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January 31, 2014

Montana Catholic diocese files for bankruptcy in abuse settlement

MONTANA
Reuters

BY LAURA ZUCKERMAN
Sat Feb 1, 2014

Jan 31 (Reuters) - A Montana Roman Catholic diocese filed for bankruptcy on Friday as part of a proposed $17.5 million settlement with hundreds of adults alleging childhood sexual abuse by its priests, nuns and lay workers, a church spokesman said.

The Helena diocese, serving an estimated 44,500 Catholics in 57 parishes and 38 missions in western Montana, is the eleventh U.S. diocese to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization since 2004 because of liabilities linked to child abuse cases.

Under the proposed agreement, the church would pay $15 million to settle claims brought by 362 victims in two lawsuits filed in 2011. It also would set aside an additional $2.5 million for future claims and to cover legal costs, said Helena diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson.

"We don't really have any reserves," Bartleson said, adding that bankruptcy protection would help facilitate the payouts to abuse survivors. The agreement must still be approved by a federal bankruptcy court and by victims.

Attorneys representing the majority of claimants said the move brought the church closer to accepting responsibility for abuse that spanned three decades beginning in the 1940s and affected both young children and young adults. ...

The settlement does not include the Ursuline Sisters, also defendants in the case against the Helena diocese, Bartleson said. Claims against the sisters are tied to Native Americans who allege they were abused decades ago as students in Montana schools overseen by the order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Montana Catholic diocese files bankruptcy to settle sex abuse claims

MONTANA
Los Angeles Times

Associated Press
January 31, 2014

HELENA, Mont. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena filed for bankruptcy protection Friday as part of a proposed $15-million settlement for hundreds of victims who say clergy members sexually abused them over decades while the church covered it up.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan comes after confidential mediation sessions with the plaintiffs' attorneys and insurers, resulting in a proposed deal to resolve the abuse claims, diocese officials said.

Bishop George Leo Thomas expressed his “profound sorrow” at a news conference and apologized to the victims.

“I know the pain is real, the pain is in the present tense, and in the name of the church, I want to say I'm sorry and we're sorry as a church,” Thomas said.

The $15 million “will at least be a beginning point for people who are seeking resolution in their lives and in their hearts,” he added. ...

Molly Howard, an attorney for the plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits, said she believed the bankruptcy process would resolve the case more quickly than years of litigation and trials with uncertain outcomes.

“Given the age and ill health of many of the victims, this is in their best interest,” Howard said. ...

David Clohessy, the executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, criticized the diocese for seeking bankruptcy protection, saying it would allow church officials to keep records closed that might have come out in a trial.

He also said the settlement fell short because it did not publicly name the church officials who shielded and protected predator clergy members.

“Those individuals have to be exposed and punished,” Clohessy said.

Thomas said in response that church officials would comb their records to see if there were “intentional failures of leadership.” But the records from the time of the abuse are incomplete, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 PM

Diocese settlement only part of the victims healing

MONTANA
KPAX

by Jacqueline Quynh - KPAX News
Updated: Jan 31, 2014

MISSOULA - Despite the settlement, the anguish of the victims is not going away. And, even though the diocese has reached a settlement with 362 victims of sexual abuse, to some this by no means is closure. We talked with 4 victims, men and women, who came forward on Friday, to share the experiences they say, no one would believe, or chose to ignore. They talked about how hard it was to have had to carry this pain all these years alone.

And they tell us, the settlement at least gives light to something that had happened for decades, and that this acknowledgement could help prevent abuse in the future. "The apology the fact that we were telling the truth is a big deal, the most important, but it doesn't take away the pain, I've dealt with for over 50 years, the disappointment because I wanted to be a nun," said Jackie Trotch, abuse survivor.

That's just one of the stories we heard on Friday, and they are all hard to hear. The Tamaki Law Firm vows to continue to pursue more cases of abuse. The group is currently preparing for a case against the Ursuline Sister of the Western Province. Also as part of the settlement, The Diocese of Helena will provide counseling for abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 PM

Lawsuit against St. Ignatius Ursuline Academy to proceed, lawyers say

MONTANA
Missoulian

By Kathryn Haake

Lawyers representing victims of sexual assault that allegedly occurred for more than 40 years at the Ursuline Academy in St. Ignatius are pledging to take the case to trial this summer – even after the Catholic Diocese of Helena filed for bankruptcy Friday to settle a similar lawsuit.

The case against the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province alleges that 10 nuns sexually abused Native American children at the Catholic boarding school from the 1930s to the 1970s, and lists 37 men and women as the victims of sexual molestation.

The lead counsel in the case, Blaine Tamaki of the Tamaki Law Offices of Yakima, Wash., is hoping to go to trial this summer and expose the alleged abuse to the public.

The 2011 lawsuit was filed in conjunction with another lawsuit against the Diocese of Helena, listing 362 victims as plaintiffs. The diocese filed for bankruptcy and pledged a settlement of $15 million Friday, to be funded by insurance and the diocese’s assets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 PM

Sex offender no longer a priest, Anglican Church says

CANADA
The Record

By Record staff

Convicted sex offender George Ferris is no longer an Anglican priest.

The Cambridge man has been sentenced to five-and-a-half-years in prison for three sexual assaults on teenage boys in the 1980s and 1990s.

The retired minister from Cambridge was most recently in court in Brantford on Wednesday, when he was sentenced on two charges. He was found not guilty of one count of sexual exploitation of a young person.

Ferris has now been stripped of his title of priest.

Reverend Robert Bennett, of the Anglican Diocese of Huron, disciplined Ferris on Thursday, a church press release says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Love to all

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Posted on January 31, 2014 by lewisblayse

Dear all,

My Dad, Lewis, passed away last night. They think he had a heart attack.

To everyone who has supported his work and encouraged him in his fight against paedophilia, thank you. He was behind in his emails, but intended to respond to all who have sent messages of support.

Please watch ABC 24 tonight and the rerun of “The Homies” on Four Corners at 8pm.

I will post again when I have details about his funeral, for those who would like to attend.

With love,

Aletha

[Postscript: Dad believed that when we die, we become a pure beam of light energy, unrestricted by time or space. He told me that when it was his time, he was looking forward to exploring the universe.]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

The UK Paedophile Scandal

UNITED KINGDOM
Whatsupic

By Michael Aydinian

Whatsupic -- I often wonder whether or not people outside the UK are cognizant of what is nothing less than one of the greatest Paedophile scandals in history? It's bad enough in the UK, for the entire mainstream media has been doing it's level best to hush up the whole sordid affair. Indeed the very foundations of this scandal is inextricably linked to the BBC for Disc Jockey Jimmy Savile began his association with them in the mid 60's. His eccentric, flamboyant manner would make him a household name. As well as presenting Top of the Pops, at the time a popular music show, his program 'Jim'll Fix It' became prime time viewing, very much catching the imagination of younger generation! Here the somewhat outlandish wishes of children would become reality! For the largely unsuspecting public Jimmy Savile was fast-becoming an iconic figure; For the BBC he had become an absolute gold mine!

It has to be said Savile's philanthropic activities made him the very last person people would ever suspect of wrong-doing! His lifetime work fundraising for charities & hospitals amassed as much as a staggering £40 million! Small wonder senior politicians, Prime Ministers & even Royalty were attracted to him. Evidently he spent several Christmas holidays at the residence of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. It seemed he could do no wrong! Of course we now know nothing could have been further from the truth!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Francis: In the Church children need to be protected and supported

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

In today’s address to participants at the Plenary meeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Pope urged them to reflect further on Benedict XVI’s teachings regarding the relationship between marriage and faith

IACOPO SCARAMUZZI
VATICAN CITY

Children must always be protected and supported in their human and spiritual development,” Francis said in this morning’s audience with participants at the Plenary meeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led by Mgr. Gerhard Ludwig Müller. The meeting was a chance for the Pope to emphasise the importance of not portraying Catholic doctrine as an ideology, reducing it to a “bunch of abstract, crystalised theories”; it was also a chance for him to urge the Vatican dicastery to safeguard the integrity of the faith “always working with local Pastors and the doctrinal commissions of the various Episcopal Conferences. Francis asked the dicastery to dig deeper into the relationship between personal faith and celebration of the Sacrament of marriage.”

“You must think of the wellbeing of children and young people. In Christian communities they must always be protected and supported in their human and spiritual development,” Francis said, clearly alluding to the issue of clerical sex abuse of minors. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is canonically responsible for stamping out sex abuse in the Church. “we are looking into the possibility of linking your dicastery with the special commission for the protection of children which I set up and which should be seen as an example by all of those who intend to safeguard the wellbeing of children.” In December Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston and a member of the Council of Cardinals - the so-called “C8” which is helping the Pope to reform the Roman Curia and govern the universal Church - announced the decision to set up the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Doyle rebuts Cardinal George regarding Chicago abuse files

CHICAGO (IL)
National Catholic Reporter

Robert McClory | Jan. 31, 2014 NCR Today

In a blistering rebuttal of Chicago Cardinal Francis George's response to the release of the files on priest abusers, Fr. Tom Doyle analyzes in painful detail what the cardinal wrote in his Jan. 12 column in the Chicago New World. Doyle finds the cardinal "defensive, misleading and insulting in addition to the fact that it does not reflect the reality of the key issues." He takes particular aim at the cardinal's discussion of the case of Dan McCormack and his denial that he acted contrary to the findings of his own review board.

In the conclusion of his lengthy analysis, Doyle said, "It goes without saying that the Cardinal and the archdiocese would have been much better served had he said nothing. But he didn't remain silent. The McCormack fiasco was not the result of confusing or bungled procedures, incomplete information. It was the result of the Cardinal's arrogance, his over-riding concern for his and the Church's image and worst of all, his disdain for the victims. The attitude that underlies the Cardinal's statement is not unique to him. This attitude, painfully evident wherever clergy sexual abuse has been reported throughout the Church, shows that the bishops in general have a long, long way to go before their actions began to match up with their promises."

Doyle's analysis, published in National Survivor Advocates Coalition News on Thursday, follows:

Guest Opinion

CLERGY SEX ABUSE TRANSPARENCY ACCORDING TO CARDINAL GEORGE

Introducing Faith and Justice, the new column from NCR senior analyst Thomas Reese, SJ. Sign up for email alerts here.
Thomas Doyle

January 20, 2014

The leadership of the Archdiocese of Chicago has a mediocre to poor track record in responding to reports of clergy sexual abuse and their honesty with the public. Cardinal George's recent statement to the archdiocese (January 12, 2014 in The Catholic New World) does nothing to change this pattern. This statement was issued to prepare the archdiocese for the release of the files of thirty priests confirmed as sexual abusers. His statement is defensive, misleading and insulting in addition to the fact that it does not reflect the reality of the key issues. A significant part of the statement is devoted to the defense of his mishandling of the Dan McCormack case. The McCormack files are not among those released!

In 1982 the parents of a minor boy reported that former Fr. Bob Mayer had sexually abused their teenaged son. This was under Cardinal Cody's watch. They reported the abuse to the archdiocese and in return were intimidated and even threatened with excommunication by the chancellor at the time, Fr. J. Richard Keating who later became the bishop of Arlington VA. In 1988 they finally settled for a measly $10,000.00 that didn't even cover their legal costs. The boy's mother was not about to succumb to the scare tactics nor was she buying any of the dishonest mumbo-jumbo served up as excuses for their deliberate neglect. She went on to found the Linkup which quickly became one of the two most influential victim support organizations in the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

It's time a healing took place in our church

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Gumbleton | Jan. 31, 2014 The Peace Pulpit

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 8:23-9:3
Psalms 27:1, 4, 13-14
1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
Matthew 4:12-23
Full text of the readings

As we begin this account in Matthew's Gospel of the public life of Jesus, at the very beginning, we are challenged directly by Jesus: "Change your lives, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand -- change your lives." The word is one that means a profound reordering of our lives -- a 180-degree turn, a change in our value systems. The reign of God or the kingdom of heaven -- this is something that Jesus is beginning to proclaim.

It's important that we get a sense of what Jesus means by this kingdom of heaven. First of all, it has nothing to do with the afterlife. We might think, "The kingdom of heaven -- that's where we go after we die." No; what it refers to is the reign of God, the reign of God throughout all of creation -- on our planet, on our earth, in our lives. It refers to God working effectively in our everyday lives right here and now. ...

If there's been an offense against another, we go first and be reconciled. What I'm referring to is something that became very prominent in the news this week. It was reported on national news that the Chicago archdiocese, because of court order, released the personnel files on priests who had abused victims. Over the decades, these priests have been sheltered and then moved from one parish to another, and for a long time, never really held accountable.

Now finally, the files come out, and it's clear that the bishops were much more concerned about protecting the good name of the church, preventing what they call scandal. They did such things as recently as the year 2000. Cardinal [Francis] George wrote a letter to a priest in prison whose prison sentence he was seeking to reduce, and he writes, "It would be a great fulfillment of the millennium spirit to see your captive heart set free."

The cardinal was saying how marvelous it would be if this priest would be released from jail. But there's no letter to the victim. There's no letter going to the victim, saying, "Yes, we need to be reconciled and go and be reconciled," with the perpetrator coming, admitting the guilt, and asking forgiveness. The victims in these cases have just been ignored. Further back, a priest wrote to Cardinal [Joseph] Bernardin from jail, "How full of shame I feel for having betrayed you and the archdiocese."

No shame or sense of having to make reconciliation with the person whom he abused or the many people he abused. There's been a big gap in what is happening in the church and what Pope John Paul II called, "A cancer on the body of Christ" -- the sex abuse scandal. We still haven't gotten to the real way and the only way that this healing could take place. The victims or survivors are still treated as though they're adversaries.

People still say they only want the money. They don't recognize these are people who have been profoundly hurt, who have been denied the real acceptance of what they say happened to them. The priests deny it, the bishops hide it, and even if the person tries to forgive, there's no one there to receive the forgiveness. There can't be reconciliation until the one who has perpetrated the harm comes, as Jesus says in the Gospel, "Go first and be reconciled with your brother or sister, then come and offer your gift."

We have failed in this terrible cancer on the body of the church -- failed to bring about the healing that is still so much needed for the thousands of people around the world who have been abused and then denied a real chance for reconciliation, not recognized as the ones who have been hurt. My thought is that we, as a community of people, followers of Jesus, trying to change our lives and live the gospel of love, must do what we can first of all, in changing our lives to live out that commandment of Jesus -- love one another as I have loved you -- and spelled out in Paul's letter to the Corinthians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Lawyers suing two Catholic dioceses in Montana represent more than 250 clients

MONTANA
Kosnoff Fasy

Breaking News: Helena Diocese Bishop George Leo Thomas asks sex-abuse victims to come forward.

Incidents of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church are well-known, as are the Church’s attempts to cover up and even ignore the crimes of sexual predators. Across the country, court records have detailed how church officials for years have knowingly transferred offending priests from one location to another.

Currently, we’re involved in two large, multi-plaintiff cases in Montana against the Helena diocese and the Great Falls-Billings diocese.

Helena Diocese Sex Abuse

The case against the Helena diocese was filed in September 2011 in Montana First Judicial District Court of Lewis and Clark County in Helena, Montana. We represent 250 men and women in that case. More abuse survivors continue to come forward, and we continue to investigate claims of abuse in that diocese. Recently, we ran a TV commercial urging survivors to come forward to file a claim while they still can, before settlement talks later this year.

Helena’s Bishop George Leo Thomas urged survivors to come forward and recently pledged that the Diocese will open its books and attempt to use a mediator to settle claims for those sexually abused by clergy in western Montana. Diocese officials posted on its web site, “The Diocese is working with victims’ attorneys and has extended an offer for Bishop George Thomas to meet with victims individually.” http://www.diocesehelena.org/resources/safe-env/_pdfs/reporting.pdf

Meanwhile, the case against the Great Falls-Billings diocese is progressing on behalf of 29 child sex-abuse victims. Additional witnesses have come forward with information, and we’re continuing to investigate. The case has been filed in Montana Eighth Judicial District Court in Cascade County. The case has numerous unnamed alleged perpetrators and five named alleged abusers, including Father Ted Szudera. One of our clients, a former altar boy, was raped by Szudera for two years. The Great Falls diocese conducted its own self-styled investigation, dismissed the allegations as unfounded and allowed Szudera to continue serving as a priest around children. Following the allegations, Szudera served on a bishop’s committee advising the diocese on how to handle clergy sex-abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Catholic diocese in Helena, Mont., to file for bankruptcy to resolve sex abuse lawsuits

MONTANA
NBC News

[letter from the bishop]

By Alessandra Malito, NBC News

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Mont., planned to file for bankruptcy on Friday to pave the way for a $15 million settlement of lawsuits alleging clergy members sexually abused 362 children over five decades, according to a diocese spokesman.

“The settlement here will be as much help financially as we can offer to claimants,” the spokesman, Dan Bartleson, told NBCNews.com. “And the bankruptcy puts us in a place at the diocese where we can care for the Catholics who are currently part of the church.”

The lawsuits, originally filed in 2011, claimed that clergy members had abused children from the 1940s to 1980s and that the diocese knew or should have known what was happening.

“It’s widespread … (and) some of the most horrific abuse we’ve dealt with,” Dan Fasy, an attorney with law firm Kosnoff Fasy, which represents 268 of the 362 claimants, told NBC News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

“Bishop” Raymond Goedert And Clergy Sex Abuse: “We Have Done What We Were Obliged To Do.”

CHICAGO (IL)
Rant Lifestyle

Retired Chicago auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert was vicar for priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s until leaving that post in September, 1991 upon becoming a Bishop. The post of vicar for priests put him in charge of dealing with charges of sexual abuse by clergy. It was during Goedert’s tenure as vicar that two of the most notorious cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests in the Chicago Archdiocese came to light, that of Robert Mayer, who eventually served a three year sentence for fondling a teenage girl in a church rectory and of Vince McCaffrey, who is currently serving a 20 year sentence for child pornography. These were only the two most notable cases of such abuse that came to light during Goedert’s tenure.

That Mayer and McCaffrey wound up in jail had nothing to do with Goedert’s efforts; during Goedert’s entire tenure as vicar for priests, he never once called police when allegations of perversion by his priests arose. Not once…even though, as Goedert admitted, priests who were confronted with allegations “frequently, if not always, admitted to it.”

Goedert argues that he didn’t call police because, at the time of his service as vicar, clergy were not “mandated reporters,” specifically required to report cases of sexual abuse to the authorities, under Illinois law. Goedert expects us to believe that, while he was, as he puts it, “concerned for the children,” he did only what he was required by law to do to protect them. Oh, yeah, he was concerned with the children, but not to the point at which he would do anything more than the letter of the law required, especially when doing so might hurt the reputation of the Church…which, one suspects, is the heart of the matter, though Goedert would never admit that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Montana diocese to file bankruptcy protection amid sex abuse lawsuits

UNITED STATES
The Guardian (UK)

Associated Press in Helena
theguardian.com, Friday 31 January 2014

The Roman Catholic diocese of Helena planned to file for bankruptcy protection Friday in advance of proposed settlements for two lawsuits that claim clergy members sexually abused 362 people over decades and the church covered it up.

Diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson said the Chapter 11 bankruptcy re-organization will be filed Friday morning, and comes after confidential mediation sessions with the plaintiffs' attorneys, resulting in the deals to resolve the abuse claims.

The settlement details are being worked out, but the US Bankruptcy Court in Montana would be responsible for approving and supervising the disbursement of $15m to compensate the identified victims, plus an additional amount set aside for those who come forward later.

The victims and creditors will have the chance to vote on the proposed settlement, Bartleson said.

The plaintiffs' attorneys said they planned to release a statement later Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Money drove church to fail child victims

AUSTRALIA
Sunshine Coast Daily

Jessica Grewal 1st Feb 2014

DRIVEN by a desire to protect church money, the Anglican Diocese of Grafton "comprehensively failed" victims of child sex abuse and in some cases, damaged them further, the royal commission has heard.

Sweeping reforms to the structure of the Anglican Church are likely after the senior barrister tasked with bringing evidence before last year's North Coast Children's Home inquiry released a damning assessment of its ability to deal with child abuse survivors and discipline the perpetrators.

The landmark inquiry uncovered haunting accounts from former residents of the Lismore home and raised serious questions about the Grafton Diocese's response to a group compensation claim and its treatment of the victims involved.

Counsel Assisting the Commission Simeon Beckett found that despite having "sufficient assets to meet the claims of the abused former residents", the Diocese chose to protect its finances rather than provide victims with "appropriate redress".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Church fails in duty as Tweed priest abuser kept on

AUSTRALIA
My Daily News

THE royal commission has been asked to find that the Anglican Church failed in its duty to report and discipline convicted sex offender and former Tweed Parish priest Allan Kitchingman.

In a damning report released on Thursday, counsel assisting the Commissioner Simeon Beckett submitted there were 59 findings available to the commission arising from last year's inquiry into the Grafton Diocese response to allegations of abuse at Lismore's North Coast Children's Home.

During the hearing, diocese members were questioned as to what steps had been taken to reprimand Kitchingman, whose name remained on the Anglican Church directory for some time after he was convicted of five counts of sexual assault.

Court documents revealed Kitchingman was chaplain of the home when he sexually abused a boy at a Ballina youth camp.

He went on to serve for more than a decade between Mullumbimby and Tweed Heads, and was charged in 2002, aged 69, and jailed for a minimum of 18 months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Accusations against priest now being investigated by police

AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

1st Feb 2014

Reverend Campbell Brown, a retired Grafton priest believed to be living in the Newcastle area, is accused of sexually assaulting children, including whistleblower Richard "Tommy" Campion, while he was in a position of trust at the Lismore home.

Documents tendered to the commission this week confirm Rev Brown was referred to the police in December last year.

He had previously been referred to the Child Abuse Squad in 2006.

At the time, the Grafton Diocese was told Rev Brown had not had any contact with the Church since the ordination of women, was nearly 80 years old and was vision impaired.

The commission heard the Diocese was first made aware of allegations against Rev Brown and another priest - Rev Winston Morgan, through a letter, written by Mr Campion in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

Officials say final report on visitation of U.S. nuns expected soon

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service | Jan. 31, 2014

VATICAN CITY Before the year dedicated to consecrated life begins in November, the Vatican congregation for religious hopes to release its final report on the 2009-2010 visitation of U.S. women's communities.

Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, said, "We are working intensely on the final report, and after careful study and consideration, we think it will be made public soon. We're at a good point. I think we can conclude it before the beginning of the Year for Consecrated Life" in November.

The former prefect of the congregation, Cardinal Franc Rodé, initiated the visitation in January 2009, saying its aim would be to study the community, prayer and apostolic life of the orders to learn why the number of religious women in the United States had declined so sharply since the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Montana Catholic diocese files for bankruptcy in face of 362 abuse claims

MONTANA
Washington Times

By Cheryl K. Chumley-The Washington Times

A Roman Catholic diocese in Montana has filed for bankruptcy, the latest move to resolve a long-running court fight against 300-plus plaintiffs who allege the church covered up the years of childhood abuse they suffered.

Three-hundred and sixty-two plaintiffs joined separate lawsuits in 2011, accusing church officials of abusing them when they were children, between the years of 1930 and 1980 — and that the church knew of the abuse, CNN reported.

Plaintiffs also allege the Diocese of Helena actively protected some of the church officials who were involved in the abuse, CNN said.

The case has been stretching for months. Various mediation attempts have failed, and it’s hoped that the bankruptcy will bring about an acceptable resolution, diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson said, CNN reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Helena Diocese plans to file for bankruptcy reorganization

MONTANA
KXLH

HELENA - The Diocese of Helena plans to file for financial reorganization in federal bankruptcy court on Friday, January 31st.

In a press release on Friday, the diocese called the move "a major step toward bringing resolution to 362 claims of abuse of minors by diocesan priests, religious community priests, women religious and lay workers who have served in the diocese, primarily between 30 and 60 years ago."

The filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Butte results from negotiations with "known abuse survivors" and the diocese's insurers.

"The Diocese chose a pastoral mode and entered into a confidential mediation process," the diocese said.

Negotiations in the matter are still ongoing, but the settlement will include a $15 million fund for victims already identified, and additional funds for possible additional victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Montana diocese in bankruptcy move amid abuse lawsuits

UNITED STATES
BBC News

A Roman Catholic diocese in the US state of Montana has filed for bankruptcy protection, amid claims hundreds of children were abused.

Two 2011 lawsuits against the diocese in Helena, the state capital, allege that 362 children were abused between 1940-1980.

Plaintiffs claim the diocese protected the offenders or turned a blind eye.

The filing precedes proposed settlements reached during confidential mediation sessions, US media report.

A Montana bankruptcy court will be responsible for approving disbursement of a reported $15m (£9m) in compensation for identified victims, plus an undisclosed amount to be set aside for those plaintiffs who come forward at a later date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Helena Diocese plans to file for bankruptcy reorganization

MONTANA
KAJ18

Jan 31, 2014 10:29 AM by Sanjay Talwani - MTN News

HELENA - The Diocese of Helena plans to file for financial reorganization in federal bankruptcy court on Friday, Jan. 31.

In a news release on Friday, the diocese called the move "a major step toward bringing resolution to 362 claims of abuse of minors by diocesan priests, religious community priests, women religious and lay workers who have served in the diocese, primarily between 30 and 60 years ago."

The filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Butte results from negotiations with "known abuse survivors" and the diocese's insurers.

"The Diocese chose a pastoral mode and entered into a confidential mediation process," the diocese said.

Negotiations in the matter are still ongoing, but the settlement will include a $15 million fund for victims already identified, and additional funds for possible additional victims.

"On behalf of the entire Diocese of Helena, I express my profound sorrow and sincere apologies to anyone who was abused by a priest, a sister, or a lay Church worker," Helena Bishop George Leo Thomas said in the statement . "No child should experience harm from anyone who serves in the Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

In the Spirit...

MONTANA
Wisconsin State Journal

In the Spirit: Madison Bishop Robert Morlino's former diocese to file for bankruptcy

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

The Catholic Diocese of Helena, Mont., will file for bankruptcy reorganization Friday as part of its effort to resolve two lawsuits that claim clergy members sexually abused 362 people over several decades and the church covered it up.

Madison Bishop Robert Morlino served as bishop of the Helena diocese from 1999-2003. The lawsuits were filed in 2011 and relate to allegations of abuse from the 1940s to the 1970s, according to the Associated Press.

The allegations pre-date Morlino's tenure in Helena, and he has not been brought into any conversations related to the lawsuits, said Brent King, spokesman for the Madison Catholic Diocese.

A statement released Friday by the Helena diocese said the details of the settlements are still being worked out but that $15 million would be available to compensate the currently identified victims, with additional settlement funds for other and unknown victims.

Morlino was bishop of Helena in 2002 when the national priest-abuse crisis broke. In a 2002 story in the (Helena) Independent Record, Morlino referenced allegations of abuse that pre-dated his arrival there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena Files for Bankruptcy

MONTANA
ABC Fox Montana

By Emily Foster

HELENA -
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena is filing for bankruptcy protection amid lawsuits claiming clergy members abused 362 children over decades.

Diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson said in a statement Friday the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization case will help resolve the abuse claims.

The diocese covers western Montana and employs about 200 people.

The two lawsuits filed in 2011 claim clergy members abused the children from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Facing Abuse Claims, Helena Diocese to File for Bankruptcy

MONTANA
Wall Street Journal

By Tom Corrigan

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena said Friday it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to resolve more than 350 sexual abuse claims.

The filing, expected later Friday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Butte, Mont., follows a mediation process that resulted in a settlement with insurers and the individuals who have brought sexual abuse claims against the diocese.

“Once the reorganization proceedings conclude, we will be able to plan confidently for future ministry for the people of the Church of the Diocese of Helena,” Helena Bishop George Leo Thomas said Friday in a statement.

Should a bankruptcy judge approve the settlement, the diocese would pay $15 million to currently identified holders of sexual abuse claims with additional funding set aside for others who may come forward with abuse claims in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Priest is Accused of Misconduct

NEW MEXICO
Cibola Beacon

Staff Report

According to Suzanne Hammons, the spokesperson for the Diocese of Gallup, Father Timothy Conlon, a priest of the Diocese, has been credibly accused of two incidents of sexual abuse toward a minor.

Conlon, a member of the Crosier Brothers, based in Phoenix, Ariz., was in the process of becoming incardinated within the Gallup Diocese when the accusations came to light.

The accusations refer to an incident that took place approximately 40 years ago, before Fr. Conlon came to Arizona and before he was ordained a priest.

Upon learning of the accusation, Bishop James Wall immediately notified law enforcement in Arizona, and, working with the Crosier Prior Provincial Thomas Enneking, O.S.C., immediately removed Conlon from ministry in the Diocese of Gallup, where he had been assigned as Parish Administrator for St. John the Baptist Parish, in St. John's, Ariz., and San Raphael Parish, in Concho, Ariz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

ROME- More vague Vatican abuse 'hopes'

VATICAN CITY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 31 2014

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 949 322 7434, jcasteix@gmail.com )

Today the Pope asked one ancient Vatican bureaucracy to "study" clergy sexual abuse and cooperate with another Vatican body that hasn't even been set up yet.

This isn't progress. It's perhaps the 20th or 30th time that a pope has talked about his hopes and plans about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. But not a single pope has exposed a single predator or a single enabler. Not a single pope has really punished a single complicit bishop. And not a single pope has taken a single effective step to prevent clergy sex crimes or cover ups.

When will the words stop and the action start?

[Vatican Information Service]

[Catholic News Service]

Pope Francis says he hopes the latest in a long series of church abuse panels will be “exemplary.” If history is any guide, it won't be, especially if the person who sets it up, the Pope himself, refuses to make a single dramatic move to disrupt the centuries-old, self-serving and secretive clerical culture that has creates and perpetuates this crisis.

The Pope won't even sack convicted Missouri Bishop Robert Finn or disband the corruption-riddled Legion of Christ. “The Pope won't even tell bishops “Report abuse to police regardless of whether laws require this.” The Pope won't even rebuff disgraced Cardinal Roger Mahony, with whom he said mass and had a private audience earlier this month.

So the odds that his hand-picked abuse panel – whenever it's set up – will make any difference are exceedingly slim.

And we believe his plan to put another abuse panel under the CDF is dreadful, especially given the poor tracker record of Muller on abuse. At best, this hide-bound institution has shown no interest or expertise in prevention, which should be the church hierarchy's top priority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Francis calls for doctrine within the spirit of charity

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas C. Fox | Jan. 31, 2014 The Francis Chronicles

In an important address to staff of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Pope Francis today essentially said, “tone it down.”

He called for Vatican doctrinal officials to work with a new spirit of service and charity and to cooperate more with local churches. He reminded the CDF that doctrine "must be taught and judged within the context of the needs of the community." In other words, he emphasized his pastoral vision, his Vatican II vision, as the primary vision of church. There can be little doubt this represents a major shift from the papacies of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

He said, “right from the earliest times of the Church there has been a temptation to consider the doctrine in an ideological sense or to reduce it to a series of abstract and crystallized theories.” He went on to say that “doctrine’s sole role is to serve the life of God’s people and is meant to ensure a solid foundation to our faith,” according to Vatican radio.

There is a great temptation, he continued, “to take control of the gifts of salvation that come from God to domesticate them, maybe even with good intentions, according to the views and spirit of the world.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Women; the old guard; pope v. pope; graffiti; and All Things Catholic

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Jan. 31, 2014 ...

By now, many people have commented on the Rolling Stone cover story on Pope Francis, particularly the "Benedict bad, Francis good" framework the piece adopted. (Words such as "dour" and "disastrous" about Benedict loomed large.) A Vatican spokesman called the contrast between the two pontiffs "superficial journalism" marked by "a surprising crudeness."

To be fair, comparisons between Francis and his predecessor are inevitable, and there's no getting around the point that Francis is more of a crowd-pleaser. For sure, too, there is a shift in tone under Francis in what could be described as a "moderate" direction, though it might better be expressed as the ascendancy of the church's pastors and diplomats over its theologians and canon lawyers.

That said, it's also clear that Francis tends to get credit for several perceived reforms that actually began on Benedict's watch, especially in two chronic sources of scandal for the church: money and sex abuse.

On money, it was Benedict who created a new financial watchdog agency, who opened the Vatican for the first time to outside secular inspection through the Moneyval process (the Council of Europe's anti-money-laundering agency), and who appointed a new president of the Vatican bank who just released its first independently certified financial statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Lawsuit Alleges Reverend Sexually Harassed Female Minister In St. Louis AME Church

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Riverfront Times

By Danny Wicentowski Fri., Jan. 31 2014

A former African Methodist Episcopal Church minister was hit with a lawsuit Wednesday over allegations of sexual harassment.

Filed in St. Louis Circuit Court, the suit alleges that Reverend Frederick McCullough brazenly harassed -- and nearly raped -- an associate female minister during the two years he headed the Wayman AME Church in St. Louis.

"The unspoken message for women and especially female preachers has been that we must either accept the sexual harassment...or risk being being expelled," said the plaintiff, Brenda Jones, in written statement. "I am fighting this because it has to stop."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

MT- Another bishop “hides behind” bankruptcy

MONTANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 312014

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)

Helena's Catholic bishop is now seeking bankruptcy protection.

[Seattle PI]

It’s a selfish cop-out when Catholic institutions misuse the Chapter 11 process to protect their secrets and deny child sex abuse victims a chance to expose predators in court.

This isn’t about protecting church assets. It’s about protecting the power and reputations of powerful church officials who desperately want to keep their complicity in child sex cases under wraps.

We hope every single man, woman and child who is being or has been molested by Montana child molesting Catholic clerics steps forward, calls police and protects others. And we hope every single person who saw or suspected crimes by Christian Brothers will do the same.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Florida missionary sentenced to 58 years in prison for sexually abusing indigenous girls in Amazon

FLORIDA
New York Daily News

BY LEE MORAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

THURSDAY, JANUARY 30, 2014

A Florida-based Christian missionary will spend the next 58 years behind bars after being busted sexually abusing young indigenous girls in the Amazon.

Warren Scott Kennell also filmed his sick sex acts which he secretly carried out as he tried to set up a church with the remote Katukina tribe in Brazil.

The 45-year-old, who worked for the Sanford-based New Tribes Mission, at first befriended the youngsters.

Then, after gaining their trust, he abused them over a number of years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Pope may link child protection arm to Doctrine of the Faith

VATICAN CITY
Gazzetta del Sud

Vatican City, January 31 - Pope Francis told the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Friday that it may be directly linked with a new Vatican commission to protect children. "The possibility is being assessed," he told the orthodoxy watchdog's plenary session in Rome. Francis was referring to a special commission advising him on how the Catholic Church should protect children and help victims of sexual abuse by the clergy, launched last month in response to a worldwide scandal involving untold victims that has put the Church on the defensive for more than a decade. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has traditionally been tasked with overseeing reports of priests sexually abusing children, whereas the new commission deals specifically with preventing pedophelia and looking after victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Church must always protect, support children against abuse, pope says

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Children and young people must always be protected against sexual abuse and always find adequate support in the church community, Pope Francis told the Vatican doctrinal office dealing with suspected cases of sexual abuse by clergy.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith should also look at ways to collaborate with a new papal advisory commission on abuse, which, the pope said, he wants to be an exemplary model for child protection.

"I want to thank you for your dedication to dealing with the delicate set of problems concerning the so-called most grave crimes, in particular cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics," Pope Francis said in a written speech Jan. 31.

He called on the congregation, which was given exclusive jurisdiction over a number of these most serious crimes in 2001, to focus on "the well-being of children and young people, who in the Christian community must always be protected and supported in their human and spiritual growth," he said.

The pope asked the doctrinal office to also study ways it could cooperate with the special commission for the protection of young people he established in December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE BULLETIN ANNOUNCED ON TWITTER

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 31 January 2014 (VIS) – The Press Office of the Holy See has announced the launch of a new Twitter account, @HolySeePress, to give notice when the Bulletin—which gives information in the various official languages of the Holy See on the important events occurring in the Vatican—is published daily. The notifications will also have a link to the Bulletin's webpage on the Vatican site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

POPE RECEIVES CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, ANNOUNCES POSSIBILITY OF PLACING COMMISSION FOR PROTECTION OF MINORS UNDER ITS RESPONSIBILITY

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 31 January 2014 (VIS) – “To promote and safeguard the doctrine on faith and morals in the whole Catholic world” is the duty that John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution “Pastor bonus” assigns to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This morning, at the end of their plenary session, Pope Francis received in audience the members of the dicastery.

The Holy Father emphasized that, “from the earliest days of the Church, there has been a temptation to understand doctrine in an ideological sense or to reduce it to a set of abstract and fossilized theories. In fact, doctrine has the sole purpose of serving the life of the People of God and seeks to ensure a firm foundation to our faith. Great indeed is the temptation to commandeer the gifts of salvation that come from God, to acclimate them—maybe even with the best intention—to the world's viewpoints and spirit.”

The task of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith should “also always seek to keep in mind the needs of constructive, respectful, and patient dialogue with the authors. If truth demands precision, this always grows in charity and fraternal assistance for those called to deepen or clarify their beliefs.” Likewise, the Pope noted that the Congregation's method of working is distinguished “by its practice of collegiality and dialogue. Effectively, the Church is a place of communion and, at all levels, each of us is called to cultivate and promote communion, each one with the responsibility assigned to us by the Lord.”

Then, mentioning their plenary session that was dedicated to the relationship between faith and marriage, he stated that “it is a reflection of great importance. It arises in the wake of the invitation already formulated by Benedict XVI regarding the need to question more deeply the relationship between personal faith and the celebration of the sacrament of marriage, especially in the changed cultural context.”

“On this occasion, I would also like to thank you for your efforts in dealing with sensitive issues regarding the most serious crimes, in particular, the cases of the sexual abuse of minors by clerics. Think of the welfare of children and the young, who in the Christian community must always be protected and supported in their human and spiritual growth. In this sense, the possibility is being looked into of connecting the specific Commission for the Protection of Minors, which I have established, to your dicastery. I hope it will be an example for all those who wish to promote the welfare of children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Judgment reserved in Cardinal Brady and Bishop O'Reilly case

IRELAND
BBC News

The High Court in Dublin has reserved its decision on an application by a Catholic bishop to dismiss cases being taken against him by three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

The Bishop of Kilmore, Leo O'Reilly, is being sued as successor to the previous bishop, Francis McKiernan, as is Cardinal Sean Brady, formerly secretary to the bishop of Kilmore.

The victims accuse them of negligence.

They allege they did not take steps to prevent Smyth from abusing children.

Smyth abused children in the 1970s and the 1980s.

The victims said the churchmen did not report complaints made about Smyth in interviews conducted with two young boys in 1975.

One of the boys identified one of those taking the case as a victim of the priest during these interviews.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

MN--Three steps archbishop should take right now

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 31

Statement by Barbara Dorris of SNAP ( 314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

On Thursday, one of Archbishop John Nienstedt's public relations staffers said "We have continuously made ourselves available to law enforcement to address any outstanding questions they may have. . ."

[St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese]

On Wednesday, St. Paul's police chief said “We have not had the opportunity to speak with Fr. McDonough.” (McDonough is a key figure in this scandal.)

[Pioneer Press]

Someone's lying. We suspect it's a Catholic official, not a law enforcement official. We suspect it's Jim Accurso, not Captain Tom Smith.

It's time for Nienstedt and his staff to fully cooperate, not just claim to cooperate, with police and prosecutor. There are two steps he should take immediately.

First, this week, Ramsey County prosecutors publicly begged victims, especially those who were forced or pressured to sign “gag orders” by church officials, to step forward.

Nienstedt should put this plea in every parish bulletin this Sunday, verbatim, and include contact numbers for local law enforcement agencies.

Second, Niestedt should issue a public statement today promising that he will not in any way retaliate against victims who break those “gag orders.”

Third, he should announce that he's suspended Fr. McDonough and started defrocking him because of McDonough's complicity in decades of cover up and his refusal to answer questions from police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

MO- Archdiocese admits rarely calling 911 re: predators

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

For immediate release Friday, January 31, 2014

Statement by Judy Jones of St. Louis, Assistant Midwest Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 974 5003, snapjudy@gmail.com )

By their own admission, St. Louis archdiocesan officials admit that only 8% of the child sex abuse reports they received about priests were turned over to police or Division of Family Services.

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

These reports span the years from 1993-2003, a time when even high school drop outs knew that suspected crimes, especially heinous crimes against kids, should be reported to law enforcement

It's also very telling that in 35 cases, relatives or loved ones of victims reported abuse. Yet church officials apparently did little or no outreach, ostensibly because the victim himself or herself didn't take the initiative. Had a third party reported a pastor stealing money, we seriously doubt that Catholic officials would have taken such a passive approach.

Finally, keep in mind that Archbishop Robert Carlson was forced to make even this vague and misleading disclosure, because a brave victim of Fr. Joseph D. Ross is seeking justice and endured years of hard-ball and stalling legal strategies by Catholic officials. If not for her courage and persistence, none of this information would ever have been made public. We are grateful to her and to every victim, witness and whistleblower who has helped peel back decades of secrecy by callous, reckless and deceitful church employees, at the top and the bottom of the Catholic hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Diocese of Helena moves toward settlement in abuse claims

MONTANA
Montana Standard

The Diocese of Helena released the following statement this morning, and will hold a press conference this afternoon, Jan. 31, in Helena:

The Diocese of Helena has taken a major step toward bringing resolution to 362 claims of abuse of minors by diocesan priests, religious community priests, women religious and lay workers who have served in the diocese, primarily between 30 and 60 years ago.

On Friday, January 31, 2014, the Diocese will be filing a chapter 11 reorganization case before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Montana to complete pre-bankruptcy mediated negotiations with known abuse survivors and the Diocese’s liability insurance carriers.

The Diocese chose a pastoral mode and entered into a confidential mediation process. The mediation resulted in the general parameters of proposed settlements with the victims and the insurance carriers. The details of written agreements are still being worked on by the parties. Under the supervision and ultimate approval of the Bankruptcy Court, $15 million would be available to compensate the currently identified victims with additional settlement funds for other and unknown victims. The process of obtaining Bankruptcy Court approval included the opportunity for victims and creditors to vote on the proposed settlement. The Diocese expects that its reorganization will be expedited by the pre-bankruptcy negotiations with all of the affected parties.

“On behalf of the entire Diocese of Helena, I express my profound sorrow and sincere apologies to anyone who was abused by a priest, a sister, or a lay Church worker,” said Helena Bishop, George Leo Thomas. “No child should experience harm from anyone who serves in the Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Catholic diocese files for bankruptcy protection

MONTANA
Seattle PI

By MATT VOLZ, Associated Press
Updated 7:38 am, Friday, January 31, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena filed for bankruptcy protection Friday in advance of proposed settlements for two lawsuits that claim clergy members sexually abused 362 people over decades and the church covered it up.

Diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson said in a statement Friday the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization case came after confidential mediation sessions with the plaintiffs' attorneys, resulting in the deals to resolve the abuse claims.

The settlement details are being worked out, but the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Montana would be responsible for approving and supervising the disbursement of $15 million to compensate the identified victims, plus an additional amount set aside for those who come forward later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Salvation Army captain accused of raping boys was acquitted in 1990s

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Wednesday 29 January 2014

A Salvation Army officer who allegedly raped boys and sent them to the homes of other people to be sexually assaulted had been acquitted when brought to trial, an inquiry has been told.

Detective Inspector Rick John Cunningham told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Thursday that the child protection enforcement agency investigated allegations made in 1996 about abuse at a boys' home in the southern Sydney suburb of Bexley and at the Gill Memorial Home in Goulburn, New South Wales.

Both homes were run by the Salvation Army and the allegations were made during investigations arising out of the Wood royal commission into NSW police.

At the Wood hearing, a witness identified as EP gave evidence about being sexually assaulted by Captain Lawrence Wilson at Bexley and gave names of others who were allegedly assaulted by Wilson and Captain Russell Walker while at Bexley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Documents show scope of priest abuse complaints

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Seattle PI

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Documents released by the Archdiocese of St. Louis as part of a civil lawsuit show that 16 church employees had at least five sex abuse complaints made against them in the decades before such cases were publicly known.

The archdiocese released the information while fighting demands for further disclosures in a lawsuit filed by an alleged victim of the since-defrocked Rev. Joseph Ross.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch bit.ly/1a6KEBQ reports that nearly half of the 240 abuse complaints against 115 priests and other church employees received over a 20-year period were made in 2002. The incidents dated back as far as the 1940s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Clergy abuse: Papers spur new review of Wehmeyer case

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER and TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune staff writers
Updated: January 30, 2014

The Ramsey County attorney’s office and St. Paul police began reviewing documents Thursday that indicate that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis failed to notify authorities of a child sex-abuse accusation against a St. Paul priest within 24 hours, as required by law.

The move comes a day after County Attorney John Choi announced he would not prosecute the archdiocese for its reporting of the abuse complaint against the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, now in prison for sexually abusing two boys.

Within hours of that announcement, however, authorities received an archdiocese document that appeared to indicate that the archdiocese waited more than two days to notify police. The document was made public by Minnesota Public Radio.

“We’ll be looking at the new information as to the impact it may have on the investigation,’’ said Dennis Gerhardstein, spokesman for the county attorney’s office. “We’re still in the early stages of discussion.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Synod Survey results published

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

» Download the ACP Family Life Synod Survey Data Analysis

A version of the Vatican survey on Family Life was prepared by the Association of Catholic Priests and hosted on this website, and over 1,500 participated in it. The participants included priests, religious, lay people, parents and teachers.

Respondents generally welcomed the opportunity to participate but there was widepread criticism of the subject matter (emphasis on sexuality) and format (overly long, complicated, linguistically challenging).

The key findings from the overall responses is that those who participated consider the Church’s teaching on family life, sexual practice and sexual unions to be little understood, not relevant, of low influence and not agreed with, whether understood or not. These findings are consistent across all age groups and religious role (clergy, lay etc) where identified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Salvo admits burning child with a cigarette

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN FEBRUARY 01, 2014

A SALVATION Army major suspended this week "in light of evidence tendered to the royal commission" is alleged in reports dating back to 1974 to have sexually and physically abused children.

Several years before the current commission hearing, the army paid compensation to two men who alleged they were sexually abused by Major John McIver, who has denied these claims.

Confidential correspondence tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse shows Mr McIver criticising the army's response to allegations of child abuse. "Every Tom, Dick and Harry who was ever unloved by his mother and ended up in an Army institution now feels emboldened to shift the blame because he/she thinks there might be money in it," Mr McIver wrote.

The 2009 letter, sent after the Salvation Army received two separate allegations of sexual assault, concludes: "I have a rather satisfying and enjoyable life to lead and you won't want to be troubled by me making any premature responses."

The commission is investigating the alleged abuse of dozens of children by five Salvation Army officers at homes in Queensland and NSW between 1957 and 1975.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

ROYAL COMMISSION TO HEAR STORIES FROM THE PARRAMATTA GIRLS HOME

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

MEDIA RELEASE

Royal Commission to hear stories from the Parramatta Girls Home

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing Monday 24 February 2014 into the experience of women who were sexually abused as children, between 1950-1974, while residing in two institutions which were within the responsibility of the NSW Government:

a. The Parramatta Girls Training School in Sydney, NSW
b. The Institution for Girls in Hay, NSW

The hearing will also consider any related matters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

SIXTH PUBLIC HEARING BY ROYAL COMMISSION TO BE HELD IN BRISBANE IN FEBRUARY

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The first public hearing to be held outside Sydney by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will commence in Brisbane on 17 February. The purpose of the hearing will be to inquire into the response by the Catholic Education Office, of the Diocese of Toowoomba in Queensland, to allegations of child sexual abuse at St Saviour’s Primary School. The public hearing – the sixth since the Royal Commission was established – is scheduled to run for two weeks.

Royal Commission CEO, Ms Janette Dines, says the scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:

* The response by the Principal and other members of staff at St Saviour’s Primary School in Toowoomba, Queensland, to allegations of child sexual abuse made against a teacher at the primary school in September 2007.
* The response by officers of the Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Toowoomba, to information supplied by the primary school Principal at St Saviour’s Primary School regarding the allegations of child sexual abuse received in September 2007.
* The adequacy and implementation of systems, policies and procedures of the Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Toowoomba, and St Saviour’s Primary School for the prevention, detection, investigation and reporting of allegations of child sexual abuse since 2007.
* Any other related matters.

The venue for the hearing will be Court 17, Level 4, Brisbane Magistrates Court, 363 George Street, Brisbane. Ms Dines said, “The Royal Commission has a national focus and in the first half of 2014 there will also be public hearings in New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the ACT.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Nuns did nothing to stop our abuse by older boys in home, victim tells inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY JACK BRENNAN – 31 JANUARY 2014

A former resident of a Church-run children's home has told an inquiry how he was sexually abused by older boys while he slept.

He told the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry that St Joseph's children's home in Termonbacca, Co Londonderry, was "run on starvation".

The man was handed over to a priest at St Joseph's by his mother when he was a child and lived at the home in the 1950s and 1960s.

He told the inquiry which is investigating abuse claims against children's residential institutions from 1922 to 1995 that responsibility for the younger boys was given over to the older boys by the nuns. The witness described how the older boys would call out the names of children at night, before having them stripped and sexually abusing them "for their own entertainment".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Department imposes strict childcare conditions on YMCA NSW

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 31, 2014

Catherine Armitage
Senior Writer

A government department has written to YMCA NSW expressing doubt that it is a child-safe organisation and imposing tough new conditions on its childcare licence based on evidence from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

A year after one of its staff Jonathan Lord was jailed for molesting boys as young as six in his care, and a month after scorching publicity and damning evidence about lax child-safety practices, an inspection last November revealed some childcare staff at YMCA Caringbah where Lord worked were still ignorant of child-protection laws and their obligation to comply with them, the commission has been told.

A compliance notice dated January 17 from the NSW Department of Education and Communities to YMCA NSW chief executive officer Phillip Hare sets out strict conditions for continuation of the YMCA's childcare licence, which must be met by April 30. The letter was tendered as evidence at the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Archdiocese data give fuller accounting of St. Louis priest abuse scandal

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

[with extensive chart]

By Jennifer S. Mann jmann@post-dispatch.com 314-621-58043

ST. LOUIS • As the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal exploded across the nation in 2002, St. Louis was exposed to seamy details that previously had been hidden behind local parish walls.

A cascade of complaints against priests and other church employees — some, of abuse kept secret for decades — poured in to the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Only recently has the archdiocese revealed the extent.

The number of abuse allegations made here that year, according to the archdiocese’s own record keeping, was 111 — nearly half of what church officials say they received in total over a 20-year period ending in 2003. Those incidents dated back as far as the 1940s.

It is one of several revelations found in a cryptic court filing that provides the clearest view yet of the scope of the crisis here. The archdiocese released the information while fighting demands for further disclosures in a lawsuit filed by an alleged victim of the since-defrocked Rev. Joseph Ross.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Group seeks criminal probes of Catholic order

RHODE ISLAND
Boston.com

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A group that advocates for victims of clergy abuse wants authorities to investigate the Legion of Christ, a disgraced Roman Catholic order.

Two lawsuits in Rhode Island claim the Legion of Christ deceived elderly donors into giving it millions at the same time its officials knew the church was investigating its founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, for allegations including sex abuse. The order has said its actions in both cases were proper. A spokesman for the Legion did not return messages seeking comment this week.

The Vatican took over the order in 2010 after the investigation determined that Maciel had fathered three children and molested seminarians. In December, the Legion admitted a superior in charge of American priests-in-training sexually abused a minor at the Legion’s novitiate in Cheshire, Conn., where he was novice director from 1982 to 1994.

David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said on Thursday that Rhode Island and Connecticut law enforcement should investigate.

‘‘The Legion’s known and suspected wrongdoing is so persistent and widely documented that we think action by law enforcement is warranted. No institution can or should be allowed to essentially police itself,’’ he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Judge Dismisses Suit Accusing Yeshiva University of Hiding Abuse

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By ARIEL KAMINER
JAN. 30, 2014

A federal lawsuit accusing Yeshiva University of covering up the sexual abuse of dozens of high school students has been thrown out by the judge hearing the case.

The lawsuit sought to hold the school, former administrators and former trustees accountable for hundreds of acts of abuse by two rabbis and an alumnus during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. But the judge, John G. Koeltl of United States District Court in Manhattan, ruled on Thursday that it could not proceed because too many years had elapsed since the abuses took place.

The plaintiffs had sought to circumvent the statutes of limitations. They argued that the clock did not start ticking on their case until Yeshiva’s role in covering up the abuse was revealed in a December 2012 article in The Daily Forward.

But Judge Koeltl rejected that argument. “In this case,” he wrote, “the statutes of limitations have expired decades ago, and no exceptions apply.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Teacher at St Aloysius' College in Sydney resigns amid student sex claim

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

A FEMALE teacher at an all-boys Catholic school in Sydney has resigned over reported inappropriate relationships with students.

The St Aloysius' College teacher, who taught Drama and English and is aged in her late 20s, had sex last year with at least two Year 12 students who were over 16 years old.

The teacher's behaviour was exposed when a parent found out about a relationship with her son, Fairfax Media reports.

The school sent a note home to parents this week, alerting them about the incident.

Other teachers at the school were shocked to learn of the allegations, news.com.au has learnt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Sex with students claims: female teacher quits top Catholic boys school

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 31, 2014

Anne Davies

EXCLUSIVE

A teacher has resigned from one of the north shore's leading Catholic boys schools, St Aloysius College, after an internal investigation revealed she had been having "inappropriate relationships" with a number of boys in year 12 last year.

It is understood the teacher had sex with at least two boys at the school, including one who was a member of the school's leadership group.

The boys were over the age of 16 but, because of the student-teacher relationship, the alleged contact contravened the rules of the school and child protection legislation.

It is believed that the events came to light at the school after a parent became aware of the teacher's relationship with the son.

The rector of St Aloysius, Peter Hosking, who is responsible for pastoral care at the Jesuit school, confirmed the teacher had left the school after an internal investigation into "inappropriate contact".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Sydney Catholic school teacher 'had sex with boys'

AUSTRALIA
9 News

January 31, 2014

A teacher has resigned from an elite Catholic boys school in Sydney amid claims she had sex with at least two Year 12 boys last year.

St Aloysius' College confirmed that the teacher, who taught drama and English and is aged in her late 20s, had left the school after an internal investigation into "inappropriate contact", the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The rector of St Aloysius, Peter Hosking, declined to say how many students were involved but said the Jesuit school was taking the matter very seriously and had written to parents.

The two boys understood to have had sex with the teacher were over the age of 16 at the time but the alleged acts still breached child protection legislation as well as school rules because of the teacher-student relationship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

When the “Family Values” Agenda Includes Child Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
The Age of Blasphemy

This is crossposted from Eyes Right, the blog of Political Research Associates, where I will be doing a series of posts on the Christian Right and child sex abuse. — FC

The exposure of widespread sex abuse by Roman Catholic clergy–and of the subsequent cover-ups by church leaders–has rocked the Catholic church for more than a decade. Less well known, though closely analogous, is the issue of widespread abuse within Protestant evangelical churches. Such stories raise doubt that the evangelical/Catholic alliance that defines the contemporary Christian Right is, in any legitimate sense, a defender of “family values.”

Boz Tchividjian rattled the evangelical world in 2013, when he declared that the problem of child sex abuse in evangelicalism is “worse” than the problem in the Roman Catholic Church. The grandson of Billy Graham, a former child sex crimes prosecutor for the state of Florida, and now a law professor at Liberty University, Tchividjian has both the public profile to hold an audience, and the professional experience to back up his assertions.Tchividjian is not the only prominent evangelical speaking out. “Catholic and Baptist leaders have more similarities than differences on the child-abuse front,” wrote Robert Parnham, executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics. “Both have harmed church members and the Christian witness by not swiftly addressing predatory clergy and designing reliable protective systems.”

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which currently claims 15.9 million members in 46,000 churches in the U.S., has acknowledged the problem of child sex abuse within member churches. Still, too many Baptist leaders–like their Catholic counterparts–have responded to the problem with denials, inattention, and cover-ups. Indeed, Rev. Peter Lumpkins of Georgia called for the SBC’s governing body to adopt “a zero-tolerance policy toward the sexual abuse of children in churches,” but now thinks church officials are ignoring his 2013 resolution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Mo. Bill Proposes Criminalizing Clergy Sexual Exploitation

MISSOURI
CBS St. Louis

By: Christina Turner, State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (MDN) - Missouri lawmakers considered a bill that would criminalize clergy sexual exploitation.

House Bill 1346 would create a class C felony of sexual exploitation by or of a clergy person. The bill would prevent any sexual conduct between a parishioner and religious leader within 120 days of first advisement.

Rep. Kathie Conway, R-St. Charles, is the bill sponsor and vice-chair of the House Committee on Crime Prevention and Public Safety. She says the bill was inspired by a woman whose pastor took advantage of her in the aftermath of a difficult pregnancy. After telling her husband what happened, the victim went to the police.

“The police of course said, ‘Well, there’s nothing we can do, it was consensual,’” Conway said. “Well her response was, ‘Well, it was consensual because she was so unduly influenced by this man.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Piden investigar a los Legionarios de Cristo

ESTADOS UNIDOS
Terra

[Group seeks criminal probes of Catholic order]

Associated Press

Un grupo que defiende a las víctimas de abusos sexuales por parte del clero quiere que las autoridades investiguen a los Legionarios de Cristo, una orden católica desprestigiada.

En dos demandas interpuestas en Rhode Island se afirma que los Legionarios engañaron a personas de edad avanzada para que les donaran millones de dólares mientras sus autoridades sabían que la Iglesia católica investigaba a su fundador, el sacerdote mexicano Marcial Maciel, por denuncias de abuso sexual. Un portavoz de los Legionarios no devolvió un mensaje en busca de comentarios esta semana.

El Vaticano tomó control de la orden en el 2010 luego de que una investigación determinó que Maciel tuvo tres hijos y acosó sexualmente a seminaristas. En diciembre, los Legionarios admitieron que un superior a cargo de los sacerdotes en formación en Estados Unidos abusó de un menor en Cheshire, Connecticut, donde fue director de novicios de 1982 a 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Catholic priest charged ...

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Police Force

Catholic priest charged over alleged historical indecent assault - Strike Force Rufina

Friday, 31 January 2014

A Catholic priest has been charged following an alleged historical indecent assault in Croydon.

In 2013, Strike Force Rufina was formed to investigate an allegation of the indecent assault of a teenage boy at a Croydon parish in 2005.

About 12pm on Wednesday 29 January 2014, detectives attached to Strike Force Rufina arrested a 38-year-old man at Burwood Police Station.

He was charged with one count of aggravated indecent assault and granted conditional bail, to appear at Burwood Local Court on 20 February 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Sydney priest charged with sexual assault

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

A CATHOLIC priest in Sydney's inner west has been charged with the historical indecent assault of a teenage boy.

Last year a strike force was established to investigate allegations a teenage boy had been abused at a Croydon parish in 2005, police said.

A Catholic priest, 38, was arrested and charged with aggravated indecent assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Court tells priest suspended over 'sexual bullying' expose to quit parish house

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Friday 31 January 2014

A priest suspended for alleging a culture of homosexual bullying within the Catholic Church in Scotland has lost a legal challenge over access to his parish house.

Parishioners in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, have been told an interdict was granted at Hamilton Sheriff Court forbidding Father Matthew Despard, who has been suspended since last November, from preventing his replacement gaining access to the presbytery.

Father Despard, 48, had refused to leave the presbytery house of St John Ogilvie, High Blantyre, having changed the locks.

He continued to live in the property against the will of the interim Bishop Of Motherwell Joseph Toal. His temporary replacement, the Reverend William Nolan, has been unable to get into the property, leading to the court action against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Anglican Diocese damned in child abuse commission findings

AUSTRALIA
The Satellite

Jessica Grewal 30th Jan 2014

THE royal commission is expected find that Anglican Diocese of Grafton failed in its handling of child abuse claims at Lismore's North Coast Children's Home and withheld information from the police.

In a damning report released on Thursday night, Counsel Assisting the Commissioner Simeon Beckett recommends that two Northern NSW priests - Reverend Morgan and Reverend Brown - be referred to the Anglican Church's Professional Standards Committee to determine whether disciplinary proceedings should be initiated against them.

Final submissions arising from the November inquiry into abuse at the home closed on January 24.

Mr Beckett submitted there were 59 findings available to the commission - including that the Grafton Diocese put the interests of the Anglican Church ahead of providing financial support to victims.

He found former Grafton Diocese registrar Pat Comben was aware former Lismore Priest Allan Kitchingman had been convicted of sexual offences against a child but failed to commence disciplinary proceedings against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Police probe pedophile priest allegations from inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Fraser Coast Chronicle

Jessica Grewal 31st Jan 2014

ALLEGATIONS made against an accused pedophile priest during last year's North Coast Children's Home inquiry are now subject to a police investigation, documents before the royal commission have revealed.

Reverend Campbell Brown, a retired Grafton priest believed to be living in the Newcastle area, is accused of sexually assaulting children, including whistleblower Richard "Tommy" Campion, while he was in a position of trust at the Lismore home.

Documents tendered to the commission this week confirm Rev Brown was referred to the police in December last year.

He had previously been referred to the Child Abuse Squad in 2006.

At the time, the Grafton Diocese was told Rev Brown had not had any contact with the Church since the ordinance of women, was nearly 80 years old and vision impaired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Findings released into child sexual abuse claims at Anglican children's home

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Claims of child sexual abuse at Lismore's North Coast Children's Home are the focus of findings and recommendations just released.

Among them is that the Anglican Church put school funding ahead of settling child sexual abuse claims.

The Commission itself is yet to release its final report, but Counsel Assisting, Simeon Beckett, published 59 findings and 6 recommendations.

He found there was a long history of knowledge about child abuse, with Reverend Pat Comben and Peter Roland knowing since 2006 of at least 20 cases.

He found Rev Comben failed to refer the allegations to police.

Another finding was that former Grafton Bishop Keith Slater wrote hostile letters to abuse survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Only On 7: San Francisco church accused of lurid sex cover-up

CALIFORNIA
KGO

[with video]

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There are charges of lurid sex and cover-ups at the landmark St Francis of Assisi Church in San Francisco's North Beach. The accuser is a former worker who just filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco. It's a story you'll only see on ABC7 News.

Jhona Mathews is a single mother in her 30s with a 2-year-old child. She worked in the administration office of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi.

Mathews says church trustee Bill McLaughlin, who has since been fired, became her supervisor. Her lawsuit charges that he forced her to have sex and spanked her with a wooden paddle.

"Many of these sex acts and demands and the spankings occurred inside the shrine premises, in the sacristy of the shrine," said the plaintiff's attorney, Sandra Ribera.

Mathews says the paddle was given to McLaughlin by his close friend, Monsignor James Tarantino. He's charged in the lawsuit with covering up the alleged wrongdoings.

"The inscription BNO, which stands for boys night out," Ribera said. "And it says To Bill M. from Father T. The sexual acts that Bill McLaughlin was basically threatening my client to engage in otherwise she would lose her job."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

California church leader accused of hiding ex-trustee’s sexual abuse of employee

CALIFORNIA
The Raw Story

By Arturo Garcia
Thursday, January 30, 2014

The head of a San Francisco church is accused of covering up one of his former trustees’ sexual abuse toward an employee, including paddlings and coerced sexual activities, KGO-TV reported on Thursday.

“Many of these sex acts and demands and the spankings occurred inside the shrine premises, in the sacristy of the shrine,” the alleged victim’s attorney, Sandra Ribera, told KGO.

Ribera’s client, Jhona Mathews, claims that the incidents took place over the course of her year working at St Francis of Assisi Church, saying her supervisor, trustee Bill McLaughlin, forced her to have sex under threat of termination. The suit also accuses McLaughlin of using a paddle given to McLaughlin by Monsignor James Tarantino. Tarantino is also accused of hiding McLaughlin’s alleged activities. McLaughlin is no longer a trustee at the church.

The paddle, Ribera told KGO, bears “the inscription ‘BNO,’ which stands for ‘boys night out.’ And it says, ‘To Bill M. from Father T.’”

According to Ribera, Mathews eventually told McLaughlin she would not comply with his demands, only to be fired. St. Francis of Assisi released a statement saying Mathews was fired “for financial improprieties that are the subject of an ongoing police investigation.” It also called her lawsuit “full of lurid accusations but devoid of the truth.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Ireland and Child Abuse

IRELAND
The New York Times

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
JAN. 31, 2014

For years, the government of Ireland has denied liability for child sexual abuse by teachers in state-financed schools managed by the Roman Catholic Church. The European Court of Human Rights punctured this denial Tuesday with a finding that the Irish government, in financing and regulating the education of youngsters, had “an inherent obligation” to protect them, and owed compensation to a victim whose case was rejected as groundless by Ireland’s highest court.

The European court pointed to the obvious: The Irish government is responsible for failing to act against inhuman and degrading treatment of citizens that is specifically barred under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court ordered more than $150,000 in compensation and court costs for Louise O’Keeffe, who had been repeatedly abused 40 years ago as a 9-year-old at the national school at Dunderrow, County Cork.

The abuser was a lay teacher, Leo Hickey, who was not charged for 20 years, even though parents had complained about him to a school administrator in the early 1970s. The scandal finally broke into the open in the 1990s and the abuser was sentenced to three years in prison after being charged with 386 criminal offenses involving 21 youngsters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

At least 15 people allege pastor molested them

NEW YORK
WIVB

[with video]

By Posted by: Eli George
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014

More than a dozen people have now come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against a local pastor.

A grand jury will review Reverend Roy Harriger’s case. At least 15 people in three states have now signed affidavits claiming that Harriger molested them as children.

The case first came to light last Thanksgiving, when State Police announced Harriger’s arrest. The 70-year-old pastor of Community Fellowship Church in the Town of Hartland was charged with incest, sodomy, and course of sexual conduct.

He’s accused of molesting a boy and a girl about 12 years ago when he was pastor of the Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville.

Those who know him from church came out to support him.

Church member Donna Kidney said, “I know he did not do it. He’s innocent. I know in my spirit, he’s innocent.”

His own son, George Harriger, told News 4 he was molested as a boy but never realized there were others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Stockton Diocese, Liable in Abuse Cases, Wins Initial Bankruptcy Approval

CALIFORNIA
Wall Street Journal

By TOM CORRIGAN
Jan. 28, 2014

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton, Calif., which is the 10th Catholic diocese in the U.S. to enter Chapter 11 protection as a result of increasing sexual-abuse claims, has received a judge's approval of its initial bankruptcy requests.

The ruling by Judge Christopher M. Klein of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento, Calif., on Friday will allow the diocese to continue to pay its 37 salaried employees and seven hourly employees, according to court papers. Judge Klein is also overseeing the Chapter 9 bankruptcy case for the city of Stockton.

These so-called first-day motions ease the company's transition into Chapter 11 protection, allowing it to pay some debts, arrange financing and maintain existing operations. The bankruptcy filing will allow the diocese to discharge liabilities stemming from sexual-abuse allegations and set up a trust for victims to receive compensation.

Earlier this month, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire announced the diocese's plan to file for bankruptcy.

"Very simply, we are in this situation because of those priests in our diocese who perpetrated grave, evil acts of child sexual abuse," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Catholics ‘disgusted’ by abusive priests files

ILLINOIS
Southwest News Herald

[documents]

By DERMOT CONNOLLY • Friday, January 31, 2014

The Jan. 21 release by the Chicago Archdiocese of 6,000 pages of documents relating to sexual abuse by priests dating back decades, reminded some area residents of the local connections to the scandal that continues to have repercussions.

Members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests maintain
that the information does not go far enough, and point out that the
documents were released to plaintiffs’ lawyers to comply with a settlement agreement, rather than willingly.

The documents include information about 30 of at least 65 priests for whom the archdiocese has substantiated claims of child abuse.

Those not included belong to religious orders, and church officials said members of religious orders, unlike diocesan priests, are not under the control of Cardinal Francis George.

Few people contacted wanted to comment by name, but words such as “disgusting,” “disgraceful” and “sinful” were used to describe the scandal, which was uncovered on a national and international
scale in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Archdiocese Settles Priest Abuse Suit For $3.2 Million

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC Chicago

[with video]

By MaryAnn Ahern | Thursday, Jan 30, 2014

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has settled a civil lawsuit filed in connection with the sexual abuse of a boy by a former priest.

The $3.1 million settlement Daniel McCormack and a 25-year-old man who was 13 at the time of the abuse.

The boy met McCormack at St. Agatha's Church.

"He came from a difficult family and gravitated toward St. Agatha and Father McCormack because Father McCormack was his basketball coach, his friend, his priest, his mentor," attorney William Martin said.

Attorneys say the abuse took place over a period of four years. The accused the archdiocese of failing to promptly remove Daniel McCormack after claims he abused children had emerged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

January 30, 2014

Victims' attorney sues church and says Choi is protecting church, abusive priests

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with video]

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Jan 30, 2014

Victims' attorney Jeff Anderson sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Thursday then immediately slammed Ramsey County Attorney John Choi for what he called a "defective and deficient" response to allegations that top archdiocese leaders covered up clergy sex abuse.

Anderson, who was the first to expose the archdiocese's failure to report sex crimes nearly three decades ago, said Choi's handling of the abuse scandal is putting children at risk.

Anderson's remarks came at a news conference held at his St. Paul office to announce the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of a victim of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer. The lawsuit accuses the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis of deceiving the public by saying it has made every effort to protect children and for failing to protect the young boy from Wehmeyer.

Anderson sharply criticized Choi's decision Wednesday not to charge anyone at the archdiocese for failure to promptly report sexual abuse by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer in 2012.

"If I have to publicly shame John Choi for making the decision, that's what I'll do," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Statement Regarding Questions Related to Wehmeyer Case

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul

Date:Thursday, January 30, 2014

Source: Jim Accurso

In response to questions seeking clarity regarding the Weymeyer case, we affirm the finding of law enforcement that we complied with the requirements of mandated reporting. We have continuously made ourselves available to law enforcement to address any outstanding questions they may have on the matter and we know, based on the body of facts of the case, that the findings announced yesterday by civil authorities are accurate.

With respect to the timeline associated with our reporting in June 2012, the earliest that any representative of the archdiocese became aware of the specific allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by Wehmeyer was on the morning of June 19, 2012. However, that information was provided to a priest of the archdiocese in the context of a pastoral relationship, which is considered privileged communication under Minnesota law. The archdiocese sought the waiver of the privilege so that we could report the matter to the police. The privilege was waived by the mother of the victim, the only person who could waive the privilege, on the afternoon of June 20. This then allowed the archdiocese to make a formal report to police the same afternoon regarding the allegations shared within the pastoral relationship. Undeniably, the report was made immediately thereafter.

We have provided a detailed timeline to law enforcement with clear supporting documentation and stand ready to provide any additional information they may need.

With respect to the decree document that states the archdiocese received a complaint regarding Wehmeyer on June 18, the following information is important to know: first, the decree was written by the former Chancellor for Canonical Affairs and provided to Archbishop John Nienstedt to sign, and so reflects her perception of the timeline; second, the date reference is inaccurate, based on all of the detailed and substantial information and documentation we have provided to the police; and third, the decree, which is a canonical document, was filed with other documents submitted to the Holy See and not included in the priest file.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Police reviewing new document in Archdiocese clergy sex abuse case

MINNESOTA
KARE

Boua Xiong, KARE

ST. PAUL, Minn.--For three decades attorney Jeff Anderson has been filing clergy sex abuse lawsuits. This is the first time he's publicly criticized law enforcement.

Anderson doesn't believe Ramsey County attorney John Choi and St Paul Police Chief Tom Smith didn't do their jobs.

"They didn't seize one piece of evidence. They didn't execute one search warrant," Anderson said.

That's why Anderson filed a new lawsuit against the Archdiocese. The suit alleges the Archdiocese destroyed evidence and failed to report abuse by Reverend Curtis Wehemeyer. Anderson says the evidence of cover-up is there, pointing to a document first obtained by MPR which showed church leaders knew about Wehemyer but delayed reporting.

The county attorney's office and St. Paul Police are reviewing the document, which they did not have on Wednesday when they announced no criminal charges would be filed against the Archdiocese. Howie Padilla, with St. Paul Police, wrote in an email to KARE 11 they will not reopening the case at this time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Jeff Anderson files lawsuit against archdiocese in convicted St. Paul priest's case, blasts county attorney

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

[Documents via Jeff Anderson & Associates:

Complaint
Criminal Complaint 1
Criminal Complaint 2
Wehmeyer Timeline
Emails Between Archdiocese and SPPD June 20-21, 2012
Wehmeyer Docs - Highlighted
Photo of Nienstedt
Photo of Wehmeyer ]

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 01/30/2014

St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson said officials of the Twin Cities archdiocese Thursday hid evidence and obstructed an investigation into child sexual abuse by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer.

Anderson also blasted Ramsey County Attorney John Choi for choosing not to prosecute church officials on charges of failure to report sexual abuse, obstruction of legal process or aiding an offender.

"Law enforcement and John Choi chose to give them a pass," Anderson said. "They did not treat them nor have they treated them like ordinary suspects in a criminal enterprise."

Anderson's assertions about the archdiocese are "false, inflammatory and misleading," archdiocese spokesman Jim Accurso said in a written statement Thursday. "We take particular exception to his unfounded assumptions regarding the intent and actions of Archbishop (John) Nienstedt, who has been resolute in his commitment to strictly adhering to both canon and civil laws.

"We wish to reassert that we have cooperated with civil authorities and will continue to do so," the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

Priest abuse victim awarded $3 million in lawsuit

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN

[with video]

by Julie Unruh
Reporter

As the stories keep on surfacing, the settlements with the Chicago Archdiocese just keep on coming. On Thursday– another case accusing disgraced former Priest Daniel McCormack.

John Doe was abused between 2001 and 2005. He was in 8th grade when it started and the nightmare with McCormack did not end until he was a junior in high school.

On Thursday he walked away with over $3 million– but his nightmare is far from over. The healing process can take a lifetime.

Bill Martin is describing his 25-year old African American client– once a Lawndale teen abused for four years by Daniel McCormack– a priest, teacher and mentor he trusted from st. Agatha in Chicago. Bill Martin described how McCormack preyed on the boy during those years and violated the child’s trust.

Three lawyers alone have handled or are working through a minimum of 10 sexual abuse claims related to the disgraced priest. Thursday’s settlement of $3.15 million took five years to reach. Just last week, another group of lawyers unveiled 6,000 pages of documents revealing sexual misdeeds by 30 or so other priests. Those lawyers claim the archdiocese should have done more to protect children rather than their own reputation. These lawyers say Cardinal George specifically ignored the suggestions of the archdioceses’ review board to remove McCormack from proximity to children –yet he sent him back to St. Agatha again.

The archdiocese released a statement today that says in short:

“The abuse of any child is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee, to come forward?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Churches confront sexual violence: Column

UNITED STATES
USA Today

Tom Krattenmaker, USATODAY
January 30, 2014

It's a scourge as old as the ages, yet sexual violence against women and children is fresh in the headlines as President Obama launches an initiative to address sexual assaults on college campuses, while the military tries to fix its own problem and newly released documents shed galling light on the Catholic Church's pattern of abuse and coverup in the Chicago diocese.

As the priests' crimes remind us, religious institutions, at their worst, have often proved complicit and sometimes out-and-out guilty when it comes to sexual advances against vulnerable people. As real as that problem is, however, there's a counterstory emerging that could redeem religion's role in this ugly dynamic:

Faith organizations are beginning to address sexual abuse with a new energy and earnestness — a welcome step toward the fulfillment of their enormous potential to do good on this front.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Interim priest selected for Lancaster parish

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

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

LANCASTER — The Rev. Thomas Hultquist, the pastor of the former St. Joseph Parish in Barre, has been named the temporary administrator at Immaculate Conception Parish on Main Street.

He will fill in until a pastor is named to replace the Rev. Edward Lettic, who was relieved of his pastoral duties last weekend after an allegation of sexual misconduct was made against the longtime clergyman.

Rev. Hultquist, a native of Northbridge, was pastor at St. Joseph's from 1992 until last year when that congregation was merged with St. Thomas-a-Becket Parish to form St. Francis of Asissi Parish.

Ordained in 1976, he has served as associate pastor at St. Joseph's in North Brookfield, the former St. Camillus Parish in Fitchburg, St. Peter's Parish in Worcester, and St. Cecelia's Parish in Leominster.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Philomena Lee lucha por transparencia en adopción

ESTADOS UNIDOS
Metro

WASHINGTON (AP) — Philomena Lee describió tristemente cómo perdió a su hijo cuando fue adoptado y cómo lo busco 50 años después, una historia retratada en la película nominada al Oscar, protagonizada por la actriz ganadora del Premio de la Academia Judi Dench.

Su experiencia es un argumento poderoso para que Irlanda abra los archivos de adopción para miles de madres más cuyos hijos terminaron en ciudades estadounidenses como San Luis, Filadelfia, Boston y Nueva York, dijo la senadora Claire McCaskill el jueves después de una reunión con Lee.

Las dos mujeres, acompañadas por la hija de Lee, Jane Libberton, hablaron ante reporteros en el Capitolio sobre el Proyecto Philomena y sus esfuerzos para reunir familias. La película ha puesto la atención en las adopciones, al igual que la conmovedora historia de Lee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Real life Philomena seeks help on Irish adoption law

UNITED STATES
Toronto Sun

IAN SIMPSON, REUTERS

FIRST POSTED: THURSDAY, JANUARY 30, 2014

WASHINGTON - The 80-year-old Irish woman who inspired the Oscar-nominated film "Philomena" took her campaign for access to adoption records to the U.S. Congress on Thursday, and a senator said lawmakers might urge Ireland to act on the issue.

Philomena Lee, who searched for 50 years for the son she was forced to give up as a teenager, launched a campaign last week calling on Dublin to pass laws for the release of more than 60,000 adoption files held by the state, private adoption agencies and the Catholic Church.

Like thousands of other children, Lee's son was adopted by an American family, and she said she was overwhelmed by the support her story has generated in the United States. "Philomena" received four Academy Award nominations this month, including one for actress Judi Dench, who plays Lee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

McCaskill Talks International Adoption Issues With Heroine Of Oscar-Nominated Film

UNITED STATES
CBS St. Louis

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today met with Philomena Lee to discuss Irish adoption laws and Philomena’s work to reunite American children separated from their Irish families through forced adoption. The story of Philomena’s decades-long search for the son who was forcibly adopted and raised by a family in St. Louis, Mo., is the subject of a recent book and Oscar-nominated film.

“Philomena’s story is heart-wrenching, and she has one of the most just causes you could possibly have—the simple premise that if a child is taken from a mother against her will, there should be an easy way to reconnect with that child,” McCaskill said. “Unfortunately in Ireland, for many years there was a repugnant practice of children taken from their young mothers, put in a home, and when the child got a certain age, shipped off to America to new parents. I have a blended family of seven children. All of my husband’s children from his first marriage are adopted, and we are fortunate in that his oldest son has reconnected with his birthmother—we know and socialize with her, and they have a wonderful relationship. So I know firsthand how important it is to keep those doors open and to allow the transparency and availability of adoption records so that children and parents can have the opportunity to reunite when it is their life’s wish.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

McCaskill joins real life 'Philomena' to push for adoption rights

UNITED STATES
KSDK

WASHINGTON (AP) - Philomena Lee wistfully described her search for her son 50 years after his adoption, a quest captured in an Oscar-nominated film.

Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill said Lee's experience was an argument for adoption rights and an incentive for Ireland to open its records.

The two women met Thursday and spoke to reporters about the Philomena Project and efforts to reconcile families. They were joined by Lee's daughter, Jane Libberton, who helped in the search.

The movie starring Judi Dench has drawn attention to Lee's story and what transpired in Ireland for decades. Children were adopted by Americans, and their birth mothers were unable to find out what happened to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

'Philomena' inspires McCaskill to press for opening Irish adoption records

UNITED STATES
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Nancy Cambria nancy.cambria@post-dispatch.com 314-340-82387

The Oscar-nominated movie "Philomena," which highlights children adopted out of Irish convents against their birth mothers' wishes, has inspired Sen. Claire McCaskill to press the Irish government to open its adoption records.

In a Washington press conference this morning with the namesake of the movie, Philomena Lee, McCaskill said the Irish government needs to immediately pass legislation to help these children and birth parents reconnect. Many of those records remain closed despite the thousands of adoptions that took place.

Lee spent nearly 10 years trying to find her son who was adopted out of a convent without her consent in the 1950s and given to an American couple from St. Louis. Lee was blocked by nuns at the convent from obtaining vital information to find him. She later learned her son, Michael Hess, had also been trying to find her and had made trips to the convent begging the nuns to give him information to find his birth mother.

Hess, who had risen through the ranks of the Republican party and was a chief legal adviser in the Reagan Administration, died of AIDS without ever finding Lee. His dying wish was to be buried at the convent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Truth and Reconciliation Commission extended a year

CANADA
APTN

APTN National News

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been extended by a year.

The commission was expected to end this summer, but is now scheduled to come to a close June 30, 2015 after being extended Thursday.

It doesn’t come a surprise as the TRC had to fight the government twice to release documents it was withholding.

That includes thousands held at the Library of Archives Canada, and most recently documents involving a police investigation into the former St. Anne’s Residential School.

The TRC needs the documents before writing its final report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Granted One-Year Extension to its Operating Period

CANADA
Digital Journal

Canada NewsWire

OTTAWA, Jan. 30, 2014

Harper Government's request to extend the operating period of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is approved by the supervising court

OTTAWA, Jan. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - Further to the Statement on November 14, 2013, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, announced that the British Columbia Supreme Court has approved, on consent of the parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, Canada's request that the operating period of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) be extended for a period of one year ending June 30, 2015.

This additional year will allow the Commission sufficient time to fulfill its mandate, including writing its final report and receiving those documents held at Library and Archives Canada that Canada provides during this period.

Quick Facts

On November 14, 2013, AANDC Minister Bernard Valcourt announced that the Government of Canada would work with the TRC and parties of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, as well as the British Columbia Supreme Court, to extend the operating period of the TRC until June 30, 2015.

All parties, including the Government of Canada, legal counsel for former students, legal counsel for the Churches, the Assembly of First Nations and the Inuit representatives, agreed to seek the court's permission for the extension.

On January 30, 2014 the British Columbia Supreme Court approved the request to extend the mandate of the TRC, to June 30, 2015.

Quotes

"I am pleased that the supervising court has approved an Order that the operating period of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission be extended by one year. Our government remains committed to achieving a fair and lasting resolution to the legacy of Indian Residential Schools, which lies at the heart of reconciliation and the renewal of the relationship between Aboriginal people and all Canadians."

Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

"I commend the parties to the Settlement Agreement for requesting the extension to the mandate, and the court for granting their request. This additional year will enable the Commission to continue to receive the documents held at Library and Archives Canada and to write its final report. The Commission is glad of the opportunity to finish the work it was mandated to do under the Settlement Agreement."

The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair
Chair of Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Teen molested by priest sues archdiocese, alleging it concealed abuse

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

[Documents via Jeff Anderson & Associates:

Complaint
Criminal Complaint 1
Criminal Complaint 2
Wehmeyer Timeline
Emails Between Archdiocese and SPPD June 20-21, 2012
Wehmeyer Docs - Highlighted
Photo of Nienstedt
Photo of Wehmeyer ]

Article by: ASSOCIATED PRESS

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A teenage boy who was molested by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer from 2008 through 2011 sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on Thursday, alleging it conspired to protect the priest from criminal prosecution and conceal his history of sexual misconduct from the public.

The lawsuit comes one day after Ramsey County prosecutors said they wouldn't charge members of the archdiocese for the way they handled allegations against Wehmeyer because there was insufficient evidence to prove anyone failed to immediately report the abuse. Wehmeyer pleaded guilty in 2012 and is serving a five-year prison sentence.

However, a document obtained Wednesday by Minnesota Public Radio News raised questions about when church leaders knew about the accusations against Wehmeyer and about the timing of the report to police. St. Paul police and prosecutors said Thursday they didn't have that document in their initial investigation, but they are now reviewing it to see if it warrants reopening the case.

"At this point, we are not reopening anything," said police spokesman Howie Padilla.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Landmark Lawsuit Involving Yeshiva University High School Dismissed

NEW YORK
Jeff Anderson & Associates

News Release

January 30, 2014

Judge dismisses 32 sexual abuse claims based on the statute of limitations

(New York, NY) – Judge John G. Koeltl issued an order today dismissing a civil lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York on behalf of 32 former students of Yeshiva University High School in New York. The defendants named in the lawsuit were Yeshiva University, Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy-Yeshiva University High School for Boys, Rabbi Norman Lamm, Rabbi Robert Hirt and various members of the Board of Trustees for Yeshiva University.

“The dismissal of these cases is a serious set-back for the child protection movement,” said attorney Jeff Anderson of St. Paul, Minnesota-based law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates. “This is a sad reminder how the law in New York protects offenders and those institutions who protect offenders. We encourage the courts and lawmakers in New York to pay attention to these laws and to make the necessary changes. This is a sad day but it is not the end of the journey of help, hope and healing for these survivors and others hurt at Yeshiva University High School and in the state of New York.”

The complaint states that the 32 Plaintiffs were sexually abused while students at Yeshiva University High School by perpetrators including the school’s former Principal George Finkelstein, who targeted vulnerable students, used his power as an administrator to silence the victims and lowered their grades thus affecting their scholastic futures.

J. Michael Reck, from the New York office of Jeff Anderson & Associates, who was one of the attorneys handling the litigation on behalf of some of the Plaintiffs said, “We are saddened and disappointed that these survivors of institutional abuse were turned away from their day in court. However, our resolve is hardened and we will continue to advocate on their behalf.”

Soon after the lawsuit was brought, the defendants filed motions to dismiss alleging that the claims were too old to be adjudicated in the New York courts. The ruling is currently being analyzed and an appeal is being considered.

A copy of the complaint and order are available at: www.AndersonAdvocates.com.

Contact: Attorney Mike Reck: Mobile 714.742.6593
Contact: Attorney Jeff Anderson: Office: 651.227.9990 Mobile 612.817.8665

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

No charges for St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese in sex abuse cases

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Jan. 30, 2014

Prosecutors in two Minnesota counties announced Wednesday that they will not pursue criminal charges against the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese for failure to report clergy sex abuse allegations of two priests.

The investigations pertained to whether the archdiocese fulfilled its mandatory reporter duties in regard to two much-publicized cases: Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer and Fr. Jonathan Shelley. Details related to both men surfaced through documents and files provided to Minnesota Public Radio by former archdiocesan chancellor Jennifer Haselberger.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Washington County Prosecutor Pete Orput said at a press conference he has closed the investigation into whether Shelley's computer contained pornographic images of minors after determining that none of the files met the statutory definition of what constitutes "pornographic work involving a minor." The investigation, which had previously closed in February 2013, reopened in October when the parishioner who originally reported the files to the archdiocese provided police an additional cache of photos.

It was Haselberger who had alerted police and who, in February 2012 and again that May, urged the archdiocese to report to police the files on Shelley's computer that a private investigator in 2004 had determined "could be considered borderline illegal, because of the youthful male image." The archdiocese has contended that the images in question were unsolicited pop-up ads that attached to the hard drive without permission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Victim's Long Silence Didn't Help Rapist Priest

TENNESSEE
Courthouse News Service

By JEFF D. GORMAN

(CN) - A Tennessee priest was properly convicted of criminal sexual abuse and aggravated rape related to decades-old attacks, a state appeals court ruled.

An altar boy at St. Dominic's Church in Kingsport testified that his pastor, William Casey, starting abusing him in 1975 when he was 10. The abuse included oral sex and anal penetration, according to the victim's testimony.

The victim said he had been reluctant to speak out because his mother told him that she was in love with Casey, who was supposedly going to leave the priesthood to marry her. He also felt nobody would believe him and that he had been taught that priests were God's representatives on Earth.

Casey meanwhile professed to love the boy, with whom he claimed to have a "special" relationship, the victim later testified. Casey gave him a medallion and 10 shares of Piedmont Airlines stock, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Arzobispo admite oferta de dinero a víctima de abuso sexual

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Dia

[Summary: Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan responded this afternoon to an offer of financial aid to a victim of sexual abuse and confirmed that his lawyer yesterday asked the victim to conclude the agreement. Gonzalez Nieves said the priest who sexually assaulted the victim was suspended in 2010.]

El arzobispo de San Juan monseñor Roberto González Nieves, reaccionó esta tarde al ofrecimiento de ayuda económica a una víctima de abuso sexual y confirmó que su abogada le pidió ayer a la víctima concluir con el acuerdo.

En un comunicado de prensa González Nieves señaló que el sacerdote que agredió sexualmente a la víctima entrevistada por El Nuevo Día está suspendido. Todavía el Vaticano no ha emitido un decreto de expulsión.

"En una investigación preliminar el sacerdote admitió el abuso al entonces menor. Fue suspendido, quedando relevado de sus funciones ministeriales el 7 de septiembre de 2010. El día 30 de diciembre de 2011 el Tribunal Metropolitano culminó la investigación preliminar y el 4 de enero de 2012, el Tribunal Metropolitano remitió el expediente de este asunto a la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, dando cumplimiento al trámite requerido por el orden jurídico canónico", aceptó González Nieves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

$380M Yeshiva U. Sex Abuse Case Tossed by Judge

NEW YORK
Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger
Published January 30, 2014.

Citing New York State’s statute of limitations, a federal judge has dismissed a $380 million lawsuit brought by former students of Yeshiva University’s High School for Boys in Manhattan.

“Statutes of limitations strike a balance between providing a reasonable time for victims to bring their claims while assuring that defendants have a fair opportunity to defend themselves before evidence is lost or memories fade,” United States District Judge John G. Koeltl, wrote in a 52-page decision that was published January 30. “In this case, the statutes of limitations have expired decades ago, and no exceptions apply.”

Kevin Mulhearn, a lawyer for the students, vowed to appeal, calling the judge’s decision “a disgrace and an abomination.”

“My clients deserve far better than this,” Mulhearn said. “The court basically is congratulating Yeshiva University High School for succeeding in its multi-decade cover-up of sexual abuse.”

A Y.U. spokesman said the university is “gratified that the federal court recognized the validity of our arguments in dismissing the case against Yeshiva University, which has been an incredibly trying process for all involved.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Manhattan judge tosses $680 million sex abuse lawsuit against Yeshiva University

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY DANIEL BEEKMAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

THURSDAY, JANUARY 30, 2014

A federal judge Thursday tossed out the $680 million sexual abuse lawsuit brought by 34 former Yeshiva University prep school students against the Washington Heights institution.

Manhattan Federal Judge John Koeltl said the claims in the lawsuit are barred by statutes of limitation because the alleged incidents of abuse by Yeshiva University High School for Boys staff members occurred several decades ago.

"My clients are men who have been suffering for years," fumed Kevin Mulhearn, lawyer for the plaintiffs. "They deserve justice, not this perversion of justice."

Yeshiva University didn't immediately return a request for comment Thursday.

Mulhearn said the plaintiffs will "prosecute a vigorous and effective appeal."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Judge tosses $680M sex abuse lawsuit against Yeshiva U.

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Rich Calder
January 30, 2014

A federal judge on Thursday tossed a scathing $680 million lawsuit filed by 34 ex-students of Yeshiva University’s prestigious all-boys high school who allege honchos there covered up decades of sexual and physical abuse.

Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl in his 52-page legal opinion said the victims — who range in age from late-30s to early-60s and reside as far as Israel – simply waited too long to speak up.

“Statutes of limitations strike a balance between providing a reasonable time for victims to bring their claims while assuring that defendants have a fair opportunity to defend themselves before evidence is lost or memories fade,” Koeltl said “In this case, the statutes of limitations have expired decades ago, and no exceptions apply.”

After the written decision, Kevin Mulhearn, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, called Koeltl’s decision an “abomination and a disgrace” and said he plans to appeal.

“The court has stood up and said to Yeshiva University, ‘Congratulations, you have succeeded in your cover-up of the sex abuse!” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Ireland--Irish official apologizes for abuse

IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 30

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 )

It was gracious for Enda Kenny to offer and Louise O'Keefe to accept his apology for her suffering.

[Kildare Nationalist]

That gesture, however, in a real sense, changes nothing. Irish Catholic and governmental officials have a moral and civic duty to take four simple, long-overdue steps.

First, they must aggressively seek out and help those who were hurt in institutions, especially those who have moved oversease.

Second, they must offer tangible and generous compensation to all who were injured and betrayed in these institutions.

Third, they must expose every wrong doer involved (living or dead, high level or low level, on the state payroll or the church payroll).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Group calls for criminal inquiries of disgraced Catholic order Legion of Christ in RI, Conn.

RHODE ISLAND
Fox News

Published January 30, 2014

Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A group that advocates for victims of clergy abuse wants authorities to investigate the Legion of Christ, a disgraced Roman Catholic order.

Two lawsuits in Rhode Island claim the Legion of Christ deceived elderly donors into giving it millions as its officials knew the church was investigating its founder for allegations including sex abuse. The order has said its actions were proper.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says the suspected wrongdoing is so persistent that Rhode Island and Connecticut law enforcement should investigate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Insurer needn't pay archdiocese for abuse-related death claim settlement

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Business Insurance

Judy Greenwald

A Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. unit is not obligated to pay for settlement of a wrongful death claim filed against the Archdiocese of St. Louis in connection with a man's suicide allegedly caused by a priest's sexual abuse because the archdiocese could not be held legally liable for the claim, says an appellate court.

Allen Klump, the father of Christopher Klump, filed a wrongful death suit against the Archdiocese of St. Louis in state court in June 2003, charging that a priest employed by the archdiocese had sexually molested his son, which eventually led to Christopher's suicide, according to Wednesday's ruling by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis in Chicago Insurance Co. v. Archdiocese of St. Louis; Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop, Father Michael S. McGrath.

According to a news report, Mr. Klump charged in his suit that his 30-year-old son killed himself as a direct result of the sexual abuse he had suffered as a preteen in the 1980s at the hands of a priest during outings billed as spiritual counseling. The report said the accused priest was suspended by the archdiocese in 1997.

The parties subsequently entered into a settlement for an undisclosed amount that released the archdiocese from any future liability associated with the alleged misconduct, according to the ruling. The archdiocese then sought indemnification for its loss.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Franziskus...

OSTERRICH
Die Presse

Franziskus: Expriester in die Kirche einbinden

Der Innsbrucker Bischof, Manfred Scheuer, zieht eine Bilanz des Ad-limina-Besuchs im Vatikan. Dem Papst, sagt Scheuer, gehe es nicht so sehr um Moral als um die Gottesfrage.

30.01.2014 | 18:21 | Von Paul Kreiner (Die Presse)

Vatikanstadt. Keine konkreten Rezepte, keine Ankündigung unmittelbar bevorstehender Reformen, aber die Gewissheit, dass Papst Franziskus „sehr offen für den Dialog“ ist und dass zukunftsträchtige Dialogprozesse auch tatsächlich angestoßen sind. Das ist es, was der Innsbrucker Bischof, Manfred Scheuer, vom fünftägigen Ad-limina-Besuch im Vatikan „erfreut und ermutigt“ mit nach Hause nimmt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Pope will make mark on US church through Chicago

CHICAGO (IL)
Post-Bulletin

Associated Press

When he turned 75, Cardinal Francis George did what the Roman Catholic Church expects of its bishops. He submitted his resignation so the pope could decide how much longer the cardinal would serve.

George said he hoped Pope Benedict XVI would keep him on as Chicago archbishop for two or three more years. "But, it's up to him, finally," George told WLS-TV in Chicago.

Two years and one surprise papal retirement later, the decision now belongs to Pope Francis. The pontiff's choice will be closely watched as his first major appointment in the U.S., and the clearest indication yet of the direction he will steer American church leaders.

"Many signals for this relationship between the pontificate and the U.S. church will come from Chicago," said Massimo Faggioli, a professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota who studies the Vatican and the papacy. "I think this is going to be the most important decision by Pope Francis for the U.S. church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

O’KEEFFE ACCEPTS TAOISEACH’S APOLOGY

IRELAND
Kildare Nationalist

Abuse survivor Louise O'Keeffe has accepted the Taoiseach's apology on behalf of the Irish State.

The Cork woman won a case earlier this week that she brought to the European Court of Human Rights over abuse she suffered at a school in the 1970s.

In a statement, she says she's grateful for the speed of the Taoiseach's apology and she graciously accepts it.

"I appreciate very much his apology and I suppose I appreciate the fact that he did it quickly," she said.

"I would never have looked for an apology for myself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

ENDA KENNY APOLOGISES TO ABUSE VICTIM LOUISE O’KEEFFE

IRELAND
Laois Nationalist

The Taoiseach has issued an apology to abuse victim Louise O'Keeffe.

The Cork woman won a case earlier this week in the European Court of Human Rights over abuse she suffered at a school in the 1970s.

The European court overturned a ruling from the Supreme Court which found the State could not be liable as the teacher responsible, Leo Hickey, was not in its direct employment.

Enda Kenny said the judgement was exceptionally complex and would be studied by the Government.

However the Taoiseach said he apologised for the horrendous experience Ms O'Keeffe had to go through.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Ruling may force Ireland to revamp Catholic school monopoly

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

Jennifer Collins Religion News Service | Jan. 29, 2014

DUBLIN -- For years, many Irish parents sought to school their children outside the Roman Catholic Church, which dominates the country’s education system. Now a ruling could force the Irish government to do just that.

On Tuesday (Jan. 28), the European Court of Human Rights found the government was liable in a case in which a principal sexually abused a student, then 9 years old, when she attended a state-funded Catholic school in the 1970s. An Irish court had rejected her claims on the grounds that the school wasn’t public, but the European court decided the government had failed in its duty to protect children.

The ruling touched on an issue that has taken on greater urgency in recent years as sexual abuse scandals have rocked the church and more nonreligious people have immigrated to the staunchly Catholic country: Who should run Ireland’s schools?

The Catholic Church runs 90 percent of primary schools in Ireland. The rest are mainly Protestant, and about 4 percent are managed by the nonprofit Educate Together, which is nonsectarian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

$3.15 million settlement reached in Archdiocese sex abuse lawsuit

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Deanese Williams-Harris
Tribune reporter
1:30 p.m. CST, January 30, 2014

A $3.15 million settlement has been reached in a sexual abuse claim of a victim who said he was abused by the then-Rev. Daniel McCormack, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to multiple counts of criminal sexual assault.

The victim filed the lawsuit in 2010 against the Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal Francis George alleging that both failed to remove McCormack and allowed him access to children despite complaints that he had sexually abused minors, according to a news release from the victim's attorneys.

McCormack, who has since been defrocked, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual abuse in 2006 and later pleaded guilty to the crimes. McCormick was sentenced to five years in prison, and remains confined while a petition to keep him committed to state custody under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act is considered by a Cook County judge.

The victim in the suit said McCormack abused him while he was in eighth grade in 2002 at Our Lady of the West Side Catholic School. The abuse continued while he was in a junior and senior playing in a basketball league for McCormack, who pastor at St. Agatha's Parish and also a basketball coach, according to the complaint, according to the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Archdiocese Settles With Alleged McCormack Abuse Victim For $3.2 Million

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — A nearly $3.2 million settlement has been reached with the Archdiocese of Chicago in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse with a minor by former priest Daniel McCormack, attorneys in the case said Thursday.

The identity of the plaintiff was not released, but the abuse was alleged to have occurred while the victim was between eighth and 11th grades, according to the plaintiff’s attorneys.

The victim sued the archdiocese and Cardinal Francis George in 2010 alleging they failed to remove McCormack from access to children although they had knowledge that he had sexually abused minors.

“We are pleased to have reached this settlement because it marks one more step toward bringing justice to the victim and his family,” plaintiff attorney Willliam F. Martin said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Anderson sues Twin Cities Archdiocese over Wehmeyer

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Jan 30, 2014

Attorney Jeff Anderson has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis today on behalf of a victim of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer. He claims in the suit that the archdiocese was negligent in allowing Wehmeyer access to children.

The victim he's representing is one of the boys that Wehmeyer pleaded guilty to abusing, he said. Wehmeyer is serving a five-year prison sentence for sexually abusing two boys, ages 12 and 14, and possessing child pornography. Some of the abuse took place in a camper that the priest parked outside his church.

The lawsuit comes one day after Ramsey County Attorney John Choi declined to file charges against anyone at the archdiocese for failure to promptly report child sexual abuse. The law requires a priest to report suspected child abuse within 24 hours unless he learned the information as part of confession.

Soon after Choi announced his decision not to file charges, MPR News reported that Archbishop John Nienstedt signed a church document in June 2012 that said the archdiocese knew of the sexual abuse claims for two days before contacting police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Ramsey County reviewing clergy abuse document

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: January 30, 2014

Hours after clearing Archdiocese, Ramsey County officials received a document that is prompting the review.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s office said Thursday it is reviewing documents that appear to indicate that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis failed to report an allegation of child sex abuse within the time frame required by law.

County Attorney John Choi Wednesday announced his office would not file charges against the archdiocese, because it could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that it hadn’t responded in a timely way to abuse allegations against the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, a former St. Paul priest now in prison.

Within hours of that announcement, however, authorities received an archdiocese document that called into question whether the archdiocese acted “immediately.” The document made public by Minnesota Public Radio is a statement by Archbishop John Nienstedt describing a complaint against Wehmeyer days before church officials reported it to police.

“We’re reviewing the documents we received from police,” said Dennis Gerhardstein, spokesman for the county attorney’s office. “It’s new information.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

NE- Accused predator priest worked in Nebraska

NEBRASKA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 30 2014

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

An accused predator priest who worked in Nebraska has been suspended from ministry in New Mexico because of credible allegations of child sex crimes.

[ABQ Journal]

He is Fr. Timothy Conlon.

We hope every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Conlon – or cover ups by his church colleagues or supervisors – will call police, expose wrongdoing, and protect kids.

We hope every single current or former Catholic employee – in Nebraska, New Mexico or North Dakota - will do everything they can to seek out and help anyone who was hurt by Fr. Conlon. We hope every single Catholic parishioner does likewise.

Of course, Fr. Conlon was given access to Nebraska kids because one or more Nebraska bishops let him work in his diocese. So these bishops have a clear choice. They can split hairs, make excuses and do nothing (acting like cold-hearted CEOs). Or they can step up, show compassion and aggressively seek out others Fr. Conlon may have hurt. We hope they choose the responsible course.

Specifically, we hope they use their diocesan websites and parish bulletins and pulpit announcements to beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Conlon's crimes to call police and prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Vatican bank admits widows fell victim to glitch

VATICAN CITY
Boston.com

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Dozens and perhaps hundreds of widows and Vatican pensioners recently came in for a rude surprise: The Vatican bank told them they had to close their accounts or risk losing access to their money — all in the name of Pope Francis’ reform efforts, The Associated Press has learned.

The bank now says it was all a ‘‘technical error’’ and that the widows and pensioners are being kept on as clients, amid the bank’s highly-publicized plan to close so-called ‘‘lay accounts’’ as it tries to mend relations with Italian authorities who have suspected that Italians were using the bank as a tax haven.

It’s all come as a big embarrassment for an institution that is trying to fend off accusations of mismanagement and corruption.

‘‘In some cases old ladies got nasty letters,’’ Max Hohenberg, spokesman for the Institute for Religious Works — or IOR — told The AP. ‘‘The fact that a few dozen people were categorized in the wrong way and hence got a letter which was incorrect is a mistake which we have apologized for.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Salvation Army Hearings Continue (Or: Still Taking Taxpayers’ Money)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

SPECIAL NOTE: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation television (ABC 2 / Ch. 24 digital) will be re-screening the “Four Corners” program from 2003, detailing abuses by the Salvation Army at its Children’s Homes – titled “The Homies”.

The program will run at 8 p.m. (daylight Saving time – 7.p.m. Queensland time) on this coming Saturday night – 1st February, 2014. The author and one of the men who gave evidence this week, Wally McLeod, were interviewed in the program by top ABC investigative journalist, Quentin McDermott, along with a few other men and women.

The program was ground-breaking at a time when there was little public awareness of the issues. Now that the royal commission is revisiting four Salvation Army Boys’ Homes, Alkira, Bexley, Gill, and Riverview, it again becomes particularly relevant. People will soon realize just how far ahead of its time this program was.

Special thanks are also due to prominent ABC radio journalist, Emily Bourke, for her efforts in getting the ABC to agree to re-run the program. Emily does the AM, PM, Radio National and World Today programs, and has helped the author cope with the disappointment of not being given permission by chief commissioner, Peter McClellan, to appear before the commission.

Readers are strongly urged to watch the program, and to tell as many other people as possible about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

Archdiocese, jailed priest faced with civil suit in sex abuse case

MINNESOTA
Bring Me The News

January 30, 2014 By Liz O'Connell

A day after the Ramsey County attorney announced there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the sex abuse case involving Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, the archdiocese is now facing a civil lawsuit related to the former St. Paul priest.

The Pioneer Press reports the suit naming both the archdiocese and Wehmeyer was filed on behalf of an unidentified youth, “Doe 31.” The lawsuit claims the archdiocese knew the priest posed a risk to children yet failed to protect Doe.

Wehmeyer is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for molesting two boys in a St. Paul church parking lot in 2010 and also possessing child pornography.

St. Paul police and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office had been investigating whether the archdiocese failed to report the abuse to authorities within 24 hours of learning about it. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced Wednesday that there is not enough evidence to show that the archdiocese violated the state’s mandatory reporting law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

IL- Case settles, Cardinal dodges another bullet

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 30 2014

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 )

Another clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against the Chicago archdiocese has settled.

We applaud the brave victim of Fr. Daniel McCormack who sought justice through our court system. He was smart to get independent help – from an attorney – instead of begging for crumbs from Catholic officials. We are grateful that he persisted through legal delays and that he chose to announce this resolution. Every time Fr. McCormack's name appears in the public limelight, kids are safer because parents are reminded of how reckless, callous and deceitful Catholic officials can be.

We hope, however, that at least one of the McCormack lawsuits goes to trial. If that happens, we predict many will be shocked to learn that top archdiocesan officials acted even worse than is commonly believed in this horrific case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

MO- AME church officials should be ashamed

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 30 2014

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 in SNAP are grateful for Rev. Brenda Jones' strength and courage. She has wisely realized that our courts are the best place to expose sexual predators and protect vulnerable congregations. We applaud her for her bravery.

[SNAP]

But this is about more than a sexual predator. It's also about a very unhealthy, self-serving church hierarchy that rallies around the accused, attacks the accuser, and deters victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from speaking up. Bishop Kirkland and other AME officials should be deeply ashamed of how they misused their power and position to scare others with information about clergy sex crimes and cover up into staying silent.

The AME church has an inspiring history. AME church officials and members played key roles in the civil rights movement. The Selma to Montgomery voting rights march started an AME church. Rosa Parks' memorial service was held at an AME church. In fact, the AME church grew out of an anti-segregation protest in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1787.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 30 January 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father:

- accepted the resignation presented by Bishop Michele Russo, M.C.C.I. from the pastoral government of the diocese of Doba, Chad, in conformity with canon 401 paragraph 2 of the CIC, and has named Bishop Miguel Angel Sebastian Martinez, M.C.C.I., as apostolic administrator “sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” of that same diocese.

- accepted the request presented by Cardinal Attilio Nicora to step down as president of the Financial Intelligence Authority of the Holy See and Vatican City State (AIF), and has named Bishop Giorgio Corbellini as interim president of that office. Bishop Corbellini will maintain his positions at the Labour Office of the Apostolic See and the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Pope replaces cardinal at head of Vatican financial authority

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

* Break with past financial establishment almost complete
* Pope replaced cardinals on bank supervisory commission mid-Jan
* Vatican reforms expected to intensify in coming months

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Thursday replaced a cardinal who played a senior role in Vatican finances for more than a decade, in his latest move to clear out the old financial guard associated with his predecessor.

The Vatican said the pope had accepted the resignation of Cardinal Atillio Nicora as president of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority (AIF), its internal regulatory watchdog.

Nicora, 76, held high-level roles in Vatican finances since 2002. He was replaced by Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, 66, who has a track record of reform within the Vatican bureaucracy.

The move, which follows the replacement of four cardinals connected to the Vatican bank on Jan. 15, came as Francis is approaching the first anniversary of a pontificate marked by austerity and sobriety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Archdiocese settles with alleged McCormack abuse victim for more than $3 million

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

A nearly $3.2 million settlement has been reached with the Archdiocese of Chicago in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse with a minor by former priest Daniel McCormack, attorneys in the case said Thursday.

The identify of the plaintiff was not released, but the abuse was alleged to have occurred while the victim was between eighth and 11th grades, according to the plaintiff’s attorneys.

The victim sued the archdiocese and Cardinal Francis George in 2010 alleging they failed to remove McCormack from access to children although they had knowledge that he had sexually abused minors.

“We are pleased to have reached this settlement because it marks one more step toward bringing justice to the victim and his family,” plaintiff attorney Willliam F. Martin said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

$3.1M settlement in Daniel McCormack priest sex abuse case for Chicago Archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

January 30, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- The Chicago Archdiocese settled a claim of sexual abuse against a boy by former priest Daniel McCormack for $3.15 million.

The sex abuse victim, who has not been identified, filed the lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal Francis George in 2010. He alleged the archdiocese failed to remove McCormack from access to children although they knew they had knowledge of past abuse.

McCormack was arrested in 2006 on multiple counts of criminal sexual abuse to which he pleaded guilty in 2007.

The victim in this case was sexually abused between eighth and 11th grades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 AM

Archdiocese faces civil suit in convicted St. Paul priest's case

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

A day after Ramsey County announced it wouldn't charge anyone in the Twin Cities archdiocese for failing to report to police the case of a convicted child molesting priest, one of the priest's victims has filed a civil lawsuit.

The suit, filed on behalf of a youth identified as Doe 31, names the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the priest, the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, who served at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul.

The lawsuit alleges the archdiocese knew Wehmeyer posed a risk to children and failed to protect Doe 31, said sexual abuse attorney Jeff Anderson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Israeli Archbishop of Haifa Resigns over Sex Scandal

ISRAEL
The Jewish Press

By: Yori Yanover Published: January 29th, 2014

The Apostolic Nunciature in Israel announced Monday that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Elias Chacour, Archbishop of the Greek Melkite Archeparchy of Akko, Haifa, Nazareth and the Galilee, ICN reported.

The Catholic news service added that archbishop, a “native Palestinian, whose family and entire village were evicted when the State of Israel was formed,” was the first Israeli citizen to be appointed a Catholic bishop. In this role, “he has devoted his life to advocating non-violence and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians and has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.”

But, according to CNS, last October, the well-known archbishop was called in for police questioning for suspected sexual harassment of a woman who works in the community. The allegations concerned an incident that allegedly took place five years ago. Following several hours of questioning, the archbishop was released on bail under restricting conditions.

The woman’s complaint was filed two years ago, but the investigation needed special permission to proceed because of the archbishop’s high standing (what with the Nobel nominations and whatnot).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Pope accepts resignation of Israeli Melkite archbishop

ISRAEL
Catholic Free Press

By Judith Sudilovsky
Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Melkite Archbishop Elias Chacour of Haifa.

Canon 210 of the Eastern Code of Canon Law allows for resignation for health reasons or at the age of 75. Archbishop Chacour is 74.

Last October, the well-known archbishop was called in for questioning for suspected sexual harassment of a woman who works in the community; the allegations concerned an incident that allegedly took place five years ago. Following several hours of questioning, the archbishop was released on bail under restricting conditions.

The complaint was filed two years ago, but the investigation needed special permission to proceed because of the archbishop’s standing. Archbishop Chacour was reported to have been cooperative but denied the allegations against him.

A source familiar with the church in Galilee noted that the archbishop tendered his resignation after speaking with church officials, who suggested it would be best if he resigned.

Ill health and the sexual harassment charges against him appear to be among the several reasons he resigned, said the source.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Vatican spokesman criticizes Rolling Stone article, defends Pope Benedict

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

The director of the Holy See Press Office criticized the negative portrayal of Pope Benedict in a recent Rolling Stone cover story on Pope Francis.

“Unfortunately, the article disqualifies itself, falling in the usual mistake of a superficial journalism, which in order to highlight the positive aspects of Pope Francis, thinks it should describe in a negative way the pontificate of Pope Benedict, and does so with a surprising crudeness,” said Father Federico Lombardi, according to a Zenit report.

“What a shame,” Father Lombardi added. “This is not the way to do a good service even to Pope Francis, who knows very well what the Church owes to his predecessor.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

MN- Evidence shows church officials delayed reporting

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 30 2014

Statement by Megan Peterson, Twin Cities SNAP leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 218-689-9049 cell, survivor19@live.com )

We are deeply disappointed in Twin Cities law enforcement officials.

[Minnesota Public Radio]

Given what's happening in the Twin Cities – now and over the past five months – it is very tough for us to understand why subpoenas and search warrants haven't been used yet.

Police and prosecutors beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward, as they should. But police and prosecutors need to respect our pain by doing some real homework on the long-standing, widely-documented and on-going pattern of persistent deceit by Catholic officials – in Minnesota and across the world – in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.

It speaks volumes that

–- the veteran archdiocesan abuse “handler,” Fr. Kevin McDonough, refuses to be questioned by police, and
–- the archbishop refuses to order McDonough to sit for questioning.

Those two simple and alarming facts scream “cover up” to anyone who's listening.

We could cite many examples, even recent ones (like Bishop Robert Finn in Kansas City), in which high ranking Catholic officials have hidden evidence from law enforcement officials. But look at the case of Fr. Gerald Robinson in Toledo, who is now in prison for brutally murdering a nun.

Police investigators arrested him and asked diocesan staff for Fr. Robinson's personnel file. They were given three pages.

Police then executed two “no knock” search warrants on the diocese. They recovered hundreds and hundreds of pages of more records, records that had never been turned over to the police. Those records led to Fr. Robinson's conviction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

IN RESPONSE TO THE CRY OF ABUSED CHILDREN

POLAND
Sunday Catholic Weekly

Włodzimierz Rędzioch talks with Fr. Fortunato Di Noto – a Sicilian priest dealing with a fight with pedophilia

Numbers are terrifying! All over the world 140 million girls and 75 million boys fell victims to sexual abuses; 600 thousand children are abused in the business of children’s pornography, which reaches 14 milliard euro. The average age of pedophiles’ victims is 11-14 years, although there are also cases of abusing babies! Most sexually abused children are in the countries like: Kenia, Indie, Philippines, the Republic of Southern Africa, Thailand, Cambodia, but, certainly, it is difficult to find Polish journalists there who are worried by the fate of the underage- they prefer to write mendacious texts from Modlnica, from the family house of Fr. Wojciech Gil. Most media are engaged with searching for single cases of alleged sexual abuses among priests towards children. The example of this type of extremely biased actions is just the witch-hunt against the Polish priest. It is also possible to notice the inconceivable phenomenon – many powerful groups are undertaking an attempt of normalization of pedophilia, acknowledge it as one of many sexual orientations. What is interesting, in domineering media nobody alarms because nobody is outraged by it.

I talk with a Sicilian priest Fortunato Di Noto about these worrying matters, who founded an organization named ‘Meter Onlus’. I have been engaged in this fight with pedophilia, mainly on Internet.

(W.R.)

WŁODZIMIERZ RĘDZIOCH: - Priest has been engaged with the fight with pedophilia for years. How did Priest react to the decision of pope Francis about establishing a special commission in order to protect the underage?

FR. FORTUNATO DI NOTO: - The commission established by pope Francis in order to protect the underage is a cry of innocent children, a particular engagement for the sake of those suffering and restoring hope among those in despair. The association ‘Meter Onlus’ suggested organizing the central commission long time ago, which could help episcopates in their work for the sake of children. We also suggested establishing a new pastoral function – a bishop’s vicar for children, who could guard the work of various communities of pastoral dioceses. The Church must always defend the little, weak, poor and abused. And it cannot be silent or hide the evil. The papal commission will be able to coordinate preventive and informative actions well, as well as protection and help to victims.
As it concerns ‘Meter Onlus’, I would like to say that it is 18 years when we have celebrated the Day of Children – Victims of Violence; we meet with bishops, priests and laymen in order to make them sensitive to pastoral ministry and formation of children against abuse; we have participated in 2600 congresses about abuse towards the underage; we have given help to 1200 victims of violence, we have reported about a million of pedophilic websites to suitable authorities (internet police); in 1997, thanks to our efforts the Italian parliament was the first one to submit an application against pedophilia. I think that our biggest merit is protecting many children from abuses and creating a new social consciousness about this phenomenon, also in such far-away countries as China, Japan or Brazil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Document Suggests Archbishop Slow to Report Alleged Abuse

MINNESOTA
KSTP

By: Jennie Olson

A church document suggests the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese waited two days to tell police of sexual abuse allegations against a priest.

The document obtained by Minnesota Public Radio is a decree signed by Archbishop John Nienstedt in 2012. MPR says it shows the Archdiocese knew about allegations against the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer on June 18. But police reports show the archdiocese didn't report the claims to police until two days later. The law generally requires a priest to report suspected child abuse within 24 hours.

The revelation came after Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said he would not file any charges for failure to report Wehmeyer's abuse to police. Choi now says he's taking another look.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Historical Abuse Inquiry told of Termonbacca abuse by older boys

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A witness has told the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry that he was sexually abused by older boys at a children's home in Londonderry.

He also told the inquiry that the home, Termonbacca, was "run on starvation".

The children's home and another in Derry, Nazareth House, were run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

The Historical Abuse Inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children's residential institutions from 1922 to 1995.

The witness lived in Termonbacca in the 1950s and 1960s after being given to a priest by his mother.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Boy fainted regularly from hunger, NI abuse inquiry hears

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Dan Keenan

A boy looked after by Sisters of Nazareth nuns at a home in Derry used to faint regularly during morning Mass because of hunger.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry heard the boy, who has been giving testimony in person, was woken some time after 6am daily to serve at morning Mass. But he often passed out because he said he was always hungry.

The inquiry, which is investigating treatment of children at care homes across Northern Ireland before 1995, heard the witness confirm that while some nuns were pleasant, another was “a hateful bitch”.
She had “a built-in anger and hatred,” the witness told inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart.

“You could have no relationship whatsoever with her. You could say she was under pressure, but she really didn’t have to be because the boys were doing a good job in running the place and she should have had the life of Riley.”

He confirmed his statement, given earlier to the inquiry team, in which he referred to this nun as “a bully and very contolling”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Document suggests archbishop slow to report

MINNESOTA
Greenwich Time

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A church document suggests the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese waited two days to tell police of sexual abuse allegations against a priest.

The document obtained by Minnesota Public Radio (http://bit.ly/1fzIb0Q ) is a decree signed by Archbishop John Nienstedt in 2012. MPR says it shows the Archdiocese knew about allegations against the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer on June 18. But police reports show the archdiocese didn't report the claims to police until two days later. The law generally requires a priest to report suspected child abuse within 24 hours.

The revelation came after Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said he would not file any charges for failure to report Wehmeyer's abuse to police. Choi now says he's taking another look.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Zachary Joshua Reeder, Servite Teacher, Gets a Dime for Posing as Girl for Nude Shots of Lads

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By Matt Coker Thu., Jan. 30 2014

A history teacher at the all-boys Catholic Servite High School who'd also taught or coached baseball at Irvine's Beckman and Mission Viejo's Capistrano Valley high schools pleaded guilty Wednesday to setting up a fake woman's Facebook profile to trick dozens of teen boys into sending him sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves.

Zachary Joshua Reeder, a married father, was immediately sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Between June 1, 2010, and Jan. 14, 2013, Reeder created and used a Facebook account to pose as a female high school student by using the image of a blond-haired girl. He established inappropriate online relationships with at least 106 underage boys between the ages of 13 and 17 from Servite, Beckman, Northwood, and Canyon High Schools--boys he knew through teaching or coaching, prosecutors said when the Orange resident was arrested last February. Many boys came forward due to the publicity from the arrest.

Without the guilty plea, Reeder was facing up to 44 years in prison if convicted.

Besides the prison time, the 31-year-old must register as a sex offender for life after pleading guilty to four felony counts of distributing pornography to a minor, two felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14, two felony counts of contacting a child with the intent to commit a lewd act, one felony count each of using a minor for sex acts, lewd act upon a child, possession and control of child pornography, and distribution of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Ex-Coach Gets 10 Years for Tricking Teen Boys to Send Sex Pics

CALIFORNIA
Patch

Posted by Penny Arévalo (Editor) , January 29, 2014

A former Orange County high school teacher and baseball coach, who used a fake woman's Facebook profile to trick 106 underage teenage boys into sending him sexually explicit photos and videos, admitted guilt today and was immediately sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Zachary Joshua Reeder, 31, of Orange, pleaded guilty to four counts of distributing pornography to a minor, two counts each of lewd acts on a child younger than 14 and contacting a child with the intent to commit a lewd act, and one count each of using a minor for sex acts, committing a lewd act on a child, possession and control of child pornography and distribution of child pornography -- all felonies.

Reeder was a history teacher at Servite High School, an all-boys campus in Anaheim, and also taught history and was a volunteer assistant baseball coach for four seasons at Arnold O. Beckman High School in Irvine. He briefly served as a history teacher and baseball coach at Capistrano Valley Christian School in San Juan Capistrano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

CLERGY SEX ABUSE TRANSPARENCY ACCORDING TO CARDINAL GEORGE

CHICAGO (IL)
Voice from the Desert

Robert Mayer

Thomas Doyle
January 20, 2014

The leadership of the Archdiocese of Chicago has a mediocre to poor track record in responding to reports of clergy sexual abuse and their honesty with the public. Cardinal George’s recent statement to the archdiocese (January 12, 2014 in The Catholic New World) does nothing to change this pattern. This statement was issued to prepare the archdiocese for the release of the files of thirty priests confirmed as sexual abusers. His statement is defensive, misleading and insulting in addition to the fact that it does not reflect the reality of the key issues. A significant part of the statement is devoted to the defense of his mishandling of the Dan McCormack case. The McCormack files are not among those released!

In 1982 the parents of a minor boy reported that former Fr. Bob Mayer had sexually abused their teenaged son. This was under Cardinal Cody’s watch. They reported the abuse to the archdiocese and in return were intimidated and even threatened with excommunication by the chancellor at the time, Fr. J. Richard Keating, who later became the bishop of Arlington VA. In 1988 they finally settled for a measly $10,000.00 that didn’t even cover their legal costs. The boy’s mother was not about to succumb to the scare tactics nor was she buying any of the dishonest mumbo-jumbo served up as excuses for their deliberate neglect. She went on to found the Linkup which quickly became one of the two most influential victim support organizations in the world.

Knowing about Mayer’s track record Cardinal Bernardin who had by then succeeded Cardinal Cody, gave him two more assignments as a parish associate and in 1990 made him pastor of a parish in Berwyn IL. During this period the archdiocese received other allegations and ordered Mayer not to be alone with anyone under 21. The infinite wisdom of the archdiocese in imposing this restriction was apparently not infinite enough.

In 1991 Mayer was charged with sexual abuse of a minor girl. When confronted by the angry parishioners, the auxiliary bishop dispatched to deal with the incident lied to them about Mayer’s background. In 1992 Mayer was sentenced to three years in prison. He has since been laicized.

Cardinal Bernardin died in 1996 and Cardinal George replaced him in April 1997. He was ordained bishop in 1990 and served first as bishop of Yakima WA and then as archbishop of Portland OR. Both Portland and Yakima had their share of sexual abuse problems during George’s time. Equally important, he was a member of the U.S. bishops Conference during the years they started to at least talk about clerical sexual abuse. During those years George and his fellow bishops received numerous documents from the conference headquarters that provided detailed information about clergy sexual abuse and the serious risks it posed the Church. He was also present, at least presumably, when a variety of outside experts addressed the assembled bishops on the very serious nature of sexual abuse of children. These included Fr. Canice Connors, at the time President of St. Luke Institute; Dr. Fred Berlin, Johns Hopkins University, on diagnostic concepts, treatment and ethical considerations; Dr. Frank Valcour, psychiatrist at St. Luke Institute on expectations of treatment; Bishop Harry Flynn on care of victims; Jesuit psychiatrist James Gill on priests, sex and power and Fr. Steve Rossetti on the parish as victim. During this period Pope John Paul II addressed his first public communication of clergy sex abuse to the U.S. bishops and that same year, 1993, the bishops established their first committee to deal with the problem. The claim voiced by the Cardinal and his auxiliary, Francis Kane, that “had they known then what they know now they would have handled the allegations differently,”has become a mantra for bishops when they are confronted with their disastrous actions. It’s also so worn out that one would think the conference spin-doctors would come up with a fresh excuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

MO--Minister abused & harassed woman, new suit says

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

Minister abused & harassed woman, new suit says
Clergyman has now started a new church in Hazelwood
From pulpit, AME official said victim is “the devil” and “going to hell”
Church process “was degrading and humiliating,” lawsuit charges
Suit: “Officials want to harass and deter victims of sexual assault from reporting”
SNAP deplores church figures for not calling police & retaliating against woman

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
– disclose a new civil lawsuit charging that an African American minister sexually harassed and assaulted a female staffer and church member,
– urge officials with the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church to aggressively reach out to others who “saw, suspected or suffered” the ministers crimes, and
– prod anyone with information or suspicions of crimes or misdeeds by the minister to “come forward, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect others and start healing.

WHEN
Thursday, Jan. 30 at 1:15 p.m.

WHERE
Outside Wayman AME Church (314-361-4123), 5010 Cabanne Ave. at Kingshighway in north St. Louis

WHY
A new civil lawsuit charges that Rev. Brenda Jones was sexually harassed and assaulted by Rev. Frederick McCullough and that AME officials treated her horribly when she reported the crimes.

According to the suit: “In 2011, Jones became a preacher and a member of Wayman Church, the same year that Rev. Frederick McCullough was assigned there. The next year, McCullough made escalating sexually inappropriate comments to her and forcing her to see a photo of McCullough’s penis. A month later, in his office, he grabbed her, tried to kiss her, forced her to bend over his desk, pulled up her skirt, tried to pull her undergarments down but she escaped. In December of 2012, McCullough again assaulted her in the church.”

Church officials knew, the suit says, that McCullough had sexually harassed other women he supervised or pastored to in AME churches (including in Georgia and Nebraska) before assaulting Jones but did not tell her or others “of McCullough’s propensity to sexually harass and assault women.” In 2004, for instance, AME officials “were aware that McCullough had engaged in “inappropriate sexual behavior” with a girl” and in 2010, they knew that McCullough “made inappropriate sexual comments to a female pastor.”

Church officials refused to report the allegations against McCullough “to law enforcement authorities, prospective parishioners, current parishioners, their families, victims, or the public,” the suit says. AME officials refused to investigate “until Jones filed a formal written complaint, and then subjected her to a three-month internal quasi-judicial process while letting McCullough stay in his position and disparage Jones from the pulpit.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Francis taps reformer for financial cleanup

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Jan. 30, 2014 NCR Today

ROME
In his latest move to clean up the financial scandals that have plagued the Vatican in recent years, Pope Francis has replaced a cardinal who headed the financial watchdog agency launched under Pope Benedict XVI with a bishop associated with an earlier effort to foster reform.

The Vatican announced Thursday that 76-year-old Italian Cardinal Attilio Nicora has stepped down as president of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority, the anti-money-laundering agency launched under Benedict XVI in 2011.

In his place, Francis has named 66-year-old Italian Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, who will also keep his job as head of the Vatican's labor office and head of the disciplinary commission of the Roman Curia. The appointment to the Financial Information Authority was made ad interim, meaning Corbellini has no fixed term.

From 1993 to 2011, Corbellini was a senior official of the Government of the Vatican City State, where he worked under Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the current papal ambassador in the United States and the former No. 2 official at the City State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Retired Anglican priest from Cambridge sentenced for decades-old sex assaults

CANADA
MIssissauga.com

By Catherine Thompson

A retired Anglican priest from Cambridge faces at least four years in federal prison for sex offences dating back almost 30 years.

On Tuesday, Rev. George Ferris, 66, was sentenced to four years in prison for 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, when he served at St. James' Anglican Church in Paris, Ont.

A sentencing hearing was held Wednesday for Ferris on two other charges of sexual assault against two separate complainants. He was convicted in November of those offences.

At Ferris' trial in October on those charges, Chris Morrison, 42, of Paris, Ont., testified he was molested by Ferris, who was his priest, as a teenager over several years, in a situation that escalated from embraces to oral sex and two instances of actual and attempted 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.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Former New Tribes missionary gets 58 years for sexually abusing girls

FLORIDA
Orlando Sentinel

By Amy Pavuk, Orlando Sentinel
5:18 p.m. EST, January 28, 2014

A former missionary for the Sanford-based New Tribes Mission was sentenced to 58 years in federal prison Tuesday for sexually abusing girls who were part of an indigenous tribe in the Amazon and filming the acts.

Authorities said Warren Scott Kennell befriended and abused girls over a several-year period, while he was establishing a church with the Katookeena tribe.

Homeland Security Investigations agents began investigating the 45-year-old after receiving a tip that he posted pictures on a website used by people who trade child pornography.

When Kennell traveled from Brazil to Orlando in May, agents stopped and searched him at the airport.

Agents found several thumb drives and an external hard drive, and investigators located child pornography on the devices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Former missionary gets 58 years in prison on child pornography charges

FLORIDA
WFTV

[with video]

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A former missionary was sentenced to 58 years in prison on child pornography charges Tuesday.

Warren Scott Kennell was arrested in June after Homeland Security investigators found he uploaded child pornography online.

Kennell then admitted to producing child pornography with young girls from the Brazilian tribes he worked with.

About 17 people filed up several rows in the courtroom to support Kennel Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Ex-Christian missionary is jailed for 58 years ...

FLORIDA
Daily Mail (UK)

Ex-Christian missionary is jailed for 58 years after he sexually abused indigenous girls for child porn while setting up a church in the Amazon

By HELEN POW

A Florida-based former Christian missionary was today sentenced to 58 years in federal prison for sexually abusing girls who were part of an indigenous tribe in the Amazon and filming the acts.

While he was establishing a church with the Katukina tribe, Warren Scott Kennell, 45, a missionary with the Sanford-based New Tribes Mission, befriended the girls and abused them over several years, prosecutors said.

He was arrested in Orlando in May and investigators found more than 940 images of child pornography on his hard drive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Florida missionary sentenced for sexually abusing indigenous girls in Amazon

FLORIDA
The Raw Story

By Travis Gettys
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A judge sentenced a former Florida missionary to 58 years in prison Tuesday for recording himself as he sexually abused girls from an indigenous tribe in the Amazon.

Warren Kennell admitted to befriending and abusing the girls over several years while he was establishing a church for the Sanford-based New Tribes mission, reported the Orlando Sentinel.

“We are heartsick,” said a spokeswoman for the ministry. “Children are to be protected, not hurt. We are grateful to the authorities for the prosecution of this individual despite international legal obstacles.”

Homeland Security agents began investigating the 45-year-old after they were tipped off that Kennell was posting photos on a child pornography website.

Agents searched Kennell in May after stopping him upon arrival in Orlando from Brazil, and investigators said they found several digital storage devices containing sexually explicit images involving children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

St. Paul Press Conference Today

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Media Advisory

January 30, 2014

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Father Curtis Wehmeyer Named in Civil Lawsuit
Claims include deception, concealment, false representations, nuisance and destruction of evidence

What: At a news conference today sexual abuse attorney Jeff Anderson will:

· Announce the filing of a civil lawsuit on behalf a youth, Doe 31, who was abused by Father Curtis Wehmeyer at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul. The lawsuit names the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Wehmeyer. The lawsuit alleges the Archdiocese had knowledge that Wehmeyer posed a risk to children and failed to protect Doe 31.

· Examine the failure to report Wehmeyer’s repeated, inappropriate sexual behavior which the top Archdiocesan officials, including Fr. Kevin McDonough, learned about as early as 2004 when Wehmeyer reportedly solicited sex from two young men at a Barnes & Noble. Wehmeyer was sent to Saint Luke Institute in Maryland, a treatment facility for known offenders, for evaluation. Upon return to Minnesota, church officials placed him back into ministry and required Wehmeyer to attend sexaholic’s anonymous meetings. In 2006, Wehmeyer was assigned to Blessed Sacrament where he later abused Doe 31.

· Discuss the Ramsey County Attorney’s decision not to file charges against top church officials for their role in Wehmeyer’s criminal case.

· Encourage other survivors of sexual abuse to come forward, including those abused by Fr. Wehmeyer, and report their abuse to law enforcement.

· Call upon law enforcement agencies and prosecuting authorities to examine the record that demonstrates concealment of crimes and obstruction of justice by top officials of the Archdiocese.

WHEN: Thursday January 30, 2014 at 1:00 PM CST

WHERE: Law Office of Jeff Anderson & Associates
366 Jackson Street Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101

WHO: Attorneys Jeff Anderson and Sarah Odegaard.

Notes: The complaint and other documents will be posted to our website at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Cell: 612.817.8665 Office: 651.227.9990
Sarah Odegaard: Cell: 612.616.4218 Office: 651.227.9990

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Salvos boy who complained of sex abuse by another boy 'was raped by officer'

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Wednesday 29 January 2014

A boy who told a Salvation Army officer he had been sexually abused by another boy was later raped by the officer, an inquiry has been told.

A man, identified as ES, said he ran away several times from a Salvation Army Training Farm at Riverview in Queensland when he was a teenager but was always brought back, either by the farm manager, Captain Victor Bennett, or police.

Bennett who has since died, is one of five officers against whom the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has heard numerous allegations.

The commission is holding a public hearing in Sydney into what happened at four homes run by the Salvos in NSW and Queensland in the 1960s and 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Abusers visited Salvation Army boys home at night: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN JANUARY 30, 2014

BOYS living at a Salvation Army children's home in Sydney were sent to stay with adults and forced to have sex, or were sexually abused by unknown men who broke into their dormitories at night, an inquiry has been told.

In a written statement read to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today, one such victim described how this abuse took place at the Bexley boys' home run by Salvation Army officer Captain Lawrence Wilson.

"He physically raped me in his office within a few months of being there and it happened several more times," the man, who cannot be named, alleged in his statement.

"You would be sent out to stay with other people and they would do it to you or there were the prowlers, men who allegedly broke into the place at night and tampered with the boys.

"Even now I still can't sleep. There you would get visited in the night, so you were scared, you couldn't fall asleep.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Salvation Army abuse claims failed to go to court, commission hears

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 30, 2014

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

Dozens of alleged rapes and indecent assaults against boys at a Salvation Army home in southern Sydney that were reported to police years later never came to court because of the victims' fading memories and investigators' reluctance to "fish for victims", the royal commission into child abuse has heard.

The revelations came as the commission's investigation into Salvation Army boys' homes in NSW and Queensland focuses on the Bexley Boys' Home, operated from 1915 to 1979.

The commission has heard a series of alarming allegations of abuse at the home, much of it involving Captain Lawrence Wilson, who was accused not only of raping and assaulting the boys, but of sending them to the homes of other Salvation Army officers to be raped and assaulted.

One boy, referred to as FV, was allegedly sent by Captain Wilson to the home of a Salvation Army couple. The woman forced him to have sex with her and then the man indecently assaulted him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Police investigated Salvation Army paedophile ring allegations in 1990s

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Thursday 30 January 2014

A New South Wales police strike force investigated whether a Salvation Army officer was running a paedophile ring and renting out boys, a royal commission has heard.

However, it did not find enough evidence to pursue the case.

Strike Force Cori, which was set up after the Wood royal commission to investigate allegations of paedophilia against a district court judge, also looked at whether Captain Lawrence Wilson, who managed the Salvation Army's home for boys at Bexley in south Sydney, organised a paedophile ring.

Wilson had been acquitted on multiple charges of buggery and indecent assault in 1997.

The Salvation Army has since paid out more than $1.2m in compensation – some of it to victims of Wilson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Boys 'rented out' for abuse at Salvation Army boys' home at Bexley in Sydney's south

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Thomas Oriti

Children at a Salvation Army boys' home in Sydney were "rented out" to strangers who sexually abused them, the royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard.

The Bexley Boys Home in Sydney's south is one of four homes being examined by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Until now, former residents of two homes in Queensland have given evidence about being beaten and sexually abused.

Today the inquiry turned its focus to the Bexley home, and a police investigation launched in the 1990s after several men came forward.

Detective Inspector Rick Cunningham investigated the allegations of abuse at the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

'Worst rapist' at Salvos was eventually sacked ... for sleeping with his fiance

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS NEWS LIMITED JANUARY 30, 2014

* Victim, 52, breaks down as he tells story of time at Bexley
* Wilson, who died in 2008, went on to have numerous jobs related to children
* He also 'sent boys out from the home to have sex with couples and women'

The worst sex fiend in the Salvation Army was dismissed not for raping young boys - but because he had slept with his fiance.

The hypocrisy of the Salvos has been exposed at the royal commission into child sex abuse when, despite leaving a trail of abused young boys in the 50s, 60s and 70s at four Salvation Army homes, Captain Lawrence Wilson was recommended for promotion to major in 1982.

One of Wilson's victims at Bexley Boys' Home in Sydney, now aged 52, broke down in the witness box yesterday, unable to read his statement.

"My life was not too bad until I met Captain Wilson," the man, a miner, had written.

"The sexual attacks on myself are still the hardest thing to deal with. One day you are a boy, then the next you are a shell walking around.

"I have been back to Bexley Boys' Home looking for what I lost, but where do you start?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Salvo dismissed amid more abuse evidence

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

A royal commission has heard how one man turned a Salvation Army boys' home in Sydney into a hell that has left an indelible mark on a generation of men.

A man, now a miner, was so distraught by memories of what had happened to him at a Salvation Army boys home in Sydney that he could not read his evidence at a royal commission inquiry.

When he took the stand at a public hearing into child sexual abuse on Thursday, the man identified as FV, faltered as he told about hearing his younger brother was raped.

They had been sent to the Bexley Boys Home in Sydney south in 1974 when Captain Lawrence Wilson was in charge and placed in different dormitories.

In evidence read on his behalf by Simeon Beckett counsel assisting the commission, FV said he was raped by Cpt Wilson and a few weeks later was collected by a man and woman and taken to a house in Punchbowl, Sydney.

The couple were in Salvation Army uniforms and the big woman "had short blond hair and looked to be in her 30s".

At Punchbowl the couple tried to force him to have sex. He ran away and got a train back to Bexley where Captain Wilson was waiting and gave him 18 stripes with a cane and told him "they were good people I sent you to".

Twice more during his time at Bexley he was sent to people's homes, once to a property in Blacktown, and another time to the house of two women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Claims a paedophile ring operated out of Salvos home at Bexley

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse has been told that boys at the Salvation Army's Bexley home in Sydney's south were 'rented out' to strangers who sexually abused them and that a 'network of pedophiles' had access boys in their dormitory. The inquiry has also heard that police efforts to bring the matter to court in the 1990s came to nothing.

Transcript

MARK COLVIN: As if the harrowing accounts of routine sexual and extreme physical abuse at the Salvation Army boys homes weren't bad enough, the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse today heard that boys at the Bexley home in Sydney's south were 'rented out' to strangers who sexually abused them.

Today, the public hearing heard serious allegations that a 'network of paedophiles', including women, were able to get to boys in their dormitory and take boys to their private homes in the 1970s.

The inquiry has also heard that police investigations in the 1990s came to nothing - and that one alleged offender, who was a Salvation Army captain, is still alive.

Emily Bourke has the story - and a warning that some of the material in this report is distressing.

EMILY BOURKE: The Salvation Army's home for boys at Bexley in Sydney's south operated from 1915 to 1979. It took in boys who were abandoned or relinquished by their families, but care and comfort were rare.

Today, the Royal Commission was told that the perpetrators of child sexual abuse were inside and outside the home at Bexley.

The manager of the Bexley home in the early 70s was captain Lawrence Wilson. He's been described as the Salvation Army's 'most serious offender'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Salvation Army 'rented out' boys ...

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph (UK)

Salvation Army 'rented out' boys at Sydney children’s home in Sydney to paedophiles

By Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney 30 Jan 2014

Boys at a Salvation Army children’s home in Australia were "rented out" to paedophiles who entered their dormitories at night, a royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard.

One boy was sent by a superintendent, Captain Lawrence Wilson, to the home of a husband and wife, who sexually abused him. The couple were in Salvation Army uniforms and the woman “had short blond hair and looked to be in her 30s,” the alleged victim told the commission. He said he returned to the home and revealed what had happened to Captain Wilson, who said the couple were "good people" and caned the boy 18 times.

"The sexual attacks on myself are the hardest things to deal with, one day you are a boy the next you are a shell walking around," he said.

Another man told the commission that the boys, who lived at a Salvation Army home in Sydney, would sometimes be sexually abused by men who broke into their rooms at night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Salvation Army officer dismissed amid more abuse evidence

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

A MAN, now a miner, was so distraught by memories of what had happened to him at a Salvation Army boys home in Sydney that he could not read his evidence at a royal commission inquiry.

When he took the stand at a public hearing into child sexual abuse on Thursday, the man identified as FV, faltered as he told about hearing his younger brother was raped.

They had been sent to the Bexley Boys Home in Sydney south in 1974 when Captain Lawrence Wilson was in charge and placed in different dormitories.

In evidence read on his behalf by Simeon Beckett counsel assisting the commission, FV said he was raped by Cpt Wilson and a few weeks later was collected by a man and woman and taken to a house in Punchbowl, Sydney.

The couple were in Salvation Army uniforms and the big woman "had short blond hair and looked to be in her 30s".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Salvation Army suspends officer John McIver over child sexual abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Thomas Oriti

The Salvation Army has suspended an officer being investigated by the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

John McIver is one of five men who are the focus of the inquiry's hearings into the sexual and physical abuse of children at four boys' homes run by the Christian church.

But when the hearing began this week it emerged that he was the only alleged perpetrator who was still a current Salvation Army member.

His suspension comes on the same day as the inquiry heard boys at a Salvation Army home in Sydney were "rented out" to strangers who sexually abused them.

This afternoon the Salvation Army issued a statement.

"In light of evidence tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Salvation Army has suspended retired Salvation Army officer John McIver pending further investigations in regards to the matters raised," the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Salvation Army: allegations of paedophilia but police did not act

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 31, 2014

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

NSW Police had evidence an alleged paedophile network may have been operated by a Salvation Army officer from a southern Sydney boys home in the 1960s but never questioned the alleged ring leader or other officers, the Royal Commission has heard.

As the ongoing investigation into Salvation Amy boys homes in NSW and Queensland focused on the Home for Boys at North Bexley, the commission heard that in the late 1990s a former resident told police he had been sent to three properties 30 years earlier where he was raped and abused.

The man who organised the trips, the commission heard, was Captain Lawrence Wilson.

''I had been called to Wilson's office [and] when I arrived there was a man and a woman in the office with Wilson,'' the former resident said in a statement, which was read to the commission as its author sat fighting back tears.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Australia investigates whether paedophiles operated within the Salvation Army

AUSTRALIA
Yahoo! News

[video]

Australia's Royal Commission investigates into institutional child sexual abuse and hears allegations that a paedophile ring operated within the Salvation Army in Sydney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Document shows church leaders knew of abuse, but waited to report

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with audio]

Madeleine Baran · St. Paul, Minn. · Jan 29, 2014

Archbishop John Nienstedt did not immediately report to police allegations that the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer sexually abused a child, according to a document obtained Wednesday by MPR News that the archbishop signed in 2012.

The document — a formal decree signed by Nienstedt to comply with church law — says the archdiocese knew of the allegations on June 18. Yet police reports show the archdiocese didn't report the claims to police until two days later.

The revelation came hours after Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a news conference that he was declining to file any charges for failure to report Wehmeyer's abuse to police, and after St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith said that officers lacked probable cause for a subpoena or search warrant that would force the archdiocese to turn over all of its files. The law requires a priest to report suspected child abuse within 24 hours unless he learned the information as part of confession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Choi: Church officials 'did not fail to comply with the law' in reporting Wehmeyer abuse

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with video]

Eric Ringham, Tom Scheck · St. Paul, Minn. · Jan 29, 2014

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced Wednesday that authorities would file no further charges in the case of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, now serving a prison sentence on charges of child sex abuse.

Choi said authorities had investigated whether officials of the Twin Cities archdiocese had failed to report suspicions of abuse in a timely way. He said that while he continued to be troubled by the church's communication practices, he had found no evidence that might persuade a jury.

"We expect all mandated reporters to report instances of child sex abuse as required by law, but more importantly to err on the side of victims," Choi said. "The law is the lowest common denominator of acceptable behavior. Mandated reporters should never, ever make conclusions [about the law] ... or make determinations about the credibility of victims. That is the job of law enforcement, prosecution, and our courts, not private parties."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Church document: Archbishop did not immediately report priest allegations

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert

Not so fast on that “all clear” from the Ramsey County attorney Wednesday. MPR, which is obviously well-sourced on the procedures and paperwork of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has Madeleine Baran saying: “Archbishop John Nienstedt did not immediately report to police allegations that the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer sexually abused a child, according to a document the archbishop signed in 2012 and MPR News obtained on Wednesday. … The revelation came hours after Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a news conference that he declined to file any charges for failure to report abuse by Wehmeyer to police.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Robinson Countersues Furlong

CANADA
The Tyee

[with copy of the lawsuit]

By Bob Mackin, 28 Jan 2014, TheTyee.ca

Journalist Laura Robinson is countersuing John Furlong and the marketing agency that represents the former CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics for defamation.

Robinson's Jan. 27-filed statement of claim (which is included at the end of this story) seeks an unspecified dollar amount for damages from Furlong and TwentyTen Group and an injunction to stop them from maligning her. Robinson immediately set March 30, 2015 to begin a British Columbia Supreme Court trial against Furlong and the company.

Robinson declined to do an interview, but in a news release, she said she filed the lawsuit after suffering from "the unrelenting attack by Mr. Furlong and his media advisors over the last 14 months." She accused the defendants of "mistruths and malice." Furlong and TwentyTen Group have 21 days to file a statement of defence.

Robinson wrote the Sept. 27, 2012 Georgia Straight-published expose, titled "John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake." In the story, she quoted former Immaculata Catholic elementary school students who swore affidavits that accused Furlong of physically abusing them in 1969 and 1970. Robinson's story also pointed out inconsistencies in Furlong's Patriot Hearts memoir.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Reporter sues John Furlong for defamation in latest legal back-and-forth

CANADA
CTV

James Keller, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, January 28, 2014

VANCOUVER -- The freelance journalist who wrote an article containing allegations that John Furlong abused students while teaching in northern British Columbia is now suing the former Vancouver Olympic CEO for defamation.

Laura Robinson has filed a notice of claim, alleging Furlong defamed her in a series of comments to the media in the past year and a half, in which he cast himself as the target of a vindictive activist.

Furlong responded with a written statement that said he looked forward to confronting Robinson in court.

Robinson's article, which was published in the Georgia Straight newspaper in September 2012, quoted several people who claimed they were physically and verbally abused while Furlong was a teacher in northern British Columbia in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

John Furlong Countersued By Journalist Laura Robinson

CANADA
Huffington Post

UPDATE: 1:20 p.m. — John Furlong responded to Laura Robinson's lawsuit with the following statement on Tuesday: "I will continue to defend my reputation and hold Laura Robinson to account for her irresponsible reporting that has deeply hurt me and my family. I welcome the opportunity to meet Laura Robinson in the courtroom to address her irresponsible reporting, which instigated this entire matter." Andrea J. Shaw, founder and managing partner of co-defendant the TwentyTen Group, declined comment under advice of lawyers.

Former Vancouver Olympic CEO John Furlong is being countersued by a journalist who alleges that he carried out a smear campaign against her.

Laura Robinson filed a defamation lawsuit against Furlong in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday alleging that he and marketing company, the TwentyTen Group, have repeatedly maligned her reputation over the course of 14 months.

Robinson alleges that the first defamation occurred on Sept. 27, 2012, when Furlong held a press conference to respond to an article that the journalist wrote for the Georgia Straight newspaper.

The story detailed an alleged pattern of physical and verbal abuse against students at a school in Burns Lake, where Furlong was employed as a physical education teacher in the '70s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Journalist Laura Robinson sues John Furlong

CANADA
Straight

by CHARLIE SMITH on JAN 29, 2014

REELANCE WRITER LAURA Robinson has filed a defamation suit against former Vanoc CEO John Furlong, alleging that he libelled her in six public statements.

Central to her claim is that Furlong wasn’t truthful when he repeatedly alleged she had filed a complaint with the RCMP that he had sexually assaulted a former student—a claim that Robinson has adamantly denied.

In a 25-page notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court on January 27, Robinson also named TwentyTen Group Strategic Marketing Communications Inc. and TwentyTen Group Holdings Inc. as defendants. Robinson alleged that these firms, doing business as the TwentyTen Group, have been “the exclusive media communications representative for Furlong”.

Robinson alleged that Furlong’s public response to an article she wrote about him in the Georgia Straight in September 2012 has “caused and continues to cause injury, loss and damage to the plaintiff, and was deliberately calculated by the defendants to expose the plaintiff to contempt, ridicule and hatred, and to cause other persons to shun or avoid the plaintiff, and to lower the plaintiff’s reputation in the eyes of right-thinking members of the community, all of which has in fact occurred”.

She is seeking an interim and permanent injunction to stop the defendants from continuing to libel her, as well as general damages, special damages, aggravated damages, punitive damages, and special costs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Laura Robinson countersues John Furlong for defamation

CANADA
Global News

By Justin McElroy Global News

Laura Robinson, the journalist who alleged former VANOC boss John Furlong verbally and physically abused students while he was a teacher over 40 years ago, is countersuing John Furlong for defamation.

Robinson is seeking general, aggravated and punitive damages against the former 2010 Olympic boss, and is suing both him and TwentyTen Group, the marketing group that represents him.

“Mr. Furlong and TwentyTen Group have turned a very serious issue – allegations of physical and racial abuse of children made by courageous and vulnerable First Nations people – into a disturbingly vitriolic and untrue campaign against a journalist,” said Robinson in a press release. Robinson set March 30, 2015 as the date to begin a B.C. Supreme Court trial.

Robinson’s article, published in September 2012, quoted several people who claimed to have been verbally and physically abused while Furlong taught physical education at schools in Burns Lake, B.C., and Prince George, B.C., in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Olympic-Level War of Words in Canada

CANADA
Courthouse News Service

By DARRYL GREER

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - Journalist Laura Robinson has launched a legal counter-attack against John Furlong, former head of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics, in a defamation lawsuit against Furlong and his media handlers.

Robinson faces a defamation lawsuit for a scathing article that claimed Furlong was abusive to students when he was a teacher at a residential Catholic school 1960s and 1970s.

In her new lawsuit in British Columbia Supreme Court, Robinson claims that Furlong went on a media blitz with the help of Twentyten Group Strategic Marketing Communications to discredit her after the article was published in the alt-weekly Georgia Straight newspaper in September 2012.

Robinson claims the defendants published news releases and made statements in media interviews that defamed her by calling her an unethical activist with an ax to grind against male authority figures in sports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

How the Mighty Have Fallen: Chicago Tribune Reduced Again to Spokesperson for Contingency Lawyers in Chicago Archdiocese Document Dump

CHICAGO (IL)
TheMediaReport

JANUARY 29, 2014 BY THEMEDIAREPORT.COM

If there were still any doubt that the Church-suing sex abuse industry is on a steep decline, one need look no further than the latest tactic of contingency lawyers.

Contingency lawyers have recently been demanding as a condition to settle claims that dioceses first empty out their file cabinets of every unrelated accusation of abuse by any priest stretching back 50 or 60 years. The lawyers then hold a dramatic press conference in front of blow-up photos of the accused priests to announce the document release in front of a compliant media.

No other organization other than the Catholic Church has ever, of course, agreed to release decades of unrelated and embarrassing internal documents in order to encourage more people to file lawsuits against it. But for all the trouble, the Church naturally gets no credit. The media narrative is invariably that the heroic contingency lawyers had to bravely fight the documents out of the secretive Catholic Church for years – never mentioning that the delay is caused by the protracted legal proceedings necessary before releasing thousands of pages of legally protected personnel files into the public domain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Denuncian que en Coahuila hay más de 100 menores víctimas de abuso por sacerdotes

MEXICO
La Jornada

[Summary: Llamas Carlos Gomez still remembers with fear and indignation when coming up to the altar where he served as an altar boy at a church in Saltillo, Coahuila. He was 14. The priest approached with an erect penis and he knew that after Mass he would be touched and fondled. The trauma has haunted him all this time.]

Sanjuana Martínez
Especial para La Jornada
Periódico La Jornada
Domingo 26 de enero de 2014, p. 13

Carlos Llamas Gómez aún recuerda con miedo e indignación el momento en que subía al altar cuando servía como monaguillo en una iglesia de Saltillo, Coahuila, a la edad de 14 años: Lo ayudaba a ponerse la sotana. Se me acercaba, y veía su pene erecto. Eso significaba que después de la misa iba a tocarme, a manosearme. Es un trauma que me ha atormentado todo este tiempo.

Ha esperado 15 años para romper el silencio. El domingo pasado escuchó al obispo Raúl Vera decir que en los 14 años que lleva al frente de su diócesis, solamente ha habido dos casos de sacerdotes que cometieron abusos sexuales contra menores: Es mentira. No son dos, yo conozco a cinco, otros hablan de nueve sacerdotes aún en funciones. Son más de 100 casos en los que se abusó de menores, dice en entrevista, luego de prestar declaración ante la Procuraduría General de Justicia de Coahuila.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Catholic Church battles Brendan Smyth abuse victims

NORTHERN IRELAND/IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

30 JANUARY 2014

The High Court in Dublin has reserved judgment after a Catholic bishop applied to have three cases against him by victims of paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth dismissed.

The Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O'Reilly, has asked the court to stop Mario Cafolla suing him, in his role as Bishop of Kilmore, over alleged failures by the diocese and Catholic Church. Mr Cafolla insists he is entitled to sue Bishop O'Reilly, as well as Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal Sean Brady.

He has alleged that that a previous Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Francis McKiernan, was made aware in 1975 that Brendan Smyth was abusing children but failed to report that to the Garda or Mr Cafolla's parents.

It is alleged that a young boy had told the then Fr Sean Brady that Smyth was abusing children in 1975. That boy was asked to sign a document stating he would not tell anyone else about the abuse, Liam Reidy SC, for Mr Cafolla, said.

While that boy had reported that Mario Cafolla was among the children being abused by Smyth, no steps were taken to either inform the Garda or his parents, counsel added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Anglican Diocese damned in child abuse commission findings

AUSTRALIA
Queensland Times

Jessica Grewal 30th Jan 2014

THE royal commission is expected find that Anglican Diocese of Grafton failed in its handling of child abuse claims at Lismore's North Coast Children's Home and withheld information from the police.

In a damning report released on Thursday night, Counsel Assisting the Commissioner Simeon Beckett recommends that two Northern NSW priests - Reverend Morgan and Reverend Brown - be referred to the Anglican Church's Professional Standards Committee to determine whether disciplinary proceedings should be initiated against them.

Final submissions arising from the November inquiry into abuse at the home closed on January 24.

Mr Beckett submitted there were 59 findings available to the commission - including that the Grafton Diocese put the interests of the Anglican Church ahead of providing financial support to victims.

He found former Grafton Diocese registrar Pat Comben was aware former Lismore Priest Allan Kitchingman had been convicted of sexual offences against a child but failed to commence disciplinary proceedings against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Men's lives 'blighted by cruelty', abuse inquiry told

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY MICHAEL MCHUGH – 30 JANUARY 2014

Witnesses at the inquiry into institutional abuse have described how the sadistic and brutal treatment they suffered at the hand of the nuns supposed to care for them had destroyed their later relationships with women.

One former St Joseph's resident testified that he ran away from Termonbacca but was recovered time after time.

One of the Sisters of Nazareth smirked and said: "Welcome back, your majesty", the witness said.

"Then the beatings would start."

He never married, and attributed this "life sentence" of loneliness to women in his childhood who brutalised him.

Another victim said his Christmas presents "disappeared".

"You had no real personal possessions, none."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Ruben Rosario: Church still needs to do the right thing for sex abuse victims

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Ruben Rosario
rrosario@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 01/29/2014

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6.

I made a New Year's resolution not to write too often this year about the church -- my church -- that has forgotten Jesus and his admonition when it comes to protecting and doing right by child sex-abuse victims over the years.

It almost at times feels like piling on, so much has been and continues to be documented about clergy sex abuse and impropriety scandals. I'm sick already of this stuff, for it continues to stain the great majority of the good people of faith.

But like my supposed diet, I'm breaking it right here and now.

It has a little something to do with Wednesday's announcement that local law enforcement officials declined to file criminal charges against church higher-ups in one priest child-abuse case and another one involving alleged possession of child pornography.

It has more to do with garage parking lights.

Now the little bit of news that has prompted my rant comes from an excellent story by Minnesota Public Radio last week about secret accounts the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis set up to pay off problem priests and child sex-abuse victims and their families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Archdiocesan leaders avoid charges in two clergy misconduct cases

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: TONY KENNEDY and JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune staff writers
Updated: January 29, 2014

Ramsey, Washington county attorneys declined to prosecute archdiocese leaders accused of failing to report sex abuse, porn.

Two Twin Cities prosecutors on Wednesday declined to file criminal charges against local Catholic officials in the two most prominent investigations in the clergy sexual misconduct cases that have rocked the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

In St. Paul, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said his office can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that church officials violated the law requiring them to immediately report allegations against the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, a former St. Paul priest now in prison for sexually abusing two boys.

And in Washington County, prosecutor Pete Orput said his office is closing its investigation into sexually explicit images found on a discarded computer that had belonged to the Rev. Jonathan Shelley, who served in Mahtomedi. A parishioner who discovered the downloaded images gave the hard drive to the archdiocese in 2004. Church officials didn’t report the situation to police, but Orput said he’s closing the case because none of the images appears to fit the statutory definition of “pornographic work involving a minor.”

Disappointed advocates for the victims of clergy sexual abuse said the archdiocese was “let off the hook,” and St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson blasted the authorities for “defective analysis.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Lowering the Bar in Minnesota

MINNESOTA
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Kristine Ward

First, the news out of Minneapolis hurts survivors. We want them to know their pain is known and acknowledged.

The Archbishop of Minneapolis-St. Paul and Archdiocesan officials have been let off the hook and will not be charged with any responsibility for not stopping a priest now convicted and serving a prison sentence on sexual abuse charges.

The Archdiocese is “grateful” to be “cleared.”

The Archdiocese’s records show that the Archdiocese had knowledge going back to 2008 regarding the sexual addiction and solicitation activities of this priest — and the Archdiocese gave him 28 hours of potential running and destruction of evidence time in a coming arrest alert regarding the charges for which he is now serving time.

Still, the police said they do not have the evidence to charge anyone in the Archdiocese of obstruction of justice or any complicity in the crimes.

Here are news stories with the details that there will not be charges along with the official statement of the Archdiocese:

[Star Tribune]

[CBS Minnesota]

[KSTP]

The police are “troubled” about the Archdiocesan officials and their actions or inaction.

So are we, but we don’t have subpoena power, calling grand jury power or issuing search warrant power like the police and county attorney and courts do.

Is there no law in Minnesota under which people who know that a person has and likely will continue to abuse children and minors can be held responsible for aiding this person — by the advance notice on an arrest? By promoting the person to pastor in 2009 and giving him a position of authority and respect
when the records show that trouble existed and was known in 2008?

Really?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Kenny tackles abuse with compassion

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

BY FRANK CAMPBELL
Published January 11, 2013

Sister Nuala Kenny is the heal deal.

Involved in the healing business for more than 40 years, Kenny’s biggest therapeutic challenge has come in her quest over the past two decades to help diagnose and treat the clergy sexual abuse crisis in her beloved Catholic Church.

“I’ve dealt with dying children my whole life,” says the pediatrician and ethicist.

“I’ve dealt with cancer-care children my whole life. Nothing takes the stuffing out of me like doing this stuff, because it’s the church.”

Kenny has had to replenish much of that stuffing during an extensive quarter-century of clerical abuse work that has taken her from an archdiocesan inquiry in St. John’s, N.L., in the late 1980s to numerous public lectures, including a conference at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax last month, and a recently published book, Healing the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Anchorage Man Arrested for Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Mountain View Church

ALASKA
Alaska Native News

On Sunday, Anchorage Police arrested and charged a Mountain View man for Sexual Abuse of a Minor at a Mountain View church.

When police responded to the scene, members of the church had the man, identified as 29-year-old David Chiklak, detained in the church parking lot.

According to the Anchorage police report, it was during church that an 18-year-old woman and a six-year-old girl had gone into the church's restroom. While in the restroom, the woman heard Chiklak call out to the little girl, who then left the resthroom in response to him calling her.

After the woman exited the resthroom herself, according to the report, she heard the little girl crying in the men's restroom. When she entered the men's restroom to investigate the young girl's cries, she found Chiklak standing over the young girl with his belt unbuckled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Temple City man alleges sexual abuse by Catholic Church volunteer

CALIFORNIA
The Pasadena Star-News

[with video]

By Rebecca Kimitch, The Pasadena Star-News
POSTED: 01/29/14

TEMPLE CITY >> A young man has filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Church alleging he was a victim of sexual abuse for more than seven years at the hands of a St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church volunteer, who now works in the Baldwin Park Unified School District.

Robert Reynolds, 23, alleges Timothy Kovacs began molesting him in 2003, when he was 13 years old, and continued abusing him three to eight times a month until he was 20.

“The abuse was horrendous. It included multiple acts of sodomy,” Reynolds’ attorney Michael Kinslow said. “And the perpetrator attempted to convince the child it was a love relationship.”

Kovacs did not respond to phone calls requesting comment.

Kovacs was a volunteer confirmation coordinator at St. Luke’s from 2002 until 2005. He was removed from the post after a complaint was made to the parish alleging “inappropriate conduct with two young adults over the age of 18,” according to a statement from the Archdiocese, which said it was not informed of the 2005 complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Anchorage police arrest man suspected of sexually abusing girl in church restroom

ALASKA
Reporter

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: January 29, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 29-year-old man has charged with sexually abusing a girl at an Anchorage church.

David Chiklak was arrested Sunday outside a church in the Mountain View neighborhood on the city's northeast side.

A woman told Anchorage police she was in a bathroom with a girl at the church and heard someone call the child out of the room. The woman a short time later heard the girl crying in the men's bathroom.

Police say she entered the men's bathroom and saw a man with his belt unbuckled standing over the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Anchorage police seek community help with sexual assault case

ALASKA
Your Alaska Link News

[with video]

By Your Alaska Link News Team
Story Created: Jan 29, 2014

ANCHORAGE- Anchorage police are looking for victims of a man charged with sex abuse.

Police say 29-year-old David Chiklak assaulted a minor at a church in Mountain View.

They say an adult female heard a young girl crying from the men's bathroom, went in, and found a man standing over the young girl.

As a result, Chiklak was charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Dave Bakke: The courage of abuse victim Joe Iacono

ILLINOIS
State Journal-Register

By Dave Bakke
Staff Writer
Posted Jan. 23, 2014

Both of Chicago’s major daily newspapers and some of its TV stations led their coverage of Tuesday’s press conference on sexual abuse of minors in the archdiocese with Joe Iacono.

Joe, who lives in Springfield, was front and center for one grueling, emotional day as the Chicago archdiocese released records that showed decades spent mishandling and covering up for priests who had abused kids, including Joe. Joe was sexually victimized by the late Rev. Thomas Kelly when Joe was a teen in Northlake, attending St. John Vianney, the family parish.

Joe said it was gut-wrenching to put himself out there on Tuesday, basically becoming the face of the victims. He is just a regular guy; known before now only for his job as a financial adviser and his years with Springfield’s Roman Cultural Society, the presidency of which he will relinquish in a few weeks.
Before returning to what I am sure will be welcome anonymity, Joe agreed to tell me how he came to be facing the media at the podium on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Bishop Thomas Paprocki: Catholic church has learned from past mistakes

ILLINOIS
State Journal-Register

Posted Jan. 30, 2014

Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki

It is horrible to read about the tragic experience of Joe Iacono of Springfield, who was a victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest when Iacono was a child living in the Chicago area more than 40 years ago.

However, in his Jan. 24 article, “Face of abuse victims shows great courage,” David Bakke does not accurately or fully represent my views. I do not claim, as he asserts, that “the church has handled the sexual abuse scandal as responsibly as any organization in the world.”

In my interview with the Washington Times last fall, I was speaking in the present tense when I said “that of any institution in the country — perhaps in the world — I don’t think anyone is dealing with it as responsibly as the Catholic Church.” But I also acknowledged that “we have had our unfortunate share of scandals and sin and the church is dealing with that.”

I do not deny that the church has made some terrible mistakes in handling sexual abuse cases. In addition to apologizing and providing assistance to victims, the church has learned from these past mistakes and has implemented far-reaching reforms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Former Youth Pastor Pleads Guilty to Sex Assault of a Minor

MARYLAND
Your 4 State

FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. - A former youth pastor will spend 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor.

Officials say Shaun Michael Ross worked as a youth pastor at Calvary Assembly Church in Walkersville. He was facing two charges of sexual abuse of a minor following an indictment in July.

The inappropriate relationship between the 33-year-old and the female minor went on for years between April 2008 and April 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Former youth pastor gets 18 months in sex assault

MARYLAND
News-Post

By Danielle E. Gaines News-Post Staff

A former youth pastor pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in jail Wednesday for sexual assault of a minor.

Shaun Michael Ross, 33, of Grantsville, was facing two charges of sexual abuse of a minor following an indictment in July.

Ross worked as youth minister at Calvary Assembly church in Walkersville until he was confronted by the church about the long-term inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl.

According to the indictment, Ross had a relationship with the girl between April 2008 and April 2010, when he was trusted in a position of authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Priest said orphans in Derry home were ‘the product of an evil relationship’

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Dan Keenan

A priest told a former resident of a Derry residential home run by nuns that he must never repeat allegations of sex and other abuse.

A witness told the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry, which is investigating allegations of ill treatment of children at 13 care homes in Northern Ireland before 1995, the priest told him to stay silent about his claims concerning the home at Termonbacca in Derry, run by the Poor Sisters of Nazareth.

The witness, who cannot be identified, said he approached a priest later in life and told him of physical and sexual abuse he suffered.

He said the priest replied: “You must never speak about this. You and the other orphans are bastards, you are the product of an evil and satanic relationship.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Church Leaders Will Not Be Charged in Abuse Case

MINNESOTA
KVRR

Officials in the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese will not be charged over their handling of a St. Paul priest who sexually abused two boys.

Prosecutors say they can't prove church leaders failed to properly report abuse by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer.

Church leaders removed him in 2012 after learning of the allegations involving two brothers.

Internal church documents showed archdiocese leaders knew well before then that Wehmeyer had issues with sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Wed. 10:12 pm: No charges in archdiocese's handling of abuse case

MINNESOTA
Tribune-Chronicle

January 29, 2014
The Associated Press , Tribune Chronicle | TribToday.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota prosecutors said today they would not charge members of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis over the way they handled allegations of sexual abuse by a priest, saying there was not enough evidence to prove anyone - including another priest who learned during a confession of the molestation - violated the law.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said his office can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone failed to immediately report allegations of abuse by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for molesting two brothers.

But, Choi said, the overall investigation into allegations of clergy sexual misconduct, and the archdiocese's response, is far from over.

"We will only allow facts to lead the way, and we will pursue justice without fear or favor while doing our best to leave no stone unturned," Choi said, later adding: "I continue to be troubled by some of the church's reporting practices."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Rural Arizona priest removed from ministry after being accused of sexual abuse of minors in ND

NEW MEXICO/NORTH DAKOTA
In-Forum

By: Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola, Gallup (N.M.) Independent, INFORUM

GALLUP, N.M. – A Catholic priest in rural Arizona has been removed from ministry because of two recently reported and credible accusations of sexual abuse of minors that allegedly took place in North Dakota decades ago.

The alleged abuse by the Rev. Timothy Conlon, a member of the Crosier Fathers and Brothers religious order, was reported by the Diocese of Fargo. The Diocese of Gallup removed Conlon from his two Arizona parishes over the weekend.

“The alleged abuse took place approximately 40 years ago in North Dakota before Fr. Conlon was ordained a priest, but has just been reported to Church authorities and the Crosiers,” media official Lisa Cassidy stated in a news release issued by the Crosier Province of Phoenix Monday. “The Crosiers have not been aware of any other claims of sexual misconduct against a minor by Fr. Conlon previous to this report.”

According to a letter Gallup Bishop James S. Wall sent to his priests Monday, reports of the two credible accusations of sexual abuse came from the Diocese of Fargo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Diocese removes ‘accused’ priest

NEW MEXICO
ABQ Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer

The Diocese of Gallup removed the Rev. Timothy Conlon from ministry at two Arizona parishes this week after his religious order learned that the priest had been “credibly accused” decades ago of sexual abuse with two children.

Bishop James Wall notified law enforcement in Arizona and removed Conlon as parish administrator at St. John the Baptist Parish in St. Johns, and San Raphael Parish in Concho, the diocese said Wednesday in a written statement.

Suzanne Hammons, spokeswoman for the diocese, said church officials are not aware of any allegations of sexual abuse against Conlon in the diocese.

Conlon, 64, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Messages left with the diocese and a parish office in St. Johns were not returned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

January 29, 2014

8th Circ. Says Insurer Needn't Cover Priest Abuse Defense

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Law 360

By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Law360, New York (January 29, 2014, 6:46 PM ET) -- The Eighth Circuit on Wednesday said Chicago Insurance Co. had no duty to cover a settlement that the Archdiocese of St. Louis reached with a man claiming his son had committed suicide because he was sexually abused by a priest.

After paying the settlement, the archdiocese submitted a claim to Chicago Insurance, which denied the claim and sued for a declaratory judgment that it didn’t owe coverage. The district court found that because the wrongful death claim in the underlying complaint alleged a form of negligence...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Salvation Army Abuse Witnesses’ Accounts (Or: And You Thought The Convict Days Were Long Past)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The hearings of the Australian royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has entered its second day, covering the Salvation Army Boys’ Homes of Bexley, Gill, Riverview, and Alkira. Some “Not Directions Not to Publish” orders have been announced so that this report will be incomplete.

This blog had previously called for Wally McLeod to be heard. Wally had appeared in the 2003 Australian Broadcasting Commission’s investigative television program, ‘Four Corners’, entitled ‘The Homies’. Today, he was heard by the commission, under his own name. He was Boy 36 at Riverview and Boy 13 at Alkira.

He told the commission that he had been sent to the notorious Salvation Army Riverview Training Farm in Queensland in the 1960s after his mother died in a car accident and his father was murdered.

“I was told I was going to the home for psychiatric care … I don’t remember needing any and I certainly didn’t receive any. I went there with a small bag of clothes and a money box … Both were taken from me and I never saw them again. I was told I wasn’t allowed any personal possessions.”

Though he did not witness the sexual abuse that the commission has heard was rife at Riverview, Wally said he both saw and experienced multiple physical assaults in which Salvation Army officers used stock whips, saddle straps, split canes and belts on their victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Australian panel told of sexual abuse of boys at Salvation Army homes

AUSTRALIA
CNN

By Jethro Mullen and Jessica King, CNN
updated 9:59 AM EST, Wed January 29, 2014

(CNN) -- An Australian commission is hearing allegations of the physical and sexual abuse of boys in the care of the Salvation Army over several decades.

The shocking treatment at some of the organization's boys homes included rape, beatings, locking boys in cages and, in one case, forcing a boy to eat his own vomit, the commission was told Tuesday.

The public hearings, taking place in Sydney, are part of a wide-ranging investigation into how Australian institutions responded to cases of child sexual abuse.

The current phase is focusing on the Salvation Army's response to abuse that took place in four of its boys homes in the states of Queensland and New South Wales in the 1960s and '70s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Salvation Army officers assaulted boys ...

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph

NATHAN KLEIN THE DAILY TELEGRAPH JANUARY 30, 2014

* Boys 'were assaulted in showers and were too afraid to complain'
* Victim recalls how elder boys would rape younger residents
* One 'violent officer' would punch boys as young as four years old

SALVATION Army officers fondled boys' penises while they were in the shower, frequently assaulted them and did nothing when told one of the boys in their care was raped, the royal commission into child sex abuse heard yesterday.

Speaking at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, one man - identified only as Mr F P - said he was regularly subjected to sexual abuse and sadistic punishment by officers who were supposed to be caring for him.

He told the inquest one of the ­officers, Lieutenant Spratt, ­approached him and other boys staying at the charity's homes while they were naked in the showers.

"He touched my backside and I moved away because of what other boys told me about him," he said.

"I saw him touch other boys too. I saw him touch a boy's penis in the shower for about a minute or two. It wasn't a brush, he was fondling him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Salvos 'tricked man into waiver'

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN JANUARY 30, 2014

A QUEENSLAND man raped and locked in a cage for weeks at a time by a Salvation Army officer was subsequently told to sign documents waiving his right to sue, despite the organisation knowing he could not read.

The man, who cannot be named, yesterday told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he was about 14 years old when he was abused at the Salvation Army-run Riverview boys home, near Brisbane.

Decades later, in 2011, the organisation offered him $70,000, saying "It's a gift from us to you", the commission heard.

He later received a deed of release by post and was told to sign and return the papers, despite having previously told the Salvation Army he could not read.

This document, produced during yesterday's hearing, now includes the signature of a witness, Narelle Matthews, despite the abuse victim saying, "I was alone when I signed that document . . . I do not know anyone called that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

STATEMENT: Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

MINNESOTA
KSTP

By: Leslie Dyste

Prosecutors in Minnesota declined Wednesday to charge leaders of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis over their handling of an abusive priest, but said the archdiocese needs to do better in its reporting of abuse claims.

Ramsey County prosecutor John Choi said there was insufficient evidence to show church leaders failed to properly report suspicions of abuse by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, a St. Paul priest accused in 2012 of molesting two brothers.

In a separate case, Washington County prosecutors said they would not charge another archdiocese priest, the Rev. Jon Shelley, who had been accused of possessing child pornography. Read the full story here.

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis released the following statement:

"The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is grateful to the Saint Paul Police Department and the Ramsey and Washington County Attorneys’ offices for their thorough investigation and clearing of the archdiocese in cases involving Curtis Wehmeyer and Fr. Jonathan Shelley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

Statement Regarding Ramsey County and Saint Paul Police Department Announcements Today

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date:Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Source: Jim Accurso

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is grateful to the Saint Paul Police Department and the Ramsey and Washington County Attorneys’ offices for their thorough investigation and clearing of the archdiocese in cases involving Curtis Wehmeyer and Fr. Jonathan Shelley.

We have a shared interest with all civil authorities and our communities for the protection of children, and we remain in complete solidarity with both Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and Saint Paul Police Department Chief Tom Smith in calling for all victims of any form of abuse to immediately come forward to civil authorities.

In addition, we join Mr. Choi in reminding all mandatory reporters to immediately bring every accusation of child sexual abuse forward to civil authorities. The archdiocese makes every possible effort to adhere to this law strictly and directs everyone in local Church ministry to do the same. The tens of thousands of clergy, parish and school staff, and volunteers who have attended archdiocesan safe environment training sessions since 2005, or anyone who has visited our web site, have received a consistent message: if you suspect child sexual abuse, immediately contact the county social service agency or police; it is not your role to investigate. Our web site also has made contacting authorities easy by providing phone numbers for these civil authorities. We agree that reporting must always err on the side of protecting the victim and preventing harm.

The archdiocese continues to cooperate with all civil authorities related to any investigation of allegations of sexual abuse. We reiterate what we have stated for many years: we urge anyone who suspects abuse of a minor within Church ministry to first call civil authorities. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct in Church ministry, you are also encouraged to call the archdiocesan Director of Advocacy and Victim Assistance at 651-291-4497.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

St. Paul police have 7 priest sex investigations, chief says

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Mara H. Gottfried and Emily Gurnon
Pioneer Press

St. Paul police have seven investigations into allegations of sexual abuse or inappropriate sexual behavior involving priests, the city's police chief said Wednesday.

In two other cases, prosecutors said Wednesday they will not be filing charges. Police Chief Thomas Smith said his department has not yet forwarded additional cases for prosecutors to review for charges. Two investigators currently are working on the cases full time, Smith said.

In October, St. Paul police urged victims of sexual abuse by priests to come forward. The seven reports currently under investigation were made after that date. They include allegations that date from 1960, 1972, 1977, 1981 and 1984, according to police reports.

Another case under investigation is an allegation made against Archbishop John Nienstedt; he was recently accused of "inappropriate touching" of a boy on the buttocks in 2009. Nienstedt has strongly denied the allegation and has stepped aside from his public ministry during the police investigation.

In a short interview with the Pioneer Press on Wednesday, Smith discussed his department's work, but not specifics because of the active investigations. The questions and Smith's answers are edited for space and clarity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Former youth pastor admits to sex assault of a minor

MARYLAND
Frederick News-Post

Danielle E. Gaines Staff writer

A 33-year-old former youth pastor pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in jail today for sex assault of a minor.

Shaun Michael Ross, of Grantsville, Md., was facing two charges of sexual abuse of a minor following an indictment in July.

Ross worked as youth minister at Calvary Assembly church in Walkersville until he was confronted by the church about an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl.

According to the indictment, Ross had an inappropriate relationship with the teenage girl between April 2008 and April 2010, when he was trusted in a position of authority.

“This was a manipulation that went on and occurred at a time when he was her counselor,” Assistant State's Attorney Lindell K. Angel said. “This is a very serious offense.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

MN- Priest will NOT be charged with child porn

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Wednesday, January 29 2014

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

We are saddened by the fact that at this time the Washington County Attorney has decided not to pursue charges against Fr. Jonathan Shelley. We hope someday he will and that in the meantime other police and prosecutors will continue investigating Fr. Shelley.

[Pioneer Press]

We suspect that evidence was withheld or destroyed.

Now more than ever it is important for anyone with knowledge of Fr. Shelley’s crimes or misdeeds to contact law enforcement. Violent child sexual images - or as it is commonly called, child porn - cause great harm to the kids involved.

We hope that Archbishop John Nienstedt will do now what he should have done long ago - visit all the parishes where Fr. Shelley worked and beg anyone who was harmed by him to come forward, call police, and begin to heal.

We stand by what we said last October:

“There is no record of anyone contacting police. (Archbishop Harry) Flynn allowed (Fr. Jonathan) Shelley to return to ministry.” Those two damning sentences are from the latest disturbing Minnesota Public Radio report outlining the secretive, irresponsible and likely illegal way Twin Cities Catholic officials hid thousands of pornographic pictures on Fr. Jonathan Shelley’s computer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

New Square sex abuse case of Rabbi Moshe Taubenfeld adjourned for two months

NEW YORK
News 12

[with video]

NEW SQUARE - The case of a rabbi accused of molesting a young man in New Square over five years has been adjourned for two months.

Activists showed up at the first public court appearance last night of Rabbi Moshe Taubenfeld. A young New Square man claims the highly regarded rabbi and mentor sexually abused him for five years after he went to him for solace after Sept. 11. The allegations reignited claims that other sexual abuse cases have been covered up.

"It's clear that many victims of child molestation in New Square are getting angry at the corruption that allows child molestation to continue," says Rabbi Noson-Leiter, of Monsey. Noson-Leiter attended the hearing with other activists who say they want to make sure justice gets served for the alleged victim.

Also at the hearing was Yossi, who shared his story with News 12 last year. Yossi became the first sex abuse victim from New Square to ever seek justice through the courts. Taubenfeld's younger brother, Hershel, was convicted of molesting Yossi, but managed to avoid prison time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

No Charges Against Archdiocese In Minn. Church Abuse

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Ramsey County authorities will not be charging the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for its handling of the case of a priest who was later convicted of sexually abusing two children.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said they do not have sufficient evidence to file charges, based off new information.

Choi made clear Wednesday at a press conference that they would only be discussing the case of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer and how and when it came to their attention.

That said, Choi said he continues to be troubled by some of the church’s reporting practices in this case and others but wouldn’t say more than that.

The Wehmeyer case is among several that have come to light in recent months that have raised questions about the archdiocese’s handling of problem priests over the years. Choi said in more recent cases, there’s been more cooperation from the Archdiocese regarding police investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Historical Abuse Inquiry: Termonbacca resident tells of abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A priest told a former resident of a children's home in Northern Ireland he was the product of an evil and satanic relationship, an inquiry has heard.

The witness lived at St Joseph's in Termonbacca, Londonderry, in the 1950s.

He said he became a zombie, introverted and fearing the next beating.

The Historical Abuse Inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children's residential institutions from 1922 to 1995.

Termonbacca and another Derry home, Nazareth House, were run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

The former Termonbacca resident said he lay soaked in urine at night in an attempt to dissuade any sexual abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Children's home resident tells inquiry of 'sadistic' nuns

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Independent

MICHAEL MCHUGH – 29 JANUARY 2014

A priest told a former resident of a church-run children's home in Northern Ireland that he was the product of an evil and satanic relationship, an inquiry has heard.

The son of an unmarried mother became a zombie, introverted and fearing the next beating, lying soaked in urine at night in an attempt to dissuade sexual abusers from "dropping the hand", he told the hearing.

He lived at St Joseph's in Termonbacca, Londonderry, run by the Sisters of Nazareth order of Catholic nuns, in the 1950s after being born in abject poverty and abandoned by his parents.

The child was later placed in a dormitory full of youngsters crying for their mothers.

"It would break your heart, you would have to have a heart of steel and cement, I used to join in crying. I had not a clue what mammy meant," he recalled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Former children's home resident called product of satanic union, inquiry hears

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Guardian

Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
theguardian.com, Wednesday 29 January 2014

A former resident of a children's care home in Derry, Northern Ireland, was told he was evil and had been born of a satanic relationship, the largest UK inquiry into institutional child abuse has heard.

The witness said a priest labelled him the product of such a union because his mother was unmarried.

He told the historical institutional abuse inquiry on Wednesday that he became "zombie like" during and after he left the Termonbacca home run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

The man, now 65, confronted the priest in the 1950s about maltreatment after leaving the home and was told "you and the other orphans are bastards. You are the product of an evil and satanic relationship. You never had a chance."

On hearing this, the witness said: "That was the day I left the Catholic church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Retired Anglican priest from Cambridge sentenced for decades-old sex assaults

UNITED KINGDOM
Our Windsor

Waterloo Region Record

By Catherine Thompson

A retired Anglican priest from Cambridge faces at least four years in federal prison for sex offences dating back almost 30 years.

Rev. George Ferris, 66, is to be sentenced today for two charges of sexual assault against two separate complainants. He was convicted in November of those offences.

On Tuesday, Ferris was sentenced to four years in prison for 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, when he served at St. James' Anglican Church in Paris, Ont.

At Ferris' trial in October on those charges, Chris Morrison, 42, of Paris, Ont., testified he was molested by Ferris, who was his priest, as a teenager over several years, in a situation that escalated from embraces to oral sex and two instances of actual and attempted anal sex, the Brantford Expositor reports. The court was also told the witness asked Ferris for "hush" money in 2006 and received $5,000 deposited in his bank account.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Priest told boy never to repeat sex abuse allegations, inquiry told

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Dan Keenan

A priest allegedly told a former resident of a Derry orphanage run by nuns that he must never repeat allegations of sexual and other abuse.

A witness told the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, which is investigating allegations of ill-treatment of children at a list of care home across Northern Ireland before 1995, he should remain silent. This was because his parents were not married and that was why he was placed in the home at Termonbacca in Derry, run by the Poor Sisters of Nazareth.

The witness, who cannot be identified, said he approached a priest later in life and told him of physical and sexual abuse he suffered and witnessed at the home.

He said the priest replied: “You must never speak about this.”

He said the priest explained: “You and the other orphans are bastards, you are the product of an evil and satanic relationship.”

The witness said: “When a priest tells you that, that sums up the perception – how orphan was perceived. What chance did I have?”

The third day of oral hearings from those former residents of the Termonbacca home who wished to testify.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Payment over Brendan Smyth abuse ‘final’, court told

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

A Stg £25,000 payment made to a man who sued in the Northern Ireland courts over being sexually abused as a child over years by paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth was a “full and final settlement” and the man cannot bring a fresh case here against a Catholic Bishop, the High Court has been told.

The Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O’Reilly, has asked the court to stop the man suing him, in his representative capacity as Bishop of Kilmore, over alleged failures by the diocese and Catholic Church to stop Smyth’s abusive behaviour.

The man insists he is entitled to sue on grounds including that a previous Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Francis McKiernan, was allegedly made aware in 1975 that Brendan Smyth was abusing children but failed to report that to the gardaí or the man’s parents.

It is alleged that a young boy had, at meetings in 1975 with priests of the Catholic Church, told the then Fr Sean Brady - now Cardinal Sean Brady — that Smyth was abusing children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

No charges filed in alleged Archdiocese abuse coverup

MINNESOTA
KARE

ST. PAUL, Minn. - No criminal charges will be filed against members of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis involving an alleged coverup in the case of a priest convicted of sexual abuse of a child.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi made the announcement Wednesday morning after what he described as an extensive investigation into how the Archdiocese handled the case of former Priest Curtis Wehmeyer, who is now serving a 5-year sentence for his crimes.

Choi told reporters that prosecutors can't prove church leaders failed to properly report abuse by Wehmeyer during the time he served at the Blessed Sacrament Parish in St. Paul.

Church leaders removed Wehmeyer from his post in June 2012 after learning of the allegations involving two brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Prosecutor won't charge priest with child porn

MINNESOTA
The Public Opinion

Associated Press

A prosecutor has declined to charge a priest accused of possessing potential child pornography.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said Wednesday that investigators found no evidence of a crime when they examined computer files that once belonged to the Rev. Jonathan Shelley. His decision was first reported by Minnesota Public Radio.

St. Paul police had reopened the case after receiving a backup copy of the images from a man who acquired Shelley's old computer a decade ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

MN- No indictments for MN Catholic officials

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014

Statement by Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 952-334-5180, frankameuers@gmail.com )

We're not lawyers. But we refuse to believe that Twin Cities secular officials are helpless in the face of so much recklessness, callousness and deceit by dozens of complicit Catholic officials year after year after year.

Al Capone was nabbed on income tax evasion. Other criminals are nabbed on various and sometimes lesser charges, whether perjury, witness tampering, endangering children, obstructing justice, destroying evidence, and intimidating victims. We believe that usually, “where there's a will, there's a way.”

Dozens of predator priests have assaulted hundreds of kids and hundreds of adults have been deceived by dozens of Catholic officials. Yet only a handful of the molesters – and none of the enablers – has ever seen the inside of a courtroom. That's not just a tragedy. It's an on-going public safety crisis.

Police and prosecutors must work harder, dig deeper, and be more aggressive and creative.

It's meaningless for law enforcement officials to say they're troubled by” or “unhappy about” the corrupt practices of Catholic officials. The verbal displeasure of police and prosecutors, in response to media questions, doesn't stop or deter crimes. The actions of police and prosecutors stop and deter crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

ND/NM- Predator priest is suspended

NEW MEXICO/NORTH DAKOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 29 2014

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

A priest has been suspended from ministry in New Mexico because of credible allegations of child sex crimes.

He is Fr. Timothy Conlon.

We hope every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Conlon – or cover ups by his church colleagues or supervisors – will call police, expose wrongdoing, and protect kids.

We hope every single current or former Catholic employee – in New Mexico or North Dakota - will do everything they can to seek out and help anyone who was hurt by Fr. Conlon. We hope every single Catholic parishioner does likewise.

It's irresponsible to do nothing just because the crimes may have happened elsewhere or long ago. Child molesters rarely stop. And police and prosecutors are getting more creative and aggressive about pursuing even older child sex crimes.

So it's our job to share what we know and suspect with law enforcement. It's their job to determine whether charges can be filed.

The bottom line – staying silent helps predators and hurts kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Report: Defrocked priest from Philadelphia called a ‘brutal abuser’ has been living in Dallas

PENNSYLVANIA/TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

By Robert Wilonsky
rwilonsky@dallasnews.com
10:27 am on January 29, 2014

James Brzyski, a defrocked priest from Philadelphia who’s almost always described as “one of the Archdiocese’s most brutal abusers,” has been hiding in plain sight in Dallas while pretending to be “a jovial former Xerox employee who’d lost millions after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.” And a support group for men and women abused by priest is calling on the Catholic Diocese of Dallas to do something about it.

The Philadelphia Daily News found the 62-year-old at the Crescent View Apartments near Cedar Springs and the Dallas North Tollway. Residents who once welcomed him warmly quickly discovered there was something wrong with their new neighbor, who played with visiting young boys in the complex’s pool and “bragged about going online to find males who appeared to be underage.” They soon discovered his past as a man accused of sexually assaulting as many as 100 boys, according to a grand jury report, during his years in Philadelphia during the 1970s and ’80s.

Brzyski, who left the church in 1985 but wasn’t kicked out of the priesthood for another two decades, said nothing about his past until he was confronted about it. Because he didn’t have to.

“Brzyski is able to move from one community to another in relative anonymity — at least until his behavior gives him away — because the Archdiocese won’t disclose his whereabouts, or the whereabouts of 23 other Philadelphia priests who have been defrocked for abusing minors,” writes William Bender. A public records search shows Brzyski doesn’t appear to have a Texas driver’s license, and that since leaving Philadelphia he’s lived in Virginia; the West Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles; and Kenosha, Wisconsin. And he doesn’t have to register as a sex offender, Bender notes, because “the Archdiocese kept his case under wraps in the 1980s, when allegations that he was sexually abusing children were first reported to church leaders.”

Bender later adds that “Brzyski’s choice of Dallas is ironic, because the man who blew the whistle on him in the 1980s lives only a half-hour away. The Rev. James Gigliotti, pastor of St. Maria Goretti in Arlington, Texas, said he was unaware that Brzyski was living nearby and was disturbed to hear neighbors’ reports about his behavior around kids.”

Following the story’s publication Wednesday morning, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests issued a lengthy statement calling on the Catholic Diocese of Dallas to “act now to warn parents about him and help police catch him.” The diocese says it has no further information beyond what was published this morning. Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrell is out of town at the installation of the new bishop of San Angelo. Its director of communications, Annette Gonzales Taylor, says the diocese may release a statement later today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Defrocked Pedophile Priest Hid From His Past in Oak Lawn Apartment

PENNSYLVANIA/TEXAS
D Magazine

01/29/2014 | BY JASON HEID

Philadelphia Daily News has a story today about James Brzyski, a priest who was defrocked due to his sexual abuse of 17 boys in Philadelphia in the 1970s and 1980s. Until last month he was living in an apartment complex in Oak Lawn.

At first his neighbors accepted his backstory of being a friendly retired Xerox employee when he moved there in October 2012, but they became suspicious after they saw him playing with young boys in the pool. He also bragged to them about going online to find males who looked underage, and that he liked “fat boys.”

When they looked into his history, they discovered the horrifying truth, and they’re upset that he could move into their community without their being notified of his past or his having to register as a sex offender. When they confronted Brzyski, he didn’t demonstrate remorse, commenting only that he had himself been abused by priests when he was younger, so that he thought it was OK.

David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Brzyski is among a diaspora of unregistered sex offenders unleashed by the Roman Catholic Church since 2002. Few safeguards prevent the former priests from abusing again.

“The reason these guys are walking free is because church officials shielded them. Were it not for the actions of the church hierarchy, many of these guys would be in jail,” Clohessy said. “I think that increases the moral and civic duty of bishops to say more than, ‘Well, he’s not in the diocese anymore.’ “

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

No charges for ex-priest in Mahtomedi, as no child porn found

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Mara H. Gottfried
mgottfried@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 01/29/2014

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said Wednesday that his office has declined to file charges against former priest Jonathan Shelley. Investigators concluded that images found on Shelley's hard drive were not child pornography, Orput said.

"I concluded there is no criminal evidence," he said Wednesday.

An investigation began last year into allegations that Shelley, who served in Mahtomedi, possessed child pornography on a computer he owned in 2004.

Shelley denied the allegation, and the case was closed Sept. 29 after discs turned over to police by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis were found to contain only adult porn.

Police reopened the case a few days later when a Hugo parishioner turned over files to police, which he said he had copied from Shelley's hard drive.

St. Paul police department analysts examined the computer discs and sent the files to the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which found no child porn, Orput said. The task force sent the discs to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which came to the same conclusion, Orput said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Washington Co. Prosecutor Won't Charge Priest with Child Porn Possession

MINNESOTA
KAAL

By: Scott Theisen

A prosecutor has declined to charge a priest accused of possessing potential child pornography.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said Wednesday that investigators found no evidence of a crime when they examined computer files that once belonged to the Rev. Jonathan Shelley. His decision was first reported by Minnesota Public Radio.

St. Paul police had reopened the case after receiving a backup copy of the images from a man who acquired Shelley's old computer a decade ago.

Orput tells The Associated Press investigators from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, St. Paul police and his own child abuse specialist all looked at the files and agreed they're not child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Ramsey Co. Atty.: Insufficient evidence to charge archdiocese

MINNESOTA
Bring Me The News

January 29, 2014 By Ben Grove

St. Paul police investigators did not find sufficient evidence that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis failed to report in a timely way the conduct of former St. Paul priest Curtis Wehmeyer, now serving a five-year prison sentence for molesting two boys, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said.

At issue is whether church officials reported abuse within 24 hours of learning about it. Critics have suggested that the archdiocese attempted to cover up the case, but police after a “thorough” investigation could not find enough evidence that the archdiocese violated the mandatory reporting law, Choi said at a Wednesday morning news conference.

That said, Choi went to some length to stress that an investigation of archdiocese officials on a “whole host of issues” is “active and ongoing.”

Choi said he was “troubled” by the church’s reporting practices. He added, “There will be more decisions to come as this investigation unfolds.” He stressed that he could not comment further yet. “Elaboration is for another day.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

No charges for St. Paul archdiocese leaders in abuse case

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Written by
Associated Press

ST. PAUL — Authorities say they won’t charge officials in the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese over their handling of a St. Paul priest who sexually abused two boys.

Prosecutors say they can’t prove church leaders failed to properly report abuse by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer.

Church leaders removed Wehmeyer from his post in June 2012 after learning of the allegations involving two brothers.

Internal church documents showed archdiocese leaders knew well before then that Wehmeyer had issues with sexual misconduct. Archdiocese leaders have said they didn’t suspect Wehmeyer would abuse children, but they have apologized for not handling the matter more aggressively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

No charges against Twin Cities archdiocese in case of convicted priest

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET Updated: January 29, 2014

The archdiocese reported the case within 24 hours of receiving information, county attorneys office says.

The Ramsey County attorneys office announced Wednesday that “we cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that anyone in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis violated the law in the church’s handling of allegations against a fired St. Paul clergy member who is now in prison for sexually abusing two boys.

Wednesday’s announcement by Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said the archdiocese reported the abuse by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer within 24 hours of learning of the abuse. Therefore, the church officials complied with the law requiring them to notify law enforcement.

However, Choi expressed concern about the archdiocese’s handling of clergy sex abuse.

“I continue to be troubled” by the church’s reporting practices, he said. He refused to elaborate because of the continuing police investigation.

Choi said today is “only the beginning” and that authorities will “pursue justice.” He said this review was limited to mandatory reporting law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Salvation Army victim vows to tell all

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Jan. 29, 2014

GRAHAM Rundle was seven when he was first raped at a Salvation Army boys' home in South Australia and placed in a "lock-up", 18 when he first tried to commit suicide, 48 when he turned to the Salvos for justice, and 58 when he comprehensively beat them.

He is now 61 and ready to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse after angrily rejecting the Salvation Army's apology this week for horrific abuse at its NSW and Queensland homes.

"They're bastards," he said.

"I was repeatedly raped as a child in the 1960s but they abused me again in a different way when I reported it as an adult, and they didn't have to do that.

"I want to give evidence in public. I want to be named. I want people to know what the bastards were like then, and what they're like now. They did everything in their power to get rid of me."

Mr Rundle, of Bucketty, was known by a number at Eden Park boys' home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 AM

Salvation Army major 'punched boys in the face', royal commission hears

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[video]

The royal commission into child abuse has heard more horrifying details of abuse suffered by those in the care of the Salvation Army. Several former residents gave evidence of brutal assaults at a Queensland home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

PA- Two sets of school officials act "irresponsibly"

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 29 2014

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

Shame on officials at Pennridge High School and Faith Christian Academy. Neither acted responsibly in the troubling case of proven predator Eric Romig. We hope both will be prosecuted.

[Philadelphia Inquirer]

We know Pennsylvania's archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations makes it tough to pursue those who commit and conceal heinous child sex crimes. Still, we believe an aggressive outreach and investigative effort might well produce successful prosecutions of those who knew of or suspected Romig's crimes but ignored or hid them.

The alternative is to let complicit school officials to walk free. That will only encourage others employers to act with similar recklessness, callousness and deceit in the future. And that will of course mean that more innocent kids' lives will be shattered by child molesters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

NEW CONVERTS TO THE WAR ON RELIGION?

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on how so-called victims’ advocates are participating in the war on religion:
Freedom From Religion Foundation is an atheist organization. BishopAccountability.org and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests monitor clergy sexual abuse. On the surface, the former has nothing in common with the latter two, but what joins the three of them at the hip—indeed what really motivates all of their work—is their hatred of Christianity.

Hobby Lobby is a Christian-owned private business that is contesting the constitutionality of the Health and Human Services mandate in a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court. Its lawsuit has absolutely nothing to do with either atheism or priestly sexual abuse, so why are the aforementioned entities challenging Hobby Lobby? It can’t be because the owners of Hobby Lobby don’t want to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization in their insurance plan. What do these matters have to do with atheism and clergy sexual abuse?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Accused Gallup priest removed from ministry

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Jan. 28, 2014

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

GALLUP — A priest working in the Diocese of Gallup has been removed from ministry because of a recently reported credible accusation of abuse that allegedly took place decades ago.

The Rev. Timothy Conlon, O.S.C., a member of the Crosier Fathers and Brothers religious order, was removed from his two Diocese of Gallup rural Arizona parishes over the weekend.

“The alleged abuse took place approximately 40 years ago in North Dakota before Fr. Conlon was ordained a priest, but has just been reported to Church authorities and the Crosiers,” media official Lisa Cassidy stated in a news release issued by the Crosier Province of Phoenix Monday. “The Crosiers have not been aware of any other claims of sexual misconduct against a minor by Fr. Conlon previous to this report.”

According to a letter Gallup Bishop James S. Wall sent to his priests Monday, reports of the two credible accusations of sexual abuse came from the Diocese of Fargo, N.D.

Crosier Prior Provincial Thomas Enneking, O.S.C., and Wall removed Conlon from ministry. The Crosier news release stated law enforcement has been informed of the allegation, but it did not name the specific law enforcement agency.

Conlon has been working in the Gallup Diocese since November 2011, according to Wall’s letter. Conlon has served as the parish administrator at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in St. Johns and San Rafael Parish in Concho. The Crosier news release said Conlon was in the process of becoming an official Diocese of Gallup priest through incardination into the diocese.

Conlon was a crime victim himself April 15, 2010, while he served as the pastor of the Sacred Heart Parish in South Phoenix for the Phoenix Diocese. When one of Conlon’s parish employees was stabbed multiple times by an assailant off the street, Conlon came to her assistance and was also stabbed repeatedly. Both Conlon and his parish employee were hospitalized for their injuries. Their assailant, Carlos Miguel Manriquez, was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault.

According to Catholic media reports at the time of the attack, Conlon joined the Crosiers about 40 years ago and was ordained a priest in 1979. He has worked in ministries in Nebraska, New York and Arizona. Conlon was the vicar for Hispanic ministry for the Phoenix Diocese and was the national director of the fundraising Crosier Campaign.

Crosier Province officials have requested anyone aware of sexual misconduct by a Crosier priest or religious brother to contact the province at 602-443-7100.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

PA/TX- Philly priest acts creepy in Dallas

PENNSYLVANIA/TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 29 2014

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 notorious and frightening now-defrocked Philly predator priest has recently moved to – and apparently from – a Dallas apartment complex where he repeatedly expressed sexual interest in kids.

[Philadalphia Daily News]

Philly Catholic officials recruited, educated, ordained, hired, supervised, trained and repeatedly protected Fr. James Brzyski for more than three decades, giving him access to vulnerable kids and unsuspecting parents time and time again.

Then, when the heat got too intense, they cut him loose. Now, this dangerous man moves around the country continuing to act in scary ways around kids.

So what's Archbishop Charles Chaput – and the hundreds of Philly area church employees - going to do?

They could split hairs, dodge responsibility and feign powerlessness.

Or they could show real courage, compassion and leadership.

That's the choice: do nothing or step up.

We hope they step up.

Specifically, we hope Philly bishops, priests, and lay employees:

– turn over every shred of information about Brzyski to police in each town where Brzyski has lived or worked (Philadelphia, Dallas, West Hollywood, and Virginia Beach),

--post all this information on the diocesan websites in those three states, and

– beg each bishops in each state where Brzyski has lived to use pulpit announcements, church bulletins and diocesan websites to seek out anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes or misdeeds.

They should not wait for subpoenas. Church officials and members should be proactive and take the initiative now. (Bishops always claim they “cooperate” with police and prosecutors. In reality, that means they respond when subpoenaed. Rarely, if ever, do they take the initiative and promptly and voluntarily give ALL information they have about proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics to secular authorities.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

TX--New Fort Worth bishop installed

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014

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

Michael F. Olson formally takes over today as the bishop of the Ft. Worth Catholic diocese.

Since he was selected months ago, several Catholic officials and institutions have posted on their websites the names of child molesting clerics. The first thing tomorrow, Olson should 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. (The current list hasn't been updated in more than six months.)

The list should be easily accessible on the diocese's homepage and include photos of the priests

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.

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.

Tahira Khan Merritt, the attorney for Fr. Paiz’ victim, said she believes that Fr. Paiz may still be working as a priest elsewhere. Bishop Olson should find this out and warn Fr. Paiz’ unsuspecting neighbors of his current whereabouts and his troubled past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Prosecution decision today in Wehmeyer sexual abuse case

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Joseph Lindberg
jlindberg@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 01/29/2014

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office and St. Paul Police Department will hold a joint press conference Wednesday morning to announce a prosecution decision in the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer case.

The press conference will be held at the Ramsey County Attorney's Office Library in downtown St. Paul at 10 a.m., according to a release from the office of Ramsey County Attorney John J. Choi.

Formerly assigned to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in St. Paul, Wehmeyer is serving a five-year prison term for possessing child pornography and sexually abusing two children.

A September 2013 report by Minnesota Public Radio said top archdiocese officials knew of Wehmeyer's sexual compulsions for nearly a decade, but still kept him in the ministry.

Choi said in a statement last year that he was "troubled" by details in the report on how the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis handled allegations against Wehmeyer -- but said his office could not open a grand jury investigation as requested by a victims' support group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Charging decision expected in Minnesota clergy abuse case

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: Associated Press Updated: January 29, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ramsey County authorities are set to announce whether charges will be filed over how the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis handled the case of an abusive priest.

The county attorney's office and St. Paul police will detail their investigation Wednesday.

The Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer was accused in 2012 of sexually abusing children, and is now serving a five-year prison term after being convicted of doing so.

Internal church documents show archdiocese leaders knew before then that Wehmeyer had solicited young men for sex in a bookstore and cruised a park for anonymous sex. A former canon lawyer in the archdiocese says Wehmeyer was promoted even after she urged the archbishop to review his file.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Decision on seeking charges in St. Paul clergy abuse probe to be revealed today

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune Updated: January 29, 2014

A decision will be announced Wednesday by authorities on whether to pursue charges in connection with how information was handled within the archdiocese concerning allegations against a fired St. Paul clergy member who is now in prison for sexual abuse.

A decision will be announced Wednesday by authorities in St. Paul on whether to pursue charges in connection with how information was handled within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis concerning allegations against a fired St. Paul clergy member who is now in prison for sexually abusing two boys.

The Ramsey County attorney’s office and police have scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. in St. Paul to make the announcement.

As recently as 2012, police were troubled by how Roman Catholic Church leaders handled a child’s explicit sexual abuse allegation against the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, who had been promoted by Archbishop John Nienstedt despite earlier reports of sexual misconduct.

Wehmeyer, 49, was fired as pastor of a St. Paul church in a way that allowed him to hide evidence in the sex case, police Cmdr. Mary Nash complained last fall. Wehmeyer now is in St. Cloud prison for sexually abusing two boys while he was pastor of Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul and for possession of child pornography.

Authorities also said in a statement that they will “provide public information about the police investigation involving the circumstances of how and when information came to be known” in connection with Wehmeyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

'Francis revolution' rolls on in both symbols and substance

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Jan. 29, 2014

VATICAN CITY

In ways both substantive and symbolic, the "Francis revolution" rolled on in January with personnel shuffles, policy signals and gestures intended to reinforce the pope's vision of a more merciful church devoted to the world's peripheries.

One eyebrow-raising move came Jan. 15, when Francis announced an overhaul of the council of cardinals responsible for supervising the Institute for the Works of Religion, better known as the Vatican bank.

The bank has long been a magnet for scandal. Francis removed all but one of the five cardinals appointed to govern the bank by Pope Benedict XVI shortly after his resignation announcement in February 2013.

Most notably, Francis ousted Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former secretary of state, whose perceived inability to manage the inner workings of the Vatican helped fuel an anti-establishment mood in last March's papal election.

French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue, is to remain on the panel, while the new members are Italian Cardinal-designate Pietro Parolin, who replaced Bertone as secretary of state; Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna; Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto; and Spanish Cardinal Santos Abril y Castilló, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major. All five are perceived to have Francis' trust, and both Schönborn and Collins have a record of calling for reform in bank operations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Bishops asks court to stop damages over sex abuse by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Independent

29 JANUARY 2014

A Stg £25,000 payment made to a man who sued in the Northern Ireland courts over being sexually abused as a child over years by paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth was a "full and final settlement" and he cannot bring a fresh case here against a Catholic Bishop, the High Court has been told.

The Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O'Reilly, has asked the court to stop Mario Cafolla suing him, in his representative capacity as Bishop of Kilmore, over alleged failures by the diocese and Catholic Church to stop Smyth's abusive behaviour.

Mr Cafolla insists he is entitled to sue on grounds including that a previous Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Francis McKiernan, was allegedly made aware in 1975 that Brendan Smyth was abusing children, including Mr Cafolla, but failed to report that to the Gardai or Mr Cafolla's parents.

It is alleged that a young boy had, at meetings in 1975 with priests of the Catholic Church, told the then Fr Sean Brady - now Cardinal Sean Brady - that Smyth was abusing children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Who Cares (Or: War Crimes)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began its fifth “case study” today, into four Salvation Army Boys’ Homes – Riverview, Bexley, Gill, and Alkira. The witness list was only released minutes before the hearing was due to begin, contrary to previous practice.

The hearing is subject to several “Not to be Published” orders, and the web-cast is being shut down at times for what are described as “privacy reasons”. The author is not on the witness list (see previous postings).

The focus will be on five Salvation Army officers who abused the boys. These are Lawrence Wilson, Russell Walker, Victor Bennett, John McIver, and Donald Shultz. Wilson, who worked at all four Homes, is regarded, according to the commission, as the worst offender. The abuses were described as “being at the extreme end of the scale”. He died in 2008.

[First person comment: The author was abused by both Wilson and Bennett.]

Of the 13 victim witnesses listed to appear, all but two will be referred to by pseudonyms. One who is named is Wally McLeod which encourages the author (see previous posting: “Why Wally Should Be Heard”). Of these 13 men, only one who was in the author’s old Home, “Alkira”, otherwise known as the Indooroopilly Salvation Army Home for Boys, is listed to appear.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Ian Hughes: Vicar had '8,200 child sex abuse images'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

An Anglican vicar was caught with more than 8,000 images of child sexual abuse, including 800 of the "worst kind", Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Ian Hughes, 46, was a successful priest by day but by night was downloading thousands of indecent internet images of children, the court was told.

Hughes admitted 17 offences and was jailed for a year.

The Bishop of Chester said he was "deeply shocked" at Hughes' "unacceptable" actions.

'Like an addiction'

Hughes has resigned from the priesthood.

Expressing his "profound regret", the Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster apologised to Hughes' former parishioners in Poulton and Seacombe in Wallasey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Bid to dismiss Cardinal Brady, Bishop of Kilmore lawsuit

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

By Shane Harrison
BBC NI Dublin correspondent

A court is hearing an application by a Catholic bishop to dismiss an attempt by Belfast siblings to sue him and Cardinal Sean Brady over sex abuse.

Brother and sister Mario and Maria Cafolla, from west Belfast, were abused by paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth.

Lawyers for Dr Leo O'Reilly, the Bishop of Kilmore, said the case should not go ahead due to a previous full and final settlement for all claims in the case.

They are suing Dr O'Reilly over the alleged failures of his predecessor.

They allege that the previous bishop, Francis McKiernan, was negligent for failing to take any adequate steps to ensure Smyth did not continue to perpetrate sexual assaults on them in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Australian Salvation Army Officers Rape, Lock Boys in Cages

AUSTRALIA
International Business Times

By Reissa Su | January 29, 2014

The victims of child abuse in Salvation Army homes spoke about their experiences in the first public hearing in Sydney before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for 2014. On Jan 28, the commission began its fifth inquiry into the case.

Abuse victims claimed young boys were kept in a cage for days and raped in Salvation Army homes during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. According to revelations in the public hearing, Salvation Army leaders failed to impose discipline or remove those who committed abuses permanently. Perpetrators were simply transferred to other homes where abuses continue.

Mr Beckett said the focus of the hearing would be the response of the Salvation Army and government agencies to charges of child sex abuse inside the homes for boys located in Indooroopilly, Riverview Training Farm in Queensland, Bexley Boys home in North Bexley and the Gill Memorial Home in Golbourn.

The Royal Commission will focus on the alleged abuse on young boys aged 6 to 17 years old by Salvation Army officers Russell Walker, Laurence Wilson, Victor Bennett, Donald Schultz and John McIver.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Boys made to fight for the enjoyment of Salvation Army officers: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN JANUARY 29, 2014

ORPHANED and abandoned children were subjected to public "punishment parades" and made to fight each other by Salvation Army officers who appeared to enjoy the spectacle, an inquiry has heard.

Giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, one former resident of the Riverview boys' home near Brisbane described being publicly caned until "I felt blood running down the back of my legs".

Such beatings were frequent and held in full sight of other boys and Salvation Army staff, the commission heard, with the boys told to strip from the waist down and bend over before being flogged.

The man, who cannot be named, also told the commission he was repeatedly forced to fight other boys bare-fisted "for their enjoyment ... these officers they didn't have much to do, they thought we'll get the boys out and get them to beat the crap out of each other."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Victim tells Royal Commission of abuse at Riverview

AUSTRALIA
Whitsunday Times

Jessica Grewal 29th Jan 2014

A TORMENTED retiree, who was subjected to unimaginable childhood abuse at a Riverview boy's home, has unloaded decades of grief at a public hearing in Sydney.

Giving evidence before the royal commission into Institutional Responses into to Child Sex Abuse, Raymond Carlile wept as he recalled children being raped and beaten until they bled under the watch of the Salvation Army.

The 67-year-old, who in 2010 received a $100,000 in compensation from the Salvation Army, told the commission he was eight when he was sent to the home which later became known as the Endeavour Training Farm.

For three hours, Mr Carlile struggled through his accounts of the persistent sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a man known as Lieutenant Lawrence Wilson.

He told the commission Lt Wilson had said "I want you, you dirty little thing", the night he "grabbed" him from his bed, told him to get undressed and raped him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Salvos officers assaulted boys in showers, abuse inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph

NATHAN KLEIN THE DAILY TELEGRAPH JANUARY 29, 2014

* Boys 'were assaulted in showers and were too afraid to complain'
* Victim recalls how elder boys would rape younger residents
* One 'violent officer' would punch boys as young as four years old

SALVATION Army officers fondled boys' penises while they were in the shower, assaulted them frequently and did nothing when told one of the boys in their care was raped, an inquest heard today.

Speaking at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, one man - identified to the public inquest only as Mr F P - said he was regularly subjected to sexual abuse and sadistic punishment by officers who were supposed to be caring for him.

He told the inquiry one of the officers, Lieutenant Spratt, approached him and other boys staying at the Salvation Army homes while they were naked in the showers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Boy raped when he reported abuse

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

BY ANNETTE BLACKWELL AAP JANUARY 29, 2014

A BOY who told a Salvation Army officer he had been sexually abused by another boy was later raped by the officer, an inquiry has been told.

A man, identified as ES, said he ran away several times from a Salvation Army Training Farm at Riverview in Queensland when he was a teenager but was always brought back, either by the farm manager, Captain Victor Bennett or police.

Mr Bennett who has since died, is one of five officers against whom the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard numerous allegations.

The commission is holding a public hearing in Sydney into what happened at four homes run by the Salvos in NSW and Queensland in the 60s and 70s.

ES said on Wednesday he was locked in a cage on the veranda at Riverview - some times for weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Sadistic punishments dealt out at Riverview boy's home

AUSTRALIA
Coolum News

Jessica Grewal 29th Jan 2014

BOYS living at a Riverview farm were locked in a prison-like cell for days at a time as one of many sadistic punishments dealt out by a rapist Salvation Army captain, the royal commission has heard.

During day two of the hearing into the Salvation Army's treatment of child abuse victims at the home near Ipswich, five former Riverview residents told of the torment they were subjected to while the late Major Victor Bennett was in command in the late 60s and 70s.

One victim, who can only be referred to as ES, told the commission Major Bennett had once performed an enema like procedure on him with a garden hose to teach him a lesson.

He said he had tried to run away and catch a nearby ferry when Major Bennett and some of the older boys caught up with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Boys caged, tethered, raped by Salvation Army officers and older boys at children's homes

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

Emily Bourke reported this story on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

MARK COLVIN: The Child Abuse Royal Commission has heard evidence about how a vicious bullying culture at Salvation Army boys' homes was passed from adults to children: so younger children were assaulted by older boys as well as those in charge.

Several former residents have told how they were sexually assaulted but were too ashamed or too afraid to speak out because they weren't believed - or worse, they were physically and sexually abused by Salvation Army officers.

The inquiry also heard that one boy was tethered to a brick, thrown into a pool and was then forced under the water by a Salvation Army captain. Another boy was caged in a cell on a veranda for weeks at a time.

And a warning: some of the detail and language contained in this story may be distressing.

Emily Bourke reports.

EMILY BOURKE: At the Salvation Army boys' homes in Indooroopilly and Riverview, children were referred to by number, not name.

WALLY MCLEOD: My number was 14 at Indooroopilly, and 36 at Riverview.

EMILY BOURKE: Wally McLeod was among the boys whose clothes, shoes, and personal things were confiscated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Boys' carers at Salvation Army home, 'they were cruel bastards'

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 30, 2014

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

Some boys knew it as ''the cage'', others ''the lock-up'' - a small cell with iron bars built into the door. And for youngsters at the Salvation Army's Riverview Training Farm in Queensland it was a place of dread.

Some of those who broke the rules at the institution were placed in the dark space by the Salvation Army officers charged with their care and kept there for days and even weeks, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard on Wednesday.

''One day me and two other guys did something wrong - I forget what it was - and we were put in the holding cell,'' one former resident, known as ES, told the commission. ''It was a room like - it looked like it had a door and iron bars on the front, just like your normal cell.''

The man, now in his 60s, said boys were forced to sleep on the floor of the tiny room without a pillow or even a blanket. ''We went to the toilet in a bucket.''

It was a chilling tale from a day when painful recollections overflowed. As the commission dug deeper into the abuse of boys who attended homes run by the Salvation Army in NSW and Queensland, four former residents from Riverview gave evidence of extreme sexual and physical abuse, and the alleged failures of police and welfare agencies to intervene.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Children, 4, punched at Salvos home: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By AAP Jan. 29, 2014

BOYS as young as four were punched and others were subjected to public floggings at two Salvation Army homes in Queensland, an inquiry has been told.

Wally McLeod, a resident at Indooroopilly Boys Home and Riverview Training Farm from 1960 to 1966, told the national royal commission into child sexual abuse he saw Captain Victor Bennett grab children as young as four and punch them.

This happened at the Indooroopilly home, later named Alkira, when Mr McLeod was sent there, aged 12, he said yesterday, the second day of a public hearing in Sydney.

The commission is examining the responses of the Eastern Territory of the Salvation Army and relevant government agencies to child abuse at four homes – the two in Queensland and two in NSW.

Mr McLeod said the children ‘‘cried and screamed’’ when he grabbed them by their shirts and struck them on the head and shoulders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Fear ‘all the time’ at Qld Salvo farm

AUSTRALIA
Australian Times (UK)

THERE “was fear all the time” around Salvation Army officers, a witness has told a royal commission.

“A lot of you people don’t seem to understand, you did not open your mouth around Salvation Army officers because you did not know what you were going to get.”

That was the response of a witness identified as FP when pressed at an inquiry into child sexual abuse about whether he had complained of ill treatment to state welfare officers who regularly visited the Salvation Army Training Farm at Riverview in Queensland in the 1960s.

FP’s evidence on Wednesday follows that of other witnesses who have told of frequent floggings and sexual abuse both by Salvo officers and older boys at the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Mersey child porn vicar who led depraved double life locked up for 12 months

UNITED KINGDOM
Liverpool Echo

A gay vicar who led a “desperate double life” and collected thousands of child porn pictures after struggling with his homosexuality for years was jailed for 12 months.

The Rev Ian Hughes, parish priest of Poulton and Seacombe, in Wirral was arrested after police traced a file of 291 child porn images he had made available for sharing over the internet.

When they raided the vicarage on Brougham Road, Wallasey, in July last year he told them: “It’s a relief in a way. It’s like an addiction.”

Jailing Liverpool Crown Court judge David Aubrey said the 46-year-old had led a double life but his "dark secret was now out".

Jayne Morris, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday that 8,227 images and movies were recovered with more than 800 of the top two categories of seriousness along with two images of bestiality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Psychotic nuns ran children's home ...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Psychotic nuns ran children's home like Nazi concentration camp, abuse inquiry is told

BY MICHAEL MCHUGH – 29 JANUARY 2014

Nuns who ran a hellhole children's home in Northern Ireland were virtually psychotic, a former resident said.

The Sisters of Nazareth property in Londonderry was like a Nazi concentration camp, with youngsters' screams of despair still haunting survivors, the UK's largest ever inquiry into institutional child abuse was told.

Inmates formed chain gangs to polish floors until they sparkled – with arms linked and rags under both feet – and were beaten with bamboo canes and straps.

One witness reported how the nuns used to wash the children with Jeyes fluid – a strong disinfectant normally used for outdoor cleaning jobs.

Another revealed how he tried to report sexual abuse by older boys to a nun.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Child abuse inquiry...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Child abuse inquiry: Priest told boy he was 'product of evil and satanic relationship'

29 JANUARY 2014

A priest told a former resident of a church-run children's home in Northern Ireland that he was the product of an evil and satanic relationship, an inquiry has heard.

The son of an unmarried mother said he became a zombie, introverted and fearing the next beating, lying soaked in urine at night in an attempt to dissuade any sexual abusers from "dropping the hand".

He was a resident at St Joseph's in Termonbacca, Londonderry, run by the Sisters of Nazareth order of nuns, in the 1950s and complained about his treatment to a priest after leaving the home.

The response was: "You must never speak about this, you must understand... you and the other orphans are bastards. You are the product of an evil and satanic relationship. You never had a chance."

The witness said: "That was the day I left the Catholic Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

From Philly to Dallas, ex-priest a 'brutal abuser' without remorse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

WILLIAM BENDER, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER BENDERW@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-5255

POSTED: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WHEN BILL Johnson moved into a Dallas apartment complex in October 2012, a neighbor named James rolled out the welcome wagon. Sort of.

"Oh, great, another old queen moving in," James said as Johnson and his friends unloaded his belongings at Crescent View Apartments in the Texas city's Oak Lawn section.

Johnson, 54, an unemployed financial adviser, figured that James was just being nice, one gay man to another in the "gayborhood."

"I think he was trying to be friendly and joking," Johnson said. "He doesn't have a muffler on his mouth, as my mama used to say."

Johnson had no way to know it at the time, but the neighbor was James Brzyski, a defrocked priest described in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office's 2005 grand-jury report as one of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's "most brutal abusers."

The 6-foot-5 Brzyski allegedly preyed on at least 17 altar boys in the 1970s and '80s, subjecting them to "unrelenting abuse, including fondling, oral sex and rape," according to the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Philly DA appeals overturned conviction of Msgr. Lynn

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

Philadelphia prosecutors have asked Pennsylvania's Supreme Court to restore a Roman Catholic church official's child endangerment conviction.

Monsignor William Lynn is currently on house arrest after an appeals court threw out his case earlier this month.

Lynn, the former secretary for clergy in Philadelphia, had been convicted of endangering children by transferring an abusive priest in the 1990s, reports the Associated Press.

According to court documents, prosecutors in the District Attorney's office continue to allege Lynn engaged in a pattern of concealment and facilitation of child sexual molestation by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Ruling means children ‘must be protected in schools’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Suzanne Lynch, Barry Roche

Irish woman Louise O’Keeffe, who today won a landmark case against the Irish State, said the ruling meant the Department of Education “must protect children in schools”.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled this morning that the State had failed to meet its obligation to protect Ms O’Keeffe from the sexual abuse she suffered while a pupil in an Irish national school.

Ms O’ Keeffe had brought her case to the European Court after the Irish Supreme court ruled in 2009 that the State was not legally liable for the abuse suffered by Ms O’Keeffe by her school principal while a nine-year old girl at Dunderrow National School.

Speaking from Cork after the ruling Ms O’Keeffe said: “The message I have today for the Department of Education on foot of this ruling is that ‘you must protect children in the schools, it’s a right that the children have and it’s now been recognised in Europe and it must be done.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

European court delivers clear and resounding vindication for O’Keeffe

IRELAND
Irish Times

Ruadhan Mac Cormaic

For Louise O’Keeffe, the veteran of a long, drawn-out campaign that began more than 15 years ago, this was a resounding vindication.

O’Keeffe, then aged nine, was abused by Leo Hickey, the former principal of Dunderrow National School in Co Cork in the early 1970s. At issue here was whether the State was partly to blame for that abuse because of its failure to prevent and detect it. By 11 votes to six, the Grand Chamber concluded that it was. Ireland, it found, was in breach of two articles, 3 and 13, of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibit inhuman and degrading treatment and set down the right to an effective remedy.

“The Court found that it was an inherent obligation of a Government to protect children from ill-treatment, especially in a primary education context. That obligation had not been met when the Irish State, which had to have been aware of the sexual abuse of children by adults prior to the 1970s . . . nevertheless continued to entrust the management of the primary education of the vast majority of young Irish children to National Schools.”

Effective control

Crucially, in the court’s view, the State did this without putting in place any mechanisms of effective State control against the risks of such abuse occurring. On the contrary, potential complainants had been directed away from the State authorities and towards the managers (generally the local priest) of the national schools. Any system of detection and reporting of abuse which allowed over 400 incidents of abuse to occur in O’Keeffe’s school for such a long time, the judges remarked, had to be considered ineffective.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Kenny: Louise O'Keeffe judgement will require 'detailed consideration' by government

IRELAND
Irish Independent

LISE HAND – 28 JANUARY 2014

The Taoiseach said the landmark judgment handed down today by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Irishwoman Louise O’Keeffe “will clearly require detailed consideration by the government.”

Louise O’Keeffe won her 30-year legal battle when the Strasbourg-based Court delivered a majority ruling in her favour that the Irish State had been negligent in failing to protect her from abuse in national school.

The court ruled that her human rights had been breached under Section 3 and 13 of European law – with the Irish State now liable to compensate the mother for what she suffered. The judgement is also expected to open the floodgates to over 200 compensation claims by Irish victims abused by State employees.

Speaking in the Dáil, he said: “Louise O’Keeffe should never have been subjected to this abuse. This is another example of the horrific regime and sort of environment that children and young people lived in, and her case today clearly indicates the scale of that historic abuse and the failure and the inaction to protect children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Kenny declines to say if State will apologise to Louise O’Keeffe

IRELAND
Irish Times

Marie O'Halloran, Michael O'Regan

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told the Dáil that Louise O’Keeffe should never have been subject to the sexual abuse she suffered.

“This was another example of the horrific regime and sort of environment that children and young people lived in,” he said.

But the Taoiseach declined to respond to a call from Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to apologise to Ms O’Keeffe.

The European Court of Human Rights overturned a Supreme Court judgment and ruled that the State failed to meet its obligation to protect Ms O’Keeffe from the sexual abuse she suffered while a pupil in an Irish national school. Ms O’ Keeffe took her case to the European Court after the 2009 Supreme Court ruling that the State was not legally liable for the abuse suffered by her when she was a nine-year old girl at Dunderrow National School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Landmark victory after 30 years for abuse victim Louise O'Keeffe

IRELAND
Irish Independent

RALPH RIEGEL AND DEARBHAIL MCDONALD – 28 JANUARY 2014

AN IRISH woman’s courageous 30 year battle for justice ended in triumph today when the European Court of Human Rights ruled in her favour.

Louise O’Keeffe (46) wept as the 17 judge Strasbourg-based Court delivered a majority ruling in her favour that the Irish State had been negligent in failing to protect her from abuse in national school.

The court ruled that her human rights had been breached under Section 3 and 13 of European law – with the Irish State now liable to compensate the mother for what she suffered.

The judgement is also expected to open the floodgates to over 200 compensation claims by Irish victims abused by State employees.

Louise’s first reaction today was to cry with joy.

“This is a great day for the children of Ireland,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Call for Quinn to make ‘abject’ apology to Louise O’Keeffe

IRELAND
Irish Times

[with video]

Michael O'Regan

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn should make “an appropriate and abject apology’’ to Louise O’Keeffe, Fianna Fáil Senator Denis O’Donovan told the Seanad.

He believed the State had failed her. “She was frustrated in her attempts to get justice and the High Court and the Supreme Court let her down,” he added. “She eventually found solace elsewhere in Europe. ”

Mr O’Donovan said that as politicians, they should feel a great shame at what happened to Ms O’Keeffe. He added that she had approached him when he was a TD some years ago and he felt frustrated because, first, his representations fell on deaf ears, and second, he was told the matter was sub judice and that it was a matter for the courts. “I admire her tenacity and courage in pursuing this case over nearly four decades.”

Mr O’Donovan said he was troubled about the situation developing in the State where there was “a David and Goliath battle” whenever a citizen took on the power of the State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Louise O'Keeffe: ‘The case should never have gone this far’

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

IN a room of about 30sq ft, surrounded by paintings of court scenes and old maps, Louise O’Keeffe held her breath for the result she’d wanted to hear for over 15 years.

The events were unravelling in the office of her solicitor Ernest Cantillon more than 40 years since the sexual abuse she went through in a small Co Cork school many miles west of this city centre office.

Further away still, Ernest’s colleague Mary Scriven was in a Strasbourg courtroom waiting to text the decision of the 17 judges in Louise’s case. As he sat beside her, eyes fixed on the smartphone in front of him, she smiled nervously through the silence as reporters and cameramen waited with them for the outcome.

About four minutes after word that the hearing was starting, Ernest’s phone beeped and, knowing the pre-determined code from his colleague in the Strasbourg courtroom, he said quietly. “We’ve just got one word. Win.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

O'Keeffe ruling offers hope to victims

IRELAND
Irish Times

Peter Murtagh

Tim O’Rourke was sexually abused by a teacher and is one of several dozen, perhaps several hundred, similar abuse victims for whom yesterday’s victory by Louise O’Keeffe at the European Court of Human Rights brings renewed hope of vindication by the State.

Mr O’Rourke was abused by a teacher, Donal Dunne, while attending Walsh Island National School in Co Offaly. Dunne, identified in the Ryan report into child abuse as John Brander, is now dead but was prosecuted three times, was convicted and sent to jail.

Dunne was a Christian Brother who abused children repeatedly as he was moved from Christian Brothers school to Christian Brothers school, and also while a teacher at national schools in Dublin, Longford, Laois and Offaly.

Mr O’Rourke was abused by Dunne in the mid-1960s. “I reported this, along with many others,” he says, but nothing was done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Former Pennridge softball coach admits to sex with girl player

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

January 27, 2014|By Laurie Mason Schroeder, Calkins Media

A former Pennridge softball coach who prosecutors say targeted underage girls as early as 2008 pleaded guilty Monday to sex charges stemming from his October arrest, when a girl's parents became suspicious about his relationship with their child and alerted police.

Eric Romig, 36, of Richland Township admitted guilt in Bucks County Court to numerous felony charges, including sexual contact with a student, corruption of minors and possession of child pornography.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Schorn said Romig propositioned two 16-year-old female players when he was the girls basketball coach at Faith Christian Academy in Sellersville during the 2008-09 school year. He sent one girl lewd text messages while she sat near him on an away game bus ride, Schorn said.

After a second teen came forward with similar allegations, Romig was "forced to resign," Schorn added.

But Faith Christian officials never called police, the prosecutor told a judge Monday, and Romig was never charged with any crime involving students at the school. Instead, he got a job as a softball coach at Pennridge High School, where he met and began a sexual relationship with another 16-year-old student.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Former Pennridge High School, Faith Christian Academy coach Eric Romig pleads guilty to sex with teen

PENNSYLVANIA
Montgomery News

By Bob Keeler and Erin Weaver
bkeeler@montgomerynews.com; erweaver@montgomerynews.com

Former Pennridge High School and Pennridge Belles softball coach and former Faith Christian Academy in Sellersville girls basketball coach Eric Romig pleaded guilty Monday, Jan. 27, to charges of having had a sexual relationship last year with one of the members of the softball teams, the Intelligencer reported.

Romig, 36, was arrested in October and charged with crimes including institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor.

A 16-year-old player on the two softball teams told investigators she and Romig began to “date” in May or June of 2013, after which Romig picked her up at her Perkasie home and took her to Earl B. Druckenmiller Park in Sellersville and to his home in Richland Township, according to information in the affidavit of probable cause.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Prosecutor: Bucks coach who assaulted girl had past accusations

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: January 28, 2014

DOYLESTOWN A former softball coach at a Bucks County high school pleaded guilty Monday to having sex with one of his players last year, five years after he had been allowed to quietly resign from another school where he made sexual advances toward girls.

Eric Romig, 36, is expected to face up to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to institutional sexual assault and possession of child pornography, for having sex and trading explicit videos and photos with a 16-year-old girl at Pennridge High School.

In a turn that made Romig's case stand out from the wave of recent cases against sexually predatory coaches in the region, the prosecutor said Monday that another area school may have concealed warning signs about the coach.

Jennifer Schorn, chief of the Bucks County District Attorney Office's major crimes division, said Romig made advances to two basketball players he coached at Faith Christian Academy in Sellersville in 2008 and 2009. One was a girl who got a text message from the coach, as she sat next to him on a bus, saying he wanted to have sex with her, Schorn said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

What about perv teachers?

PENNSYLVANIA
Phildadelphia Daily News

RONNIE POLANECZKY, DAILY NEWS COLUMNIST
POSTED: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

THE GOOD FOLKS at Faith Christian Academy in Sellersville didn't return my call yesterday. So I didn't get to ask what they made of the allegation by the Bucks County District Attorney's Office that the academy never reported a staff perv to police.

Instead, the academy allowed him to quietly slither away.

That perv would be one Eric Romig, 36, who was a coach at Faith Christian when he resigned "for health reasons" following accusations that he made sexual advances toward two female students in 2008 and 2009.

Romig got a new coaching gig at Pennridge High School, where he went trawling again. On Monday, he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a female student there. He had sex with her and traded explicit texts, videos and photos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

LA Archdiocese Hit With Sex Abuse Lawsuit

CALIFORNIA
NBC Los Angeles

[with video]

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles faced new legal action Tuesday after a lawsuit was filed alleging sexual abuse by a former volunteer.

Alleged victim Robert Reynolds, 23, claims he suffered repeated acts of childhood sexual abuse, including multiple acts of sodomy at the hands of Timothy Lawrence Kovacs, a licensed family and marriage therapist who volunteered with St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Temple City, said Reynolds’ attorney, Michael Kinslow, at a press conference Tuesday.

Cardinal Roger Mahony and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are among those named in the lawsuit.

"It's just horrendous. I can't even imagine what it would be like to endure repeated acts of oral copulation and sodomy," Kinslow said.

Reynolds spoke for the first time about the alleged abuse, which he said began when he was 13 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Temple City man alleges sexual abuse by Catholic Church volunteer

CALIFORNIA
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune

By Rebecca Kimitch, The San Gabriel Valley Tribune
POSTED: 01/28/14

TEMPLE CITY >> A young man has filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Church alleging he was a victim of sexual abuse for more than seven years at the hands of a St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church volunteer, who now works in the Baldwin Park Unified School District.

Robert Reynolds, 23, alleges Timothy Kovacs began molesting him in 2003, when he was 13 years old, and continued abusing him three to eight times a month until he was 20.

“The abuse was horrendous. It included multiple acts of sodomy,” Reynolds’ attorney Michael Kinslow said. “And the perpetrator attempted to convince the child it was a love relationship.”

Kovacs did not respond to phone calls requesting comment.

Kovacs was a volunteer confirmation coordinator at St. Luke’s from 2002 until 2005. He was removed from the post after a complaint was made to the parish alleging “inappropriate conduct with two young adults over the age of 18,” according to a statement from the Archdiocese, which said it was not informed of the 2005 complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Man charged with sexually assaulting girl in church bathroom

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

BY DEVIN KELLY
dkelly@adn.com
January 28, 2014

A 29-year-old man has been charged with sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl in a Mountain View church restroom, authorities said.

David Chiklak was arrested Sunday on a felony count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. The incident was reported just before noon on Sunday, police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said.

According to the charges, a woman and the 6-year-old were both in the women's restroom at the unidentified church when the woman heard a man asking the girl to leave with him.

The woman left the restroom and heard the girl crying. When she entered the men's restroom and looked through a crack in a stall door, she saw the man standing over the child with his belt unbuckled, the charges said.

Chiklak was detained by churchgoers in the building's parking lot.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Man charged with abusing child at Anchorage church

ALASKA
Westport News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 29-year-old man has charged with sexually abusing a girl at an Anchorage church.

David Chiklak was arrested Sunday outside a church in the Mountain View neighborhood on the city's northeast side.

A woman told Anchorage police she was in a bathroom with a girl at the church and heard someone call the child out of the room. The woman a short time later heard the girl crying in the men's bathroom.

Police say she entered the men's bathroom and saw a man with his belt unbuckled standing over the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

January 28, 2014

Salvation Army in Australia accused of raping children with a garden hose and other abuses

AUSTRALIA
The Raw Story

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Children were sodomised with a garden hose, locked in outdoor cages and savagely beaten by Salvation Army majors in graphic cases of abuse detailed Tuesday to an Australian inquiry.

A Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in Australia began hearing evidence into allegations of abuse at four Salvation Army homes for children between 1966 and 1977, which counsel assisting the inquiry Simeon Beckett warned would be “shocking to many”.

“The abuse that is to be detailed before the Royal Commission in the course of this case study is likely to be disturbing and at the severe end of sexual abuse,” he said in his opening address.

The investigative commission was established by former prime minister Julia Gillard in response to a series of child sex abuse scandals involving paedophile priests, though she insisted the probe would be much broader than the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Victim tells Royal Commission of abuse at Riverview

AUSTRALIA
My Daily News

Jessica Grewal 29th Jan 2014

A TORMENTED retiree, who was subjected to unimaginable childhood abuse at a Riverview boy's home, has unloaded decades of grief at a public hearing in Sydney.

Giving evidence before the royal commission into Institutional Responses into to Child Sex Abuse, Raymond Carlile wept as he recalled children being raped and beaten until they bled under the watch of the Salvation Army.

The 67-year-old, who in 2010 received a $100,000 in compensation from the Salvation Army, told the commission he was eight when he was sent to the home which later became known as the Endeavour Training Farm.

For three hours, Mr Carlile struggled through his accounts of the persistent sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a man known as Lieutenant Lawrence Wilson.

He told the commission Lt Wilson had said "I want you, you dirty little thing", the night he "grabbed" him from his bed, told him to get undressed and raped him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Salvation Army major 'punched 4yo boys in the face' at Alkira boys' home, royal commission hears

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Thomas Oriti

The royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard a Salvation Army officer working at a children's home punched boys as young as four in the face.

Wally McLeod has told the commission about his time at the Alkira Salvation Army Home for Boys at Indooroopilly in Queensland.

The facility is one of four operated by the Salvation Army that is being examined by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Over the next two weeks, the commission will also focus on cases at the Riverview Training Farm in Queensland, the Bexley Boys Home in Sydney and the Gill Memorial Home at Goulburn in southern New South Wales.

Mr McLeod was 12 when he was taken to the Indooroopilly home in 1960.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 PM

Maplewood priest faces trial in sex misconduct case, judge rules

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 01/28/2014

A Ramsey County judge found probable cause Tuesday for the case against Maplewood priest Mark Andrew Huberty to proceed to trial.

Huberty, 43, has been charged with one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a woman in his parish, Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Senior Judge Kathleen Gearin entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

She scheduled a pretrial hearing for Feb. 20 and a trial date of March 24, though trials are frequently delayed.

Prosecutors allege that, while providing spiritual guidance, Huberty fondled a female parishioner repeatedly and asked her to touch him sexually.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Philadelphia prosecutor appeals to restore church official's conviction in landmark abuse case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Republic

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press
January 28, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia prosecutors have urged Pennsylvania's highest court to restore the conviction of a Roman Catholic church official in a high-profile child endangerment case.

Monsignor William Lynn, 63, the former secretary for clergy in Philadelphia, had been convicted of endangering children by transferring an abusive priest in the 1990s to a new parish, where he abused an altar boy.

Lynn was the first U.S. church supervisor charged for his handling of sex abuse complaints against clergy. Prosecutors warned that people across the country are watching to see if the case holds up.

But an appeals court threw out his case last month, saying Lynn should never have been charged because the law only applied to those directly responsible for the child victim. Lynn was freed after 18 months in prison and remains on house arrest at a rectory.

However, prosecutors appealed that Superior Court ruling Monday to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Salvation Army abuse: Boys 'punched and locked in cages' at homes, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

By Emily Bourke and Thomas Oriti

The royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard harrowing details of small boys being dragged from their beds and raped within children's homes operated by the Salvation Army.

On Tuesday the commission began its fifth inquiry, this time examining cases of abuse at four boys' homes operated by the prominent charity.

Some of the evidence presented today shocked even some survivors and their advocates, including the caging of children, punishment parades, and appalling Dickensian conditions.

The hearing is investigating incidents at the Alkira Salvation Army Home for Boys at Indooroopilly in Queensland, the Riverview Training Farm at Riverview in Queensland, the Bexley Boys' Home in Sydney, and the Gill Memorial Home at Goulburn in southern New South Wales.

The actions of at least five Salvation Army officers are set to be scrutinised by the commission, with 13 former residents of the homes expected to give evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Courage is a triumph of human spirit

AUSTRALIA
News Mail

Shelley Strachan 29th Jan 2014

THE royal commission into the institutional responses to shocking child sexual abuse at Salvation Army homes in the 1960s and '70s heard evidence on its first day yesterday from the Gympie court house.

A key witness who now lives in retirement in Kilkivan was one of the young boys who suffered unspeakable, prolonged abuse.

Incredibly - and it's a testament to the human spirit - his courage and resilience were not utterly destroyed at the hands of, in particular, one depraved monster left in charge of the young boys.

It is not easy to stay calm and rational when you are confronted with the brutal reality of what some humans are capable of.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Inquiry hears that Termonbacca nuns ‘nearly psychotic’

NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

Nuns who ran a hell hole children’s home in Northern Ireland were nearly psychotic, a former resident said.

The Sisters of Nazareth property in Londonderry was like Auschwitz, youngsters’ screams of despair still haunting survivors, the UK’s largest ever inquiry into institutional child abuse was told.

Inmates formed chain gangs to polish floors until they sparkled - with arms linked and rags under both feet - and were beaten with bamboo canes and straps.

One witness reported sexual abuse by older boys to a nun.

The sister allegedly said: “You are a bad boy, you are going to hell, nothing like that ever happened.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

IRELAND- European court rules for Irish child sex abuse victim

IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 28 2014

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 applaud the European Court of Human Rights for siding with an Irish woman who was sexually abused as a youngster by her school principal. The Irish state, the court ruled, failed to protect her.

[Breaking News]

Being involved in the struggle for children's safety for 25 years, we have learned two things. First, every individual and institution that endangered kids and protected predators must be exposed and punished, if ever child sex crimes and cover ups are to be stopped. And second, when one or two or three avenues for justice are closed to victims, we must be more persistent and creative about seeking help elsewhere, even if it means going to international bodies like the European Court of Human Rights.

When secular authorities, like religious figures, ignore or hide crimes against kids, they must be held responsible, no matter where or when the wrongdoing occurred. Long after World War II, law enforcement agencies track down and prosecute war crimes, because as civilized people, we want to send a strong signal that those who would torture others will be pursued forever.

The same persistence must be shown against those who would hurt kids and help others hurt kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

PA--Philly DA appeals priest case to PA Supreme Court

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 28

Statement by Karen Polesir of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 267-992-9463, karenpolesir@yahoo.com )

We are grateful that Philadelphia prosecutors are following through with their work to protect kids by trying to get Msgr. William Lynn back behind bars.

Yesterday, the DA's office formally asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear its appeal of the Superior Court's reversal of Msgr. Lynn's conviction. We hope the justices respond favorably and put the physical safety of vulnerable kids and the emotional well-being of wounded adult ahead of one wrongdoer's freedom.

Deterring those who would protect and enable child molesters – that's the issue here. Pennsylvania lawmakers aren't doing this. They repeatedly refuse to open a civil “window” that would expose – and deter – adults who hide child sex crimes (thus ensuring that more such crimes happen).

And Catholic officials aren't doing this (as evidenced by their refusal to even denounce Msgr. Lynn and by Archbishop Charles Chaput's willingness to bail Msgr. Lynn out and house him at a Catholic parish).

Because of this refusal – by church officials and Pennsylvania's lawmakers - it's especially important that Pennsylvania's highest court takes action to protect kids, discourage crimes and continue letting police, prosecutors and victims use the justice system to go after those who commit and conceal sexual violence against the most vulnerable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Philly District Attorney files appeal of Monsignor William Lynn's overturned conviction

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

[court document]

BRIAN X. MCCRONE, PHILLY.COM
LAST UPDATED: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

District Attorney Seth Williams has filed an appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the overturned conviction of Monsignor William Lynn.

In the 35-page appeal, Williams argued "the Superior Court erred in holding that a church official who systemically reassigned pedophile priests in a manner that risked further sexual abuse of children did not endanger the welfare of children."

"If, as the Superior Court held, it was legally impossible for defendant to endanger the welfare of children in his individual capacity, the evidence was sufficient to prove his guilt as an accomplice," Williams argued in the appeal.

Late last month, a three-judge panel reversed the priest's conviction and ordered the Archdiocese official to be freed on bail while a ruling by a higher state court weighed whether an official overseeing someone convicted of sexual abuse could in turn be tried under Pennsylvania's child-endangerment laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Special tribunal finds priest guilty of offenses against the Sixth Commandment

ARIZONA
The Catholic Sun

A special tribunal has notified the Diocese of Phoenix that it has found Fr. John Spaulding guilty of sins against the Sixth Commandment with a minor, stemming from four accusations of sexual abuse against the priest.

The judgment was reached by an independent panel of three judges from around the country. The panel was convened at the direction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome and tasked with the responsibility of investigating abuse allegations against Fr. Spaulding. The three-judge panel was made up of priests from around the country with doctorates in canon law.

The special tribunal recommended that Fr. Spaulding be dismissed from the clerical state, a process commonly known as “laicization.” Fr. Spaulding has the right to appeal and has a canon lawyer representing him throughout the court process.

As a result of the judgment, the penalty of laicization would become effective upon finalization of the case by the CDF, following the completion of any appeal made by Fr. Spaulding and confirmation by the Holy See. Fr. Spaulding would no longer be permitted to function in any way as a priest of the Church and could not identify himself as a Catholic priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Appeals Court Upholds 35-Year Sentence For Former Chattanooga Priest

TENNESSEE
Chattanoogan

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A 35-year sentence for a former Chattanooga priest has been upheld by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.

William Casey served at Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Chattanooga from 1969 to 1972.

In 2011, he was found guilty after a trial by jury of one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of aggravated rape. The charges stemmed from conduct that occurred in 1979 and 1980, while the victim attended a school associated with the church.

The ruling says, "On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred by refusing to dismiss his indictment because forcing him to stand trial more than thirty years after the crimes were committed violated his due process rights under the federal and state constitutions. However, reviewing these facts in light of the relevant test governing unconstitutional “preaccusatorial” delay set forth in State v. Gray, 917 S.W.2d 668 (Tenn. 1996), we hold that the thirty-two year delay in the defendant’s prosecution did not violate the constitutional rights of the defendant. The defendant also claims that the trial court committed errors with respect to myriad evidentiary and procedural matters relating to his motion to dismiss.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

DA Appeals Release of Disgraced Priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

Philadelphia prosecutors have appealed to the state's highest court to restore the endangerment conviction of a Roman Catholic church official.

Monsignor William Lynn is on house arrest, restricted to two floors at the rectory at St. William Parish in Northeast Philly after a mid-level appeals court threw out his case. He must report to a probation officer weekly.

Lynn, the former secretary for clergy in Philadelphia, was convicted in 2012 of endangering children by transferring a predator-priest in the 1990s. The Superior Court said last month he should not have been charged because the law did not apply to supervisors.

Lynn was freed after the Roman Catholic Church posted 10-percent of his $250,000 bail. The disgraced priest spent 18 months in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Survivors of abuse hit out at church support service

IRELAND
Irish Independent

SARAH MAC DONALD – 20 JANUARY 2014

CLERICAL abuse survivors claim that they have been excluded from consultations over the establishment of a Catholic Church support service aimed at catering for their spiritual needs.

According to some high-profile survivors, they have been not been given a proper opportunity to advise on how the service, backed by the bishops, the Irish Missionary Union (IMU) and the Conference of Religious Superiors (CORI), should be structured.

Last December, the bishops announced that the 'Towards Peace' support service would be launched this year and would offer spiritual support to victims who suffered abuse at the hands of clerics or religious if their faith in God and the Church had been affected by their experience of sexual abuse.

The soon to be launched service will be free to clients, as the costs will be borne by the Bishops Conference (ICBC), CORI and the IMU.

An awareness campaign will be launched later this year, and the operation of the service will be reviewed in 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Schottland: Berufungsgericht hebt Urteil gegen Priester auf

SCHOTTLAND
kath.net

[Summary: An appeals court has reversed a judgement against an Edinburgh Catholic priest and chaplain in a sexual harassment case. After eight years, the priest has been acquitted on charges of sexual harassment.]

Das Berufungsgericht Edinburgh hat das Urteil gegen einen katholischen Priester und Hochschulseelsorger wegen sexueller Belästigung aufgehoben. Wichtige Zeugen waren nicht gehört worden.

Edinburgh (kath.net/CWN/jg)
Acht Jahre nach der Verurteilung in erster Instanz ist ein katholischer Priester vom Berufungsgericht in Edinburgh vom Vorwurf der sexuellen Belästigung frei gesprochen worden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Education Minister to take legal advice on Louise O'Keefe judgement

IRELAND
Newstalk

Jack Quann

The Education Minister says he needs to take legal advice before commenting further on the Louise O'Keeffe judgement at the European Court of Human Rights.

The Court overturned an Irish Supreme Court ruling that the State was not liable for the actions of the principal of her primary school when he abused her in the 1970s.

Ms. O'Keeffe was abused at Dunderrow National School near Kinsale in 1973 when she was aged 9. The principal, Leo Hickey, was later jailed and also paid Louise damages following a civil action.

Hickey was jailed for three years and was ordered to pay Ms. O'Keeffe over €300,000 in damages in a civil action.

Both the High Court and Supreme Courts dismissed a claim of direct negligence against the State because they said the State did not directly employ her abuser. Louise O'Keeffe took her case to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing in Europe that the structures in place did not properly protect her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Irish state held liable for abuse in Catholic school

IRELAND
Scottish Catholic Observer

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has today found the Irish state liable for sexual abuse suffered by a girl at the hands of the principal of a Catholic-run state primary school in the 1970s

In the case of Louise O’Keefe—who was 9 years old when she was abused at Dunderrow National School, Cork—both the High Court and Supreme Court in Ireland had ruled that the state was not responsible for the assaults. However, the ECHR today overruled their judgements.

“The court found that it was an inherent obligation of a government to protect children from ill-treatment, especially in a primary education context,” the Strasbourg-based court said in its ruling. “That obligation had not been met.”

Ms O’Keefe, now 49 years old, said she was ‘delighted’ that the Irish state had been held accountable by the European Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Louise O'Keefe wins case at European Court over childhood abuse

IRELAND
Breaking News

A Corkwoman who was sexually abused by her school principal has won a landmark lawsuit against the Irish state for failing to protect her.

Louise O’Keeffe took Ireland to the European Court of Human Rights claiming inhuman and degrading treatment while aged nine at Dunderrow National School in Co Cork in 1973.

The Strasbourg-based court ruled today that her rights were breached on two grounds in a judgment that could have massive ramifications for other survivors of abuse, including in terms of compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Irland muss für sexuellen Missbrauch an Schule zahlen

IRLAND
Sueddeutsche (Deutschland)

30 000 Euro Schmerzensgeld bekommt eine Frau, die als Kind an einer katholischen Schule in Irland missbraucht wurde. Der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte sieht dabei den Staat in der Verantwortung.

Die irische Regierung muss nach einem Urteil des Europäischen Gerichtshofes für Menschenrechte (EGMR) für einen Fall von sexuellem Missbrauch 30 000 Euro Schmerzensgeld zahlen. Das Gericht sprach dem Staat damit eine Mitverantwortung an den Vergehen an einer katholischen Schule zu.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

Jahrelanger Kindesmissbrauch bei Heilsarmee in Australien

AUSTRALIEN
Tiroler Tageszeitung

[Summary: Shocking details of abuse were revealed at a hearing on child abuse in Salvation Army institutions from 1966 to 1977. Corporal punishment and sexual abuse occurred frequently, according to inquiry counsel.]

Sydney - Eine Anhörung zu Kindesmissbrauch in vier Einrichtungen der Heilsarmee in Australien zwischen 1966 und 1977 hat am Dienstag schockierende Details zutage gebracht. Der Rechtsbeistand der Untersuchungskommission, Simeon Beckett, sagte zu Beginn, körperliche Bestrafung und sexuellen Missbrauch habe es häufig gegeben.

Die Schutzbefohlenen seien mit Faustschlägen traktiert, mit Gewalt auf den Boden oder gegen die Wand geschleudert sowie mit Stöcken oder Riemen blutig geschlagen worden. Wiederholt wurden demnach die Opfer vergewaltigt, in einem Fall mit einem Gartenschlauch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Missbrauch im Internat: „Ich glaube beiden und bitte um Vergebung!“

DEUTSCHLAND
Augsburger Allgemeine

[Summary: Abbot Theodor Hausmann has responded to accusations made by composer Wilfired Hillier and Michael Lerchenberg, actor, director and artistic director, about abuse they said they suffered at the boarding school at the St. Stephen monastery in Augsburg. The abbott said he believes the descriptions given by Hiller and Lerchenberg are essentially correct and he apologized. He said he has received three complaints.]

Züchtigungen und sexueller Missbrauch in einem katholischen Augsburger Internat: So reagiert Abt Theodor Hausmann auf die Vorwürfe von Wilfried Hiller und Michael Lerchenberg. Von Rüdiger Heinze

Nach dem Komponisten Wilfried Hiller hat auch der Schauspieler, Regisseur und Intendant Michael Lerchenberg erstmals öffentlich schwere Vorwürfe gegenüber mehreren Patres am 2005 geschlossenen Vollinternat St. Joseph des Augsburger Klosters St. Stephan erhoben: Züchtigungen sowie sexueller Missbrauch habe es dort Mitte der 50er bzw. Mitte der 60er Jahre wiederholt gegeben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

ROLLING STONE LIKES THE POPE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on the Feb. 13th cover story in Rolling Stone:

The lengthy piece by Mark Binelli on Pope Francis is respectful, though hardly without flaws. Like so many of the pope’s new fans, Binelli’s bouquets come at the price of exaggerating the Holy Father’s uniqueness, and unfairly characterizing his predecessors.

Binelli likes it that Francis smiles a lot in public, but anyone who is objective would extend the same compliment to both Pope Benedict XVI and Blessed Pope John Paul II. Francis is praised for saying “go without fear.” Yet “Be Not Afraid” was John Paul’s signature statement. The new pope is applauded for reaching out to liberation theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez, yet a bolder move was made when Benedict invited dissident theologian Hans Küng to meet with him. Francis wins points for kissing the feet of AIDS patients, yet such acts of kindness are hardly unique—the late Cardinal John O’Connor emptied their bed pans.

Binelli says that Francis “still considers abortion an evil.” Still? I bet the pope “still” regards all forms of unjust killing to be evil. Binelli is so excited by the pope’s words, “Who am I to judge?”, that he mentions them twice. But like so many others, he fails to cite what the pope really said: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” The pope’s qualifiers should tell Binelli something.
asdfgh

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

TN- Pedophile priest conviction upheld

TENNESSEE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 28 2014

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 a three judge panel has upheld the conviction of a predator priest. Fr. William C. Casey should remain behind bars. And his former Catholic officials should take aggressive steps to find, and help, his other victims.

[Times News]

We are glad this brave man, Warren Tucker, will get his day in court. We are proud that he is protecting others. And we’re grateful that this predator, Fr. William Casey, is being held responsible for his heinous crimes.

Every time a pedophile priest is prosecuted, kids are safer. We applaud Warren for his courage and are confident that Casey will stay locked up.

We hope this positive news will encourage others who have been hurt by child molesting clerics to come forward, get help, call police, protect kids and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Lay groups seek to offer input on bishop selection

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporteri

Megan Fincher | Jan. 28, 2014

Two East Coast Catholic groups, emboldened by the vision of Vatican II, are advocating for lay participation in the selection of bishops. The unexpected snag is figuring out how the laity are allowed to participate in this little-known process.

"I believe that people may be disinterested in the bishop search ... because they do not believe that [their participation] will make any difference given the hierarchical decision-making structure of the church," Dave Rowell, a member of the Albany (N.Y.) Bishop Search committee, told NCR.

Tom Severin, member of the Ambrosians of Greensburg, Pa., another lay bishop search committee, concurred. Their group is named after St. Ambrose, one of the early church bishops elected by popular vote.

"It's something completely new to people. Most people have no idea how bishops are elected," Severin said to NCR. "In my Bible study group, they were excited about the Ambrosians. But then they asked if it was sanctioned by the diocese. You could see the fear on their faces."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Retired Handcross priest charged with historic sex offences

UNITED KINGDOM
West Sussex Gazette

A retired Church of England priest has been charged with historic sex offences against young men.

Vickery House, 68, of Brighton Road, Handcross, was charged today, (Tuesday January 28), on the authority of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), following an investigation by detectives from Sussex Police over the past 18 months.

House faces a total of eight charges of indecent assault between 1970 and 1986.

Two of the charges relate to a boy then aged 15 in Devon, while the other six relate to men in East Sussex aged between 17 and 34.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Vatican announces early resignation of prominent Melkite archbishop in Israel

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

In a surprise move, Pope Francis has accepted the early resignation of a prominent Melkite Catholic archbishop in Israel.

The Vatican announced on January 27 that the Pontiff had accepted the resignation of Archbishop Elias Chacour of Akka, in northern Israel. The archbishop, a noted advocate of non-violence and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. A native Palestinian himself, he was also the first Israeli citizen to be appointed a Catholic bishop.

The announcement of Archbishop Chacour’s resignation was surprising because it came several months before his 75th birthday. The Vatican offered no explanation for the unusual move.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Children’s homes like Nazi camps

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Journal

A former resident of a children’s home run by nuns in Derry has likened it to a Nazi concentration camp.

The man told the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry that the church-run St Joseph’s Boys’ Home at Termonbacca in Derry was a “hell hole”.

He told this morning’s hearings in Banbridge that he was in a “chain gang” polishing floors, was bathed in detergent as punishment and was sexually assaulted by a woman when he was aged five or six.

The Sisters of Nazareth oversaw both the St Joseph’s Home and the Nazareth House Children’s Home at nearby Bishop Street. The witness claimed: “It was kind of like a Zyklon B gas chamber.”

The alleged abuse happened in the 1950s and 60s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Retired priest faces sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Littlehampton Gazette

A retired Church of England priest from West Sussex has been charged with a catalogue of sex offences on boys and young men dating back more than 40 years.

Vickery House, 68, faces eight charges of indecent assault on a then-aged 15-year-old boy and five males aged 17 to 34 between 1970 and 1986.

He was charged following an 18-month inquiry by Sussex Police with offences which were allegedly committed in East Sussex and Devon.

House, of Brighton Road, Handcross, has been freed on bail and will appear at Brighton Magistrates' Court on February 27.

Police said he faces two indecent assault charges on a boy who was then aged 15 in Devon between 1970 and 1971.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Pope Francis: The Times They Are A-Changin'

UNITED STATES
Rolling Stone

By Mark Binelli
January 28, 2014

Nearly every Wednesday in Rome, the faithful and the curious gather in St. Peter's Square for a general audience with the pope. Since the election of the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio last March, attendance at papal events has tripled to 6.6 million. On a recent chilly morning in December, the thousands of amassed pilgrims appear to gleam in the sunlight, covering the square like a pixelated carpet. Maybe it's all the smartphones raised to the heavens.

Up close, Pope Francis, the 266th vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth, a man whose obvious humility, empathy and, above all, devotion to the economically disenfranchised has come to feel perfectly suited to our times, looks stouter than on television. Having famously dispensed with the more flamboyant pontifical accessories, he's also surprisingly stylish, today wearing a double-breasted white overcoat, white scarf and slightly creamier cassock, all impeccably tailored.

The topic of Francis' catechesis, or teaching, is Judgment Day, though, true to form, he does not try to conjure images of fire and brimstone. His predecessor, Benedict XVI, speaking on the topic, once said, "Today we are used to thinking: 'What is sin? God is great, he understands us, so sin does not count; in the end God will be good toward all.' It's a nice hope. But there is justice, and there is real blame."

Francis, 77, by contrast, implores the crowd to think of the prospect of meeting one's maker as something to look forward to, like a wedding, where Jesus and all of the saints in heaven will be waiting with open arms. He looks up from his script twice to repeat key lines: avanti senza paura ("go without fear") and che quel giudizio finale è già in atto ("the final judgment is already happening"). Coming from this pope, the latter point sounds more like a friendly reminder. His voice is disarmingly gentle, even when amplified over a vast public square.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Former Kingsport priest has conviction upheld by appeals court

TENNESSEE
Times News

NICK SHEPHERD
General Assignment
nshepherd@timesnews.net

January 28th, 2014 10:40 am by NICK SHEPHERD

A former Kingsport Catholic priest sentenced to 35 years in prison had his sentence upheld by the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

William Casey, 79, was convicted in 2011 for first-degree sexual misconduct and two counts of aggravated rape. He was alleged to have sexually abused an alter boy shortly after becoming priest of St. Dominic's Catholic Church in the 1970s.

"I'm pleased the the conviction was affirmed," said District Attorney Barry Staubus. "It was a very tough case and I'm glad the Court of Appeals affirmed it."

Casey was sentenced to 15 to 20 years on the first-degree criminal sexual misconduct and two concurrent 20-year terms on the two aggravated rape counts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Salvos raped children in care

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN JANUARY 29, 2014

A SALVATION Army captain raped young children in his care, sent boys to other adults' homes to be sexually assaulted, and oversaw a children's home where members of the public entered the dormitories at night to commit further abuse.

The man, Lawrence Wilson, was one of five Salvation Army officers who allegedly abused dozens of boys at four children's homes in Queensland and NSW, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard yesterday.

The five worked together or succeeded one another at the homes between 1957 and 1975, the commission heard, with Wilson on at least one occasion allegedly helping one of the others move between states to avoid jail.

Many of the children they allegedly abused had been abandoned or taken from their parents for their own protection before being sent to the homes, where they often went hungry and shoeless, and were subjected to routine cruelty, the commission heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Historical Abuse Inquiry hears Sisters of Nazareth nuns 'were almost psychotic'

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

Nuns' treatment of children at a residential care home was "bordering on the psychotic", Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry has been told.

Sisters of Nazareth nuns thumped and kicked children at Termonbacca, the first witness to give evidence said.

The former resident described the home as a "hell-hole" and likened it to a concentration camp.

He said children were forced to clean floors in a chain, with their arms linked and rags under both feet.

The inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children's residential institutions from 1922 to 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Northern Ireland Child Abuse: Children Forced To 'Eat Their Own Vomit' In Church-Run 'Hell Hole'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Huffington Post

Children at residential homes run by Catholic nuns were treated like prisoners at a Nazi concentration camp, a former resident has claimed.

The largest ever public inquiry into child abuse at residential care homes in Northern Ireland has heard harrowing details of victim's experiences.

Children at the church-run "hell hole" were made to eat their own vomit, the court had already been told.

Young people at Sisters of Nazareth properties in Derry were known by their numbers rather than names and many allegedly subjected to humiliation, threats and physical abuse, counsel to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry Christine Smith QC said.

One witness told the inquiry on Tuesday he was put in a chain gang polishing floors, bathed in detergent as punishment and sexually assaulted by a woman when he was aged five or six.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Man describes 'psychotic' behaviour of Derry nuns at children's home

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Guardian (UK)

Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
theguardian.com, Tuesday 28 January 2014

Nuns at a care home for children in Northern Ireland behaved like they were psychotic, the largest ever inquiry in UK legal history into child abuse has heard.

A former child resident told the inquiry on Tuesday that the Sisters of Nazareth in the Termonbacca care home thumped and kicked children.

In his evidence to the historical institutional abuse inquiry, the witness described the Derry home as a "hellhole" and akin to a concentration camp.

Some children, dressed in rags, were chained and forced to clean floors, the man told the inquiry at Banbridge courthouse.

The witness said he was once sexually abused by a woman at the home, although he could not recall if it was a nun or a civilian worker. At the time he was aged five or six years and was later transferred from the Derry home to another run by the Christian Brothers in the Irish Republic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

NY--Accused New York priest passes away

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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

Accused New York priest passes away
He molested young seminarians & worked in Goshen
After his victims came forward, cleric was sent to Rome
He was subject of newspaper investigation on "runaway priests"
Victims blast Cardinal Dolan & religious order for “continuing secrecy”

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is disclosing that a New York Catholic priest who was accused of molesting children has passed away. Investigative reporters discovered Mataconis "in hiding" in Rome.

[Dallas Morning News]

He is Fr. Richard Mataconis who worked in Goshen in the Archdiocese of New York, where two boys accused him of abuse. He also went by the name Philip Mataconis.

Mataconis’ death was mentioned in the January 23, 2014, newsletter of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the religious order to which he belonged.

In 2012, Mataconis was sued for allegedly molesting two boys at a Salesian center in Goshen, NY, in the Archdiocese of New York. The suits were dismissed because of a legal technicality. Soon after, Mataconis fled the country.

A 2004 investigation by the Dallas Morning News found that Fr. Mataconis was living in Rome, where he was guiding tours of the Catacombs of St. Callistus and "mingling with adults and children."

[BishopAccountability.org]

SNAP believes he was intentionally sent there by Salesian officials who feared that there may be more Matagonis victims in the US with rights in civil or criminal courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Federal government sues Catholic entities involved in residential schools

CANADA
Catholic Register

Written by Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

OTTAWA - The federal government is suing Catholic entities involved in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement over $1.5 million in contested funds.

“We had requested mediation” and binding arbitration, said Grouard-McLennan Archbishop Gerard Pettipas, who chairs the board of the Corporation of Catholic Entities Party to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement), representing more than 50 Catholic entities, either dioceses or religious orders that ran Indian residential schools.

The archbishop also expressed “frustration” with the results of a fundraising campaign that was part of the $79-million settlement.

“We were to take up a Canada-wide campaign to try to raise $25 million,” Pettipas said. “It is evident to us now we are not going to meet that goal.”

The fundraising portion of the agreement is not a part of the lawsuit, and contrary to news reports, is not owed the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, the archbishop explained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Children's homes 'like Auschwitz'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

28 JANUARY 2014

Church-run "hell hole" children's homes in Ireland were like Nazi concentration camps, a former resident claimed.

He was in a chain gang polishing floors, bathed in detergent as punishment and sexually assaulted by a woman when he was aged five or six, the witness told the UK's largest ever inquiry into child abuse.

The Sisters of Nazareth order of nuns oversaw St Joseph's Home in Termonbacca in Londonderry and used to bath the children in Jeyes fluid.

The witness claimed: "It was kind of like a Zyklon B gas chamber."

The alleged abuse happened in the 1950s and 60s. He was later transferred to a home in Galway in the Irish Republic owned by the Christian Brothers.

"Essentially a Gulag, a child's prison," he claimed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Former resident compares children's homes to Nazi concentration camps

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

A former resident of children’s homes in Northern Ireland and the Republic has compared them to Nazi concentration camps or gulags

The 62-year-old Co Donegal native told Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry that he was sexually assaulted by a woman when he was aged five or six.

The man was a resident at St Joseph’s Home in Termonbacca in Derry, which was run by the Nazareth Order of nuns, at the time.

He told the inquiry he did not know whether the woman was a lay member of staff or a nun.

The man said he and his brother were later transferred to an Industrial School in Galway run by the Christian Brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Woman abused by priest speaks out: '... There was this blackness over my soul'

OREGON
KPTV

[with video]

EUGENE, OR (KPTV) -
She survived years of sex abuse at the hand of her priest, prompting her to file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Portland.

Carolee Horning has tried to remain out of the spotlight throughout it all over the years, keeping the details of what happened to her private.

But now, she's deciding to share her personal struggle with FOX 12 as part of an investigative series shedding light on the issue of child sex abuse in Oregon.

"I used to say, when I talked about him, there was this blackness over my soul," Horning said.

For 20 years she kept his secret, manipulated by her spiritual mentor.

"It started when I was a teen. Nobody knew," she said. "But you contribute to the problem when you shut it out. It's happening to someone right now," said Horning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

S*x hungry muslim priest arrested for abusing puplis

GHANA
Spy Ghana

RESIDENTS OF VALCO Flats, a suburb of Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region, are on the heels of an Islamic cleric who allegedly sexually abused some pupils of an Islamic school he heads.

The cleric, whose name was only mentioned as Mallam Ibrahim, was said to have lured some female pupils of his school to his room and forced them to suck his manhood before having sexual intercourse with them, so he could spare them sanctions for any wrongdoing.

A resident who captured a spectacle of the Mallam naked on video, confronted him, but the Mallam threatened to deal with him.

Mallam Ibrahim absconded after he was physically confronted by residents who saw the picture of him ‘in action’. He is currently at large.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Salvation Army officers abuse of children 'violent and extreme'

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN JANUARY 28, 2014

DOZENS of children suffered "violent and extreme" abuse at the hands of five Salvation Army officers who worked together at boys' homes in Queensland and NSW over several decades, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard.

The men swapped jobs, shared victims and in at least one case helped each other move to new positions within the organisation in order to avoid jail, the commission has heard.

Some of the children under their care were also sexually abused by other Salvation Army officers and staff, as well as members of the public, including two pensioners allowed to live on the site of one boys' home and others who were given access to the children's dormitories at night.

Other deeply traumatic evidence before the commission alleges boys were raped until they bled, were beaten and kept in cages for days when they attempted to report their own abuse, and were on occasion forced to eat their own vomit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Salvation Army investigated for abuse

AUSTRALIA
7 News

[video]

The Royal Commission into institutional sexual abuse has begun a public hearing into the Salvation Army.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Commission hears of hungry boys eating grass at Salvation Army home

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Tuesday 28 January 2014

The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse heard on Tuesday how boys at one Salvation Army home ate grass and raw potatoes because they were so hungry.

Raymond Carlile, who was seven when he and his younger brother were sent to a Salvos home at Riverview in Queensland in the 1950s, also told the inquiry that children who had wet the bed were made to sleep on a veranda with just a lattice frame between them and the elements.

His brother, who had a kidney removed before he was sent to the home, endured the punishment. They were so hungry his brother ate grass.

"I tried to encourage him to eat the potatoes", said Carlile, who recalled how he found raw potatoes stored under the veranda and ate them.

Carlile said he witnessed boys being caned until they bled. He said Salvation Army officer Lieutenant Laurence Wilson was the most brutal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Salvation Army 'abused boys'

AUSTRALIA
Stuff

Young boys were locked in a cage for days on end as part of a brutal regime of physical and sexual abuse meted out to dozens of youngsters at Salvation Army homes in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, a royal commission into child-sex abuse has heard.

And the Salvation Army's leadership often failed to discipline or remove the perpetrators, but simply moved them to other homes where they frequently continued the abuse.

The revelations came during the first public hearing in Sydney by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for 2014.

In his opening address, counsel assisting the commission, Simeon Beckett, said the focus of the hearings would be on the "contemporaneous response by the Salvation Army and relevant government agencies to child-sex abuse within the Alkira home for boys in Indooroopilly, Queensland; the Riverview Training Farm, also in Queensland; Bexley Boys home in North Bexley; and the Gill Memorial Home in Goulburn".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Salvation Army horror inquiry

AUSTRALIA
7 News

[video]

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse has heard young boys were raped, beaten and locked in a cage as part of a brutal regime at Salvation Army boys’ homes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Salvo child abuse 'extreme', inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
Weekly Times

BY ANNETTE BLACKWELL AAP JANUARY 28, 2014

A SALVATION Army officer in Sydney would send boys who were in care to the homes of adults to be sexually assaulted, an inquiry has been told.

The officer, Captain Lawrence Wilson, was moved by the Salvation Army between four boys' homes in Queensland and NSW between the late 1950s and 1977.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began its investigation at a public hearing in Sydney on Tuesday into what happened at those homes - the Alkira Home for Boys at Indooroopilly and the Endeavour Training Farm at Riverview, both in Queensland, as well as the Bexley Boys Home in Sydney and the Gill Memorial Home in Goulburn, NSW.

All the homes have since closed.

Mr Wilson, who died in 2008, began his career in 1956 when he was posted as an assistant officer to the Riverview farm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Salvation Army abuse: Boys 'punched and locked in cages' at homes, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC

BY EMILY BOURKE AND THOMAS ORITI
January 28, 2014

The royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard harrowing details of small boys being dragged from their beds and raped within children's homes operated by the Salvation Army.

This morning the commission began its fifth inquiry, this time examining cases of abuse at four boys' homes operated by the prominent charity.

Some of the evidence presented today shocked even some survivors and their advocates, including the caging of children, punishment parades, and appalling Dickensian conditions.

The hearing is investigating incidents at the Alkira Salvation Army Home for Boys at Indooroopilly in Queensland, the Riverview Training Farm at Riverview in Queensland, the Bexley Boys' Home in Sydney, and the Gill Memorial Home at Goulburn in southern New South Wales.

The actions of at least five Salvation Army officers are set to be scrutinised by the commission, with 13 former residents of the homes expected to give evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Inquiry hears extreme Salvo child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A Salvation Army officer in Sydney would send boys who were in care to the homes of adults to be sexually assaulted, an inquiry has been told.

The officer, Captain Lawrence Wilson, was moved by the Salvation Army between four boys' homes in Queensland and NSW between the late 1950s and 1977.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began its investigation at a public hearing in Sydney on Tuesday into what happened at those homes - the Alkira Home for Boys at Indooroopilly and the Endeavour Training Farm at Riverview, both in Queensland, as well as the Bexley Boys Home in Sydney and the Gill Memorial Home in Goulburn, NSW.

All the homes have since closed.

Mr Wilson, who died in 2008, began his career in 1956 when he was posted as an assistant officer to the Riverview farm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Salvation Army abuse at 'severe end' of scale

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 29, 2014

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

Raymond Carlile's little brother was so hungry he had started eating grass.

After months of being fed scraps of fruit and vegetables that were intended for farm animals at a Salvation Army boys' home in Queensland his wasn't the only stomach that was grumbling.

''They kept a load of raw potatoes under the building and we used to go under there and steal them when we were hungry,'' Mr Carlile, now in his 70s, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday.

Mr Carlile's story is just a tiny glimpse of the deprivation and abuse suffered by scores of young boys at the hands of the Salvation Army at boys' homes in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, the commission heard.

In his opening address, counsel assisting the commission, Simeon Beckett, set out horrific allegations of brutal sexual and physical abuse in which boys aged 6 to 17 were raped and forced to have sex with each other under threat of extreme physical violence that included being flogged, beaten and locked up in cages for up to nine days at a time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

SHINE THE LIGHT: Home boys hit, caged, abused

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By PAUL BIBBY Jan. 28, 2014

YOUNG boys were locked in a cage for days on end as part of a brutal regime of physical and sexual abuse for dozens of youngsters at Salvation Army homes in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, a royal commission into child-sex abuse has heard.

And the Salvation Army’s leadership often failed to discipline or remove the perpetrators, but simply moved them to other homes where they often continued the abuse.

The revelations came during the first public hearing in Sydney by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for 2014.

In his opening address, counsel assisting the commission Simeon Beckett said the focus of the hearings would be on the ‘‘contemporaneous response by the Salvation Army and relevant government agencies to child-sex abuse within the Alkira home for boys in Indooroopilly, Queensland; the Riverview Training Farm, also in Queensland; Bexley Boys home in North Bexley; and the Gill Memorial Home in Goulburn’’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church

VATICAN CITY
NPR

[with audio]

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists when Benito Mussolini's party ruled over Italy in the 1920s and '30s. But in The Pope and Mussolini, David Kertzer says the historical record and a trove of recently released archives tell a very different story.

It's fascinating, Kertzer tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, "how in a very brief period of time, Mussolini came to realize the importance of enlisting the pope's support."

In 1933, fascist rallies typically began with a morning mass celebrated by a priest, and churches and cathedrals were important props in the pageantry. Kertzer says Pope Pius XI cooperated closely with Mussolini for more than a decade, lending his regime organizational strength and moral legitimacy. It was a particularly curious alliance he notes, since Mussolini himself was a committed anti-cleric. But both sides benefited from the bargain.

As World War II approached and Mussolini began to persecute Italy's Jewish population, Pius came to regret his bargain and considered a public break with the regime. The story of why that never happened makes for a dramatic ending to Kertzer's book.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Salvation Army 'didn't believe' abused children

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

[video]

A royal commission into child-sex abuse has heard Salvation Army staff disbelieved and punished children who reported sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Vatican Diary / The Cardinals Who Hold the Purse Strings

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

VATICAN CITY, January 28, 2014 – In addition to the organizational structure of the Roman curia and the selection of new pastors for important episcopal sees like Cologne, Madrid, and Chicago, in the year just begun Pope Francis must also attend to the appointment, lesser but of no little significance, of the new members of the international theological commission.

Created by Paul VI in 1969, the commission has been renewed - more or less regularly - on a five-year basis.

The current thirty members whose terms are about to expire were appointed on June 19, 2009, when Benedict XVI was pope and the prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, to which the commission reports, was the United States cardinal William J. Levada.

Now on the chair of Peter is Francis, and at the head of the congregation is the German and Ratzingerian Gerhard L. Müller, soon to be a cardinal.

The task of the commission according to its statutes is to “offer its services to the Holy See and in an especial way to the same sacred congregation [for the doctrine of the faith] in examining doctrinal questions of major importance."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Tension over Maciel legacy complicates Legion election

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Jan. 28, 2014 NCR Today

Rome

As the embattled Legionaries of Christ continue trying to chart a new course during a General Chapter meeting that began Jan. 8, there are signs the order is far from unanimous about what that course should look like.

The general chapter is intended to end a three year period of papal receivership, after Benedict XVI imposed a delegate to take control of the order in 2010. That decision followed revelations of sexual abuse and misconduct by the founder, the late Mexican Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, as well as defections by several high-profile Legionaries and speculation that the order might be suppressed.

Legionaries taking part in the chapter meeting who spoke to NCR in January insist there’s widespread agreement on several fronts, including the need for less control from Rome and more autonomy for local Legionary operations, a greater tolerance for interval diversity, and a new commitment to transparency.

They also say they've made progress toward defining a post-Maciel charism, or mission, for the Legion, focusing on a commitment to evangelization, meaning a missionary drive, and the Legion's partnership with Regnum Christi, its lay movement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Nuns forced care children to eat their own vomit, abuse inquiry told

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Independent

MICHAEL MCHUGH – 28 JANUARY 2014

SOME children at residential homes run by Catholic nuns were made to eat their own vomit, a lawyer said.

Those who wet their beds were forced to put soiled sheets on their heads by members of a harsh regime which was devoid of love, a public inquiry into child abuse at residential homes was told.

Children at Sisters of Nazareth properties in Derry were known by their numbers rather than names.

Many were allegedly subjected to humiliation, threats and physical abuse, according to Christine Smith, counsel to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in the North.

Between 1950 and 1965, small numbers of nuns were involved in caring for hundreds of children in Derry. Help was provided by older children and volunteers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Nuns 'forced children to eat their own vomit ...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Daily Mail

Nuns 'forced children to eat their own vomit and put soiled bedsheets on their heads as punishment at care homes'

By LIZZIE PARRY

Children were forced to eat their own vomit and put soiled bedsheets on their heads as punishment at care homes run by nuns, the largest public inquiry into institutional child abuse was told.

The investigation into the behaviour of Catholic nuns from the Sisters of Nazareth children's homes in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, heard children were also forced to bathe in disinfectant and were beaten for wetting the bed.

In a harsh regime where the youngsters were known by numbers rather than their names, many were subjected to humiliation, threats and physical abuse, counsel to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, Christine Smith QC said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Brothers recall terrifying cycle of sexual and physical abuse at children’s home

NORTHERN IRELAND
Ulster Herald

THE death of their mother (in Fintona) during the early 1950s dealt a cruel hand to two local men and their six brothers and sisters.

At a time when they should have been enjoying growing up, the brothers were separated from their siblings, and plunged into a terrifying cycle of sexual and physical abuse in one of the North’s most notorious institutions.

For Patrick Murphy and Willie Kelly, the painful memories of that period will never fade. Both are now aged in their 70s and say they will never forget the horrors of their youth.

The shocking nature of the abuse which children were subjected to at Rubane House in Kircubbin, Co Down and other institutions is currently being investigated by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

Last week, The De La Salle Brothers – which ran Rubane House – was one of two Catholic orders that said sorry for the abuse children suffered in their children’s homes in Northern Ireland. - See more at: http://ulsterherald.com/2014/01/28/brothers-recall-terrifying-cycle-of-sexual-and-physical-abuse-at-childrens-home/#sthash.cxftr4rK.dpuf

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Letters from children in Philippine orphanage ...

OHIO
Beacon Journal

Letters from children in Philippine orphanage are source of charges against Hudson pastor, two others

By Colette M. Jenkins
Beacon Journal religion writer

: January 25, 2014

The voices behind the charges against the Rev. Tom Randall, who is jailed in the Philippines, belong to children who were living at the now-closed mission operated by the Hudson pastor’s ministry.

“Two girls from the institution, at great personal risk, smuggled out letters [detailing abuse] to the teacher who gave them to [my daughter] who gave them to me,” said Joe Mauk, a missionary in the Philippines who reported alleged abuse at the Sankey Samaritan Orphanage in Lucena City, Philippines.

The orphanage, founded by Randall and his wife, Karen, in 1998 was raided on Jan. 12 amid reported allegations that the facility had been operating as a front for human trafficking and that children living there had been sexually abused for years. Randall, a pastor at Christ Community Chapel in Hudson, and two orphanage workers were arrested.

According to Filipino news reports, Randall is charged with obstruction of justice for negligence in handling allegations of abuse and sex trafficking. Orphanage administrator Perfecto “Toto” Luchavez and his son, Mark “Jake” Luchavez are reportedly charged with violating Filipino anti-human trafficking laws. The younger Luchavez is also charged with rape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Former Davis social worker pleads guilty to sex abuse of teen client

UTAH
Standard-Examiner

Loretta Park, Standard-Examiner staff

FARMINGTON --- A former licensed social worker entered a guilty plea to one of the four felonies he was charged with in relation to the sex abuse of a teenage girl he was counseling.

Scott Andrew Peterson, 36, of Bountiful, entered a guilty plea to one of forcible sex abuse, a second-degree felony, before Judge John Morris on Monday.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed two other counts of forcible sex abuse and one count of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony.

A sentencing hearing has been set for March 10. ...

Centerville police were notified of the incidents by the legal department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints. The girl had reported the abuse to her bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

3 more allege sex abuse by priest from city

INDIANA
The Journal Gazette

Jeff Wiehe | The Journal Gazette

Three more people have come forward with claims that a priest with local ties sexually abused them, the Fort Wayne-South Bend Roman Catholic Diocese announced Monday.

And the diocese is urging for anyone else who has been a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy to come forward.

The Rev. James F. Seculoff, 77, resigned and was removed from ministry a little more than a week ago after someone with what the diocese called a “credible” allegation of sexual abuse came forward, the diocese said.

This person said Seculoff, who most recently was a pastor in an area southwest of South Bend, committed the abuse 44 years ago.

At that time, Seculoff was elevated from principal at the former Huntington Catholic High School to superintendent of diocesan schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

January 27, 2014

Salvation Army ‘deeply regrets’ sexual abuse of children in its care

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Monday 27 January 2014

The Salvation Army says it feels deep regret for every instance of sexual abuse inflicted on children in its care.

The statement comes as representatives of the Salvation Army prepare to appear before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Tuesday.

The commission is preparing to investigate the charity's movement of staff linked to sex abuse between children's homes in New South Wales and Queensland.

"The early phase of the hearing will be a time for former residents to share their experiences with the royal commission – it is our role to listen," the Salvation Army said in a statement.

"The Salvation Army feels deep regret for every instance of child sexual abuse inflicted on children who were in our care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 PM

Boys 'punched and locked in cages' at Salvos homes, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC

BY THOMAS ORITI
January 28, 2014

The royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard harrowing details of abuse within children's homes operated by the Salvation Army.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse this morning began its fifth inquiry, this time examining cases of abuse at four boys' homes operated by the prominent charity.

The hearing will investigate incidents at the Alkira Salvation Army Home for Boys at Indooroopilly in Queensland, the Riverview Training Farm at Riverview in Queensland, the Bexley Boys' Home in Sydney, and the Gill Memorial Home at Goulburn in southern New South Wales.

At least five Salvation Army officers will be scrutinised by the commission, with 13 former residents of the homes expected to give evidence in the coming days.

Counsel assisting the commission Simeon Beckett told the inquiry the content is at the "severe end" of the sexual abuse examined in the case studies to date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

Salvation Army abuse evidence shocks

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Children at a Salvation Army home in Queensland were fed food donated for animals, savagely beaten, sexually abused and locked in a cage, an inquiry has been told.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which is examining four homes run by the Salvos in NSW and Queensland from 1966-77, has been told that evidence to be given of corporal punishment and sexual abuse at the homes were some of the most disturbing the commission had heard.

It is at the 'severe end of abuse' examined by the commission, the opening of a two-week hearing in Sydney heard on Tuesday.

Simeon Beckett, counsel assisting the commission, said the hearing would hear many allegations about five identified officers, 'Laurence Wilson, Russell Walker, Victor Bennett, John McIver and Donald Schultz'.

Mr Walker, Mr Schultz and Mr McIver are still alive and have been given notice of the hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 PM

Shocking stories of sexual abuse at Salvos’ boys’ homes

AUSTRALIA
Crikey

by Cathy Alexander

Australia

They say they were sexually abused at boys’ homes run by the Salvation Army. And when they tried to run away, they were beaten or locked in cages on a veranda for up to nine days. When they were let out, some say they were raped again.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has today heard harrowing stories of the alleged victims of five men who worked for the Salvation Army. The commission is looking into what happened at four notorious boys’ homes in New South Wales and Queensland, focusing on the 1950s to the 1970s.

Simeon Beckett, counsel assisting the royal commission, started today’s hearing by running through some allegations of sexual abuse, which were intertwined with horrific allegations of violent punishments at the hands of Salvos’ staff.

Beckett said the five alleged perpetrators had worked together or succeeded each other in their posts; most were moved between the four boys’ homes. He said key questions for the commission included whether the homes’ managers had sought to frustrate claims of sexual abuse or impede investigations; whether the alleged perpetrators were transferred to new homes once allegations had been made; and whether the Salvos took claims of sexual abuse seriously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Salvation Army locked boys in cage, raped and beat them, royal commision hears

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 28, 2014

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

Young boys were locked in a cage for days on end as part of a brutal regime of physical and sexual abuse meted out to dozens of youngsters at Salvation Army homes in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, a royal commission into child-sex abuse has heard.

And the Salvation Army's leadership often failed to discipline or remove the perpetrators, but simply moved them to other homes where they frequently continued the abuse.

The revelations came during the first public hearing in Sydney by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for 2014.

In his opening address, counsel assisting, Simeon Beckett, said the focus of the hearings would be on the "contemporaneous response by the Salvation Army and relevant government agencies to child sex abuse within the Alkira home for boys in Indroopilly, Queensland; the Riverview Training Farm, also in Queensland; Bexley Boys home in North Bexley; and the Gill Memorial Home in Goulburn".
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"It will examine processes at the time to identify, investigate, discipline, remove, dismiss and/or transfer persons accused of or found to have engaged in child sexual abuse," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 PM

Royal commission to investigate Salvation Army's response to abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Sunday 26 January 2014

A national inquiry into the Salvation Army's movement of staff linked to child sex abuse between children's homes in two states will open this week.

The fifth case study by the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse will start in Sydney on Tuesday.

The focus of the public hearing will be the response of the Salvation Army to allegations of child sexual abuse within four homes: the Alkira Salvation Army Home for Boys at Indooroopilly; the Bexley Boys in New South Wales; Riverview Training Farm in Queensland; and the Gill Memorial Boys Home in Goulburn in NSW.

As well as the movement of officers and staff, the Salvation Army's processes for dealing with allegations of abuse will be examined in the two-week hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 PM

St. Cloud bishop, abbey abbot: We named all alleged abusers

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Written by
David Unze

The St. Cloud diocese and St. John’s Abbey have made public all of the names of priests and monks who have credible allegations against them of sexual misconduct with minors, according to the leaders of both institutions.

Abbot John Klassen and Bishop Donald Kettler said Monday that they are confident they know of all allegations made against members of their orders to date and that the names of those credibly accused have been released.

Klassen and Kettler met Monday with the St. Cloud Times Editorial Board, at the invitation of Executive Editor John Bodette, to discuss the ongoing clergy sex abuse scandal, their responses to it and their acknowledgment of a need to rebuild trust with parishioners.

“Should there be somebody who has been abused, and we haven’t been notified, please come and tell me,” Kettler said. “I want to know. But I feel confident that ... we’ve revealed everything that I know about for anybody that’s likely abused.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 PM

Royal commission to hear cases of severe sexual, physical abuse at Salvation Army boys' homes

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

The royal commission into child sexual abuse will today examine cases of abuse that took place at four Salvation Army boys' homes in Queensland and New South Wales.

The two-week investigation will scrutinise how the prominent charity has dealt with instances of child sexual abuse, and how the Salvation Army dealt with offenders in its ranks.

The Salvation Army says the abuse, most of which took part in the 1960s and 70s, is a "failure of the greatest magnitude".

Robert Conway was 13 when he was sent to one of the boys' homes.

"First impressions... well I was molested the first night I was there by the major who ran the place," he said

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. John P. Fox, s.j.

ALASKA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: A Jesuit priest ordained in 1927, John P. Fox lived and worked for five decades in remote Alaskan villages. There is one known accusation of sexual abuse of a minor against him, as revealed in 2010 by the Fairbanks diocese's bankruptcy reorganization documents. Fox died in 1983.

Ordained: 1927
Died: May 1983

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 PM

Crookston Diocese names 6 priests accused of abusing minors

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

[list of accused priests]

By Jean Hopfensperger  hopfen@startribune.com

The Catholic Diocese of Crookston has released the names of six priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct with minors. The action means all Minnesota dioceses have released lists of accused priests that have been kept secret for a decade.

Five of the six priests on Crookston’s list are dead. The sixth, the Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul, is facing extradition from his home in India to face charges that he sexually assaulted two teenage girls while he worked in the Crookston diocese between 2004 and 2005.

Bishop Michael Hoeppner oversees the diocese serving Catholics in 14 counties in northwestern Minnesota. He did not issue a statement about the list.

Advocates immediately urged the diocese to post the list prominently on its website and make it easily accessible to the public.

“We strongly suspect it’s an incomplete list,” said David Clohesey, national executive director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). “And we strongly suspect that Catholic officials took this step because they feared that a judge would soon order them to do so.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

Care children 'forced to eat vomit'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

27 JANUARY 2014

Some children at residential homes run by Catholic nuns in Northern Ireland were made to eat their own vomit, a lawyer said.

Those who wet their beds were forced to put soiled sheets on their heads by members of a harsh regime which was devoid of love, the UK's largest ever public inquiry into child abuse at residential homes was told.

Young people at Sisters of Nazareth properties in Londonderry were known by their numbers rather than names and many allegedly subjected to humiliation, threats and physical abuse, counsel to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry Christine Smith QC said.

Kathleen Forrest, a ministry of home affairs inspector, said in a 1953 report: "I find these homes utterly depressing and it appals me to think that these hundreds of children are being reared in bleak lovelessness."

The treatment of children in church-run residential homes is a key concern of the investigation being held in Banbridge, Co Down. It is chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart and is considering cases between 1922, the foundation of Northern Ireland, and 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Denuncian más de 100 menores víctimas de abuso por sacerdotes en Coahuila

MEXICO
Vanguardia

[Summary: It is reported that there are more than 100 victims of abuse by priests in the state of Coahuila.]

México, DF. Carlos Llamas Gómez aún recuerda con miedo e indignación el momento en que subía al altar cuando servía como monaguillo en una iglesia de Saltillo, Coahuila, a la edad de 14 años: "Lo ayudaba a ponerse la sotana. Se me acercaba, y veía su pene erecto. Eso significaba que después de la misa iba a tocarme, a manosearme. Es un trauma que me ha atormentado todo este tiempo".

Ha esperado 15 años para romper el silencio. El domingo pasado escuchó al obispo Raúl Vera decir que en los 14 años que lleva al frente de su diócesis, solamente ha habido dos casos de sacerdotes que cometieron abusos sexuales contra menores: "Es mentira. No son dos, yo conozco a cinco, otros hablan de nueve sacerdotes aún en funciones. Son más de 100 casos en los que se abusó de menores", dice en entrevista, luego de prestar declaración ante la Procuraduría General de Justicia de Coahuila.

¿Por qué hasta ahora? Porque cada quien tiene "su momento", dice, y porque su decisión coincide también con la construcción de Casa Emaús, una "clínica" para la "rehabilitación" de sacerdotes pederastas ubicada entre los ejidos San Juan y El Tunal de Arteaga, Coahuila, según reconoció el propio vicario general de la diócesis de Saltillo, Gerardo Escareño.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Worcester district attorney investigating priest misconduct

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

By Gerald Russell TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

LANCASTER — The case of a Roman Catholic priest removed from his parish last week by the bishop is under investigation by the office of Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Paul Jarvey, a spokesman for Mr. Early, said diocesan officials referred the matter to the district attorney last week.

Rev. Edward P. Lettic was placed on administrative leave because of what Bishop Robert J. McManus has described as a credible allegation of misconduct. Rev. Lettic has been pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Lancaster since 1993. The allegation is about sexual misconduct from 40 years ago. The allegation is also being investigated by the Diocesan Review Committee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Colocan primera piedra de Casa Emaús

MEXICO
Diocesis de Saltillo

[Summary: After more than three years of work, the first stone has been laid for what will be the Emmaus Project located on the campus of San Benito in the town of El Tunal in Arteaga, Coahuila. It will focus on rehabilitation of priests in situations or difficult moments ranging from the moral to the spiritual and psychological.]

Luego de más de tres años de trabajo en Monterrey, enfocados a la rehabilitación de sacerdotes en situaciones o momentos difíciles que van desde lo moral a lo espiritual y psicológico, se colocó la primera piedra para lo que será el Proyecto Emaús con sede en el Predio San Benito, ubicado en el poblado de El Tunal, en Arteaga, Coahuila.

El sacerdote Rodolfo Mora Becerra, religioso Misionero de Guadalupe además de Fundador y Director del Programa Emaús, explicó que el plan surgió del compromiso hecho con el Cardenal Adolfo Suárez Rivera, quien falleció hace dos años, y unos meses antes, le solicitó personalmente a nombre de la Provincia, iniciar un proyecto de atención a sacerdotes con problemáticas específicas.

“Desde ese momento Dios sembró en mi corazón esa semilla que más tarde vino germinando y ha dado inicio ahora aquí en la Diócesis de Saltillo. El proyecto se llama Emaús porque es el encuentro de los discípulos con el resucitado que los reanima a salir adelante”, expuso. La construcción del centro se tiene proyectada a terminar en un máximo de ocho meses y contará con los servicios de psicología, dirección espiritual, atención médica y la manutención de los internos en todos sus lineamientos; el programa con los sacerdotes tiene una duración mínima de tres meses y máxima de cinco.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

Admiten posible refugio de curas pederastas en Coahuila

MEXICO
Vanguardia

[Summary: Priests accused of pedophilia can go into spiritual rehabilitation at Emmaus House which is nearly completion in Arteaga.]

POR: MARÍA EUGENIA ALVARADO viernes, 24 de enero del 2014

Sacerdotes que cometen pederastia sí podrían ir a parar al centro de rehabilitación espiritual Casa Emaús que se construye y está a punto de concluirse en Arteaga, aceptó el vicario general de la Diócesis de Saltillo, Gerardo Escareño.

VANGUARDIA dio a conocer que en la Sierra de Arteaga, entre los ejidos de San Juan y El Tunal, a unos 50 kilómetros de Saltillo, se erige el centro destinado a la rehabilitación espiritual de los sacerdotes que han perdido el camino o están en periodos de crisis.

Cuestionado al respecto, el Vicario General de la Diócesis dijo desconocer específicamente el programa de rehabilitación o de terapia que se implementará en dicho centro, pero al ser cuestionado si sacerdotes pederastas podrían llegar al lugar, señaló que:

"Si es posible, incluso que (dichos sacerdotes) hayan ya pasado por esa etapa no necesariamente en este centro, (pero) que hayan ya pasado por algún otro centro de los que hay en el país para atender a los sacerdotes", expuso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Vatican questionnaire not distributed to area laity

OHIO
Canton Daily Ledger

By Bill Knight
Retired WIU Journalism Professor
Posted Jan. 27, 2014

In the New Testament, Jesus says, “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Nevertheless, it’s unclear whether Pope Francis will be able to directly hear from area Catholics about their thoughts on cohabitation, contraceptives, divorce and other questions that the Vatican has asked in preparation for an October Synod of Bishops, who’ll be discussing family topics. Unfortunately, Jan. 31 is the deadline for the survey data to be sent to Rome, so there are mere days to try to give your feedback to Rome.

This is despite a request by the Vatican official overseeing the process directing bishops to distribute the questionnaire “as widely as possible, to deaneries and parishes, so that input from local sources can be received.” Instead, the Diocese of Peoria says it sent the survey to parish priests, who were expected to confer with laypeople.

Timing was a problem, according to Monsignor James Kruse, a Vicar General with the Diocese. “It was a very tight timeline,” Father Kruse said. “It was sent to pastors before Thanksgiving, and they were to meet and discuss it. Admittedly, it was not widely disbursed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

The Author’s Rebuttal To Mr. McClellan’s Reasons For Non-Permission To Appear At The Salvation Army Boys’ Homes Hearings And Present A Submission (Or: McClellan Rules, O.K.?)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Now that it is official that I will not be permitted, by the chairman of the Australian royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, Peter McClellan, to give evidence on my old Boys’ Home, “Alkira” – otherwise known as the Indooroopilly Salvation Army Home for Boys – it is time to explain some things. (The commission has stated that my case fell within its terms of reference, so that is not a point of dissention.):

1. It was the practice when I was in the Home for new boys to be put in the bunk next to mine, and I was to help them learn the Home routines, and help them feel a bit better (they usually cried most of the night for the first couple of days). In effect, I gave them “pastoral” care.

2. Because of the above, the boys had considerable trust in me, and possibly some affection. They confided in me about the abuses they experienced.

3. When it was known that I would be leaving the Boys’ Home to go to my own home, at least twenty boys asked me to get their story out to the public and authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Lifting the veil on Irish Islam

IRELAND
Irish Independent

MAGGIE ARMSTRONG – 25 JANUARY 2014

Islam is Ireland's fastest-growing religion, with the number of Muslims recorded in the 2011 Census – 48,130 – expected to reach 100,000 by 2020. In a country where only 34pc of approximately 3.8 million Catholics attend Mass, many people are drifting away from religion. But a small number are finding that Islamic beliefs and practices, which allow for a peaceful and community-oriented life, fit their spiritual needs.

It is estimated that up to 500 Irish people convert to Islam every year. There is no official register and no baptism – to convert you simply have to recite the testimony of creed in front of two Muslim witnesses.

While more women convert than men, and most conversions are for marriage, people can have very personal reasons for converting – or reverting as it is known in the Islamic faith, in which it is believed that everyone was born Muslim. ...

Bridget Darby (68, retired hotel manager)

When I was 18 I went to England to study nursing. I met an Englishman in the Royal Air Force. I was at a very vulnerable time and I fell in love with him and we got engaged. He wasn't a Catholic, so he and I had to have some religious instruction.

One day I showed up by myself and the priest asked me, "Have you got your dress?" He went from the dress to say, "Have you got new underwear?" I tried to answer as best I could, cringing on the edge of the seat. He then asked me: "Did you get a new girdle? I've never seen one, can you show me yours?" I was devastated. I got out of that office without having to show him my underwear or my girdle, but I was shaking.

I made myself a promise: that after we married I wouldn't walk into a Catholic church again, and I never did. We got married, had a child and were stationed in Cyprus and Australia. We got divorced after about 15 years, and in 1985 I went to America. I still had no religion, but I was a good person – I believed in God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

¿QUÉ HACER CON LOS TRANSGRESORES?

MEXICO
Vanguardia

[Summary: According to a newsletter on the Saltillo diocese website facilities are being provided for rehabilitation of priests in difficult times or situations ranging from the moral to the spiritual and psychological. The facilities are in the town of El Tunal, municipality of Arteaga. The building is part of an initiative called Emmaus Project. A source consulted by Vanguardia revealed that, if confirmed, this would be a concern because the Emmaus house would be a center of "refuge" for priests who have been involved in unlawful conduct in other regional of the world, including Europe.]

De acuerdo con un boletín contenido en la página web de la Diócesis de Saltillo, en el poblado de El Tunal, municipio de Arteaga, se construyen instalaciones para la "rehabilitación de sacerdotes en situaciones o momentos difíciles, que van desde lo moral a lo espiritual y psicológico".

La edificación es parte de una iniciativa denominada "Proyecto Emaús", que habría iniciado sus actividades en la Ciudad de Monterrey, Nuevo León, y buscaría ofrecer apoyo institucional, por parte de la misma Iglesia Católica, a miembros de su cuerpo de clérigos que registren "problemáticas específicas".

A primera vista, la iniciativa podría ser clasificada en el apartado de las estrategias que cualquier gremio o agrupación de individuos realiza para ofrecer apoyo a los suyos.

Sin embargo, una fuente consultada por VANGUARDIA ha revelado datos que, de confirmarse, constituirían un motivo de preocupación para la comunidad: la casa "Emaús" estaría llamada a ser un centro de "refugio" para sacerdotes que habrían incurrido en conductas ilícitas en otras regiones del mundo, entre ellas Europa.

El dato resulta particularmente relevante en momentos en los cuales se discute en Saltillo sobre la presencia de dos presuntos sacerdotes pederastas cuya existencia fue revelada el fin de semana anterior por el Obispo Raúl Vera López.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

DELITOS SEXUALES: NO PUEDEN QUEDAR IMPUNES

MEXICO
Vanguardia

Editorial

[Summary: The public agenda in recent days in Saltillo has been occupied mainly by themes of sex. Specifically it is for detection of illegal behaviors such as pedophilia and child pornography. In the first case came statements from Raul Vera Lopez, bishop of the Saltillo diocese, who revealed that he knew of at least two cases of alleged child abuse committed by Catholic priests. This statement followed by an avalanche of information that would place Coahuila as a kind of "paradise" of pedophiles to the extent tha tthere might be in-state facilities to "rehabilitate" European priests suspected of abusing children.]

La agenda pública de los últimos días en Saltillo fue ocupada fundamentalmente por temas de índole sexual. Específicamente por la detección de conductas que constituyen actos ilícitos, tales como la pederastia y la pornografía infantil.

En el primer caso, fueron las declaraciones del obispo de la Diócesis de Saltillo, Raúl Vera López, las que encendieron la polémica al revelar que conocía de al menos dos casos de presunta pederastia cometidos por sacerdotes católicos, uno de los cuales tendría su adscripción en la diócesis que él mismo encabeza.

A las declaraciones de Vera López le siguió un auténtico alud de información que colocaría a Coahuila como una suerte de “paraíso” de los pederastas, al grado de que en territorio estatal se estarían construyendo instalaciones para “rehabilitar” a sacerdotes europeos presuntamente responsables de conductas de abuso sexual en contra de niños.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Cura niega ser expulsado y rechaza señalamientos en su contra

PERU
Metro

[Summary: Father Jose Colon Otero of St. Martin de Porres parish in the Arecibo diocese on Monday denied committing acts of sexual abuse against minors and of violating the sacramental seal. He said he received a decree from the Vatican but does not mean he has been defrocked. He said he has been a priest for 12 years and has never abused minors or violated the sacramental seal. On Monday it emerged that the Vatican issued a decree expelling Otero Colon from the priesthood for allegedly sexually abusing minors and violating the sacramental seal of confession.]

El padre José Colón Otero, de la Parroquia San Martín de Porres de la Diócesis de Arecibo, negó el lunes haber cometido actos de abuso sexual contra menores, que haya violado el sigilo sacramental y afirmó que un decreto que recibió del Vaticano no significa que haya sido expulsado del sacerdocio.

“Tengo 12 años de sacerdote. Yo jamás he violado el sigilo sacramental y jamás he abusado sexualmente de nadie. Lo dije en una conferencia de prensa hace unos meses atrás y lo repito ahora”, dijo Colón Otero en entrevista radial (Radio Isla).

El lunes trascendió que el Vaticano emitió un decreto que expulsa a Colón Otero del sacerdocio, quien en el pasado fue señalado por presunto abuso sexual contra menores. Además se informó sobre señalamientos contra el cura por supuesta violación del sigilo sacramental o secreto de confesión.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

MA--Victims blast MA Church officials over predator priest

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 27

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

It's troubling that Worcester Catholics seem to be the last to be told about credible child sex abuse allegations against a local priest.

[MassLive]

Catholic officials admit they've already told police and Vatican officials about accusations against Fr. Edward P. Lettic. But only yesterday did they tell parishioners at his Lancaster parish.

To distance themselves from heinous crimes by predator priests, bishops virtually always say when the crimes allegedly happened. But they virtually never say how long ago they allegedly got the report. That's an important fact. Worcester police, prosecutors, parents and parishioners deserve to know whether Catholic officials took six days or six months to “investigate” the child sex abuse allegation against Fr. Lettic.

We call on Bishop McManus to disclose this fact. We also call on him to

–use his vast resources (church bulletins, diocesan publications, etc.) to prod anyone with knowledge or suspicions about Fr. Lettic's crimes to call police immediately,
--post on the diocesan websites the names, photos, work histories and whereabouts of every current or former Worchester child molesting cleric (like 30 US bishops have done) and,
--personally visit every other place where Fr. Lettic worked – even for a short time – and beg those who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to contact law enforcement.

Every delay is problematic. Every day the bishop refuses to aggressively do outreach gives Fr. Lettic and his church colleagues or supervisors more chances to destroy evidence, fabricate alibis, intimidate victims, threaten whistleblowers, discredit witnesses and perhaps even flee the country.

Finally, we commend the brave individual who reported Fr. Lettic's crimes and call on others who may be suffering in silence, shame and self blame to step forward, get help, protect kids, expose wrongdoers and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Chile-- Victims blast Catholic Archbishop ...

CHILE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Preists

Chile-- Victims blast Catholic Archbishop of Santiago Ricardo Ezzati, one of the newly appointed cardinals by Pope Francis

For immediate release Monday, January 27

Contact: David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com ) Juan Carlos Cruz, JCCruz1@aol.com

Victims blast Catholic Archbishop of Santiago Ricardo Ezzati, one of the newly appointed cardinals by Pope Francis
They criticize his "self-serving" plea

He claims those molested should "look forward and trust the Church”

They counter: "But kids are still being abused now and mostly the Chilean hierarchy continues to cover up and hide, protecting themselves and their own and have complete disregard for survivors"

And cover ups continue too, support group maintains

A support and advocacy group for clergy sex abuse victims is blasting a top Chilean Catholic official who has urged that those molested by priests “don’t look at the past, look forward and trust the Church”.”

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, say that Archbishop of Santiago Ricardo Ezzati's remarks are “self-serving, disingenuous and hurtful.”

“Kids are still being hurt, victims continue to be victimized by Church authorities like Ezzati and crimes are still being covered up,” said Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of Fr. Fernando Karadima’s abuse. “So actually, it's irresponsible to 'look forward' and pretend that centuries old habits of secrecy and denial have suddenly and magically been reversed. That's a huge disservice to children and vulnerable adults. This attitude by Ezzati and his colleagues not only hurt victims that have been outspoken and have been brave to speak about their terrible ordeal, but there are thousands who are quiet and anonymous and have to hear this rhetoric that keeps hurting them and their families”

Ezzati made his comments at the opening of a new Salesian Church this Saturday in the Chilean diocese of Linares where the current bishop, Tomislav Koljatic, also covered up sexual abuse as he directly witnessed the abuse that Fr. Fernando Karadima perpetrated on his victims. Yet, he is still there with no consequences.

“We believe many child molesting clerics remain on the job or hidden by church officials,” said David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP. “While some of those who commit clergy sex crimes are disciplined - only when bishops are forced to do so by external pressure - none of those who conceal clergy sex crimes are ever disciplined. We know that no church employee who is concealing child sex crimes has ever been disciplined in Chile. So this strongly suggests that little is changing and that kids are still at risk.”

The January 2014 results of the reputable survey from the “Centro de Estudios Públicos de Chile” (CERC) revealed that the confidence and trust in the Catholic Church and its hierarchy in Chile has fallen to its lowest levels of 34% from 75 % in 1990 and even much higher numbers 1990.

“There's a reason for this dramatic decline in parishioners' trust in Catholic officials,” added Clohessy. “It's because those leaders are still denying, minimizing and concealing heinous crimes against innocent kids and vulnerable adults. Archbishop Ezzati, his predecessor Cardinal Errázuriz who covered dozens of crimes – now part of the Group of 8 that counsels Pope Francis – and many of their colleagues should realize that exhorting their flock to trust bishops won't work. People will trust the church hierarchy when bishops remove all predators, punish all enablers, aggressively seek out and help victims, rather than attack and humiliate victims. That's how trust will be restored, not through wishes and pleas and much less through covering up the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Care home kids ‘made to eat own vomit’

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Journal

Children at Derry care homes run by the Sisters of Nazareth were made to eat their own vomit and were beaten for wetting the bed, a public inquiry has been told.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children’s residential institutions across the North from 1922 to 1995.

Among the institutions under the microscope are Nazareth House Children’s Home, Bishop Street, and St Joseph’s Home, Termonbacca, both in Derry, which were run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Sisters of Nazareth evidence ‘haphazard and piecemeal’

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Dan Keenan

The Sisters of Nazareth who ran children’s residential accommodation in Derry have been sharply criticised by the inquiry investigating historical institutional abuse.

Senior Counsel Christine Smith told the inquiry that disclosure of documents by the order had been slow, haphazard and piecemeal. “There was a less than whole-hearted response,” to the inquiry’s requests, she alleged.

“Co-operation from the Sisters has not been as complete or as rapid as had been hoped,” she said. Requests for the documentation had led to a flow of “copious correspondence” with the order and this leading to additional work for inquiry staff.

“Material was not stored in a single, well-ordered archive,” Ms Smith told the inquiry in Banbridge which opened public sessions earlier this month.

“Information which has been received has been received in a haphazard and piecemeal fashion despite requests.” She said valuable time had been spent trying to get the material into order. This information “ought to and could have been provided much earlier”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Children in Catholic care homes 'were made to eat their own vomit and bathed in disinfectant'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Mirror

Jan 27, 2014 16:11 By Steve Robson

The largest ever public inquiry into child abuse at residential care homes in Northern Ireland has heard harrowing details of victim's experiences

Children at residential homes run by Catholic nuns in Northern Ireland were made to eat their own vomit, a lawyer said.

Others who wet their beds were forced to put soiled sheets on their heads by members of a harsh regime devoid of love, the largest ever public inquiry into child abuse at residential homes was told.

Young people at Sisters of Nazareth properties in Londonderry were known by their numbers rather than names and many allegedly subjected to humiliation, threats and physical abuse, counsel to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry Christine Smith QC said.

Kathleen Forrest, a ministry of home affairs inspector, said in a 1953 report: "I find these homes utterly depressing and it appals me to think that these hundreds of children are being reared in bleak lovelessness."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Children in care taken to Nazareth, Fahan

NORTHERN IRELAND
Inishowen News

CHILDREN in the care of Nazareth nuns in Derry were sometimes brought across the border to the sisters' home in Fahan, Buncrana, an inquiry has heard.

Former residents of two children's homes in Derry are giving evidence today at the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

And delays by the religious congregation in submitting evidence to Northern Ireland inquiry have caused "considerable difficulties", a lawyer said.

Christine Smith QC for the inquiry said material given by the Nazareth order of nuns was not properly ordered and was still being received up to last week, RTE is reporting today.

Homes run by the Nazareth nuns included Bishop Street and Termonbacca in Derry city. This module of the inquiry is expected to last a number of weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Children in care 'made to eat own vomit'

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

Some children at residential homes run by Catholic nuns in Northern Ireland were made to eat their own vomit, a lawyer said.

Those who wet their beds were forced to put soiled sheets on their heads by members of a harsh regime which was devoid of love, the UK's largest ever public inquiry into child abuse at residential homes was told on Monday.

It is tasked with looking into child abuse in 13 church and state run homes in Northern Ireland.

Christine Smith QC, Counsel to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, said that young people at Sisters of Nazareth properties in Derry were known by their numbers rather than names and many were allegedly subjected to humiliation, threats and physical abuse.

Ms Smith outlined details of the alleged abuse, which included physical assaults using sticks, straps and kettle flexes.

Others involved:

* bathing in Jeyes fluid disinfectant, today more associated with outdoor cleaning jobs like clearing drains
* separation of brothers and sisters, not even telling them if they were in the same home
* locking in cupboards or threatening to send them to a hospital for those with learning disabilities at Muckamore Abbey in Antrim
* forced farm labouring or working in the laundry instead of going to school
*removal of Christmas presents and other personal items
* leaving youngsters hungry through inadequate food or alternately force feeding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Children at Derry care homes were made to eat vomit, inquiry told

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Guardian

Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
The Guardian, Monday 27 January 2014

Children were forced to eat their own vomit and bathe in disinfectant at residential care homes run by nuns, the UK's largest public inquiry into institutional child abuse was told on Monday.

During evidence on the behaviour of nuns from the Sisters of Nazareth order at two Catholic church-run children's homes in Derry, the inquiry heard that children were beaten for bedwetting and had soiled sheets placed on their heads to humiliate them.

Nazareth House children's home and St Joseph's Home, Termonbacca, were both run by the Sisters of Nazareth in Derry. Forty-nine ex-residents of the two homes gave evidence about their treatment in written and oral testimony to the historic institutional abuse inquiry sitting at Banbridge courthouse.

A total of 16 church- and state-run orphanages, care homes and other institutions in Northern Ireland are under scrutiny in a public inquiry expected to last until June 2015.

Young people at Sisters of Nazareth properties in Derry were known by numbers rather than their names, and many were allegedly subjected to humiliation, threats and physical abuse, said Christine Smith QC, senior counsel for the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

“PHILOMENA” SMEARS CATHOLICISM

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on a movie that has been nominated for four Oscars:

Owing to many false impressions about Catholicism that have been generated by the movie, “Philomena,” I decided to write an extensive review of the film, and the book upon which it is based.

The film and the book maintain that cruel Irish nuns stole Philomena’s baby in 1952 and sold him to “the highest bidder.” In reality, Philomena’s widowed father found the nuns—the only persons willing to accept the teenager’s out-of-wedlock baby—and they subsequently found a home for him in the United States; no fee was charged.

The film and the book also maintain that Philomena went to the United States to find her son, but this is patently untrue: she never set foot in America looking for him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

MN--Crookston diocese discloses predator names

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 27

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

Crookston Catholic officials made a shrewd move on Friday when they released a list of child molesting clerics.

[Grand Forks Herald]

We storngly suspect it's an incomplete list. And we stronlgly suspete that Catholic officials took this step because they feared that a judge would soon order them to do so.

And shame on them for releasing the list on a Friday, which is when public relations consultants tell wrongdoers is the best time to disclose embarrassing news so it's seen by the fewest people.

What now?

We call on Fargo Catholic officials to release their list, and stop hiding behind claims of confidentiality. (Those who sexually assault kids, we feel, have forfeited their right to secrecy.)

We call on Crookston Catholic officials to

--make this list more visible by putting it on the diocesan home page,
--keep it there permanently,
--post it in church bulletins periodically.
–disclose more about these child molesting clerics, especially their last known address,
--post their photos as well,
--personally visit every parish where they worked, begging victism, witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward to law enforcement
--investigate and punish any church empoloyee who ignored or concealed these clerics' crimes.

We also urge them to use all of their resourcrse and political clout to help get Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul back to the US to face justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

Archdiocese sues former insurance company

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Catholic Culture

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has filed suit against its former insurance company in an attempt to recover $2.6 million in legal fees related to allegations of clerical sexual abuse.

“OneBeacon has an obligation to pay for these costs under the insurance policies and … the archdiocese is committed to pursuing the monies it has coming to help pay the cost of the bankruptcy proceeding,” an archdiocesan spokesman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Bankruptcy judge handles double duty with city, diocese cases

CALIFORNIA
The Record

By Kevin Parrish
Record Staff Writer
January 27, 2014

STOCKTON - U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher M. Klein, no stranger to Stockton City Hall finances, is about to get familiar with the Catholic Diocese of Stockton.

Klein, already the city's bankruptcy judge, also is handling the Jan. 15 bankruptcy filing by the diocese.

Klein indicated last week in Sacramento that the case's first substantive hearing will be held in early February.

Last week, he held a hearing on several perfunctory motions that will allow the diocese to meet its payroll and keep its lights turned on.

Almost a dozen attorneys - representing sex-abuse victims, insurance companies and various Catholic organizations - were inside the federal courtroom for the hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

Lancaster priest Edward Lettic faces sexual abuse allegation, is placed on leave by Diocese of Worcester

MASSACHUSETTS
MassLive

By Megan Bard, MassLive.com
on January 27, 2014

The Rev. Edward P. Lettic has been put on administrative leave following an allegation of sexual abuse of a child, which is alleged to have occurred 40 years ago, according to The Diocese of Worcester.
The Diocese of Worcester

The Diocese of Worcester has placed a long-term priest on administrative leave after a 40-year-old "credible allegation of sexual misconduct" was lodged against him recently, according to the bishop.

During Mass on Sunday at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Lancaster, Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus told parishioners that he has relieved Rev. Edward P. Lettic of his pastoral duties while the church investigates the allegations.

This is the first and only such allegation made against Lettic, McManus said in a news release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Heiliger Vater, helfen Sie den Opfern!

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

[Norbert Denef, a clergy abuse victim, has written to Pope Francis asking him to act on the child sexual abuse scandal in the church and offer help to the victims.]

Ein Betroffener sexueller Gewalt schreibt an Papst Franziskus

Sehr geehrter Heiliger Vater Papst Franziskus,

der Vatikan hat in der letzten Woche vor dem UN-Kinderrechtsausschuss in Genf erstmals zum Skandal des Missbrauchs Minderjähriger innerhalb der katholischen Kirche ausgesagt. Papst Benedikt XVI. versetzte 384 Priester wegen Missbrauchs in den Laienstand, im Jahr 2012 waren es etwa 100, im Jahr 2011 etwa 300. Danach forderten Sie Ihre Kirche zu mehr Schuldbewusstsein auf. Wir Betroffenen haben mit großer Freude zur Kenntnis genommen, dass Sie die Taten als »Schande der Kirche« geißeln.

Aber genügt das? Jahrzehntelang wurden die Täter von ihren Vorgesetzten geschützt. Anstatt die Verbrechen aufzuklären und den Opfern zu helfen, wurden die Täter stillschweigend in immer neue Gemeinden versetzt. Fast 400 Priester weltweit wurden wegen Missbrauchs in den Laienstand versetzt – aber was passiert mit den Amtsträgern, die die Täter jahrzehntelang schützten?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Umfrage im Auftrag des Vatikan: Katholiken ignorieren Sexualmoral der Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[Summary: German Catholics do not live according to teaching of their church. This is according to a survey conducted at behest of the Vatican.]

Die Katholiken in Deutschland leben nicht nach der Lehre ihrer Kirche. Das ist nach SPIEGEL-Informationen das Teilergebnis einer Umfrage, die der Vatikan in Auftrag gegeben hat. Laien-Vertreter appellieren an die Bischöfe, alle Zahlen offenzulegen.

Hamburg - Der Vatikan hat eine Umfrage zum Themenkomplex Familie und Sexualmoral durchführen lassen. Nun liegen Ergebnisse vor - nur was soll mit ihnen geschehen? Laien-Vertreter verlangen Transparenz von den deutschen Bischöfen. "Wir fordern die Bischöfe auf, die Ergebnisse der Umfrage ungeschminkt und ungeschönt nach Rom zu geben, aber auch in Deutschland zu veröffentlichen", sagt der Bundesvorsitzende der Basis-Bewegung "Wir sind Kirche", Christian Weisner, dem SPIEGEL - "so schwer es den Bischöfen auch fallen mag". (Lesen Sie die ganze Geschichte hier im neuen SPIEGEL.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Order's evidence criticised by inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

Delays by a Catholic congregation in submitting evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry have caused considerable difficulties, a lawyer for the investigation has said.

Material given by the Catholic Sisters of Nazareth order of nuns was not properly ordered and was still being received up to last week, despite hearings being planned for many months, Christine Smith QC for the inquiry said.

Ms Smith said: "This less than whole-hearted and rapid response on the part of the congregation has caused considerable difficulties to the work of the inquiry.

"The congregation is not the only body whose approach has produced problems.

"We do appreciate that this is not always avoidable but we hoped that such late delivery could have been avoided, given the difficulties which it causes for the inquiry."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

NI abuse inquiry hears child was transferred to Australia

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

NI inquiry hears about nuns
RELATED AUDIO & VIDEO

An inquiry in Northern Ireland has heard how young children from the Republic were sometimes transferred to homes run by nuns in Derry and in one case moved to Australia under a migrant scheme.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry is hearing about two homes run by the Nazareth sisters at Termonbacca and at Bishop Street in Derry.

In the early years the homes, catering for boys and girls, received no state funding and relied entirely on voluntary contributions.

Small numbers of nuns were involved in caring for hundreds of children.

Staffing was supplemented by older children, volunteers and former residents.

The nuns also ran an orphanage over the border at Fahan in Co Donegal and children were sometimes transferred between the jurisdictions.

According to Christine Smith, a senior counsel for the inquiry, in one case a child born in the Republic was transferred to a home in Derry and later moved to Australia under a migrant scheme.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Worcester priest removed after allegation of abuse in 1970s

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Zachary T. Sampson | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT JANUARY 27, 2014

A veteran priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester has been placed on leave following an allegation that he engaged in sexual misconduct with a boy about 40 years ago, Bishop Robert J. McManus said in a statement Sunday.

Edward P. Lettic, now pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Lancaster, was ordained in 1973, about the time the alleged sexual misconduct occurred, according to the statement. Lettic was then an associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc Church in Worcester.

A diocesan review committee, made up of members of the clergy as well as several doctors and social workers, oversaw an investigation into the allegation and found it credible, McManus said in the statement. He said it is the only accusation officials have received against Lettic.

The diocese did not release any further information about the allegation on Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Priest in Lancaster faces sexual-misconduct allegations

MASSACHUSETTS
Sentinel & Enterprise

By Nick Mallard, nmallard@sentinelandenterprise.com
POSTED: 01/27/2014

LANCASTER -- The pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish has been placed on administrative leave by the Worcester Diocese following allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Bishop Robert J. McManus informed the parish that a "credible allegation" from a victim placed the Rev. Edward P. Lettic in the misconduct incident from 40 years ago.

"It is the first and only report of an allegation of misconduct which we have received involving Father Lettic," McManus told parishioners. "Because of the serious nature of the allegation, and consistent with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, I must relieve Father Lettic of his duties as pastor of the parish and to remove his faculties as a priest."

Ray Delisle, director of communications for the Dioceses, said that an initial investigation into the allegations was enough to put Lettic on leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Statement from the diocese regarding Father James Seculoff

FORT WAYNE (IN)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne

Subsequent to the publishing of the announcement regarding the receipt of a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor involving Fr. James Seculoff, the diocese has received additional allegations. Three more persons have separately come forward to report being sexually abused by Fr. Seculoff when they were children. The diocese, with great care and concern for all involved, initiated preliminary investigations. The results of those investigations were presented to the diocesan review board and to Bishop Rhoades.

The diocesan review board found these allegations, separately presented, to be highly credible and supported by substantial evidence, and so advised Bishop Rhoades. As required by Church law and procedures delineated in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (USCCB 2002, 2005, 2011), Bishop Rhoades directed that these allegations be forwarded to the Indiana civil authorities and the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Bishop Rhoades asks everyone to please pray for all parties involved, especially for those that have come forward, as well as Fr. Seculoff, our priests, parishioners and all the faithful during these painful and difficult days.

If anyone has been the victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, please contact the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, Mary Glowaski at (260) 399-1458 or the Vicar General, Monsignor Robert Schulte at (260) 422-4611.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

3 more alleged victims report being sexually abused as children by removed priest Seculoff

INDIANA
News-Sentinel

News-Sentinel staff reports
Monday, January 27, 2014

Three more people have contacted the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to report they allegedly were sexually abused as minors by the Rev. James F. Seculoff, the diocese reported on its website, www.diocesefwsb.org.

The alleged victims all came forward separately after published reports in mid-January that Seculoff, a Fort Wayne native, had been removed from public ministry after the diocese received what it determined to be a credible report he abused a minor about 40 years ago, the diocesan website said.

The diocese conducted preliminary investigations of the new reports and provided the results to the diocesan review board and to Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, the website said. No details were provided on whether the review board or Rhoades had reached any decisions or had taken any action.
The diocese followed the same process with the first allegation against Seculoff.

To protect the alleged victim in that case, who reported the abuse Dec. 16, the diocese declined to say if the person is male or female. The diocese also declined to say where within its boundaries the abuse allegedly took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Diocese of Crookston releases list of 6 credibly accused priests

MINNESOTA
Bring Me The News

January 27, 2014 By Kevyn Burger

The Diocese of Crookston has become the latest in Minnesota to publicly release a list of the names of priests who have been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of minors.

The Grand Forks Herald reported that the list of the priests followed a request from the newspaper.

The newspaper said that five of the priests on the list are dead and that the abuse they are accused of happened decades ago. The sixth, the Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul, remains awaiting extradition from his home country of India. He faces charges from Roseau County, where he is accused in the sexual assault of two teenaged girls a decade ago. He worked in the diocese as a visiting priest for about three years. Details of the case are on the website of the Diocese of Crookston.

MPR News notes that the half dozen names on the list are already publicly known, through lawsuits and media reports.

The release represents a shift for the Crookston diocese. In October, an attorney for the diocese argued against litigation by St. Paul attorney Jeffrey Anderson, who was seeking a list, that there was no harm in keeping it private.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Abuse inquiry to hold first hearing

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

An inquiry into alleged historical child abuse in Northern Ireland's church and state-run homes will have its first formal hearing on Monday.

Earlier this month, former senior judge Sir Anthony Hart opened the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Banbridge.

It will examine the extent of wrongdoing in a number of institutions including industrial schools, workhouses, and borstals.

It is the biggest inquiry of its kind in the UK and is tasked with looking into child abuse in 13 church and state run homes.

Many were run by religious orders which at the time evaded scrutiny.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

NI abuse inquiry hit by delays over evidence

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

Delays by a religious congregation in submitting evidence to Northern Ireland's Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry have caused considerable difficulties, a lawyer said.

Christine Smith QC for the inquiry said material given by the Nazareth order of nuns was not properly ordered and was still being received up to last week.

Meanwhile, former residents of two children's homes in Derry are due to give evidence at the inquiry today.

The homes were run by the Nazareth nuns at Bishop Street and in the Termonbacca area of Derry city.

This module of the inquiry is expected to last several weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Northern Ireland child abuse inquiry to hear victims of Derry nuns

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Guardian

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent
theguardian.com, Monday 27 January 2014

The UK's biggest ever child abuse inquiry will hear evidence on Monday from victims who were abused in two Derry homes run by Catholic nuns.

Based in Banbridge courthouse in Northern Ireland, the historical institutional abuse inquiry will focus on the maltreatment of children in Nazareth children's home and Termonbacca, both run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

The order of nuns has already issued an apology to victims at the tribunal.

Christine Smith QC welcomed the apology the nuns made at the hearing earlier this month.

But the senior counsel for the inquiry added: "This less than wholehearted and rapid response on the part of the congregation has caused considerable difficulties to the work of the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Sisters of Nazareth evidence 'haphazard and piecemeal'

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

Sisters of Nazareth nuns have given their evidence to Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry in a "haphazard and piecemeal fashion", the inquiry has been told.

The inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children's residential institutions from 1922 to 1995.

On Monday morning it heard that some statements came as late as last Friday.

This was despite the initial request for documents being made in November 2012.

The inquiry's senior barrister, Christine Smith QC, welcomed the apology the nuns made at the hearing earlier this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Rebel Rabbi Exposes Child Molesters

NEW YORK
The Daily Beast

WRITTEN BY
Antonia Marrero
Adam Grannick

Hasidic Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg has faced ostracism and violence to expose child molestation in his Brooklyn neighborhood.

The choice to expose a pedophile is a no-brainer, right? Mostly.

But if your community believes that ‘informing’ on other community members is unthinkable, pedophiles are left free to continue preying on kids. In fact, pedophiles flourish in insular communities.

And there are few communities more insular than Williamsburg’s rapidly-growing population of Hasidim, a branch of Orthodox Judaism whose name signifies piety.

Brooklyn’s neighborhood of Williamsburg is home to approximately 180,000 Hasidim. One of them is Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, and he’s on a mission.

"Boys used to come and tell me that they go the ritual bath—they’re being sodomized,” the rabbi said. “Girls used to tell me that their father sleeps with them.” Faced with mounting reports of child molestation, Rosenberg founded a free hotline to inform his community about sexual predators, as well as how to get the police involved.

Other rabbis denounced the open condemnation of community pedophiles, labeling Rosenberg an “informer” against the Jewish people. The smear has given apparent permission for violence against Rosenberg himself. Fellow Jews have hurled rocks at him. One particularly nasty street ambush included having bleach thrown in his face, disabling one of his eyes for a time. Of all the synagogues in Williamsburg, the rabbi can count on one hand how many will let him enter to pray.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Kurt Krenn: Umstrittener Bischof verstarb nach langer Krankheit

OSTERREICH
Nachrichten

SANKT PÖLTEN. Der gebürtige Oberösterreicher war 13 Jahre lang Diözesanbischof von St. Pölten – Seine Amtszeit war von Kontroversen geprägt.

Einer der eindrücklichsten, aber auch umstrittensten Repräsentanten der katholischen Kirche ist tot: Der St. Pöltener Altbischof Kurt Krenn verstarb am Samstag im 78. Lebensjahr nach langer Krankheit.

Der gebürtige Oberösterreicher Krenn war zwischen 1991 und 2004 Diözesanbischof von St. Pölten. Seine Amtszeit war gekennzeichnet von Kontroversen über seine Person, seinen Stil und viele seiner Aussagen. Von den Äbten der niederösterreichischen Klöster wurde Krenn abgelehnt, sein Konflikt mit dem Paudorfer Pfarrer Udo Fischer ging über Jahre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

OOSTENRIJKSE EMERITUS BISSCHOP KURT KRENN OVERLEDEN

OOSTENRIJK
Kerknet

[Summary: Kurt Krenn, emeritus bishops of the Austrian diocese of St. Polten, died Saturday at age 77. Thus the Austrian Catholic Church loses one of its most prominent and controversial figures. He received fierce criticism for his authoritarian and often provocative statements. He stepped down from the job due to health reasons but the resignation was generally associated with revelations about sex scandals in a seminary in his diocese where tens of thousands of pornographic photos were found on computers.]

BRUSSEL (KerkNet/Kathpress) – Mgr. Kurt Krenn, de emeritus bisschop van het Oostenrijkse bisdom St. Pölten, is zaterdag op 77-jarige leeftijd overleden. Daarmee verliest de Oostenrijkse katholieke Kerk een van haar meest geprofileerde en omstreden figuren.

Kurt Krenn (1936-2014) werd in 1987 door paus Joannes Paulus II benoemd tot hulpbisschop van Wenen. In 1991 werd hij bisschop in St. Pölten. Daar kreeg hij felle kritiek wegens zijn autoritair optreden en zijn vaak provocerende uitspraken. In 2004 legde hij zijn taak neer wegens gezondheidsredenen. Dat terugtreden werd algemeen in verband gebracht met onthullingen over seksschandalen op het seminarie in zijn bisdom, waar tienduizenden pornografische afbeeldingen op computers werden aangetroffen. De rector en vice-rector, die affaires met priesterstudenten zouden hebben gehad, traden af.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Understanding their Pain

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Press

By: Harry Maryles Published: January 26th, 2014

There were new revelations recently about the scourge of sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Chicago. From a segment of the PBS Newshour broadcast on January 21st.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, the country’s third largest, shielded and protected priests who were accused of sexual abuse for decades. Newly released papers document the actions of 30 priests, nearly half of them deceased, the rest now out of ministry. Victims who had long pressed for more information talked about it at a press conference in Chicago today.

I could not help noticing that the reaction of the Church hierarchy in the person of Cardinal George was almost identical to the response of Orthodox Jewish institutional leaders. It goes something like this: These events happened at a time when things like this were handled differently. We understand the problems now and will handle them differently.

What virtually all of the leaders of these institutions are guilty of is not of the abuse itself. But of how badly they reacted to it. The primary concern has always been – and still is to some extent – to protect their institutions. In the past that often meant keeping things quiet (sweeping them under the rug) and discouraging victims from reporting the abuse to the authorities; to quietly dismiss those abusers from their positions and allowing them to find jobs at other locations that involved being around potential victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

January 26, 2014

Activists draw attention to accusations involving 3 deceased priests

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear Pashman
Tribune reporter
8:21 p.m. CST, January 26, 2014

Three deceased Archdiocese of Chicago priests accused of sexually abusing minors were the focus of anti-abuse activists’ scrutiny Sunday that also drew attention to protocols church officials used to withhold their identities until last week.

Abuse victims’ attorneys released thousands of pages of archdiocese files last Tuesday detailing allegations against 30 priests accused of sexually abusing minors. In the files, the archdiocese was for the first time identifying three of them: Kenneth Brigham, Emmanuel Pallikunnen and Thomas Kelly.

The three priests were the only ones in the files without church-substantiated allegations against them but were the subject of settlements paid out by the archdiocese.

Church officials cite a long-standing policy of not identifying priests accused of abuse after their death. Against the archdiocese’s wishes, Kelly’s name was reported in the Tribune in 2005. But the others remained secret. Kelly died in 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 PM

Stratford pastor upset about report of sex assault accusations, but admits, denies nothing

CONNECTICUT
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 26, 2014

STRATFORD, Connecticut — A monsignor has told parishioners he was upset with a news report about accusations of sexual assault and harassment, but did not admit or deny the information.

The Connecticut Post reports (http://bit.ly/L97RIx ) that Monsignor Martin Ryan said at Sunday masses at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Stratford that there is "no question" he will continue as pastor.

Bridgeport Roman Catholic Bishop Frank Caggiano apologized last week to members of the parish for not speaking earlier about the allegations.

Diocesan officials removed Ryan as pastor of St. Edward the Confessor Church in New Fairfield in 2011 after they say he acknowledged sending inappropriate emails to a female parish employee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Lancaster priest placed on leave after sexual allegation

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

By George Barnes TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
gbarnes@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The pastor of a Lancaster parish for the last 20 years has been placed on leave by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester after a 40-year-old allegation of sexual misconduct was made against him.

Bishop Robert J. McManus announced to parishioners Sunday that the Rev. Edward P. Lettic had been placed on administrative leave because of what the bishop described as a credible allegation of misconduct.

Rev. Lettic has been pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Lancaster since 1993 and has served as a priest in the diocese since he was ordained in 1973. Bishop McManus said it is the first misconduct report made against Rev. Lettic in his 40 years with the diocese.

Before he became pastor at Immaculate Conception Church, he served as an associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc in Worcester, St. Denis in East Douglas and St. Joseph in Auburn. He was also chaplain at Westboro State Hospital.

Bishop McManus said a man recently came forward with the allegation against Rev. Lettic. The allegation is being investigated with oversight by the Diocesan Review Committee

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Church supports priest despite allegations

CONNECTICUT
CT Post

Daniel Tepfer
Published 6:54 pm, Sunday, January 26, 2014

STRATFORD -- With resounding applause from his congregation, Monsignor Martin Ryan apologized Sunday for the recent Connecticut Post story detailing sexual assault and harassment allegations against him.

"I'm very upset with the article and I'm sorry that you had to read it," Ryan began each Mass from the altar at Our Lady of Grace Church.

While Ryan neither admitted nor denied the allegations, he said he continues to seek counseling and "spiritual direction," and has the support of the bishop. Ryan was appointed pastor of the 60-year-old church on Second Hill Lane on Jan. 18.

"There is no question I will continue as pastor of the parish," Ryan added to applause.

Parishioners who were questioned as they left the church overwhelmingly said they support Ryan as their pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

Archdiocese of Chicago Priest Abuse File Release Press Conference

CHICAGO (IL)
YouTube

[documents from the Chicago archdiocese]

Published on Jan 23, 2014

Sexual abuse survivors and their attorneys share and discuss the documents turned over January 15, 2014 by the Archdiocese as part several settlement agreements

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Priest In Lancaster Accused Of ‘Sexual Misconduct With A Minor’

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

LANCASTER (CBS) — A priest at Immaculate Conception Parish has been placed on administrative leave over a child abuse charge, the Diocese of Worcester announced Sunday.

A prepared statement released by the diocese includes the text of an announcement made at Sunday Masses in the church by Robert McManus, bishop of Worcester.

“I come before you today with a saddened heart to announce that I have placed Father Edward P. Lettic on administrative leave due to a credible allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor which took place forty years ago,” McManus told parishioners. “Recently the victim came forward to the diocese with this allegation, which has been investigated with the oversight of the Diocesan Review Committee. It is the first and only report of an allegation of misconduct which we have received involving Father Lettic. Because of the serious nature of the allegation, and consistent with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, I must relieve Father Lettic of his duties as pastor of the parish and remove his faculties as a priest.”

The identity of the accuser was not released.

Lettic was ordained a priest at the Diocese of Worcester in 1973, according to the diocese. He has served as an associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc, Worcester; St. Denis, East Douglas; and St. Joseph in Auburn, as well as a chaplain at Westborough State Hospital before being named pastor of Immaculate Conception in Lancaster in 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Myriad questions abound in church molestation scandal

LEBANON
The Daily Star

January 27, 2014
By Rayane Abou Jaoude
The Daily Star

BEIRUT: After years of silence, reports of sexual abuse at the hands of once-respected Lebanese priests and bishops have recently emerged, leaving a trail of unanswered questions and putting the Maronite and Orthodox churches in the limelight. Fresh reports of yet another scandal involving a bishop accused of sexually molesting a young boy at a Greek Orthodox monastery have raised further questions about how the Lebanese churches have been dealing with cases of sexual harassment in which clergy members are the suspected perpetrators.

Bishop Costantine Kayyal was implicated for allegedly sexually harassing a 10-year-old boy at the Mar Elias Monastery in the Metn town of Dhour Choueir, sources close to the case confirmed to The Daily Star, after local media outlets reported the story last week.

Kayyal’s is the third such case to emerge in Lebanon in a matter of months, but the church has so far been secretive about the case and has not revealed any details to the public.

Elya Haber, a lawyer and a sub-deacon at the Orthodox Church, told The Daily Star that the church adopts measures of “healing” over recrimination to deal with such cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Lancaster pastor removed after sex with minor alleged

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

LANCASTER, Mass. —A longtime Lancaster pastor has been put on administrative leave following accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor 40 years ago, church officials said.

Edward P. Lettic, of the Immaculate Conception Parish, was placed on leave after a victim recently came forward with a “credible allegation,” the Worcester Diocese said in a statement.

It is the “first and only” allegation of misconduct involving Lettic that the diocese has received, according to the statement. Lettic has been a priest since 1973.

“Because of the serious nature of the allegation, and consistent with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, I must relieve Father Lettic of his duties as pastor of the parish and remove his faculties as a priest,” Rev. Robert J. McManus, bishop of Worcester, said at a mass at the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Pastor of Lancaster parish removed over allegation of sex with minor 40 years ago

MASSACHUSETTS
Sentinel & Enterprise

LANCASTER -- The pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Lancaster has been removed from his post by the Worcester Diocese because of a "credible allegation" that he engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor 40 years ago, Bishop Robert J. McManus announced at the parish's Masses this weekend.

The Rev. Edward P. Lettic, who has served as pastor at Immuclate Conception since 1993, was placed on leave after a victim came forward with the allegation, which was investigated by the Diocesan Review Committee.

"It is the first and only report of an allegation of misconduct which we have received involving Father Lettic," McManus told parishioners. "Because of the serious nature of the allegation, and consistent with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, I must relieve Father Lettic of his duties as pastor of the parish and to remove his faculties as a priest."

McManus said he will appoint a temporary administrator this week to oversee the parish until a new pastor is named.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

Catholic priest put on leave after allegation of abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
My Fox Boston

LANCASTER, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A Catholic priest has been put on administrative leave after the Bishop of Worcester announced he had been accused of a "credible allegation of sexual misconduct."

The alleged abuse between a minor and Fr. Edward P. Lettic happened 40 years ago, Most Rev. Robert J. McManus announced on Sunday.

The victim came forward recently, McManus said, and the allegation was investigated by a Worcester diocese review committee.

"It is the first and only report of an allegation of misconduct which we have received involving Fr. Lettic," McManus announced at Mass on Sunday. Because of the serious nature of the allegation...I must relieve Father Lettic of his duties as pastor of the parish and remove his faculties as a priest."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Bishop McManus places pastor on administrative leave

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ray Delisle, 508-791-5357

January 26, 2014, Worcester, MA – Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, shared the following announcement at all the Masses this weekend at Immaculate Conception Parish, Lancaster.

“I come before you today with a saddened heart to announce that I have placed Fr. Edward P. Lettic on administrative leave due to a credible allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor which took place forty years ago. Recently the victim came forward to the diocese with this allegation which has been investigated with the oversight of the Diocesan Review Committee. It is the first and only report of an allegation of misconduct which we have received involving Fr. Lettic. Because of the serious nature of the allegation, and consistent with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, I must relieve Father Lettic of his duties as pastor of the parish and remove his faculties as a priest.”

“I truly realize that this news is a shock for you as it has been for me. I ask that you join me in prayer for the parish community, as well as for those who have been hurt in any way by sexual misconduct. I also ask that you keep Fr. Lettic in your prayers.”

“The Catholic Church is often referred to as the family of God. As your bishop, I have a serious pastoral responsibility for the spiritual care and wellbeing of this family. That is why I have come to this parish personally to share this very troubling news. A family rejoices together in good times and also grieves together in times of hurt and sadness. My fervent hope and prayer is that, relying on each other’s support and on God’s grace, we will work together to continue to make Immaculate Conception Parish a strong and vibrant community of faith, hope and love. This week I will appoint a temporary administrator to oversee the pastoral life of the parish until a new pastor is named. After Mass, I will be here to meet with anyone who wishes to gather in the rectory along with Mrs. Frances Nugent, director of the Office of Healing and Prevention. I pray that God’s all powerful grace may bring you comfort and healing in the weeks and months ahead.”

In keeping with the Norms issued by the Holy See following adoption of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, a canonical process has begun including a report of the allegation to the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. The result of that canonical process, if found guilty of the allegation, could include removal from the clerical state or a sanction such as a life of prayer and penance.

Fr. Lettic was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Worcester in 1973. He has served as an associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc, Worcester; St. Denis, East Douglas; and St. Joseph in Auburn, as well as a chaplain at Westborough State Hospital before being named pastor of Immaculate Conception in Lancaster in 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Local priest placed on leave after accusations of misconduct

MASSACHUSETTS
The Item

LANCASTER — Father Ed Lettic, longtime priest at the Immaculate Conception Church, was placed on leave after allegations of sexual misconduct were reported.

Rev. Robert J. McManus, bishop of Worcester, was at the church on Sunday to inform the congregation.

In a press release posted on the Diocese website Sunday, it stated that McManus made the following announcement to the congregation:

“I come before you today with a saddened heart to announce that I have placed Fr. Edward P. Lettic on administrative leave due to a credible allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor, which took place 40 years ago. Recently the victim came forward to the diocese with this allegation, which has been investigated with the oversight of the Diocesan Review Committee. It is the first and only report of an allegation of misconduct which we have received involving Fr. Lettic. Because of the serious nature of the allegation, and consistent with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, I must relieve Father Lettic of his duties as pastor of the parish and remove his faculties as a priest.”

“I truly realize that this news is a shock for you as it has been for me. I ask that you join me in prayer for the parish community, as well as for those who have been hurt in any way by sexual misconduct. I also ask that you keep Fr. Lettic in your prayers.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Shining the spotlight on Salvation Army abuse

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH JANUARY 27, 2014

THE shocking cover-up by the Salvation Army of the sexual and physical abuse of children at its boys' homes and orphanages will be investigated by the royal commission into child sex abuse starting tomorrow.

Orphans brought up in four of the organisation's 35 homes in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s will give evidence of their brutal treatment as officers and staff were moved around between the homes to hide the abuse.

Care Leavers Australia Network's Leonie Sheedy said yesterday that the organisation's motto should be "Shame on the Salvos" instead of "Thank God for the Salvos''.

"People will be shocked and they need to be shocked," Ms Sheedy, executive officer of CLAN, said. "This was an organisation that the government had said was suitable to look after children who had no one else because of war, death, poverty or their parents for other reasons could not look after them.

"But the boys, now adults, talk about them as hell holes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Salvo homes subject to inquiry

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A national inquiry into the Salvation Army's movement of staff linked to child sex abuse between children's homes in NSW and Queensland will open this week.

The fifth case study by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will start in Sydney on Tuesday.

The focus of the public hearing will be the response of the Salvation Army (Eastern Territory) to child sexual abuse within four homes: the Alkira Salvation Army Home for Boys, Indooroopilly, Queensland; the Bexley Boys Home, Bexley, NSW; Riverview Training Farm (also known as Endeavour Training Farm), Riverview, Queensland; and the Gill Memorial Boys Home, Goulburn, NSW.

As well as the movement of officers and staff, the Salvation Army's processes for dealing with allegations of abuse will be examined in the two-week hearing.

At a child abuse inquiry in Victoria last year it was revealed that since 1997 the Salvation Army has received 474 abuse claims, 470 of which arose from its children's homes, over 30 to 40 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

IL--Victims focus on 3 predator priests

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victor Stewart
Kenneth Brigham
Emmanuel A. Pallikunnen

Victims focus on 3 predator priests
Two are new, “outed” for 1st time this week
Neither has attracted public attention in Chicago
One eventually went to India, the other to Las Vegas
The 3rd is the most prolific abuser: at least 35 victims
He worked mostly in African American neighborhoods

WHAT
As church-goers enter mass, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hand out fliers highlighting three predator priests whose records were released this week.
Two of them were "outed" for the first time on Tuesday. The third is perhaps Chicago's most prolific predator priest (with at least 35 victims).

The leaflets urge Chicago Catholics to
--help them track down where other suspected or defrocked pedophile priests are living or working now, so their unsuspecting neighbors might be warned that dangerous men are nearby,
--ask their loved ones if any of them were hurt by child molesting clerics, and
--insist that archdiocesan officials punish the “enablers” - the church staffers who ignored or hid evidence or warnings of clergy sex crimes, especially those clerics whose names appear in the soon-to-be-released records.

WHEN
Sunday, Jan. 26 at 11:45 a.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside Holy Name Cathedral, North State St at Superior St, Chicago

WHO
Four-five adults who belong to a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). Some were molested as kids; others are concerned Catholics.

WHY
For weeks, Chicago Catholic officials (including a church attorney) suggested that there would be no new names of predator priests disclosed when 6,000 pages of long-secret archdiocesan clergy sex abuse and cover up files were made public. They were deceptive.

The documents released on Tuesday included records on two now-deceased pedophile priests who had never before been public accused: Fr. Kenneth Brigham and Fr. Emmanuel A. Pallikunnen.

The records also show that Fr. Vincent [Victor] Stewart is perhaps the most prolific Chicago predator priest, having at least 35 victims (nine of whom say another priest (whose name is redacted in the church files) observed, witnessed or knew about Stewart's crimes. One victim reported to another priest about his abuse by Stewart and that priest told the victim "he would pray about it" but did not report it to police. In 2005, several victims filed a complaint accusing Chicago police of complicity in Stewart's abuse by silencing some victims when they tried to tell in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

Church revelations leave faithful 'disappointed, saddened'

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

January 26, 2014|By Manya Brachear Pashman, Tribune reporter

At an anti-abortion rally last Sunday, Cardinal Francis George proclaimed to a downtown crowd of thousands that culture and societies can change.

"Because you tell the truth, the pro-life movement can come in from the cold," said Chicago's shivering archbishop, who later headed to Washington, D.C., for the 41st annual March for Life.

George was still in the nation's capital Tuesday when the truth came out in Chicago about how he and his predecessors struggled to manage the clergy sex abuse crisis in the nation's third-largest Roman Catholic archdiocese. That day, thousands of pages of secret church documents were released as part of a court settlement, showing how leaders of the local church for the past half-century failed to protect children from abusive priests.

As the cardinal left Sunday's rally, he told the Tribune that the mistakes were in the past. But now George must face a painful present, with his flock stunned by the severity of his missteps and those of his predecessors Joseph Bernardin and John Cody.

"We're disappointed and saddened," said Ald. Tim Cullerton, 38th, a parishioner at Our Lady of Victory parish on the North Side.

Before last week's document release, George admitted mishandling the case of convicted child molester Daniel McCormack, and those files remain sealed. But the newly-released documents chronicle how George and those under his leadership failed to take proper steps in the case of the Rev. Joseph Bennett, a priest accused of molesting two sisters from 1967 to 1973 at St. John de la Salle in Chicago. About a dozen more allegations have surfaced since.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Bodette column: Join us for clergy abuse chat

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

John Bodette

Good morning, St. Cloud area.

Mark your calendars for 1 p.m. Monday to view the Times Editorial Board’s discussion with St. Cloud Bishop Donald Kettler and St. John’s Abbot John Klassen about the clergy sex abuse scandal and how the Catholic Church can move forward.

Board members spent time Wednesday discussing possible questions to ask two of the leaders of the Catholic Church in Central Minnesota. There are plenty of things the board wants to understand about how the clergy abuse issue was handled and what steps are being taken to prevent future abuse.

You can watch the session live on www.sctimes.com. We also plan to provide a news report of highlights from the session.

Thanks to the readers who answered my suggestion in a previous column and sent along their questions for consideration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Harrisburg's new bishop seemed destined for success while growing up in Pottsville, friends say

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Charles Thompson | cthompson@pennlive.com
on January 24, 2014

It’s not that the young Ronald Gainer was considered most likely to become a bishop in his mid-1960s high school class.

Sure, the young Gainer was noticeably devout and serious about his faith, even for the 1,000-plus students at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary High School in Pottsville, Schuylkill County.

It’s more like this, said Ed Tray, a former classmate and current teacher at the Catholic high school: “I think anybody who went to school with him would know he would be a success in whatever he tried to do.” ...

At the height of the church’s sex abuse scandals at the time, Gainer succeeded J. Kendrick Williams, who resigned the previous June after being accused of sexually abusing three boys earlier in his career.

Gainer faces no trauma like that in the new succession; his immediate predecessor in Harrisburg, Bishop Joseph McFadden, died unexpectedly last summer during a Bishop’s meeting in Philadelphia.

His time in Lexington was not without controversy. He consistently took a conservative stance and early in his tenure called for pro-abortion politicians to voluntarily abstain from receiving holy Communion, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Will Pa. court ruling impact Baker case?

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott
kmellott@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — The Pennsylvania Superior Court’s order overturning the conviction of a Philadelphia Catholic Church official could profoundly impact any criminal prosecution of those who knew and failed to report the sexual abuse by Brother Stephen Baker, experts say.

The year 2007 is key, said Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston attorney representing a couple of dozen former students at Bishop McCort Catholic High School who allege Baker sexually molested them while carrying out his duties as part of the athletic department.

Garabedian and Altoona attorney Richard Serbin, along with others, are representing alleged Baker victims in civil lawsuits. The recent appeals court action stems from criminal prosecution of Monsignor William Lynn of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

“It appears it’s going to be difficult for the government to prosecute supervisors prior to 2007 if they didn’t have direct contact with the student,” Garabedian said Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

National Catholic Reporter ...

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

National Catholic Reporter Calls for Criminal Investigation of Legion of Christ--"An Agency of Almost Unimaginable Fraud"

National Catholic Reporter's editorial calling for criminal investigation of the Legion of Christ minces no words. An editorial beginning with the following opening sentence is whatever the opposite of word-mincing might be called:

The Legion of Christ has been an agency of almost unimaginable fraud, and that reality alone should be reason for civil authorities to pursue a criminal investigation of its U.S. activities and for the church to proceed with extreme caution in considering allowing the group to continue.

And it only gets better from there. In the very next sentence, the editorial cuts off at the knees the claim of many apologists that the Legion of Christ is, after all, about Christ, no matter how off-course the religious community may have gotten in its development. And it can be rehabilitated, when its tarnished image is buffed up a bit and we see the original charism shining out under the tarnish. NCR's rejoinder to that apologetic:

The Legion, which was of many things but certainly not of Christ, was built on the life of a man, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, who trafficked in deception, lies and crimes against children.

And then the editorial adds, later,

For millennia, the church has absorbed religious movements and enthusiast groups of every sort. The Legion, however, is of another species entirely. It has no charism save for a fraud of a founder. Its relationship with the wider world and with the church is so tainted by corruption and lies that it is difficult to imagine justification for its continuation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Joyce Maynard on Relationship with J.D. Salinger...

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

[with video]

William D. Lindsey

Joyce Maynard on Relationship with J.D. Salinger: Carryovers for Discussion of Abuse Situation in Catholic Church?

Novelist Joyce Maynard, who says that J.D. Salinger sought her out for an intimate relationship when she was "a very young 18-year-old," reiterates (in different words) in the video interview above with HuffPost Live points that she also made last year in a New York Times article:


People in positions of power — mentors, priests, employers or simply those assigned an elevated status — use their power to lure much younger people into sexual and (in the case of Salinger) emotional relationships. Most typically, those who do this are men. And when they are done with the person they’ve drawn toward them, it can take that person years or decades to recover.

• People in positions of power
• Use their power to lure much younger people into sexual relationships
• Most typically, those who do this are men
• It can take that person years or decades to recover

And, of course, as I listen to that interview and ready Maynard's remarks, I cannot avoid thinking of the abuse situation in my Catholic church. What do you think: is Maynard's commentary on her involvement with J.D. Salinger pertinent in any way to the abuse crisis?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Nach Missbrauchsskandal sind Täter kaum belangt worden

DEUTSCHLAND
Berliner Morgenpost

[Summary: The world of the Catholic Church was shaken four years ago when the first cases were made public of abuse at Berlin's Canisius College, a Jesuit high school. Subsequently numerous cases of sexual assault and violent acts by priests and other church employees came to light and the shock waves reach the Vatican. But there are still groups of victims who feel let down by the order. Matthias Katsch, spokesman for the Round Table group said the two main perpetrators at Canisius were hardly held accountable.]

Von Joachim Fahrun
Vier Jahre ist es her, dass die Welt der katholischen Kirche erschüttert wurde. Die Berliner Morgenpost berichtete als erstes Medium über Missbrauchsfälle am Berliner Jesuitengymnasium Canisius-Kolleg. In der Folge kamen zahlreiche weitere sexuelle Übergriffe und Gewalttaten von Priestern und anderen Kirchenmitarbeitern ans Licht. Die Schockwellen erreichten den Vatikan, aber auch viele andere Sektoren der Gesellschaft. Kinderheime, Sportvereine, Reformschulen – überall wurde den vorher allenfalls verschämt geäußerten Schilderungen der Tausenden Opfer mit einem Mal Glauben geschenkt.

Am Canisius-Kolleg waren schon lange vor jenem 28. Januar 2009 ehemalige Schüler in kleinen Gruppen dabei, sich des erlittenen Unrechts klar zu werden und sich darüber auszutauschen, was sie in den 70er- und 80er-Jahren als Schutzbefohlene der Patres Peter Riedel und Wolfgang Statt erlitten hatten. Als sie den Rektor Pater Klaus Mertes mit ihren Erlebnissen konfrontierten, geschah erstmals nicht das, was bisher immer dafür gesorgt hatte, solche Vorgänge aus der Öffentlichkeit zu halten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Priest files may lead to reopening of Wisconsin sex abuse case

WISCONSIN
Duluth News Tribune

James Steel

The criminal case against a former Chicago-area priest and a Catholic grammar school principal both accused of repeatedly molesting a minor in Northwestern Wisconsin years ago could be reopened after newly unveiled documents were released by the Archdiocese of Chicago last week.

By: Robin Washington, Duluth News Tribune

The criminal case against a former Chicago-area priest and a Catholic grammar school principal both accused of repeatedly molesting a minor in Northwestern Wisconsin years ago could be reopened after newly unveiled documents were released by the Archdiocese of Chicago last week.

The file of former priest James Steel, among records of 30 clergymen released Tuesday by the archdiocese, contains allegations that Steel and Donald Ryniecki sexually abused a boy on trips to Long Lake in Washburn County in 1982 and 1983.

Steel, who was laicized in 2001, was at the time a priest at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Wheeling, Ill., where Ryniecki was the school principal and where they also are alleged to have abused the boy.

The Archdiocese of Chicago found the allegations credible and paid an undisclosed settlement to accuser Robert Brancato five years ago. Yet while Washburn County and Wheeling law enforcement authorities investigated Steel and Ryniecki after Brancato filed a police report accusing them in late 2004, neither man was criminally charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Paragould Youth minister found not guilty of sexual assault

ARKANSAS
KATI

Posted by Jorge Quiquivix

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – A Region 8 youth minister was acquitted of sexual assault charges after being accused back in 2012.

Corey Ray Weatherford, 27, was originally charged with three counts of first degree sexual assault. On Monday, a jury acquitted him of those charges.

Weatherford was a student minister at Reynolds Baptist Church in Paragould.

He was accused of engaging in sexual activity with two girls at a church camp with the age of 16 and 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Weatherford acquitted of sexual assault charges

ARKANSAS
Paragould Daily Press

A Paragould youth minister was acquitted of charges of sexual assault Friday in Greene County.

Corey Ray Weatherford, former student minister at Reynolds Baptist Church in Paragould, was charged in 2012 with three counts of first-degree sexual assault involving two female minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Suburban survivors of clergy sex abuse can face lifelong struggle

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

[link to documents]

By Jamie Sotonoff

For nearly 40 years, Carmen Severino hid the fact that she was sexually abused by her family parish's priest between fifth grade and her senior year of high school.

Scared to tell her devout family, fearing they'd side with the church over her, Severino suppressed the memories and soldiered on with her life. She got married and had children. Divorced and remarried. Pursued successful careers as an actress and nutritionist.

Everything seemed fine on the outside, but the psychological wounds festered for decades. When she finally opened up about the abuse nine years ago, it took years of therapy to come to terms with her guilt and shame. Even today, at 59, something as simple as the sight of a priest wearing clerical robes can trigger thoughts of her painful past.

For Severino, of Naperville, and many other survivors of clergy sexual abuse, the trauma they suffered decades ago is something they still deal with in their daily lives. Yet most agree that the best thing they did to heal was to talk about it with someone, either a professional, a trusted friend or a fellow survivor.

"When I first came forward, I was the sinner. I was the shame," she said. "It still is a journey ... but the more it comes out, the better it will be for those suffering in silence. You have to shine the light in the corners of the kitchen to have the cockroaches come out."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

January 25, 2014

Alleged pedophile priest once served in WW

WASHINGTON
Union-Bulletin

WALLA WALLA — The Archdiocese of Spokane is seeking information about a priest who briefly lived in Walla Walla in 1986 and has since been the subject of a substantiated claim of child sexual abuse in Minnesota.

According to the Inland Register, the newspaper for the Spokane archdiocese, the Rev. Clarence Vavra was hired as a chaplain at the Washington State Penitentiary in the fall of 1986, but resigned his position on Dec. 29, 1986, and left the state shortly afterward.

The newspaper reported the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis has recently published that there is a substantiated claim of child sexual abuse against Vavra.

“Although Vavra’s known abuse did not take place in Washington state, it is the policy of the Diocese of Spokane to inform parishioners when it receives information about known perpetrators who have served within the boundaries of our diocese,” the article said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Pope Francis Seems To Be A Nice Person, But a Fallible Leader

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Many Catholics for a half century had been required to accept, whether they liked it or not, popes that included an indecisive Italian intellectual who condemned birth control, a self confident Polish actor who protected child abusers, and a firm German disciplinarian who lived in a bubble, all directed by Italian curial practitioners of Machiavellian “realpolitik”. Consequently, many of these Catholics are enjoying immensely so far their friendly pastoral Latino, Pope Francis. He seems to most of them to be trying his best to salvage a sinking Vatican. It remains to be seen if the salvage operation is intended to benefit mainly the world’s cardinals or the world’s Catholics, two groups often with different interests.

If the Vatican had only religious influence, Catholics could wait and give Francis unlimited time to act. But the Vatican, by conscious choice and long tradition. is also a geo-political player. Papal actions, and inaction, including lobbying on key political and social policies that impact adversely children and women especially, require a political response from the USA and other nations. These policies range from child protection and women’s reproductive rights to Middle East peace negotiations, especially regarding Syria. Hopefully, President Obama will give Pope Francis a pointed response on these matters when they meet in two months.

Pope Francis inherited, after ex-Pope Benedict quit, several difficult and pressing challenges, including an ineffective Vatican management, a lack of bishop accountability for failing to protect children, denials of women’s equality and reproductive rights and disrespect for gay persons and their rights, and violent international religious competition, especially in the Middle East.

Francis obviously had limited prior experience in managing an international political organization. Interestingly, even one of his loyal Jesuit confreres. Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J., has noted his recent mistake in appointing more Curial cardinals. Reese has a Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley and is a leading authority on Vatican management structures. See his:

[National Catholic Reporter]

Hopefully, more Catholic intellectuals will follow Reese’s bold lead and face up to honest and constructive assessments of Francis’ actions and inaction. The moral duties of “fraternal correction” and intellectual integrity require no less. The habits of “safe silence” under the last two pope’s inquisitorial regimes must now be disgarded, while the window for change remains open, however slightly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

Substance And Style: How The Reforms Of Pope Francis Are Changing The Catholic Church

Huffington Post

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

When Pope Francis posed his now-iconic question, "Who am I to judge?" in reference to gay people in the Catholic Church, he signaled a sea change in a deeply conservative religious institution reeling from decades of scandal and decline in Europe and the Americas.

The pope’s insistence on simple living, his radical statements about economic injustice, and the arresting photos of him embracing others have effectively transcended religion, at once reflecting and furthering what his champions celebrate as progressive social change.

But beneath the Pope's headline-catching rhetoric, he has delivered key administrative decisions over the past year that indicate serious and substantial reforms are already underway within the Catholic church.

In an unprecedented move soon after his election, Francis appointed eight cardinals from around the globe to sit on a permanent advisory panel. This group, which is about to meet for the third time, aids Francis in his efforts to "shake-up" the bureaucracy in the Vatican. The panel will also be responsible for creating guidelines on how to address the church's global priest sex abuse scandal, namely how to handle clergy who have been accused of abuse and how to prevent it.

Francis has also replaced the widely criticized Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, whose tenure under Pope Benedict XVI was marked by a "Vatileaks" scandal that exposed alleged corruption, with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

Additionally, he has targeted the scandal-prone and notoriously secretive Vatican Bank: He appointed a commission to investigate how it operates, hired secular financial firms to do a third-party investigation of its practices, and recently replaced almost all of the cardinals on its advisory council with a new group to oversee much-needed reforms. ...

Church members also say Francis has yet to do enough to address the church's sex abuse scandals, the greatest strain on the Catholic Church.

During a United Nations committee hearing in Geneva last week, the Vatican was accused of protecting priests and bishops and obstructing local investigations in the wake of sex abuse accusations. It also recently refused an extradition request from Poland for Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who is under investigation for sex abuse that allegedly occurred when he served in The Dominican Republic. The U.S. based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) criticized the pope for appointing Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller as one of its new cardinals, saying he has a "dreadful" record on children's safety. It also lamented the omission of Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who has been an outspoken critic of the church's handling of sex abuse scandals around the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Cardinal coordinator has high hopes for pope's agenda

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Christa Pongratz-Lippitt | Jan. 25, 2014

VIENNA
Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, coordinator of the Council of Cardinals, has high hopes that the council will bring the central administration of the church up to date.

"There is a lot of hope and high expectations of the commission I was appointed to lead. I am sure that Pope Francis is in favor of making the Curia more agile and easier to work with," Rodriguez Maradiaga told KNA, the German Catholic news agency, on a visit to Germany in January.

The most important priority is to change the mentality of the Curia, Rodriguez Maradiaga said. The pope is against careerism, he said: Many priests who worked in the Curia had up to now automatically become bishops, archbishops, and even cardinals -- "but that no longer corresponds to the mentality of the world church, and bishops from all over the world have voiced their displeasure. Working for the Curia is a service and not a career or a position of power," the cardinal said.

Rodriguez Maradiaga said further important steps can be taken to make the Curia truly representative of the world church -- that is, more international -- and to give local bishops' conferences greater decision-making powers. "There are many questions that do not need to be decided by the Roman Curia," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Crookston diocese releases list of accused priests

MINNESOTA
Grand Forks Herald

[list of accused priests with biographical information]

By Stephen J. Lee on Jan 24, 2014

Five the priests are dead and their alleged abuse occurred decades ago.

The sixth, the Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul, remains awaiting extradition from his home country of India, to face charges in Roseau County he sexually assaulted two girls, 14 and 16, a decade ago while serving as a visiting priest to the diocese for about three years.

The release of the list came after a request from the Herald.

And it doesn’t contain new material, since the names have been available for several years in court documents and have been mentioned in news stories over the years.

It is a significant change in policy for the diocese. As recently as October, an attorney for the Crookston diocese argued against litigation by St. Paul attorney Jeffrey Anderson seeking such a list, that there was no harm in keeping private such a list of priests accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Cardinal George revises history.

CHICAGO (IL)
dotCommonweal

Grant Gallicho January 24, 2014

On Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Chicago released six thousand pages of documents related to the cases of thirty priests credibly accused of sexual abuse. The files, made public as part of a settlement with victims' attorneys, offer a predictably depressing view of archdiocesan failures over the past several decades. You know the dirge: priests quietly shuttled from parish to parish, civil authorities kept in the dark about some cases (and colluding with church officials to keep others from public scrutiny), laypeople and clergy failing to report allegations, bishops refusing to suspend dangerous priests.

For releasing these documents and for making public the names of known abuser-priests, Cardinal Francis George--archbishop of Chicago since 1997--takes some credit. "Publishing for all to read the actual records of these crimes," he wrote in a letter warning Chicagoans about the document dump, "raises transparency to a new level." Perhaps. But he didn't volunteer these files. They wouldn't have come out if it hadn't been for victims who pressed for their release as part of a legal settlement. Still, it's difficult to take seriously Cardinal George's brief for transparency when he seems so intent on obfuscating his own role in the scandal.

That letter was repurposed as George's latest column in the Catholic New World. It's titled "Accountability and Transparency"--because, the cardinal says, the archdiocese is "committed" to both. "For more than twenty years," he writes, "the archdiocese has reported all allegations of sexual abuse to civil authorities and to DCFS [Department of Child and Family Services]." He makes it sound like every allegation the archdiocese has received has been promptly reported to civil authorities. That's not what happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

An ex-priest is charged re a male student in Bathurst, NSW

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

Police investigating historical sexual assaults on students at schools in Bathurst (in central-west New South Wales) arrested a former Catholic priest on 23 January 2014 at his residence in Newington in western Sydney. The man, now aged 71, was taken to Auburn police station, where he was charged with multiple counts of aggravated indecent assault of a male student between 1974 and 1977, when the accused man was a Catholic priest.

The priest was a member of a Catholic religious order which operates at several locations around Australia (that is, he did not belong to a particular local diocese). He eventually left his religious order.

A NSW Police media release on 23 January 2014 said that the man was conditionally bailed to appear at the Burwood Local Court in western Sydney later in 2014.

The arrest was made by detectives from Strike Force Belle, which was formed to investigate allegations of the sexual and indecent assaults of students by various offenders between 1960 and 1993 at two secondary boarding schools in Bathurst - St Stanislaus College (Catholic) and All Saints College (Anglican).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

The Commission’s Long Week-End (Or: Mis-Speaking For Fun And Profit)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

You’ve got to hand it to Mr. McClellan (see previous postings) and Gail “Snow White” Furness (see previous postings) of the Australian royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. They certainly give the Catholic Church every opportunity to “clarify” previous evidence.

Originally, they gave them an extra bite at the cherry this Wednesday, to present new arguments on the actual hearings on “Towards Healing” (the process for dealing with victim complaints), held last year. Then they gave them Thursday. Now they have given them Friday, to correct a mistake from Thursday.

Michael Salmon (see previous posting), director of the Catholic Church’s NSW/ACT Professional Standards Office, said he wanted to submit a supplementary statement “to assist the commission”, so they let him do so today.

Mr Salmon facilitated the 2010 “Towards Healing” session with DK, who was sexually molested when he was a student at the St Augustine’s Marist College at Cairns in Queensland State. Evidence from Mr Salmon, on Wednesday and Thursday, suggested that the conversation DK had with former college principal, Brother Gerald Burns and another clergy member covered what they knew of inappropriate behaviour by Ross Murrin in relation to DK and other boys.

In his evidence on Thursday, Br Burns (the former principal of St, Augustine’s college, where DK was abused by a Br. Murrin who is currently in prison) told the commission DK never asked him about offences against other boys, but only about his own situation. Br Burns also said a file note from Mr Salmon written after the mediation session, which suggested otherwise, was inaccurate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

CRC 65th Session: Holy See

GENEVA
UN Treaty Body Webcast

[Video - Click onto the site and scroll down to the seventh screen.]

Vatican officials meet with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

„Jede Mauer bekommt irgendwann einmal Risse“

DEUTSCHLAND
Diesseits

[Summary: The Vatican for the first time has had to answer questions from the UN Children's Rights Committee. So far the church has refused to give details about the number and handling of thousands of cases of abuse by priests. Norbert Denef believes an act of reconciliation by the church is an urgent need. He has written a letter to Pope Francis urging him to act against the cover-up of sexual violence.]

Erstmalig mussten sich in der vergangenen Woche Vertreter des Vatikans den Fragen des UN-Kinderrechtskomitees stellen. Denn bislang hat sich die Kirche geweigert, genaue Angaben über die Zahl und den Umgang mit den Tausenden Fällen des Missbrauchs Minderjähriger durch katholische Geistliche zu machen. Kritik übten die Kinderrechtsexperten der Vereinten Nationen unter anderem daran, dass manche Geistliche bis heute nicht aus dem Kirchendienst entfernt worden seien.

Norbert Denef glaubt, dass es einen gemeinsamen Weg für die unzähligen Betroffenen und die katholische Kirche geben kann. In einem Brief an Franziskus hat der 64-Jährige das Kirchenoberhaupt dazu aufgefordert, sich an einer Stiftung gegen die Vertuschung von sexualisierter Gewalt zu beteiligen. „Ein Akt der Versöhnung ist dringend geboten, um über Brücken zu gehen, wo die Wege bisher versperrt sind“, schreibt er in seinem am Donnerstag in der ZEIT veröffentlichten Appell an den Papst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned: The Vatican bank repents

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

MICHAEL BABAD
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 24 2014

The Vatican is moving forcefully to repair its scandal-prone bank.

The Instituto per le Opere di Religione, commonly known as the Vatican bank, this week released a report that highlights a year of reforms, including bolstering measures to fight money laundering.

That came just a week after Pope Francis overhauled the bank's oversight group, replacing many of its members with new faces, including the respected Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto.

The new pope isn't making his mark solely on religious, social and economic inequality issues, but also on the Vatican's wealthy bank, which posted a 2012 profit of almost €87-million and sits on billions in bonds, stocks, cash and equivalents, gold and real estate.

"As an Institute of the Church we have a particular responsibility to live up to the high standards that are rightly expected of us," Vatican bank president Ernst von Freyberg, who was brought on board in 2013, said in this week's report.

The bank's supervisory board, which has been overhauling processes for a year now, said it received a status report on how things have been going, including an update on the reforms to "adopt best practice compliance risk management and to comply with current Vatican anti-money laundering legislation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

What Bishop Raymond Goedert didn’t say

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporter January 24, 2014

The retired Catholic bishop said he “took it for granted” that sexual abuse of a child at the hands of an adult was a crime.

And Raymond Goedert testified in his 2007 deposition that he “obviously” knew as much when he became the Archdiocese of Chicago’s vicar for priests in July 1987. He said that role essentially made him “pastor to the priests,” according to a transcript of that interview.

It was also his job, he said, to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct between minors and members of the clergy. Goedert testified that priests confronted at the time with such allegations “frequently, if not almost always, admitted” to it.

But he said he never called police. Goedert contended clergy at the time were not “mandated reporters” — required under Illinois law to report suspected child abuse to the authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests...

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests begins new self-help group in Boston area

By Lisa Wangsness | GLOBE STAFF JANUARY 25, 2014

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known widely by the acronym SNAP, is beginning a new confidential self-help group in the Boston area for survivors of sexual abuse. Sessions are scheduled to start Sunday and then convene every fourth Sunday of the month thereafter. This Sunday’s meeting will be from 3 to 5 p.m. at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, 2014 Washington St., Newton, near the Woodland stop on the MBTA’s Green Line (D train). SNAP’s groups are open to any sexual abuse victim who has been abused by an authority figure. Survivors and their supporters are welcome. Contact Dave O’Regan for details at worcestersnap@gmail.com or call 434-446-6769.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Financial Transparency ...

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

Financial Transparency Emerges as Major Theme in St. Paul-Minneapolis Abuse Story: Outstanding MPR Report (and Nicole Sotelo on Knights of Columbus)

William D. Lindsey

To my mind, one of the strangest claims that apologists for the Catholic hierarchy who want to assist the hierarchy by bashing survivors of clerical sexual abuse make is that the Catholic church is and always has been transparent in its handling of finances. This claim is so obviously counterintuitive that I can't quite fathom the reasons some apologists try to trot it out as a weapon against survivors and those who stand in solidarity with survivors.

For Minnesota Public Radio, Tom Scheck has just produced a first-rate, must-read article detailing how the archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis has dealt with the donations of lay Catholics and with its other financial assets for some time now. The picture is far from pretty.

Using internal financial reports of the archdiocese detailing large transactions never disclosed to those outside certain secret internal loops, Scheck shows the archdiocese spending "nearly $11 million from 2002 to 2011 — about 3 percent of overall archdiocese revenues in those years — for costs tied to clergy misconduct under Flynn and his successor, Archbishop John Nienstedt." As Scheck notes, these hidden financial reports "detail a stealth financial system that included payments to persuade priests to leave active ministry, financial support for children fathered by priests and money for legal settlements."

As an example of how the system worked, Scheck points to the case of Father Stanley Kozlak, whom archdiocesan officials decided to pay off in secret after Kozlak fathered a child in 2000--to pay him off in secret as he was removed from ministry in a way designed to hide the reason for his removal. Scheck reports that

Archbishop Harry Flynn agreed in 2002 to pay the fallen priest $1,900 a month "disability" for life, plus $800 a month in rent for life, and $980 a month "to replace the social security payment until Father Kozlak reaches age 67 when he would receive his full social security."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Church’s apology for abuse still rings thin

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago said “we’re sorry” one more time this month for decades of covered-up sexual abuse of children by priests.

But those conversant with Catholic theology will recognize the tenor and depth of the apology.

The church identifies two levels of apologies for sin. There’s the much-preferred “perfect act of contrition” in which the penitent is sorry because what was done offended God. That recognition advances the soul’s cleansing.

The second type — “the imperfect act of contrition” — acknowledges sorrow because failing to be sorry risks Hell. In essence, you’re sorry because failing to be sorry involves punishment down the road.

The 6,000 released pages of internal documents identifying the diocese’s role in hiding, moving and nurturing pedophiles constitutes the most “imperfect” apology because they were produced under duress. The diocese hid the documents, and came clean only as part of civil trial settlement that has taken eight years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

January 24, 2014

Statute Of Limitations Changes Encourage Alleged Sexual Abuse Victims To Come Forward

HAWAII
KUTV

[with video]

[the lawsuit via Fox 13]

(KUTV) Two Utah men have filed suit against the LDS church claiming they were abused by one of their leaders.

The alleged sexual abuse happened decades ago on LDS property in Hawaii where young LDS boys were recruited to pick pineapples. The victims now in their 40's are coming forward with a new statute of limitations in Hawaii that allows them to file suit against their alleged abuser.

Until this recent change the men were left with no way to file because so many years had gone by Jacob Hubbard of Utah County says he was just 15 at the time of the sex abuse. He says, "I kept it to myself and it happened over and over again. I knew it was horrible, but I was so embarrassed about it I felt like I couldn't tell anybody."

Hubbard was suffering alone, but was not the only one. Kyle Spray was 16 at the time when he says he was abused. He is now 42 and worries there are a lot more out there. As teens they left their families for an exciting adventure in Hawaii. Their destination was a pineapple farm run by the LDS church. It was a place where young men could earn money and work towards serving LDS missions. It was billed as a great spiritual environment safe for LDS young men. Looking back Spray says, "It was Hawaii who didn't want to go to Hawaii? We're talking playing on the beach and having a good time." But, what they say happened from 1986-1988 was anything but.

A Civil lawsuit was filed January 22nd against Brian R. Picket of Idaho falls, the LDS church, Maui Land and Pineapple, and Youth Development Enterprises. The men are seeking justice for alleged sexual abuse that happened during their time at this LDS work camp.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Victims advocate: Appointment of Bishop Ronald Gainer the most distressing promotion yet from Pope Francis

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com
on January 24, 2014

“It’s a painful message. The message is nothing has changed." - David Clohessy, SNAP

The top official for a national group that advocates on behalf of people who have been abused by Catholic priests on Friday denounced the appointment of the new bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called the appointment of Bishop Ronald Gainer a disappointing decision that signals the Vatican’s continued willingness to promote and advance clergy, he said, who shield predator priests.

Clohessy said the appointment of Gainer, announced Friday at the Harrisburg Diocese headquarters, may be Pope Francis’ most distressing promotion yet.

“It’s a painful message,” Clohessy said. “The message is nothing has changed. Church officials who continue putting kids in harms way continue getting promotions. It sounds cynical but appointments like this make us question why should we expect bishops to change when they are moved up the ladder despite clear wrongdoing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Canada’s top Orthodox cleric convicted of sexually assaulting alter boy in 1980s

CANADA
Daily Brew

By Steve Mertl | Daily Brew

The leader of Canada's Russian Orthodox church got a dressing down from the Manitoba judge as he convicted the cleric of sexually assaulting an alter boy more than 30 years ago.

Archbishop Kenneth (Seraphim) Storheim had been accused of molesting twin 11-year-old boys while he was a parish priest at an Orthodox church in Winnipeg.

By the time charges were laid in 2011, Storheim had risen to become the most senior cleric in the church in Canada, holding the title of archbishop of Ottawa and Canada, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.

Storheim, 67, was convicted Friday by Queens Bench Justice Chris Mainella of sexually assaulting one of the two brothers. Mainella acquitted him of molesting the other brother, saying problems with the second victim, including mental illness, affected the quality of his evidence, the Free Press said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Canada- Orthodox archbishop guilty of abuse

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Friday, January 24, 2014

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, CA, Orthodox Director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 925-708-6175 cell, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com )

We are extremely grateful that Archbishop Seraphim Storheim has been found guilty of child sex abuse today. We also understand how difficult it is to accuse a respected man of the cloth, so we would like to thank the two men who courageously testified about what they had suffered. Without their bravery, this conviction would not have been possible and kids would still be at risk.

Now that Storheim has been found guilty in a court of law, we hope that the Orthodox Church in America will act swiftly to remove him from the ranks of clergy. We also hope that the Archdiocese of Canada will examine its records to insure that the archbishop did not use his position to shield other predators or to discipline whistle blowers.

Finally, we recognize that pedophiles usually have many victims. We beg anyone who suffered, saw, or suspected Storheim’s crimes to report to the professionals in law enforcement and help protect kids.

The archbishop worked in the following locations:

5/30/1980-1/31/1981: Supply priest in Valamo Monastery, Finland

1/1981-10/1982: Missionary priest, Alberta, Canada

10/1982-12/15/1983: Missionary priest, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States of America

12/15/1983-12/1/1984: Missionary priest in London, Ontario, Canada

12/1/1984-6/13/1987: Rector of Holy Trinity Sobor, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

6/13/1987-6/29/1990: Bishop of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

10/28/1990-present: Ruling hierarch of the Archdiocese of Canada with his seat in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

CT- Prosecutors should investigate scandal-ridden Catholic group

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director

Today, a national Catholic newspaper is calling for police and prosecutors to investigate the scandal-ridden Legion of Christ which operates in Connecticut and across the world.

We agree.

[National Catholic Reporter]

There have been multiple and credible reports and allegations of child sex crimes, adult sexual misdeeds, financial corruption, cult-like behavior, extraordinary secrecy and cover ups of all this wrongdoing in this bizarre outfit, whose founder sexually violated boys and young men while fathering at least three children despite his vow of celibacy.

Legion officials claim they're reforming. But we see no real evidence of that. They're working harder at public relations, but haven't voluntarily disclosed, much less disciplined, any of the legion officials who have ignored, hidden or enabled clergy sex crimes or helped Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado l and others hide their lavish lifestyles.

Only independent secular authorities – like prosecutors – can really investigate the Legion and find out whether any of their wrongdoing can be criminally prosecuted. We hope Connecticut’s attorney general will do this soon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Docs Reveal A Diocese’s Sins

CHICAGO (IL)
The Daily Beast

Barbie Latza Nadeau

The Chicago diocese of the Catholic Church has released a trove of 6,000 documents that show terrible child abuse by priests—and a coordinated effort to shield the predators from victims’ families and the law.

For the victims of predatory priests and their families, there will never be enough transparency to counter the years of perceived lies and secrets at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church. But thanks to a legal settlement between the archdiocese of Chicago and the victims of 30 pedophilic priests, a cache of 6,000 secret documents has just been made public, proving what victims have always believed: that the Catholic Church knowingly covered up years of abuse.

Some of the documents released on Tuesday and published on the website of attorney Jeff Anderson, who brokered the deal in 2008, are deeply disturbing. Many show a terrible level of child abuse, including detailed allegations by young boys of sodomy, forced oral sex and, in one case, a young girl who recounted how a priest masturbated and ejaculated on top of her. One complaint details how a priest threatened his victim at gunpoint not to tell authorities about the ongoing rape. The documents also show how the hierarchy within the Chicago diocese willingly moved priests around and lied to the victims’ families, legal teams and even the local police. At one point, as many as 60 percent of the churches in the Chicago archdiocese had pedophile priests, according to a Voices of the Faithful study conducted in 2010.

Several documents also show that Chicago bishops petitioned the Holy See in Rome and asked for guidance, despite years of denials from Rome that these matters were dealt with on a purely local level. In the case of Father Daniel Mark Holihan—who, according to the documents, was referred to as “Happy Hands Holihan” by his Catechism students—a memorandum was submitted to the Chicago church by a representative from the Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review. “I referred this matter to the Holy See on 15 September 2003, receiving a reply on 16 June 2004 dispensing from canonical prescription and instructing me to conduct an administrative penal process,” the memorandum said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Mary Ann Ahern: “Priest sex abuse is a big thorn in this country’s side”

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN

[audio]

Mary Ann Ahern, reporter for NBC Chicago, investigated priest sex scandals 20 years ago. These reports recently resurfaced as the files were released. Hear what Ahern believes should be done the information and how she discovered Mayor Richard M. Daley’s name in one file.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Priest convicted of Oshkosh sex assaults at center of new lawsuit

WISCONSIN
The Northwestern

Written by
Michael Tarm
Associated Press

CHICAGO — A new lawsuit filed Thursday alleging sexual abuse of children in the 1960s and ‘70s focuses on Norbert J. Maday, a now-defrocked priest and registered sex offender who lives in Oshkosh and is referred to at length in documents released this week by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.

Maday molested boys — sometimes in cars or motel swimming pools — when a priest at Chicago’s St. Leo Catholic Church and later at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church in Oak Lawn, according to the lawsuit.

The document, filed in Cook County Court on behalf of three plaintiffs, names Maday, the archdiocese, and another man, Thomas Hacker, who is serving two concurrent 50-year prison terms on a 1989 conviction for molesting three boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Kenneth Storheim, Archbishop, Found Guilty Of Sexually Assaulting Boy

CANADA
Huffington Post

By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG - An Orthodox archbishop was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting an altar boy 29 years ago by a judge who ruled Seraphim Kenneth Storheim's denials were "nonsensical."

"I do not believe the testimony of the accused," Court of Queen's Bench Justice Christopher Mainella said in an oral decision that lasted for two hours.

"The accused was not credible about his behaviour. He ... provided nonsensical answers and was not consistent in his version of events."

Storheim, who became the top Canadian cleric for the Orthodox Church in America, was accused of sexually assaulting two brothers in the summer of 1985, when he was a priest in Winnipeg. The brothers, whose identities are protected by a publication ban, lived with Storheim for brief periods, on separate occasions, while they worked as altar boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

No hay denuncias por pederastia en Torreón

MEXICO
El Siglo de Torreon

[Summary: A spokesman for the Torreon diocese said in the last 50 years they have not had a reported case of sexual abuse by priests.]

En sus 50 años la Diócesis de Torreón no ha registrado casos de abuso sexual por sacerdotes pertenecientes a su demarcación, aseguró el sacerdote Rafael López.

Ante las declaraciones realizadas por el obispo de la Diócesis de Saltillo, Raúl Vera, y el padre Pedro Pantoja Arreola, en donde se ventilaron cuatro casos de sacerdotes pederastas, Rafael López, director de la Buena Nueva -periódico de la Diócesis- e integrante de Comunicación Social, descartó que los registros sean de Torreón. "No hay ningún caso reportado en la iglesia ni ante las autoridades. La Diócesis tiene muy poco, 50 años, y en este tiempo no se han presentado casos de abuso sexual".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Abusos sexuales de la Iglesia Católica (I)

America Latina

[Summary: A delegation from the Vatican last week appeared before the UN to give explanations on cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests, nuns and other church officials throughout the world. Pope Francis and former Pope Benedict XVI have public acknowledged abuse but this was the first that that a commission of the Holy See was called to Geneva to recognize crimes that they tried to conceal within their religious organization.]

Francesca Emanuele

La semana pasada, una delegación del Vaticano compareció ante la ONU para dar explicaciones sobre los casos de abuso sexual a menores perpetrados por sacerdotes, monjas y demás funcionarios de la Iglesia alrededor del mundo. En ocasiones previas, el papa Francisco y el ex pontífice Benedicto XVI, reconocieron públicamente los casos de abusos. Sin embargo, era la primera vez que una comisión de la Santa Sede se presentaba en Ginebra ante las Naciones Unidas para reconocer los delitos de pederastia que históricamente ha intentado ocultar su organización religiosa.

Si bien este es un hecho sin precedentes para la Iglesia, no es ni mínimamente suficiente para las cientos de miles de víctimas efectivas (y posibles) alrededor del planeta. En Ginebra, la comisión del Vaticano continuó manteniendo ocultos los nombres de los miles de sacerdotes que están envueltos en estos delitos, aún teniendo registros internos de los mismos. Además, se negó a proporcionar documentación referida al “protocolo de actuación” que ejerce la Iglesia Católica en estos supuestos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Archbishop found guilty of sexually assaulting one of two boys in Winnipeg

CANADA
Global News

WINNIPEG – An Orthodox archbishop has been found guilty of sexually assaulting one of two brothers in Winnipeg almost 30 years ago.

The judge said in his ruling that Seraphim Kenneth Storheim was evasive and untrustworthy in his denials on the witness stand.

The Court of Queen’s Bench justice also said one brother was clear in his testimony, while the other had memory and mental illness problems.

The brothers, who are now in their 30s, testified they lived with Storheim briefly, on separate occasions, when they worked as altar boys in 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Winnipeg archbishop guilty of sexually assaulting boy

CANADA
CBC News

A Winnipeg archbishop accused of sexual assault against two boys has been found guilty in one case but not the other.

Seraphim Storheim, 67, will be sentenced later in the year. In the meantime, he will be free on bail.

Storeheim had been accused of sexually assaulting two pre-teen brothers in 1985. He was facing two counts — one for each boy.

In reading the verdict on Friday, the judge said he was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt about the assault against one boy but the burden of proof was not met for the second.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Christopher Mainella said in his ruling that Storheim was evasive and untrustworthy in his denials on the witness stand.

The judge also said one brother was clear in his testimony, while the other had memory and mental illness problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Former archbishop guilty of one sex assault charge

CANADA
Winnipeg Sun

Former archbishop Kenneth (Seraphim) Storheim was found guilty of one count of sexually molesting a young boy — and cleared of a charge he molested the boy's twin — in incidents nearly 30 years ago.

Storheim, who went on to become Canadian Archbishop of the Orthodox Church in America, was accused of molesting two pre-teen twin brothers in the mid-1980s when he was the rector at Holy Trinity Sobor in Winnipeg.

But on Friday, a court found him guilty of molesting only one of the boys.

Storheim previously admitted hugging the brothers and engaging one of the boys in a conversation about puberty — ”One of the stupider things I have done,” he said — but denied accusations he engaged in physically inappropriate behaviour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Archbishop Storheim found guilty of sexually assaulting altar boy

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Mike McIntyre

A high-ranking Orthodox archbishop has been convicted of sexually assaulting a young altar boy while working in a Winnipeg church nearly 30 years ago.

Seraphim Storheim, 67, showed little visible reaction today as he learned his fate. He will be sentenced later this spring and remains free on bail.

Queen’s Bench Justice Chris Mainella blasted Storheim in his two-hour decision, saying his claims of innocence rang hollow.

"He loves to parse words and concepts," Mainella said in finding Storheim’s testimony lacked credibility. "Other times he would provide nonsensical answers. I reject his evidence entirely."

Storheim did win a partial victory, as Mainella convicted him of molesting just one of two brothers who claimed they were attacked. Mainella cited issues with the other alleged victim, including mental illness, which impacted the quality of evidence he was able to provide.

Storheim had taken the witness stand in his own defence, claiming the only thing he was guilty of was caring too much for a troubled family he took under his wing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Vor vier Jahren – am 28. Januar 2010 – wurden die Missbrauchsfälle bekannt …

DEUTSCHLAND
Eckiger Tisch

… was machen heute eigentlich die Täter von damals?

WOLFGANG STATT
(früher: „Pater Wolfgang Statt SJ“, auch bekannt als: „Padre Volfi“ oder „Joaquin Statt“)

WAS IM JANUAR 2010 BEKANNT WURDE
Wolfgang Statt hat seit den 1960er Jahren mehr als dreißig Jahre lang in Deutschland, Spanien und Chile nach eigenen Angaben „mehrere hundert“ Kinder und Jugendliche missbraucht.

Im Februar 2010 hatte sich Statt zunächst in der deutschen Presse mit Interviews und Statements in eigener Sache zu Wort gemeldet und seinen Umzug nach Deutschland angekündigt. Am 9. Februar 2010 dementierte der Sprecher des deutschen Jesuitenordens in Chile (aber nicht in Deutschland) mit einer Pressemitteilung in spanischer Sprache, dass es in Deutschland Vorwürfe des sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen Statt gebe. Statt nahm dann von seiner geplanten Übersiedlung nach Deutschland Abstand und hat sich seitdem nicht mehr öffentlich geäußert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Francis makes his first mistake

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Jan. 24, 2014 Faith and Justice

In advancing four members of the Roman Curia to the cardinalate, Pope Francis has made his first major mistake, which may ultimately undermine his attempts at reforming the Vatican.

There is not anything particularly wrong with the men being made cardinals. Three of them are clearly Francis men who were put into their positions by the pope: Pietro Parolin, secretary of state; Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops; and Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.

The fourth Curia man Francis promoted was originally appointed by Pope Benedict XVI: Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He is not popular in the United States because he led the Vatican investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Progressive Catholics would love to see him replaced by someone more open to discussion and debate in the church.

After the Second Vatican Council, there were numerous attempts to reform the Vatican, none of which succeeded. Under Paul VI, national bishops' conferences were given more power, for example, in adapting the liturgy to local pastoral needs. But under John Paul II, the decentralization was reversed and power reverted to the Vatican. That is why we have the terrible English translation used in parishes today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

The Silence of Pope Francis

Huffington Post

[Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child - BishopAccountability.org]

Aaron Vallely
Irish writer and essayist

There is a first time for everything, and last Thursday the Vatican was pushed to admit in public that it still does not force priests to report child sex crimes to authorities. Not only is this shameful, it is unacceptable. A UN panel held The Holy See accountable in a public interrogation regarding child abuse, and scrutinized the Vatican's disgraceful and contemptuous record on dealing with child sexual abuse and torture. Although most people focused on the UN commission's interrogation in Geneva that day, some spotted a curious observation in Rome. Time magazine's Person of the Year, Pope Francis, or Jorge Mario Bergoglio, announced that these "scandals are the shame of the Church," while a man whom accompanied him was Los Angeles Archbishop Emeritus, Cardinal Roger Mahony, a repugnant man who supervised more than 200 known pedophile priests with 500 known victims to whom he paid $720 million. It makes one think: What has this new Pope done about the sex abuse crisis?

The day following, the Associated Press reported that 400 priests were defrocked in the years 2011 and 2012. According to AP, a document was specifically prepared from data the Vatican collected to defend itself before the UN committee. And what of these criminal defrocked individuals, you might ask? Well, we don't know. They remain free and at liberty to abuse again. Their identities are unknown, as are their whereabouts, and the nature of their crimes. Of them we know not much. Pope Francis has done nothing to help arm authorities with information they would need to apprehend these criminals.

A 2004 John Jay study identified 10,667 victim allegations made in the period from 1950-2002, which number increased to 15,235 through 2009. Many victims of sexual assault never report their victimization, and observers have estimated that there may be as many as 100,000 total victims in the United States alone.

On 1 July, the United Nation's Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sent a request to the pope for "detailed information on all cases of child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy, brothers, or nunnery" from the past fifteen years, and set 1 November as a deadline for a reply. Missing the deadline, on 4 December, Pope Francis responded saying it was not the way his government practiced to "disclose information on specific cases unless requested to do so by another country as part of legal proceedings" and "that the Vatican can provide information only about known and alleged child sex crimes that have happened on Vatican property."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Open letter to Bishop Tony Krotki of the Churchill-Hudson Bay diocese