdiocese use insurance to pay sex abuse victims – but the church said a different policy applied in that case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Premier: sex abuse inquiry to proceed

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 22, 2012

Sean Nicholls
Sydney Morning Herald State Political Editor

THE Premier, Barry O'Farrell, has announced the special commission of inquiry into the handling of allegations of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the Hunter will proceed and will report by next April.

Mr O'Farrell revealed plans for the NSW inquiry before the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced a national royal commission into child sexual abuse, raising questions about whether it would go ahead.

In Parliament on Wednesday, Mr O'Farrell confirmed the NSW inquiry would proceed and released its terms of reference.

He said it was important to investigate the claims that prompted the inquiry by a senior police officer, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, that his investigations into paedophile priests had been hampered by police and the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Supreme Court increase the chance of a dual vicarious liability finding

UNITED KINGDOM
Hill Dickinson

“Not just a borderline case” - Hill Dickinson success as Supreme Court hands down judgment in The Catholic Child Welfare Society & others –v- Various Claimants & The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools & others.

Kari Hansen, partner, and Hayley Riach, solicitor, are celebrating as the vicarious liability arguments upon which this action has been fought for the past seven years have finally been determined. The Supreme Court has clarified the law as to vicarious liability of unincorporated associations and emphasised that where there is an argument for dual vicarious liability each individual 'employer' / 'employee' relationship should be considered on its own merits. This is the first time that the Supreme Court has confirmed that it is possible for there to be dual vicarious liability.

In recent years, the principles of vicarious liability have been considered by Courts at all levels, particularly in the context of the sexual abuse of children. Today, the Supreme Court unanimously found that it was fair, just and reasonable for an unincorporated association of lay religious Brothers (“the Institute”) to share vicarious liability for abuse committed by some of its members.

The claims and parties

A group, presently consisting of 170 claimants, allege that they were subjected to physical and sexual abuse whilst they were residents at St William’s, an Approved School and later a Residential Care Home (‘the school’) in Market Weighton, Yorkshire, between 1958 and 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Catholic brotherhood faces sex abuse action over teachers it supplied to a school

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

Brian Farmer

Wednesday 21 November 2012

A Catholic brotherhood which supplied teachers to a residential school can be held legally responsible for sexual abuse of boys, leading judges ruled today.

Around 170 men are seeking damages after alleging they were abused as children at St William's in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, and a former head was convicted of numerous serious sexual offences, the Supreme Court heard.

A panel of five Supreme Court justices today concluded that legal responsibility should be shared between a welfare society which managed the school and a brotherhood which provided teachers.

St William's was founded in 1865 by Catholic benefactors and run locally as a "reformatory school" for boys, Supreme Court justices had been told at a hearing in London.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Middlesbrough diocese wins St William’s school abuse appeal

UNITED KINGDOM
Pocklington Post

Published on Wednesday 21 November 2012

A CATHOLIC diocese has won its appeal against a ruling it was solely liable for abuse at St William’s Home for Boys in Market Weighton.

Claims of abuse between the 1960s and 1990s are being made by more than 170 ex-pupils of the former home.

The Court of Appeal ruled in 2010 that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough was responsible for an £8m compensation claim.

The Supreme Court agreed with the diocese that an organisation which supplied teachers was also liable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Inquiry's focus: just one priest

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Dan Box
From:The Australian
November 22, 2012

A NSW government inquiry into the alleged cover-up of child abuse within the Catholic Church will focus solely on abuse committed by one former priest.

By concentrating on claims about the late Denis McAlinden, the inquiry would not duplicate the work of the national royal commission into institutional responses to child abuse, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said.

The inquiry, to be led by one of the state's most senior prosecutors, Margaret Cunneen SC, was set up after a serving NSW detective, Peter Fox, claimed senior officers told him to stop investigating McAlinden.

Detective Chief Inspector Fox also said a network of priests in the NSW Hunter Valley conspired to conceal their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Allister: Stormont inquiry must include clerical abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

Traditional Unionist leader Jim Allister wants to see the Stormont Executive's inquiry into the historic abuse of children in care homes and other institutions extended to include abuse by members of the clergy.

In September the retired judge Sir Anthony Hart said he was opposed to any widening of his remit.

Mr Allister has suggested amendments to the bill setting up the inquiry.

He said this would extend its scope to include clerical abuse.

Mr Allister has tabled a series of amendments and the Speaker William Hay must decide whether to allow them to go forward for debate next Tuesday when the assembly reaches the consideration stage of the bill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Abuse inquiry could cost £19m

NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

Published on Wednesday 21 November 2012

Costs for an inquiry into historical institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland could reach £19 million, the Assembly has heard.

Ulster Unionist MLA Mike Nesbitt, who chairs Stormont’s OFMDFM committee, said MLAs had been informed, in September, that predicted costs had doubled from initial estimates.

Speaking on Tuesday the Strangford MLA added: “On the estimated costs of the inquiry the committee sought clarification from the department whether the figures in the financial and explanatory memorandum of between £7.5 million and £9 million remained accurate.

“Officials advised the committee that the estimated costs had been revised upwards - doubled in fact to £15-£19 million to take into account the complexities of the inquiry and the associated legal costs.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

NI abuse inquiry creates 'hierarchy of victims'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

A Stormont inquiry into institutional child abuse has created a hierarchy of victims, it has been claimed in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

TUV leader Jim Allister yesterday described a decision not to widen the scope of the investigation to include victims of clerical abuse as a missed opportunity.

“Right as it is that we certainly address the issue of institutional abuse, I think it is unfortunate that in the addressing of it, we create a hierarchy of abuse victims: those abused within institutions and those abused outside institutions who were predominantly the object of clerical abuse. That issue cannot be forgotten about or swept aside,” said the North Antrim MLA.

“The reality of this Bill is that it does forget about them. This was an opportunity to address all abuse, including clerical abuse, and I very much regret that has not been taken.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Australian inquiry ...

AUSTRALIA
The National

Australian inquiry into child sex abuse 'should have focused on Catholic Church', former priest says

Kathy Marks

Nov 21, 2012

SYDNEY // Stephen Woods was 11 when he was first abused by a teacher at his Roman Catholic primary school in Ballarat, Victoria. Robert Best, from the Christian Brothers religious order, would take him to his office and molest him, "while all the time telling me that I was bad and it was my fault".

Another Christian Brother, Edward Dowlan, abused him at a boys' boarding school and when Mr Woods, troubled and confused, later sought advice from the Catholic Church, he was introduced to Gerald Risdale, who raped him in a public toilet by Lake Wendouree, in Ballarat. He was 14.

All three men, who had multiple victims, were eventually jailed by the Australian authorities, but Mr Woods, now 51, remains furious at the way the Church concealed their actions. Risdale was moved from parish to parish, and Victoria police later concluded that the bishop of Ballarat, Ronald Mulkearns, had known about his behaviour as far back as the 1970s. Despite that, Risdale was allowed to continue in the ministry until his arrest in 1993.

It is this type of systemic failing that a royal commission, announced last week by Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister, is to address. It will focus not only on the Roman Catholic Church - which, as in other countries such as Ireland and Germany, has been plagued by child-abuse scandals - but on other religious and state institutions, such as schools, orphanages and Scout groups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Pell to appoint St John's College council

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AAP
November 21, 2012

ARCHBISHOP George Pell will be given the power to appoint fellows to the governing council of Sydney University's beleaguered St John's College, after a mass resignation in the wake of a scandal over student behaviour.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell on Wednesday introduced an amendment bill to the 1857 laws that set up the Catholic residential college, saying the resignation of all but one of 18 governing fellows had left it in "limbo".

Disgusted by loutish behaviour at the college, and having lost confidence in the governing council, Cardinal Pell earlier this month asked the council's six priest fellows to resign.

The new bill will render all positions on the council vacant and give Cardinal Pell the power to appoint all 18 fellows for up to three years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Canon lawyers: Vatican's role ambiguous in Bourgeois' removal

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee | Nov. 20, 2012

The circumstances surrounding the Vatican's removal of longtime peace activist and priest Roy Bourgeois from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers are unclear, several canon lawyers say.

Additionally, it is ambiguous under what authority the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was able to dismiss the priest, the lawyers say.

Bourgeois, a member of Maryknoll for 45 years who had come under scrutiny for his support of women's ordination, was dismissed from the order by the Vatican's doctrinal congregation in October, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers announced in a press release Monday.

Central questions about the dismissal include whether Bourgeois was dismissed both from the order and the priesthood; if there are any options for appeal; and why his dismissal came from the doctrinal congregation and not the Vatican congregation that deals with religious orders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Case closed as paedophile priest dies

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A paedophile priest awaiting sentence for sexually abusing a brother and sister has died, a court has been told.

Cases against 71-year-old Joseph Steele were listed for mention at Belfast Crown Court yesterday.

But Recorder, Judge David McFarland, said he understood the priest had died, so the case cannot go any further.

Judge McFarland listed the case to be heard again today so that it can be officially closed once the death certificate has been produced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Archdiocese counters bankruptcy creditors

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Nov. 20, 2012

The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee is firing back at creditors in its bankruptcy, vowing to fight their plans to pursue the assets of its 200-plus parishes and calling their proposed lawsuit "frivolous and a waste of time and money."

At the same time, lawyers for the archdiocese have moved to throw out 62 of the 575 sex abuse claims filed in the bankruptcy, its largest group of claims objections yet. And the church has filed a complaint aimed at recovering what could be tens of millions of dollars from its insurers.

"I have few options left," Archbishop Jerome Listecki told local Catholics in a letter last week, explaining the church's legal strategy. "We will continue to examine every possible legal avenue that moves us toward a resolution of the Chapter 11."

James Stang, lead attorney for the creditors committee, said the archdiocese's legal theories are flawed, and would be proved so in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Christian Brothers must share sexual abuse compensation costs, court rules

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 21 November 2012

A Catholic diocese has successfully forced a Christian Brothers order to share the cost of compensating more than 170 victims of alleged physical and sexual abuse who attended a Yorkshire children's home.

The landmark decision in the supreme court confirms advances in the legal doctrine of "vicarious liability" under which religious bodies are deemed responsible for the criminal actions of their priests.

Churches have repeatedly attempted to evade liability by claiming that the relationship between a priest or monk and their diocese or religious order is not that of employee and employer.

The supreme court decision related to St William's residential school in Market Weighton, east Yorkshire. It involved a dispute between the diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle order of Christian Brothers over who should pay compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Christian Brother Robert Best loses appeal against conviction for molesting young boys

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery
From:Herald Sun
November 21, 2012

CONVICTED pedophile Christian Brother Robert Best has failed in a bid to have his convictions overturned.

Robert Charles Best, 70, was jailed for a minimum of 11 years and three months in August last year for molesting young boys during a 20-year period at three Victorian schools.

The shocking history of abuse related to 11 boys he taught at St Alipius Primary School in Ballarat, St Leo's College in Box Hill, and St Joseph's College in Geelong between 1969 and 1988.

Among them was a nine-year-old disabled boy who was raped by Best.

The former school principal was found guilty at trial of 21 charges and later pleaded guilty to a further six.

Pedophile Christian Brother loses appeal

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 21, 2012

Melissa Iaria

AAP

Pedophile Christian Brother Robert Best has lost an appeal against his convictions for abusing a schoolboy in the 1970s.

Best, 71, was jailed last year for a minimum 11 years and three months for sexually abusing young boys during a 20-year period at three schools.

On Wednesday, Victoria's appeals court rejected his appeal on seven of his convictions for indecently assaulting a schoolboy between 1971-74 while Best was principal of St Alipius Primary School in East Ballarat, when the pupil was aged between eight and 11.

In their unanimous judgment, Justices Chris Maxwell, Pamela Tate and Robert Osborn found Best failed to show a miscarriage of justice had occurred during his trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

The impact of the sex abuse Royal Commission on rural Australia

AUSTRALIA
ABC Rural

[with audio]

By Jessica Swann

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

In rural Australia the Church still plays an important role in bringing the community together, but when the Church is under intense scrutiny, rural parishioners question their faith in God and in the Catholic Church.

This week the Australian government has called for public help to shape the terms of reference of a Royal Commission into child sex abuse in Australia.

The investigation will be broad including schools, community groups and religious institutions.

It also announced there will be consultations with stakeholders including victims of abuse, community leaders and religious groups.

It’s the Catholic Church however that is the feeling the heat the most.

For one small parish in rural New South Wales, the pews were full last Sunday but the parishioners expressed a deep sense of disappointment and confusion at what is shaping up to be an avalanche of accusations against members of the clergy within the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Leave celibacy out of the debate

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Cassandra Wilkinson
From:The Australian
November 21, 2012

AUSTRALIA has never been a place where religion has been a cause of protracted violence or political disorder.

A country founded by jailers who worshipped at St James and convicts who worshipped at St Mary's has gone on to include Asian Buddhists, European Jews, Greek and Russian Orthodox Christians, Bosnian Muslims and Serbian Christians, Indian Hindus and Muslims, and a generous buffet of other faiths from Baha'i to Scientologists.

By and large we get along because the secret to religious tolerance is common respect for a non-religious state.

The royal commission into child abuse has at its heart a single worthy mission: to ensure that all citizens enjoy state protection from individuals or groups who would harm them. Sadly it has also already become a blunt instrument with which to belt religion. Self-righteous atheists have leapt to pour scorn not only on abusers and their protectors but also on the foundations of religious belief. The ABC's resident national treasure, Phillip Adams, claimed last week that religion twists sexuality. Yet rape is inflicted on adults and children of all classes, on all continents, among all religious groups and ethnic communities; it does no service to victims to pretend the problem is not endemic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Black Abbey priest is charged with sexual assault

IRELAND
Kilkenny People

Published on Wednesday 21 November 2012

A KILKENNY-BASED priest, who was previously convicted of indecently assaulting children, appeared before Cork District Court last week charged with sexually assaulting a minor over an eight-year period.

Fr Vincent Mercer (66), from the Black Abbey in Kilkenny City, is facing 39 counts of sexual assault against a teenager over 20 years ago. He was remanded on bail last Thursday, to appear again in court in January. The alleged abuse began when the juvenile was aged 11, in 1986, and continued until February of 1994, in a number of locations in Cork and Limerick. A statement from the Dominican Order said it is understood that Fr Mercer intends to plead guilty.

Fr Mercer is a serving member of the Order, but is not presently in ministry. He was moved to the Black Abbey a number of years ago, following his conviction in 2005 of a string of indecent assault offences against young boys in the 1970s, when he was headmaster of Newbridge College.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Silence in the House of God, or When the Trail Leads to the Top

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Erica Abeel

Many American filmmakers have the bad habit, in my view, of taking an impartial stance when it comes to stories about the behavior of borderline criminal characters. Consider such feature films as Margin Call by J.C. Chandor and, more recently, Arbitrage by Nicholas Jarecki, which follow the toxic maneuvers of financial miscreants yet fastidiously refrain from passing judgment, as if the directors were mesmerized, mental functions on hold, by the mere sight of a senior partner at Goldman Sachs who flies to an Asian tailor for fittings of handmade suits.

That's why documentaries have become essential. Like the blessedly biased MSNBC, they're not afraid to stake out positions, offer outrage a bullhorn. Most crucially, perhaps, hard-hitting documentaries air abuses by the powerful that mainstream media lacks the cojones to expose. Now Alex Gibney, preeminent documentarian and a specialist in the abuse of power, weighs in with the superb Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, which tackles the subject of child sex crimes and cover-up in the Catholic church.

You may think you've been there before -- sexcapades of the clergy have received ample exposure in the press; and Amy Berg's 2006 docu Deliver us from Evil fired the opening salvo. But Gibney (awarded a 2007 Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side) takes you places you won't have have imagined. His new film (translated as "My Most Grievous Fault") winds its way from the heartland of Milwaukee, through the churches of Ireland -- all the way to the highest offices of the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Vatican Book Released: A Prequel to the Life of Jesus Christ

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Erik Pineda | November 21, 2012

The battle to win those Catholics to be faithful to the Church and to make them remain as such remains for Pope Benedict as he and the other heads of the Catholic congregation grapple with allegations of sexual, physical and other forms of abuse of some members of the clergy.

The head of the Catholic Church, which counts more than five million faithful in Australia, has released on Wednesday the latest installment of a three-part book series that reflect on the life of Jesus Christ. ...

The new book is released as Australia grapples with allegations of sex abuses that compelled the local Catholic Church leadership to rethink the manner it reacts and handles such controversies, impacts of which is absorbed mostly by the church, ABC said in a report.

The church's sexual abuse complaints policy will likely "be revised again as the commission progresses and of course when final recommendations are made," The Australian quoted a statement issued by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on Wednesday.

It refers to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which is set to be fully established following a consultation process spearheaded by the federal government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

OPINION: The effects of sexual abuse go on forever

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By MARK GRIFFITHS
Nov. 21, 2012

THE bravery of Hunter police officer Peter Fox has finally helped lift the lid on the widespread nature of the sexual abuse of children in Australia.

Within days of his interview in this newspaper and subsequent television appearance, the federal government called for a Royal Commission with almost unanimous community support.

Much media attention has focused on the abuse in institutions, in particular the Catholic Church, including what has happened within this region.

It is appropriate to spend time and money trying to uncover the extent of abuse within such institutions and the ways in which they did, or did not, confront the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Adopt Irish sex abuse compensation fund, victims advocates urge

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Stuart Rintoul
From:The Australian
November 21, 2012

VICTIMS advocates have called for the federal government to be centrally involved in administering a sex abuse compensation fund, similar to Ireland's, even though Attorney-General Nicola Roxon says compensation is not the government's prime focus.

Helen Last, director of clergy abuse advocates In Good Faith, said compensation was a vexed area because of the arbitrary response of the churches to compensation claims.

She said compensation offers ranged from significantly more than the Catholic Church's Melbourne Response $75,000 cap to "paltry" amounts of several thousand dollars, while large orders including the Christian Brothers and Good Shepherd Sisters had recently cut their standard payments to $5000 where abuse was committed by brothers and $2000 where it was committed by nuns.

"These figures are an insult and they cause so much despair for the victims," Ms Last told The Australian. "The victims are walking away from that and saying, 'You can keep it.' "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Church to review sexual abuse complaints policy

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

The Catholic Church will review its national sexual abuse complaints policy at next week's meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, reports The Australian.

ACBC president Archbisghop Denis Hart (pictured) confirmed both Towards Healing and the church's other complaints process, the Melbourne Response, would be on the agenda at next week's Sydney meeting of the church's peak body.

"I am sure the bishops will discuss the two present responses in the light of their inherent value, as well as any criticism, to assess the best way forward for all," Archbishop Hart said.

A spokesperson for Cardinal Pell's archdiocese of Sydney said the sexual abuse complaints policy had been reviewed since it was introduced in 1997. "We would expect procedures to be revised again as the commission progresses and of course when final recommendations are made," the spokesperson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Archdiocese settles church sex abuse claim involving Bothell resident

WASHINGTON
Bothell Reporter

By RAECHEL DAWSON
Bothell Reporter Reporter
November 20, 2012

A child sex abuse claim, which involved a Kirkland church, has been settled. A trial was scheduled to begin against the Seattle Archdiocese next Monday but the parish district settled for $635,000 on Thursday.

Former youth minister Jim Funnell at St. John Vianney Church in Kirkland allegedly sexually abused the plaintiff, identified by his initials D.E., in the mid-1980s for more than one year. It is said others were abused as well.

D.E. was living in Kirkland at the time of the abuse but now resides in Bothell.

Funnell was hired, which the plaintiff claims, during the time when former Seattle Archbishop Raymond Haunthausen and other Catholic bishops were collaborating on how to address the emerging sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church.

However, the Archdiocese failed to adequately warn its employees and timely adopt the policies regarding child sex abuse, and Funnell slipped through the cracks because church officials failed to conduct a proper background check, said the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Youth Pastors Fail to Get 'Failure-to-Report' Child Abuse Charges Dismissed

TULSA (OK)
Christianity Today

Melissa Steffan

An Oklahoma county judge denied a motion to dismiss charges against two Victory Christian Center (VCC) youth pastors after staff at the Tulsa megachurch failed to report child abuse for two weeks.

John and Charica Daugherty, the son and daughter-in-law of VCC's head pastor, are not themselves accused of any sexual misconduct. Rather, charges against them assert that the Daugherty's, along with three other VCC employees, violated the law by failing to report a 13-year-old girl's rape allegations against another VCC employee, Chris Denman.

Denman already pleaded guilty last month to six felony sex crimes against children, including the rape.

The Daughterys argue that Oklahoma's anti-child-abuse statutes legally do no require them to have reported the crime, and that such laws apply only to those who are responsible for the care or well-being of the child, which they were not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Victim of Sex Abuse at Kirkland Parish Speaks Out, Says More Involved

WASHINGTON
Patch

By Greg Johnston

A victim of sexual abuse by a former youth minister at Kirkland’s St. John Vianney Church, who recently settled a case against the Archdiocese of Seattle, says he buried the issue for some two decades, but that finally confronting the abuse has allowed him to begin the healing process.

Rolfe Eckmann of Bothell, 41, also said he knows of 10 to 12 other victims and believes there were more -- and that those who have not come forward are not being honest with themselves.

“I think a lot of people might ask, ‘Why now, after all these years?’” he said. “People who haven’t come forward really aren’t being honest with themselves. I feel good I came forward. I would never have gone to counseling for it if I hadn’t.”

Last week Eckmann and his attorney settled a lawsuit with the Archdiocese of Seattle for $635,000 over the sexual abuse, which occurred in the mid-1980s, when he was 13 and 14 years old, and went on for about a year. The youth minister, James R. Funnell, was fired by the archdiocese and was charged with sexual assault in 1989, pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Parents battle church over sex offender meetings near school

OREGON
KATU

[with video]

By Thom Jensen KATU News

HILLSBORO, Ore. – Parents have been fighting for years without success to get a church near a public grade school to move its meetings for sex offenders.

They say they've run into roadblocks trying to get this sex offender meeting to move. They say they've been trying for at least three years to convince Sonrise Church, where these registered offenders meet, to move the meeting far away from any schools.

Additionally, some of these sex offenders will actually start living at the church within the next month, KATU News has learned.

The motto at the church is "A safe place to hear a life changing message." But parents who have children right next door at Quatama Elementary School question that message.

The church holds a service every week and as many as 120 registered sex offenders attend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Pastor says he'll consider moving sex offender service away from school

OREGON
KATU

[with video]

By Thom Jensen KATU News and KATU.com Staff

HILLSBORO, Ore. – A local pastor stuck up for the sex offenders and ex-convicts Tuesday who attend a special service at his church next to an elementary school.

But James Gleason, lead pastor at Sonrise Church, said he'd consider moving the service after parents of children at the school complained and KATU aired a story about the controversy last week.

Every Sunday evening 120 people, mostly ex-cons, meet at the church, which is right next to Quatama Elementary School. Some of the felons are sex offenders. But Gleason said he won't tell neighbors exactly who these people are and what crimes they committed.

"I would never put a picture of John Smith up and say here's his sexual crime, and he attends this Light My Way service," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Northern Ireland: Amnesty and abuse victims call for clerical abuse inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Amnesty International

Clerical child sex abuse victims face exclusion from Institutional Abuse Inquiry

Amnesty International and victims of clerical child sex abuse have joined forces to call for the Northern Ireland Executive to set up an inquiry into clerical child sex abuse in the region.

The call comes as the Northern Ireland Assembly prepares to consider the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry Bill, which will establish an inquiry into child abuse carried out in institutions but, crucially, will exclude victims of clerical abuse outside residential settings.

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, said:

"Last year the National Board for Safeguarding Children published diocesan reviews which gave a glimpse into the horror of abuse suffered by children in parishes across Northern Ireland. But internal reviews are no substitute for a proper, independent investigation into clerical child sex abuse throughout Northern Ireland."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

CathBlog - Royal Commission will be healing for the Church

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

BY BISHOP BILL WRIGHT

It is a week since Prime Minister Gillard announced the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, and some people have seen it as the worst week the Catholic Church in Australia has ever had.

So much of the talk has been about the Church’s slow and inadequate response to allegations of abuse over a long period. In all honesty, though, I’ve been feeling quite positive and relieved ever since the announcement.

Here is the occasion when the nation as a whole can come to grips with one of its greatest issues. It is the beginning of a most important, purifying process.

I am delighted for those victims of abuse who have struggled so hard to get their story told. It may be that there are those for whom the Commission will again bring up things that they would rather not have to relive, and I hope they will be considered and helped through it all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Landmark judgement holds two Catholic organisations responsible for abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

The Supreme Court has ruled that two Catholic organisations are jointly responsible for physical and sexual abuse at a children's home.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle Roman Catholic Order, who supplied teachers, have both been held liable.

More than 170 victims came forward to report abuse at St William's care home and school in Market Weighton, near York. Abuse dating back to 1958.

The school came under the jurisdiction of the Middlesbrough diocese, but the De La Salle order was in day-to-day charge of running the place.

The Middlesbrough Diocese did not contest its responsibility for what happened. But it insisted the De La Salle order should also be held responsible for compensating victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Sex abuse inquiry backed by bishop that covers Campbelltown

AUSTRALIA
Advertiser

By Megan Gorrey
Nov. 20, 2012

PETER Ingham, the Catholic bishop of Wollongong diocese that covers Campbelltown, has loudly welcomed Prime Minister Julia Gillard's announcement of a royal commission into child sex abuse in institutions — including the Catholic church.

In a statement that was read out at local Sunday Masses, Bishop Ingham said he would co-operate fully with the investigation and be open to its suggestions.

He apologised to sexual abuse victims and insisted they and their families "must receive respect, justice and compassion".

"The protection of children is of prime importance, not the protection of any organisation," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Supreme Court rules on compensation to Catholic child abuse victims

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

Posted: Wed, 21 Nov 2012

The Supreme Court has today ruled on a dispute between two Catholic organisations about who is responsible for paying compensation to over 170 victims of alleged physical and sexual abuse at a Yorkshire children's home.

The case involves the Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough and the Catholic De La Salle Brothers order, in respect of alleged systematic abuse of children going back more than fifty years at the St William's children's care home and school at Market Weighton. It was ruled that the De La Salle Brothers were "vicariously" (financially) liable for wrongdoing of the members of the Order, even though they are not employees, despite the Order's attempts to evade responsibility for this reason.

The case has huge implications, potentially beyond the UK, but particularly for the Catholic Church, where many of those responsible for child abuse – such as "brothers" are not, technically, employees. This decision is likely to finally resolve another recent similar case involving the Catholic diocese of Portsmouth, where the appeal court ruled on vicarious liability in the same direction as the Supreme Court has done today.

St William's took emotionally and behaviourally disturbed boys, aged 10 to 16, referred by councils largely from Yorkshire and the North East. The former headmaster James Carragher has twice been convicted of a series of indecent assaults, buggery and taking photographs of young boys. In 2004 he was sentenced to 14 years in prison, having already served a seven-year sentence imposed in 1993. The institution was closed down in 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Diocese liable for child abuse compensation: decision is "landmark"

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

The St Williams ruling has been labelled a "landmark" judgment by Jordans Solicitors, who represented the victims.

Organisations who care for children will now be held liable for the abuse of children in their care if their work creates a risk of abuse.

Prior to this decision, claimants had to show that an organisation employed or closely controlled the abuser. More than 170 men claim they suffered physical and sexual abuse at the home between 1958 and 1992.

In 2004 James Carragher, the former headmaster of St Williams, was found guilty of 14 counts of indecent assault against boys, some as young as 12. He was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.

“‘It is clear that extensive abuse by staff has taken place at St Williams. Since starting the case both organisations who ran the home have attempted to use legal technicalities to evade responsibility, a tactic mirrored in other church abuse cases. I have had to witness the distasteful spectacle of seeing the two Roman Catholic organisations blame each other . This case should have been settled years ago._

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Brotherhood faces sex abuse action

UNITED KINGDOM
Belfast Telegraph

A Catholic brotherhood which supplied teachers to a residential school can be held legally responsible for sexual abuse of boys, leading judges have ruled.

Around 170 men are seeking damages after alleging they were abused as children at St William's in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, and a former head was convicted numerous serious sexual offences, the Supreme Court was told.

A panel of five Supreme Court justices concluded that legal responsibility should be shared between a welfare society which managed the school and a brotherhood which provided teachers.

St William's was founded in 1865 by Catholic benefactors and run locally as a "reformatory school" for boys, Supreme Court justices had been told at a hearing in London.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Snag in church abuse lawsuit negotiations

MONTANA
Beaumont Enterprise

MATT VOLZ, Associated Press

Updated 6:56 p.m., Tuesday, November 20, 2012

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Settlement negotiations between hundreds of alleged sex abuse victims and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena may have hit a snag with the church's insurers refusing to cover the claims.

The insurers and the diocese are locked in a dispute over the terms and conditions of the diocese's insurance policies that date back to the 1970s — and whether some policies even existed. The sides disagree on how policies apply to the 324 claims of sex abuse stretching back decades by priests and nuns in homes, churches and school across western Montana.

The claims are from two combined lawsuits filed last year against the diocese and the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province. The plaintiffs, many of them Native Americans, say the diocese and the sisters knew or should have known about the abuse, but covered it up instead of stopping it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Catholic teaching institute liable for abuse at school

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A Catholic teaching institute is liable for alleged physical and sexual abuse at a former boys' school, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Claims of abuse are being made by 170 former pupils of St William's in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire.

Judges said the De La Salle Brotherhood was liable along with the Middlesbrough diocese which owned the school.

The BBC's Danny Shaw said it was a landmark ruling which could affect other claims of abuse at institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

St Mary's Father Casey welcomes inquest into child abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Queensland Times

Peter Foley
21st Nov 2012

A LEADER of Ipswich's Catholic community has welcomed the announcement of a national royal commission into child abuse.

St Mary's Ipswich parish priest Father Peter Casey said the care and safety of children was all-important.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week announced the creation of the royal commission into institutional child sexual abuse.

Father Casey said Brisbane's Archbishop Mark Coleridge and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference had offered to co-operate with the commission.

"The royal commission into child abuse in various institutions, both Church and state, including the Catholic Church, may produce an outcome that will ensure the safety of all children from any form of abuse," Fr Casey said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

November 20, 2012

Sign of the times/Editorial

CONNECTICUT
Easton Courier

Written by Nancy Doniger
Sunday, 18 November 2012 20:04

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot

Nothing is going to get better, it's not."

— The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss

Elizabeth Wenzel cited the quote from the beloved children's author when she presented a petition with 736 signatures to the Parks and Recreation Commission at the Nov. 8 special meeting on renaming Toth Memorial Park. She presented a piece of pressure-treated wood to make the point that the current sign "is not serving the community."

After hearing comments on both sides of the emotionally charged issue — the majority in favor of the name change — the commission voted unanimously to change it. The Toth Park sign came down the next day, replaced by what appeared to be the same piece of wood that Ms. Wenzel supplied.

The issue has divided the community, and it's time to move on and devote its time and attention to parks and recreation, the commission said, acknowledging it had been a wrenching decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Sign down: New name in the works for Toth Memorial Park in Easton

CONNECTICUT
Easton Courier

Written by Nancy Doniger
Sunday, 18 November 2012

In an emotional three-hour meeting on Nov. 8 the Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to rename Toth Memorial Park. The decision came after increasing allegations that the park's namesake, the late Stephen "Skipper" Toth, was a child molester.

The wooden sign with the Toth name was removed from outside the park on Nov. 9. It will be replaced once the commission comes up with a new policy for naming parks and a new name.

Ted Alexander, 63, was one person who had mixed emotions about the decision. Mr. Alexander, one of Mr. Toth's alleged victims, had testified in 2004 when a previous Board of Selectmen and parks commission heard private testimony from multiple sources. Mr. Alexander agreed to go public and tell his story to The Courier after resident David Antonez revived the issue in July. Mr. Antonez came across the accusations against Mr. Toth when he was searching for Toth Park on the Internet. ...

Attorney Helen McGonigle represented Mr. Powel in 2004 and submitted documents and testimony with updated information. A $10-million judgment was entered against Carlo Fabbozzi, Mr. Toth's business partner, for molesting Mr. Powel. The Diocese of Bridgeport, which hired Mr. Fabbozzi as a gardener, settled with Mr. Powel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

An outback Queensland priest says he's confident the Catholic Church will get through its time of "deep sadness".

AUSTRALIA
ABC Western Queensland

[with audio]

The church has been in the spotlight since early last week when Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced there would be a Royal Commission into child abuse in Australia.

The Prime Minister says the commission will investigate all religious organisations, including the Catholic Church, as well as state care providers, and not-for-profit organisations.

Longreach priest Matthew Moloney says the church is very much on "centre stage".

"The church is going through a time of deep pain as many of the victims are... the victims are the ones that need to be brought healing and peace so that they can move forward," the former musterer says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Roy Bourgeois: they finally got him

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Roberts | Nov. 20, 2012

Ah, they finally got him, as we all knew they probably would. Eventually. And with a press release it was done: Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest for 45 years, was told that the Vatican “dispenses” him “from his sacred bonds.”

And the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, caught in the culture that finds advocating for women’s ordination such a grievous and unpardonable offense, “warmly thanks” Roy “for his service to mission and all members wish him well in his personal life.”

And so it goes, as Vonnegut would say. So it goes.

Bourgeois’ case is a prime illustration of what, today, the institution can and can’t tolerate. Bourgeois’ major offense, the sin that is unforgiveable in the eyes of the church, for which penalty is removal from the order which he has served for nearly half a century and dismissal from the community, was advocating for women’s ordination. ...

The Cardinals Who Nearly Destroyed the Church

The point to be made, now that Bourgeois is out, is an obvious one. There are cardinals who have had as much to do as any individual might with the near destruction of once grand Catholic communities in places like Boston and Philadelphia, who have been permitted to remain priests and go quietly into retirement.

Not a word has been said by Rome or by his successors about Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua who had a large space in Philadelphia’s chancery office that was filled with files recounting sexual abuse of children.

Bevilacqua oversaw priests who were involved in nothing short of sexual torture of youngsters. And he hid their deeds until the statutes of limitation kicked in and the priests could no longer be prosecuted. They would retire, and he would escape the law and any Vatican sanction until he could retire.

His successor, Cardinal Justin Rigali, ignored the charter that the bishops themselves had been forced to construct in the course of the scandal. He violated the church’s rules and likely violated civil law by not reporting alleged abusers. And off he quietly went, as a middle manager in the chancery office headed to jail.

Cardinal Bernard Law, everyone knows, had to leave Boston because of the enormous public pressure and the outrage of his priests, but he took a cushy job in Rome and retained his seats on at least six powerful Vatican congregations, including the Congregation for Bishops, until he was allowed to quietly retire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Il cappellano del carcere di San Vittore arrestato per violenza sessuale

ITALIA
Style

Concussione e violenza sessuale. Sono queste le accuse contestate a don Alberto Barin, cappellano del carcere milanese di San Vittore arrestato oggi dagli agenti della polizia penitenziaria e della squadra mobile.

Secondo quanto dichiarato dal procuratore Edmondo Bruti Liberati in una nota, il sacerdote è stato denunciato da sei detenuti che lo hanno accusato di aver richiesto prestazioni sessuali in cambio di «generi di conforto» (come sigarette, dentrifici, shampoo e spiccioli) e di «interessamento alla loro posizione carceraria» (ad esempio la promessa di dare parere favorevole alla scarcerazione).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Don Alberto Barin, cappellano carcere san Vittore, arrestato per violenza sessuale

ITALIA
You Reporter

MILANO / La procura di Milano ha disposto il fermo di don Albero Barin, sacerdote cappellano del carcere di San Vittore. Don Barin è indagato per violenza sessuale reiterata e pluriaggravata ai danni di 6 detenuti della casa circondariale milanese e per il reato di concussione.

Il procuratore della Repubblica di Milano Edmondo Bruti Liberti ha comunicato che in esecuzione dell’ordinanza di custodia cautelare emessa dal gip presso il tribunale di Milano, don Alberto Barin è stato arrestato nel pomeriggio dalla polizia giudiziaria della IV sezione della squadra mobile in collaborazione con la polizia penitenziaria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Italian Police Arrest Priest on Alleged Sex Crimes

ITALY
Wall Street Journal

By STACY MEICHTRY

Police arrested the chaplain of a Milan prison on Tuesday as part of an investigation by prosecutors into whether the cleric solicited sexual favors from immigrant inmates in exchange for basic goods such as toothpaste, according to the top prosecutor in the investigation.

Milan's sexual crimes prosecutor Pietro Forno said he had placed Rev. Alberto Barin, the 51 year-old Roman Catholic chaplain of San Vittore prison, under investigation on suspicion of abuse of office and sexual violence.

Mr. Forno is seeking to determine whether Father Barin, who has not been charged, coerced six of San Vittorio's male inmates to perform sex acts on him over the past four years in exchange for money and staples, such as toiletries and cigarettes.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Milan, which has oversight of Father Barin, said it was "bewildered and pained" by the chaplain's arrest and pledged to cooperate with the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Bishops face the growing retirement crisis of religious orders

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporte

by Jerry Filteau | Nov. 20, 2012

Baltimore --
Among the actions emerging from the U.S. bishops' annual fall assembly here, one that was least likely to garner any big headlines was their decision to add a new assistant director to the staff of the National Religious Retirement Office.

But behind it is one of the more dramatic human issues facing the U.S. church in coming years: a growing crisis in the many billions of dollars in unfunded retirement and elderly care costs that religious orders of men and women, especially women, are facing within the next couple of decades.

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. men and women religious today are age 70 or older, and 86 percent are 60 or older, said the report behind the proposal to expand staffing of the office. The office not only allocates funds from the yearly national collection for retired religious, but also provides extensive consultation services to help religious congregations prepare better for the funding crisis for aging members that so many of them face.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Former Maryknoll head decries Vatican interference in Bourgeois case

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee | Nov. 20, 2012

A former head of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers has expressed support for Roy Bourgeois, saying the longtime peace activist and priest has a "deep love for the church" and his dismissal from the order by the Vatican represents meddling in Maryknoll's affairs.

In his first statement since the dismissal, Bourgeois said Tuesday, "The Vatican and Maryknoll can dismiss me, but they cannot dismiss the issue of gender equality in the Catholic Church."

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has "interfered with the integrity of the society," said Maryknoll Fr. John Sivalon, who served as the order's superior general from 2002 to 2008.

"It makes it very hard to consider how we talk about mission and visioning for the future and being open to the Spirit, when in fact we're being dictated to that this is what we need to follow," Sivalon said Tuesday. "And so I think there is a question about the society itself and how the integrity of the society has been affected by this."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

CA - Embattled San Jose pastor resigns, SNAP pushes for more information

SAN JOSE (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on November 20, 2012

We're glad this irresponsible pastor, Fr. Lieu Vu, has resigned. He needlessly and deliberately put kids in harm's way by letting a convicted child molester volunteer at at leastt one parish function. He also foolishly argued for "forgiveness." While forgiveness is good, it shouldn't be mistaken for prudence.

We can and should forgive child molesters. But we shouldn't give them the chance to hurt more kids.

Bishop Patrick McGrath should publicly disclose and denounce the church employee who wrote the perpetrator a permission slip to be on school property. It is especially disturbing that that letter was written on November 15, 2010, almost two years ago. It is frightening to think of how many times that letter could have been used to gain access to kids. Bishop McGrath should clarify what the original purpose of the letter was, and should also tell parishioners whether the church staffer who penned the letter was fired or quit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Child abuse and “false accusations”

UNITED KINGDOM
AO Advocates

Posted by: A.Dean on Nov 20 2012

The past month and a half has seen of the most significant periods of media coverage about child sexual abuse in the history of the UK. It has also, by extension, been one of the most harrowing months for survivors of sexual abuse who are still coming to terms with their experiences.

The Jimmy Savile scandal continues to grow in the number of alleged victims and lines of inquiry, even as the police have begun arresting living people who may have been involved in elements of the scandal. Meanwhile, investigations into abuse in north Wales, the reopening of old official inquiries, and potential connections to government officials have filled the newspapers.

This culminated recently with the wrongful implication on BBC Newsnight that a senior Tory politician, Lord McAlpine, had abused a child in a Welsh care home. The abused person, Steve Messham, later admitted to the Guardian that he mixed up the identity of his perpetrator. When actually shown a picture of Lord McAlpine, Messham affirmed that McAlpine was not the man who abused him, and apologised. But the ensuing firestorm, including the resignation of BBC General Director George Entwistle and the stepping aside of other senior staff, threatens to obscure that there really are a lot of survivors out there who have not yet told their stories. That doing so became messy in Meesham’s case should not, we hope, convince other survivors to stay quiet.

Mistaken accusations of sexual abuse do happen, just as they do with other sorts of crimes. But the recent BBC Newsnight scandal does not give credence to the argument that there is a growing threat from false accusations. These are extremely rare. Child sex abuse is not the kind of crime that people like to associate with. The opposite, in fact, is true: we see repeatedly how brutally hard most survivors of child abuse find even admitting the abuse to themselves, let alone to loved ones and then to the world. They typically feel terrible shame, as if it’s their fault, and bottle it up for decades – very often forever.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Italian Catholic Church to pay property tax from next year

ITALY
National Secular Society (United Kingdom)

Posted: Thu, 15 Nov 2012

Italy's Catholic Church will be forced to pay taxes starting in 2013 after the EU pressured the country's government to pass a controversial law stripping the Church of its historic property tax exemption.

The Catholic Church in Italy is excluded from paying taxes on its land if at least a part of a Church property is used non-commercially – for instance, a chapel in a bed-and-breakfast. "The regulatory framework will be definite by January 1, 2013 – the start of the fiscal year – and will fully respect the [European] Community law," Italian premier Mario Monti's government said in a statement on Tuesday.

The move could net Italy revenues of 500 million to 2 billion euros annually across the country, municipal government associations said. The extra income from previously exempt properties in Rome alone – including hotels, restaurants and sports centres – could reach 25.5 million euros a year, La Repubblica daily newspaper reported.

On Monday, the Council of State, Italy's highest ranking court for administrative litigation, ruled against the new law. Authorities stepped in, arguing that everyone in Italy should pay property tax, including the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

MO - Trial proceeds vs. priest

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on November 19, 2012

A civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against who has been called “Illinois’ most notorious predator priest” is moving ahead and will be the focus of a hearing today in St. Clair County Illlinois.

It involves Fr. Raymond Kownacki of the Belleville Diocese. He’s been accused of molesting boys and girls and was once sued for impregnating a teenager and performing an abortion himself.

Leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are applauding the victim for “helping to expose wrongdoing, by both a child molesting cleric and corrupt church colleagues, and helping to deter such awful behavior in the future.”

They urged current and former employees of the Belleville Catholic diocese to help find other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers, “so that Kownacki might be criminally prosecuted and kept away from kids.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Pastor steps down after sex offender volunteers at school

SAN JOSE (CA)
KGO

Lilian Kim

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The pastor of a San Jose church is stepping down after a convicted child molester was granted official permission to be on school property.

It's still not clear who granted that permission, but on Monday the Diocese of San Jose announced the pastor of St. Frances Cabrini School is stepping down. Father Lieu Vu's resignation is effective immediately and there are no plans to reassign him in a position as pastor.

The Diocese of San Jose won't say why Father Vu is stepping down, but his resignation comes just one month after an incident that left parents outraged. It was during the St. Frances Cabrini School's festival fundraiser when a group of parents noticed that Mark Gurries, a former parent and registered sex offender, was volunteering at the event.

T.J. Locke-Scheig was among a handful of parents who urged Father Vu to do something, but the pastor was said to have resisted and told the parents to be compassionate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Pastor resigns over sex offender volunteer scandal

SAN JOSE (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A California pastor has resigned in wake of a scandal involving a registered sex offender who was allowed to work as a Catholic school festival volunteer.

The Diocese of San Jose says the Rev. Lieu Vu resigned on Monday as pastor of the St. Frances Cabrini School and Parish.

The San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/QqYVzV) says the diocese also released a letter written by a former diocese human resources employee permitting convicted 51-year-old pedophile Mark Gurries to participate at last month's elementary school festival.

Someone at the festival recognized Gurries and reported it to a security officer. The convicted molester was escorted off campus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

San Jose parish pastor resigns in wake of scandal over child molester volunteer

SAN JOSE (CA)
Mercury News

By Julia Prodis Sulek and Mark Gomez Mercury News
contracostatimes.com

SAN JOSE -- The pastor of the Saint Frances Cabrini School and Parish resigned Monday, weeks after his defense of a convicted child molester at a parish festival infuriated parents and scandalized the Diocese of San Jose.

In announcing the resignation of the Rev. Lieu Vu, the diocese also released a letter written by a former diocese human resources employee permitting convicted pedophile Mark Gurries to participate and volunteer at parish and school events.

Gurries unveiled a copy of the letter Oct. 6 when a 19-year-old former student recognized him working the sound system at a parish festival, setting off a heated exchange between a group of parents and the Rev. Vu.

When parents expressed outrage and demanded Gurries be removed from campus, the pastor reportedly defended Gurries, saying he had a right to be there and should be forgiven.

The heated confrontation continued for five hours, ending when a Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy, who was working the festival as security, escorted Gurries off campus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Royal commission: Church 'ruined my career'

AUSTRALIA
Knox Weekly

By TARA McGRATH
Nov. 21, 2012

CARMEL Rafferty was silenced, shut down and bullied in 1992 when she dared to question the behaviour of a parish priest at the school where she worked as a teacher.

The Boronia resident — known as Mrs Giddings during her teaching life — taught at Holy Family in Doveton for five years from the late 1980s, before being appointed as a senior school teacher in grades 5 and 6.

It was during this year that her pupils started coming forward to tell her that they were uncomfortable with the way the priest, Peter Searson, was touching them.

It's because of her experiences more than 20 years ago that Ms Rafferty was "overjoyed" to hear the federal government's announcement of a royal commission on institutional responses to allegations of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Govt wants sex abuse survivors to help shape commission

AUSTRALIA
The Chronicle

Adam Carroll
20th Nov 2012

UPDATE: FEDERAL Attorney General Nicola Roxon has defended the tight deadline that has been set for stakeholders to have their say on the terms of reference for the royal commission into child abuse.

Victim groups, religious organisations and other interested parties have until Monday to make written submissions as the government draws up the terms of reference and decides on the make-up of the commission.

Ms Roxon said the government remained eager to have things in place of the investigation to begin early next year.

"I don't want the drafting of the terms of reference and the consultation to turn into a royal commission in itself," Ms Roxon said on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Catholic Church to review sexual abuse policy

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Jill Rowbotham and Milanda Rout
From:The Australian
November 21, 2012

THE Catholic Church will review its national sexual abuse complaints policy, with the Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, believing it ultimately will be revised during the course of the royal commission.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Denis Hart confirmed both Towards Healing and the church's other complaints process, the Melbourne Response, would be on the agenda at next week's Sydney meeting of the church's peak body.

"I am sure the bishops will discuss the two present responses in the light of their inherent value, as well as any criticism, to assess the best way forward for all," Archbishop Hart said.

A spokesperson for Cardinal Pell's archdiocese of Sydney said the sexual abuse complaints policy had been reviewed since it was introduced in 1997.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

State defers shield reforms

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Michael Owen
From:The Australian
November 21, 2012

SHIELD laws to protect journalists, professionals and whistleblowers from revealing their sources cannot be considered in South Australia because of Julia Gillard's royal commission into child sexual abuse, the Weatherill government says.

South Australian Attorney-General and Acting Premier John Rau yesterday said "matters concerning disclosure" related to the commission, announced by the Prime Minister last Monday, meant he could not consider drafting state legislation to provide legal protection for journalists and other professionals who did not want to reveal details about confidential discussions they had with sources or clients.

"In light of the current ambiguities on matters related to disclosure, particularly in the context of the forthcoming commonwealth royal commission, it is not appropriate for me to advance any consideration of this matter until issues become more clearly resolved," Mr Rau said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Priest rapes 12-year-old girl

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

November 20 2012
By Yogas Nair

KwaZulu-Natal - A priest visiting from India, who had sexually groomed a 12-year-old North Coast girl for two months on Skype by showing her images of the Kama Sutra, has been convicted of rape.

Adhyatma Adhyatma Amithananda, 57, a Hindu priest and self-proclaimed spiritual teacher, arrived in South Africa from Kerala in March 2010. He had been invited by religious leaders in oThongathi (Tongaat).

The victim’s family met him at a local temple where he was delivering a religious discourse.

The girl had epilepsy with chronic seizures and the family had asked him to pray for her to cure her of her condition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Priest enters not guilty plea in child sex case

OHIO
Fairfield Echo

By Ed Richter

CINCINNATI —

A Fairfield-based Glenmary Missioners priest accused of federal child sex charge was released on his own recognizance and was placed on house arrest with GPS monitoring pending trial following a detention hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.

During Monday’s hearing, the Rev. Robert Frank Poandl, 71, also entered a plea of not guilty on the sole charge of transporting a minor across state lines for illicit purposes, according to Fred Alverson, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio. If convicted, Poandl faces up to 10 years in prison.

Alverson said Poandl will be released from custody later Monday evening after the GPS monitoring has been set-up and the remaining paperwork is completed. Poandl has been held in the Butler County Jail since voluntarily turning himself in to the FBI last Thursday following his Nov. 14 indictment. The case has been assigned to Judge Michael Barrett.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges that Poandl had transported a 10-year old boy from Cincinnati to West Virginia in August 1991 where he is alleged to have sexually assaulted the child, and that he has substantial international travel and connections across the country which makes him a flight risk. The crime was not disclosed until the victim came forward, according to the FBI’s Cincinnati field office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Hartford Archdiocese Sues For Coverage of Sex Abuse Claims

CONNECTICUT
Law360

By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Law360, New York (November 19, 2012, 7:41 PM ET) -- The Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. on Monday claimed Interstate Fire & Casualty Co. has improperly failed to cover at least $800,000 in settlements with several victims who allegedly suffered childhood sexual abuse at the hands of priests.

The Archdiocese is seeking damages for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act that resulted from Interstate’s alleged failure to provide indemnification under excess general liability...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Abused Indigenous children 'must be heard'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Gordon Taylor

An Indigenous woman from Queensland who was abused by a Catholic priest in the 1960s says the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse must examine the widespread abuse of Aboriginal children by members of the Catholic Church.

Tjanara Goreng Goreng was repeatedly sexually abused by a Catholic priest over several years while attending boarding school at the Range Convent in Rockhampton.

After 30 years of silence, she took on the Catholic Church and won a settlement for the years of abuse by the priest.

He had abused many other Indigenous children throughout Queensland and was eventually jailed for his crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Film defrocks church hierarchy over handling of sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Chicago Tribune

Andrea Burzynski
Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Four deaf Wisconsin men were some of the first to seek justice after suffering childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a priest, and a new documentary about the Catholic Church's poor handling of such cases stemming from the Vatican seeks to make their voices heard.

"Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God" explores the impact of the Roman Catholic Church's protocol as dictated from the Vatican for dealing with pedophile priests. It opens in U.S. cinemas on November 16, and will air on cable channel HBO in February.

"A lot of individual stories had been done about clerical sex abuse, but I hadn't seen one that really connected the individual stories with the larger cover-up by the Vatican, so that was important," Gibney told Reuters in an interview.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Not all victims' stories will be heard at abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Ben Packham
From:The Australian
November 20, 2012

COMPENSATION for victims will be a second order priority for the royal commission into child abuse, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon says.

Contrary to other media reports today, Ms Roxon has also signalled that every victim may not get a chance to tell their story to the royal commission, saying she wants to ensure the inquiry is "manageable".

But she said the priority was learning how to reduce child sexual abuse and improve the handling of complaints.

"Our primary concern is to look at the recommendation that will help fix the system for the future," she said.

"So our primary concern is not to be looking at compensation as a starting point. But I think ... the entire community understands that that might be something that flows from the work of the commission, so we are not ruling that out."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Roxon defends abuse commission timeframe

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

November 20, 2012

Dan Harrison
Indigenous Affairs and Social Affairs Correspondent

Attorney General Nicola Roxon has defended the tight timeframe for feedback on proposed arrangements for the Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse.

The government has allowed just one week for comments on a discussion paper it released late yesterday which sets out options for the commission's terms of reference and other details

Victims groups such as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, have said the timeline is too tight.

But Ms Roxon defended the process, hinting the government would take a flexible approach to late submissions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

A week 'not enough' for a say on Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Premier Barry O'Farrell says it is disappointing there is only a one week public consultation period over the terms of reference for the Federal Government's Royal Commission into child sex abuse.

The Greens say the public has not been given enough time to have a say about the terms of reference for the Commonwealth's Royal Commission into child sex abuse.

Stakeholders will have seven days to make submissions about what issues they think should be investigated by the Commission and how different governments should work together to share information.

But NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge says a week is not enough time for victims groups to give considered responses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Consultation starts on abuse Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC - 7.30

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 20/11/2012
Reporter: Leigh Sales

Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has called for input into the establishment of the Royal Commission into institutional child abuse. She joined 7.30 to explain the process.

Transcript
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Many people who suffered sexual abuse as children in institutions will be desperate to tell their stories to the royal commission the Federal Government announced last week, but how many of those cases will be investigated? The Government has released a discussion paper on the inquiry and is calling on any interested parties to provide suggestions about how it should run. The Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, is in Sydney today to promote changes to the federal anti-discrimination laws but she made time to join me in the studio to discussion the royal commission plans.

Nicola Roxon, will every person who wants to tell their tale of sexual abuse to this royal commission be able to do so, and will every one of those cases be investigated?

NICOLA ROXON, ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Well, our position and our starting point is yes, they should be able to, but of course there's going to be a lot of work done - particularly with victims' groups who are talking with us now about how you potentially might group people together, how you might find a selection of individual stories. We do think it's important for people to have the opportunity to tell their story and we do think that that informs the sorts of recommendations commissioners will make - but it has to be manageable, so there's a difficult balance there. Whether they will all be investigated is going to depend on the circumstances of every case. We're really trying to make clear that a royal commission is not a police force, it's not a prosecuting body, it's not a court and the normal criminal processes should still continue. We don't want people to see this as an alternative to pursuing, in the proper forums, criminal action if that should be taken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Consultation Paper on Royal Commission Released

AUSTRALIA
Pro Bono Australia

Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Federal Government has released a consultation paper on the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, announced last week by the Prime Minister.

The consultation paper asks for stakeholder views on:
• The scope of the Terms of Reference, including the issues the Commission should investigate and make recommendations on;
• The form of the Royal Commission, including how the Commonwealth and states and territories could work together to ensure full access to information;
• The number of Royal Commissioners and appropriate expertise; and
• The timetable and reporting arrangements.

Attorney General Nicola Roxon and Acting Minister for Families Brendan O’Connor said: ”We want all stakeholders, especially survivors of child sexual abuse, their families and their advocates, to help shape the development of the Royal Commission.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Royal Commission into child abuse - how will it work?

AUSTRALIA
ABC Adelaide

[audio]

The Federal Government has recently announced a Royal Commission into institutionalised child abuse in Australia, and many are wondering just how it will work, and what the legal implications could be. Dr Rita Shackel is a senior lecturer at Sydney University's Faculty of Law and she's discussing the terms of reference for the Royal Commission, and the legal implications given that many new cases of abuse are expected to be brought to light as a result. She has been conducting research on the dynamics of child sexual abuse and the barriers to disclosure, and has a particular interest in historical cases of child sexual abuse, both in terms of the evidentiary, procedural and legal issues such cases throw up, but also regarding the rights and needs of victims. Dr Shackel is speaking here with Stan Thomson.....

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Former youth minister arrested on sex crimes

OKLAHOMA
KXII

COAL COUNTY, OK -- A Former Coalgate youth pastor has been arrested for sex crimes against children. 28-year-old Dustin Werneberg was taken into custody Wednesday on several second degree rape charges.

An affidavit states the sexual abuse has been going on for more than a year. Kristen Shanahan spoke with the lead investigator of this case and the pastor who says he never believed his employee could be involved in something like this.

Police tell us Werneburg was arrested at Blanchard Middle School in McClain County Wednesday where he was serving as a teacher's aid. He is now behind bars in Coal County on three counts of Second Degree Rape, three counts of Forcible Sodomy, a charge of Lewd or Indecent Proposals to a Child and Lewd Molestation. Investigators say all these crimes were committed against a girl under the age of 16.

Coalgate police investigator Richard Costantino says former youth minister Dustin Ray Werneburg was arrested on eight sex crime charges after a parent came forward saying Werneburg had inappropriate contact with their daughter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Priest pleads not guilty to W.Va. abuse charge

OHIO
WHIO

The Associated Press

CINCINNATI —

A Roman Catholic priest has pleaded not guilty to taking a 10-year-old boy to West Virginia in 1991 so he could sexually abuse him.

The Rev. Robert Poandl, of the Cincinnati-based Glenmary Home Missioners, was released on his own recognizance following his not guilty plea Monday in federal court in Cincinnati.

An indictment last week accused Poandl of taking the boy on Aug. 3, 1991.

The religious order says the indictment is related to a June 2009 accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor in Spencer, W.Va.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

November 19, 2012

Judge releases Fairfield priest on bond

OHIO
Fox 19

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)- With a call for a bible verse written on his chest, a former Cincinnati-area priest appeared in court on Monday to plead not guilty for a child sex charge.

A federal grand jury has charged Robert Frank Poandl, 71, of Fairfield with one count of transportation of a minor across state lines for illicit purposes.

Poandl, who is also known as "Father Bob," was arrested by FBI agents at the Glenmary Missioners in Fairfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Priest pleads not guilty to W.Va. abuse charge

OHIO
San Francisco Chronicle

CINCINNATI (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest has pleaded not guilty to taking a 10-year-old boy to West Virginia in 1991 so he could sexually abuse him.

The Rev. Robert Poandl, of the Cincinnati-based Glenmary Home Missioners, was released on his own recognizance following his not guilty plea Monday in federal court in Cincinnati.

An indictment last week accused Poandl of taking the boy on Aug. 3, 1991.

The religious order says the indictment is related to a June 2009 accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor in Spencer, W.Va.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Maryknoll: Vatican has dismissed Roy Bourgeois from order

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee | Nov. 19, 2012

Roy Bourgeois, a longtime peace activist and priest who had come under scrutiny for his support of women's ordination, has been dismissed from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, which he served for 45 years, according to the congregation.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made the dismissal in October, according to a news release issued Monday afternoon by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

Dominican Fr. Tom Doyle, a canon lawyer acting on Bourgeois' behalf, told NCR he was not aware of the move.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Church of England priest gets 4-year sentence for sexually abusing teenage boys

UNITED KINGDOM
Calgary Herald

By The Associated Press
November 19, 2012

LONDON - A retired Church of England priest has been jailed for four years after admitting that he sexually abused three boys between 1983 and 1991.

The case against 75-year-old Rev. Ronald Johns revealed that the bishop of Carlisle had responded to another boy's complaint in 1993 by moving the priest but taking no further action.

Judge Rabinder Singh, presiding Monday in Carlisle Crown Court, noted that a pre-sentence report described Johns' behaviour as manipulative and predatory.

When a complaint was made in 1993, the late Bishop Ian Harland removed Johns from his post and reassigned him to a village church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Vatican: Priests, bishops should wear cassocks

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee | Nov. 19, 2012

Bishops, priests and religious should wear the formal long robes of a cassock during most occasions when visiting Rome, a high-ranking Vatican official has said.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's Secretariat of State, made the request for the formal dress in a letter released during last month's Synod of Bishops.

It came at the bequest of Pope Benedict XVI, reports a posting at veteran Italian journalist Sandro Magister's site at the Italian newsmagazine l'Espresso.

Bertone's letter, first made public Monday but dated Oct. 15, asks bishops and cardinals "kindly to guarantee" the observance of a 1982 letter by Pope John Paul II on the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Priest Indicted, Arrested, Detained for Interstate Transportation of a Minor to Commit Sex

OHIO
FBI

U.S. Attorney’s Office
November 15, 2012 Southern District of Ohio
(937) 225-2910

CINCINNATI—A federal grand jury has charged Robert Frank Poandl, 71, of Fairfield with one count of transportation of a minor across state lines for illicit purposes.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Edward J. Hanko, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); William Hayes, Acting Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Ohio and Michigan; and agencies in the Greater Cincinnati Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force announced the indictment today following Poandl’s arrest by FBI agents at the Glenmary Missioners in Fairfield where Poandl, known as “Father Bob,” lives.

The indictment alleges that in August 1991, Poandl took a 10-year-old boy across state lines with intent to engage in sexual activity with him. The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

During Poandl’s initial appearance, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy Muncy told U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman that Poandl had transported a 10-year-old boy from Cincinnati to West Virginia in 1991, where he is alleged to have sexually assaulted the child, and that he has substantial international travel and connections across the country, which makes him a flight risk. Muncy also told the court that the crime was not disclosed until the victim came forward. Magistrate Judge Bowman ordered Poandl detained and scheduled a detention hearing for Monday, November 19, 2012, at 1:30 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

British ex-canon jailed for teen sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
The Australian

AAP
November 20, 2012

A FORMER canon of a British cathedral has been jailed for four years for sexually abusing three teenage boys.

Ronald Johns, the 75-year-old former canon of Carlisle Cathedral in northern England, had pleaded guilty to sexual offences against three boys from 1983 to 1991.

The victims were aged between 14 and 17 at the time.

"As you accept, you have ruined your life and brought disgrace upon yourself," judge Rabinder Singh said as he sentenced the former clergyman on Monday.

The court heard that when the allegations were first made in 1993, Johns' bishop demoted him to a village parish instead of telling police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Methodists Hope to Nix Abusive Priest Claims

TEXAS
Courthouse News Service

By DAVID LEE

DALLAS (CN) - A regional body of the United Methodist Church has called for protective orders in sexual misconduct lawsuits against an allegedly abusive pastor.

Jeffrey Carson, a former church member at St. Luke Community United Methodist Church in Dallas, filed suit eight months ago against St. Luke's, the North Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and former pastor Tyrone Gordon in county court.

Last month, former St. Luke's employees Anthony Bollin and Christopher Mosley filed similar, separate suits in county court.

All three men allege that Gordon engaged in sexual misconduct and harassment against male employees and parishioners at the church.

The conference filed three motions for protective orders last week, arguing that the claims exceeded the statute of limitations and that the plaintiffs failed to exhaust administrative remedies afforded by the federal Equal Employment & Opportunity Commission and Texas Workforce Commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Temper commission expectations, says Gillard

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 20, 2012

Lindsay Murdoch

PHNOM PENH: The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, says her government will need to be careful to handle high expectations of the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

Asked about a Herald/Nielsen poll showing the inquiry has the backing of almost every Australian, Ms Gillard said: ''The best we can do is to be consultative and be clear about what we are trying to do and what we are trying to achieve.

''The royal commission decision has been well received by the nation, it's a decision the nation needed,'' Ms Gillard said in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, where she is attending the East Asian Summit, a forum of 18 world leaders.

''People do want to see the tragic instances of child abuse addressed … people want to see our institutions of the future not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

No need for abuse comment apology: Barnett

AUSTRALIA
9 News

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says the state opposition's response to his comments about the royal commission into child sex abuse was wrong and inappropriate.

Opposition child protection spokeswoman Sue Ellery called on the premier to apologise to victims of child abuse after he told ABC radio that the far-reaching national inquiry announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week could destroy institutions around the country.

Mr Barnett said he held grave concerns about the legacy the massive inquiry may leave on the organisations investigated and the victims involved.

The premier said he hoped the royal commission would achieve positive outcomes, "but I also fear for the negativity that could come out of it".

"I think you will see many people's lives destroyed. I think you will see many of Australia's institutions - which may have been at fault - also destroyed, and great divisions in the community," he told ABC radio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Govt wants help to shape royal commission

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The federal government has allowed barely a week for Australians to help shape the terms of reference for a royal commission into child sexual abuse.

The tight deadline reflects Prime Minister Julia Gillard's wish for the inquiry, which is likely to take years and involve thousands of individuals, to be established by the end of this year so it can begin its work in early 2013.

Ms Gillard last week announced the planned a royal commission to investigate how child sex abuse allegations have been handled by religious, community and state institutions.

Labor on Monday released a consultation paper asking for public submissions on the scope of the terms of reference, the form of the commission, the number of commissioners and reporting arrangements, by close of business on November 26.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Victims to be able to sue church

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 20, 2012 15

Phillip Coorey, Jacqueline Maley

VICTIMS of sexual abuse would be able to sue the Catholic Church for compensation as a result of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse, legal experts say.

And any victim of sexual abuse would be able to give evidence, if they wished.

A discussion paper released late on Monday by the commission secretariat says the commission's findings ''may extend to ensuring that there are no obstacles to the making of claims and that there is sufficient support for victims of abuse in pursuing those claims''.

Presently, the church is classified as an non-legal entity for the purpose of compensation claims, which means victims cannot sue.

The discussion paper, part of the consultation process to establish the terms of reference, has been sent to all state and territory leaders as well as the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, the Greens and the federal independents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Child abuse commission must be carefully focused

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

A WEEK after Julia Gillard announced a royal commission into child sexual abuse, the challenge of satisfying community expectations is growing harder by the day. The government was right to respond to community concerns, but a nagging question still remains: what is the commission designed to do?

In the absence of a carefully defined brief, the commission - which is yet to be established - is being wildly misconstrued by politicians, lawyers and children's advocates. Australians have overwhelmingly welcomed the commission, and so does The Australian. From the outset, however, we argued that the terms of reference and timetable for the commission will be critical. First and foremost, the government must be clear about what it wants from the inquiry. Should it be an investigative commission to uncover new cases of abuse and lead to police action or is that a job for another body? Should it have a therapeutic purpose, offering a forum for victims of child abuse to tell their stories? Or should it concentrate firmly on institutional failings and look at regulations, practices and procedures that could be put in place to help ensure that such abuse of children is not repeated?

Several lawyers have seized on the commission as an opportunity sign up new clients and to make money from it. This presents a risk that the commission could be turned into a legal circus. As reported in The Australian yesterday, at least one law firm is spruiking its services, asking victims of child sexual abuse to come forward so that they may have a "claim" to make to the commission once it is up and running. But as yet there is no procedure for hearing or investigating such claims, let alone any discussion of paying compensation. In addition, a number of victims' advocacy groups have been contacted about new claims of abuse. Other well-meaning advocacy and victim support groups are recording a sharp increase in inquiries made to their organisations. The inflated expectations may be impossible to meet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Royal commission into child sexual abuse ...

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

Royal commission into child sexual abuse will be asked to suggest new rules and preventive action

Phillip Hudson
Herald Sun
November 20, 2012

THE royal commission into child sexual abuse will be asked to suggest new rules to prevent future attacks, procedures to follow when allegations are raised and how to deal with abuse that has occurred.

A discussion paper released by the Federal Government also says the commission can suggest new laws as well as policies to make government agencies better able to respond.

It will also be asked to identify roadblocks inside institutions and organisations that prevent proper notification and investigation of claims.

State governments will be asked to hand over information to ensure no individual, institution or organisation "can avoid scrutiny".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Sex victims to number thousands

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 20, 2012

Michelle Grattan

THE federal government's royal commission into child sexual abuse is expected to be the biggest inquiry held in Australia, involving thousands of victims and hundreds of organisations.

A government consultation paper sent to premiers on Monday flags that the massive investigation - lasting years and probing religious and secular organisations as well as government bodies - is set to facilitate victims making compensation claims and will be able to refer matters to the police as it goes along.

With this week's Age/Nielsen poll showing 95 per cent support for the commission, the government is asking the states and stakeholders to provide written feedback by next Monday on the terms of reference and the inquiry's form and timetable. The paper has also been sent to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Greens leader Christine Milne, crossbenchers and stakeholders.

Asked about the poll result, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said her government would need to carefully handle the public's high expectations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

Sex abuse vicar Ronald Johns: Church missed chances to report him

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Church bosses missed three chances to report a child sex abusing vicar to the police, the BBC has learned.

Between 1983 and 1991, the Reverend Ronald Johns sexually abused three boys while working in Cumbria.

In 1993 he admitted his crimes to his Bishop, but instead of reporting him to police the Church of England moved him to a different parish.

Archdeacon of West Cumberland, the Venerable Richard Pratt, said the church missed three chances to report Johns to police delaying an investigation.

In September, Johns, a former canon of Carlisle Cathedral, pleaded guilty at the city's crown court to assaulting three teenage boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

UK - SNAP applauds “broad investigation” into Diocese of Chicester

UNITED KINGDOM
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on November 19, 2012

This investigation is a huge step in the right direction. Too often, those with positions of authority within the church are able to avoid punishment for their crimes. We are grateful to police and prosecutors for their years-long effort to investigate these crimes and to apprehend those responsi