« June 2013 | Main | August 2013 »

July 31, 2013

Federal Judge: Catholic Church Has A Constitutional Right...

WISCONSIN
Think Progress

Federal Judge: Catholic Church Has A Constitutional Right Not To Compensate Victims Of Sex Abuse

BY IAN MILLHISER ON JULY 31, 2013

A federal judge in Wisconsin handed down an opinion yesterday granting the Catholic Church — and indeed, potentially all religious institutions — such sweeping immunity from federal bankruptcy law that it is not clear that it would permit any plaintiff to successfully sue any church in any court. While the ostensible issue in this case is whether over $50 million in church funds are shielded from a bankruptcy proceeding triggered largely by a flood of clerical sex abuse claims against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Judge Rudolph Randa reads the church’s constitutional and legal right to religious liberty so broadly as to render religious institutions immune from much of the law.

The case involves approximately $57 million that former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan transferred from the archdiocese’s general accounts to into a separate trust set up to maintain the church’s cemeteries. Although Dolan, who is now a cardinal, the Archbishop of New York and the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has denied that the purpose of this transfer was to shield the funds from lawsuits, Dolan penned a letter to the Vatican in 2007 where he explained that transferring the funds into the trust would lead to “an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability.”

The issue facing the court is, essentially, whether the funds that Dolan split off into a separate trust can now be reabsorbed into the archdiocese’s assets in order to enable sex abuse victims and other creditors to be paid out of these assets. In holding that these funds cannot be so absorbed, Randa relies on a law that limits the federal government’s ability to “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion,” Randa cites to the current Archbishop of Milwaukee’s statement that “the care and maintenance of Catholic cemeteries, cemetery property, and the remains of those interred is a fundamental exercise of the Catholic faith,” and concludes that this statement alone is enough to shield the church’s funds. As Randa explains, “if the Trust’s funds are converted into the bankruptcy estate, there will be no funds or, at best, insufficient funds for the perpetual care of the Milwaukee Catholic Cemeteries.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

Bishop: Pope was `on a high' during gay remarks

UNITED STATES
CNN

By Daniel Burke, CNN

(CNN) - The nation's leading Roman Catholic archbishop said Wednesday that Pope Francis was "on a high" from his first international trip as pontiff when he said "Who am I to judge?" gays and lesbians.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who traveled last week to Brazil with the pope for World Youth Day, said the massive turnout - estimates ran as high as 3 million - and ecstatic crowds likely gave Francis hope that he would "revive the church on his home continent of Latin America."

Francis was the archbishop of Buenos Aires in Argentina from 1998 until his papal election in March.

"The pope was visibly `on a high' from his first international pastoral visit in Rio," Dolan said. "Understandably so. Because I was there with him, I can verify that the superlatives being used — `oceanic' crowds, `frenzied' welcomes, `inspirational, heartfelt' words — are not exaggerations at all."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Religious Orders Released Files

CALIFORNIA
Law Offices of Raymond Boucher

U.S Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Inc. and Oblate Fathers Western Province, Inc.

Fr. Robert Koerner

Fr. Ruben Martinez

Fr. Joseph Murphy

Fr. Emmett Schaller

Benedictine Fathers of Sacred Heart Mission, Inc. aka St. Gregory's Abbey

Fr. Mathias Faue

Marianist Province of the United States

Fr. Joseph DiPiri

Fr. Charles Fatooh

Fr. James McGloin

Fr. Bernard Plieman

Fr. Thomas Havel

Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus aka The Cabrini Sisters

Sister Agnes Santomassimo

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

Sister Mary Joseph

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Files of 12 child molesting LA clerics released

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[the files - Law Offices of Raymond Boucher]

POSTED BY JOELLE CASTEIX ON JULY 31, 2013

Five Catholic religious orders have released, as part of a settlement, files regarding 12 proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics (two nuns and ten priests). (Individual names are below.)

This is not a voluntary move. It’s happening only because brave survivors insisted on it happening. So it’s misleading for anyone to say or claim that church officials are “releasing” this information. It’s been pried from them, following years – sometimes decades - of irresponsible secrecy and deceit.

We hope this long-overdue disclosure will prod every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups by religious order clerics to step forward. And they should step forward to law enforcement officials, not church officials.

The LA Times reports that “the files have little or no reference to abuse allegations…suggesting the orders were either unaware of molestation claims or opted not to document them.” There are two other likely scenarios: Catholic officials destroyed or are still not turning over records about child molesting clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

TAKE ACTION: Force the Orders Who Ran the Magdalen Laundries to Pay Compensation.

IRELAND
Care 2

They have refused to make payment of compensation, leaving this to the Irish Government but it was they who exploited the women, they who ran the laundries and they who should pay for the abuse they committed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Los Angeles Catholic Church Sex Abuse Files Released Including Files On Ruben Martinez Who Abused 100 Boys

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Huffington Post

[Ruben Martinez]

[the files - Law Offices of Raymond Boucher]

By GILLIAN FLACCUS 07/31/13

LOS ANGELES -- Hundreds of pages of secret church files released Wednesday shed light on the troublesome careers of a dozen religious order priests, brothers and nuns accused of sexually abusing children while working in the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese.

The files include one case of a priest who later admitted to having sexual contact with more than 100 boys while serving in several Southern California parishes for years.

The papers, which were released under the terms of a $660 million settlement agreement reached in 2007, are the first glimpse at what religious orders knew about the envoys they posted in Roman Catholic schools and parishes around the Los Angeles area. The archdiocese itself released thousands of pages under court order this year for its own priests who were accused of sexual abuse, but the full picture of sex abuse in Los Angeles remained elusive without the religious orders' records.

Several dozen more files are expected to be released by the fall.

The files cover five different religious orders that employed 10 priests or religious brothers and two nuns who were all accused in civil lawsuits of molesting children while working within the Los Angeles archdiocese. Among them, the accused had 21 alleged victims who alleged abuse between the 1950s and the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

Vatican Bank launches its first official website

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

July 31, 2013. (Romereports.com) For the first time ever, the Vatican Bank, or IOR, has launched its official website, available at www.ior.va

The website's launch comes as a consequence of the new transparency policy prompted by Pope Francis himself, who wants the bank to carry out its activities in the clearest possible way.

Even though the website is still extremely simple in its structure, however it contains useful information about the IOR's governance, the services it offers and a list of contacts. Another useful section is the 'media' page, in which various links and documents, but also recent press releases can be found.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 PM

Survivors had choice of cops or cash: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD Aug. 1, 2013

SURVIVORS of child sexual abuse by priests were only offered "healing" - including a financial settlement - if they signed a statement saying they were not going to the police, the Special Commission of Inquiry has heard.

Helen Keevers, a founding manager until 2009 of sex abuse survivors' centre Zimmerman House, said this was her understanding of the Church's practices when she began helping Bishop Michael Malone after the Jim Fletcher case in 2003.

Ms Keevers said there was little chance for her to look at historical files of child sexual abuse because her unit was "inundated" with complaints about existing priests.

She said complaints were laid against seven priests of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, with four individuals subsequently convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Secret files from religious orders add to sex abuse picture in Los Angeles archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Calgary Herald

[the files - Law Offices of Raymond Boucher]

BY GILLIAN FLACCUS, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS JULY 31, 2013

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Hundreds of pages of secret church files released Wednesday expose the troublesome careers of a dozen religious order priests, brothers and nuns accused of sexually abusing children while working in the largest Roman Catholic archdiocese in the U.S.

The files include one case of a priest who admitted to having sexual contact with more than 100 boys while serving in several California parishes for years.

The papers, released under the terms of a $660 million settlement agreement reached in 2007, are the first glimpse at what religious orders knew about the envoys they posted in Roman Catholic schools and parishes around the Los Angeles area.

The files cover five different religious orders that employed 10 priests or religious brothers and two nuns who were all accused in civil lawsuits of molesting children while working within the Los Angeles archdiocese. Among them, the accused had 21 alleged victims who complained of abuse between the 1950s and the 1980s.

The files include more than 500 pages on a priest named Ruben Martinez who belonged to a religious order called the U.S. Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a nearly 200-year-old Catholic organization with roots in France. The Los Angeles archdiocese settled eight lawsuits over Martinez's actions in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Religious order files reveal decades of LA abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Yahoo! News

[the files - Law Offices of Raymond Boucher]

GILLIAN FLACCUS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hundreds of pages of secret church files released Wednesday shed light on the troublesome careers of a dozen religious order priests, brothers and nuns accused of sexually abusing children while working in the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese.

The files include one case of a priest who admitted to having sexual contact with more than 100 boys while serving in several Southern California parishes for years.

The papers, which were released under the terms of a $660 million settlement agreement reached in 2007, are the first glimpse at what religious orders knew about the envoys they posted in Roman Catholic schools and parishes around the Los Angeles area. The archdiocese itself released thousands of pages under court order this year that covered its own priests who were accused of sexual abuse, but the full picture of sex abuse in the nation's largest archdiocese remained elusive without the religious orders' records.

The files cover five different religious orders that employed 10 priests or religious brothers and two nuns who were all accused in civil lawsuits of molesting children while working within the Los Angeles archdiocese. Among them, the accused had 21 alleged victims who alleged abuse between the 1950s and the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Five Catholic religious orders release files on L.A. clergy abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

[the files - Law Offices of Raymond Boucher]

By Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan
July 31, 2013

Confidential personnel records from five Catholic religious orders were turned over to victims of sexual abuse Wednesday in the first wave of a court-ordered public disclosure expected to shed light on the role the groups, operating independently of the L.A. Archdiocese, played in the region’s clergy molestation scandal.

The documents pertain to a dozen priests, brothers and nuns accused of sexual misconduct in the landmark 2007 settlement with hundreds of people who filed abuse claims against the Roman Catholic church in Los Angeles. An additional 45 religious orders will release the personnel files of their accused clergy by this fall, completing what is believed to be the fullest accounting yet of the abuse crisis anywhere in the Catholic church.

The 1,700 pages released by the religious orders differ markedly from those disclosed in January by the Los Angeles Archdiocese to comply with the terms of its settlement with all victims abused within its three-county jurisdiction. The archdiocese handed over materials reflecting Cardinal Roger M. Mahony’s meticulous record-keeping of molestation claims and treatment of accused offenders.

By contrast, the order files are a hodgepodge of seminary report cards, vacation requests, baptismal certificates and breezy dispatches in which priests update their higher-ups on parish projects. For the most part, the files have little or no reference to abuse allegations that surfaced in lawsuits a decade ago, suggesting the orders were either unaware of molestation claims or opted not to document them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Catholic Church Reformer On U.S Tour Stops In San Diego

SAN DIEGO (CA)
KPBS

By Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh

Observers are declaring Pope Francis' first overseas trip as Pontiff a great success.

He wrapped up his tour of Brazil, the world's largest Roman Catholic country, on Sunday with an outdoor mass that drew 3 million people.

It's his comments in an impromptu news conference Monday that have also impressed some Catholics. Pope Francis said "who am I to judge gay people" and added that gays shouldn't be marginalized.

These statements may be good news to people who are working for institutional change within the Catholic church.

One such person, an Austrian priest, is currently touring America in an effort to bring reform within the Catholic Church to a tipping point.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Roberto Francisco Daniel, Brazilian Priest Excommunicated...

ARGENTINA
International Business Times

Roberto Francisco Daniel, Brazilian Priest Excommunicated For Defending Homosexuality, Wants Justice After Pope Francis Speaks Out Favor Of The LGBT Community

By Patricia Rey Mallén
on July 31 2013

Pope Francis’ first visit to Latin America has sparked all sorts of comments and headlines, some praising the Holy Father on his approachability, and others remarking his unorthodox take on leading the Catholic Church. One of the most talked-about bits of the Pope’s visit to Brazil was his statement on the gay community -- which was very much unlike his predecessor’s position.

“If somebody is gay and looks for God, who am I to judge them?” he said in an unusually frank press conference on the plane back to Rome.

The unprecedented move has prompted Roberto Francisco Daniel, a former priest in Brazil, to seek justice. Daniel, who used to serve in the Bauru diocese in São Paulo, was excommunicated in April for publicly defending gays and criticizing the church’s attitude towards them.

“They treated me as if I were a teenager. I was publicly exposed. I didn’t even have the right to a trial,” he said to local newspaper Folha de São Paulo. He pointed out that his issue is not with the Catholic Church, but with his diocese.

Daniel never wanted to take back his comments, and went so far as to write them up in his book “Verdades Proibidas” (Forbidden Truths), in which he shed light into many of the controversial issues surrounding the Catholic Church. Brazil, with 126 million faithful, is the country with the biggest Catholic population in the world.

Daniel is now taking the new statements from Pope Francis as a sign that the Church is changing its views towards the LGBT community and hoping it will be the proof that he was mistreated by his diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

St. Paul priest who fathered child is suspended, fellow cleric says

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 07/31/2013

The Rev. Daniel Conlin, a St. Paul priest who fathered a child with a married woman, has been suspended from "his faculties as a priest" by the archdiocese, according to a fellow cleric.

"It is with personal and fraternal sadness that I write to you about the recent events concerning Father Daniel Conlin," Rev. Charles Lachowitzer, pastor at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Eagan, said in a letter Monday to parishioners and staff.

"His faculties as a priest have been temporarily suspended and for the time being, he is no longer able to exercise his public ministry," said the letter, posted on the church website.

Conlin, 51, did not immediately respond to a message left for him.

The Pioneer Press reported July 21 about Conlin's affair, his continued involvement with the child's family, the response by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the reaction of Conlin's former parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

When does our hope for Francis become denial?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jamie Manson | Jul. 31, 2013 Grace on the Margins

Full disclosure: I do not feel excited or hopeful about what Pope Francis said about women and gay priests during his epic press conference on the way home to Rome.

Now, wait. Before you click me off as a hater or an incorrigible pessimist or an angry feminist lesbian or another choice label, please understand this: I don't dislike Pope Francis.

I think he has an authentic warmth. I appreciate his desire to be among the people. I laugh at some of his jokes, and there are themes in his sermons that genuinely move me. I share his desire to break down clericalism and the injustices of capitalism, and I believe wholeheartedly in his vision of ecological justice.

More substantively than even all of this, I share with him a deep passion for the poor and marginalized. Like Francis, I, too, have my most vivid encounters with Jesus among those who are homeless, mentally ill, incarcerated or suffering with addictions.

But Francis and I part ways on the topics of women's equality and the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people in the church. The pope's statements on the plane only reinforced the depth of my disagreement with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Book Shows How a Revered Youth Group let Molesters Thrive

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

How does a pedophile join a youth group, molest kids despite warning signs and get everyone to keep quiet after he’s caught? Those questions are more are answered in the first book to examine how child molesters found success in one of America’s most revered youth organizations.

At a time of nonstop sex abuse scandals in churches, schools, youth groups and sports leagues, Scout's Honor examines the phenomenon of institutional sex abuse through one group: the Boy Scouts of America. The book’s mission: Explore how good people inadvertently enable child molesters at the expense of children.

To find the answer, a veteran journalist reaches back to the beginning of Scouting more than 100 years ago; combs through nearly 2,000 of the BSA’s “Confidential Files” on molesters, and thousands of documents from court files and historical archives; and talks with molesters, victims, parents, Scout officials, investigators and child abuse experts.

But Scout’s Honor is also a personal story. It delves into the life one on of Scouting’s most notorious sex offenders – tracing his struggles as a child victim, a gifted young man with a horrendous addiction, a patient crying to be cured, and a prisoner racked by guilt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

German seminary students expelled over anti-Semitic jokes

GERMANY
Expatica

Two Roman Catholic seminary students have been expelled for making anti-Semitic and racist jokes and attending a concert by a band accused of far-right ties, German bishops said Wednesday.

The decision came after an independent probe ordered by the German Church, which found wrongdoing by the students, who were not identified, but no evidence of a "right-wing extremist network" at the priest training college.

The bishops of the southern cities of Bamberg and Wuerzburg, Ludwig Schick and Friedhelm Hofmann, made the announcement in the wake of a scandal dating from May that was deeply embarrassing to the Church.

The report lists in detail incidents directly involving three students in a class at the Wuerzburg seminary, whose graduates go on to serve as priests in Wuerzburg and Bamberg.

"One student told at least three concentration camp jokes for fun," they said in a statement, based on the findings of a three-member external commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Brooklyn bishop named to lead Bridgeport Diocese

CONNECTICUT
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Brooklyn Daily Eagle & Associated Press

The new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport calls his new job "an awesome and exciting ministry" and is pledging to listen and learn about the needs of the diocese and collaborate with others.

The Most Rev. Frank Caggiano, an auxiliary bishop in Brooklyn, New York, will take over a post left vacant since the departure of Bishop William Lori, who was named Archbishop of Baltimore in March 2012.

The 54-year-old Caggiano praised Lori's handling of the sex abuse crisis and says all bishops have the same commitment to protect children but it takes time to rebuild trust.

Caggiano, who was ordained a priest in 1987 for the Diocese of Brooklyn, has served in a number of pastoral and administrative positions. He has been both a pastor and also responsible for the formation of men for the permanent diaconate. Since 2006, Caggiano has served as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Pope Francis Hand Picks New Diocese Of Bridgeport Bishop

CONNECTICUT
CBS New York

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport calls his new job “an awesome and exciting ministry” and is pledging to listen and learn about the needs of the diocese and collaborate with others.

Rev. Frank Caggiano, an auxiliary bishop in Brooklyn, will take over a post left vacant since the departure of Bishop William Lori, who was named Archbishop of Baltimore in March 2012.

Bishop Caggiano made a point of saying he’s eager to learn of all the good work done by the diocese since the taint of child sex abuse committed by priests decades ago still lingers.

The 54-year-old Caggiano praised Lori’s handling of the sex abuse crisis and says all bishops have the same commitment to protect children but it takes time to rebuild trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

NY- Dolan wins re: millions of dollars; SNAP responds

WISCONSIN/NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 31

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )

Cardinal Dolan and his colleagues have done what thousands of accused predator priests have done – exploiting legal technicalities instead of relying on the merits in cases involving child sex abuse and cover up.

And Dolan has just won.

Dolan acted legally, a Wisconsin judge says, when he quietly transferred $57 million into a cemetery fund as clergy sex abuse victims began suing.

That doesn't mean, however, that Dolan acted morally. We believe he did not.

There are ways to fight. Some fight fair. Some fight dirty. In this case, Dolan fought dirty. Sadly, he prevailed. And this decision will encourage other church officials to act irresponsibly in the future.

The losers are not just child sex abuse victims. All Wisconsin Catholics have lost here. A judge is telling them “You have no recourse. Your bishop can misuse your donations. And no judge can stop him.”

Had a judge used Sharia law to rule on behalf of a Muslim official accused of hiding funds, there would be an uproar. But that’s basically what’s happened here. This Wisconsin judge has essentially said that internal church or ‘canon’ law trumps secular law. And for that reason, Catholic bishops get to spend their wealth in any way they like, without ever having to be held responsible – or even be questioned – by anyone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Judge rules in favour of Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (WI)
The Tablet (UK)

31 July 2013

A federal judge has ruled that the US archdiocese of Milwaukee, which has filed for bankruptcy, cannot be forced to dip into a US$50 million trust fund it set up for the care of cemeteries in 2007 to pay for sex abuse claims.

Creditors of the archdiocese accused Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who was then the diocese's archbishop, of creating the fund to protect the archdiocese's money from abuse payouts. Judge Rudolph Randa yesterday said the archdiocese had a duty under canon law to use cemetery funds for their stated purpose.

Milwaukee cemeteries cover nearly 1,000 acres of land, in which more than 500,000 people are buried.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Former LCWR leader: Pope should open door to women priests

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jul. 31, 2013 NCR Today

A key former leader of U.S. Catholic sisters said Pope Francis should reconsider the Catholic church's ban on women priests, likening the male-only priesthood to "a form of inequality which is a form of idolatry."

Commenting to NCR on Francis' remarks on the papal plane Monday that the late Pope John Paul II had "definitively ... closed the door" to Catholic women priests, Mercy Sr. Theresa Kane said Francis has a chance to "begin a whole new movement and a whole new philosophy."

"John Paul II was definitive, but John Paul II is dead," said Kane. "You don't just bury it because John Paul II said it. I wonder what [Francis'] own feeling is."

Kane served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in 1979-80. During that time she made headlines across the world when she welcomed Pope John Paul II on his first visit to the United States in 1979 and pointedly asked him about the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

IOR launches website

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) On Wednesday the Institute for Religious Works – otherwise know by the acronym of its Italian title, IOR – launched its website: www.ior.va.

In an interview with Vatican Radio’s Bernd Hagenkord, IOR president Ernst von Freyberg spoke about the objectives of this new website.

“In May we said we would focus over the coming months on transparency and on the Moneyval process, that is the anti-money laundering obligations which the Vatican has accepted in the EU reparative framework."

“It is an important part of transparency to launch a website,” he said, explaining that its purpose “is to tell our customers, the Church, the interested public, what we are doing, how our reform efforts are progressing, and what the scope of our work is.”

Von Feyberg said that he and all employees have worked hard in recent weeks “to have the IOR as transparent, efficient, completely compliant institute following the highest regulatory and professional standards.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Vatican bank launches Internet site to publish balance sheet

VATICAN CITY
Gazetta del Sud

(updates previous with more quotes) Vatican City, July 31 - The Vatican bank, formally known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), has launched a new Internet site where it will publish its annual balance sheet, the head of the Vatican Bank, Ernst von Freyberg, told Vatican Radio Wednesday. "Our task is to run IOR in a way that it can respond to international norms, that it is a clean institute and one of service," von Freyberg said. The bank's head also said that new measures were aimed at giving Pope Francis "an option to decide the right formula for IOR".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Court says jailed prelate shows 'criminal behavior'

ROME
Gazzetta del Sud

Rome, July 31 - A court in Rome said that a Vatican prelate, a former Italian spy and a financial broker - each jailed for allegedly trying to smuggle 20 million euros into Italy - displayed "marked criminal behavior" and "common ruthlessness" in its assessment Wednesday of a decision not to release them. Giovanni Maria Zito, a recently transferred agent in the AISI domestic intelligence agency, financial broker Giovanni Carenzio and Monsignor Nunzio Scarano were detained June 28 in a probe over allegations they conspired to try to secretly repatriate the cash from Switzerland, allegedly the fruit of tax evasion by a family close to the prelate. A judge rejected their request earlier this month to move to house arrest. In its assessment of that decision, the court said the three showed the tendency to "manage people, institutions and things for their own personal gain".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

Vatican bank launches a website

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian (UK)

Lizzy Davies in Rome
theguardian.com, Wednesday 31 July 2013

It may seem a small step, but for an institution that has long clothed itself in secrecy it is billed as a giant leap. The Vatican bank has unveiled its own website.

As it battles internal strife, external criticism and existential threat, the establishment officially known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) says it hopes the new portal will boost transparency and improve its dialogue with customers and the public.

Visitors to the site can read about the bank's 71-year history, how many customers it has (18,900, as of last year), its employees (114), and its net profit for 2012, listed as €86.6m (£75.6m).

Opening hours and governance structure are also detailed, including the role of Monsignor Battista Ricca, the prelate chosen by Pope Francis to observe reforms, and around whom allegations of scandal brewed earlier this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Vatican bank opens website in transparency drive

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

ROME, July 31 | Wed Jul 31, 2013

(Reuters) - The Vatican bank opened its web site www.ior.va on Wednesday as it steps up efforts to improve its tarnished image after a succession of scandals and repeated criticisms of its lack of transparency.

Bank President Ernst von Freyberg told Vatican Radio the site would publish an annual report - the first time the bank has published accounts - and would provide information "on our reforms and the things we do in the world and how we support the Church and its mission and charitable works".

The bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), has been the target of several investigations by Italian magistrates, and European anti-money laundering committee Moneyval said last year it fell short of international transparency standards.

Pope Francis has appointed a special commission to provide proposals for the future of the IOR.

He said this week the bank must become "honest and transparent" and that he would listen to the advice of a commission on whether it can be reformed or needs to be shut down altogether.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

Bridgeport Diocese Has New Bishop: Frank J. Caggiano Of Brooklyn

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By BERNARD T. DAVIDOW, bdavidow@courant.com
The Hartford Courant
10:42 a.m. EDT, July 31, 2013

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport finally has a new bishop: Auxiliary Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, 53, of Brooklyn.

He replaces William E. Lori, who left to become archbishop in Baltimore in May 2012.

The diocese has scheduled a 10:30 a.m. press conference at the Catholic Center in Bridgeport to introduce Caggiano.

His Installation Mass is scheduled for Sept. 19, the Hartford Archdiocese said in a press release.

The pope announced Caggiano's appointment at 6 a.m.

Hartford Archbishop Henry J. Mansell issued a statement welcoming the news.

"With deep appreciation and elation we thank our Holy Father Pope Francis for his appointment of Bishop Frank J. Caggiano as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport (Fairfield County). Bishop Caggiano has established a distinguished record of achievement over the years since his ordination as a priest in 1987 in Brooklyn, New York, and his ordination as an Auxiliary Bishop in Brooklyn in 2006," Mansell said in a written statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Oklahoma Pastor Accused of Raping Teen Relative at Church Re-Arrested

OKLAHOMA
Christian Post

By Nicola Menzie , Christian Post Reporter
July 31, 2013

An Oklahoma pastor listed as the owner of a child care and learning center has been arrested a second time in relation to allegations that he raped and impregnated a 15-year-old female relative. The alleged sexual assaults occurred numerous times over the last year, including at the pastor's church, home, in a park, and a hotel, according to a police report.

Gregory Ivan Hawkins, 54, is the pastor of Zion Plaza Church in Tulsa, Okla., and has found himself behind bars again after posting a $50,000 bond in June when the allegations were initially made. Hawkins was reportedly re-arrested last week on charges of four counts of lewd molestation and two counts of rape. His bond has been set at $250,000.

The teen, who was 14 when the abuse started, informed police that Hawkins allegedly began molesting her in April 2012 with the latest time of contact being in January 2013. Investigators have said that the young girl provided recorded phone calls, in which Hawkins admits to having sexual intercourse with the girl because he thought she was "very sexy, attractive and beautiful," and apologizes several times. There were reportedly also text message exchanges between Hawkins and the girl that support her claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

CT- Victims react to new Bridgeport bishop

CONNECTICUT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: July 31, 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 )

We see no evidence that Bridgeport’s new bishop has shown any real courage or compassion in the church’s on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. The crisis has hit the Brooklyn diocese hard – it has 53 proven, admitted and credibly accused priests. We see no indication that during his 25 years in Brooklyn he took any steps that were any different from any Catholic priest anywhere. So we are not encouraged by his promotion.

In Bridgeport, there are 34 proven, admitted and credibly accused priests. Many of them are still alive, few of them are incarcerated, and most are likely living among unsuspecting neighbors. Alerting the public about the whereabouts of these potentially dangerous men should be Caggiano’s first act as Bridgeport’s bishop. Then, he should post their names, photos and whereabouts on the diocesan website and in parish bulletins.

Bridgeport parishioners have endured years of poor leadership. Complacency won’t reverse this. Connecticut Catholics must be vigilant and skeptical. Complacency protects no one. Vigilance is crucial.

Many will be inclined to give Bishop Caggiano the benefit of the doubt. That’s reckless. He’s been a priest for decades, during a crucial time in the church. But he seems to have done little or nothing to distinguish himself from a largely callous, timid and deceptive church hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

Former gay-priest in Argentina asks Pope to renew the Church’s moral teaching on sexuality

ARGENTINA
Vatican Insider

The Pope’s remarks about gays to reporters on the plane from Rio has triggered discussion worldwide, and led a former gay priest to write to him

GERARD O'CONNELL
ROME

Pope Francis’ remarks on gays, when he spoke to reporters on the plane returning from Rio, have sparked considerable discussion worldwide, and have been welcomed by many in the homosexual and lesbian community.

One member of that community, a former gay-priest from Mendoza, Argentina, Andres Gioeni, has written a letter to the pontiff urging him to “deepen the opening and renew the Church’s moral teaching on sexuality”.

He did so after hearing Pope Francis say, “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem ... they are our brothers."

Gioeni told La Nacion, the Argentinean daily paper that Francis reads: “I wrote to him because I believe there is a ray of hope in the response that he gave about not judging gays. I see humility and an opening in him”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

NSW Enquiry Rolls On (Or: The Money or the Cops)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The interesting evidence today at the NSW government enquiry into alleged cover-ups of child sexual abuse by members of the clergy in the Catholic Church’s Newcastle-Maitland diocese was given by Helen Keevers. She was head of the diocese’s child protection unit set up after the conviction of local paedophile priest Fr. Fletcher (see previous posting) in 2005.

Ms. Keevers was a church employee, as a social worker and non-Catholic, from 1978 to 2009. In her evidence, she was largely very supportive of the integrity of her former boss, Bishop Michael Malone (see previous posting). However, she did refer to Malone’s “inappropriate decision-making during the Fr. Fletcher matter.”

She was given access to confidential internal files on priests. She confirmed a previous witness’ claim that they were called the “bad priest files” (see yesterday’s posting), but thought this was “not particularly respectful.” When she began “digging in the files” she found “much more information and further evidence” against other priests. She described the McAlinden files as being 3-4 inches thick.

Ms. Keevers noted that: “On two occasions, I was denied access” to documents concerning the Central Clergy Fund. This file could have been interesting, and should be looked at again under the Royal Commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Thanks for nothing, Pope Francis

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sadhbh Walshe
theguardian.com, Wednesday 31 July 2013

It's hard not to be fascinated by the Catholic church's relatively new Pope Francis. From his opening act washing the feet of Muslim women prisoners (three no-no's in one) to urging young Catholics to break out of their "spiritual cages" and "make a mess" in their diocese, to his casual chat this week with reporters on the plane back from his triumphant trip to Brazil, this pope has demonstrated a charming willingness to shake up the conservative institution and to make it a more open and accepting place.

When it comes to making the church a more equal institution, however, where roughly half the population (that is women) are not actively discriminated against, Pope Francis is sadly proving to be as traditional and conservative as the best of them.

The big takeaway from the plane chat, or at least the big media takeaway, was the pope's acknowledgement that gay priests exist and that they have as much right to their affinity with God as their heterosexual counterparts. When asked about the so called "gay lobby" within the Vatican, the pope replied:

When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized.

Considering that his predecessor, Pope Benedict, declared in 2005 that men who had deep rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests, the new pope's words can at the very least be viewed as a step towards cementing gay men's rights to equal status and treatment by the church, including their right to be ordained. This step in the right direction would be easier to applaud, however, if it had not been followed by two steps backwards on the rights of women, straight or gay, to ever having a chance to enjoy the same equal treatment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

New York bishop named to lead Bridgeport Diocese

CONNECTICUT
Albany Times Union

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A bishop from New York has been named to lead the Roman Catholic diocese in Bridgeport.

Rev. Frank Caggiano, an auxiliary bishop in Brooklyn, takes over a post left vacant since the departure of Bishop William Lori, who was named Archbishop of Baltimore in March 2012.

Caggiano was ordained as priest in Brooklyn in 1987 and has served in a number of positions in that diocese, including Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia.

A news conference was scheduled Wednesday morning at Bridgeport's Catholic Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

New bishop named for Bridgeport diocese

CONNECTICUT
CT Post

Frank Juliano
Updated 9:30 am, Wednesday, July 31, 2013

BRIDGEPORT -- An auxiliary bishop in Brooklyn, N.Y. has been named as the new spiritual leader of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Pope Francis announced the appointment of the Most Rev. Frank J Caggiano, 53, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Bishop Caggiano succeeds The Most Rev. William E. Lori, who was named Archbishop of Baltimore in March 2012.

The Installation Mass for Bishop Caggiano will take place on Thursday, September 19. He will become in fifth bishop of the Bridgeport Diocese that was founded in 1953.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano is named Bishop of Bridgeport

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport

For live streaming of this Press Conference click here
Press Conference this Morning, Wednesday July 31, 10:30am at the Catholic Center, 238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport

July 31, 2013

At 12:00 noon, Vatican City Time on Wednesday July 31, 2013, (6:00am EST) his Holiness Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, announced the appointment of The Most Reverend Frank J Caggiano, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, as the Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport. Bishop Caggiano succeeds The Most Rev. William E. Lori, who was named Archbishop of Baltimore in March 2012. No date has been announced for the installation of Bishop Caggiano, 53, a native of Brooklyn. Until the installation of Bishop Caggiano, Monsignor Jerald A. Doyle will continue to serve as administrator of the Diocese, a post he had held since May, 2012. “The Diocese of Bridgeport welcomes the news of Bishop Caggiano’s appointment. The Holy Father has blessed us with a priest, pastor and teacher with extensive experience at every level of diocesan ministries. Most importantly, he is a man of deep faith, love for the Church and commitment to the Gospel. On behalf of the Clergy, Religious and Laity, we welcome him with open arms and with our prayers that God will bless him as the Shepherd of our diocese,” said Msgr. Doyle.

Biography of Auxiliary Bishop Frank J. Caggiano

On June 6, 2006, the Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn and Titular Bishop of Inis Cathaig by Pope Benedict XVI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following August 22 from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, with Bishops Thomas Daily and Ignatius Catanello serving as co-consecrators.

He was born in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn on Easter Sunday March 29, 1959, the second of two children of Arnaldo and Gennarina Caggiano, both of whom came to this country in 1958 from the town of Caggiano in the province of Salerno, Italy.

He grew up in Saints Simon and Jude Church and attended the parish’s grammar school. The bishop’s education continued at Regis High School in Manhattan, conducted by the Jesuits, where he was a member of the class of 1977.

Bishop Caggiano entered Yale University in September, 1977, as a political science major. After further discernment, he transferred into Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in January, 1978. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy in June, 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 31 July 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Ljubljana, Slovenia, presented by Archbishop Anton Stres, C.M., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Maribor, Slovenia, presented by Archbishop Marjan Turnsek, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- appointed Bishop Frank Joseph Caggiano as bishop of Bridgeport (area 1,621, population 955,000, Catholics 479,000, priests 272, permanent deacons 103, religious 362), U.S.A. Bishop Caggiano, previously auxiliary of Brooklyn, U.S.A., was born in Brooklyn, U.S.A. in 1959, was ordained to the priesthood in 1987, and received episcopal ordination in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

After Pope's statement, priest excommunicated for defending gays heads to court

BRAZIL
Folha

CRISTINA CAMARGO

Driven by Pope Francis' remarks in Brazil last week about homosexuals, former Brazilian priest Father Beto, excommunicated this April after statements in support of gays, has decided to go to court to try to void his exclusion from the Catholic Church. Roberto Francisco Daniel, 48, known as Father Beto, hired lawyers and filed a restraining order on Monday against the Diocese of Bauru (329 km or 204 miles) from Sao Paulo).

He questions the manner in which he was expelled from the church by a court in which, according to him, he attended without knowing what was going on and without any rights to counsel. "I was treated like an adolescent. I have been publically ousted," he says. "This lawsuit is also for every Brazilian that understands that no institution can do this to a person."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

GAY PRIEST ADDRESSES POPE'S AND CARDINAL DOLAN'S REMARKS ON GAYS

UNITED STATES
Towleroad

BY RJ AGUIAR

Pope Francis made remarks about gay priests and gay Catholics that generated a great deal of publicity on Monday. New York cardinal and archbishop Timothy Dolan subsequently made comments the following day that, according to some, attempted to backtrack on the Pope's message of tolerance and peace. It's not often that you find someone with a vested interest in both Catholicism and LGBT rights. Fortunately, HuffPost Gay Voices managed to find Father Gary Meier, an openly gay priest and author of the book Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest, and asked for his thoughts on the two potentially-conflicting messages spouted by both the Pope and Cardinal Dolan.

"I'm not the only gay priest," Meier began. "In fact, there are lots of gay priests in the clergy and in the Catholic church today." He went on then to explain that the Pope's original comments could potentially aid those gay members of the clergy who live life in fear of being exposed to their colleagues and congregations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Pedophile priest faces $3.1 million lawsuit

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

BY CHLOÉ FEDIO, OTTAWA CITIZEN JULY 30, 2013

OTTAWA — An 82-year-old pedophile priest is facing a $3.1-million lawsuit from the former Ottawa student he admitted to sexually abusing in 1974.

Now 55, the man who was molested in his sleep as a 16-year-old by Kenneth O’Keefe is also suing the Ottawa Catholic School Board and two other religious organizations associated with the priest for alleged inaction on the sexual abuse.

O’Keefe was a teacher, guidance counsellor and teacher at St. Pius X High School — what the man considered to be “the ultimate ecclesiastical and educational authority” when he was in Grade 11, according to a statement of claim filed in April.

When the teen confided to O’Keefe after a basketball practice one night that he had an argument with his parents, he was invited for a sleepover. It wasn’t until the teen arrived that he realized O’Keefe only had one bed, which was offered to him. He woke in the middle of the night to find O’Keefe’s hand in his underpants. The teen ran home and told his parents, who in turn notified the school, according to the claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Pope Francis - a wolf in sheeps clothing

SOUTH AFRICA
News 24

31 July 2013

Peter Allebone

Lately there has been an astounding PR campaign from the pontiff in order to claw back some of the Catholics who have begun to become disillusioned with their faith. While on the surface it appears to be a loving and inclusive doctrine, below the surface lies a hidden and immoral truth. I find this so repulsive, that it astounds me that so many people do not realise the Pope is peddling his message of lies, without notice.

The facts: So far we have seen the Pope declare seemingly that Homosexuality isn’t so bad with his famous quote “Who am I to Judge?” and that atheists can go to heaven with the paraphrased "Being an Atheist is alright as long as you do good”. In addition, how could we fail to forget his instance of carrying his own bag while travelling and his simple choice of clothing - shunning the fine raiment traditionally worn?

Who could hate such an accepting and revolutionary voice, so badly needed in the Vatican? We see people falling over themselves in an almost worship of this divine entity challenging false doctrine and commanding the perfect word of God. Big mistake. Big, big, mistake.

For when we step back, ladies and gentlemen, the majesty of his divine words began to reflect their shallow and hollow assertions. When we apply the mind of scepticism to his claims and dig below the surface, the putrid and rotting pestilence of his truth exposes its hatred once again. There is a disjointing as we look around and see the followers hearing his voice, only to fall prey upon each other starving for belief.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Police investigating abuse claims at Catholic boarding school

SCOTLAND
The Courier

Police have confirmed they are investigating claims of sexual and physical abuse by monks at a former Catholic boarding school in the Highlands.

Alleged victims who attended Fort Augustus Abbey school told a BBC Scotland investigation that they were molested and beaten by monks over a period of three decades from the 1950s.

It has also been claimed that abuse was carried out at Carlekemp, its feeder school in East Lothian. Both schools are now closed.

A police statement said: “Police Scotland Highland and Islands division are investigating historic reports of allegations of abuse from former pupils at the Fort Augustus Abbey school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

‘Abuse’ at monk school is probed

SCOTLAND
Scottish Sun

By LUCY CHRISTIE

COPS have launched a probe into claims pupils were sexually abused at a former Catholic boarding school.

Five alleged victims say they were molested or beaten by monks — including Australian Fr Aidan Duggan — from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Donald Macleod, a former pupil at Fort Augustus Abbey school in Inverness-shire, claimed he was raped by Fr Duggan — who died in 2004.

He told a BBC programme: “I was called into the headmaster’s office and he said he’d heard I’d been telling my parents about Fr Aidan and that I shouldn’t tell these lies and that it’s a mortal sin to lie about things like that.”

The documentary also uncovered allegations the school, run by Benedictine monks, was used as a “dumping ground” for problem clergy who confessed to abusing kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Monks abuse claims to be probed

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Wednesday 31 July 2013

David Ross
Highland Correspondent

Police have confirmed they are investigating claims of sexual and physical abuse by monks at a former Catholic boarding school for boys in the Highlands.

Fort Augustus Abbey School, at the south western end of Loch Ness, was seen as a prestigious place of learning for the sons of Roman Catholic families. However it closed in 1993.

Now former pupils have told a BBC Scotland investigation they were molested and beaten by monks over a period of three decades from the 1950s.

It has also been claimed that abuse was carried out at Carlekemp in East Lothian which acted as a preparatory school for Fort Augustus. It also closed.

A police statement said: "Police Scotland Highland and Islands division are investigating historic reports of allegations of abuse from former pupils at Fort Augustus Abbey school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Evidence uncovered in church archive about paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

The former head of the Catholic Church's child protection unit says she uncovered evidence about a Hunter Valley paedophile priest after being given access to the Church's archives.

Helen Keevers was the manager of Zimmerman House, which was set up to make it easier for abuse victims to come forward.

She has given evidence at the inquiry into claims the Church covered up abuse by two Maitland-Newcastle priests, Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher.

She told the Special Commission it "was not particularly respectful but the priests' confidential files were called the bad files".

Ms Keevers said the former bishop, Michael Malone, made it clear she could have access to any relevant documents she wanted, and he wrote a letter to strike force detectives stating they did not need a warrant and were welcome in the diocese at any time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

'Outsider' called in to help church deal with abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

The former head of the Catholic Church's child protection unit in the Hunter Valley says the bishop was keen to get advice from outside of the diocese.

Helen Keevers is giving evidence at the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating claims the church covered up abuse by paedophile priests James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden.

Ms Keevers used to be the manager of Zimmerman house, set up to make it easier for abuse victims to come forward.

She has told the inquiry during her four years as manager her team investigated seven members of clergy, four of which resulted in criminal prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

RCMP biased in investigating of allegations against John Furlong, lawyer says

CANADA
The Province

BY VIVIAN LUK, THE CANADIAN PRESS JULY 30, 2013

VANCOUVER - A lawyer representing two women who allege former Vancouver Olympic CEO John Furlong abused them while he was a teacher decades ago has launched a formal complaint, accusing the RCMP of being biased in their investigation of those claims.

In a letter this week written to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Jason Gratl accused Mounties of telling Furlong's lawyers one thing about the investigation and the media something else.

Gratl is representing Beverly Abraham and Grace West, who each filed lawsuits last week alleging Furlong sexually molested them when he was a teacher at a Burns Lake, B.C., school decades ago.

None of the allegations have been proven in court, and Furlong has yet to file a response to the women's statements of claim. However, in court documents filed last week related to a separate lawsuit, as well as in previous addresses to the media, Furlong denied such abuses took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Pope Francis in Context

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

Ross Douthat

The cycle is familiar: A pope says something about a controversial issue that doesn’t fit the media’s semi-informed preconceptions about Roman Catholic teaching, a firestorm of coverage follows, and then better-informed observers are left to pick up the pieces and explain that no, actually, the pope is just reasserting an idea — an openness to Darwinian evolution, the possibility that nonbelievers might go to heaven, pick your controversy — that the church already accepted or believed or allowed to be considered.

In the case of Pope Francis’s comments on homosexuality on the plane back from a wildly successful World Youth Day in Brazil, though, I have a little more sympathy than usual for the media reaction. Here’s what the pontiff said, per the Catholic News Service, in response to a question about sex scandals and a so-called “gay lobby” within the Vatican and the Roman Curia:

… Pope Francis said it was important to “distinguish between a person who is gay and someone who makes a gay lobby,” he said. “A gay lobby isn’t good.”

“A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will — well, who am I to judge him?” the pope said. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society. The problem isn’t this (homosexual) orientation — we must be like brothers and sisters. The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby.”

Now it’s certainly true, as a host of Catholic writers quickly pointed out, that this doesn’t depart from official church teaching on human sexuality, and indeed invokes the language of the Catechism (commissioned by John Paul II and overseen by Joseph Ratzinger, the future Benedict XVI) to make its point. Which, means, in turn, that a lot of the more breathless coverage has exaggerated the significance of the pope’s words, and overhyped the gap between what he’s saying and what his predecessors might have said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Wayne church member accused by youths of sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Main Line

By ROSE QUINN
rquinn@21st-centurymedia.com
@rquinndelco

An Upper Providence man is facing charges he sexually abused two young men who considered him a mentor, according to court documents.

David Sperry, 44, of the 100 block of Park Place, surrendered Thursday at Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division headquarters on 29 offenses relating to allegations made by the two alleged victims, now 21 and 18, who had been around the ages of 13 and 15 respectively when the alleged sexual abuse began.

Sexual contact with the 18-year-old occurred as recently as when he was 17, according to documents.

Documents do not indicate what prompted the victims to come forward, only that one of the victims was interviewed on June 10 — a week after his 21st birthday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Church 'inundated' with abuse complaints

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

AAP

THE Catholic church's Hunter Valley child protection unit was inundated by complaints of sex abuse by priests as soon as it was established in 2005, a NSW inquiry has heard.

"Frankly that took us by surprise," Helen Keevers, who helped set up the unit and managed it until late 2009, told the special commission of inquiry in Newcastle on Wednesday.

"Immediately we were inundated and were investigating seven clergy and four (of those sexual abuse investigations) resulted in criminal prosecutions."

Ms Keevers said the seven priests involved were additional to known Hunter Valley pedophile priests Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Scottish Catholic Church abuse probe spreads...

SCOTLAND/AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Scottish Catholic Church abuse probe spreads to Australia with two monks implicated

CHARLES MIRANDA IN LONDON NEWS LIMITED NETWORK JULY 31, 2013

A PROBE into claims of serious physical and sexual abuse at some of Scotland's most prestige Catholic boarding schools has moved to Australia with at least two Aussie monks implicated in the scandal.

And in an unfortunate twist, some of their victims who left Scotland to get away from the memories recently discovered they unwittingly had relocated to the same Australian cities as their former tormentors.

An investigation by the BBC has found systemic abuse and cover up at several Scottish boarding schools and in particular abuse by seven monks in the 1950s, '60s and '70s including Australian priest Father Aidan Duggan who allegedly abused five boys.

Fr Duggan returned to Sydney in 1974 and became a parish priest in Bass Hill after claims against him were made to his Benedictine order in Scotland. He died in 2004, but there is now evidence the claims were known but covered up by the church in the UK.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Editorial | A papal presser

UNITED STATES
The Courier-Journal

Many Catholics are a pretty demoralized bunch these days. And who can blame them?

They’ve endured horrific revelations of the child sexual abuse scandal, a church bent more on condemnation than compassion and a male-dominated hierarchy that seems fixated on women’s reproductive rights without giving them a voice in governance.

But suddenly, just five months into his papacy, Pope Francis has offered a refreshing new approach to Catholicism with his extraordinary and candid comments Tuesday, particularly regarding gays in the church.

“Who am I to judge them if they’re seeking the Lord in good faith?” he asked an astonished planeload of reporters returning with him to Rome from Brazil following his first — and wildly successful — foreign trip.

While not a change in church teaching, it is a dramatic shift in tone for the Roman Catholic Church that has condemned homosexuality as a moral evil and discouraged gay men from becoming priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Pope Francis in Brazil proved us right and Anne Lastman wrong.

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Paris Arrow

As feminists, we strongly disagree and defy Anne Lastman who uses women symbolism (Bride of Christ) to justify and cover-up the Catholic Church which is ruled only by males, the Popes and their Crimes and Vatican Evils for centuries, and the JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army – who are men only!! The Vatican Gay Lobby, only males, could also use her imagery very well, read more below.

Pope Francis’ rock-star World Youth Day in Brazil proved that we are right and Anne Lastman is wrong, very wrong. Pope Francis proved that Anne Lastman is misleading the world when she writes, “The Catholic Church…is a church limping towards Calvary, being spat upon, being vilified, despised. I would suggest that there is more to what we are seeing. We are seeing the crucifixion of the Bride of Christ just like the crucifixion of her Groom.” Anne Lastman’s Catholic Church amidst all those papal spectacles and political photo-ops with the poor (to segue attention away from secret Vatican Swiss Banks that oppress these same poor people) – was not “crucifixion” at all. Pope Francis, his Vatican entourage, those 3 millions of Catholics basking in the sun as they feasted and ate the cloned flesh of Christ definitely were not “a church limping towards Calvary, being spat upon, being vilified, despised”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

School principal rejects bishop’s testimony

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

By ELLE WATSON July 31, 2013

A Greta-Branxton Catholic school principal has rejected former Maitland-Newcastle Diocese bishop Michael Malone’s account of a 2002 meeting in which the bishop claimed he warned the principal to keep parish priest James Fletcher away from ­students.

William Callinan told the special commission of inquiry into alleged cover-ups of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, that he first heard of the alleged meeting when Bishop Malone called him “out of the blue” in March 2003.

The principal said Bishop Malone told him Fletcher should have been stood down earlier, that they (Callinan and the bishop) made a decision together in 2002 to keep Fletcher in the parish and instructed him to tell people Fletcher was sick and about to be stood down.

“I was in disbelief – I could not recall any conversation we had previously on the Fletcher situation ... I think I would have remembered it because it’s not often a bishop visits you,” Mr Callinan told the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Survivors paid silent price for 'healing': inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 31, 2013

SURVIVORS of clerical child sexual abuse were only offered ‘‘healing’’ – including the chance of financial settlements – if they signed a statement saying they were not going to the police, the Special Commission of Inquiry has heard.

Helen Keevers, who was chosen by Bishop Michael Malone to bolster the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s response to child sexual abuse by clergy, has given evidence on Wednesday about her time with the church, which ran from 1978 to 2009.

A counsel assisting the inquiry, Warwick Hunt, took Ms Keevers to a section in her statement – which was tendered and is likely to be made public later today – that related to changes to the church’s Towards Healing policy dating from 2003.

Previous church figures have given evidence to the inquiry that the church would not undertake its own investigation of child sexual abuse allegations against its clergy if the complainant had gone to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

CHURCH LAW NO PROTECTION: INQUIRY

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP
July 31, 2013

Catholic church laws dating back to the institution's inception no longer protect priests from civil and criminal law, a NSW inquiry has heard.

Nor does the church's canon law prevent sexual abuse allegations from being reported to police or condone the destruction of incriminating evidence, the special commission of inquiry being held in Newcastle heard on Wednesday.

The inquiry headed by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen is investigating claims by police whistleblower Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox that child sexual abuse allegations against Hunter Valley priests Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher were covered up by church leaders who were aided by a "Catholic mafia" within the police force.

Canon law expert and a former priest with the Sydney archdiocese, Dr Rodger Austin, said canon law that once afforded priests some protection from secular laws was superseded by new church codes in 1983.

Under questioning by a barrister assisting the commission, David Kell, Mr Austin said canon law and secular laws were now "interfaced", and while there could be conflict in some cases, "canon law does not prevent reporting (of sexual abuse by clerics) to police".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

July 30, 2013

Milwaukee Federal Appeals Judge...

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

Milwaukee Federal Appeals Judge, in stunning and dangerous reversal, rules that Catholic Canon law trumps US Federal law

[Cemetery Trust Transfer - All Documents - Archdiocese of Milwaukee via Jeff Anderson & Associates]

Read Judge Randa’s Order: Randa_Order_7-29-13

Milwaukee Federal Appeals Judge, in stunning and dangerous reversal, rules that Catholic Canon law trumps US Federal law

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee)
CONTACT: 414.429.7259

In a stunning written decision released today, Milwaukee Federal Judge Rudolph T. Randa has ruled that Catholic “canon law”, including beliefs in the “resurrection of the body,” are a sufficient basis to shield religious organizations from US civil judicial law.

Randa’s decision, which could have far reaching public policy implications beyond the issue of sexually abusive clergy, was a reversal of an earlier ruling by Bankruptcy Judge Susan V Kelley. Kelley ruled the archdiocese could not use 1st amendment protections to stop the court from examining the possibly fraudulent creation of a 57 million dollar “cemetery trust” by former Archbishop Timothy Dolan now Cardinal of New York.

Dolan created the trust before the archdiocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection in 2011. In a letter made public through the bankruptcy court earlier this month, Dolan wrote the Vatican to receive permission to transfer tens of millions of dollars into the newly created trust in order to keep the assets from victim/survivors, a criminal act under US Bankruptcy Law.

Randa, who makes no mention of the transfer or Dolan’s letter in today’s decision, much less of the 575 victims that have filed cases in the court, seems mostly concerned that scrutiny of the fund could create difficulties for the current Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki with the Vatican. “The Archbishop as Trustee may well face discipline and a religious penalty from the Church…if the Trust is legally compelled to cede all or part of the funds to the Estate…neither the debtor nor the Trust will be able to fulfill their obligations . . .consistent with Catholic doctrine and canon law.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 PM

More Catholic than the Pope

UNITED STATES
Foreign Policy

BY MICHAEL D’ANTONIO | JULY 30, 2013

When an estimated three million enraptured people gathered on Rio de Janiero's Copacabana beach on Sunday, July 28, Pope Francis's pilgrimage to Brazil suddenly went from big news in Latin America to huge news around the globe. The beachside Mass confirmed for the press corps his charisma and sent reporters scurrying for superlatives. The Guardian described the Pope's trip as "triumphant." The Wall Street Journal said he had received a "rock star reception." Al Jazeera's correspondent Lucia Newman declared the scene on the beach in Rio as "extraordinary."

Following the Copacabana Mass, Francis flew home to Rome aboard a chartered jet. After the plane leveled off at a cruising altitude, he wandered to the back of the cabin to mingle with reporters and conduct a press conference in the manner of a presidential candidate. The moment was unexpected, especially since the pope had previously declined all requests for interviews since taking office in March. But Francis was buoyant from the reception he had received in Brazil and, perhaps, emboldened to spend a bit of the capital he had accumulated.

No question was off limits and the reporters rose to the occasion, inquiring about controversies ranging from the Vatican Bank to gay priests in a Church that condemns homosexual activity. On that subject, Francis said, "If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem ... they're our brothers." It was the kind of statement -- humble, direct, and friendly -- that makes people feel he's like the priest who asks for second glass of wine at Sunday dinner and encourages you to have one too.

Even if Francis's olive branch toward homosexuals in the church falls short of a shift in substance, his words represent a major break with the church's long history of deep-seated social conservatism. While the Church still regards homosexual acts as sinful, no previous pope has offered a "who am I to judge?" response to the question of what to do with gay priests.

Indeed, under the reign on Francis's immediate predecessor, Benedict XVI, top church officials frequently blamed gay priests for the terrible sexual abuse crisis afflicting the church worldwide. Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana even suggested the church could benefit from the some of the anti-gay prejudice seen in his country, echoing similar sentiments expressed by churchmen in the U.S. In this context, Francis's comments about gay priests mark him as a very different leader who may be heralding the end of an era deep and abiding intolerance of homosexuality. (During his flight home Francis also said that the church needed a new theological perspective on the role and status of women. "Let us remember," he said, "that Mary is more important than the bishop apostles, so women in the church are more important than bishops and priests.")

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Tulsa pastor arrested again following additional charges

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By KENDRICK MARSHALL World Staff Writer on Jul 30, 2013

A Tulsa pastor who was charged earlier this month with allegedly impregnating a 15-year-old girl has been arrested again.

Gregory Juan Hawkins, 54, was booked into the Tulsa Jail Monday, jail records show. A judge had issued warrant for his arrest July 23 on four counts of lewd molestation and two counts of rape, according to an arrest report.

His bond has been set at $250,000.

Hawkins was jailed June 24 after a 15-year-old girl informed Tulsa police that he sexually abused her since April 2012 when she was 14. The girl also alleged Hawkins is the father of her unborn child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 PM

Judge shields Milw. Archdiocese cemetery funds from creditors

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WITI

Posted on: 2:08 pm, July 30, 2013, by Trisha Bee

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — On Tuesday, July 30th a U.S. District Court Judge ruled that the Archdiocese’s practice of putting a portion of the money received from cemetery lot and mausoleum sales into a trust could not be undone for the benefit of claimants in bankruptcy proceedings.

The judge ruled that removing some or all of these funds from the trust and placing them in the bankruptcy estate would undoubtedly put “substantial pressure” on Archbishop Listecki to “modify [his] behavior” and “violate [his] beliefs”.

This ruling comes on the heels of allegations of fraud against Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who was Milwaukee’s Archbishop when he told deposers he, with the Vatican’s permission, in 2007 transferred $57 million in Archdiocese funds into a cemetery trust.

The Milwaukee Archdiocese says the money was always designated for cemeteries, and in 2007, it was formalized into a trust.

Meanwhile, SNAP, the Survivor’s Network for Those Abused by Priests, claim Cardinal Dolan set up a cemetery trust to shield assets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Judge shields Wis. archdiocese fund from creditors

MILWAUKEE (WI)
San Francisco Chronicle

By DINESH RAMDE, Associated Press
Updated 2:39 pm, Tuesday, July 30, 2013

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee can shield more than $50 million from creditors in sex-abuse settlements because the money is in a cemetery fund protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom, according to a federal court ruling.

Sex-abuse victims have accused the archdiocese of shifting money into the fund to avoid having to pay them, while the archdiocese has said the money was always intended for cemetery care. A judge ruled Monday that Catholic cemeteries are sacred to believers, so setting money aside to maintain them represents the free exercise of religion.

The cemetery trust was formed in 2007 by then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, four years before the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection to deal with hundreds of sex-abuse claims. Dolan specifically wrote to the Vatican seeking permission to move $57 million into the trust.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said the trust was established for the perpetual care of cemetery sites and funded by sales of cemetery plots and mausoleums.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

In victory for Milwaukee Archdiocese, judge shields cemetery funds from creditors

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[Cemetery Trust Transfer - All Documents - Archdiocese of Milwaukee via Jeff Anderson & Associates]

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel July 30, 2013

In a major victory for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, a federal judge ruled that funds set aside for cemetery operations cannot be tapped to pay sex abuse settlements in the archdiocese's bankruptcy case.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa ruled that taking even a portion of the funds would violate the archdiocese's free exercise of religion under the First Amendment.

Randa issued the decision Monday in a lawsuit filed by the archdiocese to keep its cemetery trust from being tapped to pay sex abuse settlements in the bankruptcy. The ruling was made public Tuesday.

Randa's decision overturns a January ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley and remands the case back to her.

The archdiocese has about $53 million in funds in a cemetery trust created in 2007, from monies it said it held in trust on its books for decades. Victims have accused the archdiocese of moving the money into a trust to keep it from sex abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

CARDINAL DOLAN NOT IN JUDGEMENT OF ANTHONY WEINER, DELTA QUEEN RETURN, TODD AKIN

MISSOURI
Berger's Beat

. .Several weeks after it was announced during masses at his Lincoln County parish, Fr. Phillip Krahman’s sudden – and unexplained – resignation from Immaculate Conception church was noted in the latest edition of the archdiocesan newspaper. That’s the same small community where the alleged victim of recent child molestation by Fr. Joseph JIiang lives. Coincidence?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Michael Kelly: Pope's openness is not a prelude to changes in core Catholic teaching

IRELAND
Irish Independent

30 JULY 2013

When it comes to reporting on the Vatican, there are two constants these days: a whiff of sulphur around the Pope's bank and the alleged presence of a so-called gay lobby at the heart of the church's central administration.

Just as Pope Francis, below, flew to Brazil to celebrate World Youth Day with an estimated 3.2 million young Catholics, the respected Italian magazine 'l'Espresso' carried the front page headline 'La lobby gay' about the Vatican.

You don't have to be a scholar of Italian to work it out.

It is not surprising, then, that when the Pope held an impromptu press conference on board his plane on his way back from Brazil, the issue came up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Sex assault victim sues teacher, board for $3M

CANADA
CBC News

A 55-year-old sexual assault victim is suing a retired teacher, guidance counsellor and priest, Ottawa's Catholic school board and two other organizations for more than $3 million, claiming the organizations should have responded to an incident almost 30 years ago.

The man has filed a lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court claiming damages in relation to an incident when he was 16 years old involving former school teacher and priest Kenneth O'Keefe.

O'Keefe pleaded guilty to the 1974 incident in which the boy woke up to being sexually abused.

According to the statement of claim, O'Keefe offered his residence for the night after the boy had complained of an argument with his parents.

Now 55, the man is suing O'Keefe, the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic District School Board, the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Ottawa and the Basilian Fathers of Toronto for $3.1 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

What if Rosa didn’t take a stand?

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on July 30, 2013

In 1955, a woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her Montgomery, Alabama bus seat to a white man.

But on that day, she did not stand up and shout, “If ALL African Americans can’t have complete and equal rights and access, then NO ONE should get anything!”

Why? Because civil rights movements are intellectual, emotional and legislative wars, fought battle by battle. Rosa Parks could not win the war in one fell swoop. But she could win a battle.

Which brings us to California’s SB 131, the Child Victims’ Act. SB 131 opens a one-year civil window for victims to come forward in the civil courts to expose their abuser, get justice, and punish wrongdoers. The state had a similar bill in 2003, but because of last year’s California Supreme Court decision in the Quarry case, many victims were excluded, even if they had mountains of evidence.

This bill fixes that.

According to today’s editorial in the San Jose Mercury News:

Why should [a civil window] ever end? Why should those responsible for abuse get a pass if enough time goes by?

Yet opponents of the bill, including the California Catholic Conference, US Swimming, and CAPSO call the bill a “mockery of legal protection.” They claim that the bill creates two classes of victims, those abused in public institutions and those abused in private schools. And they are terribly wrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Vatican orders former priest to leave St. Vincent Archabbey

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Richard Gazarik

Published: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Vatican has ordered a former Benedictine priest and monk to leave St. Vincent Archabbey near Latrobe and has released him from his monastic vows for spreading false rumors about Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, according to the archabbey.

Mark Gruber has refused to vacate the abbey since June 30, 2012, when the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered him to spend the rest of his life in prayer and penance outside the abbey and relieved him of his priestly authority to say Mass, hear confession and administer the sacraments.

Gruber is no longer permitted to say he is a priest or to celebrate the sacraments in public, teach and have any contract with minors under the age of 18, according to a news release from the archabbey.

Then Pope Benedict XVI confirmed the ruling, according to the archabbey.

Gruber was an anthropology professor at St. Vincent College until he was relieved of his duties after a state police investigation found photos of naked men on his college-issued computer. A subsequent probe found no evidence of a crime, but Gruber was suspended from teaching and filed a defamation suit against the archabbey. He later dropped the lawsuit without explanation.

“The evidence against Rev. Gruber was judged to be irrefutable,” the archabbey's news release states. “The Congregation found him guilty of the more grave delict of possession of child pornography, the crime of the production of materials which gravely injure good morals, the abuse of the Sacrament of Confession with the aggravating factor of the manipulation of conscience, and the defamation of a legitimate superior.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Cardinal George’s Response to Questions Regarding Pope Francis’ Comments about Homosexuals

CHICAGO (IL)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago

July 29, 2013
Pope Francis, on his way back to Rome from the World Youth Day celebration in Rio, reaffirmed the teaching of the Catholic faith and other religions that homosexual genital relations are morally wrong. The Pope also reaffirmed the Church’s teaching that every man and woman should be accepted with love, including those with same sex orientation.

The Archdiocese of Chicago sponsors the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach (AGLO) for openly gay people. It also sponsors Courage for those who are quietly homosexual. Both ministries make available the sacraments of the Church for those who want to live chastely as followers of Christ in the Church. Judgments about individual guilt are settled in the sacrament of reconciliation, according to Catholic pastoral practice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Retired priest in Pembroke, Ontario faces sex assault charges

CANADA
Sun News

KELLY ROCHE | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA - A 72-year-old priest has been charged in connection to a historical sex assault.
The alleged assault happened in 1985 while Howard Chabot was serving at Holy Name Parish in Pembroke, ON.

Chabot is charged with one count each of sexual assault and gross indecency.

"The Diocese of Pembroke prays that the truth concerning this matter may be brought to light and extends support to any parties concerned in this case," the Bishop of Pembroke, the Most Reverend Michael Mulhall, said in a statement.

The diocese said it is co-operating with police "and will encourage and support the healing process for all parties concerned following the resolution of the case."

Chabot, of Arnprior, ON, was ordained in 1968 and retired from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Pembroke in 2005 due to coronary artery disease.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Costa Rica- Pastor charged with 22 counts of sexual abuse

COSTA RICA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday July 30, 2013

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director, 314-862-7688 SNAPdorris@gmail.com

A Costa Rican pastor has been charged with 22 counts of sexual abuse of three adults and one minor.

A. Gutiérrez, a pastor at Iglesia Dios del Evangelio Completo in Santa Cruz, denies all charges despite victims’ testimonies. Gutiérrez has been released despite prosecutors request to be placed in detention while awaiting trial set for three months from now.

We encourage the leaders of Iglesia Dios del Evangelio Completo to inform their parishioners the former pastor’s charges and forbid him from interacting with all members of the church, not just the victims as instruction by the judge.

We urge any other victims or witnesses to come forward with more information in order to help put Gutiérrez in prison safely away from children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

The latest - and weirdest - arguments against SOL reform

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY BARBARA DORRIS ON JULY 30, 2013

It boggles my mind, but it's clear that some value the reputations of a few adults over the safety of many kids. This includes many who oppose reforming the child predator's best pal - the statute of limitations.

UCLA professor Stephen Bainbridge seems to be one such misguided individual. But instead of trotting out the usual stale arguments, Bainbridge has come up with a few new, and bizarre claims about why SOL is allegedly so terrible and why, he opposes California's SB 131, a measure we support.

[Professor Bainbridge]

Here are a couple of Bainbridge's odd notions.

1. Bainbridge writes "As time goes by, the likelihood increases that an offender has reformed, making punishment less necessary.

Really Professor? Where's the data? I suspect you may be right about car jackers and pick pockets (who rely on their physical strength and speed to succeed). But I also suspect you're dead wrong about child molesters (who rely on their experience and cunning to succeed). Many child sex offenders "improve" with age, learning better how to painstakingly spot and carefully groom and slowly molest kids. And I've seen no proof that somehow, the passage of time magically cures a compulsive, serial child predator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Days of reckoning for the high and mighty

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY DAVID CLOHESSY ON JULY 30, 2013

After of our annual conference (which was, by the way, a smashing success), I came home to a short stack of unread New York Times. Two stories in last Saturday's edition struck me.

One featured this headline: "France Orders Strauss-Kahn to Stand Trial." The one-time potential presidential candidate faces "charges linked to his involvement in a prostitution ring prosecutors say was operating in France and in the United States." Along with "a small group of French businessmen and police officials," Strauss-Kahn stands accused of pimping, or “aggravated procurement in a group,” a charge that "carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of 1.5 million euros," about $2 million.

[New York Times]

I'm reminded of Martin Luther King's contention that "the moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice."

The other article featured this headline: "San Diego Mayor Says He Will Go Into Therapy." It described how seven women have now reported that they were sexually harassed by Mayor Bob Filner who is struggling in the face of "a flood of demands that he step aside."

Whether he's ousted or not, the Filner case shows that ever so slowly, more who have been sexually victimized are finding the courage to step forward.

[New York Times]

Another King quote comes to mind: "No lie lives forever."

However belatedly and inadequately it's happening, I'm encouraged that the high and mighty - in both the secular and religious worlds - are increasingly being held to account for sexual wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Police probe Fort Augustus Abbey monk abuse claims

SCOTLAND
BBC News

Police have confirmed they are investigating allegations of abuse by monks at a former Scottish Catholic boarding school.

It follows a BBC Scotland investigation which uncovered evidence of 30 years of physical and sexual abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey in the Highlands and its East Lothian prep school.

The Benedictine order which ran the schools has apologised to any victims.

Fresh claims of abuse have now emerged since the programme aired on Monday.

The documentary has also prompted calls for more support for victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Benedictine order plans inquiry into Scotland schools child abuse scandal

SCOTLAND
The Guardian

Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent
theguardian.com, Tuesday 30 July 2013

Senior figures in the Benedictine religious order are planning their own inquiry into harrowing allegations that monks sexually and physically abused dozens of boys at two schools in Scotland.

Police in Scotland have launched an investigation into disclosures by former pupils at Fort Augustus in the Highlands and Carlekemp Priory school near Edinburgh that monks subjected them to systematic violence and sexual assaults, including claims that one now deceased monk raped five boys.

Dom Richard Yeo, the head of the UK's largest Benedictine group of congregations, said he had already been contacted by detectives from Police Scotland over the allegations, detailed in a BBC Scotland documentary on Monday.

In May the Observer revealed that a police investigation had begun into Fort Augustus after one pupil, Andrew Lavery, accused monks there of "systematic, brutal, awful torture", which included being locked alone for days at a time in a room.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Police to investigate monk abuse claims at former Catholic boarding school

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Police have confirmed they are investigating claims of sexual and physical abuse by monks at a former Catholic boarding school in the Highlands.

Alleged victims who attended Fort Augustus Abbey school told a BBC Scotland investigation that they were molested and beaten by monks over a period of three decades from the 1950s.

It has also been claimed that abuse was carried out at Carlekemp, its feeder school in East Lothian.

Both schools are now closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Former Fort Augustus Abbey pupil tells of 'violent' whipping

SCOTLAND
BBC News

Fresh claims of abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey Catholic boarding school in the Highlands have emerged following a BBC investigation.

Another former pupil at the school has told the BBC he was "violently abused" and tortured by monks there.

Tim Coppin said he studied at Fort Augustus from 1960 until 1965.

"The main thing was whipping by the teachers, by the monks themselves," he told BBC Radio Scotland, in an interview to be broadcast on Newsdrive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Anti-LGBT Cardinal Dolan: Pope didn’t actually mean to change policy on gay priests

UNITED STATES
The Raw Story

[Click here for the story.]

By Arturo Garcia
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cardinal Timothy Dolan appeared to be trying to walk back recent comments by Pope Francis regarding gay priests in a CBS News interview Tuesday morning, explaining to hosts Gayle King and Charlie Rose that the pontiff’s refusal to judge them did not signal a change in Catholic Church doctrine.

What the pope was saying, Dolan told Rose, was that, “While certain acts may be wrong, we will always love and respect the person and treat the person with dignity,” describing an intersection between church doctrine regarding the “immorality” of sex outside marriage and acceptance of believers regardless of sexual orientation or other social factors.

On Monday, the pope told reporters during a flight out of Brazil that gay members of the church must not be marginalized, saying, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?”

Dolan, who was criticized earlier this year for sermons focusing on “traditional marriage” amid an increase in anti-LGBT attacks in the New York area, emphasized throughout the discussion that Pope Francis was striking a new tone in his presentation of the church’s teachings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

NSW Enquiry Concludes (Or: Good Priest – Bad Priest)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The Newcastle-Maitland diocese kept “good priest files” and “bad priest files”, according to Elizabeth Doyle, who was secretary to Bishops Clarke, Malone and Wright over the past 20 years. A quirk of the English language means that the reference could be to good files and bad files or good priests and bad priests. Ms. Doyle would choose the former interpretation.

In her early days, Ms. Doyle did not have the trust of Bishop Clarke. She told the enquiry that “she had no recourse to the files but believed they were all stored in the one cabinet upstairs in Bishop Clarke’s office.” Apparently, he took the distrust to extreme lengths. He never discussed such matters with her, typed some of his own letters, did his own filing and she never opened any letters addressed to him.

It must have been a classic “light duties” job for Ms. Doyle, with the Bishop doing most of the work. This cushy position apparently came to an end when Bishop Malone arrived and gave her charge of the filing cabinet. The good priest files where at the front, and the bad priest files were at the back. Not much to remember there.

Speaking of memory, Fr. Burston returned to the enquiry after several days of “stress leave” resulting from having to face the reality that victims tend to be a bit upset with people like him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

NSW Enquiry – The Employees’ Testimonials (Or: Better Retired Than Fired)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Mr. Will Callinan, a school principal in the Newcastle-Maitland Catholic diocese, has told the NSW enquiry that he did not challenge an “untruth” by Bishop Malone, because he feared he would lose his job. The threat of unemployment appears to come up now and again in the context of the enquiry, especially from the father of a victim.

Malone, the enquiry has earlier heard, claimed to have notified Cullinan about a local abusive priest, which Cullinan disputes. Cullinan said that Bishop Michael Malone had known, in June 2002 that Father James Fletcher was the subject of child sex abuse investigations, but that the bishop did not tell him about the allegations until March 2003, just before charges were laid. He said he had heard a rumour from someone he could not remember in early June 2002 that Fletcher was being investigated.

The Cullinan and Malone accounts vary greatly. So greatly, that it was reported that cross-examination of Cullinan by Malone’s lawyer, Simon Harben, was described as “robust”.

For example, Cullinan said he was “in disbelief” when Bishop Malone referred to a conversation Malone claimed to have had with him concerning Fletcher, in June 2002. Cullinan said that Malone did not inform him of anything about Fletcher until almost a year later, in a telephone conversation. Cullinan told the enquiry that “He never had a conversation with me (on June 20, 2002) or sought advice (from me) whether Father Fletcher should stay in the parish.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

Pembroke priest charged in alleged 1985 sex assault

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

BY MEGHAN HURLEY, OTTAWA CITIZEN JULY 30, 2013 1

OTTAWA — A Pembroke priest faces charges in a historical sexual assault.

The charges were laid after the victim made a complaint to police about an alleged sexual assault in 1985.

Police arrested Father Howard Chabot on Monday and charged him with sexual assault and gross indecency.

Chabot was released from police custody on a promise to appear in court on Sept. 3.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Eastern Ontario priest faces sex charges in 1985 incident

CANADA
CBC News

A Pembroke, Ont., priest faces two charges including sexual assault in connection with an incident in 1985.

Ontario Provincial Police said a complainant came forward in regards to the incident in Pembroke 28 years ago.

Rev. Howard Chabot, a retired Catholic church priest, was charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of gross indecency.

He was released with a promise to appear in Pembroke court on Sept. 3.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Vatican bars Benedictine priest who taught at St. Vincent College

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

July 30, 2013

By Ann Rodgers / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Vatican forcibly removed a priest who had been an anthropology professor and popular speaker at St. Vincent College from ministry and barred him from his Benedictine order, according to an announcement today from St. Vincent Archabbey.

The announcement from the archabbey did not focus on its previous allegations that Rev. Mark Gruber had pornography on his computer.

Instead it stressed that the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had reviewed evidence that Mr. Gruber was behind allegations, widely disseminated on a Web site, that Archabbot Douglas Nowicki had sexually harassed a young former monk.

The announcement said that the former monk has since signed a sworn statement saying that his allegations against the archabbot were a lie and that then-Father Gruber had written parts of the statement for him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Demon rum: Study finds alcohol may release aggression in religious individuals

UNITED STATES
Association of Religion Data Archives

By David Briggs

Mixing religion and alcohol may be dangerous to other people’s health.

A new study of religion, alcohol and violence revealed that religious folks who were not under the influence were the most likely to turn the other cheek.

However, the researchers also found that religious individuals who were intoxicated were the most likely to display aggression, administering higher and longer levels of electric shocks to opponents in a laboratory experiment.

The study by the University of Kentucky’s Aaron A. Duke and Peter R. Giancola, published in the latest issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, adds new insight into the complex relation between religion and aggression.

Religious beliefs and practices in general are associated with more compassionate behavior toward others. A review of the scientific literature by Duke and Giancola found that a majority of survey studies showed religion was associated with lower levels of aggression. In particular, some studies indicated religious individuals are less likely to commit crimes, and that faith may be associated with lower rates of domestic violence.

But there are also times when religion is linked to more aggressive behavior. For example, biblical admonitions warning parents that if they spare the rod, they will spoil the child appear to be associated with higher rates of corporal punishment among religious conservatives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

Gary Meier, Openly Gay St. Louis Priest, Reacts to Pope Francis's Remarks on Homosexuality

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Riverfront Times

By Jessica Lussenhop Tue., Jul. 30 2013

Father Gary Meier has apparently become the nation's spokesman for gay clergy.

When Daily RFT reached Father Gary Meier yesterday afternoon he was waiting for a car service to pick him up and take him to a television studio for a satellite interview with CNN.
"I don't like the cars," he grumbled, saying he prefers to drive himself.

Meier has been inundated with interview requests ever since Pope Francis gave a surprising response to reporters who asked him, essentially, what his views are on homosexual priests.

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" the Holy Father answered in Italian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Subway Icon Dr. Jonathan Zizmor Calls Accused Y.U. Abuse Rabbi 'Best Teacher'

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger
Published July 30, 2013, issue of August 02, 2013.

To millions of New Yorkers, Jonathan Zizmor is the don of dermatology. But to some victims of sex abuse, Zizmor is the donor who established a scholarship in their alleged molester’s name.

Zizmor, who is renowned across New York City’s five boroughs for his campy subway advertisements promoting cosmetic procedures, gave $250,000 to Yeshiva University High School for Boys in 2002 to endow the Rabbi Macy Gordon Scholarship.

Gordon is one of two rabbis accused of molesting students at the Y.U.-run high school, according to a lawsuit filed July 8 in U.S. District Court. Nineteen former students accuse Y.U. administrators and staff of covering up physical and sexual abuse at the school.

Three of the former students say that Gordon, a Talmud teacher, abused them. One of those men, who says Gordon sodomized him with a toothbrush, “experiences extreme emotional distress whenever he sees” [Zizmor’s] name on the subway,” according to the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Critics press Ottawa to recognize wrongs against First Nations as genocide

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jul. 30 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

First Nations leaders and human rights experts will press the federal government to recognize that Canada’s historical treatment of native people, including nutrition experiments conducted on children at aboriginal residential schools, constituted a genocide.

Phil Fontaine, a former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Bernie Farber, a social activist who is the former executive director of the Canadian Jewish Congress, and Michael Dan, a former neurosurgeon turned philanthropist, have been talking with native leaders about the need for Canada to admit that the word applies to the cumulative actions taken by the government against First Nations.

As early as this fall, they could ask the United Nations to apply its definition of genocide to Canada’s historical record. This push comes five years after Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized on behalf of the Canadian government for the treatment of children at aboriginal residential schools.

Mr. Fontaine said he has been trying to elevate the issue so that more Canadians become aware of the history of the First Nations. He said he hopes that the government does not force native leaders to pursue the matter in the courts or at the UN.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

FRANCIS SPEAKS TO JOURNALISTS ON BOARD PAPAL FLIGHT

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vatican City, 30 July 2013 (VIS) – On the return flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome, Pope Francis spoke for around an hour and half with the journalists accompanying him on his journey. The questions and answers were all impromptu, and the Pope answered all the questioned posed, on matters ranging from his personal security to his relationship with the Roman Curia, his trip to Brazil, his collaboration with Benedict XVI and the situation of divorced and remarried persons.

Francis said he was happy with his first trip abroad as Pope, commenting that it had brought to the fore “the goodness and the suffering of the Brazilian people ... the Brazilian people are warm-hearted, they are an amiable people … who even in suffering always find a way to seek out the best from all sides. And this is a good thing: they are cheerful people who have suffered much … This trip has been very good; spiritually, it has done me good … meeting people always does good, as in doing so we receive many good things from others”.

With regard to matters of security, he commented that there had been no incident during his visit to Rio de Janeiro, and that everything had been spontaneous. “With less security, I was able to stay with the people, to embrace them, greet them, without armoured cars … it is the security of trusting in people … yes, there's always the danger of encountering a madman, but then there is always the Lord who protects us, isn't there? It is also madness to separate a bishop from his people, and I prefer this madness”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Sodom, homosexuality, drone strikes and prayer

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Jul. 29, 2013 NCR Today

Last Sunday I preached in San Francisco on prayer. I think that was a good pastoral decision. People said they liked the homily, but I keep wondering if perhaps it was just a copout to avoid more controversial topics.

To understand my dilemma, you have to remember that the first reading was from Genesis 18 where Abraham argues with God over the destruction of Sodom. The reading led me to think about preaching on homosexuality—for about a nanosecond. I did not think I had anything new or interesting to say. Plus there is probably not a person in San Francisco who has not made up his or her mind on this topic. O yes, did I mention that the pastor was raked over the coals in the blogosphere and reported to the archbishop for saying something nice about homosexuals last month.

Then there is the scholarly debate over whether the sin of Sodom was sexual or whether it was a sin against hospitality to strangers. Abraham and Sarah had recently shown hospitality to three strangers and were rewarded with a pregnancy. The same three men go to Sodom, where they are welcomed by Lot and his family, but the locals want to have sex with them. When Lot tries to protect his guests, the crowd turns on him since he is not a real citizen but a “resident alien.” Lot’s guests end up saving him by pulling him into the house and closing the door.

Lot is so protective of his three male guests that he offers the mob his two virgin daughters instead. You don’t have to be a feminist to think that offering your daughters to a mob to be gang raped is a horrible idea. Later, these same daughters get their father drunk and have sex with him to “ensure posterity by our father.” Maybe I should have preached on the corrupting effect of patriarchal culture.

In any case, on the topic of homosexuality, I could not have said it better than Pope Francis did on the plane on the way back from Rio to Rome. When asked about the “gay lobby” in the Vatican, he responded:

"When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem ... they're our brothers."

Since gay priests have been falsely blamed for the sexual abuse crisis, the pope’s statement is very significant. In 2005, the Vatican issued a document saying that men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be ordained or allowed in the seminary. Most interpreted this to mean that someone with a homosexual orientation could not be a priest even if he were celibate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Pope Francis a Sexist? Read His View on Controversial Women Priests, Received Negative Reactions on Twitter

International Business Times

By emil samaniego | July 30, 2013

Aboard the Papal aircraft, Pope Francis in a press conference said that the Church's door is closed for a female priest.

This is the first time the Pope publicly talked about the topic.

"We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more," the Pope said.

"But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says no. Pope John Paul said so with a formula that was definitive. That door is closed," he said referring to a dictum of late Blessed John Paul II saying the ban was an infallible teaching of the Church.

With a wave of feminism creeping in the Catholic Church, many argued that it is time that the Church gives women a higher leadership position. However, the Church stands on its belief that Jesus only willingly chose males as his apostles. Proponents of female priests argued that Jesus only acted in accordance to the context of his time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Style matters

VATICAN CITY
The Economist

ON the lips of a more worldly sort of cleric, the pope's comparatively generous comments (by recent Vatican standards, at least) about homosexuals might have been taken as a calculated move. "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?" That was the disarming rhetorical question which Pope Francis put to journalists accompanying him back from Brazil; it prompted reports of a major shift in the church's attitude to same-sex relations. While carefully citing the church's catechism, he also said gays should be "integrated" into society rather than marginalised.

The church does not, of course, make major doctrinal refinements in off-the-cuff remarks to the press. Other procedures exist for that. And the reason the question even arose has to do with some very awkward news reports over the past month. One of Italy's best-known church-watchers has asserted that Pope Francis was trapped, in effect, by the gay lobby into naming a prelate with a very murky personal life to a job that would supposedly involve cleaning up the troubled Vatican bank. Pressed about this matter, the pontiff said he hadn't come across any specifically "gay lobby" although there were plenty of other lobbies of "greedy people" in sight. A "quick investigation" had found the allegations about the newly appointed cleric to be unfounded, he insisted.

To a cynical mind, the pope's headline-catching refusal to judge gay people might sound like an artful way of neutralising the most embarrassing saga that has come to light during his young papacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Dissident priest says reformers hopeful, but unsure of Pope Francis

COLORADO
The Denver Post

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post

Pope Francis set the world debating whether his candid and concilatory remarks Monday on gays and women in the Catholic Church represent a new direction or simply a kindlier tone.

Archdiocese of Denver spokeswoman Karna Swanson said the pope's comment — "who am I to judge" gay clergy — was "definitely not a departure" from Catholic teaching. It has always called for respect and compassion for those with same-sex attractions, she said, but doesn't sanction homosexual acts.

Others aren't so sure the remarks don't foreshadow change.

Reformist Roman Catholic Austrian priest Helmut Schüller, in Denver Monday calling for an end to the global priest shortage through ordination of married men and women, also supports a more open and inclusive church for the LGBT community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

How Religious Indoctrination Enables Clergy Abuse

UNITED STATES
Atheist Revolution

This will be a short post because I really just want to highlight something I read at Bitchspot, which I think is important. Cephus (Bitchspot) has been writing a weekly series of "Horror Show Sunday" posts in which he focuses on some of the worst religion has to offer. In today's installment, Horror Show Sunday: Take Those Little Girls Home, he tells us about Nigerian pastor Fidelis Eze and how he has admitted taking two 11 year-old girls home and having sex with them. Pastor Eze first claimed that the 11 year-olds consented to sex. When police did not buy that, he claimed he was possessed by evil spirits.

The part I want to highlight is what Cephus had to say to those who complain that it is unfair for him to pick on clergy. As someone who addressed clergy abuse, I've certainly received this same complaint. It usually goes something like this: "People in many professions abuse children, so why do you focus on clergy as if it is somehow worse when they do it?" Well, because it is worse when they do it.

Cephus provides three reasons why it makes sense to consider clergy abuse as a special category:

1. The clergy is taught to be respected across wide swaths of American life, parents teach their children to listen to, respect and obey their priests and ministers and to turn to them in moments of crisis, both religious and physical. True, this respect and obedience also extends to a select few other occupations like police, firefighters and teachers, but they do not share other detrimental aspects.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

David Kramer, Jewish School Teacher Guilty of Molestation in St. Louis, Jailed in Australia

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Riverfront Times

By Sam Levin Thu., Jul. 25 2013

Update below: David Kramer, a Jewish school teacher who pleaded guilty to child molestation in St. Louis in 2008, has been sentenced for additional molestation charges -- this time in Melbourne, Australia.

St. Louis advocates are drawing attention to the sentencing on the other side of the world this week, in part because Kramer, 52, could be out of jail in just three months -- a development victims' groups say is troubling, in a case in which a convicted child sex offender in Missouri was extradited to Australia.

"He could face other charges. And if he doesn't, he could walk free soon and assault more children," Barbara Dorris Outreach Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), says in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

People v Sam Kellner...

NEW YORK
Charles Hynes Watch

People v Sam Kellner: Motion to Dismiss in the Interest of Justice

On July 26, 2013, the Law Offices of Michael G. Dowd, representing Sam Kellner in the much publicized case brought against him by DA Hynes, filed a motion to dismiss in the interest of Justice.

Click here to read and download the motion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

PRIEST DENIES WITHHOLDING ABUSE CLAIMS FROM POLICE AT NSW HUNTER VALLEY ABUSE INQUIRY

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Dan Cox, ABC
Updated July 29, 2013

A New South Wales Hunter Valley Catholic priest has rejected claims at a public inquiry that he held back information from police because child sexual abuse allegations are "damaging and distasteful".

Father Bob Searle was the parish priest at Nelson Bay, north of Newcastle, in the late 1990s.

In giving evidence to a Newcastle inquiry today, he said he remembered a person known as AH, a victim of paedophile priest James Fletcher, coming to the presbytery one night drunk and angry and yelling out "nobody loves me".

Police whistleblower Peter Fox has said that, at the time, Father Searle told him AH was also yelling about priests "doing filthy things to little boys", but it was not included in his statement to police.

Father Searle said that was because he never heard the comments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Australian priests accused of UK abuse

AUSTRALIA/SCOTLAND
SBS

[with video]

A retired Australian priest is at the centre of an investigation accused of allegedly molesting young boys in the UK.

Those allegations come from some of the former students at a private boarding school in Scotland.

Donald Mcleod attended the Fort Augustus Abbey School in Scotland almost half a century ago, but that experience continues to haunts him today.

He told the BBC that he was repeatedly molested by one of the monks - Australian father Aidan Duggan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Two Australian monks accused of sex abuse at Scottish Catholic boarding school

AUSTRALIA/SCOTLAND
ABC News

An investigation is underway into a retired Australian priest who is alleged to have sexually abused a student at a Scottish Catholic boarding school.

Father Denis Alexander has been identified in a BBC documentary as one of two Australian monks who allegedly abused pupils at Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands.

The Catholic Church in Australia has confirmed a police investigation into the former priest, who is now living in Sydney, is underway.

But the church has not confirmed the nature of the allegations.

The BBC investigation outlines an allegation from a former student who says he was abused by Fr Denis, then known as Fr Chrysostom, in 1977.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Scottish Police probe Catholic school abuse claims

SCOTLAND
Fox News

LONDON (AFP) – Police are investigating claims of physical and sexual abuse at one of Scotland's best known Catholic boarding schools.

The probe follows a BBC investigation which gathered evidence from former pupils at the now-closed Fort Augustus Abbey School and its preparatory school Carlekemp, run by Benedictine monks.

The programme, "BBC Scotland Investigates: Sins of Our Fathers" -- which was aired Monday -- spoke to 50 pupils and obtained evidence of abuse spanning 30 years.

Police Scotland told AFP that the BBC handed over their information on Sunday and that it was "something that we are investigating at the moment".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Inquiry: Davoren cross examined

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

John Davoren of the Catholic church’s Professional Standards Office has come under intense cross examination by counsel for the police force Wayne Roser.

At the special commission of inquiry in Newcastle on Tuesday morning, Mr Roser took Mr Davoren through a series of documents prepared in conjunction with complaints against serial paedophile the late Denis McAlinden.

Mr Davoren accepted that complaints were made to the church about McAlinden before 1997 but he had no knowledge of events that took place before he started his job in that year.

Showing Mr Davoren a complaint form filled out in relation to McAlinden, Mr Roser suggested the form was never sent to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Catholic priests must have sex – Amekudzi

GHANA
Vibe Ghana

Legal practitioner, Benony Tony Amekudzi of “amicus curiae” fame says the Catholic Church must allow Priests to marry and copulate as a way of stopping the sexual abuse of young boys in the Church.

The Catholic Church has always been engrossed in allegations and accusations of sodomy against some Priests.

Not even the Papacy at the Vatican has been spared the raft of sodomy and sexual abuse allegations.

Mr. Amekudzi told XYZ News in an interview on Saturday July 27, 2013 that he strongly believes doing away with the oath of celibacy in the Catholic Church will go a long way toward ending the sexual abuse cases.

According to him, God gave a “command to man and woman to procreate” and so Catholic Priests and Nuns must be allowed to obey that biblical command.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Inquiry: McAlinden report 'sent to police'

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 30, 2013

THE former head of a Catholic Church unit set up to handle complaints of clerical child sexual abuse has ‘‘categorically’’ denied not sending a 1999 complaint form about serial paedophile Denis McAlinden to the police.

John Davoren, director of the church’s Professional Standards Office from its inception in 1997 until 2003, was questioned on Tuesday at the Special Commission of Inquiry sitting in Newcastle.

After giving evidence-in-chief before senior counsel assisting the inquiry, Julia Lonergan, Mr Davoren was cross-examined by various counsel including Wayne Roser for the NSW Police.

Mr Roser put it to Mr Davoren that a clerical child sexual abuse form filled out in his name in relation to McAlinden was not sent to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Upper Providence mentor accused by youths of sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

By ROSE QUINN
rquinn@delcotimes.com
@rquinndelco

An Upper Providence man is facing charges he sexually abused two young men who considered him a mentor, according to court documents.

David Sperry, 44, of the 100 block of Park Place, surrendered Thursday at Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division headquarters on 29 offenses relating to allegations made by the two alleged victims, now 21 and 18, who had been around the ages of 13 and 15 respectively when the alleged sexual abuse began.

Sexual contact with the 18-year-old occurred as recently as when he was 17, according to documents. ...

The 21-year-old man said he first met Sperry in 2004 or 2005, when they were both members of The Church of the Savior in Wayne, according to the affidavit penned by Kelly. The affidavit does not depict Sperry as having any role with the church, only that he and the 21-year-old victim had met there as members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Principal not told about Catholic abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A pedophile priest continued to teach reading at a Hunter Valley Catholic primary school for nine months despite church leaders knowing he was under police investigation, an inquiry has been told.

Will Callinan - the principal of Saint Brigids Primary, Branxton, and Saint Mary's, at Greta - made the claim before a special NSW commission of inquiry on Tuesday.

He said police told Maitland/Newcastle diocese Bishop Michael Malone in June 2002 that Father James Fletcher was the subject of child sex abuse investigations, but the bishop did not tell him about the allegations until March 2003, just before charges were laid.

He said he had heard a rumour from someone he could not remember in early June 2002 that Fletcher was being investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Detienen a pastor evangélico de Santa Cruz sospechoso de abusos sexuales a sus feligreses

COSTA RICA
La Nacion

DANIELA CERDAS E. - Actualizado el 24 de julio de 2013

Un pastor evangélico de Santa Cruz en Guanacaste, de apellido Gutiérrez, fue detenido esta mañana tras vincularsele con denuncias de abuso sexual contra tres personas mayores de 18 años y una denuncia contra un menor de edad.

Al sospechoso se le mantiene detenido en la delegación del Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) de Liberia, luego de que fuera a rendir su indagatoria tras ser citado, producto de las denuncias interpuestas el 17 y 15 de junio anterior.

Álvaro Guevara, abogado defensor del pastor, dijo que Gutiérrez niega todos los hechos que se le acusan y que no hay prueba más que los testimonios de los denunciantes. El Ministerio Público valora la posibilidad de medidas cautelares.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Guanacaste pastor charged with 22 counts of sexual abuse

COSTA RICA
Tico Times

The Costa Rican Prosecutor’s Office last week announced criminal charges against a Guanacaste pastor on 22 counts of sexual abuse allegedly involving three adult victims and one minor.

The charges, made public last Wednesday, range over a six year period from 2007 to 2013. The suspect, identified as A. Gutiérrez, was an evangelical pastor at the Iglesia Dios del Evangelio Completo in Santa Cruz, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.

According to the daily La Nación, the pastor’s defense attorney said his client denied all charges. A spokeswoman for the Prosecutor's Office said Gutierréz could face up to 50 years in prison if found guilty on all counts.

La Nación reported the testimony of one of the alleged victims, a Nicaraguan man who said the relationship with Gutierréz began when he sought private counsel as a member of his congregation. The man alleged that Gutierréz touched his genitals in an act of blessing them 80 times, performed oral sex on him, and circumcised him with a pair of scissors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Australian Monks Sexually Abused Students at Scottish Catholic Boarding School (Video)

AUSTRALIA/SCOTLAND
International Business Times

By Athena Yenko | July 30, 2013

Two Australian monks were found guilty of sexually abusing their students at the now close Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands and its feeder school at Carlekemp in east Lothian.

The acts of sexual abused happened several decades ago, but it was only during this time that BBC Scotland was able to unearth details of the monks' dirty secrets through an investigative documentary to be shown on July 29, 21:00 (GMT) on BBC1 and BBC iPlayer.

The accused Australian monk was Father Aidan Duggan who taught at the school back in 1953 and 1974.

The victim who was willing to share his dark past with the monks is Donald Macleod who was a student at the school in 1961. Father Duggan was his piano and photography teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Police investigate Australian priest over Scottish abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA/SCOTLAND
ABC News

[with audio]

A six month investigation by the BBC has found a multitude of allegations of sexual and physical abuse over 30 years at the prestigious Fort Augustus Abbey School in Scotland. Two Australian men are at the centre of the allegations, including one who's been suspended from the Catholic Church pending an investigation.

Transcript

ELEANOR HALL: The ABC understands that New South Wales Police officers are investigating claims of overseas child sexual abuse levelled at a retired priest in Sydney.

A BBC documentary, aired today, alleges the priest committed the abuse when he was teaching at the Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Scottish Highlands during the 1970s, and then escaped punishment by transferring to Australia.

The Church in Australia says it's suspended the priest, pending an investigation, as Ashley Hall reports.

ASHLEY HALL: For more than 100 years, devout Catholics in Scotland entrusted their children to the care of the men of God at the prestigious Fort Augustus Abbey School. Located in the Highlands on the banks of Loch Ness, the boarding school seemed to represent an idyllic childhood.

It's been closed now for about 20 years, but for some of its students what happened there is still fresh in their minds, and it was far from idyllic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Sydney priest charged over child pornography

AUSTRALIA
News Mail

A SYDNEY Catholic priest has been charged with child pornography offences.

Detectives executed a search warrant about 10.45am on Monday at a presbytery in Sydney before arresting a 56-year-old man at the premises.

A number of items were seized, including a computer and electronic storage devices, for forensic examination.

The man was taken to The Rocks Police Station and charged with four counts of use a carriage service for child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Catholic priest arrested and charged over child porn

AUSTRALIA
Daily Examiner

Jessica Grewal 30th Jul 2013

A CATHOLIC priest is the latest man to be arrested by child abuse detectives investigating an online pornography ring.

The 56-year-old was arrested a Sydney presbytery where police seized his computer and a number of electronic storage devices.

He was given strict bail conditions and will front court on August 26 charged with four counts of using a carriage service for child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Sex abuse row at Carlekemp Priory School

SCOTLAND
Edinburgh Evening News

by David O’Leary
david.oleary@edinburghnews.com
Published on the 30 July 2013

EVIDENCE of physical and sexual abuse has been uncovered at one of Scotland’s most prestigious Catholic boarding schools.

Accounts of abuse spanning 30 years have been revealed at Carlekemp Priory School in North Berwick, which served as a feeder for Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands. Both schools are now closed.

The claims emerged following an investigation by the BBC, which said it had spoken to 50 former pupils about their experiences at the schools, which were run by Benedictine monks.

The head of the Benedictines, Richard Yeo, has apologised to victims.

In a programme broadcast last night, it was revealed that testimony was given against seven Fort Augustus monks, while two headmasters were also accused of covering up the abuse.

Five men told of being raped or sexually abused by Father Aidan Duggan, an Australian monk who taught at Carlekemp and Fort Augustus between 1953 and 1974.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

July 29, 2013

TWO AUSTRALIAN MONKS ACCUSED OF SEX ABUSE AT SCOTTISH CATHOLIC BOARDING SCHOOL

AUSTRALIA/SCOTLAND
7 News

ABC
Updated July 30, 2013

Two Australian monks have been accused of sexually abusing pupils at a Scottish Catholic boarding school over a period spanning three decades.

Evidence of abuse at the now-closed Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands, and its feeder school at Carlekemp in East Lothian, was uncovered by the BBC.

BBC Scotland spoke to 50 former pupils about their experiences at the schools, which were run by Benedictine monks.

The investigation contains accounts from five men who say they were raped or sexually abused by Father Aidan Duggan, an Australian monk who taught at the schools between 1953 and 1974.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Abuse claims at former Catholic boarding school

SCOTLAND
BBC News

TV DOCUMENTARY
Sins of Our Fathers will be broadcast on BBC1 Scotland on Monday 29 July at 21:00

By Mark Daly
BBC Scotland Investigations Correspondent

A BBC investigation has uncovered evidence of serious physical and sexual abuse at one of Scotland's most prestigious Catholic boarding schools.

Accounts of abuse at the now-closed Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands and feeder school Carlekemp in East Lothian span 30 years.

The BBC has spoken to 50 former pupils about their experiences at the schools, which were run by Benedictine monks.

The head of the Benedictines, Dom Richard Yeo, apologised to any victims.

The programme, BBC Scotland Investigates: Sins of Our Fathers, contains testimony from former pupils, speaking openly, and for the first time, about life with the monks.

Many said they had nothing but good memories of the place but during the six-month investigation, the BBC also heard accounts from old boys of physical violence and sexual assault including rape by monks at the fee-paying schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

'Sins of Our Fathers': The testimony

SCOTLAND
BBC News

[Abuse claims at former Catholic boarding school]

[BBC tracks down paedophile priest]

Accounts of serious physical and sexual abuse at one of Scotland's most prestigious Catholic boarding schools are to be broadcast in a BBC documentary.

'Sins of Our Fathers' will reveal that some pupils were abused at the now closed Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands, and Carlekemp Preparatory School in East Lothian, over a period spanning three decades.

Two of the school's headmasters, Francis Davidson and Augustine Green, have been accused of covering up the abuse.

The BBC has spoken to 50 former pupils about their experiences at the schools, which were run by Benedictine monks. Many said they had nothing but good memories of the place, but others had a very different experience. Here is some of that testimony. ...

DONALD MACLEOD

Donald arrived at Fort Augustus from Sydney in Australia as a 14-year-old, in the early 1960s.

He was struck by the remoteness of the school, situated on the banks of Loch Ness, and felt lonely "being stuck way out in the middle of nowhere".

"I don't suppose you could be sent much further away," he said.

The new entrant was befriended by Fr Aidan Duggan, an Australian monk who lived at the abbey and taught at the attached school.

"He offered to give me some rudimentary help with the piano," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Scottish police probe claims of abuse

SCOTLAND
NEWS.com.au

SCOTTISH police are investigating claims of physical and sexual abuse at one of Scotland's best known Catholic boarding schools.

The probe follows a BBC investigation which gathered evidence from former pupils at the now-closed Fort Augustus Abbey School and its preparatory school Carlekemp, run by Benedictine monks.

BBC Scotland Investigates: Sins of Our Fathers, to be broadcast on Monday -- spoke to 50 pupils and obtained evidence of abuse spanning 30 years.

Police Scotland told AFP that the BBC handed over their information on Sunday and that it was "something that we are investigating at the moment".

The head of the country's Benedictines, Dom Richard Yeo, apologised to any victims.
"I want to say that I'm very sorry about any abuse that may have been committed at Fort Augustus," he told the BBC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

Head of Benedictines apologises over abuse

SCOTLAND
BBC News

[with video]

29 July 2013

The Abbot President of the Benedictines, which ran Fort Augustus, has apologised to any victims of child abuse, after the BBC uncovered evidence of serious physical and sexual abuse at the boarding school.

Accounts of abuse at the now-closed Fort Augustus Abbey School, in the Highlands, and feeder school Carlekemp, in East Lothian, span 30 years.

Dom Richard Yeo said his organisation made mistakes in dealing with allegations of child abuse and it should not have happened.

BBC Scotland Investigates: Sins of Our Fathers will be broadcast on BBC One Scotland on Monday 29 July at 21:00, and for a week afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Former head of Catholic Church's Professional Standards Office continues evidence

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The former head of the Catholic Church's Professional Standards Office has told an inquiry into Hunter Valley sexual abuse people are encouraged to take allegations against clergy to police.

John Davoren is a former priest and social worker.

In the 1990s he was in charge of the church's Professional Standards Office in NSW, which in 1996 developed the policy document 'Towards Healing' in response to its poor handling of sexual abuse complaints.

Mr Davoren will this morning continue giving evidence at the inquiry which is investigating claims the church covered up abuse by two priests.

Late yesterday he told the commission people who came forward with sexual abuse allegations against a priest were "encouraged to go to police".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Ex-pupils allege they were raped and abused by monks at schools in Scotland

SCOTLAND
The Guardian

Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent
The Guardian, Monday 29 July 2013

Dozens of pupils at exclusive Roman Catholic boarding schools in Scotland have alleged they were sexually and physically abused by monks, one of whom allegedly raped at least five boys.

Nine Benedictine monks who taught at the Fort Augustus Abbey school in the Highlands and its preparatory school in East Lothian have been accused of repeatedly beating, sexually assaulting and verbally abusing boys in their care over several decades.

One monk, Father Aidan Duggan, who taught at Fort Augustus and Carlkemp prep school, which both closed in the 1990s, was accused by five ex-pupils of raping and sexually abusing them, but they claim their allegations were ignored and rejected by two headteachers, according to the BBC.

Duggan, an Australian, died in 2004 after returning to become a parish priest in Sydney.

Another priest, Father Chrysostom Alexander, now 77, is also alleged to have abused one pupil at the Fort Augustus school in the 1970s.

Alexander, also an Australian, returned to work in Sydney and has now been suspended by the Catholic church after he was challenged about the allegations by a BBC journalist. Alexander did not respond to the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

CATHOLIC PRIEST CHARGED OVER CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AFTER RAID ON PRESBYTERY

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC
July 30, 2013

A Catholic Priest has been charged with child pornography offences after a raid of a Sydney presbytery.

Detectives from the Sex Crimes Squad's Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) went to the presbytery on Monday morning at about 10:45am with a search warrant.

They arrested the 56-year-old man and seized computers and storage devices for examination.

The priest was taken to The Rocks Police Station and charged with four counts of using a carriage service for child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

East Windsor Teen's Bail Reduced After Accuser's Arrest On Federal Charges

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By DAVID OWENS, dowens@courant.com
The Hartford Courant
July 30, 2013

HARTFORD — An East Windsor teen who has been jailed since his arrest June 7 on charges that he manufactured bombs and planned a prank at his high school, had his bail reduced Monday in Superior Court in Hartford.

Bail for Kyle Bass had been $750,000, but Judge Joan K. Alexander reduced it to $350,000 after arguments by Bass' lawyer, Jeremy Weingast, and comments by prosecutor Robin Krawczyk. The judge also gave Bass a 10 percent option for bail, meaning his parents could post $35,000 with the court clerk to have him released.

Bass was arrested after an East Windsor priest contacted police about weapons and explosives Bass possessed. The Rev. Paul Gotta also told police and federal authorities that Bass made troubling comments.

Monday, Krawczyk said Gotta's credibility is now in question because of the priest's arrest on federal firearms charges. Since most of the allegations against Bass were from Gotta, the state's case has been weakened, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Catholic Priests: It's 'Empirical Fact' That Many Clergy Are Gay

UNITED STATES
U.S. News and World Report

By ELIZABETH FLOCK
July 29, 2013

Gay and straight priests alike are cheering Pope Francis's comments about homosexuality in the priesthood, saying gay priests make up a significant segment of the Catholic clergy and deserve papal recognition.

On a plane from Brazil Monday, Francis told reporters that, "if someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"

It's a comment that stands in stark contrast to the policy of Francis's predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who signed a document in 2005 that said men with strong gay tendencies should not be priests.

According to Father James Bretzke, a professor of moral theology at Boston College, Francis's comments aren't a fundamental change in the church's teaching, but represent a much-needed shift in attitude that reflects the reality of the priesthood.

"It's an empirical fact that lots of men are gay who are priests. And they are very good priests," he says. "I would also observe that the numbers of gay men and women in the church ministry is probably larger than the general population, precisely because they are not seeking marriage."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Mercury News editorial: Bill would allow victims of child abuse to seek justice

CALIFORNIA
Mercury News

Mercury News Editorial
POSTED: 07/29/2013

Pope Francis made two statements of historic proportion Monday.

He said of gays: "If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency (to be homosexual) is not the problem. They are our brothers."

What a heartening declaration from the Roman Catholic pontiff. We hope it helps open the minds of some vocal Christians opposed to gay rights.

We also were heartened to hear the pope carefully distinguish between being gay and being a predator. Chastising reporters for dwelling on possible homosexual affairs by priests, he said they are matters of sin -- not crimes like sexually abusing children.

It is a distinction that opponents of gay rights often blur, and the pope's reminder is timely. His church in California is strongly opposing a bill by State Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, that would help victims of abuse. SB 131 should be approved as quickly as possible, and Gov. Jerry Brown should sign it.

Current state law allows childhood victims to sue abusers or abusers' employers until age 26, or three years after psychological problems have been linked to the abuse. Beall wants victims to have another chance: SB 131 would open a one-year window Jan. 1, 2014 to file suit. One year is the most that victim advocates think can pass -- partly because of intense lobbying by the church and some non-profit organizations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Francis the Radical?

The Daily Beast

by Barbie Latza Nadeau Jul 29, 2013

The pope's comment that he wouldn't 'judge' gay priests seemed to augur a new era of inclusiveness from the church. But it may have been just the same old doctrine with a softer tone. By Barbie Latza

Just when you thought Pope Francis didn’t have any more surprises up his sleeve, there he goes again. On the papal flight back to Rome after a raucous reception for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, Francis gave an 80-minute Q&A session to journalists in which he seemed to soften the church’s stance on homosexuality in the priesthood. While stopping short of endorsing gay marriage, he did say something a pope has never said before. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” he asked. By any previous standard of measure, judging is exactly what a pope is supposed to do. Apparently not so with Pope Francis—at least for now.

It seems all the hype about the evils of homosexuality was lost during the transition between now-retired Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor. Certainly the message has been rewritten. In 2005, Benedict signed a far-reaching document banning men with “deep-rooted homosexual tendencies” from the priesthood. Francis has not exactly reversed the church’s stance, but the fact that he does not support automatically banning gays from the priestly vocation is a major step—or at least a great headline. In fact, everything Francis says and does is making news. Just four months into his pontificate, he is being touted as revolutionary and radical, shunning the lavish papal vices and rewriting the rules on how popes rule.

But those who know the church best caution that the pope’s rock-star popularity is vaguely familiar, and that four months is not long enough to make a legacy. “It reminds me of John Paul II in 1978,” says Vatican expert and National Catholic Reporter correspondent John Allen, who was in the press area of the papal plane when Francis came back to chat. “He was also a pope who changed the way the papacy had been run; he was on the cover of magazines; he was a revolutionary, too. But it didn’t take long to see that it was just a change in the style of delivering the message, not changing the message at all.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

What Pope Francis said, and meant, about gays

UNITED STATES
Los Angeles Times

By Michael McGough
July 29, 2013

In an interview with journalists on his flight back to Rome, Pope Francis said: “When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem.... They're our brothers.”

Journalists and commentators -- Roman Catholic and non-Catholic, conservative Catholic and liberal Catholic -- quickly chimed in.

My colleague Tracy Wilkinson wrote: “The church has traditionally labeled homosexuality a ‘disorder’ and under Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned in February, men with ‘deep-seated tendencies’ toward homosexuality were to be barred from the priesthood. Francis’ comments seemed to back away from an absolute ban.”

The conservative National Catholic Register interpreted the pope’s comments more cautiously but with a bit of concern: “Taking his statements together, what emerges is a portrait of individuals who have same-sex attraction but who nevertheless accept the Lord and have goodwill, as opposed to working to advance a pro-homosexual ideology. This would definitely include people with same-sex attraction who strive to live chastely (even if they sometimes fail). It also, possibly, could include individuals who are not living chastely but who are not actively lobbying a homosexual agenda.” The Register added: “It would be nice if he'd said a little more to clarify the point further.”

Ross Douthat, the conservative Catholic New York Times columnist, tweeted: “Conservative Catholics suggesting there's no news in the pope's remarks are parsing the words, downplaying their context and spirit.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Reaction is mixed reaction in Montreal after pope reaches out to gays

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

BY MONIQUE MUISE, THE GAZETTE JULY 29, 2013

MONTREAL - Gay-rights activists in Montreal reacted with a mixture of jubilation and caution on Monday after the head of the Roman Catholic Church stunned a plane full of reporters by declaring that he would not judge priests for their sexual orientation.

On an overnight flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome, Pope Francis defied centuries of anti-gay rhetoric within the church when he publicly declared that “if a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?”

The pontiff then went a step farther, saying that every human being deserves respect, whatever their sexual orientation.

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says (homosexuals) should not be marginalized because of this (orientation) but that they must be integrated into society,” he said, speaking in Italian.

Martine Roy, president of Montreal-based advocacy group Fondation Émergence, was stunned by the pope’s words.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Video of the Pope’s ‘Gay Lobby’ Remarks

The New York Times

[with video]

By ROBERT MACKEY

During a news conference on his flight back to Rome from Brazil on Monday, Pope Francis was asked about his much-reported acknowledgement last month that there is “a gay lobby” inside the Vatican hierarchy.

“Quite a lot has been written about the gay lobby. I have yet to find someone who introduces himself at the Vatican with an identity card marked ‘gay,’” the pope joked. “But we must distinguish the fact that a person is gay from the fact of lobbying, because no lobbies are good.”

“If a person is gay,” he added, “and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

As my colleague Rachel Donadio explains, the pope’s remarks seemed startling to some observers since his predecessor, Benedict XVI, wrote in 2010 that men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not become priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

We experimented on children!

CANADA
The Canadian Jewish News

Avrum Rosenweig

There needs to be a concerted effort in Canada to write and teach the real history of native Canadians – in the public and private school systems, from the pulpits and at the crossroads of every small and large community.

As it stands, your average “Joe and Mary Canadian” is making no effort to discover the truth, and that’s a problem.

That means Canadians, by and large, aren’t entirely aware of who we are as a people, so our self-identity is limited. Yet when we punched the living crap out of native Canadian children in residential schools, the grimy mud and blood stains stayed on our shirts. They need to be cleaned.

The worst part of it is that those kids lying on the roadway as adults, crushed in more ways than one, can’t get up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Give aboriginal abuse victims role in court case, NDP says

CANADA
CBC News

Advocates for victims of residential school abuse say their voices are not being heard in a court case that's to decide what to do with documents from an investigation of the alleged abuse.

The federal government has asked the courts for help in deciding what to do with the documents, which stem from a police investigation into abuse at a residential school in northern Ontario.

The government wants a legal opinion on whether the documents can be released to Ontario Superior Court, which is overseeing implementation of a settlement of a class-action lawsuit against Ottawa.

But the victims need to be represented in Ontario court, and the federal government should ensure they have legal counsel present, says New Democrat MP Charlie Angus.

"For this legal opinion to be valid, the survivors have to be there," Angus told a news conference Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

One Rabbi's Uphill Battle Against Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Shawn Ahmed

I first met Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz in a hotel lobby three years ago. He overheard me talking about my Muslim faith and the charity work I do and randomly approached me. We've been friends ever since.

Last year, when I was forced to come out as gay, I surprisingly found my friendship with this ultra-orthodox conservative Hasidic Rabbi strengthened. The rabbi showed me greater empathy, understanding, and compassion about why I accepted my sexuality and why I had to come out publicly than even my own family.

More recently, partly in response to recent national media attention on the matter, Rabbi Berkowitz has become extremely vocal about addressing suspicions and concerns of sexual and other forms of abuse within the Hasidic Jewish community.

Unfortunately for Rabbi Berkowitz, this will be an uphill battle. I know this first hand after I was confronted with evidence that my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend) watched and possessed child pornography, had sexual fantasies involving children, and had relations with at least one minor as an adult.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Abp. Vigneron Bans Dissident Schüller from Detroit Archdiocese

MICHIGAN
The Cardinal Newman Society

July 29, 2013, at 2:27 PM | By Matthew Archbold

Following the lead of Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Archdiocese of Detroit has banned Austrian priest Father Helmut Schüller from speaking at Catholic institutions, according to The Detroit Free Press.
Fr. Schüller is reportedly “irritated” by the response he has received from the Church.

In 2011, Fr. Schüller of Austria led a movement that issued a “Call to Disobedience,” which advocated for the ability of divorced and remarried Catholics to receive sacraments as well as the ordination of women and married men. Currently, Fr. Schüller is touring the United States on what’s called “The Catholic Tipping Point” tour, which is being sponsored by organizations such as Call to Action, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Dignity USA, Future Church, New Ways Ministry, Women's Ordination Conference, and Voice of the Faithful among others.

In June, Cardinal Sean O’Malley barred Fr. Schüller from speaking in a parish in the Archdiocese of Boston. Earlier this month, after being alerted to an event that was to be held at the Catholic Chestnut Hill College, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia requested that the college cancel the appearance because Fr. Schüller’s presence there would “damage the unity” of the Church. Sadly, the college refused and was the only Catholic institution in the country to host Fr. Schüller’s tour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Sisters, woman priest, church reformers among Schüller's Cincinnati crowd

OHIO
National Catholic Reporter

Laurie Petrie | Jul. 29, 2013

CINCINNATI
During his U.S. speaking tour, Austrian priest Fr. Helmut Schüller learned an expression that was new to him: "elephant in the living room."

In Detroit, where he spoke before arriving here Saturday, he met with a group of reform-minded priests who have adopted the expression as their name.

"I like this so much," Schüller said, "that I will bring it back to Europe to help articulate what the problem is."

One problem of which Schüller is well aware is that U.S. priests face a different situation than those in his country. There, in 2006, he and fellow clergy members founded the Austrian Priests' Initiative to spur open discussions about problems in the Catholic church and later gained international attention with their "Call to Disobedience."

"[U.S.] priests are dependent on the bishops for their livelihood, so one has to be cautious," Schüller said in an interview before his talk. "But I am encouraging the priests to speak out and to risk some conflicts with the bishops, to stand with the people of God, to take sides and risk some conflicts."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Pope Francis talks to press about Benedict XVI, Vatican Bank and 'gay lobby'

Rome Reports

[with video]

July 29, 2013. (Romereports.com) While on his way to Brazil, Pope Francis promised journalists, a press conference on his way back to Rome. Despite being tired, he kept his promise. For an hour and 22 minutes, he held a press conference, where nothing was off limits. For the first time he talked about controversial issues like the role of women in the Church, the Vatican Bank and he even talked about the so called 'gay lobby.'

POPE FRANCIS
“Quite a lot has been published about the gay lobby. I have yet to find someone who introduces himself at the Vatican, with a 'gay ID card.' In these situations, it's important to distinguish between a gay person and a gay lobby, because having a lobby is never good. If a gay person, is a person of good will who seeks God, who am I to judge? The catechism of the Church explains this very beautifully. It outlines that gays should not be marginalized.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Chicago Cardinal George: no red carpet for Schüller

CHICAGO (IL)
National Catholic Reporter

Robert McClory | Jul. 29, 2013 NCR Today

Cardinal Francis George was much distressed last week when he was told that the Association of Chicago Priests had invited its members to attend a meeting with Fr. Helmut Schüller at a Catholic church before his talk, sponsored by Call to Action and other reform groups, July 24 in Chicago.

Schüller, head of the Austrian Priests' Initiative, is traveling around the country urging Catholics to speak freely about their concerns for the church. George reportedly upbraided the chair of the ACP, threatened to take punitive action against the organization and indicated his disappointment that it would extend itself to a man such as Schüller.

In fact, the ACP had not endorsed Schüller. The chair, Fr. Dennis Ziomek (acting on his own initiative), had merely notified those on his email list of the Austrian priest's willingness to talk. Meanwhile, the pastor of the parish where the conversation was to take place had already canceled the event at his church immediately upon learning that the auxiliary bishop of his vicariate was urgently trying to contact him. Fr. Dennis O'Neill, the pastor, then arranged for the meeting to take place instead at a nearby Presbyterian church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Friends of Fr. Joseph Jiang

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Friends of Fr. Joseph Jiang

[the lawsuit]

Seeing Father this past week reminds me of how important our work is. His spiritual conversations are inspiring and encouraging to me. He offers all this humiliation to Jesus for our intentions. I in turn tell him that we are offering our own trials for his intentions. The mystical body of Christ at work! I have often told him that we don't do this just for him, but to defend our Holy Mother the Church and our innocent priests. He realizes that he is nothing special and is eternally grateful for his friends who support him. God bless you! Lucy

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Father Joseph Jiang: Supporters of St. Louis Priest Accused of Molestation Launch Website

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Riverfront Times

[Friends of Fr. Joseph Jiang]

By Sam Levin Mon., Jul. 29 2013

The sex abuse allegations against Father Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang received renewed attention this month with St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson facing a subpoena and church leaders facing a lawsuit from the accuser's family. As the criminal investigation and legal complaint move forward, a group of Jiang supporters have emerged, most recently launching a website to defend the local priest.

"We believe in Father Joseph's innocence," says Lucy Hannegan, who created the Friends of Fr. Joseph Jiang website. "We don't want to see him tried and convicted in the court of public opinion."

Victims' advocates, however, are slamming this public defense of Jiang as an irresponsible campaign that is damaging and offensive to the accuser and her family.

Jiang has been on administrative leave from his position as an associate pastor at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis since allegations first surfaced last year. Jiang is accused of repeatedly molesting a teenage girl in her home and victims' groups say Carlson tried to cover it up. The lawsuit filed earlier this month alleges that Jiang admitted the abuse to Carlson and tried to pay the family to keep quiet. The complaint also says that Carlson and Jiang were very close and that the archbishop attempted to tamper with evidence by asking the family to give back Jiang's payments. ...

David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, points to the fact that Archdiocese officials did remove Osborne's priestly authority.

"If people think Osborne is innocent, they need to take it up with church officials, not us," Clohessy says.

Of the continued effort to defend Jiang, he says, "It's just so difficult for people to believe that a man who treated them nicely can be a monster to others."

"Child molesters don't have forked tongues and devil horns," he says. "They are almost all...without exception charismatic."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Schüller in Cleveland: The church 'has to become again a church of the people'

OHIO
National Catholic Reporter

Lori Lesko | Jul. 29, 2013

CLEVELAND The only way to restore the church to the people is to revisit the Second Vatican Council and openly discuss with the church hierarchy the polarizing issues of optional celibacy, the ordination of women and welcoming lesbian and gay couples to the sacraments. This was the message Austrian reformist priest Fr. Helmut Schüller delivered to a crowd of 400 on Thursday at the Independence Middle School in Greater Cleveland.

Catholics need to return to the spirit of Vatican II and "become citizens of the church again," Schüller said, urging women to continue speaking out for their rights.

Cleveland is one stop of the 15-city "Catholic Tipping Point" tour, sponsored by 10 progressive Catholic organizations including the Cleveland-based FutureChurch. The organizations support Schüller's calls for inclusive and transparent changes to church governance, including greater lay participation, inclusive ministries and justice for LGBT persons within the church.

Founder of the Austrian Priests' Initiative, Schüller issued a global "Call to Disobedience" in 2011, calling for the admission of women and married people to the priesthood as well as greater lay leadership and transparency in church governance. More than 70 percent of Austria's priests positively received the statement, and similar reform movements have spread to Germany, France, Ireland, England, Switzerland, Australia and the United States and include thousands of priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Gay Priest Calls Pope’s Comments ‘Step In Right Direction’

UNITED STATES
WBUR - Here and Now

Pope Francis spoke with reporters this morning in an extraordinary, impromptu press conference on board his plane on the way back to Italy from Brazil.

The National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen Jr. writes that the 76-year-old Pope stood the whole time and never refused a question, even thanking a reporter who asked about charges of homosexual conduct against his appointee to reform the Vatican bank.

And when Francis was asked about the Vatican’s alleged “gay lobby,” the Pope replied that while a lobby might be an issue, he doesn’t have a problem with homosexuality itself, telling reporters “Who am I to judge them if they’re seeking the Lord in good faith?”

Gary Meier, an openly gay priest in St. Louis, Missouri, says the statements by Pope Francis this morning are “affirming,” and an improvement over then-Cardinal Bergoglio’s previous statement that gay marriage is the work of the devil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

What the Pope Did and Didn’t Say on the Plane

UNITED STATES
National Review

By Kathryn Jean Lopez
July 29, 2013

Papal plane rides have been known to get people talking. Infamously, there was Pope Benedict’s plane ride to Africa, when a remark about condoms was woefully misunderstood (and the cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires, the man who would later be pope, was one of the explainers/B16 defenders, as it happens).

And here we are again! After spending time with each reporter on the plane ride over, but expressing his reluctance to do interviews, the pope talked openly with reporters on the trip back to Rome, even thanking them for their questions about sensitive issues.

What’s making news is an announcement that he has broken away from Pope Benedict on the issue of homosexuality and the priesthood. Reading John Allen’s notes from the conversation, that doesn’t quite seem to be the story.

“There’s a lot of talk about the gay lobby, but I’ve never seen it on the Vatican ID card!”

“When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem . . . they’re our brothers.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

BBC tracks down paedophile priest

SCOTLAND
BBC News

[with video]

29 July 2013

A BBC investigation has uncovered evidence of serious physical and sexual abuse at the now-closed Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands and feeder school Carlekemp in East Lothian.

The programme uncovered allegations of child abuse by an Australian monk at Fort Augustus, Father Chrysostom Alexander.

He was sent back to Australia - with no warnings about his offending - after the boy's parents complained to the school. The school's former headmaster Francis Davidson, failed to alert police to the allegation.

Father Davidson declined to be interviewed but in a statement said: "In behalf of the former monastic community and of the school of Fort Augustus Abbey, I wish to offer the most sincere and profound apology to the victim and his family for any abuse committed by Father Chrysostom Alexander."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Vatican's shift on gay priests may influence civil law in US

All Voices

Pope Francis made a seismic shift in Vatican policy this week. He appeared to accept the service of gay priests who don’t act on their sexuality.

The implications can’t be overstated. It has the potential to influence the views of those opposed to LGBTQ legal rights in many American states and countries throughout the world.

Celibacy is a requirement to serve in the Catholic priesthood. Hence, it shouldn’t matter if the priest is gay or straight. Hence, celibacy becomes the key, not the sexual orientation. This changes much of the discussion.

According to the pope, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” He added, “You can’t marginalize these people.”

The comments raise questions about long-standing Vatican policies that are spiritually and emotionally abusive. The predecessor of Pope Francis, Benedict, said homosexuality, “is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder." Of course, science has long rebutted the notion homosexuality is a “disorder.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Pope Francis says gays should not be judged

Los Angeles Times

By Tracy Wilkinson
July 29, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO — His first overseas trip behind him, Pope Francis has made conciliatory remarks about the roles of gays and women in the Roman Catholic Church and allowed that the troubled Vatican bank may have to be shut down altogether.

In comments to reporters aboard the flight that on Monday returned him to Rome from Rio de Janeiro, the pope said that he opposed any type of lobby that might try to influence his decisions. He was responding to a question about the so-called gay lobby inside the Vatican that some officials have alleged exists as a cabal of gay priests who run the Holy See.

He said it was important to distinguish between a lobby, which he did not approve of, and priests or other Catholics who might be gay.

“If a person is gay, seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said. “They should not be marginalized.”

The church has traditionally labeled homosexuality a “disorder,” and under Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned in February, men with “deep-seated tendencies” towards homosexuality were to be barred from the priesthood. Francis’ comments seemed to back away from an absolute ban.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

POPE ON GAYS DRIVES MEDIA WILD

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on media reaction to remarks made by Pope Francis on homosexual priests:

The pope speaks about materialism for one straight week in Brazil before millions of people, and his formal comments garner 74 news stories on Lexis-Nexis. He speaks off-the-cuff about homosexual priests before a handful of reporters on the airplane going back to Rome and his remarks trigger 220 news stories. One might logically conclude that the pope broke some new ground with his comments on gay priests. But he didn’t.

When asked about homosexual priests, Pope Francis said, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” He added that “The problem is not having this orientation. We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation….”

Pope Benedict XVI, responding to the homosexual scandal in the Catholic Church (one more time—less than 5 percent of the cases of priestly sexual abuse involved pedophilia), did not make it impossible for gays to enter the priesthood; he simply made it more difficult for those who were practicing gays to enter. Pope Francis said nothing to contradict what his predecessor said. And by addressing the gay lobby, he was clearly speaking out against what the late Father Andrew Greeley called the “lavender mafia.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Pope gives surprising in-flight press conference

Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Jul 29, 2013 / 09:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis finished off his trip to Brazil with one last unscripted moment by holding a 1 hour and 20 minute press conference during the flight back to Rome.

The July 28 meeting with journalists covered everything from the canonization of Blessed John Paul II to an investigation of a Vatican monsignor who allegedly lived in a homosexual relationship.

Monsignor Battista Ricca was recently made secretary of the commission of cardinals that oversees the Vatican bank. He was the target of an internal investigation after Italy’s L’Espresso magazine accused him of improprieties while working at the papal nunciature in Uruguay from 1999 to 2001.

Further inquiry “found nothing,” said the Pope.

“I’d like to add,” the pontiff said according to news reports, “that many times we seem to seek out the sins of somebody’s youth and publish them. We’re not talking about crimes, which are something else. The abuse of minors, for instance, is a crime.

“But one can sin and then convert, and the Lord both forgives and forgets. We don’t have the right to refuse to forget … it’s dangerous,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Father Joseph Jiang: Supporters of St. Louis Priest Accused of Molestation Launch Website

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Riverfront Times

By Sam Levin Mon., Jul. 29 2013

The sex abuse allegations against Father Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang received renewed attention this month with St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson facing a subpoena and church leaders facing a lawsuit from the accuser's family. As the criminal investigation and legal complaint move forward, a group of Jiang supporters have emerged, most recently launching a website to defend the local priest.

"We believe in Father Joseph's innocence," says Lucy Hannegan, who created the Friends of Fr. Joseph Jiang website. "We don't want to see him tried and convicted in the court of public opinion."

Victims' advocates, however, are slamming this public defense of Jiang as an irresponsible campaign that is damaging and offensive to the accuser and her family.

Jiang has been on administrative leave from his position as an associate pastor at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis since allegations first surfaced last year. Jiang is accused of repeatedly molesting a teenage girl in her home and victims' groups say Carlson tried to cover it up. The lawsuit filed earlier this month alleges that Jiang admitted the abuse to Carlson and tried to pay the family to keep quiet. The complaint also says that Carlson and Jiang were very close and that the archbishop attempted to tamper with evidence by asking the family to give back Jiang's payments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Pope on homosexuals: 'Who am I to judge?'

National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Jul. 29, 2013 NCR Today

Rome
One way to tell that a pope is feeling good at the end of a long trip is when he comes back to the press compartment and does precisely what he said at the beginning of the journey he won’t, or can’t, do.

On the way to Rio de Janeiro on July 22, Pope Francis told reporters that “I don’t give interviews.” But at the end of his seven-day tour de force in Brazil, not only did the pope give an interview, it was a whopper.

He took questions from reporters traveling aboard the papal plane for a full hour and twenty-one minutes, with no filters or limits and nothing off the record.Francis stood for the entire time, answering without notes, and never refusing to take a question. The final query was a especially delicate one, about charges of homosexual conduct against his recently appointed delegate to reform the Vatican bank, and not only did Francis answer but he actually thanked reporters for the question.

On background, officials said the decision to hold the news conference aboard the 12-hour flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome was a personal decision by Francis, and that aides at one point had actually counseled him against it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Has Pope Francis decontaminated the Catholic brand?

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Damian Thompson
Last updated: July 29th, 2013

Three million. That's more than the entire population of Albania. Or Jamaica. The crowds of young people who greeted Pope Francis on Rio's Copacabana beach yesterday demonstrate his extraordinary appeal; Benedict XVI couldn't have attracted such jaw-dropping numbers. How many were devout participants in World Youth Day is another question: one poll claimed that 65 per cent disagreed with Catholic teaching on birth control. But if Francis was attracting "cafeteria Catholics" or non-believers, then he'd surely say: so much the better.

The spectacle of a Pope visiting a muddy Brazilian slum in order to scold the rich has delighted most Catholics. Some traditionalists are less easily won over, however. They distrust a humility that's expressed in soundbites and photo-ops. Benedict, they point out, is just as humble a man. When Francis said last week that the Catholic Church was "perhaps too cold, too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas," they take it personally. Some of them will not be pleased by the Pope's statement, on the plane back from Brazil, that "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?"

Actually, I don't think the Pope intended to criticise his predecessor, and he is not changing Catholic teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual acts. But there's no doubt that he's presenting it in a more relaxed manner, and he's moving the Church away from its recent position – formulated amid panic over sex abuse – that celibate gay men pose too much of a risk to be ordained. That was a ridiculous and insulting stance which, if it were enforced retrospectively, would leave parishes all over the world without a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Pope Francis: Not Quite as Anti-Gay As Benedict?

Chicago Pride

"Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord? You can't marginalize these people."
-- Pope Francis, speaking yesterday aboard the papal plane on his way back to Vatican City from World Youth Day.

The pope was responding to a question from a reporter, who asked him what he would do if he learned that a priest in his ranks was gay but celibate.

Don't expect Francis to be flying a rainbow flag anytime soon -- remember, this is the guy who thinks marriages like mine are the work of Satan and an "anthropological throwback" -- but considering that his predecessor, Benedict XVI, wanted to block "deep-seated" gay men from the priesthood entirely, this is a step in the right direction. (Wonder how long it'll take for the Vatican to walk this one back?)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

In the Spirit: More from Bishop Robert Morlino...

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin State Journal

DOUG ERICKSON | Wisconsin State Journal | derickson@madison.com | 608-252-6149

When Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino was a parish priest in Kalamazoo, Mich., he handled the issue of altar servers by using all girls one weekend, then all boys the next, he said. The alternating schedule helped eliminate "distractions," he said.

That was just one of many items I didn't have space for in Sunday's article on Morlino's 10-year tenure. A few others:

On how he'll mark his 10-year anniversary Thursday. "I'm not so much into celebrating myself, although I'm totally grateful for the 10 years I've had here. Only God knows how truly grateful I am." He's more inclined to have a little gathering next year upon his 40th anniversary as a priest, he said.

On how he handles criticism: "I've certainly grown in my ability to deal with that aspect of my life here. If God gives you the call, he also gives you the grace to handle the call, and the Lord has been very generous to me in his grace."

On how Catholics should approach worship: "Some people were going to Mass to be entertained -- 'I go to St. So-and-So because I like the music,' or 'I go to St. So-and-So because I like the priest.' I like, I like, I like. The reason Catholics go to Mass is to offer sacrifice. It's not to be entertained or to do what they like."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Pope answers questions about Curia reforms, gay lobby

Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM BRAZIL (CNS) -- Pope Francis said he was responding to the clear wishes of the College of Cardinals when he set up commissions to study the Vatican bank, Vatican financial and administrative procedures and the reform of the Roman Curia.

The pope also said he knows people have spoken about some kind of "gay lobby" at the Vatican protecting certain priests by threatening to blackmail others. The pope said the "lobbying" is what is worrisome.

Pope Francis held his first news conference July 28, shortly after the Alitalia flight taking him back to Rome departed from Rio de Janeiro. He answered questions from 21 journalists over a period of 80 minutes. The questions were not submitted in advance and no topics were ruled out of bounds.

Asked about the Vatican bank, Pope Francis said he does not know what will become of the Institute for the Works of Religion, which is the formal name of the scandal-plagued bank. He has appointed an outside commission and is involved in discussions about how to organize it, "how to restore it, reformulate it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Pope Says He Will Not Judge Gay Priests

The New York Times

By RACHEL DONADIO
Published: July 29, 2013

ROME — Striking a breathtakingly conciliatory approach to a hot-button issue that has divided Catholics, Pope Francis on Monday said that he would not judge priests for their sexual orientation. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said, according to media reports.

His comments came in an unprecedented 80-minute news conference with reporters on his plane returning from a papal visit to Brazil for World Youth Day, in which he spoke openly about everything from the troubled Vatican Bank to the greater role that he believed women should have in the Catholic Church.

His predecessor, Benedict XVI, who retired in February, wrote a Vatican document that said that men with homosexual tendencies should not become priests. During his papal trips, Benedict responded only to a handful of preselected questions from reporters.

Reporters on the plane said that the pope had been candid and high-spirited and didn’t dodge a single question, even thanking the person who asked about reports of a “gay lobby” inside the Vatican, and about Italian press reports that one of the advisers he had appointed to look into the Vatican Bank had been accused of having gay trysts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Judge to head inquiry into church's handling of abuse allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
The Northern Echo

THE ARCHBISHOP of York has appointed a judge to head an inquiry into the handling of allegations of child abuse by a former senior clergyman.

Judge Sally Cahill QC is to chair an independent inquiry into issues surrounding reports that the Very Reverend Robert Waddington, who died in 2007, groomed and abused a chorister in Manchester in the 1980s.

The former Dean of Manchester Cathedral is also said to have targeted a pupil at a boarding school in Queensland, Australia, where he was headteacher in the 1960s.

According to an investigation by a national newspaper, Lord Hope of Thornes was informed of the two claims in 1999 and 2003, while he was Archbishop of York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Judge to head inquiry into church's handling of abuse allegations

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on July 28, 2013

Your question of the day:

You see a child being sexually abused and beaten on a street corner. Whom do you call? Answer: The local university, your bishop, your commander or the leader of the closest nonprofit.

Ridiculous? Of course it is. Utterly absurd? Yes. Child endangerment? You bet. So let’s try again with the correct answer: You call law enforcement. Why? Because law enforcement is in the investigation business. Universities, churches, corporate entities and other nonprofits are NOT.

So why do we act so absurdly when we witness abuse on the Penn State campus, at the local parish, or a college campus? Because we were (wrongly) told and convinced it is the right thing to do.

We need to re-calibrate our thinking: institutions should never be in the sex abuse investigation business. When it comes to crime, our loyalty is to justice and accountability, not institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Bethany Home survivors hit out at two ministers

IRELAND
Irish Independent

DANIEL MCCONNELL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT – 28 JULY 2013

ABUSE survivors of the Protestant Bethany Home who failed in their bid for inclusion in the State's €1.5bn redress scheme have branded Ministers Alan Shatter and Kathleen Lynch as "grossly arrogant" in their attitude towards them.

Ms Lynch was singled out for particular criticism by survivors.

The survivors also said it is now their intention to launch litigation against the Government in order to obtain "justice from the State that abandoned us".

The scathing attack on the ministers relates to a meeting in Leinster House earlier this year.

The survivors said they kept quiet about it up until now for fear of jeopardising their bid for justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Pope 'hurt' by jailed prelate case

Gazzetta del Sud

Rome, July 29 - Pope Francis said Monday that he was pained by the case of a Vatican prelate arrested for alleged involvement in a failed bid to bring 20 million euros into Italy illegally. Mons. Nunzio Scarano, who until recently led a key Vatican accounting unit, was arrested in June in a probe over allegations he conspired with a former Italian spy and a financial broker to try to secretly repatriate the cash, allegedly the fruit of tax evasion by a family close to the prelate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Centres Against Sexual Assault see more clients ...

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Centres Against Sexual Assault see more clients but miss out on Federal Government funding

EMMA HASTINGS
MAROONDAH LEADER JULY 29, 2013

SEXUAL assault support centres - including Ringwood East's Centre Against Sexual Assault - are seeing up to 20 per cent more clients due to the Royal Commission but won't be getting any ­extra funding.

The Federal Government recently announced 28 ­organisations across Australia would share in $45 million to support victims of sexual abuse who present to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

But none of the state's Centres Against Sexual Assault received funding, spokeswoman Carolyn Worth said.

"I think there's something quite bizarre about having a specialised service system in Victoria that deals with victims of sexual assault (CASAs) and (the Government) funds relationship agencies (instead)."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Vatican confirms deal on bank info

VATICAN CITY
IOL

July 29 2013
By Reuters

Rome - Italy and the Vatican have signed an agreement over exchanging financial and bank information to combat money laundering, the Vatican said on Monday.

“The Holy See and the Vatican City State take international responsibilities concerning anti money laundering and the financing of terrorism very seriously and Italy is an especially important partner for us,” the Vatican said in a statement.

The statement confirmed a report by Reuters last week .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

UPDATE 1-Pope says Vatican bank must be "honest and transparent"

Reuters

Mon Jul 29, 2013

(Reuters) - Pope Francis said the troubled Vatican bank must become "honest and transparent" and that he will listen to the advice of a commission he has set up on whether it can be reformed or needs to be shut down altogether.

The pope made his comments, his most detailed to date on the bank's troubles, in his first news conference, a remarkably frank 80-minute meeting with reporters on Sunday night shortly after his plane left Brazil at the end of his first international trip.

"I don't know what will become of the bank. Some say it is better that is a bank, others that it should be a charitable fund and others say close it," he said.

The bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), is the target of several investigations by Italian magistrates on suspicion of money laundering.

"We have to find the solution," Francis said. "But whatever the solution, it must have transparency and honesty. That's the way it must be," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

For the First Time, Francis Contradicts Benedict

ROME
Chiesa

He has touched upon the sore spot of the Mass in the ancient rite. Ratzinger permitted its celebration for all. Bergoglio has prohibited it for one religious order that favored it

by Sandro Magister

ROME, July 29, 2013 – One point on which Jorge Mario Bergoglio was eagerly expected to weigh in, after his election as pope, was that of the Mass in the ancient rite.

There were those who predicted that Pope Francis would not distance himself from the stance of his predecessor. Who had liberalized the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite as an “extraordinary” form of the modern rite, with the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum" of July 7, 2007:

And there were instead those who prognosticated on the part of Francis a restriction - or even a cancellation - of the possibility of celebrating the Mass with the rite prior to Vatican Council II, even at the cost of contradicting the decisions of Benedict XVI with him still alive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

In Final Sermon, Pastor Apologizes to Parishioners of St. Joseph's, Report Says

NEW JERSEY
Patch

Posted by Ann Piccirillo (Editor) , July 29, 2013

The Rev. Thomas Iwanowski, who stepped down as Pastor of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Oradell Sunday, said that the priest he let stay at the rectory, Robert Chabak, is not a child molester, according to a NorthJersey.com report.

Iwanowski told NorthJersey.com, “I absolutely believe he’s not guilty of those charges, that he’s innocent,” likening the accusation of sexually molesting a child as the “equivalent of being guilty” due to the attention surrounding these types of allegations.

Chabak, 66, a priest removed from the ministry in 2004 after evidence supported allegations that he molested a teenaged boy over a three-year period during the 1970's, was living in the rectory of St. Joseph's Church in Oradell. Chabak was given permission to move into St. Joseph's rectory by the Newark Archidiocese and Iwanowski, after his house in Normandy Beach was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Departing Oradell pastor the Rev. Thomas Iwanowski apologizes to his congregation

NEW JERSEY
The Record

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

ORADELL — On his final Sunday as pastor of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, the Rev. Thomas Iwanowski said he doesn’t believe the priest who stayed in the parish rectory for months is a child abuser.

Iwanowski is stepping down Wednesday amid a controversy over his friend, Monsignor Robert Chabak, who was accused of molesting a teenage boy during the 1970s and permitted to live in the church after his home was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

On Sunday, Iwanowski maintained that Chabak followed Newark Archdiocese restrictions that he stay in the living quarters except to attend Mass. He also said Chabak was not an abuser.

“I absolutely believe he’s not guilty of those charges, that he’s innocent,” Iwanowski said in an interview, adding that an accusation of child sexual abuse against a priest is the “equivalent of being guilty” because of the publicity that surrounds such cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Priest didn't hear accusation of priests doing 'filthy things' to children

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

By ELLE WATSON July 29, 2013

A former Nelson Bay priest has denied telling whistleblower Peter Fox that a sexual abuse victim accused priests of doing "filthy things" to children in the 1990s.

Charlestown priest Father Bob Searle was working as the Nelson Bay parish priest in the late 1990s when he said a drunk parishioner came to the presbytery about 7.30pm and yelled: "Nobody loves me".

The man, known as AH who was abused by paedophile priest James Fletcher, read a statutory declaration to the commission of inquiry into alleged cover-ups of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church last week.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, who's claims of a church cover-up sparked the inquiry, has previously told Commissioner Margaret Cunneen that Father Searle told him AH was drunk and yelling about priests doing "filthy things" to young boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Abuse inquiry enters 8th week

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The inquiry into child sexual abuse in the New South Wales Hunter Valley will hear more evidence from senior Catholic clergy when the public hearings resume this morning.

The inquiry has previously heard a victim of paedophile priest James Fletcher went to a Nelson Bay presbytery drunk and angry, accusing priests of "doing filthy things to little boys".

Peter Fox, the senior policeman who sparked the special commission, said the parish priest at the time, father Bob Searle, told him about the incident but did not include the victim's comments in his official statement.

Father Searle is expected to give evidence this morning when the eighth week of public hearings gets underway.

Father William Burston will also give evidence after the commissioner gave him a week's reprieve because he had been "harassed" outside the inquiry by members of the public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Inquiry: Good and bad priest files kept

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 29, 2013

PRIESTS’ files were divided into ‘‘good’’ and ‘‘bad’’ sections according to a longstanding secretary to the past three Bishops of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese of the Catholic Church.

Elizabeth Doyle told the Special Commission of Inquiry in Newcastle that she joined the office of the late Bishop Leo Clarke on January 4, 1993.

Since then she had served as secretary or executive assistant to Bishop Clarke, Bishop Michael Malone and the current Bishop, William Wright.

Asked by counsel assisting Warwick Hunt about the diocese’s filing systems, Ms Doyle said that in her early years she had no recourse to the files but believed they were all stored in the one cabinet ‘‘upstairs’’ in Bishop Clarke’s office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Priest denies withholding abuse claims from police at NSW Hunter Valley abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

A New South Wales Hunter Valley Catholic priest has rejected claims at a public inquiry that he held back information from police because child sexual abuse allegations are "damaging and distasteful".

Father Bob Searle was the parish priest at Nelson Bay, north of Newcastle, in the late 1990s.

In giving evidence to a Newcastle inquiry today, he said he remembered a person known as AH, a victim of paedophile priest James Fletcher, coming to the presbytery one night drunk and angry and yelling out "nobody loves me".

Police whistleblower Peter Fox has said that, at the time, Father Searle told him AH was also yelling about priests "doing filthy things to little boys", but it was not included in his statement to police.

Father Searle said that was because he never heard the comments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Magdalene survivor’s fury at nuns resisting redress

IRELAND
Irish Post

FURIOUS survivor has hit out at the religious orders that ran brutal Magdalene Laundries for failing to take immediate action and contribute to the Irish Government’s £50m redress scheme.

Despite being pressured by Justice Minister Alan Shatter to contribute financially to the scheme announced last month, the four religious orders that ran the laundries have not decided whether they will do so, The Irish Post has learned.

Kathleen Legg, a Bournemouth-based survivor who spent three years in a laundry, said: “I am happy with what I will be getting, but I am very angry that it looks like the Irish Government will have to pay the money when really it should be coming from the nuns.

“I will be so angry if the nuns are allowed to get off scot free. The money definitely should not be coming from the Government, depriving Irish people.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH ITALIAN FINANCIAL UNIT (UIF)

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 29 July 2013 (VIS) – On 26 July the Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF) of the Holy See and Vatican City State signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its Italian counterpart, the Unità di Informazione Finanziaria (UIF) of the Bank of Italy, according to a memorandum published today.

The Memorandum was signed in Rome by Cardinal Attilio Nicora, President of AIF, and Dr. Claudio Clemente, director of UIF.

A Memorandum of Understanding is standard practice and formalizes the cooperation and exchange of financial information to fight money laundering and terrorist financing across borders between the competent authorities of both countries. It is based on the model Memorandum of Understanding prepared by the Egmont Group, the global organisation of national Financial Intelligence Units, and contains clauses on reciprocity, permitted uses of information and confidentiality.

“The Holy See and the Vatican City State take international responsibilities concerning Anti-Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism very seriously, and Italy is an especially important partner for us,” said AIF director Rene Bruelhart. “We look forward to continuing our work with the Italian Authorities in a constructive and fruitful manner. The Memorandum of Understanding is a clear commitment to strengthen our bilateral relationship and will facilitate the our joint efforts and fight against money laundering.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Pope’s Trip to Brazil Seen as ‘Strong Start’ in Revitalizing Church

BRAZIL
The New York Times

By SIMON ROMERO
Published: July 28, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO — Pope Francis celebrated the last Mass of his trip to Brazil on Sunday before more than a million people gathered on the beach in this city, the national flags of Catholics from around the world hoisted in the air as a chorus of Brazilian priests belted out songs before the multitude. It was a vibrant display of the Vatican’s ambition of halting the losses of worshipers to evangelical churches and the rising appeal of secularism.

By various measures, Francis’s first international trip since he was named pope this year was a success. The 76-year-old Argentine, a Jesuit who is the first pope from the Americas, was greeted like a rock star by attendees to a conference of Catholic youth. He urged people to combat corruption, a top grievance in the protests shaking Brazil, and called on bishops to focus on the pragmatic needs of congregants, shifting emphasis from the abuse scandals that have plagued the Vatican for years.

“If this trip is any indication, he’s off to a strong start at revitalizing the church,” said Andrew Chesnut, an expert on Latin American religions at Virginia Commonwealth University who came here to see the pope’s visit up close. “He’s been very astute on focusing on the everyday afflictions of the poor, taking a page from the evangelicals themselves.”

Before scolding Brazilian clergy at one point during the weeklong visit for losing touch with their own worshipers, by appearing “too distant from their needs,” Francis offered the example of visiting a medical center where drug addicts receive treatment. Still, he hewed to the Roman Catholic Church’s prevailing view on drugs, criticizing supporters of decriminalizing drug use, showing how a pope can seem at the same time to be caring and resistant to a profound shift under way in parts of the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Pope Signals Openness to Gay Priests

Wall Street Journal

By STACY MEICHTRY
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE— Pope Francis opened the door Sunday to greater acceptance of gay priests inside the ranks of Roman Catholicism as he returned to the Vatican from his maiden trip overseas.

Fielding questions from reporters during the first news conference of his young papacy, the pontiff broached the delicate question of how he would respond to learning that a cleric in his ranks was gay, though not sexually active. For decades, the Vatican has regarded homosexuality as a "disorder," and Pope Francis' predecessor Pope Benedict XVI formally barred men with what the Vatican deemed "deep-seated" homosexuality from entering the priesthood.

"Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" the pontiff said, speaking in Italian. "You can't marginalize these people."

Pope Francis celebrated the final Mass of his Brazil trip at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro Sunday.

The news conference was wide-ranging and hastily arranged aboard an overnight flight that returned the pontiff to Rome Monday from a weeklong trip to Brazil where millions of people flocked to see him, including three million at a Mass Sunday on the beach in Rio de Janeiro. The rock-star reception, analysts say, is likely to strengthen the pope's hand as he confronts myriad challenges awaiting him at the Vatican, from corruption at the Vatican bank to the long-running sexual-abuse crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people?

BBC News

Pope Francis has said gay people should not be judged or marginalised.

Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, he said: "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?"

The Pope's remarks are being seen as much more conciliatory than his predecessor's position on the issue.

Turning to the issue of women priests, he said the Church had spoken and had said "no", but the role of women should not be restricted.

"We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more," he said in a wide-ranging interview with Vatican journalists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Pope Francis says Catholic ban on women priests 'definitive'

NDTV

Rome: Pope Francis said the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests is "definitive" although he would like them to have more leadership roles in its administration and pastoral activities.

The pope, speaking to reporters on Sunday night aboard the plane taking him home from a week-long visit to Brazil, said "the Church has spoken and says no ... that door is closed."

It was the first time he had spoken in public on the issue of women priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Pope: 'Who am I to judge' gay people?

NBC News

By Anne Thompson and Henry Austin

Pope Francis said “who am I to judge?” gay people as he discussed one of the most divisive issues affecting the Catholic Church Monday.

“I have yet to find anyone who has a business card that says he is gay,” the pontiff said at a press conference on his plane while returning from Brazil, where he talked about a number of subjects.

“They say they exist. If someone is gay, who searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?” he added.

The official position of the Catholic Church on the issue is that while homosexual desires or attractions are not in themselves sinful, the physical acts are.

Francis discussed a range of issues during the press conference, admitting that the church had not done enough to develop “the theology of women in the church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Pope says gays must not be judged or marginalised

Jersusalem Post

By REUTERS
07/29/2013

ROME - Pope Francis, in some of the most compassionate words from any pontiff on homosexuals, said gays should not be judged or marginalized and should be integrated into society.

In a conversation with journalists on board the plane bringing him back from a visit to Brazil on Sunday night, Francis defended gays from discrimination, but also referred to the Catholic Church's universal Catechism, which says that while homosexual orientation is not sinful homosexual acts are.

Francis arrived back in Rome on Monday after a triumphant week-long tour of Brazil which climaxed with a huge gathering on Rio de Janeiro's famed Copacabana beach which organizers estimated to have attracted more than 3 million people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Pope on homosexuality: 'Who am I to judge?'

Irish Examiner

Speaking to journalists on his return from World Youth Day celebrations in Brazil, the pontiff said gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.

When asked about homosexuality and the church, Pope Francis said: "If someone seeks the Lord in good faith, who am I to judge?"

Vatican observers say his comments are among the most "compassionate" words towards gay people by any pontiff.

Pope Francis also appeared to open the door towards women having a bigger role in the Church, but he said the "door had been closed" on women becoming priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Pope says he won't judge gay priests

Sacramento Bee

By NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press
Published: Monday, Jul. 29, 2013

ABOARD THE PAPAL AIRCRAFT -- Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he wouldn't judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip.

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis asked.

His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis was much more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.

Francis' remarks came Monday during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip in Brazil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Helena diocese, insurers argue over coverage in sex-abuse cases

MONTANA
Missoulian

Associated Press
HELENA – Attempts to settle allegations that hundreds of Montanans were sexually abused as children by Roman Catholic clergy have been stymied by challenges from the church’s insurers over which claims they are obligated to cover.

So attorneys representing the 360 alleged victims, along with lawyers for the Helena diocese, the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province and District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock began laying out plans Wednesday for the first of what could be many trials beginning in December.

Attorneys for both sides said the outcome of the initial trials – unless the cases are resolved first – could act as a bellwether to gauge the extent to which Montana jurors would find the church liable and penalize it. That, in turn, could lead to settlements for the remainder of the cases.

The plaintiffs claim they were abused by priests, nuns and agents of the diocese between the 1930s and the late 1970s. The diocese and the Ursuline sisters knew of the abuse but did not stop it, the plaintiffs claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

'Bad' files kept on pedophile priests

AUSTRALIA
9 News

"Good" and "bad" personnel files were kept on Hunter Valley Catholic priests, a special NSW commission of inquiry into pedophile activity has heard.

This has been disclosed by Elizabeth Doyle, appointed as secretary to Bishop Leo Clarke in 1993. She retained the position for two subsequent bishops, Michael Malone and the current Bill Wright.
Addressing the inquiry on Monday, Ms Doyle said the term "bad" files referred to confidential or "special issues" files that contained documents relating to all kinds of misconduct matters, including child sexual abuse.

She said she was unaware of "bad" files during her first two years in the job, but if they existed they would probably have been kept in Bishop Clarke's upstairs office at the Maitland/Newcastle diocese headquarters.

He never discussed such matters with her, typed some of his own letters, did his own filing and she never opened any letters addressed to him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Woman accusing priest of abuse presses case

NEW JERSEY
Philadelphia Inquirer

Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: Monday, July 29, 2013

A recent decision by a federal judge not to dismiss a lawsuit against the Diocese of Camden for allegedly concealing the history of a priest accused of molesting three young girls has been hailed as a significant legal advance for abuse victims.

U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman in late June denied a diocese request to dismiss the case. Part of the diocese's argument was that the statute of limitations had long expired. Hillman instead ruled that the case brought by Lisa Shanahan, 44, warrants consideration because New Jersey law has exceptions for the statute of limitations that typically expires when a child-abuse victim turns 20.

Victim advocates say the decision is one of two in Camden federal court that show alleged victims of sexual assault are starting to win legal challenges previously lost because of New Jersey's narrow window for suing.

"We are pleased with the decision. It opens the door for us to get documents and evidence," said Miami lawyer Adam Horowitz, who represents Shanahan and specializes in church litigation. "We want to know what [the church] knew, and when they knew it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

July 28, 2013

INQUIRY: Priest tells of victim's drunken outburst

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 29, 2013

Former Nelson Bay parish priest father Robert Searle says the only thing he can remember Jim Fletcher victim AH saying in a drunken outburst was that nobody loved him.

Father Searle was giving evidence on Monday morning at the special commission of inquiry sitting in Newcastle.

In earlier evidence from whistleblowing police officer Peter Fox the commission has heard evidence that AH was yelling about the weird sexual things that priests did to children.

AH's drunken outburst took place in 1998 and a statement that Father Searle gave to police was made during the Fletcher investigation in 2003.

Asked by counsel for Mr Fox, Greg Willis, whether he had held back any detail in his statement Father Searle said he had not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 PM

Why Pell Should Return to Australia (Or: HELP!!!!!)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

To: His Most Highly Revered and Eminently Adored

The Cardinal George Pell of Australia, D.D., M.Y., G.O.D., I.M.A., T.W.I.T.
The Cardinal’s Suite
Domus Australia, Rome.

Dear Georgie,

Please come home — all is forgiven (just joking!)

Seriously though, things are really bad here at the moment. The NSW enquiry situation is going from bad to worse. Shows what happens if you leave things to mere Bishops. We really do need your input, guidance, wisdom and grace or whatever.

The memory loss thing is getting out of hand. Poor Brian has been caught out again with remembering some things in great detail while having a blank on everything else. It might have been a bit believable with poor old William and his anesthetic excuse, but Brian is being questioned in the media and at the enquiry for his truthfulness on this matter, unrelentingly.

Of course, it did not help things at all when it was revealed that Brian took no notes of meetings, and advised others to do the same. To cap it all off, it did look very much like he was more concerned with protecting priests and the church’s reputation. Even our smart (and expensive!!!!!!!) lawyers could not help out here.

Everyone knows of your particularly good memory and attention to detail. They also know you are a man of words and would record everything. Only your appearance could stem the tide of incredulity on this whole memory and records thing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

NSW Enquiry – Week’s Preview (Or: The Church’s Last Stand)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The final scheduled week of the NSW government enquiry into cover-ups of child sexual abuse by clergy in the Newcastle-Maitland Catholic church diocese, ends with the “in camera” evidence of Adelaide Archbishop Wilson. We will only know Wilson’s details from what the Commission chooses to release in its report. This, as has been pointed out before, is less than satisfactory.

Most of the week will feature non-clerical employees of the diocese. William Callinan was a school principal. He is the one whose lawyer indicated that his recollection of events was different to that of Bishop Malone. This specifically related to whether or not Malone informed Callinan about the dangers posed by a certain priest. This should be interesting since it will put Bishop Malone’s credibility on the line.

Other witnesses due to appear work for the diocese’s in-house PR unit. This is the so-called Zimmerman Services. It is a bit like the Melbourne Response set-up. Here, victims supposedly can tell their story to church officials and receive “healing”. A PR unit by any other name smells the same, so look for facile arguments about all the church is doing to help victims and protect children.

Zimmerman director, Sean Tynan, will appear. His organisation is supposedly responsible for “Record Keeping: storing and managing relevant diocesan records relating to child protection matters, including investigations and volunteer declarations. “ This will undoubtedly be a focus of proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Groups Seek to Halt Pope John Paul II Canonization Process

MEXICO
Latinos Post

A group of organizations in Mexico asked the Vatican to stop the canonization process of John Paul II until the United Nations concludes its investigation as to whether the late Pope had any part in the conspiracy to cover up for the priests that have been accused of pedophilia.

"We demand a stop to Pope John Paul's canonization process until it is clear if he had any responsibility in these cases," a statement published in the Ecclesiastical Observatory blog reads.

In early July, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved a second miracle which according to the church, happened through the intercession of John Paul II. The approval paves the way for him to become a saint.

The petition is signed by Catholics for a Free Choice, the Ecclesiastical Observatory, the former members of the Legonaries of Christ congregation Jose Barba Martin and Saul Barrales, investigator Fernando M. Gonzalez, former priest Alberto Athié and Jesus Alberto Romero, a victim of sexual abuse.

The UN, through its Committee For Children's Rights, has requested information on cases of sexual abuse of children from the Vatican. "The time has come for the highest authorities of the Vatican State to be held accountable to legitimate authorities grounded in international law," the statement continues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

A sampling of the controversies Bishop Robert Morlino has found himself in

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin State Journal

[Away from diocesan work, Robert Morlino is an easygoing guy who keeps it light]

DOUG ERICKSON | Wisconsin State Journal | derickson@madison.com | 608-252-6149

Center of controversy

Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino has found himself at the center of numerous controversies and dust-ups in the past decade. A sampling:

ISSUE: Six months into his tenure, Morlino wrote in the Catholic Herald newspaper that Madison appears to be a community that has “a high comfort level with virtually no public morality.” The episode outraged many residents and kicked off a continuing parlor game of parsing his every utterance.

OUTCOME: Morlino said he meant no offense and was merely pointing out that there are few common starting points for discussions about moral reasoning in such a diverse city.

ISSUE: In 2005, Morlino joined a federal advisory board for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, a training facility for Latin American military leaders formerly known as the notorious School of the Americas. Critics held a 25-hour session of prayer and fasting at the Bishop O’Connor Center.

OUTCOME: Morlino defended the board as a group of outsiders whose role is to advise Congress on correcting any problems at the facility. His service on the board ended in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

El Paso bishop talks about response to sex abuse cases

TEXAS
El Paso Times

by Maria Cortez Gonzalez / El Paso Times
Posted: 07/28/2013

A group that has monitored abuse by Catholic priests is asking newly named El Paso Bishop Mark J. Seitz to disclose what he knows about a Kentucky priest convicted in 2004 of sexually molesting two boys.

Seitz, who has counseled victims of abuse by priests, said in an email he was surprised by the demand and said he couldn't talk about it because of the sacred obligation of confidentiality concerning what is said in confession.

In an email, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests alleges that Seitz was told about the priest, the Rev. James Hargadon, in 1990 when Seitz was a parish priest.

"What did you do when you learned this information? And what did you do with it years later, in and after 2002, when Catholic officials promised to be 'open and transparent' about clergy sex crimes?" the letter stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Francis' Address to Bishops

BRAZIL
Zenit

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 27, 2013 (Zenit.org) | 692 hits

Here is a Vatican translation of Pope Francis' address today to the bishops of Brazil.

* * *

Dear Brothers,

How good it is to be here with you, the Bishops of Brazil!

Thank you for coming, and please allow me to speak with you as one among friends. That’s why I prefer to speak to you in Spanish, so as to express better what I carry in my heart. I ask you to forgive me.

We are meeting somewhat apart, in this place prepared by our brother, Archbishop Orani Tempesta, so that we can be alone and speak to one another from the heart, as pastors to whom God has entrusted his flock. On the streets of Rio, young people from all over the world and countless others await us, needing to be reached by the merciful gaze of Christ the Good Shepherd, whom we are called to make present. So let us enjoy this moment of repose, exchange of ideas and authentic fraternity.

Beginning with the President of the Episcopal Conference and the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, I want to embrace each and every one of you, and in a particular way the Emeritus Bishops. More than a formal address, I would like to share some reflections with you.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Priest accuses Scottish Catholic church of cover-up in latest sex scandal

SCOTLAND
Gay Star News

28 JULY 2013 | BY JEAN PAUL ZAPATA

A priest is accusing the Scottish Catholic Church of protecting a senior cleric accused of sexual assault.

Another priest has revealed details of sexual misconduct in the Catholic Church, claiming he’s being punished for coming forward.

A priest who is being called Father Michael, as he wishes to remain anonymous, claims he is being kicked out of the church for reporting Father Paul Moore to the police in 1997 for sexual assault.

The church has no comment ‘due to the complex legal situation, criminal, civil and canonical’.

‘I woke to find Moore fondling me under the bedclothes,’ said Father Michael.

‘I placed a chair behind the door and would sometimes hear it rattling,’ he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Furlong denies additional abuse claims raised in suit

CANADA
The Province

Former Vancouver Olympic CEO John Furlong has denied more allegations of abuse levelled by a freelance reporter, saying in court documents Laura Robinson is a journalist who uses "unorthodox and unreliable" investigation techniques to get her stories.

Furlong launched a lawsuit after Robinson wrote a story published in the Georgia Straight last fall that accused him of harming aboriginal students when he taught at a Catholic school in Burns Lake.

In new court documents filed Friday, Furlong said additional accusations in Robinson's statement of defence that allege Furlong abused his former wife, an unnamed former common-law spouse, and students, are defamatory and unfounded.

"The events alleged are said to have occurred in 1969 and the 1970s, but have not been reported in the intervening decades to the plaintiff or to the authorities by any persons involved," the court document said. "This is because they never occurred."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Blasphemy: Gurgaon priest arrested for raping minor daughter for six months

INDIA
Daily Bhaskar

Gurgaon: In what can be called a ‘blasphemous’ act on his part for violating father-daughter relationship, a 48-year old temple priest and father of three was arrested on late Friday night by Gurgaon Police after cops learnt that he had been raping his minor daughter for the past six months.

The incident came to light when the accused again attempted rape on 17-year old victim on Friday evening, on which she approached her elder sister who lives nearby.

“The victim’s sister has lodged a FIR against their father. We arrested him on the same night and produced him in court the next day,” a cop informed Bhaskar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Pope Francis may clash on doctrine with young Brazilian Catholics

BRAZIL
Chicago Tribune

By Vincent Bevins
July 23, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO -- By all accounts, Pope Francis has already won over many hearts in Brazil with his simplicity and message of caring for the poor. But as he travels the country on his first overseas trip as pontiff, he will be speaking to a group of young Catholics who hold far more liberal views than the church hierarchy on a number of issues, including female priests, homosexuality and abortion.

After arriving in Rio to enormous crowds on Monday, the pope spent Tuesday resting and having private meetings at the Sumare residence where Pope John Paul stayed in 1980 and 1997. Thousands of young pilgrims filled a rainy Copacabana beach to attend a series of religious-themed concerts that were part of World Youth Day, which, despite the name, is a five-day event that began Tuesday and is ostensibly the reason for the pope's visit to Brazil.

But the young people Francis encounters are not necessarily representative of young Catholics worldwide, and they hold some views that run sharply counter to those espoused by Francis and the Roman Catholic Church.

For instance, 82% of Brazilian Catholics ages 16 to 29 think they should be able to use the morning-after pill to prevent pregnancy, 72% support ending the celibacy requirement for priests, and 62% believe women should be candidates for ordination, according to a survey published Sunday by the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

Church in Brazil lost message, lost faithful, pope says

BRAZIL
Seattle Times

By TRACY WILKINSON
Los Angeles Times

RIO DE JANEIRO — Pope Francis on Saturday issued what the Vatican said was one of the most important speeches of his papacy, taking to task the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil for hemorrhaging droves of followers to other faiths or to apathy.

Speaking to bishops from around the country, Francis blamed the “exodus” on a long list of failings by the church and leaders, and took a direct swipe at the “intellectual” message of the church that so characterized the pontificate of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. He said ordinary Catholics don’t relate to such lofty ideas and need to hear the simpler message of love, forgiveness and mercy that is at the core of the Catholic faith.

“At times we lose people because they don’t understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people,” he said. “Without the grammar of simplicity, the church loses the very conditions which make it possible to fish for God in the deep waters of his mystery.”

Outlining the kind of church he wants, Francis asked bishops to reflect on millions of Catholics who left the church for Protestant and Pentecostal congregations that have grown exponentially in recent decades, particularly in Brazil’s slums, or favelas, where their charismatic message and nuts-and-bolts advice is welcomed by the poor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

July 27, 2013

Former Vancouver Olympics CEO files documents denying abuse allegations

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SUNNY DHILLON
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 26 2013

John Furlong, the former Vancouver Olympics CEO accused of physically and sexually abusing students when he was a physical education teacher decades ago, says the allegations are untrue and he never engaged in any “inappropriate contact.”

Mr. Furlong, the public face of Vancouver’s 2010 Games whose motivational style made him a star on the speaking circuit, issued the denial in a document filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday. Earlier this week, Beverly Mary Abraham and Grace Jessie West filed lawsuits alleging Mr. Furlong molested them when they were students at Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary School in Burns Lake, B.C., more than 40 years ago. The allegations have not been proven.

The allegations that Mr. Furlong physically abused several aboriginal students first surfaced in September in the alternative weekly newspaper, Georgia Straight. He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. He filed a lawsuit against the newspaper and the article’s author in November. The document filed Friday pertains to Mr. Furlong’s lawsuit against the newspaper. He has not yet filed a response to the lawsuits from Ms. Abraham and Ms. West. The document says Mr. Furlong was well-liked by students when he was at Immaculata and no reports of abuse, physical or verbal, were ever filed. “This is because no such abuse, physical or verbal, ever happened,” the document said.

Ms. Abraham, 55, said she attended Immaculata in 1969 and 1971. Her notice of civil claim said she was molested approximately 12 times when she was about 11 years old. She said the touching occurred in the gym, typically after class. She said Mr. Furlong would order her to stay behind and then close the gym door. Ms. West, 53, said she was molested about once a week. She said in her notice of civil claim that she told her father about the abuse, and he confronted Mr. Furlong and the principal or senior administrator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 PM

RCMP still investigating sexual molestation allegations against former Olympic CEO John Furlong

CANADA
National Post

Jake Edmiston | 13/07/26

The RCMP in British Columbia said Friday that it has yet to conclude its file on allegations that John Furlong, who headed the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games organizing committee, sexually assaulted two of his students while he was an elementary school teacher in northern B.C. in 1969 and 1970.

In court documents filed Friday, John Hunter, a lawyer for Mr. Furlong, wrote that RCMP in Burns Lake, B.C., investigated at least one of the two sexual abuse allegations and found “the allegation to have no basis in fact.”

But on Friday evening, Inspector Ed Boettcher, a spokesman at the RCMP’s B.C. headquarters in Surrey, said the Furlong case is still open. “I can’t speak to what others may or may not be saying,” Insp. Boettcher said. “But from an RCMP perspective, we’re not in a position to comment on it because our file has not been fully concluded on the Furlong matter.

“When all avenues are exhausted, then we can say it’s been concluded,” he said.

Two former students from Immaculata Roman Catholic School in Burns Lake filed separate lawsuits this week against Mr. Furlong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 PM

Former VANOC CEO responds to defamation countersuit

CANADA
CBC News

Former Vancouver Olympic head John Furlong has once again denied allegations he abused students at a Catholic school in northern British Columbia four decades ago, as part of two legal replies filed in B.C. Supreme Court today.

The replies, which were filed by Furlong's lawyers, are the latest chapter in an increasingly complicated legal battle stemming from a story published by the Georgia Straight newspaper and journalist Laura Robinson in September of last year.

In the story, Robinson alleged that during Furlong's time as a teacher in Burns Lake in 1969 and 1970 that he abused several First Nations students at the Catholic day school.

Furlong emphatically denied the allegations and two months later filed a lawsuit against Robinson and the weekly Vancouver newspaper seeking damages, as well as an apology and retraction.

The Georgia Straight filed a response to Furlong's civil claim saying the story was not defamatory and amounted to fair comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 PM

John Furlong accuses journalist of ‘personal vendetta’

CANADA
Macleans

John Furlong, the former Vancouver Olympic CEO, has come out swinging in his legal response to journalist Laura Robinson’s allegations in court filings that he physically abused a former spouse and sexually assaulted another as well as abused former students at Burns Lake and Prince George, B.C., when he was a volunteer missionary instructor in the late 1960s.

Furlong accused Robinson of waging a “personal vendetta” against him in a volcanic rebuttal filed in the B.C. Supreme Court Friday, July 26, as part of a civil lawsuit by Furlong over a story Robinson wrote for Vancouver’s weekly Georgia Straight newspaper.

“The events alleged are said to have occurred in 1969 and the 1970s but have not been reported in the intervening decades to the Plaintiff (Furlong) or to the authorities by any person involved,” the reply document says. “This is because they never occurred.”

Related story: The woman behind an Olympic War

Robinson’s original story, published in September, 2012, accused Furlong of hiding his past as a Catholic missionary teacher at Immaculata Elementary school in Burns Lake, and later at Prince George College, and that he physically abused several of the aboriginal students who attended. When Furlong filed suit, Robinson used her court-filed defence to level even more serious charges, including the allegations of sexual and spousal abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 PM

John Furlong denies abuse allegations in court documents, attacks reporter's integrity

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

By Vivian Luk, The Canadian Press July 27, 2013

Former Vancouver Olympic CEO John Furlong has denied allegations of abuse levelled by a freelance reporter, saying in court documents Laura Robinson is a journalist who uses “unorthodox and unreliable” investigation techniques to get her stories.

Furlong launched a lawsuit after Robinson wrote a story published in the Georgia Straight last fall that accused him of harming aboriginal students when he taught at a Catholic school in Burns Lake, B.C.

In new court documents filed Friday, Furlong said additional accusations in Robinson’s statement of defence, which allege Furlong abused his former wife, an unnamed former common-law spouse and students, are defamatory and unfounded.

“The events alleged are said to have occurred in 1969 and the 1970s, but have not been reported in the intervening decades to the plaintiff or to the authorities by any persons involved,” the court document said. “This is because they never occurred.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 PM

Denunciante de Karadima...

CHILE
La Tercera

Denunciante de Karadima solicitará al Vaticano retirar a monseñor Errázuriz de grupo para reformar la curia

por María Paz Núñez - 27/07/2013

Juan Carlos Cruz, denunciante del ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, dijo esta tarde a La Tercera que solicitará al Vaticano retirar a monseñor Francisco Javier Errázuriz del grupo para reformar la curia, debido al encubrimiento de abusos sexuales que habría realizado el cardenal cuando fue arzobispo de Santiago.

Cruz, que participará mañana en un seminario realizado en Washington donde hablará del supuesto encubrimiento de Errázuriz y de "la poca transparencia de Ezzati" indicó que junto con él son "varias las organizaciones internacionales que pedirán que el Papa saque a Errázuriz del comité".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

New sex abuse crisis in Scottish Catholic church

SCOTLAND
The Observer

Catherine Deveney
The Observer, Saturday 27 July 2013

The Catholic church in Scotland faces a fresh sex-abuse crisis involving some of the country's senior clerics. The Observer has seen documents suggesting a scandal similar to the one that led to the resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien as Archbishop of Edinburgh and St Andrews.

As a seminarian, a priest known as "Father Michael", who wishes to remain anonymous while an appeal to Rome is made, said he was sexually assaulted by a parish priest, Father Paul Moore. Father Michael said the church failed to deal appropriately with his complaint over a 17-year period, and that he is now being ousted from the church while, he feels, his abuser is being protected.

Father Michael is recovering from cancer but has been refused permission by Bishop John Cunningham of Galloway to reduce his workload during his convalescence.

The church has demanded that he resign or face removal. The priest, who reported Moore to the police in 1997, said he feels this treatment amounts to punishment for whistle-blowing.

"It's a tragic story," said Father Michael. "It's about cover-up, deceit and lies. The church is a big mafia, and they trash you. They will do everything to destroy me."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

Manitowoc cleric, subject of sex abuse settlements...

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Manitowoc cleric, subject of sex abuse settlements, officially removed from Byzantine Catholic priesthood

Important Update: The February 2012 edition of the St. James Episcopal newsletter “The Spirit” shows Glenn Davidowich working with children at the parish. A sixteen year old contributor to the newsletter comments that she enjoys time spent with her “newest caregiver/teacher Glenn Davidowich”. Included are photos of Davidowich with especially vulnerable children.
SNAPwisconsin.com

UPDATE: Manitowoc cleric, subject of sex abuse settlements, officially removed from Byzantine Catholic priesthood
Fr. Davidowich worked in churches in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Connecticut, and Florida

Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
CONTACT: 414.336.8575

Fr. Glen Davidowich was officially removed from the Byzantine Catholic priesthood for multiple reports of child sexual assault. Davidowich’s laicization was approved in December by Pope Benedict XVI and he was defrocked in April.

Church officials with the Eparchy of Passaic, who supervised the cleric, have reached settlements with multiple victims of Davidowich. An attorney representing one of the victim/survivors described Davidowich as a “serial pedophile” who was “open and notorious with his activities involving children”.

Davidowich’s case demonstrates yet again that sex offenders can move almost undetected across state lines and resettle into unsuspecting communities. Davidowich worked in parishes in five states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Connecticut, and Florida. He now resides in Manitowoc Wisconsin.

If not for the brave survivors who brought a civil case this potentially dangerous cleric would likely still be in ministry. We urge any victims of Davidowich or anyone with information about his reported abuse of children to contact law enforcement officials immediately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

Pope shames Brazil church for letting faithful go

BRAZIL
Sacramento Bee

By JENNY BARCHFIELD and NICOLE WINFIELD
The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, Jul. 27, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Pope Francis issued blistering, soul-searching criticism Saturday of the Brazilian church's failure to keep its flock from straying to evangelical churches, challenging the region's bishops to be closer to their people to understand their problems and offer them credible solutions.

In the longest and most important speech of his four-month pontificate, Francis drove home a message he has emphasized throughout his first international trip at World Youth Day: the need for priests and young Catholics to shake up the status quo, get out of their stuffy sacristies and reach the faithful on the margins of society or risk losing them to rival churches.

Francis took a direct swipe at the "intellectual" message of the church that so characterized the pontificate of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. He said ordinary Catholics simply don't understand such lofty ideas and need a simpler message of love, forgiveness and mercy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Former Garland youth minister charged with producing child porn

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

By Kevin Krause
kkrause@dallasnews.com
3:36 pm on July 25, 2013

Joshua Earls, a former youth minister at the Arapaho Road Baptist Church in Garland, is accused of a molesting a 16-year-old girl.

A former Garland youth minister accused of molesting a teenage girl has been indicted in federal court on a charge of producing child pornography.

Joshua Earls and the 16-year-old girl he sexually assaulted had sent each other text messages with photos of each others’ genitalia, according to a federal complaint.

Earls and his brother are both accused of molesting underage girls. The brothers met the victims through Arapaho Road Baptist Church in Garland.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent found the photos on Earls’ cell phone that was seized during a search of his Garland home in April, the complaint said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

Deacon and teacher appears on pupil sex abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A deacon has appeared in court over 41 counts of indecent assault following a historical sexual abuse investigation at a Greater Manchester school.

Reverend Alan Morris, 63, from Hale, who taught at St Ambrose RC College in Hale Barns, Altrincham, is accused of offences between 1972 and 1991.

He did not enter a plea at Manchester Magistrates Court and will appear at the city's Crown Court on 15 August.

The Diocese of Shrewsbury said he had been "withdrawn from active ministry".

The allegations involve 29 former pupils of the boys-only school, who were aged between 11 and 17 at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Porn row: Church should sell its shares in Google

UNITED KINGDOM
MSN

Some of the biggest names in tech have pledged their allegiance to David Cameron's big online porn crackdown - Microsoft, Yahoo and Twitter are all-in. And although Google have promised to co-operate, a Government advisor has called for investors to sell their stakes in the search giant.

Accounts that are due to be published later this year will reveal that the Church's pension fund has a £5.7 million investment in Google, prompting Cameron's advisor on childhood - Claire Perry - to make her recommendation.

Speaking to The Telegraph Mrs Perry said: “It is quite clear that many companies, in particular British Internet Service Providers are finally now taking a really responsible approach to this. They are seeing that we want a level of social responsibility.

“There are others out there who have not got that attitude. The Prime Minister was saying Google have a responsibility, they are effectively helping people for which there can be no case made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Cameron advisor urges Church of England ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Cameron advisor urges Church of England to pull money out of Google to pressure search engine to block child porn

A Government aide has urged investors to sell their Google shares to try and pressure the internet giant into blocking child abuse images.

Conservative MP Claire Perry, an adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron on preventing the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood, urged the Church of England to cut ties with the search engine that they back.

Ms Perry told the Church to pull its money out of Google in a bid to force the company to take a stronger line over pornographic and abusive images widely available through its engine.

She told The Daily Telegraph: 'It is quite clear that many companies, in particular British internet service providers, are finally now taking a really responsible approach to this. They are seeing that we want a level of social responsibility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Local Priest Makes Court Appearance on Firearms Charges

CONNECTICUT
Patch

Posted by Elyssa M. Millspaugh (Editor) , July 26, 2013

A local priest accused of sexually abusing a minor, and facing federal firearms charges, appeared before a judge Thursday for a detention hearing at Bridgeport Federal Court.

Father Paul Gotta, 55, former administrator of St. Philip in East Windsor and St. Catherine in Broad Brook, is charged with aiding and abetting the unlawful transport of a firearm in interstate commerce, and the purchase of a handgun by a juvenile in violation of federal law, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In federal custody since his arrest last Friday, a judge Thursday agreed to a plan for Rev. Gotta's release to the custody of his sister, according to WFSB.

The terms of release include confinement to Rev. Gotta's Bridgeport home, electronic monitoring, and the removal of legally owned weapons from his home, WFSB reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Ex-teacher in court accused of abusing Trafford school pupils

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

A former teacher has appeared in court accused of abusing pupils at a top boys school over a period of 21 years.

Alan Morris, 63, who is also a church deacon, denies 47 counts of sexual abuse against 29 boys.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place at St Ambrose College in Hale near Altrincham between 1973 and 1994.

It is claimed that at the time all the pupils were under 16.

Rev Morris was given bail at Manchester city magistrates’ court.

The case was adjourned until August 15 when he will appear at Manchester Crown Court for a preliminary hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Shefford St Francis orphanage abuse victims contact lawyer

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

By Nic Rigby
BBC News

A lawyer representing ex-residents of a Catholic orphanage - which is the centre of a police inquiry into abuse allegations - has already been contacted by 12 victims.

Tracey Emmott is representing a group of former residents of St Francis Boys Home in Shefford, Bedfordshire.

They allege they were physically or sexually abused at the home in the 1950s and 1960s.

The church regrets any possible harm but says the claims are not proven.

Ms Emmott, a specialist in cases of childhood sexual abuse, said that since new concerns about the abuse became public in May this year, she has been contacted by 12 ex-residents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Lawsuits Claim Abuse By Youth Pastor

OREGON
OPB

Two Lane County women are suing a Springfield church for more than $7 million each, alleging they were abused hundreds of times by a youth pastor in the 1970s.

The suits, filed in Lane County Circuit Court, name Bethel Assembly of God of Springfield, City of Destiny Church and the national and state Assemblies of God organizations as defendants. It also names the former youth pastor, Morrice H. Corley, as a defendant.

Corley, of Springfield, declined to comment on the suit. Calls to the local church and its state council were not immediately returned.

The Bethel Assembly of God of Springfield merged with the City of Destiny Church in 2005. City of Destiny is a newer congregation formed by a Springfield couple and was not in existence at the time of the alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Byzantine Catholic priest now living in Manitowoc defrocked over sexual abuse claims (update, with response)

WISCONSIN/NEW JERSEY
HTR News

A Byzantine Catholic priest from New Jersey now living in Manitowoc, who once ran a wrestling website that critics likened to child pornography has been laicized — or expelled from the priesthood — following claims he sexually abused teen boys in New Jersey.

(The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., reported the story today. Read the full story here. )

The accused, Glenn Davidowich, responds to the HTR via email. Read his response, found at the bottom of this story.

Glenn Davidowich, 49, of Manitowoc, had been on leave from ministry since at least 2011, when the Eparchy of Passaic reached a $200,000 settlement with one of his alleged victims.

The eparchy, the equivalent of a diocese in the Roman Catholic church, announced in its monthly newspaper, Eastern Catholic Life, that Davidowich was removed from the priesthood April 2. His expulsion was approved in December by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Byzantine Catholic Church is autonomous from the Roman Catholic Church but remains under the auspices of the pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Priest banned by Archdiocese of Detroit from speaking at local church

MICHIGAN
WXYZ

[with video]

By: Anu Prakash

(WXYZ) - Rev. Helmut Schüller is the Catholic priest from Austria who is making headlines here in the US.

His views on the church have drawn support and criticism.

"We want the priesthood to become opened for married men ... for women also .. so we want a discussion about it," he says.

Rev. Schüller is challenging the church leadership and says lay people should get active in the church and make changes.

The Austrian priest is on a 15 city nationwide tour. He was most recently banned from speaking at a Catholic church in Boston, but his speeches have also been drawing crowds.
He was supposed to speak at SS Simon and Jude parish in Westland Friday night, but Detroit's Archbishop Allen Vigneron banned him from speaking there. His address will be made at Wayne Memorial H.S. instead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 AM

Priest who abused children is still looked after by Church

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Helen McArdle
News Reporter

FRESH questions have been raised about how the Catholic Church in Scotland handles child sex-abuse cases.

It has emerged an Ayrshire priest who admitted abusing children almost 20 years ago is still being looked after by the Church.

Father Paul Moore, who is retired, reportedly confessed to the then Bishop of Galloway, Maurice Taylor, in 1996 that he had abused more than one boy.

Rather than reporting him to police, the bishop is understood to have sent him to a treatment clinic for child sex offenders in Canada, after which he was transferred to Fort Augustus Abbey.

However, the real reason for the priest's departure from his parish in Prestwick was reportedly hushed up by the Church and the move described as a sabbatical.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 AM

Paterson Diocese blasts pastor's delay on accused priest as 'major league mistake'

NEW JERSEY
The Record

SATURDAY JULY 27, 2013
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

The priest who failed to report inappropriate behavior by another priest now accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl was the pastor of the Passaic parish where the alleged incident took place, raising questions about how effectively the Catholic Church’s “zero tolerance” policy on clergy sex abuse is being followed.

A lawyer for the Diocese of Paterson on Friday condemned the Rev. Edgar Ruiz, the pastor of St. Mary’s of the Assumption, for not contacting church leaders or even confronting the priest, when a young girl told him in May that the Rev. Jose Lopez had taken her into his private living quarters months earlier for counseling.

“That was a major league mistake and violation of our policies, procedures and guidelines,” said the lawyer, Ken Mullaney.

In light of the clergy sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church for more than a decade, dioceses have adopted policies to guard against and detect sexual abuse, requiring clergy members to report any allegations to the authorities, or in the case of the Paterson Diocese, even hints of them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 AM

Francis first to mention abuse scandals on Brazil trip

BRAZIL
National Catholic Reporter

by John L. Allen Jr. | Jul. 26, 2013 NCR Today

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If proof were ever required of how profoundly Francis has turned around public impressions of the Catholic church, consider this: He’s been in the global spotlight now for five consecutive days in Brazil, and no one brought up the church’s sexual abuse mess until, admittedly indirectly, he did so himself tonight.

Francis’s language was oblique, and it takes a bit of exegesis to connect the dots between what he actually said and the abuse crisis.

Tonight brought World Youth Day's traditional Via Crucis procession, marking the Stations of the Cross. Francis offered a reflection at the end, which was largely a meditation on the meaning of the Cross.

At one stage the pope spoke about Jesus on the Cross being unified with everyone who suffers.

“Jesus, with his Cross, walks with us and takes upon himself our fears, our problems, and our sufferings, even those which are deepest and most painful,” the pope said.

That includes, Francis said, those who “have lost their faith in the church, or even in God, because of the lack of consistency of Christians and ministers of the Gospel.”

“How much Jesus suffers for this lack of consistency,” the pope said.

The category of “lack of consistency” obviously covers a lot of ground, and probably includes all the temptations Francis has repeatedly denounced since becoming pope – careerism, vanity, self-interest, and so on. Yet in the context of the last two decades of the church’s life, it will be difficult for most people not to hear an echo of the sex abuse scandals too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 AM

July 26, 2013

Vatican should set example on fighting abuse, O'Malley says

BRAZIL
National Catholic Reporter

by John L. Allen Jr. | Jul. 26, 2013 NCR Today

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley has spent the last two decades dealing with the church’s sexual abuse scandals, so when he speaks on the subject, people listen – presumably, up to and including Pope Francis himself.

In April, Francis named O’Malley as one of eight cardinals from around the world to help him govern the universal church and to reform the Vatican, in part, perhaps, because of his profile as a reformer on the abuse crisis.

In an interview today, O’Malley acknowledged that so far Francis hasn’t yet really engaged the issue, and suggested two steps he believes the pope could take that would make a difference:

• Prodding bishops’ conferences from around the world that haven’t yet finished their anti-abuse guidelines, offering whatever resources they need to get the job done.
• Implementing in the Vatican the same anti-abuse protocols that dioceses and other Catholic venues have adopted, including background checks and screening of all personnel, training in abuse prevention and detection, as well as training in how to handle accusations when they arise and how to conduct outreach to victims. Doing so, he said, would be a “powerful example.”

O’Malley made the comments in a July 26 interview in Rio de Janeiro, where he’s taking part in the July 22-28 World Youth Day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 PM

SNAP urges archbishop to stand by his decision

GUAM
KUAM

by Krystal Paco

Guam - The termination of Father Paul Gofigan has caught the attention of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). The group is asking Archbishop Anthony Apuron to stand by his decision to fire Father Gofigan, the Santa Barbara Church pastor. According to SNAP director David Clohessy, he says it's outrageous that any individual would rather put his career before the safety of children, let alone a man who is supposed to be considered as a community representative and leader.

As we reported the archbishop replaced Father Gofigan at the Dededo church because he alleges he failed to follow a directive he issued two years ago to fire a sex offender employed there.

The archbishop expressed concerns that the church is near a school. Father Gofigan responds to the statements made by SNAP. "Well, I'm concerned in the purpose of SNAP to keep our children safe those are really meant for true sexual predators especially those who have committed grave crimes over a numerous period of time in the case of some of the clerical sexual abuse I mean we've found that they abused so many people," he said.

Father Gofigan had said that he did in fact follow the directive and terminated the individual, but he was still active in the church as a volunteer. "This person was very young he was in his early twenties he was on drugs alcohol and this is what it does and he was very sorry for his crime and he repented and served his time," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Catholic priest-reformer Helmut Schuller brings message to Portland

OREGON
The Oregonian

By Nancy Haught, The Oregonian
on July 26, 2013

A controversial Catholic priest who was banned from speaking in a Catholic Church in Boston last month will speak at a Protestant church in Portland on Sunday, Aug. 4. The Rev. Helmut Schuller of Austria, a reformer concerned about the shortage of ordained Catholic clergy, will talk about possible solutions from 2 to 4 p.m. at Central Lutheran Church in Northeast Portland. A free-will offering will be collected.

Schuller, who was vicar general for Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn from 1995 to 1999, was dismissed because his views were at odds with church authorities. The Vatican stripped Schuller of his title of "monsignor" in 2012. He is pastor now of a small rural parish near Vienna. He was a founder of the Austrian Priests' Initiative and their 2011 "Call to Disobedience."

Schuller and members of the priests' initiative oppose the consolidation of parishes, support a greater sacramental role for lay people and advocate new thinking on remarried Catholics and same sex couples. The reformers favor the ordination of women and married men and increased transparency within the hierarchy of the church.

"Priests are losing the chance to walk with members of their communities through their daily lives," Schuller said in an interview this week in the National Catholic Reporter. "This is about more than compassion. It is about companionship and solidarity with laypeople."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Outspoken Catholic priest Helmut Schuller calls for reform at Cleveland City Club speech

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

By Rose Vardell, The Plain Dealer
on July 26, 2013

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Female priests, married priests and same-sex marriage tolerance may not be compatible with the Roman Catholic church's teachings, but these changes are what the outspoken Rev. Helmut Schuller is calling for.

The Austrian priest offered these reformations to church doctrine as possible solutions for the growing priest shortage during a Friday luncheon at the Cleveland City Club. It was his second talk in Cleveland this week and part of his three-week, 15-city tour in the United States called "The Catholic Tipping Point."

Schuller said female priests were an essential contribution to the movement for a changed direction in the institutional church.

"A religion that says men and women are both made in the image of God must be reflected in the ministerial structure as well," he said.

Schuller was banned from Catholic churches in Detroit and Boston during the tour. Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley said Schuller's beliefs oppose the church's doctrine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Cardinal Burke labels social justice Catholics communists

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee | Jul. 26, 2013 NCR Today

The cardinal who heads the Vatican's Supreme Court has apparently called Catholics who focus on social justice ministry instead of ornate liturgies akin to communists.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, a former archbishop of St. Louis known for a preference for Latin Mass and long robes during liturgies, makes the comments in an interview posted Thursday by the Catholic news agency ZENIT.

"Some argue the liturgy is mostly about aesthetics, and not as important as, say, good works done in faith," the interviewer asks Burke. "What is your view of this argument that one often hears?"

"It’s a Communist misconception," Burke responds. "First of all, the liturgy is about Christ. It’s Christ alive in his Church, the glorious Christ coming into our midst and acting on our behalf through sacramental signs to give us the gift of eternal life to save us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Carleton student wants residential schools documents released

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

By Teresa Smith, Ottawa Citizen July 26, 2013

OTTAWA — Geraldine King, 33, has spent her life thinking about residential schools and how they’ve affected her family.

The Carleton University student says she is an “inter-generational survivor,” because, while she wasn’t a student herself, her grandmother and likely her grandfather lived with memories of abuse and loss of culture. Their experiences, says King, changed the way they treated their children and resulted in a cycle of abuse and alcoholism in her family.

On Thursday, King stood shoulder to shoulder with about 100 people in Ottawa and thousands more in 12 cities across the country to demand that Prime Minister Stephen Harper “honour the apology” he made in 2008 on behalf of all Canadians for the horrors experienced by more than 150,000 aboriginal people at residential schools.

They want the immediate release of all documents pertaining to the residential school era to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

**SNAP Conference 2013** Headline Speaker Is RadicalPro-Abort Eleanor Smeal, Proving Once Again Group Is Not Really About Sex Abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
TheMediaReport

Lest there be any remaining doubt that the advocacy group SNAP is more about advancing a radical left-wing social agenda than providing actual helpful support for clergy abuse victims, this weekend's annual conference for the group in Washington D.C. is headlining a speech by Eleanor Smeal, the rabid president of the abortion activist group Feminist Majority.

Smeal's contempt for the Catholic Church cannot be overstated, as she has made it clear that the Catholic Church is her number one obstacle in advancing unfettered abortion-on-demand.

A few years ago, she told a pro-abortion gathering, "Opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and of the hierarchy is a major reason this issue (abortion) stays controversial. We've got to keep more pressure on this hierarchy [because] they're vulnerable now [due to the clergy sex abuse scandals]."

Smeal's appearance comes on the heels of last year's headline speaker, Rev. Barry Lynn, the ringleader of the loopy Americans United for Separation of Church and State, whose speech consisted almost entirely of him railing against the Catholic Church for its opposition to the Obama administration's healthcare mandate, thus providing more proof that SNAP really has another agenda at play.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Passaic priest accused of sexual contact with girl, 14, makes court appearance

NEW JERSEY
The Record

Friday, July 26, 2013

BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

The case against a Passaic priest accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl was transferred to state court during his first appearance before a judge this morning.

The Rev. Jose Lopez Durango, a native of Colombia who is in the United States on a religious work visa, did not enter a plea on Friday. Prosecutors allege that in late January, while serving as an assistant priest at St. Mary’s Church of the Assumption, Durango put her on his lap and engaged in sexual contact with her at the church rectory after inviting the girl to this living quarters there.

During a seven-minute appearance in Passaic Municipal Court, the priest – wearing a blue polo shirt and slacks – answered questions from Judge Debbie Irwin through an interpreter and looked down at a podium he stood behind.

After Durango gave the address of the church as his residence, the judge stressed that he cannot live there as a condition of his bail. He then told the judge he was staying at a retirement home in Chester in Morris County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Fresh claims over Catholic Church sex abuse

SCOTLAND
BBC News

By Mark Daly
BBC Scotland Investigations Correspondent

A BBC investigation has revealed fresh concerns about the way the Catholic Church handles child sex abuse cases.

Retired Ayrshire priest Fr Paul Moore admitted abusing children to Bishop Maurice Taylor nearly 20 years ago, but the claims were initially covered up.

Fr Moore's victim has spoken publicly for the first time about the abuse, and the BBC has learned the priest is still being looked after by the church.

Bishop Taylor accepted the diocese had bought Fr Moore a house to live in.

However, he said he had ordered him not to be involved in public ministry again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

A Point of View: The road ahead for the Catholic Church

VATICAN CITY
BBC News Magazine

The Catholic Church is at a critical juncture. Pope Francis needs to address the scandals troubling the Church over recent decades, but risks opening a door to modernisation that may be difficult to close, says Sarah Dunant.

When the first bibles were printed in the 15th Century not everyone rejoiced. Some felt that communicating the word of God was the church's business and should be kept in its hands. While I'm not equating the Pope's use of Twitter with the printing press it's interesting how many people are upset by it. Of course an image of His Holiness hunched over his mobile stabbing in 140 characters feels ludicrous. But give it some thought. Social media has revolutionised the way we gather news. You can bemoan the death of serious journalism, but many celebrate the immediacy of Twitter - how, often sliding under the radar of state security, it has speed and gives a voice to the people, offering a window onto history being made. If the faithful believe in the power of the Pope, why shouldn't he speak to them directly through their mobiles? It's worth nothing that the ten commandments are all conveniently Twitter length.

So what should the Pope be saying to his millions of followers (an apt use of the term perhaps)? Well, it's hard to know where to start.

Many, even among the faithful, think the Catholic Church is in a mess. While it may not be selling indulgences (though the recent suggestion that those following the Pope could knock time off in purgatory makes one wonder), decades of financial scandal and particularly sexual abuse have exposed a level of moral decay which, if it were a democratically elected government or even a global corporation, would see voters or shareholders expressing public revulsion and fury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Schüller: Popular support provides freedom to speak without condemnation

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Robert McClory | Jul. 26, 2013

As Fr. Helmut Schüller travels the United States, the question that puzzles many is how he and other leaders of the "Appeal to Disobedience" movement escape condemnation if not excommunication by the bishops of Austria. Schüller, head of the Austrian Priests' Initiative, speaks candidly about the need for a "new image of the priesthood," which would be open to women and married persons. He sees no reason to deny Communion to divorced and remarried persons and members of other Christian churches. And his organization advocates that every parish have a leader (man or woman, married or single) who would preside at the Eucharist in order to avoid the consolidation or closing of churches. Yet Schüller has so far escaped censure (except for the removal of his title as monsignor). He remains an active priest in good standing in his native Vienna diocese.

At a dinner sponsored by Call to Action the evening before his talk Wednesday in Chicago, Schüller provided some answers to the question. To understand Austrian Catholicism, he said, you have to go back to the turmoil of the 16th and 17th centuries, when the Habsburg rulers imposed the Catholic faith on all Austrian citizens, forcing conversions and expelling non-Catholic clergy from the country.

"This experience of repression," he said, "sowed a lack of confidence" in the hierarchy. "Suspicion and criticism" among the laity has remained a characteristic of the Austrian church to this day, he said.

"On the surface there may be peace and sweetness, but beneath, there is an historic burden we carry," Schüller said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

Pot still boils in Rome while Francis is away

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L. Allen Jr. | Jul. 26, 2013All Things Catholic

Rio de Janeiro --
I'm in Rio de Janeiro this week, watching Francis wow Brazil. The trip has brought a little bit of everything: crowds so pumped up for the pope they created security nightmares, protestors pushed back with tear gas (they were mad at the government, not so much the pope), Francis at his pastoral best at the Marian shrine of Aparecida, and a powerful message of solidarity with the poor in a Rio slum.

You can find my daily reports from Rio on the NCR website.

All that would be enough to make the outing memorable, and the big finish hasn't even happened. Francis will participate in the traditional Via Crucis procession for World Youth Day on Friday night, attend an evening vigil Saturday, and celebrate an open-air Mass for what's expected to be as many as 2 million people Sunday.

The mere fact Francis is out of town, however, doesn't mean his problems in Rome have taken a vacation.

In fact, while Francis is making his triumphant homecoming to Latin America, there are three fires burning back in Rome, one of which he learned of just before he left and two more that have erupted while he's been away.
..
Taken together, these three situations illustrate that Francis will have his work cut out for him when he gets back. If nothing else, his decision not to head out for the traditional summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo during August and to stay on the job instead is starting to look like a good call.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Woman tells Catholic abuse inquiry of ostracism for speaking out

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

A woman whose son was sexually abused by a Catholic priest has told an inquiry into clerical abuse in the Hunter Valley that she was ostracised for speaking out.

The special commission of inquiry has been examining claims the church covered up abuse by two priests in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden.

Fletcher died in jail two years into a 10-year sentence for abusing a boy know to the inquiry as AH.

AH's mother today told the inquiry she was subjected the prank phone calls, had eggs thrown at her house and was shunned in the street after the allegations were raised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Abuse Allegations Against Olympics Organizer

CANADA
Courthouse News Service

By DARRYL GREER

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - The head of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympics sexually abused two girls long ago when he taught at a Catholic school in British Columbia, two women claim in separate lawsuits.

The women filed similar complaints against John Furlong, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, the Roman Catholic Prince George Diocese, and Catholic Independent Schools Diocese of Prince George, in British Columbia Supreme Court.

Beverly Mary Abraham and Grace Jessie West claims Furlong abused them in 1969 and 1970 when he was a gym teacher and they were students at Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary School, in Burns Lake, B.C.

West claims Furlong kicked her in the butt, legs and back almost every day and called her a "dirty Indian" and a "squaw."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Byzantine Catholic priest expelled after abuse claims living in Wisconsin

NEW JERSEY/WISCONSIN
Star Tribune

WOODLAND PARK, N.J. — A Byzantine Catholic priest who was expelled following claims that he sexually abused boys in New Jersey is living in Wisconsin.

The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic notified parishioners that 49-year-old Glenn Davidowich received and accepted notice removing him "from the clerical state" effective April 2.

He had been on leave since 2011, when the eparchy reached a $200,000 settlement with a 36-year-old Hopewell man who claimed he was abused.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian tells The Star-Ledger of Newark (http://bit.ly/169CLXw ) the eparchy settled a second lawsuit in June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Busy day at Special Commission of Inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Cootamundra Herald

By Ian Kirkwood July 26, 2013

A SENIOR cleric, a victim’s mother and a Taree parish priest gave evidence yesterday to the Special Commission of Inquiry in Newcastle.

The day began with the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Father Brian Lucas, resuming a period in the witness box begun on Wednesday.

Just before 12.30, a woman known as BJ – the mother of James Fletcher victim AH – took the stand, telling in emotional terms of a campaign of ostracisation she said followed AH’s decision to press charges against his long-time tormenter, who was also a close family friend.

The day finished with Taree priest Father Desmond Harrigan, who was mentioned in earlier evidence this month given by whistleblowing police officer Peter Fox in relation to the Fletcher investigation.

After application from Father Harrigan’s counsel, Elizabeth McLaughlin, supported by various other counsel, commissioner Margaret Cunneen granted a non-publication order over all of Father Harrigan’s evidence, which was given before a gallery of about 50 people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Archbishop nixes Austrian priest's talk at parish

MICHIGAN
Greenwich Times

WESTLAND, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron (VIG'-neh-ron) has banned an Austrian priest from speaking at a parish because the priest advocates ordaining women and making celibacy for priests optional.

The Rev. Helmut Schuller was scheduled to speak at Ss. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in the Detroit suburb of Westland. Instead, the Detroit Free Press reports (http://on.freep.com/18D4bp7 ) his appearance Friday night has been moved to Wayne Memorial High School.

Schuller has been banned from speaking at Catholic churches in other parts of the U.S., where he is taking part in a multi-city tour. Schuller says the bans in Detroit and elsewhere reflect "an old-fashioned system" where church leadership is out of touch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Gardaí made ‘scurrilous’ comments about clerical abuse victim and tapped his phone

IRELAND
The Irish Post (UK)

By Niall O'Sullivan on July 26, 2013

SURVIVOR of clerical sex abuse has slammed crass gardaí who launched a ‘scurrilous’ campaign against him in the 1980s.

Cheshire-based Irishman James Moran revealed how police in Ireland pursued him with allegations of blackmail after he returned to Dublin in 1987 to confront the priest who abused him.

Details of the garda campaign against him were brought to light as the final chapter of the Murphy Report was released earlier this month.

Mr Moran also alleges a teacher abused him during the same period.

Originally from Co. Kildare, he is now demanding to know why officers went to extraordinary lengths to treat him as a “criminal” when he tried to expose the priest who abused him as a schoolboy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Editorial: The archbishop should explain ...

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Editorial: The archbishop should explain actions in case against accused priest

By the Editorial Board

In 2011, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson defended the way the archdiocese here handles child sexual abuse allegations. He promised to cooperate with law enforcement when asked and to remind adults of their right to contact enforcement authorities in cases of suspected abuse.

His remarks, in an interview with the Post-Dispatch, followed charges and a grand jury report lambasting the way the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, led by Cardinal Justin Rigali, the former archbishop of St. Louis, handled allegations of child sexual abuse in Philadelphia’s Catholic community.

Now comes the case of the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang and suggestions that Archbishop Carlson may not be keeping his pledges.

Father Jiang is a 30-year-old priest in the St. Louis Archdiocese who was charged with criminal child endangerment nearly a year ago after being accused of molesting a teenage girl in Lincoln County.

In a lawsuit filed July 12 by the parents of the girl, now 19, Archbishop Carlson is accused of trying to cover the priest’s tracks. The archbishop has not personally commented on the matter. He should.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Byzantine Catholic priest ...

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

Byzantine Catholic priest who made sexually suggestive videos defrocked over abuse claims

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on July 26, 2013

A Byzantine Catholic priest who once ran a wrestling website that critics likened to child pornography has been laicized — or expelled from the priesthood — following claims that he sexually abused teenage boys in New Jersey.

Glenn Davidowich, 49, had been on leave from ministry since at least 2011, when the Eparchy of Passaic reached a $200,000 settlement with one of his alleged victims. Davidowich now lives in Manitowoc, Wis.

The eparchy, the equivalent of a diocese in the Roman Catholic church, announced in its monthly newspaper, Eastern Catholic Life, that Davidowich was removed from the priesthood April 2. His expulsion was approved in December by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Byzantine Catholic Church is autonomous from the Roman Catholic Church but remains under the auspices of the pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

INQUIRY INTO CHILD ABUSE CLAIMS AGAINST FORMER CARLISLE CATHEDRAL CANON

UNITED KINGDOM
in-Cumbria

By Chris Story
Published at 10:55, Friday, 26 July 2013

A judge has been appointed to lead an independent inquiry into allegations of child abuse by a former Carlisle Cathedral canon.

Judge Sally Cahill QC will examine the church’s handling of historic claims made against the Very Rev Robert Waddington.

And the archbishop who has ordered the inquiry says the church is ready to face facts and acknowledge any failure in its work to protect children from sexual abuse.

Mr Waddington served as Residentiary Canon of Carlisle Cathedral and Bishop’s Adviser for Education from 1972 to 1977. He died in 2007, aged 79.

The claims allegedly involved an Australian schoolboy and a Manchester choirboy. The Diocese of Carlisle and Cumbria Police have previously confirmed the allegations do not relate to Mr Waddington’s time in Carlisle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Vatican prelate accused of trying to smuggle €20m appeals to pope for help

ROME
The Guardian (UK)

Lizzy Davies in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 25 July 2013

Even as he tours the favelas and beaches of Brazil, Pope Francis may find it difficult to forget what is going on back home.

On Thursday, a prelate accused of attempting to smuggle €20m (£17m) into Italy from Switzerland appealed directly to the pontiff, insisting on his innocence and accusing his lay bosses in the Vatican's asset management arm of abusive activities which he said were covered up by some cardinals.

In a letter written from the Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven) prison in Rome, where he has been detained since his arrest with two others on 28 June, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano told Francis: "I have never laundered dirty money; I have never stolen. I tried to help someone who asked for help."

In the missive, written last week and released by his lawyers, he added: "The documentation in my possession proves my honesty and my battles against the abuse of my secular superiors, protected by some senior cardinals."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Arrested cleric accuses cardinals of covering up crimes

VATICAN CITY
The International News

VATICAN CITY: A senior cleric arrested on suspicion of corruption wrote to the pope on Thursday to accuse cardinals of covering up irregular financial activities carried out by his superiors in the Vatican.

“The documents in my possession are proof of my honesty and my fight against the misdeeds of my lay superiors, covered up by certain cardinals,” Nunzio Scarano said in a letter addressed to Pope Francis, cited by ANSA news agency.

The prelate, who was arrested on June 28 on suspicion of having acted as an intermediary for suspect transactions at the Vatican bank — otherwise known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) — proclaimed his innocence.

“I never laundered dirty money, I never stole, I tried to help someone who asked for help,” he wrote from behind bars in Rome’s Regina Coeli prison. Scarano, who worked for years as an accountant for APSA, an agency that manages Vatican assets, said he had documents which would prove his good faith and asked the pontiff permission to present them to him in person.

Financial police accuse Scarano of acting as a front for suspicious payments made through the Vatican bank and “interrupting the traceability of money.” The investigators allege that Scarano had used Vatican bank accounts to make transfers on behalf of his friends, including an attempt to move 20 million euros ($26 million) on behalf of a Neapolitan shipowning family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

More from Lucas (Or: What? Me Remember?)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Senior Catholic priest, Brian Lucas continues to have a poor memory, just like his colleagues. Ms Maria Gerace, a victims’ lawyer, challenged Lucas’ assertion that he could not remember anything about the McAlinden case. As she wryly noted, the single thing Lucas could recall was the one fact that meant he was not guilty of any offence in relation to misprision of felony or similar laws relating to the concealment of evidence or failure to report crime.

Mr. Lucas is a lawyer as well as a priest. In a 1996 speech, entitled “Are our Archives Safe? – An ecclesial view of search warrants”, distributed to church lawyers, Lucas gives a sub-heading reading :” To shred or not to shred – Is that the question?”. Perhaps, he could have added another sub-section headed: “To remember or not to remember – What was the question again?”

This is not the first time Lucas has had memory problems. In 1992, he was part of a committee investigating a “Father F” in the Armidale diocese. In his court hearing in 2004, “Father F” admitted in a meeting with Lucas he molested boys between 1982 and 1984. A letter written by Father Peters (a committee co-member with Lucas) to Bishop Kevin Manning of Armidale just eight days after the 1992 meeting with the priest describes in detail “Father F’s” admissions.

Despite the existence of this letter, Peters denied, in writing, to the ABC “Four Corners” program, that “Father F” had made the admissions. Peters has consistently refused to explain the discrepancy. Maybe, it was just a memory thing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

We need to be honest about our history

IIRELAND
The Irish Catholic

Michael Kelly
Thursday, 25 July 2013

The four religious congregations who ran the Magdalene laundries have set their face against contributing to the Government’s compensation scheme. It’s highly unlikely that the distressed hand-wringing from politicians will change the decision not to contribute to the Magdalene laundries redress scheme. The shameful history of our country in this regard is a call to reflection, and honesty. If we’re willing to heed that call.

Of course, the fact that the sisters have maintained a steely silence on the latest controversy, choosing instead to refer to past statements, makes it largely impossible for the general public to understand where they’re coming from. And in the absence of public commentary from the nuns, a lazy narrative has taken over in the media. Most commentators have tended to fall into either of two camps: on the one hand, they argue that the nuns simply don’t want to pay the money. On the other hand, others argue that the sisters just don’t accept any responsibility for their role in running the laundries.

It’s frustrating that the sisters are unwilling to engage publicly on the issues. However, in private the nuns who were involved are more than willing to share their views. The report into the laundries by Senator Martin McAleese was seen by the orders as offering a comprehensive picture of the complex involvement between Church, State and the wider society that led to an appalling situation where thousands of women were committed to these institutions. And the opening line of the McAleese Report is one frequently cited by the nuns: “there is no single or simple story of the Magdalene laundries”.

This, the nuns argue, proves that the issues at stake are more nuanced than simply asking the orders to hand over half of the estimated €58m cost of the Government’s redress plans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Hiding evidence just as bad as crime itself: campaigner

AUSTRALIA
Camden Haven Courier

By Natasha Wallace July 26, 2013

Priests should be jailed for concealing evidence of sex abuse because they are effectively aiding and abetting a crime, a child protection campaigner has said.

The executive director of advocacy group Bravehearts, Hetty Johnston, was responding to testimony by high-ranking Catholic priest Father Brian Lucas that he did not take notes while interviewing about 35 priests from 1990-1996 who were accused of sex abuse, nor did he refer the matters to police. ''He should be jailed. That just aids and abets offenders to continue to offend and it is just as bad a crime, in my view, than committing the crimes itself,'' Ms Johnston said.

''The person didn't only not do their job but their moral obligation. It is absolutely the most appalling, atrocious response.''

Father Lucas is the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, which oversees the National Committee for Professional Standards responsible for procedures in dealing with abuse complaints. Retired psychologist Stephen Paull, who has 25 years of experience in child protection in the NSW education department, said it was ''absolutely grossly negligent'' both legally and morally not to take notes at such meetings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Woman tells Catholic abuse inquiry of ostracism for speaking out

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

A woman whose son was sexually abused by a Catholic priest has told a NSW inquiry she was ostracised for speaking out.

A woman whose son was sexually abused by a Catholic priest has told an inquiry into clerical abuse in the Hunter Valley that she was ostracised for speaking out.

The special commission of inquiry has been examining claims the church covered up abuse by two priests in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden.

Fletcher died in jail two years into a 10-year sentence for abusing a boy know to the inquiry as AH.

AH's mother today told the inquiry she was subjected the prank phone calls, had eggs thrown at her house and was shunned in the street after the allegations were raised.

She described an altercation in a supermarket where a man rammed a shopping trolley into her leg because he was upset at the allegations levelled at Fletcher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Inquiry: Victim's mother tells of family's pain

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 26, 2013

THE mother of victim AH said it would have been unbearable if paedophile priest Jim Fletcher had not been convicted on her son’s evidence.

The woman, BJ, who gave evidence to the Special Commission of Inquiry in Newcastle on Friday, finished her evidence after lunch by explaining to the commissioner, Margaret Cunneen, the toll that Fletcher’s crimes had taken on her son and her family.

Ms Cunneen said BJ had described the conviction as a "good result" and she asked what BJ would have felt had the trial resulted gone the other way.

BJ said her son had shown enormous courage to press charges and to continue with the trial despite the publicity and stress it put on him.

"The legal process didn’t let us down, the Catholic Church did,’’ BJ said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Priest Allegedly Engages in Sexual Conduct With Teen

NEW JERSEY
NBC 10

A priest affiliated with two Passaic churches has been arrested on charges he had sexual contact with a minor who sought his counsel.

The Passaic County prosecutor's office says charges against Father Jose Lopez include child luring and endangerment and criminal sexual contact.

A listing for Lopez's attorney did not have an answering machine.

Prosecutors say Lopez lured a 14 year-old female parishioner to his private quarters at St. Mary's Assumption church in Passaic, and allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with her.

The victim told authorities she'd gone to Lopez for counseling and he allegedly put her on his lap, kissed her and engaged in sexual contact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Archdiocese sells properties in Plumstead, Abington

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
PhillyBurbs

By Crissa Shoemaker DeBree Staff writer
Posted on July 25, 2013

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has sold four unused properties, including a 49-acre parcel in Plumstead, for nearly $2 million.

Three properties were sold at auction Wednesday for a total of $875,000. Proceeds from those sales will go to the parishes in which the properties are located, including St. Hilary of Poitiers in Abington. A one-acre parcel belonging to the church was sold for $325,000 to a local developer who plans to build an estate home there.

Prior to auction, the archdiocese agreed to sell its land on Wismer Road in Plumstead for $850,000, archdiocesan spokesman Ken Gavin said. Proceeds from that sale will go toward general operating expenses at the archdiocese.

Gavin did not identify the buyer of the Plumstead property, but said the person does not plan on developing the site, farmland purchased for a future church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Philadelphia Archdiocese auctions properties to offset debt

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WPVI

[with video]

Vernon Odom
Action News

PHILADELPHIA - July 24, 2013 (WPVI) -- The financially crippled Archdiocese of Philadelphia continues to look for sources of revenue, and it found one Wednesday. It's called the auction block.

For developers, the old St. Michael Business School building on North 2nd Street in Kensington is a piece of property with great potential.

It sits just a few blocks from the red-hot, ever-redeveloping Northern Liberties neighborhood. And this is a church structure extremely well-built.

"Obviously it's dated, a little tired. But the other nice part is it has a great yard," said developer John Ciliberto.

The St. Michael building is one of multiple school buildings, convents and parcels of land sold off Wednesday by the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Archdiocese Of Philadelphia Auctions Off Several Properties

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An auctioneer has helped the Archdiocese of Philadelphia unload some properties, as the church takes more steps to reduce its financial deficit. They include a former school and two convents in Philadelphia and a parcel of land in the suburbs.

The stout former St. Michael Business School on North Second Street in Old Kensington – with a stone facade and intricate woodwork on the inside – fetched $330,000, and is likely to be converted into condo use.

Kyle Piasecki helped his mother-in-law bid $118,000 on the former Our Lady of Hope Convent on North 19th Street.

“It’s three townhomes that were connected. The goal will be to break them down into three separate homes and flip them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Philly Archdiocese Sells Abington Property

PENNSYLVANIA
Patch

Posted by Mischa Arnosky (Editor) , July 25, 2013

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia sold four local properties at auction on Wednesday … including a plot in Abington.

According to a Phillyburbs.com story, the Archdiocese sold an unoccupied, 1-acre piece of property belonging to St. Hilary of Poitiers for $325,000 to a developer who will likely build a house there.

The money will go back into the St. Hilary parish.

Max Spann Real Estate and Auction Co. oversaw the sales, which also included a 49-acre piece of land in Plumstead (which sold for $2 million); and the former St. Bartholomew convent on Harbison Avenue in Philadelphia (which sold for $220,000). The archdiocese also agreed to sell land on Wismer Road in Plumstead for $850,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Philadelphia archdiocese auction raises $995K

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
ABC 27

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has auctioned off some of its properties and raised $995,000.

Wednesday's auction was part of a strategy to stop running deficits in day-to-day operations and fill some of its financial holes. Before the auction started, officials say the archdiocese itself reached a deal on 48 acres of land in Plumstead, Bucks County, for $850,000.

At auction, the former St. Michael Business School in the city's Old Kensington section went for $330,000 and may be turned into condos. The former Our Lady of Hope Convent sold for $118,000. The former St. Bartholomew Convent went for $220,000.

The archdiocese sold a one-acre lot in Montgomery County, but rejected a $295,000 bid on a 29-acre lot in Harleysville, because it did not approach the appraised value of $625,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Justicia chilena procesará a legionario de Cristo tras denuncia abuso sexual

CHILE
Terra

La Justicia chilena anunció hoy que procesará el próximo 27 de agosto al sacerdote de los Legionarios de Cristo John O'Reilly por las presuntas denuncias de abuso sexual que pesan en su contra.

Según fuentes judiciales, O'Reilly deberá comparecer ante el Cuarto Juzgado de garantía de Santiago, por la formalización (proceso) de un caso que afectó a una menor de seis años en el colegio, mientras se evalúa una segunda denuncia.

El sacerdote, legionario de Cristo de origen irlandés, declaró en diciembre pasado en el marco de la investigación de este caso, oportunidad en que alegó completa inocencia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Sabas Chahuán respalda decisión de formalizar a sacerdote John O’Reilly

CHILE
Bio Bio

Publicado por Javier Cisterna | La Información es de María José Calderón

El Fiscal Nacional Sabas Chahuán respaldó la determinación de la Fiscalía Oriente de formalizar al sacerdote de los Legionarios de Cristo John O’Reilly por abuso sexual de dos niñas.

El Ministerio Público, además, defendió los peritajes realizados de la PDI.

Son dos hermanas, alumnas del Colegio Cumbres, quienes habrían sido abusadas sexualmente por el ex asesor espiritual del establecimiento, John O’Reilly, quien será formalizado por este delito el próximo 27 de agosto.

Esto se produce luego de más de un año de la denuncia de la menor, donde luego de diversas diligencias investigativas, la fiscalía Oriente decidió formalizar cargos en contra del ex capellán de los Legionarios de Cristo, sumando además una segunda denuncia de abuso sexual, realizada por la hermana de la primera supuesta víctima, hoy de 10 años de edad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Windsor First Nations supporters join call for truth on residential schools

CANADA
Windsor Star

Dalson Chen
Jul 25, 2013

If the Canadian government is truly sorry for the horrific Indian residential school system, it should reveal everything about that dark era, say local First Nations supporters.

On Thursday, a handful of people lit candles on Windsor’s riverfront as part of a country-wide rally to urge full disclosure of all documents concerning the schools that for decades forcibly assimilated the children of Canada’s aboriginal population.

Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008 formally apologized on behalf of the nation for the Indian residential school system, critics say the government is dishonouring the apology by holding back important historical information from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

“There’s been no meaningful action behind the apology,” said Lorena Shepley, a community organizer and ally of the CanAm Indian Friendship Centre of Windsor. “It’s just not enough.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

Rallies over nutrition experiments urge Ottawa to disclose all documents

CANADA
Leader-Post

BY KEVIN MENZ, THE STARPHOENIX, THE CANADIAN PRESS JULY 26, 2013

Erica Lee remembers Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 2008 apology vividly.

She sat in a packed gymnasium at Saskatoon's White Buffalo Youth Lodge, watching the television as Harper apologized from the House of Commons for abuse aboriginal people endured under the residential school system, for the Canadian government's role in the system, and for separating children from their families. "It felt like closure. Now it's been how many years and nothing has changed," Lee said Thursday.

The 23-year-old University of Saskatchewan philosophy student, who is closely involved with the grassroots Idle No More movement, organized the Saskatoon leg of several Honour the Apology rallies across Canada on Thursday.

The rallies called on the federal government to release all documents on residential schools to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission - a national commission investigating the residential schools legacy - after nutritional experiments performed on aboriginal people in the 1940s recently came to light.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Rally draws attention to aboriginal nutrition tests

CANADA
CBC News

Dozens of people gathered in Saskatoon today to draw attention to the recent discovery that nutritional experiments were carried out on aboriginals during the 1940s and '50s.

The rally took place at the Vimy Memorial Bandshell, where the crowd collected at noon to talk, pray and pressure the federal government to release documents that could reveal further abuses. Ottawa promised to release documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after its 2008 apology to residential school survivors.

Erica Lee, an organizer of the event, anticipates this is only the beginning.

"What we're hoping is that it will kick off more pressure on the federal government to release residential school documentation that hasn't been released and also to keep it fresh in the minds of Canadians that this is a legacy that we've all inherited as Canadians and we have to address it," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Watching the Jewish Community Watch and Its ‘Wall of Shame’

UNITED STATES
Tablet Magazine

By Rachel Silberstein
July 26, 2013

In June 2011, shortly after Moshe Keller, a rabbi who ran an organization for wayward Chabad youth, was charged with molesting a local teenaged boy, an anonymous blog began to circulate in Crown Heights, the heart of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement. In the blog’s initial post, its author, who first called the site Crown Heights Watch, later changing the name to Jewish Community Watch (JCW), claimed that Keller had been “sexually abusing children since his days in Israel, two decades ago.”

“He believes he can hide behind being a rabbi, since the Rabbonim (rabbis) of the Jewish communities have a track record of hiding such matters,” the post continued.

At first, only Keller’s photo was posted, along with a testimonial from an alleged victim and a call for additional victims to report abuse to the police. A month later, two more men, Yaacov Weiss, who pleaded guilty to child-endangerment charges in 2010, and a never-charged cantor were added to the blog’s “Wall of Shame.” People began to whisper, speculating about who could be behind the blog. The blogger, fearful of retribution, remained anonymous until the summer of 2012, when he revealed himself to be 23-year-old Meyer Seewald, a long-haired local with pale blue eyes, a stubborn jaw, and a dark tan.

Now 24, Seewald claims to have a database containing over 225 suspected sex offenders and a confidential eight-member advisory “board” made up of mental-health professionals, legal experts, and rabbis who, according to Seewald, refuse to acknowledge their roles publicly for fear of backlash. JCW’s Wall of Shame features 36 accused abusers, 21 of them arrested, according to the site, each added when the “board” has determined there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing. Like other Jewish blogs dedicated to sex-abuse awareness, such as Mark Appell’s Voice of Justice or Vicky Pollin’s The Awareness Center, JCW aggregates related news and offers referrals for legal advice or counseling services, but Seewald takes the job a step further. When a victim who confides in Seewald is unwilling—or unable due to the statute of limitations—to press charges, Seewald conducts his own investigation, selectively exposing alleged abusers on his “Wall of Shame.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Archbishop Allen Vigneron bans liberal priest speech from Westland church

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

By Patricia Montemurri and Niraj Warikoo
Detroit Free Press Staff Writers

Detroit Catholic Archbishop Allen Vigneron has banned an Austrian priest from speaking at a Westland Catholic parish today because the Rev. Helmut Schüller advocates allowing women and married men to be priests, in opposition to current church teaching.

Schüller was scheduled to speak at SS. Simon and Jude parish in Westland. But instead, his address, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Wayne Memorial High School. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. talk.

Schüller was also banned from speaking in Catholic churches in other areas of the U.S.

Speaking to the Free Press on Thursday, Schüller criticized Catholic leaders in Detroit and other cities for banning him from church property, saying that it reflects the very problem he’s trying to highlight — a leadership out of touch with the people.

“It reflects an old-fashioned system,” Schüller said by phone from Cleveland, where he was to speak Thursday night. “It’s behavior I cannot understand.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Machesney Park man charged with sex assault, child pornography

ILLINOIS
Rockford Register Star

By Staff reports
RRSTAR.COM
Posted Jul 25, 2013

ROCKFORD — A Machesney Park man is still in jail this week after being charged with 17 counts of sexual assault and abuse of a child and one count of child pornography possession linked to a 13-year-old girl.

Charles M. Tucker, 45, was arrested July 15 by Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police and is at the Winnebago County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Tucker was employed by North Love Baptist Church in Rockford at the time of the arrest. He was a vehicle mechanic and not involved in church leadership.

Pastor Dan Outler said Tucker no longer works at the church.

“We are deeply grieved at the nature of the accusation and have worked closely with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s detectives and the Department of Children and Family Services to aid in their investigation,” a statement from the church reads. “This event comes as a devastating shock to all of us.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

Cahill leads Waddington inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Madeleine Davies

Posted: 26 Jul 2013

THE independent inquiry into the Church's handling of reports ofalleged sexual abuse by a former Dean of Manchester will be led byHer Honour Judge Sally Cahill QC, the Archbishop of York announcedon Monday, writes Madeleine Davies.

Dr Sentamu first announced the inquiry in May, after a jointinvestigation by The Times in London and TheAustralian newspaper in Sydney revealed that allegations ofabuse perpetrated by the Very Revd Robert Waddington had been madein ...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

Inquiry: AH's mother 'ostracised' by church after Fletcher revelations

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 26, 2013

THE mother of AH – whose complaints led to the jailing of paedophile priest Jim Fletcher – has told the special commission of inquiry of being pushed into a wall in a court room toilet during the Fletcher trial.

In another incident, she said a man ‘‘rammed his supermarket trolley’’ into her legs at a supermarket checkout.

She said the man’s wife came back to them and apologised saying she had to understand because the man was ‘‘upset’’ about what had happened to ‘‘Father Jim’’.

‘‘I said, ‘He’s upset?,’ ’’ the mother, known by the pseudonym BJ, told the special commission of inquiry sitting in Newcastle.

BJ took the commission through what she described as a campaign of ‘‘escalating’’ isolation and ‘‘ostracisation’’ from the Catholic establishment once news that AH had gone to the police became known.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

Catholic parishioners revolt against sexual predators but will it kill the Church?

NEW JERSEY
Irish Central

Tom Deignan

Daniel O’Toole had enough.

O’Toole, and other parishioners at St. Joseph’s Church in Oradell, New Jersey, part of the Archdiocese of Newark, have spent the past week up in arms. They have been handing out leaflets before and after Mass.

And on Wednesday, July 31, St. Joseph’s pastor, Reverend Thomas Iwanowski, will step down, following what Iwanowski has described as a series of disagreements over his leadership style.

However, O’Toole told the Bergen Record that there is just one reason it became necessary for Iwanowski to step down.

“The reason he was removed, as best as I can understand it, was because he was harboring a priest with a known history for sexual predation,” O’Toole said.

And so it goes.

Even prior to this latest allegation, their had been calls for the resignation of Newark Archbishop John J. Myers. Earlier this month, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan also came under fire, accused of shielding church finances even as known abusers remained in the priesthood for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 AM

Judge: Accused W. Dundee youth pastor may travel

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

By Harry Hitzeman

A West Dundee church youth director accused of having sex with a minor made his first court appearance Thursday and was granted permission from a judge to travel to Massachusetts for a family reunion next month.

Chad A. Coe, 31, of Elgin, was arrested earlier this month on charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The most serious charge can send him to prison for up to 15 years and he would have to register as a sex offender.

Coe is accused of having sex in June with a girl between 13 and 17 years old, according to court records. He has been placed on paid administrative leave from his post as the First Congregational Church of Dundee's Director of Youth Ministries until the case is over.

Coe was released on $10,000 bond, ordered not to have contact with his accuser, not to have contact with minors and to surrender his passport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 AM

Lawsuits claim abuse by youth pastor

OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Greg Bolt
The Register-Guard

Two Lane County women are suing a Springfield church for more than $7 million each, alleging they were abused hundreds of times by a youth pastor in the 1970s.

The suits, filed in Lane County Circuit Court, name Bethel Assembly of God of Springfield, City of Destiny Church and the national and state Assemblies of God organizations as defendants. It also names the former youth pastor, Morrice H. Corley, as a defendant.

Corley, of Springfield, declined to comment on the suit. Calls to the local church and its state council were not immediately returned.

The Bethel Assembly of God of Springfield merged with the City of Destiny Church in 2005. City of Destiny is a newer congregation formed by a Springfield couple and was not in existence at the time of the alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 AM

Ex-Olympic CEO John Furlong Accused of Sexual Abuse by Former Students

CANADA
Oye! Times

Written by Sam Dixon

Two of the female former students of former Vancouver Olympics CEO, John Furlong, have filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse. The documents submitted in court on Wednesday, alleged that Beverly Abraham was a student at Immaculata Elementary in Burns Lake from 1969-1970, where it is mentioned that Furlong sexually harassed her more than 12 times over a seven-month period.

In the notice of civil claim, it was state that “the sexual touching consisted of grabbing her breasts and buttocks, touching her vagina and vaginal area, and attempting to put his tongue in her mouth.” It was explained in the lawsuit, that Abraham claims the touching took place in the school’s gym after Furlong’s physical education class, and sometimes in equipment room or mechanical closet. Additionally, Furlong is accused of having manipulated her “emotionally and psychologically” as he told her that it wasn’t wrong for him to touch her. The documents point out that Furlong told her that it wasn’t wrong for him to touch her, saying “You’re my beautiful Indian girl and my protégé,” and “You’re my favourite of all the girls.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 AM

Mesa schools reviewing ex-priest

ARIZONA
The Republic

[Marvin Knighton - Jeff Anderson & Associates]

By Michael Clancy
The Republic | azcentral.com
Thu Jul 25, 2013

A former Milwaukee priest who was thrown out of the clergy as a result of allegations that he sexually abused minors has been working as a faculty member in Mesa schools for the last six years.

Marvin Knighton, the former priest, had experience at several public schools in the Valley and good references, according to a Mesa Public Schools spokeswoman. The district is reviewing his status in light of newly available information.

Formal abuse allegations were filed against Knighton 11 years ago. He was acquitted in Milwaukee in 2003 of the abuse charges, involving a man who said he was about 15 at the time of the alleged incidents. Knighton was later convicted in a church trial and barred from the priesthood in 2011.

Details on the Knighton case were released July 1 as part of the recent bankruptcy filing by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The documents can be read in their entirety at the archdiocese’s website, archmil.org, or at the website of Anderson & Associates, the law firm representing a number of accusers in clergy-abuse cases, andersonadvocates.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 AM

July 25, 2013

NJ priest charged with sexual contact with minor

NEW JERSEY
Seattle PI

PASSAIC, N.J. (AP) — A priest affiliated with two Passaic churches has been arrested on charges he had sexual contact with a minor who sought his counsel.

The Passaic County prosecutor's office says charges against Father Jose Lopez include child luring and endangerment and criminal sexual contact.

A listing for Lopez's attorney did not have an answering machine.

Prosecutors say Lopez lured a 14 year-old female parishioner to his private quarters at St. Mary's Assumption church in Passaic, and allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Another NJ predator priest is arrested; SNAP responds

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, July 26

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 Paterson diocese Catholic priest has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a girl.

This is a tragic reminder that every day, clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Catholic church continue to happen, largely because the church hierarchy refuses to make real reforms. It’s also a painful reminder that - despite bishops’ claims that most victims are boys – girls are also hurt by Catholic predators.

We applaud this brave, strong girl for fighting the priest off and helping law enforcement officials pursue him. That takes real courage.

We beg Paterson’s bishop to personally visit every parish where this priest worked and strongly prod any others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Lopez’s crimes to call police immediately. The bishop should shove aside his defense lawyers and public relations professionals and act like a caring shepherd, not a cold-hearted CEO.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

SNAP Backs Archbishop Apuron's Dismissal of Father Gofigan

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Guam- The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [SNAP] has issued a statement backing Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron's decision to dismiss Father Pual Gofigan as the Pastor of Dededo's Santa Barbara Church.

David Clohessy, the St. Louis Director of SNAP, urges the Archbishop to stand by his decision to fire Father Gofigan. [see SNAP statement below]

Clohessy calls it "outrageous that any individual would rather put his career before the safety of children, let alone a man who is supposed to be considered as a community representative and leader." And he also urges the parishioners of the Dededo Church to "speak out against Gofigan's choice to endanger the safety of their children."

The SNAP statement incorrectly asserts that Father Gofigan failed to fire the convicted sex offender from his maintenance position at the church. Father Gofigan says he did fire the man 3 years ago, as instructed by the Archbishop. However, the Archdiocese has charged that Father Gofigan allowed the man's association with the Church to continue in a volunteer capacity.

In a July 16th letter to Father Gofigan, Archbishop Apuron demanded the priest's immediate resignation accuses him of disobeying his orders to dismiss the man writing "you have in effect caused grave harm to the parish by allowing such an individual with a publicly known sex-offense record to work in the Church thus exposing him to your parishioners, especially the youth."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Activists Demand Justice for Victims of Clerical Sex Abuse in Mexico

MEXICO
Independent European Daily Express

Thursday, July 25, 2013

MEXICO CITY, Jul 25 (IPS) - Human rights groups are calling for the Committee on the Rights of the Child to bring the Mexican state to account, as it has done in other countries, for failing to investigate widespread reports of sexual abuse of minors in Catholic institutions.

Experts consulted by IPS said the lack of action by the Mexican authorities and justice system violated the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the Unite Nations General Assembly in 1989 and went into effect in 1990.

"There is a high level of impunity,” Juan Martín Pérez, the head of the Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en México (REDIM - Network for Children's Rights in Mexico), told IPS. “There is clear evidence of collusion between the authorities and the Catholic Church, so cases seldom wind up in court.

“The high-profile cases show the power of the church. It is one of the powers-that-be that is untouchable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Schüller: Bishops have 'no influence' on young people's thinking

CHICAGO (IL)
National Catholic Reporter

Heidi Schlumpf | Jul. 25, 2013

CHICAGO For the crowd of more than 500 at the talk in Chicago by the founder of the Austrian Priests' Initiative, Fr. Helmut Schüller probably didn't say anything they hadn't already heard. But the fact that a priest was not afraid to speak publicly and is networking with like-minded priests around the world gave many audience members hope that reform in the church is possible.

"We as priests try to do our best to support the people of the church in their desires for church reform," Schüller said. "Let us bring hope and courage for the long march of change in our church."

In the seventh stop on his 15-city "Catholic Tipping Point" tour, Schüller shared his experiences with the "Call to Disobedience" movement Wednesday at a charter high school in Chicago. The talk was sponsored by several reform organizations, including Call to Action, Women's Ordination Conference, DignityUSA, FutureChurch, Voice of the Faithfu,l and Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"After hearing Father Helmut, I'm encouraged," said Joe Marren of Chicago, who added that he has worked for church reform for decades. "And I'm comforted that someone in the church is supporting us, the 'lost generation.' "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Priest facing firearm charges to be released

CONNECTICUT
NECN

July 25, 2013

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest arrested on federal firearm charges last week is being released from prison.

A detention hearing was held Thursday for the Rev. Paul Gotta, who was charged with aiding and abetting the unlawful transport of a firearm and the purchase of a handgun by a juvenile. The U.S. Attorney's office says he will be released Friday on $500,000 bond and confined to his sister's Bridgeport home.

Documents in the case were sealed.

A telephone message was left with Gotta's attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Passaic priest faces charges related to sex abuse of girl, 14

NEW JERSEY
The Record

THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2013
BY ABBOTT KOLOFF
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

PASSAIC — A priest assigned to St. Mary’s Assumption Church has been arrested on charges related to the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes said Thursday.

The Rev. Jose Lopez allegedly asked the girl to come to his private living quarters in January to talk about some problems she was having, but then put her on his lap, began kissing her, and engaged in sexual contact with her, Valdes said in a statement.

The girl was able to escape when the priest fell to the floor during a struggle, according to Valdes. The priest had pulled the girl back several times when she tried to get up before he finally fell, Valdes said.

The priest, who also is affiliated with St. Nicholas Church in the city, has been charged with second-degree luring of a child, third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact. His bail was set at $50,000 in Passaic municipal court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Priest accused of molesting parishioner, 14, while in New Jersey on a religious visa

NEW JERSEY
WPIX

PASSAIC, New Jersey (PIX11) - A Passaic County priest is under arrest Thursday after he allegedly molested a 14-year-old parishioner, according to officials.

Father Jose Lopez, of St. Mary’s Assumption Church in Passaic, NJ, faces charges of luring a child, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal sexual contact after he allegedly brought a young girl to his private quarters for ‘counseling’ in January.

Lopez told the girl to sit on a couch so he could advise her on some personal problems, and while talking to her, had her sit on his lap, according to a prosecutor’s office news release.

He then allegedly began kissing her and “began to engage in sexual contact with her”, pulling her back each time she tried to get off the couch. She finally managed to escape after Father Lopez apparently fell off the couch and onto the floor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Passaic County priest arrested for allegedly kissing teenage girl

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By James Queally/The Star-Ledger
on July 25, 2013

PASSAIC — An assistant pastor at two Passaic County churches was arrested today and charged with luring a 14-year-old girl to his residence and trying to kiss her, officials said.

The Rev. Jose Lopez, 34, was charged with luring a child, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal sexual contact in connection with the January incident, according to Passaic County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Holmsen.

Lopez was a parochial vicar, essentially an assistant pastor, at St. Mary's Assumption and St. Nicholas churches in Passaic, said Richard Sokerka, a spokesman for the Diocese of Paterson. A native of Colombia, Lopez was ordained in 2011, Sokerka said.

"The diocese is deeply saddened by these charges and offers its prayers to those who have come forward in this matter," Sokerka said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Church official admits 'secret process' for priests

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

One of the country's most senior Catholic Church officials admits it was Church protocol to deal with paedophile priests 'secretly and discreetly'.

The Commission is examining claims the Church covered up abuse to protect two priests, Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher.

The inquiry's heard father Brian Lucas's job in the 1990s was to "encourage" paedophile priests to resign in a bid to restrict their access to children.

Maria Gerace is representing some of McAlinden's victims at the inquiry.

Late yesterday she put to Father Lucas that Church protocol in 1993 "was a secret process that dealt with the allegations discreetly".

She said it enabled the "scandal to be contained in the offices of the Church".

Father Lucas replied, "To some extent, yes"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Dolan: Francis is, and isn't, what we expected

BRAZIL
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Jul. 24, 2013 NCR Today

RIO DE JANEIRO Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York was among the 114 cardinals who elected Pope Francis in March, so he's in a unique position to answer a fascinating question about the recent conclave and its aftermath.

The question is: Did the cardinals really know what they were getting in Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina? Or, have the first four and a half months of his papacy been as much of a revelation to them as to the rest of the world?

According to Dolan, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

The pope's simplicity, humility and closeness to the people are no surprise, Dolan said, because the cardinals had heard all that -- the only surprise is how well he seems to be pulling it off.

On the other hand, Dolan said, the cardinals also thought they were electing a dynamic manager, and so far the pace of change has been slower than some expected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Guam- Priest fired for keeping sex offender employed

GUAM
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: July 25, 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 priest from the Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Guam was fired for failing to remove a sex offender from the parish.

Father Paul Gofigan had been instructed by Archbishop Anthony Apuron to fire a predator who worked at the church but failed to do so believing the crime was too far in the past, therefore putting children in harm's way. Gofigan now wishes to seek a canonical hearing in order to defend his careless decision and save his career.

We urge the Archbishop to stand by his decision of firing Father Gofigan. It is outrageous that any individual would rather put his career before the safety of children, let alone a man who is supposed to be considered as a community representative and leader. We also urge the parishioners of the Santa Barbara Catholic Church to speak out against Gofigan's choice to endanger the safety of their children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Francis continues Curia reform work from Rio

BRAZIL
Vatican Insider

Cardinal Madariaga revealed this to Spanish newspaper “La Razón”

ANDREA TORNIELLI
RIO DE JANEIRO

Last Tuesday, when Francis was supposed to be resting after a long cross-Atlantic trip to Brazil, he decided to work on Curia reform amongst other things, Spanish newspaper La Razón reports. The revelation comes from Honduran cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga who coordinates the commission of eight cardinals that is helping the Pope revamp the Vatican’s structures. The cardinal met Bergoglio on Tuesday afternoon at the Sumaré residence and suggested the commission prepare an instrumentum laboris on Curia reform, gathering together all proposals from the bishops of the various continents, in order to make the group’s work easier and more fruitful.

“We want the ideas to come from the bottom and bishops are enthusiastic and very eager to strengthen collegiality,” Madariaga explained. Having an isntrumentum laboris that sets out bishops’ proposals would help the Pope in his decision-making, the cardinal explained.

“The goal is to ensure the Pope is better informed so as not to repeat the Vatileaks scenario under Benedict XVI. Information needs to be given directly without any middlemen,” Madariaga said. The cardinal referred again to the envisaged restructuring of the Secretariat of State and the importance of avoiding duplication. He mentioned the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation and the Evangelisation of Peoples as examples.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Onus on victims to tell police

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

By ELLE WATSON July 26, 2013

One of the Australian Catholic Church’s most senior priests has spent a second day defending his decision not to report paedophile priests, including Denis McAlinden, to police on the basis it would betray victims’ trust.

Father Brian Lucas, a non-­practicing barrister and the general ­secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said he faced a constant dilemma when victims refused to go to police.

He told the special commission of inquiry, which is investigating how the Catholic Maitland-Newcastle Diocese dealt with paedophile priests Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher, it was his role to encourage offending priests to resign from ministry.

Father Lucas, who was also part of a committee that designed a protocol for bishops in dealing with allegations of criminal behaviour in the 1980s and 1990s, said he was “mostly ­successful” at persuading ­paedophiles to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

New Jersey priest accused of sexual contact with 14-year old parishioner

NEW JERSEY
WABC

PASSAIC, N.J. (WABC) -- A New Jersey priest has been arrested on charges of having sexual contact with a 14-year old female parishioner.

Father Jose Lopez of of St. Mary's Assumption Church in Passaic is charged with Luring a Child, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and Criminal Sexual Contact.

Authorities say Father Lopez lured the girl to his private living quarters in the rectory at St. Mary's Church.

The alleged victim clamed that Lopez directed her to his couch, and began to counsel her about some personal problems she was having.

She went on to say that Lopez put her on his lap, kissed her and began to engage in sexual contact with her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Hiding evidence just as bad as crime itself: campaigner

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

July 26, 2013

Natasha Wallace

Priests should be jailed for concealing evidence of sex abuse because they are effectively aiding and abetting a crime, a child protection campaigner has said.

The executive director of advocacy group Bravehearts, Hetty Johnston, was responding to testimony by high-ranking Catholic priest Father Brian Lucas that he did not take notes while interviewing about 35 priests from 1990-1996 who were accused of sex abuse, nor did he refer the matters to police. ''He should be jailed. That just aids and abets offenders to continue to offend and it is just as bad a crime, in my view, than committing the crimes itself,'' Ms Johnston said.

''The person didn't only not do their job but their moral obligation. It is absolutely the most appalling, atrocious response.''

Father Brian is the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, which oversees the National Committee for Professional Standards responsible for procedures in dealing with abuse complaints. Retired psychologist Stephen Paull, who has 25 years of experience in child protection in the NSW education department, said it was ''absolutely grossly negligent'' both legally and morally not to take notes at such meetings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Church's secrecy gives public little reason for confidence

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

To people unschooled in legal and canonical niceties, mounting evidence about the Catholic Church's approach to child abuse surely beggars belief.

Australians will soon need to decide whether they still trust the church to do what is best to protect children or whether new laws are needed to ensure police and other investigators become involved whenever there is potential risk.

By placing so much weight on protecting its own reputation and respecting the privacy of victims, the church looks increasingly out of step with community expectations.

Those concerns have been raised by evidence to commission of inquiry into Hunter region paedophile priests from Brian Lucas, general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference since 2002, qualified lawyer and ordained priest.

During six years from about 1990, Lucas's work with the Archdiocese of Sydney included dealing with about 35 priests accused of sex crimes.

Lucas admitted he had never taken notes during the meetings, in some instances ''so that a subsequent legal process that would compel production of them cannot be successful''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Arrested prelate denies stealing, laundering in letter to pope

ROME
Chicago Tribune

Massimiliano Di Giorgio
Reuters
July 25, 2013

ROME (Reuters) - A Catholic prelate at the center of a suspected money-smuggling operation denied stealing and laundering cash in a letter he sent to Pope Francis from his jail cell which his lawyers released on Thursday.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who is the target of two Italian criminal investigations, also said in the letter he tried to fight abusive activities by lay superiors in the Vatican's financial administration, which Francis wants to reform.

Scarano worked for years as a senior accountant at the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, or APSA. Through APSA, he had access to the Vatican bank, where he had at least two accounts.

Though not directly implicated in the money smuggling investigation, the Vatican bank has faced growing criticism for its persistent failure to meet international transparency standards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Vaticanista Publishes Lurid Tale Surrounding Vatican Bank Appointee

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

NEWS ANALYSIS: Msgr. Battista Ricca is accused of homosexual scandal, but papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi calls the allegations ‘not credible.’

by EDWARD PENTIN 07/24/2013

VATICAN CITY — Conflicting reports surround allegations that a priest, appointed last month as an interim prelate of the institution colloquially known as the Vatican Bank, has ties with a “gay lobby” operating within the Holy See.

On July 3, respected Vatican analyst Sandro Magister alleged that Msgr. Battista Ricca had a relationship with another man — the “intimacy” of which was “so open as to scandalize numerous bishops, priests and laity” of Uruguay, where he served in the nunciature from 1999 to 2004.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi July 19 rejected the allegations as “not credible.”

Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Ricca, a 57-year-old Vatican diplomat, temporary prelate of the Vatican Bank — officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) — on June 15 in a bid to help reform the scandal-ridden institution. Until now, Msgr. Ricca had served as director of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the residence where the Pope currently lives.

Magister claims the Italian clergyman’s alleged dark past was hidden from the Holy Father in a bid to embarrass the Pope and hinder reform of the IOR, which is trying to meet international anti-fraud regulations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

EXCLUSIVE-Vatican, Italy near deal on bank information exchange-sources

ITALY/VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Thu Jul 25, 2013

* Signing could be a matter of days -sources
* Italy wants access to more Vatican bank data
* More steps needed for normalisation of banking relations
* Italy-based banks de facto banned from dealing with IOR

By Lisa Jucca and Massimiliano Di Giorgio

ROME, July 25 (Reuters) - Italy and the Vatican are about to reach a deal allowing for the first time regular exchange of financial information between the two states to combat money laundering, several sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

The Vatican is pushing to reform its bank, the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), whose reputation has been tarnished by three decades of scandals. Such a pact would mark a first significant step towards normalising banking relations with Italy.

The deal will take the form of a memorandum of understanding between the Vatican's Financial Information Authority (AIF) and its Italian equivalent, the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF).

The Vatican has already signed similar pacts with other jurisdictions, notably the United States, but the deal with Italy would be significant due to the large number of Vatican transactions going through the country.

Pope Francis has made cleaning up the Holy See a goal of his papacy. However, two of the sources, who declined to be named, said the Vatican must prove its willingness to cooperate with Italian authorities before the Bank of Italy can lift a de facto ban on transactions between the IOR and Italian-based banks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Cleric 'knew cleared abuse priests guilty'

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX From: The Australian July 26, 2013

A SENIOR Catholic cleric was aware of evidence suggesting two priests acquitted of child abuse offences in court were in fact guilty of such crimes.

The men were among dozens of alleged pedophile priests interviewed by Brian Lucas, the general-secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, who did not report them to police.

Instead, Father Lucas told the NSW special commission of inquiry into church child abuse that he followed a "secret and discreet" policy of dealing with the men and would "take my chances" with the law as a result.

"I can think of one particular priest I interviewed who absolutely denied anything. He subsequently was charged, he was convicted by the jury, his conviction was overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal and no retrial," Father Lucas said.

"I did understand that there had been other families who had made representations to the bishop, with which I was not involved at all, suggesting he would have been guilty."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Abuse claims never even get to court

AUSTRALIA
The Age

July 26, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Of more than 2000 complaints by clergy child-sex abuse victims in Victoria, only one has ever made it through the civil court process to a verdict, a researcher will tell a human rights conference on Friday. And that case failed.

The researcher and victims advocate, Judy Courtin, also says that more than half the victims associated with the secondary victims she interviewed are now prematurely dead, either through suicide or substance abuse.

She says the civil law's statute of limitations and especially the Ellis defence - by which the Catholic Church successfully argued it was not an entity that could be sued - has deterred lawyers so that ''victims are stymied … a clear breach of a fundamental human right''.

Criminal proceedings are not much more successful, with about four victims in every 1000 finding their abuser convicted, she says.

Ms Courtin is addressing a high-profile human rights conference held by Monash University's Castan Centre. Other speakers include Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, feminist Eva Cox, Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, and Refugee Immigration Legal Centre director David Manne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Speedy announcement is good news for Scots Catholics

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Thursday 25 July 2013
The announcement of Monsignor Leo Cushley as Archbishop-elect of St Andrews and Edinburgh is good news, both for the Archdiocese and for the Scottish Catholic Church.

The relative speed with which the matter of an appointment has been resolved is an indication of the seriousness with which Rome views the situation in Scotland.

Four of the eight dioceses have been vacant, and the fall of Cardinal O'Brien left bishops, clergy and laity shocked and shamed at the disgrace brought upon the Church. This was all the greater for the prominence that Archbishop O'Brien had enjoyed, following in a course previously laid out by Cardinal Winning.

Each in turn was described as leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, but there is no such position and neither Archbishop Tartaglia nor Archbishop-to-be Cushley will agree to be described as such. Rome has forgone the services of one of its few native English-speaking clergy, no less than the head of the English section of the Secretariat of State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Inquiry: Limited memories questioned

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 25, 2013

COUNSEL for a victim of paedophile priest Denis McAlinden has asked why the only thing a senior Catholic cleric says he can remember about the matter is the one thing that would mean he did not have to go to police at the time.

Maria Gerace, counsel for various church victims including one known as ‘‘AJ’’, was cross-examining Father Brian Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and a major figure in forming the church’s response to priestly child sexual abuse from the late 1980s.

After almost two days of giving his evidence in chief before senior counsel assisting, Julia Lonergan, Father Lucas was asked by Ms Gerace about a number of matters from those days, including a media release issued by the Catholic welfare agency, Centacare, in March 1992.

Allowed to continue despite objections from Father Lucas’s counsel, Peter Skinner, Ms Gerace said the media release stated that priests accused of child sexual abuse would be stood down automatically from their duties and the allegations taken to civil authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Inquiry: Priest 'did not recall McAlinden'

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 25, 2013

FATHER Brian Lucas began his second day in the witness box in Newcastle confirming he’d had to supply more documents about his involvement in dealing with paedophile priests to the Special Commission of Inquiry.

He finished the day by rejecting a suggestion from victims’ counsel Maria Gerace that his evidence was ‘‘not true’’.

Ms Gerace said the only thing Father Lucas could recall for the commission about serial paedophile the late Denis McAlinden – that his victims did not want to go to the police – was the one thing that would stop Father Lucas being charged with concealing a crime.

In between, the evidence traversed such diverse areas as the Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete – a New Mexico-based ministry that specialises in ministering to troubled priests, including paedophiles – and the failure of a Catholic ethicist, Dr Nicholas Tonti-Filippini, to convince the Church to have paedophile allegations against priests automatically reported to police from as early as 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Priest's credibility challenged

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

July 26, 2013

Catherine Armitage
Senior Writer

One of the leaders of the Catholic Church has admitted his way of dealing with claims of child sexual abuse against clergy was outside the church's protocols of the time, that it gave priests an inducement to avoid police action and it helped the church contain any scandal.

In hindsight, it may have been better not to have done it his way, Father Brian Lucas said at the state government inquiry into alleged church and police cover-ups of paedophile priest activity in the Hunter Valley.

On his second day in the witness stand, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishop's conference, a barrister with particular legal expertise in issues of child protection and church confidentiality, came in for a grilling over the way he handled complaints against priests in the first half of the 1990s.

The credibility of his complete lack of recall of a crucial meeting with the disgraced serial child abuser Denis McAlinden in 1993 was repeatedly called into question.

From 1990 it was Father Brian's role to interview NSW priests accused of child sexual abuse. He has asserted the most effective way of protecting children's safety was to persuade offending priests to leave the ministry so they would not have intimate access to families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

The Deception Unveiled, Francis "Will Know What To Do"

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

Statement of the nuncio in Montevideo. Confirmations and new background on the case of the prelate of the IOR. But another storm is already approaching. On a strange appointment (photo) at the newly created commission for the reorganization of the Vatican administrations

by Sandro Magister

ROME, July 25, 2013 – It is enough these days to enter the offices of the Institute for Works of Religion to understand how flimsy the argument is that has been advanced in defense of Monsignor Battista Ricca, the prelate of the IOR whose scandalous past has been revealed by L'Espresso:

> The Prelate of the Gay Lobby

Three floors below the window of the pope's Angelus, in two rooms facing the colonnade of Saint Peter's Square, across large monitors scroll movements of money, past and present, of the clients of the IOR, before the eyes of auditors hunting for suspicious operations. The team is led by Antonio Montaresi, with solid experience in the United States, the new Chief Risk Officer of the controversial Vatican "bank."

Every operation of dubious regularity is brought to the attention of the Financial Information Authority directed by René Brülhart, vice-president of the international network of the Financial Intelligence Unit, which in turn informs its sister authorities in the countries involved and if necessary the Vatican magistracy.

"Bad management": this is how the president of the IOR, Ernst von Freyberg, dismisses the conduct of the previous director, Paolo Cipriani, who was forced to resign together with his deputy last July 1.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Rallies planned following historical discovery

CANADA
Sudbury Star

Rallies are planned in seven Canadian cities Thursday -- including Sudbury -- in light of revelations the federal govern-ment starved and experimented on malnourished aboriginal children in residential schools in the 1940s.

"Canadians from many backgrounds have been shocked and hurt by these recent revelations and this is an opportunity to talk, reflect and do something about it," co-organizer Wab Kinew said in a press release.

A University of Guelph report found 1,300 native children and adults were test subjects in nutritional experiments conducted by the government. Meal plans were altered to provide insufficient vitamins and minerals, and subjects were sometimes denied dental care to test the efficacy of supplements.

These revelations have sparked worry Canada may be covering up other past abuses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Forgotten Australians find their voices

AUSTRALIA
ABC Gippsland

By Celine Foenander

How hard will it be for people who grew up in orphanages and homes to make a submission to the Royal Commission?

Longford resident Ray Shingles says it will be tough but he plans on sharing his story.

"This is a big thing with the Royal Commission, this is our last gasp for them to get it right and I think they will get it right," he says.

"I have a voice and in my community of Forgotten Australians, I will always have a voice and I will always barrack for the underprivileged in the Forgotten Australians."

The Forgotten Australians, people who spent time in homes, orphanages and out of home care will be among those preparing submissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Successor to O'Brien vows allegations will be investigated

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Thursday 25 July 2013

Gerry Braiden
Senior reporter

THE new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh has pledged that all complaints from clergy and parishioners over the fallout of the Cardinal Keith O'Brien scandal will be fully investigated.

Monsignor Leo Cushley, who was yesterday unveiled as Cardinal O'Brien's successor following the enforced resignation, said he would "work hard to get this business sorted out", adding it was crucial any investigation had to be open and transparent.

Mgr Cushley, 52, is currently head of the English-language section of the Vatican's Secretariat of State and has been a close collaborator of both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

Cardinal O'Brien resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh five months ago after admitting decades of sexual behaviour with other clerics and was exiled by the Vatican from Scotland in May. He remains a cardinal.

Asked of his intentions to ­investigate the scandal, Mgr Cushley said: "If there is an investigation it won't be up to me. It will depend on the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Senior priest defends dealings with paedophiles: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 25, 2013

FATHER Brian Lucas has finished giving his evidence in chief to the special commission of inquiry with a determined defence of the practices he used to deal with Denis McAlinden and other paedophile priests.

Father Lucas, the Canberra-based general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference since 2002, was previously with the Catholic Church’s Archdiocese of Sydney and a key player in the Australian church’s formulation of early policies dealing with child sexual abuse by clergy.

As he did on Wednesday, Father Lucas defended his decision not to tell the police about McAlinden on the grounds that the victims who had come to him for help were adamant that they did not want the police involved.

In the commission’s pre-lunch session on Thursday, Father Lucas said this created a significant dilemma that was only solved in 1996 when the church began working more closely with police and developed a protocol to tell the civil authorities about allegations made against clergy without necessarily naming the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Senior Catholic cleric Brian Lucas may have known pedophile priests were evading justice

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX From: The Australian July 25, 2013

A SENIOR Catholic cleric may have been aware of evidence suggesting two priests acquitted of child abuse offences in court were in fact guilty of such crimes, an inquiry has heard.

Giving evidence to the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into church child abuse, Brian Lucas also said he had not reported the men to police as many of their alleged victims did not want authorities involved.

Reverend Lucas said the men were among dozens of pedophile priests he personally interviewed during the early 1990s.

“I can think of one particular priest I interviewed who absolutely denied anything. He subsequently was charged, he was convicted by the jury, his conviction was overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal and no retrial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Archbishop appointee is 'right choice'

SCOTLAND
Evening Times

Stef Lach
Senior Reporter

SCOTLAND'S 
newest archbishop has the personal skills that will help him fill a difficult role, according to people who worked with him when he was a young priest.

Airdrie man Monsignor Leo Cushley was 
appointed Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh by the Roman Catholic Church, 
replacing Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who left the post this year after admitting inappropriate sexual conduct.

In taking over from Cardinal O'Brien, Mgr Cushley, 52, is stepping into the role at a difficult time for the Catholic Church in Scotland.

People who knew him as a chaplain at three Lanarkshire schools in the 1980s and 1990s – St Aidan's High in Wishaw, Our Lady's High in Motherwell and St Margaret's High in Airdrie – describe him as, "highly intelligent, kind and thoughtful, just decent" and add that "he can be very witty."

Liz Leydon, editor of the Scottish Catholic Observer, said: "That personal touch bodes well for what lies 
ahead for the archbishop-elect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Church reform the topic for Austrian pastor and his NYC audience

NEW YORK
Jersey Journal

By Rev. Alexander Santora/For the Jersey Journal
on July 25, 2013

Walking through Manhattan’s Washington Square Park on a hot July evening has the feel of an urban circus. Adults and children cool off in the fountain’s sprays, musicians entertain, and food vendors do a brisk business.

As I am about to exit, I notice the New York University Catholic Center’s modern looking building on the left but I’m headed to the historic Judson Memorial Church to hear an Austrian Catholic priest, Rev. Helmut Schuller, kick off a 15-city U.S. tour. I am not sure why the sponsors selected Judson instead of any Catholic setting; the Archbishops of Boston and Philadephia did ban Schuller from any Catholic property. That only boosted attendance on July 16 and required additional chairs to seat the 400 plus audience.

Schuller is a mild-mannered 60-year-old, who is every bit involved in the life of the Vienna, Austria Archdiocese. He was their Vicar General, the second highest position in the chancery, and still pastors the same parish he did when he had that job. He serves on their priests’ council and writes a weekly column for their archdiocesan newspaper.

So why all the hubbub?

Schuller organized 400 priests out of some 2,500 in the entire country to issue calls for reform back in 2006. The Austrian Priests’ Initiative addressed the “increasing shortage of priests forcing many Austrian parishes to close.”

But it also advocated for reform in the celebration of the sacraments, welcoming remarried Catholics to communion, ordination of women and married men and homosexual unions – none of which is approved by the universal church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Priest, pastor held for sexually abusing minor

INDIA
Hindustan Times

Two persons, including a priest and a pastor, were arrested on Tuesday night for allegedly sexually abusing a minor girl, an inmate of an orphanage, for the last three years.

Subsequently, their bail pleas were rejected and they were remanded in jail custody for 14 days.

Police said that the girl was rescued on Tuesday night with the help of an NGO.

The accused, identified as Father George Samuel (52) and Pastor Johnson ED (39), who have two children each, also used to take regular Bible classes at the orphanage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Piden formalizar a cura O'Reilly por denuncia de abuso

CHILE
Terra

La fiscalía de la zona oriente pidió formalizar por el presunto delito de abuso sexual al al sacerdote de los Legionarios de Cristo John O'Reilly.

La solicitud la realizó al Cuarto Juzgado de Garantía la fiscal de la zona oriente Lorena Parra, de acuerdo a lo señalado a Terra desde el Ministerio Público.

La petición fue presentada ayer y la audiencia se realizará el 27 de agosto próximo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Formalizarán a sacerdote John O’Reilly por abusos en el Colegio Cumbres

CHILE
El Dinamo

24 de julio de 2013

El sacerdote fue suspendido el 25 de julio del año pasado de sus labores tras las denuncias, aunque el religioso se declaró inocente y aseguró que las afirmaciones en su contra constituyen “un lamentable error”.

La Justicia anunció hoy que procesará el próximo 27 de agosto al sacerdote de los Legionarios de Cristo John O’Reilly por denuncias de abuso sexual que pesan en su contra.

Según fuentes judiciales, O’Reilly deberá comparecer ante el Cuarto Juzgado de garantía de Santiago, por la formalización en un caso que afectó a una menor de seis años en el Colegio Cumbres de la capital, mientras se evalúa una segunda denuncia.

El sacerdote, legionario de Cristo de origen irlandés, declaró en diciembre pasado en el marco de la investigación de este caso, oportunidad en que alegó completa inocencia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Tweed sex abuse whistleblower to attend White Balloon Day

AUSTRALIA
My Daily News

BANORA Point whistleblower Fiona Barnett will be Bravehearts' local representative at the organisation's annual White Balloon Day activities on September 6.

Ms Barnett last month appeared before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to testify about the activities of a teacher she says was responsible for the abuse of at least 20 local children in the 1980s and 1990s.

She said she was then approached by Bravehearts to represent the group locally at its fundraising event that will involve hundreds of schools, day care centres, businesses, councils, sporting clubs, community groups and organisations around Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

First Nation infants subject to “human experimental work” for TB vaccine in 1930s-40s

CANADA
APTN

By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
The nutritional experiments conducted in First Nation communities and in Indian residential schools were not the only example where Canada’s Indigenous population faced treatment as “guinea pigs,” academic research shows.

First Nation infants were used for Saskatchewan trials of a tuberculosis vaccine that was mired in controversy at the time of the experiment in the 1930s.

The subject of nutritional experiments exploded last week after reports surfaced on a study by University of Guelph food historian Ian Mosby. The study found that experiments were conducted in six residential schools and communities in northern Ontario, northern Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia between 1942 and 1952.

Previous and ongoing academic research shows, however, that the nutritional experiments were part of a wider pattern in the medical and scientific community’s approach to Indigenous people at the time which included experimentation and the persistence of certain types of surgeries that were no longer conducted on non-Indigenous people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Activist Communique: Indigenous peoples want the Canadian government to honour its apology

CANADA
rabble.ca

BY KRYSTALLINE KRAUS | JULY 24, 2013

On Thursday July 25, 2013, First Nations activists across Canada are calling for the Federal government to release all documents pertaining to our history of residential schools immediately.
Nation-wide prayers are encouraged across Canada from 12:00 pm noon to 1:00 pm.

"If Canada made the apology, they need to honour it," the call out explains.

In 2008, the Federal government under Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, made a rare public apology to First Nations, Metis and Inuit for their treatment under the residential school system.

Residential schools - funded by the Canadian government and administered by Christian churches -- operated here quite soon after settlers began migrating to Turtle Island.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Former Church Employee Arrested for Child Molestation

ILLINOIS
WIFR

[with video]

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A former church employee is now in jail, accused of taking advantage of a young girl.

That girl is just 13 years old. The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department says the man who molested her, Charles Tucker, is now behind bars. He's charged with child molestation and child pornography. Tucker worked at North Love Baptist Church when the alleged abuse happened and when he was arrested, but the pastor says Tucker no longer works for the church. Investigators won't say whether the girl was taken advantage of at the church or somewhere else.

Tucker's neighbors say they were shocked to learn an accused sexual predator lived right down the street.

"I feel surprised and I feel concerned having small children living in this neighborhood. I would like to be aware of this information and I would like to see our neighborhood notified in some way shape or form so that we can just be a little more cautious," Wendy Seerup, said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Vatican to launch Cardinal Keith O’Brien probe

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

by VICTORIA RAIMES
Published on the 23 June 2013

THE VATICAN has finally agreed to demands to launch a formal inquiry into Cardinal Keith O’Brien following allegations of sexual misconduct, it has been reported.

The church is set to undergo a high level inspection - known as an apostolic visitation - in response to the claims made against Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric, who resigned from the diocese of Edinburgh and St Andrews in February.

Archbishop Antonio Mennini is understood to have revealed the inspection when he met with a former priest, known only as Lenny, who accused the cardinal of making sexual advances towards him when he was a seminarian.

The alleged victim said: “The archbishop told me the holy see had decided there would be an investigation into all the allegations. Anyone affected would be able to give evidence. If it is judged that there is sufficient evidence, then it would go to another, deeper process in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

“Por pederastia, canonización de Juan Pablo debe detenerse”: Athié

MEXICO
e-Consulta

La canonización del fallecido Papa Juan Pablo II debe detenerse, pues es un personaje vinculado a la red mundial de pederastia, y se encuentra en investigación, afirmó el ex sacerdote Alberto Athie.

“Pedimos que la santificación de Juan Pablo II se detenga, que se esperen a los veredictos y a las recomendaciones que se lleven a cabo, y veamos que hay quienes fueron responsables de qué y ya sobre eso veamos una valoración si su vida fue una virtuosa y valiosa al extremo”, dijo Athie en entrevista en Noticias MVS Primera Emisión.

Esto, como respuesta a que el Comité de Naciones Unidas para los Derechos de los Niños solicitó esta semana al Vaticano revelar la información sobre casos de pedofilia que involucran al clero católico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Víctimas de abusos piden al Papa desde México que no canonice a Juan Pablo II

MEXICO
El Pais (Espana)

Organizaciones de víctimas de abusos sexuales de México han elevado la voz para exigir a Francisco que paralice el proceso de canonización de Juan Pablo II mientras se investigan los casos de abusos sexuales de la Iglesia. Tras la petición está la solicitud del Comité sobre los Derechos del Niño de la ONU, que este mes de julio ha requerido al Vaticano “información detallada” sobre todos los casos de abusos a menores.

Es la primera vez en la historia que un organismo internacional cuestiona a la Santa Sede. El Papa, de visita estos días en Brasil, tendrá que enfrentar un caso que mermó la credibilidad de su antecesor antes del 1 de noviembre, fecha impuesta por la ONU para presentar una respuesta a sus duras preguntas. “El Papa tiene una oportunidad histórica y única de entregar toda la documentación y de demostrar que no está dispuesto a que esto siga sucediendo”, dice al teléfono el exsacerdote mexicano Alberto Athié.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

John Paul II Sainthood: Sexual Abuse Victims In Mexico Receive UN Support To Halt Pope's Canonization

MEXICO
Latin Times

By Megan Taros, Jul 24, 2013

The UN Convention On The Rights Of The Child have backed a Mexican sexual abuse victims group that formed in response to the impending canonization of late Pope John Paul II. This is the first time a group has formed to challenge the Vatican when it comes to a person's sainthood. The current Pope Francis will now see a case that gives him a chance to reveal pressing questions about the Catholic Church's history with child sexual abuse. He has until Nov. 1 to come forward with any and all evidence pertinent to the case.

"The Pope has a unique and historic opportunity to deliver all the documentation and demonstrate that it is willing to move forward," Alberto Athié, a former Mexican priest, said.

Athié, like many others, left the priesthood after the molestation allegations began surfacing. The Vatican refused to hear the cases in both Mexico and Rome. Another who is opposed to the canonization of John Paul, Joaquín Aguilar of the Clergy Abuse Survivors Network, believes Pope Francis must make an effort to investigate the cases so all involved can be properly punished. He criticized late John Paul's failure in doing so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Defrocking the best solution, priest tells inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

July 25, 2013

Catherine Armitage
Senior Writer

There is “not much more you can do” to prevent children being abused by paedophile priests once you've removed the ministers from office, a Catholic Church priest has told a NSW government inquiry.

But Father Brian Lucas agreed his system of managing accused priests was a failure of risk management and did not comply with the church's protocols at the time.

In the five or six years from 1990 when his role was to deal with sexual abuse allegations against the church in NSW, some of those accused did admit their guilt to him, he said. But he did not pass the admissions on to police because he "never felt able to do that".

Father Lucas, who is also a lawyer with expertise in child protection, was being grilled at the inquiry into the alleged church cover-up of paedophile priest activity in the Hunter Valley.

His insistence that defrocking paedophile priests was the best approach in the early 1990s is under challenge from counsel assisting the inquiry Julia Lonergan, SC. Also under challenge is the credibility of his assertion of a total absence of memory about his dealings with paedophile priest Father McAlinden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

John Furlong's former students file lawsuit against ex-VANOC CEO

CANADA
CBC News

Two former students of a Catholic school in Burns Lake, B.C., have filed notices of civil claims in B.C. Supreme Court, alleging sexual abuse at the hands of former VANOC CEO John Furlong, who taught at the school in the 1960s.

The lawsuits filed by Grace Jessie West, 53, and Beverly Mary Abraham, 55, name Furlong, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, the Roman Catholic Prince George Diocese and the Catholic Independent Schools Diocese of Prince George.

The story first broke last fall when journalist Laura Robinson wrote a story for the Georgia Straight newspaper alleging Furlong had mistreated native students while he was a teacher at a Catholic school in Burns Lake in the late 1960s.

Furlong has vehemently denied the accusations made in the newspaper story and launched a lawsuit against Robinson and the Georgia Straight newspaper.

Allegations of sexual touching

In the lawsuits filed on Wednesday in Vancouver, the two women allege Furlong abused them sexually, physically and verbally during and after gym classes at the Catholic school while he was a teacher there in 1969 and 1970.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong sued for alleged sexual abuse

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SUNNY DHILLON
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jul. 24 2013

Two women who allege they were physically and sexually abused by former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong when he was a physical education teacher decades ago have filed lawsuits against him.

Beverly Mary Abraham and Grace Jessie West filed their notices of civil claim Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court.

Mr. Furlong has not filed a response and the allegations have not been proven. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Mr. Furlong’s lawyer did not return phone and e-mail messages Wednesday seeking comment.

Communications firm TwentyTen Group issued a statement saying Mr. Furlong and his counsel would not comment because the matter is before the courts.

Allegations that Mr. Furlong abused several aboriginal students when he was a physical education teacher in Burns Lake, B.C., more than 40 years ago first surfaced in September in the alternative weekly newspaper the Georgia Straight. Mr. Furlong filed a lawsuit against the newspaper, as well as the article’s author, in November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Ex-students sue former Olympic CEO John Furlong for alleged sexual molestation

CANADA
The Province

BY KIM NURSALL, THE CANADIAN PRESS JULY 24, 2013

VANCOUVER - Two women who allege the former head of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics sexually molested them at least a dozen times when he was a teacher decades ago in Burns Lake, B.C., launched separate lawsuits Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court, documents show.

In one statement of claim, Beverly Abraham, now 55, alleges Furlong would ask her to stay late after class before molesting her in the gym, the equipment room and a mechanical closet.

Abraham, who was 11 at the time, said in the statement that Furlong also emotionally and psychologically manipulated her, calling her his "beautiful Indian girl" and saying it was not wrong for him to touch her.

Grace West, 53, filed a separate statement of claim, alleging that almost every week Furlong would touch her breasts and vagina while stroking himself. West's claim also states Furlong would kick her almost every day, calling her "dirty Indian" and "squaw."

Abraham does not state that Furlong physically abused her. Rather she claims he would request that the school's nuns force her to kneel and the nuns would strike her open palms repeatedly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Two former students of John Furlong file lawsuits alleging sexual abuse

CANADA
Global News

[with video]

Two Burns Lake women are suing former VANOC CEO John Furlong for physical abuse, sexual touching and defamation.

Beverly Mary Abraham is alleging she was 11-years old when Furlong sexually molested her 12 times from November of 1969 to May of 1970.

The court documents state Abraham attended Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary school in Burns Lake in 1969 and 1971.

Furlong was a teacher at the school in 1969 and 1970.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Women claim Furlong abused them

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

BY KELLY SINOSKI, VANCOUVER SUN JULY 25, 2013

Two former students of a Burns Lake Catholic elementary school have filed notices of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court, alleging they were physically and sexually abused by former Vanoc CEO John Furlong when he taught at the school in 1969-70.

Beverly Mary Abraham and Grace Jessie West claim the abuse occurred after gym class at Immaculata elementary school where Furlong was a physical education teacher.

The women also allege the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, Roman Catholic Prince George Diocese and Catholic School Diocese of Prince George are "vicariously liable" for the abuse because they did nothing to stop it.

In their claims, which have yet to be proven in court, both women allege they were sexually abused by Furlong in the school gym, the equipment room and a mechanical closet, usually after the physical education class had ended. Furlong could not be reached for comment through his lawyer or the public relations firm that represents him, TwentyTen Group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

July 24, 2013

Leaders: Archbishop wise to follow Pope’s lead

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

TO STEP into the shoes of disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien, after a difficult year for the Catholic Church in Scotland, must be a daunting task.

So this newspaper wishes Monsignor Leo Cushley, the new Catholic Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, good fortune in taking up his new post at a difficult time.

Little is known of Mgr Cushley, but initial reports suggest he holds orthodox views on the key doctrinal issues facing the Catholic church. This is perhaps unsurprising. The new archbishop may, however, be wise to take a somewhat more nuanced view of his role in the life of the nation than has been evidenced in recent years from senior Catholic clergy in Scotland.

The 52-year-old from Lanarkshire is reputed to be one of the Vatican’s most gifted diplomats. That may be useful, because what the Church in Scotland needs now is a tone that is, in the broadest sense of the word, diplomatic.

The need for a new approach rests not on the saga of O’Brien’s fall from grace – although senior Church figures have acknowledged that having a cardinal condemn homosexuality while being guilty himself of homosexual indiscretions leaves the Church open to the charge of hypocrisy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Catholic church in Scotland 'anxious to move on' after scandal

SCOTLAND
The Guardian

Press Association
The Guardian, Wednesday 24 July 2013

The Catholic church can recover from "the battering" it has taken in recent months, according to Monsignor Leo Cushley, who is to succeed disgraced Cardinal Keith O'Brien as the archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

The priests and people are "anxious to move on" from the scandal involving Cardinal O'Brien, who left the post earlier this year after admitting inappropriate sexual conduct, Mgr Cushley said.

He said he would take stock of what happened within the governance of the archdiocese when he is ordained on 21 September.

The 52-year-old also expressed surprise at being appointed archbishop, given his background as part of the Vatican's diplomatic team, although he described the challenges of his new role as "comparatively easy" compared with previous situations he has faced.

"I am humbled that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has nominated me for such an important task here in our ancient capital. I know it's a delicate moment and that there is a lot to be done but, with God's grace and the kind support of the clergy and people of Edinburgh, I will work cheerfully and willingly with all the energy I can muster," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Archbishop pledges to back inquiry into scandal

SCOTLAND
The Times

Mike Wade
Published at 12:02AM, July 25 2013

The Archbishop-elect of St Andrews and Edinburgh has said he will back a Vatican inquiry into the sex scandal surrounding Cardinal Keith O’Brien, emphasising his determination “to sort this business out”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Bishop Leo Cushley: We got a battering

SCOTLAND
The Sun

By ANNABELLE LOVE

THE Pope’s aide chosen to replace shamed Cardinal Keith O’Brien as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh said yesterday the Catholic Church can recover from its recent “battering”.

Airdrie-born Monsignor Leo Cushley, 52, said he was “humbled” that Pope Francis had chosen him.
The hillwalking U2 fan said: “I know it’s a delicate moment and that there is a lot to be done.
“I will work cheerfully and willingly with all the energy I can muster.”

He added: “I think the Church has taken a bit of battering. I think that is fair.

“But also I think the fundamentals are good and they are right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Former Catholic priest pleads guilty to child pornography charges

MICHIGAN
Advisor & Source Newspapers

By DAVE PHILLIPS

A 62-year-old former priest from Novi has pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography and possession of child pornography, federal officials announced Wednesday.

Timothy Murray “used peer-to-peer software to trade child pornography with others,” including an undercover Department of Homeland Security agent, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.

Agents recovered at least seven devices from Murray’s home. Those devices contained more than 650 movies and 450 images of child pornography, the release states.

“Murray had previously served as a Catholic priest within the Archdiocese of Detroit before being removed from public ministry when substantiated allegations of Murray’s prior sexual abuse of a young boy came to light,” the release states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Inquiry told bishop didn't need to know about priest's confession

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

One of the country's most senior Catholic Church officials says the bishop of a diocese does not need to know about a paedophile priest's admissions of guilt.

In the 1990s father Brian Lucas had a special role, to "seduce paedophile priests" to resign.

Father Lucas is a qualified lawyer and general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and is giving evidence at the inquiry into claims the church covered up abuse by two priests, including Denis McAlinden.

The commission's heard McAlinden confessed in 1993 to the abuse of children but father Lucas said he did not need to tell the Maitland-Newcastle bishop.

He said the bishop "didn't need to know the names of the victims to fulfil his child protections obligations"; he "only needed to know the outcome of the meeting" that the paedophile priest had resigned and should never work for the Church again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

New Archbishop Cushley promises ‘reconcilliation’

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

by CHRIS MARSHALL AND STEPHEN MCGINTY
Published on the 24 July 2013

A VATICAN career diplomat ­appointed to be the new archbishop of St Andrews and ­Edinburgh has promised a ­period of “reconciliation and healing” following the scandal surrounding his disgraced predecessor.

Monsignor Leo Cushley said the standing of the Catholic Church in Scotland had taken a “battering” when Cardinal Keith O’Brien resigned after admitting inappropriate behaviour with a number of priests.

Mgr Cushley, a Scot who has worked all over the world in the Vatican’s diplomatic corps, said Catholics in Scotland had been left “upset and dismayed” at what had happened. But he said the task facing him was “comparatively easy” when compared to missions he had carried out for the Church in Africa.

The 52-year-old, who was born in ­Airdrie, has been a priest of Motherwell diocese for 28 years, but has not worked in Scotland since 1993.

He will be ordained at St Mary’s ­Cathedral in Edinburgh on 21 September. His appointment comes after revelations emerged earlier this year about inappropriate relationships Cardinal O’Brien had with priests and seminarians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

VIDEO: No notes, no paper trail: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 24, 2013

Inquiry archive

Transcripts of inquiry

A SENIOR priest at the heart of the Catholic Church's efforts to deal with paedophile priests has admitted to not taking notes of his investigations so as not to leave a paper trail.

Father Brian Lucas, general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, yesterday gave evidence to the Special Commission of Inquiry in Newcastle.

Father Lucas has been identified in earlier evidence as being involved in attempts to discipline paedophile priest Denis McAlinden, who died in a church-run facility in Western Australia in 2005.

Although he acknowledged evidence at the inquiry that McAlinden had confessed to him personally during an interview in the 1990s, Father Lucas said he had no recollection of that meeting.

Father Lucas said repeatedly that he did not report McAlinden to the police because the victims who had come forward did not want this to happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Evangelizing the institutional church: an interview with Helmut Schüller

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jamie Manson | Jul. 24, 2013 Grace on the Margins

Much has been written about Austrian priest and reformer Helmut Schüller since he opened his 15-city U.S. tour, called "The Catholic Tipping Point," in New York last week.

Schüller has been making news in the Roman Catholic church reform movement since 2006, when he and a group of fellow priests organized the Austrian Priests' Initiative. In 2011, they made global headlines when they launched the "Call for Disobedience," an appeal to the Vatican to address the shortage of priests and other predicaments facing the institutional church.

The Austrian Priests' Initiative is concerned that the dwindling number of clergy is impacting the quality of pastoral care offered to baptized Catholics. Their "Call for Disobedience" suggests reforms such as the ordination of women and married men to address this unfolding crisis.

What makes Schüller an intriguing figure among reformers is that he is not simply an upstart parish priest. He spent years as a hierarchical insider, filling the very public roles of president of Caritas Austria and vicar general under Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. He has the rare insight of one who has served both in the hierarchy and in the parish. Rarer still, he has risked his position and privilege to be in full, outspoken solidarity with lay Catholic reformers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

In Fr Gordon MacRae Case, Whack-a-Mole Justice Holds Court

NEW HAMPSHIRE
A Ram in the Thicket

By Ryan A. MacDonald

I grew up in the sprawling metropolis of New York City. My parents, being somewhat refined folks, took me to all of the city's great cultural institutions, all within walking distance or a subway ride of home. During summer trips to a friend's Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire home, however, all that hard won culture was cast off at a Weir's Beach arcade where I excelled at a game called "Whack-a-Mole." Armed with a heavy padded mallet, there was something cathartic about clobbering those moles popping up in rapid succession. In the summer of 1994, I was hands down the “Whack-a-Mole"champ of Weir's Beach.

I was completely insulated back then, of course, from something happening in another corner of New Hampshire that year. As I played "Whack-a-Mole," Catholic priest Gordon MacRae, today winding up nineteen years in prison, was fighting for his life and freedom in Cheshire County Superior Court sixty miles away in Keene, NH. Having studied in depth that debacle of a trial and all that preceded it, I know I've lost my "Whack-a-Mole" title to some folks in the "Live Free or Die" state.

As I prepare to publish this article, I have just learned that a pending habeas corpus appeal in the Father MacRae case was denied by Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler without a hearing on its new evidence or merits. This will bring about further appeals and additional media scrutiny of this case. The latest in a series of articles on the MacRae case by Wall Street Journal investigative writer, Dorothy Rabinowitz, drew international attention to this injustice. At WSJ.com, "The Trials of FatherMacRae" (May 11, 2013) was the most viewed and most emailed article of that week. At last count, it generated over 32,000 links and was cited in whole or in part in hundreds of other venues.

Among the more than 150 comments posted at the article's on-line version, a few were from New Hampshire resident, Ms. Carolyn Disco, an outspoken critic of the Diocese of Manchester and of Father MacRae (who, by the way she has never met, seen, or spoken with). In posted comments at WSJ and other sites over recent years, Ms. Disco has played a skillful game of "Whack-a-Mole," knocking down any and every exculpatory fact to vie for points in the one-sided propaganda game that fueled MacRae's trial, sent him to prison, and keeps him there today. A few years ago, Carolyn Disco was honored by SNAP, the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests, for her outspoken pursuit of New Hampshire's accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Ex-priest pleads guilty to child porn charges

MICHIGAN
My Fox Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. (AP) -
A Detroit-area man removed from the priesthood nine years ago has pleaded guilty to two federal child pornography charges.

The U.S. attorney's office announced Wednesday that Timothy Murray made the pleas to one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.

Prosecutors say the 62-year-old Novi resident used peer-to-peer software to trade child pornography with others, including an undercover Department of Homeland Security investigator.

A search warrant executed at Murray's home recovered at least seven different computer devices containing child porn. Murray's collection included more than 650 movies and 450 images.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Priest: ‘Don’t take notes’

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

By ELLE WATSON July 25, 2013

The priest who extracted a confession from paedophile Denis McAlinden has admitted he advised other clergy not to take notes of criminal admissions because it could be used as evidence in legal proceedings.

Father Brian Lucas, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference general secretary, yesterday gave a number of reasons it would be counter productive to create a permanent record of conversations with accused priests.

He told the special commission of inquiry into alleged Hunter clergy sexual abuse cover-up: “If you’re sitting in front of him taking notes he isn’t going to say anything, that’s my experience.”

Senior counsel assisting the commission Julia Lonergan SC put it to Father Lucas the real reason he was adverse to taking notes was because he knew it could be used in legal proceedings against the offending priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Priest pleads guilty to child pornography charges

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

Emma Ockerman
Free Press Special Writer

Timothy Murray, a non-practicing Catholic priest with the Archdiocese of Detroit, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Detroit to one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

Murray, 62, of Novi, was removed from public ministry in 2004 after he was accused of touching a 13-year-old boy’s genitalia. Then, he was not charged due to the length of time passed since the alleged abuse and the report of the allegation.

After a federal investigation conducted on Murray last year on suspicion of possession of child pornography, he was found to be trading child pornography with others, including an undercover Homeland Security special agent. That prompted a search warrant to be executed in Murray’s home.

The warrant uncovered at least seven different computer devices containing child pornography, with a collection that included 650 movies and over 450 images, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade’s office said in a press release. According to court documents, Murray told investigators that he viewed pornography weekly, and preferred 13-year-old males.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

MO- Ex St. Louis Jewish teacher jailed again; SNAP responds

ST. LOUIS (MO)/AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 24

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

A Jewish teacher who worked and abused in St. Louis and Australia has been sentenced to three years in jail but could be freed in about three months.

David Kramer, 52, is a former Yeshivah College teacher. He pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation in St. Louis in 2008 and was sentenced to a seven-year prison term.

This week in Australia, Kramer pled guilty to charges of molesting four boys there.

We urge Jewish officials – in Missouri and Australia – to do more. Kramer very likely hurt other kids. He could face other charges. And if he doesn’t, he could walk free soon and assault more children.

It’s not enough for religious figures to sit back and do little or nothing while victims, police and prosecutors work overtime to try to keep kids safe from criminals like Kramer. Every single person who saw, suspected or suffered Kramer’s crimes must find the courage to speak up now. And every single Jewish employee or synagogue member who has knowledge or suspicions of wrongdoing here must do likewise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

VA- Former pastor charged with aggravated sexual battery of children under 13

VIRGINIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: July 24, 2013

Statement by Becky Ianni Washington, DC/Virginia SNAP Director, SNAPVirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044

A former pastor from Virginia has been charged with 12 counts of aggravated sexual battery on children less than 13 years of age taking place between January 2011 to September 2012.

Amongst the charges is the accusation that James Richard Daley, currently the pastor of the Beth Eden Lutheran Church in Luray, had inappropriately touched a female child. The wife of the predator, Margaret Daley—who also ran a day care out of their home—is being charged with failure to report child abuse and keeping a child in a dangerous environment.

We urge the leaders of Beth Eden Lutheran Church to inform their flock and community of this man’s crimes and ask that anyone with more information about Daley to come forward in order to insure he is kept in jail, safely away from children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Media Highlights Church Opposition to California Bill Pushed By Contingency Lawyers Seeking to Bankrupt It, Ignores Exemption of Abuse-Ridden L.A. Schools

CALIFORNIA
TheMediaReport

Making the news recently is California Senate Bill 131, which seeks to open up a one year "window" in 2014 allowing anyone over the age of 26 to sue the Catholic Church for damages stemming from clergy sex abuse. Suits would be allowed even if the alleged activity took place many decades ago and even if the accused abuser is long ago deceased, thus making it nearly impossible for the Church to effectively defend itself in court.

Sound familiar? It should. California enacted the exact same measure a decade ago, which led to the Catholic Church in California paying out $1.2 billion in settlements because of the "window" year of 2003 determined by the state legislature.

Indeed, it was implicit a decade ago that California's temporary lifting of the statute of limitations was a one-time event that would give people who were abused decades ago a unique opportunity to come forward and collect damages. Yet cash-hungry contingency lawyers are at it again for a second round.

Yet a recent article about SB 131 in the Los Angeles Times by Ashley Powers, like other media coverage about the unfair bill, makes no mention at all of the Church-suing contingency lawyers who stand to score humongous settlements yet again if SB 131 passes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Clerical culture, Newark division

NEW JERSEY
Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk | Jul 24, 2013

Imagine two teachers at a private school who are good friends, and one is fired by the headmaster as the result of credible accusations that he molested a teenage boy 25 years ago. The dismissed teacher relocates to his beach house where his friend also goes to live when he is not in residence on campus.

A decade after the dismissal, the house is damaged in a storm and the headmaster gives permission for the man to come live on campus with his friend. The rest of the school is not told anything about the man’s past. When the story comes out, the friend is forced to resign.

This is a secularized version of the story reported in the Newark Star Ledger by Mark Mueller on Sunday, about two priests of the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, Robert Chabak and Thomas Iwanowski. The headmaster? Archbishop John J. Myers, of course.

Myers’ spokesman, Jim Goodness, explained to Mueller that the decision to let Chabak stay at Iwanowski’s rectory was made “out of a sense of compassion.” As for Iwanowski, his comment to Mueller was, “He lived in the rectory and went to Mass every day. He didn’t do anything else. I don’t see the problem with that.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

MI- Victims want archbishop to do more re: criminal priest

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: July 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 Detroit priest is expected to plead guilty to child porn charges today. For the safety of kids, we hope he’s jailed for a long time.

We also hope that Detroit Catholic officials will use their vast resources to reach out to anyone else who may have been hurt by Fr. Timothy Murray. It’s not enough for the archbishop to passively sit back doing nothing while the burden of keeping this criminal away from kids falls on victims, police and prosecutors. Archbishop Vigneron has tremendous power. He should use it to seek out and help every single person who was assaulted or exploited by Fr. Murray. He should use it to gather every bit of evidence law enforcement officials need to keep Fr. Murray behind bars for years. And he should use it to lobby Michigan lawmakers to reform the state’s archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations that prevents most child molesters from ever being prosecuted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Schools in CA, FL, UT, SC, MT & elsewhere blasted

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 24

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 page one New York Times story today documents troubling mistreatment of children at private institutions in Utah, California, Florida, South Carolina, Montana, Louisiana, Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, and elsewhere.

It’s immoral to outsource the safety of kids to private companies and institutions without any real oversight.

The Times reports that “there are no federal laws governing (these) schools” and “private boarding schools are not regularly inspected and are not required to be licensed or accredited” and there’s “little governmental control because the schools are regulated as religious institutions.”

Hasn’t the horrific, decades-long abuse and cover up in the Catholic church taught our society anything about the dangers of letting religious institutions deal with predators and children without regulation?

The Times also reports that

--“a 2011 Congressional bill that would have banned physical abuse and the withholding of food at such schools died in committee after it was opposed by lawmakers reluctant to impose new federal standards on a matter often regulated by states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Barrister priest told clergy to avoid notes of sexual abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

July 25, 2013

Catherine Armitage
Senior Writer

Father Brian Lucas agreed that studying law taught the discipline of good note-taking.

But despite being a non-practising barrister with a fistful of law qualifications, the senior figure within the Catholic Church on Wednesday told an inquiry into sexual abuse he never made notes when dealing with about 35 priests accused of sex crimes.

The inquiry also heard that Father Brian wrote advice for clergy that it was a good idea not to take notes during interviews with accused priests to avoid the material being exposed during any ''subsequent legal process''.

Asked repeatedly about his own practice of not taking notes, Father Brian insisted it could be ''unproductive'' because the priest would stop speaking with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

'I encouraged pedophiles to quit', says Brian Lucas

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX From: The Australian July 25, 2013

ONE of the country's most powerful Catholics, Brian Lucas, does not remember his private meeting with pedophile priest Denis McAlinden.

But then, Father Lucas met dozens of pedophile priests during the early 1990s, convincing them to resign their positions, but taking no notes of the conversations and not reporting their crimes to the police.

"One had to, in some sense, seduce them to resign," the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference yesterday told the NSW special commission of inquiry into church child abuse.

Working closely with the current chancellor of the Archdiocese of Sydney, John Usher, Father Lucas said he met about 35 alleged pedophiles from across NSW over about six years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

Catholic Church can recover from 'battering' of recent months, insists new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh Leo Cushley

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

MONSIGNOR Cushley was appointed by the Catholic Church this morning and replaces Cardinal Keith O'Brien who left the post earlier this year after admitting inappropriate sexual conduct.

THE Catholic Church can recover from "the battering" it has taken in recent months, according to Monsignor Leo Cushley, who is to succeed disgraced Cardinal Keith O'Brien as the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

The priests and people are "anxious to move on" from the scandal involving Cardinal O'Brien, who left the post earlier this year after admitting inappropriate sexual conduct, Mgr Cushley said.

He said he would take stock of what happened within the governance of the archdiocese when he is ordained on September 21.

The 52-year-old also expressed surprise at being appointed Archbishop, given his background as part of the Vatican's diplomatic team, although he described the challenges of his new role as "comparatively easy" compared with previous situations he has faced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

HI- Hawaii pedophile priest is paroled

HAWAII
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 )

For immediate release: July 24, 2013

A predator priest has just been released on parole.

Fr. Mark Matson, a Catholic priest of the Colorado-based Theatine Fathers order, was tried and convicted in 2000 in Hawaii for sexual assaulting a 13-year-old boy. Matson was sentenced to 20 years.

[Star-Bulletin]

This week, he was freed. (See official notice below.)

We believe Catholic officials, in Hawaii, California, Texas and Colorado, should use their vast resources – parish bulletins, church websites, diocesan newspapers and pulpit announcements – to warn families about him.

In addition to his Hawaii conviction, Matson has been accused of abusing boys in Colorado and California. Furthermore, a Colorado man filed a civil suit against Matson for sexual molesting and assaulting him at 13 years old at St. Andrew’s Seminary in the 1970s. (Miami attorney Adam Horowitz represented the victim.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

The Faithful's Failings

UNITED STATES
Berlin Daily Sun

By FRANK BRUNI

The men were spiritual leaders, held up before the children around them as wise and righteous and right. So they had special access to those kids. Special sway.

And when they exploited it by sexually abusing the children, according to civil and criminal cases from different places and periods, they were protected by their lofty stations and by the caretakers of their faith. The children’s accusations were met with skepticism. The community of the faithful either couldn’t believe what had happened or didn’t want it exposed to public view: why give outsiders a fresh cause to be critical? So the unpleasantness was hushed.

This is not a column about the Catholic Church.

This is a column about Orthodox Jews, who have recently had similar misdeeds exposed, similar cover-ups revealed.

And I’m writing it, yes, because the Catholic Church over the last two decades has absorbed the bulk of journalistic attention, my own included, in terms of child sexual abuse. There are compelling reasons that’s been so: Catholicism has more than one billion nominal adherents worldwide; endows its clerics with a degree of mysticism that many other denominations don’t; and is just centralized enough for scattered cover-ups to coalesce into something more like a conspiracy. The pattern of criminality and evasion has been staggering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

NSW Enquiry, Session 2, Week 4, Day 2 (Or: A Flood of Tears)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

When the NSW government enquiry into child sexual abuse and its cover-up in the Newcastle-Maitland Catholic church diocese heard evidence from Fr. Fletcher victim, “AH”, a strange thing happened. The assembled public, media representatives, lawyers and enquiry officials flooded the court with their tears. When he had finished his statement (see full transcript below), all media reported that the hearing chamber “erupted in spontaneous applause”.

Indeed, as he was about to leave the witness box, Commissioner Cunneen told him that “You must always remember, no shame attaches to you. Your courage has placed the shame squarely where it belongs.”

AH did not go into details of the abuse he had suffered, as it was detailed in his mother’s book. What he did go into was the effects the abuse had on him and his family. It was these effects, from an obviously impressive young man, that triggered the tears from those present.

The effects were what are becoming recognized as the standard for the victims of these pathetic priests and include alcohol use, relationship breakdowns, depression, business-failure and suicide attempts. As “AH” put it so well, “I actually thought I was just stuffing up my life until I realized I was a typical victim.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Lucas Finally Fronts the NSW Enquiry (Or: Hear Evil, See Evil, Record No Evil)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Fr. Brian Lucas has admitted to the NSW inquiry into Catholic Church cover-ups of child sexual abuse within the Newcastle-Maitland diocese that he did not take notes during meetings to ensure they could not be used later in court.

The meetings were of a committee established by the Bishop to review allegations against local priests. Lucas is a frequent media spokesman for the Sydney Archdiocese, headed by Cardinal George Pell. The name of the third member of the committee is the subject of a suppression order.

Lucas, who is also a lawyer, said it was a “serious and well understood dilemma” within church legal circles that clergy risked being charged with the crime of misprision of a felony (covering up a crime) if they did not go to police with victims’ complaints. He said he was prepared to take this risk when priests admitted their crimes to him.

One of the Australian Catholic Church’s most prominent and senior figures, Lucas admitted he also advised other clergy it was a good idea not to take notes of interviews with priests accused of sexual abuse so they “couldn’t be successfully used in legal action.”

Clearly, Lucas is defying the law. His close association with Cardinal Pell demands a reply from Pell, who remains on holiday in his palatial, $30 million apartments in Rome. Pell should be called before the enquiry to clarify this matter, but of course that is unlikely since the enquiry officials would probably think he was far too important to be called before them to answer the obvious questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Senior Catholic persuaded paedophile priests to resign

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

One of Australia's most senior Catholics, Father Brian Lucas, has told the Cunneen Inquiry into the sexual abuse cover up, that he convinced 35 paedophile priests to resign from the church rather than reporting them to the police.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: A senior Catholic Church official has admitted he was willing to risk breaking the law by failing to report cases of clergy sex abuse to police.

Father Brian Lucas told the Special Commission of Inquiry into church sex abuse in Maitland-Newcastle that he'd never betray the trust of a victim if they didn't want to go to police about abuse allegations.

Father Lucas said he'd been tasked with seducing alleged paedophile priests to resign, but took no notes of their confessions.

Emma Renwick reports.

EMMA RENWICK, REPORTER: As a lawyer, a priest and former media advisor, Father Brian Lucas is careful with his words.

Father Lucas was at the forefront of the Catholic Church's process of dealing with paedophile priests in the 1980s and '90s. His special role was convincing them to leave the ministry.

Today Father Lucas told the special inquiry into the cover up of child sexual abuse, "... one had to seduce them into agreeing to resign ...".

EMMA RENWICK: Later, Counsel Assisting asked, "How many of these matters have you dealt with?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 24 July 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

- appointed Msgr. Leo Cushley as metropolitan archbishop of Saint. Andrews and Edinburgh (area 5,504, population 1,533,000, Catholics 115,900, priests 120, permanent deacons 4, religious 145), Scotland. The bishop-elect was born in Wester Moffat, Scotland in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a licentiate in liturgy from the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm and a doctorate in canon law from the Gregorian Pontifical University. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar of the cathedral “Our Lady of Good Aid” in Motherwell, chaplain of Our Lady's High School, parish vicar of St. Serf's, Airdrie, and chaplain of St. Margaret's High School in Airdrie, Glasgow, and parish vicar at St. Aidan's in Wishaw. He collaborated in the English section at the Secretariat of State before admission to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1997, serving in the Apostolic Nunciatures in Egypt, Burundi, Portugal, New York (United Nations) and South Africa. He is currently nunciature counsellor in the Section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Inquiry alleges senior clergy knew of paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

Evidence to a NSW inquiry has reveled senior clergy failed to act against a paedophile priest despite evidence they knew he'd been abusing girls for decades, and a warning this story contains graphic language.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: More damning evidence of the Catholic Church's failure to report serial child sex abusers has emerged at an inquiry in New South Wales.

The focus of today's hearing was Father Denis McAlinden, a veteran paedophile who abused dozens of children.

In the witness box was one of the Church's most senior office holders, Father Brian Lucas, currently the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference. He's played an integral role in the Church's handling of paedophile priests and survivors have slammed him for failing to report offenders like McAlinden to the police.

Adam Harvey reports, and a warning: this story contains explicit language and sexual references.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Monsignor Leo Cushley unveiled as new Archbishop

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

by STEPHEN McGINTY
Published on the
24 July

MONSIGNOR Leo Cushley has been named new Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh, replacing Cardinal Keith O’Brien who resigned in disgrace after admitting inappropriate behaviour with a number of priests.

• Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s successor named
• New Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh comes to role from Vatica’s foreign office

Monsignor Cushley, a priest from the Motherwell diocese, is currently working in the Vatican with its secretariat of state, the Vatican’s foreign office.

Cushley has been involved in the visits by heads of state to the Holy See, and was also present on the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK in 2010.

Cushley is believed to have been chosen on account of his “outsider” status and skills in diplomacy and conflict resolution, following service in troublespots during the civil wars in Burundi and Rwanda. He is also known to be a trusted aide and confidante of Pope Francis.

The new Archbishop will today deliver his first message to the Archdiocese which has been shocked by the scandal surrounding Cardinal O’Brien who was revealed to have had a number of inappropriate relationships with priests and seminarians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Uddingston priest is new Archbishop

SCOTLAND
Motherwell Times

By Mike McQuaid
Published on 24/07/2013

A priest from Uddingston has been chosen to succeed the disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien as Archbishop of Edinburgh and St Andrews.

Monsignor Leo Cushley (52) had been head of the English language section at the Vatican, a post he held for four years.

He was the official English translator for Pope Benedict, who stepped down earlier this year.

And when the newly-elected Pope Francis addressed cardinals for the first time in March, Mgr Cushley acted as his personal secretary.

Mgr Cushley, a former pupil at St John’s School in Uddingston, was ordained a priest in 1985. He served as a curate at Motherwell Cathedral and chaplain at St Aidan’s High School in Wishaw before moving to the Vatican’s diplomatic corps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Diplomat to lead troubled Scots diocese in wake of O'Brien scandal

SCOTLAND
The Tablet

Mgr Leo Cushley is to become the next archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, succeeding Cardinal Keith O'Brien who resigned in February amid revelations of sexual misconduct, the Vatican announced this morning.

Glasgow-born Mgr Cushley, 52, was ordained in 1985 and spent eight years as an assistant priest serving in the Diocese of Motherwell before he was called to Rome to be trained as a diplomat at the prestigious Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.

His first posting in 1997 was to the troubled central African nation of Burundi. In 2001 he was sent to Portugal and in 2004 he moved to work at the Vatican's diplomatic mission at the United Nations for three years. After a posting at the nunciature in South Africa he was asked back to work in the Vatican, where he has been head of the English-speaking section of the Secretariat of State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Monsignor Leo Cushley named as new Archbishop

SCOTLAND
Edinburgh News

Pope Francis today appointed Monsignor Leo Cushley as the new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

He will take over the governance of the Archdiocese from Archbishop Philip Tartaglia who has been Apostolic Administrator following the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who was the most senior Catholic cleric in Britain.

Mgr Cushley, 52, is presently Head of the English-language section of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State and has been a close collaborator of

both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. In his capacity as Prelate of the Anticamera Mgr Cushley has been regularly involved in the visits of Heads of State and other important guests to the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Pope Francis nominates Monsignor Leo Cushley

SCOTLAND
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Andrews & Edinburgh

on Wednesday 24th July 2013

It is with great joy and gratitude that the priests and people of the Archdiocese received the news that Pope Francis has today nominated Monsignor Leo William Cushley as the 8th Archbishop and Metropolitan of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

Commenting on the news, Bishop Stephen Robson, the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese, said ‘after months of prayer by the priests and people of the Archdiocese, we are so delighted to learn that God has given us Monsignor Cushley as our new chief pastor. We will now continue to be close to him in prayer in these coming months as he prepares for his ordination and to take on this great task which the Lord has entrusted to him.’

Monsignor Cushley was born at Wester Moffat, Lanarkshire in 1961. He attended Holy Cross High School, Hamilton and the National Minor Seminary of St Mary’s College, Blairs. He was a student at the Pontifical Scots College, the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Sant’ Anselmo. On 7th July 1985 he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Motherwell at St John the Baptist Church, Uddingston by the Right Reverend Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell. After ordination he was appointed curate at Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral, Motherwell and then at St Serf’s, Airdrie in 1988.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Pope appoints new Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh

SCOTLAND
Edinburgh Guide

By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 24 July 2013

Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Leo Cushley as Roman Catholic Archbishop of St. Andrews & Edinburgh.

The new Archbishop will take over the governance of the Archdiocese from Archbishop Philip Tartaglia who has been Apostolic Administrator following the resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who was Archbishop from August 1985 until March 2013.

Mgr Cushley is presently Head of the English-language section of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State and has been a close collaborator of both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. In his capacity as Prelate of the Anticamera Mgr Cushley has been regularly involved in the visits of Heads of State and other important guests to the Holy See. Recently he has assisted as Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, the Archbishop of Canterbury and many other high profile visitors called upon the Pope.

As Head of the English section of the Secretariat of State it was his task to accompany the Holy Father to English-speaking countries. During 2010 he accompanied Pope Benedict to Malta and Cyprus as well as the United Kingdom. During that visit, at Bellahouston, Mgr Cushley had the pleasure of presenting his family to Pope Benedict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Cushley appointed as new archbishop

SCOTLAND
East Kilbride News

Jul 24 2013
Monsignor Leo Cushley has been appointed Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh by the Roman Catholic Church, replacing Cardinal Keith O'Brien who left the post earlier this year after admitting inappropriate sexual conduct.

Mgr Cushley, 52, is currently head of the English language section of the Vatican's Secretariat of State and returns to Scotland where he was born and ordained a priest in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, in 1985.

He will be ordained as archbishop in St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, on September 21.

He said: "I am humbled that our Holy Father Pope Francis has nominated me for such an important task here in our ancient capital. I know it's a delicate moment and that there is a lot to be done but, with God's grace and the kind support of the clergy and people of Edinburgh, I will work cheerfully and willingly with all the energy I can muster."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Vatican appoints replacement for disgraced Cardinal Keith O'Brien

SCOTLAND
The Guardian

Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 24 July 2013

A senior Vatican official has been appointed to replace the disgraced Scottish cardinal Keith O'Brien as archbishop of Edinburgh and St Andrews.

Monsignor Leo Cushley, 52, a close and influential adviser to Pope Benedict and his successor Pope Francis, is based in Rome as head of the English language section of the Vatican's civil service, functioning as a senior career diplomat for the Holy See.

The appointment to succeed O'Brien, five months after he resigned in disgrace after the Observer revealed allegations of sexual impropriety, has come sooner than commentators had expected, suggesting the Vatican is keen to draw a line under the affair.

In a statement to mark his appointment, Cushley alluded to the O'Brien crisis by acknowledging it was a "delicate" time for the Scottish church, and warned he would need months to get to grips with his new post and the damage caused by the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Canada's history of denial

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Don Marks

I will never forget the first time I heard about the horror of Indian residential schools. It was 1982 and I had been commissioned to write a play for the World Assembly of First Nations. A musical combining traditional native song and dance with contemporary rock, jazz, blues, classical and operatic styles, the play was to cover 500 years of history of First Nations in North America.

My script had to be checked by elders throughout Saskatchewan, and when I told them the play was going to be presented at the magnificent mainstream Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts, many of them told me this might be a fine opportunity to finally tell the world about their experiences at "boarding school."

I had never heard about this sad chapter in Canada's history and some of the stories went way beyond what we have since learned about physical and sexual abuse, cultural genocide and the latest revelation that entire communities were used as "laboratories" with people as guinea pigs for experiments about malnutrition.

My first reaction was one of horror, then shame, then guilt, even though I knew full well I would never be a part of such atrocities and I would never support such terrible behaviour. I was pretty sure I would do everything I could to expose such a wrong and try to get it stopped and prevent it from happening in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Tories called to honour Indian residential schools apology

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

BY MICHAEL WOODS, POSTMEDIA NEWS JULY 23, 2013

OTTAWA — Grassroots indigenous activists are calling on the Harper government to honour the 2008 Indian residential schools apology, part of the ongoing fallout from news that aboriginal adults and children were unwitting subjects of nutritional experiments run by government bureaucrats in the 1940s and 1950s.

News of the experiments has provoked mass outrage and also led to renewed scrutiny of what critics see as the government’s lack of cooperation with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) efforts to compile a historical record of Indian residential schools.

The experiments, which involved intentionally depriving 1,300 aboriginal people — including children in several residential schools — of important vitamins and leaving them malnourished between 1942 and 1952, were detailed in a research paper by University of Guelph food historian Ian Mosby.

The news provoked horror among non-aboriginal Canadians, and outrage coupled with a sad sense of familiarity among indigenous peoples whose relatives have told them of such horrors that took place at the government-funded, church-run residential schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Kramer free in three months

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

July 24, 2013 by J-Wire Staff

53-yr-old convicted paedophile Rabbi David Kramer has been sentenced to a maximum of three years and four months for sexually abusing students at Melbourne’s Yeshiva Centre but will possibly be a free man in three months’ time given the time he has spent in detention…and one of his victims has made a statement.

Kramer had been a teacher at Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre. Kramer was sentenced to a non-parole period of 18 months imprisonment but he has already served 457 days in pre-sentence detention.
Prior to the sentencing, one of the US-based victims requested to (belatedly) submit a Victim Impact Statement. We are thankful that the judge agreed to this request. The victim requested that Tzedek CEO Manny Waks read the statement on his behalf, which he did with great difficulty.

Tzedek CEO Manny Waks issued the following statement :

“Today is another important milestone for the Australian Jewish community. Justice has finally been served.

“We must acknowledge and thank the courageous victims in standing up to these heinous crimes that were committed against them when they were most vulnerable – as innocent children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Melbourne's Yeshivah College apologises ...

AUSTRALIA
Australian

Melbourne's Yeshivah College apologises for 'protecting' teacher jailed for sexual assault

A MELBOURNE Jewish school has apologised for not telling police of allegations against a teacher jailed today for sexually assaulting schoolboys.

David Kramer, 53, was today sentenced to three years and four months in prison for groping four boys through their clothing between 1990 and 1992 while a teacher at Yeshivah College.

Angry parents accused Yeshivah College of protecting Kramer by sending him to Israel after it was alerted to allegations against him, and today demanded an apology.

Following today's sentencing, college principal Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler issued an “unreserved apology for any historical wrongs”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Jewish teacher jailed for sexual assaults

AUSTRALIA
The Age

July 24, 2013

Stephen Cauchi

A Jewish teacher who molested four boys at Melbourne’s Yeshivah College over 20 years ago has been sentenced to three years and four months in jail.

But David Kramer, 52, could be out of jail in 100 days. He was sentenced to a non-parole period of 18 months but has already served 457 days in pre-sentence detention.

Kramer was sentenced in Melbourne's County Court by Judge Michael Bourke on five counts of indecent assault and one of indecent acts against a child under 16.

Outside the court, Jewish child sexual abuse survivor and advocate Manny Waks said the sentence was "a little bit lower than we anticipated but justice has been served."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

School sorry over teacher sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

July 24, 2013

Joel Cresswell
AAP

A Melbourne Jewish school has apologised for covering up the sexual abuse of students by a teacher.

David Kramer, 53, has been jailed for three years and four months for fondling four schoolboys between 1990 and 1992 while a teacher at Yeshivah College.

The St Kilda school did not alert police and sent Kramer to Israel when confronted by angry parents in 1993.

Yeshivah principal Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler unreservedly apologised for the "historical wrongs" after Kramer's sentencing on Wednesday.

Advertisement
"Yeshivah sincerely regrets and unreservedly apologises for not informing the police at the time the allegations arose," Rabbi Smukler said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Former primary school teacher David Kramer jailed for sexually assaulting students at Yeshiva College

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A former teacher at a Jewish primary school in Melbourne has been sentenced to three years and four months in jail for sexually assaulting four students.

David Kramer, 52, pleaded guilty to five charges of indecent assault and one of an indecent act with a child under 16.

The offences were committed against four boys aged between 10 and 11 at the Yeshivah College in St Kilda East between 1989 and 1992.

In his sentencing remarks the Victorian County Court judge revealed the college received complaints about Kramer's offending at the time but no report was made to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Jewish teacher Rabbi David Kramer jailed for abuse of four Yeshiva College students

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

SHANNON DEERY HERALD SUN JULY 24, 2013

A JEWISH teacher who committed "unforgivable" crimes on four students at an orthodox Melbourne school has been jailed for a maximum of three years and four months.

But father of 11 Rabbi David Kramer could walk free from prison after just three months because of time already served in pre-sentence detention.

The 53-year-old paedophile is believed to be the first member of a Jewish institution in Australia to have admitted - and been sentenced for - child sex crimes.

The sentence was welcomed by victims, who said while it was lower than they had hoped, justice had been served.

Kramer pleaded guilty to molesting four boys while teaching at Yeshiva College in the early 1990s before fleeing to the US, where he was jailed for further offending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Prosecutors Had Concerns About Fugee's Work Long Before Arrest, Report Says

NEW JERSEY
Patch

Posted by Devin McGinley (Editor), July 22, 2013

Prosecutors voiced concerns about the proximity to children of Michael Fugee, the pastor accused more than a decade ago of groping a Wyckoff teenager, long before he was arrested in May for allegedly violating a court order to cease his work with minors, according to records obtained by Northjersey.com

Fugee was imprisoned in 2003 on charges of sexual misconduct, but his conviction was overturned due to a judicial error in 2006. Prosecutors opted not to retry Fugee, instead allowing him to return to the church under an agreement between the court, the priest and the Archdiocese of Newark that he concede to a lifelong ban on ministering to children.

Fugee now faces charges that he violated the order on seven occasions by hearing confessions from minors around the state, and according to a report by Northjersey.com prosecutors were concerned as early as 2009, the year Fugee began working again under the auspices of the church, that the supervision of the priest by the archdiocese was inadequate.

In a brief filed in 2010, which blocked an attempt by Fugee to expunge his conviction and seal evidence pertaining to the case, prosecutors told the court that “Fugee and the Archdiocese recently teetered on a potential violation of his agreed to restrictions” with a 2009 assignment to St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark.

In that instance, prosecutors wrote, authorities had been alerted to the potential violation only through news reports. Fugee’s alleged contact with children this year was again brought to light by news reports that the priest had accompanied youth retreats at various central New Jersey churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Conflicts arise over accused priest living at St. Joseph's in Oradell

NEW JERSEY
The Record

TUESDAY, JULY 23, 2013
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

Parishioners of an Oradell church were never told that a suspected child sex offender was allowed to live in the rectory, yet a Newark Archdiocese spokesman said the public was never at risk.

But public outcry about this incident, and two others involving a disgraced Wyckoff cleric, have underscored potential conflicts between church operations and the public’s right to know when troubled priests are in their midst.

The archdiocese’s mind-set, a Catholic church expert says, “flies in the face” of developments in criminal law — where sex offenders are required to register with authorities and to live certain distances from schools and child-care centers.

The Rev. Robert Chabak was stripped of priestly duties after church officials, investigating a complaint, found “sufficient evidence” that he abused a teenage boy in the 1970s. While he “vehemently denied” the accusations, he chose to resign in 2004 when the archdiocese planned to take action under church law, said Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the archdiocese. The statute of limitations had expired and Chabak was not criminally charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

No notes so no evidence, says priest

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

By ELLE WATSON July 24, 2013

The priest who extracted a confession from paedohpile Denis McAlinden agreed it was his "published view" not to take notes of criminal admissions because it could be used as evidence in legal procedures.

During a morning of cross-examination at the Special Commission of Inquiry, Father Brian Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, gave a number of reasons why it would be counter-productive to create a "permanent record" of conversations with accused priests.

"If you're sitting in front of him taking notes he isn't going to say anything - that's my experience," said Father Lucas who went on to explain that evidence also could be inadmissible.

Senior counsel assisting the commission Julia Lonergan SC put it to Father Lucas the real reason he was adverse to taking notes is because he knew it could be used in legal procedures against the offending priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

VIDEO: Lucas blames Philippino bishops for McAlinden 'pretence'

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 24, 2013

A SENIOR cleric has blamed his counterparts in the Philippines for letting disgraced paedophile Denis McAlinden act as a priest in a school with thousands of children.

Father Brian Lucas, general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, told the Special Commission of Inquiry sitting in Newcastle yesterday that he was absolutely disgusted that any bishop would allow someone in McAlinden’s position to work in the diocese.

Asked whether he knew the church this end had told the Philippinos about McAlinden’s offences, he said there was no need to because McAlinden should not have been able to work without the proper documents.

He said he was appalled the Philippino bishops would have been ‘‘so fundamentally careless’’ in not following the fundamentals of church policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Father Brian Lucas kept no notes on pedophile priest interviews, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX From: The Australian July 24, 2013

ONE of the most senior officials in the Catholic church personally interviewed dozens of alleged pedophile priests, many of whom admitted their crimes, but took no notes as they might have been used in legal action, an inquiry has heard.

Brian Lucas, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, told the NSW special commission of inquiry into church child abuse that his role was to "seduce them to resign."

One of the priests Father Lucas interviewed, Denis McAlinden, was subsequently subject to an arrest warrant issued by NSW Police, but died before being charged, the inquiry has heard. Another is currently before the courts, charged with child sex abuse.

Giving evidence this morning, Father Lucas said McAlinden had admitted abusing children and he had been prepared to risk committing an offence himself by not reporting this to police.

Counsel assisting the inquiry, Julia Lonergan, asked Father Lucas if he did not take notes during these meetings as "you didn't want it to have to be disclosed in any subsequent legal process?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Pope Francis: joy in Brazil, worsening scandal – and a possible resignation – in Rome

VATICAN CITY
The Telegraph (UK)

By Damian Thompson
Last updated: July 23rd, 2013

The world's press are – understandably – focussing on Pope Francis's visit to World Youth Day in Brazil: it is nice to see such positive coverage of a Pope who deserves it, such is the freshness and vigour he has brought to his role. But I can't help thinking that, if Benedict XVI were in Brazil, the media would talk about celebrations "overshadowed" by the extraordinary allegations facing Mgr Battista Ricca, the man appointed by Francis to oversee reform of the Vatican Bank. (For background, read my post here.)

The are reports that Ricca, 57, who was allegedly caught stuck in a lift with a rent boy, has tendered his resignation to the Pope. We don't know if this is true, though the level of detail about Mgr Ricca's allegedly flamboyant gay past supplied by leading Vaticanologist Sandro Magister suggests that his position is untenable. Should Francis accept a resignation, he'd leave people wondering why his own press officer brushed off the allegations against Ricca who, as director of the Domus Santa Marta hostel where the Pope lives, often eats with the Holy Father.

The following is from a well-connected priest source. It's partly guesswork – but the Ricca affair is so mysterious, and its possible consequences so serious, that informed speculation needs to be taken seriously, at least by those commentators trying to work out whether Pope Francis will succeed in his mission to clean up the Vatican. The emphases in bold type are mine.

The first thing is that it is truly without precedent for someone like Magister, who is no tabloid sensationalizer, to put his career on the line in this way. I think he can be trusted, and ought to be supported. He is a loyal Ratzingerian, and was before it became fashionable. He is not naive. It is quite posssible that his sources are trying to use him, but he would not play such a hand with such decisive stakes unless he believed it was necessary for the good of the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Rattrapé par des révélations sur son homosexualité...

VATICAN
Cath.ch

Rattrapé par des révélations sur son homosexualité, Mgr Ricca aurait présenté sa démission au pape

Après les révélations de l’hebdomadaire italien L’Espresso sur ses activités homosexuelles, Mgr Battista Ricca, récemment nommé prélat de l’Institut pour les œuvres de religions (IOR), aurait présenté sa démission au pape François, a appris l'agence I.MEDIA à Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Prelate of Vatican bank reportedly ready to resign over ‘gay lobby’ scandal

VATICAN CITY
Pink News

by Scott Roberts
23 July 2013

The Prelate of the Vatican bank, Monsignor Battista Ricca, who is facing claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour, has offered to resign, according to an Italian news agency.

I Media, which specialises in covering the Vatican, say Monsignor Ricca offered his resignation to Pope Francis on Saturday, but it remains unknown if it’s been accepted.

Pope Francis, who appointed Monsignor Ricca to reform the Vatican bank in June, is currently on a tour of Brazil.

Earlier this month Italian journalist Sandro Magister, from the magazine L’Espresso, claimed Monsignor Ricca provided accommodation and a job for a male companion while he was assigned as a Vatican diplomat in Uruguay between 1999 and 2001.

According to Mr Magister, when Monsignor Ricca arrived he arranged for a male friend and captain in the Swiss army to live with him in the embassy, it is said that the “intimacy” of their relationship created a scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Inquiry needed ...

IRELAND
Irish Times

Inquiry needed to compel congregations to reveal truth about treatment of Magdalenes

James S Smith

The Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, and Good Shepherd Sisters will not apologise to survivors of the Magdalene laundries. As stated on RTÉ’s The God Slot programme (8th March), the nuns claim there is nothing to apologise for – they provided refuge to women abandoned by their families, the State and Irish society.

Neither will the congregations make a financial contribution to the Government’s reparations scheme, which was founded on the tenets of restorative justice. In holding to this position, the orders expose the Achilles heel of the Government’s Magdalene policy over the past two years – a policy dependent on the congregations’ voluntary co-operation.

Co-operation voluntarily given does not compel the nuns in any legal sense. Their negative response invalidates the Government’s assertion that survivors are being afforded restorative justice. There is no justice without the nuns’ apology and/or financial reparation.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter told the Dáil the nuns seek reconciliation with survivors. But the legal definition of reconciliation “ordinarily implies forgiveness for injuries on either or both sides”. Instead, the orders expect an amnesty for gross human rights violations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Unravelling emotion

IRELAND
Galway Independent

Marie Madden

The treatment of the women of the Magdalene Laundries is a subject that continues to grip and horrify the nation, but one of the first true insights into the lives of these victims was written by a Galway woman and revealed to the nation in 1992.

The treatment of the women of the Magdalene Laundries is a subject that continues to grip and horrify the nation, but one of the first true insights into the lives of the survivors was written by a Galway woman and revealed to the nation in 1992.

‘Eclipsed’ by Patricia Burke Brogan tells the story of a young novice nun who is set to work in a Magdalene Laundry and is hugely troubled by her experiences. It draws on Ms Burke Brogan’s true-life experiences and aims to show the day-to-day reality of life for those interned in these religious prisons.

When first performed by Punchbag Theatre in 1992, the play drew scorn and abuse on the writer, with Ms Burke Brogan once telling me that someone had cut her picture out of the paper and drawn horns and different symbols on it before sending it to her home.

“I got up one morning and this had been thrown in the door, which was very upsetting and hard to handle. People thought I was being anti-Church but I wasn’t. Everyone blamed the sisters, but the State did nothing to intervene.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Reshaping the Church with Bishop Robinson and Pope Francis

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Andrew Hamilton | 24 July 2013

Geoffrey Robinson's book 'For Christ's Sake' features that title superimposed over the image of a person in silhouette holding up a crossCulture has become a popular word to analyse organisations whose members do bad things: football clubs whose players dismantle bars and their patrons; political parties whose members are paraded before courts; and churches in which sexual abuse has been rife.

The culture of an organisation comprises the shared attitudes, values, patterns of relationship and practices that make it more likely that members will act in particular ways. In an army unit where there is a culture of binge drinking and contempt for women, more incidents of sexual assault may well occur than in other units where these features are absent.

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson's recent book on the culture of the Catholic Church carries on his critique of the factors that have contributed to clerical sexual abuse of children and to denial and concealment of it. The aspects of Catholic culture that he believes conducive to it include: a relationship with God dominated by fear; immaturity; compulsory clerical celibacy, an exclusively male caste standing over the church; a lonely way of life; a cult of privacy and secrecy; a compulsive need to defend the actions and attitudes of the Pope.

Together these things made it more likely that priests will be tempted to abuse children, will have the opportunity to do so, will abuse with impunity, and have their actions denied and covered up by others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Former area pastor accused of child molestation

VIRGINIA
NV Daily

By Joe Beck

A Page County grand jury Monday handed up indictments of 12 counts of aggravated sexual battery of a child less than 13 years old against the former pastor of a church in Shenandoah County.

Page County Sheriff John B. Thomas said the defendant, James Richard Daley, 70, now pastor of the Beth Eden Lutheran Church in Luray, was arrested after someone reported him to the Luray Police Department. Daley remained held without bond in the Page County Jail on Tuesday afternoon.

Daley was pastor at the Lebanon Lutheran Church in Lebanon Church for several years in the 1980s.

News of Daley's indictments stunned John D. Cutlip, the current pastor of Lebanon Lutheran. Cutlip said he has been in sporadic contact with Daley through the years, most recently two or more years ago when they co-officiated at a wedding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Senior church figure advised clergy not to take notes of interviews with accused priests

AUSTRALIA
Blayney Chronicle

By Catherine Armitage July 24, 2013

One of the Australian Catholic Church's most prominent and senior figures has admitted he advised other clergy it was a good idea not to take notes of interviews with priests accused of sexual abuse so they couldn't be successfully used in legal action.

Father Brian Lucas, a frequent media spokesman for the archdiocese of Sydney and general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference said he had dealt with about 35 accused priests around NSW from 1990 to 1995 when he was part of a team whose job was to confront them and persuade them out of the ministry.

He gave evidence to the NSW government inquiry into alleged police and church cover-ups of sexual abuse by priests in the Hunter Valley that he had persuaded more than 10 of them to leave the ministry.

He said if he had taken notes fairness would have required that he check them with the accused for accuracy. Asked whether he had ever done that he said no.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

NSW abuse inquiry hears Catholic Church official was willing to risk breaking the law by not reporting child sexual abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

A senior Catholic Church official says he was willing to risk breaking the law by not reporting child sexual abuse allegations against a Hunter Valley priest.

Father Brian Lucas is a former lawyer and the current general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops conference.

He is giving evidence at the New South Wales inquiry investigating claims the church covered up abuse by two Maitland-Newcastle priests, Father James Fletcher and Father Denis McAlinden.

Father Lucas has told the inquiry he did not take notes during meetings to ensure they could not be used later in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Did Catholic watchdog miss child porn? Priest to plead guilty in federal case

MICHIGAN
Desert Sun

Written by
Patricia Montemurri
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

There was supposed to be someone from the Archdiocese of Detroit watching Timothy Murray of Novi, a Catholic priest banned from working in the Catholic Church because of sexual misconduct.

But the archdiocese did not know what Murray was doing inside his home. And last year, federal agents investigated him for possession and distribution of child pornography.

Today in federal court, Murray is scheduled to plead guilty to child pornography charges, which could put him in prison 20-30 years. According to court documents, he was in possession of sexually explicit videos of boys ages 6-16 and had downloaded roughly 500 images of child pornography from the Internet.

Murray told investigators that he viewed porn weekly and preferred 13-year-old males, court documents reported.

Murray’s case illustrates the conundrum facing the Catholic Church: What do you do with priests accused of long-ago sexual abuse? Because technically, the former pastor of St. Edith parish in Livonia is still a Catholic priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Catholic priest tells inquiry how he encouraged paedophile clergy to resign

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 24 July 2013

A Catholic priest who encouraged paedophile clergy in NSW and the ACT to resign has admitted he never took notes during confidential meetings with them.

Father Brian Lucas on Wednesday appeared at Newcastle supreme court for a special commission of inquiry into how church leaders and police handled child sexual abuse allegations against two Hunter Valley priests, Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher.

Barrister assisting the inquiry, Julia Lonergan, asked Lucas if he thought it was unwise to take notes during the meetings in case he had to make them public in subsequent legal proceedings.

"I think that would be reasonable comment," Lucas answered.

Lucas said after discussions with paedophile priests he reported what was said to their bishops and left it to them and their advisers to take whatever action they considered appropriate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Disgraced priest won OS job: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A paedophile NSW priest stripped of his authority allegedly pretended to be a cleric and became a school chaplain in the Philippines.

The claim has been revealed at an inquiry examining how church leaders and police handled reports of child sexual abuse by fathers Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher in the Hunter region of NSW.

Barrister assisting the inquiry, Julia Lonergan, said Fr McAlinden wrote to Maitland-Newcastle bishop Leo Clarke in 1995 claiming to have heard "no less than 10,000 confessions" in six months working in the Philippines' San Pablo diocese.

In the letter, Fr McAlinden said he had made admissions of "past failings" to senior NSW Catholic priest Brian Lucas but, through prayer, was no longer that way inclined.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Monsignor Leo Cushley named as Cardinal Keith O'Brien's successor

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Monsignor Leo Cushley has been appointed Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh by the Catholic Church, replacing Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who left the post earlier this year after admitting inappropriate sexual conduct.

More soon...

Mgr Cushley, 52, is currently head of the English-language section of the Vatican's Secretariat of State and has been a close collaborator of both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

In that capacity, Mgr Cushley has been regularly involved in the visits of heads of state and other important guests to the Holy See, inmcluding Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

As head of the English section of the Secretariat of State it was his task to accompany the Holy Father to English-speaking countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

New Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh named by Catholic Church

SCOTLAND
STV

The Catholic Church have named Monsignor Leo Cushley as the new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien stood down at the end of February amid allegations of "inappropriate behaviour".

In Edinburgh on Wednesday, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia introduced Mgr Cushley as the new archbishop-elect.

Mgr Cushley works in the Vatican's secretariat of state as a papal translator. As head of the English Language desk, he is responsible for relations with the English-speaking world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Pope names Vatican official as successor to Cardinal Keith O’Brien

SCOTLAND
Catholic Herald

Pope Francis has named Mgr Leo Cushley as the new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

The appointment was announced at noon today in Rome. The archbishop-elect succeeds Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who led the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh from 1985 until his resignation in February.

Mgr Cushley is currently head of the English-language section of the Vatican Secretariat of State and has been a close collaborator of both Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. In his capacity as Prelate of the Anticamera, Mgr Cushley has been involved in the visits of heads of state and other important guests to the Holy See. Recently he has assisted the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, and many other high-profile visitors to the Vatican.

As head of the English section of the Secretariat of State it was his task to accompany the Holy Father to English-speaking countries. In 2010 he accompanied Benedict XVI to Malta, Cyprus and Britain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

July 23, 2013

Right wing 'generally not happy' with Francis, Chaput says

BRAZIL
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Jul. 23, 2013 NCR Today

RIO DE JANEIRO Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia is renowned for speaking plainly, which in part means he's often willing to say things out loud that others in his position may sense but are hesitant to acknowledge.

During an interview in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, for instance, Chaput bluntly tackled three questions about Pope Francis, his early record, and his current trip to Brazil:

* The 68-year-old Capuchin conceded that last night's mob scene with the papal motorcade was a "frightening moment," hinting that perhaps Francis could listen a bit more to handlers charged with his safety and saying, "There has to be some distance between the crowds and the Holy Father."

* Chaput acknowledged that members of the right wing of the Catholic church "generally have not been really happy" with some aspects of Francis' early months and said the pope will have to find a way "to care for them, too."

* Chaput defended Francis on concerns in some circles that he's been silent on abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia, saying, "I can't imagine he won't be as pro-life and pro-traditional marriage as any of the other popes." He insisted the bishop of Rome "has to talk about those things."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Appeals court judges hear case of former priest accused of child rape

TENNESSEE
WATE

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Attorneys for a former Knoxville priest convicted of child rape returned to a courtroom Tuesday to appeal his conviction.

William Casey was convicted in 2011 in Sullivan County of criminal sexual conduct and aggravated rape in a case that dated back to the 1970s.

He was sentenced to a 35-year prison term.

The victim, Warren Tucker, is now in his forties. He says the abuse lasted for years.

The defense team is asking the Tennessee Court of Appeals judges to dismiss Casey's conviction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Appellate court deciding fate of former Kingsport priest convicted of molestation

TENNESSE
KnoxNews

By Jamie Satterfield
Posted July 23, 2013

The fate of a former Kingsport priest convicted in a decades-old molestation of an altar boy could rest on the shoulders of another Tennessee child rapist.

Attorneys for William “Bill” Casey, 79, on Tuesday asked a three-judge panel of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals to toss out convictions the former priest received in the molestation of a then-teenager more than three decades ago. The victim, Warren Tucker, now in his late 40s, did not disclose the molestation to law enforcement until 2010.

Father and son defense team Rick Spivey and Matthew Spivey are relying in large part on a Wilson County child rape case in which the victim kept the rape quiet for 42 years in arguing Casey’s constitutional rights were violated, and the case should be thrown out.

It was 1950 when Harold Winter Gray allegedly raped his niece. It would be 1992 — when she said she became concerned about possible molestation of Gray’s granddaughter — before she went to authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Bethany Home residents to be excluded from redress scheme

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Government has confirmed that it does not think there is a basis to include the Bethany Home residents for compensation within the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme.

It's also decided that it's not going to introduce a specific scheme for the Bethany Home resident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 PM

Government will not introduce Bethany redress scheme

IRELAND
RTE News

The Government has decided it will not be introducing a redress scheme for survivors of the Protestant Bethany Home.

However, it has said it is willing to look at the questions of a memorial and the availability of records with regard to the institution.

The Government said it had confirmed the view expressed by Minister Ruairi Quinn two years ago that there was no basis for revisiting the previous government's decision not to include the Bethany Home within the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme.

The Bethany Survivors Group has strongly criticised the Government's decision.

Chairperson of the group Derek Leinster said: "The offer to look at records production and "modest" funding for a memorial is an insult.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

Government rules out Bethany Home redress

IRELAND
Irish Times

Steven Carroll, Arthur Beesley

The Government has ruled out creating a redress scheme for former residents of the Bethany Mother and Child Home and stated that they will not be able to access existing compensation funds.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, who briefed Cabinet colleagues on the matter today, said he understood the decision would be “disappointing” for the former residents.

Mr Shatter said the Government was willing to look at developing a memorial and making records relating to the Protestant-run home available.

“I understand this is disappointing for the group involved but the Government has taken its time and arrived carefully at this decision,” he said.

The Bethany Home Survivors Group said an offer of “modest funding” towards a memorial and making records available was “an insult” and that it would continue its campaign for justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Attorney: Ex-Tulia priest's molestation trial needs venue change

TEXAS
Amarillo Globe-News

By Jim McBride
jim.mcbride@amarillo.com

An attorney representing a former Tulia priest facing child indecency charges has asked a judge to change the location of the trial, citing extensive local and national publicity.

Lubbock Attorney Rod Hobson said in court documents that John Anthony Salazar, 57, charged with indecency with a child for allegedly touching a 12-year-old boy’s genitals, cannot obtain a fair trial in Tulia. The alleged abuse began in 1997.

“It is feared that many, many people that would be potential jurors in this case have already made up their mind on Salazar’s guilt. There exists in the community such a great prejudice that the defendant cannot receive a fair and impartial trial in this county,” according to a motion for a change of venue.

The motion also includes statements from three Swisher County residents who agree that Salazar can’t receive a fair trial in Tulia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

Courage puts shame 'squarely where it belongs'

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

July 24, 2013

Catherine Armitage
Senior Writer

He has moved on with his life but even nine years after the court case, the man who endured years of “dreadful” abuse as a boy by a Catholic priest in the Hunter Valley could not keep the incredulity from his voice.

On that day in 2004 when Father James Fletcher was found guilty of all charges of sexually abusing him, Fletcher's bishop, Michael Malone – “his” bishop, his father's boss - rang his home and asked his father to put him on the phone.

“I still remember, he told me that Fletcher would never work in the diocese again and he asked me to keep my faith. To this day I wonder what faith he was talking about,” the man known as AH told the silent courtroom at the NSW government inquiry into alleged church and police cover-ups of child sexual abuse by priests in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.

AH told of how he was “an innocent little kid with a big hope for the future” when Fletcher stole the promise from his life. He remembered other things in gut-wrenching detail. The priest’s number plate – JPF004 - ”will always be in my head”. He remembered how during the trial, clergy visited and supported Fletcher but none went near him and his family, they “didn’t want to look at us”. It was a feeling of two sides, he said, “completely opposite”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Abuse victim thanks whistleblower cop

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A victim of a Hunter Valley paedophile priest has praised the policeman who blew the whistle on an alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

The inquiry is investigating allegations the Catholic church covered-up abuse by priests Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher.

Fletcher died in jail just two years into his 10-year sentence for abusing a victim, known as AH.

AH told the inquiry he wonders how different his life would be if senior clergy had taken action against Fletcher years before his abuse, instead of moving the priest from parish to parish.

"There are many, many more victims so I want the commission to uncover that," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Evangelicals decry ‘silence’ on sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Adelle M. Banks| Religion News Service, Tuesday, July 23

More than 1,200 people have signed an online petition decrying the “silence” and “inattention” of evangelical leaders to sexual abuse in their churches.

The statement was prompted by recent child abuse allegations against Sovereign Grace Ministries, an umbrella group of 80 Reformed evangelical churches based in Louisville, Ky.

“Recent allegations of sexual abuse and cover-up within a well known international ministry and subsequent public statements by several evangelical leaders have angered and distressed many, both inside and outside of the Church,” reads the three-page statement spearheaded by GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment).

“These events expose the troubling reality that, far too often, the Church’s instincts are no different than from those of many other institutions, responding to such allegations by moving to protect her structures rather than her children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Reagendan declaración de Karadima para agosto tras suspensión por salud

CHILE
La Tercera

por Karen Soto Galindo - 23/07/2013

El ministro de fuero, Juan Manuel Muñoz, fijó para el próximo 8 de agosto la toma de declaración del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, en el marco de la indagatoria solicitada por los denunciantes, para luego interponer una demanda civil en contra del Arzobispado de Santiago.

La diligencia se realizará en un convento ubicado en Parque Bustamante de Santiago, donde el sacerdote cumple penitencia tras ser condenado por el Vaticano por el delito de abuso sexual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Caso Karadima: juez fija para el 8 de agosto...

CHILE
Terra

Caso Karadima: juez fija para el 8 de agosto el interrogatorio a sacerdote en acción civil

El ministro de fuero, Juan Muñoz Pardo, reagendó todos los interrogatorios al sacerdote Fernando Karadima y otros dos sacerdotes por la demanda contra el Arzobispado de Santiago que presentaron tres de sus víctimas.

El magistrado fijó las diligencias para este jueves 8 de agosto, a las 16 horas, en el lugar de enclaustamiento eclesiástico contra el ex párroco de El Bosque.

En noviembre del año pasado, el médico James Hamilton, el filósofo Juan Andrés Murillo y el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz interpusieron una "pre demanda" civil por daños y perjuicios, en la que exigirán al Arzobispado de Santiago una indemnización económica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

TN- Victims hope predator stays locked up

TENNESSEE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: July 23, 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 )

We hope a judge will affirm the conviction of Father William Casey who sexually assaulted a boy and was found guilty in 2011. For the safety of kids, he should remain in prison.

We hope that other victims and witnesses will look to this case for the inspiration to come forward. Although putting a predator in prison doesn’t undo the crime, it does prevent the same from happening to other children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Cardinal Keith O’Brien successor to be named

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

by STEPHEN MCGINTY
Published on the
23 July

THE new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh is to be named tomorrow as the Vatican announces who will succeed Cardinal Keith O’Brien who resigned in disgrace after admitting inappropriate behaviour with a number of priests.

• Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s successor to be named tomorrow morning
• New Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh to be introduced by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, until now Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese, will introduce the new Archbishop-elect to the archdiocese at 11am.

The new Archbishop will answer questions and deliver his first message to the Archdiocese which has been shocked by the scandal surrounding Cardinal O’Brien who was revealed to have had a number of inappropriate relationships with priests and seminarians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Former priest William Casey in appeals court Tuesday

TENNESSEE
WBIR

(WBIR-Knoxville) A Knoxville court will hear the appeal of a former East Tennessee priest convicted of sexually molesting an altar boy Tuesday afternoon.

A judge sentenced former priest William Casey to more than 30 years in prison in Nov. 2011. A Sullivan County jury convicted Casey of sexually molesting Warren Tucker between 1978 and 1980, while Tucker served as an alter boy.

Casey's hearing to appeal the conviction is set for 1:30 p.m. in the court of criminal appeals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Former Choir Director Accused Of Soliciting Minors Released On Bond

OHIO
NBC4i

By: Denise Yost, Multimedia Content Manager

COLUMBUS, Ohio -
The man accused of attempting to trade nude photos and sex acts for positions in the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir was released on bond Monday afternoon.

Zachary Ruppel, 26, is facing two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and one count of compelling prostitution. He appeared in court for a preliminary hearing Monday afternoon, and two types of bond were set at $25,000.

Columbus police say Ruppel was soliciting nude pictures and sex acts in exchange for positions in the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir from his St. Francis DeSales High School students, as well as other juveniles involved with the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir in 2011.

Ruppel is no longer employed by the school.

Detectives searched Ruppel's home after complaints were made to Ohio State Fair Choir staff about the allegations against Ruppel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Former DeSales choir director faces child-sex charges

OHIO
Columbus Dispatch

By Kathy Lynn Gray and Allison Manning
Tuesday July 23, 2013

Investigators are combing through a cache of nude photos that police suspect were solicited by a former youth choir director who is facing child-sex charges.

Already, Zachary R. Ruppel, 26, a former St. Francis DeSales High School choir director and former Ohio State Fair choir staff member, is charged with soliciting nude pictures and sex acts from two boys in exchange for membership in the state fair choir.

But Sgt. Terry McConnell, of the Columbus police sexual-assault unit, said there are many more victims.

Investigators are trying to identify the boys in photos found on Ruppel’s cellphone and iPad, using school yearbooks and, when possible, school staff members to review cropped photos. Some victims, officials say, were DeSales students; some were choir members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Replacement for Cardinal O’Brien to be named

SCOTLAND
Edinburgh News

A NEW Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh is to be announced tomorrow to replace shamed Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the former head of the church in Scotland.

The Catholic Church in Scotland said it would make the announcement at 11am in Edinburgh.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, until now Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese, will introduce the new Archbishop-elect who will then speak to clergy, staff and media and deliver his first message to the Archdiocese.

Since being ordered to leave Scotland by the Vatican around two months ago, it is understood Cardinal O’Brien has been staying at an enclosed abbey in the English midlands.

The Papal nuncio to the UK said on a recent visit that he hopes a new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh will be appointed soon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

Residential school commission received nutritional experiment documents in 2010

CANADA
APTN

By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News

The commission created to delve into the dark history of residential schools has been in possession of documents related to nutritional experiments conducted on First Nations people for at least three years, according to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s office.

Valcourt’s office said most of the 900 documents were turned over to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2010 and the rest in 2011. The documents are all related to nutritional experiments conducted on First Nations people and children in residential schools between 1942 and 1952.

“These are abhorrent examples of the dark pagers of the residential schools’ legacy,” said Andrea Richer, in an email to APTN National News.

A spokesperson for the TRC confirmed the commission is in possession of the documents. The spokesperson said TRC Commissioner Justice Murray Sinclair believes the commission’s researchers need to take a thorough look at the documents before issuing any comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

AZ- Phoenix bishop should warn flock re predator SNAP responds

ARIZONA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 23

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

In what an expert calls a “highly unusual move,” a predator priest - who has quietly been living in Phoenix and is licensed to teach in Arizona - is seeking $450,000 in “back pay,” from his Catholic supervisors.

[Merced Sun-Star]

Fr. Marvin T. Knighton was tried on two child sexual abuse charges in Milwaukee in 2003. The statute of limitation had expired on one of the charges. Knighton was acquitted on the other charge.

But Milwaukee Catholic officials dismissed him because they found at least two of his four victims credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

College Defies Archbishop, Hosts Dissident Speaker

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Cardinal Newman Society

July 23, 2013, at 9:08 AM | By Matthew Archbold

“Where has obedience got us?”

That was the question posed by Fr. Helmut Schüller in a speech at Chestnut Hill College, according to The National Catholic Reporter which covered the event.

OrdinationThe Cardinal Newman Society exclusively reported earlier this month that Fr. Schüller was barred from speaking at any parish or diocesan-related facility in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia because of his views that, according to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, “diverge very seriously from Catholic belief and practice” including female ordination.

The Archdiocese released a statement earlier this month, saying that Schüller’s presence on the campus of a Catholic college “inevitably damages the unity of the local Church.” Archbishop Chaput’s concerns were communicated to the college and the Sisters of St. Joseph who run the college to no avail.

Father Schüller, founder of the Austrian Priest Initiative, was a leader in a movement that issued a “Call to Disobedience,” which advocated for the ability of divorced and remarried Catholics to receive sacraments as well as the ordination of women and married men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

Church ‘must learn from inquiry into abuse claims’

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

THE Archbishop of York has stressed the Church of England will learn from any failings after announcing the team who will lead an independent inquiry into allegations of child abuse against a former cathedral dean.

Dr John Sentamu revealed yesterday that members of the independent inquiry will report back to him with recommendations by the end of October after conducting the investigation into the allegations against Robert Waddington, a former Dean of Manchester Cathedral.

Dr Sentamu’s predecessor, Lord Hope of Thornes, has denied suggestions he covered up allegations against Mr Waddington, who died from cancer five years ago.

The Times has claimed that Lord Hope, who was Archbishop of York between 1995 and 2005, was twice informed about allegations against Mr Waddington, who is said to have abused a chorister in Manchester in the 1980s and a schoolboy in Australia.

The paper said the former Archbishop spoke to Mr Waddington and banned him from taking services but did not report him to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Editorial: Nutrition tests were unethical

CANADA
Times Colonist

The abuses in Canada’s Indian residential schools have been a stain on the country’s history, but the experiments carried out on unwitting children in the schools and on adults outside are staggering in their callousness.

It is not enough to say, as is often said in other cases, that times were different and we cannot judge previous generations by current standards. Even in the 1940s and 1950s, experimenting on people without their knowledge or consent was wrong. To do it to children was monstrous.

Ian Mosby, a food historian from the University of Guelph, has uncovered documents showing that between 1942 and 1952, malnourished people were subjected to nutrition experiments at the Alberni Indian Residential School, five other residential schools across Canada and reserves in northern Manitoba.

The projects began in March 1942, when researchers descended on several northern Manitoba reserves. They were headed by Dr. Percy Moore, Indian Affairs Branch superintendent of medical services, and RCAF Wing Commander Dr. Frederick Tisdall, the co-inventor of Pablum, who was described as Canada’s leading nutrition expert

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

The Record: Children first

NEW JERSEY
The Record

TUESDAY JULY 23, 2013
THE RECORD

A PASTOR in Oradell allowed a priest to stay in his rectory who had been accused of sexually molesting a teenage boy. The Rev. Thomas Iwanowski and a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark said allowing Monsignor Robert Chabak to stay at St. Joseph's rectory was "an act of compassion." We ask: "To whom?"

Certainly not to the boy who was allegedly molested in the 1970s. The archdiocese removed Chabak from ministry in 2004 after it determined there was credible evidence to support the allegations. The statute of limitations had passed, and no criminal charges were filed. In May, the archdiocese was made aware of a second allegation regarding Chabak.

Iwanowski has known Chabak for more than 40 years; they met in seminary. When Chabak's home in Toms River was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, the archdiocese gave him permission to stay at the rectory in Oradell. St. Joseph School is a block away.

The church's pastor has resigned effective July 31, saying it was a mutual decision between him and the archdiocese and had nothing to do with the Chabak incident. Some disagree that the resignation had nothing to do with Chabak. It is a small point either way.

What is not so small is that the archdiocese thought it was appropriate to allow someone it had removed from active ministry because of a credible sexual-abuse allegation to live in a parish rectory near a school and not tell parishioners or be concerned that the priest could venture out. Chabak was not under house arrest; he was free to go wherever he chose, and the archdiocese continues to minimize the potential risks this raised for children and, of lesser consequence, the damage these kinds of decisions have on the Catholic Church's reputation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Archdiocese says parish priest failed to fire known sex offender

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

A priest was terminated from his position at the Santa Barbara Catholic Church because he failed to follow a direct order that related to the safety of children, according to the Archdiocese of Agana.

Father Paul Gofigan was asked to terminate the employment of an employee publically known to have a sex offense on his record, the Archdiocese stated.

Gofigan, in a letter he disseminated on Saturday to the Dededo parishioners said he did terminate the employee. He noted that the crime had been committed more than 32 years ago.

The Archdiocese said an investigation showed the person continued to have an active presence at the parish as a volunteer.

"The person had keys to the facilities and had an active role on church grounds in different ways," the Archdiocese stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Priest victim opens up at inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 23, 2013

A VICTIM of paedophile priest Jim Fletcher known as AH has given an emotional statement to the special commission of inquiry in Newcastle about the impact Fletcher’s abuse has had on his life.

The case of AH, who cannot be named, has been a centrepiece of this inquiry and his appearance in the witness box had been long anticipated.

The commission room, including Commissioner Margaret Cunneen, broke into applause at the end of his statement.

Commissioner Cunneen reminded AH that no shame remained with him under the shame was properly wear it now lay.

AH began by telling the commission of the difficulty he had in telling people about the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

VIDEO: Father Paul Believes ...

GUAM
Pacific News Center

VIDEO: Father Paul Believes His Canonical Rights as a Priest Were Violated

Guam - Father Paul Gofigan, the overthrown priest of Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo, has spoken out about the controversy over his defiance from the Archdiocese, saying he believes his canonical rights as a priest were violated.

The Archdiocese of Agana, however, says the decision to replace father Paul was out made of concern for the safety of the children.

"I just would like to say that I didn't really mean for this to escalate as far as it did but there is a point to be made here that my office as pastor of Santa Barbara is a canonical one and therefore being canonical, removing a pastor from a parish has its own canonical process," says Father Paul Gofigan.

Father Paul believes his rights were violated when Archbishop Anthony Apuron forced him to resign without fair warning. The controversy stems from a decision Father Paul made about two years ago to hire a convicted sex offender at the Santa Barbara Church. The crime was rape and it was committed over 32 years ago when the man was about 21 years old. His victim at the time was an 18 year old female. About two years ago, in 2011, Archbishop Apuron warned Father Paul about that decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Choir volunteer charged ...

OHIO
Coshocton Tribune

Choir volunteer charged with soliciting nude photos, sexual favors passed four background checks, fair spokeswoman says

Written by
Valerie Boateng and Elizabeth Dickson
Staff Writers

COLUMBUS — A man accused of soliciting nude photos and sexual favors in regard to the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir had volunteered with the organization for only one year.

Zachary Ruppel, 26, of Columbus, was arrested and charged with disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and compelling prostitution involving a minor in regard to the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir.

Ruppel was an unpaid volunteer in 2011 and has not been a volunteer or had official contact with the fair since, said Alicia Shoults, state fair spokeswoman. Shoults said Ruppel passed four rounds of background checks before he was allowed to become a volunteer.

Those reviews included a check with the sex offender registry and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as well as a drug test and background check.

Columbus Police Department Sgt. Terry McConnell said complaints were made to the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir staff that Ruppel was soliciting nude photos and sex acts in exchange for positions in the choir from his St. Francis DeSales High School students as well as other juveniles involved with the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir dating back to 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Monk seeks dismissal in child abductions

ILLINOIS
Lake County News-Sun

By Jim Newton jnewton@stmedianetwork.com July 22, 2013

Several defense motions, including a request to dismiss the case against a Benedictine monk accused of child abduction attempts in the Antioch area, will be the focus of a hearing Aug. 21 in Lake County Circuit Court.

Thomas Chmura is charged with four counts of child abduction, a felony punishable with up to three years in prison, related to his alleged offering of rides to a number of girls whose ages ranged from 11 to 14 on April 25 and April 26.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Richard Andron: Boca Raton Synagogue alerts congregation about alleged sex abuse by a member

FLORIDA
WPTV

[with video]

By: Marissa Bagg
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Members of the Boca Raton Synagogue remain on edge as a longtime member of their congregation was named in a sex abuse lawsuit.

19 former students of the Yeshiva University school in New York City claim they were repeatedly abused by two rabbis and a youth volunteer in the 1970's and 1980's.

"He's a good person, he does good things in the community, but you never know," said Boca Raton Synagogue member Eyal Cohen.

The lawsuit alleges Richard Andron molested high school students while working as a volunteer at the school in Manhattan.

Andron briefly spoke with NewsChannel 5 off-camera at his Boca Raton home Monday about the allegations. He said he was cooperating with the investigation but had no other comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Vatican ‘gay lobbyist’ worked in T&T

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Trinidad Express

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com
Story Created: Jul 22, 2013

An official of the Roman Catholic Church in the Vatican, who was once stationed in Trinidad and Tobago, has been named in a “gay lobby” scandal currently affecting the church.

On June 15, Pope Francis appointed Monsignor Battista Ricca the Prelate of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), commonly known as the Vatican Bank.

The Italian news magazine L’Espresso on Friday published an article which linked Ricca to the “gay lobby” and revealed he has been involved in several relationships with men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Pope's Brazil Visit Will Coincide With SlutWalk and Other Political Protests

BRAZIL
ABC News (US)

By SANTIAGO WILLS
July 22, 2013

A group of Brazilian women will wear suggestive nun outfits and other erotic attire when they march in Rio this week during Pope Francis' first visit to Brazil. The protest -- called "SlutWalk" -- is part of an international rally that began in Toronto in 2011 against sexual profiling and sexual abuse.

"We've decided to organize SlutWalk during the Pope's visit to establish a political counterpoint," Rogeria Peixinho, an activist from the Association of Brazilian Women, told EFE. "We want to show that there's another youth and another way of thinking that is against oppression and the control of female sexuality."

The pope is set to land in Brazil today to celebrate World Youth Day, a five-day gathering between the pope and Catholic youth from all around the globe that takes place every two or three years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Herald News: Another misstep in Newark archdiocese

NEW JERSEY
Herald News

TUESDAY, JULY 23, 2013
HERALD NEWS

A PASTOR in Oradell allowed a priest to stay in his rectory who had been accused of sexually molesting a teenage boy. The Rev. Thomas Iwanowski and a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark said allowing Monsignor Robert Chabak to stay at St. Joseph's rectory was "an act of compassion." We ask: "To whom?"

Certainly not to the boy who was allegedly molested in the 1970s. The archdiocese removed Chabak from ministry in 2004 after it determined there was credible evidence to support the allegations. The statute of limitations had passed and no criminal charges were filed. This May, the archdiocese was made aware of a second allegation regarding Chabak.

Iwanowski has known Chabak for more than 40 years; they met in seminary. When Chabak's home in Toms River was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, the archdiocese gave him permission to stay at the rectory in Oradell. St. Joseph School is a block away.

The church's pastor has resigned effective July 31, saying it was a mutual decision between him and the archdiocese and had nothing to do with the Chabak incident. Some disagree that the resignation had nothing to do with Chabak. It is a small point either way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

VIDEO: Victim of paedophile priest testifies

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD July 23, 2013

A VICTIM of paedophile priest Jim Fletcher has given an emotional statement to the special commission of inquiry in Newcastle about the impact that the abuse has had on his life.

The abuse of the victim, known in proceedings as AH, has been a centrepiece of this inquiry and his appearance in the witness box had been long anticipated.

The commission room broke into applause at the end of his statement.

Commissioner Cunneen reminded AH that that ‘‘no shame’’ was attached to him and that his courage had ‘‘placed the same where it belongs’’.

AH began by telling the commission of the difficulty he had in telling people about the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Abuse victim brings inquiry to tears

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

BY PAUL MAGUIRE AAP JULY 23, 2013

A WITNESS has drawn tears from the public gallery and applause from the commissioner of a special inquiry as he told his story of abuse at the hands of a NSW Catholic priest.

The man, now 37, flew to Newcastle from interstate to tell how abuse at the hands of Father James Fletcher had contributed to his alcohol use, relationship breakdowns, depression, business failure and a suicide attempt.

He questioned how different his life would have turned out if the church "had done something about Fletcher years ago instead of moving him around. Would he have got to me?'"

He said Fr Fletcher did "a terrible job on me."

"I had tried to block it out but there were many times I was tormented by memories and the shame, anger and embarrassment which had a really bad effect on me," he told the inquiry into the police handling of child sexual abuse allegations involving Hunter Valley priests, Fr Denis McAlinden and Fr Fletcher.

"The breach of trust I have experienced at the hands of the Catholic church will affect me forever as I was an innocent little kid with a big hope for the future...I expected that when I finally got the courage to tell someone about it the church would not let me down...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Woman sexually assaulted during Seattle church service

WASHINGTON
Thomson Reuters Foundation

By Elaine Porterfield

SEATTLE, July 22 (Reuters) - A registered sex offender has been jailed on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman as she was in the midst of prayer during Sunday church services in Seattle, police said on Monday.

The suspect was subdued inside the sanctuary by several of the victim's relatives, who restrained the man until police arrived on the scene of what officers called one of the most outrageous sexual assault cases they had ever encountered, Seattle Police spokeswoman detective Renee Witt said.

"We've all seen and heard some pretty bizarre and egregious things, but this ... it just kind of blows your mind," Witt said.

The 25-year-old victim was accosted while attending services with her family and boyfriend on Sunday morning at Saint Spiridon Russian Orthodox Cathedral, a church just north of downtown Seattle familiar for its blue, onion-shaped domes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

How church can survive by cleansing itself of past sins

AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

By MICK McGLONE July 23, 2013

IT’S not easy being a Catholic, even for those of us who don’t involve themselves in the strict rituals of the church, such as attending Mass on Saturday or Sunday or on holy days of obligation.

It has become fashionable in recent times for the Catholic Church to be the target of all sorts of vicious and often ignorant comments, many of them of a sneering, vitriolic nature.

Quite often weaknesses or flaws of the whole Christian movement are sheeted home solely to the Catholic Church because it suits the motivations of many of its critics.

But Catholics must share the shame of the evil of child sexual abuse that has been perpetrated by some of its clergy over many years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Norfolk priest charged with child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Norwich Evening News

Peter Walsh
Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Norfolk Roman Catholic priest has been charged in relation to alleged historic sexual abuse at a children’s home.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 66, of St George’s Church in Norwich, was charged with three counts of indecent assault, three of making indecent images of a child, one count of taking indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child following an investigation into abuse alleged to have taken place at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London, the Metropolitan Police said.

A second man, John Stingemore, 71, was charged with eight counts of indecent assault, two of taking indecent images of a child and one count of conspiracy with persons unknown to commit buggery.

The charges relate to seven victims, all of whom were aged between nine and 15 when the offences are alleged to have taken place during the 1970s and 80s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

Victim of child sex abuse gives evidence at Newcastle inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

A victim of a Hunter Valley paedophile priest says a Catholic bishop told him to "keep the faith" the day his abuser was found guilty.

The man known as AH was abused by Maitland-Newcastle priest James Fletcher and is the first victim to have given evidence at the New South Wales Special Commission of Inquiry's public hearings in Newcastle.

The inquiry is investigating claims the Catholic church covered up the crimes of Fletcher and another priest, Denis McAlinden.

AH said those responsible for the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse by clergy must be held accountable.

He told the inquiry the day Fletcher was found guilty of abusing him, the bishop at the time Michael Malone rang and asked him to "keep the faith".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Tormented by shame, he brought applause

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

July 23, 2013

Catherine Armitage
Senior Writer

The black-haired man with sparkling eyes sat nervously in the witness stand, his voice faltering as he tried to count the cost to his life and his family of years of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest when he was a boy.

By the time he was finished the courtroom was weeping with him – at the bar table, in the public gallery, in the media seats. The room erupted in applause.

The victim, whose name is suppressed, told the state government inquiry into church and police cover-ups of sexual abuse in the Hunter Valley that he had been “an innocent little kid with a big hope for the future” when Father James Fletcher began sexually abusing him. Fletcher was convicted of the abuse in 2004 and died in jail in 2006.

The abuse left his victim feeling as an adult that he was “just stuffing up my life”. AH, as he is known at the inquiry, eyeballed his younger brothers, there in the court to support him with his mother and father, and confessed he was sometimes jealous of them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Priest charged with child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Littlehampton Gazette

A Roman Catholic priest from West Sussex has been charged in relation to alleged historic sexual abuse at a children's home, police said.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 66, was charged with three counts of indecent assault, three of making indecent images of a child, one count of taking indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child following an investigation into abuse alleged to have taken place at Grafton Close Children's Home in Hounslow, west London, the Metropolitan Police said.

A second man, John Stingemore, 71, was charged with eight counts of indecent assault, two of taking indecent images of a child and one count of conspiracy with persons unknown to commit buggery.

The charges relate to seven victims, all of whom were aged between nine and 15 when the offences are alleged to have taken place during the 1970s and 80s.

McSweeney, of Old Brighton Road North, Pease Pottage, West Sussex, and Stingemore, of Stonehouse Drive, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on September 4.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

July 22, 2013

Archdiocese Says ...

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Archdiocese Says Sex Offender Continued to Work at Santa Barbabra Church as Volunteer, After His Dismissal

Guam - The Archdiocese of Agana maintains that an investigation by Church officials showed that a convicted sex offender continued to work as a volunteer at Dededo's Santa Barbara Church, even after the Archbishop ordered Father Paul Gofigan to fire him.

A news release from the Archdiocese Monday night, defends the decision to replace Father Paul as Pastor of the Church and insists that the safety of children is foremost.

Archdiocese Archbishop Anthony is off-island and the release was issued by Vicar General Monsignor David Quitugua on behalf of the Archdiocese following the public disclosure of a July 16th letter from the Archbishop to Father Gofigan demanding his resignation, and Father Gofigan's July 20th letter to parishioners refusing to resign.

In his letter to parishioners issued last Saturday, Father Paul said that instead of complying with the Archbishop's demand for his resignation he has decided instead to seek a canonical hearing so he can "defend himself and save my vocation as a priest." Father Paul insisted in his letter to parishioners that he had complied with the Archbishop's 2011 order that he fire a registered sex offender.

But in his release Monday night, the Archbishop However, our investigation has revealed that the person continued to have an active presence at the parish as a volunteer. The person had keys to the facilities and had an active role on church grounds in different ways.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Former DeSales Teacher Accused Of Soliciting Minors For Nude Photos

OHIO
NBC4i

By: Alex Carbello

COLUMBUS, Ohio -
A man who volunteered with the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir is facing two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and one count of compelling prostitution.

Columbus police say Zachary R. Ruppel, 26, was soliciting nude pictures and sex acts in exchange for positions in the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir from his St. Francis DeSales High School students, as well as other juveniles involved with the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir in 2011.

Detectives searched Ruppel's home after complaints were made to Ohio State Fair Choir staff about the allegations against Ruppel.

The two victims in the most recent incident are a 15-year-old boy and 17-year-old boy, according to a Columbus police report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Former DeSales choir director arrested on sex-related charges involving students

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By Kathy Lynn Gray
The Columbus Dispatch
Monday July 22, 2013

The former St. Francis DeSales High School in Columbus choir director and former Ohio State Fair choir staff member has been arrested on child sex charges.

Zachary R. Ruppel, 26, was charged yesterday by Columbus police for soliciting nude pictures and sex acts from DeSales students and other juveniles in exchange for membership in the State Fair choir dating back to 2011. Choir directors across the state recommend students for membership in the state fair choir.

Ruppel, of 4906 Lunar Dr., was a member of the state fair choir staff that year. He was the DeSales choir director until he resigned at the end of the school year, according to a DeSales student who answered the phone at the school on Friday.

The director of the choir, Charles R. Snyder, was put on leave on July 11 by fair manager Virgil Strickler because of the investigation. Sgt. Terry McConnell of the Police Division’s sexual-assault unit said Friday that Snyder has not been cleared in the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Senior church leaders to front abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

One of Australia's most senior Catholic church officials is scheduled to front an inquiry into an alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse by clergy in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.

Catholic Church documents tendered to the inquiry show the general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference, father Brian Lucas, knew about abuse by Denis McAlinden, one of the two priests at the centre of the investigation.

Father Lucas is scheduled to give evidence later today or tomorrow.

The documents show there was "a possible confession" by McAlinden to Father Lucas in 1993, and that McAlinden was asked by the bishop to retire because of his "ill health".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Reformist priest sees potential ally in Pope Francis

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

Kevin Eckstrom | Jul 22, 2013

WASHINGTON (RNS) An Austrian priest who’s been banned from speaking at Roman Catholic churches during his three-week U.S. tour said Pope Francis could be an ally in reforming the Catholic Church, but said it will take more than the pope to open the priesthood to married men and women.

The Rev. Helmut Schuller, founder of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, has been drawing crowds of several hundred people with his call for greater participation from the church’s lay “citizens” and a married priesthood.

“We are trying to open the church to a real approach to modern society,” Schuller said Monday (July 22) in a speech at the National Press Club. “There are a lot of questions to our church in these times, and the answers are really old-fashioned.”

Schuller is the key organizer behind a group of about 430 Austrian priests who are openly challenging the hierarchy on allowing women priests, married priests, same-sex marriages and lay Catholics’ voice in the election of bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Schüller: Now is not the time for Third Vatican Council

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Catholic Reporter

Caitlin Hendel | Jul. 22, 2013

WASHINGTON Women who have chosen to become ordained Catholic priests are "very prophetic," Fr. Helmut Schüller told a group of journalists Monday, but he said the focus still should be on opening up the entire priesthood to women.

"It's a system we have to change," he said during a press conference at the National Press Club here. "It's a question of strategy."

Even so, "we see in these women who are ordained already very prophetic women," Schüller said.

He also is wary of any moves to allow women to become deacons, saying he has heard the Vatican is trying to degrade the structure of the deaconate, possibly as a preparatory strategy before making such a change. "I'm warning sometimes: Pay attention, as it could be a threat," he said.

Washington is the fifth stop on Schüller's 15-city, coast-to-coast tour of the United States that began July 16. He speaks Monday night at the Augustana Lutheran Church in Washington. His appearances in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore have attracted crowds of 300 to 700 people, with several hundred spilling out of a small church in the sweltering heat of Boston last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Roman Catholic priest, 66, and 71-year-old man charged ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By SARA SMYTH

A 66-year-old priest and 71-year-old man have been charged in relation to alleged historic sexual abuse at a children's home in Hounslow, police said tonight.

Father Anthony McSweeney was today charged with three counts of indecent assault, three of making indecent images of a child, one count of taking indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child.

The arrests follow an investigation into the abuse alleged to have taken place at Grafton Close Children's Home in west London.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Pope Bomb Scare At Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Explosive Devise Found Where Francis Is Scheduled To Visit On Wednesday

BRAZIL
Huffington Post

A bomb has been found at a shrine that Pope Francis was due to visit on Wednesday and hold a mass.

The homemade explosive device was discovered in the bathroom of the shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, in the parking lot, reports ABC.es.

The Sao Paulo military police detonated the bomb, which had a fuse and a dynamite-like covering, after members of the Brazilian Air Force found it while conducting a security inspection.

A statement released by the police said, ""It was a home-made device with little potential to cause fatalities," with "a plastic body and wrapped with adhesive tape."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

Explosive found at Brazil shrine before pope trip: army

BRAZIL
France 24

AFP - A homemade explosive device was discovered in the bathroom of the parking garage of the Brazilian shrine that Pope Francis will visit this week, the military said Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

DAVID STEWARD,II’S START-UP, CARDINAL DOLAN’S LETTER...

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

. . . According to today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, more than a decade ago,then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan acknowledged in a letter that most accused predator priests “painfully and admirably admit” their own guilt. The letter, recently disclosed because victims pushed to get church records released, goes on to urge forgiveness for the offenders. . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Judgment of Pope Francis under scrutiny

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew

Mon, Jul 22, 2013

On the eve of the departure of Pope Francis this morning for the week-long World Youth Day celebrations in Brazil, Italian weekly news magazine L’Espresso suggested he has just made the first serious error of his pontificate.

The report claims he recently and unknowingly appointed an actively gay Vatican monsignor to a senior post in the Vatican bank, IOR.

L’Espresso claims Msgr Battista Ricca (57), who last month was nominated as secretary to the commission of cardinals who oversee the affairs of IOR, has a colourful and well-documented gay past.

Although the concerns raised in the article about Msgr Ricca seem legitimate, Vatican observers last night suggested the report might be intended as a Curia shot across the bows of the reform-minded pope.

L’Espresso claims that in 1999 to 2000, when Msgr Ricca served as pro-nuncio in Uruguay, he had a “ménage à deux” in the Vatican nunciature with his then lover, Swiss army captain Patrick Haari. It also claims he was involved in a brawl at a gay bar in 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Priest charged with child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Belfast Telegraph

22 JULY 2013

A Roman Catholic priest has been charged in relation to alleged historic sexual abuse at a children's home, police said.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 66, was charged with three counts of indecent assault, three of making indecent images of a child, one count of taking indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child following an investigation into abuse alleged to have taken place at Grafton Close Children's Home in Hounslow, west London, the Metropolitan Police said.

A second man, John Stingemore, 71, was charged with eight counts of indecent assault, two of taking indecent images of a child and one count of conspiracy with persons unknown to commit buggery.

The charges relate to seven victims, all of whom were aged between nine and 15 when the offences are alleged to have taken place during the 1970s and 80s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

The NSW Enquiry Winds Up (Or: How Many Victims Make A Lot?)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The NSW government enquiry into child sexual abuse by priests in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese had a non-hearing day today. The rest of the week is largely taken up by clergy, Hart, Searle, Lucas and Harrigan. Friday should see priest, Burston (he of the poor memory), finally front the enquiry after having been excused, last Friday, by Commissioner Cunneen, because he was stressed by victim protests.

During the week, evidence will be heard from Elizabeth Doyle and Patricia Feenan. Ms. Feenan, whose son Daniel was abused, has written a book, “Holy Hell” (available at http://www.holyhell.com.au/).

Hart has already given some evidence. He was asked by the Commissioner about a letter stating an abusive priest was “ill”. She said, “And this reference to health in the first sentence of the letter, could it be a coy way to refer to his propensity to the sexual abuse of children?” Hart simply answered “Yes”. Earlier in the day, he had said that he was unaware of any confidential files held by the diocese leaders involving allegations of sexual abuse by the region’s priests. He only learned of their existence when he went to Sydney this year to discuss his evidence to the commission with a legal representative.

Harrigan was an old friend of serial abuser, Fr.Fletcher. He conducted the funeral service for Fletcher, who had died in prison. Father Harrigan, who was reported as being visibly upset at the end of proceedings, asked the congregation to pray for Fletcher and his family. He prayed for Fletcher to be forgiven his sins.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Team 10 obtains video of admitted child molester in Jehovah's Witnesses


CALIFORNIA
10 News

Posted: 07/22/2013

Mitch Blacher

SAN DIEGO - Team 10 has obtained a video that some people say helps to prove Jehovah's Witnesses covered up child abuse for years.

In a video deposition taken in 2011 during a civil lawsuit, admitted serial pedophile Gonzalo Campos said he abused several children in his San Diego congregation from the early 1980's through the mid 90's.

"I did abuse him," said Campos in the video. "I touched his private parts."

((See the video deposition today on 10News At 5:00.))

His on-camera admissions and a confidential settlement worth millions, may have to be enough for his victims. The Jehovah's Witnesses never told police about Campos, who was a church elder. He's never been charged with a crime and he may never see the inside of a prison cell. He has fled the country and now is in Mexico. He also still is a member of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Two charged with historic child abuse under Operation Fernbridge

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Local London

The former deputy head of Richmond Council’s Grafton Close children’s home has been charged with offences on boys aged nine to 15.

John Stingemore, 71, was today charged along with Father Anthony McSweeney, 66, with indecent assault and making indecent images of children.

Both were arrested under the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Fernbridge, which is investigating historic allegations of sexual abuse at Elm Guest House in Barnes.

They were charged today and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on bail on September 4.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Archdiocese says parish priest failed to fire known sex offender

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

A priest was terminated from his position at the Santa Barbara Catholic Church because he failed to follow a direct order that related to the safety of children, according to the Archdiocese of Agana.

Father Paul Gofigan was asked to terminate the employment of an employee publically known to have a sex offense on his record, the Archdiocese stated.

Gofigan, in a letter he disseminated on Saturday to the Dededo parishioners said he did terminate the employee. He noted that the crime had been committed more than 32 years ago.

The Archdiocese said an investigation showed the person continued to have an active presence at the parish as a volunteer.

"The person had keys to the facilities and had an active role on church grounds in different ways," the Archdiocese stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

CCH FILES LAWSUIT ...

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Chackes, Carlson and Halquist

CCH FILES LAWSUIT ALLEGING DIRECT INVOLVEMENT BY ARCHBISHOP OF ST LOUIS IN FAILING TO SUPERVISE ABUSIVE PRIEST

CCH attorneys Ken Chackes and Nicole Gorovsky filed a new lawsuit on behalf of a young teenage girl and her parents, seeking to hold the Archdiocese of St Louis and Archbishop Robert Carlson responsible for the injuries they caused due to sexual abuse of the young girl by a priest. The accused priest, Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, was personally supervised by Archbishop Carlson since the priest was moved from China to the United States, while Carlson was a Bishop in Michigan. Fr. Jiang moved with Carlson to St Louis when he became Archbishop, and lived in the Archbishop’s residence.

The young girl first met Jiang when she was fifteen years old and she attended church with her family at the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis. Jiang became very close to the family and he regularly visited their home in Lincoln County, Missouri.

The Archdiocese and Archbishop had at least two warnings about Jiang. During the time that Jiang was getting close to the young girl, he reported to his superiors that he needed a reassignment because he was having personal problems. But despite the warnings, Jiang was allowed to resume unlimited access to this young girl and her family.

After the parents discovered the abuse, they confronted Fr. Jiang about it, and Jiang admitted it to them. He then tried to give them a $20,000 check. Archbishop Carlson soon called the parents and told them that Fr Jiang also admitted the wrongdoing to him. During that conversation, the mother asked Carlson if Jiang would be removed from the priesthood and Archbishop Carlson responded that he would remove Jiang if he “had sex” with the child, but not for activities other than that. Archbishop Carlson then suggested that the parents return the $20,000 check to him.

Instead, the parents turned the matter over to the police. Jiang is now being prosecuted criminally for two felonies, for engaging in sexual conduct with the child and for victim tampering by trying to pay the family to let the matter drop. The criminal case is being prosecuted by the Prosecuting Attorney of Lincoln County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Schüller in Philadelphia: 'Where has obedience got us?'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Catholic Reporter

Patricia Lefevere | Jul. 22, 2013

PHILADELPHIA
At best, the Catholic church has five to six years before the shortage of clergy members plays itself out in unknown ways in Europe and North America. This is the so-called "Catholic Tipping Point" foreseen by Austrian Fr. Helmut Schüller, one of the most vocal advocates for new models of leadership in the church. The remarks came in an extended interview with NCR before his Friday evening address at Chestnut Hill College here.

Schüller and approximately 400 Austrian priests -- about 10 percent of the nation's total Catholic clergy -- launched the Austrian Priests' Initiative in 2006 following worry and discussions about who would care for their parishes when there were not enough priests to take over after they retire. In 2011, they issued an "Appeal to Disobedience" in which they pledged, among other things, not to celebrate multiple Sunday Masses. The movement seeks to open the priesthood to each person suited for the office, including women and married men.

Schüller, 60, said the word "disobedience" upsets many people, but he showed no sign of finding a less troublesome word. "Where has obedience got us?" he asked, reviewing his own priesthood of 36 years. "I feel the church often misuses obedience to keep people down."

In an afternoon meeting with 20 priests of the Philadelphia archdiocese at Chestnut Hill College, the Austrian cleric said he found "a lot of sympathy" and "very supportive" comments from local priests. Some, he said, shared experiences similar to his in Vienna and told Schüller how their work had, at times, brought them into conflict with church authorities.

He pointed to growing frustrations among priests who are asked to pastor three or four cluster parishes. "There is the tension of having to do the same thing continually and not having sufficient time to get to know parishioners," he said, adding that he thought the idea of such a ministry impeded men from joining the priesthood. "My hope is that these potential candidates will not leave the church but will become engaged lay leaders."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Author Tom MacDonald to Hold Launch Party for His New Novel, Beyond the Bridge, Sunday, July 28th in Charlestown, MA

MASSACHUSETTS
PRWeb

Beyond the Bridge, the prequel to Tom MacDonald's award winning debut novel, The Charlestown Connection, will be officially released on August 6, 2013.

Fans of MacDonald, his novels, and his Irish/Micmac Indian protagonist, Dermot Sparhawk, are invited to the Charlestown launch on Sunday July 28th, from 1:00 to 4:00 at:

Knights of Columbus
545 Medford St.
Charlestown, MA
Entertainment provided by:
Irish Band: The Old Brigade

The author will be on hand to sign copies of his novels which will be available for purchase.

Oceanview Publishing provided the following synopsis from Beyond the Bridge:

"Dermot Sparhawk, a former all-American football star at Boston College, returns in Beyond the Bridge, the prequel to Tom MacDonald’s award-winning debut novel, The Charlestown Connection.

In Beyond the Bridge, Sparhawk, a struggling alcoholic, agrees to help find the killer of an accused pedophile priest. When two more priests are slain in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood, it becomes evident that it is the work of a sadistic serial killer who crucifies his prey after killing them.

Sparhawk blazes an unconventional trail to the killer that puts him at odds with the very people he is trying to help and initiates a turf war with law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Scandal-Ridden DA Loses Major Union Endorsement

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

In a major blow to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, New York City’s largest labor union, 1199/SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, today announced its unanimous endorsement Ken Thompson for Brooklyn District Attorney. Representing over 220,000 members in New York City and 100,000 members and retirees in Brooklyn alone, the union cited Ken Thompson's commitment to justice as the major reason for its endorsement of Thompson and rejection of Hynes, whose sloppy prosecutions and shady tactics have brought condemnation from diverse political leaders, legal scholars and community activists alike.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Die Landesverräterin

OSTERREICH
Kurier

Sie deckte auf, dass Kinder in einer kirchlichen Behinderteneinrichtung in Tirol schwer misshandelt wurden. Dafür musste Brigitte Wanker allerdings bitter büßen. Das System schlug mit einer Wucht zurück, mit der sie nicht gerechnet hatte. Sie wollte Missstände aufzeigen und wurde als Nestbeschmutzerin bezichtigt und gezwungen, ihr Heimatland Tirol zu verlassen. Jetzt, 33 Jahre später, soll sie geehrt werden.

1980 nahm die gelernte Weberin Wanker, damals 22 Jahre alt, eine Stelle im St. Josephs Institut, geführt vom Orden der Barmherzigen Schwestern in Mils in Tirol an. Ihre Schilderungen über die brutalen Misshandlungen behinderter Kinder durch die Klosterschwestern sind erschütternd (siehe Zusatzbericht unten).

„Verbrennen“
Wanker wusste, so kann man Kinder nicht behandeln. Verzweifelt suchte sie jemanden, dem sie sich anvertrauen konnte. „Ich habe mein Tagebuch genommen und bin damit zum Leiter des Innsbrucker Jugendamtes gegangen“, sagt Wanker. Der Herr Rat wollte von den Missständen freilich nichts wissen. „Er hat mich aufgefordert, das Tagebuch zu verbrennen.“ Sie sei zu sensibel für den Beruf und solle kündigen, waren die Ratschläge, die ihr der Amtsleiter mit auf den Weg gab.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

NJ- Catholic officials let predator secretly be near kids but no one’s punished

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, July 22, 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 Newark archdiocesan priest secretly let a suspended predator priest live in a parish across the street from an elementary school. He did so with the approval of his church supervisors.

Yet no one is being punished. The priest is just being moved to a new parish. The supervisors aren’t even being identified. And the predator remains on the payroll.

Without consulting with or telling St. Joseph’s parishioners, Fr. Thomas Iwanowski let Fr. Chabak live in the rectory for eight months. Fr. Chabak is a credibly accused child molester. He’s suspended from ministry.

So Newark Catholic officials again quietly put kids in danger.

That’s incredibly reckless and callous.

As he’s done time and time before, Newark’s Archbishop John Myers did nothing until this inexcusable move became public. And when it did, Myers did next to nothing.

He’s moving Iwanowski to a new parish.

No wrongdoer is facing real consequences. And we don’t even know who some of the wrongdoers are. Did Myers himself personally tell Iwanowski it was OK to let a suspended pedophile priest live in a parish? Or was it another archdiocesan supervisor?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Dededo Priest asked to Resign

GUAM
KUAM

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Father Paul Gofigan has been asked to resign as the Pastor of Santa Barbara Catholic Church. According to a letter Father Gofigan addressed to his parishioners dated July 20th, he explained why he has been replaced by Father Dan Bien as the temporary Parochial Administrator or Santa Barbara Church.

According to the letter he was asked by the Archbishop to resign because he believes that he is still employing an individual he was directed two years ago to terminate. The individual, according to the letter, committed a crime more than 32 years ago. "I knew this individual had paid his debt to society, and had fully repented, and he and his wife and their two daughters were eager to return to the Church and embrace their Catholic faith. Although I disagreed with this decision, out of obedience to the Archbishop, I had to comply," Fr. Gofigan wrote.

Fr. Gofigan stated the Archbishop and his advisors are under the mistaken belief that the individual was not terminated and as a result on July 16th was asked in a letter from the Archbishop to resign or "experience a more arduous and painful closure to your assignment at Santa Barbara Church."

Fr. Gofigan says the matter could have been cleared up if they had simply spoken to him and conducted a basic investigation. He added that he could have easly accepted the Archbishop and his advisors demand to resign or follow the more difficult path which will "ultimately lead to the truth". He said after much prayer and quiet reflection he has decided not to take the easy path and instead request for a hearing so that he can be allowed to defend himself and to save his vocation as a priest, "I cannot in good conscience accede to their demands without defending my vocation as a priest and allowing the truth to be heard," he wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Archdiocese Responds to Priest Replacement

GUAM
KUAM

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The Archdiocese of Agana has issued a statement in response to a letter Father Fred Gofigan issued to his parishioners to explain why he had been replaced by Father Dan Bien as Parochial Administrator of Santa Barbara Church.

Father Gofigan says he was asked to resign by Archbishop Anthony Apuron because he believes he failed to terminate an individual as instructed two years ago because of his criminal past. Fr. Gofigan in his letter stated that although he disagreed with the termination "out of obedience to the Archbishop, I had to comply," he wrote.Fr. Gofigan says the matter could have been cleared up if they had simply spoken to him and conducted a basic investigation. Fr. Gofigan said he would not resign and has since requested a hearing so that he can be allowed to defend himself and save his vocation as a priest.

In the press release from the Archdiocese it states that the Archbishop is currently off island. It further states that Father Gofigan is still a priest at this time.

The Archdiocese issued the statement to "set the record straight". Here are the facts the press release stated:

I. INVESTIGATION & COMMUNICATION -- Father Paul stated in his letter he was asked to resign despite following the Archbishop's directive. He wrote, "… this entire issue could have been cleared up if they had simply spoken with me, and done a basic investigation…"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Controversial Catholic priest comes to Chestnut Hill College ...

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

Controversial Catholic priest comes to Chestnut Hill College despite Philadelphia Archdiocese ban

July 22, 2013
By Jana Shea for NewsWorks, @jujukus

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia didn't roll out the welcome mat when Father Helmut Schüller came to town to speak at Chestnut Hill College on Friday night. The Catholic priest is something of an outlaw to the Holy See.

Schüller's message is simple: the Catholic Church needs to get with the times.
Together with the Austrian Priests' Initiative (API), he has put forth an "Appeal for Disobedience," advocating for sweeping reforms.

The appeal calls for "a new image of the priest" where women and married persons may be ordained, among other proposed changes. These actions will enable the church to become deeply involved in a conversation with modern society, Schüller said.

As a result, Schüller was stripped of his monsignorship and demoted to parish priest. Schüller has embarked on a 15-city tour of the U.S. to spread the message of reform, but has been prohibited from speaking on church properties.

"The Archdiocese wanted to avoid any confusion about Catholic teaching — especially a priest speaking about Catholic teaching — so we made it very clear that Father Schüller would not be permitted to speak at any parishes or Archdiocesan facilities in the area," said Archdiocese of Philadelphia spokesman Kenneth Gavin in a statement to NewsWorks last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Priest who allowed accused molester to live in parish says he may have made a mistake

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Steve Strunsky/The Star-Ledger
on July 21, 2013

ORADELL — A Catholic priest conceded today that he may have made a mistake by arranging for a former priest once accused of molesting a teenage boy to stay in the rectory of his Bergen County parish.

"Hindsight is 20-20," the Rev. Thomas Iwanowski of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Oradell said after services on his next-to-last Sunday there.

Iwanowski is being removed from St. Joseph by the Archdiocese of Newark as of July 31 in the wake of a scandal over the arrangement that allowed the accused priest to live at the rectory. The situation was the subject of a report in The Sunday Star-Ledger.

It was with the permission of the archdiocese that Iwanowski, 64, allowed the Rev. Robert Chabak to stay in the rectory after his mother’s home in Toms River, where he had been living, was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The church’s elementary school is across the street from the rectory, while the middle school building is right next door.

Parishioners were not told that Chabak, 66, a friend of Iwanowski’s since the two attended seminary together four decades ago, would be staying at the rectory and only learned of his past after he was transferred to a retirement home in February. But even after that, parishioners said, Chabak would return to St. Joseph’s to spend the night. Some grew angry and demanded he be kept away.

"Obviously, looking back, Monsignor Chabak and I, if we knew this was going to be such a difficult decision, maybe we would have moved in a different direction," Iwanowski told reporters after the 12:30 mass. "But we tried to make a compa