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September 30, 2013

Will Pope Francis Be Ready For His Reform Meetings With Cardinals?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Does Pope Francis Understand What “Reform” Means ?

Jerry Slevin

The optimistic hopes of many Catholics about the upcoming meetings next week of Pope Francis and his eight man Cardinals’ reform committee are beginning to fade. Various new Vatican reports, leaks, etc., are playing down the meetings as very preliminary, only advisory and mostly secret. So what else is new?

Pope Francis has little time left to reform the Catholic Church. He cannot afford to procrastinate, in my considered view as an international lawyer. If he fails now , he also will likely be compelled to resign like his predecessor, ex-Pope Benedict, ignominousily had to. The Vatican’s “house of cards”, as Francis realistically described it, will then probably collapse. If that happens, Cardinal Rigali’s Secretary, Monsignor Lynn, may have some hierarchical company in prison before his sentence is completed. It’s that bad. Some hierarchs from outside Pennsylvania will likely find accomodations at their local jails.

Francis must promptly make the Church’s leaders accountable to the faithful, the Gospels and civil law, especially with respect to protecting defenseless children. He must initiate and enforce specific and effective policies to do this, before government prosecutors from Australia, Ireland, the Dominican Republic, the USA, Peru, Chile, Argentina, the Phillipines, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, or from dozens of other countries, do so for him.

Prosecutors dictated to Kansas City’s criminal, but continuing, Bishop Finn the specific policies he must follow, as nearby Federal prosecutors buried Finn’s protected pedophile priest with a 50 year prison term. Prosecutors eventually can be expected to dictate to other bishops and even to Francis himself, no matter what Francis may be advised otherwise. Government regulators are already dictating to Francis how he must manage the hierarchy’s finances. Government lawyers can, and I expect soon will, dictate to him how he must manage the hierarchy’s approach to predatory priests, if Francis fails to get effective control of the bishops’ flawed approach first. Priests may not be the pope’s “employees”; but bishops are another story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

MEDIA RELEASE

TRENTON (NJ)
Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery, Inc.
P.O. Box 279
Livingston, NJ 07039
roberthoatson@gmail.com

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Trenton, New Jersey, Bishop Had Information for a Year Regarding a Sexting Priest and Did Not Inform Unsuspecting Parish and Public
Trenton Bishop Kept Minors at Risk of Sexual Abuse Due to His Negligence
Trenton Bishop Must Resign or be Removed

What: A demonstration and leafleting calling for the resignation or removal of Trenton,
New Jersey, Bishop David O’Connell.

When: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 from 10:00 AM until Noon.

Where: On the sidewalk outside the headquarters of the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey,
701 Lawrenceville Road, Trenton, NJ 08648

Who: Survivors of clergy sexual abuse, including the co-founder and President of Road
to Recovery, Inc., a New Jersey-based non-profit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse, and supporters.

Why: Bishop David O’Connell proved recently that he is not fit to be the bishop of the
Diocese of Trenton and must resign or be removed. Since 2011, Bishop O’Connell had information that Fr. Matthew Riedlinger of St. Aloysius Church, Jackson, NJ, had been sexually inappropriate with young males over the internet. In addition, O’Connell removed Riedlinger from ministry in 2012, drove him to a facility for treatment, but never informed the parish or the public about the allegations against Fr. Riedlinger. It wasn’t until September, 2013, that Bishop O’Connell had a letter read to the parishioners of St. Aloysius Parish regarding Fr. Riedlinger. However, the letter never referenced the fact that Fr. Riedlinger had sent sex messages to someone whom he believed to be 16 years of age. O’Connell’s actions were outrageous, dangerous, and in violation of the promise of the United States Catholic Bishops to be honest and transparent about all cases of sexual abuse by priests. Bishop O’Connell must resign or be removed for covering up Fr. Riedlinger’s actions and making the Trenton unsafe for children, teenagers, and vulnerable adults.

Contacts: Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Cardinals to begin reform summit with pope

VATICAN CITY
First Post

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Eight cardinals will begin closed-door meetings with Pope Francis on Tuesday to help him reform the Vatican’s troubled administration and map out possible changes in the worldwide Church.

Francis, who has brought a new style of openness, simplicity and a conciliatory tone to the papacy, wants to consult more with Church officials around the world before making decisions affecting the life of the 1.2-billion-member Church.

Some of the topics expected to be discussed are how to give women a greater role in the Church short of the priesthood, financial reform, the position of divorced Catholics, and the continued fallout from the worldwide sexual abuse crisis.

Francis announced the papal advisory board of cardinals, revolutionary for a Church steeped in hierarchical tradition, a month after his election as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years and the first from Latin America.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Catholic Diocese of Trenton Issues Statement on Jackson Priest Involved in Sexting Scandal

NEW JERSEY
Ocean Signal

JACKSON-Last week, the Diocese of Trenton issued a statement regarding complaints lodged against Father Matthew Riedlinger, a priest formerly serving at the St. Aloysius Church here.

Riedlinger was ordained a priest in the diocese on June 5, 2010. He was a student at St. Peter Parish in Sandusky, Ohio before attending the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he studied philosophy.

Prior to his time at St. Aloysius, he served seminarian assignments at St. Margaret in Spring Lake and St. Barnabas in Bayville.

Questions have recently been asked of the Diocese concerning the status of Father Matthew Riedlinger and his ministry as a priest. Father Riedlinger had been the subject of two complaints to the Diocese over the past few years regarding his participation in inappropriate cell phone text communication over a period of some years with adults. There was no sexual contact, assault or abuse referenced in the complaints.

Upon receiving these complaints, the Diocese immediately turned the information over to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. In both cases, law enforcement investigated and advised that no minors were involved and no criminal acts were committed.

From first being made aware of these charges, the Diocese addressed the misconduct with Father Riedlinger, arranging for him to receive outpatient counseling. When we learned that the conduct had persisted, he was immediately removed from his parish assignment and placed in a residential, in-patient treatment program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Scarborough priest faces more charges in connection with sex assaults

CANADA
insideToronto

Scarborough Mirror
By Andrew Palamarchuk

A Scarborough priest who was charged with sexual assault on Sept. 11 now faces more charges.

On Sept. 3, a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted at All Saints Romanian Orthodox Church at 545 Danforth Rd.

A couple who entered the church interrupted the assault, police alleged.

Police arrested and charged Rev. Ioan Pop, 54, on Sept. 11.

Det. Const. Teresa Curtis of the sex crimes unit said “several complainants” came forward with allegations after police issued a news release Sept. 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Pope Francis to meet cardinals for historic talks on church reforms

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian (UK)

Lizzy Davies in Vatican City
The Guardian, Monday 30 September 2013

The eight cardinals picked by Pope Francis to advise him on reform of the Roman curia and the governance of the Catholic church are preparing to meet the pontiff for the first time on Tuesday, in an unprecedented three-day meeting likened to a "papal G8".

In a move already billed as a potentially critical moment for Francis's six-month-old papacy, the multinational group of "outsider" cardinals is flying in to Rome from all corners of the globe to present him with ideas for how to reform the Vatican and the church worldwide.

The panel – officially named the Council of Cardinals – was hailed as a revolutionary move when it was formed in April shortly after Francis's election. One observer said that, in its apparent embrace of a more collegial style of church governance, it was the "most important step in the history of the church for the past 10 centuries".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

We Are Church objects to JPII canonization

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Sep. 30, 2013 NCR Today

The International We are Church reform organization, which counts chapters in 20 countries, released the following statement this morning

Not all the People of God agree about canonisation of J.P. II .
The opinion of the International Movement We Are Church

Today Pope Francis has announced in Concistoro the day of canonisation of Pope John Paul II on April 27, 2014 - together with John Pope XXIII.

The decision concerning Pope John Paul II is not agreed from all in the Catholic Church. The International Movement We Are Church has expressed its opinion already in a press release on 16 January 2011.

Pope John Paul II was a pope of great contradiction. His tragedy lies in the discrepancy between his commitment to reform and dialogue in the world and his return to authoritarianism within the church.

It was his penchant for spiritual authoritarianism that contributed to the greatest tragedy of his tenure as pope: the sexual abuse of thousands of children globally. By holding church hierarchy paramount above the needs of the people, John Paul II perpetuated a toxic environment in which priests were permitted, often repeatedly, to sexually abuse children as long as the criminal behaviour was kept secret, preserving the public image of untarnished leadership.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

The Vatican Bank (again, sigh)

UNITED STATES
Peter Borre

‘Everything’s up to date in Vatican City
they gone about as fer as they can go’

(apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein)

[9.30.2013]

Foreword

Remember when your mom took you to the dentist who said, this is not going to hurt?

And then it hurt a lot, but when you squawked the dentist said, it’s necessary!

This blogpost is about the Vatican’s financial institutions, and ‘it’s not going to hurt’. But it’s essential for an understanding of what will be happening this week in Rome when recommendations come to Papa Francesco from the Gang of Eight Cardinals; and later this fall from two ad hoc commissions tasked to review the bank (IOR) and the Vatican’s accounting practices – bringing onto center stage the financial institutions of the Vatican.

Overview

“If you cannot be trusted in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke, Chapter 16 Verse 11)

Today’s Italian media report that the financial results of the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR) will be released for the first time ever, tomorrow. As a teaser, it is mentioned that a profit of €87 million (almost $120 million) will have been realized for the 12 months ending on July 31, 2013.

That is warp speed for reporting financial results, two months after the books closed. For context, the Archdiocese of Boston releases its audited financials 7-9 months after the fact, usually on a quiet Friday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Un niño y dos padres

COLOMBIA
Semana

Por Daniel Coronell

OPINIÓNUno de los anuncios del padre Jaime, cuando asumió su curul, fue que tramitaría una ley para castigar con 25 años a los curas pederastas. Tres años después no ha presentado el proyecto.

En medio de la pobreza se las arreglaba para ser feliz. Cuenta Francisco que sus problemas arrancaron cuando ya había cumplido 13 años. Su mamá, acosada por las necesidades, fue a pedir ayuda a una institución de la Iglesia en San José del Guaviare. El director de la Pastoral Social en el pueblo era un amable sacerdote llamado Jaime Alonso Vásquez Bustamante.

Según Francisco, el padre Jaime y su hermano, el también cura Carlos Fernando Vásquez Bustamante, han abusado de él por 16 años.

Todo empezó cuando el padre Jaime convenció a la mamá de Francisco para que el niño fuera a ayudarle en la oficina en las tardes, después de las clases. Pronto se integró a un grupo de acólitos que trabajaba para el religioso en la iglesia del Divino Niño.

Una de esas tardes, de acuerdo con la narración de Francisco, el padre Jaime le pidió que le ayudara a mover unas cajas de una habitación. Antes le ofreció un jugo que lo hizo sentir mareado. En la habitación no había cajas. El padre Jaime le dijo a Francisco que quería confesarlo. No hace falta entrar en detalles. Según Francisco, ese día el padre lo violó por primera vez.

El niño llegó llorando a su casa. Sangrando. No sabía si él era la víctima o el culpable. Si ese adulto, amable hasta hace unas horas, cumplía la voluntad de Dios o se aprovechaba de su inocencia. Incapaz de contar la verdad y ocultando la sangre, le dijo a su mamá que se había peleado con otros niños y que el padre Jaime lo había regañado.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

“Con el menor sólo hubo una amistad”: cura Vásquez

COLOMBIA
Semana

El sacerdote y congresista Jaime Alonso Vásquez Bustamante está en la boca del lobo. En su última columna, Daniel Coronell narra la historia de un joven que asegura que ha sido violado durante 16 años por dos sacerdotes de San José del Guaviare, uno de los cuales es el representante a la Cámara y el otro es su hermano Carlos Fernando.

Francisco Javier Bohórquez Franco, el joven que ahora tiene 29 años, asegura que denunció al sacerdote ante la Fiscalía y entregó pruebas de las presuntas relaciones sexuales no consensuadas, que se realizaban desde que él tenía 13 años, como le explicó a Coronell.

Este lunes, el representante dio la cara. En una extensa entrevista en BluRadio, el congresista Vásquez indicó él es simplemente un amigo al que acude Francisco Javier cuando este tiene necesidades.

“Ha habido una amistad que cuando nos llama se le ha escuchado. Muchas veces no lo he atendido, pero él es muy insistente. Ha llegado como adulto, entonces que no diga nada como menor de edad. Estoy seguro de que él no tiene ninguna prueba de abuso sexual y de violación”, afirmó el religioso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

Representante a la Cámara sería expulsado de la iglesia católica

COLOMBIA
El Pais

Durante la inuguración del VI Congreso Nacional de Reconciliación, organizado por la Iglesia Católica de Colombia, el arzobispo de Bogotá, monseñor Rubén Salazar se refirió a las denuncias presentadas en contra del representante a la Cámara por Guaviare y sacerdote católico, Jaime Alonso Vásquez Bustamante por supuesto abuso sexual contra un menor residente en la capital de ese departamento.

La denuncia fue presentada ente la Fiscalía por Francisco Javier Bohórquez, de 29 años de edad, quien afirma que, desde que tenía trece años, había sido abusado por el entonces sacerdote Jaime Alonso Vásquez y su hermano, el también sacerdote, Carlos Fernando Vázquez Bustamante.

Según la víctima, la razón por la que no denunciaba nada ante su familia fueron las amenazas que el representante Vázquez le hacía, para que guardara silencio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Iglesia dice tolerancia cero con abusos sexuales

COLOMBIA
El Nuevo Herald

BY BY CESAR GARCIA
ASSOCIATED PRESS

[Summary: Gardinal Ruben Salazar, president of the Columbia Episcopal Conference, said Monday that the Catholic Church has a zero tolerance policy for child abuse. In cases of clergy sexual abuse, the church has intervened immediately to punish the guilty, he said. Neither the cardinal nor the CEC keeps track of how many of the 8,000 Colombian priests have been the subject of abuse complaints.

His latest remarks came as legislator Jaime Alonso Vazquez, who was a priest, has been accused of child sexual abuse. Vasquez is now a legislator. According to journalist Daniel Coronell in the latest edition of Semana magazine, Vazquez before coming to Congress in 2010 is alleged to have molested a child under age 13 when he was a priest in the late 1990s in San Jose de Guaviare. The community is in the south of Colombia. He has denied the allegation. The alleged victim, now 29, recently went to the attorney general with the allegation.]

BY POR CESAR GARCIA
ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOGOTA, Colombia -- La Iglesia Católica colombiana tiene tolerancia cero con la pederastia, destacó el lunes el cardenal Rubén Salazar, presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal Colombiana, al conocerse una nueva denuncia sobre un presunto abuso sexual.

"La posición de la Iglesia es perfectamente clara: es tolerancia cero y por lo tanto en casos concretos de abusos sexuales de parte de sacerdotes, la Iglesia inmediatamente ha intervenido para iniciar procesos que lleguen al castigo del culpable", dijo el cardenal a la prensa durante un foro multisectorial sobre reconciliación nacional.

Ni el cardenal ni la CEC llevan un registro de cuántos de los 8.000 curas colombianos han sido objeto de denuncias de abusos.

El más reciente señalamiento surgió en contra del legislador Jaime Alonso Vásquez, quien fue sacerdote y está suspendido debido a su participación en política.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Priest Gets 50 Years for Child Porn – Bishop Who Knew Remains Bishop

UNITED STATES
Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Earlier this year I wrote that the credibly of the new Pope may depend on how he lives up to his claim of having a zero tolerance policy regarding child sex abuse

What measure of tolerance shall we say that the Pope is giving to Bishop Robert Finn, who was convicted over a year ago of failing to report suspected child abuse by a priest under his authority and still leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri? A federal judge deemed the child porn charges of which pedophile priest Fr. Shawn Ratigan was convicted to be so serious that he sentenced Ratigan to 50 years in prison.

I am one of those Catholics who has been cheered by the new pope’s refreshing tone and his embracing of tolerance and humility. Indeed, his recent comments about the Church’s recent obsession with culture war issues may have pulled the rug out from under the Republican Party Auxiliary we generally call the Catholic Right. His recent statements clearly indicate that he may lead the Church to an approach to economic and social justice that transcends Roman Catholicism and embraces the entire world.

But the longer he waits to act on the problem of sex abuse in the Church, the greater the risk that the good will he had earned, and the hope he has given to many millions of Catholics (and non-Catholics) will be lost.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

To Archbishop Nienstedt

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

September 30, 2013

Dear Archbishop Nienstedt:

You and your top staff have acted recklessly, callously, deceptively and secretively in the case of Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer. These hurtful acts cannot be “un-done.” But you can – and should – act now to prevent more irresponsible and harmful behavior by your staff in the future, by

---disciplining at least three church employees over how they handled Fr. Wehmeyer and

---holding an open meeting to answer questions from parishioners and the public about this case.

In your heart of hearts, Archbishop, we believe you know that Fr. Kevin McDonough, Deacon John Vomastek and Greta Sawyer have all acted in ways that protect Fr. Wehmeyer, themselves and you, ways that were and are at best in appropriate and at worst very damaging to innocent children, wounded victims and trusting parishioners.

Fr. McDonough knew of Fr. Wehmeyer’s sexual misdeeds in 2004. Yet in 2011, he urged that the allegations against Fr. Wehmeyer be kept secret (despite years of bishops’ pledges to be “open” in clergy sex cases). And in 2012, when police knew about the accusations, before they arrived, McDonough - along with Deacon John Vomastek - took one of Fr. Wehmeyer’s computers.

We believe this could amount to tampering with evidence. But regardless of whether either man is criminally charged, you know it’s wrong for church staff to take evidence in a criminal case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Evangelicals "worse" than Catholics on sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

Speaking to a room full of journalists yesterday in Austin, Texas, Liberty University law professor Boz Tchividjian said evangelicals are “worse” than Catholics when it comes to responding to clergy sex abuse.

Frowning on transparency and accountability, too many evangelicals have “sacrificed the souls” of young victims, said Tchividjian, who is the grandson of evangelist Billy Graham.

Now before some of you Southern Baptist readers start mentally dismissing this guy because he’s currently a university professor – as in “aren’t they all a bunch of liberals?” – let me just point out that Liberty University was founded by Jerry Falwell and has been ranked as one of the top ten most conservative colleges in the country. With over 100,000 residential and online students, it is the largest private evangelical university in the world.

Moreover, Tchividjian previously worked as a sex crimes prosecutor in Florida, and he is the founder of a firm called G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), which conducts independent investigations of clergy abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Again, a predator was accused (quietly) before

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY BARBARA DORRIS ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

A Detroit predator priest was recently ousted. Archbishop Allen Vigneron made a formal announcement. It implied this was the first allegation against the priest.

But it wasn’t.

Each time this happens, we are outraged that so-called “men of God” deceive parents, parishioners and the public. Each time this happens, we seek out ways in which to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Each time this happens, we try our best to get our message out to new ears and eyes, hoping that the awareness will prevent a repeat of this complicity. Each time this happens, we remind people of the pledge America’s bishops have repeatedly made: to be “open and transparent” in clergy child sex abuse cases.

But the deceit keeps happening, again and again.

About a week ago, we received a private archdiocesan memo showing that Fr. Louis Grandpre, who was ousted last week because of credible child sex abuse allegations, was also accused of sexual harassment 15 years ago.

In a one page memo, dated September of 1997, a high ranking Detroit archdiocesan official writes to two colleagues that “we have lost the mediation process” arising from accusations that Fr. Grandpre sexually harassed an individual. The memo indicates the mediator “recommended (a) settlement of about $160,000.00”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Audacious Tim Dolan

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY BARBARA DORRIS ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 ·

Audacious is a word I don’t use often. But it leapt to mind this morning when I read that a child molesting cleric at a New York archdiocesan parish is being ousted from ministry.

“Audacious” is the best way I can describe Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s letter to the flock at Church of the Holy Name of Mary parish in Croton-on-Hudson.

Here’s how the dictionary defines “audacious” – “extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless” or “recklessly bold in defiance of convention, propriety, law, or the like; insolent; brazen.”

Both definitions fit Dolan’s actions in the troubling case of Deacon Al Mazza.

In a letter to parishioners, Dolan claims he suspended Mazza months ago. But we see

--no evidence that this was done,

--no evidence that anyone was notified, and

--Mazza’s name in the parish bulletin three times in the last month, and

--Mazza’s name on the parish website even now.

That’s pretty audacious, isn’t it? To claim you ousted a credibly accused child molester without giving any proof it? And in the face of proof that suggests he hasn’t been ousted at all?

Let’s assume that Dolan did, in fact, suspend Mazza months ago. A simple internet search shows that if this happened, it was done with little or no public notice. That’s pretty audacious too: to claim (as Dolan has, time and time again) to be “open and transparent” about clergy sex crimes while suspending a credibly accused cleric very quietly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

DEACON REMOVED FROM MINISTRY

NEW YORK
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York

September 29, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 29, 2013

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, has written a letter to the parishioners of Holy Name of Mary Parish in Croton-on-Hudson, informing them that Deacon Albert Mazza, a permanent deacon serving in their parish, had been removed from ministry, following allegations that, many years ago, he had abused minors. Father Edward Weber, the director of priest personnel for the Archdiocese of New York, read the letter from the Cardinal at Masses today.

Deacon Mazza had served as a permanent deacon since 1996.

In his letter, the Cardinal noted that the archdiocese had been notified of the allegations by the Westchester district attorney’s office, and had immediately put Deacon Mazza on administrative leave while the matter was investigated. Last week, the archdiocesan review board recommended that Deacon Mazza be permanently removed from ministry, a recommendation that the Cardinal accepted.

The Cardinal told the parishioners of Holy Name of Mary that the archdiocese wanted to be upfront, and transparent with the people, even about bad news. He wrote, “As you know, the Church learned a painful lesson in not communicating the abuse of minors to the faithful as soon as it became aware of it. Now, the Church leads the way with action and transparency, with this sad situation here at this parish serving as an example.”

The full text of the Cardinal’s letter is attached. 

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Report: Croton-on-Hudson Deacon Dismissed Over Sex Abuse Allegations

NEW YORK
The Daily Voice

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — A deacon from Croton-on-Hudson's Church of the Holy Name of Mary has been dismissed after allegations of sexual abuse of minors from years ago recently came to light, Catholic officials said in a story in The Journal News.

Deacon Al Mazza has been accused of engaging in immoral and illegal conduct with minors prior to becoming a deacon in 1996, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan told parishioners via a letter Sunday, the newspaper reported. The incident is the third time an ordained minister has faced such allegations in the Croton parish, the newspaper reported.

The allegations against Mazza were unrelated to his activities at the church, archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said in The Journal News story.

A deacon is an ordained minister who works with the pastor and parish staff but can have a job outside the church. Mazza could not be reached for commen, the newspaper reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Fetish priest in sodomy scandal

GHANA
Ghana Web

A 50-Year-old fetish priest is languishing in the cells of the Prampram Police for sodomizing a 14-year-old Junior High School (JHS) student at Prampram in the Greater Accra Region.

Nii Martey, the suspect, was apprehended shortly before the Tema Circuit Court ‘A’ sentenced a 32-year pastor, Prince Mark Amoah alias Marvin Brown to 25 years’ imprisonment for sodomizing and infecting a 14-year-old boy with HIV/AIDS.

Narrating what led to the arrest of the fetish priest, a police source told DAILY GUIDE that in May 2013, the victim, a resident of Prampram visited his friend who is a nephew to the fetish priest.

The fetish priest, who saw the victim around his house, invited him and proposed love to him, but the boy turned him down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

7 more charges laid against Toronto priest

CANADA
Caledon Enterprise

Brampton Guardian
TORONTO - Toronto police say a Romanian Orthodox priest is facing seven more sexual assault charges in addition to one laid earlier this month.

Ioan Pop, 54, of Toronto was arrested in early September and charged with one count of sexual assault after a woman was allegedly assaulted at All Saints Romanian Orthodox Church in the city's east end.

At the time police released a photograph and said they believed there may be more victims.

Det. Teresa Curtis of the sex crimes unit says several more women have since come forward with allegations against Pop, who is now charged with eight counts of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement.

She says the new charges relate to alleged incidents that happened between 2005 and 2011 and that the additional seven complainants were between 24 and 43 years old at the time of the alleged offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Orthodox priest faces more charges after sex assaults in Toronto church

CANADA
Toronto Sun

BY TERRY DAVIDSON
TORONTO SUN

FIRST POSTED: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

A Toronto priest, already accused of sexually assaulting a parishioner, is facing new charges.

Rev. Ioan Pop, 54, now faces a total of 8 sexual assault charges after more complainants came forward.

Pop turned himself in to officers at 41 Division that morning early Monday, Toronto Police said.

Pop was first accused of sexually assaulting a female parishioner inside the All Saints Roman Orthodox church at Birchmount and Danforth Aves. on Sept. 3.

Investigators said a married couple walked in during the alleged assault.

Pop, a man police said is influential within the area's Roman Orthodox community, was arrested and charged with one count of sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

More sex assault charges against Scarborough priest

CANADA
Toronto Star

By: Jodee Brown Staff Reporter, Published on Mon Sep 30 2013

A Toronto priest charged with sexual assault earlier this month now faces additional charges, police said Monday.

Ioan Pop, 54, was arrested Sept.11 in connection with an assault on a woman in All Saints Romanian Orthodox Church, where he was the parish priest.

On Monday, he was charged with seven more counts of sexual assault and one of forcible confinement.

Police said those incidents allegedly occurred between 2005 and 2011.

Det.-Const. Teresa Curtis said seven additional complainants came forward to police following Pop’s
The assaults are alleged to have taken place inside All Saints church and at residences in Durham Region and Toronto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

An opportunity for Prophetic Action: Tony Flannery

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Pope Francis rebuke of the Curia for its “inappropriate behaviour” in the censuring of priests, his wish that issues of discipline be dealt with at local church level, and his dramatic re-definition of the phrase ‘sentire cum ecclesiae’ have created a new landscape for dealing with people who have been, in various ways, punished for what the CDF has previously considered ‘unorthodox’ views.

It may, or may not, be a coincidence that the six priests whom we know to have felt the ire of the CDF here in Ireland are all members of religious congregations. And the Irish bishops have made it clear to the Association of Catholic Priests that they do not wish to have any involvement in this matter. That does not surprise me, since I do not tend to expect courageous action from our hierarchy.

But religious congregations have traditionally seen themselves as being positioned more to the edge of the Church, with something of a prophetic role. I am suggesting that the particular congregations whose members are included among these ‘censored’ priests have now got a great opportunity to act prophetically.

I don’t think any reasonable person would regard Eoin O’Sullivan, Iggy O’Donovan, Gerry Moloney, Brian D’Arcy or Sean Fagan as remotely heretical or a danger to the faith, and even less a cause of scandal. (I will leave my own case to be judged by others). It surely makes no sense to have censors appointed to monitor the writings of Eoin, Brian and Gerry. And surely it is also time that these ‘censors’ stopped co-operating with oppressive power structures and refused to accept the role.

So I call on the five congregations, the Augustinians, the Capuchins, the Passionists, the Marists and the Redemptorists to come together and to lift all restrictions on the six of us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Pope Francis urged to share decision making

IRELAND
Irish Times

Tim O'Brien

Mon, Sep 30, 2013

Efforts by the Catholic church to preach justice and equality are being stymied because of a failure to address these issues internally, more than 100 Catholic groups - including three from Ireland - have told Pope Francis.

In response to the pope’s call for dialogue within the church , the groups who claim to represent four million Catholics around the world, have co-signed a letter to Pope Francis urging widespread reform including shared decision making among all baptised members of the church, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

The Irish groups which are signatories to the letter include the Association of Catholic Priests, the Association of Catholics in Ireland and We are the Church Ireland.

The letter , which was sent in advance of a key meeting of Cardinals tomorrow to examine church governance makes five points.

These are:

That the Roman Catholic Church’s commitment to justice is compromised “and is often viewed as hypocritical” because injustice exists within the church itself.

“That dialogue urged by Pope Francis is incompatible with the censorship or sanctioning of ordained members of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Toronto Romanian Orthodox priest faces seven new sexual assault charges ...

CANADA
National Post

Diana Hall | 30/09/13

A Toronto Romanian Orthodox priest charged earlier this month with an in-church sexual assault is

Rev. Ioan Pop, 54, turned himself in to 41 Division on Monday. The original charge stemmed from an alleged sexual assault at All Saints, a Romanian Orthodox Church in the Birchmount Road and Danforth Road area, on Sept. 3. That alleged assault was interrupted by a couple entering the church, police say.

Det. Teresa Curtis of the sex crimes unit told a Monday press conference that members of the community came forward with complaints against Rev. Pop after police released his photo.

“I think that people came forward because they felt more comfortable,” Det. Curtis said at a Monday news conference. “There’s no [timeframe] for bringing forward these types of allegations. As you know, sexual assaults are under-reported.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

MEETING OF COUNCIL OF CARDINALS TO BEGIN TOMORROW

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 30 September 2013 (VIS) – The first of three meetings between Pope Francis and the Council of Cardinals, instituted by the Holy Father's Chirograph of 28 September, will take place tomorrow, 1 October.

The council is composed of Cardinals Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile; Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India; Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany; Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Sean Patrick O'Malley O.F.M. Cap., archbishop of Boston, USA; George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia; Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in the role of coordinator; and Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, in the role of secretary.

During the three days the Council will meet in the private library of the third loggia in the papal apartment, and the working sessions will take place in the morning and in the evening. The Holy Father will participate, except on Wednesday morning during the general audience, explained the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., who went on to clarify that the conversations will be private, so no communication is to be given at the end. He also emphasised that, as stated in the Chirograph published today, the Pope reserves the faculty of configuring the Council in the most suitable form, and may therefore increase the number of members.

He also observed that all the members of the Council, with the exception of the Secretary and Cardinal Bertello (who represents the Curia) are archbishops with large dioceses and in most cases with broad pastoral experience. “The institution of the Council of Cardinals”, he said, “is a further enrichment provided by the Pope to the governance of the Church”, and recalled that during his pontificate Francis has frequently made use of consultation, as is demonstrated by the case of the meeting with the heads of the dicasteries and his interest in reviving the working method of the Synod.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

THE POPE INSTITUTES A COUNCIL OF CARDINALS TO ASSIST IN THE GOVERNANCE OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 30 September 2013 (VIS) – We publish below the full text of the Chirograph by by which the Holy Father institutes a Council of Cardinals to assist him in the governance of the universal Church and to draw up a project for the revision of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus on the Roman Curia.

“Among the suggestions that emerged from the General Congregations of Cardinals prior to the Conclave, mention was made of the expediency of instituting a limited group of Members of the Episcopate, from various parts of the world, with whom the Holy Father could consult, individually or collectively, on specific matters. Once elected to the See of Rome, I have had the opportunity to reflect on this issue on a number of occasions, and consider that such an initiative would be of significant use in fulfilling the pastoral ministry of Peter’s Successor entrusted to me by my brother cardinals.

“For this reason, on 13 April I announced the constitution of the aforementioned group, at the same time indicating the names of those who had been called to participate. Now, following reflection, I consider it opportune that such a group, by means of the present Chirograph, be instituted as a 'Council of Cardinals', with the task of assisting me in the governance of the universal Church and drawing up a project for the revision of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus on the Roman Curia. It will be composed of the same persons previously nominated, who may be called upon, both in Council and singly, on matters that I will from time to time consider worthy of attention. The aforementioned Council which, with regard to the number of members, I will compose in the most appropriate way, will constitute a further expression of Episcopal communion and of the aid to the munus petrinum that the Episcopate, disseminated throughout the world, may offer”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

NJ - Trenton bishop hid “sexting” by priest; SNAP responds

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, September 30, 2013

Statement by NJ SNAP director Mark Crawford (732-632-7687, mecrawf@comcast.net)

For months, Trenton’s Catholic bishop has kept hidden the fact that one of his priests sent 1,200 inappropriate sexual text messages to what he thought was a teenaged boy and had sexually harassed at least five teenagers and young men, some of whom were seminarians.

[

NY - Victims blast Cardinal Dolan over child sex secrecy

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 30, 2013

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)

Cardinal Tim Dolan has apparently kept silent for months about an accused child molesting cleric. And instead of urging people to call police, Dolan is makes the same self-serving but hurtful plea bishops have made for decades – asking those with information about child sex crimes to call church officials, not police or prosecutors.

Shame on him.

[The News Journal]

Deacon Al Mazza has been dismissed from his duties at Church of the Holy Name of Mary Croton-on-Hudson has been “permanently removed from ministry.”

1) Dolan claims he suspended Mazza months ago, but we see no evidence that he made this public in any way. That’s reckless and irresponsible.

Dolan is a media-savvy guy with an efficient public relations team. He knows how to get attention. But he refuses to bring attention quickly on a credibly accused child molesting cleric. Instead, he waits months to warn parents, parishioners and the public about Mazza.

The accusations against Mazza should have been announced – far and wide – when they were made. Or they should have been announced – far and wide – when he was allegedly suspended months ago.

(And if he was allegedly suspended months ago, why is Mazza’s name still on the parish bulletin September 8 and 15 and 22?)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

MO - St. Louis Priest abuse trial starts

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

St. Louis cleric is accused of molesting a teenage girl

For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 30

For more information: David Clohessy (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris (314) 862 7688, SNAPdorris@gmail.com

A St. Louis priest who allegedly molested a teenage girl last year is set to go to trial tomorrow.

The accused is Fr. Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang who was criminally charged with fondling a teenage girl (under 17) on four occasions as recently as last summer. Evidence in the case reportedly includes text messages from the victim’s phone and a recorded voice mail from Fr. Jiang.

He faces of “witness tampering” and “endangering a child.” Both are felonies.

The “tampering” charge is based on an allegation that Fr. Jiang left the girl’s parents a $20,000 check after he reportedly admitted his crimes to the girl’s parents. The following day, according to a civil lawsuit, Archbishop Robert Carlson asked if the parents would give the check to him. But they had already given it to prosecutors.

Fr. Jiang was ordained a priest by at the Cathedral in May 2010. Before that, he was a deacon at the Cathedral. He has a bedroom in the archbishop’s residence.

Fr. Jiang’s trial was originally to take place in Lincoln County last spring but it has since been moved to Bowling Green in Pike County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Exclusive: Vatican Bank likely to close embassy accounts after Iran, Iraq red flags

VATICAN CITY
The Baltimore Sun

Lisa Jucca and Philip Pullella
Reuters
12:04 p.m. EDT, September 30, 2013

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican bank is likely to close all accounts held by foreign embassies, following concerns about large cash deposits and withdrawals by the missions of Iran, Iraq and Indonesia, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

The Vatican's financial watchdog, which examined the transactions in 2011, believed the embassies' justifications for the transactions were too vague or disproportionate to the amounts -- up to 500,000 euros at a time -- these people said. In one case, a large cash withdrawal was said to be for "refurbishment", one person added.

Now the bank and the watchdog want to reduce the possibility that the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), as the bank is called, could be an unwitting vehicle for money laundering and other illicit finances.

Four people with knowledge of the matter said the closure of the accounts was likely to be a key recommendation of a broad review that Pope Francis has ordered of the bank, whose scandal-tainted history has long been an embarrassment for the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

U.S. Catholic women at crossroads as gender gap disappears: Will Pope Francis make a difference?

UNITED STATES
Association of Religion Data Archives

By David Briggs

For generations, Catholic women have been the foundation of the church, filling the pews, doing much of the volunteer work that keeps parishes running and passing on the faith to future generations.

But the day of reckoning for a church that excludes women from the priesthood and has alienated many with its emphasis on rules governing sexual morality may finally have come.

What once was a large gender gap in church attendance is gone, and the latest research indicates Catholic women may be no less likely than Catholic men to say the church is among the most important parts of their lives or that they would never leave the church.

“It’s troubling,” said Mary Gautier of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. “The difference between men and women is just gone.”

And it may get worse, some researchers say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Residential school exhibit documents 'pain'

CANADA
CBC News

A major exhibition about residential schools begins today at Laurentian University in Sudbury.

The exhibit features archival photographs and has already been staged at more than a dozen cities across Canada.

The manager of Aboriginal student affairs at Laurentian said the school has more than 1,000 students who identify as First Nations.

The issue of residential schools is one of the most talked about on campus, Denise Gauthier-Frohlick said, because so many survivors are coming forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

NV - Pastor goes on trial soon

NEVADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

He’s accused of sexually abusing kids
And he headed two Las Vegas churches
Minister belonged to controversial denomination
Several of its clergy & staff are alleged child molesters

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will

-- disclose that minister who has headed two Las Vegas churches faces a trial soon on multiple child sex abuse charges, and

-- prod officials and members at his church to reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes.

WHEN
TODAY, Monday, Sept. 30 at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Las Vegas Valley Christian Church, 3140 S. Durango Dr., Las Vegas, NV (702) 644-9435

WHO
Two members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Chicago woman who is the organization’s founder and long time president

WHY
In December 2012, Rev. Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Morales of Las Vegas was indicted on four counts of sex abuse and six counts of sex offense. At that time, Morales pastored Las Vegas Valley Christian Church in Las Vegas, according to a police report. He also reportedly headed the Open Door Community Church in Las Vegas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Church hierarchs apologize for child abuse scandal

POLAND
Warsaw Business Journal

30th September 2013

Representatives of the Episcopal Conference of the Catholic Church in Poland apologized to the victims of child abuse by Catholic priests. “‘We apologize’ is the least we can say,” Bishop Wojciech Polak said at a press conference called in connection with a recently revealed case of Polish priests suspected of pedophilia in the Dominican Republic.

Bishop Polak added that the Church in Poland treats child abuse cases seriously and that it is determined to punish those priests who are guilty of the offense.

Last week, the investigative authorities of the Dominican Republic asked Interpol for assistance in the priests’ pedophilia case. The Polish prosecution has started an investigation of its own, though it has so far not been asked for help by the Dominican Republic's prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Pope Francis formalizes cardinal reform group, reserves decision-making

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Sep. 30, 2013 NCR Today

VATICAN CITY Pope Francis has formalized the structure of the group of cardinals advising him on reforming the Roman Catholic church, organizing them as a kind of royal council asked to give counsel but not make decisions.

The group, now formally known as the "council of cardinals," will assist in reorganization of the Vatican bureaucracy and will "help me with governance of the universal church," the pope stated in a formal letter outlining the structure.

The pope signed the letter, officially known as a chirograph, Saturday but announced it at a Vatican press briefing Monday.

During the briefing, Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi stated several times that the cardinals' group was to offer advice, but all decisions would be left to the pope.

"It's only a council, it's not a decision-making group," Lombardi said. "I would not speak of collegial governance in this group. It's a new form of consultation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

As Pope's Advisory Council of Eight Cardinals Meets, People of God Bombard Rome with Appeals for Reform

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

This is an important week for the Catholic church: as Fr. Thomas Reese explains in this recent National Catholic Reporter article, this week the eight cardinals Pope Francis has appointed to advise him about the needs of the church and reform of the Vatican will meet in Rome. As Reese also notes, it's not clear that the "gang of eight" will actually do anything beyond listening and talking. And this poses a danger, given the pope's advanced age, the urgent need for reform--the need, precisely, that something be done. Immediately.

Reese envisages a best-case scenario in which the eight cardinals spark what he calls "comprehensive reform" rather than better management of a badly faltering institution in need of more than more adroit management. Reese's prescription for (part of) such comprehensive reform:

• Stop making Vatican officials bishops or cardinals
• Remove all curial officials from the committees (congregations and councils) that oversee curial offices and replace them with diocesan cardinals and bishops nominated by the synod of bishops and/or bishops' conferences
• Remove all curial officials from the synod of bishops and have it meet at least once every five years.

As Reese concludes,

On the other hand, his [i.e., the pope's] attempts to change attitudes need to be supported by structural reforms in the Roman Curia. We have been waiting and preparing for change since Vatican II, where the foundations for change were laid. Will the gang of eight produce a plan? Let's hope so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

MN - Victims want Catholic officials disciplined

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

And group wants archbishop to hold open public meeting
In sharply worded letter, SNAP blasts “recklessness, callousness and deceit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

For more information: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Bob Schwiderski of Wayzata 952-471-3422, skibrs@q.com

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is writing Minnesota’s top Catholic bishop urging him to discipline at least three church employees over how they handled the case of a priest who was convicted for molesting two children. The group also wants church officials to hold an open meeting to answer questions from parishioners and the public about the case.

A lengthy Minnesota Public Radio story details how high-ranking staff of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese kept Fr. Curtis C. Wehmeyer on the job despite “repeated troubling actions by and allegations against” the priest. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2013/09/clergy-abuse/

Last year, Fr. Wehmeyer pled guilty to 20 charges related to criminal sexual conduct against two St. Paul boys and possession of child pornography.

But years before, top archdiocesan staffers knew that Fr. Wehmeyer had “engaged in troubling sexual encounters — that he had approached young men for sex at a bookstore and cruised nearby parks” where anonymous sexual encounters often took place. In 2009, he was arrested on – and later pled guilty to – charges of drunk driving. Police said he was asking young men, ages 18-21, if they wanted to party with him at a state park,” according to MPR.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Congresista sacerdote rechaza acusaciones de abuso sexual

COLOMBIA
Terra

[Summary: Former priest Jaime Alonso Vasques, a current legislator, has denied allegations of sexual abuse.]

El sacerdote y representante a la Cámara por el departamento del Guaviare, Jaime Alonso Vásquez, negó las acusaciones en su contra que lo señalan de haber abusado sexualmente de un joven en los últimos 16 años y aseguró que tras dichos señalamientos hay intereses políticos.

“Es una calumnia total decir que soy un violador…Francisco tiene 29 años y dice que eso fue hace 13 años por qué no acudió en su momento a interponer la denuncia”, dijo el parlamentario sobre el joven que lo acusa.

Así, Vásquez desmintió la versión de Francisco Javier Bohórquez Franco, el joven de 29 años que en los últimos días interpuso una demanda ante la Fiscalía y entregó las supuestas pruebas del más reciente encuentro sexual, que habría ocurrido hace dos semanas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

N.J. priest takes leave of absence after sexting

NEW JERSEY
USA Today

JACKSON, N.J. — A Catholic priest who once ministered to a congregation here has taken a leave of absence following a sexting scandal with a man he reportedly thought was a 16-year-old boy.

The Rev. Matthew Riedlinger preached at St. Aloysius Church until August 2012, when he entered counseling following complaints of inappropriate cellphone text conversations with other adults, according to church leadership.

While in out-patient treatment, Riedlinger continued having sexual conversations, prompting the Diocese of Trenton to remove him from his parish. Last week, the diocese announced that Riedlinger had taken a leave of absence from the priesthood.

In 2011, Timothy Schmalz, 23, of Washington complained to the diocese in 2011 about Riedlinger's behavior, saying the priest sexually harassed him, according to The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger. To expose Riedlinger, Schmalz pretended online to be a 16-year-old boy, recorded text message conversations last year between Riedlinger and himself, and later forwarded them onto the diocese, according to the newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 AM

Sexting, Blabbing, or Bullying - Which Would You Choose?

NEW JERSEY
Waiting for Godot to Leave

Kevin O'Brien

Let me begin by saying that "sexting" (sending lewd comments and naked photos of yourself via text), though sinful, is far from the worst thing one adult can do to another. Sexting someone you think is a 16-year-old boy ... well, that's another story

But which is worse? A priest sexting someone he thinks is a 16-year-old boy, but isn't - or a pastor refusing to tell parishioners about this and bullying them into not asking questions when the priest is removed from their parish for this very reason?

The priest intended to abuse a minor, but didn't. The pastor intended to bully his parishioners, and did.

From The Star Ledger (emphasis mine) ...

The text messages read as if they’ve been ripped from a pornographic novel.

Matthew Riedlinger quizzed his texting partner about sex videos, pressed for details about intimate liaisons, described sexual acts and encouraged mutual masturbation.

He also repeatedly asked to meet.

"Promise me you will never breath (sic) a word of this to anyone — ok?" he wrote.

Riedlinger had good reason for discretion.

He is a priest of the Diocese of Trenton, and while exchanging more than 1,200 text messages over four weeks last year, he thought was he talking to a 16-year-old boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Archbishop calls on Pope to swiftly fill senior clergy roles

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Monday 30 September 2013

THE Catholic cleric appointed in the wake of Cardinal Keith O'Brien's departure has warned of a "drift" within the Church unless the Vatican moves to address a vacuum within the senior clergy in Scotland.

Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh Leo Cushley said he would be delighted if Pope Francis considered the appointment of new Scottish bishops in the short term to fill a number of vacancies.

Of the eight dioceses in Scotland, currently only four have full-time bishops not waiting to leave - Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Argyll and the Isles.

"There are a couple of good lads out there. I thought one of them would get this job. And hopefully that means one of them is now free to go somewhere else," Archbishop Cushley said.

"I think we all have a fair idea of who these candidates might be but that's something done in its own way. It may take a while.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Pope tells cardinals to 'rip up' Vatican's rule-book

VATICAN CITY
Irish Independent

TOM KINGTON IN ROME – 30 SEPTEMBER 2013

A ROMAN Catholic cardinal has said that a group of senior church figures handpicked by the Pope to shake up the Vatican's murky and autocratic bureaucracy would "rip up and rewrite" the constitution which apportions power at the Holy See.

The eight cardinals, who were appointed by Pope Francis in April, have been briefed to revise the constitution, known as Pastor Bonus and drawn up in 1988 by Pope John Paul, in a bid to give greater voice to bishops around the world.

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the group's leader, said that at tomorrow's meeting they would go much further than just change "this and that".

"No, that constitution is over," he said in a television interview. "Now, it is something different. We need to write something different," he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Pope Francis Concealed His Actions ...”

UNITED STATES
Daily Kos

Pope Francis Concealed His Actions Against Two Prelates. Now Both “Whereabouts are Unknown.”

by Betty Clermont

A “dossier" accusing papal nuncio Archbishop Josef Wesolowski of sex abuse of minors was sent to Pope Francis sometime in July by Santo Domingo Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez. The pope found the information credible enough to dismiss Wesolowski, nuncio to both the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, on Aug. 21 via confidential letter N.2706/PR to the bishops of both countries.

Neither the civil authorities nor the public knew about Wesolowski until a local TV program did an expose’ on Aug. 31. The result of a year-long investigation, the broadcast contained testimony from residents of the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo that Wesolowski paid minors for sex.

Three days after the TV broadcast, a local bishop confirmed that Wesolowski had been recalled for sexually abusing minors.

Wesolowski reportedly had left the country only a few days before. There were accusations that the pope allowed his nuncio to escape and speculation that Wesolowski fled to Haiti where children are even more desperately poor.

On Sept. 23, the Dominican Republic’s Justice Ministry confirmed there was evidence of pedophilia against Wesolowski. A deacon confessed to “pimping” minors for the prelate who allegedly waited in his vehicle nearby. The deacon, Francisco Javier Occi Reyes, who is being held in pretrial prison on pedophilia charges, was arrested when one of Wesolowski’s alleged victims alerted a police officer. The deacon said on that occasion Wesolwski left but said nothing because he thought the Church’s influence would get him out of prison.

The Deputy Procurator and the case’s lead investigator, Bolivar Sanchez, noted that Wesolowski cannot be extradited because of his diplomatic status. He said the minors interviewed admitted to masturbating for, and of taking part in oral sex with the bishop as he filmed them with a cell phone. Another witness affirmed seeing child pornography on Wesoloski’s laptop at the Vatican embassy. Sanchez confirmed that when the local Catholic Church submitted the evidence to the Vatican, the Justice Ministry was unaware of the case but has received full cooperation after the investigation was launched.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

NY Deacon Removed From Church Following Abuse Allegations

NEW YORK
ABC News

[with video]

Sept. 29, 2013
By GILLIAN MOHNEY

The Archdiocese of New York has removed a deacon from the church over allegations that he abused minors.

Albert Mazza was removed from the Holy Name of Mary Parish in Croton-on-Hudson, NY., after an investigation by police revealed that there was evidence he had allegedly abused minors, according to a statement from church officials.

The announcement was made by Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan in a letter to the parishioners of Mazza's church. The letter was read during Sunday mass by Father Edward Weber, the director of priest personnel for the Archdiocese of New York.

According to Dolan's letter, an investigation by the Westchester district attorney found credible evidence of abuse, but prosecutors were "precluded by state law" from bringing charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Student goes public after alleged abuse by St. Francis Spanish teacher

NEW YORK
PIX 11

FRESH MEADOWS (PIX11) - In a lawsuit claiming negligent supervision, Felicia Mooradian, said the administration at Saint Francis Prep failed to protect her and she wants to make sure they don’t fail others. In a lengthy complaint against St. Francis Prep in Queens a young woman, identified initially as simply Jane Doe, is now stepping out of the shadows. Felicia Mooradian, now in her 20′sj, said she will never forget what happened to her during her time at Saint Francis Prep in Fresh Meadows Queens.

Mooradian said what started out as favoritism and merely extra attention in the spring of 2006 from her high school Spanish teacher, Brother Ben O’Reilly, ended with a scared teenager forced to confront a man she said sexually harassed her .

“He kept inviting me to come back to his classroom during lunch periods and I was really feeling funny about that. Too many lingering glances. Too many shoulder squeezes. Too much with the neck rubbing,” said Mooradian.

And it didn’t just end there. Mooradian alleged Brother Ben, a trusted, fun loving member of the St Francis staff, made a number of inappropriate comments before the young teen had had enough.

“The first comment that really struck me was when he said you can be on a diet but you can still look at the menu. Another time he said to me you know Felicia my goal in life is to give you pleasure,” said Mooradian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Deacon At Westchester Church Removed Amid Sex Abuse Claims

NEW YORK
CBS News York

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The deacon of the Holy Name of Mary Parish in Westchester County has been removed from ministry amid allegations of sexual abuse several years ago.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan announced Sunday that he has issued a letter to parishioners of the church, in Croton-on-Hudson, informing them of the dismissal of Deacon Albert Mazza. The Rev. Edward Weber, direct of priest personnel for the New York Archdiocese, read the letter at Sunday masses.

Mazza’s dismissal comes after two other pastors at Holy Name of Mary Parish were also dismissed from the priesthood for sexual abuse allegations.

In the letter, Dolan noted that the Westchester County District Attorney’s office had notified the Archdiocese of the allegations against Mazza, and the deacon was immediately put on leave for an investigation. Last week, the archdiocesan review board recommended that Mazza be removed from the ministry permanently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Deacon Albert Mazza, of Holy Name of Mary Parish, removed amid sexual abuse allegations

NEW YORK
News 12

WESTCHESTER - A popular religious leader in Croton has been removed from his parish after decades-old sex abuse allegations have come to light.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan sent a letter to Holy Name of Mary Parish this morning stating that their deacon of 17 years, Albert Mazza, was removed due to credible and substantial allegations of the sexual abuse of minors up to 30 years ago.

The Archdiocese says the allegations against Mazza predate his time at the Croton-on-Hudson church. Father Brian Brennan says the deacon did interact with minors during his time at the parish.

The Westchester District Attorney told News 12 that Mazza will not face criminal charges because of the statute of limitations. According to the church, he will go to Rome to plead his case to the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

NY deacon removed following abuse allegations

NEW YORK
NorthJersey.com

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. (AP) — The Archbishop of New York has permanently removed from ministry the deacon of a suburban New York parish following sexual abuse allegations.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan said in a letter read Sunday in the Holy Name of Mary Parish in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., that Deacon Albert Mazza was removed after law enforcement referred allegations he'd abused minors years ago. Mazza has served as permanent deacon since 1996.

Dolan described the allegations as substantiated and credible.

He said the Westchester County district attorney's office referred the claims to the archdiocese several months ago but criminal charges were precluded by state law. A spokesman for the district attorney's office said the statute of limitations had run out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Julia Gillard inspired by Herald journalist Joanne McCarthy

AUSTRALIA
Parramatta Sun

Read the letter here

JULIA Gillard revealed on Monday night why she devoted some of her last minutes as prime minister to writing a letter to Newcastle Herald journalist Joanne McCarthy.

Ms McCarthy’s work in chronicling sexual abuse of the Catholic Church as part of the Herald’s Shine The Light campaign has been credited with leading to a state inquiry and a federal royal commission.

Ms Gillard said Ms McCarthy’s efforts in uncovering clergy abuse within the Maitland-Newcastle diocese was on her mind before she announced the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

‘‘Everything that was happening in Newcastle was at the forefront of my thinking as we decided to move to the stage of having a national royal commission,’’ Ms Gillard said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Croton-on-Hudson deacon dismissed over sex abuse allegations

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Written by
Hoa Nguyen

CROTON-ON-HUDSON — A deacon has been dismissed from his duties at Church of the Holy Name of Mary after allegations of sexual abuse of minors from years ago recently surfaced, Catholic officials said.

Deacon Al Mazza has been accused of engaging in immoral and illegal conduct with minors prior to becoming a deacon in 1996, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan told parishioners via a letter on Sunday. The incident is the third time an ordained minister has faced such allegations in the Croton parish.

Dolan’s letter, read to parishioners at Sunday Masses, said the action was taken due to “credible and substantiated allegations of the abuse of minors.”

In Mazza’s case, the allegations were unrelated to his activities at the church, archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said.

A deacon is an ordained minister who works with the pastor and parish staff but can have a job outside the church. Mazza owns a construction company. He could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Royal Commission to hear fresh Wollongong child abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

by William Verity

The Catholic Church in Wollongong is facing fresh allegations that it failed to follow up sex abuse crimes by its priests.

Former Catholic school principal Jim Walsh intends to tell the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he suspects two former priests from the Illawarra, who were never investigated by police or charged.

''It is my belief that there are still some who haven't been unearthed,'' he said.

His testimony will raise the possibility the Church protected priests by moving them away from their parishes to avoid investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Another mountain town, another priest charged with sexual abuse

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santiago.- The hearings to decide on whether to indict catholic priest Juan Manuel de Jesús Mota (Johnny) on sexual assault charges has become a witch-hunt against the accusers, according to the lawyers of the seven victims.

During the first hearing, Constanza prosecutor Juana María Castillo said a mob led by the former mayor Ernesto Joaquín Gómez (Chito) pushed and shoved two of the women who filed complaints.

"What’s happening here is that even I have bee threatened and these poor girls, fans of the cure have been manhandled," said Castle in a telephone interviews by newspaper El Caribe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

September 29, 2013

Does Pope Francis Understand What “Reform” Means ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

[Will Pope Francis Be Ready For His Reform Meetings With Cardinals?]

Jerry Slevin

Is Pope Francis in reality like a clone of ex-Pope Benedict, but just a better spiritual salesman? That is an important and unanswered question . Wishful thinking Catholics hope Francis really is different in more than his smoother speech. Many Catholics basically gave Francis a free six month pass, when Francis became new pope. He at the time appointed 8 Cardinals to tell him by October 1 how to reform the Curia. Six months seemed like a reasonable time, at least to come up with a specific vision of a reform agenda. Francis and the Cardinals were then , and still are, quite familar with the Church’s problems.

Of course, the eight Cardinals included some of the “usual suspects” who had been part of the clique that either caused the current mess or looked the other way as the ex-pope fiddled while Rome burned.

The group’s chairman, Cardinal Rodriguez of Honduras, had earlier shamefully suggested that the Jewish owners of the New York Times, parent company of the Boston Globe, were mainly behind the bad press Cardinal Law got in the Boston priest abuse scandals. Rodriguez reportedly supported the ex-pope’s ban on condoms for AIDS victims and excommunication of women who had an abortion. And he just suggested the Holy Spirit is guiding his current efforts to help Francis “reform” the Church. Really? Who guided his seemingly anti-Semitic remarks earlier?

As an international lawyer, it is becoming increasingly simpler to assess all of this now. Francis and his Cardinals’ group must either “put up” real reforms soon or else. The “or else” are government prosecutors. Australian prosecutors are currently breathing down the neck of Cardinal Pell, also one of the eight Cardinals. The ex-pope, or even Pope Francis, could well be next. And prosecutors in many other nations, including in Latin America, are stepping up their pace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

Victimas de un cura abusador marcharon por Los Hornos

ARGENTINA
La Plata YA

17 de septiembre de 2013

[Summary: Several alleged victims of priest Richard Gimenez, who was charged and convicted of child abuse, marched through Los Hornos. He was removed 10 days ago as pastor of his parish.]

La marcha fue organizada por varias victimas de Ricardo Gimenez quien esta acusado y condenado por abuso de menores. El mismo fue separado hace 10 días de su cargo como párroco de la Iglesia del Hospital San Juan de dios. El escrache se llevo adelante en 66 y 152 donde vive actual el denunciado.

El cura fue condenado por el abuso de cinco menores en 1996, pero luego la Cámara Penal de Apelaciones le concedió la excarcelación extraordinaria bajo caución juratoria.

Julieta Añazco una de las victimas aseguro a LAPLATAYA.COM que: “Hace 3 meses desperté después de 30 años de no poder hablar y ahora este señor no se va a poder esconder más. Ahora sabemos que seguramente se fue de su casa para no ser mas humillado, pero no lo voy a encontrar hasta abajo de la tierra.”

En sus fundamentos, el dictamen de los jueces Raúl Delbés y Horacio Piombo decía que se concedía al sacerdote el recurso por la “dignidad eclesiástica, la buena conducta y la falta de antecedentes del sacerdote”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

La defensa de Julio César Grassi prepara un recurso para acudir a la Corte Suprema

ARGENTINA
El Intransigente

[Detailed Summary of Case of Julio César Grassi, Drawn from Media Coverage and Public Reports - BishopAccountability.org]

[Summary: Carlos Irisarri, who represents priest Julio Cesar Grassi, confirmed that they plan an extraordinary appeal before the national supreme court. Grassi has until Wednesday to appeal the to the inter-american human rights group.]

BUENOS AIRES.- Carlos Irisarri, patrocinante de la defensa del sacerdote Julio César Grassi, confirmó hoy que trabajaba "contrarreloj" para elevar un recurso extraordinario ante la Corte Suprema nacional dado que tiene plazo hasta el miércoles para apelar la condena por abuso sexual y corrupción de menores que ratificó el máximo tribunal bonaerense.

"El fallo último de la Corte de la Provincia, que lo dan cuatro jueces sobre siete, creo honestamente que es otra muestra de arbitrariedad. No entran en las cuestiones, es lo que yo le voy a plantear en la Corte de la Nación", sostuvo el letrado de Julio César Grassi.

En tanto, adelantó que "si nos va mal en la Corte de la Nación, voy a plantearlo en la Interamericana de Derechos Humanos".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

Bishop confirms N.J. priest was removed for lewd texting

NEW JERSEY
UPI

Published: Sept. 29, 2013

TRENTON, N.J., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The Roman Catholic diocese in Trenton, N.J., has issued a statement confirming that a priest had been removed from his parish due to lurid text messages.

The statement released last week said the priest, Matthew Riedlinger, had indeed engaged in inappropriate communications with adults and that no sexual contact had taken place.

The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger said Sunday Riedlinger was the subject of complaints to the diocese since 2011, including from one of the young men, who said he and Rieldlinger exchanged some 1,200 graphic texts while Riedlinger was under the impression his text partner was a 16-year-old boy.

The text partner was actually Timothy Schmalz, a 23-year-old college student who said he set up his own sting with Riedlinger because the Jackson, N.J. priest had been sexually harassing him since he was a teenager.

The newspaper said Schmalz was one of five young men Riedlinger allegedly engaged in lurid communications. He was removed from his parish and later granted a leave of absence from the priesthood. No criminal charges have been filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Matthew Riedlinger, priest at St. Aloysius in Jackson, on leave after reported sexting scandal

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Written by
Amanda Oglesby
@OglesbyAPP

JACKSON — A Catholic priest who once ministered to a congregation in Jackson has taken a leave of absence following a sexting scandal with a man he reportedly thought was a 16-year-old boy.

Father Matthew Riedlinger preached at St. Aloysius Church in Jackson until August of 2012, when he entered counseling following complaints of inappropriate cell phone text conversations with other adults, according to church leadership.

While in out-patient treatment, Riedlinger continued having sexual conversations, prompting the Diocese of Trenton to remove him from St. Aloysius Church.

Timothy Schmalz, 23, of Washington D.C. complained to the Diocese in 2011 about Riedlinger’s behavior, saying the priest sexually harassed him, according to The Star-Ledger. To expose Riedlinger, Schmalz pretended online to be a 16-year-old boy and recorded text message conversations between himself and Riedlinger, and later forwarded them onto the Diocese, according to the newspaper. Schmalz declined an interview with the Asbury Park Press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Umstrittener Bischof Tebartz-van Elst: Zahl der Kirchenaustritte auf Rekordniveau

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[Summary: The first class air flight by Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst along with his authoritarian style have caused a large number of people to leave the church in the Limburg diocese. According to information obtained by Spiegel, about 25,000 Catholics have left since he took office in 2008 through the end of last year. The number of church resignations in 2012 was more than twice as high as in 2004 when Tebartz van Elst was not in office.]

Der Protzbau, der Erste-Klasse-Flug, der autoritäre Führungsstil: Viele Katholiken haben genug vom umstrittenen Limburger Bischof Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst. Nach SPIEGEL-Informationen ist die Zahl der Kirchenaustritte in seinem Bistum erheblich gestiegen.

Einsam, einsamer, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst: Erst distanzierten sich ranghohe Kirchenleute von dem Bischof. Jetzt laufen ihm auch noch seine Schäfchen davon: Nach Informationen des SPIEGEL hat die Zahl der Kirchenaustritte im Bistum Limburg angesichts des anhaltenden Skandals um den Bischof erheblich zugenommen; das zeigen die Zahlen mehrerer Amtsgerichte. Insgesamt haben seit seinem Amtsantritt zum Jahresbeginn 2008 bis Ende vergangenen Jahres rund 25.000 Katholiken die Limburger Kirche verlassen.

So war die Zahl der Austritte beim Amtsgericht Limburg im Jahr 2012 mehr als doppelt so hoch wie 2004, als Tebartz-van Elst noch nicht im Amt war. Eigentlich müssen Katholiken ihren Austritt aus der Kirche nicht begründen und dennoch tun es manche: Sie stören sich demnach am "Protzbau" des Bischofs, an seinem autoritären Führungsstil, an seinem Erste-Klasse-Flug nach Indien.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Former Lafayette lawyer rises from the ashes of the Gilbert Gauthe case

LOUISIANA/FRANCE
The Advertiser

[with video]

Written by
Evan Moore

On clear mornings he can see the steeple.

It rises from a little russet-stone Catholic church in the village in southern France where Ray Mouton, former Louisiana lawyer-turned-expatriate-American author, now lives.

The view from Mouton’s terrace focuses squarely on that steeple as it cuts a vertical line through the horizon, reaching heavenward against a backdrop of the Pyrenees Mountains, a symbol of solace, hope and inspiration to man.

But not to Mouton.

Mouton has never been to Mass in that church. He has never heard a sermon there.

Mouton no longer attends church services. Not since the case of Father Gilbert Gauthe, whose horrific crimes against children in the Diocese of Lafayette set off a wave of scandal in 1985 that reached from southern Louisiana throughout the nation. Not since that wave rolled across the ocean to Europe, all the way to the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

“El caso Ilarraz es único por donde se fueron los abusos”

ARGENTINA
El Siglo

[Summary - In an interview with Radio LT10 of the city of Santa Fe , Marcelo Baridon , lawyer of one of the victims of the priest Justo José Ilarraz , said the priest was confessor and spiritual guide to the father of one victims. Illarraz is accused of more than 50 instances of sexual abuse.]

28/09/2013 11:14 PM | SANTA FE.- En diálogo con la radio LT10 de la ciudad de Santa Fe, Marcelo Baridón, abogado de una de las víctimas del cura Justo José Ilarraz, quien fue acusado por más de 50 casos de abusos sexuales, expresó que “en este delito se produce un caso paradigmático porque los delitos sexuales fueron cometidos en un seminario”.

“Ilarraz oficiaba de confesor, de guía espiritual y hasta de padre de una de las víctimas. Este hombre enjuagaba su práctica sexual en conceptos que los jóvenes no tenían. Ilarraz les hablaba de amistad y confusión”, dijo el letrado.

Además, Marcelo Baridón agregó que “efectivamente, la causa del cura Grassi influyó. La primera denuncia fue casual. La madre estaba mirando televisión y no salía de su asombro ante la causa Grassi y en ese momento su hijo rompe a llorar y le cuenta que lo ocurrió algo similar”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

"Pastor Bonus Is Over... We Need to Try Something Different" – Live from Canada, The Óscar Pre-Show

UNITED STATES
Whispers in the Loggia

Two years ago, Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga was licking his wounds on the Roman scene.

After a power play orchestrated by the Roman Curia, the Honduran cardinal's top collaborator at Caritas Internationalis – the charity confederation's secretary-general, Lesley Anne Knight – had been denied a second term by the Vatican, for reasons that the Caritas board wouldn't disclose, but greeted with stated "incomprehension." Widely seen as the most formidable laywoman in a global-level church post, Knight's allies later portrayed the British-Zimbabwean chief's black-balling in the context of her gender, lack of orders and outspokenness at high levels in defending her agency's work.

Yet now, as only a transition of Popes can bring about, it's suddenly a new world: Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Salesian confrere with whom Rodriguez shared little else in common, is 17 days from retiring... and this week, the Honduran's restoration to center stage (and then some) completes itself as Don Óscar takes the principal place alongside Pope Francis at the first summit of Bergoglio's advisory commission of eight cardinals as the group's designated "coordinator."

Believed to have been the key driver behind the Latin American bloc that put the Argentine on this Conclave's map in the first ballot, it's not a stretch to say that Rodríguez, 70 – a dynamic polyglot with three decades' experience on the global stage – now enjoys the role of papal "shadow," and the near-limitless portfolio that comes with it, which in times past had been the province of the Secretary of State. Indeed, unburdened with the minutiae of running a dicastery as he cris-crosses the globe, perhaps it isn't even too much to cast the first of the "Super-Cardinals" as Francis' "Vice-Pope"... at least, with one key difference from before: unlike the Benedict-Bertone tag-team, the new Pope has no qualms about being his own linebacker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Australian Cardinal George Pell: The Curia will have to lift its game

ROME
Rome Reports

[with video]

September 28, 2013. (Romereports.com) Before the start of the conclave earlier this year, when asked where the next Pope would come from, Australian Cardinal George Pell ventured to guess that the most likely probability was Europe.

But then he added:

CARD. GEORGE PELL
Archbishop of Sydney (March 6, 2013)
“We will certainly see a South American Pope in the next 50 to 100 years, perhaps many of them.”

It turns out he didn't have to wait years, but rather days, to see the the first South American pontiff. His fellow cardinals elected Pope Francis in five rounds of voting.

From the onset it was clear what Cardinal Pell expected from the next Pope, and it seems, so far, he's getting what he wanted.

CARD. GEORGE PELL
Archbishop of Sydney (March 6, 2013)
“We've got to have a Pope who is able to speak to the world, to modern communications and I think this time we're gonna have a pastoral pope who can encourage the Vatican Curia to lift their game.”

The Archbishop of Sydney will also have an important role in getting the Curia to lift their game. He was one of eight cardinals from around the world Pope Francis appointed to advise him on reform to the Church and Curia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Julio César Grassi está "deprimido" en un pabellón con presos violadores

ARGENTINA
Contexto National

[Detailed Summary of Case of Julio César Grassi, Drawn from Media Coverage and Public Reports - BishopAccountability.org]

[Summary: The first days in prison are the hardest and the longest. Priest Julio Cesar Grassi, 58, has had to adapt. His first days have included a series of interviews with psychologists and psychiatrists to map out a profile and define a strategy. He was visited the first four days by two of his four brothers and spoke with the chaplain. According to sources, the priest is housed in Unit 41 which currently has about 500 prisoners along with 30 other detainees. Many have been charged with sex crimes. One of his peers is priest Jose Antonio Mercau, sentenced to 14 years in prison for abusing four minors. Mercau, 57, belongs to the San Isidro diocese.]

Los primeros días en prisión son los más difíciles. Los más duros. Y los más largos. El cura Julio César Grassi (59) atraviesa la etapa de adaptación, que incluye una serie de entrevistas con psicólogos y psiquiatras que tienen como objetivo trazar su perfil y definir la estrategia para que el período de iniciación carcelaria no sea tan violento.

Por estas horas, Grassi ocupa parte de su tiempo en cuestiones de rutina. No obstante, en estos primeros cuatro días recibió a dos de sus cuatro hermanos y habló personalmente con el capellán de Campana, quien estará a su lado mientras dure su estadía en prisión.

Según fuentes consultadas, el cura fue alojado en el pabellón seis de la Unidad Penitenciaria N° 41 –que actualmente alberga a cerca de 500 presos– junto a otros treinta detenidos más, muchos de ellos acusados por delitos contra la integridad sexual. El dato es que uno de sus compañeros es otro cura de la Iglesia Católica: el párroco José Antonio Mercau, condenado a catorce años de prisión por abusar de cuatro menores.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

The scandal isn't over; 'A Shepherd'; Pray for Michael Terry

UNITED STATES
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

Pope Francis will have his hands full, no doubt; the clergy abuse scandal still isn't over.

Several cases have made the news in recent days.

Father Curtis Wehmeyer.
Father Robert Poandl.
Father William Paulish.
Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski.
Father Wojciech Gil.
Father Julio Cesar Grassi.
Bishop Gabino Miranda.
Father Louis Grandpre.
Father Robert Brennan.

On a related note, Billy Graham's grandson is sounding the alarm about abuse among evangelicals.

According to a Sept. 26 story at Religion News Service:

The Christian mission field is a 'magnet' for sexual abusers, Boz Tchividjian, a Liberty University law professor who investigates abuse said Thursday (Sept. 26) to a room of journalists.

While comparing evangelicals to Catholics on abuse response, 'I think we are worse,' he said at the Religion Newswriters Association conference, saying too many evangelicals had 'sacrificed the souls' of young victims....

Click here to read the full article.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Cipriani y Opus Dei son los más golpeados por expulsión de obispo

PERU
La Republica

Impacto profundo. Para el ex presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal del Perú, monseñor Luis Bambarén, el Opus Dei se ha lavado las manos y se ha apartado del caso del expectorado sacerdote Gabino Miranda, no obstante que fue formado por ellos.

Doris Aguirre.

Por algo será.

Antes que el cardenal Juan Luis Cipriani se pronunciara sobre el caso del defenestrado ex obispo auxiliar de Ayacucho, Gabino Miranda Melgarejo, lo hizo la Oficina de Información del Opus Dei en el Perú, el 20 de septiembre. Aclaró que el sacerdote no era uno de sus miembros sino que formaba parte de la Sociedad Sacerdotal de la Santa Cruz, una organización que pertenece al Opus Dei. Era una forma elegante de apartarlo del círculo del Opus Dei.

Recién al día siguiente, el 21 de septiembre, desde Roma y por teléfono Cipriani demandó comprender y no condenar a Gabino Miranda y pidió que se le permita "el derecho a defenderse", como si el ex sacerdote hubiera sido víctima de una injusticia. Demasiada agua tibia para un caso que remeció la fe de los católicos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Diocese of Yakima still opposed to naming accused

WASHINGTON
Yakima Herald-Republic

By Jane Gargas / Yakima Herald-Republic
jgargas@yakimaherald.com

As he leaves Yakima behind, Robert Fontana, who headed the local chapter of Voice of the Faithful, remains at odds with the Catholic Diocese of Yakima over the naming of clergy accused of sexual abuse.

Fontana argues that the diocese should publish the names of all diocesan clergy on its website who have faced credible allegations of sexual abuse, where they served and when.

A spokesman for the diocese vociferously disagrees, saying that school districts and Scout organizations don’t publish names of the accused on their websites.

Listing names on diocesan websites is not unheard of, but it’s not common, either. Of the 195 dioceses in the United States, only 34 publish names of accused clerics on their websites. In Washington, just the Spokane Diocese does so. Yakima and Seattle do not.

According to the U.S. Conference of Bishops, a credible allegation is “one which has a semblance of truth to it following an initial examination of the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegation.”

While Fontana believes that victims would find it less intimidating to come forward if they thought that a clergy member may have abused others, Monsignor Robert Siler, diocese chief of staff, takes a different view.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Polarizing Yakima religious figure Robert Fontana plots new path

WASHINGTON
Yakima Herald-Republic

By Jane Gargas / Yakima Herald-Republic
jgargas@yakimaherald.com

Some will say, emphatically, “good riddance.”

Others will lament his leaving.

But all will acknowledge his imprint here.

Robert Fontana, who has been a leading advocate for major reforms in the Catholic Church, recently moved away from Yakima.

Fontana and his wife, Lori, are relocating to Seattle, where he will train as a marriage and family therapist at Seattle University, and she will substitute teach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

N.J. priest in sexting sting thought he was talking to 16-year-old boy, wanted to meet

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on September 29, 2013

[statement from the diocese]

The text messages read as if they’ve been ripped from a pornographic novel.

Matthew Riedlinger quizzed his texting partner about sex videos, pressed for details about intimate liaisons, described sexual acts and encouraged mutual masturbation.

He also repeatedly asked to meet.

"Promise me you will never breath (sic) a word of this to anyone — ok?" he wrote.

Riedlinger had good reason for discretion.

He is a priest of the Diocese of Trenton, and while exchanging more than 1,200 text messages over four weeks last year, he thought was he talking to a 16-year-old boy.

Riedlinger, at the time an assistant pastor at St. Aloysius Church in Jackson and a sex-education teacher at the parish school, was the target of an elaborate sting by a Catholic University of America graduate who says the priest sexually harassed him for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

September 28, 2013

Will Pope Francis Be Ready For His Reform Meetings With Cardinals ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

The optimistic hopes of many Catholics about the upcoming meetings next week of Pope Francis and his eight man Cardinals’ reform committee are beginning to fade. Various new Vatican reports, leaks, etc., are playing down the meetings as very preliminary, only advisory and mostly secret. So what else is new?

Pope Francis has little time left to reform the Catholic Church. He cannot afford to procrastinate, in my considered view as an international lawyer. If he fails now , he also will likely be compelled to resign like his predecessor, ex-Pope Benedict, ignominousily had to. The Vatican’s “house of cards”, as Francis realistically described it, will then probably collapse. If that happens, Cardinal Rigali’s Secretary, Monsignor Lynn, may have some hierarchical company in prison before his sentence is completed. It’s that bad. Some hierarchs from outside Pennsylvania will likely find accomodations at their local jails.

Francis must promptly make the Church’s leaders accountable to the faithful, the Gospels and civil law, especially with respect to protecting defenseless children. He must initiate and enforce specific and effective policies to do this, before government prosecutors from Australia, Ireland, the Dominican Republic, the USA, Peru, Chile, Argentina, the Phillipines, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, or from dozens of other countries, do so for him.

Prosecutors dictated to Kansas City’s criminal, but continuing, Bishop Finn the specific policies he must follow, as nearby Federal prosecutors buried Finn’s protected pedophile priest with a 50 year prison term. Prosecutors eventually can be expected to dictate to other bishops and even to Francis himself, no matter what Francis may be advised otherwise. Government regulators are already dictating to Francis how he must manage the hierarchy’s finances. Government lawyers can, and I expect soon will, dictate to him how he must manage the hierarchy’s approach to predatory priests, if Francis fails to get effective control of the bishops’ flawed approach first. Priests may not be the pope’s “employees”; but bishops are another story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Detailed Summary of Case of Julio César Grassi, Drawn from Media Coverage and Public Reports

ARGENTINA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary

Grassi was a Salesian until 1991, when he became a priest of the Morón diocese. In 1993, he founded Fundacion Felices los Niños (the Happy Children Foundation), aimed at rescuing street children. According to a news article, the foundation cared for 6,300 children in 17 homes nationwide from 1993 to 2002.

On 11/29/2000, an anonymous complaint filed in the Juvenile Court of Morón accused Grassi of corrupting minors. The case lay dormant until 10/23/2002, when Telenoche Investiga,an investigative news show on Argentina’s Channel 13, aired a program alleging Grassi’s sexual abuse of five boys, ages 11 to 17. It included an interview with a young man, his face obscured, who said that Grassi performed oral sex on him in 1998, when he was 15. Within days, Grassi was arrested and charged with 17 counts of abuse of three boys, who were 9, 13, and 17 when the alleged incidents occurred. Grassi denied all the allegations.

In November 2002, the executive committee of the Argentine bishops’ conference issued a statement denouncing a “campaign” intended to “blur the image” of the Catholic Church and “cause society to lose its trust” in the institution. It warned against making “condemning judgments about individuals or institutions before a fair trial.” Although the statement did not refer to a specific attack, some news analysts interpreted it as the bishops’ response to public uproar about Grassi and the recently arrested Archbishop Storni. The Executive Committee was headed by Archbishop Karlic of Parana and his first and second vice-presidents, Monsignor Miras of Rosario and Cardinal Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

California Bill to Help Sexual-Abuse Victims Sits on Governor’s Desk

CALIFORNIA
Ms. Magazine

September 27, 2013 by Melissa McGlensey

California Senate Bill 131, otherwise known as the The Child Victims Act, was passed by the state Legislature earlier this year–but it’s still sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. He has until October 13 to sign the bill, veto it or let it pass into law without signing.

The governor, a former Jesuit seminarian, is under pressure to veto the bill from Catholic dioceses and other Church officials, as well as from organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and USA Swimming–all entities that could face lawsuits if the bill is passed into law.

The Child Victims Act would expand the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse to seek monetary damages in civil courts. If the bill becomes law, victims would be able to sue institutions that failed to adequately protect them from sexual predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Catholic Church faces more claims ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Bedfordshire on Sunday

Catholic Church faces more claims of abuse at former home which was visited by Jimmy Savile

Written by STEVE LOWE

ANOTHER former boy of a Catholic boys home has spoken of the abuse he suffered.

He, who we have agreed not to name for legal reasons, was a resident of St Francis Boys Home, Shefford, in the 1960s. He states that former priest Father Hammond groomed boys for sexual purposes.

He also remembers the brutality of Father Ryan (pictured) who was twice arrested by Bedfordshire Police but never charged. The police are still looking for the paperwork of those arrests, as it has gone missing.

He also states that the boys were sexually abused by the nuns and that one nun, Mother Xavier, punished boys by making them put their hands in scalding water.

And yet another former boy remembers Jimmy Savile visiting the home in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

Catholic Church in Bad Company When It Comes to Child Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
Catholics4Change

SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

Billy Graham’s grandson has declared “evangelicals” worse than Catholics on child sex abuse. See article here. Whether or not that’s true is irrelevant. What does matter is protecting children from predators in general and specifically those who hide behind God. The latter steal a victim’s spirituality along with their childhood. The term “soul murder” is very appropriate.

The Catholic Church, whether better or worse than others, has a responsibility to be a leader in the solution. Yet, I suspect the Catholic Church outspends other faiths in blocking legislation that would protect all children – regardless of faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Problem polskiego Kościoła: Jak przeciwdziałać molestowaniu dzieci

POLSKA
Gazeta Wyborcza

[Summary: Bishops said they want to tackle the issue of pedophilia. The comment was made as a response from bishops regarding allegations of child sexual abuse made against Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski and priest Wojciech Gil in the Dominican Republic. The meeting was a precedent since reporters have found it difficult to get comments from the Polish church.]

Katarzyna Wiśniewska 28.09.2013

"Chcemy przeciwdziałać zjawisku pedofilii" - to odzew ze strony Episkopatu na głośny od tygodnia skandal w Kościele z udziałem polskich duchownych na Dominikanie. Abp Józef Wesołowski, były nuncjusz papieski, i ks. Wojciech Gil z zakonu michalitów są podejrzewani o molestowanie seksualne nieletnich chłopców.

Biskupi zareagowali na to konferencją prasową, na której szczegółowo mówili o tym, jak Kościół zamierza radzić sobie z podobnymi problemami. Takie spotkanie to precedens. Zwykle dziennikarzom trudno było doprosić się o komentarz, gdy ujawniano kolejne przypadki molestowania w polskim Kościele. Dobrze, że Kościół poczuwa się do odpowiedzialności za czyny swoich księży. Bo nie mniejszym problemem niż samo molestowanie było przez lata ukrywanie przestępczych czynów przez kościelnych przełożonych. Proboszcza z Tylawy, który przez 30 lat wykorzystywał dziewczynki, bronił abp Michalik. Kilka lat temu "Gazeta" opisała historię mężczyzn, którzy twierdzili, że kilkanaście lat wcześniej byli przez ks. Andrzeja ze Szczecina wykorzystywani seksualnie. O sprawie wiedziało kilku biskupów i nic z tym nie zrobili.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Padre de São Romão acusado de 19 crimes de abuso sexual de menores

PORTUGAL
Porta da Estrela

[Summary: The former vice rector at the Fundao seminary is facing 19 charges of sexual abuse of minors and the court has begun deliberations in private. The decision to close the trial to the public, including journalists, is because the abuse involved minors. According to the indictment the president abused six children between ages 13 and 15. Five of the students were boarding at the seminary where the alleged crimes were committed.]

Padre foi ordenado na Igreja Nova em São RomãoO Tribunal do Fundão começou a julgar à porta fechada o padre de 37 anos, ex-vice reitor do Seminário do Fundão, que está acusado de 19 crimes de abuso sexual de menores.

A decisão de fechar o julgamento ao público, incluindo jornalistas, prende-se com o facto de o processo ter vítimas sexuais menores e já era esperada, pelo que no local havia poucas pessoas com intenção de assistir.

De acordo com a acusação, o padre terá abusado de seis crianças entre os 13 e os 15 anos, cinco das quais alunos em regime de internato no Seminário do Fundão, local aonde alegadamente os crimes foram cometidos.

A acusação refere que Luís Mendes terá agido sempre com menores que considerava «mais fracos emocional ou familiarmente e sobre quem tinha forte ascendente».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Research Project on Magdalene Laundries Launched

IRELAND
98 FM

A research project focusing on the events in Magdalene Laundries is being launched today.

Transcripts and archival material relating to the Laundries, will be made available through UCD archives.

Around 5,000 pages of documents are contained in the research.

Over 11 hundred women are thought to have suffered in the Laundries over the decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Researchers launch Magdalene Laundries oral history project

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

A research project focussing on the events in Magdalene Laundries is being launched today.

Titled Magdalene Institutions: Recording an Oral and Archival History, the project was funded by the Irish Research Council and conducted at UCD Women’s Studies Centre.

Transcripts and archival material relating to the Laundries will be made available through UCD archives.

Around 5,000 pages of documents are contained in the research.

"The overall objective of this project is to contribute towards a better understanding of the system of Magdalene Institutions that existed in Ireland through the gathering of archival material and oral history accounts from survivors who worked and lived in the Magdalene Laundries, as well as relatives, members of the Religious Orders, key informants (such as paid hands and GPs), and anyone else who has a story to tell that relates to these institutions," according to project coordinator Dr Katherine O'Donnell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

Reform groups write to Pope

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

25 September 2013

An international group of Catholic reformers has written to the Pope pressing for a decision-making voice for laity in the Church.

In their open letter the group, which represents 100 church organisations, backed by over four million Catholics worldwide, seek an audience with the Pope to discuss church governance. Supporters of the letter include several British groups including Catholics for a Changing Church, Catholic Women's Ordination, We Are Church UK and Quest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

The G-8 Cardinals Gather & The Most Important Reform

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Michael Sean Winters | Sep. 27, 2013 Distinctly Catholic

The cardinals who comprise the special commission to advise the Pope, the G-8, begin arriving in Rome today for preparatory meetings. Next Tuesday, they begin meeting with Pope Francis for three days of discussions, followed by a visit to Assisi. There has been a great deal of analysis about what we should expect, much of it very good, much of it published here at NCR. I believe the most important reform to come from the G-8 meeting will be simple and far-reaching: They are going to re-arrange the furniture.

My colleague Fr. Tom Reese, S.J., has already noted that in addition to the relatively simple managerial reforms, there needs to be a deeper reform of how the curia works and how it relates to the universal Church. There is talk about merging several Pontifical Councils into a large dicastry, perhaps even putting a layperson at its head. That would be great. Already, the G-8 will serve as a kind of check on the curia, a sounding board for the pope to see if the work of the curia is more of a burden or a blessing for local churches.

Some people advocate a wholesale change of doctrine, and I suspect they will be disappointed. Doctrine does not change, it develops. Those who invoke human dignity to promote this or that agenda item should always be mindful of the fact that there are few indignities greater than being a child of one’s own age. Conversely, those who insist that “nothing changes” need to hit the library. The Church’s teaching developed on usury and mandatory clerical celibacy in the middle ages, it developed on papal infallibility in the nineteenth century and on Church-State relations in the twentieth. The teaching on usury is especially instructive. In a pre-modern economy, the charging of interest under any circumstances would exploit the poor. As a commercial economy developed, the need for credit emerged and the prohibition on all usury was likely to exploit the poor. The teaching on usury, then, changed in order that the fundamental, evangelical value, not exploiting the poor, could remain the same. The doctrine did not change. The ambient circumstances changed, so the doctrine needed to develop in order to stay true to its deepest meaning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Cardinal chair of curia reform says old structure is over

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Sep. 27, 2013 NCR Today

The chair of the committee of cardinals charged with reforming the Vatican curia said that the current system is over, and it is time for something different. As a result, the reform will not come quickly but will require "long discussion and long discernment."

Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga responded to questions about the curial reform process in a wide-ranging interview with Basilian Father Thomas Rosica of Salt and Light Television in Canada earlier this week. Cardinal Rodríguez is chair of the committee of eight cardinals who were appointed by Pope Francis to advise him on reforming the curia. The cardinals will meet in Rome for the first time October 1-3.

Cardinal Rodríguez also revealed that, within four days of his election, the pope had already decided on Archbishop Pietro Parolin as his secretary of state even though the announcement did not come until the end of August.

Cardinal Rodríguez said that his committee has received suggestions from all over the world, 80 pages of suggestions from Latin American alone. "We have put them together around the main themes," he reports. "There is convergence in many of the main subjects so we can say that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, it is not ours. You cannot have millions of Catholics in the world suggesting the same unless the Holy Spirit is inspiring."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Critics: Catholic Church Did Too Little, Too Late

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

[video]

Criticism from victim advocates about the way the latest case of alleged sex abuse by a Philadelphia-area priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Priest denies he was ‘exiled’ to Limerick

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

by Anne Sheridan
Published on the 28 September 2013

DROGHEDA priest Fr Iggy O’Donovan has insisted he has not been “exiled” to Limerick, but his removal from his post in Louth has been heavily criticised by Limerick priest who has also been ‘silenced’ by the Vatican.

The uproar centres around a complaint that Fr O’Donovan, an outspoken Augustinian, allowed godparents to pour water on a baby’s head during a baptism, which contributed to him being removed from his parish.

The complaint, which was made without the knowledge of the parents, who later said that they fully support Fr O’Donovan, was addressed to Cardinal Sean Brady and subsequently forwarded to Rome.

The baby was baptised for a second time, after another priest in the diocese approached the parents and told them the baby would have to be baptised again – but not by Fr O’Donovan, who has now left Drogheda for a year-long sabbatical in Limerick on the orders of his superiors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Last Imperial Pope Francis Now Needs More Than Cardinals For Reform Push

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

I am now of the strong view as an international lawyer that Pope Francis has little time left to reform the Catholic Church. If he fails, likely he also will be compelled to resign like his predecessor, ex-Pope Benedict, ignominousily had to. The Vatican’s “house of cards”, as Francis realistically described it, will then probably collapse. If that happens, Cardinal Rigali’s Secretary, Monsignor Lynn, may have some hierarchical company in prison before his sentence is completed. It’s that bad.

Francis must make the Church’s leaders accountable to the faithful, the Gospels and civil law, especially with respect to protecting defenseless children. He must initiate and enforce specific and effective policies to do this, before government prosecutors from Australia, Ireland, the Dominican Republic, the USA, Peru, Chile, Argentina, the Phillipines, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, or from dozens of other countries, do so for him.

Prosecutors dictated to Kansas City’s criminal, but continuing, Bishop Finn the specific policies he must follow, as nearby Federal prosecutors buried Finn’s protected pedophile priest with a 50 year prison term. Prosecutors eventually can be expected to dictate to other bishops and even to Francis himself, no matter what Francis may be advised otherwise. Government regulators are already dictating to Francis how he must manage the hierarchy’s finances. Government lawyers can, and I expect soon will, dictate to him how he must manage the hierarchy’s approach to predatory priests, if Francis fails to get effective control of the bishops’ flawed approach first. Priests may not be the pope’s “employees”; but bishops are another story.

Francis can no longer just hope to finess, spin and/or avoid addressing authentically, directly and effectively the obscenity of priest child abusers and bishops, like Finn and many others, who protected them. Francis seemed to have used this spin approach to some extent in Argentina and to have continued doing this mostly in his first six months as pope. He is almost out of time to be proactive, before he will likely be forced by civil and criminal laws to be reactive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Archbishop vows helping the needy will be his priority

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Saturday 28 September 2013

FOR SCOTLAND'S newest ­archbishop, you could say it is a question of the Catholic Church in Scotland getting back to basics.

Described by church insiders as "a world-class operator", ­Archbishop Leo Cushley - who last week succeeded Cardinal O'Brien as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh - worked closely with both Popes Benedict and Francis and was chosen in the hope his diplomatic service skillset would help the church move on from the O'Brien scandal.

Already he has been touted as the frontman for the church in Scotland, with his counterpart in the Glasgow Archdiocese, Philip Tartaglia, keeping a much lower than expected profile following his appointment last year.

Now Archbishop Cushley has signalled his ­intention to change the damaged church's approach, amid hypocrisy claims following its vocal ­opposition to same-sex marriage and subsequent revelations about the Cardinal, and to adopt the approach the Pontiff has taken in his six months in the Vatican.

After the turmoil surrounding Cardinal Keith O'Brien, it is ­glaringly apparent to Archbishop Cushley many of the church's traditional interests have been neglected - namely the needy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

“Dentro de la Iglesia hay una mafia”

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Dia

[Summary: An ex-seminarian reported witnessing homosexual encounters within the Arecibo diocese and that the misconduct was masked by high officials in the Catholic Church. Daniel Collazo Rivera, was at Seminario Jesús Maestro from August 2007 to Oct. 22, 2009.

He said he left the church after reporting irregularities and seeing that nothing was done with priests living a life contrary to the dogmas of the church. He believes that a "mafia" exists within the church. He complained along with other seminarians to the Vatican of instances of homosexuality, pedophilia and theft at the seminary. He then received death threats and attempts were made to intimidate him. The allegations are contained in several affidavits and depositions, he said. Collazo Rivera reported that priests at the seminary had made sexual advances to seminarians and homosexual relationships were established.

He added that nuncio Joseph Wesolowski and Inaki Mallona knew of the situation and covered-up. When leaving seminary in 2009, he met with Monsignor Mallona and told him the reasons he was leaving. He asked the seminarian to keep quiet. At the end of that year and early 2010, Collazo Rivera and six seminarians wrote to the Vatican detailing the irregularities they had witnessed in the Arecibo diocese and the Vatican responded by sending three researchers.]

Por Limarys Suárez Torres / lsuarez1@elnuevodia.com

Arecibo - Un exseminarista denunció ayer haber sido testigo de encuentros homosexuales dentro de la Diócesis de Arecibo y aseguró que todos fueron encubiertos por altos oficiales de la Iglesia Católica.

Daniel Collazo Rivera, quien estuvo desde agosto de 2007 al 22 de octubre de 2009 en el clausurado Seminario Jesús Maestro, señaló que dejó la Iglesia Católica tras denunciar las irregularidades y observar que nada se hacía con los sacerdotes que vivían una vida contraria a las dogmas de la iglesia.

“Dentro de la Iglesia Católica hay una mafia. Hice una denuncia con otros seminaristas ante El Vaticano de varios casos de homosexualismo, pedofilia y robo, y después de eso recibí amenazas de muerte y se paraban frente a mi casa carros con tintes oscuros para intimidarme”, dijo Collazo Rivera, cuyas alegaciones constan en varias declaraciones juradas y deposiciones.

El hombre relató que en el Seminario Jesús Maestro varios sacerdotes tenían acercamientos sexuales hacia los seminaristas y otros tenían relaciones homosexuales establecidas.

“El nuncio Josef Wesolowski y el monseñor Iñaki Mallona conocían de estos actos y ellos los encubrieron. Cuando salí del seminario me reuní con monseñor Iñaki, le comenté sobre las razones por las que abandoné mi formación vocacional, y él lo que hizo fue agradecerme por haber estado en el seminario y me pidió que me quedara callado”, relató.The ex-seminarian said that frustration and disappointment he experienced in the Diocese of Arecibo caused her to leave the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Afloran escándalos sexuales en la Diócesis de Arecibo

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Dia

[con video]

Por Israel Rodríguez Sánchez / israel.rodriguez@elnuevodia.com

La Diócesis de Arecibo es foco de una investigación de la Iglesia Católica por escándalos sexuales que involucran a sacerdotes y seminaristas, muchos de ellos ya destituidos o suspendidos por las autoridades eclesiásticas.

La situación se había mantenido en silencio hasta que se supo de la fulminante destitución del exnuncio apostólico para República Dominicana y Puerto Rico, Josef Wesolowski, quien es investigado por las autoridades del vecino país y del Vaticano por abuso sexual de menores.

Wesolowski visitaba con frecuencia a Puerto Rico y llegó a pernoctar en la Diócesis de Arecibo, según contaron a este diario feligreses de la Iglesia San Martín de Porres en esa ciudad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Denuncian que Wesolwski encubrió a sacerdotes pederastas de Arecibo

PUERTO RICO
Metro

[Summary: The former nuncio of the Dominican Republic, Joseph Wesolowski, allegedly hindered investigations of pedophilia against more than a dozen priests in the Arecibo diocese. The most shocking case was that of priest Jose Colon Otero, who allegedly was caught seducing a choirboy. It is alleged that Colon Otero was a friend of Wesolowski and the nuncio stayed with the priest every time he came to Puerto Rico. The information was made known by Dominican journalist Adis Burgos of Código Calle who came to investigate in Puerto Rico.]

El destituido nuncio Josef Wesolowski supuestamente obstaculizó investigaciones de pederastía contra más de una decena de sacerdotes de la diócesis de Arecibo en Puerto Rico.

Se dice que uno de los casos más impactantes fue el del sacerdote José Colón Otero, quien se alega fue sorprendido seduciendo a un monaguillo.

Se alega que Wesolowski era amigo de Colón Otero e inclusive se hospedaba con el sacerdote cada vez que venía de visita a Puerto Rico.

La información la dio a conocer la periodista Adis Burgos, del programa Código Calle, que se trasladó a Puerto Rico para hacer la investigación.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Reclama pruebas en su contra cura involucrado en escándalo sexual

PUERTO RICO
Metro

[Summary: Priest Jose Colon Otero, who is accused of child abuse, challenged his accusers to show evidence and prove that he committed those acts. He said it seems unfair that after 11 years of service that he would be subjected to vicious attacks.]

El sacerdote José Colón Otero, quien es señalado como uno de los involucrados en una investigación que realiza la Iglesia Católica por presuntos actos de abuso infantil, retó hoy a que quienes lo acusan muestren pruebas que evidencien que cometió los actos.

"Me parece muy injusto que a esta altura de la vida a un sacerdote después de 11 años de servicios se le ataque vilmente sin ni siquiera tener una prueba fehaciente o una acusación seria sobre un niño sobre una cosa como esta", declaró Colón Otero en una conferencia de prensa en el Pabellón de la Paz del Parque Luis Muñoz Rivera.

Añadió que a cinco años de las denuncias no se ha probado nada y pidió a las personas que lo acusa a que presenten pruebas y que "sean responsables tanto eclesiásticamente como civilmente".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Los casos no son solo en Arecibo

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Dia

Por Ricardo Cortés Chico / rcortes@elnuevodia.com

El arzobispo de San Juan, Roberto González Nieves, aceptó ayer que la Iglesia Católica ha “cometido errores” en el manejo de imputaciones de abuso sexual contra sacerdotes, pero aseguró que se están enmendando.

Las expresiones de González Nieves se dieron en reacción a las informaciones de que varios sacerdotes de la Diócesis de Arecibo han sido suspendidos por conductas sexuales impropias, para miembros del clero, y por abuso sexual de menores.

Según González Nieves, el obispo de Arecibo, Daniel Fernández, ha manejado de manera adecuada la situación en su diócesis. Pero admitió que en el pasado no siempre ha sido así.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Surge escándalo sexual en Puerto Rico

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Herald

[Summary: San Juan Archbishop Robert Gonzalez Nieves on Friday rejected allegations of cover-up of alleged sexual scandals within the Catholic Church in Puerto Rico and in particular the Arecibo diocese, a district on the north coast of the island. He said Bishop Daniel Fernandez of Arecibo has handled the issue properly and with agreement of the Vatican.

His press conference follows a report in El Nuevo Dia stating that the Arecibo diocese is focus of a church investigation because of sex scandals involving priests and seminarians. The newspaper said some of those involved were dismissed or suspended..

González recalled that in the 14 years he has been San Juan archbishop, 32 local priests have been expelled for misconduct or sexual situations. He noted that every bishop in Puerto Rico has had to deal with such situations. He asked Catholics to pray for the Arecibo diocese.]

EFE
SAN JUAN -- El arzobispo de San Juan, Roberto González Nieves, rechazó el viernes que se trate de encubrir supuestos escándalos sexuales dentro de la Iglesia Católica de Puerto Rico y en concreto en la Diócesis de Arecibo, distrito de la costa norte de la isla.

González Nieves, cabeza de la Iglesia Católica en Puerto Rico, señaló en conferencia de prensa que conoce de la situación de la Diócesis de Arecibo y que el obispo de esa demarcación, Daniel Fernández, ha manejado correctamente el asunto en consenso con el Vaticano.

Las aclaraciones de González Nieves siguen a una información aparecida el viernes en el diario sanjuanero El Nuevo Día en la que se señala que la Diócesis de Arecibo es foco de una investigación de la Iglesia Católica a causa de unos supuestos escándalos sexuales que involucran a sacerdotes y a seminaristas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Rechaza arzobispo de San Juan que iglesia encubra abuso sexual

PUERTO RICO
Prensa Latina

[Summary: Roberto Gonzalez, metropolitan archbishop of San Juan, denied the Catholic Church in Puerto Rico was involved in a conspiracy to cover-up sexual abuse by clergy. He acknowledged, however, that mistakes were made in dealing with pedophilia allegations. He spoke out at a press conference because the Arecibo diocese is immersed in a scandal after it become known that priest Jose Colon is being investigated for pedophilia.

Gonzalez said in recent years 32 priests have been expelled from the church for misconduct or sexual situations. He urged victims of sexual abuse to contact civil authorities.

The situation in the Arecibo diocese has ramifications with removal of Josef Wesolowski, apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic, who allegedly abused minors in the Dominican Republic. Wesolowski often visited Puerto Rico and stayed overnight in the Arecibo diocese, according to parishioners of St. Martin de Porres. Gonzalez said Daniel Fernandez, bishop of Arecibo, properly handled the issue and has advised the Vatican of the situation.

The Arecibo diocese is being investigated by the church because of allegations of sexual activities involving priests and seminarians. Newspaper reports claim that at least four bishops were deposed and nine seminarians were expelled from Seminario Jesús Maestro.]

San Juan, 27 sep (PL) El arzobispo metropolitano de San Juan, Roberto González, rechazó hoy que en la Iglesia católica puertorriqueña exista contubernio para encubrir los casos de abuso sexual en que incurren miembros de la curia.

El prelado reconoció, sin embargo, que se han cometido errores en la atención de denuncias de casos de pedofilia en los que han estado involucrados sacerdotes.

Las expresiones de González se produjeron en una rueda de prensa en el Arzobispado de San Juan, luego de que saliera a la luz pública que la Diócesis de Arecibo, en el norte del país, se encuentra inmersa en un escándalo luego que se conociera que el sacerdote José Colón es investigado por pedofilia.

Aseguró que desde que se encuentra al frente del Arzobispado metropolitano de San Juan, hace 14 años, se han expulsado 32 sacerdotes de la Iglesia católica por mala conducta o situaciones de naturaleza sexual.

González instó a las víctimas de abuso sexual a acudir a las autoridades civiles para que se investiguen criminalmente los casos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Iglesia de Polonia pide perdón por abuso sexual a menores en RD

POLONIA
Hoy

VARSOVIA. AFP. La Iglesia de Polonia, país muy católico, enfrenta un escándalo de pedofilia después de que el papa Francisco destituyera de sus funciones al nuncio del Vaticano en República Dominicana, el polaco Josef Wesolowski, acusado junto a otro cura de la misma nacionalidad en misión en el país caribeño de abuso sexual a menores.

A pesar de que en los últimos años han salido a la luz varios casos de pedofilia en este país europeo, ninguno ha provocado un verdadero escándalo, al contrario de países como Estados Unidos o Irlanda, en donde casos de este tipo han sido ampliamente mediatizados y condenados.

El Secretario General del Episcopado polaco, monseñor Wojciech Polak, calificó el viernes a este caso de "doloroso y difícil".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

“Mea Máxima Culpa”: Sacerdotes pederastas al descubierto

Filmweb

El tema de los abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes católicos divide a la opinión pública, generando indignación y hasta incredulidad en quienes profesan una de las religiones con más adeptos en el mundo.

Retratar este hecho tiene sus retos, como le ocurrió al cineasta norteamericano Alex Gibney, quien desafiando un sistema plagado de intereses y corrupción, se aventuró a dirigir el polémico documental “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silencio en la casa de Dios”.

Durante 107 minutos, el realizador evidencia las faltas cometidas por el sacerdote Lawrence Murphy, a quien se le acusó de abusar sexualmente de casi 200 niños sordos en una escuela que estaba bajo su control.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Vaticano admite salida de Gabino Miranda por pedofilia

PERU
Trome

[Summary: Archbishop Salvador Pineiro of Ayacucho confirmed that former Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Miranda was removed from office for "impure acts" by decision of Pope Francis. The abuse of the 14-year-old boy is said to have occurred in the confessional.]

El arzobispo de Ayacucho, monseñor Salvador Piñeiro, confirmó que la decisión del Vaticano de destituir de su cargo al obispo auxiliar de esa región, Gabino Miranda, se debió a “actos impuros” cometidos por el exsacerdote.

Piñeiro explicó que, por decisión del Papa Francisco, el pasado 5 de julio, Miranda recibió la máxima sanción para un cura: la pérdida total del estado clerical. Empero, no dio más detalles sobre la dimisión.

Cabe recordar, sin embargo, que ayer la revista Caretas informó que sería un monaguillo de 14 años oriundo de Huanta quien denunció a Miranda, el año pasado, por tocamientos indebidos durante un acto de confesión, hecho que habría sido denunciado por Piñeiro ante el Vaticano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Padre Marco Arana repudia actuar de arzobispo Gabino Miranda y exige sanciones

PERU
La Republica

[Summary: Marco Arana, former priest and now leader of the Tierra y Libertad political party, said former Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Miranda should be punished with life imprisonment. He called for investigation of Miranda, who has been accused of abusing a minor in the confessional.]

Arequipa.

Para el exsacerdote y ahora dirigente del partido político Tierra y Libertad, Marco Arana, el delito imputado al obispo auxiliar de Ayacucho, Gabino Miranda, debería ser sancionado con cadena perpetua.

"Aparentemente hubo una conducta delincuencial que repudio totalmente", sentenció. A decir de Arana, ninguna persona puede ampararse en su institución para quedar libre de la justicia luego de cometer abusos sexuales contra menores de edad. En este caso, exigió que se investigue a profundidad el caso de Gabino Miranda para determinar la sanción que le corresponda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

For once, an exposé that helps the Vatican bank

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Sep. 28, 2013 NCR Today

Rome – Steamy magazine exposés are rarely good news for the people or institutions featured in them. That’s probably especially true for the troubled Vatican bank, which over the years has been the church’s premier magnet for conspiracy theories and scandals of every imaginable sort.

On Friday, however, the bank finally caught a break.

There was yet another gossipy piece in an Italian newsmagazine, in this case l’Espresso, featuring ominous storm cloud art, which was full of unnamed sources describing an “earthquake” related to the bank. (The place is technically the “Institute for the Works of Religion,” often referred to by the Italian acronym IOR.)

Immediately after it appeared, the piece had phone lines buzzing inside the Vatican, in part because after last summer’s leaks scandal, the perception that insiders are spilling the beans to reporters usually means going to Defcon 1.

Yet despite the melodramatic flourishes in the piece, its overall effect is probably to burnish, rather than erode, the bank’s new image.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Una intrincada red de poder para sostener a Grassi

ARGENTINA
Clarin

[Summary: The Julio Cesar Grassi story began on Oct. 23, 2002 after he was arrested and accused of corrupting minors at the Happy Children Foundation. ]
POR JORGE LANATA

28/09/13

Esta historia tiene casi once años: comenzó el 23 de octubre de 2002 cuando, después de un informe de Telenoche Investiga, la Justicia ordenó la captura del sacerdote Julio César Grassi por corrupción de menores a su cuidado en la Fundación Felices los Niños.

Un Tribunal Oral, la Cámara de Apelaciones, la Cámara de Casación y la Suprema Corte bonaerense fallaron contra Grassi, pero hasta hace algunos días siempre pudo evitar ir a la cárcel. Sólo estuvo preso unos cuatro meses al principio del caso: un mes en una comisaría (entre el 24 de octubre y el 29 de noviembre de 2002) y tres en su casa.

En el juicio que comenzó el 20 de agosto de 2008 declararon más de 130 personas durante nueve meses. La querella y la Fiscalía pidieron entre 37 y 30 años. El 10 de junio de 2009 fue condenado a 15 años de prisión por el Tribunal Oral Número 1 de Morón, culpable de abuso sexual agravado en dos de los 17 hechos que se le adjudicaban. La condena fue por haber abusado de Gabriel, uno de los tres menores denunciantes, entre noviembre y diciembre de 1996. Pero deciden no encarcelarlo hasta que la condena quede firme. El 14 de septiembre de 2010 la Cámara de Casación bonaerense ratifica su culpabilidad,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

La querella pedirá en la Corte que suba la pena a 37 años de prisión

ARGENTINA
Perfil

[Summary: The fate of priest Julio Cesar Grassi at both judicial and ecclesiastical levels is a real mystery. While his defense is trying to get him free from prison, lawyers for alleged victims "Luis" and "Eziekiel" are trying to get his 15-year sentence increased to 37. The maximum penalty in church action would be expulsion from the priesthood. A canonical penal process would be independent of the civil process.]

Por Marcelo Androetto / L.N. | 28/09/2013

La suerte de Julio César Grassi, tanto a nivel judicial como eclesiástico, es una verdadera incógnita. Mientras su defensa define una estrategia para reclamar su libertad, la querella anunció que irá por más.

Según adelantaron los abogados de “Luis” y “Ezequiel” –dos supuestas víctimas–, en los próximos días presentarán un recurso ante la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación, para que amplíe a 37 años la condena a Julio Grassi con la inclusión de esos dos casos que no fueron tenidos en cuenta en tres instancias anteriores.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Billy Graham's grandson claims 'evil' Evangelicals are 'worse' than Catholics for sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail (UK)

By MATTHEW HALL
PUBLISHED: 15:23 EST, 27 September 2013

Billy Graham's grandson claims Evangelicals are 'worse' than the Catholic Church on responding to sex abuse claims.

Speaking at a conference hosted by the Religion Newswriter Association on Thursday, Professor Boz Tchividjian, the third-eldest grandchild of Reverend Billy Graham, also said that Christian missions overseas are a 'magnet' for sex abusers.

'I think we are worse [than Catholics],' Tchividjian told the audience at the Austin, Texas, conference according to Religion News Service. In an uncompromising address, Tchividjian added that too many Evangelicals had 'sacrificed the souls' of young victims.

'Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics,' Tchividjian said. 'We’ve got the Gospels backwards.'

Tchividjian is a law professor at Liberty University, a Christian college in Virgina founded by Jerry Falwell, the Southern Baptist pastor who died in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Prison ordered for Kearns man in sex abuse case of boy he met at church

UTAH
Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A man convicted in a sexual abuse case involving a young man he met in church will serve up to life in prison.

Judge Randall Skanchy sentenced Michael Driggs, 62, to serve three years to life in prison for attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony.

Police say Driggs abused the boy in 2004 and 2005 when the victim was 12 and 13. Driggs helped the boy set up an email account, which he used to send him pornographic movies and photos, according to the charges. Prosecutors said he sexually abused the boy when he came to the Kearns house where Driggs lived at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

September 27, 2013

Peru: New information sheds light on Ayacucho priest case

PERU
Peru This Week

By Rachel Chase

Last week, reports surfaced that the former auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Ayacucho, 53-year-old Gabino Miranda, had been defrocked as a result of sexually abusing a minor in his role as a priest.

Church officials were initially tight-lipped about the details of the case; Peru’s Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani has only given press terse comments downplaying the issue, telling the public “not to make firewood out of a fallen tree.”

Now, however, more details about the case have come to light. Caretas magazine reported this week that Miranda was defrocked on Pope Francis’s orders, as part of the latter’s stated “zero tolerance” policy for sex abusers in the clergy.

Caretas writes that the incident in question may date back to June 2012. According to reports, the victim was a 14-year-old altar boy who was touched inappropriately by then-Bishop Miranda during confession.

According to Caretas, the victim lodged a formal complaint (denuncia) with the Archbishop of Ayacucho’s office; it appears the complaint went unnoticed or ignored for some time. The Archbishop of Ayacucho, monseñor Salvador Piñeiro denies that a complaint ever reached his office. Bishop Piñeiro confirmed that Miranda was removed for committing “impure acts,” but added that accounts of a formal complaint “are a lie. If I had received [a complaint], I would have investigated it, of course. I’m not an accomplice in this.”

The following April, Miranda wrote a letter to Pope Francis asking for a sabbatical year so he could “reflect on my imprudent acts, and dedicate myself completely to my personal interests, and put ecclesiastical and work functions aside.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

St. Louis priest convicted in Colorado gets probation

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Jesse Bogan jbogan@post-dispatch.com 314-340-82553

ST. LOUIS • A 78-year-old St. Louis priest on trial in Colorado was sentenced this week to four years probation for being a bad influence on a teenager who'd come to him for guidance about the Catholic faith.

The Rev. Charles Manning was convicted in July on two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor; he was acquitted of an additional charge of sexual assault of a minor.

Court testimony and evidence convinced the jury that Manning was guilty of giving alcohol and marijuana to the 16-year-old boy and a friend, according to a report in The Gazette, a daily newspaper in Colorado Springs. The judge in the case reportedly considered jail time for Manning but thought he'd spend all of it in a hospital wing.

Manning showed up to Thursday's sentencing hearing in a wheelchair.

Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan, a former auxiliary bishop of St. Louis, removed Manning as pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel parish after the accusations against him were found to be credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

CO - Predator priest is sentenced; SNAP responds

COLORADO
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)

A Colorado Springs priest was sentenced on Wednesday to four years of probation for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” He had been accused of molesting a boy, giving him liquor and marijuana, kissing the boy on the lips, taking the boy to get his nipples pierced, and engaging in other sexual acts.

Now, Colorado church officials should aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered the cleric’s crimes.

The crimes and misconduct reportedly happened in 2011 while Fr. Robert Charles Manning was pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church in Colorado Springs.

[Gazette]

Fr. Manning worked in the St. Louis archdiocese for a decade (1997-2007) before following Bishop Michael Sheridan to the Colorado Springs diocese in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

Former Colo. priest sentenced in delinquency case

COLORADO
Denver Post

The Associated Press
POSTED: 09/26/2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—A former Colorado Springs priest has been sentenced to four years' probation after a July conviction on of two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The Gazette reports that former Catholic priest Charles Robert "Bob" Manning was sentenced Thursday ( http://bit.ly/1h6YpOK).

Manning was acquitted of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old altar boy. The 78-year-old former pastor at St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church in Colorado Springs also was acquitted of child pornography counts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Poland’s Catholic Church begs forgiveness from Dominican victims

POLAND
Dominican Today

Warsaw.- Poland’s Catholic Church on Thursday begged forgiveness from boys victims of sexual abuse in Dominican Republic by Polish-born bishop Jozef Wesolowski, former Vatican envoy to Dominican Republic and another countryman prelate were accused of pedophilia in a scandal which has spread to that European nation.

The apology comes the very day Poland’s office of the prosecutor general confirmed having sufficient information to launch an investigation into the alleged abuses of children by Wesolowski and the priest Wojciech Gil (Padre Alberto) in the remote mountain town of Juncalito.

In a press conference Polish Catholic Church official Wojciech Polak said forgiveness is the least owed the victims and affirmed that the Church works on prevention.

Although more than 25 priests have been convicted for abusing minors in Poland since 2001, the recent scandal in Dominican Republic has once again put the spotlight on Poland’s Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Poland's Catholic church apologizes as pedophile scandal spreads

POLAND
GMA News

By STANISLAW WASZAK, AFP
September 28, 2013

WARSAW - Poland's powerful Roman Catholic church on Friday apologized over two alleged pedophile priests as prosecutors on both sides of the Atlantic began probing the men, one a former Vatican envoy.

Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic have asked Interpol to arrest fugitive Polish priest Wojciech Gil, 36, who allegedly abused several young boys while serving on the Caribbean island.

A Vatican probe is already under way into allegations of child sex abuse against Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, a 65-year-old Pole who served as papal envoy in Santo Domingo for around five years.

Senior Polish church officials said they were unaware of the whereabouts of both men on Friday as prosecutors in Warsaw also launched criminal investigations against them.

"Trust in the church is waning. We are sorry. This is the least we can do," Bishop Wojciech Polak, a senior official with the Polish episcopate, told reporters on Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Evangelicals behind Catholics on abuse

UNITED STATES
Associated Baptist Press

The founder of a group that investigates sexual abuse says evangelicals often discourage the reporting of abuse by telling whistle-blowers to keep quiet in order to protect the reputation of the church.

By Bob Allen

A Liberty University law professor and grandson of Billy Graham told reporters Sept. 26 that he thinks evangelicals “are worse” than Catholics when it comes to responding to sexual abuse by clergy.

“Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics,” Boz Tchividjian, executive director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), told journalists attending the Religion Newswriters Association conference in Austin, Texas.

“The Protestant culture is defined by independence,” Tchividjian said in comments reported by Religion News Service.

Evangelicals often frown upon transparency and accountability, he said, as many Protestants rely on Scripture more than religious leaders, compared to Catholics. Abusers discourage whistle-blowing by condemning gossip to try to keep people from reporting abuse, he said. Victims are also told to protect the reputation of Jesus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

My Short-Lived Hope for a More Compassionate Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
RH Reality Check

by Bridgette Dunlap, Senior Legal Analyst, RH Reality Check
September 24, 2013

Pope Francis’ recent interview, published in a number of Jesuit journals, has made headlines for his honest statements about how the Catholic hierarchy is “obsessed” with homosexuality, abortion, and contraception. He also said church leaders don’t need to talk about these issues “all the time,” not because it might be moral to marry your partner or use contraception, but because these are not the most important teachings of the church, and everyone is quite clear on where the hierarchy stands.

However, while “Chill out with the gay-bashing” is a nice sentiment, it is not something that brings me a great deal of comfort in light of the immense power of the Roman Catholic Church over laws, governments, and societies around the world.

The Roman Catholic Church isn’t just a church; it is a world power. It has a privileged position in the United Nations, immense political influence in many countries, and vast financial resources. It is currently using that significant power all over the world to deprive women and LGBTQ individuals of equality, self-determination, and health care to an extent few U.S. “cafeteria Catholics” realize. A Catholic living comfortably in a liberal democracy is free to embrace the good things the church does and teaches while rejecting the bad—if he is unlikely to be affected by the bad. For instance, a Catholic who gets her good salary and health insurance from a secular company may not understand how a social worker at Catholic Charities could struggle to afford birth control, let alone how the church’s influence in foreign governments deprives women living in extreme poverty from being able to stop having children, or how the church undermines maternal health efforts like those to end obstetric fistula.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Priest’s arrest shows Philadelphia reforms, attorney says

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
DFW Catholic

Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 27, 2013 / 10:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Philadelphia archdiocese drew praise for its swift reporting of an inactive priest to authorities after a young man said that he had been abused during his time as an altar boy between 1998 and 2001.

“A serial predator is now behind bars, thanks to the brave actions of this young man,” Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams announced at a Sept. 26 press conference.

“It takes tremendous courage for any sexual assault victim, especially young boys, to come forward and report the horrors they endured, particularly if it happened over the course of several years.”

“The archdiocese is also to be commended for immediately reporting this case to our office,” he added.

Father Robert L. Brennan, who is currently undergoing the canonical process of laicization and was removed from ministry in 2005, has been charged with several sexual offenses against a boy who served at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in northeast Philadelphia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Father of Priest Abuse Victim Speaks Out

OHIO
WSAV

[with video]

By Andrew Davis, Anchor/Reporter

It's the unthinkable for any parent, their child molested, abused by someone they trusted.

It happened to a Cincinnati man who's son was touched inappropriately by a priest.

That priest, Father Robert Poandl, used to work in Pembroke, Sandhill, and Claxton.

Last week Poandl was convicted by a Ohio jury.

That victim's father spoke exclusively to News 3 about the crime, which he claims started with a connection to the group Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

The father says Poandl asked to take their son alone with him on a trip from Cincinnati to West Virginia so he could help him "stay awake". That one on one encounter ended with the boy molested and Poandl eventually facing charges.

"Poandl is a Monster. I don't know how else you can describe someone who would betray the trust of people who thought they knew and deeply cared for him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Bail Set at $1M for Philly Priest Accused of Molesting Altar Boy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

[with video]

By Dan Stamm | Friday, Sep 27, 2013

A Philadelphia priest, previously accused of sexually abusing 20 boys, was arraigned today on charges that he sexually assaulted an altar boy over a three-year period.

A judge set Rev. Robert L. Brennan's bail on rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse and aggravated sexual assault charges at 10 percent of $1 million.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced Brennan's arrest Thursday morning of Rev. Robert L. Brennan.

"A serial predator is now behind bars thanks to brave actions of this young man," Williams said.

Brennan was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Perryville, Md. and was returned to Philadelphia on Thursday evening after waiving extradition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Former Christian Brother gets suspended sentence for indecent assault on pupil

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

by Mike Dwane
Published on the 27 September 2013

A FORMER Christian Brother who worked at Sexton Street in the late 1960s would fondle young boys as he taught the rest of the class, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.

Sean Drummond, 65, of Broadford Drive, Ballinteer, Dublin 16, pleaded guilty to two sample counts of indecent assault against a 10-year-old pupil at the primary school during the year 1968-69.

The victim, who went on to work as a teacher himself, described in an impact statement how his relationships had suffered and how he had tried to take his own life at the age of 21 as a result of sexual abuse he suffered while at Sexton Street.

The events had “stayed with me all my life” and “I have never forgotten his [Drummond’s]name or face”.

Prosecuting counsel John O’Sullivan BL said Drummond would bring pupils to school on a Saturday – for what purpose the victim no longer remembered – and would place his victim’s hand on his erect penis under his soutane but over his clothing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

MO - St. Louis priest sentenced to probation

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For more information: David Clohessy 566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris 862 7688, SNAPdorris@gmail.com

St. Louis priest sentenced to probation
He "contributed to delinquency" of boy
Case has "unusual aspects," SNAP says
Cleric spent more than a decade in MO
But in odd move, he was sent to Colorado
Priest followed a St. Louis bishop who was also sent there

A St. Louis priest with close ties to a former St. Louis bishop was sentenced on Wednesday to four years of probation for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” He had been accused of molesting a Colorado boy, giving him liquor and marijuana, kissing the boy on the lips, taking the boy to get his nipples pierced, and engaging in other sexual acts.

[Gazette]

Fr. Robert Charles Manning, a St. Louis native, worked in the St. Louis archdiocese for a decade (1997-2007) before following Bishop Michael Sheridan to the Colorado Springs diocese in 2007.

[BishopAccountability.org]

In July, Fr. Manning was acquitted of sexually assaulting the boy, but convicted on other charges before Judge Robin Chittum.

“Fr. Manning spent most of his clerical career in St. Louis, so it’s unlikely he only started acting inappropriately around kids once he was transferred to Colorado,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Fr. Manning “has been living in St. Louis at the Regina Cleri Home for retired priests.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Why People Were Wrong and Right to Be Outraged by the Priest Scandal

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

by Mark Shea Thursday, September 26, 2013

People were wrong to be outraged by the priest abuse scandal if the reason for their outrage was the notion that there was something singularly sick and weird about priests that made them and them alone commit crimes against children, or if they believed there was something unique to bishops in possessing an institutional instinct to cover up the crimes, circle the wagons, and perpetuate the victimization by attacking the victims as boat rockers, etc. As our school system keeps demonstrating, there is nothing uniquely Catholic about this. All institutions behave this way. And it ain't because teachers are celibate or teaching is a male-only institution.

On the other hand, people were absolutely right to be outraged by the priest abuse scandal because the Church's response to priestly abuse was not unique but average, like the average response of all human organizations to such crimes. Why single the Church out when the average response of schools or the military, or corporate cultures is also to let the same things go on and commit similar coverups? Because, blast it!, the Church is the Body of Christ, that's why! It's. Not. Supposed. To. Be. Average. It's. Supposed. To. Be. Holy. Those to whom much is given, much will be required.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

NJ - Camden predator priest dies

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 27, 2013

For more information: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Accused serial predator Fr. Joseph Shannon of Camden has passed away in a Missouri church facility that houses child molesting clerics. We are grateful that he will never again be able to hurt any more kids.

We hope every Camden Catholic employee – from the bishop to the bookkeeper – will reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Shannon’s crimes. And we hope that everyone with information or suspicions about those crimes will call law enforcement. Though Fr. Shannon cannot be prosecuted, we suspect and hope that at least one of the Catholic staffers who ignored, concealed and enabled his crimes might still be brought to justice.

Fr. Shannon had lived for 20 years at the Vianney Renewal Center, one of several St. Louis area Catholic facilities that house child molesting clerics from across the US and Canada. We worry about these centers at which child molesting clerics are "overseen" by other clerics. Catholic officials should send these dangerous men to independent, professionally run facilities far away from families and make their whereabouts and histories publicly known.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Bishop Malone: Herald 'the enemy'

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Read the Bishop's letter here

Read the Herald stories that started it all here

MAITLAND-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone described the Newcastle Herald as ‘‘the enemy’’ in a bitter but ultimately unpublished message to Catholics in 2007 after the newspaper first exposed Church knowledge of notorious Hunter paedophile priests.

The message, titled ‘‘Trial by Media’’, has not seen the light of day until now after the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry released hundreds of documents to the public last week, including previously secret Church documents dating back to the late 1940s.

The documents form part of the commission’s investigation of Church and police handling of allegations involving paedophile priests Denis McAlinden and Jim Fletcher.

The then Bishop Malone’s ‘‘Trial by Media’’ message was written for the diocese’s Aurora magazine after Herald articles in September and October 2007 quoted documents proving Catholic Church officials knew about McAlinden and another notorious paedophile priest, Vince Ryan, for decades.

In it Bishop Malone:

● accused the newspaper of a ‘‘concerted attack’’ on the diocese;
● accused journalists of ‘‘personal attacks’’ on clergy;
● accused the newspaper of raising allegations against clergy only after they were dead;
● accused police of providing intelligence to the Herald which resulted in ‘‘attention [being] diverted from their own inability to process these matters adequately’’;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Po publikacji Newsweeka: Będzie polskie śledztwo ws. duchownych z Dominikany

POLSKA
Newsweek

Prokuratura Apelacyjna w Warszawie dostanie materiały w celu wszczęcia śledztwa dotyczącego dwóch polskich duchownych z Dominikany. W jednym z tekstów apelował o to dziennikarz "Newsweeka" Wojciech Cieśla.

Takie działanie sugerował dziennikarz "Newsweeka" Wojciech Cieśla w swoim tekście "Pedofilia na Dominikanie to sprawa dla polskiej prokuratury" >>

By przyjrzeć się sprawie oskarżeń polskich księży o pedofilie Wojciech Cieśla pojechał na Dominikanę. Kliknij tutaj, by przeczytać jego reportaż z wyspy!

- Otrzymaliśmy właśnie z ambasady RP w Bogocie potwierdzenie, że prokuratura na Dominikanie prowadzi śledztwo wobec dwóch polskich obywateli w związku z podejrzeniem seksualnego wykorzystywania przez nich osób nieletnich. Ta informacja stanowi podstawę do wszczęcia polskiego śledztwa w tej sprawie. W związku z tym, odpowiednie materiały zostaną wysłane do Prokuratury Apelacyjnej w Warszawie - poinformował Martyniuk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Podejrzenia o pedofilię. Policja nie dostała z Interpolu informacji na temat księdza Wojciecha Gila

POLSKA
Gazeta Prawna

[SUMMARY: Polish police have not yet received information from Interpol regarding the search for priest Wojciech Gil, who is accusing of abusing minors in the Dominican Republic. Police Chief Mariusz Sokolowski said Dominican authorities can count on cooperation from Polish police.]

Polska policja nie ma na razie żadnych informacji z Interpolu w sprawie poszukiwania księdza Wojciecha Gila - powiedział IAR rzecznik komendanta głównego policji Mariusz Sokołowski. Władze kościelne nie wiedzą, gdzie jest ksiądz podejrzany o pedofilię na Dominikanie.

W specjalnym komunikacie prokurator generalny Dominikany, który w tej sprawie zwrócił się do Interpolu oświadczył, że ma nadzieję, że uda się postawić księdza przed sądem.
Sokołowski zaznaczył, że prokuratura na Dominikanie może liczyć na współpracę z naszą policją, która jest gotowa udzielić wszelkiej przewidzianej przez prawo pomocy. Do polskich służb nie dotarła jednak na razie żadna informacja w tej sprawie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Diplomats; atheists; Newark, N.J.; and the war on Christians

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Sep. 27, 2013 All Things Catholic

ROME
A pope plays many roles, one being the premier ambassador for Catholicism (and religion generally) on the global stage. In a sense, it requires the art of diplomacy: reaching across divides, finding ways to communicate with people who don't speak your language, and emphasizing common ground rather than drawing lines in the sand.

Francis has shown himself to be awfully good at that part of the job, which may help explain why he seems increasingly inclined to turn to churchmen with a strong diplomatic background to fill his administration's key slots.

Indeed, one surprising twist to his papacy is that it seems to be shaping up as a golden age for Vatican diplomats.

Not long ago, conventional wisdom had it that the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio was bad news for the Secretariat of State, the Vatican's ultra-powerful coordinating department, which is typically led by veterans of the diplomatic corps. Frustration with perceived dysfunction in the Secretariat of State, symbolized by the Vatican leaks scandal, was a large part of the reason why the cardinals elected a Latin American outsider in the first place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

For Newark, Enter Bernie... For the Bench, Enter Francis

NEW JERSEY
Whispers in the Loggia

For all the smiles at the cameras and talk of a smooth transition, the difference between Newark Catholicism's present and future can be boiled down to this: while John Myers prefers to be addressed as "His Grace" – the British/Canadian style for archbishops – whatever title his successor might be saddled with, the next metropolitan of New Jersey will forever be known to all as, simply, "Bernie."

The mottoes are instructive, too: the incumbent chose for himself the refined, maybe even esoteric "Mysterium ecclesiae luceat" ("Let the mystery of the church shine forth"), a reference to the Vatican II constitution Lumen Gentium. His coadjutor's is straightforward and in English – two words: "Only Jesus."

Shot into the stratosphere as shepherd-in-waiting of the nation's ninth-largest diocese, Bernie Hebda's ascent to North Jersey has been described as "the first truly Francis appointment" on these shores: a distinctly pastoral, nonideological figure with a penchant for sharp ideas, hard work, close ties and creating oceans of goodwill across all sorts of divides.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Where Are We Now, Friends (Or: The Silence Is Deafening)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The reason given by the federal government for appointing six commissioners to the Royal Commission was that the enormous volume of work would require multiple hearings being conducted simultaneously.

So far, only a single hearing has been held with all six commissioners present. The “case study” format used for the first hearing, last week, is to be used for at least the rest of the year, with no multiple hearings. This means that there will be a few days of hearings, then a month or so of no hearings, for the foreseeable future.

So far, nearly a year has passed since the Royal Commission was announced by former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and almost $100 million has been spent on it.

In the absence of multiple hearings, there will be very little to report on, especially since the first 4 “case studies” are already well-documented in both the media and the courts. It does seem strange that all six commissioners, at the first hearing, sat there in a row like stuffed chooks, with little or no involvement in the proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Polish Church Apologizes for Child Sex Abuse

POLAND
ABC News

AP

A high official of Poland's Catholic Church apologized on Friday to the victims of pedophile priests while prosecutors said they will probe allegations that two Polish priests, including a Vatican envoy, sexually abused boys in the Dominican Republic.

Secretary of the Episcopate Bishop Wojciech Polak told a news conference that "sorry" was the least that was owed to the victims, and that the church was seeking to make amends and work on prevention.

But he said that any legal responsibility and financial compensation rested with the convicted wrongdoer, not with the church. He was addressing reporters in relation to both the allegations in the Dominican Republic and those in Poland, where some 27 priests have been convicted since 2001.

Mateusz Matyniuk, spokesman for the prosecutor general, said that Poland has obtained sufficient information from Dominican investigators to open a probe into pedophilia allegations against two Poles, one of whom has diplomatic status. He gave no names, but Dominican prosecutors have identified them as papal nuncio Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski and the Rev. Wojciech Gil, a parish priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Dominican Republic seeks arrest of Polish priest

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
GlobalPost

AFP

Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic said they have asked Interpol to issue an arrest order for an alleged pedophile priest alleged to have abused several young boys.

"We will use whatever judicial resources are needed, whether on the local level or internationally" to bring fugitive Polish priest Wojciech Gil to justice, Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito said in a statement.

Gil went missing in May after allegations of child sex abuse were raised.

A court in the city of Santiago, some 155 kilometers northwest of Santo Domingo, has declared him a fugitive from justice, and Interpol has been asked to help track him down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Brady reports priest over baptism

IRELAND
The Tablet

27 September 2013

A priest is facing censure by the Vatican for failing to perform a baptism correctly by allowing the parents and godparents to pour water over the child's head during the ceremony.

A pro-life campaigner reported Fr Iggy O'Donovan to the Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, after witnessing the baptism at a church in Drogheda. Cardinal Brady deemed the baptism unlawful and reported the matter to Rome.

Fr O'Donovan, an Augustinian, has left his parish to begin a one-year sabbatical in Limerick. He and his order have denied that he has already been censured by Rome. Some 1,500 people attended his final Mass.

Following the complaint, the parents of the child were asked by a local priest in Drogheda, acting on behalf of the Cardinal, to have their son re-baptised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

NOTE ON BRIEFING FROM THE HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 27 September 2013 (VIS) – Next Monday, 30 September, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Federico Lombardi, S.J., will hold a briefing on the Pope's meeting with the group of eight cardinals, regarding the nature of the meeting, preparation and working times involved, and the information that will be available.

“It is important to remember that the Group is constituted to offer advice to the Pope and not to make autonomous decisions, that it is a first meeting which will be followed by others, and that the participants will abide by criteria of privacy regarding the content of the consultations”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Priester wegen Missbrauchs zu Gefängnisstrafe verurteilt

DEUTSCHLAND
Augsburger Allgemeine

[Catholic priest Michael W. has been convicted of child abuse and sentenced to two years and nine months in prison. The victim, a boy, lived in his parish house and was the son of the housekeeper. He called the priest Dad. The court said the abuse was significant sexual assault and went way beyond boundary issues.]

Das Landgericht Würzburg hat einen Priester wegen sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs zu zwei Jahren und neun Monaten Haft verurteilt. Er hatte den Sohn seiner Haushälterin missbraucht.

Der Junge lebte in seinem Pfarrheim und nannte ihn Papa, der Priester erzählte ihm Gute-Nacht-Geschichten. Doch das hat ein katholischer Priester schamlos ausgenutzt. Nun ist er wegen sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs zu zwei Jahren und neun Monaten Gefängnis verurteilt worden.

Das Landgericht Würzburg sprach den 58-Jährigen am Freitag schuldig, sich in neun Fällen am Sohn seiner Haushälterin vergangen zu haben. «Das waren nicht nur Grenzüberschreitungen, sondern ganz erhebliche sexuelle Übergriffe», sagte der Vorsitzende Richter Burkhard Pöpperl. Der Geistliche hatte die Taten aus den 1990er Jahren vor Gericht gestanden. Das Kind war bei den Übergriffen in Bayern und Hessen sechs bis zehn Jahre alt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Priester wegen Missbrauchs verurteilt

DEUTSCHLAND
Abendzeitung

[Summary: A Catholic priest in Wurzburg has been found guilty of child sexual abuse and sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.]

Das Landgericht Würzburg hat einen katholischen Priester wegen sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs zu zwei Jahren und neun Monaten Gefängnis verurteilt.

Würzburg – Die Richter sprachen den 58-Jährigen am Freitag schuldig, sich in neun Fällen am Sohn seiner Haushälterin vergangen zu haben. Der Ordensmann hatte die Taten aus den 1990er im Prozess gestanden.

Das Kind war bei den Übergriffen sechs bis neun Jahre alt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

INTERPOL contacted over Polish priest in paedophilia case

POLAND
The News

27.09.2013

The Dominican Republic's attorney general has called on INTERPOL to facilitate the arrest of a Polish priest who has been charged with molesting minors.

Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito contacted the intergovernmental organisation after a panel of judges in the Dominican Republic declared Father Wojciech Gil a “fugitive” for failing to return to the country to face charges.

Father Gil, who led a parish in the highland town of Juncalito for close to a decade, had taken children on holiday to Poland earlier this year.

However, when allegations emerged of crimes against minors in recent years, he chose not to return to his post on the Caribbean island.

“We are going to resort to all the necessary judicial resources, both locally and abroad, so this case doesn’t go unpunished,” Francisco Dominguez Brito declared in a statement.

It is understood that Father Gil is currently residing in his family village south of Krakow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Former Camden priest's death complicates sex-abuse lawsuit

NEW JERSEY
Courier-Post

Written by
Jim Walsh
Courier-Post

CAMDEN — A former priest at the center of an ongoing clergy sex-abuse lawsuit against the Camden diocese has died.

The death of Joseph Shannon, 87, was disclosed in a court filing in a lawsuit brought by Mark Bryson, a North Carolina man who claims he was molested by Shannon in a Camden church more than 40 years ago.

Shannon, removed from the ministry in 1990, was the subject of four sex-abuse complaints, according to a brief filed Monday by the diocese.

The brief — which challenges Bryson’s claim that he repressed memories of childhood assaults — contends the deaths of key figures in the case raise concerns about the fairness of any trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Y.U. Pushes Back Against $380M Abuse Lawsuit Saying Students Waited Too Long

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger

Dozens of former students who say they were abused by rabbis at a Yeshiva University high school waited decades too long to file their $380 million lawsuit, Y.U.’s attorneys say.

“There is no debate that the abuse each plaintiff endured, if true, is unacceptable,” the attorneys stated in a recent court filing. But “the law strikes a balance between the rights [the plaintiffs] could have exercised long ago, and the defendants’ competing rights to a fair opportunity to present evidence in their defense.

“The passage of time, fading of memories and passing of witnesses deprives defendants [of] a fair opportunity to defend themselves against plaintiffs who sat on their claims.”

Under New York State law, child victims of sexual abuse have until their 23rd birthday to file a civil lawsuit.

Kevin Mulhearn, who represents the plaintiffs in this case, argues that the statute of limitations does not apply, because Y.U. fraudulently covered up the abuse and misrepresented the safety of the school. Mulhearn’s clients are 34 former students of Yeshiva University’s High School for Boys, in Manhattan, aged 39 to 60. The former students are suing Y.U., current and former senior administrators, and trustees for $380 million in damages for abuses that they say took place between 1971 and 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

The Jesuit Who Humiliated the Generals

ROME
Chiesa

by Sandro Magister

ROME, September 27, 2013 – In his interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica" that has gone all around the world, Pope Francis describes the Church as “a field hospital after battle,” where the very first thing to do is “heal wounds.”

But what changes when the battle is fully underway?

In his Argentina, between 1976 and 1983, Jorge Mario Bergoglio lived through the 'years of lead' of the military dictatorship. Kidnappings, torture, massacres, 30,000 disappeared, 500 mothers killed after giving birth in prison to children who were taken away from them.

What the young provincial of the Argentine Jesuits at the time did during those years long remained a mystery. So dense as to prompt the suspicion that he had passively witnessed the horror, or worse, had exposed to greater danger some of his confrères, those most committed among the resistance.

Last spring, immediately after his election as pope, these accusations were issued again.

They were also immediately contradicted by authoritative voices, albeit highly critical of the overall role of the Argentine Church in those years: the mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Nobel peace laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Amnesty International. The Argentine magistracy itself had exonerated Bergoglio of all accusations, after having subjected him to questioning in a proceeding between 2010 and 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Dominicana pide a Interpol que capture a padre Alberto

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
El Mensajero

AP

SANTO DOMINGO, República Dominicana — La Procuraduría General de República Dominicana solicitó el jueves el apoyo de Interpol para detener al sacerdote polaco Gil Wojciech, quien se encuentra prófugo desde que en mayo fue acusado de abuso sexual contra varios niños.

"Esperamos contar con la colaboración de los organismos internacionales" para que Wojciech "pueda ser juzgado en República Dominicana", manifestó el procurador general Francisco Domínguez Brito en un comunicado enviado a Interpol y a la policía local.

El funcionario precisó que el cura de 36 años "se ausentó de su domicilio y del país para sustraerse del proceso que se sigue en su contra por supuesta violación y agresión sexual agravada" contra menores de edad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Parish council chief ousted after seeking suspension of priest

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Lisa Black and Alexandra Chachkevitch, Chicago Tribune reporters
7:04 a.m. CDT, September 27, 2013

A request by a Glenview church to suspend its priest until the conclusion of a criminal investigation that involves him has prompted a sharp rebuke from the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago, who then ordered the removal of the parish council president who made the request.

James Gottreich, council president at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, wrote last week to Metropolitan Iakovos, the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, asking that the Glenview church's pastor, the Rev. James Dokos, be placed on leave until the out-of-state criminal probe has wrapped up.

The district attorney's office in Milwaukee confirmed it has launched a formal investigation into how money was distributed from a $1.3 million trust fund set up to benefit Annunciation Church in Milwaukee. Dokos oversaw the trust fund as pastor at Annunciation before being transferred to Sts. Peter and Paul last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Newark Archbishop John Myers turns up at court in Bergen County

NEW JERSEY
The Record

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 2013
BY HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

HACKENSACK – Newark Archbishop John J. Myers visited the Bergen County Courthouse on Thursday, months after a local priest was arrested on seven counts accusing him of violating a lifetime ban on ministering to children, charges that were referred to a grand jury.

The priest, the Rev. Michael Fugee, a former assistant pastor of a Wyckoff parish, was found guilty in 2003 of groping a teenage boy, but the conviction was overturned three years later because of a judicial error. He and the archdiocese later signed an agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office that barred him from working with children. He was returned to the ministry in 2009.

Prosecutors in May charged Fugee with seven felony counts of contempt of a judicial order, claiming he violated the agreement by hearing confessions from minors seven times from April 2010 to December 2012 at various churches, a retreat center and a private home.

A grand jury typically decides in private whether felony charges are credible enough to indict. Fugee has not been indicted. He was released on $25,000 bail.

It’s unclear why Myers was at the courthouse, which also is where the Prosecutor’s Office is located.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Monseñor Piñeiro no sabe motivo de destitución de obispo Gabino Miranda

PERU
RPP

El arzobispo metropolitano de Ayacucho, monseñor Salvador Piñeiro, a su retorno de su viaje a Estados Unidos, brindó una conferencia de prensa con relación a la destitución del exobispo Gabino Miranda Melgarejo, en la que dijo desconocer los motivos de su dimisión como sacerdote.

“Soy amigo de la verdad y les digo que recién me enteré el 05 de julio, cuando la anunciatura me llamó y de manera verbal me dijo que para mi obispo auxiliar había esta pena canónica. Cuando los juicios son en relación con sacerdotes lo asume el obispo y cuando son de obispos lo asume directamente la Santa Sede. No sé cuáles son las causas, ni quiénes son los denunciantes; es contra el sexto mandamiento. Mañana a primera hora responderé al Ministerio Público. No tenemos nada que encubrir, ni nada que mentir”, dijo enfáticamente.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

“El papa Francisco recibió la denuncia contra el obispo, lo investigó y castigó”

PERU
La Republica

[Summary: Archbishop Savador Pineiro said that former Bishop Gabino Miranda was given time by the church to rebut the accusations of pedophilia but never did. The archbishop said he was informed of the action against Miranda on July 5 through verbal communication from the apostolic nunciature and said the action against Miranda taken by Pope Francis which included laicization. He was asked the reasons for the extreme measure by the Holy Father and the archbishop replied it was a "pontifical secret." He said the sanctions involved sins against the sixth commandment which were recognized as being most serious. He believes Pope Francis must have had sufficient reason to impose the penalty.]

El arzobispo de Ayacucho, monseñor Salvador Piñeiro, declaró que el padre Gabino Miranda Melgarejo tuvo suficiente tiempo para ofrecer sus descargos ante las acusaciones pero que nunca lo hizo.

Doris Aguirre

La Iglesia peruana se niega a revelar por qué el ex arzobispo auxiliar de Ayacucho Gabino Miranda Melgarejo fue despojado de los hábitos y expulsado del clero.

El presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal del Perú (CEP), y arzobispo de Ayacucho, monseñor Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón, afirmó que desconocía completamente el motivo de la drástica sanción impuesta por el Vaticano contra Miranda. No obstante, como obispo auxiliar de Ayacucho, el defenestrado sacerdote actuaba como brazo derecho de Piñeiro.

"No tengo ningún temor de decir la verdad sobre este lamentable caso. El 5 de julio de este año, mediante una comunicación verbal de la Nunciatura Apostólica, fui informado de la decisión del Santo Padre Francisco. Luego de recibir la denuncia (contra el ex obispo Miranda), investigó y castigó. Lo sancionó con la pena más rigurosa para un clérigo: la pérdida total del estado clerical, el retorno a la vida laical", relató monseñor Piñeiro a La República.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Ex obispo acusado de pedofilia habría sido operado y estaría con una familia en Lima

PERU
Diario Correo

[Summary: Archbishop Salvador Pineiro of Ayacucho said yesterday that former Bishop Bishop Gabino Miranda is currently staying with a family in Lima and is recovering from a gall bladder operation. The archbishop said he never received a complaint regarding alleged abuse by MIranda. At a press conference, the archbishop said he will provide the attorney general with all documents that they requested. He asked the people of Ayacucho to pray for him that he be a good shepherd. He thanked the people who support Miranda but asked them to cease their mobilization on the former bishop's behalf and to accept the punishment meted out by the Vatican.

26 SEPTIEMBRE 2013 | AYACUCHO -

El arzobispo de Ayacucho, Salvador Piñeiro, reveló que el ex obispo Gabino Miranda -acusado presuntamente de pedofilia- habría sido operado en las últimas horas y estaría con una familia en Lima.

En conferencia de prensa en Ayacucho, monseñor Salvador Piñeiro aseguró que él es el mas afectado con el tema y contó que Gabino Miranda viene siendo acogido pro una familia en la capital y que se está recuperando de una operación a la vesícula.

El obispo de Ayacucho dijo que está muy apenado y que nunca recibió una denuncia y desconoce a los agraviados. Recalcó que es tema muy delicado y hay que tener respeto a las personas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

D.A. Arrests Another Priest, But Declines To Re-Arrest Msgr. Lynn

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

District Attorney Seth Williams announced the arrest this morning of another Roman Catholic priest, charging Father Robert L. Brennan with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault.

Father Brennan, 75, a known abuser with 20 previous alleged victims, was charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy between 1998 and 2001, when the latest victim was between 11 and 14 years old. The altar boy was allegedly assaulted at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in Northeast Philadelphia, where Father Brennan served as assistant pastor. The crimes, according to the D.A., supposedly took place in the church sacristy, the priest's bedroom in the church rectory, a storage area on parish property, and in a movie theater.

The victim in this case, now 26, came forward in January 2013, six months after a jury convicted Msgr. William J. Lynn of endangering the welfare of a child. The D.A. said the latest victim was inspired by the Lynn verdict. Lynn was the first Catholic administrator in the country to go to jail for failing to adequately supervise sexually abusive priests. The allegations in the new arrest are eerily similar to the Billy Doe case.

Meanwhile, D.A. Williams used the press conference to again attack Msgr. Lynn for not reigning in abusive priests. But when push came to shove, Williams said his office had declined to indict Lynn on another child endangerment charge, because the crime in this latest case missed the statute of limitations by 3 months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Priest charged with child abuse

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

A Catholic priest has been charged with child abuse offences dating back 30 years.

Child Abuse Squad detectives have charged the 60-year-old man in relation to child abuse offences which are alleged to have occurred in the Peel District and North West Metropolitan District between 1983 and 1986.

Police will allege that the accused man, who was, and still is a Catholic Priest, met the victim through Church-related activities in the Peel District.

It will be further alleged the accused man abused his position of authority over the victim, who was aged between 15 and 17 years old at the time of the alleged offences, to perform indecent and sexual acts.

The accused man was aged between 30 and 32 years old at the time of the alleged offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

A Catholic priest in the Peel District south of Perth charged with child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A 60 year-old priest working in the Peel District, south of Perth, has been charged with child sex offences.

It is alleged the Catholic priest abused a boy aged under 17 between 1983 and 1986.

Police say it will be alleged the priest was aged about 32 when he engaged in indecent sexual acts with the boy.

He has been charged with four counts of unlawful and indecent assault, attempted carnal knowledge and carnal knowledge against the order of nature.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Nuevo intento para zafar de las rejas

ARGENTINA
Pagina/12

El sacerdote recurrió a la Cámara de Garantías, aunque ese tribunal ya había pedido su detención en abril pasado. El martes, el Comité por los Derechos del Niño presentará ante la Corte nacional un recurso para que Grassi sea condenado también en los otros casos.

Por Carlos Rodríguez

La defensa de Julio César Grassi apeló ante la Cámara de Garantías de Morón el fallo del Tribunal Oral 1 que ordenó la detención, en una cárcel común, del cura condenado a 15 años de prisión por “abuso sexual agravado y corrupción de menores agravada”.

Consultado al respecto, el abogado Juan Pablo Gallego, querellante en la causa contra Grassi, dijo estar “muy tranquilo porque después del fallo del lunes, es imposible que pueda recuperar su libertad; hay que tener en cuenta que esa misma Cámara de Garantías, en abril de este año, había pedido la detención del cura, la que no se concretó porque hubo una apelación que estuvo varios meses sin ser resuelta por la Cámara de Casación”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Piden ampliar la condena al padre Grassi a 37 años

ARGENTINA
Minuto Uno

[Summary: Lawyers for two other alleged victims of priest Julio Cesar Grassi petitioned the Supreme Court yesterday to extend Grassi's sentence to 37 years. He is now jailed for 15 years. In the meantime, Grassi's lawyers have filed yet another appeal.]

Los abogados que representan a "Luis" y "Ezequiel" presentarán en las próximas dos semanas un recurso ante la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación pidiendo que se amplíe a 37 años la condena a Julio Grassi con la inclusión de esos dos casos de abuso que no fueron tenidos en cuenta por las tres instancias anteriores.

En tanto, la defensa del cura presentó este jueves el recurso contra la detención ante la Cámara de Garantías y Apelaciones de Morón basándose en el hecho de que no existe peligro de fuga y que la condena no está firme, ya que también presentarán una apelación extraordinaria a la Corte Suprema pero para pedir que revea todo el caso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

La querella presentará un recurso ante la Justicia para ampliar condena

ARGENTINA
InfoRegion

Los abogados defensores de dos víctimas aseguraron que presentarán ante la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación un recurso para ampliar a 37 años la condena que recibió el sacerdote Julio César Grassi, quien está acusado de abusar sexualmente de menores. Se busca incorporar estos dos casos, que no habían sido tenidos en cuenta en las tres instancias anteriores.

Los abogados defensores de "Luis" y "Ezequiel" presentarán en las próximas dos semanas un recurso ante la Corte Suprema de Justicia con el fin de ampliar a 37 años la condena que recibió el cura Julio César Grassi por abuso de menores. Así se pretende incluir en la pena estos dos cosas, que no fueron tenidos en cuenta en las instancias anteriores.

En tanto, la defensa del cura presentó hoy el recurso contra la detención ante la Cámara de Garantías y Apelaciones de Morón basándose en el hecho de que no existe peligro de fuga y que la condena no está firme, ya que también presentarán una apelación extraordinaria a la Corte Suprema pero para pedir que revea todo el caso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

The hidden scandal of adult abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

Posted: 27 Sep 2013

The problem of sexual predators in churches needs to be addressed, says Susanna Gridley

THE phrase "sexual abuse" in a church context brings to mind paedophile priests (News, 24 May; Comment, 17 May). Like everyone else, however, most religious leaders are attracted not to children, but to other adults.

A survey by the ecumenical support organisation Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS), The Stones Cry Out(2011, available on its website), says that: "Almost completely below the public ...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Billy Graham’s grandson: evangelicals ‘worse’ than Catholic Church on sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Sarah Pulliam Bailey | Sep 26, 2013

The Christian mission field “is a magnet” for sex abusers, Boz Tchividjian, a Liberty University law professor who investigates abuse said Thursday (Sept. 26) to a room of journalists.

While comparing evangelicals to Catholics on abuse response, ”I think we are worse,” he said at the Religion Newswriters Association conference. But it’s harder to track.

“Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics,” said Tchividjian, a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham and executive director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which has investigated sex abuse allegations.

Mission agencies, “where abuse is most prevalent,” often don’t report abuse because they fear being tossed from countries, he said. Abusers will get sent home and might join another agency. Of known data from abuse cases, 25 percent are repeat cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Catholic Bishops urge Pope to reconsider future direction of the church

AUSTRALIA
ABC Brisbane

[audio]

27 September 2013 , 4:27 PM by Heather Stott

The Catholic Church is no stranger to controversy, especially when it comes to claims of sexual abuse and fiscal corruption.

Now, three Catholic Bishops are joining with 100 church organisations, calling on Pope Francis to acknowledge the rights of Catholics when it comes to making decisions on these issues within their church.

Two of the three, Geoffrey Robinson and Bill Morris, join Tim Cox in the studio...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Local pastor enters plea in sex abuse case

WEST VIRGINIA
Charleston Daily Mail

A local pastor has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of child sexual abuse relating to acts that allegedly occurred with family members 25 years ago.

Christopher Mark Winnell was arraigned by Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib. The judge granted a $25,000 bond with a 10 percent cash option and gave Winnell until Monday to post it.

If Winnell makes bond, he is ordered to be on home confinement pending a Dec. 9 trial. The judge also ordered that he not be in contact with anyone under the age of 18.

Winnell was indicted by a grand jury after a victim recently contacted authorities. The 12-count indictment alleges he had sexual contact with three children.

His attorney said Winnell denied the allegations and called the indictment "sensational."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Kanawha Pastor Accused Of Molesting Three Boys

WEST VIRGINIA
WCHS

A Kanawha County pastor was in court Thursday charged in connection with a decades old sexual abuse case.

Christopher Winnell is accused of molesting three boys who were close family members.

The alleged abuse took place in Sissonville 25 years ago.

Winnell was just recently indicted in the case. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Dominican Republic seeks priest in sex abuse case

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
KENS

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The Dominican Republic's attorney general asked for Interpol's help Thursday in detaining a Polish priest who has been accused of sexual abuse involving three children in this largely Roman Catholic country.

The Rev. Wojciech Gil was in Poland on vacation when the allegations surfaced in late May and has not returned to the Dominican Republic, where he led a parish in the mountain town of Juncalito for eight years. He has denied wrongdoing in phone calls to Dominican reporters.

In a statement, Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito said he hoped for the collaboration of Interpol and other international organizations in detaining Gil so he "can be judged in the Dominican Republic."

The father of one of the alleged victims has charged that his son was molested by the priest for about three years. A complaint against the 36-year-old priest also alleges he promised two other children that he would take them to the beach and to Europe if they dressed in thong underwear and appeared in videos and photos.

Gil took Dominican altar boys on vacation to Poland several times and lodged them at his mother's house and at the local parish house, Polish media have reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Polish priest becomes wanted suspect for sex abuse in Dominican Republic

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Hong Kong Standard

(09-27 11:23)

The Dominican Republic's attorney general asked for Interpol's help in detaining a Polish priest accused of sexual abuse involving three children in this largely Roman Catholic country.

The Reverend Wojciech Gil was in Poland on vacation when the allegations surfaced in late May and has not returned to the Dominican Republic, where he led a parish in the mountain town of Juncalito for eight years. He has denied wrongdoing in phone calls to Dominican reporters, AP reports.

In a statement, Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito said he hoped for the collaboration of Interpol and other international organizations in detaining Gil so he “can be judged in the Dominican Republic.''

The father of one of the alleged victims has charged that his son was molested by the priest for about three years. A complaint against the 36-year-old priest also alleges he promised two other children that he would take them to the beach and to Europe if they dressed in thong underwear and appeared in videos and photos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Catholic priest charged with child abuse offences

AUSTRALIA
Mandurah Mail

By Catherine Botman Sept. 27, 2013

A 60-YEAR-OLD local Catholic priest has been charged with five historic child abuse offences.

The man, who cannot be named until his court appearance, met the victim through church-related activities in the Peel district between 1983 and 1986.

It is alleged the man "abused his position of authority" and forced the victim, then aged between 15-17 years of age, to perform indecent and sexual acts.

The man has been charged with four counts of unlawful and indecent assault and two subsequent abuse charges after an investigation by Child Abuse Squad detectives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

WA priest faces child abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

KAITLYN OFFER PERTH NOW SEPTEMBER 27, 2013

A CATHOLIC priest has been charged with historic child sex abuse offences alleged to have occurred in the mid-1980s.

Child Abuse Squad detectives charged the 60-year-old in relation to alleged sexual acts that occurred between 1983 and 1986 in the Peel and North West Metropolitan Districts.

It will be alleged the accused man - who was and still is a Catholic priest - met the victim through church-related activities in the Peel District.

Police will further allege the priest abused his position of authority over the victim, who was aged between 15 and 17 years old at the time, to perform indecent and sexual acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Priest charged over child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A 60-year-old Catholic priest has been charged with child abuse alleged to have occurred in Perth and south of the city 30 years ago.

Police claim the man met the victim through church-related activities in the Peel district.

It will be further alleged he abused his position of authority to make his victim perform indecent and sexual acts.

The victim was aged between 15 and 17 at the time of the abuse, which is said to have occurred between 1983 and 1986.

The priest has been charged with four counts of unlawful and indecent assault, and one count each of attempted carnal knowledge and carnal knowledge against the order of nature.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Ex-Philly priest charged in rape of former altar boy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

MENSAH M. DEAN, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER DEANM@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-568-8278
POSTED: Friday, September 27, 2013

A FORMER Philadelphia Catholic priest has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy, the Philadelphia district attorney announced yesterday.

The Rev. Robert L. Brennan, 75, was arrested Wednesday night in Maryland and charged with rape and related crimes for allegedly abusing the boy from 1998 to 2001, when he was 11 to 14 years old. Brennan, who was in his early 60s at the time of the alleged assault, was an assistant pastor at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish, in the Northeast.

D.A. Seth Williams said the boy's abuse was facilitated by the inaction of Monsignor William Lynn, the disgraced former secretary of the clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Lynn, 62, who was convicted last year of child endangerment for failing to discipline predatory priests, is serving a three-to-six-year sentence in state prison. He has appealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Philly priest accused of raping altar boy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CNN

By Ross Levitt, CNN
updated 2:15 AM EDT, Fri September 27, 2013

(CNN) -- A Philadelphia priest who narrowly escaped prosecution during a recent clergy abuse scandal that rocked the city's archdiocese has been arrested on charges that include raping an altar boy.

In a grand jury presentation in 2005, the Philadelphia District Attorney's office revealed allegations against Father Robert Brennan, now 75, that included more than 20 alleged child sex abuse victims, according to Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.

All of the cases were beyond the statute of limitations, and Brennan was never charged in that case, Williams said at a press conference Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

September 26, 2013

Priest sentenced to four years of probation

COLORADO
The Gazette

By Matt Steiner Published: September 26, 2013

A 4th Judicial District judge sentenced Colorado Springs Catholic priest Charles Robert "Bob" Manning to four years probation Thursday after he was convicted in July of two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Manning, who was acquitted July 3 of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old altar boy, apologized to the victim, his family, the court and the Diocese of Colorado Springs before Judge Robin Chittum handed down his sentence.

The 78-year-old who is confined to a wheel chair and on oxygen echoed the apology just outside the courtroom.

"I'm very sorry for what I did," he said. "I'm just glad this is all over. It's been a long road."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Diocese sued over alleged abuse by priest

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

A former altar boy at Immaculate Conception Parish Church in Truro is suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax for alleged sexual abuse by a priest.

Court papers filed Wednesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court allege the claimant was fondled by the priest when he was between the ages of 14 and 15, and that the archdiocese is vicariously liable for the priest’s actions.

The papers claim the assaults and resulting injuries were caused by “the negligence, infliction of mental distress, breach of trust, breach of non-delegable duty and breach of fiduciary duty of the archdiocese,” and of its employees.

The negligence, the court papers allege, includes the archdiocese’s failure to take steps to implement programs or procedures to supervise the priest, to take steps to counsel or prevent him from assaulting the claimant and to use reasonable care in the ordination, training, supervision and employment of the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

Please Call Your PA State Representative Today

PENNSYLVANIA
Catholics4Change

SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

Please call your Pennsylvania state rep and say you want the statute of limitations removed for child sex abuse. Protect children by exposing predators hiding behind the current law. Father Robert Brennan had many victims who don’t fall within the current statutes. For them, there is no justice. How many more abusers are roaming free in our communities because they can’t be prosecuted?

There is no statute for murder. Why should there be one for child sex abuse. Find your State Rep contact info by clicking here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Arzobispo pide extradición de ex nuncio y prófugo sacerdote de Juncalito

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
Noticias SIN

[con video]

[Summary: Archbishop Ramon Benito de la Rosa said Tuesday that the former apostolic nuncio who is accused to sexually abusing minors must face Dominican justice. Priest Wojciech Gil must also face justice, he said.]

SANTO DOMINGO, República Dominicana.- Monseñor Ramón Benito de la Rosa y Carpio dijo este martes que el ex nuncio apostólico y los sacerdotes acusados de pederastia deben enfrentar la justicia dominicana.

El escándalo que envuelve al ex nuncio Josef Wesolowski y al padre Alberto Gil debe ser juzgado por la justicia, según Monseñor Ramón Benito de la Rosa y Carpio.

De la Rosa y Carpio explica que veía normal la relación del ex nuncio con el padre Alberto Wojciech, asegura no entender como un sacerdote es capaz de violar las normas de la iglesia.

Monseñor de la Rosa y Carpio expresó que a pesar de este escándalo los feligreses en vez de dar la espalda a la iglesia, oran en abundancia por los sacerdotes y obispos del país.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Ordenan la captura del padre Alberto Gil

REPUBLICAN DOMINICANA
Al Momento

Por ELVIRA GUILLEN

SANTO DOMINGO.- El procurador general de la República Dominicana emitió este jueves una orden de captura internacional, contra el padre polaco Wojciech Gil (Aberto Gil) acusado de violación de menores.

Francisco Domínguez Brito colocó la orden en el sistema de la INTERPOL. La solicitud del se produce luego que los jueces del Tribunal de la Cámara Penal de la Corte de Apelación de Santiago declararan la rebeldía contra el imputado.

Fue sustentada en virtud de que el sacerdote se ausentó de su domicilio y del país para sustraerse del proceso que se sigue en su contra por los supuestos hechos que cometió en la localidad de Juncalito, del municipio de Jánico, provincia Santiago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

"Padre Alberto" de Dominicana tenía miles de fotos porno

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
La Opinion

[Summary: The priest Wojciech Gil, who is accused to child sexual abuse in the community of Juncalito, had stored more than 87,000 pornographic pictures and videos on the parish computer. Prosecutor Bolivar Sanchez said Gil at 7:35 a.m. on May 27 asked a deacon to take out the computer hard drive.]

Santo Domingo, 23 sep - El sacerdote Wojciech Gil, conocido como el “padre Alberto” y acusado de abuso de menores en la comunidad de Juncalito, en Santiago (al norte del país), tenía más de 87 mil fotos y videos en la computadora de la parroquia con imágenes de actos pornográficos.

Según las investigaciones de los representantes de la fiscalía a través del procurador adjunto Bolívar Sánchez, una de las personas entrevistadas con relación al caso del destituido nuncio Josef Wesolowski, dijo haber visto fotos y vídeos pornográficos como los encontrados en la computadora portátil del religioso y que lo comprometen para ser juzgado por pornografía infantil.

Sánchez detalló que el pasado 27 de mayo, a las 7:35 de la mañana, Gil llamó a un diácono para pedirle que sacara el disco duro de la computadora y que, al obtener la información, el religioso entendió que había “cosas comprometedoras”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Dominican Republic asks INTERPOL to arrest Polish priest

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s top prosecutor on Thursday asked INTERPOL to arrest Polish national Wojciech Gil (Padre Alberto), indicted on several counts of sexually molesting at least seven minors.

Justice minister Francisco Dominguez’s request comes just hours after a panel of judges from the Santiago District Criminal Court declared the accused a fugitive, for failing to appear to face the pedophilia charges filed the parents of the boys in the village of Juncalito, in that north-central province.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Priest Under Arrest After Alleged Assault

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
My Fox Philly

[with video]

A serial predator is now behind bars thanks to the brave actions of this young man. Those words are from District Attorney Seth Williams as he announced the arrest of 75-year-old Rev. Robert l. Brennan.

Brennan is accused of sexually assaulted an 11-year-old altar boy here at the Resurrection of Our Lord Parish from 1998 to 2001.

The assaults allegedly took place in the sacristy of the church in Reverend Brennan's bedroom in the rector inside a storage area on parish property and at a movie theater.

Brennan was arrested at a private residence in Maryland Wednesday night. The DA said the now 26-year old victim bravely came forward last January and told officials at the Arch Diocese.

Williams went on to say that convicted monsignor William Lynn continued to transfer father Brennan from church to church despite numerous warning even reports at resurrection of our lord parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Priest Abuse Watchdog Group Critical of Former Pope's Claim That He Did Not Hide Abuse

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

BY MICHAEL GRYBOSKI, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
September 26, 2013

A Missouri-based group devoted to helping victims of clerical sexual abuse is critical of former Pope Benedict XVI's recent claim that he did not hide sexual abuse incidents.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) of St. Louis took issue with Benedict XVI's recently published letter denying involvement in a cover-up.

David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, told The Christian Post that the Pope Emeritus' recent words were "hurtful and deceitful."

"They rub salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of tens of thousands of clergy sex abuse victims and millions of betrayed Catholics," said Clohessy. "And we're deeply saddened that not a single one of the world's tens of thousands of bishops and priests has the courage to publicly dispute Benedict's self-serving, misleading and callous comments."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Norman Lamm Unable To Testify in Yeshiva Abuse Suit, Doctor Says

NEW YORK
Jewish Daily Forward

By Anne Cohen
Published September 26, 2013.

The former chancellor of Yeshiva University may be excused from testifying at in the $380 million sex abuse lawsuit currently pending against the Modern Orthodox institution, the New York Post reported Thursday.

Rabbi Norman Lamm, 85, was reportedly examined on September 16 by Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center neuropsychologist Elise Caccapolo. According to Lamm’s lawyer, she found that his testimony, if provided, would not be reliable.

“Dr. Caccappolo found that a deposition was unlikely to pose a risk or threat to Dr. Lamm’s health,” lawyer Joel Cohen wrote to Judge John Koetl, who is overseeing the case at the U.S. District Court, the Post reported.

“However, after administering a battery of tests conducted over a period of nearly five hours, Dr. Caccopolo determined that ‘the pattern of Dr. Lamm’s cognitive impairment impedes his ability to independently comprehend and adequately respond to questions posed to him, as well to reliably retrieve and report past information.”

On September 9, Koeltl ordered a medical evaluation of Lamm, in response to claims by Cohen during a pre-trial hearing that Lamm is unfit to be deposed because he is suffering from dementia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Prep grad identified in sex suit vs. school

NEW YORK
Times Ledger

By Phil Corso

A St. Francis Preparatory School graduate has revealed her name to the public in the midst of a $17 million sexual abuse lawsuit against her former school.

Felicia Mooradian, 21, graduated from the Fresh Meadows school in 2009 and had kept her identity private since accusing a Franciscan brother at the school of sexual harassment in Brooklyn federal court in June. She revealed her name to the New York Post over the weekend, saying she wanted to be the face for other victims to come forward.

“It should be called St. Francis ‘Predatory’ School,” she told the Post. “The Christian thing would be to admit your mistakes, not hide them.”

Attorneys on the school’s side contended from the beginning that she had no legal reasons to remain anonymous. She had previously been referred to in court documents only as Jane Doe.

She, another former student and a former teacher filed the suit against St. Francis Prep, Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn and various members of the school’s board of trustees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Ex-Philly priest charged amid new abuse complaint

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Courier Express

Associated Press

A former Philadelphia priest named in more than 20 abuse complaints during a long church career has been criminally charged for the first time after a new accuser came forward within the new time limit.

The Rev. Robert L. Brennan, 75, was arrested on rape charges in Perryville, Md., where he's been living since he was suspended after being named in a 2005 grand jury report on sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He is now charged with sexually abusing an altar boy from 1998 to 2001 in northeast Philadelphia.

Earlier complaints against Brennan were long buried in a locked vault at the archdiocese, according to documents unearthed in a landmark church-abuse trial last year. But Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said the archdiocese _ after the conviction of a church official over his handling of complaints _ did the right thing when Brennan's latest accuser contacted them in January.

"This shows the sea change, I believe, in the manner in which the archdiocese under (Archbishop Charles) Chaput is handling" complaints, Williams said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

CA - Victims settle with three CA dioceses

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Cleric allegedly abused in Monterey, San Jose & San Francisco

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director, jcasteix@gmail.com, (949) 322-7434

Coming forward to expose abuse is never easy, especially when an predator is still working as a priest in one of the largest archdioceses in the United States. We applaud the three brave victims who came forward to report being abused by Fr. Donald Flickinger. Were it not for their action, Flickinger would still be living and working as a priest around children in San Francisco.

We are disappointed that church lawyers have fought to keep Flickinger's personnel documents secret in the hopes that more victims will not come forward. We fear that the documents may outline Flickinger's long career of abuse and cover-up by church officials. It is our hope that anyone who may have been hurt by Flickinger—or anyone else—comes forward and gets the healing they deserve. We also beg anyone who may have seen or suspected abuse, or has evidence of abuse by Flickinger in Monterey, San Jose or San Francisco reports to law enforcement. Children are only safe with predators are behind bars.

The victims were represented by attorney Tim Hale of Santa Barbara, timothy@nps-law.com, (805) 963-2345 (cell)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Boston priest to take reins at church media arm

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Melissa Hanson, Globe Correspondent

A Boston priest has been appointed interim president and chief executive of iCatholic Media, the media arm of the Boston archdiocese, officials announced today.

Father Robert Reed was appointed by Cardinal Sean O’Malley and the board of trustees for iCatholic Media, the archdiocese said in a statement.

The nonprofit company operates a number of media outlets for the archdiocese. The company oversees Catholic TV, the radio program “The Good Catholic Life,” The Pilot newspaper, Pilot New Media, and Pilot Bulletins and Printing, the statement said.

Sister Marian Batho chairwoman of iCatholic Media, said Reed “brings a wealth of experience and energy to the position.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Suspended Philadelphia priest arrested in Maryland for sexual assault of minor

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholic Philly

BY MATTHEW GAMBINO

Father Robert L. Brennan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia whose priestly faculties were suspended since 2005, has been arrested in Maryland on charges of sexually abusing a Northeast Philadelphia boy between 1998 and 2001.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams made the announcement at a press conference today, Sept. 26, in Philadelphia.

Father Brennan, 75, was arrested on charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault in Perryville, Md., where he was living in a private residence. He is being held in Maryland’s Cecil County where he faces an extradition hearing today.

He was included in the 2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury report investigating incidents of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. The report cited a years-long pattern of reports of inappropriate behavior, including touching and other physical contact, between Father Brennan and boys with whom he came into contact during his assignments at parishes and schools in the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

The Interview

UNITED STATES
National Survivors Advocates Coalition

The Interview, The Denial, The G-8

It’s an understatement to say that survivors’ lives are difficult.

They carry burdens, scars, and pouches of psychological festerings that can protrude in unlikely ways and places.

It’s not an overstatement to say that the abuse is always present tense no matter when it happened.

It seems the first rule of the Church and particularly its leaders should be in line with Hippocrates’ thinking: First, do no harm.

That hasn’t been what’s emerged through a media swollen with the interview and reports of the interview given by Pope Francis to Jesuit colleagues, the letter written by Pope Emeritus Benedict and the imminent opening of the gathering with Pope Francis of the eight cardinals he tapped to be a chapel cabinet.

The wide ranging Pope Francis interview spanned three question sessions and a copy of the interview was provided to him for review in Italian and approved before publication and translation.

That doesn’t leave much, if any, wiggle room that the great void of non-mention of sexual crisis, the largest crisis in the Church since the Reformation, was the fault of a hasty process, quick on the fly, shoe horned in sessions, bad translation, misinterpretation of meaning and intent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Abuse Survivors Respond to Pope Francis's Interview and Pope Benedict's Claim That He Never Covered Up Abuse

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Meanwhile, as Pope Francis's recent interview and what it portends for the direction of the Catholic church continues to be discussed, Kristine Ward of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) points out that what Francis didn't say also deserves notice. Nothing in his interview touches on the abuse crisis in the Catholic church, which is, as Kris notes, "the largest crisis in the Church since the Reformation."

Francis did speak, but glancingly, of "wounds" from which the Catholic church is suffering, Kris observes--and the fact that his language about the abuse crisis, to which the coded term "wounds" clearly refers, has to be encoded while he speaks bluntly about abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, speaks loudly and clearly about the way in which the church's top leaders too often continue approaching (or, better, failing to approach) this subject. As she points out, it's difficult for pastoral leaders to speak transparently about a crisis in whose mismanagement they themselves have long been "in too deep."

And right on the heels of the interview, as she also notes, comes a denial from the previous pope, Benedict XVI, that he ever participated in covering up abuse. To which Barbara Blaine of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) replies, "We obviously and vehemently disagree." And to which Barbara Dorris of SNAP says, "He could not be more wrong."

Here's Andrew Sullivan on Benedict the "unrepentant":

To give some obvious, glaring examples of his complicity: despite sitting on mounds of evidence of the crimes of Marcial Maciel for years, Benedict waited and waited to act, and refused to talk in public about the matter, while Maciel went on to rape even his own son; he also helped give refuge to Cardinal Law, one of the most heinous cover-up artists in the whole disgusting saga; he even personally ensured that the man who raped over 200 deaf boys at St John’s School for the Deaf, Father Murphy, was allowed to retire in peace in the “dignity” of his priesthood. And yet Benedict is still capable of telling his interlocutor: "I never tried to cover up these things."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Benedict Unrepentant

UNITED STATES
The Dish

[with video]

Andrew Sullivan

As Pope Francis has charmed the globe, the former Pope has been corresponding with Piergiorgio Odifreddi, an Italian mathematician and philosopher, on a whole range of topics. I haven’t been able to get an English translation and cannot find one online (if a reader has one, I’d be most obliged). Maybe the reported fragments lack important context, but they sound like Benedict to me, especially on the long, horrifying child-rape conspiracy from the Vatican on down, over which he had total control and unique knowledge from 2001 onwards.

To give some obvious, glaring examples of his complicity: despite sitting on mounds of evidence of the crimes of Marcial Maciel for years, Benedict waited and waited to act, and refused to talk in public about the matter, while Maciel went on to rape even his own son; he also helped give refuge to Cardinal Law, one of the most heinous cover-up artists in the whole disgusting saga; he even personally ensured that the man who raped over 200 deaf boys at St John’s School for the Deaf, Father Murphy, was allowed to retire in peace in the “dignity” of his priesthood. And yet Benedict is still capable of telling his interlocutor:

I never tried to cover up these things.

Seriously. But to me, the most egregious statement is the following:

That the power of evil penetrates to such a point in the interior world of the faith is, for us, a source of suffering. On the one hand we must accept that suffering, and on the other, at the same time, we must do everything possible so that such cases aren’t repeated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

An Open Letter to Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on September 26, 2013

Your Holiness:

I was a nobody. A lost sheep – a victim of sex abuse in the Catholic church who was “thrown away” by the priests and bureaucrats in the Diocese of Orange, California. I was disposable. But unlike the parable, no shepherd came to look to me. Alone and isolated from my community, my family and my faith, I had to struggle to heal myself. Against the odds, I succeeded. And now I speak for those who still suffer alone, in silence.

I am not a nobody anymore. And that is why I am writing to you.

You have reached out to atheists and agnostics. You have said you cannot judge the homosexual community. Those were huge steps, but very easy things to do. You followed your heart and the teachings of the Bible. Now I ask you to do the hard thing: embrace the lost sheep that your people sexually abused, shunned and shamed. Tackle the “elephant in the room” that has been ignored for so long.

Doing that will be difficult. But rumor has it that dying on the cross wasn’t terribly easy either.
You have a bishop in Missouri, USA, who was convicted of child endangerment. Why is he still a bishop? I can’t help but think that Jesus would weep to see that secular authorities are doing more to save your lost sheep than you are.

You have Cardinals in the United States who have covered up abuse, yet they stand in judgement—saying that victims are just bitter, money-grubbers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

Priest suspected for years of sex abuse charged by Philly DA

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is charging 75-year-old Rev. Robert Brennan with rape, involuntary deviate sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault.

"Rev. Brennan is charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in Northeast Philadelphia between 1998 and 2001," Williams said. "The assaults started when the boy was 11 years of age and continued until he was 14 years old."

Brennan was assistant pastor of the church at the time of the alleged assaults. Williams says his team began investigating the case after receiving information from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

"The victim reported Brennan's abuse to the Archdiocese in 2013, the Archdiocese immediately — I mean that same day — contacted the District Attorney's office to share that report," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Priest with Lower Makefield ties charged with child abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
PhillyBurbs

By Jo Ciavaglia Staff writer
Posted on September 26, 2013

A Catholic priest who briefly served at a Lower Makefield church has been charged with sexually assaulting a Philadelphia man starting when the man was an 11-year-old altar boy at a Northeast Philadelphia church.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced the charges against the Rev. Robert Brennan, 75, at a news conference Thursday. He is charged with rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse and aggravated assault.

Brennan was arrested Wednesday in Maryland, where he has been living since he was suspended following a 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report. He remains an ordained priest, but was removed from active ministry in 2005, according to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Brennan is suspected of abusing more than 20 children, according to the grand jury report. But in 2005, prosecutors said the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution had expired.

He served at St. Ignatius Catholic Church for about six months in fall 1989, according to his archdiocese profile. Robert Brennan is not related to the Rev. James J. Brennan, who faces retrial after a jury last year could not reach a verdict in his case of alleged sexual abuse of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Ayacucho: Feligreses se movilizan a favor de exobispo Gabino Miranda

PERU
RPP

[Summary: At leave 50 parishioners - men and woman - from the parish of San Francisco de Paula are mobilized in the streets of Aycucho in support of former Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Miranda, who ahs been accused of pedophilia. The group, carrying rosaries, are demanding justice for the bishops who ws removed by the Vatican. These people believe the bishop is innocent and that no formal complaints have been made against him at district police stations.]

Al menos 50 feligreses entre varones y mujeres pertenecientes a la parroquia San Francisco de Paula se movilizan por las calles de la ciudad de Ayacucho, en respaldo al exobispo auxiliar acusado de pedofilia, Gabino Miranda.

El grupo de personas portan rosarios y piden justicia para el Miranda, quien fue destruido por el Vaticano. Incluso indican que es inocente de los hechos que se le imputan.

Por lo pronto, no existe ninguna denuncia formal de los agraviados en las comisarías de las provincias.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Ex-Philly priest named by '05 grand jury charged by new accuser; complaints go back decades

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Republic

[Report of the Philadelphia Grand Jury - BishopAccountability.org]

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Priest
September 26, 2013 - 12:40 pm EDT

PHILADELPHIA — A former Philadelphia priest suspected of abusing more than 20 children has been criminally charged after a new accuser came forward.

Seventy-five-year-old Fr. Robert L. Brennan was arrested in Perryville, Maryland, where he'd been living since he was suspended after a 2005 grand jury report.

At the time, prosecutors said it was too late to pursue complaints that went back decades.

But accusers now have more time to pursue charges, and a new accuser says Brennan sexually assaulted him from 1998-2001, starting when he was 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

STATEMENT REGARDING THE ARREST OF REVEREND ROBERT L. BRENNAN

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Robert L. Brennan was removed from active ministry in September 2005 following the Grand Jury report issued by the Philadelphia District Attorney. He has not been permitted to function as a priest anywhere since that time. A canonical process aimed at his laicization is in progress with the Holy See.

His current arrest stems from an allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor reported to the Archdiocese in January 2013. The alleged wrongful conduct occurred between 12 and 15 years ago prior to his removal from ministry. The Archdiocese immediately reported the information to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, and cooperated fully with the subsequent investigation. Since arriving in Philadelphia, Archbishop Chaput has reinforced the Archdiocese's strong commitment to work with law enforcement in ensuring justice for victims of sexual assault. The Archdiocese reports all allegations of sexual abuse of minors to public authorities.

Father Brennan is 75 years old. He was ordained in 1964. He has served at the following parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia: Saint Pius X, Broomall (1964-1970); Our Lady of Calvary, Philadelphia (1970-1974); Stella Maris, Philadelphia (1974-1981); Saint George, Glenolden (1981-1986); Chaplain, Archbishop Prendergast High School, Drexel Hill (1986); Saint Helena, Philadelphia (1986-1988); Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Yardley (1988-1989); Saint Eleanor, Collegeville (1989); Saint Mary Schwenksville (1989-1992); Leave of Absence (1992-1993); Resurrection of Our Lord (1993-2004); Chaplain, Camilla Hall (2004-2005); Ministry Restricted and faculties removed (2005).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

Philadelphia Priest Charged with Rape

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Office of the District Attorney

September 26, 2013: The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has charged the Rev. Robert L. Brennan with Rape, Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (IDSI), and Aggravated Indecent Assault. He is charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in Northeast Philadelphia between 1998 and 2001, beginning when the boy was 11 and continuing until he was 14 years old. Brennan, then 60 to 63 years old, was the assistant pastor at the church. Brennan is accused of digitally penetrating the boy’s anus, beginning when the victim was in 6th grade. He later began forcing the boy to perform oral sex on him. The assaults took place in the sacristy of the church, in the priest’s rectory bedroom, in a storage area on parish property, and in a movie theater. The abuse continued for three years.

Brennan, who now lives in Maryland, was arrested late on Wednesday, September 25th by Perryville Maryland police. He is currently being held in Cecil County and is expected to go before a judge there later today for an extradition hearing.

The victim reported Brennan’s abuse to the Archdiocese in January 2013, six months after a jury convicted Monsignor William Lynn of child endangerment for failing to supervise predatory priests. In accordance with its current policy of reporting all sexual abuse accusations to law enforcement, the Archdiocese immediately forwarded this victim’s allegations to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. The lengthy subsequent investigation resulted in Brennan’s arrest.

“A serial abuser is now behind bars thanks to the brave actions of this young man,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “It takes tremendous courage for any sexual assault victim to come forward and report the horrors he or she endured, particularly if it happened over the course of several years. The Archdiocese is also to be commended for immediately turning this case over to our office. I hope this arrest continues to send the message to sexual assault victims that we hear you, and we will bring the person to justice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

An Ex-Philly Priest Has Been Charged with Sexual Assault

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Philly Post

Simon van Zuylen-Wood

Rev. Robert Brennan, a 75-year-old former Philly priest has been charged with assaulting a altar boy over the course of four years in the late 90s and early 2000s. The alleged abuse began when the boy was 11.

[District Attorney Seth] Williams said the alleged assaults occurred when Brennan was an assistant pastor at Resurrection of Our Lord Church in Northeast Philadelphia. According to Williams, some of the assaults happened on church grounds, Brennan’s bedroom and a movie theater.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Skandal pedofilski na Dominikanie to sprawa także polskiego Kościoła

POLSKA
Gazeta Wyborcza

[Summary: The Polish church believes that if priests hurt someone in the Dominican Republican, then it is up to the individuals and not the church to fix the problem. Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk said there is no collective responsibility in the church. All crimes, where pedophilia or other, are the responsibility of the person who committed those crimes.]

Katarzyna Wiśniewska 26.09.2013

O polskich księżach oskarżonych o pedofilię mówi cały świat. Trudno dziś przekonywać - jak lubi to nadal robić wielu księży - że pedofilia w naszym Kościele to problem marginalny.

Dowiedzieliśmy się znów, jakie podejście do rozwiązywania problemów z pedofilią ma polski Kościół. - Jeżeli ksiądz skrzywdził na Dominikanie kogoś, to jest jego obowiązkiem naprawić tę sprawę, a nie Kościoła w Polsce. Nie ma w Kościele odpowiedzialności zbiorowej, jest indywidualna - stwierdził prymas Polski abp Józef Kowalczyk. Tłumaczył, że "za wszelkie przestępstwa - pedofilskie czy inne - odpowiada podmiot, który tego dokonał, a nie fabryka, wspólnota czy podmiot prawa międzynarodowego".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

PA - SNAP: Three steps to be taken now in Philly

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 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 )

We respectfully disagree with DA Seth Williams. The Philadelphia archdiocese deserves no kudos for reporting this priest to law enforcement. And one incident cannot be deemed some sort of “sea change” in a long-standing, deeply-rooted culture of secrecy, recklessness, callousness and deceit.

Church officials reported Fr. Brennan, we believe, because they didn’t want to go to jail like Msgr. William Lynn has. It’s self-interest, not reform, that prompted this call.

We are disappointed that Catholic officials are being praised for simply, finally, obeying the law.

We caution Mr. Williams and Philadelphia Catholics against premature complacency. Premature complacency protects on one. Only sustained vigilance protects kids.

Here’s what the 2005 grand jury report said about Fr. Brennan:

[BishopAccountability.org]

He was psychologically evaluated or “treated” four times. (NOTE-Archbishop Charles Chaput wants us to believe church officials are ‘reforming.’ But we suspect they still send sexually troubled clerics to the same discredited church facilities they’ve always used.)

Depending on the level of scandal threatened by various incidents, Cardinal Bevilacqua either transferred Fr. Brennan to another parish with unsuspecting families or ignored the reports and left the priest in the parish with his current victims. The Cardinal’s managers advised Fr. Brennan to “keep a low profile,” but never restricted or supervised his access to the youth of his various parishes.

When Cardinal Bevilacqua retired, Fr. Brennan was still a parochial vicar at Resurrection parish in Philadelphia, despite reports from parish staff that he had inappropriate contact with several students from Resurrection’s grade school. In June 2004, Fr. Brennan was appointed Chaplain at Camilla Hall, a retirement home for nuns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Prymas Kowalczyk komentuje sprawę księdza pedofila z Dominikany

POLSKA
Wielkopolskie

[Summary: The cases of Rev. Wojciech Gil and Archbishop Jozet Wesolowski are so shocking that Archbishop Josef Kowalczyk, the Polish primate, said that if the priests harmed someone in the Dominican Republic then action must be taken. He added that the church does not have collective responsibility but the responsibility is with the individuals.]

Dla pedofilów nie powinno być litości. Wszyscy księża zamieszani w tę sprawę powinni ponieść karę. Cała ta afera bulwersuje cały świat - tak w skrócie podsumować można aferę polskich duchownych na Dominikanie.

Całym światem wstrząsnęła wiadomość o pedofilskich skłonnościach księży na Dominikanie. W całą sprawę zamieszani są również polscy duchowni: ks. Wojciech Gil oraz abp Józef Wesołowski.

Ostatnio media żyją informacjami o tym, że badająca tą sprawę prokuratura prawdopodobnie posiada już wypowiedzi pokrzywdzonych chłopców. Nieoficjalne źródła podają również, że na skonfiskowanym komputerze jednego z księży zabezpieczono filmy pornograficzne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Philly priest charged with raping altar boy; D.A. again rips former archdiocese execs

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Daily Times

PHILADELPHIA - A former longtime priest in the Philadelphia Archdiocese has been arrested on charges of raping an altar boy, and District Attorney Seth Williams said it is both a sign of how the church has changed in terms of reporting crime, and another troubling sign of the way the issue used to be handled.

The Rev. Robert L. Brennan, 75 was arrested in Perryville, Md., Wednesday afternoon and faces an extradition hearing Thursday afternoon. Brennan has been living in Maryland since he was suspended following a 2005 grand jury report.

Williams said Brennan has been charged with the rape of an altar while he was an assistant pastor at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in the Rhawnhurst section of Northeast Philadelphia from 1998 to 2001.

“A serial predator is now behind bars thanks to brave actions of this young man,” said Williams.

Williams said the alleged assaults included penetration and oral sex.

The district attorney congratulated current archdiocese officials for immediately notifying authorities when they learned of the allegations against Brennan. Williams also castigated former archdiocese officials, in particular Monsignor William Lynn, for failing to stop Brennan despite clear evidence of a troubling pattern of behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Ex-Philly priest charged amid new abuse complaint

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WFMJ

Updated: Sep 26, 2013
By MARYCLAIRE DALE
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A former Philadelpiha priest suspected of abusing more than 20 children has been criminally charged after a new accuser came forward.

Seventy-five-year-old Fr. Robert L. Brennan has been arrested in Perryville, Md., where he has been living since he was suspended following a 2005 grand jury report.

At the time, prosecutors said it was too late to pursue complaints that went back decades.

But accusers now have more time to pursue charges, and a new accuser says Brennan sexually assaulted him from 1998 to 2001, starting when he was 11.

District Attorney Seth Williams says he would have also charged Monsignor William Lynn with child endangerment for allegedly hiding the earlier complaints, but the statute for that charge had run.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Philly Priest Sexually Abuses Altar Boy for Years: DA

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

[with video]

A Philadelphia priest is accused of sexually molesting an altar boy over a three-year period.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced the arrest Thursday morning of Rev. Robert L Brennan.

"A serial predator is now behind bars thanks to brave actions of this young man," said Williams.

Williams described in graphic detail how Brennan, who was 60 when the alleged attacks began, allegedly penetrated the boy when the boy wasn't even in seventh grade before proceeding to oral sex once the boy entered seventh grade.

The alleged assaults happened inside the church and rectory and off church grounds while Brennan was an assistant pastor at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in the Rhawnhurst section of Northeast Philadelphia from 1998 to 2001.

"The assaults took place in the sarcricy of the church, in REv. Brennan's bedroom, in the rectory, in a storage area on parish property and in a movie theater," said Williams.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Former Philadelphia priest sexually abused altar boy, DA says

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
6 ABC

PHILADELPHIA - September 26, 2013 (WPVI) -- A priest who once served in Philadelphia has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing an altar boy.

Robert L. Brennan, 75, is charged with rape, deviate sexual intercourse and other offenses.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced the arrest Thursday.

Williams said the alleged abuse happened between 1998 and 2001 at the Resurrection of Our Lord Church in Northeast Philadelphia when Brennan was an assistant pastor there.

According to Williams, the alleged abuse began when the victim was 11 years old and continued until he was 14. The victim told prosecutors the incidents took place in the church, in Brennan's bedroom and in a movie theater.

Williams said the victim came forward in January 2013 and reported the incidents to officials at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

He said the archdiocese contacted the district attorney's office that same day to report the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Phila. priest arrested on sex-abuse charges

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

JOSEPH A. SLOBODZIAN AND JOHN P. MARTIN, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
LAST UPDATED: Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Catholic priest whose alleged sexual abuse of teen and preteen boys figured prominently in last year's trial of a Philadelphia church official was arrested Thursday on sex abuse charges.

The arrest of the 75-year-old Rev. Robert Brennan, 75 - confirmed by a source close to the case - is to be announced at a news conference this morning by District Attorney Seth Williams.

Though Brennan was not charged as a result of the 2011 county grand jury report on clergy sex-abuse of children in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the source said Brennan has been accused by a man, now in his 20s, of sexually molesting him between the ages of 11 and 14.

The allegations against Brennan surfaced at last year's trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Catholic church official convicted for his supervisory role in covering up the conduct of pedophile priests.

Prosecutors introduced details of Brennan's case to show that Lynn and other Archdiocesan officials had a longstanding practice of moving abusive priests to different parishes where they were then able to prey on a new group of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Philly Priest Arrested

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

Live stream of the press conference.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is expected to announce details this morning about the arrest of a Philadelphia priest.

An 11 a.m. press conference should reveal more details about the arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

PA - SNAP applauds priest’s arrest & DA’s news conference

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013

Statement by Karen Polesir of Philadelphia SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 267-992-9463, karenpolesir@yahoo.com )

Prosecutors in Philadelphia will announce the arrest of a suspected predator priest at a news conference this morning.

“Discrimination!” “We’re being singled out.” “The DA doesn’t call a news conference to announce the arrest of a child molesting Lutheran pastor or Methodist minister.”

Apologists for Archbishop Charles Chaput and others in the corrupt archdiocesan hierarchy will no doubt make these claims.

Those complaints are, of course, disingenuous. For decades, many in the archdiocese have ignored, enabled and covered up child sex crimes. And little in the archdiocesan hierarchy has changed. So prosecutors are doing their duty when they continue to shine a light on that small band of secretive, self-serving individuals who keep putting their reputations and careers and colleagues ahead of the safety of children.

We applaud prosecutors who use their "bully pulpits" to expose individuals who commit and institutions that conceal heinous child sex crimes. That should happen more often. That’s smart law enforcement. That better protects kids.

It's very hard to deter child sex crimes. It's not hard, however, to deter cover ups. It takes two things: prosecuting and exposing those who cover up child sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

German Cardinal Marx: Vatican must improve its image

GERMANY
National Catholic Reporter

Christa Pongratz-Lippitt | Sep. 26, 2013

Curia reform and how to improve the Vatican's negative image will take priority when Pope Francis' eight-member council of cardinals meets in October, says the German cardinal on that council.

He also says Francis has brought a "new atmosphere" and "new sensitivity" to the church.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich gave an extended interview to the German weekly newsmagazine Die Zeit in September. He discussed the present state of the church and the changes that are crucial in his eyes.

"We need a strong central authority and that is why, as I have already emphasized in Rome, we must improve the Holy See's reputation. The Curia is here to help local churches, which are not just Roman offshoots. We must bring a positive change to the Vatican's image. It must no longer be possible for our faithful to regard the Vatican primarily as something negative. We must once again be able to be proud of our headquarters," said Marx, who is president of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Exobispo de Ayacucho habría tocado a monaguillo de 14 años

PERU
Trome

[Summary: Former Bishop Gabino Miranda apparently was denounced by a 14-year-old boy from Huanta who accused the bishop of improper touching. The alleged victim was an altar boy, according to the magazine Caretas, and the abuse is said to have occurred in 2012 during confession in the church of San Francisco de Paula, which is a block from the Plaza de Huamanga. Garay Chavez, a provincial prosecutor, said he does not know whether there are other victims.]

El exobispo de Ayacucho Gabino Miranda habría sido denunciado por un menor de 14 años oriundo de Huanta por “tocamientos indebidos”.

Según fuentes de la revista Caretas, la presunta víctima era su monaguillo y el abuso ocurrió durante un acto de confesión en la iglesia San Francisco de Paula, a una cuadra de la Plaza de Armas de Huamanga, en 2012.

Luego de que el Vaticano destituyera a Miranda por las acusaciones de pedofilia que pesan en su contra, la Fiscalía de esa región le abrió de oficio una investigación.

El fiscal Garay Chávez, de la Primera Fiscalía Provincial de Huamanga, dijo al semanario que ignora si hay más víctimas de Miranda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Sohn der Haushälterin jahrelang sexuell missbraucht

DEUTSCHLAND
FN Web

WÜRZBURG/KARLSTADT. Tatort war ein Pfarrhaus im Landkreis Main- Spessart, missbraucht worden ist über Jahre hinweg der Sohn einer evangelischen Pfarrers-Frau, die nach der Scheidung mit ihren Kindern bei dem mit ihrem Ex-Mann auf ökumenischer Basis befreundeten katholischen Bekannten Unterschlupf fand und das Opfer war, als ihn der "Ersatz-Vater" zum ersten Mal "anfasste", gerade fünf Jahre alt.

Einen 58 Jahre alten katholischen Priester, Mitglied des "Deutschen Ordens", hat Oberstaatsanwalt Thomas Trapp am Dienstag vor einer Großen Strafkammer des Landgerichts Würzburg wegen sexuellem Missbrauch eines Kindes in mindestens 14 Fällen angeklagt. Der Priester hatte sich über zwölf Jahre nach der letzten Tat bei dem für den Deutschen Orden zuständigen Missbrauchs-Beauftragten selbst angezeigt. Möglicherweise ein taktisches Manöver, denn der Pfarrer soll kurz zuvor erfahren haben, dass auch sein "Opfer" eine Anzeige vorbereitet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

El Obispo Caído: Falla Y Cruz

PERU
Caretas

[Summary: Details about the removal of Auxiliary Bishop Gabina Miranda have not been revealed but sources told Caretas the complaint goes back to June 2012 when a 14-year-old altar boy from Huanta said Gabino improperly touched him. The abuse is said to have happened in the confessional. The Archbishop of Ayacucho, Salvardor Pineiro, who is also president of the Episcopal Conference, immediately opened a case against Miranda in strictest confidence and sent the file to the Vatican. Aware of the complaint, Miranda in April wrote a letter to Pope Francis asking for a sabbatical to reflect on imprudence. The Vatican ignored him and he was gone by early August. Prosecutor Garay Chavez said he does not know if there are more victims but it is believed another complaint was made by a 15-year-old.

Miranda was born in the Curahuasi district in Apurimac and studied at the minor seminary at Abancay. His education was clearly linked to Opus Dei at the major seminary at Our Lady of Cocharcas. He was ordained on Dec. 12, 1987 and he studied theology at the University of Navarre in Spain. He was appointed bishop in 2002 by Pope John Paul II at request of Juan Luis Cipriani, cardinal and Archbishop of Lima. Opus Dei said Miranda is not a bishop of the prelature but belonged to the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross which is separate from the prelature.]

Contra Sextum. Con los vientos que hoy soplan en el Vaticano, este concepto de derecho canónico es uno de los más temidos. Son los delitos que van contra el sexto mandamiento (“No cometerás adulterio”).

Se refieren en primer lugar, al concubinato del clérigo. Pero también a “cualquier forma de pecado externo” que “se comete por fuerza, amenaza, públicamente o con menores de 16 años” (canon 1396).

En carta del 1 de julio dada a conocer por la prensa, el obispo titular de Usula –y auxiliar de Ayacucho–, Gabino Miranda (53), niega haber cometido delito contra sextum a pesar de que “en algunas circunstancias he sido imprudente”.

La misiva se la dirige a monseñor Aloisius Franciscus Ladaria, el número dos de la Congregación Para la Doctrina de la Fe que en mayo pasado decidió en Roma su retiro del cargo y su suspensión como obispo y sacerdote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

D.A.: Philadelphia priest arrested

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

PHILLY.COM STAFF
LAST UPDATED: Thursday, September 26, 2013

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced this morning that a priest from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been arrested.

Williams did not release further information, but set an 11 a.m. press conference.

Fox29 is reporting that the yet unidentified priest is accused of molesting a 6th grader. However, that was not officially confirmed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

DA: Philly Priest Arrested, Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Student

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia priest has been arrested after being accused of sexually assaulting a grade school student.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is expected to announce the charges during a news conference at 11 a.m. today.

The details regarding the alleged sexual assault remain unclear, but the priest is in police custody. His identity was not immediately released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Philly Priest Arrested

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

By Dan Stamm | Thursday, Sep 26, 2013

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is expected to announce details this morning about the arrest of a Philadelphia priest.

An 11 a.m. press conference should reveal more details about the arrest.

All that is known at this point is that a priest in the Philadelphia Archdiocese was arrested.

NBC!0 is working to find out the identity of the priest and the accusations against the Catholic leader.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Bishop Deposed in Church Lawsuits: Gallup Diocese Has Yet to File Bankruptcy Petition

GALLUP (NM)
Gallup Independent

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola

September 19, 2013

After a last-ditch legal maneuver was denied by an Arizona judge, Bishop James S. Wall of the Diocese of Gallup submitted to a deposition Wednesday by two attorneys who have filed 13 clergy abuse lawsuits against the diocese.

Wall’s deposition was held in Albuquerque and was accompanied by the deposition of the Rev. Alfred Tachias, a longtime Gallup priest. The depositions took place as scheduled because the diocese has yet to file its Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition, a move that will halt the proceedings in the civil lawsuits.

However, at least for the time being, the contents of Wednesday’s depositions are confidential, over the objection of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Robert E. Pastor of Phoenix and John C. Manly of Irvine, Calif.

“Bishop Wall and Father Tachias gave statements under oath today,” Pastor said in an email Wednesday evening. “We are not permitted to discuss the content of their testimony because at the outset of the deposition the Diocese of Gallup designated the testimony confidential. We noted our objection and found it odd that the Diocese would make the testimony confidential before the witnesses even testified. We hope that one day all of the facts surrounding clergy sexual abuse of children in the Diocese of Gallup will be shared with the faithful Catholics of the diocese.”

The depositions were scheduled as part of Pastor and Manly’s first clergy sex abuse case against the Gallup Diocese, which is scheduled to go to trial in February in Coconino County Superior Court in Flagstaff, Ariz. The case involves abuse allegations against the Rev. Clement Hageman, who is deceased. Tachias formerly worked as an assistant pastor under Hageman.

Last-minute motion

In Masses held over the Labor Day Weekend, priests in the Gallup Diocese read a letter from the bishop, announcing plans to seek Chapter 11 reorganization because of increasing numbers of clergy sex abuse lawsuits and claims. [For texts of the letter and related civil complaints, see Diocese of Gallup to File Bankruptcy, by Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola, Gallup Independent, September 3, 2013.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:50 AM

Yeshiva University past president may be excused from testifying in $380 million sex abuse lawsuit

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY DANIEL BEEKMAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2013

The former president of Yeshiva University has a doctor’s note that could excuse him from testifying in the shocking $380 million sex abuse lawsuit against the Washington Heights institution.

Norman Lamm, a longtime Yeshiva administrator named as a defendant in the federal case, has a “cognitive impairment” that makes him an unreliable witness, a brain expert determined earlier this month, Lamm’s lawyer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Ex-Yeshiva U. head could get a pass in sex suit

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Rich Calder
September 25, 2013

One of the defendants in a scathing $380 million lawsuit accusing Yeshiva University of covering up decades of sexual and physical abuse against students now has a doctor’s note that could get him out of testifying in the case.

Former Yeshiva University Chancellor Norman Lamm, 85, was examined on Sept. 16 by neuropsychologist Elise Caccappolo of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, who found that he can’t provide reliable testimony, Lamm’s lawyer wrote this week.

“Dr. Caccappolo found that a deposition was unlikely to pose a risk or threat to Dr. Lamm’s health,” lawyer Joel Cohen wrote Judge John Koetl on Tuesday.

“However, after administering a battery of tests conducted over a period of nearly five hours, Dr. Caccopolo determined [in her written report] that ‘the pattern of Dr. Lamm’s cognitive impairment impedes his ability to independently comprehend and adequately respond to questions posed to him, as well to reliably retrieve and report past information.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Paus excommuniceert priester...

AUSTRALIE
Trouw

Paus excommuniceert priester die pleit voor homo's en vrouwen

Een Australische priester die campagne voerde voor de priesterwijding van vrouwen en het homohuwelijk moet de rooms-katholieke kerk verlaten. Het Vaticaan heeft hem geëxcommuniceerd.

Dat melden de Australische krant The Age en het katholieke tijdschrift National Catholic Reporter (NCR). Volgens de brief die de priester uit Rome ontving, is de beslissing genomen door of namens paus Franciscus.

Greg Reynolds uit Melbourne kreeg naar eigen zeggen niet te horen wat de reden is van zijn excommunicatie, de meest drastische maatregel die het Vaticaan kan nemen. De aartsbisschop van Melbourne legt de schuld in een brief aan zijn priesters bij Reynolds' pleidooien voor vrouwelijke priesterwijding en het feit dat hij onbevoegd de eucharistie (het ritueel van brood en wijn) viert. Daarmee gaat hij, ondanks enkele waarschuweingen, in tegen de kerkleer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Franciscus' uitspraken zijn niet revolutionair

NEDERLAND
Trouw

UPDATE In een donderdag gepubliceerd interview neemt paus Franciscus het op voor homo's en geeft hij scherpe kritiek op de kerk. Toch is hij volgens Vaticaankenners niet radicaal.

Heeft u het 27 pagina's tellende interview nog niet gelezen? Geen nood. De opmerkelijke uitspraken vindt u hier.

Vaticaankenner John Allen: Franciscus wijkt niet af van de kerkleer
'Franciscus geeft naar eigen zeggen slechts een samenvatting van de rooms-katholieke catechismus (de kerkelijke leer, red.) Daarin staat dat de kerk homoseksuele handelingen afkeurt, maar dat homoseksuelen behandeld moeten worden met 'respect, compassie en gevoeligheid'.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

La Iglesia peruana guarda silencio sobre la expulsión de un obispo pederasta

PERU
El Pais (Espana)

[Summary: Last Thursday, Diego Garcia Sayan, president of the inter-American human rights court, said that a bishop in an Andean jurisdiction was removed from office because of pedophilia. Hours later, Luis Bambaren, bishop emeritus, confirmed that it was Gabino Miranda, former auxiliary bishop of Ayacucho. However, the Peruvian Episcopal Conference is still silent on the case although Miranda was dismissed in May. This is the first expulsion in Peru under the new papal regulations which are more drastic when sexual abuse of minors is alleged. Juan Luis Cipriani, archbishop of Lima, said Saturday he was unaware of the case and asked that people "do not beat a dead horse." Garcia Syan also said that MIranda and Cipriani were members of the Opus Dei prelature.]

El jueves pasado, Diego García Sayán, presidente de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, comentó en su columna quincena que un obispo de una jurisdicción andina fue destituido de su cargo por pedofilia. Horas después, el obispo emérito de Chimbote, Luis Bambarén, confirmó que se trataba de Gabino Miranda, antiguo obispo auxiliar de Ayacucho. Ambos pidieron que el Ministerio Público investigara de oficio, lo cual se concretó. Sin embargo, la Conferencia Episcopal Peruana aún guarda silencio sobre el caso a pesar de que Miranda fue cesado en mayo. Se trata de la primera expulsión por este motivo en Perú, y bajo el nuevo reglamento papal, más drástico sobre actos sexuales contra menores.

El arzobispo de Lima, Juan Luis Cipriani, dijo el sábado pasado que no estaba enterado del caso y pidió “no hacer leña del árbol caído”. "Estando en Roma, no me resulta fácil interpretar los datos tan delicados que me están anunciando", dijo a una radio peruana. García Sayán también comentó que el sacerdote cesado pertenecía al Opus Dei, prelatura de la que Cipriani es miembro, pero el jerarca lo negó. "Conozco bastante bien la situación de este sacerdote y obispo, que tiene una dirección espiritual y una cercanía en la espiritualidad libremente escogida con gente el Opus Dei, pero no es un sacerdote incardinado en el Opus Dei", refirió. Hoy, el periodista Andrés Beltramo confirma en Vatican Insider que el obispo Miranda perteneció a la Sociedad Sacerdotal de la Santa Cruz, “una fraternidad que es parte de la prelatura”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Crónica de la apatía de Juan Luis Cipriani

PERU
Tuteve

[con video]

A raíz de lo acontecido por la denuncia contra exobispo auxiliar de Ayacucho, Gabino Miranda, por pedofilia, el Arzobispo de Lima, Juan Luis Cipriani, más allá de mostrar su preocupación por las presuntas víctimas, se solidarizó con el religioso.

Tal como señala el informe del programa "Al Día", Cipriani dejó dudas si tenía conocimiento o no de este hecho, sobre todo porque el desaforado obispo es un miembro cercano al Opus Dei.

Por su parte, José Godoy, periodista especializado en temas religioso, manifiesta que la máxima autoridad del catolicismo en el Perú con el tema de derechos humanos ha sido "accidentado" y "conflictivo".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Homosexuales argentinos acusan complicidad vaticana con los curas pedófilos

ARGENTINA
UPI

BUENOS AIRES, sep. 25 (UPI) -- César Cigliutti Presidente de la CHA dijo que "La detención del sacerdote Julio César Grassi nos permite confiar un poco más en la justicia ya que termina con la impunidad de los delitos de abuso de menores.

En la Comunidad Homosexual Argentina como organización de Derechos Humanos trabajamos para proteger, en este caso, a los niños abusados. Las actuales "dudas" planteadas públicamente hoy por el obispado de Morón ratifican la denuncia de la CHA sobre la complicidad que tuvieron sistemáticamente los obispos frente a las denuncias de abusos a menores.

Lo menos que pueden hacer es guardar un respetable silencio y lo que se espera (que hagan en algún momento) es que condenen y repudien estos actos y que protejan a las víctimas, respetando lo resuelto por la justicia argentina. Los testimonios, las pruebas presentadas durante el proceso, más la actitud del propio acusado hacen que el juico tenga sobrados elementos (más que suficientes) para haber determinado la culpabilidad de Grassi. Lo que agrava la persistencia de los obispos por seguir encubriéndolo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Iglesia Católica de Argentina ...

ARGENTINA
UPI

[Summary: Three convictions of sexual abuse were not enough to convince the church that priest Julio Cesar Grassi was guilty, according to newspaper Clarin. The Moron bishopric expressed doubts about his guilt and even questioned the flight risk that Grassi posed which was an argument the prosecutor made to the judges. Last Thursday, a few hours after the Supreme Court upheld Grassi's conviction, Bishop Marcelo Cuenca became the first senior member of the church to defend him and say he was totally innocent. He later confirmed his statements. The bishop said although pedophilia exists in the church, it does not so in this situation.]

Publicado: sep. 26, 2013

BUENOS AIRES, sep. 25 (UPI) -- Tres fallos condenatorios por abuso sexual no alcanzaron a convencer a la Iglesia de la culpabilidad del acusado, el antes mediático cura Julio César Grassi, consignó el diario Clarín.

El obispado de Morón –al que pertenece Grassi– expresó sus "dudas" acerca de la culpabilidad del sacerdote. Fue a través de un comunicado difundido al día siguiente de que un tribunal dispusiera, finalmente, su encarcelamiento. E incluso también se puso en duda el "peligro de fuga" de Grassi, un concepto que formó parte de los argumentos de los jueces que lo enviaron a la cárcel.

El jueves pasado, a escasas horas de que la Suprema Corte de Justicia confirmara la condena a Julio César Grassi, el obispo de la diócesis del Alto Valle de Río Negro, Marcelo Cuenca, se convirtió en el primer integrante de alto rango de la Iglesia en defender a Grassi. "Es totalmente inocente", afirmó en declaraciones periodísticas. Más tarde, Cuenca le confirmó sus dichos al tabloide. "La pedofilia existe dentro de la Iglesia, pero en este caso concreto es una situación armada. Nos han enviado resúmenes gruesos, tres volúmenes, con argumentos legales. Ahí se nos muestra que hay algunas de las acusaciones en contra del padre Grassi que están armadas", señaló al diario.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Anglican Church-run orphanage to be examined by Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

MARK COLVIN: The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse is preparing to turn its attention to the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore. Public hearings set down for November will examine how the Anglican diocese of Grafton, which ran the home, handled complaints of abuse. It will also revisit the civil legal action of 2006 and 2007.

Leading the charge against the church is one survivor, Richard "Tommy" Campion, who was in the Lismore home between the 1940s and '60s. He launched the campaign to have the Anglican Church admit that it had a legal duty of care for the orphans who were sexually and physically abused in the home. He's now hoping the Royal Commission will lead to public apologies to individual victims and compensation.

Emily Bourke reports.

EMILY BOURKE: Richard "Tommy" Campion lived in the North Coast Children's Home from the late 1940s to 1963.

RICHARD "TOMMY" CAMPION: I can say it was a hellhole. Brutal bashings. Children were flogged with broomsticks, canes, pony whips, belts. Children were locked in cupboards. Children were made to stand on one leg and if they did fall over they'd be belted and flogged.

If the child wee'd the bed, they were paraded in the dormitory with the sheets over their head, telling this would be a lesson to you guys if you do this. And then they had to go out to the back into the laundry and wash them, and some of the children couldn't reach the tubs. It was pretty sad.

EMILY BOURKE: When the trauma of the abuse surfaced decades later, he approached the Anglican Church which ran the Lismore orphanage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Benedict breaks silence, but does that help?

VATICAN CITY
All Voices

BY Mike Sarzo

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI broke a months-long silence Tuesday kept since he left the papacy back in February in order to defend the Catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse scandals that has roiled the world community for years.

In a letter he wrote to well-known Italian atheist and author Piergiorgio Odifreddi, Benedict denied personal responsibility for the scandal surrounding a potential cover up of wrongdoing by priests.
“I never tried to cover these things up,” Benedict wrote. Regarding the scandal and the negative press the church faced as a result, the former pontiff said the church had to bear responsibility.

“That the power of evil penetrated so far into the interior world of the faith is a suffering that we must bear, but at the same time, we must do everything to prevent it from repeating,” he wrote.

However, instead of citing new ways in which the church could own up to and combat the abuses and strive to prevent such abuses in the future, Benedict copped out.

“The percentage of priests who commit these crimes isn’t any higher than the percentage of other similar professions,” Benedict wrote. “One shouldn’t present this deviation as if it were something specific to Catholicism.”

That misses the point, which is the church has rightly received intense scrutiny for abdicating its responsibility in rooting out and stopping the abuse.

Before he was pope, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger led the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and was responsible for handling abuse cases. In that role during 2001, he instructed bishops to send cases to his office rather than allow them to reshuffle priests accused of sexual abuse to avoid church trials. In 1988, he asked the Vatican’s legal team for faster ways to remove priests accused of abuse but was denied because it didn’t allow the priests to defend themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Church just as repulsed as others

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

Difficulty coming to terms with allegations of child sex abuse prevented Catholic Church officials reporting pedophile priests, a NSW inquiry has heard.

Barrister Lachlan Gyles says it was not the culture of the Church that held senior figures back, but their problems in grasping the nature of what was alleged.

“It was not a cultural disinclination to report,” Mr Gyles told the last day of the special commission of inquiry’s public hearings in the Newcastle Supreme Court.

“It was coming to terms (with the fact) that people were capable of doing the things that they were alleged to have done.”

Mr Gyles said church leaders were just as repulsed by child sexual abuse as other people in the community and were now doing all they could to ensure that the offences of the past were not repeated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

September 25, 2013

Priest Accused Of Sexual Harassment

SOUTH DAKOTA
Keloland

[with video]

ABERDEEN, SD - A priest working as a chaplain in Aberdeen has lost his job after allegations of sexual harassment.

Charles Emezie was a chaplain at an Avera hospital and nursing home. Emezie no longer works for Avera and can't practice ministry in the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls either.

Emezie worked more than 18 years as a chaplain for Avera in Aberdeen. When word spread that he'd lost his job after sexual harassment allegations, Nicholas Berens was surprised.

"I think everybody is equal and the same measures should be taken no matter what, but I would expect more out of a clergyman," Berens said.

Because it's a personnel matter, administrators with Avera say they can't comment beyond saying Emezie doesn't work for Avera any longer and he didn't hurt any patients in the hospital or residents in the nursing home.

According to a statement released by the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, an investigation found that reports that Emezie sexually harassed adult female staff members have been found credible. The Diocese also says Emezie's conduct violated its sexual misconduct policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Former Pembroke priest found guilty on child sex charges

GEORGIA
Coastal Courier

A Catholic priest, who once worked in Pembroke, was found guilty last week of criminal child sex abuse in U.S. Federal Court in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Father Robert “Bob” Poandl was found guilty of federal child sex charges that he transported a 10-year-old boy from Cincinnati to Spencer, W.Va., in August 1991 where he sexually assaulted the child.
He is expected to be sentenced by the end of the year.

In addition to Pembroke, Poandl also worked six other Georgia towns: Blairsville, Dahlonga, Cleveland, Glenville, Claxton and Sand Hill.

Poandl belongs to a Fairfield, Ohio-based Catholic religious order called the Glenmary Missioners. Besides Georgia, he worked at churches and church assignments in Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi.

“We believe there are more victims of Poandl, and it’s never too late to share what you know or suspect with law enforcement officials,” Judy Jones of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 PM

Diocese reminds parishioners of sex abuse hotline

GEORGIA
Statesboro Herald

BY Jason Wermers
jwermers@statesboroherald.com 912-489-9431

In the wake of a former Catholic priest who used to work in southeast Georgia being found guilty on a child sex abuse charge, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah is reminding parishioners of its sexual abuse hotline.

Robert Poandl, 72, was found guilty Friday by an Ohio jury of transporting a minor across state lines with intent to engage in sexual activity.

Poandl, also known as "Father Bob," took a 10-year-old Cincinnati boy to West Virginia on an overnight trip in 1991. The victim reported the incident in 2009, saying that during the trip to a rectory, Poandl awakened him to have sex, then said they had just sinned and needed to pray for forgiveness, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Poandl will be sentenced at a later date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Pa. lawmakers push for extending statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot-News

By Jan Murphy | jmurphy@pennlive.com
on September 25, 2013

Rep. Mark Rozzi came to the state Capitol on Wednesday to talk about justice for child abuse victims after a restless night of repeatedly re-living the nightmare of sexual abuse he suffered as a boy at the hands of a Catholic priest.

The 42-year-old Berks County Democrat said he would like to close that chapter of his life that he was unable to talk publicly about until four years ago but until he feels justice is served, he can’t.

Pennsylvania allows child sex abuse victims until age 30 to bring civil claims against their abusers.

Unfortunately, he said victims operate on their own time schedule as to when they are ready to open up about the abuse they experienced. Oftentimes, he said it is not until they aged out of the opportunity to seek justice through civil litigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Govt receives 540 applications for Magdalene Laundries payments

IRELAND
RTE News

The first lump sum payments to survivors of the Magdalene Laundries are expected to be issued within four to six weeks of forthcoming Cabinet consideration of the matter.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter made the announcement in the Dáil this afternoon.

The Government approved the immediate implementation of cash lump sum payment scheme based on duration of stay in laundries, as recommended by Mr Justice John Quirke, on 25 June.

It also tasked an inter-departmental group with giving further detailed consideration to the steps necessary to implement the recommendations made by Judge Quirke.

Minister Shatter said he has already established a special unit to process applications and to determine whether an applicant resided and worked in an institution covered by the scheme and the duration of their stay, as well as the calculation of the capital sum due to be paid to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Monseñor Quispe: “En Ayacucho no se sabe de qué acusan a Gabino Miranda”

PERU
Peru 21

[Summary: Monsignor Percy Quispe, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Ayacucho, said they do not know the details about the accusations made against former Bishop Gabino Miranda who was removed by the Vatican after being accused of pedophilia. He believes the complaint might have gone directly to the Vatican.]

El monseñor Percy Quispe, canciller de la Arquidiócesis de Ayacucho, manifestó que en dicha ciudad no saben de qué se le acusa al exobispo auxiliar Gabino Miranda, quien fue destituido de su cargo por el Vaticano, tras ser acusado por pedofilia.

“Me da mucha pena el caso de (Gabino) Miranda; sin embargo, aquí en Ayacucho no hubo ningún tipo de denuncia en las instancias judiciales por pedofilia”, indicó el religioso, quien dijo que Miranda Melgarejo no se comunica con ellos para explicar sus razones por temor a que sea víctima de interceptaciones telefónicas.

En una carta, con fecha del 1 de julio de 2013, el exsacerdote reconoce que “en algunas circunstancias he sido imprudente”, pero asegura que esas “supuestas faltas no pueden ser tipificadas de delito contra sextum (sexto mandamiento)”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

El Vaticano podría echar al Padre Grassi del clérigo de la iglesia

ARGENTINA
Nuevo Diario

BUENOS AIRES.- El Padre Grassi, condenado a 15 años de prisión efectiva por el delito de abuso sexual y corrupción de menores, se encuentra en una situación difícil con la iglesia. Se encuentra suspendido como sacerdote y no puede ejercer misa en público. El mismo s e enfrentará a un juicio canónico, que consiste en que su congregación lo juzgue. En caso de que se lo encuentre culpable, pierde su condición de clérigo.

El rector de la Catedral Metropolitana, Alejandro Russo, sostuvo que el padre Julio César Grassi podría ser exonerado luego de ser condenado por abuso sexual.

"El Vaticano puede echarlo como clérigo de la Iglesia pero tiene que haber un juicio canónico previo", explicó en declaraciones a "Hola Chiche" por Radio 10. Russo aclaró que "sacerdote no deja de ser nunca, quien se ordena sacerdote muere sacerdote".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

Defending Papa Benedict

Standing on My Head

September 24, 2013 By Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Pope Benedict has broken his self imposed silence to defend his record against attacks that he did not do enough to expose child molesting priests. London’s Daily Telegraph reports on the Pope Emeritus’ dialogue with a leading atheist about this issue here.

The critics have jumped in with unfounded accusations that he never exposed a pedophile priest. They don’t know how the Church works. It was never his job to be a one man pedophile police force. Within his area of authority Benedict did everything he could to root out the evil, but too often the diocesan authorities themselves obstructed and hid what was going on.

Nevertheless, the rot still goes on. This week a priest in Pennsylvania was charged with molesting a teenaged boy he met through Craigslist and the news reports about Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer in Minnesota make for depressing reading. The Vicar General in particular seems to be a classic case of an ignorant, arrogant, incompetent churchman of the highest order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

New archdiocese co-leader Bernard Hebda makes Hoboken his first visit

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

By Charles Hack/The Jersey Journal
on September 25, 2013

Just after it was announced that he appointed as coadjutor the New Jersey's largest diocese yesterday morning, Archbishop Bernard Hebda headed to a Hoboken church with Archbishop John J. Myers in the afternoon to make his first parish visit.

There the two archbishops met with Hebda's old friend and fellow alumni of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Italy, The Rev. Robert S. Meyer, pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church at Hudson and Fourth streets.

Yesterday morning it was announced that Hebda would Myers in running the state's largest diocese and eventually take over.

"I'm honored that he came here as his first parish visit," Meyer said yesterday after the visit, adding that Hebda promised to return in November. "I believe that Archbishop Myers suggested that Hoboken is a great, vibrant and active community of faith."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Update: Fired chaplain worked only at Avera St. Luke's, Mother Joseph Manor

SOUTH DAKOTA
Aberdeen News

By Jeff Bahr, jbahr@aberdeennews.com
12:56 p.m. CDT, September 25, 2013

The Rev. Charles Emezie, who has been terminated from his work at two Aberdeen institutions, did not work for any parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, says diocese director of communications Jerry Klein.

Emezie, 59, was employed as chaplain at Avera St. Luke's Hospital and Avera Mother Joseph Manor in Aberdeen for more than 18 years. Emezie is a priest of the Diocese of Orlu in Nigeria.

The Diocese of Sioux Falls announced Tuesday that Emezie has been terminated from his chaplaincy employment by the Avera administration. According to the press release, “Recent allegations of sexual harassment of adult female staff members have been found credible.”

Klein said Wednesday that he believes Emezie's only employment within the diocese was at Avera St. Luke’s and Mother Joseph Manor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Persiste el hermetismo en la Conferencia Episcopal por caso del ex obispo Gabino

PERU
La Republica

[Summary: The Peruvian Episcopal Conference is still maintaining some secrecy about the case of former bishop Gabino Miranda of Ayacucho who was expelled from the church by Pope Francis for engaging in pedophilia. Church sources explained only Archbishop Salvador Pineiro, also titutal Bishop of Ayacucho, should answer inquiries he he is abroad and not expected back until Saturday.]

A pesar de los días transcurridos, la Conferencia Episcopal Peruana (CEP) mantiene cierto hermetismo sobre el caso del ex obispo de Ayacucho Gabino Miranda, quien fue expulsado de la Iglesia Católica por el papa Francisco por haber incurrido en pedofilia.

Fuentes de la Iglesia Católica explicaron que solo el presidente de la CEP, monseñor Salvador Piñeiro, por ser también obispo titular de Ayacucho, es quien debe absolver las consultas de este caso pero se encuentra en el extranjero y su retorno está programado recién para este sábado.

Benedicto aclara

De otro lado, el papa emérito Benedicto XVI, a través de una carta al escritor Piergiorgio Odifreddi, señaló que nunca trató de encubrir el abuso de niños cometidos por miembros de la Iglesia Católica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Ayacucho: Convocan a marcha a favor de exobispo acusado de pedofilia

PERU
RPP

[Summary: Parishioners of San Francisco de Paula in Ayachurcho have called for a march on Thursday for former Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Miranda, who is accused of pedophilia. For a fifth consecutive day, a Mass and vigil has been held for the bishop. Javier Gonzales, who heads the senior prosecutors board for the judicial district, said so far no complaints have been lodged against the bishop with police stations in the region.]

Feligreses de la parroquia San Francisco de Paula en Ayacucho han convocado para este jueves a una marcha en favor al exobispo auxiliar Gabino Miranda, acusado por pedofilia.

Del mismo modo y por quinto día consecutivo, hoy miércoles por la noche realizarán una misa y vigilia en apoyo al exparroco destituido.

Por lo pronto, según el presidente de la Junta de Fiscales Superiores del distrito judicial de Ayacucho, Sosino Javier Gonzáles Torres, no existe hasta el momento denuncias de los supuestos agraviados en las comisarías de la región y tampoco se tiene mayor información del tema que la proporcionada por la prensa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Hopes for church reform rest on Pope Francis' gang of eight

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Sep. 25, 2013

ANALYSIS
Great hopes have been placed in the eight cardinals who will arrive in Rome next week to advise the pope. Pope Francis appointed these cardinals, all but one from outside of Rome, to help him come up with a plan to reform the Vatican. Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston is the only American on the committee.

What can we expect from these cardinals, who will meet Oct. 1-3? Will it be just another Vatican meeting that accomplishes little, or will it move the church toward real reform? How can we judge whether the meeting is a success?

The typical meeting in Rome occurs behind closed doors and consists of long speeches by curial officials or their favorite "experts" with little time for discussion or questions. At the end of the meeting, a press release is issued full of quotes from church documents, pious generalizations, and assertions about how fruitful the meeting was.

I doubt Francis will put up with that standard practice. He has the typical Jesuit impatience with long, meaningless meetings. Nor does he consider meetings helpful if all they do is produce documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

“Bergoglio’s List”:How Francis saved dissidents from Argentina’s military dictatorship

ROME
Vatican Insider

“La lista di Bergoglio” written by journalist Nello Scavo and currently only out in Italian, tells the never-told-before stories of men and women who were secretly helped by the Pope during Argentina’s dictatorship years

GIANNI VALENTE
ROME

Many of Bergoglio’s friends couldn’t make any sense out of it: “Why doesn’t he respond? Why doesn’t he tell everyone the truth so all these lies can stop?” Fr. José Maria “Pepe” di Paola kept on asking. Fr. Pepe coordinates priests in the villas miserias, Buenos Aires’ slums. The priest was referring to the slanderous comments a left-wing journalist had been making against Bergoglio for years, to the immense joy of ultra-right wing movements. The journalist accused him of collaborating with the military dictatorship and facilitating the arrest of two fellow Jesuits Francisco Jalics and Orlando Yorio, who were in turn accused of being subversive “communists”.

No sooner had Bergoglio been elected Pope on 13 March than blogs and newspapers started firing accusations at him, in a hungry attempt to find embarrassing material on Peter’s successor. On the very evening of Francis’ election, Nello Scavo, a journalist for Italian Catholic daily Avvenire started looking into the stories circulating on the web about the Pope having allegedly complicit with the Argentinian dictatorship. Scavo had no premeditated theories to prove and no hagiographical intentions. As a journalist whop focused on legal and judicial issues, he knew that if he could prove the accusations against the newly elected Pope were true, he would be in for a huge scoop. He also knew that an honest reconstruction of the facts leaves no room for censorship and prejudices.

It was on that special evening that Scavo began the long investigation described in his book “La Lista di Bergoglio salvati da Francesco durante la dittatura”(“Bergoglio's List: Those Saved by Pope Francis; Stories Never Told”), published in Italian only by missionary publishing house Emi. The book which has been written in the style of an interview is out in bookstores tomorrow. The fast-paced text includes an appendix with a transcript of the 2010 testimony Bergoglio gave during a nearly four-hour court interrogation on the crimes committed in the Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA) the Navy School of Mechanics that operated during Argentina’s military dictatorship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Church slow to understand: lawyer

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By MICHELLE HARRIS Sept. 25, 201

THE Maitland-Newcastle diocese of the Catholic Church did not have a culture against reporting allegations of child sex abuse to police, a barrister told the last public hearing of the Special Commission of Inquiry in Newcastle yesterday.

Rather, the diocese was ‘‘coming to terms [with the fact] that people were capable of doing the things that they were alleged to have done’’.

That had been the challenge for Church officials over recent decades, the diocese’s barrister, Lachlan Gyles SC, told the hearing.

The inquiry has heard evidence – both public and private – over several months relating to the Church’s handling of allegations involving paedophile priests Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher.

The inquiry was established after Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox alleged a Church cover-up of abuse and criticised police handling of investigations.

The public part of the inquiry concluded yesterday, with Mr Gyles urging Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC not to make adverse findings against the diocese because officials had acted in line with the wishes of victims, who did not want to report priests to the police. He said it would be ‘‘unfair’’ to construe the diocese was ‘‘hiding behind’’ victims, and the commission should be wary of finding ‘‘scapegoats’’ for terrible events.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Polonia pide detalles de indagatoria a religiosos

POLONIA
Metro

VARSOVIA, Polonia (AP) — Las autoridades polacas solicitaron a la República Dominicana detalles de la investigación por abuso sexual a menores por parte de dos sacerdotes polacos, uno de los cuales era el enviado del Vaticano a esa nación, se informó el miércoles.

El caso del enviado probablemente pondrá a prueba la disposición de la Santa Sede a asumir sus responsabilidades legales en vista de las acusaciones dirigidas contra uno de sus propias filas. El Vaticano ha llamado de regreso al enviado, arzobispo Jozef Wesolowski, y lo ha relevado de su cargo como nuncio apostólico. Agregó que cooperaba con la investigación dominicana pero no reveló el paradero del acusado.

El procurador general polaco escribió a las autoridades dominicanas solicitando detalles de su investigación y preguntando si había evidencias de mal comportamiento en Polonia, afirmó un vocero de la fiscalía, Mateusz Martyniuk. Explicó que sin esa información su país no puede efectuar una investigación propia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

W „Newsweeku”: Pedofil ważniejszy niż Bóg. Reportaż z Dominikany

POLSKA
Newsweek

Wśród biedy, z dala od ludzi, w piekielnym tropiku łatwo uwierzyć, że jest się poza dobrem i złem. Jako wysłannik Kościoła i postępu możesz być jak bóg.

Nasz dziennikarz Wojciech Cieśla pojechał do Dominikany, żeby się dowiedzieć, o co chodzi w historii oskarżonych o pedofilię księży - abp Józefa Wesołowskiego, byłego nuncjusza papieskiego oraz ojca Wojciecha Gila z zakonu michalitów. Relacja z jego wyprawy ukaże się w najnowszym „Newsweeku”. Poniżej publikujemy jej fragment.

Bolîvar R. Sánchez Veloz z prokuratury generalnej poprawia szarą marynarkę: – No więc najpierw chodzili za nimi dziennikarze. Nie wiem jak, ale informacje o tym, że telewizja kręci się wokół nuncjusza, trafiły do kardynała Lópeza Rodrigueza, arcybiskupa Santo Domingo. Latem ktoś od kardynała sprawdzał, czy mieliśmy jakieś postępowanie w sprawie nuncjusza. Dziś rozumiem, że Kościół robił własne śledztwo

– Nie prowadzę śledztw zza biurka – mówi Bolîar R. Sánchez Veloz. Po programie Nurii [dziennikarki, która jako pierwsza opisała sprawę nuncjusza Wesołowskiego – red.] pojechałem pod pomnik księdza Antonia Montesinosa. Szybko znalazłem tych chłopaków. O nuncjuszu już wiedzieli wszyscy. Opowiedzieli o jego jeepie. I o tym, że przychodził codziennie. Pytam kwiaciarza – też z nim byłeś? – Nie, nie. Ale kiedy koło nas przeszedł chłopak, sprzedawca kwiatów krzyknął: – To on, La Biblia, on był z tym księdzem!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Polski ksiądz kolekcjonował zdjęcia i filmy pornograficzne

POLSKA
WP

Skandal pedofilski wśród księży na Dominikanie zatacza coraz szersze kręgi. Dominikańskie władze kościelne twierdzą, że to największy skandal w Kościele Katolickim w tym kraju. W komputerze ks. Wojciecha Gila znaleziono treści pornograficzne, prawdopodobnie z udziałem chłopców - podaje TVN24. O pedofilię podejrzany jest też abp Józef Wesołowski. Jak podają lokalne media, miał być w związku z księdzem Javierem Reyesem.

Jak nieoficjalnie podaje TVN24, powołując się na lokalne media, w kościelnym komputerze ks. Gila znaleziono 87 tys. zdjęć i filmów pornograficznych, prawdopodobnie z udziałem chłopców. Ks. Gil, który również został zawieszony i usłyszał zarzuty, nie wiadomo jednak, gdzie przebywa. Przez sąd w Santiago uznany został za zbiega.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Polski ksiądz kolekcjonował zdjęcia i filmy pornograficzne

POLSKA
WP

Skandal pedofilski wśród księży na Dominikanie zatacza coraz szersze kręgi. Dominikańskie władze kościelne twierdzą, że to największy skandal w Kościele Katolickim w tym kraju. W komputerze ks. Wojciecha Gila znaleziono treści pornograficzne, prawdopodobnie z udziałem chłopców - podaje TVN24. O pedofilię podejrzany jest też abp Józef Wesołowski. Jak podają lokalne media, miał być w związku z księdzem Javierem Reyesem.

Jak nieoficjalnie podaje TVN24, powołując się na lokalne media, w kościelnym komputerze ks. Gila znaleziono 87 tys. zdjęć i filmów pornograficznych, prawdopodobnie z udziałem chłopców. Ks. Gil, który również został zawieszony i usłyszał zarzuty, nie wiadomo jednak, gdzie przebywa. Przez sąd w Santiago uznany został za zbiega.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Pope Benedict Says Child Abuse Scandal, Coverup Not His Fault

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Philly Post

Joel Mathis

ABC News reports:

Seven months after leaving the papacy, emeritus Pope Benedict XVI broke his self-imposed silence Tuesday by releasing a letter to one of Italy’s best-known atheists in which he denied covering up for sexually abusive priests and defended Christianity to non-believers.

For nearly a quarter-century, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger headed the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office responsible for handling abuse cases. He was prefect when the scandal first exploded in the U.S. in 2002 and was pope when it erupted on a global scale in 2010 with revelations of thousands of victims in Europe and beyond, of bishops who covered up for pedophile priests and of Vatican officials who turned a blind eye to the crimes and in some cases actively interfered with bishops trying to report pedophiles to police.

In his letter, Benedict denies personal responsibility. “I never tried to cover these things up,” he wrote....

No, sex abuse isn’t specifically a Catholic problem—something we Pennsylvanians know all too well after the scandal at Penn State. Still, it’s kind of hard to avoid the idea that Benedict should know better: He’s the one that offers up the comparison between the priesthood and other professions. The difference between the priesthood and, say, selling cars is that only one of those professions is responsible for nurturing the souls of its customers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Poland to probe prelates in Dominican Republic pedophilia scandal, EFE

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/POLAND
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- Poland’s top prosecutor on Wednesday announced the launch of a probe into a bishop and a priest from that nation charged with sexually abusing minors in the Dominican Republic, EFE reports.

Andrzej Seremet’s announcement comes in the heels of the scandal of the recalled Vatican envoy Jozef Wesolowski and the priest Wojciech Gil (Padre Alberto), in the town of Juncalito (central).

in the announcement aired by Warsaw’s TVN, Office of the Prosecutor spokesman Mateusz Martyniuk said they’ve contacted the Polish Embassy in the region to gather more information into the allegations against Polish prelates. "We should get official confirmation that an investigation is underway (in Dominican Republic) and clarify details."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

HI - Predator priest trial is delayed

HAWAII
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

It was scheduled to start this week
Alleged child molester faces two accusers

For immediate release: Wednesday, Sept. 25

For more information: David Clohessy ( 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com ), Barbara Dorris ( 314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

A civil child sex abuse and cover up trial against a Hawaii priest and local Catholic officials has been delayed.

The trial, against the Diocese of Honolulu and the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers who employed Fr. Joseph M. Henry (deceased), was set to begin September 23. But it has been pushed back because Judge Edwin C. Nacino in of the First Circuit Court wants it to be re-filed under a newer state child sex abuse law.

That law, commonly called a civil “window,” gives anyone who was molested as a child in Hawaii a chance to file a civil lawsuit, no matter how long ago the alleged crimes happened.

“We’re disappointed because this brave victim is in poor health and because Hawaii citizens deserve to know the truth about church officials who commit and conceal child sex crimes,” said attorney Michele Betti of New York/California (646) 895-0939, mbettilaw@gmail.com) who represents two men who report having been sexually assaulted as children by Fr. Henry at St. Anthony's Catholic School in Kailua. “During this delay, we hope that more current or former church staff or members will come forward with what they know about Fr. Henry and his complicit colleagues.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

Pope names new bishop for Houma-Thibodaux diocese

LOUISIANA
Fox 8

Written by: Sabrina Wilson

NEW ORLEANS - Catholics in Houma and Thibodaux will soon have a new bishop overseeing the diocese for that area.

Pope Francis has named Archdiocese of New Orleans Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General Shelton Joseph Fabre as the new bishop for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.

Monday afternoon New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond held a press conference to discuss Bishop Fabre's promotion by the Vatican. Fabre will replace Bishop Sam Jacobs, who is retiring.

"I look forward to meeting the people, I look forward to going out to the parishes, I look forward to them teaching me," said Fabre. "I know they have things to teach me, and I hope I have things to teach them." ...

In a press release, Barbara Dorris, an Outreach Director for SNAP said:

"We see no evidence that Bishop Fabre has done anything to help protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded or expose the truth in his long clerical career. He's obviously had ample opportunity to do so.

Often, Catholics give a new bishop ever benefit of the doubt. We hope that Houma Catholics don't do this with Bishop Fabre. Until he proves - by actions, not words – that he's different from the vast majority of his complicit colleagues, Catholics should report known and suspected child sex crimes to secular officials, not church officials."

"My heart still pains for the sexual abuse victims," Fabre said in response. "I know that their pain and their anger is great. I was a part of those negotiations, I did offer an apology in the name of the church, and sometimes that was not accepted. Some were very angry - I understand that - but not all of them were. There were some who were there who thanked me for being there, for listening to them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Man Sues Estate of Dead Priest

MASSACHUSETTS
Courthouse News Service

By CHRISTINE STUART

(CN) - An Episcopal priest sexually assaulted a child parishioner for 10 years, the child, now a man, claims in court.

John Doe claims in Suffolk County Court that the late Rev. Paul A.L. LaCharite sexually abused him from 1995 until 2005.

LaCharite died on Sept. 26, 2012, apparently of suicide, two weeks after he was accused of indecent assault, according to reports in Boston newspapers and an Anglican Church website.

LaCharite was rector and priest at the defendant St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville. From 2005 until his death in 2012 he was pastor at Old North Church in Boston, which is not a party to the lawsuit.

Doe also sued the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and LaCharite's estate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Dominican official cites proof as Vatican envoy pedophilia case explodes

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s Justice Ministry on Sunday affirmed having evidence of pedophilia against former Vatican envoy Józef Wesolowski, while a deacon in an east region diocese has confessed to “pimping” minors for the senior prelate as well as of being his sexual partner.

Deputy Procurator and the case’s lead investigator Bolivar Sanchez said there’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the former diplomat committed child abuse and is ready to present it to the Vatican, but noted that Wesolowski cannot be extradited because of his diplomatic status.

He said the minors interviewed admitted to masturbating for, and of taking part in oral sex with the bishop as he filmed them with a cell phone, while another witness affirmed seeing porno in his laptop at the Vatican embassy.

Sanchez revealed that when the local Catholic Church submitted the evidence to the Vatican, the Justice ministry was unaware of the case, received the full cooperation as soon as the investigation was launched.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Dominican Republic-Vatican pedophile scandal roils Poland

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- The case of a catholic priest and a bishop, both Polish nationals charged with child molestation, has roiled Poland, whose media have sent journalists to cover the scandal that has rocked the Vatican and the Dominican Republic.

A former Dominican Today intern from Poland on Tuesday said Newsweek Pl. and one of the polish TV stations are covering the case extensively, and DT has already received the former’s investigative report published on Monday, by a journalist who with the help by DT staff also interviewed TV producer Nuria Piera, who first broke the case.

“Polish media published the article about this investigation in Dominican Republic and we have a little storm. They also covered the case of Juncalito. Something is really going on. Today this is already topic which we deal with every day,” the former intern said in reference to the town of Juncalito, where Polish priest Wojciech Gil (Padre Alberto) allegedly abused as many as one dozen minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Deacon ‘pimped minors' for nuncio

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The Tablet (UK)

24 September 2013

The Justice Ministry of the Dominican Republic on Sunday said it has evidence of paedophilia against nuncio Józef Wesolowski, while a deacon has confessed to "pimping" minors for the senior prelate as well as of being his sexual partner, the website dominicantoday.com has reported.

The Deputy Procurator and the case's lead investigator, Bolivar Sanchez, said there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the nuncio, whom the Vatican recalled last month, committed child abuse. Mr Sanchez said he was ready to present the evidence to the Vatican, but noted that Wesolowski cannot be extradited because of his diplomatic status. The Vatican has said it will cooperate with the Dominican Republic authorities, and has also launched its own internal investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Poland asks Dominicans for priest abuse details

POLAND
NECN

September 25, 2013

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish authorities have asked the Dominican Republic for details of its child sex abuse investigation into two Polish priests, one whom is the Vatican envoy to the Caribbean country.

A spokesman for Polish prosecutors, Mateusz Martyniuk, said Wednesday the prosecutor general has written to Dominican officials, asking for details of their inquiry and whether it revealed any possible wrongdoing in Poland. Martyniuk says without such information, Poland can't start an investigation of its own.

Dominican authorities haven't asked for any assistance from Poland for their investigation into the papal envoy, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, and the Rev. Wojciech Gil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Australian priest, advocate for women's ordination excommunicated

AUSTRALIA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Sep. 24, 2013

Editor's note: Brian Roewe is working on a follow-up story. Keep an eye on NCRonline.org for updates.

An Australian priest vocal in his support of women's ordination has become the first person excommunicated for such beliefs under the papacy of Pope Francis.

Fr. Greg Reynolds of Melbourne, Australia, told NCR by email late Monday night his initial reaction was "shock" upon learning of his separation from the church. Australian media have reported he is the first member of the Melbourne archdiocese excommunicated and the first priest from the area laicized for reasons other than pedophilia.

The news came Sept. 18 through a canon lawyer for the Melbourne archdiocese, Fr. John Salvano, who invited Reynolds a few weeks earlier to meet "to discuss 'some canonical issue,' " Reynolds said. The former priest said Salvano presented him the letter of excommunication and proceeded to read it to him, since Reynolds did not read Latin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Priests accused of molestation were in Cape and Perryville

MISSOURI
East Missourian

Friday, September 20, 2013
By Emily Priddy ~ Southeast Missourian

Documents released recently as part of a legal settlement show two Catholic priests accused of molesting children in California spent part of their careers in Cape Girardeau and Perryville, Mo.

John Edward Ruhl and John V. "Jack" Farris, members of the St. Louis-based western region of the Vincentian order, were among the defendants in a lawsuit alleging child molestation by multiple clerics.

Under the terms of a 2007 settlement, the defendants' personnel documents were made public earlier this month.

Among the documents in Ruhl's file are references to three victims who claimed Ruhl molested them in the 1970s.

Ruhl worked at St. Mary's Seminary in Perryville from 1961 to 1963 and spent the summer of 1964 at St. Vincent's College in Cape Girardeau. By mid-1993, he had been placed on "inactive leave" and was not expected to return to active ministry, according to a note in his file.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

The Ratz is back, stung by atheist into addressing the ‘deviance’ and ‘filth’ in his Church

UNITED KINGDOM
The Freethinker

BY BARRY DUKE – SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

IN A letter to Italian atheist mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi, the Vatican’s shadow Pope Ratzinger has vigorously defended his handling of allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy – and “politely” criticised the logician’s total reliance on scientific facts for The Meaning of Life.

Ratzinger deplored the fact that Odifreddi had depicting the Church as the only place where such “deviation” and “filth” occurred. And where they did occur in the Church:

I never sought to conceal these things.

According to this report, the publication of the retired Pope’s leter to the atheist scholar on September 24 came in the same month as a letter written by Pope Number One – Frankie – to an Italian journalist concerning dialogue with non-believers. Both letters were published, with the two Popes’ permission, by the Italian daily La Repubblica.

The newspaper released long excerpts of Pope Benedict’s original 11-page response to Odifreddi, a prolific science writer who authored the book, Dear Pope, I Write to You in 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Detailed Summary of Case of Julio César Grassi

WALTHAM (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

September 25, 2013

[This summary provides links to articles and documents.]

Grassi was a Salesian until 1991, when he became a priest of the Morón diocese. In 1993, he founded Fundacion Felices los Niños (the Happy Children Foundation), aimed at rescuing street children. According to a news article, the foundation cared for 6,300 children in 17 homes nationwide from 1993 to 2002.

On 11/29/2000, an anonymous complaint filed in the Juvenile Court of Morón accused Grassi of corrupting minors. The case lay dormant until 10/23/2002, when Telenoche Investiga,an investigative news show on Argentina’s Channel 13, aired a program alleging Grassi’s sexual abuse of five boys, ages 11 to 17. It included an interview with a young man, his face obscured, who said that Grassi performed oral sex on him in 1998, when he was 15. Within days, Grassi was arrested and charged with 17 counts of abuse of three boys, who were 9, 13, and 17 when the alleged incidents occurred. Grassi denied all the allegations.
...

However after Grassi was found guilty, the Episcopal Conference of Argentina hired a leading criminal defense lawyer and legal scholar, Marcelo Sancinetti, to produce a “private,” multi-volume critique of his prosecution and conviction. Still president of the conference, Bergoglio approved the commission. The study vigorously asserted Grassi’s innocence and, according to a Pagina 12 report, denied even the prevalence of child sexual abuse itself. It reportedly was circulated to judges who had yet to make determinations in the case. The first volume, with 423 pages, debunked the accusations of “Ezequiel,” of which Grassi was acquitted; volume two, with 646 pages, attacked the credibility of “Gabriel,” of whose abuse Grassi was convicted. As of spring 2013, a third volume had been produced, and a fourth and final volume was expected.

The bishops’ commissioned exoneration of Grassi was revealed in December 2011 by Juan Pablo Gallego, an attorney for the Committee for Oversight and Implementation of International Conventions for Children’s Rights, who had represented the plaintiffs at the trial. Gallego called the study a "scandalous instance of lobbying and exerting pressure on the Court" and accused the bishops of "further hindering a process that has outrageously granted the condemned priest a situation of almost unthinkable freedom." On September 23, 2013, the Morón Criminal Court No.1 ordered that Grassi immediately go to prison to begin serving his sentence.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:17 AM

A Response to Bill Donohue

UNITED STATES
Waiting for Godot to Leave

Kevin O'Brien

The other day, I referenced an article by Minnesota Public Radio in my post What Would You Do? regarding one of the most mishandled cases of abusing clergy since Bishop Finn and Father Ratigan.

And Bill Donohue has stepped into the fray, going so far as to giving "Kudos to Archbishop Nienstedt", the man who must take the administrative blame for the sexual abuse of two boys by Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer. Kudos indeed.

Donohue's legalistic defense of the indefensible can be read here.

The best thing to be said for it is that it's short. And he ends with a pointed challenge, which I will be so bold as to answer. Or attempt to answer.

Donohue says ...

The burden is on those who disagree to say exactly what should be done in instances where there are no complainants.

Well, there were complaints in the Wehmeyer case, as anyone reading the MPR article will see, but Donohue plays fast and loose with the facts. This is his M.O.

But he has pointed out that we should say "exactly what should be done" in cases like this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Abogado denunció que exobispo acusado de pedofilia solicitó sexo en el confesionario

PERU
America TV

[con video]

Francisco Fernández es el abogado de origen español que denunció el pasado 21 de agosto al ex obispo auxiliar de Ayacucho Gabino Miranda por supuestamente tener relaciones sexuales con menores de edad.

"Que un cura se dedique a tronchar –tener relaciones sexuales - mozas me parece muy mal, pero que se dedique a tronchar niños me parece mucho peor", dijo el letrado en exclusiva para América Noticias.

El letrado opinó sobre la carta que escribió el ex obispo Miranda en la que rechaza los cargos. "Todos, el 95% de las personas acusadas de pedofilia, concubinato, todos lo niegan", dijo Fernández

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Ex obispo Gabino Miranda pidió favores sexuales en el confesionario, según abogado

PERU
El Comercio

“Que un cura se dedique a tronchar -acostarse- con mozas me parece muy mal, pero que se dedique a tronchar con niños me parece mucho peor”, afirmó el abogado Francisco Fernández, quien denunció los supuestos casos de pedofilia del ex obispo Gabino Miranda.

En declaraciones para América TV, el letrado español detalló que Miranda habría pedido favores sexuales incluso en el confesionario. “Eso fue lo que me dijeron, no me especificaron número ni nombres”, dijo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Abogado español acusó a Gabino Miranda de tener sexo en confesionario

PERU
Peru 21

El abogado español Francisco Fernández, quien dio a conocer el caso del exobispo auxiliar de Ayaucho Gabino Miranda, acusado de pedofilia, se pronunció sobre la carta en la que este dice desconocer los cargos que se le imputan y por los cuales fue separado de la Iglesia Católica.

“Que un cura o un obispo se dedique a tronchar mozas (acostarse con jovencitas) me parece muy mal y que se dedique a tronchar niños (acostarse con niños) me parece mucho peor (…) El 95% de las personas acusadas de delitos de pedofilia, concubinato, paternidad, en principio todos los niegan”, aseguró.

Asimismo, Fernández señaló que si Miranda Melgarejo, tal como lo expresa en su misiva, aceptó haber cometido una imprudencia, ello puede tener varias interpretaciones, pues indicó que “salir con una niña de 13 años a una fiesta y comprarle unos helados” es un ejemplo de un acto grave impropio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Ayacucho: Fiscalía investigará a exobispo Gabino Miranda

PERU
Peru 21

[Summary: Javier Gonzales, president of the judicial district attorneys in Ayacucho, said investigations have been launched into allegations of pedophilia made against former Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Miranda. The prosecutor handling the case has asked the attorney general's office, which deals with international crimes, to receive information it has requested from the apostolic nunciature in Lima through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Gary Amanda Chavez said he hopes there will be quick response from the Holy See. He is also awaiting arrival of Archbishop Salvador Pineiro, president of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference and current Ayachucho bishop, to give more information.]

El presidente de la Junta de Fiscales del Distrito Judicial de Ayacucho, Javier Gonzales, informó que se han iniciado las investigaciones por el presunto caso de pedofilia en contra del exobispo auxiliar de Ayacucho Gabino Miranda.

Por ello, el fiscal encargado del caso, Gary Armando Chávez, manifestó que se le ha pedido a la Fiscalía de la Nación –la cual tiene que ver con las denuncias que comprenden los delitos internacionales– que solicite toda la información concerniente a la Nunciatura Apostólica de Lima a través del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores.

“Ojalá que haya una respuesta rápida de la Santa Sede. En tanto, esperamos la llegada de monseñor Salvador Piñeiro (presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal Peruana y actual obispo de Ayacucho)para que nos dé más detalles”, señaló Gonzales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Archbishop Myers, coadjutorized!

NEW JERSEY
Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk | Sep 25, 2013

Pope Francis’ appointment of Michigan Bishop Bernard Hebda to serve alongside John J. Myers as coadjutor archbishop of Newark might have been the first time the Vatican acted to discipline a bishop for dealing improperly with sexually abusive priests since John Paul II accepted Bernard Law’s resignation as archbishop of Boston in 2002. Coadjutors are often appointed when the Vatican wants to make clear its displeasure with a hierarch (e.g. the case of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle).

But Law was given fancy quarters and high responsibilities in Rome, so “discipline” hardly seems like the right word. As for Myers, he insisted yesterday that he had requested a coadjutor “some time ago,” so the 72-year-old martinet will presumably slide into retirement with his face saved, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.

Myers’ troubles this year began with the revelation that Michael Fugee, a priest under court order not to minister to minors, had been ministering to minors. Then documents released in a $1.35 million abuse settlement by the diocese of Peoria suggested that when Myers was bishop there he had failed to take steps against the abuser.

Last month, in what might have been the last straw, Myers circulated an angry letter to the priests and laity of his archdiocese exonerating himself of all wrongdoing and anathematizing his accusers. “For any who set out to claim that I or the Church have had no effective part in the love and protection of children, is simply evil, wrong, immoral, and seemingly focused on their own self-aggrandizement,” Myers wrote. “God only knows their personal reasons and agenda. We are still called to love them. And God will surely address them in due time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Priest accused of sexual abuse

SLOVAKIA
The Slovak Spectator

25 Sep 2013

POLICE have charged a 47-year-old Roman-Catholic priest from the Zlaté Moravce district with sexual abuse. If found guilty, the man could spend from three to 10 years in prison, the TASR newswire reported on September 24.

From November 2011 to August 2012, the priest allegedly abused an 11-year-old girl . He would, for example, send her text messages telling her that he loved her, according to the website of the Nový Čas tabloid daily, Čas.sk.

The priest has been suspended from the parish until the court issues a verdict in his case, SITA informed.

Though the priest refused to comment on the charges publicly, he said off the record that he feels sorry. A source close to the investigation told the Sme daily that the priest confessed his affection for the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

'Argentine pedophile priest barred from work'

ARGENTINA
Sowetan (South Africa)

SEP 25, 2013 | SAPA-AFP

A high-profile Argentine priest who began a 15-year prison sentence for pedophilia this week has been barred from priestly work and his case sent to the Vatican, church officials said Tuesday.

Julio Cesar Grassi, 57, who was on provisional release since a 2009 trial, began his sentence after an appeal court in Buenos Aires upheld his conviction.

Grassi was found guilty of abusing a 15-year-old boy who had been living at the Felices los Ninos (Happy are the Children) foundation in Hurlingham, 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Buenos Aires during the 1990s.

Two other victims later came forward with their own stories of abuse by the priest.

Tuesday, the diocese of Moron said Grassi now was barred from priestly duties.

"The diocese of Moron, in line with its rights to do so, applied the disciplinary sanction of barring him from priestly work until his case is settled," a statement from the diocese said.

"An investigation, as well as a report on the trial and behavior of Father Grassi have been sent to the Holy See" for review, it added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Priest accused of sex assault released on bail

PENNSYLVANIA
Citizens Voice

JOSEPH KOHUT
Published: September 25, 2013

A Lackawanna County priest accused of having sex with a 15-year-old boy posted $50,000 bail Tuesday.

The Rev. William Paulish, 56, of Blakely, made bail by posting his house as collateral, court records show.

He was arrested last week after he was caught in his 2009 Toyota Venza with a 15-year-old. He faces a charge of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person under 16 and related charges.

The Citizens' Voice does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The Rev. Paulish was scheduled to appear before a magistrate on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing, but a motion for continuance filed by his attorney, Bernard Brown, was granted Tuesday. A new hearing date has not been scheduled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Poland seeks answers in Dominican Republic priest paedophilia case

POLAND
The News

Poland may launch its own investigation into two Polish clergymen accused of paedophilia in the

Attorney General Andrzej Seremet contacted the Polish Embassy in Colombia on Tuesday so as to clarify accusations in the case (the Bogota embassy's duties encompass the Caribbean island).

Seremet has stated that if there is sufficient suspicion that a Polish citizen committed a crime abroad, proceedings can be initiated in Poland.

“We must obtain official confirmation that an investigation is being carried out [in the Dominican Republic] and clarify precisely what it concerns,” said Mateusz Martyniuk, spokesman for the attorney general, in an interview with Poland's TVN news channel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Church dumps rebel priest

AUSTRALIA
The Age

September 21, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age

Dissident priest Greg Reynolds has been both defrocked and excommunicated over his support for women priests and gays - the first person ever excommunicated in Melbourne, he believes.

The order comes direct from the Vatican, not at the request of Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, and apparently follows a secret denunciation in the best traditions of the inquisition, according to Father Reynolds.

The excommunication document - written in Latin and giving no reason - was dated May 31, meaning it comes under the authority of Pope Francis who made headlines on Thursday calling for a less rule-obsessed church.

Father Reynolds, who resigned as a parish priest in 2011 and last year founded Inclusive Catholics, said he had expected to be laicised (defrocked), but not excommunicated. But it would make no difference to his ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Marring the Cardinal's image

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Andrew Hamilton | 25 September 2013

Cardinal George Pell is an inviting subject for an extended essay. He is well-known, expresses strong views succinctly, and has equally strong admirers and detractors. That always guarantees a lively response.

David Marr is a splendid essayist, and his Quarterly Essay displays his habitual virtues. It is elegantly written, is structured around a strong and colourfully told story, and brings home powerfully the sufferings of the victims of clerical sexual abuse and the failures of the Catholic Church in meeting them.

It is unfair, but that is the nature of this kind of essay.

Marr follows the path of Pell from schooldays to seminary, study in Rome and Oxford, parish work and responsibility for Catholic education in Ballarat, through to his consecration successively as Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne, Archbishop of Melbourne, Archbishop of Sydney, and Cardinal with strong connections in Rome.

He interweaves this story with the incidence and response to clerical sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Pell was later accused of sexual abuse when he was a seminarian and the charge found unproven; he worked in the same circles as Gerald Ridsdale (the convicted child molester who abused children while working as a Catholic priest), met victims and heard accusations of clergy in his episcopal role, and introduced a framework for dealing with accusations and compensating victims in Melbourne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Vatican Diary / Confirmed, promoted, demoted

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

VATICAN CITY, September 25, 2013 – With the announcement of the appointment of the new secretary of state and with the measures taken four days ago, Pope Francis has kicked off a first round of incisive changes in the Roman curia.

He has done so in relatively short order, as moreover had been asked of him by the cardinals who supported him to the point of electing him successor of Peter.

From this series of appointments, confirmations, and non-confirmations - preceded by small but significant adjustments in other Vatican offices - one can already draw a few indications on the lines of governance of a pope who loves to call himself bishop of Rome but who within the Leonine walls acts 100 percent as supreme pontiff of the universal Church.

*
First of all it can be said that if his predecessor Benedict XVI nourished a certain idiosyncrasy with regard to the “caste” of apostolic nuncios, pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio is not showing any prejudice in this. On the contrary. While decrying the fact that the clerics who carry out the diplomatic service are more threatened than the others by the leprosy of ecclesiastical careerism, when he finds among them a person he maintains to be valid and competent - or is presented to him as such by advisors he believes to be trustworthy - he shows no hesitation in promoting them to high and delicate positions.

This is certainly the case of the new secretary of state, Pietro Parolin, and of the new prefect of the congregation for the clergy, Beniamino Stella. Also valued by pope Bergoglio for their discrete profile, foreign to all forms of extremism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

"Grassi siempre estuvo protegido por la Iglesia", sostuvo el abogado querellante

ARGENTINA
Telam

[Summary: Sergio Piris, who represents the boy abused by priest Julio Cesar Grassi, said the priest always felt comfortable because he was protected by the church. The statement from the Moron diocese which said it had doubts about Grassi's guilt showed that it continues to protect him, he said.]

Sergio Piris, representante del joven por cuyos casos fue apresado Julio César Grassi, dijo que "el cura siempre se sintió muy cómodo porque estuvo protegido por la iglesia". Fue después de conocerse el comunicado del Obispo de Morón.

"La Iglesia siempre lo protegió y hoy demuestra que lo sigue protegiendo", dijo Piris al conocer el comunicado del Obispado de Morón, que hoy manifestó sus "dudas acerca de la culpabilidad" del cura Julio César Grassi".

La máxima autoridad eclesiástica de Morón señaló en un comunicado hoy que antes de dar una opinión esperará a que haya "una sentencia firme" y que "contando con el asesoramiento de estudiosos especializados, se desprenden dudas acerca de la culpabilidad del padre Grassi, así como del `peligro de fuga`".

"Grassi si manejó con total impunidad y hoy el Obispado de Morón confirma por qué pudo hacerlo" El comunicado del obispado argumentó que "él (Grassi) residió durante mucho tiempo sin alejarse de la vivienda declarada como su domicilio personal".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

"Grassi fue absuelto en 15 casos y condenado en dos"

ARGENTINA
Minuto Uno

El obispado de Morón destacó que el padre Julio César Grassi "fue absuelto en quince casos y condenado en dos" y manifestó su "profunda preocupación por este hecho que es tan complejo y doloroso desde cualquier punto de vista".

"Con actitud de misericordia, se hace solidaria hacia quienes afecta esta situación", señala el texto que se reproduce completo a continuación:

El Obispado de Morón toma conocimiento del resultado del proceso judicial, mediante el cual la Suprema Corte de la Provincia de Buenos Aires ratifica lo actuado por los jueces inferiores.

El Padre Julio Cesar Grassi es nuevamente absuelto en quince casos y condenado en dos.

Luego de este revés judicial, el Padre Grassi se comunicó a este Obispado, manifestando que seguirá con las acciones legales tendientes a demostrar su inocencia, ya que considera que los hechos que motivan su condena son inaceptables.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

La Iglesia duda acerca de la culpabilidad del cura Grassi

ARGENTINA
Clarin

[Summary: Three convictions for sexual abuse were not enough to convince the Church of priest Julio Cesar Grassi's guilt. The bishopric of Moron expressed doubts about the priest's guilt.]

POR SERGIO RUBIN
El obispado de Morón emitió un comunicado mencionando “dudas” sobre la responsabilidad del sacerdote, condenado a 15 años de prisión. El fallo fue ratificado hasta por la Corte de la Provincia.

25/09/13
Tres fallos condenatorios por abuso sexual no alcanzaron a convencer a la Iglesia de la culpabilidad del acusado, el antes mediático cura Julio César Grassi. El obispado de Morón –al que pertenece Grassi– expresó ayer sus “dudas” acerca de la culpabilidad del sacerdote. Fue a través de un comunicado difundido al día siguiente de que un tribunal dispusiera, finalmente, su encarcelamiento. E incluso también se puso en duda el “peligro de fuga” de Grassi, un concepto que formó parte de los argumentos de los jueces que lo enviaron a la cárcel.

Los jueces del Tribunal Oral 1 de Morón revocaron el lunes la libertad vigilada de Grassi y ordenaron que fuera trasladado a la Unidad 39 de Ituzaingó, para que quedara dentro de la jurisdicción de la diócesis de Morón. Ayer, sin embargo, el cura fue llevado a la cárcel de Campana. La detención llegó luego de que la semana pasada la Corte Suprema de Justicia bonaerense ratificara el fallo a 15 años de prisión de un tribunal oral por el abuso de un menor comprobado en dos hechos. Al día siguiente, la Cámara de Casación bonaerense sostuvo que la libertad vigilada del cura debía ser revocada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Desayunó un té y lo llevaron a la cárcel donde está Carrascosa

ARGENTINA
Clarin

25/09/13
Julio César Grassi no duró ni 24 horas en la Unidad 39 de Ituzaingó, adonde el lunes por la noche lo mandó detenido el Tribunal Oral N° 1 de Morón. Los jueces lo enviaron allí como deferencia por sus hábitos, ya que la cárcel queda dentro de su diócesis. Pero el Servicio Penitenciario Bonaerense (SPB) evaluó rápidamente que ese lugar –de seguridad media– no era el adecuado.

Para ayer a la mañana, en el escritorio de los jueces del TOC 1 ya había un pedido de los penitenciarios para trasladar a Grassi a la Unidad 41, de Campana. Y así se hizo. Según fuentes del caso, el sacerdote fue destinado allí a un área en la que se concentran los ofensores sexuales. Estos, por la naturaleza de su delito, suelen tener problemas con otros presos.

Las primeras horas de Grassi en una cárcel fueron rutinarias. En Ituzaingó tuvo una entrevista con el grupo de evaluación y seguimiento y luego se lo asignó al sector de “Sanidad”. Es que, según se dijo, no había celdas disponibles. Luego de despedirse de sus abogados, que lo acompañaron en el traslado, se le asignó una habitación (con reja en lugar de puerta) para él solo. Por la mañana, desayunó un té con tostadas y mermelada y no tuvo tiempo para acomodarse porque se comenzó a preparar su traslado a Campana, donde se encuentran alojados otros presos conocidos, como Carlos Carrascosa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

No podrá dar misa y será investigado por el Vaticano

ARGENTINA
Los Andes

[Summary: Priest Julio Cesar Grassi cannot say Mass in public but can do so in private, according to the Moron bishop. He will also face an investigation by the Vatican.]

El padre Julio César Grassi no podrá ejercer su ministerio sacerdotal en público y sólo podrá celebrar "misa privada", a raíz de que el Obispado de Morón confirmó ayer la sanción eclesiástica en su contra y elevó a la Santa Sede "una investigación e informe de todo el proceso y actuación" del sacerdote.

Fuentes eclesiásticas dijeron que Grassi, condenado a 15 años de prisión por abuso sexual de menores, no puede "celebrar misa y tampoco impartir ningún sacramento, como bautismo o casamiento".

"Tampoco podrá celebrar misa en la cárcel, sólo podrá hacerlo en privado, es decir sin asistencia de fieles. La única alternativa que le queda es hacerlo en la soledad de su celda", precisaron.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Desconfianza y tibieza

ARGENTINA
Pagina/12

Por Washington Uranga

Finalmente, la “preocupación” del obispado de Morón por la situación del sacerdote Julio Cesar Grassi se tradujo apenas en una tibia sanción disciplinaria que le prohíbe al cura “el ejercicio público del ministerio sacerdotal”. En realidad, se trata de una medida intermedia que la autoridad eclesiástica, en este caso el obispo de Morón, Luis Guillermo Eichhorn, adopta “hasta tanto se resuelva definitivamente esta situación” y a partir de la afirmación de que “contando con el asesoramiento de estudios especializados se desprenden dudas acerca de la culpabilidad del P. Julio Grassi”. En definitiva, a pesar de que la causa ya atravesó tres instancias y que prácticamente no quedan posibilidades de revertir el fallo condenatorio contra el cura acusado de pedofilia, el obispado de Morón sigue sin confiar en la Justicia. La disposición es la mínima que se puede adoptar y, más que una sanción, parece destinada a proteger al cura y a intentar disminuir el daño a la imagen institucional de la Iglesia que ha sido seriamente perjudicada por la inacción en muchos casos de pedofilia comprobados en diversas partes del mundo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Cambio a la máxima seguridad

ARGENTINA
Pagina/12

Tal como adelantó Página/12, Julio Grassi no quedó en la cárcel de mediana seguridad, sino que fue llevado adonde van los presos con condenas más altas. Allí está alojado Carlos Carrascosa. El cura llegó muy asustado y fue tranquilizado por otros internos.

Por Raúl Kollmann

El cura Julio César Grassi llegó ayer “asustado” –según describieron a este diario otros internos– a la Unidad 41, de máxima seguridad del complejo penal de Campana. El Tribunal Oral Nº 1 de Morón admitió la movida a propuesta del Servicio Penitenciario Bonaerense (SPB), que se basó en dos elementos: la pena de Grassi es alta, por lo que no corresponde que esté en un penal de media seguridad y, en segundo lugar, porque en el 41 de Campana hay un pabellón en el que correrá menos peligro. El traslado fue un anticipo exclusivo de Página/12. El tribunal había ubicado a Grassi en Ituzaingó argumentando que de esa manera no lo sacaba de su diócesis, pero la decisión contravenía normas del SPB. Uno de los compañeros de pabellón de Grassi es Carlos Carrascosa, imputado por el asesinato de su esposa, María Marta García Belsunce, aunque tiene otorgada la prisión domiciliaria, pero faltan algunos exámenes físicos y psiquiátricos. En el pabellón hay otro sacerdote, José Mercau, imputado por el abuso sexual de cinco menores, de entre 7 y 16 años, en El Talar de Pacheco.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

La Iglesia espera a la Corte de la Nación para el “juicio canónico”

ARGENTINA
Clarin

25/09/13
El padre Julio César Grassi podrá seguir celebrando misa –ahora en la cárcel de Campana–, pero de modo privado, tal como lo hacía hasta el lunes, cuando estaba cumpliendo con el régimen de libertad vigilada. Así se desprende del comunicado del obispado de Morón difundido ayer. En el texto nada se dice de la impartición de sacramentos, pero bien podría interpretarse que no puede realizar oficios que impliquen congregar gente y trámites parroquiales, como un casamiento o un bautismo, aunque quizá podría confesar porque sólo basta una persona más: el que quiere confesarse.

La única manera de que Grassi no pueda realizar ningún oficio religioso es que sea suspendido o expulsado del ejercicio del ministerio sacerdotal. Y para ello hace falta la sustanciación de un juicio canónico (eclesiástico) donde sea encontrado culpable de los cargos. El obispado anticipó que no lo iniciará “hasta tanto no haya una sentencia firme”. Es decir, hasta que se pronuncie la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación, la última instancia que le queda a Grassi para tratar de torcer su suerte. El cura llegó a argumentar ante los jueces que en un libro del caso hecho por un penalista había resultado “inocente” (ver foto).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Pope Francis names Pittsburgh native to rescue Newark archdiocese

NEW JERSEY
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Michael A. Fuoco / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bernard A. Hebda, bishop of the rural Diocese of Gaylord, Mich., since 2009, on Tuesday became coadjutor archbishop of the metropolitan Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., making him the latest former Pittsburgher to rise to a level of national prominence in the Catholic Church.

The appointment by Pope Francis means that Archbishop Hebda, 54, leaves a diocese of 65,000 Catholics to assist in administering New Jersey's largest diocese of 1.5 million Catholics in four counties. As coadjutor, he will automatically become archbishop upon the retirement, transfer or death of the current archbishop, John J. Myers, who at 72 is about three years from mandatory retirement.

At a news conference Tuesday in Newark, Archbishop Myers said "some time ago" he had requested a coadjutor (Latin for co-assister) to help with some strategic plans because he and two auxiliary bishops are in their 70s.

Archbishop Hebda said he was "humbled" by the pope's confidence and grateful for "providing me with the 'coadjutor's cushion,' an opportunity to experience the vitality of this local church and its challenges before ever being placed at the helm. I hope to take advantage of this blessing to the fullest extent possible," by getting to know the priests, laity, parish, schools and institutions that make up the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Newark Archbishop Myers' assistant a contrast in style [video]

NEW JERSEY
The Record

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2013
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

NEWARK — The Rev. Bernard A. Hebda comes from a place where reprimanded priests are named in press releases, and where the members of a panel charged with investigating clergy sex abuse are listed in the diocesan directory for anyone to see.

As bishop of Gaylord, Mich., Hebda expanded that review panel to include laypeople who work with children and teens. He also met personally with priests who were accused of sex abuse to ensure that they did not pose a danger to children.

On Tuesday, Hebda was named coadjutor bishop to Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, and on those critical points — issues at the heart of a scandal that has consumed the Newark archdiocese — the contrast between Hebda and the man he stands to succeed as archbishop one day could not be more stark.

Myers, who called his critics “evil” in an August letter to clergy, has come under fire for his treatment of a former Wyckoff priest who, prosecutors allege, violated a court-ordered agreement that barred him from ministering to children. And church records released last month in a $1.3 million lawsuit settlement with the Illinois diocese that Myers once headed showed a pattern of denial by Myers pertaining to knowledge of a priest’s alleged sex abuse — for which he faulted underlings who failed to alert him, or shoddy record keeping.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

The Newark Checkmate

NEW JERSEY
National Catholic Reporter

Ken Briggs | Sep. 24, 2013 NCR Today

Appointing what amounts to a co-bishop in Newark is a reminder what a disingenuous tool that maneuver remains.

The move allows the Vatican to reprimand a sitting bishop without acknowledging its intentions. It's designed to protect the incumbent. and to avoid charges of wrongdoing by sanctified leaders. That makes it an odd strategy for a pope who has declared his disdain for special treatment and privilege for the hierarchy.

Not that this formally face saving ambit exactly saves anyone's face.

The fresh face in Newark, Bernard Hebda, in some ways resembles the last celebrated interloper,
Donald Wuerl, who was dispatched to Seattle in 1987 to put the clamps on Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen who was targeted by Rome for his liberal interpretation of church teachings toward gays and women, among other things. It was generally viewed in Catholic circles as a public shaming. Wuerl moved in, took over vital functions, and went on his way to Pittsburgh, then Washington. His reputation, like Hebda's, was of a bright, Vatican marinated young cleric with a bright future replacing a older, censured outcast. Then it was Hunthausen, the progressive, now Myers, the unpopular conservative. The reasons for Vatican action is very different in each situation, and the validity of the cases against the two men are as diverse as is their merits and characters. But both unfairly became subjects of an awkward and unnecessarily demeaning punishment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

The Record: A new archbishop

NEW JERSEY
The Record

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2013
THE RECORD

IT'S ABOUT tone. And it's about time. Catholics in Newark have a new archbishop, Bernard Hebda.

Pope Francis has named a coadjutor archbishop to work alongside Archbishop John Myers, who, at age 72, is still three years from retirement. Coadjutors are named for several reasons: A bishop may be straying from doctrine, a financial crisis or capital program needs a stronger hand, a bishop's health is failing or the bishop's ability to shepherd his diocese has been severely compromised.

At a press conference Tuesday announcing the arrival of Hebda, Myers made it clear his health is good and that it was he who requested a coadjutor. Myers also said he did not need to explain to the public when he asked the Vatican for assistance.

Perhaps there is something reassuring in that sentiment. Explaining is not what Myers likes to do. In an August letter to priests of the archdiocese, he declared that those critical of his handling of sex abuses cases were "simply evil, wrong, immoral, and seemingly focused on their own self-aggrandizement." Myers intends to cling to his autocratic style to the very end. He is consistent. And as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Newark Archbishop Denies That Criticism Led to Moves

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: September 24, 2013

NEWARK — The Roman Catholic archbishop here on Tuesday introduced the cleric appointed by the Vatican to assist him and denied that the move was related to criticism over his handling of a
of a sexually abusive priest.

The cleric, Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda, recently of Gaylord, Mich., was named coadjutor archbishop for Archbishop John J. Myers, 72, who is to retire as head of the Newark Archdiocese in 2016. A coadjutor automatically succeeds the current archbishop upon his retirement, transfer or death, according to a statement by the archdiocese. Archbishop Myers said on Tuesday that he intended “to be here until I’m 75.”

Archbishop Myers denied that Archbishop Hebda’s appointment was related to the controversy surrounding the Rev. Michael Fugee, who stepped down in May, or to accusations that he failed to take action against a priest accused of molesting a boy while he was bishop of Peoria, Ill.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “It was at my own request. That was never part of any discussion, and I don’t think that there are substantiated reasons for them doing so. I don’t think that it’s about that.”
.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Archbishop Myers calls new right-hand man a 'gift,' rejects claims he's out of favor with pope

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on September 25, 2013

Newark Archbishop John J. Myers introduced his new co-archbishop and eventual successor to New Jersey Tuesday, calling the appointment a "gift" that will help him carry out important initiatives and ensure a smooth transition after his retirement.

Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda, whom Pope Francis plucked from a small diocese in Michigan to serve at Myers’ side, was greeted with a standing ovation by dozens of priests and nuns during a press conference at the archdiocese’s headquarters in Newark.

Hebda, 54, a canon lawyer with degrees from Harvard and Columbia universities and more than a decade of Vatican experience in Rome, will begin immediately as Myers’ chief adviser and partner in running the state’s largest diocese.

"If you are wondering if I am as surprised as you are by this appointment, the answer is yes, and yet I am truly thrilled to be here to begin my service," said Hebda, the nation’s second-youngest archbishop.

Hebda comes to Newark at a time of upheaval for Myers, the subject of intense criticism in recent months over the way he has handled priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Newark Archbishop Myers — one eye on his legacy, the other on the exit door: Moran

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Tom Moran/ The Star-Ledger
on September 25, 2013

Newark Archbishop John J. Myers said yesterday he is praying for my soul. But I’m not sure I want him to intervene.

Because only last month Myers suggested people like me would spend eternity in hell for pointing out that he failed to protect children from sexual abuse by priests.

“God only knows their personal reasons and agenda,” he wrote of his critics. “We are still called to love them. And God will surely address them in due time.”

Using the language of love to express such bitterness is chilling, to put it mildly. Suffering for eternity seems just a tad overboard as punishment for an editorial calling for Myers to resign.

The news is that Rome intervened yesterday by appointing an heir apparent to Myers three years before he reaches retirement age. For now, the new man will sit at the archbishop’s elbow, watching every move as coadjutor archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Priest's tour warrants explanation

PENNSYLVANIA
Times-Tribune

Scranton Bishop Joseph C. Bambera kept faith with his flock Sunday when he asked parishioners at numerous parishes to contact the Lackawanna County district attorney's office if they had any information about suspected inappropriate conduct by the Rev. William J. Paulish.

Father Paulish was charged with several crimes for his alleged sexual conduct with a minor, after security officers at Penn State's Worthington Scranton campus and Dunmore Police found him in his car with a 15-year-old boy.

Bishop Bambera's letter was read Sunday at numerous parishes where Father Paulish had served since his ordination in 1988. Between then and his arrest Friday, he had 15 assignments across the diocese. Prior to his ordination, he had been a therapist at Lourdesmont, a center for troubled adolescents.

While reaching out to parishioners where Father Paulish had been assigned, the diocese has declined to comment on his frequent reassignments and unexplained leaves of absence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Chaplain fired from Avera St. Luke's due to sexual harassment

SOUTH DAKOTA
Aberdeen American News

10:30 p.m. CDT, September 24, 2013

The Rev. Charles Emezie, a priest of the Diocese of Orlu, Nigeria, who has been employed as a chaplain at Avera St. Luke's Hospital and Avera Mother Joseph Manor in Aberdeen for more than 18 years, has been terminated from his chaplaincy by the Avera administration, according to the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls.

Recent allegations of sexual harassment of adult female staff members have been found credible, the diocese reported, and constitute violations of the diocesan sexual misconduct policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Priest Fired Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

SOUTH DAKOTA
KDLT

A catholic priest at a hospital in Aberdeen has been fired after allegations of sexual harassment.

Father Charles Emezie is a priest of a diocese in Nigeria and has been a chaplain at Avera St. Luke Hospital and Avera Mother Joseph for over 18 years. Emezie was accused of sexually harassing female staff members.

The church investigated the allegations and decided to release Emezie from his duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Abuse victims thought Church would help

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A child sexual abuse inquiry has heard some Hunter Valley victims did not want police involved because they were under the impression the Church would stop a paedophile priest from offending again.

The special commission is looking at claims police and the Catholic Church covered up abuse by two Maitland-Newcastle paedophile priests.

Maria Gerace is representing several abuse victims and yesterday summed up her case before the commissioner, Margaret Cunneen.

Ms Gerace told the inquiry her clients did not want police involved early on but that's when they thought the Church was able to remove McAlinden from ministry and stop him offending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Benedict denies he covered up sex abuse while Pope

VATICAN CITY
Irish Independent

25 SEPTEMBER 2013

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has broken his self-imposed silence with a lengthy letter to a prominent atheist in which he defended himself from accusations that he did not do enough to bring to justice sexually abusive priests.

The former pontiff spoke of his "profound consternation" that "evil" had entered so deeply into the Roman Catholic faith.

But he denied that he had, either as Pope or previously as head of the Vatican office dealing with abuse cases, tried to cover up the scandals that tarnished the church's reputation around the world.

"That the power of evil penetrated so far into the interior world of the faith is a suffering that we must bear, but at the same time must do everything to prevent it from repeating," he said. ...

EXPOSED

"Over a clerical career that lasted more than six decades, we can't think of a single child-molesting bishop, priest, nun, brother or seminarian that Benedict ever exposed," said Barbara Dorris of the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"In the church's entire history, no one knew more but did less to protect kids than Benedict.

"As head of CDF, thousands of cases of predator priests crossed his desk.

"Did he choose to warn families or call police about even one of those dangerous clerics? No. That, by definition, is a cover-up." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Diocese acted on wishes of clergy abused victims: special inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By MICHELLE HARRIS Sept. 25, 2013

MAITLAND Newcastle Catholice Diocese officials should not be ‘‘unfairly’’ criticised for their handling of clergy abuse when they always acted in accordance with the wishes of victims, who did not want to report priests to the police, an inquiry in Newcastle has been told.

Lachlan Gyles, SC, for the Diocese, told the Special Commission of Inquiry this morning no adverse findings should be made against it as officials had not obstructed police inquiries nor actively discouraged victims of Father Denis McAlinden or Father James Fletcher from reporting their abuse.

There was no clear evidence as to why McAlinden had moved about 30 times between parishes and overseas over several decades, Mr Gyles said.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC interjected to question whether the moves were made because McAlinden feared his ‘‘indiscretions with children’’ were about to be exposed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Paedophile Priest Banned from Priesthood

ARGENTINA
International Business Times

By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | September 25, 2013

Father Julio Cesar Grassi has been banned from priesthood on Tuesday.

The Argentine Roman Catholic priest has already been serving a jail sentence for 15 years due to the sexual abuse charge against him. The bishopric of Moron carried out the formalities of banning Fr Grassi in Buenos Aires.

Fr Grassi was renowned for convincing celebrities in the country to donate generously for the Happy Children Foundation. He raised millions for the foundation through several campaigns and TV appearances. Major celebrities who donated for the foundation have now remained aloof after Fr Grassi was charged.

He was charged for sexually abusing a teenage boy in 1996. However, he managed to move free in spite of the criminal charges against him. Later, the Buenos Aires Provincial Supreme Court sustained the jail sentence against him. Juan Pablo Gallego, the lawyer of the victim, pledged for an arrest of the priest on immediate effect.

On the other hand, Fr Grassi, 57, continued to insist that he was innocent of the criminal charges against him. Even though he has been under house arrest for years, he was freed for a brief period. He is also accused of sexually abusing other children from the orphanage. Nevertheless, every other charge against him has been dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Mistakes of the past won't be repeated: Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

The Hunter Valley's Catholic Church has moved to reassure a New South Wales inquiry into child sexual abuse the mistakes of the past will not be repeated.

The special commission is investigating claims the church covered up abuse by two paedophile priests, Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher.

Documents tendered to the inquiry show the church knew about McAlinden's abuse which spanned 50 years.

Representing the Maitland-Newcastle diocese Lachlan Giles has summed up his case, saying church officials should not be "unfairly criticised" for their handling of the allegations.

He said they were adhering to the victims' wishes not to involve police

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Predator priest's conduct 'horrific'

AUSTRALIA
Big Pond News

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Father Denis McAlinden was a predator involved in horrific conduct, a lawyer for the Catholic Church has told an abuse inquiry.

But not all of the 30 times the pedophile priest was moved to new parishes around the country could be linked to his sexual abuse, lawyer Lachlan Gyles said.

'There were a large number of moves where no reason was known,' said Mr Gyles who's representing the Maitland/Newcastle Catholic diocese.

But the lawyer assisting the commission, Julia Lonergan, fired back 'Some moves related to sexual abuse.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

September 24, 2013

El hermano del cura Grassi salió a defenderlo: "Lo acusan de cosas que no se demuestran"

ARGENTINA
Clarin

El hermano del cura Julio César Grassi, quien ayer quedó detenido y pasó la noche en el penal de Ituzaingó, se mostró “indignado” por la decisión de la Justicia. “Es todo un show que hacen sobre una causa”, dijo. Y consideró que al sacerdote “lo acusan de cosas que no se demuestran”.

Juan José Grassi, hermano del cura condenado a 15 años de prisión por los delitos de abuso sexual agravado y corrupción de menores, aseguró que el sacerdote es víctima de una “injusticia tremenda”.

"Los hechos (por los que fue condenado) no son comprobables, son todas palabras y dichos", afirmó. Al tiempo que remarcó: “Mi hermano es inocente y la Iglesia lo demostró en los libros que escribió”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

El cura Grassi fue trasladado al penal de campana

ARGENTINA
El Diario

El padre Julio César Grassi fue trasladado del penal de la localidad bonaerense de Ituzaingó al de Campana, durante este lunes, según informaron fuentes policiales. En el lugar también se encuentra alojado Carlos Carrascosa por el crimen de María Marta García Belsunce.

De esta manera, el cura, condenado por abuso sexual y corrupción de menores, fue trasladado a un penal de mayor seguridad, luego de que surgiera una polémica en torno al lugar donde fue alojado en un primer momento.

En el penal de Campana no será el único detenido por un caso resonante. Allí también se encuentra Carlos Carrascosa por el crimen de María Marta García Belsunce.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Emeritus Pope Benedict denies covering up abuse scandal ...

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail (UK)

Emeritus Pope Benedict denies covering up abuse scandal and defends Christianity to atheists as he emerges from long silence

By MARK DUELL
PUBLISHED: 18:57 EST, 24 September 2013

Benedict XVI has emerged from his self-imposed silence of seven months to deny covering up the sexually abusive priests scandal and defend Christianity to non-believers.

The emeritus pope released a letter to one of Italy's best-known atheists, which was his first work published since he retired - and his first-ever denial of personal responsibility for the sex scandal.

But what made the letter published yesterday in Italy's La Repubblica more remarkable was that it appeared just two weeks after Pope Francis penned a similar note to the newspaper's atheist editor.

It gives evidence that the two men in white, who live across the Vatican gardens from one another, are of the same mind about the need for such dialogue and may even be collaborating on it.

The Vatican said the letters’ appearance was just a coincidence. Benedict wrote his to mathematician and atheist Piergiorgio Odifreddi, who in 2011 penned a book titled ‘Dear Pope, I'm Writing to You.’

The book was Mr Odifreddi's reaction to Benedict's classic ‘Introduction to Christianity’. In his book, Mr Odifreddi posed a series of arguments about Catholicism, including the sex abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Benedict says he never hid abuse in church

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew

Wed, Sep 25, 2013

In a surprise statement, pope emeritus Benedict XVI yesterday claimed that in his time as pontiff he had never tried to hide clerical sex abuse crimes.

Benedict (86), who resigned as pope in February and was replaced by Pope Francis, made his remarks in the context of an open letter in yesterday’s Rome daily, La Repubblica, to mathematician, writer and atheist, Piergiorgio Odifreddi.

Replying to criticism regarding clerical child sex abuse, Pope Benedict writes: “With regard to what you write about the abuse of young people by priests, I can only, as you know well, express my profound consternation. I have never tried to hide these things. It is a matter of great suffering for us that the power of evil can penetrate right into the inner world of the faith. On the one hand, we have to carry this burden and, on the other, we have to do everything possible to guarantee that similar cases do not happen again.”

‘Filth’

Benedict goes on to reject the idea that this “filth” is in any way “peculiar to Catholicism” adding that, “according to sociological research”, the percentage of priests who are paedophiles is similar to the percentage of paedophiles in other professions. His words cut little ice with victims’ lobbies such as the US group, Snap, which commented yesterday:

“Over a clerical career that lasted more than six decades, we can’t think of a single child-molesting bishop, priest, nun, brother or seminarian that Benedict ever exposed . . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Priest Fired For Sexual Harassment

SOUTH DAKOTA
Keloland

ABERDEEN, SD - A priest serving as chaplain at Avera St. Luke Hospital and Avera Mother Joseph Manor in Aberdeen for more than 18 years has been fired by the Avera administration.

The Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls says recent allegations of sexual harassment by Reverend Charles Emezie against adult female staff members have been found credible. These allegations are also violations of the diocesan Sexual Misconduct policy. Father Emezie’s faculties to minister as a priest in the Diocese of Sioux Falls have been revoked and his bishop in Nigeria has been notified that he may no longer practice ministry in the diocese.

The Diocese of Sioux Falls encourages those who have been victims of sexual abuse or misconduct to contact its Victims Assistance Coordinator so that the Church might offer whatever assistance is appropriate. The coordinator or the diocesan chancellor can be reached at 800-700-7867.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Benedicto XVI...

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
El Colombiano

Benedicto XVI negó encubrimiento de abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes

El Papa Emérito Benedicto XVI negó que haya intentado encubrir abusos sexuales a menores por parte de sacerdotes católicos, en sus primeros comentarios directos publicados desde que renunció al papado.

Los comentarios fueron formulados en una carta de 11 páginas enviada por Joseph Ratzinger al autor y matemático italiano Piergiorgio Odifreddi, quien escribió un libro sobre los problemas que enfrenta la Iglesia Católica Romana antes de que Benedicto XVI renunciara en febrero.

"En lo que concierne a su mención del abuso moral de menores por parte de sacerdotes, solo puedo, como sabe, reconocerlo con profunda consternación. Pero nunca traté de encubrir estas cosas", sostuvo Benedicto XVI, quien ahora tiene el título de Papa Emérito.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

Father John Bambrick Believes Scandal with Archbishop Myers Impacted Decision to Bring in Coadjutor

NEW JERSEY
NJ Today

[with video]

After the announcement that Archbishop Bernard Hebda will serve as the new coadjutor, or an assistant bishop, for the Archdiocese of Newark, some are saying a major reason for the shared leadership is the recent controversy Newark Archbishop John Myers found himself in with regard to failing properly supervise Father Michael Fugee who violated a court order and repeatedly ministered to children. Father John Bambrick of the Diocese of Trenton told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he believes the scandal had an impact on officials in Rome.

Bambrick called the announcement “a day of great jubilation for the church in New Jersey, particularly for the Archdiocese of Newark.”

He explained that as coadjutor, Hebda will have the right to succeed Myers should he resign, die or retire. “He really is the new archbishop. There’s technicalities Archbishop Myers remains, but really it’ll be Archbishop Hebda who’ll be heading up the archdiocese,” Bambrick said.

While Bambrick said only those directly involved in the change know if the recent scandal affected the decision, he said it likely had a significant impact in Rome. “We’ve seen with Pope Francis that where bishops have recently had instances of maleficence he has removed them,” he said.

While Bambrick has been critical of Myers, he said Myers has done some great, influential work. “There’s no reason to dishonor him or disrespect him so I think this is a way of being respectful toward the archbishop and his work but also coming to the aid of the archdiocese in Newark at this time which is important,” Bambrick said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Shakeup at Newark Archdiocese Could Spell Beginning of the End ...

NEW JERSEY
YouTube

Published on Sep 24, 2013

Archbishop Bernard Hebda has been assigned as the new coadjutor, like an assistant archbishop, for the Newark archdiocese where Archbishop John Myers has faced controversy. For more New Jersey news, visit NJ Today online at http://www.njtvonline.org/njtoday/.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Shakeup at Newark Archdiocese Could Spell Beginning of the End for Myers

NEW JERSEY
NJ Today

[with video]

By David Cruz
NJ Today

Archbishop Myers and the new coadjutor — Archbishop Bernard Hebda — entered today’s press conference to a standing ovation from an audience made up of auxiliary bishops and archdiocese staff there, perhaps, to provide a buffer of good cheer against a press corps eager to hear from the usually camera averse church leader. His tenure has been marked by controversy, including charges that he helped to cover up child sex abuse in Peoria and failed to properly supervise Father Michael Fugee, who violated a court order by repeatedly ministering to children. Today Myers was asked if he would have done anything differently.

“Well, I probably would meet more often with the editorial board of the Star-Ledger,” he quipped to wild applause.

It’s been that kind of relationship with the media. Myers says the press has gotten a lot of things wrong, especially surrounding his role in the Fugee controversy. He said the coverage was slanted and often inaccurate, although he passed up the chance to set the record straight today.

“Am I angry? No,” he added. “I pray that I not be angry because I don’t think that’s appropriate and that’s not the Christian approach. Rather to pray for everyone, everyone in the Archdiocese which I do several times a day, including those who are in the media.” ...

Critics, like sex abuse survivors’ advocate Robert Hoatson, who has been dogged in his calls for Myers to step down, say they’re hopeful that Hebda’s arrival will mean the beginning of a transition toward the end of Myers’ tenure. But Hoatson said Hebda will need to act quickly.

“He’s coming to an archdiocese in crisis, serious crisis, we all know that,” said Hoatson. “Hopefully, Archbishop Hebda did the polite thing by congratulating his predecessor but hopefully will now say, ‘This is my show and I’ve got to heal something that is very critical, very serious here.’”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Church ‘made Cardinal Keith O’Brien scapegoat on sex abuse

SCOTLAND
The Times

Michael Glackin
Published at 12:01AM, August 24 2013

Its former adviser on sexual abuse has accused the Roman Catholic Church of making Cardinal Keith O’Brien a scapegoat to divert attention from its failure to properly address the issue.

The accusation follows claims made by Mario Conti, the retired Archbishop of Glasgow, that Cardinal O’Brien had refused to co-operate with plans put forward by bishops to invite an independent researcher to compile a report on each of Scotland’s eight dioceses handling of sex abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Emeritus Pope Benedict denies cover up, deaf victims in Wisconsin still wait

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director
CONTACT: 414.429.7259

(See SNAP’s international statement by Barbara Dorris).

Today it is being reported that Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has finally spoken about his involvement in the cover up of sexually abusive priests. Apparently, there wasn’t any. Why? Because he didn’t “try” to cover up for abusive priests.

The well-established truth, however, is that Benedict exercised authority over, knew of, was involved in, or neglected to take action concerning tens of thousands of priests who raped, sexually assaulted or abused hundreds of thousands of children across the globe over several decades.

This is especially and most grievously true in the pedophile priest case which has come to symbolize the entire wretched history of cover up and deception by the Vatican: Fr. Lawrence Murphy. Murphy, as is now well known, sexually assaulted over 200 deaf children at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee. Benedict knew of Murphy’s crimes, in detail, yet secretly ruled that the pedophile be left in the priesthood, unsupervised and untreated until his death.

Murphy is hardly the only case Benedict was directly involved in, but it is the one case in which he can still make an effort at amends which might mean something to those harmed. It’s not likely, given his continual denial, but he can reach out and offer a sincere apology to these courageous men and women. (See deaf survivor Steven Geier’s statement when the Benedict resigned.)

Appallingly, many of these same victims of Fr. Murphy are still being denied justice today by the Church. In Federal Bankruptcy Court the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has launched yet a new wave of motions in its nearly three year effort to prevent restitution to survivors of priest abusers, including many deaf victims of Murphy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Argentine Priest Jailed For Sex Abuse

ARGENTINA
The Wall Street Journal

By SHANE ROMIG

BUENOS AIRES—An Argentine priest who was once defended by Pope Francis against sex-abuse allegations has been ordered to prison to complete a 15-year sentence for sexually abusing an adolescent boy at a youth center over a decade ago.

Rev. Julio Grassi, a well-known priest who ran a shelter for troubled youth, was ordered to jail by a Buenos Aires provincial court late Monday, days after the priest lost his appeal to the province's high court. Father Grassi was convicted of aggravated sexual abuse in 2009, but had been allowed to stay in his house across the road from the center while he appealed the case.

Father Grassi said he would again appeal the case to the country's Supreme Court. I don't "have a trace of pedophilia," he told judges before they ordered him taken to the Ituzaingó prison.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi declined to comment.

The case is the most prominent abuse case in the pontiff's native land. Father Grassi was a high-profile figure in Buenos Aires during the 1990s and 2000's, running the Fundación Felices los Niños, or Happy Are The Children Foundation. He was frequently seen on television and rubbing elbow with celebrities, politicians and businessmen as he sought backing for the foundation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Newark Archdiocese Gets 2nd Archbishop

NEW JERSEY
NBC New York

By DAVID PORTER | Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013

Newark's Roman Catholic archbishop on Tuesday introduced the cleric appointed by the Vatican to assist him and denied that the move was related to criticism over his handling of a sexually abusive priest.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda, recently of Gaylord, Mich., was named coadjutor archbishop for 72-year-old Archbishop John Myers, who is to retire in mid-2016 as head of the Newark Archdiocese. A coadjutor automatically succeeds the current archbishop upon retirement, transfer or death, according to a statement by the archdiocese. Myers said Tuesday he intends "to be here until I'm 75."

Myers denied that Hebda's appointment was related to the controversy over the Rev. Michael Fugee, who stepped down in May, or to accusations that he failed to take action against a priest accused of molestation when Myers was bishop of Peoria, Ill.

"Absolutely not," Myers said. "It was at my own request. That was never part of any discussion and I don't think that there are substantiated reasons for them doing so. I don't think that it's about that."

On Tuesday, Myers said he had requested a coadjutor "some time ago" because the archdiocese is undertaking several major projects and he and two other bishops are in their 70s. Hebda is 54. When asked when he made the request, Myers declined to specify.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Emeritus Pope Benedict denies covering up sexual abuse in the church

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI [pictured left] has published a lengthy letter denying he covered up reports of sexual abuse by priests.

Benedict's comments were made in an 11-page letter to Piergiorgio Odifreddi, an Italian atheist and mathematician who in 2011 wrote a book about the problems facing the Catholic Church before the pope resigned.

Excerpts of the letter were published in the Rome newspaper La Repubblica on Tuesday.

In the book, Odifreddi poses several arguments polemical arguments about the Catholic faith, including the sex abuse scandal that has plagued the Church. ...

Meanwhile, victims' groups have rejected Benedict's denial and accuse him of not doing enough to stop the abuse of children by priests during his time at the Vatican.

In response, The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), released a statement saying: "In the Church's entire history, no one knew more but did less to protect kids than Benedict."
The crisis came to light in Boston in 2002 when media began reporting on cases of abuse that were systematically being covered up.

As a result, the Church has set up new guidelines such as how to deal with cases of past abuse, prevent new cases and report abuse to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Popular Stockton priest announces he's fathering a child

CALIFORNIA
News 10

Tim Daly

STOCKTON, CA - Dean McFalls, a well-known priest in the Stockton Diocese, has resigned after telling parishioners he's about to become the father of a baby boy.

"I definitely have disappointed many people," McFalls said. "That's why I've talked about it openly, so they won't be left guessing about what's going on."

McFalls was the pastor at St. Mary's Church in downtown Stockton. He announced his resignation in a statement read during mass on Sunday.

McFalls came to Stockton in 2008 from Lathrop's Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, according to The Record newspaper in Stockton. He has been outspoken about the city's struggles with crime and violence, among other issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Celibacy expert says Wehmeyer was giving 'danger signals'

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Anyone in a position of authority in the Roman Catholic Church should have been able to see "red flags" in the behavior of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, a priest now in prison on charges of child pornography and child sexual abuse, says a former priest who now works as a counselor in the field.

Wehmeyer served for years in parish positions in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, even as a series of allegations suggested that he was cruising for anonymous sex, propositioning strangers and spending unsupervised time with young boys.

"These are red flags," said Richard Sipe in an interview with Morning Edition. "These are danger signals," he said, that should have portrayed Wehmeyer as "compulsive and having a hard time controlling himself, as was very clear to the bishop and to the priests — some of the priests, certainly, in authority in St. Paul."

Sipe, a former priest and professor at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., is now a clinical mental health counselor in California. He has spent years researching celibacy and mental health among Roman Catholic priests.

He said the outlines of the Wehmeyer story are familiar, "and that's the problem. Sexual behavior by priests and bishops is very, very common.

"Now, most of it is not illegal. It might be hypocritical, and certainly at times it is abusive, with women or with men, but many times it is consensual. Many times it's activity that many men have. But it should not be in the priesthood."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Priest accused of sex with boy makes bail by posting home

PENNSYLVANIA
Times-Tribune

SCRANTON - A Lackawanna County priest accused of having sex with a 15-year-old boy posted $50,000 bail Tuesday, pending an as yet unscheduled preliminary hearing.

The Rev. William Paulish, 56, 450 Third St., Blakely, made bail by posting his house, court records show.

He was arrested last week after he was caught in his 2009 red Toyota Venza with a 15-year-old. He faces a charge of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person under 16, among other charges.

The Rev. Paulish was scheduled to appear before a magistrate on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing, but a motion for continuance filed by his attorney, Bernard Brown, on Monday was granted Tuesday. A new hearing date has not been scheduled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Outspoken priest steps down from St. Mary’s in Stockton

CALIFORNIA
The Record

By The Record
September 24, 2013

STOCKTON – Father Dean McFalls, an outspoken and popular priest, has resigned as pastor of St. Mary’s Church because, he told parishioners, he is about to become the father of a baby son.

McFalls, 58, has not been defrocked but is no longer able to perform his duties as a priest.

In a letter to the congregation, McFalls said, “I assume full responsibility for my actions and will do all that I can so that my child receives the care and love that he deserves.”

He has been replaced on an interim basis by Jose Luis Gutierrez, the vocations director for the Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Argentine Priest Banned From Priesthood

ARGENTINA
ABC News

A Roman Catholic priest who is serving a 15-year jail sentence in Argentina for sexually abusing a boy has been banned from the priesthood.

The bishopric of Moron in western Buenos Aires banned Father Julio Cesar Grassi from priestly duties Tuesday.

The priest well-known for persuading Argentine celebrities to donate to the Happy Children Foundation began serving his sentence a day earlier.

Grassi had earlier remained free despite charges of abusing the teenager in 1996.

He continued living across the street from the orphanage after his 2009 conviction while he appealed. Grassi was taken into custody Monday after the top provincial court upheld his sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Priest’s abuse ‘known’

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

A man who was abused by a Hunter Valley priest as a child says he wants to know why it remained a secret “when so many people knew”.

Peter Gogarty fronted a special NSW commission of inquiry ­yesterday into how Catholic church officials and police ­handled child sex abuse allegations involving priests James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden.

During Mr Gogarty’s 15 minute submission, there were tears and some applause in the public gallery.

As a result of his experiences and through discussions with other victims, he said two ­questions commonly arose: “What would my life have been if I had never met him and why was there so much secrecy when so many people knew?”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Priest Grassi trasnferred to Campana jail

ARGENTINA
Buenos Aires Herald

Priest Julio César Grassi, whose 15-year sentence to prison was confirmed yesterday by a Morón court, was transferred today from an Ituzaingo jail to one situated in the Buenos Aires lcoality of Campana.

According to authorities this place offers more security conditions, amid controversy surfaced over where the convicted priest would spend the next 15 years behind bars.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Archdiocese's handling of priest allegations needs scrutiny, group says

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Andy Greder
agreder@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 09/24/2013

A Minnesota victims support group called for a grand jury investigation Tuesday into how the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis handled allegations against a priest now in prison.

The Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, formerly assigned to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in St. Paul, is serving a five-year prison term for sexually abusing two children and possessing child pornography.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, wants Minnesota prosecutors to investigate whether at least three top Catholic officials "hid, tampered with or tried to tamper with evidence," according to a Minnesota Public Radio report. The report said that top archdiocese officials had known of Wehmeyer's sexual compulsions for nearly a decade yet kept him in the ministry.

In a statement Monday, the archdiocese stood by its response to Wehmeyer's actions, but added that improvements were being made to policies on how it deals with clergy misconduct.

The Ramsey County attorney's office did not immediately return an email seeking comment Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

El penal donde está Julio César Grassi es de mediana seguridad

ARGENTINA
Corrientes Hoy

[Summary: Priest Julio Cesar Grassi, convicted of abusing minors, had been sent to a medium security prison. The woman who heads a mothers and victims group said the prison to not secure enough to prevent potential escapes.]

Según la titular de la ONG “Madres y familiares de víctimas”, la propia gente del complejo reconoce que las instalaciones no están a la altura de las circunstancias. Alicia Angiono, titular de la ONG Madres y Familiares de Víctimas (Mafavi), sostuvo que la Unidad Penitenciaria número 39 de Ituzaingó "no está preparada para que estén alojados internos de máxima peligrosidad, sin embargo está cada vez más llena de asesinos, violadores seriales y femicidas, que son enviados allí por la cercanía con sus familias".

"La propia gente del penal plantea que no tiene la estructura necesaria para evitar fugas, porque se trata de un complejo de mediana seguridad, diseñado para la etapa final de las condenas, cuando los internos empiezan a recibir salidas transitorias o trabajan afuera, para la resocialización. Esto de ninguna manera ocurre con presos como Julio Grassi o tantos más que lograron que los manden allí, y que son violadores seriales, asesinos o femicidas", dijo Angiono.

La titular de la organización manifestó, asimismo, que "se viene trabajando hace varios años, porque los propios vecinos que habitan en cercanías de la cárcel saben que se registran muchísimas fugas de gente peligrosa, que reciben el beneficio del traslado y cuando pueden se escapan".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Newark's New Coadjutor

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Michael Sean Winters | Sep. 24, 2013 Distinctly Catholic

I dined with two clerics last night who had nothing but good things to say about the new coadjutor archbishop of Newark, Bp Bernie Hebda. I am just thrilled that this appointment came so quickly. Of course, in this case, Archbishop Myers lost all credibility when he penned an insanely defensive letter to his priests, accusing the press of being evil for its reporting of his own mistakes in handling sex abuse cases in both Newark and Peoria. And, the deposition that was released in Peoria was appalling - he sounded like a tobacco executive assuring us that smoking doesn't cause cancer. But, nothing +Myers did was any worse than what was done by Bp Finn, who is still gloriously reigning in Kansas City- St. Joseph and, unlike Abp Myers, Bp Finn has been convicted of child endangerment in a civil court. It is time for Rome to take action, no matter what +Finn's powerful patrons say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Bernard Hebda is named coadjutor of NJ's largest diocese, likely successor to Newark archbishop

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

[with video]

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on September 24, 2013

NEWARK — Newark Archbishop John J. Myers this morning welcomed a partner in governing the archdiocese.

Bernard A. Hebda, the bishop of Gaylord, Mich., will assist Myers in running New Jersey’s largest diocese, which has more than 1.3 million Roman Catholics in Essex, Union, Hudson and Bergen counties. Myers has been archbishop since 2001.

Myers said he requested a coadjutor from the Vatican "some time ago," but he declined to say when. "I don't think I need to talk about my conversations with Rome," Myers said.

Myers said Hebda would be active in all parts of the archdiocese's administration. He is expected to succeed Myers upon Myers' retirement at age 75.

Hebda said he was surprised but happy about his new placement, and that he looked forward to the challenge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

Former Pittsburgh priest named archbishop-in-waiting in New Jersey

NEW JERSEY
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Bill Zlatos

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013

Pope Francis has appointed Bernard A. Hebda, a former Pittsburgh priest and bishop of Gaylord, Mich., as the coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., local diocesan officials announced Tuesday.

Hebda was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1989 and left the area in December 2009 to become the bishop of Gaylord.

According to the Star-Ledger of Newark, Hebda will assist John J. Myers in running New Jersey's largest diocese, with more than 1.3 million Roman Catholics in Essex, Union, Hudson and Bergen counties. Myers has been archbishop since 2001.

As coadjutor archbishop, he will replace Myers at some point in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Pope names Bishop Bernard Hebda as future archbishop of Newark, to succeed Archbishop John Myers

NEW JERSEY
News 12

NEWARK - Pope Francis has named a new bishop to help out, and eventually take over, for the archbishop in New Jersey's largest city.

Bishop Bernard Hebda, from a diocese in Michigan, was named the coadjutor archbishop Tuesday. He will serve alongside 72-year-old Archbishop John Myers until he retires in mid-2016.

Myers has denied the appointment was made in response to the recent controversies surrounding the Rev. Michael Fugee, who was accused of sexual abuse.

Fugee has confessed to assaulting a boy, but returned to his post with an agreement that he be kept from unsupervised contact with minors. Authorities say he became part of a youth group despite this arrangement.

Fugee has since resigned and was arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Pope names second archbishop to assist Newark Archbishop Myers

NEW JERSEY
NorthJersey.com

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The pope has named a new archbishop to help out and eventually take over for the archbishop of Newark, who is under fire for his handling of a sexually abusive priest.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda, recently of Gaylord, Michigan, was named coadjutor archbishop Tuesday for 72-year-old Archbishop John Myers, who is to retire in mid-2016.

When questioned about the change at news conference, Myers denied the appointment was made in response to the recent controversies involving the Rev. Michael Fugee.

Fugee confessed to grabbing a boy's crotch but returned to the ministry under an agreement that he be kept from unsupervised contact with minors. Instead, authorities say he became a fixture at a youth group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

KUDOS TO ARCHBISHOP NIENSTEDT

MINNESOTA
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on the way St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John C. Nienstedt is handling priestly misconduct:

On Sunday, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced it was putting a priest on leave after a woman said he inappropriately touched her. The priest denies the accusation; the allegation was reported to the police. Yesterday, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) ran a story on a previous case: it said the archdiocese knew of the misconduct of Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer before he abused two boys in 2010.

In early June 2012, the mother of the abused boys told a priest about the molestation. He urged her to call the police. On June 14, she provided details and was told to report this to the archdiocese. On June 19, she met with officials and one of the boys was questioned. On June 20, the police were contacted; the authorities were told that the priest would be relieved of his duties on June 21. He was. In September, the Ramsey County Attorney commended the archdiocese saying, “They did the right thing.”

Some critics are saying the archdiocese should have dealt with Wehmeyer before the abuse occurred. In 2004, three years after being ordained, Wehmeyer made sexually suggestive remarks to two men, 19 and 20, but they never complained. The archdiocese found out anyway, and sent the priest to St. Luke Institute for counseling. Two years later, he was found cruising in an area known for gay sex; no law was violated. In 2009, he was arrested for drunk driving. Fr. Kevin McDonough, a former vicar general, said last week that “[N]othing, nothing, nothing in this man’s behavior known to us would have convinced any reasonable person that he was likely to harm kids.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

NEWS RELEASE: FORMER POPE BENEDICT DENIES SEXUAL ABUSE COVER-UP

UNITED STATES
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Former Pope Benedict Denies Sexual Abuse Cover-up
Attorney: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Statement of Jeff Anderson

There is an expression that states, “When you blame others, you give up the power to change.” Former Pope Benedict’s statement issued today, denying the cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, is both alarming and disturbing and yet another crystal-clear reflection of the Vatican, its power structure and the clerical culture that is still present today.

Unfortunately, the Vatican’s cycle of blaming others and refusing to change continues despite records revealed across the globe, particularly in the United States as a result of civil litigation, which demonstrate a longstanding pattern and practice of secrecy inside the church hierarchy. Benedict, as former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1981-2005, received all reports made to the Vatican concerning child sexual abuse yet the pattern of secrecy remained in-tact as it still does today, as part of Canon law, concealed from the police, prosecutors and the public.

Apologies to victims of sexual abuse and recognition of mistakes does not alleviate the burdens these survivors carry, across the world, many of whom we work with every day. The wounds, caused by the clerics and top officials in concealing the sexual abuse, continue to remain open and every time responsibility is denied, salt is poured in these wounds.

Until there is full recognition and accounting of their responsibility that is more than just words, there can be no healing. That means, among other things, breaking the denial demonstrated by Benedict and embedded in the clerical culture. We will continue to stand beside the survivors, sharing in their journey to obtain the transparency and accountability that they so rightfully deserve.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

ARCHBISHOP MYERS ACQUIRES CO-ADJUTOR

NEW JERSEY
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments as follows:

Newark Archbishop John J. Myers is fortunate to acquire the stellar assistance of Bishop Bernard A. Hebda. Three of Newark’s bishops, including Myers, are in their 70s, so picking up the 54-year-old Bishop of Gaylord, Michigan is a real plus.

As usual, there are a few carping voices. Much is still being made over the antics of Fr. Michael Fugee, the priest who resigned after violating a judicial order. In 2001, he was charged with groping a teenager while wrestling in front of family members. Myers was unfairly blamed for Fugee’s refusal to abide by strictures he agreed to respect. Now critics are contending that Hebda’s appointment is a reflection on Myers’ tenure.

Archbishop Myers requested assistance from Rome some time ago; it is hardly an unusual request for someone nearing retirement age. Yet according to Charles Reid, who teaches at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, “[A]t the very least we can say this happened because of the sex-abuse scandal.” At the very least, we can say it is a disgrace for a law professor to make accusations without corroborating evidence. Also, it is striking to see Reid get worked up about this issue: in July, he lectured the “religious right” for their fixation on “loose sexual mores.”

David Clohessy, director of SNAP, criticized Pope Francis for going easy on Myers’ alleged cover-ups. He knows something about cover-ups: he refused to report his brother, Kevin, to the cops when he learned that his sibling was a molester.

Robert Hoatson says the acquisition of Hebda means Myers is “on the way out.” He is an expert on what it feels like to be “on the way out”: he is an ex-priest. Moreover, he commands no following. To wit: last month he held a demonstration against Myers. Three people showed up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

NJ - SNAP challenges new Newark Catholic official

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Sept. 24

Statement by Mark Crawford, SNAP New Jersey Director (732-632-7687, mecrawf@comcast.net)

Many Catholic feel hopeful because of the new coadjutor archbishop of Newark. Their hopes will soon be dashed, however, unless he takes clear, strong steps very soon to better safeguard kids.

So we publicly beg Archbishop Bernard Hebda to insist that the archdiocese post names of predator priests on its website. This is the quickest, safest and cheapest way Catholic officials can safeguard children – to let parishioners and the public know who the proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics are.

And it’s the best way for Archbishop Hebda to prove that he’s not just “window dressing” for a dreadfully corrupt archdiocesan hierarchy.

Roughly 30 US bishops have done this, almost always when facing strong public pressure and criticism.

[BishopAccountability.org]

None of those bishops has expressed regret about having posted these names. None, as best we can tell, has ever been sued for posting these names.

It would take virtually no expense and only a few hours to post this list. More names can always be added later.

But it would instantly warn perhaps thousands and thousands of unsuspecting neighbors, co-worker and even relatives about potentially dangerous clerics. It would surely prevent one child from being sexually assaulted by a priest, nun, seminarian or other Catholic employee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Pope denies abuse cover up; Chicago abuse victim responds

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Sept. 24

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com )

After six months of virtual silence (and complete inaction), a pope finally addresses the continuing clergy sex crime and cover up crisis in the church. The problem is: it’s the wrong pope. And it’s the wrong message.

Pope Benedict, the retired pope, now denies ever covering up heinous, world-wide sexual violence against children. We obviously and vehemently disagree. (That’s why we have filed and continue pursuing a formal complaint against Benedict and three of his colleagues at the International Criminal Court.)

But it’s Pope Francis, not Pope Benedict, who should be addressing this crisis. And he should do so in the only way that matters - with deeds, not words. Those deeds, that action, has not happened yet, six months into Francis’ papacy. No child on the planet is safer now because Pope Francis replaced Pope Benedict.

But no one need give up on Pope Benedict yet. Though he is elderly and retired, he is clearly still very smart and articulate. He is freer now than ever to “come clean.”

Pope Benedict says he didn’t protect predators and conceal crimes. We challenge him to prove this. We challenge him to, right now, to better protect children, expose the truth and help heal the wounded, by publicly sharing any details about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. We challenge him to, right now, publicly name even a handful of the tens of thousands of bishops, priests, nuns, brothers and seminarians who have committed or concealed sexual violence against children. Especially those who are still on the job. Especially those who’ve been transferred from one nation to another. Especially those have not already been exposed thanks to the actions of brave victims, diligent journalists, determined prosecutors or courageous whistleblowers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Former Pope Benedict denies covering up sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Toronto Star

By: Reuters, Published on Tue Sep 24 2013

VATICAN CITY- Former Pope Benedict has denied that he tried to cover up sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests, in his first direct published comments since he stepped down.

The comments came in an 11-page letter to Italian author and mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi, who had written a book about the problems facing the Roman Catholic Church before the pope resigned in February.

“As far as you mentioning the moral abuse of minors by priests, I can only, as you know, acknowledge it with profound consternation. But I never tried to cover up these things,” Benedict, who now has the title Emeritus Pope, said. ...

Victims groups have accused Benedict of not doing enough to stop the abuse of children by priests while he was pope and before when he was head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office.

They say there is much still to be discovered about how the Church behaved in the past and want more bishops who were aware of abuse to be held responsible.

The Catholic Church’s crisis came to light in Boston in 2002 when media began reporting how cases of abuse were systematically covered up and abusive priests were shuttled from parish to parish instead of being defrocked and handed over to civil authorities.

Since then, the Catholic Church in many countries has set up new guidelines to deal with cases of past abuse, prevent new cases, report abuse to police, and stop potential abusers from entering the priesthood in the first place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Ex-Pope Benedict denies abuse cover-up

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

The former Pope, Benedict XVI, has denied any role in covering up child sex abuse by priests, in his first public comments since retirement.

The emeritus Pope, as he is now known, addressed the issue in a detailed letter to a prominent atheist, which also covered many other matters.

It is thought to be the first time that Benedict has publicly rejected personal responsibility for covering up abuse.

Some critics say he must have known of efforts to protect abusive priests.

Benedict's letter, to the professor of mathematics Piergiorgio Odifreddi, was published in La Repubblica newspaper after the professor sought the former Pope's permission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Benedict emerges from papal retirement to defend record on sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (UK)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has broken his self-imposed silence with a lengthy letter to a prominent atheist in which he defended himself from accusations he did not do enough to bring to justice sexually abusive priests.

By Nick Squires, Rome7:23PM BST 24 Sep 2013

The ex-pontiff spoke of his "profound consternation" that "evil" had entered so deeply into the Catholic faith. But he denied that he had, either as pope or previously as head of the Vatican office dealing with abuse cases, tried to "cover up" the scandals that tarnished the Church's reputation around the world.

"That the power of evil penetrated so far into the interior world of the faith is a suffering that we must bear, but at the same time must do everything to prevent it from repeating," he said.

The missive, sent to Piergiorgio Odifreddi, an atheist mathematician, and reprinted on the front page of leading Italian daily La Repubblica, was the first published statement from Benedict since he said on his retirement that he would live out his remaining years "hidden from the world".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Former pope breaks silence, denies sex abuse cover up

VATICAN CITY
CNN

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) – Retired Pope Benedict XVI says he never tried to hide the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, breaking his post-retirement silence to address one of the greatest threats to his legacy as a church leader.

In a lengthy letter published in La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper, the former pope answered theological and moral arguments from Piergiorgio Odifreddi, an Italian atheist and mathematician who had written about Benedict in 2011.

Earlier this month, La Repubblica also published a letter to its atheist editor from Pope Francis, Benedict's successor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

“I never covered up child sex abuse cases”, Ratzinger tells religion critic

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Benedict XVI gives prominent mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi a slap on the wrist in a letter published by Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”

MARCO TOSATTI
ROME

After Francis’ letter to Eugenio Scalfari, the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, it’s now Benedict XVI’s turn to send one. Ratzinger has written a letter to mathematician, media buff and religion critic, Piergiorgio Odifreddi. Odifreddi, who is particularly critical of the Catholic faith, wrote the book “Caro Papa ti scrivo” (“A word to you dear Pope”) in response to Ratzinger’s work “Introduction to Christianity”.

Now Benedict XVI has replied to him. His letter was too long for La Repubblica newspaper to publish in full but will feature in a new book by Odifreddi, who must be pretty happy to be publishing what he defined as “a one-off in the history of the Church: a dialogue between a theologian Pope and an atheist mathematician.”

“Church, do not keep silent about evils but let faith leave a trail of light.” This phrase sums up Ratzinger’s rich and profound theological thinking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

Co-Adjutor Archbishop Named for Newark Archdiocese

NEWARK (NJ)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark

The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark, today announced to a gathering of local journalists and Archdiocesan employees and guests in the Newark Archdiocesan Center offices that His Holiness, Pope Francis, has granted his request to name a Co-Adjutor Archbishop to assist in the administration of this local Church of Newark.

The Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda, until today Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, MI, was named Co-Adjutor.

In making this announcement, Archbishop Myers stated: “Today I have the personal privilege and honor of introducing Bishop Bernard A. Hebda.

“Considering some major projects to be implemented in the Archdiocese, and the fact that three of us Bishops in Newark are in our 70’s, I had requested a Co-Adjutor Archbishop some time ago. Pope Francis has honored my request and honored the Archdiocese of Newark by the gift of appointing Most Reverend Bernard Hebda as Co-Adjutor Archbishop of this Great Archdiocese.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Grassi behind bars 'brings some peace to victims,' plaintiff

ARGENTINA
Buenos Aires Herald

Plaintiff in the case that has ended with priest Julio César Grassi jailed yesterday charged with sexual abuse and corruption of minors, considered the judicial decision to put Grassi behind bars after more than 10 years since he was first convicted will bring “some peace” to the victims.

Lawyer Juan Pablo Gallego told media that “victims have been the great absents in this debate until now.”

“This person (Grassi) always considered that the only one with guarantees was him,” Gallego insisted and questioned the legal procedure that “kept” the priest “free” while he “accessed the Happy Children Foundation and insulted the victims in television.”

“The victims got some peace yesterday, their guarantees have been recovered and not only those of an impeached who has been convicted three times,” the lawyer affirmed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Cardinals' summit shapes up as potential turning point

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Sep. 24, 2013

Francis' papacy only just reached the six-month mark, so it's probably premature to be talking about make-or-break moments for his legacy. That said, the Oct. 1-3 maiden summit of eight cardinals from around the world, tapped by the pope to advise him on governance and reform, profiles as a potentially critical turning point.

When those eight cardinals, plus a bishop-secretary, sit down with Pope Francis in a meeting room in the Apostolic Palace, the expectation is that some serious sausage will be ground on a variety of fronts:

An ongoing cleanup of Vatican finances;

* Reorganization, and potential downsizing, of the Vatican bureaucracy;
* Ensuring that the right people end up in the right Roman jobs;
* Vexed pastoral questions such as annulments and divorced and remarried Catholics.

Dubbed the "G-8," the panel was announced in April and styled as a move toward greater collegiality. The American on the team is Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, joined by Cardinals Giuseppe Bertello, governor of Vatican City; Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa of Santiago, Chile; Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; Reinhard Marx of Munich; Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo; and George Pell of Sydney. Rodríguez is the group's coordinator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Emeritus Pope Benedict emerges and defends his abuse record

VATICAN CITY
The Salt Lake Tribune

By NICOLE WINFIELD | The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY • Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has emerged from his self-imposed silence inside the Vatican walls to publish a lengthy letter to one of Italy’s most well-known atheists. In it, he denies having covered up for sexually abusive priests and discusses everything from evolution to the figure of Jesus Christ.

Excerpts of the letter were published Tuesday by La Repubblica, the same newspaper which just two weeks ago published a similar letter from Pope Francis to its own atheist publisher.

The letters indicate that the two men in white — who live across the Vatican gardens from one another — are pursuing an active campaign to engage non-believers. It’s a melding of papacies past and present that has no precedent and signals that the popes — while very different in style, personality and priorities — are of the same mind on many issues and might even be collaborating on them.

Benedict wrote the letter to Piergiorgio Odifreddi, an Italian atheist and mathematician who in 2011 wrote a book "Dear Pope, I’m Writing to You." The book was Odifreddi’s reaction to Benedict’s classic "Introduction to Christianity," perhaps his best-known work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

He's back! Benedict XVI speaks out on sex abuse – and calls Richard Dawkins 'science fiction'

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Tim Stanley

We've heard very little from Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI since his retirement, but he's made a surprise return to public life. Benedict has written a letter to the atheist mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi, covering subjects from the sex abuse scandal to evolution – and extracts have been released by Italy's La Repubblica newspaper. Coming off the back of Francis' letter to another atheist on the subject of obeying one's conscience, it's hard not to draw parallels between the two and there's already discussion about the possibility of collaboration. Either way, Benedict makes some interesting points.

First, he rejects involvement in the cover up of priests engaged in sexual abuse:

I have never tried to hide these things. That the power of evil penetrate to such an extent in the inner world of faith is for us a suffering which, on the one hand, we have to endure, while, on the other, we must at the same time, do everything possible to ensure that such cases do not repeated.

This probably will not satisfy those who feel the Church hasn't done nearly enough or with sufficient speed – and who will continue, fairly or not, to blame the Vatican for the inaction. Benedict adds that this one sin should not blind people to the wider accomplishments of Christianity:

You have to remember the great figures and even that faith has produced – by Benedict of Nursia and his sister Scholastica, Francis and Clare of Assisi, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, the great saints of charity as Vincent de Paul and Camillo de Lellis to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the great and noble figures of the nineteenth century Turin. It is also true today that faith leads many people to selfless love, in service to others, sincerity and justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

Pope Francis Names Future Newark Archbishop

NEW JERSEY
CBS New York

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The pope has named a coadjutor bishop to help out and eventually take over for the archbishop of Newark who has faced harsh criticism for his handling of a sexually abusive priest.

Pope Francis appointed Bishop Bernard A. Hebda of Michigan to serve alongside current Archbishop John Myers.

Hebda will also succeed Myers when he vacates the office. Myers is 72 years old; bishops must submit their resignations when they turn 75.

Coadjutor bishops are often named for large archdioceses. They take over automatically when the incumbent retires or dies. Naming Hebda with three years to go before Myers retires could be a sign that Pope Francis believed Newark needed fresh leadership now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Hebda, Bishop of Diocese of Gaylord, named Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark, N.J.

MICHIGAN
Petoskey News

Jordan Spence (231) 439-9397 - jspence@petoskeynews.com
9:12 a.m. EDT, September 24, 2013

GAYLORD — Pope Francis has named Bishop Bernard Hebda, of Gaylord, coadjutor archbishop for the archdiocese of Newark, N.J.

As coadjutor, Archbishop Hebda will assist the current Archbishop John Myers in the administration of the archdiocese. He will automatically succeed Myers upon his retirement or death. Myers is set to retire in mid-2016 because of how he handled a sexually abusive priest. The archdiocese said it was unaware the priest subsequently worked with youths, according to the Associated Press.

Hebda expressed sadness at having to leave the Diocese of Gaylord in a letter written after being informed of his new appointment.

“Today’s news that the Holy Father has named me the coadjutor archbishop of Newark brings with it the sadness of having to leave the Diocese of Gaylord,” Hebda wrote. “I have come to consider this local church my home and will find it difficult to leave so many faith-filled parishes, schools and friends. Anything that I know about being a bishop I learned from you — and for that I will be always thankful.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Benedict denies concealing abuse; SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013

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 )

Pope Benedict now claims he never covered up for predator priests. He could not be more wrong.

[Reuters]

Over a clerical career that lasted more than six decades, we can’t think of a single child molesting bishop, priest, nun, brother or seminarian than Benedict ever exposed.

In the church’s entire history, no one knew more but did less to protect kids than Benedict. As head of CDF, thousands of cases of predator priests crossed his desk. Did he choose to warn families or call police about even one of those dangerous clerics? No. That, by definition, is a cover up.

Benedict is a smart man. He knows that each one of those individuals should have been reported to law enforcement. Yet he never made those call. Nor did he order others to make those calls. Nor did he ever discipline or denounce - in even the slightest way - those who clearly hid clergy sex crimes from law enforcement (like Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City who was convicted for hiding clergy child sex crimes).

Only under intense pressure, and only in the waning months of his papacy, did Benedict begin to even make the most pathetic gestures regarding child sex crimes or cover ups. And they were indeed gestures – largely symbolic acts that had and have zero impact in protecting kids.

The opposite of “covering up” is “uncovering” or “disclosing.” Again, we cannot name one predatory bishop, priest, nun, brother or seminarian who was publicly exposed because of Benedict.

Six months ago, here’s what we said about “Setting Pope Benedict's record straight” -

Let’s get specific. What exactly DID Pope Benedict do about the committing and concealing of child sex crimes in the church? LA Times writer Mitchell Lansberg did a good job of summarizing the case made by Benedict’s defenders, who say that he:

1. “essentially banished an influential Mexican priest, Father Marcial Maciel, who had long been suspected of sexually abusing seminarians and boys in his care and had fathered at least three children”

2. “ordered investigations into sexual abuse and issued guidelines in 2010 that made it easier to punish abusive priests”

3. “spoke of the ‘deep shame’ and ‘humiliation’ the scandal had brought on the Catholic Church. He apologized to victims”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

What The Church Needs More Than a ‘Good Pope’

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

Mary E. Hunt

According to a September 20 AP report, “Pope Francis offered an olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic Church on Friday as he denounced abortions as a symptom of today’s ‘throw-away culture’ and encouraged Catholic doctors to refuse to perform them.”

This is indeed ironic, as many have already noted, coming as it does just a day after the publication of the pope's apparently anti-culture war interview. However, in her analysis below Mary E. Hunt expresses her concern that a failure to change doctrine may ultimately yield little or no change. Thus, her both/and approach is affirmed, and nearly in real time. –eds

***

The Jesuit journalistic coup, quickly known as the Pope’s interview—officially “A Big Heart Open to God”—will take years to parse. Early headlines heralding a new moment in church history are largely correct, but not necessarily for the reasons cited. While it is true that Pope Francis has downplayed some of the hot button issues: “abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods…it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” it’s also true that in no way did he disavow them: “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church…”

I would not advise holding one’s breath until those official teachings are replaced with sensible, respectful recognitions that adults make their own choices on matters of personal morality. Rather, I observe that the trajectory that millions of lay Catholics have set is finally being joined by some clerics, including this most highly placed one. My caution is simpy not to miss the forest for the trees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

Cipriani no dice si habló de Miranda con el Papa

PERU
La Republica

En una entrevista concedida al portal Zenit, el arzobispo de Lima, Juan Luis Cipriani, reveló que durante más de una hora habló con el papa Francisco de temas pastorales referentes al Perú en un "clima de amistad y confianza", pero no mencionó si se trató también el caso del ex obispo Gabino Miranda.

El primado contó además que regaló al Sumo Pontífice dos estatuillas de Santa Rosa de Lima y de San Martín de Porres, así como sus respectivas biografías, porque poco después de ser elegido como Santo Padre le dijo: "No te olvides de rezar por mí a Santa Rosa" y, poco después, le pidió que lo "encomiende al negrito de la escoba", tal y como es conocido San Martín de Porres.

Agregó que el Papa lo recibió con el "cariño de siempre" y que se saludaron con "un largo abrazo". Luego dijo que Francisco le preguntó por el seminario y por las vocaciones sacerdotales, a lo que él respondió comentándole sobre el incremento de las confesiones, de asistencia a la misa y de que muchos sienten como si hubiera un ambiente nuevo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

Fiscal pide al Arzobispado y al nuncio apostólico las acusaciones contra Miranda

PERU
La RepublicaI

nvestigación. Representante del Ministerio Público de Ayacucho espera una copia del expediente para identificar a víctimas y poder establecer responsabilidades.
Elías Navarro, Ayacucho.

El fiscal Garay Chávez Valdivia, de la 1a fiscalía provincial de Huamanga, solicitó a los arzobispados de Ayacucho y Lima copias del expediente que determinó la salida de la Iglesia Católica del ex obispo auxiliar Gabino Miranda Melgarejo.

La misma solicitud fue hecha al nuncio apostólico, o representante diplomático de la Santa Sede en el Perú, monseñor James Patrick Green.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

Pedirán información a embajada del Vaticano en Perú sobre caso de pedofilia

JORNADA
Peru

Iniciaron las investigaciones. El presidente de la Junta de Fiscales del Distrito Judicial de Ayacucho, Javier Gonzáles, dio a conocer que ya se han iniciado las investigaciones por el presunto caso de pedofilia en contra del quien hasta hace un poco más de tres meses se desempeñaba como obispo auxiliar de Ayacucho, Gabino Miranda.

Por ese motivo, el fiscal encargado de llevar el caso es Garry Armando Chávez, de la Primera Fiscalía en lo Penal, el mismo que ya informó a sus superiores que se han cursado los documentos correspondientes para que la Fiscalía de la Nación, que tiene que ver con denuncias de delitos internacionales, tenga que ser la encargada de solicitar toda la información a través del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores a la embajada del Vaticano en el Perú.

“La denuncia fiscal, hasta el momento, se inició con la información que se ha propalado a nivel de los medios radiales y televisivos de alcance nacional, esperamos que los trámites con respecto a este tema se tengan que agilizar y tener una respuesta inmediata por parte de la Santa Sede sobre este particular; debo indicar también que la Fiscalía de la Nación nos remitió un documento para iniciar estas investigaciones”, manifestó Javier Gonzáles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Novicias fueron víctimas de obispo violador según reporte

PERU
El Popular

[Summary; The situation with former bishop Gabino Miranda is increasingly complicated. The complaint against the bishop came from the church and alleged that some novices were being pressured or sexually harassed by MIranda.]

La situación del ex obispo de Ayacucho Gabino Miranda, es cada vez más complicada. Según reveló el periodista Nicolás Lúcar en su programa Punto final, las agraviadas serían unas novicias.

“La denuncia ha provenido de la misma Iglesia católica, donde algunas novicias habrían sido presionadas o maltratadas sexualmente por el obispo, ahora simplemente Gabino Miranda”, afirmó el conductor del espacio dominical de Frecuencia Latina.

Como es público, el ex obispo Gabino Miranda fue destituido por el Papa, acusado de abusar de menores. La noche del domingo se conoció de la existencia de una carta del ex obispo de Ayacucho dirigida al Vaticano, en la que afirma que “en ciertas circunstancias he sido imprudente”. Aún no se sabe nada sobre su paradero.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Creen en su inocencia...

PERU
Diario La Voz

Creen en su inocencia: jóvenes respaldan a Ex obispo Auxiliar Gabino Miranda

Un grupo de jóvenes catequistas se reunieron ayer en la Plaza Mayor de Huamanga para mostrar su respaldo al Ex obispo auxiliar de Ayacucho, Gabino Miranda Melgarejo, quien fue destituido de ese cargo por el presunto delito de pedofilia.

Los jóvenes catequistas que trabajaron con Gabino Miranda en la pastoral juvenil respaldaron la inocencia de Miranda Melgarejo, quien, según informaron, se encuentra delicado de salud.

“Nosotros venimos aquí para elevar nuestras oraciones y que el Señor y la Virgen del Carmen lo protejan, Desde aquí le mandamos un caluroso saludo porque la fuerza del Señor lo acompañe porque siempre estuvo en el camino del bien”, señaló la catequista Ana Tumbalobos quien destacó que Gabino Miranda era un misionero nato por sus constantes viajes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

The Vatican made the announcement Tuesday.

MICHIGAN
Up North Live

GAYLORD -- Pope Francis has named Reverend Bernard A. Hebda, of the Diocese of Gaylord, the Coadjutor Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey.

The Vatican made the announcement Tuesday.

As coadjutor, Archbishop Hebda will assist the current Archbishop John Myers in the administration of the archdiocese and will automatically succeed Archbishop Myers upon his retirement, transfer or death.

Myers is under fire for his handling of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church. According to the Associated Press, Myers has been criticized for his handling of a priest barred from unsupervised contact with minors after grabbing a boy's crotch. The archdiocese said it was unaware he subsequently worked with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

Michigan bishop's appointment as coadjutor archbishop in Newark archdiocese is confirmed

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Star-Ledger Staff
on September 24, 2013

The expected appointment of Bishop Bernard A. Hebda as coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese Newark was confirmed this morning in an e-mail from the Vatican News Service.

Hebda's appointment will be made official at 11 a.m. today at the archdiocesan offices in Newark.

Hebda will assist John J. Myers in running New Jersey’s largest diocese, with more than 1.3 million Roman Catholics in Essex, Union, Hudson and Bergen counties. Myers has been archbishop since 2001.

Advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse suggested the move was almost certainly tied to scandals that have clouded Myers’ stewardship of the archdiocese this year. During that period, one priest was arrested after violating a ban on ministry to children, and another took up residence in a parish despite a credible history of sexual abuse.

Myers also was faulted last month for missing or ignoring signs of abuse among priests during his former assignment as bishop of Peoria, Ill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Katholischer Priester gesteht sexuellen Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
Merkur

Ein katholischer Priester hat vor dem Landgericht Würzburg den wiederholten sexuellen Missbrauch eines Jungen gestanden. „Ich möchte im Wesentlichen der Anklage zustimmen“, sagte der 58-Jährige zum Auftakt des Prozesses am Dienstag. Er sei jedoch nicht pädophil. Die Staatsanwaltschaft hatte ihm zuvor Kindesmissbrauch in 14 Fällen vorgeworfen. Der Angeklagte hatte sich 2011 an den Missbrauchsbeauftragten seines Ordens gewandt und selbst angezeigt. „Ich bedauere die Taten zutiefst“, sagte er.

Der Geistliche soll sich zwischen 1993 und 1998 am Sohn einer Freundin vergangen haben. Der Bub war anfangs fünf Jahre alt. Er lebte zeitweise im Pfarrhaus des 58-Jährigen im unterfränkischen Landkreis Main-Spessart, da die Mutter dort einige Jahre als Haushälterin arbeitete. Der Angeklagte nahm nach Darstellung der Staatsanwaltschaft eine Art Vaterrolle für den Jungen ein.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

To Bishop Kevin Britt and Msgr. John Zenz

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

The following is copy of a memo received by SNAP:

FROM: Bishop Bernard J. Harrington
DATE: September 22, 1997
RE: Sexual Harassment Case/Fr. Lou Grandpre/St. Paul of Tarsus

I met Lou Grandpre at the East Macomb Vicariate Meeting today and he was quite “down”. He has informed me that things have gone very poorly in the sexual harassment case. He has reported that we have lost the mediation process from last August with the recommended settlement of about $160,000.00.

Lou feels that our case was not well presented for the mediators. For example: the petitioner had a detailed psychiatric report on the devastation of this whole thing to the victim and no psychiatric evaluation was done by our side. That the documentation done by the opposition was twice the amount of documentation that was presented by our side and thirdly the opposition present three lawyers (one a woman) to the hearing, while our group was only presented by John Cassen. Even Karen Piper, who had been working on the case, did not show up at the hearing.

Lou feels that he and his staff are totally devastated. That it would be advantageous to settle it as quickly out of court as possible. He feels that if the case goes to court the settlement might even be higher. As well as the public scandal that would be involved.

My concerns are:
1) Is the Cardinal aware of the present situation of the court case?

2) Who is the Diocesan contact person involved in this case? I have not received any documentation on this case since the day it was turned over Karen Piper. I don’t know who is receiving documentation from the Diocesan lawyers.

3) Should there be an evaluation whether this case should be settled quickly and how this can take place and who are the persons that are to be involved in that decision?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Pope Benedict challenges atheist, says he never hid abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a letter to an atheist Italian mathematician, retired Pope Benedict XVI defended his own handling of allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and politely criticized the logician's total reliance on scientific facts for meaning.

"I never sought to conceal these things," the pope said of cases of clerical abuse, and lamented the scholar depicting the church as the only place where such "deviation" and "filth" occur.

The publication of the retired pope's comments Sept. 24 to an atheist scholar came the same month a written letter by Pope Francis to an Italian journalist concerning dialogue with nonbelievers was published. Both letters were published, with the two popes' permission, by the Italian daily La Repubblica.

The paper released long excerpts of Pope Benedict's original 11-page response to Piergiorgio Odifreddi, a prolific science writer who authored the book, "Dear Pope, I Write to You" in 2011. The book, presented as a letter to Pope Benedict, proposes the superiority of a worldview in which belief should stem only from things that can be understood and empirically known over worldviews that include belief in things that cannot be fully understood or known.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

MI - Just-ousted priest was accused before

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[A copy of the 1997 memo is here]

He allegedly sexually harassed someone 15 years ago
Victims’ group says archbishop breaks pledge of “openness”
And group wants archbishop to “come clean” about other predator priests
In sharply worded letter, SNAP blasts “recklessness, callousness and deceit”

For immediate release: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013

For more information: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314-862-7688, SNAPdorris@gmail.com

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is releasing a private archdiocesan memo showing that a Detroit priest who was ousted last week because of credible child sex abuse allegations was also accused of sexual harassment 15 years ago.

In a one page memo, dated September of 1997, a high ranking Detroit archdiocesan official writes to two colleagues that “we have lost the mediation process” arising from accusations that Fr. Louis Grandpre sexually harassed an individual. The memo indicates the mediator “recommended (a) settlement of about $160,000.00”

The memo is written to then-Bishop Kevin Britt and Msgr. John Zenz by then-auxiliary Bishop Bernard J. Harrington and carries this subject line: “Sexual Harassment Case/Fr. Lou Grandpre/St. Paul of Tarsus.”

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, want Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron to “explain why this secret was kept from parishioners and the public” and “discipline the staffers who are responsible for this deceit.”

“Vigneron’s public relations team gave a list of Fr. Grandpre’s assignments and other details last week,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “So why did the church hierarchy keep silent about another accusation against Fr. Grandpre? And what other wrongdoing – by Fr. Grandpre and other priests – are Vigneron and his staff they keeping secret?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

I didn’t try to cover up child abuse, says Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald (UK)

Benedict XVI has denied trying to cover up cases of child abuse in the Catholic Church in extracts of a letter published by Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

The letter was addressed to Italian mathematician and philosopher Piergiorgio Odifreddi, who published a book in 2011, Dear Pope, I’m Writing You, which challenged Benedict’s trilogy of books on Jesus of Nazareth.

Benedict XVI wrote: “I never tried to cover up these things. That the power of evil penetrates to such a point in the interior world of the faith is, for us, a source of suffering. On the one hand we must accept that suffering, and on the other, at the same time, we must do everything possible so that such cases aren’t repeated.

“It’s also not a motive for comfort to know that, according to sociological research, the percentage of priests guilty of these crimes is no higher than in other comparable professional categories. In any event, one must not stubbornly present this deviance as if it were a nastiness specific to Catholicism.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Pope-emeritus exchanges letters with noted atheist philosopher

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has had an exchange of letters with the noted Italian mathematician and philosopher, Piergiorgio Odifreddi, excerpts from which appeared in the Tuesday edition of the Italian daily, La Repubblica. At the beginning of September, Benedict sent a lengthy and detailed response to criticisms the atheist thinker Odifreddi had published in his volume, Caro papa ti scrivo, a book-length essay that was itself a critique of certain arguments and lines of thought found in the Pope-emeritus’ theological writings, starting from his 1967 volume, Introduction to Christianity.

The context of the exchange is therefore that of an ongoing conversation about the contents and merits of a lifetime of public intellectual engagement. The topics covered in the exchange range from the abuse crisis in the Church, to the question whether theology can properly be considered a science to the need for frank and open dialogue among believers and non-believers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

'I never tried to cover up' abuse, Benedict says

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Sep. 24, 2013 NCR Today

ROME In itself, the fact that the pope made the front page of a major newspaper Tuesday is hardly surprising. Over the last six months, the papacy has been a global phenomenon, making waves and generating interest well beyond the borders of the Catholic church.

Which pope did so this time, however, is a different matter.

Instead of Francis, the newsmaker in this instance was Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped down Feb. 28 and who has stayed largely out of the spotlight ever since.

On Tuesday, however, the Italian daily La Repubblica published lengthy extracts of an 11-page letter by the 86-year-old emeritus pontiff to an Italian mathematician and philosopher named Piergiorgio Odifreddi, who had published a 2011 book challenging Benedict's take on Jesus of Nazareth titled, Dear Pope, I'm Writing You.

It was the second time in recent weeks La Repubblica published a letter from a pope to an atheist intellectual after a Sept. 11 missive from Francis to Italian journalist and leftist activist Eugenio Scalfari.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Ratzinger: "Caro Odifreddi le racconto chi era Gesù"

CITTA DEL VATICANO
La Repubblica

Il postino del Papa suona due volte

Papa Francesco scrive a Repubblica: "Dialogo aperto con i non credenti"

ll. mo Signor Professore Odifreddi, (...) vorrei ringraziarLa per aver cercato fin nel dettaglio di confrontarsi con il mio libro e così con la mia fede; proprio questo è in gran parte ciò che avevo inteso nel mio discorso alla Curia Romana in occasione del Natale 2009. Devo ringraziare anche per il modo leale in cui ha trattato il mio testo, cercando sinceramente di rendergli giustizia.

Il mio giudizio circa il Suo libro nel suo insieme è, però, in se stesso piuttosto contrastante. Ne ho letto alcune parti con godimento e profitto. In altre parti, invece, mi sono meravigliato di una certa aggressività e dell'avventatezza dell'argomentazione. (...)

Più volte, Ella mi fa notare che la teologia sarebbe fantascienza. A tale riguardo, mi meraviglio che Lei, tuttavia, ritenga il mio libro degno di una discussione così dettagliata. Mi permetta di proporre in merito a tale questione quattro punti:

1. È corretto affermare che "scienza" nel senso più stretto della parola lo è solo la matematica, mentre ho imparato da Lei che anche qui occorrerebbe distinguere ancora tra l'aritmetica e la geometria. In tutte le materie specifiche la scientificità ha ogni volta la propria forma, secondo la particolarità del suo oggetto. L'essenziale è che applichi un metodo verificabile, escluda l'arbitrio e garantisca la razionalità nelle rispettive diverse modalità.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Ex-pope Benedict denies covering up sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY | Tue Sep 24, 2013

(Reuters) - Former Pope Benedict has denied that he tried to cover up sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests, in his first direct published comments since he stepped down.

The comments came in an 11-page letter to Italian author and mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi, who had written a book about the problems facing the Roman Catholic Church before the pope resigned in February.

"As far as you mentioning the moral abuse of minors by priests, I can only, as you know, acknowledge it with profound consternation. But I never tried to cover up these things," Benedict, who now has the title Emeritus Pope, said.

Excerpts of Benedict's pope's letter were published in the Rome newspaper La Repubblica on Tuesday with the former pope's permission.

It was believed to be the first time Benedict has responded to the sexual abuse accusations in the first person, although the Vatican has always said he did much to put an end to sexual abuse of minors by priests and never tried to cover it up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

MP warned bishop about paedophile priest: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By MICHELLE HARRIS Sept. 24, 2013

FORMER state MP John Hatton wrote more than 25 years ago to the then Archbishop of Sydney, Edward Clancy, to bluntly raise allegations of Father Denis McAlinden’s ‘‘sexual misbehaviour’’ with children and urge they be independently assessed.

Mr Hatton, then the independent MP for South Coast, wrote to the archbishop in May 1987 about the ‘‘extremely delicate matter which has come my way and which I believe should be handled within the church’’ .

The letter was among documents recently released by the Special Commission of Inquiry, which is examining the conduct of police and Catholic Church in response to the offending by two priests.

James Fletcher, who died in jail in 2006, was convicted of abusing an altar boy, although other victims came forward.

McAlinden, who died in late 2005, is suspected of abusing possibly hundreds of young girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 24 September 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father: ...

- appointed Bishop Bernard A. Hebda as coadjutor archbishop of Newark (area 1,328, population 3,089,000, Catholics 1,427,000, priests 774, permanent deacons 184, religious 1,076), U.S.A. Archbishop-elect Hebda, previously bishop of Gaylord, U.S.A, was born in Pittsburgh, U.S.A. in 1959, was ordained to the priesthood in 1989, and received episcopal ordination in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Amid Newark Scandal, Pope Ships "Steel" – Bernie Hebda Named Next Jersey Abp.

NEW JERSEY
Whispers in the Loggia

As only Lou Vallone could sum it up: "It just gets better and better, all the time."

At Roman Noon this Tuesday, reacting with lightning speed to a considerable brutta figura in one of the nation's largest dioceses, the Pope made his most consequential Stateside move to date, naming Bishop Bernard Hebda, the 54 year-old head of Michigan's Gaylord diocese, as coadjutor-archbishop of Newark.

In New Jersey's 1.4 million-member principal church, the Pittsburgh-born star – a beloved, unassuming cleric, yet one armed with degrees from Harvard and Columbia Law and over a decade's experience in the Vatican's office for legal affairs – will eventually succeed Archbishop John Myers, 72. One of the US church's leading conservatives for a quarter-century and an influential figure on both the national and Roman scenes as chairman of the board of the Pontifical North American College, the Illinois-born metropolitan has been embroiled over recent months in an ongoing, increasingly ugly furore over claims of lacking oversight in cases of priests accused of sexual abuse.

While the new coadjutor will likely arrive to begin learning the turf as archbishop-in-waiting within two months, no timetable has yet been indicated for Myers' handover of the reins. It's likewise unknown whether the successor-to-be has been granted any special faculties by the Holy See, which would transfer sole authority over specified elements of the archdiocese's governance to Hebda even while Myers remains in office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Pope names eventual replacement for NJ archbishop under fire for handling of accused priest

VATICAN CITY
Edmonton Journal

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SEPTEMBER 24, 2013

VATICAN CITY - The pope has named a new bishop to help out and eventually take over for the archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, who is under fire for his handling of a sexually abusive priest.

Bishop Bernard Hebda, currently of Gaylord, Michigan, was named coadjutor bishop Tuesday for Archbishop John Myers, who is to retire in mid-2016.

Coadjutor bishops are often named for large archdioceses. They take over automatically when the incumbent retires or dies. Naming Hebda with three years to go before Myers turns 75 could be a sign that Pope Francis believed Newark needed fresh leadership now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Bishop Hebda named Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark

NEW JERSEY/MICHIGAN
Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord

His Holiness Pope Francis has named the Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda, shepherd of the Diocese of Gaylord for the past four years, the Coadjutor Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. The Vatican made the announcement on the September 24, 2013 and it was shared in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States. The appointment is effective immediately. As coadjutor, Archbishop Hebda will assist the current Metropolitan Archbishop John J. Myers in the administration of the archdiocese and will automatically succeed Archbishop Myers upon his retirement, transfer or death.

“Today’s news that the Holy Father has named me the Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark brings with it the sadness of having to leave the Diocese of Gaylord,” Archbishop Hebda penned in a letter upon being informed of the appointment. “I have come to consider this local Church my home and will find it difficult to leave so many faith-filled parishes, schools and friends. Anything that I know about being a bishop I learned from you—and for that I will be always thankful.

Archbishop Hebda said he has been blessed here, finding the Church of Gaylord a wonderful diocese with “gifted clergy, generous deacons, dedicated Religious women, stellar schools, a tradition of prayerful liturgy, a rich history of cultivating lay leadership, and an exemplary commitment to Christian charity and social justice. What wasn’t to love? I would have been happy to spend the rest of my days here laboring in the vineyard at your side,” he added.

“In his six months as Successor of Peter, Pope Francis has captured the attention of the world by his humility and his deep pastoral concern for his flock,” Archbishop Hebda told the Faithful of Gaylord. “I am confident that he will soon bless the Diocese of Gaylord with precisely the Shepherd that you need.

“As I take up my responsibilities in Newark, I would ask that you occasionally remember to pray that I might joyfully serve the Lord in that radically different setting. You can be sure that you will always be remembered in mine,” he concluded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Newark Archdiocese to Get 2nd Archbishop

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey 101.5

A second archbishop is to be named in the Roman Catholic Church’s archdiocese in Newark, where the archbishop is nearing retirement age and has been under fire for his handling of the case of a priest barred from unsupervised contact with minors, a Catholic publication reported Monday.

Pope Francis is appointing a coadjutor archbishop to assist Archbishop John Myers, the National Catholic Reporter said. A coadjutor bishop is expected to succeed a bishop who retires or dies.

The bishop of Gaylord, Mich., Bernard Hebda, will be named to the post Tuesday, said the Reporter, citing unidentified sources.

The archdiocese, which serves nearly 1.5 million parishoners in northern New Jersey, declined to comment but said it would be making “an announcement of significance” on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Priest In Argentina Jailed On Molestation Charges

ARGENTINA
Bangkok Post

[video]

An Argentine priest has been sentenced to 15 years in jail on charges of sexual molestation. Julie Noce reports. - REUTERS

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Argentine priest finally imprisoned for sex abuse

ARGENTINA
New Zealand Herald

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) A Roman Catholic priest who was convicted in Argentina of sexually abusing a boy has finally begun serving a 15-year sentence in prison.

Father Julio Cesar Grassi was something of a star in the Buenos Aires diocese, well-known for persuading Argentine celebrities to donate to the Happy Children Foundation.

His fortunes changed after some of the orphans he cared for accused him of abusing them in 1996.

Grassi was convicted in 2009, but was able to keep living across the street from the orphanage while he appealed. After the top provincial court upheld his sentence last week, Grassi was taken into custody Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Argentine priest jailed for sexually abusing teenager

ARGENTINA
euronews

[with video]

An Argentine court has sent a Roman Catholic priest to prison immediately to serve a 15-year sentence for sexually abusing a teenage boy.

Julio César Grassi was convicted four years ago for abuse at his “Happy Children Foundation”.

Last week the Supreme Court upheld the jail term after the 57-year-old was found to have breached his house arrest conditions.

He strongly denies the abuse.

“The experts said clearly that I do not have any of the features of a paedophile. No trace of paedophilia,” he told the court. “The prosecution lawyer is lying.”

Allegations against Reverend Grassi surfaced more than ten years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Argentine pedophile priest begins 15-year jail sentence

ARGENTINA
Tengri News

A well-known Argentine priest began a 15-year prison sentence for pedophilia Monday, four years after he was convicted, AFP reports.

A court ordered the immediate arrest of Julio Cesar Grassi, 57, who was on provisional release after being convicted in 2009.

The arrest came after the supreme court of Buenos Aires province upheld his conviction.

Grassi was found guilty of abusing a 15-year-old boy who had been living at the Felices los Ninos (Happy Children) foundation in Hurlingham, 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Buenos Aires.

The victim, then 19, first publicly recounted the abuse on television in October 2002.

Two other victims later came forward with their own stories of abuse by the priest.

Grassi, who was well connected politically in the 1990s, gained media exposure soliciting donations from actors, newscasters and politicians for the foundation, which cared for some 6,000 children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Priest Grassi sent to prison, court confirms 15-year sentence

ARGENTINA
Buenos Aires Herald

The first criminal court of Morón has ordered the immediate detention of Julio César Grassi, who was present today as judges ruled that a 15-year prison sentence for sexual abuse of minors would be imposed with immediate effect.

The clergyman was escorted out of the courtroom by law officials after hearing the verdict, and will be transferred to Penitentiary Unit 39 in the Buenos Aires Province locality of Ituzaingo.

Prosecutor Alejandro Varela, speaking earlier in the day, had urged judges to issue an arrest warrant for Grassi, founder of the Happy Children Foundation. "Leaving Grassi in freedom is almost like collaborating with the crime," the attorney fired.

For his part, the priest denied that he was a flight risk and criticised Varela as well as the media for their treatment of him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Ex-priest found guilty of child sex abuse

OHIO
Statesboro Herald

BY Holli Deal Bragg
hbragg@statesboroherald.com 912-489-9414

After a weeklong trial, a former Catholic priest in Ohio who once worked in Glennville, Claxton, and Pembroke was found guilty Friday on charges he took a 10-year-old boy across state lines for sexual purposes.

A group that follows cases of sexual abuse by clergy, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests — also known as SNAP — hopes other victims will surface and share their experiences with law enforcement.

Robert Poandl, 72, will be sentenced at a later date, according to reports. He has worked in the past in seven Georgia towns as part of Glenmary Home Missioners, which is based in Fairfield, Ohio.

He was found guilty by jury Friday of taking the Cincinnati boy to West Virginia in 1991 for the purpose of sexually assaulting him. He was indicted Nov. 14 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, according to the FBI Cincinnati division website, www.fbi.gov/cincinnati.

The victim originally reported the incident in 2009, but the case was dismissed, according to reports. It was revisited in 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Former Savannah Diocese Priest Convicted of Sex Crimes

GEORGIA
WJBT

By Andrew Davis, Anchor/Reporter

CINCINNATI, OHIO -
A former Savannah Diocese priest was convicted of sex charges in a Ohio Federal Court.

Fr. Robert Poandl was convicted of one count of transportation of a minor across state lines for illicit purposes.

The 72 year old priest now faces up to 10 years in prison for the crime.

Poandl was accused of molesting a 10 year old boy 22 years ago in a West Virginia rectory.

From 2010-2012 Father Poandl worked in churches in Claxton, Pembroke and Sandhill.

This was the 3rd person who has come forward claiming Father Robert Poandl molested him when the victim was just a boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Vittorio Lupi, l’uomo che ha trasformato una diocesi, un grave problema per la società civile.

ITALIA
Abuse Trackers

A Savona santa madre chiesa predica bene ma razzola…. malissimo.

Sono Francesco Zanardi, portavoce nazionale della Rete l’abuso, un ragazzo savonese che da anni si occupa di raccogliere, catalogare e denunciare storiacce di pedofilia e omertà a danno di minori perpetrate in particolare da ecclesiastici.

Io sono una vittima tra queste.

Uno che può essere antipatico, ma che ha svolto un lavoro corposo e delicatissimo nella raccolta e denuncia di casi analoghi, ora al vaglio di diverse Procure della Repubblica italiane compresa quella Savonese che ha già prodotto diverse condanne.

Uno che – su questi raccapriccianti argomenti- è stato intervistato dalle Iene, da Cnn, Servizio Pubblico e altre d testate internazionali. Uno che è diventato un simbolo per le vittime di questa lotta senza giustizia, in Italia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Manos a la Obra

ARGENTINA
Pagina/12

Por Claudia Fernández Chaparro *

En 1987, Julio César Grassi se ordenó sacerdote bajo el lema “El padre de los que no tienen padre” y, el 23 de diciembre de 1993, creó la Fundación Felices los Niños. El cura se convirtió en un marketinero profesional que logró que el ex ministro Domingo Cavallo le donara 5 millones de pesos y 65 hectáreas para que funcionara la sede central de “su obra”.

Habrá que revisar qué pasó con el fenómeno Grassi, por qué este hombre se convirtió en el adalid de la infancia sin ningún control eficiente, sin la mirada del Estado, creando ese megahogar carente de toda perspectiva de derechos.

El caso Grassi también nos interpela como sociedad. ¿Cómo se puede llegar a naturalizar el hecho de que miles de niños vivan todos juntos, en un mismo predio, yendo al colegio en el mismo lugar y recreándose allí, encerrados, sin contacto con el mundo exterior, sometidos al arbitrio de un cura que oficiaba de amo y señor de sus vidas?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Una pausa de trece años

ARGENTINA
Pagina/12

Desde la primera denuncia, la defensa logró esquivar los pedidos de condena del cura y luego su detención. La condena fue ratificada hasta por la Corte provincial.

Primera denuncia. El 29 de noviembre de 2000 fue presentada la primera denuncia judicial contra el cura Julio César Grassi, en el Juzgado de Menores N° 3 de Morón. Dos menores conocidos bajo los seudónimos de “Gabriel” y “Ezequiel” declararon que habían sido abusados por el sacerdote mientras estaban en la Fundación Felices los Niños en Hurlingham. El 23 de octubre de 2002, Grassi fue detenido por orden de la titular del Juzgado de Garantías N° 1 de Morón, Mónica López Osornio. La jueza dispuso el procesamiento del cura por abuso sexual agravado contra un menor y corrupción en dos casos. El cura negó las acusaciones en su contra y acusó de extorsión a uno de los chicos denunciantes. El sacerdote quedó preso un mes y luego fue beneficiado con la libertad controlada.

Juicio oral. Luego de años de postergaciones judiciales, el juicio oral comenzó en agosto de 2008. La fiscalía pidió 30 años de cárcel para el cura, la querella 37 y la defensa solicitó la absolución del imputado. Durante nueve meses el juicio se realizó a puertas cerradas. Sólo para la lectura del veredicto se dejó entrar al público. El 10 de junio de 2009, el Tribunal Oral en lo Criminal Nº 1 de Morón condenó a Grassi a 15 años de prisión, por dos hechos cometidos en 1996 contra “Gabriel”, y lo absolvió por otros 15 hechos que le imputaban. Los jueces, en su fallo, consideraron como agravante la condición de sacerdote de Grassi. El cumplimiento de la pena, sin embargo, se haría efectivo una vez que la sentencia quedara firme, determinaron los magistrados. Si bien los jueces Luis María Andueza, Mario Daniel Gómez y Jorge Eduardo Carrera no ordenaron la detención del cura, sí le impusieron una serie de restricciones: presentarse el primer día hábil de cada mes ante el tribunal, no poder ir solo a la fundación y no poder salir del país.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

“Antisocial, temerario, impune y peligroso”

ARGENTINA
Pagina/12

La parte acusadora recordó a los jueces el peligro de fuga, lo irreversible de la sentencia y su personalidad particular.

@La acusación contra Julio César Grassi recorrió varios frentes: su peligrosidad en caso de permanecer en libertad, lo “irreversible” de su sentencia, el peligro de “fuga inminente” y sus antecedentes, la transparencia que –a pesar de las maniobras de “un operador judicial”– tuvo el proceso de la causa. Los argumentos para pedir que el sacerdote fuera privado de su libertad fueron aportados por los abogados de la querella Sergio Piris y Juan Pablo Gallego y el fiscal Alejandro Varela, quienes al aportarlos recorrieron, al recordar obstáculos y definir al condenado Grassi, los años de tramitación que lleva la causa.

Piris, querellante en nombre de “Gabriel”, nombre ficticio del joven por cuyo abuso el sacerdote fue condenado, denunció que Grassi gozaba de “impunidad” y había obtenido el beneficio de la libertad vigilada gracias a la presión de “sectores de la Iglesia”, “amigos empresarios” y la actuación de un “operador judicial”. El querellante también señaló que, durante todas las instancias judiciales, el acusado finalmente condenado había visto respetadas sus garantías, incluyendo el principio de inocencia. Luego el fiscal Varela señalaría que las pruebas, la condena y sus sucesivas confirmaciones habían destruido esa presunción. “La gente se pregunta por qué Grassi está en libertad. Yo la respuesta no la tengo. La respuesta la tienen que dar ustedes, señores jueces. Grassi se manejó con impunidad.” Como sucedería luego durante el alegato de la defensa, Piris mencionó al papa Francisco. El pontífice, dijo, sostiene que “todos los pedófilos, como es Julio César Grassi, tienen que estar en su lugar: la cárcel”. Sin embargo, el cura gozaba de privilegios “de un actor de cine”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

El rebaño del cura

ARGENTINA
Pagina/12

Una veintena de seguidores del cura condenado hicieron ruido, lloraron y rezaron por él. Se la tomaron a golpes con un camarógrafo e intentaron lo mismo con un querellante.

Por Carlos Rodríguez

“Paz para este hombre, paz para un hombre que tiene el demonio adentro.” Dos mujeres de unos sesenta años, vestidas con discreción, una de ellas con un vestido propio de una religiosa, le arrojaban “agua bendecida” al abogado querellante Juan Pablo Gallego, quien había bajado de un automóvil en la puerta de los tribunales de Morón y estaba haciendo declaraciones a la prensa. Aunque algunos periodistas reaccionaron con atendible molestia por la “lluvia” que estaban recibiendo junto con el “endiablado” Gallego, el gesto de esas dos casi amables defensoras de la “inocencia” del cura Julio César Grassi contrastaba con los gestos y palabras de otras manifestantes mucho más jóvenes, que le dedicaron frases y gestos violentos al abogado: “Gallego mentiroso, la puta que te parió”.

Esa mezcla de adherentes serenas y ofuscadas –la mayoría eran mujeres con remeras o banderas de la Fundación Felices Los Niños– se repitió luego de conocerse la sentencia que envió a prisión a Grassi: algunas manifestantes se fueron llorando, otras golpearon en los testículos a un camarógrafo que las filmaba y varias intentaron linchar a Gallego, cuándo no, pero la policía pudo impedirlo. El abogado querellante, por su exposición mediática tal vez, fue quien despertó mayor virulencia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Viaje de Hurlingham al pabellón bonaerense

ARGENTINA
Pagina/12

Después de varias horas de cuarto intermedio, los jueces ordenaron que Grassi fuera enviado a la cárcel de Ituzaingó, en su jurisdicción canónica. Es posible que sea trasladado al penal 41 de Campana. Crónica de un día cruzado de acusaciones.

Por Carlos Rodríguez

Un Julio César Grassi en apariencia inmutable, aunque la tensión se le marcaba en los pómulos, sobre la línea que marca la mandíbula, y en la dureza de la mirada que dirigió a los jueces, escuchó ayer la sentencia del Tribunal Oral Nº 1 de Morón por la cual se ordenó su inmediata detención en la Unidad Penitenciaria 39 de Ituzaingó. Fue el único gesto benévolo, dado que la prisión queda dentro de la diócesis de Morón, a la que sigue perteneciendo el cura, a pesar de que su condena a 15 años de prisión por “abuso sexual y corrupción de menores” ya ha sido ratificada por una decena de jueces. El gesto, sin embargo, podría quedar trunco porque el Servicio Penitenciario provincial pidió que lo trasladen a la Unidad 41, de Campana, de máxima seguridad. “Hoy por hoy pesan sobre la cabeza del acusado tres fallos dictados por órganos judiciales de diferente instancia, agotando la jurisdicción provincial” y “confirmando (...) la culpabilidad del encartado y el consiguiente cumplimiento de la pena”, se dijo en la resolución, que fue leída, con voz firme, por la presidenta del tribunal, Mariana Maldonado.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

MEDIA RELEASE

NEWARK (NJ)
Road to Recovery

Appointment of Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark Not Enough
Myers Must Resign or be Fired and Investigated for Criminal Activity against Innocent Children, Teenagers, and Vulnerable Adults
Archbishop-in-Waiting Must Immediately Release Names and Files Concerning Predatory Priests

What: A demonstration celebrating the lessening of power for Archbishop John J.
Myers, a signaling of a “changing of the guard” in the Archdiocese of Newark and a corresponding call for the new coadjutor (with right of succession) Archbishop, Bernard Hebna, to immediately release files and information regarding sexually abusive clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark. The Newark Archdiocese will be called upon to end years of cover-up, deceit, and injustice against innocent children, teenagers, and vulnerable adults.

When: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 from 9:00 AM until Noon.

Where: On the sidewalk outside the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Newark, 171
Clifton Avenue, Newark, NJ, 07104.

Who: Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity that assists victims of
sexual abuse, including its co-founder and President; survivors of sexual abuse, and supporters.

Why: The appointment of Bishop Bernard Hebna as coadjutor archbishop of Newark
indicates a major change in the Catholic Church in New Jersey. It is clear that Archbishop Myers has lost authority because of twelve years of cover-up, deceit, obfuscation, and disregard for truth, justice, and honesty. Demonstrators will call for Myers to leave immediately so the new coadjutor archbishop can begin to clean up the mess Myers made during the past twelve years. The Archdiocese of Newark is in serious crisis, and the removal or resignation of Archbishop John Myers is crucial if the Archbishop-in-waiting is going to be able to effect necessary change.

Contact: Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Bishop pens letter to potential victims to come forward

PENNSYLVANIA
Citizens Voice

BY JOSEPH KOHUT (STAFF WRITER)
Published: September 24, 2013

The Diocese of Scranton appealed to its faithful for help in the investigation of a priest accused of having sex with a 15-year-old boy.

A letter penned by Bishop Joseph C. Bambera was read Sunday at each parish The Rev. William Paulish served, asking anyone with similar allegations against the priest to come forward.

"With sadness and a deep concern for you, I encourage anyone who may have been involved in or may be aware of any abusive situation involving (the Rev. Paulish) to immediately contact the Lackawanna County district attorney's office at 570-963-6717 or local law enforcement," Bishop Bambera wrote.

The diocese provided a copy of the bishop's letter to The Times-Tribune on Monday, but officials refused to answer questions about the Rev. Paulish's 14 reassignments and four leaves of absence over a 25-year career.

The Rev. Paulish, 56, of Blakely, was arraigned Friday after he was discovered in his red 2009 Toyota Venza, having just performed sex acts with a 15-year-old boy in a Penn State Worthington Scranton parking lot Thursday night, police said. Prosecutors would not comment Monday on whether the bishop's appeal had generated any tips for investigators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Church overlooked paedophile priest to avoid scandal: inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By MICHELLE HARRIS Sept. 24, 2013

THE Maitland-Newcastle Diocese "simply overlooked" 25 years of paedophile priest Denis McAlinden's offending "in the interest of avoiding some scandal", the Special Commission of Inquiry has been told.

Barrister for Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, Mark Cohen, told the inquiry on Tuesday morning McAlinden had been moved around almost constantly from diocese to diocese, and to PNG and New Zealand, from 1969 to the 1990s to ensure he was "kept out of the way".

By December 1971 it was observed McAlinden had left PNG because he was "very rough with the native people".

By May 1976, McAlinden had been "run out of town again"from Forster-Tuncurry "by angry parents", Mr Cohen said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

John Furlong responds to former students' abuse lawsuits

CANADA
The Tyee

By BOB MACKIN
Published September 23, 2013

Former Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics CEO John Furlong has denied in Sept. 23 court filings that he physically or sexually abused two students at a northern British Columbia Catholic school for aboriginal children in 1969 and 1970.

Furlong's statements of defence counter July 24 lawsuits by Beverly Mary Abraham and Grace Jessie West. Furlong says that he does not recall whether he even taught or coached them while he volunteered at Immaculata Elementary School in Burns Lake, B.C.

"The defendant denies that he sexually molested or physically abused or engaged in any inappropriate conduct," said the statements, which were filed in B.C. Supreme Court by Furlong's lawyer John Hunter.

Abraham and West both claim Furlong abused them 44 years ago and accuse him of defaming them at a Sept. 27, 2012 news conference, where Furlong denied abuse allegations contained in a Georgia Straight feature story that was headlined "John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake." Furlong filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper and reporter Laura Robinson last November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Furlong hits back at abuse allegations in court

CANADA
24 Hours

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver
Monday, September 23, 2013

Former VANOC boss John Furlong filed responses to civil claims alleging sexual abuse committed by him in B.C. Supreme Court Monday.

The responses were to allegations made in a claim filed July 24, 2013, by Grace West and Beverly Abraham.

West alleged while she was attending Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary in Burns Lake, B.C. in 1969 she was physically and sexually abused by Furlong, the CEO for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.

“The defendant Furlong sexually molested the plaintiff,” read West’s statement. “The defendant Furlong would touch the plaintiff sexually approximately once a week.”

Furlong’s legal response said he doesn’t remember if he coached the girls during the time of the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Aboriginal man alleges he was sexually abused by former Vancouver Olympics chief John Furlong

CANADA
National Post

Brian Hutchinson | 23/09/13

An Aboriginal man has come forward with allegations claiming that Vancouver Olympic Winter Games chief executive John Furlong sexually abused him on three occasions almost 40 years ago, at the same B.C. elementary school where other former students have accused Mr. Furlong of committing assaults.

In a statement of claim filed Monday in B.C. Supreme Court, Daniel Morice claims that during the 1969-1970 academic year, Mr. Furlong, then a physical education teacher at Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary School in Burns Lake, B.C., “isolated” him in a small room at the school. On two occasions, the plaintiff claims, Mr. Furlong “removed his penis from his pants and showed it to the plaintiff and forced the plaintiff to touch and masturbate him.”

On the last occasion, Mr. Furlong “penetrated the plaintiff’s anus with his penis,” it is alleged. Mr. Morice, who now lives in Smithers, B.C., was nine years old at the time of the alleged events. The new accusations have not been tested in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Third lawsuit alleging sexual abuse filed against Furlong

CANADA
CTV News

Dene Moore, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, September 23, 2013

VANCOUVER -- The former head of the Vancouver Olympic Games has formally denied sexual abuse allegations from two former students, even as another former student has filed a lawsuit alleging he, too, was abused by John Furlong.

In a civil lawsuit filed in Vancouver on Monday, a man said he was a nine-year-old student at Immaculata School in Burns Lake, B.C., when Furlong arrived as a volunteer teacher in 1969.

The man said Furlong isolated him in a small room after class, and on two occasions forced him to masturbate him. On a third occasion, the statement of claim said there was forced anal intercourse by Furlong.

"The defendant John Furlong told the plaintiff that if he ever told anyone about the abuse no one would believe him."

The man said he has suffered emotionally and psychologically from the abuse, and "was generally disempowered as a result of racism and geographic isolation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Furlong files documents denying allegations he abused students

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SUNNY DHILLON
Vancouver — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Sep. 23 2013

Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong has filed court documents in which he denies sexually abusing two students when he was a physical education teacher.

Mr. Furlong, the public face of Vancouver’s 2010 Games, was sued in late July by two women who said they were abused as students more than 40 years ago. The allegations have not been proven.

He also said he could not recall teaching either Beverly Mary Abraham or Grace Jessie West during his time at Immaculata School in Burns Lake, B.C.

Allegations that Mr. Furlong physically abused several Aboriginal students first surfaced last 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.

Ms. Abraham was quoted in the story. Ms. West was not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Furlong denies abuse allegations in statement of defence

CANADA
CBC

Former VANOC CEO John Furlong has denied abusing two former students at a Burns Lake elementary school in a statement of defence filed in B.C. Supreme Court today.

Grace West and Beverly Abraham both claim to have been sexually and physically abused by Furlong while he was a physical education teacher in the Burns Lake area in late 1960s and early 1970s.

The two women filed a civil claim against Furlong in July, seeking compensation for the abuse and alleging defamation after he suggested at a press conference in September of last year that unnamed people were lying in an attempt to extort him.

In court documents filed Monday in the two cases, Furlong said he doesn't recall if he taught West and Abraham during his time as a volunteer teacher at the Catholic school in northern British Columbia more than four decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Peru: Ex-bishop accused of sex abuse admitted acting "imprudently"

PERU
This Week in Peru

By Rachel Chase

In a letter to church officials, Ayacucho priest Miranda denied criminal activity but admitted to making mistakes in judgment.

A letter written by former Auxiliary Bishop of Ayacucho, Gabino Miranda is shedding some light on the reasons for his recent removal. Miranda, who was dismissed from his post as auxiliary bishop in the Peruvian city of Ayacucho, has been accused of sexually abusing children. Miranda denies any criminal activity.

At this time, not much is known about the exact nature of the allegations, but a Peruvian church official confirmed to the press that Miranda’s removal was a result of new Pope Francis’s “zero tolerance” policy for sex offenders.

However, a newly revealed letter written by Miranda to church officials in Rome has provided some insight into the case. According to Peru21, the July 1 letter was sent as part of Miranda’s effort to appeal the Vatican’s decision to remove him from his post. In it, Miranda writes “I recognize that in some circumstances I have been imprudent […] but furthermore, I reiterate that in the conscience and presence of God, the supposed offenses cannot be characterized as crimes against the [sixth commandment].” The sixth commandment prohibits sexual activity outside of the bounds of marriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

STATEMENT REGARDING REVEREND W. JEFFREY PAULISH

SCRANTON (PA)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton

On September 20, 2013, the Diocese of Scranton was notified of an incident involving Father W. Jeffrey Paulish, a priest of the Diocese of Scranton, who according to law enforcement officials was discovered in an inappropriate sexual act with a minor. Upon being notified of this incident, the cleric was immediately removed from his assignment and his faculties to exercise priestly ministry were suspended. The Diocese has pledged its cooperation to law enforcement and asks that anyone who may have been sexually abused by Father Paulish or any member of the clergy notify the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office at (570) 963-6717 or local law enforcement.

In response to this situation, the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, expressed his remorse and personal sorrow for the young man who was victimized and his family. In expressing his concern for the Prince of Peace parish community, where Father Paulish most recently served, as well as the faithful and clergy of the Diocese of Scranton, the Bishop said, “I wish to acknowledge how unsettling this is to me personally and to countless others, that yet again a priest has been involved in such inappropriate, immoral and illegal behavior.” The Bishop requests that the faithful of the Diocese join him in praying for this victim and all who are impacted by child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Twin Cities archdiocese knew of priest's compulsions, report says

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Associated Press

When the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer was accused last year of sexually abusing children, officials from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis told police he would immediately be relieved of his duties and were praised for their quick response.

But top archdiocese officials had known of Wehmeyer’s sexual compulsions for nearly a decade yet kept him in ministry and failed to warn parishioners, Minnesota Public Radio News reported Monday. MPR cited canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger, who resigned in April, and dozens of other interviews and documents.

A 2011 memo shows the former vicar general — the top deputy of the archdiocese — did not want employees at Wehmeyer’s parish to know about his past. “At every step of the way, this could have been prevented,” Haselberger said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Bishop wasn't adequately trained to deal with abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

The New South Wales inquiry into child sexual abuse has heard the former bishop of the Hunter Valley's Catholic Church was not adequately trained to deal with paedophile priests.

The special commission is investigating senior policeman Peter Fox's claims police and the church covered up abuse by two priests, James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden.

In summing up today, his barrister Mark Cohen told the inquiry paedophile priest Denis McAlinden was moved from diocese to diocese "in the interest of avoiding scandal".

Simon Harben, representing the former Maitland-Newcastle bishop Michael Malone, urged the commissioner on several occasions not to make any adverse findings against his client.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Prominent Priest Finally Jailed In Argentina For Sexually Abusing Minor

ARGENTINA
inSerbia

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Father Julio César Grassi, a Roman Catholic priest in the Buenos Aires suburb of Morón, has been ordered to serve his prison sentence after a court ruling denied his pleas to remain under house arrest.

In 2009, the priest was convicted by a three-judge panel in the criminal court of Morón of sexually abusing a minor, a teenage boy. In that case, the prosecutor was seeking a 30-year sentence for the priest and eventually, the court sentenced him to fifteen years after finding him guilty of two of the seventeen charges he was facing, the most grave of those being sexual abuse and “corruption” of a minor.

Grassi repeatedly appealed the ruling and was rejected three times, including last week at his final appeal at the Supreme Court of Buenos Aires Province in the city of La Plata. That ruling paved the way for the priest to be taken back to the court that originally tried him in Morón for final sentencing. There, he tried to appeal once again, this time regarding the way the sentence would be served and not the length of the sentence.

The court in Morón then rejected that appeal, ordering Grassi to the original fifteen year prison sentence he received in 2009, minus one month that he served that year.

The case piqued the interest of people in Argentina and elsewhere in Latin America, a country and a region long associated with powerful catholic clergies and figures. The judicial system was criticized by many in Argentina for seemingly granting the priest many privileges that non-clergy do not enjoy, like receiving house arrest only one month after beginning his fifteen year sentence under certain conditions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Priests aware of abuse claims: NSW inquiry

AUSTRALIA
9 News

At least five senior Catholic priests were well aware of sexual abuse allegations against serial Hunter Valley paedophile priest Denis McAlinden years before a church official notified police, a special commission of inquiry has heard.

Speaking on behalf of McAlinden victims, Barrister Maria Gerace said former Maitland/Newcastle diocese bishops Leo Clarke and Michael Malone; former vicar generals Bill Burston and Allan Hart; and Fr Brian Lucas, a church law expert who had investigated more than 30 cases of alleged child sexual abuse by NSW Catholic priests all knew about the allegations.

Ms Gerace was addressing commissioner Margaret Cunneen in Newcastle Supreme Court on the second last day of public hearings into how police and church leaders handled child sexual abuse allegations involving two Hunter priests, Fr McAlinden and James Fletcher.

A church official notified police in 1999 of some allegations against Fr McAlinden, but as his whereabouts were allegedly unknown by church leaders he was then not spoken to by police until 2005, shortly before he died of cancer in a West Australian Catholic home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

NOMINA DEL COADIUTORE DI NEWARK (U.S.A.)

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service - Bolletino

Il Santo Padre ha nominato Arcivescovo Coadiutore di Newark (U.S.A.) S.E. Mons. Bernard Anthony Hebda, finora Vescovo di Gaylord.

S.E. Mons. Bernard Anthony Hebda

S.E. Mons. Bernard Anthony Hebda è nato a Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) il 3 settembre 1959.
Laureatosi all’Harvard University nel 1980 in Scienze Politiche, ha ottenuto il Juris Doctor dalla Columbia Law School presso la Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law nel 1983.
Ha compiuto gli studi filosofici presso il Saint Paul Seminary a Pittsburgh (1984-1985). Inviato a Roma al Pontificio Collegio Americano del Nord, ha frequentato la Pontificia Università Gregoriana dove ha ottenuto il Baccalaureato in Teologia (1985-1988) e, poi, la Licenza in Diritto Canonico (1988-1990).

Ordinato sacerdote il 1° luglio 1989 per la diocesi di Pittsburgh, ha ricoperto i seguenti incarichi: Vicario parrocchiale nella Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish ad Ellwood City (1989); Segretario personale dell’allora Vescovo di Pittsburgh, S.E. Mons. Donald W. Wuerl e Maestro delle Cerimonie (1990-1992); Parroco in solidum nella Prince of Peace Parish a Pittsburgh (South Side) (1992-1995); Giudice del Tribunale diocesano (1992-1996); Direttore del Newman Center della Slippery Rock State University (1995-1996).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

September 23, 2013

Argentine priest Julio Grassi jailed over sexual abuse

ARGENTINA
BBC News

A prominent Roman Catholic priest in Argentina has been jailed, four years after being convicted of sexually abusing a teenage-boy.

A court in Buenos Aires province rejected an appeal by Father Julio Cesar Grassi, who has been sentenced to 15 years in jail, to remain under house arrest.

He was convicted in 2009 of abusing the boy at his "Happy Children" foundation.

He insists he is innocent and says the case is based on false evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

STORY OF ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS’ WEHMEYER COVER-UP SHOCKINGLY FAMILIAR

MNNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates:

JEFFREY R. ANDERSON

Today’s Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) story about the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ failure to protect its parishioners from one of its predator priests, Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer, needs to be read by everyone. The headline – “Archdiocese knew of priest’s sexual misbehavior, yet kept him in ministry” – itself tells the story. From there, the details of Archdiocesan self-preservation and negligence are disserving and alarming.

In 2012, Wehmeyer was convicted of criminal sexual conduct and possessing child pornography in connection with Wehmeyer’s sexual abuse of two boys, ages 12 and 14, in a camper he kept parked outside Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul, where he served for six years. He supplied the two boys with alcohol and molested them in the camper.

Prior to Wehmeyer’s arrest in the summer of 2012 for sexually abusing the boys, the Archdiocese had ample information regarding his prior sexual conduct but failed to warn parishioners, according to MPR. The Archdiocese learned early on that Wehmeyer sexually propositioned young men at a bookstore, cruised a local park known for anonymous sex, solicited a teenager to camp with him, and approached another priest for sex, and yet the Archdiocese kept him in ministry, placing him a new parish in 2008 and 2010. Archdiocesan knowledge of the reports pre-dated Wehmeyer’s abuse of the two boys. “Top archdiocese leaders knew of Wehmeyer’s sexual compulsions for nearly a decade but kept him in the ministry and failed to warn parishioners …” according to today’s story, citing a former Archdiocesan canon lawyer, Jennifer Haselberger, and dozens of other interviews and documents.

Rev. Kevin McDonough, the Archdiocesan Vicar General from 1991 - 2008, wrote in 2011, wrote in 2011 an internal memo defending the Archdiocese’s decision to keep Wehmeyer’s sexual behavior secret. Interviewed for today’s MPR story, McDonough continues to defend the Archdiocese’s handling of the Wehmeyer matter, “I have no regrets based on the information we have.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Police investigating Maplewood priest for sexual misconduct

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

by Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
September 23, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Maplewood police say they have been investigating allegations of criminal sexual misconduct by a Maplewood priest since May 1.

The Rev. Mark Huberty, pastor of the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood, has taken a voluntary leave of absence over an allegation he inappropriately touched a woman, which he denies.

Maplewood Deputy Police Chief Dave Kvam said the conduct involving Huberty occurred over an unspecified period of time.

"There's no safety risk to others and no indication that this would involve more than one victim -- at least at this point," Kvam said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

Court confirms Grassi sentence, priest sent to prison

ARGENTINA
Buenos Aires Herald

The first criminal court of Morón has ordered the immediate detention of Julio César Grassi, who was present today as judges ruled that a 15-year prison sentence for sexual abuse of minors would be imposed with immediate effect.

The clergyman was escorted out of the courtroom by law officials after hearing the verdict, and will be transferred to Penitentiary Unit 39 in the Buenos Aires Province locality of Ituzaingo.

Prosecutor Alejandro Varela, speaking earlier in the day, had urged judges to issue an arrest warrant for Grassi, founder of the Happy Children Foundation. "Leaving Grassi in freedom is almost like collaborating with the crime," the attorney fired.

For his part, the priest denied that he was a flight risk and criticised Varela as well as the media for their treatment of him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 PM

Ramsey Co. Attorney: Archdiocese's response to priest's misconduct 'troubling'

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio,
Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
September 23, 2013

Ramsey County's top prosecutor says he's deeply concerned about the way the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis handled the case of a priest who was known to be a sex addict -- and who was later convicted of child sexual abuse.

An MPR News investigation found that Catholic Church leaders did not alert parishioners to the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer's past, and didn't immediately report allegations of abuse to police.

Wehmeyer would later plead guilty to abusing two boys in his parish. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi told MPR News today that he found the report "troubling."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

A prisión cura argentino condenado por abuso

ARGENTINA
El Nuevo Herald

BY POR DEBORA REY
ASSOCIATED PRESS

BUENOS AIRES -- Un tribunal argentino ordenó el lunes la detención del sacerdote Julio César Grassi, quien gozaba del beneficio de la libertad pese a estar condenado desde 2009 a 15 años de cárcel por abuso sexual de un menor.

La medida fue dispuesta por el Tribunal Oral en lo Criminal N 1 de Morón, al oeste de Buenos Aires, seis días después de que la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la provincia de Buenos Aires dejó firme la sentencia contra el cura por pedofilia.

"Se debe hacer cesar la alternativa de la libertad vigilada y proceder a la inmediata detención de Julio César Grassi en el entendimiento que una decisión en contrario a esta altura sería de alta gravedad institucional e impediría restablecer las vigencia de las normas y la confianza en la justicia", según la resolución de los tres jueces del tribunal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 PM

A cuatro años de la condena, Grassi irá a la cárcel por abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
La Voz

El cura Julio César Grassi deberá ir preso, ya que el Tribunal Oral Criminal 1 de Morón decidió esta tarde su "inmediata detención" para que cumpla su condena a 15 años de cárcel por los delitos de abuso sexual y corrupción de menores.

El sacerdote salesiano y extitular de la "Fundación Felices los Niños", de 57 años, tomó conocimiento de que perdía el privilegio de la libertad vigilada en una audiencia realizada en la sede del tribunal.

Desde 2009 Grassi estaba condenado a 15 años de encierro pero el mismo tribunal le había otorgado el beneficio de la libertad vigilada, por lo que vivía en una casa quinta ubicada enfrente de su fundación, escenario de los hechos juzgados.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Un largo proceso que lleva más de diez años

ARGENTINA
El Tribuno

El caso del padre Julio César Grassi generó una situación insólita en la Justicia, donde pese a ser confirmada en dos instancias su condena a 15 años de prisión, siguió gozando hasta hoy de la libertad, en un derrotero judicial que aún no tiene fin. El 10 de junio de 2009 el Tribunal Oral Criminal 1 de Morón condenó a 15 años a Grassi por ‘abuso sexual agravado por resultar sacerdote, encargado de la educación y de la guarda del menor víctima, reiterado, dos hechos, en concurso real entre sí, que a su vez concurren formalmente con corrupción de menores agravada‘.

No obstante, y pese a los pedidos de las tres querellas y el fiscal Alejandro Varela, Grassi pudo seguir en libertad hasta esta noche porque el Tribunal entendió que no debía ir detenido hasta tanto ese fallo quedase firme. En cambio, le impusieron una libertad vigilada que implicó determinadas reglas de conducta como el no ausentarse de su domicilio, no hablar de las víctimas del caso en público y la prohibición de ingresar a la Fundación Felices Los Niños donde ocurrieron los hechos y a metros de la vivienda donde actualmente vive el religioso.

Las querellas y la fiscalía apelaron y en septiembre de 2010 la Cámara de Casación Bonaerense confirmó la condena. Pese a lo que se preveía y tal cual ocurre en la mayoría de los casos, Grassi pudo permanecer en libertad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Julio Grassi irá a prisión

ARGENTINA
La Nacion

El sacerdote Julio César Grassi deberá cumplir prisión efectiva por la pena de corrupción de menores y abuso sexual agravado por la que se lo condenó durante 15 años. De este modo perdió el beneficio de libertad vigilada que tenía, una resolución extraordinaria de la que gozó cuatro años pese a estar condenado a un delito grave. A esto lo definió hoy tras la audiencia de partes el Tribunal Oral Criminal (TOC) N° 1 de Morón.

Grassi quedó a disposición del servicio penitencial bonaerense. Será alojado en la unidad penitenciaria 39 de Ituzaingó.

La resolución se dio a conocer poco después de las 19 en la sede de los tribunales de Morón, luego de que esta tarde los jueces rechazaran la recusación de la defensa de Grassi.

El sacerdote fue condenado por el TOC 1 en junio del 2009 a 15 años de prisión por haber abusado de un menor que alojaba en guarda judicial en la Fundación Felices los Niños y la condena fue confirmada en tres instancias.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

The Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul

MINNESOTA
Grand Forks Herald

The Church of the Blessed Sacrament is on St. Paul's east side. It merged with St. Thomas the Apostle under the archdiocese's 2011 reorganization plan to form the Parish of the Blessed Sacrament. When the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer was accused in 2012 of sexually abusing children, officials from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis told police he would immediately be relieved of his duties and were praised for their response. But Minnesota Public Radio reports top archdiocese officials had known of Wehmeyer's sexual compulsions for nearly a decade yet kept him in ministry and failed to warn parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Charge: Archdiocese knew of convicted sex offender

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert

Good luck defending this one … . At MPR Madeleine Baran reports, “Curtis Wehmeyer kept his white 2006 camper parked outside Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul where he served for six years, three of them as pastor. With the shades drawn, Wehmeyer could avoid the obligations of priestly life. He got drunk, smoked pot and looked at child pornography. He also lured to the camper two boys whose mother worked at the parish, plied them with alcohol, turned on pornography and told them to touch themselves. Several times, he touched one of the boys, according to police records. The family trusted ‘Father Curt.’ As a priest, he had special powers. He could anoint the sick and baptize the young. Maybe, the mother hoped, he could inspire one of her sons to become a priest. … This wasn't the first time Wehmeyer had been in trouble. Top archdiocese leaders knew of Wehmeyer's sexual compulsions for nearly a decade but kept him in ministry and failed to warn parishioners, according to canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger, who resigned in April, and dozens of other interviews and documents. A memo written in 2011 obtained by MPR News from police shows the former vicar general – the top deputy of the archdiocese – did not want parish employees to know about Wehmeyer's past.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Minnesota church officials covered up priest’s child molestation before turning him in

MINNESOTA
The Raw Story

By Arturo Garcia
Monday, September 23, 2013

Officials within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, were aware that one of its priests was sexually abusing minors for years before he was convicted, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

The archdiocese allegedly became aware of Curtis Wehmeyer’s illicit activities in 2005, seven years before his 2012 conviction on charges of criminal sexual conduct, and possession of child pornography. He is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.

MPR also published a 2011 memo from then-local vicar general, Rev. Kevin McDonough, recommending against making Wehmeyer’s actions known to parish employees. McDonough’s job duties included supervising the archdiocese’s efforts to protect young parishoners from sexual abuse. He resigned in September 2013.

“Disclosure in the church-rectory-office setting is aimed at preventing a priest from misusing his position as a priest to obtain impermissible favors (sex, money, information) from those to whom he ministers,” McDonough wrote in the memo. “With Father Wehmeyer, that has never been a question.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Survivor's group calls for inquiry of abusive priest, archdiocese response after MPR story

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

by Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
September 23, 2013

A group representing people who have been abused by priests is calling for a criminal investigation of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, following revelations that archdiocese officials knew about a priest's sexual compulsions for at least a decade before police arrested him for sexually abusing two boys.

Bob Schwiderski, director of the Minnesota chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said he wants a grand jury to investigate whether Catholic leaders violated any laws by not immediately reporting the abuse once they learned of it.

The call follows an MPR News investigation that found archdiocese officials knew about the sexual history of priest Curtis Wehmeyer, but disregarded it. Wehmeyer later sexually abused two young boys. Police arrested him in 2012. He pleaded guilty and is now serving five years in prison.

"If the institutions need to be woken up, so be it," Schwiderski said. "It's time for a criminal investigation into the acts or non-acts of the top religious officials of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Ex-priest found guilty of child sex abuse

OHIO
Statesboro Herald

BY Holli Deal Bragg
hbragg@statesboroherald.com 912-489-9414

After a weeklong trial, a former Catholic priest in Ohio who once worked in Glennville, Claxton, and Pembroke was found guilty Friday on charges he took a 10-year-old boy across state lines for sexual purposes.

A group that follows cases of sexual abuse by clergy, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests — also known as SNAP — hopes other victims will surface and share their experiences with law enforcement.

Robert Poandl, 72, will be sentenced at a later date, according to reports. He has worked in the past in seven Georgia towns as part of Glenmary Home Missioners, which is based in Fairfield, Ohio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

The real test of Francis' reform: touching the spiritually poor

National Catholic Reporter

Hans Kung | Sep. 23, 2013

This is the first of a series of articles examining Pope Francis’ recent interviews. A new article will be published each day this week on NCRonline.org.

Pope Francis shows courage: not only in his brave appearance in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, but also by entering into an open dialogue with critical nonbelievers. He has written an open letter to leading Italian intellectual Eugenio Scalfari, founder and longtime editor in chief of the major liberal Roman daily newspaper La Repubblica. These are not papal instructions, but a friendly exchange of arguments on equal levels.

Among the 12 questions from Scalfari printed in La Repubblica Sept. 11, the fourth seems to me of particular importance for a church leadership ready for reforms: Jesus perceived his kingdom not to be of this world — “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” — but the Catholic church especially, writes Scalfari, all too often submits to the temptations of worldly power and represses the spiritual dimension of the church in favor of worldliness. Scalfari’s question: “Does Pope Francis represent after all the priority of a poor and pastoral church over an institutional and worldly church?”

Let’s focus on the facts:

From the beginning, Francis has dispensed with papal pomp and glory and engaged in direct contact with people.

* In his words and gestures, he has not presented himself as the spiritual lord of lords, but rather as the “servant of the servants of God” (Gregory the Great).
* Facing numerous financial scandals and the avarice of church leaders, he has initiated decisive reforms of the Vatican bank and the papal state and called for transparent financial politics.
* By establishing a commission of eight cardinals from the different continents, he has underlined the need for curial reforms and collegiality with the bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

NY diocese appeals Vermont ruling in priest sex abuse case

VERMONT/NEW YORK
Burlington Free Press

Written by
SAM HEMINGWAY
Free Press Staff Writer

The Albany, N.Y., Roman Catholic Diocese is disputing a Vermont federal judge’s decision to allow a case to proceed involving claims a New York priest abused a youth during trips to Vermont in the 1980s.

In papers filed at U.S. District Court in Burlington earlier this month, the New York diocese claims that federal court in Vermont lacks authority to preside over the case.

The lawsuit was filed in 2011 by a New York man who claims he was molested repeatedly as a young boy by the Rev. Gary J. Mercure of Albany, N.Y., during visits to Vermont.

The Burlington Free Press does not publish the names of victims of alleged sex crimes without their permission.

Mercure is serving a 20-year sentence in Massachusetts for sexually assaulting two former altar boys, including the victim in the Vermont case, during ski trips. He has been banished from priestly duties by the diocese but has not been defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

JURY CONVICTS PRIEST OF ILLEGAL INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF A MINOR

OHIO
The United States Attorney's Office, District of Southern Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013
http://www.justice.gov/usao/ohs
CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer
(614) 469-5715

CINCINNATI – A U.S. District Court jury has convicted Robert Frank Poandl, 72, of Fairfield, Ohio of one count of interstate transportation of a minor for illicit purposes, a federal law known as the Mann Act.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), William Hayes, Acting Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Ohio and Michigan; and agencies in the Greater Cincinnati Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force announced the verdict reached today following a trial that began September 16 before U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett.

According to trial testimony, in August 1991, Poandl transported a ten-year old boy from Cincinnati to Spencer, West Virginia where he sexually assaulted the child. The crime was not disclosed until the victim came forward in 2009. The crime is punishable by a sentence ranging from zero to ten years in prison. Judge Barrett will set a date for sentencing.

“Today’s verdict should give victims courage to come forward, even if the abuse happened years ago,” U.S. Attorney Stewart said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

El cura Julio Grassi va a la cárcel por corrupción de menores y abuso sexual agravado

ARGENTINA
El Sol

El cura Julio César Grassi deberá ir preso, ya que el Tribunal Oral Criminal 1 de Morón decidió esta tarde su "inmediata detención" para que cumpla su condena a 15 años de cárcel por los delitos de abuso sexual y corrupción de menores.

El sacerdote salesiano y ex titular de la "Fundación Felices los Niños", de 57 años, tomó conocimiento de que perdía el privilegio de la libertad vigilada en una audiencia realizada en la sede del tribunal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

El padre Grassi irá preso

ARGENTINA
Diario Panorama

[Summary: The priest Julio Cesar Grassi must go to prison as punishment for corruption of minors and aggravated sexual abuse. He had been sentenced to 15 years but had been free for four years since the conviction. He will be housed in Ituzaingo 39 prison unit. The criminal court at Moron announced its decision shortly after 7 p.m. The judges during the afternoon rejected Grassi's challenge that they were biased.]

[23/09/2013] El sacerdote Julio César Grassi deberá cumplir prisión efectiva por la pena de corrupción de menores y abuso sexual agravado por la que se lo condenó durante 15 años. De este modo perdió el beneficio de libertad vigilada que tenía, una resolución extraordinaria de la que gozó cuatro años un condenado a un delito grave. A esto lo definió hoy tras la audiencia de partes el Tribunal Oral Criminal (TOC) N° 1 de Morón.

Grassi quedó a disposición del servicio penitencial bonaerense. Será alojado en la unidad penitenciaria 39 de Ituzaingó.

La resolución se dio a conocer poco después de las 19 en la sede de los tribunales de Morón, luego de que esta tarde los jueces rechazaran la recusación de la defensa de Grassi.

El sacerdote fue condenado por el TOC 1 en junio del 2009 a 15 años de prisión por haber abusado de un menor que alojaba en guarda judicial en la Fundación Felices los Niños y la condena fue confirmada en tres instancias.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

El Tribunal de Morón ordenó la "inmediata detención" del padre Julio Grassi

ARGENTINA
Infobae

[con el documento]

Finalmente, los Tribunales de Morón fueron escenario de la audiencia judicial que definirá el futuro del sacerdote Julio César Grassi. Su defensa presentó a primera hora de la mañana un pedido de recusación para que los tres jueces del Tribunal Oral 1 de Morón se aparten del caso y no se realice el encuentro.

Sin embargo, el tribunal rechazó los escritos de recusación y nulidad presentados por la defensa de Grassi, y el encuentro entre las partes tuvo lugar. Tras las declaraciones de los interesados, la audiencia concluyó y los magistrados anunciaron que a las 19 darán su veredicto. En ese momento se sabrá si Grassi continúa en libertad o si será detenido.

En primer termino tomaron la palabra el fiscal Alejando Varela y los abogados Sergio Piris y Juan Pablo Gallego. Todos reiteraron el pedido de "inmediata detención" del sacerdote, argumentando que existe "peligro de fuga" y que además incumplió las normas que se le habían establecido al ser condenado a cambio de su libertad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Grassi va preso

ARGENTINA
TN

[Summary: The criminal court at Moron has decided priest Julie Cesar Grassi must go to prison. He was previously sentenced to 15 years in prisons for abusing minors but has repeatedly appealed. Plaintiff attorney Juan Paul Gallego said the court order should have happened much earlier. He maintained that Grassi posed a danger of fleeing.]

Así lo dispuso el Tribunal de Morón.

Lunes 23 de Septiembre de 2013 | 19:38

El Tribunal de Morón decidió que Julio César Grassi quede preso luego de que la Justicia lo condenara a 15 años de prisión por abuso de menores.

"Nos decidimos por la efectivización de la detención teniendo bases claras y precisas que dejan en evidencia un peligro de fuga concreto", se detallaron entre los fundamentos del Tribunal.

También se indicó que por la condición de Clérigo de Grassi, el alojamiento será la unidad carcelaria 39 de Morón.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Maplewood priest takes leave of absence; woman accuses him of inappropriate touching

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Andy Greder
agreder@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 09/23/2013

The Rev. Mark Huberty is taking an indefinite leave of absence from his Maplewood Catholic church after a woman has accused him of inappropriate touching, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Sunday.

Huberty, of Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, had denied the allegations and is not being suspended or removed as pastor, the archdiocese said. Huberty notified parishioners of the situation during services last weekend.

The allegations have been reported to police, the archdiocese said. Police and the church have opened investigations, the archdiocese said. Huberty will remain on leave during the investigations, the archdiocese said.

The archdiocese said it has been working with parish trustees "from the beginning to ensure they are informed and involved." The archdiocese has appointed an administrator to oversee pastoral duties and is arranging for priests to lead Masses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Former Savannah Diocese Priest Convicted of Sex Crimes

GEORGIA
WSAV

By Andrew Davis, Anchor/Reporter

CINCINNATI, OHIO -
A former Savannah Diocese priest was convicted of sex charges in a Ohio Federal Court.

Fr. Robert Poandl was convicted of one count of transportation of a minor across state lines for illicit purposes.

The 72 year old priest now faces up to 10 years in prison for the crime.

Poandl was accused of molesting a 10 year old boy 22 years ago in a West Virginia rectory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Grassi: No tengo rasgos de pedófilo

ARGENTINA
La Voz

El Tribunal Oral de Morón dará a conocer esta tarde, después de las 19, si efectiviza o no el pedido de "inmediata detención" del sacerdote Julio César Grassi, condenado por abuso sexual.

Después de escuchar la palabra de Grassi, que se manifestó inocente y dijo no ser un "pedófilo", el tribunal notificó que a las 19 dará a conocer su resolución.

Grassi recusó por presunta "parcialidad" al tribunal oral de Morón.

El cura, condenado a 15 años de prisión por abuso sexual agravado y corrupción de menores, formuló el planteo al notificarse esta mañana del fallo que confirmó la pena en su contra.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

A las 19 horas: El Tribunal de Morón decide si Grassi va preso

ARGENTINA
Urgente 24

CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES (Urgente24).-Este lunes 23/09 a las 19 horas, el tribunal oral de Morón definirá si Julio Cesar Grassi queda detenido o no. Así lo expresó la jueza Mariana Maldonado, junto a Claudio Chaminade y Pablo Lucero.

Previamente a este anuncio, se rechazó la recusación al fiscal Alejandro Varela y al Tribunal que presentó esta mañana Grassi.

El fiscal apoyó el rechazo a la recusación planteada por la defensa de Grassi y expresó “Una vez más asistimos a maniobras dilatorias”, dijo Varela.

Y además agregó "La nulidad planteada por el imputado carece de valor", y añadió a sus argumentos "Acá no es una cuestión de gustos, es una cuestión de Ley y hay que cumplirla".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Court decides on Grassi sentence; priest denounces 'media campaign' against him

ARGENTINA
Buenos Aires Herald

The first criminal court of Morón is expected to decide today whether priest Julio César Grassi, convicted to 15 years in prison for sexual abuse of minors, will be detained.

The court will release their decision around 7pm local time, after hearing the arguments of both prosecutors and the clergyman.

Prosecutor Alejandro Varela, speaking today, urged judges to issue an arrest warrant for Grassi, founder of the Happy Children Foundation. "Leaving Grassi in freedom is almost like collaborating with the crime," the attorney fired.

For his part, the priest denied that he was a flight risk and criticised Varela as well as the media for their treatment of him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Abuse by priest 'destroyed my family'

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

In an emotional and moving interview the 32-year-old man looked back on his years of torment by a man he believes was protected by the Catholic Church.

"I wanted to be a priest from a very young age, and in fact I wrote to the bishop when I was ten and, saying I wanted to be a priest," said David - not his real name.

"That dirty b****** has destroyed my faith. I don't even know if anybody exists up there anymore, I have no feelings for the Catholic Church whatsoever."

David's dreams of the priesthood were shattered when he became the target of unwelcome sexual assaults from the ruthless, sexual predator, Fr James Donaghy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Report: 2nd archbishop to be appointed to assist Newark Archbishop John Myers

NEW JERSEY
Edmonton Journal

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SEPTEMBER 23, 2013

NEWARK, N.J. - The Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, is getting a second archbishop.

The National Catholic Reporter reports on its website Monday that Pope Francis is appointing a coadjutor archbishop to assist Archbishop John Myers.

The Reporter says the bishop of Gaylord, Mich., Bernard Hebda, will be named to the post Tuesday.

A co-adjutor bishop immediately succeeds a diocesan bishop who retires or dies.

Myers is 72, about three years from mandatory retirement. He's been under fire for his handling of the case of the Rev. Michael Fugee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Tras la audiencia, el Tribunal de Morón define la situación judicial del padre Julio Grass

ARGENTINA
Agencia Fe

Finalmente, los Tribunales de Morón fueron escenario de la audiencia judicial que definirá el futuro del sacerdote Julio César Grassi. Su defensa presentó a primera hora de la mañana un pedido de recusación para que los tres jueces del Tribunal Oral 1 de Morón se aparten del caso y no se realice el encuentro.

Sin embargo, el tribunal rechazó los escritos de recusación y nulidad presentados por la defensa de Grassi, y el encuentro entre las partes tuvo lugar. Tras las declaraciones de los interesados, la audiencia concluyó y los magistrados anunciaron que a las 19 darán su veredicto. En ese momento se sabrá si Grassi continúa en libertad o si será detenido.

En primer termino tomaron la palabra el fiscal Alejando Varela y los abogados Sergio Piris y Juan Pablo Gallego. Todos reiteraron el pedido de "inmediata detención" del sacerdote, argumentando que existe "peligro de fuga" y que además incumplió las normas que se le habían establecido al ser condenado a cambio de su libertad.

NJ - New bishop being sent to Newark; SNAP responds

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 23

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 coadjutor bishop has been named for the Newark Archdiocese.

[National Catholic Reporter]

Any step, however small, that in any way reduces Archbishop John Myers’ authority or status is positive. At the same time, however, Pope Francis is again missing a clear opportunity to discipline, demote, denounce or even defrock a blatantly reckless, callous and deceitful prelate and send a powerful signal that cover ups will no longer be tolerated.

It will be tempting for many to read more into this appointment than they should. Because Vatican officials usually refuse to disclose the rationale for their actions – or are notoriously vague when they do so – no one can really know whether this move is in any way connected to Myers’ repeatedly irresponsible actions with predator priests.

But many Catholics will assume this. We caution them against leaping to conclusions. No one person caused the horrific scandal in Newark. No one person can fix it. The real solution isn’t juggling secretive church officials. The real solution requires every single current and former Catholic church employee and member to call law enforcement with any knowledge or suspicions of clergy sex crimes and cover ups, no matter how old, small, vague or seemingly insignificant that knowledge or those suspicions might be. That’s what protects kids – the courage of many adults, not the shuffling of two officials.

Bishop Bernard A. Hebda is a lawyer, a fact that worries us. Most bishops approach clergy sex abuse and cover up cases like lawyers, instead of shepherds.

And he’s worked in two states with particularly archaic, predator-friendly child sex abuse laws, which means it’s hard to really assess how he’s handled clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

Neither of those dioceses has posted names of predator priests on their websites, as roughly 30 US bishops have. And Hebda has done nothing in Gaylord that indicates to us that he’ll be any different or better than the overwhelming majority of his clerical colleagues who continue to conceal clergy sex crimes.

The safest course for Newark victims, witnesses and whistleblowers is to keep calling secular officials, not church officials, when they see, suspect or suffer clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Report: Michigan cleric to help embattled Newark Archbishop Myers

NEW JERSEY
The Record

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 23, 2013
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

Pope Francis is appointing a coadjutor archbishop to assist embattled Archbishop John J. Myers in running the Newark Archdiocese, according to a report in a Catholic newspaper.

Bishop Bernard A. Hebda of Gaylord, Mich. will be named coadjutor on Tuesday, according to the National Catholic Reporter today.

Jim Goodness, a spokesman for Myers, would not confirm or deny the report, but he said that Myers would make “an announcement of significance” Tuesday during an 11 a.m. press conference at the archdiocesan center in Newark.

For the last four months, Myers has been harshly criticized for his handling of the Rev. Michael Fugee, who was arrested in May for hearing confessions of minors and attending youth-group retreats in alleged violation of a court order. The archbishop has insisted he didn’t know or sanction the activities, but four state senators, victims’ advocates and some Catholic parishioners have called for his resignation for not more closely supervising the cleric.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

The Ostrich Chronicles: Is the Church Protecting the Wrong People?

UNITED STATES
View from the Heights

We’ve all heard the jokes, maybe laughed at them, or maybe even told a few. We’ve watched the monologues on the late-night comedy shows. We scoff and shake our heads at Penn State, or at the various Catholic sex scandals that run across the CNN ticker. We often look at them haughtily and say, “Well I’m glad MY church isn’t that way!”

Are you sure about that?

At a Nominating Team meeting last week (yes, I’m stubbornly sticking to “team” instead of “committee”), a couple of members mentioned that they heard of churches requiring background checks for volunteers. One said, “We’d never do that, would we?”

I looked at them and said, “We already are.”

They were stunned, much as I was when I first heard of this concept some years ago. A children’s minister at a former church suggested in staff meeting that we should perform background checks on both staff and volunteers. I couldn’t imagine insulting our membership in such a way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

POPE “HATES DOGMA”

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue discusses the way the left is responding to Pope Francis:

If ever there were any doubt that the Catholic left and the secular left have much in common, it is doubted no more. Consider that Jane Fonda tweeted this weekend that Pope Francis “hates dogma,” and that today we learned from Fordham theologian Michael Peppard that while the pope “is a lover of traditional prayers and books,” the “old Q-and-A Baltimore Catechism is not among them.” Of course, neither quoted the pope as making these comments, and that’s because he never did.

Whoopi Goldberg, who has made a career criticizing the pope’s predecessors, loves Pope Francis because he said, according to her, that atheists are going to heaven. On the website of the New Republic, we find out that New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, outed today in the New York Times as a former Marxist, shares with the pope a fondness for liberation theology (never mind that just last week it was reported that the pope’s exchange with the Peruvian father of liberation theology was “serious and sharp”).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

This interview could be the Pope’s first real encyclical

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Joe O’Leary praises ‘this stunning interview’ and hopes for more from Pope Francis. But he wonders whether Francis can implement structural changes that would enable his vision of church to become real.

I note that the pope’s self-designation as a sinner may be inspired by St Escriva who had “a sinner” inscribed on his tomb.

We must make the most of this stunning interview and hope there will be more. The pope is not just ‘shooting his mouth.’ It is a very carefully reflected and calculated intervention, and can even be seen as his real first Encyclical. I read it with the same sentiments as those of my mother on hearing Pope John Paul II preach in Limerick in 1979: ‘Wasn’t it great to hear a man tell you what you’d always believed!’

What most strikes me is the lucidity with which the Pope expounds a mature, broad, and integrated vision of the nature of the Church and its teaching, and with which he names and refutes the distortions created by conservatives who see the Church in sectarian terms and its teachings as a collection of shibboleths. He takes aim in particular at the Congregation for the Doctine of the Faith, suggesting that its role is to be a mediator not a manager and that worries about the orthodoxy of a given teacher are best handled by the local bishops.

The hierarchy of truths has been restored by Francis. Strikingly, at the top of the hierarchy he does not place any dogma, be it that of the Holy Trinity, but rather the first, original teaching of Jesus. The earliest layer of the Q document, reconstructed by scholars, that it the nearest we can come to the actual words of the historical Jesus and that underlies much of the Sermon on the Mount for example, provides the themes that Francis has most insistently stressed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Week Two Begins (Or: Need To Hear From You)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The Royal Commission has now finished the first hearings, so there is not a second week to report on. The enquiry will go into recess until at least Monday 21st October, when it is expected to have two weeks on the case of YMCA associate, Jonathan Lord.

There are probably several people who spoke to commissioners, during private hearings, on the Scouts. Nothing has come up so far on these other cases, and it is not known if the commission will revisit the Scouts to cover their stories.

Consequently, this blog invites any person who feels left out of the hearing process to make contact, so that their issues can be raised here.

The same applies to the estimated 200 public submissions to the Victorian Parliamentary enquiry which that enquiry has decided to withhold from the public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

For Houma-Thibodaux, A New Road – NOLA's Fabre Heads Next Door

UNITED STATES
Whispers in the Loggia

As the docket progressively returns to life after the summer lull, this Monday morning brings the third turnover of a Stateside see in five days: at Roman Noon, the Pope named Bishop Shelton Fabre, the 49 year-old auxiliary of New Orleans since 2006, to head the neighboring Houma-Thibodaux diocese, succeeding Bishop Sam Jacobs, who reached the retirement age of 75 last March 5.

On a context note, that word of the move didn’t leak last week – with over 350 of Louisiana's priests, and all the state's bishops, gathered in the Crescent City for the US’ only province-wide convocation – approaches the miraculous. (This scribe was there, and it was a beyond graced and moving experience. More on it in a bit... but for now, grazie mille to everybody for the welcome – and, again, above all, for all your work and witness.)

One of the few active American bishops who’s an alum of the late, lamented American College Louvain, the Baton Rouge-bred nominee has juggled double duty as a pastor and Chancery official both before and after his 2006 arrival as a NOLA auxiliary, and even after subsequently becoming the archdiocese’s lead vicar general/moderator of the curia. Warmly regarded and more on Louisiana soil, Fabre has kept a low profile on the wider scene, keeping with what friends have termed a “lovable” shyness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Pope Francis to name coadjutor archbishop to assist Newark Archbishop John J. Myers: report

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on September 23, 2013

Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, who has been heavily criticized this year for his handling of priests accused of sexual abuse, will receive a coadjutor archbishop, or partner, to help run the archdiocese, according to a published report.

Pope Francis will name Bernard A. Hebda, 54, currently bishop of Gaylord, Mich., coadjutor archbishop on Tuesday, sources close to the process told National Catholic Reporter.

Myers, 72, is three years from the mandatory retirement age of 75. He has been archbishop since 2001. Previously, he served as bishop of Peoria.

Hebda was appointed bishop of Gaylord in 2009, according to the National Catholic Reporter. He was ordained a priest for the Pittsburgh diocese by then Pittsburgh Bishop Donald W. Wuerl in 1989, the newspaper said. Wuerl is now a cardinal and archbishop of Washington D.C.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Newark to get coadjutor archbishop

NEW JERSEY
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Sep. 23, 2013

Pope Francis will appoint a coadjutor archbishop to the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., tomorrow to assist Archbishop John J. Myers in his ministry, NCR has learned.

Bernard A. Hebda, 54, currently bishop of Gaylord, Mich., will be named coadjutor archbishop of Newark on Tuesday, sources close to the process have told NCR.

Myers is 72 years old, putting him about three years away from mandatory retirement. He has been a bishop for 26 years and archbishop of Newark since 2001.

Newark has four auxiliary bishops, two in their 50s and two in their 70s.

It is common for bishops of large dioceses to be assisted by one or more auxiliary bishops, who generally exercise authority in the name of the local bishop over a defined territory or administrative responsibility. A coadjutor bishop is usually appointed when a current bishop needs significant help in his ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Cop in abuse probe was under investigation

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN SEPTEMBER 24, 2013

A NSW detective who claimed on television that he was ordered to stand down from a police inquiry into Catholic Church child abuse was under internal investigation for alleged disciplinary offences before the broadcast, an inquiry has heard.

Confidential documents tendered to the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry reveal Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox also had previously refused to provide "explosive" information about the church to other police officers.

In his closing submission to the commission yesterday, the barrister representing NSW Police, Wayne Roser SC, accused Mr Fox of using an interview in November last year with ABC1's Lateline to deliberately undermine the police.

Mr Fox was never part of the police strike force formed to investigate the alleged cover-up of abuse committed by priests, Mr Roser said, "and it follows that there was no way he could ever be removed".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Last words from abuse inquiry players

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

TO clergy abuse victims, he is the serving officer who risked his career to speak out on Catholic Church cover-ups and inadequate police investigations, precipitating a NSW inquiry and then a national royal commission.

But to the NSW Police Force, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox is the officer who went rogue, who conspired with a Newcastle Herald journalist, leaked sensitive information, tried to undermine a strike force he was excluded from and then attacked personally anyone who challenged him.

Wayne Roser SC, barrister for Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, put that assessment of Mr Fox to the Special Commission of Inquiry on Monday, as its public hearings into abuse by priests James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden, and the police and Church's handling of their offending, draw to a close.

Summing up for police, Mr Roser said Mr Fox was never ordered in late 2010 to cease investigating clergy child sex abuse - only to stay out of matters assigned to Strike Force Lantle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Former Miss. priest convicted of sexually assaulting child in W. Va.

MISSISSIPPI
Clarion-Ledger

Written by
Ruth Ingram

A Catholic priest convicted last week in federal court of child sex charges decades ago served in five Mississippi parishes – his first assignments after taking his holy vows.

Fr. Robert “Bob” Poandl was found guilty in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati of federal child sex charges that he transported a 10-year Cincinnati old boy to Spencer, W. Va., in August 1991 where he sexually assaulted the child.

Poandl worked from 1968-73 in Aberdeen, Amory, Okolona, Houston, and Fulton, according to the records of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

“This victim and his family are very brave,” Judy Jones of SNAP said today of the child abused by Poandl in 1991. “They are to be commended for their courage and determination to seek justice and to keep this child predator far away from kids for a long time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

SNAP: Pope's Comments Do Not Protect Children

UNITED STATES
Ms. Magazine

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) sharply criticized Pope Francis for failing to make child sexual abuse in the church a top priority. Pope Francis made headlines last week for remarking that the Catholic church had become obsessed with gay rights, abortion and birth control, and for putting moral doctrines before serving the poor and marginalized. He described his vision of the church as a "home for all."

"It's good to make adults happier," said SNAP director David Clohessy. "But it's better to make children safer. That should have been the pontiff's top priority on day one. It should become his top priority now. He's done nothing to protect children, expose predators and deter cover ups. Not as a priest, bishop, archbishop or cardinal. Not as the pope."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Zollitsch kritisiert Limburger Bischof

DEUTSCHLAND
Kolnische Rundschau

Fulda .
Der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz (DBK), Erzbischof Robert Zollitsch, hat Limburgs Bischof Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst wegen der Finanzaffäre um seinen Bischofssitz-Neubau kritisiert. Zollitsch sagte am Montag in Fulda mit Blick auf die Negativschlagzeilen um Tebartz-van Elst: „Die ganze Kirche in Deutschland leidet darunter. Wir alle sind davon betroffen.“

Kosten werden öffentlich gemacht

Eine Kommission werde nun untersuchen, warum die Kosten für das neue Domizil auf mehr als zehn Millionen Euro explodierten. Die Kosten würden öffentlich dargelegt, versprach Zollitsch zum Auftakt der Herbstvollversammlung der Bischofskonferenz. Auf der Tagesordnung stehe die Affäre, die einen Imageschaden verursachte, bei dem Treffen der katholischen Bischöfe und Weihbischöfe in Fulda aber nicht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Condenado en tres instancias sigue libre

ARGENTINA
La Voz

[Summary: Can a person who was sentenced to 15 years in prisons remain free even if that sentence has been ratified by three courts? Can a person remain free without arrest even if this person has violated rules of probation and has spoken publicly on television about the alleged victims? In Argentina, he can. Priest Julio Cesar Grassi, convicted of three instances of aggravated child sexual abuse and corruption of minors remains at large.]

Por Jorge Londero

¿Puede una persona que recibió una condena de 15 años de prisión permanecer en libertad aun cuando esa sentencia haya sido ratificada en tres instancias judiciales?

¿Puede permanecer sin ser detenida una persona que violó las reglas de la libertad condicional al presentarse a un programa de televisión e incluso hablar públicamente de las supuestas víctimas?

En la Argentina, sí puede. El cura Julio César Grassi, quien fue condenado en tres instancias por abuso sexual agravado y corrupción de menores, sigue en libertad.

Para el abogado querellante Jorge Calcagno se trata del “único caso en la historia jurídica argentina en el que una persona condenada a 15 años está libre”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

El Tribunal rechazó la recusación pedida por Grassi

ARGENTINA
Clarin

[Summary: The Moron criminal court has rejected the objection raised by priest Julio Cesar Grassi who alleged that the court was biased against him.]

El Tribunal Oral Criminal 1 de Morón rechazó la recusación planteada por la defensa de Julio César Grassi por presunta “parcialidad”, al tiempo que también negó otro planteo del cura que pedía la nulidad de la audiencia de hoy, por lo que comenzó a resolverse si efectivizan o no el pedido de “inmediata detención” en su contra.

La audiencia comenzó minutos antes de las 15, y lo primero que hizo el tribunal fue rechazar la recusación presentada por la defensa del cura que apuntaba a los jueces porque “median circunstancias que, por su gravedad, afectan su independencia e imparcialidad".

Luego el TOC1 de Morón dio tiempo para que las partes analizaran otro planteo del cura que pedía la nulidad de la audiencia donde se debe resolver si efectivizan o no el pedido de “inmediata detención” en contra del cura, condenado en triple instancia a 15 años de prisión por abuso sexual y corrupción de menores.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Grassi espera la decisión del tribunal

ARGENTINA
Pagina/12

En el reinicio de la audiencia, en la que se debe resolver la detención del sacerdote Julio César Grassi, el Tribunal Oral N°1 de Morón rechazó los pedidos de recusación y nulidad presentados esta mañana por la defensa del ex titular de la Fundación Felices los Niños. Antes de la decisión de los magistrados, las partes exponen sus argumentos. Al mediodía, durante un cuarto intermedio, el abogado querellante, Juan Pablo Gallego, sostuvo: "Si Grassi no queda detenido hoy, esto es un papelón a nivel internacional", sentenció Gallego.

El abogado querellante solicitó "la inmediata detención" del cura por "entorpecimiento" del proceso judicial ya que "sabiendo que venía a ser detenido, una vez más intentó evitarlo" con la presentación de las recusaciones y la nulidad de la audiencia, lo que retrasó la cita convocada en primera instancia para las 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Newly appointed St. Cloud bishop spent years in Alaska dealing with past clergy abuse

ST. CLOUD (MN)
St. Cloud Times

Written by
Kirsti Marohn and Kevin Allenspach

A bishop who has spent recent years in Alaska dealing with the repercussions of decades-old clergy sexual abuse has been appointed to lead the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Donald Kettler, who has been a bishop in Fairbanks since 2002, will take over as the new bishop of the St. Cloud diocese Nov. 7.

Kettler, 68, was born in Minneapolis and graduated from St. John’s University. At a news conference Friday morning, Kettler said he’s happy to return to his Minnesota roots.

“In a little bit of a sense, I’m coming home,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Dominican prosecutor: strong evidence of abuse by apostolic nuncio

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Catholic Culture

A prosecutor in the Dominican Republic says that he has clear evidence that the apostolic nuncio there, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, was guilty of sexual abuse of minors.

Archbishop Wesolowski was recalled to Rome in August, after Church leaders in the Dominican Republic informed Pope Francis that they had uncovered evidence of sexual abuse by the papal representative. The evidence was also turned over to civil authorities.

Bolivar Sanchez, the chief prosecutor in the case, reports that Church officials have cooperated fully with his investigation. The Vatican has also promised full cooperation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Former Pembroke priest found guilty of child abuse

GEORGIA
Savannah Morning News

By For Bryan County Now

A Catholic priest, Fr. Robert “Bob” Poandl, who worked in Pembroke and six other Georgia towns was found guilty of criminal child sex abuse last week in U.S. Federal Court in Cincinnati.

Poandl was found guilty of federal child sex charges that he transported a 10-year Cincinnati old boy to Spencer, W.V. in Aug. 1991 where he sexually assaulted the child.

In Georgia the priest worked in Blairsville, Dahlonga, Cleveland, Glenville, Claxton and Sand Hill as well as Pembroke.

Poandl belongs to a Fairfield Ohio-based Catholic religious order called the Glenmary Missioners. Besides Georgia, he worked at churches and church assignments in Ohio, Okla., Pa., Texas, Ky., La. and Miss.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

NY - Victims blast NY Catholic officials & school

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[Grad goes public in prep sex suit - New York Post]

For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 23

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

Shame on every single employee of St. Francis Prep School and the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn. They’re using junk yard dog lawyers to force a child sex abuse victim to publicly reveal her identity.

For decades, Catholic officials have deliberately used inexcusable and mean-spirited tactics to intimidate victims, witnesses and whistleblowers into staying silent about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. But there’s no more inexcusable and mean-spirited tactic than this one – insisting that a victim of a heinous, invasive and devastating child sex crime disclose her name.

Shame on every Catholic official involved. Every single church or school employee who doesn’t publicly denounce this viciousness basically condones it and should be ashamed of himself or herself.

We admire Felicia Mooradian and two others – Mark Evangelista and Elizabeth Cucinotta Sorvillo - who are bravely exposing clergy sex crimes and cover ups. We commend them for their courage. We are glad they realize that they have nothing to be ashamed of and have done nothing wrong. The shame here, and there’s plenty of it, belongs to current and former St. Francis Prep School employees who saw, suspected or knew about Br. Ben O’Reilly’s crimes and ignored or conceal them and who keep quiet about this stunningly callous and hurtful legal assault on the privacy of a child sex crime victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

LA - New Orleans Catholic bishop gets promotion; SNAP responds

LOUISIANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 23, 2013

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests