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December 31, 2012

Warren Jeffs, Polygamist FLDS Cult Leader, May Be Directing Doomsday Plot (VIDEO)

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Meredith Bennett-Smith Posted: 12/31/2012

Infamous polygamist and leader of the break-off Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sect has predicted that the end of times is near, prompting some to worry about violence this New Year's Eve.

Warren Jeffs is currently serving a life sentence in Texas for abusing underage girl "brides," but authorities say he has been issuing missives to his 10,000 followers from his prison cell, the New York Daily News notes.

Sam Brower, a private investigator who represents former FLDS members, told CNN that law enforcement officers will be monitoring known FLDS communities as the new year approaches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau Investigates Sex Abuse Allegation

MISSOURI
Ozarks First

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau says it has received a credible complaint of sex abuse of a child involving a priest.

According to the diocese, the complaint involves Rev. Walter G. Craig and is alleged to have happened in the mid-1960s.

The church says Rev. Craig was appointed to the diocese in 1956 and the alleged abuse occurred in New Madrid County.

Rev. Craig was born in 1899 and ordained in 1923 for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He died in 1971.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Diocese investigates allegations of child sexual abuse

MISSOURI
Sikeston Standard Democrat

Monday, December 31, 2012

SPRINGFIELD - The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has reported allegations of sexual abuse of a child by a priest who once served parishes in Southeast Missouri.

The Diocese is reporting "a credible complaint" of sexual abuse of a minor involving the Rev. Walter G. Craig. The allegation pertains to a period in the mid-1960s, according to a news release from the Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Montreal deacon facing child porn charges worked with kids before arrest: parishioner

CANADA
Global Montreal

Monday, December 31, 2012

MONTREAL — A church member says a West Island deacon facing child-pornography charges worked directly with children at St. Edmund of Canterbury Church in Beaconsfield.

Pierre Drolet, whose three children attended catechism classes and volunteered at the popular Catholic parish, said that as a deacon, William Kokesch was involved in a range of children's activities, including organizing bowling parties and other events for altar servers, choir members and children enrolled in liturgy programs.

Drolet made the comment in response to a statement by church warden Peter Geukers, who said Thursday that Kokesch did not work directly with children, except during mass.

"That's not true," said Drolet, an active church volunteer for about 10 years, until three years ago.

"He's a deacon, and the deacons work with kids," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Resolutions and hot dogs all around

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

Dianne Williamson
dwilliamson@telegram.com

The mother of one of my oldest friends died of cancer last week. Jacqueline Brunelle Sharry was 86, funny and warm, with a succinct way of expressing herself that led to phrases dubbed “Jackieisms” by her kids.

She never went to college or worked outside the home. Instead, she raised 10 terrific children, all of whom adored her and were by her side as she passed. Looking back, she never made the raising of such a big, boisterous brood seem anything but effortless.

Mrs. Sharry was also one of those moms who made her children's friends feel welcome in her home, where she was always quick to set another place at the dinner table. Last week, she was asked by her daughter Nancy how she managed to raise such a large family and still have the energy to host all the neighborhood stragglers.

She shrugged and seemed puzzled by the question.

“It was easy,” she said. Then she added, “What's another hot dog?”

I loved this final Jackieism, and believe the world would be a better place if we carried that simple sentiment into the New Year. So with that in mind, I offer the following resolutions for local folks who have appeared in this space in 2012, either voluntarily or under duress: ...

Don Peters, the Worcester priest who exposed a fellow cleric, resolves to continue to follow his conscience. And the people who ostracized him for doing so resolve to be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

TheMediaReport.com’s Top 10 Posts of 2012 [Part II: The Top 5!]

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

We close out our great year at TheMediaReport.com with our Top Five posts of 2012! Again, thank you so much to everyone!

#5 Minn. Supreme Court Rejects 'Repressed Memory' Junk Science Against Priest, Media Yawns

For years now, Church-suing lawyers have attempted to use the novel psychological theory of "repressed memory" as a way to circumvent the statutes of limitations in many states in order to file big-money lawsuits against the Catholic Church.

However, in July, the Minnesota Supreme Court flatly rejected the theory as bogus. The Court declared that scientific studies that have tried to prove the bogus theory have "lacked foundational reliability." Yet – not unexpectedly – the media was nowhere to be found reporting this important story.

Regular readers of this site have long known that "repressed memory" is a complete sham. Yet once again, when the facts do not fit the accepted media narrative, the facts are ignored. Kudos to the Minnesota Supreme Court, however, for telling the story that the media will not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

John Wojnowski

WASHINGTON (DC)
Minnesota SNAP

[Reach out - say THANK YOU to John, on his daily journey he stops at the library and reads comments below]

The Passion of John Wojnowski

Haunted by his past, he has stood outside the Vatican embassy nearly every day for 14 years. His lonely vigil has made him a hero to victims of sexual abuse. But will he ever find peace?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Colombian Jesuit silenced over critical review of Pope’s book

COLOMBIA
The Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland)

Fr. Alfonso Llano Escobar, S.J. had learned the hard way that it doesn’t pay to critique your boss’s writings. Fr. Llano, whose weekly column Un alto en el camino (“A stop along the road”) had appeared in the major Colombian newspaper El Tiempo for 30 years, has been told that his writing career has come to an end.

In a message to the editorial board of the newspaper, Fr. Llano wrote that “Father Adolfo Nicolás, the superior general of the Jesuits, has ordered Father Alfonso Llano to consider his apostolic vocation as a writer to be over, has deprived him of his freedom of speech, and is demanding that he not even say goodbye and that he keep absolute silence.”

The priest columnist earned his silencing for a November 24th column in which he offered his views on Pope Benedict XVI’s new book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, and specifically on the doctrine of the virginity of Mary. The column focuses on internal debate about the subject within the theological community and is worth translating in its entirety:

The Infancy of Jesus. That’s the title of the third volume of the trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth by theologian Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI. It has been published in nine languages, including Spanish, and will be published in a first global edition of one million copies. With a series of articles in the press and interviews on radio and television, I would like to guide readers of this book by the Pope, which offers a special difficulty — the virginity of Mary — which will give theologians and the media a lot to talk about.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Irish priest is hit with third abuse lawsuit

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Eimear Ni Bhraonain

Monday December 31 2012

A THIRD lawsuit has been filed in the United States against an Irish priest who fled the country where a civil jury found him guilty of molesting an altar boy.

Fr Michael Kelly (63) insisted on his innocence after he returned to stay with family in Ireland last April.

The Catholic priest from Ballingarry, Co Tipperary, has rarely been seen since he returned to Ireland.

The Irish Independent understands that he has not been involved in any priestly duties since he came back to Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

December 30, 2012

What would have happened if the LA Times and AP DIDN’T intervene?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on December 30, 2012

What would have happened if the LA Times and The Associated Press did not intervene in the court battle over the Los Angeles Archdiocese clergy sex abuse documents?

My guess? The worst possible outcome.

What do I mean by that? The document redactions—that would have allowed church officials guilty of covering up for clergy sex offenders to remain unpunished, unexposed and unaccountable for their crimes—would probably have sailed in under the radar. Victims (and their attorneys) who fought for years to get justice and accountability would have been given the proverbial “sand-pounding hammer” and LA criminals similar to Philadelphia’s Msgr. William Lynn would be off scot-free.

Let’s hope that more media organizations—as well as Catholic justice and advocacy groups—step up and also demand the accountability that Los Angeles’ victims have been fighting for for decades. Let’s also hope that Judge Emilie Elias rules for victims and public safety (remember, many of the names that could be redacted belong to people still in positions of power).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Victim-hating quote of the day. Thanks, LA Archdiocese!

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on December 30, 2012

Remind me to take Los Angeles Archdiocese lawyer J. Michael Hennigan off my Christmas card list.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“We agree with Judge Tevrizian that enough time has passed and enough reforms have been made that it’s time to get off this and move onto another subject,” attorney J. Michael Hennigan said.

Those other subjects? Two civil sex abuse trials against former priest Michael Baker and the first of what could be many civil sex abuse trials against former priest Nicolás Aguilar Rivera. And that’s just the start.

“… enough time has passed?” To run out the statute of limitations for other victims, perhaps …

Gee, those UNREDACTED documents would get in the way, wouldn’t they?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Italy: Priest’s letter draws women activists to Sunday Mass demo

ITALY
euronews

[with video]

Women staged a protest at Sunday mass after a priest in Italy blamed violence against females committed by men on provocative behaviour and clothing.

The activists made their opposition to Father Pietro Corsi’s views clear at the main church in the Tuscan city of Carrara.

Father Corsi, priest at a church in nearby Lerici, penned his views in a letter, then posted it on the church noticeboard.

“We decided to stage this protest because we think that this ideology is basically shared by most of the Catholic Church and society. This ideology has become one of the causes of violence against women, which is actually an emergency in Italy,” said Anthropologist and women’s rights activist Alessandra Verdini, who organised the protest by using Facebook.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Second priest to be arrested in sexual abuse case

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

By Roberto Rocha, THE GAZETTE
December 30, 2012 12:51 PM

MONTREAL — Montreal police will arrest a second priest believed to have sexually abused students of a school run by the Congregation of Holy Cross one of Quebec’s pre-eminent religious orders.

The arrest of Olivain Leblanc, 70 follows that of Georges Sarrazin, 91. Both are accused of abusing boys at College Notre-Dame between 1966 and 1980.

Leblanc, like Sarrazin, is also believed to suffer from health problems, which complicates their arrest.

Police are in discussion with the priests’ lawyers, and the arrest warrants will be “executed shortly,” Constable Anie Lemieux of the Montreal police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Church protest held after priest says women provoke violence from men by provocative behaviour

ITALY
RTE News

Women in Carrara, Italy attended mass wearing miniskirts and low-necked dresses to protest against an Italian priest's comments.

Father Pietro Corsi, priest at Saint Terenzio, a church in Lerici, Northern Italy said that women killings and violence against women are caused by provocative women's behaviour.

Father Corsi hung a notice on the Church's notice board on women dressing which provoked strong reactions and protests among Italian women and also towards the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Judge Elias, please release ALL confidential church records of names of vicars, bishops, others who handled reports of child sexual abuse in Los Angeles Archdiocese

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Paris Arrow

New Year’s plea to the judge of Los Angeles: Reveal the whole truth, the entire truth now

Dear Judge Emilie H. Elias,

You are our final hope for the whole truth and nothing but the truth…and May the Almighty God help you and give you the courage to do the right thing.

The crimes against American children systemically covered-up by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles must not be hidden in the dust of history nor must it be given the chance to be shredded and forgotten forever into oblivion (five or six banker's boxes of documents).

We beg you to please release all confidential church records of the names of vicars, bishops and others who handled reports of child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the sake of hundreds of victims of sexual abuse that settled their claims in 2007 for $660 million. Money can settle for compromise and silence, but it cannot buy the whole truth and money cannot repair the lives of hundreds of children in Los Angeles that have been destroyed forever by Roman Catholic pedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Two elderly Que. priests accused of sexual assaults

CANADA
CNews

By QMI Agency

Montreal police have issued arrest warrants for two elderly priests accused of sexual assaults dating back to the 1960s.

Olivain Leblanc, 70, and Georges Sarrazin, 91, both brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross, could face charges including gross indecency, indecent behaviour and sodomy.

It is alleged they sexually assaulted students at the College Notre-Dame in Montreal between 1966 and 1980. Police said four people have filed complaints against the two men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

December 29, 2012

Agressions sexuelles: un autre frère de Sainte-Croix sera arrêté

CANADA
La Presse

Philippe Teisceira-Lessard
La Presse

Un deuxième frère de Sainte-Croix sera bientôt arrêté par la police de Montréal pour des agressions sexuelles qu'il pourrait avoir commises au Collège Notre-Dame il y a des décennies, a appris La Presse.

Olivain Leblanc, 70 ans, fait l'objet d'un mandat d'arrêt daté du 6 décembre dernier. L'ancien professeur d'anglais du réputé collège montréalais devrait être accusé de grossière indécence et d'attentat à la pudeur, en lien avec des actes survenus entre mars 1979 et octobre 1981.

À cette époque, l'accusation d'agression sexuelle n'existait pas et celle de viol était réservée aux situations impliquant un homme et une femme. Même si les accusations sont déposées en 2012, c'est la version du Code criminel valide à l'époque des actes reprochés qui doit prévaloir dans ce dossier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Un deuxième frère fait l’objet d’un mandat d’arrestation

CANADA
Journal de Montreal

MONTRÉAL – La police de Montréal a confirmé samedi qu’un deuxième frère de la Congrégation de Sainte-Croix devrait être arrêté prochainement pour des agressions sexuelles commises entre 1966 et 1980.

Un mandat d'arrestation a été émis le 6 décembre contre le frère Olivain Leblanc, âgé de 70 ans, qui pourrait faire face à des accusations de sodomie, de grossière indécence et d’attentat à la pudeur.

Vendredi, le Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) avait déjà révélé que des accusations semblables pourraient être déposées contre le frère Georges Sarrazin, âgé de 91 ans. La police a spécifié que le frère Sarrazin, qui fait également partie de la Congrégation de Sainte-Croix, devrait être arrêté en janvier à la suite de plaintes déposées par d’anciens élèves du collège Notre-Dame, à Montréal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Two elderly Quebec priests suspected of sexual assaults

CANADA
CJAD

Posted By: Luciano Pipialpipia@astral.com·12/29/2012

Two elderly Quebec priests are expected to be arrested and charged in the new year.

Arrest warrants have been issued for 70-year old Olivain Leblanc and 91-year old Georges Sarrazin.

It's alleged they sexually assaulted students at College Notre-Dame during a 14-year period beginning in the mid 1960's.

Charges could inlude gross indecency, indecent behaviour and sodomy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Montreal police to arrest two priests accused of abusing students decades ago

CANADA
CTV

[with video]

CTV Montreal
Published Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012

MONTREAL—With over 200 former students claiming they were abused by priests, the fight against the Congregation of Holy Cross has been ongoing for years. Early in the New Year, two priests will be arrested and charged.

On Saturday, the Montreal police confirmed that a warrant had been issued to arrest Olivain Leblanc, 70, and Georges Sarrazin, 91. The two priests face allegations that they sexually assaulted students at College Notre-Dame between 1966 and 1980.

Leblanc and Sarrazin could face charges of gross indecency, indecent behaviour and sodomy—crimes in the Criminal Code at the time they were committed.

With the warrant issued on Dec. 6, Montreal police worked with the men’s lawyers to organize their arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Catholic Church to face the music

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Over the coming months it will, rightly, be subjected to extreme scrutiny as a royal commission into the institutionalised abuse of children examines why so many people have had their lives ruined by organisations that were trusted to protect and nurture them as youngsters.

The church will face searing questions about its past practices, including why, in some cases, it moved priests accused of abuse to other dioceses, meaning more children were victimised.

And why it did not properly co-operate with many police investigations into paedophile priests.

The church will need to be open and transparent about disgraceful failings of the past, which have devastated too many lives and shocked Australia.

The church also needs to be accountable for its future and consider whatever steps are necessary, no matter how radical, to ensure future generations are protected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Some charges against pastor of Church of End Times dropped

UXBRIDGE
Telegram & Gazette

By Susan Spencer TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
susan.spencer@telegram.com

UXBRIDGE — The pastor and co-founder of the Church of the End Times, a nondenominational church that has drawn attention for some of its practices, such as purported exorcisms featured on YouTube and late-night gatherings with teenage girls, bid his lawyer farewell Friday at Uxbridge District Court after several charges from the past year were dismissed or continued without a finding.

Judge Vito A. Virzi dismissed charges against David H. Stanley, 40, of 51 Murphy’s Way, related to violation of a restraining order, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace on Oct. 1. Several neighboring police departments were called to assist Uxbridge police in removing David’s brother, Dennis H. Stanley, from the home Dennis shared with his wife, Beth Stanley, at 41 Murphy’s Way. Mrs. Stanley has since filed for divorce.

Judge Virzi also dismissed charges stemming from alleged breaking and entering to steal a motorcycle from his brother’s home in May.

Mr. Stanley was found not responsible on three unregistered motor vehicle charges brought after witnesses alleged Mr. Stanley and a child were riding a motorcycle, without helmets, at high speed through their neighborhood last July. A charge of driving an uninsured motor vehicle was dismissed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Op-ed: Pa. task force recommendations pave way for stronger abuse laws

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot-News

By Debra Schilling Wolfe

The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection recently released its report calling for sweeping reform in how the state responds to reports of child abuse.

The numbers tell the story: 11 Pennsylvania professionals, representing all corners of the state and many of the fields that touch the lives of victims of child abuse, released a comprehensive report in excess of 400 pages, after meeting on 17 separate occasions, holding 11 public hearings across the commonwealth and hearing testimony from more than 60 experts.

With the support of legislative staff, they incorporated research on how every other state addresses the problem.

While some people were leery about another commission, all appointed by elected officials in a highly partisan environment, the task force was comprised of committed private citizens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Petition to Obama to Act Now to End Group Child Sexual Abuse Advances

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

(by Jerry Slevin, retired Wall Street lawyer)

The petition that went public a couple of days ago on the White House website has been garnering over hundreds of signatures daily since then from all over the USA. The petition asks President Obama to set up a national investigation commission on organizational child sexual abuse that is increasingly occurring in church, synagogue, school and youth organizational situations.

State laws and local officials seem incapable of curtailing these crimes sufficiently. The sexual violence against children often involves organizations operating nationally that protect, and at times even facilitate, the sexual predators. Many of these organizations have significant political and economic clout of over local officials and prosecutors that often improperly precludes local prosecutions of the criminal conduct.

As a grandfather who has been a lawyer (now retired) for over 40 years since graduating from Harvard Law School, it is very clear to me that only a Federal solution can curtail this growing epidemic. That is what the petition seeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Dolan is No. 1 newsmaker in religion reporters' poll

UNITED STATES
Rapid City Journal

Mary Garrigan Journal staff

Before the slaughter of innocents in a Newton, Conn., school on Dec. 14 sent a grief-stricken nation into mourning, religion journalists voted the top 10 religion stories of 2012.

While the No. 1 U.S. religion story in December 2012 was, without a doubt, the school attack that killed 20 first-grade students and six adults, it happened after the Religion Newswriters Association ballot deadline. But the mournful search for meaning that will follow, as religious people discern religion’s role in future debates about mental health and gun control, promises to remain an important story in 2013.

RNA members — professional journalists who cover religion — voted on the year’s other significant religious events and put the U.S. Catholic bishops’ opposition to national health care legislation that mandated contraception coverage at the top of the list. Related to the top story, the top religion newsmaker was Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who became the point man for Catholic objections to required coverage of contraception, sterilization and morning-after drugs in Obamacare. ...

The Top 10 Religion Stories of the Year, as chosen by RNA members, are:

5. Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia becomes the first senior Catholic official in the U.S. to be found guilty of covering up priestly child abuse; later Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., becomes the first bishop to be found guilty of it.

6. The Vatican criticizes the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group of U.S. nuns, alleging they haven't supported church teaching on abortion, sexuality or women's ordination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Gag orders could hamper abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Radio Australia

Tom Nightingale

Support groups have warned that the upcoming Royal Commission into child sexual abuse could be held back by legal gag orders.

Support groups have warned that the upcoming Royal Commission into child sexual abuse could be held back by legal gag orders.

They say some of the most severe cases of abuse might be restricted by a court order or a confidential legal settlement and there are concerns this could stop some victims sharing their stories.

At the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into abuse, the Catholic Church waived any confidential legal agreements that had been entered into by victims of abuse and allowed victims to give evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Priests told to report child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Samantha Maiden
From:The Sunday Telegraph
December 30, 2012

PRIESTS should be required by law to report cases of suspected child sex abuse - without breaking the seal of the confessional - according to the new chief of the Catholic Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council.

Francis Sullivan, a committed Catholic, also believes offering a weekly prayer for victims and a moment's silence during mass could help the church atone for atrocities.

He has also warned he wants to be an independent voice for victims and their families, not an apologist for the church.

The Truth, Justice and Healing Council was established by the Catholic Church to co-ordinate its response to next year's royal commission, prompting sceptics to question the new organisation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

December 28, 2012

Tale of four priests, four friends and one faith undergoing historic changes

UNITED STATES
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Salt Lake Tribune

Whether by accident, serendipity or divine design, four future heavyweights of American Catholicism found themselves in the Class of 1962 at St. John’s Seminary on a lush hillside 60 miles from Los Angeles.

Momentous societal changes were surfacing all around the young men, but seminary life for George Niederauer — who served as Utah’s bishop from 1995 to 2006 — and pals Roger Mahony, William Levada and Tod Brown continued much the same as it had since, oh, the 16th century. Part spiritual boot camp and part modern-day monastery, the school and its choreographed schedule stretched far beyond normal college rhythms — a Catholic "Goodbye, Mr. Chips."

The four friends — a pair of cardinals-to-be, a future archbishop and bishop — were assigned alphabetically to desks and dorms. They arose at 5:30 a.m. to the blare of an insistent hallway bell, and, within a half hour headed to the chapel for prayers and Mass. Silence was required during meals and after 7:30 p.m. Moral theology and philosophy classes were taught in Latin.

The priests-in-waiting had neither televisions nor telephones and were forbidden to leave the Camarillo, Calif., campus without permission. They could read about current events — such as the 1960 election of the first Catholic to the White House — but only in clips from approved newspapers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Will the LA Times and the AP force the Archdiocese of LA to keep its promises?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on December 28, 2012

What crime is worse: a) sexually abusing a child, or b) knowing about it, covering it up and allowing the abuse to continue?

Don’t worry – I’m not requiring an answer. But I will say this: both groups deserve to be punished, exposed and held publicly accountable for the pain and suffering they caused.

But now there is a huge risk that Group B—Los Angeles Archdiocese officials who knew kids were being raped and did nothing to stop it—will go unpunished and unexposed. Names of child sex abuse enablers and abetters could be redacted from secret personnel files, more than five-and-a-half years after those documents were promised to victims.

Why? Well according to the Los Angeles Times:

That agreement, however, is at risk of being undermined. A court-appointed referee has ruled that the names of church leaders who are not accused of abusing children should be redacted from the files before those documents are publicly released early next year. Why? The referee argues that including the names of such high-ranking clerics, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, would only cause further embarrassment to an institution that has already enacted reforms to prevent future abuses.

Because of the ruling of the referee judge, the LA Times and Associated Press have intervened and will argue against the redaction of names of church officials who covered up abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

90% child sex abuse ‘within family circle’

AUSTRALIA
The Gympie Times

Toni Mcrae
29th Dec 2012

THE head of the largest Catholic congregation on the Fraser Coast has cautioned people against believing the Royal Commission into child sex abuse was going to end the brutalisation of minors.

Father Paul Kelly, of St Mary's Catholic Parish in Maryborough, said people were falling into the trap of believing the Federal Government inquiry would "quickly flush out pedophile priests or other church members and then sexual abuse will just go away".

"This inquiry is going to turn into a showcase of, while you point the finger at the bogey man, beware the person right next to you," he said.

"It is already being talked about as a Catholic Church clean-out and it is definitely not just the Catholic Church that needs probing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Obama and Stopping Group Child Abusers Now

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

(by Jerry Slevin, a retired Wall Street lawyer)

It must be tough being a child in the USA today. If your school isn’t invaded by some Terminator-style lunatic supposedly exercising his Second Amendment rights, then all you have to worry about is being sexually assaulted and violated by your priest, rabbi, teacher, nun, minister, scout leader or other adult your parents told you to trust. How can this happen in the USA?

Is a way, it’s simple. Ours laws protect criminals at times more than children. Organizations protect the sexual predators and their accomplices. These groups often almost control local political leaders, legislators and prosecutors. Bishops, scout organizations, et al., lobby vigorously, support local candidates and hire high priced lawyers and publicists. Survivors’ lawyers often agree to keep potentially incriminating abuse files secret, apparently to get more bucks for their few clients that benefit, as well as for themselves in large legal fees. The media is too often passive and inattentive. Sadly, kids don’t vote and most of their parents don’t think, not enough anyway.

This must change. Please click on, read and sign the White House petition at:

http://wh.gov/5aAQ

The petition to President Obama was filed by a brave New Yorker who lost her brother to sexual abuse. It has only been public for a few days and is already gaining several hundred signatures a day from all over the country and as far away as Sydney, Australia. Instead of reading and blogging about kids being sexually violated, please do something about it. Sign the petition.

So far only the Call To Action, a prominent Catholic social justice group, has voiced support for the petition. Other abuse survivor and child protection groups have surprisingly been missing in action inexplicably

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Moose International’s Failure to Protect Children ...

UNITED STATES
Seth H. Langston Attorney

Moose International’s Failure to Protect Children in Light of the Allegation that Former CEO William Airey’s Sexually Abused a Child

The Moose’s announcement this past Friday of former CEO William Airey’s retirement was woefully inadequate. It evidenced an attempt by the Moose leadership to cover up the seriousness of the allegations and possibility that there are others who will make similar reports. Studies have shown that most child sex offenders have multiple victims.

Noticeable in both of the Moose press releases on this subject was the failure of the Moose leadership to take any action to determine the truth of the accusations and whether anyone in the Moose organization had been aware of any allegations of sexual misconduct with children by Mr. Airey. ...

These statements by Moose International suggest that their leadership is afraid of what they might find out with a thorough investigation. Mooseheart School and members of the Moose have provided great services to children for many years. The Moose leadership, by its inaction,threatens to obscure all of the good work that the Moose have done and to permanently stain the Moose. This is similar to what has occurred with the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America, where millions of good deeds by members, have been overshadowed by the misdeeds of leadership

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

'Ub-u-sive'

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Judy Brown (Eishes Chayil)
Edited By Naomi Zeveloff

Published December 20, 2012, issue of December 28, 2012.

Guilty on all 59 counts: guilty, guilty, guilty.

On Monday, December 10, a jury of 12 found Nechemya Weberman enormously guilty. The jurors convicted him of sexually abusing an underage girl entrusted to his care. They declared the respected member of the ultra-Orthodox community to be a criminal and a fraud, and thousands of survivors, advocates and victims, many of whom still live in silence, breathed a sigh of relief as one.

Once, an ultra-Orthodox man could not be found guilty of sexual abuse. He could not be charged with a word that did not exist.

I was 9 years old when I first encountered the word “abuse.” I was at my friend’s house. I found a book on a desk near her room, and ran to the staircase to read it. I don’t remember the title, or what the book was about, only that across its white cover was a picture of a gun, and on the first page, in the subtitle, was an adjective I’d never seen.

I read it, slowly: “Ub-u-sive…”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Consider This: No more room under the carpet

NEW YORK
The Jerusalem Post

By NAOMI RAGEN

12/27/2012

While Weberman is behind bars, many are still unnamed and continue to destroy the souls of young boys and girls because of a conspiracy of silence surrounding rabbinical sexual misconduct.

The case was horrific. A 17-year-old girl from the Satmar community in Williamsburg testified that she was forced by her school to attend “counseling sessions” from age 12 to 15 because she wore stockings that were too thin and asked too many questions about God. Instead of religious mentoring, three times a week she found herself behind a thrice-locked door with a bed, face to face with a fiftyish, overweight, unlicensed father of 10 who forced her to watch pornographic movies and perform sexual acts.

The defendant, Nechemya Weberman, had risen from the humble post of driver for the Satmar Rebbe to the go-to expert to whom rebellious young girls were forcibly sent. According the victim’s mother, Weberman charged her $150 an hour, and demanded thousands of dollars up front.

At one point, when he insisted on taking her young daughter on a 12-hour, unchaperoned excursion upstate, the victim’s mother finally protested. His response? An angry demand for a written apology, and a threat to stop the sessions, which would have resulted in the girl’s expulsion from school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Nechemya Weberman's Unique Band of Relatives

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Jon Kalish
Edited By Larry Cohler-Esses

Published December 28, 2012, issue of December 28, 2012.

You think your family has issues? Consider the Weberman clan.

Nechemya Weberman was convicted December 10 for child sexual abuse in a landmark case that underlined the massive support he enjoyed in the Satmar Hasidic community. But it turns out that he is just one high-profile member of a sprawling brood, whose diverse activities have made them one of that community’s more notable families.

Besides the newly minted felon, the extended Weberman family includes an anti-Zionist who broke bread with Holocaust deniers in Tehran six years ago; an immigration attorney who got the Satmar rebbe into America after World War II, and a Yippie “garbologist,” famous for sorting through the trash of Bob Dylan, among other things.

From the Satmars’ perspective, the singular bad apple in the barrel may be neither the anti-Zionist nor the convicted child abuser. It is the garbologist, Alan Jules Weberman, a secular left-wing activist better known as A.J. Weberman, who has recently put up a website to trash his Hasidic relatives and the entire Satmar community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Dearborn Priest Faces Probation, Fines for Drunken Driving, Disorderly Conduct Charges

MICHIGAN
Patch

By Jessica Carreras
December 27, 2012

A Dearborn priest arrested in August for drunken driving and indecent exposure faces a year of probation and continued counseling, but hopes to return to the ministry, according to his attorney.

The Rev. Peter Petroske, who formerly served as the head priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dearborn, was sentenced Thursday in Dearborn's 19th District Court before Judge Richard Wygonik.

Petroske was arrested in Dearborn in August for driving under the influence, and while naked. Following the charges, he was suspended from his post at Sacred Heart by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Italian priest sparks outrage over blame of women for violence

ITALY
Stabroek News

Friday, December 28, 2012

ROME, (Reuters) – An Italian priest has provoked outrage after putting up an article that said women were partly to blame for encouraging domestic violence by failing to clean their houses and cook properly and for wearing tight and provocative clothing.

Italian media reported that parish priest Piero Corsi fixed a text to the bulletin board of his church in the northern village of San Terenzo di Lerici, which said women should engage in “healthy self criticism” over the issue of femicide, or men murdering women.

Domestic violence against women is a serious problem in Italy although a report by a United Nations mission in June said it was “largely invisible and underreported”.

The text, posted on a website by a conservative Catholic named Bruno Volpe, attacked pornography and erotic television advertising but said women shared the blame for “provoking the worst instincts, which then turn into violence and sexual abuse”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

Caso Karadima: Ministro Muñoz comenzó diligencias en causa civil

CHILE
Cooperativa

El ministro de fuero Juan Muñoz Pardo solicitó el expediente criminal con los detalles de la indagatoria que desarrolló la ministra en visita Jessica González en contra del sacerdote Fernando Karadina.

Con esto se inició la primera diligencia tras la acción civil iniciada por James Hamilton, José Andrés Murillo y Juan Carlos Cruz, para exigir una indemnización de la Iglesia Católica por los abusos cometidos por el sacerdote.

El ministro Muñoz fue designado para llevar adelante el proceso, a causa del fueron del demandado: el arzobispo Ricardo Ezzati, como representante de la Iglesia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Attorney ensures victims' stories are told

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

Written by
Sean O’Sullivan
The News Journal

WILMINGTON — In the spring of 2011, when attorneys representing 152 victims of sexual abuse by priests were close to settling with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, attorney Thomas Neuberger made a promise to his clients.

No matter what happened with the settlement, he said, he would make sure their stories were told – free of the filter of media or church – by writing a book.

“They wanted to make sure their voices would be heard, and they wouldn’t be forgotten,” Neuberger said.

After more than a year away from his law firm, Neuberger has fulfilled his promise publishing, “When Priests Become Predators: Profiles of Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 AM

Suit Settled Over Claims of Sex Abuse at Poly Prep

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By MOSI SECRET

Published: December 27, 2012

An elite Brooklyn private school agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by former students accusing the school of covering up decades of sexual abuse of hundreds of boys by a star football coach.

The settlement, between Poly Prep Country Day School and 12 plaintiffs who said they had been abused, closes a case with all-too-familiar allegations of abuse shielded by power and prestige: Philip Foglietta, the football coach who took the Poly Prep team to great heights after his arrival there in 1966 and who died in 1998, is said to have groped and raped boys on campus, in his car and on trips, while administrators enamored with his success ignored a series of allegations made against him.

The terms of the settlement, first reported by The New York Daily News, are confidential. The original claim was filed in 2009 in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. The parties released a joint written statement, capping an often-contentious negotiation with a unified voice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

Ex-teacher receives life in rapes of his student

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

[note: This is a 1995 article]

July 22, 1995

By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,Sun Staff Writer

Former Catholic school teacher John J. Merzbacher left Baltimore Circuit Court yesterday still proclaiming his innocence, after a judge sentenced him to life in prison for "dastardly crimes -- crimes beyond the comprehension of rational people."

Judge Robert I. H. Hammerman sentenced Merzbacher, 53, to four life terms for rape and statutory rape for the abuse of Elizabeth Ann Murphy, a Cockeysville woman who was Merzbacher's student at Catholic Community Middle School in the 1970s. He also received a 10-year sentence for perverted sexual practice.

The sentences are to be served concurrently, meaning that under current guidelines, he must serve 12 years before he is considered for parole. However, few prisoners serving life sentences are paroled at that stage.

"I have always regarded teaching to be the most honorable profession of all," Judge Hammerman said. "For all of us to face a moment such as this is a tragedy for the entire community."

He noted that he had tears in his eyes listening to the tortured testimony of Merzbacher's wife, Gloria, as well as to Ms. Murphy's statement of how Merzbacher's crimes had indelibly marked her life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

Shine a light on church sexual abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

Editorial

Judge Emilie H. Elias will decide next month whether the names of vicars, bishops and others who handled reports of child sexual abuse should be released.

When hundreds of victims of sexual abuse agreed in 2007 to settle their claims against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles for $660 million, they did so with the understanding that confidential church files that contained the full story of what officials knew, and when they knew it, would become public.

That agreement, however, is at risk of being undermined. A court-appointed referee has ruled that the names of church leaders who are not accused of abusing children should be redacted from the files before those documents are publicly released early next year. Why? The referee argues that including the names of such high-ranking clerics, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, would only cause further embarrassment to an institution that has already enacted reforms to prevent future abuses.

Fortunately, the referee's ruling is not final. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Emilie H. Elias has the last word in the matter. Next month she will hear objections to the referee's redactions and decide whether the names of vicars, bishops and other priests who handled reports of abuse should be released or be blacked out. The church files are believed to contain internal memos, Vatican correspondence and medical records. (Full disclosure: The Times' lawyers have filed a motion urging the court to ignore the referee's proposed redactions on the grounds that the public has a right to know who was aware of abuse allegations and how they responded.)

We hope that Elias will overrule the referee. Whether the archdiocese endures further embarrassment is not the legal standard the court should use given the damage done over several decades to hundreds of children by officials of the church. The only test that should be applied in this case is whether the public's right to know outweighs the clerics' right to privacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 AM

Media may argue against redactions in church files, judge rules

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
December 27, 2012

Media organizations will be allowed to argue against redactions in secret church files that are due to be made public as part of a historic $660-million settlement between the Los Angeles Archdiocese and alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.

Pursuant to Judge Emilie Elias' order, The Times and the Associated Press will be allowed to intervene in the case, in which attorneys are gearing up for the release of internal church personnel documents more than five years after the July 2007 settlement. The judge's ruling came after attorneys for the church and the plaintiffs agreed to the news organizations' involvement in the case.

The Times and the AP object to a portion of a 2011 decision by a retired judge overseeing the file-release process. Judge Dickran Tevrizian had ruled that all names of church employees, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and other top archdiocese officials, should be blacked out in the documents before they were made public. In a hearing, Tevrizian said he did not believe the documents should be used to "embarrass or to ridicule the church."

Attorneys for the news organizations argued in court filings that the redactions would "deny the public information that is necessary to fully understand the church's knowledge about the serial molestation of children by priests over a period of decades." The personnel files of priests accused of molestation, which a church attorney has said were five or six banker's boxes of documents, could include internal memos about abuse claims, Vatican correspondence and psychiatric reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 AM

December 27, 2012

Montreal police receive more tips about deacon who faces child-porn charges

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, Dec. 27 2012

Montreal police say they have received more tips from the public about a deacon charged with producing and distributing child pornography.

A bail hearing for William Kokesch began in a Montreal courtroom today but a publication ban on its contents was granted at the defence’s request.

The 65-year-old Kokesch was charged Saturday via video link after police searched his west-end home a day earlier.

Montreal police Constable Dany Richer said Thursday that authorities have received more tips since Mr. Kokesch’s photo was made public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

Quebec deacon facing child porn charges gets bail

CANADA
CBC News

A Quebec deacon charged with producing and distributing child pornography was granted bail today.

The judge told William Kokesch, 65, he will have to deposit $10,000 cash with the court.

He is not allowed to use computers and must not be in the presence of anyone under the age of 18 without another adult's supervision.

The deacon from Montreal's West Island has been behind bars since he was arrested on Friday.

At the defence's request, the judge granted a publication ban on today's proceedings, which means that evidence and testimony offered in court cannot be reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

Montreal deacon charged with child pornography gets bail

CANADA
News 1130

The Canadian Press December 27, 2012

MONTREAL – A Montreal deacon charged with producing and distributing child pornography was granted bail on Thursday.

William Kokesch was ordered to deposit $10,000 and to return to court on Feb. 27.

He is not allowed to be in public areas where children are likely to gather. He is also forbidden from using a computer or having access to the Internet.

The bail conditions were announced as Montreal police said they have received more tips from the public since his photo was released.

Kokesch, 65, was charged Saturday via video link after police searched his west-end home a day earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Montreal deacon facing porn charges freed on bail

CANADA
Sun News

QMI AGENCY

MONTREAL - A Montreal deacon charged with producing, possessing and distributing child pornography is free on $10,000 bail.

William Kokesch, 65, and his wife testified at his bail hearing Thursday, but a judge ordered their testimony be banned from publication.

Kokesch's lawyer, Jeffrey Boro, told journalists outside the courtroom that his client has the "support of his family."

Montreal police said they found more than 2,000 images of child pornography after searching Kokesch's home and another location last Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Deacon William Kokesch released on bail

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

By Monique Beaudin and Marian Scott, THE GAZETTE
December 27, 2012

MONTREAL – A West Island church deacon facing child-pornography charges was granted bail Thursday, as Montreal police said they are investigating new information related to his case.

William Kokesch, 65, was released on $10,000 bail with several restrictions imposed by a judge.

He was arrested Friday after police seized more than 2,000 computer files and messages left on Internet chat sites while executing search warrants at his home and the Beaconsfield church where he served as a deacon.

Kokesch has been charged with production and distribution of child pornography. Crown Prosecutor Dominique Potvin said Kokesch also will be charged with possession of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

Suspended priest fined, gets probation for driving drunk, naked

MICHIGAN
The News-Herald

DEARBORN — The priest arrested for driving drunk and naked this summer has been sentenced to probation and fined.

The Rev. Peter Petroske, placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Detroit from Sacred Heart Catholic Church, will have to pay $1,200 in fines and court costs, was sentenced to 12 months’ reporting probation and must attend Alcoholic Anonymous meetings three times a week, according to the sentence handed down by 19th District Judge Richard Wygonik on Thursday afternoon.

Petroske also was ordered to continue outpatient counseling when he’s discharged from the St. John Vianney Center in Downingtown, Pa., which is geared toward the clergy and religious community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Judge: Media can intervene in priest files fight

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Mercury News

The Associated Press
Posted: 12/27/2012

LOS ANGELES—A judge has ruled that media organizations can intervene to oppose redactions in the personnel files of priests accused of sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County Judge Emilie Elias on Thursday said The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times can argue against the redactions at a Jan. 7 hearing.

The Los Angeles archdiocese plans to release the files by Jan. 14 under the terms of a previous judge's order, which allows it to black out the names of some accused clerics and all church officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Brooklyn Hasid indicted for throwing bleach in rabbi’s face

NEW YORK
Times of Israel

JTA – A Brooklyn fishmonger was indicted for throwing a cup of bleach in the face of a Hasidic rabbi who advocates for victims of sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community.

Meilech Schnitzler, 36, of Williamsburg, a member of the Satmar Hasidic sect, was indicted Wednesday on two counts of attempted assault, two counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He could face up to 15 years in prison.

Schnitzler on Dec. 11 threw a cup of bleach in the face of Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, also of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood.

Rosenberg, 62, was treated for burns on his face, around his eyes and in his left eye. The rabbi runs a website and blog for sex-abuse victims, as well as a telephone hot line.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Man indicted in bleach-throwing attack on NY rabbi

NEW YORK
Times Herald-Record

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK — A Satmar Hasidic man has been indicted on charges he tossed bleach into the face of a New York rabbi who publicizes claims of child sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes announced Wednesday that Meilech Schnitzler was indicted on two counts of attempted assault, two counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. The top charge carries a potential prison sentence of 15 years. A lawyer for Schnitzler did not immediately return a message for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

KINGS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY ...

NEW YORK
Kings County District Attorney's Office

KINGS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHARLES J. HYNES ANNOUNCES THE INDICTMENT OF MEILECH SCHNITZLER FOR ASSAULT AFTER ALLEGEDLY THROWING BLEACH IN THE FACE OF RABBI NATHAN ROSENBERG

Brooklyn, December 26, 2012 – Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes today announced the indictment of Meilech Schnitzler for Attempted Assault in the First Degree, for throwing a cup of bleach in the face and eye of Rabbi Nathan Rosenberg on December 11, 2012.

Schnitzler, 37, is charged with two counts of Attempted Assault in the First Degree; Assault in the Second Degree; Assault in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the top count.

“This indictment alleges an act of thuggery in broad daylight that cannot be tolerated,” said District Attorney Hynes. “The indictment sends a clear message that anyone who would seek to intimidate someone opposed to the uncovering of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community will face serious criminal charges and if convicted, I will ask for the maximum jail time.”

According to the indictment, the defendant and the victim both lived in Williamsburg and knew each other. The victim was walking past 311 Roebling Street when Schnitzler allegedly tapped Rosenberg on the shoulder, threw a cup of bleach in his face and eye and ran away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Man Accused Of Throwing Bleach In Rabbi's Face Could Get 15 Years In Prison

NEW YORK
Gothamist

The Williamsburg man accused of throwing a cup of bleach into a Rabbi's face in ultra-Orthodox South Williamsburg was indicted yesterday. Meilech Schnitzler, 37, is accused of approaching Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg on the street one afternoon earlier this month and assaulting him with bleach, then running off. Rosenberg runs a controversial website that identifies alleged child molesters in the ultra-Orthodox community, and according to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Schnitzler's father was named on Rosenberg's website as a pedophile. (Kelly made it clear that Schnitzler's father had not been charged.)

Rosenberg immediately flushed out his eyes with water after the attack, which a doctor says saved him from going blind. But Rosenberg says that the "pain was unimaginable." He was treated for burns at Woodhull Hospital and sustained a corneal abrasion to his left eye and chemical burns around his eye. "He taps on my shoulder, he says 'whoops' and throws it in my face," Rosenberg told a Daily News reporter at the hospital. He subsequently identified his alleged assailant to police.

Schnitzler, a fishmonger who operates Schnitzler’s Famous Fish in South Williamsburg, is charged with two counts of Attempted Assault in the First Degreem, Assault in the Second Degree, Assault in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the top count.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Italian priest provokes storm with misogynist rant

ITALY
euronews

[with video]

An Italian priest has been urged to resign after posting comments claiming women provoke violence against themselves.

Father Piero Corsi has sparked a wave of protests after sticking this flyer on the door of his San Terenzo church in the northern region of Liguria.

The lengthy text accuses women of ratcheting tensions in family life and inciting sexual attacks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Italy priest says women bring domestic violence on themselves

ITALY
The New Age

A Catholic priest has sparked outrage in Italy by claiming that women bring domestic violence on themselves by dressing provocatively and neglecting housework, Italian media reported on Thursday.

"How often do we see girls and mature women going around scantily dressed and in provocative clothes?" Piero Corsi said in a Christmas message posted on the door of his church in the small town of San Terenzio in northwest Italy.

"They provoke the worst instincts, which end in violence or sexual abuse. They should search their consciences and ask: did we bring this on ourselves?" it read. ...

The region's bishop, Luigi Ernesto Palletti, stepped in as the story went viral and said Corsi's words were "unacceptable and go against the church's common feeling on the matter".

Amid protests from women's rights and anti-violence campaigners, Corsi was widely reported by Italian media to have apologised to his congregation and handed in his resignation.

He later denied the reports, saying a resignation letter sent to news agencies was "probably a fake", adding that he was going to "take a rest" but had no intention of stepping down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Caso Karadima: avanza demanda contra la Iglesia Católica

CHILE
Terra

El ministro de fuero Juan Muñoz Pardo pidió el expediente con los detalles de la investigación que desarrolló la ministra en visita Jésica González en contra de Fernando Karadima.

El mes pasado, el médico James Hamilton, el sociólogo José Andrés Murillo y el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz, representados por el abogado Juan Pablo Hermosilla, interpusieron una demanda ante la justicia civil para exigir indemnizaciones a la Iglesia Católica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Dictan primeras diligencias por demanda civil contra sacerdote Karadima

CHILE
Bio Bio

Publicado por Gerson Guzmán | La Información es de Erik López

El ministro de fuero Juan Muñoz Pardo, solicitó el expediente con los detalles de la investigación que desarrolló la ministra en visita Jéssica González, en torno a los abusos sexuales por los cuales fue acusado al sacerdote Fernando Karadima.

Esta acción responde a la medida interpuesta en la justicia civil por el abogado Juan Pablo Hermosilla, representante de James Hamilton, José Murillo y Juan Cruz, quienes exigen indemnizaciones por parte de la iglesia Católica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Volantino choc sul femminicidio, Don Piero Corsi: "Non lascio la tonaca"

ITALIA
Quotidiano

Il sacerdote, dopo le aspre polemiche scatenate dal contenuto del volantino, ha incontrato il vescovo, monsignor Palletti, il quale ha consigliato al parroco di prendersi "un periodo di riposo e riflessione"

Genova, 27 dicembre 2012 - "Mi prenderò un periodo di riposo ma non lascio la tonaca. Il comunicato arrivato stamattina è, probabilmente, un fake". Lo ha detto don Piero Corsi, sacerdote autore del volantino sul femminicidio, stamani in un video registrato a cura della televisione diocesana che sarà diffuso nel primo pomeriggio. Il sacerdote, dopo le aspre polemiche scatenate dal contenuto del volantino, ha incontrato ieri sera il vescovo, monsignor Luigi Palletti, il quale ha consigliato al parroco di San Terenzo di prendersi "un periodo di riposo e riflessione". Il sacerdote ha poi sentito per telefono stamani l’alto prelato ma "non ho mai detto o scritto di voler lasciare la tonaca".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Priest cleared of sex charges waiting for parish return

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Greg Harkin

Thursday December 27 2012

A PARISH priest who was cleared by the courts on sexual-assault charges more than six months ago is still waiting for clearance from Rome to return to his parish.

Fr Eugene Boland says he is "extremely hopeful" that he will get the go-ahead to do so in the new year.

It is thought that up to 10 other priests in Ireland are currently awaiting clearance to return to their posts after being cleared by investigations.

The Donegal-born priest was forced to stand down from public ministry in August 2010 after allegations had been made against him in the Derry diocese.

Fr Boland (66) was acquitted by a jury last June on sexual-assault charges brought as a result of allegations dating back 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Catholic Priest Piero Corsi Blames 'Filthy Clothes and Cold Food' for Murder of Women

ITALY
International Business Times

By Umberto Bacchi

December 27, 2012

Widespread outrage has been sparked by an Italian priest's Christmas message in which he claimed that women triggered men's violence by wearing "filthy clothes" and serving "cold suppers".

Father Piero Corsi put up a leaflet on his church's notice board in the small seaside town of San Terenzio near La Spezia in northwestern Italy, asserting that 118 women killed by men in Italy in 2012 was caused by the victims themselves.

"Is it possible that men have turn crazy all of a sudden? We don't believe so. The point is that more and more women provoke, fall into arrogance, believe [themselves] to be independent and exacerbate tensions," the leaflet read.

"Children are left outside alone, homes are dirty, meals are served cold or are fast-food-like, clothing is filthy," Corsi wrote. "They [women] trigger the worst instincts, leading to violence and sexual abuse. They should do a self-examination and think: did we ask for it?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Beaconsfield deacon William Kokesch in court Thursday

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

Church deacon William Kokesch is to appear in court Thursday morning for a bail hearing after being charged with distribution and production of child pornography on Saturday.

Kokesch, an assigned deacon of St. Edmund of Canerbury Parish in Beaconsfield, was arrested Friday after Montreal police carred out search warrants at his house in Pointe Claire and at the church.

Police seized more than 2,000 computer files as well as messages left on Internet chat sites.

After his arraignment on Saturday, the Archdiocese of Montreal removed him from all ministry and pastoral activity. Kokesch had been ordained as a “permanent deacon” in the diocese of Montreal in 1981.

A Vancouver native, Kokesch had also worked as a reporter — for The Gazette in the 1970s and for CFCF Radio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Poly Prep settles lawsuit ...

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Poly Prep settles lawsuit claiming football coach Phil Foglietta sexually abused hundreds of boys

By Michael O'Keeffe / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Poly Prep Country Day School, one of New York's most prestigious private schools, has agreed to settle a landmark lawsuit claiming its longtime football coach sexually abused hundreds of boys over a 25-year period and that officials covered up the assaults for decades.

The settlement ends a three-year legal and public relations battle that divided parents and alumni and turned the elite Brooklyn school into a symbol of institutional indifference to sexual abuse in youth sports. The explosive suit, filed in 2009, claimed officials at the Dyker Heights prep school knew that coach Phil Foglietta was a sexual predator, but ignored repeated complaints during his 25 years at the school because they didn't want to jeopardize the institution's athletic reputation and fund-raising efforts.

Poly Prep officials declined to reveal the details of the settlement in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Report: Poly Prep settles sex abuse lawsuit

NEW YORK
WABC

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There is word Thursday that the sex abuse lawsuit involving one of New York City's most prestigious private schools is over.

Brooklyn's Poly Prep has reportedly settled the suit claiming a longtime football coach abused hundreds of boys over a 25-year period.

The lawsuit also claimed the administration covered up the abuse.

According to the New York Daily News, terms of the settlement have not been released.

Twelve plaintiffs were seeking $20 million apiece.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

2012 Year in Review: The Philadelphia Clergy Child Sex Abuse Case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The historic clergy abuse case in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia resulted in a guilty plea this year by one priest (see news story), and a church official was convicted of endangering children by protecting the predator priest (see news story).

The trial evidence — a lot of it from the church’s own secret files — exposed sins committed over a period of decades by supposed men of God.

The prosecution presented evidence of a pattern of conduct: predator priests routinely moved from parish to parish, left to attack again, with an endless supply of unwary victims.

“Obviously this has devastated their lives,” says Philadelphia prosecutor Evangelia Manos. “And it really amounts to destruction of a child.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

December 26, 2012

Secret Boy Scout sex abuse claims posted online

UNITED STATES
KTVU

AP and KTVU.com

LOS ANGELES —

Thousands of previously unpublished Boy Scouts of America files that detail suspected sexual abuse by employees and volunteers have been posted online.

The Los Angeles Times published the database containing redacted victims' names on Tuesday, including material that was released earlier by an Oregon Supreme Court judge's ruling. The names of the alleged abusers — including doctors, teachers, priests — are included.

The newspaper's heavily pocked database map depicts alleged incidents of abuse that affected, or in some way connected to, Scouts in every state in the nation, as well as South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

The Boy Scouts kept the files for internal use for nearly a century and have said they've improved youth protection policies. The group has conducted criminal background checks on volunteers since 2008. In 2010, the organization mandated any suspected abuse be reported to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Boy Scout files on suspected abuse published by The Times

UNITED STATES
Los Angeles Times

By Jessica Naziri and Nell Gram, Los Angeles Times
December 25, 2012

The Times on Tuesday released about 1,200 previously unpublished files kept by the Boy Scouts of America on volunteers and employees expelled for suspected sexual abuse.

The files, which have been redacted of victims' names and other identifying information, were opened from 1985 through 1991. They can be found in a database along with two decades of files released by order of the Oregon Supreme Court in October. The database also contains summary information on about 3,200 additional files opened from 1947 to 2005 that have not been released publicly.

Together, the material in the database represents the most complete accounting of suspected sexual abuse in the Scouts that has been made public. All of the material was obtained as a result of lawsuits against the Scouts by alleged abuse victims or by media organizations. The Boy Scouts kept the files for nearly a century for internal use only, to keep suspected abusers from rejoining.

DATABASE: Tracking decades of allegations

About as many files were opened in the six years before 1991 as in the previous two decades. At least in part, that reflects greater reporting of accusations, as awareness of child sexual abuse rose in the Scouts and society at large. About that time, the Scouts launched a concerted effort to train youths and adults on how to identify and prevent sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Parents want rabbi on sex offender registry

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By Robert Gavin

Updated 12:39 pm, Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ALBANY — A Loudonville rabbi who admitted having inappropriate physical contact with two 13-year-old boys in 2007 is being sued by their families for alleged sexual assault.

Yaakov Weiss, the founder of Chabad of Colonie and the Chabad Hebrew School, also is being sued for allegedly defaming the youths when he claimed the allegations were "100% untrue" and concocted by a rival, according to court papers reviewed by the Times Union. Weiss has since been suspended and is no longer affiliated with the Colonie Chabad.

The case is set for trial in Jan. 22 before state Supreme Court Justice Eugene "Gus" Devine, though it could be assigned to another judge.

Weiss complained about the civil lawsuit to a rabbinical tribunal in Rockland County, according to people with knowledge of the situation. That body could potentially excommunicate the parents of the victims for taking the matter outside a religious setting.

Weiss, now 32, was convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment in January 2010 when he admitted he knowingly had inappropriate physical contact with the boys separately while naked in a small pool, known as a mikvah, used for ritual purification.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Priest apologises for text on violence against women

ITALY
AGI

(AGI) - Lerici, Dec 26 - A parish priest of Lerici (La Spezia,) father Piero Corsi, said: "The text only had a provocative intent and I wish to apologise to all women who were offended by it." The parish priest's statement responded to the growing controversy created by his flyer on violence against women.
Corsi was summoned earlier on Wednesday afternoon by his bishop. . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg’s Attacker Charged ...

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg’s Attacker Charged With 4 Counts Of Assault And Criminal Weapons Possession

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes indicted Meilech Schnitzler today for the bleach assault on Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg which took place the day after Rabbi Nechemya Weberman was convicted of 59 counts of child sexual abuse.

Schnitzler was indicted for Attempted Assault in the First Degree for throwing a cup of bleach in Rosenberg’s face on a Williamsburg street on December 11.

The 37-year-old Schnitzler is charged with two counts of Attempted Assault in the First Degree; Assault in the Second Degree; Assault in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree.

If convicted on the top charge, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

“This indictment alleges an act of thuggery in broad daylight that cannot be tolerated. The indictment sends a clear message that anyone who would seek to intimidate someone opposed to the uncovering of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community will face serious criminal charges and if convicted, I will ask for the maximum jail time,” Hynes said in a press release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Secondo Don Pietro Corsi le donne se la vanno a cercare

ITALIA
Reset Italia

Scoppia la polemica su Don Piero Corsi, che davanti la parrocchia di Lerici ha affisso un manifesto choc sul femminicidio: «Donne facciano sana autocritica. Quante volte provocano?».

Il parroco di Lerici, paesino in provincia di Genova, le affigge in un manifesto sulla bacheca della parracchio e non passano certo inosservate.

Un documento choc in cui oltre ad addossare sul corpo delle donne parte delle responsabilità dei numerosi femminicidi che ci sono stati quest’anno, le si rimprovera di essersi allontanate dalle virtù familiari. E’ una vecchia tesi, quella che il prete ritira fuori. «Donne e ragazze in abiti succinti provocano gli istinti, facciano un sano esame di coscienza: forse ce lo siamo andato a cercare», si legge nel documento.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Don Piero, il folle discorso di Natale "Femminicidio? Colpa delle donne"

ITALIA
la Repubblica

Il parroco di San Terenzo, nel comune di Lerici, pubblica le sue tesi sulla bacheca della chiesa: "Fate un esame di coscienza. Voi provocate gli istinti e vi andate a cercare i guai". La rezione di Telefono rosa: "Episodio intollerabile: intervenga il Papa. "

Il femminicidio? Colpa delle donne che "provocano". Parola del parroco di San Terenzo, un piccolo paese che si affaccia sul golfo della Spezia cantato da poeti di tutto il mondo. In una lettera affissa nella bacheca della Chiesa, don Piero Corsi si scaglia contro le donne e le loro "responsabilità" nel caso di omicidi, stupri e violenze sessuali. La tesi è semplice: "Colpa della donna che provoca con abiti succinti". Il documento è un estratto dalla lettera apostolica 'Mulieris dignitatem' commentata dall'editorialista del sito Pontifex.it

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Priest calls women to 'self-examination' for femicide

ITALY
Gazzetta del Sud

Turin, December 26 - A flyer displayed on a church bulletin board by a priest in the northern region of Liguria, and then subsequently posted on the social network Facebook by outraged members of the congregation, has caused an uproar for allegedly "encouraging" violence against women. The priest from the San Terenzo church in the town of Lerici, father Piero Corsi, entitled the leaflet "Women and femicide - healthy self-criticism. How often do they provoke?". The lengthy discussion written by Corsi asks if men are just "randomly crazy, or are they pushed?". "The fact is that women are increasingly the cause...and end up exacerbating tensions by leaving children to themselves, keep dirty houses, put cold dishes on the table, buy fast food and provide filthy clothes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

Parents concerned about pedophile living in village

CONNECTICUT
NC Advertiser

Cristina Commendatore

Last week New Canaan School Superintendent Dr. Mary Kolek sent out a letter to parents informing them a recently released sex offender moved to town. Robert Tate, a former 35-year music director of Christ Church in Greenwich, is now living in a village apartment.

Tate, 70, who served time in federal prison and was previously ordered to join a sex offender treatment program, is living in an apartment on the east end of Elm Street. Tate was originally sentenced to five and a half years in prison in 2008 after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.

Tate is required to register as a sex offender wherever he works or lives, have monitored Internet usage, and is barred from spending any time alone with children younger than 18 years old — unless a “responsible adult” who is aware of his conviction is present.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

From Boston to the Vatican, the advocate of zero tolerance against paedophilia

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The departure from the Curia of the anti-abuse "mastiff" Charles Scicluna is not the end of the fight against the priests involved in abuse

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

The new Vatican "promoter of justice" father Robert Oliver is the advocate of "zero tolerance" in the US archdiocese of Boston. Therefore the Pope is continuing with determination his fight against the scourge of clergy sexual abuses. In fact, today the Vatican has announced the appointment of Reverend Robert Oliver as the promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He is the current assistant for canonical issues in the diocese of Boston, one of the most affected in the United States by the paedophile priests scandal, that exploded in the United States in the early 2000s.

Rev. Oliver takes the place of Mgr. Charles Scicluna, a leading character in the Pope's action against clergy sexual abuses, who was recently appointed auxiliary Bishop of Malta and whose movement from the role of promoter of justice in the Congregation had raised some concerns about a possible softening of the fight against the abuses of the clergy, which in Europe reached its apex in recent years, particularly in Ireland, but also in Germany and Belgium. After the appointment as auxiliary Bishop of Malta, Mgr. Scicluna was appointed member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by the Pope, which was a little unusual because Scicluna is not an Archbishop. The appointment of Oliver confirms the determination of Pope Benedict XVI and his line of zero tolerance against the abuses of the clergy, since the new promoter may count on the advice of his predecessor, to the benefit of the fight against abuses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

From nuns to 'nones,' 10 ways religion shaped the news in 2012

UNITED STATES
The Christian Century

Dec 25, 2012

WASHINGTON (RNS) From the nuns to the "nones," religion dominated the headlines throughout 2012. Faith was a persistent theme in the presidential race, and moral and ethical questions surrounded budget debates, mass killings and an unexpected focus on "religious freedom."

Here are 10 ways religion made news in 2012: ...

10 years later: The long shadow of sexual abuse
As U.S. Catholics marked the 10th anniversary of the clergy sex abuse scandal that erupted in Boston, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was confronted with two landmark criminal convictions: Monsignor William Lynn, found guilty of child endangerment for shuffling abusive priests around the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and Kansas City, Mo., Bishop Robert Finn, convicted of failing to tell police about a priest suspected of sexually exploiting children.

Even as the Penn State abuse scandal showed that abuse is not just a "church problem," popular Franciscan priest Benedict Groeschel was forced to retract statements that seemed to defend priests who sexually abuse children and blamed some victims for "seducing" them. The chairman of the bishops' National Review Board warned the prelates: "If there is anything that needs to be disclosed in a diocese, it needs to be disclosed now. No one can no longer claim they didn't know."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Journalists vote...

UNITED STATES
Religion Newswriters Association

Journalists vote for contraception fight as top 2012 U.S. religion story, pick Catholic bishops’ president as top newsmaker

COLUMBIA, MO—As the nation reeled from the Dec. 14 killing of 20 first graders and six adults in Newtown, Conn., religious leaders sought to console a stunned public and to discern religion’s role in future debates about mental health and gun control.

The No. 1 U.S. religion story in December 2012 was, without a doubt, the school attack and the mournful search for meaning that follows.

However, before the shooting, professional journalists who cover religion voted on the year’s other significant religious events.

The U.S. Catholic bishops’ opposition to national health care legislation mandating contraception coverage was ranked the No. 1 Religion Story of 2012 by members of the Religion Newswriters Association.

Related to the top story, the top religion newsmaker was Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who became the point man for Catholic objections to required coverage of contraception, sterilization and morning after drugs in Obamacare.

The Top 10 Religion Stories of the Year are below:

1. U.S. Catholic bishops lead opposition to Obamacare requirement that insurance coverage for contraception be provided for employees. The government backs down a bit, but not enough to satisfy the opposition.

2. A Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey shows that “nones” is the fastest-growing religious group in the United States, rising to 19.6 percent of the population.

3. The circulation of an anti-Islam film trailer, “Innocence of Muslims,” causes unrest in several countries, leading to claims that it inspired the fatal attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya. President Obama, at the U.N., calls for toleration tolerance of blasphemy, and respect as a two-way street.

4. Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith turns out to be a virtual non-issue for white evangelical voters, who support him more strongly than they did John McCain, in the U.S. presidential race.

5. Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia becomes the first senior Catholic official in the U.S. to be found guilty of covering up priestly child abuse; later Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., becomes the first bishop to be found guilty of it.

6. The Vatican criticizes the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group of U.S. nuns, alleging they haven’t supported church teaching on abortion, sexuality or women’s ordination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

REVOLT??? Pope v. Pell and Obama After Newtown

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

(by Jerry Slevin, retired Wall Street lawyer)

If Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Pope Benedict XVI is tweeting. Christians worldwide have again celebrated the incomprehensible birth of the divine child, Jesus, that changed and still changes history, both for believers and non-believers. A half world away, Sydney’s Cardinal Pell apologized deeply for the Catholic Church’s continuing failures, directly alluding thereby to his unexpected bold admission, earlier this month to Scottish Bishops, of the Church’s continuing failures sufficiently to protect children from sexual violence and to help sexual abuse survivors heal. In Rome, on the other hand, the Pope amazingly tweeted about his childhood nativity set. You can’t make this stuff up!

What is going on? Is Cardinal Pell campaigning against the ruling Vatican clique’s “Omerta” policy on child abuse to try to get elected next pope on a reform platform? Or is he only trying to spin the media in advance of Australia’s royal commission’s personally threatening investigation of the Catholic Church’s role in condoning sexual violence against children? Or both? Is he expecting that this commission’s proceedings and findings will lead to breaking the centuries’ old power grip of secretive Vatican cliques directly on the Catholic hierarchy and indirectly on the worldwide Catholic Church community? Is he also worried about his own personal situation?

Will other Cardinals follow Pell’s apparent lead, now or before the next papal election anticipated to be occurring soon? Separately, what impact might President Obama’s potential actions have now, in light of the imminent Australian efforts, in ending the Vatican’s long standing efforts to cover-up priest sexual abuse of children?

The Pope, of course, is well aware of the abuse Elephant in the Room. Indeed, a few days ago, he shockingly, apparently either arrogantly or obliviously, appointed as chief Vatican prosecutor of predatory priests one of disgraced Boston Cardinal Law’s former canon lawyers, who reportedly has a reputation for going much easier than many canonists on accused predatory priests. Law’s “man” will replace the last prosecutor who got “promoted out” of Rome after unexpectedly and publicly announcing on child abuse matters that the Vatican administration operates under a code of silence, or “Omerta”, as it is also called in the Godfather movies.

Please tell President Obama to try to stop this endless Vatican evasion by setting up a special U.S. commission now to investigate all organizational sexual abuse, not just in the Catholic Church, and to identify suitable Federal responses. Please click on and read, then sign, the short petition at: http://wh.gov/5aAQ

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

New Boston Chancellor Needs to Work on “Transparency”

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Catholic Insider

As we get to the end of the year, BCI is catching up on some news from the fall we never got to cover. Today, we give an update regarding the “financial transparency” or lack thereof of the Boston Archdiocese under newly appointed Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer, John Straub.

Straub was serving as interim chancellor after previous Chancellor Jim McDonough left, and Straub was officially given the job in early October. When he was interviewed by the Boston Globe, Straub said:

“the Archdiocese had come a long way both with financial stability and financial transparency” and one of his goals would be to “continue to maintain that stability and transparency and enhance it where we can.”

Straub said that when Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley took the helm of the archdiocese in 2003 the church was financially “hemorrhaging.” Now, he said, “I would suggest we’ve reached a very stable point.”

“Maintaining that stability is a challenge for any organization,” he said, but he also noted that “the goal is never just to be stable, the goal is to be thriving.”

We have three points today.
1.If Mr. Straub wants to continue to maintain the financial transparency that was in place prior to his arrival, we suggest that he should post the 2012-2013 Central Ministries operating budget on the archdiocesan website, as has been done in years past but has not been done this year. This lets faithful Catholics know exactly how and where their donations are being spent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Sex-abuse clergy still get charity donations

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Luke Byrne

Wednesday December 26 2012

RELIGIOUS orders that owe the State millions in reparations for child sex abuse continue to receive hundreds of thousands of euro in charitable donations.

A survey conducted by the Irish Independent has revealed how organisations shamed by sexual abuse in the Catholic Church have continued to receive support.

All are eligible to claim tax relief because their religious status guarantees official charitable recognition.

Under the 2002 indemnity agreement, the orders were asked to pay €128m to the State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

December 25, 2012

Mater Dolorosa parishioners hope for re-opening of church

HOLYOKE (MA)
WWLP

Updated: Tuesday, 25 Dec 2012

Ryan Walsh

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - Friends of Mater Dolorosa Church in Holyoke spent their Christmas morning singing and praying that their church will re-open in the new year.

Mater Dolorosa Church closed in June 2011.

Parishioners spent more than a year protesting the closure by holding a round the clock vigil inside the church.

That stopped in June when the Vatican's high court told protesters to leave the church, but said they will hear the parishioners appeal to re-open the church.

Victor Anop, Chairperson of the Friends of Mater Dolorosa, told 22News he was encouraged by today's turnout.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Bail Set For Ex-Mass. Priest In Child Porn Case

WORCESTER (MA)
WBUR

By The Associated Press
December 25, 2012

WORCESTER, Mass. – A Roman Catholic priest who was indicted in Massachusetts on child pornography and larceny charges is spending Christmas in jail.

The Telegram & Gazette reports the Rev. Lowe Dongor was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty at his arraignment on Monday in Worcester Superior Court.

Dongor was assigned to St. Joseph’s parish in Fitchburg when he was initially charged in 2011. Prosecutors said child pornography was found on his computer, and he was also accused of stealing from the church’s weekly collection.

Authorities say Dongor later fled to his native Phillipines. He returned to the U.S. last month and surrendered to authorities

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Ex-Mass. Priest Held On $500K Bail On Child Porn And Larceny Charges

FITCHBURG (MA)
CBS Boston

FITCHBURG (CBS) – A Fitchburg priest is being held of $500,000 cash bail after appearing in court Monday on child porn and larceny charges.

Thirty-five-year-old Father Lowe Dongor was removed from public ministry in July after he was accused of having explicit images of preteen girls on his computer.

Dongor fled to the Philippines but was extradited back to the United States and re-arrested earlier this month.

Investigators also say Dongor was stealing money from St. Joseph Parish.

Dongor is due back in court on January 3.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Friends of Mater Dolorosa in Holyoke to hold Christmas prayer event outside closed church

HOLYOKE (MA)
The Republican

By Jeanette DeForge, The Republican
on December 24, 2012

HOLYOKE — Friends of Mater Dolorosa will hold a Christmas prayer event at 11 a.m. on Christmas in front of the closed Mater Dolorosa Church at Maple and Lyman streets.

The group, which has appealed the decision of the Most Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, to the Vatican, held a round-the-clock vigil inside the church for more than a year to protest the closing of the church and the merger of its parish with that of Holy Cross Church. The new parish, called Our Lady of the Cross, worships at the former Holy Cross Church on Sycamore Street.

Protesters decided to end the vigil in June after the Apostolic Signatura, which is the Vatican’s supreme court, agreed to hear the appeal but told protesters to leave the church and ordered the bishop to refrain from destroying or selling the building.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Plea to dig up body of paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Keith Moor
From:Herald Sun
December 25, 2012

DEAD paedophile priest Father Anthony Bongiorno is the only suspect in the 1980 murder of Thornbury bookshop owner Maria James who hasn't been cleared by DNA.

His sister has refused to provide police with her DNA so her brother can either be linked to the death or eliminated from a new probe into the unsolved killing.

Ms James's son Mark yesterday urged police to dig up the disgraced Catholic priest's body so DNA can be extracted from it.

"There is enough circumstantial evidence that he was involved in the murder of my mother to warrant his body being exhumed," Mr James said.

He said he told his mother Father Bongiorno had attempted to lure him into the parish headquarters with chocolate bars and he believed his mother later confronted the family priest with the paedophilia allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Priest is arraigned in child porn case

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Donna Boynton TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
dboynton@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The former Fitchburg priest who fled to his native Philippines after he was charged with child pornography was arraigned in Worcester Superior Court Monday, weeks after he surrendered to federal authorities.

Rev. Lowe B. Dongor, 36, pleaded not guilty to possession of child pornography and larceny of more than $250 during his arraignment in Worcester Superior Court. The petite priest, dressed all in black, answered a strong “not guilty” after each of the two charges was read by Judge Richard Tucker.

Judge Tucker ordered Rev. Dongor, the Diocese of Worcester’s first Filipino priest, held on $500,000 cash bail or $5 million with surety. ...

Raymond Delisle, spokesman for the Worcester Diocese, said he did not believe the diocese was providing for Rev. Dongor’s legal counsel. Rev. Dongor qualified for a public defender and was represented by Anthony Salerno yesterday.

Mr. Salerno said the priest turned himself in to the FBI in the Philippines and was arrested Dec. 10 by Los Angeles police. Rev. Dongor turned over all his travel documents to the FBI in Los Angeles when he returned to the U.S. earlier this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Diocese of Worcester Releases Annual Report for FY2012

WORCESTER (MA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester

December 20, 2012, WORCESTER, MA -- Following a complete audit of its financial accounting, the Diocese of Worcester has issued online and printed editions of the annual report detailing activities for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2012. In his letter, the Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester, wrote that “our financial reports demonstrate that we have been good stewards of the donations we have received either directly or through our parishes.” The audited report showed an operating surplus of $109,804 after expenses totaling $26,037,091 for 2012 compared to a deficit of $315,690 the previous year on expenses totaling $27,016,336. Given the reduction of nearly $1 million in expenses, the bishop’s letter noted that “the various departments in our central administration exercised tight fiscal controls in order to operate within their budgets.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Diocese of Worcester tightens belt, ends fiscal year wiith surplus

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER — The Diocese of Worcester — fighting off the downside impact of a sluggish economy — did some penny pinching and managed to turn around its finances during the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31.

An independent audit by O'Connor, Maloney & Co. P.C. of Worcester showed that the local Roman Catholic Church finished last fiscal year with an operating surplus of $109,804 after expenses that totaled $26,037,091.

That's a marked change from last year, when the diocese incurred a $315,690 deficit on expenses totaling $27,016,336.

Diocesan officials said bills were cut by nearly $1 million, thanks to department heads who exercised tight fiscal control over their separate budgets.

Bishop Robert J. McManus said the audit demonstrated that the diocesan officials have been “good stewards” of the donations made directly to the chancery or through the parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

2012 a year of unparalleled justice for child sex abuse victims

UNITED STATES
Yahoo! News

By Barbara Goldberg | Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Experts say 2012 was a year of unparalleled justice for child sex abuse victims, but whether the string of high-profile convictions will translate into a turning point for juvenile safety remains to be seen.

The year's headlines heralded the criminal convictions of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, Monsignor William Lynn of the Catholic Church's Philadelphia Archdiocese and ultra-Orthodox Jewish therapist Nechemya Weberman, a prominent figure in New York's Satmar Hasidic sect.

Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars for raping and molesting 10 boys, some in the campus football showers. Lynn, 61, was ordered to prison for up to six years for covering up for pedophile priests. Weberman, 54, faces up to 25 years' imprisonment when he is sentenced on January 9 for sexually abusing a girl during counseling sessions.

Each conviction hinged on the testimony of victims brave enough to shatter years of silence surrounding the abuse. Each verdict was reached by a jury determined to decide fairly in the shadow of a revered institution that, at best, ignored the crimes, sometimes for years.

"2012 is a landmark in the drive to reduce and deter community-based abuse," said Marci Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University and an advocate for victims of clergy sex crimes.

"The key here is modern-day courage," Hamilton said. "It took extraordinary courage for survivors to break ranks from their communities and accuse those inside the community."

Decades of secretiveness have shrouded child sex abuse within institutions that turned a blind eye, said David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Needed: Independent Investigation On YU High School Scandal

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

Mon, 12/24/2012

Shmuel Herzfeld

The media has reported serious accusations against two former employees of Yeshiva University’s High School (known as MTA), Rabbi Macy Gordon, a Talmud teacher, and Rabbi George Finkelstein, the principal.

According to reports in The Forward and The New York Times, currently a total of 14 former students have said that there was inappropriate sexual abuse by these educators, going back two to three decades. Some of the students claim that they brought their complaints to Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, who was then President of the University. These complaints were ignored for a long time until finally, these men were let go, but they were allowed to keep their reputations intact and thus continue in their careers as Jewish educators.

I went to MTA from 1988 to1992, and during that time Rabbi Finkelstein was first assistant principal and was then promoted to principal. I never felt any abuse from Rabbi Finkelstein, thankfully, but then again I stayed far away from him. Even at that time, I remember hearing students say that all was not kosher with his behavior. Although I don’t know enough to say that these accusations are accurate, I can say that I was not surprised to read them in the Forward.

If Rabbis Finkelstein and Gordon did what they are accused of then they deserve to be punished. But there is another story here as well – not regarding whether Yeshiva University acted inappropriately in its past behavior with respect to Rabbis Gordon and Finkelstein. We now know that they certainly did.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Rabbis’ touch of ‘evil’: 11 more claim sexual abuse at Yeshiva University's high school

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

By Rachel Monahan / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Monday, December 24, 2012

More victims of two creepy rabbis at Yeshiva University’s high school have come forward with claims that the shocking sexual misconduct spanned more than two decades and affected at least a dozen students.

The alleged abuse, by former principal Rabbi George Finkelstein, started as early as 1972 and continued until the mid-1990s, the Jewish newspaper the Forward revealed after 11 more former students stepped forward.

Three more former students said they suffered at the hands of Talmud teacher Rabbi Macy Gordon, who, in one case, allegedly penetrated a boy using a device from a medical cabinet — an eerie parallel to a previous revelation.

“I have a very strong feeling that Finkelstein should be punished even though he’s old,” Ivan Hartstein, 48 and a 1982 graduate at the school, told the Daily News, while also calling for for Yeshiva University to explain how the abuse was covered up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Al miljoenen uitgekeerd aan misbruikslachtoffers

NEDERLAND
Metro

Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk hebben in het afgelopen jaar bijna allemaal een schadevergoeding gekregen. In totaal is er voor enkele miljoenen euro's uitgekeerd. Dat zei Wim Deetman, voorzitter van de commissie die onderzoek deed naar de misstanden, dinsdag op Radio 1.

De bedragen verschillen per slachtoffer, benadrukte Deetman. Volgens hem zijn er kleine en grote gevallen. Deetman kan geen taxatie geven waar het uiteindelijke bedrag op uitkomt. Volgens hem is nu het belangrijkste dat de kerk 'enigszins iets goed kan maken' en daarmee 'in het reine kan komen'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Deetman: enkele miljoenen aan slachtoffers uitgekeerd

NEDERLAND
NOS

Audio Het is een jaar geleden dat het eindrapport van de commissie-Deetman over seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk is gepresenteerd. Hoe is het nu, met de slachtoffers en met de kerk? Daarover een gesprek met Wim Deetman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Deetman: al miljoenen uitgekeerd aan misbruikslachtoffers

NEDERLAND
NRC

door Pim van den Dool

Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk hebben in het afgelopen jaar bijna allemaal een schadevergoeding gekregen. In totaal is er voor enkele miljoenen euro’s uitgekeerd. Dat zei Wim Deetman, voorzitter van de commissie die onderzoek deed naar de misstanden, vanochtend op Radio 1.

De bedragen verschillen per slachtoffer, benadrukte Deetman. Volgens hem zijn er kleine en grote gevallen. Deetman kan geen taxatie geven waar het uiteindelijke bedrag op uitkomt. Volgens hem is nu het belangrijkste dat de kerk “enigszins iets goed kan maken” en daarmee “in het reine kan komen”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Slachtoffers katholieke kerk zijn vergoed

NEDERLAND
BNR

Door Melvin Captein
2012-12-25

In totaal hebben slachtoffers van misbruik in de katholieke kerk het afgelopen jaar enkele miljoenen euro's aan schadevergoeding ontvangen. Bijna alle slachtoffers zijn daarmee vergoed.

Dat zegt voorzitter van de onderzoekscommissie Wim Deetman tegenover Radio 1. Uit het rapport dat Deetman indiende bleek dat tussen 1945 en 1981 zo'n tien- tot twinitigduizend kinderen slachtoffer zijn geworden van seksueel misbruik door geestelijken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

'Miljoenen uitgekeerd aan misbruikslachtoffers katholieke kerk'

NEDERLAND
Elsevier

Een groot deel van de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen de katholieke kerk heeft een schadevergoeding ontvangen. In totaal is voor enkele miljoenen euro's aan vergoeding uitgekeerd.

Dat zei Wim Deetman, voorzitter van de gelijknamige commissie die onderzoek deed naar misbruik binnen de katholieke kerk, op radio 1.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

„Veel misbruikslachtoffers kregen vergoeding”

NEDERLAND
Reformatorisch Dagblad

DEN HAAG (ANP) – Veel slachtoffers van het seksuele misbruik van kinderen in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk hebben in het afgelopen jaar een schadevergoeding gekregen. Er is in totaal enkele miljoenen euro’s betaald. Dat heeft Wim Deetman, de voorzitter van de commissie die het misbruik heeft onderzocht, dinsdag gezegd op Radio 1.

Een commissie onder leiding van een oud-rechter uit Den Bosch beslist over de schadevergoedingen. De raad kijkt onder meer naar het bewijs en naar de schade die iemand heeft geleden. Sommige mensen krijgen een klein bedrag, anderen hebben veel geld ontvangen, aldus Deetman. Hij verwacht dat de commissie eind 2013 of halverwege 2014 klaar is met haar werk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Mass. priest arraigned on child porn charges

WORCESTER (MA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN: Mike Cronin) - On Monday, Lowe Dongor plead not guilty to charges of child pornography possession and larceny over $250.

The 36-year-old man was a priest at St. Joseph's Parish in Fitchburg, Mass.

The state says pornographic images were found on church computers when they were sent out for regular maintenance in June 2011.

"During the course of that review, they noted images consistent with child pornography, young girls approximately 10, 11, and 12 years old on this defendant's computer," Courtney Sans, prosecutor, said.

State police interviewed Dongor shortly afterwards. Sans says he then admitted to possessing the pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Priest arraigned on child-porn, theft charges

WORCESTER (MA)
Sentinel and Enterprise

By Jack Minch, jminch@sentinelandenterprise.comsenlandenterprise.com
Posted: 12/25/2012

WORCESTER -- A priest who fled the country after being charged with possession of child pornography and stealing from his Fitchburg church, was arraigned in Worcester Superior Court Monday.

Judge Richard Tucker ordered the Rev. Lowe Dongor held on $500,000 cash bail or $5 million surety.

If he makes bail, Dongor must stay away from St. Joseph Church and children under 16 years old. He is also forbidden from using the Internet, said Paul Jarvey, spokesman for District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

The FBI tracked Dongor to his native Philippines, where he was arrested and extradited to Los Angeles on Dec. 10, then sent back to Massachusetts.

The Diocese of Worcester offices were closed for the Christmas holiday, so nobody was available for comment Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Boston priest named Vatican's top sex-abuse prosecutor; victims' groups complain

BOSTON (MA)
Catholic Culture

A Boston priest has been named the Vatican’s top prosecutor in sex-abuse cases.

Father Robert Oliver, who has been an assistant for canonical affairs in the Boston archdiocese, will become the “promoter of justice” at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He replaces Msgr. Charles Scicluna, who had established a reputation for toughness in sex-abuse investigations before he was appointed an auxiliary bishop in his native Malta.

The appointment of a Boston priest drew some criticism from spokesmen for groups representing sex-abuse victims, who pointed out the Father Oliver had advised Cardinal Bernard Law, who was forced to resign as Archbishop of Boston because of revelations that he had covered up evidence of sexual abuse. But Father Oliver began advising the cardinal only after those offenses had been brought to light.

“We don’t have evidence that Father Oliver helped conceal clergy sex crimes in Boston,” admitted David Clohessy of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a group that has been invariably critical of Church leadership. “But likewise there’s no evidence whatsoever that he tried to chart a new course.” Actually Father Oliver did chart a new course in Boston, helping to draft the new sex-abuse policies that the archdiocese adopted in 2003, after Cardinal Law’s departure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Atheist Dawkins unjustly abuses all the world's Catholics with this comment

UNITED STATES
Catholic Online

Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
12/24/2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Incendiary atheist will say anything to get attention.

According to the infamous atheist, Richard Dawkins, growing up Catholic is a form of child abuse worse than sexual abuse. Go ahead and reread that, and let it sit for awhile.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dawkins made his outrageous claim in an interview on Al Jazeera. His interviewer, Mehdi Hasan asked him to clarify previous comments he has made that religion equates to child abuse. Dawkins explained, "Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place."

Hasan followed up, "You believe that being bought up as a Catholic is worse than being abused by a priest?"

Dawkins answered, "There are shades of being abused by a priest, and I quoted an example of a woman in America who wrote to me saying that when she was seven years old she was sexually abused by a priest in his car. At the same time a friend of hers, also seven, who was of a Protestant family, died, and she was told that because her friend was Protestant she had gone to Hell and will be roasting in Hell forever. She told me of those two abuses, she got over the physical abuse; it was yucky but she got over it. But the mental abuse of being told about Hell, she took years to get over."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

December 24, 2012

Quebec deacon in child porn bust has bail hearing postponed

CANADA
CBC

A Montreal-area deacon facing child pornography charges will spend Christmas in jail after his bail hearing was pushed back.

William Kokesch, 65, was arrested Friday morning and charged with distribution and production of child pornography.

Kokesch was silent during a brief court appearance in Montreal on Monday. His bail hearing was rescheduled for Dec. 27.

The Pointe-Claire resident was a deacon for the St-Edmund of Canterbury parish in Beaconsfield on Montreal's West Island.

He also worked as a communications director for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and helped co-ordinate World Youth Day conferences in Toronto, Rome and Paris, according to the organization's website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Kokesch spending holidays behind bars

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

By Karen Seidman, THE GAZETTE
December 24, 2012

MONTREAL — Church deacon William Kokesch will spend Christmas behind bars after his bail hearing was postponed until Thursday during an appearance in court Monday morning.

Kokesch, 65, is facing pornography charges after he was arrested on Friday and charged with distribution and production of child pornography.

A prominent deacon of St. Edmund of Canterbury Parish in Beaconsfield, police made the arrest after searching his Pointe Claire home and the church.

The Archdiocese of Montreal announced on Saturday it immediately removed Kokesch from all ministry and pastoral activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Christmas in jail for West Island deacon, bail delayed

CANADA
CTV

[with video]

Published Monday, Dec. 24, 2012

MONTREAL—At the Montreal courthouse on Christmas Eve, former West Island deacon William Kokesch learned that his bail hearing was delayed and he would spend the holidays behind bars.

Kokesch was arrested on Friday by the Montreal police at his Pointe-Claire home and charged with the production and possession of child pornography. Police alleged that over 2,000 pornographic photos were found on the man’s home computer.

With his bail postponed until Dec. 27, Kokesch also announced on Monday that he had taken on the services of high-profile lawyer Jeffrey Boro.

The 65-year-old was a consultant for the Catholic Church in St-Edmund’s parish for the past seven year and was the spokesman for Canadian Conference of Bishops until 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Priest is arraigned in child porn case

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Donna Boynton TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
dboynton@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Rev. Lowe B. Dongor pleaded not guilty to possession of child pornography and larceny of more than $250 during his arraignment in Worcester Superior Court this morning.

Rev. Dongor, who worked at St. Joseph Parish in Fitchburg until his arrest last year, was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail or $5 million with surety by Judge Richard Tucker.

Rev. Dongor — the Diocese of Worcester's first Filipino priest — was assigned to St. Joseph's Parish in Fitchburg when the child pornography allegedly was found on his computer. When he was being questioned by police, he confessed to stealing $40 to $60 each week from the weekly collection over a period of months and wiring that money to his family in the Philippines, Prosecutor Courtney Sans said.

He was charged with possession of child pornography and larceny of more than $250 in Fitchburg District Court in September 2011 and was released on personal recognizance. At that time he was ordered to have no contact with the church, no contact with children, and no access to computers or the Internet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Boston priest appointed by Pope as Vatican sexual crime prosecutor

UNITED STATES
Irish Central

By
DARA KELLY,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Monday, December 24, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a Boston priest as the Vatican's new sexual crimes prosecutor.

The Vatican said that Rev. Robert W. Oliver, who handled sexual abuse cases in the Roman Catholic Church in Boston at the height of the scandal, would be "the promoter of justice" at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal office that reviews all abuse cases.

“It is with deep humility and gratitude that I received the news that the Holy Father is entrusting me with this service to the church," said Father Oliver, in a statement released by the Archdiocese of Boston.

Father Oliver will succeed Msgr. Charles Scicluna, 53, who was promoted to auxiliary bishop in Malta in October.

Father Oliver was among the canon lawyers brought in to advise Cardinal Bernard F. Law on sexual abuse cases in Boston in 2002 and was responsible for investigating charges against accused priests when the cardinal was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had kept abusive priests working in parishes.

In 2003, he helped write a new abuse prevention policy for the archdiocese.

However, abuse victim advocates are criticizing Oliver's new appointment.

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of a watchdog group called Bishop Accountability, told The New York Times, “Reverend Oliver is a champion of accused priests, which obviously does not bode well for the job he will do as promoter of justice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Christmas tidings: an - apology for "evil"

AUSTRALIA
Radio New Zealand

The head of the Roman Catholic church in Australia, Archbishop George Pell, has used his Christmas message to apologise to all those who've suffered at the hands of Christian priests and teachers.

He said he, too, felt shock and shame at the revelations of such crimes and wrongdoing.

He says it goes against the teachings of Jesus and Christians need faith in God's goodness and love to cope with these disasters.

Where there is evil, there is less peace, says the Archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Vatican’s New Sex Abuse Prosecutor Gets No Confidence Vote

UNITED STATES
The Legal Examiner

Posted by Joe Saunders
December 23, 2012

Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Rev. Robert W. Oliver, a Boston canon lawyer, to be the “Promoter of Justice” at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome. A major portion of the job of the Promoter of Justice is the supervision of the Church’s internal investigation and prosecution of Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children.

After the Pope’s announcement, Rev. Oliver got a no confidence vote from one of Boston’s leading child protection advocates. Anne Barrett Doyle, Co-Director of Bishop Accountability, commented to the New York Times that: “Rev Oliver is a champion of accused priests, which obviously does not bode well for the job he will do as the promoter of justice.”

Boston was the epicenter of the public disclosure of the worldwide scandal of Catholic priests sexually abusing children. The Boston Globe newspaper series documented an extensive cover up of pedophile priests by Cardinal Bernard Law. The cover up of the priests who sexually abused children involved the protection of the priests from criminal prosecution by civil legal authorities and moving the priests to other parishes where more children could be victimized. Rev. Oliver was brought into Boston in 2002 when Cardinal Law was removed from his post in Boston and moved to Rome.

Anne Barrett Doyle and Bishop Accountability have carefully followed and documented the Catholic priest abuse scandal for over a decade and have a reputation as an independent watchdog for the protection of children. Ms. Doyle and Bishop Accountability leveled specific criticisms of Rev. Oliver’s work in Boston that raise concerns about whether he will make the protection of children his top priority. For example, Rev. Oliver cleared 45% of accused priests in Boston when statistics across the country show that about 10% of accused priests in other dioceses are cleared. Rev. Oliver also made it easier for accused priests to stay in ministry and harder for abuse survivors to obtain church records.

Bishop Accountability has worked tirelessly to protect children and would have supported a choice by the Vatican that was supported by the factual record. Bishop Accountability has created a worldwide registry of pedophile priests. The Vatican has failed and refused to make a comprehensive list of pedophile priests public, a job that has fallen to Bishop Accountability by default. After 10 years in Boston, Rev. Oliver has made no efforts to call Cardinal Law to justice for covering up abuse of children. He has focused only on reviewing whether there is proof against individual priests. In fact, Cardinal Law got in essence a promotion to head a basilica in Rome when he should, in my opinion, be in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Australian Royal Commission and the Savile investigation: getting the truth out

AUSTRALIA/UNITED KINGDOM
The Conversation

Judy Courtin

With the year’s end tantalisingly close, Australia awaits the announcement of the Federal government’s terms of reference for the national Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

The nature and breadth of these sex crimes and their alleged concealment is expected to be profound. As Australia prepares for its national inquiry, England is reeling from sexual abuse allegations “on an unprecedented scale”. A joint report, due early 2013, by the Metropolitan Police and the children’s charity, NSPCC, will reveal the findings of their ten-week investigation into the former BBC celebrity, Jimmy Savile. Savile faced multiple allegations of child sex offences before his death, but no prosecutions.

The head of this investigation, Commander Peter Spindler, revealed an astonishing 450 people have made sexual abuse allegations against Savile. Although this “scoping exercise”, named Operation Yewtree, into the alleged assaults by Savile has been completed, police continue investigations into the allegations of another 139 victims of alleged sexual assaults committed by other high profile celebrities in the UK.

What do the Australian Royal Commission into religious institutions and the English investigations into high profile celebrities have in common?

First, the majority of the crimes being dealt with are historic in that, broadly, they were committed between the 1960s and the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Montreal deacon known for criticizing pedophiles charged in child porn case

CANADA
RT

A deacon known to be strong critic of the way the Catholic Church has dealt with sex abuse by the clergy is to appear in front of a judge on charges of producing and distributing child pornography.

­The sixty-five year-old, William Kokesch of St. Edmund of Canterbury Parish in Beaconsfield, was arrested Friday after police carried out searches at his house and church, securing more than 2,000 files on his computer as well as messages left on chat-room sites.

Following the news of his arrest, the Archdiocese of Montreal has immediately banned him from pastoral activity, saying in a statement that “child pornography is an affront to human dignity, and our first concern rests with those who are its victims.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Vatican: A New Child Protection Strategy Now?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

(by Jerry Slevin, retired Wall Street lawyer)

WHERE DOES THE VATICAN NOW STAND?

Major new political developments worldwide affecting the Vatican may quickly lead to long overdue changes in its flawed child protection strategy. Two important and informed Cardinals, Martini and Pell, one a former, and the other a present, rumored contender to be elected pope, surprisingly and publicly admitted recently, reportedly, that the Catholic Church’s decades’ old priest child abuse scandal had still not been resolved and would continue to harm the Church, and presumably more innocent children and suffering survivors as well, unless reforms were effected.

Cardinal Martini, who died in September and had been a highly regarded Jesuit scriptural scholar and a very popular head of Italy’s largest diocese, Milan, also noted in August as part of his final description of the Vatican’s strategic failure to protect children sufficiently, that ” … the church bureaucracy rises up …”, clearly pointing his finger at the secretive and powerful Vatican administrative clique within Pope Benedict XVI’s administration, also called the Curia.

The new shocking announcement that one of Cardinal Law’s former Boston canon lawyers is to be the new Vatican prosecutor on priest child abuse cases just reinforces these Cardinals’ recent negative assessments of the Vatican’s current flawed strategy. Cardinal Law fled to the Vatican in 2004 apparently to escape the fallout from the explosive 2002 Boston Archdiocesean priest child abuse revelations. Cardinal Law’s former subordinate replaces the Vatican’s chief prosecutor, who was recently “promoted out” to Malta following his “bombshell” public statement confirming the harmful influence of a pervasive Vatican code of silence, or in Mafia terminology, “Omerta”, on child abuse matters.

Also surprisingly, in one fateful and unprecedented week last month, Catholic laity concerned about children in different parts of the world directly rejected clear Vatican signals by supporting the re-election of President Barack Obama in the USA, and the establishment of a special national child sexual abuse investigation commission by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Australia. And now the Philippine legislature has just approved a very popular law to make contraception affordably accessible there, despite strong Vatican opposition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

NCAA & Penn State more moral than Vatican. Sports is more moral than John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Vatican Titanic sinking in moral bankruptcy

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Paris Arrow

The year 2012 gave us one of the biggest living proofs of Pope Crimes and Vatican Evils and Catholic Injustice in the glorious retirement of Cardinal Bernard Law – and it also gave us the proof of the goodness and justice system of Secularism - in the punishment of the late Joe Paterno at Penn State University. All measures of judgement on the most heinous crimes of pedophiles against children should study and remember these men-one a “Prince of the Vatican Catholic Church” (it’s no longer RCC Roman Catholic Church because Rome is a secular city of Italy…while the Vatican is the Holy See that controls Catholics worldwide) and the other a football coach, read their stories below. Cardinal Bernard Law is the living proof of the most corrupt system of injustice in the world of the Vatican Sacrament of Confession that protects criminals and persecutes their victims, read here http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2012/11/sacrament-of-confession-protects.html

How Cardinal Bernard Law can continue to be a Cardinal, let alone a priest, after he admitted that he transferred from one parish to another – EIGHTY (80) Pedophile priests is beyond good reason and it shows the fanaticism of Catholics who tolerate such Pope Crimes and Vatican Evils and Catholic Injustice. Catholics are like those medieval people who obeyed their king no matter what crimes he committed and they cheered on the public squares as they see people being beheaded at the order of the King. Likewise today, Catholics allow Cardinals, Bishops and pedophile priests to continue performing the Magic of the Eucharist despite knowing the crimes they have committed against children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Local Sex Abuse Group Criticizes Vatican Sex Crimes Prosecutor

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The St. Louis-based director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is reacting to Pope Benedict XVI’s pick for a new sex crimes prosecutor.

David Clohessy says Father Robert Oliver was an adviser to Cardinal Bernard Law on the Boston sex abuse cases and says the appointment of anyone with ties to Cardinal Law is problematic in his mind.

“This just rubs even more salt into the already very deep and oftentimes still fresh wounds of thousands and thousands of betrayed Catholics and wounded victims,” Clohessy said.

Oliver continued advising the Archdiocese of Boston after Cardinal Law was forced to resign in 2002 amid an uproar over revelations that the cardinal had kept abusive priests working in parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Catholic apology represents 'cultural shift'

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

Victims’ support groups say the Catholic Church could be preparing to acknowledge its involvement in historic child sexual abuse in Australia after Cardinal George Pell apologised to those who ‘‘suffered at the hands’’ of priests.

In a Christmas message, the Australian church’s most senior cleric said he was ‘‘deeply sorry’’ for the hurt that had occurred, describing it as ‘‘completely contrary’’ to Christ’s teachings.

But he stopped short of specifically mentioning allegations of child sex abuse by members of the clergy.

‘‘I feel too the shock and shame across the community at these revelations of wrongdoing and crimes,’’ Cardinal Pell said.

His apology came after the federal government this year announced a royal commission to the response of institutions, including the church, to cases of child sexual abuse in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Pell apology 'not good enough'

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

An apology made by Australia's most senior Catholic to those who suffered abuse at the hands of priests has been labelled a 'minimal response' by a child sexual abuse victims group.

In his Christmas message, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell said he was 'deeply sorry' for the hurt that had occurred, calling it 'completely contrary' to Christ's teachings.

But he did not specifically mention allegations of child sex abuse by members of the clergy, only those who 'suffered at the hands' of fellow Christians, Christian officials, priests and religious teachers.

Adults Surviving Child Abuse president Dr Cathy Kezelman said the Catholic Church needed to be more transparent and forthright about its role in the abuse of children over the years.

'It's an absolutely minimal response to express regret,' she told AAP on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Top Australian cleric apologises for abuse

AUSTRALIA
The New Age

Australia's most senior Catholic cleric on Monday apologised to those who "suffered at the hands" of priests and religious teachers, in a Christmas message issued after a turbulent year for the Church.

In the video message broadcast on television, Sydney Archbishop George Pell said he was shocked and ashamed, following a series of paedophile allegations against priests and claims they were hushed up....

Pell's Christmas message drew mixed reactions from victim support groups, with some saying it represented a "major shift" in the Church's position while others said it did not go far enough.

"It's pleasing that he's opening up his heart to these people," Wayne Chamley, spokesperson for victims support group Broken Rites, told ABC television.

"They seem to now appreciate the scale of it. I don't think we've seen a statement in the past which was reflecting on the scale of what's gone on."

But Adults Surviving Child Abuse president Cathy Kezelman called it "an absolutely minimal response to express regret".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Deaf alleged victims of sexual abuse call for boycott of Catholic Church collection plates

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

By Karen Seidman, THE GAZETTE
December 23, 2012

They may be deaf and mute, but a group of about 200 alleged victims of sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic teaching order who gathered for a demonstration on a frigid Sunday afternoon were able to communicate a powerful message.

In view of their plight, they asked that as people gather in their local Catholic churches for midnight mass on Christmas Eve, that they not donate money to the collection plate as it is passed around.

“Until the Catholic Church acknowledges the abuse that has occurred, until it tries to repair the damage that was done, we think people should stop giving money that will just be used to pay for expensive lawyers who help the church deny these allegations and protect pedophile priests,” said France Bédard, founder of a not-for-profit support group, the Association des victimes de prêtres, which aims to help people who say they were abused by members of religious orders. She said she herself was raped by a priest as a teenager.

“This is the biggest payday of the year for the church,” said Carlo Tarini, a spokesperson for the group. “We are calling for a worldwide boycott of these collection plates to send a clear message to the Catholic Church. People should donate to Centraide or the United Way instead.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Sex abuse priest unmasked by court

NORTHERN IRELAND
Lurgan Mail

Published on Monday 24 December 2012

THE anonymity of a former Lurgan priest who was convicted of indecently assaulting a young girl in the County Armagh area has been lifted. He has been named as Fr Terence Rafferty.

A former Administrator at Newry Cathedral, Fr Rafferty, whose address was given as Chestnut Grove, Newry, was convicted at Craigavon Crown Court on Monday of four counts of indecent assault relating to offences in 2001.

Sitting before Judge Patrick Lynch, five other offences of indecent assault between December 2000 and January 2002 were left on the books.

The victim was a minor at the time.

Details of the case were only released last Thursday after a court ban protecting the 50-year-old priest’s identity was lifted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

December 23, 2012

Pell says sorry to abuse victims in Christmas message

AUSTRALIA
Radio Australia

[with video]

Catholic Cardinal George Pell has used his Christmas message to apologise to those who have been sexually abused by Christians.

Cardinal Pell says he is shocked and ashamed by the abuse suffered at the hands of priests and teachers.

He says it goes against the teachings of Jesus and Christians need faith in God's goodness and love to cope with these disasters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

Top Australian cleric apologises for abuse

AUSTRALIA
MSN

Australia's most senior Catholic cleric on Monday apologised to those who "suffered at the hands" of priests and religious teachers after a turbulent year for the Church.

Sydney Archbishop George Pell said he was shocked and ashamed, following a series of paedophile allegations against priests and claims that they were hushed up.

In his Christmas message, Pell said his heart went out to "all those who cannot find peace at this time, especially those who have suffered at the hands of fellow Christians, Christian officials, priests, religious teachers".

"I am deeply sorry this has happened," he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 PM

Christmas Message 2012

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

+ Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney
24 Dec 2012

Like every other priest and bishop I bring Christ's message of peace and goodness once again this Christmas. Where there is evil, there is less peace, sometimes no peace.

My heart, the hearts of all believers, of all people of good will go out to all those who cannot find peace at this time, especially those who have suffered at the hands of fellow Christians; Christian officials, priests, religious, teachers.

I am deeply sorry this has happened. It is completely contrary to Christ's teachings and I feel too the shock and shame across the community at these revelations of wrong doing and crimes.

We need our faith in God's goodness and love to cope with these disasters, to help those who have been hurt. We need the hope that comes to us from Christ's birth with his call to conversion, to sorrow for sins and the necessity of reparation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Pell apology not good enough, group says

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

AN apology made by Australia's most senior Catholic to those who suffered abuse at the hands of priests has been labelled a "minimal response" by a child sexual abuse victims group.

In his Christmas message, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell said he was "deeply sorry" for the hurt that had occurred, calling it "completely contrary" to Christ's teachings.

But he did not specifically mention allegations of child sex abuse by members of the clergy, only those who "suffered at the hands" of fellow Christians, Christian officials, priests and religious teachers.

Adults Surviving Child Abuse president Dr Cathy Kezelman said the Catholic Church needed to be more transparent and forthright about its role in the abuse of children over the years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Pell says sorry for 'wrongdoings and crimes'

AUSTRALIA
Brimbank Weekly

By Nicole Hasham
Dec. 24, 2012

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, has apologised to "those who have suffered at the hands of fellow Christians" in his first Christmas message since the federal government announced a royal commission on child sex abuse.

Cardinal Pell, who said last month that the royal commission would help decipher real claims from "significant exaggeration", did not address the sex abuse claims directly, but said he felt the "shock and shame across the community at these revelations of wrongdoing and crimes".

"My heart will go out to all those who cannot find peace at this time, especially those who have suffered at the hands of fellow Christians; Christian officials, priests'' and teachers, he said.

"I am deeply sorry this has happened. It is completely contrary to Christ's teachings.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell says sorry to victims of clergy

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

[with video]

AN apology made by Australia's most senior Catholic to those who suffered abuse at the hands of priests has been labelled a "minimal response" by a child sexual abuse victims group.

Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell apologised to those who have "suffered at the hands" of priests and religious teachers.

While not specifically mentioning allegations of child sex abuse by members of the clergy, Cardinal Pell said he was "deeply sorry" for the hurt that had occurred, calling it "completely contrary" to Christ's teachings.

Top Australian cleric apologises for abuse

AUSTRALIA
7 News

December 24, 2012

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's most senior Catholic cleric on Monday apologised to those who "suffered at the hands" of priests and religious teachers after a turbulent year for the Church.

Sydney Archbishop George Pell said he was shocked and ashamed, following a series of paedophile allegations against priests and claims that they were hushed up.

In his Christmas message, Pell said his heart went out to "all those who cannot find peace at this time, especially those who have suffered at the hands of fellow Christians, Christian officials, priests, religious teachers".

"I am deeply sorry this has happened," he added.

"I feel too the shock and shame across the community at these revelations of wrongdoing and crimes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Rabbis desecrate God’s name in London

UNITED KINGDOM
Ynet News (Israel)

Rabbi Levi Brackman

Multiple women have accused an extremely prominent London haredi rabbi, Chaim Halpern, of sexually abusing them during their marriage counseling sessions with him.

A number of rabbinic judges in London had the courage to investigate the claims and subsequently found Halpern unfit to serve in any religious capacity. In response, Halpern stepped down from many of his religious positions.

Yet the saga continues because Halpern still maintains his position as a rabbi in his own community. In addition his father, another prominent and venerable rabbi, Chanoch Halpern, together with numerous other rabbis, have dismissed the allegations and maintain that Chaim Halpern is a righteous man who has been caught up in a conspiracy.

The proverb says that “there is no man on the earth who is (completely) righteous, who does good and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). We are all human and, thus, none of us are perfect. Yet the abuses allegedly committed by Halpern are in a different league – they are especially heinous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Child porn charges shock Montreal church

CANADA
CBC News

Some parishioners at a Montreal Catholic church were shocked to learn Sunday that a deacon is being charged with producing and distributing child pornography.

William Kokesch, 65, was arrested Friday morning and charged on Saturday via video link at the Montreal courthouse.

Police said they found more than 2,000 images of children on a computer. His bail hearing will be held Monday at the Montreal courthouse.

Kokesch, who lives in Pointe-Claire, was a deacon for the St-Edmund of Canterbury parish in Beaconsfield on Montreal's West Island.

Carmella Guerriero told CBC News she was mortified by the news.

"I'm here this morning without my kids," Guerriero said on her way into the church.

"I just want to see if they have anything to say about what's happened. It's horrible," she said, adding that she is no longer comfortable having her children attend the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Vatileaks, the case of the Butler

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Day by day during one year

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

January 25th, 2012
During an episode of “Gli Intoccabili", aired on La 7 and hosted by Gianluigi Nuzzi, the letters that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò (secretary of the Governorate then promoted/removed as nuncio to the United States) sent to the Pope and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone were released. In the month of January, in the Italian newspaper "Il Fatto Quotidiano", several documents were published: an account concerning an alleged plot against the Pope, and some notes about the Vatican Bank.

February 6th, 2012
The first denunciation to Vatican justice is formalized.

February 22nd
A private note sent by Father Federico Lombardi to the secretary of the Pope, Georg Gänswein on the case of Emanuela Orlandi is partially released.

May 19th
Gianluigi Nuzzi's book is released in book stores. The book contains, among various documents, the transcription of encrypted documents from the nunciatures, and also contains a budget of the Ratzinger Foundation which had been sent only to the Pope and had not cleared the Secretariat of State.

May 21st
A dramatic meeting of the the Pontifical Family, convened by Mgr. Georg Gänswein, takes place in the papal apartment. The secretary of the Pope speaks openly of the suspicions of Paolo Gabriele in his presence. The accused denies being responsible for the massive leak of documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Papal visit and Christmas pardon for Paolo Gabriele

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

"Fatherly gesture toward a person with whom the Pope shared for years a daily familiarity "But it will not work for the Holy See

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

Pope Benedict’s decision about Paolo Gabriele, the butler guilty of stealing, copying, and circulating the vatileaks documents by removing them from the table of the Papal Secretariat, arrives today. The announcement of the pardon allow Gabriele, who is currently held in a cell in the palace, to return to his family to spend the holiday season without having to go back to prison afterwards. “Paoletto”, who was arrested last May after thousands of copies of confidential documents had been found in his home, was granted house arrest in late July. After being committed to trial on August 13th, and found guilty by the Court on October 6th following a short trial, Gabriele was back in prison on October 25th after the 18-month sentence had become definite because of the defense’s decision not to appeal.

At the time he was being returned to prison, the Secretariat of State issued a statement denying that a Papal pardon could be taken for granted and stressing the seriousness of the actions committed by the former butler as well as the seriousness of its consequences. The Vatican note had been expressly approved by the Pope, who was particularly rattled by the incident. “Evil has crept among us”, he said to the Papal family during the days of the scandal. The impression of the Vatican hierarchy is that Gabriele had not fully repented and hadn't fully understood the scope of his action. An understanding may have come during the recent weeks in jail, when he asked a priest, “How can I atone?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Vatican law pick draws fire from victims group

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

December 23, 2012

By
Richard Weir

Pope Benedict XVI tapped the Archdiocese of Boston’s top canon law expert as the Vatican’s new prosecutor, an appointment hailed by church leaders but criticized by victims rights advocates who say his past positions cast doubt on whether he will be an impartial investigator of priest sexual abuse.

The Rev. Robert W. Oliver, a Bay Shore, N.Y., 
native, currently serves as the archdiocese’s assistant to the moderator of the Curia for Canonical Affairs.

“Fr. Robert Oliver is a gifted priest who has served the Archdiocese with distinction,” Cardinal Sean O’Malley said yesterday, describing the Dartmouth-educated Oliver as “a dis­tinguished canon lawyer who brings the requisite 
experience and an understanding of the importance of this office within the 
life of the Church.” ...

But his past handling of several controversial policy changes has critics questioning his objectivity.

“We are concerned that he is primarily someone who looks out for the rights of the accused priests,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org. “The position … is a sensitive and important one and he will have to be equally a champion of victims. We wonder if he will be capable of being even-handed.”

In 2003, Oliver helped 
revise an archdiocese policy, altering it to curtail access by alleged victims of abuse to church records — a move that surprised lay leaders who sat on the Cardinal’s Commission for the Protection of Children.

Also that year, Oliver said the church went too far in immediately removing priests from their public ministries once they were accused of abuse. He implemented a new policy stripping them of duties only after claims are investigated.

Terrence Donilon, a spokesman for the archdiocese, called the criticism of Oliver “unfounded and just plain wrong,” adding, “He is a good and decent priest who is widely viewed as just, competent and committed to the truth.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Boston priest gets new role in Vatican

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Lisa Wangsness
| Globe Staff

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday appointed a Boston canon lawyer with extensive experience handling sexual abuse complaints to be the Vatican’s chief prosecutor of sex crimes against minors.

The Rev. Robert W. Oliver, 52, will become promoter of justice — a title akin to prosecutor in the American legal system — for the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, the Vatican office charged with protecting church doctrine. It oversees all serious crimes against the church, including the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Oliver is a longtime professor of theology and canon law who since 2002 has served in a variety of capacities in the church’s internal legal system, or canon law system, in Boston – as judge, promoter of justice, chief of investigations, and member of the archdiocesan review board that handles sexual abuse complaints. ...

The Boston tribunal, as the archdiocesan court is known, is still struggling to adjudicate a backlog of sexual abuse cases against priests. Fifteen cases have been languishing since 2004 or earlier.

Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented many sexual abuse victims in Boston, said he wondered whether Oliver’s departure would further delay some of those cases.

“Closure in these cases is such an important part of the healing process for sexual abuse victims,” he said.

Donilon said concluding the cases was a church priority. “Closure and the care of survivors and their families is important to the cardinal,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

December 22, 2012

Montreal deacon allegedly made child porn

CANADA
Canoe

By Giuseppe Valiante, QMI Agency

MONTREAL - A well-known Montreal-area Deacon who once spoke on behalf of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been charged with production and distribution of child pornography.

William Kokesch, 65, appeared in a Montreal courtroom Saturday afternoon via videoconference. The day prior, based on a tip from the public, Montreal police searched two locations in the city’s west end, including Kokesch’s home, and allegedly found more than 2,000 child porn images.

Montreal police spokesperson Dany Richer wouldn’t give details about Kokesch’s alleged victims. Nor would he say if any of the children in the images seized from Kokesch’s home were members the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 PM

Montreal deacon charged in child porn bust

CANADA
CBC

A Montreal deacon has been accused of producing and distributing child pornography.

William Kokesch, 65, was charged Saturday via video link after police searched his west-end home a day earlier, Const. Dany Richer said, adding investigators seized more than 2,000 images.

Kokesch will remain in jail until Monday when he's scheduled to appear in court, Richer said.

Kokesch, a communications director for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, helped co-ordinate World Youth Day conferences in Toronto, Rome and Paris, according to the organization's website.

In a news release issued Saturday, the Archdiocese of Montreal announced Kokesch had been removed from all ministry and pastoral activity at a church in Beaconsfield, a suburb in Montreal's West Island, and that it would co-operate with civil authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 PM

Montreal deacon charged with possession, production of child porn

CANADA
CTV

[with video]

A well-known Montreal-area deacon is charged with possession and production of child pornography after a citizen’s complaint led to a search of his home, police said.

Police arrested William Kokesch at his Pointe-Claire, Que. home Friday morning. Investigators say they found more than 2,000 images with sexual content, and have seized the hard drive of Kokesch’s computer.

Kokesch, 65, served as a deacon, or a church assistant, at St-Edmund of Canterbury parish on the West Island for the last seven years, and was once a spokesperson for the Canadian Conference of Bishops.

William Kokesch, a Montreal deacon, who has been charged with producing and distributing child pornography, is shown in this undated image.

In addition to serving as a frequent commentator on church issues, he was also very active in organizing events for Catholic youths in both Canada and Europe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 PM

Montreal deacon faces child porn charges

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

A Montreal deacon is being accused of producing and distributing child pornography a day after police say they seized 2,000 images from his home.

William Kokesch, 65, was charged Saturday via video link at the Montreal courthouse. Investigators say they searched his home and arrested him a day earlier.

Montreal police Const. Dany Richer said Mr. Kokesch will remain in jail until Monday when he’s scheduled to again appear in court to face the allegations against him.

Mr. Kokesch was a deacon for a church in Beaconsfield, a suburb on Montreal’s West Island.

Mr. Kokesch was a communications director for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. He helped co-ordinate World Youth Day conferences in Toronto, Rome and Paris, according to the organization’s website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Communiqué of the Archdiocese of Montreal

CANADA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal

Montreal - December 22th The Archdiocese of Montreal learned on Friday, December 21, that Mr. William Kokesch, permanent deacon, had been arrested that same day. As a result, the Archdiocese of Montreal immediately removed him from all ministry and pastoral activity.

Having just learned of the charges against Mr. Kokesch, the diocese is profoundly upset. Child pornography is an affront to human dignity, and our first concern rests with those who are its victims.

The archdiocese will be attentive to the needs of concerned parishioners and will co-operate with civil authorities. ``We wish to assure all those concerned by this event that we are keeping them in our prayers, and we urge everyone to have confidence in and respect for the judicial process and to await its conclusions.``

As the judicial process is currently under way, no further comment will be made at this time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 PM

William Kokesch, Montreal Deacon, Charged With Producing And Distributing Child Pornography

CANADA
Huffington Post

MONTREAL - A Montreal deacon is being accused of producing and distributing child pornography a day after police say they seized 2,000 images from his home.

William Kokesch, 65, was charged Saturday via video link at the Montreal courthouse. Investigators say they searched his home and arrested him a day earlier.

Montreal police Const. Dany Richer said Kokesch will remain in jail until Monday when he's scheduled to again appear in court to face the allegations against him.

Kokesch was a deacon for a church in Beaconsfield, a suburb on Montreal's West Island.

Koesch is listed as a communications director for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. He helped coordinate World Youth Day conferences in Toronto, Rome and Paris, according to the organization's website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 PM

West Island deacon William Kokesch removed from post after child porn charges

CANADA
Canada.com

By Aaron Derfel, The Gazette December 22, 2012

MONTREAL — A prominent West Island deacon who used to speak publicly about sexual crimes has been charged with the production and distribution of child pornography following a police investigation.

William Kokesch, a 65-year-old deacon of St. Edmund of Canterbury Parish in Beaconsfield, was arrested Friday after police carried out two search warrants — one at his home in Pointe Claire and the other at the church.

The Archdiocese of Montreal announced on Saturday that it immediately removed Kokesch from all ministry and pastoral activity.

“Having just learned of the charges against Mr. Kokesch, the diocese is profoundly upset,” it said in a statement. “Child pornography is an affront to human dignity, and our first concern rests with those who are its victims.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 PM

Boston priest tapped for Vatican role

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Catholic Insider

Boston priest, Fr. Robert Oliver, has been tapped by Pope Benedict XVI to be Promoter of Justice for the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith. You can read the Boston diocesan press release here. The position is akin to a prosecutor in the American legal system. The CDF is charged with protecting Catholic doctrine, but also handles all serious crimes against the church, including the sexual abuse of children, desecration of the Eucharist, violation of the seal of confession, heresy and schism. He will be essentially the Vatican’s chief prosecutor of sex crimes against minors.

Oliver has served as judge and promoter of justice in the archdiocesan tribunal, and he has also advised Cardinal O’Malley on issues including pastoral planning. He was a longtime professor of theology and canon law at St. John’s Seminary. This past year he served as a visiting professor of canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is a very smart orthodox priest. With his departure from the Pastoral Center, Bishop-elect Deeley and Cardinal O’Malley lose a trustworthy adviser with a lot of horsepower who worked quietly behind the scenes to make critical things happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Boston Priest to Lead Oversight of Sexual Abuse Claims at Vatican

BOSTON (MA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

December 22, 2012

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and RACHEL DONADIO / The New York Times

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday appointed as the Vatican's new sex crimes prosecutor a priest who handled clergy sexual abuse cases in the Roman Catholic Church in Boston at the height of the scandal and for years afterward. ...

Father Oliver was among the canon lawyers brought in to advise Cardinal Bernard F. Law on sexual abuse cases in Boston, where the church's sexual abuse scandal erupted anew in 2002. He was put in charge of the office investigating charges against accused priests after the cardinal was forced to resign in 2002 amid an uproar over revelations that the cardinal had kept abusive priests working in parishes.

Father Oliver helped write the archdiocese's new abuse prevention policy in 2003. He has been serving as a canon lawyer for the archdiocese and as a visiting professor of canon law at Catholic University of America in Washington.

Advocates for abuse victims in the Boston Archdiocese criticized his record on Saturday. Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of Bishop Accountability, a watchdog group that maintains an archive of abuse cases and documents, said in an interview, "Reverend Oliver is a champion of accused priests, which obviously does not bode well for the job he will do as promoter of justice."

She said that under that under Father Oliver's guidance, the Boston Archdiocese reported that between 2003 and 2005 it had cleared 32 of 71 accused priests, about 45 percent, saying it did not find "probable cause" to pursue abuse cases against them. That was a far higher clearance rate than the 10 percent reported by other dioceses nationwide, according to a report in 2005 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

She also said the new policy on abuse that Father Oliver helped write in 2003 allows accused priests to remain in the ministry without being publicly identified while allegations against them are investigated. In contrast, laypeople suspected of abuse who work or volunteer for the church are to be immediately suspended.

Father Oliver is not expected to grant any interviews, said Terrence C. Donilon, a secretary for communications for the Archdiocese of Boston. But he said, "Any attacks on Father Oliver's distinguished track record of service to the church and his many contributions to the response to clergy sexual abuse are unfounded and just plain wrong."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Michael G. Kolar

MINNESOTA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Kolar was accused of sexually abusing three young women while he was director of the St. Paul Youth Center in St. Paul in the 1970s and 1980s. One of his victims was 15 years-old when he started grooming her. Kolar admitted to having a problem with vulnerable young women, and that he was a sexual abuser. He was laicized in 1992.

Ordained: 1969
Incardinated: St. Paul-Minneapolis

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Boston priest tapped by Vatican to be chief sex-abuse prosecutor

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Lisa Wangsness, Globe Staff

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday appointed a Boston canon lawyer to be the Vatican’s chief prosecutor of sex crimes against minors.

The Rev. Robert W. Oliver, 52, will become Promoter of Justice -- akin to a prosecutor in the American legal system -- for the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, the Vatican office charged with protecting Catholic doctrine. It handles all serious crimes against the church, including the sexual abuse of children.

Oliver has served as judge and promoter of justice in the archdiocesan tribunal, which is still struggling to adjudicate a backlog of sexual abuse cases against priests. More than a dozen have been languishing since 2004 or earlier.

He appears to have handled some sexual abuse cases against priests during the tenure of Cardinal Bernard M. Law, who resigned in disgrace for his role in the sexual abuse crisis that erupted in Boston in 2002. It is not clear what his roles were in the archdiocesan tribunal under Law or how the cases he handled were resolved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Jerome C. Kern

MINNESOTA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Kern was accused in 1993 of having molested a 15 year-old boy in a swimming pool in 1977. Church officials told Kern's accuser that there were allegations against Kern dating back to 1969. The man sued and received a settlement; he claimed he was promised that Kern would never work in another parish or be around children. It came to light in 2002 that, since 1995, Kern was in active parish ministry; the parish had a school and a religious education program.

Ordained: Dec. 17, 1966
Incardinated: St. Paul-Minneapolis

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Pope Benedict XVI Appoints Boston Priest As Sex Crimes Prosecutor

BOSTON (MA)
CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a priest from the archdiocese of Boston, ground zero in the U.S. clerical sex abuse scandal, to a position that involves serving as the Catholic Church’s sex crimes prosecutor.

Rev. Robert W. Oliver, S.T.D., J.C.D. will take over as the Promoter of Justice for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

The position is similar to that of a prosecutor. Oliver will be responsible for investigating crimes that the Church considers most serious, which includes the sexual abuse of minors by clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Pope names priest from Boston, ground zero of US sex abuse scandal, as sex crimes prosecutor

VATICAN CITY
The Windsor Star

The Associated Press | Dec 22, 2012

VATICAN CITY - The pope has named a priest from the archdiocese of Boston, ground zero in the U.S. clerical sex abuse scandal, as his new sex crimes prosecutor.

The Vatican said Saturday that the Rev. Robert W. Oliver, a canonical expert in the archdiocese, replaces Bishop Charles Scicluna, who was recently named auxiliary bishop in his native Malta.

Scicluna's departure had sparked some fears among sex abuse victims that the Vatican might roll back on the tough line on clergy abuse he charted in his 10 years at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

December 22, 2012 - Rev. Robert W. Oliver, S.T.D., J.C.D. Named Promoter of Justice For the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith

BOSTON (MA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

Braintree, MA (December 22, 2012) – Today, Pope Benedict XVI announced the appointment of Rev. Robert W. Oliver, S.T.D., J.C.D. as Promoter of Justice for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the central offices of the Holy See which is located in Vatican City State in Rome. Fr. Oliver currently serves as Assistant to the Moderator of the Curia for Canonical Affairs and is a Visiting Professor of Canon Law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C..

Cardinal Seán said, “Fr. Robert Oliver is a gifted priest who has served the Archdiocese with distinction. We are pleased to learn of the Holy Father's wish to appoint him as Promoter of Justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Fr. Oliver is a distinguished canon lawyer who brings the requisite experience and an understanding of the importance of this office within the life of the Church. We assure him of our prayers and our support for this important ministry.”

Fr. Oliver said, “It is with deep humility and gratitude that I received the news that the Holy Father is entrusting me with this service to the Church. Having been so blessed to serve the Archdiocese of Boston with Cardinal Seán and Bishop-elect Deeley, I wish to express my sincere gratitude for their confidence and support. Receiving this assignment during the Year of Faith is inspirational and it is challenging. The Congregation’s role is to promote and safeguard the doctrine of the faith and morals in the universal Church. I humbly ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and grace to assist Archbishop Müller and the Congregation in fulfilling this important work.”

Bishop-elect Robert P. Deeley, J.C.D., Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, said, “In appointing Fr. Robert Oliver to this important position as Promoter of Justice, the Holy Father has chosen a priest who will serve faithfully and effectively. Fr. Oliver is an experienced canon lawyer who has served as a Judge, taught, developed policy and offered counsel as a canonical advisor. He has had an important voice in many of the major decisions we have faced as an Archdiocese and in the national Church. His experience, intelligence, understanding, compassion and respect for all of God's people have prepared him well for this important ministry of justice. Fr. Oliver's talents and good counsel will be missed here in Boston but we are comforted in knowing that his presence will be felt across the universal Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

MI - Former priest in court today on child porn charges, SNAP responds

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on December 21, 2012

Today, a former Detroit Catholic priest will be in court facing child porn charges. We hope the judge gives him little or no benefit of the doubt.

Often sex offenders like Timothy Murray get top notch defense lawyers, exploit technicalities, strike deals, and win leniency. They then use that leniency to flee the country or offend again.

And, while free awaiting trial, they often destroy evidence, intimidate victims, discredit whistleblowers, and threaten witnesses.

At a bare minimum, we hope the judge will insist that Murray give up his passport. We also hope that anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Murray will contact police and prosecutors promptly so that he might be effectively prosecuted and kept away from kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

TX - Bishop Emeritus Carmody set to return to Tyler, SNAP responds

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on December 21, 2012

Next week Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody is returning to work in the diocese of Tyler. For the last ten years Carmody has been working in the diocese of Corpus Christi.

During the 1990s Carmondy was the Bishop of Tyler and during his time as bishop he helped cover up for at least two predator priests. One of those predator priests was able to flee the country, avoiding justice and potentially hurting more innocent children.

It is a callous and hurtful move to allow Carmondy to return to the diocese where he allowed so much pain to befall his diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Boston Priest to Lead Oversight Of Sexual Abuse Claims at Vatican

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By RACHEL DONADIO

Published: December 22, 2012

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday appointed a priest who handled sexual abuse cases under the disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston as the Vatican’s new sex crimes prosecutor.

The pope also pardoned his former butler, who was serving a prison term after leaking confidential documents in the Vatican’s most embarrassing security breach in decades.

The Vatican said that the Rev. Robert W. Oliver, a canon law specialist at the Archdiocese of Boston, would be the “promoter of justice” at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal office that reviews all abuse cases.

Father Oliver was among the canon lawyers who advised Cardinal Law on sexual abuse cases in Boston, the center of the church’s child abuse crisis in the United States. He continued advising the Archdiocese of Boston after the cardinal was forced to resign in 2002 amid an uproar over revelations that the cardinal had kept abusive priests working in parishes.

David Clohessy, who helps lead the victims advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said that appointment of “anyone with ties to Law” was problematic.

“It just rubs salt into the wounds of hundreds and hundreds of Boston victims when anyone associated with Law is given any kind of responsibility or power or prestige,” he said. “On the other hand, we’d rather someone hold that position who has had a lot of experience, even if their track record is less than stellar.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Editorial: A search for light amid dark tidings

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by NCR Editorial Staff | Dec. 22, 2012

Editorial

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light,
sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in
darkness
and in the shadow of death.

There are few prayers more evocative than the O Antiphons of Advent. Blending poetry and theology, they teach us lessons about the human condition and our relationship with the divine that a hundred pages of prose cannot. They confront us with the fear we, in our human brokenness, have felt when we look into the shadows of doubt, the darkness of our own frailties and mortality. We do not abandon ourselves to despair because we also have known the splendor of the Radiant Dawn. We have known -- however fleetingly -- the sun of justice. Because of this we have hope.

And we need hope.

This issue of NCR is heavy with stories of shadow and darkness. The stories tell of people, sincere believers in the eternal light and sun of justice, who are being silenced: Jesuit Fr. Bill Brennan in Milwaukee (see story), Roy Bourgeois (see story and see story), a Wisconsin pastor removed from his parish on questionable charges of breaking the seal of confession (see story), Fr. Helmut Schüller in Austria (see story), Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery in Ireland (see story). Scholars at the University of San Diego (see story). A deacon stopped from talking to other deacons (see story). The silencing of academics -- through direct edict or by intimidation -- is most worrying and must be looked at seriously. The level of fear among the academic community, especially the theologians, is the highest we have ever seen. We fear that we are losing our best Catholic thinkers. This would be a shameful waste that ultimately will harm us all.

But these are only examples of high-profile cases and individuals. In the shadows of darkness, there are many more stories. The silenced live among us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Boston Priest to Lead Vatican’s Oversight of Sexual Abuse Claims

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By RACHEL DONADIO

Published: December 22, 2012

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday named a priest from Boston, the epicenter of the sexual abuse crisis in the United States, as the Vatican’s new sex crimes prosecutor. He also pardoned his former butler who was serving a prison term after leaking confidential documents in the Vatican’s most embarrassing security breach in decades.

The two announcements, which came on the weekend before Christmas, were a telling juxtaposition for a complex, ancient institution that has always tread a fine line between grace and justice, crime and punishment, sin and redemption.

The Rev. Robert W. Oliver, a canon law specialist at the Archdiocese of Boston, will be the “promoter of justice” at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal office that reviews all abuse cases, the Vatican said Saturday.

The abuse crisis erupted in Boston in 2002, when church records unsealed in a court case revealed that the diocese had transferred priests known to have been pedophiles. The scandal led to the resignation that year of Cardinal Bernard F. Law as archbishop of Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Pope Pardons Gabriele, Appoints American as Promoter of Justice

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

by Edward Pentin Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has today granted a Christmas pardon to Paolo Gabriele, his former valet who has been serving an eighteen month jail sentence for leaking confidential papal documents.

A Vatican communiqué, released this morning by the Secretariat of State, reads:

"This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI visited Paolo Gabriele in prison in order to confirm his forgiveness and communicate in person his decision to grant Mr Gabriele's request for pardon, thereby remitting the sentence passed against the latter. This constitutes a paternal gesture towards a person with whom the Pope shared a relationship of daily familiarity for many years.

"Mr Gabriele was subsequently released from prison and has returned home. Since he cannot resume his previous occupation or continue to live in Vatican City, the Holy See, trusting in his sincere repentance, wishes to offer him the possibility of returning to a serene family life".

In October, Gabriele was found guilty of stealing and copying the Pope's documents and leaking them to an Italian journalist. He said he acted out of love for the Church.

In other news today, the Holy Father appointed an American as the new Promoter of Justice, or chief prosecutor, at Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to oversee clerical sex abuse cases in the Church.

Fr. Robert W. Oliver, a canonical expert for the archdiocese of Boston, replaces Bishop Charles Scicluna who was appointed earlier this year as Auxiliary Bishop of Malta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Boston Priest to Lead Vatican’s Oversight of Sex Abuse Claims

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: December 22, 2012

VATICAN CITY — The pope has put a priest from the archdiocese of Boston, the center of a clerical sex abuse scandal in the United States, in charge of the Vatican’s review of sex abuse by priests.

The Vatican said Saturday that the Rev. Robert W. Oliver, a canonical specialist in the archdiocese, would succeed Bishop Charles Scicluna, who was recently named auxiliary bishop in his native Malta.

Bishop Scicluna’s departure had sparked some fears among sex abuse victims that the Vatican might roll back on the tough line on clergy abuse he charted in his 10 years at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Vatican office, which Pope Benedict XVI headed for nearly a quarter century, reviews all cases of clerical sex abuse, telling bishops how to proceed against accused priests.

The pope also granted his former butler a Christmas pardon on Saturday for stealing the pontiff’s private papers and leaking them to a journalist, one of the gravest Vatican security breaches in recent times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Appointments: Boston priest new CDF Promoter of Justice

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) On Saturday Pope Benedict XVI appointed Boston native Rev. Robert W. Oliver, B.H., Promoter of Justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

He takes over from Mons. Charles J. Scicluna, who was recently appointed Auxiliary bishop of Malta.

Rev. Oliver (centre in photo) is a Professor of Canon Law & Systematic Theology at St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston and formerly Promoter of Justice at the Boston Archdiocese Tribunal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Robert W. Oliver nuovo promotore ...

CITTA DEL VATICANO
Korazym

Robert W. Oliver nuovo promotore di Giustizia della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede

Scritto da Andrea Gagliarducci
Sabato 22 Dicembre 2012

Quando nel 2002 i reportage del Boston Globe segnarono l’inizio dello scandalo della pedofilia negli Stati Uniti, Robert W. Oliver, sacerdote, professore di Diritto Canonico e di Teologia Sistematica al seminario di Saint John, fu chiamato a gestire la situazione. E fu il primo a metterci la faccia. Scrivendo lui stesso articoli sul Boston Globe, in cui spiegava come la diocesi si stesse muovendo per affrontare la crisi. Delineando e collaborando con il comitato di otto laici che avrebbe analizzato ogni denuncia di abusi del clero e si sarebbero coordinati con l’arcivescovo. E persino superando gli scossoni che erano seguiti nella diocesi, quando il cardinal Bernard Francis Law era stato rimosso dalla guida della diocesi e Boston era passata sotto la guida del cardinale francescano Francis O’Malley. Ora, Oliver dovrà portare le sue competenze alla Congregazione della Dottrina della Fede, di cui è stato appena nominato promotore di Giustizia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Pope names Boston priest new sex crimes prosecutor

VATICAN CITY
Miami Herald

The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY -- The pope has named a priest from the archdiocese of Boston, ground zero in the U.S. clerical sex abuse scandal, as his new sex crimes prosecutor.

The Vatican said Saturday that the Rev. Robert W. Oliver, a canonical expert in the archdiocese, replaces Bishop Charles Scicluna, who was recently named auxiliary bishop in his native Malta.

Scicluna's departure had sparked some fears among sex abuse victims that the Vatican might roll back on the tough line on clergy abuse he charted in his 10 years at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Charity’s CEO quits amid local child sex-abuse suit

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By Rita Price
The Columbus Dispatch
Saturday December 22, 2012

The top official at the Loyal Order of Moose and Moose International retired on Thursday, one week after he was accused of molesting a boy in Franklin County more than 30 years ago.

William B. Airey, 71, left voluntarily and was not asked by the organization’s board to step down, spokesman Kurt Wehrmeister said yesterday. ...

An advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse said yesterday that Airey should have been suspended instead. “It’s irresponsible for them to pretend their CEO isn’t facing serious allegations,” said David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The group also speaks out on behalf of victims of abuse in other institutional settings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

THE POPE GRANTS PARDON TO PAOLO GABRIELE

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 22 December 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the communiqué released this morning by the Secretariat of State:

"This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI visited Paolo Gabriele in prison in order to confirm his forgiveness and communicate in person his decision to grant Mr Gabriele's request for pardon, thereby remitting the sentence passed against the latter. This constitutes a paternal gesture towards a person with whom the Pope shared a relationship of daily familiarity for many years.

"Mr Gabriele was subsequently released from prison and has returned home. Since he cannot resume his previous occupation or continue to live in Vatican City, the Holy See, trusting in his sincere repentance, wishes to offer him the possibility of returning to a serene family life".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 22 December 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today appointed: ...

- Fr. Robert W. Oliver, assistant for canonical matters of the archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A., as promoter of justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Hidden story reveals a friend's shocking past

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

December 22, 2012

Richard Wynne

A FRIEND came to my office unannounced recently. He is someone I see infrequently, although our work, political and social lives intersect. He arrived with a two-page, tightly written letter that was shocking and distressing. It was a chronology of the sexual abuse he had suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church, things he had not spoken about or acknowledged for more than 40 years.

To understand the insidious nature of systemic abuse, in all its forms, we need to acknowledge the power the Catholic Church exerted over its congregations. My experience and that of my friend, growing up in poor Catholic families, was that the church was inviolate. The ancient rituals of the Latin Mass (such a foreign and inaccessible ceremony); our duty to attend every Sunday; the annual St Patrick's Day parade through the city, marching like a battalion in school uniform behind the open-top Rolls-Royce of Archbishop Mannix; and locally the unquestioned authority vested in the parish priest - all symbols of the church's power and control over our daily lives.

It was simply inconceivable that you would complain or seek redress, let alone question what was occurring, particularly if you were a child. The church was all-pervasive, prepared to intervene in our communities' spiritual and political life without invitation or accountability. I well recall heated arguments in my home between my father and his brother over the Labor Party split, a political divide that lives on today between me and my cousin.

I was the victim of systematic physical beatings at the hands of the Christian Brothers. I was violently strapped so many times I could not hold a pen for days. These actions went unchallenged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Testimony ends at Phil Jacobs sexual abuse trial

CANADA
Saanich News

By Edward Hill - Saanich News
Published: December 21, 2012

A retired teacher for St. Joseph’s Catholic elementary school testified Thursday for the defence as the final witness at the ongoing Phil Jacobs sexual abuse trial.

During testimony on Dec. 11, one of the three complainants against Jacobs testified the priest molested him during his time as an altar server at Joseph the Worker church.

The witness testified to a time Jacobs molested him while preparing for altar server duties during a school mass in a room attached to the preparation room behind the altar.

The witness couldn’t remember how many times he performed as an altar server, but said it was more than once and spanned two school years. Overall, the witness said Jacobs molested him more than once and less than a dozen times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

'Being raised Catholic is worse than child abuse'...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

'Being raised Catholic is worse than child abuse': Latest incendiary claim made by atheist professor Richard Dawkins

By Daniel Martin

PUBLISHED:19:03 EST, 21 December 2012

Raising your children as Roman Catholics is worse than child abuse, according to militant atheist Richard Dawkins.

In typically incendiary style, Professor Dawkins said the mental torment inflicted by the religion’s teachings is worse in the long-term than any sexual abuse carried out by priests.

He said he had been told by a woman that while being abused by a priest was a ‘yucky’ experience, being told as a child that a Protestant friend who died would ‘roast in Hell’ was more distressing.

Last night politicians and charities condemned the former Oxford professor’s views as attention-seeking and unhelpful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

December 21, 2012

Former Taunton Vicar David Roberts Jailed for Sexually Abusing Teenage Boy

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Hannah Osborne

December 21, 2012

A former vicar has been jailed for 12 years for abusing a teenage boy more than 20 years ago.

David Roberts, who served as a vicar in Taunton, was arrested in March after a man made allegations against him relating to an offences committed in the 1980s.

At the time of the offence, the victim was 13 years old. Roberts, 68, admitted two charges of indecent assault and three more serious sex offences.

He had served as the vicar at St John the Evangelist Church.

The attacks took place between 1985 and 1988. After the sentencing, DC Andrew Daw said: "This was an extremely sensitive investigation that has resulted in Roberts being jailed for a significant amount of time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Vicar jailed for sex abuse offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Wales Online

A vicar who carried out a string of sexual abuse offences on a teenage boy has been jailed.

David Roberts, of Taunton, committed the offences in the mid-1980s when he was the chaplain at a school in Somerset.

Taunton Crown Court heard how he befriended one teenage boy, allowing the victim to smoke and drink alcohol in his office, before paying the boy money to carry out sex acts.

Roberts, former vicar at a church in the area, admitted five counts of sexual offences, including indecent assault.

Judge Graham Hume Jones jailed Roberts for 12 years, telling him: "You were in a position of trust... you abused that trust."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Taunton child sex abuse vicar David Roberts jailed for 12 years

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former vicar has been jailed for sexually abusing a teenage boy in the 1980s.

David Roberts, 68, of Taunton, pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual offences, including indecent assault.

Taunton Crown Court heard the abuse occurred when he was the chaplain at a school in Somerset.

Sentencing Roberts, former vicar of St John's Church in the town, to 12 years in prison, the judge said it was a "gross abuse of trust".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Webster Groves Priest Gets 40 Years In Prison For Ponzi Scheme

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KTVI

KANSAS CITY, MO (KTVI) – A Webster Groves priest and attorney has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for his part in a 10-year Ponzi scheme. The U.S. Attorney says Martin T. Sigillito, 63, scammed more than 140 investors out of over $50 million.

The Ponzi scheme was known as the British Lending Program (BLP) and victims thought they were loaning money for legitimate real estate development projects in England but authorities say Sigillito and his partner, James Scott Brown, kept their money. The scam ran between 2000 and 2010.

Sigillito was an ordained priest and bishop in the church of the American Angelican Convocation and maintained an office in Clayton, Missouri for his business, Martin T. Sigillito and Associates, Ltd. but he didn’t have any staff working for him and did not have very many, if any, causes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Fire Rabbi Norman Lamm At Yeshiva University: Torah 101

NEW YORK
Times of Israel

Ronn Torossian

One would think that Torah education 101 would educate one that in order to be a good person, one would never turn a blind eye to child abuse.

Yeshiva University has a rich history as a leading institution teaching young Jews Torah and education – but they now are at a crossroads which could very well define the institution for many years to come. As the head of a crisis PR agency, I know well that The Forward’s ongoing investigation into sexual abuse allegations against two former staff members at a high school for boys run by Yeshiva University will not go away and needs to be addressed.

While YU has claimed they will investigate the matter, a new article was published Thursday which states that 14 men claim a teacher abused them. Undoubtedly, if so many accusations have only now been revealed, that many made the accusations so many years later, there are many more who don’t wish to come forward to be interviewed. This is a real issue which will not be swept under the carpet, as many in the religious community would prefer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Yeshiva Officials, Rabbis Knew of Alleged Abuse

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger
Edited By Jane Eisner

Published December 20, 2012, issue of December 28, 2012.

After the Forward published an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against two former staff members at a high school for boys run by Yeshiva University, Y.U. issued an immediate statement and said that it would investigate. Later that day, Modern Orthodoxy’s official rabbinic association, the Rabbinical Council of America, said it was “deeply troubled” by the report and confident that the university was “equal to the task” of confronting “improprieties.”

But interviews with current and former staff members of Y.U. and with high-ranking RCA officials, as well as with several former high school students who say they were abused, indicate that Y.U. and the RCA have known about some of the allegations against at least one of the alleged abusers, Rabbi George Finkelstein, for a decade or longer.

The Forward has spoken to 14 men who say that Finkelstein abused them while he was employed at Yeshiva University High School for Boys, in Manhattan, from 1968 to 1995.

From the mid 1980s until today, however, Y.U. officials and RCA rabbis have dismissed claims or kept them quiet. Some of these officials allowed Finkelstein to leave the Y.U. system and find a new position as dean of a Florida day school without disclosing the abuse allegations. Later, an RCA rabbi and a Y.U. rabbi warned the Florida school that Finkelstein could be a threat. And when Finkelstein’s next employer, the Jerusalem Great Synagogue, asked whether the allegations that dogged him were true, Y.U. assured the synagogue that there was nothing to worry about.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

FL - SNAP pushes for compassion from supporters of accused pastor

FLORIDA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on December 21, 2012

After reading details of this case, we are bracing for more victim-blaming and accusations that the two victims in this case had made up or exaggerated their claims against Darrel Vincent Moore. We urge those who want to support Rev. Moore to do so in private and avoid public displays of support that will only serve to intimidate victims and other potential witnesses.

Especially given the fact that others have claimed they were threatened with violence after speaking out against Moore, we hope that the judge in this case will err on the side of caution and rule in favor of protecting kids, not predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

NY - Brooklyn teacher arrested for abusing a student, SNAP responds

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohesssy on December 21, 2012

A music teacher in Brooklyn has been arrested on charges he pressured a member of his teen choir into a sexual relationship.

We are glad that police have apprehended Vaughn McKinney. The fact that he would force a teenage girl into sex after she came to him for help with financial difficulties is extremely disturbing. We can only wonder how many other children at IS 59 Mr. McKinney abused.

Any sort of teacher-student "relationship" has an inherent power imbalance that makes it unhealthy. It's always the teacher's job to maintain appropriate boundaries. We hope that officials at IS 59 will look into other inappropriate behaviors by Mr. McKinney or any other school official.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Feds say they arrested a former priest ...

MICHIGAN
WXYZ

Feds say they arrested a former priest after he admitted to having child pornography on his computer

By: Tara Edwards

NOVI (WXYZ) - Federal agents said they have arrested a Novi man after he admitted to having hundreds of images of child pornography on his computer.

According to investigators, he was also distributing the material and it is believed the suspect is a former priest.

A lot evidence was seized from Timothy Murray’s Novi condominium Wednesday by Homeland Security Investigations agents right after a search warrant was obtained.

The 62-year-old went to the Novi Police Department to be interviewed, according to investigators.

Records state Murray admitted to having about 500 child pornography pictures and videos on his computer. According to police reports, Murray told investigators he prefers 13-year-old boys.
CXR

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Behaviour with boys not appropriate, priest says

CANADA
Times Colonist

Louise Dickson , Times Colonist December 20, 2012

Warning: This story contains graphic details.

Father Phil Jacobs’s trial for sexual offences against youths from the St. Joseph the Worker parish in Saanich has been adjourned until January.

Final submissions will be made Jan. 8 and 9 at his judge-alone trial in B.C. Supreme Court.

Jacobs, 63, who was parish priest at St. Joseph’s from 1997 to 2002, is charged with four offences against three youths. The offences include sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference with a person under 14 and sexual touching. The incidents are alleged to have occurred between September 1996 and June 30, 2001.

On the stand this week, Jacobs denied the charges against him. During cross-examination Wednesday, he conceded that his behaviour with two of the youths was not appropriate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Priest moves on after mysterious suspension; No details provided on accusation of violating seal of confession

WISCONSIN
National Catholic Reporter

by Marie Rohde | Dec. 21, 2012

ASHIPPUN, WIS. -- Fr. David Verhasselt, then pastor of St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Oconomowoc, Wis., was apprehensive when the Milwaukee archdiocese’s vicar for clergy, Fr. Patrick Heppe, called in April 2010 to set up a meeting at the parish office.

“He would not tell me what it was about at all,” Verhasselt said, speaking publicly on the matter for the first time. “I had never had such a visit before and it was mysterious.”

Heppe, accompanied by Fr. Paul Hartmann, the archdiocese’s judicial vicar, told Verhasselt that he had been accused of breaking the seal of confession. In a scene similar to firings in corporate America, Verhasselt was told to collect his private belongings, leave the parish and not return. As he was walked from the building, he was told to have no contact with parishioners. Placed “on leave,” Verhasselt could not perform any of the functions of a priest.

“I was in shock,” Verhasselt recalled. “I told them I had never done such a thing.”

Deacon David Zimprich announced Verhasselt’s removal to stunned parishioners at a Saturday evening Mass a day later, on April 17, 2010. Others learned of it from a television newscast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

B'klyn music teacher busted for having sex with teen choir member: cops

NEW YORK
New York Post

By YOAV GONEN, Education Reporter
Last Updated: 5:22 AM, December 21, 2012

This time he played the wrong tune.

A Brooklyn middle school music teacher and trumpet player bedded a teenage member of his wife’s youth choir — and even had sex with the girl while his wife was at church, officials said.

Vaughn McKinney, a teacher at IS 59 in Queens, was arrested Thursday morning on charges of rape and sexual misconduct, cops said.

The music teacher allegedly pressured the then- 16-year-old girl into a sexual relationship after she complained about needing a job because she didn’t have enough money to buy a phone.

McKinney not only bought the girl a cell phone and paid the monthly bills, according to city investigators, he also gave her an iPod, shoes from a SoHo boutique and cash — but with sleazy strings attached.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Queens Teacher Accused Of Having Sex With Teen

NEW YORK
NY1

A Queens middle school teacher has been placed under arrest after allegations surfaced he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old.

In a report, the New York City's Special Commissioner of Investigation says Vaughn McKinney, 58, met the girl through his wife's church choir.

The report says McKinney bought cell phones for the girl, which he used to communicate with her, and also gave her money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Queens Teacher Accused of Having Sex With Underage Girl

NEW YORK
NBC New York

By Pei-Sze Cheng

Thursday, Dec 20, 2012

Parents and students at I.S. 59 in Jamaica, Queens were shocked to learn that longtime music teacher Vaughn McKinney was arrested for having a sexual relationship with an underage girl.

Investigators say McKinney met the girl through his wife who directs the East Flatbush Ecumenical Choir and that his victim was not a student of his.

According to a report by the Special Commissioner of Investigation, McKinney began having sex with the girl when she was 16. Investigators allege that McKinney had sex with the girl over a dozen times in 2011 and that the first encounter was in March of that year, when McKinney's wife traveled out of town for a religious retreat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Un juicio para Cristián Precht

CHILE
El Mostrador

Cristián Riego
Profesor de Derecho U. Diego Portales

El proceso que la iglesia católica ha llevado contra Cristian Precht carece de las condiciones básicas que hoy se exigen universalmente para condenar a cualquier persona, aún aquellas que han sido acusadas de los delitos más aberrantes. Estas condiciones son las que permiten otorgar confiabilidad a las decisiones judiciales de condena, las que de otro modo son simples ejercicios arbitrarios del poder.

La información disponible es muy limitada y fragmentaria. De lo poco que es posible saber, parece claro que han existido restricciones importantes en el acceso a información mínima para ejercer su defensa; han existido fuertes limitaciones para conocer la identidad de sus acusadores y, consiguientemente, la especificidad de los cargos y los fundamentos detallados de la condena.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Vatican applies new economic guidelines to regulate costs and improve management

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

December 20, 2012. (Romereports.com) The Vatican said it will also be tightening its belt to face the current economic crisis. The department tasked wit overseeing money matters within the Vatican, the Prefecture of Economic Affairs, announced new guidelines to help manage costs.

CARD. GIUSEPE VERSALDI
President, Prefecture of Economic Affairs
“With these guidelines, we are giving back, on behalf of the superior authority, the original role for the Prefecture of Economic Affairs, as was the will of Pope Paul VI.”

The Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, signed the 34 point guidelines, which will go into effect right away. The measures aim to reduce costs in a gradual and effective manner. It also redefines the role of the Prefecture of Economic Affairs, in relation to other departments within the Vatican. Effective immediately, any of the prefecture's caps on oversight and control are capped, and granted powers to administer costs.

MSGR. LUCIO ANGEL VALLEJO
Secretary, Prefecture of Economic Affairs
“We wanted to be clear, to have a truthful picture of the Holy See. To have not just two account balances, but four. They remain the same, the account balances for Vatican City, and the Curia. And we have two other realities that if we did not include in the account balances it wouldn't show a truthful picture of the Church. Because it would appear that we don't do any pastoral work, or any charity work. And that is not the case. The biggest account balance for the Holy See is its charity work. Its the money that the faithful send the Pope and that he distributes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Queens Middle School Teacher Accused Of Having Sex With Student

NEW YORK
CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens middle school teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl was arrested Thursday.

Vaughn McKinney, 58, met the alleged victim through a Brooklyn church choir his wife ran, officials said.

McKinney, who taught at IS 59, bought cell phones for the girl – which he used to communicate with her – and also gave her money, officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Abuse inquiry terms of reference delayed

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

LAUREN WILSON
From:The Australian
December 21, 2012

THE terms of reference for Labor's royal commission into child sexual abuse are now unlikely to be finalised until early next year, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has conceded.

Julia Gillard had wanted the inquiry into how child sex abuse allegations have been handled by religious, community and state institutions established by the end of this year, so it could begin work in early 2013.

However discussions with the states and territories are understood to have delayed finalisation of the commission's terms of reference.

“I think it's more likely that in the very early New Year, we'll be in a position to announce the final terms of reference and the commissioners,” Ms Roxon said today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Abuse royal commission terms of reference delayed

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Federal Government says it will not finalise the terms of reference for the royal commission into child abuse until early next year.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has previously said the Government would release the terms of reference and announce the commissioners by the end of this year.

Ms Roxon now says the terms of reference will be settled in January.

She says the Government has decided there will be between three and five commissioners and a short list of candidates has been compiled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Child abuse inquiry's terms of ref delayed

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A leading child protection advocate group isn't worried the federal government has delayed settlement of the terms of reference for a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse until next year.

The Labor government on Friday said while work was continuing to establish the commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, the terms of reference now won't be available until January, instead of this month.

Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston told AAP while it would have been nice to have the terms of reference finalised before Christmas, the delay wasn't an issue as long as the government got it right.

"There's so much resting on this, we shouldn't be rushing it," she said.

"If they're not happy, I'd rather it be delayed than to get it wrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Abuse inquiry terms put on hold

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

A DECISION on the terms of reference for the child sex abuse Royal Commission has been delayed until next year.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon yesterday said the terms, expected this month, would not be ready until January as consultation with states and territories following the December COAG meeting continued.

The government is still conducting due diligence on a short list for the three to five commissioner roles and expects to announce the appointments in the new year.

``More than 800 individuals and organisations have provided input into the Terms of Reference so far and I would like to thank everyone for their valuable contributions,'' Ms Roxon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Submissions made for child sex abuse royal commission terms

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Examiner

MORE than 800 individuals and groups have made submissions as the Federal Government continues work on the make-up and terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the terms of reference for the royal commission, which was announced in November, would be settled in January.

Ms Roxon said the royal commission would issue its first report within 18 months of beginning its work.

The report may include early recommendations, as well as the commission's recommendation for when the final report should be issued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Church members divided as Duval judge prepares to decide sentence in sex abuse case

FLORIDA
Florida Times-Union

The victims of his extremely intimate hugs, now 18 and 24, want Darrell Vincent Moore to spend the maximum 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct on them when they were little girls.

But their family and leading members of the Jacksonville church the girls grew up in took Moore’s side Wednesday and asked Circuit Judge Adrian G. Soud to limit the 47-year-old defendant’s punishment to time served and probation.

The younger victim told the judge that the first “forced body contact” occurred in church when she was 12. The next time happened a month later when he hugged her to his lap.

“This defendant has taken my virtue and that of other little girls with no apology or expression of regret,” the 18-year-old woman read in a letter. “... Sitting in his lap was extremely wrong because I could feel his hands starting to roam to places of my body that nobody should be touching.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Three former players file lawsuit ...

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Three former players file lawsuit against Riverside Church for failing to protect them from alleged sexual predator Ernest Lorch

By Michael O'Keeffe / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ernest Lorch may be dead, but the legal battles sparked by allegations that he sexually abused his players live on.

Riverside Church officials knew or should have known that the founder of its prestigious basketball program was a sexual predator who abused children, a lawsuit filed on Thursday in Manhattan federal court claims.

The suit, filed by three former players who say Lorch assaulted them on the church’s Morningside Heights campus and during team trips, alleges that church officials failed to properly supervise the Riverside Hawks founder, who died in May.

Lorch’s estate is also named as a defendant in the case.

The suit, filed by Byron Walker, Michael McDuffen and Sean McCray, says Riverside officials violated Title IX, the 1972 federal law best known for enforcing equality for women in collegiate sports. Title IX prohibits education programs that receive federal aid from engaging in sexual abuse and harassment. The suit, which also claims Lorch and the church violated the men’s civil rights, seeks unspecified damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Brooklyn Music Teacher Accused Of Sexually Abusing Choir Girl

NEW YORK
Gothamist

A Brooklyn music teacher is accused of carrying on a two year sexual relationship with a teenage girl he met through his wife's work as a youth choir leader at the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church. According to the Special Commissioner of Investigation, 57-year-old Vaughn McKinney started having sex with the unidentified victim when she was 16, luring her into bed with the promise of money and an iPhone. "If I get you the cell phone, you know what you have to do for it," he allegedly told the girl.

In an ironic twist, the allegations of sexual abuse came to light only after a pastor at the church blew the whistle. Pastor Brian Pettrey went to the police, of course; according to the SCI report, the victim confided in the pastor about her relationship with McKinney, and the pastor then told her mother. He also called McKinney to warn him to stay away from the victim, and confiscated the cell phone. When the girl's mother confronted her daughter about the relationship, she admitted to having sex with McKinney starting when she was 16 years old—often on the couch in McKinney's basement while his wife was at church.

Also troubling is that the girl's mother says she already knew about the relationship but didn't do anything about it until others, like the pastor, caught on. According to the SCI report (below), "approximately two or three weeks earlier," the mother had been contacted by McKinney's wife Patricia McKinney, who requested an urgent meeting. They met at a restaurant, where Patricia McKinney showed the mother a phone invoice she'd found in her husband's belongings with the daughter's name on it, and demanded to know why her husband had the bill. It gets worse:

Several days after the first meeting, the mother contacted Patricia McKinney and arranged a second meeting; on that occasion, the mother informed Patricia McKinney about the sexual relationship her husband was having with Student A. Patricia McKinney left the restaurant, went to her car, and started to cry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

December 20, 2012

Investigation of priest's nonprofit ...

NEW YORK
The Post-Standard

Investigation of priest's nonprofit focuses on possible theft of funds and hiring of former state legislator who arranged grants

By James T. Mulder, The Post-Standard
on December 20, 2012

Syracuse, N.Y. -- State and federal officials are investigating an alcohol and substance abuse nonprofit agency run by a Catholic priest that operates in Syracuse and other locations throughout the state.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today the former chief operating officer of 820 River Street, an arm of Peter Young Housing, Industry and Treatment, has been arrested and charged in Rensselaer County Court with embezzling at least $200,000 from the nonprofit over a four-year period.

Dennis Bassat, 53, of Middle Grove in Saratoga County, was charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and falsifying business records. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment today.

Peter Young Housing, Industry and Treatment, PYHIT for short, was founded more than 50 years ago in Albany by Rev. Peter Young. The nonprofit has owned the LeMoyne Manor in Liverpool since 1998. It operates a jobs training school there for recovering alcoholics, drug addicts and other individuals. It also operates a residential program for people in recovery at 420 Gifford St. in Syracuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Former Catholic priest from Novi priest faces porn charges

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

By Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — A former local Catholic priest has been arrested and charged with downloading child pornography.

Timothy Murray, a 62-year-old Novi resident and former pastor of St. Edith Parish in Livonia, appeared in federal court Thursday on the charges and was temporarily detained.

A detention hearing for Murray is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michelson.

According to the federal charges against Murray, he was detected by undercover U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigators downloading pornographic pictures of naked young children engaged in sexual poses on his personal computer beginning in May and continuing through November. ...

In 2004, Murray was removed from public ministry for the Archdiocese of Detroit on allegations that he was having sex with a minor. The allegations stemmed from an alleged incident that occurred more than 30 years ago.

Civil authorities chose not to investigate further because too much time had elapsed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

Cardinal says new Vatican budget rules improve stewardship of gifts

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by Cindy Wooden,Catholic News Service | Dec. 20, 2012

Vatican City --
The Vatican's new internal financial oversight procedures recognize that human beings can make mistakes, but that the Catholic church as a whole has an obligation to handle the money it receives with honesty and great care, said the head of the Vatican budget office.

Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, head of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, told reporters Thursday that the new regulations for his office and its oversight of the budgets of all Vatican offices were designed to ensure "the correct and transparent use of the temporal goods of the church."

"It's not that we don't trust people," he said, "but because as Catholics we recognize the existence of original sin," so structures must be in place to correct errors "with charity in truth."

The prefecture, established by Pope Paul VI in 1967, functioned mainly as the Vatican's central accounting office, consolidating the budget forecasts and the year-end budget reports of Vatican offices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Priest who feld to Philippines returns to face charges

WORCESTER (MA)
Catholic Free Press

By William T. Clew

Father Lowe B. Dongor, 36, wanted on a charge of being a fugitive from justice, has been returned to the United States from the Philippines, where he had fled in October 2011 after being charged with possessing child pornography and larceny of more than $250 from St. Joseph Parish in Fitchburg.

He had turned himself in to authorities in the Philippines.

He was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department on the fugitive charge, according to Timothy Connelly, spokesman for the office of District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Father Dongor waived his right to fight rendition and will be returned to Worcester soon, Mr. Connelly said. Father Dongor will face charges in Worcester Superior Court of possessing child pornography and larceny of more than $250.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Local Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests meetings start Jan. 5

OHIO
Canton Rep

YOUNGSTOWN —

Starting Jan. 5, SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will offer monthly confidential group support meetings in Northeast Ohio.

SNAP is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy-abuse victims. Founded in 1988, it has more than 12,000 members.

Victims of abuse and their family members are welcome to attend. For time and location, contact Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest associate director at 636-433-2511.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Vatican Official Allegedly Spits in Face of Protestor John Wojnowski

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washingtonian

Escalating tensions between an embassy official and long-time protestor lead to a police inquiry.

By Ariel Sabar

Published December 19, 2012

Last week marked a milestone of sorts for John Wojnowski, the longtime protestor outside the Vatican’s US embassy, who was the subject of a lengthy profile in the July issue of The Washingtonian. For the first time in his life, he complained to law enforcement about the conduct of a priest. Not the village rector in northern Italy who he says molested him in the summer of 1958, when he was 15 years old—but a balding, bespectacled clergyman at the Vatican embassy, who, Wojnowski says, trampled his sign in August and then spit in his face last week after Wojnowski asked his name.

A spokesman for the US Secret Service confirmed that the agency was investigating the complaint but said no more, citing the ongoing inquiry. The Apostolic Nunciature, as the embassy is officially known, did not respond to several requests for comment.

Over Wojnowski’s 15 years of nearly daily picketing outside the nunciature, relations between the retired ironworker and the inhabitants of the boxy stone building on Embassy Row have tended toward a kind of strained disregard. While Wojnowski occasionally calls out “Eccellenza”—or “Your Excellency”—at the sight of the Vatican ambassador, the better part of his hours are spent standing beside traffic on Massachusetts Avenue with signs critical of the Catholic Church, particularly its handling of cases of clergy child abuse.

In recent years, however, Vatican officials have shown growing pique over his use of their lawn to assemble and disassemble his sign, an 8-by-3-foot banner that reads “Catholics Cowards” and hangs from jerry-rigged mop handles that come apart to fit in his rucksack. A video taken on Wojnowski’s camera phone and uploaded to YouTube in 2011 depicts the late ambassador, or apostolic nuncio, Pietro Sambi, warning Wojnowski to keep his belongings off embassy grass. “Otherwise it will disappear,” Sambi warns in the video.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Residential schools inquiry in court arguing for documents

CANADA
CBC News

The public inquiry into Indian residential schools is in court in Toronto today hoping to force the federal government to provide the records it wants.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission says the government has been dragging its feet, making it impossible for it to do its job.

The government says it has done its best to co-operate, providing one million documents already.

However, there appear to be as many as five million others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Schweiz: Initianten der Pfarrei-Initiative treffen Abt Martin Werlen

SCHWEIZ
Kipa

Sursee LU, 3.12.12 (Kipa) Die Initianten der Pfarrei-Initiative Schweiz haben sich am Freitag in Einsiedeln mit Abt Martin Werlen getroffen. Dankbar nehme man die von Werlen verfasste Schrift "Miteinander die Glut unter der Asche entdecken" zur Kenntnis, teilte die Sprechergruppe der Pfarrei-Initiative am Montag mit. Die Broschüre des Abtes, der die katholische Kirche der Schweiz derzeit in einer "dramatischen" Situation sieht, hatte im November für viel Aufsehen gesorgt.

In Titel und Text der Schrift habe man viele verwandte Anliegen gefunden, schreibt die Sprechergruppe weiter. So habe man den "Wunsch nach dem Feuer", die Sorge um die Glaubwürdigkeit der Kirche und die Achtsamkeit für die Herausforderungen der Gegenwart als gemeinsame Anliegen in den Thesen der Pfarrei-Initiative und der Schrift des Abtes erkannt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

"Die klare Lehre der Kirche zur Kenntnis nehmen"

SCHWEIZ
Kipa

Von Josef Bossart / Kipa

Zürich, 11.12.12 (Kipa) Die österreichische Internetzeitung kath.net wollte mit Abt Martin Werlen ein "sachbezogen-kritisches Interview" führen über dessen viel beachtete Publikation "Miteinander die Glut unter der Asche entdecken", die Anfang November erschienen ist. Doch daraus wurde nichts. Kürzlich hat kath.net deshalb bloss die Fragen veröffentlicht - mit dem Hinweis, der Abt habe die schriftlich abgegebene Interview-Zusage nicht eingehalten. - Ausgewählte Auszüge aus dem diesbezüglichen Mailverkehr zwischen Werlen und kath.net.

In der Redaktion von kath.net hätten sich drei ausgebildete Fachtheologen mit Werlens Schrift befasst und während mehreren Stunden "genau durchstudiert", liess Chefredaktor Roland Noé Abt Martin Werlen am 28. November per E-Mail wissen. Auch habe man "einigen anderen Theologen und Professoren das Schreiben vorgelegt, die unsere Einschätzung, auch bei den Fragen, teilen".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Swiss abbot makes fiery appeal for church reform

SWITZERLAND
National Catholic Reporter

by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt | Dec. 20, 2012

Vienna --
A fiery appeal for church reform by an influential Swiss abbot has attracted widespread attention throughout Europe, and has, moreover, been welcomed by the future president of the Swiss bishops’ conference.

Fifty-year-old Abbot Martin Werlen, leader of the Abbey of Einsiedeln and himself a member of the Swiss bishops’ conference, first voiced his appeal in a sermon on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council in October. The sermon was later published in a 39-page brochure that sold out within three days and is now in its third edition.

Titled “Discovering the Embers Under the Ashes,” it echoes remarks by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini in his last interview before his death Aug. 31. Referring to the state of the church today, Martini spoke of his sense of powerlessness and how Catholicism’s “embers” were “hidden under the ashes.”

Werlen said he is alarmed by the present state of the church. “The situation of the church is dramatic, not only in the German-speaking countries,” he said. “It is dramatic not only because of the rapidly decreasing number of priests and religious or because of plummeting church attendance. The real problem is not a problem of numbers. What is missing is the fire! We must face the situation and find out what is behind it.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Robert W. Finn, Will You Please Go Now?

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Talk to Action

Frank Cocozzelli

Sun Dec 09, 2012

The well-connected conservative culture warrior, Robert W. Finn, still leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri more than three months after being convicted of failing to report suspected child abuse. This has led to a growing unease inside and outside of the Church that the problems that led to shocking child sex abuse scandals and high level coverups, are far from over.

The New York Times recently reported:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In the three months since Bishop Robert W. Finn became the first American prelate convicted of failing to report a pedophile priest, lay people and victims' advocates have repeatedly called for his resignation.

Now, recent interviews and a private survey by a company working for the Roman Catholic diocese here show for the first time that a significant number of the bishop's own priests have lost confidence in him.

But of course Finn still has his defenders, including one conservative priest who said, "Yes, there is a divide in the presbyterate, but in my opinion it's the same old tired divide that has existed from the day he arrived." He added, "In a word, some of the priests wish that we had a more liberal bishop, and they are willing to use any means to achieve that end."

And then of course, there is the ever-full-of-bluster, Catholic League president, William Donohue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Judge: Diocese can pay pensions of abuser priests

DELAWARE
WDEL

By Associated Press

A federal judge has ruled that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington can make pension or charitable payments to priests who've committed sexual abuse.

The News Journal reports that U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson has struck down a provision of the settlement between the diocese and abuse survivors that prevented such payments. That means the diocese can pay the pensions of abuser priests if it chooses.

The ruling was made in an appeal brought by former priest Kenneth Martin. The diocese filed legal arguments opposing Martin's appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Addressing historic and ongoing abuse: NSPCC campaign, Savile, and St Ambrose College

UNITED KINGDOM
AO Advocates

Posted by: A.Dean on Dec 20 2012

On 14 December, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) announced a new advertising campaign that will seek to prevent sexual abuse of children by encouraging people to report child abuse to the NSPCC, even if people are only suspicious or concerned for a child’s welfare without being completely certain that sexual abuse is occurring. The campaign takes a welcome focus on correcting the misconception that child sexual abuse is a scourge of the past, rather than an ongoing and sadly consistent part of our society.

The timing of the NSPCC’s new push to raise awareness of child sexual abuse as a current problem is apt, given how prominent historic child abuse has been in recent months and weeks. Last week Commander Peter Spindler, the senior police officer in charge of handling the investigation into the sexual assaults committed by Jimmy Savile, discussed the huge scale now uncovered of Savile’s alleged activities, once again grabbing headlines and turning stomachs. Savile stands accused of committing 31 rapes against people, the vast majority of them children, in various places across the country. 450 people in total have levelled allegations against him. And by pulling on the Savile thread, the police have unravelled a sordid network of people who, in one form or another, were tied into abuses, either as enablers or perpetrators themselves.

But recent news of historic abuse does not stop there. Another breaking story since early December has been the case of serial sexual abuse of young boys at St Ambrose College in Hale Barns, a top Catholic boys’ school. On 5 December, the Manchester Evening News revealed that police were investigating allegations from five boys who claimed they were molested by teachers at the school. The allegations covered a period of some 30 years, from the 1960s to the 1980s. Police began to ask for other victims to come forward; as of last week an additional 20 people, all “Old Boys” of St Ambrose College who are also possible victims and witnesses, have stepped forward. The ring of alleged abusers has further widened as a result.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Saanich priest had to keep self in check, court hears

CANADA
Times Colonist

Jeff Bell, Times Colonist
December 19, 2012

Warning: This story contains graphic details.

Crown prosecutor Clare Jennings peppered Father Phil Jacobs with questions Wednesday, hammering away at his alleged sexual activities.

The 63-year-old Jacobs has been charged with four offences linked to boys, including two counts of sexual interference involving a person under 14, one count of sexual assault and one count of touching a young person for a sexual purpose.

The charges stem from incidents that allegedly occurred from September 1996 to June 2001.

Jacobs served as parish priest at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Saanich from 1997 to 2002.

Since taking the stand Monday afternoon, Jacobs continued to use a firm, confident tone to deny the charges against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Fugitive priest arrested in LA

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Scott J. Croteau TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
scroteau@telegram.com

The Roman Catholic priest wanted by authorities in Worcester for allegedly possessing child pornography and stealing from his Fitchburg parish was taken into custody in Los Angeles recently and will be brought to Worcester, authorities said.

The Rev. Lowe B. Dongor, 36, was brought to Los Angeles from the Philippines, his home country.

Records from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department show Rev. Dongor was arrested Dec. 10 by Los Angeles police. He is being held without bail in a Los Angeles correctional facility. He is to appear in a Los Angeles court Wednesday.Timothy J. Connolly, spokesman for the Worcester district attorney’s office, said Rev. Dongor agreed not to fight rendition, but no time has been set for his return to Worcester.

“Our office is in the process of making arrangements to bring him to Worcester Superior Court,” Mr. Connolly said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Priest booked for attempting to rape minor

INDIA
Zee News

Moga (Pb): Police have registered a case against a priest of Duneke village here on charges of attempting to rape a 12-year-old girl of the same village.

Patwinder Singh, who is a Granthi in a village Gurdwara, allegedly tried to rape the minor girl last evening, police said.

Shaminder Singh, the girl's father in his complaint, alleged that Patwinder had caught the girl outside her home and was stopped before he could commit the crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Insurers seek to avoid coverage in prep school sex abuse lawsuit

NEW YORK
Thomson Reuters News & Insight

By Jessica Dye

NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Two insurers are seeking a court order relieving them from paying the legal costs of a Brooklyn prep school accused in a civil lawsuit of covering up allegations of child sex abuse.

The lawsuit, unsealed Tuesday, was filed in Brooklyn federal court against Poly Prep County Day School and current and former administrators.

The lawsuit stems out of another lawsuit initially filed in 2009. The plaintiffs include 10 former students and two men who, while still underage, attended the school's summer camp. They claimed they had been abused by Philip Foglietta, a football coach at the school from 1966 to 1991. No criminal charges were ever brought against Foglietta, who died in 1998.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Lawyer who foretold church scandals writes his story

UNITED STATES
Reuters

By Angus MacSwan

London | Thu Dec 20, 2012

(Reuters) - Ray Mouton was a successful young lawyer in Lafayette, Louisiana, respected in the community and blessed with a loving family, when he received a call from a vicar in the Roman Catholic diocese for a lunch meeting on a fateful day in 1984.

The diocese asked him to defend an errant priest, accused of abusing dozens of children in a rural community. Mouton reluctantly agreed to take on the task.

What followed over the next few years was the uncovering of an institution riddled with pedophile priests on a national scale and efforts at high levels in the Catholic Church to hide the problem away.

For Mouton, it meant the end of his law career, health problems, and anger, depression and guilt.

After many years of writing from his self-imposed exile in France, he finally tells his story in the novel "In God's House". It is a harrowing read laden with sickening detail, but also for Mouton, a work of atonement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Fitchburg priest back in custody to face child-porn charges

FITCHBURG (MA)
Sentinel and Enterprise

By Michael Hartwell, mhartwell@sentinelandenterprise.com
senlandenterprise.com
Posted: 12/20/2012

FITCHBURG -- A Fitchburg priest who fled to the Philippines last year after being accused of possessing child pornography and stealing from his parish is expected to be brought back to Massachusetts soon.

Timothy Connolly, spokesman for Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr., said the Rev. Lowe Dongor was caught by authorities in his homeland of the Philippines and was extradited to Los Angeles, where he was arrested on Dec. 10. Dongor was arraigned on charges of child-pornography possession and larceny over $250.

Connolly said details are slim at this time, but Dongor waived his right to contest being sent back to Massachusetts and authorities are currently working out the logistics for his return.

"It'll be soon," said Connolly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Youth leader facing more child sex assault charges

PENNSYLVANIA
WHTM

By Myles Snyder

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -
An Enola man who was a volunteer youth leader at a Dauphin County church has been charged with additional counts of child sexual abuse.

Joshua Mitchell Markelwitz, 26, is now accused of having a year-long sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, according to court documents.

He initially was arrested November 30 on allegations he sexually abused a 15-year-old girl in her home, in his car, and at the Charlton United Methodist Church where he was a volunteer youth leader.

According to the criminal complaint, Markelwitz had sexual intercourse with the 17-year-old on numerous occasions, used his cell phone to record a sexual act with her, sent her at least one nude photograph of himself, and provided her with alcoholic beverages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Former church employee takes plea on sex offenses

UTAH
Daily Herald

A former employee of the Mormon church has pleaded guilty to sexual offenses involving two children.

Court records show 43-year-old Timothy Bothell accepted charges of attempted aggravated sexual abuse and lewdness involving a child.

The Centerville man took a plea deal Tuesday in 2nd District Court.

Court records accused Bothell of exposing his genitals to a pair of girls and fondling one of them last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Church youth leader faces more sex charges

PENNSYLVANIA
Times Herald

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A volunteer church youth leader already accused of having sexual contact with a teen he met through the church is facing additional child sex abuse charges.

Twenty-six-year-old Joshua Markelwitz was already jailed on charges including rape of a child and aggravated indecent assault when authorities in Dauphin County accused him of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and recording a sex act on his cellphone.

WHTM-TV reports Markelwitz was arraigned Friday and held on $100,000 bail on the newest charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

An Alto Pass, Illinois, pastor charged with sexual assault has a new fitness hearing

ILLINOIS
KSIM

A Southern Illinois pastor charged with having a sexual relationship with a minor will get a new fitness hearing! 74-year-old Billy Vandergraph of Alto Pass was arrested in July 2010. He is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and two charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Police contend he committed two sexual acts with a 4-year-old girl between January and May 2010. Vandergraph underwent a treatment plan and the judge ruled in April 2011, he is fit to stand trial. Judge Mark Boie in July ordered a new fitness hearing to determine if he is willing or able to cooperate with his lawyer. Vandergraph’s jury trial has been pushed back several times due to questions about his mental competency. A new court hearing will take place February 4th.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Luis Fernando Franco Henao accused of sexually abusing man

VIRGINIA
WJLA

[with video]

A priest is accused in Fairfax County of sexually abusing a man at the Saint Bernadette Parish in Fairfax County.

The alleged victim reported in November that Father Luis Fernando Franco Henao, 40, sexually assaulted him in February. Henao turned himself in to police Wednesday. He is charged with sexual battery.

After he was processed by police, Franco was released.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington said Franco no longer practices or teaches at Saint Bernadette.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Judge tosses provision

DELAWARE
The News Journal

WILMINGTON — A U.S. District judge has struck down a provision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court settlement between the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and survivors of priest sexual abuse that prevented the diocese from making any pension or charitable payments to abuser priests.

The ruling by U.S. District Jude Sue L. Robinson, in an appeal brought by former priest Kenneth Martin, clears the way for the diocese to make those payments if it so chooses.

Priest sex abuse survivor John Vai said on Wednesday that he was outraged.

“This is a left hook,” said Vai. “This is unbelievable.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

December 19, 2012

Former football coach to serve 25 years in prison for child porn charges

PENNSYLVANIA
Times Leader

Terrie Morgan-Besecker

Dec 18

SCRANTON - A former Holy Redeemer football coach will serve 25 years in prison under a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors relating to charges he enticed numerous people, including minors, from at least 13 states to engage in sexually explicit behavior over the internet.

Joseph Ostrowski of Wilkes-Barre has agreed to plead guilty to charges of production and attempted production of child pornography, extortion and cyber stalking, according to a plea agreement filed today in federal court.

Ostrowski was arrested in May after authorities said he posed as a female on Facebook to trick a male Wilkes-Barre teenager into emailing nude photos of himself, according to an arrest affidavit. He then used the images to try to extort the teen into sending more photos.

A new complaint filed Tuesday indicates he was taking part in similar conduct over a six year period that involved victims from across the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Pa. football coach to plead in child porn case

PENNSYLVANIA
The Sentinel

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — An ex-high school football coach in northeastern Pennsylvania has agreed to plead guilty to charges he produced child pornography.

Federal authorities say that 28-year-old Joseph Ostrowski enticed minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct that he transmitted electronically. A separate criminal complaint from Michigan says he tricked people into sex acts over Skype and then sent the images to others on Facebook.

Federal prosecutors say his victims came from Pennsylvania, Michigan and 12 other states.

Ostrowski agreed Tuesday to plead guilty to producing and attempting to produce child pornography, interstate extortion, and cyber stalking. The agreement calls for a sentence of 25 years in prison. It requires a judge's approval.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 PM

Ex-coach pleads guilty to child porn charges

PENNSYLVANIA
Citizens Voice

By Michael R. Sisak (Staff Writer)

Published: December 19, 2012

Former Holy Redeemer head football coach Joseph J. Ostrowski agreed Tuesday to plead guilty and serve 25 years in federal prison for producing child pornography and engaging in what U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith called the "sextortion" of youths in more than a dozen states.

Ostrowski, 28, of Wilkes-Barre, "persuaded and tricked" computer users into "engaging in sexually explicit acts" that he viewed over Skype, the video chat service, according to one of two indictments returned against him earlier this year.

Ostrowski extorted and attempted to extort nude photographs, images and live transmissions of sexual conduct from those online encounters and transmitted images through hacked Facebook accounts, federal prosecutors said.

The plea agreement Tuesday encompassed that indictment, returned in August in Michigan, and a May indictment in Pennsylvania that charged Ostrowski with threatening extortion and producing and attempting to produce child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

More Pain From Pennsylvania...

PENNSYLVANIA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

More Pain From Pennsylvania: Former Coach Engages in Internet Sextortion, Reaching Victims Across the Country

Jeffrey R. Anderson | 2:48 PM
This week, Joseph Ostrowski, the former head football coach at Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, pled guilty to producing child pornography. The U.S. Attorney charged with prosecuting the case said that Ostrowski engaged in “sextortion” of his victims by tricking them into sexual acts that he viewed over video chat. Ostrowski then shared the sexual conduct and pictures via Facebook.

“Sextortion” is loosely defined as “a form of sexual exploitation that employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort sexual favors from the victim.” Like extortion, sextortion is the abuse of power through coercion, but seeks sexual acts from the victim in exchange for some sort of favor. Sextortion is not itself a crime but it is federally prosecuted under statutes for extortion, sexual assault, and child pornography.

The 28-year-old Ostrowski engaged in sextortion and the production of child pornography beginning in 2006. He targeted children and adults in 13 different states including Pennsylvania, New York, California, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Minnesota.

Ostrowski was the head football coach at Wilkes-Barre High School, in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, during the 2011-2012 school year. The Diocese suspended him when he was arrested in the weight room of the school in May 2012. He will likely serve 25 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Ex-Fitchburg priest will come to face child porn, theft charges

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Scott J. Croteau TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
scroteau@telegram.com

The Roman Catholic priest wanted in Worcester on charges of child pornography possession and stealing from his Fitchburg parish was taken into custody in Los Angeles recently and will be brought to Worcester, authorities said.

Lowe B. Dongor, 36, was brought to Los Angeles from the Philippines, his home country.

Timothy J. Connolly, spokesman for the Worcester District Attorney's office, said Rev. Dongor agreed not to fight rendition, but no time for his arrival here in Worcester has been set.

“Our office is in the process of making arrangements to bring him to Worcester Superior Court,” Mr. Connolly said.

Mr. Connolly said Los Angeles police picked Rev. Dongor up when he arrived in the United States. He did not know what day the arrest occurred.

According to the Inquirer Visayas newspaper, Rev. Dongor was flown to the United States Monday evening.

”I am so sorry. I want to apologize to all the people … for all the damage I have done to you, to the church, and to myself,” Rev. Dongor told the Inquirer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Priest Charged With Sexual Battery in West Springfield

VIRGINIA
CBS DC

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Va. (CBSDC) - A Catholic priest has been charged with the sexual battery of an adult in Springfield on Wednesday.

Police say Father Luis Fernando Henao, 40, is charged with sexual battery of an adult male in an incident that occurred back on Feb. 2, 2012.

On Nov. 30, the victim reported he was sexually assaulted at Saint Bernadette Parish in the 7600 block of Old Keen Mill Road while seeking support and guidance from the suspect, when the same man touched him inappropriately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Springfield Priest Arrested on Sexual Battery Charges

VIRGINIA
Fairfax News

Fairfax County Police have arrested a priest from the Springfield area on a charge of sexual battery.

Police said Father Luis Fernando Franco Henao, 40, was charged in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred on February 2, 2012.

The victim reported on November 30, 2012 that he was sexually assaulted at Saint Bernadette Parish at 7600 Old Keene Mill Road while seeking support and guidance from the suspect, who allegedly touched him inappropriately.

Franco Henao turned himself over to police detectives on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. He was processed and released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Fairfax County priest charged with sexual assault

VIRGINIA
WTOP

WASHINGTON - A Catholic priest has turned himself in to police after allegedly sexually assaulting an adult male at his parish.

Father Luis Fernando Franco Henao, 40, has been charged with sexual battery.

The incident took place on Feb. 2 at Saint Bernadette Parish in Fairfax County, Va. after the victim approached Henao while seeking "support and guidance" from the priest, authorities say. He was touched inappropriately, but didn't report it to police until Nov. 30.

Henao turned himself in Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Fr. Luis Fernando Franco Henao of West Springfield, Va., Charged with sexual battery of adult male in February, 2012

VIRGINIA
WUSA

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Va. (WUSA) - A Catholic priest is charged with the February 2, 2012 sexual battery of an adult male, according to police.

The victim reported the incident on Nov. 30. He said that he was sexually assaulted at Saint Bernadette Parish at 7600 Old Keene Mill Road. At the time the victim was seeking support and guidance from the suspect when the suspect allegedly touched him inappropriately.

Franco Henao turned himself over to police detectives on Dec. 19 when he was processed and released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

The Cardinal Newman Society

UNITED STATES
Catholics for Choice

“ The most unhappily and inappropriately named society on the planet”

INTRODUCTION
The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) claims that its mission is “to help renew and strengthen Catholic identity in Catholic higher education,” but there are many clergy, staff at Catholic universities, students and laypeople who don’t recognize themselves in the organization’s vision of Catholic identity. Some, like the National Catholic Reporter, have pointed out the striking contrast between Cardinal Newman the man and the society that bears his name: “the most unhappily and inappropriately named society on the planet.”

The Cardinal Newman Society devotes its energy to pointing out supposed breaches of dogma within Catholic universities, engineering negative publicity primarily by instigating letter-writing campaigns and posting online petitions. America magazine criticized the society’s “watchdog tactics” for employing a negative rather than positive definition of Catholicism — that is, it aims to prune away perceived deviations from orthodoxy, rather than cultivating a Catholicism that is something more than mere conformism. ...

KEY FINDINGS

The Cardinal Newman Society:
• Incorrectly portrays itself as a voice for all Catholics, when its views are substantially to the right of all but the most conservative members of the hierarchy;
• Uses the threat of negative publicity to target schools, calling on them to cancel speakers or dismiss faculty;
• Depicts a Catholic higher educational system that is threatened by heretics in order to justify its narrow worldview and strong-arm tactics;
• Fosters a contentious environment in which instructors and administrators fear they must choose between policing or being policed; and
• Makes judgments on the basis of a short checklist of issues, such as reproductive rights and LGBT rights, rather than encompassing the wealth and depth of Catholic teaching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Springfield priest arrested for sex assault

VIRGINIA
Washington Post

By Justin Jouvenal

A Springfield priest was charged with sexually assaulting a man who had come to him for guidance in February, Fairfax County police said.

Father Luis Fernando Franco Henao, 40, of Saint Bernadette Parish, turned himself over to authorities on Wednesday, police said. He is facing a count of sexual battery.

Franco Henao allegedly inappropriately touched a 29-year-old man on the parish grounds on Feb. 2, after the man came to him seeking support, police said.

The victim reported the crime at the end of November. Franco Henao was processed and released on Wednesday. Police declined to release further details about the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

IL - Abusive priest wins court ruling, SNAP responds

ILLINOIS/DELAWARE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Blaine on December 19, 2012

It’ll be a merry Christmas for a convicted child molesting Catholic priest. He gets to keep both his secrets and his pay. For the second time this month, a judge has ruled in favor of Fr. Kenneth Martin. First, he was allowed to keep his personnel records private. And yesterday, he was awarded his paycheck.

Both decisions come from a federal court after the Diocese of Wilmington’s bankruptcy plan had been heard in bankruptcy court. Though he worked twice in Chicago (in 2003 and 2008), Fr. Martin is originally from Delaware. In 2001, however, he pled guilty in Maryland to molesting a boy.

Now that the facts won’t come out in court, Chicago Catholics deserve to hear the whole story about this recklessness from the Cardinal himself. Sadly, it’s more likely that he will keep quiet and the full truth will remain hidden.

In February 2003, the Chicago Sun Times disclosed that Martin “has stayed at the cardinal's mansion on North State Parkway about one week a month since last May.”

In the wake of the controversy, George publicly promised Fr. Martin “won’t be coming back to Chicago.” But in 2008, even after the Vatican barred him from presenting himself as a priest, the Sun Times again found Fr. Martin working for the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

After Newtown Child Massacre, President Obama’s Chief of Staff Also Strongly Condemns Organizational Sexual Violence against Children

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Read the story

(by Jerry Slevin, retired Wall Street lawyer)

As the world still mourns deeply for the innocent victims of the Newtown, Connecticut grade school massacre, and as President Obama tried sadly on Sunday to console those directly affected, promising to act decisively to protect children better, President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Jack Lew, later on Sunday reportedly strongly condemned as well, as President Obama did in August, sexual violence against children in organizational settings.

As countless people thankfully are now urging President Obama to act to curtail gun violence especially involving children, please help to urge President Obama also to act decisively now as well to curtail the widespread sexual violence against children in organizational settings.

Please take a moment and click on and sign the White House petition to curtail organizational sexual violence against children accessible at:

http://wh.gov/5aAQ

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Crown grills former priest on sexual compulsions around young boys

CANADA
Saanich News

By Edward Hill - Saanich News
Published: December 19, 2012

Warning: The following story contains graphic testimony of a sexual nature that could be upsetting to some readers.

Phillip Jacobs vigorously denied that he molested male students at St. Joseph the Worker church, but admitted he needs to be mindful of “compulsions” that led to sexually abusing young men in Ohio decades ago, during continued testimony Tuesday in Victoria Supreme Court.

Jacobs, 63, under guidance of defence lawyer Chris Considine, refuted testimony of the three young men who told the court last week that the former parish priest engaged in episodes of molestation and sexual touching at the Saanich church more than a decade ago.

After becoming parish priest of St. Joseph the Worker, Jacobs admitted that “due to my own past history” he opted to limit his interactions with the adjoining Catholic elementary school. “I had the most limited relationship with a school I ever had as a priest because I chose to,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

TheMediaReport.com’s Top 10 Posts of 2012 [Part I]

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

Thank you to everyone for making 2012 the best year ever for TheMediaReport.com – now in its ninth year! Our readership continues to grow dramatically, thanks to you. We are very grateful!

We figured we would close out the year with a look at our most compelling posts of the past twelve months. It has been an eventful year!

#10 SHOCK STORY: Notorious Church-Suing Lawyer Obtained Clients by Phoning Parishioners and 'Fishing for Victims'

A number of observers have long looked with skepticism upon California's high-profile, Church-suing lawyer John Manly. Therefore, it was not surprising to see that Manly openly admitted to Sue Nowicki at The Modesto Bee newspaper that that his office has obtained clients for abuse lawsuits by making unsolicited phone calls to Catholic Church parishioners.

The story was a shocker, indeed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Dongor returned to US to face charges

WORCESTER (MA)
Catholic Free Press

Father Lowe B. Dongor, 36, wanted on a charge of being a fugitive from justice, has been returned to the United States from the Philippines, where he had fled in October 2011 after being charged with possessing child pornography and larceny of more than $250 from St. Joseph’s Parish in Fitchburg. He had turned himself in to authorities there.

He was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department on the fugitive charge, according to Timothy Connelly, spokesman for the office of District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Ex-Mass priest charged with child porn in custody

WORCESTER (MA)
NECN

December 19, 2012

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest who was indicted in Massachusetts on child pornography charges is in custody in Los Angeles.

A spokesman for the Worcester District Attorney's office says Lowe Dongor, who is also accused of stealing from his former parish in Fitchburg, is being held as a fugitive and could be returned to Massachusetts shortly.

A grand jury handed up indictments in March charging the Rev. Lowe Dongor with possession of child pornography and larceny of more than $250.

The DA's spokesman, Tim Connolly, said Dongor was recently brought to Los Angeles from his native Philippines, where authorities believed he had fled. Connolly had no other details on the arrest but said Dongor had agreed to be returned to Massachusetts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

Yakima Diocese seeks information about alleged abuse at Moses Lake parish

WASHINGTON
Columbia Basin Herald

By Lynne Lynch,
Herald managing editor

MOSES LAKE - A visiting priest from Mexico, who died in the 1980s, is believed to have abused four boys, ages 7-13, in the Moses Lake Catholic parish in the early 1970s.

The Yakima Diocese is now asking possible victims to come forward and report the abuse by calling the diocese's confidential abuse hotline at 1-888-276-4490, according to a statement issued Monday by the diocese.

The accused priest is the late Rev. Hilario Ramirez. He stayed with at least two families when visiting Moses Lake in the early 1970s and allegedly abused the four children. Two of those have since died.

Ramirez was originally invited to Our Lady of Fatima parish in Moses Lake by a parishioner who met him in Dilley, Texas. At the time, Ramirez was a guest priest in Texas and the parishioner believed Ramirez' ministry could be of use in Moses Lake.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Ex-Fitchburg priest arrested in Philippines

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Scott J. Croteau TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
scroteau@telegram.com

The Roman Catholic priest wanted in Worcester on charges of child pornography possession and stealing from his Fitchburg parish was taken into custody in Los Angeles recently and will be brought to Worcester, authorities said.

Lowe B. Dongor, 36, was brought to Los Angeles from the Philippines, a location law enforcement officials suspected he might have fled to because it is his home country.

Timothy J. Connolly, spokesman for the Worcester District Attorney's office, said Rev. Dongor agreed not to fight rendition, but no time for his arrival here in Worcester has been set.

“Our office is in the process of making arrangements to bring him to Worcester Superior Court,” Mr. Connolly said.

Mr. Connolly said Los Angeles police picked Rev. Dongor up when he arrived in the United States. He did not know what day the arrest occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

A New Inquisition: The Vatican targets US nuns

VATICAN CITY
GlobalPost

The Vatican is reining in the progressive leadership of American nuns, which has led to a global clash over the future of the Catholic church.

Jason Berry
December 18, 2012

VATICAN CITY — Sister Pat Farrell and three other nuns crossed St. Peter’s Square through the fabled white columns, paused for a security check and entered the rust-colored Palace of the Holy Office.

It was April 18, 2012, and on entering the palazzo, they were aware of its history, that in this same building nearly 400 years earlier Galileo had been condemned as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition for arguing that the earth orbits around the sun.

Today, the palazzo houses the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Vatican office that enforces adherence to church teaching. As president of Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Sister Farrell and her executive colleagues had an appointment with the prefect, Cardinal William Levada, about a CDF investigation of their group by the forces that control the Vatican, who viewed the nuns as somehow going ‘off the reservation.’

They were walking into what Hans Küng, the internationally renowned theologian who had his own battles in the palazzo, calls “a new Inquisition.”

On the 50th anniversary of the reform-driven Second Vatican Council, the nuns were accused of undermining church moral teaching by promoting “radical, feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.” To many nuns, the CDF action is a turn toward the past, causing a climate of fear and a chill wind reaching into the lives of missionary leaders.

The Vatican wants control of the LCWR, an association of 1,500 superiors, representing 80 percent of American nuns. Most of the sisters, long active in the front lines of social justice, dispensed with their black habits and traditional jobs, like teaching school, after Vatican II.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Theologian Hans Küng condemns pope's modern 'Inquisition'

GERMANY
GlobalPost

Küng sees the Vatican's attempt to rein in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious as "medieval."

Jason Berry
December 18, 2012

TÜBINGEN, Germany — Fifty years ago in this medieval city with its steep hills and the sprawling campus of one of Germany’s great universities, Hans Küng and Joseph Ratzinger were priests and theology department colleagues.

Emerging out of the University of Tübingen, Küng and Ratzinger were the youngest and most influential progressives to advise bishops in Rome at The Second Ecumenical Council, or Vatican II, which began in the fall of 1962.

When Vatican II concluded in 1965 it unleashed an historic movement in the church toward greater engagement in the daily lives of People of God, as the council documents called rank and file believers. A new sensibility for justice and individual rights arose in the church that would grow to 1 billion Catholics worldwide, with missions of activism in many of the poorest countries on earth.

Back in Tübingen, Küng, a native of Switzerland, and Ratzinger, who had grown up in the Nazi darkness of his native Germany, soon found themselves at odds over the sweeping changes in the church, and a theological debate that would echo across Europe and the global church.

Now on the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, Küng, an internationally renowned scholar, and Ratzinger, known as Benedict XVI since his election as pope seven years ago, are even more at odds. Of the many issues that divide them, Küng sees the attempt to rein in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious as a sign of myopia, a failure of vision.

“You cannot deny that Joseph Ratzinger has faith,” says Küng, in a coat and tie, seated in his office, speaking in calm tones in the blue twilight. “But he is absolutely against freedom. He wants obedience.”

“He is against the paradigm of Vatican II.” Küng pauses. “He has a medieval idea of the papacy.” ...

Küng sees the clergy abuse crisis and the crackdown on the leadership council of American nuns as symptoms of a pathological power structure. By his lights, the impact on church moral authority, and finances, is a crisis rivaling the Protestant Reformation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Judge: Clinton man to face trial

MISSISSIPPI
Clarion-Ledger

By Ruth Ingram ringram@clarionledger.com

December 19, 2012

A Clinton man who admitted to "sexual indiscretions" with male children in Mississippi and Texas in the 1980s will face trial, and the state's statute of limitations doesn't prevent that, a judge ruled.

Circuit Judge Bill McGowan heard arguments Tuesday on John Langworthy's defense motion that too much time has passed for the former Clinton High choir director and church music minister to face felony gratification of lust charges.

Langworthy was music minister at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton before his arrest in September 2011. An eight-count indictment charges him with sexually molesting five boys between April 1980 and December 1984, with the alleged abuse occurring at the boys' Jackson homes, Langworthy's sister's home in Jackson, or in Langworthy's dorm room at Mississippi College.

Clinton police charged him with two counts of gratification of lust; Jackson police charged him with six.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Father Philip Jacobs on trial in Victoria

CANADA
Sooke News Mirror

By Staff Writer - Sooke News Mirror
Published: December 19, 2012

Father Philip Jacobs, 62, now on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria on charges of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference of a person under 14 and touching a young person for a sexual purpose, was first sent to St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church because it would limit his access to children. Jacobs was assigned to the Sooke church in 1995 and spent two years as the parish priest of the small church along Sooke Road.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria knew of allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” with a young male in Ohio. The admissions show allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Jacobs when he was ministering in the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, Ohio. No criminal charges were laid or civil suits filed as a result of the Ohio allegations.

The current charges come from incidents alleged to have occurred in Saanich between 1996 and 2001. Jacobs was arrested Aug. 4, 2010 and released on $25,000 bail.

An alleged victim of a former Saanich priest testified Tuesday that Phil Jacobs molested him a number of times more than a decade ago, while attending St. Joseph the Worker Catholic School on Burnside Road West.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Operatie Kelk lijkt nu echt dood en begraven

BELGIE
De Standaard

BRUSSEL - De speurders mogen de gegevens die ze op 24 juni 2010 in beslag namen in het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis en de woning van kardinaal Danneels in Mechelen dan toch niet gebruiken.

‘De huiszoekingen van 24 juni hebben de rechten van verdediging op onherstelbare wijze geschonden. De openbare macht werd die dag op willekeurige wijze aangewend én het Europees verdrag voor de Rechten van de Mens werd geschonden. Dat schrijft de KI.'

Volgens Fernand Keuleneer, de advocaat van het bisdom en van kardinaal Danneels, is de Brusselse Kamer van Inbeschuldigingstelling (KI) zeer scherp geweest in zijn arrest over de huiszoekingen bij kardinaal Danneels, algemeen bekend als operatie Kelk.

Operatie Kelk was de codenaam die de federale politie had gegeven aan een reeks huiszoekingen op 24 juni 2010 in het onderzoek naar schuldig verzuim door de kerkelijke autoriteiten bij de behandeling van seksueel misbruik in de kerk. De speurders vielen onder meer binnen in het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis, bij kardinaal Danneels thuis en in de Sint-Romboutskathedraal in Mechelen.

Twee en een half jaar later blijkt dat allemaal voor niets te zijn geweest. De huiszoekingen bij Adriaenssens werden al eerder nietig verklaard. Nu besliste de KI dat geen enkel van de stukken en gegevens die op die dag in beslag werden genomen, gebruikt mogen worden in het onderzoek omdat de speurders hun boekje te buiten zijn gegaan.

Het was al de vierde keer dat een KI in een gewijzigde samenstelling zich over deze zaak moest buigen. ‘Theoretisch kunnen het federaal parket en de advocaten van de slachtoffers ook tegen dit arrest nog cassatieberoep aantekenen. De kans dat daar gronden voor zijn, is echter bijzonder klein.

De beslissing van de KI is een zware klap voor het onderzoek. Maar of het onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik nu helemaal dood en begraven is, zal moeten blijken. Het federaal parket liet in januari vorig jaar een reeks nieuwe huiszoekingen uitvoeren bij de bisdommen. Die blijven geldig, net zoals de verhoren van de bisschoppen.

Er dreigt wel nog ander onheil voor het onderzoek. In februari moet de KI controleren of het dossier onherstelbare schade heeft opgelopen doordat minstens 445 pv's en andere documenten uit het dossier verdwenen zijn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Magistraat operatie-Kelk doet stap opzij

BELGIE
De Standaard

De voorzitter van de kamer van inbeschuldigingsstelling (KI) die zich op 5 februari buigt over de zaak van de verdwenen processen-verbaal uit het onderzoeksdossier Operatie Kelk, het gerechtelijk onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik binnen de katholieke kerk, trekt zich terug uit de zaak.

Walter Van Steenbrugge, advocaat van een aantal slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen de Kerk, vond de magistraat niet objectief en had een verzoek tot wraking ingediend.

Van Steenbrugge meent dat de magistraat partijdig kan zijn omdat hij al eerder is tussengekomen in het dossier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

KAMER VAN INBESCHULDIGINGSTELLING: HUISZOEKINGEN OPERATIE KELK WAREN ‘FISCHING EXPEDITION’

BELGIE
Kerknet

BRUSSEL (KerkNet) - De Kamer van Inbeschuldigingstelling (KI) bij het Hof van Beroep te Brussel heeft zich vandaag opnieuw uitgesproken over Operatie Kelk. In een scherp en heel uitgebreid gemotiveerd arrest beslist de KI (voor de derde keer) dat alles wat op 24 juni 2010 in beslag werd genomen in het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis en in de woning van kardinaal Godfried Danneels te Mechelen, uit het strafdossier verwijderd moet worden. De Kamer van Inbeschuldigingstelling is van oordeel dat de openbare macht op willekeurige wijze werd aangewend en dat de rechten van de verdediging op onherstelbare wijze zijn geschondenn. Onder meer het Europees Verdrag voor de Rechten van de Mens werd hierbij met voeten getreden. Verder omschrijft de KI de operatie op 24 juni als een “fishing expedition”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Operatie Kelk: Inbeslaggenomen stukken moeten uit dossier

BELGIE
Knack

Alle stukken en voorwerpen die door onderzoeksrechter Wim De Troy werden in beslag genomen in het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis en in de kantoren en de privéwoning van kardinaal Danneels in Mechelen, moeten uit het onderzoeksdossier verwijderd worden en neergelegd op de griffie van de Brusselse rechtbank van eerste aanleg. Dat heeft de Brusselse kamer van inbeschuldigingstelling beslist. Meester Fernand Keuleneer, advocaat van het aartsbisdom Mechelen en van kardinaal Danneels, toont zich zeer tevreden met het arrest.

Eerder werd al beslist dat die huiszoekingen onwettig en dus nietig waren. Die huiszoekingen, op 24 juni 2010, kaderden in Operatie Kelk, het gerechtelijk onderzoek dat de Brusselse onderzoeksrechter Wim De Troy voerde naar seksueel misbruik van kinderen en een mogelijke doofpotoperatie daarrond binnen de katholieke Kerk. Drie verschillend samengestelde KI's beslisten achtereenvolgens dat die huiszoekingen onregelmatig waren, vervolgens dat ze perfect wettelijk waren en ten slotte dat
ze toch onregelmatig waren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Inbeslaggenomen stukken Operatie Kelk moeten uit dossier verwijderd worden

BELGIE
De Standaard

BRUSSEL - Alles wat door onderzoeksrechter De Troy in beslag genomen werd in het aartsbisschoppelijk paleis en in de kantoren en de privéwoning van kardinaal Danneels in Mechelen, moet uit het onderzoeksdossier verwijderd worden en neergelegd op de griffie van de Brusselse rechtbank van eerste aanleg. Dat heeft de Brusselse kamer van inbeschuldigingstelling beslist. Eerder werd al beslist dat die huiszoekingen onwettig en dus nietig waren.

De huiszoekingen vonden plaats op 24 juni 2010 en kaderden binnen ‘Operatie Kelk'. Dat is het gerechtelijk onderzoek dat Brussels onderzoeksrechter Wim De Troy voerde naar seksueel misbruik van kinderen en een mogelijke doofpotoperatie daarrond binnen de katholieke Kerk. Drie verschillend samengestelde KI's beslisten achtereenvolgens dat die huiszoekingen onregelmatig waren, vervolgens dat ze perfect wettelijk waren en ten slotte dat ze toch onregelmatig waren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Vatileaks: Benedict XVI meets Commission of Cardinals to discuss inquiry outcome

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

A papal pardon for Paolo Gabriele is near. But the cardinals Herranz, Tomko and De Giorgi have gone on with their full-scale investigations

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

Benedict XVI received their Emminences Cardinals Julian Herranz, Josef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi in an audience today. The event as barely given any focus at all in today’s Vatican Press Office Bulletin, squeezed in between the audience with the Italian Olympic committee and with Palestinian leader Abu Mazen. What is the significance then of the Pope’s meeting with the commission of three cardinals set up to investigate the Vatileaks scandal? Readers will recall that the three cardinals presented their first report on the case to the Pope last July. The report contained the results of a number of examinations carried out in utmost secrecy. From these, it emerged that the Pope’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele was responsible for the Vatican document leak - he confessed to and was eventually charged with stealing and distributing confidential documents belonging to Benedict XVI. The examinations also gave a clear picture of the climate in which the Vatileaks scandal developed.

It is not unlikely that one of the issues discussed during the meeting was the potential papal pardon for Paolo Gabriele. Some sources say he could be granted a pardon in time for Christmas, which would allow the Pope’s former butler who is currently being held in a Vatican prison cell, to spend the holidays with his family. The Pope wished to make it clear that a pardon was not a given, particularly as the interested party had not demonstrated complete awareness of the gravity of his offence. The written explanation of how the verdict against Paolo Gabriele was reached, stated that his crime was a "reprehensible" violation of trust that damaged the Pope himself and the rights of the Holy See, the Vatican City state and the entire Catholic Church. At the same time, however, the judges stated they believed he had acted in good faith for the benefit of the Church, not in order to harm it. The same conclusion seems to have been reached by the cardinals as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Vatican finances: “The crisis calls for more transparency and controls,” Bertone says

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The Vatican Secretary of State shares his thoughts at the presentation of the new Regulations governing the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See

Alessandro Speciale
Rome

The Vatican’s financial transparency issue has more to do with the crisis than with the Vatican document leak scandal: the Holy See must proceed in "the gradual, but effective, reduction of costs in the face of a continuing inability to increase revenues,” the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told employees of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See in a speech this morning.

The Regulations - which will be presented officially to the press next Thursday – were in fact promulgated last 22 February and were probably prepared long before that date. In the face of the global crisis, "the Holy See", must also proceed in "the gradual, but effective, reduction of costs in the face of a continuing inability to increase revenues at least in proportion to the deficits as recently recorded in the consolidated balances," Bertone said.

In actual fact, the Holy See’s balance sheets have seen fluctuations in recent years but it was only in 2011 that it came dangerously close to being in the red, with a deficit of almost 15 million Euros. It should be stressed, however, that after reaching a peak of 253 million Euros in 2009, the Holy See’s revenues have been gradually decreasing, while last year expenses went through the roof, increasing by 30 million Euros in 2011 alone. As a result, dioceses across the world were asked to make an extra big effort to gather an unlikely five million Euros more than the previous year. Even the Vatican bank, the IOR, had to reduce its contributions from a maximum of 55 million to 49 million Euros.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Aus- Catholic University approved research into paedophile clergy, SNAP responds

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[Catholic university approved research into paedophile clergy - The Canberra Times]

Posted by Nicky Davis on December 18, 2012

Once again, evidence surfaces that Catholic officials deliberately hid known and suspected child sex crimes from law enforcement officials. It's particularly disturbing, however, that academics played a role in this reckless deception.

No one should ever underestimate how shrewd and determined Catholic officials are in keeping a lid on this horror, under a range of often-innocuous sounding pretenses.

We strongly suspect that church officials were- and remain - far more interested in keeping crimes secret than in understanding criminals' psyches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Priest’s trial expected to wrap today

CANADA
Times Colonist

Jeff Bell , Times Colonist December 19, 2012

Warning: This story contains graphic details.

The presentation of evidence in the B.C. Supreme Court trial of Father Phil Jacobs is expected to wrap up today.

Jacobs, who is charged with four sexual offences involving boys while he was working as a Roman Catholic priest, spent all of Tuesday on the stand after beginning his testimony Monday afternoon.

The 63-year-old Jacobs is accused of offences against three boys between September 1996 and June 2001.

He was parish priest at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church from 1997 to 2002.

Much of Jacobs’s testimony in the judge-alone trial has been in response to questioning from defence lawyer Chris Considine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Indian Priest Fired Over Accusations Of Smuggling People Into Texas

INDIA
Albany Tribune

Written by UCAN

December 18, 2012

The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council yesterday dismissed a priest after police filed human trafficking charges against him.

Father Jaison Kollannur, who was secretary of the Kerala bishops’s council youth commission, was charged last month as part of a ring of five people who allegedly tried to traffic 42 young Indians to Houston, Texas, under the pretext of attending a student exchange program which ended in June.

“The accused, including the priest, faked certificates to support that 42 persons were experts working in the education sector,” said Amose Mammen, assistant commissioner of the police Crime Records Bureau in Kochi.

Fr Kollannur will also face an internal probe by the bishops’ council following his dismissal, said Kerala council spokesman Stephen Alathara.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Call for multiple commissioners for child sexual abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

[with audio]

SALLY SARA: Queensland's peak child protection body is calling for the Federal Government's child sexual abuse inquiry to employ multiple commissioners rather than just one.

The Federal Government is finalising the terms of reference for the inquiry by the end of this year.

PeakCare says the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse needs more Commissioners to cope with the scale of the investigation and ensure it doesn't take longer than necessary.

The organisation's call to broaden the inquiry's scope is backed up by South Australia's Dignity for Disability MP Kelly Vincent, who wants disability issues to be properly investigated and expressly referred to in the terms of reference.

Nance Haxton reports.

NANCE HAXTON: PeakCare represents more than 70 child protection bodies in Queensland.

The not-for-profit group has written a submission to the Federal Government asking that the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse consider having more than one commissioner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Vatican diary / Promotions, demotions, surprises

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

VATICAN CITY, December 19, 2012 – At the upcoming feast of Epiphany, Benedict XVI will consecrate as bishop, together with other prelates, Monsignor Georg Gänswein, his personal secretary since 2003, recently appointed prefect of the pontifical household.

Gänswein will keep his previous position, and will continue to live in the pontifical apartment. This signifies that, after the tempest of Vatileaks and the conviction of the butler Paolo Gabriele, Benedict XVI - with a gesture that seems to have no precedent - has confirmed, or rather redoubled, his trust toward his closest coworker.

In effect, looking at the latest pontificates, no churchman had ever taken on the positions of personal secretary and prefect of the pontifical household. With John Paul II, in fact, his personal secretary Stanislaw Dziwisz was made only “adjunct” prefect, and appointed bishop in 1998 at the age of 59, to be elevated in 2003 to the dignity of archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

FLDS Prepare For End Of World This Sunday

UTAH
KUTV

By Ladd Egan
(KUTV) Followers of imprisoned polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs have been told to prepare backpacks of necessities as part of a doomsday prophesy for this Sunday.

“By December 23rd it’s going to have ended,” said former FLDS member Isaac Wyler of the prediction. “Warren was talking about the Yellowstone Nation Park blowing.”

Jeffs, 56, is serving a life sentence in Texas on convictions of sexually assaulting two underage girls. Behind prison bars he still issues edicts and leads the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. ...

Wyler said he’s heard it all before: “it’s just Warren whipping them up into another frenzy to gather money.”

And when the end doesn’t come? Wyler said Jeffs will still be right and blame his followers for not having enough faith for it to happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Bail refused for Kaitaia man charged with child sex abuse

NEW ZEALAND
Radio New Zealand

A Kaitaia businessman and foster parent charged with abusing young boys will remain in jail over Christmas.

Daniel Taylor, who was an elder in the Mormon Church and a Child Youth and Family caregiver, is facing 22 charges of sexual assault on boys.

He applied for electronic bail on Wednesday in the Kaitaia District Court, but Judge John McDonald refused it. He says Mr Taylor is facing serious charges involving children, including one who had been in his custody.

He said the police evidence was that Mr Taylor had shown a careful and devious mind in grooming boys for sexual offending by gaining the trust of their families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Bishop Walker sex lawsuit dismissed

TENNESSEE
The Tennessean

Written by
Bob Smietana
The Tennessean

A judge has dismissed most of the claims in a lawsuit filed against Bishop Joseph Walker III of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Former church member Valencia Batson had sued Walker, Mt. Zion and several other ministers earlier this year for alleged sexual abuse.

Church leaders have called the allegations ridiculous in the past.

Walker’s attorneys argued that the statute of limitations had passed for most of Batson’s claims and that some of the other claims in the suit were improperly filed.

Court documents show that the last time Walker and Batson had physical or verbal contact was in January 2005. Any claim of sexual abuse had a one-year statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Abuse allegations involve priest linked to Parramatta diocese

AUSTRALIA
Hills News

A report into the Catholic Church’s management of sexual abuse allegations made against a former priest who was connected to the Parramatta and Armidale diocese has been handed to NSW Police.

The church commissioned the report by Anthony Whitlam QC after allegations were made that information about the priest, known as Father F, was not acted on.

The report deals with Father F’s sacking from the ministry in 2005 and what happened during a meeting between Father F and senior Catholic figures in 1992.

The Armidale diocese has denied Father F made admissions when he met Sydney priests Father Lucas and Monsignor Usher Sydney in 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Columbus diocese urged to search for priest's victims

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By JoAnne Viviano
The Columbus Dispatch
Tuesday December 18, 2012

An advocacy group is asking the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus to step up efforts to reach possible abuse victims after a priest on trial in Canada testified that he engaged in inappropriate sexual activity with boys while working in central Ohio decades ago.

Media outlets in British Columbia report that the Rev. Phillip Jacobs, 63, testified before a judge in Supreme Court in Victoria that he took at least three teen boys on overnight trips in Ohio intending to introduce them to masturbation.

According to the Saanich News, Jacobs told Justice J. Miriam Gropper on Monday that “the goal was for the person to become normal with this physiological act under my direction.”

“I would ask them what they know about their bodies ... whether they were curious ... eventually, if I could get some sense of curiosity, I would ask, ‘How much do you trust me? Can I explain it?’” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

December 18, 2012

MS - Trial against John Langworthy set to proceed, SNAP responds

MISSISSIPPI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Amy Smith on December 18, 2012

We are grateful that the case against Rev. John Langworthy will move forward. Delaying or denying the trial would only have endangered kids and hurt victims.

To better safeguard kids, we urge Mississippi lawmakers to reform or repeal the state's archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations so that in future cases, there will be no doubt whatsoever that those who assault kids will face justice, no matter how effectively they may have hidden their crimes or intimidated their victims.

Now, more than ever, anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered sex crimes at the hands of Rev. Langworthy should come forward and make a report to police. Children are safer when predators like Langworthy are behind bars.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Ex-San Antonio Archdiocese priest accused of molestation

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
KSAT

A priest who spent time in the Archdiocese of San Antonio has been accused by at least four boys in Washington state of molestation.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said he is concerned that the Rev. Hilario Ramirez may have abused victims in Texas as well.

SNAP leaders are calling on San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller to reach out to others who may have been allegedly abused by Ramirez.

"The Archbishop has the most resources available to him to find others in the San Antonio area who may have been hurt by Ramirez. If he's serious about protecting his flock, he'll use all of them to reach out to victims," Clohessy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Former priest given suspended sentence for abusing boy in 1960s

IRELAND
RTE News

A 79-year-old former priest has been given a four-year suspended sentence for sexually assaulting a pupil at a Co Wexford school in the 1960s.

The former priest pleaded guilty to eight counts of gross indecency against a boy who was 14 at the time the incidents started.

Wexford Circuit Court heard the accused assaulted his victim at night 12 to 14 times over a two-year period.

His victim told the court by way of a victim impact statement that it had taken him decades to go to the authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Judge rules for ex-priest in diocese bankruptcy

DELAWARE
ABC 27

Posted: Dec 18, 2012 7:02 PM

By RANDALL CHASE
Associated Press
DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled in favor of an ex-priest who challenged a ban on future payments to accused pedophile priests as part of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington's bankruptcy plan.

Judge Sue Robinson ruled Tuesday that the bankruptcy judge went too far in refusing to confirm the diocese's reorganization plan unless it prohibited payments to priests publicly identified by the late Bishop Michael Saltarelli as child abusers. 1 of those priests, Kenneth Martin, challenged the ban on benefit payments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Gloria Ana Chevesich tomaría investigación de Caso Karadima

CHILE
Radio Universidad de Chile

La ministra Gloria Ana Chevesich, conocida por una dedicada investigación en el polémico caso MOP-Gate, asumiría como ministra de fuero en las tres demandas por abusos sexuales en contra del párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima.

Esto surge luego que el magistrado Juan Manuel Muñoz, nominado en primer orden para esta investigación, es uno de los posibles ratificados desde el Senado para asumir en la Corte Suprema, lo que abre la vacante para que Chevesich tome la indagación.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Kerala bishops sack youth commission priest charged with trafficking

INDIA
U.S. Catholic

By Catholic News Service

COCHIN, India (CNS) -- The Catholic Bishops' Council of Kerala dismissed the secretary of its youth commission, who has been charged as part of a human trafficking ring.

Father Stephen Alathara, spokesman for the council, also said Nov. 17 it would conduct an investigation into the priest's activities, reported the Press Trust of India.

In November, police included Syro-Malabar Father Jaison Kollannur as part of a five-person ring that allegedly tried to traffic 42 young Indians to Houston under the pretext of attending a student exchange program.

The Asian church news agency UCA News said the five, including Father Kollannur, faked certificates to say the Indians were experts in education.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Accused child predator must stand trial

MISSISSIPPI
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A Mississippi judge ruled Dec. 18 that the state’s statute of limitations does not prevent prosecution of a former Southern Baptist music minister charged with molesting five boys in the early 1980s.

Hinds County Circuit Judge Bill McGowan rejected a motion to dismiss an eight-count indictment against John Langworthy, associate pastor of music and ministries at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Miss., prior to his arrest in September 2011.

After turning down a plea bargain, Langworthy is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 28 on eight counts of gratification of lust, but according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, the impending holidays might necessitate a new date. Originally put on the docket for April 2, the trial has already been postponed three times while Langworthy is out of jail on $700,000 bond.

In August 2011, Langworthy confessed to the Morrison Heights congregation of “sexual indiscretions with younger males” prior to coming to Clinton 22 years earlier. After that, prosecutors say six victims came forward to report they had been molested by Langworthy when they were children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

White House Chief Of Staff ...

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

White House Chief Of Staff Condemns Alleged YU Child Sex Abuse Coverups, Says Response To Child Sex Abuse Must “Transcend The Confines Of Religious Teaching”

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

Jacob Lew, and Orthodox Jew and the White House chief of staff, received an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University Sunday night at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.

But Yeshiva University was rocked late last week by allegations that it had covered up years of ongoing child sexual abuse at its affiliated high school in Manhattan during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Its former president, Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, who now serves as YU’s chancellor, admitted to allowing accused sexual abusers and faculty who had homosexual affairs to leave quietly and teach elsewhere without notifying the new schools of the abuse or the affairs, and said the allegations of abuse were not as important to him or the university as the university’s then-financial crisis was.

Lamm is accused of personally covering up the abuse of teenage boys.

So is Richard Joel, YU’s current president, who was allegedly asked to undo the coverups by a victim when he was hired about a decade ago. Joel allegedly did nothing then, although he sharply condemned the alleged abuse and apologized for it after the allegations were made public last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Priest who spent time in S.A. archdiocese accused of abuse

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Express-News

By Abe Levy

Updated 2:29 pm, Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A visiting priest from Mexico — who spent time in the San Antonio archdiocese and is believed to have died in the 1980s — molested four Washington state boys in the early 1970s, Catholic officials there say.

The Diocese of Yakima reported Monday that it received credible evidence that Father Hilario Ramirez molested four boys ages 7 to 13 while staying with two families from Our Lady of Fatima Parish in east-central Washington.

He was there for several weeks as a visiting priest invited by a victim's family member who had met him in the South Texas town of Dilley, the Yakima diocese said.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church is the only parish in Dilley and is part of the San Antonio archdiocese. A call to that parish seeking comment was not returned Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Catholic university approved research into paedophile clergy

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

Richard Baker, Nick McKenzie

THE Australian Catholic University approved a highly sensitive research project to analyse archives detailing child sexual abuse by clergy and to identify common themes in their behaviour.

The project, titled ''Sexual Boundary Violations Among Catholic Religious'', was conducted by staff of Encompass Australasia, which was established by the Catholic Church in 1997 to treat clergy for psycho-sexual disorders. Many of those clergy were never reported to police.

To comply with national laws governing human research, Encompass Australasia was required to get approval from an institution with a human research ethics committee.

Fairfax Media has previously reported how Encompass Australasia was used by senior church figures to harbour paedophile clergy who had been diagnosed with ''mood disorders'' in order to be treated at Sydney's Wesley Private Hospital and meet private health insurance criteria.

It is understood that no clergy treated by Encompass Australasia were ever reported to police, despite some admitting to sexually abusing children and others facing serious accusations. In some cases, known paedophile clergy were sent overseas after being treated by Encompass staff at the Sydney hospital.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

For Prosecutor in Sexual Abuse Case, Muted Praise From One Corner

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By MICHAEL POWELL

Published: December 18, 2012

Charles J. Hynes, who served as Brooklyn district attorney for more than two decades before he decided to take a close look at the scourge of sexual molesting among the Hasidim, talked tough a few weeks ago.

Sitting for an interview with Ami, a Jewish magazine, Mr. Hynes gave the side of his hand to “some absolute clown at The Daily News” who had written editorials criticizing his inaction on the Hasids. And he aimed an elbow at The New York Times, saying its long explorations of his handling of such cases and the shielding of the names of Hasidic molesters were “silly” and “dishonest.”

Let’s give the district attorney his recent due. A week ago, his office convicted a leader in the Satmar community, Nechemya Weberman, of many counts of molesting. This prosecution owed nothing in particular to his investigators; the young and exceptionally courageous woman in question came forward and insisted on testifying.

Still, Mr. Hynes is to be congratulated.

I mention this to Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg and he rolls his eyes. For nearly two decades, this Hasidic rabbi, a member of the Satmar sect, challenged his community’s silence and complicity. Until recently, he and a handful of courageous ultra-Orthodox crusaders and families were alone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Clergy investigating US nuns have poor records on sex abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
GlobalPost

Vatican selections include bishops and cardinals who protected pedophile priests.

Jason Berry
December 18, 2012

VATICAN CITY — From its 17th century palace, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith monitors compliance with Roman Catholic moral teaching and matters of dogma for the oldest church in Christendom.

These issues have little bearing on most of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Faith, for them, rests in parish life and the quality of their pastors. In the 1980s, for example, when the CDF punished theologians who dissented from the papal ban on birth control devices, the 85 percent of Catholics who support contraception did not change their opinion.

But as the CDF accelerates a disciplinary action against the main leadership group of American nuns, many sisters and priests are reacting to a climate of fear fostered by bishops and cardinals who have never been investigated by the church for their role in the greatest moral crisis of modern Catholicism: the clergy sex abuse crisis.

As the Vatican lowers a curtain of scrutiny across communities of religious women in America, a small but resonant chorus of critics is raising an issue of a hypocrisy that has grown too blatant to ignore. The same hierarchy that brought shame upon the Vatican for recycling clergy child molesters, a scandal that rocked the church in many countries, has assumed a moral high ground in punishing the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a group whose members have put their lives on the line in taking the social justice agenda of the Second Vatican Council to some of the poorest areas in the world.

Many nuns from foreign countries wonder if the investigation is an exercise “in displaced anger,” as one sister puts it, for the hierarchy’s failure in child abuse scandals across the map of the global church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

KY - Judge sets trial date for priest with illness, SNAP applauds decision

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on December 17, 2012

We are glad that a trial date for the case against Fr. James Schook has been set. Justice for his victims shouldn’t be further delayed or potentially lost simply because Schook is in ill health. Trials are meant to bring closure for the abused, not comfort for the abuser. Further delays are unnecessarily hurtful to Fr. Schook’s victims.

We hope that others who saw, suspected, or suffered crimes by School or any other church employee within the Diocese of Louisville will come forward and make a report to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

NY - Diocese of Rockville Centre knew of abusive priest’s history

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on December 17, 2012

A priest that was suspended from the Diocese of Vancouver for sexual impropriety and later resurfaced in Long Island, NY is now being sued by one of his victims.

Fr. Lawrence “Damian” Cooper was suspended by the Diocese of Vancouver in 1994 for grooming a girl while she was a minor and beginning an illicit relationship when she was 17. Sexual contact with a priest – someone who is supposedly God’s envoy on earth – involves an inherent power imbalance that undermines it and prevents it from being a true relationship. Even if the victim in this case, Kathleen Taylor, had not been a minor when the sexual contact began, this “relationship” would still have been abuse.

Despite this abuse, following his suspension Fr. Cooper was apparently allowed to go the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY and resume duties as a priest after six months of treatment, despite the fact that he was originally intended to undergo treatment for five years. Fr. Cooper was later suspended from his diocese in New York for “problems of a similar nature” in 2001.

The Diocese of Vancouver claims that they “fully informed” the Diocese of Rockville Centre of Fr. Cooper’s history, and believe this absolves them from guilt. However, what they should have done was not to allow Fr. Cooper to transfer there at all, but should have put him in a remote and secure treatment facility. What they did was essentially wash their hands of him after doing the bare minimum. Shame on them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

WA - Diocese of Yakima discloses abuse by priest, SNAP responds

WASHINGTON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on December 17, 2012

While we’re glad Yakima Catholic officials admit that Fr. Hilario Ramirez is a credibly accused child molester, we’re sad that they’ve delayed this disclosure for months and are apparently refusing to give many details.

The statement implies that Fr. Ramirez was in Yakima because of one family’s invitation. It also suggests that he didn’t work in any Yakima Catholic churches. We suspect that’s not the full story.

It only takes seconds for a child predator to shove his hands down a boy's pants or his tongue down a girl's throat. So it's possible that he only molested four kids and did so within a few days. It’s possible he didn’t spend weeks working at Yakima churches.

But we suspect that he was, in fact, in Washington for weeks or months, sent there by his Texas bishop with the knowledge and approval of the Yakima bishop. And we suspect he worked in one or more parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

OH - Ex-Ohio priest admits molesting kids; SNAP responds

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on December 18, 2012

A priest who studied and worked in Columbus “had a series of inappropriate experiences with teenage boys” taking at least three of them “on overnight trips, intent on teaching them how to masturbate.” He also claims he was “bullied by fellow classmates into (masturbating) at his Catholic high school in Columbus” (according to news accounts this morning).

Fr. Phil Jacobs is on trial in Canada on charges that he sexually abused three boys in Victoria during the late 1990s.

Under oath yesterday, in open court, Jacobs admitted he hurt kids in Columbus

This new admission should spur Columbus Catholic officials to finally take action. Bishop Frederick Campbell should end his irresponsible silence and immediately reach out now to anyone else that has been hurt by Jacobs.

Doing this is prudent, because it could bring forward more victims, witnesses, whistleblowers and evidence that could help put Jacobs behind bars and away from kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Ohio priest accused of abuse in W.Va released

OHIO
San Francisco Chronicle

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio priest accused of taking a 10-year-old boy to West Virginia for sex more than two decades ago has successfully argued to be released, have his trial delayed and be allowed to travel to New York for medical treatment.

A federal judge in Cincinnati on Monday granted the Rev. Robert Poandl's (poh-AHN'-duhl) request to leave the state for treatment.

Late last week, the judge agreed to have his trial on a charge of coercion of a minor delayed until March 18. It had been scheduled for Jan. 14.

Poandl, of the Cincinnati-based Glenmary Home Missioners, has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy while the two visited a West Virginia church in 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Accused former priest testifies in own defence

CANADA
Saanich News

By Kyle Slavin - Saanich News
Published: December 17, 2012

Warning: The following story contains graphic testimony of a sexual nature that could be upsetting to some readers.

Phillip Jacobs took the stand in his own defence Monday afternoon by explaining how, when he was a young priest in Columbus, Ohio, he took teenage boys on overnight trips, intent on teaching them how to masturbate.

“The goal was for the person to become normal with this physiological act under my direction,” Jacobs, 63, told Justice J. Miriam Gropper during questioning by his defence lawyer Chris Considine. “I would ask them what they know about their bodies ... whether they were curious ... eventually, if I could get some sense of curiosity, I would ask ‘How much do you trust me? Can I explain it?’”

Jacobs said there were at least three, maybe more, teenage boys he took on these 18-hour “packages,” that included golf, swimming, fishing, pool, dinner and TV in the mid-1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Priest admits U.S. abuse, but denies any crimes in B.C

CANADA
CBC News

A Roman Catholic priest has admitted to sexually abusing teenage boys in the U.S., but denies he did the same thing in Canada.

Father Phil Jacobs testified in his own defence Monday at his trial on charges of sexually assaulting three teen boys in Victoria during the late 1990s.

Jacobs told the court about being bullied into masturbating by fellow students in high school and of having ungratifying masturbation encounters with two fellow students when he was a young man while studying to become a priest.

He's admitted to trying to teach two teenage boys how to masturbate when he was a priest in Ohio during the early 1990s. He said he felt he could teach them how they should masturbate and avoid the humiliation he had suffered as a teen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Priest denies abuse allegations

CANADA
Times Colonist

Jeff Bell , Times Colonist
December 17, 2012

Warning: This story contains graphic details.

Father Phil Jacobs answered with a firm “Never” Monday when defence lawyer Chris Considine asked him if he had engaged in any of the alleged activities that resulted in four sexual charges against him involving boys.

Jacobs, 63, took the stand Monday in B.C. Supreme Court as Considine began the defence’s case, which followed several days of testimony last week from prosecution witnesses.

Considine said Jacobs did not touch any of the three alleged victims with sexual intent, but advised Justice Miriam Gropper that Jacobs would tell her about “the demons that have haunted him” and how he has tried to deal with them through the years.

The offences of which he is accused — two counts of sexual interference involving a person under 14, one count of sexual assault and one count of touching a young person for a sexual purpose — are alleged to have taken place between September 1996 and June 2001. Jacobs was a parish priest from 1997 to 2002 at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, and served as the administrator of Sooke’s St. Rose of Lima Parish before that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Judge to decide if statute bars sex crime prosecution

MISSISSIPPI
Clarion-Ledger

Written by
Ruth Ingram

A Hinds County judge will decide whether a Clinton man who has admitted to “sexual indiscretions” with male children in Mississippi and Texas will go free or face trial.

Circuit Judge Bill McGowan will hear arguments Tuesday on John Langworthy’s defense motion that says too much time has passed for the former Clinton High choir director and church music minister to face felony gratification of lust charges.

Langworthy was music minister at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton before his arrest in September 2011. An eight-count indictment charges him with sexually molesting five boys between April 1980 and December 1984, with the alleged sexual abuse occurring at the boys’ Jackson homes, Langworthy’s sister’s home in Jackson, or in Langworthy’s dorm room at Mississippi College.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Retired priest charged with historical offences - Hunter Region

AUSTRALIA
NSW Police Force

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 01:58:37 PM

NSW Police have charged a retired priest with historical indecent assault offences which allegedly occurred in the Hunter region in the 1960s and 1970s.

On 21 November and 3 December this year, two former students of a local Marist college attended a police station regarding allegations of indecent assault by a teacher who is now retired.

Strike Force Georgiana investigators travelled this month to Cook, in the Australian Capital Territory, and served future court attendance notices on an 80-year-old man at his home address.

He has been charged with three counts of indecent assault allegedly committed against two victims whilst at school in the 1960s and 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Retired brother from Belconnen charged with sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

December 18, 2012

Noel Towell

A retired Catholic brother living in Belconnen has been charged with sex offences against two boys in the NSW Hunter region in the 1960s and 1970s.

State police detectives have charged the 80-year-old former Marist teacher with three counts of indecent assault.

Police say they interviewed the two alleged victims on November 21 and December 3.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Ex-brother charged with historical indecent assault offences

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By SAM RIGNEY
Dec. 18, 2012

POLICE have charged a retired brother, 80, with historical indecent assault offences which allegedly occurred in the Hunter in the 1960s and 1970s.

Two former students from a local Marist college spoke with police on November 21 and December 3 this year regarding allegation of indecent assault by a teacher who has since retired. Strike Force Georgiana investigators travelled to Cook, in the ACT, and charged the 80-year-old man with three counts of indecent assault allegedly committed against two victims in the 1960s and 1970s.

The retired brother was granted bail to appear in Newcastle Local Court on January 29, 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Retired brother likely to face new charges

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By SAM RIGNEY
Dec. 18, 2012

INVESTIGATORS expect to lay further charges against a retired brother who allegedly indecently assaulted two students at a Hunter Marist Brothers college during the 1960s and 1970s.

Strike Force Georgiana detectives, tasked with investigating historical sexual and indecent assault allegations levelled at several Hunter priests, travelled to Cook, about 10kilometres north west of Canberra, this month to interview the 80-year-old man.

He was later charged with three counts of indecent assault allegedly committed against two victims while they were at school in the 1960s and 1970s.

The retired brother was granted bail to appear in Newcastle Local Court on January 29, 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Hunter police strike force charges another priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A New South Wales police strike force dedicated to handling complaints from clergy abuse victims has made another arrest, this time in Canberra.

Strike Force Georgiana has dealt with scores of abuse victims since it was set up in the Hunter Valley several years ago.

A number of local priests have been jailed as a result of complaints, while at least a dozen victims are known to have committed suicide.

Today detectives have announced another arrest.

They have charged a retired Catholic priest with three counts of indecent assault allegedly committed against two victims while he was working at a Marist college in the Hunter Valley in the 1960s and 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Retired priest charged with historical indecent assault offences

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

A RETIRED priest has been charged with historical indecent assault offences which allegedly occurred in Hunter during the 1960s and 1970s.

On November 21 and December 3 this year, two former students of a local Marist college made allegations of indecent assault by a now-retired teacher who is now retired.

Strike Force Georgiana investigators travelled this month to Cook, in the ACT, and served future court attendance notices on an 80-year-old man at his home.

He has been charged with three counts of indecent assault allegedly committed against two victims while at school in the 1960s and 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Suffolk: His victims have a life sentence ...

UNITED KINGDOM
EADT 24

Suffolk: His victims have a life sentence – Survivors in Transition charity question priest’s jail term

BY LIZZIE PARRY Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One of those who suffered at the hands of Haley Dossor today welcomed the custodial sentence.

Survivors in Transition offer a range of services, help and support for survivors of childhood sex abuse

The 71-year-old was yesterday sent to prison for 22 months after pleading guilty to six counts of indecent assault relating to two boys as young as 13.

One of the survivors of Dossor’s abuse, who today told story to The Star, said the sentence had not yet sunk in.

“In cases like this what the law defines as justice does not really help survivors of the crimes,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Suffolk: I live with the repercussions every day ...

UNITED KINGDOM
EADT 24

Suffolk: I live with the repercussions every day – survivor of abuse at the hands of Haley Dossor tells of his torment

BY LIZZIE PARRY Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NO child should have to endure experiences similar to mine from anyone, let alone from someone who chooses to label their spiritual and ethical beliefs as Christian.

I live with the repercussions of what happened to me every day and the fact that the benefits and mental health services have on many occasions totally failed to provide me with the help that I am entitled to.

I am open to the Bishop and the wider church making good on the Bishop’s ‘apology’ and if they wish to do that they know where I am and how I can be contacted.

In the meantime I would like people to know that Nigel’s words are for the moment just that, words with no apparent compassionate actions behind them to give them any meaning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Call to make inquiry global to investigate shifting of priests

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Australia should use its seat on the United Nations Security Council to push for a UN inquiry into how the Catholic Church moves paedophile priests from First to Third World countries to avoid investigation, the Victorian inquiry into clergy sex abuse heard yesterday, reports The Age.

Victims' lawyer Angela Sdrinis said she feared an epidemic of abuse in coming decades in developing countries that lacked a strong, independent police force.

''We know that the problem of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church is an international problem.''

No other religious group so often transferred abusers interstate or overseas, especially to Third World countries, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Orphans 'left to die': state parliamentary inquiry into child abuse told

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Mitchell Toy
Herald Sun
December 18, 2012

CLAIMS that orphans were murdered, tortured or left to die from injuries while under the care of religious organisations and the state were heard yesterday by a state parliamentary inquiry into child abuse.

Former wards of the state have called for a public apology and compensation for abuse committed in orphanages and foster homes between the 1950s and 1980s.

Angela Sdrinis, of Ryan Carlisle Thomas lawyers, said the firm had been contacted by hundreds of alleged victims of abuse who had levelled claims against religious personnel from the Salvation Army, various church denominations and even a Buddhist monk.

She told the inquiry alleged victims had claimed the Bayswater Boys Home, operated by the Salvation Army in the 1950s, was a hotbed of paedophiles and that some boys had disappeared without a trace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Push to make church inquiry global

AUSTRALIA
The Age

December 18, 2012

Barney Zwartz

AUSTRALIA should use its seat on the United Nations Security Council to push for a UN inquiry into how the Catholic Church moves paedophile priests from First to Third World countries to avoid investigation, the state inquiry into clergy sex abuse heard on Monday.

Victims' lawyer Angela Sdrinis said she feared an epidemic of abuse in coming decades in developing countries that lacked a strong, independent police force.

''We know that the problem of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church is an international problem.'' No other religious group so often transferred abusers interstate or overseas, especially to Third World countries, she said.

''In particular in Third World countries, where the Catholic Church is dominant and where the police and justice systems are much less advanced than in Western countries, there is a substantial risk that the influence of paedophile priests will be completely unchecked,'' she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Magazine, records show pattern ...

HAMMOND (IN)
Hammond Community

Magazine, records show pattern of sex-related allegations at Hammond church

[Let Us Prey: Big Trouble at First Baptist Church - Chicago Magazine]

Marc Chase marc.chase@nwi.com, (219) 662-5330

HAMMOND | The alleged sexual indiscretions of religious leaders associated with the First Baptist Church of Hammond didn't begin with the former head pastor's recent admission to having sex with a 16-year-old church girl.

That is the picture painted in both a newly published Chicago Magazine article and in court records pertaining to other criminal defendants affiliated with church leadership.

An article in the magazine's January 2013 edition characterizes the church's history as consisting of overbearing and authoritarian pastoral control of parishioners, sexual abuse and affairs and criminal cases involving church leaders and some of their affiliates.

Former head Pastor Jack Schaap, scheduled to be sentenced in Hammond federal court next month, faces 10 years in prison after admitting he had multiple sexual encounters in Illinois and Michigan with a 16-year-old church girl he was supposed to be counseling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Abuse victims face litany of problems, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

A Victorian parliamentary inquiry has been told victims of child sexual abuse face a litany of difficulties reporting and settling their complaints.

The Care Leavers Australia Network told the child sexual inquiry that churches and institutions have confusing processes for dealing with complaints.

It says victims are deliberately isolated and that redress schemes are a "hopscotch" of secretive arrangements.

Spokesman Frank Golding told the inquiry it is also difficult for victims to access documentation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Update: Retired priest ...

UNITED KINGDOM
EADT 24

Update: Retired priest jailed for historic sex abuse is branded a “sexual predator” by Crown Prosecution Service

BY LIZZIE PARRY Tuesday, December 18, 2012

IPSWICH/KIRTON/HADLEIGH: A retired priest branded a sexual predator is today starting a 22-month prison sentence for a string of indecent assaults on teenage boys at a church youth group in the early 90s.

Father John Haley Dossor, known as Haley, pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault relating to two boys, aged as young as 13.

Norwich Crown Court also heard that Dossor accepted he had abused a third boy between 15 and 20 times, although he was not charged with these attacks.

Nikki Miller, reviewing lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, welcomed the jail term.

“We are satisfied that the sentence handed down reflects the serious nature of his crimes and the way in which he abused his position of trust within the community he served,” she said. ...

Today, Gavin Stone, assistant diocesan secretary for the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said: “Bishop Nigel Stock continues to offer unreserved regret and apologies to all those whose lives have been damaged by this individual, fully acknowledging the impact that broken trust by someone in a position of responsibility can have on the lives of all those involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Retired priest charged with child abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A retired priest has been charged with sexually abusing two students in the 1960s and 70s in the NSW Hunter region.

Two former students of a local Marist college went to a police station on November 21 and December 3 this year.

They made sexual assault allegations against a teacher who is now retired, police say.

The 80-year-old man was served court attendance notices at his home at Cook, in the ACT, this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Ex-priest jailed for abusing boys

UNITED KINGDOM
Harborough Mail

A retired Anglican priest from Suffolk who sexually abused teenage boys has been jailed for one year and 10 months.

Father John Haley Dossor, known as Haley, pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault relating to two boys aged as young as 13.

Norwich Crown Court also heard that Dossor accepted he had abused a third boy between 15 and 20 times, although he was not charged with these attacks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

December 17, 2012

Abuser offers guilty plea as apology

AUSTRALIA
The Age

December 18, 2012

Clare Quirk

VICTIMS of paedophile and former religious brother Edward Mamo wept in a Warrnambool court yesterday as they recalled the horror of his crimes.

The men, who were boys when the offences occurred, told of being taken into a dark basement at Monivae College in Hamilton and being indecently assaulted by Mamo, now 68, from 1976 to 1980.

Mamo, now of Sydney, pleaded guilty in the County Court to seven charges of unlawful and indecent assault of a child under the age of 16 on Monday. He sat emotionless throughout the plea hearing.

Mamo was aged between 31 and 35 when the incidents took place and was a brother of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Yakima Diocese Responds to Abuse Allegation

YAKIMA (WA)
KAPP

The Yakima diocese is responding to allegations of a abuse by a priest in the Moses Lake area in the 1970's: The official release from the diocese is below:

The Diocese of Yakima has received credible allegations of abuse of a minor by a visiting priest from Mexico at the Catholic parish in Moses Lake, Wash. in the early 1970s. The Diocese is encouraging any other potential victims to come forward.

The alleged abuser, the late Rev. Hilario Ramírez, was invited to Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Moses Lake by a Hispanic family in the early 1970s. A member of the family had met him in Dilley, Texas where he had been a guest priest, and thought his ministry would be helpful in the Moses Lake parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Assignment Record – Bishop J. Kendrick Williams

KENTUCKY
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Ordained for the Louisville diocese in 1963, Williams was a parish priest and convent chaplain. He held several chancery positions, including director of the Personnel Commission. In April 1984 Williams was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Covington, and consecrated that June. He was appointed first Bishop of Lexington in Jan. 1988, and installed in March. In 2002 Williams was accused in lawsuits of the sexual abuse of two boys and one young adult; the earliest incident was said to have occurred in 1969, and the other two in the 1980s. Williams denied the accusations. He resigned in June 2002.

Ordained: May 25, 1963
Appointed: Auxiliary Bishop of Covington April 15, 1984
Consecrated: June 19, 1984
Appointed: Bishop of Lexington Jan. 14, 1988
Installed: March 2, 1988

Retired: June 11, 2002

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Dealing with pain ...

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Dealing with pain caused by child-sex abuse is Catholic Church's greatest crisis, say Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson

[the letter]

Investigations Editor Bryan Littlely
adelaidenow
December 17, 2012

THE Catholic Church faces its greatest crisis of all time as it grapples with the reality of the pain caused by child sex abuse, Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson says.

In a letter to the state's Catholics responding to Prime Minister Julia Gillard's announcement of a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Archbishop Wilson expressed his "deepest sorrow" to victims of clerical child sex abuse.

"The reality of child abuse is by far the greatest crisis we have faced as a church in this country," he said.

"As people of God, we can only feel deep shame over the terrible betrayal of trust and the suffering inflicted on the abused and their families by those members of the church who engaged in this most serious crime."

Archbishop Wilson, who declined to speak to adelaidenow, said in the letter the Archdiocese of Adelaide has been at the forefront of child protection in recent years and had introduced many initiatives that had been held up as best practice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Letter from Archbishop Wilson

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide

November 22, 2012
12/1275

RE : Royal Commission

My Brothers and Sisters in the Adelaide Archdiocese

As you are aware, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that a Royal Commission is to be held to inquire into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Australia. Also, on Wednesday the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced a more focused inquiry dealing with specific issues raised in the media concerning the Diocese of Newcastle - Maitland.

This Royal Commission is a very important development in Australian society as a whole because it will be the first time when the horrendous issue of abuse will be examined in great detail on a national scale. It will enable people affected by child sex abuse to have a voice like they have never had before. They will be able to tell of their tragedies and be heard at the highest level – and in doing so it will help institutions, including our Church, to learn more about those experiences and, if necessary, better inform us about how we respond to these very difficult and complex issues.

Our Diocese will, of course, co-operate fully with the Royal Commission and the NSW Inquiry, and we will do so with absolute honesty and openness in an effort to do whatever we can to help shed light on the tragedy of child sex abuse. As people of God, we can only feel deep shame over the terrible betrayal of trust and the suffering inflicted on the abused and their families by those members of the Church who engaged in this most serious crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Twenty years later, I look upon my ordination

UNITED STATES
Patrick J. Wall

“His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Luke 3:17

Twenty years ago this week I was ordained a Roman Catholic priest at Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. My ordination was performed by then-Bishop Jerome Hanus, O.S.B.

At the time, I knew I was being sent to a one-year assignment where I would fill in for monk who had been yanked from Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, after a victim came forward and accused the monk of child sex abuse. This was not my first emergency assignment. The previous year—before I was ordained—I was ordered to replace a monk who had been working as a faculty resident at Saint John’s University. He had also been accused of sex abuse.

I was assured by Chancellor of the University, Abbot Jerome Theisen, O.S.B. that these were isolated incidents. Unfortunately, they were not.

In 1992, I could not imagine that hundreds of priests and religious currently in ministry were child molesters—or that the moral decay included Priors, Abbots and Bishops. But I would soon learn. After six years of hearing confessions and being a “company man,” I saw first-hand that the rot of clerical sex abuse of minors is centuries old (read the Didache) and that the knowledge of abuse runs all the way to the Pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

KCBC removes tainted priest from Secretary's post

INDIA
Business Standard

Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) today removed priest Father Jaison Kollannur, who has been listed as the third accused in a human trafficking case, from the post of Secretary of its Youth Commission.

Father Jaison was also the state director of the Kerala Catholic Youth movement.

In a statement here, KCBC Deputy Secretary General and spokesperson Stephen Althara said following media reports, the Council had set up a three-member commission to look into the allegations against the priest.

Kollannur's name had cropped up in the case relating to Shadwells, an educational management company operating from nearby Kakkanad. It was found to be allegedly involved in the trafficking of unskilled persons to the US in the guise of attending educational conferences.

The company's CEO Tom Boby and HR Manager Suby Kurien have been arrested

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Diócesis Responde a Acusaciones de Abuso en Moses Lake

YAKIMA (WA)
La Diocesis de Yakima

La Diócesis de Yakima ha recibido acusaciones fidedignas de abuso a un menor por un sacerdote visitante de México en la parroquia católica de Moses Lake, Washington que ocurrió comienzo de los años 1970. La Diócesis está animando a otras potenciales víctimas para que se presenten.

El presunto abusador, el ya fallecido Rvdo. Hilario Ramírez, fue invitado a la Parroquia de Our Lady of Fatima en Moses Lake por una familia hispana a comienzos de 1970. Un miembro de la familia lo había conocido en Dilley, Texas, en donde él había sido un sacerdote invitado, y pensó que su ministerio sería útil en la parroquia de Moses Lake.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

1970s Abuse Reported in Moses Lake

YAKIMA (WA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Yakima

Published on Monday, 17 December 2012

[en espanol]

The Diocese of Yakima has received credible allegations of abuse of a minor by a visiting priest from Mexico at the Catholic parish in Moses Lake, Wash. in the early 1970s. The Diocese is encouraging any other potential victims to come forward.

The alleged abuser, the late Rev. Hilario Ramírez, was invited to Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Moses Lake by a Hispanic family in the early 1970s. A member of the family had met him in Dilley, Texas where he had been a guest priest, and thought his ministry would be helpful in the Moses Lake parish.

During his stay of a few weeks in Moses Lake, Ramírez lived with at least two families, and is alleged to have abused four children, all boys ranging in age from 7-13. Two of the victims are deceased.

One of the surviving victims, from Texas, was able to provide the Diocese basic information about the priest and the abuse. The Diocese, through its investigation, recently was able to surface the name of another victim, who lives in Washington state. Both men have been offered counseling.

Ramírez returned to Mexico after being treated for a stomach ulcer. The Diocese learned from parishioners who stayed in contact with Ramírez that he died in an automobile accident in Mexico in the early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

Yakima Catholic diocese reports alleged abuse by priest

YAKIMA (WA)
Yakima Herald-Republic

Posted on December 17, 2012

By Jane Gargas
Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Catholic Diocese of Yakima says it has offered counseling to two men who reported that they were abused in the early 1970s by a priest while he was visiting a Moses Lake parish.

In a news release issued this morning, diocesan officials encouraged any other potential victims to come forward. They said the alleged abuser, the late Rev. Hilario Ramírez, a visiting priest from Mexico, came to Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Moses Lake for a few weeks in the early 1970s. During his stay, Ramírez lived with at least two families, and is alleged to have abused four children, all boys ranging in age from 7 to 13. Two of the victims are deceased.

One of the surviving victims, who lives in Texas, provided basic information about the priest and alleged abuse to the diocese. A second reported victim lives in Washington state. Both men have been offered counseling.

Ramírez returned to Mexico after being treated for a stomach ulcer. Parishioners who stayed in contact with Ramírez told diocesan officials that he died in an automobile accident in Mexico in the early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Counting Catholics: ‘Church of immigrants’ poised for growth

UNITED STATES
The Association of Religion Data Archives

By David Briggs

There is only one U.S. religious group, propelled in part by an enthusiastic group of young followers, that is expected to grow to 100 million adherents by the middle of the century.

Yet to hear some critics focus on generational shifts showing declining Mass attendance and doctrinal commitment among white Catholics, one might think the Catholic Church is slowly sinking in the U.S. religious landscape.

So which is it for the nation’s largest religious group, growth or decline? The answer is some of both in a church that, as it has through much of its history, reflects the changing face of America, researchers reported at the recent joint meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Religious Research Association.

There are problems, including a dramatic loss of support among white women and a culture that is increasingly more amenable to personal decision making than claims of eternal truths.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Ky. priest dying of cancer to face abuse trial

KENTUCKY
Kentucky.com

Published: December 17, 2012

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Louisville Catholic priest with terminal cancer is scheduled to go on trial next year to face charges he sexually abused two boys in the 1970s.

Attorneys had delayed the trial in May because doctors said there was a possibility Rev. James Schook may not live to the end of this year.

On Monday attorneys agreed on a June 24 trial date for Schook to face seven counts of sodomy. Schook was indicted on those charges in June 2011. He is out of jail on a $10,000 bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

KCBC removes tainted priest from Secretary's post

INDIA
Press Trust of India

STAFF WRITER

Kochi, Dec 17 (PTI) Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) today removed priest Father Jaison Kollannur, who has been listed as the third accused in a human trafficking case, from the post of Secretary of its Youth Commission.

Father Jaison was also the state director of the Kerala Catholic Youth movement.

In a statement here, KCBC Deputy Secretary General and spokesperson Stephen Althara said following media reports, the Council had set up a three-member commission to look into the allegations against the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Ipswich priest Haley Dossor jailed for sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A retired Anglican priest who sexually abused teenage boys has been jailed.

Father Haley Dossor, 71, admitted six counts of indecent assault relating to two boys aged as young as 13.

Norwich Crown Court also heard that Dossor accepted he had abused a third boy between 15 and 20 times, although he was not charged with these attacks.

The offences happened while Dossor, of Kirton, near Felixstowe, Suffolk, was working at St Mary's Church in Hadleigh, Suffolk, in the early 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

Trial date set for ill priest charged with child sex abuse

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Written by
Jason Riley
The Courier-Journal

Prosecutors on Monday asked a judge to set a trial date for Rev. James Schook, whose trial on charges of child sexual abuse was delayed six months ago because prosecutors thought he only had months to live.

With Shook’s health about the same, the Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office said there had been a misunderstanding about how long the Roman Catholic priest could survive.

Jefferson County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney John Balliet said that while patients like Schook - who has an aggressive form of melanoma that began with a lesion on his back and spread - may live less than a year, he could also survive for up to five or six years.

“It was my belief,” after talking earlier this year with Dr. George R. Nichols II, the former longtime chief medical examiner for the state of Kentucky, “that we should hold off,” Balliett said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

Was Nechemya Weberman on Trial — or Satmars?

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Batya Ungar-Sargon

Published December 17, 2012, issue of December 21, 2012.

On December 10, Nechemya Weberman, an unlicensed youth and marriage counselor in the Satmar community of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, was convicted of 59 counts of sexual misconduct against a minor.

As in any trial, the judge reminded the jurors that the defendant’s guilt must be proved “beyond reasonable doubt.” But with Weberman now facing a possible prison sentence of 25 years or more, it is worth asking what exactly has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and whether it was Weberman’s community as much as his actions — deplorable if true — being judged in the docket with him.

The Brooklyn district attorney’s case hinged exclusively on the credibility of the team’s single witness — the young woman accusing Weberman of sexually abusing her during each of their counseling sessions, which often took place multiple times a week, beginning when she was 12 and ending when she was 15. Though there have been reports of other victims, both from religious support groups for victims as well as from the DA, none have come forward. Weberman has flatly denied the allegations. When asked if he had ever touched his accuser inappropriately, he said, “Never, ever.” Absent DNA evidence, the case is a he said, she said. The verdict hung ultimately on whose testimony the jury found more credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Weberman and Tzniut

NEW YORK
Times of Israel

Michael J. Salamon

Many have not wanted to follow the Nechemya Weberman trial in Brooklyn but many have felt compelled to follow the proceedings passionately. How could you miss that trial? Virtually every single media outlet covered the story. Just a few days ago the jury returned their verdict. Mr. Weberman, a 54-year-old unlicensed therapist who is a Satmar Hasid, was found guilty on 59 counts all related to sexual abuse of a girl sent to him for therapy by her school.

Mr. Weberman was designated by the Satmar community and the Vaad Hatznius, its modesty squad, as an expert in treating adolescents who are oppositional and getting them to alter their rebelliousness, to become more like what the Satmar community expects them to be, or maybe what the Vaad Hatznius wants them to be. The girl, now 18 years old, was ”treated” by him from the time she was 12 years old until she was 15. In that time he admitted that he saw her one on one behind locked doors, took her away for 12 hours, purchased lingerie using money misappropriated from a charity and, essentially presented himself as an unlicensed, untrained professional while still expecting all to see him as the wronged party.

Unfortunately, there are far too many who do see him that way. Making comments like “He was convicted without any evidence,” or worse “It just shows that a hasid cannot get a fair trial in America” his supporters still believe that he is an angel and did no wrong. Never mind that the evidence is clear – he admitted practice without a license, locking the girl up with him and so forth, along with the fact that according to the District Attorney, there were others who reported having been abused by him. Weberman’s sanctimonious indifference and his supporters virulence makes a mockery not so much of the justice system but what Satmar should be and most often is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Il prete dei «desaparecidos» adesso dice messa a Sorbolo

ITALIA
Corriere della Sera

SORBOLO (Parma) - « Wanted Persons». La foto segnaletica dell'Interpol è negli uffici di polizia di mezzo mondo. Ritrae un uomo anziano, vestito da prete, con il collarino bianco che spunta dall'abito nero. C'è un mandato di cattura internazionale. Non è un truffatore in uno dei suoi tanti travestimenti. È davvero un sacerdote, compirà 75 anni la vigilia di Natale. È di Sorbolo in provincia di Parma, due passi dal Po. A 11 anni, nel '48, si trasferì con la famiglia in Argentina dove poi divenne prete, curando per decenni la sperduta parrocchia di Salto de Las Rosas, vicino alla cittadina di San Rafael, due passi dalle Ande.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Argentina seeks arrest of Italian priest for rights abuses

ITALY/ARGENTINA
Gazzetta del Sud

Parma, December 17 - An Italian priest is being sought for crimes against humanity in Argentina, where he is accused of involvement with the brutal military dictatorship of the 1970s, a newspaper reported Monday. According to Corriere della Sera, federal prosecutors in San Rafael, Argentina have asked for the arrest of Father Franco Reverberi, who is now living in the province of Parma in north-central Italy. The priest's name appeared recently on an Interpol list of suspects accused of human rights violations during the rule of Jorge Rafael Videla, who was president of Argentina from 1976 to 1981. Two years ago Videla was sentenced to life in prison for the deaths of 31 prisoners following his coup d'etat and in July 2012 he received an additional 50-year prison sentence for the systematic kidnapping of children during his rule. According to reports, Reverberi witnessed the torture of dissidents under Videla, without doing anything to stop it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Breaking: Retired priest John Haley Dossor jailed for historic sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
EADT 24

Lizzie Parry Monday, December 17, 2012

A retired Anglican priest who sexually abused teenage boys has been jailed.

Father John Haley Dossor, known as Haley, pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault relating to two boys aged as young as 13.

Norwich Crown Court also heard that Dossor accepted he had abused a third boy between 15 and 20 times, although he was not charged with these attacks.

The offences happened when the 71-year-old, of Kirton, near Felixstowe, Suffolk, was working at St Mary’s Church in Hadleigh in the early 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Former Catholic brother to fight extradition to Australia

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

By Kurt Bayer

Former Catholic brother and convicted paedophile Bernard McGrath will fight extradition to Australia where he is wanted on 252 sexual abuse charges.

The former St John of God brother returned to New Zealand from Sri Lanka voluntarily last month after the new charges emerged.

In 2006, McGrath was jailed for five years for sexually abusing boys at Marylands School in Christchurch in the 1970s, and was paroled in 2008.

The 65-year-old travelled from New Zealand to Sri Lanka earlier this year and was reportedly living on a tea plantation in the highlands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Facing 252 child sex charges: Catholic brother fights extradition to Australia

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

December 18, 2012

A former Catholic brother and convicted pedophile will fight an attempt to extradite him from New Zealand to Australia where he is facing 252 child sex charges.

Bernard Kevin McGrath, a former St John of God brother who was jailed in 2006 for sexually abusing boys at Marylands School in Christchurch in the 1970s, appeared in Christchurch District Court on Monday.

McGrath, 65, is alleged to have repeatedly raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese of NSW during the late 1970s and 1980s.

His lawyer Phillip Allan told the court he had filed a notice of opposition to the extradition application.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Former Catholic brother to fight extradition on abuse charges

NEW ZEALAND
TVNZ

Monday December 17, 2012 Source: ONE News

Convicted sex offender Bernard Kevin McGrath, a former Catholic brother, plans to fight his extradition to Australia.

The 65-year-old appeared in the Christchurch District Court today.

He is wanted across the Tasman on 252 historic sex charges, but his lawyer said today the extradition application will be opposed.

McGrath was jailed in 2006 for offending against boys at Marylands School in Christchurch. He also spent time behind bars in the 1990s for similar offending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Ipswich/Kirton/Hadleigh: Retired priest to be sentenced over historic child sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
EADT 24

Monday, December 17, 2012

A retired priest will today be sentenced after admitting a string of historic sex offences against two teenage boys.

Father John Haley Dossor is scheduled to be sentence today at Norwich Crown Court.

He was previously due to be sentenced last month, however the case was adjourned for administrative reasons.

Dossor, of Kirton, near Felixstowe, abused two males, who were aged between 13 and 17, during assaults dating back 20 years, when he was based at St Mary’s Church in Hadleigh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Retired Suffolk priest jailed for sexual abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

A retired Anglican priest who sexually abused teenage boys has been jailed. Father John Haley Dossor, pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault relating to two boys aged as young as 13.

Norwich Crown Court also heard that Dossor accepted he had abused a third boy between 15 and 20 times, although he was not charged with these attacks.

The offences happened when the 71-year-old, of Kirton, near Felixstowe, Suffolk, was working at St Mary's Church in Hadleigh in the early 1990s.

Jailing Dossor for one year and 10 months, Judge Mark Lucraft said: "You sexually abused these teenage boys who were committed to your care for recreation and education.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Abuse allegations involve priest linked to Parramatta diocese

AUSTRALIA
Hills News

A report into the Catholic Church’s management of sexual abuse allegations made against a former priest who was connected to the Parramatta and Armidale diocese has been handed to NSW Police.

The church commissioned the report by Anthony Whitlam QC after allegations were made that information about the priest, known as Father F, was not acted on.

The report deals with Father F’s sacking from the ministry in 2005 and what happened during a meeting between Father F and senior Catholic figures in 1992.

The Armidale diocese has denied Father F made admissions when he met Sydney priests Father Lucas and Monsignor Usher Sydney in 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Call for Gold Card to help sex victims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Pia Akerman
From:The Australian
December 17, 2012

A SURVIVOR of child sexual abuse has called for the Catholic Church to embrace a new style of compensating victims by paying for their medical treatment, in a scheme similar to the war veterans' Gold Card.

Peter Blenkiron, who was 11 years old when he was abused by a priest at school in Ballarat, has put forward the idea as he prepares to give evidence next year to the Victorian government's inquiry into how organisations, including the church, have dealt with abuse claims against them.

"The church has an ethical responsibility to keep these people alive," Mr Blenkiron said. "The Australian taxpayers should not bear this cost."

The "church-related injuries", or CRI card, as Mr Blenkiron calls it, would help ensure victims receive psychological support to assist their healing and cut the high number of suicides related to child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Abuse victims face litany of problems, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

A Victorian parliamentary inquiry has been told victims of child sexual abuse face a litany of difficulties reporting and settling their complaints.

The Care Leavers Australia Network told the child sexual inquiry that churches and institutions have confusing processes for dealing with complaints.

It says victims are deliberately isolated and that redress schemes are a "hopscotch" of secretive arrangements.

Spokesman Frank Golding told the inquiry it is also difficult for victims to access documentation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Prison better than homes: abused boys

AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

By Barney Zwartz
Dec. 17, 2012

Boys from Victorian orphanages who later ended in up prison said that was not nearly as bad as the boys' homes, the state inquiry into how the churches handled sex abuse heard on Monday.

It was another litany of horror at the inquiry as the Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) gave evidence of repeated and systematic rapes over years, physical and psychological abuse amounting to torture, and a callous indifference by police and authorities, whether church or state.

Leonie Sheedy, chief executive of CLAN – which represents people raised in homes run by the state, churches and charities – told the inquiry that in a sample she took of 18 years 1352 children absconded from religious and non-government homes and 1877 fled state institutions. ...

Right up to the present, institutions were unco-operative or even, as with the Salvation Army in Victoria, overtly hostile, usually telling victims records had been lost, Mr Golding said. This not only reduced the chances of legal action but also finding and reuniting people with lost family members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

December 16, 2012

Enfield Native, Known As A Preacher, Accused Of Rape

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By CHRISTINE DEMPSEY, cdempsey@courant.com The Hartford Courant
December 13, 2012

ENFIELD—

A town native accused of raping an acquaintance was arraigned Thursday in Superior Court.

William Baskerville, 53, appeared before Judge Howard Scheinblum, who bail at the $20,000 set by another judge. Baskerville is scheduled to return to court Jan. 3.

Suffield officers arrested Baskerville at his job at a Willimantic taxi company Wednesday and charged him with first-degree sexual assault and first-degree unlawful restraint, police said. He also has worked as a laborer for the town of Suffield, and he has said he was a reverend. It's not clear if he has been preaching recently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Retired Sussex vicar charged with sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

Sunday 16th December 2012

A retired priest has appeared in court charged with sexually abusing boys.

Robert Coles, of Upperton Road in Eastbourne, appeared at Chichester Crown Court yesterday charged with sexual offences against three teenage boys in Chichester and other locations in Sussex between the 1970s and early 1990s.

The 71-year-old pleaded not guilty to three offences of buggery on one of the boys then aged between 15 and 16 at a location in Chichester between 1982 and 1984.

He will stand trial on June 10 and continues to be on court bail.The Crown Prosecution Service will also decide in January whether Coles will face further offences of indecent assault which he has also pleaded not guilty to.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Ex-Catholic brother to reveal if he'll fight extradition

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A former Lake Macquarie Catholic brother accused of raping dozens of boys is today expected to reveal if he will fight plans to extradite him from New Zealand.

Hunter region detectives have spent more than a year investigating allegations relating to the Kendall Grange boys home at Morisset south of Newcastle.

It was run by the St John of God order and police allege former Brother Bernard McGrath abused 35 boys while working there.

McGrath, who has been living in Christchurch, New Zealand, is currently facing 252 child sex charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Extradition order to be fought

NEW ZEALAND
Radio New Zealand

A former Catholic brother and convicted sex offender is to fight an extradition order to Australia where he is facing 252 charges of sexually abusing boys.

Bernard McGrath has already served time in prison in New Zealand for abusing boys in Christchurch.

The former St John of God brother appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Monday morning, where he was remanded on bail and ordered to appear again on 28 January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Former priest to fight extradition on sex charges

NEW ZEALAND/AUSTRALIA
Stuff

DAVID CLARKSON

Nearly three weeks after his return to New Zealand, a former Catholic brother and convicted sex offender has decided he will fight extradition to Australia on 252 fresh charges.

Bernard Kevin McGrath, a former priest at Marylands School in Christchurch, has already served prison time in New Zealand for offending against boys.

He was in Sri Lanka last month when the Australian police laid charges alleging he has repeatedly raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese over several decades.

He returned voluntarily to New Zealand and was arrested the next day on the Australian charges. When he made his court appearance on December 3, bail was granted for him to live with his sister in Christchurch while he considers what to do about the extradition bid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg Reports Fake Twitter Account

NEW YORK
Examiner

December 16, 2012
By: Vicki Polin

Since the conviction of Nechemya Weberman, the harassment against Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, who is an outspoken advocate for chasidic survivors of child molestation living within the Satmar community.

Last week it was reported that Meilech Schnitzler allegedly threw bleach in the face of Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg hoping to blind him. This week harassment against Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg and chasidic survivors of sex crimes has continued onto Twitter.

It has been known that for some time an unknown individual has been impersonating Rabbi Rosenberg on Twitter. This individual has been sending out tweets -- many similar to what Nuchem Rosenberg would send. At first Rabbi Rosenberg thought nothing to be concerned about, yet since the Weberman conviction things have changed.

The individual who has been using this Twitter facade, has been counting on and has unsuspecting individuals to privately message them, with details of various alleged sex crimes. Individuals who contacted this assailant, have been thinking they have been in touch with Rabbi Rosenberg, which they have not. Instead what has been occurring is that these private communications, which included confidential information are being targeted by bullies from the Satmar community. Unsuspecting survivors or sex crimes and their family members are being harassed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Alleged Yeshiva Abuser Quits as Accusations Mount

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger and Nathan Jeffay

Published December 16, 2012.

Rabbi George Finkelstein has resigned his position at the Great Jerusalem Synagogue after the Forward reported that he had sexually abused students at Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Manhattan during the 1970s and ‘80s.

“He sent us an email saying he’s resigning because he does not want to expose the Great Synagogue to embarrassment,” Zalli Jaffe, the synagogue’s vice president, said in an interview. Finkelstein had served as the institution’s executive director since 2001; last month, he began serving as its ritual director.

Jaffe said that the resignation was received on Thursday, “immediately following the publication” of the Forward’s investigation. The correspondence came from France, where Finkelstein is currently vacationing.

Around the same time as Finkelstein resigned, senior staff of the Orthodox Union in America and Jerusalem held a teleconference regarding the position of the other Y.U. high school staff member investigated by the Forward, Rabbi Macy Gordon. They decided to impose a “leave of absence” on Gordon’s teaching duties at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem, where he gives a weekly class on the laws of the Sabbath, Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, OU executive vice president emeritus, told the Forward on December 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Portland diocese: Madawaska clergy person sexually abused boy

MAINE
WMTW

PORTLAND, Maine —
An investigation by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has substantiated an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor brought against a Catholic brother who served at an Aroostook County parish in the early 1970s.

In a statement issued Saturday morning, the diocese said evidence was found to back up a claim by a Maine man who said Brother Paul L. Gauvin , now 73, sexually abused him in the early 1970s when he was an altar server at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madawaska. Gauvin was the director of religious education at the parish at the time, according to Dave Guthro, a spokesman for the diocese.

Guthro said the man contacted officials at Sacred Heart Parish in Bloomfield, CT earlier this year and told them that Gauvin, the parish's director of liturgy, had molested him over a two year period when the man was 11 and 12 years old.

Before his assignment at St. Thomas Aquinas, Gauvin worked as an English teacher at Madawaska High School. The high school employed Brothers of the Sacred Heart as teachers at the time, according to Guthro. The religious order left Maine in 1994, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Diocese: Claim against former Maine priest is true

MAINE
Maine Sunday Telegram

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland says a claim of sexual abuse of a minor against a former director of religious education in Madawaska has been substantiated.

A diocesan investigation resulted in the finding against Brother Paul Gauvin, former director of religious education at St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

Earlier this year, a Maine man contacted Sacred Heart Parish in Bloomfield, Conn., and told an administrator that Gauvin, 73, director of liturgy at the parish, sexually abused him in the early 1970s while Gauvin was in Madawaska. The victim was between the ages of 11 and 12 when the abuse occurred.

Gauvin has been removed from his position at Sacred Heart Parish, and he will have no contact with minors. Gauvin is under the supervision of a regional religious superior for the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Barred volunteer's lawsuit claims defamation by Catholic Diocese

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By Elizabeth Campbell
liz@star-telegram.com

Joseph Jordan spent more than 20 years volunteering to chaperone children on ski trips and pilgrimages to see the pope whenever he visited the United States.

He also taught a course on child safety because of the numerous incidents of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Church.

So Jordan was shocked when he was summoned to the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese offices July 27 and told that he was no longer allowed to volunteer in any capacity because of accusations of "boundary violations" involving youth and young adults. Jordan was also told that he could no longer participate in Knights of Columbus activities.

"This ban is diocesan wide and includes not showing up or participating in any youth or young people's events," wrote Vicar General Stephen Berg. Letters outlining Jordan's ban from volunteering were distributed throughout the diocese, which serves 710,000 Catholics in 28 counties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

December 15, 2012

Presidential Protection of Children ....

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Presidential Protection of Children From Violence After Newton, Conn. School Massacre, by Jerry Slevin, retired NYC lawyer.

Who is not moved by the appearance of President Obama in tears before a worldwide TV audience as he tried to address the latest horror of a violent and senseless attack on defenseless children at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school? The world’s most powerful man, and a devoted father of two young daughters, almost powerless, it appears, to protect children from recurring violence. We are all moved to tears over this incomprehensible outrage.

The demands for tighter gun controls are already being raised, as they should be. While Connecticut already has some tight gun restrictions, other states in the USA don’t. So plugging a few holes in a leaking national gun bucket will unlikely deter much gun distribution. And given the unpredictable evil latent in some, one wonders almost despairingly whether this periodic horror of school massacres can be curtailed.

Of course it can be curtailed! It may be impossible to protect children always from violence, but other modern nations have adopted sensible national gun restrictions that have broadly protected children, certainly when compared to the shameful record in the USA. President Obama faces strong opposition to sensible gun restrictions from a gun lobby in Congress, but he must keep pressing to end this gun lunacy. And all in the US must support every effort to strike the right balance between the safety of innocents, especially children, and the rights of responsible gun owners

Many innocent children in the USA sadly also face another form of violence, which often alters their lives negatively and permanently, namely sexual violence. President Obama can and should act decisively here now. He has recently been asked in a White House petition, by a brave woman who lost her brother to sexual abuse, to set up a special national commission to investigate and identify responses to the often hidden epidemic of sexual assaults on children in organizational settings, such as churches, schools and youth groups.

CLICK ON here to read the brief White House petition: http://wh.gov/5aAQ

The number of child victims of sexual assaults far exceeds the number of child victims of gun assaults. The sexual assaults occur both in homes and in organizational settings, like churches, schools and youth groups. The home assaults are usually addressed effectively by state criminal law proceedings. The organizational assaults, often hidden and protected by leaders of powerful groups like some bishops and national officers, are not being addressed effectively generally by states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Offices raided; priest wonders why

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By Brendan J. Lyons

Published 11:49 pm, Friday, December 14, 2012

ALBANY — Father Peter Young, an Albany priest who heads a broad network of nonprofit support services for former convicts and addicts, said law enforcement raids of his offices this week has unsettled his organization and he's uncertain why it was necessary.

"I don't know where it's going to go," said Young, 82, in his first public comments since Wednesday's raid by a task force of federal and state investigators.

The raids took place at the Schenectady headquarters of The Altamont Program, and at two of the organization's offices in Menands and Albany. State attorney general's investigators, accompanied by FBI agents, interviewed employees while they seized computers and a trove of financial records.

"It scared our staff half to death because many are on parole," Young said. "They were sort of put in a room and couldn't move. Everyone's computer went. There was no dialogue and we didn't know what was going on."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Accused priest to take the stand

CANADA
Times Colonist

Jeff Bell , Times Colonist December 15, 2012

Father Phil Jacobs is scheduled to take the stand next week as his trial continues on charges of sexual assault, sexual interference with a person under 14 and sexual touching.

The charges stem from incidents involving three youths that allegedly occurred between September 1996 and June 2001. The trial began Monday in B.C. Supreme Court.

Defence lawyer Chris Considine said Jacobs and at least two other people are likely to testify for the defence from Monday to Wednesday.

Jacobs, 63, was parish priest at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church from 1997 to 2002, a post he left when it became known that he had been dismissed from a Columbus, Ohio, church a number of years before over allegations of inappropriate conduct with teenage boys. No criminal charges or civil suits resulted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

'White witches' who conducted 'horrifying' ritualistic sex abuse ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

'White witches' who conducted 'horrifying' ritualistic sex abuse on children as young as three in Cornish coven jailed for 32 years

By Hugo Gye

Two pagans were sentenced to more than a decade in prison today after being found guilty of abusing children in bizarre sex rituals as part of a witches' coven.

Peter Petrauske and Jack Kemp were said to have worn ceremonial robes and pagan paraphernalia while they abused young girls in Cornwall during the 1970s.

Police believe one of their victims may have been as young as three when the abuse started.

The judge described the victims' experiences as 'nothing less than harrowing' as he condemned their 'utterly horrifying' crimes, sentencing Petrauske to 18 years in prison and Kemp to 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Jack Kemp and Peter Petrauske jailed for 'ritualistic' sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Two men have been jailed for carrying out "ritualistic" sex abuse of girls as part of a witches' coven.

Peter Petrauske, 72, and Jack Kemp, 69, both of Falmouth, Cornwall, had denied multiple sexual assaults involving children.

Truro Crown Court heard the victims could have been as young as three-years-old.

Petrauske was jailed for 18 years and Kemp for 14 years for the abuse which dated back to the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Child sex rituals of pagan paedos

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

By JAMES BEAL

TWO white witch perverts were jailed for a total of 32 years yesterday for horrific child sex abuse.

Evil Peter Petrauske and Jack Kemp belonged to a paedo ring which preyed on girls under the guise of pagan rituals.

From the 1970s until 2006 the gang plied terrified victims with drink before making them strip off and dance. The girls, aged from three to 15, were often tied up and blindfolded before being abused at weird robed ceremonies.

One had a dagger drawn across her body and another was threatened with burning.

Caging Petrauske and Kemp, now aged 72 and 69, a judge said their offences were “truly horrific”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

'Ritualistic' sex abuse pair jailed

UNITED KINGDOM
Herald Scotland

Two men accused of being part of a paedophile ring have been given lengthy jail sentences for their part in "ritualistic, sickening" sex abuse of young girls.

Jack Kemp and Peter Petrauske spent years tormenting their female victims, one said to be as young as three. Both men had denied any involvement in the abuse, claiming they were victims of a witch hunt or conspiracy.

But a jury at Truro Crown Court dismissed their protestations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Sex, Lies and Rabbinical Red-Tape

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Ari Weisbrot

My childhood Rabbi stands accused of sexual abuse. As fun as that may sound, in the two hours since the news broke, it has spread like wildfire over the internet. Phone lines are blowing up. I heard about it while in court, so it took a few hours for me to actually read the story. And, here it is: over a 40 year career in education, and 20 years as a pulpit Rabbi, one former student accuses the Rabbi of checking out his "physical development" during a one-time dorm-room visit over 30 years ago, and then sodomizing him with a toothbrush.

If guilty of the accusations, he should be jailed for the rest of his life, where he can look forward to many years of ironic retribution. I am not soft on this issue. I was outspoken ten years ago against a second Rabbi who physically and sexually abused scores of children over his career. There was no doubt of his guilt. I witnessed it first-hand, and many of my friends were victims. He spent 7 years in jail for his crimes but my calls for a more appropriate punishment were ignored. After all, he is still very much alive and enjoying retirement in Florida.

But, there is one thing I have learned in my years as a prosecutor, lawyer, and advocate. Sexual predators do not commit just one single crime in 40 years. Nor, do they typically victimize a vulnerable child on only one occasion. I do not know if the exposure of this story will call forth more victims, more evidence, and more proof. Frankly, I do not know if the Rabbi is innocent or guilty. He never abused me or, to my knowledge, any of the many children in our community. But, predators never seemed particularly attracted to me. I'm sure it was nothing personal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

'Pagans' Jack Kemp and Peter Petrauske Jailed For Ritualistic Sex Child Sex Abuse In Cornish Sect

UNITED KINGDOM
Huffington Post

Two men accused of being part of a paedophile ring involving murdered "witch" Peter Solheim have been given lengthy jail sentences for their part in "ritualistic, sickening" sex abuse of young girls.

Jack Kemp and Peter Petrauske spent years tormenting their female victims, one said to be as young as three.

Both men had denied any involvement in the abuse, claiming they were victims of a witch hunt or conspiracy.

But a jury at Truro Crown Court dismissed their protestations, convicting the pair of a string of offences dating back to the 1970s, as well as finding Kemp guilty of several more recent sexual assaults unconnected to Petrauske.

Jailing Kemp for 14 years and Petrauske for 18, Judge Graham Cottle told them: "The offences range from the extremely serious to the truly horrifying.

"You are two of the surviving members of a paedophile ring, together with others whose names have repeated frequently in this trial who were members of a ring that operated in Falmouth (Cornwall) in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Ex-priest linked to abuse case

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

By Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun
December 14, 2012

A priest removed from his duties in Vancouver over accusations of sexual abuse in the 1980s was terminated from a New York diocese for "problems of a similar nature" in 2001.

The priest, Lawrence Dean Cooper, also known as Damian Cooper, and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Vancouver were named in a civil suit filed in B.C. Supreme Court Thursday by a B.C. woman.

Kathleen Taylor said in her suit that she first met Cooper in 1985 as a 15-year-old, and a relationship developed that led to him taking her to motels for sex by the time she was 17. She said she broke off the relationship in 1992, and in 1994 told the church about the abuse.

The Vancouver archdiocese does not dispute the general claims, and said it took "every necessary step" to remove the priest from ministry and to ensure when he moved, the jurisdiction he went to knew about his background.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Lancaster County associate pastor charged with sexually soliciting 15-year-old

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Daily Record/Sunday News

Updated: 12/14/2012

York, PA -
A Lancaster County man who the state attorney general says is an associate pastor is charged with solicitation to commit sexual abuse of children and other related charges.

The attorney general's office did not identify the church.

The AG, in a news release, said parents approached the pastor of the church to say that Clarence Tyrone Taylor, 26, of the 400 block of Manor Street in Columbia, had made suggestive comments to several young people. The pastor went to Lancaster County detectives, who forwarded the case to the AG's office.

The attorney general alleges that Taylor used Facebook and text messages to tell a 15-year-old boy that he was "cute" and that they should spend more time together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Pa. Pastor Charged With Soliciting Boy for Sex

PENNSYLVANIA
NBC 10

An associate pastor from Lancaster County is accused of using Facebook and text messages to sexually solicit a 15-year old boy, along with sending a nude photo to the teen.

Attorney General Linda Kelly says 26-year-old Clarence Tyrone Taylor of Columbia was taken into custody Thursday and charged with felony solicitation to commit sexual abuse of children and related counts.

Prosecutors say Taylor used Facebook to contact one of the teens and told him he was “cute,” commented on his appearance and suggested they spend more time together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Diocesan investigation ...

MAINE
St. John Valley Times

Diocesan investigation finds complaint against former Religious Education director, in Madawaska, substantiated

ONLINE FIRST: MADAWASKA, Maine - A diocesan investigation has determined that a claim of sexual abuse of a minor against a former Director of Religious Education at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Madawaska is substantiated, according to a press release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

Released at 4:41 p.m., the press release is as follows:

"Earlier this year, a Maine man contacted Sacred Heart Parish in Bloomfield, Conn. and told an administrator that Brother Paul L. Gauvin, the Director of Liturgy at the parish, sexually abused him in the early 1970s while Gauvin was serving as the Director of Religious Education at St. Thomas Aquinas in Madawaska.

The victim was between the ages of 11 and 12 when the abuse occurred. Prior to working at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Gauvin was an English teacher at Madawaska High School, a public school where the Brothers of the Sacred Heart taught. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart left Maine in 1994.

Immediately after the victim’s allegation, Gauvin, who is currently 73, was removed from his position as Director of Liturgy at Sacred Heart Parish. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart have been informed of the results of the investigation and are addressing the matter with Gauvin, who is under the supervision of a provincial and will have no contact with minors. A provincial is a regional religious superior for the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Abuse allegation against brother who worked at Madawaska church substantiated

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

Posted Dec. 14, 2012

PORTLAND, Maine — An allegation of sexual abuse by a former director of religious education at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Madawaska has been substantiated, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced Friday.

Brother Paul L. Gauvin, a member of the Brothers of Sacred Heart, was working at the parish in the early 1970s when the abuse occurred, according to a press release issued by the diocese. The victim was between 11 and 12 then.

Prior to working at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Gauvin was an English teacher at Madawaska High School, a public school where the Brothers of the Sacred Heart taught for six years in the late 1960s and early ’70s, the diocese said.

Dave Guthro, spokesman for the diocese, said Friday that Gauvin spent his entire time in Maine in Madawaska. Information about exactly when Gauvin left Maine and where he went was not available late Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Vancouver archdiocese says it informed N.Y. diocese of priest’s history of sex abuse allegations

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

By Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun December 14, 2012

A priest removed from his duties in Vancouver over accusations of sexual abuse in the 1980s was terminated from a New York diocese for “problems of a similar nature” in 2001.

The priest, Lawrence Dean Cooper, also known as Damian Cooper, and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Vancouver were named in a civil suit filed in B.C. Supreme Court Thursday by a B.C. woman.

Kathleen Taylor said in her suit that she first met Cooper in 1985 as a 15-year-old, and a relationship developed that led to him taking her to motels for sex by the time she was 17. She said she broke off the relationship in 1992, and in 1994 told the church about the abuse.

The Vancouver archdiocese does not dispute the general claims, and said it took “every necessary step” to remove the priest from ministry and to ensure when he moved, the jurisdiction he went to knew about his background.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

December 14, 2012

Micah Moore indicted for murder in Deaton death

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

A grand jury today indicted Micah Moore for first-degree murder in the death of Bethany Ann Deaton, the wife of his spiritual leader.

The indictment supersedes a previous charge of murder filed by the Jackson County prosecutor’s office.

Moore, 23, is currently free on a $250,000 cash bond.

According to court documents, Moore allegedly told a detective 10 days after Deaton’s body was found Oct. 30 inside a van at Longview Lake that he had killed her. The death had up to then been considered a suicide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Church volunteer accused of molesting 2 Turlock youths

CALIFORNIA
News 10

Written by
C. Johnson

TURLOCK, CA - An observant priest at a Turlock church was suspicious of a man giving undue attention to two boys from his church and that has led to the arrest of the man for molestation, say police.

Officer Mayra Lewis with the Turlock Police Department said the two alleged victims told the priest that suspect Eduardo Sanchez Arellano, 34, had sexually abused them.

One of the victims spoke to police about the alleged molestation and Arellano was arrested on Dec. 6 on suspicion of sodomy, oral copulation, continual sexual abuse and other child molestation-related charges, Lewis said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Former friend testifies against accused former priest

CANADA
Sooke News Mirror

By Edward Hill - Saanich News
Published: December 14, 2012

A one-time friend of Phillip Jacobs testified on Thursday that the former Saanich priest touched him inappropriately a number of times during tutoring sessions.

The witness, now a young man and one of three complainants against Jacobs, appeared in Victoria Supreme Court and described incidents that at first seemed an odd but absent-minded wandering of a priest’s hand, but deemed later in life as inappropriate sexual touching.

Jacobs, 63, is a former parish priest of St. Joseph the Worker church on Burnside Road West, which has an associated Catholic elementary school on the grounds.

Jacobs is charged with sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference of a person under 14 and touching a young person for a sexual purpose. The charges involve three minors under the age of 14, with alleged incidents spanning September 1996 to June 2001, all within Saanich. Jacobs was arrested Aug. 4, 2010 and released on bail

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Italian priest quits during mass

ITALY
Sky News

A Sicilian priest has stunned his congregation by announcing during a mass he's set to become a father and is quitting to marry his partner.

'It's my last mass. I am in love with a woman and in a few months I will be a father,' Vito Lombardo, 33, told his flock in the city of Trapani in northwestern Sicily, local newspapers said on Friday.

The relationship had been going on for a while but the priest waited until his partner was five months pregnant before announcing his departure, the reports said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Padre vice-reitor de seminário acusado de abusos

PORTUGAL
DN

A Polícia Judiciária (PJ) deteve hoje o vice-reitor do seminário do Fundão por suspeita de abuso de menores, disse à agência Lusa fonte ligada à instituição.

O responsável pelo seminário, um padre de 37 anos, é o presumível autor de "vários crimes de abuso sexual de crianças e de menores dependentes sobre os quais detinha funções de educação e proteção", refere a PJ em comunicado.

O vice-reitor foi detido "em cumprimento de mandado de busca e detenção emitido pelas autoridades judiciárias competentes", acrescenta o documento.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Diocese vai colaborar com investigação a padre

PORTUGAL
DN

A Diocese da Guarda garantiu hoje "total colaboração" à investigação no Seminário Menor do Fundão que levou à detenção do vice-reitor por suspeita de abuso de menores.

O responsável pelo seminário, um padre de 37 anos, é o presumível autor de "vários crimes de abuso sexual de crianças e de menores dependentes sobre os quais detinha funções de educação e proteção", segundo indicou a PJ em comunicado

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

WEEK’S WRAP

MISSOURI
Berger's Beat

December 14, 2012 11:59 am | Author: Jerry Berger
That was *Patrick Noaker, *a former St. Louis public defender and SLU Law School grad, arguing against damage caps before the Indiana Supreme Court yesterday. Noaker, who represented dozens of local clergy sex abuse victims, has split from his long-time partner and launched his own firm in the Twin Cities. . .If you can’t get a meeting with Sen. *Claire McCaskill , *you might bump into her if you make reservations to fly from Reagan airport to Lambert any Thursday at 6:30 p.m., non-stop on Southwest. Begun just weeks ago, that particular flight has become one of her favorites. Last night, Mo. Attorney Gen. *Chris Koster *was also on that flight. .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Australia establishes new anti-paedophile commission with bishops' support

AUSTRALIA
Vatican Insider

The commission will be composed of laymen, jurists, psychologists and clerics and will work alongside the national inquiry launched to address the issue

Vatican Insider staff
Rome

A former Supreme Court judge and former President of the anti-corruption Commission will be chairing a special 10 member committee made up of bishops and lay experts such as jurists and psychologists. The new body will manage relations with Australia’s national inquiry commission which looks into how institutions have dealt with reported paedophilia cases.

The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Council - as the anti-corruption commission is called – will be headed by former judge Barry O’Keefe. This is according to a statement issued by the Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, President of the Australian Episcopal Conference which met in Sydney at the end of November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

IN - Attorneys defend judgement against priest, SNAP responds

INDIANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on December 13, 2012

Attorneys in Indiana are defending a judgement won by a victim of sex abuse by a catholic priest.

Sadly, it often takes severe financial penalties to deter recklessness callousness and deceit, especially in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. We applaud Doe for exposing wrongdoing and prodding Catholic officials to stop protecting predators and start protecting kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

PA - Pastor arrested for stalking, SNAP responds

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on December 13, 2012

We are grateful to the police for apprehending Pastor Aron Andronie. Stalking is a serious crime and stalkers often escalate to more violent behavior, so we are glad that this dangerous man is off the street.

We hope that any other members of his congregation who saw or suspected any odd behavior will come forward and make a report to the police. Given how brazen Pastor Andronie was in his stalking and harassment, we suspect that there are other women in his congregation who may have suffered similar crimes. Having a friend or fellow parishioner may be the difference between empowering them or letting them suffer in silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

CAN - SNAP applauds lawsuit filed against Diocese of Vancouver

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on December 14, 2012

An Arizona woman has filed a lawsuit against a priest from the Diocese of Vancouver for sexual abuse that occurred in the 1980’s.

We applaud Kathleen Taylor for coming forward with her claims. By going public, she is doing her part to keep kids in Vancouver safe. We hope that her story will encourage others who saw, suspected, or suffered child sex crimes to come forward and make a report to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

Man linked to sex abuse of boy arrested in Turlock

CALIFORNIA
KCRA

The Turlock Police Department said a 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of continued sexual abuse of a boy and another victim.

The abuse was first reported when a priest became concerned over increased attention Arellano was giving to a young member of a church.

Police said the suspect, identified as Eduardo Sanchez Arellano, faces multiple charges, including oral copulation, sodomy and other child molestation counts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Orthodox Child Abuse

NEW YORK
Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk
Dec 14, 2012

On Monday, the Rabbinical Council of America applauded the conviction of a leader of the Satmar Hasidic sect for sexually molesting an adolescent girl. In doing so, the umbrella organization of mainline "Modern Orthodox" rabbis called attention to the practice of hushing up such acts.

For many years the RCA has condemned the efforts of many parts of the Jewish community to cover up or ignore allegations of abuse, viewing these efforts as against Jewish law, illegal, and irresponsible to the welfare of victims and the greater community.

Yesterday, the RCA had the tougher task of addressing a coverup of sexual abuse at its flagship institution, Yeshiva University. An investigation by the Jewish Forward revealed that students at Yeshiva's high school for boys were abused by two senior staff members in the late 1970s and early 1980s. When allegations were brought to the attention of Yeshiva's leaders--including, most notably, current chancellor Norman Lamm--the men were not reported to the authorities but simply permitted to resign and find jobs elsewhere.

“If it was an open-and-shut case, I just let [the staff member] go quietly," Lamm told the Forward. "It was not our intention or position to destroy a person without further inquiry.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Retired Eastbourne priest pleads not guilty over sex offence charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Eastbourne Herald

Published on Friday 14 December 2012

A retired Church of England priest from Eastbourne has been committed for Crown Court trial charged with sexual offences against three teenage boys.

Robert Coles, 71, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne, appeared at Chichester Crown Court today charged with sexual offences against the boys in West Sussex and elsewhere during the late 1970s and early 1990s.

He pleaded not guilty to three offences of buggery on one of the boys then aged between 15 and 16 at a location in Chichester between 1982 and 1984, and was committed for trial at a Crown Court in Sussex yet to be notified on June 10, 2013. He continues to be on court bail.

The prosecution will consider by the end of January whether to seek trial on four alleged offences of indecent assault - two against the victim of buggery and one each against two other victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Ex-priest in court charged with sexual offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Chichester Observer

Published on Friday 14 December 2012

A RETIRED priest appeared in Chichester Crown Court today (December 14), charged with sexual offences against three teenage boys.

Robert Coles, 71, of Upperton Road, in Eastbourne, is charged with sexual offences against three teenage boys in West Sussex and elsewhere in the late 1970s and early 1990s.

He pleaded not guilty to three serious sexual offences on one of the boys then aged between 15 and 16 at a location in Chichester between 1982 and 1984, and was committed for trial at a crown court in Sussex yet to be notified, on June 10, 2013. He continues to be on court bail.

The prosecution is to consider by the end of January whether also to seek trial on four alleged offences of indecent assault - two against the victim referred to above, and one each against two other victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Falmouth 'witches' convicted of child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
The Packet

Two men from Falmouth have been convicted of child abuse following a trial involving paganism and witchcraft.

Peter Petrauske, 72, who at the time of his arrest last December was living at The Beacon, was convicted unanimously by a jury at Truro Crown Court of rape between January 1988 and January 1991 and of aiding and abetting attempted rape by person unknown between November 1982 and November 1985.

He was acquitted of one charge of indecent assault between January 1988 and January 1991.

Sixty-nine-year-old Jack Kemp, of Grenville Road, was convicted unanimously of one indecent assault between November 1982 and November 1984.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

GUILTY: Peter Petrauske and Jack Kemp found guilty of 'witches coven' sexual offences

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Cornwall

Two Falmouth penionsers on trial for sexual assaults against youngsters as part of a witches coven have been convicted of some of the charges.

Peter Petrauske, 72, was unanimously convicted of rape between January 1988 and 1991 and of aiding and abetting rape by an unknown person between 1982 and 1985.

He was acquitted of one charge of indecent assault between January 1988 and 1991.

Jack Kemp, 69, was found guilty of an indecent assault between 1982 and 1984, and by jury majority of 10-2 of seven offences of indecent assault or sexual activity with a child between 2001 and 2005.

He was also convicted unanimously of sexual activity with a child between 2006 and 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Jack Kemp and Peter Petrauske guilty of 'ritualistic' abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Two men have been convicted of carrying out "ritualistic" sex abuse of girls as part of a witches' coven.

Jack Kemp, 69, and Peter Petrauske, 72, both of Falmouth, Cornwall, had denied multiple sexual assaults involving children aged five to 14.

Petrauske was convicted of one count of rape, one count of aiding and abetting an attempt to rape and one count of indecent assault.

Kemp was found guilty of indecent assault and indecency with a child.

He was found not guilty of four other offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Cornish 'white witches' guilty of ritual sex abuse on girls

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Steven Morris
guardian.co.uk, Friday 14 December 2012

Two members of a Cornish white witch coven have been convicted of carrying out ritualistic sex abuse on young girls.

Peter Petrauske, 72, who claimed to be a high priest, and Jack Kemp, 69, donned robes and carried pagan artefacts when they attended ceremonies during which children were forced to strip and then abused. Police believe children as young as three may have been involved.

The abuse only emerged after Kemp was arrested on an unrelated charge, prompting victims of past offences to come forward.

The pair showed little emotion as they were led from the dock at Truro crown court on Friday. Petrauske, who described himself as the high priest of a white witches' coven in St Ives, was convicted of one count of rape, one count of aiding and abetting an attempt to rape and one count of indecent assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Men guilty of witches’ coven sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Irish Independent

By Ryan Hooper

Friday December 14 2012

TWO men accused of carrying out sex abuse on children as part of a witches' coven have been convicted of several offences.

Peter Petrauske and Jack Kemp were said to have donned ceremonial robes and pagan paraphernalia before abusing young girls in Cornwall in England during the 1970s.

Police believe one of their victims may have been as young as three when the abuse started.

The pair, aged 72 and 69 respectively, showed little emotion as they were led from the dock at Truro Crown Court and into custody.

Petrauske, who described himself as the high priest of a white witches' coven in St Ives, Cornwall, was convicted of one count of rape, one count of aiding and abetting an attempt to rape, and one count of indecent assault, all by unanimous verdict.

Kemp was unanimously found guilty of indecent assault and indecency with a child, as well as seven other sexual offences by a majority verdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

'White witches' guilty...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

'White witches' guilty of ritualistic sex abuse on children as young as three in Cornish witches' coven

By Hugo Gye

Two pagans were today convicted of abusing children in bizarre sex rituals as part of a witches' coven.

Peter Petrauske and Jack Kemp were said to have worn ceremonial robes and pagan paraphernalia while they abused young girls in Cornwall during the 1970s.

Police believe one of their victims may have been as young as three when the abuse started.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

Bankruptcy judge tosses 2 damage claims against Milwaukee Archdiocese

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WSAU

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A bankruptcy judge has thrown out two damage claims from those saying they were molested by priests in the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese.

Judge Susan Kelley said one claim failed to prove that the church defrauded the victim – and the other victim had a reason to suspect fraud a number of years earlier, but did not act on it.

The 10 county Milwaukee Archdiocese filed bankruptcy almost two years ago because of the settlements it’s still facing in the priest sex abuse scandal. Over 570 people have claimed they were molested by Milwaukee area priests – and they’re the largest group of creditors, as they seek compensation for their ordeals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Nombran a ministro Muñoz para ver demanda contra Arzobispado

CHILE
Terra

La presidencia de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago informó que el ministro Juan Manuel Muñoz Pardo será el instructor de la medida prejudicial precautoria que interpusieron contra el Arzobispado de Santiago los tres querellantes contra el sacerdote Fernando Karadima.

El ministro Muñoz fue elegido por el Presidente Sebastian Piñera para integrar la Corte Suprema, luego de una quina propuesta por el mismo Pleno del máximo tribunal del país.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

Crimes and Convents

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Christopher Brauchlie

Get thee to a nunnery. -- Shakespeare's Hamlet

The Lord works in mysterious ways. So does the Catholic Church and it is probably as confusing for the nuns as it is for the casual observer. On the one hand, nuns are in bad odor in the Vatican and are being investigated by a bunch of men. On the other hand, the Vatican seems to view them as correctional institutions when such institutions are needed. Although the events described occurred some time ago, the conviction of Bishop Robert W. Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph on one misdemeanor count and the resulting schism in the diocese brings it to mind again.

In April the Vatican began cracking down on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an organization representing about 80 percent of the nuns in the United States. The Vatican's "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an organization comprising only men, said that LCWR has focused its efforts on serving the poor and disenfranchised, while remaining virtually silent on issues the church considers great societal evils: abortion and same-sex marriage." One of the leaders of the move to investigate the LCWR was Cardinal Bernard Law who had actually spent some time with one group of nuns known as the Sisters of Mercy of Alma following his resignation in disgrace as Archbishop of Boston.

Cardinal Law was Archbishop of Boston from 1984 to 2002 during which time many priests engaged in inappropriate conduct with children. The archbishop was aware of many instances of the conduct and said that when a priest was accused of a sexual offense it was his practice to consult with psychiatrists, clinicians and therapists in residential treatment centers to determine whether the priests accused of sexually abusing children should return to the pulpit. Reporting the criminal conduct of priests to the civil authorities was not something that occurred to Archbishop Law. In reporting on the sex abuse scandal the Massachusetts attorney general said that "the Archdiocese has shown an institutional reluctance to adequately address the problem and, in fact, made choices that allowed the abuse to continue." The Attorney General observed that since priests were not required to report sexual abuse until 2002 (when the law that required reporting was enacted), Cardinal Law had broken no laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Priest confesses to being a dad

ITALY
iafrica

Fri, 14 Dec 2012

A Sicilian priest stunned his congregation by announcing during a mass that he would soon be a father and was quitting to marry his partner, Italian media reported Friday.

"It's my last mass. I am in love with a woman and in a few months I will be a father," Vito Lombardo (33) told his flock in the city of Trapani in northwestern Sicily, local newspapers said.

The relationship had been going on for a while, but the priest waited until his partner was five months pregnant before announcing his departure, the reports said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Ex-student uneasy about priest’s touch

CANADA
Times Colonist

Louise Dickson , Times Colonist December 14, 2012

A third complainant testified Thursday at Father Phil Jacobs’ sexual offence trial, describing how the priest touched him during tutoring sessions on the couch in his living room.

Jacobs, 63, who was parish priest at St. Joseph the Worker in Saanich from 1997 to 2002, is charged with sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference with a person under 14 and sexual touching. The incidents are alleged to have occurred between September 1996 and June 30, 2001.

The young man, whose identity is protected by a court order, was involved in the parish and became good friends with the priest. He recalled going to movie nights at the rectory, where Jacobs horsed around and tickled him and other boys.

The witness also testified that he had no concerns when Jacobs became his science tutor in Grade 8 or 9. At first, they sat at the dining room table for the lessons. Then Jacobs suggested it would be more comfortable if they sat on the couch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Probe of priest's nonprofit explores state connection

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By Brendan J. Lyons

Published 7:59 pm, Thursday, December 13, 2012

TROY — Federal and state investigators are examining the circumstances under which a former state assemblyman from Brooklyn, William F. Boyland Sr., was put on the payroll of a sprawling nonprofit organization founded by Albany's Father Peter Young after Boyland, succeeded by his son, arranged a series of state grants for the organization.

The grants, called member items, totaled at least $1.2 million over four years beginning in 2006.

Details began to emerge Thursday about that and other allegations behind Wednesday's raid of the offices of the Altamont Program, the parent organization for Father Young's network of services. The wide-ranging investigation became public when the state attorney general's office and FBI used search warrants to seize records from three Capital Region offices used the Albany-based organization, which runs more than 100 facilities for homeless, former convicts and people with addiction problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

MA - A decade later, Cardinal Law is still the only official punished by the church

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on December 13, 2012

Catholic officials admit that more than 6,000 US priests are proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters. Yet no US bishop has ever been punished by the church hierarchy because of the abuse crisis – no matter how extensive, egregious or recent his wrongdoing may have been. None.

And only one US bishop has ever stepped down because of his role in covering up heinous child sex crimes.

Ten years ago, Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as the highest ranking Catholic official in the Boston archdiocese. More than 20 current and former US bishops have been accused of molesting kids. And nearly every bishop in recent years has been accused of - or proven to have – ignored, concealed, minimized or enabled clergy child sex crimes or cover ups.

Only Law, however, has resigned.

Still, for almost a decade, he remained an extraordinarily powerful figure, living and working in the literal and figurative power center of Catholicism. He was on six or eight important Vatican committees, including the one that recommended candidates for bishops across the globe. And he helped pick Pope Benedict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Donaghmore priest Fr Terrence Rafferty guilty of indecent assault

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

The former administrator of Newry Cathedral has been convicted of indecently assaulting a teenage girl.

Father Terrence Rafferty, who was the parish priest of Donaghmore, pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault on Monday.

The details of the case were only released on Thursday after a court ban protecting the priest's identity was lifted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Former Students Recall Alleged Sexual Abuse at Yeshiva High School

NEW YORK
New York Magazine

By Joe Coscarelli

A new investigation by the Jewish Daily Forward unearths upsetting sexual abuse allegations by former students at the Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Manhattan at the hands of two faculty members decades ago, as well as a disturbing lack of action on the part of the school. According to men who attended the 116-year-old institution in the late seventies and early eighties, former teacher Rabbi Macy Gordon and and former principal Rabbi George Finkelstein repeatedly engaged in inappropriate conduct with young boys, including wrestling with sexual undertones and, in one case, alleged sodomy with a toothbrush.

Current president Richard Joel told the Forward in a statement that the school is "looking with concern into the questions" raised by the article, but the school's leadership at the time of the alleged abuses had a far more accepting attitude of the charges. Norman Lamm, president of the school from 1976 to 2003 and now its chancellor, said although he knew about the allegations, police were never notified. "My question was not whether to report to police but to ask the person to leave the job," he said. "This was before things of this sort had attained a certain notoriety. There was a great deal of confusion."

The charges, and their bungled handling in the days before Penn State and abuse by the Catholic Church, mirror those that surfaced earlier this year at New York City's hallowed Horace Mann school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Yeshiva U. Apologizes Over Alleged Abuse

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger

Published December 13, 2012.

Yeshiva University President Richard Joel has issued a statement of apology in response to a Forward story describing how Y.U. failed to report claims of child abuse made against staff members during the 1970s and ‘80s. Joel’s statement, released this morning, offered victims who were allegedly abused by members of YU’s faculty and administration “my deepest, most profound apology.”

The Forward investigation into allegations that two staff members at a Manhattan boys high school run by Y.U. sexually abused students led to a startling admission by the university’s chancellor Rabbi Norman Lamm: The school dealt with allegations of “improper sexual activity” against staff members by quietly allowing them to leave and find jobs elsewhere.

For years, former students have asked Y.U. to investigate their claims that a former principal at Yeshiva University High School for Boys, in Manhattan, Rabbi George Finkelstein had repeatedly abused students in the all-male high school. Another former high school student said Y.U. covered up for a staff member, Rabbi Macy Gordon, who sodomized him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

RCA 'Deeply Troubled' by Yeshiva Allegations

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

[ Student Claims of Abuse Not Reported by Yeshiva U. ]

By Forward Staff

Published December 13, 2012.

The Rabbinical Council of America said it is “deeply troubled” over the allegations of sexual abuse at the Manhattan campus of the Yeshiva University’s High School for Boys that was revealed by the Forward.

The Modern Orthodox group said it was particularly disturbed by the allegations that occured at the flagship educational organization of the denomination, which it said “cannot be condoned or excused.”

“It is especially hard to confront improprieties which may have occurred in our own house, yet that is where the responsibility lies,” said Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, president of the RCA. ” We are confident that Yeshiva is equal to the task.”

The statement said the group “commends” Yeshiva President Richard M. Joel for his response to the allegations. It made no mention of Norman Lamm, the Yeshiva chancellor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Yeshiva University Investigates Past Abuse Charges

NEW YORK
WNYC

[with audio]

Thursday, December 13, 2012

By WNYC Newsroom

In recent months, allegations of sexual abuse by faculty or staff have emerged from Penn State to Horace Mann. And another local institution is dealing with these charges: Yeshiva University.

An investigation by the Jewish Daily Forward has uncovered allegations that two staff members at the Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Northern Manhattan, sexually abused students during the late 1970s and early ‘80s.

The report says several boys during this time period went to leaders of the school and reported the abuse, and the university kept the staff members on.

“And when they finally did get rid of [the staff members], they didn’t report them to the police. They just allowed them to quietly leave," Berger told WNYC’s Amy Eddings.

The school’s chancellor, Dr. Norman Lamm, who was President from 1976-2003, told Berger that he knew about some of the allegations and chose to deal with them privately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Statement from President Richard M. Joel in Response to Allegations of Past Abuse

NEW YORK
Yeshiva University

Dear Yeshiva University Community,

The safety and well-being of our students is Yeshiva University’s highest priority. The inappropriate behavior and abuse alleged by The Forward to have taken place in the past, and described in statements attributed by The Forward to Dr. Lamm, are reprehensible. The actions described represent heinous and inexcusable acts that are antithetical both to Torah values and to everything that Yeshiva University stands for. They have no place here, in our community, or anywhere at all. The thought that such behavior could have occurred at our boys’ high school, or anywhere at this institution, at any time in its past, is more than sufficient reason to express on behalf of the University, my deepest, most profound apology.

At this institution we continually review and strengthen policies and practices addressing the safety of all members of the Yeshiva family. We are vigilant and responsible, and always will be. While we cannot change the past, I can say with absolute certainty that Yeshiva University has implemented, and will continue to maintain and enforce the policies and procedures necessary to assure a safe environment. Such policies and procedures, established in consultation with outside experts, include:

•At each and every one of YU’s schools, including Yeshiva University High School for Boys, there is zero tolerance for abuse or sexual harassment of any sort, of students, faculty or staff. If, despite our best efforts, they should occur, procedures exist both to swiftly deal with the perpetrators and aid the victims. These policies are posted on our website and are communicated directly to all employees annually.

•Members of our own faculty and staff, at every level, undergo training designed to increase sensitivity to these issues, including mandatory training for new hires concerning sexual harassment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Yeshiva University president apologizes for '70s and '80s molest allegations

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

By Reuven Blau AND Rachel Monahan / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, December 13, 2012

THE PRESIDENT of Yeshiva University apologized Thursday over allegations two rabbis at the college’s high school campus abused boys in the late 1970s and early ’80s.

Yeshiva was repeatedly notified that a Talmud teacher, Rabbi Macy Gordon, and a former principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, abused students, alums of the High School for Boys told the Jewish newspaper the Forward.

University President Richard Joel stopped short of confirming the allegations but called the abuse described in published reports “heinous and inexcusable.”

“The thought that such behavior could have occurred at our boys’ high school, or anywhere at this institution, at any time in its past, is more than sufficient reason to express on behalf of the University, my deepest, most profound apology,” he wrote in a letter posted on the Yeshiva website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Student Claims of Abuse Not Reported by Yeshiva U.

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger
Edited By Jane Eisner and Larry Cohler-Esses

Published December 13, 2012, issue of December 21, 2012.

A Forward investigation into allegations that two staff members at Yeshiva University High School for Boys’ Manhattan campus sexually abused students during the late 1970s and early ’80s has led to a startling admission by the university’s chancellor: The school dealt with allegations of “improper sexual activity” against staff members by quietly allowing them to leave and find jobs elsewhere.

For years, former students have asked Y.U., the premier educational institution of Modern Orthodox Judaism, to investigate their claims that a former principal had repeatedly abused students in the all-male high school that is part of the university. Another former high school student said Y.U. covered up for a staff member who sodomized him.

Y.U. President Richard Joel said in a statement issued on December 3 that the school was “looking with concern into the questions” the Forward had raised.

But Norman Lamm, who was president of Y.U. from 1976 to 2003 and is now chancellor, indicated in an interview December 7 that he knew about some of the allegations and chose to deal with them privately. In one case, a suspected abuser of high school students was allowed to leave for a position as dean of a Florida school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Report of ’80s Sexual Abuse Rattles Yeshiva Campus

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By VIVIAN YEE

Published: December 13, 2012

A tall, imposing rabbi with a black goatee who served as assistant principal and principal during his 27 years at Yeshiva University High School for Boys, George B. Finkelstein was the face of authority to Mordechai Twersky, who graduated in 1981.

So when Rabbi Finkelstein asked Mr. Twersky to “hit him hard” during a meeting in his office in 1980, Mr. Twersky said in an interview on Thursday, he was mortified. When Mr. Twersky refused, the rabbi knocked him to the ground and sat on him, goading him to wrestle. He could feel the rabbi’s erection, Mr. Twersky, now 48, said.

Mr. Twersky’s account was published Thursday on the Web site of The Jewish Daily Forward, which also reported that another former student said that in the same year, when he was 16, the Talmud teacher, Rabbi Macy Gordon, visited him in his dormitory room. Rabbi Gordon inspected his genitalia, the student told The Forward. Then he sodomized him with a toothbrush.

Both rabbis have denied engaging in any inappropriate sexual behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Church of the End Times founder rejects plea deal

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

WORCESTER — A Church of the End Times founder charged with resisting arrest and violating a restraining order opted not take a sentence a judge was set to impose as part of a plea agreement in Central District Court yesterday.

Dennis H. Stanley, 36, who last known address is listed as 41 Murphy’s Way, Uxbridge, did not want to accept Judge Paul F. LoConto’s sentence of 90 days in jail for the resisting arrest charge. The sentence would have included one year of probation for violation of a restraining order charges.

Mr. Stanley, a founder of the Church of the End Times in Uxbridge, has been held without bail for more than 40 days since allegedly violating a restraining order filed by his wife, Beth Ellen Stanley, in October. Mr. Stanley was looking for some type of suspended sentence with probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

New Albany pastor charged in sodomy

LOUISVILLE (KY)
News and Tribune

By GARY POPP gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

LOUISVILLE — The pastor of at a New Albany church is in jail after being charged with multiple counts of sodomy on a child.

The Rev. Isrom Johnson, 32, pastor at Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church, 725 Linden Ave., was arrested by Louisville Metro Police about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 500 block of South Third St. He has been charged in a Jefferson County Circuit Court with three counts sodomy in the second degree. The offenses took place between March 2009 and March 2011, according to court documents.

Johnson, a Louisville resident, is the primary contact on the church’s website, which includes contact information to schedule him for speaking engagements. Johnson’s arrest follows a Jefferson County Grand Jury indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Pastor indicted for alleged sodomy

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WHAS

by Adam Walser
WHAS11.com

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) -- The pastor of a New Albany Church is in trouble in Louisville.

"There are questions all over the place, all over the body of the church," Pastor Isrom Johnson said in videotaped sermon posted on his church's website.

There are now plenty of questions surrounding the 33-year-old charismatic preacher, who regularly fills the pews of the Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church in New Albany.

"They come by wanting to know if they can help you cook dinner or wash your dishes, rake the yard. I mean, they are just excellent people," Steve Fore said of the members of the church, which is located two doors from his home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Pastor of New Albany church faces sodomy charges

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

Written by
Mark Vanderhoff
The Courier-Journal

A New Albany, Ind., pastor was arrested at his Louisville home Wednesday night on child molestation charges.

Isrom Perry-Johnson, 33, of the 500 block of South Third Street, is charged with three counts of second-degree sodomy.

Officer Carey Klain, a spokeswoman for Louisville Metro Police, said the second-degree charge means the incident involved a victim 14 or younger. Perry-Johnson was indicted after the victim came forward recently with information about an incident in 2010, she said.

Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said the department would not disclose the victim’s gender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Bishop Walker sex lawsuit dismissed

TENNESSEE
The Tennessean

Written by
Bob Smietana
The Tennessean

A judge has dismissed most of the claims in a lawsuit filed against Bishop Joseph Walker III of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Former church member Valencia Batson had sued Walker, Mt. Zion and several other ministers earlier this year for alleged sexual abuse.

Church leaders have called the allegations ridiculous in the past.

Walker’s attorneys argued that the statute of limitations had passed for most of Batson’s claims and that some of the other claims in the suit were improperly filed.

Court documents show that the last time Walker and Batson had physical or verbal contact was in January 2005. Any claim of sexual abuse had a one-year statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Praise for church cover-up admission

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

December 15, 2012

Barney Zwartz

FOR the first time, a Catholic spokesman has acknowledged that the church in Australia covered up sex abuse, according to a reform group of Catholics.

The group praised Francis Sullivan, CEO of the yet-to-be-formed Catholic Truth, Justice and Healing Commission, for admitting to the media this week that he was personally scandalised and disillusioned by the church's history of cover-ups.

Peter Johnstone, chairman of Catholics for Renewal, said on Friday the church had previously acknowledged that it had mishandled abuse cases, but not cover-ups. He welcomed this week's announcement of the lay-led Catholic council to advise the bishops about sex abuse and co-ordinate the church's response to the forthcoming royal commission.

Mr Sullivan, who called himself a committed Catholic, said on Friday he shared the perception cover-ups were widespread in the church. ''Like ordinary Catholics, I feel very disillusioned at how this whole thing has been portrayed, and the scandal involves cover-ups.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Pastor accused of sexual abuse

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WAVE

[with video]

By Scott Adkins

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A New Albany pastor is charged with sex crimes against a boy in Jefferson County. Court records revealed the Louisville man is accused of abusing the child between 2009 and 2011.

Isrom Johnson, 33, is faced with three counts of second degree sodomy, Class C felonies.

Johnson is the pastor at Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church in New Albany. Detectives claim the abuse happened in Jefferson County with a boy younger than 14. LMPD's Special Victims Unit arrested him during a warrant round-up.

"Apparently they were in the 500 block of South 3rd and they were able to make the arrest," Officer Carey Klain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Woman seeks damages for alleged sexual abuse by Vancouver priest

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

By Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun December 13, 2012

A B.C. woman filed a civil suit Thursday in Vancouver seeking damages for alleged sexual abuse by a priest when she was a teenager in the 1980s.

Both the priest, Lawrence Dean Cooper, also known as Father Damian, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver are named in the notice of claim.

The Vancouver archdiocese does not dispute the woman’s general claims, and said Thursday the church “regrets how she was drawn into a sexual relationship with the priest.”

Vancouver archdiocese spokesman Paul Schratz said Cooper was “removed from the ministry” after the woman disclosed the abuse in 1994. Schratz said this meant he was not able to work as a priest anywhere in the world. However, Schratz said, Cooper went on to work for years as an associate pastor at the New York Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Bishops of Armidale & Parramatta receive abuse report

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nonee Walsh

The Catholic Church says an independent report about its handling of sexual abuse allegations against a priest who worked in two dioceses, including Armidale, will be made public as soon as possible.

The report, by former Federal Court judge Antony Whitlam, addresses the Church's management of a former priest, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The document has just been received by the Bishops of Armidale and Parramatta, and has been handed to police investigators.

The inquiry was announced after a Four Corners story alleging the priest abused altar boys in the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

December 13, 2012

Archbishop Listecki’s tragic Christmas gift to victims today

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director

CONTACT: 414.429.7259

Today, Archbishop Jerome Listecki delivered in Federal Court a tragic “Christmas gift” to victims of childhood rape and sexual assault by clergy. The archdiocese attempted to have thrown out of bankruptcy court, in principle, nearly all of the 600 cases filed by victims/survivors. So far, fortunately, they have failed.

Once again lawyers representing the archdiocese went before Judge Susan Kelley arguing that legal technicalities around the fraud statute should prevent victims/survivors from seeking restitution. It was unclear what was new in these arguments, Kelley having ruled in favor of victim’s use of the Wisconsin fraud statute earlier this year She declined to issue a ruling today on the major cases under review, instead ruling on two minor cases. She is expected to issue a further ruling at a later date.

Two years ago, the archbishop made a public and solemn promise to “all” victims that he would personally guarantee restitution through the bankruptcy process. He did not say “some” victims or “a few” victims. He said “all” victims and that “all victims will be treated equitably.”

Today, the archbishop sadly broke his promise to victims, and by moral extension, to every Catholic.

What is truly disturbing is that the archbishop did not come down to Federal Court himself and personally today and stand in front of victims and their families and tell them why the archdiocese wants every one of their cases tossed. In fact, the archbishop has never once been to court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Power behind the papal throne

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet

Robert Mickens - 15 December 2012

The Pope has promoted his personal secretary to archbishop and put him in charge of the Papal Household. Here, our Rome correspondent profiles Mgr Georg Gänswein and traces his route from Germany to Benedict’s right hand

He’s been called Gorgeous George, il Bel Giorgio and even the Black Forest Adonis. And ever since making his world debut in the spring of 2005 as the 48-year-old personal secretary of the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI, Mgr Georg Gänswein has been one of the most talked about personalities at the Vatican.

Never in recent memory has a papal aide been such an obsession for tabloid writers, and adoring women. His fans have even erected several websites on the internet, mythologising the Pope’s strikingly handsome secretary as a former ski instructor, tennis player and helicopter pilot.

Currently aged 56 and with grey creeping through his sandy-coloured hair, he is still a youthful and attractive figure compared to the old men with fleshy jowls and balding heads who are more commonly associated with the Roman Curia. And now his admirers have something much more substantial to celebrate in the dashing German monsignor than merely his enduring good looks and proximity to the papal throne. Last week, Pope Benedict announced that he was making his personal assistant the prefect of the Papal Household and was elevating him to the senior rank of archbishop.

It was a surprising move that undoubtedly delighted Don Georg’s friends and fans, but one that also left many others – especially some inside the Vatican – perplexed and ­troubled. “The naming of Gänswein as prefect and archbishop is a scandal,” complained one church official. “The Renaissance papacy lives,” he said, clearly accusing the Pope of promoting favourites.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

O'Reilly: Hay que decir la verdad, que es mi absoluta inocencia

CHILE
Cooperativa

El sacerdote John O'Reilly afirmó que su inocencia es la verdad en el caso que lo acusa de abuso sexual contra una alumna del Colegio Cumbres, tras finalizar su declaración ante tribunales.

Este jueves el ex capellán del establecimiento que pertenece a la congregación de los Legionarios de Cristo fue recibido en el Cuarto Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago para hacer sus descargos ante la imputación de delitos de connotación sexual contra una niña de seis años.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Abogado querellante de O'Reilly: No existe una investigación canónica seria

CHILE
Cooperativa

El abogado querellante en el caso contra el sacerdote John O'Reilly, José Ignacio Escobar, fustigó que aun no exista una investigación canónica ante las denuncias de actos de connotación sexual de parte de dos estudiantes del colegio Cumbres, luego que el religioso prestara declaración este jueves en el Cuarto Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago.

El jurista además hizo alusión a la relación del ex capellán del establecimiento escolar con el líder de los Legionarios de Cristo, Marcial Maciel, a quien se le retiró su ministerio sacerdotal acusado de múltiples abusos sexuales, señalando que los 10 años que compartió y trabajó con el religioso mexicano son relevantes en el caso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

Cura O’Reilly se definió como un “dead man walking” por acusación

CHILE
La Nacion

El estado laico chileno se impuso en la audiencia en que el cura John O’Reilly prestó declaración voluntaria en la investigación que se le sigue por el supuesto abuso sexual en perjuicio de una menor de 6 años del Colegio Cumbres Femenino de Las Condes.

En la audiencia que se realizó este jueves en el 4° Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago, el religioso imputado se hizo la víctima porque no ha sido citado a declarar por la Fiscalía Oriente y trató de aplicar conceptos religiosos al delito que se le imputa en esta investigación desformalizada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Whitlam hands down priest findings

AUSTRALIA
Armidale Express

By STEPHEN JEFFERY
Dec. 14, 2012

A FORMER federal court judge has completed a report into the Catholic Church's handling of child sexual abuse allegations leveled at a former priest in the Armidale and Parramatta dioceses.

Antony Whitlam QC was appointed to an independent inquiry by Bishop of Armidale Michael Kennedy and Bishop of Parramatta Anthony Fisher in July after several people publicly claimed they had been sexually abused as children by the former priest in the 1980s.

It was also alleged the priest confessed to sexually abusing children during a meeting with senior members of the clergy in 1992. The information was not passed on to police.

The report, commissioned by former federal court judge Antony Whitlam QC, has been received by the bishops and handed in confidence to NSW Police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

UPDATE: Indiana punitive damages law challenged

INDIANA
Courier & Press

By The Associated Press
Posted December 13, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS — A top state attorney defended Indiana's punitive damages law Thursday against claims that it renders trials meaningless by forcing judges to reduce awards in lawsuits without telling jurors.

Solicitor General Thomas Fisher asked the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn a Marion County judge's decision that found the law treads on judicial independence and violates the right to trial by jury guaranteed in the state constitution.

The judge refused to reduce a $150,000 punitive damages award to a man who claimed his uncle, a Roman Catholic priest, sexually abused him when he was 17. The judge had told jurors they could consider the priest's "reprehensible conduct" when they decided on damages.

Under Indiana law, juries in civil cases can award punitive damages of up to three times the amount of compensatory damages they decide on, but there is a $50,000 cap. The state gets a three-quarter share, which goes to a fund that helps victims of violent crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Sex abuse lawsuit brought against Moose CEO

UNITED STATES
The Beacon-News

Lawyers and clergy sex abuse victims are expected to hold multiple press conferences Thursday afternoon — including one in Aurora — announcing a civil child sex abuse lawsuit against the CEO of Moose International, the fraternal organization that funds Mooseheart Child City and Schools.

Members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a support and advocacy group, also are expected to hand-deliver a letter to the organization’s headquarters at Mooseheart urging that the accused, CEO William B. Airey, be suspended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Pastor charged with sexual harassment, stalking

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

Jason A. Kahl
Reading Eagle

A pastor at Spring Valley Church of God in Muhlenberg Township was charged Tuesday with sexually harassing and stalking a 21-year-old female parishioner, authorities said.

Aron Andonie, 47, who has been the pastor of Spring Valley's Romanian congregation since 2004, was charged by Cumru Township police with harassment, lewd communication and stalking. Police said the offenses occurred between April and November while the victim worked at a business in Cumru.

According to court documents:

Andonie of the 1800 block of Hancock Boulevard, Kenhorst, called the woman at her office shortly after she was hired and told her she was "a hot girl."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Pastor Accused of Sexting Church Members

PENNSYLVANIA
NBC 10

By David Chang

Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012

Cumru Township Police arrested a pastor who they say stalked and harassed members of the congregation by sending them harassing and sexually explicit text messages.

Last November, a member of the Spring Valley Church of God in Muhlenberg Township told police she received several text messages between April and November from a person who refused to identity himself. The woman described the messages as forms of harassment and believed she was being stalked at her workplace and home. Investigators say some of the messages were sexually explicit.

Police began to investigate and say they discovered that other members of the Spring Valley Church received similar text messages. Cumru Township Police say they later learned Reading City Police were also conducting their own investigation after receiving a report from another alleged victim at Spring Valley Church. The combined efforts of both police departments led them to identify the suspect as Aron Andonie, a member of the Pastoral Staff at Spring Valley Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Justice in Williamsburg

NEW YORK
New York Times

Editorial

Published: December 11, 2012

The sexual abuse conviction in a State Supreme Court in Brooklyn of a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidic community sends a strong and overdue message to Williamsburg’s tightly knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, which has shielded such abusers from legal scrutiny.

In a case brought by Charles Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney, the court convicted Nechemya Weberman, a 54-year-old unlicensed therapist, of repeatedly sexually abusing a young girl who had been sent to him for help. Mr. Hynes said the verdict had lifted the “veil of secrecy” and had served notice that henceforth the prospects for justice are “only going to get better for people who are victimized in these various communities.”

Prosecutors have long had trouble finding witnesses in the community because speaking out, especially to non-Jewish legal authorities, could bring retaliation. In this particular case, Mr. Hynes charged four men with allegedly trying to interfere with bribery and threats. Four others face criminal contempt of court charges for taking pictures in the courtroom in an apparent attempt to intimidate the victim. On Tuesday, Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, an advocate for child sex abuse victims, was taken to a hospital after what appeared to be bleach was thrown in his face as he walked down the street in Williamsburg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Weberman's sexual assault victim's mother speaks out...

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Weberman's sexual assault victim's mother speaks out: 'She brought justice. Now other people can come forward'

A Hasidic counselor was convicted this week of sexually abusing a girl since age 12. On Tuesday, the mother told the Daily News’ Simone Weichselbaum how she learn ed of the abuse and what she thinks of her daughter’s stand. The News is withholding her name to protect the identity of the victim. Here’s the mom’s story:
--

She never told me face to face until this got out. She never told me, she never told us.

We got a call from the police station. They said come over right away. I was so shocked. I called my husband right away.

The therapist [at the new school] had called the police. That school made every girl get therapy once a week. My children told me, 'You have to believe her.' She is my youngest.

Her childhood was robbed. She was such a bubbly child.

I lost a couple of years with her. After what she went through hopefully she will pick up.

She wasn't a rebel at all. She was a shy, very smart child. She likes to know. Very bright child. She is a very good child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:23 AM

Counselor at Baptist Children's Home in Decatur charged with sexual abuse of adult patient

ALABAMA
AL.com

Kelly Kazek | kkazek@al.com

Posted: 12/12/2012

DECATUR, Alabama - A counselor at the Baptist Children's Home in Decatur has been charged with sexual abuse following claims that he inappropriately touched an adult patient.

Jonathan Eric Minnon, 21, of 2308 Len Circle, Hartselle, was arrested for second-degree sexual abuse and released from Decatur City Jail on $500 bond.

Decatur Police began an investigation into the woman's claims on Nov. 8 after she reported Minnon made sexual advances toward her and touched her, according to a Decatur Police report. Minnon was her counselor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

State defends Indiana punitive damages law

INDIANA
Houston Chronicle

December 13, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State attorneys are defending Indiana's punitive damages limit against a man who won a $150,000 jury award against a Roman Catholic priest he alleged sexually abused him when he was 17.

Lawyers for the attorney general's office asked the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday to set aside a Marion County judge's decision that ruled the law violated the state constitution.

Indiana's law limits punitive damages to $50,000 and allows the state to take a three-quarter share.

Attorneys for the man referred to as John Doe say the law intrudes on judicial power and violates the right to trial by jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Local Charity Under Investigation

NEW YORK
WKBW

[with video]

By WKBW News

December 13, 2012

Albany, N.Y. (WKBW) - A program called Altamont that was started by an Albany area priest with locations all over the state including Buffalo is now under investigation.

The Altamont headquarters and other offices in Albany are the focus of the intense investigation and were raided by the feds, Wednesday. Altamont helps homeless drug addicts recover. Father Peter Young started the program many years ago. Officials have not said if Young himself is being targeted. Sources tell the Albany Time Union it centers around the organizations use of grant funding.

The Albany Time Union also reports the investigation involves Dennis Bassat who was a director of an Albany area facility. He was arrested last week after agents said he misused the organization's funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Priest’s sex talk distressing, trial told

CANADA
Times Colonist

Louise Dickson , Times Colonist December 13, 2012

A former student at St. Joseph’s Catholic School testified he emailed Father Phil Jacobs in 2002 asking for an explanation after Victoria media reported allegations that Jacobs had sexually abused teenage boys in the U.S.

Jacobs, 63, who was parish priest at St. Joseph the Worker in Saanich from 1997 to 2002, is charged with sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference with a person under 14 and sexual touching. The incidents are alleged to have occurred between September 1996 and June 30, 2001.

The former student, whose identity is protected by a court order, testified Wednesday that Jacobs never touched him sexually. But he felt at risk during a conversation with Jacobs while the two were sitting on the couch in the rectory.

He was about 13 at the time, he testified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Bishop considers AVO against ex-priest

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY
Dec. 13, 2012

NEWCASTLE Anglican Bishop Brian Farran could seek an apprehended violence order after a defrocked priest alleged that some disgruntled parishioners wished to ‘‘damage you permanently with their own hands’’.

The bishop sought legal advice, and police were consulted after former Terrigal priest John Gumbley wrote to the bishop on December 6 alleging that ‘‘some have declared they wished to hurt you physically’’.

Mr Gumbley alleged some people felt ‘‘fury’’ at decisions taken by the bishop, including defrocking Mr Gumbley in 2010 due to his relationship with a woman parishioner who worked for the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Weight of responsibility in church council role

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

December 13, 2012

Megan Doherty

It may be in the churches of south Canberra or on a bike cycling the backblocks of the ACT that Francis Sullivan draws strength for what he knows will be a torrid time ahead.

The seasoned Canberra lobbyist has been appointed chief executive officer of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, a role within the Catholic Church ''managing the issues and ramifications'' of the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. Former NSW Supreme Court judge Barry O'Keefe, QC, has been appointed chairman of the council.

Mr Sullivan says it will be the most difficult position of his career but one he takes on willingly to ensure the Catholic Church listens and responds to stories of abuse - and tries to prove that things have changed.

''I've said quite openly as a Catholic I'm very disillusioned with the whole thing and I think it's been a scandal,'' he said, of child abuse within the church. ''People don't expect church people to be engaged in this type of behaviour and there has been a history where there has been a cover-up, and that has also been scandalous.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Catholic church will 'embrace' child sexual abuse commission

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By TOM MCILROY
Dec. 12, 2012

THE Catholic Church in Australia has appointed the leaders of a new council established to co-ordinate its engagement with the upcoming royal commission on child sexual abuse.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart yesterday announced former New South Wales Supreme Court chief judge Barry O’Keefe and former Australian Medical Association secretary-general Francis Sullivan to lead the 10-person Truth, Justice and Healing Council.

The council is expected to include a representative group of Catholics and will co-ordinate the church’s “embrace” of the royal commission and provide feedback to Catholic leaders.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Maitland Bishop William Wright have already been appointed to the council.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Canberran CEO of church council

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn

13 December 2012

Canberra man Mr Francis Sullivan has been appointed chief executive officer of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, which will oversee the Church’s engagement with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia.

Former NSW Supreme Court judge and former Commissioner of NSW’s Independent Commission Against Corruption Mr Barry O’Keefe QC has been appointed chairman of the council.

The council will include representatives from the community to provide expertise, wisdom and guidance over the course of the royal commission. It will comprise men and women with professional and other expertise and will seek to have an effective on-going relationship with people who have been damaged by the sexual abuse scandal.

Mr Sullivan has held positions as secretary-general of the Australian Medical Association, chief executive of Catholic Health Australia, and consultant to the Pontifical Counsel for the Pastoral Care of Health Care workers at the Vatican. He is an adjunct professor at Australian Catholic University and was chairman of the university’s Canberra campus review panel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Sanchez hits DOD response to Lackland sex abuse scandal

TEXAS
Politico

By JUANA SUMMERS | 12/12/12

Rep. Loretta Sanchez offered a scathing indictment of the Pentagon's response to the sex abuse scandal at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, comparing it to the abuse cases in the Roman Catholic Church.

"People need to realize that whether it's rape or sexual assault actually, that that is a crime," the California Democrat said Wednesday when asked to outline the changes she'd make to prevent what she has previously described as an epidemic of sexual assault in the military. "You do not move the guy to some other unit such as the Catholic Church did. That is incorrect."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Man files sex abuse lawsuit against Boy Scouts

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

By Peter Hall, Of The Morning Call
8:48 p.m. EST, December 12, 2012

A man who claims he was sexually abused by a Chester County scoutmaster — sometimes at a Scout camp in the Poconos — has sued the Boy Scouts of America and the Mormon church.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Philadelphia County Court, alleges that the Scouts knew pedophiles were attracted to the organization but didn't do enough to track those suspected of abuse or warn parents of their presence in Scouting.

It is the first lawsuit against the Scouts in Pennsylvania since the release in October of thousands of pages of the Scouts' secret "perversion files." The files detail the cases of leaders kicked out of the Boy Scouts from the 1960s into the 1980s because they were accused of molesting Scouts.

In many cases, including two from the Lehigh Valley, the Boy Scouts dealt with accusations of abuse privately rather than calling on authorities to investigate, the files show.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Del. man sues Boy Scouts, Mormons over sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Centre Daily Times

By MARYCLAIRE DALE — Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A Delaware store manager is suing the Boy Scouts of America and the Mormon church over childhood sexual abuse committed by the scoutmaster at his church-run troop.

Melvin Novak's lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Philadelphia. It charges that newly released Boy Scout "perversion files" show the organization hid abuse claims for years.

Novak's abuser, Vance Hein, is in prison for a parole violation related to his 1999 conviction in Novak's case.

The 28-year-old Novak says the abuse made him "a quitter" when it came to school and jobs and plunged him into years of substance abuse. The Newark, Del., man has also quit the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Church receives report on abuse response

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

AAP
December 13, 2012

A REPORT by a former Federal Court judge on whether the Catholic Church appropriately managed sexual abuse allegations against a former NSW priest has been received by the church.

The Bishop of Armidale, Michael Kennedy, and the Bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher, said in a joint statement that the report had been received on Thursday.

Antony Whitlam QC examined the history of appointments, ministry and activities and the way in which complaints by the alleged victims of the priest, known as Father F, were handled.

His report deals with the events leading to Father F's sacking from the ministry in 2005 and what happened during a meeting between Father F and senior Catholic figures in 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Ex-megachurch worker gets 55 years for sex crimes

OKLAHOMA
The Independent

Associated Press

A former janitor at a Tulsa megachurch who admitted to sex crimes against three girls told his victims Wednesday that "no one's perfect" in an statement in which he pointed to Scripture just before a judge sentenced him to 55 years in prison.

A 13-year-old girl who was raped by Chris Denman sobbed in the first row of the courtroom as the judge handed down the sentence. The scandal at Victory Christian Center also ensnared five other church employees who are accused of waiting to report the August rape in a church stairwell.

Denman faced up to life in prison after pleading guilty to raping the 13-year-old, molesting a 15-year-old girl and propositioning a 12-year-old. It wasn't clear if all three girls were in the courtroom Wednesday, but when the judge gave Denman an opportunity to speak, Denman directed his statement to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 AM

Suit targets Boy Scouts

DELAWARE
The News Journal

Written by
Mike Chalmers
The News Journal

The grooming of young Melvin Novak as a sexual abuse victim began with role-playing games.

What would the teenager do, his scoutmaster would ask, to save a friend in trouble?

“Would you get undressed if that was necessary to save your friend?” he’d say, according to a lawsuit Novak filed Wednesday in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The progressively sexual games were part of Novak’s initiation into a bogus “special brotherhood,” complete with achievement levels and gifts for reaching them, he said. “Everything had a reward at the end,” said Novak, now 28, of Newark. “From the time I was 8 years old, this guy was Santa Claus.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 AM

Man sues Boy Scouts, church, alleging past abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012,

Saying he was sexually abused for almost a year by a scoutmaster, a Wilmington man has filed suit against the Boy Scouts of America and the West Chester Latter-day Saints church that sponsored his troop.

Melvin Novak, 28, said at a news conference Wednesday that his childhood "just fell apart" after he was abused by Vance Hein, a family friend, a prominent member of his Mormon congregation, and the scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 84.

As a matter of policy, The Inquirer does not identify victims of sexual abuse. However, Novak and his attorneys said they wanted to spread awareness about his case and sexual abuse in general.

The suit contends that the Boy Scouts concealed information and downplayed the prevalence of sexual abuse in scouting, and that scout officials should have kept Hein away from contact with young boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 AM

Del. man sues Scouts, LDS church over sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Daily Herald

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- A Delaware man sued the Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday over childhood sexual abuse committed by the scoutmaster at his church-sponsored troop.

Melvin Novak filed the lawsuit in state court in Philadelphia, charging that newly released Boy Scout "perversion files" support his claim that the organization hid abuse complaints for years.

"They knew about this conduct, they knew what was going on, and they covered it up in the most despicable way," lawyer Stewart J. Eisenberg said at a news conference attended by Novak and his father.

The lawsuit names the larger Mormon church and the Downingtown-area chapel that Novak attended. The Boy Scouts said it regrets the past abuse of scouts, while church spokesman Eric Hawkins said abusers should face both legal prosecution and church discipline. Neither group had seen Novak's lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 AM

Witness testifies to alleged sexual abuse at Saanich church

CANADA
Sooke News Mirror

By Edward Hill - Saanich News

Warning: The following story contains graphic testimony of a sexual nature that could be upsetting to some readers.

An alleged victim of a former Saanich priest testified Tuesday that Phillip Jacobs molested him a number of times more than a decade ago, while attending St. Joseph the Worker Catholic School on Burnside Road West.

The young man, who can’t be identified, described to the court and Justice J. Miriam Gropper a number of incidents of sexual touching during his time as an altar server under direction of Jacobs, at the time the parish priest.

Led by the questioning of Crown prosecutor Clare Jennings on the second day of the trial, the witness said the pattern of touching by Jacobs escalated from a hand on the back, then to his buttocks and then to more direct molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 AM

Our institutions and sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
The Observer

December 13, 2012

By DAN O'ROURKE , The OBSERVER

In some ironic ways, the priest pedophilia scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, which the Boston Globe revealed (and for which it won a Pulitzer Prize) did something positive for all our institutions by disclosing the sexual abuse in them.

All society's institutions wield two-edged swords. That's a belligerent and bloody metaphor. A better one would be that our institutions have their shadow side. They do lots of good, but they also can give rise to darkness and evil.

It's not only our churches. The United States Military, the British Broadcasting Corp., the Boy Scouts of America, and, of course, our schools and universities come to mind.

The abuse of children is not just a Catholic problem. Many mainline Protestant churches have recognized and addressed the issue. And in Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Satmar Hasidic community, Nechemya Weberman, an unlicensed counselor has been convicted of abusing many young girls. This extremely strict community ostracizes and severely disciplines its adolescent girls for normal teenaged behavior. It reminds me of the agonizing and heartrending story of the Madelines in repressive Catholic Ireland in which rebellious girls were kept isolated in virtual slavery. This was as recent as 1960. That tragedy is documented in the film, "The Madeline Sisters."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 AM

Baptist Children’s counselor charged with sexual abuse

ALABAMA
Hartselle Inquirer

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A counselor at Baptist Children’s Home in Decatur has been accused of making sexual advances toward one of his patients.

Jonathan Eric Minnon, 21, of 2308 Len Circle in Hartselle turned himself into police Wednesday and was charged with sexual abuse in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. He has been released on a $500 bond.

On Nov. 8, Decatur Police received a report of sexual abuse that occurred at the Baptist Children’s Home. The victim, an adult female, had been attending therapy sessions with her counselor, Minnon.

During one of the sessions, the victim alleged that Minnon made sexual advances toward her and touched her inappropriately. During the investigation, police obtained additional evidence that they believe corroborates the victim’s claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 AM

Let Us Prey: Big Trouble at First Baptist Church

INDIANA
Chicago Magazine

A string of assaults and sexual crimes committed by pastors across the country have one thing in common: The perpetrators have ties to the megachurch in Hammond, Indiana.

By Bryan Smith

Genesis

In the beginning—1959, in this case—Jack Hyles arrived at the First Baptist Church of Hammond as a skinny, charismatic Bible thumper with a Southern-fried drawl and a couple of cheap suits. No one could have imagined he would grow into the larger-than-life figure whom critics would dub the Godfather and others would consider the Chosen One.

Born in the tiny Dallas suburb of Italy, Hyles often preached about his alcoholic father, his devoted and deeply conservative Christian mother, and the curse of growing up poor. After serving in the army in World War II, he married his sweetheart, Beverly Slaughter. The fire-and-brimstone words of his mother burning in his head, Hyles then enrolled at East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, Texas, where he became a student pastor. After graduation, he set out to spread his particular brand of harsh theology.

In a show of modesty that would be almost unthinkable in later years, Hyles acknowledged that he didn’t immediately set bushes to burning. After his first sermon in 1947, “Elijah blushed and Heaven’s flag flew at half mast for three days,” he lamented in a 1975 Time magazine article.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 AM

Culture Of Abuse, Misogyny Detailed In Chicago Magazine Profile Of First Baptist Church Of Hammond

INDIANA
Chicagoist

If you want to know about the culture that allowed former First Baptist Church of Hammond pastor Jack Schaap to transport a 16-year-old girl across state lines in order to have sexual relations, then head to Chicago magazine’s website immediately. Chicago’s Bryan Smith wrote a detailed investigative piece that reveals a culture of misogyny, sexual and physical abuse and literal interpretations of the Bible at First Baptist that precede Schaap’s crimes by decades, were tolerated by the church’s deacons and may have been carried forward by graduates of the church’s Pastor Schools and graduates of its university, Hyles-Anderson College.

Jeri Massi, who documents sexual abuse of children among Christian fundamentalists, told Smith the sheer volume of allegations connected to First Baptist is “astonishing.”

Examples from First Baptist “take in everything: pedophilia, violence, defamation of the innocent to protect the guilty, heresies against Christian doctrine, defiance against lawful authority. . . .” And all this barely half an hour’s drive from downtown Chicago.

Websites dedicated to tracking the suspected crimes of Christian fundamentalists have documented a dozen cases across the country of preachers whose actions have led to a litany of arrests and civil lawsuits. Few are as high profile as Schaap, who agreed to a plea deal in September and said at his hearing he was not aware of the federal laws against transporting minors across state lines to have sex. But Schaap was merely following in the footsteps of his father-in-law, Jack Hyles, who transformed First Baptist from a sleepy Indiana church into the 14th largest church in the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 AM

Former pastor facing charge for failure to report child abuse

UTAH
Fox 13

December 12, 2012, by Brittany Green-Miner

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – A former West Valley City pastor lost his job and is now facing charges.

Havili Mone faces one count of failure to report child abuse, a class B misdemeanor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 AM

West Valley City pastor charged with failing to report child abuse

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Janelle Stecklein
The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Dec 12 2012

West Valley City • The former pastor of the Tongan United Methodist Church was charged Wednesday with failing to report child abuse.

Meanwhile, his former congregation, now fractured into two distinct groups — the Methodists and the Weslyan Tongans — is headed to civil court to duke it out over who should have access to the property and money that belonged to his former flock.

Filimone Havili Mone, 59, faces one count of failure to report abuse of a child, a class B misdemeanor, in West Valley City Justice Court.

The sexual abuse charge stems from the long-time pastor’s failure to promptly report a crime when he allegedly learned that young boys in the congregation had been sexually abused by an older boy several years ago. It ultimately led to his removal by national leaders of the United Methodist Church (UMC) for violating church’s mandatory abuse reporting policy. But local church members say Mone’s departure was the catalyst for a deep schism within the congregation that serves an estimated 600 members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 AM

Fishmonger Charged in Bleach Attack on a Rabbi

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By SHARON OTTERMAN

Published: December 12, 2012

A Brooklyn fishmonger was charged by the police on Wednesday with throwing bleach in the face of a rabbi who is an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual abuse in the borough’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

The fishmonger, Meilech Schnitzler, 36, of Williamsburg, turned himself in to the 90th Precinct station house around 1 p.m., the police said.

Mr. Schnitzler, identified in state corporate filings as the chairman of the company that owns Schnitzler’s Famous Fish, is accused of tossing a cup of bleach at Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg while he was walking near Mr. Schnitzler’s store Tuesday. The bleach caused burns to Rabbi Rosenberg’s eyes and face and discoloration to his clothing, the police said.

Mr. Schnitzler was charged with felony assault, misdemeanor assault, menacing, criminal mischief and criminal possession of a weapon, Officer James Duffy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 AM

Police charge man with throwing chemical at rabbi

NEW YORK
CNN

By Rande Iaboni and Marina Carver, CNN

NEW YORK (CNN) - New York police have arrested a man for throwing a chemical, believed to be bleach, on a rabbi who advocates for sexual abuse victims.

Meilech Schnitzler, 36, turned himself in to police Wednesday and was charged with assault, menacing, criminal mischief, and criminal possession of a weapon.

He is accused of attacking Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg in Brooklyn's tightknit Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Williamsburg on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 AM

December 12, 2012

Man Accused of Throwing Bleach At Brooklyn Rabbi Who Aids Abuse Victims

NEW YORK
CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A man has been arrested for allegedly throwing bleach at a rabbi who advocates for sexual abuse victims.

Meilech Schnitzler is expected to be charged with attacking Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg on a street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn on Tuesday afternoon, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

The bleach hit Rosenberg in the eye, police said.

The 62-year-old victim runs a web site that publicizes child sexual abuse victims in the Satmar Hasidic community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Suspect surrenders in rabbi bleach attack

NEW YORK
WABC

[with video]

NEW YORK (WABC) -- An Orthodox Jewish rabbi says he was hit in the face with a cup of bleach while walking down a Brooklyn street.

Police say 36-year-old Meilech Schnitzler was arrested shortly after he turned himself in Wednesday afternoon, less than 24 hours after he allegedly threw bleach into the eyes of his neighbor, Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg.

Rosenberg, who has spoken out against child sex abuse in the Satmar Hasidic sect, says the thrower is connected to another person in the community that he has accused of abusing children.

Police say they have a report of the alleged incident, and that the 62-year-old victim was treated and released from a hospital.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Task force raids non-profit headed by Albany priest

NEW YORK
Albay Times Union

By Brendan J. Lyons

Published 3:28 pm, Wednesday, December 12, 2012

SCHENECTADY — A task force of FBI agents and state Attorney General's investigators raided three offices tied to the Altamont Program early Wednesday, carting away records and computers from the statewide non-profit organization that was founded decades ago by Father Peter Young.

Agents from both agencies used search warrants to seize records at the Altamont Program's headquarters on Duane Avenue in Schenectady and also from an office at the Schuyler Inn in Menands, a converted training and housing facility for Vesta Community Housing Development Board, Inc., which rehabilitates buildings that are rented to community service programs or low-income tenants.

Another raid took place at an office on Eagle Street in Albany that's used by the organization.

Young, 82, is an iconic Capital Region priest whose work with drug addicts and convicts began in the 1950s. He lived with Bishop Howard Hubbard in the 1960s at the former St. John's Church in Albany's South End, where the two priests laid groundwork for drug rehabilitation programs that served as the template for community service organization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

FBI raids non-profits run by Albany priest

ALBANY (NY)
YNN

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The FBI raided three Peter Young nonprofit facilities, according to a source close to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Young, an Albany priest, is notable in the Capital Region for his work with drug rehabilitation programs and the needy.

The FBI and Attorney General's office conducted a raid on three offices in Albany, Menands and Schenectady.

An attorney for Peter Young Industries says that two years ago, it was discovered that an employee stole a significant amount of money from the nonprofit organization. That employee was fired and Young contacted the state about the theft.

Young's attorney says financial documents were seized in the raid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Irish priest is Pope’s tweet adviser

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Sun

By OWEN CONLON

POPE Benedict was mercilessly mocked by twits yesterday on his first day on the internet site.

The Pontiff made his debut after being introduced to Twitter by his adviser, Irish priest Monsignor Paul Tighe.

And he ran the gauntlet from pranksters as he made his first online remarks.

User @TwopTwips sent him a message reading: “Hi mate. I’m thinking of getting one of them popemobiles — do you know what insurance band it would fall under? Cheers fella.”

Another, @GOD87620876, added: “I hear you’re still spreading rumours about me and the Virgin Mary. Stop it!”

Other accounts also berated the Holy Father over ongoing paedophile priest scandals.

However, Mgr Tighe, who is originally from Co Meath, said the German-born Holy Father is “intrigued and pleased” with his debut online.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Archdiocese arguing Thursday ...

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

Archdiocese arguing Thursday that, in principle, all 570 victim cases should be tossed

Archdiocese arguing Thursday that, in principle, all 570 victim cases should be tossed from court

Two years of false hopes and 8 million dollars in lawyers’ fees later, apparent now that Listecki’s using bankruptcy to maintain cover up

WHO
After a court hearing in Milwaukee Federal Bankruptcy Court where Archbishop Jerome Listecki will petition Judge Susan V. Kelley to dismiss, in principle, nearly 600 cases by victim/survivors of childhood sex crimes by clergy of the Milwaukee archdiocese, leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org/SNAPwisconsin.com) will be joined by claimants in the hearing to discuss Kelley’s rulings and the future of the bankruptcy proceedings.

One of the cases being targeted for dismissal by the Archdiocese is community leader Leonard Sobczak. Sobczak, who was sexually assaulted by Fr. Richard Nichols at St. Peter and Paul parish on Milwaukee’s east side, has served as Chair of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission.

Sobczak will join SNAP leaders after court to discuss his case and the outcome of the hearing.

WHEN
Thursday, December 13th. Court hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
On the front steps of the Federal Courthouse, 517 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee.

WHAT
In Federal Bankruptcy Court on Thursday December 13th Judge Susan V. Kelley will hear arguments from church lawyers who, at the instruction of Archbishop Jerome Listecki, will ask the court to again dismiss, in principle, nearly 600 cases filed by victims sexually assaulted by clergy of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, including Leonard Sobczak, who at the age of 13 was assaulted by Fr. Richard Nichols at St. Peter and Paul parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Man Accused of Throwing Bleach at Brooklyn Rabbi

NEW YORK
Wall Street Journal

By Pervaiz Shallwani

A man accused of throwing bleach at a Brooklyn rabbi who advocates for sexual-abuse victims in the Satmar Hasidic community was arrested Wednesday afternoon.

Melech Schnitzler, 36 years old, turned himself in to police at the 90th Precinct stationhouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a day after Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg was doused with a cup of Clorox, according to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Schnitzler, who was accompanied by a lawyer, has been charged with assault, menacing, criminal mischief and criminal possession of a weapon. He was awaiting arraignment on Wednesday afternoon.

Rosenberg, 62, runs a website and hotline that encourages victims of sex abuse in the Hasidic community to come forward and report the crimes to the police and has been ostracized by the Jewish community as a result.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Florida sex offender with Kanakuk ties sentenced to 15 years in prison

FLORIDA
The Turner Report

A Florida sex offender with ties to the Branson-based Kanakuk Kamps, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of seven felony sex charges involving underage boys.

Edward Ringheim, 41, Windermere, Florida, allegedly treated his victims to free trips to Universal Studios by using his employee pass, one of the victims told authorities.

Parents also allowed Ringheim to accompany their children to Kanakuk's Branson facility, according to published reports. Investigators say he brought about 30 children to Kanakuk for summer camp over a four-year period. One of the boys he took to Kanakuk was one of Ringheim's victims, authorities said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Pope Benedict's Twitter account becomes global hit

VATICAN CITY
3 News

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Benedict XVI hit the 1 million Twitter follower mark yesterday as he sent his first tweet from his new account, blessing his online fans and urging them to listen to Christ.

In perhaps the most drawn out Twitter launch ever, the 85-year-old Benedict tapped the screen of a tablet brought to him at the end of his general audience after the equivalent of a papal drum roll by an announcer who intoned: "And now the pope will tweet!" ...

The first papal tweet has been the subject of intense curiosity - as well as merciless jokes, criticism and commentary. "The pope has an iPad?" comedian Jon Stewart asked earlier this year. The Onion satirical newspaper ran a piece "Pope tweets picture of self with God." And in perhaps a more long-term and problematic issue for the Vatican, the (at)Pontifex handle was flooded with negative messages from users remarking on the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Cardinal Law still the only bishop to suffer personal consequences

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on December 12, 2012

Ten years ago tomorrow, Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as head of the Boston Archdiocese after mountains of evidence proved that he repeatedly protected predators, deceived parishes and endangered kids.

Law has been called “the first US bishop to experience personal consequences for concealing abuse.”

Sadly, he’s also the only one.

Recently, two high ranking church officials – Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn and Philadelphia Msgr. William Lynn – have been found criminally guilty of refusing to report known or suspected child sex crimes to law enforcement.

But that’s the secular justice system, not the church hierarchy, imposing a penalty on wrongdoers. Despite their convictions, both men have retained their positions within the church. In the case of Bishop Finn, he has steadfastly refused to step down from his post, despite the calls from parishioners and priests within his own diocese to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Man admits to downloading

OHIO
The Times Leader

December 8, 2012

By MARK LAW - For The Times Leader , Times Leader

STEUBENVILLE - A Mount Pleasant man arrested Thursday by federal authorities for possession of child pornography admitted to investigators he has been downloading "child erotica" since 2004.

Ryan Kasler, 31, of 24 Union St., Mount Pleasant, had an initial appearance Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers in Columbus, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Kasler is being held without bond and is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. A detention hearing for Kasler is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday before Deavers, the U.S. attorney's office reported.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and an unnamed foreign law enforcement agency began an investigation into a movie production company that operated a website offering DVDs and streaming videos featuring naked boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Man held without bond in child porn case

OHIO
The Herald-Star

December 12, 2012

By MARK LAW - Staff writer (mlaw@heraldstaronline.com.) , The Herald-Star

COLUMBUS - A Mount Pleasant man was ordered held without bond on a charge of receipt of child pornography following a hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Ryan Kasler, 31, of 24 Union St., Mount Pleasant, was arrested at his home Thursday after a raid by federal authorities.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers ordered Kasler be held without bond following a detention hearing on Tuesday. ...

The postal inspector said the investigation revealed Kasler is employed by the Martins Ferry Romanian Mission.

The First Christian Church of Martins Ferry operates the Romanian Mission, according to the church's website.

Kasler is listed at the director of the Romanian Mission, according to the church's website, and he directs the mission's day-to-day affairs and is serving as onsite missionary in Arad and Ghioroc, Romania.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

New York rabbi who has helped expose child sex abuse ...

NEW YORK
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

New York rabbi who has helped expose child sex abuse in Orthodox community doused with BLEACH after accusing fish store owner of molesting boys

By Snejana Farberov

Victim: Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg was hospitalized after being splashed in the face with what is believed to be bleach on a Brooklyn street

A New York City rabbi who has been advocating for victims of child sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community was hospitalized after someone threw what is believed to be bleach in his face.

Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg said an assailant he recognized as the son of a man he has accused of molesting boys tossed a glass filled with the chemical at him as he walked in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section Tuesday.

Police say the two were involved in an ‘ongoing dispute.’ No arrest has been made so far, but the suspected attacker is expected to turn himself in shortly.
Rosenberg runs a hotline and blog that publicizes child sexual abuse victims in the Satmar Hasidic community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Diocese of Gallup named in new sex abuse lawsuit

GALLUP (NM)
San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — The Diocese of Gallup has been named in another clergy sex abuse lawsuit.

The Gallup Independent reports (http://bit.ly/z0cIwR) that the lawsuit was recently filed in Arizona's Coconino County Superior Court on behalf of an Arizona man who says he was sexually abused as a minor by two Gallup Diocese priests in the 1970s. The lawsuit says the man claims he was abused as an altar boy in Winslow, Ariz.

Diocese of Gallup spokesman Rev. Tim Farrell told The Associated Press that Bishop James S. Wall has not seen the lawsuit and does not know anything about the episodes alleged in the lawsuit that are described in the Gallup Independent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

All clergy abuse cover-ups are not the same

UNITED STATES
Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk
Dec 12, 2012

From one religious body to another, there's a horrible sameness about the sexual abuse of children by those charged with their moral and spiritual development. The differences come in the institutions and communities, and how they deal with the abusers and their victims.

The trial and conviction of a leader of the Satmar Hasidim in Brooklyn for the sexual abuse of a young girl has laid bare how the sect has protected abusers by ostracizing and threatening those who would call them to account. As the Daily News reported, "Many in the Satmar world were angered to see such a highly-regarded man in the community forced to defend himself in the 'unreliable' secular court system, instead of secret rabbinical court proceedings." That a rabbi active in the effort to bring abusers to justice had bleach thrown in his face on a Brooklyn street yesterday is testimony that the struggle for child protection is just beginning.

Then you've got the situation of a Southern Baptist pastor in Missouri indicted for abuse of a girl but still presiding over his congregation without so much as a proposal to remove him from his position. In a fine piece of reporting, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tim Townsend uses the case to explore the challenges of addressing abuse when it comes to self-governing congregations that belong to umbrella denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention.

Meanwhile, out in Los Angeles, the files on abusive priest in the Catholic archdiocese are finally being released to public view, but it's unclear whether the clerical superiors responsible for covering up the abuse will have their names uncovered. Last year, the judge in the case permitted those names to be blacked out. “You know that the Church recycles priests," he said. "Now you want to know who in the clergy recycled. For what useful purpose? The case is settled.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

Wyoming Catholic College Dismisses Chaplain

WYOMING
National Catholic Register

[click here to read the story]

by TIM DRAKE
12/11/2012

LANDER, Wyo. — Two months after beginning as chaplain for Wyoming Catholic College, Father Stuart MacDonald has been dismissed, following allegations of improper behavior — drinking and using inappropriate language — with students surfaced.

Father MacDonald, a priest of the Diocese of St. Catharines in Ontario, Canada, was fired from his position on Nov. 19.

“His dismissal is subsequent to an internal investigation by the college, which revealed Rev. MacDonald’s improper conduct and language with the college’s students and a pattern of behavior unacceptable as a Catholic college chaplain,” said the college’s press statement about the dismissal.

Father Robert Cook, president of the college, said he first met Father MacDonald in the spring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 AM

Police widen investigation ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Messenger

Police widen investigation into historic sex abuse at top Catholic school, St Ambrose College in Hale Barns

By Kate Banks, Reporter
9:45am Wednesday 12th December 2012

POLICE are now investigating at least five former teachers in relation to historic sexual and physical abuse at top Hale Barns Catholic school, St Ambrose College.

The investigation has widened further, with more than 20 alleged victims and witnesses coming forward since allegations, which are said to have taken place between the early 1960s and the early 1980s, emerged last week.

As part of the investigation a 63-year-old Trafford man was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and possession of indecent images.

The former teacher has been bailed until March 12, pending further enquiries into an incident which allegedly took place in the early 80s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Greater Manchester Police receive further complaints in Altrincham school abuse probe

UNITED KINGDOM
Click Manchester

by Mark Langshaw. Published Wed 12 Dec 2012

Greater Manchester Police have received further calls from the public in relation to a historic abuse investigation at a school in Altrincham.

Officers from Trafford's Public Protection Investigation Unit, with assistance from officers in the Force's Public Protection Division, are investigating incidents of sexual and physical abuse at St Ambrose RC College in Altrincham between the early 1960s and late 1980s.

As part of the investigation a 63-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and possession of indecent images. He has been bailed until 12th March next year, pending further enquiries.

Following an appeal made to the media on 6th December, a number of further phone calls were made to a dedicated line.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

New abuse allegations at Cheshire Catholic boy's school

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

Detectives investigating alleged sexual abuse at a Catholic boys' school in Cheshire are looking into new allegations after receiving more calls from former pupils.

Last month, a 63-year-old former teacher was held on suspicion of indecent assault and possession of indecent images dating back to the early 1980s.

He was later bailed until March 12, pending further inquiries.

His alleged victim was a pupil at St Ambrose College in Hale Barns, Altrincham, where the man taught.

Detectives from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are investigating incidents of sexual and physical abuse at the fee-paying school between the early 1960s and late 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Further sex abuse allegations at St Ambrose College, Altrincham, investigated as more victims come forward

UNITED KINGDOM
Mancunian Matters

Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2012

By Mancunian Matters staff

Further allegations of sexual abuse at a Catholic boys’ school in Altrincham are being investigated after more former pupils have come forward.

Greater Manchester Police are investigating alleged incidents at St Ambrose College in Hale Barns from across three decades.

A 63-year-old former teacher was bailed pending further inquiries last week after being held on suspicion of indecent assault and possession of indecent images.

Detective Inspector Jed Pidd, from Trafford's Public Protection Investigation Unit, said: "While it is not appropriate to detail the number of calls we have received, it is fair to say the size of this investigation has grown, given the response from members of the public."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Extra police in Christian Brothers college abuse probe

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

More officers are being drafted in to investigate allegations of historical sex abuse at a Catholic college in Greater Manchester.

The alleged offences involved staff at boys-only St Ambrose RC College in Altrincham from the 1960s to 1980s.

A 63-year-old man from Trafford was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and possessing indecent images last month and bailed until March.

The investigation has been extended due to the response to an appeal.

The man was arrested over allegations of an incident in the early 1980s when the victim was a 17-year-old pupil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

New Sexual Abuse Claims At St Ambrose College, Cheshire, As More Victims Come Forward

UNITED KINGDOM
Huffington Post

Detectives investigating alleged sexual abuse at a Catholic boys' school are looking into new allegations after receiving more calls from former pupils.

Last month, a 63-year-old former teacher was held on suspicion of indecent assault and possession of indecent images dating back to the early 1980s.

He was later bailed until March 12, pending further inquiries.

His alleged victim was a pupil at St Ambrose College in Hale Barns, Altrincham, Cheshire, where the man taught.

Detectives from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are investigating incidents of sexual and physical abuse at the fee-paying school between the early 1960s and late 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

AUS- Vatican appoints Archbishop as papal nuncio for Australia, SNAP responds

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Nicky Davis on December 11, 2012

The Vatican has promoted Archbishop Paul Gallagher to become the new papal nuncio for Australia.

We hope that Archbishop Gallagher will be a better friend to victims and ambassador for the church than his predecessor, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazarotto. Lazarotto has repeatedly refused to assist governmental inquiries into abuse, such as the Murphy Commission in Ireland and the current Royal Commission in Australia, and by doing so has helped to perpetuate cover-ups of clergy sex abuse.

We urge Archbishop Gallagher to reverse the hurtful course of Lazarotto and to actively engage with the Australian government in order to get to the bottom of the clergy sex abuse crisis. We also call on Archbishop Gallagher to do everything in his power to force Lazarotto to come clean about what he knew and when. Sadly, given the history of other papal nuncios, we are not optimistic about this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

BC football player guilty in wiretap charge

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Bob Hohler
| Globe Staff
December 12, 2012

A Boston College football player Tuesday admitted to facts sufficient for a finding of guilty on a wiretap charge that he illegally audiotaped a female student having consensual sex with his teammate in a campus suite the players shared.

In a plea agreement, the case against Jaryd Rudolph, a 6-foot-4-inch, 295-pound junior defensive lineman from Plympton, was continued without a finding until March 12 on the condition he perform 20 hours of community service and have no contact with the victim.

Rudolph was advised in Brighton District Court that if he fails to abide by those conditions or offends again in any way, his case could be put back on track for a trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Priest touched genitals, witness says

CANADA
Times Colonist

By Louise Dickson, Times Colonist December 12, 2012

Warning: This story contains graphic details.

A former student at St. Joseph's Catholic School said he was scared and confused when Father Phil Jacobs touched his genitals in a back room of the parish church.

The young man, whose identity is protected by a court order, appeared ill at ease as he testified Tuesday at Jacobs's trial by judge in B.C. Supreme Court.

Jacobs, 63, was parish priest at St. Joseph the Worker in Saanich from 1997 to 2002. He is charged with sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference with a person under 14 and sexual touching. The incidents are alleged to have occurred between September 1996 and June 30, 2001.

"It was all very confusing," the young man said. "When you went to school, you're taught that priests are someone you can trust, that you can confide in. They were good people. It's tough to understand that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Pastor accused of molestation, sought by police

INDIANA
Indianapolis Star

Written by
Bill McCleery

Police continue to look for an Indianapolis pastor suspected of forcing a boy to have sex with him in the mid-1990s, starting when he was 12 and continuing past the boy’s 13th birthday

Otis B. Jetter, 70, is charged with three felony counts of child molestation in an affidavit signed Nov. 30 by court officials .

Jetter is a pastor at Pilgrim Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 2301 Dr. Andrew J. Brown Ave., Indianapolis.

The alleged victim, who is now 29, reported the incidents last month to Indianapolis police after noticing that another young boy had accompanied Jetter to church one day this year but then stopped coming to church, according to the affidavit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Betsy Salkind: More Than Once Upon a Time

UNITED STATES
Examiner

December 11, 2012
By: Vicki Polin

Betsy Salkind is a gifted and talented entertainer, comedian ad writer. In the past she was a staff writer for the “Roseanne” and also “Saturday Night Special”. Betsy has also appeared on Girls’ Night Out, The Tonight Show and SHOWTIME’s Fierce Funny Women. Betsy has also been a long time activist for survivors of sexual abuse with her work with the National Association to Protect Children, and was also instrumental in changing the laws in California to offer equal protection to children sexually abused by family members.

Recently, Betsy Salkind’s published her newest book “More Than Once Upon a Time”, which I personally believe should be on everyone’s must read list. As usual, Betsy has a very unique way of educating the public about childhood sexual abuse and the struggles many adult survivors cope with on a daily basis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Lay people to head abuse council

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Two lay people will lead a council established by the Catholic Church to co-ordinate its engagement with the royal commission on child sex abuse.

Former NSW Supreme Court chief judge Barry O'Keefe and former secretary-general of the Australian Medical Association Francis Sullivan were announced as the chair and chief executive, respectively, of the 10-person council on Wednesday.

Mr Sullivan said their brief was twofold; the first duty being to nationally co-ordinate the church's 'embrace' of the royal commission, and the second being to provide feedback to the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Laity to lead church abuse inquiry council

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

By Genevieve Gannon
From: AAP
December 12, 2012

A CATHOLIC advocacy group hopes the church's decision to appoint lay people to lead its council to the child abuse royal commission indicates a willingness to achieve genuine reform.

Two bishops and a nun have already been nominated to the 10-person council but it will be led by members of the laity.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart on Wednesday announced former NSW supreme court chief judge Barry O'Keefe and former Australian Medical Association secretary-general Francis Sullivan would respectively be chair and chief executive of the council.

Catholics for Renewal president Peter Johnstone said the church had so far failed to identify systematic institutional failures, but the appointment of people outside the church hierarchy was a good sign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Rhetoric, yes, but also cause for optimism

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

December 13, 2012

Barney Zwartz

ONCE bitten, twice shy, the adage says, and Catholic bishops in Australia over the decades have made all sorts of promises about learning the lessons of abuse, putting victims first and the like that have crumbled under the pressure of expediency.

So the wider community might be doubly sceptical about what changes the church's new lay-led Truth, Justice and Healing Commission might actually produce, especially as the two men appointed yesterday to run it could not give any examples.

New chief executive Francis Sullivan gave fine promises about truth, justice and listening.

''We are really genuine in saying this process is about healing, which will never happen unless we first listen,'' he said. ''And to listen, we need to be in the other person's shoes, and to step into these shoes won't be easy - it will take an open heart and compassion. But that's our brief.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Advocate For Victims Of Sex Abuse Attacked With Bleach In Williamsburg

NEW YORK
Gothamist

A controversial Ultra-Orthodox Jewish leader known for advocating on behalf of victims of sexual abuse was sprayed in the face with bleach this afternoon on Roebling Street in Williamsburg. Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg was allegedly assaulted by a relative of convicted sex offender Baruch Lebovits, whose conviction was overturned back in April, the Examiner reports. And Failed Messiah, a news blog that reports on New York's ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, reports that Rosenberg has now been released from the hospital and is not blind in one eye, despite rumors on Twitter.

The assault occurred on day after the conviction of Nechemya Weberman, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish leader from Williamsburg who was convicted of sexually abusing a young girl for three years between 2007 and 2010. According to the Examiner, "Several high ranking chasidic leaders are blaming Rabbi Rosenberg for numerous arrests and convictions of sexual predators living within the Satmar community, including the conviction of Nechemya Weberman earlier this week."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Crusading Rabbi Attacked with Bleach in Brooklyn: Cops

NEW YORK
NBC New York

A rabbi known for anti-child abuse activism in Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish community had bleach thrown in his face on a Williamsburg street Tuesday, police said.

Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg was attacked on Roebling Street at about noon, police said. The bleach attack comes a day after a religious counselor in Brooklyn was convicted of the sustained sexual abuse of a girl in a controversial case that divided the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Supporter of Orthodox Jewish sex abuse victim attacked in Brooklyn

NEW YORK
New York Post

By LORENA MONGELLI and AMY STRETTON

An anti-sex abuse activist — who was a daily fixture at the trial of convicted child molester Nechemya Weberman — had bleach splashed in his face yesterday on a Brooklyn street.

Crusading Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, 62, was ambushed as he walked down Roebling Street across from Schnitzler’s Famous Fish market around noon, he and witnesses told The Post.

“He comes up to me and he taps me on the shoulder,” the still-shaken Rosenberg recounted after being treated for ocular burns at Woodhull Medical Center.

“He walked up hard to me. He looks me in the face. I saw him holding a glass. I thought it was coffee or something and he throws it in my face.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

FIRST ON PIX: Bleach thrown ...

NEW YORK
WPIX

[with video]

FIRST ON PIX: Bleach thrown in face of rabbi who writes about sex abuse in Williamsburg’s Orthodox Jewish community

(Brooklyn, New York) – A Brooklyn rabbi who writes a blog about sex abuse within the insular, Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg told PIX 11 he had bleach thrown in his face by another Hasidic man Tuesday.

Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg told PIX11 he was walking down Roebling Street, when a man with a beard and black coat ran across from a fish store and confronted him.

“He takes a full cup of bleach and he spilled it onto me. Half of my face is burned, and my left eye, I can’t see right out of it. I see everything very faded.”

The attack happened one day after a jury convicted a prominent Satmar Hasidic man, Nechemya Weberman, of repeatedly molesting a student in the community, starting when she was just 12 years old. Weberman, an unlicensed counselor, faces up to 117 years in prison, when he’s sentenced next month. Many Hasidic men in the community raised money for his defense.

The trial exposed secrets about the alleged Satmar Hasidic “modesty squads” that allegedly raid the homes of girls and families that don’t follow the strict rules of the Hasidic community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Hasidic rabbi advocate for sex abuse victims attacked in Brooklyn

NEW YORK
JTA

December 12, 2012

(JTA) -- A Hasidic rabbi who advocates for victims of sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community was injured when a chemical was thrown in his face.

Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg on Tuesday was walking down the street in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he lives, when a man approached him from behind, tapped him on his shoulder and then thr