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May 31, 2013

The language of shaming: Pope Francis urges profound change to global economic system

ROME
GlobalPost

Jason Berry
May 30, 2013

Analysis: In his candid speeches and sermons, the new pope "forges a moral vocabulary on economics" to remind church leaders — and followers — of their responsibility to the poor.

"The globalization that makes everything uniform is essentially imperialist and instrumentally liberal, but it is not human. In the end, it is a way to enslave nations."

Those blunt words from spoken by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in 2010 speak to the plight of millions who are jobless in Spain and Greece, their economies yoked to a European Union bank system meshed with globalized finance.

The statement appeared in On Heaven and Earth, a dialogue book with Buenos Aires Rabbi Abraham Skorka, which is now available in English.

In the two months since the cardinals’ conclave in Rome elected the little-known Argentine and the first Jesuit pope, Francis has taken to his pastoral role as Bishop of Rome. Refusing to live in the Apostolic Palace, he has made his home in a religious hotel in Vatican City, and he has replaced the pope’s golden throne with a wooden chair. He has dispensed with the ornate red stole with filigrees of gold that Pope Benedict wore, instead presenting himself in white, wearing a metal cross without the customary papal jewels and regalia. Benedict wore red shoes; Francis’s are black and workmanlike.

This pope has also fashioned a symbolic language of shaming, and the candor in his statements and sermons aim to remind the clerical establishment — accustomed to lordly status — of the church’s core commitment to the poor. He has yet to make major personnel changes in a Roman Curia whose scandals riveted media coverage at the conclave, yet his rhetoric is that of a world leader endorsing purgative change.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Andrew Greeley-1928-2013

UNITED STATES
Kelly Clark - O'Donnell, Clark and Crew, LLP

I learned yesterday of the passing of Rev. Andrew Greeley, 85, a Chicago priest, sociologist, newspaper columnist, and novelist. Greeley was one of the first American priests to speak out publicly against the sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church. While I didn’t always agree with him, his insights and advocacy for abuse survivors and the marginalized will be an important part of his legacy.

As a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Greeley often tangled with his bosses at the Chancery, particularly Cardinal John Cody. His writings concerning the sexual abuse of minors remain prescient and the institutional Church was slow to heed the warnings contained in Greeley’s commentary. Father Greeley was not afraid of the hierarchy or the court of popular opinion. He was one of the earliest supporters of the survivor advocacy group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

His novels remain widely read and his newspaper columns for the Chicago Sun-Times reflect a liberal political bent reflective of his upbringing in Chicago and the times in which he lived and ministered as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

Father Greeley's secret

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler May 31, 2013

Matt Abbott reminds readers on the Renew America site that in his book Furthermore! Memories of a Parish Priest--published in 1999, well before the sex-abuse scandal reached its peak—the late Father Andrew Greeley made a sensational charge. Some priests in the Chicago area were involved in a “ring of predators,” Father Greeley charged. And not only that:

They are a dangerous group. There is reason to believe that they are responsible for at least one murder and may perhaps have been involved in the murder of the murderer.

The irrepressible Father Greeley said that he personally was not afraid of this nefarious crowd. Why?

They know that I have in safekeeping information which would implicate them. I am more of a threat to them dead than alive.

Now Father Greeley is dead. Is he a threat to that cabal? Will the information that he claimed to have withheld come to light after his death? Or was he exaggerating things: either the extent of a conspiracy among child-molesters, or the importance of his own evidence against them, or both?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Sacramento's Nonprofit Shakedown

CALIFORNIA
The Wall Street Journal

REVIEW & OUTLOOK
May 30, 2013

Democrats and the tort bar target the Catholic Church.

Democrats have a supermajority in the California legislature, and one fear is that they'll use it to punish their political enemies. Consider the bill moving fast in the legislature to suspend California's statute of limitations on child sex abuse torts and expose nonprofits to unlimited litigation.

The main targets are two liberal betes noires:the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church, which is still paying off debts from claims filed in 2003 when the legislature suspended the statute of limitations for a year. Nearly 1,000 claims were subsequently filed against the Church, which resulted in damage awards of $1.2 billion. Attorneys in many cases skimmed off more than half in fees.

The claims gusher has since dried up, so lawyers want the legislature to open it again next year. This is necessary, attorneys say, because some adult victims need decades to make a "causal connection" between their childhood abuse and psychological afflictions.

Helping the plaintiffs make these connections will be lawyers like Irwin Zalkin, who thanks to a 2007 settlement with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles have got their hands on 30,000 pages of unredacted files that concern efforts to conceal clergy abuses. Mr. Zalkin is lobbying the legislature to scrap the statute of limitations.

Under current law, plaintiffs can file claims against individuals or non-government employers until they're 26 years old, or alternatively, three years from whenever they discover or "reasonably should have discovered" that their psychological problems were caused by childhood sex abuse.

Democrats now want to give adults who exceed this statute of limitations another chance to file claims next year. All those claims thrown out after the 2003 window because they were stale would also be fair game. This sets up a minefield for nonprofits that aren't insured against such claims.

Mr. Zalkin told the legislature that nonprofits needn't worry because most insurers covered claims during the one-year suspension in 2003. However, those claims spiked nonprofit liabilities, so many now self-insure. A couple of stale claims now could bankrupt small, self-insured nonprofits and inflate premiums for commercially insured institutions.

That is why the proposal would exempt government entities including city recreational leagues, public schools and state universities. In other words, private USC or Stanford could be sued if a Jerry Sandusky molested kids in their locker-rooms, but UC-Berkeley and UCLA couldn't be held liable.

Another kicker: The one-year suspension wouldn't apply to claims against the actual perpetrators of abuse. So a teacher who committed a heinous abuse 15 years ago couldn't be sued. But if the abuse occurred at a Catholic school, the Church could be hit up. Public unions wanted immunity for their members, and attorneys figured this was a small concession.

Statutes of limitations exist to protect defendants from miscarriages of justice since witnesses and evidence can disappear with time. Plaintiffs attorneys who claim to be seeking justice for victims are merely seeking to line their own pockets by exploiting public sympathies for victims of horrific abuses. The ultimate victims of this legal shakedown will be nonprofits in California and the people they serve.

The bill squeaked through the Senate this week. Governor Jerry Brown says he's going to exert some adult supervision on his party, and this would be a good issue to start.

A version of this article appeared May 31, 2013, on page A12 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Sacramento's Nonprofit Shakedown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Edward Thomas Burke, s.j.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: A California Province Jesuit ordained in 1956, Burke taught high school in Phoenix AZ, Los Angeles CA and San Jose CA until his placement at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos CA in 1978. In 2000 Burke admitted to a superior that he had engaged in "sexual misconduct" with a mentally disabled adult male who worked as a dishwasher at the Jesuit Center. The Jesuits had been notified of sexual misconduct at the Center in 1995, but did nothing. Police launched an investigation in 1997 when a local shopkeeper, who had befriended this Burke victim and another mentally disabled adult male Sacred Heart worker, reported that the two men told her they had been abused there by priests. The men were too afraid to speak, so the investigation was closed. Due to the persistence of the shopkeeper, the investigation was re-opened in 2000, and the two men disclosed the abuse. The sexual abuse by Burke occurred over at least a five year period, and included sodomy. In 2002 Burke pleaded guilty to committing a lewd act on a dependent adult, and was sentenced to two years in state prison. He died at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center February 27, 2009.

Ordained: 1956
Died: Feb. 27, 2009

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Order suspends priest accused of sexually assaulting minors(Update)

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

UPDATE Santiago.- The Office of the Archbishop of Santiago on Friday announced the suspension of the priest Gil Wojciech (Alberto), accused of sexually abusing of minors.

It said they received a missive notifying the suspension of the priest native of Poland, from the Superior de la Delegation of the Caribbean, of the order of priests the Miguelitas.

FIEL. The Santiago Province Office of the Prosecutor has launched an investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Polish Catholic priest Gil Wojciech (Alberto) , 36, of three minors residents of Juncalito, Janico township (north-central).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Services Set For Chicago Priest, Novelist Greeley

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC Chicago

By Mary Ann Ahern | Friday, May 31, 2013

Funeral arrangements have been scheduled for Rev. Andrew Greeley who passed away this week at age 85.

Greeley's wake begins at noon through 7 p.m. Wednesday at Christ the King Parish, his first parish at 9235 S. Hamilton Ave., in Chicago followed by a 7 p.m. mass.

The prolific priest, sociologist and long-time NBC analyst who wrote best-selling novels and a weekly newspaper column was remembered as a genuine Chicagoan and a dedicated servant of the church with a prophetic voice.

"Our hearts are heavy with grief," his family said in a statement, "but we find hope in the promise of Heaven that our uncle spent his life proclaiming to us, his friends, his parishioners and his many fans. He resides now with the Lord of the Dance, and that dance will go on."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

MORTAL SINS and Michael D’Antonio west coast dates are SET!

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on May 31, 2013

MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael D’Antonio is coming to the west coast to talk about his new blockbuster MORTAL SINS.

D’Antonio and a panel of experts—including local-area advocates and survivors—will present a gripping discussion on the clergy sex abuse crisis in the United States.
Publishers Weekly calls MORTAL SINS “The definitive history of the Catholic Church’s ‘most severe crisis since the Reformation’” and Booklist hails the book as a ”gripping and affecting to the last word.” This is a MUST SEE event.
All dates are free and open to the public.

SAN DIEGO, CA
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 7 pm
Alliant University, Green Hall
Co-sponsored by IVAT, the Institute on Violence Abuse and Trauma
Panelists will include church expert A.W. Richard Sipe, attorney Irwin Zalkin, former priest/now advocate Patrick Wall, and others.

FULLERTON, CA
June 27, 2013 at 7 pm
Fullerton Public Library – Presented as a part of Gustavo’s Awesome Lecture Series
Panelists will include attorney Jeffrey Anderson, Patrick Wall, and Joelle Casteix

SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Saturday, June 29 at 2:30 pm
Mission Cultural Center Theater
Panelists will include Bay Area survivor Tim Lennon, attorney Jeff Anderson, and Patrick Wall

SEATTLE, WA
Sunday, June 30 at 7:30 pm
Town Hall Seattle
Panelists will include Seattle-area survivor Mary Dispenza, attorney Jeff Anderson, and Patrick Wall.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Fiscalía profundiza investigaciones sobre sacerdote vinculado a violaciones sexuales

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
Diario Digital

SANTIAGO.-La Fiscalía de este Distrito Judicial investiga la denuncia de agresión sexual de un sacerdote católico polaco contra tres adolescentes residentes en la comunidad de Juncalito en el municipio de Jánico.

Una fuente del Ministerio Público informó esta mañana que las investigaciones contra el cura Alberto Gil Nojache, de 36 años la realizan fiscales adjuntos de la Unidad de Violencia de Genero.

Mientras tanto, residentes en ese paraje, perteneciente al municipio serrano de Jánico, negaron esta mañana que planifiquen atacar el templo religioso de allí, aunque dijeron que no aceptarán que el sacerdote oficie misas allí, hasta tanto el asunto sea aclarado

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Mountain town says catholic priest sexually assaulted minors

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santiago.- The Santiago Province Office of the Prosecutor has launched an investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Polish Catholic priest Alberto Gil Nojache, 36, by three minors residents of Juncalito, Janico township (north-central).

A Justice Ministry source quoted by elnacional.com.do Friday morning said the Domestic Violence Unit investigates the allegation against the priest ??.

Meanwhile, residents of the village in the Central Mountains affirmed they’ll not accept another priest in their town until the case is clarified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

The dirty linen from the Magdalene Laundries must be aired

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

30 MAY 2013

As recently as the 1980s, new-born babies were being forcibly taken from their mothers and given up for adoption by nuns in Northern Ireland's Magdalene Laundries. That's the allegation I have now heard from a number of women, who were forced into the laundries in Belfast and Newry after they became pregnant.

If true, it is just the most heartbreaking of a whole range of human rights violations alleged by the forgotten women of Northern Ireland's Magdalene laundries.

The publicity surrounding the publication of Martin McAleese's report into Magdalene Laundries in the Republic has prompted a number of women who were in similar institutions in Northern Ireland to approach Amnesty International.

Like their counterparts in the Republic, they appear to have suffered a range of serious human rights abuses including inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary deprivation of liberty and forced labour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Safety the priority with pedophile release: church

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

STUART RINTOUL From: The Australian June 01, 2013

MELBOURNE Archbishop Denis Hart says "community safety" should be given priority in any decision to parole one of Australia's worst pedophiles, former priest Gerald Ridsdsale, who could be freed from jail within a month.

Asked what the church's position was on Ridsdale's release and what support the church would give him if he he was parolled, Archbishop Hart said: "I think the community will look very carefully at what he's done, what is best all over, because I think safety in the community has to be a priority."

Archbishop Hart did not go so far as to say he opposed Ridsdale's release, saying: "I'd leave that to the authorities, I think."

Ballarat Bishop Paul Bird said that as a defrocked priest of the Ballarat diocese, the diocese had no obligation to provide Ridsdale with any support and had no intention of doing so.

"When we first heard the possibility of his release that question came up and that is clearly our policy," Bishop Bird told The Weekend Australian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Minimising crimes: how the church is playing with words

AUSTRALIA
The Age

June 1, 2013

Chris Goddard

There are 80 lights in the five chandeliers in the Committee Room of the Parliament of Victoria. The windows, ornate mirrors and high ceiling give a sense of light and space. The darkness created by the rape of children, however, is inescapable.

This is where the Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations has been sitting. The committee and its members have grown in stature. They have attempted to illuminate the shadowy world of criminal priests and their accomplices, and to give hope to surviving victims.

It was in this room that Cardinal George Pell spent all last Monday afternoon, for the first time subject to the glare of accountability. Pell was greeted by the committee chairwoman, Georgie Crozier: ''I welcome your eminence.'' A survivor muttered: ''I have waited 30 years for this.'' Pell introduced his support team, the business manager, lawyer, secretary and media adviser: ''All of them married people with children'', he adds, as if this was central to their job descriptions.

Crozier stressed at the very start that ''the evidence is quite clear, the criminal sexual abuse of children occurred under the watch of the Catholic Church and it was covered up … these facts are not in dispute''.

The battle over words such as ''power'' and their meanings, over actions and inaction and their consequences, started immediately. Pell acknowledged that he is one of the better known public faces of the Catholic Church in Australia, but stressed that he had ''very, very limited'' powers. Pell attempted to underline the limitations of his authority: ''I am not the Catholic Prime Minister of Australia'', he insisted, although no one had suggested he was. The cardinal explained that, in spite of all his titles, the Catholic Church is ''an interesting example of a flat organisation''. The chairwoman disagreed, stating that ''many witnesses'' had described the church as ''a structure of convenience''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Time for 'Catholic spring' and Vatican III: bishop

AUSTRALIA
The Age

June 1

[Bishop Robinson's petition site]

Barney Zwartz

The bishop who designed Australia's Catholic clergy sex abuse response wants a ''Catholic spring'', a people-power movement to force the Vatican to tackle the abuse crisis at its source.

Retired Sydney bishop Geoffrey Robinson has launched a petition for ordinary Catholics to seek another global church council like the 1960s reforming Vatican II council. But at ''Vatican III'', he says, there must be as many lay people as bishops to make sure the hard questions get asked.

He believes that only a ''Catholic spring'' like the revolutions that ended the Marcos regime in the Philippines, totalitarian governments in the Arab world and communism in eastern Europe will move the Vatican to make the changes that are needed.

Bishop Robinson, 75, was the architect of the Towards Healing protocol introduced in every diocese except Melbourne in 1996. Abused as a child, he headed the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference professional standards committee for a decade until he retired in 2004 because he was so disillusioned.

On Tuesday, his new book For Christ's Sake: End Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church … for Good, will be launched in an inner-Sydney church. The petition, at www.change.org/forchristssake, was opened in Australia a fortnight ago without any publicity, and already has more than 10,000 signatures. Backed by two other progressive Australian bishops, the recently retired Pat Power of Canberra and Bill Morris of Toowoomba, it will be launched in Europe and the US soon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Our View: Abuse victims have chance to seek justice

MINNESOTA
Post-Bulletin

Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013

In a resounding display of bipartisanship, the Minnesota Legislature has allowed childhood sexual abuse victims a chance to seek justice that was once denied.

The Child Victims Act, which passed the Senate unanimously and the House by an overwhelming 123-3 vote, lifts the civil statute of limitations that prevented anyone 24 or older from filing a lawsuit over sexual abuse that occurred while they were children.

That gave childhood sexual abuse victims just a six-year window to file a civil lawsuit after becoming an adult. The six-year limit is the same time frame that applies to fraud and product liability lawsuits. We strongly believe that childhood victims — who take years, often decades, to come to terms with the sexual abuse they suffered — deserve more consideration than that.

Most Minnesotans agree. A survey by the National Center for Victims for Crime found that 63 percent of Minnesota residents believe child sex-abuse victims should, at any time, be able to sue their abuser or the organization that employed them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Priest to face child indecency charges

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

June 1, 2013

Michael Inman, Peter Jean and Christopher Knaus

A Canberra Catholic priest has been charged over historical acts of indecency on a child in the 1990s.

Father Edward Evans, 83, of Braddon, will face the ACT Magistrates Court next week to answer allegations he groped the girl, aged between 10 and 16 years, three times.

The elderly priest has pledged to fight the charges.

The three offences allegedly occurred between 1995 and 1997 at Father's Evans' Braddon home, according to police.

Father Evans has a long association with Canberra's German Catholic community. He has worked as a German-language chaplain for the German community in Canberra, and represents the country's Catholic mission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Vatican Bank President Ernst von Freyberg's Priority Is Clean Up Reputation Of Institute for Religious Works

VATICAN CITY
Huffington Post

AP

VATICAN CITY -- The head of the Vatican bank says his main priority is to clean up the bank's reputation, saying the institution hasn't served the pope well enough but still provides valuable services to the Holy See and its clients.

Ernst von Freyberg was named president of the Institute for Religious Works in February, replacing Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who was ousted by the bank's board last May.

His appointment was part of efforts to shed the bank's image as a secretive tax haven linked to scandals.

In an interview Friday with Vatican Radio, Von Freyberg said he had hired a leading anti-money laundering consultancy and a New York law firm to ensure that the bank complied with anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing standards. He also hired some public relations experts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Zero tolerance for suspect accounts; Vatican Bank

VATICAN CITY
RTE News

The Vatican bank is checking the account of every client including Holy See employees.

It's new President said it's part of a campaign to root out any money laundering.

Ernst von Freyberg's predecessor was dismissed for poor management, and the Vatican's financial watchdog said last week it was investigating six possible attempts to use the Holy See to launder money in 2012.

In an interview published in Corriere della Sera, Freyberg said the Institute for Works and Religion - the bank's formal name - was reviewing each of 18,900 clients to verify their right to an account and bare any suspicious aspects.

The IOR was combing through about 1,000 accounts a month, he said, to pinpoint owners and who has signature authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

New Vatican bank head vows zero tolerance with suspect accounts

VATICAN CITY
euronews

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican bank is checking the account of every client including Holy See employees, its new chief said, in a campaign to root out any money-laundering at an institution prone to scandals for decades.

Ernst von Freyberg’s predecessor was dismissed for poor management, and the Vatican’s financial watchdog said last week it was investigating six possible attempts to use the Holy See to launder money in 2012.

In an interview published in Corriere della Sera on Friday, Freyberg said the Institute for Works and Religion – the bank’s formal name – was reviewing each of 18,900 clients to verify their right to an account and bare any suspicious aspects.

The IOR was combing through about 1,000 accounts a month, he said, to pinpoint owners and who has signature authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

JOANNE MCCARTHY: Rumble on the fault line

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

May 31, 2013

IN evidence at the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse on Monday this week, Cardinal George Pell talked about "gossips" and how he wasn't one.

If he had been, and if other Catholic Church leaders had been "gossips", maybe they "would have realised earlier just how widespread this awful business was", he said, referring to the Church's child sex abuse crisis.

He seemed to be saying that if only the cardinal and a few brother bishops had had a nice old chin-wag in the tearoom after formal proceedings at, say, the twice-yearly Australian Bishops Conferences, the Catholic Church might have acted much sooner to arrest a national tragedy.

If only they'd traded the latest rumours about priests A, B and C and their tendency to invite young children to their private quarters with the doors shut at odd times, maybe the penny might have dropped, Pell seemed to be saying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

The media's double-standard in coverage of clergy sex abuse: Opinion

UNITED STATES
NJ.com

By NJ Voices Guest Blogger/For NJ.com
on May 31, 2013

By Bill Donohue

The anger that practicing Catholics feel when they hear stories about priestly sexual abuse is palpable. The anger is directed at the offending priests and his enabling bishop. Fortunately, this a problem that is practically nonexistent in the Catholic church today. The numbers don’t lie.

The timeline for the lion’s share of abuse cases is not in doubt: the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. This was when the sexual revolution hit our culture like a tidal wave, engulfing even Catholic seminaries; it ended soon after the discovery of AIDS in 1981.

Here’s the good news: According to the Annual Reports on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, prepared by CARA, a Georgetown University research institute, over the past 10 years, the average number of credible accusations made annually against approximately 40,000 priests has been in the single digits. In the 2012 Annual Report, there was a total of six. Too bad there was a media blackout of this story.

There is no organization in the nation today that has less of a problem with sexual abuse of minors than the Catholic church. But one would never know that by listening to late-night talk show hosts, and the likes of Bill Maher. They would have the audience believe that nothing has changed. To top things off, the media often fail to adequately report on this problem in the non-Catholic population.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Archbishop Denis Hart calls for law to report sexual misconduct by priests

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

DAVID HURLEY HERALD SUN MAY 31, 2013

MELBOURNE Archbishop Denis Hart has called for a new law to require all Catholic dioceses in Victoria to report to authorities allegations of sexual misconduct by priests.

Archbishop Hart said Victoria should consider adopting the system used in NSW.

Speaking at a gathering of religious leaders in Melbourne, the Archbishop also pledged to ensure no new cases of child sex abuse would emerge from the Catholic Church under his leadership.

Discussing a change to the law, Archbishop Hart said it would give the community "effective oversight" of the church's processes.

He said: "The NSW Ombudsman Act imposes reporting requirements on organisations that work with children in that state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Vatican attention for a Scottish church in trouble

SCOTLAND
BBC News

By Robert Pigott
Religious affairs correspondent, BBC News

At first glance the retirement after more than three decades of service of Joseph Devine as the Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell is a routine event.

Bishop Devine tendered his resignation last year, in line with Church convention, at the age of 75.

But his replacement by an administrator, appointed by the Vatican, rather than a permanent replacement is the latest sign that all is not well in the Scottish Catholic Church.

Bishop Devine has stayed in post, despite ill health, for 10 months beyond his 75th birthday, and might have expected to hand over to a younger successor with the calibre to lead a diocese in challenging times.

Instead a fourth vacancy has been created in a church with only eight dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Sex abuse victim branded a 'fantasist' by Catholic bishop Joseph Devine says he's delighted cleric has retired

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

By Chris Clements

31 May 2013

A MAN who says he was molested by priests yesterday welcomed news that a ­Catholic bishop who called him a fantasist has retired.

Pat McEwan, 63, was branded an alcoholic and accused of “living in a fantasy world” by Bishop Joseph Devine after he came forward with ­allegations that he was raped as a boy between 1958 and 1961.

Pat said he was elated that the senior churchman had quit.

He added: “I’m delighted that he is gone. But his claim that I’m a fantasist is still there.

“He lacks compassion and is a very arrogant man. I do think his leaving now has a lot to do with my case.”

The bishop tendered his resignation last August when he turned 75 but he was asked to remain as the church looked for his replacement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Church won't help Vic priest up for parole

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

A Victorian bishop say the Catholic Church will give no support to an ex-priest jailed for child sex abuse, Gerald Ridsdale, if he is released on parole.

The Catholic Church will give no support to a former priest jailed over child sex abuse if he is released next month, a Victorian bishop says.

Former Victorian Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale is eligible for parole from late next month after serving a long prison sentence for abusing 30 boys between 1961 and 1987.

Ballarat Bishop Paul Bird said the church was under no obligation to provide support and would not be providing support to Ridsdale, as he was laicised in 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

‘Priests should urge abusers to confess’

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancashire Evening Post

The diocese of Lancaster has spoken out after it was reported a retired schoolteacher made two confessions to priests that he had sexually abused children – years before being brought to justice.

John Davis, 75, of Fensway, Hutton, was sentenced to six years in prison at Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to nine counts of indecent assault on several young girls.

After the case one of his victims said: ““I think it is absolutely disgusting that somehow he feels he can speak to a priest and that makes it all right.”

Adding: “I will have to live with this till the day I die. To me it is typical of the Catholic church and I feel utterly let down.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

National Review Board chair disputes John Jay report, links homosexuality to clerical abuse

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

The chairman of the National Review Board, a lay body that advises the US bishops in combating clerical sexual abuse, has disputed a 2011 John Jay College of Criminal Justice study that found no link between homosexuality and clerical abuse.

A journalist said to Al Notzon III, who is ending his term as chairman in June:

While the majority of clergy sex-abuse victims are post-pubescent boys, the researchers who completed the second John Jay Report concluded that same-sex attraction was not a significant factor in the crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

The secret that died with Andrew Greeley; Homosexuality and clergy abuse

UNITED STATES
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

Father Andrew Greeley has died at the age of 85.

I've mentioned him a number of times in this column over the last several years. I was no fan of his, to say the least. He even sent me a cryptic email a while back.

Out of Christian charity, we should pray for his soul. But I do want to remind readers of the following excerpts in Father Greeley's non-fiction book Furthermore! Memories of a Parish Priest – something he never (to my knowledge) revealed while living:

[Next comes a passage from the book discussing a "ring of predators" among clergy in Chicago.]

From Catholic World News (May 29):
The chairman of the National Review Board, a lay body that advises the U.S. bishops in combating clerical sexual abuse, has disputed a 2011 John Jay College of Criminal Justice study that found no link between homosexuality and clerical abuse.

A journalist said to Al Notzon III, who is ending his term as chairman in June: 'While the majority of clergy sex-abuse victims are post-pubescent boys, the researchers who completed the second John Jay Report concluded that same-sex attraction was not a significant factor in the crisis.'

Notzon replied: 'The majority of victims are still post-pubescent males ... When you hire an independent researcher [group], they reach their own conclusions. I don't agree with their conclusion in this instance – when 83% of cases are male on male.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

From the Editor's desk

AUSTRALIA
Bay Post

The Royal Commission into child sex abuse hasn’t even begun but it is already obvious how much the political and social landscape has shifted, and how exposed some institutions may be as a result.

This week’s appearance at the Victorian child sex abuse inquiry by Catholic Cardinal George Pell was especially revealing.

Gone was the bluster and confidence of the past, and in its place was a subdued church leader who appeared uncharacteristically uncertain.

True, his critics wasted no time writing off his apologies and contrition as “a cynical exercise in damage control”, but that overlooks the extraordinary reality that the church has, at last, been put on the spot by a more powerful secular authority and forced to face some hard facts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

Yoga at the SNAP Conference

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

Christa Brown

I'll be facilitating a yoga session at the annual SNAP Conference in Washington D.C. this summer. If you can, please come join me!

Who: Survivors of clergy sex abuse
What: SNAP conference 2013
When: July 26-28, 2013
Where: Washington D.C.

SNAP, the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests, is the largest international support group for women and men who were sexually abused by religious authority figures – i.e., by priests, preachers, ministers, deacons, nuns and others. It is a nonprofit organization that is independent of any religious group and that carries no connections to any church or denominational entity.

The conference takes place from Friday July 26 to Sunday July 28, and the yoga session will be one of the breakout events at the conference. It will be a come-as-you-are chair yoga session that anyone can participate in even if they’ve never done yoga before. No mat needed. So come one, come all!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM

Cardinal George Pell told that Hell awaits him

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

PATRICK CARLYON HERALD SUN MAY 27, 2013

CARDINAL George Pell was told that Hell awaits him after he finished four hours of evidence to the parliamentary inquiry into child abuse yesterday.

He didn't seem fazed: he has, after all, had almost two decades to perfect his explanation for what he describes as the Catholic Church's "imperfect" response to paedophile priests.

Cardinal Pell played chess as a kid. Through the afternoon he struck the pose of a master pondering his next move - elbows on the arms of his chair, fingers steepled in front of him.

Yet his opening play was the obvious one, a thoroughly modern tact adopted by corporations keen to be seen to accepting responsibility for perceived wrongdoings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Former Catholic school principal Frank Klep on new rape charges

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

SHANNON DEERY From: Herald Sun May 31, 2013

FORMER Salesian College Rupertswood principal Frank Klep has been charged with raping students after alleged victims came forward.

Police have charged the former principal with 20 new offences.

The 69-year-old former priest is now facing 31 charges of sexual abuse of boys between 1974 and 1984.

He appeared at the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a brief administrative hearing this morning.

The new charges include two counts of rape of a child under the age of 14 and a child under the age of 16.

The Salesians have previously denied allegations they moved Klep to Samoa after investigations into sex assault allegations began.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

New abuse charges for former priest

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

May 31, 2013

Fresh charges have been laid against a former Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing boys after new complainants came forward, a Melbourne court has heard.

Former Rupertswood College principal, Frank Gerard Klep, 69, of Burwood, appeared for a committal mention on Friday facing 31 charges of sexual abuse against 11 victims.

Klep's lawyer Tony Hargreaves told Melbourne Magistrates Court he would need more time to prepare his client's case after the new charges emerged.

"There's a raft of new complainants and serious charges," Mr Hargreaves said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Interview with IOR President, Ernst von Freyberg

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican’s Institute for Religious Works, known by the acronym of its Italian title IOR, is not a bank. It neither lends money nor makes direct investments and all of its clients are named.

The mission of its newly appointed president, Ernst von Freyberg, is to restore its reputation as a transparent financial institution in line with international norms at the service of the Holy Father and its 19 thousand customers worldwide, most of whom are nuns and clergy. He believes communication is a key part of this mission and members of the Church and the society at large must be informed of the IOR’s activities.

In an interview with Vatican Radio’s Fr. Bernd Hagenkord S.J., von Freyberg dispels some myths about the IOR and reveals the challenges facing the institute, which has attracted keen media attention in recent years. And he confesses to having a ‘dream’: “My dream is a very clear one. My dream is that our reputation is such that people don’t think of us any more, when they think about the Vatican, but that they listen to what the Pope says.”

My first question: Do you like your job, coming from Frankfurt down to Rome, working inside the Vatican?

“It is a great privilege to work here; it is the most inspiring environment you can imagine: working at the Vatican. And it is a great challenge to serve the pope in re-establishing the reputation of this institute.”

What did you imagine your work to be, prior to starting here?

“Different from what it is. When I came here I thought I would need to focus on what is normally described as cleaning out and dealing with improper deposits. There is – until now – nothing I can detect. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything, but it means that it is not our biggest issue.
Our biggest issue is our reputation. Our work – my work – is much more communication than originally thought. And it is much more communication inside the Church. We haven’t done enough of that in the past. It starts a home, with our own employees, with those who work for the Church in Rome, with those in the Church around the world. To them we owe first of all transparency and a good explication of what we do and how we try to serve.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

God’s new banker brings Teutonic thoroughness to Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Financial Times

By Guy Dinmore and Rachel Sanderson in Vatican City

On his last full day of a troubled papacy, Benedict XVI bade farewell to his household staff lining up in the Vatican, greeting cleaners, drivers and gardeners, before stopping to exchange just a few words with a newly arrived fellow German.

“I got a rosary. He wished me strength,” recalls Ernst von Freyberg, who two weeks earlier had been named head of the Vatican bank in the Pope’s last major appointment before his historic abdication in February.

Mr von Freyberg will need plenty of prayer and strength as he sets out to rescue the scandal-torn reputation of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), as the bank is formally known, and help bring the Holy See in line with international financial norms, particularly in combating money laundering.
But what comes across in a lengthy interview in his office, adjacent to the medieval bastion housing the bank, is a Teutonic thoroughness that the lawyer and financier has applied in 25 years of managing in Germany’s Mittelstand, its backbone of small and medium enterprises.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

Vatican Bank Looks to Shed Its Image as an Offshore Haven

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: May 30, 2013

VATICAN CITY — From the cheerful ease with which the newly minted president of the Vatican Bank fielded questions on a recent morning, it could be easy to forget how the bank has long been a mystery wrapped in an enigma, tangled up in some of the most opaque scandals in Italy.

“Our mission is to serve and shine,” the bank’s president, Ernst von Freyberg, said with a smile. “Our first pillar is transparency.” He spoke from an office in the medieval tower that houses the bank inside the Vatican, beneath a painting depicting the Gospel lesson, “Render unto Caesar, what is Caesar’s, and to God, what is God’s.”

Appointed in February by Pope Benedict XVI in one of his last acts before retiring, Mr. von Freyberg, 54, a German aristocrat, industrialist and Roman Catholic with a friendly manner and a subtle sense of self-irony, will have a lot of shining to do.

After the ouster of the previous president of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, in a boardroom coup last year, Mr. von Freyberg was brought in with the help of an outside headhunting firm — revolutionary by the standards of the insular Vatican — and is the bank’s first non-Italian president since its founding in 1942.

In recent years, the Vatican Bank has been under increasing pressure from European officials and the Bank of Italy to shed its reputation as an offshore haven and bring its practices in line with European norms to curb money-laundering and terrorist-financing as a condition for using the euro. Until it is deemed fully compliant, the Vatican will face higher costs and difficulties in finding banks to do business with it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

Abuse raids illegal

BELGIUM
The Tablet (UK)

30 May 2013

The country's highest appeals court ruled on Tuesday that evidence seized in police searches of church offices, its sexual abuse commission and the flat of Cardinal Godfried Danneels in June 2010 could not be used to prosecute the Church for covering up the abuse scandal.

The Cour de Cassation ruling came after lower courts had issued contradictory rulings on the legality of the searches, which included a bizarre visit to the crypt of Mechelen cathedral to search the tomb of a deceased cardinal for documents wrongly said to be hidden there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 AM

Hart pledges to stamp out clergy abuse

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

AAP

MELBOURNE Archbishop Denis Hart has pledged to ensure no new cases of child sex abuse emerge from the Catholic Church.

He says this commitment is shared by all bishops and religious leaders.

"I take responsibility for ensuring there is no re-emergence of child sexual abuse in the church," Archbishop Hart said on Friday.

"I speak on behalf of my fellow bishops and religious institute leaders when I say that we all share this commitment."

Speaking at a gathering of religious leaders in Melbourne, Archbishop Hart reiterated his apology to victims of clergy abuse and his faith in the church's processes for dealing with abuse in the archdiocese, the Melbourne Response.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

Archbishop blames cultural changes for number of sex offenders within church

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, says the cultural changes of the 1960s and 1970s were a major factor in the large number of child sex offenders within the church.

The Archbishop was speaking at a special diocesan leadership luncheon today as a follow-up to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into institutionalised child abuse.

Citing research conducted in the United States, Archbishop Hart said a number of organisational, psychological and situational factors led to a high rate of offending amongst priests ordained prior to the 1970's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 AM

Pastor G posts bond, released from Texas jail

TEXAS/VIRGINIA
NBC 12

By Rachel DePompa

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
Geronimo "Pastor G" Aguilar of the Richmond Outreach Center is out of a Texas jail after posting $200,000 bond, according to Tarrant County District Attorney's office.

A bond hearing set for Friday at his attorney's request has been canceled. Prosecutors have six months, under Texas law, to present the case to a Grand Jury.

Prosecutors in Texas charged Aguilar with seven felony counts in two child sex abuse cases dating back to 1996. Four of the counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 14, are first degree felonies that could carry life in prison.

Texas authorities took over custody of Aguilar from the Richmond Sheriff's Office Friday morning. Aguilar temporarily stepped down from his positions as President of the Board and Pastor at the Richmond Outreach Center last week due to the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 AM

Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale interviewed over new abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Samantha Donovan

One of Australia's most notorious paedophile priests, Gerald Ridsdale, is being interviewed by detectives about more abuse allegations.

AM understands Victorian police successfully applied for permission to interview 79-year-old Ridsdale yesterday.

He is currently in jail for the abuse of dozens of children between the 1960s and the 1980s.

In 1994 he pleaded guilty to more than 40 charges of sexual abuse involving 21 children. He was convicted again 12 years later over charges involving 10 boys.

Stephen Woods was a 14-year-old schoolboy when Ridsdale raped him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 AM

New abuse charges for former priest

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Fresh charges have been laid against a former Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing boys after new complainants came forward, a Melbourne court has heard.

Former Rupertswood College principal, Frank Gerard Klep, 69, of Burwood, appeared for a committal mention on Friday facing 31 charges of sexual abuse against 11 victims.

Klep's lawyer Tony Hargreaves told Melbourne Magistrates Court he would need more time to prepare his client's case after the new charges emerged.

"There's a raft of new complainants and serious charges," Mr Hargreaves said.

Magistrate Gerard Lethbridge adjourned the matter to July 5 and extended Klep's bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 AM

Former Catholic priest faces new abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By court reporter Sarah Farnsworth

Police have laid new charges of child sexual abuse against former Catholic priest Frank Klep.

The former principal of the Salesian College Rupertswood faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court today on 31 charges.

The 69-year-old is accused of abusing 11 boys between 1974 and 1984.

He was initially facing six charges of indecent assault, which were laid in February.

The new charges include 29 counts of indecent assault and two counts of rape of a child under the age of 14, and a child under the age of 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 AM

New Minnesota law spawns fresh lawsuits over decades-old priest sex abuse

MINNESOTA
Press TV (Iran)

A Minneapolis-St. Paul man has stepped forward to file the first lawsuit of sexual abuse by a priest since Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) signed the Child Victims Act into law.

The 51-year-old man who has chosen to remain anonymous filed the law suit against ex-priest Thomas Adamson on Wednesday alleging multiple incidents of sexual abuse in the 70s, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

“He was suffering in the shadows. There are going to be many more [suits] to come, as they should. Now is the time for reckoning,” said St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson who is representing the plaintiff.

In the past, the statute of limitations on sex prevented adults over 24 to sue for childhood abuse. Now that the statute is lifted by The Child Victims Act, adults can sue for any abuse during their past including the school or church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 AM

Hart promises no more clergy abuse

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart has made a commitment to ensure no more cases of child sex abuse emerge from the Catholic Church.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has pledged to prevent any new cases of child sex abuse emerging from the Catholic Church, saying it has been "hit like a brick" by the scandal.

He said the church had had trouble coming to terms with the horror of so many priests and religious offending, but it was resolute in its commitment to addressing it.

"I take responsibility for ensuring there is no re-emergence of child sexual abuse in the church, that victims are treated fairly and compassionately, and that offenders are removed from contact with children," Archbishop Hart said on Friday.

"I speak on behalf of my fellow bishops and religious institute leaders when I say that we all share this commitment."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 AM

Pell hopes worst of abuse scandal is over

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Daniel Fogarty and Genevieve Gannon, AAP
May 31, 2013

Cardinal George Pell hopes and prays that the worst of the sexual abuse scandal is behind the Catholic Church.

He says the church is making recompense for the decades of abuse and there have been very few recent cases.

Victims and advocates disagree and say recent revelations are just the tip of the iceberg.

For Stephen Woods, who endured sexual abuse at the hands of pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, Cardinal Pell's evidence to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry on Monday did nothing other than demonstrate that Australia's most senior Catholic and other church hierarchy still don't get it.

Mr Woods, like many fellow victims and advocates, believes that only new leadership and a change of attitude can bring real healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 AM

May 30, 2013

Administrator takes charge of Scots diocese

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Martin Williams
Senior News Reporter

Bishop of Motherwell Joe Devine submitted his resignation having turned 75 last year, but had continued in his role until replacements were found.

It has been claimed appointments were held up in the wake of the scandal involving Cardinal Keith O'Brien.

It is understood Bishop Devine's departure means that of the eight dioceses in Scotland, only three have full-time bishops in post who are not waiting to leave – in Glasgow, Oban and Aberdeen. ...

Last month Bishop Devine backed down from moves to sanction a serving priest over claims the Church had covered up a culture of sexual bullying.

He issued a notice stating no action would be taken against Father Matthew Despard, who alleged sexual misconduct had been rife for decades in seminaries training teenage priests.

Father Despard, parish priest of St John Ogilvie's in High Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, had written a book on the allegations.

The book names serving priests and claims senior figures in the Church refused to confront abuse and bullying complaints.

Last month, Bishop Devine's office was hit by allegations questioning how he handled abuse cases.

Alan Draper, a former child protection consultant for the Scottish Catholic Church, claimed he had stopped working for Bishop Devine because his advice was consistently ignored.

In March, after revelations Mr Draper knew of 20 abuse cases where no action was taken, the Church issued a statement dismissing his remarks.

It said the number of cases reported in Scotland each year was "small" and "have only very rarely involved a member of the clergy".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 PM

Priest suspended by Church of England ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Wirral News

Priest suspended by Church of England after arrest on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children

Joe Thomas, Liverpool Echo

A VICAR was suspended from his duties in a Merseyside parish after being arrested in a child porn probe.

Reverend Ian Hughes was questioned by police after being arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

The Church of England confirmed Rev Hughes was suspended as soon as they were made aware of his arrest.

Known for his facial piercings, Rev Hughes was Priest-in-Charge of Wirral parishes Poulton and Seacombe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Andrew M. Greeley..

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

Andrew M. Greeley, iconoclastic priest and author, dies at 85

By Joe Holley, Thursday, May 30, 11:41 AM E-mail the writer
The Rev. Andrew M. Greeley, an iconoclastic priest and sociologist who irked the Catholic hierarchy by writing best-selling novels that featured churchly misdeeds and graphic sex, died May 29 at his home in Chicago. He was 85.

His publicist, June Rosner, confirmed his death to the Associated Press. Father Greeley had reportedly sustained a traumatic brain injury and skull fracture in 2008 after his jacket was caught in the door of a taxicab.

Ordained in 1954, Father Greeley served for a decade as a parish priest in Chicago before being assigned by the church to work full time as a writer, researcher and teacher. ...

He outraged defenders of conventional Catholic doctrine with his outspoken belief that sex is a sacrament and an expression of God's love rather than a sin, when it is not a means of procreation.

In his 1986 memoir, “Confessions of a Parish Priest,” Father Greeley wrote: “I suspect Catholic historians of the future will describe the Church's obsession with sex and particularly with an attempt to deny the pleasures of sex to married men and women as a chapter in our history comparable to the Inquisition and the Crusades.”

Father Greeley began writing about the sexual abuse of minors in the mid-1980s and repeatedly castigated bishops for failing to stop abuse by the clergy and covering up for pedophile priests. Fellow priests told him the rumors were untrue and, even if they were, he shouldn’t be airing dirty laundry. ...

He kept writing about the burgeoning scandal for the next two decades, both in his long-running syndicated newspaper column and in such books as “The Priestly Sins” (2004), a novel that tells the story of a young cleric whose career is nearly destroyed when he witnesses and reports the sexual abuse of a boy by a fellow priest.

Bestselling novelist Rev. Andrew Greeley stood up for abuse victims

CHICAGO (IL)
Calgary Herald

BY DON BABWIN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO — The Rev. Andrew Greeley, an outspoken Roman Catholic priest, bestselling author and longtime Chicago newspaper columnist who criticized the hierarchy of his own church over the child sex abuse scandal, has died. He was 85.

His longtime publicist, June Rosner, said Greeley died Wednesday night at his Chicago home.

Greeley was the author of more than 50 bestselling novels, many of them international mystery thrillers, and dozens of non-fiction works. His writing was translated into 12 languages and his career spanned five decades. His novels include The Cardinal Sins, White Smoke, The Priestly Sins and Angel Light. His many non-fiction works include The Catholic Revolution and Priests: A Calling in Crisis. ...

“Sometimes I think that we as priests and bishops have done everything we possibly could to drive away the laity during the last 20 years,” Greeley wrote in his book Catholic Contributions: Sociology and Policy, published in 1987.

Greeley also had said neither the church nor government was willing to do much about priests who sexually abuse children.

“The sexually maladjusted priest has been able to abuse the children of the laity and thus far be reasonably secure from punishment,” Greeley told a lay Catholic group in 1992.

During a news conference in 1987, Greeley said that if he were heading a church fundraising campaign, he would admit to church members that “we’ve really goofed. People are resentful over what they take to be the insensitivity of church leaders — particularly on matters relating to sex.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

German seminary to probe Nazi jokes claim

GERMANY
Beatrice Daily Sun

A Catholic seminary in Germany says it is investigating claims that trainee priests made anti-Semitic jokes, played far-right music and gave Nazi salutes.

The head of the seminary in Wuerzburg, Herbert Baumann, says a probe was launched as soon as the allegations surfaced earlier this month.

They were first reported by German news agency epd, which didn't cite its sources.

Baumann said Wednesday in an e-mail to The Associated Press that he wouldn't tolerate anti-Semitic behavior at the seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Catholic Church names abusers

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The Catholic Church has released the names of 29 Melbourne priests it says are guilty of sexually abusing children.

The release of the list follows evidence by Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart last week to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse.

During that hearing he admitted that the church paid compensation to victims of at least 50 Melbourne priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

SNAP leader shames Mahaney supporters

UNITED STATES
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

An activist who advocated for victims during the Roman Catholic sexual-abuse scandal in the United States in 2002 says evangelical leaders publicly rallying behind a minister accused in a lawsuit of covering up sex crimes against children sends the wrong message to abuse victims everywhere.

David Clohessy, national director of SNAP -- the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests – said May 28 that religious leaders voicing support for embattled Pastor C.J. Mahaney, named in a lawsuit recently thrown out of a Maryland court for legal reasons, ought to be ashamed.

“It’s dreadfully hurtful to child sex-abuse victims when people in authority publicly back accused wrongdoers,” said Clohessy, one of just four abuse survivors to testify before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at their historic meeting in Dallas in 2002. “And it hinders criminal investigations, because it intimidates victims, witnesses and whistleblowers into staying silent.”

Clohessy weighed in after public statements by friends of Mahaney, including Southern Baptist seminary president Albert Mohler and Washington pastor Mark Dever, vouching for the former Sovereign Grace Ministries president’s personal integrity.

“Support Rev. Mahaney if you must,” Clohessy pleaded. “But do so privately in ways that don’t further harm, depress and scare other child sex-abuse victims into keeping silent and thus helping child predators escape detection and prosecution.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Rev. Andrew Greeley, priest outspoken on Catholic hierarchy, dies at 85

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

BY CORKY SIEMASZKO / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013

The Rev. Andrew Greeley, the outspoken Catholic priest and newspaper columnist who ripped his own church for covering up the child sex abuse scandal, died Wednesday. He was 85.

Greeley died in his sleep at his Chicago apartment in the swanky John Hancock Center, his spokeswoman June Rosner said.

The popular priest had been in declining health for last five years after fracturing his skull in a freak accident when his jacket snagged on a taxi cab door and he was pulled to the pavement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

***TheMediaReport.com EXCLUSIVE*** Confidential SNAP Memo Reveals Founder Barbara Blaine Admits Writing Letter ...

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

According to a tip received by TheMediaReport.com, Barbara Blaine, the founder and president of the anti-Catholic group SNAP, has admitted that she wrote a letter on behalf of a Louisiana psychologist, Dr. Steve Taylor, who was arrested and jailed on charges of possessing over 100 images of kiddie porn.

In 2009, when the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners was considering revoking the license of Dr. Taylor following his arrest for child pornography, Blaine wrote a letter to the board and explained that Taylor had founded a local chapter of SNAP and had done extensive work for the group. She then begged that the board "refrain from taking any action on this case until Dr. Taylor's guilt or innocence is determined in a court of law."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Expert says: Catholic clergy the worst abusers

AUSTRALIA
Damaso Times

05/30/20130

CATHOLIC clergy commit six times as much abuse as those in the rest of the churches combined, ''and that's a conservative figure'', a child protection expert says. Patrick Parkinson, a Sydney University law professor, told the state inquiry into how the churches handle sex abuse yesterday that the figures for the Catholic Church were strikingly out of proportion.

He proposed a 12-month amnesty from charges of perverting the course of justice if the church opened all its files on offenders alive and dead, but said those involved in cover-ups would have to resign.

Earlier, Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton set the inquiry's opening day alight with more broadsides against the Catholic Church's systemic obstruction of police inquiries over five decades.

He said police had statistics for sexual offences by clergy and church workers since January 1956, uncovering ''shocking'' figures: 2110 offences against 519 victims, overwhelmingly perpetrated by Catholic priests and mostly against boys aged 11 or 12. But in all that time the church had not reported a single crime to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Belgian bishops welcome court condemnation of 2010 cathedral raid

BELGIUM
National Catholic Reporter

Jonathan Luxmoore Catholic News Service | May. 30, 2013

OXFORD, ENGLAND The Belgian Catholic bishops' conference has welcomed judicial condemnation of a 2010 police raid on the cathedral and residence of Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Mechelen-Brussels.

On Tuesday, Belgium's Court of Cassation condemned the June 24, 2010, raid, during which documents were seized and the tombs of two cardinals were pried open. The raid occurred during a bishops' plenary meeting, and the bishops were held all day as police confiscated cellphones, documents and computers.

In its ruling, which is final under Belgian law, the court said the "legally unjustified" raid was ordered by a judge on the basis of a single witness' testimony. The court ordered the return of all seized material to the church.

"We are satisfied with this definitive judgment," said Jesuit Fr. Tommy Scholtes, spokesman for the Brussels-based bishops' conference. "But the raid's illegality was only one aspect of the many problems we still face, and the church must await further developments."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Andrew M. Greeley, Outspoken Priest, Dies at 85

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By PETER STEINFELS
Published: May 30, 2013

Andrew M. Greeley, a Roman Catholic priest and a prolific writer whose outpouring of sociological research, contemporary theology, controversial novels and no-holds-barred newspaper columns regularly challenged reigning assumptions about American Catholicism, was found dead on his Thursday at his home in Chicago. He was 85.

He died in his sleep, said his niece, Laura Durkin. Father Greeley had been in poor health since suffering a traumatic brain injury in 2008.

Father Greeley was exuberantly combative. He could be scathing about the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops; at one point he described them as “morally, intellectually and religiously bankrupt” and called for the retirement of “a considerable number of mitered birdbrains” if the church wanted “to salvage American Catholicism.”

But he could be equally critical of secular intellectuals, whom he accused of being prejudiced against religion, and reform-minded Catholics, who he said had a weakness for political or cultural fads.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

God or Goat?

UNITED STATES
Patrick J. Wall

MAY 30, 2013

GOD OR GOAT is one of the many child porn titles that Jesuit priest Gary Uhlenkott, S.J. at Gonzaga University allegedly purchased—discovered this week as a part of a federal sting operation on the Spokane campus and at the priest’s home.

For the dozen advocates and attorneys who battled for nearly a decade to combat the child abusers in the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, this news from Spokane is sickening, but not surprising.

Why? After five years of investigating 45 Jesuit child molesters in the Diocese of Fairbanks, I was shocked at the indifference and lack of action amongst the hierarchy. We discovered in case after case that the Father General, his American assistants in the Roman Jesuit curia, the Jesuit Conference in Washington D.C., the Provincials in Portland, the Socius in Portland, the Presidents at Gonzaga, and the Presidents at Seattle University all knew they had dozens of child molesters in the Province and chose to remain silent.

The lesson from Father Gary Uhlenkott S.J. and Gonzaga is that the crimes against children and the culture of Jesuitical indifference continue in the Society of Jesus. Despite uncovering that President Father John P. Leary, S.J. of Gonzaga was removed in 1969 for child abuse, the Oregon Province filed for bankruptcy protection 2009 to protect itself from hundreds of child abuse victims. Despite being certified by Praesidium, NOTHING has changed in the Society of Jesus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-Father Andrew Greeley, novelist and Catholic critic, dies

CHICAGO (IL)
Reuters

May 30, 2013

(Spokeswoman says Greeley died early Thursday morning, not Wednesday night, paragraph three)

By Mary Wisniewski

May 30 (Reuters) - Father Andrew M. Greeley, an outspoken Roman Catholic priest who wrote more than 50 novels and was a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times until he suffered a brain injury in 2008, died at the age of 85 in his Chicago home, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

"Father Andrew Greeley was the most influential American Catholic sociologist of the 20th century," said Father Tom Reese, a senior analyst at the National Catholic Reporter. "He was the first to show how Humanae Vitae, the encyclical on birth control by Pope Paul VI, split the church and made the laity question church authority."

Greeley died in his sleep early Thursday morning, according to his spokeswoman, June Rosner.

A proponent of reform within the Catholic Church, Greeley also wrote more than 100 works of non-fiction, including "Priests: A Calling in Crisis" and "The Catholic Revolution: New Wine in Old Wineskins and the Second Vatican Council."

"He was first and foremost a parish priest ... his parish were the people who read his columns and his books," said his niece, Laura Durkin. "He was a priest and he loved the church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 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 2:18 PM

IL- Prominent priest passes away

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY DAVID CLOHESSY ON MAY 30, 2013

We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Fr. Andrew Greeley. We agree with them that the church is a better place because of him.

Decades ago, Fr. Greeley made the first substantial donation to SNAP. He was one of the first to publicly address the church's on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. His columns about the scandal gave hope to many victims and prodded many journalists to begin covering it.

He was criticized and ridiculed when, in 1993, he wrote in a magazine article that roughly 100,000 US kids had been molested by priests. (Last year, according to mainstream media accounts, church abuse experts made the same estimate in a Vatican meeting.)

We don't agree with everything Fr. Greeley said or did. But we are grateful to him for his support, compassion and courage over the last three decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Papal Nuncio: Cardinal O’Brien did ‘a lot of good’

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

By CRAIG BROWN
Published on 30/05/201

THE disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien has been praised by the Pope’s representative in UK as having done “a lot of good” during his career.

Papal Nuncio Antonio Mennini has said that despite having mistakes he had also made a positive contribution on the Catholic Church’s behalf.

His comments came as he made the surprise announcement that bishops would be appointed to three of the four currently vacant dioceses.

Speaking during a visit to the Diocese of Motherwell, where he told clergy that the resignation of Bishop Joseph Devine had now been accepted, Archbishop Mennini said: “In some respect, we can recognise that the cardinal, not withstanding his mistake, did a lot of good work for the church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

The Rev. Andrew M. Greeley dies at 85; outspoken Catholic priest

CHICAGO (IL)
Los Angeles Times

By Elaine Woo
May 30, 2013

The Rev. Andrew M. Greeley, the irrepressible Roman Catholic priest whose broad talents drove him to prominence as a sociologist, novelist, newspaper columnist and voluble church critic, has died. He was 85.

The controversial cleric died in his sleep early Thursday at his Chicago home, said his niece, Laura Durkin.

"He was first and foremost a priest," Durkin said. "His parish was his readers and his fans. That's how he looked at it. He wrote books expressing God's love for us."

Greeley was a self-styled maverick whose Renaissance impulses defied a conventional definition of the priestly vocation. A sociology professor at the University of Arizona and the University of Chicago, he wrote nearly 100 scholarly books, most of which were based on his groundbreaking research on the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. He turned his sociological and theological reflections into fiction and, starting with "The Cardinal Sins" in 1981, became a bestselling novelist with more than 60 titles to his credit.

A self-described "loud-mouthed Irish priest" ("And may they carve it on my gravestone!" he quipped), he was outspoken in his criticism of church policies that he considered out of step with the times, including the Vatican's stances on birth control, divorce and the ordination of women. He had harsh words about the U.S. church's mishandling of sexual abuse by priests. He once tarred American bishops as "mitred pinheads."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Fr. Andrew Greeley, sociologist and priest-novelist, dies at 85

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | May. 30, 2013

APPRECIATION

Fr. Andrew Greeley, an eminent sociologist of religion who also happened to be probably the best-selling priest-novelist of all time and the Catholic church's most prominent in-house critic, died Wednesday in Chicago. He was 85.

Over the course of a career that generated a staggering 72 nonfiction books and 66 novels, Greeley became the voice of the liberal American Catholicism of his generation -- critical, but deeply loyal. Greeley could be too Catholic for both some on the secular left and the most embittered of the church's dissidents, as well as too outspokenly liberal for the Catholic establishment, but he was always a compelling and commercially successful player on the American stage.

Born into a large Irish Catholic family in Oak Park, Ill., in 1928, Greeley was ordained a priest of the Chicago archdiocese in 1954. He earned a doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1962. Buoyed by both the Kennedy-era New Frontier and the reforming spirit of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), Greeley's early sociological work focused on the emancipation of American Catholics into the country's political and cultural mainstream.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Outspoken priest, author Greeley dies at 85

CHICAGO (IL)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By The Associated Press

Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013

CHICAGO — The Rev. Andrew Greeley, an outspoken Roman Catholic priest, best-selling author and longtime Chicago newspaper columnist who even criticized the hierarchy of his own church over the child sex abuse scandal, has died. He was 85.

His longtime publicist, June Rosner, said Greeley died Wednesday night at his Chicago home.

Greeley was the author of more than 50 best-selling novels, many of them international mystery thrillers, and dozens of nonfiction works. His writing was translated into 12 languages and his career spanned five decades.

The Chicago-area native wrote a weekly column that appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times and other newspapers on the relationship between religion and politics. He was a contributor to the New York Times, National Catholic Reporter and other publications.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Priest, author, critic Andrew Greeley dead at 85

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN

By Trevor Jensen and Margaret Ramirez
Chicago Tribune

Rev. Andrew Greeley, the outspoken Roman Catholic priest, best-selling novelist and sociologist known for his deeply researched academic appraisals and sometimes scathing critiques of his church, died Wednesday night, several years after fracturing his skull in a freakish fall in Rosemont.

Rev. Greeley died in his sleep at his apartment at the John Hancock Center, according to his spokeswoman, June Rosner. He was 85.

Rosner said Rev. Greeley had been in poor health since an accident on Nov. 7, 2008. He was at Advocate Lutheran General Medical Center when a piece of his clothing apparently got caught in the door of a departing taxi and he was thrown to the pavement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Priest in child pornography case has died

CONNECTICUT
The Day

By Karen Florin
Publication: theday.com

Published 05/29/2013

Former Waterford pastor Dennis Carey, charged last year with possession of hundreds of images of child pornography, has died.

Carey suffered a massive stroke earlier this spring and died of cardiac arrest on May 20, according to his attorney, Ronald F. Stevens. He was 66.

Stevens said Carey had several serious health conditions and that his criminal case in New London Superior Court had been on hold. On Friday, Stevens said he plans to present Carey’s death certificate to the court and ask that the charges be dismissed.

“It’s really a sad thing, to end his life this way,” Stevens said.

Carey had resigned from Waterford’s St. Paul in Chains Church a year ago after state and local police served a search warrant on the rectory, where Carey lived, and seized computers they said contained hundreds of images of child pornography. Following Carey’s arrest, Bishop Michael R. Cote wrote to parishioners of the Diocese of Norwich that he has started the process of dismissing Carey from the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Church names 29 molesters

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AAP May 31, 2013

THE Catholic Church has released the names of 29 Melbourne priests it acknowledges were guilty of sexually abusing children.

The ABC reported last night that of the 59 priests whose victims had been paid compensation, the church had named 29, including repeat offenders Desmond Gannon and Michael Glennon. It would not name the other half, some of whom it said had died before the allegations were made and had not had a chance to defend themselves.

Victorian police, meanwhile, are interviewing one of Australia's worst pedophile priests over new abuse allegations.

Gerald Ridsdale is eligible for parole from late next month after serving a long prison sentence for abusing 30 boys between 1961 and 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Priest on leave after abuse allegation

IRELAND
Impartial Reporter

Meadhbh Monahan • Published 30 May 2013

Parish priest of Rosslea, Canon John McCabe, has taken a "temporary leave of absence" from his ministry due to a child abuse allegation from "some years ago."

Parishioners who attended weekend Masses in St. Tierney's Church reported hearing gasps of shock when Canon Larry Duffy (parish priest of Clones) read out a letter on behalf of Bishop Liam McDaid. It said that "your parish priest" (i.e. Canon John McCabe) has requested a leave of absence while the allegation is investigated.

A spokesman from the Clogher Diocese has told The Impartial Reporter: "The Diocese of Clogher has been informed of a child safeguarding allegation in relation to a priest of the Diocese. The allegation relates to some years ago. The allegation has been reported to the civil authorities and all procedures laid down by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland are being observed. The priest involved has been granted temporary leave of absence from priestly ministry while the matter is being investigated."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

LIES OF THE MAGDALENE LAUNDRIES

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments as follows:

We are releasing a booklet today that I wrote, Myths of the Magdalene Laundries, that debunks the conventional wisdom about these Catholic-run facilities in Ireland. Based on the McAleese Report, the Irish government study that was released in February, the booklet examines the origins of the many myths that have surfaced about the laundries.

Virtually all the horror stories that have been told—nuns cruelly torturing and sexually abusing “fallen” women—are lies. Worse, Irish officials, such as the current prime minister, Enda Kenny, continue to misinform the public, even in the face of indisputable evidence. Media outlets, the BBC and the New York Times, in particular, refuse to discuss the McAleese Report, leaving the impression that the falsehoods told by Peter Mullan in his propaganda film, “The Magdalene Sisters,” offers an accurate picture of what happened.

Copies are being widely distributed to the media, Irish historical societies, Irish fraternal and sororal groups, the clergy—including all the bishops—and those who made a donation to cover the costs of publishing and distributing the booklet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Child abuse Royal Commission calls for call centre staff

AUSTRALIA
Government News

Published on Thu, 30/05/2013

By Julian Bajkowski

It would have to qualify as the toughest call centre and counselling contracts in Australia.

After months of behind the scenes preparations, the federal Attorney General’s Department on Thursday morning started officially looking for staff to pick-up the phone to answer the some of the hardest calls thousands of Australians will ever make in their lives – dialling the number to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Although exact details remain firmly and necessarily under wraps, AG’s has issued a request for tender for Call Intake and Support Services for the long awaited official inquiry that seeks to give some acknowledgement and closure to the scores of people whose childhoods and lives were shattered by crimes that many believe were persistently covered-up by churches and authorities.

The gravity and magnitude of the task ahead is underscored by call for a service provider that can provide staff that can field the calls, provide information to callers, capture crucial information and also refer clients to “related services and other sources of assistance.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Devine to step down

SCOTLAND
BBC News

The Roman Catholic Church has announced that the Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Devine, is standing down.

Bishop Devine had initially tendered his resignation on his 75th birthday last August but was told to continue in office until a successor was found.

The Diocese of Motherwell said he would be replaced with an administrator.

His resignation follows the dismissal of Cardinal Keith O'Brien as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh after he admitted improper sexual conduct.

Gerry O'Brien, a spokesman for Bishop Devine said "this does not relate in any way, shape or form" to criticism of the way the bishop had handled allegations of sexual abuse within the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Catholic Church reveals 29 priests it acknowledges are guilty of sexually abusing children

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Catholic Church has released the names of 29 Melbourne priests who it acknowledges are guilty of sexually abusing children.

The church revealed the names of 29 of those priests on Thursday, including repeat offenders Desmond Gannon and Michael Glennon.

However, it says it will not name the remaining 30 priests because several were dead when allegations were made and they did not have a chance to respond.

The church is also withholding the names of priests who were not charged after police investigations. ...

Priests named by Catholic Church:

Anthony Bongiorno, John Byrne, Peter Chalk, David Daniel, Bernard Day, Anthony Eames, Nazareno Fasciale, Desmond Gannon, Michael Glennon, Jack Gubbels, Barry Gwillim, Penn Jones, Bernie Mackin, Terry Merivale, Syd Morey, John O'Callaghan, Kevin O'Donnell, Tom O'Keefe, Paul Pavlou, Dominic Phillips, Ronald Pickering, Terrence Pidoto, Victor Rubeo, Peter Searson, Ray Whitehouse.

The ABC has chosen not to publish the names of four priests for legal reasons.
Last week the Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, told Victoria's child abuse inquiry the church had paid compensation to the victims of 59 priests who had worked in the archdiocese.

The church revealed the names of 29 of those priests on Thursday, including repeat offenders Desmond Gannon and Michael Glennon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Australian Catholic Church Names 29 Melbourne Priests Guilty of Abusing Children

AUSTRALIA
International Business Times

By Vittorio Hernandez | May 30, 2013

In a belated show of remorse over the cover up of clergy sexual abuse of children, the Catholic Church in Australia release the names of 29 Melbourne priests who are guilty of sexually abusing children.

The 29 are just the tip of the iceberg because there are 30 more priest accused of similar offenses, but their names were withheld since some were already dead when accusations were made against them, giving the priests no chance to respond.

However, guilty or not, the church paid compensation to all the victims of these 59 priests who had been part of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Archbishop Denis Hart admitted last week to the child abuse inquiry initiated by the state of Victoria.

ABC published the list but withheld the name of four priests in the group of 30 for legal reasons. The 26 others are: Anthony Bongiorno, John Byrne, Peter Chalk, David Daniel, Bernard Day, Anthony Eames, Nazareno Fasciale, Desmond Gannon, Michael Glennon, Jack Gubbels, Barry Gwillim, Penn Jones, Bernie Mackin, Terry Merivale, Syd Morey, John O'Callaghan, Kevin O'Donnell, Tom O'Keefe, Paul Pavlou, Dominic Phillips, Ronald Pickering, Terence Pidoto, Victor Rubeo, Peter Searson and Ray Whitehouse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Diocese of Dublin paid out €1.5m in abuse cases over past year

IRELAND
Irish Independent

SARAH MAC DONALD – 30 MAY 2013

The Catholic diocese of Dublin has paid out €1.5m in abuse settlements and legal costs over the past year.

In its latest update, the Child Safeguarding and Protection Service (CSPS) for the diocese says settlement costs for child sexual abuse by priests in Dublin have so far cost €17.9m. Of this sum, €12.5m covers settlements while €5.4 was spent on legal costs for both sides.

Over the past 12 months, the CSPS was notified of suspicions about two priests who were not previously the subject of complaints. One of priests is now deceased, while the other is not in ministry.

Within child safeguarding there are different categorisations of information with different thresholds designated for a concern or suspicion or allegation.

A suspicion is considered to be at the lower end of the spectrum of disclosure and could for example constitute third hand information. All suspicions or allegations made to the CSPS are reported to the Gardaí and HSE.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Breaking the Silence: The Growing Faith Movement to End Sexual Violence

UNITED STATES
Sojourners

by Catherine Woodiwiss 05-28-2013

IN 2002, Anne Barrett Doyle’s church involvement took a radical turn. The Boston Globe had just launched a series investigating rampant abuse among clergy in Boston’s Archdiocese, and the Catholic woman found herself protesting something for the first time in her life: her own Church.

“I was just pulled into this story, inextricably, with a force I didn’t understand,” Boston-based Barrett Doyle said.

This pull led her to help form Bishop Accountability, a clearinghouse that works to create and maintain a public record of clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. To date, the group maintains extensive paper trails (“over one million pages,” said Barrett Doyle), on reported sex abuse scandals around the country.

Nearly a decade would pass before Barrett Doyle realized her agitated response — an accusation against the church, in defense of the faith — was shared by many in leadership. The change came in 2012, when a priest sent her documents on a incident he’d brought to light in the 1990s.

“This man spoke out against abuse, and his career was altered forever by it,” Barrett Doyle said. “He’d done a wonderful thing, and his story was totally forgotten. He’d had no contact from other priests since. He was alone.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Blowing the whistle on clergy sex abuse

Blowing the whistle on clergy sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Lexology

Constantine Cannon LLP
Gordon Schnell

USA
May 24 2013

They are the Catholic Whistleblowers. At least that is the name this small, but growing band of renegade priests and nuns are calling themselves. They even have a formal website, beseeching “whistleblowers, supporters, and everyone who cares about transparency and honesty in the Catholic Church” to join them in their recently launched crusade. Their objective is plain and simple. Support victims of clergy sex abuse. Encourage Church insiders to do more to expose and root out the abuse that stubbornly persists. And ultimately, rouse the Catholic Church to take a more aggressive stand against this horrific scourge. To many, the Church does more to protect the perpetrators of this pestilence than it does the victims.

As their first official act of business, these modern day saints — who risk rankling their colleagues and superiors in an institution not known for tolerating internal dissent — are taking it straight to the top. They have appealed directly to Pope Francis himself. In a letter they recently sent him, the whistleblower group makes several recommendations to help remedy what they view as this ongoing crisis and scandal and the irreparable damage it is causing to the Church’s reputation: (i) create and support a group of clergy, lay professionals and abuse victims to serve as an intermediary between the Church and the victims; (ii) require complete transparency on clergy abuse and revoke any explicit or implicit oaths or pledges of secrecy within the Church; (iii) require zero tolerance and remove all clergy who have committed clergy abuse; (iv) remove all Church leaders who have facilitated or concealed clergy abuse; and (v) provide restitution and reparation to any victims of clergy abuse.

To bring their point home with some Biblical gusto, the whistleblowers compare themselves to the poor disfigured beggar who refused to be silenced when seeking some divine intervention:

The beggar was shunned by the apostles who attempted to silence him, to hide his hideous disfigurement from the Lord as if he might disfigure the one who created him. The beggar refused to be cast into silence for he knew his healing could only come from the dispenser of the divine mercy. Like this poor disfigured beggar we call out to you from the side of the road . . . . Please, Pope Francis, do not pass us by.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

The Monitor | Whistleblower Priests & Nuns

WALTHAM (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

May 29, 2013

We share with you this week two developments that give us hope:

1) Our new database of whistleblower priests and nuns – more than 50 remarkable individuals who chose not to stay silent about sexual abuse or its cover-up. Many have experienced retaliation in some form, from defamation to stalled careers to social isolation. We hope our preservation of their stories and photographs will raise awareness of their contributions and will help other witnesses find the courage to come forward. Read the whistleblowers' profiles.

2) The formation of Catholic Whistleblowers, the first group of priests and nuns dedicated to standing publicly with survivors and helping other Catholic church insiders who have witnessed wrongdoing. BishopAccountability.org is honored to have played a role in the emergence of this group. Last year, we contacted some of the whistleblowers we were researching and were stunned to learn that many were still shunned or marginalized by their fellow priests and nuns and church supervisors. We convened a small number of whistleblowers in conference calls last fall. The group grew and soon began meeting on its own. In January, the members decided to transition from private support to public activism, articulating a mission of service to survivors, future whistleblowers, and the church.

The New York Times broke the story of Catholic Whistleblowers last week.

Click here to see the group's website – please contact them and show your support.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:16 AM

Who should take the blame for the Newark priest scandal?

NEW JERSEY
U.S. Catholic

By Scott Alessi

After the latest chapter in the sexual abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey--which saw a priest who had been ordered by the prosecutor to be kept away from children somehow end up being involved in youth ministry in another diocese--someone had to take the blame. In an editorial last month, Newark, New Jersey's Star-Ledger called for Archbishop John J. Myers to step down after this latest failing. And in a poll today on NJ.com, as of this writing, 89 percent of respondents agree that Myers should resign. So guess who takes the fall?

If you guessed the archbishop, you haven't been paying close attention. Instead of admitting fault and stepping aside, Myers denied that he was to blame and instead pointed the finger at his vicar general, Msgr. John Doran, who has resigned as a result.

Of course, we don't really know how much Myers knew about the actions of Father Michael Fugee, nor do we know how much blame Doran actually deserves for what happened. But Myers has come out and said there are "vulnerabilities in our own systems" and that the failings of the archdiocese need to be addressed. Yet he stops short of admitting these problems--and things like Fugee being given the position of co-director of the office of continuing education and ongoing formation of priests in the Newark archdiocese--happened on his watch. Nor does Myers' account of the shortcomings of their efforts to protect children include even a hint of an apology.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Pell's great test of faith

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

DOUG CONWAY, AAP SENIOR CORRESPONDENT AAP MAY 30, 2013

GOD chose George Pell before Richmond Football Club could. But is the former ruckman now a religious tiger who has been forced to change his stripes a little?

Australia's most senior Catholic churchman had a professional Aussie Rules contract in his bag in his last year at school.

He was also toying with life as a lawyer or doctor.

But faith inexorably pulled him away, and instead the 18-year-old country boy from Ballarat entered Melbourne's Corpus Christi Seminary in 1960.

"I had fought against it for a long time," he once said. "But I suspected and became convinced that God was calling me to do his work. I've never regretted it, though I still marvel that I made the leap and gave it a go."

Cardinal Pell's faith must have been sorely tested as he confronted perhaps the most pernicious evil lurking beneath the surface of Australian society for decades - the sexual abuse of children by priests in his church, including one he had shared a residence with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Ridsdale questioned over more abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
The Age

May 30, 2013

Jared Lynch

Police have interviewed convicted paedophile Catholic priest Gerard Ridsdale after more people came forward with allegations of abuse.

It is understood detectives from Taskforce Sano interviewed Ridsdale, 79, on Thursday afternoon.
The investigation comes as the Adult Parole Board told victims in a letter that Ridsdale could be released as soon as June 29.

Ridsdale was convicted of abusing more than 30 victims. But a woman whose sons were abused by him said the paedophile's sister told her he had confessed to raping or molesting hundreds of children.

Victoria Police spokeswoman Natalie Webster confirmed detectives applied to Melbourne Magistrates Court to interview a 79-year-old Victorian man, ''in relation to historical child sexual abuse matters … in the 1960s and '70s,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Hearing Statements

AUSTRALIA
Facing the Truth

Summary Statement - St John of God - 29 April 2013
Summary Statement - Salesians of Don Bosco - 29 April 2013 - For full statement, see Salesians of Don Bosco website.
Summary Statement - Bishop Bird - 29 April 2013 - For full statement, see Diocese of Ballarat website.
Summary Statement - Christian Brothers - 3 May 2013 - For full statement, see the Christian Brothers’ website.
Summary Statement - Towards Healing - 3 May 2013
Statement - Stephen Elder Catholic Education Commission Victoria, Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Melbourne - 3 May 2013
Summary Statement - Archbishop Hart - 20 May 2013
Closing Statement - Archbishop Hart - 20 May 2013

Right of reply

The Archbishop of Melbourne’s right of reply to Victoria Police and Br Barry Coldrey are available here.

The Independent Commissioner’s right of reply is available here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Archbishop Hart’s summary statement to parliamentary inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

Tuesday 21 May 2013

ARCHBISHOP Denis Hart appeared yesterday, 20 May 2013, at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations. A summary of Archbishop Denis Hart’s statement to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry can be read at the Facing the Truth website. Read the Archbishop’s Summary Statement here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

CHURCH REVEALS PRIESTS GUILTY OF CHILD ABUSE

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC
Updated May 30, 2013

The Catholic Church has released the names of 29 Melbourne priests who it acknowledges are guilty of sexually abusing children.

Last week the Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart told Victoria's child abuse inquiry the church had paid compensation to the victims of 59 priests who had worked in the archdiocese.

The church revealed the names of 29 of those priests on Thursday, including repeat offenders Desmond Gannon and Michael Glennon.

However, it says it will not name the remaining 30 priests because several were dead when allegations were made and they did not have a chance to respond.

The church is also withholding the names of priests who were not charged after police investigations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Gonzaga Priest Accused Of Possessing Child Pornography

WASHINGTON
KHQ

[with video]

By Alex Rozier, KHQ Local News Reporter

FROM ALEX ROZIER: I've obtained the search warrant showing that the feds are investigating Gonzaga Jesuit Priest Rev. Gary Uhlenkott for connection to child porn. Rev. Uhlenkott has been a priest for more than 25 years, but the warrant shows child porn purchases over a three year span. Rev. Uhlenkott's purchases, according to the warrant, totaled more than $1600.

The Feds raided his apartment at Gonzaga and his office located in the building where he teaches music. According to the warrant Rev. Uhlenkott purchased "at least 29 separate orders of at least 62 items" containing child porn.

Gonzaga University officials said in a statement "we are deeply concerned to learn of the contents of the search warrant."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Police whistleblower's legal representation under review

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

A police whistleblower says news the New South Wales Government is reviewing his barrister's funding undermines the inquiry he sparked into child sexual abuse within the Hunter Valley's Catholic Church.

The Special Commission is underway in Newcastle looking into Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox's claims that he was told to stop investigating allegations of abuse by two priests.

The second part of the inquiry is set to start late next month.

Peter Fox says his barrister Mark Cohen has received an email from the Attorney General's department requesting a meeting next week about his funding.

To be saying at this late stage...you may even have to represent yourself...undermines the entire inquiry itself.

"We're probably only receiving funding that is minute compared to other Government departments that are represented, such as the NSW Police," he said.

"To throw an additional headache at us, halfway through this inquiry when we're about to launch into what I consider the more important aspect - that is the church's involvement in these matters - rings really big alarm bells for me as to what is going on within the ranks of the Government and the Attorney General's department."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Former Saanich priest to be sentenced in July

CANADA
Victoria News

By Kyle Slavin - Victoria News

The former Saanich priest who was found guilty earlier this year of touching a young person for a sexual purpose will learn his fate in July.

A date for Phil Jacobs' final court appearance was set Wednesday. He will appear in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria for sentencing on July 19.

Justice Miriam Gropper handed down her guilty verdict on Feb. 25.

The guilty charge stems from a witness testimony regarding tutoring sessions at Jacobs’ house on the grounds of St. Joseph the Worker Parish on Burnside Road West. The witness said he ended up in a position of laying on the couch with his legs over Jacobs’ lap.

During testimony in December, the young man told the court that Jacobs’ right hand would slide up and down the witness’s left thigh over his pants – “he went from my knee to my groin back and forth ... the back of his hand touched my genitals.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Pope Francis, The Vatican: For Christ's Sake Stop Sexual Abuse.... for good!

AUSTRALIA
Change.org

Petition by
Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

Sexual abuse within the Catholic Church has been nothing short of an epidemic of catastrophic proportions. The devastation of victims, the ruination of priests and religious, the damage to a major world religion and its faithful are horrendous and incalculable.

Australian Bishops - Geoffrey Robinson, Bill Morris and Pat Power call on the new Pope to seize the opportunity of his appointment to not only sweep the Church clean but to put His /God’s house in order for all time.

ROYAL COMMISSION WILL NOT PREVENT SEXUAL ABUSE FROM HAPPENING – FOR GOOD.

Bishop Robinson identifies three major tasks to be performed in eradicating sexual abuse from the Church: identifying and removing all offenders; reaching out to, and assisting, all victims and survivors; and identifying and overcoming the causes of both abuse and the poor response to abuse by the Church’s hierarchy. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating the first two of these tasks however it does not have the scope or power to make the changes necessary to ensure that systemic sexual abuse NEVER happens again in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Wirral priest arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children

UNITED KINGDOM
Wirral Globe

An unconventional Wirral vicar known for his facial piercings has been arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

Reverend Ian Hughes, 45, was quizzed by police as word of his arrest spread through his parish in Wallasey.

The Church of England confirmed Rev Hughes was Priest-in-Charge of St Paul's in Seacombe and St Luke's in Poulton, which closed last year.

The congregation moved into the nearby community rooms at Park Primary School on Love Lane and Rev Hughes held service there each Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Merseyside priest suspended after child porn probe

UNITED KINGDOM
Liverpool Echo

A vicar was suspended from his duties in a Merseyside parish after being arrested in a child porn probe.

Reverend Ian Hughes was questioned by police after being arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

The Church of England confirmed Rev Hughes was suspended as soon as they were made aware of his arrest.

Known for his facial piercings, Rev Hughes was Priest-in-Charge of Wirral parishes Poulton and Seacombe.

He is thought to have left his home in Brougham Road since his arrest last week, although a dog – thought to be his pet husky – could be heard at the property last night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Former priest named in first sex-abuse lawsuit under new Minnesota law

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Richard Chin
rchin@pioneerpress.com
Posted: 05/29/2013

A 51-year-old Twin Cities man alleges that he was sexually abused nearly 40 years ago by a priest who had a pattern of molesting children, in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court.

The lawsuit, which also named the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona as defendants, accuses former priest Thomas Adamson of sexual battery and accuses the archdiocese and diocese of being a public nuisance for refusing to release the names of 46 "credibly accused child-molesting priests."

"Our kids remain at great peril because we do not know who these offenders are and they do," said Jeff Anderson, attorney for the plaintiff in the lawsuit identified only as "Doe 1."

The lawsuit seeks a court order to require the archdiocese and diocese to release names of the accused priests "so kids in our community and across Minnesota can be better protected," Anderson said at a news conference Wednesday.

According to Anderson, the lawsuit was the first filed in Minnesota under a law approved this year by the Legislature and signed last week by Gov. Mark Dayton that lifts a six-year civil statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse.

The lawsuit alleges that Adamson, while working at St. Thomas Aquinas parish in St. Paul Park, "engaged in unpermitted sexual contact" in 1976 and 1977 with Doe 1, who was a teenage altar boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Suit filed against former Winona priest

MINNESOTA
Winona Daily News

[the lawsuit]

By Jerome Christenson | jchristenson@winonadailynews.com

A suit seeking at least $50,000 in damages and release of a list of priests “credibly accused” of molesting children was filed Wednesday against the Diocese of Winona, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and Thomas Adamson, a former priest in both.

The suit, filed in Ramsey County District Court, was brought on behalf of a 51-year-old anonymous plaintiff. The plaintiff claims that between 1976 and 1977 “Adamson engaged in unpermitted sexual contact” with the plaintiff while he was assigned to St. Thomas Aquinas parish in St. Paul Park.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Jeff Anderson, announced the suit at a news conference Wednesday in St. Paul, where he said the suit seeks to rectify “the repeated abuse and sordid saga of cover-up by both dioceses of the abuse by Thomas Adamson.”

“The suit seeks something much more than accountability and a day in court,” he said in a recording of the conference posted online, adding that it hopes to require the diocese and archdiocese to “come clean and come forth with the lists of credibly accused offenders that they have and continue to hold secret.”

The Diocese of Winona declined to comment Wednesday but released a three-paragraph statement that said that it “is committed to the protection of children and the safe environment of our parishes and schools,” and that it “works vigorously and has taken extraordinary measures to ensure that all of the schools, parishes and programs administered in the Diocese” adhere to the Church’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

New claims against paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Police are interviewing one of Australia's worst paedophile priests over new abuse allegations.

Former Victorian Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale is eligible for parole from late next month after serving a long prison sentence for abusing 30 boys between 1961 and 1987.

Police interviewed the 79-year-old on Thursday afternoon over historical child sex abuse matters allegedly committed in the 1960s and 1970s, when he was working as a Catholic priest.

They were given permission to conduct the interview by a magistrate.

No further charges have been laid at this time, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Police interview paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale over new abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

[with video]

GENEVIEVE GANNON, ANTHONY DOWSLEY From: Herald Sun May 30, 2013

ONE of Australia's worst paedophile priests has been interviewed by police over new abuse claims.

Former Victorian Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale, who is eligible for parole next month after serving a jail sentence for abusing 30 boys between 1961 and 1987, was interviewed yesterday afternoon in prison.

The allegations relate to historical child sex abuse matters allegedly committed in the 1960s and '70s, when he was working as a Catholic priest.

A magistrate allowed detectives to conduct the interview.

It comes after the Herald Sun revealed in March Ridsdale could be freed from jail next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Scale of abuse in Magdalene laundries ‘will never be known unless S

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY ANNA MAGUIRE – 30 MAY 2013

Excluding people who suffered clerical child abuse in Magdalene laundries and the community from a State inquiry will create “second-class victims”, it has been claimed.

Victims groups and abuse survivors have appealed to the Executive to hear their “truth” and extend the remit of the inquiry into historical institutional abuse.

In a research paper published yesterday, Amnesty International said a State inquiry into historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland ignores people who were “molested in churches, church halls, private homes and other locations outside children’s institutions”.

It also does not take into account women who suffered abuse at the hands of religious orders in Magdalene laundry-type institutions.

Nuns Claim No Role in Irish Laundry Scandal

IRELAND
Women's e-News

By Claire Mc Cormack
WeNews correspondent
Thursday, May 30, 2013

When I interviewed two Irish nuns in February it was the first time any member of religious orders that ran the abusive Magdalene Laundries spoke publically. Yet, months later, reconciliation with victims appears to be far off.

DUBLIN (WOMENSENEWS)-- The sit-down interview took place over two nights, behind the walls of the convent where they both live.

On the first night, Sister B opened the gates and directed me to her apartment where Sister A was waiting. I didn't meet any other members of their religious order as I walked through the convent.

As I positioned my Dictaphone for my story for The God Slot, a program on Ireland's National Public Service Broadcaster, RTÉ Radio 1, the nuns looked at the recording equipment with suspicion. But they didn't back out.

It was Feb. 11, almost a week after the publication of the McAleese Report, a damning publication linking the Irish State with the incarceration of over 2,500 women between 1922 and 1996 and failing to supervise their care. In reality this number is likely to be much higher but many records did not survive.

I was there so that Irish nuns, for the first time, could comment on a long-simmering scandal over subject matter that has drawn high-profile attention, including the 2002 movie The Magdalene Sisters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Ex-Priest Named in 1st Lawsuit Under New Minn. Law

MINNESOTA
KAAL

A civil lawsuit filed Wednesday by a man who claims he was sexually abused by priest nearly 40 years ago is the first to be brought since the Minnesota Legislature loosened the statute of limitations on such crimes, attorneys for the accuser said.

The lawsuit was filed in Ramsey County court on behalf of the 51-year-old Twin Cities man, identified only as "Doe 1," and seeks at least $50,000 in damages.

The lawsuit, which also named the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona as defendants, accuses former priest Thomas Adamson of sexual battery and accuses the archdiocese and diocese of being a public nuisance for refusing to release the names of 46 "credibly accused child molesting priests."

"Our kids remain at great peril because we do not know who these offenders are, and they do," said Jeff Anderson, St. Paul lawyer for the plaintiff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

NEW ABUSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST FORMER VICTORIAN PAEDOPHILE PRIEST

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC
May 30, 2013

Victorian detectives have applied to question convicted paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale about more allegations of child sexual abuse.

The 79-year-old is serving a prison sentence for abusing children between the 1960s and 1980s, but he will soon be eligible for parole.

They want to interview Ridsdale about allegations of abuse in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Catholic Church has decided not to publicly release the full list of Melbourne priests it acknowledges have sexually abused children.

Last week the Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart told Victoria's child abuse inquiry the church had paid compensation to the victims of 59 priests who had worked in the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

CHILD SEX ABUSE: New law exempts statute of limitations for victims

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

[with video]

by Tom Lyden

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
Minnesota may be on the verge of a big game change when it comes to lawsuits brought forward by those who were sexually abused as children thanks to a recent exemption to the statute of limitations.

"Give this kid and his family a trial," urged attorney Jeff Anderson.

From his ornate office in St. Paul, Anderson has been taking on the nation's most-respected institutions over allegations of sexual abuse of children. On Tuesday, he was focused on the Boy Scouts of America.

Anderson is currently trying to convince a judge that the Boy Scouts should be held civilly liable for Peter Stibal, who is serving 14 years in prison for molesting boys. Anderson discovered the organization even kept a file on Stibal and 1,400 other scout leaders -- the so-called "perversion files."

"They clearly had red flags that Stibal was an offender before he abused this child," Anderson said.

On Wednesday, Anderson will take on the Catholic Church yet again, including Father Thomas Adamson. The archdiocese admits the priest abused children, but many of the cases were outside the statute of limitations -- until last Friday, that is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Sex abuse lawsuits against Minnesota dioceses begin to fly

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert

Local Catholic dioceses might need some of the money they spent fighting gay marriage. Chao Xiong of the Strib reports: “A 51-year-old Twin Cities man sued Wednesday alleging sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in the 1970s, the first such lawsuit since the Child Victims Act was signed into law last week by Gov. Mark Dayton. The act strips away the statute of limitations that previously gave child sex-abuse victims until the age of 24 to sue. Exactly what impact it will have is unclear, but St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who is representing the man, said more litigation is inevitable. … Anderson’s client, Doe 1, is suing former priest Thomas Adamson, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona in Ramsey County District Court. Anderson is also asking the archdiocese and diocese to publicly release the names of 46 priests who have ‘credible allegations of sexual abuse.’ ”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

First lawsuit filed under child victims act - More cases may come against former Bemidji priest

MINNESOTA
The Bemidji Pioneer

[the lawsuit]

JUSTIN GLAWE
BEMIDJI PIONEER

BEMIDJI — The first lawsuit born of the Minnesota Child Victims Act was filed Wednesday, and the lawyer representing “John Doe 1” in the case said more suits will be filed against James Porter, a priest who worked in Bemidji and admitted to abusing more than 100 children across the country from 1960-73.

The bill, signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton on May 9, provides a three-year window for victims of past abuse to have their day in court. After the window closes, victims must abide by the original statute of limitations, which requires them to file suit before they reach age 25.

In 1992, Jeff Anderson, of Anderson and Associates in St. Paul, represented 15 victims from the Bemidji area who came forward with allegations against Porter — a priest at St. Philip’s Catholic Church from 1969-70.

“There will be more Porter cases,” Anderson told The Bemidji Pioneer on Wednesday.

The suit filed by Anderson on Wednesday named the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, the Diocese of Winona and Father Thomas Adamson as defendants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Ex-priest named in first lawsuit under new Minnesota law

MINNESOTA
WDAY

By: Associated Press

ST. PAUL — Attorneys have announced the first civil lawsuit over alleged sex abuse by a priest since the Minnesota Legislature loosened the statute of limitations.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday on behalf of an anonymous 51-year-old Twin Cities man who alleges he was sexually abused nearly 40 years ago by a former priest.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the suit also accuses the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona of being a public nuisance for refusing to release the names of 46 priests "credibly accused" of molesting children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Minn. churches are sued under new sex abuse law

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

[the lawsuit]

Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune Updated: May 29, 2013

A 51-year-old Twin Cities man sued Wednesday alleging sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in the 1970s, the first such lawsuit since the Child Victims Act was signed into law last week by Gov. Mark Dayton.

The act strips away the statute of limitations that previously gave child sex-abuse victims until the age of 24 to sue. Exactly what impact it will have is unclear, but St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who is representing the man, said more litigation is inevitable.

“He was suffering in the shadows,” Anderson said of his client, who is remaining anonymous. “There are going to be many more [suits] to come, as they should. Now is the time for reckoning.”

Anderson’s client, Doe 1, is suing former priest Thomas Adamson, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona in Ramsey County District Court. Anderson is also asking the archdiocese and diocese to publicly release the names of 46 priests who have “credible allegations of sexual abuse.”

The suit claims that church leaders knew that Adamson sexually abused boys starting in the 1960s while he worked in southern Minnesota. He was moved often, and ended up at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in St. Paul Park from 1976 to 1979, where he sexually abused Doe 1 from 1976 to 1977, the suit claims. Adamson “groomed” the boy and his parents, Anderson said, and would sexually abuse him after taking him to athletic events or playing basketball with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Ex-priest who served in Albert Lea faces sex abuse lawsuit

MINNESOTA
Albert Lea Tribune

[the lawsuit via Jeff Anderson & Associates]

By Sarah Stultz

A former priest who served a stint at St. Theodore Catholic Church in the 1960s is facing multiple allegations of sexual abuse against children over a 20-year period.

St. Paul lawyer Jeff Anderson on Wednesday announced he filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of a 51-year-old Twin Cities man, against former Rev. Thomas Adamson.

Adamson served in the Albert Lea parish in 1967 and 1968, at which time he was also the chaplain of Lea College. He came to the city from an administrative position in Hammond, and after leaving Albert Lea, he was moved to St. Lawrence O’Toole in Fountain and St. Kilian’s in Wycoff.

A news release from the Jeff Anderson & Associates firm states Adamson was moved to 15 locations during a 20-year period, allegedly molesting boys in almost every parish he served.

It also alleges the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona concealed or ignored Adamson’s alleged abuse of children, in turn endangering children and the public safety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Victims of Australian child abuse scandal look for peace

AUSTRALIA
CNN

By Monica Attard, for CNN
updated 3:35 AM EDT, Thu May 30, 2013

Sydney, Australia (CNN) -- Australia's most senior Catholic has urged the government of Victoria not to change the state's laws to allow the victims of sex abuse at the hands of clergy to seek higher compensation than currently available.

Cardinal George Pell said this would amount to discrimination against the Australian Catholic Church.
This comes after a tumultuous week in which the victims of church sex abuse heard Cardinal Pell acknowledge the church had covered up the abuse of minors, out of fear the scandal would envelope the faith.

Pell was this week, the final witness in a state government enquiry into the responses to the allegations of child sex abuse by religious and non-government institutions in the state of Victoria. The cardinal also apologized for the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

First lawsuit filed under new law to permit later filing of sex abuse civil actions

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
May 30, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson has filed the first lawsuit under a new Minnesota law that allows victims of child sexual abuse to bring claims decades later.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court on behalf of an unnamed 51-year-old man, accuses the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona of negligence for allowing a known pedophile to continue working with children for years.

The plaintiff, identified as "Doe 1" seeks a court order to force the church to release an internal list of "credibly accused child molesting priests" and accuses the church of creating a public nuisance by keeping the names secret. The man also seeks more than $50,000 from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the Diocese of Winona and former priest and alleged abuser Thomas Adamson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Child Protection Update 2013 (May 30th)

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

The number of Dublin priests, against whom an allegation of child sexual abuse has been recorded, has not increased in the past year.This is the first time this figure has remained static since the Archdiocese began publishing annual updates almost 8 years ago.

This year, the Child Safeguarding and Protection Service (CSPS) will acknowledge the work of hundreds of volunteers who received training and who are responsible for implementing safeguarding procedures in a special Diocesan Safeguarding Day. This is to recognise the crucial work carried out by these women and men in helping maintain a safe environment for children in the life of the Church in Dublin.

This year also saw the setting up of a new Diocesan Safeguarding Committee. This voluntary group of lay and religious men and women with relevant expertise, supports guides and enhances the work of the Diocese, its parishes, offices and agencies in promoting good safeguarding practices.

Within the past 12 months the Service also began the distribution of a regular newsletter to all 199 parishes and groups working in the Archdiocese, keeping them updated on new developments and events.

The Diocesan Director for Child Safeguarding and Protection, Andrew Fagan, said they are arriving, albeit slowly, at a position where the Service has a fuller picture of what happened in the past. He said that while there has been a fall off in the number of allegations against men not previously known to them, this must not lead to complacency. “We continue to monitor those who could pose a risk to children and we must remain steadfast and focussed on Safeguarding to ensure that the risk to children participating in church life today is minimal”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Number of abuse allegations against Dublin priests static for first time in decade

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

The number of Dublin priests against whom an allegation of child sexual abuse has been recorded has not increased in the past year.

It is the first time this figure has remained static in almost a decade.

However the suspicion of abuse, which is categorised by the Church as being less serious than an allegation, was raised against two priests of the archdiocese who were not previously the subject of complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

May 29, 2013

Cardinal Wuerl, former Pittsburgh bishop, meets with Pope Francis in Rome

UNITED STATES
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Tribune-Review

Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C. and former bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, met with Pope Francis Wednesday in Rome, Vatican and archdiocese officials said.

The Archdiocese of Washington's spokeswoman said Wuerl was in Rome for a meeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of which he is a member. The Congregation reviews Catholic practices and cases of alleged abuse by priests. The Vatican Information Service noted that the Pope received Wuerl Wednesday afternoon, but gave no details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Bishop who said an alleged sex abuse victim 'was living in a fantasy world' steps down after 30 years

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

A ROMAN Catholic Bishop is to step down after more than 30 years in the role.

The Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Devine tendered his resignation in August last year on his 75th birthday.

Bishop Devine continued in his post for 10 months as no successor was appointed and his office will now be handled by an administrator until a new Bishop of Motherwell is ordained.

He became a Bishop in 1977 and took the role in Motherwell in May 1983.

A statement from the Diocese of Motherwell said: "He will always have a deep fondness for the people of Lanarkshire and is greatly appreciative of the loyalty, support and generosity that he has received not only from his own congregations but from people of all faiths and none."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Padres e freiras dos EUA criam grupo contra abuso sexual na Igreja

NOVA YORK
BBC Portugal

Alessandra Corrêa
De Nova York para a BBC Brasil

Durante mais de 30 anos, o padre americano Bruce Teague suportou o peso de um segredo nunca revelado: o de que, aos nove anos de idade, quando era coroinha, foi abusado sexualmente por um padre de sua paróquia, no Estado de Massachusetts.
Hoje, aos 65 anos, Teague usa sua experiência para ajudar outros sobreviventes desse tipo de crime.

Ele é um dos membros de um recém-criado grupo de padres e freiras dos EUA que se uniram para denunciar os abusos que continuam ocorrendo dentro da Igreja Católica e incentivar que vítimas e testemunhas rompam o isolamento e venham a público relatar novos casos.
Batizado de Catholic Whistleblowers ("denunciantes católicos", em tradução livre), o grupo surgiu informalmente no ano passado e tornou sua campanha pública neste mês, em uma entrevista coletiva em Nova York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

State-by-State Changes Sought in Limits on Sexual-Abuse Lawsuits

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by SUE ELLEN BROWDER 05/29/2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sexual-abuse “window” legislation, similar to the law that led to diocesan payouts of over $1 billion in California in 2003, is snaking its way through state legislatures across the nation.

Senate Bill 131, which may go to the floor of the California Senate as early as today, could put the Catholic Church again in financial jeopardy by opening up yet another year in which civil cases alleging sexual abuse that happened decades ago could be filed in court.
“Our chief concern with this bill is that it goes backwards, that it opens up the statute of limitations all over again for one year in 2014,” said Kevin Eckery, spokesman for the California Catholic Conference.

When California passed the 2002 law that opened up a one-year “window” into the legal system in 2003 for anyone to sue the Church for past alleged sexual abuse, assurances were made that this “one time” legal initiative would allow the Church to address past sex scandals and then move forward, a promise that seems to be forgotten.

But there’s a new twist to the legislation this time around: the 2014 legal “window” would apply not only to the Catholic Church but to all private and non-profit organizations, such as the YMCA/YWCA, private schools, private businesses, Protestant churches and Little League.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Jesuit chosen as US bishops' new doctrinal watchdog

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | May. 29, 2013

The U.S. bishops' conference has named a Jesuit known for conventional views on marriage and sexuality as its new doctrinal watchdog, replacing a key staffer behind several controversial criticisms of theologians in recent years.

Fr. Peter Ryan will become executive director of the bishops' secretariat of doctrine and canonical affairs in August, the conference announced Wednesday.

The appointment, which comes as the bishops' conference prepares a change in its top leadership in the fall, may be a sign of what stance the bishops will take toward those who hold more progressive viewpoints under the new pontificate of Pope Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Sexual abuse victims file compensation claim

MALTA
Malta Today

Chris Mangion

The victims of sexual abuse committed by two priests at the St Joseph's Home for Boys in Santa Venera are to file a compensation claim in court today.

Lawrence Grech, who was the man who broke the silence and led the victims' legal battle against the priests today filed the claim together with nine other victims.

The victims are claiming that since the two priests were sentenced to jail, the victims should receive compensation, however stopped short of demanding a specific amount.

In November, defrocked priests Carmelo Pulis and Godwin Scerri were sentenced to six years and five years imprisonment respectively.

The judgment was confirmed on appeal by Mr. Justice Scicluna on the basis of clear evidence of lewd and lustful acts which were committed by the two on 11 'passive victims'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Sex abuse victims file civil case for damages

MALTA
Times of Malta

The 10 victims of sex abuse by former priests today filed a civil case requesting the court to liquidate for damages.

The victims filed their case against abusers Carmelo Pulis and Godwin Scerri, the Missionary Society of St Paul, the Archdiocese of Malta, and the directors general at the Office of the Prime Minister, the Education and Employment Ministry and the Social Solidarity and Family ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Adubato: Readers respond on cell phones, church scandal

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Steve Adubato
on May 26, 2013

There was lots of feedback to my recent column about a texting dad who was not “in the moment” at his 8-year-old son’s baseball game, as well as to an earlier column on the much-publicized leadership failures of the Archdiocese of Newark in the case of the disgraced Rev. Michael Fugee. Here is a sampling: ...

Finally, Fred Kanter of Mountain Lakes responded to my column on the Newark Archdiocese leadership failure in the case of the Rev. Michael Fugee, who was arrested and arraigned last week. The Rev. Fugee admitted to groping a young boy and was later in the presence of children, despite a signed agreement with prosecutors barring such behavior.

Said Kanter: “The business of any religion, according to them, is truth. This latest example is like episode 5,222 of a daytime soap opera, it’s just more of the same. Trust them (the leadership of the church) to do what’s right, and they deny any culpability while silently playing a game of musical chairs with serial pedophiles. So this time a big public display was made of an agreement just for show. Then they just stealthily continued the game and tell us they interpret the agreement differently. I find it morally depraved and disgusting, nothing less.”

The last thing the Catholic Church’s brand needed was a devastating hit to its reputation like this. Institutions, organizations and businesses are expected to demonstrate strong leadership and communicate in a clear, concise and credible fashion when a crisis occurs. The Archdiocese in Newark has failed miserably on both counts and to date has done nothing to turn this situation around.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

GU worker faces child rape charges

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

May 29, 2013

Thomas Clouse The Spokesman-Review

A Spokane man has been charged with child rape and molestation in a case that has prompted Gonzaga University officials to review on-campus security measures.

Timothy D. Woodard, 48, a Gonzaga employee, is facing seven felony charges, including first-degree rape and first-degree child molestation, stemming from events that the victim said occurred in 1998 or 1999 when he was 10.

The charges prompted an email from Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh, who wrote university staff because Woodard continued to work there as a general maintenance employee. Once officials learned of the charges, they placed Woodard on administrative leave.

“The allegations state that some abuse may have taken place on Gonzaga’s campus; specifically, there are allegations that one or more instances occurred in our fitness facilities,” McCulloh wrote in an email obtained by The Spokesman-Review. “The incidents alleged in these charges are extremely serious, and I am deeply saddened to learn of them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Gonzaga University Employee Faces Sexual Assault Charges

WASHINGTON
The Cardinal Newman Society

May 29, 2013 | By Tim Drake

A Gonzaga University employee is facing seven felony charges, including first-degree rape and first-degree child molestation, that took place in 1998 or 1999 when the victim was 10, The Spokesman-Review is reporting.

The employee, a general maintenance worker at the time, has been placed on administrative leave by the University. The Spokesman-Review reports that the worker knew the victim and the victim's family.

The charges prompted Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh to write an email to University staff last Friday.

“The allegations state that some abuse may have taken place on Gonzaga’s campus; specifically, there are allegations that one or more instances occurred in our fitness facilities,” McCulloh wrote in an email obtained by The Cardinal Newman Society. “The incidents alleged in these charges are extremely serious, and I am deeply saddened to learn of them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Child Pornography Investigation Prompts Raid at Gonzaga

WASHINGTON
The Cardinal Newman Society

May 28, 2013 | By Tim Drake

Newly unsealed documents reveal that federal agents seized dozens of DVDs and videos last month from a Gonzaga University faculty office and apartment as part of an ongoing child pornography investigation, reported The Spokesman-Review.

The investigation is looking into online purchases and movie downloads allegedly made by a professor who was placed on administrative leave by the University following the raid, which took place last month.

"The university is deeply saddened to read the contents of the search warrant," Earl "Marty" Martin, Executive Vice President at Gonzaga, told the newspaper. "The safety and security of our campus is our utmost concern."

According to court records, someone using a faculty member's credit card spent more $1,654 on 29 purchases between Dec. 26, 2008, and Jan. 15, 2011, from a Toronto film company that was raided in 2010 under a joint investigation by U.S. and Canadian law enforcement agencies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Meeting of the Papal Delegate with Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY
Legionaries of Christ

Pope Francis received Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, Pontifical Delegate of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, in an audience this Monday, May 27. During the 45-minute meeting, Cardinal De Paolis updated Pope Francis on the different steps of the path that the Legion and Regnum Christi have undertaken. He focused on his third year as Pontifical Delegate.

The Delegate and the Pope also spoke of the principle task entrusted to Cardinal De Paolis: guiding the congregation and elaborating the new constitutions of the Legion of Christ. These constitutions will be presented to an extraordinary General Chapter which will be tentatively celebrated at the beginning of 2014. The Chapter will also elect a new general government for the congregation.

Cardinal De Paolis told the Holy Father about the attention that he has given to Regnum Christi, which he describes as “a precious reality that enriches and complements the Legion’s field of action.” He also spoke of the Consecrated Men and Women and the lay people committed in this Movement.

Finally, the Delegate informed the Pope that he foresees the need for a specific statute, or rule, for Regnum Christi that would regulate the life of the members and their relationship with the Legion. This statute will also have to be approved by the General Chapter of the Legion, by the General Assemblies of the Consecrated Men and Women and by an Assembly of the entire Movement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Legionaries, Regnum Christi members begin novena of atonement, healing

ROME
National Catholic Reporteri

Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service | May. 29, 2013

ROME -- As the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi prepare for a new beginning after a Vatican-ordered reform, the groups are asking members to participate in a novena of atonement and healing in the aftermath of their founder's misconduct.

"In each of us, the healing process has been and continues to be deeply personal," said a letter signed by Legionary Fr. Sylvester Heereman, acting superior; Gloria Rodriguez, director of the consecrated women's branch of Regnum Christi; and Jorge Lopez, director of the consecrated men's branch of Regnum Christi.

The general chapter of the Legionaries and the general assemblies of Regnum Christi's male and female branches are likely to be held early in 2014, bringing the election of new superiors and the adoption of new constitutions and statutes, the three leaders said in a letter Tuesday to members.

In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI ordered the reform and reorganization of Regnum Christi and the Legionaries after revelations that their founder, the late Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, had fathered children and sexually abused seminarians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Organized Religion – Do You Still Practice? [POLL]

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey 101.5

By Ray Rossi May 29, 2013

When scandals come to light, much like the latest one concerning the silence of Archbishop Myers of the Newark Archdiocese over the priest who groped a young boy some years ago; usually the response is, “I stopped going years ago!”

So, whether it’s scandal, non-belief, or what have you; have you given up going to Mass, shul, whatever?

It doesn’t help whenever you see religions act like they’re a part of corporate America, albeit without the tax implications.

For instance, just this past week, the ongoing scandal progressed in the case of Farther Michael Fugee’s non compliance of an agreement made with the Bergen County prosecutor. He agreed not to have any interaction with kids following his trial for having groped a 13 year old boy during “wrestling.”

He had since been arrested and currently out on bail for having broken that agreement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Despite Abuse Allegations Jesuits Moved Priest among Universities

UNITED STATES
The Cardinal Newsman Society

May 29, 2013 | By Tim Drake |

Documents released last week as part of a settlement reveal that Chicago Jesuits concealed the crimes of convicted sex offender Fr. Donald McGuire, S.J. for more than 40 years. During that time Fr. McGuire worked at a variety of Jesuit educational institutions.

The documents were part of a $19.6 million settlement between the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus and six men from four states announced on Tuesday.

According to a record of his assignments, between 1965 and 1981, Fr. McGuire worked at a variety of educational institutions, including: Loyola Academy in Chicago, Newman College, and the University of San Francisco's Ignatius Institute.

A 1970 letter written by the Rev. John H. Reinke, then-president of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, described Fr. McGuire's presence at the school as "positively destructive and corrosive."

While the settlement doesn't name any priests accused of abusing minors who have not been previously disclosed to the public, it did name a number of Jesuit superiors who kept Fr. McGuire's crimes a secret and, the victims' attorneys said, which enabled him to abuse more young men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

Sen. Jim Beall's Statute of Limitations Bill to Sue Child Molesters Makes Progress

CALIFORNIA
Patch

Posted by Sheila Sanchez (Editor), May 29, 2013

Legislation by state Sen. Jim Beall to overhaul the statute of limitations so adult survivors of child molestation can seek justice in civil courts against their abusers was passed earlier this month by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Senate Bill 131 changes California’s antiquated statute of limitations on civil claims brought forward for childhood sexual abuse,’’ said Beall, whose District 15 includes Los Gatos.

“The bill gives victims more time to recognize the psychological trauma that is linked to their childhood abuse and take action to gain a measure of justice,’’ he added.

Victim rights advocate Kim Goldman told the Judiciary Committee that addictions and suicides have been linked to adults who suffered sexual abuse as children.

“The resulting harms are latent injuries that do not manifest themselves until later in life,’’ said Goldman, who argued for allowing victims more time to sue their abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

GU office raided in porn inquiry

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Thomas Clouse The Spokesman-Review

Federal agents seized dozens of DVDs and other videos from a Gonzaga University faculty office and apartment as part of an ongoing child pornography investigation, newly unsealed documents show.

The investigation, headed by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and local office of the FBI, is looking into dozens of online purchases and movie downloads made by someone using the credit card and mailing address of the Rev. Gary Uhlenkott, a music professor who was placed on administrative leave by the university following last month’s raid. No charges have been filed and Uhlenkott has not been arrested, but authorities say the investigation is continuing.

In a statement Friday, the university said it is watching for the outcome of the investigation.

“The university is deeply saddened to read the contents of the search warrant,” said Gonzaga’s Executive Vice President Earl “Marty” Martin, referring to the U.S. District Court documents unsealed this week. “The safety and security of our campus is our utmost concern. We are also concerned about Father Uhlenkott’s well-being, and we are awaiting the conclusion of this federal investigation.”

Under federal statutes, those convicted of possessing child pornography must serve a mandatory minimum five-year prison term and register as a sex offender for life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Why did a Jesuit priest have $1,600 available for porn?

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler | May 29, 2013

What’s wrong with this picture? Federal agents raid a Catholic university in the state of Washington, and find a trove of child pornography, purchased with the credit card of a professor—who happens to be a Jesuit priest.

Father Gary Uhlenkott is now on leave, as the federal investigation continues. We don’t know all the details, but federal officials say that more than $1,600 of porn was ordered with his credit-card account and shipped to his physical and/or internet address.

Horrifying? Certainly. A scandal? No doubt. But let me take a different perspective on this wretched affair. Leave aside, for now, the question of Father Uhlenkott’s guilt or innocence. Here’s what I want to know: How could he (or someone using his identity) spend $1,600 on videos of any description, without attracting someone’s attention?

Can you, dear reader, spend $1,600 on your own entertainment—even assuming it’s healthy, licit entertainment—without prompting questions from your spouse, your boss, your parents, your colleagues, or your accountant? I certainly can’t. And unlike Father Uhlenkott, I haven’t taken a vow of poverty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Priest takes leave during investigation

IRELAND
UTV

29 May 2013

A priest has been granted temporary leave of absence from the ministry, during the investigation of a child safeguarding allegation.

He was serving in the Diocese of Clogher, which covers Monaghan, Fermanagh, Donegal and Tyrone.

In a statement, a diocesan spokesman said the claim relates to an incident a number of years ago.

The allegation has been reported to the civil authorities, and the church said it is following procedures laid down by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

The diocesan statement added: "The safety and wellbeing of children remain of paramount concern to the Diocese and all resources are being used to ensure this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

US Clerics and Nuns Who Blew the Whistle on Alleged Child Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up

UNITED STATES
BIshopAccountability.org

The burden of disclosing sexual abuse by Catholic clerics and its cover-up by religious leaders has fallen almost completely on victims. Most church insiders who have witnessed misconduct have chosen not to report it. However, there have been remarkable exceptions. BishopAccountability.org is building a database of whistleblowers - priests, women religious, and other church employees who reported colleagues to church or civil authorities and fought their superiors’ concealment of abuse. By documenting this overlooked aspect of the crisis, we hope to raise awareness that whistleblowers must be protected in both the church and civil society, and help witnesses who have stayed silent to find the courage to come forward.

Unlike priests and nuns who have taken bold stands on either traditional or liberal issues, those who expose their colleagues’ sexual assaults or their superiors’ dishonesty have no lay constituencies to support them. Many of the individuals profiled below have experienced retaliation and grief in some form – defamation, job loss, career derailment, ostracization, pressure by superiors to admit to mental illness, and in at least one case, suicide.

We will be adding steadily to this list, as well as to our preliminary international list. Later this year, we also will post a list of lay whistleblowers. To suggest names in any of these categories, please email us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

Cardinal Pell at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
28 May 2013

Speaking to the six members of the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry, a packed meeting room and overflow room for victims of abuse, support groups and media, Cardinal Pell said he was "fully apologetic and absolutely sorry" for victims of child sex abuse committed by priests or church works.

As Cardinal Pell's appearance was streamed live he said to the committee "that is the basis for everything which I'll now say".

The Archbishop was Sydney was invited to appear before the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the handling of sex abuse allegations during the time he was archbishop of Melbourne (1996-2001).

Originally scheduled to last from 1.30-3.30pm the Cardinal's appearance ran to six pm with a short recess called by the Chair of the Committee, Ms G. Crozier.

Answering many repetitive questions Cardinal Pell said victims of abuse are and must be the church's first priority. On a number of occasions he renewed his apology to victims and their families saying the terrible crimes carried out by convicted priest-paedophiles were appalling and reprehensible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Don't single out Catholics, Pell warns

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

PIA AKERMAN From: The Australian May 30, 2013

THE nation's most senior Catholic has warned Victoria not to pursue legislative reform that would end the church's protection from sexual abuse victims seeking greater levels of compensation in the courts.

Victims and legal groups yesterday responded angrily to George Pell's written submission to the Victorian inquiry he faced this week, describing some of his words as incredible and offensive.

Cardinal Pell cautioned inquiry members against recommending reforms that would recognise the church as a legal entity that could be sued for the actions of its priests.

The inquiry had been fed a "misunderstanding of the facts and analysis" underpinning the 2007 NSW Court of Appeal ruling on legal action taken against the church by abused altar boy John Ellis. "The Ellis decision stands for nothing more than the commonsense proposition that you cannot be liable for wrongdoing of others unless you authorised, or are directly or indirectly responsible for supervising, their conduct," he said.

"Unless the parliament intends to discriminate against the Catholic community and single it out for special treatment, proposals for legislative reform would effectively have to make all incorporated and unincorporated entities liable for the criminal conduct of their employees or members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

More pressure over abuse inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

29 MAY 2013

Victims groups have stepped up pressure on the Stormont Executive to widen its historical institutional abuse inquiry.

Clerical abuse victims and former residents of Magdalene laundry-type institutions in Northern Ireland said there was no justification for their exclusion from the investigation headed by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart and have launched a joint campaign calling for the remit to be immediately extended.

Michael Connolly, a victim of clerical child sex abuse in Fermanagh in the early 1970s, said: "The Northern Ireland inquiry into institutional child abuse is very welcome but it does nothing for me and the many other victims of clerical abuse who were molested in locations outside children's homes or who suffered as adult women in Magdalene laundry-style homes. Our abuse was no less and our call for justice is no less deserving of being heard."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Editorial: This Delco duo personified ‘grace under fire’

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Daily Times

Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Amid the turmoil in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia over the last decade, it is reassuring that the Vatican recognizes those in the front lines who have had to bear the brunt of public ire.

Donna Farrell of Springfield and Richard McCarron of Haverford are scheduled to be presented with two of the highest papal honors awarded to laypersons in the Roman Catholic Church during 6:30 p.m. Mass Sunday at the Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

Farrell, who was director for more than seven and a half of her nearly 14 years in the archdiocesan communications office, is set to receive the Pro Ecclesia et Pontiface medal, also known as the cross of honor.

McGarron, who served as secretary of Catholic education for nearly 12 of his 27 years with the archdiocese, is scheduled to be dubbed Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

City man gets 7 years for extorting former area priest

OHIO
Star Beacon

By SHELLEY TERRY - sterry@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — A man accused of extorting more than $100,000 from an area priest will spend the next several years in prison, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ashtabula County Prosecutor Thomas Sartini said Tuesday.

Brian Gaster, 27, of Ashtabula, was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday morning. Gaster pleaded guilty to two charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Gaster’s actions resulted in the resignation of the Rev. Stephen Wassie, 59, from St. Joseph Calasanctius in Jefferson in May 2011. The circumstances surrounding Wassie’s resignation related to the handling of finances at the parish, according to the Most Rev. George V. Murry, the diocese’s bishop, on May 15, 2011.

“This defendant specifically targeted a priest in order to take advantage of his trust and charity,” DeWine said. “The victim genuinely thought this man and his family needed help, but the only help the defendant needed was help funding his drug addiction.”

Investigators said Gaster lied to Wassie, telling him that he had a seriously ill child and that a family member had been kidnapped and needed thousands of dollars for ransom.

Wassie gave Gaster $133,000 of his personal savings and parish money, investigators said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Shock as Priest stands down in investigation

IRELAND
Fermanagh Herald

THERE was shock and disbelief among parishioners in Roslea when they were informed at Masses at the weekend that their parish priest, Canon John McCabe was standing down while a child safeguarding allegation against him is investigated.

One parishioner said Canon McCabe was very well liked.

“He came to us from Castleblayney, and this last few years he hasn’t been in great form. He kept very privately to himself.”

Local councillor, Brian McCaffrey told the Herald were, ‘still raw memories’ of the Fr Jeremiah McGrath affair. He was convicted in 2007 at Liverpool Crown Court of facilitating a child sex offence, and subsequently jailed. He was priest in Roslea at the time.

It is not clear whether it is the PSNI or the Garda who are investigating the child safeguarding allegation against Canon McCabe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

ACT FAST ON NSW PEDOPHILE PRIEST: COURT

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP
Updated May 29, 2013

Civil action against a convicted pedophile priest needs to be expedited because witnesses could die before the case is heard, a Sydney Supreme Court judge has been told.

Brother Thomas Grealy, a principal of the Patrician Brothers primary school in Granville in the 1970s, was convicted and jailed in 1997 for the rape of a 10-year-old student.

He is now being sued by two men who allege he sexually abused them when they were children.

The action against Grealy, the trustees of the school and the archdiocese of Sydney was lodged in 2010 and has yet to be heard, although the case against the archdiocese was dismissed in 2011.

Tony Bartley SC, representing the alleged victims, said some witnesses, including the father of one of the men, were now elderly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

More priest abuse files must be released by September, judge says

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KABC

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Catholic Church officials have until September to release secret files on priests accused of molesting children in the Los Angeles archdiocese.

Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias made the ruling Tuesday and attorneys say the first files could be made public within the next few weeks.

After a five-year legal battle to keep the documents sealed, the archdiocese released files on 120 priests earlier this year, but many clergy members who worked within the archdiocese weren't included if they belonged to separate religious orders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Victims fear as ex-priest Ridsdale nears parole

AUSTRALIA
The Age

May 30, 2013

Jared Lynch

Victims of serial child rapist Gerald Ridsdale have been told the former Catholic priest could be freed from prison within a month.

Ridsdale, 79, who abused dozens of children over three decades from the 1960s, was sentenced in 2006 to a maximum of 13 years, a term that would expire in 2019. He was already serving a maximum 18-year term from 1994.

Victims have recently been contacted by the Adult Parole Board and informed that the paedophile could be released as soon as June 29, sparking fears that he is likely to reoffend.

Victims of Ridsdale said he should never be freed. ''The damage to the victims … to the rest of the family circle goes on and on. It never goes away. It is constantly present,'' said ''Shirley'', whose sons were abused by him.

''The victims get a life sentence but the perpetrator certainly doesn't have a life sentence.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

HOLMBERG: ROC Church ‘parsonage’ worth $590,000

RICHMOND (VA)
WTVR

[with video]

May 29, 2013, by Alix Bryan and Mark Holmberg

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–Pastor Geronimo Aguilar of the Richmond Outreach Center, who is currently in Fort Worth, Texas being arraigned on sex charges, lives in a $590,000 home in South Richmond with his family.

But he doesn’t own it. It’s the ROC church’s parsonage, according to property records. And as a parsonage, it is tax exempt. Technically, Aguilar – the founder of the popular Richmond megachurch – and his family can deduct every living expense, from light bulbs to lawn care.

CBS-6 checked the property records of the homes of the other pastors of megachurches in the area, and other random big ones as well.

All are either owned by the pastors, or a trust in the pastor’s name, property records show.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Call for Magdalene Laundry inquiry in NI

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

Former residents of Magdalene Laundries in Northern Ireland are calling for an inquiry into their abuse allegations.

It is thought hundreds of people across the region could come forward with their claims of abuse if a new investigation is established, or the current inquiry amended.

The current Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry does not cover victims of clerical child abuse and former residents of Magdalene Laundry-type institutions in NI.

But on Wednesday, they will gather to ask for the terms of that inquiry to be extended to include them.

They are backed by Amnesty International, and Patrick Corrigan from the organisation said it is now time for NI's politicians to take further action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Abuse victims demand inquiry from Stormont Executive

NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

Northern Ireland victims of clerical child abuse and former residents of Magdalene Laundry-type institutions are coming together to call on the Stormont Executive to establish inquiries into their abuse allegations.

On Wednesday, Amnesty International will publish research setting out the case for independent and effective inquiries into allegations of abuse by victims who are not covered by the current Historic Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

Victims of clerical child sexual abuse and former residents of Magdalene Laundry-type institutions in Northern Ireland, not covered by the HIA inquiry, will call for an extension of the terms of reference of the inquiry or the establishment of a fresh inquiry into their allegations of abuse.

Two briefings papers from Amnesty International - one covering clerical child abuse and one covering abuse in Magdalene Laundry-type institutions inn Northern Ireland will be published.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Catholic priest steps aside during investigation

IRELAND
BBC News

A Catholic priest has temporarily stood aside while an historic child safeguarding allegation is investigated.

The allegation relating to a priest in the Diocese of Clogher dates back some years.

The church said it has been reported to the civil authorities.

It added that all procedures laid down by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland were being observed.

In a statement, it said: "The Diocese of Clogher has been informed of a child safeguarding allegation in relation to a priest of the Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Sex abuse inquiry's grilling only the beginning

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

On November 9 last year, Georgie Crozier strode to the lectern, fixed me with a steely gaze and read a short statement defending the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled child sexual abuse.

Although the chairwoman of the six-MP committee running the inquiry did not explicitly mention it, she was clearly stung by my opinion piece in The Age two days earlier criticising the pace and depth the inquiry had shown to that point - just 1½ days of hearings - and the opaqueness of the process. She answered many questions in the article, and concluded: ''We have begun the process, let us get on with it.''

This article is an odd sort of mea culpa, because I am not convinced I was entirely wrong at the time. The committee did start slowly, and there were legitimate doubts about its political will. But I certainly wouldn't write such an article now.

I think the members gained self-belief and momentum as they went along, were appalled by what victims told them, and got emotionally involved. It is impossible not to, the stories are so harrowing. Those involved in the inquiry needed regular counselling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Black collar crime

AUSTRALIA
ABC Adelaide

[with audio]

29/05/2013 , 1:25 PM by Michaela Andreyev

The Catholic Church is facing weeks of official questioning over the sexual abuse scandal that goes back several decades in Australia.

Cardinal George Pell has already appeared before the Victorian parliamentary committee inquiry, at which he confessed false documents were created and priests took part in "reprehensible" cover-ups.

He noted that if his senior colleagues had been gossips - which they were not - they might have talked about various problems and realised earlier "just how widespread this awful business was".

Ian spoke to Wayne Chamley, spokesperson for Broken Rites, an organisation dedicated to exposing and denouncing cases in the Catholic sexual abuse scandal in Australia.

Broken Rites has supported male and female victims from the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and the Uniting Church, as well as from smaller denominations.

Mr Chamley said it was not too late for any complainant to contact the Royal Commission - in fact they can do so at any time over the next two years.

Royal Commission hotline: 1800 099 340
Royal Commission website: www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au
Broken Rites Australian national hotline: (03) 9457 4999

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

It seemed to make things worse: Pell sorry over meeting

AUSTRALIA
The Age

May 29, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Cardinal George Pell has apologised for a meeting with abuse victims at which the father later said the then Melbourne Catholic Archbishop showed a “sociopathic lack of empathy”.

Calling that 1997 meeting at Oakleigh one of the most difficult he has ever been involved with, Cardinal Pell said: “My only intention was to listen to their story and to try to help. It is clear that I did not succeed in this.

“No matter what I said or did, it seemed to make things worse. I am sorry for whatever I did to upset them at this meeting. It was always my intention (and always has been) to treat Mr and Mrs Foster and their daughters with the utmost respect and compassion.”

The cardinal's apology is part of his submission to the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled sexual abuse, submitted on Friday night and posted on the inquiry's website on Wednesday morning. On Monday he was the inquiry's last witness.

“I am very sorry … for the suffering of the Foster family. I am also sorry that I have been unable to persuade Mr and Mrs Foster of my good intentions,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Don't discriminate against Catholics: Pell

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

[written submission]
[appendix 1]
[appendix 2
[appendix 3]
[appendix 4]

GENEVIEVE GANNON AAP MAY 29, 2013

AUSTRALIA'S most senior Catholic says the Victorian government would be "discriminating against the Catholic community" if it adopts law reforms wanted by sex abuse victims.

Cardinal George Pell said the Ellis defence, a NSW Supreme Court ruling that found the trustees of the Catholic Church were not liable for the actions of pedophile priests, was a "commonsense proposition".

Advocates and legal experts have called for the repeal of laws preventing church trustees from being sued for abuse by clergy.

Monash University academic Judith Corin says doing so would enable victims to pursue greater damages through the courts.

In a written submission to Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into child abuse, Cardinal Pell said the principle of the Ellis decision was that an entity could not be liable for the wrongdoing of others unless it authorised or was responsible for supervising their conduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Pell apologises to Vic abuse parents

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP MAY 29, 2013

CARDINAL George Pell has apologised to the Victorian parents of two girls repeatedly abused by a Catholic priest while they were in primary school.

Anthony Foster has described Cardinal Pell, whom he met while the cardinal was archbishop of Melbourne, as having a sociopathic lack of understanding.

Cardinal Pell said when he met with the Fosters his only intention was to listen and try to help but he did not recall exactly what was said.

"I am sorry for whatever I did to upset them at this meeting," Cardinal Pell said in a written submission to Victoria's abuse inquiry.

"I am very sorry for the abuse suffered by Emma and Katie Foster and for the suffering of the Foster family."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Lawyer for embattled priest questions whether he was supervised

NEW JERSEY
The Record

WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2013
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

The lawyer for Michael Fugee, a priest accused of violating a ban on ministering to children, said Tuesday that even though a high-ranking Newark Archdiocese official resigned last week over "failures" in supervising the cleric, the official had not been in charge of monitoring him.

Attorney Michael D'Alessio said an agreement that prohibited Fugee's involvement with children contained no provision for vicar general John E. Doran to supervise the priest. In fact, nothing in the agreement — signed by Fugee, the archdiocese and the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office — addressed the question of who would watch to be sure Fugee obeyed the agreement, the lawyer said.

Newark Archbishop John J. Myers has faced a torrent of criticism since the revelation that Fugee, despite the agreement, attended youth retreats throughout New Jersey. Fugee was convicted in 2003 of groping a teenage boy when he was an assistant pastor in Wyckoff, but the verdict was overturned because of a judicial error. He was arrested last week and charged with seven counts of violating a judicial order by hearing confessions from children.

Several prominent Democratic politicians and some Catholics have called for Myers' resignation. They say Myers should not have returned Fugee to the ministry in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Thomas H. Clement faces child sex abuse charges

VIRGINIA
WJLA

[with video]

By Jeff Goldberg May 28, 2013

A Clifton man who formerly worked as a principal is behind bars for allegedly sexually assaulting a 9-year-old during a church-sanctioned youth overnight camping trip.
.
Thomas H. Clement, 62, was arrested last week and faces two counts of felony aggravated sexual battery of a minor.

A male victim, who was 9 at the time of the alleged incident, claims he was sexually abused by Clement in 2009. Police received the victim's complaint in February 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Cardinal admits Church failures

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

Published: 2 June 2013
By: Paul Dobbyn

CARDINAL George Pell of Sydney said he was "fully apologetic and absolutely sorry" when questioned at the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into institutional child sex abuse.

"I'm certainly totally committed to improving the situation. I know the Holy Father is too," he told the inquiry last Monday.

He said the problem existed on two levels - the grim list of abuses and secondly how the Church dealt with them.

Cardinal Pell acknowledged the Catholic Church within Australia covered up the "foul crime" of child abuse and this had led to suicides.

Other points he made during his testimony included that the problem did not lie in Church structure but inactivity or poor judgements of some bishops in the area of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Catholic brothers using 'Pell defence' in damages claim fight

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

BY CANDACE SUTTON NEWS.COM.AU MAY 29, 2013

TWO days after Sydney Archbishop Cardinal Pell apologised for decades of child sex abuse but said the Church had changed, a court has heard a Catholic order is fighting a court case to avoid paying sex abuse victims.

Senior Sydney barrister, Tony Bartley, SC, told the NSW Supreme Court this morning that the Patrician Brothers order at Granville was using "a variant" of the defence George Pell had used when an alleged victim of sex abuse by the Catholic Church claimed senior officials were liable.

Mr Bartley was appearing for two defendants, known only as PAO and PMA, who are suing for damages for their abuse at a Patrician brothers school between 1974 and 1977.

Brother Thomas William Grealy was convicted in 1997 of molestation and buggery of boys at the school and spent four years in jail for the rape and indecent assault of two boys when he was principal.

Brother Augustine, as Grealy was then known, would cover the statue of the Virgin Mary in his office with a coat before abusing the boys in his care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

The Terrier in Action: Cardinal Pell, Abuse and the Church

AUSTRALIA
Scoop

By Binoy Kampmark

Cardinal George Pell is a terrier of the wrong sort. Combative for the Catholic church, he does the Pope’s bidding down under with a loud bark and occasional bite. Much of it has proven disastrous for the Church’s reputation in Australia and elsewhere. That particular institution is very much in the spotlight of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Child Abuse, and things are not going well. Before Victorian parliamentarians, Pell demonstrated, as he has done for so long, that he shows a distinct “sociopathic lack of empathy” for his victims.

Certainly, for Pell, a degree of blamelessness has been cultivated. This might well be his own interior justification. The abusive, institutional mechanism that so typified the church institutions might well have been a cultural monstrosity – but Pell was immune to it. Or at least, that’s the impression he gives. Governance, and action, are not necessarily the same thing in the Pell book of revelations.

His response, for example, to questioning about why the former Melbourne archbishop Frank Little did conceal instances of abuse is suggestive of that. “Yes, archbishop Little did cover up but he inherited a situation where there were no protocols and no procedures and, for some strange reason, he never spoke to anybody about it” (The Australian, May 28). The suggestion is specious, if for no other reason that the Catholic church remains one of the most protocol driven institutions on the planet, a hybrid creature of legal sophistication. Errors and heresies are noted; behaviour punished, when required. When necessary, bad behaviour has been concealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Victim group demands apology, as church backs pastor arrested for child sex abuse

RICHMOND (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BY BRANDON SHULLEETA Richmond Times-Dispatch

The leader of a group of child sexual abuse victims on Tuesday demanded an apology from supporters of a Richmond pastor charged with sexually assaulting two young girls in Texas.

Geronimo Aguilar, pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center, faces charges in Texas for alleged offenses dating to 1996. He is on a paid leave from the church, whose board released a statement last week saying it “believes the accusations against him to be completely untrue and unfounded.”

At a public gathering of three people and several reporters outside the Richmond Police Department, Becky Ianni, the Virginia director for the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, called for an apology and said supporters should back Aguilar only quietly if they must do so while he’s being investigated.

“Publically supporting the accused perpetrator is not only hurtful to alleged victims but very intimidating to other victims who might be thinking about coming forward,” Ianni said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

George Pell warns against moves ...

George Pell warns against moves he says would amount to discrimination against Catholics

[written submission]
[appendix 1]
[appendix 2
[appendix 3]
[appendix 4]

PIA AKERMAN From: The Australian May 29, 2013

CARDINAL George Pell has warned Victoria not to pursue legislative change which would help sexual abuse victims sue for greater compensation, saying such a move would amount to discrimination against Catholics.

In a written submission to the Victorian inquiry examining responses to child sexual abuse, the nation's most senior Catholic cleric said legal changes proposed by victims' rights groups would be a significant departure from the law and “cause considerable injustice”.

Cardinal Pell said a number of submissions to the inquiry, which he testified before on Monday, had shown “misunderstanding of the facts and analysis” underpinning the NSW Court of Appeal decision which found the church did not exist as a legal entity capable of being sued.

“The Ellis decision stands for nothing more than the commonsense proposition that you cannot be liable for wrongdoing of others unless you authorised, or are directly or indirectly responsible for supervising, their conduct,” he said, referring to the ruling on 2004 legal action taken against the church by abused altar boy John Ellis.

“The body corporate which Mr Ellis sued was created in 1936 by statute and has operated on the same basis in Sydney since its creation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Former Winona diocese priest to be named in civil suit

MINNESOTA
Winona Daily News

The first civil lawsuit to be filed under a new Minnesota law eliminating the statute of limitations for children who have been sexually abused is expected to be announced this afternoon.

The suit will be filed on behalf of a 51-year-old unidentified Twin Cities man, and will name the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, the Diocese of Winona and former priest Thomas Adamson as defendants. Jeff Anderson, of Anderson and Associates, is representing the plaintiff.

Adamson, 78, was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Winona in 1958. Allegations of his sexual involvement with young boys date from the early 1960s. In 1975, he was transferred to the Archdiocese of St. Paul after a number of abuse complaints had been brought to the attention of church officials in the Winona diocese. He continued in the active priesthood until 1984.

While Adamson never faced criminal abuse charges — the statute of limitations had expired — he was named in three civil suits settled out of court, and a fourth suit brought against the Diocese of Winona and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was decided in favor of the complainant.

It wasn’t known Tuesday how much the lawsuit will seek in damages, or what time period it will focus on. Anderson and others are expected to announce more details of the suit today at a press conference in St. Paul.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Retired schoolteacher confessed child sex crimes to priest

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancashire Evening Post

A victim of a retired schoolteacher has spoken of her anger after it was revealed he made two confessions to priests that he had sexually abused children – years before being brought to justice.

Believing he was on his deathbed, John Davis, 75, of Fensway, Hutton, confessed his crimes to a hospital priest several years before the victims found the courage to report the offences to police.

Davis, who taught at St John Southworth’s RC High School in Grimsargh, then went on to confess to a priest at church when he recovered from his illness and was released from hospital.

He later pleaded guilty to nine counts of indecent assault on several young girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

May 28, 2013

Catholic Diocese hopes child abuse inquiry uncovers truth

AUSTRALIA
The Chronicle

TOOWOOMBA'S Catholic Diocese says the latest revelations of cover-ups of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church are disappointing.

Cardinal George Pell, Australia's top-ranking Catholic, has fronted a Victorian inquiry into systematic failings by religious and non-government organisations to deal with child abuse.

Cardinal Pell told the inquiry that some members of the church tried to cover up child sexual abuse by other members of the clergy.

Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba executive officer Mark Copland believes the current inquiry in Victoria and an upcoming Royal Commission will go some way to uncovering and correcting the mistakes of the past.

"My hope is that the truth is told and responded to in the manner in which it has been given," he said.

"Ultimately my hope is that we do everything we can to support survivors and their families and ensure that we have transparent policies and procedures that will ensure it will not occur again."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Dillon laments Church inaction

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Danny Lannen | May 29th, 2013

VICTORIA'S parliamentary inquiry into institutional child abuse has concluded, with the Catholic Church remaining more concerned about fixing a situation than fixing people, according to Geelong priest Father Kevin Dillon.

The St Mary's parish priest said testimony by Catholic Cardinal George Pell at the final inquiry hearing "wasn't a step backwards" but didn't reach out enough in practical terms.

Cardinal Pell expressed full apology and absolute sorrow for past abuses and said fear of scandal led to cover-up by the church.

Fr Dillon, who attended the hearing in support of Geelong abuse victims, said religious leaders remained ignorant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Group calls on ROC for apology

RICHMOND (VA)
NBC 12

[with video]

By Laura Geller

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
The case involving accusations against a local mega-church's founder continues to get publicity.

Tuesday, an agency, which supports people sexually abused by priests, advocated for Richmond Outreach Center Pastor Geronimo Aguilar's alleged victims and called for the church board to apologize.

The group met at Richmond Police Headquarters because it says authorities, not the church, are the proper ones to deal with situations like what's going on with Pastor G right now. SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, representatives say they know this because they've been in the victims' shoes.

Becky Ianni says as a child, she was sexually abused by her priest in Northern Virginia.

"When I came forward with my abuse I was very afraid because many people supported my perpetrator," she explained. "They thought he was the greatest man ever and I was afraid to come forward because what if I wasn't believed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Cardinal faces savaging as lions bite hard

AUSTRALIA
The Age

May 28, 2013

Lawrence Money
Journalist

''Building on the past'' says the sign outside Victoria's Parliament House. It refers to renovations to the old grey edifice but, on this overcast Monday afternoon, it could almost have applied to the proceedings inside as Cardinal George Pell attempted to explain the inexplicable sins of yore - systematic paedophilia by Catholic priests.

Pell, who last month was basking in the glory of an appointment to a Vatican panel on leaked documents, was this time a Daniel walking into the lions' den - the state parliamentary inquiry into child abuse - and the inquisitorial team had a full set of teeth. ''Were you a Pontius Pilate, washing your hands of the problem?'' asked MP Frank McGuire. Pell denied it and, while one curious member of the media Googled ''Pilate'' on his laptop, the cardinal pointed out that he had attended at least ''three meetings of victims''.

The savaging continued. Had Pell ''supported'' the notorious priest Gerald Ridsdale in a court case where they walked out of the courtroom together? Pell admitted he had been there but would not have called it ''support'' and besides, he not realised the implications at the time.

And no, he confirmed that he had never gone to court to support any victims - but none had ever asked him. Suddenly, there were echoes of Rupert Murdoch at the hacking inquiry when the cardinal volunteered a declaration of profuse regret: ''I am fully apologetic and absolutely sorry.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

SBC leaders stand by accused colleague

UNITED STATES
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

Southern Baptist leaders in a movement that goes by names including the “New Calvinism” and “young, restless and Reformed” voiced support for a friend and colleague accused in a Maryland lawsuit of collusion in what is being called American evangelicalism's biggest sex scandal to date.

Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., joined Presbyterian minister Ligon Duncan in a statement of support for C.J. Mahaney, one of several defendants accused of permitting and covering up the sexual abuse of children in churches affiliated with Sovereign Grace Ministries, a Calvinist church-planting organization based in Louisville, Ky.

“We have stood beside our friend, C. J. Mahaney, and we can speak to his personal integrity,” the trio, who with Mahaney started a biennial preaching conference called Together for the Gospel in 2006, said in a statement on the T4G website.

Dever, Duncan and Mohler said they have wanted to speak publicly on Mahaney but waited until after Maryland Judge Sharon V. Burrell dismissed most of the lawsuit on a technicality. She ruled that nine of 11 plaintiffs did not sue within three years after turning 18 as required under Maryland’s statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Court orders release of additional priest files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KPCC

Sharon McNary | May 28th

A Superior Court judge on Tuesday set September 10 as the deadline for Catholic religious orders to release confidential personnel files of members who were accused of sexually abusing children. The files are related to lawsuits that have already been settled.

Attorney Raymond Boucher said the deadline affects more than 50 religious orders that operate independently from the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which has already made public thousands of pages of files.

The order is part of litigation against the Los Angeles Archdiocese that resulted in a $660 million settlement.

The archdiocese released personnel files about its priests within the past year, but files of the independent orders that report to the Vatican through a different authority structure had not been released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

N.J. archbishop says he did not know of priest's contact with minors

NEW JERSEY
U.S. Catholic

NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark said he was unaware that a priest who agreed not to have unsupervised contact with minors was working with youngsters and, after an investigation, sought the resignation of the archdiocese's vicar general for mishandling the priest's case.

Writing in an opinion piece in the May 25 issue of the Star-Ledger, the daily newspaper in Newark, Archbishop Myers said that Msgr. John E. Doran, the vicar general, agreed to resign after it was found existing protocols "were not always observed."

The resignation was effective immediately, the archbishop said.

Archbishop Myers said the change in administration was one of several steps being taken to strengthen the archdiocese's response to sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

More priest files to be released in LA over summer

CALIFORNIA
KUSI

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge says Roman Catholic religious orders have until September to release secret files on their priests who were accused of molesting children while working in the Los Angeles archdiocese.

Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias said Tuesday the orders must release documents on dozens of priests who belonged to orders such as the Vincentians, Claretians and Marinists, among others.

Lead plaintiff attorney Ray Boucher says the first files could be public within three weeks.

The archdiocese released files on 120 priests earlier this year under a judge's order after a 5-year legal battle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

The CA Child Victims Act Needs Your Support – NOW

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on May 28, 2013

The California Child Victims Act—SB 131—has made it through Appropriations and is scheduled for a vote on the Senate Floor TOMORROW. The bill dramatically extends the civil statute of limitations for children who are sexually abused and gives older victims a one-year window to come forward, expose their abuser and seek accountability.

In short, if signed into law, SB 131 will allow hundreds of child sex abuse victims to get justice. SB 131 will also help keep kids safe RIGHT NOW by exposing abusers who have escaped criminal prosecution.
Remember – we would know NOTHING about the crimes committed in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and other dioceses across the state were it not for brave victims using the civil justice system.

No bishop has ever voluntarily made public a secret sex abuse file. The Boy Scouts’ files would still be hidden were it not for victims demanding justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Catholic orders to release secret files on molesting priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan
May 28, 2013

Thousands of pages of secret files held by Roman Catholic orders concerning priests accused of molesting children will be released throughout the summer beginning as early as next month, according to attorneys.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias set a deadline of September for the religious orders to turn over files on dozens of priests for public release at a hearing Tuesday. The release of confidential files kept by the orders, such as the Salesians, Vincentians and Marinists, were agreed to as part of settlements with victims.

“Most of the orders have come forward with a positive attitude .… We want to get this behind us,” Raymond Boucher, an attorney for victims, told the judge.

The secret files, which are required by Catholic church law, would shed light on how high-ranking officials at the orders and leaders of the L.A. archdiocese dealt with allegations of abuse by priests who were assigned to work in Los Angeles. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles released 12,000 pages of its own closely-held document cache in January, but many of the files for priests who belonged to Catholic orders were scant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

MD- Prominent ministers back accused wrongdoer

MARYLAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY DAVID CLOHESSY ON MAY 28, 2013

Shame on those ministers who are now publicly rallying around Rev. C. J. Mahaney just because a legal technicality voided most of the child sex abuse and cover up suits lawsuits against Sovereign Grace Ministries.

It’s dreadfully hurtful to child sex abuse victims when people in authority publicly back accused wrongdoers. And it hinders criminal investigations because it intimidates victims, witnesses and whistleblowers into staying silent.

Support Rev. Mahaney if you must. But do so privately in ways that don’t further harm depress and scare other child sex abuse victims into keeping silent and thus helping child predators escape detection and prosecution.

At best, it’s disingenuous for these ministers to “take sides” now, while at least two victims’ abuse and cover up suits are pending.

At worst, it’s mean-spirited.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Victim of priest's sex abuse speaks out

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

[video]

8 May 2013

A victim of Anglican priest Canon Gordon Rideout, who was jailed for abusing children in the 1960s and 70s, has spoken out about the effect his actions had on her.

Inge Beeson waived her anonymity to speak about the abuse she suffered when she was a member of a choir he ran at a military base in Hampshire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Your Hour of Convenient Therapy Is Up

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

MAY 28, 2013 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

If the institutional Church really wants to prevent child sex abuse, it can’t continue to rely on therapists whose theories and practices fall outside the guidelines of the American Psychological and Psychiatric Associations. That advice may have proven convenient in cover ups but does little for real healing.

Let’s look at the case of Father Edward DePaoli who was arrested in 1985 for the child pornography he’d stashed at Holy Martyrs Church in Oreland, PA. I’ve abbreviated a more detailed account reported by Ralph Cipriano in his Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog post. Even after his arrest, Father DePaoli continued his porn habit. After being sentenced to a year’s probation, the diocese sent him to a treatment facility for sex offenders. Free to come and go, he was caught leaving an adult book store. A subsequent search of his room turned up more child porn.

Despite all this, Cardinal Bevilacqua didn’t want to end the pervert’s priestly ministry. He was sent to NJ where he got into more of the same trouble and worse. Memos reveal that Msgr. Lynn worried that denying Father DePaoli a place back in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia might have “a severe negative effect” on the priest’s chances of recovery. Never mind, the severe negative effect he might have on children.

So what did a Archdiocesan therapist make of all this? Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, who served on the Counseling Committee of Psychiatrists and Psychologists for Religious of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia,” said the priest had suffered “what I would view as a minor relapse.” He didn’t think Father DePaoli needed to be hospitalized again and that he “could function well in ministry.” Two years earlier, Dr. Fitzgibbons had pronounced, “I believe that Father DePaoli has made a complete recovery.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Abuse inquiry urgently needed

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

18 May 2013

From the court appearances of accused TV stars to historic scandals involving priests, music teachers and care workers, to the killing of young girls, Britain’s news pages, websites and TV bulletins are awash with cases of the sexual abuse of children. This week the shocking details of the depravity of a group of men in Oxford were revealed during a court case which saw a gang of eight convicted of the rape and torture of six girls over more than a decade. The conclusion to be drawn is that in Britain sexual exploitation and predation is endemic; that it goes back decades and continues into the present. Many perpetrators have been allowed to continue their crimes unchallenged.

The Catholic Church was one of the first institutions in this country to stand accused of negligence in its dealing with the child victims of abuse and the handling of their abusers. Some critics of the Church blamed its tradition of a celibate priesthood, claiming that sexual frustration was the primary cause. But the scandals now coming to light show that celibacy is not a common denominator. Paedophilia is about power, about people in positions of authority, or who are famous, or are even ordinary but have gained power through long-term grooming of children, who target the vulnerable and defenceless.

There are other common factors. Paedophiles continue targeting young people because institutions allow them to do so. Sometimes those institutions were the ones to which the criminals belonged – the Catholic Church, the Church of England, the BBC – and which failed to act because those in charge were more concerned with the institutions’ reputations and the impact of scandal than with the pain of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Prävention von sexualisierter Gewalt in der Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Epistulae Tiberii

Berlin (PEB) - Generalvikar Prälat Tobias Przytarski hat an alle Geist­lichen im Erz­bistum Berlin einen Brief ge­schrie­ben, in dem er auf einen Miss­brauchs­täter hin­weist, der im Um­feld katholi­scher Pfarr­ge­mein­den bekannt geworden ist. Anlass des Schrei­bens ist eine Be­richt­er­stattung der Ber­liner Morgen­post vom 28. April 2013, das grund­sätz­liche An­lie­gen des Briefes besteht darin, für ein Klima der Acht­sam­keit und Prä­ven­tion zu werben:

"Liebe Mitbrüder, aus aktuellem Anlass und prä­ven­tiven Gesichts­punkten heraus gebe ich Ihnen einen Artikel aus der Berliner Morgen­post vom 28. April zur Kenntnis, der über einen Ende 70-jährigen Miss­brauchs­täter berichtet, der in katho­lischen Gemein­den Kontakt zu Jungen und deren Eltern aufbaut, sich Ver­trauen er­schleicht, Jungen sexuell miss­braucht und deswegen im letzten Jahr zu einer vier­jähr­igen Bewährungs­strafe verur­teilt wurde. Vier katholische Gemeinden in Berlin sind mir bekannt, in denen der Täter sich umtrieb.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Zweite Niederlage für Mehrerau: Forderung von Gewaltopfern rechtens

OSTERREICH
der Standard

Dem früheren Internatsschüler, heute 46 Jahre alt, steht Schadenersatz für die 1982 erlittene Gewalttat zu

Bregenz - Das Kloster Mehrerau blitzte auch im zweiten Zivilrechtsverfahren eines Missbrauchsopfers ab. Der Berufssenat am Oberlandesgericht Innsbruck bestätigte das Ersturteil des Landesgerichts Feldkirch. Dem früheren Internatsschüler, heute 46 Jahre alt, steht Schadenersatz für die 1982 erlittene Gewalttat zu. Der Anspruch ist nicht verjährt, das Kloster muss für seinen ehemaligen Internatsleiter, der den Buben vergewaltigt hatte, haften. Begründet wird die Entscheidung mit eigenem Fehlverhalten der Klosterleitung, die von früheren Delikten des Priesters gewusst habe. Der Geistliche wurde bereits 1968 einschlägig verurteilt - was sei-ner Karriere im Schul- und Internatsdienst aber nicht im Wege stand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

From the Board of Directors of the Richmond Outreach Center

RICHMOND (VA)
Richmond Outreach Center

May 28, 2013
Pastor Jason Helmlinger, Executive Pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center, has voluntarily removed himself from his pastoral duties while he addresses his summons and the misdemeanor charge that has been brought against him. This will remain in effect until his situation has been resolved. He will also seek counseling regarding this issue. The Board of Directors of the Richmond Outreach Center is in agreement with his decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

ROC pastor steps down pending misdemeanor charges

RICHMOND (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BY LOUIS LLOVIO
Richmond Times-Dispatch

RICHMOND -- An executive pastor at the Richmond Outreach Center is temporarily stepping down pending misdemeanor charges for making threatening and obscene phone calls.

Jason W. Helmlinger, 41, a former Henrico County police officer, was charged for making threats against a critic of Geronimo Aguilar, the south Richmond megachurch's senior pastor. Aguilar was transferred to Texas last week to face child sexual assault charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

ROC Executive Pastor removes himself from duties due to charges

RICHMOND (VA)
NBC 12

By Laura Geller

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
The Executive Pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center will no longer be conducting his pastoral duties while he deals with a criminal case.

Pastor Jason Helmlinger voluntarily removed himself from his responsibilities, the Board of Directors of the ROC announced Tuesday. The board says he will not conduct any pastoral duties until a criminal case involving threatening phone calls has been resolved. Helmlinger will also seek counseling regarding this issue.

Helmlinger was arrested earlier this month on one misdemeanor count of with using profanity over a public airway. He allegedly called former ROC member Allen Caldwell and threatened him, according to a Richmond Police source.

Helmlinger was released on summons and is set to appear in court Jun

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

ROC executive pastor ‘voluntarily’ steps down

RICHMOND (VA)
WTVR

[with video]

May 28, 2013, by Scott Wise

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Executive Pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) has “voluntarily removed himself from his pastoral duties” after he was charged with a misdemeanor, according to a statement on the center’s website.

Pastor Jason Helmlinger was charged with using profanity over a public airway, according to court documents. Helmlinger was released on summons.

“This will remain in effect until his situation has been resolved. He will also seek counseling regarding this issue. The Board of Directors of the Richmond Outreach Center is in agreement with his decision,” the ROC statement read.

Helmlinger is due in court in early June for an arraignment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

2nd ROC Pastor Steps Down; Protest Set For Outside RPD Headquarters

RICHMOND (VA)
WRIC

Posted: May 28, 2013

RICHMOND, VA—Following ROC Pastor Geronimo Aguilar's Friday extradition to Texas on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a minor, a Tuesday protest is set to take place outside the Richmond Police headquarters.

The protest comes in response to the scandal revolving "Pastor G," the head pastor of the ROC, who faces seven felony charges in Texas, including the aggravated sexual assault of two children under the age of 14.

The protest is being organized by SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which says the rally is being held outside the police station to emphasize that suspected clergy sex crimes should be reported to secular officials, not church officials.

Aguilar, known as "Pastor G," was transported from police custody in Richmond to Richmond International Airport on Friday morning. He left Richmond on a flight to Texas, where he faces seven charges that, if convicted, could mean he'll spend the rest of his life in prison.

Thursday afternoon, the church's board of directors announced Aguilar was temporarily stepping down as pastor and president of the board at the Richmond Outreach Center. The board's full statement can be read here.

A second pastor at the ROC is also in trouble with the law and has stepped down from the church. 8News has confirmed ROC executive pastor and former Henrico County Police officer Jason Helmlinger was charged and arrested for making threats against an 8News source in our on-going investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

SNAP criticizes church board for backing arrested pastor

RICHMOND (VA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY BECKY IANNI ON MAY 28, 2013

Last Friday, Rev. Geronimo Aguilar, pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center, was extradited to Forth Worth, Texas where is he has been charged with seven felonies relating to the sexual abuse of two minors.

We are here today outside the Richmond Police Department headquarters for three reasons:

First, we demand that the church board publically apologize for a statement they published last Thursday. The board states that they believe the accusations of abuse to be completely untrue. They asked for prayers for Aguilar and his family but don’t mention the pain and suffering of the possible victims. Publically supporting the accused perpetrator is not only hurtful to the victims but very intimidating to other possible victims. Instead the church should withhold judgment or back him quietly. We also hope they will use their resources to reach out to anyone who may have been harmed by Aguilar.

Second, we urge church members and the public to “keep open minds.” We ask them to remember that the vast majority of accusations of childhood sexual abuse prove to be true, to educate themselves and their families about sexual abuse, to pray for all parties involved and finally to put themselves in the shoes of the alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Victims blast Richmond, VA church members

RICHMOND (VA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims blast Richmond church members
Board publicly back recently-arrested minister
Pastor is accused of molesting two girls in Texas
Group says rallying behind alleged molester is “hurtful”
It “intimidates other victims, witnesses & whistleblowers,” SNAP charges

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will criticize the board of a Richmond mega-church for publicly backing a just-arrested pastor who is charged with molesting children. They will also urge

--the board to publicly apologize,
--church-goers and the public to “keep open minds,” and
--anyone who may have seen suspected or suffered the minister’s crimes to call police.

WHEN
Tuesday, May 28 at noon

WHO
At least three adults who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including the organization’s Virginia Director and a woman who facilitates SNAP’s Richmond support group

WHERE
Outside the police station, 200 W Grace St.‎ (corner of N. Jefferson) in downtown Richmond VA

WHY
The board of a Richmond church is publicly supporting their pastor who was arrested last week on charges that he sexually assaulted two girls in Texas in the 1990s. And SNAP says they should withhold judgment about the minister or back him, if they must, privately. Publicly support for an accused child molester, SNAP says, is “inappropriate, hurtful, and intimidating to others who were molested and to others who may have information or suspicions about the cleric’s alleged crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Clerical child abuse allegation being investigated in Clogher

IRELAND
Highland Radio

A priest in the Diocese of Clogher has been granted a temporary leave of absence from his ministry while an allegation against him is being investigated.

In a statement this afternoon – the Diocese of Clogher says it has been informed of a child safeguarding allegation that relates to some years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

Church victims win $1m

AUSTRALIA
The Age

May 29, 2013

Jane Lee and Barney Zwartz

Eleven victims of child abuse, most at the hands of paedophile Christian Brother Robert Best, have won more than $1 million in compensation from the Catholic order.

The victims have collectively received more than $1.1 million in private settlements with the Christian Brothers since they began negotiating last November, their lawyer, Viv Waller, said.

The Christian Brothers told the state inquiry into child abuse earlier this month that they had spent more than $1 million defending Best. In 2011, Best was sentenced to 14 years and nine months in jail for sexual crimes against 11 boys at schools in Ballarat, Box Hill and Geelong during the 1970s. Most of the boys were also abused by other Brothers.

Dr Waller said on Tuesday, a day after the inquiry ended, that she was still negotiating with the Christian Brothers on the claims of 97 other clients and would pursue the matters in court if necessary, with 10 others applying for compensation under the Sentencing Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Pell a magnet for abuse ire

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

May 29, 2013

Jack Waterford
Editor-at-large, The Canberra Times

It was not even the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, but there was George Cardinal Pell, truculent, embattled, irritable and defensive taking on the bowling from Victorian parliamentarians inquiring into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations.

It was not a public relations triumph - not even intended to be. One can sense, however, that Pell left thinking he had given as good as he got, and that a few of his hits reached the boundary. He has shown over and over that he simply lacks the self-awareness to know that his every appearance on the subject throws fuel on to the fire - if only because his every facial tic makes it clear that he does not get it.

No one has reached stage one of argument suggesting that Pell condoned or facilitated a culture of abuse in his dioceses. But his combativeness and what one of his critics last year described as ''a sociopathic lack of empathy'' seem to be one of the key factors guaranteeing that an array of public inquiries will continue to embarrass and humiliate the church over the next few years.

The archbishop of Sydney, previously the archbishop of Melbourne, has made it clear he is very sorry that there was any sexual abuse of children, particularly if it occurred at the hands of Catholic priests or religious or even lay teachers. The Catholic church, he admits, handled things badly when there suddenly seemed to be an epidemic of complaints of such matters about 25 years ago. Some of his (late) predecessor archbishops of Melbourne frankly handled the matter shamefully, he agrees, and what they did could be described as a cover-up. Once, however, he came to appreciate the dimensions of the problem, he acted swiftly and decisively, setting up an institutional response that embraced victims, led to the identification and punishment of abusers, and which seems, on the basis of present abuse reports, to have worked in much reducing the incidence of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Pell admits cover-up of abuse in Victoria

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

Australia's most senior cleric, Cardinal George Pell, has admitted clergy covered up claims of sexual abuse by priests but said he personally never covered up offences.

Speaking yesterday at an inquiry by Victoria's parliament into the abuse of children by religious and non-government bodies in the state, he said he was "absolutely sorry" for the abuse committed by clerics against minors.

The cardinal said abuse had largely escaped the view of church officials who didn't know what a "mess" they were presiding over. Under questioning he agreed that the fear of damaging the reputation of the Church led to a cover-up.

"Many in the Church did not understand just what damage was being done to the victims. We understand that better now," he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

George Pell fronts Victorian sex abuse inquiry (Part 1)

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[video]

Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, gives evidence to the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into the sexual abuse of children by members of non-Government organisations.

Watch Part 2 here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Two inquiries, one scandal: evidence from thousands to determine child abuse extent

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By FIONA HENDERSON May 28, 2013

IN April last year, then Victorian premier Ted Baillieu announced he would set up a state government inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations.

Since then, the bipartisan family and community development committee has received 405 written submissions and conducted more than 160 hearing sessions.

This included evidence from 45 organisations in public hearings, which finished yesterday with the testimony of Australia’s top-ranking Catholic, Cardinal George Pell.

Written submissions will still be received until June 7, with the committee’s report expected on September 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

EDITORIAL: Cover-up an option no more

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

May 28, 2013.
THE Royal Commission into child sex abuse hasn’t even begun, but it is already obvious how much the political and social landscape has shifted, and how exposed some institutions may be as a result.

This week’s appearance at the Victorian child sex abuse inquiry by Catholic Cardinal George Pell was especially revealing.

Gone was the bluster and confidence of the past, and in its place was a subdued church leader who appeared uncharacteristically uncertain.

True, his critics wasted no time writing off his apologies and contrition as ‘‘a cynical exercise in damage control’’, but that overlooks the extraordinary reality that the church has, at last, been put on the spot by a more powerful secular authority and forced to face some hard facts.

Cardinal Pell admitted, for example, that his church had covered up cases of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Call for Cardinal to go

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By DAMON CRONSHAW May 28, 2013

HUNTER victims of Catholic clergy sexual abuse have called for Cardinal George Pell to resign, amid claims the Church is in damage control to protect its money and power.

The Church denied the claims but victims remain unsatisfied with what they consider to be ‘‘un-Christ-like behaviour’’ over the cover-up of child sex abuse and the response to it.

The Newcastle Herald reported yesterday that Cardinal Pell told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child sex abuse he was ‘‘fully apologetic and absolutely sorry’’ for clergy abuse. He admitted that abuse had been covered up.

Salt Ash man Rob Lipari, who was sexually assaulted as a boy by a Catholic school priest in the 1970s, alleged Cardinal Pell’s main concern was money and power.

‘‘It’s about protecting the Church’s assets and his tail,’’ Mr Lipari said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Belated change in church's stance was forced on it

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

May 29, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

This week, in a challenging and confrontational four-hour session, Cardinal George Pell became the final witness at the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled child sexual abuse. The inquiry began slowly, in the face of considerable scepticism about its resources and political will, but now I congratulate the committee.

It has been diligent, dedicated and determined, united in purpose and free of party politics, aided by an excellent team including Frank Vincent, QC, police adviser Mal Hyde and Crown prosecutor Claire Quin. The police Taskforce Sano attached to the inquiry has already laid new charges.

By the end, the committee received 405 submissions and held 160 hearings - just under half in secret - with 45 organisations and scores of victims, families, whistleblowers, academics and experts.

Now the committee retires to write its report, due by September 30. Whatever its recommendations, many of which could be confidently predicted now, it has already served a valuable role in giving a public voice to victims and holding the churches to account.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Archbishop Myers Speaks!

NEW JERSEY
Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk | May 28, 2013

Under cover of the Memorial Day holiday, Newark Archbishop tried to put the Fugee scandal behind him by throwing his vicar general under the bus and blaming “operational failures” and/or “vulnerabilities” for the fact that the “strong protocols” of the archdiocese were not always observed. Right.

Myers’ first direct statement on the matter, delivered in different forms on the Star-Ledger op-ed page Saturday, by priests in his parishes Sunday, and by himself on video, begins, “When I first learned several weeks ago that Father Michael Fugee may have violated a lifetime ban on ministry to minors…”) Given that his spokesman initially claimed that the court order permitted the priest to minister to minors “under supervision,” that’s a telling, if backhanded, admission.

What Myers does not acknowledge is that if he had followed the protocols of the USCCB, which he helped write, he wouldn’t be in the position he is today. Under the USCCB’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, a priest is to be permanently removed from ministry “for even a single act of sexual abuse of a minor — whenever it occurred — which is admitted or established after an appropriate process in accord with canon law.”

After Fugee’s conviction for child molestation was dismissed on a technicality, the archdiocese signed a Memorandum of Understanding banning the priest from ministering to minors. You’d have thought that was an acknowledgement that sexual abuse of a minor had in fact occurred. But what Myers did next was to convene his anonymous review committee to look into the case, and lo and behold, the committee found that there had been no abuse. Whereupon he returned Fugee to ministry, giving him desk jobs in charge of doctrine and priest formation and appointing him as a chaplain at the local Catholic hospital (without letting the hospital administration know of Fugee’s past).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Sex abuse inquiry's grilling only the beginning

AUSTRALIA
The Age

May 29, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age

On November 9 last year, Georgie Crozier strode to the lectern, fixed me with a steely gaze and read a short statement defending the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled child sexual abuse.

Although the chairwoman of the six-MP committee running the inquiry did not explicitly mention it, she was clearly stung by my opinion piece in The Age two days earlier criticising the pace and depth the inquiry had shown to that point - just 1½ days of hearings - and the opaqueness of the process. She answered many questions in the article, and concluded: ''We have begun the process, let us get on with it.''

This article is an odd sort of mea culpa, because I am not convinced I was entirely wrong at the time. The committee did start slowly, and there were legitimate doubts about its political will. But I certainly wouldn't write such an article now.

I think the members gained self-belief and momentum as they went along, were appalled by what victims told them, and got emotionally involved. It is impossible not to, the stories are so harrowing. Those involved in the inquiry needed regular counselling.

This week they finished taking evidence, the last witness being Sydney Archbishop George Pell on Monday. I congratulate the committee. It has been diligent, dedicated and determined, united in purpose and free of party politics, aided by an excellent team including Frank Vincent QC, police adviser Mal Hyde, and Crown prosecutor Claire Quin. The police Taskforce Sano attached to the inquiry has already laid new charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Australian cardinal faces hostile abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
BDlive

BY JAMES GRUBEL, MAY 28 2013

CANBERRA — The head of the Catholic Church in Australia on Monday came under scathing attack at a Victorian state inquiry into child abuse cover-ups, as he blamed a culture of silence for what one panelist described as a "psychopathic disregard" for the welfare of children.

Cardinal George Pell, an adviser to Pope Francis on Vatican reforms, told a parliamentary hearing the church had been slow to address the suffering of victims and again issued an apology.

"I am fully apologetic, and absolutely sorry," said Cardinal Pell at an often hostile hearing marked by at times angry questioning over the church’s compensation and investigations. Cardinal Pell was questioned for more than four hours. He said the number of reports of abuse by clergy members peaked in the 1970s and 1980s — at 620 cases — but had fallen as the church changed its approach.

"The evidence of misbehaving, crimes, has been significantly reduced. I hope the worst is behind us," Cardinal Pell said, adding 300 people in Victoria state had received compensation for abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

George Pell and the leadership lesson of a leaderless organisation

AUSTRALIA
BRW

Leo D'Angelo Fisher Columnist

Cardinal George Pell is Australia’s most senior Catholic, but he rejects the assertion that he is the head of the Catholic Church in Australia. At his marathon four-and-a-half-hour appearance before the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse on Monday, Pell admitted to many things, but he did not agree that the buck for systemic abuse of children by Catholic priests stopped with him.

“I’m not the Catholic Prime Minister of Australia. I am not the general manager Australia. The Catholic Church is. . . a very interesting example of a flat organisation,” he told the at times openly-hostile inquiry.

It may well be an organisational nicety of the Catholic Church hierarchy that Pell does not carry the title “chief executive officer, Catholic Church Australia Ltd” on his business card, but nobody was under the illusion that Pell was not speaking for the church as the titular, if not actual, head of the church in Australia.

When Pell told the inquiry, “I’m fully apologetic and absolutely sorry” and admitted “that lives have been blighted”, that “these crimes have contributed to too many suicides”, and that priests who had abused children in their care had been deliberately moved from parish to parish, and that “in some cases, unfortunately” paedophile priests were placed above the law – these were not the admissions of a mere parish priest. The weight of these shocking admissions about the church’s failings came from the authority of Pell’s leadership of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Cardinal's evidence puts abuse crisis in perspective

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

EDITORIALS

THE Catholic Church, like the Australian Defence Force, state-run children's services and other churches, has been forced to learn hard lessons about the criminal abuse of innocent victims by those in positions of trust. In some cases, such depravity led to lifelong damage and even contributed to suicides.

For two decades, Catholics have suffered a sense of betrayal as the church's propensity to cover up criminal activity, shield perpetrators and transfer them from parish to parish or school to school has been exposed. Victims naturally seek justice, comfort and closure from the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Abuse and the upcoming Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The inquiries, however, have another important task: to ensure that safeguards are enacted to prevent abuse in future. Judging by the evidence of Australia's most senior Catholic leader, Cardinal George Pell, to the Victorian commission yesterday, the church has made some progress towards putting its house in order.

Two months after his appointment as Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, Archbishop Pell set up the Independent Commission into Sexual Abuse headed by independent QC Peter O'Callaghan, with a separate panel assessing compensation payouts of up to $50,000, in line with state criminal compensation. At the time, the move was cutting-edge, putting the Archdiocese ahead of the rest of the church and other institutions. The process was more transparent than the Towards Healing protocol established shortly afterwards in other parts of the Catholic Church in Australia and well ahead of most of the US and Ireland, where the main government inquiry did not start until 1999. As the Cardinal said, the fact that 242 abuse complaints had been upheld from the 1970s, 82 from the 1980s, between 22 and 24 from the 1990s and fewer than 20 since 2000 indicated the problem was being contained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Pell's evidence was 'damage control': QC

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP MAY 28, 2013

CARDINAL George Pell's appearance at Victoria's child sex abuse inquiry was "a cynical exercise in damage control", a barrister and victims' advocate says.

Bryan Keon-Cohen QC says Cardinal Pell's statements at Monday's inquiry hearing lacked conviction and he tried to evade responsibility.

"My response to Cardinal Pell's evidence, being as fair as I can, is that it was to me a rather cynical exercise in damage control," Dr Keon-Cohen, president of community lobby group COIN (Commission of Inquiry Now), told ABC Radio in Melbourne.

"He offered a lot of words, he offered apologies, remorse, but to me it lacked conviction."

He said Cardinal Pell, who is a former Archbishop of Melbourne, followed the line used by Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart last week at the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Abuse response a job for govt: advocates

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

By Genevieve Gannon and Daniel Fogarty
From: AAP
May 28, 2013

THE Catholic Church should not be allowed to investigate allegations of child sex abuse committed within its own ranks, advocates say.

They want the church's internal abuse response processes replaced by a government body and say legal options for victims should be strengthened.

Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, argues the church's Melbourne Response, which he set up while archbishop of Melbourne to deal with clergy abuse claims in the archdiocese, has been sufficient.

"I'm more than happy with what we did at that time," he told the final hearing day for Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into child abuse on Monday.

"I felt it was a sufficient response to the problem at that time and it bore very significant fruit."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Group to protest Richmond church

RICHMOND (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

BY LOUIS LLOVIO Richmond Times-Dispatch

An activist organization created by victims of childhood sexual abuse will protest the Richmond Outreach Center today outside Richmond police headquarters on Grace Street.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is protesting the South Richmond megachurch’s decision to stand by its pastor, Geronimo Aguilar, as he faces charges in Texas for the alleged sexual abuse of two children in 1996.

The group also is urging other alleged victims to come forward to local police.

“Frankly, it’s always heartbreaking to us to see congregants immediately and publicly rally for an accused child molester instead of keeping an open mind and urging anyone with information to come forward,” said David Clohessy, a spokesman for the organization.

Clohessy said the church’s decision to stand by Aguilar sends the wrong message to victims of sexual abuse — whether inside the church or watching the case from afar — who already find it extremely difficult to come forward and discuss what happened to them as children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Abuse victim angered by Pell's claim

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

Lloyd Jones
AAP
May 28, 2013

A MAN who was sexually abused as a boy by Catholic brothers says it is "beyond belief" that Cardinal George Pell was unaware of abuse by clergy over many years.

Cardinal Pell, Australia's most senior Catholic, admitted to Victoria's child sex abuse inquiry that a fear of scandal had led to cover-ups of child sex abuse in the church.

He was "absolutely sorry" for what had happened, but he had never personally covered up clergy abuse, he told the inquiry in Melbourne on Monday.

But many abuse victims were not satisfied with Cardinal Pell's apology, saying it was insincere and he had diverted blame to others.

Sydney resident John Hennessey told AAP on Tuesday he was sexually abused by Christian Brothers at Boys Town in Western Australia where he went as a boy migrant from Britain in 1947.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Australia’s top Catholic cardinal says sexual abuse claims have fallen

AUSTRALIA
Reuters

The head of the Catholic Church in Australia on Monday blamed a former culture of silence for the cover-up of child abuse by clergy, making it difficult to know the full extent of abuse, but added that the number of cases had dropped significantly since the church started taking stronger action.

Cardinal George Pell, an adviser to Pope Francis on Vatican reforms, told a parliamentary hearing the church had been slow to address the suffering of victims and again issued an apology.

“I am fully apologetic, and absolutely sorry,” said Pell in a tense hearing marked by at times angry questioning over the church’s compensation and investigations. Pell was questioned for more than four hours.

Pell said the number of reports of abuse by clergy members peaked in the 1970s and 80s, but had fallen as the church changed its approach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Cardinal Pell Answers to Child Abuse Inquiry, Admits There Was Cover Up

AUSTRALIA
International Business Times

By Precious Silva | May 28, 2013

Top ranking Catholic official Cardinal George Pell faced the Victorian Parliament yesterday afternoon to answer sexual child abuse queries. The cardinal admitted to the committee that the Church indeed tried covering up the scandal and that members of the clergy were involved.

True to what was advised to him, Cardinal Pell was honest and apologetic to the committee as he addressed their inquiries about the sexual controversies flung at the Church. He said that he was completely sorry and apologetic because the Church tried hiding the truth for decades.

There are members of the public gallery who cried as the church official answered the committee's question. Likewise, there were even more sympathetic responses when the cardinal was finally forced to explain how the church systematically covered up the scandals. Rape victims were as young as five years old.

"I'm certainly totally committed to improving the situation. I know the Holy Father is too," ABC quoted Pell while he faced the Victorian parliament. The cardinal defended why the church had to do the cover up despite the pressure on him that afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Efforts to address child abuse take hold in KC diocese

MISSOURI
The Olathe News

By MARK MORRISThe Kansas City Star

The May 2011 firestorm over the handling of a disgraced Catholic priest’s production of child pornography prompted the local church to undertake the most far-reaching child protection reforms in its history.

And since then, the years have been pretty busy for the women at the center of the changes.

“I feel we have made tremendous strides in training,” said Jenifer Valenti, the ombudsman for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Since Bishop Robert Finn announced new child protection measures in the wake of the Shawn Ratigan scandal, the program has been cemented into place by a Jackson County judge who demanded regular reports on child welfare in the diocese after convicting the bishop last September of failing to report suspicions of child abuse, a misdemeanor.

One local cleric said that given the heightened scrutiny on the church, having Valenti, a former prosecutor, available to pursue complaints and answer questions is critical.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Church will pay compensation govt thinks proper: Pell

AUSTRALIA
My Daily News

28th May 2013

THE Australian Lawyers Alliance has called on the Catholic Church to "put its money where its mouth is" and use its vast wealth to properly compensate victims who fell prey to paedophile priests.

During hearings of the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into sexual abuse in the Church on Monday, Cardinal George Pell accepted the Church could pay victims "proper compensation".

ALA spokesman Dr Andrew Morrison SC said Cardinal Pell told the inquiry the Church would pay whatever compensation the government thought proper, and "he should be taken at his word".

"Governments throughout Australia should immediately make the Church trustees liable for the conduct of the Church and the Church should in turn be held liable for the conduct of its priests," Dr Morrison said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Cardinal Pell and the inquiries into child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Health Canal

Cardinal George Pell has apologised to victims and survivors of child abuse by Catholic clergy during his appearance before the Victorian parliament’s Inquiry into child abuse by by religious organisations.

Judy Courtin

Pell said he was: “fully apologetic and absolutely sorry”.

But many survivors of abuse and their families are unhappy with Pell’s testimony, especially over his stand on potential compensation for victims. And what can we expect if Pell appears before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse?

The Conversation spoke with Monash University’s Judy Courtin who attended the hearing and has written extensively on the issue of child abuse within the Catholic church.

How significant was Pell’s apology?

It was potentially a very significant apology. But if you speak to any of the victims and survivors and their families it was in fact an empty apology.

If we were to rate his performance as an actor with his apology he had have just passed as an actor. The apology, along with any empathy or compassion, were entirely lacking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Top cardinal must resign, say victims

AUSTRALIA
IOL (South Africa)

May 28 2013
By Madeleine Coorey

Sydney -

The victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Australia and their supporters on Tuesday called for the resignation of the church's top ranking cardinal, saying they were unimpressed with his apology.

Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell on Monday appeared at a Victorian state government inquiry into the criminal abuse of children, admitting to cover-ups by a predecessor and saying he was “absolutely sorry”.

“I am fully apologetic and absolutely sorry,” said Pell, who said he never hid any allegations himself and had seen to it that protocols were put in place to deal with cases of sex abuse.

“I'm certainly totally committed to improving the situation. I know the Holy Father (Pope Francis) is too.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

May 27, 2013

Angry Twitter Reactions To Pell's Testimony In Child Sex Abuse Inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Pedestrian TV

[with Twitter postings]

Even with the incomprehensibly horrible subject matter under investigation in the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse, the testimony given by Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, was categorically shocking.

Shocking because of Pell's admission that the Catholic church has been complicit in covering up child sex abuse. He said, "I am happy to accept the invitation of the Premier [Denis Napthine] and to say that I'm fully apologetic and absolutely sorry, and that is the basis for everything on which I'll say now."

It was shocking because of the reasoning Pell gave to explain why sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy had been systemically covered up by the Church: "... The primary motivation would have been to respect the reputation of the church," he said.

Shocking, was his reference to "the gospels" in explaining the support he had shown former priest and convicted serial child abuser, Gerald Ridsdale. Pell's testimony on this matter was: "I felt there was something in the gospels where Christ speaks about being with the lowest of the low. As an expression of solidarity, I gave that limited support."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 PM

Archbishop of Sydney blames child abuse on church’s loose entry standards for priests

AUSTRALIA
Irish Times

Padraig Collins

Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, has told an inquiry that the Catholic Church’s history of child abuse is a result of loose entry requirements for priests, past errors of judgment and inaction.

“The entry procedures ... for candidates in the middle of last century was much too loose,” Cardinal Pell, who is the Archbishop of Sydney and a former archbishop of Melbourne, told the Victorian child abuse inquiry in Melbourne yesterday.

Cardinal Pell apologised for the abuse committed by Catholic clergy. “I’m fully apologetic and absolutely sorry,” he said. “That is the basis for everything which I’ll say now.”

Damage done
Cardinal Pell said the church had not understood the damage being done to victims of child sex abuse. “I would agree that we’ve been slow to address the anguish of the victims and dealt with it very imperfectly,” he told the inquiry. “I think a big factor in this was not simply to defend the name of the church. Many in the church did not understand just what damage was being done to the victims. We understand that better now.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 PM

Newark Archbishop is silent on Fugee controversy at Memorial Day Mass in North Arlington

NEW JERSEY
The Record

MONDAY MAY 27, 2013, 9:05 PM
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

NORTH ARLINGTON — Newark Archbishop John J. Myers came to Holy Cross Cemetery to celebrate a Memorial Day Mass on Monday, a day after a letter bearing his signature, in which he defended the archdiocese’s handling of a snowballing controversy involving a former Wyckoff associate pastor, was read to parishioners.

At no point, however, did Myers mention the Rev. Michael Fugee, a former associate pastor at the Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Wyckoff who allegedly heard the confessions of minors over the past three years despite a legal agreement barring him from ministering to children.

Fugee, whose decade-old conviction for groping an adolescent boy was overturned on a technicality, was arrested last week and charged with seven counts of violating a judicial order. John L. Molinelli, the Bergen County prosecutor, said Fugee heard confessions from children at least seven times between 2010 and 2012, including twice at Sacred Heart Church in Rochelle Park, where archdiocesan officials allowed him to live for two years, and once at Our Lady of Visitation in Paramus in violation of an agreement that Fugee signed with Molinelli’s office to avoid a second trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

George Pell: everything except his testimony spoke of power

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (United Kingdom)

David Marr
guardian.co.uk, Monday 27 May 2013

The cardinal’s colour rose all afternoon. He smiled once or twice after negotiating a difficult passage. He clasped and unclasped his hands, never quite in prayer. He droned. He snapped. He stared at the six members of the Victorian parliament’s family and community development committee with a gaze that seemed focused somewhere south of Macquarie Island.

But the former archbishop of Melbourne was in the room. That was the triumph the gallery of victims and the parents of victims was enjoying. They didn’t expect anything new from him – Cardinal Pell is not a man known for changing course – but he was in Melbourne answering questions. He identified his team of advisers. “All of them,” he told the committee, “married people with children, keen to help us with this fight.”

He had many complaints. He complained he hadn’t been called to give evidence months ago; that he wasn’t allowed to make an opening statement; that the church had experienced “25 years of hostility from the press”; that the Victorian government “was not active earlier” on child abuse, and that he was so often misunderstood: “I have always been on the side of the victims.”

No one rose when he came into the room. He was in civvies: white shirt, no jewellery, his head bowed under the weight of the mitre he wasn’t wearing. A fortnight shy of his 72nd birthday, Pell is a big man with strength in reserve. His voice is masculine but oddly refined: Oxford over Ballarat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 PM

C. S. Lewis: The Truth, the Lie, and the Lion

UNITED STATES
Waiting for Godot to Leave

Troy Hinkel writes an excellent post on the modern disdain for truth and C. S. Lewis' answer to that in The Last Battle.

But, good as that article is, and good as C. S. Lewis' insights into morality are - of course if someone else is scornful of the truth, I need not be particularly worried about it. I'm mostly truthful, except when the small lie suits me. If they lie for their Bad Cause, I may lie for my Good Cause, or else their Bad Cause will win. Right??? And Scripture, Augustine, Aquinas, Trent, and the Catechism - they're not Magisterial, right??? Lying for a Good Cause is a good thing, right????

Then there's this.

Fear of scandal prompted the cover-up of child sex abuse allegations within the Catholic Church, Australia’s top-ranking Cardinal George Pell admitted Monday.

Now Pell is one of OUR guys. He's not a liberal Jesuit lying to keep an abusive priest out of jail. He's an orthodox bishop who has taken heat for his opposition to liturgical abuse and his devotion to Church teaching. He's even been the victim of a lie - a man who falsely accused him of abuse in 2002.

So when Cardinal Pell tells us why the Church in Australia lied, and says

“The primary motivation would have been to respect the reputation of the church ... There was a fear of scandal.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Sex abuse inquiry: Victims, Church members demand greater action from Cardinal Pell

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

By Samantha Donovan, Ashley Hall and Alison Caldwell

The father of two girls who were abused by a Catholic priest says apologies by Australia's most senior Catholic, George Pell, are meaningless unless they are followed up with actions.

Yesterday Cardinal Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse that he was "fully apologetic and absolutely sorry" about decades of sexual abuse within the church.

During his evidence he admitted the fear of scandal led to the cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Church.

During sometimes tense exchanges, Cardinal Pell insisted individuals were to blame for what had happened, not the Church structure itself.

"I'm certainly totally committed to improving the situation. I know the Holy Father [Pope] is too," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Victorian MP Ann Barker reacts to George Pell's evidence at inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[video]

Victorian MP Ann Barker campaigned for a royal commission into child sexual abuse. She spoke with ABC News Breakfast about George Pell's appearance at the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Sex-abuse investigations rip open Catholic Church's secret files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

[Clergy Files Produced by Archdiocese of Los Angeles]

For centuries, the church has maintained a second set of books containing sensitive documents such as notes on priests' alcohol abuse, disputes over parish funds and, later, molestation allegations.

By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
May 28, 2013

Preparing for his return to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles after six months' treatment at a center for pedophile priests, Father Michael Wempe sat down to type out a list of concerns. Arrangements for his dog. Counseling and support groups for himself.

Above everything, he wrote at the top of the list in the 1987 memo: "Confidentiality — Reports from here destroyed, even this paper."

Wempe had good reason for the request. The reports from the center laid out how he had confessed to molesting young boys. Wempe's therapists also urged church officials to immediately destroy everything. If the papers fell in the hands of law enforcement, the priest, the archdiocese and the treatment center could be in serious trouble.

But Cardinal Roger Mahony and other church leaders ignored the warnings. Rather than shred or burn the reports, they preserved them in carefully organized file cabinets where they remained until this year.

The release of those records — and thousands of pages of other damaging abuse documents in January — begged a question: Why did the church hold on to decades-old evidence of its priests' sins?

The explanation lies in centuries of Catholic church history and is a tale involving secret betrothals, scandal, even a murder or two. Since the time of the Enlightenment, the Catholic Church has maintained two sets of records: one for the mundane and a second "secret archive" for matters of a sensitive nature. The cache — known as sub secreto files, Canon 489 files, confidential files or C-files — was to be kept under lock and key, only for the eyes of the bishop and his trusted few.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

A few reasons Americans have a distorted view of the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Church and State

By Stephen D Mumford | 4 September 2012
N4CM

Editor’s note: This piece has been adapted from Chapter 13 of The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a US Population Policy by Stephen D Mumford (Center for Research on Population and Security, 1996).

As mentioned in Chapter 11, the news outlets that placed the Church in a negative light were virtually all snuffed out or muzzled earlier in this century by the Knights of Columbus; this institution continues to take great pride in its early successes. Its efforts in recent years and the efforts of other Catholic institutions, such as the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, to suppress information that places the Church in a bad light have been mostly successful (the issue of child molestation being the only significant exception but even on this issue they do what they can.)

Any time a report appears in the press placing the Church in a bad light, almost without exception there is an immediate demand for an apology and retraction made to the reporter, editor and publisher by these Catholic thought police. Written responses and demands for publication are immediately forthcoming. These responses are usually published and it is amazing how many apologies are made and published. There are scores of examples each year and they can be found in the publications of these thought police. They eagerly share their successes with their members. But when a negative report appears in one newspaper or magazine it rarely appears in another, regardless of its newsworthiness.

Economic retribution as a tool to suppress criticism was used more commonly in the last century and earlier in this century than today because it is now largely unnecessary. The long history of its use and the success enjoyed with it makes the mere threat of its use highly effective.

Perhaps far more important than the outright intimidation practiced by many of the right-wing Catholic organizations is the self-censorship practiced by reporters, editors and publishers. All know there is a line that has been drawn by the bishops that they are not to cross—and they rarely do. They are aware of the rules formulated by the bishops regarding how Church matters are to be reported—and nearly always follow them. They know they will be punished if they do not conform.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Sex abuse inquiry: Victims, Church members demand greater action from Cardinal Pell

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

By Samantha Donovan, Ashley Hall and Alison Caldwell

The father of two girls who were abused by a Catholic priest says apologies by Australia's most senior Catholic, George Pell, are meaningless unless they are followed up with actions.

Yesterday Cardinal Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse that he was "fully apologetic and absolutely sorry" about decades of sexual abuse within the church.

During his evidence he admitted the fear of scandal led to the cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Church.

During sometimes tense exchanges, Cardinal Pell insisted individuals were to blame for what had happened, not the Church structure itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Archbishop Chaput Places Another Priest on Leave

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

MAY 27, 2013 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

Removal from ministry is not a real punishment or a true safeguard. It’s only part of a solution. Archbishop Chaput’s decisive action is appreciated, but he does not back the removal of the statute of limitations for child sex abuse in PA. Victims, such as this one, would be able to see the same justice afforded to victims in other states. If the allegations are true, Collins should be in jail. Criminal prosecution helps protects all children.

Click here to read: “Phila. priest accused of abuse placed on leave,” by Carolyn Davis and Sarah Smith, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 26, 2013

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Cardinal Pell admits Australian Church has failed to comprehend scale of paedophilia problem

AUSTRALIA
Vatican Insider

Today, the cardinal addressed the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Abuse which saw the involvement of certain bodies linked to the Church

VATICAN INSIDER STAFF
ROME

Speaking at an inquiry by Victoria’s parliament into child sex abuse in the state, the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, said he was “absolutely sorry” for the abuse committed by clerics against minors. Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic prelate said he did not believe there was a “culture of abuse” within the Church.

The inquiry is looking into the abuse of children by religious and non-government bodies. The Church has produces a report stating that at least 620 minors in the Australian state of Victoria suffered abuse from members of the clergy over the past 80 years. Pell, who was Archbishop of Melbourne from 1996 to 2001, reminded the inquiry that the Catholic Church in Australia recognised paedophilia as a serious issue as early as 1988. It was also aware that the Church needed to be treated just like any other institution in terms of compensation for victims.

According to Pell, a number of factors have contributed to the problem of abuse in the Australian Catholic Church. One of these is the superficial way in which priests are chosen, as they are often inadequately prepared for celibacy. Another is the number of minors the Church has under its care. “Also … the entry procedures, the criteria, the searching, the investigation of candidates back say in the middle of last century was much too loose,” he said. He went on to say that the Church has been the victim of "intermittent hostility from the press" but recognised this has helped uncover some of the Church's failings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Francis' new Legion

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Today the Pope received Cardinal De Paolis, the Legion of Christ's “chief”, in audience, confirming that the Congregation would have new superiors and constitutions by the end of 2013

GIACOMO GALEAZZI
VATICAN CITY

A Legion for Francis. A general chapter will be held at the end of 2013 to elect the Legion of Christ’s new superiors and approve the new constitutions. This morning the Pope received Cardinal Velasio De Paolis President emeritus of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See, in a private audience. Cardinal De Paolis has been a papal delegate to the Legion of Christ since 2010 and was conferred full decision-making powers by Benedict XVI so as to break completely with the Congregation’s previous leadership. The Congregation was founded and led (until 2005) by Marcial Maciel, a coke-sniffing, child abusing Mexican priest who raped his own children.

In recent days, the Pope’s representative, De Paolis, asked whether he could report to the Pope on the restructuring of the religious order, which was badly shaken by the scandal involving its paedophile founder, Maciel. This morning the Pope listened to the cardinal’s detailed report and was informed about the next steps that would be taken in the “purification” process started in the Legion and the Regnum Christi movement, the Legion’s lay branch.

De Paolis’ three-year mandate ends in July. Today he explained to Francis what was next on the Congregation’s agenda: the approval of the constitutions and the general chapter which will elect the Legion’s new government. The cardinal explained the problems that emerged within the order during its three years under the administration of an external commissioner. In 2012, De Paolis formally dismissed all superiors who had been nominated by Maciel. Maciel himself had enjoyed the protection of John Paul II’s collaborators until the Pope’s death. All except Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. He was the only one who did not accept the large offerings made to the Roman Curia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Australia’s Top Cardinal: Scandal Drove Sex Abuse Coverup

AUSTRALIA
Lez Get Real

Posted by: Bridgette P. LaVictoire on May 27, 2013.

Australia’s top-ranking Cardinal, George Pell, has admitted what most peple pretty much already knew- that fear of scandal prompted the Catholic Church to coverup child sexual abuse allegations. While denying being involved personally in the coverup of pedophile priests, Cardinal Pell told Victoria, Australia’s parliament that “The primary motivation would have been to respect the reputation of the church. There was a fear of scandal.”

The Australian state is looking into the coverup of child sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church and various non-government organizations. The panel has already heard about how 620 children were sexually abused by Catholic clergy since the 1930′s. Victims were as young as seven and were often raped.

While priests associated with the Catholic and Anglican churches have been identified as having sexual abused children, they typically abuse children at a lower rate than those from religions without a strict hierarchy. The problem has not been the actual abuse quite so much as the decision by the Catholic Church to hide the assaults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Pell tells abuse inquiry of Ridsdale support

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

By MARY ALEXANDER May 28, 2013

CATHOLIC Cardinal George Pell regrets that his appearance at court with serial paedophile Gerald Ridsdale “provoked so much angst” with victims of clergy sexual abuse.

“At that stage nobody knew, at least I certainly didn’t, the extent of what proved to be an infamous career,” the former senior Ballarat diocese official told a state parliamentary inquiry yesterday.

In May 1993, Cardinal Pell accompanied Ridsdale to court in Melbourne, where he pleaded guilty to 30 charges of indecent assault, involving nine boys aged between 12 and 16. It was the first of three court appearances where Ridsdale faced a string of sexual abuse charges, many of them committed in south-west Victoria.

After being heavily criticised for supporting the former priest instead of his victims, Cardinal Pell said at the time Ridsdale “had made terrible mistakes”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Sometimes You Just Have to Sue the B#$%#@&^!

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

Virginia Jones

Sometimes you just have to sue the b#$%#@&^!. You have simply suffered too much injustice, and nothing you do inspires the party who harmed you to do the right thing. You have no other choice.

I hate lawsuits. I don’t like what lawyers do in general. Only one lawyer donated $100 to my organization despite the fact that I have provided significant support to many of their survivors including survivors they have abandoned. So I have nothing to lose in criticizing lawyers and lawsuits. Truthfully I feel a bit used by the lawyers whose clients I have helped. I prefer mediation and mediators to lawyers and lawsuits. I think our Retributive Jusitce system, which is based on finding the perpetrator and punishing them, is incredibly wounding to all sides. Lawsuits are win/lose propositions, but the losing side often feels that justice has not been done and remains hurt and angry. Whenever someone feels hurt and angry, conflict continues. In addition, when your focus is on guilt and punishment, you have to have a threshold level of evidence before you decide a criminal act is significant enough to prosecute and then you need enough evidence to prosecute.

Too many times there is too little evidence or the crime is not significant enough. Civil lawsuits can help to a degree when criminal prosecution is not possible, but even civil lawsuits leave people without justice. I’ve met a number of survivors who have not been able to receive any form of justice.

These cases include a number of women who were sexually abused as children who then had “affairs” with priests as adults. All these women were vulnerable to a kind man who flattered them and was gentler than the abusers of their childhood. Many Catholic blame these women for “tempting” the priests. I don’t. The priest had a duty to be therapeutic and crossed the line into selfish and harmful behavior. Some of these women have struggled greatly to function long after their interactions with the priest ended. If the Catholic Church has given them support, it is likely to be less than $10,000. In one case, a kindly priest or two have been the main source of emotional support for the woman for years, but the rest of the Church has mistreated her. In the case of another woman who became pregnant, the priest father disappeared when she told him she was pregnant and pleaded vow of poverty when she needed child support for her sick son.

In another case, a survivor was abused by multiple people, including a priest, but the church denied having much responsibility for the damage she suffered. They offered her a small payout that barely covered what she had already spent on therapy and that was before her lawyer took one-third of the settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Archdiocese Pays for Health Plan That Covers Birth Control

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By SHARON OTTERMAN
Published: May 26, 2013

As the nation’s leading Roman Catholic bishop, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York has been spearheading the fight against a provision of the new health care law that requires employers, including some that are religiously affiliated, to cover birth control in employee health plans.

But even as Cardinal Dolan insists that requiring some religiously affiliated employers to pay for contraception services would be an unprecedented, and intolerable, government intrusion on religious liberty, the archdiocese he heads has quietly been paying for such coverage, albeit reluctantly and indirectly, for thousands of its unionized employees for over a decade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Die Zäpfchengeber vom Elitegymnasium

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Welt

Ein katholisches Jungengymnasium. Ein Pater, der Schüler mit Zäpfchen behandelt. Eingestellte Ermittlungen. An einer Bonner Eliteschule ist ein Unrecht geschehen. Doch wem genau, ist nicht klar. Von Anette Dowideit

Jede Nachricht lebt von den Bildern, die sie im Kopf des Lesers erzeugt. Von Projektionen. Man hört eine Geschichte und ergänzt im Kopf: Opfer, Täter, Recht gegen Unrecht. Bis es ins jeweilige Weltbild passt. Zur Logik der Dramaturgie.

Peter Billig hat viel nachgedacht in den letzten Monaten, scheint es. Vor allem über Kopfkino. Darüber, wo Fürsorge endet und wo Missbrauch beginnt. Und über die Welle an Missbrauchsfällen, die in den vergangenen Jahren die katholische Kirche überrollte. "Jemand hat mir gesagt, man müsse einfach nur diese Begriffe vor sich hinsagen, und schon forme sich das entsprechende Bild", sagt der grauhaarige Mann, der in rheinischem Singsang spricht: "Katholisch. Männerorden. Jungenschule. Pater. Zäpfchen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Rabbi charged in 2006 sex assault of 15-year-old boy

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

May 27, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A rabbi from Chicago is accused of molesting a teenage boy. Prosecutors say that attack happened in 2006.

Larry Dudovitz, 45, of West Rogers Park, was arrested on Saturday. He is charged with one count of criminal sexual assault.

Court records show Dudovitz is accused of trying to assault a 15-year-old boy while he was sleeping in his home in October of 2006. At a hearing over the weekend, a judge grilled the prosecutor for the 6-year delay in filing a charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

West Rogers Park rabbi charged in sexual assault

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Carlos Sadovi and Jennifer Delgado
Tribune reporters
11:35 a.m. CDT, May 27, 2013

A 45-year-old West Rogers Park rabbi was charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy nearly seven years ago, police said.

Larry Dudovitz of the 6400 block of North Albany Avenue was charged with criminal sexual assault of a victim between the ages of 13 and 17, police said.

According to a police report, Dudovitz is a rabbi and was in a position of trust with regards to the boy. Dudovitz allegedly was at the victim's West Rogers Park home on Oct. 26, 2006 when he sexually assaulted the boy, according to authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

Rabbi charged with criminal sexual assault of 15-year-old

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporter jseidel@suntimes.com May 26, 2013

A rabbi from West Rogers Park was arrested Saturday in the alleged sexual molestation of a teenage boy in 2006 — even though prosecutors say authorities were told at the time.

Larry L. Dudovitz, 45, of the 6400 block of North Albany, was charged with one count of criminal sexual assault, prosecutors said. Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil shot down a request that he be held without bail and ordered him held in lieu of $100,000. She also grilled a prosecutor about the six-year delay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Chicago rabbi accused of 2006 sexual assault

CHICAGO (IL)
San Francisco Chronicle

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago rabbi is being accused of molesting a teenage boy.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/Z99HfZ ) that 45-year-old Larry L. Dudovitz, of the West Rogers Park neighborhood, has been charged with one count of criminal sexual assault.

Dudovitz was arrested Saturday and was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bond.
According to court records, Dudovitz is accused of abusing the boy, who was 15 at the time, while he was sleeping in the rabbi's home in 2006.

A Cook County judge questioned prosecutors about why it took so long for charges to be brought.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Victims say church still 'doesn't get it'

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Cardinal George Pell has told a sex abuse inquiry the church has made progress but victims say its leaders still just "don't get it".

Cardinal Pell admitted the fear of scandal led to cover-up in the church but said its response had borne "very significant fruit".

He opened and closed his submission to Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse with an apology, saying he was "absolutely sorry".

Australia's most senior Catholic said the church should have been called earlier to deal with searing criticism that kicked off the inquiry.

"Because these charges were unanswered, many people in the public think not only were there many mistakes made a long time ago but there's been no progress at all over the last 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

The buck stops... over there!

NEW JERSEY
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler | May 27, 2013

Today’s news headlines prompt a couple of quick thoughts:

When a priest was found ministering to young people, in apparent violation of a court order, there were howls in Newark for the resignation of Archbishop John Myers. Now the vicar general of the archdiocese has stepped down. Do you suppose that will satisfy the archbishop’s critics? Neither do I.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Virginia pastor extradited to Fort Worth on sexual assault of minors charges

by DAVID SCHECHTER
WFAA

[with video]

Posted on May 24, 2013

FORT WORTH -- A Virginia pastor was extradited to Texas Friday to face charges he sexually abused two Fort Worth girls under the age of 14 while he was here.

Geronimo Aguilar ran a large church in Richmond, Virginia, called The Richmond Outreach Center and was arrested this week to face justice in Texas. Recent TV news reports in Virginia uncovered a string of alleged inappropriate sexual relationships Aguilar had with young church members.

Those reports led two more adult women to come forward.

"I was about 11 when I had my first encounter with Geronimo that was inappropriate," said one alleged victim, interviewed by WRIC in Richmond, who did not want to be identified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Australia cardinal apologises over clergy child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
BBC News

Australia's most senior Catholic official has apologised for decades of child sex abuse by priests.

During questioning at a state parliamentary inquiry, Cardinal George Pell said a culture of silence within the church was partly responsible.

The Catholic church in Victoria state confirmed more than 600 cases of child abuse by its clergy since the 1930s.

The hearings in Victoria are running alongside a national inquiry into abuse in state and religious institutions.

"I am fully apologetic and absolutely sorry," Cardinal Pell said during the final day of the hearings, which lasted for several hours.

He denied being personally involved in the cover-up of paedophile priests, but acknowledged it happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Cardinal George Pell admits mistakes made, but denies culture of abuse in church

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

Genevieve Gannon
From: The Daily Telegraph
May 28, 2013

AUSTRALIA'S most senior Catholic has apologised for sex crimes committed by clergy but said he did not believe there had been a culture of abuse.

"I'm fully apologetic and absolutely sorry," Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse yesterday.

"I think the bigger fault was that nobody would talk about it, nobody would mention it.

"I was certainly unaware of it.

"I don't think many, if any, persons in the leadership of the Catholic church knew what a horrendous widespread mess we were sitting on."

He agreed placing paedophiles above the law and moving them to other parishes resulted in more heinous crimes being committed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

Celibacy a factor in some cases, says Pell

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

May 28, 2013

Jane Lee

Celibacy might be a factor in the high rate of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church, Cardinal George Pell has told an inquiry.

He also acknowledged that senior figures in the Australian Catholic Church covered up evidence about child abuse.

Appearing before the Victorian inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse, Cardinal Pell said the Catholic Church's history of child abuse stems from loose entry requirements for priests, past errors of judgment and inaction.

Australia's most senior Catholic admitted that the fear of scandal had led to the cover-up of instances
of abuse by some within the church but he denied that there was a culture of abuse among priests.

He said his predecessor as Archbishop of Melbourne, Sir Frank Little, was involved in a cover-up and he said that a former Ballarat archbishop had destroyed documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 AM

Cover-ups but no culture of abuse in Catholic Church, says George Pell

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

PIA AKERMAN From: The Australian May 28, 2013

GEORGE Pell has admitted that senior figures in the Catholic Church in Australia had covered up child sex abuse, with devastating consequences for the victims, but he denied a "culture of abuse" existed.

Yesterday a defiant Cardinal Pell disappointed victims' groups by rejecting calls for the church to increase compensation payments, saying its Australian arm would do only what was required to meet "the law of the land".

In landmark testimony to a Victorian government inquiry examining how abuse claims have been handled, Cardinal Pell acknowledged there had been cover-ups within the church, that abusers had been moved from parish to parish, and that this had led to more crimes being committed.

"There's no doubt about it, that lives have been blighted," he said.

"There's no doubt about it that these crimes have contributed to too many suicides."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Tough penance as sins of church admitted

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

STUART RINTOUL From: The Australian May 28, 2013

FOR 4 1/2 hours, Australia's most senior Catholic, George Pell, was grilled about the abuse of children by clergy.

At the end of his evidence, he said he was "fully apologetic and absolutely sorry" about the crimes that had been committed. He also agreed that his predecessor as archbishop of Melbourne, Frank Little, covered up a priest's abuses in a way that was "unChristlike".

Cardinal Pell was greeted when he arrived at the Victorian parliamentary inquiry, with a victim calling out two words that he wanted to hear: "the truth". After he finished giving evidence, another man standing by the wall of the committee room in the Victorian parliament yelled out at him: "Hell is waiting for you George Pell -- remember that."

He was also forced to listen to a mother's account of how pedophile priest Kevin O'Donnell pressed his penis against the bodies of two children, Emma and Katie Foster, who had parts of their souls stolen by what was done to them.

The most dramatic evidence came four hours into his testimony, when Nationals MP David O'Brien began reading from a 1993 letter from archbishop Little to vicar general monsignor Gerry Cudmore that pedophile priest Des Gannon should be made a "pastor emeritus" as soon as possible, that illness should be used as the excuse, that a letter to that effect should be backdated and that Gannon should be thanked for his good deeds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Shameful cover-up

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

EDITORIAL HERALD SUN MAY 28, 2013

"THE primary motivation would have been to respect the reputation of the church. There was a fear of scandal."

With these words, the nation's most senior Catholic leader, Cardinal George Pell, laid bare the true motivation behind decades, not merely years, of church complicity and obfuscation in ignoring or actively covering up the heinous and widespread abuse of vulnerable children who looked to it for protection and guidance.

Cardinal Pell said while saving the church from scandal was a primary motivation, the ugly cancer of abuse was allowed to remain and spread because the church either "did not understand just what damage was being done to the victims" or there was a culture of silence within ranks and a misjudgment of how endemic abuse could be.

In fact, Cardinal Pell confirmed to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into church abuse the cover-up also occurred at the highest levels - including by former Melbourne archbishop Sir Frank Little, who remained silent, and previous Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, who destroyed documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Cardinal's evidence puts abuse crisis in perspective

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

From: The Australian May 28, 2013

THE Catholic Church, like the Australian Defence Force, state-run children's services and other churches, has been forced to learn hard lessons about the criminal abuse of innocent victims by those in positions of trust. In some cases, such depravity led to lifelong damage and even contributed to suicides.

For two decades, Catholics have suffered a sense of betrayal as the church's propensity to cover up criminal activity, shield perpetrators and transfer them from parish to parish or school to school has been exposed. Victims naturally seek justice, comfort and closure from the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Abuse and the upcoming Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The inquiries, however, have another important task: to ensure that safeguards are enacted to prevent abuse in future. Judging by the evidence of Australia's most senior Catholic leader, Cardinal George Pell, to the Victorian commission yesterday, the church has made some progress towards putting its house in order.

Two months after his appointment as Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, Archbishop Pell set up the Independent Commission into Sexual Abuse headed by independent QC Peter O'Callaghan, with a separate panel assessing compensation payouts of up to $50,000, in line with state criminal compensation. At the time, the move was cutting-edge, putting the Archdiocese ahead of the rest of the church and other institutions. The process was more transparent than the Towards Healing protocol established shortly afterwards in other parts of the Catholic Church in Australia and well ahead of most of the US and Ireland, where the main government inquiry did not start until 1999. As the Cardinal said, the fact that 242 abuse complaints had been upheld from the 1970s, 82 from the 1980s, between 22 and 24 from the 1990s and fewer than 20 since 2000 indicated the problem was being contained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Combative cardinal enters the lion's den

AUSTRALIA
The Age

May 28, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Analysis

Say what you like about George Pell – and journalists sometimes have – you have to admire his fighting spirit. Apart from the four support staff he brought with him on Monday, nearly everyone in the Legislative Council committee room at Parliament house, and the overflow room nearby was antagonistic at best and hostile at worst.

It brought out the combative spirit and unshakeable self-belief of the street fighter that Sydney's Catholic Archbishop has often seemed.

He sat composed, often with hands clasped in front of him, and fought every point, while the gallery – mostly victims – made its derision and disbelief clear at every opportunity.

The six members of the committee conducting the inquiry were determined to give no quarter in challenging the cardinal about the church's record on dealing with child sexual abuse by members of the clergy. And he gave barely an inch in reply, though the weight of evidence used by the members forced a series of damaging admissions.

Cardinal Pell clearly learnt the lessons from Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart's unconvincing display a week earlier, especially the smirk with which he said "better late than never" when asked why it took 18 years until after the inquiry was announced to seek to have a serial abuser defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Cardinal George Pell told that Hell awaits him

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

PATRICK CARLYON HERALD SUN MAY 27, 2013

CARDINAL George Pell was told that Hell awaits him after he finished four hours of evidence to the parliamentary inquiry into child abuse yesterday.

He didn't seem fazed: he has, after all, had almost two decades to perfect his explanation for what he describes as the Catholic Church's "imperfect" response to paedophile priests.

Cardinal Pell played chess as a kid. Through the afternoon he struck the pose of a master pondering his next move - elbows on the arms of his chair, fingers steepled in front of him.

Yet his opening play was the obvious one, a thoroughly modern tact adopted by corporations keen to be seen to accepting responsibility for perceived wrongdoings.

Cardinal Pell may have been refused his request to give an opening statement, but he gave an abbreviated form anyway - he offered his "full apology" for the Catholic Church's failings in handling child abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

Australia's top Catholic cardinal says abuse claims have fallen

AUSTRALIA
GMA News (Philippines)

By JAMES GRUBEL, REUTERSMay 27, 2013

CANBERRA - The head of the Catholic Church in Australia on Monday blamed a former culture of silence for the cover-up of child abuse by clergy, making it difficult to know the full extent of abuse, but added that the number of cases had dropped significantly since the church started taking stronger action.

Cardinal George Pell, an adviser to Pope Francis on Vatican reforms, told a parliamentary hearing the church had been slow to address the suffering of victims and again issued an apology.

"I am fully apologetic, and absolutely sorry," said Pell in a tense hearing marked by at times angry questioning over the church's compensation and investigations. Pell was questioned for more than four hours.

Pell said the number of reports of abuse by clergy members peaked in the 1970s and 80s, but had fallen as the church changed its approach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

Victims and support groups ...

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Victims and support groups call for Cardinal George Pell's resignation

ANNIKA SMETHURST HERALD SUN MAY 27, 2013

VICTIMS and support groups have called for Cardinal George Pell's resignation following his appearance at yesterday's parliamentary inquiry into child abuse.

Abuse survivor Stephen Woods, 51, who was sexually assaulted and beaten by three priests when he was a student at St Alipius Christian Brothers Primary School in Ballarat, said that Cardinal Pell should stand down.

"The apology is political. It's still about saving face, it's still about saving the political power of the church, and that's what they are afraid of losing," he said.

"The little care for the victims that he showed, it shows that they still don't get it," he said.

Mr Woods slammed Cardinal Pell's claims that he had always shown support for victims of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Cardinal George Pell has confessed...

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Cardinal George Pell has confessed to creation of false documents and 'reprehensible' cover-ups of child sex abuse

MATT JOHNSTON, MICHELLE AINSWORTH From: Herald Sun May 27, 2013

CARDINAL George Pell has confessed false documents were created and priests took part in "reprehensible" cover-ups of child sexual abuse.

The most prominent Catholic in Australia was grilled by a Victorian parliamentary committee for 4 1/2 hours about systemic failings by the church to deal with abuse.

Cardinal Pell said the fear of scandals drove much of the reaction to rampant abuse in the 1970s and '80s, but that a concern about money was also involved.

"I am fully apologetic and absolutely sorry," he said.

"I would agree that we've been slow to address the anguish of the victims and dealt with it very imperfectly," the cardinal said.

In a victory for victims, Cardinal Pell said he would ask the Vatican to send all documents it holds on Victorian sex abuse accusations to the inquiry - a promise he had also made to the federal royal commission into abuse.

Australien: Kardinal Pell zu Missbrauchsfällen

AUSTRALIEN
Radio Vatikan

Die durch katholische Kleriker verübten Missbräuche täten ihm „absolut leid“: diese Aussage tätigte der höchste Würdenträger der katholischen Kirche in Australien, George Pell, vor dem Untersuchungsausschuss des Parlaments, der sich in diesen Tagen im Staat von Victoria mit der Aufarbeitung von Missbrauchsfällen in Nichtregierungsorganisationen beschäftigt. Dennoch, so der Erzbischof von Sydney, glaube er nicht daran, dass es in der katholischen Kirche eine „Kultur des Missbrauchs“ gebe. Pell war in den Jahren von 1996 bis 2001 Erzbischof von Melbourne in Victoria, dem Staat, der im Zentrum der Untersuchungen des Ausschusses steht und in dem nach Kirchenangaben 620 Minderjährige durch Kleriker missbraucht worden seien. Pell erinnerte in seiner Aussage auch daran, dass die katholische Kirche in Australien das Phänomen des Missbrauchs bereits 1988 als gravierendes Problem erkannt habe. Die Kirche, so der Kardinal, hätte jedoch wie andere Institutionen auch behandelt werden sollen, insbesondere, was die Frage nach Schadenersatzzahlungen angehe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Abuse inquiry: Cynical crowd demands truth from Pell

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By FIONA HENDERSON May 27, 2013

Cardinal George Pell’s appearance at the state government inquiry into institutionalised child abuse was less than convincing yesterday.

Cardinal Pell blustered his way through some tough grilling, exchanging particularly terse words with committee member Andrea Coote over any potential church compensation.

He gave long-winded answers, often veered off topic and was critical of a committee decision not to allow him a brief opening statement, which is in line with previous testimonies by anyone dealing with abused children.

He constantly defended the church’s actions but provoked laughter when he accidentally referred to the Holy See as a company.

A huge crowd turned up for Cardinal Pell’s appearance, with the Parliament House Legislative Council committee room and a second viewing area both overflowing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Some cry scapegoat, others satisfied as archbishop demotes deputy in wake of priest scandal

NEWARK (NJ)
The Star-Ledger

[letter to parishioners]

By Ryan Hutchins and Victoria St. Martin/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — Parishioners across the Archdiocese of Newark said this weekend that Archbishop John J. Myers appropriately handled a dogging scandal that has threatened his legacy, while others said the demotion of his top deputy was merely a scapegoating tactic that came amid calls for his own resignation.

Congregants listened in mostly hushed churches across the region as priests read a letter from the archbishop announcing the removal of Monsignor John E. Doran, who stepped down from his leadership position for mishandling the supervision of a priest who violated a lifetime ban on ministry to children.

Myers, whose letter was first run in a longer form as an opinion piece in Saturday’s Star-Ledger, said he was implementing a series of reforms to "strengthen internal protocols" and "ensure we are doing everything we can to safeguard the children of our community."

As in other parishes, the letter was read without commentary at Holy Family Church in Nutley, where the priest in question — the Rev. Michael Fugee — was a familiar face and had frequent interactions with teenagers. Few people were willing to discuss the matter after one Mass there Sunday, rushing through the windy morning to their cars.

Parishioners at Holy Family and elsewhere gave a range of reactions — from satisfaction to ambivalence to disappointment. While many Catholics said they supported Myers’ handling of the situation, others did not mince words and called for Myers to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Abuse victims say Pell apology insincere

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Australia's most senior Catholic did nothing to ease the pain caused by clergy sexual abuse when he gave an "insincere" apology, victims and their supporters say.

Cardinal George Pell told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry he was "fully apologetic and absolutely sorry" for the abuse at the hands of clergy.

During intense questioning on Monday that lasted more than four hours, Cardinal Pell admitted that abuse had been covered up, documents destroyed and priests had been moved on.

A fear of scandal led to the cover-up and the primary reason would have been to protect the reputation of the church, he said.

He also admitted a priest's resignation letter had been backdated and made no mention of his crimes.

But Cardinal Pell denied personally being involved in any cover-up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Abuse victims call for change in church

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Victims of clergy sexual abuse say the Catholic Church must change and end an era of cover-ups and unaccountability.

Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, has apologised to victims and said he accepted moral responsibility for failures committed by his predecessors.

Hundreds of victims and their supporters attended Monday's hearing of the Victorian parliamentary abuse inquiry in Melbourne, with many queueing for several hours to hear the cardinal's evidence.

Some victims protested outside the hearing, holding banners that urged Cardinal Pell to tell the truth.

There were angry scenes before the hearing when it appeared space would not be able to be found for people in an overflow room, but they were all accommodated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Peoria Diocese members must answer questions in sex abuse lawsuit

PEORIA (IL)
Pantagraph

By Edith Brady-Lunny | eblunny@pantagraph.com

PEORIA — The bishop and the vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria must answer questions in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed five years ago against the diocese and a deceased Twin City priest, under an order entered in Peoria County Circuit Court.

Lawyers for Andrew Ward, 25, a former student at Epiphany School in Normal, challenged the diocese’s refusal to require that Bishop Daniel Jenky and Chancellor Patricia Gibson appear for a deposition in Ward’s 2008 lawsuit. Ward, who now lives in Michigan, has accused Monsignor Thomas Maloney, who died in 2009, of sexually abusing him at Epiphany Catholic Church between 1995 and 1996 when he was in second grade.

The diocese resisted the deposition, saying both leaders took office in 2002, long after the alleged abuse took place, and the same year Maloney retired from active ministry for health reasons.

The deadline for the depositions, initially set for May 25, has been extended to accommodate scheduling conflicts, said Jeff Anderson, one of Ward’s lawyers. A Sept. 9 trial is scheduled in the lawsuit.

The order for the depositions sets out strict rules for how the bishop and chancellor will respond to questions about the alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Backdated letter part of abuse cover-up

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A letter accepting the resignation of a pedophile priest was backdated, contained no reference to abuse allegations and praised him for his "good deeds", an inquiry has heard.

Cardinal George Pell has admitted the letter written by former Melbourne archbishop Francis Little was evidence of a cover-up.

Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse heard that when pedophile priest Desmond Gannon was stood down in 1993 the reason nominated was "poor health".

The title of Pastor Emeritus was conferred on Fr Gannon, meaning he was no longer an active priest.
Inquiry committee member David O'Brien said the title also indicated he was a person of merit.

In 1995 Fr Gannon was jailed for 25 months for molesting an altar boy in the 1960s, and in 209 he received a suspended sentence after being found guilty of molesting boys at Victorian parishes between 1958 and 1976.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Abuse victims disappointed, priest says

AUSTRALIA
SBS

27 MAY 2013, 8:20 PM - SOURCE: AAP

Victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church are disappointed with Cardinal George Pell's response to their plight, says Father Kevin Dillon.

Outspoken Victorian priest Father Kevin Dillon says the victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church remain disappointed after Cardinal George Pell said he was sorry for their suffering.

Fr Dillon said church officials "still don't get it" and have failed to introduce practical measures that meet the needs of victims.

"If we had been doing things well then why do we have so many dissatisfied victims?" Fr Dillon told AAP.

Cardinal Pell, Australia's most senior Catholic, told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry on Monday that fear of scandal led to the church covering up sexual abuse by priests.

Fr Dillon said courageous victims had come forward to acknowledge what had happened to them but they had never been asked what the church could do for them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Sex abuse inquiry: Pell admits to 'systematic cover-up'

AUSTRALIA
3AW

Posted by: 3AW News | 27 May, 2013

Cardinal George Pell has told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse that he is fully apologetic and deeply sorry that child sex abuse occurred in the Catholic Church.

But he has denied there is a culture of abuse within the ranks of the clergy.

Some people in the packed public gallery today wept as Cardinal Pell told the inquiry that he agreed there had been a systemic cover-up that allowed paedophile priests to prey on innocent children.

He also said there was no doubt that crimes by pedophile priests contributed to too many suicides.

Cardinal Pell has admitted that, in hindsight, one of the worst offending priests, Father Kevin O'Donnell, should have been sacked as a priest.

He denied he personally covered up offending and he said he was ''fully apologetic and absolutely sorry'' for abuse by clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Pell makes admissions

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

May 28, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age

Cardinal George Pell has admitted the Catholic Church had put paedophile priests ''above the law'', covered up abuse and moved abusers.

In a gruelling session of more than four hours, he told the Victorian inquiry into child abuse that the church had changed the date on a document making serial abuser Des Gannon a priest emeritus and had kept paying a stipend to another paedophile, Ron Pickering, who fled Australia to avoid police.

The Sydney Archbishop said he and his successor as Melbourne Archbishop, Denis Hart, took moral responsibility for helping victims and that the church was open to paying higher sums in compensation - whatever the law deemed necessary.

The church would be happy to contribute to an independently managed redress fund for victims, provided ''others are asked too''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Rapist priest 'among the worst of them'

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The priest and the church stole part of their souls and shattered their lives.

Melbourne priest Kevin O'Donnell, who raped Anthony and Christine Foster's two daughters while they were in primary school, was "certainly among the worst of them", Australia's most senior Catholic admits.

But Cardinal George Pell drew the line at extending the family's description of the impact of O'Donnell's actions to all victims of clergy abuse, sparking an angry response from some in the public gallery at Victoria's abuse inquiry.

"I understand people feel deeply about this," the Sydney archbishop and former Melbourne archbishop said.

"There's no doubt whatsoever about the terrible spiritual and emotional turmoil that he produced. It's totally reprehensible."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Australian cardinal ‘absolutely sorry’ for abuse cover-up

AUSTRALIA
The Journal (Ireland)

THE LEADING FIGURE in Australia’s Catholic Church has admitted that a fear of scandal and a greater concern for reputation led to a systemic and massive cover-up of abuse within the organisation.

Facing a formal inquiry by Victoria’s parliament, Cardinal George Pell said he was “fully apologetic and absolutely sorry” for how the Church dealt with abusers and victims. He said that there was awareness of the problem as early as 1988.

“There’s no doubt about it that lives have been blighted,” he said.

When asked if “the fear of the scandal led to the cover up”, he answered simply: “Yes, it did.” And the follow-up question: “Do you agree that the systemic cover-up allowed paedophile priests to prey on innocent children?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Pell apology insincere, abuse victims say

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

By Daniel Fogarty and Genevieve Gannon
From: AAP
May 27, 2013

AUSTRALIA'S most senior Catholic did nothing to ease the pain caused by clergy sexual abuse when he gave an "insincere" apology, victims and their supporters say.

Cardinal George Pell told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry he was "fully apologetic and absolutely sorry" for the abuse at the hands of clergy.

During intense questioning on Monday that lasted more than four hours, Cardinal Pell admitted that abuse had been covered up, documents destroyed and priests had been moved on.

A fear of scandal led to the cover-up and the primary reason would have been to protect the reputation of the church, he said.

He also admitted a priest's resignation letter had been backdated and made no mention of his crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Priest at centre of child sex abuse claims leaves Scotland to go back to his native Ireland

SCOTLAND/IRELAND
Daily Record

A PRIEST at the centre of child sex abuse claims has left the country.

The clergyman moved back to his native Ireland. Police have started an investigation but have not questioned him.

Catholic Church officials claimed the priest’s move was pre-planned and had nothing to do with the claims.

The clergyman, who is in his 80s, has been accused of being part of a ring of paedophile priests who abused Pat McEwan as a boy more than 50 years ago.

Pat, now 63, claimed the priests molested him many times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Archbishop addresses priest's scandal, but skepticism lingers

NEW JERSEY
The Record

SUNDAY MAY 26, 2013
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER

Churchgoers in the Archdiocese of Newark on Sunday were read a letter written by Archbishop John J. Myers, who for the first time addressed a scandal in which a former Wyckoff assistant pastor has been charged with violating a ban on ministering to children.

And at three Bergen County churches — each where the Rev. Michael Fugee left footprints — parishioners gave the letter mixed reviews — some saying it was reassuring with others saying Myers should resign. Myers said in the letter — which had been made public late last week — and in a video on the archdiocese website that his top aide had resigned and the church would bolster its sex-abuse prevention policies.

Meanwhile, pastors of two Bergen County parishes where prosecutors say Fugee had heard confessions of children refused to discuss the allegations on Sunday — as they have since Fugee was arrested last Monday and charged with seven counts of violating a judicial order.

Prosecutors said then that Fugee heard children’s confessions twice last year at Sacred Heart Church in Rochelle Park, where archdiocese officials allowed him to live for two years, and once in December at Our Lady of Visitation in Paramus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Charges unlikely to cost Worcester bishop his post

WORCESTER (MA)
Boston Globe

By Lisa Wangsness | GLOBE STAFF MAY 27, 2013

The drunken driving case against Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester is scheduled to take its next turn this week in a Rhode Island courtroom. The prelate faces civil penalties and criminal charges, which include an allegation that he left the scene of an accident.

But past practice suggests it is unlikely that his employer, the Roman Catholic Church, will take strong action against him.

“There is no clear mathematical formula for deciding exactly how they will react,” the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a senior analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, said of the Vatican’s process for disciplining bishops. “They look at the whole context of the situation. But the desire is to save the bishop and keep him in his ministry, as long as it’s not harmful to the diocese.”

Reese noted that a number of US bishops have survived drunken driving cases in the past. Salvatore J. Cordileone, the archbishop of San Francisco, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in 2012, when he was still archbishop-elect; he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and went on to be installed. The late Archbishop John Roach of St. Paul and Minneapolis was arrested for drunken driving in 1985; he lost his license temporarily but served another decade before retiring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Chicago Chabad Rabbi Arrested For Alleged Child Sex Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Failed Messiah

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

Rabbi Aryeh Leib “Larry” Dodovitz, 45-year-old messianist Chabad rabbi from the Chicago neighborhood of West Rogers Park, was arrested Saturday and charged with sexually assaulting a child six years ago, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Dudovitz was charged with criminal sexual assault of a victim between the ages of 13 and 17, police told reporters.

He was remanded to custody until he meets a $100,000 bail requirement.

Dudovitz serves as the assistant rabbi of a Chabad messianist synagogue in the Chicago area and has taught in a Chabad girls school in the Chicago area, as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Victims demand truth about church abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

by state political reporter Peta Carlyon

A handful of abuse victims stood on the steps of Parliament holding red signs calling on Cardinal Pell to tell the truth.

Valda Hogan, 66, and her brother were both victims of abuse.

Ms Hogan was abused in church and state-run orphanages and was 50-years-old before she learned to read or write.

She used to draw pictures to express her feelings

She had at least one child, a daughter, to an abuser and put her up for adoption.

"It's disgusting, degrading, deceitful and dishonest," Ms Hogan said of the church's response to complaints of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Cardinal George Pell admits Church covered up cases of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

By Brigid Andersen

Australia's top-ranking Catholic has admitted to a Victorian parliamentary inquiry that some members of the Church tried to cover up child sexual abuse by other members of the clergy.

Cardinal George Pell told the inquiry he was "fully apologetic and absolutely sorry" about decades of child sex abuse within the Church.

Some members of the packed public gallery wept as Cardinal Pell was forced to answer questions about the Church's systemic cover-up of cases of rape of children as young as five-years old.

"I'm certainly totally committed to improving the situation. I know the Holy Father is too," he told the inquiry.

------------
Key points

*Cardinal George Pell apologises for decades of abuse in Melbourne diocese.
*Cardinal Pell admits a systemic cover-up of child abuse within the Church.
*He says former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns destroyed documents relating to abuse cases.
*He says former Melbourne archbishop Frank Little covered up cases of abuse.
*Cardinal Pell says abuse became widespread because the Clergy did not talk about the problem.
*Cardinal Pell has defended the Melbourne Response which he established to deal with abuse cases.
*He defended maximum compensation level of $75,000 for victims of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Pell defends Melbourne commissioner

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP MAY 27, 2013

CARDINAL George Pell has defended the independence of the commissioner in charge of handling Melbourne abuse complaints against the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Pell, the archbishop of Sydney and former archbishop of Melbourne, has defended Melbourne Response commissioner Peter O'Callaghan QC saying he has received shabby treatment.

Cardinal Pell said Mr O'Callaghan was given complete independence and any suggestion that either he or his successor as Melbourne archbishop Denis Hart interfered with his independence was totally incorrect.

"A suggestion that somehow he was not independent is I think totally misleading and unfair to one of the most senior members of the bar who is constrained by the principles of the bar to be independent," he told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry.

"The suggestion that somehow he wasn't independent I totally reject."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

Cardinal George Pell Admits Abuse Cover-Up To Protect Australian Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Agence France Presse
Posted: 05/27/2013

Fear of scandal prompted the cover-up of child sex abuse allegations within the Catholic Church, Australia's top-ranking Cardinal George Pell admitted Monday.

Pell, speaking at an inquiry by Victoria's parliament into child sex abuse in the state, denied being personally involved in the cover-up of paedophile priests, but said it was clear it happened.

"The primary motivation would have been to respect the reputation of the church," he told the inquiry into the abuse of children by religious and non-government bodies.

"There was a fear of scandal."

Pell, one of eight cardinals selected by Pope Francis to advise him on reforming the Catholic Church's opaque administration, was speaking on the final day of the probe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Pell should resign, abuse victim says

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AAP May 27, 2013

AUSTRALIA'S most senior Catholic Cardinal George Pell should resign, a victim of Catholic Church sexual abuse says.

Cardinal Pell, the final witness at the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse, spent more than four and a half hours giving evidence on Monday.

Victim Stephen Woods called for Pell to resign.

"He needs to resign. His era is finished," Mr Woods said.

"The little care for the victims that he showed, showed that they still don't get it."

Mr Woods said Pell's apology was a political one and not real.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Scandal fear led to abuse cover-up: Pell

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP

AUSTRALIA'S most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, has admitted the fear of scandal led to cover-up in the church.

He said former Melbourne archbishop Sir Frank Little was involved in a cover-up and a former Ballarat archbishop destroyed documents.

He denied he personally covered up offending.

"No. Never," he told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse on Monday.

He agreed under questioning that the fear of scandal led to a cover-up.

"The primary motivation would have been to respect the reputation of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Pell blames inaction, loose entry standards

AUSTRALIA
The Age

AAP

May 27, 2013

Cardinal George Pell has acknowledged that senior figures in the Australian Catholic Church covered up evidence about child abuse.

Before Victorian inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse, Cardinal Pell said the Catholic Church's history of child abuse stems from loose entry requirements for priests, past errors of judgement and inaction.

Australia's most senior Catholic admitted that the fear of scandal had led to the cover-up of instances of abuse by some within the church but he denied that there was a culture of abuse among priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 AM

George Pell says he was wrong to support paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
My Daily News

APN Newsdesk 27th May 2013

CARDINAL George Pell has conceded it was "a mistake" for him to appear in court during the trial of convicted Victorian paedophile Father Gerard Ridsdale in the 1990s.

In 1994, Father Ridsdale was jailed after pleading guilty to numerous charges of sexually abusing children in his care in Victoria.

During the trial Cardinal Pell, the Australia's only Archbishop in the Catholic Church, appeared in court supporting Father Ridsdale.

He said at the time Father Ridsdale had committed "terrible mistakes", but did not refer to the criminality of Ridsdale's actions.

On Monday, Cardinal Pell appeared before the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into sexual abuse in the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Church will pay but not US amounts: Pell

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

BY GENEVIEVE GANNON AAP MAY 27, 2013

CARDINAL George Pell says the Catholic Church will pay victims of child sex abuse appropriate compensation but he doesn't think it has a moral obligation to match the billions paid out in the United States.

Australia's most senior Catholic says the church will pay whatever the law deems necessary.

"We are always ready to pay whatever the law of the land says about compensation," Cardinal Pell told a Victorian child abuse inquiry.

"Many of the victims aren't particularly interested in money.

"The more important thing is due process, justice and help with getting on with their lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 AM

Cardinal Pell accepts that certain clergymen have dodged the law

AUSTRALIA
Oye! Times (Canada)

Written by Chris Harper

Cardinal George Pell expressed grief and concern over the child sex abuse that has taken place in Australian churches. Many cried in disbelief and agony when Cardinal Pell told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry that he is fully apologetic and absolutely sorry.

Cardinal Pell acknowledged the existence of a systemic plan that sheltered the pedophile priests who abused young children. Also, he did not hesitate to acknowledge that there have been cases in which clergymen successfully dodged the law.

However, Cardinal Pell clarified that these incidents were very strategically kept hidden from common discussions and most of the leadership was not aware of the bitter truth.

"I think many persons in the leadership of the Church, I don't think they knew what a horrendous widespread [issue] we were sitting on," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

Child sex abuse cover-up

AUSTRALIA
eNCA (South Africa)

AUSTRALIA - Fear of scandal prompted the cover-up of child sex abuse allegations within the Catholic Church, Australia's top-ranking Cardinal George Pell admitted Monday.

Pell, speaking at an inquiry by Victoria's parliament into child sex abuse in the state, denied being personally involved in the cover-up of paedophile priests, but said it was clear it happened.

"The primary motivation would have been to respect the reputation of the church," he told the inquiry into the abuse of children by religious and non-government bodies.

"There was a fear of scandal."

Pell, one of eight cardinals selected by Pope Francis to advise him on reforming the Catholic Church's opaque administration, was speaking on the final day of the probe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 AM

Pell not quizzed on knowledge of Ballarat paedophila

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By FIONA HENDERSON May 27, 2013

No questions have been asked about Cardinal George Pell's time in Ballarat in the 1970s at the state government inquiry into institutionalised child abuse.

Cardinal Pell was in Ballarat at the same time as disgraced paedophiles Gerald Ridsdale, Edward Dowlan, Robert Best and Stephen Farrell.

It was expected Cardinal Pell would be asked what he knew of their child sexual abuse but was not quizzed at all.

Instead, he was asked to publicly denounce former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns.

Cardinal Pell told the inquiry he would take the request by committee member Andrea Coote on notice.

Ms Coote's request came after former Pope Benedict said there were grave judgement errors and leadership failures in the treatment of Irish paedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 AM

Australia's $30m Rome hostel 'no palace'

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

MEGAN NEIL AAP MAY 27, 2013

A $30 million palace or a hostel for Australian pilgrims in Rome?

The Domus Australia is no palace, Australia's most senior Catholic says.

The "casa per ferie" or holiday home has been drawn into the Catholic Church's child sex abuse scandal, with Victorian MP Andrea Coote suggesting the church sell its "splendid residence" to help pay compensation to victims.

The cost of the Rome property could have been enough to provide $75,000 - the cap the church places on compensation - to 400 abuse victims, she said.

Cardinal George Pell took exception to the 'misleading' classification of the guest house during his appearance before Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into child abuse on Monday.

He says he has two nice rooms at Domus Australia which he uses as a base while in Rome but it is no palace and is not his home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 AM

Australia's top Catholic cardinal says abuse claims have fallen

AUSTRALIA
Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey)

CANBERRA - Reuters

The head of the Catholic Church in Australia on Monday blamed a former culture of silence for the cover-up of child abuse by clergy, making it difficult to know the full extend of abuse, but added that the number of cases had dropped significantly since the church started taking stronger action.

Cardinal George Pell, an advisor to Pope Francis on Vatican reforms, told a parliamentary hearing the church had been slow to address the suffering of victims and again issued an apology.

"I am fully apologetic, and absolutely sorry," said Pell in a tense hearing marked by at times angry questioning over the church's compensation and investigations. Pell was questioned for more than four hours.

Pell said the number of reports of abuse by clergy members peaked in the 1970s and 80s, but had fallen as the church changed its approach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 AM

Catholic church covered up child sex abuse...

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Catholic church covered up child sex abuse, Cardinal George Pell tells Victoria's inquiry

PIA AKERMAN From: The Australian May 27, 2013

CARDINAL George Pell has acknowledged the Catholic Church within Australia covered up the "foul crime" of child abuse, leading to suicides.

Australia's most senior Catholic cleric has taken the stage today as the final witness for the Victorian inquiry into how religious and non-government organisations have responded to sexual abuse claims.

Cardinal Pell said while he had personally never covered up offending, it had largely escaped the view of church officials who didn't know what a "mess" they were presiding over.

He vehemently rejected claims that there had been a "culture of abuse" among priests.

"I think the bigger fault was nobody would talk about it, nobody would mention it," he said, admitting his predecessor as Melbourne archbishop had "mishandled" one abuse case by destroying

"He clearly did the wrong thing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 AM

CARDINAL GEORGE PELL ADMITS CHURCH COVERED UP CASES OF CHILD SEX ABUSE

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Brigid Andersen, ABC
Updated May 27, 2013

Australia's top-ranking Catholic has admitted to a Victorian parliamentary inquiry that some members of the Church tried to cover up child sexual abuse by other members of the clergy.

Cardinal George Pell told the inquiry he was "fully apologetic and absolutely sorry" about decades of child sex abuse within the Church.

Some members of the packed public gallery wept as Cardinal Pell was forced to answer questions about the Church's systemic cover-up of cases of rape of children as young as five-years old.

"I'm certainly totally committed to improving the situation. I know the Holy Father is too," he told the inquiry.

Despite being heckled during parts of the inquiry, Cardinal Pell defended the action the Church had taken action to tackle abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 AM

Vatican to provide documents on abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Age

AAP

May 27, 2013

All the documents the Vatican has on child sex abuse will be made available to the royal commission, Australia's most senior Catholic says.

Cardinal George Pell says he has discussed the royal commission with a senior Vatican official.

"He assured me that every document that the Vatican had will be available to the royal commission," Cardinal Pell told Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into child abuse.

He added the proper channels would have to be followed, "recognising that the Holy See is an independent company".

He corrected himself to say country, but this was drowned out by uproar from the public gallery at Monday's hearing.

"We've said we will co-operate fully with the royal commission and we mean to," Cardinal Pell said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 AM

Pell blames inaction, loose entry standards

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

AAP May 27, 2013

Cardinal George Pell has acknowledged that senior figures in the Australian Catholic Church covered up evidence about child abuse.

Before Victorian inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse, Cardinal Pell said the Catholic Church's history of child abuse stems from loose entry requirements for priests, past errors of judgement and inaction.

Australia's most senior Catholic admitted that the fear of scandal had led to the cover-up of instances of abuse by some within the church but he denied that there was a culture of abuse among priests.
He said his predecessar as Archbishop of Melborune, Sir Frank Little, was involved in a cover-up and he said that a former Ballarat archbishop had destroyed documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 AM

May 26, 2013

Priest accused of abuse is placed on leave

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

CAROLYN DAVIS AND SARAH SMITH, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
POSTED: Sunday, May 26, 2013

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput placed a priest on administrative leave after an accusation was made this month that he sexually abused a child more than 40 years ago, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said Sunday.

The Rev. James J. Collins, 74, retired earlier this year from a faculty position at Holy Family University in Northeast Philadelphia, where he had served since 1976. The school's website still lists him as a professor of religious studies with an expertise in Eastern Christian studies.

Collins served at numerous parishes, schools and offices in Philadelphia since being ordained in 1964, including at Roman Catholic School for Boys, Our Lady of Pompeii, and Cardinal Dougherty High School, said a statement released Sunday by the archdiocese announcing Chaput's decision.

About 40 years ago, the statement said, Collins was working at Roman Catholic High School for Boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

The man in the big chair

AUSTRALIA
The Age

May 27, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

It was meeting George Pell that that severed Chrissie Foster from her faith in the Catholic Church.

The mother of two daughters who were horrifically abused by a priest went to her 1997 meeting with the then archbishop of Melbourne still a committed servant of the church. She left it crushed, embittered and furious.

Displaying what her husband Anthony Foster later described as a ''sociopathic lack of empathy'', Archbishop Pell was bullying and confrontational from the start of the meeting organised so Pell could listen to their experiences.

Chrissie Foster describes the encounter in her book Hell on the Way to Heaven. She had prepared a dossier of her varied church involvements, but never had a chance to show it. The Fosters were shown into a cramped furniture storage room in the presbytery and given a small wooden bench for both of them to sit on. The only other seat was a throne-like red leather armchair in which Pell was stretched out in a way they found intimidating.

When Anthony Foster told how Father Kevin O'Donnell repeatedly raped Emma and Katie Foster, starting when each was five years old, Pell replied: "I hope you can substantiate that in court.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Hearings and Transcripts

AUSTRALIA
Parliament of Victoria

[submissions]

INQUIRY INTO THE HANDLING OF CHILD ABUSE BY RELIGIOUS AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS

Transcripts will be available once they have been checked by witnesses.

Hearings in May 2013
Attending a hearing
Hearings will be open to the public and held in the Legislative Council Committee Room on level 1 at Parliament House.

People are welcome to attend hearings however space will be limited.

The Legislative Council Committee Room will be open 30 minutes before hearings commence and seating for the public will be on a first-in, first-seated basis. Once all seats are full, people will be shown to another room in Parliament House where they can view proceedings via a live video link.

Hearings will not be broadcast on the Parliamentary website.

Monday 27 May, Legislative Council Committee Room, Parliament House
1.30pm - Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

Cardinal George Pell

Monday 20 May, Legislative Council Committee Room, Parliament House
Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

Archbishop Denis Hart

Friday 3 May, Legislative Council Committee Room, Parliament House
Christian Brothers

Brother Brian Brandon, Executive Officer for Professional Standards
Brother Julian McDonald, Deputy Province Leader
Mr Shane Wall, Co‑Executive Officer, Professional Standards Office

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Top Aust cardinal told 'be honest' about sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
TVNZ

Australia's most senior Catholic has been urged to be honest about crimes committed against children by clergy when he appears before a parliamentary inquiry.

Cardinal George Pell will be the last witness to give evidence at Victoria's child sex abuse inquiry on Monday afternoon.

Victims rights groups are calling on Cardinal Pell to face up to the horrors committed by members of the Catholic Church.

And Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has called on him to be completely open and frank about the church's handling of such crimes within its ranks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Pell's letter to sex abuse victim's mother took three years

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By BARNEY ZWARTZ May 26, 2013

CARDINAL George Pell’s spokeswoman has replied to a victim’s mother three years after she wrote and just before he gives evidence today at the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled sex abuse.

The victims said the timing was insulting and the charm offensive merely offensive after Sydney Archdiocese communications director Katrina Lee told the mother that the cardinal believed that helping victims and treating them with compassion and respect must be the church’s first priority.

Ms Lee told Ballarat mother Clare Linane that she was looking at previous correspondence in the light of the Victorian inquiry, and offered to help Mrs Linane’s son report the abuse to police if he had not done so.

The son, Ballarat survivor and victims’ advocate Peter Blenkiron, asked: “Do they think we are idiots? Do they think the community are stupid?’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Protests promised ..

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

Protests promised as Cardinal George Pell fronts Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Abuse

ANNIKA SMETHURST, WITH AAP HERALD SUN MAY 27, 2013

AUSTRALIA'S most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, will be the final witness at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Abuse when he appears before the committee today.

To date, the committee has received more than 400 written submissions and heard from more than 160 witnesses since October.

But many victims have been waiting to hear from Cardinal Pell, who helped establish the Melbourne Response to deal with victims of child sexual abuse when he was the Archbishop of Melbourne

Hundreds of people are expected to gather at Parliament House ahead of the hearing to protest, including members of the Care Leavers Australia Network.

Co-founder Leonie Sheedy said she wanted to see Cardinal George Pell face up to crimes committed against children by members of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Cardinal George Pell to give evidence to Victorian child sex abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine says the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney George Pell needs to be open, apologetic, and frank when he appears before a parliamentary committee today.

Cardinal Pell will give evidence to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the sexual abuse of children by members of non-government organisations this afternoon.

Cardinal Pell was the Archbishop of Melbourne between 1996 and 2001.

In its submission to the inquiry, the Catholic Church said at least 620 Victorian children had been abused by its clergy in the past 80 years.

Dr Napthine says Cardinal Pell needs to be upfront about the church's failings in its handling of abuse allegations and paedophile clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Philly Priest Accused of Child Sex Abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

By David Chang | Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Philadelphia priest has been placed on leave following allegations of child sex abuse.

Reverend James Collins, 74, is accused of sexually abusing a minor over 40 years ago., according to the Philadelphia Archdiocese. Collins has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a police investigation. The Archdiocese says his case is not connected to the February 2011 Grand Jury Report which followed an investigation into accusations that two priests and a teacher sexually abused a 10-year-old boy while another priest sexually abused a 14-year-old boy.

The Archdiocese says they immediately contacted police after they received the allegations against Collins.

The announcement was made at the Saint Martha Parish where Collins was living. Collins did not have any formal duties at the parish, did not assist at masses and did not make any visits to the school, according to the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Only The Very Top Haredi Rabbis...

UNITED STATES
Failed Messiah

Only The Very Top Haredi Rabbis Can Decide Whether Child Sex Abuse Should Be Reported To Police, Neturei Karta-Linked Rabbi Writes

The Jewish Press has posted an op-ed on child sexual abuse reporting written by a sometime spokesperson for Neturei Karta, Rabbi Hillel “William” Handler. Handler also served as a spokesperson for the campaign to raise funds to support convicted child rapist Rabbi Yisroel Weingarten, who Handler insisted was innocent because the girl Weingarten raped – Weingarten’s own daughter – couldn’t be believed, despite the evidence supporting her. The Jewish Press posted this atrocity less than a week after posting a "news report" from its Internet editor, Yori Yanover, that attacked little children who say they were sexually abused by their teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Pell fronts sex abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

By MARY ALEXANDER May 27, 2013

FORMER senior Catholic Ballarat diocese official Cardinal George Pell will today appear before a parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

Australia’s head Catholic was the vicar-in-charge of the Catholic education system in the Ballarat diocese from 1973 to 1984 when many south-west children suffered at the hands of priests and brothers.

Dr Pell was heavily criticised for providing moral support to the diocese’s worst serial offender Gerald Ridsdale when he faced paedophile charges in May 1993.

Then an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne, Dr Pell said Ridsdale “had made terrible mistakes” and his decision to accompany the former priest to court “was simply a gesture on my part”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING REVEREND JAMES J. COLLINS

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has placed Reverend James J. Collins on administrative leave following an allegation that he sexually abused a minor over forty years ago. No other allegation of this nature has been received against him. While on administrative leave he is not permitted to exercise his public ministry pending the outcome of the investigation. His leave is not connected to the cases of priests placed on administrative leave following the February 2011 Grand Jury Report.

Consistent with the Archdiocesan Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People promulgated in October of 2012, the allegation was received and immediately reported to law enforcement. The information was also reviewed by the Office of Investigations, the Office for Child and Youth Protection and the Office of the Vicar for Clergy. Those offices provided a joint recommendation to the Archbishop, who decided to place Father Collins on administrative leave pending any possible action by law enforcement and a full internal investigation. In keeping with standing Archdiocesan policy, that internal investigation will not proceed until after the allegation is reviewed by the district attorney's office.

An announcement regarding Father Collins was made this weekend at Saint Martha Parish in Philadelphia, where he had been residing, and crisis counselors were made available. Although he was in residence there, he had no formal duties at the parish, did not assist at Masses or make visits to the school. The Archdiocese also communicated information about this allegation to Holy Family University where Father Collins had been a faculty member since 1976. He retired from that position earlier this year.

Biographical Information
Father Collins is 74 years old. He was ordained in 1964. He served at the following parishes, schools and offices: Saint John the Evangelist, Philadelphia (1964); Roman Catholic High School for Boys (1964-1965); Saint Paul, Philadelphia (1964-1965); Office of the Metropolitan Tribunal (1964-1965); Our Lady of Pompeii, Philadelphia (1965); Student Priest at the Pontifical North American College, Rome (1965-1968); Saint Stephen, Philadelphia (1966); Cardinal Dougherty High School, Philadelphia (1968-1969); Immaculate Conception, Philadelphia (1968-1975); Roman Catholic High School for Boys, Philadelphia (1969-1976); Saint Paul, Philadelphia (1975-1976); Saint Christopher, Philadelphia (1976); Holy Family University (1976-2013); placed on administrative leave (2013).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Priest suspended on 40-year-old allegation of sexual abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholic Philly

BY MATTHEW GAMBINO
Father James J. Collins, 74, has been suspended from ministry following an allegation that he sexually abused a minor over 40 years ago. No other such allegation has been received against him.

Archbishop Charles Chaput placed the priest on administrative leave Sunday, May 26, the Archdiocese announced in a statement. The decision is not connected to the cases of priests placed on administrative leave following the February 2011 Philadelphia grand jury report on sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

Father Collins, ordained in 1964, had been a professor at Holy Family University since 1976 before he retired early this year. He had been living at St. Martha Rectory in Northeast Philadelphia. Parishioners there were informed of the action at Masses this weekend.

The archdiocesan statement said that although the priest lived at the rectory, “he had no formal duties at the parish, did not assist at Masses or make visits to the school. The archdiocese also communicated information about this allegation to Holy Family University.”

The archdiocese provided no details on the nature of the allegation, which said was received and immediately reported to law enforcement officials. The information was also reviewed by the archdiocesan Office of Investigations, the Office for Child and Youth Protection and the Office of the Vicar for Clergy. Those offices provided a joint recommendation to the Archbishop, who decided to place Father Collins on administrative leave pending any possible action by law enforcement and a full internal investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Ziviklage gegen das Stift Kremsmünster abgelehnt…

OSTERREICH
Gegen Sexuelle Gewalt

Zivilklage gegen Stift abgewiesen

Die Zivilklage, die zwei Missbrauchsopfer gegen das Stift Kremsmünster eingebracht haben, ist vom Landesgericht Steyr abgewiesen worden. Die ehemaligen Klosterschüler sind der Ansicht, dass Abt Ambros Ebhart Zusagen nicht eingehalten habe.

Im Mittelpunkt der Klage mit einem Streitwert von 30.000 Euro steht ein Treffen im Jänner 2012 im Stift, an dem Missbrauchsopfer, der Abt, der Prior sowie zwei vom Kloster bestellte Mediatoren teilnahmen.

Die Kläger sagen, der Abt habe ihnen dabei die Aufarbeitung durch externe Historiker, ein Mahnmal am Stiftsgelände und eine Entschuldigung samt Eingeständnis der Mitwisserschaft über die Missbrauchsfälle versprochen. Der Geistliche will hingegen nur zugesagt haben, darüber nachzudenken. Der Richter schloss sich allerdings der Position

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Missbrauch: Politik fordert von australischem Kardinal Offenheit

AUSTRALIEN
kath.web

Regierung fordert von Kardinal Pell vor Anhörung vor dem Missbrauchsausschuss im Bundesstaat Victoria Ehrlichkeit

26.05.2013

Melbourne, 26.05.2013 (KAP) Sydneys Kardinal George Pell ist von Regierungsseite zu Offenheit und Ehrlichkeit bei seiner Anhörung vor dem Missbrauchsausschuss im Bundesstaat Victoria aufgerufen worden. "Es ist an der Zeit, dass George Pell im Namen der Katholischen Kirche nicht nur gegenüber dem Ausschuss, sondern gegenüber dem Volk von Victoria und Australien offen und ehrlich ist", zitierte die katholische deutsche Nachrichtenagentur KNA Aussagen des Premierministers im Bundesstaat Victoria, Denis Naphtine vor australischen Journalisten. Pell wird am Montag vor dem parlamentarischen Untersuchungsausschuss erwartet. Das Parlament in Victoria hatte den Ausschuss eingesetzt, nachdem Polizei und Missbrauchsopfer schwere Vorwürfe gegen die Erzdiözese Melbourne erhoben hatten.

Der Kardinal war vor seiner Berufung zum Erzbischof von Sydney von 1996 bis 2001 Erzbischof von Melbourne. Er gilt als einer der Wegbereiter von Standards der katholischen Kirche Australiens in der Handhabung von Missbrauchsfällen. Gleichzeitig steht Pell aber auch in dem Ruf, den Missbrauchsskandal nicht ausreichend ernst zu nehmen. Auf einer Pressekonferenz in Sydney im vergangenen November hatte Pell den Medien vorgeworfen, das Ausmaß des Missbrauchs von Kindern und Jugendlichen durch Priester und Kirchenmitarbeiter zu übertreiben. Die Kirche sei einer "Schmierenkampagne" ausgesetzt, mit der der Eindruck geweckt werden solle, "dass wir vertuschen", klagte Pell seinerzeit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

The Voluntary Resignation of Newark Catholic Official Changes Little

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

The voluntary resignation of one Newark Catholic official changes virtually nothing.

It’s Myers, not Doran, who put an admitted child molesting cleric in a hospital job, live in rectories, work in other dioceses, let him be around kids, hear their confessions and go to Canada with them.

It’s Myers, not Doran, who refused to say “Fr. Fugee admitted sexually abusing a child, so he’s gone, no matter what the prosecutor does or doesn’t do.”

It’s Myers, nor Doran, who won’t post the names of his predator priests on his website or force them to live in remote treatment centers. It’s Myers, not Doran, who won’t reveal the names of the people on his abuse panel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Fugee case isn't an anomaly in the Catholic Church: Opinion

UNITED STATES
The Star-Ledger

By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist
on May 26, 2013

By David Clohessy

There are plenty of reasons to be upset about Newark Archbishop John J. Myers’ actions and inaction that kept an admitted pedophile priest around kids for years despite a legal agreement forbidding such contact.

I’m troubled about it, though, for a different reason than most. The Rev. Michael Fugee controversy is considered by many — and is depicted by Catholic officials — to be a disturbing anomaly. But it’s not.

Tragically, a number of U.S. bishops are, like Myers, letting proven, admitted or credibly accused child-molesting clerics stay on the job near children. Consider these recent examples:

• Earlier this month, a Wisconsin Benedictine monk, Thomas Chmura, was out of jail on bail, but was found back at an abbey working with children, so he was arrested again.

• In the Joliet, Ill., Diocese, Bishop Daniel Conlon lets the Rev. Carroll Howlin essentially live and work, as he has for 30 years, among poor families in eastern Kentucky, despite four clergy sex-abuse settlements involving Howlin as well as a Vatican order that he be kept away from children.

• In the Fresno, Calif., Diocese, Bishop John Steinbock lets the Rev. Eric Swearingen remain on the job as a pastor despite the fact that a jury found Swearingen guilty of molesting a boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

The Big Man Will Speak (Or: Pell Mell to Hell?)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, may not be aware of it, but he is about to shape the country’s history.

On Monday, when he fronts the Victorian Parliamentary enquiry, he will send the nation down one of two very different paths. One will lead to a continuing cohesive, yet varied, society. The other will see a generation of conflict between the secular and the religious movements.

On Monday, George Pell can come clean. He can abolish all confidentiality agreements. He can give up the names of all of his abusive priests, together with the names of all of those involved in the cover-ups. He can renounce the seal of the confessional. He can show real remorse for his past transgressions of public trust. He can decline to continue with his arrogant disregard for the welfare of victims. He can sack his PR advisors and lawyers. He can place the Church’s wealth and power at the disposal of his victims.

On Monday, he can achieve both power and glory.

On Monday, he can continue with the lies of the past. He can treat the committee with disdain. He can follow the PR script of those members of his organisation who have preceded him at the enquiry. He can continue to lead an organisation that protects criminals. He can continue to hold power without glory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Priesthood in Crisis dropped by Amazon.com for uncovering gay sex in Catholic Church

SCOTLAND
Gay Star News

26 MAY 2013 | BY JEAN PAUL ZAPATA

Amazon.com has dropped from its website a book that reveals alleged gay sex cover-ups in the Catholic Church.

Priesthood in Crisis, written by Father Matthew Despard of St John Ogilvie church in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, accuses the Catholic Church in Scotland of concealing a ‘powerful gay mafia’ of priests who engage in sexual acts with other men.

Despard says he warned Church leaders of what he saw, but nothing was done. The book is a personal account of the abuse and bullying the priest allegedly endured after rejecting sexual advances of other priests and fellow students.

Since its release earlier this year, the book became a best-seller online, ranking 125 out of 1.9 million books available for download to portable reading device Kindle. The book is no longer for sale on that website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Troy Priest Sues City for Access To Frozen Assets

TROY (MI)
Patch

By Timothy Rath May 25, 2013

A former priest at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church on North Adams Road in Troy, accused of mishandling hundreds of thousands of dollars in church money, is suing the city in an effort to have his assets unfrozen.

It was reported in The Oakland Press that attorneys for Edward Belczak filed the suit this week in an attempt to have his Merrill Lynch funds and bank safe deposit box unfrozen following an order from the Troy Police Department.

Belczak’s attorneys, Ernest Essad Jr. and William Hosler, argue that Belczak "is being wrongfully deprived of his lawful rights," The Press reports.

Belczak was removed from his position at the parish after an audit by the Archdiocese of Detroit revealed "questionable financial transactions and practices."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Priest cautioned over Birmingham shopping centre toilet 'moment of madness'

UNITED KINGDOM
Birmingham Mail

An elderly priest has been given a police caution after lewd behaviour in a Birmingham shopping centre toilet.

Sixty-eight year-old Father Pat Costello is said to have approached a 17-year-old youth in a bathroom and made lewd comments before stroking him on the shoulder last Wednesday.

He was quickly arrested after security staff at the centre called for the police.

Costello, an Irish priest in the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, said he had behaved “shamefully” in a “moment of madness”.

Now his biggest concern is that his family will suffer because of his “terrible” actions. “I am prepared to accept all the consequences of my action and any punishment including losing my priestly ministry,” he reportedly said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Amazon pull priest's best-selling book featuring explosive claims about gay bullies in Catholic Church from their website

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

A WHISTLE-BLOWING churchman’s best-selling book featuring explosive claims about gay bullies in the Catholic priesthood has been pulled by web giants Amazon.

Priesthood in Crisis by Father Matthew Despard was released in the wake of the Cardinal Keith O’Brien scandal.

The shocking account – which accuses church leaders of covering up powerful homosexual cliques in the priesthood – became an online bestseller, charting at No.125 out of 1.9 million digital books available on Amazon.

But the controversial book has been axed from the website’s Kindle store.

Amazon say it is no longer available because it does not adhere to their guidelines.

Sources in the Catholic Church have suggested that Father Despard could face legal action from one of the subjects named in his self-published book.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Newark archbishop outlines clergy-abuse initiatives

NEW JERSEY
The Record

SATURDAY MAY 25, 2013
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

The day after Newark Archbishop John J. Myers announced the resignation of his top deputy in response to a growing scandal centered on a former Wyckoff assistant pastor, Catholic officials provided more detail about a series of initiatives designed to prevent future instances of sexual abuse by clergy members.

Critics, meanwhile, said they were not swayed by the archbishop’s move and maintained their calls for his resignation.

In a letter that will be read Sunday in Catholic parishes throughout the four-county archdiocese, Myers wrote that he accepted the resignation of Vicar General John E. Doran, who signed an agreement in 2007 with Bergen County prosecutors that barred the Rev. Michael Fugee from working with children for as long as he remained a priest. Fugee, who had initially been found guilty of groping a teenage boy, recently was charged with violating the agreement.

Politicians and victims’ advocates said the resignation and Myers’ other proposals did not go far enough. A spokesman for state Sen. Barbara Buono, the leading Democratic contender for governor, said she had not reviewed Myers’ statement but she stood by her demand for his resignation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Newark Archbishop John Myers' unconvincing dodge: Editorial

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

[Myers: Newark Archdiocese is doing all we can to safeguard kids]

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on May 26, 2013

Newark Archbishop John J. Myers has broken his long silence with a remarkable statement in yesterday’s Star-Ledger that attempts to evade any personal responsibility for allowing a known sex offender under his supervision to mingle with children.

He offers no apology to the families whose children were put in harm’s way. He offers no explanation for the breathtaking lapses in this case. And he makes no significant policy changes.

In the place of moral leadership, Myers offers a carefully parsed and legalistic dodge, while demoting one of his senior aides in a transparent attempt to mollify critics who have called for his own resignation.

Myers, it seems, still doesn’t get it. While many bishops are making sincere efforts to root out abusive priests and to make amends for past efforts to cover up the problem, he remains stuck in the past. He has long been too tolerant of priests facing credible accusations, and too secretive about his responses.

Myers, for example, will not release the names of people he appointed to an internal review panel — again, as many others do. In this case, the review panel found that no abuse occurred, an impossible conclusion when you consider the detailed confession of the accused priest, the Rev. Michael Fugee, who told police he groped a boy’s genitals and derived sexual pleasure from the act. The panel, as The Star-Ledger’s Mark Mueller reported, made virtually no effort to find the victim or his parents and did not hear their testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Senior Jersey police officer to help abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A senior police officer will help in the investigation into how Jersey's Dean dealt with allegations of abuse.

Det Supt Stewart Gull, head of special branch and CID in Jersey, will join a team lead by Dame Heather Steel.

The inquiry will look at how the Very Reverend Bob Key, the head of Jersey's Anglican Church, handled a woman's claims of abuse by a church warden.

It will look specifically at the actions of the Dean from when the unnamed woman came to him in 2008.

It will be used to inform a review led by Bishop John Gladwin into how victims of abuse are treated across the Diocese of Winchester, of which Jersey is a part.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Pell urged to be 'open and frank' at child sex abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

May 26, 2013

Australia's most senior Catholic has been urged to face up to child sex crimes committed by members of the church and to apologise when he fronts a parliamentary inquiry on Monday.

Cardinal George Pell will be the last witness to give evidence at Victoria's child sex abuse inquiry.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has called on him to be open and honest with the public about the church's handling of child sexual abuse within its ranks.

"It's time for George Pell, on behalf of the Catholic Church, to be open and frank, not only with the inquiry but with the people of Victoria and Australia," Dr Napthine said on Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Cardinal George Pell to appear before child sex abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

[with video]

AAP MAY 26, 2013

THE world will be watching when Australia's most senior Catholic faces Victoria's child sex abuse inquiry tomorrow, a victim's advocate says.

Co-founder of the Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) Leonie Sheedy says she wants to see Cardinal George Pell face up to crimes committed against children by members of the Catholic church.

CLAN will protest outside parliament before Cardinal Pell appears as the final witness at the inquiry, she says. The protest will include a poster depicting him with pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale labelled "mates''.

It's pressure like this that victims' father Anthony Foster hopes will open cracks in Cardinal Pell's armour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

'Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime and the Era of Catholic Scandal': Read it and weep

UNITED STATES
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"MORTAL SINS: SEX, CRIME AND THE ERA OF CATHOLIC SCANDAL"
By Michael D'Antonio
St. Martin's Press ($26.99).

By Nicholas P. Cafardi

Every time I think that the American Catholic bishops have the clergy child sexual abuse crisis behind them and that they are committed to the changes they made in Dallas in 2002, when they adopted a Charter and Norms assuring no priest with a credible allegation of child sexual abuse would remain in active ministry, reality sets in.

Just this past month it came to light that John Myers, the archbishop of Newark, maintained in active ministry a priest who had confessed to two instances of sexual misconduct with a young boy. Lest we forget, the bishop of Kansas City, Mo., Robert Finn, is himself a convicted criminal, having pleaded guilty last year to the charge of failure to report suspected child abuse by one of his priests. Yet he continues to serve as a diocesan bishop in our church.
.
Reading Michael D'Antonio's "Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime and the Era of Catholic Scandal" in this context is a chilling experience. Mr. D'Antonio's book is a reasonably complete history of clergy child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in the United States, starting from 1984, when the first case of a serial child molester priest, Gilbert Gauthe of the diocese of Lafayette, La., came to light. There are some side trips into the clergy child sexual abuse crisis in Ireland, which in many ways, parallels the American crisis, but Mr. D'Antonio's story is primarily about American monsters.

Mr. D'Antonio, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, tells his story mainly through courtroom battles. He writes of plaintiffs' lawyers who sued dioceses for keeping men in ministry, priests whom the bishops knew to be active child sexual abusers, who then went on to use their Roman collars to gain the trust of yet more victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

May 25, 2013

Newark archdiocese official resigns following priest's arrest

NEW JERSEY
Chicago Tribune

David Jones
Reuters
3:13 p.m. CDT, May 25, 2013

NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) - A leading official from the Catholic archdiocese of Newark has resigned his post as vicar general following the arrest of a priest accused of violating a deal that barred him from interacting with children, the archdiocese said on Saturday.

Monsignor John E. Doran, the No. 2 official within the archdiocese, has stepped down due to "operational failures" and will no longer hold a leadership position, according to letter to parishioners by Archbishop John J. Myers.

The resignation came after Bergen County, New Jersey, prosecutors arrested Father Michael Fugee on Monday on accusations of violating a 2007 judicial order to avoid working with children after he confessed years before to groping a teenage boy, according to court documents.

"The seriousness of the situation with Father Fugee necessitated a thoughtful and effective response," Meyers wrote in the letter posted on the archdiocese website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Media Statement from Rev. Kevin Annett...

ITALY
Voice from the Desert

SAVONA, ITALY—The following is a summary of what Kevin Annett presented before the Italian media in Savona, Italy today May 23, 2013.

“Hello. My name is Kevin Annett, and I am the acting Field Secretary of the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State, the ITCCS, which represents over fifty organizations of survivors of church torture in nine countries, including Italy.

It is an honor to be present here today with Francesco Zanardi and the organization Rette L’abuse, at their invitation, and to join with them in an historica compaign to stop forver the religious torture of children.

For years now, Francesco has been conducting a heroic fight here in Italy for the same things that our Tribunal is campaigning for, by exposing child torture within the Roman Catholic church and bringing those responsible to justice. I look forward to working with Francesco and many others in Italy in the months ahead.

I have been authorized by the ITCCS Central Office to issue the following public statement:

1. As a Citizens’ Tribunal of Conscience with standing under international law, we call upon Italian President Giorgio Napolitano to seek the immediate extradition from the Vatican and the arrest of former Pope Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger, on the grounds that Ratzinger is a fugitive from justice and a wanted criminal duly convicted of crimes against humanity on February 25, 2013 by an international common law court of justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

New Jersey Catholic church official resigns in sex abuse case

NEW JERSEY
Christian Science Monitor

NEWARK, N.J.
The second-highest official in the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark is stepping down in the wake of a sex scandal involving a former priest accused of violating an agreement with law enforcement barring him from working with children.

Roman Catholic church officials say Monsignor John Doran resigned Friday as vicar general and will no longer hold a leadership position with the archdiocese. Doran signed the agreement the former priest had reached with prosecutors in 2007.

The move is among several changes the archdiocese says it's implementing to protect children. The changes are noted in a letter from Archbishop John Myers, which will be read in Catholic parishes across the archdiocese this weekend.

Myers wrote that an outside review found "operational failures" in the handling of the Rev. Michael Fugee, who resigned this month. But he didn't place the blame for lax oversight on Doran, who had been vicar general for six years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Robert Hoatson blasts Archbishop after Rev. Michael Fugee's arrest

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

[video]

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
By John O'Boyle / The Star-Ledger

Robert Hoatson blasts Archbishop Myers after Rev. Michael Fugee's arrest on charges of violating a court-sanctioned agreement that bars him from working with children. Hoatson, a former priest, is president of Road to Recover.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Another Newark Archdiocese Official Resigns Over Pedophile Priest Case

NEW JERSEY
CBS New York

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The second highest official in the Archdiocese of Newark has resigned from his post, in the wake of a scandal involving a priest who had contact with minors allegedly in violation of an agreement with prosecutors.

Monsignor John Doran resigned as vicar general — a move that takes effect immediately — and he will no longer hold a leadership position with the Archdiocese.

Doran could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Newark Archbishop John Myers wrote in an op-ed piece for the Star Ledger that an outside law firm found the strong protocols presently in place were not always observed, and thus, Doran – the man tasked with monitoring the Rev. Michael Fugee – had to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Newark Monsignor Loses Job for Improperly Monitoring Priest Near Children

NEW JERSEY
The New York Times

By MARC SANTORA
Published: May 25, 2013

[Archbishop Myers letter to parishioners]

One of the top officials in the Archdiocese of Newark has been forced out for failing to properly monitor the activities of a priest who had been forbidden from having contact with children, the archdiocese announced on Saturday.

The dismissal of Msgr. John E. Doran, who reported to Archbishop John J. Myers, is the latest fallout from a sexual abuse scandal that stretches back more than a decade.

In 2003, the Rev. Michael Fugee was convicted on charges that he groped a young boy. Although the verdict was later overturned over a judicial error, Father Fugee confessed to the authorities that he improperly touched the boy and agreed to undergo counseling. As part of an agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, he also pledged never to minister to young children for the rest of his life.

Monsignor Doran was responsible for supervising Father Fugee, according to court documents.

However, an investigation by The Star Ledger that was published in April found that Father Fugee had been openly working with children again, hearing their confessions, attending youth retreats and even posting photos of himself with boys on his Facebook page.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

The remnants of the Magdalene Laundries

IRELAND
Sunday World

According to Dublin City Council the last Magdalene Laundry to close will soon become housing.

The building on Sean McDermott street in Dublin city is derelict but will be renovated and converted into housing.

The laundry was the last one in the country to close in 1996.

The malpractice that went on behind the closed doors of the Magdalene Laundries has been brought to light in recent years following a number of reports and investigations.

Thousands of women have come forward over the years and made complaints about the treatment of women in the Laundries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Second person charged in church fraud

CANADA
CBC News

Police have charged a second person with defrauding an Anglican church in Conception Bay South.

The 51-year-old woman stands accused of fraud, uttering forged documents, forgery, and possession of property obtained by crime.

CBC News reported earlier this week that the priest at St. John the Evangelist Church in Topsail is facing similar fraud charges. John Dinn, 54, has been on leave since the RNC began investigating financial irregularities in January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Accused Troy Priest Edward Belczak Fights For Access To Frozen Assets

MICHIGAN
Deadline Detroit

May 25th, 2013

Suspended suburban priest Edward Belczak isn't waiting quietly while authorities investigate Detroit Archdiocese embezzlement claims against him.

Edward Belczak was suspended in February as pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Troy.
The former pastor of St, Thomas More Catholic Church is suing Troy in an attempt to have his bank safe deposit box and Merrill Lynch brokerage account unfrozen, Dave Phillips reports in The Oakland Press.

Attorneys for Belczak, 67, filed the suit this week in Oakland County Circuit Court. . . .Belczak’s assets have been frozen since Feb. 5, when a search warrant was obtained by the Troy Police Department. . . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Suffolk DA didn't investigate priest

MASSACHUSETTS
Cape Cod Times

May 25, 2013
Roman Catholic priest Joseph F. Byrne, who was reinstated to the status of "senior priest" Thursday because the Archdiocese of Boston found no evidence to substantiate an accusation he sexually abused a child in the 1970s, was not investigated by the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office after the allegation was forwarded to the office when the complaint was made in May 2012.

"We reviewed the case and concluded the statute of limitations bars any prosecution of the case," said Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk DA's office. Wark said he could not comment on "the state of the evidence."

The office could not be reached for comment on Thursday when Byrne's reinstatement was announced.

Byrne was pastor at St. Matthew's in Dorchester from 1969 to 1975, which is in Suffolk County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Priest, woman charged with open lewdness

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Review

BY ROBERT L. BAKER (TIMES-SHAMROCK WRITER) Published: May 25, 2013

Charges were filed Friday afternoon against a Tunkhannock priest and female acquaintance who were allegedly involved in a lewd act May 17 in a public park in Wyalusing.

Rev. Daniel Joseph Doherty, 49, and Joanne Mirabelli, 47, both of Tunkhannock, were each charged by Laceyville police with a misdemeanor count of open lewdness, and summary counts of under the influence of an intoxicating beverage, participating in any obscene or indecent act and being in the park after it was closed.

Laceyville Chief Scott Parry said the charges were filed in the court of Magisterial District Judge Fred Wheaton.

According to police criminal complaints, Laceyville patrolmen Matthew Chamberlain and Patrick Butkiewicz said they saw a 2011 Jeep Liberty and a 2011 Subaru parked in the Wyalusing Borough Park around 10 p.m. on Friday, May 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Open lewdness charges filed against local priest, woman

PENNSYLVANIA
Times-Tribune

BY ROBERT L. BAKER (STAFF WRITER) Published: May 25, 2013

The police's discovery of a local priest and a Tunkhannock woman naked in the back seat of a Jeep at the Wyalusing Borough Park led to criminal charges this week.

More details emerged Friday about the incident on May 17 involving the Rev. Daniel Joseph Doherty, 49, who has been working as an assistant pastor in Tunkhannock and Lake Winola. On Thursday, the Diocese of Scranton announced that the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, bishop of Scranton, removed the Rev. Doherty's ability to exercise ministry pending the results of the investigation.

The Rev. Doherty and Joanne Mirabelli, 47, both of Tunkhannock, are each facing a misdemeanor count of open lewdness, and summary counts of being under the influence of an intoxicating beverage, participating in an obscene or indecent act and being in the park after it was closed.

Laceyville Patrolmen Matthew Chamberlain and Patrick Butkiewicz said they saw a 2011 Jeep Liberty and a 2011 Subaru parked in the Wyalusing Borough Park about 10 p.m.

They approached the vehicles to perform a welfare check, and as they drove up closer to the Jeep, Officer Chamberlain said he observed an unclothed female's back with her hair covering her face. Officer Butkiewicz activated the spotlight on the patrol car, and according to the complaint, "a male's head appeared from below the level of the window."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Archbishop John J. Myers addresses Fugee scandal, demotes his second-in-command

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on May 24, 2013

A top official in the Archdiocese of Newark — second only to Archbishop John J. Myers — has been sacked from his leadership position for mishandling the supervision of a priest who violated a lifetime ban on ministry to children.

Myers, speaking out for the first time on the scandal that has imperiled his future in Newark, described the removal of Monsignor John E. Doran as one step in a series of reforms meant to “strengthen internal protocols” and “ensure we are doing everything we can to safeguard the children of our community.”

Myers made the announcement in an opinion piece scheduled to run in Saturday's Star-Ledger. An abbreviated version of the letter is to be read aloud at parishes in the archdiocese Saturday and Sunday.

Doran, who served as vicar general and moderator of the curia, is among the highest-ranking Roman Catholic officials in the country to be demoted over the handling of a priest accused of sexual abuse, observers say.

“This is a very significant decision,” said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior analyst with the National Catholic Reporter and a former editor of America, a Catholic magazine. “Short of being a bishop, vicar general and moderator of the curia is as high as you can get.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Myers: Newark Archdiocese is doing all we can to safeguard kids

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist
on May 24, 2013

By John J. Myers

When I first learned several weeks ago that Father Michael Fugee may have violated a lifetime ban on ministry to minors, I immediately ordered an outside law firm to conduct a full and thorough investigation of the matter. I told the firm I wanted to know what happened and why. I said I not only wanted to know if there was any wrongdoing, but that if there was wrongdoing and it rose to the point that authorities should be notified, I wanted them notified as well.

The investigation uncovered certain operational vulnerabilities in our own systems. We found that the strong protocols presently in place were not always observed.

The seriousness of the situation with Father Fugee required a thoughtful and effective response. Appointing a new vicar general will be just one step in a comprehensive plan to review and, where necessary, strengthen our internal protocols and ensure we are doing everything we can to safeguard the children of our community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Archbishop's letter to parishioners

NEWARK (NJ)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark

May 26, 2013

My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

When I first learned several weeks ago that Father Michael Fugee may have violated a lifetime ban on ministry to minors, I immediately ordered an outside law firm to conduct a full and thorough investigation ofthe matter and to cooperate with the Bergen County Prosecutor in all areas. I told the firm that I wanted to know what happened and why.

The investigation found that the strong protocols we presently have in place were not always observed.

The seriousness of the situation with Father Fugee necessitated a thoughtful and effective response. Appointing a new Vicar General will be just one step in a comprehensive plan to review, and, where necessary, strengthen our internal protocols and ensure we are doing everything we can to safeguard the children of our community.

So, effective immediately, the Vicar General, Monsignor John E. Doran, has resigned his post and will no longer hold a leadership position with the Archdiocese. As a result of operational failures, both Monsignor Doran and I felt that the Archdiocese would be best served by his stepping down as Vicar General. This action clears the way for making more effective changes in our monitoring function. I am transferring that function to the Office of the Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese.

We want our procedures to be among the strictest in the Catholic Church. This has been one of my priorities since becoming your Archbishop in 2001 and that will not change. In fact, the Archdiocese has an exemplary record of addressing allegations against our clergy. We, along with all dioceses in the state ofNew Jersey, report all allegations of misconduct to the appropriate prosecutors' office. I have personally removed 19 priests for substantiated allegations. I want to assure you that our strict
oversight of, and adherence to, The Dallas Charter will continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Doing All We Can To Safeguard Children

NEWARK (NJ)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark

Op‐Ed, Newark Star Ledger 5‐26‐13

By The Most Reverend John J. Myers
Archbishop of Newark

When I first learned several weeks ago that Fr. Michael Fugee may have violated a lifetime ban on ministry to minors, I immediately ordered an outside law firm to conduct a full and thorough investigation of the matter. I told the firm I wanted to know what happened and why. I said I not only wanted to know if there was any wrongdoing, but that if there was wrongdoing and it rose to the point that authorities should be notified, I wanted them notified as well.

The investigation uncovered certain operational vulnerabilities in our own systems.

We found that the strong protocols presently in place were not always observed. The seriousness of the situation with Fr. Fugee required a thoughtful and effective response. Appointing a new Vicar General will be just one step in a comprehensive plan to review, and where necessary, strengthen our internal protocols and ensure we are doing everything we can to safeguard the children of our community.

So, effective immediately, the Vicar General, Msgr. John E. Doran, has resigned his post and will no longer hold a leadership position with the Archdiocese. As a result of operational failures, both Msgr. Doran and I felt that the Archdiocese would be best served by his stepping down as Vicar General. This action clears the way for making more effective changes in our monitoring function. I am transferring that function to the Office of the Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Archdiocese Official Resigns in Wake of Fugee Scandal

NEW JERSEY
Patch

By Devin McGinley May 24, 2013

An official overseeing former Wyckoff pastor Michael Fugee will step down following allegations that the priest broke an agreement not to work with children after being accused of sexual misconduct, northjersey.com reported.

Archbishop John Meyers told parishioners in a letter Friday that John E. Doran will step down as vicar general of the archdiocese, as part of a broader effort to protect children.

"Both Monsignor Doran and I felt that the archdiocese would be best served by his stepping down," wrote Meyers, according to the Record.

Doran had signed on to an agreement between Fugee and prosecutors in 2007 that the accused pastor would cease work with children, after a conviction on charges of sexual misconduct for allegedly groping a Wyckoff teenager was overtuned due to judicial error.

Controversy flared up following reports earlier this month that Fugee had continued to hear confessions from minors and accompany youth retreats, and prominent politicians have called for resignations at the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Top Archdiocese official steps down after ex-Colts Neck priest arrest

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Written by
| By Stephanie Loder
@Loder1

The Archdiocese of Newark has removed a top official from its organization amid a scandal involving an ex-Colts Neck priest banned from ministering to children, according to a statement released by church officials.

The top official, Vicar General, Monsignor John E. Doran — second in command in the Archdiocese — has resigned his post at the request of Archbishop John J. Myers and will no longer hold a leadership position, according to the statement on the Archdiocese website.

The announcement about Doran follows the arrest Monday of the Rev. Michael Fugee, who until weeks ago was a priest serving parishioners and young adults at St. Mary’s in Colts Neck. Fugee is charged with contempt of a judicial order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Poll: Should Newark Archbishop Myers resign in the wake of the Fugee scandal?

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

By Ron Zeitlinger/The Jersey Journal
on May 25, 2013

The archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark has resisted calls for his resignation.

Instead, at churches across Hudson, Bergen and Essex counties this weekend, priests will read a letter from John J. Myers announcing the someone else in the archdiocese, Vicar General John Doran, is taking the blame -- and taking it alone.

Fugee was charged last week with violating a lifetime ban on ministry to children by working with a Monmouth County youth group.

A jury convicted him in 2003 of aggravated criminal sexual contact, but three years later the verdict was overturned in appellate court. In that decision, the panel said that the trial judge should not have allowed jurors to hear the part of Fugee’s confession in which he questioned his sexual identity.

Fugee, 52, signed the agreement in July 2007 to avoid retrial on the groping charges. The archdiocese also signed onto the agreement, pledging to supervise the priest. Doran's signature is on the document.

With the news of Doran's demotion from a leadership position online, there is a new outcry for Myers to step forward and resign as well, with his critics saying that ultimately, this is his mess.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

More Reaction to Mt. Cashel Settlement

CANADA
VOCM

Friday , May 24 2013

St. Johns' lawyer Bob Buckingham says he doesn't expect the compensation owed to the victims of the Mount Cashel sex abuse scandal to be distributed until some time next year. Buckingham was weighing in on a mediation settlement reached this week for survivors of abuse at the hands of the Irish Christian Brothers. Buckingham says the claims should have been settled years ago, and the process should not have taken so long to settle. He says the resistance of the Christian Brothers, the Roman Catholic Church, and responsible governments to settle the matter delayed the process to get survivors of abuse the justice and compensation they were due.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Mount Cashel abuse settlement sets stage for more suits

CANADA
CBC

[with Mount Cashel timeline]

Lawyers for scores of victims of abuse at the notorious Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John's say Thursday's settlement with the Christian Brothers of Ireland does not end their clients' legal battles, but at least marks a major milestone in a years-long campaign for justice.

The Christian Brothers of Ireland settled with 422 people across North America who claimed abuse at the hands of the lay Roman Catholic order, including 160 from Newfoundland and Labrador.

The vast majority of those 160 men had been residents at Mount Cashel, a prominent institution that ran for more than a century in the east end of St. John's before a sexual abuse scandal erupted in 1989, triggering a harrowing public inquiry and a series of criminal convictions.

The settlement is worth more than $16.5 million, which will be put into a trust.

"This is not nearly enough money to fully satisfy 400 claims," said Geoff Budden, who represented about 90 clients, most of whom were residents of Mount Cashel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Religious orders differ from dioceses on abuse procedures — and pay the price

By Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune reporter
2:27 a.m. CDT, May 25, 2013
UNITED STATES
Chicago Tribune

Even after settling a multimillion-dollar lawsuit last week that accused nearly a dozen men of abuse at Brother Rice, St. Laurence and Leo high schools, the Irish Christian Brothers wouldn't say whether allegations of sexual misconduct against those clergy were substantiated.

And although the leader of Chicago's Jesuits apologized last week for his order's failure to stop Donald McGuire, a priest they knew was abusing children for 40 years, the order doesn't publish a list of other members with allegations of abuse against them.

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, passed by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops in 2002, doesn't require that level of transparency. Those dioceses that do publicize names of credibly accused clergy aren't bound to do so, experts say.

But religious orders like the Irish Christian Brothers and Jesuits have been far less forthcoming than many dioceses.

Yet, as lawsuits and cases continue to surface 11 years after bishops adopted that charter, some orders are starting to weigh the pros and cons of naming those they have established as sexual offenders. Among the lessons learned from last week's settlements totaling $36 million was the danger of keeping secrets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Tommy Campion and Phillip Aspinall - the road to redemption

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH MAY 24, 2013

IN AN INCREDIBLE SPECIAL REPORT, ABUSE SURVIVOR TOMMY CAMPION REVEALS HIS STRUGGLE FOR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FOR THE ANGLICAN CHURCH, WHILE THE CHURCH'S HEAD PHILLIP ASPINALL REVEALS HIS EFFORTS TO REPAIR THE DAMAGE HIS CHURCH HAS CAUSED.

By Tommy Campion

DEAR members of the royal commission,

I would think seriously about donating a kidney if I am given the opportunity to stand before the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. And after eight years of battling the Anglican Church for answers, something exciting has happened concerning the sexual and physical abuse of more than 200 children.

Yes, to hell with the kidney, it means nothing compared to the horrific and violent abuse children suffered at the hands of Anglican clergy and staff over the five decades the Church of England North Coast Children's Home was functioning.

I was raised in that Anglican home for 14 years, 10 of which were brutal. I was sexually violated and physically abused. To this day I bear the scars on my back from a flogging.

The scars in my mind are deeper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Lawyers to Pursue Further Sex Abuse Compensation

CANADA
VOCM

St. John's lawyer Bob Buckingham says they will continue to pursue compensation for victims of the Mount Cashel Orphanage sex abuse scandal through the provincial government and the Roman Catholic Church. A mediation settlement was reached this week for some 400 survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of the Irish Christian Brothers in North America. The settlement affects some 160 men in this province. Buckingham says while it's too late for victims to make a claim against the Irish Christian Brothers, claims can still be pursued against the provincial government and the Roman Catholic Church itself for failing to act on complaints of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

ROC pastor facing sexual abuse charges held in Texas jail

TEXAS
WTVR

[with video]

May 25, 2013, by Nick Dutton

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas (WTVR) — A Richmond pastor accused of sexually abusing two girls is being held in a Texas jail cell.

Geronimo Aguilar’s latest mugshot was taken Friday night in Tarrant County.

Aguilar, also known as Pastor G, boarded a flight at RIC Friday morning to face charges in Fort Worth with a Texas extradition team at his side.

The 43-year-old had been jailed for three days in Richmond after waiving extradition earlier this week.
He will now face a judge in Texas where bond has already been set at $200,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Newark vicar general quits in wake of mismanaged abuse case

NEW JERSEY
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe Dennis Coday | May. 24, 2013

The vicar general of the Newark, N.J., archdiocese is resigning effective immediately "as a result of operational failures" stemming from the case of a Newark priest who was ministering to youth in violation of a court agreement banning him from such ministry, a letter signed by the Newark archbishop says.

The letter obtained by NCR Friday evening is signed by Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark. It says that when Myers "learned several weeks ago that Father Michael Fugee may have violated a lifetime ban on ministry to minors, I [Myers] immediately ordered an outside law firm to conduct a full and thorough investigation of the matter and to cooperate with the Bergen County Prosecutor in all areas."

"The investigation found that the strong protocols we presently have in place [to handle accusations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy] were not always observed," the letter reads.

Fugee was arrested May 20 for violating a court agreement not to minister to children. In July 2007, Fugee, his lawyer, the Bergen County prosecutor and the Newark vicar general, Msgr. John Doran, signed a memorandum of understanding that restricted the priest from “any unsupervised contact with or to supervise or minister to any child/minor under the age of 18 or work in any position in which children are involved.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

High-ranking Newark Archdiocese official resigns amid priest sex abuse scandal

NEW JERSEY
The Record

BY ABBOTT KOLOFF
STAFF WRITER

The second-highest official in the Newark Archdiocese has resigned in the wake of a scandal involving a former Wyckoff associate pastor who allegedly violated an agreement with law enforcement barring him from working with children, church officials confirmed Friday.

Monsignor John E. Doran will step down immediately as vicar general of the archdiocese as part of larger changes being implemented to protect children, Archbishop John J. Myers said in a letter that will be read in parishes across the archdiocese this weekend. In the letter, which church officials provided to The Record on Friday, Myers wrote that the move was being made “as a result of operational failures.”

Doran, who has been vicar general for six years, signed an agreement in 2007 with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office that barred the Rev. Michael Fugee, a former associate pastor at the Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Wyckoff who had initially been found guilty of groping an adolescent boy, from working with children for as long as he remained a priest.

Myers has faced heavy criticism over his handling of the case, with victims’ advocates and some politicians calling for him to resign. On Friday, a national victims’ advocacy group characterized Doran’s resignation as a face-saving move by Myers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Former Bergen Catholic students who claim sex abuse file for shares of settlement

NEW JERSEY
The Record

SATURDAY MAY 25, 2013
BY STEPHANIE AKIN AND ABBOTT KOLOFF
STAFF WRITERS
THE RECORD

At least 13 people who say they were sexually abused while attending Bergen Catholic High School years ago have filed claims in federal court to be part of a $16.5 million settlement agreement reached with the order that runs the school, an attorney said Friday.

The Christian Brothers of Ireland, an order that runs schools across North America, including Bergen Catholic, agreed to the settlement as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in federal court. Officials with the order said they filed for bankruptcy two years ago because they were operating at a significant loss due to the legal costs related to the settlements of abuse cases. The settlement was made public on Thursday.

In response to the settlement, several people who said they have been abused by Catholic priests gathered outside a house in Elizabeth belonging to the brotherhood Friday morning. Among them was a Ramsey resident who said she was abused by a priest from the Christian Brothers order who taught at the high school she attended in New York state decades ago. The woman, who asked that her name not be published, is one of more than 400 people who have filed to be eligible to receive money from the settlement.

A federal judge in White Plains, N.Y., ordered that money be set aside in a trust for abuse victims, including those who never before made a claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

May 24, 2013

HOLMBERG: Can the Richmond Outreach Center soldier on without its leader?

VIRGINIA
WTVR

[with video]

May 24, 2013, by Raymond Hawkes and Mark Holmberg

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR)- The Richmond Outreach Center has an amazing rags to riches story. But what will happen to it now that its charismatic founder is facing child sex charges and has stepped down until they’re resolved?

According to its non-profit, tax-exempt income report, the Richmond Outreach Center is a $17 million dollar independent church organization that brings in some $3 million a year.

But it started here on a wing and prayer 12 years ago when Pastor Geronimo Aguilar, his wife Samantha and a core group of fellow believers in inner city ministry came from California and opened up an outreach center a Midlothian Turnpike warehouse across the street from a strip club.

The energetic Pastor G, then 31, quickly built up a following based on a rock-and-roll, rough-and-ready, reach-the-unreachable ministry very similar to that of his LA based father, Phil, a former Hells Angels and drug dealer whose style has stirred up controversy.

The effectiveness, the tangible power of Pastor G’s ministry led to explosive growth, first to as vast site on Warwick Road – now the ROC’s youth ministry headquarters and site of its Spanish-speaking church body – then to it’s current multimillion dollar facility on Midlothian Turnpike, a rehabbed former flea market.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

ROC pastor released for transfer to Texas

RICHMOND (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

BY LOUIS LLOVIO
Richmond Times-Dispatch

RICHMOND -- Geronimo Aguilar, senior pastor at the Richmond Outreach Center, was released from a Richmond jail this morning for his scheduled transfer to Texas to face sexual assault charges.

“We do not discus prisoner movement before the fact for what I hope you will understand are obvious security concerns,” Terry Grisham, executive administrator for the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office, said in an email.

Aguilar waived extradition after a series of hearings in Richmond Wednesday and was scheduled to be picked up by Texas authorities within about 48 hours.

He was released from the Richmond jail this morning at 8:33, according to the jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

The ROC's Pastor G now in custody of Texas authorities

VIRGINIA
NBC 12

By Ray Daudani

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
Texas authorities took over custody from of Geronimo Aguilar from the Richmond Sheriff's Office Friday morning. He is now headed to Texas to face charges.

Geronimo Aguilar, also known as Pastor G, temporarily stepped down from his positions as President of the Board and Pastor at the Richmond Outreach Center Thursday due to child sexual abuse charges.

The move was announced in a statement from the ROC's Board of Directors on the church's website Thursday afternoon. The board voted to give Aguilar a paid leave of absence, according to the statement. The ROC's Executive Team will make day-to-day operational decisions and an outside, interim pastor will fill Aguilar's role.

Some Richmond faith leaders called for Aguilar to step down after prosecutors in Texas charged Aguilar with seven felony counts in two child sex abuse cases. The cases involve claims by two women dating back to 1996. Four of the counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 14, are first degree felonies that could carry life in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Evangelical leaders stand by pastor accused of abuse cover-up

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey| Religion News Service, Updated: Friday, May 24

Several leading evangelical pastors and authors have come to the defense of a pastor accused in a lawsuit for covering up sexual abuse of children.

C. J. Mahaney was named as a defendant in a lawsuit, which charged that he and other leaders of Sovereign Grace Ministries permitted the abuse of children to occur in churches that formed part of the group. Sovereign Grace, an association of 80 Reformed evangelical churches, is based in Louisville, Ky.

Maryland Judge Sharon V. Burrell dismissed the lawsuit ruling that nine of 11 plaintiffs waited too long to sue under the statute of limitations. Their attorney plans to appeal the judge’s decision.

After the dismissal, leading evangelicals are stepping up to defend Mahaney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Baptist Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
Thinking Out Loud

Okay, so it turns out there’s a blog called Stop Baptist Predators.

Okay, so it turns out there’s a blog called Stop Baptist Predators and it’s been around since late 2006.

Okay so it turns out there’s a blog called Stop Baptist Predators and each blog post deals with a new case of abuse or a new article in the media on the topic, and in the years 2007 to 2010, they published 122, 109, 109 and 113 posts respectively. Things slowed down in 2011 and 2012, but then again, I would get weary of dealing with this topic every 2-3 days for four years.

And I had to quote this comment from April 18, directed to Ed Stetzer:

Since LifeWay provides research and data on so many other topics relevant to Baptist life, I often wondered why you yourself weren’t keeping track of Baptist clergy sex abuse cases. I imagine that most parents would find it “enlightening” to learn how widespread the problem really is – and how easy it is for clergy predators to simply church-hop their way to new prey.

It’s a shame that someone has had to devote nearly seven years to documenting this type of thing online.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Archdiocese of Newark Vicar General resigning in wake of Rev. Michael Fugee scandal

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

By Ron Zeitlinger/The Jersey Journal
on May 24, 2013

An Archdiocese of Newark official who was born and raised in Jersey City is resigning in the wake of the Rev. Michael Fugee scandal.

In a letter that will be read to all parishioners during this weekend's Masses, Archbishop John J. Myers said that Monsignor John E. Doran, who once served at St. Nicholas in the Heights, is stepping down as Vicar General, effective immediately.

Fugee was charged last week with violating a lifetime ban on ministry to children by working with a Monmouth County youth group. The Star-Ledger has reported that Fugee has gone on numerous retreats with children over the years since the agreement, an that the interactions were never hidden from the Archdiocese.

A jury convicted him in 2003 of aggravated criminal sexual contact, but three years later the verdict was overturned in appellate court. In that decision, the panel said that the trial judge should not have allowed jurors to hear the part of Fugee’s confession in which he questioned his sexual identity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Vatican punishes French priest for being a Freemason

FRANCE
BBC News

A Roman Catholic parish priest at an elite French ski resort has been stripped of his Church functions for refusing to renounce Freemasonry.

Father Pascal Vesin was ordered by his bishop to cease his work in the Alpine resort of Megeve, the parish said.

Bishop Yves Boivineau had warned Fr Vesin about his "active membership" of the Grand Orient de France lodge.

Freemasonry has been condemned as anti-Christian and anti-clerical by various popes through history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Diocese Suspends Priest Following Wyalusing Incident

PENNSYLVANIA
Rocket-Courier

By David Keeler

Officials at the Diocese of Scranton have announced they’ve suspended Father Daniel J. Doherty, in the wake of an alleged May 17 incident at the Wyalusing Borough Park, which was reported in the May 23 issue of the Rocket-Courier.

In a statement issued by the Diocese on May 23, Diocesan officials stated they learned through local media that on Friday, May 17, 2013, Father Daniel J. Doherty, whom they confirmed is a priest of the Diocese of Scranton and a member of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice, who has been serving as Assistant Pastor at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Tunkhannock, and Saint Mary of the Lake, Lake Winola, was allegedly involved in an incident at the Wyalusing Borough Park.

“The accusation is that Father Doherty and an adult female were engaged in behavior that resulted in them being charged with open lewdness and for violating local ordinances that prohibit, among other things, consuming alcohol on the borough park property,” the Diocesan officials stated. “The Diocese of Scranton will cooperate fully as this matter is properly handled by law enforcement.”

In response to this situation, the Diocese stated that the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, has removed Father Doherty’s faculties and has prohibited him from exercising public ministry pending a legal disposition. In reaction to this matter, Bishop Bambera expressed anger with the apparent inappropriate, immoral and seemingly illegal behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Priests, nuns form group to keep church honest on sex abuse issues

NEW YORK
National Catholic Reporter

Ben Feuerherd | May. 24, 2013

NEW YORK A group calling itself “Catholic Whistleblowers” celebrated its launch at a Manhattan news conference May 22.

The group’s message:

*Catholics who blow the whistle on the sexual abuse of minors in the church deserve a network they can turn to for support;
*A decade after the church issued “zero tolerance guidelines” for abuse, it is still mishandling these cases;
*The bishops who mishandle these cases must be held accountable.

Founding member Dominican Sr. Sally Butler of Brooklyn, N.Y., said the creation of a nationwide “whistleblower protection program” is necessary. “Clearly, the women and men who work for the church now fear reprisals for speaking out,” she said.

Attorney Marci A. Hamilton, the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Cardozo Law School in Manhattan, said that she and her team of five law students have promised to defend any whistleblowers who come forward.

Hamilton, a children’s rights activist, said she sees the current sexual abuse crisis as a civil rights issue for children. “This boils down to the pursuit of truth,” she said

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

We Hope Church Officials Warn Parents

ILLINOIS/WISCONSIN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY DAVID CLOHESSY ON MAY 24, 2013

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

A Wisconsin Catholic monk, recently arrested twice and accused of trying to assault Chicago area girls, is now out of jail and living with family in Lansing IL. He's Brother Thomas Chmura.

[Chicago Tribune]

This Catholic cleric is dangerous. He belongs in a remote, secure treatment center run by secular professionals, not Catholic amateurs. For the safety of kids, we implore his Wisconsin supervisors to put him far away from those he's hurt. And we hope that church officials will, at least in the short term, warn parents about exactly where he is so they can protect their kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

He kissed the secret of his childhood sexual abuse goodbye

MARYLAND
Pilgrim's Road Trip

May 24, 2013 By Michelle Van Loon

Earlier this week, Pastor Josh Harris, pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD, confessed that he’d been a victim of sexual abuse when he was a child. The timing and context for this confession has something to tell us about the long-lasting effects of abuse in a victim’s life.

Harris’ church was “mother ship” of the network of 80 or so churches churches of Sovereign Grace Ministries, though the congregation left the SGM family a few months ago. SGM was recently the focus of a lawsuit alleging sexual impropriety and a system of coverup lasting many years by some of its key leaders. The lawsuit was dismissed because of a technicality, though the plaintiffs’ lawyers plan to proceed with a civil suit.

Though I’ve never met Harris in person, I’ve followed him since he was a kid via the ministry of his parents, who were popular convention speakers and writers in the home school movement during the 1990′s. When young adult Josh became a mainstream voice for the movement’s emphasis on Biblical courtship with his popular book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, many homeschoolers viewed the moment as an affirmation that training a child up in the way he or she should go would net (guarantee, even!) a next generation of a family that would be willing to do hard things in life, and take strong moral stands in a decaying society. The Harris family were exemplars for many of this of this implied guarantee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

French priest sacked at Vatican’s request: diocese

FRANCE
Business Recorder

Posted by Muhammad Iqbal

GRENOBLE: A Catholic priest at the posh French ski station of Megeve has been stripped of his functions at the request of the Vatican for being a member of a Masonic lodge, his parish said Friday.

Father Pascal Vesin of the Sainte-Anne d'Arly-Montjoie parish was ordered by the bishop of Annecy, Yves Boivineau, to halt his functions due to his "active membership" of the Grand Orient de France, a large Masonic organisation.

A statement from the parish said the move had been "made at Rome's request."

It said the bishop had asked Vesin earlier to forsake Freemasonry, which he had refused to do.

In March, the Holy See's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asked for priest's departure. Three members of the diocese of Annecy then met him but Vesin said he would not quit his membership of the Lodge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Some State Lawmakers Push To End Statute Of Limitations For Rape Cases

OHIO
10 TV

[with video]

By Jim Heath
COLUMBUS, Ohio - State Sen. Capri Cafaro says the advances in DNA technology is just one reason why Ohio's limitation on rape prosecutions should be eliminated.

"It's long overdue," said Cafaro, a Democrat from Hubbard. "It takes time to build up that courage, and they should not be violated twice when they come forward and learn that just because they showed up 21 years later, all of a sudden, justice walks away from them."

Right now in Ohio, there is a 20-year statute of limitation to prosecute a rape case.

It's the same limitation as cases involving kidnapping, robbery and burglary. There is no time limit to prosecute a murder charge.

"You never know when a victim will want to come forward, so we should give them every opportunity throughout their lifetime, whether or not they want to come forward," said state Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat from Cleveland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

OHIO SENATORS WANT TO REPEAL STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON RAPE, SEXUAL BATTERY

OHIO
Hudson Hub-Times

by MARC KOVAC | CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF Published: May 23, 2013

Columbus -- Two state senators want to do away with the statute of limitations on rape and sexual battery, meaning perpetrators could face charges for crimes committed decades prior.

Sens. Capri Cafaro (D-Hubbard) and Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) offered SB 83 to repeal the current 20-year window for prosecution.

"It is important that we in the general assembly realize the incredible amount of courage that coming forward takes and allow victims the ability to tell their story when they are ready and they feel safe, no matter how long that takes," Turner told the chamber's criminal justice committee.

The legislation had its first hearing May 22.

The proposed law changes come on the heels of a couple of cases of victims alleging sexual crimes but unable to pursue criminal charges because they were committed too long ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Senators: Remove 20-year limit on prosecuting rape

OHIO
Seattle PI

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A bill being proposed by two Ohio lawmakers would remove the 20-year statute of limitations for prosecuting rape and sexual battery cases.

Attorney General Mike DeWine's office said he supports the measure, which would allow cases to be filed against defendants 20 years or more after the alleged crime.

But John Murphy of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association tells The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/14xykEl ) that he's not in favor of pursuing rape cases that old unless there is DNA evidence involved.

He said prosecutors are concerned that unless there is DNA evidence, rape cases could come down to verbal allegations based on faulty memory instead of evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Rape Statute of Limitations Could Be Extended

OHIO
WBEX

Ohio currently has a 20 year statute of limitations on rape, but two state lawmakers want to see that change. If approved, Senate Bill 83 would see Ohio join 28 other states where people can be charged with rape no matter how long ago the crime happened.

Senator Capri Cafaro cites the case of several men in Warren that have come forward with claims their high school baseball coach sexually abused them, but no charges can be filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

West Warwick priest charged with DUI

RHODE ISLAND
WPRI

WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) -- A West Warwick priest was charged with DUI and several traffic violations after he was stopped by police.

According to the Warwick Beacon police log, around 11:25 p.m. on April 14, an officer spotted a car take the Centerville Road exit from 95 at approximately 85 miles an hour and swerve from lane to lane before coming to a stop. According to the officer, the driver appeared to be intoxicated and smelled strongly of alcohol.

The driver of the car, Michael A. Colello, was then given a field sobriety test which he failed. Colello was then taken to police headquarters where he refused a breath test.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Priest Facing Open Lewdness Charges

PENNSYLVANIA
WNEP

by Julie Melf

WYALUSING — Leaders with the Diocese of Scranton have suspended a priest from public ministry after he was charged with open lewdness.

According to the diocese, Father Daniel Doherty, was taken into custody last Friday. He served as an assistant pastor at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Tunkhannock and at Saint Mary of the Lake in Lake Winola.

A statement released by the Diocese of Scranton says Father Doherty engaged in lewd behavior with an adult woman at Wyalusing Borough Park in Bradford County.

According to the statement, “In response to this situation, the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, has removed Father’s Doherty’s faculties and has prohibited him from exercising public ministry pending a legal disposition. In reaction to this matter, Bishop Bambera expressed anger with the apparent inappropriate, immoral and seemingly illegal behavior. Bishop Bambera also expressed concern for the pastor and people of the parish communities in Tunkhannock and Lake Winola where Father Doherty has been serving.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Statement Regarding Father Daniel J. Doherty, S.S.

SCRANTON (PA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton

Posted on: 05-23-2013

On Thursday, May 23, 2013 Diocesan officials learned through local media that on Friday, May 17, 2013, Father Daniel J. Doherty, who is a priest of the Diocese of Scranton and a member of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice, who has been serving as Assistant Pastor at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Tunkhannock, and Saint Mary of the Lake, Lake Winola, was involved in an incident at the Wyalusing Borough Park, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. The accusation is that Father Doherty and an adult female were engaged in behavior that resulted in them being charged with open lewdness and for violating local ordinances that prohibit, among other things, consuming alcohol on the borough park property. The Diocese of Scranton will cooperate fully as this matter is properly handled by law enforcement.

In response to this situation, the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, has removed Father’s Doherty’s faculties and has prohibited him from exercising public ministry pending a legal disposition. In reaction to this matter, Bishop Bambera expressed anger with the apparent inappropriate, immoral and seemingly illegal behavior. Bishop Bambera also expressed concern for the pastor and people of the parish communities in Tunkhannock and Lake Winola where Father Doherty has been serving. “As we all struggle with the sobering reality of this most regrettable and unacceptable situation, be assured of my prayers and support to provide what is needed to bring healing to all affected.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Priest charged with open lewdness at Bradford County park

SCRANTON (PA)
Times-Tribune

Published: May 24, 2013

SCRANTON - A Diocese of Scranton priest was charged with open lewdness and consuming alcohol at a Bradford County park, officials said Thursday.

The Rev. Daniel J. Doherty, who has been working as an assistant pastor in Tunkhannock and Lake Winola, was charged after he and a woman were involved in a lewd act at Wyalusing Borough Park, according to a diocese news release. He also has served as an assistant pastor at St. John the Evangelist and Sacred Heart in Wilkes-Barre from 1994-1997 and at St. Rose in Carbondale from 1997-1999.

Police in Laceyville, who are investigating the case, could not be reached late Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Area priest charged with public lewdness

SCRANTON (PA)
Sunday Dispatch

Last Modified: May 24. 2013

By Mark Guydish - mguydish@civitasmedia.com - 570-970-9161

SCRANTON — A Diocese of Scranton priest serving parishes in Tunkhannock and Lake Winola has been charged with open lewdness by police and barred from public ministry by Bishop Joseph Bambera.

The diocese issued a statement noting The Rev. Daniel J. Doherty a member of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice and assistant pastor at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Tunkhannock, and Saint Mary of the Lake, Lake Winola, was involved in an incident at the Wyalusing Borough Park, Bradford County, om May 17.

According to the statement, “the accusation is that Father Doherty and an adult female were engaged in behavior that resulted in them being charged with open lewdness and for violating local ordinances that prohibit, among other things, consuming alcohol on the borough park property”

The diocese promised to “cooperate fully as this matter is properly handled by law enforcement.” Bambera also “removed Father’s Doherty’s faculties and has prohibited him from exercising public ministry pending a legal disposition.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

USCCB Reports Decline in Abuse Allegations

NEW JERSEY
National Catholic Register

by JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND 05/23/2013

NEWARK, N.J. — As the U.S. bishops marked the release of an annual report with “the fewest allegations and victims reported since the data collection for the annual reports began in 2004,” the May 20 arrest of a Newark, N.J., priest triggered headlines that fueled skepticism and frustration regarding the Church’s decade-long effort to protect children.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the findings of the 2012 audit of diocesan compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People on May 9, as Newark’s The Star-Ledger published a series of articles on Father Michael Fugee. Father Fugee, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, resigned from ministry on May 2 and was arrested on May 20, charged with seven counts of contempt of a judicial order.

Father Fugee was accused of violating a 2007 judicial mandate to avoid any unsupervised contact with children, minister to children or hold any position in which children are involved. The judge’s order followed an appeal and request for retrial after the priest’s 2003 conviction for groping a teenage boy, a transgression he acknowledged.

According to the agreement, Father Fugee would be supervised by the archdiocese; however, a spokesman for Archbishop John Myers of Newark told reporters he had been unaware of the priest’s activities related to youth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Survivors of day schools share stories of abuse, pain

CANADA
CBC News

Hundreds of people who say they suffered abuse at the hands of their teachers gathered at Winnipeg's Indian and Metis Friendship Centre Thursday.

They call themselves day school survivors.

While they were not in the residential school system, they say the abuse they suffered was the same.

Patricia Desmoulin sold handicrafts to be able to make the trip from Pick River First Nation, Ontario to find healing.

"I did suffer when I went to day school from the teachers that we had," she said. "Physical abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Alleged Galilee cult leader suspected of abusing children for decade

ISRAEL
Israel Hayom

Munib Farhat, 56, suspected of imposing strict disciplinary code on 11 adults, 25 children • Cult leader allegedly forced parents to beat their children, withhold food and smear them with fecal matter • Affair exposed after woman files police complaint.

Daniel Siryoti

The details of a shocking child abuse scandal began to emerge on Tuesday in the Galilee town of Majd al-Krum when a Nazareth court lifted the gag order on the affair, which apparently has been going on for ten years.

Munib Farhat, a 56-year-old resident of Majd al-Krum, is suspected of heading a cult and enforcing his will on six families in his community, including dozens of children. The police suspect Farhat of forcing the members of his cult to beat their children, humiliate them, withhold food, lock them in bathrooms and smear them with fecal matter. The cult leader is also suspected of abusing the women in the cult, committing sexual assault and sodomizing them.

The affair was exposed when a woman who belonged to the cult filed a police complaint several weeks ago. A team of investigators consequently launched an undercover probe into the woman's allegations, in cooperation with Welfare Ministry social workers and Interior Ministry officials. The investigation, which was accompanied by the Haifa District Prosecutor's Office, revealed that Farhat, who refers to himself as a caliph, allegedly imposed a very strict disciplinary code on 11 adults and 25 children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Mount Cashel orphanage survivors reach settlement worth more than $16.5 million

CANADA
Edmonton Journal

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS MAY 23, 2013

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Survivors of abuse at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John's, N.L. have reached a settlement with the Christian Brothers of Ireland worth more than $16.5 million.

The settlement with the Catholic religious order includes cash plus other assets that must still be approved in court.

Lawyer Geoff Budden represents 90 survivors from Newfoundland out of a total of 422 North American claimants.

He says the money will be distributed according to a court-ordered formula.

Budden says the settlement was reached by a committee of creditors that has worked with the Christian Brothers since its companies sought bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Christian Brothers to pay millions of dollars to abuse victims in US and Canada

UNITED STATES/CANADA
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

A settlement of more than $16.5 million (€12.75 million) has been agreed with the Irish Christian Brothers in sexual abuse bankruptcy proceedings concluded for more than 400 survivors in the United States and Canada. The alleged abusers operated schools run by the congregation in 17 US states as well as Canada.

A statement issued yesterday by Minnesota-based law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates said “the official committee of unsecured creditors for the Christian Brothers Institute and the Christian Brothers of Ireland Inc. have approved the terms and conditions of a consensual reorganisation plan in . . . cases of the Christian Brothers Institute and the Christian Brothers of Ireland, Inc.”

Unsecured creditors
It said more than 400 survivors of sexual abuse were included in the group of unsecured creditors that will share in a financial settlement in excess of $16.5 million – an amount that will be paid by the international Catholic religious order and one of its insurance carriers.
Mr Anderson of the St Paul, Minnesota-based law firm, which represented 92 of the sexual abuse survivors who filed claims in the bankruptcy proceedings, said the settlement would still allow abuse survivors to continue legal actions “involving other parties, including schools and dioceses who share responsibility for decades of abuse staffed by members of the order including schools in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Christian Brothers to pay $16M for abuse of children

UNITED STATES
USA Today

Michael Winter, USA TODAY

The North American branch of the "Irish" Christian Brothers will pay $16.5 million to more than 400 men and women who were sexually or physically abused as children by members of the Roman Catholic order that operates schools and orphanages around the world.

The settlement, announced Thursday in New York, came as the U.S. and Canadian victims agreed to terms of an April 2011 bankruptcy filing by two entities that hold U.S. assets for the Congregation of Christian Brothers, which was founded in Ireland in the early 19th century, The Journal of Dublin reported.

The order will pay half and an insurance carrier the other half. The victims can still sue the schools and dioceses where the alleged abuse occurred.

The religious order, which has operated in the United States since the early 1900s, also agreed to take steps to protect children from sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Christian Brothers settle with sex abuse victims for $16.5M

CANADA
Toronto Sun

Hundreds of victims of sexual abuse by the Christian Brothers reached a financial settlement Thursday.

The religious order agreed to pay $16.5 million to 400 claimants, including 90 from Canada, who say they were molested as children by members of the order.

The Brothers ran the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John's, N.L., for 84 years, until it announced 1989 it would shut down following revelations of a massive sex abuse scandal, thought to be the largest ever in Canada.

Victims began reporting abuse as far back as 1975; other reports said the abuse dated back to the 1950s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Christian Brothers settle suit with 400 sex abuse victims

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune reporter
11:44 p.m. CDT, May 23, 2013

The Roman Catholic religious order that runs Brother Rice High School in Chicago and St. Laurence High School in Burbank didn't want Brother Edward Chrysostom Courtney in Chicago any longer. So in the early 1970s, the Irish Christian Brothers shipped him to the West Coast and kept the troubling reasons to themselves.

When he was finally ousted from the parochial system 10 years later, landed in a public school in rural Washington and sexually abused a boy there, those reasons came to light. Law enforcement finally got involved. The Christian Brothers dismissed Courtney from the order shortly before he pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with a child in Washington and became a convicted sex offender.

On Thursday, more than 80 alumni of both schools plus Leo High School, also once run by the order, learned they would receive compensation from a lawsuit against the order for allowing Courtney and 11 other men to teach despite allegations that those men had sexually abused children.

The $16.5 million payout to 400 accusers nationwide will come out of a Chapter 11 reorganization settlement between creditors and the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North American Province, known as Irish Christian Brothers. In addition, the order agreed to enforce a zero-tolerance policy for brothers accused of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Sex education banned in public school buildings owned by Catholic Church

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY CORINNE LESTCH AND BEN CHAPMAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2013

Thou shalt not teach public school students sex education — or give them lessons on HIV and AIDS — in classrooms owned by the Catholic Church.

As a result of a longstanding but little-known agreement between church and city officials, dozens of city schools that lease church-owned buildings must take students off site for sex education.

The unusual arrangement rankles some parents and students who believe students should get sex ed and lessons about HIV/AIDS — which are mandated by law — in their home classrooms.

“It’s crazy,” said Tayshawn Edmonds, 15, of Brooklyn, a 10th-grader at El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice in Williamsburg. The school is housed in a church building on Hooper St. that it rents for $649,000 a year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Christian Brothers Institute to pay $16.5 million to settle sex abuse claims

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

BY DAREH GREGORIAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013

The Christian Brothers Institute has agreed to pay $16.5 million to settle claims of sex abuse at its institutions.

The group — an order of the Catholic Church headquartered in New Rochelle — was slammed with more than 400 lawsuits from across the U.S. and Canada involving its schools and orphanages, including the long-closed Cardinal Farley Military Academy in upstate Rhinecliff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Pell should concede failings: Vic priest

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

Australia's most senior Catholic should acknowledge the church has twice failed victims in its handling of sexual abuse claims, a Geelong priest says.

A Victorian priest says Australia's most senior Catholic should acknowledge victims were failed, not only by abusing clergy, but by the church response to their complaints.

Cardinal George Pell will be the final witness in the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse when he gives evidence on Monday.

Geelong priest Father Kevin Dillon said church leaders, including Cardinal Pell, must recognise that the inquiry came about not only as a result of appalling abuse, but also because the protocols the church put in place to help victims had not succeeded.

Fr Dillon said he would dearly love Cardinal Pell to say: `On behalf of everybody in the official church I ask for forgiveness of victims, because in so many cases, not necessarily every case, we not only failed you initially, we failed you doubly by having some sort of adversarial approach to your search for justice and recognition'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Pädophilen-Affäre: Rücktritte bei Grünen sind 'längst überfällig'

DEUTSCHLAND
kath.net

Vorwurf: Die Grünen stigmatisierten Andersdenkende (etwa Christen beim Thema Homosexualität), träten selbst als „Gesinnungswart“ auf, aber wollen jetzt den eigenen „Pädosex-Skandal“ mit einem „Sorry – heute sehen wir es auch anders“ beiseite wischen

München/Ansbach (kath.net/idea) Nach CSU-Generalsekretär Alexander Dobrindt haben jetzt auch theologisch konservative Kreise personelle Konsequenzen aus der Pädophilen-Affäre bei den Grünen in den achtziger Jahren gefordert. Sie reagierten damit auf Veröffentlichungen, wonach es in der Partei Kräfte gab, die für die Legalisierung von Sex mit Kindern eintraten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Mission: Keine Verbindung zu Verurteiltem

DEUTSCHLAND
Stimme

Von unserem Redakteur Reto Bosch

Beilstein - Das in Südafrika wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs verurteilte Mitglied der Spätregenmission war nie in Deutschland tätig. Das erklärte der Vorstand gestern in einer verspäteten Antwort auf Stimme-Nachfragen. Martin Illig, der Vorsitzende der deutschen Spätregenmission, stehe in keiner Beziehung zu dem Verurteilten. Der Vorstand betont, dass der Fall in Südafrika in keinem Zusammenhang mit der deutschen Mission stehe.

Zentrale?

Die Glaubensgemeinschaften arbeiteten in jedem Land unabhängig voneinander, es gebe keine Leitungs- oder Steuerungsabhängigkeit. Beilstein sei ausschließlich für den deutschen Raum zuständig. Diese Aussage steht allerdings im Widerspruch zu anderen Angaben. Noch heute ist auf der Homepage der deutschen Organisation zu lesen, dass die Werkstätten im Glaubenshaus Libanon für den Unterhalt der europäischen Häuser sorgen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Statistik belegt: Kein Grund zum Feiern – Opferfonds gescheitert

DEUTSCHLAND
Helmut Jacob

Den Opfern von physischer, psychischer und sexueller Gewalt in den zwei Nachkriegsjahrzehnten in meist kirchlichen Heimen wollte der „Runde Tisch Heimerziehung“ (RTH) unter Antje Vollmer wirklich helfen. So stellte es der RTH immer wieder öffentlich dar. Von 2008 bis 2010 hatte der Tisch getagt und eine abschließende Lösung vorgeschlagen, die vom Deutschen Bundestag übernommen wurde: „Der Runde Tisch hält eine Summe von 120 Millionen Euro für die Ausstattung des Fonds / der Stiftung für erforderlich, die sich aufteilt in 20 Millionen Euro für den ‚Rentenersatzfonds’ und 100 Millionen Euro für den ‚Fonds für Folgeschäden der Heimerziehung’“. So geschrieben im Abschlussbericht des RTH. (1)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Five more come forward alleging abuse by Hawaii Catholic priests

HAWAII
KHON

Five more people have joined in a lawsuit saying they were sexually abused by priests in the local Catholic church.

The suit now includes 11 alleged victims claiming sex abuse as far back as the 1940′s.

One of the most recent plaintiff’s is a Hawaii Island man who says he was abused by three priests nearly 50 years ago.

The victim, who does not want to be identified, says he has never recovered from the trauma.

“My main reason for not wanting any children was I was never confident of my ability to protect them,” he says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Catholic order to pay $16.5 mln to more than 400 claiming sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Thomson Reuters News & Insight

5/24/2013

By Daniel Trotta

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An order of the Roman Catholic Church has agreed to pay $16.5 million to more than 400 adults who said they were sexually abused as children by religious leaders, the parties announced on Thursday in separate statements.

The victims claimed abuse at schools and child-care facilities belonging to the Christian Brothers and the Christian Brothers of Ireland, Inc, in 17 U.S. states and Canada from the late 1940s or early 1950s until the 1980s, said James Stang, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

The settlement agreement reached in U.S. bankruptcy court also enables the victims to pursue more assets from the Christian Brothers such as real estate or insurance claims, Stang said.

A committee representing the accusers, who claimed abuse by mostly brothers of the order, agreed to the settlement terms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Bishops’ Adviser on Sexual Abuse: ‘How Do We Get Children Safer?’

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND 05/23/2013

Al Notzon III is the chairman of the National Review Board that advises the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, guidelines and procedures established by the USCCB in June 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.

The function of the board is to collaborate with the bishops’ conference “in preventing the sexual abuse of minors in the United States by persons in the service of the Church.”

Notzon is also the former executive director of the Alamo Area Council of more than 100 local governments and agencies. He spoke with Register senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond on May 14, following the release of the 2012 report on the implementation of the U.S. bishops’ charter.

Based on research conducted by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), the report found six credible allegations against diocesan clergy and one against a member of a religious order or institute committed in 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Hope Pell will reveal truth at Vic inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Daniel Fogarty From: AAP May 24, 2013

ANTHONY Foster hopes an uncomfortable and unfamiliar environment will open cracks in the armour of Australia's most senior Catholic, bringing out the truth about the decades-long child sexual abuse scandal.

Away from the church's army of lawyers and spin doctors, Cardinal George Pell will spend several hours alone at a table on Monday answering questions from a hard-hitting committee determined to get answers.

There will be questions about whether he personally knew of abuse and covered it up, about abusing priests being moved from parish to parish, victims being ignored and about victims who have ended their lives because of the pain of sexual abuse.

Cardinal Pell won't be able to refuse to answer when he appears before the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse.

Victims and their supporters expect Cardinal Pell - the former archbishop of Melbourne and current Sydney archbishop - to begin trotting out familiar Catholic Church lines, but know he will face tough questioning and hope he will stumble.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

May 23, 2013

Review clears Davenport priest accused of touching

IOWA
Quad-City Times

Brian Wellner bwellner@qctimes.com

The Diocese of Davenport, which temporarily removed two priests from their ministries last month after allegations surfaced they inappropriately touched minors, has reinstated one of them, Bishop Martin Amos said Thursday.

The Rev. Robert Harness, pastor of Holy Family Church, Davenport, and the Rev. John Stack, chaplain at Mercy Medical Center, Clinton, were removed from their positions while an investigation was conducted.

As of Thursday, Harness will return to the ministry after a diocese investigation did not substantiate an allegation that he inappropriately touched a minor in 1990.

A review lasting a month conducted by a private detective found no wrongdoing by Harness, Amos said, adding he wanted to publicize the outcome "in the hope of helping to restore the good character of Father Harness."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

Vandals target home of Cardinal in Dunbar

SCOTLAND
East Lothian News

Published on 23/05/2013

Vandals have attacked Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s intended retirement home in the wake of the Pope ordering him to leave Scotland.

Police launched an investigation after four windows at Our Lady of the Waves RC Church and adjoining house were smashed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Wisconsin monk accused in Antioch child luring out on bond

ILLINOIS
WLS

May 23, 2013 (EVANSTON, Ill.) (WLS) -- Thomas Chmura, a monk from Wisconsin, is back on the streets after a Lake County judge agreed to reduce his bond.

Chmura is accused of trying to lure several underage girls in Antioch.

Bond for the 57-year-old was revoked earlier this month when court officials found children present at the Wisconsin abbey where he lived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Wisconsin monk out on bail in Illinois case

WISCONSIN/ILLINOIS
Enquirer-Herald

The Associated Press
WAUKEGAN, Ill. --
A Benedictine monk from Wisconsin who faces charges he tried to abduct four Illinois girls has been released on bond.

A Lake County judge lowered 57-year-old Thomas Chmura's bail from $150,000 to $50,000. Chmura previously was held in the Lake County jail since May 2. Chmura has pleaded not guilty. He lived at St. Benedict's Abbey in Benet Lake, Wis. He was arrested based on a description provided by one of the girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

New Evidence ...

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

New Evidence Could Harm Case Against Abuse Whistleblower

05/23/13

Hella Winston
Special Correspondent

New evidence has emerged that could deal a serious blow to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ case against Sam Kellner, a chasidic Borough Park resident who was charged with extortion and perjury after he helped to convict a fellow chasid, Baruch Lebovits, on sex abuse charges.

The evidence, obtained by The Jewish Week, is an audiotape on which a young man makes statements that undermine his previous claims that Kellner paid him to fabricate allegations of sex abuse. The young man also makes statements indicating that powerful members of his own community pressured him to accuse Kellner of perjury.

“This tape should make clear what should be clear to any reasonable person — that Sam Kellner is not guilty of these charges,” Kellner’s attorney, Michael Dowd, told The Jewish Week.

Kellner, whose ordeal was the subject of a Jewish Week story in January, played an indirect but key role in the 2010 sex abuse conviction of Lebovits, a cantor and prominent member of the Munkacs chasidic community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Christian Brothers...

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

Christian Brothers religious order reaches deal with more than 400 child sex abuse victims

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, May 23

NEW YORK — The Christian Brothers have agreed to pay more than $16 million to people who were molested as children by members of the U.S. religious order.

The settlement was announced Thursday by attorneys for the Roman Catholic group and for more than 400 victims.

The Christian Brothers staffed schools and worked in dioceses in parts of the United States, including California, Hawaii, Illinois, New York and New Jersey, as well as in Canada.

Two groups that hold Christian Brothers’ assets sought federal bankruptcy protection in the face of the claims. A judge must approve the agreement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

New Minn. law allows more childhood abuse lawsuits

MINNESOTA
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By PATRICK CONDON
The Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Adults who suffered childhood sexual abuse and want to file lawsuits against both abusers and the institutions that employed them will have greater access to Minnesota's court system under a bill awaiting Gov. Mark Dayton's signature.

In 1996, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that anyone over the age of 24 who alleged they were abused when they were children had no standing to file a lawsuit. Under the new law, that statute of limitations is lifted entirely for civil claims against abusers and for lawsuits on the grounds of negligence against schools, churches and other institutions. What that means is that anyone, no matter their age, will be able to file lawsuits over claims of sexual abuse that occurred when they were children.

"Right now, it's 24 and done," Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-Hopkins, the bill's chief House sponsor, said on Thursday. "No claim, no chance to confront your abuser in court. To me, this is about opening the courthouse doors that right now are slammed shut to childhood sex abuse victims."

The Senate passed the bill unanimously last week; it passed the House later the same day by a vote of 123-3. A spokeswoman for Dayton said he is likely to sign the bill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Catholic order to pay $16.5 million to more than 400 claiming sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Yahoo! News

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An order of the Roman Catholic Church has agreed to pay $16.5 million to more than 400 adults who said they were sexually abused as children by religious leaders, the parties announced on Thursday in separate statements.

The victims claimed abuse at schools and child-care facilities belonging to the Christian Brothers and the Christian Brothers of Ireland, Inc, in 17 U.S. states and Canada from the late 1940s or early 1950s until the 1980s, said James Stang, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

The settlement agreement reached in U.S. bankruptcy court also enables the victims to pursue more assets from the Christian Brothers such as real estate or insurance claims, Stang said.

A committee representing the accusers, who claimed abuse by mostly brothers of the order, agreed to the settlement terms.

In 2011, the Christian Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in response to the sexual abuse claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Mount Cashel orphanage survivors reach settlement worth more than $16.5 million

CANADA
Calgary Herald

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS MAY 23, 2013

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Survivors of abuse at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John's, N.L. have reached a settlement with the Christian Brothers of Ireland worth more than $16.5 million.

The settlement with the Catholic religious order includes cash plus other assets that must still be approved in court.

Lawyer Geoff Budden represents 90 survivors from Newfoundland out of a total of 422 North American claimants.

He says the money will be distributed according to a court-ordered formula.

Budden says the settlement was reached by a committee of creditors that has worked with the Christian Brothers since its companies sought bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Pastor G temporarily steps down from ROC

VIRGINIA
NBC 12

By Rachel DePompa

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
Pastor Geronimo Aguilar has temporarily stepped down from his positions as President of the Board and Pastor at the Richmond Outreach Center due to child sexual abuse charges.

The move was announced in a statement from the ROC's Board of Directors on the church's website Thursday afternoon.

"While we believe the accusations against him to be completely untrue and unfounded, we have accepted his request for a temporary leave of absence," the statement said. "Considering the severity of the charges, he feels and we sympathize that his family and these legal matters deserve his full attention."

The board voted to give Aguilar a paid leave of absence, according to the statement. The ROC's Executive Team will make day-to-day operational decisions and an outside, interim pastor will fill Aguilar's role.

Some Richmond faith leaders called for Aguilar to step down after prosecutors in Texas charged Aguilar with seven felony counts in two child sex abuse cases. The cases involve claims by two women dating back to 1996. Four of the counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 14, are first degree felonies that could carry life in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

ROC Pastor G remains behind bars until Texas extradition

VIRGINIA
WTVR

by Nick Dutton and Shelby Brown

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — CBS 6 News has learned that Geronimo Scott Aguilar, the pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center (ROC), will remain behind bars after an appearance in court Wednesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, a Richmond judge granted Aguilar a $50,000 bond and ordered him to be in Fort Worth by Friday. However, after lawyers discussed extradition details with Texas authorities, Aguilar waived extradition and was taken to jail.

Additionally, the judge said that if Fort Worth authorities do not pick up Aguilar by Friday, he will hold another hearing in which bond may be granted.

CBS 6 was in court when Aguilar signed extradition documents.

“He could be picked up as early as tomorrow .They’ve already pre-set bond there in Texas without a hearing at $100,000, so we’ll deal with bond when we get to Fort Worth,” said David Darlson.
The District Attorney’s Office in Tarrant County, Texas has formally charged the 43-year-old in in the first case with two counts of aggravated sex assault of a child under 14 and two counts of sexual assault of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Pastor G steps down as ROC pastor

VIRGINIA
WTVR

May 23, 2013, by Scott Wise, Jerrita Patterson and Sandra Jones

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Pastor Geronimo Aguilar, known as Pastor G, has stepped down as President of the Board and as Pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center, according to a statement on the ROC’s website.

This week Aguilar was charged in Texas with seven felony charges that stem from alleged sexual encounters with two minors in the 1990s.

According to the statement, Aguilar stepped down to “devote his time and energy to certain legal matters in Texas.”

The statement, signed by the Board of Directors of the Richmond Outreach Center, called the accusations against Aguilar “completely untrue and unfounded.”

“We, the Board of Directors, have voted to make this a paid leave of absence, considering the incredible contributions that Pastor Geronimo has made to The ROC as a founding member. Furthermore, we feel that it is not in the purview of the Board to act as either Judge or jury,” the statement read. “We look forward to Pastor Geronimo’s return, and we ask that you continue to keep him and his family in your prayers.”

The ROC’s Board of Directors said it has appointed “the Executive Team” to run the church’s day-to-day operations. Among its services, the ROC church provides religious and bible studies, homeless and prison ministries, addiction programs, family counseling and annual holiday events.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Pastor placed on paid leave following sex charges

VIRGINIA
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013

The board of directors of the Richmond Outreach Center said today that Pastor Geronimo Aguilar, facing sexual assault charges in Texas, will be on a paid leave of absence after his decision to temporarily step down as pastor and president of the board.

"We, the Board of Directors, have voted to make this a paid leave of absence, considering the incredible contributions that Pastor Geronimo has made to The ROC as a founding member. Furthermore, we feel that is not in the purview of the Board to act as either Judge or jury," the board said in an email.

"While we believe the accusations against him to be completely untrue and unfounded, we have accepted his request for a temporary leave of absence. Considering the severity of the charges, he feels and we sympathize that his family and these legal matters deserve his full attention," the email said.

The board said it is taking steps to hire an interim pastor from outside as an appointed executive team makes daily operations decisions at the ROC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Statement From ROC Board On Pastor G

VIRGINIA
WRIC

Statement from the Board of Directors of the Richmond Outreach Center
May 23, 2013

Dear ROC Family and Friends,

It is with heavy hearts that we inform you that Pastor Geronimo has decided to temporarily step down as President of the Board and as Pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center to devote his time and energy to certain legal matters in Texas. While we believe the accusations against him to be completely untrue and unfounded, we have accepted his request for a temporary leave of absence. Considering the severity of the charges, he feels and we sympathize that his family and these legal matters deserve his full attention.

We, the Board of Directors, have voted to make this a paid leave of absence, considering the incredible contributions that Pastor Geronimo has made to The ROC as a founding member. Furthermore, we feel that it is not in the purview of the Board to act as either Judge or jury.

During this time, we have appointed the Executive Team to make decisions concerning the day-to-day operations of the Richmond Outreach Center. Also, we are actively pursuing an outside, interim pastor to serve on the Board of Directors, to assist with preaching duties, and to lend spiritual guidance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Richmond mayor to investigate ROC after Pastor G’s arrest

VIRGINIA
WTVR

[with video]

May 23, 2013, by Tracy Sears

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The future of the Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) and its ties to the city of Richmond remain uncertain, now that the ROC’s well known leader has been charged with several felonies relating to the sexual abuse of minors.

Since 2001, Pastor Geronimo Aguilar, known as Pastor G, has been a friend to underprivileged and troubled youth, reaching out to more than 11,000 people weekly through progressive ministries and programs.

Among its services, the ROC church provides religious and bible studies, homeless and prison ministries, addiction programs, family counseling and annual holiday events.

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones says Aguilar’s dedication over the past decade has undoubtedly made a difference in the community.

“There’s a lot of good the church does in terms of working with young people and working with people who have addictions and people who need to have jobs and so forth,” Jones said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Catholic schools operator agrees to settlement in sexual abuse lawsuits

CALIFORNIA
The Monterey County Herald

Herald Staff Report
Posted: 05/23/2013

The Irish Christian Brothers have agreed to pay $16.5 million to settle claims by more than 400 people who say they were physically and sexually abused by the order's brothers or others at schools operated by the Christian Brothers.

Among those alleged victims are five former Palma High School students who allege they were sexually assaulted by The Rev. Gerald Funcheon when he was a chaplain at the school from 1984 to 1985.

Funcheon admitted in sworn testimony he molested one of the men.

The settlement, which is expected to be finalized in coming weeks, is part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy the religious order filed in April 2011 in response to a tidal wave of sexual abuse lawsuits.

Palma High is not identified as one of the assets that will be used to pay the settlement. Though the school has historically been affiliated with the Irish Christian Brothers, the school's president, Brother Patrick Dunne, has said it is a separate corporate entity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Christian Brothers Reach Deal in US Abuse Claims

UNITED STATES
ABC News

NEW YORK May 23, 2013 (AP)

The Christian Brothers have agreed to pay more than $16 million to people who were molested as children by members of the U.S. religious order.

The settlement was announced Thursday by attorneys for the Roman Catholic group and for more than 400 victims.

The Christian Brothers staffed schools and worked in dioceses in parts of the United States, including California, Hawaii, Illinois, New York and New Jersey, as well as in Canada.

Two groups that hold Christian Brothers' assets sought federal bankruptcy protection in the face of the claims. A judge must approve the agreement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Mount Cashel abuse survivors receive financial settlement

CANADA
CBC News

Men who were abused by Christian Brothers at the Mount Cashel Orphanage and several schools in St. John's have reached a settlement with the Roman Catholic organization.

The settlement is the result of the work of a committee that was set up last year after the Christian Brothers declared bankruptcy. The committee has represented 422 victims across North America, including about 90 victims from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Geoff Budden, the lawyer representing the N.L. victims, and a member of that committee, said the total financial settlement is worth $16.5 million.

The settlement will also enable the abuse survivors to continue lawsuits against other parties who may share responsibility for decades of abuse.

Budden added that about 70 other victims of abuse from Mount Cashel, represented by other lawyers, are involved in the same lawsuit that the committee is involved with, but those victims have not yet arrived at a settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

Monk charged with trying to lure girls released on bond

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Ruth Fuller
Special to the Tribune
3:16 p.m. CDT, May 23, 2013

A Benedictine monk charged with trying to lure several far north suburban girls into his car has been released on bond -- for a second time – and is now living with his father, authorities in Lake County said today.

Judge Christopher Stride agreed on May 17 to lower bond for Thomas Chmura, 57, from $150,000 to the original amount of $50,000 after Chmura found a new place to live, said defense attorney Robert Hauser.

Chmura’s original bond was revoked on May 2 when court officials checked the Wisconsin abbey where he had lived for more than 30 years and found children present, which violated conditions of the bond. Chmura is now living with his father in Lansing, Ill., Hauser said.

Chmura was arrested after investigators said he drove up to a 14-year-old girl in Antioch on April 25 and repeatedly asked her to get in his car before she ran off.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Greater Boston Video: Attorney in Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal Talks About Own Abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
WGBH

[video]

By WGBH NEWS

Attorney Eric MacLeish represented hundreds of people who, as children, had been sexually abused by priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. He joins us to talk about the abuse he suffered as a child, and his work changing the statute of limitations on child sex abuse laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Church sex-abuse victims call on Dolan to advocate for Myers' ouster

NEW JERSEY/NEW YORK
NJ.com

[with video]

By David Cruz
NJ Today

A coalition of clergy and lay people from around the country call themselves the Catholic Whistleblowers. They gathered in New York City to assert themselves against what they see as a powerful entrenched bureaucracy turning a blind eye to the suffering of its most vulnerable members.

“I have yet to meet or even hear about a victim who has recounted that the bishop’s first response upon hearing their report of sexual abuse, was to reach out to them with any degree of compassion or concern. This is an abject disgrace,” said Canon Lawyer Father Tom Doyle.

They began forming nine months ago, without approval or cooperation from their individual diocese, bound by their desire to serve victims and to call on organizations like the National Council of Catholic Bishops to take action against those who they say have been complicit by covering up the abuse.

“We are here today to call upon Cardinal Dolan as president of the NCCB to use his influence to press the Vatican to remove Archbishop Myers from the Newark Archdiocese because of his mishandling of the Michael Fugee case. We appeal to all bishops and legislators to remove all statutes of limitations on child abuse cases as a means of demonstrating that our church is serious about pursuing truth and justice,” said Father Ron Lemmert of the Archdiocese of New York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

New settlement includes Mount Cashel victims

CANADA
The Telegram

Published on May 23, 2013

Barb Sweet

A new settlement has been reached with the Catholic lay order, the Irish Christian Brothers, that affects some 160 victims of sexual abuse at the former Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s, The Telegram has learned.

The settlement is part of a $16.5 million cash payment from the Christian Brothers affecting 400 men and women in the U.S. and Canada who were molested as children by members of the Christian Brothers.

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors for The Christian Brothers Institute and The Christian Brothers of Ireland, Inc. has approved the terms and conditions of an agreed-to reorganization plan in the Chapter 11 cases of The Christian Brothers Institute and The Christian Brothers of Ireland, Inc. (In the United States, the Christian Brothers are the civil arms of the North American Province of the Congregation of Christian Brothers of Ireland.)

In response to sexual abuse claims, the Christian Brothers filed Chapter 11 cases on April 28, 2011 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. During the course of the Chapter 11 cases, more than 400 survivors of sexual and physical abuse filed claims with the Bankruptcy Court. The claims generally arise from the Christian Brothers’ operation/staffing of schools and child-care facilities from 17 U.S. states and Canada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Settlement for Victims of Christian Brothers

UNITED STATES
VOCM

The Committee representing hundreds of people who were molested as children by the Christian Brothers of Ireland has reached a settlement with the Catholic religious order. The financial settlement for abuse survivors is a cash payment of $16.5 million and should be filed within the next three weeks.

After the sexual abuse claims, the Christian Brothers filed bankruptcy in the Unites States. The filing lead to a reorganization plan which the Committee says will safeguard children from future abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Abuse victims to receive $16.5m as Christian Brothers declare US bankruptcy

UNITED STATES
The Journal (Ireland)

OVER 400 SURVIVORS of institutional abuse in the United States are to receive compensation totalling $16.5 million after approving the terms of a bankruptcy by the North American branch of the ‘Irish’ Christian Brothers.

The survivors – acting as a committee of unsecured creditors – have approved a Chapter 11 deal for the Christian Brothers Institute and The Christian Brothers of Ireland, Incorporated, which is based in New York.

The money will be put up by the order itself and by one of its insurance carriers.

The amount shared by each survivor will be dramatically less than some of the settlements paid to some abuse survivors before the bankruptcy process began in 2011, but the settlement was nonetheless welcomed by an attorney representing the survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Richmond pastor to be extradited to Texas

VIRGINIA
Richmond Times-Dispatch

BY LOUIS LLOVIO Richmond Times-Dispatch

UPDATE: Geronimo Aguilar, senior pastor at the Richmond Outreach Center, will be handed over to Texas authorities in about 24 hours and taken to Fort Worth, Texas.

There, he faces seven felony charges relating to sexual acts with two minors alleged to have occurred in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

First nation-wide Catholic abuse bankruptcy settles

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY JOELLE CASTEIX ON MAY 23, 2013

Today's settlement is a true landmark for survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of Irish Christian Brothers and their employees. Because brave victims came forward, dozens of predators—some of whom were still in positions of power at schools and universities—have been exposed across the country. Communities including Chicago, Honolulu, Salinas, CA and Bergen County, NJ have now learned that many child sexual crimes and cover-ups happened in their local Irish Christian Brothers’ schools. Few groups of survivors have ever been able to expose so many criminals.

Were it not for brave Irish Christian Brothers survivors, accused and admitted predators would still be in schools, victims would still be suffering in silence and shame, and the truth would still be hidden.

But the journey for justice is not over. The victims in this settlement can still seek accountability from the schools where they were abused and where officials covered up abuse. Survivors can still seek truth from diocesan officials who turned a blind eye to the crimes at the Irish Christian Brothers' schools. We hope that they remain vigilant and continue to protect kids RIGHT NOW.

The Irish Christian Brothers should have done the right thing years ago. They should have reported molesters to the police. They should have reached out to victims. They should have warned communities about the danger. But they didn't. Instead, they waited to get exposed, and then used bankruptcy protection to avoid embarrassing civil trials. While it may be tempting to applaud the Brothers, we urge people to remember their decades-long cover-up of abuse in the United States, Canada and Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Priest reinstated after archdiocese clears him of sex abuse allegations

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Lauren Dezenski | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT MAY 23, 2013

Reverend Joseph F. Byrne has been reinstated in the ministry after the Archdiocese of Boston cleared the 69-year-old priest of sexual abuse allegations, the archdiocese said today.

Byrne was placed on administrative leave in May 2012 after someone contacted the archdiocese with an allegation that he had sexually abused a child in the 1970s. The allegation was found to be unsubtantiated, the archdiocese said.

According to Byrne’s assignment history, he served at St. Matthew’s parish in Dorchester from 1969 to 1975, then moved to St. John the Baptist Church in Quincy.

As a result of the investigation’s findings, Byrne is no longer on administrative leave and has been assigned the status of senior priest, the archdiocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Former Waltham Priest Cleared of Sex Abuse Claims

MASSACHUSETTS
Patch

By Ryan Grannan-Doll

A former Waltham priest has been cleared of allegations of sexual abuse against minors, according to the Boston Archdiocese.

Reverend Joseph F. Byrne, who previously served at Our Lady of the Comforter Afflicted in Waltham from 1994-2002, has been reinstated into his position after an investigation concluded the allegations were unsubstantiated, according to a Diocese statement. Byrne was previously placed on leave in May 2012 after the allegations surfaced. He had been been retired but was performing limited duties in Falmouth parishes.

“The allegation concerned conduct alleged to have occurred in the 1970s. Fr. Byrne is no longer on administrative leave and is assigned the status of Senior Priest,” the statement read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Davenport priest reinstated to ministry

IOWA
WQAD

May 23, 2013, by Shellie Nelson

Diocese officials say after evidence did not support the report, a Davenport priest accused of inappropriate contact will be restored to ministry.

Father Robert Harness, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Davenport, was accused of inappropriately touching a minor in approximately 1990. Diocese officials said someone reported Father Harness inappropriately touched a minor during a game that was played at a high school retreat.
“The game was played in full view of as many as 50 students and 10 adults. None of the witnesses observed nor has anyone else reported any inappropriate behavior by Father Harness,” said Deacon David Montgomery of the Diocese of Davenport.

In keeping with the previously-established memorandum of understanding between the diocese and the Scott County Attorney, the diocese reported the allegation to the county attorney. In keeping with the memorandum of understanding, the diocese was required to remove Fr. Harness from active ministry until the month-long investigation was completed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Review clears Davenport priest accused of touching

IOWA
Omaha.com

The Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A suspended Catholic priest in Davenport will return to the ministry after a diocese investigation did not substantiate an allegation that he inappropriately touched a minor in 1990.

Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport said Thursday that a monthlong review by a private detective found no wrongdoing by Father Robert Harness, pastor of Holy Family Church. Amos said he wanted to publicize the outcome "in the hope of helping to restore the good character of Father Harness."

Amos suspended Harness last month after someone claimed Harness improperly touched a minor during a game that was played at a high school retreat.

The investigation found the game was played in front of as many as 50 students and 10 adults, and no witnesses or anyone else reported seeing any inappropriate behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

Victims settle with Irish Christian Brothers for $16.5 million

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on May 23, 2013

Two years after they sought bankruptcy protection to avoid more than 200 embarrasing civil sex abuse trials, the New York-based Irish Christian Brothers (ICB) have settled with more than 400 victims of child sexual abuse (in Canada and the United States) for $16.5 million.

This marks the end of the first step for many ICB victims. The settlement does not include the actual Irish Christian Brothers schools or the dioceses where they were located. Only the actual order was included in the settlement.

For victims in Hawaii, this means that they can still take legal action against Damien Memorial and the Diocese of Honolulu, whose officials, victims say, knew about abuse and covered it up. The same holds true for ICB victims across the country, including communities such as Bergen County, NJ; Salinas, CA; Chicago and Seattle.

But there is something very important to note about the ICB bankruptcy. While the battle is far from over, brave survivors in this case exposed dozens of predators who had been hidden in schools across the country. They were able to inform communities that convicted abusers such as Brother Thomas C. Ford and Br. Robert Brouillette taught children in more than 15 states. Survivors were able to show how serial predators such as Fr. Gerald Funcheon were sent to Hawaii to hide from allegations on the mainland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Is the Vatican Bank finally fighting money laundering for real?

VATICAN CITY
This Week

By Carmel Lobello

Rene Bruelhart, the head of the Vatican's new Financial Intelligence Authority, disclosed Wednesday that he had found six incidents of possible money laundering in the Vatican Bank from last year — marking the first step in what may be a new era of transparency for the scandal-stained institution.

The Vatican Bank, officially called the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), manages an estimated $5 billion in assets for religious orders and Catholic charities. A private entity, its inner workings have long been shrouded in secrecy. In 2012, following investigations of money laundering and probes into the behavior of the top brass, Forbes called the IOR "the most secret bank in the world."

The bank was founded in 1942 to safeguard and administer funds for Catholic organizations around the world, and got into trouble at the height of the Cold War, "when the Catholic Church was consumed by the threat of the Soviet Union," said TIME in a 2010 story about another Vatican probe. "In a sharply divided world, the Holy See found itself on the same side as the Mafia, whose Sicilian vote-buying operations propped up the Christian Democrats against the communists."

Then, in 1982, when Italy's second largest bank, Banco Ambrosiano, went bankrupt (allegedly due to mafia-related debt issues), the IOR was implicated as the bank's main shareholder. When Banco Ambrosiano's chairman, Roberto Calvi, was found hanging from London's Blackfriar's Bridge, his pockets stuffed with bricks and cash — a likely mafia murder that remains untried — the IOR's reputation took a beating. "The Vatican has been trying to shed its image as a murky financial center since," says the Financial Times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

The Selective Outrage of Southern Baptists

UNITED STATES
Watch Keep

The SBC annual meeting is June 11-12 in Houston. The SBC pastors' conference is June 9-10, same place. Jack Graham is a featured discussion panel leader on the topic of "leadership." We are planning an awareness event outside the convention to stand for those abuse survivors who don't have a voice or whose voices are being callously ignored by pastors and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Perhaps you may have a few minutes to simply come stand with us outside the convention in honor of those survivors who don’t have a voice? Details TBA...

I was interviewed by Bob Allen for a story in the Associated Baptist Press last week about a resolution proposed by a Baptist pastor for the upcoming SBC meeting and it includes my statements:

Sexual-abuse resolution proposed - Associated Baptist Press

Victims’ advocate Amy Smith, Houston representative of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Lumpkins’ concern applies not only to organizations with informal SBC ties, but also to “celebrity leaders” within the denomination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Prosecution not in 'public interest'

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Lateline

[with video]

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 22/05/2013
Reporter: John Stewart

The NSW DPP says the prosecution of a school principal who sacked a teacher for abusing students but didn't inform police, would not be in the public interest.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: In the 1970s Brother Anthony Whelan was principal of St Patrick's College at Sutherland in Sydney. He sacked a teacher for abusing a series of boys at the school, but he did not inform the police. The victims say that if the police had been informed, the teacher may have been prevented from abusing other children. The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions says that prosecuting the former principal is not in the public interest. But abuse survivors say that justice has not been done. John Stewart reports.

JOHN STEWART, REPORTER: Brother Anthony Whelan was one of the most senior Catholic education officials in NSW. In 2008 he received an Order of Australia for services to education.

ANTHONY WHELAN, CATHOLIC BROTHER (Catholic Leadership Video): ... was the founding director of Catholic education in the southern region of the Archdiocese of Sydney. I've had roles at the Catholic Education Commission level.

JOHN STEWART: In the 1970s, Brother Whelan was the principal at St Patrick's College in southern Sydney where a group of high schoolboys were abused by a lay teacher called Thomas Keady.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

TX- Victims want new Texas bishop to "come clean"

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY JACKIE SOUTHEE ON MAY 23, 2013

Victims want new bishop to "come clean"
He was allegedly told about a predator in 2002
SNAP asks prelate: “What did you do then, what are you doing now?”
They urge El Paso's prelate to explain his role in a clergy sex abuse case
And victims also seek names of all child molesting clerics on church website

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging El Paso’s new Catholic bishop to explain his involvement in a predator priest case and to post on the diocesan website the names of “proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests.”

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests are writing Bishop Mark Seitz about a Kentucky predator priest, Fr. James Hargadon who was convicted of molesting boys.

[BishopAccountability.org]

In 2002, Hargadon was sued by John Kaelin of Waxahachie, Texas, who says the cleric molested him as a child in 1974 at a cabin in Rough River.

Kaelin also said that he reported the abuse to Seitz in 1990 when Seitz was a parish priest.

[BishopAccountability.org]

"If you are to earn the trust of your new flock, you must show - by deeds, not words - that you are capable of breaking from the long-standing hurtful patterns of secrecy that most of your colleagues are still trapped in today," SNAP says in its letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Report: Fugee will Fight Latest Charges

NEW JERSEY
Patch

By Devin McGinley

Michael Fugee's lawyer contended Wednesday that the embattled former Wyckoff pastor is innocent of charges he violated a court order in his continued work with children, northjersey.com reported.

Fugee was arrested and charged Monday with seven counts of contempt of a court order, for allegedly hearing confessions from minors around the state in violation of an agreement reached with prosecutors.

Prosecutors, Fugee, and the Archdiocese of Newark signed an agreement in 2007 that the pastor, who had been accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, could return to the priesthood under the condition that he no longer work with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Catholics for Accountability--and Those Against

UNITED STATES
Anglo-Cat on the Prowl

I believe that this qualifies as good news:

They call themselves Catholic Whistleblowers, a newly formed cadre of priests and nuns who say the Roman Catholic Church is still protecting sexual predators.Although they know they could face repercussions, they have banded together to push the new pope to clean house and the American bishops to enforce the zero-tolerance policies they adopted more than a decade ago.

The group began organizing quietly nine months ago without the knowledge of their superiors or their peers, and plan to make their campaign public this week. Most in the steering group of 12 have blown the whistle on abusers in the past, and three are canon lawyers who once handled abuse cases on the church’s behalf. Four say they were sexually abused as children.

The fact that one of this group is Rev. Thomas Doyle, who has been indefatigable in his zeal for justice for victims over three decades is immensely encouraging. The participation of Anne Barrett Doyle, of the indispensable resource BishopAccountability.org, which curates a wealth of primary documents as well as helpful context-providing summaries and timelines is also very encouraging.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Boston Archdiocese reinstates priest accused of child sexual abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

BRAINTREE, Mass. —A Roman Catholic priest suspended a year ago after he was accused of child sexual abuse has been reinstated after the allegation was found to be unsubstantiated.

The Boston Archdiocese announced Thursday that the Rev. Joseph Byrne has returned to ministry and been granted senior priest status.

Byrne was suspended last May after the Archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor that was alleged to have occurred in the 1970s. It was reported to law enforcement.

Byrne was involved in limited ministry at a Falmouth church when he was suspended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

May 23, 2013 - Archdiocese of Boston Returns Rev. Joseph F. Byrne to Ministry

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kellyanne Dignan
kdignan@rasky.com
(617) 803-3444

Archdiocese of Boston Returns Rev. Joseph F. Byrne to Ministry

(Braintree, MA) May 23, 2013. The Archdiocese of Boston today made the following statement regarding Reverend Joseph F. Byrne:

"The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that the allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Father Joseph F. Byrne has been found to be unsubstantiated. Fr. Byrne was placed on administrative leave in May 2012, after the Archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a child. The allegation concerned conduct alleged to have occurred in the 1970s. Fr. Byrne is no longer on administrative leave and is assigned the status of Senior Priest.

In reaching this decision, Cardinal Sean O'Malley reaffirmed his care and concern for all persons impacted by the reality of sexual abuse of children. The Cardinal and the Archdiocese remain committed to resolving cases of this nature in a manner that is as just as possible for all involved."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

Retired Cape Cod priest cleared of abuse allegation

MASSACHUSETTS
The Patriot-Ledger

GateHouse Media New England
Posted May 23, 2013 @ 10:16 AM

BRAINTREE —
A Cape Cod priest removed from public ministry last May pending an investigation into a child abuse allegation against him has been cleared, the Boston Archdiocese announced Thursday.

The Rev. Joseph Byrne has been assigned the status of senior priest. The allegation against him dated to the early 1970s but was not reported until last year.

At the time he was suspended, he was retired but had what church officials called a “limited ministry” at St. Patrick’s Parish in Falmouth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Boston Archdiocese reinstates suspended priest

MASSACHUSETTS
NECN

May 23, 2013, 10:31 am

BRAINTREE, Mass. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest suspended a year ago after he was accused of child sexual abuse has been reinstated after the allegation was found to be unsubstantiated.

The Boston Archdiocese announced Thursday that the Rev. Joseph Byrne has returned to ministry and been granted senior priest status.

Byrne was suspended last May after the Archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor that was alleged to have occurred in the 1970s. It was reported to law enforcement.

Byrne was involved in limited ministry at a Falmouth church when he was suspended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Backsliding by newspapers?

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY DAVID CLOHESSY ON MAY 23, 2013

We’re used to bishops backpedalling on clergy sex crimes. It’s worrisome, however, when newspapers backpedal on those crimes.

Lately, editors at two big city dailies have made unsettling decision in covering clergy sex cases.

For as long as I can remember (and I’ve been involved in this almost 25 years), virtually every news outlet has named clerics who are accused in civil lawsuits of assaulting kids. Ditto with other defendants who are high profile: coaches, teachers, doctors, politicians and the like. It’s a nearly universal practice and rarely even questioned (except sometimes by friends and relatives of the accused).

But last week, a new civil lawsuit was filed against a Chicago archdiocesan priest. The article about the case noted that local Catholic officials had, years ago, released a list of credibly accused clerics. Then, the Chicago Tribune story included this sentence:

“The Chicago Tribune is not naming the former priest sued Thursday because he is not on that list.”

[Chicago Tribune]

Is this is some sort of new Tribune policy - not naming accused child predators who are sued UNLESS their employer has identified them as credibly accused? And if so, what prompted this sudden and unexplained shift in the Tribune’s position? Do Tribune editors realize they’ve done something that few other editors have done?

Why does withholding the priest’s matter?

Because kids are safer when credibly accused child molesters are publicly identified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Missbrauchsopfer unter Druck

DEUTSCHLAND
Stimme

Von unserem Redakteur Reto Bosch

Beilstein - Ein Seelsorger der evangelischen Landeskirche versucht, die Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen die Spätregenmission in Beilstein aufzuarbeiten. Einige Opfer haben sich bereits gemeldet. Peter W. (Name geändert), der als Kind mehrere Jahre in Beilstein missbraucht worden war und sich der Stimme offenbart hatte, zweifelt am Erfolg des Aufarbeitungsprozesses. Er berichtet von anhaltendem Druck, der auf ihn ausgeübt werde. Inzwischen gibt es auch ein Gerichtsurteil gegen einen Spätregen-Prediger: Der 73-Jährige wurde in Südafrika zu fünf Jahren Haft verurteilt, weil er ein Mädchen elf Jahre lang sexuell missbraucht hatte.

Vertuscht

Peter W. wurde in den 70er Jahren über einen längeren Zeitraum hinweg sexuelle Gewalt angetan. Ähnliche Erfahrungen machten in Beilstein wohl auch andere Jungen. Der aktuelle Spätregen-Vorsitzende Martin Illig räumte der Stimme gegenüber ein, dass die Taten intern vermutlich bekannt waren, aber vertuscht worden sind. Weitere Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen Spätregen-Mitglieder gibt es in den Niederlanden und der Schweiz. In Südafrika hat das Landgericht in Somerset West vergangene Woche einen heute 73-jährigen Prediger verurteilt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Deutschland – ein Paradies für Straftäter

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

Offener Brief an das Kriminologische Forschungsinstitut Niedersachsen, Herrn Prof. Dr. Christian Pfeiffer

1. Parallel-Justice für die Opfer von Straftaten,
2. Will die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz das Missbrauchsthema „aussitzen“?

Sehr geehrter Herr Prof. Pfeiffer,

haben Sie vielen Dank für Ihr freundliches Schreiben vom 6. Mai 2013 und die beiden beigefügten Texte.

Mit unserer Pressemitteilung vom 8. Januar 2013 teilte netzwerkB der Presse mit, dass nach unserer Auffassung die römisch-katholische Kirche nicht aufklären kann und will. Ein Beleg dafür war zweifelsfrei auch die hektische Aktenvernichtung.

U

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Judge rules media can name abuse trial priest

IRELAND
Irish Independent

TOM TUITE – 23 MAY 2013

A FORMER priest awaiting trial on historic child sex-abuse charges does not have the right to anonymity, a judge has ruled.

William Carney is charged with 34 counts of indecent assault of eight boys and two girls at locations in Dublin and north-east Leinster from 1969 until 1989.

At Cloverhill District Court yesterday, Judge Grainne Malone lifted an earlier gagging order that prohibited the news media from naming the 62-year-old, who currently has no fixed address.

Her ruling followed submissions from lawyers for RTE, the 'Irish Times', the Irish Independent and Associated Newspapers, which publishes the 'Irish Daily Mail'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

SHARE YOUR TRUTH - TRC to conduct hearing in Kamloops, BC, May 28-29

CANADA
Truth and Reconciliation Commission

May 21, 2013

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), will conduct a two-day hearing in Kamloops, BC.

Former students, their family members and others who have been affected by Canada’s Indian Residential Schools are invited to share their experiences with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), Tuesday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 29 in Kamloops.

The event is co-hosted by Tk’emlups te Secwepemc. It takes place at Moccasin Square Gardens (Old Gym), 200-330 Chief Alex Thomas Way, beginning at 8:30 a.m. each day. The event will be webcast live.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Priest charged with violating ban on ministry to children freed on bail

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger

The Roman Catholic priest charged with violating a ban on ministry to children was released from jail late Tuesday, less than 12 hours after making his first appearance in a Bergen County courtroom.

The Rev. Michael Fugee, 52, walked out of the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack sometime after 7 p.m. A spokesman for the county sheriff’s department, which oversees the jail, declined to say who posted Fugee’s bail, which had been set at $25,000 with a 10 percent cash option.

The Archdiocese of Newark, to which Fugee is assigned, did not secure the priest’s release, said Jim Goodness, a spokesman for Archbishop John J. Myers. Goodness would not say whether Fugee was returned to a parish or other housing owned by the archdiocese.

Fugee was required to surrender his passport as a condition of the release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

'Forced' Celibate Stress Disorder, and the Trauma of our Aging Clerics

AUSTRALIA
Catholica

by Dr Joseph F Dietrich

Introduction and summary...

Roman Catholic religious celibacy, when freely chosen, is the beautiful dedication of a mature person's whole life force to build a spiritual community of unmarried persons for the leadership and inspiration of the People of God.

However, this essay describes 'forced' celibacy in some men who follow celibacy only as a prerequisite for priesthood. 'Forced' celibacy can become for some individuals a way of life which contributes to a type of stress called 'critical incident stress'. The stress is critical because, for those who do not have the gift of celibacy, this life can overwhelm their typical ability to cope, contributing to atypical reactions of anger, fear, and sorrow; sometimes accompanied by sleeplessness, avoidance, and startle reactions; which can become acute (when these reactions last for more than a week); and even traumatic (where these reactions last for more than a month); where the person loses their sense of safety, experiences unusual intense emotional pain, and often, isolation. [c.f. American Psychiatric Association, 2000, Appendix I]

Dr Joe Dietrich is an former-cleric ordained 52 years ago and married 42 years ago to Sandra. Joe and Sandra are farmers with two children. He has spent 56 years as a counsellor, teacher, and alcohol-drug-addiction and trauma specialist. He lives in Wendover, Ontario. His full CV is available HERE.

In the case of 'forced' celibacy this has led to immaturity in relationships; to thinking that celibacy is protecting them; to rigidity in relationships; and hopelessness, assuming that celibacy cannot be changed. This condition can lead some to be so burdened by 'forced celibacy' that they seek their maturity outside of clerical celibacy, or criminally turn their sexual affection towards minors. Studies cited by Richard Sipe reveal that 'at any one time, as few as 50% of priests are actually celibate,' some have taken 'wives' and are having children by them. According to priests who have worked there, in some South American countries pastors are often not trusted unless they have a 'wife' and children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Our View: Wounds stay fresh, even from long-ago abuse

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

A recent lawsuit reminds us how devastating the impact of crimes against children can be.
The Rev. James Vallely is long dead, but the harm he did is alive and well. The Roman Catholic priest left behind a long list of sexual abuse victims, both male and female, from his career in Portland, South Berwick and other parishes throughout the state from 1958 to 1988. He died in 1997 at the age of 75.

Vallely's name has come up repeatedly over the years as the sexual abuse scandal roiled the Catholic Church, starting in Boston and spreading across the country and even around the world. Every time a victim came forward, others found the courage to do the same.

Vallely was on a list the Diocese of Portland released in 2005 of deceased priests subject to sexual abuse allegations that had been substantiated by investigators. If Vallely and seven other priests had been alive in 2005, church officials said, their names would have been sent to Rome with the request that they be removed from the priesthood.

His name is in the news again because two brothers last week filed a lawsuit against the diocese, charging that they were abused by Vallely during the 1970s, at a time when the church either knew or should have known that he was a sexual predator.

The brothers say they have come forward now because they only recently found that Vallely's superiors had information that could have prevented their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Vatican financial investigator says laws, roles will be strengthened

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

[full report - Vatican Information Service]

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The director of the Vatican's Financial Intelligence Authority said the Vatican will further amend its finance-related laws in the coming months, increase screening of account holders at the Vatican bank and continue assessing the potential risk that accounts could be used for money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Rene Brulhart, the Swiss finance lawyer hired to monitor the legality and transparency of Vatican financial activity, presented his office's first report at a May 22 news conference.

The Vatican has "a very clear, strong commitment to fight money laundering and terrorism financing fully in line with its moral values, but also with its responsibility to become a credible partner in the international environment," he told reporters.

He said that in 2012, he received six reports of suspicious financial activities from Vatican offices and, after studying the cases, he forwarded two of the reports to the Vatican criminal court for further investigation and possible prosecution. It is up to the Vatican prosecutor to release information about the cases, which could involve money laundering, Brulhart said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

TX prosecutors charge ROC's Pastor G with 7 felonies

VIRGINIA/TEXAS
NBC 12

[with video]

By Rachel DePompa

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
Prosecutors in Texas have formally charged Richmond Outreach Center Pastor Geronimo "G" Aguilar with seven felony counts in two child sex abuse cases.

Prosecutors say the allegations date back to 1996, and involve two victims. Aguilar faces four counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 14, with two counts for each victim. Those charges are first degree felonies that could carry life in prison. He also faces three counts of sexual assault of a child from the two alleged incidents. Those charges are second degree felonies that could carry up to 20 years in prison.

A Tarrant County, Texas judge set his bail at $100,000 for each case, or $200,000 total. However, Aguilar remains in Richmond as court proceedings continue over his travel to Texas.

A Richmond judge ordered Aguilar held on $50,000 bond in connection with the child sexual abuse charges in Texas Wednesday morning. The judge ordered Aguilar to report to Texas authorities by Friday at 4:30 p.m. to respond to the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

ROC's 'Pastor G' To Be Extradited, Could Face Life In Prison

VIRGINIA
WRIC

RICHMOND, VA—ROC pastor Geronimo Aguilar, who surrendered himself Tuesday on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a minor, is expected to be extradited to Texas as early as Thursday on seven charges that, if convicted, could mean he'll spend the rest of his life in prison.

In a Wednesday deal, Aguilar, known as "Pastor G," was granted $50,000 bond, but a judge revoked bond as prosecutors appealed the decision, arguing Aguilar was a flight risk and Texas authorities had specifically asked bond not be granted.

Aguilar currently remains in police custody in Virginia. In return, Texas authorities will extradite the Richmond pastor back to that state. 8News has learned the extradition could take place Thursday morning, and a Texas hearing take place as soon as Friday.

Warrants out of Fort Worth, Texas charge Geronimo Aguilar, known as "Pastor G," with multiple felony charges stemming from two cases of alleged aggravated sexual assault of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

May 22, 2013

Troy Catholic parish asks for donations in 'tribute' to priest accused of stealing

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

By Patricia Montemurri
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

St. Thomas More Catholic Parish is asking parishioners to donate to an annual fund-raiser in “tribute” to Rev. Edward Belczak, its former pastor under FBI investigation for stealing or mishandling $429,000 from the Troy church.

In a May 17 letter, the parish’s current administrator, Msgr. John Zenz, wrote about the need to raise nearly $300,000 for the Archdiocese of Detroit’s annual Catholic Services Appeal and described it as “the best tribute you could give to Fr. Belczak’s ministry.”

The money is not intended for Belczak’s personal use or defense.

Zenz said today that he was “simply trying to acknowledge the strong tradition of parishioners’ support for the CSA and encourage them to continue to give this year.”

“I certainly didn’t intend to offend anyone on either side of the spectrum” of views concerning Belczak, said Zenz. “There are people who still love him and will always love him, and want his name to be mentioned. And there are others who are justifiably angry.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Charges against priest do not involve Nutley church

NEW JERSEY
Nutley Sun

WEDNESDAY MAY 22, 2013
BY HASIME KUKAJ
STAFF WRITER
NUTLEY SUN

The seven-count complaint, against former Wyckoff priest Michael Fugee, is not tied to his involvement with Holy Family Church in Nutley. He is accused of disobeying a judicial order that apparently banned work with children

In a previous media interview, Holy Family Monsignor Paul Bochicchio said that Fugee had given talks to the parish's youth and had accompanied them on trips to Canada. Bochicchio has said that Fugee was supervised at all times, and that his involvement with Holy Family did not violate the agreement.

Fugee allegedly heard confessions from dozens of children on seven occasions from 2010 to December of last year, including twice at the Rochelle Park church where he was allowed to live and once in Paramus. The priest, who was arrested Monday at a Newark church where he had been living, was released from the Bergen County Jail on Tuesday after posting $25,000 bail, according to court records.

Fugee did not enter a plea, and the case will be sent to a grand jury, Bergen County authorities said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Catholic Whistleblowers

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coaltion

Editorial

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) salutes the Catholic Whistleblowers who are taking a public stand with a press conference today to encourage Roman Catholic Church insiders to report child sexual abuse by priests and nuns and to expose those who conceal.

Among the 12 co-founders are two founders of NSAC, Robert Hoatson and Sister Maureen Paul Turlish. We are grateful for the strength and purpose of their backbones.

We thank BishopAccountability.org’s Anne Barrett Doyle for seeing the similarities in their stories and bringing them together.

The overwhelming silence of priests and sisters in the last decade plus one year since the Boston incarnation let alone all the years before Boston needs a strong piercing. Perhaps the courage of this group will be the needed instrument to light shine in, deflate hypocrisy and remove stagnation and go along easiness.

Archbishop John Myers of the Diocese of Newark and Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph both need to be removed from their current seats of power yet the overwhelming numbers of clergy and religious in their dioceses go along with the emperor’s who have no clothes on. At best, they distance themselves with a shake of the head, or a vague “something ought to be done about it” or a “you can’t change the system” –bishops and religious community leaders hold the trump card of power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Church Whistle-Blowers Join Forces on Abuse

UNITED STATES
Sexual Abuse CT

Posted by tremontsheldon on May 22, 2013

They call themselves Catholic Whistleblowers, a newly formed cadre of priests and nuns who say the Roman Catholic Church is still protecting sexual predators.

The Rev. James Connell, in Sheboygan, Wis., is a member of Catholic Whistleblowers.

Several members of the group, which includes priests and nuns, met in Manhattan last week.Although they know they could face repercussions, they have banded together to push the new pope to clean house and the American bishops to enforce the zero-tolerance policies they adopted more than a decade ago.

The group began organizing quietly nine months ago without the knowledge of their superiors or their peers, and plan to make their campaign public this week. Most in the steering group of 12 have blown the whistle on abusers in the past, and three are canon lawyers who once handled abuse cases on the church’s behalf. Four say they were sexually abused as children.Their aim, they say, is to support both victims and fellow whistle-blowers, and identify shortcomings in church policies. They hope to help not just minors, but also adults who fall prey to clergy who exploit their power for sex. They say that their motivation is to make the church better and safer, and to show the world that there are good priests and nuns in the church.

“We’ve dedicated our lives to the church,” the Rev. John Bambrick, a priest in the Diocese of Trenton, said at a meeting of the group last week in New York. “Having sex offenders in ministry is damaging to our ministry.”The group has sent a letter to Pope Francis asking him to take several significant steps to heal victims and restore the church’s credibility: revoke all oaths of secrecy, open the files on abuse cases, remove from office any bishops who obstructed justice and create an international forum for dialogue between survivors and church leaders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Catholic Whistleblowers Group Forms: "From the Convictions of Our Conscience"

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

This is very important news: as Laurie Goodstein reports at New York Times yesterday and as Michael D'Antonio writes for Huffington Post, a group of twelve Catholic nuns and priests has organized to monitor and blow the whistle on cover-up of sexual abuse cases by the Catholic hierarchy. The group calls itself Catholic Whistleblowers, and has set up a website with a link that provides information about how you can support this valuable initiative.

The group has written a letter to Pope Francis (a copy is linked at the group's website), noting that its members are speaking and acting from the convictions of their consciences, and asking him to revoke the oaths of secrecy on which bishops rely to justify their cover-ups, open files on abuse cases, remove from office bishops who have flaunted justice in abuse cases, and set up an international forum for dialogue between survivors and church leaders.

As Goodstein notes for New York Times, these courageous Catholic leaders think a group of this sort is necessary because it continues to be demonstrated that some bishops in the U.S. ignore their own stated no-tolerance policy, while the annual audits of dioceses, which are based on self-reporting, keep providing clean bills of health to dioceses later found to have ignored the zero-tolerance policy by putting priests known to pose a danger to minors in direct contact with minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Priest in New Jersey in hot water after violating order to stay away from kids

NEW JERSEY
God Discussion

BY AL STEFANELLI
ON MAY 22, 2013

The Rev. Michael Fugee, a fifty-two year old Priest, stood before a judge on 21 May 2013 to face charges for violating a court-ordered lifetime ban on working with children.

Bergen County investigators discovered that Fugee has heard confessions at youth retreats from minors on two occasions in 2010, and once again in 2012.

He was charged with seven counts of contempt of a judicial order, a 4th degree crime that carries a maximum prison sentence of eighteen 18 months.

Bergen County, NJ, Assistant Prosecutor Demetra Maurice who had authored the agreement in 2007, read seven counts that were levied against Fugee.

The agreement that Maurice made included an immediate and permanent cease and desist for Fugee to work with children as long as he remained in the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Journalism Outside the Box: Wall St. Journal Bravely Profiles Stunning Case of Wrongfully Convicted Priest Fr. Gordon MacRae

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

In a stunning article that bravely veers from the media's usual, tired coverage of the Catholic Church abuse story, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dorothy Rabinowitz has taken up the case of Fr. Gordon J. MacRae, who has been serving a 33½-to-67 year sentence in a New Hampshire state prison since 1994 on abuse charges.

Rabinowitz's article in the Wall Street Journal reports that MacRae was wrongfully convicted in a grave miscarriage of justice.

TheMediaReport.com has thoroughly examined Fr. MacRae's case before, and this is the second time that Rabinowitz has profiled MacRae, as she first reported about the priest for the Journal back in 2005.

In a nutshell, Fr. MacRae was convicted by a jury and imprisoned based on the claims of a single accuser named Thomas Grover, whom Rabinowitz aptly notes had "a considerable history of forgery, assault, theft and drug use."

n a nutshell, Fr. MacRae was convicted by a jury and imprisoned based on the claims of a single accuser named Thomas Grover, whom Rabinowitz aptly notes had "a considerable history of forgery, assault, theft and drug use."

In 1994, the then-27-years-old Grover claimed that Fr. MacRae sexually assaulted him over five consecutive weekly counseling sessions years earlier in 1983 when he was 15 years old. Asked why he would repeatedly return to a place where he had been brutally attacked the week before, Grover amazingly testified that he "had experienced 'out of body' episodes that had blocked his recollection" of previous abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Tackling justice and compensation for abuse victims must not be delayed

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

EDITORIAL

The three concurrent inquiries into institutional child abuse are uncovering terrible suffering and will soon enough prompt calls for fairer measures of compensation. The federal royal commission does not tackle issues of reparations. But admissions by institutions such as the Catholic Church need to be dealt with beyond the inquiries.

Existing laws make it very difficult for victims to use the court system - and it is hardly preferable to have courts jammed with claims that prolong the wait for justice and increase the costs to the community.

This is particularly worrying as legal aid budgets are squeezed, compensation fund payouts limited and the allowable times for making a civil claim shrink.

While many victims will welcome the chance to tell their stories, governments need to co-ordinate a response to compensation. It should not be beyond the wit of governments to serve the needs of victims of crime while protecting the public purse.

Previous legislative attempts relating to the Stolen Generations are instructive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

When the church can't police itself, call in the whistle-blowers

UNITED STATES
U.S. Catholic

By Scott Alessi

As we approach the 11th anniversary of the U.S. Catholic bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, it is no secret that many church leaders are still falling down on the job when it comes to transparency surrounding the sexual abuse of minors and the handling of priests who commit these heinous crimes. We've had the saga of Bishop Robert Finn in Kansas City, the recent case of an abusive priest in Newark still being allowed to interact with minors, and examples of bishops failing to provide information and evidence to their own review boards. As former chair of the National Review Board Nicholas Cafardi told us in an interview last year, there's plenty of room for improvement.

Enter the Catholic Whistleblowers. A new group of Catholic priests, sisters, and laypeople--most of whom were already blowing the whistle on church failures when it comes to sex abuse--have banded together to form a new organization. What started as a support group for those who undergo the pressure (and sometimes, the negative stigma) that comes with being a whistle-blower has now grown into a public campaign to bring about change in the church.

Members of the group offered the New York Times varied responses on what the group's goals are: seeing those who covered up abuse held accountable, keeping children safe, clearing the church's name and restoring some level of credibility to those who devote their lives to the priesthood. All important goals, all of which are long overdue in the wake of the abuse that has taken place within the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Ex-priest on child sex abuse charges can be named, judge rules

IRELAND
Irish Times

A former priest awaiting trial on historic child sex abuse charges does not have the right to anonymity, a judge held yesterday.

William Carney, aged 62, is charged with 34 counts of indecent assault of eight boys and two girls, at locations in Dublin and north east Leinster from 1969 until 1989.

Yesterday at Cloverhill District Court, Judge Gráinne Malone lifted an earlier gag order prohibiting the media from naming the 62-year-old who currently has no fixed address.

Her ruling came following submissions from lawyers for RTÉ, The Irish Times , the Irish Independent and the Irish Daily Mail ’s publishers Associated Newspapers. The case was adjourned for two weeks.

John Fitzgerald BL, for RTÉ, said the constitution states that justice has to be administered in public, and he argued that the news media has to report on matters in the interest of the public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Catholic Whistleblowers urge greater accountability on sex abuse crisis

UNITED STATES
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel May 22, 2013

In its first public action Wednesday, a national network of Catholic clergy and nuns founded in part by a Milwaukee-area priest called on the church to take a stronger stand against child sexual abuse in its ranks.

Eight members of the Catholic Whistleblowers gathered for a news conference in New York, home to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who as head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is considered the most influential American prelate.

The group urged Dolan to use his influence to help oust Newark, N.J., Bishop John Myers, who has been in the news in recent weeks for allowing a pedophile priest continued access to minors, in violation of an agreement with prosecutors.

In addition, members called on Catholic bishops to:

 Support proposed legislation in New York, Wisconsin and elsewhere, that would lift statutes of limitations on sex crimes against children. (A Wisconsin bill, known as the Child Victims Act, is expected to be re-introduced this legislative session.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Rabbi misquoted on abuse cover-up

AUSTRALIA
The Australian Jewish News

THE Australian is expected to apologise this weekend after it claimed that former president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia (ORA) Rabbi Dovid Freilich said that 95 per cent of Australian rabbis believe child sexual abuse charges should be dealt with internally.

Rabbi Freilich praised the article, “The Shunned”, that appeared in Saturday’s edition of The Australian, because he said that whatever can be done to stamp out the scourge of sexual abuse of children in society is to be commended and encouraged, but said that being misquoted was disappointing.

“I believe that the vast majority of rabbis in Australia firmly and categorically support the immediate reporting of child abuse to the police,” Rabbi Freilich said in a letter to The AJN and The Australian this week.

“This was always the official stance of the ORA.”

Senior writer at The Australian Kate Legge apologised to the rabbi when she was contacted by Rabbi Freilich this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Vatican financial body investigating possible money laundering

VATICAN CITY
Firstpost

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican’s new financial watchdog said on Wednesday it had detected six possible attempts to use the Holy See to launder money last year, citing this as proof of its commitment to transparency.

The head of the Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), presenting its first annual report, also said it would soon have stronger supervisory powers over the Vatican’s scandal-plagued bank, the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), dubbed the world’s most secretive bank by Forbes magazine.

The Vatican is trying to meet international standards to combat the financing of terrorism, money laundering and tax evasion, but the European anti-money laundering committee, Moneyval, said in July that the IOR still had some way to go. The FIA is due to report back in December.

Rene Bruelhart, the Swiss lawyer and anti-laundering expert who heads the FIA, said that of the six suspected cases of money laundering handled by his office in 2012, two were considered serious enough to be passed on to the Vatican’s prosecutor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Vatican Says It Strengthened Efforts to Combat Money Laundering

VATICAN CITY
Bloomberg Businessweek

By Chiara Vasarri
May 22, 2013

The Vatican said it stepped up efforts to improve financial transparency and prevent money laundering as pressure continues for compliance with international standards.

The Holy See and the Vatican City “have strengthened their efforts for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism” to represent an effective global partner, the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority’s director, Rene Bruelhart, said in the agency’s annual report published today. Future challenges “are several and require perseverance.”

In July Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s monitoring body for money laundering and terrorism financing, gave the Vatican a mixed report card, saying it was making progress in complying with international standards on financial transparency, though it still needed to improve supervision of transactions. That report stressed the importance of independent supervision of the Vatican bank, which is formally called the Institute for the Works of Religion, or IOR.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Vatican’s finance watchdog releases first report

VATICAN CITY
The Globe and Mail (Canada)

NICOLE WINFIELD
VATICAN CITY — The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, May. 22 2013

The Vatican took another step Wednesday to show greater financial transparency by publishing the first annual report from its financial watchdog agency and announcing new regulations to fight money laundering and terror financing.

The report from the Financial Intelligence Authority showed the agency received six internal reports on suspicious transactions in 2012, up from one a year earlier, and that two were sent onto Vatican prosecutors for investigation.

But the 10-page report made scant mention of any supervisory operations carried out in 2012. International financial authorities have recommended the agency conduct inspections and issue internal regulations to fight money laundering and terror financing.

The report also made no mention of the troubles that led to the suspension of credit card services inside the Vatican for several months, an embarrassment that inconvenienced the thousands of people who visit the Vatican and its museums each day.

The Vatican created the oversight agency in 2010 in a bid to shed its image as a secretive tax haven and improve its reputation in global financial circles following a series of scandals at its bank and a money laundering investigation launched by Rome prosecutors in 2010.

As part of that effort, the Holy See submitted itself to the Council of Europe’s Moneyval evaluation process, which assesses countries’ compliance with international anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing norms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Vatican moves to clean up finances

VATICAN CITY
CNN

By Alanna Petroff @AlannaPetroff May 22, 2013:

LONDON (CNNMoney)
Pope Emeritus Benedict had made cleaning up the Vatican's reputation for shady money a top priority, and Pope Francis is continuing the effort.

On Wednesday, a financial watchdog agency established in 2010 issued its first ever report on money laundering in a move to improve financial transparency in the city-state.

The document from the Financial Intelligence Authority shows six reports of "suspicious activity" in the past year, up from just one in 2011. It says the Vatican's prosecutors are investigating two of those reports for possible criminal activity, though it wouldn't elaborate further.

The 64-page report details how the Vatican is looking to crack down on money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities, alongside other international governments and agencies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Communique on the Annual Report of the Financial Information Authority, 2012

VATICAN CITY

The Autorità di Informazione Finanziara (AIF) of the Holy See and the Vatican City State has published and presented its first ever Annual Report to the public.

The report reviews the activities and statistics of AIF for full year 2012.

Over the course of the year, AIF reported the submission of 6 Suspicious Transaction Reports, up from only one in the previous year. AIF itself forwarded two Suspicious Transaction Reports to the Vatican Promoter of Justice for further investigation.

"The statistics and trends from 2012 are encouraging and indicates that the system is consistently improving" said Rene Brülhart, Director of AIF.

In 2012, AIF has also initiated the systematic screening and analysis of Cash Transaction Reports submitted by the obliged entities.

"In our efforts to tackle actively any potential abuse of the financial system, we initiated a close and constructive interaction with the Secretariat of State, the Gendarmeria, the Promoter of Justice and the institutions under our oversight in order to improve awareness and safety and ensure a coordinated internal cooperation in AML/CFT matters", said Director Brülhart.

A further important element of the report is the progress made in international cooperation that builds on the clear commitment of the Holy See to be a credible partner in the international fight against money laundering. 2012 saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with relevant authorities in Belgium and Spain. "It will continue to be our policy in 2013 to further strengthening international cooperation by signing several more Memorandum of Understanding with our partners in other relevant countries and jurisdictions" said Rene Brülhart.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

FIRST ANNUAL REPORT OF THE VATICAN FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information service

[the full report]

Vatican City, 22 May 2013 (VIS) – This afternoon in the Press Office of the Holy See, Rene Brulhart, director of the Vatican Financial Information Authority (L’Autorità di Informazione Finanziara, AIF), presented the AIF's first annual report, which examines their activities and statistics from 2012. The AIF is the competent authority of the Holy See and the Vatican City State for financial intelligence and for supervision and regulation in the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism. It was established in 2010 and became operational in April of 2011.

“Over the course of the year,” reads a press release accompanying the conference, “AIF reported the submission of six Suspicious Transaction Reports, up from only one in the previous year. AIF itself forwarded two Suspicious Transaction Reports to the Vatican Promoter of Justice for further investigation.”

"The statistics and trends from 2012 are encouraging and indicates that the system is consistently improving," said Dr. Brulhart. In 2012, AIF also initiated the systematic screening and analysis of Cash Transaction Reports submitted by the obliged entities.

“In our efforts to actively tackle any potential abuse of the financial system,” continued Director Brulhart, “we initiated a close and constructive interaction with the Secretariat of State, the Gendarmeria, the Promoter of Justice and the institutions under our oversight in order to improve awareness and safety and ensure a coordinated internal cooperation in AML/CFT matters.”

A further important element of the report is the progress made in international cooperation that builds on the clear commitment of the Holy See to be a credible partner in the international fight against money laundering. 2012 saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with relevant authorities in Belgium and Spain. Dr. Brulhart stated that “it will continue to be our policy in 2013 to further strengthening international cooperation by signing several more Memorandum of Understanding with our partners in other relevant countries and jurisdictions.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Vatican financial body finds possible money laundering

VATICAN CITY
euronews

The scandal plagued Vatican Bank has published the first annual report from its newly formed financial watchdog agency revealing that it had detected six possible attempts to use the Holy See to launder money last year.

As part of efforts to increase transparency it said it is now screening account-holders.

It also plans to beef up regulations and has enlisted an international agency to certify the bank’s compliance with anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing measures.

The Autorità Informazione Finanziaria issued a 10-page report, that contained little detail on any supervisory operations.

However the agency’s director Rene Bruelhart told reporters he had proof it is committed to doing a good job: “In 2012 we had six suspicious transaction reports, in comparison to 2011 when we had one suspicious transaction report, so this is a clear sign that the reporting system is starting to work.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Vatican Bank involved in suspicious transaction

VATICAN CITY
Gazzetta del Sud

Vatican City, May 22 - The Vatican Bank was involved in one of the six transactions flagged by the Holy See's financial watchdog last year, the director of the Financial Information Authority (AIF) said Wednesday . Commenting on an annual report, Rene' Bruelhart did not specify on the contents of the transaction, beyond that it was not tied to terrorism. The Holy See has been trying without success to join the 'white list' of states that meet international standards on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In a report last July, the Council of Europe's Moneyval department said that the Holy See had made progress on financial transparency, but added that more reforms were needed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Price Of Sodomy 19.6 Million Dollars

CHICAGO (IL)
Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit

Jesuit officials in Chicago will pay $19.6 million to settle a civil lawsuit brought by six men who claim theyDonald McGuire, formerly of Oak Lawn, is serving a 25-year prison term after being convicted in Chicago in 2008 of federal charges that he brought a minor across state lines to engage in sex. He also was convicted in 2006 of molesting two boys in Wisconsin during the 1960s. were molested by a former priest and onetime spiritual advisor to Mother Teresa, an attorney for the plaintiffs said Monday.

“The amount of the settlement is reflective of the magnitude of misconduct by the top Jesuit officials,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

CA- Child sex cases vs. notorious Jesuit settle

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY DAVID CLOHESSY ON MAY 22, 2013

Six men who were sexually violated as kids by a widely-known Jesuit priest, who worked in the Bay Area for five years, have reached a settlement totaling nearly $20 million.

[BishopAccountability.org]

We applaud their courage and strength.

The predator is Fr. Donald McGuire, now serving a 25 year prison sentence. From 1976 until 1981, he worked at the University of San Francisco and conducted freshman seminars, directed student retreats, and did counseling.

[BishopAccountability.org]

These six brave men have, despite their horrific pain, struggled to expose corruption by some of the top Jesuits in the US. More truth about awful church crimes and cover ups is being revealed and for that, Catholics should be grateful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

First report by Vatican financial watchdog reveals suspicious transactions

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

AIF director, René Brülhart, has presented the figures relating to the body’s anti-money laundering efforts

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

During the course of 2012, particularly in the last few months of that year, the AIF (Financial Information authority), the Vatican’s financial watchdog set up by Benedict XVI and led by President Attilio Nicora, has flagged 6 suspicious activities in the Vatican or in the Holy See’s bodies, against last year’s one suspicious activity. The Vatican Bank, (IOR) was found to be implicated in some suspicious transactions.

Two information requests were sent to domestic authorities and two reports to the Promoter of Justice, that is, the Vatican City State’s judicial authority. Last year, an information request was sent to foreign authorities and three were received by foreign authorities.

598 declared cross-border cash transactions of over ten thousand Euros were made throughout the course of 2012: 598 transfers were made to the Vatican and 1782 were made form the Vatican. This means 2.380 people entered or left the Vatican, declaring they had over ten thousand Euros in cash or bonds with them.

This is according to the first Financial Information Authority’s Annual Report for 2012, presented in the Vatican newsroom this morning by the director of the AIF, René Brülhart. He said: “The statistics and trends from 2012 are encouraging and indicates that the system is consistently improving."

Brülhart said the AIF has initiated the systematic screening and analysis of Cash Transaction Reports submitted by the obliged entities. “In our efforts to tackle actively any potential abuse of the financial system, we initiated a close and constructive interaction with the Secretariat of State, the Gendarmerie, the Promoter of Justice and the institutions under our oversight in order to improve awareness and safety and ensure a coordinated internal cooperation in AML/CFT matters” to prevent and counter money-laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Ex-priest on child sex abuses can be named, judge rules

IRELAND
Breaking News

A former priest awaiting trial on historic child sex abuse charges does not have the right to anonymity, a judge held today.

William Carney, aged 62, is charged with 34 counts of indecent assault of eight boys and two girls, at locations in Dublin and north east Leinster from 1969 until 1989.

Today at Cloverhill District Court, Judge Grainne Malone lifted an earlier gag order prohibiting the news media from naming the 62-year-old who currently has no fixed address.

Her ruling came following submissions from lawyers for RTE, The Irish Times, the Irish Independent and the Irish Daily Mail's publishers Associated Newspapers.

The case was adjourned for two weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

NJ- Victims blast church “star chamber”

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY DAVID CLOHESSY ON MAY 22, 2013

Victims blast church “star chamber”
Group seeks end to secret abuse panel
SNAP: “Newark Catholic board should resign”
And replacements’ names should be made public
Parishioners should be able to vote on them, victims say

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging members of a Newark Catholic church abuse panel to resign and speak out against their archbishop’s handling of clergy sex abuse cases. They also want the names of current and future board members to be made public and parishioners to have a voice in picking new board members.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are urging Catholics who belong to the Newark archdiocesan “review board” to “step down, speak out and become part of the solution, not part of the problem.” They have sent a letter today to the board members, via Newark Archbishop John Myers, who personally appointed each of them, and other archdiocesan staff.

“These are likely well-intentioned people whose qualifications and reputations are being used by Archbishop Myers to justify reckless, callous and possibly illegal moves that protect predator priests and endanger vulnerable kids,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP’s outreach director. “For their own sakes, and the safety of Newark area families, they should step aside and join with victims, witnesses and whistleblowers who