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March 31, 2013

Bishop says sorry to sexual abuse victims

UGANDA
Daily Monitor

By TABU BUTAGIRA

Posted Monday, April 1 2013

Some Catholic priests in Uganda are involved in sexual liaisons contrary to their celibacy vow and others have in the process secretly begotten children, a senior church official has admitted.

Speaking on Holy Saturday, Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga, who about a fortnight ago suspended Fr Anthony Musaala for expressing similar sentiments, unequivocally apologised to the victims.

“It’s sad that there has been some misbehaving by some as alleged,” he said, “we apologise to [those] who may have fallen victims of what happened, but I assure you that the church is doing its duty and don’t give up hope.”

The otherwise controversial subject of sexual shenanigans by priests, most of them allegedly clothed from sanction by their superiors, has rattled the Catholic Church in the West, resulting in a plethora of lawsuits and public apologies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Wauwatosa Parishioners Learn Their Priest is Under Investigation

WISCONSIN
58 News

by Elizabeth Fay

Story Created: Mar 31, 2013

WAUWATOSA -- On one of the most attended Sunday services of the year, parishioners at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Wauwatosa were told their priest is under a police investigation.

"I was shocked when I found out," said Ryan Kennedy who attended mass.

Father Bob Marsicek is at the center of allegations. He leads mass at St. Pius X and Mother of Good Counsel Churches in Wauwatosa but today, another priest led Easter mass in his place.

That's because Marsicek is suspended from his roles at the churches and Wauwatosa Catholic School.

A spokesperson for the Archdioices of Milwaukee says removal of pastoral duties is standard policy while an investigatigation unfolds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Easter commemoration held outside closed church

HOLYOKE (MA)
WWLP

Sunday, 31 Mar 2013

Sy Becker

HOLYOKE, Mass. - Parishioners who want Holyoke's Mater Dolorosa Church to re-open, hope that Pope Francis will agree to overturn the decision that closed Mater Dolorosa two years ago.

Parishioners who now attend other churches held a commemoration of Easter Sunday morning on the street outside of the church.

The Vatican had ordered them to leave the building after their round the clock prayer vigils at the closed church.

Attorney Victor Anop, chairman of the Friends of Mater Dolorosa told 22News, their appeal to the Vatican Supreme Court is still pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Pastor ...

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Pastor under police investigation in Wauwatosa illustrates archdiocese control over religious orders

March 31, 2013

Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
CONTACT: 414.336.8575

The removal from ministry Friday of Fr. Bob Marsicek, Pastor of Pius X parish in Wauwatosa, by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki illustrates perfectly and conclusively that the archdiocese has control over religious order clerics. Marsicek, a member of the Salvatorians, is under a current police investigation and has been ordered to stay away from Pius X parish and its school. The Salvatorians have their international headquarters in Milwaukee.

Why is this important?

Because over half the clerics working in archdiocesan parishes, schools and ministries are members of religious orders like the one to which Marsicek belongs. In fact, three of Marsicek’s fellow Salvatorians have been convicted of child sex crimes in Milwaukee: Fr. Dennis Pecore, Fr. Simon Palanthingal and Br. John Rice.

The Milwaukee Archdiocese has traditionally been a sanctuary for religious order sex offender clerics, actively concealing their criminal histories. A particularly glaring example was the notorious pedophile nun, Sr. Norma Giannini, a Sister of Mercy, who was convicted in Milwaukee of child sex crimes in 2008, even though the archdiocese had investigated and determined Giannini had committed multiple acts of child sex assault against several boys years earlier as the principal of St. Patrick’s Catholic Grade School on the South Side.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

St. Pius X Priest Removed From Duty As Police Investigate Allegations

WISCONSIN
Patch

The Rev. Bob Marsicek has suspended from his duties at St. Pius X Church in Wauwatosa as police investigate an allegation against him, according to Patch's media partner WISN 12 News.

Marsicek's superior, the Rev. Joe Rodrigues, told 12 News that the suspension is part of church protocol when there is an investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Pope Francis takes over ‘sexophobic Church’

Buenos Aires Herald

Bergoglio expected to tackle negative attitude to sexuality, women

by Mario Osava
IPS

RIO DE JANEIRO — Jorge Mario Bergoglio begins his papacy as Francis facing the challenge of a Catholic Church caught up in a burdensome contradiction with modern society, because of its negative attitude to sexuality and women.

“There would be much more common sense, efficiency and tenderness in the Church, rather than that immense wave of paedophilia and paederasty in the hierarchy and the Catholic schools” if the Catholic Church had incorporated women into the priesthood and the different leadership roles in the institution, said João Tavares, a married former priest living in São Luis, in northeastern Brazil.

Women, who are “the real pillar of Christian communities,” can no longer remain without equal rights within the Church, “as if they were second-class human beings,” he said.

As well as being excluded from the hierarchy, a woman cannot even become the partner of a priest without invalidating his ministry, unless they both live a secret, hypocritical life. In practice, women are depicted by the Church as a contagious source of sin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Ilonggo priest out on probation

PHILIPPINES/UNITED STATES
Sun.Star

By Florence F. Hibionada

Sunday, March 31, 2013

CALIFORNIA, USA -- Ilonggo Catholic priest Fr. Lowe Dongor is “enjoying” his temporary liberty after a US court recently granted an earlier plea for probation.

Albeit with travel restrictions and faced with possible deportation, Dongor faces up to his plight. Or so he said he tries to do every day.

Originally charged in 2011 with theft and possession of child pornography in Worcester, Massachusetts, he was additionally charged with one felony count of Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution (UFAP).

Dongor surrendered to the Philippine's National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Western Visayas in December 2012. He is a native of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

REFLECTIONS: What if Father Musaala is right?

UGANDA
Sunday Monitor

By Ivan Okuda

Posted Sunday, March 31 2013

Not many desire to try out Fr Anthony Musala’s shoes right now. How one writes a stinging letter while the Pope assumes office, laying bare facts on the filth in the church and goes ahead to call for radical reforms is a reality too huge for the throat. You can describe him by any adjective in your mind. You can agree or disagree with him and you have the choice to either love or hate him. But perhaps, after a moment of reflection and soul searching, you and I might ask the question: What if this man is right?

The first time I came face to face with issues of clerical celibacy, particularly in the Catholic Church, I was a student of Julius Ocwinyo’s Fate of Banished, which is arguably the most authoritative Ugandan fiction voice on the same, especially having been written by a former seminarian. In there, I came face to face with a one Santo Dila, a Catholic priest entangled in an affair with a married woman. But that was only fiction.

Hardly a year after I shelved Ocwinyo’s novel, Musaala drops a bombshell and earns himself instant suspension. What follows? Testimonies by the public of priests and bishops siring children. One caller actually had to be stopped by a moderator when he called in Kfm’s Hot Seat show on Thursday and made sweeping allegations of a tycoon fathered by a deceased cardinal. During the same show, Ethics Minister, Rev Fr Simon Lokodo admitted he had, “heard of but not seen,” priests with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Make the Catholic church pay for its shameful silence

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Kevin McKenna
The Observer, Saturday 30 March 2013

The campaign by some in the Catholic church to limit the damage following Cardinal Keith O'Brien's downfall was sadly inevitable. What could not have been foreseen, though, was how nasty and ham-fisted it would turn out to be. Catherine Deveney's revelations in the Observer last month that three Scottish priests and a former priest had complained to the Vatican of being victims of inappropriate conduct by O'Brien exposed what many of us had long feared: that the leadership of the church in Scotland is rotten to the core and no longer fit for purpose.

The response by what passes for the church authorities since Deveney's game-changing story only lends credence to this assertion. No pastoral outreach to these four men, each of whom believes they have a God-given vocation to serve His church, has been forthcoming. Instead, they have been subjected to a whispering campaign of innuendo and half-baked supposition. Incredibly, several influential Catholics, who really ought to have known better, have made shrill calls for the priests to "out" themselves. Last week it was suggested that they were motivated by little more than personal malice against O'Brien and that their claims amounted to a conspiracy to bring him down.

Nowhere has there been an acknowledgment of what would have happened had these four men not come forward: that O'Brien would have joined his 115 brother cardinals in Rome for the conclave to elect a new pope and that, as such, he would have been a not unreasonable each-way bet for the ultimate elevation. This despite the fact that Vatican authorities were by then aware of at least five complaints made against him. Informed sources to whom I've spoken recently have stated that O'Brien had been viewed as a viable compromise candidate during the conclave which elected Benedict XVI in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Priest who claimed Catholic Church in Scotland has covered up gay sexual bullying fears he made be stripped of priesthood

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

THE priest who made explosive claims about gay sexual bullying in the Catholic Church fears he could be stripped of his priesthood, claim friends.

They say details Father Matthew Despard, 48, exposed in his bombshell book Priesthood in Crisis have left senior clerics reeling.

The whistleblower – who said sexual misconduct had been rife in junior seminaries for years – believes the church could turn its back on him. A friend said: “Bishop Joe Devine called diocesan advisers to an emergency meeting to discuss Fr Depard’s claims.

“They told him he must ask the priest to attend a private meeting and explain his actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

What do we expect of Pope Francis?

WISCONSIN
LaCrosse Tribune

By Mike Tighe | mtighe@lacrossetribune.com

Easter signals a new beginning unlike any other, and it takes on additional meaning this year, as the Catholic Church enters the season with a new leader.

Much has been said about the firsts for the cardinal from Argentina: the first pope from the Western Hemisphere, the first Jesuit, the first Francis.

As speculation swirls about what Pope Francis’ first actions might be as he settles into the Vatican, the Tribune surveyed some Coulee Region residents on what they expect from the new pontiff.

The theologians

Pope Francis must address the Vatican’s sexual abuse and financial scandals to restore people’s faith in the Catholic Church, theology professor Michael Lopez-Kaley says.

“He has got to clean up the scandals of the church first,” said Lopez-Kaley of Viterbo University in La Crosse.

“I think there is a lack of confidence that the bishops are really serious” about the clergy’s sexual abuse cases, he said. “The pope definitely needs to state: You guys have to get serious about this and turn in the priests who are involved.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Wauwatosa pastor suspended following police investigation

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WISN

[with video]

MILWAUKEE —The Milwaukee Archdiocese confirmed the pastor of St. Pius X church in Wauwatosa has been removed from active ministry while police investigate an allegation against him.

The Rev. Bob Marsicek is suspended from his duties at both the church and Wauwatosa Catholic School.

Marsicek's superior, the Rev. Joe Rodrigues, said the suspension is part of church protocol when there is an investigation.

Rodrigues told 12 News, the police contacted Marsicek and told him to stay away from Wauwatosa Catholic School while they look into the allegation. Rodrigues said police have not released many details about the allegation or investigation, but he noted Marsicek has not been arrested and is cooperating with the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Wauwatosa pastor suspended following police investigation

WISCONSIN
WISN

[video]

The Milwaukee Archdiocese confirmed the pastor of St. Pius X church in Wauwatosa has been removed from active ministry while police investigate an allegation against him

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

As Yeshiva Child Sex Abuse Scandal Grows, Why Are We Afraid To Speak Out?

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Stacey Klein

Published March 31, 2013, issue of April 05, 2013.

We in the Orthodox Jewish community claim to value children deeply. We want to have children, and we pressure our own children to get married and have children, and yet, when it comes to really ensuring those children’s utmost protection from harm, somehow the silence is deafening.

As a Yeshiva University alumnus and a psychotherapist who works with abused children, I was horrified to learn that my alma mater was apparently involved in a 30-year cover-up of sexual abuse that affected hundreds of children and protected known abusers. Y.U. — an institution to which I am grateful for making me who I am today — also has refused to commit to releasing to the public details of its investigation into these abuses.

So I created a petition urging Y.U. to commit to sharing the report findings with the public. Nearly everyone I know — many alumni from Y.U. and its Stern College for Women, including rabbis, did not sign. Other than one or two brave figures, the people I worked with for years through Y.U., programs teaching Jewish children worldwide about Jewish values, wouldn’t sign, nor would they do anything else I am aware of to support victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Protecting sexually abused children

UNITED STATES
Palm Beach Post

By Richard D. Schuler

Question: Do I have a remedy if my child was sexually abused at camp, school or church?

Answer: Child sexual abuse cases present unique challenges, especially when the abuse occurs in an institution that should be protecting children. When the offender is an employee, holding the institution liable is the key to getting justice.

Liability against an institution such as a school or church generally involves either negligent hiring or supervision, both of which would apply to employees and volunteers.

Also, the injured party must first prove that the institution had actual notice of the danger the individual posed or, alternatively, through the exercise of reasonable diligence, the institution would have been on notice that the perpetrator was a danger to the injured child or others. This involves doing a thorough background check.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Censored section in Murphy sex abuse report set to be published

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Ruaidhri Giblin– 31 March 2013

A censored chapter in Judge Yvonne Murphy's report into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations by the Catholic Church and State is finally set for full publication.

Chapter 20 has remained censored on foot of a High Court direction that its full publication could damage the trial of a defrocked priest charged with the sexual assault of children in the 1970s and 80s.

Former priest Patrick McCabe was sentenced last week by the Circuit Criminal Court after having pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two 13-year-old boys.

Although sentenced by Judge Margaret Heneghan to two concurrent 18-month jail terms, he walked free from the court because he had already been in custody for longer than the sentences handed down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

March 30, 2013

Meisner zieht sich zurück

DEUTSCHLAND
Radio Koln

Die Aufarbeitung des Mißbrauchsskandals in der katholischen Kirche scheint ins Stocken zu geraten. Nach einem Bericht des Stadt-Anzeigers hat der Kölner Kardinal Meisner seinen Ausstieg aus den Gesprächen angekündigt.

Als Grund für die Absage der Dialog-Initiative wird unter anderem eine Überlastung des Kardinals genannt. Der bundesweite Dialog der Bischöfe zu den Kirchen-Themen ist laut dem Bericht abgesagt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

People to remember in the Prestonwood/Morrison Heights scandal

TEXAS
Stop Baptist Predators

Over the course of two and a half years, Amy Smith made dozens of phone calls, and sent even more emails, to try to assure that Southern Baptist minister John Langworthy would not be able to molest more children. Smith knew what had happened 20 years earlier at the prominent Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, when she was a college intern there.

“Although ministers at Prestonwood fired Langworthy in 1989 when at least one teen told church leaders Langworthy molested him, they never reported the allegation to police,” reports the Clarion Ledger.

Langworthy simply picked up and moved to Mississippi, where he went to work as a staff minister at another prominent Southern Baptist church, Morrison Heights. He also became a choir teacher in the Clinton school district.

In her efforts to bring Langworthy to justice, Smith encountered the usual brick wall of Baptists’ keep-it-quiet system. The saga of her efforts to get around that system, and to find someone who would put kids’ safety first, is a saga that implicates “the silence of the many.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Abuse inquiry draws out victims

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

March 31, 2013

Judith Ireland
Breaking News Reporter

Victims groups are bracing for a flood of people wanting to give evidence about child sexual abuse, as the royal commission holds its first sitting in Melbourne this week.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse will outline how it plans to deal with the sensitive nature of the evidence at the session at the County Court of Victoria on Wednesday.

It will not take evidence, but the sitting will be the first major update on how the commission will work since the six commissioners were appointed in January.

Tens of thousands of Australians are expected to come forward over the three years of the inquiry to tell their stories of abuse in institutions such as schools, churches and orphanages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

John Joseph O'Connor

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Chronicle

Reverend Monsignor
John Joseph O'Connor
Aug. 8, 1934 - Mar. 15, 2013

Fr. Jack was born in San Francisco on August 8, 1934 to John and Josephine O'Connor (both from Wexford, Ireland). He died on March 15, 2013. He was the nephew of the late Monsignor James O'Connor, brother of Philip O'Connor (deceased), and Peggy Vollert (Joseph). ...

Fr. Jack began his journey to ordination in 1948 at St. Joseph's Seminary. He then attended Archbishop Riordan High School where he served as Student Body President before graduating in 1952 and then returning to his studies at St. Joseph's and St. Patrick's. He was ordained on June 11, 1960. After earning a Masters Degree from Catholic University, he served in Catholic Social Services for the next twenty-five years. During that time he was in residence at St. Stephen's, Sacred Heart, St. Isabella's, and St. Kevin's.

In 1983 he was appointed Pastor of his beloved Mission Dolores Basilica. He was named Prelate of Honor with the title of Monsignor by Pope John Paul II. In 1997 he was named Pastor of St. Mary's Cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Judge denies dismissal at rabbi's pre-trial hearing

NEW JERSEY
NorthJersey.com

BY MEGAN BURROW
MANAGING EDITOR
Teaneck Suburbanite

A Teaneck rabbi appeared in state Superior Court last week for a hearing in advance of his upcoming trial on charges of child endangerment, aggravated sexual contact and criminal sexual assault.

Rabbi Uzi Rivlin, 65, is accused a molesting two 13-year-old Israeli boys in his home in 2009 and 2010. According to Bergen County prosecutors, the victims had been staying in Rivlin's house during two summers as part of a scholarship fund run by the rabbi. Upon returning to Israel, the alleged victims made the accusations separately to Israeli authorities.

The boys, along with three other witnesses, will be flown to the United States to testify at the trial.

Rivlin taught at Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown, N.Y. and ran the scholarship fund for more than a decade. The Israeli children who attained the scholarships would stay in the United States for several months, living with a host family and attending summer camp.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

EXPELLED PRIEST APPEALS LAST POPE'S DECISION

UNITED STATES
Ledger-Enquirer

By BEN WRIGHT — benw@ledger-enquirer.com

Hours after the annual School of the Americas Watch protest ended at the Fort Benning gate last year, the Rev. Roy Bourgeois said the Maryknoll headquarters called and notified him that Pope Benedict XVI had expelled him from the priesthood.

With the election of new Pope Francis, Bourgeois said Friday he is working with an attorney to appeal the decision that expelled him from being a Catholic priest for the next 40 years.

"He signed the order in November and we are appealing it right now," Bourgeois said of Benedict. "We hope the new pope will be more open to women in the church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

A Wauwatosa priest ordered to stay away from his church and school

WISCONSIN
WTMJ

[with video]

By Keller Russell

WAUWATOSA - Good Friday is a time for reflection and celebration in most churches.

But one religious community has been rocked to the core by a police investigation. Their priest has been told to stay away from children.

Father Bob Marsicek is a long time fixture at St. Pius Catholic community.

But Friday we confirmed police are investigating allegations against the priest, and that he's been removed from ministry while they do so.

On the holiest week for Catholics, parishioners at St. Pius X are stunned to hear their priest isn't allowed to celebrate mass with them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Catholic Church leadership on trial

UGANDA
The Independent

Vatican is watching how Archbishop Lwanga deals with the Fr. Musaala saga

“It is a good point for reflection but it will not change the fundamentals of the church.” That is how one practicing Catholic assessed the impact of recent revelations by renowned celebrity Catholic priest, Father Anthony Musaala of sexual impropriety in the church. That belief in theinvincibility of the old Catholic Church might be similar to the Biblical house built on quick sand, without a foundation.

What one hears in conversations on the street and in the media across the country is that Fr. Musaala’s letter has sparked unprecedented public debate of what some have called the “double standards and hypocrisy’ of the Catholic Church that the letter points out.

It is without doubt that depending on how the leadership of Uganda’s biggest religious congregation of 14 million Catholics in four archdioceses and 19 dioceses handles the Fr. Musaala saga, the church could be changed; perhaps irrevocably. The man on whose shoulder lays the task of steering the church through the storm is Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kampala diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Sufferers of sexual abuse a focus in Easter messages

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Jared Owens
From:The Australian
March 30, 2013

CHRISTIAN leaders across Australia have urged believers to reflect on social injustice this Easter, especially those "shattered" by sexual abuse, living in poverty on our streets or struggling with diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

As Pope Francis broke tradition by washing and kissing the feet of young female sinners at a Roman prison, Cardinal George Pell cited the newly elected pontiff's call for believers to carry the Christian message "certainly in our conversations and official teaching, but especially through our care for one another".

"Once again the Easter message comes from Francis of Assisi - peace and goodness, especially to those who are suffering, to those wounded by Catholic church members, to the sick, the depressed, the bereaved, those experiencing misfortune," the Archbishop of Sydney said in a video message from Rome.

"Deeds are more important than words. Christ is risen, and the victory over evil will one day be complete."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

March 29, 2013

Government Agencies Restore Protections to Hospital Retirees’ Pensions

UNITED STATES
Pension Rights Center

For Immediate Release

Contact: Nancy Hwa, 202-296-3776

March 29, 2013

WASHINGTON -- After a 10-year struggle, hundreds of former workers and retirees from the Hospital Center at Orange (HCO) once again have federal protections for their pensions. In an unprecedented move, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reversed its 2003 decision to grant HCO's pension plan recognition as a "church plan." In response to the IRS action, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) will restore insurance protections to the HCO plan.

For decades, the Hospital Center at Orange was an independent nonprofit hospital, not affiliated with any religious organization. Its pension plan was covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal law that governs and insures most private pension plans, requiring them to follow certain funding rules and pay insurance premiums to the PBGC.

In 1998, the hospital entered into a financial arrangement with Cathedral Health Systems and, four years later, based on this affiliation, applied to the IRS for a ruling that its pension plan was a “church plan” exempt from ERISA. The IRS granted HCO’s request for church plan status in early 2003. It was only later that year that HCO employees learned that their pensions would no longer be protected by the PBGC, and that their underfunded plan only had enough money to pay retirement benefits for a few years. The Hospital shut down the following year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Pope Francis: papal feet washing sparks fears over women priests

ROME
The Guardian (UK)

Lizzy Davies in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Friday 29 March 2013

Traditionalists in the Roman Catholic church have expressed concern after Pope Francis became the first pontiff to wash the feet of two women during a Maundy Thursday mass, a move liberals welcomed but some conservatives feared set a worrying precedent.

At the Casal del Marmo youth detention centre on the outskirts of Rome, the Argentinian pope washed and dried the feet of 12 inmates as part of the traditional rite representing Jesus's final act of humility towards his disciples.

He had surprised the Vatican with his decision to wash the prisoners' feet – a move that echoed the early years of John Paul II, who once performed the rite in the St John Lateran basilica with a dozen homeless men.

But it was his inclusion of two young women, as well as Muslims, in the ceremony that was the most dramatic break with tradition. It even caused some traditionalists to wonder openly whether Francis, who is doctrinally a theological conservative who has explicitly stated he is against female ordination, might one day be willing to open the priesthood to women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Looking out for No. 2: Who will be Vatican secretary of state?

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Of the several widely acknowledged priorities in the run-up to the conclave that chose Pope Francis, including the challenge of secularism and the growth of the church in the global South, none was more prominent than a need to reform the Roman Curia, the church's central administration in the Vatican.

The College of Cardinals extensively discussed corruption and mismanagement sensationally documented in the 2012 "VatiLeaks" of confidential correspondence, which were also the subject of a detailed report that Pope Benedict XVI designated exclusively for the eyes of his successor.

The new pope has already given signs of his intention to reform. According to his personal notes for his pre-conclave speech to fellow cardinals, subsequently published with his permission, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio denounced the "self-referentiality" of a church "living within herself, of herself, for herself." Although his main target seems to have been a "theological narcissism" that saps evangelical zeal, the future pope's words were also an implicit rebuke to the inward-looking mindset of a pre-modern royal court, which still characterizes the Vatican in the 21st century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Austrian bishop's plan to attend memorial for late cardinal accused of abusing boys criticized

AUSTRIA
Montreal Gazette

By The Associated Press
March 29, 2013

VIENNA - An Austrian group representing victims of clerical sex abuse is criticizing a bishop's plan to attend a memorial Mass for a late cardinal accused of molesting young boys.

Agidius Zsifkovics, the Bishop of Eisenstadt, says he will attend the April 8 Mass marking the 10th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer.

Groer stepped down as archbishop of Vienna in 1995 after former theological students accused him of sexual abuse.

A statement Friday on the website of "Those Affected by Churchly Abuse" says Zsivkovics will be honouring a man who left "a trail of spiritual destruction."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Former Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown Vouched For a Pedo-Priest Who Went on to Molest Kids in Salinas

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano
Fri., Mar. 29 2013

Wow, the pathetic legacy of former Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown just keeps getting pathetic-er and pathetic-er-er. The Weekly has obtained a copy of a letter that His Excellency wrote back when he was merely His Stupidity, when Brownie was a Reverend Monsignor at the Diocese of Monterey during the mid-1980s. It concerns one Gerald Funcheon, a guy who was looking for a job after getting driven out of Hawaii after parents complained he told boys he wanted to get naked with them. Before Hawaii, Funcheon had been pushed out of other parishes after similar complaints--and this was the man Brownie would vouch for?

You know it!

Funcheon is currently facing lawsuits by students who suffered at his grubby hands at Palma High School in Salinas, a school where the pedo-priest has already admitted to molesting boys. In a June 11, 1984 letter obtained by the Weekly, Brown--then the chancellor for the Monterey diocese--wrote to Funcheon's Crosier superiors that he would extend faculties (allow him to minister in another parish, in Catholic-speak) so he could be a chaplain at Palma. "Your evaluation of his ministry," Brown wrote, "is very encouraging."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Apology to Cardinal George Pell

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

March 30, 2013

On 11 March 2013, the online edition of The Sydney Morning Herald published an article "Tainted Pell out of race after lobbying" by journalist Barney Zwartz. A shortened version of this article titled "Pell has no chance of top job" also appeared in the print and online editions of The Sydney Morning Herald on 11 March 2013.

Our description of the outcome of the 2002 investigation by retired Victorian Supreme Court Judge A.J. Southwell into allegations against Cardinal George Pell did not fully set out his findings about Cardinal Pell. Soon after Mr Southwell made his findings in 2002, The Age published an article describing the findings as “a just result” and The Sydney Morning Herald accepts and agrees with this conclusion. As we said in an article published on 14 June 2010, this independent investigation cleared the Cardinal.

The Sydney Morning Herald apologises sincerely to Cardinal Pell for any suggestion to the contrary and for any adverse reflections on him in our 11 March articles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Church leaders hit back at clergy abuse inquiry claims

AUSTRALIA
The Age

[Bishop Hart's statement]

[Cardinal Pell's statement]

March 30, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Australia's two most senior Catholic prelates, Cardinal George Pell and Archbishop Denis Hart, have repudiated as inaccurate allegations against them at Victoria's clergy sex abuse inquiry.

Melbourne Archbishop Hart denied testimony by Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay to the parliamentary inquiry that the church has hindered and obstructed police, and challenges police about why they have not acted already if they have evidence of such behaviour.

Cardinal Pell again rejected claims by Melbourne lawyer Vivian Waller that he was present in 1969 when a child described being raped to another priest, and attacked the claims as ''seriously defamatory'' and possibly a contempt of Parliament and professional misconduct.

Their responses were posted on Thursday on the inquiry website, on a new section called ''right of reply''. Archbishop Hart first wrote on October 17 and Cardinal Pell's statement is dated January 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Bhutan Makes Condoms Available To Buddhist Monks To Stop Spread Of STDs

BHUTAN
Huffington Post

By Vishal Arora
Religion News Service

NEW DELHI (RNS) Health officials in the tiny Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan are making condoms available at all monastic schools in a bid to stem the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV among young monks who are supposed to be celibate.

"We are making condoms freely available everywhere, even in monastic schools and colleges," Bhutan's minister of health, Zangley Drukpa, said in a phone interview. The ministry, he added, has formed a special action group to deal with STDs in monasteries.

Warning signs of risky behavior among monks first appeared in 2009, when a report on risks and vulnerabilities of adolescents revealed that monks were engaging in "thigh sex" (in which a man uses another man's clenched thighs for intercourse), according to the state-owned Kuensel daily.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

Irish Priest accused of sexual abuse pleads with Pope Francis not to be dismissed from Church

IRELAND
Irish Central

An elderly Irish cleric is appealing his dismissal from the priesthood directly to Pope Francis and to a top Vatican court.

According to the Irish Independent the priest, known only by the pseudonyms 'Fr Ronat' and 'Fr B', faces being defrocked after a church canonical court upheld the abuse allegations lodged against him by former minors in the diocese of Cloyne. 'Fr Ronat' was at the center of judicial enquiry known as the Cloyne Report which dealt with complaints against 19 priests made from 1996.

A relative of the cleric told the Independent that an appeal has been lodged within the stipulated 15-day period.

'We are very disappointed with the negative outcome. But there will be an appeal, particularly in respect of the fact we believe that a full defense against the allegations was not properly taken into account,' he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Priest charged with kissing teen no longer in custody

CALIFORNIA
Appeal-Democrat

March 28, 2013

A Catholic priest charged with kissing a Yuba City teenager posted bail earlier this week and was released from custody following a hearing on his immigration status in Sacramento County.

The Rev. Julio Cesar Guarin-Sosa posted a bail bond on Wednesday, the Sutter County District Attorney's Office confirmed. The bail amount was not available.

Prosecutors also confirmed they are moving ahead with the case against the Colombian priest.

Guarin-Sosa, 43, is accused of kissing a 16-year-old Yuba City girl on March 8 at the girl's home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Ex-priests to Pope: Allow optional celibacy

PHILIPPINES
Rappler

by Tara Yap
Posted on 03/29/2013

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — In time for Easter weekend, 3 Catholic Ilonggo priests with families renewed their call for optional celibacy.

“Priesthood and marriage are not a contradiction. Marriage blends with priesthood,” said Fathers Hector Canto, Jose Elmer Cajilig, and Jesus Siva in a joint statement.

The 52-year-old Canto is married with 3 children, while 51-year-old Cajilig and 52-year-old Siva are both unmarried priests who have children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Former Resident, Priest Earns Release in Ireland

CALIFORNIA
Alameda Sun

Written by Ekene Ikeme Published: Friday, 29 March 2013

A former Catholic priest and Alameda resident was released from prison in his native Ireland after pleading guilty to child-abuse charges last Friday, March 22.

Patrick Joseph McCabe, 77, pled guilty to four counts of indecent assault to two boys in Ireland in the 1970s at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in Ireland earlier this month. Judge Margaret Heneghan sentenced McCabe to 18 months in prison on Friday with his sentence backdated to when he first went into custody in Ireland in June 2011 following his extradition from Alameda.

Judge Heneghan said both assaults carried a maximum possible sentence of two years and this was "not a case where consecutive sentences were appropriate." Heneghan also cited Mc- Cabe's "guilty plea, his admission of guilt to gardai (Ireland's police officers), his remorse, his age and medical condition" for reasons to release him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Former Baptist pastor indicted

MISSISSIPPI
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A 71-year-old former Southern Baptist minister has been indicted by a grand jury in northern Mississippi on 18 felony counts of child sexual abuse.

Larry SingletonThe Democrat newspaper in Senatobia, Miss., reported March 26 that Larry Gene Singleton, former pastor of Bay Springs Baptist Church in Abbeville, Miss., faces charges of fondling, sexual battery and child pornography.

The Tate County Sheriff’s Department arrested Singleton Dec. 3 after an 18-year-old man accused the former pastor of sexually abusing him for a number of years, starting when he was 11 years old.

Police said Singleton also volunteered as a tutor at an extension campus of Gateway Christian Schools, sponsored by the independent Gateway Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., but did not have any contact with students there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

March 28, 2013

Der Fall Mara: Leidensweg eines österreichischen Mädchens

OSTERREICH
pressetext

Wien (pts005/28.03.2013/07:00) - Stellungnahme von Sissi Kammerlander:

Im Zuge des Symposiums "Prävention von Missbrauch und Gewalt - ein gesamtgesellschaftliches Anliegen" im Februar im Haus der Industrie in Wien wurde unter anderen Aspekten der extensiven Kindesmissbräuche das Anliegen geäußert, Kindesmissbrauch, also jede Gewalt, insbesondere auch sexuelle Gewalt gegen Kinder, dürfe keinesfalls verharmlost werden.

Tendenz zur schnellen Einstellung von Gerichtsverfahren bei Missbrauchsfällen in Österreich: Wenn man die Gesetzgebung prüft, ist unschwer zu erkennen, dass selbst der Gesetzgeber Probleme hat, dem Missbrauch und der Gewalt gegen Kinder effektiv entgegenzutreten. Die festgelegten Verjährungsfristen beispielsweise fallen gern in die Zeitperiode, in welcher Missbrauchsopfer aufgrund der schweren Traumatisierung nicht über ihre Erfahrungen sprechen können. Wenn Opfer oder ihre Angehörigen eine Anzeige einbringen, sind die folgenden Verfahren oft von kurzer Dauer: Die Staatsanwaltschaften tendieren dazu, sie einzustellen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Meisner steigt aus Dialog aus

DEUTSCHLAND
Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger

Nach dem Missbrauchsskandal wollte sich die katholische Kirche reformieren. Auch das Kölner Erzbistum wollte sich am „Dialogprozess“ beteiligen. Kardinal Meisner macht nun einen Rückzieher. Die Pfarreien hoffen auf seinen Nachfolger. Von Joachim Frank

Köln.
Mitten hinein in den österlichen Frieden platziert der Kölner Erzbischof, Kardinal Joachim Meisner, eine Festtagsgabe, die engagierten Laien, aber auch Meisners Mitbrüdern in der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz als faules Ei erscheinen wird: Der von langer Hand geplante „geistliche Gesprächsprozess“, mit dem sich das Erzbistum am 2010 initiierten bundesweiten Dialog der Bischöfe als Antwort auf den Missbrauchsskandal und andere innerkirchliche Probleme beteiligen wollte, ist abgesagt.

Darüber informierte Generalvikar Stefan Heße die Leitenden Pfarrer und die Vorsitzenden der Pfarrgemeinderäte in einem Schreiben, das am Gründonnerstag einging. Es liegt dem „Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger“ vor. Als Hauptgrund wird darin der Wechsel von Weihbischof Heiner Koch, der für den Gesprächsprozess zuständig war, ins Bistum Dresden-Meißen genannt. Zudem, so Heße wörtlich, „bindet der Eucharistische Kongress in der Vorbereitung sehr viele Kräfte“, so dass die geplanten Gesprächstage „zu viel“ würden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Opfer empört: Bischof tritt bei Gedenkmesse für Hermann Groer auf

OSTERREICH
der Standard

28. März 2013, 17:13

Wien/Eisenstadt/St. Pölten - Ein angekündigter Auftritt des Eisenstädter Bischofs Ägidius Zsifkovics bei einer Gedenkmesse für den vor zehn Jahren verstorbenen Kardinal Hans Hermann Groer erbost die Plattform "Betroffene Kirchlicher Gewalt". Groer musste Mitte der 90er-Jahre aufgrund von Missbrauchsvorwürfen als Wiener Erzbischof zurücktreten. Die Diözese verteidigte die Anwesenheit von Zsifkovics bei der Feier in der niederösterreichischen Klosterkirche Marienfeld.

Der Auftritt des Eisenstädter Diözesanbischofs bei der Gedenkmesse am 8. April schlage dem Fass den Boden aus, daher legte die Opfer-Plattform "schärfsten Protest ein". "Kardinal Groer hat eine Spur der seelischen Verwüstung, u.a. mit Suizidfolgen durch das Land gezogen. Bis heute leiden viele seiner Opfer weiter." Alleine "die jährlichen Wallfahrten und Gedenkmessen zu Ehren des Missbrauchskardinals" würden einen Affront darstellen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Bistum wird Missbrauchsskandal nicht los

DEUTSCHLAND
Mittelbayerische

von Pascal Durain, MZ

Regensburg. Als im Jahr 2010 Fälle von sexuellen Missbrauch und Misshandlungen in zahlreichen katholischen Einrichtung in Deutschland bekannt wurden, erschütterte der Skandal auch Regensburg. Denn auch in einem der ältesten Knabenchore der Welt, den Regensburger Domspatzen, kam es zu Übergriffen und Gewaltexzessen. Das Bistum versprach Aufklärung und betonte immer wieder, nichts unter den Teppich kehren zu wollen. Doch zahlreiche Opfer hegen schon lange Zweifel daran.

Die Suche nach der Glaubwürdigkeit

Bistumssprecher Clemens Neck weist diese Kritik zurück. Persönliche und individuelle Aufarbeitung könne sehr unterschiedlich sein. Diese könne zum Beispiel Therapieangebote umfassen oder auch Gespräche mit Beschuldigten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Former Priest Faces September Sentencing Date

MISSOURI
StJoeChannel

(KANSAS CITY, Mo.,) A former St. Joseph priest will be sentenced in September after pleading guilty to multiple child pornography charges.

Rev. Shawn Ratigan, pleaded guilty in August to five counts of producing child pornography and attempting to produce child pornography.

Wednesday, a judge announced Ratigan would be sentenced Sept. 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Sharing The Secret That’s Haunted My Soul

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

03/28/13

David Cheifetz
Special To The Jewish Week

My name is David Cheifetz and I am a victim of childhood sex abuse in a Jewish institution.

There. I have said it. After more than 30 years I have shared the dark secret that has haunted my soul.

I was 13 years old, attending sleep-away camp at Camp Dora Golding, an all-boys Orthodox camp that some of you still send your sons to. I was befriended by a 28-year-old member of the rabbinic staff. Over the course of a week he sexually abused me repeatedly. When the activity was exposed, I was summoned to the camp director’s office and forced to confront the assailant. Then I was summarily sent home, as if it were I who had committed the crime. The camp never even told my parents why I was being sent home. They were just advised to pick me up at the Greyhound terminal at New York’s Port Authority.

I do not know if the perpetrator was ever fired; to the best of my knowledge he was never reported to legal authorities. I understand that he went on to a long career in Jewish education, and based on whispers on the Internet, probably continued targeting young Jewish boys within the walls of Jewish educational institutions. [Camp Dora Golding officials did not respond to repeated attempts for comment on the author’s allegations.]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Rondetafelgesprek monitorrapportage misbruik

NEDERLAND
KNR

'S-GRAVENHAGE - Op donderdag 28 maart 2013 vond in Den Haag een rondetafelgesprek plaats over de eerste monitorrapportage van de heer Deetman (Onderzoekscommissie). Hiervoor waren naast vertegenwoordigers van slachtoffers en de Stichting Beheer en Toezicht de voorzitters van de Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR) en de Bisschoppenconferentie uitgenodigd.

Het rondetafelgesprek (hoorzitting) op 28 maart werd gehouden door de Commissie voor Veiligheid en Justitie van de Tweede Kamer en vond plaats van 11.00 tot 13.00 uur.

Namens de KNR en de Bisschoppenconferentie brachten broeder Van Dam en kardinaal Eijk beide een gespreksnotitie in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Gespreksnotitie van Willem kardinaal Eijk...

NEDERLAND
KNR

Gespreksnotitie van Willem kardinaal Eijk, voorzitter van de Nederlandse Bisschoppenconferentie, op verzoek van de Vaste Commissie voor Veiligheid en Justitie van de Tweede Kamer, ten behoeve van het gesprek over de eerste monitorrapportage van de (voormalige) Onderzoekscommissie naar seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk

28 maart 2013, 11.00 tot 13.00 uur

Inleiding
De Nederlandse bisschoppen hebben zich na het verschijnen van het rapport van de (voormalige) Onderzoekscommissie naar seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen in de Rooms-
Katholieke Kerk 1945 – 2010 (hierna: Commissie Deetman) op 16 december 2011 gecommitteerd aan de aanbevelingen van deze commissie. De bisschoppen zijn en blijven vastbesloten om naast erkenning van het leed te zorgen voor hulp en genoegdoening. Dit doen zij in samenwerking met de hogere oversten van de religieuze ordes en congregaties.

Zorg voor slachtoffers was ook de belangrijkste reden voor de onderzoeksopdracht die aan de heer Deetman werd verstrekt.

Om de zorg voor slachtoffers adequaat gestalte te geven heeft de Commissie Deetman aanbevolen om de Stichting Hulp en Recht uit 1995 te vervangen door een onafhankelijke stichting naar Nederlands recht. Daarom is de Stichting Beheer en Toezicht inzake Seksueel Misbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk in Nederland (hierna: Stichting Beheer en Toezicht) opgericht, die onafhankelijk van de Bisschoppenconferentie en van de Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR) opereert en waaronder vier pijlers vallen: het Meldpunt, de Klachtencommissie, de Compensatiecommissie en het Platform Hulpverlening. Hulp wordt verleend, ongeacht of de klachtenprocedure is afgerond of niet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Informatieblad over excuses, hulpaanbod en concept regelingen financiële tegemoetkoming aan slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik

NEDERLAND
Rijksoverheid

[Click here for the story.]

Informatieblad over excuses, hulpaanbod en concept regelingen financiële tegemoetkoming aan slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik

Informatieblad over excuses, hulpaanbod en concept regelingen financiële tegemoetkoming aan slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik

PDF document | 4 pagina's | 202 KB

Publicatie | 22-03-2013 | VenJ

Naar aanleiding van de bevindingen van de Commissie Samson heeft de Minister van Veiligheid en Justitie tezamen met de Staatssecretarissen van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport (VWS) en van Veiligheid en Justitie (VenJ) op 29 oktober 2012 namens het kabinet excuses aangeboden aan iedere volwassene en aan ieder kind dat onder de verantwoordelijkheid van de overheid in een pleeggezin of een jeugdinstelling is geplaatst en daar vervolgens slachtoffer is geworden van seksueel misbruik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Notitie t.b.v. het rondetafel gesprek d.d 28 maart 2013

NEDERLAND
Bert Smeets

Vanaf begin 2010 heeft MCU goede contacten opgebouwd en onderhouden met andere organisaties, zoals bijvoorbeeld Mensenrechten in de Kerk, België, SNAP Amerika, en andere Engelse, Duitse, Oostenrijkse lotgenoten. MCU heeft zich sterk gemaakt om het fysiek / psychisch geweld op de agenda te krijgen. Helaas heeft men destijds besloten om dit buiten de klachtenprocedure te houden van het seksueel misbruik in de RKK.

Omdat we destijds geen weerklank vonden hebben we zelf gekozen om civiele procedures te voeren. Anderzijds zijn er diverse meldingen bij de politie gedaan waar wij tot op heden geen actie hebben ondervonden. Ondanks het feit dat dhr Moraal Hoofdadvocaat-generaal de ontvankelijkheid van deze meldingen zou entameren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Ezzati en misa a sacerdotes...

CHILE
La Tercera

Ezzati en misa a sacerdotes: "Que el acompañamiento espiritual no se convierta en instrumento de dominación"

por Angélica Baeza Palavecino - 28/03/2013

El arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, encabezó la misa crismal en la Catedral Metropolitana, donde sostuvo a los sacerdotes que integran la liturgia que "el acompañamiento espiritual no se convierta en instrumento de dominación".

Esto, luego de que se diera a conocer hace algunos días atrás las medidas disciplinarias en contra del sacerdote y más cercano a Fernando Karadima, Juan Esteban Morales, por "abuso de poder".

Morales había sido denunciado por manipular las conciencias de algunos feligreses, tomando control sobre sus vidas, ante lo cual, luego de la investigación del padre Jaime Ortiz de Lazcano, se determinó que el religioso estará supervisado por el vicario de la zona correspondiente y no podrá asumir las "guías de almas".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Transparency marks Montana sex abuse lawsuit mediation

MONTANA
National Catholic Reporter

by Dan Morris-Young | Mar. 28, 2013

A weeklong "global mediation" slated to begin April 15 in Seattle will seek a broad settlement for two comprehensive sex abuse lawsuits pending against the diocese of Helena, Mont., and the Ursuline Sisters.

More than 360 plaintiffs, several insurance carriers, the Helena diocese and Ursuline Sisters will be represented at the Seattle gathering to negotiate culpability and potential financial awards for sex abuse claims against priests and women religious.

Some claims date to the mid-1930s, but the bulk are from the 1950s through 1970s, attorneys said.

If the process is successful, at least two major goals would be met, attorneys for both the diocese and claimants told NCR. First, the diocese would avoid bankruptcy. Second, a significantly larger portion of any ultimate monetary settlement would reach claimants rather than be consumed by costly, extended legal maneuvering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Religious Trauma Syndrome: How Some Organized Religion Leads to Mental Health Problems

UNITED STATES
AlterNet

March 25, 2013

By Valerie Tarico

At age sixteen I began what would be a four year struggle with bulimia. When the symptoms started, I turned in desperation to adults who knew more than I did about how to stop shameful behavior—my Bible study leader and a visiting youth minister. “If you ask anything in faith, believing,” they said. “It will be done.” I knew they were quoting the Word of God. We prayed together, and I went home confident that God had heard my prayers. But my horrible compulsions didn’t go away. By the fall of my sophomore year in college, I was desperate and depressed enough that I made a suicide attempt. The problem wasn’t just the bulimia. I was convinced by then that I was a complete spiritual failure. My college counseling department had offered to get me real help (which they later did). But to my mind, at that point, such help couldn’t fix the core problem: I was a failure in the eyes of God. It would be years before I understood that my inability to heal bulimia through the mechanisms offered by biblical Christianity was not a function of my own spiritual deficiency but deficiencies in Evangelical religion itself.

Dr. Marlene Winell is a human development consultant in the San Francisco Area. She is also the daughter of Pentecostal missionaries. This combination has given her work an unusual focus. For the past twenty years she has counseled men and women in recovery from various forms of fundamentalist religion including the Assemblies of God denomination in which she was raised. Winell is the author of Leaving the Fold - A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion, written during her years of private practice in psychology. Over the years, Winell has provided assistance to clients whose religious experiences were even more damaging than mine. Some of them are people whose psychological symptoms weren’t just exacerbated by their religion, but actually caused by it.

Two years ago, Winell made waves by formally labeling what she calls “Religious Trauma Syndrome” (RTS) and beginning to write and speak on the subject for professional audiences. When the British Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Psychologists published a series of articles on the topic, members of a Christian counseling association protested what they called excessive attention to a “relatively niche topic.” One commenter said, “A religion, faith or book cannot be abuse but the people interpreting can make anything abusive.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

What’s Your Response to an Accusation?

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

BY KATHY KANE

I have been called for jury duty a few times but have never made it past the waiting area. This time when the summons arrived, I started to think about the possible case. If it involved anything to do with child sex abuse, could I be an impartial juror?

In the Sandusky trial there was overwhelming evidence of guilt, but that is not always the case. Child sex abuse cases rarely have eyewitnesses, multiple victims taking the stand, and a trail of odd behavior and past police calls in reference to the perpetrator. I have read that most cases are hard to prosecute. In those instances, it must be hard to be a juror.

When you hear of a person being arrested for sexually abusing a child, do you automatically assume guilt? What if it’s a priest? Does the emotional response outweigh the understanding that the case needs to be proven in court and the defendant is assumed innocent until proven guilty?

If the victim testifying seems believable but the evidence is weak, could you vote to acquit? Does the juror have the added burden of feeling that if they acquit and are wrong, they just helped release a person back into society who could harm more children? Would the possibility of that make a juror more willing to vote guilty?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

Yeshivah probe broadens

AUSTRALIA
The Age

March 29, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Victoria's Human Rights Commission will investigate a complaint by Zephaniah Waks, the father of Jewish abuse victim advocate Manny Waks, that he has been shunned by the Orthodox Jewish community in Melbourne because of his son's anti-abuse campaign.

Mr Waks snr says that since the police began investigating child sexual abuse complaints around Melbourne's Yeshivah Centre nearly two years ago, he has suffered an escalating campaign of ''innuendo, lies, vilification, victimisation and discrimination''.

The case, which is shocking in a community that prefers to sort out disputes internally, names Yeshivah Centre spiritual head Zvi Telsner and its committee head Hershel Herbst as respondents.

Mr Waks said on Thursday he had tried to resolve issues internally and through Jewish courts, but the Yeshivah leadership refused, so he had gained permission under Jewish law to go to the secular courts from a leading American rabbi, Yosef Blau from Yeshiva University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

$10 million LA settlement first since document release

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

by Brian Roewe | Mar. 28, 2013

As Cardinal Roger Mahony entered the Sistine Chapel in Rome March 12 to begin the process of electing the next pope, his name made headlines in his home diocese for other reasons.

The cardinal, the Los Angeles archdiocese and an ex-priest agreed to settlements in four clergy abuse-related cases, totaling $9.9 million. The settlements are the first since the late January court-ordered release of 12,000 pages of abuse-related documents, and Mahony’s ban from public and administrative duties in the archdiocese.

On the same day another case, at the northern end of the state, also made headlines when a visiting priest was arrested on suspicion of child abuse.

The former priest at the center of the Los Angeles settlements was Michael Baker, who was removed from the priesthood in 2000 and convicted in 2007 of molesting two children. He was paroled in 2011 after initially receiving a 10-year prison sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Alleged victims of priest outraged by prison release

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Chronicle

The news that confessed pedophile priest Patrick Joseph McCabe had been released early from an Irish prison shook Greg Horne, who said the priest abused him while he was a student at St. Bernard’s Catholic School Church in Eureka from 1983 to 1985.

“Take every human emotion you can have, put it in a blender and that’s how I feel,” said Horne, a 41-year-old juvenile corrections officer who lives in McKinleyville (Humboldt County).

A judge in Ireland released the 77-year-old McCabe over the weekend, three months before the end of a two-year sentence. He cited McCabe’s advanced age and his confession that he had assaulted two boys in Ireland in the 1970s. This was before he was sent to the U.S., where he worked at churches in Eureka, Guerneville and Sacramento.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

CHRISM MASS 2013 Homily Notes of Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin Archbishop of Dublin Pro Cathedral, 28th March 2013

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

"Pope Francis continues to surprise us day after day. I spoke to a friend of mine working in the Vatican who is in close contact with the Pope and asked him how he would describe the atmosphere in the Vatican under Pope Francis and he summed it up saying: “surprises and more surprises and even more surprises to come” and my friend is one of those who is pleased with the surprises he is seeing.

We thank God for a Pope who has the interior freedom to surprise us. We thank God for a Pope who shows us that simplicity and humility are not signs of weakness and concession, but signs of strength and signs of a strength that comes from faith.

Pope Francis has given us some very significant signs and gestures about how he understands his role as Bishop of Rome and successor of Saint Peter. But they are not just signs about himself; they are signs about what the Church means. He does not want us just to look at these gestures on television and feel good about them and feel good that we have a new Pope like him. There are many who have no belief who will like the new Pope. There is not much good, however, in Christians feeling good about the new Pope if we do not make our own what he is saying and teaching and doing.

The first thing that this involves is allowing Jesus to surprise us and for us to find the courage to change. We are at a critical juncture in the history of the Catholic Church in this diocese and in our country. We are at critical juncture about the place of the Catholic Church in Irish society and in the future culture of Ireland. And we are at a critical juncture about the very place of faith and the very understanding of faith within the Catholic community.

We are at a critical juncture and the only valid answer is an answer of enthusiasm and optimism, of commitment and renewal in our own lives. We have to witness to others the sense of meaning and purpose that Jesus brings to our lives. If all we have to offer is a tired and discouraged faith, then we have to ask questions about the quality of our own faith

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin speaks of the ‘critical juncture’ of the Catholic Church

IRELAND
Journal

ARCHBISHOP DIARMUID MARTIN has said, “we are at a critical juncture in the history of the Catholic Church in this diocese and in our country”.

He was speaking at the Chrism Mass this morning in St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral in Dublin.

The Archbishop also spoke about the amount of people losing faith and leaving the Catholic church:

"We are at critical juncture about the place of the Catholic Church in Irish society and in the future culture of Ireland. And we are at a critical juncture about the very place of faith and the very understanding of faith within the Catholic community."

But he said “despite the difficulties of the Church in Ireland there are also so many signs of hope”.

Victims

He prayed for the “anguish” of victims of child clerical sex abuse following the sentencing of former priest of the Diocese, Patrick Mc Cabe, for abuse. Seventy-year-old McCabe was, who abused two boys over 30 years ago, was sentenced to 18 months in prison last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Former Palma teacher admits molesting student in 1980s

CALIFORNIA
Santa Cruz Sentinel

By VIRGINIA HENNESSEY
Herald Staff Writer
montereyherald.com
Posted: 03/27/2013

A former Palma High School chaplain and teacher has admitted in sworn testimony that he sexually assaulted a Palma student.

In a videotaped deposition, the Rev. Gerald Funcheon claimed he molested just one student at Palma and that the boy was his last. The redacted video does not include the names of any of the priest's alleged victims.

Five men have leveled claims that Funcheon molested them when they were students at the school during the Crosier priest's tenure from 1984 to 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Colombian priest visiting Lodi released on bail

CALIFORNIA
Lodi News-Sentinel

By Ross Farrow/News-Sentinel Staff Writer

An immigration judge allowed a Catholic priest temporarily serving in Lodi to be released on bail Wednesday.

Father Julio Cesar Guarin-Sosa, 43, has been charged with a felony count of false imprisonment, and misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a minor and sexual battery involving a 16-year-old girl at a Mass conducted in a private home in Yuba City, according to the Appeal-Democrat newspaper, based in Marysville.

Jacquelyn Stenson, a deputy district attorney in Sutter County, refused to discuss specifics of the Sutter County charges. Guarin-Sosa's attorney, Markus Dombois, has not returned several calls from the News-Sentinel since Guarin-Sosa was arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Deetman spreekt kritiek misbruikrapport tegen

NEDERLAND
Nieuws

(Novum) - Wim Deetman is het niet eens met de kritiek op zijn rapport over misbruik van meisjes in de rooms-katholieke kerk. Dat bleek donderdag tijdens een gesprek dat hij had met de Tweede Kamer.

Het Vrouwenplatform Kerkelijk Kindermisbruik uitte eerder 'ernstige bezwaren' tegen het rapport. Zo herkennen vrouwen zich niet in de manier waarop hun geschiedenis in het rapport is beschreven. Ook ontbreekt een 'ondubbelzinnige morele veroordeling' van het fysieke en psychische geweld. Dat vindt het platform onacceptabel.

Deetman zei donderdag dat zijn commissie heeft voorgesteld om met een speciaal bemiddelingstraject te komen voor vrouwen die te maken hebben gehad met buitensporig geweld. "Dat is naar mijn oordeel ten principale de erkenning. Daar kan geen misverstand over zijn", zei hij. "Dat is ook mijn antwoord naar diegenen die zeggen: wij herkennen ons er niet in." Hij beklemtoonde dat geweld niet valt goed te praten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Group started for survivors of clergy abuse

FLORIDA
Sun-Sentinel

A South Florida man is organizing a chapter of SNAP, or the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests.

The group will offer support to abuse survivors, said David Pittman, at meetings on the fourth Thursday of every month. SNAP is a nonprofit organization with no connection to the Catholic Church.

The initial meeting will be Thursday. For confidentiality purposes, Pittman is asking prospective members to call him at 754-234-7975 or email him at snappittman@ymail.com to learn where and when the meeting will be.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

McCort parents, alumni group organizes

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Randy Griffith rgriffith@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — Supporters of suspended Bishop McCort High School principal Ken Salem have formally organized as they continue to push for more information about the shake-up.

Salem was placed on suspension March 1.

Although reasons for the suspension have not been made public, the school is conducting an internal investigation following accusations that the late Franciscan Brother Stephen Baker molested numerous students throughout the 1990s when he worked as an athletic trainer at McCort. Baker committed suicide on Jan. 26.

“This group of parents and alumni are very interested smoothing over the issues related to Brother Baker and in helping the faculty at the school and the students at the school get through this with as little impact on their education as possible,” said Rod Eckenrod, vice president of the newly incorporated Friends and Family of Bishop McCort High School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

The Last Words of Bergoglio Before the Conclave

ROME
Chiesa

The handwritten notes of his remarks to the cardinals at the congregation of March 9. The intention of electing him pope was strengthened. The outcries against the "spiritual worldliness" that afflicts the Church

by Sandro Magister

ROME, March 27, 2013 – It is a widespread opinion, confirmed by numerous testimonies, that the intention of electing pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio grew substantially among the cardinals on the morning of Saturday, March 9, when the then-archbishop of Buenos Aires spoke at the second to last of the congregations - covered by secrecy - that preceded the conclave.

His words made an impression on many. Bergoglio spoke off the cuff. But we now have the account of those words of his, written by the hand of the author himself.

Bergoglio's remarks in the preconclave were made public by the cardinal of Havana, Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, in the homily of the chrism Mass that he celebrated on Saturday, March 23 in the cathedral of the capital of Cuba, in the presence of the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Bruno Musarò, of the auxiliary bishops Alfredo Petit and Juan de Dios Hernandez, and of the clergy of the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Provinciaal franciscanen: 'Af en toe voel je je zelfs vies':

NEDERLAND
NOS

Audio De leider van de franciscanen in Nederland, pater Jan van den Eijnden, is niet blij met de manier waarop de Tweede Kamer zich bemoeit met de afhandeling van klachten over misbruik in de katholieke kerk. Vandaag hoort de Kamer Wim Deetman die de zaak onderzocht. Verslaggever Roel Pauw sprak met Van den Eijnden over het misbruik binnen zijn congregatie

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Commissie Deetman: ‘beschuldigingen NRC ongefundeerd’

NEDERLAND
Katholiek Nieuwsblad

Beschuldigingen als zou de onderzoekscommissie Deetman belastende informatie over bepaalde bisschoppen hebben achtergehouden zijn ongefundeerd en feitelijk onjuist.

Dat concludeert de voormalige onderzoekscommissie in een 21 pagina’s tellende reactie op twee recente artikelen in NRC-Handelsblad. Daarin werd de beschuldiging geuit dat voorzitter Wim Deetman “belastende feiten” verbloemd zou hebben over de Rotterdamse oud-bisschop Ad van Luyn en diens Roermondse collega Frans Wiertz. Dat zou zijn gebeurd, suggereert het artikel van Joep Dohmen en Wereldomroepredacteur Robert Chesal, omdat Deetman en Van Luyn “elkaar goed kennen”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Defrocked pedophile priest Thomas Laughlin -- who admitted to molesting dozens of boys in Oregon -- has died

OREGON/NEBRASKA
The Oregonian

By Aimee Green, The Oregonian
on March 27, 2013

Thomas Laughlin -- one of Oregon's most notorious pedophile priests who admitted to molesting dozens of boys over decades in parishes throughout the state -- has died after spending his last years living a quiet existence near family in Omaha, Neb.

Laughlin was known as an exceptionally charismatic priest and tremendous church fundraiser who hobnobbed with Portland's Catholic business and political elite -- someone many in the church thought could be bishop one day. But he also was the first priest molester to be criminally convicted in the Archdiocese of Portland.

At his 1983 sentencing hearing for sexually abusing two boys, the then-57-year-old priest pondered aloud a concern that he'd be remembered only as a child molester.

"I felt everything good I had done for 35 years would be forgotten, and I would be remembered only for the harm I had done to those I was sent to serve," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Sex abuse cases: 'I have a personal stake in this' (Video)

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Business Journal

Jeff Blumenthal
Reporter- Philadelphia Business Journal

Last week, I interviewed Marci Hamilton, a lawyer representing victims in the Sandusky and Philadelphia Archdiocese child abuse scandals, as part of our Inside the Reporters Notebook series. And it was a lively discussion where the audience included some knowledgeable people on child sexual abuse matters, including former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham and Support Center for Child Advocates Executive Director Frank Cervone.

But the session was not a one-sided affair. In an exchange that can be viewed in full on the link above, an audience member questioned the “wisdom and constitutionality” of so-called window legislation that would lengthen Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations period for when alleged victims can file lawsuits against accused predators. He also asked Hamilton if she was benefitting financially from her work on the Sandusky and Archdiocese cases.

Hamilton’s pointed response explained what she says is a personal reason for her involvement. She is a professor at Cardozo School of Law and not a litigator by trade. But she said she was incensed on February 10, 2011, when a Philadelphia Grand Jury released a report following an investigation into allegations that two priests and a teacher sexually abused a 10-year-old boy at St. Jerome Parish in Philadelphia, and that another priest assigned to St. Jerome sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Catholic guilt

CALIFORNIA
New Times

A document dump reveals local aspects of the church's sex abuse scandal

BY NICK POWELL

It is unfortunate that he has been guilty of improper actions on two or three occasions … but how many priests are there completely blameless over a period of 10 years?”

The above words were penned in 1980 by Juan Arzube, a now-deceased bishop in the Catholic Church’s Los Angeles Archdiocese, which governs parishes in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties. Arzube wrote to Rome pleading that Father Willebaldo Castro be allowed to transfer home to Mexico and remain in the ministry following the latest allegation of the priest’s sexual deviancy.

That time, according to the letter, Castro had been arrested after approaching a security guard—presumably for sex—in a Pomona department store bathroom, but previous troubles include a vague “moral charge” from his early years in Mexico and the accusations of molestation of teenage boys in Los Angeles and Santa Maria—incidents that were described in his private clergy file and made public with the recent release of 12,000 pages detailing the church’s internal handling of 128 priests accused of abuse.

The release stems from a 2007 settlement of 508 lawsuits that blamed 194 priests and bishops in the L.A. Archdiocese for the sexual abuse of underage victims. The church agreed to pay $660 million, an average settlement of $1.3 million per victim, and a federal judge ordered that the files on accused clergy be made public, with privacy protections built in for victims. At first, members of church hierarchy were also to be protected, but another judge later ordered that their names be included as well. The files were collected, redacted, and finally made available on the L.A. Archdiocese website Jan. 31, 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

After sex-abuse settlement, priest to leave ministry with payout from diocese.

CALIFORNIA
Monterey County Weekly

By Sara Rubin

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Catholic priest removed from leading the Old Mission San Juan following allegations of sexual abuse is preparing to leave the priesthood for good. But he may walk away with enough money to live on for the rest of his life. 


Lawyers for Father Edward Fitz-Henry and the Diocese of Monterey are hashing out the terms of a settlement over a lawsuit Fitz-Henry filed, according to Tom Riordan, vicar for temporalities and administration at the diocese, and Fitz-Henry’s attorney, Daniel De Vries. 


The priest claims the diocese failed to protect him against a 2011 sexual-abuse lawsuit. In February 2011, a young man identified in court papers only as John RJ Doe alleged Fitz-Henry sexually abused him as a teen at Madonna del Sasso parish in Salinas. Fitz-Henry never admitted wrongdoing, and the diocese maintains that John Doe’s allegations were unfounded. 


Still, the diocese settled a case for $500,000 in exchange for John Doe dropping his lawsuit.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

March 27, 2013

British Catholic legislators ask pope to relax priestly celibacy rule

UNITED KINGDOM
National Catholic Reporter

by Simon Caldwell, Catholic News Service | Mar. 27, 2013

Manchester, England --
Twenty-one Catholic members of Parliament have written to Pope Francis to ask him to relax the rule on priestly celibacy for Latin-rite priests.

The members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords said in a letter Monday to the pope that the rule should be changed to allow married men to be ordained priests where pastoral needs required it.

They suggested it was unfair to allow married former Anglican ministers to be ordained as Catholic priests in England, Wales and Scotland while the church insisted on the celibacy rule for Catholic candidates in those countries.

The letter did not suggest that serving priests should be given permission to marry, and the legislators proposed that the celibacy rule be retained for bishops, as in the Eastern Catholic churches, which allow priests to marry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Kansas City sentencing date set for priest in child porn case

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

A judge announced Wednesday that he will sentence the Rev. Shawn Ratigan in September, more than a year after the Catholic priest pleaded guilty to producing child pornography.

Ratigan pleaded guilty in August to using five girls to produce or attempt to produce child pornography over several years while serving as pastor to congregations in the Northland and St. Joseph. Prosecutors have said they plan to seek a “virtual life sentence” when Ratigan is sentenced Sept. 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Englebert Axer, s.j.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Ordained in 1939, Axer was a priest of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus who spent the bulk of his career as a professor at the University of Seattle. The Province notified the Seattle U. community in 2006 that Englebert had been accused of sexually abusing a boy in 1956 at a summer ministry program in northern California. Englebert died in 1989.

Ordained: 1939
Died: Sept. 1989

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

‘Francis criticized Church at conclave’

CUBA
Inquirer (Philippines)

Associated Press
4:18 am | Thursday, March 28th

HAVANA—Pope Francis issued a strong critique of the Church before the College of Cardinals just hours before it selected him as the new Pontiff, according to comments published on Tuesday by a Roman Catholic magazine in Cuba.

According to Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio urged the Vatican to eschew self-absorption and refocus its energies outward.

“The Church is called on to emerge from itself and move toward the peripheries, not only geographic but also existential (ones): Those of sin, suffering, injustice, ignorance and religious abstention, thought and all misery,” Bergoglio said.

Ortega said Bergoglio’s comments were made to cardinals as they gathered to select Benedict XVI’s replacement, and reflect his vision of the contemporary Catholic Church. He said Bergoglio later gave him a handwritten version and permission to divulge its contents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Ex-priest admits to drug charge in Connecticut

CONNECTICUT
Yahoo! News

(Reuters) - A former Catholic priest from Connecticut arrested by federal authorities earlier this year on suspicion of dealing methamphetamine has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute the drug, according to court documents.

Kevin Wallin, 61, of Waterbury, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge on Tuesday, court documents showed, just before a scheduled appearance in U.S. District Court in Hartford. The conspiracy charge was one of seven charges that he faces.

If convicted, Wallin faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million.

His lawyer and a spokesman for the Diocese of Bridgeport did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Prominent rabbi charged with sexual abuse of daughters

ISRAEL
YNet News

A prominent rabbi has been indicted for sexual offences against his daughters, all minors, which took place over the course of several years.

The indictment has been filed with the Jerusalem's Magistrates' Court, in which a long list of sexual offences within his family are listed, as well as breaches of privacy. He was remanded for an additional two days. (Aviel Magnezi)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Computer Seizure At Independence Church Stems From Child Porn Search

MISSOURI
KCUR

[with audio]

By Dan Verbeck

Independence police from a child exploitation task force hauled four computers out of St. Ann’s Catholic Church offices yesterday.

Examiners will be studying the hardware, looking for child pornography. There will now be changes made in internet distribution at parishes.

Detectives told a diocese executive that someone had accessed child porn on the morning of February 5th, and the IP address was traced back to the parish office.

Diocese Communications Director Jack Smith said police were joined by FBI agents in his presence as computers were collected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

Child porn linked to church IP address

MISSOURI
Fox 4

[with video]

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Computers, computer equipment and unknown items in boxes were removed from the rectory office of St. Ann’s Catholic Church on Tuesday in Independence, Mo.

Federal investigators said on February 5, between 6:30 and 7:30 in the morning, there were two downloads of child pornography from peer-to-peer file sharing sites to an IP address registered at St. Ann’s church rectory, where the priest, Father Bernard Branson lives.

The church had an open Wifi system, which allows for the possibility that someone outside the parish used the ‘free’ Internet service to make the downloads. To determine if this is what happened, investigators seized four desktop computers and towers from inside the church rectory.

Carrie Cooper, who heads the diocese’s new Office of Child Protection said she’s waiting for results of a forensic exam of the church computers to determine who downloaded the child porn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Authorities seize computers from parish office in Independence

MISSOURI
The Olathe News

By GLENN E. RICE
The Kansas City Star

Federal and state authorities today seized four computers from the office of St. Ann Parish in Independence.

Detectives told parish officials that they had detected two downloads of child pornography from peer-to-peer websites by an IP address associated with the parish office, said Jack Smith, spokesman for the Catholic Dioceses of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

The downloads occurred between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 5, Smith said he was told by detectives.

The office, at 10113 E. Lexington Ave., had an unsecure WiFi connection, Smith said, meaning the downloads could have been made by a computer in the parish office or nearby.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Child porn investigation focused on St. Ann's parish

MISSOURI
The Examiner

By Kelly Evenson - kelly.evenson@examiner.net
The Examiner

Posted Mar 27, 2013

Independence, MO —

Federal investigators and the Independence Police Department were at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in western Independence Tuesday after it was discovered that child pornography had been downloaded using the church’s IP address.

Carrie Cooper, director of the office of child protection with the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, said that a search warrant was issued for computer equipment that was in the rectory. At St. Ann’s, 10113 E. Lexington Ave., the rectory is where the priest lives and houses the church offices. Two child pornography downloads from peer-to-peer file sharing sites were made between 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Feb. 5. The downloads were traced back to an IP address that is registered to the rectory at St. Ann’s.

“We are fully cooperating with local law enforcement in this matter,” Cooper said. “We always make sure we fully cooperate with law enforcement in any matter relating to child sexual abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Catholic parish in Missouri raided ...

MISSOURI
Raw Story

By David Edwards
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Federal and state authorities on Tuesday raided a Catholic parish in Independence, Missouri as part of an investigation into child pornography.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Dioceses of Kansas City-St. Joseph said that investigators tracked down child porn downloads to an IP address used by an unsecured wireless network at the offices of St. Ann Parish in Independence, according to The Kansas City Star.

Four computers seized in the raid will be analyzed to determine if they were used to download the illegal material from a peer-to-peer network. It is possible, however, that outside computers accessed the wireless network because it was not password protected.

“The church does not tolerate child sexual abuse or child abuse or child pornography of any kind,” Diocese Director of the Office of Child Protection Carrie Cooper told KSHB. “And we will work fully — cooperate fully with law enforcement until this matter is resolved.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Tate County minister indicted on child sex charges

MISSISSIPPI
Clarion-Ledger

A 71 year-old Mississippi pastor has been indicted on child sex charges and is being held on $1 million bond, according to media reports.

A Tate County grand jury indicted Larry Singleton on 18 felony counts. Singleton, former minister of Bay Springs Baptist Church, is accused of abusing a boy who is now 18.

Singleton was arrested in December after the Tate County Sheriff's Department received a complaint from the victim. Investigators say the sexual abuse started when the victim was 11 and continued for several years.

Singleton is charged with fondling, sexual battery and child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Bistum Erfurt zahlte bisher 29.000 Euro an Missbrauchsopfer

DEUTSCHLAND
Thueringer Allgemeine

Erfurt. Das Bistum Erfurt hat einem Medienbericht zufolge bislang 29.000 Euro Entschädigung an Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs gezahlt. Die sieben Betroffenen hätten Beträge zwischen 1000 und 5000 Euro erhalten, wie ein Sprecher des Bistums laut dem Sender MDR Thüringen vom Mittwoch sagte. Soweit möglich würden die Täter an den Zahlungen beteiligt.

Wie es weiter hieß, sind seit 2011 zwölf Anträge auf finanzielle Entschädigungen eingegangen. Während drei Fälle noch nicht abschließend geklärt seien, habe das zuständige Gremium zwei Anträge abgelehnt, da das Opfer nicht durch einen Mitarbeiter der katholischen Kirche missbraucht worden sei oder aber keine Straftat nachgewiesen werden konnte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Pope Francis' appointments will create church of the future

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by Arthur Jones | Mar. 27, 2013

Analysis
If Pope Francis is serious about reforming the Roman Curia, God bless him. Further, if he undertakes that reform with the poor in mind, the first question is not where might he begin, but how long has he got?

Of our nine popes since 1913, only Pius XII, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have made it to 82 or beyond. So the question about a 76-year-old pontiff isn't as impertinent as it first may seem.

Francis lives simply, walks quickly and walks a lot. Can we assume (to achieve Pius XII's 82 years) the new pope has six vigorous years to work with?

If so, six years takes the story to 2019. By 2019 Francis will be able to appoint about 40 percent of the College of Cardinals, approximately 50 of the 120.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Lawsuit filed against Yakima Diocese claims abuse

WASHINGTON
KIMA

YAKIMA, Wash -- A new lawsuit has been filed against the Yakima Diocese. It alleges child sex abuse by former priests.

The suit claims the abuse happened to a woman back in the 1970s. She was a parishioner between 8 and 12-years-old at the time.

The lawsuit claims the Diocese should have known about the danger before letting the priests into the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Woman alleges she was abused by three priests at St. Joseph in ’70s

WASHINGTON
Yakima Herald Republic

By Jane Gargas
Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — A woman has started a lawsuit in Superior Court here against the Catholic Diocese of Yakima, alleging that she was sexually abused by three Jesuit priests during the 1970s.

Michelle Duerre, who lives in King County, asked that her name be made public in her suit against the diocese. Now 44, Duerre alleges that the Revs. Frank Duffy, John Morse and James Poole abused her when she was between the ages of 8 and12 and a student at St. Joseph/Marquette School.

She says in court documents that Morse and Duffy abused her at the school and in the church rectory and that Poole abused her at the St. Peter the Apostle retreat house in Cowiche.

Monsignor Robert Siler, diocese chief of staff, said that Duerre had not previously contacted the diocese about the alleged abuse. “We’re sorry for any abuse this woman may have suffered,” Siler said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

4th plaintiff joins Sacred Heart lawsuit

TEXAS
Daily Sentinel

By Paul Bryant pbryant@dailysentinel.com | Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A fourth plaintiff has joined a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic diocese of Beaumont alleging sexual abuse by a Sacred Heart Parish priest in Nacogdoches more than 30 years ago.

“All four of the plaintiffs have claimed that defendants used deception to conceal Father (Ronald W. Bollich’s) past crimes as well as those of other predatory Beaumont priests or former priests, such as Ernest Dale Calhoun, Frank Paduch, August Pucar, Roger Thibodeaux ... and to conceal its own failure to properly assign, supervise, investigate, report and remove Father Bollich for his injurious criminal sexual misconduct,” stated attorney Tahira Khann Merritt in a press release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Chetham's sex fiend Michael Brewer jailed – but still denies guilt

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

A former choirmaster at Manchester’s world-famous Chetham’s School of Music was today behind bars for a campaign of sex assaults – but still denying his guilt.

Predatory sex offender Michael Brewer, the school’s ex-director of music, has been jailed for six years for a campaign of abuse against tragic former pupil Frances Andrade.

Acclaimed violinist Mrs Andrade is understood to have committed suicide after being branded a ‘fantasist’ and ‘liar’ during his trial. The jury, however, convicted Brewer of five counts of indecent assault.

Computer records showed Mrs Andrade, 48, who was found dead at home in Surrey a week after testifying against Brewer, had researched details of the trial on Google before her body was found.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Church reports gains on abuse

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER — Shortly after the Rev. Lowe B. Dongor was arraigned on possession of child pornography charges in 2011, Bishop Robert J. McManus asked the Vatican to defrock the diocese’s first Filipino priest.

Chancery officials said the bishop has always maintained a zero-tolerance policy when it came to clergy charged with sexual improprieties but added they were surprised that the Worcester prelate would move so quickly to strip Rev. Dongor of the priesthood.

“There was no question that the bishop would seek to have Dongor laicized,” explained one chancery official. “But the feeling was that he’d wait until the matter wound itself through the local court system. Obviously, the bishop wanted Rev. Dongor removed from the priesthood as quickly as possible.”

Local church officials, pointing to Bishop McManus’ action regarding Rev. Dongor, insist they are doing everything they can to protect kids and added that the diocese has fully embraced the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. ...

“For the most part, the audits are superficial,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a watchdog group. “The auditors have to assume that the information they are reviewing is factual.”

She said oversight is difficult because auditors physically visit a diocese once every three years. During the other two years, they are dependent on the reports sent to them.

Victim advocates also note that many bishops ignore the purpose of the charter and continue to cover up improprieties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Sex abuse by Orchard Lake friar first reported in 1985, dad of alleged victim says

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

[with video]

By Patricia Montemurri
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

A longtime Michigan resident said Tuesday that he confronted an official at Orchard Lake St. Mary's high school in 1985 about his son's alleged sexual abuse by Brother Stephen Baker, a Franciscan friar who killed himself in January after abuse incidents became public at Ohio and Pennsylvania schools.

In March 1985, the father said he confronted Baker and a St. Mary's administrator. The father said he demanded that Baker be terminated immediately.

"You are a sick man, and this is your last day at the school," the man said he told Baker. "I'll see to it."

The father spoke at a Romulus news conference Tuesday arranged by a victims advocacy group, Road to Recovery of New Jersey, and attorney Mitchell Garabedian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Uganda: Parishioners Yet to Forgive Fr Musaala

UGANDA
AllAfrica

The Observer (Kampala)

By Alon Mwesigwa, 26 March 2013

For 92-year-old John Baptist Lubowa, hearing his former parish priest, Fr Anthony Musaala, call for a review of the vows on celibacy, was shocking.

"When I heard the news, I first doubted it," says Lubowa in a soft tone, "You see, he lied to Jesus, to God, to us [the Christians], that he was devoted and we trusted him".

Lubowa says Fr Musaala's assertions were satanic.

"I think it was Satan that came into his head; now what can we say?" wonders Mzee Lubowa.

Lubowa is among hundreds of Busega parishioners, still angry with their former priest's letter, which lifted the lid on goings-on in the Catholic Church. On March 12 as Pope Francis was being inaugurated, Father Musaala wrote an open letter to the Catholics, among which he raised the issue of celibacy among Catholic priests as a myth.

He concluded calling for action against priests who have abused children and those gone against their vow of chastity. Musaala has since been suspended from the church service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Special Report: Behind the charm, a political pope

ARGENTINA
Reuters

By Paulo Prada and Helen Popper

BUENOS AIRES | Wed Mar 27, 2013

(Reuters) - When Jorge Bergoglio finished studying chemistry at high school his mother asked him what he would study next.

"Medicine," replied the skinny 19-year-old, according to his younger sister, Maria Elena.

Bergoglio's mother cleared a storage room in the family's working-class Buenos Aires home for him to use as a study. Every day, after his morning job in a lab, he would arrive home and disappear into the room.

One morning, though, his mother got a surprise. In the room, she found not anatomy or medicine texts but books on theology and Catholicism. Perturbed at his change of course, she confronted her eldest son.

"What is this?" she asked.

Bergoglio responded calmly: "It's medicine for the soul."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Suspended Priest Indicates He May Plead Guilty In Meth Case

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

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

BRIDGEPORT ——

A suspended Catholic priest from Bridgeport suspected of trying to launder thousands of dollars a week in drug money through an X-rated sexual novelty store has indicated he will plead guilty next week to participating in a bi-coastal methamphetamine distribution ring.

Monsignor Kevin Wallin, 61, faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison if he follows through with his plan to changes his plea to guilty on a single charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute the powerful stimulate methamphetamine.

Wallin's federal public defender filed notice in federal court Tuesday of the change of plea and a hearing has been scheduled for April 2, at noon, in Hartford. Neither Wallin, who is being held without bond, nor his lawyer could be reached Tuesday.

The indictment of Wallin on narcotics charges in January stunned the Diocese of Bridgeport, where he formerly served in positions that included personal secretary to successive bishops, including Edward Egan, later appointed a cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Priest expected to plead guilty in meth case

CONNECTICUT
CT Post

Michael P. Mayko

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

HARTFORD -- For 15 years, Kevin Wallin heard confessions as a Roman Catholic monsignor and pastor, first at St. Peter Church in Danbury, then at St. Augustine's Cathedral in Bridgeport.

On April 2, Wallin is expected to make his own confession before Senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello and plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute the highly addictive crystal methamphetamine in Connecticut, according to court documents.

"Monsignor Wallin's guilty plea will represent an important step in his coming to terms with his own actions and their impact on others," said Brian Wallace, a spokesman for the Bridgeport Diocese.

"It is a difficult moment for all of us, but we hope it is also the first step in rebuilding his life. We pray that he moves toward healing and wholeness."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Priest at centre of sex claims appeals his dismissal

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Ralph Riegel– 27 March 2013

THE elderly cleric at the centre of the Cloyne Report into child-abuse allegations is appealing his dismissal from the priesthood to Pope Francis and a top Vatican court.

The priest, known only by the pseudonyms 'Fr Ronat' and 'Fr B', faces being defrocked after a church canonical court upheld abuse allegations lodged against him by former minors in the diocese of Cloyne.

A relative of the cleric, speaking to the Irish Independent, confirmed that an appeal has been lodged within the stipulated 15-day period.

"We are very disappointed with the negative outcome. But there will be an appeal, particularly in respect of the fact we believe that a full defence against the allegations was not properly taken into account," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Deetman gehoord over mishandeling in tehuis

NEDERLAND
Dagblad De Limburger

Wim Deetman wordt opgeroepen voor een getuigenverhoor over het misbruik en de mishandeling van een jongen in huize Sint Joseph in Cadier en Keer in de jaren 60. De rechtbank in Breda heeft dat woensdag bepaald.

ANP

Het slachtoffer kreeg vanwege het seksueel misbruik een schadevergoeding van 25.000 euro toegekend door de compensatiecommissie van de kerk. Maar omdat hij ook een vergoeding wil voor het fysieke geweld, heeft de man uit Coevorden (nu 59 jaar) de priestercongregatie voor de rechter gesleept. Voor zover bekend is het voor het eerst dat een misbruikslachtoffer een rechtszaak begint over mishandeling.

Deetman kan bijdragen aan het bewijs voor de lichamelijke mishandeling, omdat hij in zijn onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik in de kerk ook bij Sint Joseph in het archief heeft gekeken en gesproken heeft met slachtoffers en daders. Ook de provinciaal overste van de congregatie, een priester en twee medeleerlingen zijn opgeroepen voor het getuigenverhoor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Accused organist's previous conviction for sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A church organist and choirmaster who is accused of historical child sex abuse was convicted years earlier of abusing a boy, a court has heard.

Michael Mytton, 68, from East Chiltington, East Sussex, has denied aiding and abetting indecent assault.

In 1981 Mr Mytton was forced to leave his position at a church in Uckfield after being convicted of two counts of gross indecency on a 12-year-old boy.

The jury at Hove Crown Court heard he had admitted he liked boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Diocese boosts support for sexual assault victims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese says a purpose-built one-stop-shop for all its community services will bolster support for people who have been sexually abused by clergy.

The Church's welfare arm, CatholicCare Social Services, and its child protection unit, Zimmerman Services, have moved into the retrofitted Sport and Recreation Club at Mayfield.

Co-ordinator of healing and support, Maureen O'Hearn, says there will be increased synergies between the counselling programs and advocacy.

She says the move comes at a crucial time as the nation prepares for the Royal Commission into abuse within institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

March 26, 2013

Child-molesting former North Coast priest freed from Irish jail

CALIFORNIA
The Press Democrat

By PAUL PAYNE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

A former North Coast priest who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing children in his native Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s has been released from an Irish jail.

Patrick Joseph McCabe, 77, was freed over the weekend by a Dublin judge based on his age, statements of contrition and the fact that he had already served 21 months of a two-year sentence.

Men who claimed they were molested by McCabe when he served at St. Bernard Parish in Eureka from 1983 to 1985 said Tuesday they were disappointed he didn’t receive a more serious punishment.

Greg Horne, 40, of McKinleyville, said the judge missed a chance to send a strong message that church abuse won’t be tolerated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Jackson pastor Danny Ray Hollis faces civil suit in child sex case

MISSISSIPPI
Clarion-Ledger

A Jackson pastor accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old is facing a civil lawsuit filed by his accuser.

Allegations surfaced in October 2012 that the Rev. Danny Ray Hollins, pastor of Greater Fairview Missionary Baptist Church, lured and coerced the girl to have sex with him during a summer 2012 church convention. Hollins reportedly stepped down as pastor then but is listed now on the church’s website as the pastor, including a gospel message he authored on the website’s home page.

Jackson police officers investigated the allegations, but Hollins was not charged. However, the Hinds County District Attorney’s office also has investigated, and that office will present their findings to a Hinds County grand jury, said assistant district attorney Jamie McBride.

“It’s not unusual to bring a case directly to the grand jury and for us to investigate it,” McBride said. Legal stipulations prevent his office from saying when a grand jury will convene.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

Former Bible Baptist School music teacher pleads guilty to sexually abusing children

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Steve Marroni | smarroni@pennlive.com
on March 26, 2013

CARLISLE — The former Bible Baptist School music teacher pleaded guilty in Cumberland County court Tuesday to a host of charges filed against him for sexually abusing children at the school.

William C. Jackson, 58, of New Cumberland, pleaded guilty to seven counts of corruption of minors, three counts of institutional sexual assault, and one count of indecent assault.

Jackson was charged in September, after a 17-year-old boy told police that Jackson had fondled him, court documents state.

But as police conducted the investigation, Senior Assistant District Attorney Christin Mehrtens-Carlin said the total number of victims increased to seven, coming from six different families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Former Bible Baptist School teacher pleads guilty to sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
The Sentinel

Former Bible Baptist School music minister William Jackson Tuesday pleaded guilty in court to the sexual abuse of seven students.

Jackson did not say anything during the guilty plea, and the families of the victims declined to comment.

Jackson was scheduled to make the plea last week, but it was rescheduled so families could be present.

He will undergo evaluation on whether or not he will be deemed a sexually violent predator, and he will be sentenced in July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

APNewsBreak: Suspended priest accused of dealing meth plans to plead guilty to drug charge

CONNECTICUT
The Republic

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN Associated Press
March 26, 2013

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut — A court filing shows a suspended Roman Catholic priest in Connecticut accused of taking in more than $300,000 from sales of methamphetamines plans to plead guilty to one of the charges against him.

Kevin Wallin is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Hartford next week for a hearing in which he would plead guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Tuesday's filing was obtained by The Associated Press.

A message left with his attorney was not immediately returned.

Authorities say the 61-year-old Wallin had methamphetamine mailed to him from co-conspirators in California and made more than $300,000 in drugs sales out of his apartment in Waterbury last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Episcopal priest gets 45 days for smuggling drugs into jail

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

Posted March 26, 2013

An Episcopal priest from Augusta pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to misdemeanor possession of Suboxone and will serve 45 days in jail followed by one year of probation.

The Rev. Stephen Foote, 70, of Bremen, was sentenced to 364 days of incarceration, with all but 45 days suspended, and one year of probation, in an agreement with the office of the Maine Attorney General, according to Bill Stokes, deputy attorney general and chief of the office’s criminal division.

“We don’t see priests smuggling drugs into jails — that’s pretty uncommon,” Stokes said Tuesday. “And we understand Rev. Foote has no prior criminal record, but we really insisted that he do some jail time because we were more concerned that we send the message that you’re going to do jail time if you do this, even if you’re a priest.”

Stokes said Tuesday that the attorney general’s office agreed to the plea on the condition that the sentence include “a significant amount of community service” to include Foote spending time “talking about the error of his ways.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

U.S. women religious trust in Pope Francis’ mercy

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The U.S. Catholic Church hopes for a positive solution to the controversy

Maria Teresa Pontara Pederiva
Rome

The recurring theme of Bergoglio’s papacy, mercy, has not just sparked hope among the laity, but also within the Church, of this subject being given a greater focus. The list is long: from remarried divorcees – one of the Pope’s sisters falls into this category – to gays (who are eagerly waiting for the civil unions which Bergoglio declared himself in favour of in Buenos Aires), from theologians who were “reproached” to “rebel” priests, to the women religious of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) whom the Vatican placed under the administration of an external commissioner last year.
The organisation was accused of devoting too much time to social justice and assistance to the poor (particularly women and children), to the detriment of the promotion of a pro-life culture, intended as a fight against abortion and euthanasia. According to the LCWR, this was too limiting. Pope Francis’ arrival, which promises a “poor Church for the poor”, gives us reason to hope for a downscaling of the disciplinary clash.

What really could make the difference is Pope Francis’ Jesuit background. Two women religious believe that the fact Bergoglio comes from a religious order is important. Sister Nancy Sylvester of the Sisters of the Immaculate heart of Mary in Monroe, Michigan, feels encouraged by the emphasis Bergoglio has placed on the poor: "I am really trying to be hopeful," she said, adding that were signs in Francis' public comments as Pope and his track record "that he would be much more sympathetic to women religious." Sister Simone Campbell who is known for her speech at the last Democratic Convention, said that the world is thirsty for a real spiritual leader and that she hoped the new Pope would be precisely this and not get caught up in internal politics. Referring explicitly to Italian methods, she added that the LCWR issue is all to do with internal politics and nothing to do with faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Pope Francis' record on Dirty War, sex abuse cases under scrutiny

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Roberts | Mar. 26, 2013

Within days of the election of Pope Francis, stories began to surface about his conduct as the former Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, head of the Jesuit order in Argentina during that country's "Dirty War," as well as his handling of the sex abuse crisis later as head of the Buenos Aires archdiocese.

The stories revisit two of the most difficult crises that have confronted the modern church -- the role of its leaders in countries split by violent dictatorships and in dealing with clerics accused of sexual crimes against children. In both instances involving Bergoglio, the reporting has included liberal use of such terms as "cloudy" and "murky."

Bergoglio was appointed Jesuit provincial when he was 37, a position he held from 1973-79, a time of civil and religious turmoil. Religious orders were losing members at a significant rate at the time; additionally, in many countries in Latin America, orders were torn between their traditional ministries and a new sense of obligation to marginalized and oppressed.

The period during which Bergoglio headed the order in Argentina coincided with the rule of a vicious military junta that killed as many as 30,000 in what was billed as a fight against communism and was officially called the Process of National Reorganization. The purge of "enemies" of the regime, which included thousands who resisted the dictatorship, was carried out in some instances with the cooperation of religious authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Pope Francis to live in Vatican guesthouse, not papal apartments

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by Cindy Wooden,Catholic News Service | Mar. 26, 2013

Vatican City --
Pope Francis has decided not to move into the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, but to live in a suite in the Vatican guesthouse where he has been since the beginning of the conclave that elected him, said Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

"He is experimenting with this type of living arrangement, which is simple," but allows him "to live in community with others," both the permanent residents -- priests and bishops who work at the Vatican -- as well as guests coming to the Vatican for meetings and conferences, Lombardi said Tuesday.

The spokesman said Pope Francis has moved out of the room he drew by lot before the conclave and into Suite 201, a room that has slightly more elegant furnishings and a larger living room where he can receive guests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

"Mahnender Mühlstein" als Stolperstein gegen Gewalt an Kindern - VIDEO

DEUTSCHLAND
Osthessen News

26.03.13 - FULDA - „Wer aber einem von diesen Kleinen, die an mich glauben, Ärgernis gibt, dem wäre es besser, wenn ihm ein Mühlstein an den Hals gehängt und er in die Tiefe des Meeres versenkt würde." Dieses Bibelzitat aus dem Matthäusevangelium ist in Stein gemeiselt – in einen, über den man in den nächsten Wochen in Fulda stolpern soll – und zwar gedanklich. Denn seit heute Vormittag liegt der 1,40 m hohe „Mahnende Mühlstein" vor der alten Stadtwache gegenüber dem Stadtschloss in Fulda. Schon seit 2008 reist der Koloss quer durch Deutschland, um ein Zeichen gegen Gewalt an Kindern zu setzen und Erwachsene an ihre große Verantwortung gegenüber Heranwachsenden zu erinnern.

Der Stein ist ein Projekt der Initiative gegen Gewalt und sexuellen Missbrauch an Kindern und Jugendlichen e.V. und wurde 2007 vom Diplompädagoge und Initiativenvorsitzendem Johannes Heibel initiiert. Nachdem sich in Regensburg ein Priester wiederholt sexuell an Kindern vergriffen hatte, wollte er auf die Ohnmacht der Opfer aufmerksam machen und beauftragte zwei Bildhauer mit der Arbeit am Stein. Auch Oberbürgermeister Gerhard Möller und Weihbischof Dr. Karlheinz Dietz waren am Vormittag dabei, als der Stein durch die Steinmetzwerkstatt Hartmann & Sohn aus Künzell-Bachrain auf dem Bürgersteig abgelegt wurde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Kirchenmusiker wegen Missbrauchs von Kindern vor Gericht

DEUTSCHLAND
Tageblatt

Oldenburg/Nordenham (dpa/lni) - Ein ehemaliger Kirchenmusiker muss sich wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern ab kommender Woche vor dem Landgericht Oldenburg verantworten. Der 47-Jährige soll sich von Anfang 2011 bis März 2012 in 23 Fällen an mehreren Kindern vergangen haben. Der frühere ehrenamtliche Mitarbeiter der evangelischen Kirche in Nordenham habe die Vorwürfe gestanden, sagte ein Gerichtssprecher am Dienstag.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Erstmals will Missbrauchsopfer Entschädigung von Kirche in Polen

POLEN
Markifche Oderzeitung

Warschau/Kolobrzeg (dpa) Erstmals in Polen will ein Missbrauchsopfer eines katholischen Priesters eine Entschädigung von der Kirche einklagen. Ein heute 25 Jahre alter Mann, der als Zwölfjähriger im nordwestpolnischen Kolobrzeg von einem Priester sexuell missbraucht wurde, will vom Bistum 100 000 Zloty (25 000 Euro) Entschädigung für die erlittenen seelischen Schäden verlangen. "Mein Leben wurde zerstört" sagte er dem Rundfunksender TOK FM. "Ich bin entschlossen, zu kämpfen."

Der Priester, der ihn vor mehr als zehn Jahren missbrauchte, wurde in zwei Instanzen zu zwei Jahren Haft verurteilt. Der 25-jährige ist überzeugt, dass die Vorgesetzten des Pfarrers, der auch noch andere Jungen missbrauchte, die pädophilen Neigungen des Priesters kannten, aber nichts unternahmen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Das Opfer hat lebenslang

DEUTSCHLAND
Explizit

Seitdem Ende Januar 2010 Fälle von sexuellem Missbrauch am Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin bekannt wurden, lässt die Debatte über dieses Thema die Öffentlichkeit nicht mehr los. Im Dezember 2012 veröffentliche die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz eine forensisch-psychiatrische Studie zur Analyse der sexuellen Übergriffe durch katholische Geistliche in Deutschland und zuletzt berichteten die Medien Anfang März über die Veröffentlichung der Missbrauchsstudie des Klosters Ettal. Bei all diesen Studien, so könnte man den Eindruck haben, gehe es nur darum, wie in Zukunft Übergriffe verhindert werden können. Eigentlich sind die Kirche, die Sportverbände und andere Einrichtungen aber auch dazu verpflichtet, den Opfern zu helfen. Von keiner der Institutionen ist zu erfahren, was wirkliche Hilfe für Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch wäre und ob sie entschieden genug umgesetzt werde. Über diese Problematik sprach explizit.net mit Veit Schiemann vom „WEISSEN RING“, einer bundesweit agierenden Hilfsorganisation für Kriminalitätsopfer und ihre Familien.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

„… der Missbrauch war katholisch…“

DEUTSCHLAND
WDR

Sprecher:
Benedicamus Domino

Sprecherin:
Deo gratias!

Sprecher:
Es ist 6.15: Wecken in einem katholischen Internat, Ende der 1960er/Anfang der 1970er
Jahre.

O-Ton 1: Winfried Ponsens
Das war meine Kindheit. Diese Vorstellung, in der Kirche ist alles gut. Und
wenn du glaubst, wird alles gut.

Sprecher:
6.45 Uhr: Werktags: Heilige Messe.
O-Ton 2: Winfried Ponsens
Ich war schon naiv in diesem Kinderglauben und habe natürlich irgendwie
gehofft, ich würde der Welt auch das große Heil bringen können, indem ich
Missionar in Indonesien werde.
Erzählerin:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Katholisch erzogen und im Internat missbraucht

DEUTSCHLAND
WDR 5

Die Opfer sexualisierter Gewalt und ihr Verhältnis zu Kirche und Glauben

Sexuell missbraucht worden zu sein - das bedeutet für die Opfer Depressionen, Suizidversuche, Aufenthalte in psychiatrischen Kliniken und teure Psychotherapie. Opfer sexueller Gewalt eines Geistlichen zu sein, das bedeutet darüber hinaus auch, spirituell und religiös orientierungslos zu werden. Die Zöglinge in katholischen Internaten kamen aus sehr religiösen Familien und hatten vielfach selbst den Wunsch, Priester zu werden. Ihre Missbraucher hatten sich als von Gott Berufene bezeichnet. Doch sie prügelten, demütigten und zerstörten das Selbstbewusstsein ihrer Opfer, erwarteten gleichzeitig, dass diese ihren Missbrauch als Form der Zuwendung und Liebe empfinden sollten

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Church used 'blackmail, secrecy'

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

March 27, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church gets covered up through a system of blackmail and ''sacred silence'', according to the founder of the Broken Rites advocacy group, Chris Wilding.

She said sexual activity by priests and bishops set up a pattern of institutional secrecy and a system of blackmail that reached the highest corridors of the Vatican.

Ms Wilding told the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled sex abuse that celibacy was a myth, and that when a priest was promoted his sexual partners could also advance.

''It is this system of blackmail that is central to the response of bishops, locally and around the world, relocating paedophile priests. If the bishop is compromised because he is known to be sexually active, the predatory cleric resorts to blackmail,'' she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Chetham's choirmaster Michael Brewer jailed for sexual abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former choirmaster at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester has been jailed for indecently assaulting a former pupil from the age of 14.

Michael Brewer from Birmingham was convicted of sexually abusing Frances Andrade, who killed herself during the trial, between 1978 and 1982.

Brewer, 68, was sentenced to six years imprisonment at Manchester Crown Court.

His ex-wife Hilary Brewer, also 68, was sentenced to 21 months for indecently assaulting Mrs Andrade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Choirmaster jailed for six years for pupil abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

A choirmaster who sexually abused a pupil who went on to take her own life during his trial has been jailed for six years.

Michael Brewer, 68, of Swarthmore Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, was convicted last month of indecently assaulting 48-year-old Frances Andrade when she was an underage student at the prestigious Chetham's School of Music in Manchester.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Child protection task force a must, say activists

INDONESIA
The Jakarta Post

Indah Setiawati, The Jakarta Post

The city administration will cooperate with a number of institutions to set up child protection task forces (Satgas PA) in neighborhood and community units to curb the rising number of child abuse cases.

Among the child right defenders are government-sanctioned body Indonesian Commission on Child Protection (KPAI) and the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas Anak).

Komnas Anak chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait said that the Jakarta administration was the first province to respond to the call to set up a child protection system in subdistricts. He said he had spoken with Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo about the children protection system pilot project.

“We will launch a pilot project in three subdistricts in the coming weeks. The subdistricts are Kampung Tengah in Kramat Jati, Ciracas and Cakung, all in East Jakarta,” he told The Jakarta Post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Did Pope Benedict 'do a Bishop Hegarty'?

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

The recent history of Church resignations in Ireland may help to explain the departure of Pope Francis' predecessor, says Patrick McCafferty

26 March 2013

The inauguration of Pope Francis brought a refreshing air of optimism to a Catholic Church that lay moribund in recent decades.

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI should, perhaps, be credited with remarkable prescience: his resignation now seems like a remarkable act of sacrifice by a selfless pope in the best interests of the Church.

And yet, there is something not quite right about this picture of Benedict.

His resignation was not just a break with papal tradition; it is at odds with everything that he practised. Benedict was remarkably unwilling to allow anyone to resign – even when that would have been for the good of the Church.

One could almost feel sorry for Cardinal Sean Brady in Armagh. Almost three years ago, when revelations in relation to preventing further children being abused were questioned, he asked to retire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Catholic Church Hiding Child Predators

PENNSYLVANIA
The A.I.R. Network

by Greg Banks on March 25th, 2013

Monsignor Anthony Little, pastor at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Newry, Blair County has become the latest area priest to be accused of molesting an area boy in the 1990s. The allegations against Little surfaced last week when the Bishop,The Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak notified Blair County District Attorney Rich Consiglio of the accusations against the area priest. The Altoona Johnstown Diocese in press statements has released that no further action has been taken against Little, while the Blair County DA has yet to make a statement. Diocese officials have however stated that Little has been sent to an unknown location where he has no access to children while the investigation continues.

Monday morning Steve Austin spoke with Judy Block Jones of the The Survivor’s Ntework of Those Abused By Priest or SNAP to get her reaction to the recent allegations that have risen in the region including Brother Steve Baker who was accused of molesting children at Bishop McCort High School in the 90s along with the latest allegations against Monsignor Anthony Little.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

La misión del jesuita

CHILE
Lamula

Tomado de la revista Velaverde.- Columna El ojo de Mordor, por Pedro Salinas.- A ver si logro que me lean con atención. James Hamilton Sánchez tiene casi cincuenta años, es chileno y cirujano gástrico. Quienes le conocen, comentan que jamás se desprende de su notebook que suele llevar en una pequeña mochila roja. Y siempre está atento a su blackberry. Pero sin duda uno de los rasgos más saltantes de su biografía es su condición de víctima sexual (siendo menor de edad) del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, un líder religioso de la Pía Unión del Sagrado Corazón, que es una suerte de red religiosa a la que adhieren medio centenar de curas y cinco obispos, y opera desde la iglesia El Bosque, en la comuna de Providencia, en Santiago.

La Pía Unión es un movimiento conservador, como los Legionarios de Cristo o el Opus Dei o el Sodalicio, por citar apenas tres ejemplos, porque hay más. Y Karadima, con fama de orador persuasivo y predicador de una moral rígida, era su jefe máximo, al que sus seguidores le daban trato de “santo” y lo presentaban como discípulo del jesuita Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, quien, como sabrán algunos, es el segundo santo chileno, canonizado por el papa Benedicto XVI en el 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Survivor guide published for Magdalene women applying to Commission

IRELAND
Journal

ONE OF THE groups representing survivors of the Magdalene Laundries has published a guide to help the women navigate their way through the Magdalene Commission.

Justice For Magdalenes (JFM) prepared the guide for the survivors ahead of a report by a former High Court judge into how the State can best provide redress and support for the women.

Survivors have been asked to register the fact that they were in one of the laundries before the decision is made on exactly how the fund for survivors will operate.

JFM said the guide to intended as an aid to survivors to create a checklist of their current needs and to help them to prepare to engage with the official process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Judge declines to hear insurance companies’ complaints ...

MONTANA
Independent Record

Judge declines to hear insurance companies’ complaints about defending Helena diocese in sex abuse scandal

By EVE BYRON Independent Record

A federal judge in Helena has refused to hear a case brought by three insurance companies against the Helena Diocese, saying the matter already is being handled in Lewis and Clark District Court.

Three Travelers Insurance Companies – Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company — filed the federal court lawsuit last year, arguing that they weren’t obligated to defend the Bishop in pending state litigation because they weren’t given timely notice of alleged sex abuse by priests and nuns.

The insurance companies also wanted to add a claim based on the recent discovery of a 1994 settlement agreement that allegedly released St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company from any obligation to indemnify the Diocese for future sexual abuse claims and allegedly promised that the Diocese would pay the costs of any future claims.

But Senior U.S. District Court Judge Charles Lovell wrote in a ruling released late Friday that the latter claim would first require determinations of state law, which can be raised in the state proceedings, and that venue also is the proper place for the entire lawsuit — at this point.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Melbourne's Xavier College mentioned in child abuse Inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC - AM

[with audio]

A former student at Melbourne's prestigious Xavier College wants the State and Federal Governments to sue the Catholic Church for 6 billion dollars to pay victims for ongoing counseling and support. Speaking at Victoria's Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Chris Whelan said a high profile Jesuit teacher at Xavier College sexually abused young boys repeatedly more than 30 years ago.

Transcript

TONY EASTLEY: A former student at Melbourne's prestigious Xavier College wants the State and Federal Governments to sue the Catholic Church for six billion dollars and use the money to pay for counselling and support of sexual abuse victims.

Speaking at Victoria's Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Chris Whelan said a high profile Jesuit teacher at Xavier College sexually abused young boys repeatedly more than 30 years ago.

It's only the second time someone has spoken publicly about sexual abuse by Jesuits in Australia.

Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: Xavier College in Kew in Melbourne's East has been described as the city's best connected school and counts among its alumni former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, Federal Minister Bill Shorten and the current Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Let victims sue church, rights group leader Chris Wilding urges inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

PIA AKERMAN
From:The Australian
March 26, 2013

THE founder of a leading victims' rights group has called for legislative change to allow lawsuits against the Catholic church and retrospective charges for clergy who helped pedophile priests avoid exposure.

Chris Wilding, who began the Broken Rites group, today told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry that compensation and legal change were the priorities for victims.

"They have to be able to sue the church," she told the committee which is examining how religious and non-state organisations have handled child sexual abuse claims.

"Most victims would want the hierarchy, the clergy to be prosecuted for protecting them (pedophiles), for shielding them, for moving them on for being accessories to a crime.

"It's essential that is recognised by our state laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Abuse victim calls for church clean-out

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

March 26, 2013

Patrick Caruana
AAP

A man who was abused for years at a Catholic orphanage has urged a Victorian parliamentary inquiry to turn the church "upside down" to take the rot out.

Gordon Hill was physically, mentally and sexually abused at the hands of nuns and priests at a Ballarat orphanage more than 50 years ago.

He was repeatedly assaulted and forced to do manual labour, he told the inquiry into sexual abuse within religious organisations.

When inquiry chair Georgie Crozier asked what he now wanted from the church, Mr Hill was unequivocal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Dublin city councillor: Pope Francis won't change the church's path

IRELAND
Alaska Dispatch

Paresh Dave

March 26, 2013
DUBLIN — In his first week at the Vatican, Pope Francis called for a leaner, no-frills church rooted in Christ's original mission of serving the most needy. Many heralded his vision for the future, but not everyone is convinced that Francis can reposition the diverse global institution.

Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn is among the naysayers. A victim of sexual abuse while at a church-run industrial school in Ireland, Flynn said he believes the church will continue down a perilous course.

"You get people projecting onto the person that he's a very simple man, that he's a humble man, that he’s broken with precedent, that he's doing everything differently. But it's the same make, same shape — only different color," Flynn said of the pope during a recent interview.

“The idea that a man from Barcelona, or from Argentina or from Berlin is going to change the dynamics of what's been around for a long time is completely crazy," continued Flynn, a 56-year-old Independent who represents the posh southeast section of Dublin's inner-city.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Irish Catholics continue to flee the church

IRELAND
GlobalPost

Diane Winston
March 26, 2013

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Malachi O’Doherty says his nieces and nephews are helpless at funerals.

Raised without religion, they are flummoxed by the practices and customs that accompany a Catholic ritual. Though he himself left the church as a teenager in the 1960s, he’s ambivalent about the loss of a binding and, at times, beautiful religious culture.

“People are rejecting something they don’t even remember,” said O’Doherty, whose 2008 book "Empty Pulpits: Ireland’s Retreat from Religion" chronicled the impact of secularization on Ireland. “We may have only a sterile, secular culture that looks at the Catholic Church as an army of priests raping children.”

As Pope Francis takes over the global church, O’Doherty, like many church-watchers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, ascribe the religion’s current troubles to secularization. In 1946, Pope Paul VI called Ireland “the most Catholic country,” but starting in the mid-1960s, a growing number of the Irish — like many in Western Europe and the United States — began questioning the authority of religious institutions. Today, the percentage of Irish practitioners remains high compared with most of the rest of Europe.

But attendance at weekly Mass continues to decline, also reflecting fallout from two decades of revelations about clergy sexual abuse. William Crawley, a BBC journalist who covers religion in Belfast, agreed that secularization and the sex abuse crisis have dealt a one-two punch to the faithful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Ex-Pastor Faces Life Sentence After Federal Jury Convicts Him in Teen Sex Case

FLORIDA
News Chief

By Matthew Pleasant
THE LEDGER

LAKELAND | A former pastor faces mandatory life in prison after a federal jury found him guilty Friday of sexually assaulting a teenage boy and trying to groom two others for abuse.

Arnold Mathis, 41, was arrested in December 2011 after spending a late night at a casino and returning home to find Polk County deputies waiting.

Detectives began investigating Mathis a day before when the victim, now in his 20s, accused the former Higher Praise Ministries assistant pastor of sexually abusing him.

When the abuse began, Mathis served as senior pastor of Saint City Power and Praise Ministries in Winter Haven, Polk County deputies said at the time of his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Holy Hell - one family's story of sexual abuse by their priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC Newcastle

By Carol Duncan (ABC Local Radio)

When senior NSW Police Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox told ABC TV's Lateline programme that the Catholic Church had covered up crimes by paedophile priests, silenced investigations and destroyed evidence to avoid prosecution - the public outrage triggered a Royal Commission into institutional child abuse. One of the stories that led to this is that of Patricia Feenan's son, Daniel, a 14-year-old altar boy when first raped by a priest in the Newcastle/Maitland diocese.

Patricia Feenan is a warm and generous woman, a loving mother telling an unimaginably terrible story of the sexual abuse of her son, Daniel, by a Catholic priest trusted by the family. The details are graphic, shocking and are revealed in her book about her son and her family's experience.

Patricia says she thought long and hard about writing the book, Holy Hell, but felt there was a need to tell the story.

"I was encouraged by interested people to tell it and see what I could make of it, of explaining the impact on a family of clergy sexual abuse. In initially wrote it to try to get it out of my head after my son went through a criminal trial in 2004. I could write it, put it on a shelf and it would be there as a record for the family."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

March 25, 2013

Runaway priest in SA

SOUTH AFRICA
The New Age

Itumeleng Mafisa

A Roman Catholic priest who is allegedly facing charges of molesting five boys while based at a Randburg parish three years ago had “run away” to South Africa after facing similar allegations in his home town in Germany.

Church authorities on Thursday failed to explain how a priest who had allegedly committed such serious crimes had managed to avoid detection and land in a Johannesburg parish.

A source close to the case told The New Age that Fr Georg Kerkhoff was subsequently moved by the church and was “operating within the archdiocese of Cape Town”.

Durban Cardinal Wilfrid Napier’s comments that paedophilia is an illness and not a crime has brought the spotlight on the soft treatment of alleged child abusers within the Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Priest still suspended

SOUTH AFRICA
The New Age

Itumeleng Mafisa

The Archbishop of Cape Town, Stephen Brislin, has denied that the church was protecting German Catholic priest Georg Kerkhoff, who is facing charges of sexually abusing boys in Germany and SA.

Responding to reports that Kerkhoff had moved to Cape Town after being charged with the abuse of children during a church retreat in 2008, Brislin denied that the church had moved Kerkhoff from Johannesburg to Cape Town after his arrest. He said Kerkhoff was staying in the mother city as a private citizen.

“Once the legal process in South Africa, which the church fully supports, has been completed, he will face deportation to answer the charges against him in Germany,” Brislin said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

MAHER SAYS POPE RUNS CHILD SEX RING

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on Bill Maher’s latest attack:

The March 22nd episode of “Real Time” was one of Bill Maher’s most obscene assaults on Catholicism. He not only went on another rant against the Catholic Church, he stooped to a new low when he attacked Pope Francis. After labeling the pope a “virgin bachelor,” Maher opined, “What other business could you be in where your company gets caught running a child sex ring since forever and you still keep your customers?”

HBO seems either afraid of Maher, or the officials there like what he says. We need to know whether the parent company, Time Warner, feels the same way. That is why we are mailing a copy of Maher’s anti-Catholic remarks, dating back to 1998, to Time Warner’s executive management team and board of directors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Debunking three 'urban legends' about Pope Francis

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

by John L. Allen Jr. | Mar. 24, 2013

In the early days of a papacy, absolutely everything the new pope says or does is subject to endless interpretation as a hint of things to come. At times, the frenzy produces a few instant "urban legends," meaning words or deeds attributed to the new pope that never actually happened, or that are subjected to so much over-interpretation that they become essentially unrecognizable.

During his first ten days in office, the "Francis phenomenon" has given rise to at least three such urban legends worth debunking here, lest they take on a life of their own. ...

Law's exile

On March 14, the day after his election, Pope Francis made a visit to Rome's basilica of St. Mary Major to pay homage to the Virgin Mary. As it happens, the basilica is also home to an apartment belonging to Cardinal Bernard Law, who offered the new pope a brief greeting upon his arrival.

Law, of course, resigned in Boston amid protests over his handling of the child sexual abuse scandal in 2002, and then served as Archpriest of St. Mary Major until his retirement in 2011 when he turned 80.

The Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano reported that when Francis saw Law that morning, he brusquely ordered him to stop appearing in public at the basilica. The report also said that the new pope, "as his first act of purification," is preparing to dispatch the 81-year-old Law to a cloistered monastery.

Once again, it would be a dramatic insight into the new pope if true – and, once again, that insight turned out to be built on sand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Monument honours thousands affected by residential schools

CANADA
Soo Today

NEWS RELEASE
ANISHINABEK NATION

Survivors’ monument signifies resilience: Madahbee

UOI OFFICES (NIPISSING FN) March 25, 2013 – The Anishinabek Nation has created a monument to honour thousands of its citizens who have felt the impacts of Indian Residential Schools [former Shingwauk Indian Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie shown].

The memorial was unveiled today at a ceremony at the head office of the Union of Ontario Indians as part of the “Honouring Our Children, Families, and Communities affected by Indian Residential Schools Project” initiated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The TRC was created following the June 11, 2008, apology by the Government of Canada for the damage caused by the network of 139 government- operated schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Green Bay brothers abused by priests during childhood continue speaking out

WISCONSIN
Superior Telegram

By Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram

Two brothers who settled an abuse case with the Green Bay Catholic Diocese say there are still priests who have not been identified or prosecuted for crimes against children.

Todd and Troy Merryfield won a $700,000 settlement from the Green Bay Catholic diocese.

In the 1970s the brothers were abused by Patrick Feeney, who was then a priest with the church. Speaking outside the local cathedral, the brothers said their settlement is cold comfort.

Todd Merryfield still lives in Wisconsin; his brother Troy lives in Virginia.

“Money doesn't cure something like this, never does. Anyone who tells you that, they're lying.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Residents show support for priest

PENNSYLVANIA
The Altoona Mirror

March 25, 2013

By Phil Ray (pray@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

When Tess Himes, a parishioner at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Newry, learned Saturday her pastor, Monsignor Anthony B. Little, had been placed on inactive status because of child abuse allegations, she cried "so hard."

For years, she didn't attend church, but, Himes said, it was Monsignor Little who "brought me back," and now she attends church every day.

Himes spoke about the repercussions of Bishop Mark L. Bartchak's decision this weekend to suspend Little from the active priesthood on Sunday as she was tucking a granddaughter into a car seat outside St. Patrick's.

She, her mother, Miriam, and more than 150 others had just attended an impromptu rosary service in an effort to show support for the banned priest and to ask for God's guidance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Victim tells of pain at boyhood abuse by priest

IRELAND
Herald

Declan Brennan– 25 March 2013

A former priest whose abuse of children in the 1970s and 1980s was featured in the Murphy Report will walk free despite receiving an 18-month jail term.

Patrick McCabe (77), formerly of Alameda, California, was extradited here in June 2011 and has spent the last 21 months in custody awaiting sentence.

Waiving his right to anonymity, one of his victims, James Moran (50), said McCabe's sexual assault had blighted his life. Mr Moran said he went from being a happy child to contemplating suicide at 18.

McCabe pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the indecent assault of Mr Moran at a Co Kildare school between January and April 1977.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

"Ich war 14, als mich die Nonne mit aufs Zimmer nahm"

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Welt

Das WDR-Magazin "Westpol" berichtet über Missbrauch in der Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie im sauerländischen Marsberg. Opfer erzählen, wie sich Nonnen an ihnen befriedigten. Am Ende gab es Schokolade. Von Eva Marie Kogel

Die Dämonen wollen ihn nicht verlassen. Neulich erst wieder stand Karl-Heinz Großmann auf seinem Balkon und war bereit, sich über die Brüstung zu stürzen. Er stand dort eine Weile, entschied sich dann gegen den Sprung. Stattdessen ging er zum Psychologen und machte seinen unfassbaren Fall publik.

Großmann war Patient in der Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie in Marsberg (Nordrhein-Westfalen), im St.-Johannis-Stift. In der Einrichtung sollen laut einer WDR-Sendung "Westpol" die Insassen bis in die 70er-Jahre furchtbarem Leid durch Offizielle der Kirche ausgesetzt gewesen sein. Kinder und Jugendliche wurden dort geschlagen, ruhig gestellt und in dunkle Zellen gesperrt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Amazonas-Bischof Kräutler: "Wir dürfen uns nicht in der Sakristei verstecken"

BRASILIEN
Spiegel

Er zeigt sexuellen Missbrauch an und mischt sich ein in Politik und Umweltschutz. Deshalb muss der brasilianische Bischof Erwin Kräutler nach Morddrohungen unter Polizeischutz leben. Vom neuen Papst erhofft sich der Befreiungstheologe eine kompromisslose Haltung in Sachen Sexualstraftaten.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Papst Franziskus wurde gerade ins Amt eingeführt. Sind Sie als brasilianischer Bischof froh, einen Lateinamerikaner auf dem Heiligen Stuhl zu sehen?

Kräutler: Ich bin begeistert! Mit ist es letztlich egal, wo der Pontifex herkommt, aber Franziskus ist ein offener Mensch und ein guter Seelsorger, das lässt hoffen.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Sie haben Jorge Bergoglio mehrfach auf Konferenzen getroffen. Was ist er für ein Mensch?

Kräutler: Er ist genau so, wie er auch in der Öffentlichkeit wirkt: sehr zugänglich, sehr herzlich, ein Mann ohne Berührungsängste, einfach und schlicht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Påven Franciskus måste ta itu med sexskandalerna

SUOMI
Areena

[video]

Den katolska kyrkan behöver genomgående reformer för att få ett slut på de sexuella övergreppen mot barn. Det säger ett av de många offren i USA, som ändå tvivlar på att den nya påven kommer att göra tillräckligt för att skydda barnen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Jesuit priest 'preyed on young boys'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

March 26, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Molested as a 10-year-old at the Jesuit-run Burke Hall in Kew, Chris Whelan marched to the headmaster's office to tell him what happened.

''His first reaction was immediate and physical, '' Mr Whelan recalled on Monday. ''He reaches into the drawer, pulls out his strap and tries to hit me across the face.''

Mr Whelan felt relieved when he left Burke Hall for Xavier College, but there he was again to be sexually abused by Victoria's ''most famous Jesuit'' who preyed on several vulnerable children in Mr Whelan's class, he told the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled sex abuse.

One boy at Burke Hall was ''kicked up the arse'' so hard he later had to have stitches in his sphincter, but first he had to endure a double period of torment from his attacker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Priest in Blair County suspended over 1990s child sex abuse allegation

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot-News

By The Associated Press
on March 25, 2013

NEWRY, Pa. — A central Pennsylvania bishop has suspended a priest and ordered him to have no contact with children because of a child-sex allegation dating to the 1990s which is being investigated by the district attorney.

Bishop Mark Bartchak, who heads the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona and Johnstown, suspended 58-year-old Monsignor Anthony Little on Friday after referring the allegation to Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio.

Consiglio wouldn't detail the allegation, except to say it remains under investigation. Little has been forced to step down as pastor of St. Patrick Church in Newry, about 90 miles east of Pittsburgh.

The priest who pastored the parish before Little was the Rev. William Rosensteel. He committed suicide by jumping from a bridge following sex abuse allegations that surfaced in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Pope Francis to consider closing Vatican bank

VATICAN CITY
CathNews

Pope Francis is to consider abolishing the Vatican Bank - which has been beset by a scandal over allegations of money-laundering - in a drive for greater transparency at the heart of the Catholic Church, according to a report by The Times in The Australian.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, who has been tipped as a possible secretary of state, or "Vatican prime minister", said Francis would weigh up appeals made by two cardinals on the eve of his election for the bank - formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) - to be scrapped.

He said the Pope would be guided by a desire for "transparency . . . and faithfulness to international laws or rules in this field", including those on money-laundering.

"The Pope will consider some suggestions because during the general congregations (the formal meetings that preceded the conclave), some cardinals were intervening about the problems of the IOR," Archbishop Celli said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Priest who went public on sexual bullying at Bearsden seminary wins support

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Monday 25 March 2013

A PRIEST who has spoken out about a culture of sexual bullying in the Catholic Church in Scotland says he has been inundated with support since he went public with his experience.

Father Matthew Despard, 48, said he spoke out in an attempt to tackle the problems of abuse and bullying, which he claims are "rife" in the Church.

He said that "phones have been off the hook with support" after he spoke of inappropriate behaviour at Chesters College in Bearsden – later named Scotus College – during the 1980s and his attempts to raise complaints with the authorities.

One congregation member, Stephen McNaughton, posted on Twitter last night: "Much respect for the bravery & honesty of our parish priest, speaking out about the Church's issues."

However Fr Despart, the parish priest of St John Ogilvie church in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, last night said he did not want his story to overshadow the beginning of one of the most important times of the Catholic calendar, Holy Week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Whitby priest addresses letter issue online

CANADA
Durham Region

WHITBY -- Parents with children at a couple of Brooklin Catholic schools are still fuming over a letter sent home from their parish priest, while the Father himself has tackled the issue on the church website.

The letter dated Lent 2013, a call to return to Catholic practices, included a two-page "examination of conscience" and invitation to reflect on sins before going to confession.

From Rev. Charles Forget, pastor of Saint Leo the Great Catholic Church in Brooklin, the letter was sent home with students at St. Bridget and St. Leo Catholic schools.

Sins included "Have I committed adultery or fornication?," "Have I become intoxicated?" and "Have I denied my spouse his or her marriage rights?"

"It was in my youngest son's agenda. He's seven," said St. Leo mother Audrey Cowie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Local priest placed on leave after sexual misconduct allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

By Kerri Corrado

Newry, PA. —

"It’s almost like someone dropping a bomb. I mean the people are in shock. They loved this priest very much," Raymond Crosser said.

Words from Reverend Raymond Crosser after he was asked by the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona and Johnstown to fill in for Monseigneur Anthony Little, a local Blair County pastor placed on leave.

The Bishop, Mark Bartchak made this decision quickly after allegations that little molested a young boy in the 1990s.

Little had been a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona and Johnstown for years. He was recently on active ministry at St. Patrick’s Parrish in Newry. He was forced to relocate to a location where he will have no contact with kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Homeless Edmontonians speak about impact of residential schools

CANADA
CBC News

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada paid a visit to the Boyle Street Community Services in Edmonton on Saturday.

As Nicole Weisberg reports, the commission has been gathering stories about the impact of residential schools on Aboriginal Peoples across Canada — but this is the first time it has visited Edmonton’s inner city.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Cardinal O’Brien’s accusers ‘not in gay cabal’

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

Published on Monday 25 March 2013

THE four men at the centre of the scandal that led to the resignation of Keith O’Brien have reportedly denied being part of a “gay cabal” which sought revenge for the cardinal’s anti-gay stance.

In a newspaper article at the weekend, the four men rejected reports quoting sources who claimed the former head of the Catholic Church in Scotland had been forced to quit by gay priests angry at the way he had spoken out on issues such as same-sex marriage.

“This isn’t about being gay. It’s about an abuse of power,” one of the men, who was referred to as “Father Peter”, said.

“Lenny”, a former priest who described how he had rebuffed the cardinal’s advances while he was a semanarian, said: “I was surprised at the suggestion that I was part of a gay cabal. And my partner of 26 years? I’d say she was quite surprised too.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Pope Francis considers closing scandal-riven bank

VATICAN CITY
The Australian

The Times
March 25, 2013

POPE Francis is to consider abolishing the Vatican Bank - which has been beset by a scandal over allegations of money-laundering - in a drive for greater transparency at the heart of the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, who has been tipped as a possible secretary of state, or "Vatican prime minister", said Francis would weigh up appeals made by two cardinals on the eve of his election for the bank - formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) - to be scrapped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Abuse victim wants Vic govt to sue church

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A victim of clerical sexual abuse has urged the Victorian government to launch legal action against the Catholic Church.

Chris Whelan, who was a victim of and a witness to abuse while a student at two Melbourne Catholic schools, has asked a parliamentary inquiry to recommend a publicly funded civil lawsuit against the church.

Mr Whelan said victims needed the state government to champion their cause.

"I want this inquiry to come out with an arrowhead for the spear," he told the inquiry into sexual abuse within religious and other organisations on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Diocese urges sex abuse victims to come forward

ILLINOIS
WLS

(JOLIET) The Diocese of Joliet is urging people to report if they have ever been sexually abused by a clergy member, diocese employee or volunteer.

The diocese said in a news release it’s increasing efforts to promote healing and justice for victims in the church abuse scandal.

The diocese recently agreed to release thousands of pages of documents on the scandal as part of a legal settlement with a survivor of clergy abuse. The diocese has posted online the names of 34 priests who were identified by the diocese as having faced credible or substantiated charges of sexual abuse. Nine of the names were added after the settlement this month. All of the priests on the list have been removed from ministry.

Molly Fara, the Joliet Diocese’s director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection, said the diocese has promised pastoral assistance and continued cooperation with civil authorities. Reports may be made to any pastor to by calling (815) 263-6467.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

March 24, 2013

Fr Musaala: Church must strike balance

UGANDA
The Observer

Editorial

Sunday, 24 March 2013

In a space of days, the Catholic Church in Uganda has both hit the apex of ecstasy – with the election of Pope Francis – and crashed to a nadir of controversy, with the Father Anthony Musaala dossier.

Fr Musaala, famed for his gospel music and charismatic preaching, this month wrote an open letter in which he calls for priests to be allowed to marry. He argues, with examples, that celibacy is increasingly becoming a fallacy, as priests conduct affairs and father children.

In response, the church has suspended Musaala over the dossier. But the debate rages on, sometimes taking ugly inter-faith turns. Some Catholics have backed Musaala. But many have condemned him, seeing his dossier as irresponsible washing of dirty linen in the public, to the embarrassment of the faithful.

This is a delicate subject for both the priest and his church. What is certain is that the issues Musaala raises are not new. Many Catholics know a priest, even bishop, who has affairs and children and these issues are usually talked about in hushed voices, or simply avoided.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

The future of the Church

CANADA
Macleans

by Brian Bethune on Saturday, March 23, 2013

Catholicism’s demographic shift out of the developed world and into the global south has been profound. A century ago, 75 per cent of Catholics lived in Europe or North America; now two-thirds are outside those continents. But that massive change is not fuelled entirely by the Church’s burgeoning growth in Asia and, especially, Africa. The flip side is the declining numbers in its Western heartland. Some 60 per cent of the French no longer ever attend services, and across Europe the rate of baptisms has fallen six per cent in the last six years. A tenth of American parishes have closed or merged in recent years, while six per cent is also the weekly mass attendance rate among Catholics in Quebec, once a Church bastion. In Ireland, which not long ago was a virtual priest factory for the world, not a single seminarian was ordained in 2005.

The ongoing clerical sex abuse scandals, meaning primarily the Church’s cover-up of them—which roiled Canada and Ireland in the last century, exploded in America in 2002 and again in Europe eight years later—tends, in popular opinion, to take the blame for this. But the roots of the alienation stretch back much further. Masked by the low numbers of mass-goers is the fact that on the issues that most sharply divide secular and Catholic morality, which all seem to revolve, one way or another, around sex—contraception, abortion, clerical celibacy, women priests, gay marriage—millions of cradle Catholics are effectively on the secular side. Catholic fertility rates in the West are indistinguishable from anyone else’s. Contraception, whatever it might mean to the hierarchy, is largely a dead issue for the laity. And, search their souls as they will, increasing numbers of Catholics cannot find the harm in what is currently the hottest of hot-button issues, same-sex marriage.

Poll after poll in the developed world, the latest in the March 6 issue of the New York Times, reveal a laity disquieted by a Church leadership they feel is out of touch and inconsequential, something that seems blindingly obvious to outsiders and internal dissidents, but puzzling to the hierarchy. The latter can point to a vigorously active Church—the Vatican’s militant anti-war efforts, the Church’s campaign for the global abolition of the death penalty, its criticism of global capitalism, its ecological position papers and efforts to help poor farmers in Latin America. But those disenchanted laity are correct about their bishops being out of touch with their concerns. The hierarchy is more conservative than it once was, after 35 years of episcopal appointments by Pope Benedict XVI or his predecessor John Paul II, celebrated among traditionalist Catholics as the pontiff who “stopped the drift toward the notion we have to listen to the modern world,” as Toronto’s late Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic put it after John Paul’s death in 2005. Meanwhile, large swaths of the Church, especially in the Third World but also within the most vibrant parts of northern Catholicism, don’t think the sexual morality issues are debatable or even particularly important.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

With New Pope, Spotlight Returns to a Mild but Rebellious Priest


AUSTRIA
The New York Times

By NICHOLAS KULISH
Published: March 22, 2013

VIENNA

WITH his gentle mien and deep blue eyes, the Rev. Helmut Schüller does not seem even remotely disobedient in person. He has the calm, reliable presence of the best parish priests whether in his vestments or, as on a recent afternoon, in street clothes.

But as one of the organizers behind a group of more than 400 priests and deacons who in 2011 issued an “Appeal to Disobedience,” Father Schüller, 60, has developed a reputation as one of the leading rebels within the Austrian church. That is no small feat in this small Alpine nation, which might well be the unruliest country in the Catholic world, a laboratory of liberal ideas and reform initiatives.

Among the seven points in the appeal, the group said it would “take every opportunity to speak up publicly for the admission of women and married people to the priesthood.” The group was rebuked by Pope Benedict XVI in a sermon last year, and Father Schüller was formally stripped of the honorific “monsignor” a few months later.

But unlike many priests who have found themselves in deep disagreement with the Vatican, he prefers to continue working from within the ranks of the priesthood. Once the vicar general of the archdiocese of Vienna, Father Schüller now works as a regular parish priest in Probstdorf, about half an hour’s drive east of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna’s old town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Missbrauch: Causa Groer läutete neue Ära ein

OSTERREICH
religion@ORF.at

Vor zehn Jahren ist der umstrittene Kardinal Hans Hermann Groer gestorben. Mit der vom Nachrichtenmagazin „profil“ losgetretenen Missbrauchsaffäre rund um seine Person wurde eine neue Ära in der österreichischen Kirchengeschichte eingeläutet.

Kardinal Groer stand von 1986 bis 1995 an der Spitze der Erzdiözese Wien. Er stürzte die katholische Kirche in Österreich in den 90er-Jahren in die schwerste Krise seit 1945, nachdem er zu den gegen ihn erhobenen Vorwürfen, minderjährige Buben sexuell missbraucht zu haben, beharrlich geschwiegen hatte.

Am 26. März 1995 berichtete der ehemalige Groer-Schüler Josef Hartmann im Nachrichtenmagazin „profil“ über seine mehr als 20 Jahre zurückliegenden Erlebnisse. Die Folge war nicht nur ein schwerer Imageverlust für die katholische Kirche - in den darauffolgenden Jahren traten auch mehrere 100.000 Katholiken aus der Kirche aus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

St. Johannesstift in Marsberg: Kinder sollen früher in Psychiatrie sexuell missbraucht worden sein

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

Das WDR-Magazin "Westpol" erhebt schwere Vorwürfe: Im nordrhein-westfälischen St. Johannesstift sollen Kinder in einer Psychiatrie in den fünfziger und sechziger Jahren geschlagen und sexuell missbraucht worden sein. Ermittlungen blieben damals ohne Folgen - die Opfer litten still weiter.

Köln - In der Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie sollen Menschen in Not Hilfe finden. Doch bis in die siebziger Jahre wurden junge Patienten im St. Johannesstift im nordrhein-westfälischen Marsberg offenbar Opfer von Gewalt und Missbrauch.

Das WDR-Magazin "Westpol" berichtet von massiven sexuellen Übergriffen auf Kinder und Jugendliche und beruft sich auf die Aussagen damals Betroffener. Nach Jahrzehnten des Schweigens hätten diese von ihren Leiden erzählt: Pfleger und Nonnen hätten sich regelmäßig an ihnen vergangen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

St. Patrick's Priest Placed on Leave

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

NEWRY, BLAIR COUNTY - Monsignor Anthony Little, Pastor of the Saint Patrick Parish in Newry has been placed on leave, according to a release from the Altoona Johnstown Catholic Diocese. Full release can be read below.

Diocesan Priest Placed on Leave Following Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

(HOLLIDAYSBURG, PA) - The Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, has placed Monsignor Anthony B. Little, Pastor of Saint Patrick Parish in Newry, on leave from active ministry in the Priesthood. The action comes after accusations of sexual misconduct involving a minor that allegedly occurred in the 1990s.While on leave, Monsignor Little, 58, will not be permitted to function as a priest, and he will reside at a place where he has no contact with children.

In compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy), Bishop Bartchak has notified the Blair County District Attorney of the accusations against Monsignor Little. No further action concerning Monsignor Little will be taken by the Diocese at this time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Catholic Church in Scotland has covered up culture of sexual bullying among priests, claims serving Father

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

A SERVING priest has accused the Catholic Church in Scotland of covering up a culture of sexual bullying by a powerful gay mafia.

Father Matthew Despard, 48, says sexual misconduct has been rife in junior seminaries, where priests are trained, for decades.

And he claims that when he alerted Church authorities to inappropriate sexual conduct, nothing was done.

Fr Despard, the parish priest of St John Ogilvie church in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, says he fears for the future of his Church if no action is taken to end the scandal.

He has taken the difficult decision to publish a book on his experiences, Priesthood in Crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Abbott criticised for supporting priest

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

March 24, 2013

Rashida Yosufzai
AAP

A man allegedly sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a teenager says Tony Abbott should not have vouched for the priest's character in court.

John Gerard Nestor, 50, was a priest in the Wollongong diocese in NSW when he was charged with the indecent assault of the then-14-year-old altar boy.

In his 1997 court case, the priest admitted he had slept on mattresses on a floor with the boy and his younger brother in July 1991, but denied assaulting the boy.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, then a federal parliamentary secretary to the employment minister, told the court Mr Nestor was an upright and virtuous man whom he had known since 1984 while studying at Sydney's St Patrick's Seminary to become a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Vatican bank troubles await pope's attention

VATICAN CITY
Los Angeles Times

By Tom Kington, Los Angeles Times
March 23, 2013

VATICAN CITY — As he begins work, Pope Francis will find a pile of files in his in-tray on sex abuse and squabbling cardinals. But he will also come across a thick dossier on the Vatican's secretive bank, which his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, tried to drag into the daylight after years of suspicion that it was a haven for money launderers.

After struggling to get the Vatican onto a coveted European "white list" for clean banks, Benedict suffered a setback last year when his top manager, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was fired by the bank's board, officially for incompetence. Gotti Tedeschi saw things differently, contending that "an honest person [at the bank] who wants to do good is ousted!"

Then, in January, the Vatican was humbled into using a Swiss firm to process credit card payments after the Bank of Italy warned Italian banks not to do business with the Holy See, temporarily forcing visitors queuing at the Sistine Chapel to pay cash if they wanted to get in.

It was the latest in a series of mishaps at the institution that prompted Italy's biggest-selling Catholic magazine, Famiglia Cristiana, to urge the Vatican to dump the bank altogether.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Church will always put any victim first

SOUTH AFRICA
The Sunday Independent

March 24 2013
By Wilfrid Napier

Since my interview with Mr Stephen Nolan on BBC’s Radio 5 on March 15, and reaction hitherto, I have thought about how best to convey my sincerest and unreserved apology for remarks that came across as insensitive to children who have suffered, and continue to do so, at the hands of paedophiles.

Let me first put it on record that the Roman Catholic Church condemns the abuse of children, women and other marginalised groups of society in the strongest possible way.

The interview that came on the back of Pope Francis’s election was initially supposed to have been about the conclave, our new pope and challenges facing the Catholic Church, and I was more than happy to take part.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Area priest placed on leave: Accused of molesting boy in 1990s

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott kmellott@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — A longtime priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown who served parishes in Johnstown and northern Cambria County is facing allegations that he sexually molested a boy in the 1990s.

Monsignor Anthony B. Little, 58, most recently the pastor at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Newry, Blair County, has been placed on leave from active ministry and is in a location where he will have no contact with children, according to the diocese.

The allegation against Little, which apparently is limited to one victim, surfaced in recent days, said Tony DeGol, secretary for communications for the diocese.

“This all just happened in the past couple days,” DeGol said Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Bishop Statement

PENNSYLVANIA
ABC 23

Tomorrow's Mass at St. Patrick Parish in Newry will be lead by a fill in Priest. That's because the current Pastor Anthony Little has been placed on leave following an allegation of sexual abuse. According to the Johnstown-Altoona Diocese. A person has come forward claiming Little abused that person in the. The Diocese says Little has no contact with children. Blair County DA has also been notified. At every church in the Diocese tomorrow a letter from Bishop Mark Bartchak will be read aloud. IT reads in part: These accusations are very painful. I pledge to continue taking whatever action necessary to protect all of God's precious children in our church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

DA launches investigation into priest

PENNSYLVANIA
The Altoona Mirror

March 24, 2013

By Phil Ray (pray@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

The Blair County district attorney said Saturday that his office has initiated an investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse by a Newry priest, but he would not elaborate.

"Basically, I'll be discussing it [the allegation] with certain entities," said District Attorney Richard A. Consiglio.

He said that while there are certain things that must be done, he would not indicate which agency or police department would be called into the investigation of Monsignor Anthony B. Little, 58, the pastor of St. Patrick Parish.

Consiglio reported that he first became aware of the allegation that Little abused a minor in the 1990s when he met Thursday with the Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Mark L. Bartchak.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Former Helena-area priest named in sex assault lawsuit

MONTANA
Independent Record

By SANJAY TALWANI Independent Record

A Lewis and Clark County man is suing the Roman Catholic Bishop of Helena, claiming he suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a longtime priest who worked at the Cathedral of St. Helena.

The suit, filed March 13 in Helena, claims in about 1974, the Rev. Robert O’Donnell “engaged in multiple instances of unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual conduct” with the plaintiff, who was a teenager at the time.

The man bringing the lawsuit, represented by Bozeman attorney Michael Cok, says in his complaint he did not connect various injuries he suffered with the abuse until September 2011.

O’Donnell was a priest in the Helena Diocese from 1966 to 1990, according to Renée St. Martin Wizeman, a diocese spokeswoman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

March 23, 2013

Cardinal Keith O'Brien's accusers deny they are part of 'gay cabal'

SCOTLAND
The Observer

Catherine Deveney
The Observer, Saturday 23 March 2013

The four men at the centre of the scandal that led to the resignation of Britain's leading Catholic cleric have dismissed suggestions that they were part of a "gay cabal" seeking "revenge" for his publicly anti-gay stance.

Speaking about Cardinal Keith O'Brien's resignation last month over claims of inappropriate behaviour towards several priests, the four rejected reports quoting church sources who claimed the cardinal had been forced to quit by gay priests angry at his hypocrisy about same-sex marriages.

"This isn't about people being gay. It's about abuse of power," said "Father Peter", who admitted in the Observer report which broke the story that he had been involved in an inappropriate relationship with the cardinal that led to him needing counselling. "The emotional and psychological power Keith O'Brien had over me was incredible. He was utterly manipulative."

"Lenny", a former priest who described how he had rebuffed the cardinal's advances while he was a seminarian, said the newspapers were forcing parts of the jigsaw puzzle together that didn't fit : "I was surprised at the suggestion that I was part of a gay cabal. And my partner of 26 years? I'd say she was quite surprised too."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 PM

O'Brien's departure: yet another cover-up

SCOTLAND
The Tablet

Elena Curti
8 March 2013

Cardinal Keith O'Brien's admission in his statement on 3 March following his hasty departure from office raises many more questions about his conduct than it answers. In it he wrote:

'I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.'

Is he referring to the unwanted sexual advances he is accused of making to four priests and a seminarian that are now in the public domain? Has he made sexual advances to other young priests and seminarians? Is it habitual behaviour that has continued right up to the present day? If so how did it affect his governance of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh?

Straightforward gay relationships are one thing - though of course a violation of the vow of celibacy - but a spiritual director or archbishop making passes at a seminarian and young priests is quite another. In the context of the Church's guidance on safeguarding, a seminarian is considered a vulnerable adult if his spiritual director behaves inappropriately towards him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Catholic Church soldiers on against challenges

UGANDA
Sunday Monitor

By Raymond Mpubani

Posted Sunday, March 24 2013

A priest decides to speak out about things everyone knows happens in the Catholic Church, things contrary to their so-called doctrines, and the Church reacts to his concerns by suspending him! However, if you’re familiar with that Church and the way it reacts to questioning, and if you’re also familiar with the leadership that made the decision, this hypocrisy should not shock you. What’s most worrying is that many people, Catholics and non-Catholics, support the Church’s decision!

It’s unfortunate the Church has decided to blind it’s eyes and foolishly soldier on against reality. That way, the perversity lodged in their clergy, the perversity Fr. Musaala is being punished for speaking out against, will erode away at them until they cannot hide their heads in the sand any longer.

Although, I think, they know. The Church already lost the celibacy war and the only reason they still insist on the vow for new clergy is because of their blind allegiance to “Canon Law.” Sure, some priests observe the vow religiously, but those are stained by their more normal colleagues and the perverts (the paedophiles).

What the Church is now saying is that it’d rather nurture sinners (because that’s what you become when you break the vow) than scrap the unrealistic stipulation that forces them to sin. Ah, narrow-mindedness!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

The letter that got Father Musaala into trouble

UGANDA
Sunday Monitor

In Summary

To the faithful. On Tuesday, as Pope Francis was being inaugurated in Rome, something else was happening in Uganda: A critical letter written by a Catholic priest was leaked to the media, causing his suspension from the church he has served for years. We bring you the full letter that brought trouble to Fr Anthony Musaala.

Tuesday, March, 12, 2013

An open letter to bishops, priests and laity: The failure of celibate chastity among diocesan priests
It is an open secret that many catholic priests and some bishops, in Uganda and elsewhere, no longer live celibate chastity.

From the numerous cases on the ground one might be forgiven for saying that most diocesan priests either don’t believe in celibacy anymore, or if they do, have long since given up the struggle to be chaste.

In any case it still seems important for priests to vow even a woefully imperfect celibacy, if only for the sake of the hallowed ‘priestly image’.

The church, however, still maintains the fable that most catholic priests persevere in celibate chastity fairly well, which fiction begs belief.

All is not well…

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

The secret report Benedict wrote for Francis

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Ratzinger has left his successor a 300-page report to look through. And the Vatileaks file appears a bit too biased in favour of Viganò's statements

Marco Tosatti
Vatican City

Pope Francis will have some reading to do in the next few days. And not so much the report by the three Cardinal "wise men" on Vatileaks, as a staff memorandum written by Benedict XVI, a kind of user's manual. It was mentioned in Avvenire (the newspaper of the Italian Bishop's Conference) by Archbishop Loris Capovilla, secretary to John XXIII, whose 98 years have not dimmed, but if anything, added to, his lucidity. Speaking with the nephew of the "Good Pope" (Roncalli), Camarillo said "anyway, and I'm not referring to the Vatileaks dossier, Benedict XVI has left on his successor's desk something like three hundred pages written personally to his attention, that's what they tell me in Rome". Like a good captain, Pope Ratzinger has left a "delivery" for the one who would take over the helm of the boat.

And it is likely that it is to these travel notes, more than the report by the three Cardinals, that Pope Francis will be devoting his attention. Criticism and doubts are growing about this latter report, the more it comes to light just how the Commission went about its work. Relying primarily on the "complaints" of the current Nuncio to the United States, Carlo Maria Viganò, and above all recording statements and accusations but without, in many cases, permitting a cross-examination. Limiting itself merely to recording them. One of the most controversial points concerns the so-called "investigation", organized by Viganò at the Governorate, of a priest, Paolo Nicolini. Mons. Nicolini, highly esteemed by Ruini, was also esteemed by Viganò, who often asked him for advice of a technical and administrative character. According to people informed, Mons. Nicolini was also consulted by the Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone. who asked him for technical information on the Governorate, of which Viganò was Secretary, and perhaps even about Viganò himself. This led Viganò to think Mons. Nicolini was playing a kind of double game, and when Bertone announced that he was not to become Cardinal, but would go off to be the Nuncio to the United States, the transparency case exploded.

A commission was created, headed by a close friend of Viganò, Mons. Egidio Turnaturi. And, as Vatican Insider wrote, they found "other accusations regarding Mons. Nicolini to be unfounded as well, although the Commission deemed it had found evidence of certain alleged character traits and suggested measures be taken".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

WDR berichtet über sexuellen Missbrauch in Kinderpsychiatrie Marsberg

DEUTSCHLAND
epd

In der Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie St. Johannesstift in Marsberg soll es dem WDR zufolge in den 1950er und 60er Jahren massive sexuelle Übergriffe durch Pfleger und Nonnen gegeben haben. Im Fernsehmagazin Westpol, das am Sonntag ausgestrahlt wird, kommen Betroffene "nach Jahrzehnten des Schweigens" zu Wort, wie der WDR am Samstag in Köln ankündigte.

Einer der Patienten beschreibe, wie ihn eine Schwester der Vincentinerinnen 1964 im Alter von 13 Jahren mehrfach in ihr Zimmer beordert habe. Dort habe er sich ausziehen müssen, die Schwester habe sexuelle Handlungen an ihm vorgenommen. Ein weiterer damaliger Patient schildere, von Nonnen immer wieder extensiv im Genitalbereich gewaschen worden zu sein.

Bereits in den vergangenen Wochen habe Westpol über massive Übergriffe berichtet, erklärte der Sender. Ehemalige Patienten aus Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrien in Marsberg, Bad Oeynhausen und Schleswiggeben geben demnach an, in den Einrichtungen bis in die 70er Jahre geschlagen und mit Medikamenten ruhiggestellt worden zu sein. Sie seien mit eiskalten Bädern gequält und in Einzelzellen gesperrt worden. In der Sendung komme auch der Sozialpädagoge und Psychotherapeut Manfred Kappeler zu Wort, der die Schilderungen für glaubwürdig halte, hieß es.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Exorzist warnt Franziskus vor einem schnellen Tod

ROM
kath.net

Der römische Exorzist Gabriele Amorth sagte, dass Papst Franziskus eine "arme Kirche der Armen" wie Johannes Paul I. wolle. „Ich würde mir nicht wünschen, dass er so endet wie Luciani“. Johannes Paul I. war nach nur 33 Tagen im Papstamt gestorben

Rom (kath.net) Pater Gabriele Amorth, oberster Exorzist der Diözese Rom, hat den neuen Papst Franziskus vor einem schnellen Tod entsprechend dem Schicksal von Papst Johannes Paul I. gewarnt. „Die Freimaurer haben überall ihre Verzweigungen, auch im Vatikan, leider“, sagte Amorth in einem Interview mit der italienischen Zeitung „Il Giornale“, wie die Tageszeitung „Österreich“ online berichtete.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Hushed up: cash probe into priest who made sex complaint against Keith O'Brien

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Gerry Braiden
Senior reporter

A priest at the centre of the scandal that forced the leader of Scotland’s Catholics to stand down was forced to leave his parish following an investigation into church finances.

The man is the cleric who has complained to the Vatican he was sexually assaulted by Cardinal Keith O’Brien in Rome on the night he was made cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

That complaint was made in September 2012. Now it has emerged that, in 2011 the priest, currently on leave of absence from the church, was found to have overspent parish funds by a six-figure sum.

He resigned within hours of the appointment of Hugh Gilbert as Bishop of Aberdeen in August 2011 and several days later was told to leave his presbytery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Sex perv gets two days in jail

IRELAND
Irish Sun

By DECLAN BRENNAN

A FORMER priest will walk free from jail this weekend despite admitting sexually abusing two young boys.

Patrick McCabe was sentenced to 18 months — but that was commuted to time served as he has spent the last 21 months in custody.

The 77-year-old had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to molesting James Moran in 1977, and another boy in 1979. Both were 13 at the time.

Waiving his right to anonymity, Mr Moran, now 50, said McCabe’s vile actions ruined his life.

He said he went from being a happy child to contemplating suicide at 18. He added: “I failed my Leaving Cert, failed attempts at relationships but most importantly, felt I had failed my family. I experienced every emotion associated with self-loathing.”

McCabe, formerly of Alameda, California, was extradited here in June 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Merryfield brothers speak out after settlement with GB Catholic Diocese

WISCONSIN
We Are Green Bay

[with video]

By: Heather Sawaski

Updated: March 22, 2013

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - After reaching a settlement in their case against the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, two brothers molested by a catholic priest in 1978 are speaking out.

Todd and Troy Merryfield were sexually abused as children by former priest John Feeney while he served at their Freedom church. They said at a news conference Friday afternoon, while they're glad their fight is over, they're still not satisfied.

The brothers said they settled for the exact same amount a jury initially awarded them at trial last June, which was around $700,000. That verdict was overturned after a judge found one of the jurors to be impartial.

Despite the settlement, the brothers are still seeking an apology from the diocese for what they allege was a cover up of Feeney's actions. They're also challenging Bishop David Ricken and others to release documents they say exist with names of other priest's who are known to have abused children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

‘The Church has failed me’

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Journal

A young Derry man whose allegations of sexual abuse rocked the Catholic Church in the city to the core almost 20 years ago claims despite all the publicity and promises at the time by senior clergy to clean up the mess nothing has come of it.

The man, now in his 40’s, says a team leader at St Eugene’s Youth Club in the Bogside in the 1980’s seriously abused him and, at least, twenty other boys - he thinks the numbers involved are actually much higher, possibly as many as 50 - but it has all been covered up. The team leader involved has since died.

Speaking this week the man told former ‘Journal’ editor Pat McArt he felt the damage done to his psyche by the huge mental and emotional anguish he went through on going to the media and making public his claims had not been worth it.

He said: “The youth leader who abused me and the others is dead now but he’s left a trail of devastation. I, personally, told four priests about him. As far as I’m aware three of those priests are still alive and working in the diocese. I know one has since left the priesthood. What went on was certainly made known to the senior clergy in this town by me and others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Father Grassi’s sex abuse case: Cardinal Bergoglio - “reckless and irresponsible” – expert

UNITED STATES
The Voice of Russia

The issue of underage sex abuse in the Catholic Church is one that the new Pope, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is expected to address and deal with. How he plans to do this is something many want to know. Despite being hailed as a man who stands with the poor backing his own nation, Pope Francis, as he is now known, has had a controversial past with regards to pedophilia.

Critics are saying that even in the most famous cases that found Argentinean priests guilty and landed them in jail, Pope Francis did not do enough to ensure the protection and the elimination of this serious crimes, nor did he do enough to aid the victims after the fact, many say.

With us to discuss this is Anne Barrett Doyle of bishop-accountability.org

Thank you so much for joining me Anne. What does your organization do and how are you seeing it as it unfolds in Argentina? They’ve had some pretty serious articles about it in the Washington Post and in the New York Times that have addressed the fact that there are some things that have been left unset there?

My organization bishop-accountability.org tracks clergy sex abuse data and documents worldwide. We are the largest repository of documents that have been forced out of the Catholic Church for instance as a result of action by victims. And our concern here is simply, you know, we have not by any means thoroughly researched Pope Francis’s record in Argentina. But preliminary indications in just two priests’ cases that are recent suggest that he was very unsympathetic towards victims, and more seriously, did not take proper actions to protect children from credibly accused priests.

You said that your organization works worldwide. Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Latin America, what is that like? Is it kind of where we were in the 1950’es-1960’es?

We simply don’t have a good handle on the public record of the Catholic abuse crisis in Latin America yet. We are quickly fetching researchers to accumulate any information that is in the public domain, from court records to media accounts. But the crisis has not surfaced there to the same extent it has in the US or Europe, Australia or Canada. But we will see in the coming days what exactly exists in the public record about this crisis in Latin America and attempt to quantify how bad the problem is there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Mega church pastor’s children plead no contest in child sex abuse case

TULSA (OK)
KFOR

TULSA, Okla. – The son and daughter-in-a-law of a mega church pastor in Tulsa have pleaded “no contest” to charges against them.

This stems from an incident last year at Victory Christian Church in Tulsa.

A 13-year old girl reported being raped on ministry property by a church worker.

John and Charica Daugherty were charged with failing to promptly report child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Sex Abuses in Church: 1st Case for Pope Francis ...

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

[with video]

Sex Abuses in Church: 1st Case for Pope Francis Involves Claims that Cardinal O’Brien Had Long-Term Physical Relationship With Priest

By Vittorio Hernandez | March 23, 2013

Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien's problems apparently did not end with his being sacked just before Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI retired as pontiff on Feb 28. It appears that the cardinal's sex abuse case would be the first that new Pope Francis will have to investigate following claims by the complaining priest that he had a long-term physical relationship with Cardinal O'Brien.

When Pope Benedict quit it post, among the legacies or headaches he left for his successor was to solve a slew of sex abuses cases involving clergymen. The last case to be made public was that of Cardinal O'Brien who not only had to back out of attending the conclave in early March but had to quit days before his official retirement following complaints that he abused three priests and an ex-priest - accusations that had been made way back in the 1980s but were apparently swept then under the rug.

Reports by Scottish daily The Herald that came out on Saturday said that the abuse complaints did not involve casual sex encounters but the first priest complainant actually had a long-term physical relationship with Cardinal O'Brien. It said that the two clergymen had known each other for over three decades and were in close contact through phone calls and meetings in Edinburgh until they had a falling out in 2012.

The priest, who initially left his vocation but eventually returned and assigned in Europe in a post the cardinal helped him secure, turned against the Scottish cardinal as an act of revenge for Cardinal O'Brien being outspoken against homosexuality and gay marriage, describing it as moral degradation and harmful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Cloyne priest to be laicised over abuse complaints

IRELAND
Irish Times

Barry Roche

Sat, Mar 23, 2013

An elderly priest in the Diocese of Cloyne is facing laicisation after a church inquiry upheld a series of complaints by five women that they had been sexually abused by the priest while minors in 1970s and 1980s.

Yesterday the diocese confirmed its canonical court had found in favour of the women in relation to the priest, who had been the subject of complaints from the women that he abused them when they were under 18.

“A number of complaints of sexual abuse of minors against a priest of the Diocese of Cloyne have been upheld by a canonical penal trial. The priest has been dismissed from the clerical state,” said the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

March 22, 2013

Settlement or Not, Brothers still Blame Diocese for Abuse

WISCONSIN
NBC 26

By Jonathon Gregg

Green Bay-- Todd and Troy Merryfield stood in front of St. Francis Cathedral Friday afternoon demanding the Green Bay Diocese come clean about covering up a history of sexual abuse. The brothers were abused by a former priest in 1978.

In 2005 John Patrick Feeney was found guilty and sentenced to 15-years in prison for abusing the men they were 12 and 13-years-old. In a civil suit the brothers accused the Diocese of knowing about Feeney's violent past. A courtroom sided with the brothers last year but the Diocese appealed and won a second trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 PM

Merryfields talk about settlement

WISCONSIN
Fox 11

Updated: Friday, 22 Mar 2013

Ben Krumholz, FOX 11 News

GREEN BAY - Two Fox Valley brothers, who say they were sexually abused by a former priest, are relieved to have their court battle complete with the Green Bay Catholic Diocese.

Three days ago, a settlement was announced with the diocese and Todd and Troy Merryfield. However, the brothers said today their fight isn't over.

Former priest John Feeney was convicted of abusing the Merryfields while Feeney served at a Freedom church in 1978.

The brothers sued the diocese for fraud, claiming the diocese kept quiet about Feeney having an abusive history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Former Eureka priest accused of molesting boys sentenced to prison in Ireland

CALIFORNIA
The Times-Standard

times-standard.com
Posted: 03/22/2013

A former Catholic priest who once served in Eureka has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in his native Ireland for molesting two boys more than 30 years ago.

Patrick Joseph McCabe, 77, who fought his extradition from the Bay Area in 2011, pleaded guilty and was sentenced today at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.

Four Humboldt County men filed lawsuits in Sonoma County Superior Court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa in 2010, alleging they were repeatedly molested by McCabe when he was at St. Bernard's Parish in the 1980s.

McCabe was transferred to St. Bernard's Parish -- which comprises St. Bernard's and St. Joseph churches -- in 1983 after molestation allegations began surfacing against him in Dublin. McCabe arrived in Eureka, reportedly just months after he was deemed a pedophile, enrolled in a treatment program and was placed on medications intended to rein in his sexual desires. He was transferred out of Eureka to a Guerneville church in 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Church Abuse Victims Speak about Settlement

WISCONSIN
WBAY

By Emily Matesic

Green Bay -
Two brothers who settled their lawsuit against the Green Bay Catholic Diocese are talking about that decision. Todd and Troy Merryfield say church officials knew of former priest John Feeney's prior sexual misconduct when he abused the Merryfield brothers in 1978. In 2002, Feeney was convicted of sexual abuse.

Last May, the Merryfield's won a civil trial and were awarded $700,000 in damages. That verdict was later overturned.

It's been a long road for Todd and Troy Merryfield. The men have been fighting the Green Bay Catholic Diocese since 1978 when they were molested by now defrocked priest John Feeney. Today the brothers have ended their fight after settling their civil suit for $700.000.

"It's a relief to be done doing this legal dance," says Todd Merryfield. "That's a relief for us."

While the brothers are glad to be done with the legal wrangling, they tell us the money is meaningless and they are still looking for the diocese to take responsibility for its actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Map: Exploring the Priest Abuse Scandal in L.A.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KCET

by Brian Frank

on March 22, 2013

As we revealed in an exclusive investigation, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for years responded to some of the sexual abuse allegations against priests by moving them around from one parish to another. We wanted to find out just how many churches the accused men had lived at or worked at. In other words, we wanted to know how extensive the scandal had really become in our own back yard.

We created the following map to give people another way of engaging with the records released by the archdiocese in January 2013. Where possible, we got assignment information directly from those priest files, but we also relied on information from bishop-accountability.org, a site that tracks and archives records pertaining to clergy abuse.

The numbers on the map pins indicate how many accused priests worked at that parish at one time or another. They do not mean an incident of abuse occurred there. It's likely that some of the numbers are lower than they should be, because in some cases names and locations were redacted from the records. Consider these numbers to be estimates.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

LUXEMBURG HERZIET RELATIES TUSSEN KERK EN STAAT

LUXEMBURG
Kerknet

BRUSSEL (KerkNet/Luxemburger Wort) – In een Luxemburgse parlementaire werkgroep is consensus bereikt over de herziening van de relaties tussen Kerk en staat. De werkgroep is het eens om artikel 21 van de Luxemburgse grondwet te schrappen. Daarin staat dat het kerkelijke huwelijk aan het burgerlijke huwelijk moet vooraf gaan. Er komt ook een nieuw artikel in de grondwet dat de godsdienstvrijheid moet garanderen, overeenkomstig de internationale akkoorden. De staat moet voortaan een neutrale houding aannemen ten aanzien van de verschillende geloofsgemeenschappen. De staat engageert zich om voortaan alle erkende geloofsgemeenschappen en levensbeschouwingen op gelijke voet te behandelen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Former Christian Brother guilty of sexually abusing boy

IRELAND
BBC News

A former Christian Brother, originally from Belfast, has been found guilty of sexually abusing a boy at a school in County Galway in the 1960s.

Robert Doherty, 72, from Glenwood Estate, Dundalk, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault at Galway Circuit Criminal Court.

He denies committing the offences at Letterfrack Industrial School between August 1965 and April 1967.

Doherty, originally from the Falls Road, will be sentenced in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Former Christian Brother found guilty of sexually abusing boy at Letterfrack

IRELAND
RTE News

A former Christian Brother has been found guilty of the sexual abuse of a boy at Letterfrack Industrial School in Co Galway in the 1960s.

Robert Doherty, 72, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault by a jury at Galway Circuit Criminal Court this morning.

He had denied the offences, which took place on dates between August 1965 and April 1967.

Doherty, originally from the Falls Road in Belfast and with an address at Glenwood Estate, Dundalk in Co Louth, was recruited to the Christian Brothers at the age of 15.

In 1965, he began teaching at Letterfrack Industrial School at the age of 24.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

JURY TO RESUME DELIBERATIONS IN ALLEGED LETTERFRACK ABUSE TRIAL

IRELAND
Galway Bay FM

A jury in the trial of a former Christian Brother charged with indecently assaulting a boy at Letterfrack Industrial School during the 1960's, will resume its deliberations today.

The retired 72 year old primary school teacher denies six charges of indecently assaulting the boy between August 1965 and July 1967.

The jury of six men and six women retired to consider its verdict yesterday afternoon following a two- day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

St. Paul Catholic school student reports being bullied into sex act

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.comtwincities.com
Posted: 03/21/2013

St. Paul police are investigating allegations that a female student at St. Thomas More Catholic School was bullied into performing a sex act on a male student. The boy then sent a photo of the encounter to a friend via text message, a court document said.

Neither child was identified in a search warrant affidavit made public Thursday, March 21, in Ramsey County District Court. The boy has not been charged. St. Paul police spokesman Howie Padilla said Thursday that they would not release the boy's age.

The school at 1065 Summit Ave. in St. Paul serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

According to the affidavit:

The girl told someone who is mandated by law to report abuse that she had been bullied last month into performing oral sex on a boy. Police were notified, and the girl was referred to the Midwest Children's Resource Center at Children's Hospital in St. Paul, which evaluates suspected abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Rene Astruc, s.j.

ALASKA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: A native of France, Astruc was ordained a Jesuit priest of the Oregon Province in 1954. He spent his career in Alaska, among the Yup'ik people. There have been at least two accusations against Astruc, as revealed in Fairbanks diocese's bankruptcy documents in 2010. In 2007 three women are said to have come forward with accusations that Astruc sexually abused them as minors. Astruc died in June 2002.

Ordained: 1954
Died: June 28, 2002

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Meet a hero: one man forces a Catholic diocese to open their files

ILLINOIS
Daily Kos

Bob Johnson

There is a powerful, infuriating, moving and heartbreaking story in today's Chicago Tribune. It is the story of one man's quest to see justice done, not just for himself, but for at least one hundred other known victims of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy in the Joliet Diocese in Illinois.

Here's the story:

Files detail decades of abuse in Joliet Diocese

What makes David Rudofski's story -- just one more story in the long and sordid history of pedophile shuffling by Catholic Church hierarchy all around the globe -- so compelling is his insistence on forcing the diocese to release records related to pedophile priests going back decades. Rudofski refused numerous offers to settle out of court, to be quiet and go away, to, as he put it, "Take the money and run."

The Joliet Diocese readily admitted that David Rudofski was sexually abused during his first confession at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. It offered him an in-person apology from the bishop and more than six times his annual salary in the hope of putting a quick, quiet end to yet another ugly incident involving a priest.
But Rudofski wanted more than money.

The south suburban electrician wanted the diocese to truly pay for its repeated and, oftentimes, willful mishandling of sexual abuse cases involving clergy — and he insisted on a currency far more precious to the church than money. He demanded that the diocese settle its debt by turning over the secret archives it maintained on abusive priests and making them available for public consumption.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Former Northern California priest accused of molesting two boys sentenced to prison in Ireland

CALIFORNIA
Contra Costa Times

By Peter Hegarty
phegarty@bayareanewsgroup.commercurynews.com

Posted: 03/22/2013 01:27:15 PM PDT

ALAMEDA -- A former Catholic priest who investigators tracked down living and working in Alameda has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in his native Ireland for molesting two boys more than 30 years ago.

Patrick Joseph McCabe, 77, who fought his extradition in 2011 from the Bay Area, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Friday at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.

McCabe also received an 18-month sentence at the court last year for abusing boys.

The former priest was working as an administrator at the Water's Edge Lodge nursing home on Island Drive when Interpol located him in September 2007 and Alameda detectives initially questioned him about the allegations.

Two Irish police officers also visited Alameda and interviewed McCabe before he was extradited to Ireland in June 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Action Alert Regarding Bishop Finn, by Kristine Ward

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Posted on March 22, 2013

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) has taken a strong stand that it is an imperative part of true healing in the Church regarding the sexual abuse crisis that criminally convicted Bishop Robert Finn who still heads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri must resign or be removed.

We admire the work that Jeff Weis, the creator of the Bishop Finn petition (www.BishopFinnPetition.com), has done. The petition currently has 111,030 signers.

Today, we ask our readers to take action and support an email campaign that Jeff has begun in connection with a provincial meeting of all of the Roman Catholic Bishops of the dioceses in Missouri this Sunday and Monday. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of the Archdiocese of St. Louis will preside at this meeting.

The email asks Archbishop Carlson to speak with Bishop Finn during the meeting of the Roman Catholic Bishops of the dioceses in Missouri this Sunday and Monday to “counsel Bishop Finn to make the right and just decision in helping the people of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese to start the healing process by his resignation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

MI - SNAP supports new abuse prevention bill in MI

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on March 22, 2013

We support Rep. Klisto and his bill to make school employees and clergy members mandated reporters of child abuse. By creating an environment where everyone from custodian to cardinal is required to report abuse, this measure will go a long way towards deterring future child sex crimes and will create a much safer world for children.

Any effort undertaken to increase accountability and responsibility for those who would ignore or minimize child abuse is a step in the right direction.

It may seem like common sense that anyone who witnesses the victimization of a child should immediately go to the police. Sadly, hundreds of cases every year, from low-profile ones to high-profile ones like the Sandusky case remind us that this common sense is all to uncommon. We hope that this measure passes quickly in order to better ensure the safety of children in Michigan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

CA - Former Bay Area Priest jailed, SNAP responds

CALIFORNIA/IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on March 22, 2013

We are glad that Fr. Patrick McCabe has received prison time for abusing two 13-year-old boys in the 1970s. We are especially grateful that McCabe was not let off the hook because of his advanced age. Children are always safer when predators are behind bars, whether that predator is 20 or 80.

While the crimes for which Fr. McCabe was sentenced for relate to his time in Dublin, we know that he also spent time in the dioceses of Stockton, Sacramento, and Santa Rosa. We also know that he has been known to have abused children since at least 1988, when he was removed from the Diocese of Santa Rosa for making children sit on his lap during confession.

We urge church officials at each of these dioceses to reach out to their flocks and encourage anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered crimes at the hands of Fr. McCabe to come forward immediately to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Updated: Priest sex abuse victims speak out

WISCONSIN
Wausau Daily Herald

Two brothers sexually assaulted by a priest in Outagamie County in the 1970s spoke out today after receiving a $700,000 settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

Todd Merryfield and Troy Merryfield met reporters outside St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in downtown Green Bay.

The diocese earlier this week agreed to pay the Merryfields a $700,000 settlement in a civil lawsuit that the brothers filed in 2008.

When they were children in the late 1970s, both brothers were assaulted by the Rev. John Feeney at St. Nicholas Church in the Outagamie town of Freedom. Feeney was convicted of sexual assault in 2004 and sent to prison for nearly eight years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Missbrauch bei den „Domspatzen“ unter Theobald Schrems

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg-Digital

Es war der 5. März 2010. Damals wandte sich die Diözese Regensburg erstmals an die Öffentlichkeit, um die Medien über sexuellen Missbrauch bei den Regensburger Domspatzen zu informieren. Bistumssprecher Clemens Neck präsentiere damals nur Jahrzehnte zurückliegende Fälle. Doch selbst diese wurden irreführend und falsch dargestellt. Versuch einer Aufarbeitung.

Als die anschwellen Berichterstattung über sexuellen Missbrauch im März 2010 auch Regensburg erreichte, war die Vorstandschaft der Regensburger „Domspatzen“ nicht völlig unvorbereitet. Noch bevor die erste Tageszeitung am 4. März 2010 sexuelle Übergriffe beim „Aushängeschild der Diözese Regensburg“ thematisierte hatte, wurden in einem Rundschreiben Eltern, Schüler und Mitarbeiter über das informiert, was da kommen könnte.

Man sei „bestürzt darüber, dass derart beschämende Vorkommnisse an kirchlichen Einrichtungen geschahen“, so die Unterzeichner Domkapellmeister Roland Büchner, Gymnasiums-Direktor Berthold Wahl und Domvikar Rainer Schinko (Internatsdirektor).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Cloyne priest defrocked

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

12:07, 22 March 2013 by Kieron Wood

A priest of the Diocese of Cloyne has been defrocked after Church authorities upheld a number of complaints of sexual abuse of children.

A representative of the diocese today contacted the complainants who took part in the canonical trial to inform them of the verdict. A public relations issued a statement on behalf of the diocese saying that the complaints had been “upheld by a canonical penal trial” and the priest had been “dismissed from the clerical state”.

“The diocese will continue to offer counselling and pastoral support to all who have been abused, and wishes to expresses deep regret at the suffering that has been caused,” said the statement. The priest was not named. The public relations consultant for the diocese would give no further details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Public-Relations Advice for the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Taki's Magazine

It seemed that only minutes after the College of Cardinals selected Pope Francis as their new pontiff, the popular press was accusing him of enabling the torture of Jesuit priests in Argentina’s “Dirty War” and nailing him to a cross for refusing to abandon the Church’s 2,000-year-old definition of marriage.

When his predecessor Pope Benedict was appointed, the dutiful cyber-monks of the Universal Church of Cultural Marxism sunk their teeth in his vestments and focused almost solely on his brief membership in Hitler Youth during WWII. Little mention was made of the fact that a prominent rabbi stated that during WWII, Pope Pius saved more Jews from the Holocaust than Oskar Schindler.

Hot on the heels of Benedict’s resignation last month, the Italian press was replete with allegations that he didn’t resign due to failing health as he’d stated; instead, they claimed he’d been blackmailed by a nearly 300-page red dossier allegedly detailing that a “Gay Mafia” controlled much of the Church’s upper hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Entschädigung für 1000 Wiener Heimkinder

OSTERREICH
Kurier

Die Stadt Wien hat missbrauchten Zöglingen 17 Millionen Euro gezahlt. Die fordern aber jetzt auch eine Bundeskompetenz.

Viele Betroffenen wüssten gar nicht, welche Rechte sie haben, und wie sie zu Entschädigungen kommen. Deshalb brachte der deutsche Anwalt Christian Sailer gemeinsam mit Claudia Kaufmann, Betroffene des Heims St. Martin in Tirol, eine parlamentarische Bürgerinitiative ein. Ziel dieser Initiative ist eine alleinige Bundeskompetenz, die die Verjährungsfrist von Schmerzensgeldansprüchen und den Verdienstentgang während der Heimzeit neu regelt.

Denn aktuell ist die Lage bei den Entschädigungen der Heimkinder eher verworren. Für die Gesetze ist der Bund zuständig. Für die Umsetzung die Länder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Association of Maternal Exposure to Childhood Abuse With Elevated Risk for Autism in Offspring

UNITED STATES
Journal of the American Medical Association

Andrea L. Roberts, PhD; Kristen Lyall, ScD; Janet W. Rich-Edwards, ScD; Alberto Ascherio, DrPH; Marc G. Weisskopf, PhD, ScD

Published online March 20, 2013

ABSTRACT.

Importance Adverse perinatal circumstances have been associated with increased risk for autism in offspring. Women exposed to childhood abuse experience more adverse perinatal circumstances than women unexposed, but whether maternal abuse is associated with autism in offspring is unknown.

Objectives To determine whether maternal exposure to childhood abuse is associated with risk for autism in offspring and whether possible increased risk is accounted for by a higher prevalence of adverse perinatal circumstances among abused women, including toxemia, low birth weight, gestational diabetes, previous induced abortion, intimate partner abuse, pregnancy length shorter than 37 weeks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use, and alcohol use and smoking during pregnancy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Der neue Papst ist uns etwas schuldig

OSTERREICH
der Standard

Kolumne | Hans Rauscher, 22. März 2013

Über den neuen Papst haben wir erfahren, dass er sehr bescheiden ist. Sehr nett. Aber das reicht nicht.

Über den neuen Papst haben wir erfahren, dass er sehr bescheiden ist. Die in einer Kammer neben der Sixtinischen Kapelle (Eingang direkt unter Michelangelos Weltgericht) traditionell für unmittelbar nach der Wahl bereitliegenden Papstgewänder (drei Größen) hat er abgelehnt, die Maß-Slipper auch, seine Gemächer sind ihm zu weitläufig.

Sehr nett. Aber das reicht nicht. Notwendig sind eher deutliche Klarstellungen zu zwei Großthemen (die nichts mit Dogmen zu tun haben):

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

Jesuitenpater entlastet Papst Franziskus

ARGENTINIEN
Sueddeutsche

Seit seiner Wahl zum Pontifex wird über die Rolle Jorge Mario Bergoglios während der argentinischen Militärdiktatur spekuliert. Es geht um zwei Jesuiten, die verhaftet und gefoltert wurden. Einer von ihnen hat Papst Franziskus nun klar entlastet.

Kaum war Papst Franziskus auf den Balkon hoch über dem Petersplatz getreten und hatte sich der jubelnden Menge präsentiert, wurden Anschuldigungen laut. Die Rede war von Flecken auf dem weißen Gewand des Kirchenoberhauptes. Vor Jahren, zu Zeiten der argentinischen Militärdiktatur (1976 bis 1983), habe der Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio zwei Mitbrüder verraten hieß es.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Franziskus lobte Benedikts Null-Toleranz-Politik bei Missbrauch

ARGENTINIEN
kath.net

Die Kirche dürfe bei Missbrauchsfällen niemals ein Auge zudrücken. Sexueller Missbrauch hänge aber nicht mit dem Zölibat zusammen, sagte Erzbischof Bergoglio.

In einem Interview im Jahr 2012 lobte der damalige Kardinal Bergoglio die Null-Toleranz-Politik seines Vorgängers Benedikt XVI. im irischen Missbrauchsskandal. Die Kirche dürfe in diesen Fällen niemals ein Auge zudrücken, betonte er.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

California bishop temporarily withdraws belief requirement for school contracts

CALIFORNIA
National Catholic Reporter

by Dan Morris-Young | Mar. 22, 2013

In a letter Tuesday to pastors, Catholic school principals and "especially teachers," Santa Rosa, Calif., Bishop Robert Vasa has temporarily withdrawn his requirement that they sign an addendum to their 2013-2014 contracts that would have required they agree they are "a ministerial agent of the bishop" and reject "modern errors" that "gravely offend human dignity," including contraception, abortion, same-sex marriage and euthanasia.

In the letter, Vasa:
• Wrote that his "most serious oversight ... was my failure to engage and consult the pastors of the diocese and especially those who are the local shepherds of our Catholic schools";
• Said his "degree of vigilance" in assuring "the greatest hope of finding the truths of Jesus in our Catholic schools" for students "can look like a lack of trust"; and
• Acknowledged "that I over looked proper engagement of the principals" and "erroneously chose a path of informing rather than mutual discernment."

Broad grass-roots reaction from parents, teachers, students and pastors had developed in the diocese following disclosure of the addendum, which had been inserted into the contracts as what Vasa and Catholic school superintendent John Collins described as an amplification and clarification of the standard faith and morals clause.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

Former priest to be freed as 18-month term for abuse backdated

IRELAND
Irish Times

A former priest whose abuse of children in the 1970s and 1980s was featured in the Murphy report will walk free this weekend after an 18-month jail term was backdated by the judge.

Patrick McCabe (77), formerly of Alameda, California, was extradited here in June 2011 and has spent the last 21 months in custody awaiting sentence.

Waiving his right to anonymity, one of his victims James Moran (50) said McCabe’s sexual assault had blighted his life. Mr Moran said he went from being a happy child to contemplating suicide at 18.

McCabe pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to indecent assault of Mr Moran at a Co Kildare school between January and April 1977.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Sex abusing priest to walk free this weekend despite getting 18-month jail term

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Declan Brennan– 22 March 2013

A FORMER priest whose abuse of children in the 1970s and 1980s was featured in the Murphy Report will walk free this weekend despite receiving an 18 month jail term.

Patrick McCabe (77), formerly of Alameda, California was extradited here in June 2011 and has spent the last 21 months in custody awaiting sentence.

Waiving his right to anonymity, one of his victims James Moran (50) said that McCabe's sexual assault had blighted his life. Mr Moran said he went from being a happy child to contemplating suicide at 18.

McCabe pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to indecent assault of Mr Moran at a Co Kildare school between January and April 1977.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

"A Tragic Miscarriage Of Justice"

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

Friday, March 22, 2013

By Ralph Cipriano
for bigtrial.net

An alternate juror in the Engelhardt-Shero case recalled the moment she got a courtesy phone call from the court clerk, telling her the jury had reached a verdict.

It seemed pretty fast to her. The call came in at 7 p.m. on Jan. 30, 2013, after three days of deliberation, only five days after she had been dismissed as an alternate.

They came back guilty on all the charges except one, the court clerk told the alternate juror, a young woman in her 30s.

"I was like, 'Are you serious?' I couldn't believe it," she said in an interview. "I thought for sure they were going to vote not guilty because there was absolutely no proof that these men had done that."

To the alternate juror, who wishes to remain anonymous, the guilty verdict was "incredible," even "insane."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

Five tests of whether Pope Francis' reform of the Vatican could be real

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L. Allen Jr. | Mar. 22, 2013 All Things Catholic

Saturday will mark 10 days since the start of the Pope Francis era, and as introductions go, it's been a tour de force. Polling around the world suggests that overwhelming majorities have a positive impression of the new pope, and the media have fallen in love with a man who packs his own bags, makes his own calls and prefers to walk rather than taking the limo.

Everything Francis does, however banal, is now a sensation. The fact that TV cameras caught him checking his watch near the end of Tuesday's inaugural Mass, for instance, launched an essay in one of the Italian papers about his pastoral concern for not holding people too long for an overly elaborate liturgy.

The new papal style certainly has registered with his underlings. On Thursday, I had lunch in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome in an eatery popular among Vatican personnel who work in the Palazzo San Callisto, and I bumped into a cardinal who's a veteran insider now over 80. When I noted he was dressed in his basic clergyman clothes rather than the usual finery, he smilingly said he was taking his cues from the new boss.

Under Francis, simple is the new chic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Sexual abuse in the church: William Lynch on why a new pope doesn't mean justice

CALIFORNIA
Mercury News

By William Lynch
Special to the Mercury News
mercurynews.com

Posted: 03/22/2013

On its surface the election of Pope Francis would appear to offer renewed hope for true reform within the Catholic Church.

Two weeks into his reign the honeymoon continues, with the media marveling at the new pope's easy smile and obvious warmth. They speak of his willingness to live modestly and travel around Rome in a Volkswagen instead of a big limousine.

While the media have the power to effect real change, they continue to focus on the superficial while ignoring the elephant in the room.

The real question to be addressed is this: When and how will Pope Francis confront the ongoing cover-up of the sexual abuse of children within his church?

I am a victim of this Catholic Church. And

Will Lynch in San Francisco, 2012. (LiPo Ching)I want an answer to that question.

When I was seven years old and at a Catholic Church camping trip in northern California, my four year old brother and I were raped by Father Jerold Lindner. Lindner, who has been accused of abusing many others, including his own family members, has never been prosecuted. Still a priest, he roams freely from the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos while still being paid by his enablers, the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 AM

Ex-priest Patrick McCabe sentenced for child abuse

IRELAND
BBC News

A 70-year-old former priest who abused two boys more than 30 years ago has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Patrick McCabe pleaded guilty to the offences after he was extradited from California to face the charges almost two years ago.

One child was abused in the parochial house of the pro-cathedral in Dublin, the other at a school in County Kildare.

He was previously jailed last year for indecently assaulting five other boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

‘Dirty War’ Victim Rejects Pope’s Connection to Kidnapping

ARGENTINA
The New York Times

By WILLIAM NEUMAN

Published: March 21, 2013

CARACAS, Venezuela — A Jesuit priest whose kidnapping by the Argentine military raised questions about the actions of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, during that country’s so-called Dirty War said in a statement this week that Father Bergoglio did not initiate the detention by reporting him and another priest to the authorities.

“These are the facts: Orlando Yorio and I were not reported by Father Bergoglio,” Father Franz Jalics said in the statement posted on a German Jesuit Web site, mentioning the other priest who was kidnapped with him in 1976. The statement was dated Wednesday. “It is thus wrong to claim that our capture was initiated by Father Bergoglio.”

But the statement by Father Jalics did not address a contention by Father Yorio, who died in 2000, that Father Bergoglio had sought to undermine their work in a Buenos Aires slum, taking steps that may have left them vulnerable to the military. Father Bergoglio was head of the Jesuit order in Argentina at the time of their kidnapping.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Former priest faces Armidale Court again

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Catherine Clifford

A court has continued its suppression order on the identity of a former priest charged with 35 historical child sex abuse offences.

At Armidale Local Court, Magistrate Karen Stafford was informed a brief of evidence has been served on the accused, an ex-priest from Armidale.

In January, detectives from the Sex Crimes Squad and New England Local Area Command charged the 59-year-old with 35 offences relating to alleged sexual assaults in the 1980s on six alter boys from the Moree and Armidale dioceses.

Magistrate Stafford adjourned the matter to May 8.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Cardinal Keith O'Brien 'had long-term affair with priest who complained'

SCOTLAND
The Guardian

Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Friday 22 March 2013

Cardinal Keith O'Brien had a long-term physical relationship with one of the priests whose complaints against him led to his sacking as Scotland's most senior Roman Catholic, church sources claim.

Officials in the Scottish Catholic church claim that the priest, who is alleged to be the first man to complain to the Vatican about O'Brien, left the priesthood in the mid-2000s but has since returned to the church.

These officials have told the Herald they believe that the man complained to the Vatican last winter in revenge for O'Brien's outspoken attacks on homosexuality and gay marriage, just as his career was coming to an end. He described homosexuality as a "moral degradation" and gay marriage as "harmful".

Immediately after that priest, who had known O'Brien for decades, submitted his accusations to the Vatican in late 2012, the cardinal was summoned to Rome and effectively sacked. Then Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh and seen as the de facto leader of Scotland's 750,000 Catholics, O'Brien was told privately by Vatican officials that he would be expected to retire on his 75th birthday, which fell on 17 March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Jack Schaap, ex-pastor of megachurch, gets 12 years for teen sex

INDIANA
WLS

Leah Hope

March 20, 2013 (HAMMOND, Ind.) (WLS) -- A former Hammond, Indiana pastor was sentenced to 12 years in prison Wednesday for having sex with a 17-year-old girl who attended his church.

A 10-year-sentence was recommended by both sides but the federal judge went with a longer sentence in this case.

The courtroom for his sentencing was full and dozens more waited outside while the hearing took place. Many former and current church members were there to witness Schaap's sentencing.

Former church member Nadine Salgado says she left the church and is concerned about the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Ex-pastor gets 12 years for sex with girl

INDIANA
WANE

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) -- A federal judge has sentenced the former pastor of a northwestern Indiana megachurch to 12 years in prison who pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with a teenage member of the parish.

Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano also sentenced 55-year-old Jack Schaap of Crete, Ill., to five years of supervised release Wednesday. Schaap pleaded guilty in September to transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Schaap was pastor of the 15,000-member First Baptist Church of Hammond for 11 years when he was fired in July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Former Pastor Gets 12 Years For Sex With Teen

INDIANA
RTT News

3/21/2013

Former Indiana pastor Jack Schaap has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for having sex with an underage girl who attended his church. Schaap, who led the mega-congregation of about 40,000, seduced the girl when she came to him for counseling, the Northwest Indiana Times reports.

Proof of Schaap's misdeed came in the form of letters from the victim, which prosecutors used in the case against him:

"When you first kissed me I was shocked . . . When I asked you if it was wrong, you said 'No.' You told me that I was sent you from God, I was his gift to you. You made me feel special."

The prosecution and defense had agreed on a ten year sentence, which U.S. District Court Judge Rudy Lozano said did not meet the federal minimum required. Another two-years were subsequently added onto Schaap's sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Jack Schaap Sentenced: Indiana Pastor Gets 12 Years For Sexual Relationship With Teen Parishioner

INDIANA
Huffington Post

The former pastor of a northwest Indiana megachurch on Wednesday was sentenced to 12 years in prison for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old parishioner.

Last summer, Schaap, 55, was fired from First Baptist Church of Hammond, the 40,000-member congregation of which he had led for 11 years. Upon his firing, Schaap admitted that he had a sexual relationship with the young member of his church.

In court Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano told Schaap the sex crimes were serious in that they were "dealing with the treasures that are most important to us - our children," the Northwest Indiana Times reports.

The 12-year prison sentence for Schaap was two years longer than the sentence recommended by prosecutors, according to Reuters, and also includes five years of supervised release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Ex-Indiana pastor gets 12 years for sex with girl, 'I became a fool'

INDIANA
Chicago Tribune

By Andy GrimmTribune reporter
4:45 p.m. CDT, March 20, 2013

Jack Schaap, the former pastor of a 15,000-member northwest Indiana megachurch, was sentenced today to 12 years in prison for engaging in sex with a troubled underage girl who sought him out for counseling.

In a statement, the victim wrote that Schaap would text her from the altar during his sermons. In another statement, written as a letter to Schaap, she wrote: “When you first kissed me I was shocked. . .When I asked you if it was wrong, you said ‘No.’ You told me that I was sent you from God, I was his gift to you. You made me feel special.”

Schaap entered a guilty plea last September in a deal with federal prosecutors, admitting to allegations that led to his ouster from the highly conservative Hammond Baptist Church that his late father in-law, Jack Hyles, had built into one of the area’s largest churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Commerce Township senator introduces bill requiring school employees and clergy members to report sex crimes

MICHIGAN
Oakland Press

Published: Friday, March 22, 2013

LANSING (AP) — More people in Michigan would be required by law to report instances of sexual assault under a bill introduced in the state House this week.

Republican Rep. Klint Kesto of Commerce Township in Oakland County introduced a bill Thursday that would add school employees and people who represent themselves as clergy to those mandated by law to report sex crimes.

Kesto says that under current law, school faculty and administrators are required to report instances of sexual assault. This would ensure that all school employees such as coaches and janitors would be held under the same requirements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Hamill: Pope Francis must crack down on pedophile priests to restore church's relevance, moral standing

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

Denis Hamill

No more smoke.

Let that puff of white smoke that rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday be the last smoke blowing from the Vatican under Pope Francis in his lifetime.

No more smoke. No more “DaVinci Code” mirrors. No more coverups.

For the new Pope to have a prayer in saving the church from irrelevancy in this new century, he has to open wide the creaky old doors and let the sunshine of 2013, Year of Our Lord, shine in and let the winds of change start at St. Peter’s Square.

I long ago gave up for Lent giving up anything for Lent. But I have followed the matters of the church with an old altar boy’s eye. I respect the beliefs of people like my devout Roman Catholic mother, who found solace from bigotry in Northern Ireland and immigrant poverty in this life with her belief that her next eternal life would be a better one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Ex-priest likely to walk free despite child sex abuse sentencing

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

A former priest who admitted sexually abusing two 13-year-old boys in the 1970s is likely to walk free from prison despite being jailed for 18 months.

77-year-old Patrick McCabe's sentence has been backdated to when he first went into custody in June 2011 following his extradition from Alameda, California, to meet these and other abuse charges.

James Moran was 13 years old when he was abused by Patrick McCabe in a car outside Newbridge College in Kildare.

When interviewed in 2007 by gardaí, the former priest described him as a handsome boy who had met the “requirements” of his “fetish”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Former priest McCabe jailed for child sex abuse

IRELAND
Laois Nationalist

A former priest who sexually abused two 13-year-old boys in the 1970s in Dublin and Kildare has received an 18-month jail sentence today.

Patrick McCabe (aged 77) told gardaí that one of the boys who he abused in a car outside a school in 1977 met the "requirements" of his "fetish".

The other boy was abused in a house adjoining the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin at the time of the Pope's visit in 1979.

The former priest has previously received an 18-month sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for indecently assaulting young boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Cardinal Keith O'Brien had long term physical relationship with accuser

SCOTLAND
Telegraph

Cardinal Keith O'Brien had a long term physical relationship with one of the men whose accusations brought about his fall from grace, it is reported.

By Hayley Dixon
11:34AM GMT 22 Mar 2013

After a series of allegations and several complaints to the Vatican about his sexual behaviour towards priests in the 1980s, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland admitted he was guilty of misconduct and stepped down.

It is believed that the allegations against him may have been prompted by anger at his hypocrisy as he condemned same-sex marriages, even describing homosexuality as a "moral degradation".

One alleged victim, who quit the priesthood in the middle of the last decade but has since re-joined a parish on the continent with the help of the cardinal, is known to have been in regular telephone contact with him until recently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Ex-priest jailed 18 months for sexually abusing boys

IRELAND
Newstalk

Francesca Comyn
11:12 Friday 22 March 2013

A former priest who sexually abused two 13-year-old boys in the 1970s in Dublin and Kildare has received an 18 months jail sentence.

77-year-old Patrick McCabe with an address at Alameda in California told gardai one of the boys who he abused in a car outside a school in 1977 met the 'requirements' of his 'fetish'. The other boy was abused in a house adjoining the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin at the time of the visit by the Pope in 1979.

The laicised priest has previously received an 18 months sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for indecently assaulting young boys. This sentence has been back-dated to June 2011 when went into custody following his extradition from California to meet abuse charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Merryfield brothers to discuss settlement in Green Bay diocese child sex abuse fraud case

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Merryfield brothers to discuss settlement in Green Bay diocese child sex abuse fraud case
They challenge Bishop Ricken: “What about the other 50 priests besides Fr. Feeney reported to have sexually abused youngsters?”
Case documents and testimony, SNAP says, has exposed Green Bay diocese pattern and practice of secrecy and cover up, past and present

WHAT
Two brothers, Todd and Troy Merryfield, will be joined by leaders of SNAP, The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org, SNAPwisconsin.com), at a sidewalk press conference to discuss their recent settlement with the diocese of Green Bay concerning the fraudulent concealment and transfer of serial child sex offender, John Patrick Feeney.

The brothers and SNAP will further discuss the importance of the case:
–in revealing the conduct of Green Bay church officials, both past and present, in protecting priest child sex offenders;
–in showing a culture of institutional secrecy about these crimes, including the shredding of criminal evidence in priest abuser files; and
–in displaying how Catholic charitable money is used to fund dangerous legal arguments by church officials that could put children at risk in Wisconsin.
The Merryfield’s and SNAP will also:
–renew their call for Bishop Ricken to immediately create a public registry of the names and case histories of the at least 50 other sex offender clerics who have been reported to the diocese over the past several decades to have molested youngsters.

WHEN
FRIDAY, March 22, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
Headquarters of the Diocese of Green Bay, Melania Hall, 1825 Riverside Drive, Green Bay

WHY
Last Friday, the diocese of Green Bay jointly settled with brothers Todd and Troy Merryfiled a civil fraud case for $700,000 dollars. As youngsters, the Merryfields were sexually assaulted by serial child molester, Fr. John Patrick Feeney. The settlement amount was ordered by an Appleton jury last spring after finding the diocese guilty of fraud. Although that case was scheduled for a retrial, due to the judge’s opinion about the conduct of one of the jurors, the diocese has since been found guilty by a Nevada jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Shamed Cardinal Keith O’Brien ‘had priest lover’

SCOTLAND
Scottish Sun

By CAMERON HAY

SHAMED Cardinal Keith O’Brien was yesterday accused of having a secret long-term fling with a former priest.

His lover is believed to be one of four clerics who brought about the top Catholic’s downfall after complaining about his “inappropriate behaviour”.

Disgraced O’Brien, 74 — axed as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh after the scandal broke last month — is thought to have had a romance with the man stretching over many years.

It is understood he was part of the Cardinal’s “inner circle” and often visited his official residence in Morningside, Edinburgh.

One clerical source last night said: “It seemed to some to be a very unusual friendship.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Some prefer bishop stay away from confirmations

CALIFORNIA
Ventura County Star

By Tom Kisken

•Posted March 21, 2013

A backlash over Bishop Thomas Curry’s handling of priests accused of molestation has led at least one area parish to change plans to have the bishop preside over the May confirmation of high school students.

The Rev. Jim Stehly, of St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Community in Westlake Village, said he requested Curry not serve at the May 4 event after complaints from parishioners. Curry stepped down from his role as auxiliary leader of a region encompassing Ventura and Santa Barbara counties this year after priest personnel files revealed evidence he and retired Cardinal Roger Mahony acted to shield the church and accused priests.

Some Ventura County priests said they’ve been told Curry decided not to preside at any confirmation services this year. The bishop did not respond to email messages. Officials of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles did not address a request to confirm the reports, only emphasizing that the bishop and the cardinal have the ability to perform such a Mass.

“Cardinal Roger Mahony and Bishop Thomas Curry are bishops of the archdiocese with faculties to celebrate the Holy Sacraments of the Church and to minister to the faithful without restriction,” archdiocese officials said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Uganda's suspended Catholic priest free to appeal

UGANDA
Africa Review

By JOHN NJOROGE in Kampala | Friday, March 22 2013

Maverick Ugandan Catholic cleric Anthony Musaala will remain on an indefinite suspension, an official said.

The Kampala Archdiocese Judicial Vicar, the Rev Fr Andrew Katto-Kasirye, said Fr Musaala was free to appeal to whatever authority, but it was up to him to undo the “damage” he had caused in the run up to his situation.

Investigations into the motives of Fr Musaala's missive, a stinging criticism of the sexual conduct of Uganda’s Catholic clergy, were continuing.

Fr Musaala will remain on an indefinite suspension, as investigations into the motives of his missive, a stinging criticism of the sexual conduct of Uganda’s Catholic bishops and clergy continue.

“He is free to do as he pleases,” said Fr Kasirye.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Priest on immigration hold after molestation charges

CALIFORNIA
Lodi News-Sentinel

By Ross Farrow/News-Sentinel Staff Writer

YUBA CITY — A visiting Catholic priest from Colombia remains in custody on an immigration hold after he was arrested on sexual battery charges.

Julio Cesar Guarin-Sosa, 43, who was visiting Lodi's St. Anne's Catholic Church while filling in for his vacationing brother, Father Mario Guarin, was arrested in Yuba City on March 10 after he was accused of having illegal sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl at a residence where Guarin-Sosa was performing Mass.

Guarin-Sosa is charged with a felony count of false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a minor and sexual battery in connection with a March 8 incident in Yuba City, according to the Appeal-Democrat newspaper, based in Marysville.

Sutter County Deputy District Attorney Jacquelyn Stenson told the News-Sentinel on Thursday that she wouldn't discuss any aspects of the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Garzón invita al papa Francisco a abrir los archivos argentinos del Vaticano

ESPANA/ARGENTINA
El Pais

Alejandro Rebossio
Buenos Aires
22 MAR 2013

El exjuez español Baltasar Garzón, asesor de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Cámara de Diputados de Argentina, planteó este jueves en Buenos Aires que Francisco, el nuevo papa argentino, “puede abrir los archivos del Vaticano para conocer la información de la época de la dictadura” militar (1976-1983) de este país sudamericano “en la que se enviaron mensajes de aquí”, en referencia a la nunciatura apostólica (embajada de la Santa Sede), “hacia allí”. “Sería una forma de cooperar con las víctimas”, propuso Garzón, que participó en un acto de homenaje a los inmigrantes que padecieron bajo el régimen de Argentina.

“Como Estado con representación diplomática, los diplomáticos del Vaticano rendían informes”, cuenta Garzón, que en la década del 90 inició causas contra los violadores de los derechos humanos en Argentina por una lista de 576 víctimas españolas de aquella dictadura. Extranjeros de otras nacionalidades también padecieron en aquellos tiempos: uruguayos, paraguayos, chilenos, brasileños, bolivianos, peruanos, cubanos, alemanes, franceses y suecos, entre otros. “En aquel tiempo las Madres y Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo dirigieron misivas a Juan Pablo II. Sería bueno que se hiciera una investigación por iniciativa del papa (Francisco)”, se refirió al exarzobispo de Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio.

“Quienes se pueden dirigir al Vaticano son los jueces” que investigan los crímenes del régimen militar, según Garzón. El exjuez de la Audiencia Nacional española considera que la información archivada en el Vaticano puede resultarles de mucha ayuda en sus indagaciones. “Yo, como juez, lo haría”, opinó sobre una eventual solicitud de datos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Sexual abuse of children 'clearly a crime, not an illness', says Martin

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald– 18 March 2013

THE sexual abuse of a child is "very clearly a crime" in civil and church law and there can be no going back on that, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has said.

He was responding to comments made by the Archbishop of Durban, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, who said in a BBC interview that paedophilia was an illness, not a crime.

The South African prelate also questioned whether someone with this psychological defect deserved to be automatically punished.

However, Dr Martin criticised Cardinal Napier's view, saying the fact that someone who has abused a child might have psychological disturbances did not exempt them from the rigours of the law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Major sex abuse uncovered in Joliet, Ill., diocese

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Robert McClory | Mar. 21, 2013

Sex abuse was back on the front page of the Chicago Tribune on Thursday with the release of approximately 7,000 documents detailing the extent of the problem in the diocese of Joliet, Ill., which covers suburban and collar counties of Chicago. The documents state that between 1973 and 1988, more than 10 percent of the diocese's priests were credibly charged with abuse. The highest rates, ranging from 11.4 percent to 13.2 percent, occurred in the early and middle 1980s.

Release of the material was due largely to the determination of a boy (now 38) who was sexually abused when making his first confession at the age of 8 in his home parish in Mokena, Ill. His lawyer, Terrence Johnson, said getting the records "was the worst, most abusive process of discovery I've ever seen."

Informed by the Tribune that a report was in preparation, Joseph Imesch, Joliet bishop from 1979 to 2006, said, "Sure. Sex and the priests, let's blast it all over the place. Never let it go."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Baker probe ongoing

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

March 21, 2013

By Russ O’Reilly (roreilly@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

The Cambria County district attorney's criminal investigation of sexual abuse allegations involving Brother Stephen Baker, a Hollidaysburg-based Franciscan friar, did not end with his death.

"I would still encourage anyone who feels they were victimized to come forward through the District Attorney's Office or Johnstown police," District Attorney Kelly Callihan said.

Callihan declined to say who the investigation targets.

"I'm not going to comment on the direction we are taking on the criminal side of this," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Royal Commission into child sexual abuse first hearing on April 3

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

THE Royal Commission into child sexual abuse will hold its first hearing in Melbourne next month.

The first sitting will be at the County Court of Victoria in Melbourne at 10am (AEDT) on April 3.

All commissioners will be present and the chairman, Justice Peter McClellan, will provide information on the work of the royal commission, including the future conduct of public and private hearings.

Justice Peter McClellan will head the six-strong royal commission.

Senior counsel assisting will also deliver an opening statement but no evidence will be taken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Scotland's Homophobic Cardinal Keith O’Brien ‘Had Gay Relationship With Secret Lover’

SCOTLAND
International Business Times

By Hannah Osborne

March 22, 2013

An vociferously anti-gay cardinal,who was Britain's most senior Catholic cleric, is secretly homosexual and had a long-term physical relationship with a male lover, a newspaper has alleged.

Herald Scotland claims Keith O'Brien had a physical relationship with one of the men whose complaints led to his resignation as leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

O'Brien, once one of the Catholic church's most vigorous campaigners against homosexuality, officially left his post in February amid allegations of "inappropriate behaviour".

The Vatican accepted his resignation in November and it came into effect three months later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Victim of priest's abuse: Christie should speak out on damage done to children

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Louis C. Hochman/NJ.com
on March 21, 2013

MENDHAM — On New Street in Mendham Borough, in front of a church where dozens of children were once molested, lies a statue of a little girl. She's fractured. Shattered.

And maybe there's a message in that image worth noting, said Bill Crane, who as a child suffered abuse by then-Rev. James Hanley of St. Joseph Church.

"In my opinion, the statue should remain exactly as it is now, crumbled and destroyed, because that would be a more accurate representation of what really happened to the lives of children who were sexually abused," NJ.com user freexpres wrote in the comments section of a story published earlier this month.

Authorities are still working to determine who vandalized St. Joseph Church's memorial to child sex abuse victims in early March — the second time in two years it had been attacked. Morris County Crimestoppers is offering $2,000 to anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest or indictment of the responsible person or people; anyone with any information can call CrimeStoppers at 973-Cop-Call or 1-800-Sheriff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Church sex abuse campaigner urges caution on Ridsdale parole

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

By CLARKE QUIRK
March 22, 2013

THE head of Australia’s leading church-related sexual abuse support service has called for the Victorian parole board to reflect on the seriousness of former south-west priest Gerald Ridsdale’s crimes.

Ridsdale is eligible for release on parole in June this year after originally being sentenced in the Warrnambool County Court to a maximum 18 years’ imprisonment in 1994 when he pleaded guilty to 46 charges involving 21 boys and girls between 1961 and 1982.

He has since been sentenced in two additional hearings which added time to the original sentence.

Ridsdale, who will be 79 years old when he is eligible for parole, is considered to be one of Victoria’s most prolific child sex offenders.

Broken Rites president Chris McIsaac said the decision on whether Ridsdale was released on parole was up to the parole board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Church janitor faces sex abuse charges in District Court

WYOMING
Star-Tribune

By MEGAN CASSIDY Star-Tribune staff writer

The church janitor who reportedly posed as a youth leader and sexually assaulted three underage girls will soon face District Court.

Convicted sex offender James David Jaure is faced with five new charges involving sexual abuse of a minor. The 29-year-old worked at Highland Park Community Church as a custodian but would frequent the youth group meetings on Wednesday nights, his arrest affidavit states. Children and parents were reportedly under the impression he was a youth group leader.

Jaure opted to go through with his preliminary hearing Thursday morning. Four middle-aged adults and one girl watched from the gallery.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Stensaas and defense attorney Dion Custis questioned Casper Police Detective Gary Kassay, who is familiar with the case. Kassay reviewed the contents of the affidavit, in which three girls — ages 11, 12 and 15 — said Juare had molested them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Joliet Diocese List of Abusers Includes Former Glen Ellyn Pastor

ILLINOIS
Patch

By Charlotte Eriksen

March 21, 2013

In addition to the thousands of pages to be released detailing the abuse by Catholic priests in the Joliet Diocese, the organization Tuesday also released an updated list of credibly accused abusers.

The list includes Lawrence Gibbs, who was ordained in 1973 and served at churches in Glen Ellyn, Downers Grove, Lockport and Lombard before he was removed from ministry in 1992.

New allegations filed in June 2012 accuse Gibbs of molesting several young boys in the 70s. Gibbs' accuser, who went to catechism school at St. James the Apostle Catholic Church in Glen Ellyn, says Gibbs gave several boys alcohol and porn and had the boys play games, swim and perform other activities naked during a retreat at a Wisconsin cabin in 1977, according to a CBS Chicago report.

Gibbs is scheduled to appear in Will County court April 18 for a status hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Attorney: Adults ‘drunk with power,’ enabled abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

March 21, 2013

By Russ O’Reilly (roreilly@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has obtained settlements of $95 million for more than 120 victims of priest sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston, said many of his current clients - alleged victims of Brother Stephen Baker - believe adults were aware of the alleged abuse and are at fault for allowing it to continue.

He said coaches must have known about the senseless treatments that Baker prescribed as athletic trainer - for example, a full body massage and naked dip in the whirlpool for an ankle sprain. He said teachers should have seen Baker touch students in hallways as he allegedly did.

"The adults were drunk with power, and also influenced by religion - thinking priests could do no wrong," he said. He added that they were concerned with "taking care of reputations."

However, a different perspective was offered by Michael Munno, one of 11 former John F. Kennedy High School student athletes for whom Garabedian recently won settlements as a result of abuse by Baker in the late 1980s. The school is in Warren, Ohio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Priest at centre of Cloyne sex claims faces dismissal

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Ralph Riegel– 22 March 2013

A CHURCH canonical court has recommended that the cleric at the centre of the Cloyne Report into child abuse allegations be dismissed from the priesthood.

The elderly cleric, only known by the pseudonyms 'Fr Ronat' and 'Fr B', was informed of the decision this week, the Irish Independent has learned.

The priest now has 15 days to appeal the recommendation.

The ruling followed a lengthy inquiry by the Church watchdog body which included a detailed interview session in a north Cork retreat centre last October.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

March 21, 2013

Yeshiva Rabbi Hershel Schachter Stirs Hornet's Nest With Remarks — Again

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger

Published March 21, 2013

One of Yeshiva University’s leading rabbinic scholars is in trouble — again — after using a derogatory term to refer to African Americans and questioning whether child sex abuse allegations should be brought directly to police.

Rabbi Hershel Schachter, regarded as one of America’s most influential Modern Orthodox rabbis, previously provoked ire for appearing to equate women with monkeys and for seeming to condone the killing of Israel’s prime minister.

This time, Schachter is in trouble for telling an audience of British rabbis that American state prisons are dangerous for Jews because they could be locked up “with a shvartze, in a cell with a Muslim, a black Muslim who wants to kill all the Jews.”

Schachter also suggested that Jewish communities set up panels of Torah scholars who are trained in psychology; this way, before children’s allegations of sex abuse claims are reported to the police, the panel can determine whether the allegations are legitimate. “It could be that the whole thing is a bubbe-mayse [tall tale],” Schachter said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Ex-Damien students sue priest, school for alleged sex abuse

HAWAII
Star-Advertiser

By Rob Perez

Two former Damien Memorial School students have filed a lawsuit accusing a priest who taught there in the early 1980s of sexually abusing them while they were at the school.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in state court, is the second to be filed since last year alleging that the Rev. Gerald Funcheon molested students while he was a priest and teacher at Damien from 1982 to 1984.

Defendants include Funcheon and the Congregation of Christian Brothers in Hawaii, which operates Damien Memorial School.

Minnesota lawyer Jeff Anderson, whose law firm and a local one represents the plaintiffs, said they have identified at least a dozen alleged victims of Funcheon who were abused in Hawaii.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Fr Musaala: Catholic priests’ celibacy is a fallacy

UGANDA
The Observer

On March 12, the celebrity Catholic priest Anthony Musaala wrote an open letter to bishops and the laity, in which, among other things, he calls for the abolition of celibacy.

Musaala’s major thesis is that celibacy is not working anyway, as the men of the robe are involved in affairs and fathering children. The church has responded by suspending Musaala, but the priest insists his concerns should be addressed.

The issue has raised impassioned debate with many faithful apparently torn between facing an unpleasant reality and trying to preserve the dignity of their religion.

Here we reproduce Musaala’s letter.

It is an open secret that many Catholic priests and some bishops, in Uganda and elsewhere, no longer live celibate chastity. From the numerous cases on the ground one might be forgiven for saying that most diocesan priests either don’t believe in celibacy anymore, or if they do, have long since given up the struggle to be chaste.

In any case it still seems important for priests to vow even a woefully imperfect celibacy, if only for the sake of the hallowed ‘priestly image’. The church, however, still maintains the fable that most Catholic priests persevere in celibate chastity fairly well, which fiction begs belief.

All is not well

All is definitely not well with what I call ‘administrative celibacy’, in the Catholic church. It is a celibacy which is more forced than consented to, and its effects are anything but good. I suggest that now more than at any other time, we must begin an open and frank dialogue about catholic priests becoming happily married men, rather than being miserable and single, either before or after ordination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 PM

Female now claiming Pa. friar abused her, too

PENNSYLVANIA
Houston Chronicle

March 21, 2013

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A central Pennsylvania attorney says a woman claims to be among more than 50 former students who intend to sue church and school officials they believe are responsible for their alleged molestation by a Franciscan friar who committed suicide.

Altoona attorney Richard Serbin says his latest client is the first woman to claim abuse by Brother Stephen Baker when he served as an athletic trainer or was otherwise in or around Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown from 1992 to 2001.

Baker committed suicide Jan. 26 at a monastery in Newry more than a week after the Youngstown, Ohio diocese disclosed financial settlements involving 11 students who claimed Baker abused them at a northeastern Ohio school in the late 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Robert S. Koerner, o.m.i.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: A priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary ordained in 1937, Koerner served in Texas, Montana and California, spending the bulk of his career in southern California Latino parishes. He died in June 1999. In March 2003 the San Diego diocese announced that Koerner sexually abused children, "generally boys", throughout his 27 years as pastor of St. Patrick's in Calipatria. San Diego Bishop Brom said he first learned of accusations against Koerner in October 2006, when parishioners told him Koerner's abuse was part of the parish's history.

Ordained: 1937
Died: June 25, 1999

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

Priest sex abuse victims to speak out Friday

WISCONSIN
Press-Gazette

Written by
Scott Cooper Williams
Press-Gazette Media

Two brothers sexually assaulted by a priest in Outagamie County in the 1970s plan to speak out Friday after receiving a $700,000 settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

Todd Merryfield and Troy Merryfield have called a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Friday outside the diocese headquarters in Allouez.

The diocese earlier this week agreed to pay the Merryfields a $700,000 settlement in a civil lawsuit that the brothers filed in 2008.

When they were children in the late 1970s, both brothers were assaulted by the Rev. John Feeney at St. Nicholas Church in the Outagamie town of Freedom. Feeney was convicted of sexual assault in 2004 and sent to prison for nearly eight years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Pope Francis: U.S. was ‘stupid’ for shuffling around pedophile priests instead of firing them

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

By Ginger Adams Otis / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pope Francis is staunchly opposed to the “stupid” practice of reassigning priests who are accused of pedophilia, preferring to drum them out of the priesthood instead.

The former archbishop of Buenos Aires — then known as Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio — favors “zero tolerance” for priestly sexual abuse and criticized previous cases in the U.S. where accused clerics were simply moved to other parishes, according to a book of conversations he had with Rabbi Abraham Skorka.

During his 14 years as Archbishop Bergoglio ordered church officials to report all allegations to the police rather than simply moving them to avoid damaging the church.

“That solution was proposed once in the United States ... switching the priests to a different parish. It is a stupid idea,” Bergoglio said. “That way, the priest just takes the problem with him wherever he goes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

HI - Priest in Hawaii admits abusing kids, SNAP responds

HAWAII
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on March 21, 2013

We are glad to hear the Fr. Gerald Funcheon has admitted his guilt to claims that he abused young boys in the 1980s. Hopefully Fr. Funcheon’s admission will prevent the diocese from engaging in legal tactics to draw out the trial and avoid responsibility for these crimes.

We hope that this admission will spare some of his victims the pain of having to re-live their experiences, and will encourage other victims who are still suffering in silence to come forward and make a report to police and prosecutors. It is likely that there are others – both at Damien Memorial School and elsewhere within Hawaii – that have been hurt by Funcheon. We urge them to come forward and speak up now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Committee approves bill to remove time limits for child sex abuse victims to sue

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
March 20, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A bill that would allow victims of child sexual abuse more time to file civil lawsuits was approved by the Minnesota House Judiciary Committee this afternoon.

Under current law, victims of child sexual abuse need to file civil cases before they turn 24. The House bill would remove all civil statutes of limitations for future victims. It would also create a three-year window in which past victims of child sexual abuse could seek civil damages.

The Minnesota School Boards Association opposes the bill. The group's lobbyist, Grace Kelliher, told lawmakers the bill would create too much legal and financial risk for groups that work with children.

"Given the limitations of what this bill would mean for school districts, you might find today's students, staff and community paying for issues that happened in yester-year," Kelliher said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Keith O’Brien was in relationship with accuser

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

Published on Thursday 21 March 2013

CARDINAL Keith O’Brien was in a long-term physical relationship with one of the priests who reported his sexual misconduct to the Vatican, it has emerged.

• Cardinal Keith O’Brien was in long-standing relationship with one of his accusers

• Complaints about Cardinal’s sexual misconduct were “revenge” for same-sex marraige rhetoric

The man is known to have been in regular telephone contact with Cardinal O’Brien until recently, and was a frequent visitor to St Benets, the Cardinal’s official residence.

A report by The Herald also uncovered that the priest is now living abroad in a position that the cardinal had helped him secure.

Cardinal O’Brien resigned as leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland and retired from public life after admitting earlier this month that his sexual behaviour had “fallen below the standards expected”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Cardinal Keith O'Brien had long-term secret boyfriend

SCOTLAND
Gay Star News

21 March 2013 | By Joe Morgan

Cardinal Keith O’Brien had a long-standing sexual relationship with a man while he was the leader of Scotland’s Catholic Church.

The man, who left the priesthood in the middle of the last decade, confessed to the relationship after complaints of sexual misconduct from other priests had been revealed.

Scottish daily newspaper The Herald reports the man, who has since re-joined the Catholic Church, was known to be in regular telephone contact with O’Brien and was a frequent visitor to his official residence in Edinburgh.

Two of the priests who claim they were abused by O'Brien say they were exasperated by the Cardinal’s double standards when it came to gay rights and marriage equality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

Argentine Nobel peace laureate Esquivel defends pope

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY | Thu Mar 21, 2013

(Reuters) - Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel defended Pope Francis on Thursday against accusations he failed to speak out against repression during the 1976-83 military dictatorship in their native Argentina, saying he preferred "silent diplomacy".

Links between some high-ranking Roman Catholic clergymen and the U.S-backed military regime that kidnapped and killed up to 30,000 leftists between 1976 and 1983 tarnished the Church's reputation in Argentina and the wounds have yet to heal.

Critics of Pope Francis say that in his then role, he failed to protect priests who challenged the junta and has said too little about the complicity of the Church during military rule.

"The pope had nothing to do with the dictatorship. He was not an accomplice of the dictatorship," Esquivel told reporters after a 30-minute meeting with Francis in the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Spanish church expels priest over paedophilia

SPAIN
Business Ghana

Spain's Catholic Church has expelled a priest over paedophilia, the bishop's office on Majorca Island said Thursday.

An internal investigation had showed that Pere Barcelo had violated the sixth commandment with minors, the office said on its website. The sixth commandment prohibits adultery. Barcelo was therefore expelled from priesthood as "the maximum punishment," the statement added.

Barcelo was the first priest in Spain to have been barred from office over paedophilia, according to media reports. Barcelo had been removed from his duties in the locality of Can Picafort already in 2011, when a woman reported him to the bishop's office, saying he had abused her when she was a child.

Two other women also reported the priest for abuse, the daily Diario de Mallorca reported. One of them said she had been constantly abused and raped by him in 1997 and 1998, when she was 10 and 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Priest accused of molesting teens answers questions in sworn videotaped deposition

HAWAII
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 21, 2013

HONOLULU — A priest who taught in a Honolulu school in the early 1980s has admitted in a videotaped sworn statement that he engaged in sexual conduct with teenagers.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://is.gd/ILeAL2) says the Rev. Gerald Funcheon provided the videotaped deposition in response to questions related to civil lawsuits accusing him of molestation.

According to the Star-Advertiser, Funcheon said in the deposition that he did not consider his attraction to youths perverted or abnormal.

Portions of the deposition were played Wednesday at a news conference held by plaintiff's attorney Jeff Anderson. His Minnesota-based law firm represents three former Damien Memorial School students who have filed civil lawsuits in state court in Hawaii. They allege that Funcheon sexually molesting them from 1982 to 1984.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

Cardinal Keith O'Brien was in long-term gay relationship, claims 'partner'

SCOTLAND
The Independent (UK)

Jerome Taylor

Thursday 21 March 2013

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, formerly Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric and a man renowned for railing against homosexuality, was in a “longstanding physical relationship” with one of the men whose recent allegations brought about his downfall, it has been claimed.

According to a report in The Herald newspaper, Cardinal O’Brien confessed to the relationship after it was recently revealed there had been several complaints to the Vatican about his sexual behaviour towards priests in the 1980s.

The paper claims that the length of the relationship explains why the 75-year-old Cardinal spoke of his time as a “priest, bishop and Cardinal” when he made his brief apology earlier this month admitting that his “sexual conduct” had fallen below the standards expected of him.

It is believed the man, who was due to speak to the newspaper before being advised otherwise by his bishop, currently lives outside Scotland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Yeshivah teacher shame over ‘schvartze’ remark

NEW YORK
The JC

By Anna Sheinman, March 21, 2013

New York’s Yeshiva University has condemned one of its senior professors of rabbinic studies for his offensive remarks about “schvartzes”, made at a recent conference of United Synagogue rabbis in London.

Rabbi Hershel Schachter —speaking about mesirah, Jews informing on the crimes of other Jews — warned that in the United States, prisons might “put you in a cell together with a schvartze, with a Muslim, a black Muslim, who wants to kill all the Jews”.

That, he warned, might be mesirah, “because you’re punished more than the law requires”. The taped remarks were posted on the website FailedMessiah, which reports Orthodox scandals.

A spokesperson for Yeshiva University said: “The recent use of a derogatory racial term and negative characterisations of African-Americans and Muslims, by a member of the faculty, are inappropriate, offensive and do not represent the values and mission of Yeshiva University.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

La Iglesia de Mallorca expulsa al sacerdote Pere Barceló por abusos sexuales a tres niñas

ESPANA
Que!

Otro escándalo sexual en la Iglesia y, en este caso, bien carcano. La iglesia de Mallorca ha expulsado al cura Pere Barceló Rigo, de 60 años, antiguo párroco de la colonia turística de Can Picafort y vicario de la ciudad de Pollença, después de que el Tribunal Eclesiástico le considerase culpable de "gravísimos" delitos sexuales. Al parecer, tres mujeres le acusaran ante un juez de haber abusado de ellas cuando eran menores.

Sería el primer caso en España de un sacerdote consagrado al que se aparta tajantemente de la Iglesia tras la políitca de 'tolerancia cero' con el abuso sexual a menores decidido por el Vaticano y el Papa emérito Benedicto XVI.

De este modo, el Obispado de Mallorca le prohíbe totalmente el ejercicio del sacerdocio, la pena máxima eclesial. Al vicario de Pollença se le margina directa y públicamente de su tarea, aunque el cura mantiene su derecho a apelar al Tribunal de Roma contra esta sentencia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

La Iglesia expulsa al párroco Pere Barceló Rigo por pederastia

ESPANA
Mallorca Diario

Según informa el Obispado de Mallorca en un comunicado, el Tribunal Eclesiástico de Mallorca declara culpable al sacerdote Pere Barceló Rigo de la comisión de delitos contra el sexto mandamiento del Decàlogo con menores (sexto mandamiento: “no cometerás actos impuros”).

El Tribunal considera “gravísimos” los delitos cometidos, y le impone la pena máxima de “expulsión del estado clerical”, prohibiéndole totalmente el ejercicio de su ministerio sacerdotal.

El Obispado añade que las actas del proceso serán enviadas a Roma para la ratificación de la sentencia emitida en Primera Instancia

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Spain's Catholic Church expels pedophile priest in unprecedented call

SPAIN
Buenos Aires Herald

For the first time in its history and following an order by then Pope Benedict XVI to cast light on “any sign” of pedophilia, the Spanish Catholic Church has expelled a pedophile priest who was facing criminal and ecclesiastical charges since 2011.

Pere Barceló Rigo, a parish priest in Majorca, was found guilty of “crimes against the sixth commandment with minors” with the “maximum sentence” of “expulsion from the clerical state” as reported by Majorca’s bishop.

The Spanish judiciary also investigates Barceló Rigo for pedophilia charges. Both the canonical and civil processes began when a young woman denounced the priest abused her by the end of the 90’s when she was still an under-age. Two other female victims have also alleged similar charges.

The priest has been separated from the Majorca Parrish and barred from exercising priestly ministry while the investigation is on course.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

Uganda: Catholic clergy calls for right to marry

UGANDA
The Africa Report

By Godfrey Olukya

A Ugandan catholic priest has said the church should do away with the vow of celibacy, saying it was time for "common sense to prevail" as many clergymen were already living with wives and children.

Father Anthony Musaala, a popular priest in the East African nation, recently wrote to the archbishop of the Catholic Church in Uganda alleging that most of his colleagues had secret families, while others had forced their lovers to abort.

A fair number of priests' and bishops' children are scattered around the nation

Musaala, also a well-known musician, wrote a letter entitled: "An open letter to bishops, priests and laity: The failure of celibate chastity among diocesan priests", said the celibacy vow must be revisited as it had become archaic.

"I believe it is a matter of time before common sense prevails and marriage for the clergy in the Latin rite church is accepted," reads the letter, which has thrown the church into turmoil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Imprisoned priest Francisco Jalics breaks silence over Pope Francis, clearing him for involvement in ‘Dirty War’

GERMANY
New York Daily News

A priest who was imprisoned for five months during Argentina’s “Dirty War” of the 1970s has cleared Pope Francis for an alleged connection to the arrest.

Argentine critics of Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio have waged a whisper campaign against the new Pope by attempting to link him to leftist purges conducted by the nation’s ruling junta — citing circumstantial evidence about the “disappearance” of two priests, Francisco Jalics and the late Orlando Yorio.

But Jalics, who lives in a monastery in Germany, cleared the air Wednesday.

“I myself was once inclined to believe that we were the victims of a denunciation (by Bergoglio),” Jalics said in a statement. “(But) at the end of the '90s, after numerous conversations, it became clear to me that this suspicion was unfounded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Sexueller Missbrauch: Kirche auf Mallorca entlässt Priester

SPANIEN
Europe Online

Palma de Mallorca (dpa) - Die katholische Kirche in Spanien hat erstmals einen Priester wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern seines Amtes enthoben. Wie die Diözese auf Mallorca am Donnerstag mitteilte, sah es ein kirchliches Gericht auf der Mittelmeerinsel als erwiesen an, dass der Geistliche sich sexuell an mehreren Mädchen vergangen hatte. Die Richter hätten die höchste Strafe verhängt, die nach kirchlichem Recht möglich sei.

Das Bistum hatte den Geistlichen, der auf Mallorca in den Ferienorten Cala Rajada und Can Picafort gewirkt hatte, im März 2011 nach Bekanntwerden der Vorwürfe vorläufig vom Dienst suspendiert. Der Vatikan muss die von den kirchlichen Richtern verfügte Aberkennung noch bestätigen. Nach Angaben der Diözese ist dies der erste Fall dieser Art in ganz Spanien.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Weißer Rauch, dunkle Schatten

VATIKAN
Profil

Mit der Wahl von Jorge Bergoglio zum Papst stolpert die katholische Kirche
unversehens in das nächste Minenfeld unaufgearbeiteter Vergangenheit – ihr enges Verhältnis zu einigen der schlimmsten Rechtsdiktaturen.

Von Anna Giulia Fink, Alexandra Muz, Martin Staudinger und Robert Treichler

Das Urteil über Jorge Mario Bergoglio war bereits gefällt, kaum dass er am vergangenen Mittwochabend die Wahl zum Papst und den Namen Franziskus angenommen, seine weiße Soutane übergestreift, am Balkon des Petersdoms „Buona Sera“ sowie ein paar harmlose Nettigkeiten, ein Vaterunser und ein Ave-Maria aufgesagt hatte: „Er ist der Papst der Herzen!“, jubelten die Titelseiten ecclesiophiler Schriften wie „Österreich“ und der Gratiszeitung „Heute“ bereits Donnerstagfrüh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Die Klasnic-Kommission spricht über alles: nur nicht über das Verbrechen der Kirche

OSTERREICH
Humanist News

Ein Gastartikel von Christian Fiala

Eigentlich sollte die “Klasnic Kommission” ja die Missbräuche durch die Kirche aufklären. De facto war die Kommission aber ausschließlich mit der Analyse der Betroffenen beschäftigt. Über die Hintergründe der Taten, insbesondere strukturelle Bedingungen der kath. Kirche gab es fast gar nichts. Bei der Tagung hat ein Redner ganz vorsichtig ein paar Vorschläge gemacht. Das wars. Also da passiert ein systematischer Missbrauch in der kath. Kirche unvorstellbaren Ausmasses und die Kommission, die das untersucht hat zwar jede Menge gute Ratschläge für die Betroffenen parat, macht aber nur ein paar vorsichtige Bemerkungen über strukturelle Probleme der Kirche.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

POPE FRANCIS FACES MAJOR DECISIONS

VATICAN CITY
Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs LA

Now that Pope Frances has been elected, and has concluded his Mass of Inauguration in St. Peter's Square, the really difficult work awaits him.

He has several key and meaningful appointments to make, and he needs to make them very soon: the first and most important will include the Secretary of State, Substitute Secretary of State, Priest Secretaries, and Prefect of the Papal Household.

Pope Frances knows well that one of the major themes during the ten General Congregations of the Cardinals prior to the Conclave was the reform of the Vatican Curia. Reform will only take place with the appointment of top collaborators with the Pope--and soon. The longer he waits, the greater the danger that the current leadership may feel that they will remain in their jobs and will function as in the past. But the world's Cardinals want something else.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Pope Francis in no hurry to move into papal apartment

VATICAN CITY
John Thavis

Rumors are swirling inside and outside the Vatican about where Pope Francis intends to take up residence.

The initial expectation was that he would move into the formal papal apartment on the top floor of the Apostolic Palace, the building where popes have lived for centuries.

But Pope Francis appears to be in no hurry. More than a week after his election, he’s still residing in the Vatican’s modern guest house, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he eats meals with others in the common dining room and can walk to some of his appointments in the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Priest admits sex acts with boys

HAWAII
Star-Advertiser

By Rob Perez

A priest who taught at Damien Memorial School in the early 1980s admitted in a sworn statement last year that he engaged in sexual conduct with teenagers and adolescents in Hawaii and other U.S. locations where he worked, but that he didn't consider his attraction to youth perverted or abnormal, according to portions of his videotaped deposition played Wednesday at a news conference here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Cardinal was in physical relationship with accuser

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Thursday 21 March 2013

Cardinal Keith O'Brien had a long-standing physical relationship with one of the men whose complaints about his behaviour sparked his downfall as leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

The man left the priesthood in the middle of the last decade but rejoined and is living on the continent in a post the cardinal helped him secure.

The complainant is known to have been in regular telephone contact with Cardinal O'Brien until recently and was a frequent visitor to St Benets, his official residence in Edinburgh's Morningside.

It is understood the cardinal confessed to the relationship after it was recently revealed there had been several complaints to the Vatican about his sexual behaviour towards priests in the 1980s. It is thought to be part of his reference to his sexual conduct as "a priest, a bishop and a cardinal".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Fr Musaala hits back at Archbishop Lwanga

UGANDA
Daily Monitor

By JOHN NJOROGE

Posted Thursday, March 21 2013

The Rev. Fr. Anthony Musaala yesterday said he had no regrets over authoring a stinging criticism of the Catholic Church bishops and clerics, and vowed to appeal his suspension before the Apostolic Nuncio, the Pope’s ambassador in the country.

Fr. Musaala, who was on Tuesday suspended by the Kampala Archbishop, Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, said in an exclusive interview that he is happy his missive, which has been widely circulating on the Internet, could help bring to justice all those who have silently suffered abuse at the hands of some catholic clerics.

In vowing to challenge Archbishop Lwanga before the Pope’s representative to Uganda, Archbishop Michael Blume, Fr Musaala said: “….I will go and see the Pope’s ambassador. I have written my statement, and I have said; you know…. First of all, you are suspending me for putting something on the [Inter]net, which I didn’t do. They guy who did, said he would be happy to come out and to say that I [Fr. Musaala] never asked him to do that”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

Fr. Musaala, man in eye of the storm

UGANDA
Daily Monitor

By Ivan Okuda

Posted Thursday, March 21 2013

The Rev. Fr. Anthony Musaala has been described by one journalist as, “jolly and social”, one man whose knack for speaking his mind can seldom go unnoticed.

It is a true statement. Only last year when former Forum for Democratic Change leader, Dr Kizza Besigye, was arrested at the height of the walk-to-work protests, he openly condemned the manner and spirit of the arrest.

Then, speaking to the press as an eye witness, he weighed in his opinion: “This is an infringement of people’s rights and of the rights of our brother. I am going to pray so that God intervenes ... We should be ready to fight for our freedoms. Our government should understand that this country is for all of us.”

This, he said at the heat of the moment, when appearing to be siding with people that the State perceived as planning to make Uganda ungovernable, could easily come along with consequences. But speak his mind, he did.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the Father wrote a letter, titled ‘An open letter to bishops, priests and laity: The failure of celibate chastity among diocesan priests’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Bishop McCort scandal: Ex-female student alleges abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott kmellott@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — Another former student of Bishop McCort Catholic High School has stepped forward alleging sexual abuse at the hands of the late Brother Stephen Baker, according to an Altoona attorney representing this latest victim and several others.

This time, the alleged victim is a female, and attorney Richard Serbin anticipates more women will be stepping forward naming the Franciscan friar.

“This young lady says she knows there are others,” said Serbin, a sex abuse civil litigator.

Baker was 62 when he died in late January of a self-inflicted stab wound to the heart in his quarters at St. Bernardine Monastery just outside Hollidaysburg. He had been accused by more than 50 men of sexually molesting them while they were students at the Johnstown parochial high school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Another claim filed in Baker case

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

March 21, 2013

A woman is the latest person to allege being sexually abused by Brother Stephen Baker while she was a student at Johnstown's Bishop McCort High School.

Altoona attorney Richard M. Serbin said he has notified the diocese that he is representing a female who claims she began being sexually abused by the Franciscan friar when she was 15, while he served as an athletic trainer at Bishop McCort.

"Information has come to my attention which leads me to believe other female athletes and cheerleaders were also sexually abused by Brother Baker, in addition to the numerous male students who have already come forward to disclose they were victimized by this child predator," Serbin said in a release.

He added, "It also appears that Brother Baker was involved with middle school children, who were participating in parish sponsored programs."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

Poll: Addressing Sex Abuse Scandals Should Be New Pope's Top Priority

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

By Leonardo Blair, CP Contributor

March 20, 2013

While American Catholics are mostly satisfied with the selection of Argentina's former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope to lead the Catholic Church's 1.2 billion adherents, they now want him to make addressing sex abuse scandals in the church his top priority.

Results of a national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and published in The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life on Tuesday, show seven-in-ten American Catholics ranking addressing sex abuse scandals the highest from a list of possible priorities for Pope Francis.

The other possible priorities on the list were standing up for traditional moral values, spreading the Catholic faith, addressing priest shortage and reforming the Vatican bureaucracy. Only 49 percent of Catholics overall said standing up for traditional moral values should be a top priority for Pope Francis. Approximately 40 percent selected spreading the Catholic faith, 36 percent chose addressing the priest shortage while 35 percent felt reforming the Vatican bureaucracy should be top priorities for the new pope.

The poll, which was conducted March 13-17 among 1,501 adults including 325 Catholics, also highlighted that while many Catholics would like the church to make changes to some of the teachings and policies on issues like birth control and marriage, fewer of them expect it to happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 AM

Pope, Bishops, Curia. The Reforms That Are Coming

ROME
Chiesa

A "council of the crown" around the pope, with cardinals from the five continents. A drastic trimming of offices. A shakeup for the IOR. Novelties and unknowns of the pontificate of Francis

by Sandro Magister

ROME, March 21, 2103 – John XXIII appointed his new secretary of state on the very evening of his election as pope. And he was the great diplomat Domenico Tardini, at the time an ordinary priest, not yet bishop or cardinal.

But that is prehistory, compared to the earthquake of today.

Pope Francis has arrived in Rome “from the ends of the earth,” and he is innovating the manner of governing the Church from on high, starting with himself. The reform of the curia will come. And many other things will come as well. But after “a certain time,” he has cautioned.

Meanwhile, he has told all of the heads of the curia whose mandates ended with the resignation of his predecessor to get back to work. “Temporarily,” and “donec aliter provideatur," until he, the new pope, decides. Since March 13 the Vatican curia has been a tremulous army of functionaries without a certain future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Book reveals new pope's views on celibacy, abuse crisis

UNITED STATES
USA Today

David Gibson, Religion News Service
March 20, 2013

Before he became Pope Francis, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio offered clues to his views on celibacy, on the sexual abuse crisis and on civil unions.

He advocated a zero-tolerance approach to clergy abusers in a 2012 conversation with a leading Latin American rabbi. Bergoglio, then archbishop of Buenos Aires, criticized bishops who attempted to protect the image of the church by covering up abuse and shuffling predatory priests among parishes. The archbishop called that "a stupid idea."

"You cannot be in a position of power and destroy the life of another person," Bergoglio told Rabbi Abraham Skorka, rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary. The book-length dialogue with the rabbi will be published in English in May. The passage was translated by Aleteia, a website promoting Catholic evangelization.

He told Skorka that when a bishop once asked him what he should do with priests suspected of molesting children, "I told him to take away the priests' licenses, not to allow them to exercise the priesthood any more and to begin a canonical trial in that diocese's court."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 AM

Former Damien students file lawsuit for alleged sex abuse

HAWAII
Hawaii News Now

[with video]

By Lisa Kubota

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new civil lawsuit accuses a former Damien Memorial School chaplain of sexually assaulting two former students in the early 1980's. Father Gerald Funcheon worked at the school from 1982 to 1984. He is accused of molesting the alleged victims, identified as John Roe No. 9 and John Roe No. 10, multiple times.

The plaintiffs' lawyers are also representing another former student, Kory Oakland, who filed a sex abuse lawsuit last year. The attorneys released excerpts of Funcheon's testimony filmed under oath in September 2012 for that case. Attorney Jeff Anderson asked him about reports that there may have been roughly 50 victims over several decades during assignments across the country.

Q: "Do you think you remember the numbers of kids, those are people, youth under the age of 18, with whom you engaged in some sexual conduct or contact?"

A: "Over my lifetime?"

Q: "While a priest."

A: "Yeah, I would say a dozen."

Q: "There are some reports where it's far in excess of that by your own report. Do you think you might be underestimating that number?"

A: "Wow, I -- I couldn't count 'em up. I'll go -- I don't know. I'll go 18. I -- I don't -- I can't give you a number on this. Okay?"

"He demonstrates the mind of the molester. He admits a few things but denies, minimizes and blames others," said Anderson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

Files reveal depth of abuses at Joliet Diocese

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Christy Gutowski, Stacy St. Clair and David Heinzmann, Chicago Tribune reporters
March 21, 2013

The Joliet Diocese readily admitted that David Rudofski was sexually abused during his first confession at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. It offered him an in-person apology from the bishop and more than six times his annual salary in the hope of putting a quick, quiet end to yet another ugly incident involving a priest.

But Rudofski wanted more than money.

The south suburban electrician wanted the diocese to truly pay for its repeated and, oftentimes, willful mishandling of sexual abuse cases involving clergy — and he insisted on a currency far more precious to the church than money. He demanded that the diocese settle its debt by turning over the secret archives it maintained on abusive priests and making them available for public consumption.

"What was I supposed to do? Take the money and run?" Rudofski said. "How would that help anybody else? If people don't know how this was allowed to happen for decades, they can't prevent it from happening again."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 AM

Abuse victim sheds light on church secrets

ILLINOIS
WLS

[with video]

Ron Magers

March 20, 2013 (JOLIET, Ill.) (WLS) -- The man who forced the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet to release its archived files on pedophile and predatory priests was sexually abused by a priest as a child and as an adult, has fought hard to shed light on the secrets of the church.

STORY: Secret archive contains alleged sex abuse records

DOCUMENTS: (WARNING: Some viewers may find parts of this material offensive.)
• Diocese of Joliet's new victim outreach campaign
Father Burnett: Review Committee Allegations
Joliet Diocese Files of Fr. Donald O'Connor

The Full Secret Archive File of Fr. Donald O'Connor
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

"If other people can see that I did it, then it might empower them to do the same thing," said David Rudofski.

At the tender age of 8, Rudofski's life changed. While giving his first confession at St. Mary's parish in Mokena, he says Father James Burnett sexually molested him. Rudofski says he told his mother, but she didn't believe him.

"What happened to me was not her fault," he said. "She has struggled with this a lot and me as a parent, I can imagine that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 AM

March 20, 2013

Critics Wait To See How Pope Francis Deals With Sex Abuse Scandal

UNITED STATES
KNAU

By Jonathan Blakley

Pope Francis has now been installed and the world's Catholics are looking to see where he will lead the church. But one man in Rome has been trying to make sure the Vatican also deals with the church's troubled past.

David Clohessy, who says he was a victim of sexual abuse at a young age by a Catholic priest, is the director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. By his count, he held 15 news conferences in Rome in the weeks leading up to the conclave at the Vatican.

Some of them at the Orange Hotel were packed, others were empty.

Clohessy soldiered on, and S.N.A.P. has mailed letters and sent faxes to the Vatican, hoping for a meeting or some type of response from Pope Francis. The group feels the issue of sexual abuse might fade away amid the fascination with a newly elected Pope who has charmed the public and the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Attorney: Baker Abused Girls Too

PENNSYLVANIA
WeAreCentralPA

By: Aaron Cheslock
Updated: March 20, 2013

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - A woman is claiming she was sexually abused on multiple occasions by a Franciscan Brother starting when she was 15 years old.

Attorney Richard Serbin says the woman claims the abuse by Stephen Baker happened at Bishop McCort High in Johnstown.

She says because he was an Athletic Trainer, he was responsible for treating athletic injuries which led to the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Could the Vatican have a new Secretary of State after Easter?

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Now that Francis has been enthroned, Bergoglio will soon be making his first appointments

Marco Tosatti
Vatican City

Pope Francis has confirmed – pro tempore – all heads and secretaries of Congregations “donec aliter provideatur”, until it is decided otherwise. The statement released made no mention of the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, but an explanation was issued stating that the announcement concerned him as well. Reliable Vatican sources say Pope Francis intends to choose his closest collaborator quickly, after Easter. Tarcisio Bertone will turn 79 in December and it seems only logical that he should leave the position he held as Benedict XVI’s right hand man, amid controversies and divisions.

These sources also mention an Italian member the diplomatic corps as the Argentinean Pope’s potential number two man. The current Substitute, Angelo Becciu and the Prefect of Propaganda Fide, the former nuncio Filoni, seem to be excluded as possible candidates because of their involvement in the rifts and internal struggles that have tainted Bertone’s management of the Secretariat of State. Pope Francis would apparently prefer to start with a clean slate and a new Secretary of State.

The Church is not short of possible candidates, starting with Archbishop Piero Parolin, Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela. Archbishop Celestine Migliore, the Pope’s current ambassador in Warsaw who represented the Holy See at the UN is another potential future collaborator of the Pope. Both have close ties with the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano, who was Secretary of State under John Paul II for many years and also under Benedict XVI for a period of time, before Bertone was appointed as his substitute.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Priest kidnapped by junta: not denounced by pope

GERMANY
Myrtle Beach Online

Published: March 20, 2013

By GEIR MOULSON — Associated Press

BERLIN — A Jesuit priest who was kidnapped by the Argentine military junta in the 1970s said Wednesday that he and a fellow cleric weren't denounced by the future Pope Francis, then leader of Argentina's Jesuits.

The Rev. Francisco Jalics, a Hungarian native who now lives in a German monastery, said in a statement that he was following up on comments about the case last week because he had received a lot of questions and "some commentaries imply the opposite of what I meant." He did not elaborate.

Jalics and another priest, Orlando Yorio, were kidnapped in 1976.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now the pontiff, has said he told the priests to give up their work in slums for their own safety, and they refused. Yorio, who is now dead, later accused Bergoglio of effectively delivering them to the death squads by declining to publicly endorse their work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Attorney: Brother Baker Also Abused Female Students

PENNSYLVANIA
WYTV

An Altoona attorney handling several lawsuits for former students who were allegedly sexually molested by Brother Stephen Baker, a teacher, athletic trainer and coach accused of abusing students across the Midwest, including in Warren, said Wednesday he is now representing a woman who claimed she was assaulted.

Attorney Richard Serbin, who is currently handling five lawsuits against area Catholic leaders in Pennsylvania courts, said on Wednesday his client was abused at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown starting when she was 15 years old.

Dozens of former male students have claimed abuse, including 11 from Warren’s John F. Kennedy High School and St. Mary’s Middle School who were paid five-figure settlements from Youngstown Catholic Diocese and the Third Order Regular Franciscans for Baker’s actions, but no allegations of sexual abuse against female students had emerged until Wednesday.

Serbin said the type of abuse the girl endured paralleled the abuse endured by dozens of former male students who claimed Baker fondled them and digitally penetrated them under the guise of treating and providing preventative care for sports injuries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

What Argentine Priests Knew About the ‘Dirty War’

ARGENTINA
The New York Times

By MORT ROSENBLUM

In 1975, I watched Buenos Aires churches fill with distraught mothers praying futilely for news of missing sons and daughters. Troubled police officers frequented the confessionals. Most Argentines suspected that President Isabel Perón and her Rasputin, José López Rega, were behind official death squads that made so many people disappear. Priests knew the details.

A military junta bundled Ms. Peron off to exile in 1976 and unleashed full-bore repression. They called it war, but it wasn’t. Disparate acts by unconnected rival leftist groups brought institutional torture and official terror. Military flights dumped victims at sea. Still alive, they would gasp in water and sink.

For three crucial years, as placid Argentina headed toward hell, I was based in Buenos Aires. I arrived in 1973 when night noises ranged to wailing tango chords and traffic din. Within a year, those were punctuated by spine-curdling shrieks as victims were bundled into those famous Ford Falcons without license plates. By the time I left in 1976, after the coup, we slept in different places each night because of unsettling threats. When profiles of those shadowy death squads emerged, they were as we had thought: off-duty cops commanded by high-ranking police and military officers. Many were devout family men who believed themselves on a mission for God and country. My sense is that the “war” would have been far less dirty had the Roman Catholic church stood up to its perpetrators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Priester klagt Missbrauch an und wird suspendiert

UGANDA
Neue Zurcher Zeitung

(dpa) Ein katholischer Priester ist in Uganda aus dem Dienst entlassen worden, weil er Mitglieder der Kirche in dem ostafrikanischen Land des sexuellen Missbrauchs bezichtigt hatte.

Der Erzbischof der Hauptstadt Kampala suspendierte Pater Anthony Musaala mit der Begründung, dieser habe "der guten Moral der katholischen Gläubigen Schaden zugefügt" und "Hass und Verachtung gegenüber der Kirche angestachelt", hiess es in einer Mitteilung, die am Mittwoch von der Zeitung "Daily Monitor" veröffentlicht wurde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Ein Mann für schwere Fälle

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholische

Bistum Trier | 20.03.2013 - Trier

Er gehört zu den Jüngeren unter den deutschen Bischöfen, hat sich aber bereits einen Namen als Mann für schwierige Aufgaben gemacht: Triers Bischof Stephan Ackermann ist seit gut drei Jahren mit der Aufklärung des Missbrauchsskandals in der katholischen Kirche beauftragt. Vieles hat der Rheinland-Pfälzer schon auf den Weg gebracht, aber auch viel Kritik einstecken müssen.

Der Job des Missbrauchsbeauftragten sei "nicht besonders vergnüglich", sagt er. "Weil trotz allen Bemühens der Eindruck erweckt wird, hier wird immer nur getrickst, vertuscht und zurückgehalten." Am Mittwoch wird der Oberhirte der ältesten deutschen Diözese 50 Jahre alt.

Die katholische Kirche hatte im Januar bei der Aufarbeitung der Missbrauchs-Taten einen herben Rückschlag erlitten, als sie eine wissenschaftliche Studie stoppte. Die Vorwürfe reichten von Aktenvernichtung bis Zensur und mündeten in mancher Forderung nach dem Rücktritt Ackermanns. Doch der gibt sich kämpferisch. Er habe seit jeher eine lückenlose Aufklärung gefordert. "Dranbleiben" wolle er an dem Thema, für die Bischofskonferenz und die Betroffenen, betont er. Und die Missbrauchsstudie mit einem neuen Partner in Angriff nehmen. Möglicherweise schon im April könnte der Neustart verkündet werden, hieß es vor kurzem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Missbrauch im Stift Kremsmünster: Urteil in „Mitwisser-Prozess“ erwartet

OSTERREICH
Nachrichten

STEYR/KREMSMÜNSTER. Über Jahrzehnte sollen Pater des Stiftsgymnasiums in Kremsmünster Schüler sexuell missbraucht und körperlich misshandelt haben. Zwei ehemalige Schüler, die selbst Opfer geworden sind, haben – wie berichtet – das Stift geklagt.

Die Verantwortlichen hätten nach einem Gespräch im Jänner 2012 zahlreiche Zusagen nicht eingehalten, argumentieren die Kläger.

So soll Abt Ambros Ebhart bei dem Gespräch zugesagt haben, dass es eine Aufarbeitung der Geschehnisse in dem Stift, ein Mahnmal und ein Schuldeingeständnis der Mitwisserschaft über den Kindesmissbrauch geben werde. Die beiden Männer haben eine Feststellungsklage beim Landesgericht Steyr mit einem Streitwert von 30.000 Euro eingebracht, gestern fand die letzte Verhandlungsrunde statt. Das Urteil steht noch aus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Pope Francis and Protection: Your Help Needed

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

March 20, 2013

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) appreciates Pope Francis emphasis on protection in the homily of his installation Mass.

But the word must become kinetic to solve and eradicate the crisis of sexual abuse in the Church by priests and nuns.

It must have the energy of action behind it to truly protect children and give the survivors the protection of justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

YU’s Rabbi Schachter Under Fire For Racial Slur, Abuse Views

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University’s rabbinical seminary, called for the creation of panels to evaluate the veracity of abuse claims before they are forwarded to the authorities.

At a rabbinical conference in February in London, Schachter called “ridiculous” the idea that Jews should not turn fellow Jews over to secular authorities for fear of violating the principle of “mesirah,” or betrayal — the traditional Jewish prohibition on informing. In fact, he added, failure to cooperate with the authorities is a desecration of God’s name.

However, Schachter warned, communities need to ensure that the claims of abuse are accurate before passing them along to the police. To that end, he called for the creation of boards made up of mental health professionals who are also experts in Jewish law to evaluate whether accusations are credible.

Schachter warned that a false accusation could end up tearing apart families. He also raised the fear that a false allegation could land an innocent person in prison where he faced physical danger. For example, he said, someone convicted for abuse could end up in prison with a “shvartze”— a Yiddish term for a black person that is often deragatory — who hates Jews.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Green Bay Diocese Pays $700,000 in Sex Abuse Settlement

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Public Radio

WUWM NEWS | Mar 20, 2013

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay will pay $700,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by two men. Todd and Troy Merryfield were sexually abused by a former priest, John Feeney, in the 1970s when they were children. The men accused the diocese of withholding knowledge of Feeney’s previous sexual misconduct.

Feeney was convicted of assaulting the Merryfields. A judge overturned the verdict and ordered a new trial, after ruling that one of the jurors was biased.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Trust in Scots clerics and church teaching broken, says bishop

SCOTLAND
The Tablet

20 March 2013

Trust in the Church in Scotland has been "broken", the Bishop of Aberdeen has warned.

Bishop Hugh Gilbert used his statement welcoming the election of Pope Francis to highlight the "feeling of distress" within the Church.

"At the heart of it is a sense of things being broken," he said, "things like personal integrity, trust in our bishops and priests, the credibility of our faith and teaching."

Bishop Gilbert said "all of these things have seemed to collapse," and that behind people's sadness or anger "there is a great cry inside us for them to be given back to us. A cry for a new purity and honesty, for the Gospel, for Christ."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

What CNN and a Rabbi Have in Common: Siding With Abusers

UNITED STATES
The Philly Post

Stephen Silver

The high-profile Steubenville, Ohio, rape case ended last weekend with guilty verdicts for both defendants—leading to one of the more embarrassing segments in the history of CNN. Both, as well as other stories in the news, are symptomatic of a tendency I’ve noticed a whole lot the last couple of years: In cases of high-profile sex crimes, way too many people have way too much sympathy for the perpetrators, and not enough for the victims.

The Steubenville case, which has been in the national news for months, concerned two members of that town’s vaunted high school football team, in August of 2012, sexually assaulting a girl who had passed out. The case kicked off a widespread firestorm that included appearances by the hacker collective Anonymous, and a whole other debate about whether another case of an untouchable football program led to the covering up of horrible crimes. if you’re not familiar with the case, this New York Times piece is a good primer.

The two defendants, Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, were both convicted, and while both must register permanently as sex offenders, because they were tried as juveniles neither is likely to serve more than two or three years of time in detention. ...

Now we have controversial comments by Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a top Talmudic scholar and Rosh Yeshiva at New York’s Yeshiva University.

Rabbi Schachter, in a speech made at a London conference in February and reported by Paul Berger in the Jewish newspaper The Forward last week, suggested that Jewish communities should set up independent panels, comprised of Torah scholars, to weigh claims of child sexual abuse, to determine their veracity before the decision is made to proceed to the police.

Why? Because apparently Schachter is worried about Jewish convicted offenders going to prison, where they could end up “in a cell with a shvartze, in a cell with a Muslim, a black Muslim who wants to kill all the Jews.” Schachter went on to admit that a student confided in him years ago about being abused, after which he referred the student to a psychologist, and did not contact authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Give Minnesota sex abuse victims more time for justice

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JAMES C. BACKSTROM
Updated: March 19, 2013

We must recognize that the nature of these incidents means that feelings can be repressed well into adulthood.

Childhood sexual abuse is an epidemic. More than 80,000 American kids are sexually abused every year. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they reach age 18. Nearly 70 percent of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur against children ages 17 and under.

Some of these tragedies make high-profile news, like the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State scandal last year and the recent criminal charges against Lynn Seibel, a former teacher at Shattuck-St. Mary’s boarding school in Faribault. Most of these incidents, however, never get reported to police and prosecutors or see the light of day in a civil courtroom. Most victims of childhood sexual abuse lock away memories of horrible trauma deep inside their minds, for many years.

This is not that hard to understand if you think about it. These are frightened kids who often do not fully comprehend what is happening to them. And the vast majority are preyed upon by someone they know and trust: a parent or sibling, a relative, a coach, a teacher, a minister or priest, a Boy Scout leader, or an older family friend. Few actually fall victim to unknown sexual predators — and those few cases are much more likely to be reported promptly to law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Trial to Begin in Teaneck Rabbi Sex Abuse Case

NEW JERSEY
Patch

By Noah Cohen

March 19, 2013

Prosecutors plan to fly two Israeli boys to the United States to testify in the trial of a Teaneck rabbi who allegedly molested the teens while they stayed with him during a scholarship program, northjersey.com reported.

The trial of Rabbi Uzi Rivlin, 65, is set for next month in Hackensack. Rivlin was charged in 2011 with sexually abusing the boys in 2009 and 2010.

Prosecutors disclosed Tuesday in a pretrial hearing that Rivlin had been accused of sexual assault, child endangerment and public lewdness in 2000 in New York City, the report said. The rabbi ultimately pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor public lewdness charge.

Details of that case were not immediately available late Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Church suspends Fr. Musaala over sex claims

UGANDA
New Vision

KAMPALA - The Archbishop of Kampala, Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, has suspended Fr. Anthony Musaala over a document he allegedly wrote that “damages good morals of Catholic believers and faults the Catholic teaching”.

“Fr. Anthony Musaala is suspended from celebrating sacraments and sacramentals, from the powers of governance in accordance with the law of the Church…as investigations are being carried out,” Lwanga said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The suspension follows a letter, reportedly written by Musaala, claiming that many Catholic priests and even bishops are sexually abusing minors, have mistresses and children who they are concealing or have abandoned.

The letter called for review of the issue of celibate chastity in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Uganda's critical dossier author priest suspended

UGANDA
Africa Review

By DAILY MONITOR in Kampala | Wednesday, March 20 2013

The Archbishop of Kampala, Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, has suspended maverick cleric Fr Anthony Musaala, who authored a document criticising Catholic Church colleagues for sexual crimes among others.

Dr Lwanga, in a statement on Tuesday, said Fr Musaala had been suspended for the document, which “damages the good morals of the Catholic believers and faults the church’s teaching”.

According to Dr Lwanga, Fr Musaala admitted to authoring the document, which has been widely circulating on the internet.

“As per now, after the acceptance of Fr Musaala that he authored this document, the law prescribed by the Church in Can. 1369 takes its course. This law states that: “A person is to be punished with a just penalty, who, at a public event or assembly, or in a published writing, or by otherwise using the means of social communication, utters blasphemy, or gravely harms public morals, or rails at or excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church,” said the Archbishop.

“This means therefore, that Fr Musaala, because of the publication of his article in the public media, which damages good morals of Catholic believers and further expresses a wrong teaching against the Catholic Church’s teaching and that this stirs up hatred and contempt against the Church, he incurs a Ferendae sententiae penalty as prescribed by Can.1314, Dr Lwanga said in the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

QC Calls For Former Pope's Indictment

AUSTRALIA
Law Fuel

Geoffrey Robertson QC, the high profile Australian barrister is leading calls for the Vatican to lose its status as a state and to have the former Pope Benedict XVI to be indicted for his alleged cover up of child sex abuse by the Catholic Church.

The calls came at the screening of a documentary in which Robertson appeared when he gave evidence before the UN Committee on Rights of the Child.

The documentary, Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa, (See trailer below) was screened at the same time as the new Pope was being elected.

Lawyer's Weekly:

He argued that the former pope acted negligently in what Robertson estimates to be 100,000 cases of sex abuse by priests since 1981, when Ratzinger became head of the Vatican office known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Pastor suspected of abusing other girls in the past

INDIA
The Hindu

Devesh K. Pandey

The pastor arrested on Monday for allegedly raping a minor inmate of his care home at Samaipur Badli in Outer Delhi is suspected to have sexually abused more girls in the past. The accused had been sexually abusing the minor for the past seven years.

The police on Tuesday produced the accused, Abraham Sahoo, before a court that sent him to one-day police custody. “He is being interrogated to ascertain his other suspected involvement,” said a police officer. Abraham, who heads the institution, had been living separately from his wife.

The Child Welfare Committee has directed the police to produce before it all the children staying at the institution. The Committee has also issued a directive to the area Deputy Commissioner of Police to ascertain whether other girls were also sexually assaulted by the accused. The matter regarding child labour and physical abuse was reported to the police last Thursday through Prayas Helpline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

I-Team Exclusive: Secret archive contains records of alleged sexual abuse in Diocese of Joliet

JOLIET (IL)
WLS

[with video]

[document]

Chuck Goudie

March 19, 2013 (JOLIET, Ill.) (WLS) -- The I-Team has learned that a secret archive containing records on priests accused of sexual abuse was covered up for years in the Diocese of Joliet. Also included in the files was information on the suicides of victims who complained, but were ignored.

The archive contains hidden personnel files of priests who, according to the records, allegedly violated their oath of fidelity. Yet the files were concealed by bishops who broke their oath of honesty.

The files contain alleged incidents that spanned more than six decades.

Dave Rudofski is one of the faces of innocence lost in the Diocese of Joliet. In 1982, Rudofski was 8 years old and living in Mokena.

He was an altar boy at St. Mary's Parish, and says he was molested while giving his first confession to Father James Burnett.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Film takes sex abuse guilt to the Vatican

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Tim Kroenert March 20, 2013

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (M). Director: Alex Gibney. 102 minutes

The sexual abuse of children by religious is by its nature an emotional, as well as profoundly ethical, moral, spiritual and criminal issue. Films and documentaries about this subject will therefore necessarily appeal to the emotions of the viewer. This can be to their detriment, if the emotional appeal is emphasized over factual detail.

The 2007 film Deliver Us From Evil fell into this trap; an emotionally harrowing film that leaned heavily on the extensive and graphic testimony of one offending (and only self-interestedly repentant) priest, while failing at times to substantiate some of its more outlandish claims. This is the kind of sensationalism that feeds prejudices and arguably does more to exploit victims than to help them.

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House of God, by contrast, achieves a balance between its powerful emotional appeal and its integrity as a piece of investigative filmmaking.

It begins with a particular case study, that of Fr Lawrence Murphy, a key supporter and later head of a school for deaf boys in Milwaukee. Director Gibney interviews the now adult victims of Murphy, whose atrocities at the school during the late 1960s and 1970s included using the confessional as a kind of lair in which to abuse boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Pope slow to act against child abuse by clergy - activist group

UNITED STATES
PanARMENIAN

PanARMENIAN.Net - A Roman Catholic activist group said that Pope Francis was slow as head of the Argentine church to act against sexual abuse by clergy and urged him to apologize for what it called church protection for two priests later convicted of sexually assaulting children, AP reported.

A lawyer for some of the victims, meanwhile, said the future pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, had not met with or helped victims, and charged that mid-level church officials who covered up the problem haven't lost their jobs.

The Buenos Aires archbishop's office didn't immediately comment on the complaints, which came as Francis was being installed as pope in a Vatican ceremony seen around the world.

The U.S.-based Bishop Accountability group cited the cases of two priests: Father Julio Cesar Grassi, who ran the "Happy Children" foundation and was convicted of pedophilia in 2008, and Father Napoleon Sasso, convicted in 2007 of abusing girls at a soup kitchen in suburban Buenos Aires, where he was assigned after being accused of pedophilia elsewhere.

Grassi is currently free pending appeal, thanks partly to a court filing on his behalf by the Argentine church, which was headed by Bergoglio as archbishop of Buenos Aires. Bergoglio oversaw Argentina's bishops conference when Sasso was assigned to the soup kitchen at a chapel, said the victims attorney, Ernesto Moreau.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

March 19, 2013

Pope's gentle message dodges hot button issues

VATICAN CITY
GlobalPost

With an inaugural homily urging respect for "God's creation", Pope Francis on Tuesday subtly pressed a conservative Catholic message while urgent challenges loom for the Church.

The first Latin American pope has been heralded by supporters as a progressive, but scholars say he is unlikely to bend on Church doctrine -- and key moral issues were glaringly absent from his speech.

His predecessor Benedict XVI formally resigned because of old age, but some religious watchers say he buckled because of a bitter power struggle within the Church and a poisonous sexual abuse scandal -- concerns that Francis will have to address.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 PM

Covering up sexual abuse is a crime, Cardinal

SOUTH AFRICA
Daily Maverick

Pierre de Vos

20 Mar 2013 (South Africa)

The Catholic Church has rightly been criticised for its handling of the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests across the world. In order to protect the “good name” of the church, many abusers were never reported to the police but were sent for “treatment” and counselling before being “redeployed” by the church to other positions. Some of them then went on to abuse other children. Unfortunately, Cardinal Wilfred Napier, who has dealt with such cases in South Africa, seems to be unaware that if he fails to report those priests to the police he is committing a criminal offence and exposing himself to a five-year prison sentence.

In a controversial interview with a BBC radio journalist, Cardinal Napier indicated that when he dealt with cases in which priests have sexually abused children, he followed a protocol developed by the Church itself. He insisted that each case was referred to the Doctrine of the Faith office and the Pope. Cardinal Napier seems to believe that the Church is the victim of unfair publicity. In the interview he complained:

“I really would resent it if someone said to me you mishandled that case. Some of the priests went, according to the wisdom of the time, the best information that we had from psychologists, they went for treatment, came back and have been under – what we call it – personal surveillance and have functioned quite normally ever since. Others left the priesthood, they were laicised, but it depended on each case being handled differently because of the peoples conditions were different.”

Nowhere in the interview does he say that he actually reported any priests who confessed that they sexually abused children to the police. Instead, displaying an admirable understanding and compassion for abusers (an understanding and compassion not displayed towards others involved in consensual and often loving sexual behaviour), he argued that such priests act out of a defect in their own character and that they are not necessarily culpable for what they do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Prosecutor, defense argue points ...

NEW JERSEY
The Record

Prosecutor, defense argue points in Teaneck rabbi’s pre-trial hearing on child sex-assault charges

Tuesday March 19, 2013

BY KIBRET MARKOS
STAFF WRITER
The Record

One of the two teenage boys who accused a Teaneck rabbi of molesting him at his home had made false accusations of sexual abuse against his own father, the rabbi’s attorney told a judge in Hackensack on Tuesday.

Bergen County prosecutors, meanwhile, disclosed that Rabbi Uzi Rivlin, who is set for trial next month on child sexual-assault charges, was accused years ago of another sexual assault in New York and later pleaded guilty to public lewdness.

The hearing in state Superior Court offered a glimpse into the complexities of Rivlin’s upcoming trial, in which he is accused of molesting two 13-year-old Israeli boys at his home in 2009 and 2010. Rivlin has maintained his innocence, telling authorities that his accusers were troubled teens and that he did nothing to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

Green Bay Diocese settles abuse lawsuit for $700,000

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

March 19, 2013

The Diocese of Green Bay has agreed to pay $700,000 to two brothers sexually assaulted by a now-defrocked priest, Father John Patrick Feeney, in the 1970s, the first lawsuit of its kind to go to trial in Wisconsin since such cases were blocked by a state Supreme Court ruling in 1995.

"First and foremost, I would like to say I am truly sorry to Todd Merryfield and Troy Merryfield, as well as their families, for the pain they have endured," Green Bay Bishop David Ricken said in a statement announcing the settlement Tuesday.

Michael Finnegan, an attorney representing the brothers, called them "extremely courageous."

"They came forward when they were kids, and again to put Feeney behind bars, and now again in the civil trial," Finnegan said. "They are truly champions for kids."

The settlement matches a $700,000 judgment awarded to the brothers by an Outagamie Jury in July. A judge overturned the verdict because of juror misconduct, and both sides were preparing for a new trial in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Merryfield's settle priest sex abuse suit

WISCONSIN
WHBY

Two brothers and the Green Bay Catholic Diocese have a deal in a child sex abuse lawsuit.

Troy and Todd Merryfield sued the diocese for fraud, after they were molested by former priest John Feeney, in 1978. They claim the diocese should have told parishioners at St. Nicholas Church in Freedom, about Feeney's past sex abuse allegations.

The Merryfield's will receive $700,000. That's the same amount a jury awarded in their first trial, but a judge threw out the jury's decision, after determining that one juror was biased. A second trial was scheduled for May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

Green Bay diocese settles with 2 sex abuse victims

WISCONSIN
San Francisco Chronicle

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) — The Diocese of Green Bay has settled a lawsuit brought by two brothers who accused the diocese of fraud.

Todd and Troy Merryfield alleged the diocese withheld knowledge of a former priest's prior sexual misconduct. The Rev. John Feeney later was convicted of sexually abusing the brothers in the late 1970s when they were boys.

The Post-Crescent (http://post.cr/139tvni) reports a judge dismissed the lawsuit, based on the agreement.

Bishop David Ricken issued a statement apologizing to the Merryfields and all victims of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Green Bay Catholic Diocese settles sex abuse case, apologizes

WISCONSIN
Press-Gazette

APPLETON — Two brothers who were molested by the Rev. John Feeney in the 1970s have reached a settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay in a civil case that accused the church of withholding knowledge of Feeney’s prior sexual misconduct.

Outagamie County Judge Nancy Krueger dismissed the case on Monday, based on the agreement reached by the diocese and Todd and Troy Merryfield. No information was immediately available on the terms of the settlement.

Green Bay Bishop David Ricken issued a statement on Tuesday, apologizing to the Merryfields and all victims of child sexual abuse.

“First and foremost, I would like to say I am truly sorry to Todd Merryfield and Troy Merryfield, as well as their families, for the pain they have endured from child sexual abuse and the lawsuits that followed,” Ricken wrote. “I hope and pray that they can experience God’s healing presence within their hearts.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Two discordant 'dirty war' narratives on Pope Francis

ROME
Tucson Sentinel

Posted Mar 18, 2013

Jason Berry
GlobalPost

ROME — The news from Argentina on what Pope Francis did, or didn't do during the years of the dirty war has shadowed the early days of his papacy, prompting the Vatican to denounce reporting to that effect.

Could it be, on this one, that the Vatican may be right?

How to square the image of a cleric accused by some of assisting fascist generals — the men guilty of kidnappings, torture, abduction of newborns whose mothers were murdered — with the pope of gentle demeanor who blessed a seeing-eye dog as he charmed the media at an audience on Saturday?

At issue are Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio's years in the byzantine society of Argentina when it hit moral rock bottom.

His family carried its own nightmare of Italy's descent into political madness.

"My father escaped from Italy because of fascism," the pope's sister, Maria Elena Bergoglio, has told Paolo Mastrolilli of La Stampa / Vatican Insider in Buenos Aires. "Do you think it is possible that my brother could be an accomplice of a military dictatorship? It would have been like betraying his memory."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

Pope Francis focuses on the poor, the media focus on the sex abuse scandal

ROME
GlobalPost

Jason Berry

ROME — Under blue skies, Pope Francis at his investiture Mass today at St. Peter's Square called on international state officials there to be "protectors of one another and of the environment...We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness."

An estimated 200,000 people packed the square and streets surrounding the basilica.

The pope's sermon, amid the beauty and solemnity of a Latin Mass, spoke specifically to representatives of governments seated aside the altar, from US Vice President Joe Biden to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.

"I would ask to all of those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill,” he said. “Let us be 'protectors' of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature...keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts."

Yet in the unfolding narrative of a pope calling on the world's Catholics to focus on the poor and marginalized, Francis was trailed again by news coverage from Argentina that put him in a negative light in his response to clergy sex abuse.

"During most of the 14 years that Bergoglio served as archbishop of Buenos Aires, rights advocates say, he did not take decisive action to protect children or act swiftly when molestation charges surfaced," wrote Nick Miroff in a piece published yesterday in the Washington Post, "nor did he extend apologies to the victims of abusive priests after their misconduct came to light."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

“Change of Skin”, From Argentina’s “Dirty War” to the Vatican...

ARGENTINA
Centre for Research on Globalization

“Change of Skin”, From Argentina’s “Dirty War” to the Vatican: Pope Francis “Dissociates Himself” from Father Bergoglio

By Horacio Verbitsky
Global Research, March 19, 2013

Pagina 12 (Translated from the Spanish)

Translation of an article from Página 12 of Buenos Aires for March 17, 2013 (Global Research Spanish page)

The first press conference Pope Francis’ spokesman gave was for the purpose of detaching him from Jorge Mario Bergoglio, accused of turning two priests over to the ESMA [Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada]. Since the statements and the documents are incontestable, the method chosen was to discredit those who circulated them, characterizing this newspaper as leftist. The traditions were followed: it is the same thing that Bergoglio said about Jalics and Yorio to those who kidnapped them.

In his first meeting with the press after the election of the Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, his spokesman, Federico Lombardi, also a Jesuit, dismissed as old calumnies of the anti-clerical Left, spread by a newspaper characterized by defamatory campaigns, the allegations on the performance of the former provincial of the Company of Jesus during the Argentine dictatorship and, especially, the role he played in the disappearance of two priests under him, Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics. Argentine opposition media and politicians at the same time included the article “Un Ersatz,” published in this paper the day after the papal election, among Kirchnerista reactions to Bergoglio’s enthronement. In addition, a sector of the governing party chose to acclaim him as “Argentine and Peronista,” the same slogan with which José Rucci is remembered every September, and to deny the incontestable facts.

The reconciliation

From Germany, where Jalics lives in retirement in a monastery, the German Jesuit provincial said that the priest had been reconciled with Bergoglio. The aged Jalics, now 85 years old, declared on the other hand that he felt reconciled with “those events, which are a closed matter for me.” But he said nevertheless that he would not comment on Bergoglio’s actions in the case. For Catholics, reconciliation is a sacrament. In the words of one of the major Argentine theologians, Carmelo Giaquinta, it consists of “pardoning others from the heart for offenses received,” by which is meant only that Jalics has forgiven the harm they did to him. That says more about him than about Bergoglio. Jalics does not deny the facts, which he recounted in his 1994 book Ejercicios de Meditación:

“Many people who held political convictions on the extreme right looked unfavorably on our presence in the slums. They interpreted the fact that we would live there as support for the guerrilla and they proposed denouncing us as terrorists. We knew which way the wind was blowing and who was responsible for these calumnies. So I went to speak with the person in question and I explained to him that he was playing with our lives. The man promised me that he would let the military know that we were not terrorists. From later statements by an officer and 30 documents I had access to later, we were able to prove without a doubt that this man had not kept his promise but that, on the contrary, he had given a false denunciation to the military.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Don't Write A Suicide Note Without Showing It To Your Lawyer

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

On Feb. 9, 2011, Bernard Shero sat down to type a suicide note to his parents.

"Dear Mom and Dad," he began. "I know the Easter season has become a very sad season for us. We have lost many loved ones during the year. I am truly sorry for making the time of your birthday a time of loss as well but I feel that I do not have much of a choice here, and I think deep in your hearts, you know why."

On Feb. 9, 2011, Bernard Shero was a 47-year-old ex-Catholic school teacher accused of raping a former sixth-grade student named Billy Doe.

The day he wrote his two-page note to his parents, Shero was a hunted man. Detectives from the district attorney's office had called Burton Rose, Shero's lawyer, to ask if Shero was going to turn himself in. The detectives wanted Shero to report to the D.A.'s office at 6 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2011. Or else, the detectives would be driving out to Shero's apartment armed with an arrest warrant.

Read more at http://www.bigtrial.net/2013/03/if-youre-going-to-write-suicide-note.html#7zhc8uMoR48Rxol1.99

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

Irish Pedophile Legacy Highlights Challenge to New Pope

IRELAND
Bloomberg

By Colm Heatley - Mar 19, 2013

For Irish victims of priestly sexual abuse, Pope Francis needs to disclose what the Vatican knows about the crimes -- and fully apologize for them.

“He could start telling the truth about the extent of Vatican knowledge,” Andrew Madden, a computer consultant from Dublin who claims priests molested him when he was an altar boy in the 1980s, said by phone. “If an apology was preceded by that level of honesty, that would be very significant.”

As Francis begins his reign as the 266th pope following his inauguration yesterday, he faces a global wave of disgust and mistrust toward the church amid abuse cases from the U.S. to Latin America. The wounds run deep in Ireland, one of Europe’s most Catholic countries, underscoring the challenge the pope faces to reviving a religion eroded by secularism and shaken by scandal.

Priests engaged in “endemic” molestation of children for decades, according to two reports by the Irish government issued since 2009, with prelates usually more interested in avoiding scandal to the church than exposing offenders and protecting children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Was Pope Francis a bystander in Buenos Aires?

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

Posted by Melinda Henneberger on March 19, 2013

All sorts of Catholics — the hurt and the whole, the progressive and the traditional — want to believe our eyes and trust all the positive signs and signals out of Rome in the week since Francis was chosen to succeed Benedict: “It’s like falling in love,” one friend said. “God help me,” another agreed.

It’s been a long, bruising decade since the height of the clerical sex abuse scandal here in the U.S. in 2002, and this new pontiff’s message so far, in both words and symbolic gestures, is a welcome one for many of us who chose to stay anyway, denying nothing.

“How I would like a church that is poor and for the poor,” he told reporters, and a little bit of my “wait and see,” posture gave way. “True power is service,” he tweeted Tuesday. “The Pope must serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable.” Amen, of course.

He took the name of Francis of Assisi, he has said, as “the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, don’t we?” Oh my, and an enviro, too? Don’t fall before all the facts are in, I told myself, but with limited success, I’m afraid, as I read that he had real reform in mind, and had announced that no one in the Curia should feel too safe in his current job. All assignments, he said, were only donec aliter provideatur — “until other provisions are made.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Is Pope Francis open to optional celibacy?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Thomas Reese | Mar. 19, 2013

In an 2012 interview about celibacy, then-Cardinal Bergoglio notes that in the Eastern churches priests can be married and "They are very good priests." He says that "It is a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change."

He states his support for celibacy in the interview. "I am in favor of maintaining celibacy, with all its pros and cons, because we have ten centuries of good experiences rather than failures," he explains. "Tradition has weight and validity."

But what is remarkable is the way he qualifies his statements: "For the moment, I am in favor of maintaining celibacy...." Likewise, when he notes that some organizations are pushing for more discussion about the issue, he says, "For now, the discipline of celibacy stands firm."

"For the moment," "For now" are not the kind of qualifications one normally hears when bishops and cardinals discuss celibacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Green Bay Catholic Diocese Reaches Settlement with Abuse Victims

GREEN BAY (WI)
WBAY

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay says it has reached a settlement with two brothers who were abused by a priest, avoiding a new trial.

Todd and Troy Merryfield had a civil lawsuit against the diocese, saying Church officials were aware of allegations of sexual abuse against Father John Patrick Feeney before he abused the Merryfields as boys in 1978.

The Merryfields won their lawsuit last May and were awarded $700,000, but a new trial was ordered after concerns that a juror had an undisclosed bias. A re-trial was scheduled for this coming May.

The diocese did not disclose the terms of the settlement.

With Tuesday's announcement, Bishop David Ricken issued the following statement:

First and foremost, I would like to say I am truly sorry to Todd Merryfield and Troy Merryfield, as well as their families, for the pain they have endured from child sexual abuse and the lawsuits that followed. I hope and pray that they can experience God's healing presence within their hearts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

‘Paedophiles must go to jail’

SOUTH AFRICA
The New Age

Chris Makhaye

There are mixed feelings on the streets about Durban-based Roman Catholic priest Cardinal Wilfrid Napier’s comment that paedophilia was “an illness and not a criminal act”.

Most of those interviewed differed with Napier and said paedophiles should be tried in a court of law and if convicted, imprisoned.

Ramesh Mahabeer, a Durban businessman, said priests who were found to have committed the crime should be sentenced to long jail terms.

“We rely on priests for spiritual healing. We also rely on them to do God’s work. If they go out and rape and abuse young boys they are committing an unspeakable crime. They should be sent to jail for a long time like common criminals because they are abusing the trust that is placed in them. The community regard them as God’s own representatives,” Mahabeer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Pope Francis supports zero tolerance of child abuse

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Thomas Reese | Mar. 19, 2013

Pope Francis is on record as supporting zero tolerance for the sexual abuse of minors by priests. In a 2012 interview, then-Cardinal Bergoglio said that a bishop called him for advice on how to deal with it, and "I told him to take away the priests' licenses, not to allow them to exercise the priesthood any more, and to begin a canonical trial in that diocese’s court."

He went on to say that he was unconcerned about the impact on the image of the church. "I do not believe in taking positions that uphold a certain corporative spirit in order to avoid damaging the image of the institution." He was critical of the earlier practice in the United States of moving priests to a different parish. "It is a stupid idea; that way, the priest just takes the problem with him wherever he goes."

He noted that Pope Benedict supported "Zero tolerance for that crime" and admired "the courage and uprightness of Pope Benedict on the subject." He says, "we must never turn a blind eye" to abuse. "You cannot be in a position of power and destroy the life of another person."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Heritage and the Diocese

HOLYOKE (MA)
Valley Advocate

By Maureen Turner

In the late 19th century, the Lyman Street area of downtown Holyoke underwent a significant change. Once home to Irish immigrants, who’d arrived in the city in the 1840s to work on its dams and canals, the neighborhood now began to be dominated by Polish immigrants, many of whom came from across the river in Chicopee, said Olivia Mausel, chairwoman of the Holyoke Historical Commission. The newly arrived Poles opened shops and other businesses and built a Catholic church and school.

Over the years, the neighborhood underwent more changes, most notably during the urban renewal period in the 1950s. But a strong Polish influence remains in the area, from businesses like Kay’s Pastry Shop and the Polish Delicatessen to Pulaski and Kosciuszko parks, both named for Polish-born heroes of the American Revolution. In 2011, city officials began looking into creating a Polish Heritage Historic District in the neighborhood to preserve that piece of Holyoke history, an effort that has met with a good deal of support.

At the heart of the proposed district is the former Mater Dolorosa church—fittingly so, given the central role the church has played in Holyoke’s Polish community since it was built at the turn of the 20th century. But more recently, Mater Dolorosa has also been at the heart of an acrimonious dispute between its one-time parishioners and the Diocese of Springfield, which closed the church in 2011. A group of Mater Dolorosa parishioners has been fighting that closure and hopes that the creation of a historic district would protect the building from redevelopment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Abuse victims want pope to open Argentina files

ARGENTINA
WHBF

Posted: Mar 19, 2013

By MICHAEL WARREN
Associated Press
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - A U.S. group that tracks clergy abuse called on Pope Francis to apologize Tuesday for what it called the Argentine church's protection of two priests who were eventually convicted of abusing children.

The Bishop Accountability group cites the case of Father Julio Cesar Grassi, who ran the "Happy Children" foundation and was convicted of pedophilia in 2008, and Father Napoleon Sasso, convicted in 2007 of abusing girls at a soup kitchen in suburban Buenos Aires. Sasso had been moved to the kitchen by church authorities after he got into trouble for pedophilia in remote San Juan province.

Jorge Bergoglio, who became Argentina's cardinal in 2001, wasn't directly involved in any sex abuse scandals or coverups, but he failed to remove priests accused of sexually abusing their faithful, and refused to meet with the victims, their attorney Ernesto Moreau told The Associated Press.

"Bergoglio has been the strongest man in the Argentine church since the beginning of this century," Moreau said, and yet "the leadership of the church has never done anything to remove these people from these places, and neither has it done anything to relieve the pain of the victims."

Now Grassi is free on appeal, thanks in part to the church's report. Before he was convicted, he thanked Bergoglio for "never abandoning him."

Bishop Accountability co-director Anne Doyle says this shows Bergoglio was behind the curve in the Catholic church's global struggle to deal with sex abuse by its priests, which began in 2002 after thousands of cases became public in the United States and around the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

30,000 People Dissapeared in Argentina in the 1970s-80s, What Did Pope Francis Do to Help?

ARGENTINA
PolicyMic

Jeff Raines

Unfortunately, we live in a world where tragedy, death, and violence continue to hurt those around us. And when these events happen we are left wondering in what ways could we have done more, what we could have done better, and who we can blame for a lack of greater action. This time the target of blame is Pope Francis I, the 266th pontiff on the Catholic Church, and a man formerly known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina.

It is unfair to say Bergoglio did not do enough during a military regime so terrible that as many as 30,000 people disappeared or were killed during the "Dirty War." From 1976-1983, the military junta that controlled Argentina sponsored terrorist activities for fringe military groups in support of the regime. This led to those who openly disagreed with the regime, as well as those suspected of disagreement to be taken from their homes to never been seen again.

During this time period Bergoglio was the head of the Jesuit order in Argentina, and accusations about his actions revolve around events he could not control. The first of these is how the regime stolen the infants to place them in regime-supporting families. In 2010, he testified in a trial about these stolen babies that he only knew about the practices after the country returned to a democratic state. Instances in which Argentines did reach out to him for help about missing relatives he did give them a name of another Bishop that might have more information – but this by no means a contradiction or admission of knowing more of these heinous acts, he was just trying to supply what information he could.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Priest gets 31 years in jail for raping minor

INDIA
Business Standard

A priest was today handed down 31 years in jail by a fast track court for abducting and raping a minor girl in December last year.

Special Judge Vimlesh Tanwar awarded Sanjay Kherwar alias Shailender Puri 7 years in jail for kidnapping, 10 years for rape, 2 years for criminal intimidation, 2 years for cheating and 10 years under PCSAA, besides imposing a Rs 10,000 fine.

All the sentences would run concurrently.

Puri, who was living in a temple, had raped the Class XI student in Ugala village, prosecution said.

The girl was rescued with the arrest of Puri a few days later and he was booked under relevant sections of IPC and the Protection of Child from Sexual Assault Act (PCSAA).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Challenges to vision of a 'Poor Church for the Poor'

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L. Allen Jr. | Mar. 19, 2013

Rome --
Just in case anybody missed the key line from his homily during Tuesday's inaugural Mass, Pope Francis later made it his third tweet since taking office: "True power is service. The Pope must serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable."

The line builds on a consistent theme since Francis' election, memorably expressed during a meeting with journalists Saturday.

"How I would like a poor church for the poor," Francis said. It's a fitting sentiment for a pope who took his name from Francis of Assisi, a saint renowned for his love affair with Lady Poverty.

Now that the new pope has reached the end of his beginning, the focus will shift from style to substance, meaning the hard work of translating his promising start into the nuts and bolts of policy. With regard to fostering a "poor church for the poor," Francis will face at least four challenges right out of the gate.

1. The myth and reality of Vatican wealth

Given the magnificence of St. Peter's Basilica and the Apostolic Palace, the Vatican may seem a counterintuitive place to pursue the dream of a poor church. Some may expect the new pope to hold a fire sale in St. Peter's Square -- in a metaphorical sense following his namesake, Francis of Assisi, by stripping the place naked before starting anew.

Such a program is, in truth, easier to applaud than to accomplish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Installation Mass Homily of Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

For Immediate Release
3/19/13

Contact: Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) KristineWard@hotmail.com 937-272-0308

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) appreciates Pope Francis emphasis today on protection.

But the word must become kinetic to solve and eradicate the crisis of sexual abuse in the Church by priests and nuns.

It must have the energy of action behind it to truly protect children and give the survivors the protection of justice.

Given the gravity of this crisis to speak of protection and directly link the word to children in the inaugural homily holds out hope and not to act on these words would border on cruelty not on tenderness.

That means removals and resignations not only of predator priests and nuns but Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Curia and Chancery personnel who aided and abetted criminals and obstructed justice favoring the predator over the child. Criminally convicted Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph must be replaced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

New Report Raises Questions About Pope Francis' Response to Sex Abuse Scandal

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

Post by Sarah Posner

The Pew Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life is out with a new poll on American Catholics' views on the new pope: almost three-quarters of them are "happy" with the choice, Pew reports.

What should the new pope's priorities be, for American Catholics? According to Pew, a top priority is dealing with the sex abuse scandal:

Seven-in-ten Catholics say that addressing the sex abuse scandal should be “a top priority” for Francis. U.S. Catholics as a whole attach less importance to other possible priorities on the list. But among Catholics who say they attend Mass at least once a week, roughly equal numbers cite “standing up for traditional moral values” (65%) and “addressing the sex abuse scandal” (63%) as top priorities for the new pope. By contrast, among Catholics overall 49% say that standing up for traditional moral values should be “a top priority” for Pope Francis. Roughly four-in-ten Catholics or fewer think that spreading the Catholic faith (39%), addressing the priest shortage (36%) and reforming the Vatican bureaucracy (35%) should be top priorities for the new pope.

This news coincides with an extensive report in the Washington Post on Pope Francis' reaction (as Archbishop Bergoglio) to the sex abuse scandal in Argentina, which won't inspire much confidence or optimism about his possible global response to the scandal as pope:

Father Julio Cesar Grassi was a celebrity in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. The young, dynamic, ­media-savvy priest networked with wealthy Argentines to fund an array of schools, orphanages and job training programs for poor and abandoned youths, winning praise from Argentine politicians and his superior, Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Bergoglio OK'd slain priest sainthood cases

ARGENTINA
Albany Times Union

By MICHAEL WARREN, Associated Press

Updated 11:58 am, Tuesday, March 19, 2013

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Before he became Pope Francis, Argentina's Catholic leader took the first steps toward granting sainthood status to priests and other Catholics who were murdered in July 1976 as Argentina's dictatorship was killing thousands of so-called "subversives."

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed Tuesday that it was Jorge Bergoglio who approved the beatification cause of Carlos de Dios Murias, a Franciscan priest killed in Argentina's La Rioja province, where his mission had challenged the interests of powerful local leaders.

A fellow Franciscan priest, a Frenchman named Gabriel Longueville, was found alongside Murias. Both had their eyes gouged out and hands cut off, allegedly after being kidnapped by a military death squad. A Catholic lay worker who collaborated with them, Wenceslao Pedernera, was found beaten to death days later. The diocese of La Rioja province has been working on a sainthood case for all three since 2011.

Lombardi said that as leader of Argentina's bishops, Bergoglio also approved a sainthood investigation for five Pallotine churchmen killed at St. Patrick's Church in Buenos Aires. Fathers Alfredo Kelly, Alfredo Leaden and Pedro Dufau and their seminarians Salvador Berbeito and Emilio Barletti were shot to death by a right-wing hit squad. The killers left graffiti saying the deaths were in revenge for a leftist guerrilla bombing of a police station two days earlier that had killed 18 people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Hove court hears of ‘raucous’ party of sex assault accused priest

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

A former choirboy described a “sexually charged” party which he attended with a priest accused of assaulting him.

The man, who was a teenager in the 1980s, said he felt “singled out” by ex-priest, Father Keith Wilkie Denford, and church organist, Michael Mytton, who are both accused of sexually assaulting him and another boy.

Yesterday the alleged victim told jurors at Hove Crown Court that he worked as a waiter at a “raucous” dinner party organised by Denford, now of Broad Reach Mews, Shoreham, who at the time led the flock at John the Evangelist Church in Burgess Hill.

Previously the court was told that after the party the boy and his friend were given alcohol and Denford got in the bath with one of the youngsters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Regina lawyer tussles with Canada over legal fees for Residential Schools case

CANADA
CBC News

John Weidlich CBC News

Posted: Mar 19, 2013

Years after a settlement was reached to pay compensation to thousands of former students of Indian Residential Schools, the federal government continues to dispute the fees it should pay to one of the lead lawyers in the case: Regina's Tony Merchant.

The tussle over fees sought by the Merchant Law Group, some $20 million, was back before the courts in February with a decision published recently to an online legal database.

The decision, by Court of Appeal judge Gary Lane, outlines how federal officials have been trying to get documentation to support Merchant's request for payment.

Merchant was reluctant to release his files, to protect the lawyer-client relationship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Roache 'very sorry for offence caused' by sex abuse comments

UNITED KINGDOM
Breaking News (Ireland)

Coronation Street star Bill Roache today said he was “very sorry” over his controversial comments on the victims of paedophiles which seemed to suggest they were being punished for past sins.

Roache, 80, who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV soap for more than 50 years, had told New Zealand’s One News that the public should not be judgmental but be “totally forgiving” of people who have committed child sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

ARG - New pope helps convicted predator priest walk free, SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivirs Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on March 19, 2013

A convicted pedophile priest walks free now in Argentina thanks in part to Pope Francis’ intervention, according to today’s Washington Post.

We call on the new pontiff to:
--immediately put this child molesting cleric at a remote, secure, independent treatment and housing facility so kids will be safer and
--explain why he’s helping a proven predator avoid jail and live across the street from the charity where he assaulted at least three kids.

Today’s Post reports that “church officials, led by Bergolio, commissioned a lengthy private report arguing that Fr. Julio Cesar Grassi was innocent”(after he had been convicted in a criminal trial). And “prosecutors say the document has helped Grassi avoid jail time so far.” He continues to live “across the street from the classroom and dormitories of Happy Children,” the charity where he molested.

“Bergoglio was widely viewed as close to the young priest,” the Post report says.

The new pope has, through his actions, recklessly and callously helped a dangerous man avoid jail and remain around children. If he believes Fr. Grassi is innocent and the prosecutor, judge and Washington Post all have this wrong, Pope Francis owes his flock – in Argentina and worldwide – a serious explanation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Pastor says let God judge accusers

TEXAS
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

The pastor of a Texas Baptist megachurch, questioned about the handling of a staff member 24 years ago who was recently convicted of sex crimes in another state, noted in his Sunday sermon March 17 that Jesus didn’t answer his accusers during trials before religious and civil authorities 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem.

Former Southern Baptist Convention President Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, said the people bringing charges against Jesus weren’t really interested in the truth because they had already made up their minds that he was going to be crucified.

“What a testimony to all of us when we are accused,” Graham said, “when you are accused unjustly or falsely or slandered or lied about.”

“It’s always easy to want to strike back and speak the truth,” Graham said. “Peter would tell us later, like Jesus was reviled and forsaken, like a lamb, so should we in the spirit of Jesus never respond to slanders and lies and accusations, but rather in the spirit and the humility of Christ to be silent and let God be the judge.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Radikaler Neubeginn in Rom?

ROM
Publik-Forum

Wird Jorge Mario Bergoglio ein anderer Mensch? Der Argentinier auf dem Papststuhl orientiert sich am heiligen Franz von Assisi. Das ist ein hoher Anspruch. Er ist schwer einzulösen – mit der Vergangenheit im Gepäck

Wer sich als Papst Franziskus nennt, darf nicht herrschen – sofern er es ehrlich meint mit seiner Verehrung des heiligen Franz von Assisi. Das hat der Jesuitenkardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio verstanden, als er sich für einen Namen entschied, den bisher kein Papst zu wählen wagte. Wird doch Franziskus von Assisi (1182-1226) als der »zweite Christus« verehrt; so rein und lauter war sein Leben, so radikal wollte er dem armen und gewaltfreien Jesus von Nazareth entsprechen. Es könnte wie eine Blasphemie erscheinen, wenn diesem zweiten Christus jetzt ein päpstliches Gesicht gegeben wird. In den ersten Tagen seines Pontifikates macht der Papst seinem Namenspatron alle Ehre: Er verzichtet auf prunkvolle Gewänder und die eleganten roten Schuhe; nach dem ersten Sonntagsgottesdienst verabschiedet er sich per Handschlag von den Gläubigen; er segnet – franziskanisch als Freund der Tiere – einen Blindenhund; er lässt sich von den begeisterten Menschen umarmen. Der Papst liebt wie Franziskus die einfache Rede ohne intellektuelle Höhenflüge; er macht Scherze, redet frei, ohne gestanzte Formeln. Dem Volk nahe sein, die Herzen der einfachen Leute gewinnen, das ist sein Ziel. Denn er steht unter Druck. Er muss förmlich und vehement um Sympathie werben und das menschfreundliche Gesicht der römisch-katholischen Kirche zeigen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Vorwürfe weiter zurückgegangen

DEUTSCHLAND
Bistum Wurzburg

Professor Dr. Klaus Laubenthal, Ansprechpartner in der Diözese Würzburg für Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs, legt dritte Jahresbilanz vor – Erneut Abschaffung der Verjährung bei sexuellem Missbrauch von Kindern gefordert

Würzburg (POW) Die Zahl der Vorwürfe wegen sexueller Missbrauchshandlungen und Grenzüberschreitungen ist im zurückliegenden Jahr im Bistum Würzburg erneut zurückgegangen. Insgesamt wurden in der Zeit seit 20. März 2012 an Professor Dr. Klaus Laubenthal, Ansprechpartner in der Diözese Würzburg für Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs, neun Vorwürfe übermittelt. Im Jahr zuvor waren es insgesamt noch 14 Vorwürfe. „Die Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchsgeschehens halte ich im Bistum Würzburg für vorbildlich“, sagte Laubenthal am Dienstag, 19. März, in Würzburg. Die dritte Jahresbilanz seiner Tätigkeit übermittelte Laubenthal an Bischof Dr. Friedhelm Hofmann und Generalvikar Dr. Karl Hillenbrand.

Im zurückliegenden Jahr kamen die Mitteilungen an Laubenthal aus kirchlichen Kreisen oder von den betroffenen Personen selbst. Drei der neun Anschuldigungen bezogen sich auf Priester aus anderen Bistümern beziehungsweise auf die Tätigkeit Würzburger Diözesanpriester in anderen Diözesen. Ein Vorwurf stellte sich als physische Misshandlung dar. Von den fünf zu prüfenden Vorwürfen waren drei Priester betroffen – einer ist bereits gestorben –, ein Ordensmann sowie ein nebenamtlicher Mesner. Bei dem Vorwurf gegen den Mesner kam es schließlich zu einer strafgerichtlichen Verurteilung.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:23 AM

Care for others, care for creation… St. Francis redivivus!

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

March 19, 2013, 9:37 am

Posted by Michael Peppard

The words kept recycling. Care for others … care for creation … care for others … care for creation…

The homily of Pope Francis at his installation Mass this morning stunned me first into disbelief, then into self-reflection, then into joy and hope. Even if he had not already told us which namesake he chose, today there would be no doubt. This opening homily was St. Francis redivivus!

Building off the image of St. Joseph as a “protector,” through “unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand,” Pope Francis elaborated the vocation of the protector:

The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Boots, biscuits and the Prestonwood scandal

TEXAS
Stop Baptist Predators

In Texas, we’ve got a saying: “You can put your boots in the oven, but that don’t make ‘em biscuits.”

That’s what I keep wanting to tell officials at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, as I watch them trying to alter the reality of the clergy sex abuse cover-up scandal that’s engulfing them.

When Chris Tynes’ questions were deleted from Prestonwood’s Facebook page, he scheduled an appointment with one of the church’s ministers. As reported by WFAA News in Dallas, Tynes had “discovered that a former music minister admitted to sexual misconduct with young boys while at Prestonwood Baptist Church more than twenty years ago.”

“Sexual misconduct?” You can see from the get-go the sort of minimizing slant that reporter is going to take. We’re talking about a minister who committed sex crimes against children. Some of his crimes are detailed in this court document; they include the molestation, digital penetration, and oral rape of young boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Text of Pope Francis' homily

VATICAN CITY
CNN

Homily of the Holy Father at the Inauguration of his Papal Ministry

19 March 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.

I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps.

In the Gospel we heard that "Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife" (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: "Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ's upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ's Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model" (Redemptoris Custos, 1).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Simplicity and compassion front and center

VATICAN CITY
John Thavis

How does Pope Francis understand “papal power”?

He answered that question today with these words: “lowly, concrete and faithful service.”

At an inaugural Mass rich in traditional symbols of the papal office, attended by hundreds of secular and religious leaders from around the world, Pope Francis told the world that his role would be that of a protector – especially of “the poorest, the weakest, the least important.”

His words confirmed what has already become a new papal style, one that favors the common touch over formal ceremony, and humility over authority.

The pope’s day began with a long ride in an open jeep through St. Peter’s Square. What struck me was that the pontiff, smiling and giving a thumbs-up, seemed to be connecting with individuals in the crowd.

As I watched on a monitor from the ABC News platform, I saw the pope’s jeep suddenly stop. Francis got out of the vehicle, walked over to the barricades and kissed a disabled man. It was a brief moment in a long day, but one that will remain in people’s memory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

What Did Pope Francis Really Do During The “Dirty War”?

The Global Mail

By Nick Olle
March 19, 2013

On March 13, at a dinner with the cardinals who had just elected him as the new pontiff, Pope Francis quipped, “May God forgive you for what you have done.” When just two days later the Holy See publicly defended the pontiff — against accusations of complicity in human-rights abuses — men of lesser faith might have looked back at the Pope’s joke with suspicion.

No sooner had Pope Francis first appeared on the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica than whispers of his having had a shady past began circulating. As whispers tend to do, they multiplied and the story spread like wildfire around the globe. The Catholic Church has enough problems, people began to say, how could it fail so badly in its background checks?

Where had this story come from?

It dates back more than three decades to Argentina’s so-called “dirty war”; the 1976 to 1983 military dictatorship that killed an estimated 30,000 people. The most serious allegation against Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio (as Pope Francis was known until last week) is that in May 1976 he allowed the junta to abduct two Jesuit priests, Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics. According to Bergoglio’s chief accuser, Argentine journalist Horacio Verbitsky, he withdrew protection from the two men, effectively enabling the junta to kidnap and torture them.

Verbitsky’s claim is based on conversations with Fr Jalics, who was released along with Fr Yorio after five months in captivity. In a statement released by the German Jesuit order where Fr Jalics now works, he said: “Under the assumption that we also had something to do with the guerrillas we were arrested … I cannot comment on the role of Fr Bergoglio in these events.” He added that he was now “reconciled” with the events and wished Pope Francis well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Dublin priest says Pope criticism “unfair”

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mon, Mar 18, 2013

Joanne Hunt

An Irish priest who worked under Pope Francis in Argentina has said allegations that he did not do enough to help victims of the military junta were “unfair”.

The claims relate to 1976 when the then Fr Bergoglio was Jesuit provincial in Argentina and two priests were kidnapped by the military. Released after five months, it is alleged he did not do enough to help free them.

Fr John O’Connor, now parish priest of Shankill, worked in Buenos Aires from 1973 for 31 years. He says the new Pope, his superior at that time, was “wonderful at defending priests”.

Not yet a bishop at the time of the kidnappings, Fr O’Connor said of Fr Bergoglio: “Was there anything he could have done, number one, and what did he actually do? What he could have done is speak out and look for them and according to him, that’s what he did.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Has Pope Francis Been Soft on Priest Child Sex Abusers?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

How did reportedly 90 out of 115 Cardinals find a Cardinal like Pope Francis to clean up the child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church? Is he a mountain mover? After all, many, if not most, of these Cardinals actively condoned or passively acquiesced for decades in the Vatican’s worldwide cover-up of predatory priests.

It does not appear, however, that Pope Francis had earlier distinguised himself either as a senior Latin American bishop by condemning Fr. Maciel’s blatant abuses over many years, nor as a Jesuit has he seemingly to date clearly spoken out on the well reported extensive abuse of Native American children by some Jesuits.

The Washington Post has now reported that Pope Francis’ record in Buenos Aires on dealing with priests who abused children disappointlingly does not appear much different than many of his episcopal brethren who have been widely criticized. Please see, “Pope Francis Was Often Quiet On Argentine Sex Abuse Cases as Archbishop”, accessible at:

[Washington Post]

Pope Francis now has a unique, perhaps last, chance to try to redeem his record, and that of so many other Cardinals and Bishops worldwide. Catholics hope and pray he will, but Catholics need to be realistic and not assume Pope Francis will act, unless the Catholic hierarchy continues to be pressed hard by political leaders and government prosecutors to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Viewpoint: A proportionate view of the Magdalen laundries

IRELAND
Independent Catholic News

Last Friday night's God Slot on RTÉ radio broadcast an interview with two nuns who had worked in Magdalene homes. This was the first interview of its kind and the nuns granted it on condition of anonymity because they were scared of the backlash that would follow if their names became public. Clerical Whispers writes:

The nuns had main four main points:

The first was that Ireland during the era of the Magdalen homes was extremely poor and this must be taken into account when assessing the place of the laundries in Irish society.

The second was that women who fell outside society's norms were more harshly treated than men.

The third was that women ended up in the Magdalen homes for a variety of reasons, and the fourth was that the homes are being judged by a very anti-Catholic media.

So, how poor was Ireland in the middle part of the last century?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Two Victory Christian employees get jail time after pleading no contest to not reporting child abuse

TULSA (OK)
Tulsa World

By JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Published: 3/19/2013

Two of three Victory Christian Center employees who pleaded no contest to a charge of failing to report child abuse will spend time in jail.

Paul Howard Willemstein, Anna Alisa George and Harold Frank Sullivan entered the no-contest pleas on Monday. The three had waived their right to a jury trial last month.

Tulsa County Special Judge Bill Hiddle found each of them guilty of the misdemeanor charge.

Willemstein, 33, and George, 24, both assistant youth pastors at the 17,000-member Tulsa megachurch, were ordered to spend 30 days in jail, with the remainder of their one-year terms suspended. They were led from the courtroom in handcuffs by Tulsa County sheriff's deputies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

DATELINE ROME

UNITED STATES
Berger's Beat

March 18, 2013 Author: Jerry Berger
On the very day that Pope Francis is installed in Rome, a mere four subway stops away from St. Peter’s Square, at Cinema Barberini, the Rome opening of “Mea Maxima Culpa” will be held. It’s a documentary by Alex Gibney about hundreds of deaf boys from a Milwaukee Catholic school who seek justice against Catholic officials for the horrendous abuses they suffered at the hands of the now-deceased Fr. Lawrence Murphy. Gibney, who also did “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” (which was nominated in 2005 for Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature) and “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzerr” (short-listed in 2011 for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature) is in Rome for the debut and introduced our town’s David Clohessy of SNAP today at a news conference promoting the film.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Lessons from Ireland's sex abuse coverups

AUSTRALIA
ABC

[with audio]

It has been announced that the Australian royal commission into the handling of child sex abuse will hold its first public sitting in early April.

In the following weeks and months survivors of child sexual abuse will begin to tell their stories.

A similar series of inquiries rocked Ireland over the past decade.

To say the least the scope of the Australian commission is huge in comparison, ranging from government agencies, religious organisations and schools to foster care and sports clubs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Former Associate Pastor of West Suburban Community Church Charged With Sexual Assault

ILLINOIS
Patch

By Karen Chadra

March 18, 2013

The former associate pastor at West Suburban Community Church in Elmhurst was arrested Monday, March 18, and charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to a press release from Elmhurst police.

Darin L. Evans, 41, of 2481 Short St., Dover, Ohio, turned himself in to Elmhurst Police detectives Monday morning, the release states. He is scheduled to appear in DuPage County Court for a bond hearing on Tuesday, March 19.

Elmhurst Police detectives were notified last month of the abuse, which allegedly occurred between 2004 and 2006.

Jim Lennon, pastor West Suburban Church, 825 N. Van Auken, shocked his congregation Feb. 24 by reading a letter of confession from Evans that described a sexual relationship with an underage girl. As associate pastor of West Suburban, one of Evans' responsibilities was to oversee the youth ministry, Lennon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Former Elmhurst church pastor from Villa Park charged with aggravated sexual abuse

ILLINOIS
My Suburban Life

By ED MCMENAMIN - emcmenamin@shawmedia.com
Created: Monday, March 18, 2013

ELMHURST — A former Villa Park man who served as a pastor in Elmhurst is facing 11 counts of criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse after turning himself in to police.

Elmhurst police charged Darin L. Evans, 41, of Dover, Ohio, on Monday. Evans is a former associate pastor of West Suburban Community Church in Elmhurst.
In February, Elmhurst police detectives were notified of the alleged abuse that occurred between 2004 and 2006.

A senior pastor at the church had read a letter of confession from Evans to the congregation last month, according to media reports. Evans wrote the letter after the alleged victim told church leaders about Evan's alleged sexual conduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Former Elmhurst pastor charged with sexual abuse

ELMHURST (IL)
The Doings Oak Brook

Updated: March 18, 2013

ELMHURST — A former associate pastor at an Elmhurst church was arrested Monday and charged with criminal sexual assault and abuse.

Darin L. Evans, 41, of Dover, Ohio, was charged Monday with 11 counts of criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, Elmhurst police said in a news release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

March 18, 2013

Pope Francis may send Cardinal Bernard Law back to Boston

ROME/BOSTON (MA)
Chicago Sun-Times

BY MICHAEL SNEED msneed@suntimes.com March 18, 2013

Back to Boston?

Law’s flaw: Sneed hears rumbles that Cardinal Bernard Law, the most vilified American cardinal in the U.S. pedophile priest probe — who has been living in Rome since 2004 — may find himself doing penance publicly in Boston.

◆To wit: Sneed hears whispers that Law, who was forced to resign as archbishop of Boston in 2002 after it was revealed he was engaged in a clerical sexual abuse cover-up — and now lives in a fourth-century basilica in Rome — may be given a new job by a new pope.

◆The new job? Sneed is told Law may become a “vehicle for healing/public atonement” in the priest scandal, which has rocked the foundations of a church now led by Pope Francis.

◆Backshot: The Massachusetts attorney general declined to pursue cover-up charges against Law in 2003 — but Law’s move to the safety of Rome drew international criticism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 PM

Pope Francis was often quiet ...

ARGENTINA
Washington Post

Pope Francis was often quiet on Argentine sex abuse cases as archbishop

By Nick Miroff

Updated: Monday, March 18

HURLINGHAM, Argentina — Father Julio Cesar Grassi was a celebrity in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. The young, dynamic, media-savvy priest networked with wealthy Argentines to fund an array of schools, orphanages and job training programs for poor and abandoned youths, winning praise from Argentine politicians and his superior, Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

Grassi called his foundation Felices los Niños, “Happy Children.”

Today, Grassi is a convicted sex offender who remains free on a conditional release after being sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2009 for molesting a prepubescent boy in his care.

Yet in the years after Grassi’s conviction, Bergoglio — now Pope Francis — has declined to meet with the victim of the priest’s crimes or the victims of other predations by clergy under his leadership. He did not offer personal apologies or financial restitution, even in cases in which the crimes were denounced by other members of the church and the offending priests were sent to jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 PM

In 2012 interview, Cardinal Bergoglio says he favors keeping celibacy

ARGENTINA
Alateia

The formation of priests was one of Jorge Bergoglio's (now Pope Francis) constant concerns when he was Archbishop and Superior in the Society of Jesus. He had a conversation on the subject with Rabbi Abraham Skorka, rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary. This conversation appears in the book Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra (“On the Heavens and the Earth”) published in 2012 by the Sudamericana publishing company.

The following is an excerpt of that dialogue, in which then-Cardinal Bergoglio reveals the secret to living celibacy happily:

Bergoglio: When I was a seminarian, I was dazzled by a girl I met at an uncle's wedding. I was surprised by her beauty, her intellectual brilliance... and, well, I was bowled over for quite a while. I kept thinking and thinking about her. When I returned to the seminary after the wedding, I could not pray for over a week because when I tried to do so, the girl appeared in my head. I had to rethink what I was doing. I was still free because I was a seminarian, so I could have gone back home and that was it. I had to think about my choice again. I chose again – or let myself be chosen by – the religious path. It would be abnormal for this kind of thing not to happen.

When this happens, one has to get one’s bearings again. It’s a matter of one choosing again or saying, “No, what I'm feeling is very beautiful. I am afraid I won't be faithful to my commitment later on, so I'm leaving the seminary.” When something like this happens to a seminarian, I help him go in peace to be a good Christian and not a bad priest. In the Western Church to which I belong, priests cannot be married as in the Byzantine, Ukrainian, Russian or Greek Catholic Churches. In those Churches, the priests can be married, but the bishops have to be celibate. They are very good priests. Sometimes I joke with them and tell them that they have wives at home but they did not realize that they also got a mother-in-law as part of the bargain. In Western Catholicism, some organizations are pushing for more discussion about the issue. For now, the discipline of celibacy stands firm. Some say, with a certain pragmatism, that we are losing manpower. If, hypothetically, Western Catholicism were to review the issue of celibacy, I think it would do so for cultural reasons (as in the East), not so much as a universal option.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Polito's Take: On bended knee

BOSTON (MA)
My Fox Boston

Posted: Mar 18, 2013

(FOX25 / MyFoxBoston) Jim Polito, FOX 25 Commentator

As I write this blog, I am kneeling and praying that Cardinal Bernard Law will be banished to a cloistered monastery for the rest of his life. For those of you who don't know what cloistered means, a cloistered monastery is a humble existence, lots of silence, and no gourmet Italian meals. It's like being sent to your room by God.

Cardinal Law resigned as Archbishop of Boston in 2002, after being accused of covering up for pedophile priests. Despite the scandal, he returned to the Vatican and was appointed to an honorary position at the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. This added insult to injury for victims of clergy abuse.

Cardinal Law has retired, but he still lives in a luxury apartment in the cathedral complex. Last week, Pope Francis visited the cathedral. According to the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, Cardinal Law was in the cathedral to watch the Pope pray. But when Pope Francis recognized him, he immediately ordered that Law be removed. He went on to say, "He is not to come to this church anymore." The Vatican has since denied this report.

I hope the Italian newspaper is correct. Maybe there's a new approach by Pope Francis and the Vatican to pedophile priests and the church hierarchy who covered for them. Cardinal Bernard Law is just as guilty as any pedophile priest. He may not have touched a child, but he's done just as much evil. He should spend every day begging for forgiveness, praying for it, and living a monastic existence. Remember Cardinal, when you heard confessions and told people to go kneel in a pew and say 10 Hail Mary's and an Act of Contrition? Did you accept the sacrament of confession following your resignation?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Perceptive commentary: O'Grady, Douthat, Bottum, Allen, Erlandson

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler | March 18, 2013

The election of Pope Francis produced an explosion of media commentary, and I cannot pretend that I have read more than a small portion of the editorials that appeared immediately after the historic choice of a Pontiff from the New World. But in the past few a few commentaries have struck me as particular worthwhile:

•Mary Anastasia O’Grady, who covers Latin America for the Wall Street Journal, looks Behind the Campaign to Smear the Pope. Alert readers may have noticed that nearly all the stories about the alleged failure of Cardinal Bergoglio to oppose the military dictatorship in Argentina cite a single journalist: Horacio Verbitsky, a former member of the Montoneros guerillas who fought that regime, now a left-wing journalist. More balanced witnesses testify in the Pope’s favor. For example, 1980 Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel says that "there were bishops that were complicit with the dictatorship, but Bergoglio, no." One opponent of the regime reports that while she was in hiding, she “ate with Bergoglio.” The bitter opponents of the Pope, O’Grady reports, are “those trying to turn Argentina into the next Venezuela.”

•Ross Douthat of the New York Times wonders whether Pope Francis is What the Church Needs Now. The new Pope commands respect for his simplicity, humility, and integrity, Douthat writes. That is particularly important at a time when so many people have ceased to respect the beliefs that the Church teaches. Pope Francis insists that God wants something from us, in contrast to the popular culture that would “dismiss the idea that the divine could possibly want anything for us except for what we already want for ourselves.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Vatican Financial Oversight Director: 'Church Strengthens Position By Combating Money Laundering'

VATICAN CITY
Spiegel

René Brülhart, 40, has been the director of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority (FIA) for nearly half a year. The Swiss lawyer and former head of Liechtenstein's financial intelligence unit is on a mission to clear the Vatican Bank of all suspicions of money laundering and other illegal financial transactions.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Brülhart, are you partly responsible for Pope Benedict XVI's resignation?

Brülhart: That does not fall within my area of responsibility. Why do you ask?

SPIEGEL: The first resignation of a pope in centuries has sparked widespread speculation. For instance, there is conjecture that the pope had to resign because he pushed for more transparency at the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), commonly known as the Vatican Bank, and strove to clear it of all suspicions of money laundering. That is your job.

Brülhart: Let's allow conspiracy theories to simply remain conspiracy theories. Only the Holy Father emeritus knows the ultimate reasons for his resignation. It has nothing to do with my work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

State senators unveil child protection law overhaul

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS 21

Reported by: Kirk Wilson
Email: KirkWilson@cbs21.com
Contributor: Rachel Snody

The first comprehensive overhaul of the state's child protection laws, since Jerry Sandusky 's arrest and conviction, was unveiled on Monday. The sixteen bill package was introduced by a bipartisan group of state senators.

As the Jerry Sandusky saga went from rumor to arrest to conviction, flaws in the state laws became apparent. The General Assembly created a special task force on child protection to address the shortcomings.

The special task force met numerous times across the state last year taking testimony. In November, the group released a report and from those recommendations, came the legislation to implement them.

The proposals would update the definition of child abuse, clarify who must report child abuse, increase penalties for failure to report and establish a three-digit, statewide number for reporting child abuse.

Another provision would provide whistleblower protection, said Senator Bob Mensch. "I think we need to be able to remove these structures that allow someone with knowledge to be able to come forward, and be sure they're not going to have consequences. You can't always see the aftermath of child abuse, but when you see it happening such as coach McQueary, he should feel welcome to come forward and be able to report that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Deetman meldde belastende feiten bisschop Van Luyn niet

NEDERLAND
NRC

door Robert Chesal en Joep Dohmen

Wim Deetman heeft in zijn eindrapport over het kindermisbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk zijn opdrachtgever, bisschop Ad van Luyn, ontzien. Belastende feiten over de toenmalige hoogste kerkleider in Nederland werden niet vermeld, schrijft NRC Handelsblad vandaag. Andere negatieve informatie is slechts omfloerst weergegeven, met weglating van de naam van Van Luyn.

Van Luyn was tijdens het onderzoek van Deetman voorzitter van de bisschoppenconferentie. Hij zocht, volgens kerkelijke bronnen, persoonlijk Deetman aan om het onderzoek te doen en ondertekende ook de opdracht aan de commissie-Deetman. Deze rondde deze week zijn onderzoeksopdracht af met een tweede, aanvullend rapport over vrouwen en meisjes die mishandeld en misbruikt zijn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Pennsylvania Senate introduces 16-bill proposal to reform child protection laws

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot-News

By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com
on March 18, 2013

A bipartisan group of state senators on Monday unveiled a package of legislation that would reform Pennsylvania’s child protection laws.

The 16-bill package would provide a broad sweep of reform, including updating the definition of child abuse, perpetrator and mandatory reporter. The legislation would also update procedures used to report child abuse, including reporting guidelines for medical practitioners and school employees.

The proposed legislation would implement changes recommended by the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection, which was convened in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case.

Sen. Kim Ward (R-39), said the current laws addressing child abuse had been “in the books for a long time,” and that changing times called for an overhaul to the state law. She said the task force found the current law to be “vague, confusing and focused on perpetrators.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

A new pope doesn't mean we can rest

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on March 18, 2013

We’ve talked a lot since the election of Pope Francis about how he has an enormous duty to protect kids and help prevent future sex abuse. But just because there is a new Pope doesn’t mean we can give church officials who have previously covered up crimes against children any slack.

And that is why, regardless of Francis’ actions, our case at the ICC will proceed.

So far, in the year and a half since we first launched our case, we’ve learned that the crimes and cover ups are indeed current and global, and that victims across the world will step forward, if they believe that somehow their courage will result in greater safety for kids.

Knowing that this is the case, our attention now turns to those who work within the church itself. If some of those within the church who had information could come forward, this case could result in even more victims finding their voice and more crimes being exposed.

Whistleblowers play an important role, and especially with dealing with crimes in powerful institutions like the church. We will not stop seeking these whistleblowers just because Pope Benedict has stepped down. On the contrary, we will push harder for them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

SPEAK OUT? OR SHUT UP?

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on how two bicoastal newspapers are reporting on Pope Francis and the so-called Dirty War:

No sooner had Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio been elected Pope Francis when the Los Angeles Times started reporting on his alleged “timidity” in fighting Argentina’s dictatorship during the Dirty War, 1976 to 1983. The newspaper also cited the rap that he was “too quiet” during this period. Similarly, the New York Times is saying that the pope is being accused of “knowing about abuses and failing to do enough to stop them.” What is particularly striking about today’s front-page story on this issue—the pope “faces his own entanglement with the Dirty War”—is that it took four journalists in four different nations to work on it.

Anyone who thinks these newspapers want a more vocal Catholic Church would be wrong: it totally depends on the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Victory Christian Center employees appear in court on Monday

TULSA (OK)
Fox 23

Three people accused of failing to report child abuse at Victory Christian Center have court dates on Monday afternoon.

Anna George, Harold Sullivan and Paul Williemstein, all VCC employees, are accused of waiting weeks before reporting they received a complaint against a former employee, Chris Denman, involving an underage girl. In December, Denman pleaded guilty to sex crimes against three girls and was sentenced to 55 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Three Victory Christian Center employees due in court today

TULSA (OK)
Tulsa World

By JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Published: 3/18/2013

Three Victory Christian Center employees are due in court Monday afternoon after they waived their right to a jury trial last month.

Paul Howard Willemstein, Anna Alisa George and Harold Frank Sullivan are each charged with one count of failure to report child abuse. They have previously entered pleas of not guilty, but after waving the jury trial could change their plea and face sentencing Monday.

John and Charica Daugherty, son and daughter-in-law of Victory Christian Senior Pastor Sharon Daugherty, were also charged with one count each of failure to report child abuse. They are set for a jury trial sounding docket on May 10.

The maximum penalty for the misdemeanor charge is up to a year in jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

"Bergoglio is completely innocent," says Argentina's Supreme Court

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Today Bergoglio met with Argentina's President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner who stated: "Never in my life has a pope kissed me!"

Vatican Insider staff
Rome

Today, the President of the Argentine Supreme Court of Justice, Ricardi Lorenzetti said that pope Francis “is completely innocent” and was never suspected of being involved in violations of human rights committed during the military dictatorship (1976-83).

“Although some people disagree or claim that he may have done this or that, the fact remains that there is no concrete accusation” against former cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Lorenzetti said in a radio interview.

The President of the High Court stressed the need to respect the principle of innocence, even in Pope Francis’ case, adding that “this is a man who has never been convicted” of violations during the dictatorship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Sex assault trial date set for Priest

CANADA
Quinte News

A trial date has been set for a former Tyendinaga Township priest accused of sexual assault.

Father Rene Labelle was charged last year, following an alleged incident in the summer of 2004.

Labelle will be in front of a Kingston judge March 27th.

Labelle was the former pastor of Saint Charles Borromeo Church in Read, in the late 80′s and early 90′s and also served as a chaplain in Kingston at Holy Cross Secondary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Pope Francis, ex-Pope Ratzinger and President Obama

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Pope Francis will soon meet with the ex-Pope, but not with President Obama who is skipping the papal installation. Is Francis even willing to have the ex-Pope as his next door neighbor at the Vatican and to continue to rely jointly on his closest aide, Georg Ganswein? Is Francis planning to continue the ex-Pope’s anti-contraception insurance crusade to undercut President Obama’s health insurance plan that mainly helps the poor?

As to ex-Pope Ratzinger, it is difficult to see how Francis would be helped by having the ex-Pope living so close. If the ex-Pope stayed at Castel Gondolfo, he would have the same legal immunity claim under the Lateran Treaty and comfortable quarters. Francis could call him or even see him at any time, without the image of the old boss hanging around. For similar reasons, continuing with Georg as a daily assistant to both of them raises related issues.

The obvious split reportedly among Vatican Cardinals about Ratzinger’s evident preferred candidate, Cardinal Scola, suggests strongly that Ratzinger’s presence at the Vatican would be more negative than positive. The secret Vatican dossier reportedly on sexual and financial scandals similarly will likely suggest that Ratzinger’s daily presence would only be a reminder of a saga Francis will be trying hard to get behind him promptly. Two Popes are one too many!

The reported large margin of votes that Francis received at the recent papal election Conclave, compared to Ratzinger’s presumably favored candidate, make clear that Francis does not need Ratzinger holding his hand to establish Francis’ legitimacy and authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Horror of Horrors: OC's Two Worst Pedophile Priests Were Pals

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano
Mon., Mar. 18 2013

We have long covered the destruction wrought by Eleuterio Ramos, the worst-ever pedophile priest in the history of the Diocese of Orange. But we've only occasionally discussed the second-worst: Siegfried Widera, who molested at least nine children and most likely many more.

And now, a horrifying prospect has emerged: Widera and Ramos probably molested together, or at the very least coordinated, because not only did they know of each other, but they were good friends.

I first became aware of this in a comment left on my latest exposé of former Bishop Tod D. Brown, left by an eyewitness who saw this between 1982 and 1984.

"They used to sit with my friends' grandparents that ran the sausage booth and get drunk," at St. Justin Martyr in Anaheim, according to the commenter. "Even after Widera 'was removed' from St. Justin, he still was there for special events and shit just to rape kids after school. No one stopped Widera from abusing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

Suchen weitere Betroffene von Übergriffen im Cecilienstift

DEUTSCHLAD
netzwerkB

Suchen weitere Betroffene von Übergriffen im Cecilienstift, Bad Lippspringe (1960-1980)

Auf diesem Wege suchen wir andere ehemalige Heim- und Verschickungskinder, die damals im Cecilienstift in Bad Lippspringe untergebracht waren und dort, wie wir, sexuelle Übergriffe und/oder Gewalt erlebt haben.

Wir, zwei Betroffene (Kirsten, 49, und Bernd, 56), haben durch einen Aufruf im Email-Verteiler von Frau Michaela Huber und dank der Aufmerksamkeit einer Dame vom Frauennotruf Lübeck, vor Kurzem Kontakt miteinander aufnehmen können. Wir empfinden den Austausch über das Erlebte als entlastend und bereichernd.Unsere Email-Adressen / Telefonnummern könnt Ihr über das netzwerkB erfahren unter: info@netzwerkb.org

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Ermittlungsbemühungen der Staatsanwaltschaft Bonn

DEUTSCHLAND
Jesuiten ICAC

Den folgenden Kommentar von Herrn Wenzel zur Staatsanwaltschaft Bonn möchten wir als neuen Beitrag zur Verfügung stellen. Nach unseren Informationen sind sämtliche Ermittlungen wegen unterschiedlichster Sachverhalte (Besitz/Weitergabe Kinderpornografie, sexueller Missbrauch Schutzbefohlener, Verleumdung, Betrug, …) mit Bezug zum Aloisiuskolleg von ein und derselben Staatsanwältin durchgeführt und dann eingestellt worden oder ohne Ergebnis geblieben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

Vic pedophile priest could be out by June

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The victims of one of Australia's worst pedophiles - defrocked Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale - want him to appear before the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

It's believed Risdale, who was sentenced to a maximum of 25 years, but could be released on parole as early as June, molested at least 40 children over three decades.

The Herald Sun says he is being urged to reveal how the church helped cover up his illegal activities before the royal commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

"If he started to talk about what he knew, the Catholic church house of cards would come tumbling down," victim Stephen Woods said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Pope Francis pledged to fight for priest kidnapped by junta, 1976 letter reveals

GERMANY
Telegraph

Pope Francis pledged to fight for the release of a Jesuit priest kidnapped by Argentina's military junta, according to a letter from 1976 which has been disclosed to a German newspaper.

By Jeevan Vasagar, Berlin
1:34PM GMT 18 Mar 2013

The Vatican has fought back against allegations that the new Pope, while a senior Jesuit priest in Argentina, was complicit in the kidnapping and torture of two colleagues, Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics, during the country's "Dirty War".

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was elected the first Latin American pope last Wednesday, is accused of withdrawing the church's protection from the two men.

It has now emerged that Bergoglio wrote a letter to Father Jalics' brother, in which he admitted that the two men had disagreements. However, he insisted that he "loved" Fr Jalics.

An extract from the letter said: "I have lobbied the government many times for your brother's release. So far we have had no success. But I have not lost hope that your brother will soon be released."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Ridsdale may reveal abuses

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Editorial
From:Herald Sun
March 18, 2013

ONE of Australia's worst child predators may become one of the most important witnesses at the royal commission into sex abuse.

According to his victims, Gerald Ridsdale could reveal details of a network of child abusers within the priesthood that did not come out at his trials.

As reported in today's Herald Sun, Ridsdale was sentenced to a maximum of 25 years, but could be released on parole as early as June.

The now defrocked priest molested at least 40 children over three decades and may be able to provide evidence concerning other predators.

Witnesses have told how Ridsdale, who once shared a house with other priests, including the now Cardinal George Pell, was moved to other parishes when his crimes became known.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Calls for paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale to face child sex abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Carly Crawford
From:Herald Sun
March 18, 2013

ONE of Australia's worst paedophiles - Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale - could be freed in months.

And he is being urged to reveal how the church helped cover up his illegal activities.

The child sex offender, who molested at least 40 children over three decades, is eligible for parole in June.

His victims say he should give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

"If he started to talk about what he knew, the Catholic Church house of cards would come tumbling down," victim Stephen Woods said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Francis preaches mercy, forgiveness on first papal Sunday

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by Dennis Coday,Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 17, 2013

Vatican City --
About 300,000 people enthusiastically greeted Pope Francis for his first Angelus prayer and address Sunday and heard a short reflection on mercy, a theme the new pope had preached on at the Mass he celebrated that morning in the parish church of Vatican City dedicated to St. Anne.

When he appeared at the window of his study in the apostolic palace, he showed again a knack for engaging his audience. He greeted the crowd with a simple, “Buongiorno,” [good day], and the people in the square roared back, “Buongiorno.”

The pope also surprised some observers by mentioning in his address retired German Cardinal Walter Kasper, a theologian and former Vatican official known for his sometimes public disagreements with Pope Benedict XVI. ...

About halfway through his Angelus address, Francis mentioned he had been reading a book about mercy by Kasper, a retired prelate who has previously served as secretary and president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Previous to working in the Vatican, Kasper had received public disapproval from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1993, when Kasper was serving as bishop of the German diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart.

As head of the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger expressed his disapproval over a letter Kasper had signed along with other German bishops allowing divorced and remarried Catholics access to the sacraments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Boston archdiocesan pay hits cathedral heights

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Catholic Insider

The Boston Herald on Friday ran an article about the excessive pay for Boston Archdiocesan lay execs. Coincidentally, on Saturday, Pope Francis said he wanted to see the church be poor, and for the poor.

At the rate the Boston Archdiocese is paying salaries, giving pay increases to the already overpaid execs and running up debt, we are well on the path to being poor–but for reasons much different than Pope Francis apparently intends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Archdiocesan execs pull in top salaries

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By
Matt Stout / Boston Herald

Nearly one-third of the Archdiocese of Boston’s top execs ranked among the highest paid people in their field, according to a compensation study that prompted church officials to take a hard look at many of their six-figure salaries — and withhold some merit-based raises.

The study, performed by a third-party firm at the archdiocese’s request and released with its 2012 financial report, is the first in the archdiocese’s history, according to church officials, examining how their pay stacks up to nine comparable archdioceses, other Catholic organizations and a mixture of nonprofit and for-profit groups.

It found that five of the 16 lay executives making more than $150,000 are paid above the 75th percentile when compared to those in similar jobs, while six more make between the 50th and 75th percentiles.

The five remaining have “attributes that are unique to our archdiocese,” officials wrote in their financial report, adding that they are “paid comparably” to those with similar levels of responsibility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Donabate supports Fr Tony…

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

St. Patrick’s Parish
Parochial House
Donabate
County Dublin.

Telphone: 01-8436011
Parish Office: 01-8434574
Email: stpatricksrcdonabate@gmail.com
www.donabateparish.ie

11 March 2013.

Dear Father Tony,
We are the members of the Pastoral Council of the parish of Donabate, Portrane and Balheary, Co Dublin, and we write concerning the position in which you find yourself following interventions of the CDF in recent times. We have read your statements in response to these interventions with sadness, disappointment, and bewilderment.

We are sad that a priest who, in the spirit of your Congregation’s Founder, has given almost four decades’ exemplary and tireless service to the Gospel and our Church should have had his ministry terminated in this way.

We are disappointed that the CDF conceives its responsibilities to the Gospel and our Catholic faith as properly discharged through the medium of correspondence of the content and manner of their communications with you. The invocation of law and sanctions, and the peremptory tone of the Congregation’s demands, evoke the ways of a secular boardroom or other such governing entity, and we can only say that we should have expected better from those in authority in an institution whose Founder was Jesus Christ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

What makes Pope Francis tick: read his Pastoral Letter for the Year of Faith

ARGENTINA
Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland)

Paul O’Connor OSA in Ecuador provides a translation of the then Cardinal Bergoglio’s pastoral letter for the Year of Faith, published in Buneos Aires last October. Recognising the whole article may be hard reading for some, he suggests they might slip to the section headed ‘Crossing the Threshold of Faith‘, where Padre Jorje tells what faith means to him.

Pastoral Letter from Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Octubre de 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Among the most striking experiences of the last decades is finding doors closed. Little by little increasing insecurity has made us bolt doors, employ means of vigilance, install security cameras and mistrust strangers who call at our door.

None the less in some places there are doors that are still open. The closed door is really a symbol of our today. It is something more than a simple sociological fact; it is an existential reality that is imposing itself as a way of life, a way of confronting reality, others and the future.

The bolted door of my house, the place of my intimate life, my dreams, hopes, sufferings and moments of happiness, is locked against others. And it is not simply a matter of the physical house; it is also the whole area of my life, of my heart. All the time there are fewer who can cross that threshold. The security of reinforced doors protects the insecurity of a life which is becoming more fragile and less open to the riches of the life and the love of others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

CDF’s secretive behaviour is a disgrace to the Church

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Mary Cunningham outlines the CDF’s controlling role in the silencing of Fr Sean Fagan, undermining Archbishop Charles Brown’s recent assertion that such actions are a matter for a religious priest’s superior

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Silencing: The Truth Obscured.

Archbishop Brown stated on RTE’s Drive Time programme (15/03/13), that the while the CDF could become involved in silencing issues, they have no reason to do so because it is a matter for the priest’s immediate superior.

Why then is the procedure carried out as follows?
◦Writings of a priest are denounced, often anonymously, to the CDF.
◦The CDF appoints an anonymous consulter to investigate.
◦The head of the order is commanded to appear before the CDF and renunciation of the accused’s work is demanded.
◦On non-compliance, the superior is ordered to impose sanctions on the accused, ranging from censoring of their work, to threats of the removal of their rights to exercise priestly faculties.

In the particular case of Sean Fagan, a letter signed by the then prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Ratzinger, was sent to the Archbishop Brady in 2004. In it he demanded, after referring to asking for four years, that ‘Your Grace publish a ‘Notification’ on Fr. Fagan’s book ‘Does Morality Change?’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Scola betrayed by the Italians from the very first vote

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The tide was turned by old grudges and the bond with the CL movement

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

Already on Tuesday it looked as though things could get complicated for the cardinals’ top favourite, Scola. A few moments after the extra omnes and the meditation in the Sistine Chapel, Bergoglio surprisingly and very suddenly obtained the largest number of votes. At the first ballot, however, the votes were too scattered for cardinals to get a truly indicative picture. Still, it was a warning sign to the Archbishop of Milan, who was credited with such chances of victory yesterday, that just minutes from the Proto-Deacon’s announcement, an unfortunate statement by the Secretary General of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) expressed "the feelings of the entire Italian Church in welcoming the news of the election of Cardinal Angelo Scola as the successor of Peter."

Scola's path to the Holy Throne was blocked by the confluence of two alliances and of two distinctly different evaluation systems: the non-European one (South America in particular), on the one hand, planned on bringing the papacy out of the old continent for the first time. On the other hand, there was the Curia group led by the nemesis-allegiance of Bertone and Sodano, who are inexorably hostile to Scola. The reason, according to certain voices in the Holy See, are a series of "ancient envies and rivalries”. Bertone has never forgotten the advice that Scola gave to the Pope during a meeting in Castel Gandolfo during the upheaval over the pardon granted to Holocaust-denier Bishop Williamson: his replacement at the helm of the Secretariat of State. Sodano, on the other hand, found himself on opposing sides from Scola in various power struggles for the control of Catholic institutions. Ruini himself, while esteeming Scola, gave no indications to vote in his favour to the conclavists, like the Australian Pell, who asked to visit him before the Conclave. In short, the 28 Italian voters did not all row in the same direction and so they dashed their chances of installing one of their compatriots to Peter's Throne 35 years after Luciani.

Not even among the residential Italian archbishops was there a complete consensus for Scola, and therefore the votes that many European voters cast in his favour no longer sufficed. Furthermore, the conclavists near the community of Sant'Egidio (Sepe, for example) could not look kindly upon Scola's involvement in a movement so different from theirs as the Communion and Liberation (CL) one. In the last few hours there were signs that Scola's strong candidacy was a giant with clay feet. In other words, everybody recognized his exceptional stature as a Bishop and intellectual, but then, digging a little deeper, beyond the circumstancial phrases, separations and reserves began to crop up. Most of all, the idea of an "overseas flight" became more prevalent, which was undermining the opportunity to fall back on a Italian pontificate, as most of the Church's growth is in South America, Africa, and Asia. "There cannot always be a shepherd upstream with a flock downstream", summarized an African cardinal in the congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

A Papacy’s First Steps: Where Will They Lead?

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

March 18, 2013

We hope Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin had some good St. Patrick Day’s inside tracking information stronger than wishful thinking and style changes to back up his Sunday declaration that Pope Francis will “clearly address” the issue of sexual abuse.

Cardinal Bernard Law’s presence at St. Mary Major Basilica during Pope Francis’s first public outing after the conclave is troubling to say the least.

It’s hard to imagine that Law’s baggage wasn’t known to the Argentinian who is now Pope. A Pope, it appears in these early days, for whom style may be a conveyance of substance.

Law’s presence in the Basilica and the new pontiff’s greeting of him was an insult of hippopotamus proportions particularly for one conscious of what appearance can convey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

In the Vatican, The Pope of Chaos

UNITED STATES
Whispers in the Loggia

Notice something different there?

(Hint: No Cufflink.)

Normally, a detail of the sort would would be seen as frivolous. In the modern papacy, though, symbolism is substance – and in these first days of a new "Franciscan Rule," so it seems, the world is eating up every last bit.

On another dress-note, meanwhile, much as the new Pope's sticking with his black shoes has caused a stir, his reluctance to change too much extends under the white cassock, to boot: the Argentine pontiff's preferences don't just make his wearing black pants visible through the garment, but likewise highlight the untucked tails of his white dress-shirt.

In other words, the lack of fuss isn't just a show for the world. But having declined the Archbishop's Residence in Buenos Aires for a flat where he did his own cooking, and riding around the city on buses and subways without an entourage, that was fairly well-established.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

With new pope, hopes for ecumenical springtime

VATICAN CITY
John Thavis

Pope Francis’ first few days have already generated an abundance of hope on many fronts, and one of them is ecumenism.

The fact that the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, is attending the pope’s inaugural Mass tomorrow is rightly seen as a milestone in Catholic-Orthodox relations. That hasn’t happened since Catholics and Orthodox split in 1054.

Of course, Pope Francis does not yet have a “record” on relations with other Christian churches. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, however, he dropped some clues.

According to Bishop Gregory Venables, the Anglican bishop of Argentina, then-Cardinal Bergoglio was apparently not enthusiastic about Pope Benedict’s move in 2011 to create a structure in the Catholic Church to welcome disaffected Anglicans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

South African cardinal apologizes for remarks on pedophilia

SOUTH AFRICA
Inquirer

JOHANNESBURG—A South African cardinal apologized to sex abuse victims on Monday for describing pedophilia as an illness and not a crime in an interview.

“I apologize to victims of child abuse offended by my misstatement of what was and still is my concern about all abused, including abused abuser,” Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, the Archbishop of Durban, said on Twitter after his interview Saturday to the BBC.

“I believe that every dictionary consulted confirms pedophilia is a medical condition. What is a crime is the sexual abuse of children,” he said.

“Therefore pedophilia must be treated. What must be punished is the crime of sexual abuse of children,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Cardinal clears up paedophilia stance

SOUTH AFRICA
The Post

March 18 2013
By Mercury Reporters

Durban - The sexual abuse of children was a horrendous crime against children, families, the church and society and needed to be dealt with by the law, South Africa’s cardinal, Wilfrid Napier, 72, said on Sunday night.

In a statement on e.tv news the cardinal, who is the Archbishop of Durban, clarified remarks he made in a BBC Radio 5 Live interview at the weekend.

He had come in for a global hammering for saying paedophilia was a mental disorder and not a crime.

The cardinal said he “at least twice” told the interviewer Stephen Nolan that he was not qualified to explain paedophilia.

“I was afforded no time to explain that the priority of pastoral concern must always be for the victim,” he said on Sunday night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Not That Anyone is Asking, but Hans Küng Approves of Pope Francis’s Election

UNITED STATES
Why I Am Catholic

March 17, 2013 By Frank Weathers

Sure, Fr. Hans Küng believes in the dubious problem of overpopulation, and that the birth control pill is the best thing since sliced bread, etc. But still, you probably didn’t see this tacit endorsement coming.

For such a conservative group of middle-aged and elderly men, the Princes of the Church do seem to have a few surprises up the sleeves of their vestments. The 115 cardinals sequestered themselves in the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday, and emerged on Wednesday with tidings of a new Pope – and not one very many people expected.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected Pontiff and rechristened himself Pope Francis, signifying his humility and support for the poor and oppressed. He’s the first Jesuit to be made pope, and the first non-European in twelve hundred years to become heir to St. Peter.

Last week, Michael Enright interviewed the preeminent Catholic theologian, Hans Küng, about the crisis in the Catholic Church and the need for reform and liberalization (click here to read).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

American nuns struggle with Vatican for change

UNITED STATES
CBS News

The following is a script from "American Nuns" which aired on March 17, 2013. Bob Simon is the correspondent. Andrew Metz and Tanya Simon, producers.

When Pope Francis became the leader of the Catholic Church on Wednesday, people around the world were asking: what happens now? Can he restore confidence to a church struggling amid scandal to keeps its flock?

To understand just how troubled the church he's inheriting is, look no further than the power struggle going on between the Vatican and some of its most popular disciples: American nuns.

The Vatican launched what some Catholics call a "new Inquisition" when it accused the official group that represents most nuns in the United States of undermining the Church.

The crackdown last year on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious has sparked outrage -- creating yet another rift between those who want the Church to reform, and those who do not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Professor Reflects On Recognition Of Irish Magdalene Laundries Crimes

BOSTON (MA)
The Heights

By Jennifer Heine
Heights Staff

Published: Monday, March 18, 2013

Although last month’s McAleese Report detailing the abuses of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundry workhouse system and the government’s subsequent apology stunned and dismayed many at Boston College, especially given the school’s Irish Catholic heritage, it proved particularly meaningful to professor James Smith, who, through extensive research and advocacy on the subject, played a vital role in bringing the scandal to light.

Although the Magdalene Laundries, in operation from the 18th until the 20th century, have today come to be associated with the most infamous Irish examples, they were not specific to Ireland, according to Smith. “There was one here in Boston,” he said. “The laundries were not a specifically Irish institution, or even specifically Catholic.”

“Originally, the mission of these institutions was rehabilitative,” he said. “That mission, certainly in the Irish context, seems to have become skewed. They became incarcerative institutions, in which women were incarcerated and worked for no pay.”

That new mission reflects the perception the entrants into the Magdalene Laundries began to take on. “In the Irish context, these were women who, for a variety of reasons, were deemed problem women,” Smith said. “Historically, they were considered, in quotations, ‘fallen women.’” This term, used in the 18th and 19th centuries as a euphemism for prostitution, lent a sense of shame and sexual degradation to the women who were committed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Bishops’ body condemns all sexual abuse

SOUTH AFRICA
Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) has condemned sexual abuse on all levels, responding to controversial comments by Catholic Archbishop of Durban Wilfrid Napier on paedophilia.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 on Friday, Napier described paedophilia as a psychological illness and not a criminal condition.

He then said paedophiles that were abused as children do not deserve to be punished because they themselves are "damaged".

While the conference said it had not yet heard or read a transcript of the interview, and therefore could not react, it released a statement, saying it believes paedophilia is a crime and said perpetrators must face the legal system.

“Paedophilia is de facto a criminal offence and we will comply with the legal requirements when such cases come to our attention. Perpetrators must take responsibility for their actions.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

March 17, 2013

Starting a Papacy, Amid Echoes of a ‘Dirty War’

ARGENTINA
The New York Times

By SIMON ROMERO and WILLIAM NEUMAN

Published: March 17, 2013

BUENOS AIRES — One Argentine priest is on trial in Tucumán Province on charges of working closely with torturers in a secret jail during the so-called Dirty War, urging prisoners to hand over information. Another priest was accused of taking a newborn from his mother, one of the many baby thefts from female prisoners who were “disappeared” into a system of clandestine prisons.

The Rev. Christian von Wernich, a former police chaplain, was convicted of complicity in the killing of political prisoners.

Another clergy member offered biblical justification for the military’s death flights, according to an account by one of the pilots anguished about dumping drugged prisoners out of aircraft and into the sea.

As he starts his papacy, Francis, until this month Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, faces his own entanglement with the Dirty War, which unfolded from 1976 to 1983. As the leader of Argentina’s Jesuits for part of that time, he has repeatedly had to dispute claims that he allowed the kidnapping of two priests in his order in 1976, accusations the Vatican is calling a defamation campaign.

Now his election as pope is focusing scrutiny on his role as the most prominent leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Argentina, an institution that remains under withering criticism for its role in failing to publicly resist — and in various instances actively supporting — the military dictatorship during a period when as many as 30,000 people are thought to have been killed or disappeared.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 PM

Victims Seek Church Whistleblowers

ROME
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on March 17, 2013

Victims seek church whistleblowers
Their case against Vatican in world court is still pending
Top church officials are accused of “crimes v. humanity”
SNAP: "Current & former Catholic employees MUST speak up"
“Pope can’t fix crisis alone, every one in church needs to act,” victims say

WHAT:
Holding signs and childhood photos at a news conference, a child sex abuse victim and advocate will
---call on current and former Catholic employees to “break their silence” and tell law enforcement officials what they know and suspect regarding child sex crimes and cover ups in the church, and
---discuss an unprecedented and still-pending case in the International Criminal Court against top Vatican officials for “crimes against humanity.”

WHEN:
Monday, March 18 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE:
Orange Hotel, 86 Via Crescenzio 00193, Roma +39.06.6868969

WHO:
A child sex abuse victim from the US, who is a leader of the US-based international support group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). Three of his brothers were also molested by the same priest. One of his brothers went on to become a priest and molest children.

WHY
An international support group for victims of clergy abuse is calling on church officials with knowledge or suspicions of child sex crimes and cover-ups in the church to “break their silence, call outside sources and help protect kids.”

Leaders of SNAP are calling on current or former Italian Catholic employees – particularly who work or have worked in the Vatican – to “share what they know or believe about church corruption and complicity – however old or slight or seemingly insignificant it may seem – with outside sources, especially law enforcement, watchdog NGOs and governmental inquiries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Community briefs on Sexual Abuse Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

March 18, 2013 by J-Wire Staff

The Executive Director of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Peter Wertheim and Immediate Past President, Robert Goot, have met with the Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Chair Justice Peter McClellan, briefed Wertheim and Goot about the way the Commission will operate, the resources available to it and time estimates for completing various phases of the Inquiry.

“The Chairman made it clear that religious communities and religious schools will not be the exclusive focus of the Inquiry, but they will necessarily be included in the spread of institutions covered”, Wertheim said.

“Some other key points to emerge from the briefing:
•The first sitting of the Royal Commission is scheduled for 3 April in Sydney.
•There will be both public hearings and private sessions with 1 or 2 Commissioners. 
The private sessions are for people with information who do not want for any reason 
to give evidence at a public hearing.
•Information from private sessions will not be evidence or the foundation for any 
finding. However, such information might result in a referral to the Police or be used to guide further investigations of institutions or individuals. Such institutions or individuals will be notified beforehand of any potentially adverse information against them and will be accorded procedural fairness.
•There will be no findings of abuse per se, only findings about institutional and cultural failures in preventing and dealing with abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Pope Francis's critics in Argentina say document suggests he betrayed priests

ARGENTINA
The Guardian (UK)

Lizzy Davies in Rome and Jonathan Watts in Buenos Aires
The Guardian, Sunday 17 March 2013

Pope Francis has delivered his first Sunday prayer to a cheering, laughing crowd of about 300,000 people in St Peter's Square, amid hopes that his down-to-earth style will usher in a change in the Vatican.

But while many in Rome were looking forward, accusers in his native Argentina continued to raise awkward questions about the past and reproduced a document suggesting the Jesuit may have betrayed two of his priests to the murderous military dictatorship in the 1970s.

The sharply different perspectives have dogged the early days of the new leader of the Catholic church, who will be officially installed at an inaugural mass on Tuesday.

His capacity to rouse affection and optimism were in evidence as he mixed cheery greetings with humour and anecdotes at his inaugural Angelus.

Speaking in Italian rather than Latin, he joked with the crowd and ended by saying: "Have a good Sunday and a good lunch!" Pilgrims, many from Latin America, roared their approval. ...

However, his critics in Argentina were unwilling to move on so quickly. The pope continues to be haunted by allegations dating back to the dictatorship era, when the Catholic church colluded with the generals to quell what they saw as a Marxist threat.

The Argentinian newspaper Pagina 12 republished old documents on Sunday that suggest Jorge Bergoglio, as the pope was known until last week, was in contact with the military authorities about the insubordination of two of his priests and rumours that they had contact with leftwing guerrilla groups.

Father Orlando Yorio and Father Francisco Jalics were tortured and kept in a concentration camp for nearly six months in 1976, after they refused Bergoglio's order to leave the slum where they were working. In that era, any priest who focused on the poor districts was under suspicion of collaborating with Marxist groups.

A foreign ministry memo from 1979 seems to suggest Bergoglio had passed on suspicions to the authorities, and connived behind the backs of the priests.

The typed note contains bullet points that explain why Jalics was denied a passport renewal application. He had fled to Germany following his release, and asked Bergoglio's help to get a travel document.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT

ROME
Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs LA

After Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement, all of us turned to prayer, and especially, through the Holy Spiri,t to guide us.

With 1.2 billion Catholics world-wide, and being one of 115 to elect the new Pope, I was deeply humbled--and terrified. My prayers to the Holy Spirit began, and were constant.

I know how many millions of fellow Catholics were praying across the world that the Holy Spirit point us to the best one to lead our Church forward.

When we eventually arrived at the Sistine Chapel on March 12, I was still pondering two or three candidates. However, when the first blank ballot was given to us, and when it was time to write down a name, something powerful--and strange--happened.

I picked up my pen to write, and I began. However, my hand was being moved by some greater spiritual force. The name on the ballot just happened. I had not yet narrowed my thinking down to one name; but it was done for me.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Path to the papacy: 'Not him, not him, therefore him'

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

by John L. Allen Jr. | Mar. 17, 2013

Rome --
Two days before the conclave opened to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI on March 12, Cardinal Philippe of Lyon, France, candidly confessed to reporters gathered outside his titular church in Rome that the voters didn’t have their act together.

“There are three, four, maybe a dozen candidates,” Barbarin said, leaving observers with the impression of a crowded field lacking a clear front-runner, and perhaps a long and difficult election ahead.

As things turned out, Barbarin needn’t have worried.

It took the cardinals just five ballots to settle on Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as the next pope, despite the fact that most them said afterwards they hadn’t gone in thinking of him as the obvious choice to be their next boss. Bergoglio had been the runner-up eight years ago, but most cardinals said this time they wanted an “energetic” pope, and a 76-year-old with one lung didn’t seem the most obvious candidate.

Trying to make sense of the result for themselves, cardinals who spoke to NCR on background in the days after the conclave said that what turned this longshot into a consensus candidate was the intersection of three basic forces:

.. • A strong anti-establishment mood, which expressed itself as an informal veto against any Italian candidate and any candidate out of the Roman Curia;
• A desire to elect a pope who could put a face on the burgeoning Catholic footprint in the developing world, which in practice meant the hunt was on for a Latin American;
• A process of elimination inside the conclave that one cardinal described this way: “Not him, not him, and not him, therefore him.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Pope Francis's family 'fled Italy to escape Mussolini'

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (UK)

Pope Francis's sister has revealed that their family fled Italy and emigrated to Argentina in the 1920s in order to escape the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini.

By Nick Squires, Vatican City
8:32PM GMT 17 Mar 2013

Maria Elena Bergoglio hit back at allegations that her brother may have colluded with the military junta in Argentina, saying that their family's escape from Italy had instilled in him a revulsion for military dictatorships.

Their parents, Mario, a railway worker, and Regina, emigrated from Piedmont in northwestern Italy after Mussolini came to power in 1922.

"I remember my father often saying that the advent of the Fascist regime was the reason why he made up his mind to leave the country," Mrs Bergoglio, the only surviving sibling of the Pope, told La Stampa newspaper on Sunday.

She said allegations that her brother, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, had turned a blind eye to the brutal rule of Argentina's military junta in the 1970s and early 1980s were hurtful and false.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

ABUSE IS CONDEMNED UNRESERVEDLY

SOUTH AFRICA
Southern African Bishops' Conference

We have learnt recently of the interview given by Cardinal Wilfred Napier on BBC Radio 5. Regretfully, we have not yet had the opportunity to listen to the interview or to read a transcript. We have not been able to contact the Cardinal. It is therefore not possible to react to that interview.

However the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference is well aware of the devastation caused by sexual and other abuse of minors, both for the victims and their families and condemns all abuse unreservedly. The Conference has, for a number of years, had a protocol in place in which we outline how any allegation of abuse is to be handled. The Conference setup a Professional Conduct Committee which has published protocols for dealing with this scourge. The protocol is in force for all clergy and church workers in the region of the SACBC. For centuries there has been a veil of silence in the world surrounding child abuse and it is only in recent years that the matter is receiving the attention it deserves. Unfortunately there have also been failures on the part of the
Church.

Paedophilia is de facto a criminal offence and we will comply with the legal requirements when such cases come to our attention. Perpetrators must take responsibility for their actions.

Abuse of children is so widespread that there is an urgent need for a growth in knowledge and understanding of what causes an abuser to harm children, particularly when a perpetrator has himself/herself being a victim of abuse. Without such knowledge we will never be able to deal adequately with the matter and we will not be able to give adequate protection to our children.

Archbishop Stephen Brislin
President: Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference
16th March 2013
15h00

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Cardinal slip condemned

SOUTH AFRICA
The New Age

Itumeleng Mafisa

In the wake of the outrage sparked by a BBC interview in which Cardinal Wilfrid Napier reportedly said “paedophilia is an illness and not a criminal condition”, the Catholic Church in South Africa has condemned sexual and all other forms of abuse of children.

And on the day that newly appointed Pope Francis held his first public mass in Rome, the SA Catholic Bishops Conference’s (SACBC) President Stephen Brislin, admitted there were “failures on the part of the Church” in dealing with sexual abuse cases.

Napier who could not be reached for comment yesterday said on his Twitter account that he was quoted out of context.

“Clearly Stephen Nolan had another agenda when asking to talk about papal election,” the South African cardinal who was part of the conclave that elected the new pope, said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Pope Francis tells Vatican to prepare for change

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (UK)

Pope Francis has put the Vatican hierarchy on notice of sweeping changes as he prepares this week to study a secret report into skulduggery and intrigue within the Church's dysfunctional governing body on Sunday when he addressed an estimated 150,000 people in St Peter's Square.

By Nick Squires, and John Bingham in Vatican City
8:57PM GMT 17 Mar 2013

The Vatileaks scandal of last year, in which Benedict XVI's butler was caught stealing and leaking documents to the press, revealed infighting, nepotism and alleged corruption within the Curia, governing body.

On Saturday, the Pope ruled that senior administrators in the Vatican bureaucracy will temporarily keep their posts while he studies what changes may be required.

Hopes for sweeping reforms of the Curia were bolstered by the language of an announcement that its members would "provisionally stay in their respective posts until it is decided otherwise".

"The Holy Father, wants, in fact, to give himself a certain amount of time for reflection, prayer and dialogue before any appointments or definitive confirmations," the Vatican said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Pope Francis to Church: Reform and Forgive

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

In his first Sunday remarks as Pope, Francis, as priest, reminded Vatican visitors that Jesus showed God’s great mercy and capacity to forgive. But he also reminded his listeners that Jesus mandated, as an essential part of the forgiveness process, that believers must sin no more, or at least try not to.

In many ways, this captures the essence of the problem Pope Francis now faces. He needs to get Catholics to forgive the Catholic hierarchy, while at the same time he needs to get the Catholic hierarchy to try to sin no more. Because defenseless children are still at risk of predatory priests protected by complicit hierarchs and many Catholics also needlessly suffer because of the Church hierarchy’s unChristian moral positions, fine words and humble gestures from the new Pope will not be enough. The ex-Pope was hard to beat on fine words.

Pope Francis needs now to take concrete and clear actions that are desperately needed, including making the Church leaders organizationally accountable as they were in the Church that Jesus’ first followers left behind.

Given the Catholic Church’s current top-down and unaccountable structure, Pope Francis’ rearranging of some Vatican departments and personnel and shaming of some hierarchs, while positive and welcome steps, will surely not be enough to minimize future hierarchical sins. The Vatican’s often shameful history, as well as the current secret dossier of Vatican misdeeds, makes clear that fundamental reforms will be necessary pronto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Curia: The Pope’s new style could mean reforms on the horizon

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

For now everyone remains in their place, but the heads and deputy heads of the Dicasteries may change soon

ANDREA TORNIELLI
Vatican City

"Holy Father Francis has expressed the desire that the heads and members of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as their Secretaries, and also the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, continue donec aliter provideatur, that is, provisionally, in their respective positions." The awaited confirmation for the heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, "suspended" since Francis' election, came yesterday in the early afternoon. Everyone is staying put for the moment, the Vatican statement said. "The Holy Father wishes to leave some time for reflection, prayer, and dialogue before any final appointment or confirmation is made."

So everyone’s positions have been confirmed, but none have really been confirmed. The heads of the dicasteries, the cardinals of the congregations and the archbishops who are Presidents of Pontifical Councilskeep their places, but only for the time being, "until otherwise decided." Strangely, the statement also mentions the secretaries (departments’ number-twos) who keep their jobs when the Holy See becomes vacant and therefore do not need to have their posts reconfirmed. Their mention could signify that, although everyone is expected to continue performing their usual duties, no one can assume they will keep the same posts they currently occupy.

The Vatican statement does not mention the Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone explicitly, who was greeted publicly by the Pope two days ago in the Clementine Hall. It only mentions his role as chamberlain. But the Secretariat of State is the first of the Vatican dicasteries and therefore the temporary confirmation also applies to the 78-year-old cardinal from Italy’s Canavese area, head of Vatican diplomacy and director of the Curia machine since 2006. It is thought the replacement of the Secretary of State, who is almost 79, will be the quickest, while other substitutions may made in the coming months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Judge says no link to 'Dirty War'

ARGENTINA
New Zealand Herald

An Argentinian judge in charge of the "Dirty War" case concerning two priests who were arrested and tortured has rejected claims that Pope Francis played a role in the crime.

Judge German Castelli told La Nacion it was "totally false" to suggest that Jorge Bergoglio, as the Pontiff was then known, had been complicit in turning over the priests to Argentina's military rulers in 1976.

"It is totally false to say that Jorge Bergoglio delivered these priests. We addressed this issue, we heard the allegations, we reviewed the facts and we felt there was no case to answer. If we had done we would have prosecuted," Castelli told the paper.

"There cannot be any questions about it because a court has cleared him," Castelli added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

The Jaco Report: March 17, 2013

UNITED STATES
KTVI

[video]

(KTVI)-On the Jaco Report, a new Pope has been elected. But what do dissident Catholics in St. Louis think of him? Many Catholics have become disillusioned with the church over sex abuse by priests, fights over birth control, and rules against women priests. Is the selection of a Jesuit pope, Pope Francis, enough to get them back?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

The End of Days or the End of Catholic Daze?

UNITED STATES
Minnesota SNAP

By Vinnie Nauheimer

What if all the prophecies about Benedict XVI being the next to last pope are true, but not for the universal reason everyone suspects? Suppose fulfillment of the prophecies doesn’t mean the end of the world, but instead means the end of a centuries old corrupt Vatican reign? The recent sordid revelations bursting forth from the Vatican will hasten the end of days for the hierarchy and the end of daze for millions of Catholics.

Prophecies from Malachy to Fatima and every one in between, including the rarely mentioned prophecy of a Japanese nun from Akita, Japan, Sister Sasagawa have predicted the end of days. However, Sister Sasagawa quoting the Blessed Virgin has a prophecy that has hit the bulls eye, with no interpretation needed, that describes current Vatican events. She said she was told, “The work of the devil will infiltrate even the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops.” It wouldn’t stretch anybody’s mind (except maybe a bishop’s) to believe that the Blessed Mother was prophesying the scenario currently surrounding Benedict’s resignation.

My personal favorite prophecy is from her son, Jesus: Luke 12:1-3

He began to say unto his disciples first of all, “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees (Hierarchy), which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

Papa Francisco

UNITED STATES
Leon J. Podles: Dialogue

The election of Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was somewhat of a surprise, although it should not have been, because he seems to have been the runner-up in the last papal election,, coming in second after Ratzinger.

A few thoughts:

From all reports he is dedicated to the poor and leads a simple, austere life. He wants to seek out the most wounded and despised members of society. He is fiercely orthodox in his denunciations of abortion and gay marriage.

His record as Jesuit superior during Argentina’s dirty war has been questioned. Leftist terrorism in the1970s was designed to provoke a crack-down which would provoke a revolution. The leftists got the crackdown, but not the revolution, and the military executed 30,000 victims. Bergoglio remained publicly silent, although he seems to have helped some victims.

What can one infer about his character from this public silence? It is hard to say. He may have had trouble understanding what was going on and uncertain about how to proceed. I think one can say that he does not seek out confrontation, even when provoked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Martin backs Pope to reform church

IRELAND
Nationalist

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has backed Pope Francis as the right man to reform the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

Speaking after a Mass in Dublin in honour of the new pontiff, he said Francis will "very clearly" address the child sex abuse issue, and address past and future issues of the Church.

Archbishop Martin says Pope Francis has already begun to change the Vatican.

"I think his eyes will be focused on the future," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Keith O'Brien faces new allegation that he assaulted a priest on the night he was made a cardinal

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

KEITH O’Brien has been accused of sexual assaulting a priest on the night he was made a cardinal.

It has emerged that one of the claims against him centres on the night he was awarded the red mitre by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

The complaint, made by a Scottish priest now based in London, had already been reported but it was thought to have dated back to 2001.

However, it emerged yesterday that the priest claims he was groped by Cardinal O’Brien at an event in Scots College in Rome on October 21, 2003.

The priest said he was among a party of clerics who had travelled to see their senior colleague’s elevation at the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Vlaamse regering niet naar intronisatie paus

BELGIE
RKnieuws

BRUSSEL (RKnieuws.net) - De Vlaamse regering stuurt dinsdag geen delegatie naar Rome voor de intronisatie van paus Franciscus. In plaats daarvan zal Vlaanderen 30.000 euro schenken aan een goed doel.

Een paar dagen geleden riep paus Franciscus zijn landgenoten op om niet naar Rome te komen voor de intronisatie maar om het geld voor de verplaatsing aan de armen te schenken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Archbishop Says Pope Will Tackle Abuse

IRELAND
98 FM

The Archbishop of Dublin says the new Pope will ‘very clearly’ address the child sex abuse scandal.

Diarmuid Martin says Pope Francis has a track-record of speaking out about the protection of children in his native Argentina.

Archbishop Martin was himself named as an acceptable candidate to lead the Church by the child abuse survivors network SNAP – because of his history of speaking out on the issue.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis will hold his opening Angelus today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Leonardo Boff: major Pope Francis supporter

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Thomas C. Fox | Mar. 16, 2013

One of Pope Francis’ most vocal supporters since his election three days ago has been Leonardo Boff, one of the founders of liberation theology, a man silenced by the Vatican in 1985 because of criticism of the church in his book The Church, Charisma and Power.

Since 1993 he has been a Professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro where he is now Emeritus Professor of Ethics, Philosophy of Religion and Ecology.

His more recent writings have sought to integrate ecology into liberation theology. His book, Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, is seen as a synthesis of deep ecology thinking with a radical social critique. One chapter celebrates St. Francis of Assisi as the paradigm of "the new covenant of the heart with all things", which is Boff's answer to the world's twin crises of poverty and ecological destruction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Francis, the Jesuits and the Dirty War

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Thomas Reese | Mar. 17, 2013

Rumors and questions are circulating about Pope Francis and the time when he was the Jesuit provincial of Argentina and his relationship to two imprisoned Jesuits and the Argentine military dictatorship.

The Society of Jesus is filled with intelligent men who are passionate about their ideas and work, so of course there are arguments and disagreements just as there are in any family. I have had debates with other Jesuits over dinner where voices were raised, but that does not mean I don’t love them and would not be willing to die for them. We are a family.

Father Bergoglio, like Pope John Paul, had serious reservations about liberation theology, which was embraced by many other Latin American Jesuits. As a North American I have trouble understanding these disputes since John Paul and Bergoglio obviously wanted justice for the poor while the liberation theologians were not in favor of violent revolution as their detractors claimed. But clearly this was an issue that divided the church in Latin America.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Opferbefragung zum sexuellen Missbrauch durch katholische Geistliche wird fortgeführt

DEUTSCHLAND
KFN

Aufruf an Betroffene von sexuellem Missbrauch durch katholische Geistliche!
KFN-Opferbefragung wird fortgeführt

Wir bitten Sie um Ihre Mithilfe! Nach der von der deutschen Bischofskonferenz erfolgten Kündigung des Forschungsprojekts „Der sexuelle Missbrauch an Minderjährigen durch katholische Priester, Diakone und männliche Ordensangehörige“ möchte das KFN die Befragung von Betroffenen sexuellen Missbrauchs durch katholische Geistliche trotz der Widerstände durch die katholische Kirche fortführen. Dazu sind wir auf Ihre Unterstützung angewiesen.

Zum einen bitten wir alle Betroffenen von sexuellem Missbrauch durch katholische Geistliche, an unserer anonymen schriftlichen Befragung teilzunehmen. Derzeit arbeiten wir an der Endfassung eines Fragebogens, den wir Ihnen nach der Fertigstellung gerne auf Anfrage postalisch oder per E-Mail zusenden. Zusätzlich erhalten Sie von uns einen frankierten Umschlag für den Rückversand, den Sie ohne Absenderangaben an uns zurückschicken können – somit ist Ihre Anonymität absolut gewährleistet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Stärkung des Missbrauchs oder der Opfer?

DEUTSCHLAND
der Freitag

Legislative Nach zwei Jahren im Rechtsausschuss ist das Gesetz zur Stärkung der Rechte von Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs vom Bundestag beschlossen worden

Kern der Novelle ist eine Verlängerung von Verjährungsfristen in puncto Schadensersatz. Nicht mehr nur wie bislang vermögensrechtliche Ansprüche wie beispielsweise solche aus Eigentum können nun 30 Jahre lang geltend gemacht werden. Die einschlägige Norm des § 197 des Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuches wird diese Frist nun auch auf Schadensersatzansprüche erstrecken, „die auf der vorsätzlichen Verletzung des Lebens, des Körpers, der Gesundheit, der Freiheit oder der sexuellen Selbstbestimmung beruhen“.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Church is waning in Pope's Argentinian homeland

ARGENTINA
The Independent (UK)

David Usborne , Ed Stocker
Buenos Aires

Sunday 17 March 2013

When Jorge Bergoglio is formally installed as Pope Francis at the Vatican on Tuesday, thousands of his fellow Argentines will have risen before dawn to watch the ceremony on giant television screens installed around this city's most famous national monument, the obelisk in the Plaza de la Republica. Well hundreds, anyway.

The choice of Cardinal Bergoglio may be an acknowledgement that Latin America is home to 40 per cent of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. Yet even here the church is not as hearty as it might look. Secularism is on the rise but something else has been luring customers away: the Pentecostals who are as boisterous in worship as the Catholics are demure.

Nowhere has the Pentecostal movement, a form of evangelical Protestantism, grown faster than in Brazil, notably among the poor. Visit the favelas, or slums, of Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo, and the ramshackle churches holding daily services with charismatic sermons and stirring song are usually Pentecostal. In 1970, 92 per cent of Brazilians identified themselves as Catholic. In the latest national census in 2010, the figure had dropped to 65 per cent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Little pomp for this papacy: Pope Francis sets casual style

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

By Anthony Faiola

Published: March 16

VATICAN CITY — Inside a vast hall in the Holy See on Saturday, Pope Francis was greeting a procession of well-wishers when a visually impaired radio journalist with a guide dog approached. Without skipping a beat, the new pontiff smiled, leaned over and blessed the golden retriever, eliciting surprised chuckles from the crowd.

The moment captured the emerging story line of a papacy in the early stages of transformation by the first New World pope. As he eschews the trappings of his exalted office — forgoing the use of the red papal cape in public and mingling directly with cardinals rather than receiving them formally from an elevated white chair — Francis is already building a reputation here as “the casual pontiff.”

It is an impression the Vatican, an institution in crisis and in search of a new beginning, is doing little to dispel. Only time will tell the extent to which an austere Argentine cleric, known for taking public transit and kissing the feet of drug addicts and AIDS patients, can remold the ancient office. Questions, for instance, are still swirling about his actions during Argentina’s so-called “dirty war” from 1976 to 1983.

But as the new pope has appeared to exude humility, even charm, during his first few days in Vatican City, there appears to be an early sense, at least among the church hierarchy, that an institution craving a new image may have just found its man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

From Dirty War to Child Abuse, Church’s Past Confronts Pope Francis

ROME
The Daily Beast

by Christopher Dickey
Mar 17, 2013

The new pontiff’s past reputation is hard to square with his affable presence today. His actions in the weeks to come will tell us who he really is, writes Christopher Dickey.

It was probably inevitable that Pope Francis, whose humor and informality charmed hundreds of members of the international press corps at a gathering on Saturday, would lean down and pet the big golden Labrador seeing-eye dog that accompanied a blind journalist. Of course the crowd applauded. The gesture was perfectly natural and unforced; the kind of thing parishioners would expect from a fatherly priest, and that many of the world’s Catholics hope for from the man they now call Holy Father.

There was no hint on the stage Saturday of the uptight young Jesuit administrator, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, accused of complacency if not complicity while a savage military regime waged what came to be called “The Dirty War” to exterminate guerrillas in his native Argentina more than 30 years ago.

The contrasting images are so striking that it’s tempting to say that one of them must be false, or that, if the past was ugly, it really is just ancient history now. As one young woman with the Vatican staff said indignantly when asked about the Argentine allegations, “If this press corps had been around when Saint Peter became pope, you would be writing headlines about how he denied Christ three times” (as the Gospel tells us he did). “What is important,” she said, “is what the Holy Father does now.”

She has a point. But what Pope Francis does now, in the first days and weeks and months of his papacy, will tell us an enormous amount about where he is coming from and how that affects where he hopes to go. ...

Symbolically, Francis is off to a bad start. The morning after his election he went to pray at the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which is the papal basilica in the city of Rome. That would not be controversial, except that the infamous former cardinal of Boston, Bernard Law, is resident there. Law resigned his post in the United States more than ten years ago after the courts reviewed devastating evidence that he knowingly protected criminally abusive priests. His former archdiocese has paid out more than $100 million to settle hundreds of civil suits by the victims.

What Francis said to Law when the two of them met and briefly embraced at the Rome basilica is not known. Some reports in the Italian press said the pope told Law he must retire to a monastery. But Vatican spokesmen flatly denied that.

David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors’ Network for those Abused by Priests, said Saturday that the encounter between the pope and this known protector of pedophiles was “extraordinarily hurtful.” “If you ignore wrongdoing,” said Clohessy, “you condone wrongdoing.” And if that is the case under Francis, then millions of children will remain at risk from predators in clerical collars. But Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, an exhaustive database of abuse, was, while very cautious, also a little optimistic. She would give Francis “the benefit of the doubt,” she said.

At a series of press conferences, Doyle and Clohessy have suggested several substantive steps Francis might take to strengthen the Church’s reputation for zero tolerance of child abuse. One critical change would be the removal of such senior officials in the Vatican as Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who heads the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Clohessy and Doyle presented specific allegations that Müller had protected a convicted pedophile among the priests in his archdiocese. Ideally, the activists would like to see Müller’s office release the name of all credibly accused priests who have come to its attention, so that, at a minimum, parents and children in their parishes can be warned. The pope does not have to write an encyclical to make that happen. All he has to do is give the word.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Pope’s visit with Cardinal Law criticized

ROME
Boston Globe

By Martine Powers
Globe Staff
March 17, 2013

Advocates for victims of sexual abuse said they were dismayed to learn that Pope Francis met briefly with Cardinal Bernard F. Law, the Boston archbishop who resigned in 2002 under heavy criticism for his handling of the abuse crisis, in one of the pope’s first appearances after his election to the papacy.

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the Waltham-based online research center BishopAccountability.org, called the Vatican’s report of a brief but friendly meeting between the two officials on the pope’s first day an affront to those working to end sexual abuse in the church.

“It was a truly unfortunate first step on the pope’s part,” said Doyle in a phone call from Rome, where she has traveled to raise awareness about the abuse crisis. “Intended or not, the pope was sending a dispiriting signal to the victims and Catholics of Boston in particular.”

As Francis, the first non-European pope in modern times, steps into his new role as leader of the Catholic Church, observers worldwide are now looking to each decision he makes in his first days in the papacy for perspective on how he plans to lead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Pope Francis: a humble man facing a mighty challenge

ARGENTINA/ROME
Telegraph (UK)

He loves tango, pays his own bills and promises a 'church for the poor’. Philip Sherwell profiles Pope Francis, the outsider chosen to save the Church from scandal

By Philip Sherwell in Buenos Aires, and Nick Squires in Rome
7:00AM GMT 17 Mar 2013

Beneath the frescoed ceilings of the Sistine Chapel, a startling vision dawned on Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He was going to be elected as the next pope. Support for the Argentine clergyman was, he realised, reaching “dangerous” levels. The man so convinced he would not be elected he booked a return, economy-class ticket was, in fact, not going back home to Buenos Aires. His future was in Rome.

“I had next to me the archbishop emeritus of São Paulo, Cláudio Hummes, a great friend of mine,” he said yesterday in his first public reflections on the moment.

“When things became a bit dangerous, he comforted me, and when the vote for me reached the two-thirds majority, a moment in which the cardinals started applauding because they had chosen a Pope, he hugged me, he kissed me and he said: 'Don’t forget the poor.’”

It was advice that the man now known as Pope Francis evidently took to heart. “That word, the poor, lodged in me here,” Francis said, tapping his head. “It was then that I thought of St Francis. And then I thought of wars and about peace and that’s how the name came to me – a man of peace, a poor man… and how I would like a church of the poor, for the poor.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Fresh scandal hits Catholic Church in Scotland as four more alleged victims of sexual abuse by clerics come forward

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

ONE former trainee claims he was sexually and physically abused by a senior priest and a man who went on to become a Bishop.

A former trainee priest claims he was sexually abused by a senior cleric while at college.

The man, now in his 50s is one of four alleged victims of Catholic churchmen to have come forward in the wake of the Cardinal Keith O’Brien scandal.

O’Brien faces accusations of sexual misconduct from six priests and former priests.

He is not the subject of the claims by the four new victims who, we can reveal, have contacted lawyers in the last week.

They include a man and woman who say they were was abused by parish priests as children and a man who claims he was abused by monks in a home in the 1970s.

The most recent accusation concerns a man who claims he was sexually and physically abused while training at St Vincent’s seminary in Langbank, Renfrewshire, in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

March 16, 2013

Vatican responds to 'Dirty War' allegations against Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY
Digital Journal

By JohnThomas Didymus
Mar 16, 2013

The Vatican on Friday defended Pope Francis against allegations that he failed to oppose and even collaborated with Argentina's military junta against left-wing activists during the so-called "Dirty War" of the country's era of military dictatorship.

Digital Journal reports that one of the major allegations against Bergoglio was that he did not do enough to protect two activist priests from the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983.

According to The Washington Post, Vatican spokesman Reverend Federico Lombardi reacted to press reports that implicated the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio who was Jesuit provincial superior and then archbishop of Buenos Aires. He said the accusations against Bergoglio were "stale" and part of the efforts of "anti-clerical left-wing elements to attack the church [that] must be decisively rejected."

Although, the news of Cardinal Bergoglio's election as Pope Francis was well received with many praising his modesty and commitment to uplifting the poor, questions were raised in the media about his alleged role in the era of military dictatorship during which thousands of citizens "disappeared."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Special report: The damning documents ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Mail on Sunday

[with photos of documents]

Special report: The damning documents that show new Pope DID betray tortured priests to the junta

By Sharon Churcher and Tom Worden
PUBLISHED:18:56 EST, 16 March 2013

Damning evidence that Pope Francis may have betrayed two priests who were kidnapped and tortured by Argentina’s brutal military junta can be revealed today.

The Mail on Sunday has seen documents which appear to show the new Pope secretly collaborated with the country’s dictatorship when he was head of the Jesuits there – using his real name Jorge Bergoglio – during the Dirty War that started in the Seventies.

One of the documents is a 27-page report by Orlando Yorio, one of the kidnapped priests, in which he accuses the current pontiff of secretly spreading dangerous rumours about him and a colleague while personally promising them support and protection.

A second document is a confidential government memo written in 1979 which appears to reveal Bergoglio informed junta officials that Father Yorio and Father Francisco Jalics were suspected of collaborating with guerrillas and that Jalics was accused of encouraging dissent among a congregation of nuns.

Bergoglio, 76, who was chosen as the new Pope on Wednesday, has been accused of effectively handing the priests over to the regime’s death squads by failing to quash rumours they were dissidents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Report: Pope pledged to help kidnapped priest

GERMANY
KENS

BERLIN (AP) — A German newspaper says it has discovered a decades-old letter in which the future Pope Francis pledged to fight for the release of a fellow priest who had been kidnapped by the Argentine junta that was in power from 1976-1983.

Weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung says Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote to the family of Rev. Francisco Jalics in 1976 to tell them about his attempts to secure the priest's release despite differences the two men had.

The paper's report Sunday cites the pope saying in his letter he would "do everything" to free Jalics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

Who Would Jesus Sue? Religion vs. The 1st Amendment

UNITED STATES
Blog Talk Radio

In our first hour, we will discuss the First Amendment, separation of church and state, and religious privilege in America.

Our guest, Prof. Mitch, is a lawyer by training. He has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union and as a community organizer. Currently, he is an administrator at a major New York university where he also teaches American constitutional law, criminal law, and oral advocacy.

Also joining us for the discussion is Robert Baty, who started a petition to the White House asking that the Obama administration lead an effort to get Congress to repeal the parsonage income tax exemption enjoyed by religious ministers.

In our second hour, Alex Grenier will be joining us to share a disturbing and explosive story. Alex was sued by his stepfather, a pastor and police chaplain, because of his writings about abuse. The lawsuit has outraged religious and nontheists throughout the country who started the #WhoWouldJesusSue movement.

Alex is the owner of CalvaryChapelAbuse.com, a blog dedicated to dealing with abuse and corruption in the Calvary Chapel System of Churches that claims 1,500 to 2,000 churches nationwide and all over the world.

At the top of the 3rd hour, we'll be joined by Judy Block-Jones, Midwest Associate Director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), who will tell us what SNAP thinks of the new pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

When Pope Francis Testified About the Dirty War

ARGENTINA
New Republic

BY SAM FERGUSON

While the world has generally welcomed the Catholic Church's selection of the Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as pope, one large and dark question hangs over his ascension: As the head of the Jesuit order during Argentina’s last dictatorship, was he complicit with the military regime that kidnapped, tortured, and murdered thousands of its citizens?

Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, has rarely spoken about his own role in what's known as the "Dirty War," during which at least 9,000 people were forcibly disappeared. But in 2010, he appeared as a witness in the criminal trial of eighteen officers who had worked at the notorious Naval Mechanics School, where the country's military junta detained political prisoners—including a pair of Jesuit priests who'd been kidnapped shortly after the regime took power in a 1976 coup. Bergoglio, who was not a defendant in the case, insisted on clerical testimonial privilege and did not testify in open court; proceedings were held in his office. As part of my research into that trial, I obtained access to a transcript from the hearing, during which prosecutors and human rights lawyers grilled him for more than four hours over his alleged complicity in the kidnappings. The transcript has not been widely circulated, though it recently appeared in Spanish on the website of an Argentine human rights NGO. It offers a unique insight into the steps Bergoglio took and did not take to save the desaparecidos.

By the time he testified, Bergoglio had been facing criticism about the kidnapping for years. His critics allege that he withdrew Church protection from the priests, Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics, who worked with the poor in the Bajo Flores slum of Buenos Aires. According to this theory, Bergoglio had warned the priests that they should abandon the slum because sectors of the military and church saw their activity as "subversive." When the priests refused, he allegedly told them they'd have to leave the Compañia de Jesus, their local order, if they wanted to keep working there—effectively giving the green light to the military junta to detain them. In a 1999 interview, conducted shortly before he died, Yorio said that he faulted Bergoglio for his kidnapping. Bergoglio denied complicity. After the interview was published in a book in 2005, a local human rights lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Bergoglio over the incident. The courts, however, have not taken any steps to indict Bergoglio, according to the lawyer, Marcelo Parrilli. But the interview appeared just as Bergoglio was being mentioned as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Pope Francis: Controversy Arises with Disgraced US Cardinal Bernard Law

ROME
Fox News Latino

Hours after becoming the leader of the global Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis had a brief, unscheduled visit to a basilica in Rome that is home to a former Boston Archbishop who was involved in the diocese’s sex abuse scandal in 2002.

What transpired in the short interaction between the pope and Cardinal Bernard Law has become a point of contention between international media outlets and the Vatican.

Both the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano and the British tabloid the Daily Mail reported that during Pope Francis’ stop at the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, he was briefly greeted by Law. The pope then demanded that Law be removed and went on to command that “he is not to come to this church anymore,” according to the Daily Mail.

Il Fatto Quotidiano reported that Pope Francis ordered Law to stop appearing in public at the basilica and that the new pope, “as his first act of purification,” is preparing to send Law to a cloistered monastery.

A Vatican spokesperson, however, told the National Catholic Reporter that the reports of Pope Francis’ order to move Law to a monastery are “completely and totally false.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Francis drops first hint that reform may be real

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L. Allen Jr. | Mar. 16, 2013

Rome --
In the first clear signal that Pope Francis may be serious about reform, he's decided that the heads of the various Vatican offices will keep their jobs for now, but he's not making any definitive appointments.

It’s customary for new popes to swiftly reconfirm the department heads who lose their positions when the previous pontificate ends, and then take his time about bringing in his team. The fact that Francis has not followed that path may suggest that significant personnel moves will come sooner rather than later.

So far, the storyline about Francis has been mostly about style – taking the bus with the other cardinals, preferring to walk rather than being driven, packing his own bags and paying his own hotel bill, and setting aside his prepared texts for off-the-cuff personal reflections.

At some point, however, style will have to give way to substance, and today’s announcement marks the first indication of what that substance might look like.

Vatican-watchers are paying keen attention above all to what Francis does about the all-important position of Secretary of State, held under Benedict XVI by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Fairly or not, Bertone shoulders most of the blame for perceived breakdowns in business management over the last eight years, and most people presume that Francis will move quickly to bring in his own “prime minister.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Changes ahead in the Roman Curia?

VATICAN CITY
John Thavis

A two-sentence communiqué from the Vatican today contained an important signal about Pope Francis’ intentions regarding the Roman Curia.

As is normal, the new pope has confirmed that Vatican officials will continue in their various positions donec aliter provideatur – “until otherwise provided.”

What was different this time around was the line that followed: “The Holy Father, in fact, wants to take a certain time for reflection, prayer and dialogue before making any definitive appointments or confirmations.”

That seemed a clear indication that changes are coming, and perhaps big ones, in the Vatican lineup.

As my friend Alessandro Speciale pointed out to me, when Pope Benedict was elected eight years ago, he issued a statement that re-appointed Cardinal Angelo Sodano as secretary of state, reconfirmed the secretaries of Vatican departments in their five-year terms and pretty much left everyone else in place, too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Wikileaks shows US Vatican embassy profiled Pope Francis in 2005

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

By Kevin J. Jones

Vatican City, Mar 16, 2013 / 01:02 pm (CNA).- Leaked U.S. State Department cables published by Wikileaks show that the U.S. Vatican Embassy saw the future Pope Francis as a contender for the papacy in the 2005 conclave, reporting him to be a “wise pastor” who could appeal to allies of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Six cables mention Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires who became Pope Francis on March 13. One of the unclassified cables, dated April 18, 2005, includes a detailed profile that examined the Argentine cardinal as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II.

“Bergoglio exemplifies the virtues of the wise pastor that many electors value,” said the cable authored by the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican. “Observers have praised his humility: he has been reluctant to accept honors or hold high office and commutes to work on a bus.”

The cable was signed by the U.S. embassy’s then-Charge d’Affaires D. Brent Hardt and was sent the day the 2005 conclave began. It discussed the future Pope Francis as one of 16 possible candidates.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

South African Cardinal says paedophilia 'not a criminal condition'

SOUTH AFRICA
RTE News

Survivors of sexual abuse have reacted angrily to comments by a Roman Catholic cardinal that paedophilia is an illness and not a criminal condition.

Archbishop of Durban in South Africa Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier made the remarks in a BBC interview.

Cardinal Fox Napier took part in the election of Pope Francis.

He was asked what the new pontiff could do to repair damage to the Catholic Church's reputation caused by the way it dealt with sexual abuse by priests.

He said paedophilia was an illness not a criminal condition and questioned whether someone with such a psychological defect automatically deserved to be punished.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Rubbing Salt into Deep Wounds

ROME
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on March 16, 2013

In his first hours as the new head of the church, Pope Francis made a self-effacing joke, carried his own luggage, rode on a bus, paid his hotel bill and asked his flock to bless him.

Then, he visited Cardinal Bernard Law.

I’m not a sophisticated or well educated person. And while much of the world’s problems seem complicated to me, I’m sure I too often see too much in “black and white.” But when it comes to sex crimes against kids I can’t help it. It’s seems very simple to me: we ought not to celebrate or honor or promote or praise adults who enable predators to hurt children.

And so to me, whatever good will Pope Francis may have begun to engender with his humility and his ‘common touch’ was immediately erased by his visit with the prelate who is the most disgraced Catholic official in the US.

(Granted, LA’s Cardinal Roger Mahony may have stripped Law from that title in recent years.)

I’m sure the Pope didn’t intend to further hurt already wounded victims and already betrayed Catholic. But I’m sure the same could be said of Ireland’s Cardinal Brady or Germany’s Archbishop Mueller or Kansas City’s Bishop Finn or any of the other thousands of prelates who have enabled child molesting clerics to molest more children – they didn’t intend to let more boys and girls be raped and sodomized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Pope Francis Will Fail With Reform As Did Assisi

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Francis of Assisi preached to help raise funds for the illiterate poor in a patriarchical society amidst a corrupt and monarchical medieval papacy that answered occasionally to a few European kings. Francis was not a 13th Century papal reformer. He left the heavy reform lifting to the 16th Century Luther. Pope Francis preaches to a literate poor in an egalitarian society amidst a corrupt medieval papacy that is steadily being compelled, most often by women, to answer worldwide to the modern rule of law. Most indications to date are that Pope Francis, elected secretly by celibate and aging patriarchs, will not likely be a papal reformer either.

Inevitably, women will be the ones who both save the literate, and legally equal, poor and reform the patriarchical papacy. Pope Francis’ incessant message to couples has been to forgo contraception and have unplanned children. He promises he will then baptise these unplanned children and try to help support them through charities overseen by purportedly heterosexual and celibate males. This failed approach just won’t cut it today. Women have been there, done that and have moved on!

Pope Francis’ predecessor, ex-Pope Joseph Ratzinger, sought desperately to evade the rule of law as he frantically pushed to downsize Catholicism to a financially self-sufficient cult of exhalted hierarchs that were supported by diehard traditionalists, opportunistic plutocrats and accumulated wealth. Without accountability, he even attempted to continue to suppress women and to endanger children as acceptable collateral damage.

The 2005 description of Pope Francis linked in Jamie Manson’s article accessible below, and his early papal actions to date, suggest strongly that Pope Francis will likely just be a smoother and savvier Latin version of the academic Germanic Ratzinger, without the red slippers and the ever present Georgeous Georg, of course. His record of preserving the traditionalist Jesuit order from a military “siege” suggests he could have some success, for awhile at least, in delaying government prosecutors from storming the Vatican archives’ walls. However, his recent meeting with Cardinal Law and permitting the South African Cardinal to offer his apologia for pedophiles both suggest he may fail even at that. Even if Pope Francis now takes action against Cardinals Law, Brady, Mahony, Rigali and O’Brien and Bishop Finn, for example, he will merely be doing what 100 out of 100 leaders of any other multinational organization would have done long ago. As I said before, it is too little too late.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Joliet Diocese expands list of priests facing 'credible' abuse allegations

JOLIET (IL)
My Suburban Life

By BRIAN HUDSON - bhudson@shawmedia.com
Created: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Diocese of Joliet has expanded its public list of priests facing "credible" accusations of sexual abuse on Tuesday — some of whom are being named for the first time, including a former chaplain at Driscoll High School in Addison.

After releasing hundreds of documents in response to a court order Tuesday, the diocese separately added nine names to a list of priests facing credible or substantiated allegations of abuse. The list, which is available on the diocese website, now stands at 34.
Many of the newly added priests are facing allegations and have already been accused in lawsuits. Others are facing accusations that are still under investigation by church officials.

Some of the new priests, however, are being publicly implicated seemingly for the first time.

Among the additions is the Rev. William Dugal, who served as chaplain at Driscoll Catholic High School in Addison until 1996, according to his obituary. He was removed from ministry in 2002 and died in 2009, the same year that Driscoll closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Cardinal Keith O'Brien accused of sex assault while in office as Cardinal

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the disgraced former head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, has been accused of sexually assaulting a priest when he was already a Cardinal.

By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor, Vatican City
4:35PM GMT 16 Mar 2013

He is alleged to have attempted to grope the man in Rome on the night of a drinks party to celebrate becoming a "prince of the Church" in October 2003, attended by a raft of bishops and dignitaries.

It is the first allegation to relate directly to his time as a Cardinal and the first suggestion that his sexual misconduct extended to the centre of the Catholic Church.

It follows an admission by the Cardinal that he was guilty of sexual misconduct, with his personal standards falling below those expected of him "as a priest, archbishop and cardinal".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

Miami archdiocese settles sex-abuse claims by former altar boy

FLORIDA
Miami Herald

BY JAY WEAVER
jweaver@MiamiHerald.com

When the Rev. Rafael Escala served at St. Timothy Catholic Church in West Kendall in the late 1980s, he caught a teenaged altar boy stealing $60 from the collection.

Escala threatened to report the teen to his father and the police. But rather than carry out the threat, the priest sexually abused the 16-year-old boy, according to the victim, who obtained a financial settlement from the Archdiocese of Miami in January.

“He told me that I had to ask God for forgiveness for stealing the money after he abused me,” said the victim, a Miami man who did not want to be identified. “He gave me penance.”

The victim also reached a settlement in the same agreement regarding molestation claims against a second priest, the Rev. Oscar Mendez, a Jesuit, while he served at St. Timothy in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Consolation for Boston Catholics?

BOSTON (MA)
Religion News Service

Michael J. O'Loughlin | Mar 15, 2013

Boston Catholics (myself included) were rooting for Cardinal Sean O’Malley to ascend to the throne of St. Peter this week. That didn’t pan out, as we all know, but maybe Catholics there received something of a consolation prize.

The British tabloid The Daily Mail writes that Italian media is reporting that Boston’s disgraced former archbishop, Cardinal Bernard Law, 82, is being banished from his cushy residence by Pope Francis:

But first days are all about making a good impression – even when you’re the Pope.

So when the appearance of a disgraced cardinal threatened to cast a shadow over his first engagement, Francis I made sure it couldn’t happen again – by banning him from his own church.

Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as Archbishop of Boston in 2002, after being accused of actively covering up for a litany of paedophile priests.’

Despite the scandal which exploded to engulf the entire church, he was given an honorary position at the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Catholic cardinal claims paedophilia is NOT a crime

SOUTH AFRICA
The Sun

By JACK LOSH

THE new Pope faces more child sex abuse controversy after a cardinal today branded paedophilia an illness NOT a crime.

Catholic Archbishop of Durban Wilfrid Fox Napier defended paedophiles who had been abused as children, saying they were not criminally responsible for their actions as somebody “who chooses to do something like that”.

The South African – among the 115 cardinals at the Vatican who elected Pope Francis earlier this week – called paedophilia a “psychological disorder”.

Speaking out just days after the papal conclave, Cardinal Napier said: “What do you do with disorders? You have got to try and put them right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Church priest arrested for 'molestation' bid

INDIA
Zee News

Coimbatore: A 63-year-old priest of a church here was arrested on Saturday on charges of attempting to outrage the modesty of a woman during prayers.

John Mark, the priest of CSI Church, was arrested on a complaint from the 48-year-old woman, police said.

The woman, in her complaint lodged with the City Police Commissioner's office, alleged that the priest made advances towards her and touched her when she was attending prayers on March 10.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

HOLY FATHER PROVISIONALLY CONFIRMS HEADS AND MEMBERS OF ROMAN CURIA

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 16 March 2013 (VIS) – Holy Father Francis has expressed the desire that the Heads and members of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as their Secretaries, and also the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, continue "donec aliter provideatur", that is, provisionally, in their respective positions.

The Holy Father wishes to reserve time for reflection, prayer, and dialogue before any final appointment or confirmation is made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

POPE FRANCIS: “OH, HOW I WISH FOR A CHURCH THAT IS POOR AND FOR THE POOR!”

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 16 March 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the the Paul VI Audience Hall, the Holy Father greeted over 6,000 journalists and those working in the media as well as for the Holy See, accredited either permanently or temporarily, to cover the events related to the Conclave. He addressed them with the following words:

“Dear friends, I am pleased, at the beginning of my ministry in the See of Peter, to meet with you who have worked here in Rome at this very intense period that began with the surprising announcement of my venerated predecessor Benedict XVI, this past 11 February. I warmly greet each of you.”

“The role of the mass media has been continuously growing in recent times,” he said, “so much so that it has become essential to narrate the events of contemporary history to the world. I therefore especially thank you for your distinguished service these past few days—you have had a bit of work to do, haven't you?—when the eyes of the Catholic world, and not only, were turned toward the Eternal City, in particular to this area that has St. Peter's tomb as its focal point. In these past few weeks you've gotten a chance to talk about the Holy See, the Church, her rites and traditions, her faith, and, in particular, the role of the Pope and his ministry.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

'Paedophilia not criminal condition' says Durban cardinal

SOUTH AFRICA
BBC News

The Catholic Archbishop of Durban, Wilfrid Fox Napier, has described paedophilia as a psychological "illness, not a criminal condition".

The South African cardinal told the BBC that people who were themselves abused as children and then abused others needed to be examined by doctors.

He was one of 115 cardinals who took part in the conclave at the Vatican to elect Pope Francis earlier this week.

The Church has recently been dogged by scandals over clerical sex abuse.

Criticism

In an interview with the Stephen Nolan programme on BBC Radio 5 live, Cardinal Napier referred to paedophilia as "a psychological condition, a disorder".

"What do you do with disorders? You've got to try and put them right.

"If I - as a normal being - choose to break the law, knowing that I'm breaking the law, then I think I need to be punished."

He said he knew at least two priests, who became paedophiles after themselves being abused as children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Pedophilia is not a criminal condition, says South African cardinal

SOUTH AFRICA
Global Post

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban describes pedophilia as mental illness that should be treated with sympathy, not punishment.

South Africa's Catholic Archbishop of Durban, Wilfrid Fox Napier, commented in a BBC interview that he believed pedophiles who had themselves been abused as children are not "criminally responsible," a stance that has swiftly earned the cardinal international condemnation.

"What do you do with disorders? You've got to try and put them right," said Napier. "If I - as a normal being - choose to break the law, knowing that I'm breaking the law, then I think I need to be punished."

Read more from GlobalPost: Can the Catholic Church outgrow the pope’s antediluvian philosophy?

"Now don't tell me that those people are criminally responsible like somebody who chooses to do something like that," said the 72-year-old Napier, who cited other pedophile priests who knew of who had been sexually abused as children in the BBC interview, which can be listened to in full at this link.

"I don't think you can really take the position and say that person deserves to be punished. He was himself damaged," Napier said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Catholic cardinal says that pedophilia is not a ‘criminal condition’

SOUTH AFRICA
Raw Story

South African cardinal who helped elect Pope Francis said on Saturday that paedophilia is a psychological illness, not “a criminal condition”.

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, the Archbishop of Durban, told BBC radio that people who become paedophiles after being abused as children should be treated by doctors.

His comments come as Francis, the first pontiff to hail from Latin America, takes the helm of a Catholic Church rocked by thousands of cases of child abuse by paedophile priests.

Napier, who was among the 115 cardinals who elected Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, told the BBC: “From my experience paedophilia is actually an illness — it is not a criminal condition.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Pope provisionally re-confirms top jobs in Vatican bureaucracy

VATICAN CITY
TrustLaw

Sat, 16 Mar 2013

VATICAN CITY, March 16 (Reuters) - Pope Francis has decided that all top administrators in the Vatican bureaucracy will keep their posts while he reflects on any necessary changes, the Vatican said on Saturday.

There had been speculation that the new pope could make swift changes to the Curia, the Vatican bureaucracy that has been at the centre of allegations of corruption, infighting and intrigue.

"The Holy Father, wants in fact, to give himself a certain amount of time for reflection, prayer and dialogue before any (new) appointments or definitive confirmations," a statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Francis gives intimate glimpses of conclave and charms journalists in first meeting with press

VATICAN CITY
Newser

By NICOLE WINFIELD | Associated Press

Pope Francis offered intimate insights Saturday into the moments after his election, telling journalists that he was immediately inspired to take the name of St. Francis of Assisi because of his work for peace and the poor _ and was embraced by another cardinal amid applause inside the conclave.

"Let me tell you a story," Francis said in a break from his prepared text during a special gathering for thousands of journalists, media workers and guests in the Vatican's auditorium.

Francis then described how he was comforted by his friend, Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, as it appeared the voting was going his way and it seemed "a bit dangerous" that he would reach the two-thirds necessary to be elected.

When the threshold was reached, applause erupted in the frescoed Sistine Chapel.

"He (Hummes) hugged me. He kissed me. He said don't forget about the poor," Francis recalled. "And that's how in my heart came the name Francis of Assisi," who devoted his life to the poor, missionary outreach and caring for God's creation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Pope meets journalists, cracks a joke

VATICAN CITY
Los Angeles Times

By Tracy Wilkinson
March 16, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- He’s a charmer.
Pope Francis on Saturday went before several thousand journalists, thanked them for their work, told a joke or two and even blessed (or at least patted) someone’s seeing-eye dog.

In a custom that dates at least to John Paul II, one of the pope’s first public appearances was a meeting in the modern Paul VI Hall with an estimated 5,000 reporters based in Rome or flown in to cover the week’s historic events.

Francis sat on the stage in a large but relatively simple chair and read a speech that thanked the press for its work during this “intense period” which had focused the world’s eyes on the Roman Catholic Church.

Then, departing from his text, he offered to tell the story of how he chose his name, and in so doing provided a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the conclave, the secret vote by cardinals to select a new pontiff. He is the first Pope Francis, and some have wondered which Francis was his inspiration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

"Die Opfer sprechen lassen"

DEUTSCHLAND
dradio

Jesuiten-Pater erwartet von Papst Franziskus beim Missbrauchsskandal offene Haltung

Pater Klaus Mertes im Gespräch mit Bettina Klein

Papst Franziskus solle wieder Ordnung in die Kurie bringen, sagt Pater Klaus Mertes, Jesuit und Leiter des Kollegs St. Blasien. Dass der neue Pontifex "von außen" kommt, könne hierbei von Vorteil sein. Außerdem müssen vor allem den Opfern des Missbrauchsskandals zugehört werden.

Bettina Klein: Zum ersten Mal also ein Jesuit als Papst. Vor der Sendung habe ich mit Pater Klaus Mertes darüber gesprochen, ehemaliger Leiter des Canisius-Kollegs in Berlin, und ich habe ihn zunächst gefragt, weshalb es das eigentlich noch nie zuvor gegeben hat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Zweiter Bericht zur Aufarbeitung offengelegt

DEUTSCHLAND
General-Anzeiger

[Grenzverletzungen im AKO Pro Scouting am Aloisiuskolleg Bonn – Bad Godesberg]

Von Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu
BAD GODESBERG. Den zweiten Aufklärungsbericht zu den Missbrauchsfällen am Aloisiuskolleg (Ako), speziell zu den "Grenzverletzungen im Ako-pro-Scouting", präsentierte am Freitag Ako-Rektor Pater Johannes Siebner. Er habe den von Arnfried Bintig verfassten 135 Seiten langen Bericht mit Bestürzung gelesen. "Ich bin erschüttert, was wir hier erfahren. Ich bin beschämt ob der vielen Einzelschicksale und ob der perfiden und brutalen Vorgehensweise des ehemaligen Leiters des Ako-pro-Seminars über so lange Zeit."

Der Bericht handelt von sexualisierten Gesprächen, Aufforderungen zu sexuellen Handlungen bis zu direkten sexuellen Übergriffen. Er schildert Dinge, die ein in der Verantwortung stehender Bonner Pädagoge über Jahre ungeahndet von Schutzbefohlenen erzwungen haben soll. Der Bericht schildert das Leid, die Traumatisierung, das Gezeichnetsein von Opfern und ihren Angehörigen bis heute.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Kritik an Rolle des Papstes während Militärdiktatur

DEUTSCHLAND
Aargauer Zeiting

Von von Christian Berzins

Er gilt als Papst der Armen, als Vorkämpfer für Freiheit und Gerechtigkeit. Doch in den Jahren der argentinischen Militärdiktatur hat der neue Papst Franziskus offensichtlich eine umstrittene Rolle gespielt.

Menschenrechtler werfen ihm vor, mit schuld an der Entführung zweier Jesuitenpater gewesen zu sein, die 5 Monate von den Todesschwadronen der Junta verschleppt worden waren. Auch habe er es an deutlicher, offener Kritik an der Militärdiktatur immer wieder vermissen lassen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Doch keine Hinweise auf Missbrauch?

DEUTSCHLAND
BGLand

Teisendorf - Bei den laufenden Ermittlungen habe sich der Missbrauchsverdacht gegen einen Teisendorfer Pfarrer nicht bestätigt - sagt zumindest sein Anwalt.

Die Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen einen Pfarrer aus Teisendorf haben sich nach Ansicht seines Anwalts nicht erhärtet. Dem Pfarrer wird vorgeworfen in Österreich junge Männer sexuell missbraucht zu haben. Dazu wurde mittlerweile auch das mutmaßliche Hauptopfer vernommen.

Wie Anwalt Michael Dohr im Bayernwelle-Interview sagte, dürfe er sich aber nicht konkreter zum Fall äußern, da es sich um ein laufendes Verfahren handele. Dohr rechnet damit, dass noch vor Ostern ein weiterer Zeuge vernommen wird.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM