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February 28, 2014

Labour chiefs: It’s OK to have sex with 10-yr-olds

UNITED KINGDOM
Sun

By RHODRI PHILLIPS, LYNN DAVIDSON & ALASTAIR TAYLOR
Last Updated: 28th February 2014

LABOUR’S Patricia Hewitt last night apologised after The Sun confronted her for backing a paedophile plan for the age of consent to be TEN in certain cases.

The ex-Health Secretary put her name to a document that also wanted to legalise incest. She and Jack Dromey, now a Labour MP, were members of a committee recommending a revolutionary change in child sex laws.

Our investigation showed how she backed the work of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) in the 1970s and 1980s. She said: “I got it wrong on PIE and I apologise for having done so.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

New head of Legionaries of Christ weighs burden of founder's sins

ROME
Catholic News Service

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- When accusations of sexual abuse against Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder and then-general director of the Legionaries of Christ, were first published in 1997, Father Eduardo Robles Gil was running one of the congregation's schools in Mexico City.

Father Robles Gil did not believe Father Maciel had molested boys in his own seminaries, yet the accusations troubled him, and he asked himself what he would do if they turned out to be true.

"I said, 'I am happy being a priest, it is where God wants me, and he called me to the Legion, so I would continue being a Legionary priest,'" he told Catholic News Service Feb. 28. "Having made that decision, I was no longer affected so much by what might come out in the newspaper."

Today, Father Robles Gil is the troubled congregation's new general director. He is the congregation's first elected leader after nearly four years of Vatican-supervised reform that, he said, have left members full of "hope, enthusiasm (and) optimism."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Puerto Rico bishops hand over accused priests to civil authorities

PUERTO RICO
Headlines from the Catholic World

San Juan, Puerto Rico, Feb 28, 2014 / 03:05 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan and Bishop Daniel Fernandez Torres of Arecibo in Puerto Rico have handed over a group of priests accused of sexual abuse to civil authorities.

In statements to the media, Archbishop Gonzalez Nieves said six cases of alleged sexual abuse of minors by priests have been turned over to Puerto Rican prosecutors.

He pledged “the full cooperation of the Archdiocese, regardless of whether the person who committed the abuse is a minister, employee or volunteer. This entire process, while painful, should be an occasion for reaching the ultimate goal, which is the well-being and protection of minors.”

“None of these priests is currently in ministry,” the archbishop emphasized. “Some of the cases have gone before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and others have exceeded the statute of limitations. One (accused individual) is dead, another was tried in court in Bayamon and another is outside Puerto Rico.”

For his part, Bishop Daniel Fernandez of Arecibo filed a complaint with police and the Department of the Family against one accused priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Priest's email confession to two-year secret affair that ended in mother's fatal overdose

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By LOUISE ECCLES

A Roman Catholic priest faces an inquiry after sensationally admitting an affair with a vulnerable parishioner who later died of a drugs overdose.

In an extraordinary series of emails to her son, Father Stephen Cooper confessed he had been seeing nurse Kathleen Lardner in the months leading up to her death.

Extracts from her diary at the time reveal that the hospital ward manager suspected he was seeing another woman and made her feel ‘like a prostitute’.

Ten years on, Father Cooper now admits that Miss Lardner, who suffered from depression and anxiety, called him on the day she died to say she had taken some pills and ask for forgiveness.
But he says that at her insistence he did not phone an ambulance, despite realising she was in a ‘deep depression’.

By the time an ambulance was called by her long-term partner several hours later, it was too late. She died in hospital the same day, aged 41. An inquest found she had swallowed a fatal quantity of her partner’s blood pressure tablets.

Incredibly, Father Cooper presided over her funeral the following week, with her family and friends oblivious to the affair or her desperate phone call.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Parents say son tried suicide after alleged molestation by Philly priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

BY HOLLY OTTERBEIN

The trial for a Philadelphia priest accused of molesting an altar boy continued Friday.

The accuser, whose name is being withheld, said the Rev. Andrew McCormick fondled him and attempted to force oral sex him when he was 10 years old. He is now 26.

The young man's parents testified Friday that their son's behavior changed in the months afterward. His father said he became angry and stopped doing the things he once enjoyed. His mother said he later attempted suicide.

The man's parents said their son finally told them about the incident in 2011, after he saw in the news that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had suspended McCormick, 57, and several other priests because of sex abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

"He Was Like A Wounded Animal"

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

A tearful mom and dad told a jury today about the noose they found hanging in their son's closet.

They were followed to the witness stand by a grandfather who was a retired detective.

It was "Pop" who took the first statement from the alleged victim in this case, the 26-year-old man who has accused Father Andrew McCormick of sexually assaulting him back in 1997 when he was a 10-year-old altar boy.

"He was like a wounded animal," the silver-haired detective said of his grandson. "He was so filled with anxiety."

In short, it was a great day for the prosecution as three relatives of the alleged victim took turns scoring points against "Father Andy."

Dad was the lead-off witness. He talked about the 3 a.m. text he received on Dec. 5, 2011 from his son.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Brendan Smyth: Victims of paedophile priest cannot sue church

IRELAND
BBC News

Victims of a paedophile priest have been prevented from taking fresh legal action against the Catholic Church.

The High Court in Dublin made the ruling against the trio, who settled cases against Brendan Smyth in 1998.

The victims alleged negligence because complaints made about Smyth in 1975 were not reported.

But the judge said that the alleged new or additional facts were already in the public domain when the cases were settled.

The trio took a case against the Bishop of Kilmore Leo O'Reilly, and Cardinal Sean Brady - the head of the Catholic church in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Robert Mickens: From Benedict to Francis

UNITED STATES
Frontline

[How big a deal was the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI?]

The resignation I think would be more than anything that Joseph Ratzinger has done in his life as a theologian — and he’s written lots of books, and he’s influenced lots of theology in the church as a Vatican official. He was one of the most important for more than 25 years. More than anything that he’s done, he will be remembered for the resignation. …

What was the state of the church that he bequeathed?

When he resigned, Benedict XVI left a church that was almost run into the ground. Some brighter people and more astute people on the workings of the church had confided in me, even people on the inside, he was killing the church. People were moving away from the church; people were leaving the church in droves.

What he did in his seven years as pope or so, is he brought back into the mainstream many fringe groups on the extreme right, groups that did not like or threw into question the reforms that happened at the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. The modernization of the church these people did not like. They wanted to go back to the old Tridentine Mass, the pre-Vatican II Mass, and he allowed them. These people were brought back into the mainstream of the church, even though they’re tiny little pockets, insignificant pockets really, [and] they became the tail wagging the dog.

This was driving away a lot of people, even inside the Vatican. The Vatican is naturally a conservative place. … Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, was too conservative even for them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

New Bill Aimed at Child Sex Abuse Cases in GA

GEORGIA
WSAV

By Shameca Kelley

ATLANTA, GA -
Child sexual abuse impacts 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys before their 18th birthday. Yet, prosecutors say only 1 in 10 actually speak up, but in many cases, not until they are older and well past the statute of limitations for legal action against their abusers.

However, a House Judiciary Committee has passed a new bill, HB 771, which would give victims more time to seek action.

Under current law, child sex abuse victims in the Peach State can only take action against their abusers up to five years after age 18.

If the new bill passes, victims would be able to bring action against his or her abuser up until they reach the age of 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

GA- Bill will extend SOL for child sex abuse, victims respond

GEORGIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, February 28, 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 proposed bill in George would extend the statute of limitation for child sex crimes 7 years. This is a step in the right direction, but stronger action is needed.

[WSAV]

House Bill 771, which was passed by a House Judiciary Committee, would give victims of child sexual assault and additional 7 years to file lawsuits. As the law stands now victims only have 5 years after they turn 18. Under the new law victims will have until they are 30 years old.

We are glad this small step in the right direction was taken and that lawmakers are acknowledging that many victims of child sexual abuse take years to report their abuse, due to the extreme trauma. We are sure that this law will help many younger people who were abused as kids, but it does nothing for older people.

Statute of limitations in child sex crimes only protect dangerous predators who more often than not will hurt more than one child. To help prevent future crimes removing the statute of limitations is necessary or at least offering a window.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Former altar boy reveals grim details of Philadelphia priest’s alleged sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
New York Daily News

BY CAROL KURUVILLA / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014

A former altar boy opened up in court on Thursday about the abuse he allegedly endured under the hands of a trusted Roman Catholic priest.

The Rev. Andrew McCormick, 57, quietly listened to the unidentified young man speak about the sexual encounter that left him scarred at the age of 10.

"I remember trying to hang myself a lot. ... Probably every week," the man, now 26, told a Philadelphia courtroom. "I couldn't deal with the guilt of what had happened, or what I am."

McCormick has pleaded not guilty to the crime. The priest, who worked at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg at the time, has been placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He was arrested in July 2012, the Philadelphia Daily News reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

IL- Conservative Christian allegedly didn't report child abuse

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, February 28, 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 conservative Christian official from Illinois is on administrative leave following allegations that he sexually harassed women and didn't report suspected child abuse.

[Religion News Service]

This is the bare minimum. More must be done to protect the vulnerable and expose the truth.

In the charges recently brought by a sexual abuse victim against Bill Gothard, director of Basic Life Principles, we see a very disturbing, but recurring pattern. We have a young person, working for someone that is supposed to be of high principles and above reproach. This responsible person then allegedly violates the trust of the young person, and uses his position of authority to abuse both this victim and others.

We commend the board of this organization for their recent actions; however, we question where they have been on this since the first revelations came forth in 2011.The whistle blowing website Recovering Grace reported that an underage girl was harassed by Gothard in the early 1990s, but was afraid no one would believe her so did not report the crime then.

Were officials unaware all this time of these victims and their claims? Did they notify authorities at once as dictated by civil and moral law? It is unclear in their statement whether Bill was forced to resign, or if he just chose to step aside from his position of power due to the forces that now make the pressure too great to not react.

What we see here is an unfortunate action, and reaction, by those entrenched in positions of trust and power, and how they go about protecting their turf, and the organization, with no regard for the victims and their needs. Where is their outline of action? Where is their plan to address the needs of the victims? Where are their efforts to find others who may have seen suspected or suffered Gothard's wrongdoing and beg them to call police?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

What role did parish firings, pastor’s temperament play in Bend controversy?

OREGON
National Catholic Reporter

Dan Morris-Young | Feb. 28, 2014

Editor’s note: This is Part 5 of a five-part series on the dispute between a pastor and his bishop in St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bend, Ore. Removed from his post last October, Fr. James Radloff filed an appeal, but his request was denied by the Vatican, as the Congregation for Clergy sided with Baker, Ore., Bishop Liam Cary. Dated Jan. 31 and made public in Bend Feb. 14, the decision allows Cary to keep secret the reason for the ouster and permits a continued bar on Radloff’s public ministry. According to Radloff's canonical adviser, Fr. Thomas Faucher, Radloff received a letter from Cary Wednesday, Feb. 26. It was dated Feb. 21. No details were available to the press. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here.

The personality of Fr. James Radloff as well as the termination of some St. Francis of Assisi Parish employees continue to be flashpoints in discussions of why the priest might have been removed as pastor.

Letters in Bend’s major newspaper, The Bulletin, and posts on the NCR website have alternatively chastised and lauded Radloff for staffing changes.

In separate interviews, two parishioners claimed Radloff terminated five employees with no warning not long after assuming reins of the parish, giving them an hour to vacate, in one case eliminating income for a family of six.

Others argue that staff changes were needed. Parishioner Donna Hodson said bluntly Feb. 8, “True, it's hard to let people go, but the people he let go needed to be let go. How do you fire someone kindly?”

Support independent Catholic journalism. Subscribe to NCR.
Thirty-year parishioner Ken Roberts said, “Radloff was very impulsive and made a lot of decisions without regard for the consequences. He dismissed a lot of good people from the staff when he arrived which alienated many. Some of those are returning under the new regime which is very heartening and it is because Fr. Julian (Cassar) is reaching out to them and trying to heal our community which has been in some kind of turmoil for the last several years.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Brendan Smyth abuse victims cannot take new case against church

IRELAND
RTE News

The High Court has ruled that three victims of abuse by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth who settled cases in 1998 may not proceed with fresh legal action against the Catholic Church.

The victims had alleged the Bishop of Kilmore and now Cardinal Seán Brady did not take steps to prevent Smyth from abusing children in the 1970s and 1980s.

Bishop of Kilmore Leo O'Reilly was sued as successor to the previous bishop Francis McKiernan. Cardinal Seán Brady is being sued in a personal capacity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

IL- University piano quartet is criticized

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

For more information: Melanie Jula Sakoda ( 925-708-6175 cell, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com ), Cappy Larson ( 415-637-2006, cappy@rlarson.com ), David Clohessy ( 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )

University piano quartet is criticized
Group was to help convicted child molester
Professors had planned to perform at fundraiser
It's unclear whether event has been postponed or cancelled
School official claims he "cannot forbid our faculty from performing"

Four Illinois Wesleyan professors and musicians were set to perform at a fundraiser for a convicted child molester. But yesterday, protests by a victims group led to the event's cancellation or postponement.

Members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, were upset about a planned March 5th fundraiser to benefit Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, once the top Orthodox official in Canada, who was found guilty last month of sexually abusing an altar boy.

Yesterday, SNAP wrote to IWU provost Jonathan D. Green (309-556-3101, jgreen@iwu.edu), asking him to stop The Illinois Wesleyan Piano Quartet from agreeing to perform at the event or at least denounce the quartet for doing so.

SNAP sent similar protest letters to four other groups, asking them to block the fundraiser from happening.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Bill Gothard Placed on Administrative Leave After Allegations of Sexual Harassment

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

BY NICOLA MENZIE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
February 28, 2014

Bill Gothard has been placed on administrative leave by board members of his nonprofit organization, Institute for Basic Life Principles, amid an investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed several women and young girls.

Billy Boring Jr., one of nine members (including Gothard) on the Institute for Basic Life Principles' board, told World magazine: "After completion of the review the board will respond at an appropriate time, and in a biblical manner."

While the investigation was ongoing, Gothard "will not be involved in the operations of the ministry. The board of directors will be prayerfully appointing interim leadership."

A Christian-run online organization named Recovering Grace has been publishing victim accounts of alleged abuse at the hands of Gothard. Recovering Grace claims to be privy to at least 34 different women who say they were victims of "textbook sexual harassment" and emotional abuse at the hands of Gothard. According to RNS, Gothard was also being investigated for failing to report allegations of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Bill Gothard placed on administrative leave

UNITED STATES
World Magazine

By WARREN COLE SMITH
Posted Feb. 27, 2014

The board of directors of the Institute for Basic Life Principles has placed its longtime leader Bill Gothard, 79, on “administrative leave” while the board investigates claims that he years ago engaged in sexual harassment and other misconduct.

Responding to a WORLD inquiry, board chairman Billy Boring stated, “After completion of the review the board will respond at an appropriate time, and in a biblical manner.” Until then, the statement said, Gothard “will not be involved in the operations of the ministry. The board of directors will be prayerfully appointing interim leadership.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Conservative leader Bill Gothard on leave following abuse allegations

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Sarah Pulliam Bailey | Feb 28, 2014

(RNS) Bill Gothard, an Illinois-based advocate for home-schooling and conservative dress and who warned against rock music and debt, has been placed on administrative leave after allegations of sexually harassing women who worked at his ministry and failing to report child abuse cases.

Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles was once a popular gathering spot for thousands of Christian families, including the Duggar family from TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.” Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute conferences were also popular among devotees of the Quiverfull movement, who promote large families and eschew birth control.

He’s also rubbed shoulders with Republican luminaries. He and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee were photographed at a campaign lunch together; former Georgia Gov. Sunny Perdue spoke at one of Gothard’s conferences; and Sarah Palin, when she was a small town mayor in Alaska, attended his International Association of Character Cities conferences and declared Wasilla among Gothard’s “Cities of Character.”

In a statement posted Thursday, board chairman Billy Boring told World magazine: “After completion of the review, the board will respond at an appropriate time, and in a biblical manner.” Until then, the statement said, Gothard “will not be involved in the operations of the ministry. The board of directors will be prayerfully appointing interim leadership.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Evangelist pastor Rick Warren plans mental health ministry after son’s suicide

CALIFORNIA
New York Daily News

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

LAKE FOREST, Calif. — A year after his son's suicide, popular evangelical pastor Rick Warren is taking on a new mental health ministry inspired by his personal tragedy.

Warren, founder of Saddleback Church and a best-selling author, will team with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to host a daylong event next month focused on helping church leaders reach parishioners who are struggling with mental illness.

The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church grew out of private conversations Warren had with the local Catholic bishop, Bishop Kevin Vann, after his son's death and his own writings in his journal as he processed his grief. Matthew Warren, 27, committed suicide last April after struggling with severe depression and suicidal thoughts for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

CA- Victims praise Rick Warren/OC bishop event

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

For more info: Joelle Casteix 949 322 7434, jcasteix@gmail.com,
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Victims praise Rick Warren/OC bishop event
Daylong seminar to address mental health issues
Education is an important first step, group says
SNAP: “But firing wrong-doers as important as therapy”

A national support group for victims of child sexual abuse is applauding an upcoming church-sponsored mental health seminar, saying it's a good first step in helping victims and others heal from the pains of mental illness.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), are calling the partnership between Saddleback Church founder Rick Warren and the Catholic Diocese of Orange, CA, "movement in the right direction" to help victims of child sexual abuse and anyone who is suffering with mental illness.

[New York Daily News]

The seminar, which will be held at the Saddleback Church campus in south Orange County, will feature speakers and small group seminars which will educate ministers and the public on how to compassionately and effectively help those suffering from mental illness.

SNAP leaders say that events like this should be accompanied by decisive action to help those who are suffering due to child sex abuse and cover-ups in Orange County institutions.

"There are three ways we can help victims of mental illness: compassion, intervention, and action," said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Volunteer Western Regional Director. "But without action—without punishing wrongdoers and those who covered up for them—victims of child sexual abuse who suffer from mental illness are only more isolated, shamed and vulnerable."

Casteix hopes that church officials in the area will publicly invite abuse victims to attend the event.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Clergy Abuse Overwhelmed a Pope: It Ought to Be Exposed

UNITED STATES
Poets & Lunatics: The Power of the Pen on the Journey of Faith

February 28, 2014 By Wendy Murray

I recently watched a Frontline documentary titled “Secrets of the Vatican” highlighting the daunting challenges facing Pope Francis. His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned from the office a year ago today (Feb. 28, 2013) under a cloud of corruption and the stench of unresolved rampant sex-abuse cases. The documentary highlights the challenge Pope Francis faces in the unspoken mandate to clean up the Church, most notably the shameful sordid legacy of covering up of rampant sex abuse over many decades that has destroyed lives.

The problem of abuse and cronyism is not exclusive to Catholicism. Evangelical Boz Tchividjian asserts unequivocally that sex abuse among evangelical clergy is ‘worse’ than that within the Catholic church. Tchividijian – a former child-abuse victim; child-abuse prosecutor; founder and executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment); law professor; author and — it’s worth noting — Billy Graham’s grandson; speaks and writes extensively on issues related to sex abuse within the evangelical faith community. “Christian mission field is a ‘magnet’ for sexual abusers,” he says. “The Protestant culture is defined by independence”– the implication being that this independence, when it comes to confronting pathologies in ministry, sets the table for little if any accountability.

A report published by the Baptist General Convention of Texas (2000) noted “the incidence of sexual abuse by clergy has reached ‘horrific proportions.’” Studies revealed that 40 percent had acknowledged “sexually inappropriate behavior.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Three steps to reform the Vatican

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Feb. 26, 2014 Faith and Justice

Pope Francis has placed reform of the Vatican as a top priority of his papacy. Whether or not he will succeed remains to be seen.

There are at least three things necessary to successfully reform an institution: changing its culture, appointing key people who support the reform, and putting in place structures, policies, and procedures to concretize the reform.

Changing the culture of an institution is probably the most difficult and the most important. It is not enough to send out memos mandating new policies or to move boxes around in the organizational chart. The attitudes and values of the people in an institution make it what it is, especially if those values are not just talked about but incarnated at the top.

From his first minutes in office, Pope Francis has been trying to change the culture of the institutional church. He has talked about leadership as being for service rather than for status, power, or prestige. He has been critical of clericalism and careerism. He realizes that reform requires a conversion of hearts and minds. And he has not just talked, he has walked the walk. He has modeled what it means to be a good bishop, a good priest, a good Christian.

Second, reform requires putting people who support change into key positions. Francis began this by appointing as secretary of state Pietro Parolin, a highly competent Vatican professional who supports the pope's vision and agenda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Charges dropped against Rabbi Glick

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 28, 2014

Stephen Cauchi and Barney Schwartz

A respected rabbi who was stood down from Melbourne's Yeshivah College over allegations that he raped a student in the 1970s has had charges against him dropped.

Rabbi Avrohom Glick, 67, was then deputy principal and later principal of the College. He was head of religious studies when he was stood down last December.

Rabbi Glick, of Balaclava, was arrested and interviewed in December and released pending further inquiries.

Yeshivah College principal Yehoshua Smukler said at the time that although "Rabbi Glick is a highly respected staff member and community figure", he would be immediately stood down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Bishop wins court case to halt actions by three abuse survivors

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

A Catholic Bishop has won a High Court court halting three actions for damages brought against him in a representative capacity by a man, his sister and another woman who previously settled Northern Ireland court actions for stg £25,000 each over sexual abuse by paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, today granted an application by Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O’Reilly, for orders halting, on grounds of the previous settlements, the actions brought against him in his representative capacity as Bishop of the Kilmore diocese.

The cases by the three were also brought against Cardinal Sean Brady, who is being sued in his personal capacity arising from his role as part-time secretary to former Bishop of Kilmore, Francis McKiernan, during a church investigation in 1975 into complaints about Smyth.

Cardinal Brady had not made any similar application to that of Bishop O’Reilly and the proceedings against him remain in being.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Canada- Ottawa parish responded quickly to victims’ request for help

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

For more info: Melanie Jula Sakoda 925-708-6175 cell, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com, David Clohessy 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Ottawa parish responded quickly to victims’ request for help
Fundraiser for convicted archbishop cancelled or postponed
He was brought to trial last year, accused of molesting 11 year old twin boys
SNAP: “We fear concert is merely postponed, so we hope the other groups we contacted will also step up to the plate"
"Public support for proven molesters is wrong because it deters victims of other child sex crimes from speaking up,” victims say

A victims’ group is grateful that an Ottawa Orthodox parish responded swiftly to their plea for assistance. The church cancelled a fundraiser to benefit an archbishop who was convicted last month of molesting an altar boy, and assured the group that they would never allow it to take place in their facility. However, the event organizers appear undeterred by this set-back.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, were upset about a planned March 5th event to raise money for Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, who was found guilty last month of abusing one of the twins. Storheim is the former head of the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). He is suspended by the OCA while he awaits church discipline for his crimes.

Yesterday, SNAP wrote four church institutions connected with the event. The group said the event “hurt at least one child sex abuse victim and deterred other child sex abuse victims from speaking up.” Later during the day, the website promoting the event posted that “The chamber music concert on March 5 at Woodroffe United Church is cancelled due to the change of schedule.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

TN- Victims blast Nashville Catholic officials

TENNESSEE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

Statement by Susan Vance of Knoxville, leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 865-927-2923, vancefamily1@comcast.net )

Yesterday, when confronted by a TV reporter, Nashville Catholic officials admitted receiving a report of child sex crimes by a priest that they had kept secret for years. Shame on them.

[Fox 17]

The alleged child molesting cleric is Fr. Gansmann who also spent time in Illinois and Minnesota. Last week, for the first time, Catholic officials in the Twin Cities disclosed, because of a court order, child sex abuse allegations against Fr. Gansmann.

For years, Catholic bishops have pledged to be “open” about clergy sex cases. These two belated disclosures – in St. Paul and in Nashville – show that this pledge is rarely kept.

Those hurt by Fr. Gansmann -- in Minnesota and Tennessee – are getting older. Many of them have likely told no one or few people about their pain. Their suffering would be lessened if Catholic officials would “come clean” about these clergy sex crimes and aggressively seek out, and help, these victims. Instead, however, bishops continue their self serving secrecy, letting those trapped in silence, shame, and self blame continue in pain. Again, shame on them.

Roughly 30 US bishops have, under pressure, posted on their websites the names, photos and work histories of child molesting clerics. This is the least Catholic officials can do to protect kids. None of Tennessee's bishops have done this. Now would be a perfect time for Nashville's bishop to do this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Ein Missbrauchsopfer wehrt sich

DEUTSCHLAND
Berliner Zeitung

[Summary: Some wounds never heal. So it is with the abuse case involving the Catholic Church in Potsdam and Tegel. An old case of abuse must be reopened because the victim has decided to put on some pressure. A parish priest accused to sexual abuse had been rehabilitated although the church knew he had forced a boy into a sexual act.]

Von Julia Haak

Die katholische Kirche hat einen Priester rehabilitiert, obwohl bekannt war, dass er einen Jungen sexuell missbraucht hatte. Nur weil das Opfer sich wehrt, wird der Fall nun neu untersucht.

Manche Wunden heilen nie. Wenn sie nach Jahren wieder aufbrechen, kommt es für Beteiligte oft überraschend. So ist es auch in einem Missbrauchsfall, der die katholischen Kirchengemeinden Peter und Paul in Potsdam und Herz Jesu in Tegel betrifft. In der katholischen Kirche muss jetzt ein alter Fall neu aufgerollt werden, weil das Opfer plötzlich Druck macht. Ein des sexuellen Missbrauchs beschuldigter Gemeindepfarrer war rehabilitiert worden, obwohl der Kirchenleitung bekannt war, dass er tatsächlich einen Jungen zu einer sexuellen Handlung genötigt hatte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

SC- Victims prod Bob Jones University to act now

SOUTH CAROLINA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

For more information contact Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director (314) 862-7688 home, (314)503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com, and David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Victims prod Bob Jones University
“Don't wait for report, act now,” they say
Group wants school to post predators' names
SNAP: Thirty Catholic bishops have done this
“It's the least the school can do to protect others,” victims say

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is asking Bob Jones University officials to post on their website the names of “proven, admitted or credibly accused sex offenders who have worked at or attended the school.”

Last week, university officials announced that a report on campus sex crimes would proceed. But their earlier decision to stop the report has led some to question school administrators' sincerity.

[Religion News Service]

The university's top staff should be doing everything they can to prevent sexual assault, help victims and expose predators, say leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“Top university staff should take clear steps now to expose the wrongdoers and protect the vulnerable,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director. “They should not passively sit back and wait for a report to be finalized while offenders walk free and might hurt others, especially offenders who might now be imprisoned had administrators acted more responsibly.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth can't bring fresh claims against church

IRELAND
Irish Independent

UPDATED 28 FEBRUARY 2014

A Catholic Bishop has won a High Court court halting three actions for damages brought against him in a representative capacity by a man, his sister and another woman who previously settled Northern Ireland court actions for Stg £25,000 each over being sexually abused over years as children by paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nichoals Kearns, today granted an application by the Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O'Reilly, for orders halting, on grounds of the previous NI settlements, the actions brought against him in his representative capacity as Bishop of the Kilmore diocese.

The cases by the three were also brought against Cardinal Sean Brady, who is being sued in his personal capacity arising from his role as part-time secretary to former Bishop of Kilmore, Francis McKiernan, during a church investigation in 1975 into complaints about Smyth.

Cardinal Brady had not made any similar application to that of Bishop O'Reilly and the proceedings against him remain in being.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

A Novel Approach for Twin Cities: Punish those responsible

MINNESOTA
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Kristine Ward

One way to sometimes stop people from doing wrong is to punish them for doing wrong. History, psychology and common sense all suggest this approach often works.

But tragically, Catholic officials virtually never use this approach when shocking revelations of clergy sex abuse and cover-up surface.

It’s an approach that St. Paul-Minneapolis Catholic officials might consider as they try to save themselves and their archdiocese from a rapidly expanding scandal that has put dozens of accused clerics in the news over the last few months and several other church staff who reportedly kept quiet about or hid their alleged sexual misbehavior.

When we say “Catholic officials,” we are largely referring to Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché, who is now in charge of the Twin Cities archdiocese. Archbishop John Nienstedt has stepped aside while an allegation of child sexual abuse against him is investigated.

When it comes to wrongdoers who merit punishment, the St. Paul-Minneapolis church hierarchy has lots of choices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Ex-priest spared jail after breaching sex offender conditions

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 28, 2014

Adam Cooper
Reporter for The Age

A former Catholic priest on the sex offenders registry has avoided a jail term despite admitting he breached a court order by umpiring junior cricket matches.

Paul Chris Pavlou, 54, stood in 11 under-15 matches between 2010 and 2012 for the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association in what was a breach of his obligations as a convicted sex offender, in that he was paid to work with children.

Pavlou also had a previous conviction for failing to comply with conditions of the registry, to which he was added for his 2009 conviction for performing an indecent act with a child under 15 and knowingly possessing child pornography.

At one point in Pavlou's plea hearing on Friday, County Court judge Paul Lacava asked of defence counsel Sam Stafford: "How many chances does a sex offender have to get before he receives a term of imprisonment?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Derby pervert priest Francis Cullen 'was in tears' when quizzed by schoolgirl's mum

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

By Martin Naylor

A FORMER Mackworth schoolgirl said paedophile priest Francis Cullen burst into tears when her mother confronted him about his abuse more than 50 years ago.

The woman claims her mother was then visited by “a senior member of the Catholic Church” and told the matter would be dealt with – but Cullen remained at Christ the King Church in Mackworth until 1978.

The woman, who does not wish to be identified, has come forward following Cullen’s court appearance in Derby on Monday.

At that hearing, the 85-year-old admitted abusing children over a 35-year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Priest arrested after claims he stole €500,000 to fund luxurious lifestyle

IRELAND
Irish Mirror

A priest has been arrested after he allegedly used parishioners' money to fund a lifestyle of luxury.

Detectives nabbed him following a six-month investigation into the Dublin-based cleric.

It came amid complaints he stole cash by making false claims for mass stipends over a 13-year-period.

It is also alleged that the priest, who is in his 50s, lodged claims under the names of other priests who were unaware of the scam.

Under cannon law, a priest can only claim stipends for one mass per day.

It is also alleged the cleric used the money to fund a luxurious lifestyle and enjoyed stays in luxurious hotels, as well as expensive jewellery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Sex abuse priest Gordon Rideout's release bid rejected

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A priest who was jailed for sexually abusing children has had his application for release from prison on compassionate grounds rejected.

Canon Gordon Rideout, from Polegate, East Sussex, was jailed for 10 years in May for 36 separate sex offences.

The priest, in his 70s, abused 16 children between 1962 and 1973, in Hampshire and Sussex.

BBC South East learned he was recently released from prison to attend hospital on a temporary licence.

'Utter disgust'

He later returned to jail. The Ministry of Justice said the nature of his hospital treatment was confidential.

One of his victims said she felt anguish at Rideout's "obvious ploy to manipulate the system" with his application.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Priest held over €500k theft from his order

IRELAND
Irish Independent

TOM BRADY, SECURITY EDITOR – UPDATED 28 FEBRUARY 2014

A PRIEST has been arrested by gardai investigating the theft of more than €500,000 from his religious order.

It follows a six-month investigation by a team of detectives into complaints of theft, which allegedly took place over a 13-year period.

The cash was allegedly taken from the order by making false claims for Mass stipends.

Under canon law, a priest is entitled to receive one stipend from the diocese or the order from collections made during the celebration of Mass.

Additional stipends cannot be claimed if the priest celebrates multiple Masses on one day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Cardinal Dolan Warns: You May Hear Some Things About Me….

NEW YORK
Seasons of Grace

February 24, 2014 By Kathy Schiffer

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in his blog Gospel in the Digital Age, warned New Yorkers this week that they may soon be seeing his name cast in an unfavorable light in the media. The Archdiocese of St. Louis, where he served as auxiliary bishop for a year in 2001-2002, has just been ordered by a court to release documents regarding clergy abuse cases.

Before you get too excited about that, though, let me assure you that the Cardinal assures us he’s been forthright and has done nothing wrong.

On February 18, just before departing for the Consistory in Rome, Cardinal Dolan published a letter to Catholics in the Archdiocese of New York explaining the situation. He wrote:

“…you know how I always try to alert you to any potentially negative publicity about the Church, or about me. Well, there could be some. My home archdiocese of St. Louis just complied with a court order to release the documents regarding cases there of sexual abuse of minors. (Cardinal Egan already did that here a decade ago, sharing all of the information we had on abusive priests with proper district attorneys, something we continue to do today.)

Anyway, since I was an auxiliary bishop in St. Louis for a year (2001-02), and vicar for priests for nine of those twelve months, I would anticipate that my name will again be highlighted in the press. I sure have nothing to hide, and am very much at peace with law enforcements officials reviewing the files. In fact, we already released all the documentation to them a dozen years ago!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

The Prison of Father MacRae: A Conspiracy of Silence

UNITED STATES
These Stone Walls

Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a guest post by Ryan A. MacDonald. Part One was “The Trial of Father MacRae: A Conspiracy of Fraud.”

“I don’t share your belief in Father MacRae’s innocence. I just don’t believe a judge and jury would sentence a priest to life in prison with anything less than clear and compelling evidence.”

The above quote was the reply of a prominent American Catholic writer when I challenged him to take a closer look at the trial and imprisonment of Father Gordon MacRae. There is nothing to be gained by publishing the writer’s name. I still hope he might accept my challenge to study this matter with more depth than the New Hampshire news media and priests of the Diocese of Manchester have given it. I have asked the writer to show me the evidence he feels so certain must exist. He is wrong about this. There is simply no factual evidence to support this conviction.

But for some, the absence of evidence is evidence of evidence. That Catholic writer’s presumption about evenhanded justice and due process reflects the naiveté of the innocent and just. I once shared such naiveté, but I have since learned that ignorance is not bliss. I know too much about this case to cling to any delusions that everyone in prison must be guilty, or that a Catholic priest, while actually innocent, could not be railroaded into prison based on false witness.

So does The Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz, one of the most just and courageous journalists I know. She has a talent for enabling readers to place themselves in the shoes of the falsely accused, and it’s a terrifying place to be. A recent article, “On Woody Allen and Echoes of the Past” (WSJ.com, February 9, 2014), had that same effect. It isn’t long, but it’s compelling and powerful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Mother of priest's victims reveals family pain, more abuse and church's rebuke

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with audio]

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Feb 25, 2014

The mother of the boys abused by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer no longer ends her days with a silent prayer. Memories and flashbacks surface too easily in those quiet moments. Instead, she plays solitaire on her cell phone until sleep.

It's been nearly two years since she learned that two of her sons were abused by Wehmeyer and that one of the boys, in turn, sexually abused his 5-year-old twin sisters. Last year, a third son told her that he, too, had been abused by the priest. One of the boys, she also learned, abused an additional sibling. In all, six of her nine children have been sexually abused either by Wehmeyer or each other, she said.

Wehmeyer pleaded guilty in 2012 to sexually abusing two of the boys, ages 12 and 14, and possessing child pornography.

The family's life is now a blur of therapy appointments and psychiatric hospitalizations. It is, the mother said, "a war zone." She once hoped that some of her sons would become priests. Now she hopes that none commit suicide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

God vs. the Gavel

UNITED STATES
WKCR

Artist: Marci Hamilton
Title: God vs. the Gavel
Album: WCKR Late City Edition
Length: 29:35 minutes (33.86 MB)
Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 160Kbps (CBR)
Date Broadcast: Thu, 27 Feb 2014

Tune in to this Thursday's Late City Edition for a conversation with Marci Hamilton, expert in constitutional and First Amendment law, and author of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law. Professor Hamilton discusses what happens when religious liberty and the law come into conflict, especially when First Amendment protection permits and even fosters oppression and abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Bishop Raymond James Boland dies at age 82

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

February 27
BY DARRYL W. LEVINGS AND MATT CAMPBELL
The Kansas City Star

Bishop Raymond James Boland, the beloved missionary priest who followed so many of his fellow Irish to the New World, eventually coming to a Kansas City suffering from the almost biblical flood of ’93, died Thursday in Cork in the old country.

Boland served as the fifth bishop and spiritual leader of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph until he retired on May 24, 2005.

“I just felt, in some misguided fervor of my youth, that I wanted to be another St. Patrick or something,” he would reminisce about his emigration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Can Francis achieve his reforms?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas C. Fox | Feb. 27, 2014 NCR Today

As part of the Feb. 25th PBS Frontline documentary, "Secrets of the Vatican," the producer asked me to write an essay assessing the chances Pope Francis can succeed in his agenda to reform the church. This is what I wrote:

Can Pope Francis restore his church’s shattered credibility? Tend the wounds of millions of disaffected Catholics, pillared by decades of clerical sex abuse and cover-up? Can he bury a church authority structure modeled after kings and their courts?

These are tall orders for a 77-year-old bishop who moved to Rome just one year ago to find himself suddenly heading a church of 1.2 billion followers.

Change does not come easily in the Catholic Church, yet I for one am more than modestly optimistic Francis will succeed in ways few have yet to imagine. Consider these points:

One: He was elected by his fellow cardinals with a solid mandate for reform, starting with a Vatican bureaucracy that is widely perceived as inept and out of touch. He has appointed a council of eight cardinals from around the world to move this task forward. A roof leaks from the top down. Francis has wisely started his reform at the top.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Man Indicted for Child Sex Abuse in Mt. View Church

ALASKA
KTUU

Matthew F Smith, Digital Producer, msmith@ktuu.com

ANCHORAGE -
A man charged with sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl in a Mountain View church bathroom last month has been indicted on one count of sexual abuse of a minor.

David Chiklak, 29, was detained in the church parking lot by members of the congregation after police say he brought the girl into the men’s bathroom. Police say a woman in the women’s bathroom heard the girl crying and discovered Chiklak standing over the victim with his belt unbuckled.

Chiklak has arrested at the church and has remained in custody since his arrest, a statement from the District Attorney’s office declared. He was

The girl was interviewed by investigators and confirmed the sexual abuse, according to charging documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Man indicted for suspected assault at church

ALASKA
KFQD

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A grand jury has indicted a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl at a church in northeast Anchorage. Prosecutors say the grand jury indicted 29-year-old David Chiklak on one count of felony sexual abuse of a minor. Chiklak was arrested Jan. 27. A woman told police she was in a bathroom with a girl at the church and heard someone call the child out. The woman a short time later heard the girl crying in the men's bathroom. Police say the woman entered the men's bathroom and saw a man with his belt unbuckled standing over the girl. Parishioners detained Chiklak in the parking lot. Police arrested Chiklak and said he was not a member of the church but had attended a service with others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

"Father Andy" Faces His Accuser

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

His troubles with "Father Andy" began when his mother confided to the priest that her son might be gay.

The alleged victim, now 26, testified in court today that when he was a 10-year-old altar boy, the priest brought him to his room in a church rectory, and sexually assaulted him.

Then, after the alleged attack, the victim testified the priest would repeatedly tell him on the playground that homosexuality was a sin, and so was masturbation.

How did that make him feel, the prosecutor asked?

"Horrible," the young man testified. "As a homosexual, if it's a sin, it means I'm going to hell."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Two pictures emerge of priest accused of assaulting altar boy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

DANA DIFILIPPO & MENSAH M. DEAN, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS DIFILID@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-5934
POSTED: Friday, February 28, 2014

THE LATEST young man to accuse a Philadelphia Catholic priest of molesting him as an altar boy told a jury yesterday that the experience so badly shocked, embarrassed and debilitated him that he turned to drugs, alcohol and multiple suicide attempts before reaching his teens.

The slim man, dressed in a white shirt, black tie and slacks, emotionally spoke of being 10 years old in 1997 when the Rev. Andrew McCormick invited him to the priest's rectory bedroom at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg.

McCormick undressed them both, fondled the boy, straddled his chest and tried to force his penis into his mouth, the man said on the first day of McCormick's trial in Common Pleas Court.

"I was in shock. I couldn't believe this was happening to me," said the man, 26, whose identity the Daily News is not revealing.

After he refused to allow McCormick to fully insert his penis into his mouth, "he told me to get out," testified the man, who said he recalled that the priest never fully took off his plaid boxer shorts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

February 27, 2014

Archdiocese sends court sealed list of priests accused of child sexual abuse since 2004

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Feb 27, 2014

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has submitted under seal in Ramsey County District Court the names of priests accused of child sexual abuse since 2004, according to victims' attorneys.

Ramsey County Judge John Van de North had ordered the archdiocese to provide the names by Feb. 18. The archdiocese fought the order, arguing it would cause "irreparable harm to the Archdiocese and its clergy," but failed to convince Van de North to change it.

The latest disclosure comes as part of a lawsuit filed by a man who says he was sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas Adamson in 1976 and 1977. Last year, in the same lawsuit, Van de North ordered the archdiocese to release the names of "credibly accused" priests on an older list.

The submission of post-2004 names marks the latest development in an increasingly aggressive legal battle over the archdiocese's handling of clergy sexual abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

SEX ARRESTS CONCERN COMMUNITY

CALIFORNIA
Oakdale Leader

By Richard Paloma
Staff Reporter rpaloma@oakdaleleader.com 209 847-3021 ext 8136
POSTED February 27, 2014

The arrest by Ceres Police Department of Oakdale Bethel Assembly of God youth minister Tyler Bliss on suspicion of possessing child pornography last week marks the third time in less than six months that a person in a position of trust has been arrested for a sexual offense involving children in the City of Oakdale.

Last September former Boy Scout troop leader Paul Birmingham was arrested by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department for engaging in sexual acts with a minor after a month-long investigation into an inappropriate relationship he had with a 15-year-old boy over a five-year period. Detectives say the victim told them the first encounter happened when the boy was 13.

Birmingham was the owner of Print-Rite Printing on Hi Tech Parkway in the city.

A few weeks later in September, Oakdale Police arrested Cloverland Elementary School substitute teacher Bryan Thies for lewd acts with a child and child molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

French court acquits priest on rape charge

FRANCE
Yahoo! News

Lons-le-Saunier (France) (AFP) - A French court on Thursday acquitted a 69-year-old priest charged with raping a devout and vulnerable parishioner.

Daniel Lagnien, 69, was accused of taking advantage of a 39-year-old woman described as psychologically frail with no sexual experience, in a case with the potential to inflict further damage on the reputation of the Roman Catholic clergy after years of sexual scandals.

The prosecution had alleged that Lagnien made advances to the 39-year-old virgin during a 2010 pilgrimage to a shrine in the French Alps.

Several days later, she went to the priest's home in Moirans-en-Montagne, Jura seeking an explanation of his behaviour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Alleged Victim Offers Testimony As Philadelphia Clergy Abuse Trial Begins

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s emotional, tearful testimony as a 26-year-old man tells a Philadelphia jury he was sexually assaulted by a parish priest when he was a 10-year-old altar boy at St. John Cantius in Bridesburg in 1997.

The alleged victim says Father Andrew McCormick recruited him to be an altar boy and then sexually assaulted him after an evening mass. Later he says the priest emotionally abused him, made him feel terrible, that he was going to hell for who he was, a homosexual, and he says he considered and tried suicide multiple times the next year.

He says he finally came forward in 2011 to face the memories and scrutiny so this does not happen to another little boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Sex Abuse Allegations Surface Against Former Nashville Priest

TENNESSEE
Fox 17

John Dunn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There are new worries that a Catholic priest may have sexually abused children during his time in Nashville. The allegations against Father Kenneth Gansmann have just been exposed.

St. Vincent De Paul is a small Catholic church in North Nashville, and during the 1960's it was led by Father Kenneth Gansmann.

The Franciscan priest not only led the predominantly African-American parish, but he also oversaw St. Vincent's elementary school. Just last week church leaders in Minnesota revealed that credible claims of sexual abuse were made against Gansmann while he was in that state in the 1950's.

FOX 17 News started asking questions, and we learned that allegations have also been made against Gansmann here in Nashville. "About three and a half decades after he died, we got an allegation that he may have abused a student at St. Vincent's during the late 1960's," says Rick Musacchio with the Diocese of Nashville.

Mike Coode, who is a survivor of church sex abuse, says it is especially disturbing knowing that Gansmann spent so much time around hundreds of children. "It would not surprise me in the least, in fact it would surprise me if he didn't abuse kids here," says Mike Coode. Coode is one of several survivors urging the Nashville diocese to acknowlege what happened and seek out other possible victims.

The Diocese of Nashville is now encouraging anyone to come forward, and offering support to anyone who may have been molested or abused. "The diocese wants any victims of past abuse to come forward no matter how long ago that might have happened," says Musacchio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Pope Francis says Church needs better bishops

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Register

Written by David Gibson, Religion News Service
Thursday, 27 February 2014

VATICAN CITY - In another strongly worded message to the Catholic hierarchy, Pope Francis told the Vatican body that vets nominees for bishops that they need to find him better candidates to send to dioceses around the world.

“To choose such ministers we all need to raise our sights, to move to a higher level,” Francis told the Congregation for Bishops, the critical department of the Roman Curia that acts as a clearinghouse for bishop nominees, Feb. 27. “We can’t do anything less, and we can’t be content with the bare minimum.”

On consecutive days last weekend, Francis delivered stern warnings to 19 new cardinals he appointed to join about 150 others in the College of Cardinals: On Feb. 22, he told them to avoid “rivalry, jealousy, factions,” and at a Mass in the Vatican the next day, he said they must reject “habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favouritism and preferences.”

Francis also has repeatedly called on clerics to live simply and humbly, and in his address to the cardinals and staff who make up the Congregation for Bishops, Francis said that self-denial and sacrifice are written into the bishop’s DNA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Jura: le curé accusé de viol finalement acquitté

FRANCE
L'Express

Le père Daniel Lagnien qui comparaît depuis mercredi pour viol et agressions sexuelles à l'encontre d'une paroissienne, a été acquitté par la cour d'assises du Jura.

Le parquet avait requis jeudi cinq ans de prison, dont trois avec sursis, à l'encontre d'un prêtre jugé devant les assises du Jura pour viol d'une paroissienne particulièrement vulnérable. Il a finalement été acquitté dans la soirée par la cour d'assises du Jura.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

French court acquits priest on rape charge

FRANCE
Expatica

A French court on Thursday acquitted a 69-year-old priest charged with raping a devout and vulnerable parishioner.

Daniel Lagnien was accused of taking advantage of the woman described as psychologically frail with no sexual experience, in a case with the potential to inflict further damage on the reputation of the Roman Catholic clergy after years of sexual scandals.

The prosecution had alleged that Lagnien made advances to the 39-year-old virgin during a 2010 pilgrimage to a shrine in the French Alps.

Several days later, she went to the priest's home in Moirans-en-Montagne, Jura seeking an explanation of his behaviour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

Misbruik kost bisdommen ruim 8 miljoen euro

NEDERLAND
Trouw

[Summary: The sexual abuse scandal so far has cost the Dutch dioceses more than 8 million euros. However, most of the money was not spend on compensation to the victims but includes the investigation that the Wim Deetman commission did on abuse in the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. The victims have received more than 3 million in compensation according to statements from the seven dioceses. A total of 5.4 million euros was spend on the investigation and handling of complaints from victims. The Utrecht diocese has paid out the most with 2 million euros.]

Het seksueel-misbruikschandaal heeft de Nederlandse bisdommen tot nu toe meer dan 8 miljoen euro gekost. De zeven aartsbisdommen zijn echter niet het meeste geld kwijt aan schadevergoedingen voor de misbruikslachtoffers, maar aan onder meer het onderzoek dat de commissie-Deetman deed naar het misbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke kerk in Nederland.

De misbruikslachtoffers hebben tot nu toe ruim 3 miljoen euro schadevergoeding gekregen, blijkt uit jaarrekeningen van de bisdommen. Met 5,4 miljoen euro betaalden de bisdommen bijna twee keer zoveel voor het onderzoek van oud-Tweede Kamervoorzitter Wim Deetman en de behandeling van de klachten van de slachtoffers. Het tv-programma Brandpunt Reporter bericht daar donderdag over. Het bisdom Utrecht moest het diepst in de buidel tasten: een bedrag van 2 miljoen euro kwam voor zijn rekening.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

St. Paul archbishop will give testimony next month

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 02/27/2014

Attorneys for a plaintiff in a clergy sexual abuse case will take the testimony of Archbishop John Nienstedt and former top deputy Rev. Kevin McDonough on March 19 and 20, attorney Jeff Anderson announced Thursday.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis had objected to the depositions, asking Ramsey County District Judge John Van de North to stop them. But Van de North ruled Feb. 16 that the depositions should go forward.

The judge also refused to stay his order that the archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona submit names of priests accused of sexual abuse since 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Cardinal O’Brien faces prospect of further action against him by Vatican

SCOTLAND
The Tablet

27 February 2014 by Christopher Lamb and Brian Morton

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien is facing the possibility of further disciplinary action being taken against him by the Holy See.

Today his successor as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Leo Cushley, was due to arrive in Rome for a five-day visit where he is expected to discuss the issue

Cardinal O’Brien stepped down just over a year ago after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him by five men, four of them priests. Last May the Vatican ordered him to spend time in prayer and penance outside of Scotland and Archbishop Cushley has said publicly that he should not return.

According to his spokesman, Archbishop Cushley has “listened to the parties concerned and will transmit any information provided to him to the Holy See”, adding that he will “assist in any way he can in order to help bring a just and equitable conclusion to the matter for all involved.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

MN- Archbishop's deposition set but SNAP predicts it won't happen

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 27

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 )

Two top St. Paul archdiocesan officials will supposedly be deposed next month about clergy sex crimes and cover ups, but we doubt that will actually happen.

[SFGate]

A dozen Catholic bishops – and two Catholic religious orders – have sought bankruptcy protection at the 11th hour to prevent depositions like these from taking place. And some Catholic officials (Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law and, more recently, Australia's Cardinal George Pell) have been promoted to Rome, in part we believe, to avoid facing tough questions about child sex abuse and cover up cases. Other Catholic officials (like Fr. John Urell of the Orange County diocese) have claimed illness and gone away or been sent away to church “treatment centers” to prevent or delay depositions like this.

We'd love to be proven wrong. But we strongly fear neither Twin Cities officials – Archbishop John Nienstedt and Fr. Kevin McDonough – will actually be deposed.

And we again ask a puzzling question that Twin Cities law enforcement personnel should publicly answer: How is it that civil attorneys get to question Nienstedt and McDonough but police and prosecutors don't? This makes us question again why law enforcement officials aren't being more assertive with these obviously reckless, deceptive, callous and self-serving Catholic bureaucrats.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

George Pell - the view from the pew

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Kristina Keneally

At one level, I always felt a bit of sympathy for Cardinal George Pell. He's a product of a particular time and culture in the Catholic Church. I can't imagine he was overjoyed as Bishop of Sydney to have me, a theologically-trained Catholic feminist Premier on his hands.

In the lead up to World Youth Day, the Cardinal and I were preparing to do a media event. I had advised him that I would open the press conference, and then throw to him. He said, “Minister, what would you like me to say?”

I replied, “Your Eminence, I've been waiting my whole life for a Cardinal to ask me that question.”

He looked at me blankly. “I'm sorry. I don't understand. What do you want me to say?”

Some people swear the Cardinal has a great sense of humour. I suspect those people are men. In my interactions with him, I never saw evidence of it. ...

Then, of course, there is the scandal of the sexual abuse of children.

As a mother and a Catholic, I am horrified by the abuse inflicted by Catholic priests and teachers on children in their care. I am further angered by an institution that failed to take these reports seriously and, in some cases, simply moved predators on to unsuspecting new parishes.

Some people have tried to implicate the Cardinal in these actions. Let me be clear. I make no accusation against Cardinal Pell when it comes to the sexual abuse crisis, except this one: that he has not responded well as a pastor, and that he lacks evident compassion and humility in the face of story after story of failure in the Catholic Church to deal with the sexual abuse of children.

Unfortunately, his public statements indicate an inclination to protect the institution rather than the vulnerable.

To be fair to our Ballarat-born Melbournian Cardinal, I don't think he ever quite understood the egalitarian, pragmatic nature of Sydney or the lay of the media landscape here. Whereas Francis and John Paul II are natural media performers, Pell seemed to struggle to use the media to its best effect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Priest who sexually assaulted young sisters has success in appeals court

NORTHERN IRELAND
Fermanagh Herald

A FERMANAGH priest convicted of sexually assaulting three young sisters has had some of his convictions overturned.

New evidence was produced at the Appeals Court in Belfast regarding the conviction of Father Eugene Lewis of the White Fathers Order and three sisters from County Fermanagh.

The case ran for four weeks in 2011, following which Father Lewis was convicted of eleven charges of indecent assault. However, after the charges were appealed, the Court upheld eight of the charges but ruled that three others were unsafe.

The Court of Appeal considered the matters and handed down a ruling which was published by the Court Service of Northern Ireland this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Prosecution: Priest targeted then assaulted boy, 10

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

JOSEPH A. SLOBODZIAN, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: Thursday, February 27, 2014

The sex assault trial of the Rev. Andrew McCormick opened Thursday with the prosecutor saying the evidence will show that the Catholic priest targeted, groomed and assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy in his room in the rectory of a Northeast Philadelphia parish.

"No 41-year-old man has the right to touch a child," Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp told the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury in her opening statement.

Kemp said the alleged victim will testify about how McCormick asked him to become an altar boy in 1997 at St. John Cantius parish in Bridesburg.

"In a strong, hard-core Catholic neighborhood, this was a huge honor," Kemp said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Canada- Victims blast fundraiser for convicted archbishop

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, February 27, 2014

For more information: Melanie Jula Sakoda ( 925-708-6175 cell, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com ), Cappy Larson ( cappy@rlarson.com ), David Clohessy ( 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )

Victims seek help from church and university
A fundraiser is set for convicted archbishop
He was accused of molesting 11 year old twin boys
Group wants officials to denounce the event
SNAP: “Public support for proven molesters is wrong”
“It deters victims of other child sex crimes from speaking up,” they say

Sex abuse victims are criticizing a fundraiser for an archbishop convicted of child sexual abuse. The group is also urging leaders of five institutions to cancel the event or discourage attendance at it.

Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are upset about a March 5th fundraiser to benefit Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, who was found guilty last month of child sexual abuse. Storheim is the former head of the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). He has been suspended by the OCA while he awaits church discipline.

SNAP believes the event “hurts at least one child sex abuse victim and deters other child sex abuse victims from speaking up.” The fundraiser will be held at the Woodroffe United Church in Ottawa. The Woodroffe parish belongs to the United Church of Canada.

Performing at the concert will be the Illinois Wesleyan Piano Quartet. According to the concert flyer, all members of the ensemble are professors at Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Depositions scheduled in priest abuse lawsuit

MINNESOTA
SFGate

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Deposition dates have been set for top officials in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in a lawsuit filed by a former altar boy who says he was abused in the 1970s.

Archbishop John Nienstedt will be deposed March 19 and the Rev. Kevin McDonough, a former vicar general of the archdiocese, will testify March 20. A Ramsey County judge recently rejected the archdiocese's attempt to block the depositions of Nienstedt, McDonough and Father John Brown. The plaintiff's attorney, Jeff Anderson, said Thursday Brown's deposition has not been scheduled because the priest is ill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Gerald Funcheon is back in the news

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on February 27, 2014

Crozier priest Father Jerry Funcheon, who is the subject of the first lawsuit filed under Hawaii’s civil window, is back in the news – this time because Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis church officials “forgot” to put him on a website that lists abusive clerics. Church documents show that Funcheon may have abused up to 50 boys.

NBC Minneapolis affiliate KARE posted this story yesterday, which chronicles much of Funcheon’s past, including the cover up of his actions by men like Fr. Kevin McDonough, the embattled former Vicar General of the Archdiocese. McDonough has been implicated in the cover up of numerous cases of abuse in Minnesota. He is also the brother of White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Croatian church condemns paedophile priest

CROATIA
West

by Nicola Dotto - 02.27.2014

An ecclesiastical court in Croatia has, for the first time, passed a guilty verdict on a priest accused of sexually abusing children. After years of investigation and hearing the direct testimonies of the victims, Don Nedjeljko Ivanov, of the diocese of Zara, was convicted of paedophilia dating back to the 1980s and ’90s. The sentence means he will lose his position in the Church and he will be forced to leave the parish. However, the fact that the crime took place more than 15 years ago means the priest will avoid being prosecuted by the civil justice system. However, this is a landmark first in the centuries-long history of the church in Zagreb.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

DA: Philly priest abused 10-year-old boy after mom sought advice about boy's sexuality

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Daily Journal

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press
First Posted: February 27, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — Prosecutors in Philadelphia say a Roman Catholic priest assaulted a 10-year-old after the boy's mother met with the priest about her son's sexuality.

The account Thursday comes as the latest priest-abuse trial in Philadelphia gets under way.

Prosecutors say the accuser's mother had sought help from the Rev. Andrew McCormick over concerns her son was gay.

They say McCormick then targeted the boy, and sexually assaulted him at his northeast Philadelphia rectory in 1997.

Defense lawyer William Brennan asks jurors why no one else has accused McCormick of molestation despite his 30-year church career.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Seksueel misbruikschandaal kost Aartsbisdom Utrecht 2 miljoen

NEDERLAND
DUIC

[document]

[Summary:The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has cost the Utrecht archdiocese more than 2 million euros.]

Het seksueel misbruikschandaal binnen de Katholieke kerk heeft het Aartsbisdom Utrecht meer dan 2 miljoen euro gekost. Hiermee heeft het Utrechtse bisdom het meest betaald van alle Nederlandse bisdommen. Dit meldt het KRO programma Brandpunt Reporter.

Van de twee miljoen euro die Utrecht moest betalen, ging meer dan 830.000 euro naar de compensatie van slachtoffers. Meer dan 470.000 ging naar de kosten van Commissie Deetman, die het seksueel misbruik onderzoekt. Aan het meldpunt wordt meer dan 700.000 euro betaald. In totaal hebben de bisdommen meer dan 8,5 miljoen betaald aan de de slachtoffers, Commissie Deetman en het meldpunt misbruik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Padre fazia orgia com menores em casa paroquial, regada à bebida alcoólica na Paraíba, diz promotor

BRASIL
Surgiu

[Summary: The Paraiba prosecution will interrogte adolescents who had sex with Father Adriano Jose, pastor of Jacarau on the north coast of the state. The prosecutor said sexual orgies occurred inside the rectory and at motels. The Paraiba archdiocese confirmed the priest has been suspended from performing priestly duties.]

O Ministério Público da Paraíba (MPPB), através da Promotoria de Jacaraú, vai interrogar nesta quarta-feira (26), adolescentes que tiveram relações sexuais com o padre Adriano José, pároco de Jacaraú, no Litoral Norte do Estado. De acordo com o promotor Marinho Mendes, as orgias sexuais, que ocorriam dentro da casa paroquial e motéis, eram regadas à bebidas alcoólicas. A Arquidiocese da Paraíba confirmou que ele está suspenso de ordem, ou seja, impedido de realizar missas. O padre Jaildo Souto também teve às ordens suspensas suspeito de abuso sexual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Fiscal fallout at the Vatican

UNITED STATES
Harvard Gazette

February 26, 2014

By Christina Pazzanese, Harvard Staff Writer

In keeping with Pope Francis’ growing reputation as an egalitarian-minded maverick, the Vatican announced Monday that he will begin revamping the Holy See’s financial operations by creating a new ministry, called the Secretariat of the Economy, that will have broad authority and report directly to him.

The agency is expected to bring order and transparency to the notoriously secretive Vatican Bank, which critics charge operates like an offshore tax haven for organized crime and money launderers and is now mired in a string of corruption scandals. Last month, a senior cleric serving as a top Vatican accountant was charged criminally for trying to smuggle €20 million from Switzerland into Italy through the private, unregulated bank, which is formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR).

Headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, a longtime reform advocate, the new ministry will be advised by a 15-person council that includes eight prelates and, for the first time in church history, seven lay financial experts. An auditor appointed by the pope will have the power to review all financial records.

Vatican watchers say the pope’s move is the most dramatic structural overhaul of the church bureaucracy in 25 years, with some calling it unprecedented for its swift and substantive nature in addressing an issue that has dogged the church for decades.

Gregg Fields, M.P.A. ’95, is a veteran business journalist and currently a research fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Fields, who is studying the threat that institutional corruption poses to the U.S. economy and how the cozy affinity between Washington, D.C., and Wall Street has undermined the effectiveness of financial industry regulations, spoke with the Gazette about the significance of the Vatican’s reforms and the challenges that Pope Francis faces in trying to restructure and bring transparency to an entrenched financial institution.

GAZETTE: How significant are the actions the pope took this week, and more broadly, what he’s done since last August, such as hiring a Washington, D.C.-based company to conduct a forensic review of the bank’s finances?

FIELDS: Two things I found very interesting this week. One, I do think that the creation of this authority is very significant because it’s going to totally rework the way the Vatican handles its assets, the way the Vatican looks at things like due diligence and review. I think it was the pope who said it’s going to be less Vatican-centric in terms of the way it operates. So I think that’s very significant. The other thing I found interesting about the statement, frankly, was what wasn’t in it. Unless I have missed something, what was not in it is any mention of the IOR, the Vatican Bank. And we know last week, the pope was briefed about the bank. We don’t know what he was told, but we do know that last year he said, “Maybe the bank doesn’t have a future.” I suspect, just as a journalist looking at what’s not there, this is a way of changing the IOR’s role in a way that diminishes it, and could be a prelude to getting rid of it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

IL- Commune accused of "rampant child sex abuse," SNAP responds

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, February 27, 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)

New lawsuit in Chicago accuses a Christian commune of covering up “rampant” child sexual abuse.

[DNA Info]

Once again we see the same repeat pattern in the Uptown Jesus People USA’s behavior that we have seen over and over throughout our nation and the world. A situation exists where there is a hierarchy of power, and a central belief system that promotes control over people and their daily lives. From this unhealthy environment, comes unhealthy behaviors, including sexual abuse. This appears to be just another case.

The part that concerns us the most at SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the response that we see constantly by those in power. Those that were and are in a position of power have a responsibility to prevent, or at the very least to respond to, abuse of any kind as quickly as possible. Here we see the typical pattern that occurs when a victim comes forward. There is denial first and foremost, then they point out the statute of limitations, and refer inquiries to their lawyers.

What should be glaringly apparent is that there is no reaching out to the victims, no cry for other possible victims to come forward, and no investigation in joint effort with civil authorities, to make sure the crisis is promptly addressed, victims treated and/or compensated, preventing future abuse and cover ups, and punishing those responsible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

Archdiocese of Chicago document release fact check

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic New World

The Archdiocese understands the concerns and questions surrounding the recent release of documents related to 30 Archdiocesan priests who have been accused of abusing minors at various times during the last half century. Because of the recent conflicting and inaccurate media reports regarding the document release, the archdiocese wants to provide some additional, factual background information.

1992 and 2002 reforms

FACT ...

In September 1992, after appointing a special commission to assess how sexual misconduct was being handled by the archdiocese, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin announced new policies regarding clerical sexual misconduct and established the archdiocese’s independent Review Board and the assistance ministry — one of the first in the nation.
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Dallas Charter) was promulgated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June 2002
In October 2002, Cardinal George led a delegation to Rome to secure approval of the Dallas Charter and the zero tolerance policy, which states no priest with even one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse can serve in ministry.

Archdiocese of Chicago Today

FACT ...

No priest with even one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor serves in ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago today.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
When an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric is received by the archdiocese, the allegation is immediately reported to civil authorities. The priest involved can be asked to step aside while the allegation is further investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Trial Begins for Priest Accused of Molesting Altar Boy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

Opening statements are set to start Thursday in the Philadelphia trial of a priest arrested after his accuser followed child sex-assault trials involving Penn State and the Roman Catholic church.

The accuser, a former altar boy, says he was sexually assaulted after Mass in 1997 by the Rev. Andrew McCormick.

McCormick was suspended from the Philadelphia archdiocese over a less serious allegation when he was arrested in 2012.

The 57-year-old priest's lawyer says the charges -- including sexual assault, child endangerment and indecent exposure -- stem from one encounter with a lone accuser.

Philadelphia prosecutors have been investigating priest-abuse reports in Philadelphia for a decade, and have gained several sex-abuse convictions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Fugitive Priest arrest warrant 'had been withdrawn'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A paedophile priest wanted for a string of sexual assaults had his arrest warrant withdrawn more than a decade ago because the courts thought he would never be found, it has emerged.

Francis Cullen, 85, spent more than 20 years on the run in Tenerife before he was extradited last year.

A warrant had been issued for his arrest after he skipped bail in 1991 but it was withdrawn in 2000,

Police said the decision was a matter for the courts.

Cullen admitted abusing five boys and two girls, aged six to 16, connected to churches in Mackworth and Buxton in Derbyshire and Hyson Green in Nottingham, in offences dating back to 1957.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Priest searched online for sexual images of children, according to police report

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with audio]

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Feb 25, 2014

Feb 26, 2014

Documents released Tuesday by the St. Paul police department in a closed investigation show that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis knew in 2004 that a priest had searched online for sexual images of children.

The police file of the investigation into alleged child pornography on the computer of the Rev. Jon Shelley includes a 2004 report from a private forensic examiner who reviewed the images on Shelley's computer. It found that Shelley had searched the Internet for the terms "free naked boy pictures," "blond boys sucking pics" and "preteen." The examiner wrote the report for the archdiocese's private investigator, who gave it to the chancery in 2004, according to the police file.

The archdiocese kept Shelley in ministry despite the report's finding.

A spokesman for archdiocese declined to comment on why Shelley remained in ministry after church leaders learned he looked for pornographic images of minors. Shelley's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

MPR News reported in October of last year that top church officials debated for months in internal memos whether the images from Shelley's computer could be considered child pornography and concluded that they didn't need to call police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

TN- Just 'outed' predator priest worked in Nashville

TENNESSEE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014

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

Pedophile priest worked in Nashville
He was publicly exposed last week for first time
Sex abuse victims seek help from Tennessee bishop
Group blasts “bare minimum” approach by Catholic officials

A credibly accused predator priest who was exposed for the first time last week worked for years as a pastor in Tennessee. And a support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging Nashville’s Catholic bishop to “aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes.”

[Minnesota Public Radio]

Because of a court order, St. Paul Minnesota church officials revealed that Fr. Kenneth Gansmann was removed from active ministry because of allegations that he molested a child. Fr. Gansmann, who is now deceased, also worked in three Illinois dioceses: Springfield, Joliet and Chicago.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are asking Bishop David R. Choby to use his vast resources to seek out any others who may have seen, suspect, or suffered abuse. Bishop Choby should visit every parish were Gansmann worked and beg victims or witnesses to come forward.

Gansmann worked in Nashville at St. Vincent De Paul from 1961 until his death in 1974.

“He had access to hundreds of children every year. It is never too late to report abuse,” said

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “We hope those who are suffering in silence will find the courage to speak up. And we hope Nashville's bishop will gently but firmly prod them to do so.”

“It's hard for some to understand this, but many times, victims stay silent unless someone in authority – a prosecutor, a bishop, or even a parent – begs them to step forward and get help,” said Susan Vance of Knoxville, another SNAP leader. “Fr. Gansmann's victims are likely getting up in age. They were kids in an age when kids were often to be 'seen, not heard,' So it's likely they're still carrying this horrible burden alone. Catholic officials can and should gently but firmly prod them to break their silence and start healing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

MS- Victims applaud abuse seminar, but urge more action

MISSISSIPPI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014

For more information: Amy Smith, SNAP Dallas Leader (281)748-4050, spacecitysnap@gmail.com and David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Victims applaud abuse seminar
But they urge use of "outside experts"
Church protected predator just two years ago
Aggressive outreach to find victims, witnesses vital to child safety
Convicted minister may have more victims, they fear

A support group for child sex abuse victims is applauding a Mississippi Baptist church—that just recently protected and embraced a now-convicted child predator—for holding an abuse awareness and prevention seminar. But the group wants church officials to do “aggressive outreach” to encourage victims to report to police and to add at least one "outside" secular expert to the panel.

Officials at Morrison Heights Baptist Church are planning a sex abuse awareness training conference with a goal "to equip church leaders with the skills and resources they need to keep children safe." The conference focuses on reporting crimes, creating a safe environment, and a victim's story of abuse and recovery.

“Outside” secular experts are essential if this seminar is to be successful at creating a safer environment for children. “Secular experts have no bias when it comes to helping institutions and officials adopt child and victim friendly policies. They are able to put the needs of children before the reputations of institutions,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP.

[Baptist Children's Village]

But SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), wants church leaders to go a step further by aggressively seeking out more victims and witnesses of abuse. In 2011, a former music minister at the church, John Langworthy, admitted from the pulpit that he had molested kids in two states. A Dallas news investigation showed that accusations against Langworthy date back to 1989, when Prestonwood Baptist Church leaders quietly investigated the allegations and fired him but failed to report him to the police, allowing him to move back to MS where he continued to work with kids as a minister and public school choir teacher for the next 22 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Openings set in latest Philly priest-abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Express-News

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Opening statements are set to start Thursday in the Philadelphia trial of a priest arrested after his accuser followed child sex-assault trials involving Penn State and the Roman Catholic church.

The accuser says he was sexually assaulted after Mass in 1997 by the Rev. Andrew McCormick.

McCormick was suspended from the Philadelphia archdiocese over a less serious allegation when he was arrested in 2012.

The 57-year-old priest's lawyer says the charges stem from one encounter with a lone accuser.

Philadelphia prosecutors have been investigating priest-abuse reports in Philadelphia for a decade, and have gained several sex-abuse convictions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Prelim starts today

CANADA
Sylvia's Site

Posted on February 27, 2014 by Sylvia

The six-day preliminary hearing of Father Linus Bastien is scheduled to start at 10 am this morning (Thursday, 27 February) in Windsor, Ontario.

The hearing is open to the public. Anyone can attend and sit in court for the entire proceedings. There will as always in Canada be a publication ban on all testimony and evidence – that means that while there may be media in attendance there will be no media coverage of the testimony. There can be coverage of such things as the number of people in attendance, and Father Bastien’s demeanor and dress.

The hearing is a little like a mini trial in which the judge determines if he/she believes there is sufficient evidence to go to trial. The Crown will present evidence to prove that there is, while defence will try to prove that there is not.

Keep the complainants and their families in your prayers. The complainants will probably be called to testify and will be grilled by Bastien’s lawyer, a Patrick Ducharme. I know nothing of Mr. Ducharme but have been told that he is a man of some repute in the Windsor area and a high-profile criminal lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

An archbishop covered up the crimes of Father Billy Baker

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

One of Australia's most prominent Catholic leaders, Archbishop Frank Little, covered up complaints about a priest's child-sex crimes, a Melbourne court was told. Despite knowing about Father Wilfred Baker's crimes, Archbishop Little allowed Baker to be transferred to a new parish, thereby enabling this priest to commit more child-sex crimes.

Broken Rites first heard about Father Baker after Broken Rites launched its Australia-wide telephone hotline in late 1993. Broken Rites advised these callers that victims should contact the Victoria Police sexual offences and child abuse unit. As a result, detectives eventually charged Baker with child-sex crimes.

In the Melbourne County Court on 8 June 1999, Father Wilfred James Baker (then aged 62) was sentenced to four years' jail, with parole after two years.

What the judge said

In a pre-sentence hearing on 7 June 1999, Judge Russell Lewis told the court that, at the Gladstone Park parish (in Melbourne's north-west) in 1978, a family complained to the church that Father Billy Baker was misbehaving towards their young son. The judge said Melbourne's Archbishop Frank Little was made aware of the complaint. Despite this (said the judge) Baker was then transferred from the Gladstone parish to Eltham (in Melbourne's north-east).

"He continued with his criminality [at Eltham]", the judge said.

The judge added: "In the past, there have been paedophile priests who have been moved around with the full knowledge of the hierarchy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Melbourne priest Bill Baker dies while facing more charges

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 27 February 2014)

Father Wilfred James Baker, a retired priest from the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese, who was jailed in 1999 for crimes against boys, was scheduled to face the Melbourne County Court in 2014 (case number CR-13-01856) on additional charges regarding more boys. However, Baker died on 15 February 2014, meaning that this court case will be cancelled.

News of the death was kept secret for 12 days. Finally, a death notice appeared on the Melbourne Herald Sun website on February 27:

BAKER. Wilfred. Died peacefully at Ashwood Feb. 15, 2014, aged 77. A Private Funeral Service was held on Feb. 20, 2014.

Questions

Broken Rites would like to see answers to these questions:

1. Following his convictions in 1999 for child-sex crimes, did the Catholic Church authorities officially revoke Wilfred Baker's ordination as a priest? That is (to use the church's language), was he laicised? The answer apparently, is "No" (according to other Melbourne priests who have spoken to Broken Rites).

2. Where was the funeral service conducted? And conducted by whom?

3. Was Father Baker buried with his fellow deceased priests in the church's special vault for priests at the Melbourne General Cemetery? If so, why was he given this honour?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Jury Sworn In For Father McCormick Sex Abuse Case

PHILDELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright today swore in a panel of 12 jurors and 4 alternates. Then, the judge gave the jury a cold case to solve, namely whether a Catholic priest had sexually assaulted a former altar boy some 16 years ago.

The cold case comes with a media spotlight. "This is what's called a publicity or media case," Judge Bright warned the just-picked panel of 12 women and 4 men.

The judge informed the jury that it was one of the most "important and solemn duties of citizenship" for them to sit as jurors who will decide the fate of Father Andrew McCormick. The 57-year-old priest is accused of sexually assaulting a former 10-year-old altar boy during the 1997-98 school year at St. John Cantius Church in Northeast Philadelphia.

McCormick was arrested on July 26, 2012, after the victim in the case came forward some 14 years after the alleged crime. The victim told the district attorney's office he was motivated by the trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn. Lynn, the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was convicted on June 22, 2012 of one count of endangering the welfare of a child, another former 10-year-old altar boy known as "Billy Doe."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Orthodox Jew jailed for sexually assaulting girl ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Orthodox Jew jailed for sexually assaulting girl makes audacious attempt to be released early so he can attend his son's Bar Mitzvah

By BEN ENDLEY

An Orthodox Jew who sexually abused a schoolgirl has failed in his bid to be released early to attend his young son’s Bar Mitzvah.

Menachem Mendel Levy, 41, is currently serving a three-year jail term after being convicted of two sex assaults in June 2013.

His victim, now in her 20s, was aged between 14 and 15 years old when the attacks took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Déjà Vu: The Vatican’s Cover-Ups Continue

article 3

By Eric Bates | February 27, 2014

The U.N. Report

Recently, the United Nations demanded that the Vatican fire all clergy members who are known or suspected to be child abusers and turn them over to the police. The Vatican’s reputation has been shattered after an extensive report prepared by the U.N. was released that detailed the protection of pedophile priests at the expense of their victims.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child also demanded that the Vatican give up its files on suspected abuse of thousands of children.

According to the U.N. report, no Catholic bishop has ever been sanctioned for sheltering an abusive priest, but the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.N. repudiated that allegation. He also later pointed out that during his last two years as Pope, Benedict XVI defrocked close to 400 priests for raping and molesting children. Benedict’s most recent defrocking binge resulted in more than twice the defrockings that had been ordered during the two years that preceded the explosion of sexual abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

The man most likely to fill Pell’s shoes

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

TESS LIVINGSTONE THE AUSTRALIAN FEBRUARY 28, 2014

ANTHONY Fisher was in a Pontifical Council for Life meeting in Rome on Monday when his mobile beeped. “Sydneyensis est sede vacante,” the message said.

He knew it meant his friend and mentor, George Pell, had been promoted to the Vatican and, correctly, he guessed the job. “He’s exactly the right man,” Bishop Fisher said yesterday after returning to Parramatta.

Bishop Fisher, 53, has headed Australia’s fifth-largest diocese for four years. It is also Australia’s most Catholic region, almost one in three belonging to the church.

He is a frontrunner to step up to the role of Archbishop of Sydney, where he grew up and served as an auxiliary bishop. But, within the church, those who know about such matters don’t talk and those who talk don’t know. He’s not talking. But he says those who dedicate their lives to Christ as priests should be prepared to go where the church asks them. He’s keeping a low profile and would not allow a fresh photograph.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Deliver Justice to Lewis Blayse and His Family

AUSTRALIA
Change.org

Petition by
Aletha Blayse
Brisbane, Australia

Dear General André Cox, Salvation Army World Head:

I’m disgusted by what I learned in the news in recent weeks about the Salvation Army’s treatment of children in its ‘care’ in Australia.

I’m shocked that the Salvation Army recently awarded a ‘Silver Star’ award to John McIver.

I’m shocked to learn how victims who first spoke out about abuses in Salvation Army institutions were ignored by your organisation, and sometimes even called liars.

I am appalled to learn that Lewis Blayse told your organisation of abuses at Alkira in the 1990s but that I’ve only just learned about them just now.

I don’t believe the slick spin put out by the Salvation Army that everything is all better now – I can make up my own mind, and I’m not impressed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Churches, authorities knew of abuse: Crews

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source AAP

Churches, the Salvation Army and authorities have known for 40 years about the abuse coming to light at a royal commission, a prominent Sydney reverend says.

"They all knew," Wayside Chapel's Reverend Bill Crews told AAP. "There's no institution or organisation, whether it's the church or the government or NGOs, who can claim they didn't know."

But they were more concerned about "protecting the good name of the institution" than the abused children.

Between 1971 and 1983, Rev Crews ran a crisis centre in Kings Cross, where many street kids came for help.

That's where he first met Mary Hooker.

She was raped and beaten as a 13-year-old girl while living at a state-run home in 1972, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Local priest may have abused 50 children

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

DOCUMENT: 1992 memo on Father Funcheon

Julie Nelson, Anchor and Steve Eckert, Investigative Producer KARE 11

ST. PAUL, Minn. - He liked to be called "Father Jerry".

By his own account, Gerald Funcheon of the Catholic Order of the Holy Cross - the Croisers - started abusing young boys in the 1970's here in the Twin Cities.

"I suspect, and I don't remember, it would have been at it St. Odilia's," he testified in a 2012 deposition.

"The guy was a wolf," according to David Bidney, one of kids who says he was abused starting when he was just 10. "They hurt me bad. And they hurt a lot of kids bad."

In addition to St. Odilia's in Shoreview, Father Jerry served in parishes and schools in Anoka, Onamia, and St. Cloud plus other assignments literally from coast-to-coast.

Just last week, Father Funcheon's name was added to the local Archdiocese's official list of abusive priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Sex charges dropped against Vic priest

AUSTRALIA
7 News

PATRICK CARUANA
February 27, 2014

Prosecutors have dropped child sex charges against a convicted Victorian pedophile priest who died last month.

Michael Glennon was serving a 14-year sentence for the abuse of 15 children between 1974 and 1991, mostly at youth camps at a rural property.

He died aged 69 on New Year's Day at the Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat.

It can now be revealed that Glennon was facing five charges of indecent assault against a boy between 1977 and 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Paedophile Francis Cullen: No record of who cancelled priest's arrest warrant

UNITED KINGDOM
Nottingham Post

THE Ministry of Justice has no record of which judge or magistrate decided to call off the search for on-the-run Nottingham paedophile priest Francis Cullen.

HM Courts and Tribunals, which is governed by the department, said a search warrant was withdrawn nine years after Cullen went missing because it was believed he could not realistically be found.

A spokesman said "a judge or a magistrate" would have signed a document calling off the warrant after the priest skipped bail in 1991.

But records at Nottingham Magistrates' Court do not show who was sitting on the day it was signed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

The long, sad record

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Feb. 27, 2014 NCR Today

2014

In January, Cardinal Francis George prepared Chicago Catholics for a release of documents detailing the archdiocese's mishandling of clergy accused of sexually abusing minors. An archdiocesan statement described the documents as "upsetting" and "painful to read." The decisions church officials made decades ago "are now difficult to justify" but were based on "the prevailing knowledge at the time," it said.

George's letter specifically addressed the case Daniel McCormack, a priest that the cardinal would eventually defrock, but whom he allowed to stay in ministry -- against the advice of his review board -- for months after allegations against McCormack surfaced. George only removed him after McCormack's second arrest in 2006.

"The response, in retrospect, was not always adequate to all the facts, but a mistake is not a cover up," George wrote.

2013

Last fall, as details emerged about how the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese mishandled cases of clergy sexually abusing of minors, Archbishop John Nienstedt acknowledged mistakes: "Our policies and procedures may not have been uniformly followed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Francis must act faster on abuse issue

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

NCR Editorial Staff | Feb. 27, 2014

EDITORIAL
The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a report in early February that chastised the Vatican for substandard policies that fall short in protecting children, specifically from sexual abuse.

The condemnation came from a committee of 18 independent experts who monitor the implementation of the 1989 U.N. treaty -- ratified by the Holy See in 1990 -- related to child protection and children's rights. Among the committee's chief criticisms are that the Vatican "has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed," that its systems and procedures are shrouded in secrecy that shields the abusers and denies justice to victims, and that the church's global network has been used to hide perpetrators and obstruct investigations.

Critics have faulted the U.N. report for not keeping its focus on the sexual abuse of minors and instead also criticizing Vatican policies (we would call them teachings) on abortion, birth control, homosexuality and even corporal punishment. Bringing up these issues -- which the committee may not have been able to avoid because of its wider mandate -- made the report too easy to dismiss by the very people it should have roused to action. It also focused too much on the historical record and ignored some recent progress the Vatican has made. Because of this, the report comes off as dated, giving critics more ammunition to dismiss it. A more politically savvy report could have had greater impact. Commentators even on the NCR website called the report poorly done, sloppily executed and an opportunity squandered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Clergy List Confusion

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

FEBRUARY 27, 2014 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

One of our site members, “Catholic Mom,” noticed that Father John Roebuck’s name still appeared on the archdiocesan clergy list this morning with his contact information changed to “care of the clergy office.” The list details the assignments and affiliations of priests with full faculties (currently in ministry). The names of those with restricted faculties are removed from the list. Roebuck is the former parochial vicar from St. Stanislaus parish in Lansdale who has been charged with indecent assault without consent. He has admitted to touching a man’s genitals at a YMCA. Read article here.

Kathy Kane confirmed with the archdiocesan spokesperson, that Roebuck’s faculties have indeed been restricted and that the clergy list would be changed this afternoon. It was changed all right. He contact information now lists him as back at St. Stanislaus Parish.

Some priests use the the clergy list as a resource to be sure that a priest visiting their school or parish is in good standing. It’s invaluable in the current climate and should be carefully maintained. Not sure if this was a clerical error or something else. We will follow up tomorrow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Manufacturing the News: NY Times’ Laurie Goodstein Predictably Obliges Church Cranks In Effort To Oust Missouri’s Bishop Finn

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

How do you get the attention of America's newspaper of record?

First, find a handful of others to form a group declaring yourself opposed to sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Second, put together a third-rate website (even if it is not even online) announcing your intention to solve the now largely nonexistent problem of sex abuse. Finally, phone the New York Times National Religion Correspondent Laurie Goodstein to obtain all the free public relations you want.

So appears the strategy of a fringe group of dissident priests, nuns, and other left-wing zealots called Catholic Whistleblowers, which Goodstein proudly promoted on the Times' front page just last year.

The premise of the group is simple but inane: the diabolical hierarchy of the Church is still covering up widespread abuse of minors by priests, and it is up to these select and valiant malcontents to blow the lid off the cover-up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Notorious Catholic priest to be sentenced

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A sentencing hearing begins today for a notorious Hunter Valley Catholic priest who has admitted to sexually abusing 18 boys.

It is his second conviction for multiple child sex offences.

John Sidney Denham is already in prison for child sexual abuse, as Sydney's District Court hears submissions on his sentencing for additional crimes.

The former Maitland-Newcastle priest is serving 13 years in jail for sexually abusing 39 boys.

In July last year, Denham pleaded guilty to 25 new charges dating back to the 1970s, including indecent assault and buggery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

La polémica ‘Obediencia perfecta’

MEXICO
El Siglo

[Summary: The film "Perfect Obedience" is about the life of Catholic priest Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ.]

Desde sus inicios como actor de cine, Juan Manuel Bernal ha cumplido a cabalidad uno de sus propósitos: mostrar al público, a través historias ficcionadas en pantalla grande, los problemas que afligen e incomodan a la sociedad.

Ahora, con la cinta “Obediencia perfecta”, ópera prima de Luis Urquiza inspirada en los casos de abuso sexual cometidos por el fallecido sacerdote católico Marcial Maciel, el histrión espera provocar en el público una reflexión sobre los temas que tienden a minimizarse y, al mismo tiempo, a considerarse intocables.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Witness tells abuse inquiry how he confronted nun during alleged beating

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Dan Keenan

Thu, Feb 27, 2014

A witness at the North’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has told how he “had enough of the torture” from a named nun at a Derry boys’ home run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

However, he also insisted many people did their best for those at St Joseph’s, Termonbacca, and this was why he wrote a letter to the Derry Journal in 2004 praising those who “helped light up our lives”.

Struggling with his emotions, the anonymous witness told the inquiry’s senior counsel Christine Smith he could take no more beatings with an electric flex from a named nun and physically confronted her.

“I just couldn’t take it any more, I was beaten so severely with that flex,” he said.

‘Put up resistance’

“I put up resistance, stopped her, disarmed her, restrained her, let her break free. She came back at me with a dustpan brush.”

He continued: “At the end of it, she came at me with a pair of scissors, I was able to disarm her and restrain her. I told her, ‘you are not going to beat me again – ever’. She realised she could not get the better of me. I never got beaten again.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Man accused of molesting boy keeps church-owned residence near Fort Myers Catholic school

FLORIDA
News-Press

Suspect was arrested on Jan. 29

Written by
Marisa Kendall

A week has passed since Robert Little was arrested on accusations of molesting a Catholic school student, but he continues to reside next to the school in a building owned by the church.

Little, 74, was arrested Jan. 29 on a charge of lewd or lascivious behavior on a victim 12-16 years old. Investigators said Little made the victim expose himself, and touched him, while the victim was visiting Little’s condo on Fort Myers Beach, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office report. Little told deputies the victim was a student at the now-defunct Father Anglim Academy for mentally challenged children, according to the report.

Little was released from Lee County Jail on Saturday, on a bond of $10,000. He is to have no contact with the victim or other children, according to court documents. His arraignment is scheduled for March 3.

After his release, Little returned to his unit in Villa Francisco, a senior living home owned by the Diocese of Venice. The church is considering whether it can and will remove Little from the home — it’s a complicated decision because the home is run independently of the church, said Billy Atwell, spokesman for the Diocese of Venice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Abuse survivors group demonstrates outside St. Francis Xavier Church

FLORIDA
Fox 4

[with video]

By Sara Belsole

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, demonstrating outside St. Francis Xavier Church in Fort Myers.

"Church officials can and should do more," says Barbara Blaine, President of SNAP.

Blaine says they have concerns about how the Diocese of Venice responded when Eucharistic Minister Robert Little was arrested for molesting a young boy he met at church.

"The way the diocese dealt with this was reckless and that it placed children at risk." Blaine says.

Little was no longer volunteering at Saint Francis Xavier when he admitted to police he touched the boy inappropriately, but was living at the diocese-owned Villa Francisco, just blocks from the church.

The Diocese didn't ask Little to leave until a week after his arrest and after a local attorney, who represents another boy who claims Little molested him, voiced his concerns to Fox 4.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Pope Francis's Money Man

AUSTRALIA
Real Clear Religion

By Samuel Gregg

It's a long way from growing up in your father's pub in the Australian regional city of Ballarat to becoming someone who answers directly to the Successor of Saint Peter in Rome. That, however, is the path that's been followed by Pope Francis's inaugural appointment as Prefect of what's being officially called the "Secretariat for the Economy."

A tall, somewhat imposing figure with a lifetime of intellectual achievement, pastoral work, and a forceful engagement in the public square behind him, Cardinal George Pell doesn't fit most people's image of a financial administrator. The 72 year-old ecclesiastic has, however, been asked to undertake a major role in fixing what has become a major source of scandal for the Catholic Church in recent years.

It may well turn out to be the greatest challenge of his priestly life.

You don't need to watch the Godfather Part III to know that the Catholic Church has struggled for several decades to address some real problems in the management of the Holy See's finances. Just looking at an organizational chart of the various units involved in some way in administering the Holy See's resources is enough to make even devout Catholics think that maybe Dan Brown's novels are onto something.

What's often called "the Vatican Bank" -- it's more formal title is the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR) -- is just one of several institutions that the Holy See has created over the years to manage various resources. In many ways, a far more important structure is the lesser-known "Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See" (APSA), which, as it stated under its governing document, serves "to administer the properties owned by the Holy See in order to provide the funds necessary for the Roman Curia to function."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Kinderpornografie: Strafbefehl gegen Unterthürheimer Pfarrer

DEUTSCHLAND
Stadtzeitung

[The Augsburg district court has issued an order of punishment against a forme rpriest at the parish community of Thurheim. It is alleged he was in possession of child pornography. The priest has been since 2005 a priest of the Augsburg diocese.]

Das Amtsgericht Augsburg hat gegen den früheren Pater der Pfarreiengemeinschaft Thürheim einen Strafbefehl wegen Besitz von kinder- und jugendpornografischem Bildmaterial erlassen. Der Geistliche stand seit 2005 im Dienst des Bistums Augsburg.

Strafbefehl gegen den früheren Pfarrer der Pfarreiengemeinschaft Thürheim: Pater Thomas Schilling muss wegen Besitz von kinder- und jugendpornografischem Bildmaterial eine Geldstrafe von 90 Tagessätzen zahlen. Das teilte Roland Fink, Sprecher am Amtsgericht für Strafsachen, auf Nachfrage unserer Zeitung mit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Christian University Resumes Inquiry in Handling of Sexual Abuse Reports

SOUTH CAROLINA
The New York Times

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
FEB. 25, 2014

An investigation into Bob Jones University’s handling of sexual abuse complaints will be allowed to resume, the university and investigators said on Tuesday, after the school endured two weeks of criticism for cutting off the inquiry, without explanation, as it neared completion.

After Bob Jones, a fundamentalist Christian college in Greenville, S.C., suspended the investigation in late January, people who said they had been abused and had been interviewed by the investigators went public with their stories, some for the first time. Some common themes were that when university students sought counseling, officials at Bob Jones called them liars or sinners, and told them not to report abuse to the police because turning in a member of their religious community — especially a parent or pastor — would harm Jesus and the church.

Most of the accounts involved abuse that occurred when the students were children. But some people did say they were abused as students at the university or its affiliated grade school, Bob Jones Academy.

The university has not explained why it terminated its contract with the group it had commissioned to conduct the investigation, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, or Grace. Stephen Jones, the university president and a great-grandson of the founder, acknowledged this month that it had not told Grace of any of its concerns before halting the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

OPINION: A vigilant community can help end institutional child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Courier-Mail

[with video]

PAUL HEGERTY THE COURIER-MAIL FEBRUARY 27, 2014

IN MY business there is a saying: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The tragic stories uncovered by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse suggest a change to the saying. Culture devours child protection policy for breakfast, lunch and tea.

Culture is what a group accepts as normal. If a group doesn’t talk about child safety then in its culture it is normal to ignore child safety. If an organisation values other things above child safety then, culturally, it will minimise its seriousness. Policies and procedures, especially if they are from head office, will have minimal impact.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge spoke forcefully in The Courier-Mail yesterday about failures within the Catholic Church and a new path forward. He is concerned that assumptions the Church has learned in the past 20 years are rendered false by recent failings, especially in Catholic Education, which is meant to lead the way.

But an archbishop cannot change things by himself. Bishops already have policies and procedures but the strategy-devouring culture can chew and spit them out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Jesus People USA Hid Child Sexual Abuse, Lawsuit, Documentary Claim

CHICAGO (IL)
DNA Info

By Adeshina Emmanuel on February 26, 2014

UPTOWN — A documentary scheduled for release Friday — and a lawsuit filed recently in Cook County Circuit Court — accuse Uptown Christian commune Jesus People USA of hiding "rampant" sexual abuse of children at the commune decades ago.

"No Place To Call Home" is a documentary by former Jesus People member Jaime Prater that alleges he and dozens of former members were abused as children while living in the commune between 1974 and 1998.

The movie was initially scheduled for a July release. Prater said he prolonged the process to gather more interviews with alleged victims of abuse.

"This baby of mine has been gestating for five years, and so I'm nervous and anxious and excited," said Prater, 37, who now lives in Indiana. The film project, which began in 2009, received donations through Kickstarter and will be released online, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Culture must change if we are to protect our children

AUSTRALIA
The Chronicle

OPINION: On the Catholic Church Insurance web page about how to make a claim is the advice, "Report theft (or attempted theft), malicious damage, and loss of personal valuables to the police."

The Catholic Church also has procedures to report child sexual abuse allegations to police. My experience is that church officers comply with the insurance advice for material things.

But in Toowoomba we have seen the tragic results of failure to comply with the church's procedures for child abuse. This highlights the cultural issues that Bishop Bill Morris and others raise.

It is one thing to identify cultural issues but people often wonder what to do about them. In my line of work we find experienced and intelligent people struggle to overcome culture.

So what is the culture we are talking about here? Culture is simply what people think is normal. People conform to what is normal. People don't turn up to the workshop in their swimmers or to the beach in their boots and overalls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Dutch Catholic church has spent €3m on compensating abuse victims

NETHERLANDS
Dutch News

Thursday 27 February 2014

The sexual abuse scandal has so far cost the Dutch Catholic church over €8m in research costs and compensation payments to victims.

Most of the money has gone on the massive research project led by Wim Deetman into the scale of the problem.

The report, published in 2011, concluded at least 800 Roman Catholic priests and monks were involved in abusing children in their care between 1945 and 1985.

In total, €3m has been paid in compensation to victims, according to the Church’s annual accounts and quoted by news agency ANP. It is the first time the church has published its annual accounts and the figures cover 2012, ANP says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Rape victim unwilling to face Denham again

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Feb. 27, 2014

A HUNTER man who was raped by paedophile priest John Denham was not in court yesterday for the process that will confirm Denham dies in jail.

‘‘I don’t want to see him ever again,’’ the man, 49, said.

‘‘The police asked me to write a victim’s impact statement, but even that’s beyond me. I hope the next time I hear about him will be when they let me know he’s passed away.’’

A pre-sentence hearing in Sydney yesterday was adjourned to May on an application from Denham’s lawyer. The former priest, who was defrocked by the Catholic Church in 2011 – 11 years after he was first convicted of sexually abusing a boy – pleaded guilty in August last year to 25 child sex charges involving 18 boys at Singleton, Wingham and St Pius X School, Adamstown, in the 1970s, and accepted another 23 indecent assault charges had occurred.

The 25 offences, including buggery, forced oral sex and indecent assault, were committed against boys aged 11, 12 and 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

February 26, 2014

Dredging Wobegon.

MINNESOTA
dotCommonweal

February 26, 2014

Grant Gallicho

In early December a judge ordered the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to release its list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse. Plaintiffs' attorneys received the names in a 2009 lawsuit, but the court sealed the list. The archdiocese long fought its release, but reversed course after Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) reported that for years bishops had failed to inform police about a priest who had admitted to molesting boys. Archbishop John Nienstedt made the list public on December 5. It included the names of thirty-three men. But last week MPR reported that the actual number of accused priests was seventy. "Some of the...men remain in ministry," according to MPR. "Others are long dead." They worked in nearly every parish in the archdiocese.

(The same judge also ordered the archdiocese to release the names of all priests accused of abuse--not just those "credibly accused"--by February 18. The archdiocese appealed the order on that date, and has until February 26 to provide answers to a judge's questions.)

The archdiocese disputes MPR's account. In a statement released the day after MPR published its report online, the archdiocese claimed that "the twenty-eight clergy members identified by MPR have not been publicly disclosed by the archdiocese because they do not, to date, constitute substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor." The statement continued: "At least sixteen of the twenty-eight clergy members identified by MPR were the subject of false, meritless or unsubstantiated accusations against them."

What about the other twelve? "Over ten" of them, the archdiocese claims, "are not from our archdiocese and the allegations against them concern alleged conduct that occurred outside of this archdiocese." Still, they worked in the Twin Cities. According to the statement, such priests "are subject to the authority of other orders and dioceses and...the archdiocese does not have sufficient information or even jurisdiction to determine whether those foreign claims are credible or have been substantiated."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Former Archbishop Wood High School priest found unsuitable for ministry

PENNSYLVANIA
Montgomery Media

Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014

By Eric Devlin
edevlin@montgomerynews.com

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has found a former priest, who previously served in Maple Glen, unsuitable for ministry, following allegations of sexual misconduct.

In an official Feb. 23 statement released by the Archdiocese, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has found the Rev. John P. Paul, a former priest at St. Alphonsus Church in Maple Glen, unsuitable for ministry, following a substantiated allegation that he sexually abused a 17-year-old minor over 40 years ago.

Paul was placed on administrative leave, according to a Dec. 15 statement, following allegations that he had sexually abused minors more than 30 years ago. Originally, the allegations stated that Paul abused minors during his time in the seminary more than 40 years ago.

Paul resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish, Philadelphia, Nov. 6, where he had been serving since 2000, according to the Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Priest’s paedophilia classified as a ‘disability’ ...

MINNESOTA
The Freethinker (UK)

Priest’s paedophilia classified as a ‘disability’ and he now gets generous church and state hand-outs

BY BARRY DUKE – FEBRUARY 26, 2014

AFTER the Rev Gil Gustafson was convicted of child sex abuse 30 years ago, the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis decided to ensure his financial security for decades to come.

The priest was fined $40 and sentenced to 10 years probation and six months in jail. He served four-and-a-half months. The abuse destroyed the life of his victim, Brian Gerrity, who died of drug abuse and AIDS at the age of 28.

According to this report, the church continued Gustafson’s priestly salary and health insurance, covered his living expenses and psychological treatment and paid for his education and training. It also gave him jobs in the chancery, helped him establish his own consulting business and steered clients his way.

In July 2006, Gustafson was declared “disabled” based on his paedophilia, the church said. This allowed him to collect disability payments on top of his earnings as a leadership consultant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

La Iglesia entrega a curas

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Dia

[Summary: In a dramatic twist the Dioceses of San Juan and Arecibo have recently reported cases of sexual abuse by priests contrary to what their procedure has been in the past. ]

Por Limarys Suárez Torres / lsuarez1@elnuevodia.com

En un giro drástico, la Iglesia Católica, específicamente las Diócesis de San Juan y Arecibo, denunciaron recientemente a las autoridades casos de abuso sexual perpetrados por sacerdotes, contrario a lo que había sido su postura de mantener estos escándalos dentro del cerrado ámbito eclesiástico.

Ayer el arzobispo de San Juan, Roberto González Nieves, reveló que existen otros cinco casos de abuso sexual de menores cometidos por curas en la zona metropolitana por lo cual decidió entregar al Departamento de Justicia toda la información relacionada a estos casos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Witness breaks down recalling abuse in NI home

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Tmes

Dan Keenan

Wed, Feb 26, 2014

A witness to the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry has broken down as she recalled a conversation she had with another person who had been in care the day before he took his own life.

The witness, who wishes to remain anonymous, was taken into care at various times in the 1970s at St Joseph’s home at Termonbacca in Derry, run by the Poor Sisters of Nazareth.

She cried openly as she told Senior Counsel to the inquiry Christine Smith QC that the man whom she knew from her time at the home told her he had been raped after he had been transferred to another care home in Kircubben, Co Down.

“He came to see me the day before he hung himself,” she told the inquiry.

Recovering her composure she went on: “[HE] told me the day before he committed suicide that he had been anally raped in Rubane House.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN ON “FRONTLINE”

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

February 26, 2014 9:57 am | Author: berger

A PBS “Frontline” segment last night focused on the forces that led to Pope Benedict’s shocking resignation last year and the challenges facing his successor, Pope Francis, including the abuse crisis. It featured attorney Jeff Anderson and Wisconsin SNAP leaders questioning why then-Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan suddenly moved $57 million into a cemetery fund, effectively reducing to $4 million the church funds available to compensate clergy sex abuse victims. The show can be viewed at http:/www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/secrets-of-the-vatican/.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Legion of Christ Completes Extraordinary General Chapter

ROME
National Catholic Register

by EDWARD PENTIN 02/26/2014

ROME — The papal delegate to the Legion of Christ ended a three-year period of reform Tuesday, declaring the congregation “reconciled with themselves, with their history, with the world and the Church.”

Closing the Legion’s Extraordinary General Chapter, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis said the congregation had “looked inside themselves with a new and purified glance” and examined their current situation “in order to single out potential traces of pollution left by the founder of the Legion in their identity and action, in their legislation and way of working.”

He added that in “renewing their vocations, their self-giving to Christ and to one another, they have been freed of the burden that weighed on their backs. They have gone out of themselves and have found their place within the whole Regnum Christi movement.”

In 2010, Benedict XVI appointed the Italian cardinal to help oversee reform of the congregation, after a Vatican investigation revealed widespread corruption and abuse by its founder, Father Marcial Maciel.

On Feb. 6, the Legionaries of Christ released a statement that condemned the actions of their founder, apologized to his victims and set a new course for the congregation’s future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Pope Benedict says it's absurd to question validity of his resignation

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a letter to an Italian journalist, retired Pope Benedict XVI said questions about the validity of his resignation are "absurd."

"There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my renunciation of the Petrine ministry," the retired pope wrote in a letter to Andrea Tornielli, a Vatican correspondent for the newspaper La Stampa and the website Vatican Insider.

Tornielli said he wrote to the retired pope Feb. 14 after reading articles questioning the canonical validity of his announcement Feb. 11, 2013, that he was stepping down.

In the letter, Pope Benedict described as "simply absurd" doubts about how he had formulated his announcement to cardinals gathered for a meeting about canonization causes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

"Secrets of the Vatican" documentary on PBS is sloppy, one-sided

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Service

[Secrets of the Vatican]

By John Mulderig
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) -- The historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the headline-grabbing start of his successor's ministry are certainly events worthy of close and careful analysis.

Unfortunately, "Secrets of the Vatican," a PBS documentary purporting to provide just such an examination, turns out to be, in large part, both sloppy and one-sided.

A "Frontline" presentation, Antony Thomas' film premieres Tuesday, Feb. 25, 10-11:30 p.m. EST (check local listings).

Thomas identifies three primary causes for Pope Benedict's retirement, all of them scandalous: the plague of clergy sexual abuse, financial shenanigans at the Institute for the Works of Religion, aka the Vatican Bank, and the damaging release of secret documents that has come to be known as "Vatileaks." It's Thomas' treatment of clergy sexual abuse that suffers the most from factual lapses -- and that also displays the most bias.

An early indication that scrupulous attention to detail is not on the agenda here -- and that an appealing Pope Francis is to be implicitly contrasted with his unacceptable predecessor -- comes with the statement that the current pontiff was elected after "one of the shortest conclaves ever." Yet the 2005 gathering of cardinals that selected Pope Benedict was just as brief; in fact, it ended about an hour sooner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Challenge to bishop's authority viewed as a key to controversy

OREGON
National Catholic Reporter

Dan Morris-Young | Feb. 26, 2014

Editor’s note: This is Part 3 of a five-part series on the dispute between a pastor and his bishop in St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bend, Ore. Removed from his post last October, Fr. James Radloff filed an appeal, but his request was denied by the Vatican, as the Congregation for Clergy sided with Baker, Ore., Bishop Liam Cary. The Jan. 31 decision allows Cary to keep secret the reason for the ouster and permits a continued bar on Radloff’s public ministry. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Baker, Ore. Bishop Liam Cary's emphasis on the vow of obedience in his May 7, 2013 open letter to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bend, Ore. is viewed by many as a key to Fr. James Radloff's removal as pastor.

Petitions were circulated asking the bishop to back down on plans to transfer popular Spanish-speaking priest Fr. Juan Carlos Chiarinoti, a native Argentinian. In the letter, Cary admonished parishioners and Radloff for the petition effort. He called it “out of place” and said it “thrust into public view matters that must be dealt with in private and whetted the appetite for an explanation that could not be forthcoming."

Cary also directly rebuked Radloff: "In launching this movement to pressure me to do what he wanted, your pastor made a very serious error of judgment. He actively recruited you to stand with him against your bishop. ... On the day of his ordination, a priest places his hands between those of the bishop and publicly promises 'respect and obedience' to him and his successors. ... To build up the unity of the Church, priests must be willing to walk the way of obedience; and a bishop must be able to count on his priests to be true to their promise."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Report: Priest searched Web for pictures of boys

MINNESOTA
Seattle PI

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A newly released police file shows a Minnesota priest remained in ministry even after church leaders learned he had searched online for sexual images of children.

St. Paul police released documents Tuesday in the case of the Rev. Jonathan Shelley, who was investigated for possible child porn possession. The case was closed last month without charges after prosecutors said they found no evidence of a crime.

The file includes a 2004 report on Shelley's hard drive by a private forensic examiner. The examiner's report to an investigator hired by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said he found search terms including "free naked boys" and "blond boys sucking pics."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

Leben nach dem Missbrauch - drei Pädophilen-Opfer erzählen

DEUTSCHLAND
Der Westen

Alkoholsucht, berufliches Aus, Scheidungen: Drei Männer erzählen, wie Pädophile ihr Leben zerstörten. Mit den Taten abfinden können sie sich nicht. Nun hoffen sie, dass die Verjährungsfrist für sexuellen Missbrauch fällt – damit sie ihre Täter auch noch nach 30 Jahren juristisch belangen können.

Ein Bundestagsabgeordneter, der bei einem internationalen Kinderpornoring Nacktfilme von Knaben bestellt haben soll: Als Markus Elstner von der Affäre Sebastian Edathy hörte, kam sofort seine eigene Geschichte wieder hoch. Die des zwölfjährigen Messdieners, der auserwählt war, beim charismatischen Kaplan an den Wochenenden zu übernachten. Was wie eine Auszeichnung wirkte, fügte dem heute 47-jährigen Bottroper schweren Schaden zu.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

A movement hero, Roy Simmons, passes on

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY DAVID CLOHESSY ON FEBRUARY 26, 2014

Our first SNAP member who played in the NFL and to publicly speak out about his childhood trauma, Roy Simmons, has passed away, and our hearts go out to his family during this difficult and painful time.

Over the past decade, Roy joined us several times in several states (Massachusetts, Ohio and elsewhere) pushing to eliminate and extend the biggest legal roadblock to protecting kids – the archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly statutes of limitations. He also bravely spoke at several SNAP events. (In fact, if you look at the photo accompanying Roy's obituary in the New York Times, you can see photos of other SNAP members in the background.)

Roy found it both embarrassing and painful to speak publicly about his childhood abuse, even after so many years have passed since it happened. But he spoke up anyway. He said “it isn’t easy, but I can endure this if it will help another child. It hurts so much and I don’t want anyone else to endure this. Kids should not have to suffer like I did.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Eerste openbare jaarverslagen bisdommen: 4,3 miljoen verlies in 2012

NEDERLAND
NRC

[Summary: The dioceses of the Netherlands are in the red. In 2012 they sustained a 4.3 million euro loss on total revenues of 30.1 million euros.]

door Joep Dohmen

De bisdommen in Nederland zitten in de rode cijfers. In 2012 hebben ze samen 4,3 miljoen euro verlies geleden, op een totaal aan inkomsten van 30,1 miljoen. Parochies dragen minder af, terwijl de kosten – onder meer door herstelbetalingen aan misbruikslachtoffers – stijgen.

Dat blijkt uit de jaarverslagen die de zeven bisdommen hebben vrijgegeven. Het KRO-programma Brandpunt Reporter bericht er morgen over. Het is voor het eerst dat de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk in Nederland inzage geeft in haar financiën. De openheid past in de door paus Franciscus ingezette koers naar meer transparantie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Al 403 slachtoffers seksueel misbruik in Kerk vroegen vergoeding

BELGIE
Gazet van Antwerpen

[Summary: A total of 403 victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church filed as application for compensation from the King Baudouin Foundation.]

Al 403 slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de Kerk dienden een verzoek tot schadevergoeding in bij de Koning Boudewijnstichting. Slachtoffers hebben daarvoor nog tot 31 oktober de tijd. Dat deelde Kamerlid Renaat Landuyt (sp.a) zopas mee. Landuyt is niet alleen lid van de parlementaire opvolgingscommissie over seksueel misbruik, maar ook advocaat van één van de slachtoffers van Operatie Kelk.

Twee op de drie verzoekers is Nederlandstalig en 80% zijn mannen, aldus Landuyt. Het Kamerlid zegde dat de opvolgingscommissie in het parlement zich ook gebogen heeft over de tekst die slachtoffers voorgelegd krijgen in geval van verzoening (bij akkoord over de schadevergoeding). Volgens Landuyt wil de Kamercommissie dat slachtoffers nog altijd mogen blijven praten over de feiten waarvan zij het slachtoffer waren, ook als ze een schadevergoeding hebben gekregen. En zo'n schadevergoeding sluit rechtszaken over andere feiten dan die waarvoor er een schadevergoeding was, niet uit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Al 1,4 miljoen euro uitgekeerd aan slachtoffers verjaarde pedofilie in de Kerk

BELGIE
De Morgen

[Summary: The arbitration center on sexual abuse in the last 18 months has already paid 1.4 million euros to victims of pedophila offenses. The center was created in the aftermath of the case involving former Belgian Bishop Roger Vangheluwe.]

Het Centrum voor Arbitrage inzake seksueel misbruik heeft in anderhalf jaar tijd al 1,4 miljoen euro uitgekeerd aan slachtoffers van verjaarde pedofiliefeiten binnen de Kerk. Dat blijkt uit het jaarverslag dat vandaag werd voorgesteld in de Opvolgingscommissie seksueel misbruik van de Kamer.

Het Arbitragecentrum werd opgericht in de nasleep van de zaak rond ex-bisschop Roger Vangheluwe, die toegaf zijn minderjarige neefje te hebben misbruikt. Dat leidde tot een stroom aan getuigenissen van andere slachtoffers, vaak over zaken die al lang waren verjaard. Daarom werd een Arbitragecommissie opgericht die toch schadevergoedingen kan toekennen in dergelijke zaken. Aanvragen moesten binnen zijn voor 31 oktober 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Inside the Closed World of the Vatican: Live Chat Today at 2:30 p.m. ET

UNITED STATES
Frontline

by Nathan Tobey

Secrets of the Vatican reveals the culture of a Vatican few outsiders have seen, plagued by corruption, cover-ups and ruthless power struggles.

Using undercover footage and interviews with Vatican insiders, as well as abuse victims, whistleblowers, and journalists, Secrets of the Vatican also shows the deep sexual hypocrisy within the Catholic Church and the long legacy of clergy sexual abuse of children.

“Unless you spend some time inside this kind of culture, it’s very hard to believe that it could be like this,” journalist Robert Mickens tells FRONTLINE.

How did the Vatican get to this point? Just how far does the corruption extend? Is there hope for meaningful reform? Can Pope Francis take on the entrenched interests in the Vatican bureaucracy? Is he really going to try?

We’ve asked Secrets of the Vatican filmmaker Antony Thomas and co-producer Jason Berry and to join us for a live chat to answer those questions and take yours.

They’ll be joined by guest questioner Elizabeth Dias from TIME magazine. Elizabeth recently co-wrote TIME’s Person of the Year portrait of Pope Francis.

You can leave a question in the chat window below, and come by at 2:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 26 to join the live discussion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

MO- high court won't review "awful" clergy sex ruling

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014

For more information: David Clohessy ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com ), Barbara Dorris ( 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

Victims blast justices for not taking abuse case
Missouri's highest court refuses to hear appeal
Employers of child molesters “get off the hook,” SNAP says
Lower court rulings are “a horrific injustice,” group maintains
SNAP: “When priests abuse 'off premises,' Catholic officials exploit technicality”

For now, Missouri's highest court will not consider overturning a lower court ruling that tossed out a clergy sex abuse case against Catholic officials because a priest's alleged crimes did not happen on church property.

Yesterday, Missouri's Supreme Court declined an appeal from attorneys for a Kansas City man who says he was molested by Fr. Michael Tierney, a priest who has faced several civil child sex abuse lawsuits. Last November, a western Missouri appeals court ruled that since Fr. Tierney's purported sexual assaults happened on private property, his employer, the Kansas City Catholic diocese, can't be held responsible for them.

“We are very sad the justices are choosing to not look at this horrific injustice,” said David Clohessy of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “We're also sad that KC Bishop Robert Finn has used this technicality to protect a serial predator priest and we fear other employers will be emboldened now to do likewise.”

[BishopAccountability.org]

[The Kansas City Star]

“For years, at least two Missouri prelates have successfully exploited this legal loophole to conceal clergy sex crimes and cover ups,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP's outreach director. “Now, it's likely they'll continue and other defendants will follow suit, which means that fewer child sex abuse lawsuits will be filed, fewer child molesters will be exposed and fewer children will be protected.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Snapshots of the Catholic Abuse Crisis: It's Priests Who Are Being Hurt by the Abuse, Right?

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Two snapshots this morning that speak volumes about why the abuse scandal has proven so intractable in the Catholic church--and why we remain so far still from addressing it effectively:

In the PBS "Frontline" series "Secrets of the Vatican" (the show itself aired last night; PBS now has a series of articles connected to the show online), Robert Mickens notes that not one of recent popes--not John Paul II, Benedict, or Francis--has gotten in front of the issue. They've all had to be dragged to deal with it.

And then there's this about Benedict, in particular:

One of the things that always struck me as odd was the first reaction that Benedict XVI had toward child abuse, at least the first public reaction, and this happened with the case of the Irish bishops when that big scandal hit, the statement came out, and the pope’s first reaction was he was horrified that a priest could do something like this.
That’s interesting. He wasn’t horrified that a kid was abused. … Why is it horrifying that a priest could do something like that? A priest can do all kinds of things, but it gives a light into the man’s mind that … that was the most horrifying thing for him. …

And at Raw Story, Travis Gettys reports on the attempt of officials of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese to blame a mother for . . . well, I suppose, for allowing? . . . the molestation of her sons by Father Curtis Wehmeyer, who's now in prison for his crimes. Gettys notes that Archbishop John Nienstedt has never met with this mother or her family, but he did discuss the situation with a group of priests last December, noting that his vicar general Father Peter Laird had had to resign after Wehmeyer's abuse of the boys became public knowledge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Following the money

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Phyllis Zagano | Feb. 26, 2014 Just Catholic

Will Pope Francis’ new money lord make any difference? Australian Cardinal George Pell, 72, who moves to Rome next month to head a new Vatican office, is not known as a financial expert.

Australian sex-abuse critics call his appointment a golden parachute, one that may touch down in a palatial suite in the AUS$30 million “Domus Australia” guesthouse Pell dedicated in 2011.

Of course Francis is trying to do the right thing. Religion and money are never a good mix, and a long history of scandals only complicates the task of getting the Vatican bureaucracy in order. As Cardinal Prefect of the new dicastery, the Secretariat for the Economy, Pell reports directly to the pope. He also reports to the new Council for the Economy, eight cardinals and seven lay experts projected to analyze internal controls, transparency, and governance. In addition, there will be an Auditor-General empowered to check the books of any Holy See component.

Pell’s mandate appears to be oversight of any money the Vatican touches, particularly that in the Administration of the Patrimony for the Holy See (APSA), which manages Vatican-owned money and property, and the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), also known as the Vatican Bank, which manages between $6 billion to $7 billion dollars in cash and securities owned by various clergy, religious orders, dioceses and church-affiliated persons and institutions.

Both are ripe fields for fraud, waste and abuse. The lack of transparency at the Vatican Bank, which has 19,000 clients worldwide and does a quarter of its business in cash, has long been cause for scandal. No one knows where it invests its funds. In 1982, the head of the collapsed Banco Amrosiano, Roberto Calvi, was found hanged in London. The Vatican Bank owned controlling shares of Banco Ambrosiano. More recently, Italian police arrested Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, former head of accounting at APSA, on suspicion of using the Vatican Bank to move money for “others.” He was also accused of trying to smuggle $20 million Euro by private plane from Switzerland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Sex abuse priest Francis Cullen: Ministy of Justice on why hunt for Derby pervert was called off

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

By Martin_Naylor | Posted: February 26, 2014

A SEARCH warrant for on-the-run paedophile priest Francis Cullen was withdrawn because it was believed he could not realistically be found.

The Ministry of Justice say “a judge or a magistrate” would have signed a document calling off the warrant nine years after he skipped bail in 1991.

But the department said the warrant would have been reissued if, during further investigations, circumstances changed and Cullen could have been found.

On Monday, the 85-year-old, who was parish priest at Christ the King, in Mackworth from 1960 to 1978, pleaded guilty to 21 sexual abuse offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

The Case of The Pope - Enough Fire in United Nations to Melt the Locks on the Vatican's Filing Cabinets?

Huffington Post

Dragana Brown

I met up with Geoffrey Robertson QC, a human rights lawyer, author of numerous books, and one in particular that caught my attention a few years back - The Case of The Pope.

I was curious as to what had inspired him to write it - perhaps a particular story that touched him deeply amongst the myriad of cases of child sexual abuse within Catholic Church?

In fact, the spark came from his friend, Christopher Hitchens, who enquired during the time all the abuse cases were going ballistic, particularly in the US, if Robertson thought there was enough material to amount to a crime against humanity.

Robertson promised to have a look and started to read everything that was happening around the world. He observed how nobody had brought the whole thing together and judged it by legal standards - no one had gotten to the bottom of it. And so one Saturday night spark turned into a roaring fire resulting in the most enlightening book on the modern Catholic Church ever written - EVER.

Robertson's publisher wanted to call it: 'The Case Against The Pope', but he felt that was loaded. This simple statement confirmed an inspiring quality he holds - a total absence of any vendetta or any pre existing animus towards the Catholic Church or any religion indeed. He was matter of fact, simply looking at the evidence about Ratzinger, and the fact that he had not taken ANY action against paedophile priests who have been a public profile nightmare for the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Professor: Lay people should help pick bishops

UNITED STATES
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Written by Peter Smith on Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Roman Catholic laypeople should have a role in choosing their bishop, according to Nicholas Cafardi, dean emeritus and professor of law at Duquesne University.

The whole process should be handled with more transparency, said Mr. Cafardi, who formerly chaired the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Review Board, which advised bishops on their response to sexual abuse. In fact, he said the abuse crisis itself can partly be traced to an opaque, insider process of picking bishops.

Mr. Cafardi writes in a recent article in U.S. Catholic:

'Pope Francis says that he wants a special kind of bishop for our church—he wants “shepherds who smell of their sheep.” Let us take our Holy Father at his word: Who knows how the sheep smell better than the sheep themselves? No one. So then why not let the sheep ... have a significant say in the choice of our bishops.'

The current process is based on insider recommendations from bishops, up the chain of command to the papal nuncio (diplomatic representative) to the United States and to the pope himself. Priests and some influential and wealthy lay people have an advisory role, but not the lay people as a whole, he writes.

When a candidate is named, he added, the Vatican circulates questions to a select group of those who know him, asking his stances on such issues as same-sex marriage, women priests and abortion -- an agenda that "has given us so many culture warrior bishops," Mr. Cafardi writes. He wonders if, under Francis, such questions as whether the man has a concern for the poor or drives a fancy car will also be asked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI: Theories surrounding resignation are 'absurd'

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has lamented what he calls “absurd speculations” about his resignation in a letter to Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, of the newspaper La Stampa. The Pope-emeritus was responding to a question about recent newspaper theories surrounding the validity of his resignation one year ago.

“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI wrote. He said the only condition for the validity of his resignation was the complete freedom of his decision. He called speculation regarding its validity “simply absurd.”

He also clarified he continued to wear the white cassock and kept the name Benedict for “purely practical reasons,” noting that at the moment of his resignation there were no other clothes available.

In any case, he added that he wears the white cassock in a visibly different way to how the reigning Pope wears it. He called questions about his attire another case of “completely unfounded speculation”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Pope Benedict rejects rumors on why he resigned as “simply absurd”

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

David Gibson | Feb 26, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) On the eve of the first anniversary of his shocking resignation, Pope Benedict XVI has rejected as “simply absurd” the speculation that he was forced to step down, and he explained that he continues to wear the distinctive papal white cassock for “purely practical reasons.”

“At the moment of my resignation there were no other clothes available,” Benedict wrote in a brief letter to an Italian journalist that was published on Wednesday.

The emeritus pope also said that he kept the name Benedict, rather than reverting to his birth name of Joseph Ratzinger, because it was a simple solution, and said rumors that this signaled that he remained something of a “shadow pope” to his successor, Pope Francis, “another case of completely unfounded speculations being made.”

“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Benedict wrote to Andrea Tornielli, a veteran Vatican reporter with La Stampa newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI denies resignation invalid

VATICAN CITY
AFP

Vatican City — Pope emeritus Benedict XVI on Wednesday rejected as "simply absurd" the notions that his resignation might not be valid and that the Vatican hierarchy was now divided between loyalty to him and to Pope Francis.

"There is no doubt at all on the validity of my renunciation," Benedict said in an unprecedented letter published in the La Stampa daily, after it had written to him with questions about when he stepped down in 2013.

"The only condition for validity is that the decision be taken in full freedom. Speculation over an invalid renunciation is simply absurd," said Benedict XVI, whose Latin title is now "pontifex emeritus".

Benedict became the first pope since the Middle Ages to resign in February last year, when he said he could no longer carry on because of his declining health.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Benedict XVI affirms validity of his resignation

VATICAN CITY
Headlines from the Catholic World

Vatican City, Feb 26, 2014 / 03:47 am (CNA).- Today the Italian newspaper La Stampa has published excerpts of a letter from Benedict XVI, who wrote to affirm the existence of only one Pope, Francis.

“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” wrote Benedict XVI in a letter published on Feb. 26.

His letter was a response to La Stampa’s inquiries regarding “various interpretations that have been circulating in the press and on the web regarding his gesture,” the article noted. Some have questioned whether or not Benedict XVI’s resignation was valid, a speculation the retired Pontiff roundly rejected.

“The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision.

Speculations regarding its validity are simply absurd,” he wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Ratzinger: “My resignation is valid. Speculations are simply absurd”

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider (La Stampa)

Benedict XVI responds to a letter sent to him by the Vatican correspondent Andrea Tornielli. The journalist sent him some questions regarding the alleged pressures and conspiracies which some claim led to his resignation

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry” and the “speculations” surrounding it are “simply absurd”. Joseph Ratzinger was not forced to resign, he was not pressured into it and he did not fall victim to a conspiracy: his resignation was genuine and valid and there is no “diarchy” (dual government) in the Church today. There is a reigning Pope, Francis, who leads the Catholic Church and an Emeritus Pope whose “only purpose” is to pray for his successor.

The Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has put pen to paper to set the record straight on the historic decision he took one year ago, in response to the various interpretations that have been circulating in the press and on the web regarding his gesture. Writing from the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican, he replied in person to a letter with some questions which we sent him a few days ago, after certain comments made in the Italian and international press about his resignation. Ratzinger was brief and to the point; he denied speculations about any secret reasons behind his resignation and urged people not to give undue importance to certain choices he has made, such as his decision to carry on wearing the white cassock after stepping down as Bishop of Rome.

Readers will recall the shock announcement Benedict XVI made on 11 February 2013, informing cardinals at the Consistory of his free decision to resign ingravescente aetate (because of old age): “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.” He also announced that the Apostolic See was going to be vacant as of the evening of 28 February when the cardinals would meet to begin the process of electing his successor. In the days that followed, Ratzinger informed he would be keeping his papal name Benedict XVI (the name with which he signed the letter he sent us), that he would from that moment on be referred to as Pope Emeritus (this title also appears in print on the letter) and that he planned to carry on wearing a white cassock, albeit a simpler version than the papal one: Ratzinger does not wear the short shoulder cape, known as the “pellegrina” and without the fascia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Ratzinger: la mia rinuncia è valida, assurdo fare speculazioni

CITTA DEL VATICANO
La Stampa (Vatican Insider)

ANDREA TORNIELLI (VATICAN INSIDER)

«Non c'è il minimo dubbio circa la validità della mia rinuncia al ministero petrino» e le «speculazioni» in proposito sono «semplicemente assurde». Joseph Ratzinger non è stato costretto a dimettersi, non l'ha fatto a seguito di pressioni o complotti: la sua rinuncia è valida e oggi nella Chiesa non esiste alcuna «diarchia», nessun doppio governo. C'è un Papa regnante nel pieno delle sue funzioni, Francesco, e un emerito che ha come «unico e ultimo scopo» delle sue giornate quello di pregare per il suo successore.

Dal monastero «Mater Ecclesiae» dentro le mura vaticane, il Papa emerito Benedetto XVI ha preso carta e penna per stroncare le interpretazioni sul suo storico gesto di un anno fa, rilanciate da diversi media e sul web in occasione del primo anniversario della rinuncia. Lo ha fatto rispondendo personalmente a una lettera con alcune domande che gli avevamo inviato nei giorni scorsi, dopo aver letto alcuni commenti sulla stampa italiana e internazionale riguardanti le sue dimissioni. In modo sintetico ma precisissimo, Ratzinger ha risposto, smentendo i presunti retroscena segreti della rinuncia e invitando a non caricare di significati impropri alcune scelte da lui compiute, come quella di mantenere l'abito bianco anche dopo aver lasciato il ministero di vescovo di Roma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Retired Pope Benedict denies speculation ...

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail (UK)

[Ratzinger: la mia rinuncia è valida, assurdo fare speculazioni - La Stampa]

Retired Pope Benedict denies speculation that he was FORCED to publicly stand down and is secretly active as a 'shadow' pope

By CHRIS PLEASANCE

In a letter to La Stampa newspaper Benedict called speculation he had been forced from his post 'absurd' ahead of the first anniversary of the resignation on Friday.

The Pope Emeritus has also fended off allegations that he is still active within the church, leading a faction of the Curia who are unhappy with Pope Francis's sweeping new reforms.

Benedict announced his decision to resign on Feb. 11, 2013 and formally stepped down on Feb. 28, becoming the first pope in 600 years to do so.

Two weeks later, Francis was elected the first non-European pope in 1,300 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Sexual Abuse Royal Commission officials in Ballarat

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By TOM COWIE Feb. 26, 2014

CLERGY sex abuse survivors have welcomed the visit to Ballarat by officers from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The officers were in Ballarat yesterday for informal meetings with community groups and service providers to share information about the work of the Royal Commission.

The initial meetings will be followed by a visit to the region by Royal Commissioners, including the chairman, next month.

Clergy sex abuse survivor Andrew Collins said for him the consultation was about finding out what the plans were for the Royal Commission in Ballarat.

“I’m really glad it’s something that is being taken very seriously. There’s a lot of planning going into it,” he said. “They did make it obvious that they realise that Ballarat is one of the hotspots for abuse in Australia. “

So far, the Royal Commission has not said if it will hold public hearings in Ballarat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

US cardinal moves to pre-empt criticism over abuse cases

NEW YORK
UCA News

Catholic News Agency
United States
February 26, 2014

In an attempt to both anticipate and deflect “potentially negative publicity,” Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York has written a defense of his time as an auxiliary bishop of the St. Louis archdiocese.

“You know how I always try to alert you to any potentially negative publicity about the Church, or about me. Well, there could be some,” the cardinal wrote in a Feb. 18 blog post.

He noted that the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where he was ordained a priest and served as auxiliary bishop from 2001 to 2002, has “just complied with a court order to release the documents regarding cases there of sexual abuse of minors.”

“I would anticipate that my name will again be highlighted in the press,” he wrote. “I sure have nothing to hide, and am very much at peace with law enforcements officials reviewing the files. In fact, we already released all the documentation to them a dozen years ago!”

Last July, Cardinal Dolan criticized the repetition of “old and discredited attacks,” including the claim that he paid abusive priests to apply for laicization while he was Archbishop of Milwaukee. These payments, the cardinal said, were part of his duty to provide basic support for priests until they leave the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Pervert priest was 'arrogant' in his secret life in Tenerife

UNITED KINGDOM
Nottingham Post

By Martin Naylor and Peter Blackburn

PAEDOPHILE Nottingham priest Francis Cullen was "an arrogant man who thought he was better than others" says a former colleague.

Les Barr worked with the now 85-year-old former Hyson Green Catholic at a newspaper in Tenerife.

He said Cullen was employed to sell advertising for the fortnightly Island Connections newspaper that was sold to English speaking ex-pats and tourists on the holiday island.

But unbeknown to him his colleague was on the run from the police and the courts and had a perverted past that has now been thrust into the spotlight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Witness claims priest sexually assaulted her several times

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

Wed, Feb 26, 2014

A witness has told the North’s historical institutional abuse inquiry she was sexually abused on several occasions by a young priest she thought wanted to help her. The priest has denied the allegation.

The 44-year-old witness, who was aged 10 at the time, recounted how she spent four days in the Sisters of Nazareth Termonbacca care home in Derry in 1980, after she had been discovered sleeping rough in a church in Co Tyrone.

The caretaker brought her to the parochial house, where a young priest was kind to her and expressed concern about injuries she had sustained as a result of physical abuse by her father, she told the inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down, yesterday.

However, when he took her into a room, ostensibly to check on her injuries, she said the priest sexually assaulted her. Later in Termonbacca, where she was in temporary care from her parents, both of whom were alcoholics, she said she was sexually abused on two occasions by the same priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

I-Team: Clergy sex abuse therapy payments

MASSACHUSETTS
WWLP

22News I-Team Investigation
By Laura HutchinsonUpdated: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of Western Massachusetts clergy sex abuse victims are now receiving counseling in an effort to move on.

However, not everyone is happy with the Diocese handling of financial implications. One man asked the 22News I-Team help with what he calls “a slow reimbursement process.”

“The Diocese and the victims advocate has just never been helpful,” said Easthampton’s Ray Drewnowski.

Drewnowski has harsh words for the Springfield Diocese. Not surprising. He’s one of dozens of western Massachusetts clergy sex abuse victims. The Diocese validated his claims and like most victims he required therapy. Therapy the church would pay for, or so he thought.

“What I realized was, they only really want to reimburse you for your co-payment with the insurance company. That your employer has you on,” Drewnowski said. “It was a moment for me to stand up and say no, that’s wrong. That’s not what you’re telling people.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Ruairí Quinn seeks extra €230m from religious orders over abuse

IRELAND
Irish Times

Arthur Beesley

Wed, Feb 26, 2014

The Government will intensify efforts to secure a further €230 million from religious orders to cover the cost of institutional abuse after the official redress body indicated its work would be largely complete by the end of April.

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn briefed the Cabinet yesterday on the remaining work of the Residential Institutions Redress Board, which had 468 remaining applications to process and a further 17 late submissions to consider at the end of 2013.

The board was established in 2002. With the overwhelming majority of cases to be finalised in the next two months, at an estimated cost of some €1.46 billion, attention is turning once again to the 18 religious orders concerned.

The Minister wrote to the orders in October seeking a big increase in their contribution but he was unhappy with the reply. “The response has been disappointing,” Mr Quinn’s spokeswoman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Papst Franziskus will Limburger Bischof absetzen

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

[Summary: Pope Francis wants to bring peace to the Catholic Church and wants to remove the controversial Limburg bishop. Bishop Franz-Peter van Elst Tebartz is apparently unaware of the plans, according to some of his supporters and said he intends to return to Limburg. The bishop is currently in Rome and a few days ago he attended Mass in St. Peter's Basilica with new German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller.]

Papst Franziskus will Ruhe in die Katholische Kirche bringen – und deshalb den umstrittenen Limburger Bischof loswerden. Aus dem Umkreis von Franziskus ist zu hören, der Papst beabsichtige, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst abzusetzen. Das berichtet die ZEIT in ihrer neuen Ausgabe.

Tebartz-van Elst selbst ahnt offenbar nichts von den Plänen des Papstes. Einige seiner Unterstützer sagten der ZEIT zufolge, der Bischof plane nach Limburg zurückzukehren. Tebartz-van Elst ist derzeit in Rom. Vor wenigen Tagen nahm er an einer Messe im Petersdom teil, mit der der neue deutsche Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller seine Einsetzung feierte. Teilnehmer berichten, der Bischof habe einen entspannten und gelösten Eindruck gemacht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Spiegel TV Missbrauch in der Kirche

GERMANY
YouTube

German language video regarding sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

What’s the State of the Church’s Child Abuse Crisis?

UNITED STATES
Frontline

[Secrets of the Vatican]

February 25, 2014 by Sarah Childress

The first report that church officials received about Father Shawn Ratigan, compiled by a Kansas City Catholic school principal in May 2010, was troubling.

Ratigan had taken hundreds of photographs of children, Julie Hess, the principal, wrote to church officials. He had tried to interact with kids on Facebook, and sometimes had physical contact with children in ways that appeared to other adults to be “boundary violations.”A pair of girl’s underwear was found in a planter in his backyard.

Parents and staff, Hess said, were “discussing whether he is a child molester.”

Bishop Robert Finn, who had authority over Ratigan, didn’t alert the police then, according to court documents. (Finn would later say he had only received a verbal summary of the letter from a deputy at the time.) He also didn’t call the police several months later, when a computer technician found hundreds of lewd photos of children on Ratigan’s laptop, most of which appeared to have been taken by a personal camera.

Instead, the laptop was turned over to the diocesan lawyer, and Finn called a psychiatrist, who said he thought he could help with Ratigan’s “severe loneliness that has caused this problem.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Vatican says sorry for pederasty, but continues to protect its own

El Pais

INÉS SANTAEULALIA / WALTER OPPENHEIMER / MARÍA R. SAHUQUILLO / EVA SAIZ Mexico City / London / Madrid / Washington 26 FEB 2014

On January 16, a United Nations’ panel of human rights experts questioned Vatican representatives on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the main international treaty ensuring minors’ rights. During the day-long interrogation, the committee’s members — all independent experts — accused the Holy See of adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over several decades, charges to which the Vatican’s representatives avoided responding directly. The panel subsequently released a report urging Pope Francis to open Vatican files on the pederasts and the churchmen who concealed their crimes, and hand them over to the courts.

Victims’ organizations around the world have welcomed the UN’s initiative, but most point out that individual pain cannot be cured with a report. Men and women who have been sexually abused by people in positions of trust have often spent their lives living with a terrible secret, as well as feelings of guilt. Those who dared to speak out have largely been ignored, as well as being put under pressure to remain silent by the Roman Catholic Church.

The victims are fighting not just for the sex offenders to be brought to justice, but also those who systematically protected these criminals. The blanket of silence thrown over the issue has added to their suffering. As early as 1962, the Vatican ordered all Catholic Church members to say nothing about sexual abuse, under threat of ex-communication. Over the years, the Holy See has pressured Catholics who knew about abuse to say nothing.

Complaints were often dealt with by transferring priests to other dioceses, or even abroad. In the United States, churches paid out millions of dollars in hush money. In many other cases, pressure from the Church, or fear of the resulting publicity, were sufficient to prevent victims of sexual abuse from speaking out. There are no exact figures on the number of such cases around the world. The Vatican, which has accepted and expressed its sorrow over the child abuse that has taken place among its ranks, has nevertheless refused to provide any information that would help to assess the scale of the problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

February 25, 2014

Can Pope Francis Fix the Catholic Church?

UNITED STATES
Frontline

[link to the full program: Secrets of the Vatican]

February 25, 2014, 8:31 pm ET by Jason M. Breslow

The list of problems facing the Catholic Church is long. Among the scandals Pope Francis inherited nearly one year ago are the clergy sex abuse crisis, allegations of money laundering at the Vatican bank and the fallout from VatiLeaks, to name just a few. Given the challenges, where should reform even begin? Moreover, how much change can truly be expected? FRONTLINE put these questions to five experts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 PM

Hugo priest: Did police examine second set of disks in child porn investigation?

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 02/25/2014

Reports released Tuesday by St. Paul police who investigated a priest for possible child pornography possession do not show that computer disks turned over by a Hugo man were examined.

Police investigated Rev. Jonathan Shelley, 52, of Minneapolis last year after a former employee of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis made a report to the Ramsey County attorney's office.

In late September, police who reviewed three disks they had obtained from the archdiocese closed the case, saying there was no evidence of child porn.

On Oct. 5, they got a call from Joe Ternus of Hugo that led them to reopen the investigation.

Nine years earlier, Ternus had come into possession of Shelley's computer because it was left at a Mahtomedi house that Ternus' family used to own and where Shelley had lived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 PM

In poor health, Bishop Raymond James Boland has gone home to Ireland

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

February 25
The Kansas City Star

Suffering from lung cancer, retired Kansas City Bishop Raymond James Boland has returned to Ireland, the land of his birth, to enter hospice care in Cork.

Boland was born in Tipperary this month in 1932 but grew up in Cork before moving to Dublin for his higher learning. Years ago, he had determined to be buried in his homeland. He left Saturday, according to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

He served as bishop of the diocese from June 22, 1993, until May 24, 2005, when he retired and took the role of bishop emeritus here. Before that, he was the bishop in Birmingham, Ala., since early 1988.

In Kansas City, he was succeeded by Bishop Robert Finn, who released a statement last weekend noting: “In accord with his wishes I have shared this message with you after his departure. He humbly requested not a farewell, but only your prayers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 PM

Witness claims priest sexually assaulted her several times

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

Wed, Feb 26, 2014

A witness has told the North’s historical institutional abuse inquiry she was sexually abused on several occasions by a young priest she thought wanted to help her. The priest has denied the allegation.

The 44-year-old witness, who was aged 10 at the time, recounted how she spent four days in the Sisters of Nazareth Termonbacca care home in Derry in 1980, after she had been discovered sleeping rough in a church in Co Tyrone.

The caretaker brought her to the parochial house, where a young priest was kind to her and expressed concern about injuries she had sustained as a result of physical abuse by her father, she told the inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down, yesterday.

However, when he took her into a room, ostensibly to check on her injuries, she said the priest sexually assaulted her. Later in Termonbacca, where she was in temporary care from her parents, both of whom were alcoholics, she said she was sexually abused on two occasions by the same priest.

Subsequently she ended up at the Fort James care home in Derry. By chance the young priest saw her outside the home. He later called regularly to see her at the home and over a two- to three-month period in that home he sexually assaulted her “two or three times” a week, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 PM

Alberta Catholic bishops hope apology will help residential school survivors heal

CANADA
Edmonton Journal

BY OTIENA ELLWAND, EDMONTON JOURNAL FEBRUARY 25, 2014

EDMONTON - Jerry Wood describes the 11 years he spent in two Alberta residential schools as the worst of his life.

He left angry and lacking self-confidence.

“I spent probably half my life with alcohol,” he said Monday after the Archbishop of Edmonton, Most Reverend Richard Smith, apologized to residential school survivors on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories at a ceremony at Ben Calf Robe School.

“I realized that I was trying to drown my experiences in the residential schools from the sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, spiritual abuse that I went through,” said Wood, a member of the Council of Elders with Edmonton Catholic Schools, who was on hand to hear the apology.

He is still dealing with the trauma he experienced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Puerto Rico archbishop: 5 abuse cases being probed

PUERTO RICO
WPEC

February 25, 2014

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- The archbishop of Puerto Rico's capital has revealed that government prosecutors are investigating five additional cases of alleged sex abuse within the San Juan Archdiocese.

Roberto Gonzalez Nieves told reporters Tuesday that the priests accused in those cases have been suspended. He noted the statute of limitation had expired in all five cases.

He provided no further information but said he was cooperating with prosecutors. He recently announced that one other case was being investigated.

The announcement comes as Puerto Rico's justice department investigates four cases of alleged sex abuse at the Mayaguez diocese and several other cases at the Arecibo diocese, which has defrocked six priests as a result.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Bob Jones reverses themselves and allow GRACE to complete report

SOUTH CAROLINA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Tuesday, February 25

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

We are grateful that Bob Jones university officials have reversed themselves and will let GRACE complete its report about campus sex crimes.

Still, we're troubled by the school's recent, sudden and unilateral move to cancel the report. We can't help but be worried about university officials' motives and whether they are trying - or may still try - to influence the report itself.

Regardless, it's crucial that those who saw, suspected or suffered campus sex crimes or cover ups take two steps. First, they should report to law enforcement, no matter who the perpetrator is, what school officials have done or promised, and when or where the crimes happened. And second, they should realize that the GRACE report is just one step in a long process of slowly beginning to reverse an unhealthy climate of self-serving secrecy at this university.

Victims should stay in therapy, keep attending self-help groups, and continue working hard to recover from the trauma they experienced at Bob Jones. No one event magically erases a horrific betrayal or "cures" a victim of the nightmares, depression, addictions, insomnia, eating disorders and other devastating effects or rape and the sometimes almost equally devastating effects of institutional denial and insensitivity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Final cost of abuse fund to reach €1.46bn, religious orders still short on their contribution

IRELAND
The Journal

THE FINAL COST of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund is expected to hit €1.46 billion with some €903.8 million already paid out and religious orders still hundreds of millions of euro short of the contribution expected of them.

Figures presented to Cabinet today show that the scheme, set up to compensate thousands of victims of abuse in residential institutions, has received 15,396 applications since it was set up over a decade ago.

At the end of 2012, 14,378 awards were made of on average €62,860, while 1,018 applications were either withdrawn, refused or no award was made. In addition, some €166.1 million in legal costs have been paid out by the Residential Institutions Redress Board, which administrates the fund.

There have been 2,766 late submissions received since applications formally closed in 2005 while the number of applications that still need to be processed stood at 468 at the end of last year, down from 685 at the end of 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Clinton church, school worker arrested

MISSISSIPPI
Clinton News

Clinton Police Chief Michael Warren said a Central Hinds Academy and Raymond Road Baptist Church employee was arrested Tuesday on one count of gratification of lust while in a position of trust or authority.

In a release on Wednesday, Warren said Adam Epperson, 34, of Clinton, was arrested on the charges and bonded out on $25,000 bond the same day.

According to officials, the arrest was subsequent to a complaint received from an underage victim associated with Epperson through the Raymond Road Baptist Church.

The incident is alleged to have occurred at the suspect’s home in Clinton. Epperson surrendered to the Clinton police on Tuesday where he was booked and bonded out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Metro area youth pastor arrested on gratification charges

MISSISSIPPI
Clarion-Ledger

A Central Hinds Academy and Raymond Road Baptist Church employee was arrested Tuesday on one count of gratification of lust while in a position of trust or authority.

In a release on Wednesday, Clinton Police Chief Mike Warren said Adam Epperson, 34, of Clinton, was arrested on the charges and bonded out on $25,000 bond the same day.

Officials said the arrest was subsequent to a complaint received from an underaged male victim who came to police with a parent. According to Clinton Detective Josh Frazier, the victim associated with Epperson through both the church and the school.

The incident occurred about two years ago, when the victim was 14 years old, Frazier said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Youth pastor faces sex charge

MISSISSIPPI
WAPT

CLINTON, Miss. —Clinton police have arrested a 34-year-old church worker who is accused of having sexual contact with a teenage boy.

Adam Epperson, who until recently was an employee at Central Hinds Academy and a minister of students at Raymond Road Baptist Church, surrendered to police Tuesday.

Mug shots: February arrests

Police said the boy, who was 14-years-old at the time, knew Epperson through the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

SC pastor accused of abusing teen

SOUTH CAROLINA
Herald

The Associated Press
February 25, 2014

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — A Spartanburg County pastor has been arrested and accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl.

Twenty-seven-year-old Robert Thomas Norris of Roebuck was charged Monday night with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The warrant said the girl said she was abused between August 2012 and January. She said she was 16 when the abuse started.

Lt. Kevin Bobo said a school official in Woodruff reported that the girl said she had been touched and kissed inappropriately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

SC pastor accused of sexually abusing teen

SOUTH CAROLINA
WBTW

Spartanburg -
A Spartanburg County pastor has been arrested and accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl.

Robert Thomas Norris,27, of Roebuck was charged Monday night with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The warrant said the girl said she was abused between August 2012 and January. She said she was 16 when the abuse started.

Lt. Kevin Bobo said a school official in Woodruff reported that the girl said she had been touched and kissed inappropriately by a relative. They then talked to the girls' mother and boyfriend.

It was not clear if Norris has a lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

BJU reinstates GRACE investigation

SOUTH CAROLINA
World Magazine

By LEIGH JONES
Posted Feb. 25, 2014

Bob Jones University administrators announced today they will reinstate the review into the school’s response to sexual abuse, apologizing for any anxiety the temporary suspension might have caused.

On Jan. 27, school officials terminated their agreement with the Christian group GRACE (an acronym for Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), hired in November 2012 to conduct an independent review of how the Christian university has responded to victims of sexual abuse. Although administrators didn’t give details about why they chose to suspend their relationship with GRACE, which was in the final stages of its review, they said they had concerns about how GRACE was conducting its work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Bob Jones working with sexual abuse review group again

SOUTH CAROLINA
Fox Carolina

By Casey Vaughn

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
A few weeks after announcing the school had suspended its work with the ombudsman, Bob Jones University announced it was working again with the independent review group.

The university hired the organization, known as Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, or GRACE, to evaluate the university's procedures after revelations about sexual abuse on college campuses nationwide in 2011.

Then on Jan. 27, BJU suspended the review. The university said Tuesday that they met with GRACE on Feb. 18 and 19 to discuss any potential issues that may hinder their review.

According to the university, they believe the independent review can be completed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Bob Jones Allows Fired Firm to Finish Abuse Investigation After All

SOUTH CAROLINA
Christianity Today

Jeremy Weber POSTED 2/25/2014

Bob Jones University has resolved its differences with GRACE and will allow the Christian abuse investigator to complete an independent review of BJU's past response to abuse incidents and how the school can improve.

CT reported how BJU fired GRACE late last month as the review neared completion. Last week, the two groups met to "discuss any issues that might stand in the way of GRACE's completion of thorough, transparent and objective review," BJU announced today.

"GRACE satisfactorily addressed the University's concerns and Bob Jones University is confident the review can be completed in a timely and professional manner," said BJU. "To be clear, GRACE and BJU are united in their commitment to a review that is thorough, transparent and objective."

GRACE announced the news on its Facebook page, noting the review will be "under the terms of the original agreement. No changes." "Looking forward to completing this process with excellence," said GRACE.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Update: Bob Jones University rehires firm hired to investigate sex abuse

SOUTH CAROLINA
Religion News Service

Sarah Pulliam Bailey | Feb 25, 2014

(RNS) After firing an independent watchdog group to investigate allegations of sexual abuse on campus, Bob Jones University has rehired the same group, one month before the findings from a 13-month review were scheduled to be released.

The university had contracted with Lynchburg, Va.-based GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) in November 2012 but suspended the contract on Jan. 27. The university met with GRACE officials Feb. 18-19 to discuss the review.

“GRACE satisfactorily addressed the University’s concerns and Bob Jones University is confident the review can be completed in a timely and professional manner,” the university said in a press release.

“To be clear, GRACE and BJU are united in their commitment to a review that is thorough, transparent and objective.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Bob Jones allows abuse probe to proceed

SOUTH CAROLINA
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

Bob Jones University announced Feb. 25 that an independent investigation into the school’s handling of allegations of sexual abuse can be completed.

The university abruptly terminated its 2012 agreement with Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), a group founded by Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian, a law professor at Liberty University and grandson of Billy Graham, citing unspecified concerns about the directions the investigation team was heading.

After meetings Feb. 18-19, Bob Jones officials said, “GRACE satisfactorily addressed the university’s concerns and Bob Jones University is confident the review can be completed in a timely and professional manner.”
.
Bob Jones, a fundamentalist Christian college in Greenville, S.C., founded in 1927 by evangelist Bob Jones Sr., consulted with GRACE after nine cases of sexual assault occurred on campus in 2011.

Another controversy involved a student allegedly expelled in retaliation for organizing the school’s first-ever student protest about a former member of the school’s board of trustees accused of covering up the rape of a 15-year-old girl in his congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Woman facing charges after Catholic parish financial audit

CANADA
The Telegram

A woman was in provincial court in St. John’s today to face charges of fraud, theft and forgery related to the Roman Catholic St. Patrick’s Parish in St. John’s.

The woman's case was set over.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s says the RNC charged the accused after a forensic audit of the finances of St. Patrick’s Parish in St. John’s.

A news release notes that in August 2012, the parish priest of St. Patrick’s reported to the Archdiocesan Business Office suspicions of fraudulent activity surrounding the parish finances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Vatican Reform: Time for a New Inquisition

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Dr. Jeff Mirus February 25, 2014

Do you remember the Roman Inquisition? Unfortunately, when people today think of “the Inquisition”, they think of the Spanish Inquisition, which was unduly influenced by the Spanish crown. Even so, its weaknesses were horrendously exaggerated by hostile English historians in what has come to be known as the Black Legend. It is this which gives the term “inquisition” such a bad sound.

But do you remember the Roman Inquisition? Back in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Roman Inquisition operated throughout significant portions of Europe, firmly under the control of the Papacy, with the purpose of protecting the faithful against priests, religious and bishops who did not fulfill their obligations under Church law. It was an ecclesiastical judicial system and, as such, it was primarily used for cases involving ecclesiastical persons, who in those days were universally accorded the right to be tried by the Church instead of by the Crown. This was called “benefit of clergy.” Indeed, it was a significant benefit, because the ecclesiastical justice system protected the rights of the accused substantially better than the secular systems of the day.

Along the path to modernity, however, the Church’s judicial system withered. Canon Law is still in place, and some cases are still brought before diocesan courts and then appealed to Rome (especially marriage cases). But the prosecutorial role in the ecclesiastical justice system has largely disappeared. All you need to do is consider the widespread abuse of the rights of the faithful in the areas of the liturgy and Catholic education over the past fifty years to realize that internal prosecution of ecclesiastical persons has been virtually non-existent in modern times. This lack has been apparent in all kinds of abuse including, as all the world now knows, sexual abuse. Ecclesiastical trials seem to have become a thing of the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Más casos de supuesto abuso sexual en la Diócesis de San Juan

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Dia

[Summary: Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan agreed today that he has information on five more priests accused of sexual abuse and he said he would give the details to the justice department. In a press conference, the archbishop said he will cooperate fully with civil authorities who are investigating sexual abuse by clergy.]

El arzobispo de San Juan, Roberto González Nieves, aceptó hoy que tiene información sobre cinco sacerdotes adicionales imputados por abuso sexual de menores y sostuvo que le entregará a Justicia todos los detalles.

En una conferencia de prensa sobre los Servicios Funerarios Católicos, en donde se puntualizó que operan bajo la ley y con todos los permisos del gobierno, González Nieves indicó que tendrá plena cooperación con las autoridades civiles para la pesquisa que realizan sobre los casos de abuso sexual dentro del clero.

Usted indicó a El Nuevo Día que iba a cooperar con las autoridades, ¿le entregó ya a la Fiscalía de San Juan todos los documentos de las pesquisas eclesiásticas sobre abuso sexual dentro de su clero?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

"Secrets of the Vatican” Brought Down Benedict

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

Post by PATRICIA MILLER

One of the more striking accomplishments of tonight’s Frontline documentary "Secrets of the Vatican" (Tuesday, 10 p.m., PBS) is that it almost makes you feel sorry for Pope Benedict, which is no small feat. The man known as “God’s Rottweiler” was a heavy-handed enforcer of doctrinal discipline as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where numerous nuns, priests and theologians saw their careers crippled or destroyed for daring to question supposedly immutable Catholic teaching.

He was also one of many in the curia who turned a blind eye to increasing urgent reports of widespread sexual abuse on the part of priests and influential Vatican allies like Marcial Maciel of the Legionnaires of Christ, and “Inside the Vatican” effectively portrays the devastation that this abuse and subsequent cover-ups wrought on the lives of young Catholics.

It documents how a cascading series of scandals involving clerical sex abuse and Vatican corruption eventually overwhelmed the aging pope and resulted in his resignation one year ago. Confirmed are reports that the infamous “red dossier” presented to the pope—the results of an investigation into the curia that he ordered—contained accounts not only of rampant careerism and outright corruption but of the existence of a clique of gay senior clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Aussie Pressures Lead Pope to Pull Pell; Who’s Next?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

The clergy abuse survivors of Australia and the rule of law have scored a major victory. Cardinal Pell has been induced to take a Vatican desk job apparently to avoid the unrelenting and escalating pressure from the Australian Royal Commission’s investigation into institutional child sexual abuse. The pressure was increased by the testimony of a sacked Aussie bishop who described the Vatican’s interference in local abuse scandals as reported here

[My Daily News]

The Royal Commission can likely still reach Pell in due course, if and when it wants to.

The Vatican’s apologists, of course, have tried to spin this as a “promotion”, but this fantasy fools few. Australia’s top Catholic leader has reluctantly had to flee his beloved homeland to seek Vatican protection, as the USA’s Cardinal Law did a decade before.

Meanwhile, a Polish Archbishop, a protege of Pope John Paul II and former Nuncio to the Dominican Republic, is already crowding the Vatican’s refuge for hierarchs seeking to avoid the child abuse scandal fallout.

Who will be next as the Vatican circles its wagons to protect cardinals and bishops ? What ever happened to the Pope’s abuse commission? Can the Pope continue avoiding the abuse scandal as discussed here

[Christian Catholicism]

Pell has been made head of Vatican finances, which led a knowledgeable Jesuit insider, Thomas Reese, to ask ” … why did this job not go to a layperson? Do we really need cardinals to handle finances in the Vatican? The answer is that Rome is still a papal court where princes of the church still matter, despite all Francis’ protestations.” A fuller answer is that it gave Francis a face-saving way to yank Pell from Down Under as the heat from the Royal Commission intensifies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet’s Journal of Healing

UNITED STATES
Krapt Poetry

In his twenty-sixth book, Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet's Journal of Healing, to appear April 1, 2014 from Greystone Publishing of Nashville, TN, Norbert Krapf, at the age of seventy, speaks about his abuse as a child at the hands of a priest and the lifelong effects it has had on him, his family, and his loved ones. He speaks in four voices, the boy, the man, the priest, and Mr. Blues.

Indiana Poet Laureate 2008-10, Norbert has for almost fifty years had an ongoing love of the blues. In his last several collections, completed or published while he held a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis to combine poetry and music, with an emphasis on the blues, he often pays tribute to blues artists. In Catholic Boy Blues, “Mr. Blues” plays an important role in several ways, not the least of which is as an agent of healing. He speaks in the blues idiom, in dramatic lyrics delivered in the voice of a friend, advisor, counselor, and mentor.

Catholic Boy Blues is a brutally honest narrative filled with words of biting truth, painting explicit images of the effects of abuse. These words detail Norbert’s lifelong journey and show how abuse affected the various stages of his growth. This verse journal is both timely and newsworthy. It is a compassionate anthem directed to those struggling with their own abuse. It provides clarity to those who have never had to experience the indignity of abuse and affirms that healing and success can be achieved despite adversity. The book will appeal to survivors of abuse and their families and friends; the church and its members, clergy, and hierarchy who have an ongoing interest in the emotional, spiritual, and religious effects of child abuse and its prevention; and caregivers and others interested in knowing how to detect early signs of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

TN- Abuse victims blast Baptist official for "abuse" remarks

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 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 top Southern Baptist official, Richard Land, says that gay couples who use surrogates to have children are essentially committing child abuse.

That's horribly wrong and dreadfully insensitive to hundreds of thousands of people who have, in fact, suffered from devastating child abuse (and, of course, to gay people as well).

[Huffington Post]

People upset with Obama shouldn't call him “subhuman.” People who are discriminated against shouldn't call their opponents “Nazis.” And people who oppose gay couples shouldn't compare them to child abusers.

Adults who were kicked and raped and tortured and sodomized as kids don't deserve to have their pain trivialized. Land should apologize and other Baptist officials should denounce him for his hurtful remarks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

IA- Victims glad for extension to SOL, but more action is needed

IOWA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 8627688, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

Yesterday the Iowa senate unanimously approved an extension to the statute of limitations. We applaud this action.

[Quad-City Times]

The Iowa Senate bill will extend the statue of limitations to 25 years past the age of 18, giving deeply wounded victims a longer window to come forward. Now it needs to pass the house, and be signed into law as quickly as possible, to encourage those victims that have remained silent to come forward and receive some justice under the law that they have always deserved.

However, we disagree with the term used by one legislator that this bill now “cures” the injustice that has existed for so many years. This bill would address the need for a larger window for action by victims, except for those that may be now over the age of 43. We strongly believe that many victims are in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond, and although they may have wanted, or presently want, to come forward, this has always been denied them, and this bill continues to perpetuate this wrong by still denying them due process. Having a longer window is key to prevention. If predators know they can be prosecuted they may not attack children.

We call on the legislature to pass a bill offering perhaps a onetime window of opportunity for these victims, so that they may truly have an opportunity to seek justice under the law and to prevent future abuse. We of SNAP know of many, many victims that have been abused as young people, and this bill will offer them no relief. We continue to call out on behalf of all victims, that this is one crime where a statue of limitations does not enhance the law, but provides a hiding place for those that prey on others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

And the Oscar Goes To…

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

FEBRUARY 25, 2014 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

Words are not enough. This fact is highlighted by the following excerpt from an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer on September 25, 2005. It relays Father John P. Paul’s words to his congregation after the release of the 2005 Grand Jury Report. The archdiocese removed Paul from ministry this past weekend.

Excerpt:

Just before Mass, the current Calvary pastor, the Rev. John P. Paul, addressed the packed church and struck a conciliatory tone. “I would ask you to pray – especially for those who have suffered the hurt and the pain, those who are the victims,” Paul said. Highlighting a part of the report that mentioned the victims’ souls had been murdered by the abuse, Paul said the description was apt. “It does destroy the soul many times,” he said in an apparent reference to the abuse. He asked the congregation to “pray for those who need forgiveness,” and then adding: “Pray for us. We are the church. But we do not lose our faith in Jesus, and we do not lose our faith in the Catholic Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

Amid Vatican Disarray, Pope Francis Set A New Tone

UNITED STATES
Frontline

by Jason M. Breslow

One year ago this week, Pope Benedict XVI did something that no other pope had done in nearly 600 years — he resigned the papacy.

It was a decision that sent shockwaves through the Vatican. Just eight years earlier, Benedict had promised a new beginning for the church at a time when it was reeling from the clergy sexual abuse crisis. But rather than stem the scandal, the crisis only grew.

Troubles spread to a second front in 2010 with allegations of money laundering at the Vatican bank. Then came VatiLeaks, a scandal that exposed a Vatican hierarchy plagued by cronyism, power struggles and bureaucratic corruption. For Benedict, it was a crippling blow to his authority.

Five weeks after Benedict’s resignation, white smoke from the Sistine Chapel signaled that the College of Cardinals had chosen his successor: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, known today as Pope Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

PBS’ 48th HIT ON CATHOLIC CHURCH

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on tonight’s PBS “Frontline” 90 minute presentation, “Secrets of the Vatican”:

“Secrets of the Vatican” marks the 48th time PBS has addressed sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Though this problem is practically non-existent in the Catholic community these days, and is rampant in the public schools, as well as in the Orthodox Jewish community, PBS has devoted a combined total of ZERO episodes on both.

All the contrived melodrama is there: ominous dark images; dramatic music; a deep voice-over; bleak hallways; shadowy figures locking doors as a boy enters the room; the words “Power,” “Money,” and “Sex” flashing about, etc. The predictable villain: Pope Benedict XVI. Ironically, he did more than anyone to check this problem, but facts don’t matter when Jason Berry is involved.

A dissident Catholic, Berry is a co-producer of this show; he was also featured in Alex Gibney’s film, “Mea Maxima Culpa.” Indeed, tonight’s hit job is nothing more than a retread of Gibney’s propaganda: a New Orleans reporter who previewed it says, “this film reminded me of ‘Mea Maxima Culpa.’” These guys can’t go to the sewer too often.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Church officials blame Minnesota mom for not protecting sons from priest who abused them

MINNESOTA
The Raw Story

By Travis Gettys
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Minnesota mother says Catholic Church officials are blaming her for not protecting her two sons from the priest who abused them.

The Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, the former pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in St. Paul, pleaded guilty in 2012 to abusing the boys, ages 12 and 14, and possessing child pornography.

Wehmeyer is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.

The family has sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which claimed in a Feb. 7 court filing that the mother – who worked at the church — knew that one of her sons was spending time with the priest.

“She was aware of the time [he] spent with Mr. Wehmeyer, and she knew that such interaction was contrary to established Archdiocese policy,” the filing said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Pope's envoy for troubled Legion ends mandate saying order is clean but bears guilt of founder

ROME
Reporter

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: February 25, 2014

ROME — The pope's envoy running the troubled Legion of Christ has ended his three-year reform effort, declaring the order "cured and cleaned" but acknowledging it bears the guilt of its pedophile founder and those who delayed admitting his crimes.

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis celebrated his final Mass as papal delegate on Tuesday and was sent off with a round of applause from a congregation eager to take back the autonomy that was wrested away from it by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Kardinal Müller feiert Dankesmesse in Rom

VATIKANSTADT
Mittelbayerische

[Summary: Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, the new Cardinal, celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving with his family and several hundred guests Monday at the Vatican basilica. In his sermon he emphasized the importances of cardinals in the church.]

VATIKANSTADT. Der neue Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller hat am Montagvormittag im Petersdom eine Dankmesse mit seinen Angehörigen und mehreren hundert Gästen gefeiert. Mit ihm am Kathedra-Altar der Vatikan-Basilika zelebrierten unter anderen der Limburger Bischof Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, der Regensburger Bischof Gerhard Voderholzer und der frühere Augsburger Bischof Walter Mixa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Helping adopted children learn about their roots

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

By Kevin Cullen / Globe Staff / February 24, 2014

For an 80-year-old, Philomena Lee gets around.

Last month, she spoke at the Golden Globes before a television audience of millions. A few weeks ago, she met the pope in Rome. He was very nice, she said. And that was after she met in Washington with a bunch of politicians, including US Representative Joe Kennedy.

On Sunday night, Philomena Lee will be sitting in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood with her BFF, Dame Judi Dench, who plays her in the film named after her. Dench is up for an Oscar as best actress.

Philomena Lee is thrilled that the film based on her life has done so well and garnered so much attention, mainly because it has given her a platform to advocate for something close to her heart: opening records so adopted children can learn about their biological parents.

For those who haven’t seen the movie: When Philomena was a teenager, she got pregnant by a young man who wasn’t her husband, which in the Ireland of her youth was considered so scandalous that her family disowned her. She was delivered to a convent, where the nuns delivered her baby boy and treated her as a sinner, forcing her to work. When her son Anthony was 3, the nuns gave him away to an American family behind Philomena’s back. Then they sent her back to work in the laundry and told her nothing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Calls for national child protection laws after Toowoomba abuse case

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

MARK COLVIN: In the wash-up of the child abuse royal commission's inquiry in Brisbane, there are calls for a set of nationally consistent rules on how and when child sexual abuse allegations should be referred to police.

Yesterday the former bishop of Toowoomba told the child abuse inquiry that he was still stunned by the failure of senior Catholic Education staff to report allegations that a teacher was sexually abusing 13 students just a few years ago.

One of Australia's leading child abuse prevention organisations, Child Wise, says there are still ambiguities around the legal obligations to report child sexual abuse, and the existing laws are not well understood.

Emily Bourke reports.

EMILY BOURKE: Gerard Byrnes is in jail for sexually assaulting 13 girls while he was a teacher and child protection officer at a Catholic primary school in Toowoomba.

The latest inquiry by the child abuse royal commission heard that a breakdown in policies and a string of individual failures contributed to Byrnes being able to access and abuse more girls despite allegations being voiced in 2007.

Crucially, the inquiry heard that the school principal and officials from the Catholic Education Office failed to report the matter to police, even though mandatory reporting laws were in place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Dr Donal McKeown appointed new Bishop of Derry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Ulster Herald

Pope Francis has appointed Antrim native Dr Donal McKeown as the new Catholic Bishop of Derry.

Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Down and Connor since 2001, the 63-year-old was confirmed in the role following a ceremony in St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry City this morning.

The position has been left vacant for more than two years following the retirement of Séamus Hegarty in November 2011.

Monsignor Eamon was initially elected as Diocesan Administrator of Derry before he was ordained Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh last April. Since then, Rouskey priest Fr Francis Bradley has taken up the helm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

MN- Twin Cities church authorities attack victim's mom; SNAP responds

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 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 )

St. Paul Catholic officials are basically defending their wrongdoing by blaming the mother of a child sex abuse victim. Shame on them.

Bishop Piché and Bishop Cozzens should fire the lawyer who made this attack and the church official who approved it.

[Star Tribune]

There has long been an enormous gap between what Catholic officials say in public and what Catholic officials do in court. The only silver lining here is that, because this mom is bravely speaking out, the continuing callousness of Twin Cities Catholic officials has been exposed.

The Star Tribune reports that, in a Feb. 7 court filing, church officials said that the mother “was aware of the time one of her boys was spending with (now convicted predator Fr. Curtis) Wehmeyer” and that “she knew that such interaction was contrary to established Archdiocese policy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Abuse inquiry: 'Termonbacca beatings left me deaf'

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A former resident at St Joseph's Catholic children's home, Termonbacca, has told the Historical Abuse Inquiry that he is partially deaf because of the beatings he received there.

He said one nun targeted him for 10 years, hitting him about the head with a brush, a mop or a tree branch.

The 53-year-old told the inquiry sitting in Banbridge that one nun lost her temper and he was her scapegoat.

In a statement, the nun said she had not beaten him with a stick or a strap.

She said she was surprised that he had made such allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Nun denies that she inflicted severe punishment on boys

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Tue, Feb 25, 2014

A nun who has been mentioned a number of times during the course of the Northern Ireland historical institutional abuse inquiry has rejected a claim that she severely physically beat boys when they were residents of Termonbacca home in Derry.

Details of her denial emerged today during evidence given to the inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down by a 54-year-old man who was in care in the Sisters of Nazareth Termonbacca home from 1961 to 1972.

Asked what was his chief memory of Termonbacca, he replied, “Getting bate (beaten), that’s one of the main things I remember.”

The witness said one particular nun, who has anonymity, used to say he was her “pet” but then she would beat him, losing “her temper for no reason”. She would strike him with a brush pole or electric cable of a kettle with the result that he ended up with about 20 scars on his head, which he still has. The scars were confirmed through medical examination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Our man in the Vatican

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

TESS LIVINGSTONE THE AUSTRALIAN FEBRUARY 26, 2014

HIS appointment as Prefect for the Economy for the Holy See and the Vatican signed and sealed on Monday, George Pell and a couple of close friends sat down at a restaurant near Domus Australia to celebrate with cotoletta milanese and a good drop of vino.

The appointment was a rare achievement. Pell, who is now on the same level as Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, now ranks second in the Vatican behind Pope Francis. No Australian churchman has risen to such authority before. Retired cardinal Edward Cassidy, 89, served as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in the 1980s and 90s. And James Knox, a former archbishop of Melbourne, headed the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments in the 70s and 80s.

Pell has loved Rome since he first arrived there in September 1963 to complete his training for the priesthood at the Pontifical Urban University, where the most promising students from their local seminaries were drawn from all nations.

Almost 50 years after his ordination in St Peter’s Basilica in 1966, and after a career spanning parish work, university and seminary leadership and 18 years at the helm of Australia’s two largest archdioceses, Pell had no trouble on Monday nominating his proudest achievements: “The young priests and the new RE (religious education) program” he told The Australian, without a moment’s hesitation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Colleagues cheer George Pell as abuse critics see red

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

TESS LIVINGSTONE THE AUSTRALIAN FEBRUARY 26, 2014

AUSTRALIA’S ambassador to the Holy See last night hailed the appointment of George Pell as Prefect for the Economy for the Holy See and the Vatican with the words: “Here comes the global south.”

John McCarthy QC said the alliance between the Argentinian Pope and the Australian would form “the baseline on which the Catholic Church will be reformed”.

“Pope Francis has chosen Cardinal Pell for a difficult role which he knows will be a complete success,” Mr McCarthy said. The appointment and the creation of a new Vatican office was “one of the Holy See’s most significant reforms for a long time”.

Tim Fischer, Australia’s first ambassador to the Holy See, also endorsed the move. “This is long overdue,” he said. ...

A group representing survivors of child-sex abuse by priests called the cardinal’s new job a “golden parachute”. Nicky Davis of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said she believed Cardinal Pell would continue to evade facing up to the church’s responsibility.

“It’s absolutely no surprise that Cardinal Pell has been given a golden parachute by the Vatican to leave the jurisdiction just when things are getting hot at the royal commission,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Catholic Church inquiry over paedophile priest Francis Paul Cullen

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The Catholic Church says it will carry out an investigation into how one of its priests carried out child abuse for more than 30 years.

Francis Paul Cullen, 85, admitted 21 counts of child sex abuse in Derbyshire and Nottingham from 1957 to 1991.

The Association of Child Abuse Lawyers has questioned why the priest, who evaded arrest for 21 years in Tenerife, was not investigated sooner.

The church said it received no complaints of abuse at the time.

'Absolutely confident'

Cullen, who pleaded guilty to the charges on Monday, will be sentenced at Derby Crown Court on 24 March.

Father Andrew Cole, of the Diocese of Nottingham, said an internal disciplinary procedure would start after Cullen's court case was over.

The matter will ultimately be reported to The Vatican, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 25 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Bishop Donal McKeown, auxiliary of the diocese of Down and Connor, as bishop of Derry (area 2,500, population 327,000, Catholics 245,700, priests 116, religious 107), Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Pell pushed the right buttons in Rome

AUSTRALIA
7 News

JENNY TABAKOFF
February 25, 2014

Cardinal George Pell has the right background for his new role as Prefect for the Economy of the Holy See, one of the Vatican's most senior roles.

He has the intellect to manage and reform the Vatican's administration and finances, which have been riven with scandal in recent years. And his orthodox and intellectual stance is in line with Pope Francis, to whom he will report directly.

But he's a divisive personality and has been caught up in the child abuse scandal plaguing the church worldwide.

His last public appearance as Archbishop of Sydney is likely to be in the witness box next month at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

His appearance has been long anticipated by survivors and their families after he was criticised for his evidence to a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse last year in which he attempted to separate the actions of individuals from the wider church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Coming out of Cardinal Pell's shadow

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

When it was announced in 2001 that Melbourne Archbishop George Pell was to be made Archbishop of Sydney, the incumbent, Cardinal Edward Clancy, said Pell was 'a controversial figure, and controversial figures generally create a few enemies as well as friends along the way'.

Pell's latest promotion, to head an important new office in Rome with authority over all financial matters within the Vatican, is proof of the powerful friends he has made. Pell's appointment as Cardinal Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy was approved by Pope Francis — the third pontiff to have demonstrated extraordinary confidence in Pell's abilities since he was made Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne at the comparatively young age of 46 years in 1987.

As for enemies, it is not hard to compile a list of those who will be glad to see Pell go. It would include most liberal Catholics, many priests who have served under him (one of whom once described him as 'a memory of all those silly stereotypes of authority that used to haunt us as children'), and many of his fellow bishops, who saw him as too eager to please Rome and too prone to do his own thing without acting in concert with them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Anthony Fisher tipped to replace George Pell as archbishop of Sydney

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Tuesday 25 February 2014

The bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher, is firming as the favourite to replace Cardinal George Pell as the new archbishop of Sydney.

The vacancy has arisen after Pell’s elevation to “budget supremo” at the Vatican from March.

Brisbane archbishop Mark Coleridge was rated a strong contender but said he wouldn’t be putting his name forward and that he wanted to continue in his current role until retirement.

To find Pell’s successor, local consultations will be undertaken before three dossiers with information on candidates are presented to the congregation for bishops in the Vatican.

Fisher was born in Sydney in 1960 and joined the Dominican order in 1985.

In 2003 Fisher was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Sydney. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him the third bshop of Parramatta in January 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Hunt is on for new Sydney Archbishop to replace George Pell

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rick Feneley

Three names will be proffered to Rome as candidates to replace George Pell as the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney after consultation with Australian bishops, trusted priests and laity.

While speculation has focused on Parramatta's bishop, the Dominican friar Anthony Fisher, as a front-runner, senior church figures caution against jumping to conclusions.

When pressed to name likely candidates, the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Father Brian Lucas, replied: "I have a saying when it comes to the appointments of bishops. 'Those who talk, don't know; those who know, don't talk.' "

The few who are talking, privately, also suggest the Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, and the bishop of Newcastle and Maitland, Bill Wright, as contenders.

A local selection process will be led by Australia's Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, to find the best candidates. Archbishop Gallagher notes that Cardinal Pell is still Sydney's Archbishop and the position has not yet been declared vacant, but if the Pope makes that move – likely in the coming days or weeks – the Nuncio will start consulting senior church figures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

This priest was "guilty" in Victoria but "not guilty" in New South Wales

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (updated 25 February 2014)

A Catholic priest (James Patrick Jennings) allegedly committed indecent assaults against boys at two Catholic boarding schools - one in New South Wales and one in Victoria. A Victorian jury in 2014 found him guilty of the Victorian charges but a NSW jury in 2010 had found him "not guilty" of the NSW charges. Same priest, different State. This Broken Rites article is about the NSW trial.

In the Sydney District Court in 2010, a jury heard evidence from four men (now aged in their sixties) alleging that they were indecently touched by Father James Jennings when they were pupils at a boarding school fifty years earlier — in 1960-61. The school was St Stanislaus College, Bathurst, in central-west New South Wales. This school was conducted by Catholic priests and brothers in the Vincentian order (also called the Congregation of the Mission).

The jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

Charged in 2009

James Patrick Jennings, who left the Catholic priesthood in the late-1970s, appeared before a magistrate in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on 26 May 2009, for preliminary proceedings, charged with indecent assault on boys at St Stanislaus College during 1960-1961.

When charged, Jennings was aged 76 and was living in the Wattle Grove district, south of Hobart, Tasmania.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

This priest, from NSW, is convicted by a jury in Victoria

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 25 February 2015)

In 1959-1962, Father James Patrick Jennings began his priestly career, ministering at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, New South Wales, followed by a church school in northern Victoria in 1963-68. Half a century later, on 24 February 2014, a Victorian jury convicted Jennings of committing child-sex crimes at the Victorian school.

The Victorian school was St Vincent's College, which was then situated at Bendigo, 150 kilometres north of Melbourne. Both the Bathurst school and the Bendigo one were boarding schools, for boys only, and were owned by the Catholic order of Vincentian Fathers (this order is officially known as the Congregation of the Mission).

The Vincentians are an Australia-wide religious order, which has schools and parishes in several states. That is, the Vincentians are not confined to a particular diocese. Father Jim Jennings worked in Queensland as well as in New South Wales and Victoria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Pell moves to Vatican for new job watching the budget

AUSTRALIA
Australian Financial Review

JULIAN DRAPE AND PETA MCCARTNEY

Cardinal George Pell, who has been criticised by people testifying to the Royal Commission on sexual abuse, has been appointed to a job at the Vatican in charge of the Roman Catholic church’s budget.

Pope Francis said Pell would be in charge of a new body having authority over all economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and Vatican.

The shake-up – following a wave of scandals at the Vatican bank – is the first major overhaul of the church's outdated and inefficient bureaucracy in 25 years.

The Vatican said in a statement that Cardinal Pell “has been asked to start work as soon as possible” as head of the Secretariat for the Economy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Pell Promoted to Top Vatican Job

AUSTRALIA
Pro Bono Australia

Sydney’s Catholic Archbishop Cardinal George Pell has been promoted to a newly-created position in the Vatican, to be taken up once he has given evidence to the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse.

Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Pell to the new role of Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, one of the Vatican's most senior positions.

The announcement by the Vatican is as part of the Pope’s drive for reform to the way the Holy See administers its finances.

CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan said Cardinal Pell will leave his current role after giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney next month.

“The Cardinal has advised me he remains fully committed to cooperating with the Royal Commission and making himself available as it sees fit,” Sullivan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge says Catholic church has learned to better support abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC

BY BRAD RYAN
February 25, 2014

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge says a child abuse scandal in a Toowoomba Catholic school has prompted positive change in the church.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday concluded a Brisbane hearing into a teacher's abuse of 13 students at the school in 2007 and 2008.

Archbishop Coleridge says the Catholic church now understands the phenomenon of sexual abuse and how to support victims much better than in the past.

"But the more you learn in this incredibly complex area, the more you see you have to learn," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Abuse victims shocked by Pell's Vatican post

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Feb. 25, 2014

CARDINAL George Pell’s appointment to a top Vatican post is ‘‘unsettling’’, ‘‘disappointing’’ and ‘‘a deadset shocker’’, say victims of the Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse crisis and their families.

The cardinal’s move to Rome at the end of March after he gives evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse shocked people who campaigned for the historic inquiry.

Pope Francis named Cardinal Pell as head of a new group to reform the Vatican’s administration and finances in a surprise announcement on Monday.

Australia’s first ambassador to the Holy See Tim Fischer said it was a wise move.

But, Hunter abuse spokesman Peter Gogarty, and royal commission campaigners Chrissie and Anthony Foster, of Victoria, condemned the appointment.

‘‘This is a brand new job that gives George Pell an opportunity to leave this country in five weeks and there will be nothing compelling him to return to Australia to answer questions about anything raised at the royal commission in future,’’ Mr Gogarty said. ‘‘It’s a deadset shocker.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Francis Paul Cullen's 18 years in Derby and his sex victims

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

FRANCIS Paul Cullen came to Derby as the first priest of the newly-formed Catholic parish of Christ the King, Mackworth estate

He was originally ordained in May 1953 and was an assistant priest in Leicester before moving into the same role at the Church of Christ the King in Alfreton.

Cullen arrived in Mackworth in 1960 and conducted services at Kingsway Drill Hall before the church was built in Prince Charles Avenue.

In May 1978, he celebrated his silver jubilee as a priest and the then Bishop of Nottingham, the Rt Rev James McGuinness, held Mass at the Mackworth church to commemorate the occasion.

Later the same year, Cullen was transferred to St Anne's, Buxton, where he remained until 1987. He then moved to work in Radford, Nottingham.

The cases with which he was charged involved:

1955 to 1963: Victim one, a boy aged eight to 13 – Mackworth
1963 to 1964: Victim two, boy aged 11 – Mackworth
1963 to 1970: Victim three, a boy aged eight to 14 – Mackworth
1967 to 1974: Victim four, a boy aged six to 12 – Mackworth
1980 to 1985: Victim five, a girl aged six to 11 – Buxton
1983: Victim six, a girl aged 13 – Buxton
1989 to 1991: Victim seven, a boy aged 10 to 12 – Nottingham

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Derby pervert priest scandal: 'Tenerife is a place you can remain anonymous'

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

By Martin Naylor

IT would have been easy for disgraced priest Father Francis Paul Cullen to remain anonymous in Tenerife, according to a leading journalist on the island.

Cullen lived in Tenerife under an assumed name, it was revealed yesterday.

Ross Browning is the editor of Canarian Weekly, an English-language newspaper in Tenerife, where Cullen lived until his extradition last year.

Mr Browning said that he looked into Cullen's life following his arrest last year.

He said: "Tenerife, especially when this man came to live here 20 years ago, is the sort of place that you can keep your head down and remain pretty much anonymous if you want to.

"People have told me he was the sort of man who very much kept himself to himself, who you might see having an occasional drink or going for a walk. But people did not get to know him."

Mr Browning said that he discovered that Cullen used an alias – Raul Martin – and lived, until 2007, in an apartment in the Los Alisios complex in Los Cristianos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Anglican priest allegedly caught pants down

ZIMBABWE
Nehanda Radio

By Arron Nyamayaro

An Anglican priest stationed at St Annes Goto Mission High School is under fire after he was allegedly caught by his wife pants down with a married senior woman advisor from the church.

Reverend T N Mavhezha, who has spent less than six months at the school, was alleged to have decided to quench his sexual appetite with a History teacher’s wife identified only as Mai Motsi.

However, Rev Mavhezha vehemently denies the allegations and accuses detractors of defaming him.

According to the version of events being denied by Rev Mavhezha, he elevated Mai Motsi to a Youth and Mother advisor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Why victims of Derby pervert priest Francis Cullen deserve answers - Telegraph comment

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

WHAT more attractive proposition could there be for your retirement years than to spend more than 20 years on a sunshine island?

Sun, sand, relaxation, away from the pressures of daily life – an idyllic way to spend your final years.

The additional attractive for Father Francis Paul Cullen was that he was also away from the pressures of knowing that he was wanted by the authorities here in the East Midlands.

Not for trifling matters, either – serious charges of sexual abuse of children.

Yet the astonishing fact remains that he was able to do a disappearing act in 1991, having been remanded on bail.

He was not the first to do that, of course, and he will not be the last – certainly while our prisons are overcrowded and the courts are reluctant to send people there while they await a trial date.

But what was the most bewildering event in this sorry saga came in 2000.

Cullen had been on the run – if that is the accurate phrase – for nine years.

And then somebody in the judiciary system took the utterly astonishing decision that he was no longer wanted. The warrant that was out for him was withdrawn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Former priest found guilty on sex charges

CANADA
London Community News

SARNIA, Ont. - A Sarnia, Ont., judge has acquitted a former Catholic priest of all but three of 18 sex-related charges he faced.

Justice Joseph Donohue found Gabriele DelBianco, 57, guilty of one count of gross indecency and two counts of sexual assault.

He found DelBianco not guilty of various other charges — including threatening death or bodily harm — arising from incidents involving four teenage girls during the 1980s.

Donohue says the historical nature of the case made it difficult and he cited reliability of evidence as reasoning for acquitting DelBianco on several charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Obituary: Father James E. Richardson, 81, longtime drug and alcohol abuse counselor

DELAWARE
The Dialog

By Mike Lang
Staff reporter

Funeral services for Father James E. Richardson are set for Monday and Tuesday at Church of the Holy Child. Father Richardson, a retired priest of the Diocese of Wilmington, who died Feb. 14. He was 81.

A wake will be held Monday at 4:30 p.m., followed by visitation from 5-8 p.m. The funeral Mass will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. The church is located at 2500 Naamans Road, Wilmington. Father Richardson had helped out at the parish for several years.

Ordained in 1965, Father Richardson served as an associate pastor at St. Matthew’s and Immaculate Heart of Mary, both in Wilmington, and at St. Mary of the Assumption, Hockessin. From 1977-82, he was rector of St. Peter’s Cathedral.

In 1982, he became a counselor with Catholic Social Services, and the next year he was appointed director of outpatient care at the Center for Pastoral Care, a post he held for nine years, although he continued as an alcohol and drug counselor. In 1991 he became involved in AIDS ministry, working with a local support group. He also was an HIV and substance abuse trainer for the state of Delaware and, for many years, a chaplain at St. Edmond’s Academy in Wilmington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Mom of two abused boys: Archdiocese is trying to blame me

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune Updated: February 25, 2014

Archdiocese says she knew abused boy’s visits with priest violated rules.

The mother of two boys sexually abused by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer contends that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is blaming her for not protecting her sons from the priest and has reneged on promises to help her family deal with the trauma.

“The burden this has placed on my family and the devastation … is insurmountable,” the mother said in an interview last week with the Star Tribune. “It really cut deep when they blamed it on me.”

Wehmeyer, the former pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in St. Paul, is serving a five-year prison term for abusing two of her sons, and the family has sued the archdiocese for civil damages.

In a brief response filed Feb. 7, the archdiocese said that the mother was aware of the time one of her boys was spending with Wehmeyer.

“Plaintiff’s mother worked at Blessed Sacrament Parish in St. Paul during the period when plaintiff was abused by Curtis Wehmeyer,” the filing said. “She was aware of the time [he] spent with Mr. Wehmeyer, and she knew that such interaction was contrary to established Archdiocese policy.”

“That’s absurd,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Former priest, 85, admits multiple sex offences after 20 years on the run

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Press Association
theguardian.com, Monday 24 February 2014

An 85-year-old former Catholic priest has admitted sexually assaulting seven children, including altar boys, after spending more than 20 years on the run in Spain.

Francis Paul Cullen was extradited back to the UK last year to face the charges after being traced to Tenerife. The Catholic Church and its safeguarding board helped police to trace Cullen, who was found to have attended mass at a church in Playa de las Americas every Sunday.

On Monday Cullen, looking frail in the dock, pleaded guilty to 21 charges at Derby crown court. The offences, committed between 1957 and 1991 on children aged between six and 16, took place while Cullen was a practising priest in Mackworth, Derbyshire, and later Buxton, Derbyshire, and Hyson Green, Nottinghamshire. Cullen pleaded guilty to 15 counts of indecent assault, five of indecency with a child and one of attempted buggery.

Judge Jonathan Gosling told Cullen, who was born in Dublin, that a "very substantial" custodial sentence was inevitable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Pell's new job called a 'golden parachute'

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Cardinal George Pell's new job at the Vatican is not an honour but an "escape clause", says a group representing survivors of child sex abuse by priests.

Pope Francis on Monday revealed Cardinal Pell will be in charge of the Vatican budget.

Australia's leading Catholic said in a statement on Tuesday he was "deeply honoured" to be made head of the new Secretariat for the Economy, which will aim to modernise the church bureaucracy.

Cardinal Pell has come under fire in recent years over his response to cases of historic abuse by priests.

He will take up his new Vatican post in March but has indicated he will still appear before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse when it sits in Sydney next month.

But Nicky Davis of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says she believes Cardinal Pell will continue to evade facing up to the church's responsibility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Of rectories, the Catholic church and the ‘bling’ watch

UNITED STATES
Dallas Morning News

By Rodger Jones/Editorial Writer
rmjones@dallasnews.com
Follow @rodgermjones

My church, the Catholic church, has made enough hash of itself in recent years without its bishops getting caught up in the hypocrisy of amassing the trappings of wealth.

Case in point is Archbishop of Newark, N.J., John J. Myers, who’s putting a 3,500-square-foot addition on his vacation home, which is soon to be his retirement home. Shoot, his house’s addition is twice as big as my ’50s house in Richardson. (That’s a statement of perspective, not envy.)

The New Jersey bishop is not even in the same league as the so-called Bishop of Bling, the German cleric who was suspended by Pope Francis last year for his lavish spending.

You wonder whether these guys read the newspaper or have Internet access. Pope Francis has made more than a little news with his denunciation of clergy who want to live like princes. That’s precisely the point of a professor who studies, of all things, the spending habits of bishops and who was quoted by the Christian Post. Excerpt:

“Archbishop Myers obviously is not paying any attention to the pope,” noted Charles Zech, faculty director of the Center for Church Management and Business Ethics at Villanova University’s business school who has studied bishops’ spending.

“The pope is calling on clergy to live a simpler lifestyle and to be in touch with their people. This is extreme, way beyond what you’d expect to happen. I can’t believe the parishioners of Newark are going to allow this to happen,” said Zech.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Stop blaming victims for sexual assaults on campus

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Petula Dvorak, Published: February 24

There are no “toga and yoga” keggers. No football team. No lacrosse team. No jello shots, jungle juice, boilermaker binges or beer pong. And certainly no bongs.

The most dangerous substance around evangelical Patrick Henry College is the Sweet Frog frozen yogurt place across the street from the Loudoun County campus in Purcellville.

Yet, the thing that so many experts say is the tragic result of the unbridled, reckless indulgence of parties and booze — sexual assault — still happens on tightly controlled, super-conservative, dry-as-a-bone campuses.

A New Republic year-long investigation into the way the college known as “God’s Harvard” handled its sexual assault cases tells us that you don’t need John Belushi and togas to get “Animal House” behavior from college students.

It’s a perfect test case into the root causes of sexual assault on campus and the way universities handle it, which President Obama addressed with parental ferocity last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Senate expands time for child sex abuse victims to bring actions

IOWA
Quad-City Times

Rod Boshart Times Bureau

DES MOINES — Victims of child sexual abuse would have more time as an adult to bring criminal or civil action against adults who preyed upon them when they were minors under a bill passed by the Iowa Senate on Monday.

Senate File 2109, which was approved by a 49-0 vote, would extend the statute of limitations to bring action to 25 years after an abused child had turned 18 years of age. The current limit is 10 years year after an abused child reaches 18, although some provisions have longer time frame that also would be extended to 25 years under the legislation that now goes to the Iowa House for consideration.

“This gives child sex abuse survivors a fair chance at justice,” said Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, floor manager of a bill that was amended to extend statute of limitations for criminal offenses of lascivious acts with a child, assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, indecent contact with a child, lascivious conduct with a minor and sexual misconduct with a juvenile from the current three years to 10 years after the victim’s 18th birthday.

“For years, persons who suffered sexual abuse, often at the hands of trusted family members and friends, have been denied access to justice,” he said, citing “the atrocities of Penn State” and “almost daily” news accounts of horrific crimes against children in advocating for passage of the bill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Ashley Foster : Palm Beach County woman pushes to change state sex abuse laws

FLORIDA
WPTV

Dan Corcoran

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A Palm Beach County woman who says she is a survivor of child sex abuse is now in the battle of her life for future victims. This, after a statute of limitations ran out, keeping her from prosecuting her alleged abuser - her own cousin.

After six years of silence, Ashley Foster finally found the courage to say this: "I had just turned 13 and my cousin started to molest me." Sexual abuse - on a weekly basis, she says, at the hands of her cousin - who is ten years older. "It's out," she said." Ok. Now what are we going to do?"

She went to counseling and then to the Boynton Beach Police Department. Ashley and her parents worked with investigators to press charges against her cousin - but it was already too late. "I finally get the courage to say something and nothing at all can be done about it," she said.

State law says charges against those who molest children aged 12 or older have to be brought within three years of the alleged abuse. For Ashley, the Statue of Limitations had run out just 60 days earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

“Cualquier sacerdote que haya abusado contra un menor tiene que pagar"

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Dia

Por Nydia Bauzá / nydia.bauza@gfrmedia.com

[Summary: Jaime Perella, speaker of the House of Representatives, and Rep. Luisa "Piti" Gandara on Monday said the Catholic Church should turn over all information on abuse committed by priests that is requested by the Department of Justice. They spoke at inauguration of the first training session for staff at government agencies that will participate in the new protocol for handling child sexual abuse cases. The Speaker said any priest who has abused a minor must pay and the church must deliver information on these priests to the proper authorities.]

El presidente de la Cámara de Representantes, Jaime Perelló y la representante Luisa "Piti" Gándara se expresaron este lunes a favor de que la Iglesia Católica entregue toda la información que le ha requerido el Departamento de Justicia sobre actos de pederastia cometidos por sacerdotes.

Perelló y Gándara hicieron sus expresiones durante la inauguración este lunes del primer adiestramiento para capacitar al personal de las agencias del Gobierno que intervendrán en el nuevo protocolo de manejo de casos abuso sexual infantil, establecido por la Ley158 de 2013. El estatuto establece Centros de Servicios Integrados para Menores y Víctimas de Abuso Sexual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Catholic Church tried to silence former bishop over scandal

AUSTRALIA
My Daily News

Adam Davies 25th Feb 2014

THE Catholic Church has tried to silence a former Bishop about his intimate dealings with Rome in the wake of a child sexual abuse scandal at a Toowoomba primary school.

Former Toowoomba Bishop William Morris revealed he was given two years grace by Pope Benedict to deal with the fallout of child sexual abuse at a Toowoomba primary school before he was forced into retirement.

Bishop Morris also revealed for the first time there had been two other "historic" child sexual abuse victims he had dealings with during his time overseeing the Toowoomba Diocese.

He told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday he negotiated his retirement date with Pope Benedict during a discussion in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Catholic Church in Alberta, N.W.T. apologizes for role in residential schools

CANADA
CTV

Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Monday, February 24, 2014

“It was the worst years of my life; I guess you could say it destroyed me.”

That’s how Jerry Wood, a man who spent eleven years as one of 150,000 aboriginal children pulled from his home, and placed in residential schools, looks at his time in the residential school system.

“I was trying to drown my experience in residential schools from the sexual abuse, the physical abuse, mental abuse, spiritual abuse that I went through,” Wood said.

On Monday, Wood, now an elder, was in the room to hear words he had been waiting decades for – when Archbishop Richard Smith of the Archdiocese of Edmonton issued a formal apology for the church’s role in the schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Profile: George Pell's career in the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, has been appointed by Pope Francis as the Prefect for the Economy of the Holy See. Take a look at Cardinal Pell's career in the Catholic Church.

Pell's introduction to the church

George Pell was born in 1941 in Ballarat and grew up in the western Victorian city, where he attended the Loreto and St Patrick's colleges.

He began his studies into priesthood at Corpus Christi College in Werribee and later travelled to Rome to study at the Propaganda Fide College. In 1966 he was ordained as a Catholic priest and began his work in the Ballarat Diocese.

Over the next 20 years he was heavily involved in Catholic Church organisations, including the Catholic education sector.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Pastor arrested on sexual abuse charges

SOUTH CAROLINA
WYFF

SPARTANBURG, S.C. —The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office has arrested an Upstate pastor for sexually abusing a teenage girl.

A school official notified a Special Victims Unit investigator that a teen told her she'd been sexually abused by Ronald Norris, 27, of Roebuck.

After collecting statements from the girl and her family, the investigator approached Norris and he immediately invoked his right to an attorney. He is charged with criminal sexual conduct, third degree.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Derby pervert priest scandal: Why was Francis Paul Cullen allowed 22 years in the sun?

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

By Martin Naylor

AN MP has demanded to know how a pervert priest who sexually abused four Derby altar boys was able to evade justice for 22 years.

Francis Paul Cullen was originally charged with offences against youngsters in 1991 by Nottinghamshire police but jumped bail after appearing in court.

In 2000, the arrest warrant against him was discontinued, meaning he was technically no longer a wanted man.

But after a tip-off from a Derby churchgoer, Cullen was arrested by Derbyshire police last year in Tenerife, where he had been using the alias “Raul Martin”.

Chris Williamson said of the news that he had evaded justice for 22 years: “I think it is a shocking revelation.

“Bringing him to justice earlier is an obligation you would have expected the authorities to fulfil.

“I think the victims have been badly let down in this awful case.”

Cullen abused his Derby victims while priest at Christ the King Catholic Church, Mackworth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

How did paedophile priest Francis Cullen escape justice for nearly two decades?

UNITED KINGDOM
Nottingham Post

By Peter Blackburn, Rebecca Sherdley and Martin Naylor

PAEDOPHILE priest Francis Cullen is finally behind bars – 23 years after he was first interviewed by Notts Police.

Yesterday, 85-year-old Cullen, who worked at St Mary's Church, in Hyson Green, for three years, pleaded guilty to 21 counts of sexual abuse, including three offences against one Nottingham victim.

Notts Police first arrested and charged Cullen with sexual offences in 1991.

He appeared at court in October that year but skipped bail and went on the run. But, mysteriously, the warrant for his arrest was withdrawn in 2000.

In August last year, he was detained under a European arrest warrant and extradited to the UK.

Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to 21 charges of abuse against children as young as six, including altar boys, between the 1950s and 1990s.

But the case has prompted questions over who withdrew the arrest warrant and how he was allowed to go on the run for so long.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Derby pervert priest scandal: Francis Paul Cullen used his position to intimidate young victims

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

By Aly Walsh

PAEDOPHILE priest Francis Cullen almost certainly preyed on more victims than those he has confessed to abusing, police believe.

Cullen, who spent 18 years working at Christ the King Catholic Church, on the Mackworth estate, yesterday pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting seven children – four of them in Derby.

Cullen pleaded guilty to 21 charges of abuse against children as young as six, including altar boys, between the 1950s and 1990s.

Investigating officer Det Con Matt Goodwin said it was "inconceivable" that Cullen, who is now 85, had not abused more children during his time as a priest.

He said police would investigate any new allegations made if anyone chose to now come forward.

The Nottingham Catholic Diocese, which covers Derbyshire, said there were no records of reports being made to the Diocese at the time of the abuse. Spokesman Father Andrew Cole said: "There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that anybody complained to the Church."

But at least one victim said he believed his parents did report the abuse to the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

February 24, 2014

Cardinal Pell Appointed to Senior Vatican Position and Will Move to Rome

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
25 Feb 2014

Pope Francis has appointed the Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell to a new senior role in the Vatican.

Cardinal Pell will be the Prefect for the Economy of the Holy See and will be based in Rome.

It is the most senior role to which an Australian cardinal has been appointed and people from business, welfare groups, politics as well as church leaders have applauded the appointment.

Australia's first ambassador to the Holy See, Tim Fischer said today it is a wise move by Pope Francis and "long overdue".

Speaking from Rome Cardinal Pell said he was deeply honoured to have been appointed by the Holy Father as the Prefect of the new Secretariat for the Economy. ...

It is expected an Administrator will soon be appointed to the Archdiocese until a new Archbishop is named.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

Pell's role in Rome

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn

25 February 2014

Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal George Pell to the new role of Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, a decision announced as part of the Pope’s reforms to the Vatican’s financial administration. Cardinal Pell will leave his position as Archbishop of Sydney to take up the role, in which he will oversee the annual budget and financial planning for the Holy See and Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

PBS FRONTLINE: Secrets of the Vatican Review

UNITED STATES
Las Vegas Informer

By Victoria Alexander
Las Vegas Informer

Pope Francis, the 266th pope of the Catholic Church, made a startling statement regarding the Roman Curia, the Church’s all-powerful civil service. He said: “The court is the leprosy of the papacy.” He has described the Curia as “narcissistic” and “self-referential.” This FRONTLINE program explores the church he is now head of.

Secrets of the Vatican premiers Tuesday, February 25 at 10 p.m. on PBS and online at pbs.org/frontline. It examines the crisis the Catholic Church faces in light of the devastating charges of financial and sexual corruption.

Secrets of the Vatican is a special, 90-minute FRONTLINE presentation that tells the inside story of the collapse of the Benedict Papacy—and illuminates the extraordinary challenges facing Pope Francis as he tries to reform the powerful Vatican bureaucracy, root out corruption, and chart a new course for the troubled Catholic Church and its 1.2 billion followers.

Sex, power and money are all fundamental ingredients of many best-selling novels. In Secrets of the Vatican the factual basis for each is well established. While much has been written about the Vatican’s institutionally sanctioned abuse of power, FRONTLINE has produced one of the most comprehensive television documentaries on the topic ever seen in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

Cardinal Pell is new Vatican financial watchdog

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Feb. 24, 2014 NCR Today

Pope Francis continues to move ahead with his reform of the Curia by appointing Cardinal George Pell of Sydney as a financial watchdog in the Vatican. His title will be cardinal prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, a new office that will "undertake the economic audit and supervision" of offices of the Roman Curia, the Vatican City State and institutions connected to the Holy See. The secretariat will also establish "policies and procedures regarding procurement and the allocation of human resources" for the Curia and Vatican City State.

What is not specifically mentioned in Fidelis et dispensator prudens, the motu proprio establishing this new office, is the Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican bank, although it may be included among "institutions connected to the Holy See."

Pell will report directly to the pope rather than to the secretary of state, through whom almost everything goes to the pope.

Pope Francis is not the first pope to try to clean up Vatican finances. In 1967, the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See was established. According to Pastor Bonus, it is in charge "of supervising and governing the temporal goods of the administrations that are dependent on the Holy See." It is responsible for publishing annual financial statements for the Holy See and Vatican City and for producing budget estimates and "inspecting books and documents, if need be." It had no authority over the Vatican bank.

Sounds a lot like the new office, doesn't it?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Milwaukee archdiocese bankruptcy part of PBS/BBC FRONTLINE special Tuesday

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

CONTACT:
Peter Isely: 414.429.7259
Monica Barrett: 414-704-6074

In a unique collaboration between the BBC and PBS a 90 minute FRONTLINE documentary, “Secrets of the Vatican: Inside the Scandals that Rocked Benedict’s Papacy,” by award winning British filmmaker Antony Thomas, will be airing across the US and the United Kingdom tomorrow, Tuesday, February 25 (8:00 p.m. CST time in Milwaukee on MPTV channel 10.)

A year in the making, a section of the film will explore the struggle of clergy sexual abuse survivors in Milwaukee and the financial corruption of the archdiocese. Several Milwaukee survivors were extensively interviewed as well as local priests who are members of the Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance (SCLA), a group founded in Milwaukee.

Thomas’ other current film, which is receiving considerable critical acclaim, “Questioning Darwin”, is now running on HBO.

For a full description of the FRONTLINE film, the trailer, and local PBS broadcast dates go here.
“Secrets of the Vatican” is only one of three films airing worldwide in the upcoming weeks that includes interviews and stories of Milwaukee survivors.

On March 9, Al Jazeera America is airing a film by Italian filmmakers on the worldwide financial corruption of the Catholic Church. And on April 1st French television is airing a documentary on the church that features Milwaukee survivors and clergy. Both films are then scheduled to air across Europe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

N.O. author works on ‘Secrets of the Vatican’

LOUISIANA
The Advocate

BY JUDY BERGERON
jbergeron@theadvocate.com
February 24, 2014

New Orleans author and journalist Jason Berry worked in front of and behind the camera for PBS’ “Frontline” special, “Secrets of the Vatican.”

The 90-minute segment airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday on WLPB, Channel 27 (cable Channel 12 in Baton Rouge and Lafayette) and WYES, Channel 12 (cable Channel 12 in New Orleans).

The program takes an in-depth look at the collapse of Benedict XVI’s papacy, covering the clergy sex abuse crisis; money laundering and corruption at the Vatican Bank; and Vatileaks, the release of internal documents which included alleged blackmail within the Holy See.

Berry will be seen in an early part of the program focusing on Marcial Maciel, the leader of the powerful Legionaires of Christ order, who, despite allegations of sexually abusing boys and misappropriating money, was supported by the Vatican for years.

Berry talked to the priest’s son in 2011, and part of that interview will be featured.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Pope Francis to open the Vatican's finances to scrutiny

VATICAN CITY
GlobalPost

Allison Jackson
February 24, 2014

Just when you thought Pope Francis couldn’t get any more popular, he goes and announces what has been described as his “boldest” move yet to clean up the Vatican’s scandal-plagued financial system.

The pope, who was appointed nearly a year ago with a mandate to overhaul the Catholic Church, said Monday he would invite outside experts to scrutinize the Vatican’s often-murky finances.

The yet-to-be-appointed auditor general will “be empowered to conduct audits of any agency of the Holy See and Vatican City State at any time,” the Vatican said in a statement.

Pope Francis also announced the creation of a new body to oversee the Holy See's budgets and financial planning, as well as a central bank.

The new agency will be called the “Secretariat of the Economy” and will be headed by Cardinal George Pell, who is currently the Archbishop of Sydney and who was a vocal critic of the Vatican’s poor accounting standards under Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Former O'Hara principal sues Phila. Archdiocese

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

KATHY BOCCELLA, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014

The former principal of Cardinal O'Hara High School has sued the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for suddenly firing her last November, just five months after she was asked to be associate superintendent.

The suit maintains that Marie Rogai was a distinguished Catholic school educator who was told she did not smile enough and was too direct in a meeting with her bosses on Nov. 8 in which she was asked to resign.

When Rogai refused to step down, she was fired three days later with no explanation to her or the school community, the lawsuit says.

The sudden mid-year termination of a principal implies there was "misconduct, generally of a sexual, criminal, fraudulent or similar basis," according to the suit, which was filed Monday in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Residential Schools Canada: Alberta, NWT Bishops Latest To Apologize

CANADA
Huffington Post

EDMONTON - Catholic bishops in Alberta and the Northwest Territories have apologized for abuse that aboriginal children suffered in residential schools.

Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith said Monday the group is the last one in the country representing Catholic bishops to make a public offer of regret.

Others have issued formal apology letters as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission held events in their regions, he said. The commission is to hold its final national event in Edmonton next month.

"We are adding our voice to those of the Catholic bishops and leaders of religious communities across Canada," Smith told several dozen junior high students at Edmonton's Ben Calf Robe School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Milwaukee church bankruptcy, sex abuse featured in Frontline documentary

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel Feb. 24, 2014

Local victims of clergy sexual abuse and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy are featured in a Frontline documentary that will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Tuesday on local PBS station Channel 10.

“Secrets of the Vatican,” recounts the transition from the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI and “illuminates the extraordinary challenges facing Pope Francis as he tries to reform the powerful Vatican bureaucracy, root out corruption, and chart a new course for the troubled Catholic Church and its 1.2 billion followers,” according to the Frontline web site.

The film explores a number of issues, including the global sex abuse crisis, Francis’ efforts to reform the Vatican bank and bureaucracy; and the Vatileaks scandal that resulted in the theft conviction of Benedict’s butler.

The film features interviews with Milwaukee-area sex abuse survivors Peter Isely, who was molested by a Capuchin priest at St. Lawrence Seminary in Fond du Lac County and Monica Barrett, who was raped by the late Father William Effinger. Both would be excluded from the archdiocese’s compensation for victims under its proposed reorganization plan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

'Honoured by new Vatican job' says Pell

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Cardinal George Pell is the Vatican's new 'budget supremo', saying he is honoured to take up the role to modernise the church bureaucracy to better help the poor and disadvantaged.

Pope Francis on Monday revealed that Australia's most senior Catholic would become one of the most powerful men in the church, working in a new body with authority over economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and Vatican.

The shake-up - following a wave of scandals at the Vatican bank - is the first major overhaul of the church's outdated and inefficient bureaucracy in 25 years.

The Vatican said in a statement that Cardinal Pell 'has been asked to start work as soon as possible' as head of the Secretariat for the Economy.

Cardinal Pell said in a statement he was 'deeply honoured' to have been appointed to the role.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

A Frontline documentary exposes the Vatican's 'secrets' under Pope Benedict

VATICAN CITY
PRI

When Pope Francis became head of the Roman Catholic Church nearly a year ago, many Catholics around the world were expecting change. Pope Francis was even named Time Magazine’s 2013 Person of the Year.

Last week, Pope Francis announced a major overhaul of the Vatican's outdated and inefficient bureaucracy, including a package of reforms and economic policies to monitor the Vatican Bank, long seen as an institution wrought with corruption and scandal.

A new Frontline documentary exposes just how bad things had gotten in Rome. “Secrets of the Vatican,” which airs Tuesday night, looks in depth at Pope Benedict’s papacy.

The documentary examines the years of scandal over clergy sex abuse, corruption at the Vatican Bank, power struggles, and cronyism within the Holy See. It finds that clergy in Rome were frequenting gay bars.

The director, writer, and producer of the documentary, Antony Thomas, spent a year investigating the secrets of the Vatican. He believes the mounting problems, combined with the ailing health of Pope Benedict, led to Benedict's dramatic resignation — an action not taken by a pope in 600 years.

“They happened on his watch, and it was very unfortunate,” Thomas explained. “He just couldn’t cope with it anymore.”

According to Thomas, Pope Benedict had considered resigning in early 2012, but was pressured into postponing his resignation by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. That decision, Thomas said, was “before the 'Vatileaks' thing got really serious and before these scandals came out.”

Italian investigative reporter Gianluigi Nuzzi received the classified documents now known as Vatileaks. His book, “Your Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI” was released in mid-2012, and revealed extensive confidential information, including documents from the pope’s personal office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Former Windsor priest found guilty of sexual misconduct

CANADA
Windsor Star

Dave Battagello

A former Windsor priest accused of sexually abusing at least a dozen early-adolescent girls in the late 1980s and early 1990s was found guilty Monday of three of 18 sex charges he was facing in Sarnia.

Gabriele Del Bianco, 57, will be sentenced in Superior Court May 14 and will remain out of custody until then.

The trial began in October with four of Del Bianco’s alleged victims testifying in court. Del Bianco was represented by Windsor lawyer Andrew Bradie.

The former priest was acquitted of sexual misconduct charges involving two women, but found guilty by Justice Joseph Donohue for his actions involving the other two. He was guilty of one count of gross indecency against one victim and counts of sexual assault against the other.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Chile- Newly elevated cardinal allegedly hid child sexual abuse

CHILE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, February 24, 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 Chilean archbishop who is accused of hiding evidence of child sex crimes from civil authorities, was promoted to cardinal this past weekend. We are disappointed Pope Francis did this.

[Santiago Times]

Santiago’s Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati allegedly concealed evidence of child sexual abuse by a Salesian priest, Rimsky Rojas.

This weekend Pope Francis urged his newly promoted cardinals to avoid misconduct and “May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favoritism and partiality.”

The Pope should take his own advice. Ezzati should have been fired, not promoted. Hiding evidence is not only a crime, but it is a dangerous, callous and selfish move that puts the reputations of predators over the safety of kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Gabriele DelBianco found guilty on three of 18 sexual assault charges

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

By Neil Bowen, Sarnia Observer
Monday, February 24, 2014

SARNIA - Former Catholic priest Gabriele DelBianco, 57, was convicted Monday on three of 18 charges related to sexual misconduct involving four teenage girls.

Sentencing has been set for May 14. The convictions relate to two of the women, now in their 40s.

Superior Court Justice Jospeh Donohue found DelBianco guilty of one count of gross indecency against one victim and counts of sexual assault against the other victim.

A pre-sentence report was ordered and DelBianco remains out of custody.

The key issues were possible consent to sexual activity and the reliability of the evidence, Donohue said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Vatican sex, money scandals subject of PBS documentary

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Feb. 24, 2014 NCR Today

PBS’ award winning news and documentary program, “Frontline,” is to air tomorrow night (Feb. 25) “Secrets of the Vatican,” from British director Antony Thomas and co-producer Jason Berry, a name that should be well-known to NCR readers.

Most PBS stations will broadcast the show Tuesday, February 25, at 9 p.m. eastern time, but check your local TV listings to get the correct time.

Here’s how a press release I got describes the show:

“Secrets of the Vatican” illuminates the challenges facing Pope Francis as he tries to reform the Vatican bureaucracy, root out corruption, and chart a new course for the Church.

“The documentary tells the epic, inside story of the collapse of the Benedict papacy, from a far-reaching clergy sex abuse scandal, to money laundering and corruption at the Vatican Bank, to power struggles and cronyism within the Holy See, to hypocrisy within the Vatican when it comes to homosexuality.”

Work on the film began more than a year ago. Berry talks about his involvement with the project in an interview with his hometown newspaper, New Orleans’ The Times-Picayune. Here’s Berry’s synopsis of the film:

“The film takes viewers into the Vatican's baroque internal dynamics”

“The infighting under Pope Benedict that exploded in the Vatican Bank and Vatileaks scandals”

“Viewers will get a clear story of the last pope betrayed by his own bureaucracy.

“Antony's treatment of the gay priest culture in the Vatican — an explosive topic to be sure — is nuanced and even-handed, certainly not homophobic.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Former Priest Guilty of Sex Charges

CANADA
Blackburn News

By Chelsea Vella on February 24, 2014

A former Catholic priest has been acquitted of all but three of 18 sex-related charges in Sarnia’s Superior Court.

Justice Joseph Donohue found 57-year-old Gabriele DelBianco guilty of one count of gross indecency and two counts of sexual assault.

He found DelBianco not guilty of various other charges including threatening death/bodily harm.

The charges relate to incidents involving four teenage girls during the 1980′s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Former priest found guilty on 3 of 18 sex-related charges involving teen girls

CANADA
Brandon Sun

By: The Canadian Press
Monday, Feb. 24, 2014

SARNIA, Ont. - A Sarnia, Ont., judge has acquitted a former Catholic priest of all but three of 18 sex-related charges he faced.

Justice Joseph Donohue found Gabriele DelBianco, 57, guilty of one count of gross indecency and two counts of sexual assault.

He found DelBianco not guilty of various other charges — including threatening death or bodily harm — arising from incidents involving four teenage girls during the 1980s.

Donohue says the historical nature of the case made it difficult and he cited reliability of evidence as reasoning for acquitting DelBianco on several charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Nun denies abuse of two sisters at Derry home

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Dan Keenan

Two sisters who claim they suffered physical and mental abuse while at St Joseph’s home at Termonbacca in Derry have rejected claims by a nun that the abuse never took place.

The sisters were among five children from a large family who were placed in the home in the late 1960s.
The girls were also placed there as their mother thought they would be together. However two of the girls who gave evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry said she did not know that they were separated once at the home.

A series of claims by the sisters involving physical abuse, forced work and hunger were all denied by a named nun whose statement was detailed to the witnesses.

The nun said she could not recall the girls and she denies that any child was forced to work in the nursery at the home which would have housed up to 24 babies and infants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

PA- Philly priest trial to start; SNAP responds

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 24, 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 )

As a trial begins against an accused Philly predator priest (Fr. Andrew McCormick), we remind citizens and Catholics that it's never too late to speak up with information or suspicions about known or alleged child sex crimes.

[Enquirer-Herald]

Sooner beats later. But speaking up always beats staying silent.

It's our civic and moral duty to help police and prosecutors convict child molesters by sharing what we know and have seen and have heard with them, even if we think it's small, old or “second hand.”

So we hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. McCormick will find the courage to pick up the phone and call law enforcement officials immediately. That's the very least we should do if we care at all about kids.

We especially appeal to current and former parish and archdiocesan staff – from bookkeepers to bishops – to find the strength to break your silence if you know or suspect something that might help prosecutors in this case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Bishop slams Towards Healing

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

SARAH ELKS THE AUSTRALIAN FEBRUARY 25, 2014

THE former head of a Catholic body handling child abuse allegations has criticised the church's flagship Towards Healing protocol.

Retired Toowoomba bishop Bill Morris yesterday told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that a new national independent body should be established to deal with all institutional abuse allegations and subsequent out-of-court financial settlements.

"Where (Towards Healing) fell down was where the communication wasn't there and (the victims) were left hanging, in a vacuum," Bishop Morris said. "That was my experience."

Bishop Morris was at the helm of the Toowoomba Catholic diocese when pedophile teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes molested and raped 13 girls in his classroom in 2007 and 2008. Bishop Morris sacked a school principal and two Catholic Education officials when it was revealed they failed to report sexual assault allegations against Byrnes to police in September 2007.

Until he was forced into early retirement by the Vatican in 2011, Bishop Morris was also the co-chairman of the National Committee for Professional Standards, which founded Towards Healing as the Catholic Church's pastoral response to child abuse within its ranks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Anglican Church’s $3000 offer to abuse victims ‘an insult’

AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

Andy Parks 25th Feb 2014

A VICTIM of abuse at the Anglican Church's North Coast Children's Home has said the offer of compensation made to him was an insult.

Mr S (to protect his identity) said the offer of $3000 was for years of abuse that had left him "a total wreck".

"The Church is saying 'take it or leave it, that's the offer'... It's like they're saying 'that's all you're worth'. That's what they said to us when we were in the home; that we were worth nothing."

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse last year heard evidence of brutal physical and sexual abuse at the Lismore home from the 1940s to the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

Principal who failed to act on sex abuse still in system

AUSTRALIA
My Daily News

Adam Davies 25th Feb 2014

FORMER Bishop William Morris said he cannot believe the principal at the centre of the child sexual abuse scandal at a Toowoomba primary school is still teaching in the Catholic education system.

Bishop Morris was highly critical of the school's then principal Terence Michael Hayes and his handling of the scandal which allowed teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes to sexually abuse 13 girls in his class.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard Mr Hayes was first made aware of allegations against Byrnes in September, 2007, some 14 months prior to his eventual arrest.

"I think the Catholic Education Office in Brisbane has to review that," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Readings: Frontline’s “Secrets of the Vatican”

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

Raymond A. Schroth | Feb 21 2014

In one sense there are few surprises in Tuesday evening’s broadcast of Frontline’s latest documentary on the scandals that continue to rock the Catholic Church. Few surprises, that is, if you have been following the story for the last ten years: though this is not about birth control, abortion, women’s ordination, liberal nuns or health care’s alleged anti-Catholicism. It is about the corruption of a local culture, where the combination of lust for power, sex and money has undermined the credibility of an institution originally modeled on the body of Christ.

The scandals are familiar—the plague of sex abuse, the victims’ demand for justice, the disgrace of the Legion of Christ and its founder, the Vatican Bank scandal, the charges of homosexual cliques among the priests and hierarchy, the leak of documents by the pope’s butler—as is the scramble of the investigative reporters to make all this public.

Frontline’s documentaries remind me of the old Edward R. Murrow radio and TV dramas, “You Are There,” where the reporters grab Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson after a meeting of the Continental Congress. Except that the Frontline cameras and researchers are really there to show us the young Marcial Maciel Degollado, of a powerful conservative elite Mexican family, as he founds the Legion of Christ in 1941, rises in Vatican influence by raising money and collecting vocations and wins the favor of Pope John Paul II as he enjoys his double life. We see the faces and hear the voices of former seminarian Juan Vaca, abused at 10, from 1949 to 1961, and of Raul Gonzales, one of Maciel’s two sons, both of whom were abused on every visit. As Raul weeps, so do we.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Gag order imposed in latest trial of a priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

JOSEPH A. SLOBODZIAN, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LAST UPDATED: Monday, February 24, 2014

A Philadelphia judge imposed a gag order Monday barring prosecution and defense attorneys from making public comments during the trial of the Rev. Andrew McCormick, charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy at a Northeast church in 1997.

Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright issued the order after a pretrial motions hearing began dealing with some sensitive evidentiary issues and Bright granted a defense motion to take the hearing behind closed doors.

Jury selection is to begin Tuesday in the trial of the 57-year-old priest on five counts involving sexual assault, child endangerment and corruption of minors in an incident that allegedly occurred when McCormick was a priest at the St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg.

McCormick, then pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Bridgeport, Montgomery County, was one of 26 Roman Catholic priests suspended in March 2011 for possible inappropriate conduct with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Philly priest on trial in single-accuser case

PENNSYLVANIA
Enquirer-Herald

The Associated Press
February 24, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — A judge has issued a gag order in the latest priest-abuse case going to trial in Philadelphia.

A former altar boy accuses the Rev. Andrew McCormick of sexually assaulting him at a northeast Philadelphia rectory in 1997.

The 57-year-old McCormick is fighting the charges. The trial is expected to take about three days, after jury selection this week.

The accuser says he contacted police in 2012 after seeing news accounts of the Penn State and Philadelphia archdiocese sex-abuse trials.

McCormick is one of about 25 priests suspended in 2011 after a grand jury report found many accused priests still in ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Secrets of the Vatican : Watch it on PBS

UNITED STATES
Legal Examiner

Posted by Mike Bryant
February 23, 2014

The special “Secrets of the Vatican,” from PBS Frontline/BBC can be seen this week> The story features Milwaukee survivors and the Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance (SCLA).

The Frontline documentary, “Secrets of the Vatican: Inside the Scandals that Rocked Benedict’s Papacy” by award winning British filmmaker Antony Thomas will be airing across the US. A year in the making, a section of the film will explore the struggle of survivors in Milwaukee and the financial dealings of the archdiocese.

Included in the film is Monica Barrett of the Survivors and Clergy Alliance (SCLA). Filmmaker Thomas was in Milwaukee filming for several days last fall, interviewing clergy and survivors from the group, as well as the group itself. Thomas other current film, “Questioning Darwin”, is now running on HBO.

For a full description of the film, the trailer, and local PBS broadcast dates. The film airs Tuesday, February 25 at 8:00 p.m. in Milwaukee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Pope Francis Appoints New Watchdog for Vatican Finances

UNITED STATES
Frontline

[with video]

February 24, 2014 by Jason M. Breslow

Pope Francis announced a sweeping set of reforms for the Vatican’s scandal-plagued financial system on Monday, establishing a new central office with broad authority over the Vatican’s economic and administrative affairs.

Cardinal George Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, will head the new office, which is being called the Secretariat for the Economy. Pell will work with a council of eight bishops and seven lay financial experts to prepare an annual budget, conduct financial planning and oversee various support functions, such as human resources and procurement. The pope will also name an auditor general who, according to a Vatican news release, “will be empowered to conduct audits of any agency of the Holy See and Vatican city state at any time.”

The changes come as Pope Francis continues to weigh the future of the Vatican bank — otherwise known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) — amid ongoing criticism over its struggles to adhere to international financial transparency standards. Those struggles reached a tipping point in 2010, when Italian investigators froze 23 million euros held by the IOR in two Italian banks on suspicion of possible money laundering violations. Lacking confidence in the IOR, Italy’s central bank shut down electronic payments in and around St. Peter’s Square, effectively turning the Vatican into a cash-only city-state.

In the following scene from tomorrow night’s FRONTLINE investigation, Secrets of the Vatican, award-winning director Antony Thomas traces what happened next: a power struggle within the Vatican administration; resistance to opening the bank’s books; and ultimately the resignation of the man Pope Benedict brought in to clean up the IOR, Italian economist Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

TV Review: Frontline’s ‘Secrets of the Vatican’

UNITED STATES
Variety

FEBRUARY 24, 2014

Brian Lowry
TV Columnist
@blowryontv

Pope Benedict XVI’s unprecedented retirement and subsequent enthusiasm surrounding Pope Francis has certainly stoked interest in the Catholic Church, an organization (with apologies to Dan Brown’s readers) that remains shrouded in mystery. Yet PBS’ “Frontline” provides the documentary version of a page-turner with “Secrets of the Vatican,” a look at scandals that may have led to Benedict’s departure and could provide formidable challenges to Francis’ reform attempts. For all the coverage pertaining to pedophile priests, writer-producer-director Antony Thomas unearths fresh material, painting a portrait of an institution that still mightily endeavors to keep its secrets buried.

Because so much has been done about the clergy abuse story – including HBO’s stomach-turning “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” from filmmaker Alex Gibney — one might think there’s relatively little new to say. Yet Thomas’ multi-pronged report covers not just sexual abuse and the manner in which the Vatican protected such predators, but also corruption and hypocrisy that goes well beyond that, including a “don’t ask, don’t tell” culture consisting of illicit liaisons and wild parties.

The documentary also makes a reasonably compelling inference that Benedict’s decision to leave when he did stemmed in part from knowledge of the pending investigation into misdeeds ranging from the abuse scandals to Vatican finances, as well as the impediment an apparatus within the church, the Roman Curia, presents to any attempt to alter how the institution operates.

Given how adept the Vatican’s defenders have been at circling the wagons, there will undoubtedly be an effort to dismiss this as simply more piling on by the religion-hating media hordes. Thomas, however, builds such a persuasive case as to raise questions about how the Vatican, as a sovereign entity, can ever be changed if the onslaught of bad publicity hasn’t led to greater soul-searching already.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Bericht: Pädophiler US-Priester erhält Berufsunfähigkeitspension

MINNESOTA
kathweb

[Summary: An American priest convicted of abuse will receive a pension from the diocese because his pedophilic inclination for years was due to disability.]

.Washington, 23.02.2014 (KAP) Ein wegen Missbrauchs verurteilter US-Priester soll aufgrund einer Berufsunfähigkeit wegen seiner pädophilen Neigung seit Jahren eine Pension seiner Diözese beziehen. Das berichtete die Zeitung "Star Tribune" am Sonntag unter Berufung auf eigene Recherchen. Demnach wurde der heute 62-jährige Geistliche, der bereits 1983 wegen sexueller Vergehen an Minderjährigen aus dem Dienst entfernt wurde und inzwischen als Berater für Führungskräfte arbeitet, im Juli 2006 von der Erzdiözese St. Paul and Minneapolis als berufsunfähig mit entsprechenden Versorgungsrechten eingestuft. Die Erzdiözese habe dies bestätigt und gerechtfertigt.

Dem Bericht zufolge hatte der Priester zwischen 1977 und 1982 mehrere Jungen missbraucht. Ein Gericht habe ihn neben anderen Sanktionen zu einer Haftstrafe von sechs Monaten verurteilt, von denen er viereinhalb verbüßte. Bis 2002 sei er als Geistlicher in einem Frauenkloster eingesetzt worden. Dann verabschiedeten die US-Bischöfe eine Null-Toleranz-Linie. Der Priester wurde daraufhin laut der Zeitung vom Vatikan dienstenthoben. Die Kirche habe ihn bei einer Therapie und einem beruflichen Neuanfang unterstützt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Missbrauch: Erzbischof von Edinburgh zeigt Vorgänger an

SCHOTTLAND
Religion@ORF

[Summary: Leo Cushley, archbishop of Edinburgh, has filed a complain with the Vatican against Cardinal Keith O'Brien because of alleged sexual assault. Three priests alleged the cardinal used his position as former seminary head to force them into inappropriate sexual relationships.]

Der katholische Erzbischof von Edinburgh, Leo Cushley, hat im Vatikan Anzeige gegen seinen Vorgänger Kardinal Keith O’Brien wegen sexueller Übergriffe eingereicht. O’Brien war 2013 altersbedingt zurückgetreten.

Laut Berichten mehrerer britischer Zeitungen am Montag werfen drei Priester dem heutigen Kardinal vor, seine frühere Position als Leiter eines Priesterseminars in den 1980er Jahren zu „erzwungenen“ und „missbräuchlichen“ sexuellen Beziehungen genutzt zu haben. Der 75-jährige O’Brien lebt nach seinem altersbedingten Rücktritt im Februar 2013 in einem Ordenshaus in der nordwestenglischen Grafschaft Cumbria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

85 Jahre alter Priester gibt Missbrauch von Kindern zu

GROSSBRITANNIEN
stol

Derby dpa Ein 85 Jahre alter Priester der katholischen Kirche hat zugegeben, während seines Pfarrdienstes in Großbritannien über Jahre hinweg Kinder sexuell missbraucht zu haben.

Insgesamt räumte der Mann am Montag vor einem Gericht in Derby 21 Fälle ein, in denen er sich in den Jahren zwischen 1957 und 1991 an sieben Kindern vergangen hat.

Ein Sprecher des Bistums Nottingham zeigte sich zufrieden, dass der Priester „Verantwortung für seine furchtbaren Straftaten übernommen“ habe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

Irregularities In Weekend’s Philadelphia Archdiocese Priest Removals

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

FEBRUARY 24, 2014 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

Click here to read: “Phila. archdiocese removes two priests,” by Jeremy Roebuck, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 23, 2014

Excerpt: “As has been their practice, church officials offered no further details of the allegations against the men, except to say both involved 17-year-old victims and occurred decades ago. In both cases, local authorities had declined to pursue criminal charges because the statute of limitations had expired.”

Editor’s note: Kathy noticed this was the very first time the archdiocese released the ages of victims. Was this a public relations move? Perhaps archdiocesan officials wanted to “soften” the abuse story. When victims in previous cases were much younger, such as age 10, the archdiocese opted not to list the age. They also like to stress that this abuse took place a long time ago. With that realization, you would think Archbishop Chaput would seek window legislation in the name of social justice and the protection of children. At what age do abusers stop abusing? Do they ever stop? We do know that statistically victims don’t come forward until much later in life. It seems the Church is very comfortable in its hiding place behind the statute of limitations.

Excerpt: “The parish learned in early 2013 that Paul had been accused of abusing minors as a seminary student at St. Charles Borromeo. However, he was allowed to continue preaching while local law enforcement investigated the claims. During that time, he was barred from unsupervised contact with children, said Ken Gavin, an archdiocesan spokesman.

But that decision marked a departure from practice. After a scathing 2011 Philadelphia grand jury report on clergy sex abuse, the archdiocese suspended 26 priests while the law enforcement investigations of their individual cases proceeded.”

Editor’s Note: The Archdiocese knew of at least one allegation against Father Paul yet opted to leave him as pastor at Our Lady of Calvary while being investigated. Pastors are ultimately responsible for parish school students, parish children and C.Y.O. activities. They are also the top line for mandatory reporting on the parish level. The archdiocese stated “pertinent” people had been informed of his status. That did not include parents and teachers. Who could be more pertinent when it comes to safety? It was only when Father Paul resigned with a bizarre parting letter that social media and news sites were deluged with commentary on various incidents over the course of his priesthood. This highlights the importance of public assistance in these cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Pope appoints Ezzati as cardinal as old scandals resurface in Chile

CHILE
Santiago Times

By Joel Keep
Published On: Mon, Feb 24th, 2014

Ricardo Ezzati receives promotion to Vatican, just days after being the subject of a criminal complaint for obstructing the course of a sexual abuse case.

Santiago’s outgoing Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati was among 16 new cardinals sworn in by papal authorities at a ceremony in the Vatican on Saturday despite being implicated in an ongoing inquiry into sexual abuse committed by a member of the Chilean clergy, as another disgraced priest accused of child molestation was spotted breaching canonical restrictions.

Ezzati joins 19 new “princes of the church,” who will be granted the authority to vote on the election of future popes in papal conclaves.

Speaking at a mass held at St. Peter’s basilica at the Vatican, Pope Francis urged the newly elevated clergymen to avoid engaging in cronyism and misconduct, as the Catholic Church attempts to recover from scandals relating to child sex abuse and financial largesse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Canada- Priest acquitted on sex charges, SNAP responds

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, February 24, 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 )

An Ontario judge says he believes two women may have consented in a sexual misconduct charge against a former priest. The priest has been acquitted.

[Sun News]

Gabriele DelBianco pled guilty to 16 offenses involving teenage girls in the 1980s. He has a long track record of sexual misconduct. We do not believe these women consented. It is inherently problematic - and in some places, illegal - when clergy have any sexual contact with congregants. There can be no true "consent" given the power difference between the individuals.

Even though this ruling came out in favor of the former priest, we hope this case will help others who were hurt by what may have initially seemed like “affairs” but were in fact crimes. We hope those victimized by clergy at any age will find the courage to step forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect others and start healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Priest accused of sexually abusing boys elects judge and jury

CANADA
CBC News

A New Brunswick priest who is facing eight sex abuse charges dating back to the 1970s has elected to be tried by judge and jury.

Father Yvon Arsenault, 71, of Aldouane, is charged with four counts of gross indecency, three counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault.

The four alleged victims were boys under the age of 18 at the time, RCMP have said.

Arsenault, who was removed from service by the Archdiocese of Moncton in July 2012, was not present in Moncton court on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

NI leaders in call for Magdalene forum

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

Northern Ireland's First and Deputy First Ministers have said a forum should be established to acknowledge the alleged mistreatment of young women at Catholic-run Magdalene workhouses.

Victims have been campaigning for an inquiry after investigations in the Republic of Ireland uncovered evidence of harsh conditions and callous treatment.

The laundries were institutions for single mothers detained through the courts or for teenage girls and young women deemed by their family or clergy for being sexually active and were run by Catholic religious orders.

A statement from OFMDFM said: "We recognise that there are women who were over the age of 18 when they entered the Magdalene laundry-type institutions and there is a need to provide them with a forum where their issues can be addressed and their experiences acknowledged."

The Good Shepherd Sisters ran a laundry and home in Belfast from the late 19th century until 1977 and 1990 respectively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

NI abuse inquiry hears of 'nappies' ordeal

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

Northern Ireland's Institutional Abuse Inquiry has heard a Derry woman allege that as a ten-year-old in the care of the Nazareth Sisters, she had to change and wash the nappies of 20 younger children before she got her breakfast each day.

Patricia Browne, 55, and four of her 13 siblings spent two years in a Nazareth home before she returned to the care of her family.

Patricia and Caroline Browne gave their testimony to the inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down this morning.

From a family of 14 in Derry City, they and three of their siblings were taken into care at the Termonbaca Naazareth Home in Derry for a two-year period.

Both women claimed they were regularly physically and emotionally abused by a nun.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Former Ontario priest acquitted of sex charges

CANADA
Sun News

NEIL BOWEN | QMI AGENCY

SARNIA, Ont. - Former Ontario Catholic priest Gabriele DelBianco, 57, was acquitted Monday morning of sexual misconduct charges involving two women, but rulings on charges involving two other women were to be made later in the day.

Superior Court Justice Joseph Donobue said he was concerned about the evidence and believed the women could have consented to the sexual activity.

DelBianco had pleaded not guilty to 16 offences involving four teenage girls during the 1980s.

The trial started Oct. 16 , 2013 and testimony from four women, now in their 40s, ended in October. DelBianco chose not to testify.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

New pope, same secrecy pledge

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

POSTED BY BARBARA DORRIS ON FEBRUARY 24, 2014

Many assume or believe that Pope Francis is making significant changes in the church. We're pretty skeptical of this claim.

Last week, he installed new cardinals. As he did, it was clear that one important part of the Catholic culture is NOT changing, according to the National Catholic Reporter:

“When making the oath, the cardinals also pledge 'not to make known to anyone matters entrusted to me in confidence, the disclosure of which could bring damage or dishonor to Holy Church.'”

[National Catholic Reporter]

This is, of course, the requirement and mindset that enables bishops to continue to stonewall prosecutors, destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten whistleblowers, discredit witnesses and hide and transfer predators from city to city and from nation to nation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Statement from Diocese of Nottingham on priest who sexually assaulted children

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

The Diocese of Nottingham... is pleased that he has taken responsibility for his terrible crimes and pleaded guilty to the 21 offences with which he was charged.

I would like to offer our sympathy to those who have been affected by this tragedy in any way and assure them that we will do whatever we can to support them. I also wish to thank Cullen’s victims for their bravery in coming forward after many years of silence; it is due to them that Cullen has pleaded guilty today.

The Catholic Church takes the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults extremely seriously, and it is our hope and expectation that no child or vulnerable adult should ever suffer at the hands of others.

– FATHER ANDREW COLE, SPOKESMAN FOR THE DIOCESE OF NOTTINGHAM

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Francis Paul Cullen child sex abuse case: Cullen "used an alias" while living in Tenerife

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

FORMER Derby Catholic priest Francis Paul Cullen - who was on the run for 20 years - has today admitted sexually abusing seven children – four of them in Derby.

Ross Browning is the editor of Canarian Weekly, an English language newspaper in Tenerife, where Cullen lived until his extradition last year.

He said he looked into Cullen’s life following his arrest last year.

Mr Browning said: “Tenerife, especially when this man came to live here 20 years ago, is the sort of place that your can keep your head down and remain pretty much anonymous if you want to.

“People have told me he was the sort of man who very much kept himself to himself who you might see having an occasional drink or going for a walk.

“But people did not get to know him.”

Mr Browning said he discovered that Cullen used an alias - Raul Martin – and lived, until 2007, in an apartment in Los Cristianos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Philly priest on trial in single-accuser case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Beaumont Enterprise

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jury selection is getting under way in a priest-abuse case prompted by news accounts of the Penn State and Philadelphia archdiocese sex-abuse trials.

The accuser says he contacted authorities in 2012 after seeing those child sex-abuse cases in the news.

He says that the Rev. Andrew McCormick fondled him and performed a sex act when he was an altar boy in northeast Philadelphia in 1997.

A judge had thrown out the most serious felony charges — sexual assault and deviant intercourse — after finding the accuser's pretrial testimony did not match those crimes.

But prosecutors successfully appealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Court upholds ex-priest's corruption conviction

PENNSYLVANIA
Beaumont Enterprise

By JOE MANDAK, Associated Press
Updated 10:08 am, Monday, February 24, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pennsylvania appeals court has upheld an ex-priest's conviction on a charge that he corrupted a 15-year-old boy by encouraging the teen to disobey his mother, but one judge argues they may have illegally broadened the statute in the process.

Friday's Superior Court ruling concerns the 2012 conviction of Samuel Slocum, a suspended Bradford priest accused of encouraging the teen to visit him even after his mother forbade that. Slocum wasn't accused of sexually abusing the boy, though McKean County prosecutors argued some comments by the priest were flirtatious.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Pope Francis overhauls Vatican finances, names Australian cardinal as comptroller

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

David Gibson | Feb 24, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis on Monday (Feb. 24) launched a sweeping reform of the Vatican’s scandal-plagued financial system by naming one of his closest advisers on reform, Australian Cardinal George Pell, to head a powerful new department that will oversee the entire management of the Holy See.

The new Secretariat for the Economy, with Pell acting as a unique kind of Vatican comptroller, will have “authority over all economic and administrative activities” in the Vatican, according to a statement summarizing Francis’ decree.

The aim is to streamline a famously byzantine system of governance by eliminating redundant offices, increasing accountability and financial safeguards, and generally bringing the Vatican into line with accepted accounting and procurement practices.

The changes also provide for an official who will be empowered “to conduct audits of any agency of the Holy See and Vatican City State at any time” — a remarkable degree of authority in a bureaucracy where offices are known for zealously guarding their own turf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

UK- Cardinal might be stripped of his title, victims respond

SCOTLAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, February 24, 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 Scottish cardinal may face a Vatican trail, in which he could lose his cardinal title. We think this is long overdue.

[Edinburgh Evening News]

Cardinal Keith O’Brien should lose his red hat. Simply being asked to step down and retire is not enough when sexual abuse allegations are found credible. At the very least, he should lose his title and ideally, he should be tried in a secular court. After all sexually abusing someone - of any age - is illegal.

Cardinal O’Brien was forced to stand down last year, after several priests and a former priest came forward with allegations that O’Brien sexually abused them. Now, three of the priests have asked the new head of the Scottish Catholic Church, Archbishop Leo Cushley, to pass on their complaints calling O’Brien a ‘sexual predator” to Rome. We applaud these brave priests for seeking justice.

Cushley stated that he will do everything he can “to help bring a just and ­equitable conclusion to the matter for all involved.” We hope that Cushley will stand by his words. Only the Vatican can discipline a cardinal, but Cushley can still reach out to any other victims. He can condemn the actions of O’Brien and all other abusive Catholic officials and those who protect them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Inquérito apura denúncia de abuso sexual cometido por padre na Paraíba

BRASIL
G1

[Summary: A police investigation was opened on Thursday, Feb. 20, to investigate the complaint of a sexual assault committed in 2008 by a priest in the parish of Pitimbu County on the south coast of Paraiba. The complaint was made by the victim's mother, now 21. According to testimony giving to police, the victim was 15 at the time of the abuse. The priest offerred gifts, money and travel invitations in exchange for sexual favors.]

Um inquérito policial foi aberto na quinta-feira (20) para apurar a denúncia de um abuso sexual cometido em 2008 por um padre da paróquia de Pitimbu, município do Litoral Sul da Paraíba. De acordo com delegado regional do Litoral Sul e responsável pela investigação, Aneílton Castro, a denúncia foi feita pela mãe da vítima, hoje com 21 anos.

Segundo depoimento prestado à polícia pelo jovem, na época do abuso ele tinha 15 anos e o padre oferecia presentes, dinheiro e convites para viagens em troca de favores sexuais. Ainda segundo a denúncia, os abusos aconteciam em moteis em cidades vizinhas à Pitimbu e na própria paróquia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

TX- Sex abuse case vs. TX priest settles

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014

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

Sex abuse case vs. TX priest settles
Pedophile priest worked in Beaumont & Wash. State

A child sex abuse lawsuit against a Catholic priest who worked in Beaumont and may still live in Texas has been settled.

[Beaumont Enterprise]

Last week, the diocese of Yakima, Washington confirmed that it has resolved a molestation case against Fr. Ernest Dale Calhoun. The diocese agreed to pay the victim $75,000.

[KOMO]

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging Beaumont’s Catholic bishop to “aggressively reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Calhoun’s crimes.”

Fr. Calhoun was ordained by the Beaumont Diocese and he faced his first child sex abuse lawsuit in 1988.

According to BishopAccountability.org, Fr. Calhoun's personnel file “shows he should never have been ordained.” In 1969, he raped a 15 year old and was transferred to the Yakima Diocese where he continued to abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Youth pastor Tyler Bliss arrested for child porn

CALIFORNIA
Deep Thoughts

Youth pastor Tyler Bliss of Bethel Church in Oakdale was arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

Ceres police spokeswoman Carissa Higginbotham said that while pornography was located on the computer Bliss uses at the church, no other church employees or parishioners are suspected to be involved.

Higginbotham said detectives are trying to determine where the images originated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

PA- Chaput kept child sex allegations secret for months

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 24, 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 )

Pay close attention to the chronology of Fr. John P. Paul, whose status as a credibly accused child molester was finally disclosed last weekend.

[Philadelphia Daily News]

In October or November of last year (perhaps even earlier), Philly Catholic officials received reports of alleged child sex crimes against Fr. Paul.

They kept quiet. And on November 6, Fr. Paul resigned (“He came to that decision of his own accord during the course of the Archdiocesan investigation regarding this alleged abuse,” Chaput claims.)

Fr. Paul claimed “considering a serious road trip for 'renewal' purposes.”

Again, Philly church officials kept silent. They let this lie stand.

Finally, earlier this month, Philly church officials admitted, to one parish, that Fr. Paul was suspended for credible allegations of child sex abuse crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Paul Cullen child sex abuse case: Catholic church says "Nothing can take away the horror of what happened to the victims"

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

A former Derby Catholic priest Paul Cullen - who was on the run for 20 years - has today admitted sexually abusing seven children – four of them in Derby.

Following Cullen's appearance at Derby Crown Court today, Father Andrew Cole, spokesman for the Diocese of Nottingham, said: "The Diocese of Nottingham, which covers the areas where Francis Paul Cullen worked as a priest, is pleased that he has taken responsibility for his terrible crimes and pleaded guilty to the 21 offences with which he was charged.

"We have been working closely with the police throughout the preparation of this case, both before and after Cullen’s arrest in Spain and return to the United Kingdom, have encouraged them to bring him to justice and are grateful to them.

"I would like to offer our sympathy to those who have been affected by this tragedy in any way and assure them that we will do whatever we can to support them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

NEW COORDINATION STRUCTURE FOR THE ECONOMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE AFFAIRS OF THE HOLY SEE AND VATICAN CITY STATE

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 24 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has decided to establish a new structure for the coordination of the economic and administrative matters of the Holy See and Vatican City State, according to a communique issued today by the Holy See Press Office, the full text of which is published below:

“The Holy Father today announced a new coordination structure for economic and administrative affairs of the Holy See and the Vatican State.

Today's announcement comes after the recommendations of the rigorous review conducted by the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic- Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA) were considered and endorsed by both the Council of 8 Cardinals established to advise the Holy Father on governance and the Committee of 15 Cardinals which oversees the financial affairs of the Holy See.

COSEA recommended changes to simplify and consolidate existing management structures and improve coordination and oversight across the Holy See and Vatican City State. COSEA also recommended more formal commitment to adopting accounting standards and generally accepted financial management and reporting practices as well as enhanced internal controls, transparency and governance.

The changes will enable more formal involvement of senior and experienced experts in financial administration, planning and reporting and will ensure better use of resources, improving the support available for various programs, particularly our works with the poor and marginalized.

The changes announced by the Holy Father include:

1. Establishment of a new Secretariat for the Economy which will have authority over all economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and the Vatican City State. The Secretariat will be responsible, among other things, for preparing an annual budget for the Holy See and Vatican City State as well as financial planning and various support functions such as human resources and procurement. The Secretariat will also be required to prepare detailed financial statements of the Holy See and Vatican State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

MOTU PROPRIO “FIDELIS ET DISPENSATOR PRUDENS” FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE ECONOMIC ASSETS OF THE HOLY SEE

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 24 February 2014 (VIS) – We publish below the full text of Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter issued Motu proprio, “Fidelis et dispensator Prudens”, and dated today, 24 February.

“Like a faithful and prudent manager who has the task of carefully looking after what has been entrusted to him, the Church is aware of her responsibility to protect and manage her assets, in the light of her mission of evangelisation and with particular care for those in need. In a special way, the management of the economic and financial sectors of the Holy See is intimately linked to its specific mission, not only in the service of the universal ministry of the Holy Father, but also in relation to the common good, with a view to the full development of the human person.

After having carefully consulted the results of the work of the Commission for Reference on the the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (cf. Chirograph of 18 July 2013), and after consultation with the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor Bonus' and with the Council of Cardinals for the study of economic and administrative problems of the Holy See, by this Apostolic Letter issued Motu proprio, I adopt the following measures:

COUNCIL FOR THE ECONOMY

1. The Council for the Economy is hereby instituted, with the task of offering guidance on economic management and supervising the structures and the administrative and financial activities of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, of the Institutions connected to the Holy See, and of Vatican City State.
2. The Council for the Economy is composed of fifteen members, eight of whom are nominated from among the Cardinals and Bishops in order to reflect the universality of the Church, and seven of whom are lay experts of various nationalities, with recognised professional financial competences.
3. The Council for the Economy shall be presided over by a Cardinal coordinator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Australian Cardinal George Pell named as head of Vatican finances

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Australian Cardinal George Pell has been named head of a new Vatican department that will supervise the Holy See's economic affairs.

In the new role, the 72-year-old currently archbishop of Sydney will be responsible for preparing the Holy See and Vatican's annual budget, as well as financial planning and enhanced internal controls.

The new ministry is the first decisive action by Pope Francis in the wake of scandals at the Vatican bank.

"The Holy Father today announced a new coordination structure for economic and administrative affairs of the Holy See and the Vatican State," it said in a statement.

The Vatican said the move followed recommendations made by cardinals advising the pope including for a "more formal commitment" to international standards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Pope makes first overhaul of Vatican in 25 years

VATICAN CITY
Buffalo News

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Monday announced the first major overhaul of the Vatican's outdated and inefficient bureaucracy in a quarter-century, creating an economics secretariat to control all economic, administrative, personnel and procurement functions of the Holy See.

Australian Cardinal George Pell was named prefect of the new economics secretariat. He reports to a new 15-member economy council made up of eight cardinals reflecting various parts of the world and seven lay experts. The aim of the new structure, the Vatican said, is to simplify and consolidate the existing management structures, improve oversight, internal controls and transparency — and provide more support for the Vatican's works for the poor.

The change, announced in a press release, represents the biggest reshuffling of the Vatican's organization since Pope John Paul II in 1988 issued the apostolic constitution, Pastor Bonus, the blueprint for the Holy See's various congregations, pontifical councils and offices.

The change appears to significantly weaken the Vatican's powerful Secretariat of State, which previously had administrative control over the Holy See while also handling diplomatic relations. That the new entity is called the Secretariat of the Economy would suggest some sort of hierarchical parity with the Secretariat of State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Higher calling: Pope summons George Pell for senior Vatican role

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

TESS LIVINGSTONE THE AUSTRALIAN FEBRUARY 25, 2014

POPE Francis has appointed Australia’s Cardinal George Pell to one of the church’s most senior jobs in Rome.

Cardinal Pell’s new position, as Prefect for the Economy for the Holy See and the Vatican, ranks on a par with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, an Italian, second behind the Pope in the church’s hierarchy.

Cardinal Pell, who has been spending increasing amounts of time in Rome, will relocate there before the end of next month. All sections of the Vatican curia will be answerable to him for financial and administrative matters, regardless of which other cardinal prefects they report to on other matters.

No Australian cardinal has been appointed to such a senior Vatican role before. Cardinal Pell’s departure will leave a vast gap in Australian public life, to which he has been a major contributor for decades and for which he was made a Companion in the Order of Australia in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Francis creates central Vatican office for economy, appoints Pell head

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Feb. 24, 2014

VATICAN CITY Pope Francis has approved a set of sweeping moves to reorganize the financial and administrative structures of the Catholic church's central bureaucracy, creating a new central office with wide control particularly of economic issues, the Vatican announced Monday.

Sydney Cardinal George Pell will head the new office, known as the Secretariat for the Economy. Announcing the news in a statement, the Vatican said Pell would have "authority of all the economic and administrative activity within the Holy See and the Vatican City State."

Francis' decision to reorganize the Vatican's economic and administrative structures comes after criticism in recent years that its operations, especially in financial matters, occur in secret and with little public accountability.

Last week, Francis and the Council of Cardinals met with three separate groups appointed by Francis to investigate the Vatican's various financial operations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

DUBLIN-BORN PRIEST PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUAL ASSAULT AFTER 20 YEARS ON THE RUN

IRELAND
Kildare Nationalist

An 85-year-old former Catholic priest from Dublin today admitted sexually assaulting seven children, including altar boys, after spending more than 20 years on the run in Spain.

Francis Paul Cullen was extradited back to the UK last year to face the charges after being traced to Tenerife.

The Catholic Church and its safeguarding board helped police to trace Cullen who was found to have attended mass at a church in Playa de las Americas every Sunday.

Today Dublin-born Cullen, looking frail in the dock, pleaded guilty to 21 charges at Derby Crown Court committed between 1957 and 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Former youth pastor faces child porn charge

TENNESSEE
Chattanooga Times Free Press

by Todd South

A former Shelbyville, Tenn., youth minister has admitted in a plea agreement to possessing "violent" and "sadistic" child pornography on his cellphone.

Former North Fork Baptist Church youth minister Joseph Todd Neill, 37, agreed to plead guilty to a charge of possession of child pornography on Feb. 13. The plea agreement was filed Thursday.

Neill faces up to 20 years in prison. There has not yet been a plea hearing scheduled.

The child porn images were discovered when Shelbyville police began investigating charges that Neill had seduced and had sexual contact at least twice with a 17-year-old female church member

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Neill admits possessing child porn

TENNESSEE
Shelbyville Times-Gazette

Sunday, February 23, 2014
By BRIAN MOSELY ~ bmosely@t-g.com

A former Bedford County youth minister has admitted in federal court to possessing child pornography described as "sadistic" and "violent."

Joseph Todd Neill, 37, made a plea agreement on charges of possession of the images found on his cell phone last year. He could face up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.

No plea hearing has been set in the federal case. A court date of April 3 is set in Bedford County.

According to the federal plea deal, Neill admitted to initiating a sexual relationship on more than two occasions with a minor who was a member of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Youth pastor Joseph Todd Neill pleads guilty to child porn charges

TENNESSEE
Deep Thoughts

Former Baptist youth pastor Joseph Todd Neill, of North Fork Baptist Church in Shelbyville, admitted to possessing violent and sadistic images of child pornography in a plea deal. He faces 20 years in prison. Neil still faces trail for the sexual exploitation of a minor and statuary rape by an authority figure.

Former North Fork Baptist Church youth minister Joseph Todd Neill, 37, agreed to plead guilty to a charge of possession of child pornography on Feb. 13. The plea agreement was filed Thursday.

Neill faces up to 20 years in prison. There has not yet been a plea hearing scheduled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

'Forum needed' for laundries women

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

24 FEBRUARY 2014

Northern Ireland's First and Deputy First Ministers have said a forum should be established to acknowledge alleged mistreatment of young women at Catholic-run Magdalene workhouses.

Victims have been campaigning for an inquiry after investigations in the Republic of Ireland uncovered evidence of harsh conditions and callous treatment.

The laundries - institutions for single mothers detained through the courts or often moved in by their family or clergy for being sexually active - were run by Catholic religious orders.

A statement from OFMDFM said: "We recognise that there are women who were over the age of 18 when they entered the Magdalene laundry-type institutions and there is a need to provide them with a forum where their issues can be addressed and their experiences acknowledged."

The Good Shepherd Sisters ran a laundry and home in Belfast from the late 19th century until 1977 and 1990 respectively. Thousands of girls and women passed through its doors. The same order of nuns ran two other laundries, one in Newry in Co Down which operated into the 1980s, and another in Derry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Toowoomba child protection officer’s words ...

AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

Toowoomba child protection officer’s words at sex abuse royal commission speak volumes

KAREN BROOKS THE COURIER-MAIL FEBRUARY 25, 2014

OUT of all the evidence so far given to the child sexual abuse royal commission by senior staff at a Toowoomba Catholic primary school, I was struck by the words of the school’s child protection officer.

In giving her evidence to the commission in Brisbane last week, Catherine Long wondered why more of the children didn’t have the courage to come forward.

Let me explain this apparent “lack” by offering a first-hand account of what it’s like to be the target of a pedophile.

It’s my hope this helps shed understanding on why kids don’t come forward or why, when they do, it’s important the immediate default position is to believe them and act – which then takes courage of a different kind.

My abuse began when I was eight years old and continued for three long years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Former Bishop William Morris tells child sex abuse inquiry...

AUSTRALIA
Courier-Mail

Former Bishop William Morris tells child sex abuse inquiry the Catholic church had a culture of denial

MICHAEL MADIGAN THE COURIER-MAIL FEBRUARY 25, 2014

FORMER Toowoomba bishop William Morris has declared the Catholic Church was plagued by a culture of believing child sex abuse victims were “just making it up”.

Bishop Morris has also told the royal commission into sexual abuse he was personally sacked by Pope Benedict in 2011.

The bishop was the first person to apologise over the sexual abuse of 13 schoolgirls at the hands of former teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes, meeting with the victims and opening the way for them to be paid compensation.

The commission heard after Byrnes was arrested, Bishop Morris sacked a principal and two education officers, who knew about the allegations but did not tell police.

Yesterday he called for the Church to set up a national body to oversee its handling of sex abuse complaints

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Paedophile priest Francis Paul Cullen avoided police for 20 years

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The fugitive paedophile priest Paul Cullen evaded capture by the police for more than 20 years living on the Spanish island of Tenerife.

But the 85-year-old was not living under an alias - he was using his own name in the resort of Los Cristianos.

Cullen has admitted dozens of charges of historical sex abuse against seven children in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, dating back to 1957.

He is due to be sentenced at the same court next month.

Cullen's victims, were all children, some of them only six-years-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Former Nottingham priest Francis Cullen admits sexually abusing children

UNITED KINGDOM
Nottingham Post

By PMBlackburn | Posted: February 24, 2014

A FORMER Catholic priest who was on the run for 20 years has admitted sexually abusing seven children – one of them in Notts.

Francis Paul Cullen, who spent three years working at the Parish Priest of St Mary in Hyson Green from 1988 to 1991, this morning pleaded guilty to 21 charges of abuse against children as young as six, including altar boys, between the 1950s and 1990s.

He appeared at Derby Crown Court this morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

2 Philadelphia priests removed amid sex abuse allegations

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WPVI

PHILADELPHIA - February 23, 2014 (WPVI) -- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has removed two priests from ministry after an investigation into allegations that they sexually abused minors over 40 years ago.

Archbishop Charles Chaput announced Sunday that separate investigations found that Reverend James J. Collins and Reverend John P. Paul are unsuitable for ministry.

Reverend Collins last served at Holy Family University and Reverend Paul served at Our Lady of Calvary for 13 years before being placed on administrative leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Two more Phila. Archdiocese priests deemed 'unsuitable'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

WILLIAM BENDER, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER BENDERW@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-5255

POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014

WHEN THE REV. John P. Paul resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish in November, the 67-year-old priest told his congregation that he was considering a serious road trip for "renewal" purposes.

"If possible, I would like to study spirituality at Bellarmine University, in Louisville, KY . . . make a retreat in Assisi, Italy, and work with Fr. Mike in Malawi, Africa," Paul wrote in the church bulletin.

He might have more time on his hands than he'd first anticipated.

Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Archbishop Charles Chaput has found Paul unsuitable for ministry because of at least one substantiated allegation that he sexually abused a 17-year-old more than 40 years ago.

The Rev. James J. Collins also was deemed unsuitable for ministry based on a similar substantiated allegation. Collins, 75, a faculty member at Holy Family University from 1976 until last year, was placed on administrative leave in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Cardinal Mahony admits mistakes in handling case of abusive visiting priest

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic Culture

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who served as archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, has admitted mishandling the case of Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera.

In a deposition that was recently unsealed, the prelate admitting directing his vicar of clergy not to give police a list of altar boys who worked with priest following abuse accusations.

The visiting priest returned to Mexico in 1988 after Father Thomas Curry, then vicar for clergy and now an auxiliary bishop, informed him of impending charges. The priest remains at large.

“It was in early 1988-- some 26 years ago-- that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles became aware of the terrible sexual abuse which the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera had been inflicting upon young people in Los Angeles,” Cardinal Mahony wrote on his blog following the release of the deposition. “This case highlighted errors made by us in the Archdiocese in those early years, and for those errors I apologize once again. But this case also led to several major changes in procedures used by the Archdiocese, and these were improved upon over the years.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Former Vic priest guilty of sexual assault

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

A former Catholic priest has been found guilty of sexually assaulting boys while he was their dorm master at a Victorian boarding school.

A jury on Monday found James Patrick Jennings, 80, guilty of indecently assaulting three boys at St Vincent's College in Bendigo in the 1960s.

The victims were students in their early teens at the time.

The Victorian County Court jury found Jennings guilty of five counts of indecent assault.

He was cleared of a sixth indecent assault charge.

Jennings had pleaded not guilty to all six charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

‘Predator’ Keith O’Brien may face Vatican ‘trial’

SCOTLAND
Edinburgh Evening News

CARDINAL Keith O’Brien could face a “trial” by the Vatican after three priests asked the new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Leo Cushley to pass on their complaints branding the disgraced churchman as a “sexual predator” who used his authority to compel them into “coercive” and “abusive” sexual relationships.

If the complaints are upheld by the Vatican investigation, he could lose his red hat.

Last year, Pope Francis ordered Cardinal O’Brien to remain in a religious house in England for three months of “prayer and penance”. He is still based at the house, but has returned to Scotland several times to visit friends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Cardinal O’Brien ...

SCOTLAND
Express

Cardinal O’Brien faces Vatican ‘trial’ over sex claims

By: Rod MillsPublished: Mon, February 24, 2014

The new investigation under canon law could lead to the former Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh losing his Biretta, the red hat that is the symbol of a cardinal.

Three priests in his former diocese have asked Leo Cushley, the new archbishop, to pass on their written complaints to officials in Rome.

The allegations characterise O’Brien as a “sexual predator” who used his authority to compel them into “coercive” and “abusive” sexual relationships.

The priests, whose accusations led to the cardinal’s enforced retirement and disgrace last February, appear determined to force Pope Francis to make a final judgment.

It is now understood that O’Brien’s sexual relationships continued until at least 2009, six years after he was made a cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Papal court could strip sex shame cardinal Keith O'Brien of title in wake of trial

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

Feb 24, 2014
By Jack Mathieson

THE Catholic Church are probing allegations that O’Brien, who now lives at a retreat in Cumbria, made unwanted sexual advances towards young priests.

DISGRACED cardinal Keith O’Brien may face a trial under internal Catholic Church law which could see him stripped of his red hat.

The church hierarchy are probing allegations O’Brien – now living at a retreat in Cumbria – made unwanted sexual advances towards young priests.

Three priests whose accusations forced O’Brien to stand down from his role a year ago have held talks with Archbishop Leo Cushley, the new head of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

They have asked him to pass on written complaints characterising O’Brien as a “sexual predator” to Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Vatican’s Financial Information Authority signs accord with Austrian, Cypriot counterparts

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

The Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (FIA) has signed a working agreement with its Austrian and Cypriot counterparts, establishing formal procedures for cooperation in efforts to fight money-laundering and the financing of terrorist organizations.

The agreements with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and Cyprus’s Unit for Combating Money Laundering (MOKAS), cover issues of exchanging information, preserving confidentiality, and reciprocity. It is based on a model agreement drafted by the Egmont Group, an international body for national financial authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Can Catholics Still Criticize the UN?

UNITED STATES
The American Conservative

By JOHN ZMIRAK • February 24, 2014

The healthy human reaction whenever the United Nations says something is to ignore it, and hope that, like a singing drunk outside your window, it will simply go away. The normal Catholic’s reaction to a UN attack on the Church ought to be to rally ’round, to refute the thing point by point, and to lobby Congress to cut off U.S. funding. But after reading the UN’s recent report on the Church and the protection of children’s rights, I simply can’t do that. Not on this topic.

Yes, it’s true that the UN report on the Holy See is an instance of an unaccountable global bureaucracy trying to impose its own views on the free institutions of civil society, using the coercive power of government(s). Inside the velvet glove of happy talk about human dignity and children’s rights is the steel fist of radical feminism and homosexual activism, whose central tenets reject the traditional family, religious freedom, and other goods that reason tells us are essential for man to flourish. The report demands that the Church reach in and revise its Canon Law, its schools, and even its doctrine, wherever the UN sees those things as conflicting with its goals of “gender equality” and the sexual “freedom” of children. This use of the UN’s “soft power” can lead to the use of “hard power,” providing governments the pretext for penalizing the Church and its institutions, as the Obama administration is already doing through the HHS mandate.

The totalitarian implications of a world-wide body imposing its norms across the planet are precisely what worried those of us who criticized Pope Benedict XVI’s call for an international legislative authority that would supervene all national governments on earth—and from which there could be no escape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Silence condemned girls to pedophile

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Thirteen young Catholic girls were raped and molested by their teacher because five adults remained silent to protect the Church.

But the bishop they were trying to protect says he finds it "stunning" they didn't report the claims.

Principal Terry Hayes, assistant principal Megan Wagstaff, student protection officer Catherine Long and senior Catholic Education Office staff Chris Fry and Ian Hunter first heard pedophilia allegations against a Toowoomba primary school teacher Gerry Byrnes in September 2007.

None of them ever told police or parents.

The former bishop of Toowoomba, Bill Morris, who didn't hear about the abuse until after Byrnes' 2008 arrest, can't understand why all five failed to report him.

"It's stunning, I know. I can't get my head around it. Like I said to someone - well, we spoke about it recently. It's not rocket science," the bishop told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Former Toowoomba bishop calls for national child abuse reporting system

AUSTRALIA
ABC - PM

[with audio]

MARK COLVIN: The former bishop of Toowoomba says he's still stunned by the failure of senior Catholic Education staff to report allegations that a teacher was sexually abusing his students.

Emeritus Bishop William Morris was the head of the Toowoomba Archdiocese when Gerard Byrnes sexually abused 13 girls at a primary school in 2007 and 2008.

Today he told the child abuse royal commission that a culture of doubting allegations needs to be stamped out and a national approach was needed to make that happen.

Stephanie Smail reports.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: The child abuse royal commission has been investigating how staff and Catholic Church officials dealt with allegations of sexual offences against veteran teacher Gerard Byrnes.

The former bishop of Toowoomba, William Morris, told the inquiry he was unaware of complaints against Byrnes until his arrest in late 2008.

Bishop Morris was asked by counsel assisting the inquiry, Gail Furness, about the string of failures that allowed Byrnes to keep teaching.

GAIL FURNESS: Byrnes was not removed as a student protection officer, notwithstanding the allegations made?

WILLIAM MORRIS: Failure.

GAIL FURNESS: Nor was he adequately monitored following the allegations in September 2007?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Catholic bishop stunned by dithering over child sex abuse claims at school

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

A culture of not believing child sex abuse victims has existed in the Catholic Church, based on suspicions "they were just making it up", a bishop says.

Bishop Bill Morris, former bishop of Toowoomba, gave evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Brisbane on Monday.

He said he also considered Catholic education officials' failure to report abuse to police to be a systemic failure.

Bishop Morris described as "stunning" the dithering over allegations about girls being touched inside their pants and shirts, saying such determination "is not rocket science".

The hearing is looking into the case of former teacher Gerry Byrnes, who sexually abused school girls in his classroom in 2007 and 2008.

After Byrnes was arrested in 2008, Bishop Morris sacked a principal and two education officers, who knew about the allegations against him in September 2007 but did not tell police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Former Catholic priest James Jennings, 80, jailed ...

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Former Catholic priest James Jennings, 80, jailed for sustained sex attacks at Bendigo in the 1960s

SHANNON DEERY, PADRAIC MURPHY HERALD SUN FEBRUARY 24, 2014

A FORMER Catholic priest has been jailed for the sustained sexual abuse of teen boarders at a regional Victorian college.

James Jennings, 80, was today found guilty by a jury of five counts of assault for the attacks on three young boarders in the mid 1960s.

He was found not guilty of one count of assault.

The attacks, on the boys aged 12 and 13, started shortly after Jennings was appointed to teach at St Vincent’s College, Bendigo in 1963.

The students were all in Year 7 or 8 when they were abused in similar ways between 1964 and 1968.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

February 23, 2014

Former Toowoomba Catholic bishop William Morris spoke with Pope...

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Former Toowoomba Catholic bishop William Morris spoke with Pope Benedict in attempt to keep job

MICHAEL MADIGAN THE COURIER-MAIL FEBRUARY 24, 2014

THE Catholic Church has tried to silence a Toowoomba bishop who has revealed intimate details of his battle with the Vatican to keep his job after a pedophilia crisis erupted in one of his schools.

Former bishop William Martin Morris, describing himself as Emeritus Bishop of Toowoomba, has revealed details of a meeting with Pope Benedict in 2009 as he tried to hold on to the office he had occupied for nearly two decades.

Bishop Morris has not alleged his sacking was connected with the pedophilia case involving Gerard Vincent Byrnes, who raped and abused 13 girls at a Toowoomba Catholic primary school.

But Brisbane’s Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been told of speculation that Rome wanted to get rid of Bishop Morris because of his response to the Byrnes matter.

That response included admissions of responsibility and a subsequent $3 million payout to some of the victims in the civil courts.

Jane Needham, SC, for the Church, tried to stop Bishop Morris detailed exposure of how the Church went about removing him because of his liberal views on women’s ordination, and allowing confessions without direct contact with priests for sexual abuse victims.

“This is fascinating, but I have to query the relevance that it has to the subject matter that is before the royal commission as to the relevance of the conduct of Mr Byrnes,’’ Ms Needham said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 PM

Pope Benedict forced Toowoomba bishop Bill Morris to retire

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

SARAH ELKS THE AUSTRALIAN FEBRUARY 24, 2014

THE Catholic Bishop of Toowoomba says he was forced into early retirement by Pope Benedict and the Vatican, denying his request for more time to support child sex abuse victims.

Former Toowoomba Bishop Bill Morris has today frankly described to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse his battle with the Vatican between 2006 and 2011.

Bishop Morris was at the helm of the southern Queensland diocese when pedophile teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes abused and raped 13 eight to ten-year-old girls at a Toowoomba primary school in 2007 and 2008.

The Royal Commission is investigating the “catastrophic” abuse at the school, most of which occurred after principal Terence Hayes failed to report an initial sexual abuse complaint against Byrnes to the police in September 2007.

Bishop Morris said his dispute with the Vatican and the Pope had earlier roots and was unrelated to the child sex abuse scandal. He said he drew ire in November 2006 when he wrote an open letter about priest shortages, discussing the possibility of the ordination of women and married or widowed men — practices that are not allowed under Catholic canon law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Thomas J. Hatrel, s.j.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Ordained a priest of the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus in 1952, Hatrel taught high school in Louisiana and, for many years, in Tampa, Florida. In 1979 he was transferred to Alaska, where he taught math in a parish grade school in Fairbanks, then pastored a parish in Alakanuk. He died in 1988. In a 2007 lawsuit Hatrel was accused of engaging in abuse during his time in Alakanuk.

Ordained: 1952
Died: May 7, 1988

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 PM

“Quisieron darme dinero a cambio de mi silencio”

ESTADOS UNIDOS
El Pais

[Summary: For Mark Crawford the nightmare began 37 years ago during an overnight train journey to Colorado. He was 13 when Father Kenneth Martin, parish priest in Bayonne, N.J., and a close friend of the family, abused him. The abuse continued several days a week for seven years.]

Para Mark Crawford la pesadilla comenzó hace 37 años en el vagón de un tren nocturno camino a Colorado. Tenía 13 años cuando el padre Kenneth Martin, sacerdote de la parroquia de San Andrés en Bayonne, Nueva Jersey, y amigo íntimo de la familia, abusó de él. Desde entonces, y durante siete años, el cura repitió sus prácticas incesantemente varios días a la semana.

El calvario de acusaciones, silencios, connivencias y frustraciones en el que se tornó su vida desde entonces es un calco de las denuncias que contiene el informe sobre abusos a menores en el seno de la Iglesia católica que Naciones Unidas dio a conocer a comienzos de este mes. “Un día le confesé todo al diácono de mi parroquia, quien me dirigió al obispo que debería haber informado a la policía, como le obligaba la ley. En lugar de eso, me dijo que fuera a un psicoterapeuta, que, en realidad, era el responsable de los sacerdotes de la diócesis. A quien abusó de mí lo ascendieron a secretario personal del obispo Theodor McCarrick, a pesar de saber lo que me había hecho”, relata Crawford en conversación telefónica desde Newark.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Can The Bishop Duck a Deposition?

MINNESOTA
The Legal Examiner

Posted by Mike Bryant
February 23, 2014

The John Doe 1 case in Ramsey county continues to garner headlines as it seems like there is a new fight every week. Recently, it was reported by the Pioneer Press that Archbishop John Nienstedt and (Rev.) Kevin McDonough asked Judge Van de North to block the taking of their depositions. Deposition are court proceedings where people are questioned under oath and in front of a court reporter. The claim is :

argued that Nienstedt and McDonough should not have to be deposed. Neither should Rev. John T. Brown, who is accused of abuse in a separate lawsuit, the archdiocese said.

None of them “had any involvement with Father Adamson, St. Thomas Aquinas, the alleged abuse of plaintiff in 1976 or 1977, the archdiocese’s involvement in the transfer of Father Adamson from the (Winona) diocese, or the archdiocese’s retention of supervision of Father Adamson during this time period,” attorney Daniel Haws wrote in a Tuesday motion filed with the court.

I have seen very few situations where it has ever been questioned about the right to conduct discovery. My situations were motions to quash (stop) the deposition because of unavailability or witnesses trying to get paid as experts. Here the issue seems to be that the witnesses claim to know nothing about the cases.

It seems if that is really the case, it should be a very short and easy deposition. Of interest, the list that was released by The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis did include Adamson. And right before the list came out Nienstedt was in the forefront talking about how the list was put together and all the parishes that would be named. Sounds like he knows something.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Advocate, reporter discuss archdiocese project

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with audio]

Guests

Madeleine Baran: Reporter, MPR News
Patrick Wall: Advocate, Jeff Anderson and Associates law firm

MPR News published a list Wednesday of 70 Catholic clergy in the Twin Cities archdiocese who have been accused or suspected of sexually abusing children. The list contains more names than the archdiocese had revealed publicly.

The material published Wednesday was the latest installment in a months-long investigation by MPR News, led by reporter Madeleine Baran.

Scroll down to read a response from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Baran and Patrick Wall, a victims' advocate working on sexual abuse cases, joined The Daily Circuit Thursday to talk about the MPR series and the issues it raises. Highlights of their conversation:

Madeleine Baran, reporter, on the goal of her series:

"We're not trying to say whether or not a priest is guilty. It's not our job to say whether a crime has been committed. But what we did want to do is look at where there was information that there were allegations, that they were investigated by either the police or the archdiocese, or found in a court record or court exhibits - those were the cases we were interested in. ... There are cases, a couple we report on, where the investigation by the archdiocese is fascinating in terms of the parameters they're using. They're basically looking at, 'Can we substantiate this or not?' In a lot of cases of child sexual abuse, whether it's within the church or elsewhere, if someone comes forward decades later, there is not often direct evidence of that. It's not like there's a crime scene, video, or DNA, or fingerprints. So it's a very difficult standard for these victims to meet when they come forward. What I found at least in the last 10 years is the archdiocese will say, 'Go to the police.' That's their policy. And if the police determine that they can't charge it, then that's very important to the archdiocese. But it doesn't really address this issue of whether or not the archdiocese should be concerned."

Patrick Wall, former monk, on secret church records:

"The directives from Rome are very clear, both through motu proprio from the holy father and the code of canon law, that these documents are to be kept in perpetuity, especially the most important files, the files on the priests. And the idea behind that is that the next bishop who comes into office, the next vicar general who comes into office, can get a quick read as to what that priest was all about, and so they can have access to what that bishop at the time knew and what they decided to do on that particular issue. It doesn't matter if it's the Archdiocese of St. Paul, or Bogota, or Buenos Aires, it's the same standard of how they keep records around the world. This is a management technique that Rome has developed over a couple of thousand years. ... This is never to be accessible to the public. The code is very clear. That's why they call this a secret archive. Only the bishop and the chancellor have access to this .... Under no circumstances ever are bishops to turn over documents to prosecutors and/or lawyers."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Royal Commission must ensure 'no more lives are ruined'

AUSTRALIA
Queensland Times

THE Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Brisbane has spent a full week probing deeply into what went so terribly wrong at a Catholic primary school in Toowoomba.

Convicted pedophile Gerard Byrnes is serving 10 years in jail for the sexual abuse and rape of 13 young girls.

Readers of the Chronicle will have been horrified to see how these 13 young girls were failed by the system and those people who were charged with protecting them.

The commission will most likely come back with several recommendations in about a month.

This is not the place to pre-empt what those recommendations may be.

But this inquiry must be successful in one most important area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Archdiocese: Former St. James priest tossed from ministry for molesting 17-year old in 1970s

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

By Patti Mengers, Delaware County Daily Times

POSTED: 02/23/14

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput announced Sunday a priest who once taught at the former St. James Catholic High School for Boys in Chester is unsuitable for ministry because of a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

The Rev. John P. Paul, who taught at St. James and was on staff at the old St. Robert’s parish in Chester from 1986 to 1990, was removed from ministry because of a substantiated allegation that he sexually abused a 17-year old more than 40 years when he was a seminarian, according to a press release from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He was ordained in 1972.

Archdiocesan officials said that they had referred the 67-year old priest’s case to law enforcement authorities who, after a lengthy investigation, declined to prosecute. However, last Nov. 6, Paul was placed on administrative leave after he voluntarily resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Church in Philadelphia where he had served since 2000.

Last November in a press release archdiocesan officials said that subsequent to Paul’s suspension “the archdiocese received multiple, new allegations that Father Paul had sexually abused minors over 30 years ago. These allegations were reported to the appropriate district attorney’s office.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Priest on disability ...

MINNESOTA
The Raw Story

Priest on disability for his pedophilia still supported financially by MN archdiocese

By Scott Kaufman
Sunday, February 23, 2014

According to an article in the Star Tribune, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis continued to pay the salary and health insurance premiums — as well as provide living expenses — for a pedophile priest who was convicted on child sex abuse charges over 30 years ago.

In 1983, the Reverend Gil Gustafson admitted to a Ramsey County District Court that he molested Brian Herrity for five years, beginning when the boy was 10 years old. He was fined $40 and sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years on probation. The vicar general in charge of clergy abuse cases, Rev. Kevin McDonough, believes that Gustafson abused between four and fifteen victims, including Herrity.

After four-and-a-half months in jail, he was released into the care of the Church, and the archbishop at the time, John Roach, lobbied to have Gustafson reinstated.

“I want him back in a parish,” Roach wrote in 1990. “He has received and complied with far more treatment than anyone else, and it seems to me he has done it well.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Answers expected as Bishop Morris goes before commission

AUSTRALIA
Sunshine Coast Daily

Adam Davies 24th Feb 2014

WHAT will Bill reveal?

That is the question on everyone's lips.

The answer will come today when former Toowoomba Bishop William Morris gives his highly-anticipated evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Brisbane.

Bishop Morris oversaw the Toowoomba Catholic Dioceses at the height of the child sexual abuse scandal at a primary school in the city.

The arrest of paedophile teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes sent shockwaves across the nation.

Byrnes was convicted of 44 child sexual abuse charges, including rape, over his actions towards 13 young girls in his class between 2007 and 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Pope Francis warns newly appointed cardinals against 'intrigue, favouritism'

VATICAN CITY
Australia Network News

Pope Francis, who has made simplicity and serving the poor the distinguishing characteristics of his papacy, has told the 19 newly appointed cardinals to shun intrigue, gossip and cronyism.

"A Cardinal... enters the Church of Rome, my brothers, not a royal court," the Pope said during a mass attended by the cardinals named.

"May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favouritism and partiality."

The admonition came as the Pope is seeking to refashion the image of the Roman Catholic Church, plagued by financial scandals and accusations of covering up child abuse by priests.

A council of cardinals, set up by the Pope to advise him on Vatican reforms, heard a report to reform the Vatican bank and it discussed organisational and economic programs earlier in the week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Archdiocese Of Philadelphia Removes Two Priests Over Sex Abuse Allegations

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has removed two priests from ministry after an investigation into allegations that they sexually abused minors over 40 years ago.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput says in a Sunday release that separate investigations found that Reverend James J. Collins and Reverend John P. Paul are unsuitable for the ministry.

The Archdiocese says that the cases were referred to the district attorney’s office, which declined to press charges.

Both men can appeal the verdicts to the Vatican. If they choose not to appeal they could be removed from the church or live a life of prayer and penance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING REVEREND JAMES J. COLLINS AND REVEREND JOHN P. PAUL

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia

February 23, 2014

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has found Reverend James J. Collins not suitable for ministry following a substantiated allegation that he sexually abused a 17-year old minor over 40 years ago.

Archbishop Chaput has also found Reverend John P. Paul unsuitable for ministry following a substantiated allegation that he sexually abused a 17-year old minor over 40 years ago.

Today's announcements are neither connected to one another nor to the cases of priests placed on administrative leave following the February 2011 Grand Jury Report.

Following Archbishop Chaput's determinations of their unsuitability for ministry, neither Father Collins nor Father Paul will have public ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. They have the right to appeal the decions to the Holy See. If they do not appeal, or if an appeal is unsuccessful, they could be laicized (removed from the clerical state) or live a life of prayer and penance.

Announcements were previously made at the parishes where these priests last served when they were placed on administrative leave. Follow up announcements were made at those parishes this weekend regarding the final decisions in their cases. Counselors were made available for parishioners.

Consistent with the Archdiocesan Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People, promulgated in October of 2012, the allegations against Fathers Collins and Paul first were reported to the appropriate local district attorney's office so that law enforcement could investigate these matters and review them for possible criminal charges. Upon declination of criminal charges by the district attorney, the Archdiocesan Office of Investigations began its investigation in each case. The results of this process were submitted to the Archdiocesan Professional Responsibility Review Board (APRRB). The APRRB is comprised of twelve men and women, both Catholic and non-Catholic, with extensive professional backgrounds in the investigation and treatment of child sexual abuse. It functions as a confidential advisory committee to the Archbishop, which assesses allegations of sexual abuse as well as allegations of violations of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries. This body provided a recommendation regarding suitability for ministry to the Archbishop, who made the final decisions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Father of girl molested by pedophile Catholic teacher speaks

AUSTRALIA
The Chronicle

Chris Calcino 22nd Feb 2014

"SHE still has dreams. We hear her calling out, 'stop it, leave me alone,' in her sleep."

The father of a girl who was repeatedly molested by pedophile teacher Gerard Byrnes has spoken about the culture of lies he blames for the cruelty endured by his young daughter.

The girl, who can only be referred to as KF, was in Grade 4 when Byrnes first began sexually abusing her in the classroom.

Her father, referred to here as Michael (not his real name), said the abuse continued when Byrnes was rehired after a month-long resignation in 2008.

"When it all came out, she told us that when he was re-employed as a substitute teacher he started molesting her again on his first day back," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Abuse case parents target police

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

MICHAEL MCKENNA THE AUSTRALIAN FEBRUARY 24, 2014

PARENTS of victims of a pedophile teacher at a Toowoomba Catholic primary school are calling for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse to widen its probe to local police officers involved in the initial investigation.

At least three police officers who took statements in the 2008 investigation of the teacher later jailed for the rape and molestation of 13 girls had children who were students and either served on the Parents and Friends Association or whose spouses were senior staff at the school.

Several parents complained to the Queensland Police Service and then-police commissioner Bob Atkinson at the time about the potential for a conflict of interest and the actions of an officer who was organising private meetings between families and school principal Terry Hayes after the teacher was arrested. Mr Atkinson is now one of the six commissioners overseeing the inquiry.

The inquiry will resume public hearings today into the scandal, which centres on the failure of Mr Hayes and Catholic education officials to report to police a complaint they received from a nine-year-old girl about her abuse in 2007. The teacher, Gerard Vincent Byrnes, denied the allegations to Mr Hayes and went on to rape and molest 12 other girls before his last victim complained directly to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Could New Pope Please Cancel This American Remake Of ‘Bling Bishop’?

NEW JERSEY
Wonkette

Hey, remember the story about the German “Bling Bishop” who got suspended after everybody was outraged by the $55 million cost of renovating his personal residence? Right here in U.S. America, we seem to have our own version of an archbishop who’s a little like that, too, though on a smaller scale. Take a look at this New York Times story about John J. Myers, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, who’s also getting some home improvements done. Now, it’s not exactly on the scale of the German bishop’s palace — it’s a 3000-square-foot addition to a vacation home that Myers will retire to in two years, not a restoration of an 800-year-old building, and there’s definitely nothing to compare to the German place’s $20,000 bathtub. In fact, it’s almost a bargain at only half a million dollars, which would barely cover the cost of the German residence’s solid gold hamster cages (don’t ask).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Parents of victims of Toowoomba school sex predator....

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

Parents of victims of Toowoomba school sex predator attack Catholic Church for protecting staff

PARENTS of some of the 13 girls abused by pedophile ­Gerard Byrnes have attacked the Catholic Church for continuing to employ staff who have admitted failing to protect students.

As a royal commission prepares to hear evidence from former Toowoomba Bishop William Morris tomorrow, parents say the church should not employ staff who admit they did not follow correct ­procedures when dealing with Byrnes.

“We can’t understand how they could all knowingly allow the sexual abuse to continue.’’

Byrnes pleaded guilty in the Toowoomba District Court in 2010 to 33 counts of indecent dealing with a child under 12, 10 counts of rape and one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child under 12.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse has already heard key figures in Catholic Education failed to pursue serious allegations against Byrne made more than one year before his arrest.

Former school principal Terence Hayes, still employed by the Church as a primary teacher, dismissed allegations Byrnes put his hand up girls’ skirts as gossip, failing to include it in critical internal communications.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Gail Tredwell stands by rape accusations against prominent Kerala Mutt priest

INDIA
India Today

J Binduraj Kochi, February 23, 2014

Gail Tredwell, the author of 'Holy Hell:A Memoir of Faith, Devotion and Pure Madness', who alleged in her book that she was raped repeatedly by the chief priest of the Mutt Balu in mid-eighties and physically tortured by the God woman Amrithanandamayi during her stay in the ashramam, told India Today on Sunday that she will standby her allegations and have no intention of withdrawing anything.

"I stand behind everything that is written in my book and have no intention of withdrawing anything. I have told the truth, without any malicious motives, and therefore they don't have a valid case against me," Gail Tredwell said in her e-mail sent to India Today.

On why she hesitated to file a legal complaint in the issue, she said that she believes in higher forms of justice and do not wish to spend years dealing with legal proceedings. "I do not intend to file any legal complaint. I have already spent twenty years of my life with this organization and do not wish to spend several more years dealing with legal proceedings. Filing a case does not necessarily guarantee justice. I believe in higher forms of justice," Gail Tredwell wrote to this correspondent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 AM

2 Philly Priests Removed Due to Child Sex Abuse Allegations

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

By David Chang | Sunday, Feb 23, 2014

Two priests have been removed from the Philadelphia Archdiocese following allegations of child sexual abuse.

Reverend James J. Collins, 75, and the Reverend John P. Paul, 67, are both accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old over 40 years ago. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput determined that both priests are not suitable for ministry due to the substantiated allegations, according to an Archdiocese spokesperson.

Collins was placed on administrative leave in May of last year when the allegations first surfaced. He was ordained in 1964 and had served as a faculty member at Holy Family University since 1976. He retired from his position last year.

Paul was placed on administrative leave in December of last year when the allegations were first made against him. He was ordained in 1972 and most recently served at Our Lady of Calvary, Philadelphia before he was placed on leave. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Paul was allowed to work in his parish for nearly a year after the accusations against him first surfaced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Of Vatican Miracles And Mounting Frustration With The Vatican And Vatican Miracles

UNITED STATES
Enlightened Catholicism

I didn't intend to go two weeks without posting, but it looks like I certainly managed to do so. For some reason time just seems to be going ultra fast for me lately. I keep track of dates and appointments on a 5 week white board and today marks the end of five weeks. It seems like maybe two weeks since I last changed all the dates. Maybe this is God's way of packing more life in a short amount of time. I would hope I'm experiencing aging at the same rate. If I age two weeks for every five, I could be around a lot longer than I think. It's a miracle.

Speaking of miracles, the Vatican has just announced one for Paul VI. It involves the cure of an unspecified problem with a fetus who upon birth did not exhibit the expected birth defect. The Vatican makes no bones about this miracle validating Paul VI's issuance of Humanae Vitae: "The Postulator of the Pope Paul VI’s cause said this was an extraordinary and supernatural event which took place through the intercession of the late Pope. It was in line with his magisterium and the contents of the “Humanae Vitae” encyclical, i.e. the defence of life, “but also the defence of the family, because that document discusses married love, not just unborn life. This healing is in harmony with Montini’s teaching.”" I certainly hope this blatant politicizing of a miracle and the canonization process of a pope doesn't portend miracles for every contentious issue promulgated by any pope in the last two hundred years. I anxiously await the next PVI miracle. If there is any justice or honesty, it will be the full cure of AIDS in a gay man.

Pope Francis has aslo been on my radar these past two weeks. I was hoping the latest meeting of the C8 would end with the announcement of the names on the commission on clerical abuse, and maybe more information concerning it's mandate. There was no such announcement. This commission is still a matter of one sound bite from Cardinal O'Malley and absolutely no walk. The voices for justice, like Betty Clermont's, in this area are now getting louder and their arguments harder to refute the longer Francis fails to act. It's been almost a full year and Francis has yet to act in any meaningful way on clerical abuse. He is repeating the sad pattern he had with this issue in Buenos Aires. As Gerry Slevin also points out, so far the priority has been all about putting the Vatican's money in order rather than giving the victims of the Catholic priesthood some justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Editorial: Sheehan led archdiocese through abuse scandal

NEW MEXICO
ABQ Journal

By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board

PUBLISHED: Saturday, February 22, 2014

It’s hard to believe that what became a worldwide scandal involving Roman Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children largely got its start here in New Mexico more than two decades ago. But more than in other places, the issue has been dealt with directly and openly, and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe is stronger for it.

Credit that to Archbishop Michael Sheehan, who was placed in charge in 1993 as the scandal was unfolding. Sheehan recently announced he has submitted his letter of resignation. In July he turns 75, the age at which the church requires his offer to step down.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe was fortunate Pope John Paul II selected a strong leader and no-nonsense cleric who dealt firmly with the problem. In a 2003 audit the archdiocese received commendations for transparency and for its programs to prevent such crimes from reoccurring. Sheehan reported then that none of the 44 credibly accused priests or deacons remained in active ministry; the archdiocese had provided counseling to 193 people; and it had paid out $30.8 million in settlements and legal fees and for victim counseling. He raised the money largely by selling church properties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

For the Pope, a prayer to stop Archbishop Myers' luxury train: Moran

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Tom Moran/ Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on February 22, 2014

You have to wonder if Newark Archbishop John J. Myers has spent much time with the army of devoted Catholics and others who run the church’s charities.

They are inspiring people, many driven by the conviction that if Jesus were alive today he would be standing with them, running soup kitchens and homeless shelters and workshops for the disabled. They are hunkered down in places like Newark and Irvington, providing one of the few lifelines for neighborhoods that others have deserted.

They volunteer their time or make token salaries. Unlike Myers, they don’t insist on being referred to as "Your Grace" and they don’t wear fancy robes and jewelry. They go by names like Maria and Joseph, and when a single mom or an ex-con knocks on their door they offer help before judgment.

The tragedy is that Myers, already a diminished figure for his failures to protect children from predator priests, has now undermined this charitable work with a garish display of material greed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Newark archbishop turning luxury home into a mansion for $500G: report

NEW JERSEY
New York Daily News

BY CAROL KURUVILLA / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

PUBLISHED: SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014

Mansions in heaven weren’t good enough for this archbishop.

Newark’s Archbishop John J. Myers is facing criticism for pricey plans to expand his retirement home.

Myers is planning to add a $500,000 addition to a Franklin Township house that the archdiocese purchased in 2002, the Star-Ledger reports.

The New Jersey leader has been using the 4,500-square-foot home as a weekend residence. It already has five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a three-car garage, an outdoor pool and 8.2 wooded acres.

But the 72-year-old archbishop, who insists on being called “Your Grace,” has big changes in mind for his home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

TRAGIC CASE OF REV. NICOLAS AGUILAR-RIVERA TRIGGERED MAJOR CHANGES

CALIFORNIA
Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs LA

It was in early 1988—some 26 years ago—that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles became aware of the terrible sexual abuse which the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera had been inflicting upon young people in Los Angeles. This case highlighted errors made by us in the Archdiocese in those early years, and for those errors I apologize once again. But this case also led to several major changes in procedures used by the Archdiocese, and these were improved upon over the years.

The evolution of the Archdiocese’s manner of dealing with allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and others in the Church was recounted ten years ago in The Report to the People of God. This Report can be found at this location: http://www.la-archdiocese.org/org/protecting/reports/Documents/2004-0217_ADLA_CSA_Report.pdf

Everything contained in this blog is available in the release of thousands of pages of clergy files in January of 2013. All of the documents involving Aguilar-Rivera can be found at: http://clergyfiles.la-archdiocese.org/files/Aguilar-Rivera,%20Nicolas.pdf

It is key to understand that the first report about Aguilar-Rivera to one of our Catholic schools and to the Archdiocese took place late on a Friday afternoon, January 8, 1988. That late Friday alert, unfortunately, led to delays which should not have occurred.

The following are the more serious errors which several of us in the Archdiocese made, along with the steps taken to eliminate them in the future:

I. Letters of Recommendation for Priests from Other Dioceses. Aguilar-Rivera arrived in Los Angeles with a letter from his Bishop in Mexico stating that he was coming to Los Angeles for “family and health reasons” [“por motivos familiares y por motivos de salud”] because he had family here. The Bishop asked that we consider giving him a priestly assignment here in the Archdiocese. Based on that positive recommendation, Aguilar-Rivera was given a temporary assignment. Throughout 1987 there were no reports of improper conduct by Aguilar-Rivera. It was not until early 1988 that such reports emerged from families of children abused.

After further investigation, the Bishop in Mexico claimed that he had sent a second letter about Aguilar-Rivera some two months after his original letter. No one in the Archdiocese recalls ever receiving such a letter in which the Bishop refers to unfounded allegations of homosexual problems that led to physical aggression against him in Mexico. Had that letter been received, Aguilar-Rivera’s assignment would have been revoked or suspended pending a full investigation.

Change in Procedures: Because of this case, from this time forward a letter of recommendation from a Bishop on behalf of a visiting priest was insufficient. A new format was developed requiring the sending Bishop, especially from a Diocese outside the USA, to respond to very specific questions about any possible misconduct in the history of the priest. This change in procedure was enhanced over the years and has served to make sure that priest from other places with any misconduct issues is not admitted to this Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Ex-priest from Moree/Armidale NSW faces court again

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated on 22 February 2014)

A former Catholic priest (aged 60), who is charged with sexual offences against children in towns (including Moree and Armidale) in northern New South Wales, appeared in Armidale Local Court again on 19 February 2014 for an administrative procedure. The magistrate expressed frustration at the delays in the case and urged the prosecution to finalise the preparations for a hearing.

This was the eleventh time that the ex-priest's case has come up for a mention in the Armidale Local Court. The ex-priest, who cannot be named for legal reasons, first appeared before this court on 18 October, 2012. On each of these occasions, the case has been adjourned to a future date because preparations for a committal hearing have not been completed.

The case will come up for mention again on 19 March 2014 when, it is hoped, the Director of Public Prosecutions will indicate how the case will proceed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

The Dark Box: A Secret History of Confession by John Cornwell – review

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Catherine Pepinster
The Observer, Saturday 22 February 2014

Some years ago I was in Lisbon with a group of Jewish people. It was the Day of Atonement and their very liberal rabbi organised a service in a hotel meeting room, so I went along. It began with people offering their thoughts. "I hate the Day of Atonement," said one. "I hate the focus on guilt, and admitting sin and having to atone for it. It's all so negative." "It could be worse," said another. "You could be a Catholic, then you feel guilty all the time."

John Cornwell's account of confession reveals a Roman Catholic world suffused with guilt, as he recounts the way in which the ritual, with its roots in the Day of Atonement, developed as a means of enabling believers to seek God's forgiveness through telling their wrongdoings – their sins – to the intermediary of a priest. They gained absolution so long as they also made clear their desire to make amends and were given penance by the priest – usually a few prayers to say. As Cornwell traces the history of the sacrament – an outward sign of inward grace, as we recited as children – it's apparent that the Church, whose raison d'être was the saving of souls, developed an obsession with the body. And that meant it was obsessed with sexual sins.

The image of the confessional – the dark box of Cornwell's title – and the hazy view of the priest behind the grille came to symbolise Catholicism, particularly in movies. Yet it no longer has the hold it once did on Roman Catholics themselves: attendance has been in steep decline for many years, a decline caused at least in part by Catholics' rejection of teaching on sex, particularly on the sinfulness of contraception. It's an intriguing decline, given we live in a confessional age of therapy and Facebook.

But Cornwell's focus is not so much the present as the past and the scars it has left. He makes the case for the connection between confession and the scandal that has profoundly damaged the reputation of the Church – that of the abuse of children by Catholic priests. He links this to pope Pius X decreeing in 1910 that confession should begin at the age of seven, giving priests easy, intimate access to children without anyone else present.

Child abuse inquiries around the world and readers of my own publication, the Tablet, who responded to Cornwell's request for their stories, reveal that certain priests would use the confessional to solicit children, grooming them for sexual encounters elsewhere or during confession itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Resources: How do I get therapeutic help?

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on February 22, 2014

*This is the first in a series of posts on Resources for Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse*

Finding a good therapist and getting help can be the best decisions a survivor makes. But the process can also be maddening.

Referrals from Family and Friends

Before launching an online search using the links below, ask around. Getting therapy does not carry the stigma it used to, and you will be amazed at the wonderful recommendations you can get from family and friends. If your brother went to a great therapist, give that therapist a call and ask him/her for a recommendation. (You didn’t want to share your Legos with your brother when you were kids, and you certainly don’t want to share a therapist with him now). Therapists know their colleagues very well, and will be sure to point you to a great clinician who does good work.

Remember: The best therapist in the world may not be the best therapist for you. Before you can benefit from therapy, you need to like how your therapist works, work well with him/her, and—most importantly—feel comfortable.

Take Advantage of Low-Cost Options

Many workplaces offer benefits such as free, confidential, short-term counseling through third-party vendors (EAP, etc.). Talk to your HR department or supervisor to see if they offer the benefit and if you qualify. Your workplace pays for this benefit, so they want you to use it.

States like Hawaii offer low-cost (and sometimes free) counseling through various state-run and nonprofit social services programs. Research your state and county to see if there are services available. If you don’t have access to a computer at home, go to your local library. Research assistants there are experts in finding low-cost services for library patrons.

Finally, many churches help members find counseling or offer services themselves. NOTE: If you were abused in an institutional setting, like a church, it may not be a good idea to get counseling from the same or similar organization. Also, if the institution where you were abused offers you free counseling, be very careful and be sure that your privacy and legal rights are protected. Remember: anyone who offers you free counseling can instantly take that therapy away. So, be sure to protect yourself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Disgraced Keith O’Brien faces Vatican ‘trial’

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

CARDINAL Keith O’Brien is facing a new investigation by the Vatican and may face a “trial” under canon law which could lead to him losing his red hat.

Three priests in the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh have asked Leo Cushley, the new archbishop, to pass on to the Holy See their written complaints which characterise O’Brien as a “sexual predator” who used his authority to compel them into “coercive” and “abusive” sexual relationships.

The priests, whose accusations led to the cardinal’s enforced retirement and disgrace last February, appear determined to force Pope Francis to make a final judgment.

It is now understood that O’Brien’s sexual relationships continued until at least 2009, six years after he was made a cardinal.

Last year, Francis ordered O’Brien to remain in a Catholic religious house in England for three months of “prayer and penance”. However, since this period has now elapsed he has been free to come and go as he pleases but has chosen to remain at the religious house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Scandal of the orphans lost in unmarked graves

UNITED KINGDOM
Express

By: Ben Borland
Published: Sun, February 23, 2014

An investigation by this newspaper has found there are no burial records for children who lost their lives while in the care of the Sisters of Nazareth, which operated four homes in Scotland and at least 17 south of the Border.

In addition, only two Scottish councils were able to confirm the whereabouts of children who died while in residential care and were buried in common ground.

The De La Salle Brothers, a Catholic order of monks which also operated a number of children's homes in Scotland, is also thought to have retained no burial records.

Only Quarriers appears to have bucked the trend, as the Scottish charity has a database of all 345 children and young people buried at Mount Zion Cemetery in Quarrier's Village, Renfrewshire. The church and its grounds have now been turned into luxury flats, although there is a memorial in the cemetery.

The concerns over burial records add to the growing pressure on Scottish ministers to sanction a public inquiry into abuse in Scottish children's homes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Defense: West Palm police conducted illegal search for child porn on ex-teacher's computer

FLORIDA
Sun Sentinel

By Marc Freeman, Sun Sentinel
8:15 p.m. EST, February 22, 2014

The attorney for a former West Palm Beach private school teacher accused of sexually assaulting two 9-year-old students argues there are grounds for a judge to stop a jury from seeing potentially incriminating computer evidence.

Stephen Jerome Budd, 52, was arrested in April for crimes that allegedly occurred while he taught a fourth-grade class at Rosarian Academy during the 2006-07 school year. He was charged with two counts of sexual battery on a person less than 12 years old, one count of lewd or lascivious molestation, and two counts of lewd or lascivious exhibition.

Then in August, prosecutors added 59 child pornography charges and Budd pleaded not guilty to all counts. He remains in the Palm Beach County Jail with no bail.

On Feb. 18, defense attorney Jason Weiss filed two motions seeking to prevent prosecutors at Budd's trial from using his client's computer hard drive, a computer part called a "mini PCI card," and all evidence taken from the computer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Church still evades moral accountability

IRELAND
Irish Independent

MAEVE SHEEHAN – 23 FEBRUARY 2014

OVER generations, bishops and their clergy helped to shape a society that banished women to Magdalene Laundries, sent troubled and impoverished children to industrial schools and shielded paedophile priests. Babies born out of wedlock were shipped abroad for adoption and unmarried teachers who got pregnant outside of marriage were sacked.

As the novelist LP Hartley wrote, the past is a foreign country. They do things differently there, right?

While the Catholic Church and the organisations within it may have apologised for past sins, in many ways, they are still refusing to share collective responsibility for the failings of the past.

When Judge Yvonne Murphy began her long investigation into child abuse by priests in the Dublin archdiocese, she soon discovered that one of the biggest obstacles to her work was the very organisation she was investigating.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Abusive priest gets disability, support from Twin Cities archdiocese

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: TONY KENNEDY and JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune staff writers Updated: February 23, 2014

Star Tribune exclusive: Archdiocese gave pedophile salary, disability benefits, expenses and consulting work.

After the Rev. Gil Gustafson was convicted of child sex abuse 30 years ago, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis made sure he was financially secure for decades to come.

The church continued his priestly salary and health insurance, covered his living expenses and psychological treatment and paid for his education and training, according to church records and a former archdiocese accountant. It has given him jobs in the chancery, helped him establish his own consulting business and steered clients his way.

In July 2006, Gustafson was declared “disabled” based on his pedophilia, the church said. This allowed him to collect disability checks on top of his earnings as a leadership consultant.

The archdiocese’s long-standing support of Gustafson, outlined in church documents and interviews, has angered abuse victims and their families. They say it’s another sign that the church cares more about the welfare of abusive priests than the children they assaulted.

“Since when is a crime a disability?” asked Jeff Herrity, the father of a boy whom Gustafson was convicted of abusing from 1977 through 1982. “If that’s the case, everyone in prison should be disabled.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

OPINION: Archbishop Mark Coleridge isn’t your Church an accessory to abuse?

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

MADONNA KING THE COURIER-MAIL FEBRUARY 22, 2014

MADONNA King pens a letter to Brisbane’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Mark Coleridge in the light of this week’s royal commission evidence.

YOUR Grace, I’m Roman Catholic to the boot straps. I’m also the mother of two young girls, both attending cracker Brisbane Catholic schools.

But I’m running out of excuses on how to answer the growing evidence that the Church has snubbed, hid, brushed-off, facilitated – I could go on but you probably get my point – this sexual abuse epidemic.

Up until now, I’ve been saying what the Church says; that many institutions suffered the same shameful problems, but once alerted steps were taken blah blah blah.

That fitted with me. It was a painful episode in history, but it was all over, done and dusted.

But that’s not true, is it? In fact, the royal commission evidence this week shows that answer is a sham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Gerard Byrnes child sex abuse...

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

[with video]

Gerard Byrnes child sex abuse: Principal backed despite inaction, victim’s family tell of impact

ANTHONY GOUGH THE COURIER-MAIL FEBRUARY 22, 2014

A BRISBANE principal insists his colleague “followed the process of the Catholic Education Office”, despite failing to call police and report allegations of sexual abuse.

The principal of St Eugene Catholic College in Burpengary — where former Toowoomba principal Terence Hayes now works as a teacher — has launched a robust defence of his colleague in a letter to parents.

Mr Hayes has faced scrutiny this week in the royal commission into sexual abuse over his failure to report allegations to police made to him when principal at a Toowoomba school.

The royal commission has heard evidence Mr Hayes was required to call police over the allegations, and his decision to simply report to the Catholic Education Office did not meet protocol.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Phila. archdiocese removes two priests

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

JEREMY ROEBUCK, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LAST UPDATED: Sunday, February 23, 2014

PHILADELPHIA Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has permanently removed two more priests from ministry for substantiated claims of sexual abuse, including one who was allowed to keep working in his Northeast Philadelphia parish for nearly a year after accusations were first lodged against him.

It was only after several fresh allegations surfaced late last year against the Rev. John P. Paul, formerly of Our Lady of Calvary Parish, that the archdiocese suspended him in December - weeks after he had announced he would voluntarily retire.

In a statement expected to be released to parishes across the region Sunday, church officials said an archdiocesan review board had substantiated at least one claim that Paul, 67, sexually abused a teenager more than 40 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Bishop to give evidence to abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

MARTY SILK AAP FEBRUARY 23, 2014

THE bishop who sacked three men after a pedophilia scandal at a Catholic primary school in Queensland is set to give evidence at an inquiry on Monday.

Former Toowoomba Bishop William Morris is due to give his version of the events leading up to the jailing of pedophile teacher Gerard Byrnes in 2010.

Byrnes raped, molested and savagely bullied 13 schoolgirls in his Queensland classroom between 2007 and 2008.

A principal and two senior Catholic education officers were first told of sex abuse allegations against Byrnes more than a year before his arrest.

But all three men remained silent, police were never told and Byrnes sexually abused more girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Retired priest's abuse trial delayed

KENTUCKY
Messenger-Inquirer

Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014

By James Mayse Messenger-Inquirer

The trial of a retired Daviess County priest who was charged with allegedly sexually abusing a minor in the late 1970s has again been delayed.

Louis Francis Piskula, 74, of the 7100 block of Kentucky 815 was indicted in June 2012 on charges of first-degree sodomy, victim under age 12, and first-degree sexual abuse. The charges stem from an incident that allegedly took place between Jan. 1, 1978, and Jan. 1, 1979.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

February 22, 2014

VATICAN ACTS ON PRIESTS ACCUSED OF ABUSE

CINCINNATI (OH)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati

CONTACT:
Dan Andriacco
Director, Office of Communications
513/421-3131 After hours: 421-3144
FAX: 421-6225
E-MAIL: communications@CatholicCincinnati.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 21, 2014

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has acted on the cases of two priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati accused of child abuse, removing Daniel Pater from ministry permanently and restoring Rev. David F. Reilly to active ministry.

Pater, who has been on administrative leave since 2003 because of sexual abuse of a minor, has been permanently removed from ministry by the Vatican and directed to “lead a life of prayer and penance.” Although technically he remains a priest under the Vatican decision issued on January 21, 2014, Pater will never again be permitted to celebrate Mass in public, administer the other sacraments, wear clerical garb, or present himself as a priest. Those same prohibitions were in place during his administrative leave.

“I hope that this decision will bring some measure of closure and healing to all those harmed by Daniel Pater’s actions,” said the Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati. “As Archbishop, I deeply regret that any representative of the local Church has ever harmed a child under our care. One of our most important priorities in the Archdiocese is to provide a safe environment for our children.”

Pater was put on leave after admitting to sexually abusing a teenage girl in the 1980s and 1990s. Under the Archdiocese’s Decree on Child Protection as well as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter and Norms for the Protection of Children and Young People, a priest who is credibly accused of abusing a child, no matter how long ago, must be put on leave while due process continues.

The USCCB norms also require that any cleric known to have offended against minors must be permanently removed from ministry. The Vatican decision found that Pater was guilty of that crime. If a cleric determined to have offended in this way does not himself ask the Vatican to return him to the lay state, the diocese normally can begin a canonical (church law) process that ultimately might involve a church trial. Since Pater was serving the Vatican as a diplomat at that time, however, the Vatican handled the entire process after he was put on leave.

Pater was associate pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Kettering from 1979 to 1982, when he went to Rome for studies. He served in the Vatican diplomatic corps for the rest of his priestly career. In 1993, after one of his victims came forward, he was brought home to the Archdiocese and required to undergo counseling before returning to the Vatican. He was also subjected to restrictions on being in the company of minors.

Fr. Reilly was put on administrative leave in August 2006 after an accusation that he engaged a minor in inappropriate behavior with sexual overtones in the 1970s. He has now been restored to active ministry after a church court ruled that he was not proven guilty of the alleged offenses. None of the judges of the three-member tribunal were priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Their decision was affirmed by the CDF. Fr. Reilly is thus free to exercise his priestly ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 PM

Some New Cardinals And Some Old Problems

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Ex- Pope Benedict XVI joined Pope Francis at a celebration Saturday creating 19 new cardinals who will elect the papal successor, assuming the College of Cardinals and Papacy survive intact. In watching the images of the celebration, one is reminded of King Louis XVI’s inability to see the French Revolution coming in 1789. Extravagant French kings and their Palace at Versailles also came to mind with the latest video report by CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the current US Bishop of Bling, Newark NJ Archbishop Myers’ “summer palace” shown here

[CNN]

Images of the storming of the Paris Bastille are also conjured up as well by the report that Germany’s Bishop of Bling may have used donations intended for the poor for his palace construction as reported here

[eNCA]

Nevertheless, with all the world’s cardinals gathered, no consideration seemingly was given by Pope Francis to addressing decisively, with the world’s cardinals fully assembled, the worldwide Church scandal of priest child abuse and related lack of bishop accountability. The storm is gathering, notwithstanding the Vatican’s festive celebrations and the episcopal palace obscenities.

The momentum to challenge the Vatican to obey the law continues to build worldwide, as tone deaf Archbishop Myers continues spending donations on his personal summer “Versailles” palace, after eluding prosecutors apparently with support from his reported pal, NJ Gov. Chris Christie. Hello ?

The Vatican’s recent response to the UN child protection committee was mainly to the effect that the pope doesn’t control his hierarchy and that the Vatican will be more transparent henceforth. Yet, a few weeks after the UN report is issued, 19 new cardinals on worldwide TV swear their obedience to Pope Francis and pledge to maintain secrecy. Does the Pope think his Bastille is more secure than Louis XVI’ s was? Does the Pope think UN committee members and prosecutors don’t own TV’s. As an international lawyer, I think it is clear that the Pope’s legal position is already very vulnerable. It is only getting weaker with Francis’ benign neglect of the abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Kansas City diocese settles two lawsuits involving the Rev. Shawn Ratigan for $1.8 million

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

February 21
BY JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese has settled two more lawsuits totaling $1.8 million involving a priest now serving prison time for producing child pornography.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Jack Grate on Friday approved a $1.275 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by two parents on behalf of their minor daughter against the diocese, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan and Bishop Robert Finn.

And on Wednesday, Circuit Judge Jim Kanatzar approved a $525,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed last year by two parents and their minor daughter. That suit also named the diocese, Ratigan and Finn as defendants.

In addition, Grate and Kanatzar each entered a $500,000 default judgment against Ratigan, who failed to respond to the lawsuits.

The settlements bring to $3.75 million the total the diocese has paid out so far in cases involving Ratigan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

Kansas City Catholic diocese settles 2 lawsuits involving priest serving time for child porn

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: February 22, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St Joseph has settled two lawsuits involving a pedophile priest for a total of $1.8 million.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Jack Grate approved a $1.275 million settlement Friday in a lawsuit filed by two parents on behalf of their minor daughter against the diocese, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan and Bishop Robert Finn.

The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/OmYWoQ) reports two days earlier, Circuit Judge Jim Kanatzar approved a $525,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed last year by two parents and their minor daughter.

The two judges each also entered a $500,000 default judgment against Ratigan, who failed to respond to both lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Bill would allow sex offenders at schools

GEORGIA
Cherokee Tribune

by Joshua Sharpe February 21, 2014

CANTON — Brand new state Rep. Sam Moore (R-Macedonia) is pushing a sweeping law that would allow registered sex offenders to go anywhere they want — even to schools.

Moore, in his first week in office, has turned in a bill that would overturn the crime of loitering and make it so registered sex offenders who aren’t otherwise barred from going to schools or places children gather could go to those places freely.

“I am OK with that,” Moore said Thursday, adding that he meant only those who were off parole and not barred from those places. “The reason I’m OK with that is the assumption is they have done their time. If they’re still a danger to society, they should not be free. … Am I saying it’s not creepy? It’s definitely creepy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Esto sí es guerra

PERU
La Republica

Jason Day

Cuando tenía 9 años, a tres días de mi primera comunión, un cura del Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (o Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana), una secta de chicos blancos y “bien” del catolicismo local, me tomó de la mano luego de la primera confesión y me llevó por una escalera detrás del altar de su imponente iglesia en Camacho hacia un cuartito donde guardaban las túnicas, cálices y demás lujosos artilugios. “Aquí es donde nos cambiamos”, me dijo el cura con voz pausada y amable.

¿Qué hacía yo ahí? ¿Era un honor o una condena? Le decía que prefería regresar, que el resto de mi promoción y los profesores me dejarían. Pero él insistía con que no había de qué preocuparse, que quería que yo eligiera la túnica que se pondría para mi primera comunión. “¿Te gusta ésta?”, me preguntó, mostrándome una que llevaba por delante una imagen de la pálida y sufrida virgen María. A mí no me podía importar menos.

Luego me preguntó si sabía jugar gallito ciego. Y no, no sabía. Entonces, con esa paciencia suya que se contrastaba con mi bullente ansiedad por irme –porque uno puede ser un niño de 9 años pero el peligro se reconoce, siempre– me tomó de la mano una vez más ycomenzó a jugar con mis dedos mientras me hacía preguntas sobre mi familia, mis hermanos…

Mi ansiedad se convertía en rabia. Conseguí librarme, no quería estar ahí. Lo siguiente era meterle una patada en los huevos y correr. Pero me dejó salir, con calma, esa calma del que tiene todo bajo control, del que ya recorrió ese camino varias veces y lo volverá a recorrer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Jason Day revela que sacerdote intentó abusar de él

PERU
Terra

[Summary: Actor Jason Day in his weekly column in La Republica that a priest attempted to seduce him when he was age 9 and was about to receive First Communion. The priest was with the Christian Life sodality. The priest took him by the hand after first Confession and led him down a staircase behind the altar of the imposing church in Camacho to small room where they kept robes, chalices and other items. The priest took his hand and started playing with his fingers while he asked questions about the boys family. His anxiety turned to anger and he was ready to run out but the priest let him leave.]

El actor Jason Day, en su columna semanal en el diario La República, reveló haber sido víctima de intento de abuso sexual de parte de un sacerdote del movimiento católico Christianae Vitae o Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, cuando tenía solo 9 años y se disponía a dar la primera comunión.

“Un cura del Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (…) me tomó de la mano luego de la primera confesión y me llevó por una escalera detrás del altar de su imponente iglesia en Camacho hacia un cuartito donde guardaban las túnicas, cálices y demás lujosos artilugios. “Aquí es donde nos cambiamos”, me dijo”, redactó Day en su columna.

“Me tomó de la mano una vez más y comenzó a jugar con mis dedos mientras me hacía preguntas sobre mi familia, mis hermanos…”, continuó Day, añadiendo que finalmente consiguió liberarse.

“Mi ansiedad se convertía en rabia. Conseguí librarme, no quería estar ahí. Lo siguiente era meterle una patada en los huevos y correr. Pero me dejó salir, con calma, esa calma del que tiene todo bajo control, del que ya recorrió ese camino varias veces y lo volverá a recorrer”, remató en su historia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Does the Bishop of Bling have an American Counterpart?

UNITED STATES/GERMANY
Public Catholic

February 17, 2014 By Rebecca Hamilton

Archbishop John J Myers, the New Jersey bishop who allowed a convicted child-molesting priest to return to ministry with children, is retiring.

According to NJ.com, Archbishop Myers is planning to retire to an $800,000 mansion, which he is refurbishing with diocesan dollars to the tune of another $500,000.

That doesn’t compare with the 40-million euros the Bishop of Bling spent, but it’s far beyond what seems needed and necessary for the comfortable retirement of one elderly priest, even in New Jersey’s inflated real estate dollars.

He is adding a 3,000 square foot addition to the already large house. The addition will have an indoor exercise pool, three fireplaces and an elevator. To top it off, the half million to build this thing does not include fees for the architects, cost of furnishings (furnishing this much real estate won’t be cheap) or landscaping.

I think we should also add the inevitable cost of upkeep, cleaning, etc. I rather doubt that Arichbishop Myers plans to do his own vacuuming and dusting.

My own Archbishop lives in a modest ranch-style home. The retired Archbishop of Oklahoma City, who I think of as my spiritual father, also lives modestly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Bling bishop built lavish home using funds for poor

GERMANY
eNCA

Monday 17 February 2014

MUNICH - Catholic bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-von Elst came under fire again Monday in connection with allegations of lavish spending on his new residence in Germany.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung citing an internal church report expected to be sent to Pope Francis on Wednesday claimed that "millions of euros" from a charitable church foundation were diverted and funneled into the construction project in Limburg, western Germany.

Costs for the bishop's residence have come to more than 31 million euros (42 million dollars) -six times the initial estimated cost of construction.

Insiders told Sueddeutsche Zeitung costs could now spiral to up to 40 million euros.

According to the church report, the diverted funds - donations from Catholic workers - were originally earmarked to help poor families.

Tebartz-von Elst and his team reportedly developed an intricate system and put pressure on diocese employees to keep their elaborate plans for the bishop's residence secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Bulgaria’s Bishop Boris fired over sex orgy video

BULGARIA
New York Daily News

BY DAVID HARDING / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014

A Bulgarian priest has been sacked after a video was posted online allegedly showing him at an orgy with four women.

Bishop Boris headed the second largest monastery in the country.

He was sacked by Bulgarian Orthodox Church bosses for acts "incompatible with his office," reported the Bulgarian daily, Trud, which also revealed the existence of the sex video.

It is the latest scandal to hit the Bulgarian church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Apostolic nuncio confirms receipt of Bishop Finn appeal

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Feb. 21, 2014

KANSAS CITY, MO.
Waiting may prove the hardest part as a petition seeking a canonical review of Bishop Robert Finn is en route to Rome.

Catholics here received notification Friday from the apostolic nuncio to the U.S. that he had received and forwarded to the Vatican their formal request for a canonical penal process investigating Finn, bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese.

In his brief, two-sentence letter, dated Feb. 15, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano stated, "I acknowledge receipt of your letter of February 11, 2014 addressed to me. The correspondence which you sent has been forwarded to the Holy See."

In mid-February, the group, in tandem with Fr. Jim Connell, a retired Milwaukee priest and canon lawyer, made the appeal outlining their case that Finn violated church law by not promptly reporting suspicions of child sexual abuse by Fr. Shawn Ratigan. In such a scenario, it states, canon law gives the pope authority to investigate a prelate and, when necessary, enact a "just penalty."

Connell, a member of the victims' advocacy group Catholic Whistleblowers, told NCR Friday he was "delighted" when he found the letter in his mail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

I Wish the Pope Would Step Up

UNITED STATES
Ms.

February 21, 2014 by Megan Peterson

The first time I spoke publicly about being repeatedly raped by a priest when I was between the ages of 14 and 15 was when we announced the settlement of my case—one week before I went to join advocates filing a complaint against the pope with the International Criminal Court at The Hague. I was 21 and had barely left my small town in Minnesota, let alone the country. If you watch footage from the press conference, I disappear for a while; that was when I stepped out to throw up.

People were whispering about Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul’s inappropriate contact with youths within a month or so after his arrival from India at our church, but no one did anything about it. At the time, I was shy and got teased a lot, and I felt like an outsider. He offered to lend me a book, and I was flattered by the attention. When I went to pick it up, was the first time he raped me. Sometimes he was violent, and sometimes he told me this was the teaching of God; this was how I was getting closer to Him.

I would take the church bulletin every Sunday and look at the telephone number for the diocese victim advocate printed at the bottom. When I finally worked up the courage to make the call and tell someone what was happening, the woman on the other end told me not to make prank calls and hung up on me. Truly. It took another year for me to tell anyone, and that person was a high school counselor who was mandated to report it to the authorities. Jeyapaul had returned to India by then.

The Church had moved him back to oversee dozens of schools in the diocese of Ootacamund (Tamil Nadu), endangering countless other children. He was arrested in India after Interpol issued an alert in March 2012, and prosecutors here are now seeking to have him extradited to face criminal charges.

As far as I know, he is still detained in New Delhi fighting extradition, with his bail denied because he is considered a flight risk. It’s hard to get accurate information, though: At another point we heard he’d been defrocked, but that turned out to be false. At another point we heard the extradition was imminent, but then nothing happened and I haven’t heard anything since.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Missed Opportunity

UNITED STATES
Commonweal

The Editors

Earlier this month, the United Nations committee that monitors compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child issued a stinging report criticizing the Vatican for its handling of the sexual-abuse crisis. The committee accused the Holy See of “systematically” placing the reputation of the church ahead of the welfare of children, and adopting “policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by, and the impunity of, the perpetrators.” In addition the report made several important recommendations the Holy See would do well to heed. But the UN committee weakened its case by weighing in on doctrinal matters unrelated to abuse. The committee’s scattershot approach has united critics across the ideological spectrum in criticizing the report as counterproductive, if not worse.

The committee’s first mistake is that it treats the Holy See like any other signer of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which contains fifty-four articles covering a range of issues. Wherever the committee sees that a signer is failing to abide by the convention, it makes recommendations to bring them into compliance. For example, the report recommends that the church provide “family planning, reproductive health, as well as adequate counselling and social support, to prevent unplanned pregnancies.” And it asks the church to review canon law “with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services can be permitted.” Even though the committee refers to the Holy See’s “special nature,” it seems not to grasp that Catholic canon law is not just an administrative tool; it is informed by deeply held religious beliefs. In some cases, changing canon laws would require changing Catholic doctrine, a fact the UN seems not to appreciate.

It’s strange enough for a UN committee to make doctrinal recommendations to a religious organization. But it’s even more puzzling that the committee seems to forget that the Vatican has never hidden its objections to certain aspects of the convention. When the Holy See signed the treaty in 1989, it stated its reservations about provisions that don’t conform to Catholic teaching. The Holy See explicitly warned that the only family planning it would promote was natural family planning. Several other signatories registered similar reservations—including Islamic countries that promised to ignore parts of the treaty they deemed contradictory to Sharia law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Serving the needy while building a retirement palace

NEW JERSEY
CNN

[with video]

Pope Francis has called on his clerics to follow his example and embrace modesty. One archbishop in New Jersey is raising plenty of eyebrows as construction workers add a $500,000 addition to his already-luxe vacation home. This comes after the archdiocese was forced to close a school and cut back on some charity operations. Randi Kaye has the story.

Anderson discussed this with Charles Zech, Director of Villanova University's Center for the Management of Church studies. Also, New York Times columnist Michael Powell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Croatia Church finds priest guilty of pedophilia for first time in staunchly Catholic nation

CROATIA
Fox News

Published February 22, 2014
Associated Press

ZAGREB, CROATIA – The Croatian Catholic Church has found one of its priests guilty of sexually abusing minors, the first such ruling in the staunchly Catholic nation.

The head of Croatia's Bishops Conference, Archbishop Zelimir Puljic, told Croatian state TV late Friday that the Rev. Nedeljko Ivanov was ordered to apologize to the victims and must donate part of his pension to charity. He is allowed to celebrate Mass only inside his retirement home, but cannot perform any other priestly duty.

The case emerged two years ago when Ivanov was accused by people who as children had been in the priest's congregation in Bibinje, near Croatia's Adriatic coast.

Ivanov cannot be tried by Croatia's judiciary because the alleged abuse occurred in 1980s and 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Kroatien: Kirche verurteilte Priester wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs

KROATIEN
Tiroler Tageszeitung

[Summary: The Catholic Church in Croatia has sentenced a priest after he faced allegations of sexually abusing children. The priest from Bibinje, Dalmatia, was the first priest to be sentenced under canon law in the country. According to Croatian civil law, the abusive acts were time-barred because they occurred from 1983 to 1991. The case became public two years ago when a victim went on Croatian television.]

Zagreb (APA) - Die katholische Kirche in Kroatien hat einen Priester nach Vorwürfen des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern verurteilt. Der Priester aus Bibinje in Dalmatien ist der erste Geistliche, der nach dem Kirchenrecht verurteilt wurde, berichteten kroatische Medien. Die Erzdiözese Zadar veröffentlichte in einer Pressekonferenz am Freitag jedoch nicht das Strafausmaß.

Laut dem kroatischen Gesetz sind die Taten des Priesters verjährt, da sie länger als 15 Jahre zurückliegen. Die Anzeigen, die bei der kroatischen Staatsanwaltschaft eintrafen, beziehen sich auf den Zeitraum von 1983 bis 1991. Der Fall wurde vor zwei Jahren publik, als ein Missbrauchsopfer im kroatischen Fernsehen seine Geschichte publik machte. Die Erzdiözese Zadar berichtete von drei Zeugen, die den Missbrauch bei der kirchlichen Stelle angezeigt hatten, worauf man Ermittlungen einleitete.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

The Record Editorial: Archbishop Myers' princely palace

NEW JERSEY
The Record

Last year, the Archbishop's Annual Appeal collected nearly $10 million. Myers' palace is estimated to cost $500,000, minus architectural costs, furnishings and landscaping. While the money for the mansion is not coming from the appeal, it is hypocritical for the archdiocese to ask parishioners to give generously when it is spending generously on luxuries for Myers.

The theme for the current appeal is: "When I called, you answered."

Prospective donors should think twice about giving when Myers' motto should read: "When I called, you paid for my hot tub."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

List of new cardinals created by pope

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

(Reuters) - Pope Francis elevated 19 prelates to the rank of cardinal on Saturday, his first appointments to the elite group of men who are his top aides around the world and who can one day elect his successor if they are under 80.

Sixteen of the new cardinals will have the right to vote to choose a successor. Three were made cardinal emeritus, without voting rights, for their service to the Church.

The following are cardinals with voting rights:

1. Archbishop Pietro Parolin, 59, Italian, Vatican Secretary of State.
2. Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, 73, Italian, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
3. Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, 66, German, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
4. Archbishop, Beniamino Stella, 72, Italian, head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy.
5. Archbishop Vincent Nichols, 68, British, Archbishop of Westminster.
6. Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano, 64, Nicaraguan, Archbishop of Managua.
7. Archbishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, 56, Canadian, Archbishop of Quebec.
8. Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa, 68, Ivorian, Archbishop of Abidjan.
9. Archbishop Orani João Tempesta, 63, Brazilian, Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro.
10. Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti, 71, Italian, Archbishop of Perugia.
11. Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli, 66, Argentine, Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
12. Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo Jung, 70, Korean, Archbishop of Seoul.
13. Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, 72, Chilean, Archbishop of Santiago.
14. Archbishop Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo, 69, from Burkina Faso, Archbishop of Ouagadougou.
15. Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, 74, Filipino, Archbishop of Cotabato.
16. Archbishop Chibly Langlois, 55, Haitian, Archbishop of Les Cayes.

The following are cardinals emeritus, without voting rights:

1. Monsignor Loris Francesco Capovilla, 98, Italian, who was secretary to Pope John XXIII, who reigned from 1958-1963 and called the Second Vatican Council. He was not able to attend the ceremony for health reasons.
2. Archbishop Fernando Sebastián Aguilar, 84, Spanish, Archbishop emeritus of Pamplona.
3. Monsignor Kelvin Edward Felix, 81, from Saint Lucia, Archbishop emeritus of Castries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Benedict joins Francis in historic 1st ceremony

VATICAN CITY
WOI

By NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Retired Pope Benedict XVI joined Pope Francis at a ceremony Saturday creating the cardinals who will elect their successor in an unprecedented blending of papacies past, present and future.

Benedict discreetly entered St. Peter's Basilica from a side entrance surrounded by a small entourage and was greeted with applause and tears from the stunned people in the pews. He smiled, waved and seemed genuinely happy to be there, taking his seat in the front row, off to the side, alongside the red-draped cardinals.

It was the first time Benedict and Francis have appeared together at a public liturgical ceremony since Benedict retired a year ago and became the first pope to step down in more than 600 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

CONCLUSION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY CONSISTORY ON THE FAMILY

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 22 February 2014 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., has issued a press release to report that the final session of the extraordinary consistory took place yesterday, Friday 21 February, from 4.30 to 6.45 p.m.

“Throughout the entire consistory, 69 cardinals spoke on a broad range of themes regarding the family. The assembly took place and concluded in an atmosphere of great serenity and satisfaction on the part of all those present for the breadth and depth of the presentations”.

“The Holy Father made a brief concluding address to thank all the participants and expressing his conviction that the Lord has led the Church to face the theme of the Gospel of the family, and will accompany her on the path she has undertaken with this important step in the Consistory and will continue with the Synod over the course of almost two years. He invited all those present to pray to the Lord for this intention and for him”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

THE POPE TO NEW CARDINALS: THE CHURCH NEEDS US TO BUILD PEACE WITH OUR WORKS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 22 February 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated an Ordinary Public Consistory during which he created nineteen new cardinals, to whom he imposed the biretta, consigned the ring and assigned the title or diaconate church.

The celebration was also attended by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, whom Pope Francis embraced upon entering the basilica and who was also greeted by secretary of State Pietro Parolin in his address. Parolin was the first among the new cardinals and addressed some words of thanks to the Holy Father in the name of all the new cardinals. Bishop Loris Francesco Capovilla was not present, and the biretta will be consigned over the next few days to his residence in Sotto il Monte, in the Italian province of Bergamo.

Today's ordinary public consistory was the first of Pope Francis' pontificate; he began his allocution with the phrase from the Gospel of St. Mark, read on this occasion: “And Jesus went before them”.

“At this moment too, Jesus is walking ahead of us”, he said. “He is always before us. He goes ahead of us and leads the way. This is the source of our confidence and our joy: to be his disciples, to remain with him, to walk behind him, to follow him. When we joined with the cardinals to concelebrate the first Mass in the Sistine Chapel, the first word which the Lord proposed to us was to 'walk', to journey with him: to journey, and then to build and to profess. Today this same word is repeated, but now as an action, an action of Jesus which is ongoing: 'Jesus was walking…'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Pope Francis creates cardinals, appeals for peace and against “any discrimination”

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

David Gibson | Feb 22, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis created his first batch of new cardinals on Saturday (Feb. 22) and used the ceremony – which featured the first public appearance by Pope Benedict XVI since his retirement last year – to launch a new appeal for peace amid the violence racking so many countries.

In his remarks, Francis focused on the plight of Christians in particular but in an extemporaneous addition to his prepared speech he also called on the church “to fight any discrimination” and “exclusion.”

“The Church needs your compassion, especially at this time of pain and suffering for so many countries throughout the world,” Francis told the 18 new cardinals who were present in St. Peter’s Basilica, along with hundreds of other cardinals and bishops whose colorful vestments and diverse origins offered a grand tableau of global Catholicism.

Adding to the drama of the day, Benedict was a surprise participant at the ceremony, his first public appearance at a Vatican event since he resigned the papacy on Feb. 28 last year — a stunning move that paved the way for the election of Francis two weeks later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Royal commission hearings into child sex abuse at St Ann's special school to go ahead despite Catholic Church concern over timing

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ginny Stein

The royal commission has rejected Catholic Church concerns about the timing of hearings into sex abuse in an Adelaide special needs school.

Next month the commission will look into how authorities responded to the abuse at St Ann's school in the early 1990s.

Parents of the victims hope they will finally get answers about the paedophile bus driver who preyed on up to 30 children, most of whom could not speak.

Earlier this year, lawyers for the church's insurers wrote to the commission, arguing that hearings could influence compensation settlements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Former Kettering priest disciplined for child abuse

INDIANA
WDTN

By Jill Drury
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014

CINCINNATI, Ohio (WDTN) – The Vatican took action Friday in the cases of two local priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Both were accused of child abuse.

The Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith permanently removed Daniel Prater from the priesthood.

The archdiocese says Pater was put on administrative leave in 2003 after admitting to sexually abusing a teenaged girl in the 1980s and 1990s.

It say although Pater remains a priest, he can never again celebrate a public Mass, administer other sacraments, wear clerical clothes or present himself as a priest. ...

The Vatican restored Reverend David Reilly to active ministry. He was accused of inappropriate behavior in the 1970s, but the Church found there was not found guilty of committing any offenses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Vatican removes area priest after sexual assault admission

INDIANA
Cincinnati Enquirer

After admitting to sexually abusing a teenaged girl in the 1980s, Daniel Pater has been removed from ministry by the Vatican, according to an announcement from The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

In addition to Pater, CDF announced that Rev. David F. Reilly was restored to active ministry after a church court ruled that he was not guilty of inappropriate behavior with a minor.

Reilly was put on administrative leave from St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Shandon in August of 2006 after he was accused of engaging a minor in behavior with sexual overtones in the 1970s, according to CDF.

Pater, who has been on administrative leave since 2003, has been directed by the CDF to “lead a life of prayer and penance.” Pater will never again be permitted to celebrate Mass in public, administer the other sacraments, wear clerical garb or present himself as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Ex-Mendham Priest Accused of Making Unwanted Sexual Advances

TEXAS/NEW JERSEY
Patch

Posted by Jason Koestenblatt (Editor) , February 21, 2014

A retired priest from Morris County has been charged with criminal sexual contact by local authorities but has not been taken into custody as he currently resides in Texas.

Morris County Acting Prosecutor Fredric Knapp announced today Reverend Phillip Briganti, 67, formerly of Randolph, was being charged with the fourth-degree crime for “acts involving an adult male.”

Briganti, living in El Paso, Texas, officiated a wedding at St. Paul’s Church in Prospect Park on Nov. 9, 2013, Knapp said. Following the wedding reception, Briganti was riding on a bus with the alleged victim en route to a hotel, Knapp said. It was then Briganti allegedly engaged in unwanted sexual contact with the victim.

The victim notified the Diocese of Paterson, which then alerted authorities in Morris, Passai, and Bergen counties, Knapp said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Acusan de abuso sexual a sacerdote retirado en NJ; vive aquí

TEXAS/NEW JERSEY
El Diario de El Paso

Julio Antonio Molinet
El Diario de El Paso | 2014-02-21

Un sacerdote retirado de Nueva Jersey y que actualmente vive en la ciudad de El Paso, ha sido acusado de tener contacto sexual ilícito con un hombre tras haber oficiado una boda. El incidente, dado a conocer ayer, ocurrió el pasado nueve de noviembre en el poblado de Prospect Park, del Condado de Passaic.

Los fiscales del Condado de Morris dijeron que el padre Philip Briganti tuvo el supuesto contacto sexual mientras el sacerdote –de 67 años de edad– se encontraba en un autobús que viajaba rumbo a un hotel, después de la recepción de la boda.

Al contactar ayer a la canciller de la Diócesis de El Paso, Patricia Fierro, para una opinión de esa institución, este rotativo recibió un comunicado oficial con la rúbrica del vicario general de la Curia, reverendo Anthony C. Celino.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Ezzati será investido cardenal en medio de críticas al Arzobispado por foto de Karadima

CHILE
El Mostrador

[Summary: Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati will become a Cardinal today but amid controversy. Photos have photos emerged showing priest Fernando Karadima officiating at a Mass after the Vatican forbid him to do because of allegations of abuse. A victim of abuse by a Valdivia priest a few days ago filed a complaint against Ezzati allegeing that he obstructed an investigation and withheld information.]

por BERNARDITA GARCÍA JIMÉNEZ

Mientras el arzobispo Ricardo Ezzati se encuentra por estos días en el Vaticano, en Roma, a la espera de la ceremonia que se llevará a cabo este sábado a las 11:00 de la mañana, hora local, y en la que será investido cardenal Consistorio por el Papa Francisco, en Chile el Arzobispado de Santiago se convierte en blanco de críticas a raíz de las recientes eventualidades. El jueves, el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz, una de las víctimas que denunció abusos por parte del ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, divulgó una fotografía en la que figura este oficiando una misa el pasado 4 de diciembre de 2013 en la capilla del convento de las Siervas de Jesús de la Caridad, en el sector del Parque Bustamante de la comuna de Providencia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

McCort board intends to sue attorney over unfounded claim

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

Updated: Friday, February 21 2014

By: Maria Miller JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- There are new developments in the case involving a former Franciscan friar accused of sexually assaulting students at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in the early '90s.

On Friday, the Bishop McCort board of trusteesannounced its intent to file suit against a Greensburg attorney representing alleged victims in the case, saying she might be withholding vital information to its investigation.

The board said Attorney Susan Williams is making unsubstantiated and even slanderous claims on her website.

The board memberssaid if she really has knowledge of adults at the school, former or current, who knew anything about alleged abuse, they want and need to know in order to protect current students.

The statement on Williams' website is hard to miss. It's one of the first things you see on her home page and reads in part, "our office has been contacted by numerous individuals who were affected by the alleged actions of Brother Stephen Baker and the array of adults at Bishop McCort High School."

The statement has been there since early last year, when she started representing former students. But the Bishop McCort board says her claim is unsubstantiated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

McCort board suing abuse lawyer

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott
kmellott@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — The board of directors of Bishop McCort Catholic High School is going after a Greensburg attorney who is representing a handful of people who claim they were sexually abused by Brother Stephen Baker.

Documents were filed this week on behalf of the school’s leaders in Westmoreland County court as the first step in a civil lawsuit against Susan Williams regarding assertions made on her Web page.

Additionally, Pittsburgh attorney Kathleen Gallagher, on behalf of Bishop McCort, filed what is termed notice of service of plaintiff’s first set of discovery.

It is seeking a response from Williams as the first step in gaining information from a plaintiff.

The website makes statements by Williams in relation to individuals she claims are still at Bishop McCort and makes reference to their relationships to Baker, the board maintains.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

February 21, 2014

Cardinals Meet Secretly About Sexual Morality and ???

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Early this week, Pope Francis met with his select group of cardinals mainly to review matters relating to the Vatican financial scandals. Over 180 cardinals then met in two closed sessions with Pope Francis this week to reconsider the Catholic Church’s rules on marriage and the family and the related sexual morality issues. Only cardinals attended these meetings. Also on Friday, US Cardinal Burke reportedly confirmed in the Vatican newspaper Pope Francis’ continuing opposition to gay marriage and abortion.

No consideration seemingly was given by Pope Francis to addressing with the world’s cardinals fully assembled the worldwide Church scandal of priest child abuse or related lack of bishop accountability.

Meanwhile a prominent US legal expert, Professor Marci Hamilton, called on President Obama to step up and address the epidemic of sexual abuse of children by religious institutions as noted here:

[Verdict]

And, Betty Clermont, the author of “The Neo-Catholics”, also called on President Obama to cancel his March 27 meeting with Pope Francis mainly in light of the recent UN report severely criticizing the Vatican’s policies relating to children and the Vatican’s evasive response to the UN report as noted here:

[Daily Kos]

These calls are in addition to my recent advice as a retired international lawyer to President Obama noted here:

[Christian Catholicism]

After a long presentation to the 180+ cardinals by highly regarded German Cardinal Walter Kasper on the topic of family life on Thursday morning, 43 other cardinals made responsive remarks. Among the key topics reportedly discussed were how to treat Catholics who divorce and remarry and still seek to receive the Catholic sacraments and how to simplify annulment procedures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Pastor questions BJU decision in Youtube video

SOUTH CAROLINA
WYFF

GREENVILLE, S.C. —An Upstate pastor is taking Bob Jones University to task for its decision to terminate an investigation into campus sex abuse.

Pastor Ryan Ferguson, of North Hills Community Church in Greenville, uploaded a 20 minute video to YouTube, calling BJU’s termination of the GRACE Investigation “harmful to survivors of abuse.”

"You do not take responsibility in your communication about the past,” Ferguson said in the video. “Stated differently, you do not talk transparently."

Ferguson told WYFF News 4 Investigates he believes the university has failed to provide a clear explanation of why the investigation was terminated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Another PHC Update

VIRGINIA
The American Conservative

By ROD DREHER • February 21, 2014

Let me be clear that I take no position on the allegations made about sexual assault at Patrick Henry College. I am not in a position to know what did or did not happen, or to do a proper investigation. I do like hearing from people who attend or who did attend PHC, and publishing their perspectives. Keep in mind as you read them that these are the opinions of individuals; they are not necessarily the whole truth.

That said, here is a counter-perspective from a recent PHU alumna who wrote me privately. She gave permission for me to post this, but asked me not to use her name, for fear of professional harm. She sent me information that allowed me to verify her identity, which I did. I can say that she is presently working in a job that gives her strong professional standing. Here is her letter:

I am a graduate of PHC’s class of 2010 and was there when many of the incidents described in Kiera Feldman’s article in the New Republic took place. Since you posted an email from a current sophomore, I wanted to respond.

Looking back on PHC, now that I’m four years older, married, and with professional experience outside the bubble of PHC, I have to say the sophomore has given you the wrong idea. It’s not surprising, as most of PHC’s students come from conservative, typically fundamentalist, Christian backgrounds. Their “normal” is very different from mainstream Christianity, let alone mainstream America. Patriarchal beliefs are “baked into” PHC culture and fundamentalist Christian culture so that what is startling for a liberal reporter from the New Republic is business as usual for current PHC students. Let me provide you with some examples.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Diócesis de Puerto Rico impugna solicitud de información

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Herald

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Abogados de una diócesis de Puerto Rico que expulsó a seis sacerdotes que enfrentan acusaciones de abuso sexual dijeron que se oponen a una investigación penal debido en parte a que la mayoría de los casos involucraron sexo consensual con las presuntas víctimas.

Los abogados señalaron que los sacerdotes fueron expulsados por violación al derecho canónico, no a leyes del derecho penal.

El argumento fue uno de varios presentados el viernes sin evidencia ante un juez que está revisando una demanda de la Diócesis de Arecibo presentada contra el secretario de Justicia de Puerto Rico. La diócesis asevera que no debería ser obligada a proporcionar a fiscales los nombres de las presuntas víctimas para proteger su confidencialidad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Juez concede garantía de confidencialidad que solicitó Diócesis de Aree solicitó Diócesis de Arecibo

PUERTO RICO
El Nuevo Dia

El juez Ángel Pagán Ocasio, del Tribunal de San Juan, aceptó hoy una petición para que una víctima de abuso sexual se una a la demanda incoada por la Diócesis de Arecibo, para que no se obligue a entregar al Departamento de Justicia los nombres de las personas involucradas en los casos de abuso sexual a menores que investigó la institución y que culminó con la expulsión de seis sacerdotes.

Durante una vista esta mañana para atender la petición de sentencia declaratoria de la Diócesis de Arecibo, el magistrado también concedió una moción presentada por los abogados de la Iglesia, Frank Torres Viada y José Andreu Fuentes, para garantizar la confidencialidad de los testigos que presentarán en el proceso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Puerto Rico diocese fights request for information

PUERTO RICO
12 News

February 21, 2014

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Attorneys for a Puerto Rico diocese that defrocked six priests facing sex abuse accusations say they oppose a criminal investigation in part because the majority of the cases involved consensual sex with the alleged victims.

Diocese attorneys say the priests were defrocked for violating canon law, not criminal laws.

The argument was one of several presented without evidence on Friday to a judge reviewing a lawsuit that the Diocese of Arecibo filed against Puerto Rico's justice secretary. The diocese contends that it should not be forced to release the names of alleged victims to prosecutors in order to protect their confidentiality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

No requirement to take sex abuse allegations further

AUSTRALIA
Daily Examiner

Adam Davies 22nd Feb 2014

THE head of the Catholic Education Office in Toowoomba has admitted there was no process in place requiring his delegates to advise him or his deputy of child sexual abuse allegations in the diocese.

Director John Borserio said there was also nothing in the student protection and risk management kit which required the diocese's two student protection officers Ian Hunter or Christopher Fry to report any allegations to him either.

The student protection and risk management kit was the primary manual used to protect students at 32 schools across the diocese.

Mr Borserio told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse on Friday it was a deficiency in procedures he now regretted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

"Mentality" to protect the bishop at all costs

AUSTRALIA
Daily Examiner

Adam Davies 22nd Feb 2014

A CATHOLIC school principal has told an inquiry there was a mentality and culture operating in the Toowoomba Diocese that the bishop must be protected at all costs.

Dan McMahon, the current principal of Shalom College in Bundaberg, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Brisbane on Friday that student protection did not come first.

"The phrase not to compromise the bishop was used regularly," he said.

"It was a justification for diocesan processes on all sorts of things.

"When I, as a principal, would sometimes think or ask why do we have to go through so many hurdles to do something or to make a decision, often the reason was we did not want to compromise the bishop because he is the ultimate employer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

KC diocese settles 2 lawsuits involving priest for $1.8 million

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

February 21
BY JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese has settled two more lawsuits totaling $1.8 million involving a priest now serving prison time for producing child pornography.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Jack Grate approved a $1.275 million settlement on Friday in a lawsuit filed by two parents on behalf of their minor daughter against the diocese, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan and Bishop Robert Finn.

And on Wednesday, Circuit Judge Jim Kanatzar approved a $525,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed last year by two parents and their minor daughter. That suit also named the diocese, Ratigan and Finn as defendants.

In addition, Grate and Kanatzar each entered a $500,000 default judgment against Ratigan, who failed to respond to the lawsuits.

The settlements bring to $3.75 million the total the diocese has paid out so far in cases involving Ratigan.

“We hope that settlements of this kind will make the diocese place the safety of children first and foremost from here on out,” said Rebecca Randles, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs in both cases.

A diocesan spokesman confirmed the settlements Friday and said they were funded by the diocese’s internal self-insurance fund and its external carrier, National Catholic Risk Retention Group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Retired Priest Accused of Sex Crime at Wedding

NEW JERSEY
NBC 10

Authorities say a retired New Jersey priest has been charged with engaging in unwanted sexual contact with a man after officiating at a wedding.

Morris County prosecutors say the Rev. Philip Briganti, who now lives in El Paso, Texas, returned to New Jersey to officiate at a wedding Nov. 9 in the town of Prospect Park.

Prosecutors say the alleged sexual contact occurred while the 67-year-old priest was on a bus trip to a hotel after the wedding reception.

They say they were notified of the allegation of by the Paterson Diocese, where Briganti had served before retiring. The diocese has suspended his right to perform ministerial duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

In Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy, Messmer loses $3.4 million

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel
Feb. 21, 2014

In every bankruptcy, there are winners and losers. Parties made whole and those who are paid a fraction of what they are owed by the debtor.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy is no different.

Among the losers that emerged in the archdiocese's reorganization plan filed this month is St. Rose and St. Leo Catholic Urban Academy, one of the most impoverished schools in the state, which the archdiocese had promised to support when Messmer High School took it over in 2007.

Under the terms of the deal signed at the time, the archdiocese agreed to pay Messmer $5 million over 15 years — $2 million for capital improvements and $200,000 a year for operating expenses.

Those payments stopped when the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January 2011, and under its reorganization plan, it would pay just $5,000 of the $3.4 million it still owes.

Messmer President Jim Piatt said the three-school system has been operating at a deficit since the money dried up. He said it has delayed needed repairs and improvements at the St. Rose and St. Leo building at 514 N. 31st St., and slowed academic initiatives that were planned there. But he said Messmer already is looking for alternative sources of funding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Vatican starts hiring freeze, forbids overtime in effort to cut costs

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican announced an immediate end to new hires, wage-increases and overtime in an effort to cut costs and offset budget shortfalls.

Pope Francis, with input from the Vatican's central accounting office, also determined that volunteers could be used to help provide the labor needed to make up for the hiring freeze and eventual attrition.

Cardinal-designate Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, sent a letter, dated Feb. 13, to the heads of all Vatican offices, institutions and agencies.

He said the budget forecast for 2014 "necessitated the immediate adoption of some measures needed to contain" personnel costs. In its last published report, the Vatican said it had a slight budget surplus of $2.7 million in 2012 after experiencing one of its largest budget deficits of the past decade in 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Jason Berry Q&A about Tuesday's 'Frontline: Secrets of the Vatican'

UNITED STATES
The Times-Picayune

By Dave Walker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on February 21, 2014

Tuesday’s (Feb. 25) episode of PBS’ “Frontline” unravels “Secrets of the Vatican” in a spellbinding 90-minute episode airing at 8 p.m. on WYES. New Orleans author Jason Berry (“Lead Us Not Into Temptation,” “Vows of Silence,” “Render Unto Rome”) is co-producer of the episode, which details some of the issues — clergy sex abuse, corruption at the Vatican Bank, the Vatileaks corruption exposes — that scandalized Benedict XVI’s papacy.

It also paints a grim picture of the challenges facing Benedict’s successor, Pope Francis.

Berry’s investigative reporting of the Catholic Church dates to 1992’s “Lead Us Not Into Temptation,” the first extensive account of sexual abuse of children by priests. His 2004 book “Vows of Silence,” written with co-author Gerald Renner, explored the sexual abuses of Mexican priest and Legion of Christ founder Marcial Maciel, and was also adapted into a documentary film of the same title. In 2011’s “Render Unto Rome,” Berry, a practicing Catholic, critically examined the church’s handling of its finances. Berry was also interviewed for Alex Gibney’s documentary “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” which detailed alleged sexual abuse by Lawrence Murphy, a priest at Milwaukee’s St. John’s School for the Deaf. “Mea Maxima Culpa” aired last year on HBO.

Here’s an edited email Q&A with Berry about Tuesday’s “Frontline: Secrets of the Vatican:”

Q: You’re credited as co-producer. What was your role? When did the work start? Was the final product what the project set out to be?

A: “Frontline” chose a renowned English director, Antony Thomas. One of the researchers contacted me about the time of the papal conclave last March. She'd seen an interview I did at St. Peter's Square on the BBC, and had read my book "Render unto Rome." She sent some questions, and we spoke by phone. Antony contacted me in early July and asked me to collaborate with him. He wanted my help on the sequence about Fr. Maciel and on episodes to film in the U.S. I sent a memo on that, outlining key American stories, how they connected to the Vatican episodes Antony's team had researched.

I spent most of July and August going back and forth with him on research and scenario issues. We met in Boston in late August with the crew, filmed there, in Connecticut, New York and Milwaukee over several weeks. As Antony got into the editing several weeks later we had continuous emails and calls right up to the fine-cut edit last week. The film does closely track his treatment, though several strands had to be cut. This often happens in documentaries even with powerful material.

What’s new here? What’s new here for viewers familiar with your work and the coverage by others of these issues? What’s new here for people who haven’t followed the story?

Well, the film takes viewers into the Vatican's baroque internal dynamics, and the infighting under Pope Benedict that exploded in the Vatican Bank and Vatileaks scandals. No TV network outside of Italy has covered those complex stories in much detail, and few newspapers in much depth. Viewers will get a clear story of the last pope betrayed by his own bureaucracy. Antony's treatment of the gay priest culture in the Vatican — an explosive topic to be sure — is nuanced and even-handed, certainly not homophobic. The early episodes that deal with the Maciel case, and the Milwaukee archdiocesan bankruptcy, to stave off abuse victims' claims, have gotten media attention as you note, but I think our handling of the people enmeshed in these numbing dramas will convey the scope of the crisis, all the way back to Rome. These issues are continuing, though daily media coverage tends to wax and wane.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

New Boston mayor courts Pope Francis

BOSTON (MA)
South Coast Today

BOSTON — Boston Mayor Martin Walsh wants Pope Francis to visit the city.

Walsh has asked the Roman Catholic Cardinal of Boston, Sean O'Malley, to hand deliver an invitation to the pontiff asking him to visit Boston during a possible visit to the U.S. next year.

O'Malley headed to the Vatican this week.

According to The Boston Globe, Walsh's letter emphasizes the importance of the church in his own life as well as the importance of faith in the history of the city. He points out that the Boston Archdiocese is one of the largest in the U.S.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahony knowingly kept information from police in sex abuse case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic Online

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The priest in question, Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, was accused in the sexual abuse of 26 altar boys. Detectives eventually got the names of the boys from parish families. According to the priest's confidential archdiocese file and police records since made public by attorneys for the victims, 25 of the alleged victims were altar boys. The 26th was training with the priest to be one.

Plaintiff Attorney Anthony DeMarco says it's not clear what impact Mahony's action had on the investigation, although at the time police complained that the archdiocese wasn't fully cooperating.

Mahony's deposition has been released and is part of the evidence included in a settlement of abuse claims against Aguilar Rivera and four other priests. The archdiocese, the nation's largest, agreed to pay $13 million to 17 victims.

The archdiocese, since 2006 has paid more than $700 million to settle clergy abuse lawsuits by hundreds of victims. Internal church files kept on priests accused of abuse were released last year under court order. Mahony, elevated to cardinal and retired in 2011, was shown to have maneuvered behind the scenes with his top aide, Monsignor Thomas Curry, to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners unaware.

Prosecutors say the cases fell outside the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution of any church officials.

J. Michael Hennigan, an attorney with the archdiocese, said Mahony didn't reveal a list of altar boys, also called altar servers, to police because he didn't believe any of the alleged victims were among them. Mahony is in Rome and was unavailable for comment, Hennigan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Miami's New Archbishop Was Part of Newark Leadership That Covered Up Abuse, Advocates Say

FLORIDA
Miami New Times

By Allie Conti Fri., Feb. 21 2014

Yesterday, Pope Francis tapped Peter Baldacchino of the Newark archdiocese for a promotion in Miami. During the 18 years he spent under the New Jersey bishop, the 53-year-old rose to become a chancellor serving the Turks and Caicos islands and learned to speak both Spanish and Haitian Creole.

But one advocacy group says Miami should beware Baldacchino. That's because he was a member of the leadership in a troubled diocese where dozens of priests have been accused of molesting kids.

According to the site Bishop-Accountability.org, 42 priests in the Newark archdiocese have been publicly accused of molesting kids. John J. Myers, the archbishop there, told the Star-Ledger in 2002 that an internal investigation had found 51 credible accusations against his archdiocese from 1950 until then.

Still, he defended a personal policy of not naming the priests involved. The Star-Ledger also reported four instances in which Newark's culture of secrecy helped cover up the molestation of three children and the assault of one woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Catholic church in Croatia finds priest guilty of paedophilia

CROATIA
The New Age

The Catholic Church in Croatia has found one of its priests guilty of pedophilia, the Zadar diocese confirmed on Friday.

"After careful consideration ... judges found significant (evidence) of punishable acts considering the major moral responsibility of the defendant," the diocese said in a statement, which failed to specify the nature of the priest's punishment.

The sentence marks the first time that the Catholic Church in Croatia has found one of its priests guilty of pedophilia.

The case emerged two years ago when three of Ivanov's victims spoke out about abuse they had suffered as children in the priest's congregation in Bibinje near Croatia's Adriatic coast.

The church has informed Ivanov's victims of the verdict, as well as offering them "special psychological and spiritual assistance."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Audit finds Maine Catholic diocese in compliance with charter to prevent child sex abuse

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 21, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People following an audit, the diocese announced Friday.

The charter calls for an effective response from the diocese to any report of sexual abuse by church personnel, background checks on all diocesan employees and volunteers who work regularly with minors, special sexual abuse prevention training and other mandates for the protection of children.

The on-site audit in September by Stone Bridge Business Partners of Rochester, NY., reviewed the period from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, according to the press release. It found that all diocesan employees and active clergy have had background checks. Auditors also reviewed the implementation of the “Think First/Stay Safe Prevention Program” for children in Catholic schools and those that participate in religious education offered through their parishes, as well as the implementation of the “Protecting God’s Children Program” for all those working and volunteering in the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

TX- El Paso priest charged with sex offense, Victims react

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 21, 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 retired Catholic priest who lives in El Paso and has worked at St. Raphael's parish in El Paso has been charged with criminal sexual contact.

[The Record]

[KSWO]

[El Paso diocese]

Fr. Philip Briganti allegedly assaulted a man after a wedding in New Jersey.

We hope that this was an isolated incidence. We doubt that's true. In 2005, according to the Observer-Tribune, Fr. Briganti suddenly left his Mendham, NJ parish after someone apparently tried to extort money from him for photos he sent over the internet, according to Mendham NJ police Lt. John Taylor.

Paterson Catholic officials claim they immediately called prosecutors when they learned about the recent charge. We hope that's true.

And we hope that El Paso Bishop Mark J. Seitz and Paterson Bishop Arthur Joseph Serratelli will use their vast resources to reach out to anyone else who might have been hurt by Fr. Briganti. We encourage anyone who saw, suspects or suffered abuse to report to law enforcement, not to church officials.

We also hope that Bishop Seitz doesn't “pass the buck” or split hairs, claiming that Fr. Briganti isn't his responsibility. We strongly suspect that Fr. Briganti has used his title to gain access to kids in El Paso too and has at the very least performed priestly duties on a substitute basis in Texas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Chile: Pedophile Priest Defies Vatican Order

CHILE/VATICAN CITY
ABC News

By LUIS ANDRES HENAO and NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

A prominent Chilean priest who was ordered by the Vatican to never again celebrate a public Mass as punishment for sexually abusing altar boys has been photographed apparently defying the order.

Chile's top church leaders confirmed the Rev. Fernando Karadima's act of insubordination Friday and sent the case to the Vatican for investigation. The photos were taken Dec. 4, but they were only released this week by Juan Carlos Cruz, a journalist and one of Karadima's victims.

"It's a very painful situation that shows that this priest continues to do as he pleases," Cruz told The Associated Press. "It's a slap in the face for the victims of his abuse. He should be in jail but instead he's still being protected by the church."

The Roman Catholic Church retains a firm grip on Chilean society, although in recent years its influence has waned after scandals in which priests have been accused of molesting children. Victims say Karadima began abusing them at his residence at the Sacred Heart of Jesus church in Santiago about 20 years ago, when they were between 14 and 17 years old.

The Vatican sanctioned Karadima by ordering him to a life of "penitence and prayer" in 2011. He was also barred from celebrating Mass in public, from hearing confessions or offering spiritual direction and from having contact with his ex-parishioners. A Chilean judge later dismissed a criminal case because the statute of limitations had expired, but she determined the abuse allegations were truthful.

The timing of the photos' release appeared aimed at embarrassing both the current and former archbishops of Santiago, who were in Rome for Saturday's ceremony to name current Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello a cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Los Angeles’s Costly Lesson for the Vatican

CALIFORNIA
The New York Times

THE EDITORIAL BOARD
FEB. 20, 2014

Pope Francis has been meeting this week with eight cardinals he selected to shape proposals for reforming the Roman Catholic Church. It is too early to tell what will result from an agenda that will range from Vatican finances to the recruitment of new believers. But the deliberations surely cannot afford to overlook the shocking price tag announced as a final figure that the Los Angeles Archdiocese paid to victims of child sexual abuse by priests.

A decade of litigation, shameful denial and fierce resistance to civil authority has cost the archdiocese more than $740 million in monetary damages, with the spiritual toll far from tallied. Church lawyers said this was an end to litigation that saw more than 500 victims receive compensation, with the archdiocese taking out costly loans, selling property and even tapping into cemetery perpetual care funds to pay for it. In the process, the archdiocese was forced by the courts to release secret records that confirmed systematic cover-ups of priests’ crimes.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who led the archdiocese during the scandal years, reportedly is not expected to face criminal charges, despite records showing that he shielded abusers and ordered that evidence be withheld from criminal investigators. He retired in 2011 to his childhood parish in California and was ultimately rebuked by his successor, but that hardly brought an end to the problem, which Vatican reformers cannot duck.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

West Island Deacon pleads guilty to child porn charges

CANADA
CJAD

Former Deacon of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and West Islander William (Bill) Kokesch pleaded guilty to three child pornography charges in Montreal court Friday.

With his wife in the room, Crown Prosecutor Dominique Potvin read the evidence police acquired against him.

Nearly 100,000 images and 2,100 videos depicting children under 10 years old were found on the man’s hard drive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

West Island Deacon pleads guilty to child pornography charges

CANADA
CTV

Published Friday, February 21

A former Roman Catholic Deacon from the West Island has pleaded guilty to several child pornography charges.

William Kokesch entered the guilty plea in court Friday morning to the three crimes he was accused of: production, possession and distribution of child pornography.

He is facing anywhere from one to 10 years in prison.

Kokesch was arrested in December 2012 and was granted bail soon afterward, under the condition he refrained from using the internet and cameras, and avoided public areas where children were likely to gather.

Police initially said they seized more than 2,000 images from his home at the time of his arrest and records of chat messages on pedophilic websites.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Beaconsfield deacon William Kokesch pleads guilty to child porn charges

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL — William Kokesch, a former West Island deacon, had thousands of photos and videos on his computer of children being whipped and raped by adults, as well as sexual fantasy chats with fellow child pornographers.

On Friday, he sat in a Montreal courtroom beside his wife, who held his hand and whispered in his ear until Kokesch, 66, was called to stand before Quebec Court Judge Isabelle Rheault.

The former deacon at St. Edmund of Canterbury Church in Beaconsfield and former communications director for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops pleaded guilty to possessing, producing and distributing child pornography between September 2011 and November 2012.

He will be back in court May 26 after undergoing a psycho-sexual evaluation for a pre-sentencing report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Former Mendham priest ...

NEW JERSEY
Observer-Tribune

Former Mendham priest allegedly committed sex assault while passing through Randolph

MENDHAM -- A Catholic priest who retired from St. Joseph Church under a cloud and who now lives in El Paso, Texas, has been charged with committing an act of criminal sexual contact while on a bus passing through Randolph Township.

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Randolph Township Police Chief David Stokoe said in a joint statement Friday that the Rev. Philip Briganti, 67 years old, of El Paso, Texas, has been charged with one count of criminal sexual contact, a crime of the fourth degree, for acts involving an adult male.

Briganti is a retired Paterson Diocesan priest presently living in El Paso, according to police.

He had briefly returned to officiate a wedding at St. Paul’s Church in Prospect Park, on Nov. 9, police said.

Briganti had been the former pastor at St. Joseph Church in Mendham, before his resignation in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

NJ- Paterson priest charged on sex crimes; SNAP responds

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 21, 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 retired New Jersey priest has been charged with criminal sexual contact.

[The Record]

Fr. Philip Briganti allegedly assaulted a man after a wedding.

We hope, although are doubtful, that this was an isolated incidence. We doubt that's true. In 2005, according to the Observer-Tribune, Fr. Briganti suddenly left his Mendham, NJ parish after someone apparently tried to extort money from him for photos he sent over the internet, according to Mendham police Lt. John Taylor.

[BishopAccountability.org]

Paterson Catholic officials claim they immediately called prosecutors when they learned about the recent charge. We hope that's true.

And we hope that Bishop Arthur Joseph Serratelli will use his vast resources to reach out to anyone else who might have been hurt by Fr. Briganti during his tenure in Paterson. We encourage anyone who saw, suspects or suffered abuse to report to law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Priest accused of criminal sexual contact with another man after officiating N.J. wedding

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Justin Zaremba/NJ.com
on February 21, 2014

RANDOLPH — A retired Paterson Diocesan priest is facing a criminal sexual contact charge after he allegedly engaged in unwanted sexual contact with another man while on a bus returning from a wedding he officiated this past November.

Rev. Philip Briganti, 67, of El Paso, Texas, had briefly returned to New Jersey to officiate a wedding at St. Paul's Church in Prospect Park on Nov. 9, and, after the wedding reception, Briganti was on a bus traveling to a hotel when he engaged in unwanted sexual contact with the man, acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Randolph Township Police Chief David Stokoe said in a joint statement.

The Diocese of Paterson released a statement Friday saying the man notified the diocese of the incident, as he was not sure what county the bus was in at the time it occurred.

The diocese then "immediately called the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office and the Morris County Prosecutor's Office to report the information it had received," according to the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

CHILE: PEDOPHILE PRIEST DEFIES VATICAN ORDER

CHILE
San Diego 6

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A prominent Chilean priest who was ordered by the Vatican to never again celebrate a public Mass as punishment for sexually abusing altar boys has been photographed defying the order.

Chile's top church leaders confirmed the Rev. Fernando Karadima's act of insubordination Friday and sent the case to the Vatican for investigation.

The photos were taken Dec. 4, but they were only released this week by Juan Carlos Cruz, one of Karadima's victims. Cruz says it's "a slap in the face" to Karadima's victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Priest accused of sex crime following NJ wedding

NEW JERSEY
KSWO

Updated: Feb 21, 2014

PROSPECT PARK, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a retired New Jersey priest has been charged with engaging in unwanted sexual contact with a man after officiating at a wedding.

Morris County prosecutors say the Rev. Philip Briganti, who now lives in El Paso, Texas, returned to New Jersey to officiate at a wedding Nov. 9 in the town of Prospect Park.

Prosecutors say the alleged sexual contact occurred while the 67-year-old priest was on a bus trip to a hotel after the wedding reception.

They say they were notified of the allegation of by the Paterson Diocese, where Briganti had served before retiring. The diocese has suspended his right to perform ministerial duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Retired Paterson priest accused of sexually assaulting man

NEW JERSEY
The Record

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 21, 2014
BY MATTHEW MCGRATH
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

A Roman Catholic priest, who was formerly assigned to a Prospect Park parish, is accused of sexually assaulting a man on a shuttle bus after a wedding in Randolph, authorities said.

The Rev. Philip Briganti, 67, of El Paso, Texas, is facing one charge of criminal sexual contact, Acting Morris County Prosecutor Frederic M. Knapp said in a statement.

The priest was on a bus after the wedding reception with the victim on the way back to a hotel, Knapp said. Briganti “allegedly engaged in unwanted sexual contact with the victim,” Knapp said. The victim is an adult.

Briganti is a retired priest from the Paterson Diocese. He returned to New Jersey to perform a wedding at St. Paul’s Church in Prospect Park on Nov. 9, 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

MO- Former pastor pleads guilty to child molestation, SNAP responds

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, February 21, 2014

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

A former Kansas City pastor pleaded guilty to child molestation and sexual misconduct.

[The Kansas City Star]

George L. Spencer was the pastor at Greater Works CME Church in Kansas City. According to court records he abused a 13 year old girl while the girl’s mother and grandmother were attending bible study. This gross violation of trust is incredibly upsetting.

We are glad that, upon learning of the abuse, church officials immediately fired Spencer, but we are concerned that Spencer was arrested in New Orleans and had to extradited back to MO. We sincerely hope that he was not able to abuse any more children and urge church officials and law enforcement to reach out to anyone who may have seen, suspects, or suffered abuse by Spencer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Grassi insiste con su pedido de libertad ante la Suprema Corte Bonaerense

ARGENTINA
Terra

[Summary: Priest Julio Cesar Grassi has against asked for his freedom before the supreme court after being sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a minor. His argument was rejected twice before and the most recent was last month.]

El cura Julio César Grassi volvió a pedir su libertad ante la Suprema Corte Bonaerense luego de haber sido condenado a 15 años de prisión por el abuso sexual de un menor.

Luego que fuese rechazado su planteo en dos instancias, la última en enero de este año por parte de la Cámara de Casación Bonaerense, el sacerdote pidió su libertad ante la Suprema Corte provincial por medio de un recurso extraordinario.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Assignment Record – Rev. Bernard A. Harris, s.j.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Rev. Bernard A. Harris, known as "Fr. Harry", was a Jesuit of the Oregon Province ordained in 1947. Harris spent his career as an educator - initially at Bellarmine High School in Tacoma, WA, moving in the early 1950s to Loyola High School in Missoula, MT, where he taught until 1971 and, for several years, was principal. Harris also did parish work at St. Francis Xavier's in Missoula. In the 2000s more than 20 people - male and female - have surfaced with claims that Harris sexually abused them as children. There is at least one claim that he molested a child at the Flathead Indian Reservation. Harris was the brother of the late Rev. James Harris, who has also been accused of child sexual abuse. Bernard Harris died Sept. 7, 1972.

Ordained: 1947
Died: Sept. 7, 1972

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

MN- Victims to archdiocese: say more about 'investigations'

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

For immediate release: Friday, February 21, 2014

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

Minnesota Public Radio and Twin Cities Catholic officials disagree over whether or not 28 clergy who are accused of molesting kids should be publicly named. Here's a simple compromise.

[Minnesota Public Radio]

Bishop Piché and Bishop Cozzens, who now head the St. Paul/Minnesota archdiocese, should disclose when each of the allegations against these 28 clerics were made. That information violates no one's privacy – neither the accused nor the accuser.

That information would, we suspect, show that Catholic officials drag their feet and take months or even years to determine whether an accusation is “not manifestly false or frivolous.”

We could be wrong. It could be that all 28 of these allegations were made to church officials in the last two or three months. In that case, we'll gladly apologize. But we predict that these cases have languished for far too long in the self-serving church bureaucracy.

At the same time, Catholic officials should publicly admit what many of them have said privately for years – that few child sex reports against priests prove to be false.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

For the Sake of Our Children, President Obama, Please Cancel Your Meeting with Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on February 21, 2014 by Betty Clermont

Because there should be consequences.

Mr. President, please stand with the hundreds of thousands of children who have been raped, sodomized and sexually assaulted, the children now being similarly tortured and the potentially thousands more to come because no world leader will hold the Catholic Church accountable.

Please inform the Vatican that you are canceling your March 27 meeting with the Pope due to his officials’ egregious response to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child report. The subject of the 15-page document is the Vatican’s failure to adequately address its “systematic” responsibility for worldwide child sex abuse.

The Vatican still places children “at high risk of sexual abuse, as dozens of child sexual offenders (who operate under the authority of the Holy See) are reported to still be in contact with children,” according to the report issued Feb. 5.

The Committee stated it is “gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Springfield man to become bishop in Kansas

ILLINOIS/KANSAS
State Journal-Register

By Chris Dettro
Staff Writer
Posted Feb. 20, 2014

A Springfield monsignor who has served several churches in the local Catholic diocese has been named the next bishop of the Wichita, Kan., diocese.

According to a news release from the Springfield diocese, Msgr. Carl Kemme was named by Pope Francis to be the 11th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. The appointment was announced Thursday in Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.

Kemme, 53, is vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Catholic Diocese of Springfield. He served as the diocese’s administrator between the terms of former Bishop George Lucas and current Bishop Thomas John Paprocki. ...

A spokesman for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called Kemme’s promotion “disturbing.”

Barbara Dorris, outreach director of the St. Louis-based organization, said the Springfield diocesan staff “made a number of worrisome decisions” with Kemme in charge or as second-in-command.
Dorris said the diocese temporarily allowed the Rev. Robert “Bud” DeGrand to resign from his posts rather than suspending him after he was accused of molesting children. It also allowed the Rev. Thomas Donovan to remain a priest in Alton after he was found by Springfield police wearing an orange jumpsuit and a leather bondage-type mask, SNAP said.

Dorris said SNAP ‘is not optimistic that he (Kemme) will take real steps to reform long-standing, deeply rooted patterns of irresponsible, self-serving behavior by bishops in this ongoing crisis.”
It urged him to post the names of all credibly accused child-molesting clerics on his diocesan website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Former Kansas City pastor pleads guilty to child molestation

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

February 20

BY MATT CAMPBELL
The Kansas City Star

A former pastor at a Kansas City church pleaded guilty Thursday to child molestation and sexual misconduct with a child.

George L. Spencer, 59, agreed to sentences totaling seven years for groping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl in February 2012.

Spencer was an associate pastor at Greater Works CME Church in south Kansas City. He took the girl to his office in the church while her mother and grandmother were attending Bible study upstairs.

The girl said Spencer groped her and made her take off her shirt and bra, according to court documents. He put his hands down her pants, sodomized her with his finger and exposed his genitals, the documents said. Spencer told the girl that he could get in a lot of trouble for his actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Former Kansas City pastor pleads guilty to child sex crimes with 13-year-old girl

MISSOURI
Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Posted: February 21, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — A former Kansas City church pastor pleaded guilty to child molestation and sexual misconduct involving a 13-year-old girl.

Fifty-nine-year-old George L. Spencer on Thursday was sentenced to a total of seven years in prison for groping and sodomizing the girl in February 2012.

Spencer was an associate pastor at Greater Works CME Church in south Kansas City. Court documents indicate he committed the crimes in his office while the girl's mother and grandmother were attending Bible study at the church.

The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/1bRskOz ) the church's pastor told Spencer the next day to turn in his keys and not return.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Archdiocese criticizes story about how it disclosed clergy accused of sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Feb 20, 2014

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a statement late Wednesday criticizing an MPR News story on clergy accused of sexual abuse.

The MPR News story published Wednesday said the archdiocese has not disclosed a complete list of clergy accused of child sexual abuse. The story cited police reports, court records and the archdiocese's internal files.

In its statement, the archdiocese said that it remains committed to disclosing "substantiated" claims of abuse. "The 28 clergy members identified by MPR have not been publicly disclosed by the archdiocese because they do not, to date, constitute substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor," the statement said. The archdiocese said that improperly identifying individuals "is irresponsible and does not serve victims, safety of children or the public good."

The archdiocese has been working with Kinsale Management Consulting, a private firm, to review its clergy personnel files.

"With the engagement of the Kinsale team, the archdiocese continues to work on fulfilling the public promises we have made to create safe environments for children, care for victims, facilitate a healing process for our local church in order to restore trust with the Catholic faithful, and restore trust with clergy who are serving honorably," the archdiocese's statement said. "In the event any of the claims against 28 of the clergy members identified by MPR are substantiated, they will be disclosed on our website according to our policy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Archdiocese criticizes MPR's reporting

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert

The Archdiocese seems to think it knows what the problem is … At MPR, Madeleine Baran writes: “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a statement late Wednesday criticizing an MPR News story on clergy accused of sexual abuse. The MPR News story published Wednesday said the archdiocese has not disclosed a complete list of clergy accused of child sexual abuse. The story cited police reports, court records and the archdiocese's internal files. In its statement, the archdiocese said that it remains committed to disclosing ‘substantiated’ claims of abuse. ‘The 28 clergy members identified by MPR have not been publicly disclosed by the archdiocese because they do not, to date, constitute substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor,’ the statement said. The archdiocese said that improperly identifying individuals ‘is irresponsible and does not serve victims, safety of children or the public good.' " Which are clearly the archdiocese’s primary concerns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Statement Regarding MPR Report on Accused Clergy

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date :Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Source: Jim Accurso

Consistent with the paramount goal of protecting children, the archdiocese has committed to the public disclosure of clergy members against whom claims of sexual abuse of a minor have been found to be substantiated.

The archdiocese has been clear and consistent in defining “credible” and “substantiated” claims of sexual abuse of a minor. Following the report made to appropriate law enforcement, the first step in our internal evaluation is to determine whether the claim is credible. A credible claim is one that is not manifestly false or frivolous. In other words, it is not blatantly false. Separate from our internal evaluation process, any claim whether credible or not, is immediately reported to police.

If the archdiocese determines that a credible claim exists, the archdiocese opens an investigation to determine whether a claim is substantiated. A substantiated claim is one for which sufficient evidence exists to establish reasonable grounds to believe that the alleged abuse occurred.

Following an initial disclosure of 30 clergy members in December 2013, the archdiocese publicly disclosed an additional 9 priests on February 17, 2014, following a comprehensive file review by Kinsale, an experienced outside national firm. Kinsale’s file review is ongoing and we will continue to make prudent and ongoing disclosures as we proceed forward.

In a February 19, 2014 on-line article, MPR states that the public disclosures made by the archdiocese are, to date, incomplete. In support of its position, MPR identifies a total of 28 clergy members who have not been publicly disclosed by the archdiocese and against whom MPR claims that it has “found allegations of child sexual abuse and other sexual improprieties.”

This statement is wrong and misleading. The 28 clergy members identified by MPR have not been publicly disclosed by the archdiocese because they do not, to date, constitute substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor. For context:

* The archdiocese has, to date, publicly disclosed 43 clergy members (39 of them having substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor). MPR incorrectly claims that an additional 28 clergy members should have been disclosed.

* At least 16 of the 28 clergy members identified by MPR were the subject of false, meritless or unsubstantiated accusations against them. And those accusations made known to the archdiocese after 2004 have been properly filed with Ramsey County District Court.

In addition to those individuals already disclosed to the Court, over 10 of the clergy identified by MPR are not from our archdiocese and the allegations against them concern alleged conduct that occurred outside of this archdiocese. In these cases, the accused clergy members are subject to the authority of other orders and dioceses and, consistent with the policy that we have previously announced to the public, the archdiocese does not have sufficient information or even jurisdiction to determine whether those foreign claims are credible or have been substantiated. As MPR correctly observes, several of these individuals have already been publicly disclosed by their respective dioceses and orders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

DOJ: Prosecutor’s office downplayed gravity of sex crimes, told victim’s mom ‘boys will be boys’

MONTANA
ABA Journal

Posted Feb 18, 2014
By Debra Cassens Weiss

The U.S. Justice Department sees likely gender bias in a failure by the Missoula, Mont., County Attorney’s office to prosecute nonstranger rapes.

In a letter to Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg, the Justice Department says its investigation found that his office declined to prosecute “nearly every case” involving nonstranger assaults on adult women who were intoxicated, or on adult women with a mental or physical diability. Mother Jones and the Missoulian have stories, while this press release summarizes the findings.

There are "strong indications" that the charging decisions in such cases are influenced by gender bias and gender stereotyping, the letter says.

“Women consistently told us that deputy county attorneys treated them with indifference or disrespect, and frequently made statements to women victims, advocates and the public diminishing the seriousness of sexual violence and minimizing the culpability of those who commit it,” the letter said.

In one instance, a prosecutor told the mother of a 5-year-old sexual assault victim that “boys will be boys.” The adolescent perpetrator was sentenced to only two years of community service. In another case, a deputy county attorney quoted religious passages to a woman who reported a sexual assault, leading her to believe that the prosecutor judged her negatively for making the report. In yet another case, one woman says a county attorney told her, “All you want is revenge,” as they discussed the office’s decision not to prosecute her alleged assailant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

MT- Gender bias plaguing Missoula county attorney office

MONTANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, February 21, 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 )

The Missoula county attorney’s office has failed to prosecute “nearly every case” of non-stranger rapes.

[ABA Journal]

The US Justice Department reported that gender bias and stereotypes are the likely reason prosecutors failed to press charges, even in cases where they had a confession. Women in the county repeatedly told the Justice Department that they were treated with “indifference and disrespect”, they were told “boys will be boys” or had the bible quoted to them.

This level of ignorance and backwards thinking is appalling. The prosecutor’s office might as well have said “the victim was asking for it”. We are disappointed that the Missoula county attorney’s office seems to be stuck in the Middle Ages. We hope the Justice Department letter will knock some sense into Missoula officials and that victims and witnesses will not be discouraged to keep doing the right thing and working for justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Chef-Ideologe der katholischen Kirche wird Kardinal

VATIKAN
General-Anzeiger

[Summary: Gerhard Mueller is regarded my many as doctrinal watchdog at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and is considered to be a hardliner. Another view of Mueller, who will become Cardinal tomorrow, is of a man with a liberal spirit. As a simple priest Mueller regularly visited the slums in Peru's capital of Lima and became friends with Gustavo Gutierrez. a founder of liberation theology.]

Von Julius Müller-Meiningen

ROM. Wenn Papst Franziskus am Samstag Gerhard Ludwig Müller zusammen mit 18 weiteren Bischöfen in den Kardinalsstand erhebt, dann prallen auch zwei Gedankenschulen aufeinander.

In der einen gilt der 66 Jahre alte Theologe als liberaler Geist, der lange als Seelsorger in den Armenvierteln Lateinamerikas unterwegs war. Dieses Bild haben viele im Vatikan von Müller. In der anderen ist Müller ein konservativer Hardliner, der als Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation die katholische Doktrin gegen ihre angeblichen Feinde verteidigt. Auch gegen den Papst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Vertuschung: Künftiger Kardinal angeklagt

CHILE
Katholisch

[Summary: A victim of abuse in the Catholic Church has filed a complaint claiming Santiago Archbishop Richardo Ezzati for obstructing investigations into abuse]

Wenige Tage vor der Kardinalserhebung ist gegen den chilenischen Erzbischof Ricardo Ezzati Strafanzeige in Zusammenhang mit Pädophiliefällen erstattet worden. Laut lokalen Medienberichten wirft ein Missbrauchsopfer eines katholischen Geistlichen dem heutigen Erzbischof von Santiago de Chile vor, Ermittlungen zu sexuellen Übergriffen in einer Salesianer-Einrichtung in den 1980er Jahren behindert zu haben.

Ezzati war den Berichten zufolge damals als Inspektor für die Kontrolle der Einrichtung Salesiano de Valdivia zuständig. Ezzati hatte zuletzt erklärt, er habe von den Missbrauchsfällen keine Kenntnis gehabt. Ein Anwalt des Klagestellers erklärte gegenüber chilenischen Medien, sein Mandant hoffe, dass durch Ermittlungen gegen Ezzati die Hintergründe der Fälle aufgeklärt würden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Schutz vor sexuellem Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Rundschau

KÖLN –
Die deutschen Bischöfe wollen auf ihrer Frühjahrsvollversammlung Mitte März in Münster ein leidiges Thema abräumen. Nach der 2013 gescheiterten Zusammenarbeit mit dem Hannoverschen Kriminologen Christian Pfeiffer, der den sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern und Jugendlichen durch Geistliche systematisch aufarbeiten sollte, steht dem Vernehmen nach die Entscheidung über ein Nachfolgeprojekt an.

Richten die Bischöfe dabei vornehmlich den Blick auf die Vergangenheit, um daraus Schlüsse für bessere Vorbeugung ziehen zu können, weitet das Erzbistum Köln schon jetzt die Perspektive – zeitlich und inhaltlich. Drei Kongresse in Köln sind dem Schutz Erwachsener gewidmet, die sich in Obhut der Kirche befinden, ob in Krankenhäusern, Seniorenheimen Einrichtungen der Behindertenhilfe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Pope's simple style influencing cardinal fashion

VATICAN CITY
IBN Live

Associated Press

Vatican City: No glitzy gold, no rich velvet, no regal fur. Pope Francis' pared down papal wardrobe of sensible black shoes and a white cassock so thin you can see his black trousers through it is a perfect fit for his call for simplicity and humility among his clergy.

The pope's personal style - which earned him Esquire magazine's "Best Dressed Man of 2013" award - and his broader message of sobriety will be put to the test Saturday when he inducts 19 prelates into the College of Cardinals, placing the three-cornered red silk biretta on the heads of the new "princes of the church."

For the festive occasion, cardinals are traditionally outfitted in scarlet from head to toe, from the silk skull cap to bright red socks, with a white lace embroidered surplice known as a rochet worn over the red cassock and underneath the mozzetta, or shoulder cape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Big Spending NJ Archdiocese Doesn't Want To Talk About Pope's Call For Modesty

NEW JERSEY
Talking Points Memo

TOM KLUDT – FEBRUARY 20, 2014

A spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese said on Thursday he had no interest in comparing the lavish house being built by his archbishop to the modest one lived in by the pope.

But he gets the criticism some have lodged at the archbishop's house.

"Yes, I understand what people are saying," Jim Goodness, the director of communications for the Newark Archdiocese, told TPM by phone on Thursday.

But Goodness refused to say if he thought a planned $500,000 expansion to a retirement home for Newark Archbishop John J. Myers contradicts the message of Pope Francis, who lives in a modest residence and has urged priests to steer clear of luxurious lifestyles.

"I'm not going to answer that question," Goodness said. "I'm not taking any side on that at all."

The renovations to the home, which Myers currently uses as a weekend residence, have come under a bit of scrutiny. The 3,000-square-foot expansion will include an indoor exercise pool, three fireplaces and an elevator to be enjoyed by Myers in his future retirement.

Goodness went to great pains to make clear that much of the funding for the addition will come from the sale of other properties owned by the archdiocese. Any leftover money from the sale of those properties "will be returned to the diocese for use in ministry," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

"Secrets of the Vatican" on Frontline airs Thursday, February 27th at 7 pm

UNITED STATES
KENW (New Mexico)

By RENA GARRETT

Pope Benedict made history when he announced his resignation, becoming the first pope to step down voluntarily in 600 years. In his wake, he left a bitterly divided Vatican mired in scandals. Is Benedict’s successor, Pope Francis, taming the forces that helped destroy Benedict’s papacy? Is he succeeding in lifting the church out of crisis? Nearly a year in the making, this special two-hour FRONTLINE goes inside the Vatican — one of the world’s most revered and mysterious institutions — to unravel the remarkable series of events that led to the resignation that shook the world. Through interviews with those at the very heart of what happened — cardinals, priests, convicted criminals, police, prosecutors and whistle-blowers — FRONTLINE gives a first-hand account of the final days of Benedict’s papacy and the current battle to set the church on a new path under Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Pope Benedict's legacy made of shades of gray

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Feb. 21, 2014 Faith and Justice

I spent so much time in the last couple of weeks talking to reporters about the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI that I did not have a chance to put my thoughts in writing.

Whenever a reporter asks me about Benedict, I first acknowledge that I have some history with him. One of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's last actions as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was to tell the Jesuit superior general that I needed to be replaced as editor of America magazine, so I cannot claim to be an indifferent observer. Perhaps this is another reason I did not meet my deadline. This was a painful period in my life, so I warn reporters (and readers) that my own experience can bias my views.

The temptation with any pope, even Francis, is to see them as black or white, all bad or all good. Nothing is that simple, especially human beings.

There is much to praise in the papacy of Pope Benedict. If for no other reason, he will be remembered for centuries as the pope who was not afraid to resign when he felt it was best for the church. Such humility, courage and trust in the Spirit are not easy virtues when everyone around you is telling you that you are indispensable.

The resignation caused former supporters to turn on him and former critics to praise him. John L. Allen Jr. reports in The Boston Globe that Antonio Socci, a high-profile Italian conservative, has floated the question of whether Benedict's resignation was actually valid under church law. This kind of talk is very dangerous and could lead to schism, but they will get no support from Benedict for such nonsense. Likewise, those who feared Benedict would try to run things from behind the scenes have been proved paranoid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Clerics deemed abuse claim a money grab

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN FEBRUARY 22, 2014

A CONFIDENTIAL Vatican inquiry that criticised an alleged victim of child sex abuse was conducted by three senior serving Australian priests, two of whom now say the man may have been motivated by money.

As revealed yesterday by The Australian, the three clerics were appointed by Cardinal George Pell after the alleged victim spent more than a decade lobbying church leaders to consider his case.

Their decree, which Cardinal Pell personally forwarded to the Vatican last month, describes the man as an "exaggerator" with

"a detailed dossier of these remembered events clogging his computer".

"The credibility and reliability" of a second alleged victim was also questioned in the decree, despite the similarity of the two men's descriptions of abuse by the same Vincentian priest at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, NSW, during the 1970s. The alleged victims' claims ultimately were not upheld.

The decree's authors are Kevin Matthews, judicial vicar of the Archdiocese of Adelaide, Adrian Farrelly, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, and Anthony Kerin, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Catholic education boss blames staff for failure to deal with paedophile teacher

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

A Catholic education director says his staff had the knowledge to deal with sexual abuse claims against a Queensland teacher, but did not apply it.

A royal commission in Brisbane has heard two Catholic education officers and the principal of a Queensland school learned of abuse claims against a teacher in 2007, but failed to act.

That teacher, Gerard Byrnes, was eventually jailed in 2010 after pleading guilty to 44 child sex charges involving 13 young girls.

Byrnes was allowed to continue working at the school after the first complaints surfaced, and went on to abuse other pupils.

Catholic education director John Borserio gave evidence on Friday to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission: Catholic Education boss admits policies failed to protect schoolgirls

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Brad Ryan

A director of Catholic Education has admitted a systemic failure of child safety policies allowed a paedophile teacher to abuse students at a Queensland school over a two-year period.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is sitting in Brisbane this week to hear evidence about how teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes continued to molest students at a Catholic school in Toowoomba for more than a year after the allegations were first made.

Byrnes, the school's child protection contact, molested 13 female students aged between nine and 10 at the school in 2007 and 2008.

Toowoomba's director of Catholic Education, John Borserio, agreed on Friday with the assertion by counsel assisting Gail Furness that child safety policies in place at the time completely failed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Catholic Education boss admits failures in protecting children from paedophile teacher

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

A Catholic Education boss has told the child abuse Royal Commission that the wholesale systemic failure of child protection policies led to students being exposed to a paedophile teacher. John Borserio says those policies have been improved but without advice from experts outside the Catholic system.

Transcript

MARK COLVIN: A Catholic Education boss has admitted that a wholesale systemic failure of child protection policies led to young girls being taught by a paedophile teacher.

John Borserio was the director of the Toowoomba Catholic Education Office when Gerard Byrnes sexually abused 13 girls in 2007 and 2008. Mr Borserio still holds that position.

He's told the child abuse Royal Commission that he takes responsibility for failing to protect the students. He insists policies have since improved but without advice from experts outside the Catholic system.

Stephanie Smail reports.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: John Borserio had been the director of the Toowoomba Catholic Education Office for five years when Gerard Byrnes was arrested.

Today the Royal Commission heard the child protection policies Mr Borserio presided over failed in 2007 and 2008.

He acknowledged a complaint about Byrnes touching a student in 2007 wasn't adequately investigated and other students were exposed to harm as a result.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Royal commission hearings into child sex abuse...

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Royal commission hearings into child sex abuse at St Ann's special school to go ahead despite Catholic Church concern over timing

BY GINNY STEIN
February 21, 2014

The royal commission has rejected Catholic Church concerns about the timing of hearings into sex abuse in an Adelaide special needs school.

Next month the commission will look into how authorities responded to the abuse at St Ann's school in the early 1990s.

Parents of the victims hope they will finally get answers about the paedophile bus driver who preyed on up to 30 children, most of whom could not speak.

Earlier this year, lawyers for the church's insurers wrote to the commission, arguing that hearings could influence compensation settlements.

"If the commission's investigation occurs before the hearing of the Civil Actions, the plaintiffs in the Civil Actions could have the benefit of seeing the School Entities' statements, documents and evidence, and being able to plan their litigation strategy accordingly," the church said in a letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Courage, creativity urged as cardinals begin talks on family issues

VATICAN CITY
John Thavis

Pope Francis this morning opened a two-day discussion of cardinals on the family, saying the church’s pastoral response to modern problems must be marked by intelligence, courage and love.

Here’s the key quote from the pope’s talk to about 150 cardinals gathered at the Vatican:

Our reflections must keep before us the beauty of the family and marriage, the greatness of this human reality which is so simple and yet so rich, consisting of joys and hopes, of struggles and sufferings, as is the whole of life. We will seek to deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices which our present situation requires.

May we do so thoughtfully and without falling into “casuistry”, because this would inevitably diminish the quality of our work. Today, the family is looked down upon and mistreated. We are called to acknowledge how beautiful, true and good it is to start a family, to be a family today; and how indispensable the family is for the life of the world and for the future of humanity. We are called to make known God’s magnificent plan for the family and to help spouses joyfully experience this plan in their lives, as we accompany them amidst so many difficulties, including with a pastoral approach that is intelligent, courageous and full of love.

That last phrase about a courageous and compassionate pastoral policy was added extemporaneously by the pope.

Briefing reporters afterward, the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said that in referring to “casuistry,” the pope meant that the cardinals should not “fragment” their discussion by focusing on particular situations over a more general vision.

Lombardi also summarized some key points made by German Cardinal Walter Kasper, who delivered a two-hour-long address to introduce the themes of the discussion. Kasper spoke about the need to connect God’s design for the family in the order of creation to the reality of the family today. On one hand, the church has to be able to transmit the joy and the positive values of the family to society, and in this sense the family should be a privileged means of evangelizing, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Open season on priests

SOUTH AFRICA
News 24

Abbi Smith

21 February 2014

What a sad day for the Roman Catholic Church when a priest of Pretoria was arrested after an accusation of alleged misconduct.

Yes, a priest is a symbol of Christianity, but so is the cross and so is the church. What a pity though that no one looks beyond what is symbolic to what is human and real. This priest is a man, as was Jesus of Nazareth, as is the Chancellor to the Archbishop, Fr. Mphiwe.

They are living human beings just like you and I. This man, the priest has been alleged to have made an indecent suggestion to a 17 year old young man. Not a "child", as the emotive language of the accusers tends to describe him.

Do you happen to know the accused man? Do you happen to know that this slightly built Father has dedicated his life to God, his church and flock? Have you ever lost someone at three in the morning with your priest standing beside you in hospital, serving last rites to you loved one?
Have you ever heard this man pray?

Do you happen to know the accuser who, with the encouragement of Fr. Mphiwe, (News24: 2014-02-17) lodged his complaint with the South African Police? Have you happened to notice how politics infiltrate every aspect of human life?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

What about the wives?

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on February 20, 2014

Yesterday’s big settlement announcement raised a question for me: What about the wives?

One of the perpetrators who was a part of the settlement, Michael Nocita, has now been sued by four different women for sexual abuse. He was removed from ministry and laicized. The Archdiocese has paid out big money to his victims.

It’s also been reported that he is married.

Anton Smario, a former brother who admitted that he was often nude in front of young girls in the Native Alaskan villages where he taught religion classes, remained married after he was exposed in lawsuits and admitted his actions.

Thomas Hodgman—the man who admitted to abusing me and at least two other girls—is married with children. He also still hangs out on busses with girls (albeit not minor girls. This time).

I can’t help but wonder: What do the wives think? Do they not take their husband’s crimes seriously because the victims were girls?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Press Release | “Secrets of the Vatican”: Inside the Scandals That Rocked Benedict’s Papacy

UNITED STATES
PBS - Frontline

[preview video]

FRONTLINE Presents
Secrets of the Vatican
Tuesday, February 25, 2014, at 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)

A year ago, after receiving a confidential dossier on troubles in the Catholic Church, Benedict XVI became the first Pope in nearly 600 years to resign.

In Secrets of the Vatican, FRONTLINE exposes the threats and scandals that rocked Benedict’s papacy: a far-reaching clergy sex abuse crisis; money laundering and corruption at the Vatican Bank; and Vatileaks—the release of internal documents revealing cronyism, power struggles, and allegations of blackmail within the Holy See.

From award-winning director Antony Thomas, this special, 90-minute FRONTLINE presentation tells the epic, inside story of the collapse of the Benedict Papacy—and illuminates the extraordinary challenges facing Pope Francis as he tries to reform the powerful Vatican bureaucracy, root out corruption, and chart a new course for the troubled Catholic Church and its 1.2 billion followers.

Using undercover footage and interviews with Vatican insiders, as well as abuse victims, whistleblowers, and journalists, Secrets of the Vatican shows the deep sexual hypocrisy within the Catholic Church and the long legacy of clergy sexual abuse of children.

Drawing on firsthand accounts, the film shows how for years the Vatican supported the head of the powerful Legionaries of Christ order, Marcial Maciel, despite accusations he’d been sexually abusing boys and misappropriating money. Secrets of the Vatican also tells the story of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, where clergy sex abuse victims have accused the Church of covering up abusive priests and trying to shield millions of dollars from mounting legal claims. The archdiocese has filed for bankruptcy, but hundreds of victims are still seeking compensation.

Secrets of the Vatican also examines what is described as a “don’t ask, don’t tell” culture within the Vatican when it comes to priests’ sexual orientation and finds that some priests are embarking on illicit relationships despite vows of celibacy.

“Unless you spend some time inside this kind of culture, it’s very hard to believe that it could be like this,” journalist Robert Mickens tells FRONTLINE.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Cardinal Timothy Dolan warns of bad publicity coming his way

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

By Lilly Fowler lfowler@post-dispatch.com 314-340-82211

I tweeted Cardinal Timothy Dolan's update earlier but thought I'd elaborate on the topic a bit more here.

A couple days ago, Dolan released a curious letter noting that his name might be in the press again -- and not in a good way.

"You know how I always try to alert you to any potentially negative publicity about the Church, or about me. Well, there could be some," he wrote.

"My home archdiocese of St. Louis just complied with a court order to release the documents regarding cases there of sexual abuse of minors...

Anyway, since I was an auxiliary bishop in St. Louis for a year (2001-02), and vicar for priests for nine of those twelve months, I would anticipate that my name will again be highlighted in the press. I sure have nothing to hide..."

The reason it's a bit peculiar Dolan should warn of bad publicity is because as the Post-Dispatch's reporting has highlighted, the files he refers to are under court seal, available only to the judge and lawyers involved. And the trial date for the case that spurred the release of the files has been pushed back -- to July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Arzobispado confirma que es Fernando Karadima quien aparece en imagen

CHILE
Terra

[Summary: The Santiago archbishop has confirmed that priest Fernando Karadima is the priest who appears in a photograph made last December that shows him in the inner chapel of the house of the Servants of Jesus. Juan Carolos Cruz, one of the men who denounced the priest for abuse, made public the photographs and said he was officiating at Mass after the Vatican forbid him to so.]

El Arzobispado de Santiago confirmó que es el sacerdote Fernando Karadima quien aparece en una imagen captada en diciembre pasado en la capilla interior, de la casa de las Siervas de Jesús.

"La foto efectivamente corresponde al sacerdote Karadima y fue obtenida por un visitante al interior de la residencia", manifestó el organismo católico.

Cabe señalar que Juan Carlos Cruz, uno de los que denunció al religioso, dio a conocer imágenes de éste y afirmó que se encontraba oficiando una misa, pese a que se le prohibió hacerlo luego que el Vaticano, a través de Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, lo declarara culpable por el delito de abuso de menores.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Chile--Predator removed by the Vatican continues to minister

CHILE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, February 20, 2014

Statement by Juan Carlos Cruz or SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 1+ 312 420 4301· jccruz1@aol.com )

A serial predator priest who has been ordered to live "a life of prayer and penance" is still saying mass in public, clearly violating restrictions put on him by his Catholic supervisors.

We are saddened but not shocked. Only under public pressure do bishops finally take some action against child molesting clerics. And when public attention subsides, it's "back to business as usual."

In other institutions - government, business, non-profits - there would now be harsh punishments - both for the predator priest, Fr. Fernando Karadima, and - more importantly - for his supervisors. But we doubt that will happen here. Even the most egregious child molesting clerics in the Catholic Church often get light penalties and continue to break the rules and do as they please, without fear of further sanction. And when their bishops are caught ignoring the very rules they put down, no higher church authority ever disciplines those bishops.

This is yet another reminder that real justice can best be sought through secular courts, not through church processes. We strongly urge anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups to contact police and prosecutors, not priests and bishops.