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January 31, 2013

Judge orders church to release full priest abuse records

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

A trove of confidential church files detailing how the Los Angeles archdiocese dealt with priests accused of molestation must be released “as soon as possible” and include the names of Cardinal Roger Mahony and his aides, a judge ruled Thursday.

In a written order, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Emilie H. Elias gave the church a Feb. 22 deadline to turn over about 30,000 pages of internal memos, psychiatric reports, Vatican correspondence and other documents.

“Let’s just get it done,” Elias said in court Thursday.

Her order brought to a close five and a half years of legal wrangling and delays and set the stage for a raft of new and almost certainly embarrassing revelations about the church’s handling of pedophile priests. A small portion of the files were made public in a civil case last week and showed that in the 1980s Mahony and a top aide discussed methods for concealing abuse from police, including giving molesters out-of-state assignments.

DOCUMENT: Los Angeles Archdiocese priest abuse files

The files Elias ordered released are the final piece of a landmark 2007 settlement between the archdiocese and about 500 people who said clergy abused them. As part of that $660-million settlement, the archdiocese agreed to hand over the personnel files of accused abusers. Victims said the files would provide accountability for church leaders who let pedophiles remain in the ministry; law enforcement officials said the records would be important investigative tools.

But the release was delayed for years by appeals and the painstaking process of reading and redacting 89 files, some hundreds of pages long. A private mediator in 2011 ordered the church to black out the names of victims and archdiocese employees not accused of abuse, saying he wanted to avoid “guilt by association.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 PM

Judge orders LA archdiocese ...

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Washington Post

Judge orders LA archdiocese to release 30K pages of priest files without blacked-out names

By Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A judge on Thursday ordered the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to turn over 30,000 pages from the confidential files of priests accused of child molestation without blacking out the names of top church officials who were responsible for key decisions in how to handle the sexually abusive priests.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias ordered the nation’s largest archdiocese to turn over the files to attorneys for alleged victims no later than Feb. 22.

The archdiocese had planned to black out the names of members of the church hierarchy who were responsible for the molesting priests in the documents and instead provide a cover sheet for each priest’s file, listing the names of top officials who handled that case. The church reversed course Wednesday after The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and plaintiff attorneys objected in court.

The archdiocese had also planned to black out handwritten comments on the files inked by recently retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and provide those in typewritten form instead.

A record-breaking $660 million settlement in 2007 with more than 500 alleged victims paved the way for the ultimate disclosure of the tens of thousands of pages, but the archdiocese and individual priests fought to keep them secret for more than five years. The AP and the Los Angeles Times intervened in court in January because the 4.3 million-person archdiocese intended to release the files with the names of top officials, including Mahony’s, blacked out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 PM

LA archdiocese files coming out without redactions

LOS ANGELES (CA)
ABC 6

Posted: Jan 31, 2013

By GILLIAN FLACCUS
Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge has ordered the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to turn over 30,000 pages from the confidential files of priests accused of sex abuse without blacking out the names of top church officials who were responsible for handling their cases.

Judge Emilie Elias on Thursday ordered the nation's largest archdiocese to release the files by Feb. 22.

A record-breaking $660 million settlement with more than 500 victims in 2007 set the stage for the release of the files, but the archdiocese and individual priests fought for five years to keep them secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

The Los Angeles Archdiocese can't seem to play by the rules

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Sandra Hernandez
January 31, 2013, 4:47 p.m.

Earlier this month, a state judge ordered the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to include the names of church leaders who mishandled sex-abuse claims when it finally releases scores of confidential priest files as part of a 2007 settlement.

Yet despite that court order, the archdiocese has continued to act as if the rules don’t apply to it. This week, the church resubmitted a proposal that would have redacted the names of top church leaders from the documents and only provided the names of those officials in a generic cover sheet attached to the priest’s file. The church’s actions were nothing short of an attempt to delay justice and conceal the truth from the victims and the public.

I can’t say the church’s request came as a surprise. The archdiocese has spent years in court fighting to keep those records under wraps. And last week, we learned why.

As The Times' Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan reported, confidential letters and memos, filed in a civil court case, reveal Cardinal Roger M. Mahony’s role in plotting to shield pedophile priests from coming to the attention of police or prosecutors. The letters document how Mahony and Msgr. Thomas J. Curry, his top advisor on sex-abuse cases, discussed strategies to keep pedophile priests out of state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Former Orchard Lake Schools friar accused of molestation left apology note after suicide

MICHIGAN
The Oakland Press

By CAROL HOPKINS
carol.hopkins@oakpress.com Twitter: @opcarolhopkins

Officials with SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are inviting people to come forward after learning a Franciscan friar who once worked at Orchard Lake Schools committed suicide and left a note apologizing to his victims.

Brother Stephen Baker worked at the school in Orchard Lake between 1983 and 85. There is no record that Baker molested anyone connected with the school system, said officials with the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Baker, 62 — who killed himself Jan. 26 with a self-inflicted knife wound to the heart at the St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg, Pa. — is accused of molesting high school students in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Baker was named in legal settlements last week involving 11 men who alleged that he sexually abused them at a Catholic high school in northeast Ohio three decades ago. The undisclosed financial settlements announced Jan. 16 involved his contact with students at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio from 1986-90.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Judge to Issue Order on Release of LA Archdiocese Personnel Files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
NBC Southern California

By Patrick Healy and Jonathan Lloyd

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013

A judge is expected to issue an order Thursday afternoon governing the release of personnel files that include the names of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles leaders who handled priest abuse cases.

Attorneys and the judge concluded a conference call Thursday morning in which they discussed how the 30,000 pages of confidential personnel files will be released. The archdiocese is expected to be given 30 days to comply, but officials might have the documents ready in as soon as one week.

The files will be provided to attorneys for clergy abuse victims.

Attorneys for the archdiocese said Wednesday they will not pursue a plan that would have blacked out church leaders' names when the files are released, according to the Associated Press. The move is a reversal of the archdiocese's plan to redact the names, citing privacy rights of priests and others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Archdiocese says it doesn't have abuse complaints against friar who taught at St. Mary's Prep

DETROIT (MI)
Desert Sun

Written by
Patricia Montemurri
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier headline on this story incorrectly stated that the Archdiocese of Detroit had abuse complaints tied to Catholic friar Stephen Baker. The archdiocese does not have a record of any abuse complaints against Baker. This was an editing error. The current headline is correct.

The Archdiocese of Detroit said it has no record of complaints against a Catholic friar who taught at Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep High School for two years, and killed himself Saturday after allegations surfaced that he had molested students at Ohio and Pennsylvania Catholic schools.

Brother Stephen Baker, a Franciscan friar, taught at the all-boys St. Mary's Prep from 1983 to 1985. He then went on to teach at Catholic high schools in Warren, Ohio, and Johnstown, Pa.

"The Detroit archdiocese has no record of sexual abuse complaints involving minors brought against Br. Baker during the two years in Michigan," the archdiocese said in a statement released Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Thu. 1:34pm: Detroit Archdiocese: No record of abuse with Baker

MICHIGAN
Tribune Chronicle

January 31, 2013

The Detroit Archdiocese is reporting that it has no record of sexual abuse complaints brought against Brother Stephen Baker during his two years in Michigan.

The archdiocese made the statement on its website after members of SNAP, a support group for clergy sex abuse victims, called on it to investigate whether Baker had sexually abused any of his students while teaching at Orchard Lakes Schools from 1983 to 1985.

Baker is accused of abusing former students while he was working at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren from 1986 to 1990 and then at Bishop McCort in the 1990s. He committed suicide Saturday morning at St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg, Pa., where he lived. In a letter found in his room at the monastery, Baker apologized to the church, the Blair County Coroner's Office confirmed.

In its statement, the Detroit Archdiocese confirmed that Baker, a Franciscan friar, took classes and worked at Orchard Lakes Schools. However, the archdiocese explained that OLS reports that it does not have any record of an abuse complaint during or after those years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Catholics cry foul over rape allegation

INDIA
Ucanews

Priscilla Pinto, Pune
India
2013-01-31

Catholic leaders are questioning the investigation of a Salesian priest accused of molesting a minor girl in Pune.

Father Igidius Falcao, a vice principal at Don Bosco high school in Pune, Maharashtra state, was arrested January 21 after a 14-year-old Catholic student complained he had attempted to molest her on January 2 in his office.

Father Falcao, 61, was transfered from police custody to magisterial custody on Monday, where he will stay until February 11, his lawyer said.

He applied for bail yesterday, but police are seeking an extension of custody while they investigate the priest’s past positions in Mumbai, according to police inspector Reshma Mulani.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Additional Cleric Sex Allegations Information

UNITED STATES
ABC 23

There is more information tonight on the investigation into a cleric accused of sexually abusing young kids at Bishop McCort High School. We told you last week that Brother Stephen Baker also worked at two schools in Ohio and one in Virginia. Today we have learned of another, a prep school in Michigan. A support group known as "SNAP" held a rally in Detroit today asking why church leaders have kept silent about Baker's past especially now that the number of alleged victim reach at least eight. We did reach out to the Diocese of Richmond Virginia and Detroit today both told us there were never any allegations against Brother Baker at their schools and said today was the first they even heard of the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Haredi Beit Din In Case Of Alleged London Rabbi Sex Abuser Begins

UNITED KINGDOM
Failed Messiah

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

According to a Behadrei Haredim report, the beit din (religious court) called to investigate allegations that Rabbi Chaim Halpern has arrived in London. It met this morning to deal with administrative matters and will begin hearing Halpern's case tomorrow.

The dayanim (rabbi-judges) are: Rabbi Sariel Rosenberg, of Rabbi Nissim Karelitz's Beit Din Tzedek (Badatz) of Bnei Brak; Rabbi Yisroel Berger, who was sent by Rabbi Ephraim Nussbaum of Badatz Ahvas Shalom and Beit Din Hayashor Vehatov in Jerusalem; and Rabbi Avraham Baruch Rosenberg of Monsey, New York who heads the Badatz Toras Chaim-Vizhnitz Monsey USA and who also heads another beit din there, Machon Le'Hora'ah.

Rabbi David Cohen Rabbi of the large Sephardic community in London was appointed as a special assistant to the Beis Din to screen those who want to testify and determine the procedures for the hearings, which are expected to continue for another week. After the beit din finishes hearing testimony it will meet in a series of hearings to decide the case.

A decision is expected to be handed down in late February or early March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Getting a Grip on Religious Sex Abuse

Huffington Post

Rabbi Yitzchak Shochet

Last night, British Channel 4's Dispatches programme did an exposé on attitudes within some of the Orthodox Jewish community in London toward sex abuse crimes. One particular victim went undercover to expose the way his community has for decades been dealing with paedophilia. It's been a year long investigation and it has sent shockwaves through much of the Anglo-Jewish community. Unfortunately this is one of many stories emerging of late. There was the high profile trial and conviction of an Orthodox Jewish "therapist" in Williamsburg, N.Y., and a lot of media attention focussed on a spiritual leader in Golders Green, London.

Often the community rallies around alleged offenders and ostracise the would-be victim. Edward Thorndike, president of the American Psychological Association in the early 20th century, coined a term called "the halo effect." The theory goes that we tend to give someone the benefit of the doubt based on personal image and stature. When we hear about a common man having committed an offence we immediately presume him to be guilty while feeling sorry for the victim. But when it's someone of stature in the community, we immediately presume that person's innocence while vilifying those who bring the accusations. As Thorndike put it, we make "a generalisation from the perception of one outstanding personality trait to an overly favourable evaluation of the whole personality."

Isn't that why Jimmy Saville got away with what he did for so long? I've spoken to several people involved in the music industry during the Saville era that now claim with hindsight that "Jimmy Saville was obviously up to no good." Only at the time they didn't see it. Like them, the hundreds who have clamoured to the support of a rabbi in London, the thousands who have done the same for one of their own in New York and the many more who immediately ostracise those bringing claims of sexual abuse, all suffer from the halo effect. After all who are you more likely to believe: a "skimpy clad, rebellious" teenage girl or a long frock coated, black-bearded therapist; a leading rabbi or a "desperate" divorcee; a "troubled" student or a popular star-studded teacher?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Brooklyn rabbi arrested for sexually abusing at least three former students of his at a yeshiva

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

By Rocco Parascandola , Eric Badia AND Larry Mcshane / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Brooklyn rabbi sexually abused three teenage boys from the ultra-Orthodox yeshiva where he once taught, cops said Thursday.

Yoel Malik, 33, a well-regarded member of the Satmar Hasidic sect, was arrested on 28 charges ranging from sexual abuse to forcible touching, police said.

He lured two of the underaged victims to Brooklyn hotels, according to sources.

The arrest came a week after a Satmar counselor was sentenced to 103 years behind bars for his repeated sexual abuse of a teenage girl sent to him for help.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

MN - Serial predator worked in MN

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 31, 2013

A Catholic cleric who is accused of molesting dozens of boys and who killed himself on Saturday worked for at least four years in the Twin Cities and may have molested a Minnesota child, a newspaper has reported.

And a support group is blasting two Catholic institutions - the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese and a religious order called the Franciscans - for not disclosing the accused man’s presence here and the allegation against him.

On Jan. 26, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette disclosed that Brother Stephen P. Baker “had been banned from ministry in 2000 after his order settled a claim that he had sexually abused a minor while serving in Minnesota in the 1980s.”

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, believe that Baker was at St. Patrick's church in Inver Grove Heights from 1978 to 1981. That parish has long been staffed by priests and others from the Franciscans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

IA - SNAP supports proposed sex offender reform

IOWA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on January 31, 2013

We think this idea deserves serious consideration. There’s no magic age at which a sex offender is suddenly no longer dangerous. Older sex offenders may look harmless but actually be more dangerous than ever.

Serial offenders with stooped shoulders, thick glasses, thinning hair and advanced age tends look like harmless grandpas. They often lull us into complacency. But having spent years picking, grooming and assaulting the vulnerable, then telling cunning lies and making shrewd excuses, these older predators are often more dangerous than ever.

The real remedy, however, is reforming Iowa's archaic, predator-friendly statutes of limitations. If more victims can seek justice in courts - both civil and criminal - more child predators will be suspended, arrested, charged and imprisoned. And more officials will think twice about - and decide against - covering up child sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Convictions in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

The jury in Philadelphia convicted Rev. Charles Engelhardt and former teacher Bernard Shero on Wednesday.

Here is the link to the Associated Press story via ABC News: [click here]

There will be news stories, columns, and other editorials about these convictions but it is our desire that these words spoken by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams capture and hold center ground today.

”The victim in this case has shown exceptional courage,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “Not only did he have the strength to report his abuse, he had the tenacity to look his abusers in the eye and testify in front of complete strangers about the horrific details of his attacks. I hope this verdict will help him to continue with the long journey of healing that comes after such trauma.”

Indeed, without the courage of victims, truth is strangled.

Society is deeply indebted to them for tearing away the masks, the veils, the abusers’ sought after opaque personas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Will release of priest abuse files affect you?

CALIFORNIA
KPCC

A Superior Court judge has ordered the release of thousands of documents held by the L.A. Archdiocese identifying Roman Catholic priests who have been accused of molesting children.

If you are Catholic or have been involved with the Catholic Church, how does this information release affect you, your family and the Church?

KPCC journalists want to hear from Catholics, clergy, survivors and others about the benefits or harms they see coming from the Church's policy of keeping allegations confidential, and the public release of these files.

Responses to our questions are confidential, so nothing you share will be aired or published without your permission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Fr Terrence Rafferty avoids prison after sex assault

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

The former administrator of Newry Cathedral has been sentenced to 100 hours community service for indecently assaulting a teenage girl.

Father Terrence Rafferty, of Chestnut Grove, Newry, pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault.

The priest was also given a three-year probation order.

The details of the case were only released after a court ban protecting the priest's identity was lifted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Group: Brother Baker also served in Mich.

MICHIGAN
Youngstown Vindicator

Staff report

WARREN

A support group for victims of clergy sex abuse called attention in Detroit on Wednesday to what it says is another place where Brother Stephen Baker worked as a Franciscan friar.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests said Baker was assigned three years to a Catholic prep school in Orchard Lake, Mich., from 1983 to 1985.

Judy Jones, SNAP’s Midwest associate director, said the organization was told by someone in the Detroit area that Baker served at the school.

SNAP held signs Wednesday outside the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit headquarters to talk about Baker, and hand- delivered a letter to the office of the archbishop asking that he reach out to anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered” crimes by Baker, Jones said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Diocese gets lawsuit letter

OHIO/PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune Chronicle

January 31, 2013

By VIRGINIA SHANK , Tribune Chronicle | TribToday.com

YOUNGSTOWN - The Diocese of Youngstown confirmed it has been notified of a potential civil lawsuit on behalf of victims who say they were abused by a Franciscan friar.

Nancy L. Yuhasz, chancellor, said the matter has been turned over to the attorney representing the diocese.

"There's really not a lot to say at this point," she said. "There's nothing to comment on at this point. It's basically letting us know there could be a lawsuit."

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, the Third Order Regular Franciscans and Bishop McCort Catholic High School also were to be served with similar notices this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Sex abuse victims sue rabbi over comments

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 1, 2013

Barney Zwartz

A LEADING rabbi who compared child sex abuse to diarrhoea - ''it's embarrassing but nobody's business'' - will be sued in Jewish courts by a victim advocacy group that wants him to stand down.

In a lecture posted on YouTube but later removed, Rabbi Manis Friedman says that not reciting a blessing after eating cake is worse than being sexually abused, that victims learn ''an important lesson'' from abuse, and suggests victims ''are not that damaged, cut it out''.

Rabbi Friedman is an emissary at large from the Chabad Lubavitch headquarters in New York, and has been generally regarded as a serious and moderate figure in the Orthodox movement. That movement, and particularly its Melbourne Yeshivah centre, has been embroiled in child sex abuse controversies.

Manny Waks, an abuse victim at Yeshivah himself in the 1980s and founder of the Tzedek advocacy group for Jewish abuse survivors, said on Thursday he had launched lawsuits against Rabbi Friedman in the Jewish court or Beth Din in Sydney and Crown Heights in Brooklyn, New York. The courts would decide which of them had jurisdiction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Former town priest avoids prison sentence

NORTHERN IRELAND
Lurgan Mail

Published on Thursday 31 January 2013

A FORMER town priest has been sentenced to 100 hours community service for indecently assaulting a teenage girl.

Father Terrence Rafferty, of Chestnut Grove, Newry, pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault.

The priest was also given a three-year probation order.

The details of the case were only released after a court ban protecting the priest’s identity was lifted.

This followed a request from the victim. The incident happened more than a decade ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

Priest files in child sex abuse cases to include key names

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

Attorneys for the Los Angeles Archdiocese are scheduled to speak with a judge Thursday to discuss the release of personnel files of priests accused of sexually abusing children.

The church had agreed to make public the personnel files of 89 priests accused of sexually abusing children as part of a 2007 court settlement. Fourteen files were released last week in ongoing civil litigation.

Those files showed Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and his chief advisor on abuse, Msgr. Thomas Curry, plotted to hide the sexual abuse of children from police in the 1980s.

This week, church lawyers submitted papers to the Los Angeles County Superior Court judge overseeing the release of the remaining, much larger batch of files. They proposed the archdiocese be allowed to hand over the documents with the names of top church officials removed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Ex-priest sentenced for indecent assault

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

Victims of clerical abuse have reacted with anger after a former priest, who pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a schoolgirl, was given probation and community service.

Terence Rafferty, of Chestnut Grove in Newry, was a priest in St Peter's Parish in Lurgan when the four offences took place during a six month period in 2001.

Rafferty, who was 38 years old at the time, maintained the physical relationship he had with the 16-year-old was consensual.

He stepped aside from his responsibilities as a priest following the allegation, which was made against him in April 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

District Attorney Speaks Out On Priest Abuse Convictions

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
My Fox Philly

[video]

PHILADELPHIA -
There's been another big verdict in a child sex abuse case that rocked the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

A jury on Wednesday convicted Rev. Charles Engelhardt and sixth-grade teacher Bernard Shero. ...

On Thursday morning, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams joined "Good Day" to discuss the verdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

A cautionary tale for all of us

CONNECTICUT
Stratford Star

By Joe Pisani on January 31, 2013

A friend of mine sent me a newspaper clip from 1981 with a story about Kevin Wallin, the notorious “Monsignor Meth,” as a young man about to enter the priesthood. The headline said, “Life’s a well-planned journey for future ‘new breed’ priest.”

The tragic irony is that the new breed of priest in the photo, smiling and mustachioed, wearing a Lacoste golf shirt and khakis, and standing on the steps of Sacred Heart Church in Byram, would 32 years later be at the center of a scandal for allegedly having sex in the rectory dressed as a woman and facing a life in prison for allegedly selling $300,000 of crystal meth and laundering the profits through a porn store. The diocese relieved him of his public ministry as pastor of St. Augustine Cathedral last May.

Is that the life of a well-planned journey for the future new breed of priest? Are there any old breed priests left?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Francis J. Reynolds

MINNESOTA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Reynolds was accused in a 1991 lawsuit of the sexual abuse of a girl from about 1972-1984, while he was pastor of a Buffalo, MN parish. The girl was a parishioner and attended the parish school. Reynolds died in 1988.

Ordained: 1955
Incardinated: St. Paul
Retired: 1986
Died: Feb. 13, 1988

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

International Spotlight on Abuse in Catholic Church: More on Philadelphia, HBO Documentary about Wisconsin, Jerry Slevin's Petition to President Obama

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Important news in the ongoing (and now international) battle to hold the leaders of the Catholic church accountable for covering up child sexual abuse by priests: yesterday, a jury in Philadelphia found Father Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero guilty on multiple charges in a case involving the sexual assault of a 10-year-old altar boy. Joseph A. Slobdozian summarizes the story at the Philly.com website (and see also Jon Hurdle at the New York Times). The victim, "Billy Doe," reports that he was serially raped by Engelhardt, his parish priest, and Shero, principal of his Catholic school, when he was in fifth and sixth grade.

As Brian Roewe writes for National Catholic Reporter, a former priest, Edward Avery, was also accused of raping "Billy Doe," and pled guilty, but has now denied that he knew the victim. Roewe states,

The 2011 investigation [which issued in a grand jury report conducted by the Philadelphia district attorney's office] revealed the story of "Billy Doe," the now-24-year-old man who accused Engelhardt, Shero and Avery of serially raping and abusing him. The report presents a picture where the three men passed Billy among one another. The young man, who has battled a drug addiction since his teens, took the stand for several hours during the trial.

Just as this news breaks from Philadelphia, Alex Gibney's hard-hitting documentary on the story of Father Lawrence Murphy and his abuse of boys at St. John's School for the Deaf in Wisconsin is preparing to premier on HBO.* The documentary, "Mea Maxima Culpa," will air next Monday, 4 February, on HBO at 9 P.M. ET. A press release I received yesterday about the documentary notes its significance as an exposé showing that the cover-up of clerical sexual abuse cases reaches the very highest levels of the Catholic church:

From the row houses of Milwaukee through the bare ruined choirs of Ireland’s churches, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican, it was an international and systematic conspiracy to silence victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Abuse inquiry faults bishop

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet

31 January 2013

An independent inquiry commissioned by two Australian bishops has found deficiencies in the Church's response to child sexual abuse allegations about a former priest, "F", in the 1980s and '90s.

The inquiry accuses the late Bishop Henry Kennedy of Armidale in New South Wales of ignoring advice not to ordain the priest and of an "utterly inexplicable" failure to examine claims against him.

The inquiry, by former Federal Court judge Antony Whitlam, QC, found that, had current procedures for reporting child abuse by the Catholic Church and protocols regarding the transfer of priests been in force, "F" would have been "stopped in his tracks".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

PA - Guilt is now clear, so Archbishop Chaput must act

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on January 31, 2013

The newly-established guilt of two Philly Catholic employees should be a clarion call for Philly's Catholic hierarchy. After hearing and seeing voluminous evidence, an impartial jury has found that Fr. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero are child molesters. What now?

Now, Archbishop Charles Chaput has two choices. He can break with the long-standing, selfish and destructive practices of the Catholic hierarchy, and aggressively seek out others who were hurt by these two predators. Or he can do what he and his brother bishops have done for decades, and essentially be passive.

We urge Chaput to act like a compassionate shepherd, not a cold-hearted CEO. We urge him to personally visit every church or school where these two convicted child molesters worked or lived. We urge him to beg any victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers to step forward, call police, expose wrongdoers, and deter wrongdoing. We urge him to print prominent and clear appeals in every parish bulletin and on the archdiocesan website, prodding others who have been victimized to step forward. This is an inexpensive and non-controversial way to help those who were violated as kids but are still in pain as adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Miller pushes for elderly sex offender site

IOWA
The Messenger

January 31, 2013

By BILL SHEA (bshea@messengernews.net) , Messenger News

Iowa would establish a specialized nursing home to house elderly sex offenders under legislation being drafted by state Rep. Helen Miller, D-Fort Dodge.

Miller said Wednesday that her proposal would direct the state government to either set up the facility or hire a private company to do so.

''The 800 pound gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about is what are you going to do with these individuals if they're denied entry to a nursing home or are kicked out of one,'' she said. ''They've got to go somewhere.''

''My bill cuts to the chase and quits the dinking around because you've got to put them somewhere,'' she added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Attorney: Victim In Priest Sex Abuse Case ‘Relieved’

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A priest and former lay teacher were taken into custody immediately after a jury convicted them of sexually assaulting the same boy, the same victim who was assaulted by another priest who pleaded guilty last year. The convicted defendants are scheduled to be sentenced in April.

Father Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero face possible maximum sentences of decades in prison and District Attorney Seth Williams says there’s really not enough jail time that they could get for what they did.

The victim, now 24, testified in painful detail to the attacks when he was just 10 and 11-years-old. Prosecutors have praised his courage. But, he was not in the courtroom for the verdicts. His civil attorney, Paul Lauricella says he was relieved to return home, outside this area, after his testimony and he now knows the result.

“He’s relieved, he’s gratified. He’s, quite frankly — you can’t say ecstatic in a situation like this because the story is so troubling, so horrible, that it is not even a time for joy. It’s a time for more relief and reflection.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Protests for censured Irish priest

IRELAND
The Tablet

31 January 2013

More than 200 people took part in a protest in support of dissident priest Fr Tony Flannery outside the papal nuncio's residence in Dublin last Sunday.

The protesters left a letter for the nuncio calling for dialogue within the Church to address the case of Fr Flannery, who has been threatened with excommunication if he does not sign a document retracting his views on women priests, artificial contraception and homosexuality.

The letter, organised by the lay reform group We Are Church Ireland, was critical of the way the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) exercises its authority in relation to those who question church teaching.

A petition against the CDF's treatment of Fr Flannery is being delivered to Rome and has already gathered more than 1,450 signatures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

IRE - New Bishop of Cloyne promises reconciliation, sex abuse victims group responds

IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Blaine on January 30, 2013

We are hopeful that the new Bishop, Dr William Crean, will hold true to his pledge to keep children safe and continue the work of healing those who were violated.

Cloyne was one of the worst hit areas in the Catholic abuse scandal. The road to wholeness is a long one and the best start is with honesty from the church, outreach to those who have been hurt and justice for the wrongs they suffered.

We have heard Bishops make lofty promises, with little fruition. We are cautiously hopeful that Crean will follow through and that anyone who saw, suspected, or suffered abuse will speak up and get the help they need.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

All the documents of the Tony Flannery case are here

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R.

The CDF expressed concerns about four quotes taken from articles I had written in Reality Magazine. They imposed certain sanctions on me, and also, in order to make sure a priest who has committed the delict of heresy ‘irregular for the exercise of orders received’, while I realised the seriousness of my situation, sent a document which contained the following paragraph:

“The Church’s canon law (c. 1044) callscanon 1364 says that ‘a heretic … incurs a latae sentientiae excommunication’. Before imposing the sanctions provided for in the law, it is the practice of the CDF to take steps to restore a priest to the faith, and to ensure that he is not in a state of contumacy regarding the position(s) he may have taken. Only should these remedies fail would the canonical penalties be required”

After a period of reflection I wrote the following statement and sent it to the CDF:
Since some concerns have been raised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith over possible interpretations of articles I have written in the past few years. I respectfully take this opportunity to clarify my views and to offer the reassurance necessary to lay those concerns fully to rest. Such words as I have written were written in good faith with absolutely no intent whatever to imply anything contrary to the truths we are all obliged to hold by the divine and catholic faith to which I fully adhere and to which I have always adhered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

St. Thomas More employee leaves amid condo investigation

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

By Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Troy — A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Detroit said Wednesday a longtime church employee who sold a $500,000 Florida condominium to the priest who is the focus of an embezzlement probe is no longer employed at St. Thomas More Church.

At the center of financial questions is the Rev. Edward Belczak, 67, the popular pastor of the Troy church for nearly 30 years. He has not been criminally charged, but was "temporarily excluded" as head of the church and also his church-provided lodgings Jan. 22 after an archdiocese audit revealed $429,000 in "questionable financial transactions and practices."

"We are aware of the Florida land records and deal but we are not an investigative agency," said Joseph Kohn, spokesman for the archdiocese. "Priests can make whatever purchases they want and other church workers and members are not restricted in making sales to them. Or, for that matter, making gifts if they feel it's appropriate."

Kohn said Belczak's annual pay as parish pastor would fall in the "mid-$30,000 range."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Priest files will include key names

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
January 30, 2013

The long-awaited release of 30,000 pages of internal church records was thrown into turmoil when attorneys for the Los Angeles archdiocese proposed, and then disavowed, a plan to turn over the documents with the names of Cardinal Roger Mahony and other church leaders handling cases of child abuse blacked out.

The church had agreed to make public the personnel files of 89 priests accused of sexually abusing children as part of a 2007 court settlement. Fourteen files were released last week in ongoing civil litigation. Those files showed Mahony and his chief advisor on abuse, Msgr. Thomas Curry, plotted to hide the sexual abuse of children from police in the 1980s.

Earlier this week, church lawyers submitted papers to the Los Angeles County Superior Court judge overseeing the release of the remaining, much larger batch of files proposing that the archdiocese be allowed to hand over the documents with the names of top church officials removed.

Attorneys for victims and the media criticized the legal maneuver, saying it flouted a previous ruling by Judge Emilie H. Elias that the public was entitled to the information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Advocates: Baker Worked in Mich., Va., Before Warren

MICHIGAN
WKBN

The Catholic Diocese of Detroit is looking into whether Brother Stephen P. Baker, the Franciscan friar who fatally stabbed himself in the heart Saturday after more than 80 former students in Warren and Johnstown, Pa. accused him of sexually molesting them during the 1980s and 1990s, had worked at high school in Orchard Lake, Mich.

Victim advocates on Wednesday said they are hoping officials at Catholic dioceses in Detroit and in Richmond, Va. come forward with information about Baker's tenure at the two schools where he taught before transferring to teach religion, coach baseball and serve as the athletic trainer at Warren’s John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in 1986.

The advocates, from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Baker worked at the now-defunct James Barry-Robinson High School and Home for Boys in Nofolk, Va. from 1977 to 1983. They also said he was assigned to St. Mary’s Prep High School in Orchard Lake, Mich. from 1983 to 1985, when he was then transferred to Warren.

A spokesman for the Detroit Catholic Diocese said on Wednesday they are aware of the allegations that Baker worked within their diocese but have been unable to find records of his employment. He said the diocese is “taking extra steps” to see if they can find records of him working in the area. A call to St. Mary’s Prep was not immediately returned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Alexander Sample Takes Over As Catholic Archbishop of Portland

PORTLAND (OR)
Daily Astorian

The Catholic Archdiocese of Portland has a new archbishop. Alexander Sample from Marquette, Mich., is taking over the reins from Archbishop John Vlazny, who is retiring. ...

But the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is not happy with Sample's promotion. The group says he took no real steps to warn families about eight priests in Marquette. Spokeswoman Barbara Dorris said those priests were "credibly accused" of molesting children.

"We see no evidence that he took any steps to do outreach to the victim, to encourage witnesses or whistleblowers to come forward, so that these crimes could be fully investigated," Dorris said.

At the meeting to welcome Sample, he addressed the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, saying he's had a lot of experience listening and talking to victims.

"We have worked very hard to put in place measures that will protect children in the future," Sample said. "Our safe environment programs, our back room checks, the educational effort that we have done. To reassure people that we are doing everything we can to protect our young people and our children from this happening again."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Peter Isely on LA’s “Media Mayhem”

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Watch Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, discuss Thursday afternoon on LA’s “Media Mayhem” with Allison Hope Weiner…

the ongoing global clergy sex abuse crisis, the release of church documents in Los Angeles and more, airing 3:00 pm CST Thursday (January 31st) at www.thelip.tv/media-mayhem/. In the program, Peter argues not only why child sex offenders may have been historically attracted to the priesthood but the more disturbing possibility that the system itself may produce or manufacture a certain kind of sex predator, which is why reactionary attempts by the hierarchy to cure the illness will likely only recreate the disease. You can also view the program after that airing at the same website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Getting to the truth of reconciliation and healing

CANADA
Toronto Star

By:Jackson Lafferty Published on Tue Jan 29 2013

The British novelist and crusader against social injustice, George Orwell, once remarked that “telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” That’s being proven in northern Canada where schools in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut have begun teaching youth the true lessons of Canada’s residential schools history and the legacies that flow from it. In the process, they are not only confronting uncomfortable truths about the past; they are laying the foundation for a radically different future.

It has taken nearly a century for mainstream Canadian society to acknowledge the misguided historic policies of assimilation, which were designed to stamp out aboriginal cultures, heritage and languages. The resulting physical, psychological and cultural damage was inflicted on vulnerable aboriginal children and families, separated from each other and forced to attend residential schools. It’s a legacy that has haunted successive generations, is a source of national shame and at the root of widespread personal, family and community dysfunction that lingers today.

Once viewed as an instrument of oppression of aboriginal people, education is now beginning to be seen as a powerful tool to promote honesty, rectify wrongs and inspire a new generation to believe in a future of hope and possibilities. An innovative high-school social studies program recently launched by the two territories is helping families and communities to come to terms with the past and heal old wounds, enabling today’s youth to move forward to healthier, more positive and productive lives.

“Residential Schools in Canada: Understanding the Past, Seeking Reconciliation, Building Hope for the Future” is the first comprehensive teaching unit of its kind in Canada. The governments of Nunavut and the N.W.T. partnered with the Legacy of Hope Foundation to produce the groundbreaking resource.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Feds ordered by court to release residential school documents

CANADA
Toronto Sun

OTTAWA - A judge has ordered the feds to release documents to a commission probing the dark legacy of Canada's residential schools.

In December, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government would "let the courts decide" if documents related to the system could be released to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

"The commission is now seeking some documents, which the government believes are outside of its mandate ... for example, personal records of survivors given in confidence to the government," Harper said in the Commons prior to the holiday break.

In previous documents filed to the Ontario Superior Court, the TRC suggested Ottawa was hampering the retrieval of documents related to its mandate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Turn over residential school files: court

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
January 31, 2013

The federal government is obliged to turn over its archival records on Indian residential schools to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, an Ontario court decided Wednesday.

In his decision, Justice Stephen Goudge said the obligation to provide the materials is clear from the settlement agreement that established the commission.

"The plain meaning of the language is straightforward," Goudge said.

"It is to provide all relevant documents to the TRC."

The decision comes in an increasingly acrimonious dispute between the federal government and the commission over millions of government documents the commission says it needs to fulfil its core mandate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Ottawa ordered to find and release millions of Indian residential school records

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Jan. 30 2013

The federal government must scour its archives for millions of documents related to the Indian residential schools that operated in Canada for more than century – institutions where physical and sexual abuse was rampant and from which many students never returned.

An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled on Wednesday that it is not good enough for Ottawa to provide the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) with records that can be found in the active files of departments.

Most of the relevant documents were long ago sent to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) for storage, and Mr. Justice Stephen Goudge said the government must now retrieve them so that the commission can fulfill its mandate of compiling a historical record of the residential-schools experience.

Canada’s obligation under a settlement agreement signed in 2006 with the school survivors, the government, the churches that ran the institutions, and others, is straightforward, Judge Goudge wrote.

“It is to provide all relevant documents to the TRC,” which was created as part of the settlement agreement, he wrote. “The obligation is in unqualified language unlimited by where the documents are located within the government of Canada.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Late friar accused of sexual abuse once worked in Orchard Lake

MICHIGAN
My Fox Detroit

By Taryn Asher, Fox 2 News

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -
A man of the cloth who once served in metro Detroit has taken his own life. He is accused of sexually abusing children in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Now many want to know if the same thing happened here.

Leading the charge is SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. They believe if it happened elsewhere with nearly 80 accusers, there's a good chance it happened here.

Brother Stephen Baker is accused of molesting a dozen students at Catholic high schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio in the late eighties and nineties. One alleged victim explained how the Franciscan friar used his position as an athletic trainer to treat injuries with massages that would lead to the molestation.

"Quadricep muscle that was injured, back muscle, shoulders, whatever, you were usually asked to strip down regardless of the place of where the injury was," said Michael Munno.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

New details surface in cleric's past

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

[with video]

By Maria Miller

New details continue to unfold in the case against a now-deceased friar accused of sexually molesting former students in at least four states.

6 News reported last week that in addition to Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, brother Stephen Baker also worked at two schools in Ohio and one in Virginia. On Wednesday, 6 News learned of a another; a prep school in Michigan.

"Some feel, 'OK, he can never harm another child,'" said Judy Jones, Midwest director for the support group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. "Some may feel cheated that they won't ever see him behind bars."

It's been nearly two weeks since allegations of sexual abuse against Baker surfaced locally, and members of SNAP continue to uncover new details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Probe of abuse not over, DA says: Adults who were aware could face consequences

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott kmellott@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — When Franciscan friar Stephen Baker took his life Saturday, the possibility of any criminal prosecution against him ended.

But adults who were aware of Baker’s abuse and failed to report it could face consequences, Cambria County’s top law enforcement officer said Wednesday.

District Attorney Kelly Callihan said she is seeking advice from the state Attorney General’s office on reporting laws and the statute of limitations in place more than a decade ago when Baker was a teacher at Bishop McCort Catholic High School.

“If the abuse alleged is as widespread as it appears to be, then I believe the criminal investigation should continue,” Callihan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Alex Gibney examines church abuse in 'Mea Maxima Culpa'

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Written by
Alex Biese
@ABieseAPP

It all started with one case.

With his latest film, “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney gives voice to the students of St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee, Wisc. who were sexually abused by the charismatic head of the school, Father Lawrence Murphy. The film premieres at 9 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4 on HBO.

In telling the story of four of Murphy’s victims — Terry Kohut, Gary Smith, Arthur Budzinksi and Bob Bolger — Giney unravels a centuries-old conspiracy to cover up church abuses leading all the way to Rome.

Gibney, who lives in Summit, said the inspiration for his film came from a 2010 front page article in the New York Times by Laurie Goodstein.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

UNITED STATES
Pop Matters

Short-listed for the Best Documentary Oscar, acclaimed documentarian Alex Gibney's film will be broadcast on HBO February 4th.

Just when you thought you’d heard everything about Catholic priests molesting children, here comes one of the most disturbing documentaries released in recent years. Alex Gibney shares the untold story of the children of St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee, Wisconsin who for decades were under the sick regime of Father Lawrence Murphy, a cherub-faced man who raped over 200 of them while the Vatican kept it a secret.

Featuring interviews with four men - Gary Smith, Bob Bolger, Terry Cohut and Arthur Budzinski - who were abused by Murphy, the film finds the right amount of scandalous storytelling without ever becoming downright sensationalist (meaning it will infuriate you, but it will also make you want to help these people after watching the movie). The men’s testimony is read by famous actors (including Ethan Hawke and John Slattery) but you don’t really need the celebrity sounds to make out the heartbreak, horror and disappointment in their lives. Their lack of a “voice” is in fact what makes the story’s center all the more horrifying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Satmar Rabbi Arrested On Multiple Counts Of Child Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

Yoel Malik, a 33-year-old rabbi from a prominent family of Satmar hasidim, was arrested and charged yesterday in Brooklyn with 28 counts of sexually abusing three teenage boys.

The arrest was reported on FailedMessiah.com yesterday afternoon.

Yoel Malik alleged brought two of the boys to motels for sexual encounters. A third boy was sexually assaulted in Malik’s car. The boys are all between the ages of 14-years-old to 16-years-old.

All of the assaults reportedly took place between March 2012 and last week, the AP reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Rabbi accused of sexually abusing students

NEW YORK
My Fox New York

By KATHY CARVAJAL, Web Producer -

NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -
The NYPD arrested the rabbi of a Brooklyn Yeshiva for allegedly having sexual relations with several students.

Yoel Malik, 33, of Brooklyn, is accused of sexual abusing three, teenage male students.

Malik, a member of the ultra-Orthodox community, reportedly had sex with one student and is accused of rubbing two others.

He was arrested late Wednesday.

According to the NY Daily News, the teens were 14 and 15 at the time of the alleged incidents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Brooklyn yeshiva leader ...

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Brooklyn yeshiva leader Yoel Malik, 33, charged with having sex with teenage boy in a hotel and rubbing the groin of another

By Kerry Burke AND Rocco Parascandola / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Brooklyn yeshiva leader was arrested late Wednesday night on a dozen sex abuse charges involving three teenage boys, cops said.

Yoel Malik, 33, of Brooklyn had sex with one of the teens and rubbed his hand on two others, a police source said.

The teens were 14 or 15 at the time of the alleged incidents. The sexual intercourse assault on the one boy took place in a hotel, a cop source said, adding another victim fled a different hotel after Malik started rubbing his back.

The third teen was in the suspect’s car, en route to school, when Malik allegedly rubbed the boy’s groin through his pants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Child Abuse Hidden in London's Strict Orthodox Jewish Community, Claims C4's Dispatches [VIDEO]

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Hannah Osborne

January 30, 2013

A Channel 4 Dispatches investigation has uncovered evidence of religious officials hiding child sex abuse in Britain after secretly filming a senior rabbi telling a victim not to involve the police.

The documentary, Britain's Hidden Child Abuse, shows how some rabbis within a strict Orthodox Jewish community forbid victims from reporting crimes committed against them.

There are around 40,000 Charedin - strict Orthodox Jews - in Britain. During the investigation, reporters uncovered 19 alleged cases of child sex abuse. None had been reported to the police.

Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, who leads the Charedi community in north London's Stamford Hill, is secretly filmed speaking to an alleged victim of child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

NY religious school rabbi faces sex abuse charges

NEW YORK
Wall Street Journal

Associated Press

NEW YORK — A rabbi at a religious school in New York's ultra-orthodox Jewish community has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing students, a law enforcement official says.

The arrest of Yoel Malik, 33, of Brooklyn comes amid mounting pressure to report allegations of abuse within the insular, secretive community, the largest outside Israel, and barely a week after a respected religious counselor in the same sect was sentenced to 103 years in prison for sexually abusing a girl.

Both cases come from within the Satmar Hasidic sect, the official said.

Malik was taken into custody Wednesday after reports he may have brought two students to motels for sexual liaisons, said the official who was not authorized to speak publicly on the case and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. A third encounter was reported in a car. The official said the victims were all teenage boys, ages 14 to 16, and the encounters took place between March of last year and last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Pres. Obama, Help! Philly, L.A., N.Y., K.C., Boston, Miami, Milwaukee & ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Another Philly priest and a Catholic school teacher were convicted today of sexually abusing a young boy. A New York City rabbi was recently convicted of sexually abusing a young girl. Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocesean recent file revelations indicate extensive priest abuse of children. Often the abuse crimes were covered-up for years. Too many similar stories have come out about these and other other religious groups in cities ranging from Boston, to Miami, to Kansas City, to Milwaukee and many U.S. cities in between.

It seems evident that these cases are just the tip of the iceberg of child sexual abuse in religious organizational settings. What is disturbingly also evident, to me as a parent and a retired experienced lawyer, is that neither local legislators nor prosecutors have dealt with many of these cases adequately, timely or comprehensively. Many thousands of abuse survivors have been totally denied justice by all indications.

President Obama was just re-elected with the strong support of mothers and mothers-to-be who wanted him to protect their access to family planning. They also expected, and still expect, his help in protecting the families they have, and will yet have, from sexual violence in institutional settings. These families need his help now!

A petition has been opened for signatures today asking President Obama to set up a national investigation commission into the sexual abuse of children by priests, rabbis, ministers and other religious leaders. Already many have begun to sign it, including abuse survivors and their supporters. Please take 30 seconds to sign it no matter where in the world you live. This is a worldwide epidemic. Just click on the below link at:

[Click here for the petition site.]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Fr. Tony Flannery's censure by Vatican was necessary!

IRELAND
Renew America

By Eamonn Keane

Since April 2012, Irish Redemptorist priest, Fr. Tony Flannery, has been at the centre of a controversy over questions of Catholic doctrine that has gained media coverage in many parts of the English-speaking world.

News of the controversy erupted in April 2012 when the Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (hereafter CDF) instructed Fr. Flannery to discontinue his regular column in Reality magazine which is a publication of the Redemptorist Order in Ireland. Amongst other things, the CDF exists to help the Pope carry out his duty of guarding Catholics from false doctrine and its negative impacts on their understanding and practice of the faith.

The CDF censure of Fr. Flannery was all the more noteworthy given that he was a founding member and one of the spokespersons of the Association of Catholic Priests (hereafter ACP) in Ireland. The ACP claims to have a membership of 1000, representing about twenty five percent of priests in Ireland.

Many media headlines reporting on the controversy portrayed Fr. Flannery as a victim of an abusive use of power by Pope Benedict XVI and the CDF. Some examples of this are: "Hoover FBI tactics used against Irish priests by Vatican" (IrishCentral, April 7, 2012); "Fr Flannery may not be burned at the stake but the censure is itself frightening" (Irish Examiner, April 9, 2012); "Dissent in the Catholic Church, especially from members of the clergy, invariably elicits a mailed fist reaction from the Vatican" (Irish Examiner, April 7, 2012); "Pope has consistently come down on dissent within the church like a hammer" (Irish Times, April 18, 2012); "Fr. Flannery's grasp of theology better than that of his silencers" (Catholic National Reporter, January 25, 2013).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Cafardi considered for ambassador to Vatican

UNITED STATES
The Duquesne Duke

By Wes Crosby
News Editor

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Law professor Nicholas Cafardi has been mentioned as a potential candidate for ambassador to the Vatican. Cafardi was also considered in 2009, but was passed over.

Duquesne law professor and Dean Emeritus of the School of Law Nicholas Cafardi was mentioned as one of the possible candidates President Barack Obama is considering for ambassador to the Vatican.

Cafardi, a Duquesne graduate who has taught at the University for 20 years, said he is honored to be considered, but realizes there is a possibility he might not be chosen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Regarding Br. Baker, Detroit, and claims by SNAP...

DETROIT (MO)
Melodika

Thursday, 31 January 2013

SOURCE Archdiocese of Detroit

An open letter dated January 30, 2013, the group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) levels a series of unfair and untrue statements regarding the Archdiocese of Detroit.

1. Regarding Br. Stephen Baker, TOR (Third Order of Regular Franciscans): The Detroit archdiocese has no record of sexual abuse complaints brought against Br. Baker during his two years in Michigan. As a professed Franciscan friar, Br. Baker took classes and worked at Orchard Lakes Schools (OLS) from 1983-85. OLS reports that it does not have any record of an abuse complaint during or after those years. Neither the archdiocese nor OLS ever received any reports/advisories from the other locations where Br. Baker subsequently worked. Additionally, we were not informed of the legal claims made against Br. Baker or his apparent suicide last weekend. SNAP's criticism of the archdiocese makes absolutely no sense. How and why would the archdiocese be criticized as negligent for not disclosing information it did not have?

2. Regarding Fr. James Kurtz, SJ (Jesuits): When a sexual abuse complaint involving a minor came in against Father Kurtz in 2002, then a teacher at University of Detroit Jesuit High School (UDJ), the Detroit archdiocese notified the Jesuit provincial and the office of the Wayne County Prosecutor. Information about the 2011 arrest and subsequent legal actions involving Fr. Kurtz was communicated locally by UDJ officials and nationally by the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Jesuits. Fr. Kurtz is listed on the archdiocesan website. These facts counter the claim made by SNAP that the public was not notified about this matter.

3. Regarding Fr. Thomas Williams, LC (Legion of Christ): While he grew up in the Detroit-area, Fr. Williams neither studied for nor was ordained to the priesthood in the Detroit archdiocese, nor did he serve here. When information regarding his personal life was released last year, Fr. Williams' religious order granted him a leave of absence. The Legionaries were not required to report to the archdiocese his choice of residence. They did not and have not. Fr. Williams does not have "faculties" (permission) from the archdiocese to perform any public ministry in southeast Michigan. Again, SNAP criticizes the archdiocese for not warning the public about something it did not know. And, does not now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Ex-Teacher and a Priest Are Convicted in Abuse Case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The New York Times

By JON HURDLE

Published: January 30, 2013

PHILADELPHIA — A Roman Catholic priest and a former Catholic school teacher were convicted on Wednesday on nine charges relating to the sexual abuse of a 10-year-old boy at different times more than a decade ago.

A jury in Common Pleas Court here found the teacher, Bernard Shero, guilty of five charges, including rape and involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, after hearing testimony that he had assaulted the boy in the back of his car.

After deliberating for about 19 hours over four days, the jury also convicted the Rev. Charles Engelhardt on four counts, including indecent assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a charge of involuntary deviant sexual intercourse against Father Engelhardt, who was accused of abusing the boy in a church sacristy during the 1998-99 school year. Judge Ellen Ceisler declared a mistrial on that count.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Clergy abuse settlement documents follow pedophile priest's path back to New Mexico

NEW MEXICO
Santa Fe New Mexican

Tom Sharpe | The New Mexican
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Documents made public this month on a multimillion-dollar settlement in 2007 between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and hundreds of victims of clergy abuse have tarnished the reputations of dozens of priests, including some well-connected Catholic leaders.

But the documents also shed light on one New Mexico-born pedophile who advanced through priestly ranks with protection from church officials.

Peter E. Garcia, born in Albuquerque in 1940, began seminary at age 14 in Los Angeles, where he had moved with his parents a couple of years earlier. Soon after he was ordained as a priest at age 26, Garcia began to have sex with underage boys, often the children of undocumented immigrants he had befriended.

Garcia was first accused of sexually abusing minors when he was 35. Nevertheless, he advanced to the rank of monsignor. By then, he’d reportedly had sex with up to 20 boys. After his third accusation, Garcia tried to commit suicide by combining sleeping pills with alcohol, and he was sent back to New Mexico, where he received psychiatric treatment at the Foundation House of the Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Phila. jury convicts 2 in sexual assault of altar boy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013

In a case that has already put a Philadelphia Catholic Church official behind bars for covering up child sexual abuse, a jury returned guilty verdicts Wednesday against a priest and a former parochial-school teacher for the sexual assault of a 10-year-old Northeast altar boy.

Wednesday's verdicts against the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero for the serial sexual assault of a St. Jerome's pupil in 1998 and 1999 were lauded by District Attorney Seth Williams as another victory for sexual-abuse victims.

"You saw how . . . they tried to victimize and demonize the victim," Williams said afterward. "I'm very thankful that the jury listened and did what they did to hold these two men accountable and responsible for the heinous crime they committed." ...

Defense lawyers Michael McGovern and Burton A. Rose seemed stunned at the verdict and at Judge Ellen Ceisler's decision to have both defendants immediately taken into custody.

"I've been present for trial jury verdicts for 37 years now, and this is the most disappointing, shocking verdict I've ever experienced," McGovern said afterward. "I still believe that Father Engelhardt is innocent of all charges 100 percent."

Rose said he also remained convinced that Shero was innocent and called him a "soft-spoken man with a lot of integrity."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Jury Convicts Priest, Teacher On Nine Of Ten Counts

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

By Ralph Cipriano
for bigtrial.net

Even the district attorney was surprised.

"I'm overjoyed; I did not expect it," District Attorney Seth Williams told reporters today after a jury convicted Father Charles Engelhardt and former Catholic lay teacher Bernard Shero on nine of ten counts in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse case.

Given the way "the victim in this case" was "vilified" and subjected to lengthy cross-examination, Williams said, he would have understood if the jury had reached another conclusion, say an acquittal or a hung jury, and not the verdict that had the district attorney beaming.

Williams talked about the suffering of the victim, "Billy Doe," the former 10-year-old altar boy who was "passed from priest to priest to teacher" for alleged sex sessions in a sacristy, a church supply closet, and the back seat of Shero's car. Engelhardt faces a maximum sentence of 37 years in prison, Shero, a maximum of 57 years, when both men are sentenced on March 18.

As far as the DA was concerned, however, the judge can't give the two defendants enough time. The district attorney at today's press conference also castigated the archdiocese for its official response to the triple rape of Billy Doe. "They protect them," Williams said of the convicted rapists, "and then they "cover up. It's disgusting."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Priest, teacher convicted in Pennsylvania church abuse case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Item

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A jury on Wednesday convicted a priest and teacher in a pivotal church-abuse case that rocked the Philadelphia archdiocese and sent a church official to prison for child endangerment.

The verdict supports accounts by a 24-year-old policeman's son that he was sexually abused by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and sixth-grade teacher Bernard Shero in about 1999.

The accuser's 2009 complaint describing abuse by two priests and the teacher led to Monsignor William Lynn's landmark conviction last year for endangerment. Lynn is serving three to six years in prison for his role transferring an admitted pedophile priest to the accuser's parish in northeast Philadelphia.

The young man said the abuse started after Engelhardt caught him drinking altar wine in fifth grade. He said Engelhardt told fellow priest Edward Avery about their "session," prompting Avery to twice sexually assault the boy. And he said Shero raped him in a car a year later, after driving him home after detention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

LA archdiocese says will release files with names

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Lompoc Record

Associated Press

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has said the names of church leaders who made key decisions on how to deal with cases of sexual abuse by priests will not be blacked out in some 30,000 soon-to-be-released pages of confidential personnel files.

The names of any bishops, vicars for clergy and supervisory parish priests will be included in all the documents and they will be turned over to lawyers for abuse victims soon, archdiocese attorney Michael Hennigan said Wednesday. Vicars for clergy are responsible for priestly discipline and often made significant decisions about how to handle problem priests with input from the bishop or archbishop.

"We have chosen to remove redactions of those key individuals on every document," Hennigan said in an email. "There will be no ambiguity."

The commitment to release the documents without significant redactions comes after a five-year legal battle over the priests' privacy rights and a more recent dispute in court with The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times, along with victims, over identifying those in positions of responsibility within the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

January 30, 2013

LA archdiocese to undo redactions in priest files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Miami Herald

By GILLIAN FLACCUS
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles says it will soon reveal 30,000 pages of confidential personnel files without blacking out the names of church leaders who knew about sexual abuse by priests.

Archdiocese attorney Michael Hennigan said Wednesday the church has given up on its plan to redact the names and the files will be turned over to lawyers for abuse victims.

The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times, along with victims, went to court to force the archdiocese to reveal the names.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Dead Catholic priest accused of molesting students taught in metro Detroit, victim's group says

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

By Patricia Montemurri
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

A Catholic friar found dead Saturday after being accused of sexually molesting former Catholic school students in Ohio and Pennsylvania taught at the all-boys St. Mary’s Preparatory School in Orchard Lake, according to a victim’s advocacy group.

Representatives of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said Brother Stephen Baker worked at the all-boys St. Mary’s Preparatory School in Orchard Lake from 1983-85. On Tuesday, the group delivered a letter to the Archdiocese of Detroit headquarters demanding that Archbishop Allen Vigneron investigate the Detroit-area tenure of the Franciscan friar.

Baker died of a self-inflicted knife wound at St. Bernardine Monastery near Altoona, Pa.

“We’re asking the bishop to acknowledge it and ask that anybody abused by Baker to come forward,” said Matt Jatczak, a Detroit-area representative for SNAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Jury convicts priest, teacher in Philadelphia abuse case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Catholic Reporter

by Brian Roewe | Jan. 30, 2013
NCR Today

On Wednesday afternoon, a Pennsylvania jury found two men guilty of sexually assaulting the same altar boy during the late 1990s, the latest convictions in the ongoing sexual abuse scandal in the Philadelphia archdiocese.

The jury of eight men and four women found Fr. Charles Engelhardt guilty of indecent assault of a minor, corruption of a minor and conspiracy, but could not come to agreement on a count of indecent sexual assault, according to the Associated Press.

In addition, Bernard Shero, a former Catholic school teacher at St. Jerome parish school, was found guilty of rape and indecent sexual assault, among other charges.

Engelhardt's conspiracy charge was tied to former priest Edward Avery — accused as well by the same boy, who was 10 years old at the time of the abuse — who pleaded guilty in March 2012 to charges of conspiracy and sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Philadelphia priest and former teacher guilty of child sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Star

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A priest and a former parochial school teacher were found guilty on Wednesday of sexually attacking a former altar boy, the latest chapter in the child sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 66, faces the possibility of 37 years in prison, and Bernard Shero, 50, faces a maximum sentence of 57 years in prison following the guilty verdicts by a jury in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia.

Engelhardt and Shero were accused of molesting an altar boy who was 10 years old at the time at St. Jerome's parish in the Northeast section of Philadelphia.

A grand jury report in 2011, which detailed child sex abuse in the archdiocese, the nation's sixth largest with 1.5 million members, said the altar boy was "in effect passed around" from one molester to another in 1998 and 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Prosecutors: Priest trial verdict a victory

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

[The Philadelphia Archive - BishopAccountability.org]

Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 6:48 PM

In a verdict prosecutors hailed as another victory for the victims of child sexual abuse, a Philadelphia jury has returned guilty verdicts against a Philadelphia priest and a former Catholic schoolteacher charged with the serially sexual assault of a 10-year-old Northeast altar boy in 1998 and 1999.

The Common Pleas Court jury deliberated about 20 hours since getting the case Friday afternoon before returning the verdicts today in the trial of the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero.
Engelhardt, 66, a priest for more than four decades, was found guilty of four of the five charges against him: child endangerment, corruption of a minor, indecent assault and criminal conspiracy. ...

Both defense lawyers said they will appeal.

In a news conference after the verdict, District Attorney Seth Williams praised the verdict and noted that one out of four women and one out six men under the age of 18 have been sexually abused.

"The message for me is that we have to listen to children," Williams added.

Engelhardt and Shero were charged in February 2011 with serial rape of the boy while he was in the fifth and sixth grades in the St. Jerome's parish school.

The victim - named "Billy Doe" in the 2011 grand jury report about sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests - alleged that Engelhardt, the Rev. Edward V. Avery, 70, and Shero serially raped him when he was in fifth and sixth grades at St. Jerome's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Priest, Teacher Convicted in Pa. Church Abuse Case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
ABC News

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA January 30, 2013 (AP)

A jury on Wednesday convicted a priest and teacher in a pivotal church-abuse case that rocked the Philadelphia archdiocese and sent a church official to prison for child endangerment.

The verdict upholds the stunning account by a 24-year-old policeman's son that he was sexually abused as a boy by two priests and his sixth-grade teacher. One priest pleaded guilty before trial while the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and former teacher Bernard Shero were convicted at trial. ...

"I'm overjoyed that there was a conviction, mostly because of this victim. I really didn't expect it," said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, an active Catholic who revived efforts to prosecute the archdiocese after taking office three years ago.

The accuser, now a gaunt young man, has battled heroin abuse since his teens and still has a drug case pending. And details of his story changed frequently over the years, even about whether Shero raped him in the classroom or in a parked car.

"The victim was demonized, cross-examined, ... dehumanized. I would understand how a jury could come to a different verdict," Williams said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Troy pastor's $500,000 condo purchase in question

MICHIGAN
Click on Detroit

Author: Matt Morawski

Published On: Jan 30 2013

TROY, Mich. -
A Catholic priest accused of embezzling from a Troy church now faces even more scrutiny for purchasing a $500,000 condo.

Father Edward Belczak was removed from his post at St. Thomas More last week while he is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the church.

Now, a church employee is no longer employed with St. Thomas More after selling her $500,000 condo to the pastor.

Records show the condo in Florida was purchased in 2005 by Belczak from former church administrator Janice Verschuren. It's unclear how Belczak paid for the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Roman Catholic Diocese launches $3.5 million public campaign

NEW YORK
Democrat and Chronicle

[with video]

Written by
Jeffrey Blackwell
Staff writer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester is calling on local parishioners to complete a $14 million fund-raising campaign designed to support young priests in training and older priests in retirement.

With more than 110,000 Catholic households in the 12-county Diocese, church officials are hoping to bring in at least $3.5 million to add to donations of $10.5 million already raised for the “Our Legacy, Our Future, Our Hope” campaign.

“I know the good and gracious people of God share my pride at our priests, who serve them at every stage of their lives,” said The Rev. Robert Cunningham, Bishop of Syracuse and Apostolic Administrator of the Rochester Diocese. “We must support these men as much as we can.”

The fund will be split with $7 million to support seminarians seeking ordination to the priesthood. There are 25 seminarians from the Rochester Diocese currently in school, the largest class in years, church officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

US bishops to replace staffer behind theological investigations

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee | Jan. 30, 2013

The U.S. bishops' staffer behind several controversial criticisms of Catholic theologians in recent years is stepping down.

Capuchin Fr. Thomas Weinandy, head of the bishops' office tasked with upholding church teaching, is to leave his post as executive director for the bishops' Secretariat of Doctrine in August. Mercy Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the U.S. bishops' conference, confirmed the departure Wednesday.

Weinandy has led the secretariat, which carries out the work of the nine prelates who are members of the U.S. bishops' doctrine committee, since 2005.

During his tenure, the bishops' committee has issued public rebukes of five prominent U.S. theologians. Those rebukes have been the subject of wide criticisms -- including from both of the primary membership societies of U.S. theologians -- because they came without pursuing consultation or dialogue with the theologians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Priest, Teacher Convicted in Pa. Church Abuse Case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
ABC News

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA January 30, 2013 (AP)

A jury on Wednesday convicted a priest and teacher in a pivotal church-abuse case that rocked the Philadelphia archdiocese and sent a church official to prison for child endangerment.

The verdict supports accounts by a 24-year-old policeman's son that he was sexually abused by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and sixth-grade teacher Bernard Shero in about 1999.

The accuser's 2009 complaint describing abuse by two priests and the teacher led to Monsignor William Lynn's landmark conviction last year for endangerment. Lynn is serving three to six years in prison for his role transferring an admitted pedophile priest to the accuser's parish in northeast Philadelphia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Victim support group says Brother Baker also worked in Michigan

OHIO
Youngstown Vindicator

WARREN

A support group for victims of clergy sex abuse will have a news conference at 1 p.m. today in Detroit to call attention to what it says it has learned about another of the places where Brother Stephen Baker worked as a Franciscan friar.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests issued a statement saying Baker was assigned three years to a Catholic prep school in Orchard Park, Mich., from 1983 to 1985.

SNAP says it will hold signs and childhood photos outside of the Detroit Archdiocese headquarters in Detroit to discuss what has been learned about Baker, who committed suicide Saturday in Hollidaysburg, Pa., after being accused of committing sexual assaults against students at Warren John F. Kennedy High school between 1986 and 1991 and at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, Pa. from 1992 to 2000.

SNAP will ask Detroit area people to report anything they know about any offenses Baker may have committed in the Detroit area to authorities, the press release says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

PA - Philly priests found guilty, SNAP responds

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 30, 2013

We are glad to learn that Fr. Charles Engelhardt, and ex-teacher Bernard Shero were found guilty of child sexual abuse. Children are safer and justice is served with these men behind bars.

Engelhardt and Shero were found guilty of sexually assaulting a now 24 year old man when he was a child. Engelhardt and Shero tried to avoid justice by claiming the victim was not credible. We are glad their hurtful and malicious legal tactic did not work.

We hope this verdict will give hope and encouragement to others who saw, suspect, or suffered child sex crimes to come forward, no matter what their personal background is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Ottawa ordered to provide all residential schools documents

CANADA
CBC News

The federal government is obliged to turn over its archival records on Indian residential schools to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, an Ontario court decided Thursday.

In his decision, Justice Stephen Goudge said the obligation to provide the materials is clear from the settlement agreement that established the commission.

"The plain meaning of the language is straightforward," Goudge said. "It is to provide all relevant documents to the TRC."

The decision comes in an increasingly acrimonious dispute between Ottawa and the commission over millions of government documents the commission says it needs to fulfil its core mandate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

'Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,' Feb. 4, HBO

UNITED STATES
Catholic Sentinel

Catholic News Service

The clergy sexual abuse scandal that has plagued the Catholic Church in recent years is not an easy subject to approach dispassionately.

For faithful Catholics, especially those with firsthand knowledge of the wonderful work carried out by the vast majority of upstanding priests, the topic is a source of deep shame and distress. For those alienated from the church, it can provide another reason to keep their distance. And for those intent on curbing the church's moral influence in society, it provides a readymade, pre-emptive weapon with which to short-circuit all debate.

So it's disappointing, though hardly surprising, to find that the documentary "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God," which focuses on students molested at a school for the deaf, is a grab-bag in which facts get mixed up with poorly founded accusations and inflated rhetoric. Filmmaker Alex Gibney's uneven study, which had a limited theatrical release last fall, premieres on the HBO pay-cable service Monday, Feb. 4, 9-11 p.m. EST.

Gibney's narrative begins with the straightforward -- and harrowing -- testimony of four men who endured abuse at the hands of Father Lawrence C. Murphy, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, during the late Father Murphy's long tenure (1950-74) on the staff of St. John's School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Catholic Priest, Teacher Guilty of Abusing Alter Boy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

By Dan Stamm and Maryclaire Dale

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013

A Philadelphia jury returned guilty verdicts on child-sex charges against a Roman Catholic priest and former Catholic school teacher.

The jury found Rev. Charles Engelhardt guilty on 4 of 5 charges but they were deadlocked on a charge of involuntary deviant sexual behavior with a minor. Teacher Bernard Shero was found guilty on all charges including corruption of minors.

A 24-year-old policeman's son and longtime heroin addict says he was sexually assaulted as a child by both defendants. His complaint led to last year's landmark prosecution of a church official convicted of child endangerment for transferring a suspected predator priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Priest, Catholic School Teacher Guilty On All But One Count Of Sexual Assault

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Fox 29

PHILADELPHIA -
The priest and a Catholic school teacher accused of sexually assaulting a Northeast Philadelphia boy were found guilty on all but one count, FOX 29 has learned.

FOX 29's Chris O'Connell reports bail was revoked and both men were led off to jail.

The charges were made against Rev. Charles Engelhardt and teacher Bernard Shero. Earlier the city jury said it had resolved most counts against the two but wanted to try to avoid a deadlock on one remaining count.

The charges stem from the complaint of a 24-year-old who claimed he was sexually assaulted as a boy by both defendants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Guilty verdicts in priest sex abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013,

A jury has found a Catholic priest and a former parochial school teacher guilty of charges involving the serial sexual assault of a 10-year-old altar boy at St. Jerome's parish school.

The Rev. Charles Engelhardt was found guilty on all but one count. Former parochial schoolteacher Bernard Shero was found guilty on all counts. Both men were taken into custody late this afternoon. Sentencing will be April 18.

The verdict came after after nearly three full days of deliberations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Priest, teacher convicted in Pa. church abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KTAR

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A jury has convicted a priest and teacher in a church abuse case that has rocked the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

The verdict Wednesday supports claims by a 24-year-old policeman's son that he was abused by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and sixth-grade teacher Bernard Shero in about 1999.

His 2009 complaint describing abuse by two priests and the teacher led to a church official's conviction last year for felony child abuse. Monsignor William Lynn is in prison for his role in transferring an admitted pedophile priest to the accuser's parish in northeast Philadelphia.

Defense lawyers attacked the credibility of the accuser. He gave varying accounts of where and how the alleged abuse occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Philadelphia Priest and Lay Teacher Convicted on Most Counts in Child Sex Abuse Trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –A Philadelphia jury today returned “guilty” verdicts on most counts against a former priest and a former lay teacher in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Father Charles Engelhardt and lay teacher Bernard Shero were charged with sexually molesting the same boy in 1999 and 2000 (see related stories).

Earlier this afternoon, the jury told the judge that it was deadlocked on one of the charges but had reached a decision on all the others.

The judge, not willing to let the jury declare itself hung on that one remaining charge, sent the panel back to continue its deliberations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Jury Says Only 1 Charge Remains Undecided in Phila. Priest Sex Abuse Trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The jury in the latest Philadelphia priest sex abuse case this afternoon told the judge that it is deadlocked on one of the charges but has reached a decision on all the others.

The judge, not willing to let the jury declare itself hung on that one remaining charge, sent the panel back to continue its deliberations.

It was not known for which count, or for which defendant, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, nor what the decisions were for the other counts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Australia's challenge: addressing the evil within

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet

Fr Peter Day, guest contributor
30 January 2013, 9:00

With the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse upon us, society at large, and especially the Catholic Church, is set for a distressing time; one in which we will be asked to further confront the reality that evil, both individual and institutional, is closer to home than we like to think, or want to acknowledge.

We like to think that evil is what others do in other places and in other times. But what about my trusted priest and church, my trusted teacher and school? My God, what about my parents, my siblings, my uncle, my home?

Thus, after decades of broken trust, shameful tales, jailed clergy, and persistent calls for a broader inquiry, on Friday 11 January 2013, Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of Australia, appointed a six-member Royal Commission to investigate the scourge of child abuse within institutions.

Meanwhile, the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference has established a lay-led Truth, Justice, and Healing Council to coordinate the Church's response and advise its leaders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

Jury Says Only 1 Charge Remains Undecided in Phila. Priest Sex Abuse Trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The jury in the latest Philadelphia priest sex abuse case this afternoon told the judge that it is deadlocked on one of the charges but has reached a decision on all the others.

The judge, not willing to let the jury declare itself hung on that one remaining charge, sent the panel back to continue its deliberations.

It was not known for which count, or for which defendant, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, nor what the decisions were for the other counts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Detroit archdiocese urged to investigate priest who killed self after abuse allegation

DETROIT (MI)
The Detroit News

By Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Metro Detroit activists want the Archdiocese of Detroit to investigate whether a priest who killed himself last weekend in Pennsylvania was accused of molesting youngsters while serving at an Oakland County school in the mid-1980s.

Franciscan brother Stephen P. Baker, who was assigned to St. Mary's Prep in Orchard Lake from 1983-85, was found dead Saturday of reported self-inflicted stab wounds to the chest.

Baker's suicide in the St. Bernadine Monastery in Newry, Pa., occurred a week and a half after a legal settlement by 11 men who said Baker sexually abused when they were youngsters and he served as a priest in Ohio and Pennsylvania. After the settlement was announced Jan. 16, 60 more accusers came forward, said Matt Jatczak, a representative of the Detroit area office of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Jatczak was joined at a news conference by a SNAP member from Canada who accompanied him to try to deliver a letter Wednesday at the Archdiocese of Detroit's downtown office on Washington Boulevard. The letter asks Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron to investigate whether Baker molested any students while employed by St. Mary's.

Jury resolves most counts in Philly priest trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Albany Times Union

By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

Updated 3:01 pm, Wednesday, January 30, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A verdict may be near in a church-abuse case that rocked the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The city jury says it has resolved most counts against the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and teacher Bernard Shero.

But they're back at work trying to avoid a deadlock on one remaining count.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

No evidence to show former McCort trainer was certified

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

Monday, Jan. 21, 2013

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. —

6 News is taking a closer look at a cleric accused of sexually assaulting minors while he worked at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown more than a decade ago.

Brother Stephen P. Baker had first been accused of molesting minors at a school in Ohio. Allegations in Cambria County hadn't surfaced until 2011.

Baker had been known at McCort as "trainer Steve," because he served a role as an athletic trainer. But as 6 News reporter Maria Miller uncovered, there's no evidence he was certified for that position.

"These young guys are shocked that what was relayed to them as therapeutic treatment was actually just probably a creative ruse for a sexual assault or molestation," said Johnstown Attorney Michael Parrish.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

Priest trial jury deliberates for third day

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 12:57 PM

Deliberations continued into a third full day in the child sex-assault trial of a Catholic priest and former parochial school teacher with no sign that the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury is near a verdict.

Unlike previous days of deliberations in the case against Rev. Charles Engelhardt and former parochial schoolteacher Bernard Shero the jury today has asked no questions of Judge Ellen Ceisler.

Shortly before noon, the jury of eight men and four women made its first public appearance in days when - poker-faced and staring straight ahead - they were escorted by court officers out of the building for some fresh air.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

MI - Letter to Archbishop Vigneron

DETROIT (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 30, 2013 ·

Dear Archbishop Vigneron:

We are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Our mission is to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

In June 2002, you and your brother bishops formally pledged to be “open and transparent” in clergy child sex abuse and cover up cases.

Tragically, this promise was made belatedly, grudgingly, and only because of pressure. Worst of all, it was made only after tens of thousands of kids were sexually violated. Still, that pledge gave some Catholics hope. Over the past decade, however, that hope has often and largely been dashed.

You and your brother bishops have kept that promise only very sporadically and again, only in the face of public pressure. Consider your own recent actions.

1. In November 2011, you refused to warn your flock about Fr. Richard James Kurtz even though he was arrested for sexually assaulting a 10 year old boy outside Denver.

2. In May 2012, you refused to warn your flock about Fr. Thomas D. Williams who returned to the Detroit area after exploiting a woman and fathering her child (a child neither he nor his Catholic supervisors are supporting).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Priest Arrested In Moscow With Cocaine In Stomach

RUSSIA
Radio Free Europe

An Anglican priest from Colombia was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport on January 30 on suspicion of smuggling drugs. The suspect, identified as Fabio Ricardo Rodriguez, a priest in the Holy Catholic Church-Western Rite in Bogota, was taken to a hospital where 13 condoms stuffed with cocaine were extracted from his stomach and intestines. Five more containers of cocaine were found in his luggage. Officials said they were alerted to the smuggling attempt by the priest's sickly appearance and nervous behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

OH - SNAP blasts Youngstown bishop over secrecy

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 30, 2013

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is blasting Youngstown Bishop George Murry over what they call his "continued secrecy and deception" in the case of a credibly accused Catholic cleric.

Leaders of SNAP have discovered that Br. Stephen P. Baker – who is accused of molesting dozens of boys in Ohio and Pennsylvania - has also worked in Michigan and Virginia, a fact that Youngstown church officials have kept hidden in recent discussions of Baker's history.

"Any official with real compassion would want every victim of Baker - no matter where they live or where they were hurt - to get help," said Judy Jones, SNAP's Midwest Associate Director. "There's only one reason he'd keep quiet at this point about other places Baker works: he wants to continue protecting other corrupt Catholic officials and prevent other suffering victims from stepping forward."

Today, outside the Detroit Archdiocesan headquarters, SNAP members are holding a news conference. They’re calling on the archbishop there to reach out to others who "saw, suspected or suffered" crimes by Baker when he worked at St. Mary's Prep., Orchard Lake, MI between 1983-1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

William Crean appointed as Bishop of Cloyne

IRELAND
RTE News

The 67th Catholic Bishop of Cloyne has been appointed at a ceremony at St Colman's Cathedral in Cobh.

Bishop William Crean told the congregation that he was renewing his commitment to continue the work of healing and reconciliation that is so necessary in the diocese, while acknowledging it will take time, understanding and patience.

Bishop Crean was appointed to replace Dr John Magee who stepped down in 2010 after it was found he had not followed proper child protection procedures in the Catholic diocese.

Bishop Crean was appointed at a special ceremony in the Cathedral by the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown, assisted by the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Dr Dermot Clifford, and the Bishop of Kerry, Rev William Murphy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Newly ordained Bishop of Cloyne ...

IRELAND
Irish Central

Newly ordained Bishop of Cloyne promises reconciliation in diocese badly affected by clerical abuse

By
PATRICK COUNIHAN,
IrishCentral Staff Writer
Published Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The new Bishop of Cloyne has vowed to bring about reconciliation in one of the dioceses worst hit by clerical sex abuse scandals.

Dr William Crean made the pledge at his inauguration at Cobh Cathedral when he paid tribute to Archbishop Dermot Clifford for his role in ensuring the diocese meets child protection safety standards.

The Irish Times reports that Bishop Crean told his congregation: “We can be confident that the best practice now prevails and will be subject to continual renewals.

“Today I renew my commitment to continue the work of healing. This work will take time, understanding and patience.”

He also told the paper that he believed it would take a long time for healing to take place but that he was determined to do all he could to bring about reconciliation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Petition To Pres. Obama On Child Sex Abuse By Religious

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

A petition has been filed asking President Obama to set up a national investigation commission into the sexual abuse of children by priests, rabbis and other religious leaders. Please take 30 seconds to sign it no matter where in the world you live. This is a worldwide epidemic. Just click on the below link at:

[Click here for the petition site.]

Believing parents and innocent children have too often been betrayed by religious leaders they trusted too much. The obscene revelations of child sexual abuse from Boston, Philly, Milwaukee, Kansas City, St.Louis, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, Manchester, Salt Lake City and many other U.S. cities confirm this cancer cannot be curtailed effectively by local political leaders and prosecutors. They seem frequently incapable and/or unwilling to apply or amend a hodgepot of inconsistent laws, often outdated and inadequate, to powerful religious organizations.

The new award winning HBO documentary, “Mea Maxima Culpa”, that begins airing internationally in English and Spanish on next Monday evening, February 4, shows, for example, graphically and incisively how local governmental authorities and the Catholic Church hierarchy in the USA and in the Vatican failed for decades to protect over 200 defenseless deaf boys from sexual abuse allegedly by a single Milwaukee priest.

Instead of being made to account for child endangerment on their watch, leaders like Cardinals Mahony, Law, Levada, Rigali, Egan and, earlier Bevilacqua, sail off into well funded retirements, leaving high priced lawyers behind to clean up the mess they leave behind. Abuse survivors often must fend for themselves. Trusting Catholics, whose children were at risk of priest sex abuse and whose churches and schools are ruthlessly being closed, are expected to fund the billions spent by the Catholic hierarchy on a flawed and shameful legal strategy aimed mainly at protecting the hierarchy from prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

MI - Serial predator priest worked near Detroit

DETROIT (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 30, 2013

■Serial predator priest worked near Detroit
■He committed suicide on Saturday in PA
■More than 80 kids say he molested them
■Eleven settlements were just disclosed last week
■Church officials in four states concealed allegations
■SNAP: “How many other child molesting clerics are still hidden?”
■Group asks challenges local archbishop: “Come clean re secret deals here”

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that a recently “outed” and credibly accused child molesting cleric worked in Detroit Archdiocese for three years. He killed himself on Saturday and has allegedly assaulted at least 80 children in two states. The group will urge Detroit Catholic officials to

--explain why they’ve been secret about accusations against and settlements involving the cleric,
--disclose whether he’s allegedly molested any Michigan kids, and
--start aggressively seeking out others in Michigan who he may have molested.
They will also
--urge victims, and whistleblowers to contact secular authorities, not church officials, and
--beg anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered clergy crimes in Detroit (by this cleric or others) to come forward, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.

WHEN
Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Detroit Archdiocese headquarters (“chancery office”), 1234 Washington Blvd. in Detroit, MI

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

IA - SNAP applauds victims in case against Pella pastor

IOWA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on January 30, 2013

We applaud these brave women who are continuing their fight for justice after being abused by Rev. Patrick Edouard. Valerie and Anne Bandstra deserve praise for continuing forward with their lawsuits despite apparent attempts from church leaders to undermine the abuse that the Bandstra women suffered.

Sexual contact with a priest or reverend – 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. The fact that Rev. Edouard used this position and assumed authority as a counselor in order to groom and abuse these women – both sexually and financially – is indicative of exactly why this is a form of sexual abuse. We are disappointed, but not surprised, that church leaders in Pella refuse to acknowledge this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

PA - Abusive priest also worked in two more states

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 30, 2013

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is blasting Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Leonard Bartchak over what they call his "continued secrecy and deception" in the case of a credibly accused Catholic cleric.

Leaders of SNAP have discovered that Br. Stephen P. Baker – who is accused of molesting dozens of boys in Ohio and Pennsylvania - has also worked in Michigan and Virginia, a fact that Altoona-Johnstown church officials have kept hidden in recent discussions of Baker's history.

"Any official with real compassion would want every victim of Baker - no matter where they live or where they were hurt - to get help," said Judy Jones, SNAP's Midwest Associate Director. "How can Bartchak justify telling only part of the truth. There's only one reason he'd keep quiet at this point about other places Baker works: he wants to continue protecting other corrupt Catholic officials and prevent other suffering victims from stepping forward."

Today, outside the Detroit Archdiocesan headquarters, SNAP members are holding a news conference. They’re calling on the archbishop there to reach out to others who "saw, suspected or suffered" crimes by Baker when he worked at St. Mary's Prep., Orchard Lake, MI between 1983-1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Fälle sexueller Gewalt im Bistum Münster

DEUTSCHLAND
Westfalische Nachrichten

Seit dem letzten Zwischenbericht, den die zuständige Kommission des Bistums Münster 2010 vorlegte, sind nach jüngsten Angaben keine neuen Fälle sexualisierter Gewalt bekannt geworden. 60 Priester (1,5 Prozent von ungefähr 4000 Priestern im gesamten Zeitraum) waren zwischen 1949 und 2010 in Fälle sexueller Gewalt verstrickt.

Bekannt wurde die Zahl von 106 Opfern. In 82 Fällen wurde nach Auskunft von Domkapitular Bernd Köppen eine Entschädigung gezahlt, in den anderen Fällen wurde dies nicht gewünscht. Die überwiegende Zahl der Täter (56) wurde zwischen 1949 und 2001 registriert, 27 der Beschuldigten waren bereits verstorben. Zwischen 2001 und 2010 erhielt die Kommission Kenntnis von vier neuen Beschuldigten. Die Verfahren dauern teilweise an.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

The truth about sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

January 31, 2013

Barney Zwartz

Australia now has two inquiries into the sexual abuse of children by clergy. Will they be the circuit-breaker that triggers the changes so many Catholics want or will the church retreat behind a wall of obstruction and concealment?

CARDINAL Bernard Law of Boston was the first, and so far only, archbishop to resign over public revulsion at his handling of child sex abuse by his clergy. Named in hundreds of lawsuits, subject of dramatic public protests, and publicly rejected by 58 of his priests, Law resigned in December 2002.

Pope John Paul II's response, widely seen as a gesture of blatant contempt for Boston's faithful, was to appoint Law archpriest of one of Rome's four great basilicas, Santa Maria Maggiore.

The message to the disgraced cardinal was clear: ''You are one of us, and we will look after you.'' To many inside and outside the church, protecting the church and its clerics has always been the Vatican's priority - and, they say, it still is.

John Paul II also protected and promoted notorious abusers such as Marcial Maciel, founder the of Legionaries of Christ movement. Indeed, the Pope's first response to the expanding American crisis was to blame a ''hostile'' media, and his fallback position was to claim clergy abuse was purely an anglophone issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Jury Asks For Too Much

PHILADELHIA (PA)
Big Trial

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

By Ralph Cipriano
for bigtrial.net

The jury in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse case today made the mistake of asking for too much.

First, the jury asked to see defendant Bernard Shero's suicide note. No objections were voiced to that request by either the prosecution or the defense.

Shero tried to commit suicide in 2011 by taking sleeping pills when detectives from the district attorney's office came to arrest him. When Shero didn't answer the door, the cops summoned firefighters to break in, and detectives placed the groggy Catholic school teacher under arrest.

The jury also asked to see Detective Andrew Snyder's notes. Snyder was the detective from the district attorney's office who arrested Shero. He was also the detective in 2010 who first interviewed "Billy Doe," the former 10-year-old altar boy who claimed he was raped by both Shero and Father Charles Engelhardt, the other defendant in the case.

Defense lawyer Burton A. Rose, representing Shero, objected, saying that Snyder's notes focus on "one aspect of evidence," presumably the attempted suicide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Troy pastor under embezzlement investigation ...

MICHIGAN
The Desert Sun

Troy pastor under embezzlement investigation bought $500,000 Florida condo from his church manager

The charismatic Catholic pastor removed last week from his parish in Troy amid an embezzlement investigation bought a half-million-dollar condo in Florida from his longtime church administrator, the Free Press has learned.

Adding another layer to the case that has shocked and captivated metro Detroit Catholics, the St. Thomas More administrator, Janice Verschuren, is no longer employed by the parish, according to the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The church's parish council was told on Monday about the departure of Verschuren, who has worked at the parish since 1994, archdiocese spokesman Ned McGrath said Tuesday.

In March 2005, Rev. Edward Belczak, the pastor at the church, purchased the property in Wellington, Fla., for $500,000 from Verschuren, the church's administrator and facilities manager, and her then-husband, Michael Verschuren, according to public records in Palm Beach County. In 2011, Belczak, 67, transferred the property to a trust in his name, according to documents reviewed by the Free Press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Former principal guilty of indecent assault

IRELAND
RTE News

A former school principal and priest has been remanded in custody after being found guilty of indecently assaulting a boy in Waterford over 30 years ago.

Con Desmond, 77, with an address at Woodlands, Kilrush Road, Ennis, denied 13 charges of indecent assault between 1977 and 1980 at the St Stephen's De La Salle national school in Waterford city.

Barrister Elaine Morgan, representing Desmond, applied for sentencing to be adjourned until 19 February.

This was granted by Judge Donagh McDonagh to allow for the preparation of character evidence and medical evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Video: Rabbi Manis Friedman 'Clarifies' His Position On Child Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
Failed Messiah

Chabad's Rabbi Manis Friedman tries to clarify his position on child sexual abuse in a new video released tonight. But is what Friedman says on this new video clip enough? Is it an apology for the hurt he caused with the video publicized yesterday? Does it explain and correct his offensive remarks in that video? Is it an honest acknowledgement that he was wrong, that he made mistakes, that he hurt victims, and that he's sorry? In short, is it teshuva, repentance as defined by the Jewish law Friedman is paid to represent?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Channel 4 documentary claims religious leaders have been protecting child abusers

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

Orthodox Jewish leaders have been protecting child abusers, a TV documentary will claim tonight.

Dispatches found 19 cases where crimes were not reported as the community prefers to deal with it internally.

The show will claim that those who go to authorities face being spat at and driven out of their area.

It will show senior Rabbi Ephraim Padwa order an alleged victim to stay away from the police because the force is “non-Jewish”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Senior British rabbi filmed telling alleged child abuse victim not to go to the police

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

Tom Peck

Wednesday 30 January 2013

A senior British rabbi has been filmed telling an alleged victim of child sexual abuse not to go to the police.

Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, who is leader of the UK’s Strictly Orthodox Jewish community, told the alleged victim that it was “mesira”, or forbidden, to report a suspected Jewish sex offender to a non-Jewish authority.

His advice, which was secretly recorded as part of a Channel 4’s Dispatches investigation to be shown tonight, will reignite the controversy about the cover-up of child sex abuse by religious groups following global scandals surrounding the Roman Catholic church

Strictly Orthodox Jewish people, known as Charedi, number 40,000 people, around a sixth of the Jewish population in Britain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Church may lose 'shield'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

January 30, 2013

Barney Zwartz

Victoria's clergy sex abuse inquiry is likely to recommend at least six state laws be reformed to hold the Catholic Church to account, including removal of the legal ''shield'' it has used to avoid being sued by victims.

Chairwoman Georgie Crozier said the committee already had a good idea of the sort of recommendations it would make. Fairfax Media understands the committee is eager for several laws to be changed this year.

The Victorian inquiry does not need to await the outcome of the royal commission into the sexual abuse of children, set up by the Gillard government and yet to take formal evidence. Ms Crozier said she expected the state inquiry to be of great use to the commission.

Enabling the church to be sued, mandatory reporting of suspected abuse, concealing crimes and extending the statute of limitations for child abuse are all issues that could be dealt with by the Victorian government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Families file lawsuit against ex-pastor, church in Pella

IOWA
Des Moines Register

Written by
Jeff Eckhoff

An ex-Pella pastor found to have sexually exploited four of his former parishioners now is embroiled in a wide-ranging lawsuit with accusations that include assault, damaged reputations and harassment.

Patrick Edouard, convicted in October of pressuring women for sex after they allegedly sought his counsel, was sued two months later by two of his former victims and their husbands. The women, sisters-in-law Valerie Bandstra and Anne Bandstra, also target the former leaders of Edouard’s church, whom the women accuse of defaming them by publicly dismissing accusations of rape as mere marital infidelity.

“You are not victims,” court papers quote church elder Clarence Hettinga as repeatedly telling the Bandstras. The lawsuit later quotes Hettinga as saying, “Unless he was holding a knife to her throat, it wasn’t rape.”

Edouard, who has always insisted the sex was consensual, in his own court papers accuses the Bandstra families of smearing his reputation by harassing his family with prank pizza orders, throwing a brick through his son’s window, and creating a fake posting on Craigslist that listed his house for sale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

January 29, 2013

Former priest guilty of indecent assaults

IRELAND
Irish Times

CONOR KANE

A former religious brother and priest was in custody last night after being found guilty of 13 counts of indecently assaulting a schoolboy over 30 years ago. Con Desmond (77), with an address at Woodlands, Kilrush Road, Ennis, Co Clare, had denied 13 charges of indecently assaulting a boy at the St Stephen’s De La Salle national school in Waterford city, between 1977 and 1980.

After a five-day trial, a jury of seven women and five men returned majority 10-2 guilty verdicts on all 13 charges at Waterford circuit court yesterday.

The complainant, who was aged eight, nine and 10 at the time of the alleged offences, told the trial that Con Desmond – then known as Br Cornelius – abused him a number of times in the principal’s office of the school.

The accused showed no emotion in court as the verdicts were read out, while the victim wept quietly and held hands with his partner and other family members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Archdiocese confirms Listecki returned twice-removed priest to ministry after seco

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director
CONTACT: 414.429.7259

Only after having been discovered by a victim’s advocacy group, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has finally confirmed today that they have returned to ministry Fr. John Schreiter after he was removed a second time from a Waukesha parish for allegedly sexually assaulting teenagers (story posted below). Schreiter, who was pastor of a parish in Waukesha, has “retired” and left the state, presumably, to Arizona. He goes as a priest in good standing, according to Listecki, who can continue in Arizona or anywhere else to work, counsel and pray with children and families.

“Why would Archbishop Listecki want to keep secret his decision and belief that Schreiter is innocent?

Perhaps, because as
detailed in the SNAP release last week, Listecki appears to have the troubling history of exonerating more priests with sexual assault reports than any bishop in the United States.

A national study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice shows that even the US Bishops have maintained that the number of falsely accused priests is nine percent. In Listecki’s former diocese of La Crosse, and now it seems in his new Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the number of falsely accused priests or mysteriously “unsubstantiated” reports (i.e., “the victim is lying”) is truly miraculous, near 70 percent, or six times the national average. That’s by far the highest clearance rate for priests who may have harmed youngsters in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Archdiocese exonerates priest accused of sex abuse

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Jan. 29, 2013

The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which faces more than a dozen civil fraud lawsuits over its handling of clergy sex abuse cases, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. As the case proceeds, we'll have updates, analysis, documents and more.

A Waukesha priest accused of sexually abusing a minor three decades ago has been cleared by Archbishop Jerome Listecki of any wrongdoing and returned to ministry earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed this week.

Father John Schreiter had been placed on leave in June, two weeks before he was to retire from St. John Neumann Parish. The allegation had surfaced as part of the archdiocese's bankruptcy. ...

The advocacy group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests criticized the move as secretive and reflective of the policy in La Crosse - where Listecki last served - to side with priests over victims. They point to a 2004 review by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which found that La Crosse exonerated clergy in 64% of cases from 1950 to 2002, compared with the national average of below 10%.

Topczewski would not say how many cases are pending before the review board. The archdiocese generally does not release information about cases to protect the reputations of priests whose charges are unsubstantiated, according to Topczewski. The exception is when a priest is removed from an active ministry, he said, "because there is no way around it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. John E. McGrath

MINNESOTA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: McGrath was accused in the early 1990s of having sexually abused two girls, ages 16 and 14, in the late 1960s. The girls worked in the church office and rectory at the Minneapolis parish where McGrath was an assistant priest. McGrath was a priest of the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese through 1994.

Ordained: 1957
Incardinated: St. Paul and Minneapolis

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Pennsylvania Man Indicted in Oregon for Scheme to Defraud Four Dioceses of the Catholic Church

PORTLAND (OR)
United States Attorney's Office, District of Oregon

Mail Fraud Scheme Falsely Claimed Child Sex Abuse by Priests 35 Years Ago

Portland, Ore.—A federal grand jury in Portland has returned an indictment against Shamont Sapp, 49, charging him with mail fraud in a five-year scheme involving false claims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests in four dioceses. Sapp, originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is alleged to have used “legal mail” while an inmate of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to file, pursue and litigate the false claims in federal courts from 2005 through 2010. According to the indictment, the false claims caused the dioceses, their representatives, several courts and other entities to expend money, time and other resources to investigate and resolve the claims, which were ultimately denied or dismissed.

The indictment states that the four fraudulent claims sought money damages, and each alleged similar sexual assaults by specified priests when Sapp was a minor in 1978-79. It charges that Sapp had not been sexually assaulted by the priests and, indeed, had not even been present in the dioceses as alleged in his claims.

Fraudulent claims listed in the indictment involved the dioceses of Tucson, Arizona; Covington, Kentucky, and Spokane, Washington, as well as the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon. In the Covington and Spokane cases, the indictment notes that Sapp falsely alleged sexual assaults by priests in two different cities on the same day, August 18, 1978.

Sapp initially will appear in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where the government will seek his removal to Portland to face trial on the indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Prisoner coming back to Oregon to stand trial for false claims against Catholic Church

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Tom Hallman Jr., The Oregonian
on January 29, 2013

A federal prisoner has been indicted for mail fraud in connection with what authorities describe as a five-year scheme to get money from the Catholic Church by falsely claiming he had been sexually abused by priests when he was a child nearly four decades ago.

Shamont Sapp, 49, finishing up a prison term in Pennsylvania for bank robbery, will appear in U.S District Court in Harrisburg, Pa. and then be sent to Portland to stand trial, said Stephen Peifer, assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon.

"He will make his first court appearance there and then be turned over to Oregon," Peifer said.

A federal grand jury indictment accuses of Sapp of using the mail while a prisoner to "file, pursue and litigate the false claims in federal courts from 2005 through 2010."

In his claims, Sapp named priests in Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington who he said abused him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Man accused of making false abuse claims involving Portland priests

PORTLAND (OR)
KPTV

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -
A man accused of making false claims of child sex abuse involving Catholic priests has been charged with mail fraud.

A federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment against Shamont Sapp, 49, of Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.

He is accused of a five-year scheme involving false claims of abuse in four dioceses. Investigators said he used the U.S. Postal Service while he was a prison inmate to file, pursue and litigate the false claims in federal courts between 2005 and 2010.

Dioceses listed in the indictment are in Tucson, AZ, Covington, KT, Spokane, WA, and Portland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Authorities: Man falsely claimed priest abuse

OREGON
KGW

by JONATHAN J. COOPER Associated Press

Posted on January 29, 2013

SALEM -- Prosecutors say an inmate in a federal prison falsely claimed he was abused as a child by priests in four Catholic dioceses.

The U.S. attorney's office in Portland said Tuesday that a grand jury has indicted 49-year-old Shamont Sapp on charges of mail fraud.

The indictment alleges that Sapp filed claims in courts over a five-year period alleging abuse by specific priests in the dioceses of Tucson, Ariz.; Covington, Ky.; and Spokane, Wash., as well as the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore.

It says the priests Sapp named didn't abuse him, and his claims were dismissed or denied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Portland's new Catholic archbishop has started on his homework

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Nancy Haught, The Oregonian
on January 29, 2013

Although he's known for almost two weeks that he would be the next Archbishop of Portland, Alexander King Sample, 52, has yet to watch his first episode of "Portlandia."

"Maybe it's just as well," he said to a roomful of archdiocesan staff members who were chuckling at his admission.

The bishop of Marquette, Mich., for the past seven years, Sample will succeed Archbishop John G. Vlazny, 75, who plans to retire to Beaverton after his 15 years as leader of Western Oregon's 400,000 Catholics.

"This is the age of Google," Sample said in his first news conference and informal staff meeting at the archdiocesan pastoral center. He said he'd used Google maps to turn St. Mary's Cathedral around on his computer screen and figured out the correct pronunciation of Willamette and Oregon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

No verdict in Philly priest, teacher abuse case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

The Associated Press
Updated: 01/29/2013

PHILADELPHIA—A Philadelphia jury has asked for a teacher's suicide note as they weigh abuse charges against the teacher and a Roman Catholic priest.

The jury is set to return Wednesday for a fifth day of deliberations.

The 24-year-old accuser says he was raped as a child at a northeast Philadelphia parish by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and sixth-grade teacher Bernard Shero.

In the suicide note, Shero apologizes to his parents for the notoriety of the looming abuse charges. He took sleeping pills before his 2011 arrest, but survived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Pa. Lawmakers Fight to Reform Statute of Limitations on Sexual Abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Weekly

[Click here for the story.]

Standing on the steps of the Capitol in Harrisburg last week, advocates and legislators announced they’re doubling down on the battle to reform Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations on child sex abuse.

In Pennsylvania, statute of limitation reform bills have been stalled, buried and blocked for many years. Most recently, Rep. Ronald Marsico (R-Dauphin) and Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-Berks) bent parliamentary procedures into Cirque de Soleil-worthy formations in order to defeat last year’s bills, ultimately passing watered-down versions that accomplished far less than the original sponsors proposed. The criminal statute of limitations was abolished and the statute was extended 50 years old for civil charges, yes — but the initiative that’s far more important to advocates, and far more controversial, was completely struck from the law as passed: the “window” provision. That’s a temporary window of time, usually one or two years from the date enacted, wherein victims of a crime can file civil charges even though the statute of limitation has run out.

A civil window is vital because raising (or abolishing) the age on a statute of limitation does not allow grandfathering in. It’s confusing, but if a person who was abused as a kid didn’t file charges before the arbitrary statute age of 18, or 23, or 50 years old isn’t suddenly allowed to prosecute when the age limit is upped or abolished. So effectively, raising the age and even now abolishing it entirely only helps the future generation–and criminal windows are unconstitutional.

The champion of the cause is 79-year-old Rep. Louse Bishop (D-Philadelphia), who, in the wake of the Penn State scandal, revealed last fall that her stepfather had raped her starting from when she was 12 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Jury in priest trial has more questions, no verdict

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Philadelphia jury in the child-rape trial of a priest and ex-Catholic schoolteacher continued deliberations today, submitting a series of questions to the judge about the allegations against Bernard Shero.

The Common Pleas Court jury of eight men and four women asked for a rereading of testimony involving the alleged 1999 rape of a sixth-grader who was in Shero's English class at St. Jerome's parish school in the Northeast.

In addition to the testimony of the now-24-year-old victim, the jury also asked to hear the testimony of Philadelphia Police Det. Andrew Snyder about his investigation of the incident.

But after reviewing the questions with prosecution and defense lawyers, Judge Ellen Ceisler ruled that the transcripts would be too lengthy. She sent a note back to the jurors saying it was up to them to arrive at a collective memory of the testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Archdiocese exonerates accused priest

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Jan. 29, 2013

A Waukesha priest accused of sexually abusing a minor three decades ago has been cleared by Archbishop Jerome Listecki of any wrongdoing and returned to ministry earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed this week.

Father John Schreiter had been placed on leave in June, two weeks before he was to retire from St. John Neumann Parish. The allegation had surfaced as part of the archdiocese's bankruptcy.

Schreiter denied the allegations.

His case was turned over to the local district attorney's office, which declined to prosecute, presumably because it was beyond the statute of limitations. However that could not be immediately confirmed. And the archdiocese's abuse review board, headed by former Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow, found the allegations to be unsubstantiated, said Jerry Topczewski, Listecki's chief of staff.

Schreiter, who has moved to Arizona, retired as scheduled in June. Listecki notified him of his reinstatement on Jan. 17, according to an announcement in the St. John Neumann parish bulletin. There was no public announcement by the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Press Conference: Appointment of an Archbishop for Western Oregon.

PORTLAND (OR)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland

Date: January 29, 2013

For More Information Contact:
Bud Bunce (503) 233-8373
Director of Communications

DATE: Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Place: Archdiocesan Pastoral Center
2838 E. Burnside Street
Portland, OR. 97214

TIME: 10:00 a.m.

SUBJECT: Press Conference: Appointment of an Archbishop for Western Oregon.

A press conference will be held to introduce the newly appointed Archbishop of Portland in Oregon. The newly appointed Archbishop will be introduced by Archbishop John G. Vlazny, Archbishop Emeritus. Pope Benedict XVI has selected Bishop Alexander K. Sample of the Diocese of Marquette, MI to be the eleventh Archbishop of Portland in Oregon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Bishop Alexander K. Sample of Marquette Appointed Archbishop of Portland in Oregon

MICHIGAN
Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette

After spending the past seven years as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette, the Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample is heading back west. Today (Jan. 29) the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed him archbishop of Portland in Oregon.

Archbishop-Designate Sample, who was born Nov. 7, 1960 in Kalispell, Montana and graduated from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1978, will be installed as Archbishop of Portland on April 2, 2013. He will succeed Archbishop John Vlazny, who turned 75 years old, the canonical age of retirement for bishops, on Feb. 2, 2012.

In a prepared statement to the Church in the Diocese of Marquette, Archbishop-Designate Sample stated, “Even as there is excitement and joy at taking up this new challenge that God has placed before me, I would be less than honest if I did not say that I will leave the Church in the U.P. with a certain heaviness of heart. I will profoundly miss the people, the clergy and religious of the diocese. I will miss my brother priests in a special way, since I was chosen from among them to be their bishop.

“I have always tried to be obedient to the will of God and to accept whatever the Church asks of me to be God’s will. It is in this spirit that I have said ‘yes’ to the Holy Father’s request for me to serve the Church in a new place in western Oregon. I ask the prayers of all the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Marquette. They will always be in my heart and prayers. Venerable Frederic Baraga, pray for us!” he wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

Portland's new archbishop known for his emphasis on vocations, catechesis

OREGON
Catholic World Report

January 29, 2013

By Catherine Harmon

The Vatican announced this morning that Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Michigan will be the new archbishop of Portland, Oregon, succeeding Archbishop John Vlazny. From the Vatican’s statement on the new appointment:

Bishop Sample, previously bishop of Marquette, Michigan, USA, was born in Kalispell, Montana, USA, in 1960, was ordained to the priesthood in 1990, and received episcopal ordination in 2006. In the national bishops’ conference he currently serves on the Subcommittees on Native American Catholics and on the Catechism. He is also vice-postulator for the cause for canonisation of Venerable Frederic Baraga, first bishop of the Diocese of Marquette.

At the time of his episcopal ordination, Bishop Sample was the youngest Catholic bishop in the US, and the first to be born in the 1960s. He also made headlines in 2009 when he asked retired Detroit auxiliary bishop Thomas Gumbleton to not speak within the Diocese of Marquette because of Gumbleton’s dissenting views on homosexuality and women’s ordination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

OR- Clergy sex victims "unimpressed" with new Catholic archbishop

PORTLAND (OR)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 29, 2013

We’re sad that, once again, the Pope has promoted a bishop who has dealt poorly with pedophile priests and their wounded victims. During his tenure in Marquette, Bishop Sample has done nothing to distinguish himself from the overwhelming majority of Catholic officials who continue to minimize and hide clergy sex crimes.

At least eight Marquette priests have been credibly accused of sexually assaulting kids. We see no evidence that Sample took any real steps to warn families about them or aggressively seek out others who they may have hurt. In each case, as best we can tell, Sample did the absolute bare minimum.

Vlazny, however, has a terrible record in abuse cases.

Just last year, he made extraordinarily deceitful and hurtful remarks about a pedophile priest Fr. Angel Armando Perez and his victim.

He also called the predator “respected and well-liked,” A gratuitous remark that rubs even more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of child sex abuse victims. It hurts when a powerful figure publicly praises an arrested, imprisoned and credibly accused child molester. And it’s hurtful and deceptive for Vlazny to call this boy who was assaulted a “young man.” Such deceit is just one of the many ways Catholic officials callously try to minimize the severity of their clerics’ crimes – by misstating the age of their victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

The Shocking Ways California Catholic Church Officials Protected a Priest Who

LOS ANGELES (CA)
AlterNet

January 28, 2013

Confidential letters between Los Angeles Catholic church officials that had been withheld for decades–despite long efforts by victims to obtain them and stonewalling by the Church–were released Monday after becoming part of a civil court case against a priest accused of molesting 26 Los Angeles children in the 1980s.

The notes from then-Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and Monsignor Thomas J. Curry, published by the Los Angeles Times, have provided even more insight as to how sexual- abuse accusations against priests have been covered up for years. The notes detail plans by the two men to keep police from discovering that children were being molested in Los Angeles parishes, with Curry suggesting the predator priestsnot see therapists who could then alert authorities; instead, he wanted to give priests out-of-state assignments to avoid criminal charges. Curry was the chief advisor to the Archbishop on sex-abuse cases at the time.

One priest discussed in the released files was Msgr. Peter Garcia, who tended to abuse undocumented children because he could keep them quiet by threatening to have them deported. He went to a treatment center for pedophile clergy in New Mexico, but left the priesthood in 1989 after returning to Los Angeles and refusing to take medication to contain his sexual urges toward children. Never prosecuted, he died in 2009.

Pope Accepts Resignation Of Archbishop John Vlazny; Names Bishop Alexander Sample To Succeed Him

WASHINGTON (DC)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

January 29, 2013

WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop John G. Vlazny, 75, from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, and named Bishop Alexander K. Sample of Marquette, Michigan, 52, to succeed him.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, January 29, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Alexander Sample was born Nov. 7, 1960 in Kalispell, Montana. He studied for the priesthood at the College of St. Thomas (St. John Vianney Seminary) St. Paul, Minnesota, and the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in metallurgical engineering from Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, and a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.

He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Marquette in 1990, and was named chancellor of the diocese in 1996. In 2005, he was named bishop of Marquette.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

New archbishop fueled by 'New Evangelization'

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

Ed Langlois
Staff Writer

The next Archbishop of Portland uses modern social media in the cause of proclaiming Jesus.

Archbishop-Designate Alexander Sample, current head of the Diocese of Marquette, Mich. maintains a Facebook page. And he kicked off the Year of Faith by tweeting throughout a 1,000-mile trip across Michigan's far northern Upper Peninsula.

Archbishop-Designate Sample — tall and slim at 52 — made an even longer journey this week, appearing for the announcement that he'd been named spiritual leader of the 415,000 Catholics of western Oregon.

The Mass of Installation will be held on Tuesday, April 2.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Western Pa. prosecutor sends abuse case involving suspended priest to state attorney general

PENNSYLVANIA
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 29, 2013

EBENSBURG, Pennsylvania — The state attorney general will take over the investigation of a central Pennsylvania priest suspended last year amid allegations of sexual abuse involving children in the 1970s.

Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan says the her office referred the case to state prosecutors because one of her staff attended church in a parish where the Rev. George Koharchik served for several years.

The Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown in August suspended Koharchik, who had been pastor of Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Mount Union. He also spent a decade at St. Clement Church in Upper Yoder Township, near Johnstown, and eight years at St. Casimir in Johnstown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Appointments: Bishop Sample to Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) On Tuesday Pope Benedict XVI appointed 52-year-old bishop Alexander K. Sample, Metropolitan Archbishop of Portland Oregon, U.S.A.

He takes over the pastoral leadership of the Archdiocese of nearly 400,000 Catholics from Archbishop John G. Vlazny who has retired.

Bishop Sample was ordained a priest of the diocese on June 1, 1990, at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette. He served in several parish assignments before moving to Rome, Italy, from 1994-96 to earn a degree in Canon Law. Upon returning to the diocese he held a number of duties in the chancery office. He served as a member of the Marriage Tribunal, as chancellor, as a member of the College of Consultors, as director of the Department of Ministry Personnel Services, as director of the Bishop Baraga Association, diocesan chaplain to the Knights of Columbus, and was involved in many major efforts of the diocese. On January 25, 2006, by the mandate of Pope Benedict XVI, he was ordained bishop of Marquette.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Errata

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Catholic Insider

BCI made a mistake in our post last week on the 2012 financial results for the Boston Archdiocese that we need to correct.

We reported that the Catholic Appeal raised $13.6M in the 2012 year, missing their goal ($14M) and raising $100K less than the year before, with a bigger staff than the prior year. Although the 2012 Annual Report showed a contribution of $13.6M from the Catholic Appeal to the Central Fund income, and it is correct they have a bigger staff then the prior year; we were wrong in saying they missed their fundraising goal of $14M.

The timing of the Catholic Appeal fundraising “year” (March to the following January) is different from the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30), so what is reported in the Annual Report for contribution of the Catholic Appeal to operating income never aligns identically with the fundraising cycle. In addition, numbers from the Catholic Appeal are described in any of a variety of ways:

Fundraising pledges: When the archdiocese announces a fundraising goal and then actually releases the result, the fundraising folks count whatever they can and want to in pledges for this year, even if all of the money does not come in right away, and some may not come in at all. For example, there could be a big gift pledged this year while the cash will arrive over subsequent years. There is provision for bad debt. So, the accountants adjust reporting on the books to allow for bad debts and the time value of pledges before they come in. Or the total amount raised by the Catholic Appeal could include pledges made to the Catholic Appeal but designated for use by related entities such as St. Johns Seminary or Catholic TV.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 29 January 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Alexander King Sample as archbishop of the archdiocese of Portland (area 76,937, population 3,296,705, Catholics 412,725, priests 300, permanent deacons 72, religious 653), Oregon, USA. Bishop Sample, previously bishop of Marquette, Michigan, USA, was born in Kalispell, Montana, USA, in 1960, was ordained to the priesthood in 1990, and received episcopal ordination in 2006. In the national bishops' conference he currently serves on the Subcommittees on Native American Catholics and on the Catechism. He is also vice-postulator for the cause for canonisation of Venerable Frederic Baraga, first bishop of the Diocese of Marquette. He succeeds Archbishop John George Vlazny, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

I felt ashamed of my Church

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Brendan’s Hoban writes of the shame and humiliation he felt after attending Tony Flannery’s press conference on 20 January. (First published in the Western People)

When I watched Fr Tony Flannery at his press conference in Dublin, a week last Sunday, telling his side of the story I have to admit that I felt a mixture of emotions: sadness; frustration; anger, regret, sympathy. Returning that evening on the train, as I tried to unpack how I felt, these emotions had coalesced into humiliation and shame.

Here was a man who had given his whole life to the Catholic Church. He entered the Redemptorists at 17; ten years later he was ordained; and between then and his 66th birthday he has preached missions all over Ireland, written articles, published books and served the Church to the best of his ability for almost 40 years. Here he was explaining the stand-off in which he found himself with the Vatican authorities.

A year ago a few extracts from his writings were sent to Rome. As a result he was ‘silenced’, asked to carry out a number of religious exercises and to respond to the charges against him. He did all of that and the cardinal in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), William Levada, commented that his declaration of faith was ‘very fine.’ It seemed as if everyone was happy, Flannery’s declaration would be published and that was that.

It looked as if Flannery would be returned to ministry within a matter of weeks. That was June. By September, Levada had retired and a new head of the CDF, Archbishop Gerhard Muller, added a number of other points to the document, specifically a statement that he accepted that the Catholic Chuch could never ordain women and that he declare his acceptance of all Catholic moral teachings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

State AG takes over priest molestation case

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott kmellott@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — The criminal investigation into allegations that a priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johns­town molested boys while at churches in Cambria County has been turned over to the state Attorney General’s Office.

Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan said her office requested that the state take over the investigation of the Rev. George Koharchik.

“We had a conflict of interest in the DA’s office,” she said. “We referred it to the AG’s office, and they’ve accepted it.”

While Callihan did not provide specifics, she said that a member of the district attorney’s staff had attended one of the Cambria County churches where Koharchik served for a number of years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Priest aided crime: police

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY
Jan. 29, 2013

THE second Australian Catholic priest charged with concealing child sex crimes "procured and aided" a Newcastle media executive to indecently assault a young male in the 1980s, police allege.

Father Lewis Fenton, 81, of Eleebana, is alleged to have been an accessory before the fact in the indecent assault of a young male at Nelson Bay between 1982 and 1984 by Francis Andrew Tully.

Tully was employed by the Post group of newspapers, owned by the Newcastle Herald. He worked as a salesman from the Bolton Street building in Newcastle.

Tully, 55 at the time of the offences, was jailed for two years in 1986 after pleading guilty to three child sex charges. He died in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Video: Dangerous, Idiotic And Insulting – Rabbi Manis Friedman 'Explains' Child Sexual A

UNITED STATES
Failed Messiah

Another hasidic untrained and unlicensed therapist/counselor, Chabad's Rabbi Manis Friedman, claims child sexual abuse does not damage its victims, and that not saying the rabbinic prayer to be said after eating a piece of cake is worse than something – abuse – that happened to you as a child. Victims suffer, he claims, only from the feeling that they are damaged goods. They should realize that we are all damaged goods, abused or not, he claims, and then equates the damage of child sexual abuse with the damage other people experience as children from uncaring teachers or teachers who belittled them. Friedman completely misunderstands (or is unsympathetic to) the deep psychological pain child sexual abuse causes – to the extent that even pre-verbal infants who are sexually abused can have psychological issues throughout their lives from that sexual abuse.

NGO decries ‘cover-up culture’ in sex abuse cases

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

By SAM SOKOL

01/28/2013

High-profile cover-ups of sexual abuse and molestation by communal rabbis and activists have not been limited to England and the US, but take place frequently in Israel, alleged David Morris, director of Magen, a Beit Shemesh-based community child protection organization.

Magen, which works to encourage parents of sexually abused children to file reports with social services and the police, has been banned in some synagogues due to what Morris believes to be “a deepset culture of non-reporting and cover-up.”

The way that many Israeli religious communities prefer to handle such issues, he claims, is instead “dealing with child abuse within the community,” via “parents, professionals and community leaders.”

Morris’s comments come on the heels of an announcement by England’s Channel 4 that the station will be airing an investigative special entitled “Britain’s Hidden Child Abuse” on Wednesday, featuring an audio recording of prominent local Rabbi Ephraim Padwa telling a community member wearing a wire that he should not report being abused to law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

The Untold Story: What the Media Refuses to Report in the Cardinal Mahony / L.A. Archdiocese Documents Story

LOS ANGELES (CA)
TheMediaReport

By his very own admission, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the former archbishop of Los Angeles, tragically mishandled cases of abusive priests from decades past. As a result, many innocent youth were grievously harmed by criminal clerics. The devastation to victims has truly been immeasurable – a fact which Mahony himself has acknowledged many times.

However, a recent high-profile article in the Los Angeles Times about recently released court documents from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles only tells part of the story about how Cardinal Mahony dealt with abusive clerics during his tenure there.

The Cardinal's early work to combat abuse

What may surprise most people is that Cardinal Mahony – who, incidentally, was himself falsely accused twice of abuse – has a notable history of trying to take a proactive approach to the problem of clergy abuse.

Mahony became archbishop of Los Angeles in September of 1985, and he was soon addressing the issue of sex abuse. By June 1989, Mahony published the archdiocese's first formal written policies and guidelines for dealing with abusive clerics. In this respect, he was certainly ahead of many of his peers in the Catholic Church and many other organizations who oversee children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Brother Stephen Baker suicide note: 'I'm sorry for what I did to the church'

PENNSYLVANIA
Youngstown Vindicator

Published: 1/28/13

JOHNSTOWN, PA. — Brother Stephen Baker, the Franciscan friar accused of committing sex offenses against students at Warren John F. Kennedy and Johnstown, Pa., Bishop McCort Catholic high schools, left a suicide note saying: “I’m sorry for what I did to the church.”

The note was found near his body in his room at the St. Bernadine Monastery in Newry, Pa., Saturday morning after Baker stabbed himself in the chest.

Baker was dead at the scene, and his death was ruled a suicide.

Officials also found other letters in sealed envelopes in the room, and those letters are being given to the people whose names are on them, said Patty Ross, Blair County coroner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Will Cardinals Try To Delay Benedict XVI’s Choice For Next Pope?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

There has been one papal election in three decades. The next Pope could reign for decades. Current voting Cardinals were selected almost entirely either by Benedict XVI or by John Paul II while Benedict served as his key advisor. Benedict, with his Cardinal appointments, increased substantially the overall voting percentage held by Vatican based Cardinals. Significantly, he also eliminated in 2007 the majority vote “deadlock breaking” vote provision that John Paul II had introduced in 1996. This now effectively gives a one-third minority of voting Cardinals a veto over a papal election candidate, enhancing the power of the Vatican Cardinals’ voting bloc. It also helps explain, to me at least, how Benedict got sufficient Cardinals’ votes to be elected Pope in 2005.

Significantly, however, it also gives other minority voting blocs of Cardinals an opportunity to block an election until a candidate is proposed that is acceptable to them. For more explanation, please see my statement, “Is the Pope Panicking Over Sex Scandals, or Political Polls, or Both?” at http://wp.me/P2YEZ3-gg .

It seems evident, and even understandable, that Benedict is preparing for his successor, including with his Cardinal and other appointments, such as the new conservative head of the Vatican’s doctrinal commission and pro-cleric chief canon law prosecutor. Benedict has established with the Catechism and the new Liturgy his personal view of doctrine and ritual as the “law of the land”.

By beatifying John Paul II, Benedict has put a “mystical” aura on their joint program to entrench even deeper the Vatican clique’s dominant control of future doctrine and discipline, most evident currently in the ruthless inquisition of Fr. Tony Flannery and the priests union in Ireland. It seemed unthinkable that the Vatican could sink the Catholic Church’s reputation much lower in Ireland, but the tone-deaf Vatican clique has managed to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Retired priest gets 15 years for child sex crimes

FLORIDA
Miami Herald

BY DANIEL CHANG
dchang@MiamiHerald.com

Judgment day came Monday for the Rev. Neil Doherty, a retired South Florida priest accused by several men of sexually abusing them in their youth, when a Broward judge sentenced Doherty to 15 years in state prison for the repeated sexual assault of a child in the mid- to late-1990s.

Doherty, 69, appeared frail as he stood hunched and shackled before Circuit Judge Kenneth Gillespie, who announced that he had delivered “the maximum sentence I can impose’’ under the terms of a plea bargain that the disgraced Catholic priest accepted earlier this month in Broward Circuit Court.

Doherty did not speak as Gillespie told him he also would have to register as a sex offender.

But Doherty did have to face two of his accusers, who were not the victims in the criminal case but testified in open court about the traumatic sexual abuse that Doherty had visited upon them decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Is a sexual predator grooming your child at church?

WASHINGTON
Federal Way Mirror

By ANDY HOBBS
Federal Way Mirror Editor
January 28, 2013 ·

It happened right under the mother's nose: a youth minister at church was molesting her 3-year-old daughter.

The youth minister, age 23 at the time, worked well with children and seemed destined for a career in that capacity.

The mother shrugged off rumors about the minister's past conviction as a sex offender. After all, the church was supposed to be a safe and forgiving place of acceptance, and the youth minister was popular in the church family. He gained the mother's trust as he helped around the house, played with the girl and mentored her older son.

"He was so good with the kids," said the mother, a local resident whose name is being withheld to protect her privacy.

A red flag surfaced when she came home one day and noticed the daughter was less excited about her mother's return and more interested in the minister leaving. She spotted more odd behavior, including the minister's eagerness to spend time with her daughter. She asked serious questions that led to the revelation of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Archdiocese names new director of office counseling clergy sex abuse survivors

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has named a new director of the office that provides counseling and other services available to clergy sexual abuse survivors, their families, and their parishes. Vivian Soper, who has been regional director for Catholic Charities of Boston since 2003, will direct the Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach, the archdiocese said Monday. “I am humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to be part of this important ministry of the church,” Soper said. As director, Soper will also oversee the Office of Child Advocacy and the Office of Background Screening, a spokesman for the archdiocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

January 28, 2013 - Director of Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach Named

BOSTON (MA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

Braintree, MA (January 28, 2012) – The Archdiocese of Boston announced today that Vivian Soper has been appointed Director of the Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach (OPSO). She succeeds Barbara Thorp, the long-time director of the office, who concluded her service to the Archdiocese in September 2012. Ms. Soper will begin her new role in mid February 2013.

OPSO is dedicated to providing pastoral and outreach services to survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their families as well as parishes and all those impacted.

Most Reverend Robert P. Deeley, J.C.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia said, “We are grateful that Vivian has agreed to lead the Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach in the work of serving survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their families. This important work of helping survivors heal is a commitment of the Church and we are fortunate that we are able to have someone of Vivian’s substantial gifts and background available to oversee this ministry. I also want to express my appreciation to Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, Secretary for Health and Social Services, for conducting a careful search process and for the members of the search committee who treated this responsibility with sincerity and great care for all impacted by sexual

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Pastor Quits State Board of Education Three Days After Lurid Lawsuit Filed

MISSOURI
Courthouse News Service

By JOE HARRIS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) - The president of the Missouri State Board of Education, a Baptist pastor, resigned Friday, three days after a woman filed a lurid lawsuit against him, claiming he sexually abused her while she was a child and he was her pastor.

Jane Doe DL sued the Rev. Stanley Arnold Archie and the Christian Fellowship Baptist Church on Tuesday, Jan. 23, in Jackson County Court.

Archie sent a letter of resignation to Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday. Archie had been a member of the board since 2006 and began his term as president this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Weymouth woman named to new job with Boston Archdiocese

BOSTON (MA)
The Patriot Ledger

Posted Jan 28, 2013

By Lane Lambert

BRAINTREE —

The Boston Archdiocese has appointed a Weymouth woman to be the new director of the office that provides counseling to survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their families.

Vivian Soper will become director of the Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach in February. She’ll succeed the office’s longtime director Barbara Thorp.

The Archdiocese announced Soper’s appointment Monday afternoon.

Soper has been a Catholic Charities regional director since 2003, and has worked for the agency since 1986.

She’s the sister of Rev. Paul Soper, who’s pastor of St. Albert the Great parish in Weymouth and director of the Archciocese’s pastoral planning commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Friar's suicide challenging for victims, not for impending legal cases

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

By Maria Miller

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. —

6 News uncovered new details Monday in the case against a friar accused of sexually abusing students at Bishop McCort High School in the '90s.

Brother Stephen Baker was found dead in his room at the St. Bernadine Monastery in Hollidaysburg, Blair County. Investigators ruled it a suicide.

On Monday, 6 News found out the reason why Baker was removed from Bishop McCort in 2000 in the first place. According to the Rev. Patrick Quinn, who's a member of the Franciscan Order to which Baker belonged, an allegation against Baker surfaced in Minnesota. Once the order got wind of it, friars removed him from Bishop McCort.

Allegations involving McCort students didn't surface until more than a decade later. In 2011, Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese said he immediately alerted authorities. Johnstown police said Monday they were made aware of two cases, but couldn't take action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

More alleged victims delay New Brunswick sex abuse report

CANADA
Toronto Star

The Canadian Press

MONCTON, N.B.—A former Supreme Court of Canada judge says his final report on sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the Moncton area will be delayed until at least March because more alleged victims have come forward.

Michel Bastarache was hired last year by the archdiocese of Moncton to conduct a reconciliation and compensation process for alleged victims of sexual abuse involving a former priest from Cap-Pele.

The confidential process has since been expanded to hear complaints about any priests from the diocese.

Bastarache said he has already approved payments to about 50 people, ranging from $15,000 to $300,000 each.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

Ex Catholic priest allegedly covered up child sex crimes for almost 30 years

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Neil Keene
From:The Daily Telegraph
January 29, 2013

A FORMER Catholic priest who allegedly covered up child sex crimes for almost 30 years has appeared in court today for the first time.

Father Lewis Dominic Fenton, 81, appeared only briefly in Newcastle Local Court in NSW this morning after his arrest earlier this month.

Officers from Strike Force Georgiana, set up to investigate allegations of child abuse within the church, allege Fenton concealed from authorities his knowledge of another man’s sexual abuse of a child between 1982 and 1984 in the Hunter Region.

Walking with the aid of a cane and wearing gold crucifixes on his shirt collar, Fenton did not enter pleas to committing an act of indecency, being an accessory before the fact to an offence and unlawfully concealing a felony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

Priests face court over child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC
Updated January 29, 2013

A retired Hunter Valley Catholic priest has faced Newcastle Local Court for the first time after being charged over the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse.

Lewis Dominic Fenton was charged on January 4, becoming the second Australian to be charged with a child sex cover-up.

The 81-year-old is accused of concealing two alleged offences committed by another Hunter Valley man against a nine-year-old boy.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between 1982 and 1984 at Nelson Bay and Stockton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Priest gets 15 years in abuse case

FLORIDA
Florida Today

FORT LAUDERDALE — A retired Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing dozens of boys for decades was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday.

Earlier this month, Father Neil Doherty pleaded no contest in a deal that reduced the sex abuse charges from capital felonies to second-degree felonies. He will also have to register as a sex offender.

The plea comes after several more alleged victims came forward and were planning to testify in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

January 28, 2013

Judge In Archdiocese Sex Abuse Case Keeps Jury Questions Secret

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for bigtrial.net

She sealed the pre-trial hearings. She sealed the pre-trial motions.

Today, Judge Ellen Ceisler kept three out of four jury questions a secret, as she invited lawyers on both sides of the case back to her chambers for a couple of private discussions.

Since there's a continuing gag order in the case, lawyers on both sides are precluded from talking to reporters.

The one jury question read out in public today was why did the older brother of "Billy Doe" not honor a subpoena from the defense, which set off an argument between the prosecutor and a defense lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Second Australian Catholic priest charged

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE MCCARTHY
Jan. 29, 2013

RETIRED Maitland-Newcastle catholic priest Lew Fenton has appeared in Newcastle local court
as the second Australian Catholic priest charged with concealing the child sex crimes of another person.

Mr Fenton, 81, did not enter a plea to a charge of misprision of a felony - concealing a serious crime -related to events in the mid-1980s.

He was supported in court by a small group of people and did not make a statement outside the court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Abuse cover-up alleged at SBC church

TEXAS
Associated Baptist Press

An advocacy group says Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, should explain why in the 1980s it failed to report a confessed child molester who recently avoided prison in a plea bargain for similar crimes in another state.

By Bob Allen

A mother who says her son was molested more than 20 years ago by a then-staff member at one of the Southern Baptist Convention’s largest churches says the congregation’s leaders need to come clean about what a victims’ advocacy group calls a cover-up of child sexual abuse by clergy.

The anonymous woman said her family endured “indescribable” hurt after learning her son was molested for months by John Langworthy, a staff member at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas from 1984 until 1989.

Langworthy, who went on to serve 22 years as associate pastor of music and ministries at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Miss., recently received a 50-year suspended sentence in Mississippi for molesting multiple boys as young as 6 he met through local churches while a student at Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College from 1980 until 1984

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

IOR: Still no president but cardinal turnaround just around the corner

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Calcagno and Sandri could substitute Nicora and Tauran in the commission which controls the Vatican Bank. Former director Gotti Tedeschi’s dismissal is still being disputed

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

Last June, the appointment of a new president of the Vatican Bank (IOR) in September 2012, after the Pope returned from his trip to Lebanon, was said to be a dead cert. The new president will succeed banker Ettore Gotti Tedeschi who was dismissed in a way that had never been seen before in the history of the Holy See. Then the appointment was postponed to the end of the year. Last 10 December, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carl Andersson - a member of the IOR’s board of lay members and author of the harsh indictment against Gotti Tedeschi, which was deliberately leaked to the press – said it was up to Cardinal Bertone to decide and that the new president would be nominated in January. Now that January is almost over there is word going round that the president will be appointed next month. But probably after the turnover of the Commission of Cardinals that oversees the IOR, which expires on 23 February. The Secretary of State explained that this is a routine change that takes place every five years as in the dicasteries. In this case the turnover could be of crucial importance to the choice of Gotti’s successor.

On 23 February 2008, Benedict XVI renewed the Cardinals’ Commission that oversees the Institute for Works of Religion for another five years, appointing Secretary of State and Camerlengo, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and Attilio Nicora - who was president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) at the time - as its heads. Cardinals who were chosen again included Frenchman Jean-Louis Tauran (President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue), Telesphore Placidus Toppo (Archbishop of Ranchi, in India) and Odilo Pedro Scherer (Archbishop of São Paulo, in Brazil). In September the following year, 2009, cardinals renewed the IOR’s board of lay members which elected Ettore Gotti Tedeschi as the bank’s president. Gotti Tedeschi was called to develop the bank’s objective of transparency and bring it in line with international anti-money laundering laws as requested by the Pope and Cardinal Bertone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

50 ‘old boys’ speak out in school abuse probe

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

A police sex abuse probe at a top Catholic school has now uncovered more than 50 possible victims and witnesses.

As the sheer scale of the investigation became apparent, the detective leading the enquiry into St Ambrose College in Hale Barns said he was determined to ensure ‘justice is done’.

Police have received a steady stream of former pupils alleging they were sexually abused by teachers from the school since the M.E.N. exclusively revealed the probe last year.

Some ‘old boys’ who have been in touch with officers have alleged they were molested both in the school and at the homes of teachers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Coroner: Friar died from heart wound

PENNSYLVANIA
The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — The Franciscan friar who was the subject of an alleged sex scandal at Bishop McCort Catholic High School died from a single knife wound to the chest, an autopsy showed.

Blair Coroner Patricia Ross said Brother Paul Stephen Baker used a knife long enough to puncture his heart, an injury authorities believe quickly killed him Saturday.

He suffered no other injuries, Ross said.

Baker, 62, was living at St. Bernardine Monastary, Hollidaysburg, when a resident found him fatally injured Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

No verdict in Philly church-abuse trial, but jurors ask about accuser's absent brother

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 28, 2013

PHILADELPHIA — Jurors in a church-abuse case in Philadelphia have gone home Monday without a verdict, but first asked about a missing trial witness.

The jury wants to know why the accuser's brother did not testify as planned for the defense.

The accuser, a 24-year-old policeman's son, says two Roman Catholic priests and his sixth-grade teacher raped him, starting at age 10. He blames the abuse for his descent heroin addiction.

He testified that he first tried drugs at age 11 when his brother took him to a party.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Wineke: No wonder Cardinal wanted past silenced

CALIFORNIA
Channel 3000

Author: William R. Wineke, Special to Channel 3000

Published On: Jan 28 2013

Just keep this in mind before you read further: Retired Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahony will be one of the Roman Catholic prelates who chooses the next pope should Pope Benedict XVI die before 2016.

Why is that important? Because, according to documents released during the past couple of weeks, Cardinal Mahony actively conspired with his chief adviser on sexual abuse to hide diocesan priests from criminal prosecution.

The fact that Los Angeles was a hotbed of predator priests is not news. The archdiocese has already committed $616 million – more than a half-billion dollars! – to compensate victims of that abuse. But church officials tried strenuously to keep their records of child abuse secret and, at the least, to have names of church officials dealing with the offending priests blacked out from public view.

Now we know why.

The records show that the cardinal and his chief adviser on sexual abuse, one Monsignor Thomas Curry, were well aware of what their priests were doing and that those activities were illegal.

They didn't just ignore the abuse; they sent the offending priests for psychiatric treatment at an out-of-state center – but they did make sure that any therapy done was not done in California, where the therapist would be mandated by law to report the crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

MO - SNAP responds to Bishop Finn’s criticism of the National Catholic Reporter

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

Posted by Barbara Dorris on January 28, 2013

KC's Catholic bishop is criticizing the one religious publication that has heroically protected kids, exposed corruption and deterred wrongdoing - the National Catholic Reporter.

No church publication – and few secular ones – has done more than the NCR to make innocent kids and vulnerable adults safer. And few bishops have done more than Bishop Finn to endanger families and deceive parishioners.

Bishop Finn wants to have his cake and eat it too. When forced, he issues, through his public relations staff, a terse and vague apology for enabling Fr. Shawn Ratigan to sexually violate more children. But most of the time, he continues his pathetic quest to deflect attention and blame others - therapists, journalists and even victims - for his own irresponsible, selfish secrecy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

FL - SNAP applauds maximum sentence given to Fr. Doherty

FLORIDA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on January 28, 2013

We are glad that Fr. Neil Doherty was given the maximum sentence possible. Kids are always safer when predators are behind bars. Given that Fr. Doherty has been accused in dozens of abuse cases over the past decade, it is clear that kids in Miami are better off now that he is off the street.

While we are glad that Fr. Doherty has been brought to justice, the sad fact remains that top diocesan staff who repeatedly ignored warnings and allegations have escaped punishment. Only when those who enable child sex abuse are punished alongside the abusers will the epidemic begin to wane.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

Ex-priest sentenced to 15 years in prison in child sex abuse case

FLORIDA
Sun Sentinel

By Rafael Olmeda and Tonya Alanez, Sun Sentinel
12:20 p.m. EST, January 28, 2013

A retired priest convicted of molesting a young boy and accused of preying on dozens of others was sentenced Monday to 15 years in Florida State Prison.

Neil Doherty, 69, pleaded no contest earlier this month to criminal charges brought against him on behalf of one victim, a man who grew up across the street from St. Vincent's Roman Catholic Church in Margate, where Doherty was the pastor. The man accused Doherty of drugging him and having sex with him.

As part of a plea negotiation, Doherty faced a maximum 15-year prison sentence, though he pleaded for leniency through his lawyer, David Bogenschutz, who argued that Doherty's age and frail condition made him unlikely to offend again.

Broward Circuit Judge Kenneth Gillespie was unmoved, sentencing Doherty to the maximum allowable term.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Fla. priest gets 15 years in sex abuse case

FLORIDA
WSOC

The Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. —

A retired Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing dozens of boys for decades has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in Fort Lauderdale court.

Father Neil Doherty was sentenced Monday after pleading no contest in a deal that reduced the sex abuse charges from a capital felony to a second-degree felony. He will also have to register as a sex offender.

The plea comes after several other alleged victims came forward and were planning to testify.

Attorneys for the victims say Doherty befriended troubled young boys for years, plied them with drugs and alcohol then sexually abused them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

More alleged victims delay report on sex abuse by priests in New Brunswick

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: The Canadian Press

MONCTON, N.B. - A former judge says his final report on sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the Moncton, N.B., area will be delayed until at least March because more alleged victims are coming forward.

Michel Bastarache was hired last year by the Archdiocese of Moncton to conduct a reconciliation and compensation process for alleged victims of sexual abuse involving a former priest from Cap-Pele.

The confidential process has since been expanded to hear complaints about any priests from the diocese.

Bastarache says he has already approved payments to about 50 people, ranging from $15,000 to $300,000 each.

The allegations that have been made have not been proven in a court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Father Santiago Tamayo one of a group of priests that assaulted teen girl

CALIFORNIA
Daily Breeze

By Tracy Manzer and Dana Bartholomew, Staff Writers
sgvtribune.com
Posted: 01/26/2013

The case files of Father Santiago Tamayo and Father Angel Cruces read like lurid dime-store novels.

Appropriately enough, the tales of how Tamayo, Cruces and five other priests sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl were fodder for the tabloids in the 1980s, which dubbed it "Snow White and the Seven Priests."

The tale went public when victim Rita Milla came forward after becoming pregnant at age 19. Milla, a parishioner at St. Philomena church in Carson, told church officials in 1983 she was pressured by Tamayo to have an abortion, and she eventually went to the Philippines to have her daughter.

One of the documents in the newly released files includes a denial by Tamayo that he encouraged an abortion.

Also included is a letter the teen gave to church officials in 1983 but never sent to the priest who she believed fathered the child, Father Valentine Tugade. Tugade's paternity was finally proven by a DNA test in 2003, but in 2007 Milla's attorney, Gloria Allred, told reporters they did not know if he was still alive. | Related: Exhibit 50, Page 3

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Dublin rally supports Irish priest under Vatican scrutiny

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

by John Cooney | Jan. 28, 2013

Dublin --
An estimated 250 protesters demonstrated Sunday evening in Dublin at a vigil outside the papal nunciature in support of the restoration to ministry of Irish Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery.

A letter addressed to the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, was handed in by the Irish branch of the We Are Church lay movement.

The protesters were mainly in their 60s or older, and two-thirds of them were women. They carried a banner that read "Dialogue Yes. Silence No." and sang the 1960s protest song of the civil rights movement, "We Shall Overcome."

The letter stated that the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had acted unjustly in its treatment of Flannery and should now restore him to his full priestly ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Bishop snared in abuse scandal criticizes Catholic newspaper

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Los Angeles Times

By Matt Pearce
January 28, 2013

Bishop Robert W. Finn wishes the independent National Catholic Reporter weren't so independent.

Finn is the bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri. The National Catholic Reporter is a 59-year-old not-for-profit newspaper based in Kansas City.

Finn was convicted in September of shielding priests from sexual-abuse allegations -- prompting editorials from the newspaper calling for his resignation. Now, Finn, who is on probation, has taken to his own diocese's journalistic bully pulpit to denounce the paper.

"In the last months I have been deluged with emails and other correspondence from Catholics concerned about the editorial stances of the Reporter: officially condemning church teaching on the ordination of women, insistent undermining of church teaching on artificial contraception and sexual morality in general, lionizing dissident theologies while rejecting established magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues," Finn wrote this weekend in his diocese's newspaper, the Catholic Key.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

South Florida Priest Neil Doherty Sentenced to 15 Years in Sex Abuse Case

FLORIDA
NBC Miami

A South Florida priest accused of molesting several boys was sentenced to 15 years behind bars Monday after pleading no contest to several charges earlier this month.

Neil Doherty, 69, was sentenced to the maximum prison term after pleading no contest to six counts of lewd and lascivious acts upon a child.

The retired priest had been charged with eight counts including sexual battery against the victim, who alleged Doherty drugged and raped him multiple times as a young boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Über 300.000 Euro für Missbrauchsopfer

DEUTSCHLAND
Nassauische

Die Bistümer Limburg, Fulda und Mainz haben mehr als 300.000 Euro an Entschädigungen für die Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche gezahlt.

Fulda/Limburg/Mainz. Die Bistümer Limburg, Fulda und Mainz haben mehr als 300.000 Euro an Entschädigungen für die Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche gezahlt.

In den drei Kirchenbezirken auf hessischem Gebiet seien bislang 64 Anträge auf Entschädigungen gestellt worden, wie eine Umfrage der Nachrichtenagentur dpa ergab.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Pfeiffer bezichtigt Kirchenvertreter der Lüge

DEUTSCHLAND
Main Post

Die Auseinandersetzung um das vorerst gescheiterte Forschungsprojekt zum Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche nimmt an Schärfe zu.

Der Kriminologe Christian Pfeiffer und die Bischöfe beschuldigen sich gegenseitig, daran schuld zu sein. Dem Würzburger Bischof unterstellte Pfeiffer jetzt in einem Gastbeitrag für diese Zeitung „ein gestörtes Verhältnis zum 8. Gebot“ (Du sollst nicht falsch Zeugnis reden wider deinen Nächsten). Damit reagierte der Forscher auf die Kritik des Bischofs, der Pfeiffer in einem Gastbeitrag heftig attackiert hatte. Darauf antwortete Pressesprecher Bernhard Schweßinger: „Es drängt sich nicht nur im Bistum Würzburg die Frage auf, ob bei Professor Pfeiffer die Grenzen zwischen Dichtung und Wahrheit fließend sind. Das Verhalten zeigt, wie richtig die Feststellung der Bischöfe war, aufgrund des zerstörten Vertrauensverhältnisses die Zusammenarbeit zu beenden.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 AM

„Der Kirche fehlen Sachargumente“

DEUTSCHLAND
Main Post

Christian Pfeiffer, Direktor des Kriminologischen Forschungsinstituts Niedersachsen, wendet sich in einem Gastbeitrag gegen Bischof Friedhelm Hofmann.

Nach dem Lesen des Beitrags von Bischof Hofmann (gemeint ist der Gastbeitrag von Würzburgs Bischof Friedhelm Hofmann am 19. Januar auf der Meinungsseite dieser Zeitung, Anmerkung der Redaktion) habe ich mich gefragt, ob er ein gestörtes Verhältnis zum 8. Gebot hat: „Du sollst nicht falsch Zeugnis reden wider Deinen Nächsten“. So hat er den Vorwurf, ich hätte verbindliche Zusagen nicht eingehalten und wäre nicht in der Lage, zeitnah Informationen zur Vorgehensweise zu liefern, offenkundig frei erfunden. Meine unmittelbaren Kooperationspartner der Bischofskonferenz haben mir das jedenfalls nie vorgehalten und hätten dazu auch keinen Anlass gehabt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Fmr. Priest To Be Sentenced For Underage Sex Abuse

FLORIDA
CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A former South Florida Catholic priest who pled no contest earlier this month to charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted a Margate boy in the 1990s will be sentenced on Monday.

During his time with the Archdiocese of Miami Doherty, 69, had served at several South Florida churches, including St. Vincent’s in Margate, St. Anthony in Fort Lauderdale and St. Phillip in Northwest Miami-Dade.

Doherty has a long list of accusers who say he used his position of power to sexually assault them. In several cases, Doherty is accused of slipping drugs into drinks to make boys sleepy and molesting them while they were unconscious.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Helen Milroy appointed to Royal Commission on child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Indigenous Times

Descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia, Professor Helen Milroy has been appointed as one of the Commissioners to the Federal Government's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

How Tony Flannery answered the CDF

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Response on 13 September 2012 to Document received from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

1. Regarding the Church, Fr. Flannery should add to his article that he believes that Christ instituted the Church with a permanent hierarchical structure. Specifically, Fr. Flannery should state that he accepts the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, as found in Lumen Gentium n. 9-22, that the bishops are the divinely established successors of the apostles who were appointed by Christ; that, aided by the Holy Spirit, they exercise legitimate power to sanctify, teach and govern the People of God; that they constitute one Episcopal college together with the Roman Pontiff; and that in virtue of his office, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church, which he is always free to exercise.

I acknowledge and accept the teaching of the second Vatican Council. I have studied Lumen Gentium and it is clear from the teaching of the Council that the Lord Jesus set the church on its course by preaching the Good News. The Council also accepts the teachings of the First Vatican Council which declares that Jesus Christ, the eternal shepherd, established His holy Church, having sent forth the apostles as he himself had been sent by the Father; and he willed that their successors, namely the bishops, should be shepherds in His Church even to the consummation of the world. The Council also teaches that Jesus placed Peter over the other apostles, and instituted in him a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion. Vatican 2 states that “all this teaching about the institution, the perpetuity, the meaning and reason for the sacred primacy of the Roman Pontiff and of his infallible Magisterium, this Sacred Council again proposes to be firmly believed by all the faithful.” I submit to this teaching in faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Bruni on Wills on Mahony on priesthood: What's the way forward?

UNITED STATES
U.S. Catholic

By Bryan Cones

The New York Times' Frank Bruni turns the sharp edge of his pen against the Roman Catholic priesthood in today's column, invoking Garry Wills, whose next book, Why Priests? A Failed Tradition, will no doubt expose, as Wills' often does, the problematic underbelly of this quintessentially Catholic institution (shared also with the Orthodox and Anglicanism). Bruni doesn't tackle the theological dimension of priesthood--one assumes that Wills most likely does--but its insularity. Exhibit A: Cardinal Roger Mahony.

The LA archdiocese this week released the personnel files of priests accused of abuse, which time after time shows Mahony's abject failure to protect innocents or turn over offenders. It wasn't until 2006 that Mahony started meeting with victims, some 20 years after he started first dealing with cases--and a full four years after the Boston scandal broke. Before those meetings, Mahony claims in a statement released by the archdiocese, he "remained naive myself about the full and lasting impact of these horrible acts"--a statement to which we must add "willfully," just before naive.

Whether "Catholicism's Curse"--as Bruni titles his column--is indeed priesthood itself is a question worthy of debate, but the insular system by which priests are made--residential seminaries more or less totally remote from Catholic parishes, families, and their children--is certainly a part of the problem that must be eliminated. Indeed, while I don't see a direct connection between celibacy and child sexual abuse, I do see a connection between celibacy and the inability to identify and empathize with children and families, and I wonder how different the church's response to the sex abuse crisis would have been if the priests and bishops responding were themselves fathers of children. For some reason I don't think it would have taken 20 years for Mahony to grasp the impact of sexual abuse on children if he had a child of his own.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Cardinal Mahony's La Cosa Nostra

LOS ANGELES (CA)
RealClearReligion

By George Neumayr

"I have a 3 x 5 card for every victim I met with on the altar of my small chapel. I pray for them every single day," retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony said after the court-ordered release of personnel files detailing his elaborate efforts to hide abusers from the police. How comforted the victims must feel knowing their names appear on his 3 x 5 cards. How big of him to entrust the victims of his pedophile-shuffling to the efficacy of his prayers.

Such acts of chutzpah come naturally to the cardinal. At the height of the abuse scandal, even as he retained an army of lawyers and publicists to conceal his own complicity in it, he had the gall to join the media in calling for Boston Cardinal Bernard Law's resignation. Referring to Law, Cardinal Mahony piously told the press that "he would find it difficult to walk down an aisle in church if he had been guilty of gross negligence."

Meanwhile, Cardinal Mahony was unleashing his attack dogs on anyone who probed his staggering negligence. Until the media furor of 2001, he had been planning on making a pedophile long known to him and residing in his living quarters, Father Carl Sutphin (with whom he had gone to seminary), associate pastor of the archdiocesan cathedral. "I can't believe a cardinal keeps a pedophile on staff," said one of Sutphin's victims.

Long before Leon Panetta joined the Obama administration as CIA director, he had scented out Cardinal Mahony's misdeeds. He "has done tremendous damage to his reputation and the archdiocese," said Panetta after his spell as a member of the National Review Board, a watchdog group formed in the wake of the scandal. Panetta recalled a meeting at which Cardinal Mahony turned up with "more lawyers in the room than I've ever seen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Recognizing the National Catholic Reporter for what it is (actually, for what it isn’t)

UNITED STATES
In the Light of the Law

Edward Peters

Bp. Robert Finn (KC, MO) has a very good column on a local bishop’s responsibility over local media in regard to the promotion and protection of the Catholic Faith. Most folks, however, will likely skim the first part of the essay, and go right for Finn’s critique of the National Catholic Reporter in the second.

In my opinion, Finn was too kind to them.

NCRep has carried on a steady tirade against ecclesiastical authority in general, and against numerous Church teachings in particular, for several decades, but the last few years have seen a shrillness that should discomfort even its dwindling number of friends. Besides my own efforts to reply to them (e.g., July 2010, October 2009, March 2009) Fr. Z’s blog has long served as a clearing house for reasonable, Catholic responses to the NCRep (what a thankless task that is).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Kansas City bishop says NCR undermines the faith

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

by Thomas C. Fox | Jan. 27, 2013

Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn wrote Friday the National Catholic Reporter is undermining church teachings. He cited coverage of women’s ordination, artificial contraception, sexual morality in general, and the “lionizing” of dissident theologies.

His remarks appeared in a column entitled “The Bishop’s Role In Fostering The Mission Of The Catholic Media.” It was posted in the online edition of the official diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Key.

The bishop praised the work of the Key and went on to write:

In a different way, I am sorry to say, my attention has been drawn once again to the National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper with headquarters in this Diocese. I have received letters and other complaints about NCR from the beginning of my time here. In the last months I have been deluged with emails and other correspondence from Catholics concerned about the editorial stances of the Reporter: officially condemning Church teaching on the ordination of women, insistent undermining of Church teaching on artificial contraception and sexual morality in general, lionizing dissident theologies while rejecting established Magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues.

My predecessor bishops have taken different approaches to the challenge. Bishop Charles Helmsing in October of 1968 issued a condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter and asked the publishers to remove the name “Catholic” from their title – to no avail. From my perspective, NCR’s positions against authentic Church teaching and leadership have not changed trajectory in the intervening decades. ...

Finn seems to imply NCR has had bad relations with its local bishops since 1968. This has not been the case. Bishop Helmsing’s successors – Bishop John Sullivan and Bishop Raymond Boland – had cordial relations with NCR. Once Boland came to our Kansas City office and blessed our building as we consulted with him about use of new emerging media technologies. Later Boland spoke at NCR’s 40th anniversary ceremony in Washington, D.C.

In an email former NCR Publisher Sister of Saint Anne Rita Larivee, who was publisher at the time of Finn’s early years as diocesan bishop, remembers having respectful meetings with Finn. She wrote:

I personally visited with him in is office to welcome him to the diocese. We had a fine conversation. But during his first year, he made many significant changes within the diocese that caused many concerns for various groups. Because of these shifts in previous policies, NCR wrote a story about this period of transition – Dennis Cody (now NCR Editor) wrote the story. Again, I visited with Bishop Finn in his office to assure him that this was a story about the changes that had taken place, as NCR does with other diocese, but that it was not an article about him personally. …

After a local judge found Finn guilty last year of failing to report suspected child abuse involving a local priest NCR published an editorial calling on Finn to either resign or be removed from his position. NCR and other local news outlets, including the Kansas City Star provided ongoing coverage of the incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Lawyer says Pa. abuse case unaffected by suicide

PENNSYLVANIA
GoErie

ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHILADELPHIA -- The civil case alleging that a Franciscan friar sexually abused students at a western Pennsylvania high school will go on despite the friar's suicide over the weekend, attorneys representing some of the accusers said Sunday.

Brother Stephen Baker, 62, was found dead of a self-inflicted knife wound at the St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg on Saturday, according to Blair Township police.

He had been named in recent legal settlements involving sexual abuse allegations at a Catholic high school in northeastern Ohio three decades ago, and the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese said it had received allegations of abuse at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown in the 1990s.

When Baker was the school's athletic trainer, 20 former students allege that he assaulted or molested students under the guise of providing therapeutic treatment or medical care for treatment of sports injuries, said attorney Michael Parrish, of Johnstown, who represents the accusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Group disputes abuse claims made by Diocese of San Bernardino

CALIFORNIA
Contra Costa Times

Monica Rodriguez, Staff Writer
sbsun.com
Posted: 01/27/2013

Join Los Angeles News Group City Editor Harrison Sheppard and reporters Susan Abram and Tracy Manzer in a live chat Monday at 11 a.m. to discuss this report.

Amid scrutiny of its neighboring diocese's response to the sexual abuse of children, the Diocese of San Bernardino has been swift to notify authorities of such allegations, a diocese spokesman said.

Others don't see it that way.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says the leadership of the diocese is still slow to move when it is notified of sexual abuse allegations.

"We have not seen any real strides," said Joelle Casteix, the regional director for SNAP.

Since 2002, the diocese has been following the directions spelled out in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued that year, said John Andrews, a spokesman for the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

January 27, 2013

Los Angeles Archdiocese kept sexual abuse in the shadows

CALIFORNIA
Press-Telegram

Special Report

Thousands of pages of court documents show how the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for decades knowingly shielded more than a dozen priests suspected of child sex abuse.

A Los Angeles News Group special report offers an in-depth look into how and when the church knew about the abuse and chose instead to move accused priests from parish to parish, even allowing the most abusive to move out of the country.

Church officials in some cases tried to get priests into therapy, but at the same time took steps to keep the horrific accusations from ever surfacing or being reported to authorities. Victims and their families pleaded for justice, only to fall on deaf ears. This report details the depth of secrecy and covert actions taken by top church officials to keep the accusations in the shadows.

In the decades since, archdioceses everywhere have taken steps to recognize and stop such abuse from happening again.

In the meantime, victims feel the weight and still live in the shadow of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 PM

The Cardinal and the Truth

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The New York Times

[Archive of Los Angeles Archdiocesan Documents - BishopAccountability.org]

Editorial

No member of the Roman Catholic hierarchy fought longer and more energetically than Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles to conceal the decades-long scandal involving the rape and intimidation of children by rogue priests. For years, the cardinal withheld seamy church records from parents, victims and the public, brandishing endless litigation and fatuous claims of confidentiality.

The breadth of Cardinal Mahony’s cover-up became shockingly clear last week with the release in court of archdiocese records detailing how he and a top aide concocted cynical strategies to keep police authorities in the dark and habitual offenders beyond the reach of criminal prosecution.

“Sounds good — please proceed!” the cardinal, now retired, instructed in 1987 after the aide, Msgr. Thomas Curry, cautioned against therapy for one confessed predator — lest the therapist feel obliged to tell authorities and scandalize the archdiocese. The two discussed another priest, Msgr. Peter Garcia, who admitted specializing in the rape of Latino immigrant children and threatened at least one boy with deportation if he complained. Cardinal Mahony ordered that he stay out of California after his release from a New Mexico treatment center out of fear that “we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both the criminal and civil sectors.” Monsignor Curry worried that there might be 20 young people able to identify the priest in “first-degree felony” cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 PM

Southern California Catholics say faith strong despite priest sex abuse allegations

CALIFORNIA
Press-Telegram

By Susan Abram, Brian Day, Andrew Edwards and Phillip Zonkel, Staff Writers
dailynews.com
Posted: 01/27/2013

Join Los Angeles News Group City Editor Harrison Sheppard and reporters Susan Abram and Tracy Manzer in a live chat Monday at 11 a.m. to discuss this report.

On the first Sunday after a flood of newly released documents showed how Catholic leaders shielded priests accused of child sex abuse, parishioners at churches across Los Angeles and beyond said they were troubled by the revelations but remained strong in their faith.

At the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles, Archbishop Jose Gomez had been quiet about the issue all week, but spoke out briefly about it during his morning sermon.

"This has been a challenging week for all of us in Los Angeles because of the abuse of many by priests," Gomez said somberly to the hundreds of parishioners who had filled the sanctuary.

"Today we want to especially pray for anyone who has been hurt by the church. We also want to renew and strengthen our policies on the protection of children within the diocese."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 PM

Bishop Finn airs frustration over KC-based National Catholic Reporter

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

[The Bishop’s Role in Fostering the Mission of the Catholic Media - The Catholic Key]

By ALAN BAVLEY
The Kansas City Star

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is expressing public frustration with the editorial stances of the National Catholic Reporter, a Kansas City-based independent newspaper that has called for the bishop to resign over his handling of sex scandals in the church.

In a column posted Friday in the online edition of the official diocesan newspaper, Bishop Robert Finn said the National Catholic Reporter was “undermining” church teaching on contraception and the ordination of women, while praising “dissident theologies.” Finn also raised questions about whether the newspaper should call itself “Catholic.”

“I have a responsibility as the local bishop to instruct the Faithful about the problematic nature of this media source which bears the name ‘Catholic,’ ” Finn wrote.

“Bishop Finn clearly feels our voice is not a Catholic voice,” said National Catholic Reporter publisher and former editor Tom Fox. “We are a Catholic publication, but independent of the church structure. That’s one of the keys to our credibility.”

Fox said the National Catholic Reporter is a member of the Catholic Press Association, which is sanctioned by U.S. bishops. The newspaper has consistently won awards for general excellence and investigative reporting.

Its investigative reporting has included coverage of allegations of sex abuse by members of the clergy, an issue the newspaper had been addressing since 1985, Fox said. The issue took on a high profile in the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese in recent years, leading to further coverage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Sexual abuse scandals have ‘tarnished the Catholic hierarchy,’ but culture of secrecy persists

UNITED STATES
Current

[with video]

David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, joins John Fugelsang on “Viewpoint” to assess the ongoing sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, including news that the retired archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, hid evidence that clergymen were molesting children.

“This is a monarchy, and as much as this scandal has tarnished the Catholic hierarchy, the men at the top of the pyramid still have faced little, if any, consequences for their dreadful wrongdoing,” Clohessy says. “For that reason, their power remains intact, and for that reason, I think, we’ve seen so little change on their part.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

Bishop Finn assails NCR

KANSAS CITY (MO)
dotCommonweal

January 27, 2013

Posted by Paul Moses

Bishop Robert W. Finn has used the occasion of the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists, to upbraid Kansas City-based National Catholic Reporter, which is located in his diocese. The critique he published in his diocesan newspaper says not a word about the important service to the church that NCR offered through courageous coverage over nearly three decades of the existence and cover-up of clergy sexual abuse.

This comes as no surprise from Finn, who continues to remain as bishop even after his conviction in September, as NCR put it, of “criminally shielding a priest who was a threat to children.” Bishop Finn is in no position to level accusations against NCR. It’s not surprising that many have called for his resignation; his conviction makes it impossible for him to do his job credibly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

150 people picket Papal Nuncio's residence over 'shabby, unjust' treatment of gagged priest

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

More than 150 people picketed the residence of the Papal Nuncio in Dublin this afternoon in protest at the Catholic Church's treatment of well-known Irish missionary Fr Tony Flannery.

Last week Fr Flannery said he had been censored by the Vatican for his views on homosexuality and women priests, and called the Vatican's systems "unfair and unjust".

The 800-strong Association of Catholic Priests previously warned that forcing Father Tony Flannery to stop writing for a Redemptorist Order magazine would fuel belief of a disconnect between Irish Catholics and Rome.

Fr Flannery, a founder of the association, had his monthly column with the religious publication 'Reality' discontinued on orders from Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Legal Action Planned Against Catholic Diocese

PENNSYLVANIA/OHIO
WKBN

At least two attorneys, representing victims, are planning legal action against the Youngstown and Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese, Bishop McCort High School and others who were in charge of supervising Brother Stephen Baker while he was working with students.

On Sunday afternoon, Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, offered this statement:

"Well, unfortunately Brother Baker passed away but I will be pursuing cases on behalf of my clients against the supervisors of Brother Baker while he was sexually molesting children. Brother Baker's death does sadden many of my clients. It's a very emotional complicated situation that has now become more emotionally complicated."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Civil Cases Proceed Against Brother Stephen Baker

PENNSYLVANIA
WKBN

Civil cases will proceed despite Brother Stephen Baker's suicide.

Attorney Michael Parrish Junior of Johnstown, representing some of the former students alleging abuse by Baker, said the cases will move forward.

Baker was found dead at the St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg on Saturday. He had been named in legal settlements involving abuse allegations at JFK High School in Warren and allegations have also surfaced of abuse at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Lawyers say Pa. abuse cases unaffected by suicide

PENNSYLVANIA
Houston Chronicle

By RON TODT, Associated Press | January 27, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The civil case alleging that a Franciscan friar sexually abused students at a western Pennsylvania high school will go on despite the friar's suicide over the weekend, attorneys representing some of the accusers said Sunday.

Brother Stephen Baker, 62, was found dead of a self-inflicted knife wound at the St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg on Saturday, according to Blair Township police. He had been named in recent legal settlements involving sexual abuse allegations at a Catholic high school in northeast Ohio three decades ago, and the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese said it had received allegations of abuse at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown in the 1990s.

When Baker was the school's athletic trainer, 20 former students allege that he assaulted or molested students under the guise of providing therapeutic treatment or medical care for treatment of sports injuries, said Attorney Michael Parrish of Johnstown, who represents the accusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Protest at Papal Nunciature over treatment of Fr Tony Flannery

IRELAND
The Journal

ABOUT 120 PEOPLE have attended a protest outside the residence of the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, in Cabra in Dublin, over the treatment of Fr Tony Flannery.

The liberal Redemptorist priest, who founded the Association of Catholic Priests, has been taken out of ministry while the Vatican investigates his involvement with the group.

The body has been outspoken in its calls for an end to clerical celibacy and the right of priests to marry – as well as seeking an overhaul to church teachings on sexuality and on the method of selection for bishops.

The 66-year-old has been ordered to sign a document confirming his adherence to Church teachings before he will be put back into active ministry – but he has refused to do so, saying this week he would be unable to look at himself in the mirror if he did.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

ACI speaks out on Fr. Tony Flannery controversy

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

The Association of Catholics in Ireland [ACI] expressed concerns in relation to the Fr. Tony Flannery case via a letter to the Irish Times on Wednesday 23 January. Unfortunately the letter has not been published to date – see text below.

In light of comments from Fr. Tony during the week which clarified the chronology of events and the role of the CDF in the controversy in recent months the ACI deemed it appropriate to address an ‘open letter’ to the Papal Nuncio which is also published below.

Letter to the Irish Times

Dear Sir,

We, the members of the Steering Group of the ‘fledgeling’ Association of Catholics in Ireland [ACI], view with great sadness the impasse which has developed between Fr. Tony Flannery and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [CDF]. In this week of prayer for Christian Unity, when Catholics are encouraged to enter into dialogue with members of other churches, it seems extraordinary that the CDF has refused dialogue with one of our own priests. We have sympathy too for the leaders of the Redemptorists in Ireland and abroad in the dilemma in which they have been placed.

The position of the Irish bishops is not known. Since they have insisted on the right of politicians to follow their consciences in a free vote on the abortion legislation issue, surely consistency and coherence must demand that they champion the right of a priest to follow his conscience? As the present Pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote: “Over the Pope as the expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there still stands one’s own conscience, which must be obeyed over all else, if necessary even against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority.” (Commentary on Section 16 of Vatican II’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

It's jury's turn now in sex-abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278

Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013

JURY DELIBERATIONS began Friday afternoon in the trial of a Catholic priest and a former Catholic-schoolteacher who are accused of sexually assaulting the same altar boy in the late 1990s.

The Common Pleas jury got the case after hearing closing arguments from Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti and defense attorney Michael J. McGovern, who represents the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 66.

Defense attorney Burton Rose, who represents Bernard Shero, 50, gave his closing argument Thursday.

Cipolletti said there was no doubt about the defendants' guilt and asked the jury to give their accuser justice by convicting them.

The accuser, now 24, testified that beginning at age 10, when he was an altar boy at St. Jerome's Church in the Northeast, he was sexually assaulted by the two defendants and by defrocked priest Edward Avery, 70, who pleaded guilty last year and is serving 2 1/2 to 5 years in state prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Jury starts work on sex-abuse case against priest and former teacher

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013

After 81/2 days of testimony and closing arguments that brought the alleged victim to tears, a Philadelphia jury has begun working toward a verdict in the child-rape trial of a Philadelphia Catholic priest and ex-parochial-school teacher.

The Common Pleas Court jury of eight men and four women met for two hours Friday before breaking until Monday.

The Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero are charged in one of the most salacious episodes in the 2011 county investigating grand jury report on child sex-abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia: the serial rape of a 10-year-old Northeast boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF ATHENRY PRIEST AT PAPEL NUNCIO IN DUBLIN

IRELAND
Galway News

January 27, 2013

The residence of the Papal Nuncio in Dublin is to be picketed today, in protest against the Catholic Church's treatment of well-known Athenry-based Fr. Tony Flannery.

Last week Fr. Flannery revealed on Galway bay Fm how he had been censored by the Vatican for his views on homosexuality and women priests, and called the Vatican's systems "unfair and unjust."

The protest has been organised by the group 'We Are Church Ireland'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Colum Kenny: Might of Rome descends on an unlikely heretic priest

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tony Flannery is an unlikely heretic. An Irish Redemptorist priest, he is now being threatened with excommunication from his own church.

So who cares? According to some media reports last week, a new survey of Irish public opinion ranks religion last among 119 priorities. But the survey and the reports about it were misleading.

Rome has let Flannery know that his opinions on the priesthood, and on the role of the laity, "are clearly contrary to the defined teaching of the Church" (as Rome sees it). He was stripped of his column in the Redemptorists' Reality magazine, forbidden to administer the sacraments and now has one last chance to recant before being excluded from the institution to which he has given his life.

Some have linked his predicament to Enda Kenny's criticism of the Vatican. Flannery's brother Frank has long been a leading light in Fine Gael. Rome was not happy with the Taoiseach's criticisms, and it was whispered by some that Fr Flannery had a hand in Kenny's controversial speech of 2011. When Fr Flannery first heard that whisper, he thought it was a joke. He says: "I had absolutely nothing to do with the speech. I keep well away from politics in my profession."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Gerard O'Regan: The church's foot-soldiers often preach of tolerance but the hie

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Gerard O'Regan

Saturday January 26 2013

THIS past Christmas Eve, as befits some people who come under the banner of that cringe-inducing phrase 'a la carte Catholics', I attended a Gospel Mass in St Francis Xavier's Church in Dublin's Gardiner Street.

I had never been there before. But a friend spoke fervently about its gospel choir. "We always go there at Christmas. For some reason the church can be very atmospheric and spiritual at that time of year. But you have to arrive early so as to get a seat. It's normally packed on Christmas Eve,'' he warned.

And so, we arrived in plenty of time, and got a spot near the choir in one of the front pews, when the building was still quite empty. Then slowly and steadily came the soft footfall of people arriving out of the December night. Sure enough, almost without warning, the church was indeed "packed''.

As I looked around at this varied mix of humanity – the young, the old, the married, the single, the healthy, the infirm, the happy, the depressed, the believers and the non-believers – I could not but contemplate the embrace 2,000 years of Roman Catholicism has had on the very soul of Ireland.

Church sex abuse inquiry: Former Gladstone Park priest tells of Catholics 'horror'

AUSTRALIA
Macedon Ranges Weekly

By DAN MOSS STATE PARLIAMENT EDITOR
Jan. 28, 2013, midnight

A VAST majority of Catholics were "horrified" and "overwhelmed" by reports of child sexual abuse and "want something done", former Gladstone Park priest Philip O'Donnell has said.

Mr O'Donnell, who also served in Sunbury, told a Victorian Senate inquiry into how the churches handle child sex abuse that "countless thousands" of victims in Victoria had not yet come forward and reported abuse at the hands of church representatives.

A former priest who served from 1969-99, Mr O'Donnell said he "knew" sexual abuse of children occurred, and he reported it. But he faced years of the claims being deferred and "swept under the carpet".

The 'Melbourne Response', a protocol that the Catholic church used to deal with reports of sexual abuse against priests and other church staff, should be disbanded, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Eilis O'Hanlon: Why the church should listen to talk of women saying Mass

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Eilis O'Hanlon

Sunday January 27 2013

Since it was first published, Why Men Don't Listen And Women Can't Read Maps has arguably saved more marriages than Relationships Ireland.

The format has been flogged to death at this stage, with more sequels than Police Academy, but its central thesis – that men and women are just different and we should learn to live with it – remains as relevant now as ever.

What's odd is that, considering how awful they are at responding to other people's emotional needs, men were the ones who got to be priests.

Women are much better at empathising, listening, communicating. They really should've been doing the job all along. The Pope, in turn, would surely contend that, had Christ wanted women priests, then he would have invited them to sit around the table at the Last Supper rather than doing the waitressing – and it is for challenging this view of the priesthood that Redemptorist Fr Tony Flannery has now been threatened with excommunication.

The precise sequence of events remains muddled, despite a slew of media interviews; the details are still being haggled over by supporters and detractors alike. Some of the headlines about priests being silenced by a latter-day version of the Spanish Inquisition were mischievous, to say the least.

But it does now seem incontestable that, having originally irked the church by saying that Jesus did not "ordain" the Apostles as such, the priesthood merely developing over time in response to historical circumstances, he has now been asked not only to state that Christ laid down a particular hierarchical template for the church, but that it can never include women. Something he can't do, because he doesn't believe it. The question then is whether the church's response to that challenge is a wise or appropriate one.

Conservative Catholics argue that Fr Flannery joined a club and should either abide by its rules or get out. ...

Priests have raped children and not been excommunicated. Bishops have covered up the rape of children and been promoted. It's still not a heresy to believe that unbaptised children may burn in Hell; the church would rather priests didn't believe it, but they won't stop you if you do.

That may be a crude caricature of the church's attitude to cherishing children, but it's a real and powerful one. To counter it, the church needs to establish a narrative which is equally as compelling. Instead, it seems to have become increasingly insular, talking to themselves rather than to the world. Ultimately, that can only damage the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Friar commits suicide in wake of abuse claims

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

January 27, 2013

By Ann Rodgers / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Brother Stephen Baker, a Franciscan friar accused of sexually abusing dozens of teens in at least three states, has committed suicide in his monastery in Newry, Blair County.

The accusers include more than 25 students at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown in the 1990s.

Blair Township Police Chief Roger White said an autopsy by the Blair County coroner found that 62-year-old Brother Stephen Baker killed himself with a knife Saturday morning. Chief White declined to say whether he left a note.

Brother Baker lived at St. Bernardine Monastery. Another resident of the monastery discovered Brother Baker in his room not breathing and called Blair County 911 at 7:35 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The autopsy by county Coroner Patricia Ross found he died shortly before his body was discovered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

The Price of a Stolen Childhood

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By EMILY BAZELON

Published: January 24, 2013

The detective spread out the photographs on the kitchen table, in front of Nicole, on a December morning in 2006. She was 17, but in the pictures, she saw the face of her 10-year-old self, a half-grown girl wearing make-up. The bodies in the images were broken up by pixelation, but Nicole could see the outline of her father, forcing himself on her. Her mother, sitting next to her, burst into sobs.

The detective spoke gently, but he had brutal news: the pictures had been downloaded onto thousands of computers via file-sharing services around the world. They were among the most widely circulated child pornography on the Internet. Also online were video clips, similarly notorious, in which Nicole spoke words her father had scripted for her, sometimes at the behest of other men. For years, investigators in the United States, Canada and Europe had been trying to identify the girl in the images.

Nicole’s parents split up when she was a toddler, and she grew up living with her mother and stepfather and visiting her father, a former policeman, every other weekend at his apartment in a suburban town in the Pacific Northwest. He started showing her child pornography when she was about 9, telling her that it was normal for fathers and daughters to “play games” like in the pictures. Soon after, he started forcing her to perform oral sex and raping her, dressing her in tight clothes and sometimes binding her with ropes. When she turned 12, she told him to stop, but he used threats and intimidation to continue the abuse for about a year. He said that if she told anyone what he’d done, everyone would hate her for letting him. He said that her mother would no longer love her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

What suicide means for abuse cases

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott
kmellott@tribdem.com

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Robert Hoatson spent Saturday afternoon and evening dealing with alleged victims of Brother Paul Stephen Baker, the Franciscan friar who committed suicide earlier in the day.

“At this point, they’re numb. They’re trying to figure out how they feel,” said Hoatson, a victim advocate who is founder and president of Road to Recovery of Livingston, N.J.

“They called him ‘Bro.’ There is shock and numbness.”

Baker, 62, had resided in Blair County since his early 2000s departure from Bishop McCort Catholic High School, where he worked on behalf of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johns­town as a religion instructor and in the athletic department.

Baker died early Saturday of a self-inflicted stab wound.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Editorial: In church files, a pattern of abuse and cover-ups

CALIFORNIA
Ventura County Star

Church personnel records made public last week reveal how badly some officials with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles bungled the response to priests accused of molestation.

And the decades-old records, totaling about 3,000 pages, are just the tip of the iceberg. Roughly 30,000 pages of documents are expected to be released in the near future as part of the Los Angeles archdiocese's $660 million settlement in 2007 with clergy-abuse victims.

The newly released documents show church officials expressed great concern about keeping alleged molesters from facing criminal and civil charges. Deliberate steps were taken to keep them beyond the reach of prosecutors.

But, with only a few exceptions, the records contain scant evidence of official concern about the victims of abuse or taking steps to help them deal with the psychological and emotional scars from abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Archbishop Listecki quietly returns to ministry twice removed priest, SNAP responds

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

CONTACT:
Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, 414.429.7259/John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director, 414.336.8575

It has been learned that last week Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki quietly returned to ministry a twice reported, twice removed and now twice reinstated Roman Catholic priest after separate reports of sexually assaulting teenagers. An announcement was made to parishioners on January 17th at St. John Neumann parish in Waukesha that their pastor Fr. John Schreiter had been officially reinstated. According to the announcement Schreiter has left for Arizona and is expected to return in the spring.

In 2004, Schreiter was removed from his previous position as pastor of St. Bruno Church in Dousman following a first report that he had sexually assaulted a teenager. The Saux County District Attorney’s Office was unable to consider the case because it fell under the old statute of limitations. Cardinal Dolan, then archbishop of Milwaukee, returned Schreiter to ministry, stating that his handpicked review board had found the sexual assault report to be somehow “unsubstantiated”.

Then, in June of 2012 a new report from a second alleged victim of Schreiter’s was received through the Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy filing. Schreiter was removed as a pastor, this time from St. John Neumann’s. Now Listecki and his handpicked review board has returned him to ministry again. The review board appears to have never directly heard from either of the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Calvary Chapel's Tangled Web

UNITED STATES
The Daily Beast

David Sessions

A pastor whose family was murdered in New Mexico belonged to a large association of evangelical churches that, critics allege, stands behind misbehaving pastors and looks away when they are accused of sexual abuse and other misdeeds.

Greg Griego, who was slaughtered along with his wife and children, allegedly by his 15-year-old son, Nehemiah last week near Albuquerque, was a beloved minister. A born-again gang member, he seemed to serve anywhere he would be had: as a minister in Albuquerque’s fire department, at a detention center, and in the prison ministry at Calvary Albuquerque, a megachurch affiliated with the Calvary Chapel network of over a thousand similar churches. After allegedly committing the horrific crimes, Nehemiah reportedly spent hours hanging around Calvary Albuquerque, telling church members his family died in a car accident.

The Albuquerque massacre wasn’t the first time lately that a Calvary Chapel-affiliated church found itself part of a grim news cycle. Calvary is one of several large evangelical denominations beginning to draw national attention as lawsuits pile up over abuses allegedly covered up by pastors and church leaders. Over the past decades, Calvary has been plagued with accusations ranging from unaccountable leadership to covered-up sexual abuse, raising questions similar to those faced by Roman Catholic hierarchy about what kind of role the church’s top leaders were playing behind the scenes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Case revives pain of prior victims

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribue-Democrat

Kathy Mellott kmellott@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — A Franciscan Friar who worked for a decade at Bishop McCort Catholic High School committed suicide on Saturday.

But stories that emerged about alleged sexual abuse by Brother Paul Stephen Baker have caused others abused by the clergy to relive the incidents that altered their lives and brought back pain they sought to forget.

John Nesbella, 50, formerly of Lilly and now living in Nanty Glo, was a student at Bishop Carroll High School in the 1970s when he repeatedly was abused by a Catholic priest.

As a child, Brian Gergely, 43, of Ebensburg, was an altar boy who was repeatedly abused by a Catholic priest in 1981-82.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Baker takes his own life

PENNSYLVANIA
The Altoona Mirror

January 27, 2013

By Russ O'Reilly (roreilly@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

HOLLIDAYSBURG - The Franciscan friar accused last week of sexually abusing dozens of Bishop McCort High School students during in the 1990s died from a self-inflicted stab wound to the heart Saturday morning, Blair County Coroner Patty Ross said.

He left a note, Ross said, but it is totally confidential."

Baker was found in his room Saturday morning at St. Bernardine Monastery by another friar, Blair Township Police Chief Roger White stated in a press release. He was 62.

White, state police and the county coroner were dispatched at 7:35 a.m. to St. Bernardine Monastery at 768 Monastery Road, where they investigated until a medical van carried away Bakers covered body minutes before a distant noon church bell rang.

Baker allegedly abused dozens of young boys, according to allegations that began surfacing recently in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He spent the mid-1980s teaching and coaching in Ohio, then at McCort from 1993 to 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Church emerges with widespread reforms

CALIFORNIA
Daily Bulletin

By Tracy Manzer, Staff Writers
gvtribune.com
Posted: 01/26/2013

It's been more than 10 years since the Catholic Church faced the pinnacle of its sex abuse scandal, one which many refer to as the church's greatest crisis since the Reformation.

In this last decade, church leaders and members say, they have had to come to terms with feelings of anger, confusion and shame over the dark history of child molestation and the cover-up.

But they take comfort, they say, in the knowledge their church is not the same organization it once was. There has been not only a change in policy, but a change in culture.

"When you look at our past and compare where we are today you see a progression, you see a different response to these issues, and you see, I think, a completely different church," said Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

One outgrowth of that change is an overhaul of how Los Angeles churches treat reports of abuse, including new extensive education for clergy, parishioners and children. There are also background checks and training for those connected with a church who may come into regular contact with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Friar named in Ohio abuse cases found dead in Pa.

PENNSYLVANIA
Tallmadge Express

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A western Pennsylvania police chief says the death of a Franciscan friar named in Ohio sex abuse settlements and under investigation in Pennsylvania abuse allegations was a suicide.

Blair Township Police Chief Roger White told the Associated Press on Saturday that an autopsy by the Blair County coroner had confirmed that 62-year-old Brother Stephen Baker died of self-inflicted wounds.

White said officers were called at about 7:35 a.m. Saturday to St. Bernardine Monastery, where another resident had found Baker not breathing. He declined to say how Baker died or whether he left a note.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Mishandling of abuse cases threatens Mahony's legacy with Latinos

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Hector Becerra, Ashley Powers and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
January 26, 2013

On a Sunday night at Dodger Stadium in 1986, Archbishop Roger M. Mahony celebrated Mass in flawless Spanish. In an era when immigrants in Los Angeles were routinely derided as parasites and criminals, the archbishop told the crowd of 55,000 that whether they were born in Puebla, San Salvador or Managua, they were part of his flock.

"The Catholic Church is your home and I am your pastor," Mahony said.

But even as cheers of "Rogelio! Rogelio!" rained down from the upper decks, Mahony was covering up the sexual abuse of some of the most vulnerable in the church, including in his beloved Latino community, church records show.

Over the last four decades, hundreds of people have come forward to say they were abused by priests in the archdiocese. Children were victimized at parishes across the L.A. area, in poor neighborhoods as well as wealthy ones. But internal church documents released last week shined a spotlight on Mahony's mishandling of two pedophile priests who abused the undocumented — a group the prelate often described as society's most in need of protection. Mahony worked to make sure the priests got therapy, found new jobs and stayed out of prison. For the child victims, little was done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Cardinal Roger Mahony squarely at the center of the sex-abuse scandal

CALIFORNIA
Pasadena Star-News

[Archive of Los Angeles Archdiocesan Documents - BishopAccountability.org]

By Barbara Jones and Tracy Manzer, Staff Writerss
gvtribune.com
Posted: 01/26/2013

When the Most Rev. Roger Michael Mahony was tapped by Pope John Paul II to be the shepherd of Los Angeles' 3 million Roman Catholics, a local priest called the choice "a breath of fresh air for the archdiocese."

Within months of his installation as archbishop on Sept. 5, 1985, the North Hollywood native had advocated for immigration reform, encouraged interfaith communication and launched plans to expand spiritual and social programs for the region's Hispanic Catholics. Mahony quickly became a fixture in Los Angeles as he ministered to the region's disenfranchised residents and rubbed elbows with its civic leaders.

"We must realize that Christ came as the son of God not only to spend his time in the synagogue, but also to involve himself in the daily life of the people," he said in an interview at the time.

"We as his disciples must realize the Gospel must speak to actual, current situations."

For Mahony, those situations would include complaints that scores of his priests were abusing children — altar boys, students in parochial schools, sons and daughters of their parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Sorry: One little word can mean so much when talking about Roger Mahony

CALIFORNIA
The Record

By The Record

January 27, 2013

Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony said again this week how sorry he is.

In a slightly different way, the word sorry can also be used to describe Mahony as a person and as a one-time leader of the nation's largest Catholic enclave, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Confidential files just made public clearly show that Mahony, for five years bishop of the Stockton diocese before moving to his Los Angeles post in 1985, shielded numerous molester priests.

Much of this has been suspected if not conclusively known for years, but memos written in 1986 and 1987 by Mahony and Monsignor Thomas J. Curry, then the archdiocese's chief adviser on sex abuse cases, offer the strongest evidence yet of a concerted effort by officials in the nation's largest Catholic diocese to shield abusers from police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Criminal Bishop Finn attacks National Catholic Reporter as he desperately cling to power as a tyrannical ruler

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Paris Arrow

Opus Dei Bishop Finn is a convicted criminal and he should be excommunicated immediately. Bishop Finn is the shame and scandal of the Vatican Catholic Church in the USA and he is the evil Achilles Heel of Benedict XVI, his fellow criminal whose crimes against humanity are pending at The Hague.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

January 26, 2013

Sat. 4:38pm Update 4: Baker's death ruled a suicide

OHIO/PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune Chronicle

January 26, 2013

Tribune Chronicle | TribToday.com

Police say a Franciscan friar accused of sexual abusing students at schools in two states killed himself at a western Pennsylvania monastery.

Blair Township police Chief Roger White tells the Associated Press an autopsy by the county coroner confirmed that 62-year-old Brother Stephen Baker died of self-inflicted wounds. He declined to specify the type of wounds or say whether a note was found. ...

Dr. Robert Hoatson, who leads the New Jersey-based Road to Recovery, Inc. said in a release that Baker's death is "unfortunate."

"Victim/survivors have stepped forward in significant numbers to bravely report that they were harmed as children and would like to heal," the release states. "That healing will continue despite the news that has come out of Pennsylvania today."

Hoatson goes on to say that Baker's death is "in no way the fault of any of the courageous men and women who have contacted advocacy agencies, attorneys, or law enforcement agencies."

He also extends condolences to the family and community members of Baker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

Cleric at center of abuse scandal dead

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

By WJAC Web Staff

Police said the Franciscan brother accused of sexually abusing several former Bishop McCort High School students in the ‘90s is dead.

Blair Township police told 6 News Brother Stephen Baker who lived at a monastery near Hollidaysburg died this morning. They said they were called at 7:35 Saturday morning and he was dead upon their arrival.

Police said the cause of death is under investigation and an autopsy will be conducted Saturday afternoon.

It's now been a week since allegations surfaced against Baker in Cambria County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Friar Accused In Abuse Cases Found Dead At Pa. Monastery

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Pittsburgh

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) — Police say a Franciscan friar accused in the alleged sexual abuse of students at schools in two states took his own life at a western Pennsylvania monastery.

Blair Township Police Chief Roger White tells the Associated Press an autopsy by the county coroner confirmed that 62-year-old Brother Stephen Baker died of self-inflicted wounds.

According to the Associated Press, White said officers were called to St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg on Saturday morning after another resident had found Baker not breathing.

Baker was named last week in legal settlements with 11 men who alleged he sexually abused them at a northeast Ohio school three decades ago. A Pennsylvania school said it has also received molestation allegations involving Baker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

New: Franciscan brother found dead

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

BY PATRICK BUCHNOWSKI PBUCHNOWSKI@TRIBDEM.COM

The Franciscan friar at the heart of a high school sex scandal in Johnstown is dead.

Brother Stephen P. Baker, who had been accused of sexually abusing boys when he taught at Bishop McCort Catholic High School, died today.

A spokesman for St. Bernardine Monastery of the Franciscan Friars Third Order Reagular near Hollidaysburg issued a statement confirming the death.

“We regret to announce that Brother Stephen Baker died this morning,” said Father Patrick Quinn, TOR, minister provincial.

“The matter is under investigation by the authorities.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Death of friar accused in sexual abuse cases confirmed as suicide

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Franciscan friar from Cambria County accused of sexually abusing dozens of teens in at least three states -- including more than 25 at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown in the 1990s -- has committed suicide.

Blair Township Police Chief Roger White said that an autopsy by the Blair County coroner found that 62-year-old Brother Stephen Baker killed himself with a knife. Chief White declined to say whether he left a note.

Another resident of the monastery discovered Brother Baker in his room not breathing and called Blair County 911 at 7:35 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy directed by Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross found he died shortly before his body was discovered.

The Diocese of Youngstown, which was among three parties that reached a settlement with 11 victims earlier this month, released a statement on its website earlier today about his death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

STATEMENT OF BISHOP GEORGE V. MURRY, S.J. ...

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown

STATEMENT OF BISHOP GEORGE V. MURRY, S.J., BISHOP OF YOUNGSTOWN, ON THE DEATH OF BROTHER STEPHEN BAKER, T.O.R

JANUARY 26, 2013

The Provincial of the Third Order Regular Franciscans, Father Patrick Quinn, announced this morning that Brother Stephen Baker had died. At this time, the circumstances of his death are under investigation.

Let us continue to pray for all victims of abuse, for Brother Baker’s family and the repose of his soul.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Sex-abuse accuser from Cortland reacts to Fransiscan brother’s death

OHIO
Youngstown Vindicator

Associated Press

HOLIDAYSBURG, Pa.

Mike Munno said he knew there would be some strange days ahead when he and a fellow Warren John F. Kennedy High School graduate discussed the sex crimes they say Franciscan brother Stephen Baker committed against them in high school, but Brother Baker’s death isn’t the outcome he wanted or expected.

“I don’t think it’s the closure we expected. I would have not thought it would have gone to this extreme,” Munno of Cortland said Saturday after police in Hollidaysburg, Pa., found Baker dead in his room at St. Bernadine Monastery in Newry, Pa., about 90 minutes east of Pittsburgh.

“No matter what it is, you don’t wish death on anybody,” Munno said.

Baker’s body was found at about 7:30 a.m., and an autopsy was scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Officials from the Youngstown Catholic Diocese and Brother Baker’s Franciscan order said the circumstances of his death are under investigation.

“Let us continue to pray for all victims of abuse, for Brother Baker’s family and the repose of his soul,” Bishop George V. Murry of the Youngstown Diocese said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Brother Baker death ruled a suicide (update: 6:30 p.m.)

PENNSYLVANIA
The Altoona Mirror

January 26, 2013

By Russ O'Reilly
roreilly@altoonamirror.com

HOLLIDAYSBURG - Franciscan friar Stephen Baker, who faced brewing litigation for alleged abuse, died Saturday at St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg. His death was ruled a suicide by Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross.

Blair Township Police Chief Roger White said the cause of death was a self-inflicted knife wound. He said the investigation into Baker's death was closed.

An autopsy was conducted Saturday afternoon at Nason Hospital in Roaring Spring.

Baker was pronounced dead at the monastery by Blair County Deputy Coroner Brian Reidy.

At 7:35 a.m. today, the Blair Township Police Department, Hollidaysburg EMS and the Pennsylvania State Police were dispatched to the monastery located at 768 Monastery Road, Hollidaysburg.

Baker was discovered in his room by another resident of St. Bernardine's, who then made the initial call for assistance to emergency services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Brother Stephen Baker Commits Suicide, Accused Franciscan Friar Dead

PENNSYLVANIA
LALATE

ST LOUIS (LALATE) – Brother Stephen Baker, an accused Franciscan friar, has committed suicide, officials tell news. Brother Stephen Baker was found dead Saturday January 28, 2013 days after he reached a settlement for alleged conduct against former male students.

Local police confirm that Brother Baker was found dead of a purported suicide. Officials indicated to news that Baker suffered a self inflicted wounds earlier Saturday morning. Blair Township Police Chief Roger White confirmed that Baker was found inside St. Bernardine Monastery earlier today. White would not confirm if Baker had shot himself.

Later today, Youngstown Bishop George Murray issued a new statement about the suicide. “Let us continue to pray for all victims of abuse, for Brother Baker’s family and the repose of his soul.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Alleged Abuser, Brother Baker, Commits Suicide

PENNSYLVANIA/OHIO
Fox Youngstown

The Catholic Franciscan friar accused of sexually molesting students at Warren's John F. Kennedy High School and Johnstown, Pa.'s Bishop McCort High School committed suicide with a knife early Saturday morning, police officials in Blair Township said.

Blair Township Police Chief Roger White said the results of an autopsy conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday by the Blair County Coroner's office at Nason Hospital in Roaring Spring, Pa. showed Brother Stephen P. Baker, also known as Paul Stephen Baker, committed suicide by way of a self-inflicted knife wound. He was 62.

White said in a statement that Blair Township police, state police and Holidaysburg emergency personnel were called at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday to St. Bernadine's Monastary in Hollidaysburg, where Baker had been staying under strict supervision since 2000, when Franciscan officials first learned Baker was accused of sexually abusing students.

A resident at the monastery found Baker not breathing and called 911. He was pronounced dead at the scene by deputy coroner Brian Reidy. The autopsy found Baker's death was just prior to the 911 call.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

UPDATE | Diocese: Accused sexual abuser Baker is dead

OHIO
Youngstown Vindicator

YOUNGSTOWN — Franciscan Brother Stephen P. Baker, accused in the sexual abuse of at least 11 men who attended Warren John F. Kennedy High School, is dead, according to a statement from the Youngstown Diocese.

"The Provincial of the Third Order Regular Franciscans, Father Patrick Quinn, announced this morning that Brother Stephen Baker had died," said a statement from Bishop George V. Murry, posted on the diocese's website. "At this time, the circumstances of his death are under investigation."

The statement continued: "Let us continue to pray for all victims of abuse, for Brother Baker’s family and the repose of his soul."

Baker taught, coached baseball and served as athletic trainer at the school from 1986 to 1991. Since word of settlement of a lawsuit on behalf of the 11 men earlier this month, other men in Pennsylvania and other areas have come forward with stories of abuse by Baker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Brother Stephen Baker Commits Suicide, Franciscan Friar Accused Of Sexual Abuse In 2 States

PENNSYLVANIA
Huffington Post

By RON TODT 01/26/13

PHILADELPHIA -- A Franciscan friar accused of sexually abusing students at Catholic high schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania killed himself at a western Pennsylvania monastery, police said Saturday.

Brother Stephen Baker, 62, was found dead of self-inflicted wounds at the St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg on Saturday morning, Blair Township Police Chief Roger White told the Associated Press. He declined to specify the type of wounds or say whether a note was found.

Baker was named in legal settlements last week involving 11 men who alleged that he sexually abused them at a Catholic high school in northeast Ohio three decades ago. The undisclosed financial settlements announced Jan. 16 involved his contact with students at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio from 1986-90.

The Youngstown diocese previously said it was unaware of the allegations until nearly 20 years after the alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

Catholicism’s Curse

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By FRANK BRUNI

Published: January 26, 2013

“I HAVE nothing against priests,” writes Garry Wills in his provocative new book, “Why Priests? A Failed Tradition,” and I’d like at the outset to say the same. During a career that has included no small number of formal interviews and informal conversations with them, I’ve met many I admire, men of genuine compassion and remarkable altruism, more dedicated to humanity than to any dogma or selective tradition.

But while I have nothing against priests, I have quite a lot against an institution that has done a disservice to them and to the parishioners in whose interests they should toil. I refer to the Roman Catholic Church, specifically to its modern incarnation and current leaders, who have tucked priests into a cosseted caste above the flock, wrapped them in mysticism and prioritized their protection and reputations over the needs and sometimes even the anguish of the people in the pews. I have a problem, in other words, with the church’s arrogance, a thread that runs through Wills’s book, to be published next month; through fresh revelations of how assiduously a cardinal in Los Angeles worked to cover up child sexual abuse; and through the church’s attempts to silence dissenters, including an outspoken clergyman in Ireland who was recently back in the news.

LET’S start with Los Angeles. Last week, as a result of lawsuits filed against the archdiocese of Los Angeles by hundreds of victims of sexual abuse by priests, internal church personnel files were made public. They showed that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony’s impulse, when confronted with priests who had molested children, was to hush it up and keep law enforcement officials at bay. While responses like this by Roman Catholic bishops and cardinals have been extensively chronicled and are no longer shocking, they remain infuriating. At one point Cardinal Mahony instructed a priest whom he’d dispatched to New Mexico for counseling not to return to California, lest he risk being criminally prosecuted. That sort of shielding of priests from accountability allowed them, in many cases across the United States, to continue their abusive behavior and claim more young victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Prosecutor Tries Vainly To Plug All The Holes In His Case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

Friday, January 25, 2013

By Ralph Cipriano
for bigtrial.net

It was a telling sign in the prosecutor's closing statement that he spent as much time attacking a social worker for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as he did the two defendants in the case.

But Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti had to address glaring discrepancies between what "Billy Doe," the alleged victim in this sex abuse case, told the social worker, Louise Hagner, back in 2009, and what he subsequently told law enforcement authorities.

Cipolletti also had to call into question the testimony of former priest Edward V. Avery, who showed up in court in a prison uniform last week to tell the jury that he never touched Billy Doe.

Avery may have pleaded guilty last year to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with the former 10-year-old altar boy, the former priest testified, but he only did it because he was facing 20 years in prison, and the prosecution offered him a sweetheart deal -- 2 /12 to five years in jail. Incredibly, nobody ever asked the 70-year-old defrocked priest if he actually was guilty of committing the crime he pleaded guilty to until last week.

The assistant district attorney also had to explain away another factual discrepancy between what Billy Doe told this jury, and what he told a detective in the district attorney's office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

U.S. hospital defends itself in court saying foetuses are not human

UNITED STATES
Vatican Insider

The shocking case involving a Catholic hospital in Cañon City has occurred just as the annual March for Life is taking place

Alessandro Speciale
Rome

Just as anti-abortion activists celebrate the annual March for Life in Washington, the American Catholic Church finds itself in a rather embarassing situation: a Catholic hospital in Colorado defended itself against a wrongful death lawsuit, stating that a foetus is not the same as a person.

This stance is in direct contrast with the position of the Church which has fought for years for the rights of unborn children and the rights of the hospital in question which in its statute states that the sanctity of life should be defended from conception until natural death.

In court, however, the lawyers representing Catholic Health Initiatives - the chain of hospitals which St. Thomas More in Cañon City is part of – claimed the opposite. A woman who was pregnant with twins died in St. Thomas More hospital on New year's Eve in 2006, partly because according to her husband, the on-call obstetrician who was supposed to assist in the operating room did not turn up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

German Catholics vent their dissatisfaction with the Church

GERMANY
Vatican Insider

A study on Germany's Catholic community reveals the discontent of faithful with the ecclesiastical institution. But proposals for solutions are lacking

Alessandro Alviani
Berlin

The Pope’s ecclesiastical policies are “backward-looking” and suspected of trying to take the Church back to the pre-Second Vatican Council period. As for the Church’s leaders, they are “cut off from reality, reactionary and obstructionist.”

This is the opinion German faithful have of Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church according to a study by Sinus Institute and consulting agency MDG (which the German Church controls). In-depth interviews were conducted with 100 Catholics from different social backgrounds. According to the study, which picks up on a similar one carried out in 2005, German faithful are convinced that today’s Church finds itself in a “desolate situation” and the most obvious manifestation of this is the sex abuse scandal.

The authors of the study wrote that the scandal seriously damaged the image of the Church, even in the eyes of the most fervent Catholics, whose faith was deeply shaken. The scandal was seen as confirmation of the Church’s “modernization deficit”. The Church lost a great deal of credibility not just as a result of the accusations of paedophilia made against it but also because many believe it dealt with the abuse issue inadequately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Wann ist ein Opfer ein Opfer?

DEUTSCHLAND
Main Post

Der Begriff „Opfer sexueller Gewalt“ bedürfe einer „differenzierten Betrachtung“. Mit diesen Worten hat Bernhard Schweßinger, Pressesprecher der Diözese Würzburg, auf einen Gastbeitrag des Theologen Bernhard Rasche in dieser Zeitung reagiert. Rasche, der aus Bischofsheim (Lkr. Rhön-Grabfeld) stammt, hatte den Umgang der katholischen Kirche mit Missbrauchsfällen in den 70er Jahren im Internat Lebenhan (Lkr. Rhön-Grabfeld) scharf kritisiert.

Schweßinger erklärt: „Einen solchen Gastbeitrag sollte besser jemand schreiben, der tatsächlich missbraucht wurde, nicht jemand, der Zeuge war.“ In der aktuellen Diskussion würde der Opferbegriff, so Schweßinger, „zunächst die direkt betroffenen Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs“ bezeichnen. „Darüber hinaus können Zeugen sexuellen Missbrauchs oder Angehörige von direkt betroffenen Opfern im weiteren Sinne auch Opfer sein“.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Feds: 'Monsignor Meth' dealt drug, bought sex shop

CONNECTICUT
My Fox NY

By DAVE COLLINS
Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - To onlookers, Monsignor Kevin Wallin's fall from grace at his Connecticut parish was like something out of "Breaking Bad," the television series about a high school chemistry teacher who becomes a methamphetamine lord.

The suspended Roman Catholic priest was arrested on federal drug charges this month for allegedly having methamphetamine mailed to him from co-conspirators in California and making more than $300,000 in drugs sales out of his apartment in Waterbury in the second half of last year.

Along the way, authorities said, he bought a small adult video and sex toy shop in the nearby town of North Haven named "Land of Oz & Dorothy's Place," apparently to launder all the money he was making. He has pleaded not guilty, and jury selection in his trial is scheduled to begin March 21.

On social media sites, people couldn't help but compare Wallin with Walter White, the main character on "Breaking Bad" who was making so much cash that he and his wife bought a car wash to launder their profits. He has also been dubbed in some media as "Monsignor Meth."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Invite-only service for new bishop to be streamed live from cathedral

IRELAND
Evening Echo

THE ordination of the Diocese of Cloyne’s new bishop on Sunday will be streamed online amid unprecedented interest in the appointment.

Canon William Crean will be ordained at St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh on Sunday during an invitation-only ceremony at 3pm.

Parishes throughout the diocese have been restricted to 25 places for parishioners at the ceremony due to the demand to be present for the event. The Diocese of Cloyne has 46 parishes, 107 churches and 150,000 parishioners.

Up to 150 priests will attend the ordination, as will Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown, the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Dr Dermot Clifford and Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin. St Colman’s Cathedral has a capacity of approximately 600.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

LA priest accused of sex crimes exiled to PH

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Asian Journal

Friday, 25 January 2013
Mico Letargo | AJPress

LOS ANGELES – Confidential records attached in a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles revealed how church officials attempted to keep silent about abuse allegations for decades, and maneuvered outside of the public eye to shield molester priests.

An in-depth report by the Associated Press revealed that one of the molester priests was exiled to the Philippines by archdiocese officials and was paid a ‘secret salary’ as well.

The exiled priest, along with six other clerics, were accused of having sex with a teen and impregnating her.

The lawsuit also implicated retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top church officials in the handling of the damage control campaign for the archdiocese, in attempts to keep parishioners uninformed of the abuses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Paedophile net widens

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY and MICHELLE HARRIS
Jan. 25, 2013

TWO Hunter men were in tears on Friday after the NSW government expanded the scope of its special commission of inquiry to include Hunter paedophile priest Jim Fletcher.

And then there were cheers.

‘‘That is bloody brilliant,’’ said John Feenan, whose son Daniel’s evidence about Fletcher’s crimes put the priest in jail, where he died in 2006.

‘‘Our family has always believed the church hierarchy knew Fletcher was a risk around children, which is why he was moved. Bishop Leo Clarke and others knew.

‘‘It’s my birthday today, and that’s the best present I’ve had in years.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

The church retains its barrier of silence

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By D.J. Waldie
January 27, 2013

In January 2002, the Boston Globe published the first in a series of articles that exposed the sordid history of sexual abuse of youth in the Boston Roman Catholic archdiocese. Those stories revealed how church officials had kept knowledge of abuse from parishioners and kept abusing priests in parishes where they continued to blight the lives and faith of the innocent.

Later in 2002, as more cases of sexual abuse in more dioceses tumbled out of the dark and the silence to which they had been consigned, the U.S. Conference of Bishops hurriedly promised transparency. The Catholic faithful, the bishops said, should know the extent of priestly abuse and their church's response.

In 2007, after paying at least $660 million in abuse settlements, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles joined a torturous legal defense of a privilege to conceal its part in that history. The Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press, along with advocates for the victims, challenged the claim of archdiocesan officials.

Last week, in response to a court order, the archdiocese released internal records documenting the actions church officials took — or failed to take — when priests were accused of abuse. More documents will be released in coming weeks, but from those we've seen already, we know that in the 1980s, then-Archbishop Roger Mahony and his Vicar of Clergy, then-Msgr. Thomas Curry, failed repeatedly when moral judgment required them to choose the good of the Catholic community over loyalty to their fraternity of parish priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Cardinal Mahony Should Stand Trial.

CALIFORNIA
The Orange Juice Blog

By
Ricardo Toro
– January 24, 2013

“This week’s revelations of deliberate efforts by [Los Angeles Cardinal] Mahony and others to shield abusers from law enforcement authorities are deplorable yet entirely unsurprising. It all fits the M.O. that’s was in place at least through the 1980s:

“Conceal the church’s dirty secrets at all costs. Don’t notify the police when abuse is reported. Keep prosecutors at bay with legal challenges. Avoid reforms until public pressure mounts. And, when all else fails, have Mahony issue a carefully scripted ‘apology.’

“His latest was perhaps his most odious and offensive, with Mahony saying he didn’t fully appreciate the hell victims had been put through until many years later.

“You need years of reflection to realize that the rape, abuse, betrayal and psychological exploitation of children by their spiritual leaders is both devastating and unconscionable?”


This is how Steve Lopez, LA Times columnist, describes the outrage of the recently released documents in a current legal proceeding against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by a victim of a priest.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, describes the relevance of these documents:

“Because of one survivor’s fight in the California Civil Courts against Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, never seen before documents containing vital evidence of how clergy abuse cases were handled by the Archdiocese are now available for public view.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Is the Pope Panicking Over Sex Scandals, Political Polls, or Both?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Recent Vatican behavior indicates growing fear, if not panic, apparently related mainly to the ongoing clerical sex scandals and to recent papal political defeats. World media outlets are reporting almost daily now more priest sex scandal allegations, most recently about former Los Angeles Cardinal Mahony’s cover-ups for predatory priests and former New York Cardinal Egan’s ex-aide’s cross-dressing and drug and porn dealing. Moreover, on February 4, a week from Monday, HBO will begin airing internationally the devastating award winning documentary, “Mea Maxima Culpa”, about the abuse of over 200 deaf boys and the Vatican’s failure to curtail it. No more free media passes for the Pope, it appears. For some more examples, please read, “How Much Longer Can the Vatican Avoid Priest Sex Abuse?” accessible by clicking on to the heading at the top or to: http://wp.me/P2YEZ3-fj .

Meanwhile, the scandal is seriously harming the Vatican politically, legally, reputationally and financially. Government officials in the USA, Ireland, Italy, Australia, the Philippines, Germany and other nations increasingly challenge papal positions, including on child protection and contraception, sensing evidentally a weakened papacy. If the Pope continues to lose more political clout, he will also lose his power to exchange with political leaders his electoral support for special privileges and subsidies for the Catholic Church, as is already happening in Ireland and will probably soon happen in Australia, the USA and even in his fatherland, Germany.

The new appointment as chief of staff to President Obama of Denis McDonough, the highly regarded brother of a senior hierarchical canon lawyer from the Minneapolis-St. Paul diocese, with its extensive priest sex abuse claims, suggests the President will know well what is going on in the USA with its more than 100,000 estimated survivors of priest sex abuse. President Obama has already spoken out strongly against child sex abuse in organizational settings; now he may step up and do more than talk about it.

Given this, one would have expected the Vatican to try to address the priest scandals seriously and sensibly, and not merely with cosmetic changes and stepped-up spin. Instead, the Vatican seems to be hardening its defenses of the status quo hoping to survive the scandal, very likely a doomed strategy that has failed completely so far. What’s going on?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Alumnus: Baker was at McCort in 2001

PENNSYLVANIA
The Altoona Mirror

January 26, 2013

By Russ O’Reilly (roreilly@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

Despite an allegation of child abuse in 2000, which his current superior said resulted in Hollidaysburg-based Brother Stephen Baker's removal from public ministry at Bishop McCort High School, the friar had a continued presence at the Johnstown school through the late 2000s, sources said.

A Bishop McCort alumnus told the Mirror that Baker spent time around the school's football team as an athletic trainer/equipment manager in 2001.

He said Baker arranged for the team's water boys, eighth-graders, to have their own suite and meal passes during Bishop McCort football camp at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in fall 2001.

"He made it possible for five or six other eighth-graders to actually stay overnight at camp as water boys,"?he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

A handcuffed priest presents a public relations challenge

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

[Springfield police department report - The Smoking Gun]

Tim Townsend

After all three Masses last weekend, parishioners of St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Springfield, Ill., were handed a statement written by the diocese’s leader, Bishop Thomas Paprocki.

The bishop explained that St. Aloysius’s pastor, the Rev. Thomas Donovan, “is suffering from a psychological condition that manifests itself in self-bondage as a response to stress.”

The statement was a response to a 911 call in November by Donovan from the parish rectory. In it, the priest tells dispatchers he had placed himself in handcuffs and asks police to help free him.

After the recording of Donovan’s 911 call rocketed across the Internet, Paprocki was in a unique situation. His priest had not done anything illegal, and yet he’d been found doing something most people would consider bizarre.

In Paprocki’s 1,038-word response to parishioners, he took the unusual step of delving deep into Donovan’s psychological problem. With the priest’s consent, the statement includes a description of what Donovan’s own clinical therapist had diagnosed as “non-sexual self-bondage.”

For the last decade, in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse crisis that rocked the Catholic church, bishops have been hammered by critics for breaking repeated promises for transparency in documentation of past abuses and investigations of present-day accusations of sexually abusive priests.

But there are signs that a younger generation of church leaders have learned lessons from the last decade and are attempting to be as open as possible when a crisis comes to their diocese.

Yet in the case of St. Aloysius, that desire for transparency may have produced a response that caused more harm than good.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

US judge agrees to delay unsealing documents from lawsuit against disgraced Legion of Christ

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Calgary Herald

By David Klepper, The Associated Press
January 25, 2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A judge agreed on Friday to delay the release of documents related to a disgraced Roman Catholic organization called the Legion of Christ to give it time to appeal his earlier ruling unsealing them.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein gave the Legion until Feb. 15 to ask the state Supreme Court to intervene in the tug-of-war over the records, which are from a lawsuit filed by a woman contesting the will of a wealthy aunt who left the Legion $60 million.

The judge had ruled on Wednesday that the public had a right to access the documents despite concerns from the Legion's attorney, Joseph Avanzato, that they could taint a future jury. Avanzato, in asking the judge to stay his ruling, said Friday that it would be wrong to release the documents before the Legion had an opportunity to appeal the decision that unsealed them.

"The Legion has a right of appeal here, which would be destroyed if there is no stay," Avanzato said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Judge delays unsealing of Legion of Christ records

PROVIDENCE (RI)
National Catholic Reporter

by Dennis Coday | Jan. 25, 2013
NCR Today

National Catholic Reporter is one of four media outlets that asked Silverstein to unseal the documents. The Providence Journal of Providence, R.I.,The New York Times, and the Associated Press are the others.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island judge has agreed to delay the release of records related to the Legion of Christ to give the Roman Catholic order time to appeal his ruling that unsealed the documents.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein on Friday agreed to give the Legion until Feb. 15 to ask the state Supreme Court to intervene. The documents are from a lawsuit contesting the will of a woman who left the Legion $60 million.

Silverstein ruled Wednesday that the documents should be unsealed, despite the Legion’s concerns that they could taint a future jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Paderborner Erzbistum nennt aktuelle Zahlen über Vorwürfe gegen Bedienstete

DEUTSCHLAND
NW-News

VON ANNIKA FALK UND PETER HASENBEIN

Paderborn. Der Missbrauchsskandal lässt die katholische Kirche nicht zur Ruhe kommen. Nachdem die Bischofskonferenz vor zwei Wochen ein 500.000 Euro teures Forschungsprojekt des renommierten Kriminologen Christian Pfeiffer gestoppt hatte, erntete die Kirche erneut herbe Kritik.

Trotzdem soll das Forschungsprojekt weiterlaufen, widersprach der Paderborner Erzbischof Hans-Josef Becker jetzt den Vorwürfen, die Kirche wolle etwas vertuschen. Man suche gerade einen neuen Kooperationspartner, habe bereits erste Angebote eingeholt und wolle die Ergebnisse anschließend auch veröffentlichen. Becker gab zu, dass man sich von der Prominenz des Kriminologen verleiten ließ und besser etwas länger nach einem passenderen Institut gesucht hätte.
Gekündigt habe man Pfeiffer wegen eines "zerrütteten Vertrauensverhältnisses", erklärt das Paderborner Generalvikariat in einem gemeinsam verfassten Positionspapier aller Bistümer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Mahony’s Legacy

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Minnesota SNAP

By Vinnie Nauheimer

Let’s hear it for Cardinal Mahony!
Never was one so full of baloney;
Cunning hypocrite of the first order;
Priest, whose hypocrisy knows no border.

Panderer to the pedophile priest
Let loose the sick, hungry, ravaging beast
Who gorged upon the innocent flesh
Of our children; their pure souls to enmesh.

Roger the dodger spent untold dollars
Keeping, out of jail, rapists with collars!
Spending for lawyers to tighten the screws
On tortured child victims from the pews!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

State Board of Education President Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Allegations

MISSOURI
Ozarks First

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Rev. Stan Archie, the President of the State Board of Education, tendered his resignation Friday. This comes after a lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse, defamation and counseling malpractice.

The Kansas City Star reports the lawsuit was filed by a Kansas City area woman who accuses Rev. Archie of encouraging her to be sexually promiscuous and tell him about her sexual experiences in counseling sessions beginning when she was 15. She says when she ended their relationship, he began harassing and defaming her. The suit also names the his church.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Friday he accepted the Kansas City native's resignation. Archie represented the Fifth Congressional District on the Board of Education.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Education board chief resigns, denies child sexual abuse allegations

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

The Rev. Stan Archie resigned Friday as the president of the Missouri State Board of Education, two days after a lawsuit was filed in Jackson County Circuit Court accusing him of child sexual abuse.

The resignation was announced in a news release from Gov. Jay Nixon’s office, saying Nixon had accepted it Friday afternoon.

“Strengthening our public education system is a fundamental priority of my administration, and there are several key areas to address in the coming months,” Nixon said. “The State Board of Education will continue to have a crucial role in these matters, and it is important for the board to have a clear focus without distraction from its mission.”

Nixon said he would “be moving forward with consideration of a new appointment to this board.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Santa Barbara Bishop Apologizes In Catholic Church Cover Up

CALIFORNIA
KCOY

[with video]

By Liberty Zabala

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Dark days fall upon the Catholic Church as files upon files of alleged child sex abuse finally come to light.

Letters between Archdiocese of Los Angeles - Santa Barbara Region Bishop Thomas J. Curry and Cardinal Roger Mahony show they knew about alleged child sex abuse but choose to cover it up.

"You can imagine what the church has to lose," says Child Sex Abuse Therapist Nancy Gutfreund. "You're supposed to be an organization that completely protects its people and when there's damage done nobody wants to admit it."

But Bishop Curry was forced to, releasing this statement saying:

"I wish to apologize for those instances when I made decisions regarding the treatment and disposition of clergy accused of sexual abuse that in retrospect appear inadequate or mistaken."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Sovereign Grace Ministries: Courts Shouldn't 'Second-Guess' Pastoral Counseling of Sex Abuse Victims

TENNESSEE
Christianity Today

Bobby Ross Jr.

posted 1/25/2013

In response to a civil lawsuit alleging that it covered up numerous cases of child sexual abuse, Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) has pledged to "carefully review" each accusation.

However, the lawsuit—which claims the association of Reformed church plants discouraged victims' parents from reporting abuse to authorities and had victims forgive their abusers in person—has also prompted the denomination to cite its First Amendment right to religious freedom.

Specifically, SGM has defended its freedom to provide confidential pastoral counseling free of government infringement.

"SGM believes that allowing courts to second-guess pastoral guidance would represent a blow to the First Amendment that would hinder, not help, families seeking spiritual direction among other resources in dealing with the trauma related to any sin including child sexual abuse," Tommy Hill, SGM's director of administration, said in a November 14 statement.

Such a stance strikes some legal observers as more of a smokescreen than a legitimate defense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Abuse allegations grow against friar in Youngstown diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
Beacon Journal

Associated Press
Published: January 25, 2013

YOUNGSTOWN: A Catholic high school in Pennsylvania has hired an attorney to investigate allegations that a Franciscan friar named in Ohio sexual-abuse settlements molested students in Johnstown in the 1990s.

Attorney Susan Williams said three former students at Bishop McCort High School have talked to her in detail about the alleged abuse.

Brother Stephen Baker taught and coached at the church-run John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio, in the late 1980s and early 1990s and at Bishop McCort in Johnstown from 1992-2000.

Bishop McCort said in a news release that it hired a Pittsburgh law firm to investigate after school trustees became aware of the allegations last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

More alleging abuse by friar: Serbin gets involved

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott kmellott@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — The number of former Bishop McCort students claiming sexual abuse by Brother Stephen P. Baker continues to grow, with an Altoona attorney saying Friday that he has been contacted by 12 alleged victims.

Attorney Richard Serbin said he is amazed by the number of students that the Franciscan friar had access to during a span of about two decades at Catholic schools in Ohio and Johnstown.

The number of former Bishop McCort students who have stepped forward since the story emerged a week ago is an indication that many people may have been molested, Serbin said.

An unofficial count of victims contacting attorneys Serbin, Michael Parrish of Johnstown, Mitchell Garabedian of Boston and Susan Williams of Greensburg shows the number reaching close to 50.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Sex abuse claims building against friar

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

January 26, 2013

By Ann Rodgers / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Franciscan friar from Cambria County has been accused of molesting dozens of teens in at least three states, including more than 25 at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown in the 1990s.

Brother Stephen Baker, 62, has been restricted to Franciscan facilities since he was banned from ministry after an initial complaint from Minnesota in 2000, said the Rev. Patrick Quinn, minister provincial of the Franciscan Friars (Third Order Regular) of the Immaculate Conception Province in Hollidaysburg. Last week, after an attorney for 11 victims in Warren, Ohio, announced an earlier settlement of civil suits, more than 25 former McCort students contacted at least four attorneys.

Johnstown attorney Michael Parrish represents 20 of them. "I can tell you from the clients that I have spoken to that 20 is just the tip of the iceberg," he said Friday.

The board of Bishop McCort has hired Kathleen Gallagher, a former Allegheny County prosecutor experienced with sexual assault cases, to do an internal investigation. Bishop McCort was a diocesan school until 2008, when it became independent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

January 25, 2013

The cost of 'particularly grave sins'

IRELAND
Irish Times

JOE HUMPHREYS

Q What does it take to get excommunicated?

The censuring of Fr Tony Flannery by his superiors in the Catholic Church has been the subject of claim and counterclaim this week.

Just whether or not he has been threatened with excommunication for his “dissident” views remains hotly debated.

As with many matters of canon law, there is scope for different interpretations.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes excommunication as “the most severe ecclesiastical penalty, which impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of certain ecclesiastical acts”. It is reserved for “certain particularly grave sins”, and cannot be absolved except by the pope, a bishop or an authorised priest. Theologians who spoke to The Irish Times described excommunication as extremely rare and almost unheard of in an Irish context. Traditionally, it has been reserved for clergy who hold “heretical” views or who have been involved in unauthorised ordinations. But it has also been used recently to penalise figures within the church who have supported or advocated abortion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Fr. Flannery's grasp of theology better than that of his silencers

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

by Eugene Cullen Kennedy | Jan. 25, 2013

The Irish Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery refuses to meet the Vatican demand that he affirm, among other things, that "Christ instituted the church with a permanent hierarchical structure and that bishops are divinely appointed successors to the apostles."

Flannery, a popular preacher and writer, told The New York Times he has been "writing thought-provoking articles and books for decades without hindrance" and that the campaign against him "is being orchestrated by a secretive body that refuses to meet me. Surely I should at least be allowed to explain my views to my accusers."

Flannery also organized the Association of Catholic Priests in 2009 to articulate the views of rank-and-file members of the clergy, the Times reports. Flannery may have gotten himself investigated as much for giving Irish priests a voice as for using his own in challenging old-fashioned formulations with his well-informed knowledge of theology and history.

If Father Flannery is being asked to endorse the notion that Jesus established the hierarchical church and that the bishops are the divinely appointed successors of the apostles, one might be more concerned about how firm a grasp his accusers have on modern theology.

This incident is an early 21st-century reprise of the early 20th-century Roman worldwide crackdown on priests who were keeping up with the new advances in theological and scriptural studies. All priests were forced to take the Oath Against Modernism, the vague catch-all phrase that supposedly summarized the heresies rampant in the new learning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

Bishop confirms National Catholic Reporter is not a 'Catholic' publication

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Catholic Culture

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Missouri, has confirmed that the National Catholic Reporter should not advertise itself as a “Catholic” publication.

In a column appearing in his diocesan newspaper, Bishop Finn notes that he, as the bishop of the diocese in which the Reporter is located, has the duty to “call the media to fidelity.” He cites the Code of Canon Law, which (in #1369) calls for “a just penalty” for anyone who “excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church.”

The National Catholic Reporter, Bishop Finn remarks, has taken an editorial stance that puts the publication at odds with the Church, by “officially condemning Church teaching on the ordination of women, insistent undermining of Church teaching on artificial contraception and sexual morality in general, lionizing dissident theologies while rejecting established Magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues.” He reveals that he has received numerous complaints about the Reporter’s editorial policies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Bishop Finn: National Catholic Reporter should not call itself Catholic

KANSAS CITY (MO)
LifeSite News

by John Jalsevac

Fri Jan 25, 2013

January 25, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper renowned for its “liberal” editorial stance on numerous doctrinal and moral issues, should not advertise itself as Catholic, according to Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City.

The headquarters of the Reporter (not to be confused with the National Catholic Register) are located in Bishop Finn’s diocese, putting the paper under his ecclesiastical authority.

“I have received letters and other complaints about NCR from the beginning of my time here,” writes Bishop Finn in a new column published today in the diocesan newspaper. The column was published to coincide with the feast of St. Francis de Sales, considered the patron saint of journalists by the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Jury starts work on sex-abuse case against priest, ex-teacher

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013, 1:18 PM

After 81/2 days of testimony and closing arguments that brought the alleged victim to tears, a Philadelphia jury has begun working toward a verdict in the child-rape trial of a Philadelphia Catholic priest and ex-parochial-school teacher.

The Common Pleas Court jury of eight men and four women met for two hours Friday before breaking until Monday.

The Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero are charged in one of the most salacious episodes in the 2011 county investigating grand jury report on child sex-abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia: the serial rape of a 10-year-old Northeast boy.

Engelhardt, 66, and Shero, 49, have pleaded not guilty to assaulting the altar boy the grand jury named "Billy Doe."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Man cleared to sue diocese instead of deceased priest

IRELAND
Irish Times

The High Court has cleared the way for a man in his 60s to sue the Catholic Diocese of Clonfert over alleged sexual and physical abuse when he was an altar boy by a priest who has since died.

As the priest is no longer alive he sued the Bishop of Clonfert, Dr John Kirby, in his capacity as nominee of the diocese. It is claimed the abuse occurred in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Charleton dismissed a pretrial motion by the bishop aimed at having the action struck out on grounds of inordinate and inexcusable delay. He ruled the balance of justice permitted the trial proceed.

Rossa Fanning, for the bishop, had argued the delay meant a real risk of an unfair trial. Bishop Kirby had conducted a detailed investigation of diocesan records and could find no complaints or allegations against the priest, counsel said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Jury done for weekend in Philly priest-abuse case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KVUE

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The jury in a Philadelphia church-abuse trial will return Monday for a second day of deliberations in a case involving a priest and ex-teacher.

The jury of eight men and four women worked for less than two hours before adjourning Friday.

The jury must weigh the credibility of a 24-year-old heroin addict whose sex-abuse complaint took down a church official — and brought thousands of secret church files to light.

The policeman's son came forward in 2009 with the stunning claim that he'd been raped by two priests and a teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Archdiocese says bankruptcy 'dire situation' but 'Church isn't going out of business'

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTMJ

By Jay Sorgi

MILWAUKEE - The chief of staff of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee says bankruptcy proceedings are putting Milwaukee's Catholic Church in a 'dire situation.'

However, Jerry Topczewski told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News" that "The Church isn't going out of business by any means."

The Journal Sentinel reports that the Archdiocese filed court documents showing that it's losing so much money on legal fees that, under current legal demands, it will no longer be able to pay its regular operational expenses after Easter Sunday.

It's asking Federal Judge Susan Kelley to let them stop making payments to lawyers except for reorganization.

"It's a dire situation in the sense that the Archdiocese does not have a lot of resources. A lot of people think the Church is rich. Financially, the Archdiocese runs on a very small, balanced budget," explained Topczewski.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Philly priest-abuse case in hands of jury

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KATV

Updated: Jan 25, 2013

By MARYCLAIRE DALE
Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The credibility of a 24-year-old heroin addict whose sex-abuse complaint took down a Roman Catholic church official in Philadelphia - and helped bring thousands of secret church files to light - is now in the hands of a jury.

The policeman's son came forward in 2009 with the stunning claim that he'd been raped as a boy by two priests and his sixth-grade teacher. A jury heard two weeks of evidence before deliberations in the case began Friday.

One priest facing five other complaints accepted a plea deal on the eve of trial and went to prison, yet denies any contact with the trial accuser. The remaining defendants, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 66, of Wyndmoor, and ex-teacher Bernard Shero, 49, of Levittown, have staked their case on the accuser. He's changed his story several times, in significant ways, since the disclosure.

In closing arguments Friday, prosecutor Mark Cipolletti pointed out the many civil lawyers in court representing financial interests of the Philadelphia archdiocese, Engelhardt's religious order, the accuser and others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Treatment of Fr Tony Flannery is ‘repression’ says Portlaoise priest

IRELAND
Leinster Express

A PORTLAOISE priest has defended the Irish priest threatened with excomunication by the Catholic church.

Writing in the Portlaoise Parish newsletter to be distributed at masses this weekend, Fr Paddy Byrne describes the silencing and threatened expulsion of Fr Tony Flannery as “distressing”.

Up to now Fr Byrne had used twitter to question the church’s stance but this weekend he speaks directly to his parishioners in defence of Fr Flannery and equates what is happening as “repression”.

“The recent silencing and possible excommunication of Fr Tony Flannery makes for distressing news. The gift of conversation is both valuable and necessary, when reflection is silenced and those who do so punished, it creates an atmosphere of fear and repression,” writes Fr Bryne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

PA - SNAP applauds victims of Bro. Baker

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 25, 2013

We applaud these brave victims who are helping to expose corruption Catholic officials in court.

We hope Pennsylvania’s archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations won’t thwart their efforts to win justice. We also hope their courage will inspire others who were hurt ask kids to come forward. Silence and inaction helps predators and endangers kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Sexual misconduct suit names Mo. education board chief

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KMBC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —A former congregant at a Kansas City church alleges the new head of the Missouri State Board of Education used his position as pastor to engage in sexual misconduct, the second such lawsuit filed against him in a little more than a year.

The latest lawsuit, filed late Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, alleges that the Rev. Stan Archie made lewd comments about his sexual prowess after he began counseling a 15-year-old female member of the congregation, who is now 23. Archie also is accused of encouraging the teenage girl to act promiscuously and report her experiences to him, often by Skype. The suit said Archie sometimes would masturbate as she told him her experiences.

The suit said Archie told her he was her pastor and mentor and that nothing they were doing was wrong.

A lawsuit filed last year claimed that Archie engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with his former assistant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Bishop apologizes to victims of sexual abuse

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WFMJ

By Michelle Nicks, Reporter

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - At a press conference Thursday, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown apologized to the victims in a sexual abuse allegation against a former religious teacher and coach at the Warren John F. Kennedy High School.

"I am deeply sorry for the pain the victims of Brother [Stephen] Baker endured while at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren," Bishop George Murry told news reporters. "Brother Baker betrayed the trust these young men placed in him as a spiritual leader."

Baker was accused of sexually abusing 11 Warren JFK students more than 20 years ago, but the men just recently came forward in a lawsuit against the diocese and Third Order Regular Franciscans in Pennsylvania where Baker was a member.

The suit was settled with a monetary award for the men. The Third Order Regular Franciscans of Pennsylvania paid 70 percent of the settlement and the other 30 percent came from the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

Pa. Attorney to Sue Youngstown Diocese Over Abuse

OHIO/PENNSYLVANIA
WKBN

A Pennsylvania attorney has filed a notice of intent to sue the Catholic diocese in Youngstown and Johnstown, Pa. and a school where a Franciscan friar allegedly abused teenage boys he was supposed to be treating for sports-related injuries.

About 60 people have now alleged abuse against Franciscan friar Brother Stephen P. Baker during his tenures at Warren’s John F. Kennedy High School and Johnstown, Pa.’s Bishop McCort High School, according to several attorneys now involved in the case.

Baker, according to attorneys and seven alleged victims from JFK and Bishop McCort, used his position as athletic trainer at the schools from 1986-2000 to give teenage boys massages where he would fondle their genitals and digitally penetrate them. Baker was also a religion teacher and baseball coach at both schools.

Baker was removed from ministry at Bishop McCort in 2000 when allegations surfaced that Baker molested a student during the 1980s. A confidential lawsuit was resolved in 2002, the Altoona Mirror reported. Bishop McCort, which is no longer a diocese school, launched an internal investigation Thursday, according to diocese spokesman Matthew Beynon. The diocese was in charge of the school when the alleged abuse occurred. They hired former Allegheny County District Attorney Kathleen A. Gallagher and Eckert Seamans to investigate the claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Britain's Haredim Write Letter ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Failed Messiah

Britain's Haredim Write Letter On Child Sex Abuse That Claims UOHC Is Blameless, Rabbis Must Screen Allegations

The letter written on Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (Kedassia) stationary says that it is “our duty” to consider “every allegation” of child sexual abuse a “very serious” thing. UOHC therefore needs to inform the haredi public how to properly deal with this and to “make fences” to prevent it and to properly help everyone who has been abused.

UOHC says it has a committee of “rabbis, teachers and members of the community who know how to properly help abuse victims,” set up to deal with abuse cases in the haredi community. UOHC’s “rabbinic leadership recognizes that there are certain times when it is correct and necessary to call the social services and police. The committee will consult with the those rabbis to determine the proper course of action in each case. The committee will try to use the advice and help of experts to help families or children who have suffered from abuse, may God protect us.”

In other words, rabbis will screen cases and rabbis will decide whether or not police or social services will be called and the committee will try to follow the advice of experts to help victims and their families – but it will not promise to do so.

Why?

Almost certainly because 99.999% of these experts are not UOHC members or haredim, and to seek and follow their advice means to involve people outside the haredi community that UOHC does not control. And UOHC can’t have that in many cases – especially in cases of child sexual abuse where UOHC does not want police or social services to be involved. Why? Because those experts are often mandated reporters who will report the abuse to police or social services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Judge instructs jury in priest sex abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013, 1:18 PM

A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury has begun getting legal instructions from the judge after a morning listening to closing arguments by a second defense lawyer and the prosecutor in the child-rape trial of a Philadelphia Catholic priest and ex-parochial schoolteacher.

Judge Ellen Ceisler told the jury her legal instructions, known as the charge, will take about 40 minutes. After that, the jurors will begin evaluating the charges against the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero.

Engelhardt, 66, and Shero, 49, are charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, child endangerment and two related counts involving the alleged serial sexual assault in 1998-99 of a 10-year-old altar boy in the St. Jerome's parish in the Northeast.

Defense attorney Michael McGovern challenged the jury in his closing this morning not to convict Engelhardt as part of what he called a national "groundswell of the presumption of guilt" in cases involving Catholic priests and sexual abuse of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Civil lawyers gather at Philly priest-abuse trial

PHILADELHIA (PA)
News Times

By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

Updated 1:19 pm, Friday, January 25, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A courtroom "littered with lawyers" has heard closing arguments Friday in a priest-abuse case that rocked the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

A jury must decide whether a 24-year-old heroin addict whose complaint took down a church official — and brought thousands of secret church files to light — is credible.

The policeman's son came forward in 2009 with the stunning claim that he'd been raped by two priests and a teacher.

One ex-priest has pleaded guilty, while the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and ex-teacher Bernard Shero are on trial.

In closings, prosecutor Mark Cipolletti pointed out the many civil lawyers in court representing financial interest of the archdiocese, Engelhardt's religious order, the accuser and others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

David Quinn: Fr Flannery has cast doubt upon the core nature of Christ's church

IRELAND
Irish Independent

YOU may have read or heard in the last few days that the Vatican is threatening to excommunicate a priest – Fr Tony Flannery – because he believes in women priests.

Yes, he does believe in women priests, but no, he won't be excommunicated for that. And according to the 'Irish Catholic', he isn't going to be excommunicated for anything else either.

In fact, no priest or theologian that I can think of has ever been excommunicated for believing in women priests.

The only two priests I can think of who have been excommunicated in recent years are Tissa Balasuriya and Roy Bourgeois.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Milwaukee Archdiocese argues for bankruptcy relief or else they'll go broke

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTAQ

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese says it will run out of operating funds in April, unless a bankruptcy court creates some breathing room.

The church has paid around $9 million on legal and consulting fees in the bankruptcy case it filed two years ago.

Thursday, the archdiocese asked Judge Susan Kelley for permission to stop paying all those fees, except for $125,000 on a financial reorganization plan. The church also wants to use insurance money to keep challenging compensation claims made by those who were sexually abused by priests.

Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski said the church needs relief from its bankruptcy bills. And without it, “We will be unable to continue operating.” He said the archdiocese has used all its money from savings, reserves, investments, and funds that were budget for litigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

The Bishop’s Role in Fostering the Mission of the Catholic Media

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Catholic Key

Bishop Robert W. Finn

When I was editor of the diocesan paper in St. Louis, my office had a statue of St. Francis DeSales, Bishop of Geneva, and Doctor of the Church. Francis died in 1622. He is regarded as a patron of journalists and of the Catholic Press. His feast day is January 24, and has been observed by the Vatican for many years as World Communications Day. Again this year, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has used the occasion to give a message to us on Social Communications.

The Forty-Seventh World Communications Day Message is entitled “Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelization.” Here the Pope speaks about the opportunities for evangelization made possible through social media. He also addresses the moral responsibility we have to use these media in respectful ways. For nearly a half-century these messages have affirmed the value of modern communication in the presentation of the Gospel.

The Church’s Canon law places on the local bishop a particular responsibility to use the media effectively in the work of the Gospel, and to call the media to fidelity in the use of means of social communications. ...

I am very proud of the work of our diocesan Catholic paper, The Catholic Key, our writers, and all involved with its production for the conscientious manner in which they use the paper to teach Catholic doctrine, to provide trustworthy reflections on issues that take place in our culture, and to provide stories of apostolic life and work – particularly from our local diocese – that inspire us to live our Catholic faith more fully.

Similarly, the apostolate of Catholic Radio has blossomed locally. KEXS, 1090 AM, Catholic radio has helped Catholics to know and live their faith. Catholic radio is enjoyed by non-Catholics and has been the cause of many coming to the Faith and entering the Church.

In a different way, I am sorry to say, my attention has been drawn once again to the National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper with headquarters in this Diocese. I have received letters and other complaints about NCR from the beginning of my time here. In the last months I have been deluged with emails and other correspondence from Catholics concerned about the editorial stances of the Reporter: officially condemning Church teaching on the ordination of women, insistent undermining of Church teaching on artificial contraception and sexual morality in general, lionizing dissident theologies while rejecting established Magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

L.A. Church Officials Tried to Cover Up Priest Abuse

CALIFORNIA
Ms. Magazine

January 24, 2013 By Stephanie Geske

Confidential letters between Los Angeles Catholic church officials that had been withheld for decades–despite long efforts by victims to obtain them and stonewalling by the Church–were released Monday after becoming part of a civil court case against a priest accused of molesting 26 Los Angeles children in the 1980s.

The notes from then-Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and Monsignor Thomas J. Curry, published by the Los Angeles Times, have provided even more insight as to how sexual- abuse accusations against priests have been covered up for years. The notes detail plans by the two men to keep police from discovering that children were being molested in Los Angeles parishes, with Curry suggesting the predator priests not see therapists who could then alert authorities; instead, he wanted to give priests out-of-state assignments to avoid criminal charges. Curry was the chief advisor to the Archbishop on sex-abuse cases at the time.

One priest discussed in the released files was Msgr. Peter Garcia, who tended to abuse undocumented children because he could keep them quiet by threatening to have them deported. He went to a treatment center for pedophile clergy in New Mexico, but left the priesthood in 1989 after returning to Los Angeles and refusing to take medication to contain his sexual urges toward children. Never prosecuted, he died in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Colo. bishops to review health system's fidelity to Church

COLORADO
Catholic News Agency

Denver, Colo., Jan 25, 2013 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Colorado's three bishops will examine litigation surrounding Catholic Health Initiatives, after its lawyers allegedly argued in a wrongful-death lawsuit that human fetuses are not persons.

“The Catholic bishops of Colorado are not able to comment on ongoing legal disputes. However, we will undertake a full review of this litigation, and of the policies and practices of Catholic Health Initiatives to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic Church,” the bishops said Jan. 24.

“Catholic Health Initiatives has been accused by some of undermining the Catholic position on human life in the course of litigation," they added. "Today, representatives of Catholic Health Initiatives assured us of their intention to observe the moral and ethical obligations of the Catholic Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Church and State: Where Catholic Beliefs and Public Needs Collide

GERMANY
Spiegel

By Frank Hornig, Barbara Schmid, Fidelius Schmid and Peter Wensierski

Rape victims are being turned away, and divorced employees are losing their jobs. Catholic hospitals, kindergartens and nursing homes -- which are primarily tax-funded -- are causing problems for Germany's social welfare state. But some politicians are fighting back.

The origins of the Cellitine sisters and their beneficial ministry date back to late 13th-century Cologne, when the nuns devoted themselves to the "care of the sick, the weak and the poor."

Their original mission has expanded into a corporation encompassing 16 nursing homes and 10 hospitals. The only problem is that care is precisely what has been lacking there recently. Wanting nothing to do with a possible early termination of a pregnancy, doctors working for the Cellitines turned away a woman who was seeking help shortly before Christmas, despite the strong suspicion that she had been raped.

Last week, the order publicly downplayed the case when it made national news, calling it "very regrettable" and "a misunderstanding."

Turning away rape victims can hardly be called a misunderstanding. On January 10, Sylvia Klauser, the order's chief ethics officer, explained to an emergency doctor the hospitals' procedures for handling rape victims. The notes the doctor made on the conversation reveal an astonishing aspect of the order's policy: As long as patients who have been raped are "responsive and capable of being moved," they are to be transferred "to a city facility." The apparent goal of the policy is to ensure that the nuns and doctors will not be confronted with a possible abortion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

RESPONSIBILITY FOR SEMINARIES MOVED TO CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGY

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 25 January 2013 (VIS) – 'Ministrorum institutio' is the title of the Motu Proprio by which the Holy Father modifies the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor bonus', (John Paul II, 1988) and transfers the competency for seminaries from the Congregation for Catholic Education to the Congregation for the Clergy. Following are ample extracts from the document.

"The formation of sacred ministers was one of the main concerns of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, who wrote that, 'fully aware that the desired renewal of the whole Church depends to a great extent on the ministry of its priests, [the Council] proclaims the extreme importance of priestly training'. In this context, canon 232 of the Code of Canon Law claims 'the duty and the proper and exclusive right' of the formation of those who are designated for the sacred ministries―that by regulation takes place in seminaries―as belonging to the Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Catholic Church: Fetuses Are People, Unless It’s Going To Cost Us Money

COLORADO
Addicting Info

Posted by T. Steelman

In a stunning bit of hypocrisy, Catholic Health Initiatives – a non-profit that runs about 170 health facilities in 17 states – is arguing that fetuses are not people. Specifically, two fetuses involved in a wrongful death suit brought against them in Colorado.

This began on New Year’s Day 2006, when 31-year-old Lori Stodghill arrived at St. Thomas More hospital in Cañon City, CO. The seven-months-pregnant woman was short of breath and vomiting and she lost consciousness soon after her arrival. Her obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples (who also happened to be the OB on-call that night) was paged but he did not answer. Ms. Stodghill died from a heart attack less than an hour after she arrived at the Emergency Room. The twins she was carrying died in her womb. Her bereaved husband filed a wrongful death suit against the hospital on behalf of himself and his daughter (who was 2 at the time), charging that Dr. Staples should have at least directed the ER staff to perform an emergency C-section. An expert testified that while Lori could not in all likelihood have been saved, the babies could have been if a caesarean had been performed right away.

Catholic Health Initiatives, being the parent company of Thomas More Hospital, is the defendant in the case. For a non-profit they do remarkably well, with at least $15 billion in assets. But they maintain that all they seek to do is “nurture the healing ministry of the Church” guided by “fidelity to the Gospel.” Of course, they follow the rulings of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the form of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church. Those directives, as we well know by now, speak of the sanctity of life “from the moment of conception until death.” The Church has made quite a big deal out of this lately to the point of objecting to birth control and even cancer screenings (don’t even try to follow that “logic”).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Bishops will review Catholic hospital's malpractice defense

COLORADO
The Denver Post

Posted: 01/24/2013

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post denverpost.com

Colorado's three Catholic bishops Thursday evening said they will make a full review of a lawsuit in which a Catholic hospital defending against malpractice has argued that fetuses aren't persons.

Jeremy Stodghill filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in District Court in Fremont County after his 31-year-old wife, Lori, seven months pregnant with twin boys, died of a blockage of the main artery of the lung at St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City on New Year's Day 2006.

Stodghill's lawyer argued that her obstetrician, Pelham Staples, never made it to the hospital — even though on call for emergencies — and there was no attempt by any medical personnel to save the Stodghills' sons by cesarian section.The unborn children died in the womb.

The lead defendant is Englewood-based Catholic Health Initiatives, which runs St. Thomas More and hospitals in 14 states.

The Catholic Church has fought for decades to change federal and state laws to protect fetuses as persons. Yet, according to court documents, Catholic Health Initiatives argued in this case that the Colorado Wrongful Death Act requires the death of a person and the statute doesn't include the death of a fetus that wasn't born or delivered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Archdiocese says it's headed toward insolvency

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Houston Chronicle

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee says it is going broke and wants a bankruptcy judge to allow it to suspend payments to attorneys and consultants.

Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski (top-CHES'-kee) says savings, reserves and investment earnings have all been exhausted. And if it doesn't stop paying attorneys and consultants the archdiocese will be unable to pay its monthly operating expenses beginning in April.

The archdiocese would continue to pay its own attorneys to challenge sex abuse claims from its insurance carriers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Abuse order was not violated

UXBRIDGE (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
gmurray@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The co-founder of the Church of the End Times in Uxbridge was acquitted Thursday on a charge of violating an abuse prevention order obtained against him by his estranged wife.

It took a Central District Court jury less than 20 minutes of deliberations to find Dennis H. Stanley, 36, not guilty of the charge, which resulted from an allegation by Beth Ellen Stanley that her estranged husband came within 100 yards of her home at 41 Murphy’s Way, Uxbridge, on Oct. 21, in violation of the restraining order.

Ms. Stanley testified that she was looking out an upstairs window in the direction of her brother-in-law’s house at 51 Murphy’s Way on the afternoon of Oct. 21 when she saw her husband walking from the area of Route 122 toward his brother David’s home.

Ms. Stanley said Dennis Stanley “froze” when she opened the window and yelled out that she had seen him, then continued into his brother’s house.

David Stanley is the pastor of the nondenominational Church of the End Times he and his brother founded and Dennis Stanley is the second-in-command pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Milwaukee Archdiocese says it's going broke

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Jan. 24, 2013

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is hemorrhaging money on legal and professional fees as a result of its bankruptcy and will be unable to pay its monthly operating expenses beginning in April unless the judge suspends those payments, it says in court documents filed Thursday.

The archdiocese filed a motion asking U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley to allow it to suspend all payments to attorneys and consultants, except $125,000 for work on its plan of reorganization. And it would continue to pay its own attorneys to challenge sex-abuse claims with proceeds from its insurance carriers.

"Without it, we will be unable to continue operating. We've used all the money we had from savings, reserves, investment earnings and money budgeted for litigation," archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski said.

"This is a reorganization, not a liquidation," he said, "and under bankruptcy law, the goal for Chapter 11 is to keep the organization operational."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Convicted priest took victim to Smokey Joe's in 1970s

PENNSYLVANIA
The Daily Pennsylvanian

By Claire Cohen · January 24, 2013

Few Penn alumni would recognize the former disc jockey at Smokey Joe’s as he stood on the witness stand in a light blue prison shirt with “DOC” — for Department of Correction — written on the back in white letters.

Last Thursday, defrocked West Philadelphia Catholic priest Edward Avery recanted his guilty plea of sexually assaulting a young boy in 1999 when called to testify during the trial against Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero, charged for molesting the same victim as Avery. Avery pled guilty last March and was sentenced to two and a half to five years in prison.

From September 1978 to June 1984, Avery served as assistant pastor at St. Agatha-St. James Parish on 38th and Chestnut streets. Known also as the “Smiling Padre,” Avery doubled as a disc jockey for hire.

While working at St. Agatha-St. James Parish, Avery continued molesting an altar boy from his previous assignment at St. Philip Neri Church in East Greenville, known in court proceedings under the pseudonym “James.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Alleged sex assault victims named

AUSTRALIA
Big Pond News

Friday, January 25, 2013

Two alleged sexual assault victims of retired Catholic priest, Finian Egan, have waived their right to anonymity.

In the District Court in Sydney on Friday, the prosecution in the case against the 78-year-old asked that a non-publication order on the names of two of Egan's alleged victims, Nikki Wells and Kellie Roche, be lifted at their request.

In May last year, Egan was arrested and charged with 17 sexual offences that allegedly occurred between 1972 and 1987 while he was serving as a priest in parishes in Sydney and on the NSW Central Coast.

The charges relate to one boy and three girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Indecent assault conviction for 82-year-old

CANADA
CFRA

Chris Holski
Friday, January 25, 2013

An 82-year-old Catholic priest who in the past taught at Ottawa high schools has been convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy for the second time in less than five months.

Father Kenneth O'Keefe pleaded guilty in Gatineau this week to indecently assaulting a 17-year-old boy back in 1969.

He's been sentenced to nine months under house arrest at a retirement home in Toronto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Priest pleads guilty in sex case

CANADA
The Windsor Star

An elderly Catholic priest who once taught at Windsor's Assumption high school as well as various high schools in the Ottawa region has pleaded guilty for the second time in a year to sexually assaulting a teen boy in his care.

Father Kenneth John O'Keefe, 82, pleaded guilty in a Hull courtroom this week to "indecently assaulting" a then-17-year-old boy over the course of four months between September and December 1969.

He also pleaded guilty to "an act of gross indecency" during the same period, with the same victim, known only as G-L.B.

G-L.B. was a student at Ottawa's St. Joseph's Catholic School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Case of Philadelphia priest and former teacher accused of raping altar boy headed to jury

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013

The child-rape trial of a Philadelphia Catholic priest and an ex-parochial-school teacher goes to a Common Pleas Court jury Friday after the end of testimony and one defense lawyer's plea for acquittal.

Burton A. Rose urged jurors not to convict former teacher Bernard Shero because of his awkward appearance or the salacious nature of the charges against him.
In his closing Thursday, Rose read the list of charges against the 49-year-old, vision-impaired English teacher: rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, child endangerment, and two related counts.

"We have these charges in this case that are horrible," Rose said. "Nothing is worse than being charged with the violent assault of a child. . . . But don't be swept away by the allegations."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Two Defendants Elect Not to Testify in Sex Abuse Case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

Thursday, January 24, 2013

By Ralph Cipriano
for bigtrial.net

The court crier swore in Father Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero as witnesses.

Judge Ellen Ceisler then asked if the two defendants were electing not to testify on their behalf at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse trial.

Both defendants confirmed they had decided to take a pass.

The judge asked if either man was on drugs or alcohol, or prescription medications, or was mentally disoriented in any way.

To each of these three questions, each defendant replied, "No, Your Honor"three times. The judge assured both defendants that she would instruct the jury to draw "no adverse inference" from their decision not to testify.

After the two defendants testified, the defense today closed out its case with five more character witnesses on behalf of Father Engelhardt. The prosecution called a rebuttal witness, a cousin of the priest who said that Engelhardt had a "horrible reputation" in the community, without any explanation of what he was alluding to. Then it was on to the first closing statement from Burton A. Rose, on behalf of Bernard Shero.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Lawsuits likely: Attorney for alleged victims files notice

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Sandra K Reabuck sreabuck@tribdem.com

EBENSBURG — The alleged sex abuse by a Franciscan friar of boys at Johnstown’s Bishop McCort Catholic High School decades ago now is moving into the civil side of Cambria County court.

This week, Greensburg attorney Susan Williams filed a notice in county court that a civil lawsuit is being filed on behalf of Victims Nos. 1, 2 and 3.

The alleged victims – whose names were not disclosed – are in their 20s and are relatively recent graduates of Bishop McCort, Williams said Thursday.

The three men have talked to her in detail about “the severity, pervasiveness and open nature of the abuse which they suffered at the hands of Brother (Stephen) Baker,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

Victims urged to come forward

YOUGSTOWN (OH)
Tribune Chronicle

January 25, 2013

By JOE GORMAN - Staff reporter (jgorman@tribtoday.com) , Tribune Chronicle | TribToday.com

YOUNGSTOWN - Bishop of Youngstown George Murray said Thursday that diocese officials did not announce terms of a settlement with victims of a Franciscan order brother who once coached at Warren John F. Kennedy High School because they believed the order's headquarters in Pennsylvania would do so.

Because they did not and the allegations against Brother Steven Baker were made public last week, Murry said in a news conference from the diocese's offices that they are asking for anyone who may have been a victim of Baker to contact civil authorities and the police.

No criminal charges were filed against Baker, and the statute of limitations has run out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Lay minister jailed for having 'severe' child porn images

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Barry Duggan

Friday January 25 2013

A CHURCH of Ireland lay minister who had severe child pornography images in a computer folder marked 'Papist Humour' has been sentenced to five months' imprisonment.

Passing sentence at Limerick District Court, Judge Eugene O'Kelly said it was a concerning factor that Ger Fitzgerald (62) sought out work as a primary school caretaker in Limerick when he had an appetite for child pornography.

He was charged with possessing 13 child pornography images on March 19, 2010.

Fitzgerald of Grianan, Corbally, Co Clare, pleaded not guilty. His barrister said that his client did not knowingly have them in his possession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Brutale Nonnen unter barmherzigen Schwestern

DEUTSCHLAND
Stern

Die Schweiz erschüttert ein Skandal um missbrauchte und misshandelte Kinder in der Obhut eines katholischen Ordens. Unabhängige Experten legten das ganze furchtbare Ausmaß offen. Von Thomas Schmoll

Kommissionspräsidenten haben allgemein den Ruf, Fachidioten zu sein, die gefühlsarm bis gefühlskalt ihrer Arbeit nachgehen. Nicht so Magnus Küng. Der Schweizer erlaubte es sich kürzlich, öffentlich Emotionen zu zeigen. Der Verkündung der Ergebnisse einer zweijährigen Studie stellte er "etwas ganz Persönliches" voran. Er bekannte: "Ich habe beim Lesen manchmal richtig Herzklopfen bekommen und mir eine Träne aus den Augen gewischt. Ich war oft wütend auf die Menschen, welche solches tun konnten und auf die damalige Gesellschaft, auf die Behörden und auf die Kirche, welche alle einfach weggeschaut haben."

Küng, von Beruf Rechtsanwalt, leitete die unabhängige Expertenkommission, die die ungeheuerlichen Vorgänge in schweizerischen Kinderheimen durchleuchtete, die unter der Leitung des Ordens der Barmherzigen Schwestern vom Heiligen Kreuz standen. Die Untersuchung auf Veranlassung der Nonnen bezog sich auf die Zeit zwischen 1928 und 1970. im Fokus stand die Erziehungsanstalt Rathausen nahe Luzern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

"Mitwisser" sollen nicht länger zum Missbrauch schweigen

DEUTSCHLAND
General-Anzeiger

Von Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu.
BONN. Klaus Mertes hat eine besondere Sicht auf die Missbrauchsfälle am Aloisiuskolleg (Ako) in Bad Godesberg: Er war selbst Ako-Schüler, als der 2010 verstorbene Haupttäter Pater Ludger Stüper schon dort tätig war. 2010 brachte Pater Mertes den Missbrauchsskandal von Berlin aus ins Rollen. Im GA äußert er sich erstmals zum Ako.

Sie sagen, Sie haben selbst eine wunderbare Schulerfahrung am Ako gemacht?
Klaus Mertes: Ja. Ich bin dem Ako bis heute dankbar. Ich hatte gute Lehrerinnen und Lehrer, und auch ein paar weniger gute, wie an jeder Schule. Bis heute lebe ich mit Freundschaften aus dieser Zeit. Besonders wichtig war mir die KSJ (ND) am Ako, aber auch andere Freundeskreise, die sich um ehemalige Lehrer und Patres sammelten. Ich habe die Schule 1973 mit Stolz verlassen. Und schließlich: Ohne das Ako wäre ich nicht Jesuit geworden. Das Ako gehört zu meinem Leben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Another suit filed against president of state board of education

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Jessica Bock jbock@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8228

A second woman has filed a lawsuit against the president of the Missouri State Board of Education alleging sexual misconduct while in his position as a pastor at a church in Kansas City.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, accuses the Rev. Stan Archie of child sexual abuse, defamation and therapy malpractice that began after the woman, then 15 years old, began seeing him about 2006 for counseling at the church. It also names Archie’s church, Christian Fellowship Baptist Church, as negligent.

Archie has denied all claims, saying that disgruntled members of his church are trying to hurt his reputation and get money from the church. He has been on the state board since 2006, and began his term as president this month.

The women in both suits are not named in court documents, but referred to in each case separately as “Jane Doe.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Suing the Church - how one City litigator pursued an abuse claim against the Catholic Church

UNITED KINGDOM
Legal Week

Author: Patrick Raggett

25 Jan 2013

City litigator Patrick Raggett recounts the turmoil and ultimate vindication he faced in pursuing a damages claim against the Catholic Church for abuse suffered as a schoolboy

I litigated for seven years against the Catholic Church and its insurers, Zurich. In doing so, I wore several hats – as former litigation partner with Pinsent Masons, as the client in a high-profile action, as a sexual abuse victim and latterly as a mentor to other claimants.

Over the years, I had to draw heavily on my 16 years doing commercial cases.

Finally, in November 2012, after two trials totalling 15 days, one appeal and several interlocutory applications, I was awarded £55,000 damages by Mrs Justice Swift arising from sexual assaults by a Jesuit priest in the 1970s.

The same judge, in finding at the first trial on liability in March 2009 that I had been sexually assaulted more than 200 times over four years, found my evidence "entirely compelling".

At the second 11-day trial on causation and damage, Swift found the psychological effects had somehow evaporated by the time I was 21, just five years after the attacks ended, thus ruling out my loss of earnings claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Bishop McCort launches investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily American

Bishop McCort Catholic High School has hired a Pittsburgh-based law firm to investigate allegations of sexual abuse involving Brother Stephen Baker, who taught at the school in the late 1990s.

The non-diocesan members the school's board of trustees became aware of the allegations late last week, according to a press release. At the time of Baker's tenure with Bishop McCort, the school was a part of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. It has since undergone privatization.

After learning of the allegations, the board ordered a voluntary internal review and investigation, hiring Kathleen A. Gallagher and Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott to conduct the investigation.

Gallagher is a former prosecutor with the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office. The school said she has prosecuted numerous sexual assault cases and thus "brings a unique understanding of both the law and unique circumstances surrounding such cases."

A settlement was reached with 11 people Baker allegedly victimized while at John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Warren, Ohio, from 1986 to 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

Bishop pledges transparency about sexual abuse allegations

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Youngstown Vindicator

By Ashley Luthern
aluthern@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

For the third time in almost three years, the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is pledging transparency and again reassuring the public that it is “taking every possible action” to protect children from sexual abuse.

For the third time in almost as many years, the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is pledging transparency and again reassuring the public that it is “taking every possible action” to protect children from sexual abuse.

But those promises are increasingly being met with skepticism from victim advocates, such as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Bishop George V. Murry had a Thursday news conference to address recent reports that 11 men settled out of court as a result of sexual abuse perpetrated by Franciscan Brother Stephen P. Baker, who worked at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren from 1986 to 1991 but was never a member of the clergy.

He is a member of the Franciscan Third Order Regular, and victims said the abuse most often occurred in an athletic training room where Brother Baker would find excuses to massage athletes and would sometimes massage their genitals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

Claims of abuse by Baker rising

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

January 25, 2013

By Russ O’Reilly (roreilly@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

The magnitude of accusations against Brother Stephen Baker is staggering, said an Altoona attorney who has represented victims of sexual abuse since 1987.

"He appears to be the most prolific child predator I've dealt with, and I've been doing this for 25 years," attorney Richard Serbin said.

Serbin filed his first lawsuit against the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and its bishop for allegedly protecting a serial child predator, the Rev. Francis Luddy.

That trial began in 1994 - when Baker was at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown. Baker served as a religion teacher at Bishop McCort from 1990 to 2000 or 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

Ex-priest in Ariz. prison named in LA abuse case

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

[Lovell file - BishopAccountability.org]

[Documents Selected and Highlighted on the AbusedInSoCal.com Website - Lovell 1985]

By Michael Clancy
The Republic | azcentral.com
Thu Jan 24, 2013

A former Diocese of Phoenix priest imprisoned in Arizona is one of 14 priests whose files were released this week in a Los Angeles court case involving sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Lawrence Lovell is serving a 14-year sentence for abusing children in Yavapai and Maricopa counties. He is imprisoned at the Central Arizona Correctional Facility in Florence.

His file included a letter from his superior in the Claretian religious order, a report of his history in the Los Angeles area, a list of actions taken against him, and a letter from a parent accusing Lovell of molesting his children.

What it does not include is Lovell’s full clerical history, including assignments in Prescott and Phoenix.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 AM

NSW abuse inquiry widens net

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A second Catholic priest will come under the scrutiny of a NSW inquiry into sex abuse allegations in the Hunter region.

Premier Barry O'Farrell announced on November 9 a special commission of inquiry into matters relating to a police investigation of sex abuse allegations in the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The inquiry, headed by Margaret Cunneen SC, came after allegations by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox that the church had hindered police.

Mr O'Farrell said the inquiry would look at whether Insp Fox was asked to stop investigating Father Denis McAlinden, and whether the church hindered or obstructed the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

January 24, 2013

Ruling major victory for victim/survivors in Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director
CONTACT: 414.429.7259

In a major victory today for some 570 victim/survivors who have filed cases in federal bankruptcy court charging fraud by the Milwaukee Archdiocese in the concealment and transfer of priest child sex offenders, Judge Susan V. Kelley has ruled that three key cases the archdiocese has sought to dismiss can proceed. Because the majority of cases filed by victims are similar to the three allowed into court today, the ruling should finally bring an end to the archdiocese unprecedented two year legal attack seeking to have nearly all the cases thrown out.

Sadly, it probably won’t.

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki’s aggressive and wasteful legal strategy has also, it was learned, cost parishioners 9 million dollars in lawyers and consultant fees. Because of this, church lawyers are today claiming that, while they themselves have billed for millions, there is no restitution available from the archdiocese for a single victim/survivor.

Listecki, who is himself a lawyer, filed for bankruptcy two years ago “to properly compensate all victim survivors.” It’s clear now he never intended these words, and has instead made a lot of other lawyers rich.

It’s doubtful that the archdiocese, which moved tens of millions of dollars off the books before filing for bankruptcy, is suddenly without resources. In fact, Listecki himself claimed before filing that the archdiocese had only 4.2 million dollars to settle cases and lawyers’ fees. He has now spent over twice that amount without settling a single case.

Kelley also has indicated that she is willing to revisit and possibly lift significant sections of the protective order placed on the 60,000 plus pages of abuse related documents now under court seal, saying she will rule on the matter soon. The documents and depositions are expected to provide the fullest picture yet of the extent of criminal behavior by scores of offender clergy against children over the past 50 years, along with the systematic efforts by Milwaukee archbishops, bishops and church officials to cover-up these crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

Former Church Official's Probation Revoked

WISCONSIN
CBS 58

[with video]

by Michele McCormack

WAUKESHA---A judge revoked the probation of 53-year-old Joel Hochmuth Wednesday and ordered him to prison for four years.

Court documents reveal he violated court orders to stay away from the Internet and hasn't followed terms of his work release schedule.

Hochmuth also admitted to masturbating in some woods near his workplace.

Hochmuth lost his job at the Wisconsin Lutheran Synod last year after he was arrested on child porn charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Neil A. "Gus" Doherty

FLORIDA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Rev. Neil Doherty, also known as "Gus", was an active priest of the Miami archdiocese for nearly 33 years, and the subject of accusations of child sexual abuse which span his entire career. Doherty worked as a counselor for Catholic Family Services to whom the archdiocese would regularly refer troubled boys. Many of those boys have sinced surfaced with accusations against Doherty. Doherty's modus operandi is reported to have been to drug the boys, some of whom have said they would awaken to find Doherty abusing them. Doherty's accusers contend the archdiocese was warned many times over the decades that he was abusing children. In 1972 a fellow priest reported that Doherty had adopted an adolescent boy, who was sleeping in Doherty's bedroom. The same priest had warned archdiocesan officials the year before that Doherty should stay away from drug rehabilitation facilities after a raid on a halfway house for boys at which Doherty was a supervisor. Both warnings were ignored. There were reports of the sexual abuse of boys by Doherty to the archdiocese in 1983 from a psychologist and in 1987 from a psychologist and a church secretary, after which Doherty was allowed to continue in ministry. The church secretary was fired. In 1992 the archdiocese received a report from the parents of a boy who claimed to have been drugged and raped by Doherty in 1978; the archdiocese settled with the family 1n 1994. In 1992 Doherty was sent for a psychological evaluation; his superiors were told he should be removed from his role as a parish priest. He was not. It wasn't until the clergy sexual abuse crisis was making headlines in April 2002 that Doherty was placed on leave. In 2006 Doherty was arrested and charged with child sexual abuse for drugging and raping a boy between 1996-2000, beginning when the boy was 9 years old. By November 2011, 26 men had come forward with accusations that Doherty drugged and sexually abused them as children. In January 2013 Doherty pleaded "no contest" to the charges of lewd and lascivious acts on a child.

Ordained: 1969

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

MO - New sex suit filed vs. Board of Education chair

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on January 24, 2013

We're disturbed by these new child sex abuse accusations against Rev. Stan Archie.

Research, history and our experience shows that false allegations in cases like this are extremely rare. We strongly suspect there are others who have been sexually victimized by this minister. For their healing, and for the safety of others, we hope they step forward, call police, expose wrongdoing so that more crimes can be prevented.

We commend both of the young women who are, by seeking justice, essentially warning other unsuspecting and vulnerable individuals about this predator. Their courage is safeguarding others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

LA - Accused priests asks for bail reduction, SNAP responds

LOUISIANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 24, 2013

An accused former priest from Louisiana is asking a judge and to reduce his bond.

We hope that the judge in this case does not reduce Fr. Mark Broussard’s bond. Kids are always safer when predators are behind bars, and we hope that Broussard remains there and away from children. Given the fact that he was originally charged with 224 counts related to child sex crimes, we think it is a no-brainer that he is a danger to children and must be kept away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

'Staying silent was never an option': alleged victims of priest speak out

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 25, 2013

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

Two alleged victims of child sexual abuse by the now-retired Catholic priest Father Finian Egan have had court-imposed suppression orders on their names lifted so they can talk publicly about their experiences.

Nikki Wells and Kelly-Anne Roache are among four people who were allegedly abused by Father Egan between 1972 and 1987 while he worked at parishes in Sydney and on the central coast.

Father Egan was arrested in April last year and charged with 17 child sex offences.

He denies the charges and is expected to face trial later this year.

On Friday, the prosecution in the case asked Downing Centre District Court Judge, Reg Blanch, to lift the suppression orders preventing publication of Ms Wells and Ms Roache's names at their behest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 PM

No excommunication for Fr Flannery - Vatican

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

The Vatican case against Fr Tony Flannery hinges on whether or not the Redemptorist accepts the Church’s teaching on the nature of the priesthood.

Michael Kelly

There is “no question” of Fr Tony Flannery facing excommunication senior Vatican sources have told this newspaper, and they have insisted that the case hinges on whether or not the Redemptorist accepts the Church’s teaching on the nature of the priesthood.

During a press conference in Dublin at the weekend, Fr Flannery (66) – a founder member of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) – said he was “threatened with excommunication from the Catholic Church for suggesting that, in the future, women might become priests and calling for this and other matters to be open for discussion”.

However, senior Vatican sources have indicated to The Irish Catholic that the Holy See has not threatened excommunication against the priest and the case against Fr Flannery is about the fundamental nature of the Church’s understanding of the priesthood.

Sources in the Roman Curia who spoke to The Irish Catholic this week claim that it is a 2010 contention by Fr Flannery that he no longer believed that “the priesthood as we currently have it in the Church originated with Jesus” or that Jesus designated “a special group of his followers as priests,” that is problematic for the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Vatican threatened to excommunicate priest, documents confirm

IRELAND
Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

Redemptorist Fr Tony Flannery was threatened with excommunication by the Vatican, according to documents seen by The Irish Times, contrary to claims by “senior Vatican sources”, as reported in this week’s Irish Catholic newspaper.

It quoted such “senior Vatican sources” and “sources in the Roman Curia” as saying there was “no question” of Fr Flannery facing excommunication” and that “the Holy See has not threatened excommunication against the priest”.

A document from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), dated June 11th, 2012, accused Fr Flannery of expressing “heretical or heterodox statements about central church doctrines of the Catholic Christian faith” in “several of his columns” for Reality magazine.

The same document pointed out that “the Church’s canon law (canon 1044) calls a priest who has committed the delict of heresy ‘irregular for the exercise of orders received’, while canon 1364 says that ‘a heretic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication’.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Victims Accuse L.A. Catholic Church Leaders Of Covering Up Sex Abuse

CALIFORNIA
NPR

[audio]

by Tovia Smith

January 24, 2013

Prosecutors in California say they are reviewing newly-released personnel files that document efforts by the Los Angeles Archdiocese to cover up clergy sexual abuse. They haven't said whether they might pursue criminal charges against retired Cardinal Roger Mahony. Statutes of limitations make prosecution difficult, but victims are calling on authorities to be more creative and find a way to punish church higher-ups for protecting abusive priests, rather then children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Nechemya Weberman's 103-Year Sentence Is Clumsy Slap at Ultra-Orthodox Jews

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Batya Ungar-Sargon

Published January 24, 2013.

When is a long prison sentence too long?

That’s the question many inside and outside the ultra-Orthodox community are asking this week after a judge dealt Nechemya Weberman a 103-year term behind bars for abusing a young girl.

“The abuse of a child cannot be swept under the rug or dealt with by insular groups believing only they know what is best for their community,” Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said at a press conference following Weberman’s sentencing.

The prosecutor’s statement closely echoed his thoughts in a written statement published in the New York Daily News on January 19, in which Hynes compared the Hasidim to organized crime groups. He proudly trumpeted the Weberman sentencing as a way to “send a message” to the community as a whole.

“I compare it to the Mafia, but at least in Mafia cases we can offer victims witness protection. That does not work in these insular communities,” Hynes wrote. “I hope the verdict and sentence sends a very clear and unmistakable message to people in certain parts of the Orthodox community.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Sex Offender, Former WELS Official Gets Prison After Following Boys Cross Country Team

WISCONSIN
Patch

By Sarah Millard

January 23, 2013

The former Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) communication director — who was fired from his position upon his arrest for child pornography possession — will spend four years in prison after he followed a boys cross country team on multiple occasions.

Joel W. Hochmuth also was sentenced Wednesday to five years of extended supervision after his probation was revoked on his child porn possession conviction.

In addition to the “stalking conduct,” according to a hearing report, Hochmuth’s probation was revoked for the following reasons:
•Masturbating while naked in the woods near his workplace in Colgate and inside his workplace
•Having access to the Internet via his cell phone and failing to provide that information to his probation agent.
•Deviating from his approved schedule at the work-release jail
•Leaving his approved work site without permission
•Having “drive by” contact with minors

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Former Lutheran official gets prison for violating child porn probation

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel

Jan. 24, 2013

Waukesha - A former Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod official has been sentenced to prison after he violated conditions of his probation on a conviction of possessing child pornography.

Joel Hochmuth, 53, had been sentenced last year to a year in jail with work release privileges and 10 years of probation.

At the time, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Kathryn W. Foster warned Hochmuth that any hint of "going back to any kind of behavior like this" would result in a prison term of up to the maximum 25 years.

Foster sentenced Hochmuth on Wednesday to four years in prison, followed by five years of extended supervision. He was given credit for 242 days he's spent in jail.

His attorney, Paul Bucher, said Hochmuth's violations did not involve any assaultive behavior, or more exposure to pornography. He said Hochmuth, after failing a polygraph exam, admitted that he had watched a boy's cross-country team as it ran, and once disrobed and masturbated in the woods while he was performing his work-release job as a landscaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Suit alleges sexual abuse and defamation by state education board president

MISSOURI
Missourinet

By Mike Lear

The president of the state Board of Education is accused of child sexual abuse, defamation and counseling malpractice in a lawsuit filed this week.

The Kansas City Star reports the suit was filed by a Kansas City area woman who accuses the Reverend Stan Archie of encouraging her to be sexually promiscuous and tell him about her sexual experiences in counseling sessions beginning when she was 15. She says when she ended their relationship, he began harassing and defaming her. The suit also names the his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Missouri education board head faces 2nd lawsuit

MISSOURI
Daily Journal

The new head of the Missouri State Board of Education is facing a second lawsuit accusing him of using his position as pastor of a Kansas City church to engage in sexual misconduct.

The latest lawsuit, filed late Wednesday, alleges the Rev. Stan Archie made lewd comments about his sexual prowess after he began counseling a 15-year-old congregant, who is now 23. The lawsuit says Archie encouraged the girl to act promiscuously and report her experiences to him.

A lawsuit filed last year claimed that Archie engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with his former assistant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Spain pledges to investigate illegal adoptions

SPAIN
The Bellingham Herald

By SINIKKA TARVAINEN — dpa

MADRID — Spain will do "whatever it can" to help the judiciary investigate cases of stolen babies and illegal adoptions stretching back for decades, Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said Thursday, after one of the key suspects died.

As many as 300,000 children may have been stolen from their mothers by independently operated rings comprised of doctors, nurses, midwives, officials, cemetery workers and intermediaries between the 1940s and 1990s, according to victims' representatives.

The government has already adopted measures such as arranging for free DNA tests for some of those affected.

One of the best-known suspects - Maria Gomez Valbuena, a nun - died Tuesday at the age of 87 in Madrid, her religious order said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Lawsuit alleges child sex abuse by KC pastor who heads state education board

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

January 24

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

A lawsuit filed in Jackson County accuses the new president of the Missouri State Board of Education of child sexual abuse, defamation and counseling malpractice.

The civil suit, filed this week in Jackson County Circuit Court by a Kansas City-area woman identified as Jane Doe DL, alleges that the Rev. Stan Archie began committing repeated acts of sexual misconduct against the plaintiff when she went to him for counseling at 15.

Archie, who began his term as Board of Education president this month, is co-founder and senior pastor of Christian Fellowship Baptist Church at 4509 Troost Ave. in Kansas City. The lawsuit is the second in a year alleging sexual misconduct against Archie.

Archie’s actions, the lawsuit says, were “outrageous and utterly repugnant to a civilized society.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

How Much Longer Can the Vatican Avoid Priest Sex Abuse?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

The Vatican priest child abuse “cover-up denial”, that was so evident at the recent Roman Synod of Bishops, may be manageable for another year or two, but likely not much longer, even with a new Pope. International reality checks, in the form of factual and not mythical revelations, are rapidly exposing the Vatican’s latest mystical smokescreens to be the poor public relations ploys they are. So many innocent Catholic children have been raped by too many predatory priests protected by complicit Cardinals and Bishops. There are limits to trusting Catholics’ inculcated gullibility, and even an ex-FOX News pro working for the Pope can spin only so much. Facts stubbornly speak for themselves. Papal “Tweets” and “Apps” are no substitute for papal candor.

On an academic level, a promising young UK/Italian lay ecclesiologist has effectively exposed the mainly mythological foundation of the Vatican’s claim for absolute papal primacy. The recent book, “Democracy and the Christian Church”, concisely shows the scriptural, theological, philosophical and historical weaknesses of the papal claim and is accessible in part by clicking on at: http://amzn.com/0567449521

Catholics are increasingly learning that hierarchical conduct too often deviates significantly from papal propaganda. Initial Los Angeles secret abuse file revelations have exposed Cardinal Mahony’s reckless protection of known predatory priests. Criminal allegations of drug dealing against, and related cross-dressing and porn shop operation reports about, a former Bridgeport state chaplain of the Knights of Malta and top subordinate to Cardinal Egan and to Archbishop Lori, head of the Pope’s anti-Obama “religious liberty crusade”, are almost incredibly unsavory.

Moreover, reported efforts apparently to protect the secrecy of Munich and Regensburg files of the Pope and his brother, relating to alleged failures in the 1970′s to curtail a Munich predatory priest and to protect abused Regensburg choir boys, by sacking a too thorough German academic investigator, further erodes the steadily disappearing papal credibility. Ruthless attempts to silence a popular Irish priest who spoke about women and married priests, and apparently also to try to curtail an Irish priests’ “union”, are backfiring as the brave priest stands fast. Continued diatribes against gay marriage by a reported drunk driver San Francisco Archbishop appear cynical and desperate at best. Seemingly unending criminal trial disclosures about Cardinal Rigali’s Philly pedophile priest paradise continues to disgust many Catholics. Millions of U.S. Catholics have had enough and want to see these hypocritical and unaccountable actions curbed promptly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Documents Reveal Cardinal Roger Mahony Covered Up Sex Crimes By Priests

UNITED STATES
Uprising Radio

In the same week that Jewish ultra-Orthodox counselor Nechemya Weberman was sentenced to 103 years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage girl in 2007, documents were released this past Monday showing that Catholic religious leader Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Los Angeles Archdiocese knowingly conspired with other church officials to protect priests who were known to have sexually abused children in the 1980s.

The LA Archdiocese, which is the nation’s largest, had been fighting to keep the documents secret since 2007 when a $660 million dollar judgment was awarded to 500 victims of church sexual abuse. A recent LA superior court judge’s ruling however, ordered the release of 30,000 documents naming the pedophile priests despite the church’s pleas to protect their privacy.

Although all the documents have not yet been released, the ones which have, provide proof that Mahony and Monsignor Thomas J. Curry acted to protect Monsignor Peter Garcia who had bound and raped an 11 year old boy and sexually abused more than a dozen other boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Enact the Robert William Finn Atonement Act

UNITED STATES
We the People - petition site

The Robert William Finn Atonement Act would require the following:

Immediate registration with the National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR) of any religious authority (practicing on American soil) convicted of any child sexual abuse or tangentially related crime, to include criminal conviction of failure to report suspected child abuse by anyone within the oversight of a religious authority;

Immediate registration of a convicted religious authority with his/her state and/or local (where applicable) sex offender registry;

Immediate prohibition of the convicted religious authority from living or working within 1000 feet of any school, playground, church or other common gathering places for children for a minimum of 25 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

SNAP Urges Abuse Victims To Step Forward

PENNSYLVANIA
WeAreCentralPA

By: Danielle Krout

Updated: January 23, 2013

JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY--- SNAP, The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is urging the alleged victims of Brother Stephen Baker to step forward to police.

"Victims feel like they're alone they always feel like they're the only ones," said Judy Jones, SNAP Associate Director. "Once they know they're not... that helps them have the courage to speak up and come forward."

Jones spoke in Johnstown Wednesday morning outside the Public Safety Building. She said she wanted to let others know it's OK to come forward.

'My brother and several of my family members were abused by our parish priest back in Ohio growing up," said Jones. "It's why I work for SNAP and I why I am here today."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Channel 4 programme asks: do rabbis cover up abuse?

UNITED KINGDOM
The JC

By Simon Rocker, January 24, 2013

Britain’s Charedi establishment, already buffeted by allegations of sexual abuse against women by one of its senior rabbis, is about to become embroiled in fresh controversy.

Channel 4’s Dispatches strand is to broadcast an investigation next Wednesday night into claims of the sexual abuse of children within the strictly Orthodox communities of the UK.

In Britain’s Hidden Child Abuse, in secretly filmed footage, Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, the rabbinical head of the Stamford Hill-based Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, tells a man who says he was abused as a child in Stamford Hill not to go to the police.

One Orthodox community worker, aware of the programme’s contents, said its effect would be “like a tsunami”.

The footage of Rabbi Padwa was shot undercover by a man raised in Stamford Hill who says that he was “sexually abused… when I was younger” and asks whether “it is a good idea to speak to the police about it”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Doug McIntyre...

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily Nes

Doug McIntyre: Facts blow holes in Cardinal Roger Mahony's accounts

By Doug McIntyre, Columnistdailynews.com
Posted: 01/22/2013

He has index cards, says the Holy Man. And on those index cards are names. He prays in his chapel nightly for the names on those index cards.

They're the names of children molested - even raped - by priests in his charge.

"I was naive" about abuse, says the Holy Man. "I'm sorry," he says.

Which is not what he says in internal church documents, 30,000 unredacted pages worth, finally brought into the light of day after years of foot-dragging, stonewalling and legal maneuvering.

The Holy Man is the former head of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony.

In these documents we find the Smoking Cassock proving Mahony complicit in the cover-up of the worst crime short of murder, child molestation.

"This is all intolerable and unacceptable to me," Mahony wrote in 1991.

Yet he continued to tolerate it. He continued to accept it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

OH - SNAP blasts Bishop Murry’s excuses on Br. Baker

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 24, 2013

According to WFMJ, Bishop George Murry claims that the diocese “may need review to see if it could have handled the situation better.” That’s absurd.

For more than three years, he and his top aides kept secret about multiple and credible child sex crime allegations against a serial child molesting cleric. They did this even though the predator walks free and had been sent to another state where he lived, for years, among unsuspecting neighbors and families. They did this despite a decade of promises to be “open and transparent” in child sex and cover up cases. And they did this – kept silence - for five months after paying settlements to 11 wounded victims. They never disclosed a single allegation or settlement involving Br. Baker. Baker’s victims warned parents, parishioners and the public about this dangerous cleric.

It’s hard to imagine how they could have handled this sordid matter any worse. It’s clear that Bishop Murray and his staff wanted to do what Catholic officials have done for years – keep everyone in the dark until the criminal and civil statutes of limitations expired, so they could protect themselves and their reputations.

Murry essentially is trying to blame everyone else: lawyers, Fransiscans and victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

103-year sentence is what Weberman had coming

NEW YORK
New York Post

Justice arrived surely and sternly for child sex abuser Nechemya Weberman, thanks to an effective prosecution by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.

Give him and his office credit — without forgetting that it has taken far too long for victims of sex crimes in the borough’s Hasidic community to have their prosecutor fully in their corner.

Let this welcome change be a permanent one.

Weberman, 54, was sentenced Tuesday to 103 years in prison for repeatedly preying upon a young girl, starting when she was just 12.

She fell into his power when her school told her parents to send her to Weberman for counseling. At their sessions, he forced her to perform oral sex and reenact scenes from pornographic videos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

The predator and the prosecutor

NEW YORK
New York Post

There’s no understating the importance of the 103-year prison sentence imposed this week on Nechemya Weberman. A respected member of the Satmar Hasidic community, Weberman will probably die in prison now that Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Ingram threw the book at him after his conviction for sexually abusing a child he was “counseling.”

His fate is richly deserved.

The conviction wouldn’t have come without the courage of the victim, now a teenager, who defied the politically connected Orthodox sect to testify.

It was also a big win for Brooklyn DA Joe Hynes, who finally brought a sex-abuse case against a member of the insular Satmar community. Of course, only the harsh glare of the press spotlight — shone by The Post, among others — got Hynes to act.

The DA says this case marks “a sea change.” We sure hope so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

Bishop addresses slew of accusations

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WFMJ

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Diocese of Youngstown hosted a press conference Thursday morning to address the recent media attention surrounding its schools.

At the event, Bishop George Murry addressed this slew of recent accusations and the coverage surrounding them.

Murry says there are currently no credible accusations against anyone in the ministry nor any of the diocesan employees, but wants to ensure Mahoning Valley residents that the diocese takes all precautions to protect the children in their care.

The diocese was recently under fire for lawsuits with 11 men who say Franciscan Brother Stephen Baker molested them when they were boys attending school at Warren John F Kennedy.

Those suits have been settled, but over a dozen more people have come forward since the settlement went public also saying Brother Baker molested them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Catholic Bishops can still be prosecuted on a federal level

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

Kay Ebeling

Mainstream news again reports that a bishop will not be prosecuted due to the statute of limitations in one particular state.

When will some reporter somewhere realize that in every archdiocese in the country the same pattern of cover-up, and aiding and abetting of pedophile priests took place, so the crimes of the bishops happened across state lines, on a national level.

The crimes of the bishops are Federal Crimes.

So instead of we as a nation just throwing up our hands and saying the statutes of limitations are past on state and county levels, why are there no FEDERAL INDICTMENTS of bishops all across the country, since they carried out their crimes in exactly the same manner in every archdiocese across the country?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Thu. 11:18am: Bishop speaks out about JFK

OHIO
Tribune Chronicle

January 24, 2013

YOUNGSTOWN - Bishop George Murry of the Catholic Diocese says there are no current allegations of abuse against any members of the diocese.

At a news conference this morning, Murry also said he is personally reaching out to any victims of abuse by Brother Stephen Baker, a Franciscan brother who was a coach and trainer at John F. Kennedy High School in the mid-1980s.

Last week it was announced that at least 11 former students had accused Baker of sexually abusing them and that they reached a settlement with the order, diocese and the school.

Murry also said he thought the Franciscans would make the settlement public because Baker was never an employee of the diocese, but because they have not, they are asking that if anyone else is a victim of Baker that they contact civil authorities and the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Bishop vows to protect children from sexual abuse

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Youngstown Vindicator

YOUNGSTOWN

Bishop George V. Murry said Thursday he wants to reassure the people of the Mahoning Valley that the Diocese of Youngstown is taking “every possible action” to protect children from sexual abuse.

The bishop held a news conference this morning to address the recent news that 11 men settled out of court with Warren John F. Kennedy High School as a result of sexual abuse they suffered there.

The man accused of the abuse is Franciscan Brother Stephen P. Baker, who taught, coached baseball and served as athletic trainer at the school from 1986 to 1991.

“While I understand that nothing I say will eliminate their agony, I want them to know that I stand with them and will not tolerate abusive behavior from church officials,” Bishop Murry said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Priest and ex-Ottawa teacher pleads guilty to sex assault for second time in a year

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

By Teresa Smith, Ottawa Citizen January 24, 2013

OTTAWA — An elderly Catholic priest who taught at various high schools in the Ottawa region has pleaded guilty for the second time in a year to sexually assaulting a teen boy in his care.

Father Kenneth John O’Keefe, 82, pleaded guilty in a Hull courtroom this week of “indecently assaulting” a then-17-year-old boy over the course of four months between September and December, 1969.

He also pleaded guilty to “an act of gross indecency” during the same period, with the same victim, known only as G-L.B.

G-L.B. was a student at Ottawa’s St. Joseph’s Catholic School, which closed down a decade ago and reopened in a new location.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Teacher's lawyer says sex accuser 'gaming system'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
San Luis Obispo Tribune

By MARYCLAIRE DALE — Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A lawyer for a Philadelphia Catholic school ex-teacher accused of raping an altar boy says the accuser is "gaming the system" after years of drug addiction.

The lawyer says his awkward, vision-impaired client is an easy target for someone hoping to sue the Roman Catholic church.

The 24-year-old accuser says he was raped by two priests and the sixth-grade teacher, Bernard Shero.

Philadelphia prosecutors relied on the accuser to file a landmark 2011 grand jury report and charge the three men with passing the boy around.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

Katholiban und Vergewaltigung

DEUTSCHLAND
Duckhome

Geschrieben von
Jochen Hoff

Donnerstag, 24. Januar 2013

Ach ja die Katholiban. Sie sind extrem verlässlich darin, alles Schlechte was man über sie denkt und laut ausspricht, vom Vorwurf des Vorurteils zu befreien, indem sie es sofort in der schlimmsten denkbaren Form realisieren. Der Bischof von Kansas City, Robert W. Finn wurde wegen der Beihilfe zur Vertuschung von Kindesmissbrauch verurteilt.

Auch der frühere US-Erzbischof Roger M. Mahoney dürfte einer Verurteilung wegen der aktiven Vertuschung von 75 Missbrauchsfällen wohl nicht entgehen, genauso wenig wie seine Helfer. Aber beiden amerikanischen Priestern muss man zugute halten, dass sie lediglich Schaden von ihrer Kirche abwenden wollten. Der ehemalige Bischof von Regensburg Müller, hat aber den Pfarrer von Riekhofen bewusst und nach eigener Aussage in seiner alleinigen Verantwortung nachdem er bereits wegen Kindesmissbrauch in Viehtach auffällig und verurteilt wurde in Riekhofen eine neue Pfarrtselle und damit die Gelegenheit zum erneuten Kindesmissbrauch gegeben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

"Der nächste Hammer …"

DEUTSCHLAND
domradio

Laut der neuen Milieustudie fordern Katholiken aller Lebenswelten die Kirche zu Änderungen auf. domradio.de-Chefredakteur Ingo Brüggenjürgen meint dazu: "Es braucht keine weiteren klugen Analysen und Papiere, sondern den Mut zum Aufbruch!"

Gerade erst hat das vorzeitige Ende der "Pfeiffer-Studie" zur Aufklärung des sexuellen Missbrauchs die Gemüter erregt, da kommt für die Kirche der nächste Hammer. Die neue Sinus-Milieu-Studie der katholischen Kirche hat es in sich: Die befragten Katholiken, gerade auch die treuesten Anhänger, leiden unter dem Umgang mit den Missbrauchsfällen. Der Priestermangel und die großen Seelsorgeeinheiten sowie wenig sprachkundige Priester aus fernen Ländern werden nicht als gute Lösungen angesehen. Themen wie "Stellung der Frau", "Zölibat", "Pastoral an wiederverheirateten Geschiedenen" und "Sexualmoral der Kirche" sind nicht die Themen der bösen Medienschaffenden, sondern werden von den Katholiken selber nicht länger geduldig ertragen, sondern offen angesprochen und vielfach kritisiert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

Liebe Deinen Nächsten...

OSTERREICH
Kurier

"Liebe deinen Nächsten, wie dich selbst", heißt es in der Bibel. Ein Pater aus Vorarlberg hat das Zitat über Jahre hinweg zu wörtlich genommen und sehr frei interpretiert. Zudem hat er Liebe mit sexuellem Missbrauch verwechselt.

Pater Johannes aus dem Bregenzer Kloster Mehrerau soll mehrere Kinder sexuell missbraucht und vergewaltigt haben. Als Lehrer und Regens des Kloster-Gymnasiums. Der Mann ist geständig und wurde dennoch nie dafür verurteilt.

Das Kloster muss von seiner Vergangenheit gewusst haben. Jahrzehntelang wurde darüber geschwiegen. Was Pater Johannes wiederum ermöglichte, Kinder zu missbrauchen. Bereits 1968 war Pater Johannes wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs eines Kindes bedingt zu vier Monaten schweren Kerkers verurteilt worden. Anfang der 1970er-Jahre wurde er dennoch als Lehrer im Stiftsgymnasium aufgenommen. Das Zisterzienser-Stift ließ den Pädophilen wieder auf Kinder los. Erst im Jahr 2004 kam seine pädophile Neigung erneut ans Tageslicht. Der Polizei gestand Pater Johannes, von etwa 1970 bis 1982 "fünf bis zehn Schüler wiederholt sexuell missbraucht" zu haben. Das Gericht musste ihn dennoch ziehen lassen. Wegen Verjährung. Trotz Geständnisses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Ex-priest seeks bond reduction, suppression

LOUISIANA
NECN

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A former priest accused of molesting boys asked the court to reduce his bond and suppress his statement to police.

The American Press reports ( ) the motions were two of six filed Wednesday by Mark Anthony Broussard.

Broussard is being held at the Calcasieu Correctional Center on $3.42 million bond.

The motion to suppress his statement was on Wednesday's docket, but both sides met for a pretrial conference at which the dates were set. A hearing on the motions is set for April 10.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Assignment Record – Brother Stephen P. Baker, T.O.R.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: A Third Order Regular Franciscan brother, Baker was a religion teacher, baseball coach and athletic trainer at high schools in Youngstown, OH and Johnstown, PA; he was also assigned at some point earlier in his career to a high school and boys' home in Norfolk, VA. Baker is said to have sexually abused "dozens, if not hundreds" of former students. His modus operandi is said to have been to tell male athletes they needed massages to prevent injuries, then to proceed to rub them down with oils, including their genitals. He is also accused of digitally penetrating them. Former students have said he would grope them in hallways and during religion class. One former female student has reported that he requested she show up for treatment of a sports injury in loose fitting clothing and no underwear. Baker was the subject of a 2012 settlement with eleven of his accusers. He is said by a superior to have been removed from ministry "long before 2010."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Former town priest to be sentenced for assault on young girl

NORTHERN IRELAND
Lurgan Mail

A FORMER Lurgan priest, who pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a young girl, is to face sentencing next week.

Fr Terence Rafferty, who had been a priest in St Peter’s Parish in Lurgan, was convicted at Craigavon Crown Court before Christmas on four counts of indecent assault relating to offences in 2001.

He was due to appear before Craigavon Magistrates Court last Friday however the case was adjourned until January 31.

The former Administrator of Newry Cathedral, whose address was given as Chestnut Grove, Newry, had five other offences of indecent assault between December 2000 and January 2002 left on the books.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

Pa. jurors won't hear from accused priest, teacher

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Albany Times Union

By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

Updated 10:56 am, Thursday, January 24, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest and an ex-teacher charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy won't testify at their trial, which will soon move to closing arguments.

The case hinges on the credibility of the accuser, a 24-year-old policeman's son and longtime heroin addict.

His accounts of being raped in about 1999 by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, teacher Bernard Shero and a now-defrocked priest have changed significantly over time.

A church social worker has testified that the accuser initially said he had been violently attacked for hours by one man, punched by another and tied up by a third.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

EDITORIAL: Langworthy's 'no jail time' is example of how system works (unfortunately)

MISSISSIPPI
Clarion-Ledger

Editorial

There sometimes appears to be no such thing as fairness in the courts when sentencing is involved — ironic since our systems are set up to foster that very thing.

But take the John Langworthy case as an example. The former Clinton church music minister and school choir director pleaded guilty this week to five felony counts of gratification of lust for molesting children almost 30 years ago.

Langworthy will serve no time in prison for molesting the children, a fact that seems outrageous for the heinous crimes. Consider only that former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky received last year 30 to 60 years in prison — effectively a life sentence — from a Pennsylvania judge for the sexual abuse of 10 boys.

Sandusky, of course, did not plea bargain. He was convicted by a jury on 45 of 48 counts related to the sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year period.

Langworthy, a longtime Clinton school district choir director and former music minister at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, entered a guilty plea before Hinds Circuit Court Judge Bill Gowan to five counts of an eight-count indictment. The guilty pleas were part of a plea agreement with the Hinds County district attorney’s office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Diocese of Youngstown Responds to Inaccurate Report in the Tribune Chronicle

OHIO
Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown

January 18, 2013

The story in today’s Tribune Chronicle claiming that the Trumbull County Children Services Board did not receive notification from the Diocese of Youngstown about Brother Stephen Baker, who has been accused of abusing 11 former students at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, is inaccurate.

The fact is that once the Diocese received sufficient information to make a report from the attorney representing the alleged victims, a letter was sent by Diocesan legal counsel to the Trumbull County Children Services Board.

Although Ohio State law does not require the reporting of allegation when the victims are presently adults, it is the policy of the Diocese to make such a report. This policy was followed in this case.

We regret that inaccurate information was published in the Tribune Chronicle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Murry Apologizes for Friar Abuse Allegations

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WYTV

Youngstown Diocese Bishop George Murry apologized Thursday to alleged victims of sexual abuse by a Franciscan friar who abused teenage boys during his tenures at Warren’s John F. Kennedy High School and at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, Pa.

It was the first time Murry directly addressed questions about the abuse accusations that came to light last week when Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian announced 10 former JFK students and a former St. Mary’s students reached high-five figure settlements with the diocese, JFK and the T.O.R. Franciscan Order.

Since, more than 35 former students at JFK and Bishop McCort have come forward and alleged friar Stephen P. Baker sexually molested them under the guise of treating sports-related injuries at the schools.

Garabedian said on Thursday a teacher at one of the schools, that eventually committed suicide in Canada, was aware of the abuse allegations and instructed at least one student to stay away from Baker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Meet Lynn Caffoe, the Garden Grove Pedo-Priest Whom the Orange Diocese Didn't Reveal for Decades

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

[Caffoe file - BishopAccountability.org]

[Documents Selected and Highlighted on the AbusedInSoCal.com Website
Caffoe 1975 – Manning's Chancellor Rawden Keeps Caffoe, Overly Affectionate with Altarboys, in Parish]

[Other Information
Summary of Caffoe's Personnel File, in the Addendum Released by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2005
Information on Caffoe's Assignments and Allegations, in the Database Compiled by the LA Times
Cheat Sheet on Caffoe by AbusedInSoCal.com
Secrecy and Reluctant Revelation in the Los Angeles Archdiocese: The Example of the Rev. Lynn Caffoe File]

By Gustavo Arellano
Thu., Jan. 24 2013

In 1975, Lynn Caffoe, a priest at St. Callistus Church in Garden Grove, approached officials at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles with a curious demand: he wanted to leave because he had just molested a boy.

The Diocese of Orange had yet to be born, so each of Orange County's Catholic churches fell under the domain of LA Cardinal Timothy Manning and his right-hand man, Monsignor John A. Rawden. The two already knew that one of Caffoe's superiors had already complained that they should keep an eye on the young priest lest he spend "too much time with the chosen few," according to church documents. And who might that be? The same report said he has a "tendency to gather younger ones around."

So when parents at St. Callistus went to Rawden to complain that Caffoe had been "overly affectionate to some of the altar boys," what did Rawden do? Side with the pervert.

Caffoe, according to a document included in the LA archdiocese's recent document dump of priest personnel files, "wanted an immediate transfer in spite of the fact that he claimed innocence of the charge. He felt it better for the well being of the parish."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Action Alert: Important Milwaukee Archdiocese Bankruptcy Court Hearing

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

Action Alert: Important Milwaukee Archdiocese Bankruptcy Court Hearing Thursday January 24, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: Milwaukee Federal Courthouse, 517 E. Wisconsin Avenue

In Federal Bankruptcy Court on Thursday January 24, Judge Susan V. Kelley will rule on four cases that could determine if the remaining 570 victim/survivors who have filed cases will be allowed to proceed. Last month, lawyers for the archdiocese sought to dismiss these cases. Kelley heard arguments but declined to issue a ruling and is likely to do so tomorrow. The archdiocese, by objecting to these four claims, is seeking, in principle, to dismiss nearly every one of the cases filed. (For details, see the press advisory from last month when the ruling was first expected.)

The archdiocese has also just filed another 157 case objections, this time based on the argument that they have no responsibility for religious order offenders, even though most of these individuals were officially assigned to the archdiocese to work in parishes and schools and could only work here with the direct consent and supervision of the archbishop. It’s not sure if Kelley will start hearing arguments on this issue tomorrow. There has not been sufficient time for victims’ attorneys and the Creditors Committee to submit their written response to the court. An eventual ruling for victim/survivors on this crucial issue, however, would be a major step in bringing accountability, transparency and public safety concerning scores of religious order child molesters who have harmed children while working for the archdiocese. (NB: Some of these claims objections also include lay employees and volunteers from the archdiocese who committed sex crimes against children.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

L’ancien curé nie les accusations de viol

FRANCE - REUNION
Linfo

L’ancien curé des paroisses de Sainte-Rose et de Bras-Panon qui est accusé d’avoir agressé sexuellement de jeunes paroissiens nie catégoriquement les faits graves qui lui sont reprochés.

Depuis ce mardi après-midi, le Tribunal Correctionnel de Saint-Denis examine une affaire très sensible qui a ébranlé l’Eglise de La Réunion. Le Parquet a requis aujourd’hui une peine de six ans de prison à l’encontre de Michel Tual.

Michel Tual, cet ancien prêtre qui a officié durant près de dix ans dans les paroisses de Sainte-Rose et de Bras-Panon est jugé pour des faits d’agression sexuelle sur des mineurs de moins de 15 ans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

McCort graduates had suspicions against former teacher

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

[with video]

By Maria Miller

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. —

It's been a week since sex abuse allegations surfaced in Johnstown involving a Franciscan brother who worked at Bishop McCort in the 1990s. Students have come forward alleging abuse took place while brother Baker worked at the school as a religion teacher and athletic trainer.

6 News learned Wednesday that Baker also held teaching positions at a middle school in Ohio and a boys home in Virginia.

The Catholic Diocese of Altoona - Johnstown admitted last week that Bishop Mark Bartchak first heard allegations against Baker in 2011. Before that, it's not clear as to who knew what and when. But the Boston attorney representing several alleged victims said he's working to find that answer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Michel Tual condamné à 5 ans de prison

FRANCE - REUNION
Linfo

Au terme de plusieurs heures de délibérations, le Tribunal Correctionnel de Saint-Denis a condamné l’ancien curé Michel Tual à une peine de cinq ans de prison, le jugeant coupable d’agressions sexuelles sur des mineurs.

Il est arrivé libre au Palais de Justice de Champ-Fleuri mais c’est en prison que Michel Tual dormira ce soir.

Le Parquet avait requis cet après-midi à son encontre une peine de six mois de prison avec mandat de dépôt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Témoignage d’une victime du père Tual

FRANCE - REUNION
Linfo

Hier, les victimes de l’ancien curé de Bras Panon ont dû affronter l’homme qui les a fait souffrir durant leur enfance. Une épreuve difficile qui a fait remonter bien des souvenirs douloureux. Un jeune homme a accepté de témoigner.

Aujourd’hui adulte, Martin (prénom d’emprunt) attendait la vérité lors du procès de Michel Tual. Le jeune homme a été surpris par le comportement du prévenu qui a nié en bloc les faits graves qui lui sont reprochés. L’attitude de l’ancien curé de Bras Panon et de Sainte-Rose a choqué les victimes présentes à l’audience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Vatican Terror on Galileo, priests and the poor, women and children

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Paris Arrow

Updated January 23, 2013

8 SUGGESTIONS on how to publicly defy and stop Benedict XVI excommunication of Fr. Flannery

Italian Galileo & Irish Tony Flannery: parallel victims of Vatican Last Tsar Benedict XVI Tyranny

In the 17th Century, Galileo offered the Pope and the Vatican Inquisition to look at the telescope “a thousand times” but they refused. By using merely their naked eyes to look at the planets, they doggedly insisted that ‘the Earth is the center of the universe and that the Sun revolved around the Earth’ - based on the Bible alone, and they shamed and condemned Galileo for his scientific beliefs. The rest is history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Vatican Billions: its history, sources, and assets today worldwide.

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Paris Arrow

BOYCOTT the Vatican Museum and boycott ALL donations to the Vatican Catholic Church Reign of Terror

Vatican Assets in England and in the United States of America

Vatican assets in London

- premises of Bulgari, the upmarket jewellers in New Bond Street

- headquarters of the wealthy investment bank Altium Capital, on the corner of St James's Square

- Pall Mall

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Jurors could hear from accused priest, ex-teacher

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NECN

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest and ex-teacher charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy could testify Thursday as the two-week Philadelphia trial nears an end.

The case hinges on the credibility of the accuser, a 24-year-old policeman's son and longtime heroin addict.

His accounts of being raped in about 1999 by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, teacher Bernard Shero and a now-defrocked priest have changed significantly over time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Pittsburgh diocese issues alert about another priest

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Democrat

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is alerting parishioners that a priest accused of molesting a New Hampshire teen in the 1980s once served in western Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported earlier this month that the Rev. Michael Ledoux resigned as dean of secular Widener University in July after school officials learned he was accused of abusing the boy decades earlier. Ledoux has denied wrongdoing and was never criminally charged by New Hampshire authorities, though his Franciscan order settled a related lawsuit in 2002 and banned him from public ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

La madres de los "niños robados" ...

ESPANA
La Informacion

La madres de los "niños robados" seguirán adelante con sus demandas ante la Justicia

Madrid, 24 ene (EFE).- La presidenta de Sos Bebés Robados, María Cruz Rodrigo, ha asegurado hoy que los afectados seguirán adelante con sus demandas ante la Justicia, aunque la religiosa María Gómez Valbuena, conocida como "Sor María", imputada en dos casos de "niños robados", haya fallecido.

"Si de verdad creía en Dios, cosa que algunas veces dudo, entonces tendría que haber dicho lo que hizo", ha indicado Rodrigo, quien se ha mostrado convencida de que "sor María" era una pieza dentro de una trama dedicada al robo de niños.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Murió Sor María: La monja imputada por el robo de bebés en Madrid

ESPANA
Puranoticia

La religiosa María Gómez Valbuena, conocida como «sor María», ha fallecido en Madrid, según han confirmado a ABC fuentes del convento de las Hijas de la Caridad de San Vicente Paúl que no han querido dar más detalles sobre su muerte. Al parecer la muerte se habría producido el martes y fue enterrada ayer.

Sor María, que a sus 87 años sufría de diversos problemas de salud, estaba imputada por el presunto robo de bebés en clínicas madrileñas por los delitos de detención ilegal y falsedad en documento público. Había sido citada para declarar el pasado 18 de enero tras la denuncia de Purificación Betegón por la supuesta desaparición de dos gemelas nacidas en la clínica Santa Cristina en 1981, pero la declaración fue aplazada por motivos de salud. El abogado de la religiosa presentó unos informes médicos en el Juzgado de Instrucción número 50 de Madrid para solicitar el aplazamiento. Según informó el letrado de la demandante, Alipio Barbero, los documentos alegaban una «insuficencia cardíaca».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Nun in Catholic Spanish baby trafficking case dies

SPAIN
Times LIVE (South Africa)

An 87-year-old Spanish nun accused of trafficking in newborns in the 1980s, a practice believed to date from the Franco dictatorship, has died, her convent said.

Sister Maria Gomez Valbuena in April last year was the first person to go before a judge over the "stolen babies" scandal.

General Francisco Franco's regime allowed children to be taken from their parents on moral or ideological grounds, and the practice allegedly continued for profit for years after his death in 1975.

Asked about press reports that she had died on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul convent said: "Yes indeed, but we do not have more information."

Sister Maria had been scheduled to appear in court for questioning for a second time last week but the hearing was postponed indefinitely because of her poor health.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Catholics, Come Home to Naïveté or the Truth?

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

The Roman Catholic Church in the United States is spending a bucketload of Catholic cash on the Catholics Come Home advertising campaign currently running in a number of media markets.

The Church has also spent incredible amounts of Catholic cash on attorneys and public relations firm to suppress, hide, and delay making public what the Catholic hierarchy and their aides and chancery staffs did with their knowledge of sexual abuse of children and minors.

Now in Los Angeles comes the deluge.

The deluge of the documents that as part of the 2007 clergy sexual abuse victims’ $660 million settlement were to be made – and now are being made – public.

But not before the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press joined forces to bring pressure to bear for the agreement for the records to be made public. And not before the Archdiocese of Los Angeles tried a last minute desperate effort to Swiss cheese the documents of the names of those in authority. The ploy didn’t work thanks to a stand-up judge who simply asked the question: don’t Catholics have a right to know what happened in their Church?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Some clarifications of stories that are doing the rounds in the Media.

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Tony Flannery

Some clarifications of stories that are doing the rounds in the Media.
1. The Irish Catholic says that I am not threatened with excommunication.
In June of last year, 2012 I received a document from the CDF which contained the following paragraph:

“The Church’s canon law (c. 1044) calls a priest who has committed the delict of heresy ‘irregular for the exercise of orders received’, while canon 1364 says that ‘a heretic … incurs a latae sentientiae excommunication’. Before imposing the sanctions provided for in the law, it is the practice of the CDF to take steps to restore a priest to the faith, and to ensure that he is not in a state of contumacy regarding the position(s) he may have taken. Only should these remedies fail would the canonical penalties be required”

I am not a theologian, but to me that definitely reads like a threat. If the Vatican has now decided to withdraw that threat I would be very glad. Though I would be happier still if they allowed me to continue my ministry as a priest. But if that is the case I would like to get it in writing from the CDF, but this time on official paper and with a signature! Hearing it from that classic journalistic cliché of an ‘informed source’ telling the editor of a minor Irish newspaper is not totally convincing.

2. The second issue is what exactly the argument between me and the Vatican was about.
It is correct that at first it concerned a few sentences taken for various articles I had written in Reality Magazine over the years, to do with the origins of Church and priesthood. During the early part of last year I worked on this, and in June presented the following statement to the CDF through the head of the Redemptorists:

Since some concerns have been raised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith over possible interpretations of articles I have written in the past few years. I respectfully take this opportunity to clarify my views and to offer the reassurance necessary to lay those concerns fully to rest. Such words as I have written were written in good faith with absolutely no intent whatever to imply anything contrary to the truths we are all obliged to hold by the divine and catholic faith to which I fully adhere and to which I have always adhered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

To have Fr. Tony Flannery returned to his priestly ministry

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

We have created a petition to to have Fr. Tony Flannery returned to his priestly ministry

This will be sent to The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Vatican says rebel priest 'is not facing expulsion'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Michael Kelly

Thursday January 24 2013

THERE is "no question" of Fr Tony Flannery facing excommunication, senior Vatican sources have said.

And the sources also insisted that the case hinges on whether the Redemptorist priest accepts the church's teaching on the nature of the priesthood.

The outspoken cleric, who has already been banned from ministering, claims he is facing excommunication for suggesting women might become priests in the future.

During a press conference in Dublin at the weekend, Fr Flannery (66) said he had been told by the Vatican that if he wants to remain in the church he must end his involvement with the liberal Association of Catholic Priests, of which he is a founder member.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Ex-Mountain Priest Linked to Molestation

CALIFORNIA
Mountain News

By Glenn Barr, Reporter

An allegation of child molestation which church officials believe to be credible has been raised against Father Tim Keppel, the former long-time pastor of Catholic churches in Crest Park and Running Springs.

The allegation surfaced in a letter read by Father Leonard Krzywda to parishioners attending all Masses at both Our Lady of the Lake and St. Anne’s in the Mountains on the weekend of Jan. 12 and 13. This newspaper obtained a copy of that letter.

It states that the Congregation of the Resurrection—the church order to which Father Keppel belongs—had received information about an incident of sexual misconduct involving a minor that involved Keppel.

“The case is alleged to have occurred in the late 1970s here in the Diocese of San Bernardino involving a minor who was not a member of your parishes,” says the letter, printed on the Congregation’s letterhead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Abuse case against Phila. priest and former teacher nears its end

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013

After eight days of testimony, the Philadelphia jury in the child sex-assault trial of a priest and a former parochial-school teacher is expected to hear its final witnesses Thursday.

Common Pleas Court Judge Ellen Ceisler told jurors Wednesday that they would begin deliberations this week.

The judge's comments ended a day in which 20 defense witnesses testified for the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero.

What remains unknown is whether either man will testify in his defense for the alleged serial rape of a 10-year-old altar boy in 1998 and 1999 at St. Jerome's church in Northeast Philadelphia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

"Billy Doe" Told Catholic Social Workers Wild Stories About Violent Sex Attacks From Predators


PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for bigtrial.net

Before he ever told his story to detectives, the district attorney, the grand jury, or the jury in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse case, "Billy Doe" gave an interview to a couple of social workers from the archdiocese.

And the story he told was pretty wild, and full of violence. According to one of the social workers, Billy claimed a predator priest sat on his chest, cutting off his air, before the priest pummeled the 10-year-old altar boy with hours of anal sex. Billy told the social worker another predator priest punched him in the face and knocked him out, and when he woke up, the boy was naked and tied up with altar sashes. Billy also claimed a Catholic teacher punched him in the face, and wrapped a seat belt around his neck before raping him.

By the time Billy Doe told his story to authorities, all the violence and wild details were gone. The jury in the archdiocese sex abuse case may have to figure out why.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

The price of conscience

IRELAND
Irish Times

It is sad but hardly surprising that Tony Flannery should, at this stage of his life, be silenced, removed from ministry and threatened with excommunication. Following on from Vatican II, the Catholic Church’s influence has waned in western societies because of sexual and financial scandals. But a determined effort is now being made by Vatican authorities to impose orthodoxy. Fr Flannery with a number of colleagues and members of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) are under threat due to their insistence on the importance of personal conscience.

Fr Flannery has written of an era of great openness in the church after Vatican II, when freedom of thought and conscience existed and priests were able to present the message of Christ in a way that addressed the reality of people’s lives. In time, as authority became more centralised in the Vatican, priests were sanctioned, silenced and dismissed because they would not “toe the line”. Orthodoxy was the imperative, he wrote. Allowing people to think for themselves was seen by a significant core of the church as dangerous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Redemptorists dispute priest's claim

IRELAND
Irish Times

COLIN GLEESON

The head of Redemptorists in Rome yesterday released a statement in which he expressed his "deep regret" at the recent actions of Irish priest Fr Tony Flannery, and disputed the reasons he has given for his clash with the Vatican.

Fr Flannery told a press conference on Sunday he had been threatened with excommunication by Rome's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for refusing to recant his more liberal views on church teachings concerning women priests, contraception and homosexuality.

Superior General of the Redemptorists Most Rev Fr Michael Brehl said yesterday however that his "deep regret" at the actions of Fr Flannery related not to these views, but to "some of the writings of Fr Flannery which were ambiguous regarding fundamental areas of Catholic doctrine".

These "fundamental areas" include "the priesthood, the nature of the Church, and the Eucharist", said Fr Brehl. "He was instructed to undertake a period of prayer and theological reflection to clarify his positions on these matters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

US judge orders Catholic organisation to release documents

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Irish Examiner

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A US judge ordered the unsealing of documents related to a disgraced Catholic organisation called the Legion of Christ as it faces questions about its relationship to wealthy elderly patrons, but the religious order immediately moved to block it.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein called the public’s right to fully scrutinise the documents “paramount”.

The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Providence Journal and the National Catholic Reporter had asked the judge to unseal the documents, which are from a lawsuit filed by a woman contesting the will of a wealthy aunt who left the Legion of Christ US$60m (€45m).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

RI judge orders Legion of Christ papers unsealed

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Wall Street Journal

Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A judge on Wednesday ordered the unsealing of documents related to a disgraced Roman Catholic organization called the Legion of Christ as it faces questions about its relationship to wealthy elderly patrons, but the religious order immediately moved to block it.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein called the public's right to fully scrutinize the documents "paramount."

The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Providence Journal and the National Catholic Reporter had asked the judge to unseal the documents, which are from a lawsuit filed by a woman contesting the will of a wealthy aunt who left the Legion of Christ $60 million. The media organizations' attorney, Joseph Cavanagh, argued the documents could shed light on the Legion's operations and there was no justification to seal them.

The Legion, founded in Mexico City in 1941, calls itself a religious congregation of pontifical right and says its mission involves "extending the Kingdom of Christ in society," according to its website. The Vatican took over the Legion in 2010 after determining that its late founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, had sexually molested seminarians and fathered three children by two women. The Legion has faced other complaints, including one from someone who claims to be one of Maciel's children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Key ruling expected Thursday in Archdiocese bankruptcy case

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

WHO/WHAT
Victim/survivors of childhood sexual abuse by clergy of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, including leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org/SNAPwisconsin.com) will be joined by victim/claimants in the Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy hearing to discuss Judge Susan V. Kelley’s court ruling that may well determine the admissibility or dismissal of the majority of 570 cases filed by victims into the court. At issue is whether the majority of cases, charging the archdiocese with fraud by concealing and transferring known child sex offender clerics, were filed within Wisconsin’s statute of limitations. The ruling, expected in a hearing last month (see details here), was delayed by Kelley until Thursday.

Also discussed will be other recent key developments emerging from the bankruptcy court, including the rejection of the use of the first amendment by Judge Kelly to prohibit the court from examining former Archbishop, now New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s controversial and potentially fraudulent transfer of 55 million dollars into a so-called “cemetery trust” to shield assets from victims. And it was discovered last week that top archdiocesan officials for almost two months refused to turn over criminal evidence in a current and active child sex abuse investigation in Fond du Lac, telling law enforcement that Judge Kelley’s bankruptcy court prohibited them from doing so, a patently false claim.

Finally, the archdiocese has filed this week a motion for Kelly to dismiss 157 victim cases because they involve religious order sex offenders, based on the argument that the archdiocese has no responsibility for religious orders, even though most of these individuals must be officially assigned to the archdiocese and can only work in parishes and schools with the direct consent and supervision of the archbishop.

WHEN
Thursday, January 24th. Court hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
On the front steps of the Federal Courthouse, 517 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, after the hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Newly Released Files on Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal

CALIFORNIA
KEYT

Written by Shirin Rajaee

Santa Barbara- Some confidential files released this week on clergy sex abuse in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, reveal ties to at least one prominent local religious figure. For years, the Catholic Church has fought to keep these files secret, but the documents that date back to the 1980's are revealing. They clearly show how Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and a top adviser, Bishop Thomas Curry, who now presides over the Santa Barbara region plotted to hide child molestation by priests, from reaching the police.

Santa Barbara Attorney, Tim Hale, who represents a number of the 500 abuse victims says that there were discussions in these memos where church leaders would knowingly give the abusive priests out of the area assignments to keep them from being exposed, and kept them from seeing psychologists, in case the therapist alerted police.

Father James Ford who was assigned to many locations in the area, is one of the abusers that Mahony and Curry were covering up for.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

'Unique case' calls for gov't 'intrusion'

LOS ANGELES (CA)
OneNewsNow

Becky Yeh - California correspondent (OneNewsNow.com)
Thursday, January 24, 2013

Concerning the cover-up of sex abuse in the Lost Angeles Archdiocese, a Christian attorney says a little government "intrusion" is necessary to ensure that justice be served.

Prosecutors who were unable to build a case against leaders of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are now reviewing internal church documents that were recently released. According to the Los Angeles Times, the files show how church leaders protected molester priests and sought to hide information from other church leaders. The documents reveal that retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and church hierarchy failed to discipline pedophile priests, even though they were aware there were other victims.

Bob Tyler of Advocates for Faith & Freedom says this case calls for unusual measures.

"In this case, the victims certainly deserve justice. However, a judge needs to decide whether that includes publicly identifying those individuals who may have known about the abuse but did nothing about it," he asserts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Roger Mahony's Apology for Abuse Cover-Up Not Enough, say Victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KCET

[video]

Recently discovered letters from the 1980s cast a new and disturbing light on the L.A. Archdiocese and its former archbishop, Cardinal Roger Mahony. They strongly suggest that Mahony actively conspired to keep suspected pedophile priests away from the police, even going so far as to send a priest out of state to elude authorities. Mahony has apologized -- again. But now there are fresh calls for prosecution.

Manny Vega of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) tells Madeleine his devastating story of abuse and what he thinks should be the fate of Mahony and the other priests involved in this scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

The Release of the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s Records ...

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Justia Verdict

[Archive of Los Angeles Archdiocesan Documents - BishopAccountability.org]

Marci A. Hamilton

The Release of the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s Records Relating to Clergy Child Sex Abuse: The Insights It Reveals, and Why the Justice System Deserves Great Credit Here

The Earth moved in Los Angeles recently, without a flicker of the Richter scale. Files of the Los Angeles Archdiocese were released as part of a civil case in which members of the hierarchy were named, and their unforgivable actions described in their own words. These men knew about child-predator priests who gravely harmed dozens, if not hundreds, of victims, and they never once called the police before the year 2000. Instead, they helped one pedophile priest escape the country, suggested sending another to a therapist who was also a lawyer so as to ensure that attorney-client privilege would apply, and let another simply melt into the general population after returning from treatment. The details, reported by The Los Angeles Times,are nauseating.

These files are just the beginning of the earthshaking information still to be released in Los Angeles, as the revelations I have described above are from just one individual case. Soon, the files that were supposed to be released as part of the massive 2007 settlement between 550 survivors and the Archdiocese will also become public. While the Archdiocese pushed hard to have the names of the members of the hierarchy redacted in those files, the press fought back in court and won. Now, these additional files will be also released, and likely will be just as searing as the few just now released.

I know, I know. At this point in history, learning that bishops failed to protect children from priest child predators is something that, to quote Capt. Reynaud in Casablanca, “I’m shocked, shocked to find.” The bigger picture though, is where I would like my reader to look now. The truth about child sex abuse in our culture is pouring in; where did it come from?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Downtown Protest Held Over Alleged Predator Priest

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA

[with video]

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A priest who once served in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is accused in the alleged molestation of a boy in New Hampshire in the 1980s.

Fr. Michael Ledoux was a principal at Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport and pastor of St. Pamphilus in Beechview.

Fr. Ledoux resigned from his post at a university outside Philadelphia after the allegations surfaced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Diocese of Pittsburgh ...

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Diocese of Pittsburgh to send letters to 2 parishes after priest accused of abuse in New Hampshire

January 24, 2013

By Ann Rodgers / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Parishioners at two churches and alumni of Serra Catholic High School will receive letters asking whether anyone was harmed by a Franciscan priest who served in the 1990s and is accused of molesting a New Hampshire high school student in the 1980s.

Father Michael Ledoux, 55, was pastor of St. Pamphilus in Beechview from 1993 to 1995, principal of Serra in McKeesport from 1995 to 2000 and said Mass at St. Angela Merici in White Oak in 1999 and 2000, said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

"While the allegation was reported to the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003, the Diocese of Pittsburgh was not informed until recently," he said. "No allegation was made to us at all while he was in Pittsburgh."

Father Ledoux has been banned from ministry since the Franciscan Friars of the Province of the Immaculate Conception settled his case in 2002. In 2003, he became dean of secular Widener University near Philadelphia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Überforderte Ingenbohler Schwestern quälten Zöglinge

SCHWEIZ
Sudostschweiz

Ein unabhängiger Expertenbericht bestätigt, dass Ingenbohler Schwestern zwischen 1928 und 1970 Heimzöglingen Leid zugefügt haben. Der Bericht geht auch auf die miserablen Bedingungen ein, unter denen die Schwestern bis zur Erschöpfung arbeiteten.

Ingenbohl SZ. – Die vom Kloster beauftragte Expertengruppe hat am Mittwoch nach zweijähriger Arbeit ihren Bericht vorgestellt. Auslöser war der 2010 ausgestrahlten Dokumentarfilm «Das Kinderzuchthaus» von Beat Bieri. Darin geht es um die Erziehungsanstalt Rathausen bei Luzern, in der - neben vielen anderen Heimen - Ingenbohler Schwestern tätig waren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Gericht kippt Verjährung von Missbrauch

OSTERREICH
Kurier

Eine kleine juristische Sensation kündigt sich in Vorarlberg an. Zwei ehemalige Schüler des Klosterinternats Mehrerau in Bregenz haben 2012 wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs durch einen Pater geklagt. Das Kloster hat sich damals auf Verjährung berufen. Dies kommt für das Landesgericht Feldkirch nicht infrage. „Das Gericht hat von der Möglichkeit Gebrauch gemacht, die Verjährungseinrede in beiden Fällen nicht anzunehmen“, sagt Gerichtssprecher Reinhard Flatz.

Die beiden Fälle sind ähnlich gelagert, aber doch von unterschiedlicher juristischer Tragweite. Ein ehemaliger Zögling, 58, gibt an, bereits 1968 im Vorarlberger Eliteinternat von Pater B. sexuell missbraucht worden zu sein. Der andere ehemalige Mehrerau-Schüler, 46, soll 1982 ebenfalls Opfer sexueller Übergriffe durch denselben Pater geworden sein. Im Fall von 1968 liegt ein psychologisches Gutachten vor, dass der Missbrauchte durch die Traumatisierung erst jetzt über die Vorfälle sprechen könne. Im anderen Fall waren die 30 Jahre Verjährungsfrist im Zivilverfahren ohnehin nicht erreicht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Würzburg: Bischöfe berieten über Eklat um Missbrauchsstudie

DEUTSCHLAND
kathweb

Zum Abschluss des Treffens gab es keine öffentliche Erklärung zur weiteren Vorgehensweise

23.01.2013

München (KAP) Der Ständige Rat der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz (DBK) hat am Dienstagabend seine zweitägige Krisensitzung in Würzburg beendet. Die Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchsskandals nach dem Zerwürfnis der Bischöfe mit dem Kriminologen Christian Pfeiffer stand im Mittelpunkt. Das Thema wird die DBK auch in den nächsten Monaten intensiv beschäftigen. Zum Abschluss des Treffens gab es keine öffentliche Erklärung zur weiteren Vorgehensweise.

Innerhalb der DBK forderte der Eichstätter Bischof Gregor Hanke Selbstkritik. Man müsse sich der Frage stellen, warum man die Probleme, an denen die Zusammenarbeit der Bischöfe mit Pfeiffer letztendlich gescheitert waren, "nicht schon am Anfang" in den Blick genommen habe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Scholar addresses clerical abuses

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Loyolan

Dr. C. Colt Anderson, the Fordham University Dean of the Graduate School of Religion, presented a talk on “Lessons of History: What Can the Church of the Middle Ages Teach Us about the Modern Sex-Abuse Scandal?” this past Wednesday in Ahmanson Auditorium. He spoke with the Loyolan before the event.

Jenna Andou (JA): If a priest from a century ago learned about the realities of sexual abuse in the Church today, what would they say?

C. Colt Anderson (CA): They would probably say that they had similar problems. If you study Church history, you can see that these problems have always been around – they get worse and they get better.

JA: How would you define modern sexual abuse?

CA: I would use St. Peter Damian’s category – he says that sexual abuse is spiritual incest. It is a similar betrayal, but it is even worse because the priest’s role is supposed to be someone of absolute trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Where’s he been?: SNAP traces path of accused friar

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott kmellott@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — An advocacy group aimed at bringing greater accountability to Catholic church leaders in dealing with child sexual abuse by priests is mapping where Brother Stephen Baker has been during the past three decades and pushing to make sure he has no access to children.

Much of the background of Baker, a Franciscan friar, remains a mystery.

That has led to speculation that incidents of his alleged abuse of children – particularly boys – may reach into the hundreds, said Judy Jones, a St. Louis resident who works with SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests).

Especially disconcerting, she said, is the past decade since Baker, a brother with the Franciscans, left Bishop McCort High School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Friar, who served Pittsburgh diocese from 1993-2000, accused of sex abuse in N.H.

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

By Jason Cato

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013.

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh this week notified parishes and alumni of a high school that a priest who worked there is accused of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Michael Ledoux, 55, a Franciscan friar, served as pastor of St. Pamphilus in Beechview from 1993-95; headmaster of Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport from 1995 to 2000; and worked as an adjunct professor at Duquesne University from 1997 through 2000.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this month that Ledoux resigned in July as a dean at Widener University in Chester because school officials learned of a 2003 allegation that he sexually abused a teenage boy in the 1980s in New Hampshire.

Ledoux could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

‘Thwarting’ an Investigation

CALIFORNIA
Santa Barbara Independent

[Archive of Los Angeles Archdiocesan Documents - BishopAccountability.org]

Thursday, January 24, 2013

By Nick Welsh

Santa Barbara’s Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry has been accused of “thwarting” potential sex abuse investigations by responsible law enforcement agencies concerning at least three pedophile priests during the 1980s when Curry served as the archdiocese’s chief advisor to archbishop ​— ​and later cardinal ​— ​Roger Mahony on sex abuse cases.

Attorney Tony De Marco submitted just-released church personnel records demonstrating how concerned Curry and Mahony were that sexual-offender priests might come to the attention of law enforcement investigators. De Marco submitted these documents as part of a lawsuit he filed on behalf of a man who claims he’d been abused by a priest, Nicholas Aguilar Rivera. Rivera remains at large, and De Marco is demanding the opportunity to depose Curry and Mahony to demonstrate the extent to which the archdiocese was “thwarting law enforcement investigations.”

In 1986, Curry wrote a memo to Mahony about Michael Baker, a priest who’d admitted to molesting boys that year. Curry cautioned against allowing Baker to see a California therapist. “I see a problem here, in that if he were to mention his problem with child abuse it would put the therapist in a position of having to report him.” Curry then added, “I think we have to be very careful about whom he goes to see and what kind of information is released to the program. Given the fact that he cannot mention his past problem, the necessity to be so circumspect might defeat the purpose of his going to a therapist.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

January 23, 2013

Renewed push to update statute-of-limitations laws in child sex abuse cases

PENNSYLVANIA
WHPT

Saying the move is long overdue and flanked by high-profile reform advocates, state Reps. Louise Williams Bishop and Michael P. McGeehan, both D-Phila., today announced a renewed push to update archaic statute-of-limitations laws in child sexual abuse cases at a Capitol Rotunda news conference.

Bishop and McGeehan said their respective bills are patterned after ones they introduced in the last two-year legislative session but died after being inexplicably bottled up in the committee process.

Bishop has reintroduced her legislation, now known as H.B. 237, which would abolish the statute of limitations on criminal charges and civil lawsuits in cases of child sexual abuse.

“Child sexual abuse victims are slowly beginning to break the barriers of silence; however, they still face a daunting procedural obstacle -- the statute of limitations,” said Bishop, who came out last year as a victim of child sexual abuse. “Instead of suppressing legislation that would lift the statute of limitations, we should be voting these game-changing bills out of committee and the House, so more victims can seek justice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Opinion Poll

PENNSYLVANIA
The Tribune-Democrat

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says churches should notify the public about accusations of child abuse. Do you agree?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

The Church Is Wrong! Fr. Flannery, Like MLK, Is Right to Follow His Conscience

IRELAND
Huffington Post

Steve McSwain

I was reading recently of the bravery of the Irish Catholic priest, Fr. Tony Flannery, who, at 66, is being threatened by the Vatican.

No! I thought. The Vatican never threatens anyone!

LOL!

The history of Christianity, and not just in Catholicism but in all Christian denominations, is similar. The Church has found that it thrives best not in a world it sacrifices itself to redeem -- not in a world it lays down its life in order to give life to others -- but, instead, it survives best by demanding coercion, by making itself into a "god" and insisting this God can only be known "our" way; by making its beliefs into an idol that the faithful must bow the knee. The church has found that, by drawing lines in theological and doctrinal sands, battle lines between "us," the theologically "correct" and "them," the doctrinally "wrong," that, by doing so, the church wins.

But does it really?

Of course, it does not, as history has repeatedly demonstrated. Unfortunately, however, history, at least as far as the church is concerned, has never been a very good teacher for church leaders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Priest admits to groping teen girl and two women

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

A Roman Catholic priest who ministered at a Long Beach church pleaded no contest to sexually groping a 14-year-old girl and two young women and was sentenced to five years felony probation Wednesday.

Father Luis Jose Cuevas, 67, who served at St. Athanasius Church on Linden Avenue, admitted to groping the 14-year-old and two 19-year-olds. He pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors of sexual assault in February 2012 and a felony lewd act upon a child in July 2010.

"God be with you because you need him now more than we do," Deputy Dist. Atty. Jennifer Zepeda told the priest, reading from a statement from the victims.

In addition to probation, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Jesse Rodriguez ordered the priest to complete a 40-hour community service program and to register as a sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

R.I. judge lifts documents' seal on widow's $60 million gift to Legion of Christ

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

January 23, 2013 5:14 pm

By Richard C. Dujardin

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Agreeing with The Providence Journal and certain other media outlets, a state judge has ordered the unsealing of documents relating to a $60 million bequest that the late Gabrielle Mee left to the scandal-plagued Legion of Christ.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein ordered the unsealing on Wednesday, granting a request brought by The Providence Journal, New York Times, National Catholic Reporter and the Associated Press.

Mee's niece, Mary Lou Dauray of Sausalito, Calif., has been challenging the distribution of her aunt's assets, claiming that the Legion of Christ exercised undue influence on her aunt when it convinced her to donate all her money to the order before she died in 2008 at age 96. The order owns Mater Ecclesiae College in Smithfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

RI Judge Orders Legion of Christ Papers Unsealed

PROVIDENCE (RI)
ABC News

By DAVID KLEPPER Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. January 24, 2013 (AP)

A Rhode Island judge has ordered the unsealing of documents related to a disgraced Roman Catholic organization called the Legion of Christ as it faces questions about its relationship to wealthy elderly patrons.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein ruled Wednesday the public should be allowed to scrutinize the documents.

The documents are from a lawsuit filed by a woman contesting the will of a wealthy aunt who left the Legion $60 million. The Legion argued the documents could taint prospective jurors.

The Associated Press and other media organizations sought to unseal the documents, arguing they could reveal the Legion's operations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

St. Paul: Priest gets his exposure case sealed

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.comtwincities.com
Posted: 01/23/2013 12:01:00 AM CST

A priest formerly assigned to a Chanhassen parish has persuaded a judge to seal the record of his conviction for indecent exposure in a St. Paul park.

Michael John Krenik, 55, has been banned from public ministry since his November 2010 arrest. He wants to become a hospital chaplain, his attorney, Paul Engh, told Ramsey County District Judge Judith Tilsen on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

"I truly regret and am sorry for my actions of Nov. 4, 2010," Krenik said, standing before the judge in his clerical collar. He said he wanted the conviction expunged so that he could "begin anew" in his relationship with the city, the church and himself.

Engh told the court that a parish priest, Krenik offered forgiveness to others on a regular basis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Woman flees polygamy after disappearing 10 years ago

ARIZONA
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Jim Dalrymple II
The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jan 22 2013

A woman who was finally able to leave an FLDS-controlled polygamous community escaped thanks to beefed up law enforcement in the area, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which pleaded Tuesday for more funding.

In a news conference, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced that Ruby Jessop had managed to leave Colorado City earlier this month. According to a news release, Jessop was held against her will for more than 10 years after being forced to marry her second-cousin, Haven Barlow, in 2001. Ruby, now 26, has been granted temporary custody of her six children, according to the release.

He said a criminal probe of the FLDS and the Marshal’s Office, which serves as a small police force in the twin polygamous towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, is currently under way. He declined to provide details.

"What they do is say, ‘Everybody watch her so she won’t run away.’ Then she can’t leave," Horne said of women like Ruby. "Women who wanted to escape have been forcibly held by the marshals against their will."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Arizona mother of six escapes 12-year nightmare in Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect

ARIZONA
Fox News

A mother of six who authorities say was held captive in an Arizona town by Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect and the local police force it controlled has escaped with her children, according to the state's top lawman.

Ruby Jessop, 26, whose detention in Colorado City led to a criminal probe of the church founded by the now-imprisoned Jeffs, was granted temporary custody of the children and has left the tiny town, according to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. As a member of Jeffs' Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), Jessop was forced to marry her brother-in-law at age 14. For the next dozen years, she remained trapped in the Utah-Arizona border town, Horne said, along with several other women allegedly held captive by church elders.

"What they do is say, 'Everybody watch her so she won't run away.' Then she can't leave," Horne said. "Women who wanted to escape have been forcibly held by the marshals against their will."

A criminal probe of the FLDS and the Marshal’s Office, the police force with jurisdiction over the twin polygamous towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, is currently ongoing, said Horne, who declined to elaborate. The Marshal's Office has long been accused of being under the control of the sect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

The incredible story ...

ARIZONA
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

The incredible story of child bride forced to marry step-brother who escaped Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect with her six children

By Rachel Quigley

PUBLISHED: 15:18 EST, 23 January 2013

Ruby Jessop was just 14-years-old when she was deemed 'sexually mature' by polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs and forced to marry her step-brother and have sex with different men.

She was held against her will at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for the next 12 years, in which time she bore six children and lived under the iron fist of the pervert leader.

Ruby Jessop, now 26, managed to escape from the sick and twisted world of Warren Jeffs last month and has now been granted temporary custody of the children aged from two to ten, who were being held 'hostage' by the sect, her sister said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Why Cardinal Mahony should have resigned 10 years ago

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic Culture

Phil Lawler

In 2002, when Pope John Paul II called the leaders of the US bishops’ conference to Rome for a discussion of the sex-abuse crisis, one cardinal, speaking to the Los Angeles Times under cover of anonymity, said that the prelates would push for the resignation of Boston’s Cardinal Bernard Law.

Cardinal Law was in trouble, of course, because of the revelations that he had covered up evidence of sexual abuse by priests, and shuffled abusive priests from one parish to another without informing parishioners.

The anonymous prelate who called for Law’s scalp was never identified, but most informed observers believe that it was Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles.

That was back in 2002. Now, after a decade of legal resistance, the Los Angeles archdiocese has released files that show how Cardinal Mahony had handling sex-abuse complaints: roughly the same way Cardinal Law did. Thanks to the dogged efforts of lawyers for the LA archdiocese, this evidence became public only after Cardinal Mahony’s retirement. But if it was indeed Cardinal Mahony who wanted Cardinal Law to step down in 2002, it seems quite clear that he should have followed his own advice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Los Angeles scandal over? Hardly. Fmr LA priest sentenced for sexual assault

LONG BEACH (CA)
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on January 23, 2013

Less than 48 hours after the historic first “document dump” in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, a former Long Beach priest has been sentenced to probation and must register as a sex offender.

Fr. Cuevas, Do you have a secret file in Archbishop Gomez’ office?

And people say that the “scandal” is over …

According to the Long Beach Press Telegram:

Luis Jose Cuevas, who was once a parish priest at St. Athanasius Catholic Church, 5390 Linden Ave., was given five years of probation and must register as a sex offender as part of a plea agreement.

Cuevas, who was initially charged with nine counts, agreed to one count of sexual battery against of each of three victims, including one felony because the victim was a minor.


In April of 2012, two adult women came forward to say that Cuevas had sexually assaulted them. During the police investigation, Cuevas was allowed to remain at St. Athanasius Catholic Church. When the third victim came forward—a minor who says she was molested by Cuevas during over the course of two years—Archdiocese officials removed the priest. Cuevas was arrested in July 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Redemptorists change their tune: Flannery must obey CDF

IRELAND
Vatican Insider

Redemptorist Superior General, Michael Brehl has asked the Irish priest to obey the instructions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Gianni Valente
Rome

The case of rebel Redemptorist priest Tony Flannery has reached a significant turning point. In recent days Fr. Flannery announced his intention - to newspapers and in a public conference – to ignore the disciplinary measures presented against him by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Today, Michael Brehl, the Canadian Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, issued a declaration in which he expressed his deep regret for the actions recently undertaken by Flannery, also a member of the Congregation.

In his brief statement, the current Superior of the religious order founded by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, gives a brief summary of the whole affair: “In January, 2012, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith raised concerns about some of the writings of Fr. Flannery which were ambiguous regarding fundamental areas of Catholic doctrine, including the priesthood, the nature of the Church, and the Eucharist,” Brehl writes. The priest “was instructed to undertake a period of prayer and theological reflection to clarify his positions on these matters. During this sabbatical period, he was instructed not to grant interviews or make public statements, and to withdraw from active involvement in the leadership of the ACP (an independent body of Catholic priests which had been called to address the paedophilia scandal in the Irish Catholic Church, Ed.), especially since the priesthood was one of the matters on which he was asked to clarify his position. He was also instructed to withdraw from active priestly ministry during this period of prayer and reflection.”

In his statement, Fr. Brehl “earnestly” urged his confrere “to renew the efforts to find an agreed solution to the concerns raised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith.” Finally, he invited his “Redemptorist confreres of the Irish Province to join with [him] in praying and working together in the spirit of St Alphonsus to maintain and strengthen our communion with the Universal Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

Former Long Beach Priest Sentenced for Sex Crimes

LONG BEACH (CA)
NBC Southern California

[with video]

By Jonathan Lloyd and Toni Guinyard

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013

A former Long Beach priest who entered a plea of no contest to sexual assault charges -- including lewd acts involving a child -- was sentenced Wednesday and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Luis Jose Cuevas, 68, who served the North Long Beach Catholic community for seven years, entered the no-contest plea in December. He was charged with eight misdemeanor counts of sex assault involving two women and one felony count of a lewd acts involving a child.

The girl, 17, accused the priest of repeatedly groping her at the church during a period of two years.

He was sentenced to five years felony probation, 40 hours of community service and one year of offender counseling. He also must register as a sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Former Long Beach priest sentenced to probation for sexual battery

LONG BEACH (CA)
Press-Telegram

By Greg Mellen, Staff Writer
presstelegram.com
Posted: 01/23/2013

LONG BEACH — A former Catholic priest who pleaded no contest to three counts of sexual battery avoided jail time Wednesday at his sentencing in Long Beach Superior Court.

Luis Jose Cuevas, who was once a parish priest at St. Athanasius Catholic Church, 5390 Linden Ave., was given five years of probation and must register as a sex offender as part of a plea agreement.

Cuevas, who was initially charged with nine counts, agreed to one count of sexual battery against of each of three victims, including one felony because the victim was a minor.

Prior to the sentencing, Cuevas' lawyer, George Bird, said his client accepted responsibility for his actions and would "use his remaining time to do kind, as he attempted

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Will Cardinal Roger Mahony Face Charges for Sex Abuse Cover Up? SNAP says Yes

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Weekly

By Patrick Range McDonald
Wed., Jan. 23 2013

On the front page of this morning's Los Angeles Times, the paper notes that several legal experts suspect Cardinal Roger Mahony will not face criminal charges for covering up clergy sex abuse due to the statute of limitations. One advocacy group says those experts have it wrong.

"We aren't police, prosecutors or even lawyers," says David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), in a press statement today. "But for 25 years, we've seen, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., 'the long arc of history bend toward justice.' We've seen secular authorities become increasingly assertive and creative and successful in pursuing sophisticated criminals."

Founded in 1988, SNAP is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims and has more than 12,000 members.

Clohessy adds, "Remember one simple fact and one simple adage: Al Capone was nailed on tax evasion [and] 'Where there's a will, there's a way.'"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Archdiocese victim-services coordinator testifies

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The victim-services coordinator for the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia spent this morning on the witness stand caught in the cross-fire questioning of defense and prosecution lawyers in the sex-assault trial of a priest and a former parochial school teacher.

Lawyers for the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero called Louise Hagner as part of their continuing attack on the credibility of victim-accuser "Billy Doe" in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court trial.

Billy, now 24, alleges that Engelhardt, 66, and Shero, 49, raped and assaulted him in 1998-1999 when he was a 10-year-old altar boy at St. Jerome's parish school in the Northeast.

Defense lawyers contend that the assaults never happened and have portrayed Billy as a troubled drug-addicted man trying to make money by suing the archdiocese.

Hagner, who said she fields sex-abuse allegations against priests and other church personnel and arranges for social and support services, testified about her telephone and in-person interviews with Billy on Jan. 30, 2009 after he called the archdiocesan sex-abuse hotline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Former pastor found guilty of second wife's murder

PENNSYLVANIA
Citizens Voice

By Denis J. O'Malley (Staff Writer)
Published: January 23, 2013

After less than two hours of deliberation, a Monroe County jury on Tuesday convicted the former pastor accused of killing his second wife in 2008 with first-degree murder.

The relatively quick decision, which also found Arthur Schirmer, 64, guilty of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence for staging a car crash on Route 715 in Jackson Twp. to explain Betty Jean Schirmer's death, came after an 11-day trial that saw nearly 60 witnesses testify.

Schirmer, who served as pastor at Reeders United Methodist Church at the time of the murder, showed hardly any reaction as he stood listening to the jury forewoman report the guilty verdict at about 4:20 p.m.

Just a few feet behind him on the other side of the courtroom's wooden gallery barrier, Mr. Schirmer's two daughters and his fiancée buried their heads in their hands and wept.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Arthur Schirmer, Pa. pastor, convicted of second wife's murder, now faces trial in first wife

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS News

(CBS/AP) STROUDSBURG, Pa. - A former Methodist clergyman convicted Tuesday of bludgeoning his second wife to death in 2008 will now face trial for allegedly killing his first wife.

Arthur Schirmer, 64, was found guilty of first-degree murder and evidence tampering after a jury in the Poconos concluded he clubbed Betty Schirmer on the head with a crowbar, then loaded her into their PT Cruiser and staged a low-speed accident in an effort to conceal the crime.

In September 2012, a grand jury indicted Schirmer in the 1999 death of his first wife, Jewel Schirmer. A trial date has not been set.

Schirmer has maintained his innocence in both Betty and Jewel's deaths, and his attorney pledged to appeal the verdict. Defense attorney Brandon Reish had insisted in his closing argument that while his client cheated on Betty, he had no motive to kill her.

Social worker testifies about Pa. priest accuser

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NECN

Jan 23, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A church social worker says she believed a longtime heroin addict was sober when he raised abuse claims against two priests and a teacher.

Louise Hagner's testimony for the defense Wednesday is designed to discredit the accuser. The young man has testified that he was high when he first detailed the abuse.

He has since changed key details of his story.

Hagner's notes show he said he was abused by sixth-grade teacher Bernard Shero in the classroom in 2000 and raped by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt for five hours at church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Downtown Protest To Be Held Over Alleged Predator Priest

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A protest will be held downtown Wednesday afternoon to urge the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese to break their silence about an alleged predator priest who used to work in the city.

According to a press release, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) will protest outside of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese headquarters on the Boulevard of the Allies around 2 p.m.

The protest will be about Fr. Michael Ledoux, a Franciscan priest, who resigned from his position near Philadelphia after reports accused him of reportedly molesting a child.

For the last nine years, Ledoux had worked at Widener University, but prior to that he spent time at Duquesne University, Sierra Catholoc High School and St. Pamphilus parish in Pittsburgh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

New Website Documents Abuse Allegations Against Philly Priests

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

[The Philadelphia Archive - BishopAccountability.org]

By David Chang
Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013

Several months after the conviction of Msgr. William Lynn, a new website has been launched featuring files that were used as evidence during his child-endangerment trial last year.

The Philadelphia Archive from watchdog group Bishop Accountability, has posted 195 pages from the file of convicted former priest Edward Avery. The website plans to post more documents each month until they have a 5,780 page collection online.

The website states the following:

These documents, which became public when they were entered into evidence at the 2012 trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn and Rev. James J. Brennan, offer a rich sample of the archdiocesan files that formed the basis of the work of three Philadelphia grand juries. Those men and women were impaneled under District Attorneys Lynne Abraham and Seth Williams, and the reports that they produced in 2003, 2005, and 2011 are the gold standard of investigative work on the Catholic abuse crisis in the United States.

The 2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report in particular is remarkably comprehensive, dealing in an integrated and forceful way with aspects of the crisis that are too often examined in isolation. The abuse itself is described in harrowing and meticulous detail. But the report also studies the mismanagement of the crisis and the cover-up of the abuse, and it clearly explains the holes in current secular law that sometimes make it difficult or impossible to punish abusers and enablers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Former Long Beach Priest Faces Sentence for Sex Crimes

LONG BEACH (CA)
NBC Southern California

By Jonathan Lloyd and Toni Guinyard

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013

A former Long Beach priest who entered a plea of no contest to sexual assault charges -- including lewd acts involving a child -- is scheduled for sentencing Wednesday.

Luis Jose Cuevas, 68, who served the North Long Beach Catholic community for seven years, entered the no-contest plea in December. He was charged with eight misdemeanor counts of sex assault involving two women and one felony count of a lewd acts involving a child.

The girl, 17, accused the priest of repeatedly groping her at the church during a period of two years.

He faces a maximum penalty of one year of sex offender counseling, five years formal probation and 40 hours of community service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 AM

Priest accused of abuse in New Hampshire once served here

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

January 23, 2013

By Ann Rodgers / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Letters will be sent to members of two Catholic parishes and alumni of Serra Catholic High School asking if anyone was harmed by a Franciscan priest who served there in the 1990s and who was recently revealed to have been accused of molesting a boy in New Hampshire in the late 1980s.

The Rev. Michael Ledoux, a Franciscan Friar from the Province of the Immaculate Conception in New York, was pastor of St. Pamphilus in Beechview from 1993-95, principal of Serra from 1995-2000 and said Mass regularly at St. Angela Merici in White Oak in 1999-2000, said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

The pastors of the two parishes will make announcements this weekend and send letters asking parishioners to contact either the diocesan or Pennsylvania state abuse hotlines if they were harmed by Father Ledoux "or anyone representing the church," he said. An identical letter will be sent by the principal and superintendant of Serra Catholic to all alumni, he said.

Father Ledoux, who had spent the past nine years working at Widener University near Philadelphia, recently resigned after it was revealed that in 2003 the Diocese of Manchester, N.H., received a complaint that he had molested a minor in 1986 or 1987, when he was a pastor in Derry, N.H.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Read ‘Em and Weep: Bishop Accountability Publishes Data On Claims Against Philly Priests

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

[The Philadelphia Archive - BishopAccountability.org]

January 23, 2013 by Susan Matthews

Click here to read: “Watchdog group releases data on claims against Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 23, 2013

Editor’s note: If you couldn’t attend Msgr. William Lynn’s trial, here’s your chance to examine the documents submitted as evidence. “Read ‘em and weep” was never a more appropriate statement. The Church hierarchy has dealt the Philly faithful a bad hand. – Susan Matthews

Excerpt from Martin’s article: “The group, BishopAccountability.org, culled the documents from evidence introduced at last year’s landmark child-endangerment trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn.

The records include confidential church memos, e-mails, psychological evaluations, and correspondence among archdiocese officials, accusers, and more than 20 priests who served in area parishes over the last half-century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

LA Archdiocese Document Dump: The First-Ever Known Tijuana Victim of Pedo-Priest Eleuterio Ramos

By Gustavo Arellano
Wed., Jan. 23 2013

[Ramos file - BishopAccountability.org]

[Documents Selected and Highlighted on the AbusedInSoCal.com Website - Ramos 1986]

[Archive of Los Angeles Archdiocesan Documents - BishopAccountability.org]

I've spent nearly a decade writing about Eleuterio Ramos, the most notorious pedophile priest in the history of the Diocese of Orange, a monster who admitted to molesting "at least" 25 boys, a ghoul who church officials--including current Diocese of Boise and Diocese of Sacramento bishops Michael Driscoll and Jaime Soto, and current St. Timothy Church pastor John Urell--sent down to Tijuana in 1985 to ensure he'd escape the law after admitting to molesting a teenager at St. Anthony Claret in Anaheim.

And Tijuana is where the final mystery of Ramos exists.

The Orange diocese's personnel files on Ramos makes no mention of any Ramos victims based down there (although Ramos liked to take OC children to Tijuana to get gang-raped), and none of the dozens of people who have filed civil lawsuits against Ramos and the diocese of Orange and Los Angeles (where Ramos previously served) ever alleged they were from Ramos' Tijuana holiday. But the massive document dump yesterday by the LA Archdiocese has unearthed for the first time ever a Ramos victim in Tijuana.

In Ramos' file is a 2004 memorandum from the Diocese of San Bernardino which details a meeting that church leaders had with a man who claimed Ramos had molested him at a cabin in Crestline. The victim (whose name is redacted in the document) said that he first encountered Ramos at Divina Providencia Parish and Our Lady of Loreto chapel in Tijuana, where Ramos headed--I kid you not--a children's ministry. Starting in 1985 and continuing until the boy's family moved to San Bernardino, Ramos molested the child repeatedly--at Crestline, at hotels near Disneyland, in Los Angeles, and in Tijuana proper. In 2003, when stories about Ramos' depravity first hit Southern California newspapers, the victims family asked him if Ramos--who was a "good family friend"--had ever molested him; the victim denied it. The victim didn't want to tell his family because he was, according to the notes of the meeting, "fearful of his mother's reaction to his abuse since he recalls that his mother would frequently encourage her son to take private overnight trips with Fr. Ramos (e.g., the Crestline, Disneyland, and Universal Studios trips)."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

CA - Victims dispute hopelessness about charges vs. Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 23, 2013

It’s factually and morally wrong to assume that criminal charges can’t be brought against current and former top LA archdiocesan officials, especially with tens of thousands of church records about to be released.

We aren’t police, prosecutors or even lawyers. But for 25 years, we’ve seen – in the words of Martin Luther King – “the long arc of history bend toward justice.” We’ve seen secular authorities become increasingly assertive and creative and successful in pursuing sophisticated criminals.

Remember one simple fact and one simple adage:

Al Capone was nailed on tax evasion.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

The irresponsible assumption that Mahony, Curry and others can’t be prosecuted rests on another irresponsible assumption: that their behavior has changed. Can we be more reckless than to assume that these men - who have repeatedly done serious wrong for decades and have entirely escaped penalties – have magically, completely, and voluntarily reformed?

All the policies and panels and procedures and promises made by church officials don’t change one simple truth – Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Curry and others still have the ability, right now, to do exactly as they’ve done for decades in child sex cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Boston Archdiocese Reports Deficit, $137M Debt

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Catholic Insider

With almost no fanfare, the Boston Archdiocese released the 2012 Annual Report on Friday. This stands in contrast to last year, when the archdiocese released the 2011 results saying they had a “balanced budget,” when that really was not true. Central Operations for the archdiocese ran at a loss of about $6.8M, and the archdiocese also faces their own “fiscal cliff” of sorts as they have $137M of debt and no obvious way of paying it right now.

For all who care about the future of the Boston Archdiocese and her ability to carry out the saving mission of Jesus Christ for generations to come, there is reason for serious concern.

The report, available here, presents a lot of data, and it is easy to be overwhelmed with the data and miss the meaning of the data, as the Boston Globe did in their article on Friday. Once you look at the big picture, the message should raise alarm bells at 66 Brooks Drive and at the Vatican that we can no longer have “business as usual.” A few finance experts looked over the report and helped shed insight for us into the data. Here are just some of the key things you should know:
o Despite a “balanced budget” announced for the 2011 fiscal year, the recently released financial statements show (page 24, and page 73–Column 2) that the Central Operations of the archdiocese had an operating loss of $6.8 million in 2012 and $6.3M in 2011 (page 24). BCI pointed out the deception last year, and at least this year, they did not say they had a balanced budget–they just said they had a goal of having one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Bishop sorry for ‘inadequate or mistaken’ response to priest abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

[with video]

A Roman Catholic bishop apologized Tuesday for "inadequate or mistaken" responses to clergy sex abuse when he served as a top advisor to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony in the late 1980s.

"Like many others, I have come to a clearer understanding over the years of the causes and treatment of sexual abuse," Bishop Thomas J. Curry, who oversees Santa Barbara and Ventura counties for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said in a statement.

Internal church files released this week show Curry and Mahony, who was then archbishop, discussed how to conceal child molestation by priests from law enforcement, including by keeping the priests out of California to avoid prosecution. While serving as vicar of clergy, Curry also suggested to Mahony that they prevent pedophile priests from seeing therapists who might alert authorities.

DOCUMENT: Los Angeles Archdiocese priest abuse files

In one letter about a priest who had acknowledged using a 12-year-old parishioner as what a church official called his "sex partner," Curry said it was "surprising" that a church-paid counselor hadn't reported Father Michael Wempe to police. He and Wempe "agreed it would be better if Mike did not return to him."

Perhaps, Curry added, the priest could be sent to "a lawyer who is also a psychiatrist" thereby putting "the reports under the protection of privilege."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

CA - Two groups want LA auxiliary bishop demoted

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[Archive of Los Angeles Archdiocesan Documents - BishopAccountability.org]

Posted by David Clohessy on January 23, 2013

Two groups that deal with clergy sex abuse are asking the top Catholic official in Los Angeles to demote one of his highest ranking staff members.

Leaders of BishopAccountability.org and of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing Archbishop José H. Gomez, urging him to discipline Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, who was implicated in newly-released church records about pedophile priests.

"It's bad enough to deceive parents, parishioners and the public. It's even worse to deceive police and prosecutors. Bishop Curry has done both," said Joelle Casteix, SNAP Western Regional Director. “He should be fired, censured or demoted immediately.”

In memos from 1986 and 1987, between then-Msgr. Curry and Cardinal Roger Mahony, then the leader of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Curry offers suggestions on way to prevent and circumvent investigations by police of priests who had admitted abusing young boys. His tactics included avoiding therapists who might alert authorities and sending priests to assignments out of state.

“This is an opportunity for Archbishop Gomez to make a clean break with the failed policies of his predecessor, Cardinal Mahony,” said Terence McKiernan, President of BishopAccountability.org, a website that archives Catholic abuse documents. “The documents show that Auxiliary Bishop Curry’s management of the Wempe, Baker, and Peter Garcia cases was immoral and likely illegal. At a time when managerial malfeasance has been judged criminal in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Archbishop Gomez must do the accountable thing: remove Bishop Curry from his positions of power and make a full disclosure of the archdiocese’s previous obstructionist practices.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Redemptorist priest: Vatican threatened excommunication for my teachings

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

by John Cooney | Jan. 23, 2013

Dublin --
Irish Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery broke a year of silence Sunday to reveal that the Vatican had threatened him with excommunication and removal from his religious congregation because he advocates for open discussions about church teachings on ordaining women, clerical celibacy, contraceptives and homosexuality.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith removed Flannery, 66, from public ministry last February, pending the outcome of its inquiries into views he expressed in Reality, a Redemptorist-run magazine.

Flannery also said he has had no direct contact in person or writing from the congregation. All communication has come through the Redemptorist superior general in Rome, Fr. Michael Brehl.

Flannery described the actions against him as "frightening, disproportionate and reminiscent of the Inquisition."

He said he initially tried to find a compromise with the Vatican congregation, but by September, it became clear this would not happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

PA - Victims blast bishop over secrecy about predator

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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

--disclose that a just “outed” credibly accused child molesting cleric worked at third Catholic school,

-- beg anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered his crimes to come forward, and

--urge his victims and victims of other Johnstown clerics- to report to police officials, not church officials.

They also want to know why Johnstown Catholic officials delayed for over a year before releasing information about the alleged predator to the public.

WHEN
Wednesday, January 23, at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE
In front of the Johnstown Police Station at 401 Washington Street (corner of Market St.), Johnstown, PA

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

PA - Recently ‘outed’ priest worked in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will urge Pittsburgh’s Catholic bishop to

--explain his silence about a recently “outed” predator priest who worked in Pittsburgh,

--disclose the names and whereabouts of any other credibly accused child molesting clerics who have worked in Pittsburgh (regardless of where their alleged crimes took place), and

--use all of his resources (diocesan websites, parish bulletins, and pulpit announcements) to spread info about the just-outed priest and aggressively seek out others who may have been hurt by him.

They will also urge anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered clergy crimes in Pittsburgh in any denomination - to come forward, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.

WHEN
TODAY, Tuesday, January 22, at 2:00- p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Pittsburgh Catholic diocese headquarters (“chancery office”), 111 Boulevard of the Allies (corner of Stanwix) in Pittsburgh, PA

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Troy priest center of embezzlement investigation

MICHIGAN
Click on Detroit

TROY, Mich. -
The priest of a church in Troy has temporarily stepped aside in the wake of an embezzlement investigation.

The Archdiocese of Detroit said the Rev. Edward Belczak of the St. Thomas More Parish was temporarily excluded from his post on Tuesday.

Both the Archdiocese and the Troy Police Department are conducting separate investigations into a slew of alleged misappropriation and mismanagement by Belczak.

They include:
•Taking excess compensation beyond archdiocesan policies, estimating a loss of $92,000 to the parish over the past six years.
•Accepting and directing funds to himself that should have been posted to parish accounts, estimating a loss to the parish of $16,000 over the past six years.
•Compensating, with benefits, an individual best described as a “ghost employee,” estimating a loss of $240,000 to the parish over the past six years.
•Maintaining improper medical/dental insurance coverage for an individual, estimating a loss of approximately $26,000 to the parish over the past six years.
•Authorizing a long-term disability policy for one employee, while not providing a similar benefit to other parish staff members, estimating a loss of $20,000 to the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Files Revealing Sex Abuse Coverup Shocks Attorney

SAN DIEGO (CA)
NBC San Diego

By Nicole Gonzales and R. Stickney
Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013

A San Diego attorney who represents sexual abuse victims of Catholic priests said even he was shocked at the extensive cover up revealed in newly-released documents.

Thousands of pages from the internal disciplinary files of 14 priests made public Monday show retired Los Angeles Archdiocese Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top aides maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests and provide damage control for the church.

San Diego attorney Irwin Zalkin has represented survivors of clergy sexual abuse for the past decades and some of his clients are included in the 30,000 pages of confidential files made public.

He told NBC 7 San Diego he’s amazed at how long this scandal was covered up.

“Clearly, clearly no interest in protecting children. None,” Zalkin said. “This was all about protecting the church from scandal.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Unholy monster Weberman gets 103 years

NEW YORK
New York Post

By JOSH SAUL
Last Updated: 3:55 AM, January 23, 2013

The Brooklyn teen sadistically abused by her Hasidic counselor from the time she was 12 smiled through her tears yesterday — as the perverted monster was sentenced to 103 years behind bars.

Pedophile Nechemya Weberman, 54, showed no emotion when he heard the judge pronounce his virtual life sentence for repeatedly molesting the girl for more than three years in his locked counseling office.

But his victim, now 18, showed how glad she was, smiling outside court minutes after tearfully recounting to the judge how the Williamsburg counselor had abused her.

“I clearly remember how I would look in the mirror and see a person I didn’t recognize. I saw a girl who didn’t want to live in her own skin,” the brave victim said, weeping, before Weberman’s sentencing in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Admitted Sex Offender Avoids Jail Time

MISSISSIPPI
WJTV

[with video]

By: Chris Williams | WJTV
Published: January 22, 2013

Jackson- John Langworthy pleaded guilty in a Hinds County court Tuesday morning.

He admitted to five counts of gratification of lust. Court records show between 1980 and 1984, Langworhty molested boys. He befriended families and worked as a babysitter before moving in on his victims.

A judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison, but suspended all 10 years, meaning he won't serve any jail time. Langworthy will serve 5 years probation and will have to register as a sex offender.

The story came to light in August 2011. Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton hired Langworthy and his wife. Langworthy publicly confessed to molesting boys and asked for forgiveness. After that, victims started coming forward.

Langworthy also lived in Texas. He moved back to Mississippi in 1989 after similar allegations surfaced against him in Texas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Ireland: Rebel priest defies silence imposed on him by the Vatican

IRELAND
Vatican Insider

Tony Flannery, the head of Ireland’s Association of Catholic Priests, has rejected Rome’s request for him to sign a “mea culpa” declaration. “Freedom of conscience comes first,” he insists

Alessandro Speciale
Vatican City

An Irish priest has decided to defy the silence imposed on him by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith because he considers that giving up “on freedom of thought, freedom of speech and most especially freedom of conscience is too high a price” for him “to pay to be allowed minister in today’s church.”

The 66 year old priest, Tony Flannery, a Redemptorist, is a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland, an independent association made up of over 850 priests that was created in response to the indignation shown towards the Church’s handling of the paedophilia scandal.

In a long open letter published in The Irish Times, Flannery explained he risked excommunication and dismissal from his congregation if he did not agree to sign a document that reaffirms the Catholic Church’s doctrine on women priests and homosexuality, amongst other things.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Vigil to support Fr Tony to be held at Papal Nunciature

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

‘We are Church Ireland’ expresses its unconditional support for Fr. Tony Flannery in his assertion of his right of conscience not to be forced by an abuse of his vow of obedience to submit to the secretive demands of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

We welcome the statement of support of his Irish Redemptorist Order and the Association of Catholic priests of Ireland and Austria.

It is now up to the rest of the people of God, both non-ordained and ordained, to express their support for Tony Flannery and to that end ‘We are Church Ireland’ is organising a peaceful vigil outside the Papal Nunciature , Navan Road, Dublin 7 next Sunday 27th January 2013 at 3 p.m. and encourages all concerned for the future of the Irish Church to attend.

Further information, from Brendan Butler (Spokesperson, We are Church Ireland 086 4054984)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Far more at stake than the future of just one priest

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

“Truth can impose itself on the mind of man only in virtue of its own truth, which wins over the mind with both gentleness and power.” (Article 1, Declaration on Religious Liberty, Vatican II 1965)

Way back in 1965 this official statement reconciled me to the Catholic Church, after years of agonising as a student of history over its long record of religious persecution. That was all behind us now, I told myself. The church at its summit had at long last realised that truth cannot be conveyed or strengthened by coercion. The truth of the Creeds is centrally also love, so in future it would only be communicated lovingly, in freedom.

This conclusion was supported by the strong criticism directed by some eminent bishops during the council toward the formerly unjust practices of the church’s central theological monitor, the Holy Office (once the Roman Inquisition). This body became the ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’ on the same day the Declaration on Religious Liberty was formally ratified. Most of us then expected that the CDF would now develop procedures and structures that would bear comparison with the highest principles of jurisprudence in the secular world.

The CDF has instead reverted to the intellectual brutalities of the Holy Office, reneged on this key Vatican II declaration on religious freedom, and very seriously weakened the authority of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Suspended priest pleads not guilty in meth probe

CONNECTICUT
Albany Times Union

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A suspended Roman Catholic priest in Connecticut has pleaded not guilty to federal drug charges accusing him of taking in more than $300,000 from sales of methamphetamines.

The Connecticut Post reports (http://bit.ly/VSCCTg ) that 61-year-old Kevin Wallin entered the pleas Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Hartford. Four other people have been charged in the alleged drug-selling operation that authorities say involved shipments of methamphetamine from California to Connecticut.

Wallin is the former pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Bridgeport. He resigned in 2011 citing health and personal issues and was suspended from public ministry last May by the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

The archdiocese's cover-up

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

Editorial

The release of confidential files on 1980s clergy sex abuse in the Los Angeles Archdiocese is the beginning of the end of a long and sordid saga.

January 23, 2013

For years, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles fought to keep secret its confidential files concerning pedophile priests. Hundreds of sex abuse victims hoping for a full accounting of what church leaders knew about the growing scandal and what they did to stop it were rebuffed time and again.

But the cover-up is finally coming to an end. On Monday, a series of memos and letters filed in a civil case confirmed that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and other church leaders plotted to shield pedophile priests rather than turn them over to police and prosecutors.

The documents, which date to 1986 and 1987, show how Mahony and Msgr. Thomas J. Curry, his top advisor on sex abuse cases, discussed strategies to keep priests from coming to the attention of law enforcement. Curry proposed to Mahony that certain priests be kept from seeing therapists, who would have been obliged to alert police; in other cases, priests were sent out of state to avoid criminal investigations. One cleric — who had admitted molesting undocumented immigrant children for decades, and even threatened one with deportation if he reported the abuse to police — was not allowed by Mahony to return to California from a treatment center, for fear that it would spark criminal or civil action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Church 'centuries out of date'

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Stuart Rintoul
From:The Australian
January 24, 2013

A GROUP of Catholics pressing for reform within the church has told an abuse inquiry the church is a "private and conflicted organisation" with a 17th century system of governance.

The group, Catholics for Renewal, said the church was "self-protective" on the issue of pedophile priests and must be made to report abuse allegations to police.

In its submission to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations, the group, chaired by senior Catholic Peter Johnstone, quoted the late cardinal Carlo Maria Martini saying that the church was centuries "out of date".

It said the church's governance was "feudal in origin", autocratically ruled by socially isolated and increasingly aged bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Priest faces fresh charges

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

A DEFROCKED Catholic priest who was jailed in 2010 for child sex offences against 39 boys allegedly sexually assaulted another 14 boys in the 1970s and 1980s, police alleged yesterday in a facts sheet in Newcastle Local Court.

Former Maitland-Newcastle priest John Sidney Denham, 70, allegedly told one victim in 1977, ‘‘You loved it. You wanted it. You want more and more’’, after a sexual assault that left the boy, 12, ‘‘bleeding heavily’’, police alleged.

The boy did not complain to his parents about alleged repeated sexual assaults at St Pius X School, Adamstown, because he came from a violent home where alcohol was abused.

When the boy allegedly told principal Father Tom Brennan, who died late last year, he was caned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Child sex abuse link to celibacy

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

January 24, 2013

Barney Zwartz

MANY Catholic priests take a flexible approach to celibacy, tolerated by church leaders, and some believe sex with children or men does not count, a former Melbourne priest said on Wednesday.

''An enormous number of priests struggle with celibacy,'' Philip O'Donnell told the state inquiry into how the churches handle child sex abuse.

''There's a tolerance for imperfection in celibacy, and that may have led to a lessening of outrage at sex with children.''

He said he had no training about celibacy in the seminary and that many priests were ill-equipped. ''Chosen celibacy is a gift, but mandatory celibacy is for many priests a millstone,'' he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Defrocked priest to stand trial over child sex

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A defrocked Hunter Valley Catholic priest has been committed to stand trial for child sexual offences.

John Sidney Denham, 70, is accused of abusing several boys in the 1970s and 1980s at various locations, including at a Newcastle Catholic high school.

He did not show emotion as he faced Newcastle Local Court today via video link from Goulburn jail.

He has waived his right for a committal hearing and is yet to enter pleas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Troy priest temporarily removed in probe of church funds, Detroit archdiocese says

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

The Archdiocese of Detroit temporarily has removed a priest from a Troy parish while authorities investigate accusations he mishandled thousands of dollars in church money over the past six years.

Archdiocese officials said the Rev. Edward Belczak has been "temporarily excluded from the office of pastor" at St. Thomas More, meaning he cannot hold that post until an administrative review process is completed.

Belczak, 67, remains a priest but is expected to leave parish housing, officials said in a statement Tuesday.

The allegations include:

Taking compensation beyond what is allowed by archdiocesan policies, causing the parish to lose an estimated $92,000 over six years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Lawyers for two accused of abuse paint different pictures

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lawyers for a Philadelphia priest and an ex-parochial-school teacher on Tuesday began a two-pronged defense to convince a Common Pleas Court jury that their clients' personalities were inconsistent with those of men who would rape a 10-year-old altar boy.

Lawyers for the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero called a series of character witnesses who testified about the pair's reputation in the community for being peaceful and law-abiding.

Engelhardt's lawyer, Michael McGovern, also called seven current and former teachers from St. Jerome's parish school in the Northeast to tell the jury their memories of victim-accuser "Billy Doe."

It is not known whether either Engelhardt, 66, or Shero, 49, will testify in his own defense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Vatican’s demands ‘too high a price’

IRELAND
Galway Independent

A Galway priest has said the Vatican’s demand for silence is “too high a price” for a return to his priestly duties.

Redemptorist Fr Tony Flannery from Attymon in Athenry spoke out on Sunday amid threats from the Vatican that he could be excommunicated from the Catholic Church if he continued to air his controversial views.

The local priest said he had received a letter from Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith instructing him to refrain from publishing any further articles outlining his views and to have no further involvement with the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP).

Fr Flannery, who has been prevented from ministering as a priest for the last year, was also instructed to write, sign and publish a article accepting that the Catholic Church can never ordain women to the priesthood, accepting all Church stances on contraception and homosexuality, and the refusal of the sacraments to people in second relationships.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Sentencing hearing for Catholic priest postponed

CANADA
The Western Star

Published on January 23, 2013
Cory Hurley

CORNER BROOK — One day would not have been sufficient to deal with the lengthy facts and numerous victim impact statements to be read in the sentencing hearing for Roman Catholic priest George Ansel Smith.

When that hearing was called Tuesday morning in Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, the 74-year-old had the matter postponed until Feb. 27-28. Crown attorney Trina Simms requested the new date.

She also told the court there is a new charge to be filed before that day. It originated in New Brunswick, the province in which previous charges were laid against Smith.

Throughout the court proceedings, new charges have continued to pile up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Detroit Archdiocese removes priest in money probe

MICHIGAN
My Fox Detroit

TROY, Mich. (AP) -- The Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit says it has temporarily removed a priest from his suburban parish while it and police investigate accusations he mishandled at least $429,000 in church money over the past six years.

The archdiocese says it forced the Rev. Edward Belczak to step aside from his duties at St. Thomas More Parish in Troy during the probes. It says the 67-year-old remains a priest but will leave parish housing.

The archdiocese says an audit found that Belczak paid a "ghost employee" $240,000. It says the priest also took $92,000 in compensation above what he's supposed to get under church policies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Victim Advocacy Group Claims Diocese Took No Action

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WKBN

[with video]

Leaders with a group advocating for victims of alleged abuse by clergy said they're frustrated over what they claim is a lack of action to investigate local cases.

Judy Jones, a representative of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, was in town Tuesday, claiming reports of abuse against a number of former Warren JFK High School students has in turn prompted others to come forward and make their own claims against employees of the Diocese of Youngstown.

Jones claims there are two other, unrelated abuse allegations against Diocese employees. She wouldn't be any more specific, other than to say the alleged incidents happened years ago.

She also said neither of the alleged victims has told anyone in law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Bishop Murry will hold press conference Thursday

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Canton Rep

YOUNGSTOWN —
Bishop George V. Murry, head of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, will hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at his offices at 144 W. Wood St., to address media reports relative to the Diocese of Youngstown Schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Victim Advocacy Group Claims Diocese Took No Action

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WYTV

[with video]

Leaders with a group advocating for victims of alleged abuse by clergy said they're frustrated over what they claim is a lack of action to investigate local cases.

Judy Jones, a representative of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, was in town Tuesday, claiming reports of abuse against a number of former Warren JFK High School students has in turn prompted others to come forward and make their own claims against employees of the Diocese of Youngstown.

Jones claims there are two other, unrelated abuse allegations against Diocese employees. She wouldn't be any more specific, other than to say the alleged incidents happened years ago.

She also said neither of the alleged victims has told anyone in law enforcement.

Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains said there's only so much authorities can do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Court stays trial in nun’s murder case

INDIA
Conference of Religious India Bulletin

The court ordered to issue notices to investigating officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and to the three prime accused.

Kochi: The Kerala High court on Wednesday stayed the trial in the alleged murder of a Catholic nun, admitting a petition seeking further investigation in the 20-year old case.

The court ordered to issue notices to investigating officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and to the three prime accused—two Catholic priests and a nun.

The “Sister Abhaya murder” case is pending before the CBI special court in state capital Thiruvanathapuram and it had earlier dismissed a petition of rights activist Jomon Puthenpurackal seeking further investigations.

However, High Court admitted Puthenpurackal’s plea that said there were serious lapses in the investigation and justice will not be achieved if trial proceeded without further investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Woman “stolen” 48 years ago reunited with mother

SPAIN
El Pais

Jesús Duva Madrid 22 ENE

A women stolen from a hospital in Valencia almost half a century ago — just one of many alleged abductions of newborn babies during the Franco era — has been reunited with her biological mother, say police in the Mediterranean port city.

The woman, now aged 48, has asked for her identity and that of her mother to be kept private, saying that her adopted mother is seriously ill and close to death.

In the wake of several stories that appeared in the media in 2011 — revealing that during the Franco years a network of nuns and doctors at certain hospitals had taken babies from poor families or single mothers and given them to wealthy parents unable to conceive — the woman in question decided to try and trace her biological mother. The abductions are believed to have continued for several years after the death of Franco, in 1975.

The woman, who strongly suspected she was a stolen baby, lodged a judicial request to find her mother, the National Police said in a statement.

She filed a request with the relevant authorities, and the Valencia force began investigating.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

The Philadelphia Archive

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
BishopAccountability.org

We are pleased to announce the launch of our Philadelphia archdiocesan archive. The first installment comprises 195 pages from the file of convicted former priest Edward Avery. Each month we will post additional documents, until by year-end the entire 5,780-page collection will be online.

These documents, which became public when they were entered into evidence at the 2012 trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn and Rev. James J. Brennan, offer a rich sample of the archdiocesan files that formed the basis of the work of three Philadelphia grand juries. Those men and women were impaneled under District Attorneys Lynne Abraham and Seth Williams, and the reports that they produced in 2003, 2005, and 2011 are the gold standard of investigative work on the Catholic abuse crisis in the United States.

The 2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report in particular is remarkably comprehensive, dealing in an integrated and forceful way with aspects of the crisis that are too often examined in isolation. The abuse itself is described in harrowing and meticulous detail. But the report also studies the mismanagement of the crisis and the cover-up of the abuse, and it clearly explains the holes in current secular law that sometimes make it difficult or impossible to punish abusers and enablers. In a remarkable essay for the National Catholic Reporter, Michael Newall shows the level of engagement that this work required, and the toll that it took. Lastly, the 2005 report demonstrates that the abuse crisis cannot be understood without drawing on many sources of information – long conversations with survivors, and work with priests who are willing to help, and hundreds of hours spent in the archives, poring over assignment histories, memos, letters, and intake reports.

It is that kind of reading and immersion that we invite you to do in this archive. Reading these documents will be difficult, but you will gain from the experience a deep understanding of the culture within which the abuse was done and kept secret. You will emerge with a haunting sense of the harm for which the abusers and enablers are responsible, and the courage of the survivors and their families and loved ones.

The Avery file was posted to the internet on January 22, 2013. Improvements to the presentation of the Avery file will continue for several days, and the most recent updates and changes to the Philadelphia Archive will be noted here. If you'd like to receive announcements when we add priest files to this archive, please subscribe to our Monitor newsletter, which will be sent twice a month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Watchdog group releases data on claims against Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

[The Philadelphia Archive - BishopAccountability.org]

John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A watchdog group that runs an online clearinghouse of clergy-sex abuse allegations began publishing Tuesday the first of 5,700 pages of documents about past claims against Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests.

The group, BishopAccountability.org, culled the documents from evidence introduced at last year's landmark child-endangerment trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn.

The records include confidential church memos, e-mails, psychological evaluations, and correspondence among archdiocese officials, accusers, and more than 20 priests who served in area parishes over the last half-century.

The allegations are not new - all were aired in two grand jury reports or at Lynn's trial - and the accused priests they mention are dead, defrocked, or removed from ministry. But the website offers the first unfiltered public look at details of those claims, and of documents locked for years in what the archdiocese called its Secret Archives.

Many were drafted by Lynn and approved by Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua or by their predecessors. They chronicle what church officials knew and did after a priest was accused of abusing a minor.

Terence McKiernan, the president of BishopAccountability, said the records add a layer of public understanding to the grand jury investigations and prosecution of Philadelphia-area priests, which he said were unlike any others in the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Nechemya Weberman Gets 103 Years for Sex Abuse, and Satmars Say 'Whoa'

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger

Published January 22, 2013.

The stunning 103-year prison term imposed on Brooklyn ‘therapist’ Nechemya Weberman for sexually abusing a girl has unleashed fierce debate, with many members of his ultra-Orthodox community saying the harsh sentence is unfair especially compared with punishment meted out to other notorious criminals.

Critics claim the long sentence will deter future abuse victims from coming forward — but victims’ advocates and prosecutors insist seeing justice done will only encourage others to report crimes to secular authorities.

Weberman, an unlicensed therapist, rabbi, and prominent member of the Satmar ultra-Orthodox community, was hit with the lengthy sentence on January 22. He was found guilty in December of 59 counts related to the abuse of the Orthodox girl over a period of three years from the age of 12.

“The community looks at a 100-year-sentence and says, ‘Whoa, murderers don’t get anywhere near 100 years,’” said Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group, a public relations firm that caters to many ultra-Orthodox clients.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Sexual abuse victim in Weberman case speaks at sentencing

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

The statement read by the sexual abuse victim in the Nechemya Weberman case:

Thank you Honorable Justice Ingram for your role during this trial (and beyond). A very special thank you to Assistant DA Kevin O’Donnell and the staff at the DA’s office for your endless hard work and sleepless nights through the trial in order to see justice served.

Standing here, I think back to those years throughout my ordeal where I suffered great psychological damage and fell into severe depression. I clearly remember how I would look in the mirror and see a person I didn’t recognize. I saw a girl who didn’t want to live in her own skin. A girl whose innocence was shattered at the age of 12. A girl who couldn’t look at her own reflection without feeling repulsed knowing what abuse that tortured person was continuously experiencing. A girl who couldn’t sleep at night because the horrifying images of the recent gruesome invasions which had been done to her body kept replaying in her head. A girl who numbed her feelings and froze her emotions every minute of every day in order to stay sane. A girl who was forced to lose any respect for herself. A girl who lost the right to say NO, to an abuser who used and abused her repeatedly for years that seemed like forever and ever. A sad girl who so badly wished she could have lived a normal young teenage life but instead was stuck being victimized by a 50-year-old man who forced her to experience and perform sickening acts for his sick sense of pleasure again and again. I saw a girl who didn’t have a reason to live.

I would cover up the burn marks inflicted on the body he used to serve his sadistic pleasures. Every time I would look at it, I would get flashbacks and feel my body burning all over again. I would cry until my tears ran dry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Molloy: Molestation victim takes on her accuser, Nechemya Weberman, and her community

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Joanna Molloy

The victim looked like a typical teenager in her peach sparkly top, short black skirt, tights and Ugg boots —a stylish getup that somehow still satisfied Hasidic rules of modesty. But the 18-year-old may as well have been wearing a cape as she confronted her sexual predator at his sentencing in Brooklyn Criminal Court Tuesday.

Nechemya Weberman, her trusted counselor, had sexually molested her as often as four times a week —starting when she was 12, when she should have been worried about nothing more than the homework in her teddy bear backpack.

But thanks to her slimeball counselor, the "normal young teenage life" the little girl longed for was replaced with repulsion every time she looked in the mirror.

Instead of her reflection, she told the courtroom she saw "a sad girl" who was stuck being victimized by a 50-year-old pervert —her forthright tone turning to tears when she spoke his age. She saw the sickening acts she was forced to perform for his pleasure again and again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Records show Los Angeles cardinal, bishop shielded abusive priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

[links to the documents - Anthony DeMarco, Jeff Anderson & Associates]

by Joshua J. McElwee | Jan. 22, 2013

Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony and an auxiliary bishop shielded archdiocesan priests known to be sex abusers from law enforcement during the 1980s, even suggesting they leave the state of California to avoid prosecution, according to a series of church records released Monday.

The records, which were filed as part of a civil lawsuit against the archdiocese and were first reported Monday by the Los Angeles Times, indicate Mahony and Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry intentionally sent abusive priests to out-of-state treatment facilities as protection from arrest.

L.A. county prosecutors "will review and evaluate all [newly released] documents as they become available to us," Sandi Gibbons, a public information officer for the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, said in a brief statement.

The release of the files, which concern 14 priests, comes as the archdiocese is preparing to release records of at least 75 more accused abusers under the terms of a separate 2007 civil settlement with more than 500 clergy abuse victims.

While the files of the 14 priests are almost three decades old -- coming from long before the U.S. bishops started to address the wider issue of sex abuse by clergy in 2002 -- the revelations they contain point to lingering questions about the accountability of bishops, says a former chairman of the U.S. bishops' National Review Board for clergy sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Royal commission urged to report quickly

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Ehssan Veiszadeh
From: AAP
January 23, 2013

FORMER head of the Uniting Church in Australia James Haire says the royal commission into child sex abuse must move as quickly as possible.

Reverend Professor Haire, who is now the executive director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Canberra, says the inquiry will be a good opportunity to get to the heart of criminal behaviour.

"We have to clean the thing up," he said on Wednesday.

"It's criminal behaviour on behalf of the perpetrators and it's criminal behaviour on behalf of any of those who at any time tried to hide it or not let the public gaze in."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Attorney John Manly, Who Deposed Cardinal Mahony, Responds To LA Times Article

CALIFORNIA
MarketWatch

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- In response to today's Los Angles Times story Mahony Tried to Conceal Abuse, John Manly, an attorney who has deposed former Cardinal Roger Mahony in sex abuse cases involving the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, issued the following statement:

The documents revealed in court demonstrate clearly and without question that the Archdiocese was engaged and remains engaged in an alleged conspiracy to protect pedophile priests and the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. Cardinal Roger Mahony is at the center of this conduct. The question that needs to be answered is, "Did law enforcement, and specifically its leadership in Los Angeles, either completely miss these crimes or did they ignore them?" These documents have been in the possession of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for years and yet no action, and little, if any criticism has been leveled against Cardinal Mahony and the Hierarchy.

It is reasonable to ask why and how such an alleged miscarriage of justice was allowed to occur. Cardinal Mahony has been deposed on three separate occasions by me and my law firm. In addition, we have deposed Bishop Curry, the Archdiocese's chief advisor on sex abuse cases, who features prominently in the documents released last week. A review of these depositions demonstrates substantial inconsistencies with their sworn answers and the conduct illustrated in the documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Church sex abuse files unlikely to lead to charges, experts say

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Harriet Ryan, Ashley Powers and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
January 22, 2013

Over the last decade, there have been numerous calls to prosecute Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and his top aides for their mishandling of clergy sex abuse. At least three grand juries, two district attorneys and a U.S. attorney have subpoenaed documents and summoned witnesses. None of those cases resulted in charges against the archdiocese's hierarchy.

The release this week of a trove of internal church records showing a concerted effort to hide abuse from police triggered new demands from victims and church critics that Mahony and his advisors be held criminally accountable.

The Los Angeles County district attorney pledged to review all the files and evaluate them for criminal conduct, but legal experts consulted Tuesday said the reams of new documents were unlikely to lead to charges, let alone convictions.

A nearly insurmountable barrier is the statute of limitations, the experts said. A quarter-century has passed since Mahony and his chief aide for sex abuse cases, Msgr. Thomas J. Curry, wrote memos outlining strategies to prevent police investigations of three priests who had admitted abusing boys. The 1986 and 1987 letters fall decades beyond the three-year statute of limitations for felonies such as child endangerment, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit those offenses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Mahony's efforts to hide abuse are deplorable but unsurprising

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Steve Lopez
January 22, 2013

Every time we learn something new about the molestation scandal in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, it becomes more obvious why Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and his minions have fought so tenaciously to keep things under wraps.

Not to protect the privacy of victims or the rights of suspected abusers, as the church hierarchy has contended. But to hide the unconscionable deception by church leaders, who repeatedly did more to protect their own image than to help the victims of horrific crimes.

This week's revelations of deliberate efforts by Mahony and others to shield abusers from law enforcement authorities are deplorable yet entirely unsurprising. It all fits the M.O. that's was in place at least through the 1980s.

Conceal the church's dirty secrets at all costs. Don't notify the police when abuse is reported. Keep prosecutors at bay with legal challenges. Avoid reforms until public pressure mounts. And, when all else fails, have Mahony issue a carefully scripted "apology."

His latest was perhaps his most odious and offensive, with Mahony saying he didn't fully appreciate the hell victims had been put through until many years later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Gastbeitrag von Bernhard Rasche: Opfer werden nicht gehört

DEUTSCHLAND
Main Post

Der aktuelle Streit um die Aufarbeitung des sexuellen Missbrauchs in der Kirche macht mich sprachlos und wütend. Wütend machen mich vor allem die Ausführungen des Würzburger Bischofs Friedhelm Hofmann. Er spricht von transparenter Aufarbeitung, von einem beispiellosen finanziellen Entgegenkommen. Das ist lächerlich, wenn man bedenkt, dass ein Opfer einmalig 4000 Euro Entschädigung bekommt und der Täter ein Ruhestandsgehalt von monatlich 6000 Euro. Ein Missbrauchsopfer bekommt nicht formlos eine Entschädigung oder einen Zuschuss für eine Therapie. Man muss einen Fragebogen ausfüllen und seinen Therapieplan offenlegen. Das ist absolut unzumutbar. Mein Therapieplan geht niemanden etwas an. Soviel zum Thema Datenschutz, der der Kirche ja angeblich so wichtig ist. In Wahrheit geht es ihr dabei nicht um den Schutz der Opfer, sondern um den der Täter.

Abgründe tun sich auf

Zudem sorgt sich die Kirche nicht wirklich um unser Wohl. Ich spreche hier nicht von harmlosen Befindlichkeiten, sondern von Menschen, deren Leben kaputtgemacht worden ist. Von Kindern, die erst als Erwachsene merken, woher ihre Ängste, ihre Probleme, ihr Scheitern kommen. Manchmal braucht es nur einen kleinen Anlass, und sie brechen komplett zusammen. Dann tun sich plötzlich Abgründe auf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Ariz. Attorney General Horne says ...

ARIZONA
Washington Post

Ariz. Attorney General Horne says criminal probe under way into Warren Jeffs polygamous sect

By Associated Press
Published: January 22

PHOENIX — Law enforcement in a town dominated by one of the nation’s largest polygamous sects has been preventing women from leaving, leading to a criminal probe of the church run by its jailed leader Warren Jeffs, Arizona’s attorney general said Tuesday.

Attorney General Tom Horne held a news conference in Phoenix to announce that a 26-year-old woman had been granted temporary custody of her six children and had fled the town of Colorado City, Ariz., the home base of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

He said she was forced by Jeffs to marry her brother-in-law at the age of 14, and had since been virtually held captive in the town on the Utah-Arizona border, along with many other women who want to leave.

“What they do is s