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November 30, 2013

For Roger Mahony, clergy abuse cases were a threat to agenda

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

From the start of his tenure as the leader of L.A.'s Catholics, Roger Mahony had ambitious plans for the archdiocese. But clergy molestation claims were vying for his attention.

BY HARRIET RYAN, ASHLEY POWERS AND VICTORIA KIM
December 01, 2013

A year after arriving in Los Angeles, the youngest archbishop in the U.S. Catholic Church had a schedule and an agenda befitting a presidential candidate.

Roger Mahony raced around the city in a chauffeured sedan, exhorting labor leaders to support immigrant rights and rallying hundreds against a proposed prison in Boyle Heights.

Where his predecessors had talked up praying the rosary, Mahony touted his positions on nuclear disarmament and Middle East peace, porn on cable TV and AIDS prevention. No issue seemed outside his purview: When an earthquake struck El Salvador, he cut a $100,000 check. When a 7-year-old went missing in South Pasadena, he wrote her Protestant parents a consoling letter.

Reporters took notes and the influential took heed. The mayor, the governor, business executives and millionaires recognized a rising star and sought his company.

Among the thousands of papers that crossed his desk in September 1986 was a handwritten letter.

"During priests' retreat ... you provided us with an invitation to talk to you about a shadow that some of us might have," Father Michael Baker wrote. "I would like to take you up on that invitation."

The note would come to define Mahony's legacy more than any public stance he took or powerful friend he made.

In the child sex abuse scandal that has shaken the Catholic Church, Mahony is a singular figure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Survey for the Synod on the Family is available here

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Take the Survey Now

In preparation for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family to be held 5th – 19th October 2014, the Vatican has asked national bishops’ conferences around the world to seek the opinions of Catholics on a number of church teachings including contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce.

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, asked the bishops’ conferences to commence a survey “immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received.”

We are aware that the Vatican document is difficult to complete, so we are presenting here a version that is as close as we can make it to the original, but is such that we believe will made this canvass of views more readily available to a greater number. We suggest that you fill it in either as individuals or as groups. The important thing is that it represents the lived experience of as many people, single, couples, families, in our Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Will church leaders rise to the challenge of Pope Francis?

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Tony Flannery rejoices in the difference Pope Francis is making in the Church, but fears that local church leadership may not have the capacity to implement the change the pope wishes for.

Pope Francis has certainly created a new mood in the Church, a mood of optimism and hope. But his latest exhortation goes much further; it shows we have as pope a man who is determined that his period in the Vatican will be a time for more than just talk. It is clear now that there is a determination, almost a degree of impatience about him, like a man who realises that he hasn’t got an endless amount of time, and that the task is urgent and difficult.

It is also clear that his vision of Church is dramatically different from the two men who have gone before him, and that those who are still trying to say that Francis is in the direct line of Benedict and John Paul are becoming less credible. The simple life style, the constant calling for a poor Church, for a simple liturgy, the critique of the Curia, the challenge to the local churches to begin to take responsibility, all amounts to dramatic changes of direction from the papacy. Someone referred to his most recent encyclical as a charter for church reform.

The question that occupies me now is will the local churches rise to the challenge. Reading back over the history of the Second Vatican Council, it is clear that many new ideas and approaches were presented that would, if implemented, amount to a big change in pastoral approach, in governance, and even in interpretation of doctrine. But only a small part of it was ever put into practice because the local churches were not willing to take up the baton and move courageously into the future. John Charles McQuaid’s famous sentence when he came home from the Council that nothing had happened that would disturb the tranquillity of the faith of the people was a good illustration of the mentality that ultimately blocked change.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Royal Commission To Hold Public Hearing Into Towards Healing Starting 9 December

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing Monday 9 December 2013. The public hearing will look into the Towards Healing process adopted by the Catholic Church in responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines explained that this hearing will be the first of a number of public hearings that will examine the application of Towards Healing in responding to victims and allegations of child sexual abuse against personnel of the Catholic Church.

“This first public hearing into Towards Healing will focus on the experiences of four people who participated in the process,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Francis updates:John Allen and Vatican Pied Pipers toot Francis-mania…while Hans Kung points out “the Pope and his ‘double’” shadow pope Ratzinger!

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Paris Arrow

Updated November 30, 2013

While John Allen and the Vatican Pied Pipers are all tooting Francis-mania worldwide, Hans Kung is hitting the bull’s eye of the 'Evangelii Gaudium' Latin for “Joy of the Gospel”, the new Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis. Hans Kung’s analysis is entitled "The Pope and his ‘double’" (Italian, Il papa e il suo “doppio”) and like a prophet, he points out what the Vatican Pied Pipers are not saying (must not say) and what the 1.2 billion Catholics cannot see (must not see) --- that Pope Francis is acting on the directive of his “shadow pope” Ratzinger – God’s Rottweiler Benedict XVI. At the beginning of Kung’s article, there’s a big photo of the two white popes face to face almost kissing each other (creepy creepy photo of the two very very old males ‘Brides of Christ’ in white!) Hans Kung points out that Pope Francis’ “indiscriminate rejection of abortion and women priests should arouse criticism” and that “his dogmatic scope is limited because Francis is under pressure of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and its prefect, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller?” (Read the English translation of his article below – with our highlights in yellow).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

ROYAL COMMISSION CALLS FOR VICTIMS FROM THE ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF ADELAIDE

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is calling on members of the public, who suffered sexual abuse as a child within the Anglican Church and have subsequently made a claim to the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide since 2004, to contact the Royal Commission.

Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said Healing Steps was implemented by the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide in 2004 to provide pastoral support and practical assistance for victims of sexual abuse. The program was established after an internal inquiry made recommendations about how the Diocese could improve its response to sexual abuse and misconduct, including child sexual abuse.

“Healing Steps was established by the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide as an alternative approach to civil proceedings for resolving claims of sexual abuse, including child sexual abuse.

“The Royal Commission is in the process of gathering information relevant to these matters, and would like to talk to anyone who was sexually abused as a child within the Anglican Church, and who has participated in the Healing Steps program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

What Is The Next Hearing About? (Or: Towards Reeling)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The next hearings of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will begin on 9th December, in Sydney. More than a year after the announcement of the Royal Commission by former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, it will finally touch on the Catholic Church.

The recent Victorian Parliamentary enquiry analyzed the system set up by Catholic cardinal, George Pell, to deal with victims of paedophile priests in Melbourne (see previous postings). As Pell was, at the time, Archbishop of Melbourne, he called it the “Melbourne Response”. The Victorian enquiry revealed it as being anti-victim, pro-church and an affront to the dignity of victims.

When Pell went on to be a Cardinal, he set up a national version of the “Melbourne Response”, termed “Towards Healing”, which was no better in terms of outcomes for victims. The main thing about Pell’s programs is that, because it was impossible to sue the Catholic Church, victims were bullied into accepting low compensation and forfeiting their rights against the church.

Both processes were billed by Pell as being “independent”, but because they were funded by the church, operated only for the church. From the Royal Commission’s point of view, the Towards Healing process represents the problems which can arise when there is not a truly independent process. It could lead to such a body in the future, which will finally give victims the help they need and deserve.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Vatican bank names consultant as director as overhaul continues

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

BY JAMES MACKENZIE
ROME Sat Nov 30, 2013

Nov 30 (Reuters) - The Vatican bank said on Saturday it had appointed Rolando Marranci, a consultant called in to help improve transparency, as director general to take charge of operations as the institution seeks to reform after a series of scandals.

Marranci, 60, has acted as deputy director general since July, when the then-director general Paolo Cipriani and his number two Massimo Tulli resigned after a senior cleric with close ties to the bank was arrested on suspicion of plotting to smuggle 20 million euros into Italy from Switzerland.

He previously worked with Promontory Financial Group, an outside consultancy called in by Pope Francis to help review all accounts held by the bank's customers and tighten anti-money laundering procedures.

A former executive with Italy's Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Marranci's appointment is the latest in a series of changes at the bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) as it battles to emerge from allegations it has dragged its feet in improving transparency standards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Victim: Statute of limitations too short in Iowa and Illinois

IOWA/ILLINOIS
Quad-City Times

By Barb Ickes

The way Natalie Long sees it, the rape of a child is like a murder.

"Sexual abuse takes the soul of a child," the Rock Island woman said. "It takes away your innocence and how you view the world. It challenges every foundation you have — everything you believed in and trusted."

Because of the lasting and life-changing trauma of being sexually abused as a child, Long regards many states' time limits for prosecuting offenders a secondary form of abuse. She wants to change that and has begun her appeal against such statutes of limitations in Iowa and Illinois.

Long and Rock Island lawyer Arthur Winstein have launched a new foundation with a goal of changing many states' statutes of limitations for sexual abuse against minors, dubbed S.A.A.M. (saamfoundation.org).

"Our argument is that there is not enough time to come to terms with, cope and face your abuser within these time frames," Long said, citing Iowa's 10-year limit as an example of a too-short statute. "We had a 72-year-old woman come to us who'd been keeping it to herself for 60 years."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Inside the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
BBC

[audio]

Why did Pope Benedict resign, and can Pope Francis clean up the Vatican? Mark Dowd explores the crises that hit the Roman Catholic Church in the months leading up to the Papal resignation: the leaking of secret documents by the Pope's butler revealing power struggles at the top of the Church; investigations into money-laundering at the Vatican Bank; and claims that a 'gay lobby' controls sections of the Roman Curia, the Church's civil service

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Opinion: Royal Commission ...

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Opinion: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse shows men of God failed to act

TERRY SWEETMAN THE SUNDAY MAIL (QLD) DECEMBER 01, 2013

"That's not the Pat Comben I knew,'' said a former ministerial staffer and current political tragic over a beer last week.

Nor was it the Pat Comben I knew as my former member of parliament, a former cabinet minister, a late-ordained Anglican minister, and neighbourhood acquaintance.

This was a man against whom few had ill to say, whose table was invariably a gathering of good and interesting people, who frequently filled his ministerial limo with strangers on the way to the office and by all accounts was a more than competent minister.

We were discussing allegations levelled by former workmate Tommy Campion, who accused Comben of duplicity and betrayal in what have been called "cruel and inappropriate" church responses to claims of abuse at the North Coast Children's Home at Lismore.

We were discussing Comben's appearance before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse during which he made the bewildering claim that he had "no idea" why he did not report serious allegations of abuse to police.

The commission was told that Comben had driven the hard line the diocese took in dealing with requests for compensation and apologies for people who suffered in the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Troubled Vatican bank names consultant as manager

VATICAN CITY
Boston.com

By NICOLE WINFIELD / Associated Press / November 30, 2013

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The troubled Vatican bank announced its new top manager Saturday, promoting an outside consultant who had stepped in when the bank’s top two managers resigned amid scandal last summer.

Rolando Marranci had worked for Promontory Financial Group advising the Institute for Religious Works on cleaning up its accounts when he was named acting deputy director July 1. The bank’s senior managers, Paolo Ciprianni and Massimo Tulli, had been forced out after a Vatican accountant with close ties to the bank was arrested for trying to bring 20 million euros ($26 million) into Italy from Switzerland without declaring it at customs.

At the time of the ouster, the bank’s president, Ernst Von Freyberg, was named acting director while he continued on as president and board member, a seeming conflict of interest that appears to be resolved now that Marranci has taken over day-to-day operations of the institute.

Von Freyberg remains on as president.

Marranci’s appointment was announced Saturday, days before the Vatican is due to be evaluated by the Council of Europe’s Moneyval committee on its progress complying with international norms to fight money laundering and terror financing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Royal commission to bring up a lot of emotions for victims

AUSTRALIA
The Bulletin

RELATIONSHIPS Australia will support victims of child sexual abuse in institutions who wish to talk to the royal commission.

Counsellor Aaron Kenney said as people began to tell their stories it would bring up a lot emotionally.

"Certain counselling services have been contracted by the royal commission to provide support as they go through the process," he said.

"We can support them to articulate their story.

"Some people, they haven't talked about it for quite a while, if ever."

Mr Kenney said the service would offer support emotionally to help identify coping mechanisms and other social support groups, reducing the feeling of isolation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Dominican Republic: Prosecutors Find Archbishop Sexually Abused Minors

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Lez Get Real

Posted by: Lez Get Real on November 29, 2013.

Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic say that that the former apostolic nuncio to that country, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, is guilty of molesting at least five boys.

Wesolowski was relieved of his duties and 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 Vatican turned over the evidence to the Dominican government, and has pledged to cooperate with prosecutors there and indeed, Dominican authorities report that the Vatican and church officials were fully cooperative in their investigation.

The Dominican prosecutors, in turn, report that they have sent the final results of their investigation to the Vatican, including testimony from five young men who say they were molested, and from a deacon who admitted to having relations with the former nuncio. The also say that the archbishop bought and used cocaine.

They will now have to determine if they will charge Wesolowski with child sexual abuse and other crimes.

A Vatican spokesman has said that the it is willing to hand over Wesolowski to civil authorities in the Dominican Republic if requested to do so. However, Wesolowski’s whereabouts have been unknown since the Vatican removed him as apostolic nuncio Aug. 21 after the allegations against him came to light.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Former moderator given free hand to examine Scottish Church’s handling of abuse

SCOTLAND
The Tablet

29 November 2013 16:45 by Brian Morton and Sabrina Sweeney

The man chosen to lead an external inquiry into how the Catholic Church in Scotland handles sexual abuse says he has been given a free hand to review child protection in order to guarantee that the “awful” lapses of the past could not be repeated.

The Church in Scotland has been under pressure to commission an outside inquiry into its safeguarding procedures following a BBC documentary showing evidence of physical and sexual abuse carried out at the Benedictine-run Fort Augustus School and its prep school, and the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him by five men, four of them priests. Those allegations did not involve minors.

On Sunday, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland announced the review by Dr Andrew McLellan, a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly, as part of a three-pronged initiative to confront issues of clerical abuse.

This also includes the publishing on the bishops’ website of a breakdown of abuse allegations made against dioceses between 2006 and 2012, against religious between 2009 and 2012 and a statistical review of all historical cases of abuse from 1947-2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

November 29, 2013

I-Team: Alleged priest victim calls for more transparency

RHODE ISLAND
NBC 10

[with video]

Updated: Nov 29, 2013

By Katie Davis

An alleged victim of clergy sexual abuse is calling for more transparency from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence after an NBC 10 investigation.

The NBC 10 I-Team uncovered dozens of letters detailing abuse by Catholic priests in local churches going back decades.

A man who grew up in Rhode Island says he found his own case in those files. The letter is the most recent one the I-Team found in Rhode Island State Police files.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence sent it to detectives 10 months ago, but it details an alleged assault from 48 years earlier.

The alleged victim, Joe Corcoran, spoke publicly for the first time to NBC 10.

"It didn't get easier, like you would think, as time went by. The memories. It got harder," Corcoran said.

Corcoran grew up Warwick. As a high school student in the late 1960s, he worked at the Providence Visitor, the Catholic newspaper published by the Diocese of Providence.

It was one of the paper's editors, the Rev. John Ferry, who Corcoran said sexually assaulted him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

Aspinall’s Final Say (Or: The Rubicon Was Too Cold To Cross)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The head of the Anglican Church was given the last word at the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s third hearing, into Allan Kitchingman (see previous posting) and the Anglican Church’s North Coast Children’s Home. That word was “help”.

Like Catholic Cardinal, George Pell, Primate Aspinall is keen to remind anyone who will listen, that he is not like a CEO of his church, in that he has no power over his apparent underlings. Aspinall has so little power, that he has called on the commission to recommend that the government pass laws to force his church to be more humane towards its victims, through a national compensation system.

“I think, in terms of the Anglican Church, it would be much quicker and simpler for us if that were imposed on us from outside. And then dioceses wouldn’t fall into the trap that Grafton did in terms of focusing on financial matters to the detriment of victims. They would simply be given a determination by a statutory body and required to find the money,” Aspinall said.

He felt that it would be essentially impossible for the Anglican Church to set up such a fund, because it would require agreement from all 23 dioceses. Agreement was unlikely, because, as he poetically put it, “Anglican politics makes federal politics look like kindergarten.” Members of the Church would “take a dim view” of having to sell property to raise cash for victim compensation and assistance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Dejaeger set up sleeping bags for “camping” sessions in church bedroom

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

The Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit heard a fresh voice at the trial of Eric Dejaeger Nov. 29, who said the former priest set up “camping” sessions with sleeping bags for children in an upstairs church bedroom.

Nicole Arnatsiaq was a religion teacher at the school in Igloolik in 1981 and 1982 and lived at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church when Dejaeger was a priest there.

Arnatsiaq told Justice Robert Kilpatrick that Dejaeger used to wear “tight jeans,” but said, “at the time I did not [see] any abnormalities.”

However, she did see sleeping bags upstairs in a bedroom once when Father Robert Lechat, head priest of the church, was away on one of many regular trips to neighbouring missions.

“Eric told me they were camping here,” Arnatsiaq told Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss.

Dejaeger, 66, faces 77 sex-related charges. Of those, he pleaded guilty to eight charges of indecent assault on day one of the trial.

Those charges stem from incidents that are alleged to have occurred in Igloolik during his tenure as a priest there between 1978 and 1982. Most of the witnesses so far have been complainants — there are 39 in total.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Vatican abuse prosecutor meets British victims and safeguarding experts

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

29 November 2013 16:35 by Christopher Lamb

The recently appointed Vatican prosecutor for abuse cases travelled to Britain this week for his first overseas visit in his new role.

Fr Robert Oliver, the “Promoter of Justice” at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), met abuse victims, canon lawyers and addressed two seminars attended by bishops and safeguarding professionals in London and Leeds.

He was invited to Britain by the Chairman of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission for England and Wales, Danny Sullivan.

Fr Oliver, a priest from the Archdiocese of Boston who assisted with that diocese’s response to the clerical sexual abuse scandals which led to the resignation of its then archbishop, Cardinal Bernard Law, was appointed to his role at the end of last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

Wanted priest doesn’t know if he’ll return to Canada on child sex charges

CANADA/FRANCE
Lethbridge Herald

By The Canadian Press on November 29, 2013.

A priest wanted on child sex-abuse charges in the North says he doesn’t know if he’ll return from France to face them.

Reached at his home in the Avignon region, Joannes (yoh-HAH’-ness) Rivoire (rih-VWAR’) seemed aware of a Canadian warrant for his arrest that was issued in 1998.

Three-sex-related charges against him date from his work in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, between 1968 and 1970.

Rivoire says he’s not willing to discuss the warrant.

Asked if he would return to Canada, he said that he might, but added that he is old and sick.

He gave his age as “something like” 83.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Things Not Remembered

UNITED STATES
Patrick J. Wall

What better place to find evidence of concealing clerical child abuse than in a newly opened secret archive?

For her book Fallen Order, Karen Liebreich began digging in a previously closed archive and discovered the sordid story of the Piarist Fathers and “things not remembered.”

One of those “things not remembered” was how a child abuser rose to become the General Superior of the Order. This sounds like fodder for the Darknet, but the story illustrates how the cover-up of child sexual abuse has occured in Roman circles for centuries.

Father Stefano Cherubini Sch.P. was a rich Roman lawyer’s son who was accused of sexually abusing boys in Naples in 1629. In classic cover-up language, the founder of the Piarists, Father Joseph Calasanz Sch.P. writes, “it seems best to me, that if we are allowed to be the judges of this case, we will not permit it to come into the hands of outsiders.”

Instead of being punished to a life of prayer and penance, Cherubini was promoted and became General Superior in 1643. Complaints against Cherubini, then at the Piarists Roman School, continued. Instead of facing the issue, Pope Innocent X dissolved the religious order. Pope Alexander VIII resurrected the Piarists in 1656.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

LaFerriere found guilty on harassment charges, is appealing

BERLIN (NH)
Berlin Daily Sun

By Debra Thornblad

Frank LaFerriere was found guilty of three counts of harassment against the head of the U.S. Catholic League in Berlin District Court last Friday, Nov. 22. He was sentenced to a minimum of six months in jail but was released on bail after telling Judge Paul Desjardins he will appeal the finding.

LaFerriere, 53, of Berlin, was arrested on the three counts of harassment earlier this year. The complaints allege that LaFerriere called the cell phone of William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, in New York City in January and February of this year leaving "abusive, annoying and threatening" messages.

Berlin Police Prosecutor Dan Buteau presented the state's case at a hearing that started in October. Donohue testified he received between 100 and 150 calls from December 2011 to earlier this year. He said the calls had concerned him to the point that he had hired a bodyguard and reported them to the New York City police, who contacted Berlin police.

At the October hearing, LaFerriere's attorney Jay Duguay focused his cross examination of Donohue on comments he made on various media and how these comments might affect the state of mind of a victim of priest abuse. In various forums Donohue had called the victims "liars, dropouts, thieves and gold diggers looking for a pay day." Donohue did not deny the quotes, although he claimed the comments were directed at dishonest organizations that portrayed themselves as helping these victims, not the victims themselves. Donohue also admitted saying he believed a teenage boy 15-17 years old had the ability to fend off sexual attacks by a priest and if they didn't do it, it must because the boys were homosexual and the sex consensual. LaFerriere testified he was 15 when a priest sexually abused him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

I Can Only Hope God Has Mercy on Sex-Offending Clergy

Huffington Post

Diane Weber Bederman

We all have a bit of Cain in us. The part of us that is still connected to the animal emotions within that have not been filtered by our more mature moral pre-frontal cortex. We've seen it in Rob Ford: that bare-naked uncontrollable rage against someone, against the world.

I know that feeling all too well. It comes over me when I read about child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, especially committed by clergy.

I envision myself in front of the abuser, military weapon in hand, the kind that shoots out gazillions of bullets per nano-second. And I just fire away slicing the creature in half. These hateful, angry feelings had once led me to believe in capital punishment because I did not believe these monsters had the right to breathe the air we share.

It's those emotions deep within my amygdala that make me thankful for my belief in the God of justice and mercy. I feel His hand on my shoulder reminding me that "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord." I can let go of the hate and remind myself again that I do not believe in capital punishment. That I don't want the state taking life. I leave that in the hands of God. It is our responsibility as citizens to rage against these heinous acts.

We've witnessed sexual abuse by priests and the cover up. Now we face sexual abuse, rape, of children in ultra-orthodox Jewish communities around the world, with its attempted cover up. Orthodox Jewish groups instruct "their" Jews they may only report allegations of child sexual abuse to district attorneys or the police if a rabbi first determines the suspicions are credible. There are in these cloistered communities those who believe the secular court system is unreliable and "allegations" must be reviewed by a rabbinical court system.

No. We must never be so tolerant of any religious group they feel they're separate and protected from the laws of the land. Spanking a child can lead to a visit from Children's Aid. Why do these religious cults get a pass?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Israeli Rabbi Accused of Abusing Wife and Children

ISRAEL
The Jewish Voice

WEDNESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2013

A rabbi in the Israeli town of Kiryat Gat was arrested and charged with assault last week after allegedly beating his wife and children with a hanger, according to a police report filed in Israel. The rabbi, who is a resident in southern Israel, was charged on last Tuesday with violence against his wife and children.

The rabbi is accused of physically abusing his wife and children, issuing terroristic threats and obstructing justice, according to Ha'aretz.

The indictment, which was filed with the Kiryat Gat Magitare’s Court, accuses the prominent rabbi, abused his wife and his two children, who are two and five-years-old. The abuse occurred over a prolonged period of time, according to the indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Justice demands truth

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

Editorial
From: Herald Sun
November 29, 2013

FATHER Gerald Ridsdale will be remembered as Victoria’s worst sex abuser. His victims number hundreds when the families of those he molested are also counted.

Today, the Herald Sun reveals that his years of paederasty began long before he was ordained as a priest.

He slept with two boys aged 10 and 12 six years before he was ordained. The mother of the boys said Ridsdale was supposed to sleep on a mattress she had made up for him, but she found him in the boys’ bunk bed the following morning.

The Catholic Church knew that Ridsdale had started abusing young children and kept moving him from parish to parish to cover up his crimes. He was sent to New Mexico for counselling instead of being reported to police.

Ridsdale was defrocked in 1993 and jailed on dozens of charges. He has since pleaded guilty to further crimes of abuse and will appear in the County Court next year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Reasons for Sentencing

CANADA
Sylvia's Site

A little more on the sentencing of Father Dan Miller today. I just scanned and posted Justice Timothy Ray’s Reasons for Sentencing:

28 November 2013: Reasons for Sentence (Ontario Superior Court of Justice: Between Her Majesty the Queen and Daniel Miller)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Future of Glasgow’s parishes now under scrutiny

SCOTLAND
Scottish Catholic Observer

Catholics in Glasgow are being consulted before Christmas, ahead of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia's individual meetings with each Glasgow priest during Lent

Priests and parishioners in Glasgow Archdiocese are to be consulted by the Church on future plans for the parishes in the diocese.

A leaflet asking some tough questions under challenging circumstances about falling congregations—and the way congregations are served at local parish level—is currently on its way to all Glasgow parishes. The majority of Scotland’s Catholics live within Glasgow Metropolitan Archdiocese and its two suffragan dioceses of Motherwell and Paisley.

Called simply Archdiocese of Glasgow: This Affects You, the leaflet ‘lays the groundwork’ for potientially necessary ‘changes’ to come, according to a Church insider.

“When was the last time you saw your church packed?” the leaflet asks of Glasgow Catholics. It also highlights that the number of parishes in the diocese have fallen from 111 in 1977 to 93 today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Predator priest Gerald Ridsdale moved on by Catholic Church for a decade

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

ALEKS DEVIC HERALD SUN NOVEMBER 29, 2013

ONE of Australia's worst paedophiles was sent by the Catholic Church to the US for "counselling", rather than reported to police.

Despite knowing in 1975 that priest Gerald Ridsdale had begun abusing children, the church moved him from parish to parish: at least seven in 11 years.

The Catholic Church paid $70,000 for Ridsdale, now 79, to attend a monastery in Jemez Springs, New Mexico.

Another priest and a brother were sent to the same United States monastery.

Fr Paul David Ryan, who served jail in 2006 for molesting two boys in western Victoria, was also sent to the US for counselling. A 1992 attempt to send him to Jemez Springs was rejected.

According to its website, the Servants of the Paraclete offer help to priests and brothers "facing particular challenges in their vocations and lives".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Predator priest Gerald Ridsdale found victims ...

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Predator priest Gerald Ridsdale found victims wherever the Catholic Church moved him across Australia

UNDER the cover of clergy, Gerald Ridsdale was given the power to be a predator.

No occasion was too sacred. No location was out of bounds. No victim was out of reach. The more vulnerable the young children were, the more it pleased his depraved lust.

Parents were befriended and in a fooled sense of trust and put their children in the hands of Ridsdale.

There were fishing trips to Anglesea, lifts home after mass, beach excursions to Geelong and camping trips to the country.

Then there were the trappings at his presbytery. Video games, colour televisions, a video player and a pool table all luring his prey into his evil world.

As a priest, parents entrusted him to look after their children. He made the children initially feel special but all that was a saintly illusion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Journalist's lawyer presses John Furlong to go to trial

CANADA
The Tyee

By BOB MACKIN
Published November 28, 2013

A year after John Furlong filed a defamation lawsuit against a newspaper and reporter, the saga may finally see a courtroom.

But the CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics has still not set dates for a B.C. Supreme Court trial, according to the lawyer for journalist Laura Robinson.

Furlong sued the Georgia Straight and Robinson on Nov. 27, 2012, two months after the newspaper published Robinson's "John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake" expose. Furlong emphatically denied allegations in Robinson's story that he had physically abused eight students of a Catholic elementary school where he taught physical education in 1969 and 1970.

Furlong's Patriot Hearts memoir, published a year after the 2010 Games, made no mention of the Irish native's missionary work in Burns Lake before his 1974 arrival at Edmonton.

Robinson's lawyer Bryan Baynham filed a Nov. 22 application under the Libel and Slander Act seeking a judge to order Furlong post a $100,000 security with the court. The sum represents the estimated costs if a verdict or judgment is given in favour of Robinson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Anglican Bishops of Victoria reaffirm child protection measures

AUSTRALIA
Anglican Diocese of Melbourne

29/11/2013
Media release

The Anglican Bishops of Victoria reaffirm their resolve to work to strengthen the child protection measures already in place in the five dioceses that make up the Province of Victoria.

“We have worked together to scrutinise our protocols and ensure they meet the high standards we expect of clergy and church workers. We are completing the process of checking all clergy files to confirm that any past instance of abuse is known and has been dealt with properly,” said the bishops. “The welfare of the victims is paramount.”

The Anglican Church has a National Register of clergy where there has been a breach of professional standards, including any confirmed instance of child abuse. The Register is one of the sources of information used by the Anglican Church in ensuring that clergy are cleared to carry out ministry.

Archbishop Freier said, “We welcome the report by the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry and the work of the Royal Commission.”

Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Revd Dr Philip Freier
Bishop of Ballarat, the Right Revd Garry Weatherill
Bishop of Bendigo, the Right Revd Andrew Curnow AM
Bishop of Gippsland, the Right Revd John McIntyre
Bishop of Wangaratta, the Right Revd John Parkes AM

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Victorian Anglicans conduct abuse probe

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Victoria's Anglican bishops say they are in the process of checking all clergy files to ensure that any past instances of sexual abuse are known.

The bishops say they are working to strengthen child protection measures that are already in place in its five Victorian dioceses.

Friday's statement comes after evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about an Anglican Church institution in NSW.

The Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse also recently handed down its report.

"We have worked together to scrutinise our protocols and ensure they meet the high standards we expect of clergy and church workers," the bishops said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Upstate reverend charged with sex abuse, incest

NEW YORK
Empire State News

ALBION - State Police announce the arrest of Reverend Roy Harriger Sr, 70, of Middleport, on sexual abuse charges, following an investigation by State Police Investigators in SP Albion.

Harriger, currently the Reverend of Community Fellowship Church in the Town of Hartland was arrested for two counts of course of sexual conduct, two counts of incest and four counts of sodomy. All charges are felonies.

These crimes occurred between September 2000 and September 2001 in the Town of Yates, Orleans County, when he was the Reverend of the Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville, NY. Investigation revealed that alleged crimes have been perpetrated in New York, as well as the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania between 1974 and 2003.

The incidents that occurred in Michigan and Pennsylvania have been referred to their respective State Police agencies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Reluctant journalist wins top gong

AUSTRALIA
SBS

The journalist whose stories about child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church prompted a royal commission has won the nation's top journalism award.

A reluctant journalist whose work on the issue of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church prompted a royal commission has won Australia's top journalism award.

Joanne McCarthy, who wrote a series of articles for the Newcastle Herald, won the Gold Walkley Award at a ceremony in Brisbane on Thursday.

She told a room crowded with some of the nation's most respected journalists that she took great pride from her role in prompting a royal commission into the issue.

"This was about a hell of a lot of individuals in the end across the country who just decided enough was enough," she said during her acceptance speech.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Middleport Reverend Arrested on Abuse Charges

NEW YORK
WIBX

By Kristine Bellino November 28, 2013

A small town pastor is being anything but revered in Hartland, New York following his arrest on sex abuse charges.

The Reverend Roy Harriger, Senior, of Middleport is being held at the Orleans County Jail in lieu of bail on allegations that he engaged in illegal sexual conduct between September 2000 and September 2001 in the Orleans County town of Yates, New York.

The 70-year old Harriger, who presided over the Community Fellowship Church in Hartland, was reverend of the Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville, New York when the crimes were allegedly committed. New York State Police say that their investigation “revealed that alleged crimes have been perpetrated in New York, as well as the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania between 1974 and 2003.” In a written release police say that those crimes have been referred to authorities in their respective states.

Harriger was arraigned before Judge Donald Grabowski and is being charged with the following:

* Felony Course of Sexual Conduct (two counts)
* Felony Incest (two counts)
* Felony Sodomy (four counts)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

November 28, 2013

RCMP confirm child sex abuse warrant for priest

CANADA
Mississauga

IQALUIT, Nunavut - RCMP confirm they have an active arrest warrant on child sex abuse charges for a second Arctic priest who left Canada.

Police in Iqaluit, Nunavut, say Oblate priest Joannis Rivoire is wanted on three sex-related charges dating from his time in Rankin Inlet between 1968 and 1970. ...

Oblate officials in Ottawa confirm Rivoire is alive and living in France. Since leaving Canada, according to Oblate news letters, Rivoire was for some time a treasurer for a well-appointed "retreat-centre-hotel" in France's Avignon region for fellow members of his order.

Before he returned to the country of his birth, Rivoire had a long history in Canada's Arctic.

He was posted to Igloolik — the same community where Dejaeger would later serve — from 1960 to 1964. From 1975 to 1993, he worked in several communities on the western shore of Hudson Bay, including Repulse Bay, Rankin Inlet and Arviat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Father Dan Miller sentenced to nine months for indecent assault

CANADA
Daily Observer

By Ryan Paulsen, Daily Observer
Thursday, November 28, 2013

Father Dan Miller's only words on Thursday morning before learning that he will spend the next nine months in prison were "just that I'm very sorry."

The statement was made before Justice Timothy Ray delivered his sentencing decision, the last chapter in a legal saga that began in February of last year when the disgraced Catholic priest was charged with six counts of indecent assault. One of the charges was subsequently dropped by the crown.

Miller sat, expressionless, as Ray delivered his decision, outlining the basic elements of the case, which surrounds several incidents dating back to the 1970s, all against altar boys aged 9-13.

In his decision, Ray detailed the aggravating factors in the case, reiterating the position of trust, authority and confidence that Miller held with the families of his victims, the specific nature of the incidents in levels of detail that drew audible reaction from the crowded gallery, and the fact that Miller has never taken absolute and unqualified responsibility for his actions. He also did mention that a mitigating factor was that Miller did enter a guilty plea, which spared his victims the trauma of reliving their experiences in a trial context, although Ray quickly noted that the guilty plea was only entered after the victims had already had to deliver victim impact statements in discovery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

What Aspinall Said And Did Not Say (Or: Splitting Hairs For Fun And Profit)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall gets a little confused at times. This week he gave evidence to the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, in a hearing focused on Allan Kitchingman (see previous posting) and the North Coast Children’s Home (see previous postings) run by the Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England).

Aspinall and his church announced last week, on the eve of the present hearings, that he had appointed the first, and only, female bishop, Sarah Macneil, to replace disgraced ex-bishop, Keith Slater. She will be consecrated later in the year as bishop of the Grafton diocese. Coincidentally, this is the very diocese that was being investigated by the Royal Commission.

Also, coincidentally, since the announcement came on the eve of the hearings, it attracted world-wide coverage, and over-shadowed the first day’s hearings, involving damning evidence from victim, “Tommy” Campion (see previous postings).

There was one problem, though – Ms. Macneil was, in act, the fifth female bishop appointed by the Anglican Church in Australia. This would not have attracted quite as much media attention. The first one, Kay Goldsworthy (pictured below) was appointed over five years ago, in Perth. Aspinall would have remembered the event because he accompanied Bishop Goldsworthy to her first official engagement in her new role, at the school where she once served as chaplain, PerthCollege.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Canada-wide warrant issued for Nunavut priest

CANADA
Sun News

QMI AGENCY

Mounties have issued a Canada-wide warrant for a priest accused in a string of child sexual assaults in Nunavut.

Johannes Rivoire, who is now in his 80s, is accused of committing the offences between 1968 and 1970.

Police believe he has fled the country. Local media outlets report he's living in France.

He's been wanted on three sex-related charges since 1998, Cpl. Yvonne Niego said. At least two involved young girls.

"If this individual returns to Canada he will be arrested and brought before the courts to face justice," RCMP said in a statement Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Nine months and ten days

CANADA
Sylvia's Site

Nine months and 10 days. Exactly what the Crown asked for for Father Daniel Miller.

The convicted molester and Roman Catholic priest was immediately taken into custody, handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom by a police officer. His destination is unknown, but, he will be behind bars.

More to come. I just got home but did want to pass on the word to those who are waiting for the news.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

Nunavut RCMP confirm arrest warrant for priest

CANADA
CBC News

Nunavut RCMP have confirmed that there's a longstanding Canada-wide warrant for the arrest of a priest wanted in relation to sex crimes allegedly committed in the eastern Arctic between 1968 and 1970

Father Johannes Rivoire is currently living in France. The warrant was issued in 1998. The priest is now in his 80s.

RCMP say if he returns to Canada he will be arrested and brought before the courts.

Rivoire faces three charges: one for indecent assault involving three complainants in Repulse Bay, and two counts of sexual intercourse involving females under 14 years of age in Rankin Inlet and Repulse Bay.

According to Sylvia MacEachern, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse in Ottawa, Rivoire appears to have arrived in the North in the early 1960s. He served in Repulse Bay, Igloolik and Chesterfield Inlet and would sometimes fill in for priests in other communities, including Eric Dejaeger in Igloolik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Nunavut RCMP seek another Oblate fugitive

CANADA/FRANCE
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

Nunavut RCMP are on the hunt for another Oblate priest who faces historic sex crime allegations in Nunavut.

The RCMP issued a news release Nov. 28 stating that there is a Canada-wide warrant for the arrest of 83-year-old Father Joannes Rivoire.

The warrant was actually issued in 1998, but nothing has been done to find him since.

The warrant is “in relation to sexual assaults allegedly committed in Nunavut between 1968 and 1970,” the news release said.

Rivoire is believed to currently live in a monastery in southern France. He left Canada in 1993.

Yvonne Niego, a communications spokesperson for the Nunavut RCMP, said three charges were laid in 1997.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Nunavut: un prêtre recherché pour agressions sexuelles

CANADA
La Presse

La Presse Canadienne
IQALUIT

La Gendarmerie royale du Canada a confirmé l'existence d'un mandat d'arrestation pour des accusations d'agression sexuelle contre des enfants envers un deuxième prêtre oblat qui a oeuvré dans l'Arctique, mais qui aurait quitté le pays depuis.

La GRC à Iqaluit, au Nunavut, a indiqué que le père Joannis Rivoire est recherché en lien avec trois accusations liées à des crimes sexuels remontant à son passage à Rankin Inlet entre 1968 et 1970.

Un autre ancien prêtre oblat, Eric Dejaeger, subit actuellement son procès dans la capitale du territoire arctique en lien avec 69 accusations d'agressions sexuelles contre des enfants, qui auraient eu lieu entre 1978 et 1982.

Dejaeger avait pris la fuite pour rentrer dans sa Belgique natale, où il a vécu pendant 18 ans sans être inquiété, avant d'être renvoyé au Canada en raison de violation des lois sur l'immigration.

Rivoire vivrait quant à lui en France.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

RCMP confirm child sex abuse warrant for second Arctic priest

CANADA
Edmonton Journal

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS NOVEMBER 28, 2013

IQALUIT, Nunavut - RCMP confirm they have an active arrest warrant on child sex abuse charges for a second Arctic priest who left Canada.

Police in Iqaluit, Nunavut, say Oblate priest Joannis Rivoire is wanted on three sex-related charges dating from his time in Rankin Inlet between 1968 and 1970.

"We have a valid arrest warrant," Cpl. Yvonne Niego said Thursday. "If he returns to Canada, he will be arrested to face justice."

Niego said the alleged offences are against children, including a 14-year-old.

Former Oblate priest Eric Dejaeger is currently on trial in Iqaluit on 69 charges of child sexual abuse alleged to have occurred between 1978 and 1982. Dejaeger was originally facing six of those counts in 1995 before he fled to his homeland of Belgium, where he lived for nearly 18 years before he was returned to Canada on immigration violations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

When control becomes a fixation in the Church

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

In his Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” the Pope describes some ailments of today’s Catholicism

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

“A supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others.” This is the phase Francis uses in the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” to describe certain ailments of today’s Catholicism. Francis devotes a number of dense paragraphs of the lengthy document outlining the direction of his pontificate to this. In these paragraphs he explains the various forms of “spiritual worldliness” present in the Church.

“One is the attraction of gnosticism, a purely subjective faith whose only interest is a certain experience or a set of ideas and bits of information which are meant to console and enlighten, but which ultimately keep one imprisoned in his or her own thoughts and feelings. The other is the self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism of those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past,” the Pope goes on to write.

This constitutes a “supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline” which “leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying. In neither case is one really concerned about Jesus Christ or others.” Neither of these cases, which are both “adulterated forms of Christianity” inspire the mission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Evangelische Landeskirche Westfalen schränkt Missbrauchs-Entschädigungen ein

DEUTSCHLAND
WDR

[Summary: Victims of sexual abuse at the Evangelical Church of Westphalia will most likely get lower compensation that originally promises.]

Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch bei der Evangelischen Kirche von Westfalen bekommen wohl geringere Entschädigungen als ursprünglich versprochen. Eine Anlaufstelle in Münster beginnt jetzt mit der Arbeit. Sie soll Anträge von Missbrauchsopfern annehmen und darüber entscheiden. Bärbel Wegener : Kein Limit nach oben bei Entschädigungen hatte die evangelische Kirche von Westfalen noch im Frühjahr versprochen, man wolle soviel zahlen wie vor deutschen Gerichten üblich ist. Bei schwerem sexuellen Missbrauch kann das bis 50.000 Euro sein.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Trying to make amends

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Dan Box and Jared Owens
From: The Australian
November 29, 2013

IN a prearranged interview outside the royal commission, former Anglican registrar Pat Comben tells reporters he has left the priesthood in protest, he says, at the most recent child sex abuse scandal to engulf the church.

This scandal centres on the Diocese of Grafton, in northern NSW, and particularly the actions of a few senior officials including Comben, a "dominant", "assertive" and "aggressive" character, the commission hears.

For years, the commission is told, the diocese refused to accept legal liability for dozens of cases of brutal physical and sexual abuse committed at a Church of England children's home in Lismore. Some of the worst of this abuse, including rape, was committed by priests.

Speaking after giving evidence in Sydney's Governor Macquarie Tower, Comben says he was forced by others in the diocese to take this tough line in the negotiations. If not, he says, "I would have been sacked by the church."

A current administrator of the diocese, Archdeacon Greg Ezzy, is later asked on oath by the commission about Comben's account. "This is the first time I've seen anything like this and certainly that would not have happened," Ezzy claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Anglican Bishop at odds with head of church on compensation

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Jared Owens and Dan Box
From: The Australian
November 29, 2013

THE incoming bishop of an Anglican diocese at the centre of a child sex abuse scandal has declined to support the head of the Australian Church in calling for new laws to force churches to pay compensation to the victims of such crimes.

Despite having spoken openly to the media after her appointment as Bishop of Grafton last week, Reverend Sarah Macneil yesterday declined all requests to be interviewed or provide a written statement about the proposal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Herald reporter Joanne McCarthy wins Gold Walkley

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

NEWCASTLE Herald reporter Joanne McCarthy last night capped a stunning year by winning Australian journalism’s most prestigious award, the Gold Walkley.

McCarthy collected the coveted award at last night’s gala ceremony in Brisbane for her reporting on child sex abuse in the Catholic Church, which led to a state inquiry and royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Pope Francis’s progressive statement opens questions on abuse cases, women

UNITED STATES
GlobalPost

Jason Berry

November 27, 2013

Pope Francis stands as a rare figure on the global stage, speaking truth to the power of a globally interconnected financial system and governments of the developed world as he puts continuing stress on social responsibility to the poor.

In a document released yesterday, which the Vatican said the pope wrote in August, Francis calls the global economic system “unjust at its root” for promoting a “survival of the fittest” mentality.

He remarks on “widespread corruption” and “self-serving tax-evasion” – coincidentally, less than a week after JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay a $13 billion fine, negotiated with the Justice Department, for selling faulty mortgages in the 2008 economic meltdown. The bank’s CFO, Marianne Lake, said in a conference call with reporters that “$7 billion of compensatory [damages] payments will be deductible for tax purposes.” ...

He addresses sexual abuse in the context of human trafficking as a form of slavery: “This infamous network of crime is now well established in our cities, and many people have blood on their hands as a result of their comfortable and silent complicity.”

A certain risk seems inevitable with language of this kind, given the continuing crisis of clergy sex abuse that damaged the bishops’ moral authority in recent years, and which Francis inherited from Pope Benedict.

Francis’s reference to a church “clinging to its own security” came on the same day a clergy abuse survivors’ group in Milwaukee, Wis. released a letter drafted by Father James Connell, a canon lawyer and former diocesan official, to the Congregation for Clergy in Rome, asking the Vatican to nullify a controversial $57 million transaction by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as archbishop of Milwaukee six years ago, burying the money in a cemetery trust to avoid paying settlements to clergy abuse victims.

In 2007, Dolan shifted the $57 million from general funds into a special cemetery trust as lawsuits by abuse victims mounted. Dolan soon went to New York to become archbishop and subsequently a cardinal. In Milwaukee, the diocese faces 550 victim cases. The diocese filed for federal bankruptcy relief three years ago in an effort to bargain down the settlements; the bankruptcy turned into grinding litigation in which church lawyers challenged the validity of the victims’ claims.

A group of sympathetic clergy rallied to the cause of the victims. The letter that Father Connell wrote as part of the Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance, asks the Vatican to rescind the $57 million transfer, approved by Cardinal Claudio Hummes, who was prefect of Congregation for Clergy at the time.

The Vatican policy on clergy abuse, such as it is, encourages bishops to report crimes to law enforcement and work within a given country’s laws. But with bishops bound by canon law to seek approval for shifts of funds over $5 million from Congregation for Clergy, the Vatican is in a position of de facto micromanaging certain decisions that bear on large settlement issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Mgr Alfred Xuereb appointed Pope's delegate on two Vatican commissions

VATICAN CITY
Times of Malta

Pope Francis has named his personal secretary, Mgr Alfred Xuereb, to supervise the activities of the Vatican Bank, in a sign the pontiff wants to keep a tight grip on the drive to clean up its operations and image.

Mgr Xuereb, 55, a Gozitan, will be responsible for overseeing two commissions created by the Pope to supervise the bank itself and the economic structure and finances of the Holy See, the Vatican said in a statement.

Since taking office in March, Pope Francis has moved to tackle years of financial scandals involving the Vatican bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion, which is under investigation on suspicion of money laundering.

Mgr Xuereb will keep the Pope informed about the work of the commissions and any action that needs to be taken, it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Pope wants closer look at Vatican’s finance reform

VATICAN CITY
Inquirer (Philippines)

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis is trying to get a better handle on the reform of the troubled Vatican bank and the Holy See’s finances, naming his top assistant to look into the work of two commissions of inquiry he set up this year.

Francis on Thursday named his personal secretary, Monsignor Alfred Xuereb, to be his delegate to the two committees. A Vatican statement said Xuereb was tasked with “keeping his eye on the committees and keeping him informed on their working procedures and possible initiatives.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

THE POPE APPOINTS MSGR. XUAREB AS HIS DELEGATE IN TWO COMMISSIONS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 28 November 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Alfred Xuereb as delegate for the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) and for the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See, in order to exercise a supervisory role and to inform the Pope, in collaboration with the Secretariat of State, on working procedures and on any initiatives taken.

The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., emphasised that this appointment gives an official character to a role that Msgr. Xuareb has fulfilled for some time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Pope names private secretary to supervise Vatican bank

VATICAN CITY
Chicago Tribune

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis named his personal secretary to supervise the activities of the Vatican bank on Thursday, in a sign the pontiff wants to keep a tight grip on the drive to clean up its operations and image.

Alfred Xuereb, a 55-year-old Maltese prelate, will be responsible for overseeing two commissions created by the pope to supervise the bank itself and the economic structure and finances of the Holy See, the Vatican said in a statement.

Since taking office in March, Francis has moved to tackle years of financial scandals involving the Vatican bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion, which is under investigation on suspicion of money laundering.

Xuereb will keep the pope informed about the work of the commissions and any action that needs to be taken, it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

MALTESE PRIEST NAMED ON COMMISSIONS TO LOOK INTO VATICAN FINANCES

MALTA
Malta Independent

Pope Francis is trying to get a better handle on the reform of the troubled Vatican bank and the Holy See's finances, naming his top assistant to look into the work of two commissions of inquiry he set up this year.

Pope Francis on Thursday named his personal secretary, Monsignor Alfred Xuereb, to be his delegate to the two committees. A Vatican statement said Mgr Xuereb was tasked with "keeping his eye on the committees and keeping him informed ... on their working procedures and possible initiatives."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Church Youth Volunteer Accused of Sexually Abusing a Dozen Male Students

WEST VIRGINIA
Christian Post

BY MORGAN LEE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
November 27, 2013

Close to a dozen males have come forward to accuse a West Virginia man and former church youth volunteer of sexually abusing them as minors.

While the West Virginia State Police has not disclosed the man's name, Westminster Presbyterian Church has confirmed that the suspect "has volunteered in various capacities for the church, including with youth trips that required chaperones."

The church's senior pastor, Jonathan Rockness, also claimed that while the Bluefield's church had alerted authorities at the beginning of the year, the police initially did not find enough information to prosecute him.

"In June, the police reported back to us that they would not be pursuing the case, as the behavior we reported was inappropriate, but not actionable," Rockness said in a statement shared with WOAY Television. "Even though the legal authorities declined to pursue the case any further, the leadership of the church was not satisfied that we had gotten to the bottom of the situation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Il papa e il suo “doppio”

ITALIA
La Repubblica

Nonostante il coraggio con cui Francesco sta delineando la riforma della Chiesa, a volte si ha l'impressione che Ratzinger – tramite i suoi uomini – agisca come una sorta di “papa ombra”. La credibilità del nuovo pontefice verrebbe immensamente danneggiata se i reazionari del Vaticano gli impedissero di tradurre presto in azioni le sue parole e i suoi gesti.

di Hans Küng, da Repubblica, 27 novembre 2013

La riforma della chiesa procede: nell’esortazione apostolica “Evangelii Gaudium” Papa Francesco ribadisce non solo la sua critica al capitalismo e al dominio del denaro, ma si dichiara anche inequivocabilmente favorevole ad una riforma ecclesiastica «a tutti i livelli » . Si batte concretamente per riforme strutturali come la decentralizzazione verso diocesi e parrocchie, una riforma del ministero di Pietro, la rivalutazione dei laici e contro la degenerazione del clericalismo, per una efficace presenza femminile nella chiesa, soprattutto negli organi decisionali. Si dichiara altrettanto espressamente favorevole all’ecumenismo e al dialogo interreligioso, soprattutto con l’ebraismo e l’Islam.

Tutto questo troverà ampio consenso ben oltre l’ambito della chiesa cattolica. Il rifiuto indiscriminato dell’aborto e del sacerdozio femminile dovrebbero suscitare critiche.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Cleric takes holiday from abuse case

AUSTRALIA
Australian Teacher

MELBOURNE, Nov 28 – An American Catholic Brother charged with child sex abuse has had some of his bail conditions suspended over Christmas so he can take a beach holiday.

Bernard Joseph Hartman is facing 14 charges of indecently assaulting two boys and two girls aged between six and 16 at St Paul’s College in Altona between 1976 and 1982.

The 73-year-old appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday where his lawyer requested a change to bail terms requiring he report to a police station every three days so Hartman could go to Apollo Bay with his colleagues.

Hartman is in Australia on a criminal justice visa after he returned from the US to face the abuse accusations.

He had been working in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in Ohio on clerical duties so he wouldn’t have direct contact with children or teens. Last year a woman made accusations against Hartman during the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Archbishop of Perth personally apologises to abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Daily Examiner

Jessica Grewal 28th Nov 2013

ONE of the most senior members of the Anglican Church of Australia has personally apologised to victims who suffered child sex abuse at Lismore's North Coast Children's home and welcomed the public scrutiny arising from the historic royal commission.

In the final moments of this week's hearings into the Grafton Diocese's response to claims of abuse at the home, Adrian Herft, Archbishop of Perth, took the rare step of making an unguarded statement.

He told the commission he was "profoundly saddened" by what took place at Lismore and that "people who rightly expected the sanctity and dignity of life did not receive it but received something totally opposite to that, which has harmed or hurt them".

He went on to say he was "deeply remorseful" than any acts of commission or omission on his own part may have added to the trauma and said he hoped that the commission would help the Church to "get a handle on how best we should have our structures in place to assist the ongoing work... as it continues to be a witness in our land".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Anglican Primate says he had limited powers to intervene in child abuse cases in Grafton

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

MARK COLVIN: The final day of the Royal Commission's public inquiry on child abuse at the New South Wales North Coast Children's Home has heard from Australia's most senior Anglican cleric, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall.

The inquiry has wound up its examination of the Grafton Diocese and how it responded to compensation claims from dozens of abuse survivors from the children's home in Lismore.

The Grafton Diocese spent years denying that it was responsible for the orphanage, but now says it's re-opening all the files to make sure victims have been adequately compensated.

Today the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Dr Aspinall, told the inquiry that the Grafton Diocese had focused on its own finances to the detriment of the abuse victims. But he said he had little power to intervene.

Emily Bourke reports.

EMILY BOURKE: The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Phillip Aspinall, is the most senior religious leader to come before the Royal Commission.

PHILLIP ASPINALL: If I might use a commercial analogy: if people think that the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia is the CEO of Australia's Anglicans, then nothing could be further from the truth. The Primate has very, very limited powers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Royal commission hears there are potentially dozens of clergy not yet identified as paedophiles

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ashleigh Raper

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse has heard there are potentially dozens of clergy within the Anglican Church who have not been formally identified as paedophiles.

Protocols for dealing with sex offenders within the Anglican Church are being scrutinised by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission is looking into the response from the Anglican Diocese of Grafton to allegations of historic abuse at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore.

The Anglican Church set up a national register in 2004 designed to provide a database for information if a member of clergy had a complaint or finding of abuse established against them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Micheál Martin: Republican movement ‘failed’ to protect some sex abuse victims

IRELAND
The Journal

FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin has claimed that his party is aware of a number of cases where the Republican movement attempted to deal with cases of sexual abuse internally rather than involve the authorities.

Martin made the accusation following the sentencing today of Liam Adams, brother of the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, for the rape of his own daughter.

The Fianna Fáil leader told reporters today outside Leinster House that there has been condemnation of the Catholic Church over the years for not doing enough to protect vulnerable people but says that the Republican movement has similar questions to answer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Hartland pastor accused of molesting two young children in 2000-01

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

By Lou Michel | News Staff Reporter, Thomas Prohaska | News Niagara Reporter | @ThomasProhaska

LOCKPORT – The Rev. Roy D. Harriger Sr. may have left a trail of as many as 10 victims of sexual abuse across three states and four decades, a State Police investigator said Wednesday as he announced the minister’s arrest on charges of molesting two children.

Harriger, 70, was picked up at his home on Johnson Creek Road in the hamlet of Johnson Creek, adjacent to his church, which is located within the Town of Hartland in eastern Niagara County. Lt. Kurt Schmitt said Harriger is married with three sons and two daughters. He is the pastor of Community Fellowship Church in Johnson Creek, but the sex crimes allegedly occurred from September 2000 through September 2001, when he was pastor of Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville, Orleans County.

Harriger lived in Michigan and Pennsylvania before coming to this area, Schmitt said, and authorities in those states are investigating.

Harriger was arrested at his home Wednesday morning and charged with two counts of incest, two counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and four counts of first-degree sodomy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Orleans County pastor arrested on sexual abuse charges

NEW YORK
WBFO

By WBFO NEWSROOM

State Police have arrested a Middleport pastor and charged him with a series of felony sexual charges, including incest.

Reverend Roy Harriger Sr., a pastor at Community Fellowship Church in the Town of Hartland, faces charges including two counts of Course of Sexual Conduct (B Felony), two counts of Incest (E Felony), and four counts of Sodomy 1st (B Felony).

The crimes allegedly occurred while Harriger worked out of Lyndonville Wesleyan Church in the Orleans County Town of Yates. The charges involve a young boy and a young girl.

Two of the alleged victims who came forward two months ago are now adults. The alleged crimes occurred between September 2000 and September 2001. Several other potential victims have come forward since.

Police believe the pastor, who is now 70 years old, sexually abused children dating back to 1974, including time spent in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Harriger is under investigation in those states, as well.

State Police are asking anyone with information or anyone who believes they may have been the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Harriger to contact the Albion station at (585) 589-4244.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Minister accused of sexual abuse while pastor of Orleans church

NEW YORK
The Daily News

An area minister has been accused of committing acts of sexual abuse against children while he was pastor of an Orleans County church more than a decade ago, state police said Wednesday.

He has also been linked to sexual abuse in New York and other states dating back to 1974.

The Rev. Roy Harriger Sr, 70, of Middleport was arrested following an investigation by state police from the Albion barracks.

The Rev. Harriger, currently the pastor of Community Fellowship Church in the town of Hartland, was charged with two counts of course of sexual conduct (a Class B felony), two counts of incest (a Class E felony), and four counts of first-degree sodomy (a Class B felony).

The alleged crimes occurred between September 2000 and September 2001 in the town of Yates, Orleans County, when he was pastor of the Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Orleans Co. Pastor Charged With Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
Rochester Homepage

A church pastor is under arrest for sexually abusing children, and New York State Police say there could be many victims who have yet to come forward.

Ray Harriger, 70, is charged with two counts of course of sexual conduct, two counts of incest and four counts of sodomy. The charges stem from crimes he is accused of committing between 2000 and 2001. He is the pastor of Community Fellowship Church in Albion. Police say the victims, who are now adults, reported the abuse two months ago. At least 10 other victims have come forward, some of them from Michigan and Pennsylvania where Harriger also lived. State Police say some of those allegations date back to the 70s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Niagara County Pastor Charged with Sex Abuse

NEW YORK
WKBW

By Kendra Eaglin

New York State Police announced the arrest of 70 year old Roy Harriger Senior of Middleport, NY Wednesday, November 27, 2013.

Harriger is charged with two counts of course sexual conduct, two counts of incest, and four counts of sodomy, all felony offenses. These charges are connected to a case involving the abuse of a boy and a girl between the ages of 7 and 9 years old between September 2000 to September 2001 when Harriger was the pastor of the Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville, NY.

Harriger's alleged sex abuse however spans a period of 40 years with close to one dozen victims coming forward.

The married father of five was arrested Wednesday morning at his home in the Town of Hartland where he is currently the pastor of the Community Fellowship Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

NY pastor charged with sexually abusing children

NEW YORK
CBS 12

November 28, 2013
LOCKPORT, N.Y. (AP) -- A 70-year-old church pastor in western New York is charged with sexually abusing at least two children.

Investigators say felony sex charges against Roy Harriger Sr. are from alleged incidents between September 2000 and September 2001 when he was pastor of Lyndonville Wesleyan Church in the town of Yates in Orleans County.

Harriger is now pastor of Community Fellowship Church in the Niagara County village of Middleport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

November 27, 2013

St. Paul archdiocese may not need court OK to release list of abusive priests, judge says

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 11/27/2013

A Ramsey County judge has stated that he is not sure church officials need court permission to release names of priests accused of sexually abusing children.

John Nienstedt, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, said Nov. 11 that upon "permission of the relevant court" he would be "disclosing the names, locations and status of priests who are currently living in the archdiocese, and who we know have substantiated claims against them of committing sexual abuse against minors."

In 2009, as a part of the case of alleged abuse victim John Doe 76C against the Rev. Thomas Adamson, Ramsey County District Judge Gregg Johnson ordered the archdiocese to release its list of 33 "credibly accused" priests to the plaintiff's attorney, Jeff Anderson.

The archdiocese did so, but petitioned the court to seal the list. Johnson agreed. Since then, Anderson has been trying to get the names released.

The issue is now before Judge John Van de North. Van de North will preside over a hearing Monday morning in a case of another man, identified as John Doe 1, who alleges abuse by Adamson while the priest served at St. Thomas Aquinas in St. Paul Park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

NEWS RELEASE: HEARING MONDAY ...

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

NEWS RELEASE: HEARING MONDAY REGARDING NAMES AND INFORMATION ON CREDIBLY ACCUSED CHILD MOLESTING PRIESTS

Hearing Monday Regarding Names and Information on Credibly Accused Child Molesting Priests

(St. Paul, MN) – On Monday, December 2, 2013, at 9:30 AM in Ramsey County District Court, Judge John Van de North may decide whether a secret list containing the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona will be made public.

Doe 1, along with his attorneys and other sexual abuse survivors, sought to force the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, to release this information. The Archdiocese and Diocese of Winona have fought for years to keep the names and information secret.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Nienstedt promised to release some names but it’s not clear how many names he intends to release or whether the names have already been made public.
The original Doe 1 complaint can be found on our website at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact Jeff Anderson: Office/651.964.3523 Cell/612.817.8665
Contact Mike Finnegan: Office/651.964.3523 Cell/612.205.5531

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Owner of alleged Satanic sex abuse daycare released as case against her falls apart

TEXAS
The Raw Story

By David Ferguson
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Texas woman who served 21 years in prison for allegedly molesting and abusing children as part of a series of Satanic rituals was released on Tuesday in Austin. The Austin American Statesman reported that Fran Keller, now 63, is being released as key components of the case that put her behind bars have unraveled.

The former Austin daycare owner and her husband Dan Keller were convicted of shocking crimes against three children left in their care, charges that were part of a wave of hysteria that gripped the country in the 1990s that later proved to be mostly groundless. While the Travis County District Attorney’s office stopped short of saying the Kellers are innocent of all charges against them, it did not oppose the couple’s release.

The Kellers’ attorney Keith Hampton said that Dan Keller is set to be released as early as next week.

In 1991, a 3-year-old girl left in the Kellers’ care at the Fran and Dan Day Care Center in Southeast Austin told her parents that Dan Keller had hurt her. At the prompting of a counselor, the little girl spun terrifying stories of ritual abuse that were purportedly corroborated by two other children who attended the preschool.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

*FACT CHECKER* SNAP and the TRUTH About False Abuse Accusations Against Priests

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

It is an alarming and incontrovertible fact: False abuse accusations against Catholic priests, which have always been present, are on the rise. The mainstream media rarely runs stories about false accusations, and there are groups – especially the anti-Catholic group SNAP – who are desperate to hide the shocking truth about false accusations from the public.

What are the facts about Catholic sex abuse and false accusations? Consider:

A veteran Los Angeles attorney who has worked on over 100 clergy abuse cases recently declared:

"One retired F.B.I. agent who worked with me to investigate many claims in the Clergy Cases told me, in his opinion, about ONE-HALF of the claims made in the Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse."

Over an 18-month period in the Archdiocese of Boston, the Archdiocesan the review board – comprised largely of law enforcement and lay experts on abuse – "did not find that probable cause of sexual abuse of a minor had occurred" in 45% of the cases it thoroughly examined, again suggesting about half of the claims were bogus;

Last year in the United States, nearly half (45%) of all priests accused of abuse were long-ago deceased and thus unable to deny the charges – and this percentage continues to rise every year;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Deetman: mogelijk meer geweld in Sint Joseph

NEDERLAND
Dagblad
Dagblad De Limburger

Er zijn aanwijzingen dat in huize Sint Joseph in Cadier en Keer meer sprake was van fysiek geweld door broeders dan in andere tehuizen. Wim Deetman verklaarde dat woensdag in de rechtbank in Breda. Daar loopt een zaak van een oud-leerling van Sint Joseph die een schadevergoeding eist voor het geweld.

Oud-Tweede Kamervoorzitter Deetman deed onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik binnen de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk. Hij benadrukte dat hij geen onderzoek deed naar ander geweld. Wel kwam hij aanwijzingen daarvoor tegen in onder meer notulen van de priestercongregatie. De commissie-Deetman kon het eigen archief van Sint Joseph niet vinden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

MO - Victim appeals “bizarre” ruling

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

It involves KC Catholic officials & priest
Church says it’s not responsible for crimes
Their rationale: abuse happened on private property
SNAP: “It’s perhaps the worst legal tactic by bishop ever”

For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013

For more info: David Clohessy ( 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com ), Barbara Dorris ( 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

A man who says he was sexually assaulted as a child by a priest is asking the Missouri Supreme Court to reverse a ruling that ended his civil lawsuit against Kansas City Catholic officials. Clergy sex abuse victims called the court decision “bizarre” and are harshly criticizing Bishop Robert Finn for his defense tactics in the litigation.

Two weeks ago, a western Missouri appeals court tossed out the case of John Doe D.T. v. the Kansas City Catholic diocese and Fr. Michael Tierney. The court ruled that Catholic officials could not be held responsible for the priest’s supposed child sex crimes because they allegedly occurred on private property, not church property.

“The blame here squarely lies with Bishop Robert Finn. He could have fought this case on the merits. Instead, he’s fighting it on technicalities, and in fact, on the most absurd technicality: where Fr. Tierney and his victim were standing when Fr. Tierney sodomized the child,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP.

“Imagine a painting company sending a known rapist out to paint your mom’s house. He rapes her. Would the painter’s boss get ‘off the hook’ because the rape wasn’t on company property?” said Dorris. “Why should the physical site of a crime enable wrongdoers who commit or conceal that crime to escape responsibility?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Church records of sex offenders faulty

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Hundreds of Anglican clergy accused of sexual abuse could potentially be missing from a national register kept by the church.

The register was set up by the Anglican Church as a central repository of information about complaints and findings of abuse. It can be accessed by each diocese when someone applies for a job.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard on Wednesday that the register was not working.

Martin Drevikovsky, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Australia, said a large number of files had still to be processed and that historical information needed to be entered on the system.

In a statement to the commission, he said the Sydney diocese was reviewing 600 files which had been referred to a lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Legislate to 'force sex abuse compo' ...

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Legislate to 'force sex abuse compo', says Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall

Dan Box
From: The Australian
November 28, 2013

THE head of the Anglican faith in Australia said yesterday his church had failed dozens of children who were sexually abused, and called for federal laws forcing his church to compensate victims of these crimes.

In an extraordinary admission outside the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall said senior clerics in one NSW diocese "failed to treat (the church's) procedures with anything but contempt".

"I have heard more truth here (at the royal commission) in eight days than I found out in seven years in my dealings with the people in the Diocese of Grafton" Dr Aspinall said.

"The victims say themselves that they felt humiliated and demeaned, that they weren't treated with dignity."

Senior clerics were focused on money instead, he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Anglican Primate Aspinall's rise defined by church scandals

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JAMIE WALKER THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEMBER 28, 2013

IN a sense, Phillip Aspinall's rise in the Anglican Church has been fostered and defined by the sex-abuse scandals that rocked it.

No wonder he voiced his frustration yesterday about foot-dragging by former bishop Keith Slater to deal with victims of historic physical and sexual abuse at a children's home in Lismore in northern NSW.

Dr Aspinall, 53, had to clean up the mess Peter Hollingworth left behind when he stepped aside as Anglican archbishop of Brisbane to become governor-general in 2001.

Dr Hollingworth had barely settled in at Yarralumla when the clamour caught up with him that he had put the church's reputation ahead of the hurt inflicted on sex-abuse victims while in charge of the Brisbane diocese, an accusation he denied.

Confronted by the claims, Dr Aspinall dealt with them head-on. He called a board of inquiry that effectively sealed Dr Hollingworth's fate as governor-general, finding he had let a known pedophile stay on as a priest. He quit in May 2003 after only 23 months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

The Daily Telegraph praised ...

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

The Daily Telegraph praised by Anglican Church Archbishop Phillip Aspinall for exposing evil in Bishop Keith Slater's church

THE head of the Anglican Church yesterday praised The Daily Telegraph for being the "catalyst" that led to the resignation of Bishop Keith Slater and prompted the latest hearing of the royal commission into child sex abuse.

The Daily Telegraph was preparing to run stories with child sex abuse victim Richard "Tommy" Campion in May this year when a "horrified" church official uncovered the full extent of the Diocese of Grafton's treatment of 41 abuse victims.

"She came to me with the information because she wanted me to be fully informed about the situation before interacting with The Daily Telegraph," head of the Anglican Church Archbishop Phillip Aspinall said outside the commission.

What she had uncovered was a litany of appalling treatment of the victims who were seeking compensation for physical and sexual abuse at the former North Coast Children's Home in Lismore by at least 12 priests and members of staff over 48 years.

"Her coming to me with that information was the catalyst that ultimately led to Bishop Slater's resignation and the royal commission examination of this particular matter," Archbishop Aspinall said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Anglican Church register of sex abuse complaints out of date, royal commission hears

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 28, 2013

Catherine Armitage
Senior Writer

A national register of abuse incidents used by the Anglican Church to screen clergy appointments is seriously deficient and so out of date that scores of names may be missing from it.

But the church's most senior figure, Phillip Aspinall, appears powerless to effect change in the nation's 23 dioceses, telling the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: ''The Anglican Church makes federal politics look like kindergarten.''

The royal commission on Wednesday heard there was ''gross non-compliance'' in the Grafton diocese in dealing with abuse claims.

Archbishop Aspinall has echoed the Catholic Church's call for a mandatory national compensation scheme for child sex abuse, saying this would ensure parity for victims ''not just between Anglican dioceses'' but across all community organisations ''so that we don't have different classes of victims''.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Slater and Ezzy (Or: All Too Easy)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Martin Drevikovsky, the General Secretary of the Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England) told the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse third “case study” hearings that right now there are hundreds of abuse investigations taking place nationwide. The Anglican Church set up a national register in 2004 designed to provide a database for information if a member of clergy had a complaint, or finding of abuse, established against them. Mr. Drevikovsky is responsible for the register.

He said that, when the Royal Commission was announced, every diocese was given directions to “search for (complaint) files and review them to ensure all necessary steps had been taken and if not, to take immediate action”. As a result, Mr Drevikovsky said, “a large number of files have come to light. In the case of Sydney it was 600. In the case of Melbourne I know it was hundreds.”

Mr. Drevikovsky’s register includes 129 clergy members who are currently listed as “persons of concern”, and up to 209 more are under investigation across the country. He told the enquiry the register was still incomplete, and expected that between 40 and 45, and “possibly more”, names would be added to the “persons of concern” register.

The revelation came during inquiries into the workings of the Church’s national register – an internal “red flag” system, which gives professional standards directors and bishops the ability to background check clergy members transferring from diocese to diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Missbrauch in der Kirche: Westschweizer Opfervereinigung macht Druck

SCHWEIZ
Kipa

Lausanne, 26.11.13 (Kipa) Jetzt hauen Vertreter von Westschweizer Opfern auf den Tisch, die von Priestern oder Ordensleuten missbraucht worden sind. Mit ihrem Anliegen sind sie an die Bundesparlamentarier aus der Westschweiz gelangt. Es müsse endlich eine «gerechte Lösung» für die Missbrauchsopfer gefunden werden, so wie das jetzt bei den Opfern fürsorgerischer Zwangsmassnahmen in der Schweiz mit dem Runden Tisch auf den Weg gebracht worden sei. Dies fordert der Trägerverein der Gruppe Sapec (»Soutien aux personnes abusées dans une relation d'autorité religieuse»).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Retired NSW priest linked to child porn ring remains on strict bail conditions

AUSTRALIA
7 News

A retired Catholic priest on the New South Wales central coast remains on strict bail conditions after being linked to a major global child pornography ring.

Edward Sedevic, 72, from Lakehaven is facing seven charges relating to the possession of child abuse material.

He was arrested in August after police allegedly discovered two movie files and four DVDs at his retirement home.

Two weeks ago, it was alleged the former Sydney parish priest was one of 66 Australians implicated in a Canadian child sex abuse ring, which was smashed by authorities.

He briefly faced Wyong Local Court on Wednesday and was accompanied by a small group of supporters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Royal commission hears there are potentially hundreds of clergy not yet identified as paedophiles

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ashleigh Raper

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse has heard there are potentially hundreds of clergy within the Anglican Church who have not been formally identified as paedophiles.

Protocols for dealing with sex offenders within the Anglican Church are being scrutinised by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission is looking into the response from the Anglican Diocese of Grafton to allegations of historic abuse at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore.

The Anglican Church set up a national register in 2004 designed to provide a database for information if a member of clergy had a complaint or finding of abuse established against them.

The General Secretary of the Anglican Church, Martin Drevikovsky, told the Commission that "in the case of Sydney it was 600 [complaints]. In the case of Melbourne I know it was hundreds".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Vatican abuse prosecutor addresses questions on Bishop Finn, former apostolic nuncio

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

In his first extended interview since becoming the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s promoter of justice in 2012, Father Robert Oliver addressed questions involving accountability for bishops who fail to report clerical abuse, as well as abuse allegations against a former apostolic nuncio.

As promoter of justice, Father Oliver is responsible for addressing cases of child sexual abuse by clergy. He said earlier this year that the Congregation is examining 600 cases, most of which involve abuse that allegedly took place between 1965 and 1985.

“All the data we have suggests that the number of priests harming minors today is very, very low, and that's based on reports not just from the United States but from other nations as well, where we see a dramatic drop in incidents of abuse,” Father Oliver told John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter. “Certainly, we have much more to do, which is why our congregation asked episcopal conferences around the world to review their abuse guidelines.”

Asked about the number of cases reported to the Congregation, Father Oliver said, “I suppose in an average month, we're talking in the dozens from around the world, including cases which date back many years. We don't have many present-day allegations of abuse, though it's important to remember that there's often a delay in people coming forward to make reports. Let's be clear: One case is one too many. Yet as we look around at this problem today, we can see many positive effects from the efforts the Church has made.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

McAlester police arrest church elder accused of sexual abuse 30 years ago

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By DYLAN GOFORTH World Staff Writer

McALESTER -- McAlester police arrested a 76-year-old church elder Tuesday on allegations that he molested children at a McAlester church more than 30 years ago.

Ronald Lawrence was charged Tuesday with 11 counts of lewd molestation, five counts of forcible oral sodomy, two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of rape by instrumentation.

McAlester police Sgt. Chris Morris said a woman reported to police last month that she had been molested by Lawrence when she was a child. Morris said the alleged abuse took place more than 30 years ago.

Morris said police spoke with two other alleged victims during the month-long investigation. Police don't know what spurred the victims into coming forward but believe there could be more who might also want to speak with police now that the allegations have come to light.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Hundreds of clergy investigated, Church tells Commission

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mercury

Jessica Grewal 27th Nov 2013

AT LEAST 129 Anglican Church clergy members are currently listed as "persons of concern" and up to 209 more are under investigation across the country, the royal commission into child sex abuse has heard.

The revelation came during inquiries into the workings of the Church's national register - an internal "red flag" system, which gives professional standards directors and bishops the ability to background check clergy members transferring from diocese to diocese.

Those listed have either been convicted of or are under investigation for criminal behaviour and in particular, child sex offending.

Martin Drevikovsky, General Secretary, General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia told the commission this morning that the register was incomplete.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Jehovah's Witness church elder Ronald Lawrence arrested over sex abuse claims dating back to 1980s

OKLAHOMA
KJRH

By: Tyler Dunn

MCALESTER, Okla. - A 76-year-old McAlester man was arrested Tuesday on 19 counts of sexual abuse after police received claims he molested several children while in a position of authority more than 30 years ago.

McAlester police detectives were alerted to the alleged sexual crimes conducted by Ronald Lawrence back in August when his first accuser reported abuse at the hands of a Jehovah's Witness church leader.

A woman now in her 40s told detectives Lawrence, an elder at McAlester's Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, abused her when she was just eight years old, inviting her to his home, where he fondled her and raped her in his bathtub, according to her testimony found in Lawrence's arrest warrant, which was issued Tuesday.

Two other accusers, also in their 40s, then came forward with similar stories of abuse. Both said they were very young, with one telling investigators the molestation took place from the time she was 10 until she was 13 years old. She reported being assaulted in Lawrence's swimming pool, at the lake and in the janitor's closet at the First National Bank where he worked, his arrest warrant indicates.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Pastor Arrested and Charged for Alleged Child Sexual Abuse

VIRGINIA
WHSV

Rockbridge County Pastor, Larry Clark, was arrested and faces more charges of alleged child sex abuse. Clark is the Pastor at the Pentecostal Outreach Church in Buena Vista. According to the church's Facebook page, he is also the temporary pastor of the same church in Verona.

The Rockbridge County Sheriff's office, says Clark was arrested and charged initially on November 7th. He was arrested and charged again on Tuesday, November 26th.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Church dissent over abuse approach

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

Anglican head Dr Phillip Aspinall says the church needs an external compensation scheme for sex abuse victims to prevent internal dissent.

Anglicans in Australia would take a dim view if the church sold off its multi-million dollar assets to settle with abuse victims, the head of the church says.

The primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Phillip Aspinall, told a royal commission the church needs a mandatory compensation scheme imposed on it so it can deal fairly with sex abuse victims.

Dr Aspinall said the only way a compensation scheme would work was if it was imposed from outside.

The Anglican Church of Australia is not a unified structure, dioceses have primary power and can reject or adopt laws passed by the General Synod, Dr Aspinall told the final day of public hearings into how the Diocese of Grafton dealt with victims of sex abuse at a church orphanage in northern NSW.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Anglican Primate says he had limited powers to intervene in child abuse cases in Grafton

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

The Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse has finished its public examination of the Anglican Church in Grafton and its handling of claims from abuse survivors from the North Coast Children's Home. The Grafton Diocese says it's re-opening all the files to make sure victims are adequately compensated. But the Royal Commission is also looking at the Anglican

Transcript

MARK COLVIN: The final day of the Royal Commission's public inquiry on child abuse at the New South Wales North Coast Children's Home has heard from Australia's most senior Anglican cleric, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall.

The inquiry has wound up its examination of the Grafton Diocese and how it responded to compensation claims from dozens of abuse survivors from the children's home in Lismore.

The Grafton Diocese spent years denying that it was responsible for the orphanage, but now says it's re-opening all the files to make sure victims have been adequately compensated.

Today the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Dr Aspinall, told the inquiry that the Grafton Diocese had focused on its own finances to the detriment of the abuse victims. But he said he had little power to intervene.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Number of abusive priests on Anglican register a 'fraction of true figure'

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Dan Box
From: The Australian
November 27, 2013

MORE than 100 Anglican priests are known to have allegedly committed child sexual abuse or other sexual misconduct, yet this number could be only a fraction of the true total, the royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard that dozens and possibly hundreds of other allegedly abusive priests have yet to be entered into the church's national register of such claims.

The Anglican church's general secretary, Martin Drevikovsky, told the commission that hundreds of historical files of alleged abuse are currently being reviewed, while technical problems have also hampered the updating of information on the current system.

"Lack of resources is an issue ... That's a matter for each diocese to assess what their need is and to meet that need," Mr Drevikovsky said.

The commission has heard that 129 priests are currently named on the register, and the Anglican church estimates at least 40 more will need to be included.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

November 26, 2013

Would you walk out of Mass if a priest prayed for a sex attacker?

IRELAND
Irish Independent

COLETTE BROWNE – 27 NOVEMBER 2013

If you want to know what rape culture looks like there is no more evocative image than a church full of the faithful bowing their heads and being asked to pray for the acquittal of a man charged with serious sexual offences.

As Cork's former lord mayor, John Murray, stood trial for the sexual assault of a teenager last week, a priest celebrating a funeral Mass in another part of the city used the occasion to pray for his exoneration.

The inference was clear. An innocent elderly man, a stalwart of the community, was facing scurrilous charges from a lying, scheming woman. She should not be believed.

But the jury did believe her and returned a unanimous guilty verdict. Today Murray, who first sexually assaulted the victim when she was just 13, is in prison awaiting sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 PM

Retired ...

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph

Retired Catholic priest Edward Sedevic banned from internet after being charged over allegedly accessing child sex abuse content from Canadian website

NEIL KEENE THE DAILY TELEGRAPH NOVEMBER 27, 2013

A RETIRED Catholic priest allegedly part of an international child porn ring has been banned from using the internet or going anywhere near children aged 18 and under.

Police allege they found four DVDs and two computer movie files depicting the sexual abuse of children in the possession of former Central Coast priest Edward Sedevic, 72, in August.

Earlier this month it was revealed Sedevic was among more than 340 people charged globally with accessing a Canadian child pornography website.

Appearing in court this morning for the first time since those revelations, Sedevic did not speak and did not enter a plea to six charges of possessing child abuse material and one charge of using the internet to access the material in 2010.

Magistrate Susan McIntyre continued Sedevic's strict bail conditions, which require him to report three times a week to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 PM

The Pope’s new envoy presents credentials

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- The Vatican’s new envoy Jude Thaddeus Okolo presented his credentials to president Danilo Medina during a National Palace ceremony Tuesday morning, in the presence of senior government officials.

Okolo, who came to the country November 18, arrived in the Hall of Ambassadors at 11am and spoke with Medina for around 10 minutes later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 PM

VIA FED EX & APOSTOLIC NUNCIO OF THE UNITED STATES

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Wisconsin SNAP

Archbishop Beniamino Stella
Prefect, Congregation for the Clergy
Piazza Pio XII, 3
00193 Rome, Italy

Re.: Congregatio pro Clericis
Prot. N. 20071627
Dear Archbishop Stella,

This document is a unique collaboration between victims/survivors of childhood Catholic clergy sexual abuse and supporters of the victims/survivors. We seek your assistance in correcting an injustice caused, in part, by a decision made by Cláudio Cardinal Hummes, O.F.M. on July 18, 2007, while he served as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. A decision he may not have made had all the details been made known to him.

Following is a timeline which delineates the circumstances of our appeal to you, as well as several supporting documents which are attached. In essence, a request for the transfer of $57,000,000.00 was granted to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, a move designed to shelter these funds from any claims and liabilities. We contend that the action does the meet the moral or legal requirements stated in the Code of Canon Law (see Appendix A).

Timeline of Events

2007 Approximately $57,000,000.00, that previously was part of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Corporation (identified as assets designated for the future care of cemeteries and mausoleums) was removed from that corporation and deposited in an account of a newly established Cemetery Trust. No documentation of the motivation for this movement of money or the existence of proper Vatican authorization to do so was made public.

January 2011 The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, under the direction of Archbishop Jerome Listecki, filed a petition for a Chapter 11 reorganization of its financial affairs under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Summer/Fall 2011 A group of Catholic clergy abuse victims/survivors and Catholic priests enter into an Alliance to promote a new kind of dialogue.

December 2011 The Alliance produced a full-page news announcement encouraging victims with a claim against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to come forward prior to the February 1, 2012, filing deadline.

February 1, 2012 Deadline given by the Bankruptcy Court for any person, for whatever reason, to file a financial claim against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

More than 550 claims were filed with the Bankruptcy Court.

2012/2013 The Bankruptcy judge determined which assets of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee are to be considered for payment of any claims and liabilities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 PM

Creditors want Vatican to make funds available to Milwaukee church sex abuse victims

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTAQ

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The Vatican is being asked to do what a U.S. judge in Milwaukee refuses to do -- make $50 million available to victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests.

Creditors in the Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy case wrote a letter to an office in the Vatican that handles sex abuse cases. It asked top church leaders to revoke an order that allowed former Milwaukee Archbishop Tim Dolan to create a trust fund to maintain cemetery plots for Catholics in the archdiocese.

Federal Judge Rudolph Randa of Milwaukee decided earlier this year to allow the church to protect the cemetery trust funds from the creditors -- almost 600 of whom are victims of sex abuse by priests over a number of decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 PM

Clergy Abuse Victims Group Ask Pope To Give $57 Mil. To Settlement Fund

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin Public Radio

[with audio]

[letter to the Vatican]

By CHUCK QUIRMBACH
A coalition of clergy abuse victims and clergy is asking Pope Francis to put $57 million into a potential settlement fund with Wisconsin victims.

The Milwaukee Archdiocese says the money is already set aside for use at cemeteries.

In 2007, then-Milwaukee archbishop Timothy Dolan got the Vatican’s approval to transfer $57 million of archdiocese money into a Catholic cemetery trust fund. During the now almost three-year-long archdiocese bankruptcy case, abuse victims have tried to reverse that transfer, but a federal district judge in Milwaukee has blocked the reversal.

The court's decision is being appealed, but a coalition of victims and clergy has also written the Vatican, asking that it put the $57 million back in the archdiocese's main fund. Abuse victim Monica Barrett says the Vatican may not have been told the full story in 2007, and she says she remains hurt by Dolan’s move.

''One again this archdiocese has chosen something behind closed doors, that affects many, many people,” says Barrett.

Barrett says she only recently found out that the $57 million is just for eight cemeteries and seven mausoleums the archdiocese owns, and not for parish cemeteries in the 10-county archdiocese. Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski says the number of cemeteries shouldn't be the question; the need for perpetual care is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 PM

Victim of priest’s sexual abuse receives $2.3M settlement

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN

[with video]

by Julie Unruh
Reporter

Another settlement by the Archdiocese of Chicago when it comes sexual abuse, and another victim of Fr. Daniel McCormack’s takes home millions.

$2.3 million: That is what victim John Doe is owed in this case. Money is just one victory where this suit is concerned. If you ask his lawyers, documents — volumes of them detailing decades of abuse by priests in the Chicago Archdiocese — will be released after the first of the year.

Jeff Anderson represents John Doe, a victim of Fr. Daniel Mccormack’s at St. Agatha Catholic Church in Chicago. Anderson says his client was abused from 2004-2006 when his client was just a teen.

“He is now in his early 20′s,” Anderson said. “His trust was violated and betrayed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 PM

Catholic Church Settles Sex Abuse Case

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC Chicago

[with video]

By Charlie Wojciechowski | Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

The Roman Catholic Church has settled a case involving a priest accused of sexually abusing a young boy at a Chicago parish.

The Archdiocese has agreed to pay the now 20-year-old man $2.3 million in the case involving former priest Daniel McCormack, which was scheduled to go to trial in the spring.

The Church also agreed to release their records in the case, along with the records of 30 other cases involving Catholic priests.

"There is no closure for this community and the safety of the kids until all the secrets of the past are revealed," attorney Jeff Anderson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 PM

Chicago Archdiocese settles sexual abuse suit for $2.3M

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Steve Schmadeke, Chicago Tribune reporter
November 27, 2013

The Archdiocese of Chicago will pay $2.3 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a man now in his early 20s who alleged he was repeatedly sexually abused by a notorious former pastor of a West Side Catholic church about a decade ago, the man's attorneys said Tuesday.

The alleged victim, identified in court papers as John Doe, said he was 11 or 12 when the abuse by Daniel McCormack began in 2004 inside the rectory and school building at St. Agatha's Catholic Church.

The lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court alleged that the abuse continued even after McCormack was questioned by Chicago police about allegations he had sexually abused another boy and didn't stop until just before he was arrested in early 2006.

McCormack, now 45, was removed from the priesthood after pleading guilty in 2007 to criminal sexual abuse charges involving five victims. He was sentenced to five years in prison but remains confined to a state mental health facility while a Cook County judge decides whether to commit him indefinitely as a sexually violent person.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 PM

An awkward moment in court

CANADA
Sylvia's Site

Father Dan Miller appeared in the Pembroke courthouse this morning. He was accompanied by Father Proulx. Robert Carew, his lawyer, was not there.

It proved to be an awkward few moments for Father Miller. His name was called (He’s listed on the roster as Michael D. Miller) Dressed in gray slack sand a navy and burgundy light jacket Miller walked up to the front of the benches, all the while clutching a small sheet of paper in his right hand. He reached the last bench in the gallery on the left, – and then he carried right on into what I will refer to as the inner sanctum, the area of the courtroom reserved for lawyers and court staff ( Those who attend court know that no one but no one is supposed to go beyond that line. )

Once inside, Father Miller hesitantly moved forward, and as he did so there was a startled recognition that he was moving right into their space. That prompted a small flurry of activity – people trying to tell him to go back,- go back. Initially Father Miller didn’t quite grasp what was happening, but , at point in time realized that had to go back, and so he did. It probably was one of those moments which was over and done with in a flash, but as it played out it seemed to run in slow motion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Milwaukee priest abuse victims ask Vatican to rescind cemetery letter

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[letter to the Vatican]

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel Nov. 26, 2013 1

In a move intended to bolster a potential settlement between the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and sex abuse victims, victim advocates are asking the Vatican to rescind a letter that allowed then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan to shield $57 million in cemetery funds from legal liability in 2007.

The Milwaukee chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, many of whose members have pending claims in the archdiocese's bankruptcy, announced Tuesday that it was sending the request to the Vatican.

The action comes as the archdiocese is working on a reorganization plan to exit its bankruptcy that will be funded in part by an undisclosed settlement it reached with one of its insurers earlier this month.

The withdrawal of the Vatican's "nihil obstat" or "no objection" to Dolan's plan to move the $57 million into a newly created trust could allow creditors' attorneys to pursue those funds for a potential settlement.

In 2007, Dolan sought Vatican approval to move the funds to protect them "from any legal claim or liability," according to a document released in July as part of the bankruptcy.

"It's apparent from the tone of Dolan's letter that his intent in moving the money was in anticipation of the bankruptcy," said Monica Barrett, a SNAP member who says she was raped by the late Father William Effinger at his Lake Geneva parish when she was 8.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Wis. clergy abuse victims lobby Vatican on claims

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Wall Street Journal

[letter to the Vatican]

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — Clergy sexual abuse victims and priests in Wisconsin said Tuesday that they've asked Roman Catholic officials at the Vatican to move more than $50 million from a cemetery trust fund and make it available to settle bankruptcy claims against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

The letter to the Congregation for the Clergy, the church office that oversees abuse cases, essentially asks it to undo an order that authorized New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan to create the trust fund in 2007, when he was archbishop in Milwaukee.

The cemetery fund had been seen as one of the archdiocese's few significant assets when it filed for bankruptcy in 2011, but a federal judge declared the money off-limits last summer, saying the trust was protected by the First Amendment's freedom of religion. That decision, coupled with the archdiocese's recent announcement of a settlement with one of its major insurers, has raised questions about how much money is available to pay the hundreds of sexual abuse victims who have filed claims in bankruptcy court.

The letter sent Friday has no bearing on U.S. court proceedings but instead is an appeal to the church to do justice according to its own teachings and legal code, said Rev. James Connell, a former vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and co-founder of the Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance. He acknowledged the appeal was unusual and a Vatican response would be "historic."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

Archdiocese Of Chicago Settles Sex Abuse Case For $2.3 Million

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Archdiocese has settled another lawsuit – for millions of dollars – filed by a man who says he was abused by Father Daniel McCormack almost a decade ago.

This settlement is for $2.3 million.

The alleged victim: now an adult, but known in legal documents as John Doe 184.

The accused: 45-year-old Daniel McCormack, the former West Side priest convicted of sexually abusing boys and now in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Attorney Jeff Anderson represents the plaintiff in this latest settlement.

“The numbers of victims of Daniel McCormack alone have yet to be fully revealed, but we know of at least two dozen that have been identified through the litigation that we’ve done.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Church document flagged Huberty for misconduct a decade ago

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
November 26, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Top officials at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have said they didn't know about sexual misconduct by the pastor at the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood until this year, but a document obtained by MPR News shows that a church official flagged the priest for sexual misconduct a decade ago.

The internal church document says that the Rev. Mark Huberty's misconduct involved women and that he remains an active priest. It does not include any other information. The archdiocese's code of conduct forbids sexual contact by priests.

Hennepin County prosecutors charged Huberty earlier this month with criminal sexual conduct for an alleged sexual relationship with a woman under his pastoral care from January to April of this year. The investigation began in May when the woman reported the alleged sexual contact to Maplewood police. It's illegal in Minnesota for priests to have sexual contact with anyone under their pastoral care.

"The complaint was made by the woman's husband over a decade ago.," Huberty's attorney, Paul Engh, said. "When interviewed thereafter, the parishioner indicated that nothing inappropriate had occurred between her and Father Huberty. The matter was thus closed."

Huberty did not immediately return calls for comment. A spokesman for the archdiocese hasn't responded to questions about whether officials reported the past allegations to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Archdiocese pays $2.3 million to settle sexual abuse case

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Religion and General Assignment Reporter November 26, 2013

A $2.3 million settlement in a sexual abuse survivor case involving a former priest and filed against the Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal Francis George was announced by attorneys Tuesday.

The victim, identified as John Doe, is now in his early 20s, and was sexually abused in his pre-teen and early teen years by Daniel McCormack, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleged “Beginning in 2004, McCormack would invite the plaintiff inside the rectory of St. Agatha Catholic Church, where he would sit plaintiff on his lap, unzip his pants and fondle” the plaintiff.

It also alleged that the defendants “knew or should have known of McCormack’s dangerous and exploitative propensities as a child molester.”

Attorneys Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman also said files including information on allegations of sexual abuse made against McCormack and other priests in additional sexual abuse cases that have been settled will be released by the Archdiocese as part of settlements next month. Those files also will include information on how church officials responded to those allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

AZ- Brewer should release money for child investigations

ARIZONA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 26

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

We are horrified that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is stalling on more funds to investigate some 6,000 suspected cases of child abuse and neglect.

[The Bugle]

It’s hard to imagine a more compelling reason to spend extra funds than to help some of the 6,000 kids who may be have been hurt recently or who may be hurting right now.

The cause of this dreadful oversight and the fate of the CPS director can be determined later. Investigating these 6,000 troubling cases – some of which almost certainly involve continuing abuse and neglect – must come first.

Brewer should not be penny-wise and pound-foolish here. Research shows that many abused and neglected kids grow up to be less productive and more reliant on government services. So there are both moral and economic reasons Arizona officials should move mountains now to get this inexcusable backlog investigated promptly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Convicted sex offender Jersey City priest headed for trial ...

NEW JERSEY/MISSOURI
The Jersey Journal

Convicted sex offender Jersey City priest headed for trial on similar charges in Missouri: report

By Ron Zeitlinger/The Jersey Journal
Follow on Twitter
on November 26, 2013

A former St. Aloysius priest who sexually molested a 17-year-old boy in the early 1980s appears headed for trial in Missouri on similar charges, according to a published report.

Gerald "Gerry" Howard, whose name was Carmine Sita when he was a priest at St. Aloysius, is seeking a non-jury trial that could begin after the start of the new year, connectmidmissouri.com reported.

Howard was a priest in the Boonville, Mo. parish of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church between 1984 and 1987 when authorities say he sexually assaulted three minors.

He is charged with three counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of attempted forcible sodomy and two counts of kidnapping.

In 1982 Sita pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor in Jersey City. In January 1983, Sita was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to undergo treatment. After getting treatment in New Mexico, Sita legally changed his name and joined Ss. Peter and Paul in Boonville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Vatican - More Vatican governance promises that ignore the church’s central crisis

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 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 )

Today, there are more headlines from the Vatican about self-governance. But there’s still no action from the Vatican on clergy abuse.

[Telegraph]

It’s more minimal tinkering around the edges instead of directly confronting the most devastating scandal in the church: widespread and horrific crimes against kids being concealed and enabled by bishops.

Most neutral observers would admit that the central crisis that has roiled the Catholic church and continues to roil the Catholic church is violence against kids by clerics and cover ups of that violence by bishops. Eight months into the papacy of Pope Francis has brought absolutely no progress on the scandal that most hurts Catholics at the bottom, and ironically, also at the top of the church hierarchy.

Pope Francis can ride all the buses and carry all the suitcases and make all the gestures and write all the letters he wants. But until he disciplines his corrupt colleagues and underlings who protect their reputations instead of their flocks, no meaningful reform will happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

Another priest abusing children in Nunavut has been found

CANADA
APTV

[with video]

APTN National News

The trial of father Eric Dejaeger continues in Iqaluit this week.

He’s the priest accused of more than 70 sex crimes against youth in Igloolik, Nunavut between 1978 and 1982.

Dejaeger wasn’t the only priest abusing children in that era and he wasn’t the only one to flee justice.

As APTN’s Kent Driscoll reports Joannis Rivoire who fled justice has been found in France.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

More From Slater (Or: Haven’t We Done Well For Ourselves!)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Anglican Church officials, and their lawyers, have a lot to smile about. The third “case study” hearings of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have gone their way a lot. It began with the stage-managed “resignation” of ex-bishop Slater after “counseling” by Archbishop Aspinall (see yesterday’s extra posting) earlier in the year, and went on to the “surprise” announcement of Australia’s first female bishop on the eve of the hearings.

Yesterday, church lawyer, Philip Roland, had to be cautioned, twice, by Counsel Assisting the Commission, Simeon Beckett, for smiling a lot during evidence. Today’s witness, disgraced ex-bishop of Grafton, Keith Slater, pre-empted Mr. Beckett by declaring that he, also, would be smiling a lot while giving evidence. He said he made the comment “because Mr. Roland had been criticized for smiling while giving evidence.”

The evidence would include a “sincere” apology for all the terrible things he did to the many victims who approached him about the abuses they suffered at his dioceses North Coast Children’s Home. He would be smiling, not because of disrespect for the victims and the enquiry, but because it was just his “personality” and he should not be “judged” for it.

Mr. Slater had smiled at inappropriate times during his first day of evidence on Monday, so on the second day, he began by indicating he would be doing even more smiling. He told the enquiry that “I was aware, after the session yesterday that I had been smiling at various points. I recognize the gravity and seriousness of the matters that are before us…. But smiling is very much a part of the interaction with the person with whom I am speaking. I apologize in advance if I may seem to smile at times which are not appropriate.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

'Evangelii Gaudium' amounts to Francis' 'I Have a Dream' speech

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Nov. 26, 2013

ANALYSIS Dreams can be powerful things, especially when articulated by leaders with the realistic capacity to translate them into action. That was the case 50 years ago with Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, and it also seems to be the ambition of Pope Francis' bold new apostolic exhortation, "The Joy of the Gospel."

In effect, the 224-page document, titled in Latin Evangelii Gaudium and released by the Vatican Tuesday, is a vision statement about the kind of community Francis wants Catholicism to be: more missionary, more merciful, and with the courage to change.

Francis opens with a dream.

"I dream of a 'missionary option,' " Francis writes, "that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the church's customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today's world, rather than for her self-preservation."

In particular, Francis calls for a church marked by a special passion for the poor and for peace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Pope says power should be moved away from Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (UK)

Pope Francis uses first major document of papacy to call for fundamental reform of "confined" Church and attack global capitalism

By Nick Squires, Rome 26 Nov 2013

Pope Francis called for the Vatican to place mercy above an "obsession" with moral doctrine, using his first major document of his papacy to lay out a radical blueprint for a Catholic Church that was "bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets".

The "slum Pope" as Francis has been nicknamed for his work in the shanty towns of his native Argentina, also attacked global capitalism, saying that rising levels of inequality and poverty could "explode" into conflict unless addressed by world leaders.

"The poor are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Pope issues mission statement for papacy

VATICAN CITY
Boston Globe

By Nicole Winfield | ASSOCIATED PRESS NOVEMBER 26, 2013

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis issued the mission statement for his papacy Tuesday, outlining how the Catholic Church and the papacy itself must be reformed to create a more missionary and merciful church that gets its hands dirty as it seeks out the poor and oppressed.

In the 85-page document, Francis pulled together the priorities he has laid out in eight months of homilies, speeches and interviews and put them in the broader context of how to reinvigorate the church’s evangelical zeal in a world marked by indifference, secularization and vast income inequalities.

He explained his most controversial remarks criticizing the church’s ‘‘obsession’’ with transmitting a disjointed set of moral doctrines, saying that in the church’s ‘‘hierarchy of truths,’’ mercy is paramount, proportion is necessary, and that what counts is inviting the faithful in.

He went even further Tuesday, saying some of the church’s historical customs can even be cast aside if they no longer serve to communicate the faith. Citing St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, Francis stressed the need for moderation in norms ‘‘so as to not burden the lives of the faithful.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Pope Francis: No more business as usual

VATICAN CITY
CNN

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - Pope Francis on Tuesday called for big changes in the Roman Catholic Church – including at the very top – saying he knows it will be a messy business but he expects his flock to dive in feet first.

"I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," the Pope said in a major new statement.

"I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures."

The Pope's address, called an "apostolic exhortation," is basically a pep talk from the throne of St. Peter. But Francis' bold language and sweeping call for change are likely to surprise even those who've become accustomed to his unconventional papacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Pope Francis calls for power to move away from Vatican

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

Pope Francis has called for power in the Catholic Church to be devolved away from the Vatican, in the first major work he has written in the role.

In the document, he says he is open to suggestions to changes in the power of the papacy.

He also warns that rising global economic inequality is bound to explode in conflict.

Since becoming Pope in March, Francis has struck a markedly different tone to his predecessor on several issues. ...

Analysis

David Willey
BBC News, Rome

The new document did not address some of the key ethical reforms called for by Catholic progressives and ruled out any change in the Church's teaching on abortion or the exclusion of women from the priesthood. However, the Pope has already set up an advisory council of eight cardinals who are due to gather in Rome for their second plenary meeting next week.

He has also set up new mechanisms for reform of the Vatican bureaucracy. the main thrust of Pope Francis' pontificate, as outlined in this document and in his many homilies, is that he wants to see a less Vatican-centred Church whose greatest concern is for the poor and the marginalised, victims of an unjust global economic system that puts profit before people.

In addition, Pope Francis says that ties with Islam have taken on great importance for the Catholic Church because of the growing number of Muslim immigrants now residing in many traditionally Catholic countries. "We Christians," he says, "should embrace Muslims with affection and respect in the same way that we hope and ask to be respected in countries of Islamic tradition."

In his "apostolic exhortation", Pope Francis said he preferred a Church that was "bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

SYNTHESIS OF THE APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION “THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL”

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 26 November 2013 (VIS) - “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus”; thus begins the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”, by which Pope Francis develops the theme of the proclamation of the Gospel in the contemporary world, drawn from, among other sources, the contribution of the work of the Synod held in the Vatican from 7 to 28 October 2012 on the theme “The new evangelization for the transmission of the faith”. The text, which the Holy Father consigned to a group of thirty-six faithful following the closing Mass of the Year of Faith last Sunday is the first official document of his pontificate, since the Encyclical “Lumen fidei” was written in collaboration with his predecessor, Benedict XVI. “I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come”, he continues. It is a heartfelt appeal to all baptized persons to bring Christ’s love to others, “permanently in a state of mission”, conquering “the great danger in today’s world”, that of an individualist “desolation and anguish”.

The Pope invites the reader to “recover the original freshness of the Gospel”, finding “new avenues” and “new paths of creativity”, without enclosing Jesus in our “dull categories”. There is a need for a “pastoral and missionary conversion, which cannot leave things as they presently are” and a “renewal” of ecclesiastical structures to enable them to become “more mission-oriented”. The Pontiff also considers “a conversion of the papacy”, to help make this ministry “more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization”. The hope that the Episcopal Conferences might contribute to “the concrete realization of the collegial spirit”, he states, “has not been fully realized”. A “sound decentralization” is necessary. In this renewal, the Church should not be afraid to re-examine “certain customs not directly connected to the heart of the Gospel, even some of which have deep historical roots”.

A sign of God’s openness is “that our church doors should always be open” so that those who seek God “will not find a closed door”; “nor should the doors of the sacraments be closed for simply any reason”. The Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak”. These convictions have pastoral consequences that we are called to consider with prudence and boldness”. He repeats that he prefers “a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church … concerned with being at the centre and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures. If something should rightly disturb us … it is the fact that many of our brothers and sisters are living without … the friendship of Jesus Christ”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Pope Francis urges reform of papal powers

VATICAN CITY
AFP

[APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION EVANGELII GAUDIUM]

By Dario Thuburn (AFP)

Vatican City — Pope Francis called for reform to take powers from the Vatican and said Catholics should be more engaged in helping the needy, but ruled out allowing women priests in a key document released by the Vatican on Tuesday.

The Catholic leader said he was seeking advice on how his role should change -- using an informal style for his first "apostolic exhortation", in which he outlined his vision for the future of the Roman Catholic Church.

"It is my duty, as the Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions which can help make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it," the pope wrote.

Francis said it was time for "a conversion of the papacy", adding that "excessive centralisation, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church's life".

Bishops should have "genuine doctrinal authority", he said in the document -- a type of long open letter used by popes to communicate with their faithful.

"We have made little progress in this regard," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Katholiken und Protestanten: Deutlich mehr Austritte aus den Kirchen

DEUTSCHLAND
HNA

[Summary: Significant numbers of Protestants and Catholics are leaving their churches. The scandal involving Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst has had an impact on the Catholic Church but people are also leaving the Protestant churches.]

Im Vorjahr haben an den Amtsgerichten Fritzlar (auch zuständig für Bad Wildungen), Melsungen und Schwalmstadt 531 Christen ihren Austritt aus der Kirche erklärt. Im laufenden Jahr sind es bis jetzt schon 693, das ist ein Zuwachs von 23 Prozent.

Besonders eklatant ist der Anstieg in der katholischen Kirche, 125 Austritten im Jahr 2012 stehen 193 im laufenden Jahr gegenüber - das sind 54 Prozent mehr, bei den Protestanten immerhin 23 Prozent.

Jörg Stefan Schütz, katholischer Dechant und Stadtpfarrer in Fritzlar, spricht von leicht erhöhten Austrittszahlen in seinen Gemeinden (Fritzlar, Wabern und Ungedanken). Wenn der Kirche vom Amtsgericht ein Austritt gemeldet werde, suche man den Kontakt, um die Beweggründe zu erfahren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Priest apologises to family for sex trial comments at funeral

IRELAND
Irish Independent

26 NOVEMBER 2013

A PRIEST has apologised to a family after using their father’s funeral to ask for prayers for a former Lord Mayor of Cork facing sex assault charges.

Fr Martin Crean OSA contacted the Cotter family in Cork to express his personal regret over what happened at the Requiem Mass and to apologise for any hurt caused.

The Cotter family confirmed to the Irish Independent that they accepted the apology and now consider the matter closed.

Michelle Cotter said she couldn't believe the comments made by the priest, who was visiting Cork from Tipperary, which were brought to her attention by other mourners at her the funeral of her father, John.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 AM

IL - Lawsuits settle but victims’ group wants more to be done

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com )

Child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits involving eight Chicago predator priests have been settled. They are Father Robert Mayer, Father Robert Becker, Father Ralph Strand, Father Ken Ruge, Father Joseph Fitzharris, Father Robert Stepek, Father Marion Snieg and Father Daniel McCormack.

We suspect that much of the attention on this settlement will be on Fr. McCormack, Illinois’ most high profile serial predator priest. While McCormack is behind bars, several of these child molesting clerics are walking free, likely living near unsuspecting neighbors or working among unsuspecting colleagues or volunteering at unsuspecting non-profits and perhaps even molesting unsuspecting relatives’ children.

For the safety of kids these predators belong behind bars. But they won’t get there unless people speak up.

Fr. Ruge, Fr. Becker and Fr. Snieg are deceased. But we believe it’s still possible that criminal charges might be filed against Fr. Stepek, Fr. Fitzharris, Fr. Mayer, and Fr. Strand or against their supervisors or co-workers who may have obstructed justice, destroyed evidence, intimidated victims, threatened whistleblowers, refused to report suspected abuse to authorities or committed other crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

The anguish of being Catholic

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Elizabeth Nagel

Last week more than 300 Catholics gathered together. One by one, they came forward to an open microphone, giving their names and the parish to which they belong. I heard anger, pain, frustration – and yes, anguish.

Their perspectives varied. Some told about incidents of abuse. Others, who work for parishes, spoke about the strict standards to which they adhere in doing background checks on volunteers wishing to work with children. But they are unable to do the same with priests assigned to their parishes. Another area addressed in this debacle is the degree of pain experienced by good and decent priests in this archdiocese. Everyone present related how events relating to this scandal have deeply affected them.

There was one area of agreement. Committing sexual acts involving a child is reprehensible enough. But much of the anger went beyond the molestation of children, and instead was directed at actions of Archbishop John Nienstedt and those who work for him. Questions were raised if he is even capable of bringing about healing and necessary changes — much less whether he is willing to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Bishop apologises for prayer during sex assault trial

IRELAND
RTE News

Bishop of Cork & Ross Dr John Buckley has said comments made by a priest at a funeral mass in the city were "offensive" and "entirely inappropriate".

Bishop Buckley was responding to complaints about a priest who asked mourners to pray that former Lord Mayor of Cork, John Murray would not be found guilty of sex assault charges.

In a statement, Bishop Buckley said the Diocese was unaware that these comments were going to be made, does not stand over them and sincerely regrets the obvious hurt they have caused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Smiling bishop Keith Slater failed victims of sex abuse in their hour of need

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

SMILING Bishop Keith Slater grins so much he had to apologise for doing it before giving evidence at the harrowing royal commission into child sex abuse yesterday.

"I apologise in advance if I may seem to smile at a time which is not appropriate," he explained. It was just his "personality".

But there was nothing to smile about as the commission heard a litany of Bishop Slater's failures to help more than 40 victims of physical and sexual child abuse at the former North Coast Children's Home in Lismore, adequately compensate them or report their abusers in the clergy to authorities.

Outside the commission he even smiled as he met the first of the child abuse victims to come forward - a man he refused for so long to apologise to or compensate - and blessed him.

"I just ripped into him," said a disgusted Richard "Tommy" Campion afterwards. "If he had told the truth we wouldn't be here today."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

PA - More alleged child sex allegations involving 2 Philly Catholic schools

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Nov. 25, 2013

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

We are grateful that police are investigating alleged child sex crimes in a Philly Catholic school.

[Philly.com]

In these situations, it’s sometimes tempting for victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to contact school or church officials. That’s wrong. The independent and unbiased professionals in law enforcement should be contacted, not the biased amateurs in church or school offices.

For far too long, Philly Catholic officials have tried to handle cases like this quietly and “in house.” Those days and that practice must end.

We beg every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by this teacher to call police and prosecutors. We applaud any and every one who already cooperating with secular authorities to get to the bottom of these troubling allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

NJ - Accused NJ serial predator priest wants trial

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

NJ predator priest seeks trial
He admitted molesting in Jersey City
Now, he’s accused of abusing 3 in Missouri
Cleric changed his name before being sent away

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013

For more information: Mark Crawford 732 632 7687, mecrawf@comcast.net , David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com , Barbara Dorris 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell , SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

A defrocked Catholic priest, who admitted molesting a New Jersey boy and is accused of molesting several Missouri boys, wants to go to trial.

[Connect Mid-Missouri]

He is Fr. Gerry Howard of the Diocese of Jefferson City. But when he worked in Jersey City in the 1980s, he was known as Fr. Carmine Sita. He’s been in jail for two years on charges that he sexually assaulted boys in the small town of Boonville Missouri, just west of Columbia.

“We welcome this move. We have tremendous confidence in the three brave men who have reported being abused by Fr. Gerry Howard in Boonville,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “We hope that the judge also lets into evidence Howard’s guilty plea in New Jersey.

“Shame on New Jersey Catholic officials for letting a convicted child predator legally change his name and then quietly sending him off to unsuspecting Missouri parishioners with no warning,” said Mark Crawford, SNAP’s New Jersey director. “This is one of the most glaring examples of how callous and deceitful the church hierarchy has been.”

“We strongly urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Howard’s crimes to come forward,” Clohessy said. “Police and prosecutors can never have too much evidence or too many witnesses in a clergy sex abuse trial. Pedophile priests typically get top notch lawyers and exploit technicalities, often escaping responsibility for their crimes or getting little or no jail time if they are convicted.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Anglicans warned on abuse cover-up

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEMBER 27, 2013

CONFIDENTIAL documents written by a senior employee of the Anglican Church earlier this year state others within the church may be at risk of criminal prosecution for failing to report allegations of child sex abuse to police.

In one letter, tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the professional standards director of the diocese of Grafton, Michael Elliott, said the allegations related to abuse committed in a children's home in northern NSW.

The diocese spent years denying it was legally liable for this abuse, the commission has heard. In his letter written in February to the acting registrar of the diocese, Mr Elliott wrote: "By virtue of their complaints being so mishandled, the situation has resulted in the re-traumatising of these victims. Furthermore, non-reporting to authorities may have put individuals at risk of criminal prosecution."

The commission has heard the church received allegations that about 12 people allegedly abused children at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore between the 1940s and 80s. The allegations against three of those, all Anglican priests, were reported to police in 2006, but the others were not passed on until Mr Elliott did so earlier this year. The commission has heard that another priest, Allan Kitchingman, had been found guilty of indecently assaulting a teenage boy in 1968, before being employed at the home, where he went on to abuse another teenager and was subsequently jailed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Anglican Priest arrested for rape

GHANA
Business Ghana

A 39-year- old priest of the Anglican Church, Rev. Fr Emmanuel Quartey, was on Monday remanded in prison custody when he appered before a Cape Coast Circuit Court for allegedly raping a 20-year-old woman.

His plea was not taken and will be re-arraigned on December 11.

Chief Inspector Ockom told the court presided over by Mrs. Eva Bannerman Williams that on Sunday October 17 Hannah, a resident of Siwdo in Cape Coast approached Rev. Quartey to help her break a blood covenant she had with her boyfriend.

Rev. Fr Quartey agreed to help her and asked Hannah to meet him on October 18 in a hotel in Elmina.

She complied and met Rev. Fr Quartey in one of the rooms where he forcibly had sex with her and warned her not to tell anyone or she would die.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Francis decentralizes the Church: More power to Bishops’ Conferences

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

One paragraph of the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” announces changes and a “conversion of the papacy”: “Excessive centralization, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life and her missionary outreach”

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

It is only a short paragraph but it announces significant changes to the papacy as well as decentralization and more power to Bishops’ Conferences. In section 32 of the document published today, Francis refers to the “pastoral conversion” he is asking the Church to undergo and writes: “Since I am called to put into practice what I ask of others, I too must think about a conversion of the papacy.”

“It is my duty, as the Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions which can help make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization,” Francis adds. In the document, the Pope recalls that in the encyclical “Ut unum sint” (1995), John Paul II asked for help in finding “a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to anew situation.” But, Francis remarks, “we have made little progress in this regard.” “The papacy and the central structures of the universal Church also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion. The Second Vatican Council stated that, like the ancient patriarchal Churches, Episcopal conferences are in a position “to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit.”

“Yet this desire has not been fully realized, since a juridical status of Episcopal Conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated. Excessive centralization, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life and her missionary outreach,” the Pope remarks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

What Ex-Bishop Slater Said (Or: The Plot Thickens)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Posted on November 25, 2013 by lewisblayse

Keith Slater (see previous postings), 65, the former bishop at the centre of the North Coast Children’s Home scandal, appeared before the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney today. Slater was the bishop of the Grafton diocese of the Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England) from 3002 until May of this year.

[This extra posting is made in the hope that the Royal Commissioners, today, will quiz ex-bishop Slater on the details of when he decided to “resign” his position.]

Slater claims he “resigned” over failings to do with his handling of the abuse allegations. The head of the Anglican Church in Australia, Phillip Aspinall, has previously said he had no power to dismiss Slater, but has implied in the media that his “counseling” had resulted in Slater’s decision. Aspinall said that he urged Slater to resign on 10th May, and that Slater did so on the 17th May of this year.

However, the churchtimes website in the U.K. reported that Slater had previously announced that he intended to retire in November of this year. Co-incidentally, this was the previously-announced month when the Royal Commission would be investigating him. Could there have been a view that Slater should go before this hearing of the enquiry?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Priest remains diocese leader despite abuse conviction

AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

Jessica Grewal 26th Nov 2013

A PRIEST convicted of sexually abusing a former resident of Lismore's North Coast Children's Home has yet to be disciplined by the Anglican Church and remains a leader of the Newcastle Diocese, the royal commission has heard.

Giving evidence on Tuesday afternoon, a clearly disenchanted Michael Elliott, Professional Standards Director for the Grafton and Newcastle Diocese, conceded that despite his urgings for safeguards to be put in place "no steps have been taken to adopt practices with respect to those convicted of child sex abuse".

He said that as recently as "a few weeks ago" the Newcastle Diocese had adopted "safe ministry practises" protocol for clergy members but that the changes had not yet been applied to anyone, including Rev Allan Kitchingman, a former Lismore priest who was convicted and jailed in 2003 over the indecent assault of a teenage boy in the 1980s.

He also confirmed that due to administration issues, none of the people accused of abusing children at the home had been listed on a national sex offenders register.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Bishop: Friar's comments on former lord mayor Murray 'inappropriate'

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Bishop of Cork and Ross has distanced himself from comments made by a priest who asked mourners at a funeral to pray that former lord mayor of Cork, John Murray, would be found not guilty of sex assault charges.

By Eoin English
Irish Examiner Reporter

Dr John Buckley described the comments as “offensive and entirely inappropriate”.

“The diocese fully respects the independence of the DPP and the Courts Service and regards it as entirely inappropriate that a funeral Mass should be used in such a manner,” he said.

Murray, 83, of Gregg Rd, Cork, was found guilty by a jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court last Friday of sexually assaulting a teenager in 1996. The former Labour city councillor is due to be sentenced by Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin next Monday.

However, it has emerged a visiting Augustinian priest who was celebrating a funeral Mass in a church on the southside of Cork City last Thursday asked mourners during the prayers of intercession to pray that Murray would be found not guilty. The priest knew the deceased and it is also understood he is a friend of the Murray family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

The Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance (SCLA)

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Milwaukee Survivors and Clergy Alliance reach out to Vatican for help

WHAT
Officers of the Milwaukee based SCLA, (“The Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance”), a newly formalized organization of priests and survivors of clergy sexual abuse, will:

--Release a letter of appeal sent to the Vatican late last week by the group requesting that the Congregation for the Clergy formally and legally rescind a 2007 approval (or “nihil obstat”) to Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s request to move $57 million dollars of archdiocesan money into a newly created “Cemetery Trust.” The SCLA is requesting that money be returned to the archdiocese as an asset based upon the tenants of canon law and justice for survivors.

--Discuss the upcoming settlement offer by the Milwaukee Archdiocese and their major insurance carrier to the 570 victims of clergy sexual abuse who filed cases in Milwaukee Federal court.

WHEN
Tuesday, November 26, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
The Healing Center, 130 W. Bruce Street, Fourth Floor, Milwaukee

WHO
Officers of SCLA, “The Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance” a newly formalized Milwaukee based organization. The only initiative of its kind, SCLA members began meeting privately nearly three years ago to promote dialogue and change in the church and society through a unique and supportive coalition of survivors and priests.

WHY
A unique collaboration of survivors and clergy based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (The Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance or SCLA) has sent a formal appeal to the Vatican asking to reverse a 2007 decision by the Congregation of the Clergy and return $57 million dollars to the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

The money was transferred in 2007 by then Archbishop Timothy Dolan into a so-called “Cemetery Trust” but was actually designed, according to documents that surfaced in Milwaukee Federal Court this summer, to prevent compensating childhood victims of rape, sexual assault and abuse by priests.

To create the Trust, under Catholic Canon Law, Dolan required formal approval (or “nihil obstat”) by the Congregation for the Clergy, headed at the time by Cardinal Claudio Hummes. Hummes was appointed to the post by former Pope Benedict XVI.

After filing for bankruptcy in 2010, the Archdiocese claimed that the funds were not part of their assets but were part of a protected cemetery trust.

It wasn’t disclosed until a few months ago that the $57 million cemetery trust was for the maintenance of only eight catholic cemeteries within the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

The SCLA letter was sent Friday to Archbishop Beniamino Stella, who has replaced Cardinal Claudio Hummes at the direction of Pope Francis, asking him to rescind the prior decision allowing the transfer of the nearly $57 million into the cemetery trust. The letter cites reasoning based in both canon law and justice.

It is anticipated that very soon the Archdiocese will file its reorganization plan, which will include proposed “settlements” for survivors. Those “settlements” will be based upon an agreement the Archdiocese made with its major insurance carrier. Victims were not allowed to participate in the agreement negotiations.

In anticipation of the settlement figure, SCLA will also discuss and compare a likely archdiocesan settlement figure per victim to other bankruptcy settlements around the United States, as well as projected priest offender costs.

CONTACT
Monica Barrett, 414.704.6074
Michael Sneesby, 414.915.4374
Peter Isely, 414.429.7259
Fr. James Connell, 414.940.8054

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Vatican Diary / The "Bergoglio effect" on the bishops of Italy and Spain

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

VATICAN CITY, November 26, 2013 – As has already taken place in the United States, the episcopates of Italy and Spain also have significant changes in their leadership under way.

And the observers of ecclesiastical questions, but not only they, have gone to work to interpret these changes in the context of the new pontificate.

They want to understand the impact of the “Bergoglio effect" on the corps of Catholic hierarchies profoundly shaped by his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

IN SPAIN

In Madrid, after two five-year mandates and with the statutory impossibility of being reelected, Bishop Antonio Martínez Camino was on his way out as secretary and spokesman of the episcopal conference.

An anomalous Jesuit - hardly Bergoglian in style - and an ironclad conservative, Martinez was a staunch ally of cardinal of Madrid Antonio María Rouco Varela, no Bergoglian himself, "dominus" of the Iberian episcopate over the past two decades with an iron fist in opposing internal ecclesial dissent, the political separatist impulses present also in sectors of the Church, and the secularist tendency personified by socialist leader José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Former Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton admits ...

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph

Former Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton admits he had "fallen very short" in his oversight

MATTHEW BENNS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH NOVEMBER 26, 2013

SMILING Bishop Keith Slater smiles so much he apologised for doing it before giving evidence at the harrowing royal commission into child sex abuse today.

"I apologise in advance if I may seem to smile at time which is not appropriate," he explained. It was just his "personality".

But there was nothing to smile about as the commission heard a litany of Bishop Slater's failures to help more than 40 victims of physical and sexual child abuse at the former North Coast Children's Home in Lismore, adequately compensate them or report their church abusers to authorities.

"On reflection," Bishop Slater agreed in the witness box, that withdrawing the church's compensation offer to victims at one stage to help broker a better settlement was at odds with any kind of moral approach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

$200m in assets, but church couldn't find $4m for victims

AUSTRALIA
CQ News

THE Grafton Anglican Diocese had access to more than $200 million in assets when it refused to pay out less than $4 million to victims of child sex abuse, the royal commission has heard.

The revelation came just moments before former registrar Pat Comben surprisingly announced he had voluntarily relinquished holy orders and was no longer a reverend of the Anglican Church.

During yesterday's cross-examination, Mr Comben, who last week told the commission the diocese had felt threatened by the "scary" group claim being brought by former residents of Lismore's North Coast Children's Home, was quizzed about a significant jump in the diocese's recorded equity between 2005 and 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

'Unverantwortliches Signal'

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

München - Familienpolitiker der Union wollen offenbar die unabhängige Stelle gegen Kindesmissbrauch abschaffen. Wie der Spiegel berichtet, überraschten CDU-Unterhändler die SPD mit dem Vorschlag, nur noch einen 'Kinderrechtebeauftragten' einzusetzen, der unter anderem für das Thema Missbrauch zuständig wäre. Die SPD lehne das ab. Nach den Missbrauchsskandalen in der katholischen Kirche und der Odenwaldschule war die Stelle des Missbrauchsbeauftragten 2010 von Union und FDP gegründet worden. Er entwickelte sich zum Bündnispartner für Betroffenen-Initiativen und kritisierte mehrmals die Regierung. Der unabhängige Beauftragte Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig spricht laut dem Bericht von einem 'unverantwortlichen Signal'. SZ

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Union will Missbrauchsbeauftragten abschaffen

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

Familienpolitiker der Union wollen die erst 2010 geschaffene unabhängige Stelle gegen Kindesmissbrauch in dieser Form offenbar nicht erhalten. In den Verhandlungen über eine Große Koalition überraschten CDU-Unterhändler die SPD mit dem Vorschlag, nur noch einen "Kinderrechtebeauftragten" einzusetzen, der unter anderem für das Thema Missbrauch zuständig wäre. Die SPD lehnt das ab. Am vorigen Donnerstag konnten sich die Parteien in der Arbeitsgruppe Familie nicht einigen. Intern heißt es, womöglich müsse Kanzlerin Angela Merkel am Ende den Streit entscheiden, wenn es zu einer Koalition kommt. Nach den Missbrauchsskandalen in der katholischen Kirche und der Odenwaldschule war die Stelle des Missbrauchsbeauftragten 2010 von Union und FDP gegründet worden. Er entwickelte sich zum Bündnispartner für Betroffeneninitiativen und warf der Bundesregierung wiederholt Untätigkeit vor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Man Gets Multiple Life Sentences for Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
YNN

A federal court judge today sentenced a Schuyler County man to multiple life sentences in state prison.

Daryl Vonneida was previously convicted of 14 counts of sexual abuse. Two teenage brothers and a 21-year-old testified that they were sexually abused and photographed by Vonneida.

Prosecutors say Vonneida met the kids through a church in Schuyler County and sexually abused them after having them pretend to kill each other and then play dead. Prosecutors said the acts took place in hotel rooms, the defendant's home and in his car.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Dix man sentenced on child sex abuse charges

NEW YORK
YNN

SCHUYLER COUNTY, N.Y. -- A Schuyler County man convicted of child sex abuse will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Daryl Vonneida, 63, of Dix, was found guilty of 14 counts, including producing and possessing child porn and transporting minors over state lines for illegal sexual activity. The investigation began after two children came forward saying Vonneida sexually abused them.

Vonneida was a volunteer photographer at a church in Horseheads at the time. He was sentenced to life in prison on each count of producing child porn and transportation and another 20 years for possessing child porn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Former Spiritual Mentor Accused of Sexual Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Comcast Sportsnet

A suburban mom has filed a lawsuit against a female teacher who worked at a Chicago church and religious camp in Wisconsin. The woman says she was sexually abused when she was a teenager and the woman she's accusing has worked with children for decades.

"I am very passionate about Jesus," says this Cherie Carlson in an online video.

The YouTube video shows Carlson conducting a religious seminar.

Carlson is now a middle school teacher in Buffalo Grove but she used to work at the North Side Gospel Center in Chicago in the '90s, and Camp Awana in Fredonia, Wisc.

This woman, whose identity we agreed to conceal, says Carlson was her spiritual mentor back then but began to sexually abuse her when she was 16-years-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Smiling church abuse witness says sorry

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The former head of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton has apologised for smiling while giving evidence at a royal commission into the church's response to child sex abuse claims.

The commission is examining the response of the NSW north coast diocese to claims of child abuse involving clergy and staff at the former North Coast Children's Home in Lismore.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, the former bishop Keith Slater apologised for smiling during his testimony on Monday.

'I was aware, after the session yesterday, that I had been smiling at various points,' he said.

'I recognise the gravity and the seriousness of the matters that are before us ... But smiling is very much a part of the interaction with the person with whom I'm speaking.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall says he urged bishop to be kinder on abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Dan Box
From: The Australian
November 26, 2013

THE head of the Anglican Church, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, spent years privately trying to convince one of his bishops to change the way he dealt with victims of child sex abuse, before finally suggesting he resign earlier this year.

Under Bishop Keith Slater, the Diocese of Grafton in northern NSW spent years denying it was liable for child abuse allegedly committed over several decades at a local children's home, the Royal Commission has heard.

One of about 40 such victims, who ultimately received settlements of up to $10,000 after legal costs, has told the commission the experience of dealing with the church "was like being raped all over again."

Giving evidence this morning, Bishop Slater said he was now "personally totally humiliated in myself" over how he handled the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Church reveals abuse case details

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

SCOTLAND's Catholic Church is dealing with an average of six allegations of abuse a year, half of them historic.

For the first time, the country's eight dioceses yesterday published full figures for complaints received against its clergy, volunteers and parishioners.

The Church, in an audit of abuse allegations involving children or vulnerable adults, said fully 27% of complaints were against individuals who are now dead. Some 55% of them were sexual in nature. There have been no prosecutions in respect of 61% of all cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

'I'm totally humiliated': ex-bishop apologises to abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

The former Anglican bishop who oversaw the church's allegedly "harsh" response to victims of child sexual abuse at a north coast children's home has publicly apologised for his actions, declaring, "I'm totally humiliated."

Keith Slater, the Bishop of Grafton from 2003 until his resignation in May this year, delivered the apology while giving evidence before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse.

The commission has heard harrowing evidence from victims of abuse at the North Coast Children's Home, who recalled being assaulted on a regular basis by members of the clergy, other employees and residents between 1944 and 1985.

When the victims, led by Richard "Tommy" Campion, finally took the church to court in 2007, the Grafton Diocese took a "harsh", "commercial" approach to negotiations, eventually forcing them into a settlement that left each victim with just $10,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Church to audit child sex abuse settlement

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

BY SAM MCKEITH AAP NOVEMBER 26, 2013

THE former head of the Grafton Anglican diocese says he is totally humiliated for personally falling "very short" in dealing with the victims of sex abuse.

Keith Slater, the former Bishop of Grafton, said he felt deep sorrow about the way he had handled claims from dozens of former residents of a children's home on the NSW north coast.

A royal commission is examining the response of the Diocese of Grafton to claims of child abuse involving clergy and staff at the former North Coast Children's Home in Lismore from 1944 to 1985.

The Sydney hearing is focused on the response to a group claim made by about 40 former residents of the home, who claimed to have suffered sexual, physical and psychological abuse there.

"I want to express my deep sorrow to those who were abused, who were claimants, during my time as the bishop of the Diocese of Grafton," Bishop Slater told the commission on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Bishop admits the Anglican Church was harsh in dealing with NSW child sex abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
7 News

BY ASHLEIGH RAPER - ABC
November 26, 2013

A bishop has admitted to the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse that the Anglican Church was harsh in its dealing with victims from a children's home in northern New South Wales.

A group of former residents from the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore run by the Anglican Church made a compensation claim for alleged sexual and physical abuse between the 1940s and 1980s.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is looking into the response from the Diocese to the allegations and how it handled the group claim.

Bishop Keith Slater held a powerful position when the former residents came forward claiming abuse.

This year he resigned as Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton over his handling of the claims and has now been called to explain his actions to the commission.

During questioning, Bishop Slater told Counsel Assisting Simeon Beckett that the Church's finances were his main concern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Diocese of Antigonish reaches out after sex abuse scandal

CANADA
CBC News

A Roman Catholic diocese in Nova Scotia is trying to connect with people who may have been abused by clergy, or otherwise hurt by the church.

The Diocese of Antigonish is holding a series of meetings, beginning Tuesday night, in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal.

Three years ago, the diocese reached a landmark settlement with victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Soon after that settlement was announced, then-bishop Raymond Lahey was charged with possessing and importing child pornography. He was later convicted, sentenced to time served, and defrocked by the Holy See in Rome.

Bishop Brian Dunn said these public meetings will try to address the anger and hurt that's still out there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Former Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton ...

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

Former Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton admits he had "fallen very short" in his oversight

SMILING Bishop Keith Slater smiles so much he apologised for doing it before giving evidence at the harrowing royal commission into child sex abuse today.

"I apologise in advance if I may seem to smile at time which is not appropriate," he explained. It was just his "personality".

But there was nothing to smile about as the commission heard a litany of Bishop Slater's failures to help more than 40 victims of physical and sexual child abuse at the former North Coast Children's Home in Lismore, adequately compensate them or report their church abusers to authorities.

"On reflection," Bishop Slater agreed in the witness box, that withdrawing the church's compensation offer to victims at one stage to help broker a better settlement was at odds with any kind of moral approach.

Commission chair, Justice Peter McClennan, said: "When you say 'the settlement being brokered' I take it what you mean is achieving the best outcome for the church?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Catholic Church in Scotland reveal 27 priests have been reported for sex abuse allegations

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

ABUSE allegations have been made against 27 Scots priests in a six-year period, a report revealed yesterday.

Figures released by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, who represent the Catholic Church in Scotland, showed 46 allegations of abuse between 2006 and 2012. More than half involved sex abuse claims.

Just over half of the accusations were made against priests, with the rest linked to volunteers, parishioners or other church staff.

Just seven – 15 per cent – have resulted in prosecution.

Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia, president of the Bishops’ Conference, said 2013 had been “a test of faith” for Catholics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

November 25, 2013

Priest sparks outrage at call to acquit sex offender

IRELAND
Irish Independent

RALPH RIEGEL – 26 NOVEMBER 2013

A PRIEST sparked outrage when he asked Mass-goers to pray for the acquittal of a high profile politician accused of sex assault.

The Bishop of Cork and Ross moved to distance himself from comments made by the priest, who asked that former Lord Mayor of Cork John Murray be found not guilty.

Bishop Dr John Buckley described the comments as "offensive and inappropriate" and that he expects the priest's order to address the issue.

The priest, who is not assigned to the diocese, apparently called for prayers for Murray (83) who was facing a trial in the Circuit Criminal Court on six charges of sexually assaulting a young teen.

Murray, who served as Lord Mayor of Cork in 1993-94, was convicted on five of the six charges last Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Nunavut witness says Dejaeger threatened her with hell if she reported his abuse

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

On the first day of week two at the Eric Dejaeger trial in Iqaluit, a witness said Dejaeger told her she would go to hell if she told anyone about his sexual advances.

The woman, now 39, but a young girl at the time, said the Oblate priest fondled her during colouring time at the St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Igloolik.

The incident forms one of many alleged to have occurred between 1978 and 1982, when Dejaeger worked as a priest in Igloolik.

Dejaeger faces 69 charges arising from information provided by 39 complainants.

The witness said she didn’t understand much English at the time, only Inuktitut, but still found herself surrounded by other children at a table in church at a religion class taught by Dejaeger, who spoke only English to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Athletic Director At Roman Catholic High School On Administrative Leave

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

[with video]

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The athletic director at Roman Catholic High School in Center City is on administrative leave.

Late last week, administration at Roman Catholic High School received an allegation that its athletic director, Sean Fitzherbert, had allegedly engaged in inappropriate conduct via computer technology with a minor attending Father Judge High School, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Monday.

Fitzherbert is currently on administrative leave, meaning that he is relieved of all duties within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Prior to beginning employment at Roman Catholic High School in July 2013, Fitzherbert’s criminal record checks and child abuse clearances were obtained. He also participated in the Archdiocesan Safe Environment Training Program, according to a spokesperson for the Archdiocese.

Fitzherbert was not previously employed with the Archdiocese.

The spokesperson says information regarding this situation was communicated to the Roman Catholic and Father Judge High School communities Monday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

More than half of allegations made to Scots Church 'were of a sexual nature'

SCOTLAND
The Tablet

25 November 2013 16:41 by Sabrina Sweeney

More than half of allegations reported to the Catholic Church in Scotland over a six-year period were of a sexual nature, according to a report prepared for the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service.

The audit report revealed that 46 allegations of abuse were reported between 2006 and 2012.

Some 55 per cent of the allegations were of a sexual nature, 19 per cent reported physical abuse, 11 per cent alleged verbal abuse and 15 per cent related to alleged emotional abuse.

More than half of the allegations – 56 per cent – were made against priests, while 22 per cent were claims against volunteers.

The audit report is one of three initiatives announced by the Catholic Church in Scotland "in a spirit of openness and transparency", following a series of scandals, including a spate of allegations of sexual abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey School. Earlier this year the most senior Catholic in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien announced he was stepping down after allegations of sexual misconduct appeared in the press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Abuse statistics an act of ‘atonement’ by Church

SCOTLAND
The Times

Mike Wade
Last updated at 9:00PM, November 25 2013

The Catholic Church has published statistics showing that about 20 priests in Scotland have been accused of sexual, physical, verbal or emotional abuse since 2006.

Figures disclosed yesterday showed that more than half of all 46 complaints of abuse made against the Church were sex-related in the six years to 2012. Priests, volunteers, employees and parishoners were included in allegations which relate to contemporary and historical cases of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

STATEMENT REGARDING MR. SEAN FITZHERBERT

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadlephia

Late last week, administration at Roman Catholic High School received an allegation that its Athletic Director, Mr. Sean Fitzherbert, had engaged in inappropriate conduct via computer technology with a minor attending Father Judge High School.

In accordance with Archdiocesan policy, this information was shared with the Philadelphia Police Department, Special Victims Unit, which is handling the ongoing investigation.

Mr. Fitzherbert is currently on administrative leave, meaning that he is relieved of all duties within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Prior to beginning employment at Roman Catholic High School in July 2013, his criminal record checks and child abuse clearances were obtained. Mr. Fitzherbert also participated in the Archdiocesan Safe Environment Training Program. He was not previously employed by any Archdiocesan entity.

Information regarding this situation was communicated to the Roman Catholic and Father Judge High School communities this afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Roman Catholic High athletic director investigated

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

The athletic director at Roman Catholic High School is under police investigation for alleged inappropriate conduct with a student at another school, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Monday.

Sean Fitzherbert is on administrative leave as the police Special Victims Unit investigates an allegation that surfaced late last week that he had "engaged in inappropriate conduct via computer technology with a minor attending Father Judge High School," said Kenneth A. Gavin, an archdiocese spokesman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

MO- Accused serial predator priest wants trial

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Nov. 25

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

A defrocked Catholic priest, who admitted molesting in New Jersey and is accused of molesting several boys in mid-Missouri, wants to go to trial.

[Connect Mid-Missouri]

We welcome this move. We have tremendous confidence in the three brave men who have reported being abused by Fr. Gerry Howard in Boonville. We hope that the judge also lets into evidence Howard’s guilty plea in New Jersey.

At the same time, however, we strongly urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Howard’s crimes to come forward. Police and prosecutors can never have too much evidence or too many witnesses in a clergy sex abuse trial. Pedophile priests typically get top notch lawyers and exploit technicalities, often escaping responsibility for their crimes or getting little or no jail time if they are convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

MEDIA ADVISORY: ATTORNEYS TO ANNOUNCE SETTLEMENT...

CHICAGO (IL)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

MEDIA ADVISORY: ATTORNEYS TO ANNOUNCE SETTLEMENT IN FR. DANIEL MCCORMACK SEXUAL ABUSE CASE

Chicago News Conference Tuesday

Attorneys to Announce Multi-Million Dollar Settlement in Sexual Abuse Case Involving
Father Daniel McCormack and the Archdiocese of Chicago

Nine additional cases settled involving multiple clerics

Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman to discuss status of the release of documents
and priest files on 30 credibly accused offenders

What: At a news conference on Tuesday, November 26, 2013, in Chicago, sexual abuse attorneys Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman will:

• Announce a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of a sexual abuse survivor who was abused by Father Daniel McCormack.
• Disclose additional information concerning the release of files on a total of 30 credibly accused offenders in the Archdiocese of Chicago, including photographs of those identified.
• Provide details on nine additional settlements on behalf of multiple sexual abuse survivors involving Father Robert Mayer, Father Robert Becker, Father Ralph Strand, Father Ken Ruge, Father Joseph Fitzharris, Father Robert Stepek and Father Marion Snieg.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 1:00PM CST

WHERE: Law Offices of Kerns, Frost & Pearlman and Jeff Anderson & Associates
*Please note address change
30 West Monroe
Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603

WHO: Attorneys Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman, lawyers specializing in sexual abuse litigation who work together on behalf of sexual abuse survivors in Illinois helping them achieve justice and healing.

Contact Marc Pearlman: Office/312.261.4550 Mobile/773.368.0142
Contact Jeff Anderson: Office/651.538.5049 Mobile/612.817.8665

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Accused priest wants bench trial

MISSOURI
Connect MidMissouri

by Mark Slavit

A former Boonville priest charged with 8 felony counts, including sodomy and kidnapping, wants a bench trial.

An attorney representing Gerry Howard made that request before a Cooper County judge today.

The case will be set for trial sometime after the first of the year.

Howard worked as a priest at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Boonville.

His victims said the sexual abuse happened between 1984 and 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Royal Commission will hear of former paedophile Tweed priest

AUSTRALIA
Daily News

Jessica Grewal 26th Nov 2013

THE royal commission into child sex abuse is expected to hear a known paedophile was allowed to work as a priest for almost 40 years - many years of which were spent in Tweed.

It's understood while the man was convicted of indecent assault against a male in the late 1960s he remained in a position of trust with children across the NSW North Coast before his past caught up with him.

Documents tendered during the first hearings into abuse at Lismore's North Coast Children's Home reveal Allan Kitchingman was before the courts in Newcastle when the bishop of the day recommended he be transferred to the Grafton diocese.

In a letter before the commission, the Newcastle bishop explains that Kitchingman is a "most acceptable" priest who is currently "living under a shadow" and needs to leave the diocese.

A handwritten footnote marked "highly confidential" describes Kitchingman as being popular with young people but having "some homosexual difficulties."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Catholic Church reveals details of abuse claims

SCOTLAND
Telegraph

The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has received 25 complaints about alleged sexual abuse in the past six years

By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent 25 Nov 2013

The figure emerged as the church published the results of “safeguarding audits”, covering the period from 2006 to 2012.

A total of 46 allegations of abuse, including emotional and physical abuse, were made against 27 priests and 20 volunteers and parishioners.

The Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia, said in a letter read out during mass in Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes on Sunday that 2013 had been a "test of faith".

He added: "We recognise the trauma and pain that survivors of abuse have suffered and we are committed to providing for them both justice and healing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Roman Catholic Church in Scotland reveals abuse case details

SCOTLAND
BBC News

The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has published details of abuse allegations made between 2006 and 2012.

The statistics showed there were 46 allegations of abuse made over the six year period, of which 56% were made against priests.

Some 55% of the allegations were of a sexual nature, 19% alleged physical abuse, 11% were verbal and 15% were emotional.

The document also revealed the results of investigations into the claims.

There have been no prosecutions in relation to 61% of all cases reported, the church said.

A further 15% resulted in a prosecution, 10% are still under investigation and the remaining 14% are described as "unknown historical cases".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

DC - New court cases about clergy abuse

SUITLAND (MD)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

One targets DC area Catholic facility
Hundreds of predator priests have been sent there
The center was sued this week for the first time ever
The other case let’s an accused Maryland priest “off the hook”

WHAT:
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that

--a Catholic priest accused of molesting in Baltimore won a key court case last week, and
-- the first-ever clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against a Maryland facility for predator priests was filed last week.

They will also urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes in the state to “speak up,

WHEN:
Monday, Nov. 25 at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE:
On the sidewalk in front of the Saint Luke's Institute - 8901 New Hampshire Ave Silver Spring, MD 20903

WHO:
Four to five members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY:
1)Last week, apparently for the first time ever, a Catholic facility in Maryland that has housed hundreds of predator priests was named as a defendant in a civil clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit.

[Star Tribune]

[Pioneer Press]

The suit, filed Tuesday in Dakota County Minnesota, was brought by a Minnesota man who charges that Fr. Francis Hoefgen sexually abused him after the priest “graduated” from sex offender treatment at the St. Luke’s Institute in Suitland and was then put back in to a church with no warning to the parishioners.

Before being sent to the center, Fr. Hoefgen admitted to police that he had twice performed oral sex on a boy, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

STJ condena Igreja Católica a pagar indenização por pedofilia

BRASIL
G1

Mariana Oliveira
Do G1, em Brasília

A Terceira Turma do Superior Tribunal de Justiça (STJ) decidiu, por unanimidade, manter decisão que condenou a Diocese de Umuarama, no Paraná, e um padre do local a pagarem indenização de R$ 100 mil a um garoto que sofreu abuso sexual quando dia 14 anos, em 2002. O fato ocorreu na cidade paranaense de São Tomé, que faz parte da Diocese de Umuarama.

A decisão foi tomada em julgamento realizado na terça-feira passada (19) na análise de um recurso da Diocese, que questionou condenação no Tribunal de Justiça do Paraná. O TJ havia reconhecido "ato ilícito" do padre com "responsabilidade civil" da Igreja. Cada um foi condenado a pagar R$ 50 mil "de forma solidária".

No processo, a Diocese de Umuarama argumentou que não houve responsabilidade solidária, uma vez que os atos foram "exclusivamente" praticados pelo padre que "desenvolvia trabalho voluntário e vocacional de ordem religiosa". O TJ, porém, entendeu que o fato de ele cumprir funções e horários foram "suficiente para configurar a relação de preposição"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Vatican abuse prosecutor says Rome 'well aware' of accountability problem

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Nov. 25, 2013 NCR Today

The Vatican's top prosecutor for sex abuse cases says Rome is "well aware" of how frustrated many people are with perceived confusion about how to hold bishops accountable when they're accused of failing to make a "zero tolerance" policy stick and hopes a solution will emerge from debates over curial reform under Pope Francis.

Fr. Robert Oliver, a New York native who helped lead recovery efforts from the abuse crisis in the Boston archdiocese before being appointed as the Promoter of Justice in the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in late 2012, spoke to NCR on Friday.

He made the comment on accountability in the context of a question about Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., who was convicted in September 2012 of a misdemeanor crime of failure to report a priest suspected of abuse and has remained in office.

This week, Oliver will be in the United Kingdom for a series of talks as well as meetings with abuse victims and child services professionals. It marks a fairly rare public outing for the 53-year-old canon lawyer, who so far has not developed the same high profile as his predecessor, Charles Scicluna, a Maltese cleric who became the face and voice of the cleanup effort on sex abuse under Pope Benedict XVI before returning to Malta as an auxiliary bishop a year ago. ...

Other highlights from his NCR interview:

* Oliver asserted that recent reports suggest "a dramatic drop in incidents of abuse" committed by Catholic personnel, confirming, in his view, that "the church has made great strides in all parts of the world."
* He conceded that in some instances, processing abuse cases both at the local level and in Rome "takes too long" and said his office is working on the problem.
* Oliver said in an average month today, the number of abuse cases reported to Rome is in the dozens, most dating from the distant past.
* He commends the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child for taking an interest in child sexual abuse, including the Vatican's record on the problem, despite suspicions in some Catholic circles that it's an excuse for attacking the church. He confirmed that the Vatican is preparing a response for the committee ahead of a scheduled Jan. 16 hearing in Geneva.
* Without commenting directly on recent charges of abuse against a papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic, Oliver said such situations offer a reminder that the problem "never goes away" but also that "the changes the church has made are working."
* Oliver said it's legitimate for church leaders to be concerned about the impact of litigation related to the abuse scandals, but they need to make clear that "our main concern is not about protecting the church's money."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Third Hearing – Week Two (Or: Just A Joke)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Pat Comben, former registrar of the Grafton Anglican Church diocese and former Education Minister in the Queensland State Government, made a very (melo?)dramatic move outside the Royal Commission before giving evidence. He signed the “letter of holy orders relinquishment,” in public.

“Fifty years in the Church and I do not know if I can even say I am a Christian. Some of us have some guilt and take some responsibility for this,” Mr Comben said, outside the commission today, after he had completed two days of evidence. Mr Comben claimed that, if he did not take the line he did and keep compensation low, he would have been sacked.

As a former politician, Mr. Comben has been in receipt of a generous parliamentary pension. After he left parliament, he was director of the Wildlife Preservation Society, consultant for the Rowland Company and an environmental reporter for Channel 7 television (see http://www.crikey.com.au/2005/03/12/when-generous-pensions-are-not-enough/).

Since retiring recently from his job with the Anglican Church, he has operated the Koala Villas Caravan (trailer) Park at 539 Pacific Highway, Boambee NSW 2450, in the Grafton area. Apparently, he has had some property investments. A testimonial he provided for his local real estate agent reads, in part, “We have dealt with (redacted) over a number of years to buy and sell properties In some difficult situations we have encountered with tenants, (redacted) has dealt with the issues calmly and effectively leading to positive outcomes for all.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Sam Kellner's Attorney Responds to Forward Article

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

Paul Berger's Response to Sam Kellner's Attorney

By Niall MacGiollabhui

In the letter posted below, Niall MacGiollabhui responds to the Forward’s November 14, 2013 article, “Sam Kellner’s Tangled Hasidic Tale of Child Sex Abuse, Extortion and Faith; Is Alleged Shakedown Artist a Hero or Crook?” The article discussed controversies surrounding two separate, ongoing criminal prosecutions-one of Mr. Kellner and one of Baruch Lebovits. Mr. MacGiollabui represents Mr. Kellner.

I write this letter on behalf of my client, Sam Kellner, in response to the article that was published online on November 14, 2013 by the Forward headlined: “Sam Kellner’s Tangled Hasidic Tale of Child Sex Abuse, Extortion and Faith,” “Is Alleged Shakedown Artist a Hero or Crook?”

According to Mr. Berger, the author of the article, he looked deeply into the unraveling prosecution of Sam by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office “largely at the urging of [Baruch] Lebovits’s family.” Baruch Lebovits is an alleged pedophile whose conviction in 2010 was overturned in 2012 on a technicality, and is facing retrial. His family claims that Sam tried to extort them after being told by his son that Lebovits molested him and after other victims came forward. The family also maintains that Lebovits is innocent of the many heinous accusations leveled against him by multiple victims. Offering this disclosure, however, does not excuse or mitigate what is disclosed: Mr. Berger put himself and your paper at the service of a notorious, longtime, alleged pedophile who, it seems, is desperately trying to avoid retrial and the justice his alleged evil deeds deserve.

Mr. Berger contacted me in early November, we spoke at length, and he provided me with a list of questions addressed to my client. Based on the form of the questions, which was accusatory, I told him it appeared his proposed article would adopt the prosecution perspective of Sam’s case.

(Nonetheless, I continued, we were willing to answer any questions he wished to ask and provide him with any material he sought.) On the contrary, Mr. Berger assured me, the article would be a balanced one examining the merits or otherwise of the prosecutions against both Sam and Lebovits. He further proclaimed by email on November 8: “I have asked the hard questions of both sides. That’s what I do.” For anyone who reads Mr. Berger’s article, the sound to be heard is the Lebovits family laughing out loud.

I made a simple inquiry of Mr. Berger: have you found a single shred of credible evidence to support the accusation that Sam Kellner attempted to extort the Lebovits family by claiming he controlled two victims, other than his son – identified in the article as Y.R. and M.T., respectively – who reported being abused by Baruch Lebovits. (The other accusation, that Sam bribed M.T. to falsely testify, is generally accepted to have been thoroughly discredited). Ten questions were emailed to me for my client to answer. The first five related to a secret recording made by Meyer Lebovits, a son of Baruch Lebovits, of a conversation with Sam in May 2009, supposed to be the “smoking gun” in the case. I asked Mr. Berger why he used his own, at times inaccurate, characterizations of the tape’s content, rather than the content itself, as the basis of his questions. He sheepishly conceded that he did not really analyze the content of the tape, relied on a transcript given to him by the Lebovits family, and volunteered that I understood it a lot better than he did. To help Mr. Berger, I emailed him the transcript provided by the District Attorney’s office, which he hadn’t seen. By email on November 7, I stated to him: “[I]f what is alleged against Sam was true, you would expect him somewhere in the course of 161 pages [of the transcript] to say he “controls” YR and MT and that’s why a trial [of Baruch Lebovits] won’t happen. As you know, it’s nowhere to be found. Likewise, when he’s asked repeatedly what he wants by Meyer [Lebovits], you would expect him to demand money. Again, nowhere to be found. Either he’s the world’s worst extortionist or he’s innocent.” Mr. Berger, however, quickly lost interest in the tape (as shown by the single thoroughly bland paragraph in his article in which he refers to its content), once he realized it didn’t support his pernicious agenda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Paul Berger's Response to Sam Kellner's Attorney

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

Sam Kellner's Attorney Responds to Forward Article

By Paul Berger
Published November 24, 2013.

Setting aside the hyperbole and mischaracterizations deployed liberally throughout Mr. MacGiollabhui’s letter, I would like to correct one of his primary assertions and also to answer his questions.

My article did not, as Mr. MacGiollabhui implied, attempt to find evidence that “Sam Kellner attempted to extort the Lebovits family.” Instead, I showed how Kellner’s involvement in the Lebovits prosecution went way beyond the actions of a wounded father looking for justice for his abused son. Readers can judge whether the evidence I marshaled in this respect was compelling.

Mr. MacGiollabhui asks at the end of his letter why he was not given several recordings referenced in the story. As I explained to Mr. MacGiollabhui during my reporting, I could not release the recordings to him because of commitments I made to the sources who provided them.

Mr. MacGiollabhui’s assertion that I claim in my article that Mr. MacGiollabhui would not comment upon one of the tapes “except in response to hearing the whole tape, is wholly dishonest” — is itself dishonest. Instead, in the article, I state that Mr. MacGiollabhui said he “preferred to respond after hearing the tape in full.” This is correct.

My agreement with a confidential source permitted me to use only excerpts of the tape with Mr. Kellner’s voice. I did send short audio and text excerpts to Mr. MacGiollabhui on November 6. When these proved insufficient, I offered to try to get further excerpts, as Mr. MacGiollabhui correctly points out.

However, Mr. MacGiollabhui omits that shortly after our conversation, the content of my November 6 email, which Mr. MacGiollabhui told me he shared only with his client, appeared on the website of an anonymous blogger — and cheerleader for Kellner — under the headline: “Which Lazy Journalist Will Take the Dershowitz Bait?http://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/which-lazy-journalist-will-take-the-dershowitz-bait/” This attempt to preempt my story before it had been published destroyed my confidence that anything further I sent to Mr. MacGiollabhui for his client would not be publicized elsewhere before my story was published.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Priest Grozovsky's trip to Israel officially stopped - diocese

RUSSIA
Interfax

St. Petersburg, November 25, Interfax - The business trip of priest Gleb Grozovsky, who is accused of child molestation, has been officially stopped, Alexander Asonov, press officer for the Gatchina Diocese, told Interfax.

"Father Gleb's business trip to Israel automatically stopped when he was suspended from service," Asonov said.

Asonov reiterated that the Gatchina Diocese encourages Grozovsky to return to Russia and cooperate with the investigators. "We don't support his delay in Israel," he said.

According to earlier reports, Grozovsky, the former senior priest of a church in the Leningrad Region, is accused of molesting two schoolgirls. A criminal case has been opened against him based on Part 4 of Article 132 of the Russian Criminal Code (molesting a child younger than 14).

According to information possessed by the investigators, Grozovsky, who is accused of molesting two schoolgirls, was suspended from service for the period of the investigation into his case on November 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Kellner Attorney Calls Forward Journalist "Lazy, Shoddy, Dishonest" – And Proves It

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

Sam Kellner's attorney Niall MacGiollabhui wrote a long letter to the Forward rightly criticizing Paul Berger's mistake-ridden, biased article on Kellner published November 14.

If you don't know the case, Kellner's attorney's letter will be difficult to follow. So I suggest you read my refutation of Berger's article first. It will make Kellner's attorney's letter somewhat easier to follow.

In his response, Berger essentially claims the Forward did not give Kellner and his attorney extended excerpts from the tape that supposedly incriminates him because Berger did not want to be scooped by a leak from Kellner. How this excuses publishing a hit piece full of inaccuracies is beyond me. But even more so, how can that be used as an excuse not to give Kellner extended excerpts now?

Kellner's attorney calls Berger a "useful idiot" for the Lebovits family and calls him a lazy, shoddy reporter – all true in my estimation.

But most devastating are the number of things Kellner's attorney points out Berger did not know about the case and Berger's near-complete lack of curiosity about the actual evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Deacon quits church in protest ...

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph

Deacon quits church in protest moments before taking stand at royal commission into child sex abuse

MATTHEW BENNS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH NOVEMBER 26, 2013

THE deacon who led the Anglican Church's response to allegations of child abuse in Lismore quit the church in protest just moments before stepping into the witness box at the royal commission into child sex abuse.

Pat Comben, former registrar at the Diocese of Grafton, said he should no longer be referred to by the title reverend and was not even sure he could still call himself a Christian after 50 years in the church.

The royal commission is examining the response of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton to harrowing claims of physical and sexual child abuse over a 48-year period and involving 12 members of clergy and staff at the former North Coast Children's Home in Lismore.

"Some of us do have some guilt and take some responsibility for this," he said after a gruelling two days of evidence finished yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Hundreds of church-goers urge bishop to give suspended priest Father Despard his job back

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

MORE than 1000 angry church-goers have signed a petition demanding a suspended priest be reinstated.

Helen Ann Hawkins, 40, set up the campaign after Father Matthew Despard was told he was being stripped of his duties after failing to meet with Bishop Joseph Toal.

The decision came eight months after he self-published his book Priesthood in Crisis, which accused the Catholic Church of covering up sexual bullying.

But his supporters have given him strong backing, signing an online petition as well as a separate paper petition in their droves.

Now Helen plans to take the campaign to Bishop Toal, who announced the decision to suspend him eight days ago, then on to the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

When Faith Becomes Ideology

UNITED STATES
Michigan Chronicle

Written by Aubrey J. Lynch Sunday, 24 November 2013

The title is taken from words spoken by Pope Francis as reported at rawstory.com on Oct. 21 of 2013. In his brief words, the Pope took issue with those who are so focused on ideology that any indication of love, compassion, understanding and other higher level facets of humanity are lost.

These are powerful, near shocking words to come from the leader of the centuries old Catholic church. The new Pope likely uses messages such as this one to let the world know how he is working to change the institution that has done so much in recent years to attack gays and women.

Bishops of the Catholic Church had put themselves so far out into the public spotlight that they appeared to be campaigning for Republicans in their efforts to defeat the Affordable Care Act. This view has been borne out by a recent article in the National Catholic Reporter on Nov. 14. The article reveals that many bishops are afraid that focusing on economic issues in support of the poor will alienate their Republican donors and help the Democrats. Those donors would then not support the bishops’ focus on gays, abortion and religious liberty.

An article in Enlightened Catholicism tells us that the billionaire Koch Brothers gave a million dollars to the Catholic University of America. In their cozy relationship with the Republicans and their billionaire supporters, the bishops came dangerously close to sedition, if not treason, as they pounded away at "religious freedom" in their attempts to subvert the law of the land that had given women access to insurance to help them control the timing and process of reproduction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Richard Joel Knew About Yeshiva Sex Abuse Allegations, Documents Show

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger
Published November 25, 2013.

When an investigative team appointed by Yeshiva University reported in August that the school had “failed to appropriately act to protect the safety of its students or did not respond” to credible allegations that they’d been sexually abused, it drew an important caveat: This dereliction of responsibility had continued, the investigators said, “until 2001.”

After that, “the University acted decisively to address the allegations,” the investigators stated.

As a result of these findings, Y.U.’s current president, Richard Joel, was spared any stigma stemming from the scandal, which involved several decades of alleged sexual abuse by faculty and staff. The problem was pegged instead to the tenure of his predecessor, Rabbi Norman Lamm.

But internal documents obtained by the Forward indicate that, in fact, Joel, who arrived at Y.U. in 2003, was told both before and after he became president about allegations against Rabbi George Finkelstein, the former principal of a Y.U. high school — and that he declined to intervene in the first instance or respond in the second.

The documents show that Mordechai Twersky, a Y.U. alum who is now one of 34 former students suing Y.U. for having failed to protect them, approached Joel in 2000 and again in 2004 to complain about the abuse he had suffered as a high school student at Finkelstein’s hands. But Joel did not take those complaints seriously, according to the documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

'Community politics' in abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

ANNETTE BLACKWELL AAP NOVEMBER 25, 2013

A FORMER politician who became registrar of a NSW Anglican diocese at the centre of an abuse inquiry has denied playing community politics over a group claim from people who suffered abuse.

Pat Comben, who served in the Queensland government in the 1990s was registrar at the diocese of Grafton when 42 former residents of the North Coast Children's Home started legal action over sexual, psychological and physical abuse at the home over for decades to the early 80s.

Mr Comben who is continuing his evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said on Monday he sent out a press release in response to a story in the Northern Star about the allegations.

In the release, which was recalled after a legal threat by the solicitor for the claimants, Mr Comben said he saw "these matters as being a challenge to the very community of Lismore".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Anglican directory of clergy a 'stud book'

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Four years after an Anglican clergyman was jailed for sexually abusing children at a NSW Anglican home he was still on the Church's "stud book", a witness has told a national abuse inquiry.

The official Anglican directory of clergy was jokingly referred to as the stud book, a former registrar of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton told the national inquiry into child sex abuse in Sydney on Monday.

Pat Comben, apologised for the use of the "totally inappropriate name", which he used when he was being questioned about what he did about disciplining Rev Allan Kitchingman, a convicted sex offender.

Kitchingman was jailed for two and a half years in 2002 for indecent assault on two boys who were under his care at the North Coast Children's Home, when he was chaplain in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

New Poll: ‘Faithful Catholics’ an Endangered Species

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

By LINDA WOODHEAD

Pope Francis is full of surprises. This month he launched a survey of Catholic opinion in order to inform a special synod on the family scheduled to meet in Rome next October. Not surprisingly, it’s caught many national conferences of bishops on the hop. Under John Paul II and Benedict XIV they’d got used to a Vatican which looked inwards rather that outwards for authority. A favourite text was Lumen Gentium’s passage which insists that the magisterium of the Pontiff requires “religious submission of mind and will.” A survey of ordinary Catholics sits oddly with this stance. What can it mean?

Catholic opinion is divided on the answer. Conservatives say the survey’s designed to do no more than expose how the church’s irreformable teaching on family and sex needs to be strengthened. It will aid in the re-confessionalisation of the faithful, helping gather strayed sheep back to the fold. Reformists say the opposite. They welcome the initiative as a sign that Francis really cares about what ordinary Catholics think, and that Vatican II’s claim that the Church is “the whole people of God” is at last being made good.

A closer look at the questionnaire supports the conservative view over the reformist one, for it’s not a survey in any sense that a social scientist would recognize. The 38 questions are larded with theological jargon, and will leave many of the faithful scratching their heads and Googling the Catholic Encyclopedia. Take question 1a, for example:

Describe how the Catholic Church's teachings on the value of the family contained in the Bible, Guadium et spes, Familiaris consortio and other documents of the post-consiliar Magisterium is understood by people today?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Catholic Church abuse claims sparks probe

SCOTLAND
Edinburgh Evening News

FORMER Church of Scotland Moderator the Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan has been appointed to look into safeguarding procedures in the Catholic Church.

Dr McLellan, former minister of St Andrew’s and St George’s Church in George Street, is also a former chief inspector of prisons for 
Scotland.

The move comes as it was revealed a dossier of documents containing allegations of more than 20 cases of abuse in the Catholic Church has been passed to police.

Confidential letters from Scottish bishops, dating back to 1995 and including every diocese in Scotland, will be reviewed by Police Scotland, the force ­confirmed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

AUDIT REPORTS: 2006-2012

SCOTLAND
Bishops' Conference of Scotland

Introduction

Each year the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service (formerly National Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults) in the person of the National Co-ordinator presents a report to the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland at their November meeting which details an Audit of the eight dioceses in Scotland in relation to the work of safeguarding in the previous calendar year. For example the 2012 Audit was presented earlier this month to the Bishops’ Conference. The process began with an audit in 2006, by 2007 the format was established.

The Audit contains details of how safe environments are created with disclosure checks on those involved with children and vulnerable adults in a Church setting. When the Disclosure Scotland scheme was introduced it was decided by the Bishops that all Clergy, anyone applying for seminary and all volunteers in parishes would be required to complete an Enhanced Disclosure, the most rigorous level. All employees of the Church engaged in work with children or vulnerable adults are required at recruitment to undertake an Enhanced Disclosure. This Disclosure scheme is presently being systematically replaced by the PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) scheme.

As well as Disclosure/PVG Training plays an important role in creating safe environments. The current national safeguarding training programme developed by professionals within the Catholic Church is called “Awareness and Safety in Our Catholic Communities”. The training programme includes a Welcome Guide for all volunteers in the parishes with clear guidance about appropriate safeguarding procedures and good practice. This training is mandatory and delivered by experienced and trained Diocesan safeguarding Trainers. The Audit contains details about the training undertaken annually.

Finally, the Audit presented to the Bishops’ Conference contains details of any allegations which have been made and how these have been dealt with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

55% of church allegations 'sexual'

SCOTLAND
Belfast Telegraph

25 NOVEMBER 2013

More than half of all complaints of abuse received by the Catholic Church in Scotland over a six-year period were sex-related, according to a report.

The church has published the results of its Diocesan Safeguarding Audits from 2006/12, giving a breakdown of incidents reported during that time.

A total of 46 allegations were reported, of which 55% related to sexual abuse, 19% to physical abuse, 11% were allegations of verbal abuse and 15% were in connection with emotional abuse.

Of those accused , 56% were priests , 22% were volunteers, 11% were parishioners and the remainder were staff or other people connected to the church.

There have been no prosecutions in relation to 61% of all cases reported, the church said. A further 15% resulted in a prosecution, 10% are still under investigation and the remaining 14% are described as "unknown historical cases".

More than a quarter of all the accused reported (27%) are now dead, according to the audit report prepared for the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Scotland’s Catholic Bishops announce range of safeguarding initiatives

SCOTLAND
Scottish Catholic Media Office

Scotland’s Catholic Bishops announce range of safeguarding initiatives.

Monday 25 November 2013.

Embargo 11.00

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has today announced details of three safeguarding initiatives, which will be launched over the next 12 months. In a letter read out at all of Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes yesterday (24 November, the Feast of Christ the King) the President of the Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said:

“We recognise the trauma and pain that survivors of abuse have suffered and we are committed to providing for them both justice and healing.” The Archbishop added that 2013 had been “a test of faith” for Catholics, but the Church was committed to “consolidation of our safeguarding practices, the renewal of trust in our unshakeable commitment to atoning for abuse in the past, guarding against abuse in the present and eliminating abuse in the future, and supporting those who have been harmed.”

Archbishop Tartaglia also promised that all the initiatives were being “launched in a spirit of openness and transparency” and in recognition of the fact that “safeguarding is a priority within the Church, and all who work in the Church must realise this.”
The initiatives concerned are:

1. Immediate publication of all Diocesan Safeguarding Audits from 2006-2012, giving a statistical breakdown of reported safeguarding incidents during those years.

2. An external “Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures” which will review the suitability and robustness of safeguarding procedures and the quality and rigour of their implementation nationally. The Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, CBE, former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and former Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons will direct this.

3. A Statistical Review of all Historic Cases of Abuse from 1947-2005

A full description of each of these processes is given below.

Commenting on his participation in the review process, Dr McLellan said:

“I have agreed to chair the review panel which will instigate and complete a review of ‘Awareness and Safety’ in the Catholic Church in Scotland. My appointment is a generous sign of respect not simply for me but for the Church of Scotland; and I am pleased to be able to help the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland in what has been for them a difficult year. But my first concern is not to support the Catholic church: rather it is to seek the best protection of many vulnerable children and adults. In pursuing that aim I will be determined to discover the truth and to make clear recommendations. I am very much encouraged by the independence I will have in selecting the membership of the panel, detailing its remit and deciding on its timescale; and by the assurance I have been given that the Catholic Bishops will accept our recommendations."

Dr McLellan added: “Over the remaining weeks of 2013, I hope to turn my attention to these matters so that I can announce the particulars of the review process and structure early in 2014.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Survivors group praises church for decision to release maltreatment claim figures in Scotland

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Monday 25 November 2013

A Catholic abuse survivors' group has praised the Church's groundbreaking decision to reveal full sets of figures relating to maltreatment claims against priests and members of religious orders in Scotland.

The measure to publish annual and historic figures emerged in a letter by the Bishops' Conference of Scotland which was read out at masses across the country.

It includes the publication of figures relating to complaints made against priests, nuns and monks dating back to 2006 and a statistical review of historic cases from 1947 to 2005. Helen Holland, chairwoman of In Care Abuse Survivors, said that the development, which begins today, would be a major step towards making the Catholic Church more transparent about its past and in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Catholic Church: more than 50% of abuse complaints received were sex related

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Monday 25 November 2013

More than half of all complaints of abuse received by the Catholic Church in Scotland over a six-year period were sex-related, according to a report.

The church has published the results of its Diocesan Safeguarding Audits from 2006/12, giving a breakdown of incidents reported during that time.

A total of 46 allegations were reported, of which 55% related to sexual abuse, 19% to physical abuse, 11% were allegations of verbal abuse and 15% were in connection with emotional abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

No copping out of abuse blame

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Frank Brennan | 25 November 2013

Police Victoria badgeAustralia's quest to uncover the plague of child abuse and put right the failure of government and non-government organisations (including churches) to deal compassionately and justly with victims, and firmly and appropriately with perpetrators, continues. Quite rightly, the Catholic Church remains in the spotlight. In February, retired judge Tony Whitlam QC reported on the 'Father F' Case in Armidale. He highlighted that all the blame did not lie just with the deceased bishop Kennedy. There were systemic failures not just in the Church but also with psychologists, the police and the courts.

This month, the Victorian parliamentary committee's report 'Betrayal Of Trust: Inquiry Into The Handling Of Child Abuse By Religious And Other Non-Government Organisations' was published.

The Catholic Church hierarchy now seems more prepared to admit institutional and personal failures prior to 1996 when Towards Healing and the Melbourne Response were instituted. They are yet to admit the pervasive, closed clericalist culture which infected the Church until at least 1996. But that will come.

Cardinal Pell who had been an auxiliary bishop in the Melbourne Archdiocese from 1987 to 1996 when he then was made Archbishop told the Victorian inquiry:

As an auxiliary bishop to Archbishop Little I did not have the authority to handle these matters and had only some general impressions about the response that was being made at that time, but this was sufficient to make it clear to me that this was an issue which needed urgent attention and that we needed to do much better in our response.

Understandably, this left many people inside and outside the Church wondering, 'If Archbishop Little didn't act between 1987 and 1996, why didn't his auxiliary Bishop Pell try to do something?' and 'If the Archbishop knew during those nine years, why didn't his Auxiliary?'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Rwanda: The Church Should Prevent Sex Abuse

RWANDA
allAfrica

The New Times

BY JOSEPH OINDO, 24 NOVEMBER 2013

In the Old Testament, there are stories of sexual abuse, meaning that this is not a thing that is only plaguing modern society. In 2 Samuel, the Bible documents the story of Amnon, David's son, contriving to have his half-sister Tamar alone in order to have incestuous sex with her.

Modern society has seen rising cases of sexual abuse, reported in the media while many of them go unreported. Teachers have been caught up in sexual liaison with students, priests have been accused of paedophile while parents have been caught in incest with their daughters.

Pope Benedict is reported to have admitted that sexual abuse of minors plagued the Catholic Church during his papacy. "As far as you mentioning the moral abuse of minors by priests, I can only, as you know, acknowledge it with profound consternation...," he said.

According to Justin Halcomb in Grace and Truth, "sexual assault is a sin against God because the blessing of sexuality is used to destroy instead of build intimacy and because it is an attack against His image in His image-bearers. The ability of sexual assault to obscure internal and external relationships makes it a cosmic affront to the Creator and the order of his creation. Sexual assault is a sin against God because it violates his most sacred creation-human beings made in His image."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHILD SAFEGUARDING AND PROTECTION OFFICE OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF DUBLIN

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

Homily Notes of Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin
Saint Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, 24th November 2013

"For over a year now the Church has been celebrating a Year of Faith. The year ends today as we celebrate the final Sunday of the Liturgical Year - the Feast of Christ the King.

The word “king” is a little foreign to us who really only know democratic government. That is not important. Jesus never wanted to be a king in any political sense. His kingdom was not of this world. His reign was not to be one of domination and power but of service.

Yet it is interesting to recall that the term “king” appears at the very first moments of the life of Jesus on earth and at the very last moments of his life. At the first Christmas, the angels announce to the shepherds that “a king” has been born. On the cross of Jesus is written “Jesus of Nazareth, King”.

Some of the theologians of the early Church referred to Jesus’ kingship as a “kingship of wood”: the only time that his kingship is unequivocally recognised is on the wood of the cross, when that inscription "This is Jesus the King of the Jews” is placed above his dying body. We can only understand the kingship of Jesus when we understand the mystery of the Cross. “Jesus, the king” undergoes the death of a criminal, yet what appears to the world as an ignominious death opens the possibility for Jesus’ true kingship to be recognised and to spread.

On the Feast of Christ the King, we remember that that spreading of the kingdom of Jesus will only come to its conclusion when the salvation won for us by Jesus on the Cross is fully reflected in the life of our world and in the way we live. What does God’s kingdom look like? We hear that in the preface of today’s Mass. The kingdom of Jesus is “a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace”.

When we look at the world around us we must quickly recognise that we have a long way to travel before our world truly mirrors that vision of God’s kingdom. Evil and corruption, exploitation and violence still abound. Not everything that was introduced as progress has turned out to be true progress for the human community or the human soul. Human progress does not depend only on scientific progress or economic growth or political power. Progress requires justice. But justice will remain only a word if it is not accompanied by caring and solidarity, by compassion and understanding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Church's response to abuse victims was too slow, says Archbishop

IRELAND
Irish Independent

SARAH MAC DONALD – 25 NOVEMBER 2013

ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has rebuked those in the Catholic Church who were "all too slow" in recognising the extent of the "criminal abuse of children" by priests.

He was speaking at a Mass to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Child Safeguarding and Protection Office in the archdiocese of Dublin.

SURVIVORS

At a ceremony in the Pro-Cathedral attended by 400 child safeguarding representatives from parishes across Dublin, as well as priests and representatives of survivors of abuse, Dr Martin said the church needed to do more to reach out to survivors of clerical abuse.

The Archbishop urged the church to create "an open door and a safe space for those survivors who still fear telling their story and who still live alone with their anguish".

Speaking to the Irish Independent, the Archbishop explained that from his meetings with survivors, he realised that some of them "are in a lonely place".

"Very often they have nobody to talk to – they are not a member of an association. They were abused in a way that the pressure was put on them to keep it secret."

He said they would like to have a space where they could come together, meet one another and support one another.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Pastor Implicated in Sex Abuse Scandal is Back

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

Post by ROB SHRYOCK

When a pastor resigns after his 77-church network is implicated in “the largest evangelical sex abuse scandal to date,” how long does it take for him to regain the trust of his colleagues?

The answer, apparently, is 7 months. CJ Mahaney, the founding pastor of Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), recently spoke at a conference called “Conviction to Lead 2013” at an SGM megachurch in Knoxville after a long absence from the public eye.

The lawsuit against SGM, which fizzled out in the late spring due to statutes of limitations, alleged that church leaders, including Mahaney, had actively worked to protect multiple abuse perpetrators while harassing and intimidating victims into silence. As T.F. Charlton wrote here on RD back in March:

The suit has been filed not only on behalf of the individual plaintiffs [8 at this point], but also on behalf of a much larger class of people allegedly abused as minors in SGM, who do not wish to come forward with their stories. The suit alleges that the potential additional victims are too many to be included as individual plaintiffs in the suit because SGM’s leaders have cultivated an “environment conducive to and protective of physical and sexual abuse of children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Anglican Church official Pat Comben quizzed...

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Anglican Church official Pat Comben quizzed in Royal Commission over response to child sex abuse at North Coast Children's Home

BY ASHLEIGH RAPER - ABC
November 25, 2013

The Royal Commission into child abuse has heard a former Anglican Church official responsible for responding to historic abuse claims did not pass on allegations to police.

The former registrar of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton, Pat Comben, today took the stand for a second day at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Mr Comben, who had previously served as Queensland education minister under premier Wayne Goss, was the first to receive claims about the North Coast Children's Home at Lismore.

He has faced intense scrutiny about the evidence given to the commission by former residents of the home about the physical and sexual abuse they suffered between the 1940s and 1980s.

Witnesses at the commission last week criticised Mr Comben's handling of the allegations and subsequent negotiations for compensation, with his actions described as cruel and inappropriate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

I'm not sure I'm still a Christian, Anglican priest Pat Comben says

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Dan Box
From: The Australian
November 25, 2013

THE priest who was at the centre of handling a group claim from abuse victims at an Anglican Church children's home in NSW has quit, saying he is no longer sure he call himself a Christian.

Former registrar of the Grafton Diocese, Pat Comben said he had taken the view that he had some guilt and responsibility in the mishandling of the claims by 42 former residents of the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore who suffered shocking sexual and physical abuse.

He said on Monday he was quitting because history is being re-written by some members of the church.

Mr Comben said he had signed the letter of holy orders relinquishment outside the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse on Friday. That was just before he took the stand to give evidence into the diocese's handling of allegations by former residents of the home.

"Fifty years in the Church and I do not know if I can even say I am a Christian," said Mr Comben outside the commission on Monday after he had completed two days of evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Cleric quits over abuse handling

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

By Annette Blackwell
From: AAP
November 25, 2013

AFTER 50 years in the church, an Anglican priest says he doesn't know if he can say he's a Christian.

The priest, who was central to handling a group claim from people who suffered abuse in a NSW Anglican children's home, has announced he is quitting the clergy.

In a surprise revelation at Monday's hearing into how the Anglican Church dealt with victims of abuse at a children's home in Lismore, the former registrar of the Grafton Diocese, Pat Comben, said he had relinquished holy orders.

Mr Comben was the first to hear of the allegations of abuse at the home and was central to the diocese's handling of them for three years.

He said he'd signed the papers to leave the ministry on Friday, before taking the stand at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Former church moderator to lead probe into Catholic Church's safeguarding procedures after priest sex abuse allegations

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

A FORMER moderator of the Church of Scotland is to head an inquiry into how the Catholic Church in Scotland handles sex abuse allegations.

The Very Reverend Dr Andrew McLellan’s overhaul of the Church’s safeguarding procedures follows scandals relating to inappropriate sexual conduct of priests.

Earlier this year, the Catholic Church was rocked by revelations of alleged abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands.

Former pupils claim they were molested and beaten by monks who taught them decades ago.

Police are investigating and it has emerged at least 20 other cases of abuse are being probed in Scotland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Priest at centre of abuse claim quits

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The priest who was at the centre of handling a group claim from abuse victims at an Anglican Church children's home in NSW has quit, saying he is no longer sure he call himself a Christian.

Former registrar of the Grafton Diocese, Pat Comben said he had taken the view that he had some guilt and responsibility in the mishandling of the claims by 42 former residents of the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore who suffered shocking sexual and physical abuse.

He said on Monday he was quitting because history is being re-written by some members of the church.

Mr Comben said he had signed the letter of holy orders relinquishment outside the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse on Friday. That was just before he took the stand to give evidence into the diocese's handling of allegations by former residents of the home.

'Fifty years in the Church and I do not know if I can even say I am a Christian,' said Mr Comben outside the commission on Monday after he had completed two days of evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

November 24, 2013

Police get dossier of alleged abuse in Catholic Church

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

by TRISTAN STEWART-ROBERTSON
Published on the 25 November 2013

A DOSSIER of documents containing allegations of more than 20 cases of abuse in the Catholic Church has been passed to police.

Confidential letters from Scottish bishops, dating back to 1995 and including every diocese in Scotland, will be reviewed by Police Scotland, the force ­confirmed.

In one, a bishop describes abuse against “two severely mentally-handicapped young female adults”, according to reports in a Sunday newspaper. Another reportedly refers to a 15-year-old boy as “sexually mature”.

Former advisor to the Motherwell diocese, Alan Draper, called for criminal investigations and an independent Scottish Government inquiry into sexual abuse in the Church.

The revelation came as it was revealed that a former moderator of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly has been asked to look into safeguarding procedures in the Catholic church. Andrew McLellan, who is also a former chief inspector of prisons for Scotland, will oversee the review.

Peter Kearney, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, said the Church has co-operated with police and would continue to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

Rabbis who Publicly Support the Efforts of The Awareness Center To End Sexual Violence in Jewish Communities Around The World

UNITED STATES
The Awareness Center

Below is a list of Rabbis who support the efforts of The Awareness Center. If you are a rabbi (of any recognized affiliation) and would like to be included, please send an email to: VickiPolin or a "snail mail", with a note giving us permission to add your name on your synagogues stationary. Please include your full name, synagogue, organization, city, state, and country.

If you are or are not a rabbi, please share this request for supporters with every rabbi you know.

List of Rabbis
Rabbi Jonathan F. Adland - Indianapolis, IN

Rabbi Barbara Aiello - Milan, Italy

Rabbi Morris Allen - Mendota Heights, MN

Rabbi Ruth Alpers - Cincinnati, OH

Rabbi Camille Shira Angel - San Francisco, CA

Rabbi Benjamin Arnold - Evergreen, CO

Rabbi Stephen A. Arnold - South Easton, MA

Rabbi Jeffrey Astrachan - Old Bethpage, NY

Rabbi Craig Axler - Spring House, PA

Rabbi Ian J. Azizollahoff - New York, NY

Rabbi Stephen Baars - North Bethesda, MD

Rabbi Jeremy Barras - Charlotte, NC


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Catholic church to publish details of abuse and misconduct complaints

SCOTLAND
STV

The Catholic Church in Scotland for the first time publish a breakdown of complaints of abuse and misconduct as it responds to a series of scandals.

It will give details how many 'safeguarding' incidents in each dioceses, their type, the category of victim and perpetrator, as well as the outcome of the investigation as part of a new policy.

The church also said it will bring in the former moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland Andrew McLellan to review its procedures.

The church also announced a statistical review of historic abuse cases between 1947 and 2005

The moves come after the church has been hit by a series of scandals. It faced allegations of sexual abuse at its Fort Augustus Abbey school, while the most senior Catholic in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien announced he was stepping down earlier this year over allegations of "sexual misconduct".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Church to reveal past abuse cases

SCOTLAND
Paisley Daily Express

Nov 24 2013

The Catholic Church in Scotland has said it will publish a review into cases of reported abuse over a period spanning more than five years.

The church will give details of the number of incidents reported between 2006 to 2012, their nature and the results of investigations into them, members have been told.

It is also expected to announce a further audit of all cases of historic abuse allegations between 1947 and 2005 and a full review of its safeguarding procedures.

The three initiatives, it says, are being launched " in a spirit of openness and transparency".

Members of the Catholic community were told about the plans at Mass today. A formal announcement by the Bishops' Conference of Scotland will be made at 11am tomorrow.

Bishops of the eight Scottish dioceses make up the Bishops' Conference, which represents the Catholic Church in Scotland.

A letter read to mass-goers said: "T he Bishops wish to say on behalf of the Catholic Church in Scotland that we recognise the trauma and pain that survivors of abuse have suffered and that we are committed to providing for them both justice and healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Catholic Church in Scotland to reveal past abuse cases

SCOTLAND
ITV

The Catholic Church in Scotland will review recent and historic cases of abuse in the church in a "spirit of openness and transparency."

The church will give details of the number of incidents reported between 2006 to 2012, their nature and the results of investigations into them, it announced to members.

A further audit of all cases of historic abuse allegations between 1947 and 2005 is then expected to be launched, along with a full review of its safeguarding procedures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Church accused of hiding from abuse claims

SCOTLAND
The Times

Michael Glackin

A former adviser to the Catholic Church in Scotland has accused it of creating a “smokescreen” to divert attention from the latest allegations of sex abuse.

The comments were made as the Church announced a three-point plan in response to criticism of how it has dealt with child abuse and sex scandals within its ranks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Catholic church calls in ex-moderator

SCOTLAND
BBC News

A former moderator of the Church of Scotland's General Assembly has been asked by the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland to look at its safeguarding procedures.

The external review to be carried out by Andrew McLellan follows a series of scandals in the church.

As well as being a Church of Scotland minister, Mr McLellan is a former chief inspector of prisons for Scotland.

The most recent allegations concerned the Fort Augustus Abbey School.

The former leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, stepped down earlier this year after admitting sexual misconduct.

Police have been investigating the allegations of serious physical and sexual abuse at Fort Augustus school and its associated prep school, Carlekemp.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Money Matters (Or: Scarier Than Hell)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The finances of the Grafton diocese of the Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England) came under the spotlight last week at the third “case study” hearings of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, concerning Allan Kitchingman and the North Coast Children’s Home.

The diocese’s motto refers to “caring in the spirit of Christ”, but evidence suggests it was more in the spirit of Mammon, especially when it came to financial assistance for victims of its staff and clergy, who operated its North Coast Children’s Homes.

Management courses always warn of the risk of over-expansion. Apparently, the Grafton diocese had not learnt this lesson. It went into debt of $12 million, through an unsecured loan from investors, to expand its Clarence Valley Anglican School, but found there were not enough enrollments to make it a financially viable venture.

Diocesan Registrar, Anthony Newby, told the Royal Commission that, when he became registrar at Grafton in October 2010, the school debt was not being serviced. An oversight committee was set up to open lines of credit involving other dioceses – “not an easy task as only two, Perth and Adelaide, eventually came on board.” This strategy was needed because the Clarence Valley Anglican School loan was unsecured from the Grafton Diocese Investment Fund, which operated by inviting people to invest on the expectation of a return. The debt-reduction strategy would also mean selling at least $2 million of the diocese’s estimated $200 million asset base.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Antigonish continues sex abuse reconciliation

CANADA
Catholic Register

Written by Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News
Sunday, 24 November 2013

OTTAWA - Nova Scotia’s Antigonish diocese plans a series of public encounters to reach out to sexual abuse victims and those hurt by a former bishop’s child porn conviction.

“As a diocese, we want to express solidarity with those who are hurting and make an effort to accompany all who are hurt or who are disconnected with the Church,” said a Nov. 29 news release.

“To those who have found it necessary to absent themselves from our faith communities, we will continue to try to regain your trust and remind you of how much we miss your presence.”

The meetings follow the multi-million dollar class-action sexual-abuse lawsuit settlement announced by then-Bishop Raymond Lahey in August 2009. About a month later Lahey was found with child pornography on his computer at Ottawa’s airport. He was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty to importation of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Northboro pastor accused of theft is replaced

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

The Reverend Ronald G. Falco, pastor of St. George Parish in Worcester, has been named the new pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Northboro.

He replaces the Reverend Stephen M. Gemme, who was removed from his pastoral duties in October for allegedly embezzling more than $230,000 from the Route 20 parish to fuel a gambling habit.

The chancery did not name a replacement for Rev. Falco at St. George's, but the Reverend Richard F. Reidy, the diocesan vicar general and moderator of the curia, will serve as administrator until a successor is named next summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

An altar boy's story

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

A former Catholic altar boy (let's call him "Cedric" - not his real name) has told Broken Rites about his experiences at the hands of Father Francis Xavier Brown (a Catholic priest in the Dominican religious order) in Adelaide around 1960. Cedric says he still feels hurt (half a century later) by his experience as an altar boy.

In the late 1950s, Cedric (born in 1950) became a pupil in the junior grades at Blackfriars Priory School (an all-boys school conducted by the Dominican priests and brothers) in Prospect, Adelaide. Eventually, Cedric was selected by the Dominicans to begin training as an altar boy for Saint Lawrence’s parish church in Prospect, North Adelaide. This parish was conducted by the Dominicans and these priests were involved in both the school and the parish.

Cedric says that while he was an altar boy he came under the supervision of Fr Francis Xavier Brown O.P. The letters "O.P.", after his name, referred to the "Order of Preachers" - that is, the official name of the Dominican religious order. For a time, Father Brown was also simultaneously Cedric's class teacher. Therefore, Cedric was under the control of Father Brown at the church altar and also in the classroom.

And Father was responsible for hearing boys' Confessions. That is, Cedric was forced to tell all his "sins" to Father Brown in the confessional. The secrecy of Confession gave Father Brown extraordinary power over Cedric.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

More graphic testimomy from Iqaluit

CANADA
Sylvia's Site

Posted on November 23, 2013 by Sylvia

It’s taken a while for me to square this away, but finally, here is a report on the testimony from the sex abuse trial of Oblate priest, previously convicted molester Father Eric Dejaeger.

One male victim took the stand yesterday (Friday, 22 November 2013), He testified that he had been sexually abused when he was boy by Father Eric Dejaeger. The victim testified in Inuktitut – there is a translator in the courtroom and the testimony was translated into English.

The following is a small overview the man’s testimony of what happened to him when he was a boy. (A warning to all that some of this is very graphic) ;

(1) The victim was fondled on a number of occasion by Dejager. The fondling transpired in, amongst other places, the kitchen and also during confession (Confessions were heard every Saturday at 6 pm);

(2) In the presence of the dog, Dejaeger would masturbate the boy to ejaculation. – then Dejager would let the dog lick the sperm from the floor, and then get the dog to lick the boy’s penis;

(3) On at least five occasions he was forced to watch Father Dejager bugger the dog;

(4) On one occasion while in the furnace room he was forced to sexually touch the dog while Dejager watched. I’m a little confused on this, but I think that Dejager was also fondling the boy simultaneous to the activity with the dog. No matter, the testimony was definitively that the boy was instructed to do what he did to the dog while Dejager watched.;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

2 priests found guilty of sex abuse by archdiocese unlikely to face criminal charges

OMAHA (NE)
World-Herald

By Michael O'Connor / World-Herald staff writer

Prosecutors said Friday it was unlikely they would charge two local priests found guilty by the Archdiocese of Omaha of sexually abusing minors because the alleged abuse happened too long ago.

The archdiocese announced Friday morning that it has dismissed the Rev. Alfred J. Salanitro, 54, and sentenced the Rev. Franklin A. Dvorak, 69, to a life of prayer and penance. Archbishop George Lucas determined the verdicts after the archdiocese completed investigations into the two priests.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said Friday that his office looked into the Salanitro cases with help from the Omaha Police Department and determined that the statute of limitations had run out on the cases.

In December 2011, a Carter Lake man reported he was sexually abused by Salanitro from 1991 to 1994, beginning when he was 11 years old. Salanitro was associate pastor of Holy Cross Parish at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Kenosha priest cleared of wrong doing in social media post

WISCONSIN
WTMJ

[with video]

By Mary Franzen & Todd Hicks
CREATED NOV. 23, 2013

KENOSHA - Father Ireneusz Chodowski has been cleared of any criminal activity after posting some concerning photos to Facebook.

Father Chodowski had been removed from his post at Saint Peter's Catholic Church after police opened an investigation on him last week.

Some parishioners concerned with Father Chodowski's actions believe that the community leaders must be held to a high standard.

"If you're working with children or working in a religious order, anything is fair game once it's posted online," said Frank Trecroci.

Trecroci founded the Renaissance School that leases space from the church and, as someone who works with the public, believes people should consider carefully what they post online.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Revealed: Bishop targeted sex claim priest

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Sunday 24 November 2013

THE investigation into the Scots parish priest who wrote a memoir claiming there was a culture of "homosexual bullying" in the Catholic Church was instigated by Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Devine before he stepped down from his role, it can be revealed.

Last week, the Sunday Herald told how parishioners at St John Ogilvie's Church in High Blantyre were furious when it was announced just before evening mass that Father Matthew Despard was suspended and "a penal judicial process" had been launched against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Two priests' stories shows Catholic Church's warped priorities

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

ALAN HOWE HERALD SUN NOVEMBER 25, 2013

THE Catholic Church has long had problems with sex and marriage. Its popes still preach that sex outside marriage is a sin, despite so many unmarried priests regularly having sex - much of it criminal.

For centuries priests married freely, but the church came to view women with suspicion - clearly it still does - and it slowly changed its mind.

Today priests must not marry. But St Peter had a missus at the dawn of Christianity and it seems he coped, despite the distractions.

We know he was married because the Bible records Jesus curing Saint Peter's mother-in-law of a fever. It's not recorded if the first Pope thought that a good thing or not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Hundreds of church-goers urge bishop to give suspended priest Father Despard his job back

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

PARISHIONERS are calling for Father Matthew Despard – who self-published a book accusing the Catholic Church of covering up sexual bullying – to be reinstated.

MORE than 1000 angry church-goers have signed a petition demanding a suspended priest be reinstated.

Helen Ann Hawkins, 40, set up the campaign after Father Matthew Despard was told he was being stripped of his duties after failing to meet with Bishop Joseph Toal.

The decision came eight months after he self-published his book Priesthood in Crisis, which accused the Catholic Church of covering up sexual bullying.

But his supporters have given him strong backing, signing an online petition as well as a separate paper petition in their droves.

Now Helen plans to take the campaign to Bishop Toal, who announced the decision to suspend him eight days ago, then on to the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Former church leader arrested on sexual abuse charges

WEST VIRGINIA
Williamson Daily News

by Rachel Baldwin rbaldwin@civitasmedia.com

LENORE - According to information gathered from a criminal complaint filed in Mingo County Magistrate Court, a former youth leader at a church in Lenore is now facing sexual abuse charges.

West Virginia State Police Senior Trooper C.A. Allen says the suspect, 52-year-old Gary Adkins, the 7 year-old victim’s uncle, is accused of inappropriately touching the female child and faces three separate charges that includes two counts of third-degree sexual assault (felony), and one count of sexual abuse (misdemeanor) by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust of a child. Adkins was charged Tuesday.

Adkins had been a minister at Parsley Bottom Freewill Baptist Church until a few months ago and had earlier worked as a youth group leader there, and many members of the congregation say the defendant has an excellent reputation and find the allegations hard to believe.

“That’s just not in his character,” Jacqueline Parsley, who used to go to church with Adkins said, during an interview with the media.

“If the family will just be careful and be patient, the truth will come out, guilty or not,” Parsley said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Church Pastor Accused of Indecent Sexual Contact With 11-Year-Old Girl in Pennsylvania

PENNSYLVANIA
Christian Post

BY MORGAN LEE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
November 23, 2013

A Pennsylvania pastor has been accused of indecent sexual contact with an 11-year-old girl, who authorities believed is the daughter of congregants of the Fallen Timbers Community Church.

Ray Scott Teets, 66, has been charged by state police with "indecent assault, unlawful restraint, interference with custody of children, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor, concealing the whereabouts of a child, child luring, stalking and criminal trespass."

Currently his bail is set at $250,000, according to Trib Live.

This is not the first instance of an inappropriate relationship between Teets and a child. The pastor also informed a judge about a conviction for child sexual abuse from 1986.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Twin Cities archdiocese is just at the beginning of its sex abuse scandal

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: November 23, 2013

Twin Cities archdiocese arrives late to the issue, but scrutiny here mirrors national cases.

Minnesota should expect to see a spike in clergy sex abuse lawsuits as questions about the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ handling of those cases thrusts church leaders here into the national spotlight.

While it’s too early to know how many new cases may yet come, legal analysts and victim advocates say the developments in Minnesota church to significant financial risk.

“This is just the beginning for Minnesota,” said Terry McKiernan, president of BishopAccountability, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that documents clergy misconduct. “The St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese is in a meltdown that perhaps only a dozen dioceses have experienced during the ongoing sexual abuse crisis.”

Nationally, the Catholic Church has spent an estimated $2 billion to $3 billion settling abuse lawsuits, according to court documents and media reports, and nine Catholic dioceses, including Milwaukee’s, have filed for bankruptcy protection since 2004.

In Minnesota, recent events have conspired to bring extraordinary attention to the issue. State law changed earlier this year to permit lawsuits from decades-old abuse cases, prompting more than 20 new lawsuits. A whistleblower in the archdiocese went public with incriminating church documents that seemed to indicate that church officials may have withheld information about new abuse cases. ...

Tom Doyle, a Virginia-based canon lawyer who has testified on behalf of alleged victims in hundreds of clergy abuse cases in civil courts, said churches typically respond to allegations in a similar manner: They appoint review boards, hire outside investigators, adopt new policies and, in some cases, remove or demote key players within the church hierarchy.

But two things make Minnesota different, Doyle said. First, the call for Nienstedt’s resignation includes some parish priests. Second, a whistleblower from inside the chancery — former archdiocesan canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger — has provided inside information about the church’s handling of recent abuse allegations and its treatment of priests who were known to have abused children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

November 23, 2013

Scottish bishops' secret sex abuse file handed over to police

SCOTLAND
The Guardian

Catherine Deveney
The Observer, Saturday 23 November 2013

confidential file of letters from Scottish bishops detailing more than 20 secret abuse cases has been handed to police by a former safeguarding adviser to the Catholic church.

The intervention by Alan Draper, a former adviser to the Motherwell diocese, comes as the church attempts to draw a line under unfolding sex-abuse scandals by announcing a series of measures to be read at all masses this weekend on behalf of the Scottish bishops. However, describing the initiatives as a "charade", Draper says it is time for criminal investigations and an independent Scottish government inquiry into sexual abuse in the church.

The letters, dating back to 1995, include every Scottish diocese. One bishop, who describes abuse against "two severely mentally-handicapped young female adults", asks Draper to destroy his letter after reading it. Another refers to an abused child as a "young female parishioner". while a 15-year-old boy is described as "sexually mature".

A Catholic media spokesman, Peter Kearney, said the church would co-operate fully with the police, but added: "If someone has been in possession of material which they felt showed criminal behaviour, they would be expected to explain why they had taken 18 years to hand it to the authorities."

"The letters were given to me in confidence, and for a long time I respected that," explains Draper. "But the church has failed to reach out to victims and I have felt increasingly frustrated with their inability to manage the situation. It's a matter of public interest that the file be revealed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 PM

More lawsuits possible for Fairfield U

CONNECTICUT
Minuteman News Center

By Meg Learson Grosso
mgrosso@fairfieldminuteman.com
Twitter: @mlearsongrosso

Paul Kendrick said that his four years at Fairfield University taught him that the practice of his faith must include the promotion of justice. “That’s what the Jesuits taught me. Why am I such a lone voice in the wilderness echoing back to the Jesuits the social justice values they taught me?” he asked when he spoke to us by phone last week.

Kendrick noted that attorney Mitchell Garabedian, of Boston, who won a $12 million settlement for 24 Haitian boys, after they were sexually abused by Fairfield University alumnus Doug Perlitz, has said he is now bringing suit for at least 27 more former students. Indeed, Garabedian told us there might be even 30 more than that.

Kendrick, who brought the Haitian boys together with Garabedian in the first place, said that before last June’s $12 million settlement, he “begged” Garabedian, and the defendants, Father von Arx, President of Fairfield University, the Society of Jesuits of New England, the Oder of Malta, and others, “to provide resources in Haiti to help the victims deal with the trauma of their abuse.”

Instead, said Kendrick a lump sum of $12 million was paid out with no provision for mental health services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Lists of Accused Priests Released by Dioceses and Religious Institutes

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Boston MA (we have cached the original main list posted on 8/25/11; the entire Publication With Respect to Archdiocesan Clergy Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child as it existed on 1/9/13; and the 1/9/13 posting in its several parts: Cardinal O'Malley's introductory letter, the main list of accused priests, a glossary, the list of priests whose allegations are considered by the archdiocese to be unsubstantiated, O'Malley's letter to priests, and his letter to survivors)

Bridgeport CT (we have cached a copy of this press release)

• Capuchins – Province of St. Joseph (we cached a copy of this list and of the relevant pages of the report; the list was included in Michael Burnett, Fr. Thomas Doyle, and Dr. James Freiburger, Report of the Audit and Review of the Files of the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph [June 18, 2013]; a revised version of the report was created on 6/28/13, when a revised version of the executive summary was also created)

Chicago (updated at the same URL with no "revised on" date and no indication of who has been added or what has been changed; see our cached copies of earlier versions; numbers in brackets indicate additions, subtractions, and current totals of priests with substantiated allegations: 3/20/06 [+15=55; see Falsani article for prior total]; 9/15/08 [+7=62]; 1/4/10 [+3–1=64]; 1/14/10 [+1=65]; 10/4/10 [same total as 1/14/10 but updated entries on Craig, Hagan, Hoder, Holihan, Huppenbauer, Kissane, Mayer, McCaffrey, and Weston]; 7/5/11 [same total as 10/4/10 but updated entries on Bowman, Flosi, Hoder, and Kissane]).

Cincinnati (we have cached a copy of this status report)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Once A Priest Always A Priest (Or: My Wife Will Pray for You)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Perhaps one of the greatest hypocrites of all time appeared before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse this week. He is Philip Gerber, the “professional standards” official for Phillip Aspinall’s Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England) for many years. He was a sort of moral guardian of church officials and employees.

Gerber was in the job from 2000 to 2009. He would know more than most people just what was required of him by the law concerning reporting of child sexual abuse, since he is a lawyer as well as an Anglican priest.

He told the Royal Commission hearing into the North Coast Children’s Home that he had made “some mistakes” handling abusive priests. Mr Gerber admitted his “failings” and said he was not trying to defend himself. “I am very unhappy with myself, I didn’t take the sort of steps that you are talking about… and am quite embarrassed and apologize that it might have potentially put other people at risk, children and other vulnerable people at risk.”

In particular, Gerber did not report Rev. Brown to police for at least a year after receiving a detailed complaint from Brown’s victim at the Children’s Home, “Tommy” Campion (see previous posting) in 2005. Mr. Gerber agreed he had a duty to go to police with abuse allegations but couldn’t say why he didn’t .Gerber’s excuse was that Brown was a “not uncommon name”, and the victim had not provided a first name, so he did not bother to look at the diocese records about him. Brown continued to hold a license to practice until June of this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Catholic Church official faces sexual harassment charges

CALIFORNIA
48 Hills

By Tim Redmond

The Church of St. Francis in North Beach is a San Francisco landmark. To some Catholics, followers of the humble and gentle saint from Assisi, it’s the landmark, the church named after the namesake of this city. It’s been designated by Catholic Church officials as the national Shrine of St. Francis, and it’s home to a spectacular replica of the Italian chapel called the Porziuncola, where the Franciscan order was born.

It’s also the center of a battle over the use of the shrine, control of the Porziuncola – and, in larger sense, control of the property and operations of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, a powerful institution run by conservative clerics in a liberal city.

At the center of the battle are Monsignor James Tarantino, who as vicar of the archdiocese controls all of the Church’s extensive real-estate holdings, and Bill McLaughlin, chair of the Shrine Board of Trustees. The two, along with Rev. Harold Snider, who is in charge of the Shrine of St. Francis, have been involved in a struggle with former Sup. Angela Alioto and the Knights of St. Francis, on organization she created, over the future of the Shrine and the Porziuncola, which would not exist if Alioto hadn’t raised the millions of dollars it took to build it.

And while all of this has been going on, a former church employee who worked at the Shrine has filed a complaint with the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging that she was fired because she refused to continue having sex with McLaughlin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Vatican ‘finished with Cardinal Keith O’Brien’

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

by ALISTAIR MUNRO

THE Catholic Church sought to draw a line under the scandal surrounding the disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien when it was reported that he will face no further disciplinary action from the Vatican.

O’Brien, who was forced to stand down after three priests and a former priest accused him of improper sexual conduct, has spent the past few months in exile for “the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer and penitence”. He is currently understood to be living at a monastery in England.

On Saturday the new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Leo Cushley, indicated the Vatican does not plan to pursue further action against his predecessor, who left his post after the revelations were published in February.

Cushley told a newspaper his “impression” was Rome had finished with the matter.

“They will monitor the situation. They will look into it again after a certain period to see that things are going in the way they ought to be going. They may consider other evidence if it comes to light, but it would be up to them as to what they should do,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Part-time instructor accused of molesting student

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KSDK

ST. LOUIS - A part-time instructor at a local Catholic middle school has been charged with molesting a 13-year-old student.

The victim told authorities that Seri Grant had inappropriate contact with her during the 2012-2013 school year. In one instance, Grant allegedly touched the girl's breasts over her clothing. On a separate occasion, Grant is said to have pulled the victim's pants and underwear down and rubbed her genitals with his penis.

These incidents occurred after regular school hours in the campus library.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Private middle school instructor charged with raping and molesting girl

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Valerie Schremp Hahn vhahn@post-dispatch.com 314-340-82460

ST. LOUIS • A part-time instructor for a Catholic middle school for girls from low-income backgrounds has been charged with raping and molesting one of the students.

Seri O. Grant, 54, of the 6900 block of Willow Wood Drive in Northwoods, was charged Friday in St. Louis Circuit Court with first-degree statutory rape and first-degree child molestation. According to court documents, the victim, a 13-year-old girl, was a student at Marian Middle School at 4130 Wyoming Street during the 2012-13 school year. During that time, Grant worked part-time as an instructor.

The victim told authorities that Grant touched her breasts over her clothing and raped her on a separate occasion. The incidents happened after regular school hours in the school library, court documents said, sometime between August 2012 and January 2013.

Los Angeles Files - Reagan

WALTHAM (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

Of the 21 persons whose files were released on November 21, 2013, Bro. Joseph F. Reagan is the only one not previously known to be accused. He is not on the Los Angeles archdiocesan lists, and he was not in BishopAccountability.org's Database of Accused. Reagan joined the Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1961. He trained in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Texas in 1961-1965, and then worked as a counselor at a boys' home called Rancho San Antonio in Chatsworth CA (see summary). He left the order in 1966, planning to "achieve my salvation ... in the field of baseball."

The order was contacted several times in June 2002 by a man alleging abuse by Reagan at Rancho San Antonio. The "disturbed" caller was told that Reagan "left the HC Brothers, married, became a cop in Oxnard, and then Regan [sic], his wife and daughter were killed in an auto accident." A detective with the LAPD also called the order several times in early 2003.

The file contains nothing indicating that the order knew about the abuse before the survivor called, but there are at least four pages missing from the file as released (Bates numbers BOHC/REAGAN 078-081). Some documents raise concerns. One evaluation states that Reagan "seems to have a great deal of natural ability to work with boys" and that he has "shown signs of immaturity in judgment." Another observes that he "has had a little trouble adjusting to the less manly Brothers but has more or less outgrown it. It should not bother him anymore. Friendly, takes active part in rec. May be a little prone to scandal at first due to naivete." The order's concern for such issues can also be seen in a questionnaire that asks reviewers whether applicants to the order are "manly and virile" or "soft or feminine." Reagan's Salesian reviewer replies, "I did not notice."

Here is the entire Reagan file, re-processed to make it searchable and easier to download than the files as released.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:57 PM

Racine Catholic priest won't face charges for Facebook images

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel Nov. 22, 2013

A Racine Catholic priest removed for posting questionable images on his Facebook page will not face criminal charges, the Kenosha Police Department said Friday.

It was not immediately clear whether Father Ireneusz Chodakowski will return as pastor at St. Peter's Catholic Parish. Archdiocese of Milwaukee spokesman Jerry Topczewski said that will be up to his religious order, the Massachusetts-based Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. An attorney for the order declined to comment Friday other than to say it is undertaking its own investigation of the matter.

Chodakowski, who had been at St. Peter's since 2010, was removed last week after someone complained that images on his Facebook account could be potentially pornographic.

Kenosha police issued a statement late Friday saying they conferred with the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation and the Kenosha County district attorney's office as part of the probe and determined that no crime had occurred. Kenosha police said they concurred with the archdiocese's assessment of the situation as poor judgment on the part of the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Criminal charges against Catholic priest dismissed

MISSOURI
Fox 2

[with video]

(KTVI)– A Catholic priest accused in 2012 of molesting an underage girl from Lincoln County no longer faces criminal charges. Pike County Circuit Judge Chris Kunza Mennemeyer threw out the child endangerment charge against Father Xiu Hiu ‘Joseph’ Jiang on Monday. That ruling became public Friday.

A statement issued by the court indicates new information shows the defendant (Jiang) was never alone with the alleged victim and therefore a charge of ‘child endangerment’ was improper. An associated tampering with a witness charge had to be automatically dismissed once the first charge was dropped.

Lincoln County Prosecutor Leah Askey told FOX2 News the statute of limitations has expired on any misdemeanor charges that might have been considered. However, she said if new evidence of a felony is obtained, new charges could be filed.

Lucy Hannegan, organizer of the Friends of Father Jiang website, said she and other supporters ‘never had any doubts in his innocence so it is no surprise to us.’

David Clohessy, executive director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said the teenager and her family are ‘very, very upset.’ ‘The victim and the family reported promptly and there is a lot of evidence, yet still the judge tossed out the charges so it is very disconcerting,’ he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Archbishop: Vatican will take no further action against Cardinal Keith O'Brien

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Saturday 23 November 2013

The new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh has indicated he believes the Vatican will take no further action against his disgraced predecessor, Cardinal Keith O'Brien.

Archbishop Leo Cushley told a newspaper his "impression" was that Rome had finished with the matter.

Cardinal O'Brien, who was Britain's most senior Catholic cleric, stepped down in February after three priests and a former priest made allegations of inappropriate behaviour against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

'Rome has finished with' Cardinal Keith O'Brien says new Archbishop

SCOTLAND
STV

The new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh has indicated he believes the Vatican will take no further action against his disgraced predecessor, Cardinal Keith O'Brien.

Archbishop Leo Cushley told a newspaper his "impression" was that Rome had finished with the matter.

Cardinal O'Brien, who was Britain's most senior Catholic cleric, stepped down in February after three priests and a former priest made allegations of inappropriate behaviour against him.

He issued an apology, saying "there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me".

After his resignation from the Archdiocese, he stated that he would play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland. He later left the country for a period of "spiritual renewal", with reports suggesting the Vatican had ordered him to leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Lavada breaks silence on Flannery case

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

by Michael Kelly
November 7, 2013

A senior cardinal has broken his silence over the Vatican’s investigation of controversial Irish priest Fr Tony Flannery.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Irish Catholic this week Cardinal William Levada said that Fr Flannery was not investigated for his views on married priests as has been suggested, but because he ‘undermined’ essentials teachings of the Church.

Cardinal Levada served for over seven years as Pope Benedict’s chief doctrinal adviser. In his role as prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (COF) he was responsible for leading an investigation which has seen Fr Flannery suspended from the exercise of his priesthood.

Cardinal Levada told The Irish Catholic Fr Flannery “takes to the news a lot”. However, the cardinal, who, while retired as prefect, is still a member of the CDF, said “I have never seen in any reports what the fundamental problem was that led to our intervention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Twin Cities archdiocese delays releasing names of priests facing substantiated abuse claims

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Friday it is delaying the release of the names of some priests who have sexually abused children until at least next month.

Archbishop John Nienstedt had said he would disclose the names, locations and status of the men in November with "permission of the relevant court."

The archdiocese said a protective order has been in place in Ramsey County District Court since 2009 related to the disclosure.

On Friday, the archdiocese said it just learned that a meeting with a Ramsey County judge has now been scheduled for Dec. 2. The archdiocese said the need for court approval will delay its schedule for disclosure. But the archdiocese said it's prepared to release information once the judge approves the plan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Seminary School Knew Of Pastor Ray Scott Teet's Sexual Misbehavior, Did Nothing: Lawyer (EXCLUSIVE)

PENNSYLVANIA
Huffington Post

Posted: 11/23/2013

David Lohr
david.lohr@huffingtonpost.com

Ray Scott Teets, a Pennsylvania pastor arrested Thursday for indecent contact with a minor, had a prior conviction in a child sexual abuse case, which his seminary school was allegedly aware of and did nothing about, according to Maryland attorney Stephen A. Markey III.

Markey told The Huffington Post he personally notified the Kentucky Baptist seminary school Teets attended in the 1990s that Teets had pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse in 1988.

In 1992, a Baltimore judge and jury ordered Teets to pay a 15-year-old female victim $500,000 in punitive damages. Markey said he represented the victim in the civil suit against Teets.

"After the verdict I learned he was in a Baptist school studying to be a minister," Markey said. "I filed a garnishment of any pre-paid tuition that he may have had. I attached to [the request] a copy of the complaint and the verdict that showed he had been convicted of the rape. I did that solely to let them know that they are teaching a rapist –- that they are going to make a rapist a minister. I never heard back from them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Los Angeles File Release Selections - Lenihan

WALTHAM (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

Another batch of religious order and extern files has been released in Los Angeles, as agreed in the survivors' landmark 2007 settlement with the Los Angeles archdiocese. The released files are in non-searchable PDFs. Today BishopAccountability.org will be providing a first look at selected documents.

We begin with John Peter Lenihan, whose 269-page file from the Orange diocese is among those that have been released. Lenihan requested laicization at the insistence of Bishop Tod Brown on March 28, 2002, and his laicization was granted two months later, on May 28, 2002, an unheard-of level of efficiency in a Vatican laicization bureaucracy that usually takes years to decide a case. Why the hurry?

The new documents reveal that in 2001-2002, after Lenihan had resigned over an interview with Steve Lopez at the LA Times, revealing sexual misconduct and disagreements with the church regarding celibacy, he retracted his resignation, admitted the truth of the interview to his bishop, lied about it to parishioners, and was removed. The diocese then learned that he was violating a therapeutic relationship with a woman, abusing her sexually, and exposing her handicapped child to explicit phone sex voicemails left on the woman's home answering machine. What's more, people knew about this latest sexual misconduct. The woman's lawsuit and its shocking exhibits provide the real context for Lenihan's rapid laicization.

Much earlier in his career, when the Diocese of Orange had received an allegation on March 25, 1988, from the mother of a 16-year-old girl whom Lenihan had abused, the priest was left in ministry, and less than a month later, his positions as diocesan consultor and member of the council of priests were confirmed. By 2002, things had changed.

Here is the entire Lenihan file, re-processed to make it searchable and easier to download than the files as released.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:10 AM

Vuelven a investigar a un cura acusado de abuso

ARGENTINA
Clarin

[Summary: A new court will decide whether to continue investigation of cases of sexual abuse of former seminarians that were allegedly committed by priest Justo Illarraz. He served as prfect for discipline at the minor seminary at Parana from 1984-1992.]

Un nuevo tribunal deberá decidir si se siguen investigando los casos de abuso sexual a ex seminaristas que se le atribuyen al sacerdote Justo Ilarraz, quien se desempeñó como prefecto de Disciplina del Seminario Menor de Paraná entre 1984 y 1992. Así lo dispuso ayer la Sala Penal del Superior Tribunal de Justicia (STJ) de Entre Ríos, al desestimar un planteo de prescripción solicitado por la defensa del religioso.

La interrupción de las actuaciones, que se iniciaron en septiembre de 2012, había sido dispuesta en agosto pasado por la Sala I de la Cámara del Crimen de Paraná. Con la firma de los camaristas Hugo Perotti y Miguel Angel Giorgio, el tribunal no sólo declaró la prescripción de la causa, sino que también sobreseyó a Ilarraz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Dictarán veredicto contra sacerdote acusado de presunto abuso sexual en Osorno

CHILE
Bio Bio

Para este sábado a las 11:00 horas en el Tribunal Oral en lo Penal de Osorno, está pactada la audiencia de lectura de veredicto contra el sacerdote colombiano Carmelo Márquez Julio.

Recordemos que el religioso se encuentra enjuiciado por presunto abuso sexual y tocaciones indebidas en contra de cuatro mujeres, una de ellas de 17 años a la fecha de cometido el delito.

Durante este viernes se efectuaron los alegatos para la fijación de la pena y réplicas donde los intervinientes, vale decir el Ministerio Público y la defensa, reiteraron sus argumentos legales con los cuales sustentan sus tesis, incorporando como prueba rendida todos los testimonios y peritajes efectuados durante la etapa inicial de la causa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Ghanaian priest rapes young girl who had come for prayers

GHANA
Spy Ghana

A 39-year old Anglican priest, Rev Fr Emmanuel Quartey has been remanded in police custody for allegedly raping a 20-year-old woman.

He will be arraigned before the Cape Coast Circuit Court Three on Monday November 25. The facts are that on Sunday October 17 the victim, a resident of Siwido in Cape Coast, contacted the priest to help her break a blood covenant she had with her boy-friend.

The priest agreed to help the victim and asked her to meet him the following day at a hotel in Elmina. She complied and met the priest in one of the rooms in the hotel where he forcibly had sex with her and warned her not to tell anyone or else she will die.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Archdiocese to meet with judge before releasing clergy names

MINNESOTA
KARE

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis will meet with a Ramsey County judge before disclosing its initial list of clergy who have substantiated claims of abuse of a minor against them.

In his November 11 Open Letter, Archbishop John Nienstedt announced that the first phase of disclosure would be made by the end of November, pending approval by the appropriate court.

The Archdiocese said on Friday that it has learned that a meeting with the judge has been scheduled for Dec. 2.

Officials said that there has been a protective order in place in Ramsey County District Court since 2009 related to the disclosure. The need for approval by the court will delay its schedule for disclosure, but officials said they will release that information pending approval by the court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Archdiocese delays release of abusive priests list

MINNESOTA
Seattle PI

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Friday it is delaying the release of the names of some priests who have sexually abused children until at least next month.

Archbishop John Nienstedt had said he would disclose the names, locations and status of the men in November with "permission of the relevant court."

The archdiocese said a protective order has been in place in Ramsey County District Court since 2009 related to the disclosure.

On Friday, the archdiocese said it just learned that a meeting with a Ramsey County judge has now been scheduled for Dec. 2. The archdiocese said the need for court approval will delay its schedule for disclosure. But the archdiocese said it's prepared to release information once the judge approves the plan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Yeshiva U. Faces Growing Fiscal Crisis Amid Downgrades and Abuse Suit

NEW YORK
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger
Published November 22, 2013, issue of November 29, 2013.

Anxiety is building at Modern Orthodoxy’s flagship institution, Yeshiva University, as rumors swirl of looming cuts to address a financial crisis.

Y.U.’s official student newspaper, the Commentator, reported November 20 that the school’s president, Richard Joel, “may announce mandatory furloughs to Y.U. employees” pending an emergency meeting of the University’s board of directors.

School officials have declined to confirm or deny the report.

The Commentator story followed hard on the heels of a memo Joel sent out to faculty and staff a day earlier, warning of dire financial challenges ahead. The email was first reported by the JTA.

Several sources close to Y.U. have told the Forward that the school’s board will hold its emergency meeting early next week.

Y.U. board members did not respond to calls or emails for comment November 19 and 20. Michael Scagnoli, a Y.U. spokesman, declined to comment on whether the meeting is taking place. ...

Moody’s said the university’s problems are compounded by uncertainty related to a $380 million lawsuit brought by former students of Yeshiva University’s High School for Boys, in Manhattan. Thirty-four former students are suing Y.U. over claims that the university covered up decades of sexual abuse allegedly committed by former staff members, Rabbi George Finkelstein and Rabbi Macy Gordon. Both men have denied the charges.

A federal judge in New York is expected to rule shortly on whether the case can proceed.

Y.U. staff and students had hoped that 2013 would turn out to be better than the past few years. In 2008, Y.U. was struck by the twin blows of the national financial crisis and the multibillion dollar investment fraud committed by Bernard Madoff, with whom the school had invested substantial sums.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Bishops to visit Jersey

UNITED KINGDOM
Channel Online

[with video]

The Bishop of Winchester has organised a pastoral visit to the Channel Islands to gain a 'fresh perspective on safeguarding'.

It follows the suspension of Jersey's Dean earlier this year, for failing to properly handle an allegation of abuse.

No disciplinary action will now be taken against the Very Reverend Bob Key.

Now next month both the Bishop of Dover and Bishop of Lambeth will be coming to the islands to get a better understanding of complaint procedures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Baker probe moves ahead

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott
kmellott@tribdem.com

EBENSBURG — A criminal investigation into who may have been aware of the alleged sexual abuse of students at Bishop McCort High School by Brother Stephen Baker and failed to alert authorities moved a step forward this week.

Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan told The Tribune-Democrat that she met with members of the staff of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

The focus of the meeting was to determine what information the attorney general’s office will need if it agrees to accept the investigation into who knew what and when, she said.

“We want to make sure we provide the information they need to move forward,” Callihan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

From Rev. Emmett Coyne: Interdict from Below

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

This morning, I'd like to share an essay by Rev. Emmet Coyne, a retired priest of the diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, and author of The Theology of Fear. Emmett has kindly offered to let the essay be published here. It's a proposal to rehabilitate the ancient Catholic practice of interdict, but to turn it upside down, so that lay Catholics begin to use it to call their pastoral leaders to accountability. Here's Emmett's essay:

In 1909 in Adria, Italy, “Several thousand fanatical Catholics nearly stoned their bishop to death.” What triggered this? The pope (Pius X) instructed the bishop to move the seat of the diocese to the more important city of Rovigio. One might assume the Catholic citizens of Adria felt they were losing their prominence. So, for the pelting of their prelate, the pope pronounced an interdict on Adria and the surrounding area.

The interdict is an arrow in the Vatican’s quiver for subduing unruly members. It’s a papal ploy to deny the sacraments to individuals and dioceses. It has been employed intermittently to threaten Catholics and was successful. The interdict remains a measure of last resort. To deny the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist, effectively cuts members off from God. The interdict conveyed this threat.

Real power in the Roman Church resides exclusively in male celibates. Since Vatican II, lay persons were allowed in to participate in parish councils, but these were simply advisory. There is nothing in the pipeline currently which will allow lay members to exercise authentic power. John Paul II anticipated the emerging laity might seek to ascend to a position of power. He then legislated that no cleric could be under the authority of a lay person. Canon Law through the centuries was the exclusive domain of male clerics to write the rules. The laity are subservient in all of the canons, being accorded with few rights and mostly responsibilities.

The current structure of the Roman Church is an absolute monarchy. Laity are left to beg, cajole, and petition for any participation in advocating structural change and power sharing. Collegiality, even for bishops, is not a constant. They are dependent on the whim of the current pontiff. The result is that committed lay persons are left to their own creative devices until the Pentecost event becomes an accepted truth and is institutionalized. At the first Pentecost, the Spirit was poured out upon the whole People of God, not simply community leaders. This was a unique episode in the consciousness of the new community struggling for self-identity in the wake of the Jesus event. All persons would share equally in the life of the community. This was the radical nature that drew slaves and women especially. So the community surged until the time of Constantine when the imperial model was imposed. This has endured till Vatican II when the hope of lay persons was to become equal participants, no longer relegated to ‘pray, pay, and obey.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Reflecting on God’s blessings and working to do the right thing

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date:Thursday, November 21, 2013

Source:Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt

Watch the Archbishop's video column by clicking here, or at the bottom of this column.

In just another week, we will join with millions of families around the country to celebrate Thanksgiving, a time that has traditionally been set aside to reflect humbly on our many blessings, all of which we prayerfully acknowledge come from our loving and generous God.

I have been reflecting quite a bit lately on God’s blessings to me and the things for which I am personally grateful. I have thought and prayed about this because, particularly now, in the midst of all of the painful strife within our local Church these past many weeks, I am reminded of the great hope we have in Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

I am reminded that, as our patron St. Paul said in his letter to the Philippians, “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” This empowerment and strength must always be directed only for the pursuit and telling of the truth in service to God and our neighbor. This strength, which we find in the source and summit of the Holy Eucharist, reminds us that God gives us all that we need to live in his love and in his truth. It is only for us to recognize and accept his gifts. And, it is these gifts from God, those of strength and truth, of faith, hope and love, and grace and light, and so much more, for which we give thanks.

Like you, I am also thankful for the gifts of my family and friends. And, I am grateful for all of you, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. There is much sadness and frustration among us still. I feel that, too.

And, yet, I also feel so powerfully your prayers as well as your hope for a path forward. I give thanks for these, too. They have been in my prayers as well. The strength of your prayers has been felt by my entire leadership team, which is working tirelessly to do the right thing in the midst of this crisis. Together, we have learned and grown much these past many weeks. And, we have made decisions to take actions that we sincerely believe set us on that path forward, a path that embraces the truth, for the sake of justice.

These actions, as I shared with you in my column two weeks ago, are anchored by a set of goals that I have set for myself and for all leadership within the Church as we address the very serious concerns before us.

Our first goal, and of greatest importance, is keeping our focus on creating and maintaining safe environments and protecting the young and the vulnerable. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Our protection of children and young people must be our top priority, and it must be what animates our every action and decision.

Our second goal is to care for those who have been harmed by members of the Church. Our hearts ache for the victims of sexual abuse, and they deserve our care and support as, together, we work toward a process of hope and healing. It is among the most important things we can and should do, for the sake of the dignity of each person who now struggles to move forward with his or her life. We are called to love, with great compassion, those who are hurting most among us. This is doubly important when a victim’s pain has been caused by a member of our clergy.

Our third goal is to facilitate the beginning of a healing process for our local Church. We must restore trust with the Catholic faithful, who I know are counting on the clergy and leadership of the Church, most especially me as archbishop, to make virtuous decisions for the good of the body of Christ. I take this responsibility very seriously. I also know I cannot do this alone. My entire staff and I are united in our commitment to work together in pursuit of the truth and restoration of trust.

Finally, our fourth goal is to restore trust with our many clergy who do live out their vocations nobly and with great dedication to their sacred trust. These good men deserve our confidence and respect. We must avoid impugning them as we seek justice for the few who have violated this trust and hurt others.

These four goals — protecting the young and the vulnerable, caring for victims, and restoring trust with both the laity and the clergy — are anchoring me and my leadership team in all we do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Statement on Updated Schedule for Disclosure

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date:Friday, November 22, 2013

Source:Jim Accurso

As part of the previously stated plan to ensure a comprehensive approach to address the issue of clergy sexual misconduct, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis today announced that it is prepared to disclose its initial list of clergy who have substantiated claims of abuse of a minor against them.

In his November 11 Open Letter, which is available on our website at archspm.org, Archbishop Nienstedt announced that the first phase of disclosure would be made by the end of November, pending approval by the appropriate court. There has been a protective order in place in Ramsey County District Court since 2009 related to the disclosure.

We have just learned that a meeting with a Ramsey County judge has now been scheduled for Monday, December 2. The need for approval by the court will delay our schedule for disclosure. The Archdiocese is prepared to release information once the judge concurs with our plan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Archdiocese delays release of abusive priests list

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

by Jon Collins, Minnesota Public Radio,
Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
November 22, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in a statement late Friday that it's postponing until at least next month the release of names of priests who sexually abused children.

Earlier this month, Archbishop John Nienstedt announced his decision to release the names of priests living in the archdiocese whom the church believes sexually abused children. Nienstedt's announcement came after MPR News reporting showed church leaders protected an admitted

Church leaders have fought efforts for years by victims and their attorneys to make the names of abusive priests public. They've argued that some priests have been falsely accused and releasing their names would damage their reputations.

The archdiocese said it needs to wait until after a Dec. 2 hearing in Ramsey County District Court because it does not believe it can release the names without a judge's order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Update: Bluefield church volunteer accused of sexual abuse

WEST VIRGINIA
WVWA

By Paul Hess, Multi-media Journalist

Bluefield, W.Va.--Westminister Pastor Jonathan Rockness released the following statement after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced involving an un-named youth volunteer:

"From the moment the church leadership first suspected any misconduct, we have aggressively pursued the truth and we have continually reported all findings to the State Police. We continue to cooperate with their investigation, as we are committed to the truth coming to light and justice being served. We are devastated for any individuals and families who may be potential victims, and we pray that the investigative process will help bring them healing," says Pastor Jonathan Rockness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

UPDATE: Sexual Abuse Under Investigation at Bluefield Church

WEST VIRGINIA
WVNS

By Dan Thorn

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. -
UPDATE: 59News reached out to Pastor Jonathan Rockness with Westminster Presbyterian Church he released the following statement.

"We have been fully cooperative with the authorities and will continue to be, as we are committed to uncovering the truth and seeing justice met. We also hope and pray for healing and wholeness for any potential victims in this situation. We are devastated for them and their families."

West Virginia State Police are investigating sexual abuse accusations against a youth mentor at a church in Bluefield, West Virginia.

Sgt. Melissa Clemons says a number of individuals have come forward accusing a man who is actively involved in the youth group at Westminster Presbyterian Church of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Woman claims she was fired by church after abuse

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
KGO

[with video]

Vic Lee

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A woman is telling a story of cruelty, harassment and abuse -- all, she says, at the hands of people who consider themselves men of god.

A female worker says she was fired from St. Francis of Assisi Church because she would no longer submit to sexual harassment that included spanking. The woman filed a wrongful termination claim with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The church contends she was fired for other reasons.

Jhona Mathews is a single mother in her early 30s with a 2-year-old child. She worked as an assistant to the church rector Father Harold Sinider. She says the president of the church board of trustees Bill McLaughlin knew she was vulnerable as a young single mother with no particular skills.

Mathews says in her complaint, that he exploited her to satisfy his sexual fantasies.

"Paddling with the wooden paddle, getting spanked in the sacristy of the shrine of St. Francis, which Catholics know, it's just appalling to hear as a catholic and having sexual intercourse in the shrine of St. Francis," Mathews' attorney Sandra Ribera said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Police investigate allegations of sex abuse by former church youth volunteer

WEST VIRGINIA
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

By SAMANTHA PERRY
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — West Virginia State Police officials are investigating a former church youth teacher and mentor for at-risk youth as a result of sexual abuse and sexual assault allegations.

Sgt. M.D. Clemons, with the Crimes Against Children Unit of the West Virginia State Police, said the individual under investigation was a youth teacher at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bluefield for many years, and that her investigation has found allegations of abuse that date back to 1986.

“He helped with the youth program,” she said. “He also led mission trips.”

Clemons said she has currently interviewed 12 individuals who have reported misconduct that includes sexual abuse and sexual assault. The victims were preteen and teenage boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Ex-magistrate is jailed for sex abuse of girl, 10

UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford Times

A DISGRACED magistrate, Church of England minister and music teacher has been jailed for sexually abusing a young girl 10 years ago.

Christopher Tadman-Robins, 66, of Upper End, Shipton-Under-Wychwood, has begun a two-and-a-half year jail sentence.

He was ordained in 1989 but in the last 20 years has only conducted occasional services in West Oxfordshire.

He also sat as a magistrate at the former court in Witney, taught music and was a former musical director of the Northern Ballet.

But Judge Philip Bartle QC said his good character and contribution to society did not spare him from an immediate custodial sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

November 22, 2013

Criminal charges against Fr. Jiang dropped

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Review

SUBMITTED ON NOVEMBER 22, 2013

The Pike County Circuit Court has dismissed criminal charges against Father Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang, a former associate pastor at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis Parish.

Father Jiang was charged June 28, 2012, in Lincoln County with a felony count of endangering the welfare of a child, a first-degree offense involving sexual conduct. He also was charged with witness tampering.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis had placed Father Jiang on administrative leave following a report involving alleged inappropriate contact with a high school-aged minor. The Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection notified the Missouri Division of Family Services immediately upon learning of the allegations.

According to a statement at that time from Msgr. Richard Hanneke, the archdiocese's vicar for priests, the archdiocese was fully cooperating with the investigation.

None of the conduct was alleged to have occurred at the cathedral or on any archdiocesan property, Msgr. Hanneke noted in the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Former Norfolk Priest Found Guilty of Abuse

NEBRASKA
ABC 9

news@kcautv.com

The Archdiocese of Omaha has found a former Catholic priest from Norfolk guilty of sexually abusing minors.

Archbishop George Lucas says there is enough evidence against Franklin Dvorak. Dvorak is accused of abusing a female student from 1970 to 1972 when he was stationed at Sacred Heart Parish. That's now called Norfolk Catholic.

Dvorak was not formally charged because of the statute of limitations.

The church is now prohibiting him from publicly exercising priestly ministry in the church, but he can retain his clerical status.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Former Blair priest found guilty of sexually abusing minor

NEBRASKA
Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise

Staff reports

The Archdiocese of Omaha has dismissed Father Al Salanitro from the clerical state after an administrative penal process, according to a news release. He is prohibited from all priestly functions and ministries and can never again serve as a priest anywhere in the Church.

Salanitro served St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church in Blair for five years in the early 2000s.

In December 2011, a Carter Lake, Iowa man reported he was sexually abused by Salanitro from 1991 to 1994, beginning when he was 11 years old. Salanitro was associate pastor of Holy Cross Parish during that time.

The archdiocese notified law enforcement officials of the allegation. Archbishop George Lucas placed Salanitro on administrative leave from his assignment as pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Bellevue pending the outcome of a preliminary investigation. Salanitro denied the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Judge throws out child endangerment charge against priest

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Fox 2

[with video]

November 22, 2013, by Betsey Bruce

(KTVI)– A Pike County judge has thrown out a charge of child endangerment against a Catholic priest who worked at the New Cathedral.

Father Joseph Jiang had been charged with molesting an underage girl in Lincoln County and with attempting to tamper with a witness.

The prosecutor dropped the tampering charge after the judge said there was no evidence the priest and the girl were ever alone together.

The girl and her parents are suing the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Kenosha priest cleared by law enforcement

WISCONSIN
Fox 6

KENOSHA (WITI) — A priest at St. Peter Church in Kenosha that had been investigated by police and placed on administrative leave has been cleared of any criminal or illegal behavior. The case is now closed.

Kenosha police say the department had been investigating the priest because of his use of Facebook. The priest belongs to the Marians of the Immaculate Conception — a religious order out of [Stockbridge} Stonebridge, Massachusetts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

ROYAL COMMISSION TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARING INTO TOWARDS HEALING STARTING 9 DECEMBER

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing Monday 9 December 2013. The public hearing will look into the Towards Healing process adopted by the Catholic Church in responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines explained that this hearing will be the first of a number of public hearings that will examine the application of Towards Healing in responding to victims and allegations of child sexual abuse against personnel of the Catholic Church.

“This first public hearing into Towards Healing will focus on the experiences of four people who participated in the process,” she said.

“These people are Queensland residents whose claim of child sexual abuse was dealt with through the Towards Healing process. The accused at the time of the abuse were priests and brothers of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Diocese of Lismore and the Marist Brothers.

“As the Commission continues, we will hold more public hearings into peoples’ experience with Towards Healing and its application in different parts of Australia,” Ms Dines said.

To speak with the Royal Commission, call 1800 099 340 or email registerinterest@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Retired minister found guilty of sexual offences

CANADA
Cambridge Times

A retired Anglican priest with ties to Paris was found guilty Tuesday of sexual offenses dating back 30 years.

Rev. George Ferris, 66, of Cambridge appeared at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brantford on Nov. 19 and was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation for offences that took place in Paris between 1983 and 1989.

During that time, Ferris was serving as minister of St. James Anglican Church in Paris.

Ferris is scheduled to appear for sentencing on Jan. 28.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

NE - 2 predator priests should be criminally charged, SNAP says

NEBRASKA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Nov. 22, 2013

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

Two Nebraska predator priests have been disciplined by the Vatican.

[WOWT]

We strongly urge Archbishop George Lucas to submit the evidence used in the church investigation to secular authorities so that Fr. Alfred Salanitro and Fr. Franklin Dvorak might be criminally charged, convicted and kept away from kids, instead of just being removed from ministry.

Archbishop Lucas and other Catholic officials have a duty to insure the kids’ safety of by making sure these predators are prosecuted and kept away from potential victims, not just ousted from their church positions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Church lied to abuse victim

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JARED OWENS THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEMBER 23, 2013

THE former administrator of a NSW Anglican diocese under investigation over systemic child abuse has admitted lying about its capacity to pay compensation to a victim who "derailed" church-led negotiations by seeking independent legal advice.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse has heard a "pedophile ring" of priests at Lismore's North Coast Children's Home raped, beat and sexually abused dozens of children between the 1940s and 80s.

The inquiry in Sydney was yesterday shown a 2006 letter written by then Grafton Diocese registrar Pat Comben in which he told an abuse survivor, Richard Campion, that it was "difficult" to find even $500 to cover his travel costs to attend counselling.

Mr Comben yesterday admitted he understood the diocese had assets of $2 million.

"No, it was not an honest thing to say to Mr Campion," the former Queensland Labor minister told the inquiry.

"We were all scared and I was conscious that I would not have been viewed well as an employee had I just gone in there and said 'The diocese has $2m'."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Bishop won't publish report into Dean's suspension

UNITED KINGDOM
Channel Online

[with video]

The Bishop of Winchester has issued a statement confirming he is "unable" to release the report into the Dean of Jersey's suspension.

Tim Dakin said, following legal advice, he has agreed to comply with a request from an "interested party" not to publish Dame Heather Steel's report.

The report by the former High Court Judge has investigated whether any disciplinary action should be taken against any member of the clergy.

It comes after Jersey's Dean, Bob Key, was suspended in March for failing to properly investigate the treatment of a 26 year old disabled woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

No Jersey clergy to disciplined over abuse complaint handling

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

No disciplinary action is to be taken against any Jersey Anglican clergy member into the handling of an abuse complaint, a bishop says.

Inquiries were ordered by Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, after a woman claimed she was abused by a church warden.

The review examined how the Dean of Jersey, the Very Reverend Bob Key, dealt with the issue.

However, a report into the reviews is not to be released on legal advice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

Abuse victims at Anglican home told church had no liability

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Friday 22 November 2013

If the dozens of people who were abused at a Church of England (Anglican) home had sued successfully it would have been financial ruin for the New South Wales diocese of Grafton, a lawyer has told a national inquiry into child abuse.

Peter Roland, former lawyer for the diocese, is being grilled at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on why, in 2006 and 2007, traumatised survivors of the North Coast Children's Home (NCCH) in Lismore were told the church had no liability.

The commission has heard at one stage a letter to 41 victims mentioned a modest ex-gratia payment for "their inconvenience in these matters".

At the request of the commission chair, justice Peter McClellan, documents showing how much money was spent by the diocese on lawyers were produced, showing bills of $27,000 and $11,000. One bill gave an estimated figure of $62,000 if the case went to court.

The commission heard Roland's firm had received a dossier of 450 documents detailing emotional, sexual and physical abuse of former residents at the home, but was instructed by the diocese that the church had never been vested with care, control and management of the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

More from the Father Eric Dejaeger sex abuse trial

CANADA
Sylvia's Site

Some more information from the sex abuse trial of Oblate priest Father Eric Dejaeger. I warn in advance that some of this is quite graphic

(1) All victims who have testified to date were aged 4 to 12 when they were molested. (I say victims because my understanding is that most, if not all, who have testified to date, have received out-of-court settlements)

(2) Father Eric Dejaeger is perceived by some as being physically “extremely vigorous,” almost athletic. I am told that he seems almost unaffected by the testimony;

(3) The court room is packed, but it is small, perhaps holding 20 people max. There are about four support persons in the court at any given time,. There are two sheriffs present at any given time. Yesterday there was a group from the Ministry of Justice. The Deputy Minister was present for the day.

There are some lawyers who pop in and out for short spells;

(4) There is reference in media coverage to victims in the hallways howling in anguish after testifying. This is happening during testimony as well. Yesterday afternoon the man who testified broke down a number of times during testimony and was, I am told, literally howling in anguish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Judge drops charges against St. Louis priest

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KSDK

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) – A judge has dismissed charges against a St. Louis priest in relation to child endangerment.

Circuit Judge Chris Kunza Mennemeyer dismissed charges against Fr. Joseph Jiang, who pleaded not guilty to the child endangerment charge.

A lawsuit filed by the family of a teenage girl remains active, and it claims that Archbishop Robert Carlson didn't stop the molestation by a priest who lived in the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. A motion was made earlier this month to dismiss the lawsuit, and it's still under consideration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Omaha Archdiocese finds 2 priests guilty of sex abuse

OMAHA (NE)
World-Herald

By Michael O'Connor / World-Herald staff writer

The archdiocese announced the decisions Friday morning regarding the Rev. Alfred J. Salanitro, 54, and the Rev. Franklin A. Dvorak, 69.

The archdiocese conducted investigations of both men and reported the allegations to law enforcement.

Salanitro has been dismissed from the clerical state, and Dvorak was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance, according to a news release from the archdiocese.

The action on Salanitro means he has been returned to the lay state and is prohibited from all priestly functions and ministries. He can never again serve as a priest anywhere in the Roman Catholic Church.

Dvorak's prayer and penance penalty also prohibits him from publicly exercising priestly ministry in the church. He is not permitted to celebrate Mass publicly or to administer the Church's sacraments, the release said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Church Investigation: Priests Guilty Of Sexually Abusing Minors

OMAHA (NE)
WOWT

Two Archdiocese of Omaha priests received their ecclesiastical penalties on Friday after having been found guilty of sexual abuse of minors.

The Rev. Alfred Salanitro (pictured right) has been dismissed from the clerical state, meaning he has been returned to the lay state or “laicized.” The 54-year-old is prohibited from all priestly functions and ministries and can never again serve as a priest anywhere in the church.

In December 2011, a Carter Lake man reported he was sexually abused by Salanitro from 1991-1994, beginning when he was 11 years old while Salanitro was associate pastor of Holy Cross Parish.

The archdiocese notified law enforcement of the allegation. Archbishop George Lucas placed Salanitro on administrative leave from his assignment as pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Bellevue pending the outcome of a preliminary investigation.

Archbishop Lucas and the Archdiocesan Review Board, an 11-member volunteer board of child care experts, law enforcement officials, attorneys, clergy, and mental health professionals that advises Archbishop Lucas on the protection of young people, concluded after a thorough investigation that the evidence met the church’s minimum standard for a credible allegation. ...

The archdiocese also announced the Rev. Franklin Dvorak was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance that prohibits him from publicly exercising priestly ministry in the church. He is not permitted to celebrate Mass publicly or to administer the church’s sacraments.

The 69-year-old Dvorak has been instructed not to wear clerical attire or to present himself publicly as a priest. Dvorak is expected to dedicate his life to praying for victims and repenting of his past offenses. Dvorak is able to retain his clerical status. He was ordained in 1970 and will reach the priest retirement age of 70 in February. His term as pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Omaha expired last summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

Diocese of Crookston: Abuse lawsuit names Father Fitzgerald

MINNESOTA
Crookston Times

By Jess Bengtson
Posted Nov. 22, 2013

Crookston, Minn.
At a news conference Thursday in the lobby of the Polk County Justice Center in Crookston, sexual abuse attorney Jeff Anderson announced the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of a man known as "Doe 19."

Anderson, along with Lonna Hunter, an advocate for Native children, told the story of Doe 19, whom they said was sexually abused by Father James Vincent Fitzgerald at St. Anne's Parish in Naytahwaush. The lawsuit names the Diocese of Crookston and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate alleging their negligence in placing Fitzgerald in parishes and communities where he had access to children even after learning that Fitzgerald was a child molester. This is the first time Fitzgerald's name has been publicly released in Minnesota.

Fitzgerald, who is now deceased, was employed by the Diocese of Crookston from 1973 to 1978. During this time, he allegedly abused a minor male. The lawsuit claims the defendants knew or should have known about the abuse. The Diocese of Crookston placed Fitzgerald at St. Anne's Parish on the White Earth Indian Reservation in Naytahwaush in the mid-1980s. Doe 19 claims the abuse happened in 1984 when he was between 8 and 9-years-old.

The current lawsuit, along with another involving "Jane Doe 4" of Bemidji and the late Father James Porter, requests the release of names of credibly accused and admitted child molesters from the Diocese of Crookston. The Diocese allegedly compiled a list of five priests who had credible accusations of abuse against them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Criminal charges dropped against St. Louis priest

MISSOURI
Greenwich Times

TROY, Mo. (AP) — Criminal charges against a St. Louis priest accused of molesting a teenage girl in northeast Missouri have been dropped.

The Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang was charged in June 2012 with child endangerment and witness tampering. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (bit.ly/1cIaTej) reports that Circuit Judge Chris Kunza Mennemeyer of Lincoln and Pike counties dismissed the child endangerment charge on Monday.

Prosecutor Leah Askey filed for dismissal on the witness tampering charge on the same day. Jiang had allegedly left a $20,000 check for the family as hush money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Court Drops Teen Sex Abuse Charges for Catholic Priest Joseph Jiang

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Riverfront Times

By Lindsay Toler Fri., Nov. 22 2013

Criminal charges against a Cathedral Basilica priest accused of sexually abusing a teen in his parish were dropped earlier this month.

Father Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang, 30, was not alone with the victim, the court ruled, so child endangerment and witness tampering charges have been dropped, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Two circuit judges filed to dismiss the charges on November 18, and the case was officially dismissed from court record Thursday, according to the Post-Dispatch.

The family of the victim still has a civil lawsuit pending against the archdiocese and Archbishop Robert Carlson for knowingly allowing a sexual predator to interact unsupervised with children.

Nicole Gorovsky, one of the Chakes, Carlson & Halquist lawyers handling the civil suit, says she doesn't think the news will affect the lawsuit.

"I think our case is a very strong one," Gorovsky says. "I don't think this means anything."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

Criminal charges dropped against St. Louis priest

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Jesse Bogan jbogan@post-dispatch.com 314-340-825512

ST. LOUIS • Criminal charges filed against a St. Louis priest over allegations that he molested a teenage girl have been dropped, officials said Friday.

The Rev. Xiu Hiu "Joseph" Jiang, 30, was charged in 2012 with child endangerment and witness tampering.

Circuit Judge Chris Kunza Mennemeyer, of Lincoln and Pike counties, put in an order to dismiss the child endangerment charge Nov. 18 based on an argument by the defense that Jiang was never alone with the alleged victim.

Prosecutor Leah Askey filed for dismissal on the witness tampering charge -- Jiang had allegedly left a $20,000 check for the family for hush money -- on the same day.

A trial date had been set in Pike County and then recently cancelled.

Pike County Clerk Jerri Harrelson said Friday that the case was officially dismissed from the court record Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

MO - Criminal charges v. priest tossed out but civil case v. him proceeds

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

For immediate release: Friday, Nov. 22, 2013

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

We are very upset that judge has ended the criminal case against an accused predator priest who has close ties to Archbishop Robert Carlson. Our hearts ache for this courageous victim and her parents who have done their moral and civic duty by helping law enforcement pursue a manipulative child molester.

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

There’s something wrong in our justice system when a prosecutor has a prompt abuse report and solid evidence – emails, a $20,000 check, a phone message, a witness - yet a judge tosses out the charges.

It’s possible, of course, that the prosecutor will file other charges against Fr. Jiang. We hope she will.

Regardless, this ruling makes it even more crucial that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Jiang’s crimes steps forward. He’s a smart, cunning and young priest. He’ll keep hurting kids unless he’s convicted and imprisoned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

LA Archdiocese Releases More Documents

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on November 22, 2013

The Los Angeles Archdiocese released more clergy sex abuse and cover-up documents today. Priests hail from Orange County, San Bernardino, and Phoenix.

Files include:

John Lenihan
Richard Coughlin
Richard Loomis
Jesse Dominguez
Henry Perez
John Santillian
And others ….

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Anglican Priest remanded for alleged rape

GHANA
Ghana Web

A 39-year-old Anglican priest, Rev. Fr Emmanuel Quartey, has been remanded in police custody for allegedly raping a 20-year-old woman.

He will be arraigned before the Cape Coast Circuit Court Three on Monday November 25.

The facts are that on Sunday October 17, the victim, a resident of Siwido in Cape Coast, contacted the priest to help her break a blood covenant she had with her boyfriend.

The priest agreed to help the victim and asked her to meet him the following day at a hotel in Elmina.

She complied and met the priest in one of the rooms in the hotel where he forcibly had sex with her and warned her not to tell anyone or else she will die.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Suspended Scottish priest who authored controversial book fights for reinstatement

SCOTLAND
The Tablet

22 November 2013 15:00 by Kathleen Nutt

A Scottish priest is fighting to be reinstated after his suspension led parishioners to walk out of church just before Mass.

Fr Matthew Despard was removed from his post at St John Ogilvie’s Church in High Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, last weekend after publishing a controversial memoir earlier this year claiming there was a culture of homosexual bullying in the Catholic Church in Scotland.

On Saturday, just before he was due to say Mass, a statement on the suspension was read to the congregation by Bishop Joseph Toal, the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles and apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Motherwell. It sparked a walkout by parishioners, some in tears, amid scenes described as a near riot. Many in the congregation also left the following day when Bishop Toal turned up to say Sunday morning Mass.

Hugh Neilson, Fr Despard’s lawyer, told The Tablet that the priest has written to Bishop Toal asking to be reinstated.

“Fr Matthew was overwhelmed by the affection that the parishioners have shown him. He is asking Bishop Toal to reconsider his decision. He has written to him already and I will be writing a fuller letter on his behalf,” said Mr Neilson, who was at the church both last Saturday and Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Amended Lawsuit Filed Against Archbishop Robert Carlson

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – A Lincoln County family that sued St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson for allegedly failing to report child sexual abuse allegations against a priest he lived with has filed a new lawsuit.

The amended suit lays out more allegations against Carlson, claiming he knew that Father Joseph Jiang was saying Mass and hearing confessions in the alleged victim’s home.

“I think its a little bit of a troubling sign that this priest injected himself so deeply into this family and did so with the clear permission of his supervisors,” David Clohessy with Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) told KMOX.

With this week’s filing of an amended lawsuit, the Lincoln County court dismissed as “moot” a request by the Archdiocese to have the original case thrown out. The church now has twenty days to refile its motion to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Lawsuit: Priest Asked Teen to Dress Like a Woman, Not a Child, Before Sexual Abuse

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Riverfront Times

By Lindsay Toler Fri., Nov. 22 2013

Even after a Cathedral Basilica priest asked the archdiocese to reassign him for personal reasons, the church allowed Joseph Jiang to have unsupervised contact with the minor he is accused of sexually assaulting in her home and on church property, according to a lawsuit.

The family of the victim -- who remains anonymous because she was a minor at the time of the abuse -- warned that 25-year-old Jiang was too affectionate and touchy with their 15-year-old daughter, leading Jiang to ask Archbishop Robert Carlson and the pastor of the Cathedral Basilica for a reassignment for personal reasons.

He was not reassigned. Soon after, he returned to the victim's home crying, said he could not stay away from the family, pinned the girl against a wall and kissed her, according to the lawsuit.

Jiang faces criminal charges, but the family is also suing the archdiocese and Archbishop Carlson for knowingly allowing a sexual predator to serve as a priest and have unsupervised contact with their daughter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

EXECUTIONS IN MISSOURI

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

. . .A pedophile priest case in New Jersey has just settled out of court. The accused is Fr. John E. Shannon, who is accused of molesting kids in the Camden area but he spent the last 20 years at the Vianney Renewal Center, a church facility here. Shannon passed away several weeks ago. .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

“PHILOMENA” IS PURE PROPAGANDA

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on “Philomena,” a movie that opens today:

A half-century ago, an Irish woman gave birth to a son out-of-wedlock, and gave him up for adoption; he was born in an abbey, a venue that allowed the mother to avoid being stigmatized.

There is nothing particularly startling about this, other than the fact that film reviewers are now all aghast about the “horrors” these fallen women experienced; many are making reference to the Magdalene Laundries. As I detailed earlier this year, it’s bunk [click here]. Those who are neither scholars nor principled observers have swallowed this propaganda, so debased is their appetite for anti-Catholic fare.

There is one reviewer who is exceptionally fair, Kyle Smith of the New York Post. He is worth quoting at length:

“The film doesn’t mention that in 1952 Ireland, both mother and child’s life would have been utterly ruined by an out-of-wedlock birth and that the nuns are actually giving both a chance at a fresh start and that both, indeed, in real life, enjoyed. No, this is a diabolical-Catholic film, straight up.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Former staff at St William's claim some abuse allegations are fictitious

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

Former staff at St William's school in North Yorkshire say they believe that some of the allegations of abuse are fictitious.

Almost 200 claims have been lodged against the Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle Catholic Order of brothers.

Abuse allegations first came out in the 1990's after the conviction of former teacher Father Anthony McCallen. Jailed for two years for indecent assault and taking indecent pictures of young boys .

That trial prompted allegations against another brother James Carragher, the school principal. He was to be convicted in two separate trials for abusing boys in his care and jailed for a total of 21 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Afternoon’s testimony from Iqaluit courthouse

CANADA
Sylvia's Site

Some details of the afternoon’s testimony at the Iqaluit court house and the sex abuse trial of Father Eric Dejager:

(1) In the afternoon a male testified that when he was a boy Father Eric Dejager ‘raped’ his dog (buggered his dog?) and afterwards sodomized him,(the witness). The witness testified that Dejaeger put him on the table in the furnace room of the church. A nail pierced his chest. He still has the scar. The scar was shown in court.

He told the court that, after his friend was also sodomized by Dejager, his friend bled from the rectum. That friend committed suicide years later

The witness described in graphic detail how he was forced to give Dejaeger oral sex.

He testified that after Dejaeger left Igloolik his father shot Dejaeger’s dog. The dog had apparently been abandoned by Dejaeger;

The witness broke down in tears frequently throughout his testimony;

(4) Father Dejaeger’s lawyer ensured those testifying did not have to face Dejaeger as they testified;

(5) Dejaeger has apparently become quite animated and is passing notes to his lawyer. I am told he appears fit and well. He is very attentive. At times his face reddens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

What CD, CN and CM Said (Or: O’Neill’s Whip)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse third “case study” hearing has received witness statements from three more victims of the North Coast Children’s Home in New South Wales state. The Home was run by the Anglican Church, known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England.

It has previously been revealed that the offences were horrendous, and that the local church officials attempted to avoid responsibility for the Home. The chief offenders in this regard were former bishop, Keith Slater, and former administrator, Pat Comben. It has also been revealed that the head of the Anglican Church in Australia, Phillip Aspinall, tried to avoid responsibility for the actions of the local officials by claiming he had no authority over them.

Victim “CD” told the enquiry that sexual, physical and psychological abuse began when he was six years old. He told of witnessing other children being abused, including the rape of a girl by older boys. “She was there, naked and crying, and I couldn’t do or say anything, for fear of being bashed up.” CD also told of being taken away for a weekend at the age of seven or eight by a staff member who sexually abused him

The girl who “CD” was referring to was “CN”, whose statement was read to the hearing. She described her reaction on being admitted to the Home at the age of seven, in the 1950s. “It smelt terrible, like faeces, and there was vomit on the ground. I could see about twenty-odd children, all dirty. It was horrific. I felt that I couldn’t protect myself or my sister … I was told, and I heard other children being told, that we were ‘dirty little heathens’”, her statement read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Pastor accused of improper relationship with a minor

PENNSYLVANIA
Herald-Standard

State police have issued an arrest warrant for a pastor accused of indecent assault among other charges related to having an alleged improper relationship with an 11-year-old girl.

According to the criminal complaint, Ray Scott Teets, 66, of Uniontown has been charged with three felony counts of corruption of minors, concealment of the whereabouts of a child, three counts of luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure, three counts of indecent assault, unlawful restraint of a person, interference with custody of children, three counts of unlawful contact with a minor, three counts of stalking, three misdemeanor counts of corruption of minor, and three counts of criminal trespass.

The criminal complaint said Teets is pastor at Fallen Timbers Community Church on Morgantown Avenue in Springhill Township.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Fayette pastor accused of indecent contact with girl

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Liz Zemba

Published: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013

The pastor of a Fayette County church is accused of indecent sexual contact with the 11-year-old daughter of one of his former congregants.

Ray Scott Teets, 66, of South Union is charged by state police at Uniontown with indecent assault, unlawful restraint, interference with custody of children, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor, concealing the whereabouts of a child, child luring, stalking and criminal trespass.

The girl, her mother and her mother's fiance were members of a church listed as Fallen Timbers Community Church on Fallen Timbers Road in Springhill in an affidavit of probable cause. Teets is the pastor at Fallen Timbers Community Chapel at that address.

As he was leaving the office of Masontown District Judge Randy Abraham, Teets said the charges were “outrageous.”

Abraham set bail at $250,000. Teets told the judge he has a 1986 conviction for child sexual abuse in Maryland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

How Many More ‘Pious’ Sex Abusers Are There?

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Press

By: Harry Maryles Published: November 22nd, 2013

It seems we have an epidemic on hand. Sex abuse seems to be more prevalent today than at any time in history. Or is it…?

My guess is that it is as prevalent today as it was in the past. It has always been an epidemic. The difference today is that we know about it. The media is all over it and the internet spreads the word widely and quickly. Everyone knows about it instantly.

And thank God for that. I say ‘Thank God’ even though it makes the Torah world look bad by being no different than other communities that have these problems. But ‘knowledge is power’. Now that we know more we can do more to prevent it and to help survivors better deal with it.

Although we have a long way to go, things have been slowly changing for the better as some survivors have come forward to expose their abusers and testify against them in court. And major Orthodox religious organizations like the RCA and the OU have publicly supported reporting abuse to the police immediately. Even Agudah and Lakewood support it in theory as long as you consult with a rabbi first. (That this is woefully inadequate is beyond the scope of this post.) The only religious groups who outright forbid it are major Chasidic enclaves like Satmar, Ger, and Toldos Aharon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Letter warned of cover-up

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Nov. 22, 2013

HISTORICAL Newcastle Anglican diocese files alleging ‘‘falsification of records’’, including those of child sex offender priest Allan Kitchingman, were found this year and referred to police, an explosive statement to the royal commission into child abuse has said.

Diocese professional standards director Michael Elliott has told the commission about an anonymous 2002 letter which said the ‘‘disappearance’’ of Kitchingman from a clergy list in 1968 and his subsequent move to the Grafton diocese ‘‘could today be construed as a type of cover-up’’.

‘‘This ‘disappearance’ was deliberate,’’ the letter said.

In 1968 Kitchingman was convicted of an indecent assault on a male, although the commission heard on Monday ‘‘such an act is no longer a criminal offence’’.

He became chaplain to the North Coast Children’s Home at Lismore where he sexually abused a boy, 13, in 1975. He was convicted and jailed in 2002. Despite the jail sentence his name remained on the Newcastle diocese clergy list from 2002 to 2007.

The anonymous 2002 letter accused the diocese of matters that were ‘‘reported to superiors, then dealt with quietly’’, including the case of Kitchingman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Lawsuit accuses former South Dakota friar of child abuse

SOUTH DAKOTA/MINNESOTA
Argus Leader

Written by
John Hult

The movement by church officials of a deceased friar accused of molesting children in South Dakota and Minnesota has resulted in a lawsuit under a recently passed law that extends the statute of limitations in latent abuse cases.

The case against James Vincent Fitzgerald was made possible by the passage this year of the Minnesota Child Victims Act, according to Twin Cities lawyer Jeff Anderson.

Anderson represents a victim of Fitzgerald’s, who is identified as “Doe 19” in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Ramsey County against the Diocese of Crookston and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

“It opens up the courthouse for victims to bring actions against the ones who permitted the abuses,” Anderson said, adding the Doe case represents the first claim made under the new Minnesota law.

Fitzgerald abused two Native American children in the late 1960s when working at the Indian Mission in Sisseton under the scope of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, the complaint said, and was transferred to Squaw Lake, Minn., in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Child Sex Abuse Allegations At Holy Redeemer Head Start Program

FLORIDA
CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An unnamed teacher at a Catholic run pre-school is under investigation for allegedly sexually abusing a 3-year old.

According to a Miami-Dade Police spokesman, authorities were called to the Holy Redeemer Head Start Program.

Thursday the Archdiocese of Miami issued the following statement:

“Today the Archdiocese of Miami’s administrators learned of an allegation of sexual abuse by a teacher at the Catholic Charities’ Head Start Early Childhood Development Center, located at Holy Redeemer Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Police Investigating Sexual Abuse Allegation ...

FLORIDA
NBC South Florida

[with video]

Police Investigating Sexual Abuse Allegation Against Head Start Teacher at Holy Redeemer Church, Archdiocese of Miami Says

Miami-Dade Police are investigating an allegation of sexual abuse against a Head Start teacher at Holy Redeemer Church in northwest Miami-Dade, the Archdiocese of Miami said Thursday.

Archdiocese administrators learned of the allegation involving a teacher at Catholic Charities’ Head Start Early Childhood Development Center, which is located at the church at 1301 Northwest 71st St., on Thursday.

When Catholic Charities’ administrators learned of the allegation, they reported it to the Department of Children and Families, Archdiocese of Miami spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta said in a statement. Administrators are also fully cooperating with the police investigation, she said.

Police interviewed a teacher, who was cooperative, and she has since been released, Miami-Dade Police spokesman Det. Roy Rutland said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Catholics back compo scheme for abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
SBS

[with audio]

By Ildi Amon
Source World News Australia Radio

The head of the Catholic church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council says the days of the church investigating sexual abuse complaints against itself are over.

The internal process used by the Catholic Church to deal with sexual abuse claims will be the subject of public hearings in Sydney next month.

The Royal Commission will examine the application of the scheme known as Towards Healing.

Truth, Justice and Healing Council chief executive Francis Sullivan says Towards Healing was an improvement on the previous arrangements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Shreveport pastor indicted on federal charges

LOUISIANA
KSLA

[with video]

By Carolyn Roy

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
A Shreveport pastor has been arrested after he was reportedly indicted on federal sex crimes charges.

The FBI confirms that Pastor Andre Lewis is charged with three counts of transporting a child over state lines with intent to engage in sexual acts.

Lewis, pastor of Act on Faith Ministries on Hollywood Avenue, is expected to have a detention hearing in federal court on Monday.

Lewis was arrested early Wednesday morning at his home in the 6200 block of Snowden Drive in the Mooretown neighborhood.

Early Thursday the FBI confirmed that an arrest was made, but according to the clerk at the federal courthouse, the indictment was sealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Anglican Church abuse compensation not motivated by suffering, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ashleigh Raper and Thomas Oriti

A lawyer for the Anglican Church has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse the decision to compensate a group of abuse victims was not motivated by their suffering.

Peter Roland was employed by the Anglican Diocese of Grafton.

He was the Diocese's legal representative when a group of former residents from the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore wanted compensation for allegedly being sexually and physically abused.

This latest phase of the Royal Commission is looking into the response from the Diocese to the allegations and how it handled the group claim.

During a tense exchange, Counsel Assisting the Commission, Simeon Beckett asked Mr Roland the motivation behind offering compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Money squirrelled away at 'poor' diocese

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

By Annette Blackwell, AAP
Updated November 22, 2013

The former registrar of the Anglican diocese at the centre of a child abuse inquiry has admitted lying about church finances to Richard "Tommy" Campion, who had started a group claim against the church.

Pat Comben, a former Queensland education and environment minister, said when he became registrar at Grafton in 2004, he didn't find the financial position as bad as he'd been led to believe.

During his time as registrar former residents of the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore began to come forward with horrific tales of abuse at the hands of clergy and workers at the orphanage.

Mr Comben, a former clergyman, on Friday told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he found money "squirrelled away" at the diocese - $50,000 here, $100,000 there in different accounts.

About $2 million was available at the beginning of 2006, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

When hell is a children's home

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Annette Blackwell, AAP
November 22, 2013

This is a true story about money, power, sex and religion.

It is about a time when bishops reigned supreme in the Protestant church.

It tells of a hell-hole where decade after decade children were flogged with canes, pony whips and belts until they bled.

It is a horror story about how the very young were often raped by pastors and others and sometimes subjected to pseudo-religious sexual rituals.

For a while there was a grand entrance sign proclaiming the bleak place a Church of England home.

The story is set not in medieval Europe but in a sunny corner of NSW at a time when other Australians were listening to John Farnham singing Sadie (The Cleaning Lady) or INXS belting out Don't Change.

Through a labyrinthine trail of documents and evidence from seemingly good-hearted professional people who work for the Anglican Church, those attending the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse are piecing the terrible tale together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

New abuse suit filed against Crookston diocese; Accusations focus on priest with area reservation ties

MINNESOTA
Bemidji Pioneer

Stephen J. Lee
Forum News Service

CROOKSTON — A member of the White Earth Band of Chippewa sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Crookston on Thursday, alleging a priest working under the diocese’s authority sexually abused him when he was 8 and 9 years old on the White Earth Indian Reservation.

Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul attorney who has won hundreds of millions of dollars suing Catholic dioceses in sex abuse cases over the past 20 years, held a news conference at the Polk County Courthouse in Crookston, where the lawsuit was filed Thursday.

He said he has information that the Rev. J. Vincent Fitzgerald, who died in 2009, sexually abused at least four young people from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s while serving as a priest on Indian reservations in South Dakota and Minnesota.

The four alleged victims include two within the Crookston diocese: a boy on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation near Bemidji in the 1970s and “John Doe 19” at White Earth in the mid-1980s. He also has information that Fitzgerald sexually abused two youths in the 1960s in South Dakota, Anderson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

November 21, 2013

Baylor president writes letter of support for child molester

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

Tucked away in a Washington Post article last month was the news that Baylor University’s president Ken Starr wrote a letter of support on behalf of a child molesting school teacher.

Baylor is the largest Baptist university in the world, and Ken Starr is the man at the top. Formerly, Starr served as a federal judge, as the United States Solicitor General, and as a special prosecutor during the presidency of Bill Clinton.

The child molester who inspired Starr’s letter is Christopher Kloman. For nearly 30 years, Kloman taught at the elite Potomac School in Virginia, which Starr’s own daughter attended.

Faced with multiple accusations of having molested female students, Kloman pled guilty last summer to four counts of indecent liberties with a child younger than 14 and one count of abduction with intent to defile.

At Kloman’s sentencing hearing in October, five victims provided what was described as “harrowing”accounts of the sexual abuse they suffered as kids and of the long-lasting impact it had on their lives. One woman testified that school officials had been informed about Kloman’s conduct, but that they merely sent him for counseling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 PM

Latest archdiocese lawsuit: Maryland treatment facility

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert | 11/19/13
Today in pedophilia … Richard Meryhew and Tony Kennedy of the Strib write: “Lawyers filed suit Tuesday morning in St. Paul against a Catholic-run treatment facility that cared for an abusive priest who then was sent to a new parish where he allegedly targeted a 10-year-old boy for years of repeated abuse. Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul attorney who filed the suit on behalf of “Doe 27,” said it is the first lawsuit under Minnesota’s new Child Victims Act to name St. Luke Institute as a defendant. The facility in Silver Spring, Md., has been a destination for the treatment of Minnesota Catholic monks and priests who have been accused of sexual abuse of children, other sexual misconduct and addiction. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville are also being sued in the case.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Court told priest's sex abuse hurt relationships with woman's parents, husband

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

IQALUIT, Nunavut - A witness at a child sex abuse trial in the Arctic wept as she described how her relationship with her parents and husband has been damaged by what she says happened to her.
The woman was testifying Thursday against Eric Dejaeger, who faces 69 charges going back to his time as a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut, more than 30 years ago.

BORDERLINE: GRAPHIC CONTENT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS

"My husband is a good man," the woman told court. "But when it comes to sexual things, we argue and we fight.

"If he would touch me in a way Eric did, I start yelling and getting mad."

The woman said Dejaeger would pluck her from among the children playing and colouring in the church in Igloolik. He would sit her on his lap, she said, and fondle her while moving his legs underneath her and massaging himself.

"He didn't talk to me," she said. "He'd just breathe hard and say, 'Relax.'"

She said the assaults went on for at least three years, until she was eight years old.

"I was just a kid," she said. "I didn't know what he was doing."

By the time she was 12, other family members realized she was acting strangely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Diocese of Crookston faces more allegations of sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
WDAZ

By: Victor Correa, WDAZ

The Diocese of Crookston is facing more allegations of child sexual abuse, this time on various reservations in Minnesota and South Dakota.

At a news conference Thursday attorney Jeff Anderson announced a lawsuit on behalf of a victim being identified only as Doe 19.

Father J. Vincent Fitzgerald is being accused of sexually abusing children on White Earth, Leech Lake, and Lake Travers reservations. Doe 19 claims father Fitzgerald sexually abused him when he was eight or nine years old in 1984 on the White Earth Indian reservation in Naytahwaush, MN. At that time Doe 19 was Fitzgerald's 4th victim. While Fitzgerald is now deceased, Anderson is taking action against the Diocese of Crookston, claiming Fitzgeral's abuse was known but rather than having him removed he was instead relocated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Member of White Earth Band of Chippewa sues Crookston Diocese

MINNESOTA
Grand Forks Herald

By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

CROOKSTON — A member of the White Earth Band of Chippewa sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Crookston Thursday, alleging a priest working under the diocese’s authority sexually abused him when he was 8 and 9 years old on the White Earth Indian Reservation.

Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul attorney who has won hundreds of millions of dollars suing Catholic dioceses in sex abuse cases the past 20 years, held a news conference at the Polk County Courthouse in Crookston where the lawsuit was filed Thursday.

He said he has information that the Rev. J. Vincent Fitzgerald, who died in 2009, sexually abused at least four young people from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s while serving as a priest on Indian reservations in South Dakota and Minnesota.

The four victims include two within the Crookston diocese: a boy on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation near Bemidji in the 1970s and “John Doe 19” at White Earth in the mid-1980s. He also has information that Fitzgerald sexually abused two youths in the 1960s in South Dakota, Anderson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

46 Years Later, Memories Of Abuse At Hands Of OLM Priest Still Haunt

RHODE ISLAND/CONNECTICUT
Patch

Posted by Elizabeth McNamara (Editor) , November 21, 2013

When victims of sexual abuse by priests gathered this week in Providence, at least two of them were there because of abuse they say they suffered while growing up in East Greenwich.

Helen McGonigle lived on Dale Hill Drive from 1967 to 1973 and was abused by Fr. Brendan Symth, who was serving at Our Lady of Mercy during those years. Jeffrey Thomas, who grew up nearby to McGonigle, was also sexually abused by Smyth.

Smyth, who was convicted of 141 cases of sexual assault in Ireland, died in an Irish prison in 1994. His story is well known in Ireland and the U.K. but remains much less so here in Rhode Island. The Catholic Diocese of Providence does not release information about Smyth.

McGonigle and Thomas were in Providence on Wednesday in support of victims of more recent abuse. In particular, they were protesting the Catholic Diocese of Providence’s failure to report more than 800 cases of sexual abuse to the R.I. State Police in the past 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Man Claims Priest Abused Him at White Earth Indian Reservation

MINNESOTA
KSTP

By: Scott Theisen

A Minnesota man who claims he was abused by a priest on the White Earth Indian Reservation is suing the Diocese of Crookston and the priest's religious order.

The man is identified in the lawsuit as Doe 19. He claims he was 8 or 9 years old when a priest at St. Anne's in Naytahwaush sexually abused him in 1984. The priest wasn't criminally charged. He died in 2009.

The lawsuit says the priest was accused of molesting three children before going to St. Anne's. It says the Crookston Diocese and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, United States Province religious order should've known he was dangerous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Lawsuit accuses Minn. priest of abuse on White Earth Reservation

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
November 21, 2013

MOORHEAD, Minn. — A lawsuit filed Thursday against the Catholic diocese of Crookston, Minn., and a Catholic missionary organization alleges sexual abuse of children by a priest.

The Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald was transferred to the White Earth Reservation in 1984 and soon after abused an eight- or nine-year-old boy, according to the lawsuit. Fitzgerald died in 2009.

The defendants knew about a pattern of abuse and failed to stop it, attorney Jeff Anderson said. "We're really seeking a public disclosure and revelation of secrets that have long been kept and hoping to get the Catholic bishops in all the dioceses in Minnesota to come clean and become both transparent and do outreach," he said.

There are allegations of sexual abuse against Fitzgerald dating to the 1960s, Anderson added.

The lawsuit was filed against the Catholic Diocese of Crookston and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a Catholic missionary organization. Its missionaries began working on Minnesota American Indian reservations in 1923 and continue today, according to the order's website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Man claims priest abused him at White Earth

MINNESOTA
KTTC

[Doe 19 Summons and Complaint
Fitzgerald Timeline
Doe 19 Statement
2010 S.D. Complaint
J. Vincent Fitzgerald Photo]

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota man who claims he was abused by a priest on the White Earth Indian Reservation is suing the Diocese of Crookston and the priest's religious order.

The man is identified in the lawsuit as Doe 19. He claims he was 8 or 9 years old when a priest at St. Anne's in Naytahwaush sexually abused him in 1984. The priest wasn't criminally charged. He died in 2009.

The lawsuit says the priest was accused of molesting three children before going to St. Anne's. It says the Crookston Diocese and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, United States Province religious order should've known he was dangerous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Jeers to..... more news of abuse through the Diocese

MINNESOTA
Crookston Times

[Doe 19 Summons and Complaint
Fitzgerald Timeline
Doe 19 Statement
2010 S.D. Complaint
J. Vincent Fitzgerald Photo]

There will be a press conference Thursday in Crookston in regards to another civil suit to be filed under the Child Victims Act, this time involving sexual abuse on a reservation.

The announcement involves the White Earth Indian Reservation in Naytahwaush on behalf of a man who attended St. Ann's Parish. This lawsuit, again, names the Diocese of Crookston, alleging negligence in placing the accused Father J. Vincent Fitzgerald in parishes and communities where he had access to children even after learning that he was a child molester.

This is the first time that Fitzgerald's name has been publicly released in Minnesota.

He allegedly abused children on three reservations, including orphaned children on the Lake Traverse Reservation, as part of the Sisseton, South Dakota Indian Mission. Fitzgerald is deceased and held positions in the Diocese of Duluth, Diocese of Crookston, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and others in Illinois, Oregon, Missouri, and South Dakota.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

New trial ordered in Pella pastor's case

IOWA
Ottumwa Courier

By MATT MILNER
Courier staff writer

PELLA — Iowa’s Court of Appeals has granted a former Pella pastor a new trial, saying the district court erred.

Patrick Edouard was pastor of Covenant Reformed Church in Pella. He was convicted of multiple counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor after four women from his congregation accused him of engaging in sexual acts. Edouard’s defense said he was not a “counselor or therapist,” providing mental health services, and thus could not be guilty of the exploitation charges. He admitted to engaging in sexual conduct with the women.

Iowa law defines a counselor or therapist as anyone “who provides or purports to provide mental health services.” That can include members of the clergy. But critical terms in the law are undefined, including “treatment,” “assessment” and “counseling.”

A previous ruling from the Iowa Supreme Court held that “strictly personal relationships involving the informal exchange of advice,” did not constitute the counseling role needed for the charge. The district court didn’t include the definition of counseling from that decision in jury instructions, though, and the appeals court says that was a mistake that abused the district court’s discretion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Court orders new trial for Iowa pastor in sex case

IOWA
Seattle PI

By RYAN J. FOLEY, Associated Press
Published 9:38 am, Wednesday, November 20, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa pastor accused of sexually preying on female members of his congregation was improperly convicted of sexual exploitation and must receive a new trial, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The Iowa Court of Appeals overturned a verdict that found Patrick Edouard, former pastor at Covenant Reform Church in Pella, guilty of four counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor and one count of having a pattern or scheme to sexually exploit. An improper jury instruction undermined Edouard's defense in which he admitted to sexual conduct with the women but denied acting as their counselor, the court ruled.

Edouard, 44, has been free on bond while appealing his conviction, which was returned by a Dallas County jury last year. Under the sentence vacated Wednesday, he would have faced up to five years in prison and, upon release, a 10-year mandatory term of supervision as a sex offender.

The Iowa Attorney General's Office, which has assisted Marion County in prosecuting the case, will ask the Iowa Supreme Court to review Wednesday's decision to reinstate the conviction and sentence, spokesman Geoff Greenwood said. But justices do not have to review the 3-0 ruling.

If the ruling stands, prosecutors would need to decide whether to retry him. At any retrial, the appeals court said that an expert witness that would help Edouard's defense must be allowed to testify after being unfairly excluded from the first.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Pastor's sexual exploitation conviction reversed on appeal

IOWA
Des Moines Register

Written by
Grant Rodgers

A former Pella pastor who admitted in court that he had sexual contact with four parishioners will get a new trial, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

After a 10-day trial, Patrick Edouard, 44, was convicted in August 2012 of four counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist and one count of pattern, practice or scheme to engage in sexual exploitation.

Edouard was charged after four parishioners of the Covenant Reformed Church in Pella reported that he had “repeatedly engaged in sex acts with them,” court papers said.

The court’s decision further erodes the sexual exploitation statute that was meant to protect potential victims, said Elizabeth Barnhill, executive director of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault. It could now be time for the Iowa lawmakers to review and strengthen the statute, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Witness testifies but can’t face accused in Nunavut sex assault trial

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

Sometimes it’s hard just to walk through the courtroom door, let alone describe in detail the traumas of childhood.

Muttering profanities outside the door and then hiding her face inside a hoodie as she passed Eric Dejaeger — the man accused by dozen of witnesses of child sexual assault in Igloolik from 1978 to 1982 — the next in a long line of witnesses for the prosecution took the stand at the Nunavut Court of Justice Nov. 20.

Avoiding all eye contact, the woman, 36, sat down and looked left, away from Dejaeger and his lawyer, Malcolm Kempt.

“I don’t want to say his name,” she said when Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss asked who she worked for at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Igloolik.

Dejaeger, a Belgian-born Oblate missionary who became a Canadian citizen in the 1970s, has already served a five-year prison sentence imposed in 1990 after he was found guilty of sex crimes which occurred in Baker Lake between 1982 and 1989.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

Editorial: Don't ignore clergy in effects of pornography

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

NCR Editorial Staff | Nov. 21, 2013

EDITORIAL Thirty-seven percent of male clergy of various faith traditions report Internet pornography as "being a current struggle," and 57 percent of that group report compulsive Internet pornography use, according to a paper, "The Internet and Pornography," delivered during a 2012 symposium on clergy sexual abuse sponsored by the Vatican at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Representatives of 110 national bishops' conferences and 30 religious orders attended that symposium.

"The most significant signs of this vulnerability are issues related to loneliness and isolation, the lack of self-care, higher expectations of themselves, entitlement, and lack of education about this aspect of the Internet," the paper said.

The paper notes that research on clergy and pornography use is too scant to make wide generalizations, and that no research on Roman Catholic clergy could be found, but initial impressions from the research that is available support a need for more study and seem "to suggest that clergy in the Roman Catholic Church will need better training and education on this issue."

In July 2011, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, commonly called the Dallas Charter, was updated to include child pornography in its definition of sexual abuse against a minor, a change necessitated by a similar change in canon law. The latest annual audit of diocesan compliance with the Dallas Charter found in the audit period (July 2011 to June 2102) that five clerics were removed from ministry solely because of allegations of possession of child pornography. That was about 2 percent of all allegations, but pornography is involved in a much higher percentage of all cases of sexual abuse of a minor by clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Man who sued Twin Cities archdiocese for abuse turns anger into change

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune Updated: November 20, 2013

Al Michaud gives a voice to outrage with Catholic Church.

Al Michaud couldn’t believe the reaction.

He had just told the Rev. Kevin McDonough, the vicar general of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, that he’d been molested as a teen by a local Catholic priest. McDonough pulled out the priest’s file, Michaud recalled, and began to cry.

The Rev. Jerome Kern had allegedly groped and fondled at least two boys nearly a decade before he had molested Michaud in a pool at the St. Paul Seminary, and the archdiocese had a file on it. As a visibly shaken McDonough apologized, he told Michaud to give him a few weeks to take action on Kern, who was still in the ministry. “I thought I had an ally,” Michaud said.

But when Michaud called two weeks later, he remembers a completely different tone. He said McDonough acted as though he didn’t remember the conversation and told Michaud to pursue the case through other channels.

Michaud was stunned then. He’s even angrier now.

Two decades after that meeting and nearly 37 years after Kern sexually assaulted him, Michaud wants justice — and a face-to-face explanation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Witness says priest raped her in church building

CANADA
Bay Today

IQALUIT, Nunavut - A witness at the trial of a former priest accused of sex abuse against children in the Arctic has testified that he used to pluck her out of a group of playing children and rape her.

She told an Iqaluit court that Eric Dejaeger (deh'-YAY'-guhr) would take her to a dark corner of a room in the church building where her friends were colouring pictures.

She said the one-time Oblate missionary used to fondle her and force her to do the same to him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

ME - Just-suspended priest worked in Maine

MAINE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

He allegedly shared porn with children
Wisconsin police are investigating the case
And Catholic officials say it could be a felony
Victims group calls for outreach to “victims, witnesses & whistleblowers”

For immediate release: Thursday Nov 21, 2013

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

A priest who worked at a Portland Catholic church for a decade has been suspended from his job in Wisconsin and is being investigated by police for “questionable use of Facebook.”

Milwaukee archdiocesan officials say the allegations “would likely result in a felony charge.” A parishioner says the cleric is “accused of using his Facebook account to share pornography, primarily with adults, but occasionally with minors.”

[Kenosha News]

Fr. Ireneusz Chodakowski allegedly rebuffed a parish employee’s requests that he “make changes in the video content of his Facebook account,” apparently to prevent minors from seeing “pornographic images [Chodakowski] was distributing.”

From 1998-2009, Fr. Chodakowski headed St. Louis Catholic church in Portland. According to a church website, he was reportedly also assigned to work at a Catholic school in Thomson, Connecticut.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

MO - Judge rules against archbishop

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

And new allegations made in clergy sex case
Amended lawsuit includes alarming details
A second top archdiocesan staffer is named
Carlson intended to foil civil lawsuit, it says

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will announce that a judge is letting a high profile clergy sex abuse case - charging recent child sex crimes and cover ups by Catholic officials - move ahead. They will also disclose that “disturbing” new details about the case are filed in a new court filing, including

--20 new paragraphs about the abuse and top church officials involvement in it,
--a new “count” or charge against St. Louis’ archbishop (“spoilation”), and
--the name of a new bishop – not linked to the case before – who sent the priest to the victim.

It also includes new allegations, not made before, including that Archbishop Robert Carlson

--called the accused priest “often while the priest was in the victim’s home,”
--gave the accused priest permission to perform mass at the victim’s home,
--received a complaint that the accused was babysitting the victim’s siblings,
--ordered a church investigation into the complaint,
--told the priest to stay away from the family “until the investigation cleared him,”
--intentionally tried to “disrupt or defeat” a potential lawsuit, and
--“chose to avoid controversy” and "the result was harm to the victim."

WHEN:
TODAY, Thursday, November 21 at 2:30 pm

WHERE:
On the sidewalk in front of the “new” Cathedral at 4431 Lindell (at Newstead) in the CWE

WHO:
Four to five people who are concerned Catholics or members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

WHY:
Earlier this month, Archbishop Robert Carlson tried to have one of the most shocking clergy sex abuse and cover ups lawsuits tossed out of court. But on Tuesday, in a two page order, Judge Chris Kunza Mennemeyer decided that the case will go forward. It involves repeated child sex crimes against a teenager (as recently as last year) by a cleric very close to Carlson, Fr. Joseph Jiang.

[BishopAccountability.org]

Now, that lawsuit has been amended to include new charges and some unusual details, including that Bishop Robert Herman instructed Fr. Jiang to go to plaintiff’s home to pray over the family. (Herman has never been named in connection to this suit before.)

The amended suit also accuses Carlson of intentionally trying to “disrupt or defeat” a potential lawsuit by trying to get the victim’s parents to give him a $20,000 check that Fr. Jiang had left them. (Carlson’s move indicates “fraud and a desire to suppress the truth,” the suit says.)

Other new information and/or charges include that Fr. Jiang

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Media Advisory

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Crookston Press Conference Thursday
First civil suit to be filed under Child Victims Act involving sexual abuse on a reservation
Father J. Vincent Fitzgerald sexually abused children on White Earth, Leech Lake and Lake Traverse Reservations in Minnesota and South Dakota
Defendants include the Diocese of Crookston and Oblates of Mary Immaculate

What: At a news conference Thursday in the lobby of the Polk County Courthouse in Crookston, Lonna Hunter, a passionate advocate for Native children and sexual abuse attorney Jeff Anderson will:

• Announce the filing of a sexual abuse lawsuit on behalf a man, Doe 19, who was abused by Father J. Vincent Fitzgerald at St. Ann’s Parish in Naytawaush, Minnesota, on the White Earth Indian Reservation. The lawsuit names the Diocese of Crookston, and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate alleging they were negligent in placing Fitzgerald in parishes and communities where he had access to children even after learning that Fitzgerald was a child molester.
• Request the release of names of credibly accused and admitted child molesters from the Diocese of Crookston. This is the first time Fitzgerald’s name has been publicly released in Minnesota.
• Notify sexual abuse survivors who experienced abuse on any reservation in Minnesota that the Child Victims Act may be able to help them achieve healing and justice. Fitzgerald allegedly abused children on all three reservations, including orphaned children on the Lake Traverse Reservation as part of the Sisseton, South Dakota Indian Mission.

WHEN: Thursday November 21, 2013 at 1:00PM CST

WHERE: Inside the Crookston Courthouse
1200 Memorial Drive
Crookston, MN 56716

WHO: Lonna Hunter, an advocate for Native children who has worked tirelessly for policy and effective responses to institutional child sexual abuse. She previously worked with the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition and is currently the program coordinator the federal Office of Victims of Crime project, the Minnesota Network Legal Services for Victims of Crime at the Council on Crime and Justice. Attorney Jeff Anderson, is a St. Paul, Minnesota based attorney who, through the civil justice system, advocates nationwide for sexual abuse survivors.

Notes:
• Copies of the documents and complaint will be available at www.andersonadvocates.com.
• Fitzgerald is deceased and held positions in the Diocese of Duluth, Diocese of Crookston, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Diocese of Springfield (IL), Diocese of Belleville (IL), Diocese of Sioux Falls, Archdiocese of Portland (OR) and the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau (MO).

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Cell: 612.817.8665 Office: 651.237.5143
Lonna Hunter: Cell: 651.442.3253

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Survey – In preparation for Synod on the Family October 2014

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Take the Survey Now

In preparation for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family to be held 5th – 19th October 2014, the Vatican has asked national bishops’ conferences around the world to seek the opinions of Catholics on a number of church teachings including contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce.

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, asked the bishops’ conferences to commence a survey “immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received.”

We are aware that the Vatican document is difficult to complete, so we are presenting here a version that is as close as we can make it to the original, but is such that we believe will made this canvass of views more readily available to a greater number. We suggest that you fill it in either as individuals or as groups. The important thing is that it represents the livid experience of as many people, single, couples, families, in our Church.

We acknowledge the help of our friends in the reform movement in the United States in the preparation of this survey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

N.J. priest is gone, now the church must reform: Opinion

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Tim Schmalz

Two months ago, news broke that a priest in the Diocese of Trenton had been exchanging sexually charged text messages with someone he thought was a 16-year-old boy.

I was that fictitious boy.

Matthew Riedlinger was an assistant pastor at St. Aloysius Church in Jackson. In 2011, I and another Catholic University of America student complained to Trenton Bishop David M. O’Connell that Riedlinger had sexually harassed us and other young men repeatedly for years. In the summer of 2012, we posed as a 16-year-old boy on Face­book and set up a sting.

Within two weeks of the first contact, Riedlinger talked about pornography, mutual masturbation and sexual encounters. And, he wanted to meet “me.”

In August 2012, we gave transcripts of the conversations to O’Connell, who removed Riedlinger from the parish, but the bishop did not tell parishioners of the allegations against Riedlinger for more than a year — until Sept. 21, after being told The Star-Ledger would be publishing a story on the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Dominican Republic Prosecutors Conclude Papal Nuncio Sexually Abused Boys

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Hispanically Speaking

Dominican Republic prosecutors investigating former Archbishop and Papal Nuncio Jozef Wesolowski, on allegations of child sexual abuse, have concluded he sexually abused at least five boys under the age of 15.

Last fall, a local news program aired allegations that Wesolowski had paid to have sex with minor boys in the capital city of Santo Domingo. The investigative report also indicated Wesolowski was a regular vistor to the Zona Colonial area of Santo Domingo where he was seen drinking and paying for sex in open areas of the Zona.

Wesolowski, 65, had been representing Vatican interests in the predominantly Catholic country for the last six years, when these allegations surfaced. The Polish priest was ordained by then Bishop Karol Wojtyla who later became Pope John II and will soon become a saint.

The Catholic priest has been under investigation by Dominican authorities after the abuse allegations surfaced and officially removed from his duties by the Vatican in August.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Comment: Church deserves praise, not approbation

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

The suspension of a priest is the correct course of action to follow as inquiry gets under way, writes Michael Kelly

CONFUSION and misunderstanding, rather than righteous anger, are at the root of protests by his parishioners at the suspension of Fr Matthew Despard while a penal judicial process is undertaken into the way he made his allegations over homosexual bullying in the Catholic Church. Although he wrote his book, Priesthood in Crisis, in 2010 he did not self-publish it on Amazon until April this year. The memoir reflects his own experiences of being solicited by gay priests and the anger he genuinely felt at these abuses continuing in the Church.

However, a number of individuals named, including laity as well as clergy, took exception to the ways in which they had been portrayed and petitioned for the book to be removed from publication. It was, suggesting that at least some of the complainants had advanced compelling cases in law.

Clearly, such allegations as 
Fr Despard made deserve thorough and detailed examination by the Church and, if upheld, for action to be taken. An investigation is also necessary to satisfy those who feel wronged by the book. That process is just beginning. But first the Church wants to examine the way in which Fr Despard brought his claims to the attention of the public. It is suggested that he should have used the Church’s own procedures to have the matters investigated, as did the four priests who anonymously made complaints to the Holy See about Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

Possibly better versed in the legal process and procedures, they took their allegations directly to Rome and, as a result, action was taken against the former Archbishop of Edinburgh. The seismic factor that brought their complaints to light, rather than allowing the process to be completed in private, was that Benedict XVI announced his abdication, raising the possibility that O’Brien would be voting for the new Pope. The complainants, determined to stop that, allowed their private allegations to be made public. They, in fact, achieved all of their objectives in completely removing O’Brien from all his priestly duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Father Despard has been unjustly treated and should be reinstated

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

21 November 2013

CATHOLIC Truth has been approached by some concerned parishioners in the parish of St John Ogilvie in Blantyre, deeply upset at the suspension of their priest, Father Matthew Despard.

We have supported Fr Despard - although we have never met him or had any personal contact with him - and we are willing to speak on behalf of these concerned parishioners because we believe that he is being unjustly treated by the hierarchy. Priests who admit to being homosexual are on public record disowning Catholic sexual morality in this area, and even openly work within the "gay rights" movement, yet they are allowed to remain "priests in good standing" without any sanctions imposed upon them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Diocese ‘unaware’ of priests' offences

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Nov. 21, 2013

NEWCASTLE Anglican bishop administrator Peter Stuart expressed his ‘‘deep regret’’ to the royal commission over the diocese’s lack of knowledge about two priests, in a letter he wrote earlier this month.

The diocese was unaware of ‘‘the facts, matters and circumstances’’ relating to convicted child sex offender priest Allan Kitchingman, and Canon Campbell Brown, until the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, Bishop Stuart wrote in a letter on November 14 and tendered as evidence to the commission.

The two priests are the subject of the commission’s third session of public hearings in Sydney.

Reverend Kitchingman was jailed in 2002 for sexually assaulting a boy, 13, at North Coast Children’s Home at Lismore in the 1970s.

Evidence before the commission includes that in 2005 former children’s home resident Tommy Campion alleged Canon Brown sexually abused him at the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Cathedral allegedly place for ‘less than savoury’

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Nov. 21, 2013

FORMER Newcastle Anglican Dean Graeme Lawrence was ‘‘a very powerful man’’ who allegedly ‘‘protected’’ people including possibly a convicted child sex offender priest, the royal commission has been told.

The recently defrocked Mr Lawrence was ‘‘quite a powerful person who exercised influence over even bishops’’, former diocese professional standards director Philip Gerber said yesterday.

During his time as Dean, Newcastle Anglican Cathedral became ‘‘a place where people who had less than savoury pasts were congregating’’.

‘‘There was a lot of sort of low-level information that made me very uneasy about who and what was going on at the cathedral,’’ Mr Gerber said.

It was no surprise to Mr Gerber that sex offender priest Allan Kitchingman worshipped at the cathedral after he was released from jail in 2004 for crimes committed against a 13-year-old boy at North Coast Children’s Home at Lismore in 1975.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Church let convicted pedophile stay a priest

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEMBER 22, 2013

A PEDOPHILE priest, who was twice convicted of indecently assaulting teenage boys, was never disciplined by the church and continued to worship publicly at an Anglican cathedral until October this year.

Documents tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse show the man, Allan Kitchingman, was one of three church officials able to remain priests despite the church receiving allegations they had sexually abused children.

Philip Gerber, the former professional standards director for the Anglican diocese of Newcastle, NSW, told the commission that Kitchingman continued to worship at the city's cathedral after his most recent conviction in 2002.

"There were a number of people, including the dean of the cathedral . . . who had some sort of history of misconduct or abuse that were collecting around Newcastle cathedral," Mr Gerber told the commission.

"Dean Graeme Lawrence was a very powerful man and he protected people who were in his cathedral . . . he was quite a powerful person who exercised influence over people, even bishops."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

ABC 23 News Update 2 11/21/13

PENNSYLVANIA
ABC 23

[with video]

The non profit charity, Road To Recovery, says it has been helping dozens of people who accused Baker of abusing them in his roles as teacher, coach and athletic trainer. These pare positions Baker held at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown in the nineties. Luke Bradescu was a freshman at a high school in Ohio. His mother says she learned of the allegations earlier this year and wants to know who made the call to transfer Baker to Pennsylvania. She also says she wants people who may have been abused to get the help they need....

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Come forward, abuse victims urged

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

David Hurst
dhurst@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — Barbara Aponte said she understands all too well the consequences of silence.

The Ohio woman said her son, Luke, one of hundreds from several states alleged to have been abused by Brother Stephen Baker over a 20-year period, took his own life in 2003 after years of quietly struggling to cope with it.

It’s the reason she brought his story to Johnstown on Wednesday, hopeful those struggling in silence to deal with their own abuse will see they aren’t alone – and learn from it.

“Staying silent doesn’t help. If you don’t deal with it, it will eat at you,” said Aponte, whose son was a student at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio, during Baker’s years there. “Whether it’s you or someone you know that was abused, it’s so important that you come forward so the healing process can begin.”

Aponte’s story was part of a press conference Wednesday held by New Jersey-based nonprofit Road to Recovery Inc., which contends there are perhaps hundreds across the country, including local men and women, who still have not come forward about abuse by Baker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Attorney: Open files on Baker

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

David Hurst
dhurst@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — An attorney representing 34 alleged victims of the late Brother Stephen Baker called on the local Roman Catholic diocese to “set the truth free” by releasing the former athletic trainer’s personnel files.

Boston-based attorney Mitchell Garabedian called on the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese to release “secret files” on Baker, who served as a religion teacher, sports trainer and baseball coach at McCort from 1992 to 2000 – a period when it’s alleged Baker sexually assaulted as many as 80 students.

“It’s time for the diocese to come clean,” Garabedian added, saying years of silence at McCort has wrecked countless lives. “Let’s get the truth out, so we can know who knew about this. And these victims can heal.”

Garabedian and Robert Hoatson, a former priest and co-founder of the nonprofit Road to Recovery, a New Jersey charity formed to guide sex abuse victims on a path toward healing, made the statement at a press conference from inside a suite at the downtown Johnstown Holiday Inn on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Pfarrer aus Untersuchungshaft entlassen

DEUTSCHLAND
Mittelbayerische

SENGENTHAL/NÜRNBERG. Seit 20. August war er in Untersuchungshaft gesessen, seit Freitag ist der des sexuellen Missbrauchs beschuldigte Ex-Pfarrer von Reichertshofen wieder auf freiem Fuß.

Der Anwalt des Seelsorgers hatte beim Landgericht Nürnberg-Fürth Beschwerde gegen die U-Haft seines Mandanten eingereicht, daraufhin wurde der Haftbefehl aufgehoben. Aktuell bestehe kein dringender Tatverdacht, zudem stehe Aussage gegen Aussage, so Anita Traud, Justizsprecherin der Staatsanwaltschaft Nürnberg-Fürth, auf MZ-Nachfrage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Camden diocese, accuser reach deal in clergy sex abuse case

NEW JERSEY
Courier-Post

Written by
Jim Walsh
Courier-Post

The Diocese of Camden and a Ohio man have agreed in principle to settle a lawsuit over alleged incidents of clergy sex abuse.

Mark Bryson sued the diocese in January 2012, alleging he was molested as a child by a parish priest, the late Joseph Shannon, at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden’s Cramer Hill section.

The tentative settlement was announced as the two sides sparred in court over Bryson’s claim of repressed memory, a key element in setting a legal deadline for Bryson’s suit.

Bryson, born in 1961, said he was assaulted as a first-grader at St. Anthony of Padua’s parish school. He claimed to recall the abuse in February 2010 after seeing someone who reminded him of Shannon.

The diocese challenged the validity of repressed memory and argued it should not be required to defend itself over incidents that allegedly occurred decades before.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Judge may allow release of some records in priest sex-abuse case.

CALIFORNIA
Monterey County Weekly

Mary Duan and Sara Rubin

A judge has issued a preliminary decision that the Monterey County Weekly can obtain documents in the case of Father Edward Fitz-Henry, a Catholic priest suspended amid allegations he molested a teenage parishioner at Madonna del Sasso Church in Salinas, and may have abused other young boys in the Monterey Diocese decades ago.

Monterey Superior Court Judge Tom Wills’ decision comes after the Weekly filed a motion to intervene in a suit brought by the most recent alleged victim. The man, now in his early 20s, claimed Fitz-Henry assaulted him multiple times while at Madonna del Sasso starting around 2005. The Weekly’s aim is to unseal documents filed in the case, as well as obtain other evidence like deposition transcripts.

Wills issued the preliminary ruling on Nov. 6, but it wasn’t given to reporters until Nov. 13. The Weekly broke the story online.

“We’re grateful the court’s preliminary ruling recognizes the public interest in disclosure of the information,” says Weekly attorney Roger Myers of the San Francisco firm Bryan Cave LLP. “It’s important this order be affirmed at the hearing so the public can know how the Diocese responded to the allegations against Father Fitz-Henry.”

In making his preliminary ruling, Wills ordered the deposition of Don Cline, a former Salinas cop hired by the Diocese to investigate the abuse allegations, to be redacted, meaning portions of the text will be removed or blacked out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

'John Doe' speaks out about suing Boy Scouts, LDS church

IDAHO
KTVB

[with video]

by Jamie Grey
Follow: @KTVBJamieGrey
KTVB.COM
Posted on November 20, 2013

BOISE -- A former Treasure Valley Boy Scout, a "John Doe," who's part of a lawsuit against the scouts and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is speaking exclusively to KTVB, explaining why he's suing decades after he says he was sexually abused and why he still doesn't want his identity known.

The lawsuit now includes at least a dozen men, and attorneys on the case say more are expected to join. All but one are listed as John Doe on the filing. Most say they were the victim of one man: Jim Schmidt, a former Caldwell scoutmaster who was convicted of abusing another scout in 1983.

"He seemed to love scouting. He seemed to care about the people that he led, the boys. The boys liked him. He gave us a lot of attention," Doe, the plaintiff, said.

When this John Doe was 12 and 13 years old, he says his scoutmaster sexually abused him at scout meetings held at an LDS church, at the scoutmaster's home, in the scoutmaster's car, but mostly on camping trips.

"Some of us had fathers that were very busy. Some didn't have fathers, or fathers that were absent, and Jim Schmidt filled a void in the lives of a lot of us boys," Doe said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

On Speak Out Sunday, congregations will focus on sexual abuse: Guest opinion

OREGON
The Oregonian

By David Leslie and Rev. Amy Gopp

On Nov. 24, churches, congregations and other faith communities around the country will be participating in Speak Out Sunday – an annual day set aside to raise awareness and speak out about sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). SGBV includes domestic violence, rape, sex trafficking, child sex abuse and related acts.

We are proud that the Portland area will be among the most active regions of the country on Speak Out Sunday.

Speak Out Sunday was created by WeWillSpeakOut.US, a coalition and movement led by IMA World Health designed to empower faith communities to speak out and take action to prevent and address SGBV. It is the faith community’s way of collectively amplifying the global efforts of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence held annually from Nov. 25 (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to Dec. 10 (Human Rights Day).

Why do we need Speak Out Sunday?

Two years ago, Amy traveled to eastern Congo and held the hands of women who had been savagely raped. Left for dead, they made their way to IMA World Health, which works to provide medical care, counseling, legal support and economic opportunities for women – and occasionally men – brutalized by sexual violence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Former Youth Group Leader Charged with Sexual Abuse

WEST VIRGINIA
WSAZ

MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A former youth leader at a church in Mingo County is facing sexual abuse charges.

West Virginia State Police say the suspect, 52-year-old Gary Adkins, is accused of inappropriately touching a 7-year-old female relative.

Adkins was charged Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint, the 7-year-old told investigators Adkins had sexually abused her.

The complaint says the alleged activity took place at Adkins' home along Upper Sheppard Town Road in Delbarton during the summer of 2012.

The complaint says the girl's mother told investigators she had alarming changes in behavior, including asking frequently "if she is nasty on the inside and out" and repeatedly "asking God to forgive her of all her sins."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Church 'didn't discipline pedophile'

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

An inquiry has heard of an Anglican official's regret at not taking disciplinary action against a convicted pedophile, which allowed him to continue representing himself as an ordained minister.

Reverend Allan Kitchingman was convicted in 2002 on five counts of indecently assaulting a 13-year-old boy in 1975 at the North Coast Children's Home, where he was chaplain.

He presented himself as an ordained minister in the community once he finished his jail term for indecently assaulting a teenager.

The Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining the Anglican Diocese of Grafton's response to abuse at the Lismore home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Anglican Church should have disciplined clergyman with child sex convictions, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

The Royal Commission has heard from senior officials from the Anglican Church, who've criticised the way the Grafton diocese handled complaints from the former residents of the North Coast Children's Home. The national inquiry into child sexual abuse has been told the Grafton diocese, which ran the orphanage in Lismore, was more concerned about church finances than helping abuse victims. A former head of professional standards admitted that he failed to take disciplinary action against a clergyman who was convicted and jailed for child sex offences.

Transcript

MARK COLVIN: Senior Anglican Church officials have criticised the way the Grafton Diocese in New South Wales handled abuse complaints from former residents of a Church-run children's home.

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse has been told that the diocese which ran the orphanage in Lismore was more concerned about its own finances than helping abuse victims.

The inquiry also heard that the leadership of the Grafton Diocese contributed to the mental distress of the victims who were seeking redress and compensation.

PM's Emily Bourke reports.

EMILY BOURKE: Yet more Anglican Church officials are being quizzed by the Royal Commission about how the church dealt with dozens of abuse victims from the North Coast Children's Home.

But today the inquiry also looked at how the Church handled offenders in its ranks.

Philip Gerber was a professional standards director in the dioceses of Sydney, Grafton and Newcastle. He told the commission that he regrets taking more than a year to inform police about a suspected paedophile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Victim's warnings about clergyman ....

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph

Victim's warnings about clergyman who assaulted him ignored because offender had common name, inquiry told.

MATTHEW BENNS THE TELEGRAPH NOVEMBER 21, 2013

CHILD sexual abuse victim Richard Campion's warning about a clergyman who assaulted him was ignored by the Anglican Church's standards watchdog because the offender had a common name, the royal commission into child sex abuse heard today.

Quizzed about his failure to act, Philip Gerber, former Professional Standards Director for the Dioceses of Sydney, Grafton and Newcastle, admitted: "I am very unhappy with myself."

Mr Campion's 2005 letter told how he had been sexually abused at the former North Coast Children's Home in Lismore by a Reverend Brown.

"It's not an uncommon name, it's you know, Brown," said Mr Gerber.

Counsel assisting the Royal Commission, Simeon Beckett, suggested he could have asked Mr Campion for more detail on his attacker, including his first name.

"It wouldn't have been much of a stretch would it to have actually done some research to ascertain what his name was and whether he had been licensed to officiate in the Diocese of Grafton," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Regret over church abuse claim delay

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

By Ava Benny-Morrison, AAP
Updated November 21, 2013

By not acting on a letter revealing horrific abuse at the hands of an Anglican Church clergyman, Philip Gerber admits he may have put other vulnerable children at risk.

Pressed before a royal commission on why he did not look up the offending cleric, the former professional standards director said the alleged perpetrator had a common surname - Brown.

It is in retrospect that Mr Gerber has admitted his oversight and expressed remorse at not referring the 2005 letter detailing physical and sexual abuse to police.

The letter was from Richard "Tommy" Campion, a survivor of abuse at the North Coast Children's Home at Lismore in NSW.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Youngstown Diocese receives $25 million demand regarding Brother Baker

OHIO
Youngstown Vindicator

Staff report

WARREN

The Diocese of Youngstown has received a settlement request on behalf of 25 more purported molestation victims of Brother Stephen Baker, the Franciscan friar who worked at Warren John F. Kennedy High School from 1986 to 1991.

Atty. Mitchell Garabedian of Boston sent the diocese a letter dated Oct. 17, 2013, demanding $1 million for each claim. Baker’s order, The Third Order Regular Franciscans, received a similar letter with the same demand, the Diocese said in a news release.

“The Diocese of Youngstown will follow its standard pastoral practice in this matter, as it does in any allegation of child abuse,” the diocese said.

“First, at the recommendation of the predominately lay Diocesan Review Board, the diocese will investigate each claim. If any of the claims are found to be credible, the diocese will offer financial assistance for counseling.”

Additionally, Bishop George V. Murry will meet with any victim who wants to speak with him personally, the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

More sex abuse charges lodged against RI priests

PROVIDENCE (RI)
NECN

[documents via NBC 10]

November 21, 2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A group of men and women who claim sexual abuse by priests have accused the Catholic Diocese of Providence of failing to properly investigate more than 800 allegations over the past 20 years.

The Providence Journal reports ( ) that Jeffrey Thomas of Massachusetts and Helen McGonigle, a Connecticut lawyer, said Wednesday they were raped as children.

The Diocese of Providence says it reports clergy sex abuse of minors to law enforcement and is not aware of priests currently in ministry who have "credible allegations" of sexual abuse of minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence accused of protecting sex abusers

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

BY W. ZACHARY MALINOWSKI
Journal Staff Writer
bmalinow@providencejournal.com Twitter@billmalinowski

PROVIDENCE — Victims of sexual abuse gathered for a news conference on Wednesday to condemn the Catholic Diocese of Providence for allegedly failing to properly investigate more than 800 allegations of sexual abuse over the past 20 years.

Among those presenting in a downtown hotel conference room stories of abuse by local parish priests were Ann Hagan-Webb, a representative from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP; and Jeffrey Thomas, of Massachusetts, and Helen McGonigle, a lawyer from Connecticut.

Thomas and McGonigle said they were raped as children by the Rev. Brendan Smyth, an Irish priest who was at Our Lady of Mercy Church in East Greenwich from 1965 to 1968. Smyth returned to Ireland and pleaded guilty to 141 counts of sexual abuse there. He died in prison in Ireland in 1997.
Thomas and McGonigle had made similar allegations about Smyth at a news conference in December 2009.

The victims said Wednesday they want the office of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha to launch an in-depth investigation into what they said were 831 complaints of pedophilia and sexual abuse filed with the diocese. They also said many of the abusive priests continue to serve in parishes in Rhode Island and elsewhere. ...

The Diocese of Providence issued a statement claiming they always forward allegations of sexual abuse to the state police or local law enforcement.

“It has been a consistent policy and practice of the Diocese of Providence to report many different issues including those of clergy abuse of minors to law enforcement,” the statement read. “The diocese is not aware of any priests currently in ministry, who have credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors against them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Witnesses describe drugs, threats and denial on day three of Nunavut priest trial

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

Day three of the Eric Dejaeger trial at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit heard from a witness who said she had been raped and drugged by the priest with a “little green pill” at the St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Igloolik decades ago.

The woman, who cannot be identified, told court she was about eight when the sexual assaults took place.

Even before answering Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss’s questions, the witness started wincing at having to recall specific incidents in the church.

The first memory she described took place in the church’s bedroom upstairs on a bunk bed.

“At first he asked me to get undressed. I was scared of him. He told me not to tell anybody,” the witness said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 AM

Fired Kenosha priest under police investigation

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director
CONTACT: 414.429.7259

Fr. Ireneusz Chodakowski, pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in Kenosha, has been permanently removed from his parish by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and is under police investigation.

According to the Kenosha News, an employee of the parish allegedly confronted Chodakowski about pornography being posted through his Facebook page, to or seen by minors.

While the police will not comment on what, exactly, they are investigating, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is saying that Chodakowski simply exercised “lack of good judgment” in his social media usage. How lacking? Enough for Archbishop Listecki to take the most severe, immediate action he could take against him.

Despite being under investigation and fired from his parish, Chodakowski was back posting on his Facebook page again today.

Chodakowski, a native of Poland, is a member of the Massachusetts based religious order, Marians of the Immaculate Conception (“MIC”). He was recruited and officially assigned to run St. Peter’s parish and grade school by Listecki in 2010.

Chodakowski, according to a profile posted on the order’s website, has worked as a priest in Poland and England. More recently, he was pastor of St. Louis Catholic Church in Portland, Maine from 1998-2009 where, according to the parish website, he was assigned to Thomson, Connecticut. The MIC’s operate Marianapolis Prep School in Thomson.

As is typical with the Milwaukee Archdiocese, while they have removed Chodakowski from his post and are freely pontificating on this case, they also claim to allegedly have no information or authority over Chodakowski because he is a religious order priest. Over half the priests working or living in the Milwaukee Archdiocese under Listecki belong to religious orders. Ironically, the website for St. Peter’s Parish in Kenosha states: “We are associated with other Catholic parishes under the direction of the Archbishop of Milwaukee.” Perhaps the Archbishop should inform the parish that this is, in fact, not the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 AM

Anglican Church failed to censure alleged paedophile priests

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Dan Box
From: The Australian
November 21, 2013

THE Anglican Church failed to take disciplinary action against three alleged paedophile priests - one of whom was later convicted for indecent assault - despite receiving several reports they had abused children, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard this morning.

All three men were allowed to continue to publicly describe themselves as a priest and attend worship.

One, the Reverend Campbell Brown, had a licence to officiate at church services until June this year, the commission has heard.

The former Professional Standards Director of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton in northern NSW, Phillip Gerber, told the commission he did not report allegations of abuse committed by Reverend Brown to police for over a year.

"I'm not trying to defend myself. It might have potentially ... put other people at risk, children and vulnerable people at risk. I'm appalled that my actions might have caused that," he told the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 AM

Minnetonka priest’s tenant is ex-priest who abused teen

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune Updated: November 20, 2013

Minnetonka priest has been renting townhouse to a former priest who admitted to child sex abuse in 1984.

A Catholic priest in Minnetonka who told his parishioners two weeks ago that the church needs to rid itself of priests involved in sexual misconduct and “hold those who covered it up very much accountable” has been renting his townhouse to an abusive priest since 2006.

The Rev. David Ostrowski said in an interview Wednesday that his renter, ex-priest Fran Hoefgen, has been a friend since they were monks together at St. John’s Abbey nearly 30 years ago. Ostrowski, who is pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary, said his housing relationship with Hoefgen it is merely an act of friendship.

“I know some people will see it as a criticism of me, but I was just trying to be a friend to him, that’s all,” Ostrowski told the Star Tribune.

Hoefgen admitted to police in 1984 that he sexually abused a 17-year-old boy at a parish in Cold Spring, Minn., where he served as a priest. He wasn’t charged with a crime, and church officials reassigned him to a parish in Hastings without telling parishioners about the previous abuse. On Tuesday, Hoefgen was accused in a new lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy at the Hastings parish.

Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schafer said Wednesday that his department has opened a criminal investigation into the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 AM

25 new clergy abuse claims in Ohio school case

PENNSYLVANIA
Seattle PI

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Twenty-five additional sex-abuse claims have been filed in the case of a Franciscan brother who killed himself after allegations emerged at a Catholic high school, the Youngstown Diocese said Wednesday.

The diocese said it would review the additional claims and the demand for $1 million in compensation for each alleged victim.

The alleged victims' attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, said the abuse occurred from 1985 to 1992.

The diocese and Franciscans settled 11 earlier abuse claims against the brother for $75,000 each.

If the latest claims are found credible, Bishop George Murry said the diocese would offer financial assistance for counseling.

Brother Stephen Baker killed himself Jan. 26 at St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg, Pa., after the allegations emerged at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 AM

November 20, 2013

Kenosha priest on admin. leave, being investigated by police

WISCONSIN
Fox 6

November 20, 2013, by Bret Buganski

KENOSHA (WITI) — The priest at St. Peter’s Church in Kenosha is being investigated by police, and placed on administrative leave — and Facebook may have played a role.

The Kenosha parish learned this past weekend that its priest is no longer heading the congregation.

A deacon with St. Peter’s Catholic Church has confirmed the priest was placed on administrative leave for what is being called “a lack of good judgement.”

Kenosha police say the department is investigating a case involving a priest who has been removed from the parish because of his use of Facebook — but it is unclear what specifically the priest is accused of doing on Facebook, as is who may have uncovered his alleged activities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 PM

Organization seeking answers to alleged abuse at Bishop McCort

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

Updated: Wednesday, November 20 2013

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- As the attorneys for the alleged victims of Brother Stephen Baker continue to form their cases and seek out who knew what and when, an organization that helps victims of sexual abuse is seeking the truth themselves.

Road to Recovery was in Johnstown Wednesday, urging alleged victims and anyone at Bishop McCort Catholic High School who knew something to come forward. Luke Bradescu was 29 years old when he took his life.

For 11 years, his family struggled to figure out why. "What was wrong?" his mother, Barbara Aponte asked through tears Wednesday.

"He seemed happy, he knew he was loved. We knew he loved us." It wasn't until this past January when allegations against Baker surfaced and many of Bradescu's old high school friends in Ohio came forward, that Aponte found her answer.

"The story broke and it was like a flood of images and memories, things that seemed so insignificant just popped out," said Aponte. "I was like, 'Oh my God. This is it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Catholic exorcism planned to rid Illinois of abusive priests. Correction. Same-sex marriage advocates

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
The Freethinker (UK)

BY BARRY DUKE – NOVEMBER 20, 2013

NO news is good news, so we assume that Illinois still exists, and has not been destroyed amidst roiling black clouds, fire pouring down from the heavens and people spewing pea soup – despite an exorcism that was due to take place today to protest the state’s approval of gay marriage.

I can find no reports that the exorcism by the Church’s Head Ju-Ju man in that neck of the woods actually took place. Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Springfield diocese may well have changed his mind, given the outpourings of scorn that followed his announcement last week that he would offer prayers:

Of exorcism in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage.

Paprocki is no stranger to confronting The Forces of Evil. In October Frankie’s Capped Crusader single-handedly prevented a:

Blasphemous, scandalous, and sacrilegious recitation of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the Rainbow Sash Movement within the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception before the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

According to this report:

In a culture where the concept of exorcism is primarily shaped by a 1970s horror film, the announcement stirred confusion and discomfort, which Paprocki has declined to resolve. Even the Chicago Archdiocese’s designated exorcist declined to answer questions about the public rite that is more often private.

In fact, some Catholics believe the ritual could cast off more Catholics than demons. Yesterday, 14,000 petitioners called on the bishop to cancel the event.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

I-Team: Alleged victims of abuse call for investigation of diocese

PROVIDENCE (RI)
NBC 10

[I-Team: Letters detail alleged sex abuse in diocese
I-Team: Letters raise questions about alleged sex abuse in diocese]

Updated: Nov 20, 2013
By Katie Davis

PROVIDENCE -
Alleged victims who said they were sexually abused by priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence demanded Wednesday for a full investigation by the attorney general's office and the U.S. Attorney.

In a recent investigation, the NBC 10 I-Team obtained through a records request 88 pages detailing sexual abuse by priests going back more than 30 years.

In each case, a letter detailing allegations of sexual abuse was sent to the Rhode Island State Police by the diocese.

The diocese began the practice around 2003, although there's no legal mandate requiring the letters. A total of 45 letters were sent to state police between 2003 and 2013.

The documents which were stamped "confidential" were heavily redacted by state police.

The names of priests were blacked out, even those people who are already dead. Dates and locations were blacked out. The names of the churches were blacked out too.

"This has to change if we're going to help children," said Ann Hagan Webb, who joined other victims at a news conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Providence. ...

"The red flags that remain in these letters are sufficient to cause great concern that children are at risk in this diocese," said Anne Barrett Doyle of the watchdog group Bishop Accountability.

Barrett Doyle said she believes some of the priests described in the letters may still be working in local churches, based on details that weren't blacked out by state police.

But the diocese said in its statement that's not the case.

"The diocese is not aware of any priests currently in ministry, who have credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors against them," the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Local sexual abuse victim to establish national survivors group

CANADA
The Windsor Star

Nov 20, 2013

Don Lajoie

A Windsor woman who offers support for victims of clergy sex abuse wants to expand the service nationwide.

Brenda Brunelle is seeking federal incorporation as a not-for-profit organization that would offer help to victims across Canada. She began the service in Windsor last year.

Brunelle, who was sexually abused by local priest Rev. Michael Fallone when she was a girl, sued the Catholic church four years ago and reached a settlement in 2012.

Brunelle said the local chapter of the U.S.-based international Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has helped dozens of victims come to terms with their experiences — participants come from as far away as Sarnia and Cambridge to take part in regular meetings. The first session she chaired in Toronto recently drew 16 people, despite little advance notice.

“The experience was overwhelming,” she said. “It was the first time many had ever met someone else who had been abused and the emotions were high. People were still talking in the parking lot well after the meeting ended. They didn’t want to leave. It was the rawest moment I’ve ever experienced in my life.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

IL - Springfield bishop both likes and shuns limelight, SNAP says

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013

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

Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki often seeks the media limelight to trumpet his views loudly (like with today’s exorcism). But he still quietly sits on child sex abuse allegations for weeks.

In September, Paprocki let a priest who’s accused of child sex crimes temporarily resign, instead of suspending him. Before that, however, Paprocki kept the allegations secret for weeks, giving the accused predator plenty of time to destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, discredit whistleblowers, fabricate alibis and even flee the country.

[State Journal-Register]

Weeks ago, Paprocki temporarily let Fr. Robert “Bud” DeGrand resign from his posts at Catholic parishes in Sigel, Neoga, Green Creek and Lillyville.

First, Paprocki should have suspended Fr. DeGrand. That’s what the US bishops pledged to do when credible child sex abuse reports surfaced. That’s what the US bishops’ official sex abuse policy mandates. There’s a difference between someone stepping aside and someone being TOLD to step aside. To let a credibly accused child molesting cleric decide whether to temporarily step down minimizes the horror he or she allegedly committed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 PM

Eric Dejaeger used food as lure into sexual assault, woman testifies

CANADA
CBC News

A witness testifying at the trial of a priest accused of sexual assault told a court in Iqaluit on Wednesday that the accused once used food to lure her.

The 41-year-old woman said her family in Igloolik, Nunavut, was sometimes hungry for days at a time between 1978 and 1982, the years when Eric Dejaeger was the priest in the remote community.

The Roman Catholic priest, 66, is on trial for dozens of sexual abuse charges, relating to incidents alleged to have occurred while Dejaeger was in Igloolik.

Some shocking allegations have already been made in court this week, including alleged abuse against young girls, boys and animals.

The witness this morning testified that she was sexually assaulted numerous times by Dejaeger. She told the court how her grandmother, who was raising her, often sent her to the church for a meal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Kenosha priest reportedly removed for Facebook posts

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel Nov. 20, 2013

A Catholic priest has been removed from his post at a Kenosha parish while authorities investigate his postings of videos on Facebook, the Kenosha News has reported.

The Rev. Ireneusz Chodakowski's removal was announced to parishioners at St. Peter's Catholic Church over the weekend.

Kenosha Police and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee did not immediately return telephone calls on Wednesday.

The Kenosha News quotes an anonymous parishioner as saying Chodakowski was being investigated for allegedly sharing pornography. It said a spokeswoman for the archdiocese characterized his alleged offense as "a lack of good judgment" in his use of social media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Alleged priest-abuse victims call for investigation of Providence diocese

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

November 20, 2013

BY W. ZACHARY MALINOWSKI
PROVIDENCE -- Victims of alleged sexual abuse gathered for a news conference on Wednesday to condemn the Diocese of Providence for failing to properly investigate more than 800 allegations of sexual abuse over the past 20 years.

Among those presenting harrowing tales of abuse by local parish priests were Ann Hagan-Webb, a representative from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP; and Jeffrey Thomas, of Massachusetts, and Helen McGonigle, a lawyer from Connecticut.

Thomas and McGonigle said they were raped as children by the Rev. Brendan Smyth, an Irish priest who was at Our Lady of Mercy Church in East Greenwich from 1965 to 1968. Smyth returned to Ireland and pleaded guilty to 141 counts of sexual abuse. He died in prison in 1997.

The victims said they want the office of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha to launch an in-depth investigation into the 831 complaints of pedophilia and sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

St. Peter priest removed amid investigation

WISCONSIN
Kenosha News

BY BILL GUIDA
bguida@kenoshanews.com

An ongoing investigation has led to the removal of the Rev. Ireneusz Chodakowski as pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church.

The probe, according to a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, is for Chodakowki’s alleged “lack of good judgment” regarding use of social media.

An anonymous parishioner told the Kenosha News that Chodakowski is “accused of using his Facebook account to share pornography, primarily with adults, but occasionally with minors.”

The parishioner said he was at Saturday’s Mass when the Rev. Bill Hayward read a prepared statement saying Chodakowski would be replaced by another priest “for at at least three weeks until somebody else could replace him more permanently.”

According to the parishioner, Chodakowski allegedly rebuffed a parish employee’s requests that he “make changes in the video content of his Facebook account,” apparently to prevent minors from seeing “pornographic images (Chodakowski) was distributing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Priest abruptly leaves church in Kenosha after accusations of crude Facebook posts

WISCONSIN
WTMJ

[with video]

By Jonah Kaplan

KENOSHA - A stunning change at a Catholic Church: a priest let go potentially because of his social media accounts.

St. Peter Catholic Church has a fill-in priest now, and officials tell parishioners they plan to find a full time replacement soon.

Church members confirmed they heard the abrupt announcement during mass about the fate of their priest, Father Ireneusz Chodakowski. Some parishioners told a Kenosha newspaper it's because he shared porn on his Facebook account.

Church officials refused to answer our questions, but some church members weren't so shy.

"With all that's been in the news with what's been happening in the churches - to have that here, that's tough," comments Tom Odegaard, who grew up at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Woman tells court of abuse after being sent to priest because she was hungry

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS NOVEMBER 20, 2013

IQALUIT, Nunavut - A witness at the trial of a priest accused of child abuse in the North says the cleric used hunger to force children into sex.

BORDERLINE: GRAPHIC CONTENT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS

"When I was a child, sometimes we had nothing to eat," the witness said Wednesday at the trial of Eric Dejaeger. "Mama (her grandmother) would have to leave me there (at the church) so I could eat."

The witness, who was about eight years old in 1980 when the alleged assault took place in Igloolik, Nunavut, broke down in tears and sighed heavily to compose herself before she could continue her testimony.

She said one night, after Dejaeger fed her, he took her into his bedroom and told her to get undressed.

"I was scared of him," said the witness, who recalled that the priest was wearing his long black church robe. "He told me not to tell anybody and then he said he was going to do something to me."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Nunavut priest accused of raping hungry girl after church meal

CANADA
Sun News

QMI AGENCY

A woman testified a Nunavut priest raped her when she was eight years old after she went to the church for a meal because there was no food at home.

The woman, who cannot be identified, testified against former Roman Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger in an Iqaluit courtroom Wednesday.

She said she told her grandmother, who was caring for her, about the rape, but she didn't believe her, The Canadian Press reported.

On Tuesday, defence lawyer Malcolm Kempt cross-examined another woman who said she was taped to Dejaeger's bed. Kempt questioned the woman about the details of the alleged attack, and a $16,000 out-of-court settlement from the church, the CBC reported.

Dejaeger, 66, is accused of sexually assaulting Inuit children between about 1978 and 1989 during his time in Igloolik and Baker Lake.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company appoints managing editor as CEO/president

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

NCR Staff | Nov. 20, 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO. NCR's board of directors has appointed Caitlin Hendel chief executive officer and president of National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company. The appointment takes effect Jan. 1.

Thomas C. Fox will remain publisher of the company. Fox's work will focus on development and directing the Global Catholic Sisters Initiative, a multiyear reporting project funded with a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Hendel's responsibility will include oversight of NCR's editorial products as well as the day-to-day business operations of the company.

The appointment came after a nationwide search for a CEO/president and was made Nov. 16 during the NCR board's annual fall meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Shatter needs extra €32 million for gardaí and Magdalene payments

IRELAND
The Journal

JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN Shatter has confirmed that his Department needs an extra €32 million this year in order to make up a shortfall in the garda budget and to provide compensation for women who were in the Magadelene Laundries.

Speaking at the Justice Committee today, Shatter criticised Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson Niall Collins for raising the issue earlier this week and claiming that there would be a €51 million shortfall in the An Garda Siochána budget for next year.

He said that though an additional €51 million is required for the garda budget, as well as €5 million for the payments to victims of the Magdalene Laundries, almost €24 million can be saved from other areas in the Department of Justice’s budget.

This will mean that overall an additional €32 million will be needed for this year.

Some of the savings have been identified in the Prisons Service, the Courts Service, the Property Registration Authority and the overall Justice and Equality Budget, Shatter said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Archdiocese Removes Father Paul From Ministry Without Announcement

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

by Susan Matthews

First Father Paul resigned from Our Lady of Calvary, where he remained as pastor while under investigation and review for two allegations of child sex abuse. A week later, without announcement, the archdiocese temporarily removed his faculties and he will not be able to celebrate Mass in public pending the outcome of the canonical investigation. This has been confirmed by an archdiocesan official. The only reason we discovered Father Paul’s removal is because Kathy Kane monitors the clergy list for just such changes.

- Why, after leaving him as pastor during much of the investigation, remove him from ministry now?

- Why wasn’t there a public announcement of this removal? Other victims might be prompted to come forward.

- Do the parishioners of Our Lady of Calvary know Father Paul has been temporarily removed from ministry? The families were not informed of the allegations until he resigned. The archdiocese did not consider them “pertinent parties.” Which is odd, given the Safe Environment statement on the Archdiocesan website. “Parents are the first and most influential teachers of children and are responsible for their spiritual, moral, emotional, physical, and intellectual development. This is an awesome and sometimes daunting responsibility. When armed with proper information, parents can best protect their children from predators.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

STATEMENT REGARDING FRANCES HOEFGEN

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis via KSTP

November 19, 2013

CONTACT
Jim Accurso
Media and Public Relations Manager
T: 651-291-4480
M: 651-261-6070
accursoj@archspm.org

We are investigating the claims in today’s lawsuit which involves Francis Hoefgen, a former priest of St. John’s Abbey who served in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in the mid-1980’s. In 1992, Hoefegen’s faculties were restricted by the abbey, and he was no longer allowed to serve in public ministry. He was laicized in December 2011.

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis continues to encourage anyone who suspects abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult within Church ministry—or any setting including the home or school—to first contact law enforcement. Any act of abuse against a minor or vulnerable adult is reprehensible and morally repugnant and we will not tolerate it.

Our first priority is to create and maintain safe environments where the Gospel of Jesus Christ can flourish. This means ensuring that clergy, employees, volunteers, and the young are aware of healthy boundaries and the societal problem of sexual abuse. It also means creating an environment for and implementing productive steps to promote a healthy clergy.

Anyone having knowledge of sexual abuse within a parish should call the proper authorities, and is encouraged to notify the archdiocese’s Victim Assistance Coordinator at 651-291-4497.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Releases Statement on Francis Hoefgen

MINNESOTA
KSTP

Suit: Priest Admitted Abuse, Stayed Active

By: Cassie Hart

Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis released the following statement on Francis Hoefgen, a former priest of St. John’s Abbey who served in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in the mid-1980’s.

A lawsuit claims Francis Hoefgen was at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church in Hastings when he molested the plaintiff, who was 10 to 13 years old at the time.

Statement Regarding Francis Hoefgen

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Woman tells court accused priest starved children to force them into sex

CANADA
The StarPhoenix

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS NOVEMBER 20, 2013

IQALUIT, Nunavut - A witness at a child abuse trial in the North is describing how a priest once used hunger to force children into sex.

The woman says her family in Igloolik, Nunavut, was sometimes hungry for days at a time between 1978 and 1982, the years when Eric Dejaeger (deh-YAY'-guhr) was the priest in the remote community.

She says her grandmother, who was raising her, often sent her to the church for a meal.

The witness says that after one such meal, when she was eight years old, Dejaeger took her upstairs and raped her.

She says she was bleeding after the assault and Dejaeger took her into the bathroom to clean herself up, then spread garbage bags on his bedroom couch so she wouldn't stain it.

The witness says she told her grandmother about the rape, but the woman didn't believe her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

IL - Victims “out” 2 more abusive clerics

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Cases settle against a nun and a priest
Both abused kids elsewhere but worked in Chicago
SNAP blasts Catholic officials for “on-going secrecy”
It urges Cardinal George to add names to his predators’ list
Group also praises governor & lawmakers for “major child sex reform law”

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse survivors and their supporters will

--disclose that two Catholic clerics – a nun and a priest – molested kids elsewhere but also worked in Chicago, (lawyers settled cases against both of the clerics,) and
--prod Chicago Catholic officials to add their names (and dozens of other child molesting clerics) to the list of such offenders on the archdiocesan website and update the list of Chicago area child molesting clerics regularly and publicly.

They will also
--praise Illinois’ governor and legislators for recently-enacted “major child safety reform” that will enable more child sex abuse victims to file criminal and civil cases against predators, and
--urge citizens, especially Catholics, to spread the word about the opportunity to seek justice in court.

When:
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 1:30 p.m.

Where:
On the sidewalk outside of the Archdiocese of Chicago (835 N Rush St, Chicago)

Who:
Three-four 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 president.

Why:
Catholic officials have paid settlements to victims of two credibly accused child molesting clerics who worked in Chicago. Both clerics were exposed as abusers for the first time. Neither cleric has been publicly “outed” in the Chicago area until today.

1. In September, Fr. Victor Phelan was “named publicly as an alleged abuser for the first time” according to the Associated Press.

[BishopAccountability.org]

Fr. Phelan was “outed” by Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian (617-523-6250, 617-388-5252, garabedianlaw@msn.com). Garabedian reached a settlement with Catholic officials on behalf of a victim who was sexually assaulted by Fr. Phelan in Plainfield NJ in the Newark Archdiocese in 1977.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Catholic leader wants action for abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By PATRICK BYRNE Nov. 20, 2013

A PEAK body representing the Catholic Church’s response to clerical child sex abuse has called on all states to immediately adopt a national compensation framework for victims.

Speaking to The Courier before giving a speech at St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall last night, Truth Justice Healing Council chief executive officer, Francis Sullivan, said an independent compensation body was needed.

“I wrote yesterday, to all attorney generals in Australia, putting on their agenda that it’s time to put in place this national compensation scheme,” Mr Sullivan said.

“Not in, say, three or four years when the royal commission recommends it.

“I totally get that bit about people saying ‘well this is all very fine, but when are we going to see real action?’”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Catholic Church dragging out sex-abuse case of dying man

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

MARK SCHLIEBS THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEMBER 21, 2013

THE Catholic Church has dragged out for more than a year the case of a seriously ill abuse victim who is seeking substantially more than the $40,000 he received as part of a settlement in 2011.

This is despite an admission by the church that the man had been sodomised by several clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

The name of the game

CANADA
Sylvia's Site

As everyone knows the Father Eric Dejaeger sex abuse trial in Iqaluit was cancelled today due to a raging blizzard which swept throught the area. Believe it or not, this is the same storm which devastated Washington Illinois, caused havoc and power outages in southern Ontario, roared through Quebec, and on up to Nunavut with a blizzard which shut down the entire community of Iqaluit. And yes, that was it for the trial. It was under way for the day, but shortly thereafter the weather deteriorated to a point that the trial was cancelled and courthouse was shut down.

Hopefully the snow plows will be running full tilt through the night and the roads of Iqaluit will be open for travel by morning. Right now the temperature is -23 C with blowing snow and reduced visibility. Conditions are expected to improve by morning.

Let’s cross our fingers that the case can proceed, and that those witnesses who were to finish testifying today can do so tomorrow and then get back home to their family and friends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

What CA and CK Said (Or: Ritual Abuse)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Phillip Aspinall, head of the Australian Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England), knew the details of the horrific abuse at his church’s North Coast Children’s Home for a long time, but did not intervene because he felt that the local diocese responsible was an “autonomous organisation.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott could claim that Liberal MPs who disgraced themselves could ignore him because they were responsible to their local constituency committee. Similarly, President Obama could do the same with a corrupt Democrat congressman and U.K. Prime Minister Cameron could distance himself from a Conservative MP. Naturally, they would not do this, as no-one would believe they had no other influence over the problem lawmaker.

For Aspinall to claim no influence over disgraced Grafton bishop, Keith Slater (see previous posting) beggars belief. Yet, this is what his professional standards staffer, Rod McLary, told the Royal Commission today. Mr McLary claimed that Aspinall’s national role was “to encourage, offer counsel and attempt to persuade other bishops and archbishops on certain matters.”

Aspinall was, however, privy to the details of the abuse, from several quarters. Victim “Tommy” Campion had written him a long letter, and had a meeting with Aspinall, detailing the abuses. Lawyer Simon Harrison (see yesterday’s posting), who represented victims, had written to Aspinall, again detailing abuses. Mr Harrison told the enquiry that he was never told that Aspinall had been in touch with the then Bishop of Grafton, Keith Slater, and he would have expected to have correspondence from Aspinall telling him what he was doing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

St. Lawrence parishioners form committee to bring back ousted priest

MASSACHUSETTS
Southcoast Today

By Matt Camara
mcamara@s-t.com
November 20, 2013

NEW BEDFORD — About a dozen parishioners have formed a committee to reinstate the Rev. Marek Chmurski as the pastor of St. Lawrence Martyr Church and the parish remains divided over Bishop George W. Coleman's decision to remove him.

"We strongly believe that there was no consensus by the congregation on the issues raised against Father Chmurski. We believe that documentations presented were not objectively written," the group called Parishioners Seeking Justice for Father Chmurski wrote in a letter to The Standard-Times.

The group objects to an attempt by other parishioners who last year wrote the bishop concerned about Chmurski's ministry.

The Fall River Diocese conducted a year-long inquiry into Chmurski's ministry of St. Lawrence — New Bedford's oldest parish — and removed him in a Sept. 30 decree. The decree came after the bishop had asked for Chmurski's resignation the previous June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Priest Grozovsky suspended from service

RUSSIA
Interfax

St. Petersburg, November 20, Interfax - Priest Gleb Grozovsky, who is accused of molesting schoolgirls, has been suspended from service for the period of the investigation into his case.

"He cannot administer service during this period," the St. Petersburg Metropolia told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.

An international search warrant has been issued for Father Gleg, who has been arrested in absentia by a Russian court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

1:30 Today, Press Conference: Accused Priests Kept in Ministry by RI Diocese

PROVIDENCE (RI)
BishopAccountability.org
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

New records show accused Catholic priests are still in RI parishes
One of them, ousted this year, was accused months or years earlier
Groups say hundreds of abuse reports seem to be missing from police release
They call on AG and US Attorney to launch investigation of Providence diocese

WHAT
Holding poster-size blow-ups of selected documents, clergy sex abuse victims and a leader of a research/watchdog group will:

--- point to new evidence that RI Catholic officials continue to keep accused priests in ministry without informing the public
-- highlight "shocking revelations" in newly public records of alleged sex abuse by RI priests, and
-- urge prosecutors to investigate whether the diocese's retention of accused priests is putting minors at risk

WHEN
1:30pm, Wednesday, November 20

WHERE
Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel
5 Avenue of the Arts [120 Francis St., if using GPS]
Providence, RI
Meeting room: The Handel Room, Temple Level

WHO
- Two survivors of sexual abuse by RI priests, including the New England spokesperson for SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
- A leader of a national Catholic abuse research group based in MA

WHY
On Wednesday 11/19, a RI TV station made public a collection of 45 confidential sex abuse reports from the Providence diocese to the RI State Police. The letters were posted tonight on the website of WJAR-TV (Ch. 10 - NBC), which had obtained them from the State Police by filing a public records request. All 45 letters are signed by diocesan official Robert N. McCarthy, a retired state police lieutenant. Since 1992, McCarthy has handled all sex abuse allegations against Providence priests. See:

[NBC 10]

At the news conference, the survivors and researchers will point to letters that raise disturbing questions about three recent cases:

1. In a January 8, 2013 letter, McCarthy recounts confronting an active pastor about sexual misconduct allegations by three complainants. Two were age 16 and one was 18 when the alleged abuse occurred. McCarthy refers to an investigation he had conducted involving the priest and one of the complainants during a previous winter. Did that previous investigation concern possible sexual misconduct? Why wasn't the priest removed from ministry then?

On January 13, 2013, the Providence diocese announced the removal of Rev. Barry Meehan, pastor of St. Timothy's Church in Warwick RI, because of “a credible allegation of sexual misconduct that allegedly took place more than 25 years ago.” See:

[BishopAccountability.org]

Is Rev. Meehan the active pastor described by McCarthy in the January 8, 2013 letter? If so, why did the diocese tell the public that Meehan had only one alleged victim, when the letter indicates he was accused by three? And why did the diocese's announcement about Meehan refer only to a recent allegation and not the situation that McCarthy had investigated in a previous winter?

If the January 8, 2013 letter refers to a different priest, who is he? And if the diocese has removed him, why hasn't that been announced?

2. An April 17, 2012 letter reports allegations of child molestation by two brothers against a priest who appears to be running a RI parish today. Did the diocese or State Police investigate the allegations? On what basis did the diocese decide to retain the priest?

3. In a May 9, 2011 letter about possible recent sexual abuse of a female parishioner by an active Providence priest, McCarthy cites three previous reports about the priest, including a 1994 warning and a 2002 allegation that he had molested two high school girls. Given repeated signs that the priest was dangerous, why did the diocese allow him to stay in ministry for years? Who is he, and is he still active today?

Although the State Police redacted from the letters the names of priests, parishes, towns and dates, they did not black out the dioceses's file numbers, which suggest an “astonishingly high number” of complaints, according to Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a MA-based research group that has studied the abuse crisis since 2003.

The gaps in the file numbers point to the fact that an “enormous number of abuse reports is missing from this collection,” says attorney Helen McGonigle. McGonigle was raped as a six-year-old in East Greenwich RI by the Rev. Brendan Smyth. She reported her abuse to the diocese in 2006 but no letter about her abuse is included in the new release.

As a measure of what is missing, the RI letters can be compared to a similar release of public records in New Hampshire. In 2009, the NH Attorney General's office made public all the abuse reports it had received since 2003 from the Manchester NH diocese, which is smaller than Providence. The release included more than 125 complaints - and the AG chose to keep the names of most accused priests visible. In contrast, the reports to the State Police from the Providence diocese during the same period – 2003 to 2009 – total only 8. Where are the missing reports? See the Catholic abuse records released by the NH AG:

[BishopAccountability.org]

Finally, the letters reveal McCarthy's "profound lack of respect for victims," says Dr. Ann Hagan Webb, a licensed psychologist in RI and MA. Webb was sexually assaulted beginning at age five by Msgr. Anthony DeAngelis in West Warwick RI. In many of the letters, McCarthy provides gratuitous details about a victim's unemployment, addictions or use of medication. These details seem intended to undermine the credibility of the complainant, Webb says.

For these four reasons - 1) the diocese's persistence in keeping accused priests in ministry; 2) its high number of complaints; 3) the fact that they may have withheld many reports to the State Police; and 4) the disregard shown by its intake official for the truthfulness of victims - the state Attorney General and the US Attorney for Rhode Island must investigate the Providence diocese, the survivors and research group believe.

Common sense suggests that this diocese requires oversight, says Doyle. "Providence church officials are still taking chances with priests who have been reported for abuse. They are secretive and unaccountable. Rhode Island prosecutors should step in and investigate, as prosecutors have done in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania. The safety of children demands it."

*
About BishopAccountability.org
Founded in 2003, BishopAccountability.org is the world's largest public library of documents related to the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church. An independent non-profit, it is not a victims' advocacy group and is not affiliated with any church, reform, or victims' organization.

About SNAP
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988, is based in Chicago and has more than 12,000 members in 65 nations (but we have heard from victims in more than 100 countries). Despite the word “priest” in our title, we help people who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org.

CONTACT

Anne Barrett Doyle, BishopAccountability.org, barrett.doyle@comcast.net, 781-439-5208 cell
Dr. Ann Hagan Webb, RI Abuse Survivor & Spokesperson for SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, annhaganwebb@gmail.com, 617-513-8442 cell
Helen McGonigle, Attorney and RI Abuse Survivor, 203-300-2107 cell
Terence McKiernan, BishopAccountability.org, mckiernan1@comcast.net, 508-479-9304

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Sluitingsdatum seksueel misbruik overledenen en verjaarde zaken

NEDERLAND
KNR

S-HERTOGENBOSCH - UTRECHT - De voorzitters van Bisschoppenconferentie en Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR) maken bekend dat er een sluitingsdatum komt per 1 juli 2014 voor meldingen en het indienen van klachten inzake seksueel misbruik tegen overledenen en klachten betreffende seksueel misbruik dat verjaard is.

De Bisschoppenconferentie en KNR treden op korte termijn in overleg met de slachtoffergroepen en Beheer en Toezicht (B&T) inzake de uitwerking. De Bisschoppenconferentie en KNR hechten aan een zorgvuldige voorbereiding en een stappenplan dat met de slachtoffergroepen is opgesteld. Er moeten belangrijke randvoorwaarden worden vervuld, zo hebben de slachtoffergroepen de Bisschoppenconferentie en de KNR laten weten. Nu reeds roepen de Bisschoppenconferentie en de KNR slachtoffers op zich te melden, indien zij dit nog niet hebben gedaan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Ridsdale in Vic court on new sex charges

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Convicted pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale will be sentenced next year after pleading guilty to new child sex charges.

The defrocked Catholic priest was formally arraigned in the Victorian County Court on Wednesday, pleading guilty to 28 counts of indecent assault, one count of carnal knowledge of a child and one count of buggery.

Ridsdale has admitted abusing three girls and 11 boys between the 1960s and 1980, when he was parish priest at churches in regional Victoria and Melbourne.

Ridsdale, 79, is serving a long jail sentence for multiple child sex offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Hayman allowed to go home

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

November 20, 2013

The 49-yr-old businessman has been charged with three offences of gross indecency on young boys aged 12, 14 and 16 over 20 years ago.

Hayman left Sydney to live in the USA and indictment has cast a shadow over those responsible for running Sydney’s Yeshiva Centre where Hayman met his alleged victims.

A spokesperson for the Yeshiva Centre told J-Wire that Hayman did act as a volunteer at Yeshiva events and camps but was never employed by them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Yeshiva accused Daniel Hayman free to return to LA after posting $1m bail

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 20, 2013

Emma Partridge
Crime Reporter

A businessman accused of sexually assaulting under-age boys he met through Bondi's Yeshiva Centre was expected to return to his family home in Los Angeles after $1 million was posted for his bail

Daniel Robert Hayman, 49, was granted permission to leave the country despite being charged with a third offence, relating to the indecent assault of a 12-year-old.

Documents tendered to the court reveal he “exposed his naked body” to the young boy in the 1980s.

Mr Hayman appeared before Waverley Local Court on Wednesday charged with a further two counts of gross indecency against two males, aged 14 and 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Abuse survivor slams Prime Minister's stance

AUSTRALIA
Maribymong Weekly

By Goya Dmytryshchak

An Altona Meadows woman who spoke at last week’s Rally of Hope at Victoria’s Parliament House has criticised Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s defence of Cardinal George Pell over the Catholic Church’s handling of child sex abuse.

Mairead Ashcroft addressed Wednesday’s rally (pictured), which coincided with the tabling of a state government report on clergy and non-religious institutions’ child sex abuse.

Ms Ashcroft gave evidence before the Victorian inquiry into the handling of child abuse that she had been abused by Catholic brother Bernard Hartman, from age 8 to 11.

Hartman, 73, has been charged with 14 counts of indecent assault and is scheduled to face court next Thursday.

The day after the rally, Mr Abbott told Fairfax radio that he ‘‘had a lot of time for Cardinal Pell”. Mr Abbott said he hadn’t read the parliamentary report, which states Cardinal Pell’s evidence revealed “a reluctance to acknowledge and accept responsibility for the Catholic Church’s institutional failure to respond appropriately to allegations of criminal child abuse”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Jury awards $2.4 million in sex abuse case

DELAWARE
The News Journal

[with video]

Written by
Sean O’Sullivan
The News Journal

WILMINGTON — A federal jury awarded $2.4 million Monday to a New Jersey man who was repeatedly sexually abused by a Marist brother some 30 years ago.

Brian Elliott, 44, of Cedar Knolls, N.J., testified that Damian Galligan, a member of the Marist Catholic religious order, sexually abused him starting in 1977 when Elliott was 8 years old and continued until he was 14.

Two of those hundreds of incidents of abuse occurred in Delaware in the summer of 1981 when Galligan took the young Elliott on a trip across state lines to visit Washington, D.C., which is what brought the case to the U.S. District Court in Delaware.

While Elliott said he was abused by Galligan in at least four states – including New Jersey where he lived, New York where Galligan lived and Virginia – it was only in Delaware that Elliott could file a civil suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

N.J. man abused by cleric more than 30 years ago awarded $2.4 million

DELAWARE
The Star-Ledger

By Jeff Goldman/The Star-Ledger
on November 19, 2013

WILMINGTON, Del. — A Morris County man said he doesn't expect to see any of the $2.4 million a Delaware court awarded him Monday for being sexually abused as a child by a cleric in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Brian Elliott, 44, of the Cedar Knolls section of Hanover Township said he was abused by Brother Damian Galligan from 1977 until about 1981, according to a report on DelawareOnline.com. Galligan admitted in a 2012 video deposition that he abused Elliott during a trip to Washington D.C.

The abuse also took place "hundreds, if not thousands" of other times, the report said.

The jury in Delaware ordered that Elliott receive $1.4 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.

Galligan, 86, lives in a retirement home in St. Louis and is thought to have few significant assets, the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Catholic brother testifies about sex abuse

DELAWARE
USA Today

[video]

A federal jury Monday awarded $2.4 million to a New Jersey man who was repeatedly sexually abused by a Marist brother some 30 years ago. This portion of the video deposition of Brother Damian Galligan was played for the jury. The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Church urges all Catholics to act on abuse

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

ALL Catholics must take action on child sex abuse, the head of the body set-up to represent the Catholic Church says.

Truth Justice and Healing Council chief executive Francis Sullivan said the various inquiries into abuse provided an opportunity to reform the church and address a scandal that has driven people from it for so long.

The church has been at the centre of three inquiries, including the now-concluded Victorian inquiry, the royal commission and a NSW inquiry into abuse in the Diocese of Maitland and Newcastle.

Mr Sullivan said community disgust and outrage will be unleashed as the inquiries continue, but all Catholics could work to restore trust in the institution with "action and authenticity".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Witness tells of rape at children's home

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A royal commission has heard a witness saw a young girl pinned down and gang raped by five older boys at the Anglican-run NSW orphanage at the centre of abuse allegations.

A former resident of the Lismore children's home has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse sitting in Sydney he witnessed the attack and was scared into silence.

The witness, known as CD, says he arrived at the North Coast Children's Home aged six, and was regularly whipped with a pony whip and cane by matron Jean O'Neill.

He says he once saw a group of about five older boys pin down one of the young girls who lived in the home, and they all raped her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Alleged victim of child sexual abuse in NSW threatened suicide

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ashleigh Raper

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard an alleged victim threatened suicide during a lengthy compensation battle with the Anglican Church.

The commission this week began its third round of public hearings, this time to examine the alleged sexual and physical abuse of up to 200 children at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore.

The hearing will consider what happened at the home and how the Anglican Diocese of Grafton responded to allegations of abuse.

Solicitor Simon Harrison was holding negotiations with the head of the Anglican Church, Dr Phillip Aspinall over a compensation settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Police accused of unfair evidence

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 20, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Victoria Police evidence about child sexual abuse that savaged the Catholic Church was unfair and an attempt by the force to distance itself from its own failures, a state government report says.

It took 16 years, and issues becoming public, before police paid attention to the fundamental problems in the way the church in Melbourne dealt with complaints - a process to which police had originally agreed - the report says.

Betrayal of Trust, the report of the parliamentary inquiry into how the churches handled child sexual abuse, was tabled last week.

In testimony to the inquiry last October, police accused the church of deliberately impeding their investigations into child abuse, dissuading victims from reporting to police, failing to engage with police, protecting sexual offenders and alerting suspects of allegations against them.

Police also attacked the Melbourne Response independent commissioner, Peter O'Callaghan, QC, and complained that not one case had been referred to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

New Catholic archbishop Christopher Prowse calls for greater support for child sex abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ADRIENNE FRANCIS - ABC
November 20, 2013

The new Catholic archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn says the church could do more to support victims of child sexual abuse.

Former Victorian bishop Christopher Prowse has been installed as the new Catholic archbishop during a solemn mass at St Christopher's Cathedral in Forrest.

In delivering the homily, Archbishop Prowse mentioned the Royal Commission and parliamentary inquiries into child sexual abuse, telling the packed congregation he truly felt for its victims.

"We can always do a lot more," he said.

"First of all, we have got to listen to their stories. I think we need to really improve on that.

"The victims, these courageous and brave people, coming out to share their horrendous stories and we want to stand alongside them and be supportive of them in these fragile times."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Legal fight like being 'raped' again...

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Legal fight like being 'raped' again, child abuse victim tells Royal Commission

Dan Box
From: The Australian
November 20, 2013

A VICTIM of child abuse, who was repeatedly raped as a young girl while living in a children's home, has said the experience of dealing legally with the Anglican church about what took place "was like being raped all over again."

In a written statement read to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse this morning, the woman said she was seven when she entered the home in the Anglican Diocese of Grafton, northern NSW.

"It smelt terrible, like faeces, and there was vomit on the ground. I could see about twenty-odd children, all dirty.

"It was horrific. I felt that I couldn't protect myself or my sister ... I was told, and I heard other children being told, that we were 'dirty little heathens'," her statement said.

Decades later, the woman joined roughly 40 other former residents seeking compensation from the church, which spent years challenging their claims and denying any liability for what happened at the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Catholic Church at 'critical juncture'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 20, 2013

Barney Zwartz

Ordinary Catholics have to take responsibility for the church as it emerges from the abuse crisis and tries to rebuild trust, says church spokesman Francis Sullivan.

In a speech on Wednesday evening in Ballarat – deliberately chosen as one of the regional centres most scarred by clergy sexual abuse – Mr Sullivan said the church was at a critical juncture and warned that revelations soon to emerge at the royal commission would dishearten and disillusion Catholics around the country.

"Community disgust and outrage will again be unleashed," he said.

The royal commission next month begins a public session examining the Catholic response Towards Healing, and how the church dealt with four separate victims.

The Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled clergy child sexual abuse was scathing about the church in its report last week, and the church has since endorsed the report's wide-ranging recommendations for legal and other reforms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Priority was debt not sex victims: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

BY ANNETTE BLACKWELL AAP NOVEMBER 20, 2013

PROTECTING investors in a multimillion-dollar diocesan investment fund debt took priority over the claims of abuse victims from a NSW Anglican children's home, an inquiry has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney was told on Wednesday that the Diocese of Grafton was $12 million in debt after building a private school at Clarence Valley, which never attracted enough students.

The diocese has been accused of mishandling compensation settlements and claims from people who were brutally abused from the 1940s to 1980s at a Church of England orphanage in Lismore.

In evidence by video link, Anthony Newby said when he became registrar at Grafton in October 2010 the school debt was not being serviced.

An oversight committee was set up to open lines of credit involving other dioceses - not an easy task as only two, Perth and Adelaide, eventually came on board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Clergy misconduct lawsuit targets St. John's Abbey

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

John Croman

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- In his latest John Doe sex abuse lawsuit, attorney Jeffrey Anderson targets a former Twin Cities priest and the order he belonged to until 2011, based at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville.

The plaintiff is a man who alleges he was sexually abused between 1989 and 1992 by Father Francis Hoefgen, who at the time served at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Hastings.

Anderson and his legal team maintain that Hoefgen should've been kept from taking that post in Hastings based on his prior behavior in a different parish.

The alleged victim said the abuse started when he was 10 and ended when he was 13, at the same time Hoefgen was reassigned to another church facility in Frontenac.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Royal commission into child sexual abuse...

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Royal commission into child sexual abuse hears more harrowing evidence against Anglican Diocese of Grafton

MATTHEW BENNS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH NOVEMBER 20, 2013

THE whoosh of the riding crop and the screams of the children echoed through the corridors of the Anglican Church children's home, the royal commission into child sexual abuse heard yesterday.

"I remember hearing the whoosh of the riding crop every time Matron hit the child," a victim from the former North Coast Children's Home in Lismore said in a statement read to the commission.

"The whoosh noise filled me with intense fear," said the victim, who can only be identified as CM.

Matron Jean O'Neill would take children into her office and close the door. "I heard her whipping children in her office with the crop and the children screaming.

"I would be whipped for the most trivial things like not using my manners," said CM, who was seven when first whipped with the leather covered, steel riding crop. "It would leave red marks, bruises and cuts on me which sometimes took two weeks to heal."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Inquiry told Anglican Church approach to abuse victims was antagonistic

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

The Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has been told that the Anglican Church took a hardline and antagonistic approach to dealing with abuse victims from the North Coast Children's Home. An advisor to the Anglican Primate of Australia told the inquiry that there was concern about how the diocese was handling the negotiations, but couldn't intervene.

Transcript

MARK COLVIN: The child abuse Royal Commission has heard that the Anglican Church took a harsh and antagonistic approach to victims of abuse from the New South Wales North Coast Children's Home.

The inquiry's been told that the Grafton Diocese which ran the home took a legal hard line against compensation claims by the former residents of the orphanage.

The lawyer representing the group said the Grafton Diocese had "gone rogue" and the Church's key negotiator had "an attitude of machismo on par with Clint Eastwood."

A warning: some parts of Emily Bourke's report may distress some listeners.

EMILY BOURKE: The Royal Commission has heard more shocking accounts from survivors of abuse at the North Coast Children's home.

A statement from witness CN was read to the inquiry.

CN (read statement): I was raped three times by older boys who lived in the home. I was told and I heard other children being told by staff that we were dirty little heathens. I was told I was bad and horrible. I was made to feel worthless by the people in the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Lawsuit says ex-Hastings priest abused boy after undergoing sex-offender treatment

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 11/19/2013

A former Hastings priest and St. John's Abbey are among defendants in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by a Minnesota man who alleges the priest sexually abused him after "graduating" from a sex-offender treatment facility.

The plaintiff, now in his 30s, also sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the treatment center, St. Luke Institute of Silver Spring, Md.

Francis Hoefgen admitted to police in 1984 that he sexually abused a minor, then was assigned the next year to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church in Hastings after an evaluation at the institute, said the plaintiff's attorney, Jeff Anderson, of St. Paul, in a statement.

Hoefgen sexually abused the plaintiff, identified as John Doe 27, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton from about 1989 to 1992, the suit claimed. The boy was then 10 to 13 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

November 19, 2013

Documents: Stearns priest investigation file destroyed in routine purge

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Written by
David Unze

The file containing details of the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by the Rev. Fran Hoefgen likely was destroyed in the 1990s as part of a routine purging of records from cases in which no charges were filed.

Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall released two documents Tuesday from the state Department of Administration that showed that numerous adult and juvenile case files in which no charges were filed were ordered destroyed in two document purges, one in May 1996 and the other in February 1998.

Then-County Attorney Roger Van Heel was listed as the person reporting the document destruction to the state in one instance and First Assistant County Attorney Patrick Strom was the reporting party in the other instance.

The county attorney’s office has case files dating back to the 1960s, said Mike Lieberg, head of that office’s criminal division, but those are files in which criminal charges were filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

Suit: Priest Admitted Abuse, Stayed Active

MINNESOTA
KSTP

[with video]

By: Scott Theisen
A Minnesota man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest from 1989 through 1992 sued the Twin Cities archdiocese, St. John's Abbey and a center that treats clergy with psychological issues on Tuesday.

The lawsuit claims Francis Hoefgen, a former monk and priest, was at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church in Hastings when he molested the plaintiff, who was 10 to 13 years old at the time. It alleges the defendants were negligent and should have known Hoefgen was a danger because he admitted to abusing a teenage boy just a few years earlier. It also alleges church officials didn't warn Hoefgen's new parish about the risk.

"This is quite disturbing, quite alarming. But also quite familiar and quite typical," said Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the plaintiff, who's identified in the lawsuit as Doe 27. "All of these entities made conscious choices to conceal, instead of reveal, the truth about the hazard and because of it, countless kids were hurt."

Hoefgen did not return a message seeking comment. His attorney, Robert Stich, said Tuesday he had just received the complaint and was in the process of analyzing it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

News Conference Part 1: Attorney Jeff Anderson Discusses Priest Abuse Lawsuit

MINNESOTA
KSTP

[with video]

By: Leslie Dyste
A Minnesota man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest from 1989 through 1992 sued the Twin Cities archdiocese, St. John's Abbey and a center that treats clergy with psychological issues on Tuesday.

The lawsuit claims Francis Hoefgen was at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church in Hastings when he molested the plaintiff, who was 10 to 13 years old at the time. It alleges the defendants should have known Hoefgen was a danger because he admitted to abusing another boy just a few years earlier. It also alleges church officials didn't warn Hoefgen's new parish about the risk.

"This is quite disturbing, quite alarming. But also quite familiar and quite typical," said Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the plaintiff, who's identified in the lawsuit as Doe 27. "All of these entities made conscious choices to conceal, instead of reveal, the truth about the hazard and because of it, countless kids were hurt."

Click here to watch 'part 2' of the news conference.
Click here to read the full story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Defence questions memory, motivation of priest's alleged sex abuse victims

CANADA
CBC News

The defence lawyer for a priest facing dozens of sex abuse charges involving Inuit children is questioning the memory and motivation of the complainants.

Eric Dejaeger faces 68 charges related to the sexual abuse of children in Igloolik three decades ago. Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent assault.

This morning, Dejaeger’s defense lawyer Malcolm Kempt cross-examined a 43-year-old woman who says the accused taped her face-down by her wrists and feet to a bed frame and violated her when she was a little girl.

Kempt asked the witness what Dejaeger was wearing at the time and requested she outline specific events around the attack. He also queried her about a $16,000 out-of-court settlement she got from the Catholic Church.

Kempt has said the memory and credibility of alleged victims about events 30 years ago are key to Dejaeger's defence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Scotland: parishioners walk out of Mass in protest at suspension of priest

SCOTLAND
Independent Catholic News

By: Dan Bergin, Michael Glacken
Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Scottish parishioners walked out of Mass at St John Ogilivie's Church in High Blantyre on Sunday, in protest at the sudden dismissal of their parish priest, Father Matthew Despard the night before.

Father Despard, 48, published his book 'Crisis in the Priesthood' on Amazon after the resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who admit ted that he had gay relationships over a number of years and was accused by some priests of making unwanted homosexual advances towards them.

In April this year, the previous Bishop of Motherwell Bishop Joseph Devine, had said that no sanctions would be taken against Fr Despard. On Saturday Bishop Toal told the congregation that a 'penal judicial process' had been instituted against Fr Despard because of the book.

When acting Bishop Joseph Toal came to say Mass in the parish with Fr William Nolan, who has been appointed temporary administrator, one woman got up to speak in defence of Fr Despard. The majority of the congregation then stood up and walked out. Many were in tears. Parishioners have now begun a petition calling for Fr Despard's reinstatement.

A spokesman for Bishop Toal said: "Since there is a canonical case in progress at the present time, Bishop Toal felt it was appropriate to remove Fr Matthew Despard from Parish Ministry until the judicial process has run its course. This action does not prejudice the case in any way."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Diocese faces new sex assault allegations

MINNESOTA
Mankato Free Press

By Dan Nienaber
dnienaber@mankatofreepress.com

NEW ULM — A Minnetonka attorney has filed a second lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, claiming officials there allowed a priest to continue working at churches under its control when they should have known he was sexually abusing teenagers.

The diocese responded to the allegations by Patrick Noaker and his client, identified as John Doe 107, with a news release listing the locations Rev. William Marks worked while he was a serving as a priest from 1936 through 1979. The diocese in New Ulm wasn't created until 1957, but the allegations claim the boy was sexually abused from about 1957 to 1960 while he was an altar boy at the Church of St. John in Hector.

The incident will be investigated, but there is no additional information at this time, the news release said. It also said the diocese regrets the "devastating effects of sexual misconduct on the part of clergy" and that it is working diligently to provide a safe environment at its churches.

A similar response was issued after Noaker filed his first lawsuit against the diocese in June that claims another client was sexually abused by Rev. Francis Markey while Markey was serving as a substitute priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Henderson. The victim was about 15 years old when he was allegedly assaulted in 1982.

A third lawsuit, filed in September by another attorney, names two women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Rev. David Roney while he was serving as a priest in Willmar during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Maplewood priest charged with criminal sexual conduct, accused of fondling female parishioner

MINNESOTA
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: November 19, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — Prosecutors have charged a Maplewood priest for allegedly fondling a female parishioner while giving her spiritual guidance.

The Rev. Mark Huberty, 43, pastor of the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County.

Huberty is charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony. He was charged by summons and is not in custody.

According to the complaint, Huberty and the woman met in 2008 when the woman came to him for spiritual counseling.

The woman went to police in May. The priest went on leave and was removed from the church rectory in September pending the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Priest sex abuse victim killed in motorcycle crash

DELAWARE
Houston Chronicle

RANDALL CHASE, Associated Press | November 19, 2013

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware man who reached a $1.7 million settlement in a priest sex abuse case has been killed in a motorcycle accident.

State police say 43-year-old Joseph Curry was riding his motorcycle at high speed Tuesday morning on U.S. 40 when he ran a red light and crashed into a utility trailer.

In 2011, Curry reached a settlement with St. Dennis parish in Galena, Md., over claims that he was molested as a boy by the late Rev. Edward Carley. Carley was one of several pedophile priest identified by the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

ANOTHER LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST SOUTHERN MN PASTOR

MINNESOTA
KDUZ

Another lawsuit has been filed against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, by a man who claims he was one of at least 27 molested by a cleric who served in Hastings, Hector, and other southern Minnesota towns.

MNN reports the personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of John Doe 107 names the late Revered William Marks as his abuser, and also names the Diocese of New Ulm.

Bob Schwiderski of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says he was abused by the same priest in the early 60′s and he is appalled by the refusal of church officials to name every priest credibly accused of molesting children — referring to the story outlined in Luke 25-through-37. Schwiderski says “They have not been good Samaritans. As they have been on that path, riding their donkeys, and they see those lying at the side of the road bleeding they refuse to get off their donkeys and help those that have been harmed”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

I-Team: Letters detail alleged sex abuse in diocese

RHODE ISLAND
NBC 10

Part 1 - I-Team: Letters raise questions about alleged sex abuse in diocese

[with copies of the letters]

Updated: Nov 19, 2013
By Katie Davis

PROVIDENCE -
In a recent investigation, the NBC 10 I-Team obtained through a records request 88 pages detailing sexual abuse by Rhode Island Roman Catholic priests, going back more than 30 years.

In each case, a letter detailing allegations of sexual abuse was sent to Rhode Island State Police by the Diocese of Providence.

The diocese began the practice around 2003, although there's no legal mandate requiring the letters.

A total of 45 letters were sent to state police between 2003 and 2013.

The documents which were stamped "confidential" were heavily redacted by state police.

The names of priests were blacked out, even those people who are already dead. Dates and locations were blacked out. The names of the churches were blacked out too.

But the details that remained were stories from victims who say there were sexually assaulted, raped and told to keep quiet.

Some where children forced to engage in oral sex and were told no one would believe them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Bishop Slater handed over reins to man linked to abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Morning Bulletin

Jessica Grewal 20th Nov 2013

AFTER apologising for his failure to handle child abuse claims, Grafton's outgoing Anglican bishop Keith Slater chose as his replacement a man who for 10 years helped run the home where untold horrors were alleged to have been committed.

The revelation came yesterday, the second day of an inquiry into the Grafton diocese's response to allegations of sexual abuse at Lismore's North Coast Children's Home.

Former acting registrar Anne Hywood was questioned for much of the day about her role in the events leading up to former Grafton Bishop Slater's exit earlier this year.

She told of how she had become so concerned about the way in which Bishop Slater and then registrar and Clarence Valley councillor Pat Comben had handled allegations of sexual abuse at the home that she wrote to senior clergy members in Sydney.

She believed the pair managed claims on their own for many years, without complying with the professional standards protocol and had looked at the situation from a legal position rather than the obligation of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Archdiocese planning parish closures; announcement due in September

NEW YORK
The Journal News

NEW YORK — Faced with a priest shortage and dwindling attendance, the Archdiocese of New York is looking to close and merge some parishes.

The Wall Street Journal says the archdiocese is in discussions with its 368 parishes. It expects to deliver recommendations to Cardinal Timothy Dolan by June.

The decision on closings and mergers is to be announced in September, archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said.

The archdiocese closed 21 parishes in 2007. This year, it also closed 24 Catholic schools.

The Rev. John O’Hara, who’s leading the church’s effort, says the archdiocese has many churches with attendance well below the building’s capacity, making them financially unviable. He says the Catholic church would like to spend more money on education programs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Sexual misconduct charges filed against Maplewood priest

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

by Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
November 19, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman filed criminal sexual misconduct charges Tuesday against the Rev. Mark Huberty, who served as pastor at Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood from 2007 until September.

According to the charges, Huberty inappropriately touched a woman under his spiritual care. They later engaged in other sexual activity over several months in the woman's Maplewood home, at the church and in Huberty's car.

Huberty and the woman were scheduled to go on a vacation to Kansas City in April, the complaint says. He later canceled the vacation, upsetting the victim. She later approached Huberty asking how she could stay in the church and attend mass knowing what they did together. Huberty "revealed that other women friends seemed to have no problem remaining active in the church when their relationship with him ended," the complaint says.

The victim filed a report with the Maplewood Police Department in May after Huberty encouraged her to not tell her husband about the relationship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Lawsuit accuses former St. John's Abbey priest of sexually abusing boy

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Written by
David Unze

ST. PAUL — A civil lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses a former St. John’s Abbey priest of sexually abusing a child at a Hastings parish where he was assigned after his superiors knew he had sexually abused a boy in Cold Spring.

The Rev. Francis “Fran” Hoefgen admitted in March 1984 that he had sexually abused a boy in the St. Boniface parish residence in Cold Spring. Hoefgen was sent to St. Luke Institute in Maryland for evaluation and treatment and never was charged criminally in Stearns County.

Officials in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis then assigned Hoefgen to a parish in Hastings, where he sexually abused another boy from 1989 to 1992, according to the lawsuit. The victim in the Hastings abuse was 10-13 at the time and is suing Hoefgen, St. John’s Abbey, St. Luke Institute and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Hoefgen’s superiors were aware of his record of abuse when they assigned him to Hastings, said attorney Jeff Anderson, who filed the lawsuit. But they did nothing to tell anyone in Hastings about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

New Ulm Diocese Named in Lawsuit

MINNESOTA
KEYC

[with video]

By Mitch Keegan, Anchor, KEYC News

The Diocese of New Ulm has been named in a new lawsuit filed over alleged sexual abuse by a priest.

Minnetonka attorney Patrick Noaker filed the lawsuit in Ramsey County on behalf of a Colorado plaintiff referred to as John Doe 107.

The complaint says Father William Marks, who died in 1979, sexually abused the plaintiff while serving at the Church of St. John in Hector.

The lawsuit also names the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, which was Father Marks' jurisdiction before the New Ulm Diocese was created in 1957.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

MN- Another priest faces criminal charges

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 19 2013

Statement by Minnesota SNAP leader Megan Peterson (218-689-9049, Survivor19@live.com)

We are glad Father Mark Huberty faces criminal charges for sexually exploiting a parishioner. It’s virtually always hurtful – and often illegal – for clerics to have any sexual contact with a congregant.

[Pioneer Press]

If a criminal embezzles from a bank, no one talks about their “financial relationship.” So no one should ever talk about “a relationship” between a predatory priest and a parishioner. It’s a crime. It should be treated and described as a crime. It should not be minimized or mischaracterized by words or phrases that suggest consent when no genuine consent is possible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Man killed in Bear motorcycle crash was clergy sexual abuse victim

DELAWARE
The News Journal

[with video

Joseph L. Curry, one of the first victims of clergy sexual abuse to tell his story publicly in Delaware, died today when his motorcycle slammed into another vehicle on U.S. 40 near Bear.

State police say Curry, 43, of New Castle, was speeding eastbound on U.S. 40 at about 9:21 a.m. when he went through a red traffic light. Police say Thomas B. Christy, 50, of West Chester, Pa., was turning left onto U.S. 40 from Church Road in a 2006 GMC Sierra pickup truck with a utility trailer behind it.

The motorcycle struck the side of the utility trailer, pinning both Curry and the motorcycle underneath it, according to state police spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack.

Curry was taken to Christiana Hospital Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead. Christy was not injured.

Curry was among dozens of abuse victims who filed suit against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington under provisions of the 2007 Child Victims Act. The Delaware law made it possible for those whose cases would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations to file suit in civil court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Lawsuit: St. John's priest admitted abuse, returned to ministry

MINNESOTA
KMSP

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
A Minnesota man filed a lawsuit Tuesday against St. John's Abbey, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the St. Luke Institute, alleging they should have known the priest who abused him was a sexual predator.

The lawsuit claims Rev. Fran Hoefgen sexually abused the victim between 1989 and 1993, when he was 10 to 13 years old. The alleged abuse occurred during Rev. Hoefgen's tenure at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Hastings, Minn.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants should have known Hoefgen was a danger to children because he sexually abused another boy at the St. Boniface School in Cold Spring, Minn. in 1983.

Hoefgen confessed to the St. Boniface abuse in a signed statement to police, but was never charged. Instead, the priest was sent to the St. Luke Institute for mental health evaluation, then returned ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Retired minister found guilty of sexual offences

CANADA
The Record

By Record staff

A retired Anglican priest from Cambridge has been found guilty of sex offences dating back almost 25 years.

Rev. George Ferris, 66, faced two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation in connection with offences that took place in Brant County between 1983 and 1989.

His trial in October was held in Ontario Court in Brantford. The Brantford Expositor reports a 42-year-old witness testified he was molested over several years from the age of about 13, in a situation that escalated from embraces to oral and anal sex. The court was also told the witness asked Ferris for "hush" money in 2006, and received $5,000 deposited in his bank account.

Ferris served at St. James' Anglican Church on Ellis Road in Cambridge for about nine years until his retirement at the end of December 2010. He served as interim priest at St. James' Anglican Church in Ingersoll in 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Maplewood priest had affair with female parishioner, charges say

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 11/19/2013

Prosecutors have charged a Maplewood priest with criminal sexual conduct, alleging he had a sexual relationship with a female parishioner while giving her spiritual guidance.

Mark Andrew Huberty, 43, of the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court.

While meeting regularly with the woman to discuss issues raised in her catechism classes, Huberty asked her to be his friend, according to the criminal complaint.

Huberty "explained that a rule of their friendship was that any touching would be above the waist and over clothing," and began to regularly visit her in her home, the complaint said.

As time went on, Huberty began to slip his hands under the woman's pants and fondle her buttocks, as well as fondle her breast while hugging her, the complaint said. The behavior progressed to Huberty asking the woman to stroke his genitals, charges said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Archdiocese Facing New Allegations Of Priest Abuse

MINNESOTA
WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is facing new accusations of child sexual abuse by a priest.

Those claims are part of a new lawsuit filed by a Twin Cities man who said he was molested by Father Francis Hoefgen, who had already admitted to sexually abusing children. Lawyers held a news conference Tuesday on the matter and are asking the church to hand over more information.

The plaintiff in this suit wants the names of clerics and priests who have been credibly accused of molesting children. Attorneys named the priest at the center of this lawsuit, Hoefgen, and explained why he should not have still been in the priesthood.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday says Rev. Francis Hoefgen molested the man from 1989 through 1992 when the victim was 10 to 13 years old. Hoefgen was at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Probe concludes: Vatican envoy sexually abused 5 Dominican boys

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- The Justice Ministry on Monday said it concluded the investigation into ousted Vatican envoy Jozef Wesolowski with depositions from five victims.

It said the prelate’s case file and has medical exams were sent to the Vatican, with taped the testimony from some of the victims, as well as statements from the deacon Francisco Javier Occis, who was allegedly aware of the Catholic bishop’s actions and affirmed he had intercourse with Wesolowski.

Among the victims is a boy who is18 years of age today, but was abused for several years when he was a minor.

In his deposition, the deacon said that "he (Wesolowski) apparently smoked and took passes (snorted cocaine). He never did it in front of me. He bought the drug on the street,"

The Pope has the audios by the victims and the versions of the deacon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Back to the Future for the Catholic Church?

UNITED STATES
LA Progressive

By John MacMurray

“As it was in the beginning, it now and ever shall be…” pretty much sums up what most of us know about the history of the Catholic Church; it’s always just sort of been there just like it is.

And priests have always been celibate, so stories about young parishioners being molested have been part of Church history since, well, since forever.

Not so, in fact.

The Roman Catholic Church has changed greatly over its long life, and one of the points that has changed is the issue of celibacy for the Clergy.

Until about the 13th century, celibacy was seen as optional.

In fact, most priests and other officials in the early Church were married. The first 39 Popes, from St. Peter (AD32-AD67) to St. Anastasius I (AD399-AD401), were married. During this time also, women were ordained to the priesthood; but that came to an end in AD494.

It was 13th Century Medieval politics that forced the issue. The Church leadership decided that the best way for it to stay out of the nepotism and succession problems was to have an unmarried clergy that was not involved in the fights.

This might be a good time to explain the difference between priests and clerics. A priest is engaged in a vocation of service, a spiritual calling from God. A cleric occupies an organizational position in the institutional church. A man can be a priest without being a cleric.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Diocese named in another suit over alleged clergy abuse

MINNESOTA
The Journal

November 19, 2013
By Kevin Sweeney - Journal Editor , The Journal

NEW ULM - The Diocese of New Ulm has been named as a defendant in a second lawsuit that accuses the diocese of failing to protect parishioners from sexual abuse from a priest that it should have known was a sexual predator.

The lawsuit was filed in Ramsey County Monday on behalf of a defendant identified as John Doe 107, now an adult residing in Colorado. The suit names the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of New Ulm.

The lawsuit claims the plaintiff was sexually abused by the Rev. William J. Marks, who was a priest in the two dioceses from 1948 to 1979. Marks, who died in November 1979, was assigned to parishes including St. Dionysus in Tyler, St. John's Catholic Church in Hector, and St. Clotilde in Green Valley. All were located within the Archdiocese until 1959, when the Diocese of New Ulm was formed.

The suit alleges that the plaintiff was abused by Fr. Marks from 1957 to 1960, when he was 10 to 14 years old and served as an altar boy at St. John's in Hector. The plaintiff said Marks would hug the boy hard, and slide his hands into and over the boy's pants, usually before and after mass when the boy was changing into or out of his altar boy robes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

What Tommy Said (Or: Saving The Furniture)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Abuses at the North Coast Children’s Home have been detailed to the third “case study” hearing of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney this week. The institution was run by the Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England), although their officials have denied this, claiming it was, in fact, run by a committee, and therefore the church was not morally or legally responsible for what happened there.

The audacity of the church’s attempts to deny responsibility can be shown by the inclusion of the sign on the main gate to the Home (pictured above) clearly identifying the “Church of England” (as the Anglican Church was then known). The above photo was tended to the enquiry as evidence.

An insight into Phillip Aspinall’s (see previous posting) church’s duplicity was given by the testimony, today, of lawyer, Simon Harrison, who represented some of the victims. He testified that the way the Anglican Church dealt with the claims was the most “scurrilous and mean-minded” he has ever seen. He said that a lawyer for the Grafton diocese, Peter Roland, claimed there were limited funds for Mr Harrison’s clients.

“He was pleading poverty, but I have seen that so many times with churches I just took it as a matter of course. Out of all the claims I’ve dealt with over quite a few years, the way this was dealt with by the church was perhaps the most scurrilous and mean-minded attitude I’d ever come across quite frankly.” When Mr Harrison represented a former resident, known only as CA, who sought compensation after the group settlement had been reached in 2007, he was told the North Coast Children’s Home file was closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

O’Malley and Curia reform

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, the Archbishop of Boston says “the Church is not a democracy” but a place of “dialogue and prayer”

MARCO TOSATTI
ROME

In two weeks’ time, the international group of eight cardinals Bergoglio chose to advise him on Curia reform will be holding their second meeting to discuss the progress of the work being done. The process of reform will not necessarily be a quick one: Paul VI’s reforms were several years in the making and even John Paul II’s Curia, which was decidedly smaller, took about two years to reform completely. After December’s meeting and another meeting in February on the occasion of the Consistory announced for the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, there will be yet another, apparently informal, meeting between members of the College of Cardinals. During this meeting it is likely that cardinals will at least be given some general guide lines. For now, very little information has been given about concrete plans.

The interview the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley gave a few days ago to the National Catholic Register doesn’t seem to provide any clues either. “As has been announced, there is a desire to reform the curia, to make it more at the service of the Holy Father and the local Churches. The goal is to make the curia more efficient and thus to allow the Holy Father to govern more effectively. It is important to review the functions of the dicasteries and pontifical councils, to see how they can work better.”

Then there is the question of internationalisation, a subject which has been debated for many years and which has been dealt with at the top levels of the Catholic Church (this is the third non-Italian Pope in a row) but perhaps not so much at other levels. “The Church has grown so much and is more international. So there is a desire to internationalize the curia to some extent. That could be difficult, however, because of linguistic challenges and the need for people to live in Rome.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

El plan de la Iglesia colombiana para atacar la pederastia

COLOMBIA
El Tiempo

[Summary: Obeying Vatican orders, the Colombian Catholic Church has begun taking measures to avoid child sexual abuse by priests.]

Denuncias ante las autoridades civiles y un mayor filtro en los seminarios, parte de las medidas.

Obedeciendo a órdenes vaticanas, la Iglesia Católica colombiana empezó a impartir una lista de medidas con las que se busca evitar casos de abusos sexuales a niños por parte de sus sacerdotes.

Se trata de una serie de decretos, producto de una asamblea plenaria de obispos realizada en junio pasado –con instrucciones de la Santa Sede que surgieron desde el pontificado de Benedicto XVI- que ya están siendo implementados en varias jurisdicciones eclesiásticas del país. Las primeras son las diócesis de Ibagué y Espinal (Tolima), Tunja (Boyacá) y Girardota (Antioquia) pero las demás se irán sumando paulatinamente.

En general, estas medidas prometen que habrá tolerancia cero con los sacerdotes involucrados en casos de pederastia. Según monseñor José Daniel Falla, secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal, se busca establecer una política integral de protección a los menores de edad para prevenir, investigar y sancionar eventuales delitos sexuales en las instituciones de la Iglesia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Plucking The Demon Out Of One Eye

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
The American Conservative

By ROD DREHER • November 16, 201

… while leaving a legion of them in one’s own:

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois has announced that he will conduct prayers of exorcism at the city’s cathedral on November 20, the date when Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will sign into law a bill recognizing same-sex marriage.

In a statement released by the Springfield diocese, Bishop Paprocki explained that the ritual of exorcism is designed not only for cases of demonic possession, but also for circumstances when the work of the devil is evident in public activities “and in various forms of opposition to and persecution of the Church.”

I’ll bet there’s not a bit of difference between my view of SSM and Bishop Paprocki’s. But I wonder if Bishop Paprocki has publicly exorcised his chancery. From a 2006 investigation then-Bishop Lucas ordered into his predecessor’s behavior:

Bishop Ryan engaged in sexual misconduct with adults and used his authority to conceal this misconduct. Although denied by Bishop Ryan, this behavior did occur and caused scandal in the Church by leading others to do evil. It resulted in feelings of hurt and anger, as well as thoughts of doubt and mistrust both in the Church as an institution and in its leaders. There is anecdotal evidence of local Catholics abandoning the faith as a result of that behavior. Bishop Ryan no longer resides in the diocese and no longer participates in public ministry.

From the Catholic News Service’s report on the results of the investigation:

Retired Springfield Bishop “engaged in improper sexual conduct and used his office to conceal his activities” when he headed the diocese, said an investigative report released by the diocese Aug. 2.

It said Springfield’s bishop from 1984 to 1999, fostered “a culture of secrecy … that discouraged faithful priests from coming forward with information about misconduct” by other clergy in the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Nienstedt throws “PR ploy” task force under the bus

MINNESOTA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on November 19, 2013

On October 5, the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, which has been mired in a sex abuse and cover-up crisis, announced that an “independent” task force will convene to investigate how archdiocese officials handled abuse allegations, as well as review policies and procedures in place.
.
The official announcement stated that “The Vicar [Fr. Reginald Whitt] and the task force, which will convene this week, will have full authority and all the resources needed to complete their work. The findings and recommendations of this task force will be released publicly when the final report is complete.”

Then, less than two weeks later in a letter to clergy, Rev. Reginald Whitt wrote “Access to these files will be within my control, and limited only to what is necessary for the Task Force to be able to make an informed decision with respect to their policy review.”

Sound familiar? It’s the same tactic that bishops have been using with lay review boards for years: make a big announcement about being “open and transparent,” appoint a review board, then, when media attention dies down, tie the board members’ hands behind their back and throw them under the bus.

It’s public relations, nothing more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Editorial: Synod questionnaire an opportunity to hear from the people

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

NCR Editorial Staff | Nov. 19, 2013

EDITORIAL

The documents we reprinted as a pullout in the center of the Nov. 22-Dec. 5 issue of the newspaper were sent to NCR by someone who feared the questionnaire from the Vatican about next year's Synod of Bishops on the family wouldn't get as wide a distribution as intended, at least here in the United States. The bishops of England and Wales put the questionnaire online for all to examine and respond to, but the instructions from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops didn't seem to push for widest possible distribution.

NCR posted the documents online Oct. 31. At first, a couple church officials said NCR was making too much of this questionnaire -- "We get requests like this all the time. We'll handle it in the usual manner," they said. The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, told another news outlet Nov. 2 that it is "only a document sent to bishops' conferences" and a part of the habitual "praxis" of the Synod of Bishops. To say the document was more than that, he said, was "not true."

But on Nov. 5, the Vatican had called a news conference to explain the documents and it too posted them online. The Synod of Bishops' general secretary, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, said he expected pastors would provide summaries of the views and experiences of their parishioners, and that their findings would be "channeled" in turn through national bishops' conferences for ultimate consideration by the synod. However, he also welcomed individual Catholics to communicate directly with the synod's offices at the Vatican. Synod staff would consider that input for the synod's working document, which should be published in May 2014, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

TX - New Ft. Worth bishop named; SNAP responds

FORT WORTH (TX)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013

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

Msgr. Michael F. Olson has been named the bishop of the Ft. Worth Catholic diocese.

[Star-Telegram]

We are glad every time a newly named bishop comes from outside a chancery office. Olson is no “outsider.” But we are encouraged because his last position wasn’t inside a diocesan headquarters.

Still, we urge Ft. Worth citizens and Catholics to be skeptical. Vigilance protects kids. Complacency protects no one. So while it’s tempting to give the new guy “the benefit of the doubt,” we urge parishioners and the public to report known and suspected clergy sexual misdeeds to secular officials, not church officials.

There are 12 publicly accused Ft. Worth child molesting clerics (according to BishopAccountability.org). We suspect the real number us three or four or five times higher. We hope the new bishop will scour the files and disclose the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting cleric who lives/lived or works/worked in the diocese (whether living or deceased, religious order or diocesan). And we hope he will update the list regularly and publicly.

Finally, we hope he will aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Father William Paiz. Last year, Fr. Paiz was accused of assaulting a child at All Saints Catholic Church, St. George Catholic Church and other locations. He worked at Nolan High School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Seminary rector named bishop of Fort Worth, Texas

FORT WORTH (TX)
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Nov. 19, 2013 NCR Today

This is a press release from the U.S. bishops' conference this morning:

Pope names seminary rector bishop of Fort Worth, Texas

November 19, 2013

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Msgr. Michael Olson, 47, a priest of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas and rector of Holy Trinity Seminary at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, as bishop of Fort Worth.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, November 19, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

He succeeds Bishop Kevin Vann, who was named bishop of Orange, California, September 21, 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Good News for Fort Worth

FORT WORTH (TX)
National Catholic Reporter

Michael Sean Winters | Nov. 19, 2013 Distinctly Catholic

"Il Santo Padre Francesco ha nominato Vescovo di Fort Worth (U.S.A.) Mons. Michael F. Olson, del clero della medesima diocesi, finora Rettore del Seminario Holy Trinity a Irving, Texas."

Placet! I remember Bishop-elect Olson when he was a Basselin Scholar at Theological College when I was also an inmate there. He was very smart and very, very funny. I also like the idea of bishops being chosen from within a diocese, not always, but a good candidate should not be excluded simply because he is a priest of the diocese in question. The good people of Ft. Worth are getting a very good man as their bishop. Ad multos annos!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Latest Vatican Reform Has Scores of Priests Returning to Their Dioceses

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

by ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI/CNA 11/19/2013

VATICAN CITY — At least 30 priests employed in Vatican departments may be removed from their posts and sent to dioceses in the following months, according to three different Vatican sources.
“The Congregation for Clergy will be the first of the list,” a Vatican source familiar with the congregation told CNA.

Four priests employed in the congregation have been called to serve in dioceses. Among them is Msgr. Luciano Alimandi, who had been private secretary for a number of years to the department’s former head Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos.

According to the source, Msgr. Alimandi and the other three were “all part of the Cardinal Mauro Piacenza’s inner circle.” He was prefect of the Congregation for Clergy until last September.

Cardinal Piacenza was appointed to lead the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary tribunal on Sept. 21. Archbishop Beniamino Stella replaced him as prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Lawsuit: Priest admitted abuse but stayed active

MINNESOTA
Westport News

By AMY FORLITI, Associated Press
Updated 12:48 pm, Tuesday, November 19, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest in Hastings is suing the Twin Cities archdiocese, St. John's Abbey, and a center that treats clergy with psychological issues.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday says Rev. Francis Hoefgen molested the man from 1989 through 1992 when the victim was 10 to 13 years old. Hoefgen was at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church at the time.

The lawsuit alleges defendants should have known Hoefgen was a danger because he molested another boy in 1983 at St. Boniface rectory in Cold Spring. Hoefgen admitted the abuse to police in a signed statement but wasn't charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 PM

Abuse allegation against deceased priest credible

MICHIGAN
The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Officials of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette have deemed credible a recent allegation of sexual abuse of a minor made against a deceased religious order priest from Belgium.

The allegation was lodged against the Rev. Bernard ("Father Ben") Van der Schueren, S.J., a priest of the Society of Jesus, commonly called the Jesuits. The complaint deals with an incident involving a boy that happened during July of 1989 when Van der Schueren filled in for a diocesan priest at St. Michael Parish in Marquette, according to a press release from the diocese.

Van der Schueren died in 2009 at the age of 86.

As soon as the allegation was received, diocesan officials immediately began following the Diocese of Marquette's Policy on Sexual Misconduct in Ministry, the release said. In keeping with that policy, the complaint was referred to Jesuit leadership, in this case, the Chicago-Detroit Province.

In addition, the Office of the Administrator of the Diocese of Marquette informed the Diocesan Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People of the complaint, and the diocesan attorney reported the allegation to the Marquette County Prosecutor's Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Ex-Hastings priest living in Anoka County named in abuse suit

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 11/19/2013

A former Hastings priest and St. John's Abbey were among those named Tuesday in a lawsuit by a Minnesota man who alleges the priest sexually abused him after "graduating" from a sex-offender treatment facility.

The alleged victim, now in his 30s, also sued the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the treatment facility, Saint Luke Institute of Silver Springs, MD.

Rev. Francis Hoefgen admitted to police in 1984 that he sexually abused a minor, then was assigned the next year to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings after an evaluation at the institute, said the plaintiff's attorney, Jeff Anderson, of St. Paul, in a statement.

It was at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton that Hoefgen sexually abused the plaintiff, identified as John Doe 27.

Hoefgen, a member of St. John's Abbey, remained in ministry until 1992, serving in Cold Spring, Minn., as well as Hastings, Anderson said. Public records show him living currently in Columbia Heights. He was only 42 when his priestly assignments ended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Suit says St. Luke clergy treatment center failed to protect victims

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune Updated: November 19, 2013

Tuesday’s lawsuit claims prominent clergy treatment center and archdiocese concealed threat to minors.

Lawyers filed suit Tuesday morning in St. Paul against a Catholic-run treatment facility that cared for an abusive priest who then was sent to a new parish where he allegedly targeted a 10-year-old boy for years of repeated abuse.

Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul attorney who filed the suit on behalf of “Doe 27,” said it is the first lawsuit under Minnesota’s new Child Victims Act to name St. Luke Institute as a defendant. The facility in Silver Spring, Md., has been a popular destination for the treatment of Minnesota Catholic monks and priests who have been accused of sexual abuse of children, other sexual misconduct and addiction. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville are also being sued on behalf of Doe 27.

Coupled with a separate sexual abuse lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of a victim of another priest, the archdiocese has been sued at least 21 times since the Child Victims Act lifted the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse cases and gave past victims a three-year window to bring previously barred claims.

Susan Gibbs, a spokeswoman for St. Luke Institute, said she had not seen the lawsuit and had no immediate comment. The archdiocese could not be reached immediately for comment.

According to the latest complaint, the Rev. Francis Hoefgen, now 63, openly admitted to police in Cold Spring, Minn., that he sexually abused a 17-year-old boy while assigned to St. Boniface of Cold Spring in 1983. Then-Abbot Jerome Theisen, who was in charge of monks and priests from St. John’s Abbey, learned of the abuse in March 1984 and directed him to St. Luke’s, where he resided for about six months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Brion T. Ares

WORCESTER (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Ares was a priest of the Worcester diocese, ordained in 1987. He was was indicted in late 1993 on charges of rape and indecent assault on a male youth who had gone to him for counseling. The case ended in a mistrial when the jury couldn't reach a verdict. Ares died in 1998.

Ordained: 1987

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

Gallup’s victim tally rivals dioc